24 April 2018

W7 MAKEUP HAUL SWATCH & REVIEW // DELICIOUS PALETTE & OTHER MAKEUP DUPES


When it comes to creating affordable budget makeup and dupes of premium makeup products, w7 cosmetics have it down. w7 are famed for creating 'in the style of' products based on bestsellers from the likes of MAC, Ben Nye, Benefit, Anastacia Beverley Hills, Urban Decay and many more. Now, i'm not under any illusions, I know that there is a fine line between inspired dupes and complete rip offs however, w7 have made the 'makeup of now' accessible to everyone. And whilst these days I am lucky enough to be in a position whereby I can afford to buy high-end makeup and beauty, I still absolutely love drugstore and budget makeup. 

So why a sudden penchant for w7 makeup? Well, I was inspired to give a selection of w7 products a whirl after another late night binge of 'makeup declutter' videos of which I am wholly obsessed with currently. By the time I got to video 109, it was apparent that the w7 cosmetics brand popped up time and time again as the brand to go to if you were looking for affordable high-end dupes.



w7 'Delicious Palette' - Anastasia Beverley Hills 'Modern Renaissance Palette' Dupe 
Like the look of the Anastasia Beverley Hills 'Modern Renaissance' palette but can't justify the price tag? w7 offer a dupe that is so unapologetically a dupe. For an as-near-as-dammit palette, I recommend trying the w7 Delicious palette. I must however start by caveating the fact that I've only ever swatched the iconic Anastasia Beverley Hills 'Modern Renaissance Palette' therefore it wouldn't be fair to write a full comparison on how they pit against each other, though I do have it on good authority that the w7 'Delicious' palette is a pretty good MR dupe. 

The Delicious palette is made from snap-shut cardboard packaging and comes with a double ended brush which is perfect for pressing and blending colour on the lids thanks to a duo comprising of one dense, flat brush and one fluffy brush. And whilst the shade range and pan formation of these two palettes are very, very similar, one thing that certainly sets these two palettes apart is the cost. The Delicious palette retails at £9.95 making it an ideal budget beauty option if you don't want to shell out the eye-watering £43 for the MR palette.


I've been road testing the Delicious palette for around 3/4 weeks now and I have to say that I am thoroughly impressed with how pigmented these colours are. My favourite shades are by far and away the two orange tones which in the MR palette are named: 'Red Ocre' and 'Realgar.' I also recommend not shying away from the deep red toned shades which are super easy to work with and again, pigmented so beautifully. If neutrals are however more your bag, the neutral shades including taupe browns, creams and biscuit tones are really wearable.

So what about formulation? Well, despite having talc as a lead ingredient as most budget cosmetics do, I didn't find these shadows to be at all overly powdery, unlike the MR palette of which unnecessary fall out is notorious. So even if you have zero interest in dupe hunting, if you're looking for an affordable warm toned palette with plenty of workable berry and neutral shades, this palette is definitely one to try.
w7 'Hollywood Bronze + Glow' Palette - Charlotte Tilbury 'Filmstar Bronze + Glow' Dupe


I really wanted to try the w7 Hollywood Bronze + Glow palette out of sheet interest on how it fared against its originator and inspiration, the famed Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze + Glow duo. It's with a heavy heart that I confess that I did once own this high-end contour and highlighter duo, however, it sadly met a brutal end on holiday in Portugal when the compact fell to the ground and shattered to smithereens all over a hard, marble floor. Weep. Instead of repurchasing and parting with yet another £49, I was curious to see how this £5.95 dupe worked out in comparison and of course on its own merit. w7 certainly haven't tried to be subtle with their take on this premium product, hello 1920s-esc fan effect powder press and obnoxiously similar product name. 

Though, in terms of how the w7 dupe stands up, it's pretty good. I'd say that the Charlotte Tilbury formulation is slightly more on the peachy side, but other than that, the w7 contour powder is a decent match, it applies smoothly and provides an even contour/cheek bronze. If you're interested in this duo, it's worth noting that I found the w7 highlighter a little chalky, it is also quite subtle and takes some working with a brush or fingers to see a noticeable result on the cheek.

w7 'Strobe Struck' - Cream Highlighter
If you're looking for a subtle, dewy highlight with a natural finish, then the w7 Strobe Struck Cream highlighter is a brilliant option for only £5.95. It's very similar in tone to the Jouer Cosmetics Crem Highlighter in the shade ' Champagne' . I like to pat the cream formula onto the top of my cheekbones and above the cupid bow for a nice, easy going glow, nothing OTT, nothing major.


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20 April 2018

5 OF MY FAVOURITES THINGS TO DO WHEN I'M NOT WORKING AND THE WEATHER IS GLOOMY


The day that these shots were taken, it was an extemley grey, rainy day and it felt like the bright, fresher days of Spring were never going to arrive. Of course, we've been treated to some glorious sunshine recently which has caused me to do nothing more than sit outside on my sun lounger - sometimes working on my laptop, sometimes doing absolutely nothing but listening to Audible. My audiobook of choice being the fabulous Grace Coddington's memoir. It is however on those rainy, gloomy days that we have all year round here in England that I feel the most hygge if you like. And so here are 5 of my favourite things to do when I'm not working (or writing) and the weather is gloomy.


1. Have a cup of tea and read a book
I always knew that someday I wanted an armchair of my own to sit and read in. I'm an introverted soul at heart and peace and quiet is something I crave in order for me to recharge my batteries. In recent times my armchair pipedream has come true and I love nothing more than sitting back in my rocking chair and reading my favourite books, glossy magazines, or whatever new title I have on the go. Of course, a cup of Yorkshire tea is usually by my side, sometimes Earl Grey depending on my mood.


2. Take a hot bath
When I lived in my flat, for the best part of 3 years I only had a shower cubicle and so getting a bath at my parent's house, or at my boyfriend's flat was a total luxury that I looked forward to as often as I could. Since moving into our new place, it's been pretty nice to be able to get a regular bath again. I like to run mine as hot as I can possibly bare, with lots of bubbles. Usually, I'll add some lavender baby bath (Because I'm really that extra) and a bath bomb from Lush - My favourite is Twilight. Bathtime is another of my much needed 'quiet' times. I like to light some candles and sometimes I'll catch up on my Youtube subscriptions by propping my iPad up on my wooden bath shelf. Bath time is a bit of me-time that helps me to wind down and feel centred again.

3. Reorganise my beauty drawers and clean my brushes


I find reorganising my makeup drawers really soothing and satisfying, especially if i'm feeling het up about a situation, or there's something nagging at my mind. Some of my favourite videos to watch on Youtube are the ones where people declutter their makeup collection. For some reason, the eyeshadow palette versions really help to lift my mood. Maybe it's the ASMR-y nature of them, after all, they are pretty visual and colourful. When the weather is grim, I tend to find myself reorganising, cleaning and tidying my beauty stash and brushes. I'm probably one of the few people who actually enjoy cleaning their makeup brushes. Weirdly it must be rubbing off because Adam saw me doing it one day and liked the look of it so much that he started joining in the swirling and rinsing process. 


4. Watch trash TV - the trashier the better
Back in the day, we're talking circa 2010 when I was around 17, I was the Queen of watching reality TV. You name it, I watched it. I religiously tuned into Big Brother, TOWIE, Made In Chelsea, everything - nobody got in the way of my rigid TV schedule. As I got older I stopped watching as many of these kinds of programmes on TV, though I'm not really sure why. However, in recent times I've really gone back on myself. Since we sorted our TV package out, I've become ADDICTED to coming home from work, throwing my bag down and watching Keeping Up With The Kardashians. I stopped watching the show as regularly around the time when Kim married Kris Humphries (lol) so I've had some MAJOR catching up to do. And I guess while we're sharing, I'm also partial to 'Can't Pay We'll Take It Away', 'Catfish' and 'Teen Mom'.


5. Organising + pressing reset

I've previously talked about the fact that I am anal about prioritising things and making lists of things that need doing. I must get through stacks and stacks of post-it notes every week. I like to actually spend my downtime writing to-do lists, planning meals and sorting my calendar out. I love it, I think it gives me a sense of control over what's happening in my life and I love having an overview of how my week is playing out. Of course, I also like to hit reset on my beauty routine too, making time to put a deep conditioning mask on my hair, de-fuzz and put a fresh layer of tan on. All of these little acts of self-care are perfect for not letting a gloomy day make me feel miserable.

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17 April 2018

HOW TO WEAR A FULL COVERAGE BASE WITHOUT LOOKING LIKE A CAKE FACE


Back in the day when 'Dream Matte Mousse' was the only foundation to be seen carrying in your Jane Norman PE bag, cake face was pretty unavoidable. This was especially the case when the Aero bar formula was paired with a translucent powder laden with talc from The Look or Bodycare. Ah, Dream Matte Mousse, concealer lips and pale face. A look so popular, I think that some girls in my year were actually nicknamed 'Cake face' by a typical group of spotty, gangly 14-year-old lads.

I haven't purchased a pot of DMM in years, these days, I'm about the less is more approach when it comes to my makeup, but one thing has not changed and that is my love of a full coverage base.

Avoiding cake face...


Over the years, I've tried and tested a few ways to try and stop my foundation from bobbling while avoiding dry patches for powder formulas to cling to. And whilst my method isn't always foolproof, cake face had been known to appear a few hours after applying what looks like perfectly applicated makeup, it's pretty reliable most of the time.

Exfoliating weekly 

Exfoliation is vital for buffing away those dead skin particles that cause your face to become dry which is often a primary cause of cake face. I use a chemical exfoliate on a daily basis and opt to give my face a good manual scrub on a weekly basis. Back in the day, my favourite exfoliator would be the St Ives invigorating scrub, it's much too harsh for my skin now but it's true to say that market wide exfoliators have come a long way since then. My current squeeze is the Bodyshop Vitamin C Microdermabrasion formula, it's pretty amazing how it works and I urge you to try it if you want to see skincare magic occur before your very eyes.


Keep on top of the moisture

Moisturising is my favourite step of my skincare routine, I like to really work the formula into my skin and feel it seeping in. My current favourite moisturiser is from Harley Street Skincare and it is a lightweight formula that sinks into the skin without leaving a greasy residue. Depending on your skin type, find a moisturiser that works for you and never skip using it! Not only will your skin feel more comfortable, but it will also make any makeup you apply stick around longer and apply more evenly as your skin won't be as thirsty and dry.


Choosing your base

To avoid cake face, a technique that has worked for me is to work with light layers. When working with a number of different products it can be easy for the different formulations to curdle and make a cake face situation occur. Lol. If you're using brushes for your base, try to use brushes that are specifically made with bristles that can do the best work for the job. For example, my Real Techniques Expert Face Brush is excellent for cream-based products thanks to its synthetic bristles, whereas the Younique Powder Puff brush is perfect for working with dense powder formulations.

Every morning I moisturise with an SPF (Currently Olay Complete Our Original BB) and then if it's a snazzy occasion I'll use a primer, to add extra moisture to my skin and even out my skin tone. My current primers of choice are Pixi Flawless + Poreless and the iconic Clarins Beauty Flash Balm

In the past, if you wanted to wear a more full coverage base, you'd often have to compromise on dewiness and glow - instead, more matte coverage formulations were positioned for us, full-coverage lovers. I'm currently wearing a mineral foundation and the Bare Minerals Original SPF Foundation is my pick of the crop. For a creamier and more full-throttle coverage, I use the Revlon Photo Ready InstaFix foundation which I raved about in my March monthly favourites so I won't repeat here, but its a goody.





* Post contains gifted items from Clarins + Younique

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