Beauty

Review: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Surreal Light Palette (Limited Edition)

In my experience so far, I’ve learned two things about Hourglass: 1) You have to mortgage your house to afford their makeup. I don’t even have a house so I really have to get creative, which leads me to 2) Their products are of incredible quality, which means you find yourself wondering if you really need that second kidney more than you need their latest product.

 

Which is exactly the place I was at when Hourglass launched their limited edition (holiday release) Ambient Lighting Edit Surreal Light. A face palette about the size of my hand that will set you back a whopping AU$116. So is it worth it? Read on to find out my thoughts.

 

 

First Impressions

I tentatively swatched this in Mecca just after its release, fully expecting to love it so much I would end up in tears trying to justify its addition to the budget. So I was (almost pleasantly) surprised by how awful it looked on my hand. A glitter bomb of little pigment. It did nothing for me, so I congratulated myself on saving a hundred bucks from not buying it online and continued my Mecca browse.

 

Cut to ten minutes later when the Mecca girl suggested I try it out on my face, an offer I begrudgingly accepted. Dammit. It looked freaking amazing, and no glitter in sight. I had to get it. There goes that hundred bucks I saved earlier.

 

What You Get



For AU$116 you will get yourself one ambient lighting powder in Surreal light, two ambient lighting blushes (surreal glow and surreal effect), an ambient lighting bronzer in surreal bronze glow, and an ambient lighting strobe powder in surreal strobe light.  This palette is the perfect colour range to help you look like you naturally wake up looking like a freaking goddess every morning.

 

I’m not sure how the colour range would go on darker skin tones, the bronzer is natural even on my pale-to-the-extreme skin.

 

Worth It?

In a word, yes.

 

In many more words:

 

This palette just makes me feel so pretty.

The ambient lighting powder in surreal light is by far my favourite ambient lighting powder to date! That is saying something because they are all great.

 

 

The bronzer gives me the perfect natural glow. Gives my skin some warmth and definition without looking too done. I love it. It’s that sun-kissed look we’re all after.

 

The blushes may be my favourite part of the palette. There is a nude and a pink blush, both of which apply extremely naturally. They blend themselves. The nude blush is my new go-to. I cannot rave about them enough… they’re gorgeous! Unfortunately I think I’ll now have to try the other hourglass blushes out…dammit.

 

The highlight is beautiful. It’s not going to give you a beaming streak of light across your cheekbone but if you’re after a natural gleam then this is for you. I personally think it is stunning, just makes you look like you have perfect lighting on you 24/7.

The only downside for me (aside from the price) is the pan size. You do get a large pan (4g) of the finishing powder  but the other four are small (1.4g).  Aside from the fact you’re paying for not a heap of product, for the bronzer in particular, it is just annoying getting your brush into the tiny pan.

I’m so sorry to tell you this. But mortgage the house, get a second job, go sell your kidneys, cause you need this in your life.

 

100% in love.

 

Have you tried this palette? What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below!

 

Stay beautiful,

N x

Fun Makeup Look for Summer – Feat. The Urban Decay X Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette

Ain’t no doubt about it, summer is fun. The warm weather makes people happy and the good times roll well into those long summer night. In general, I don’t believe in only wearing certain colours in certain seasons, but summertime has given me the urge to be colourful. So I thought I’d use the completely stunning Gwen Stefani X Urban Decay eyeshadow palette to create a fun makeup look with a splash of colour. Without further ado, let’s get started.

 

The Base



For the base I was aiming for one thing – glowy af. Tbh, this is what I aim for daily, and in life in general, but for this look in particular I wanted that dewy like a fairy kinda glow.

 

To achieve this I used the NYX Angel Veil primer, to hydrate my skin (especially important when you’ve spent time in the sun) and help with longevity. For foundation I used the L’Oreal Nude Magique cushion foundation in shade Vanilla. Under my eyes I used my everyday favourite concealer, Benefit’s Fake Up in Light. I then lightly powdered my t-zone and under my eyes with Revlon Colorstay pressed powder in Light – this helped to keep my concealer in place and stops me from slipping from glowy to oily.

 

The Face



If you haven’t got the idea yet, we’re going for glowy. To keep this going, I used the Soap & Glory Solar Powder. This is technically supposed to be a bronzer/highlighter duo but I love to blend the two together as a very lightly shimmered bronzer. For blush I used my ride or die, Luminoso baked blush by Milani followed by a beautiful natural highlight using the Soap & Glory Glow All Out luminising face powder. This is a pinky highlight that is just so subtle and pretty, the perfect ‘glowing from within’ highlight.

 

The Brows



For brows I used the NYX micro brow pencil in brunette. I wanted my brows to balance out the brighter eye look we’ve got coming up. I love a full bushy brow – so that’s what I went for.

 

The Eyes


Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, the beautiful Gwen Stefani x Urban Decay eyeshadow palette. Wow. This palette honestly shocked me with the quality; I was speechless when I swatched this in Mecca. The colour range is beautiful, that blue in particular slays me.

For this summery look I decided to play with the pink shade in the palette, Harajuku, and create a wearable yet bright (totally a thing) look. First I used the shade Stark from lash line to crease to balance out my eyelids and create a smooth base for the rest of the shades. I then used Blonde on my brow bone and Annaheim through and slightly above my crease to create some light depth and a blending point for the rest of the colours. Next up is Zone which I used directly in my crease to deepen things up and create a gradient effect through to Annaheim. To deepen my outer corners I used Blink on a more defined brush and then, with a clean fluffy blending brush, I smoked out the edges so there were no harsh lines. Here comes the fun bit – Harajuku! Using a more precise brush I popped this on the inner two thirds of my eye and, with the same clean blending brush from earlier, I softly blended Blink and Harajuku together to create an effortless gradient. To top it all off, and add a little more glow cause we all know we need it, I added Pop to my inner corners and coated my lashes generously in the Essence I Love Lashes Mascara to finish every thing off. Ta Da! 

 

The Lips


To finish this look off, I tossed up whether to go nude and balance the eye or just commit and go bright. In the end I compromised and went for a muted pink. I used a Rimmel 1000 Kisses lip liner in Natural to both line and fill in the lips. Over the top I used a true favourite of mine, Shanghai Suzy’s Dusty Rose. This lipstick gives me life, such a gorgeous pinky nude.

 

And there you have it! A bit of a fun look for summer nights, and to match those gorgeous sunsets. What’s your favourite kind of look for summer? Let me know in the comments below!

 

If you’re in the southern hemisphere I hope you are enjoying your summer!

 

Stay beautiful,

 

– N x

2016 Drugstore Beauty Favourites

Buckle up your seat belts and prepare some snacks because  we are about to show you our 2016 Drugstore Beauty Favourites! Enjoy.

Skincare

N

SugarBaby Vita+Skin Slim-Ulate Coconut & Coffee Stimulating Body Scrub

This was an impulse purchase. I was at a Priceline sale, and remembered just as I was about to head for the checkout that I had run out of coffee scrub. Which will just not do! So I grabbed this bad boy because it was close by. Excellent impulse purchase. It smells AMAZING, I feel beautifully moisturised and exfoliated. New fave scrub.

Honourable Mention

Beauty Essentials Bright Eye Cream

Another impulse purchase. This was bought when I needed an eye cream for travel but didn’t want to spend a fortune. I LOVE THIS. It is possibly my favourite eye cream ever, over all the ones I’ve tried, drugstore or high end. Get around this. It’s amazing. And SO cheap.

M

Clearasil Ultra Rapid Action Pads

I got these bad boys when I was having a particularly in a particularly bad skin phase and didn’t realised how much I would love them. I have been using them religiously morning and night. They make my skin brighter with no drying effects. Love.

Hair care

M

TONI&GUY Nourish Reconstruction Mask

This mask has saved my hair this year! It is so incredible moisturising and (surprisingly, considering the quality) doesn’t cost a small fortune! This is a must for anyone who wants to give their hair some lovin’

Primer

N & M

Nyx Angel Veil Skin Perfecting Primer

So many YouTubers rave about this primer, and it was slowly killing us not being able to get our hands on it in Aus. So when N went to Europe in 2016, she snapped it up quick smart. Our thoughts? Think a less greasy version of Hourglass Veil primer (which is one of our all time faves). One of our fave primers, not just in the drugstore category but in life. If you can, try this baby out.

 

Foundation

N

Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Foundation

It was a rocky start to my relationship with Bourjois healthy mix serum foundtaion. It’s a regular in beauty bloggers drugstore favourites, and so I was super keen to try it! The first time I wore it, I applied it with a BeautyBlender and it didn’t sit on my skin well at all. Second time I used my hands, same deal. I was not impressed. The third time, however, in a somewhat uncharacteristic move, I used a buffing brush. Generally, I really dislike applying foundation with a brush, but for this particular foundation, it’s absolute perfection. Glowly, healthy, medium-long wearing, I truly love this foundation….when it’s applied with a brush.

 

Concealer

N&M

Maybelline Fit Me Concealer

Everyone’s raved about Fit Me concealer since forever, and we found out this year that it was for good reason. This is high-end quality stuff; it doesn’t dry out our under eyes but we do find it needs to be applied with a beauty sponge. It’s also great for spot concealing.

 

Corrector

M

Models Prefer Colour Correcting Concealer

I’ve written a whole post on this, if you want to read more click here. The short version is: creamy, blendable, effective, and cheap. You need this.

Powder

N

Rimmel Stay Matte Powder

I am not even sure this is my powder tbh, I think it is M’s from many moons ago. But I found it in a draw, used it and fell in love. My skin does not get on well with setting powder, I can look ghostly and cakey very easily with my dry under eyes. The Stay Matte powder helps to get rid of that greasy look whilst keeping me looking fresh. Great powder.

 

M

Australis Banana Powder

This stuff has changed my setting game. My only qualm is that the colour is only suitable for small range of skin tones; people in the super pale or super dark tones won’t suit this colour. Otherwise, I love it.

Contour

N

Nyx Highlight & Contour Palette

This was another UK purchase (and then typically it turned up in every store in Australia the second I got it there…*eye roll*). YouTubers raved, and they were right. Is it as good at Kat Von D or Anastasia? No. Is it still fantastic? Yes. It is an amazing drugstore alternative to those ride or die high end palettes. No muddiness in site.

M

Australis Take Me On Tour Contouring & Highlighting Kit

I’ve mentioned this in my Australis Full Face Tutorial post. I use this as a brontour and love the effect it gives me. This definitely feels like a high quality powder, well done Australis.

Bronzer

N

Soap & Glory Solar Powder

For some reason, Soap & Glory products cost a mint in Australia. So when I saw this bronzer in the UK for a much more reasonable price I snapped it up, keen to try the brand I’ve seen so much of! This bronzer reminds me of the Too Faced Chocolate Soleil bronzer. I really love it. Natural, buildable, blendable bronze. Really glad I got it.

 

Honourable Mention

Models Prefer Bronzer

If you’re looking for a bronzer next time you’re in Priceline, grab this bad boy. Cheap as. Great colour. It doesn’t blend seamlessly at first, it does take a little more work than the Soap & Glory bronzer, but for availability and price, who care!? Definitely recommend.

 

Blush

N

Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso

I feel boring putting this in. Everyone loves it, everyone goes on about it, and everyone has it. But….this is my favourite blush. Hands down, in all categories. Ride or die. I’d be lying if I put any other blush here. I feel so pretty every time I wear it and I get excited to use it. If you haven’t got it yet, get on it asap.

M

Nyx Cream Blush in Boho Chic

This blush has a really cool consistency. It’s definitely a cream product but on me (I do have dry skin) it transforms into more of a powder when I apply it. I really like the colour and I’m keen to try more of this formula.

Highlight

N & M

Carli Bybel Eyeshadow & Highlighter Palette by BH Cosmetics

Carli is queen. This palette is da bomb. You can more in M’s review here.

 

Honourable Mention

Australis

Like the rest of the palette the hightlighter is incredible quality. The thing I like about it is that it’s less intense than the Carli Bybel, which is perfect for an everyday highlight. This palette is perfect for travelling.

Eye Shadow

N

BYS Nude Eye shadow Palette

I’ve done a full review on this palette here. In short: great quality, great pigmentation, great colour range, great price.

M

Morphe 12P Palette

To be completely honest, I bought this palette thinking I would create a couple of colourful looks for the gram and be done with it. I was wrong. It has completely changed my makeup game in 2016. I’ve full review here.

Brow Product

N

NYX Auto Eyebrow Pencil

There’s not much to say about this. It’s easy to apply, lasts all day, great colour range, and super cheap. NYX eyebrow products are all ace, and this is one of my faves. I find myself reaching for this over all my other brow products.

M

Rimmel Brow This Way Brow Styling Gel in Clear

This stuff keeps your brows in place all day. Big tick.

Mascara

N

Max Factor Velvet Volume Mascara

I got this for free with Vogue. Thanks Vogue. I LOVE, this mascara. No clumping (my absolute pet hate), length and volume. My go to every day mascara. I will repurchase this forever.

 

Honourable Mention

Essence I <3 Extreme Volume Waterproof Mascara

Looking for amazing mascara under $10? Look no further. Great volume, great lasting power, fantastically jet black, it doesn’t give the clump free effect of the MaxFactor product, but to be honest no other mascara does that for me, so for under a tenner, this mascara is bloody fantastic.

 

Lips

N

Shanghai Suzy in Dusty Rose

I’ve done a review on Shanghai Suzy lipsticks here. This colour is my favourite of them all. A wonderful pinky nude that goes with everything, and suits everyone and great quality. All for an insanely reasonable price. Get around it.

 

M

Apocalips by Rimmel London

Lip Velvet in Atomic Rose

Atomic rose is a beautiful every day matte colour that wears really nicely throughout the day with a velvety finish.

 

Lip Lacquer in Celestial

This is the perfect “whack it on and don’t think about it for the rest of the day” product. The pigmentation is insane.

Brushes

N & M

Real Techniques Blush Brush

I was forever stealing M’s one of these and so finally got myself one. I use it for everything. Blush, bronzer, setting powder. It’s so soft, so great at blending, washes perfectly, and a great price! Definitely my favourite brush.

 

Honourable Mention

Real Techniques Setting Brush

It broke my heart not putting these in first place because I really do love these too. I have two of these, one for setting under my eyes and my t zone, and one for highlighting. They are my go to brush for both of those things. I will probably buy more. I love them.

 

Tanning

N&M

Bondi Sands Summer Bronze Instant Tan in Light/Medium

This is a very recent edition to our lives. We got sent this product to test out by a PR company, and didn’t really know what we were going to think, not normally being into instant tans and often disliking the smell of the Bondi Sands products. We were very pleasantly surprised. Great natural colour, so easy to apply (we use a mit to rub it in), dried quickly, and lasts really well! Definitely a new fave!!

Happy New Year and stay happy,
N & M xx

 

REVIEW: Morphe 12P Picasso Palette


I got this palette from Beauty Bay thinking that it would be fun to play with some colour for a couple of Instagram posts and that would be it but boy was I wrong. I definitely didn’t think that I would love this palette as much as I do! If you are interested in finding out why I love this palette so much then keep on reading.


The palette retails for $23.70 on Beauty Bay and has 12 matte eyeshadows in it. The colours are so incredibly pigmented and blend like a dream! The range of colours makes it easy to create heaps of different looks, all I use with it is a neutral crease colour to blend everything together (and maybe a bit of glitter).


This palette has really inspired me to play around with colour and glitter, especially with NYE coming up! I definitely think it’s worth getting if you want to have a go at more colourful eye looks! It is so easy to use and fun to play around with. It gets an A++ from me – well done Morphe!


Have you tried this palette? What are your favourite colours to use? Let me know in the comments below.

Stay Happy,

-M xx

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