Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Illamasqua; Once Collection

The recent releases from Illamasqua have bloggers saying that the brand is going commercial, and becoming boring from there makeup artist lead brand, with everything from teal lipstick to glow in the dark nail polish. I feel that there’s nothing wrong with diversifying the brand and catering to a wider audience, plus Illamasqua do subtle subdued makeup in such a beautiful and different way to the usual nude palettes we see banded around. Included in the range are 3 new cream eyeshadows, a repromoted powder blusher, 2 new lipglosses and a new nail varnish colour. I received 2 of the cream eyeshadows and the nail polish.

The cream eyeshadows are called Vintage Metallix, I received the shades Courtier, which Illamasqua describes as a vintage nude, it’s a pinky beige nude shot through with gold shimmer.  And Bibelot, described as a vintage green, which is a deep green shot through with the same gold shimmer. These are cream-gel textures that provide long lasting, smudge resistant wear, housed in small glass jars, gold lid with the Illamasqua symbol, as well as Illamasqua lettering on the side, which is peeling off as we speak. I love cream eyeshadows, and these are a great addition to my collection, they last well on me without primer, I do not have oily eyelids and are a great base for powder eyeshadow.

The nail polish is called Melange, which Illamasqua describe as a golden teal with a matte finish, it’s a gorgeous emerald green shade with lots of gold glitter, that make it difficult for it to be a true matte shade. It applies beautifully and lasts well on the nails.

The cream eyeshadows are £16.50 each and the nail polish is £14.50 available from, which is a great website as they have mini videos with live swatches and have recently added pictures of swatches on different skin tones.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

black|Up Paris Cosmetics

Black|Up Paris is fast becoming one of my favourite brands, it was founded in 1999 by an African makeup artist, and was the first upscale beauty brand to cater especially to black and mixed beauties. It pairs professional quality products with ease of use, it promises to provide a non-ashy finish and includes makeup, skincare and fragrance. I had heard about this brand for a while, but only dabbled in it recently when I tried and loved the CC cream, reviewed here.

I’ll start with the contouring sticks, this is a dual ended stick, think 2 stick foundations merged. One end for highlighting and the other for contouring and comes in 5 shades. I received shades 3 and 4. The contouring shades are identical and I can use these interchangeably, they are also quite warm toned and not as cool toned as a contour colour should be, but I feel on darker skin we can get away with this. The highlighting shades are very different, for this I need shade 3, these blend like butter, I love these. They cost £29 each, and if you know what shade you are in the CC cream, this is the shade you’ll be in these. 
Next is the Radiance Sublime Powder, I thought this would be extremely shimmery on the skin, but it’s quite subtle and adds a nice warm glow. It's developed with a new extra fine texture that blends easily, combining pigment and shimmer, it’s oil free, fragrance free and paraben free. The 5 shades are designed to match different undertones, I have shade no4 and it cost £26.

The 5 Colour Eyeshadow Palette is £32, each palette is designed to work in harmony, and structured around 3 looks a nude look using the matte shades, a day time look using the colour trio that can then be turned into a smokey night time look using the darkest matte shade. The palettes consists of 4 different textures, this one consists of 1 metallic shade, 1 satin shade, 2 matte shades and 1 glitter shade. I love this palette, it’s compact and great for travel, even though it’s structured around 3 looks, a multitude of looks can actually be created, I have palette no4 out of 5.

Finally are the mono eyeshadows, which have been developed in a new formula, and come in either a matte or metallic finish. Shade 02 is a light, bright orange shade, which is pigmented and blends beautifully. I’ve used this both on the eyes and cheeks, and it’s absolutely gorgeous, definitely a shade a brownbeauty should have in her stash. Then shade 12, which is a vibrant, light turquoise blue, not an everyday shade, but great for when you want a pop of colour. Again pigmented and blends beautifully, especially for a matte shade.  There are 15 shades in total, they don’t have names just numbers, and cost £15.50 each.

black|Up Paris is available on their website or
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Sunday, 2 November 2014

Sensationnel UK Bare and Natural Brazilian Lace Wig

So I attended my first Keziah Connections event in July that teamed up with Fashion Fair and Sensationnel UK. I happened to win one of the prize draws, which was for a Sensationnel UK Bare and Natural Brazilian Virgin Remi Lace Wig in the natural wavy style and a 1B colour. I love the box packaging, but it doesn't say what length the hair is or how many bundles it's made up of, guessing I'd say 18-20inches. It doesn't have a lace closure as you're suppose to cut it and leave a bit of your own hair out.
Sensationnel UK Bare and Natural Brazilian Lace Wig
I had this wig sitting gathering dust for a while, as it didn't quite meet my requirements, since I won it I had no say it what it looked liked. Firstly the bare and natural range is for those who want a very natural looking finish, also as my hair is natural I didn't want to constantly have to apply heat to blend my leave out with the wig. Also I currently had a wig I wore daily that met my requirements, but I was in the market for a shorter, ombre coloured style. 
Sensationnel UK Wig Transformation Before and After

Eventually I got the idea to adapt the wig to my specifications, rather than buy a new one and leave this one gathering dust. First thing I did was add some extra tracks to give the wig more volume, using some braziliain hair I had around the house from previous weaves. Then I cut it to shoulder length, dyed it to a blonde ombre and tweezed the parting a little so I didn't have to cut it and leave any hair out.

I absoultey love this as it now gives me variation and I'm slowly building up my wig collection to offer me a nice variety. Sensationnel UK don't sell the wigs online, but you can go on the website to find your nearest stockist, and obviously buy a wig more suited to your requirements, so no adaptations needed. I would definately look at purchasing a Sensationnel UK wig, I've got my eye on the Empress Lace wig collection, as some of them can be worn in a ponytail or an updo. There are no prices on the website, but at the event we were told these wigs are very affordable, they also sell bundles of hair if you prefer a weave.

Check out the website, check out my instagram (Aallexxy) for pictures of me rocking this unit.

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Sunday, 26 October 2014

Eve Lom Morning Time cleanser and Cleansing Balm!!!

I received the Morning Time Cleanser and the cult Cleansing  Balm and included muslin cloth, to review for I’ll start with the Morning Time Cleanser; it’s supposed to be a lighter version of the cleansing balm to be used in the morning to wake the skin up. It’s a 2 minute wash off balm and uses 4 of Eve Lom’s signature aromatic cleansing oils; Clove oil which is anti-septic, Eucalyptus Oil that helps to drain away toxins, Hops oil tones and Egyptian Chamomile Oil that softens and soothes. These are combined with Papaya Fruit Enzyme which exfoliates, brightens and minimises pores and carrot oil to stimulate collagen production, these all work together to leave skin radiant, refreshed and balanced. I didn’t think I would enjoy using a balm based cleanser in the morning, as I previously preferred a lightly foaming gel based cleanser, but I was wrong and my skin has loved it. I massage it on dry skin before getting in the shower, and rinse it off just before getting out; my skin is left soft, clean and not stripped. It has not exacerbated the oily areas of my combination skin, but leaves it nicely balanced.
The Balm was the first product  developed when Eve launched in 1985, we've all heard of this cult classic cleanser, it’s controversial as it contains mineral oil. Eve is adamant that it’s high grade extremely refined mineral, I don’t go out of my way to avoid mineral oil as I find it doesn’t appear to affect my skin adversely, but it’s something to consider. It contains the 4 signature oils mentioned above in addition to cocoa butter to condition, At night I use the Cleansing Balm and massage this into dry skin after removing my initial layer of makeup with a wipe or cleansing water, then use the accompanying muslin cloth and hot tap water to remove. My skin is left feeling clean, glowing, hydrated and balanced. 
I have been using these products consistently for almost 3 months, and have definately seen a massive improvement in my skin. My skin’s texture has smoothed out and it looks more radiant and even toned. I feel all skin types can benefit from these products, even those with oily skin, if however you want to avoid mineral oil, but want to try an Eve Lom cleanser, then consider using the morning time cleanser at night.

These products aren’t cheap, the Morning Time Cleanser is £40 for 125ml and the Cleansing Balm ranges from £40 for 50ml - £85 for 200ml, but after almost 3 months  use these products are still going strong.

Have you tried any Eve Lom products?

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