Not another nude palette..

You would think that the makeup world was already saturated with nude eyeshadow palettes. Urban Decay alone has three very high profile Naked palettes. But this one is so pretty…

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Its the new YSL NU Couture Variation Palette. There are 10 fabulous colours along the reddish/pink scale of nudes, for just £49 (aka a lot of money). Even though it is pretty damn expensive, if you love brands and you are looking for the perfect collection of nudes then why not splash out. It also comes with a handy double ended brush for flawless application. And when you think about it, 10 YSL eyeshadows for £49 is actually pretty good value.

Of course, there are tons of cheaper alternatives, but if you have the cash to burn, this is without a doubt the prettiest and the fanciest.

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Mac Cinderella Collection

Mac is releasing their Cinderella collection to coincide with the movie release in March.

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It will consist of:

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Two lipsticks. The more pinky nude is Royal Ball and the browner nude is Free as a Butterfly.

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Two lipglasses in Happily Ever After and Glass Slipper (almost identical, right?)

One eyeshadow palette:

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Two ‘Eye Glosses’ in Lightly Tauped and Pearl Varnish

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This is a new type of product, one that I haven’t seen from Mac before. It seems to be one of those sheer ultra glossy cream eyeshadows.

There’s also a line of Fluidline gel liners in two different colours: Little Black Bow and Macrviolet

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There are two gorgeous looking powder highlighter in Coupe D’Chic and Mystery Princess

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Three pressed pigments (although one is actually glitter!) in Reflects Pearl, Evil Stepmother and Pretty It Up:

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The Olive pigment seems a bit incongruous with the rest of the collection but hey, its Mac.

There’s also a mascara and two brushes (boring)

I have to say this is the nicest collection to come out of Mac in a while. The movie doesn’t seem like much to get excited about (Its certainly no ‘Into The Woods’) but at least the makeup is cute. I wonder if any of the normal public will be able to get hold of any of the products before the sell out.

My favourite YouTube Beauty Gurus

I don’t watch many makeup videos on YouTube tbh, but when I do, its one of these guys.

First up is my girl Camila Coelho. Her English channel is MakeUpByCamila2. She is Brazilian so most of her videos are in Portuguese but she does separate ones for her English speaking fans. My favourite of her tutorials is the Valentine’s Day look

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Next is Huda Kattan. A beauty blogger based in Dubai who posts killer makeup and beauty tips. My favourite video is her Lipliner Tutorial where she goes over the basics any girl needs if she want to learn the secrets of overlining (alla Kylie Jenner)

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I learnt most of my makeup skills from drag queens, so its no surprise that my favourite makeup tutorials are by drag queens such as Vivienne Pinay, Miss Fame and Fendi Laken

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Of course, if you aren’t a drag queen you can skip a lot of the stages in the videos, and you don’t have to be as exaggerated with your makeup, but they are a really good source of tips and inspiration.

Happy YouTubing!

Christmas gift ideas for makeup addicts

Christmas shopping fever is upon us, and whether you are looking for a gift for a beauty loving friend, or just want to treat yourself, beauty brands have some great deals available this time of year. Check out my recommendations of gifts any makeup addict would love to receive.

NARS

NARS has a great selection of gift sets, limited to the Christmas period only. I love the Roman Holiday Lip, Cheek and Nail set

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£30 for 3 pretty in pink products. Normally the cost of all three would be around £65.

For lipgloss fanatics, the Tech Fashion Lipgloss Coffret (£25) would make the perfect gift

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These four great colours are limited edition so if you like the look of them, or have a friend who will, get them now because they might not be around in the sales.

Mac

Literally every Christmas gift set on Mac is sold out. So don’t even try. If you are determined however, some online stockists such as Selfridges have some Mac gift sets still in stock. Or you could try finding a Mac shop with some left. Airports tend to be the last to sell out, but obviously you have to be flying somewhere to shop there.

Bobbi Brown

BB also have a lipgloss gift set for Christmas

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These three super glam glosses are just £29

Or you could get a trio of Bobbi’s Long-wear Cream Shadow stick

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for just £29.50

And the best deal of them all…

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These 8 eyeshadows in a gorgeous case for just £26. These would make a great gift that looks like you spent a lot more than you actually did.

For those who love skin care, this Clinique Favourites Mini set contains 5 miniatures of their best selling products for just £25

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(mainly moisturisers, not to be used with oily skin)

And then for that friend who always has their nails on point, this WAH Nails Trend Kit (£23) has everything they need to create a fierce WAH inspired look.

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Available only at boots. If you are on a bit of a budget, just get them one of the WAH nail polishes like this Heart of Darkness matte black polish

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All polishes are £9.

I hope this post has managed to inspire some of you who are stuck with your Christmas shopping, or just given you an idea as to what to ask for.

Remember, tis the season to be fabulous.

Brush Maintenance – Look after your tools!

I often think that the tool makes the artist. If you are working with poor quality brushes your work will be poor quality too. And if you don’t look after your brushes they can become harder to use and less effective. There is nothing worse than spending a fortune building up your brush set and ruining them through negligence.

Some people think over washing brushes causes them to moult. This is not true. It is the bacteria build up when you don’t wash your brushes that actually causes the hair to fall out. This can also cause infections and spots and it’s just nasty. So just give them a good clean every week or so, or as needed.

A good brush cleaner doesn’t need to cost much but it goes a long way in making your brushes last longer.

My first recommendation is Mac’s brush cleanser (£10)

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This is the simple kind of cleanser that you just use with hot water. I pour some onto my hand and just swirl the brush around in it and then rinse, repeating if necessary. However with this cleanser you hardly need to repeat (unless you are cleaning your sponges which take FOREVARR)

My second recommendation is the Strictly Professional Cosmetic Brush Cleaner 150ml

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You soak your brushes in this (it recommends for 15 minutes) then rinse in warm water and leave to dry. The only downside about this technique is you tend to get through more product because you need to use a lot to soak all your brushes. However this technique is quicker in theory.

TIP: If you want don’t like washing brushes on your hand you can use this little guy

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This is a Precision Pore Cleansing Pad from Sephora ($6) and even though it is marketed as a face cleaning tool, it is great for washing brushes with too. You wet it, pour a little bit of your chosen cleanser on and then rub the brush all over it. But because we don’t have Sephora in England, I just use my hand.

Another TIP if you don’t have a brush cleaner but you’ve just read this and though “OMG I didn’t realise how much bacteria was in my brushes, I don’t have time to go to Mac, I need to clean them NOW!” then I have a solution for you.

Lots of people actually use baby shampoo as a brush cleanser. One I would recommend is Johnson’s Baby Shampoo

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You can use this guy as you would the Mac cleanser but just wash more thoroughly and have patience cause your brushes may take longer to dry. NEVER blow dry your brushes. You may be in a hurry but it is not worth the damage it will cause them. Just find a safe place where they can air dry.

If you buy the right brushes and look after them well they may last you a lifetime. So please, dolls, remember not to neglect them. Makeup brushes are a girl’s best friend.

“And God Created Woman…”

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“And God Created Woman” is a smoky eye palette from Nars that provides a selection of six neutral/brown tone shades. It also comes with some sample size eyeshadow primer and a mini eye shadow brush. This was a Christmas present and I have already gotten so much use out of it. The colours are perfect for anything from a day cut crease look to an evening dark smoky brown and works particularly well on the brown eyed girl. 

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For the day I used the top left lightest burnt peach colour on the lid and the bottom left sparkly brown in the crease and to line the lower lashes. 

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ImagePictures from Instagram @barbzhj

Unfortunately these were taken with the front facing camera on my iPhone so they are not the best quality and you can’t quite see the detail but I love this look. The light peach is really gorgeous on. Furthermore the primer is amazing. I usually use and Urban Decay eyeshadow primer but this was so good I want to invest in a full size one. Not only did it keep my makeup in place all day but it also made for very easy application of the eye shadow which is not something I usually notice in primers. 

I basically am really happy with how this looked and it is my current day look when I’m making an effort. I pair it with a nude matte lip.

ImagePicture on Instagram: @barbzhj