Sunday, 28 October 2012

Urban Decay | Smoked Palette

I recently purchased the new Urban Decay "Smoked" palette.
Being a fan of both Naked Palettes (which you can read HERE) I was full of high hopes for their latest release, but after swatching and playing about with the colours, I was left not as impressed as I had wished for.

The palette just seems very unimaginative. It's as though Urban Decay have combined  Naked and Naked 2 and mixed them with the 15th anniversary palette before placing them into the Midnight Emergency Kit's Packaging.
Not to mention that only 5 out of the 10 colours are new and exclusive (Kinky, Freestyle, Backdoor, Barlust and Asphalt), the other 50% have all appeared in previous palettes.
I'm not to sure on the palette's packaging. From the outside, it's very different to anything I've got in my collection, the use of black makes it really eye-catching not to mention in keeping with the "smoked" theme.
I do really like the zipper fastening, it makes the palette feel secure and something I'd feel comfortable to travel with.
However, once opened, I found the layout of the shadows wasteful - there is definitely a lot of unnecessary, excess packaging. 
Urban Decay do get bonus points for a big full screen mirror but in my opinion, they could have made their palette more compact.
I much prefer the layout of the Naked palettes.

The palette comes with a mini-travel primer potion, a full sized 24/7 eyeliner in the colour "perversion" and also a step-by-step guide containing 12 different looks.

I was very excited to see the tutorial booklet, complete with illustrative pictures of each finished look.  

I have yet to follow the instructions but having had a flick through, I'm really impressed with the varying, creative looks - there truly is something for everyone.
In particular, I'm really looking forward in stepping out of my comfort zone completely by having a go at recreating the "Enigma" look - incorporating Rockstar (a deep Aubergine with a shimmer finish) and Loaded (a deep Emerald Shimmer with a metallic base).

As always, UD have not scrimped on the quality of their shadows. They are beautifully pigmented, luxuriously creamy in texture and blend like a dream.
I had personally hoped that UD wouldn't venture too far towards "warm" or "cool" tones and I'm glad that they have kept to a happy medium, thus, appealing to a wide range of skin tones.

At £35.00 it's not an excessive amount of money for 10 eyeshadows, especially when their quality is considered.
But, it's the extras that make this palette value for money - Perversion 24/7 eyeliner is the blackest of blacks and the tutorial booklet is a fantastic asset for beginners and the more experienced alike.

Personally, I can't see this being my "go-to" palette. I'm a neutral girl at heart and for that reason I will always prefer the Naked and Naked 2 palettes, but with the help of their tutorial guide, I can, for sure, see myself using this to "sex up" my make up for a night on the town (!).
If, like me you're afraid of the smoked-eye look, then I would seriously recommend you to have a look at this palette, but if you're an owner of both Nakeds and the 15th anniversary palette you might want to give this one a miss (unless, of course, you're a frequent wearer of the smoky eye.)

Will you be buying the smoked palette?

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Amelie's 2 Month Update | Baby Blog

I can't believe, already a whole month has passed since her last update post - this year has flown by.
I was watching This Morning a few weeks ago and they had already started their 100 days countdown!
Amelie has changed so much this month, she seems to be doing something different almost on an everyday basis.

Measurements - 8 weeks 5 days old (last month I miscalculated - she was actually 4 weeks 3 days old!)
Height - 54cm
Weight is something I haven't really been keeping an eye on, its common for babies to fluctuate so rather than keep a close eye on this I just go by what the health visitors tell me.
Her last appointment was her 6 week check up and although they didn't weigh her they did say she was a healthy baby and well in proportion - they did measure her head circumference which was 39cm.
Eye colour - Blue! 
Hair Colour - It seems to change depending on the lighting, she's still a lot lighter than when she was first born but now she's got a slight red tint in natural light.

Feeding - Amelie is still feeding well. We've been going steady at 120ml each feed but she very often finishes this so we have started to increase this to 150ml if she's been asleep for a long period of time.

Winding - Still really good. She definitely lets us know if she's in pain! Quite often I'll let her rest for a few minutes before winding as it gives her time to relax (or as I like to think of it - the 'burp' to develop!). I regularly change her nappy straight after feeding and then burp her.
As of yet she hasn't kept us up at night with her crying in pain.

Sleeping - Amelie is being amazing with sleeping through the night. She must of had a total of 9 nights now sleeping through and when she doesn't she only wakes up once! We took the big step of moving her into her own room - I know this is quite a controversial topic BUT quite often we were the ones that woke her during the night especially with Connor leaving early to commute to London.
Amelie hardly sleeps through the day which makes it hard to keep the house in check, my laundry and ironing baskets are forever full but I can't complain!
We're still keeping to the same routine as last month, she's usually in bed come 9.30pm.

Outings - I've become more and more confident with going out with her. I've practically recovered now so I'm keeping active by going on daily walks with her in the pram and Simba on his lead. Okay, I'm definitely not ready to run the marathon but I'm finding each week I can walk further and further.
I've also finally been able to drive again which has made my life far more exciting. I've been keeping busy seeing my friends at the start of the month before they all go back to Uni which was nice - I even ventured out for a pub lunch with one of my besties!

Date Days / Nights - We haven't really gone anywhere this month. It's more been the case of having my mum round to babysit for a few hours while I crack on with the household chores! 
I've come to realise that as long as you've got everything organised and hygienic you can look past the untidiness.

Lows this month? I was nervous taking her for her 'clicky hip' appointment. Everything is fine and completely normal though!

Highs this month? Amelie's daily giggles and random smiles. She also makes 'cooing' noises which is so cute! We finally got round to ordering Amelie's birth annoncement cards. I  can't wait till they get here!
We also went shopping and bought some amazing bargains in the 'end of summer' sale. We're going on holiday in February and she's got all her clothes sorted.

Funniest moments? The dog is so good with her, I try and 'include' him as much as possible (by this I mean letting him sniff Amelie in the morning etc). One morning he was sniffing her feet with his back legs by her shoulders and she suddenly reached out and wrapped her legs around his back legs. 

Looking forward to? Halloween! I've bought her the cutest little costume! I also finaklly got round to ordering hr birth annoncement cards (better late then never!) and i'm looking forward to posting the out next week!

Least Looking forward to? The cold weather. Some days have been so rubbishy and wet.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Real Techniques Brushes - A Real Investment?

Unless you have been hiding under a rock, you would have heard of "PIXIWOO" the brain child of sisters Samantha and Nicola Chapman, I for one have been a subscriber to them on youtube for years and absolutely love their tutorials and videos!
"Real Techniques" is a brush line set up and designed by Samantha.
I was very pleased to see that my latest trip to Boots saw all 'Real Techniques' brushes on a special promotion - "Buy One Get One Half Price'. Not that I needed much persuasion, you just have to go as far as YouTube to see the countless amazing reviews!
But I finally gave into the hype and quickly grabbed the Core Collection and Stippling Brush into my shopping bag and made a quick beeline for the tills.

The Core Collection - RRP £21.99
The Core Collection has four brushes (- Buffing Brush, Detailer Brush, Pointed Foundation Brush and Contour Brush) all of which are neatly contained in a handy case, perfect for either travelling or displaying neatly on your make up counter. It also has extra spaces to hold other brushes.
 (in the picture below I have added the 'Stippling Brush')
 I personally prefer to use a 'buffing' foundation brush as apposed to the more traditional pointed foundation brush, and have quickly changed my usual MAC 187 Brush (hauled HERE) which I had used religiously on an almost daily basis to the 'Buffing Brush' and will not be looking back!
The real techniques buffing brush applies my foundation flawlessly in less than two minutes, and the synthetic taclan hair used on all their brushes means that not only are they cruelty free, but they make cleaning them a dream - taking literally 20 minutes to dry! The brushes themselves are made out of aluminium making them super light in weight - perfect for transporting and the choice of colours offer something different to the typical black and silver brushes favoured by MAC, Sigma and Crown (to name a few).
I also love the Contour Brush, at the moment I use Chanel's Soleil Tan De Chanel, Bronze Universal - a cream matt bronzer and have really struggled finding the perfect brush to apply it with. (You can read more about both the contour brush and Chanel's bronzer in a post that should be up soon!)
I have yet to try the other two brushes, I've always preferred to apply concealer with my fingers and well as stated above, the pointed foundation brush just doesn't appeal to me.
But considering the £21.99 price - it still makes excellent value for money, especially considering the hefty pricetag of MAC's 187.

The Stippling Brush - RRP £11.99
I purchased the stippling brush for half price, mainly as a comparison to the buffing brush.
I can't really comment on it's performance as I've yet to apply my foundation with it and will post a review once I have soon!

Have you tried Real Technique Brushes?


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