Urban Decay Heavy Metals Collection by Nathan Dalby

So even though it is the middle of October, we are being surprised each day with new Christmas launches! This year as always, Urban Decay has stayed away from the standard holiday themed products and has blessed us with glitter, shimmer and bold colours.

We have three different products in the collection; an eyeshadow palette, a lipstick palette and six brand new shades of their glitter eyeliners and I am going to start off with the star of the show.

Urban Decay Heavy Metals Metallic Eyeshadow Palette - £43 (UD), $55 (Sephora)

heavy metal palette low res.jpg

As you can see, this doesn't look like a traditional palette. I was a little unsure about this when I saw images online, how will it be to travel? how big is it? why is there a mirror in the middle? The palette comes in a metal like plastic sleeve that you put it back in once you are done so there is no need to worry about it getting damaged, and it is quite big/heavy which does add to the premium feel of it. I wouldn't say that it is completely travel friendly but once you see the swatches I think you will be packing this on every trip. 

heavy metal swatches.jpg

You get 20 different shimmer shades in the palette, all of which are extremely pigmented and you get a wide range of colours. This is a palette to have in your collection that will add to the look that you are creating, as you get no matte shades inside. 

There are a lot of all shimmer palettes on the market at the moment, but I think that this one stands out to me as the best. The shade range and formula is beautiful so if you have been keeping and eye out for something like this then I would grab it while you can.

Urban Decay Vice Metals Meets Matte Lipstick Palette - £31.50 (UD), $35 (Sephora)

ud lip vault low res.jpg

This palette is perfect for travel, that is if you love the shades of course. You get 12 shades, six are metallized, five are comfort matte and the shade 714 is 'mega matte'. You can see that the bottom row are the matte versions of the top so it will be cool to mix up. The only thing I don't understand about this palette is, how can you re apply throughout the day? I doubt that people will carry this around with them to top up their lipstick after they have eaten. Saying that, this would be a great idea if you are going on holiday and don't want to take a makeup bag of multiple lipsticks. 

ud vice lip palette one row.jpg

It is the exact same formula as their standard tube Vice lipsticks, so if you are a fan of those then this would be a great addition to your collection. I would have liked to see another couple of shades, maybe a black and white so that you can customise the other shades even more. You also get a lip brush so that you can apply them. 

Urban Decay Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliners - £15 (UD), $20 (Sephora)

Heavy Metal Glitter liners low red.jpg

This is where things get glittery. Urban Decay has added to the current line of Heavy Metal liners with six new shades. I have tried these out before and thought they looked stunning but I just don't think that they are advertised correctly. They say that you can use them as an eyeshadow topper (correct) but also as a full on eyeliner (meh not so). These would be perfect to apply after you have used your favourite liner to add some glitter. The shades are stunning, and very glittery but you can't get a good line or wing at all. So I would say that they are a glitter topcoat with an eyeliner applicator. 

I hope you all enjoyed reading and I will be back soon with a new post!

:)

Nathan Dalby

Cover FX Perfect Highlighting Palette: First Impressions & Swatches by Nathan Dalby

cover fx low res .jpg

Hi guys! I have been so excited to write this post! As you probably all know by now, I love Cover FX. I have quite the collection of the enhancer drops and their illuminating powder is my go to loose setting powder! I wasn't a fan of their original 'Perfect Highlighting' palette, the shades were way to dark for my skintone and the formula wasn't the best so when they announced a new version of the palette, I really got my hopes up that they had given it a complete overhaul and I am so pleased to say that they have!

If you compare them side by side, you wouldn't even think that they were from the same brand. The packaging is gorgeous, the rose gold lid is a fingerprint magnet and was a complete hassle to take photos of but it does make the palette look incredibly sleek. Inside you get a huge mirror and six highlighting shades that are a brand new formula. Three of the shades are the powder versions of the enhancer drops and the rest are brand new. The pan size is good, each one is 3g so you get a total of 15g of product inside the palette, and I think that £42 is a decent price for it. 

cover fx palette open low res.jpg

The powders are incredibly shimmery, you will be able to see from the swatches below and they blend out flawlessly. I would say that the formula is similar to the Anastasia Beverly Hills Glowkits but without the glitter, and I prefer this palette a lot more. There is a shade for every skintone, and you are all probably looking at that bright white shade (which they are describing as holographic, it isn't) and thinking that it is way to pale for anyone. It has a green/blue reflex when light hits it, so the shade is pretty but not an everyday kind of highlight. 

 

cover fx palette swatches low res.jpg

Look at those swatches! They are so reflective and bright. I actually kept them on my arm so as I am writing this, I keep stopping and staring at them to take a second and appreciate the glow. My favourite shade is Celestial (the pinkish shade to the left of the white one) and that is coincidentally my favourite shade of the enhancer drops! At the moment I have been loving a gold highlight but this palette is probably going to bring me back to the pink side. 

I am going to be using this over the next month, so if I love it then it will probably end up in my monthly favourites. Let's be honest, we all know that it is going to be at the top of the post. 

The Cover FX Perfect Highlighting Palette is exclusive to Harvey Nichols in the UK, for £42 and an Ulta Exclusive in the US.

Beauty Pie: 10 Months On by Nathan Dalby

Hi guys! I hope you are all doing well.  I was looking through makeup drawer this morning and realised that I haven't posted about Beauty Pie in a while. I get a lot of questions asking me whether I still have a subscription or whether I still use the products, so if you would like to know then today is your lucky day!

Yes, I still have a subscription. I don't buy items every month (I like to save up my allowance then do a big order every couple of months) and yes, I still use the makeup! Like all brands, a couple of products have been a miss for me and I don't use those but I have five products that I use non-stop. 

Pro-Strobe Luminizer (£30, £5.12 with membership)

This is my favourite product, hands down. It is described as a highlighter but I use this all over my face as a finishing powder. I take a really fluffy powder brush, swirl it in the flower printed pan and lightly dust it all over my skin. It completely blurs all of my pores makes my skin look completely airbrushed and luminous. Honestly, I thought this was just a finishing powder until about 5 minutes ago when I was reading the description on the site. If you have this, and you have dry skin then try this once you have finished your makeup and I promise that your skin will look amazing. 

Super Stem Cell Moisture Shot Serum (£70, £7.02 with membership)

Since I last spoke about Beauty Pie, they have expanded into the skincare world and in the past few days they have launched nail varnishes. I was really excited to try the skincare and I was lucky enough to be sent a little package in PR with a few items to try. This is my favourite, as it is so plumping, I use it before makeup and after a shower to instantly hydrate my skin. I have been using it for a few months now and I have noticed a huge difference, I actually think that I broke the moisture barrier on my skin (it is a long story) earlier this year and I know that this has really helped lock everything in. 

Pro- Glow Highlighter (£30, £5.46 with membership)

A 10/10 highlighter. If you love a seriously blinding glow then you need to add 3 of these to your basket right now. The powder has a marbled pattern so there is actually a number of different shades within the compact. Personally, I like to swirl my brush in the whole pan to get a bronzey shade with a bright white reflex. This was one of the first items that I picked up from Beauty Pie and as you can see in the photo above, I have barely touched the surface and the pattern is still in the powder.  If you are new to the brand then this has to be one of your first purchases.

One Wonder Powder (£26, £3.76 with membership) 

Best setting powder ever. I use this under my eyes and nose to set my concealer every morning. I don't like a matte finish so this really brightens my under eyes and gives my skin a really soft luminosity. If you have texture or visible pores then I really do recommend trying this out. It is a great powder to take out with you to touch up with if you get a little oily. 

Micro Mineral Serum Foundation (£32, £4.84 with membership)

This is an amazing foundation for the days when you look in the mirror and say 'oooh my skin is looking good today' or if you like a sheer cover. It is so blendable and has such a natural finish that it is your skin but better. It is buildable, so if you have pigmentation or a pimple then you can build it up to help cover. At the moment there is only eight shades of this foundation, which I am hoping they will expand in the future. 

Writing about these products and having the Beauty Pie tab open in my browser has made me realise how amazing the brand is. In just 10 months since their launch they have added over one hundred new products to their catalogue and kept their prices extremely low if you have the £10 monthly membership.

I hope you have all enjoyed reading this post and hopefully I have helped answer your questions about Beauty Pie.

:)

Nathan Dalby

 

 

 

Look Fantastic Beauty in Wonderland Advent Calendar by Nathan Dalby

Right, its October 10th and I am so ready to start seeing Christmas everywhere. I love this time of year, and once the advent calendars start appearing, it's time to to get your lists together and prepare for December!

Today is the launch of the Look Fantastic 'Beauty in Wonderland' Calendar, and I have it with me to tell you whats inside and to show you how amazing it is! Do you remember when you would get an advent calendar and it was just a small piece of chocolate inside for each day? Those days are long gone. The beauty calendars have been around for a few years now and each Christmas they just get bigger and better. This is the first one that I have managed to get my hands on, and I can tell you now that it is going to be incredibly hard to beat

look fantastic love res.jpg

So the theme for this year is Beauty in Wonderland, so imagine the Mad Hatters tea party but with makeup instead of tea and skincare in the place of cake. I wouldn't call it a box, I would say that it's more of a wardrobe with pull out drawers that contain little boxes for each day of December. You do get the full 25 days of presents inside, and I am happy to say that there isn't a single filler gift (so if you were hoping for a bottle opener or a festive joke then this isn't the calendar for you). 

Look Fantatic low res 2.jpg

It does cost £79, with a value of £300 so it is a great deal. Throughout the box you get: 

  • 9 full sized products
  • 16 deluxe samples
  • 19 exclusive products
  • 13 skincare products
  • 3 beauty tools
  • 7 colour products.

You get a great mix of luxury and budget friendly options, which is a great way to try out some new things and maybe even add a new favourite to your collection. If you want to spoil the surprise and want a specific list of products then here you go:

  • Illamasqua Lava Lips Marbled Lipstick in Vixen (exclusive shade) | worth £20
  • Moroccanoil Treatment 15ml | worth £8.99
  • Bellapiere Cosmetics Banana Setting Powder 4g | worth £15
  • Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet 15ml | worth £8.62
  • Ciate London Fierce Flicks Eyeliner | worth 15
  • Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream 15ml | worth £27.60
  • ModelCo Retractable Brow Pencil in light/medium | worth £8
  • Crabtree & Evelyn La Source Hand Therapy | worth £8
  • lookfantastic x Omorovicza Limited Edition Hungarian Mist 30ml | worth £14.40
  • This Works In Transit 10ml | worth £11
  • Redken No Blow Dry Cream 30ml | £10
  • Balance Me Micellar Cleansing Water 30ml | £7
  • Dr Botanicals Superfood Facial Oil 15ml | worth £20
  • First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream 56.7g | worth £10
  • Grow Gorgeous Scalp Detox 50ml | worth £9
  • James Read H20 Illuminating Tan Mist for Body 30ml | worth £7
  • lookfantastic x High Definition Limited Edition Eyeshadow Palette | worth £29
  • Molton Brown GingerLily Body Wash 100ml | worth £6
  • Korres Wild Rose Sleeping Facial 16ml | worth £10.40
  • Oskia Renaissance Mask 15ml | worth £12
  • Magnitone Wipeout! Microfibre Cleansing Cloth | worth £7.50
  • Dr Lipp Miracle Lip Balm 4ml | worth £3.20
  • Doucce Maxlash Mascara | worth £10
  • Lookfantastic Contour Brush | worth £8
  • Pixi Hello Glow! 3-piece Set | worth £20

(Thank you to Really Ree for having the products already listed on her site and saving me half an hour getting them typed up)

Look Fantatic Low red 3.jpg

As you can see, you get a huge variety of brands and product types. If you get this calendar then you can guarantee that you will have silky smooth hair and amazing skin for the whole of January. 

Compared to the other calendars that are coming out this year, this one is a stand out favourite of mine already and probably the one that I am most excited to get opening on December 1st.

It is available RIGHT NOW online at Look Fantastic for £79. But be quick, it sells out within a day or two every year so if you are slow then you might miss out.

I will be back with some more calendars soon so make sure you keep checking back!

:)

Nathan Dalby

Glossier Has Landed In The UK! by Nathan Dalby

Guys, it's happened. Glossier has finally launched over here in the UK! So many of us have been waiting for this moment, to be able to try the products and be a part of the cult following. I was lucky enough to be sent a range press samples to try out before the launch so that I can give you my top picks for today! I suggest you open up their site in a separate tab and get your basket ready because I think I have a couple of faves already.

 

glossier 2 full.jpg

Right so I am going to follow the picture above from left to right and put a little * next to the products that are a favourite.

Priming Moisturiser (£29/$35) *

I haven't used a moisturising cream in so long, I usually stick to oils in the morning because they just work a lot better for my skin so I was a little sceptical about this when I opened it. It turns out, as per-usual that I was wrong. It is quite a thick cream but it melts instantly into your skin and instantly gave it hydration, which is perfect for me. There is a subtle lavender scent to the cream, which is pleasant and it did make my skin feel super soft. I wouldn't recommend using this as a stand alone primer, I still go in with my 'No Poreblem' afterwards just to help make my makeup stick properly. I did notice that my skin didn't dry out as it usually does by the end of the day, which is huge for me (dry skin problems) so I am going to keep using this cream. Love it.

Cloud Paint in Dusk (£15/$18)

This is a lovely product, but just not the right shade for my skintone. It is a cream blush that when you squirt onto the back of your hand you think 'Oh crap' because it looks incredibly pigmented and again, I was to quick to judge and was nicely surprised. It blends out so evenly and adds just the right amount of colour to your cheeks, I suggest using your fingers for this one because it just makes it so much easier. The shade Dusk just didn't work for me, I am very pale and as it is a warm tone orange/peach it just looked like a bit of bronzer had gone for a walk onto my cheeks. I am however going to purchase the shade Puff which is way more pink toned and suited for me. So overall, formula is perfect, but the colour just wasn't my cup of tea.

Boy Brow (£14/$16) *

Lewis and I have been fighting over this one, it has since gone missing so I do believe that it could be in his bag. It is amazing, end of. I have my brows tinted so I usually just go in with a clear brow gel to help the hairs stick into place but I have found myself using this every morning to help. The shade I have is Brown, and it just adds the perfect amount of product to your brows to add definition and shape them. Nothing to dramatic, it just helps to give you a lovely natural brow. 

Dew Effect Highlighter in Moonstone (£18/$22)*

I do love a cream highlighter, and this is another really good one to add to my collection. I currently use one of the Stila putty highlighters after concealer to give my skin a glow before I go in with powder but the shade is a bit to dark for me. This one has already replaced it. Moonstone doesn't have a colour to it, it is just a straight up glow which is what I have always wanted in a cream highlight. It does have added skincare benefits, like being moisturising and rich in Vitamin E but I do suggest using a brush or damp beauty blender to apply this with. If you use the stick then you will most likely take some makeup off your face, so just swipe a brush a couple of times across the product then apply to your cheeks and you will get a beautiful highlight.

Balm DotCom  (£10/$12) *If you have dry skin

A universal balm, who knew that we all needed one? If this was just a standard lip balm then I would have passed on it but the original balm (the one I am using), has Castor Seed Oil infused within it to really lock in moisture and to sooth the skin. I get dry skin on my elbows and I have been using this for the past few days after I shower to relieve the flaking and it has helped so much! It is nourishing on your lips, like most other balms but it works exceptionally well on your body, so if you suffer with flakey skin like me then this is a must.

Milky Jelly Cleanser (£15/$18)

I am a cleanser junkie. I own so many and I am more than happy to add this to my collection. Actually, this one is sat on the edge of my bath ready for me to use again tonight so we can safely say that I am really enjoying it. I prefer a thick cleanser, it annoys me when they are like water because I feel like they just don't do anything so with this one being like jelly, its perfect in that way. I applied this to my dry face and it took off every ounce of makeup on my skin (keep in mind that I don't wear eye makeup or lipstick) in seconds, and left my skin feeling so silky and smooth. It doesn't have a scent, which I love and it is a big bottle for £15. 

Overall, I can safely say that I am a huge fan of Glossier. There wasn't a single product that I would pass on (except the shade I have of the Cloud Paint) and the price for them is amazing. I am going on their site now to add some makeup to my collection, and if Lewis asks, just say that it is for research purposes.

:)

Nathan Dalby

 

 

September Favourites! by Nathan Dalby

favs sept.jpg

Hi guys! I hope you are all well and enjoying the cooler weather. We are now in October which is crazy to think about, especially since I turn 25 in a couple of days and I think I am having a midlife crisis. September was such a fun month for me, I went on a lovely little break to Center Parcs which was needed and I got to try out so many new products! So let's get started:

hourglass 2017.jpg

This product (and the next one) technically launched right at the end of September, but I managed to get my hands on it a couple of weeks early. I have used it everyday since, all of the powders do contain a little bit of shimmer but since I have dry skin, I need all of the glow I can get. You get two finishing powders, a strobe powder, two blushes and a bronzer. The price is high, but Hourglass powders are just the best and you can't compare them to anything else. I suffer with texture and general manly skin problems and they just really help blur my skin and give it a soft glow. It is available right now at Space.NK for £69/$80 and is a definate must if you love Hourglass.

IMG_20170922_120306_231.jpg

From the same collection, we have the highlighting palette. I have said for so many months that I wish Hourglass would bring out a full on highlighter and my dreams came true! Inside you get three powders that are extremely reflective and don't contain any glitter (the perfect combination), unfortunately the shades are quite light so I don't think that this would work well for any of you with deeper skintones. I apply the powder with a damp beauty blender and it melts so nicely into the skin to give it a blinding glow. It is also available right now at Space.NK for £59/$62

touch in sol.jpg

Next up I have a new brand that I am so excited to see more of in the UK. I bought this primer from Jeffree Stars recommendation as we have a similar skin type and it is now my ride or die. I used to use the Guerlain L'Or primer that is extremely expensive and this does the exact same thing for a fifth of the price. Since using this, I have had so many compliments on my skin and the only base product that I have changed is my primer. It smooths everything out and is quite tacky which is great for helping the foundation melt into your skin. They have just launched at Cult Beauty in the UK and costs £15/$19

rodial.jpg

I never used to contour, I would just use a bronzer to add warmth to my complexion but I am now officially a convert. I was always scared of looking muddy or having a harsh line across my face but this powder is just perfect to achieve a subtle contour. The shade is really cool toned, which is perfect for my skin and it blends out so quickly and smoothly. It is very pricey for a single powder, but you do get quite a large pan of product and the formula is gorgeous. It is available on the Rodial site for £52/$57

ysl concealer.jpg

After trying out the Tarte Shape Tape last year, I have been searching for something just as good that is widely available in the UK. As Tarte is only stocked on QVC, it just doesn't make sense to keep purchasing it at a premium price. I bought the YSL All Hours concealer after my partner fell in love with the foundation and omg, its perfect. It has super high coverage, blends out flawlessly and has a silky finish. I honestly prefer this over the shape tape. It is available at all YSL counters and costs £22/$28

cover fx powder.jpg

I always struggle with setting powders, most of the time I just do without because I find that they really dry out my skin and can get patchy. I love all of the Cover Fx products that I have tried so I thought I might aswel give this one ago. It has now been two months and I have used it everyday. It blurs out texture and doesn't cling to any imperfections on my skin. It also makes your skin look so fresh and glowy which is what I always want. It is available at Beauty Bay for £28/$36

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Volume 3 - First Impressions & Swatches by plasticloafer

hourglass-2017-featured-e1504961753257.jpg

It is that time of year again, and my all time favourite brand, Hourglass is getting ready to release their holiday palettes. This year they have done something a little different and they are releasing two limited edition palettes which will be available at the end of this month in the UK. If you are in the US, then you can actually get your hands on this and the 'Ambient Metallic Strobe Light' palette right now from their official site and they cost $80/$62.

Unfortunately I don't have my hands on the Strobe Light palette just yet but I did manage to get hold of their 'Ambient Lighting Edit Volume 3' and oh my god, it is perfect. As you all probably know, this is the third edition of this palette and unlike the previous edition, it features 6 different powders. The packaging is very similar to Volume 1, as it has the rose gold packaging and the layout of the powders is the same. My love for Hourglass only started early last year so I don't actually have that palette so I can't show you a comparison but trust me on this one, they do look alike.

I do however have last years palette, so I will include a side by side in this post so you can see the difference between the two. I was a huge fan of last years edition, but I do know the general reaction to it was a bit 'meh', because of the selection of powders inside the palette. I still use that palette, so for me it was money well spent and it is kind of a collectors item now so it's lovely to pull out every now and again.

As you can see, they have really stepped it up this year with the packaging and powder selection. Inside you get two finishing powders, one strobe powder, one bronzer and two blushes + three of the powders are actually brand new shades and currently only available in this palette (the two blushes & strobe powder).

Hourglass' huge selling point is their powders, they are the best, period. It is something that everybody seems to agree on because of how extremely soft, subtle and blendable they are. I have used their setting powders since last year and have never found anything that works as well for me, but I do love a soft glowy finish to my skin. All of the powders in this palette have a slight shimmer, so if you prefer your bronzer & blush to be matte then I don't think this will be your cup of tea.

The price is high, you can't deny it. I haven't received the official pricing for the UK just yet but it is $80 in the States so it is safe to assume it will be around that to over here. But you get a lot for your money, all of these powders when sold individually do retail for between £30 - £45 each so even though you get a smaller size single powder, you do get a selection of six.

The swatches above were honestly the simplest swatches that I have ever done. Sometimes you do have to spend a while blending them out to make them even but with this palette it took seconds for each swipe. I haven't actually used it on my face yet but I know the formula and I know that I will love it. You can see that there is shimmer in each of the shades, some more than others but they don't give you a highlight, just a soft glow when the light hits your face. You know when people say that pregnant women are glowing? This is that glow packaged up.

If you collect the holiday edits, then you need this one. If you are wanting to try out Hourglass for the first time then this would be a great starter for you to get a feel for the brand and their powders. If you have the first palette and aren't sure whether to get this one then have a play in store when it is released, I'm sure you will fall in love just like I have.

I believe that this palette will be available on the 29th September in the UK, and you will be able to pick it up at Space.NK & Harvey Nichols. I am sorry that I don't have a price for you yet but I will get this updated as soon as I find out!

Let me know your thoughts, and make sure you are subscribed for future posts!

:)

Nathan Dalby

August Favourites! by plasticloafer

august-faves-featured-e1503922947418.jpg

(As I am writing this, I just realised that all of these items are on the expensive side, I'll make sure to get some good drugstore finds in my favourites next month for you!)

These are by far my favourite type of posts to do, I think that it is nice to give a little recognition to some products that have worked really well for you throughout the month! Most of these products are skincare, I have had a little trouble with my skin again this month so I was on a mission to try and settle it down and I have managed to get it to how I want it.

August has been my favourite month of the year so far, I have had so many great opportunities that I have been involved with and I am really enjoying blogging again. So thank you all for your amazing comments and for keeping me sane!

First up we have 'Good Night Deep Sleep Nourishing Mask' from Cloud 9 Skincare Solutions. I had never heard of this company before, and a little parcel turned up on my door last month with this product in it. As you all know (I probably say in every post), I have really dry skin so anything that claims to bring me moisture is a must. I applied this the night before an event, and my skin was glowing when I woke up the next day. It made my skin feel so plumped up and smooth, which I have never really experienced before with a sleeping mask. I have used it every night since then and I have almost emptied the whole bottle! It retails for £38 and it is a large bottle with 50ml of product inside. If you suffer with dry skin and need a good night cream then I highly suggest picking this up!

Next is the Oskia 'Get Up & Glow' serum, Oh my god it is so pretty. I apply this after my skincare but before makeup as it goes quite tacky and is perfect as a primer. It leaves your skin with a subtle glow that really traps in moisture and make your foundation apply like a dream! It is quite pricey at £66/$85 and you don't get that much product but you literally need the tiniest drop to cover your whole face.

More skincare! The Votary 'Jasmine and Calendula' facial oil is amazing for the days when your skin is having a bad time. If I am having some sensitivity issues or some redness then I apply a little drop of this to the area and it feels amazing. It is the softest oil that I have ever used, honestly it feels like silk on your skin and it really does help calm everything down. I apply this at night just before the Cloud 9 Mask and it works wonders. This is another expensive item at £65/$102 and it will be launching in Space.NK later this year.

The last skincare item & probably my favourite product of the month. Sol De Janeiro has just launched in the UK, and I feel like I have been waiting for this moment for many years. I was in Selfridges and had to take a quick smell of their range and they are the nicest smelling range of products that I have ever encountered. Most of their products have the same scent, so if you enjoy it then you will love their other products! I can't really describe it, you just have to go and have a look yourself but if you love honey/vanilla/almond scents then you will fall in love. I got my hands on the Bum Bum Cream (£44/$45) and the Brazilian 4 Play shower cream (£21/$25) and then had to also get the lip balm because I fell so hard in love for this range. The Bum Bum cream is a body butter, and the smell stays with you for the whole day & night. I have had so many compliments from using this and it has really helped with my psoriasis on my elbows and stomach! If there is one product from this list that you are planning on buying, then I really suggest this one.

A new perfume that I discovered this month was from Clean Reserve. I was really intrigued by their range because they all seem to be quite minimal/natural scents. I love a woody fragrance (anything with the word oud in the title) and I am always looking for something new. I picked up the Sueded Oud ($95) & Velvet Flora ($95) fragrances and they actually encourage you to mix the scents together to create a bespoke perfume. They are very different but they work so well together. A fragrance is so hard to explain because you either like them or you don't, but if you check out their range then i'm sure you will find something you love. They also have a set of minis that is perfect to get a taste of the scents and to mix together.

My final product is obviously a highlighter, is it a favourites without at least one highlighter? I always favour a liquid one, as they don't sit on skin texture and can look a lot more natural. The Anastasia Beverly Hills 'Liquid Glow' range is a lot thicker than traditional highlighting fluids, but I prefer this because it doesn't dribble everywhere when you apply it because it comes in a squeezy tube. There is four shades available and my absolute favourite is 'Oyster'. They are around £20/$20 each so kind of in the middle on price but you can also mix these in with foundations and apply them to the body which is a major plus!

I hope you all enjoyed this post! I will be back again tomorrow with something new so please make sure you are subscribed to keep up to date.

:)

Nathan Dalby

 

 

Ciate London Glitter Flip Lipsticks Review & Swatches by plasticloafer

ciate-featured-e1503834675449.jpg

Every now and again a product comes along that looks a little gimmicky, and a tiny percentage of those actually end up working really well (I am not looking at you MAC Roller Wheel Liner). Ciate London has just launched the 'Glitter Flip' lipsticks, that claim to be a metallic matte that transforms into a multi dimensional glitter lip after you press your lips together. They are priced at £17/ $19 each and come in seven different shades. Those shades are:

Fortune: Dark Purple (UK/US)

Candy: Light Pink (UK/US)

Infamous: Berry (UK/US)

Hollywood: Red (UK/US)

Forbidden: Dark Red (UK/US)

Iconic: Black (UK/US)

Siren: Teal (UK/US)

I was lucky enough to be sent three press samples from Ciate to test out, and those shades were Candy, Infamous & Iconic. I had seen a couple of reviews of them of youtube already so I did have quite high hopes and was really excited.

The colours are stunning, there is no doubt about it. In the tubes they do look like a lip gloss topper but they are incredibly opaque once you apply them. I had to bring in my friend Jessica to help out with the lip swatches, because I have never applied lipstick to myself in my life and it would just be a hot mess!

They apply like a matte lipstick and dry down completely after a couple of minutes. You can see a couple of specks of glitter peeking through but that really doesn't matter since you will be pressing your lips together anyway. Now the fun part, after she did press her lips together it was like a completely different lipstick. The change from matte to full on glitter is crazy, and we were both in shock at how quickly and easily it happened. It is such a fun experience to see, and they really do look gorgeous after. The more you press your lips together, the more glitter shows up so it does keep getting better. I think that for a night out or for a festival, these would look amazing! My favourite was obviously 'Iconic', the glitter on the lip made it look like one of those NASA photos of space and it was really cool.

After seeing them in action, I can confirm that they are not a gimmick. It would take so long to achieve this kind of look using different products so the fact that you can just apply a single lipstick and then your done is the huge selling point for them.

I hope you have enjoyed this post and make sure you are subscribed for updates as I will be posting again tomorrow!

:)

Nathan Dalby

 

Wet N Wild Photofocus Foundation Review by plasticloafer

wet-n-wild-featured-e1503748799668.jpg

I have always wanted to try Wet n Wild, but as everybody knows, it is not available in the UK. I have looked on Amazon before and seen that they do have a range of products but they differ in price and are often over £20 for a brand that is considered to be one of the cheapest drugstore brands in the US. I contemplated getting a few items imported from overseas but the additional shipping costs just made in very unreasonable. I have heard that Max Factor is the UK equivalent of Wet n Wild, and this does seem to be true but at this moment they do not have their own version of the Photofocus foundation. Both brands are owned by the same company, so it does make sense for them to sell the same products that are just packaged differently for different markets but the range over here just isn't the same.

I was browsing Amazon last week and decided to see if there was any changes on the Wet n Wild situation and I was pleasantly surprised. An independent seller is now selling all shades of the Photofocus foundation for £10 including shipping. This is still more expensive the $5.99 price tag in the US but this is something that I am sure we are all used to by now. So I tried to work out my shade and ordered a bottle of 'Soft Ivory'.

 

The reason I was so adamant to order this foundation is solely because of the reviews, this is apparently one of the best. I have dry skin, so I was a little bit apprehensive to see how it handled dry patches and texture.

The applicator is a little odd, it is a paddle shape and you just dip it into the bottle. I can imagine this getting quite unsanitary after a while (why isn't a pump the standard) but this does mean that you can control how much product you want to use. It is very watery and does have quite a chemically smell but this does disappear after you blend it out.

This is a full coverage foundation, there is no doubt about it. The product goes along way, you only need a couple of dots on your face to cover your entire head (I'm not exaggerating) and the finish is beautiful. I think I did really well matching myself on the website even though there is 30 shades! Normally I am the palest shade, so it is great to see such a broad spectrum of colour as they have such a vast range.

Above, I have included a couple of photos of how the foundation looks once blended out onto bare skin with no primer using an Artis Oval 10. You can see that two layers of the product completely erases any discolouration (included my moles) and blurs out my pores. This foundation does have a matte finish so if you are looking for a little bit of glow then this isn't the product for you.

I have used it for a couple of days and didn't notice any dry patches coming through and it stayed put throughout the day extremely well! I didn't have to touch up around my eyes at all and as a dry skin sufferer, I don't get oily so I can't really comment on that.

It really reminds me of the new YSL All Hours foundation (which I have also been testing) and that is £33.50/ $58, so this is a bargain compared to that. The finish is exactly the same and there is 8 more shade options with the Wet n Wild.

I am falling in love with it, like everybody in America seems to be and it is making me want to try out a lot more products from the brand.

If you are from the UK, then have a look on Amazon! They are adding more products everyday so it is worth checking out to see if you can find something that you are struggling to find over here.

I hope you have enjoyed this post, and I will be posting again tomorrow so make sure you are subscribed to keep up to date!

:)

Nathan Dalby

 

July Favourites! by plasticloafer

july-gaves-16-9-e1501846540663.jpg

I'm back! I decided to take a little break from my blog for a month just so I could focus more on the photography aspect of my posts. I love taking photographs and editing them, its the thing I enjoy the most about being a blogger so I am always trying to improve or learn new things to test out. Since we have just entered August, I thought the best post for me to start with would be my July favourites! There was so many amazing launches last month but I found myself going back to a couple of classics. Lets get into it.

First up we have the 'Super Stem Cell Moisture Shot Serum' from Beauty Pie. I have spoken a lot about Beauty Pie in the past and now that they have added a skincare line to their site, I can't get enough. I have really dry skin so I struggle with finding a moisturiser that really plumps and keeps moisture locked in. This product has been my lifesaver for the warmer weather and my skin still feels hydrated at the end of the day. It retails for £7 if you are a member but is £70 if you aren't so I still highly suggest signing up if you haven't already!

Next we have the updated Boi-ing range from Benefit Cosmetics! I just need to say that the 'Airbrush Concealer' is literally the smoothest product ever. It has a cooling sensation when you use it under your eyes and it blends out flawlessly! The other products include the Brightening Concealer, Hydrating Concealer and the Industrial Strength Concealer. If you are going to try a product from the range then I highly suggest the Airbrush!

These three products from Cover Fx have been my holy grails for July. The two 'Custom Infusion Drops' are the Hydrating & Soothing type. I use the Hydrating drops mixed in with my foundation and it leaves your skin looking so dewy and plumped up! The Soothing drops have saved me when my skin has been super sensitive and dry. I have also fallen back in love with the 'Moonlight' enhancing drops. If you mix a little drop in with moisturiser or foundation then you will have a lovely subtle glow or you can apply the drops directly to your cheekbones for a blinding highlight!

The final products & another classic are the Laura Mercier powders. You can purchase them as a set for around £30 and you get the translucent setting powder, illuminating powder & under eye powder. All of the powders are so finely milled and for someone with dry skin, they don't leave you looking cakey. Could you ask for anything more from a powder?

I hope you have all enjoyed this post and I am so glad to be back from my little blogging break. Make sure you are following me on instagram for daily updates.

:)

Nathan Dalby

 

ASOS Beauty - Come Together Event by plasticloafer

BEAUTY_EVENT_SELECTS_11-e1496927029580.jpg

Unfortunately I didn't take my camera to the event, so all of the photos in this post were taken by the talented Miles Drury from ASOS!  Last week I was lucky enough to be invited to London for the ASOS Beauty Come Together event to get an inside look at the newest issue of ASOS magazine and to see some upcoming trends for this summer. I had never been to London before, my anxiety has always held me back from travelling but it was an opportunity that I couldn't turn down. I was so nervous about the train journey and being somewhere new, so I took a little bottle of rescue spray and my partner, Lewis and headed down!

When we arrived at the venue, which was an amazing studio just outside of the city, we got to have a peak at some of the new and exciting launches coming to ASOS in the coming weeks and there was even a flat lay station (but i'll come back to that later in the post). After mingling with a few other influencers/bloggers we were taken into the main studio which had been set up like a make up class! We each had our own station with a mirror, tonnes of makeup and a little tripod for obvious selfie reasons.

This is where the fun began! After a brief introduction from the amazing people at ASOS, we sat through a talk with three of the models from the upcoming magazine issue. From makeup tips to diversity within the modelling industry, it was a fantastic conversation that was so refreshing to have after the recent attacks in the UK. We then moved on to upcoming makeup trends for the summer and had a trio of tutorials from makeup artist Anne Sophie Costa. The first look was a bronzey summer glow using the new Nars Laguna Liquid Bronzer to add warmth to the skin, and then she added a hint of shimmer to the high points of the face using the Ciate Dewy Stix!

Next up was glitter! Festival season is just around the corner so ASOS has a huge selection of glitter pots, stickers and body jewellery on their site to help fulfil your unicorn dreams. As she created this look on a male model, it was toned down quite a bit and blue glitter was added just underneath the eye. Honestly, this was my favourite look as it would be so perfect for a festival if you didn't want to go to crazy with your makeup.

The last look was a super vibrant blue eye. This is the colour for summer 2017 and this looked so gorgeous on the models skin-tone. The eye was completely smoked out using different shades of blue pigment and it gave quite a grungy effect to the whole look.

All of the models looked amazing once their looks were finished, now I just need to go to a festival and stock up on blue glitter, maybe this is the perfect way to correct my under eye bags? After this we all had the opportunity to create our own flat lays using any props or products that we could find. This was my favourite part of the whole experience and one can only dream of having a set up like this for everyday use. I went a little crazy and chose some of the watermelon from the food that was provided and picked some bits from the makeup stations.

I was actually really chuffed with my photo, it only took a couple of slight movements to get the perfect shot and now I just need to get all the info on the camera and lens they used because look how sharp that photo is!

I had such a lovely day, for my experience in London and my first time at an ASOS event. It did take me two days for my legs to recover though, I don't think I have walked that much in my entire life!

I hope you all enjoyed this post, and make sure you check out all of the new launches at ASOS!

:)

Nathan Dalby.

Battle of the Liquid Highlighters: Cover Fx vs. Iconic London by plasticloafer

battle-featured-e1496140471729.jpg

Today we have the most 2017 style battle ever, Cover Fx vs Iconic London. They have both created their own liquid highlighters/illuminators but which one is better? It isn't that easy to decide unfortunately. I have been using both types for a while now, and to be honest I love them equally. So for this post I am going to have to delve into the details and look more into this than just swatches. Lets get started:

 

Availability

This one is definitely a win for Cover Fx, they are way more widely available than Iconic London at this time. Iconic has only become popular in the last year or so, and they have grown an incredible amount in the past few months but you can still only purchase them in a select few places like Cult Beauty & Harvey Nichols here in the UK. Obviously you can order from their official site which does have international shipping so everyone across the pond can get them but Cover Fx is in a lot more stores and in many more online boutiques.

Price

There is a £1 difference in price, and the winner here is Iconic London. It isn't a big win, but every little helps! You can order the Iconic London drops for £32.99 on Cult Beauty, while the Cover Fx enhancer drops will set you back £34 in the UK. However, if you are in the US then the difference in price gets larger and the Iconic Drops still work out cheaper.

Shades

Another win for Cover Fx, as they completely own this part of the battle. They have nine different colours to pick from compared to three shades from Iconic London (two of which are limited edition).

Pigment/Formula

This is where it gets tricky, you will see why in the swatches. I compared Celestial from Cover Fx and Shine from Iconic London and there was no difference, they are exactly the same. I had always thought that they looked similar in the bottles and was shocked when I saw them side by side:

The pigment is the same, they are blinding. They only thing that I can see a difference in is the formula, I found the Iconic London drops a little easier to blend but only by a tiny amount. Both products are amazing, you can't fault them at all so this round is a draw.

Results

At this moment, I think the winner is Cover Fx for two reasons; the shade range and availability. You have to applaud Iconic London, you see so many of these instagram style brands but for their products to actually perform this well and become so popular in such a short amount of time is amazing. They are still in their infancy and I honestly wish them all the best. I will continue to use both products, because they are fantastic highlighters and well done to Cover Fx, you get a little gold star from me!

I hope you enjoyed this post and are subscribed for future updates, and also make sure you are following me on instagram for daily posts!

:)

Nathan Dalby

May Favourites! by plasticloafer

may-faves-featured-e1495968768583.jpg

Hi guys! I hope you are all well and have had a lovely May. I know that we haven't reached June just yet, but I am positive that I am not going to find a new product in the next two days that will blow my mind so I have decided to upload my May favourites a little early! The first thing that I would like to include is a link to the Manchester Victim Support page if any of you would like to donate to help the families of those killed or injured. The money will go directly to those and help protect them from any financial troubles they might be going through now or in the near future. Any little will help and it will truly mean a lot to me and all of us in Manchester. 

This month has been filled with tonnes of new product launches and even a couple that I have only just got around to testing. I never know how to put these posts together, do I photograph each individual product or to clump them all into one and list them? So today I have photographed them all together, and have put a little number next to each item and will list that below. I hope that makes sense?

1: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer in Nude Light (£45/$50) Hourglass launched two new bronzers at the start of May and the different thing about them is that they are completely matte! I tend to stay away from shimmery bronzers and since Hourglass has my favourite formula for powders, I had to give this one a go. It is a cool toned bronzer, perfect for my skin-tone and anyone will a light complexion and it just lightly warms up your complexion. The powder blends out perfectly and it has now become a product that I use everyday.

2: Dior Airflash Foundation in Fair 100 (£31/$62) I have wanted to try this foundation for so long, but the aerosol style spray really put me off. I just imagined that it would waste a lot of product and be a complete mess to apply. I went to my local Dior counter and the lovely girls there shade matched me and honestly I couldn't get over the finish. I have dry skin so I usually stay away from matte foundations but this one left my skin looking and feeling airbrushed with a soft glow and obviously I bought it, I am only human. It is a light/medium coverage that is buildable and I use it on the days where I just want to even out my complexion, or I add it on top of another foundation for extra coverage and a soft finish.

3: Nars Soft Matte Complete Concealer in Chantilly (£23/$30) I swatched this concealer on the back of my hand so many times in Space.NK and didn't like to consistency of it, it felt like a hard putty. I have seen so many beauty gurus rave about this in the past few months and when I was in store a few weeks ago, I realised that I had £20 in rewards on my Space.NK card so it only cost me £3! I am so glad that I did buy it because it is my new favourite concealer, it has a crazy amount of coverage and it just melts into your skin when you blend it out. I use it to cover dark circles and cover any imperfections and it just blocks them out instantly.

4: Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel Pack of 5 (£15/$16) My partner Lewis actually picked these up because his skin can handle anything and I stayed well away from them for a month because I was scared. I have a really strict skincare regime for my sensitive skin and I just didn't want to risk anything, but one day when I had a flare up and I had just got out of the bath, I saw them and thought 'Well my skin can't get any worse so I might aswell'. You get a little sachet with two wipes in, the first is to exfoliate and smooth and then after two minutes you use the second wipe which is an anti-aging neutraliser. I woke up the next day and my skin was glowing, honestly I was in shock. I use them now a couple of times a week when my skin just needs a bit of help and they are helping with redness, my dark circles and my overall complexion. You can buy these in larger quantities if you use them more often but I find the packet of 5 is perfect for me at the moment.

5: Diptyque Eau Duelle 50ml (£64/$90) I am a Vanilla scent whore, I can admit that. I have been searching for so long for a nice perfume that is soft and has a slight vanilla fragrance but most of the time you find something that is overly sweet or just smells like fake vanilla, you guys so know what I am talking about. I was in Diptyque, just browsing the candles and picked up this perfume by chance and omg, I just took it straight to the counter and said 'Just this please'. It's hard to describe a fragrance, but if you like vanilla then you need this. That is all I need to say.

6: Tom Ford Sheer Highlighting Duo (£58/$78)  I have a whole post about this product because I love it so much (here) and it has been my go to highlighter for May. I use the gold shade most of the time but dip into the pinky shade if I want to add a little colour to my cheeks without using a blush.

I hope you guys enjoyed this post, make sure you are subscribed for future things and are following me on instagram for daily updates!

:)

Nathan Dalby

Jouer Highlighters: Citrine, Rose Gold, Skinny Dip - First Impressions + Swatches by plasticloafer

jouer-featured-e1495619637753.jpg

As I sit here and write this post, with BBC news on in the background and the announcements of more casualties from the Manchester bombing, I can't help but think that me posting about makeup is really that important at this time. My hometown has shown so much strength and we have all come together in the past two days to help in anyway that we can, and try to carry on as normal and show that this devastation will not affect us. I had my day yesterday to grieve and pray for those who have been involved, so as today is a new day, I will carry on with my little blog. 

Jouer Cosmetics has been on my radar since NikkieTutorials raved about the highlighters in one of her videos last year, and I have struggled ever since to get my hands on any of the shades that would suit my skintone. As I was browsing instagram afew days ago, I saw that Cult Beauty had just launched the new 'Skinny Dip' collection and restocked some of the other highlights. So I jumped onto the laptop and ordered three shades (Citrine, Rose Gold & Skinny Dip).

They only cost £19 each, which is quite cheap compared to the single highlighters that I normally purchase and the have six different shades to choose from in this size. They also have a smaller highlighter called Ice that costs £18 and is impossible to get hold of in the UK!

The formula is the smoothest that I have ever felt in any highlighter, and the pigmentation is just right for a a soft glow. The thing with these highlighters is, is that you can build them up to be completely blinding and they don't cake up at all.

 

Citrine - Gold with a white reflect, perfect for pale skintones

Rose Gold - Copper toned with a pink/orange reflect, great for light to medium skintones

Skinny Dip - Warm gold, this would look stunning on warm to deep skintones.

As you can see from the swatches, they are incredibly pigmented and really smooth. They do not appear glittery at all and are so reflective! If you are looking for a soft glow or even blinding highlight then you should definitely check these out, and for the price you can't really go wrong.

I know that this has been a short post but I will be back soon in the near future with some extra content. I hope are all safe, and to my friends and followers in the UK, spend some time with your family and close ones as you never know when they can be taken from you.

I love you all.

Nathan Dalby.

 

Tom Ford Soleil 2017: Sheer Highlighting Duo by plasticloafer

tom-ford-featured-e1494756019131.jpg

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to meet up with one of the gorgeous PR girls from Tom Ford Beauty, Christina. I was introduced to a preview of the Summer 2017 Soleil collection and as soon as I sat down, I was obviously drawn to the highlighter. A lot of luxury brands have missed the mark with highlighters, and when you are paying that sort of money you really want something exceptional so when I swatched it and saw the pigment, I was hooked. Christina was lovely, she answered every single question with ease about the collection and honestly it just felt like I was having a catch up with a friend. There is nothing worse than meeting someone from a brand and it leaving a bad taste in your mouth, but after this I just wanted to go and buy everything.

The highlighter retails for £58/$78 (Selfridges/Sephora)and it comes in the beautiful Soleil style white and gold compact. You also get one of those little white sleeves for the compact which I don't think anybody actually uses, and inside are two highlighter pans. The shade name for this compact is 'Reflects Gilt' which kind of gives the impression that they could be adding more highlighters in future collections? I hope they do. The pan sizes are generous, and the quilted pattern is a nice contrast from the super sleek packaging.

The two highlighters unfortunately don't have names, but there is a stunning gold and a warm toned rosey copper shade. They do seem quite dark in the compact, but they are incredibly reflective and quite light once you swatch them, and they are buildable if you want something more intense. The gold suits my skin tone perfectly, whereas the rose shade would be gorgeous on someone with a deeper complexion.

The one thing I really appreciate about these highlighters is how shimmery they are, they don't come of glittery at all. This is a product that if you buy, you will use. It won't just sit in a drawer looking pretty for two years before you decide to sell it. Having owned this for a couple of days, I can already see it being one of my favourite products of the year so far.

I hope you enjoyed reading this post and please subscribe so you can be updated on future projects!

:)

Nathan Dalby

 

Artis 'BrushCraft Collection' First Impressions & Comparison by plasticloafer

artis-featured-e1494587094999.jpg

As you all know by now, my favourite makeup brushes of all time are from Artis. They do have a luxury price point, but I have never found a nicer finish from a brush or sponge and after using them for 2+ years, I still reach for them on a daily basis. There are millions of 'dupes' on the market that you can pick up for under £20 for a full set, but they don't come close to the flawless application and airbrushed appearance that you get from using an oval brush from Artis. The price has always been a problem for them though, with most people being dedicated to a beauty blender that costs £12, why would they buy a single brush that they may not like for £60? This is where their new BrushCraft range comes in, they have stripped back all of the flashy packaging but kept the one thing that people buy the brushes for, the super dense fibres on the head. By doing this they have halved the price, and what you get is a sleek, all black, minimal brush that does its job.

There is currently four brushes in the collection;

Oval 6 (£29/$26.50) - Foundation, Concealer, Contour, Bronzer & Setting Powder

Oval 3 (£22/$18.50) - Concealer, Eyeshadow & Lips

Linear 1 (£22/$18.50) Liner, Brows & Eyeshadow

Circle 1r (£22/$18.50) Concealer, Lips, Brows & Eyeshadow

I have listed above the claims for the brushes that are listed on the back of their boxes and on the Artis site, but I think they missed a trick with a couple of the brushes. The Linear 1 is a super thin brush which would be perfect for a nose contour or to carve out the cheeks and personally I don't see how the Oval 3 could be used for eyeshadow? But saying that, I don't wear it so I can't really comment. The one big selling point for these brushes are that you end up using less product because of how dense they are. You can turn a foundation from a medium coverage to a full because of how much it packs on, the fibres don't absorb anything so you can actually end up saving money by using them (I know, you can use that excuse to your partner if you want to buy them, I have).

As I have two other Oval 6 brushes from the Elite & Digit collections, I decided to compare them. Before I continue, please excuse the state of the brush in the centre. It has been used to its death and I haven't taken as good care of it as I should but it is still going strong. The fibres feel the same, all as dense and compact as each other and I think I actually prefer the design of the BrushCraft Oval 6. My one problem with the Digit 6 was that it had a slight border around the edge so you couldn't get right into the corner of your eye to blend out concealer so I am happy that they have gone back to the old design. After using the new brush to apply concealer, it has the exact same effect as the older brushes which I am over the moon about and I hope that they expand the range to include the Oval 10 and 8.

If you are looking to try some new brushes and have been interested in the Oval design then I think that these would be the perfect introduction for you. I will give an updated review in a couple of months to see how they have lasted, but I do have extremely high hopes.

I hope you have enjoyed this post and are subscribed to the blog for future posts! Make sure you are also following me on instagram for daily updates and I will speak to you all soon.

:)

Nathan Dalby

How I Overcame Psoriasis & Severe Dry Skin by plasticloafer

skin-featured-e1493897546505.jpg

This is my first time really opening up about my skin, I have mentioned psoriasis in the past but I have never gone into detail about my struggle. The products that I mention below have worked wonders for me, and I can't say that they will have the same effect for you but if you are suffering with severe dry skin and psoriasis then there might be a couple of things that you would like to look into.  

My skin, it has been a tough battle. Before I reached 24, I always had clear skin except for the occasional pimple, it was always bright and I never had any issues. I suffered with psoriasis quite a lot as a child, it would flare up on my waist and back but it never really bothered me because it wasn't visible when I was in public. When I turned 24 it all seemed to change, I started to get psoriasis around my eyes and forehead which instantly started to make me panic. I immediately went to see the doctor and was prescribed a mild Hydrocortisone cream which seemed to help the flare ups but as psoriasis is an autoimmune disease, you can't really get rid of it all together, you can just control it and try and keep it at bay. What I found was that by using a hydrocortisone cream on my already dry skin, it started to create dry patches on my face and leave my skin feeling cracked and raw. This is where the real struggle began. Anything that I put on my face would flare up instantly, no matter what product it was. I would apply makeup over it to try and disguise my skin but after an hour, the dry patches would come through and it would look terrible. It got to a point that I couldn't use any powder products, as it would instantly cling to any texture or dryness and this is when I decided that it needed to be sorted out. The photo below is with makeup on, I never took a photograph with just my bare skin since I was so embarrassed by it.

I returned to the doctor and spoke in depth about my skin and what troubles I had been having, and he immediately diagnosed it as 'Contact Dermatitis' and that basically I need to stop using any products. I am a beauty blogger, and this is my full time job, so if I stopped using products and testing things out then basically I would have nothing to talk about. He referred me to a dermatologist for a skin patch test (which I am still waiting to do) and gave me a new hydrocortisone cream to try out. I left feeling a little better, I kind of knew that there must be an ingredient that my skin doesn't agree with that is common in any creams that I put on my face.

This is when I began patch testing products on half of my face, so if it flared up on that side then I knew to not touch it again. It was sad seeing so many products that had previously work wonders for me flare up and irritate. Your skin changes over time, and you can suddenly wake up and find that something that you have used for years just starts to do more bad than good. So after a lot of trial and error I finally found a skincare routine that works perfectly for me.  (Enter pretty flat lay of products)

I basically had to start again with my skincare, like I was just entering the beauty world and I had no idea what to use. As a blogger, I am extremely fortunate to receive products to try out and review if they work well for me, so I have tried out maybe fifty different skincare items over the past few months and most of them didn't work for me. I know that trying so many products wont help at all, but by this point I could tell just by looking into the ingredients if something was worth trying or not.

Cleanser: Dr. Barbara Sturm Cleanser - I was lucky enough to actually meet Dr Barbara at an event with Space.NK and it was like meeting someone who knew how to cure all of your problems, she was one of the loveliest people I have ever spoken to and she told me within minutes that I needed to try the cleanser, as it is so lightweight but gets the job done.  It is a foam product, that when applied just gets rid of any dirt or makeup that you have on your face. It costs £40 which is on the expensive side of cleansers, but when something works so well for you, it's completely worth it.

Exfoliator: No7 Total Renewal Micro-dermabrasion Exfoliator - I used to love a good exfoliator, it was my favourite part of the week. My partner actually uses this product, so I tried it when one of my other more extreme exfoliators ran out and I fell in love. It is lightweight, like the cleanser but it still removes everything. I use this once a week when my skin needs it and it only costs £11.99!

Extra Hydration: Laboratoires Filorga NCTF - Essence - A couple of weekends ago I received this product in the post completely unannounced, and after reading the press release I decided to give it a go. I use this after showering/bathing and right before I moisturise. This product absorbs instantly into your skin and leaves it a little tacky, and then why I apply my oil it sinks right in. It is super hydrating, my skin feels so plumped up and ready for makeup once I use it. It costs £50 but you only need the tiniest amount per use, I have had it for a couple of weeks and it looks brand new.

Moisture: The Ordinary Rose Hip Seed Oil - I gave up on cream moisturisers, nothing seemed to work for me so I went back to what used to work best, oils. I use rose hip seed oil instead of a cream and it makes my skin feel so much nicer. It locks in any moisture and costs only £9.00. It has so many skincare benefits and includes vitamins, antioxidants and fatty acids to help correct dark spots.

Night Oil: Sunday Riley Luna - This is the one product that has stayed with me through all of the troubles. Another hydrating oil, this slowly sinks into your skin during the night and you wake up with extremely soft, plumped skin. Some people don't like the smell, my partner says it smells like chip fat but I kind of find it relaxing. This is an expensive one at £85 but is totally worth it.

Lips: Dior Lip Maximizer - A totally random product to add, but it is so smooth and plumping for your lips! I used to use a lip balm but after I tried this, I never returned. It's like a clear gloss that has a plumping effect, who doesn't want their lips to look a tad bigger?

Of course, from time to time my psoriasis does flare up due to stress or my diet but I have noticed that with this skin routine, it's happening so much less often. When it does flare up, I put a dab of the hydrocortisone cream on the trouble spots and it is usually gone overnight. I have also started using powder makeup again, because I have no dry patches which has meant the most to me.

I hope you learnt a couple of things in the post and that I didn't waffle on for to long. Please subscribe to keep up to date and follow me on instagram for daily updates!

:)

Nathan Dalby

Testing Drugstore Highlighters: NYX Cosmetics by plasticloafer

nyx-featured.jpg

NYX Cosmetics, would you count them as a drugstore brand? They are a little more expensive than the other brands that I have featured in this series but they are sold in Boots, so I feel like they do fit into the same category. The products that I have today are the 'Strobe of Genius' highlighting palette and all five shades of the 'Duo Chromatic' single illuminating powders. I know that they have a few other liquid and stick highlighters but I am saving those for a future post, so keep your eyes peeled!

I will start with the 'Duo Chromatic' powders that cost £9/$7.99 each and come in five different shades;

  • Synthetica - pink with gold duo chrome pearls (Selfridges/Ulta)
  • Crushed Bloom - dusty rose with pink & blue duo chrome pearls (Selfridges/Ulta)
  • Snow Rose - white with pink & lilac duo chrome pearls (Selfridges/Ulta)
  • Twilight Tint - white with blue duo chrome pearls (Selfridges/Ulta)
  • Lavender Steel - lavender with pink duo chrome pearls (Selfridges/Ulta)

I fell in love with these with the first swatch, and if you are looking for a dupe of the Mac 'extra dimension skinfinish' powders then these are the products for you! The pigment is incredible, and the effect of the 'duo chrome pearls' when light hits them in stunning. My two favourites are Snow Rose & Lavender Steel, for my skintone they are lovely and add such a subtle colour with the highlight. There is a shade for every complexion and they would be perfect for the upcoming summer. Check out the swatches above and let me know what you think!

Next up is the 'Strobe of Genius' palette that costs £16/$18.99 (Selfridges/Ulta)  and includes seven illuminating powders. I wasn't to sure about this palette whilst I was swatching, there is obviously a different formula for the powders as some swept so softly across my arm whilst a couple of others seemed powdery and lacked pigmentation. The bottom three shades were my favourite, they had a lot of shimmer and instantly blended out. The top row was different, the purple and gold/yellow shade just contained to much powder and really didn't blend out nicely at all, while the two pinky toned shades next to them were lovely and just as smooth as the bottom row.  Unfortunately the shades don't have names so I couldn't label the swatches below, but overall I think that this palette does contain some great highlighters, there is just a couple of duds.

As always it is down to personal opinion, I do have dry skin so for me, the less powdery the better. None of them appeared glittery and I applaud NYX for that, there is nothing worse. I have included links to stores that stock the products in the UK and US so check them out if you are interested and I will see you guys in my next post! Make sure you are subscribed so you can be notified of my future posts and follow me on instagram for daily updates!

:)

Nathan Dalby

 

 

 

Too Faced Love Light Highlighters: First Impressions by plasticloafer

too-faced-blog-e1493037101325.jpg

Good Afternoon guys, I hope you all had a lovely weekend! Today I have all three of the brand new Too Faced 'Love light' highlighters, they have just launched in the UK along with a huge eyeshadow palette. Each highlighter costs £25 and are available in store at Debenhams and Selfridges. I did see them pop up online for a few days but for some reason they have disappeared? Im guessing they will be back up in the next week or so, so either pop in store to have a look now or just wait a little longer!

The three shades are; Ray of light (the peachy shade), Blinded by the light (the silvery white shade) and You light up my life (the gold shade). I had heard mixed things about all of these highlighters online, a lot of people said that they weren't pigmented at all while others said they were blinding and amazing. So I was a little put off by them but knew I would have to test them myself as I do like a soft glow every now and again. The packaging is the prettiest that I have ever seen, they remind me so much of little Polly Pockets but they do get covered in fingerprints quickly and the design printed onto the powder is like a geometric diamond kind of pattern which I love. But you aren't going to buy a highlighter because the packaging is cute are you? Lets be honest, I probably would.

After swatching them, I fell in love. As you can see in the photo above, they are really pigmented and shimmery so maybe there is just some bad batches of the highlighters? They do seem to contain a small amount of glitter, but not enough for them to come off powdery and there was no fallout when I was swatching. My favourite shade is Ray of light, which probably will be a tad to dark on my skintone but look how nice it is! You light up my life would be stunning for someone with a deeper complexion and Blinded by the light is perfect for me and my pale skin.

So overall I am really happy with the Love Light highlighters, the three that I received swatched really nicely and were really smooth and soft. The colours are gorgeous, and the packaging is literally to die for. If you are still on the fence then pop into a store and swatch them for yourself, I am sure you will fall in love.

Thank you so much for reading and I hope you all enjoyed the post. Please make sure you are subscribed to the blog for future updates and on instagram for daily photos.

:)

Nathan Dalby.