Saturday, 30 May 2015

Smashbox Full Exposure Palette

Hey all,

It's been a busy few weeks for me and I am currently on a hen weekend - at this point it is likely I am in a haze of bronzer and hairspray to make sure I'm looking as glamorous as everyone else there!

I've had this palette for a few weeks now and I've been dabbling around with it for work and weekends, I am of course talking about the Smashbox Full Exposure palette:



This palette contains 14 neutral shades, 7 shimmer and 7 matte, from nudes to blacks. It also includes a double ended eyeshadow brush and a mini mascara, and a booklet to tell you how to apply eyeshadow for different eye shapes.




The packaging is alright, I always have a bit of a dislike for cardboard/paper packaging like this. The Naked palette is the same but at least UD learned their lesson and brought out metal casings for the rest. I think most other brands would do well to do the same as however pretty the packaging is it's rubbish if it only lasts a few weeks after purchase! Mine of this has already got a good few dents and the corners are rounding off.


It also disappoints me that the shades aren't named, some people may think it's a petty thing to pick up on but why on earth are Urban Decay so good at what they do? Naming these eyeshadows S or M for shimmer or matte and then assigning them a number seems like a really half assed attempt, why bother at all naming them something so uninspiring!

That said, the colours themselves do make up for it:



I love the layout of the palette, it's lovely and symmetrical for an OCD person like myself. I LOVE that there are seven shades and a matte and shimmer version of both of them, it makes creating eyeshadow looks extremely easy.

There are both warm and cool toned neutrals to balance out the shade range giving you way more options than other palettes.


You can see the warmer toned eyeshadows above, the shimmers are unbelievably shimmery and I mostly can't stop looking at them. The golds will be perfect for the summer nights with a golden tan to match, I can imagine getting a lot of wear from these for some subtle shimmer for nights out.


The cool toned eyeshadows are something that I've been wearing a lot more, both matte and shimmer. The cool mattes are the ones that I've been leaning towards for work and the cool shimmers are great for Saturday nights out. The darkest shimmer that matches the matte black is the sparkliest shadow I think I own, it's beautiful!


As for the brush I can't make up my mind about it. I do like it, it does blend well and the double ends allow you to apply different finishes from either end of the cool/warm spectrum and not worry too much about the colours mixing together. However I do feel sometimes that the eyeshadow doesn't pick up very well from the pan and it just falls off the brush, which normally means that it ends up all over my cheeks instead of my eyelids - not a good look!


I'm afraid my photos of swatches seem to have gone walkabout - courtesy of my laptop getting the blue screen of death and I am currently unable to get hold of anything that's on there eek!

So instead I will direct you to this link, where Fleur de Force of course has some fabulous swatches to show the shades, finishes and colour pay off very easily.


I do have some photos of the look that I normally create from this palette - this is using the cool toned matte shadows:




I then also just apply some of the shimmer shades on top so that I can go straight from day to night with minimal effort. Just add some lighter shimmer to the inner corner of your eye, a medium shimmer to the centre and the darker shimmer to the outer corners and you're good to go!

The Smashbox Full Exposure palette is a worthy contender to the Urban Decay Naked family. It costs similar at £37, comes with a double ended brush, mirror and a freebie (mini mascara compared to UD's mini Primer Potion).
I love the balance of the cool and warm tones, and the shimmer and matte finishes. For me, the cool toned mattes are the best of the bunch and I've been wearing them a lot. All of the shimmers are beautiful, so the only shades that may not get used as much are the warmer toned mattes - I just never seem to reach for them.

I'd say this palette is a great starter kit for those that don't have any other palettes as it gives you the best variety of tones and finishes in one place with mirror and brush for ease.
I do feel that they could have done a bit more with their packaging and shade names though.....

What do you think of the Smashbox Full Exposure palette? Do you have it in your collection?

Will you be snapping it up for summer holidays? What's your thoughts on naming the eyeshadows or leaving them numbered?

L xxx

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Friday, 29 May 2015

Fitness Friday: South Beach Official

Good morning!

There's nothing like some new gym wear, and I've come across a new brand of funky fitness wear that I just had to share with you!

South Beach Official have some super bright pieces that you just have to see.

Neon Aztec Print Panel Capri Leggings £20

These leggings are my favourites - super bright with an amazing funky aztec pattern, and who doesn't love an aztec pattern?!
Looking at the picture it seems they fit on the waist which is ideal for me. I just love the bright colours and the summery Ibiza type feel that they have.

Black Printed Side Panel Capri Leggings £20

They also have a black version, with the neon aztec print just on the sides so if you're after a more subtle version they also have that too. If I'm honest I'd buy both!

Black Neon Aztec Print Contrast Lime Back Panel Fitness Vest £18
There is also a matching fitness vest too - I'm not normally one for matching but the black fitness leggings and this fitness vest would go really well together. Too much neon aztec print would look weird on anyone but I think with the black leggings it would look really good, but I do love the neon!

Kacey Black South Beach Canvas Bag £20

Their bag section is also really cute. This canvas bag would be perfect for storing your kit in on the way to work.
The Kate Holdall bag below would be beautiful for summer, at the beach and shopping trips.

Kate Navy Stripe Canvas Holdall Bag £25

I loved browsing through the website and was really impressed with the prices of everything, £20 for leggings is a great bargain when some can cost upwards of £70.

You can check out their website here, let me know what you pick up as I'll be putting in an order soon!

What's your favourite in this post? Do you like neon prints?

L xxx

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Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Barry M Gelly Hi Shine Nail Polish in Grapefruit

Hey there!

I've written a fair few posts about the Barry M Gelly Hi Shine Nail Paints recently having picked up multiple 3 for 2 deals - they are just that good!

Grapefruit is the latest colour that I've bought, I'm sure there will be more but I haven't picked up any yet.



Grapefruit is a super girly pink polish that should be in every girls collection - its perfect and will give the effect on your skin of having a tan which I would imagine that most people would want.
As I've mentioned before I'm super pale and barely see the sun however much I would love a real tan - this helps make me feel that my skin isn't too reflective and dazzling!


So application wise, the colour applies opaque in two coats and although I still wish the brush would be a bit wider to help a smoother application it hasn't stopped me from indulging in many more bottles!

You can see the super shiny finish that I love below:



For £3.99 you really can't go wrong with these polishes anyway but the colour range is what makes it. There's pretty much every colour you could hope for - I'm trying not to add to my collection but if I'm honest and I was starting out buying a few colours now I would steer clear of the more expensive ranges as Barry M have got you covered from all angles.

What's your favourite colour from the Gelly Hi Shine range?

Do you have a favourite finish from Barry M?

L xxx

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Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Laura Mercier Hydrating Foundation Primer

Hey All

Laura Mercier is a brand we've both loved trying products are. L swears by Silk Creme (review here) and it's one of her top foundations and M loves the Mineral Powder foundation which is one of her favourites (review here).

We've also both tried  and loved the undercover pot! (review here) After loving so many face products from them we couldn't wait to try the hydrating primer. We'd heard lots of many positive reviews about the original one.



Both of us have combination skin which has a tendency to be dehydrated so a few years ago we wouldn't have considered trying a hydrating primer. Even though it's hydrating it's more of a gel formula so it doesn't feel heavy on the skin or leave the skin feeling greasy, it actually feels cool and refreshing. It also sinks into the skin quickly. It also contains vitamin A,C and E which help protect the skin from aging due to the environment.

It's made applying make up so much better and feels like another product we can't live without. It's not like other primers we've tried and it just gives the skin a smooth base and makes foundation sit better and apply easier.

It would be interesting to try the difference between the normal and hydrating one.

M xxx


This primer is so lightweight - it feels just like a gel or serum and sinks into the skin super fast and creates a base without feeling like there is a layer on the skin at all. This was super impressive.
When applying it, it feels like another step to your skincare routine rather than make up.


M would like to try the normal primer but I was lucky enough to get it in a beauty box a few months ago. I like them both and the main factor that I've noticed about the two is that the hydrating primer is just that, slightly lighter and more hydrating.
I'd probably lean towards the hydrating just to add in an extra hydration step for my skin as it really needs it, I actually can't apply any more hydration to my skin sometimes!

Have you tried the Laura Mercier Primers? Which do you prefer?
Do you have a favourite Laura Mercier product?

L xxx

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