Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year: My Resolutions

Well hello! Firstly, Happy New Year! I feel like a bit of a stranger on here. It's been over a month since I've posted on my blog, and not remained completely active on my social media and YouTube channel. What began as a short week off, quickly turned into me being consumed by December. 

As you know if you watch my YouTube channel, I absolutely adore filming and creating content, but over December, I lost a lot of motivation and I got lost in the doom and gloom of  December. I decided, rather than throwing out a video every now and again, I would take the month off, and resume in the new year. That also means my blog, and my social media. I missed filming and writing so much, so I'm suuuuuper excited to be back. 

I guess I'll round 2015 up.. apparently that's what you're supposed to do??

So, the year began incredibly different to how it ended. I couldn't be more grateful. My whole world was flipped upside down twice this year. One of those was the best thing that ever happened to me, and one of those was something that I will continue to deal with in the new year. The first thing doesn't even warrant a place on my blog, but I'm grateful nonetheless. It turns out I'm incredibly strong, and I'm one hell of a woman. (Hey, a bit of self love does no harm?). 

The second thing cropped up towards the end of the year. My Dad was 're-diagnosed' with cancer, or 'it came back'.. If any of you have had this happen to someone close in your family, you'll know it's not fun to deal with. My Dad is the most inspirational man in my life, and even through intensive treatment, he manages to do everything he was able to do, and keeps the family, family. 
This also taught me how strong I am.

I made SO many new friendships this year. One was a 'resumed' friendship, which I am absolutely over the moon with. And the rest were through work. I also got a lot closer with my 'blogging friends' or 'friends' as I like to call them, and spending a weekend with them in a crack-den was delightful. What a better way to bond?? (It wasn't actually a crack-den.. it may as well have been).

The highlight of the year.. if not my life, was my trip to Dubai. My Aunty took me and my cousin to Dubai for a week, and I have never experienced anything more life changing. I matured, (in my opinion), I grew, I became so much healthier in my mind, and that's something that will be with me forever. I can't thank my Aunty enough for giving me that experience, you really can't put a price on good health.

I also found true love.. with....... MAKEUP! I know, I'm awful. But it's true! I found a true passion for beauty, and also the career path I want to go down. I hope 2016 is good to me.


- I want to get in to INCREDIBLE shape. Not 'better' shape, I want to be an unstoppable force. Seriously.

- Drink ALL of the water. Not just 'more' water.. all of it. (Am I an M&S advert?).

- Be more adventurous. I spent a large portion of 2015 in a bit of a 'cage', lacking adventure. If I want to fly to LA for a week.. y'all best believe ima do it. 

- Always remember that I'm okay with my own company. I can supply my own happiness, anything else is a bonus.

- BE BETTER WITH MONEY. For the love of God, I pissed money out left right and centre the last few months. Justifying it with 'Oh, I had a bad day', or 'That refund money is in my account now, let's buy shit!', or '`Hey, it's Christmas!'. Girl, no. Get over yourself.

- Be kinder to people. I'm not saying I'm a horrible person, but if you know me, you know I can be a little feisty. I'm generally the Queen of 'being civil', but I would like to kick it up a notch, and try and not want to cut every single person in the face.

- Take good care of myself. No matter what, I want to make sure that I'm okay.

I guess I'll see you guys next week with a brand new post! Thank you for sticking with me.. or joining along! I hope you all have a brilliant New Year, and you all kick ASSSSSSSSSS.

Here goes nothing!

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Monday, November 23, 2015

New in Beauty: Freedom Makeup House of GlamDolls Spirit Doll Palette


So when this new palette from Freedom Makeup London landed on my doorstep almost a week ago, I was too excited to get playing! Nothing brings me more joy than experimenting with new beauty products.

On first glance, this looks like one hell of an 'old school' make-up set, you know the ones I mean? A couple of heart shaped lip glosses, shimmery blue and purple shadows? I totally felt the 'throwback' vibe from this, luckily the quality doesn't resemble that of those palettes.

You get two gorgeous blushers, four brow powders, three highlighters, ten eyeshadows and four lipsticks. It's such a travel friendly palette.

Unfortunately, these swatches don't show up too well on my skin tone, but they are absolutely stunning blushers. Beautiful dusty shades, nothing too garish and super wear-able.

Here's swatches of four of the eyeshadows, and the largest highlighter out of the bunch. They're super pigmented, and my personal favourite is that stunning matte berry shade. I have nothing like it in my collection, and I'll certainly be putting it to great use this season!

My only qualm with this palette is the lipsticks. I swatched a couple but they weren't what I hoped they would be unfortunately! They're more of a sheer tinted gloss, so if you're into that, then you're onto a winner!

There is three other House of GlamDolls palettes to collect, so be sure to check those out and see which one is most suited to you! For £8, it's definitely worth adding one, (or a few!) to your collection! You can pick up the Spirit Doll palette here!
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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

New in Beauty: Urban Decay Vice 4 Palette

As I'm sure most of you are, I'm a huge fan of Urban Decay, and I can't help but immediately get my hands on any new products they release.
Urban Decay was the brand that really got me into experimenting with colour, and the first 'pricier' coloured palette I ever picked up was last years Vice 3! Well here we are, hundreds of palettes later, and we're now at the Vice 4 palette.
The minute I spotted that stunning packaging, I wasn't bothered what was on the inside, I just had to have it. Luckily for me, it's jam-packed with beautiful, brand new shades.

(Top row, left to right).

(Second row, left to right).

(Third row, left to right).

(Bottom row, left to right).

How beautiful are those shades?! That's all with one swipe. I'm so impressed. 

There's a large amount of shimmers, some being glittery, some shimmery and a few duochromes. There is a few mattes too, making it a little more wearable if you're not digging a vibrant look, or if you simply need a crease shade! 

The texture of the shadows does vary, with the ones with larger chunks of glitter being slightly 'drier', however they're just as pigmented as the softer shadows, so it's nothing to worry about.
I'm very pleasantly surprised with how much I love the blue/green row! I fancy creating a mermaid look with those.

The palette is limited edition, so I highly recommend picking it up ASAP if you're considering it! You can purchase it here.

Will you be picking this up? Which is your favourite row of shades?!
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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Comparison: NYX Wonderstick or Freedom Makeup Contour Stick?

This is a first for my blog, a comparison post! I recently picked up these two products, and I've been thoroughly putting them to the test so I can share with you all what I think!

First up is the NYX Wonder Stick in 'Light' which I picked up on Feel Unique, (yes, they sell NYX!). I've wanted this product for sooooo long, so when it finally became available to us UK lot, I simply couldn't resist. 

I picked mine up in the shade 'Light', as it seemed to be the most 'grey-toned' out of the lot, but of course, you'd choose a shade most suitable to yourself.
This product is absolutely brilliant, from the colour, right down to the blend-ability. It's super creamy upon application, and you can apply it precisely to those areas you want to chisel out. Once blended, it creates a super natural shadow, and I opt for this when I want a more natural contour for daytime wear. 

I don't tend to use matte, cream highlighters, but I have been using this to accentuate the bridge of my nose, chin and centre of my forehead, and for that the colour is spot on. 

The other contour stick in question is the Freedom Makeup Pro Contour Shaped Stick, and I picked mine up in the shade 'Medium 02'. This seemed to be the most cool-toned out of the bunch, but I could have been wrong as there was no online swatches to work from, and I had to guess purely from the image online. 

As much as I love a cool-toned contour, this is SO pretty. It doesn't look orange in the slightest, it actually just looks like a beautiful warmth on your face, and with it being a cream products, it looks super natural, (if blended properly of course!). This applies beautifully, and blends just as well as any high-end product. 

As far as the highlighter is concerned, I'm not the biggest fan, purely as the shade is a little too peachy for me.

(The top two shades are Freedom, and the bottom two are NYX).

SO! The verdict is in!

The winner goes to..



Yes, I have chosen the NYX Wonder Stick as my winner, but this was a very tough decision to make!
It has absolutely nothing to do with the quality, as both of them are excellent and equal in my opinion, but more to do with shades. I much prefer the cool-toned shade of the NYX Wonder Stick, and the brighter highlighter. However, in the correct shade, I really think I'd struggle to choose!
There isn't much of price difference, with the NYX Wonder Stick being £10, and the Freedom Makeup Pro Contour Shaped Stick being £5. I have no regrets with either, and I would re-purchase both of them. 

(You can check them both out using the linked words above!).

SO! What do you guys think? Is there any other products you'd like me to put to the test? Let me know down below, or tweet me at @nicolecourchee!
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Monday, November 9, 2015

New in Beauty: Freedom Makeup Pro Highlight Palette

I know I've been knocking out the product reviews recently, but they're my favourite posts to read! I feel like there's never enough out there, and someone else's opinion on a product always helps!
Since I've been trying a bunch of the new Freedom Makeup products, I quickly realised there wasn't enough if not hardly any reviews out there as they're so new! Hopefully I can help anyone looking to try some products from the brand!

This is the new Pro Highlight Palette, containing six cream highlighters, and two powder highlighters. 

Swatched on the top is the three creams on the left of the palette, and on the bottom is the three to the right of the palette. 

These are veeerrry creamy, they glide like butter. On application there is definitely a few that are better than others, but they're all incredibly shimmery and pretty.
The top middle shade is a little patchy as you can see from the swatch, and there's a silver shade next to it which I personally struggle to work as a highlighter, but it definitely makes a stunning cream eyeshadow!
The rest of the shades are beautiful, so intensely pigmented and give the most stunning glow to the face. I particularly love the first peach shade on the bottom row. These can definitely double up as cream eyeshadows, so for those neutral shimmer girls, this palette is a dream!

Here we have the two powder highlighters. You can see from the swatches how smooth they are. The powders aren't soft to touch, but that really makes no difference to how well they work, infact, they're some of the most pigmented highlighters that I own. They also make beautiful inner-corner highlighters!

This palette is only £6, and you can pick it up here!

What do you guys think?! Have you tried any Freedom Makeup products? What's your favourite highlighter?

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Friday, November 6, 2015

New in Beauty: Freedom Makeup Pro Melts Liquid Lipsticks

Hello! I'm so excited to be writing about these little beauties today!! 
Here we have eight NEW shades of the Freedom Makeup Pro Melts liquid lipsticks, plus one cheeky extra I picked up from the older shade range!
I've wrote a blog post on some Freedom Makeup products before, and I'm so excited to share more about this budget-friendly brand with you! Previous post linked here.

As I'm sure you all know, liquid lipsticks have been hot on the market for a while now, and there's no signs of them disappearing in the near future, (nor do I want them too!). Fortunately for us lot, it means drugstore brands are fast jumping on the bandwagon, and are bringing us our favourite lip products for a fraction of the price!
Freedom Makeup has sold these liquid lipsticks since the start of their brand, and have recently launched eight new shades. 

From left to right - 'Debut', 'Kisses Waiting', 'Masterpiece', 'Applause', 'Sold Out', 'Steal The Show', 'Drama', 'No Heroes', and 'Just Do It'

Firstly, I'd just like to point out, that besides the whitened background, these images haven't been enhanced in anyway, my skin is just looking extra saturated for some reason, haha! 
Anyway! These are the swatches of the eight new shades, plus the 'Just Do It' on the end which I'd picked up last week!

As you can see, they're super vibrant and I'd say all but 'Just Do It' are incredibly pigmented. On first impression, I'd anticipated these to be a little 'tacky' feeling on the lips as they're such a thick consistency, but they do actually dry down to a matte finish, and that thickness seems to make the lipstick more comfortable to wear. 

My favourites from the range are 'Sold Out', 'Drama', 'No Heroes' and 'Debut', (for an ombre lip).

These retail at only £3 each, and with Freedom Makeup's long list of discounts and offers, you're almost sure to pick it up cheaper than that! Head over to Freedom Makeup now to have a browse, or pick up some bargains yourself!

PS!! Stay tuned for some further Freedom posts! (Yes, I've been doing a lot of shopping!).

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Monday, October 26, 2015

When You're Scared, You Run Away - But What Happens If You Don't?

It's past midnight, and I'm 'spur-of-the-moment' writing up this post. It may never make it to the internet world, but here we go anyway.

I'm always thinking, more often than not very intensely thinking. 
I've been through a lot in my life, more than anyone should. I've been through so much pain over the past six months, or at least the most part of that. I still don't feel the need to explain why, but if you can relate to heartache and loss and many other horrible experiences, I'm sure you can relate. 

I've always spent my latter years backing down from occasions, opportunities, social events for the fear of anxiety. No, I'm not going to ramble on about 'my story'.. it's neither here nor there. Shit happens, life often sucks, what else is there to say? Maybe one day when I feel like it could benefit people, I'll go through the gruelling last 5 years I've lived in relation to mental health, but for now, I'll just cover bits and bobs.. what ever springs to mind.

Anyway, how many of you turn down opportunities? Back away from potentially scary conversations? Hide away and live a sheltered life due to anxiety? 
Over the past few months, I've been beating that little demon down. Booking that train ticket, wearing that ridiculously outrageous make-up, meeting up with an old friend. Let me tell you, these are three of the countless things I've pushed myself to do, things anxiety would normally steer me away from, and these are things, memories that I now treasure. 
I booked a ticket to London last week to meet with a brand, I was terrified, I almost said no. Then I thought to myself, 'Alright, you'll be nervous.. but you'll meet with your first brand. You'll discuss potential opportunities. So what if I get anxious, the feeling disappears, I know from experience. Just do it, just get off your ass and do it'. And I did it. I'm now incredibly excited to be working with Fashion Eyewear, and I also got the opportunity to attend the Lipsy event and meet none other than Michelle Keegan? Yeah, take that anxiety.

I also was recently in contact with an old best friend, and I was so nervous to meet again after so many years had passed. It would have been easy to panic and get too into my head, but I gave myself a damn good talking too. I now have one of the best friends in the world. I have someone who's always there for me, and can cheer me up, eat Chinese food with me and obsess over make-up. 
One of the things I remember about her is her love for roller-coasters and all things 'dangerous', (I guess? Haha!). Unfortunately, (and I really hope she doesn't mind me briefly touching over!), she's suffered so much through her life too, and anxiety plays a huge part in her life, (understandably so). I know it's something as trivial as a roller-coaster, but it really makes me sad that anxiety can take something like that away from somebody. (PS, I appreciate people change and change interests, I'm using this as an example). But this works for most situations. Take me for example, anxiety stopped me watching The Walking Dead for a long time, something I was so enamoured by. I was scared of feeling.. well, feelings. It was scary, but I put the disc in and watched an episode, with my brother by my side. You can't pull me away from that show now! Don't even try. (Love you Rick & Daryl!).
The reasons I stopped watching aren't the show itself, it's memories surrounding the show. I've forgotten them now, I made new memories.
I can clearly see I've gone off on a tangent, but I guess what I'm trying to say is, if you're suffering the consequences of anxiety, tried everything to tackle it. Maybe try putting it to the test? I'm by no means a doctor, and I'm not saying what works for me works for you, but challenging yourself can be one of the most rewarding things. It certainly has been for me. 

Bare in mind, this has taken me five years to get to this place, and nobody can force you to do anything. Only you can force yourself. Do it yourself. 

I really feel this post has gone to too many places, it seriously is just pouring from the head and the heart. Is it even beneficial? I don't know.

To sum up, I have got some of the most amazing friends due to challenging myself, and I have some of the most amazing opportunities, memories, life-changing experiences. Do you know what's most rewarding? I did this. All by myself. I consider myself very independent, very happy and a crazy little bitch and I love it. You can damn well do this. You can take yourself to the most amazing places, mentally, physically. Sometimes you have to scare yourself. Don't run away anymore. Believe in yourself. 

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New In Beauty: Freedom Makeup Strobing Kits


I've been so excited to write this post up, but I wanted to give these products a good try before sharing them with you all.

As you all know, contouring/strobing/sculpting has become huge over the past year or so. I appreciate that it's always been around, but I feel like more recently it's been more accessible and has now been incorporated into our every day makeup routines in one way or another. I personally contour whenever I do my makeup, usually opting for a powder for a more subtle look, and when I'm going all out, adding cream products in the mix.

I'm sure you've all had enough of the Anastasia Beverly Hills pricey contour palettes being forced down your throats, so I'm here to introduce you to a couple or budget friendly alternatives!

Freedom Makeup is a relatively new brand on the scene, and is the sister brand to my beloved Makeup Revolution. Freedom Makeup is here to offer us professional quality makeup, at super affordable prices. After trying a bunch of their products, I can definitely agree with this. 

Anyway, enough rambling! Onto the palettes!

First up is the Pro Cream Strobe Palette. Both of these palettes are very compact, and come with six shades. Three for highlighting, and three for contouring.
I find this to be the warmer of the two palettes, and as you can see from the swatches, it's super pigmented. I was concerned that this would be very 'waxy' and difficult to blend, but oh my was I wrong! It's super creamy, and just as blendable as my ABH cream contour kit! A winner in my eyes. Nobody likes harsh contour lines! You get a high quality contouring brush, and this is so soft, and is perfect for sculpting those cheekbones. 

This is the Pro Powder Strobe Palette. This one contains very 'traditional' contour shades, very cool-toned with a banana powder to finish it off!
Unfortunately with my arm skin tone, I find it hard to show off swatches properly, but don't be fooled, these powders are super pigmented! I've been using this palette in particular everyday, using the middle contour shade to create a natural shadow, and the banana powder to set my under-eye concealer. (Ps, you get the same brush with this palette!).

My verdict is.. YES! You need these palettes. Okay, maybe not everybody needs both of them.. but I personally would recommend picking them both up! I love combining cream and powder contour for an ultra sculpted look. These palettes retail at £10 each, including the amazing brush! 

Have you tried these palettes? What do you think of Freedom Makeup? What's your favourite contour palette?
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Monday, October 19, 2015

New In Beauty: Makeup Revolution Ultra Sculpt & Blend Collection

Quite a lengthy title, but there's a lot to pack in! 

I was recently pleasantly surprised to be woken up to a package being launched on my bed, and inside was these beaaautiful brushes! I knew I immediately had to get to work on these so I can fill you guys in on the details!

As you can see above, the set contains 3 brushes, (with the most stunning, on-trend rose gold handle), and one beauty sponge. 
I've tried Makeup Revolution brushes before, some I've adored and have found themselves a place in my everyday make-up routine, and others have ended up collecting dust. Before I get into each individual brush, I'll just say that the quality of these brushes are comparable to other high-end brushes I've used, and I'm impressed with how much Makeup Revolution are improving as a brand.

This brush is called the 'Powder, Sculpt & Blend' brush. I tend not to take much notice on what a brush is 'supposed' to be used for, and I find a way that it works best for me!
I used this brush to blend both cream and powder contour, and also to smooth out any other harsh lines. You could definitely use this for foundation application as the bristles are incredibly soft, and the flat top makes is easy to buff product into the skin.
This is my favourite out the range, and one that gets whipped out on a daily basis. 

This brush is called the 'Cheek & Highlight, Sculpt & Blend' brush. I only use this brush to 'sculpt', and in particular to apply cream contour. The brush is the most dense out of the range, and doesn't have 'too' much give, so it's perfect for precise application. This is a handy little tool for those who love to contour to perfection.

The last brush in the set is this little guy, and it's the 'Ultra Metals Eyeshadow Blender'.
This doubles up for me as a more precise brush for highlighting, and to blend out my eyeshadow for a seamless finish.
Another super soft brush, and a great one for your collection.

The final piece in the kit is the beauty sponge. Now I'm a huge fan of the original 'beauty blender', and I've never used a brush since, so giving a more budget-friendly alternative a go is something I'm always looking forward to.
My heart still belongs to my trusty beauty blender, but this does an amazing job of applying your base seamlessly. Of course, I wet mine before application, so bare that in mind. It expands quite a lot and covers the entire face quickly and efficiently. It's definitely worth giving a go, especially if you're new to the 'beauty sponge' world!

So there's my thoughts on the Ultra Sculpt & Blend Collection! Don't they just look beautiful?

I recommend picking this set up if you're after some new, pretty brushes that cover a whole lot of bases! For £14.99, you can't go wrong! You can purchase it here.

Have you tried any Makeup Revolution brushes? What do you think? Are you going to try these brushes out?

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Saturday, October 17, 2015

The Perfect 90's Nude Lip


Today I'm bringing you a super exciting post, as I've found the 90's lip shade. (Or the Kylie Jenner shade, whatever you want!).

I only recently picked this up, but it was certainly love at first swatch. Yep, that's a thing.
Not just for the shade though, the formula is beyond perfect. Whilst it's a matte finish, it's super moisturising. Say goodbye to flaky lips!
This is new to Urban Decay, and part of their 'Matte Revolution' lipstick collection. The shade is very fitting to it's name of '1993'.

As you can see from the swatch, it's a perfect blend of browns, pinks & nudes. Similar to MAC's Whirl lipstick, but not half as drying. 

It retails at £15.50, so the same price as a MAC lipstick, but the quality is so much better, and rate this higher than any lipstick I own! If this isn't the shade for you, then I still highly suggest checking out the other colours in the range as they're incredible lipsticks.

Have you tried this lipstick out? What's your favourite 90's nude shade?

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