Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Thoughts & Things - Self Isolation Times

So it's been such a long time since I wrote on here and gosh I have missed it!

Being not able to leave the house has made me take up quite a few old hobbies again lately and writing on this blog was one that I really wanted to do.

I must admit that I haven't done much on the beauty front for a while and stopped buying a lot of things. We recently moved house and the effort and money that went into that whole ordeal took a lot out of me. Just when I felt like things were starting to calm down again this whole COVID-19 thing took hold and our world was turned into a crazy juggle.

I now have to run my business full time from home (something I have done for almost 9 years) while trying to home-school my son at the same time and the struggle is very real. My husband is also working full time from home now and the lack of space that I used to have is becoming a bit of a problem. I'm an introvert by nature so the fact that I can't go out and do much because of this whole self-isolating thing isn't that big a deal for me, but the fact that I've lost a lot of my own quiet time at home that I used to get while everyone else was out is something that I'm struggling to deal with.

I also lost a lot of my makeup mojo too which has made me a bit sad. A little while ago my 4 year old daughter flooded our ensuite sink because she left the plug in with the tap running, which ended up flooding the whole vanity around it and in turn took all my makeup palettes for a big swim (see below photo!). After this happened I ended up having to throw out some of my most prized and favourite palettes which was totally devastating. I tried drying them all out as best I could but all of the ones that were in cardboard packaging ended up going mouldy after a few days and just couldn't be saved. I had to say goodbye to all of my Kat Von D palettes, my The Balm palettes, one of my Rimmel Katy Kat palettes plus a couple of others and it was so upsetting. Especially when some of them aren't available to buy anymore.

I've also developed a new love for essential oils lately. I've been making a heap of my own diffuser blends which I'm loving and have started making my own beauty products as well. I've also been trying to use a mix on my hair to see if I can get it to grow back the way it used to be prior to having kids and I do feel that it is making a bit of a difference, especially to the amount of hair that I have been losing each day. I have so many little short and fluffy hairs growing at the front of my hairline and throughout my hair these days which is making me quite excited as I was terrified that I was going to be bald in a couple of years with how thin it was starting to get.

What has everyone else been doing lately? I must admit I've been on a bit of an online shopping spree the last couple of days which has made me feel a bit happier and almost normal. I've lived in nothing but active wear for almost a month since moving and being stuck at home so it was nice to buy some new clothes and eagerly await for them to get delivered. I've decided that even if I'm not going anywhere and no-one is going to see me I'm still going to try to go back to making an effort clothes and makeup wise just to feel kind of normal again.

Anyway, I'd love to know about any new products anyone has been using and enjoying lately or any new hobbies or things that you've learnt since being stuck at home during these crazy times. I'm going to attempt to make a real effort to update this blog a bit more, even if it's not all about makeup these days as it feels nice to just write my thoughts and feelings down again.

Stay safe everyone!!

Michelle xx 

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Kat Von D Serpentina Eyeshadow Palette

So this is what an impulse buy looks like. Yep, a little while ago when I realised that this palette wasn't going to be around much longer I just HAD to have it, so 'Add to Cart' I did. I didn't need another eyeshadow palette, and I certainly didn't need one with such bright, rainbow shades that can't be used on a daily basis, but, even though I open this up and just stare at it longingly way more than I actually use it, I still don't regret buying it. It's an addiction!

The Kat Von D Serpentina palette contains 8 colourful shades plus a loose gold pigment that can be used alone or over the top of other shadows.

It comes in nice, solid cardboard packaging that closes with a satisfying magnetic catch. It also has a fairly decent size mirror on the inside of the lid.

It's definitely not one of the most practical eyeshadow palettes out there and I find I really have to plan specific looks to get any use out of it, but it's so pretty to look at so I can forgive it's shortcomings, which there are a few of unfortunately.

Firstly, it really needs a nude or lighter shade that can be used as a base and built upon. I find that I reach for one of my nude palettes first before using this one as some extra colour in the crease or as a highlight.

Some of the shades really are beautiful to use and are highly pigmented while others are a bit disappointing and don't show up very well at all.

(Kat Von D Serpentina Palette - L-R - Prophet, Bloodmilk, Medusa, Ankh, Queen, Hieroglyph, Nile, Scarab, Venom)
Here is a little breakdown of the shades:
* Bloodmilk - probably the most disappointing shade in the whole palette. Looks like it should be a spectacular matte red in the pan but ends up being so hard to swatch and get any pigment out of on the lid. Good for blending with other shades but not any good for using on it's own.
* Medusa - this one is a dark, antique gold that has good pigmentation and is nice to blend out. This one is probably as close to a base shade as you can get with this palette.
* Ankh - a dark brown/black with a golden shimmer mixed through. Very hard to blend and can look more dirty on the eye rather than smoky. Good to use to slightly darken the crease or to blend out edges but not much else.
* Queen - a dark burgundy that is nice to blend and has pretty good coverage.
* Hieroglyph - a coppery-orange shade that seems like it should be so much brighter when applied that when it really it.
* Nile - a gorgeous royal blue with a pretty sheen when applied. This one has nice, strong pigmentation and is one of the better shades in the palette.
* Scarab - a pretty, dark green that is definitely the best performing shade as far as pigmentation and blendability go. This one is my favourite.
* Venom - a medium purple with a matte finish. This is the second most disappointing shade. It's very sheer and almost impossible to build up or even out. Such a shame as it looks so pretty in the pan.
* Prophet loose pigment - a pretty, shimmery gold that works great as a highlight shade or for some extra oomph over the top of another on the lid. This one can be very easy to go overboard with though if you're not careful and accidentally pick too much up on your brush.

(L-R - Prophet, Bloodmilk, Medusa, Ankh)

(L-R - Queen, Hieroglyph, Nile, Scarab, Venom)
Overall, it's a palette that definitely has some hits and misses but if you are a Kat Von D fan or just like to have palettes that are more pretty on the eye rather than practical then this one is for you. I'm pretty sure you can still get them on E-bay right now if you feel like being impulsive like me.

What makeup product have you bought on a whim but ended up hardly using?

Have a great week everyone!

Michelle xx

Monday, April 2, 2018

Rimmel Wonder'Fully Real Mascara

Well it seems I have found my latest favourite mascara in the form of Rimmel's Wonder'fully Real.

I have been using this mascara almost on a daily basis for weeks now and just love how I can just apply one coat for a nice and natural look, or add 2-3 coats for a more defined and full lash look depending on what I am going for.

I have been using this mascara in the Shade 001-Black which is a really deep, true black shade. It has a very subtle scent that isn't too strong or overpowering and I hardly even notice it when I'm using it.

The applicator wand is very fine and kind of spiky and it works really well at separating the lashes without making them look too unnatural. 

It doesn't make my lashes clump together at all and I don't really notice much flaking off during the day either, even on a really hot day.

Here is a photo of my lashes before using this mascara and then after applying one coat (with no other eye makeup on):

Overall I seriously love this mascara and will definitely be purchasing some more in the future when this one runs out.

What's your favourite mascara on high rotation at the moment?

Happy Easter Everyone!!

Michelle xx

***This product was received for review but my opinions are unbiased and solely my own***

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Maybelline New York 'Bricks Bronzer'

Most people that know me know that I am not a big bronzer user. I have fairly pale skin and most bronzers just look too orange for me or are virtually impossible to blend on my skin tone. Most of my bronzers have now become eyeshadows and very rarely get used for their original purpose.

This Maybelline New York Bricks Bronzer is a bit of an exception. It gives such a pretty golden glow that isn't too orange and it's light enough to blend in with my fair skin without looking streaky or like I've got a bad fake tan. I do also love using it as an eye shadow on those days when I don't have much time as it gives a nice nude eye look without any fuss.

The bronzer itself doesn't work as a contour for me but I've found that sweeping some of it over my forehead, temples and cheeks gives me a little lift so I don't look so deathly pale.

The highlighter section is made up of a few small 'bricks' that alternate between a pale pink, a darker pink and a shimmery beige. You could use just one square if you were after one of the specific shades (and had a small enough brush) but I like to just sweep my regular brush over all of them together to get a really pretty glow.

I've also been trying out sweeping my brush over the entire pan catching the shimmery shades as well as the bronzer shade all together and using it in place of my regular blush and I find this works really well to give me a nice and natural looking glow on days when I don't want too much colour on my face.

The powder blends nicely and doesn't seem to have any smell at all that I can determine.

You only need to use a very small amount of it for each application as it is highly pigmented so it will literally last forever.

I like the compact plastic case but just wish that it had a mirror built into the lid rather than being see-through.

Overall though, I am a big fan of this bronzer and will continue to use it regularly. For the cheap as chips price tag you really can't go too wrong.

Have a wonderful day everyone!

Michelle xx

***This product was sent to me for review but my opinions are completely my own***

Sunday, January 21, 2018

The Balm 'Balm Jovi Rockstar Palette'

First things first, the only reason I purchased this palette was because of the name. I seriously didn't care what was in it, I just love the name of this palette and it makes me giggle every time I use it. Being a bit of a closet rock fan this palette literally 'sings' to be every time I look at it.

Novelty fun factor aside, this palette really is awesome and I just love how versatile it is. You can create a nice, subtle neutral/nude look as well as a more deeper smokey eye look depending on what you want to go for and it is a great one to take away for a few nights as it contains everything you'd need.

There are twelve eyeshadows in a great mix of matte and shimmery shades, a highlighter, a powder blush plus two lip/cheek creams.

It has a cute heart shaped mirror under the lid flap which is a good, decent size for using on the go. The shadows are easy to blend and buildable shades which don't seem to have too much fallout when applied.

It also contains four suggested looks on the bottom flap in case you are in need of a bit of inspiration on what look to go for.

The highlighter is out of this world in the shimmer stakes so a light hand is needed when using it but it does give a really pretty glow. I also love the powder blush shade as it's a great, everyday shade that goes with pretty much any look.

The cream lip/cheek shades are at both ends of the scale, with a nudish pink for everyday wear and a bright, intense red for a more playful makeup look.

(Eyeshadows - Metal-ica, Adagio, Blink 182, Iron Main-in, Allegro, The Stroke)

(Eyeshadows - Lead Zeppelin, Moderato, rem, Alice Cooper, Presto, Third Eye Blinded)

(Highlighter - Solid Gold and Powder Blush - Don't You Want Me?)

(Lip/Cheek Creams - Milly and Vanilly)
Overall, if you are a bit of a palette junkie like me then you will probably want this one purely for the novelty factor. I definitely get a lot of use out of it when travelling overnight as it's so easy to chuck in my makeup bag along with a mascara and some foundation and I know I have a complete makeup set at my fingertips.

Surprisingly enough, the cardboard packaging has stayed in pretty good condition too even after a fair amount of use and being knocked around in a bag. That's one thing that always concerns me with The Balm products but I haven't had any issues with the packaging on this one yet.

Does anyone else buy products purely for the novelty factor without caring what it actually contains or is that just me?

I hope you all have a lovely day!

Michelle xx


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