US Beauty Haul

I hope everyone had an amazing Christmas break; I had an amazing time with my loved ones. I am really looking forward to the New Year as well so I can have another nice break. I am back at work already as working in the hospital means there isn't really any downtime as such. Anyway, I wanted to share a US Beauty Haul from earlier this month. I did not go to the US myself but the man did and I am so delighted he got me all the lovely things I asked for and many other surprises I did not expect. I thought I'd share the beauty part of my haul because I love beauty and if you are reading this blog, you probably do too. Right, let's dive in...

Lorac Unzipped Gold Palette //$42 //Link
I am a huge fan of Lorac palettes because they have such lovely pigmentation and lasting power. I have experienced minor fallouts from some Lorac eyeshadows in the past but they are so minimal that I ignore them. I absolutely love my Lorac Pro Palette and I have got so much use from it that I did not hesitate when it came to choosing the Unzipped Gold Palette. There is the regular Unzipped Palette which I like and may still get but the Unzipped Gold totally captured my heart. I am planning a separate post/review and swatches of this palette because the pigmentation is out of this world particularly the gold shade. I just love this palette so much and I am so delighted to have it in my collection.

Juvia's Place Mini Masquerade Palette //$30 (currently on sale for $21) //Link
The first time I saw Juvia's Place eyeshadow palettes I just wanted all the palettes in their collection. However, I saw that shipping to the UK was quite expensive so I just curbed my lust. I don't know what makes me more delighted about the Masquerade palette; possibly the pigmentation, the selection of colours or maybe both. It's just stunning and it is my ideal palette because it has both neutral shades and pops of colours. Although it says it is a mini palette, it looks to me like a proper full size palette. I cannot even imagine how large the full size is and I think it's impressive that a company makes both the full size and mini version of a well loved palette. The pigmentation and lasting power of this palette is absolutely incredible.  I can't wait to share the swatches and a review.

Colour Pop Haul //from $5 //Link
Would you believe that this is my first foray into Colour Pop? I know!! Absolutely unbelievable given all the hype Colour Pop rakes in and the fact that they now ship to the UK. To be honest, nothing was stopping me and I was about to make an order but realised it's best to wait  so I could get  what I wanted without any qualms. I am so glad I did as I could get as much as I wanted without worrying about customs and all that ish. With Colour Pop, there is a wide array of products to choose from and they are always on top of their game when it comes to new launches. I just went to my Twinnie's blog (UmmBaby) and checked out her Colour Pop hauls and just chose all I wanted from her post and swatches. How convenient was that?!! That's the beauty of blogging. I got the Zingara Eyeshadow Set (Autumn Collection), Blush (Bardot), Highlighter/Bronzer (Avalon), Ultra Matte Liquid Lipsticks (Viper and Love Bug). I am very impressed and I have to say they are indeed worth the hype. I will be planning a post as well and hopefully will get around to it sooner than later.

L'Oreal Infallible Pro Matte Foundation and Powder //from $12.99 //Link (review)
Sadly, they do not sell my shade Creme Cafe in the L'Oreal Infallible Pro Matte foundation in the UK which is such a bummer. I usually buy mine from Ebay and it's not the cheapest. So, I was filled with delight to get backups of one of my favourite drugstore foundations and even the matching powder in my stash. I had not tried the powders (before now) but I'd heard good things about them. I am happy to report that they did not disappoint at all. I don't think I would be needing to buy from Ebay in a long while because I have more than enough now.

Alpha Skincare Products // from $18.99 //Link
These products are one of my favourite Glycolic Acid based products and the fastest working products I have ever tried. Sadly, they are only sold in the US and I got to try them last year or so when a friend travelled to the States. They work so well in keeping my skin free from blemishes and help in fading away hyper pigmentation marks so effectively that I cannot imagine not having them in my stash. I can't remember who I first heard about them from but I am so glad I did. They are inexpensive and you get a decent amount of product in them. They recently revamped their packaging which also led to a reduction in the amount of product you get but they quality still remains the same. There are so many raving reviews about them but I do have to say they may not be for everyone (especially if you have sensitive skin). However, they do work a treat and I am so glad to have a good stash that will last me a good while.

Mario Badescu Acne Starter Set //$30 //Link
I know Mario Badescu is sold in the UK but I just thought it's better to get it from the US. Actually this one was picked out by the man and I have to say he did so well. I love this starter set because it has deluxe sizes of the products which will give me sufficient time too see if it works for me or not. I have been using and loving them. I will save my final thoughts for later but I am really impressed and I see myself investing in full sizes.

Overall Thoughts
I feel very lucky to get these amazing goodies and I have enjoyed using them all this season. I know many of them will be staples in my collection and they will show up on the blog every now and then. I hope you enjoyed this post and I will see you in my next. Have you tried any of these US Beauty products?

Products I've Hit Pan On

As  we are approaching the end of the year, I thought it would be great to put together a post on some products I have hit pan on. If I reach for a product almost on a daily basis, it means I most likely love it so much and will hit pan sooner than later. There is that strange satisfaction that comes with hitting pan with products because you feel like you have got your money's worth. I also have a slight twinge of sadness because it means that a very loved product may be coming to an end. I repurchase some products but if I have a good alternative (most times I do), I tend to use it because I don't want to waste money. You can now understand where that slight twinge of sadness stems from. I saw this post on my lovely Twinnie's blog post - UmmBaby and I suggest checking out her blog, her own post and Instagram. She is amazing and I love all her social media links. Right, let's dive straight in...

Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow Pomade //Link //£15 (review)
I'd heard so many good things about this brow pomade and I am so happy I finally took the plunge and purchased it. I am so pleased with it and I think I might repurchase it when it runs out because it is one of the best I have tried out. Its pigmentation and lasting power on my brows makes it stand out among all the others I have tried and I love how it perfectly matches my brows. My shade is chocolate. I'd also heard that it was prone to getting dry after sometime but I have had mine for at least six months and it's still going strong. I use this at least 80% of the time and that's why I have hit pan. Love it!!

Barry M Chisel Cheeks Contour Kit //Link //£6.50 
I was so pleased when I found out that Barry M had finally come out with this contour kit for medium to darker skin. I had heard many good things about the other shades so I was counting down until the newer shades arrived in store. I started out with the darkest contour powder and it looked muddy and ashy on my complexion but I decided to try the middle brown shade. Viola!!  It was perfect and I used it consistently for a super long time hence the dent in the middle. My favourite product within this palette is the peach toned highlight powder. I used it mainly to set my under eye concealer and it was perfection personified. The huge dent (what am I saying? rather the empty space) is a testament to how much I loved and used this product. I wish they just sold this powder on its own as I would purchase it for sure. I am not repurchasing this palette for now because I have more than enough contour kits in my collection. Once I get through them, I will be back.

Becca Dual Coverage Concealer //Link // £10 (Review)
I absolutely adore this concealer and this is actually my third one because it just works for me. I use it mainly to neaten up my eye brows after filling them in and it works so well with my complexion. No halo brows in sight and my eye brows look on fleek for the most part. I do find it quite difficult to find because I have a sneaky feeling that it has been completely discontinued and I am so sad about it. It has two sections- one section offers medium coverage and the other provides full coverage. The full coverage section is also good hiding blemishes and spot/pinpoint concealing. I do stick to using it for my brows though because I am not sure of where else to find an original one that comes with a good price tag.

Fake Bake Beauty Shine On Palette* //Link // £15 (Review)
I got this palette last year at a Fake Bake Beauty Event and I fell in love with it as expected. It comes with 8 products which I have so much use for. There is an eyeshadow (cream) section,  cream eyeshadow highlight, lip gloss and lip cheek section. My favourite products are the cream eyeshadow of course and I love how they work well with other Fake Bake Beauty palettes within and other palettes on in general. I have hit pan  in the pink eyeshadow (cream) and made some significant dents in the lip an cheek tint. It's such a lovely palette and I do have a long way before it runs out.

Kuddy Cosmetics Blush Palette //Link //approx £10 (Review)
I had to include this gorgeous Kuddy Cosmetics Palette even though it is only sold (as far as I know in Nigeria). It is actually such a gorgeous Blush Palette because it contains very flattering blushes especially for darker skin. The other four blushes are quite pinkish/purple which I don't mind when I am going out. However, the two shades (brownish pink ones) are my favourites because they are perfect for everyday. I have made a huge dent in the first shade and I remember using it almost everyday for a good while. I do need to start using it again because it is such a great palette.

Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage //Link // £27 (Review)
I had my eyes on this concealer for a good while because I'd read great things on how well it covered up dark blemishes. I finally took the plunge and I am so happy I did. It is quite pricey but I think it worth it. Similar to the Becca Dual Coverage Concealer, it has two sections. One section is lighter shade and the other is a slightly darker shade. I use this mainly for pin point concealing because that's what it works best for my complexion. I really like it and I was surprised I hit pan quite quickly but I do have a lot of product left so I am not so sad.

Lorac Pro Palette //Link //$44 (Shades Pewter and Taupe) (Review)
The Lorac Pro Palette is still one of my precious eyeshadow palettes and I still reach for it often. Whenever I travel, I pop it in my makeup bag just in case because it is my fail safe palette. I have already hit pan (and almost finished) two shades which are my most used shades- Pewter and Taupe. They are very pigmented (even the matte shades) and I love the way they apply although there are minor fall outs with some shades. Still, I love this palette and I am so glad I have hit pan on some shades and more to go.

MAC Eyeshadows //Link // £10 (Shades- Rice Paper and Amber Lights) (Review)
I still have a soft spot for MAC Eyeshadows despite trying other eyeshadows I adore. They do have good quality and pigmentation although I find that it's not consistent across the board. Nevertheless,  I still love the way they apply on my lids. The first one (not pictures) which I hit pan on was Cork which I loved so much that I had to repurchase it. The two that I have hit pan on are the Amber Lights and Rice Paper and they are one of my most used eyeshadows. I don't think I have ever found a like for like dupe for Amber Lights because it is so special and I will be repurchasing when I run out. I think I may actually repurchase Rice Paper as well because it is a good brow bone highlight without the glitter.

Nude by Nature Contour Kit*//Link //£25 (Review)
For a super long time, I only used Sleek Contour Kit because it was very suitable for my complexion. However, I decided to branch out and try other such as the Barry M kit. Earlier this year, I was introduced to Nude by Nature and very intrigued by all their collections. I was gifted this Contour Kit after attending a masterclass they hosted and I have not looked back since. The contour shade in the middle is such a perfect contour match for my complexion. It is not muddy, grey or over the top and it is so easy to use. I love that you can build it up to however much intensity you are after. For the past 6 months, it has been my go-to Contour Kit and that's why there is a beautiful dent in the middle. I also like the yellowish highlight powder which I use to set my under eye concealer.

Sleek Contour Kit and Concealer Kit // Link //£6.49 (Review- here and here)
I don't think this post will be complete if I did not include Sleek Makeup products. They are one of my favourite brands from the drug store and they usually look flattering on my complexion which is important to me. The first ever contour kit I purchased was the Sleek Contour Kit in Medium and I have lost count on how many I have repurchased. I also have one or two backups because I never want to hear that they are discontinuing it. I remember when the Concealer Kit was launched and I made my way to the nearest Boots. I am also glad I got my hands on it because it's a really good palette. There are quite a few shades to choose from and the texture is amazing. I completely finished the concealer in the middle and I loved the peach powder as well for setting my under eye concealer.

Overall Thoughts
These are all the products I have hit pan on as far as I know. I am thinking of doing a similar post but on foundations alone because I do have quite a few I have finished. I hope you enjoyed this post and I am keen on knowing what products you have hit pan on. Do leave your comments below...xx
* Gifted PR Samples + Affiliate links, read my full disclaimer here.

Nude by Nature Gift Sets ( Wanderlust Christmas)

I have been incredibly lucky to be invited to a lot of Nude by Nature events and been gifted almost everything they stock. I never take it for granted and I am so grateful for everything. These past few months I attended three events hosted by Nude by Nature. The first event was back in October to celebrate their launch in Debenhams, the second was a Masterclass in Debenhams and the last one was an intimate night with Justine Jenkins (their Makeup Artist Ambassador). You all know I love taking photos at these events so I will be sharing photos on them in another post. For today, I wanted to share some of the gorgeous gift sets Nude by Nature have recently launched. They all look so incredible and I know they will make amazing gifts both for this season and all year round. The good news is you can find Nude by Nature products via Nude by Nature website, Debenhams (online and in-store), Feel Unique and ASOS.

Brief Overview of Nude by Nature
I have quite a few posts here on the blog talking about who Nude by Nature are and what they stand for so I will try not to be repetitive. You can check out all my Nude by Nature posts here if you fancy. They are Australian's number 1 Mineral Makeup brand and I am not surprised at all because their quality is absolutely on point. The philosophy behind the brand is to deliver benefits that go far beyond just the cosmetics. Their ingredients have amazing skin benefits and I have never had any reactions to them which is amazing. Some of these ingredients include the native Australian Kakadu Plum (which is full of Vitamin C goodness), Lilly Pilly, Quandong an Anti-oxidants. One thing I know from using Nude by Nature in the past 6 months or more is that they do not compromise on quality at all and I know this based on the way my skin responds to the makeup. That's why they always say their products not just make you look good but they are good for you. Their products are mineral based, 100% cruelty-free and PETA-certified and this also includes their super soft brushes. I already mentioned that they are an Australian brand so you can imagine that all their makeup products are inspired by the gorgeous Australian nature and landscapes. You can learn more about the brand and their ethos over here.

The Wanderlust Christmas Collection //Link
Nude by Nature have one of my favourite makeup packaging (rose gold) and all their products looks so gorgeous on my dresser. I love photographing makeup products and some are quite difficult to get a nice shot but Nude by Nature products are so photogenic. I feel I like I can even close my eyes and still get a nice shot of them (just kidding) because they are so aesthetically pleasing. Anyway, I could not even imagine them developing anything else that will beat their existing packaging until I saw their Wanderlust Christmas Collection. I am very impressed and I feel like whoever is designing their packaging needs a massive hug/handshake/kiss and pay rise. They look so beautiful not just in pictures but in real life and they will make perfect gifts for this season. I cannot imagine anyone who would not be over the moon if they received any of these sets.

The Wanderlust Christmas Collection Kits have been designed to suit every look from radiant to subtle colours, bringing the look of faraway paradise to women. I absolutely agree with their description as I can see myself using almost everything in these kits. I think these sets are really good value and you can tell that they have not just thrown random products together but a lot of thought has gone into the development of these kits. The collection contains the following gift sets: Classic Collection*, Bondi Shores Deluxe Contour Kit*, Radiant Collection*, Starter Kit, Follow the Sun Kit*,Nude by Nature Brush Set, Splendour 12 Days of Christmas*and the Nude by Nature Wanderer Brush Collection*. I was very kindly gifted majority of these kits and I thought I will show you what they contain in case you were thinking of purchasing them.

Follow the Sun Deluxe Illuminate Kit*//Link //£45
The Follow the Sun Kit is designed to create a luminous glow that blends flawlessly over makeup and instantly delivers a touch of radiance. Inside the kit, you get the following: Sheer Light Illuminator (15ml), Sheer Light Pressed Illuminator (3g), Touch of Glow Highlight Stick in Champagne (full size) and a Limited Edition Deluxe Kabuki Brush. I love that Nude by Nature have included full size products in their kits and the minis are proper deluxe sizes. I have tried all the products already except the Sheer Light Illuminator. As expected they have amazing quality and a good lasting power. I love the Touch of Glow Sticks because they are multi-functional. I use them as highlighters, eyeshadows and eyeshadow bases. I love them because they look so natural and provide a nice highlight without glitter. The Kabuki Brush is also my current favourite for picking up and distributing power all over my face. It's an amazing size with fluffy bristles but they are densely packed so you have full control of your makeup application. The entire set has a value of £74 but it retails for £45 so it's a mahoosive bargain.

Bondi Shores Deluxe Contour Kit*//Link //£50
The Bondi Shores Deluxe Contour Kit is designed to define and enhance your natural features and I absolutely agree. The kit contains the following products: Contour Kit (full size), Perfecting Primer (15ml), Natural Glow Loose Bronzer (2g- super deluxe size) and a Limited Edition Angled Contour Brush (travel size). This is one of my favourite sets because it contains one of my absolute favourite Nude by Nature products - The Contour Kit. I use the Nude by Nature Contour Kit everyday I wear makeup and I have made a massive dent in the one I already have. You can imagine my delight when I saw this kit contained another back up. I also have the full size of the Perfecting Primer and I have to say it is quickly becoming a firm favourite. It is a smoothing primer so it really allows my makeup/foundation apply smoothly and it leaves my face hydrated which is needed this season. I am keen to see how it will perform during the warmer season when my combination-oily skin goes very shiny. I can't wait to test out the entire kit and create some looks which I will share on Instagram as always.

Radiant Collection*//Link //£50
The Radiant Collection is designed to spread the glow so you can feel radiant! I think this collection has the best value because all the products are full size which is amazing. Inside the collection, you get the following: Luminous Sheer Liquid Foundation (full size-30ml), Translucent Loose Finishing Powder (full size) and the Liquid Foundation Brush (full size). I am sure you may be wondering about the foundation shade in the kit. I was curious as well and I found that there are three shades of foundation to choose from which include W2, C2 and N3. I know it is not a wide range but I do have to commend them for making an effort by including different shades. Sadly, none of the shades suit me but Nude by Nature very kindly gifted me my perfect shades in the Loose Foundation Powder and Pressed Powder Foundation. I will be reviewing them separately. I am glad the Translucent Loose Finishing Powder is a universal shade so it will suit everyone.

Classic Collection* //Link //£50
The Classic Collection is designed to create a flawless, radiant and nourishing complexion and it features Nude by Nature iconic products. Inside the collection, you get the following: Radiant Loose Powder  Foundation (full size), Perfecting Concealer (full size) and a Retractable Travel Brush. I tried the Radiant Loose foundation earlier this year and I really enjoyed it. I did notice it was not a perfect match but I was ever so kindly re-matched to my perfect shade. The shade of the Loose Powder Foundation in the kit I own is N4 which is smack in the middle of the spectrum of shades Nude by nature have. I think that was really smart of them and I thought this may not be a wearable shade for me. However, I was so wrong as it has such a beautiful yellow undertone and can be used to set my under eye concealer, to highlight and bake.  I am so pleased about that and I know most people will find some kind of use for this shade. The collection also offers two other choices of the Loose Powder Foundation in W4 and N5. I also love the retractable brush especially for touching up my makeup and I know it won't be messy in my makeup bag. The concealer I got came in the shade Creamy Beige which I gave to my friend who loves it.

Wanderlust Brush Collection* //£65 (still looking for a link)
I cannot even describe how gorgeous this Wanderlust Brush Collection is!! I think this is seriously the ultimate gift this season for anyone you know who loves makeup brushes. The Wanderlust Brush Collection is a deluxe 15-piece brush set which provides all tools needed to build a flawless complexion, natural contour and definition. I love that it is a complete set of both eye brushes and face brushes so you can just have this alone and know you are sorted. The only down side in my opinion (which may not be a big deal to many people) is that the brushes don't have names on them. In a way, it is a good thing because you can use the brushes for whatever you fancy but I think makeup beginners would love it if they had names. Their other brushes have names and I love them because they are so well made and I have not experienced any bristle shedding from them. Anyway, back to these gorgeous brushes.

They have a rose gold and cream theme going on and they are really stunning. I love that they come in a brush roll (faux leather) because this means I can travel easily with them without worrying about them. Inside the kit, you get the following brushes: Powder Brush, Angled Blush Brush, Lip Brush, Buffing Brush, Concealer Brush, Liquid Foundation Brush, Small Eyeshadow Brush, Large Eyeshadow Brush, Tapered Blending Brush, Dual Ended Eyebrow Brush, Stippling Brush, Medium Blending Brush, Small Blending Brush, Fan Brush and a Faux Leather Brush Roll. I think this brush kit is such good value because each brush works out at just under £5. I have not tried them out fully but I can let you know that they are so fluffy and light weight. I will definitely be reviewing them on here.

#Wanderlust Competition
Nude by Nature are running a super exciting competition which I found out about via these kits and I wanted to talk about it. Basically, each Nude by Nature Christmas Kit has a picturesque postcard inserted into it and Nude by Nature are offering customers the chance to win a holiday for two in Australia. In order to win, all you have to do is simply submit a photo and/or video on Instagram with a caption celebrating a moment that captures "where life has taken you" this holiday season along with these hashtags #wanderlustbynature #mebynature. Of course, you can tag Nude by Nature as well when you share your moment. The most creative photo/video and caption will win. I believe the competition is running from October 2016- Jan 2017. I am very excited about this and I can't wait to share mine. Can you imagine if I won? I'd be so thrilled as I have never been to Australia!!

Where to buy 
I already mentioned earlier that you can purchase Nude by Nature products from the Nude by Nature website, Debenhams (online and in-store), Feel Unique and ASOS. If I know of any discount codes, I will update this post and share them on Instagram. I am keen to see if they will do some sort of sales for boxing day and if they do, be rest assured I have your back.

Overall Thoughts
What can I say? I feel absolutely spoiled by Nude by Nature and I am overwhelmed by their kindness in gifting me so many products. I have set aside a few products for a giveaway which is coming up soon on the blog because I want a reader to enjoy them as much as I have. I have introduced Nude by Nature to my friends and family and my sister absolutely loves their products. That's pretty much all from me today. Have you tried the Nude by Nature Wanderlust Christmas Collection?
*Gifted PR Samples + Affiliate Links, read my full disclaimer here.


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