Makeup Revolution // Ultra Contour Kit | Review & Swatches on Fair Skin

This contour palette is $15. I got it for $7.50 on BOGO 50% off from Ulta + Ebates Cash Back. Amazing price, just off the bat. Most people who are interested in Makeup Revolution products are concerned with price and are looking for alternatives to modern high end products.

({ I would know, I specifically bought their Kat Von D S&L Eye dupe because I really wanted the warm quad and I couldn’t justify the $45 price tag. 😂

And I’m not gonna dance around this, I really enjoy this palette! There is such an incredible value for money here. Nothing is chalky, nothing is hard to use. For the almost sub-drugstore price this has (at BOGO 50% off), that is impressive (Looking at you Revlon, you should be ashamed of those face palettes, you can do so much better at that price point, this is proof).

There were a few different things because of my skin tone and preferences that doesn’t work perfectly. But I can make everything work, which is what matters!

Highlighter Swatches

Now, I am incredibly pale. I look best with a white or a light champagne highlight, but I can work with all of the shades in this palette.

The first shade is a lovely easy peasy undereye setting powder that matches my skin tone really well. It has a neutral to pinky undertone. It would be an amazing slightly brightening shade for any one beyond my extreme fairness / of  a light medium or deeper complexion (I’m NC15 – 17 from Mac most of the time). I use this most days when I just want to set down my Catrice Liquid Camo concealer lightly when I need it to last. And it’s brilliant.

The second shade is… yellow. And this comes with the “contour palette” stereotype, but it just is too dark for me to use on top of makeup. But occasionally when I’m not doing full makeup looks but want a little something, I’ll pop this on top of my undereye to do a bit of correction and lighten the look of my undereye circles. In that way, it definitely works.

The third shade is a highlight. Yes, you read that correctly. On my skin in a swatch it looks a little bit ridiculous, but it does give for a natural highlighted effect. BUT, I still prefer my Essence Pure Nude Highlight for a natural look because this particular pan of product is a bit too glittery for my preferences. However, when applied wet, this pan works amazing for that effervescent shiny sheer eyeshadow look that I really enjoy. Not quite the intended purpose, but I do get quite a bit of everyday use out of it (and isn’t that the point)?

The final highlight is a hardcore concentrated white highlight. And I will say, it works. It looks like highlight and is great for a night out. I tend to use this as an inner corner highlight on my eyes. I will say, it’s not a continuous creamy powder (is that an oxymoron?), because of the glitter to it.

The three contour shades are a bit harder to differentiate, but there is a difference in the tones. I like mixing together multiple pans on my brush to create a balanced / neutral feel on my face (not overly cool or overly warm). I will say, it is missing an overtly cool toned shade that most pale people use for very defined contouring, but for everyday wear this array of colors is totally appropriate.When I rub these powders between my thumb and my fingers they don’t just flake off, they blend well and feel buttery smooth. Pigmentation varies a bit between the three matte shades, but regardless of strong pigmentation or not, they all show up well on my skin and are easy to apply and blend out.

The first shade is what I’d describe as the neutral to warm matte bronzer of the three. This is a gorgeous everyday casual “warm it up” bronzer for me. I tend to tap a kabuki brush into it and blend it lightly in broad strokes in all the standard contouring zones when I do a full face of makeup. It gives a very “put together” look without looking extreme on my pale skin.

The second shade is the coolest matte brown of the three, it runs neutral to slightly cool. For me, it has plenty pigmentation to it for “everyday” contouring (defining the hollows of the cheeks, the uppermost hairline, and beneath the chin and jawline), but it might not be able to go to some extremes that you may be interested in if you enjoy stage / Instagram style makeup.

The third shade is the purest matte warm bronze. However, I am happy to report that it doesn’t pull orange on my skin. However, Benefit Hoola doesn’t look orangey on me, and I find that if I combine the third and first shade it combines to make a pretty solid dupe. Yes, the third shade is more pigmented than the first two, but I don’t struggle with application or skipping on my skin.

The fourth shade is… a shimmery bronzer. And as a pale skinned person, this really doesn’t have much value for me. It just doesn’t look natural on my face, and it usually ends up with me picking glitters off my face throughout the day. It has a slightly shimmery texture, like the third highlighter, but it isn’t as chunky / dry as the other marbled  and baked fourth highlighter shade. I can work it as an eyelid shimmer pop just like the third highlight shade, and it looks quite pretty! If you are of a medium skin tone, I think you would be able to get more use out of it than I do!

Overall, I really love this palette and I’ve used it every time I’ve put on makeup since I got it! I used to use the elf Contour Kit frequently, but I’ve just grown out of it. The shade variety and user friendly aspects to this palette are brilliant. I enjoy applying these powders, and I think anyone of a fair – medium skin tone would too!

Have a lovely day! 😊😊

Full Face of Makeup for a Week “Challenge” + Foundation Routine

For someone who’s makeup obsession has been so real and so consistent over the past half decade, I really don’t wear makeup often enough! I have a small collection in comparison to most people who love makeup as much as I do, but every product I do own, I use and enjoy. Each product gets researched online for a considerable amount of time before it is purchased.

Truly, this is why I fell in love with makeup. I love reading, I love things (#materialism), and I love the voice that beauty bloggers can achieve. However, that isn’t me. I don’t really feel the need to collect makeup while enjoying makeup culture. No one is going to come up to me and say, “WHY DIDN’T YOU BUY THAT”.

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As a person who has never been wealthy in any way, makeup culture is a fun thing to watch. It’s like a spectator sport meets a soap opera. Does anyone remember the Lorac MegaPro fiasco back in Holiday 2014? Damn, I may be someone that thrives off of positivity and a bubble of no drama around me IRL, but I love good old fashion makeup drama fest. And I don’t mean drama in between people, like fuck off Jeffree Star, idgaf. I mean like when companies fuck up or when things don’t live up to expectations or their price tag and the drama is 100% justified.

^^ For example, this video is by Zabrena (formerly MacShadowCombos). I love her, I’ve continued to watch her for years before and after this video. But this is like my favourite video from her. Like yas, SMACKDOWN Lorac. ^^

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In general, makeup is interesting because it ties in with so many of my interests in themselves. It never crossed my mind to change my appearance using makeup. I never turned to makeup because I needed to wear it to feel confident in myself. Not to say that that’s wrong, if makeup is something that makes you feel more confident, that’s 100% fine. I’m all for crutches to help with your mental health on a day to day basis. (However, I am not self aware enough to have bad self esteem, I am who I am 😂).

This got a bit existential, but in terms of makeup, I am so freaking boring. Doing makeup in itself is fun for me, so it just doesn’t matter what the end result actually looks like. I got to really get down and dirty over this week and actually try out products and techniques that I haven’t felt up to in a while.

For example, the Rimmel Lasting Finish 25 Hr Foundation. It’s awesome! But alas, the second lightest shade, 101 Classic Ivory was too dark, and I ended up swapping for the lightest color in the line (which worked! Yay!). The more I try from Rimmel, the more I love their brand!

I also got to solidify my preferred foundation routine, which was totes fun. I have very few issues with my skin apart from redness (Germanic roots- grr), so I’m into color correcting. Not to mention how trendy it is, but I am not one for the extreme color correcting. It’s totally fun and creative, but I am not used to having that much product on my face, boo!

Image Credit // shefinds.com

I got to try out the NYX Color Correcting Concealer palette, which was amazing in it’s own right. I use the green between my brows, my forehead, my cheeks, and my chin. This may seem like liberal application, but I go slowly, and apply in the red areas as necessary. I combine the salmon and yellow under my eyes as I have both blue and purple toned undereye circles. I apply the purple around the rest of my face anywhere there’s dullness or overtly yellow areas. I then bump it all out with my Real Techniques Mini Eraser sponge one area at a time (undereye -> purple -> green).

For me, color correcting gives my face a more blank slate than if I were just to apply foundation directly. Foundation is next!

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Image Credit // Ulta Beauty

I actively use the tinted moisturizer technique to make my foundation more natural looking, and feel better on the skin! I combine the same amount of foundation I would normally use and an equal amount of moisturizer (my favourite is the Garnier Clearly Brighter w/ SPF 15). I then paint it all over my face with a flat paddle foundation brush and bump it out with my Real Techniques Miracle Complexion sponge. The two liquids combine to make this nice beautiful skin like appearance that isn’t too dewy and isn’t completely matte. Aka, demi matte. God bless America.

Image Credit // thebeautyinbox.com

Then I pop the Catrice Liquid Camouflage Concealer in 010 Porcealain under my eyes to brighten them and cover the undereye corrector. I’ve also taken to applying this down the center of my face when I apply my contour and / or bronzer to create some more dimension to my face and it works lovely for that as well! (Though, I am tempted to get another in a shade lighter to make it even more visible).

Image Credit // PettyAir

I then set my undereye with the Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder in Transparent. Because it’s great. But you probably already knew that! It’s amazing!

I don’t set my entire face with a full on layer of powder, but I will take a BIG fluffy face powder brush, tap lightly into my powder, and blend the powder all over my face. This is mostly just to take away the slight tack that my foundation mixture can leave behind. It helps with bronzer and blush application and keeps it from skipping across my skin. If I plan to use a cream cheek product, I will wait to set my face until after that is down and done!

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I also got to experiment with false lashes this past week, but I think that is enough rambling for one blog post! It was fun to experience what it was like to have to wear makeup. However, by the end, I just felt the need to wear neutral makeup. It had taken a bit of the fun away, having to put it on. I understand why people who work in an office environment, or even the healthcare field, often wear such minimal makeup (having to wear it every single day, outside of appearance requirements).

Oh! And one final note, I got back to removing my makeup with melted coconut oil and I had zero issues with the texture or appearance of my natural skin changing. Thumbs up to coconut oil from me, I still love it years later. 😁

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Mascara 101 | Application: Stationary Wand + Blinking vs Brushing Upwards

There seems to be two schools of thought when applying mascara to the upper lashes.

  • Pulling the wand upwards through your lashes (with possible wiggling at the base to provide extra darkness before brushing through the length of your lashes).

OR

  • Keeping the wand stationary at the base of your lash line, and blinking your lashes through the product against the wand.

The Difference Is…

Completely up to personal preference, as well as the look you’re attempting to achieve with your lashes.

I recently discovered the difference and it actually fascinated me, and changed a misconception that I had in place for years.

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My lashes are definitely okay. They are medium to long and fairly dark. I have medium / dark brown hair, so that already gives me a bit of an advantage to those who have light or blonde hair in terms of lashes. I can more easily use darker colored mascaras and have it look natural. But, I do struggle with maintaining curls as my lashes prefer to direct downwards like a pointed roof. I think that type might be more useful in keeping things out of my eyeballs, but definitely is not my desired look when I actually want to put makeup on. I use waterproof mascaras purely because I have particularly watery eyes in general AND I cry. A lot. Regardless of the related emotions, I’m always crying. So waterproof mascara is a must have for me.

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I always curl my lashes with my beloved BH Cosmetics eyelash curler. This has inclined me to use the first method of moving the brush through my lashes, as I can visually see the extent of my lashes. However, I am not a fan of clumped lashes. I would prefer long thinner darkened lashes over clumped “voluminous” short insect leg lashes. And I find that often when I am using the brush through method, I am much more likely to end up with clumpy lashes.

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I recently, however, discovered the blink through method for myself. I had occasionally seen people applying mascara this way, and it always seemed uncomfortable. But, realistically, anything going that close to my eyeball is going to be uncomfortable. So I figured it was worth giving it a try to see if I liked the effect.

And to be real, I really have liked the look of it! A lot!

The blinking through helps deal with excess product, prevents clumping, and makes my lashes truly feel long and look dark.

As I have semi hooded lids, I struggled with accidentally tapping my eyelids with the mascara wands when having to manually lift the wand through my lashes. Somehow, magically, I don’t struggle with mascara smudging in areas where I don’t want it with the blink through method. I think it has something to do with the curvature of my lashes after I curl them.

I believe that it keep the wand from having to go through up towards my lid as I’m blinking down, AND keeps my lashes from tapping the lower lash line with wet just applied mascara before I can get my eyes open again.

If you have pin straight lashes and don’t curl them, I think you may struggle with the blinking method. If you curl your lashes and have never tried the blinking method, I highly suggest it, even if to just try it and see if you like the effect. You may be pleasantly surprised, like I was.

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My go to mascara routine is combining two different mascaras. They are my favourite mascara formulas of all time, but they just weren’t the most realistic for my original routine, and I was rarely satisfied by the outcome. However, now that I’ve discovered the magic of the blinking method, they are both working even better for me, and I am really enjoying the look of my lashes now.

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Maybelline’s Full and Soft Waterproof is a great naturalistic mascara. The standard natural bristle wand is nice for both separation and adding a bit of texture. I love the way it makes my lashes feel, and it is a nice everyday mascara. It lays down a nice base layer for days when I want a little more, and helps maintain the natural look and feel.

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Maybelline’s the Rocket Waterproof has a rubber bristle wand. This is a truly volumizing formula, but I love it more and more for the design of the separation on the wand between the bristles. This is an awesome topper mascara to finish off your lashes. It separates the lashes, while building coats effortlessly.

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Overall, like all makeup, mascara is an incredibly personal thing. Your preferences will be king for you. But, like all makeup, it can be wiped away. You can try again tomorrow.

Always know that makeup is inherently creative. Like art, there are no rules. You should always wear your makeup the way you enjoy it, and don’t let anyone shame you for it.

Have an open mind to your makeup application! It can be so easy to get in a rut with what “works”, and you may never be able to open your mind to the possibilities.

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Essence // Longlasting Lipsticks Review & Swatches

I have the weirdest lip shape. This is a fact. Normally, I just have to make a decision on where I want my lips to end when I’m putting on product. I don’t have particularly thin lips, so the majority of the time I go smaller than my natural lip line to keep me from looking like a demented clown. I use a clear lip liner every time I apply product on my lips, regardless of the type. Liquid lipstick, colored gloss, creme traditional lipsticks, everything! I find this creates the perfect boundary for my nonexistent lipline.

Now that we have that established, onto my current lipstick of choice. I didn’t expect much out of these lipsticks at $3 a pop at Ulta. However, I like to think that these are my ideal formula. They’re creamy, go on easily, and as you apply different amounts of layers the color deepens, allowing you to obtain your ultimate color without it ever being too heavy or cakey.

The bullet is shaped super well, and I find that most of the time I don’t need to use a lip brush to apply. Sometimes I wil, especially with the red shade or if I’m feeling particularly inept that day. Like those days when I don’t even try to attempt winged liner, if you feel me?

I don’t agree with the “Longlasting” claim, that simply isn’t the point of these. They aren’t matte, they don’t dry down, and they will wear off when eating and drinking. They transfer and kiss off. But they are comfortable, and great for everyday wear. And without breaking the bank, that’s rare to find. I would describe these as the best of the best for satin / creme lipsticks at the below drugstore price point.

The three colors I have are Coral Calling (01), On the Catwalk (04), and Natural Beauty (07).

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I believe that the weakest of the three colors is Coral Calling (#01). For my preference and my lips, at least. I find that Coral Calling tends to have issues with pigment flaking throughout the creamy base, which isn’t a problem with the other two colors I have. The color is a nice, bright coral shade without being neon or scary. I do like the color, but the formula on this one just isn’t as good as the others. If you can get past the issues I have with them, then I do recommend it, but the color isn’t enough to override my issues, for me. If it was a problem due to an undermixed batch, then I definitely recommend it if you like the color.

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On the Catwalk! (#04) is such a unique color. It can be dark, but it’s not too dark, red, but not too red, neutral but not dead, etc. It’s what I’d describe as a good beginners red, for those who are a bit scared of color, or colors any deeper than the average rose mauve. It is a pinky red shade, that’s a bit different. Almost like a brick red mixed into a nice basic pink. Not too bold at all! You aren’t making a huge investment if you turn out not to like the shade, but I really think you will.

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The final color, Natural Beauty (#07), is a great everyday shade, as it’s name expresses. It’s a dusty, mauve-y pink shade. It appears to be a lot like my natural lip color in fact, but slightly deeper with some shine and sheen.

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 So those are the Essence Longlasting Lipsticks! I know the trend recently has been for fully matte drying down lipsticks, but if you have texture to your lips you probably know what a struggle those can be, especially for everyday. Sometimes you just have to kick it old school and go with what works. And these most definitely work for me 😄

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Rimmel London // ScandalEyes Kohl Kajal Waterproof Eyeliners Review

** While writing this blog post I’m watching The Walking Dead. The Season 5 midseason finale. Just so you know I’ll really be testing this out because I’ll be bawling my eyes out at ****’s death. Lovely.

Hi! Welcome back! Today I’m going to be reviewing one of my favourite eyeliners of all time. Oh wait… I ruined the surprise. Well, I might as well tell you why I love them so much.

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Sorry if mine look a bit trampy in photos, believe it or not I do use them often! ^_^

These liners will run ya under $5, specifically $4.49 at Ulta Beauty. The packaging is simple, and they are not retractable (ie they need to be sharpened). In my opinion, these are the best of the best for pencil eyeliners.

In fact, these eyeliners are what got me into a more natural look and using nude on the waterline. I have very large round protruding eyes, which I actually love, but in terms of cosmetics, they look best with a defining color in the waterline. That’s what I love the black for, as the coloring is a rich pigmented black.

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*** Okay… She’s passed. The way Rick shakes his head as he walks out, and then Daryl walks behind him with her in his arms 😭😭😭. Maggie’s face kills me every single time. They really don’t ever give any conclusion at mid Season, huh? 

I have extremely fair skin, so I was concerned when I got the nude color if it even was going to be too dark on me. However, I find that because I use a black mascara on both my top and bottom lashes, it actually shows in a pretty way and makes a nice contrast.

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I think this photo really shows the true opacity, look where it covers my vein. Awesome for red early morning eyes!

In terms of application, the kajal texture really shines here. The creamy one swipe opacity is amazing, and really has spoiled me for any other pencil. Along the same vein, the waterproof claim is true. And I find the formula across the different shades very similar. It endures tears without running, as well as holding up on a normal day (aka days when you don’t watch TWD) for at least eight hours. I tend not to wear my makeup on a longer than that. But! Based on the intensity I have after 8 hours though (minimal wear on the inner corners), I think it could last a lot longer than that.

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Left Black swatch is one pass over, the right is built up. Not much difference, eh?

**** They really know how to just kill ’em and leave the audience dying for more. The upsides of binge watching shows, I suppose. Morgan’s scene here is also really great. Sigh. Onto Episode 9. Really nice midseason finale though!

All in all, these are my true go-to pencil and general eyeliners. The wear time is nice is you’ll be wearing it for an extended amount of time. They are always reliable, super easy to sharpen, and simply look great when applied. I think I always will love these liners for what they are, even if something mindblowing comes into the eyeliner arena. Just all around a great product, for beginners and makeup junkies a like!

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