Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Beauty Trends: The Artis Brush Dupe

Here's my second post in the 'beauty trends' series! I have to admit, these are tougher to put together than I thought! There's so many beauty trends around, but I fund my entire collection myself unlike a lot of beauty bloggers, so I have to be quite selective about what I purchase, and generally only buy into trends I'm interested in/will get use out of. 

I'm sure you've all seen these 'Artis' style brushes plastered all over the internet. Yes, I know that's not their official name, (what is it by the way? haha!), 'Artis' is the brand that kicked off the trend with this new style of make-up brushes. Unfortunately, the Artis brushes are incredibly pricey, and certainly aren't a purchase I'd take lightly. However, these Primark dupes are something I'm definitely willing to part with a few £'s for!

I hate to say it, but I am the biggest skeptic when it comes to Primark beauty products, I can't help it, but I very seldom have a positive experience with the products. I get that I 'shouldn't' expect much for the little I pay, but why do I want to purchase beauty products that don't work? I guess you'd wonder why I have a vast collection of these little toothbrush type-things.. well, they were a huge success! 

Large Face Brush

There is no 'official' name for each of these brushes, so I named it myself.. 'large face brush', pretty accurate!
I picked up this brush first, parted with my £4, and went away to see if it was worth even that. I planned to use this brush for foundation application. I didn't expect much, infact I expected a streaky mess on my face, but not at all! The application was as seamless, if not more than my regular buffing brushes! I found that I needed a little more foundation than usual as the brush does soak up more than I'd care for, but it really doesn't bother me much. The handle is plastic, so it can be a little flimsy if you're heavy handed, but as long as you're careful, you'll have the most beautiful, flawless base.

Medium Face Brush

My favourite brush out of the three! I tried this for a variety of things before settling on using it for concealer application. It wasn't flexible enough to use for cream blush or contour, but it was firm enough to use for patting in concealer. I've never been content with the way I apply my concealer, I've always found it can be a little cakey, or even too sheer, but using this brush to pat and lightly blend has been revolutionary to my make-up routine, my concealer has never been so flawless! If you get any brush from this range, I highly recommend this one, for £3, it's a steal.

Small Face Brush

The final of the three, and the smallest! Also, my least favourite. I tried this for cream contour, and it was a streaky mess. It dragged across my face, definitely a no from me for this purpose! The only use I get from it is for more precise concealer, if I need a little help getting closer to my tear duct for example! I'd love if anyone else could recommend a way for me to use this? For £2.50, I wouldn't say 'don't' try it, if you have smaller areas to conceal, it could be really good for you, but I find it just collects dust in my room now!

I'm not sure if these brushes are going to be here to stay, or as this post suggest, a 'trend', but I'm really loving the idea of them, and the fact that they work beautifully too! I purchased a few back-ups, but I'm looking at expanding my collection of these, venturing into other brands, and of course, Artis!

Have you tried these brushes? What do you think of this beauty trend? Comment below!
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Monday, August 1, 2016

Colour Pop Haul & My Experience Ordering to the UK

If you're remotely tuned into the beauty world, there's no question that you've seen Colour Pop Cosmetics circulating the scene and quite frankly, completely taking it over!
I know that since I set my eyes on those lippie stix, (what feels like a million years ago), I had to get a hold of them! I would trawl the website, looking for loopholes in the system meaning I could get a package delivered to the UK, and of course, nothing! I suppose you could say I had the option of using a US postal service, but the whole thing seems a little complicated if you ask me, and low-key expensive. 

When it was announced that on July 12th, we'd be able to have Colour Pop products delivered to our door no matter the location, (albeit a few exceptions!), I think I shed a tear. I was actually at my brothers graduation whilst placing my order, one minute after the international shipping went live, my hefty order had been placed.

As it's been such a long wait for international shipping to begin, there's been ample collaborations that have come and gone, and countless limited edition products, but nonetheless, I managed to rack up my total to $177, plus $35 shipping! I didn't mind paying out for the products, but that is one ridiculous shipping price. I'll touch on that later.

On to the products!

From left to right - Lumiere, Tootsi, Brink, Pillow Talk, Taurus & Climax

Lippie Stix

Possibly my all time favourite Colour Pop product! I had already tried two of the lippie stix out prior to ordering directly from Colour Pop, as a UK website called Lustre Cosmetics was stocking some bits, (for a slightly increased price, I'll add!). I actually repurchased the shade 'Taurus' as it's the most stunning brown shade I've ever used. The one I currently have on the go is a shadow of the product it used to be, writing rubbed off the packaging, covered in all kinds of powders and shadows from my over flowing make-up bag! I'm glad to have a fresh one in my collection!

I purchased a variety of matte and matte X formulas. The matte X formula is stunning, so pigmented, so creamy and a dream to use. The two I have in that formula is 'Pillow Talk' and 'Climax'. I couldn't resist getting a shade out of my comfort zone! 
If you pick anything up from Colour Pop, make sure you grab yourself one (or two) of these!

From bottom to top - Lumiere, Tootsi, Brink, Frick N Frack, Dopey & Taurus

Lippie Pencil

Another product that I already owned one or two of! The perfect partner for your Colour Pop lippie stix, or any other lip product for that matter! These are of a top quality formula, super creamy, pigmented and the shade range is excellent. I picked shades to accompany the lip products I'd purchased, however they go beautifully with the majority of my lip product collection too. 

From left to right - Lumiere 2, Dopey, Teeny Tiny, Frick N Frack, Are & Be & Limbo

Ultra Matte & Ultra Satin Lips

I'd tried one Ultra Matte out before, although I really didn't give it a good test as the shade was totally not for me. (It was 'Kapow' if you're wondering!). But the formula seemed lovely, and the pigmentation was great. I picked up four ultra mattes and two ultra satins, and let me tell you, the ultra satin formula is second to none. It's true what all the US beauty gurus say, it really is incredible! I need some time with the ultra mattes to gage my true thoughts as I really haven't had a chance to give them a go. I can do a full review on just the ultra mattes if you'd like?
Again, there's every shade under the sun, Colour Pop really don't miss a thing! Of course, I stuck to what I know best, the mauves! (I'm sure I'll pick up a crazy blue shade at some point though!).

From bottom to top - Amaze, Sequin, Stereo, Telepathy, Belladonna Lily, Slave 2 Pink & Fantasy

Super Shock Eyeshadows

Okay, this is the kind of product you need to see for yourself, touch in person, these are a whole new world of incredible. I have tried these before, I actually have quite a number of them, and I can agree with most others that the mattes aren't anything to dance about, but the shimmers/metallics? I will DANCE. I will pop, lock and drop for these babies. One swipe, and your eyelid is in complete disco ball mode. I chose a mixture of classic gold/copper shades, and a few pops of colour. How stunning is Slave 2 Pink?! I chose the first two because I've seen Amrezy coat her lids in them numerous times, and if it's good for Amrezy, it's good for me!

Please, if you care about your face, get yourself a super shock shadow. 

Highlighter - Butterfly Beach, Blush - Aphrodisiac

Blush & Highlighter

This looks like the perfect highlight and contour duo, doesn't it?
This 'contour' shade is actually from the blusher section, and I thought it was a dusty rose.. it even says in the description that it's the perfect sculpting shade, so I don't know what I was thinking! Either way, it truly is a gorgeous shade to bronze/contour with, and I'm looking forward to trying out my first cheek product!

The highlighter is slightly darker in person, but for my current post-holiday state, it's going to be an excellent match for my skin-tone. I've already got one of these products from Colour Pop, and I found the consistency slightly difficult to apply in comparison to my other highlighters, but I guess it's about getting used to the unique Colour Pop formula!

Brow Pencil - Black N Brown

Brow Pencil

Alright alright, that attempt at drawing an eyebrow is below average, but I had good intentions, okay! 
I'm quite content with my eyebrow product collection, and there's never anything I particularly want to add to it, but I figured for $6 and a lot of hype behind it, why not pick a brow pencil up! I assumed mine would be in the shade Black N Brown, it's actually a very accurate description of my eyebrow colour, and it's perfect! It's incredibly pigmented and easy to use, and it comes with a spoolie on the end which is always a huge thumbs up from me! One quite bad downside is that you can't twist the product back down again.. what kind of madness is that?! As long as you remember not to over twist it up, you should be fine, but just pre-warning you!
I really want to try the creme pots/pomade next!

Ordering, Shipping & Delivery

On to the less exciting part of online shopping. The additional fees! I have been waiting for the day Colour Pop shipped internationally for the longest time, so I had mentally prepared myself, (and my bank balance) to be open minded about the coming fees. Ordering was the same as any other online retailer. Shipping though.. wow. I had anticipated something along the $20 mark, but I hadn't expected to be hit with a whopping $35 rate! Daylight robbery at it's finest.. or not so finest. When you've got plenty of other US retailers shipping out products for significantly less, it's quite frustrating when such a successful business can put you out of pocket like that, but hey, I'm sure they'll become more accustomed to international shipping in the near future.

Speaking of acCUSTOMed! Customs. The 'C' word. I don't know one person who isn't afraid of getting hit with that poison pen letter through their door. I think it's only me who isn't massively fussed about it. I take it into consideration when making international purchases, and I weigh up whether the total I'll be spending is worth the products, sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't, but it's worth thinking about! I mean, I definitely don't appreciate customs fees, especially as there really isn't a boundary of whether you'll receive one or not, just a case of the waiting game! So I spent $212 in total including $35 shipping, and I received a customs fee of £31.99. From experience, that's not too bad considering the amount I'd spent. 

We're nearly at the end! So I get my package home, I grab a knife, (no no, this isn't going to a dark place), swiftly open my package to reveal my beautiful new products neatly packed, and very carefully packed too, I'll add!
It's only when I come to searching for my 'Where the Light is' quad by Kathleen Lights that I realise something or some things are missing! I specifically remember ordering 30 products, so I whipped out my order sheet, checked off the products that I'd actually received, only to find I was missing my eyeshadow quad and a lippie stix! Quite disappointing, but I thought I'd let you know that I've been in touch with customer services, and they are having them shipped out to me now. A little unfortunate I have to wait again though!

Overall I'm really impressed with my experience and my products, despite a little glitch! I can't say I'll be ordering frequently as the shipping is just so not okay.. but I definitely will be doing large orders here and there, so stay tuned for round two!

You can purchase Colour Pop products here!

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