Browsing Tag



Best holiday palette: In theBalm of Your Hand

January 4, 2016

As December has come to an end, as well as 2015, I just had to talk about what the best holiday palette is in my opinion, which is also my highlight of the month.  I have previously heard about this palette from the Balm from EmilyNoel83 and I instantly wanted it. I had decided to pick it up during the 50% sale on The Balm website, however the website crashed for several hours and then the palette sold out within minutes, so I simply ended up ordering it from Debenhams with a 10 % off voucher, which amounted to around £30.

The Balm in the Balm of your Hand paletteThis palette comes in cardboard packaging, much like other The Balm products if you own any- personally this was my first product from the brand and it allows me to test several products which is why I think it’s a great product. You will not be disappointed with the print on it, as it has several of the best selling icons, such as ‘Meet Matte Nude, ‘Bahama Mama’, ‘Frat Boy’ and, dare I say, probably most of their makeup products. This gives it a very fun and vibrant look, which I love. Inside you will find a decent size mirror, which is a nice little extra.

Also I feel like the palette is very travel friendly, with a magnetic closure and a very thin yet sturdy packaging.Also I have kept the sleeve that it comes with, as I think it could be useful for traveling, for extra safety. Also in terms of packaging, it very much reminds me of the Zoeva palettes, which are some of my favorite eye shadow palettes this year.


The Balm in the Balm of your Hand palette

Now let’s get into what’s actually inside this bad boy! This palette, which has written under the main name ‘Greatest Hits volume 1’ is probably the best way to describe it. It contains best selling products all put under one super cute roof. It has 4 eye shadows, 3 blushes, a bronzer, a highlighter, a cream cheek/lip product and a cream lipstick.  Also I think it’s safe to assume that they will be coming up with volume 2 next year or sometimes in the future, so look out for that in your news feed!

From left to right: Hot Mama, Instain Blush in Argyle, CabanaBoy and Bahama Mama

From left to right: Hot Mama, Instain Blush in Argyle, CabanaBoy and Bahama Mama

First up is the top row, from left to right in the palette and top to bottom in the swatch, which features Hot Mama – a shimmery peach shade that lifts skin and can be used as either a blusher or eyeshadow; Instain Blush in Argyle – a pretty, mid-tone pink; CabanaBoy – a deeper, berry shade that can work as both a blusher or a shadow and finally Bahama Mama – a matte bronzer.

DSC_0345The next row down contains the four eyeshadows and highlighter, from left to right in the palette and top to bottom in the swatch  we have two Shady Lady eye shadows – Insane Jane which is a stunning, silvery taupe and Mischievous Marissa – a bright copper. Next is Nude’Tude’s eyeshadow in Sexy – a muddy, matte cranberry, which is so great, as I was almost ready to buy that palette for this shade only. The last eye shadow is from the  Balm Jovi eye shadow in Lead Zeppelin – a deep khaki shot through with golden shimmer.


Last, but not least is Mary-Lou Manizer, which is the Balm’s best selling product and a cult product praised by makeup lovers worldwide. This is a light gold highlighter which would suit most skin tones up to medium tan I would say.

The final products can be used on the lips; firstly the mid-toned nude shade is from the How Bout Them Apples palette, and the The Balm Girls Lip Cream shade of Mia Moore is an incredibly pigmented red – I was not expecting it to provide such intense colour payoff and I actually loved it so much, that I had to run and grab the full size lipstick! Also I really love that this side of the palette with the cream products has its own lid which means that your cream and powders won’t be mixing up, avoiding one big mess.


Now, on to thoughts after using the palette: I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the face products. I am quite fortunate with a medium, warm- olive toned skin which suits most colors in terms of blush and bronzers so I had a blast with all these colors. Initially I was quite disappointed with my Mary-Lou Manizer as I expected it to be BA BAM in your face sort of highlighter however mine was almost not there in terms of pigmentation and felt scratchy. I am not sure if this happened to anyone else, but mine had a film on top, so I had to use something to scratch it off and only after the product had great pigmentation and felt creamy as expected. I am in love with Cabana Boy and the Instain Blush and I feel like I now also want to pick up Frat Boy and more blushes generally from them.

The eye shadows have great pigmentation and are as buttery and blendable as you would expect. I find all of them to be very wearable and have used several times since getting palette. Also the best part is that the face products can double up as eye shadows so you can have a total of 10 eye shadows if desired, with a mix of matte and shimmery options.


Overall I would say that this is a fantastic product for anyone who wants to try The Balm products for the first time or wants a good round up on The Balm products in one place for convenience or to travel with.

You can still find it at Debenhams here so I recommend to go buy it RIGHT NOW!


Lots of love,

Claudia xx




Collection Pro: Blush and Glow Palette review

December 21, 2015


In the last few months, I feel that Collection has really stepped up their game and have come with a lot of new great products as well as generally having some of the best products in the drugstore for such great prices. As part of their Pro collection, they came up with two face palette, including the Blush and Glow palette which I have previously seen on few blog, yet could not get my hands on it. The Pro range is limited edition and sells exclusively in Boots. I was very lucky to find it in a random boots and also for a really good price, as they have everything for under £4 so I paid £4 only for it!

It comes in a cardboard packaging, not the sturdiest yet it makes the product very light and easy to take with you as a face palette on holiday or even keep in your makeup bag if you have a medium to big one. I love little details such as the coppery writing on the top which give it a more expensive feeling than an under £5 product. The palette includes a bronzer, a highlight and two different blushes.


Now, let’s get into the more details. I did not want to review this product as soon as I got it as I wanted to have a chance to use it and give you a better idea of what to expect. First impressions were really good, as I enjoyed all the colors in each pan. Unfortunately the blushes do not have names, so I just refer to them as the pink and the peach however I think they would both beautifully on skin tones from fair to a medium tan I would say. Anyone with a darker skin tone might not find much use in this, as the bronzer and one of the blushes would not show at all.

Surprisingly enough, the powders are quite creamy, not incredibly powdery, which is really helpful when picking it up, as it doesn’t make a mess. Also I find all four of these to be pigmented enough and did not need a lot of building up, with the highlighter being probably the weakest one, but then again I am very picky with my highlighters so I think I am slightly biased.


Here you can see swatches for the four shades. As you can see, the bronzer is neutral with slightly warm toned, so again I am not sure if this will appeal to people that enjoy a very ashy color, however on my skin- around NC30, it shows up great and does not look muddy at all or orange. The highlight is quite a subtle shade and has some pink iridescence to it. The first blush is a matte light pink with a cool tone, very much suited for girls with fair skin or for someone who likes only the , while the other more peachy blush has shimmer in it however it still resembles a satin finish and is probably a fairly flattering color for a lot of people.


Overall, I would say that this is a great palette for someone who is looking for a going away palette or loves the convenience of having three types of products in one palette. Have you tried any of the Collection Pro range products yet or generally anything from Collection? Let me know in the comments below as I’d love to hear your thoughts.






One brand haul and first impressions: Sleek Makeup

December 10, 2015

Hello everyone! Today I want to talk about a recent mini haul where I got quite few things from Sleek, as well as my first impressions, as I’ve never tried this brand before.


I chose to get one of their palettes, the i-Divines Dark Mattes, a blush and one of their liquid lipsticks as I’ve seen few reviews about them and these days we all seem to love the mattes! Also Boots had a promotion with a free gift included,  so I got a free eye and cheek palette. Anyway, without further ado, let’s get into the details!


Ultra Mattes Palette Dark

The item that I am the most excited about is the i-Divine palette. I have heard quite few people talking about them and consider that it’s under £10 for 12 colors, it’s an absolute bargain. I chose the matte darks, as I don’t have anything that has dark blues and greens, compared to the usual light toned mattes.


The packaging is similar for all the products: black plastic packaging, nothing too fancy. which I personally prefer. Inside you will find the 12 shadow pans. The first thing that I noticed is that the palette has a plastic cover with the color names on it, which is super unpractical. What are you supposed to do- keep that forever so you know what shade you are using? Sleek, if you are reading this, sort yourselves out!


On to the actual eye shadows: the pigmentation is okay. The swatches that you see below have been worked up with 2-3 swipes to give you an idea of how the color could look like if you’re going to be patient and pack then on the lid. Out of the 12, 3 of the colors, more precisely the light colors are an absolute dud. They simply do not show AT ALL. As in nothing, nada, nicht. Which is a shame, as this means that you will always have to use this palette in combination with another light eye shadow for the brow bone or to add an accent. All in all, I am quite happy with the colors in this one and I would recommend it, as it helps create great smokey looks. I just wish the light colors would be more pigmented.

Blush in Flushed


I have previously heard very good things about their blushes, and while I initially thought of getting one of the three blushes palette, I ended up with just one so I can try out the formula. First of all, I obviously had to dip my nail in the pan (crying on the inside!) so my OCD self can have a heart attack as now it’s ruined forever.

I really like this blush and the color it gives. It might look a bit scary in the pan, however I find it that it gives you a nice…well, flush, as the names calls it, as if you’ve been out in the cold on a snowy day. I think this is more suited to medium and deeper skintones, as on a fair person it might look a bit more intense. But then again, if you want to make a statement, this is your blush! All in all, definitely this is my favorite product that I’ve tried from Sleek so far and I am looking forward to buy more shades.

Matte Me Lipstick in Birthday Suit

The other thing that I really wanted to get hands on was Sleek’s version of a liquid matte lipstick. They have, I believe, 6 or 8 shades, and normally I wuld go for a deep purple or red tone, however I looked up swatches and Birthday Suit seemed like such a beautiful slightly dusty rose nude color, that I could not contain myself. Initially, when I tried it, I was not very happy with the color at all. I felt like it washed me out entirely and I was ready to give up on it. However, I applied it a second time, this time with a lip liner under, a mauvy shade and it looked a lot better.

In terms of the quality, if you’re familiar with liquid to matte lipsticks, you’ll know that you apply it and leave it on for 30 seconds to one minute without touching it while it dries out. After that, you are free to go about your business and you can forget that you are wearing anything on the lips. Of course, this means that they will be quite drying so I suggest putting on a lip balm while doig your face makeup and blotting it before applying the lipstick- if you don’t blot it beforehand, the lipstick application might be stick or just not stick to your lips if that makes sense.

Matte Me in Birthday Suit, next to Flushed, both blended and built up

Matte Me in Birthday Suit, next to Flushed, both blended and built up

Below you can see the swatches for the lipstick after it dried out. I know it might look VERY pink here, but on my lips it pulls very, very light. Also next to it, you can see Flushed very feathered and blended, as well as an intentionally built up swatch to get an idea of the pigmentation and the color.

Eye and Cheek Palette in Midsummer’s Dream


Last but not least, my free gift! This is an eye and cheek palette as the name suggest and it has four eyeshadows and what I imagine they think is a blush and a bronzer. However, I would use both face products more as a bronzer, Both of them are very warm toned so I think they would be quite good if you are tanned or in summer to give you that JLo glow, girl!


However, let’s talk about the quality. The face products are ooo…kay. As in, I like them for the price that I got them for, but would I buy them separately? No. Clear and loud. They are not pigmented enough, one of them is too shiny and they are both very orangey so I think they are more suited as eyeshadows. In terms of the eyeshadows, as you can see, the lighter colors are a tiny bit better than they whites and creams from the palette so that is a plus however again, did not really blow my mind. The darker colors are slightly better yet again I am not sure if I will see myself reaching for this palette anytime soon. But then again, maybe come summer, I will change my mind.

So that is it guys. These are my first products ever from Sleek. Have you tried any of their products or do you have any recommendations? Let me know in the comments section below!