Review and Swatches | Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette

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I have been using the Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette for two weeks now so I think I am ready to give my opinion on it. I don’t know why I left it so long to get this palette – probably because I have lots of other neutral eye palettes – because it has become one of my favourites. Firstly I love the packaging, a metal tin with a magnetic closure, which isn’t overly bulky so would be easy to travel with. Secondly the quality and colours of the eyeshadows is outstanding, there is not one dud on the whole palette. Finally, the smell of the eyeshadows is intoxicating. They are made with real cocoa powder, so as soon as you open the palette there is the lovely aroma of chocolate that isn’t too overpowering but it is definitely strong.

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Inside the palette is a clear plastic sheet with the names of the eyeshadows, I think I would have preferred the names to be printed on the eyeshadow surround as I prefer to discard these sheets. But this is definitely not a deal breaker. There is also a small mirror in the lid but I tend not to use this, if you were travelling with the palette though this could come in handy.

Lets look at the actual shadows now. They are all named after chocolates and sweets and I think Too Faced did such a good job with the names. All of the eye shadows are smooth, buttery and nicely pigmented, some more than others though.

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Top: Gilded Ganache, White Chocolate; Middle: Salted Caramel, Marzipan, Semi-Sweet; Bottom: Hazelnut, Crème Brûlée, Haute Chocolate

Gilded Ganache is a dark neutral brown with fine golden shimmers running through it. The shimmers stick to the skin well so do not cause any fall out.

White Chocolate is a matte creamy beige which makes the perfect brow bone highlight.

Salted Caramel is a matte very warm toned light brown which I have been using as my transition colour every time I use this palette.

Marzipan is a pinky peach shade with a satin finish. This shadow is very pigmented and gives off a beautiful sheen when used on the lids or in the inner corner.

Semi-Sweet is a warm toned medium matte shade.

Hazelnut is a satin warm toned medium brown with a golden sheen.

Crème Brulee is a muted gold with a satin finish. I thought this shade might be comparable to Urban Decay Half Baked, however is is more muted in colour, Half Baked is a lot brighter.

Haute Chocolate is a medium warm brown with a bronze sheen.

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Top: Milk Chocolate, Black Forest Truffle, Triple Fudge; Middle: Strawberry Bon Bon, Candied Violet, Amaretto; Bottom: Cherry Cordial, Champagne Truffle

Milk Chocolate is a neutral/warm toned matte light brown. This is another great transition colour if you do not want to use a colour as warm as Salted Caramel in your crease.

Black Forest Truffle is a purple/brown with silver shimmers. Like Gilded Ganache the shimmers stick to the skin really well.

Triple Fudge is a matte cool toned dark brown. This makes a great liner if you want to something subtle.

Strawberry Bon Bon is a light matte baby pink.

Candied Violet is a cool toned medium purple with silvery purple shimmers.

Amaretto is a medium warm toned rusty brown with a satin finish.

Cherry Cordial is a matte warm toned plum brown. I loved using this on my lower lash line and smoking it out.

Champagne Truffle is a very light pinky champagne with a frosty finish. I have been using this on my inner corner to brighten my eyes and it looks lovely.

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R-L: Gilded Ganache, White Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, Black Forest Truffle, Triple Fudge, Salted Caramel, Marzipan, Semi-Sweet, Strawberry Bon Bon, Candied Violet, Amaretto, Hazelnut, Crème Brûlée, Haute Chocolate, Cherry Cordial, Champagne Truffle

You get 16 eyeshadows in this palette for £45, thats approximately £2.80 each, which is such great value for money. I think if I had to choose one neutral palette from my collection this would be the one I chose. I prefer it over all of my naked palettes due to the inclusion of some purple and plummy shades. It is nice to be able to add some subtle colour into a neutral look. The only change I would make is to change the colours of the two larger shadows. I would have preferred for Salted Caramel and Milk Chocolate to be the biggest as they are the colours I use the most of.

Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette retails for £39 and is available from Beauty Bay, Look Fantastic and Debenhams. It is  currently on sale for £35.10 on Debenhams website.

P.S. I have heard mumblings of a second Chocolate Bar palette from Too Faced. I will definitely be keeping an eye out for that.

Review | Soap & Glory Solar Powder

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I am already a huge fan of Soap & Glory’s makeup line, so when their Solar Powder was on offer in Boots I decided to pick it up and give it a whirl. I have started using bronzers more and more in the past few months and I wanted to find a good drug store bronzer as all of the ones I own are high end.

I am not overly keen on the packaging the Solar Powder comes in. I find that cardboard packaging can start looking a bit tatty over time, however it is nice and compact so will fit in a makeup bag easily. The bronzer only comes in one colour but inside it has a light and a dark bronzing powder.

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You may be able to see in the photo that the Soap & Glory symbol has some shimmer in it. This is just an overspray and disappears within a few uses, leaving a darker matte bronzer and a lighter sheeny bronzer. The darker side has a slight red undertone whilst the lighter side has more of a golden undertone and a slight sheen. I do not feel this bronzer would be good for those with deeper skin tones because as you will see from the swatches below both sides are quite light in colour, which is a shame.

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Both sides of the bronzer are nicely pigmented and easy to blend because the formula is smooth and buttery. The sheeny lighter side gives a nice sun kissed glow to the skin whilst the darker matte size adds a bit more colour. Those with medium skin tones may be able to use the darker side to contour, however I would not recommend this for fairer skinned people as it is too warm in colour to contour. You could also mix the too together which adds more colour than when they are used separately and adds beautiful glow that is not too sheeny.

Solar Powder contains 9g of product so is great value for money if you compare it to the popular NARS Laguna which is £27 for 8g of product. It is similar in price to the L’Oreal Glam Bronze Duo Powder which is £10.29 for the same amount of product and this comes in two shades so may be better for those with deeper skin tones.

On the whole I am glad I purchased this bronzer as it suits my skin tone well. However, I do wish they had brought out more shades that suited a variety of skin tones so everyone can try it.

Soap & Glory Solar Powder retails for £11 and is available here.

Do you have any recommendations from the Soap & Glory makeup line? Let me know in the comments below.

Review | Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer

I cannot for the life of me remember where I first heard about this product, but I am so glad I have found it. The Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer is a multipurpose product and comes in a whopping 16 shades! It can be used as a traditional concealer, a spot foundation, a normal foundation, a tinted moisturiser when mixed with your regular moisturiser and even a highlighter if you choose a lighter shade.

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It is pricey at £38 for a 18g pot but, let me tell you, a little goes a long long way. The texture is thick but creamy and it is so highly pigmented that you only need the tiniest amount to cover a blemish, and a pea size amount would probably be enough to cover your face twice! The Sensual Skin Enhancer contains honey and jojoba oil so it is moisturising on the skin and this helps to create a silky texture.

I have used this concealer so many times and as you can see from the photo above I haven’t even made a dent. You can just about see the little strokes from the brush I use to get the product out the majority of the time. I have mainly been using this product to cover blemishes and as a spot foundation to cover some red patches along my jawline. Though I am intrigued to try it as a tinted moisturiser so have ordered a mixing palette from Ebay – I will le you know how that goes. The finish is slightly dewey, but it works perfectly on oily/combination skin, it doesn’t look greasy at all. I have used my finger, a brush and a damp Beauty Blender to work this into the skin and they all did the job really well so it is up to you how you choose to blend it in.

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When choosing my shade I had to go by the swatches and descriptions I found online and luckily I chose the perfect shade, SX03. If you have a skin tone similar to mine (MAC NC15 or Chanel B10) then this will probably be a good shade for you. I used this post on pixiwoo.com and this post on beautyprofessor.net to figure out my shade. As you can see above, when you blend it out it does look slightly darker but don’t let this put you off as it blends perfectly with my foundation and into my skin.

Overall I am so happy I splurged and purchased this product. I think the pot will last me the rest of my life – providing it doesn’t go off!

The Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer retails for £38 and is available from Space NK and Cult Beauty in the UK.

Review and Comparison | Urban Decay Naked Basics 2

I am a member of a couple of beauty related groups on Facebook and I kept seeing posts about a website called Cohorted where you can get makeup at a reduced price as you are buying as part of a group. I thought I would have a quick browse and saw they had the Urban Decay Naked Basics 2 palette as one of the deals so I snapped it up. I am already a fan of all the Naked palettes and I was hoping that this one would be no different. I have included comparisons with the first Naked Basics palette for those of you who may one want to purchase one of them.

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The eyeshadows come packaged in the same size palette as the first Naked Basics. I love the packaging as it is sturdy and the perfect size for travelling or popping in your makeup bag on the go.

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As with the first palette there are 6 shades, 1 satin and 5 matte, which range from light to dark. The satin shade is quite subtle so if you prefer matte shadows and the satin shade is putting you off this palette I wouldn’t worry too much as when it is on the lid it just adds a nice glow.

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Skimp is a light beige satin shade that makes a perfect highlight and inner corner highlight. It adds just the right amount of glow to lift a look.

Stark is a matte warm toned pinky beige.

Frisk is a matte neutral toned light taupe brown.I cannot decide if this leans more cool or warm toned.

Cover is a matte warm toned almost muted milk chocolate brown.

Primal is a matte medium neutral toned brown. As with Frisk I cannot decide if this leans more cool or warm toned.

Undone is a matte neutral toned charcoal grey/brown.

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Everything I have read on beauty sites prior to ordering this palette suggested that it contained more cool toned eyeshadows but as you can see from the picture above and the pictures below this isn’t the case. The first Naked Basics palette is obviously more warm toned than the new palette, however I would not go as far as saying the new palette is completely cool toned.

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Top: Naked Basics; Bottom: Naked Basics 2

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Top: Venus, Foxy, W.O.S, Naked 2, Faint, Crave; Bottom: Skimp, Stark, Frisk, Cover, Primal, Undone

I can see myself getting a lot of use out of this palette. I like to keep either this or the first Naked Basics in easy reach so I always have some matte shadows to use with my more shimmery palettes. If you are wondering weather you need both palettes then I don’t think both are necessary, however if you are a neutral palette junkie like me then I would say to pick this up.

The Urban Decay Naked Basics 2 palette retails for £22 and is available from urbandecay.co.uk and a number of other retailers.

Autumn Lip Pencils | MAC Absolutely It Pro Longer Lip Pencil and MAC Vino Lip Pencil

This autumn I am really enjoying bold plum and berry toned lips, however when I looked in my collection for a lip liner to go with these colours I realised I did not have any, so I started browsing the internet for lip pencils that I thought could be used with a variety of lipsticks. I finally settled on MAC Vino Lip Pencil and MAC Absolutely It Pro Longwear Lip Pencil.

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MAC Vino Lip Pencil is described as an “intense violet-purple”. It is a cool toned burgundy purple and can be a little dry on the lips. However when it is worn under a lipstick it is not noticeable. It is quite a hard pencil which makes it easy to line the lips and to get a nice shape around the cupids bow. I have worn this lip liner with MAC Plumful and it was perfect.

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MAC Absolutely It Pro Longwear Lip Pencil is lighter in colour than Vino and is described as a “soft burgundy”. It is a light burgundy rose and you will notice in the swatch below that it has a slight golden sheen to it, which looks lovely when it is blended all over the lips. The Pro Longer Lip Pencils feel less drying ,in my opinion, and because of this I have found myself wearing this on its own a few times.

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I am really pleased with my new autumnal lip pencils especially Absolutely It as I feel this is the most versatile of the two. I am on the look out for more purse friendly options at the moment and I have my eye on some Jordana ones from Amazon.co.uk.

MAC Vino Lip Pencil retails for £12.50 and MAC Absolutely It Pro Longwear Lip Pencil retails for £15 and are available from maccosmetics.co.uk.