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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
You might want to grab yourself a drink and some snacks, because it turns out we are really bad at narrowing things down to just one favourite and this post became a lot longer than we intended. Having said that it’s full of awesome products that we really do adore! If you want to see what we loved the most in 2016, keep on reading!
I’ve always been a bit lazy with eye cream but I have used this one religiously since I rediscovered it in my skincare draw earlier last year! It’s the only eyen cream I’ve used where I can actually see results! It is so moisturising and light weight enough that I can wear it under makeup as well!
This stuff smells amazing. Like wow. I can’t quite put my finger on what the smell is exactly, but whatever it is it’s amazing. It also leaves my hair with a weightless volume that I adore. Big thumbs up for this one! Made washing my hair so much less of a chore.
This is the ultimate musky, feminine perfume! This was my favourite last year too but, to be honest, I just haven’t found anything that compares! I’m awful at explaining fragrances so I won’t even try – just go smell it asap! You won’t regret it!
This was a little pressie to myself at the beginning of 2016, and I still adore it. It’s my go-to for when I’m feeling a little special or pretty. I am terrible at describing scents, but what I will say is that this is classy without being too old, and doesn’t overwhelm the senses. Give it a try when you’re next at the perfume counter.
We’re a little late to the party with this one, but we’re officially on board. This will make you look like you glow from within. Dry-skinned peeps you are going to love this. Mixed with foundation or worn on its own as a primer, it’s amaze if you’re after glowy unicorn princess skin. And who isn’t?!
I realise that this is technically a tinted moisturiser, but I would be lying if I didn’t put this in number one place for 2016. I found myself reaching for this on the daily. It’s so easy to apply and leaves you with a naturally radiant looking complexion whilst evening out skin-tone. I adore it. If you’re into the super natural look, give this a go. It’s worth the price tag. And buildable if you’re wanting more coverage too.
An oldy but a goody. Still my go to for any special occasion. It does have SPF in it, but I don’t experience any flashback. It gives a great buildable coverage, wears like a dream and never looks cakey no matter how dry my skin is. My OG foundation fave.
Hydrating and lightweight coverage; perfect for under the eyes, even with dry skin like mine. Big thanks to the girl at Mecca that recommended this one to me. I far prefer it to the Nars radiant creamy concealer.
This is my everyday concealer. I am so disappointed if I have left it at my boyfriends and can’t use it. I have actual feelings of missing it, like an old friend. I have said it once, and I’ll say it again, I’ll never get why this isn’t more popular.
If I really want to block out all discolouration under my eyes I pop this on before any concealer (or on natural days I will use it alone). It is the best under eye corrector that I have every tried! So worth the hype!
This is such a beautiful natural looking concealer for under the eyes or covering any blemishes or discolouration. It doesn’t have crazy pigmentation but is build-able and looks beautiful on more natural looks!
If you wan’t to look airbrushed but in real life, then get this powder. Any of the colours will do. But get it. Even my dry skin that normally cakes up at the mere sight of being set with powder doesn’t mind this miracle powder. Love love love. Even if you do have to mortgage your house to buy it.
I’ve never been a huge powder lover as I have super dry skin but when I was given this powder this year that completely changed! It is so nice as either a setting powder or an all over base for a natural look! It doesn’t make me look cakey or emphasise any of my dry patches. The shade range is pretty slim though which is my only complaint!
This is old news, and admittedly when M is home I definitely reach for her Kat Von D palette, but I have travelled with this duo and still love it. The contour blends so easily, you don’t even have to think about it. It leaves a natural shadow that I love. It can be muddy if you’re a little heavy handed, but I just build it up slowly.
As you can tell, I’m really good at choosing one favourite. This bronzer is very different to the Urban Decay one though so it’s totally ok yeah? This is an absolutely stunning shimmery bronzer that has a lovely sheen with no chunky glitter!
KathleenLights inspired me to get into nude blushes. I have a bit of a natural flush (it sounds pretty, it’s not) and so natural blushes work well for me. This one by Becca in collaboration with Jaclyn Hill (part of the face palette) is my favourite so far. I love it, and always feel naturally beautiful when I wear it, a gorgeous natural satin finish. If you haven’t already bought this palette (and let’s be honest, you probably have) then get it in your life. It will be all the shinier for it.
Cream blushes scare me a bit, I’m always worried I’ll end up looking like a clown. This one by Bobbi Brown has helped me to embrace them. I wear this on the days when I want that no-makeup-look-whilst-(obviously)-wearing-makeup. It’s gives me a natural blush and really doesn’t at all look like makeup. This became a staple of my 2016.
This whole palette is da bomb. Definitely glad I purchased it. The two highlighters (champagne pop and prosecco pop) will burn the retinas of anyone that passes you by and some days that’s just what you’re after. They can be applied with a lighter hand if you’re not looking for unicorn-esque beaming highlight that particular day, but you’ll still be pretty beaming. I particularly love combining to the two, the colour they create is perfection. Plus that’s what Jaclyn says she does so obvs I had to do that too. Cause we’re besties.
There’s a reason one of these sells every second or whatever that insane statistic is. This is my highlight I chuck in when I’m travelling because it can be used lightly as an everyday no-yeah-i-totally-glow-like-this-all-by-myself or heavier handed for that dayum-girl-strobe-much?! look that 2016 was all about. I am pale af and just lightly run my brush across all the colours and it’s not too dark. Definitely one I recommend for people easing into the highlighting game.
I rediscovered my Soft and Gentle highlight earlier this year and have used this nearly daily since! I even like wearing this when I’m not wearing any other makeup to give my full skin some light. Perfection!
M moved away from me this year (rude) and took with her all her makeup (even ruder). After months and months of “bugger, wish I had the chocolate bar palette” moments I finally gave in and bought one of my own. Still the best palette out there. Ride or die. Perfect all in one, and the palette I recommend to anyone looking for just one palette. It’s love.
When I was going through my draws picking for this post I saw this and realised, I use it almost every day. The reason? The finish. It’s this soft satin finish that just sit so naturally on the eyelids. It’s perfect for every day as it doesn’t leave you looking too overdone (if that’s not what you’re into). The lightest colour is the one I use to just cover the veins on my eyelids on days when I want to look neater but not like I’ve actually tried…even though I did try…hard…this don’t happen easy kids.
Still my go-to for nights out. I often combine it with They’re Real or Roller Lash for extra length, but this baby lasts forever! Which is exactly the reason I bought it. This was worth the price tag. Love.
I was going to choose another lippie and then I realised that, if I’m being honest, this is the one that has lived in my handbag. I have a very undefined lip line, which can make applying lipstick a very annoying job. This pencil makes easy work of it. Plus the colour is so natural and yet pretty. LOVE. So glad I rediscovered this in 2016. In fact imma go put it on right now.
N gave me this for Christmas in 2015 and she will forever be my favourite sister because of it! It is the most perfect bronzing brush that I have ever used! Is it worth the whopping price tag?… yes! 100% yes!
This is my absolute, hands down favourite brush for highlighting! I haven’t used anything else since I discovered it at the end of 2015! This one is limited edition but they have it in black in their permanent collection! Definitely give this one a go if you are looking for a new highlighting brush!
Ah Loving Tan! We are definitely not tanning pros but feel like it when we use their products! It is almost impossible to apply this wrong which, for us less coordinated people) is everything! Medium is our perfect shade during the Winter months and dark gives us that extra boost in the Summer! So, so worth all of the internet hype!
What were your high end beauty favourites for 2016? Did we match up on any? Let us know in the comments below!
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.
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.
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.
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’
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!!