Blogmas Day 23 – Contour Palette of the Year!

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Oh my gosh… It is Christmas Eve Eve!!! Only 2 days left of blogmas, I have blogged everyday for 23 days so far. It is so crazy to think about, I usually manage to get one blog post up a week, 2 on the rare occasion due to my busy student life so I am very proud of myself for almost completing Blogmas. I have enjoyed doing it so much, I wish I could blog everyday of the year! Blogging is my safety net, my little space on the internet fully controlled by me and I get to create new content in each post for my loyal and much appreciated audience. Thank you very much to everyone who has been reading my posts this Blogmas, I hope you have enjoyed reading them just as much as I have enjoyed creating them!

Today is another one for my ‘of the year’ series. Instead of doing the usual 2016 favourites I am picking one product from each category that I have loved the most. So far I have done Highlighter, Foundation and eye shadow palette of the year so today I am sharing my Contour palette of the year!

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The Nyx Cosmetics Contour Palette has been my absolute favourite for adding definition to my face this year. I am sure I purchased this around 8 months ago and used it almost everyday. I tend to reach for this palette more than I do my Hoola bronzer by Benefit. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love Hoola but prefer it for when I am going all out. The contour shades in the Nyx Cosmetics contour palette are very subtle but buildable and so easy to blend. Considering how affordable I would have expected them to be quite harsh to blend and look muddy but that isn’t the case, they are far from muddy and of high end quality.

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Nyx Cosmetics are known for their low prices and high quality and that is most certainly the case with this palette, I swear by it! I am even going to purchase one for my MUA kit which I am beginning to build, I would love to use this palette on clients. The shades in it are very versatile. The yellow/banana shade powder is one I am hitting pan on, it reminds me of the banana powder in the Anastasia Beverley Hills contour palette (which I am excited to receive from my besties for Christmas, eeeekkk!!) so I can then compare both banana powders but the Nyx one is perfect for setting concealer and brightening the under eye area, I also apply it in the centre of my forehead when I am full on going all out with my contour. There are various shades of the dark contour powders so the palette is great for any skin tone. The highlighters in this palette are very pigmented but I do tend to reach for other highlighters which I own a lot more if I am honest.

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This palette is my contour palette of the year just because of how impressed I am with the quality of it. My favourite thing is although I have hit pan on my favourite shades they are removable from the palette and Nyx Cosmetics sell the shades on their own so I can just replace the single shade rather than buying a whole new palette for one shade! Pigmentation is ace, longevity is ace and quality of the product is ace! I definitely recommend you introduce yourself to this product in the new year if you haven’t already. It is certainly one product I would recommend more than anything, if someone were to ask me to recommend just one product this would be it. I love it so much!

How do you get your contour on fleek?

Stay tuned for tomorrows ‘of the year’ post!

Desire4beauty

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Blogmas Day 22 – Eye shadow palette of the Year!

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If you have been reading my Blogmas posts you will know that this year I am breaking my 2016 favourites down into detailed ‘of the year’ posts for each product category. Highlighter of the Year and Foundation of the Year have been the first to posts in my of the year series. To follow these posts is my eye shadow palette of the year which is…

*drum rollllll*

The Urban Decay Gwen Stefani eye shadow palette!!!!!

I have had this palette since the start of the year. When it first was released I did not hesitate to order it for myself! It is one of the first high end eye shadow palettes I ever owned and I absolutely love it. As you can tell from the pictures I have hit pan on the shade ‘blonde’ which is one of my favourite shades to use as a base! ‘Punk’ on the opposite side of the palette is another favourite and I am close to hitting pan on this too. My favourite combination is punk in the crease and blonde on the lid with Zone as a transfer shade.

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The eye shadows in this palette blend like a dream and are very pigmented! It has lasted me almost a year and I use it so often so it definitely lasts long. The longevity of the eye shadows themselves are amazing, the last me all day without fading, smudging or wearing off. It is certainly great value for money! The packaging is gorgeous and retro I love it! It has a magnetic seal which makes it easy to securely seal, you don’t have to worry about it popping open or like with the Naked palettes you don’t have to double check you securely shut the palette.

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The shades in this palette are so versatile. It has the basic nudes and subtle glitters for everyday wear but then it has dark glittery blue and and dazzling gold to add a pop of colour and black to create a stunning smokey eye. It is THE perfect palette. Great size for travel too! I do not have a single bad thing to say about it at all. SO worth the price, I definitely recommend you pick it up if you do not yet own this little beauty. My favourite and most pigmented palette by Urban Decay!

Blogmas is very close to the end now which means only one thing, Christmas is almost here! I am so very excited are you?! Let me know in the comments what your favourite thing about Christmas is!

Desire4Beauty

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Blogmas Day 21 – Foundation of the Year!

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Following on from yesterdays Highlighter of the Year today I want to share my foundation of the year. If you have been a reader of my blog for a while now then you will know I have used this foundation for so long, Almost 3 years now! No matter how many different foundations I try I will always come back to this one. I have tried 6 different foundations this year including Estee Lauder double wear and L’Oreal Lumi Magique but I have still always come back to the Rimmel London last finish foundation, there is nothing quite like it!

With this foundation I get a medium-high coverage that doesn’t fade or go patchy throughout the day and really creates the perfect base for my makeup. You can have the sharpest wing and the fleekiest contour but if your foundation doesn’t sit well then the entire look just fails. For someone that loves heavy makeup this foundation gives such coverage that I feel good enough to brave a natural makeup day with just foundation, concealer, brows and mascara with no eye shadow, fleeky wings or heavy contour. I still feel that I look somewhat presentable throughout the day and less like a zombie!

My favourite way to apply this is with a damp Real Techniques miracle complexion sponge, it blends it out nicely and provides even coverage. Only one pump of foundation is required for medium coverage however I prefer to use 2 or if I want a really full coverage, on the odd occasion I will use 3 pumps. I have been through this foundation so many times, I must have purchased it at least more than 8 times in the past 2/3 years! It is a must have foundation, if you haven’t tried it yet you definitely should, there is no foundation I would recommend more. It is of high end quality, the formula is perfect, not too thin but not too thick and it blends like a dream!

I do not have a bad word to say about this foundation. If you have any questions then feel free to ask below or tweet me!

Stay tuned for another of the year post coming tomorrow!

Desire4Beauty

Blogmas Day 20 – Highlighter of the Year!

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As blogmas enters its final 5 days I have decided to do a little series from now until the end. This will be ‘of the year’. Each day I will be sharing with you guys a product of the year from a certain makeup category. For example today I will be sharing my highlighter of the year so let me know in the comments if there is any particular product categories you would like me to share my favourite product from!

In all honesty I have had this product for just over a month but I have used it very often since. I recieved it as a lovely present from my best friends from my birthday, they really know me well! I have had my eye on the Sleek Solstice Highlight Palette for so long. It was quite a hyped up product in the beauty world at one point but I never really jumped onto the bandwagon. After I first viewed it in store and swatched the purple highlighter I fell in love with it. I needed this palette!

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Now that I have it I am so happy! It is far better than I expected and the formula of the highlighters are like nothing I have ever tried before. It is not entirely creamy nor powder, it is somewhere in between and I am a huge fan of this unique formula, it blends so easy and doesn’t leave a powdery look. I find that some highlighters can leave a finish look as if you have slapped some glitter on top of your cheekbones however this is not the case with the Sleek Solstice palette. It blends into the rest of my makeup so well and leaves a subtle but slaying glow!

It is the first product I have tried from sleek and I am super impressed! Living up to the brands name, the packaging is most definitely sleek! It is very classy, sturdy, easily stored in your makeup bag or storage draws and looks very prestige. This would make a lovely Christmas present or something to spend your Christmas money on, I definitely recommend it. Considering throughout the year I have used various highlighters including the much love Champagne Pop and Mary Lou Manizer this one tops them all! To get a good idea of what I am comparing it to read my Highlight Heaven blog post.

The reason this palette tops them all is due to the unique formula and how easy it is to apply and blend. It gives the perfect glow and in comparison to the other highlighters I have tried, it leaves the best finish. Not the most pigmented in all honesty but I prefer a subtle glow rather than one that is too heavy. It is all round perfect and is definitely my highlighter of the year!

What is your favourite highlight this year? Let me know in the comments below!

Desire4Beauty

Blogmas day 19 – Dear Santa…

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Rather than doing the typical goals and wishes for the new year I am going to write a little letter to Santa telling him what I would like from here including things for the new year ahead of us!

Dear Santa…

Firstly, for Christmas I would like my friends and their families to be happy with the presents I gift them. I would like for them all to have a lovely Christmas day especially as one of my friends will be having their first Christmas without someone who meant very much to them but I know that person will be watching down proudly with a smile on his face. I would like the end of the year to be a week full of happiness and ease for me and my friends including lots of squad days outs! I would like to build up the courage to brave the boxing day sales Santa, that’s if I have any money left after present buying!

The next few things I would like from you are for the year ahead. I want next year to be my year. This year was pretty good in honesty but it had it’s down parts which I still expect next year. However I would like to be able to deal with any downfalls in a much better way than I have this year. Santa, I most definitely want some motivation to help me not only succeed in my A Levels but even just to get out of bed in the mornings! I have become an awful morning person over the last year not just due to being plain lazy but mainly because of health issues so becoming a morning person is something I would like more than anything Santa! Getting more organised is something else I would like, maybe a Filofax please Santa? In rose gold?… That would definitely help me get organised which makes me motivated so it’s 2 birds with 1 stone!

Blogging wise I hope to grow my audience, become self-hosted and purchase a blog design that I have had my eye on for a few months now, maybe I will even start up YouTube again! I definitely would like those changes in the blogging world. I would also like to attend more blogger events! One last thing please Santa… I hope to get a part time job in my dream career as a Makeup Artist. Something to open my door into the world of makeup artistry and set me off into the career I have a significant amount of passion for, I will work my hardest and make it my main priority to get myself opportunities in this!

I think that is everything I would like from Santa!

Let me know in the comments what you want from Santa this year? Or some of your goals for the new year!

Desire4Beauty

*Blogmas Day 18 – Kokoa Skincare!

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*DISCLAIMER* This is a brand collaboration however all opinions are my own and 100% honest. I would not review a product I don’t believe in.

In my previous blog post I spoke about hand creams as they are a product I rely on throughout the day. Skincare is very important to me especially because I not only have dry skin but I have it in the form of eczema which means if I don’t keep on top of ensuring my skin is hydrated it can become so irritable and itchy to the point which it becomes inflamed or even bleeds. To deal with this skin condition like to use a lot of oily skincare products. Argon oil and coconut oil are my favourites, If I soak my face in it before I sleep I wake up and feel like I’ve been given a new face, my skin feels so soft and fresh!

Skincare is an essential part of not only being healthy but also for my confidence. Noone feels happy in bad skin! Recently I recieved an amazing opportunity to receive some skincare products from a new brand on the market called Kokoa.

Kokoa create skincare products that are 100% natural, vegan, cruelty-free and hand free! When I first decided to check out the brand before deciding whether I actually wanted to try their products these facts were what really appealed to me. It sounded very similar to the products made by Lush Cosmetics which  I absolutely love so I really wanted to try out these natural products too!

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The products I chose to try out are the Coconut oil, Shea butter, Coconut oil & Shea butter combined, the African black soap and the night oil.

First of all is the coconut oil. This is a solid product so does take a bit of rubbing to get the product out to apply but that’s the case with most coconut oils. Once applied this coconut oil provides a lot of hydration to my skin and does a very good job! It’s like any other coconut oil except it is pure and organic! It is advertised as to reduce the signs of ageing, smooth and soften skin and maintain skin elasticity! I can definitely confirm that it smooths and softens skin but being 18 I can’t be sure of it reduces the signs of aging… It is definitely a good all round product!

The shea butter is one I was very excited to try as I have tried shea butter products from the body shop before and loved them. This shea butter is the perfect consistency and I love how it feels on my skin. It is super hydrating and makes my skin feel so soft! It doesn’t smell as great as the body shop one but I guess that is down to it being raw and organic. The not too great smell is worth it for what it does to my skin!

I love the Coconut oil & Shea butter combined product! It is basically the above 2 products combined which works wonders for my skin. The formula is very buttery and easy to apply, my skin feels so moisturised and fresh after applying this product!

The African Black Soap is one product I am very excited to talk about as I have never tried anything like it! It is known to fight acne, body odour, hyper pigmentation and razor bumps. I like how it fights hyper pigmentation as I have dark patches in certain areas on my face as a result of eczema. I haven’t noticed any huge differences just yet as I have used the soap a few times but I have noticed a small difference such as the dark circles under my eyes not covering as much area as they did before I used this soap. I am excited to see the final results after using this soap and will be reviewing it on its own in detail as to if it fits its description but so far so good! I love this soap, it is very easy to use. All I do is take a small piece from the edge, rinse my face then rub the small piece of soap in my palms and it creates a creamy lather which I use to rinse my face with like any face wash. It makes my skin feel amazing instantly!

Admittedly I did not try the night oil as it is advertised as being formulated especially for oily skin so I didn’t want to use it for it to dry my skin out even more just for the sake of me testing the product. I will be passing this on to a friend as I won’t gain much use from it but I am sure it is just as wonderful as the products I was able to try!

Overall I really love these products from Kokoa and would actually purchase these items myself so thank you very much Kokoa for gifting them to me. My favourite has to be the African black soap, I have never tried anything like it. One down side is because the products are organic and natural they aren’t the best smelling. I do think Kokoa could work on better scenting their products but that’s just me being fussy and too used to high street brands. Besides the smell, which is bearable , the products themselves are amazing!

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Kokoa have given me a discount code to share with my loyal readers to get 30% off until December 31st so use the code “DESIRE4” to retrieve this discount! You could order some products for Christmas present or stocking fillers. I honestly do recommend them!

They also pledge 7% of their profits (annual net) to 2 charities, WWF and MamaHope which I think is a great thing to do!

I have a lot of hope for Kokoa. I have tried skincare products from brands in the past but nothing that appeals to me like these products have. I can see Kokoa being just as big as Lush in the future and that is my honest view, I love their products!

Hope you are all having an exciting time in the build up to Christmas! Let me know what you’re up to in the comments below!

Desire4Beauty

Blogmas day 17 – Body lotion as hand cream?

 

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Not only in winter but throughout the whole year I like to keep a small tube of hand cream or even body lotion in my bag, scented ones tend to be my favourite. It’s important to keep your skin hydrated especially if your skin type, like myself, is dry. Keeping a hand cream on me is essential even if I only reach for it in my bag twice a week, at least it is there whenever I need it, using it more often in some weeks than others. I wanted to share my favourite hand creams with you guys because I have been using these since the start of the year so I would like to share my thoughts and opinions on each one.

Firstly is the Ghost Eclipse body lotion. This came in a set with a gorgeous perfume of the same scent. Although it is a body lotion I find that the tube is the perfect size to pop into my handbag on the way out. I use it to moisturise my hands in the mornings and it adds a fresh scent to them too! I much prefer to use it as a hand cream as it will then last me a lot longer than if I were to use it as a body lotion. I usually use it on my hands and sometimes on my neck just to emphasize the scent when using the perfume with it. Unfortunately this is not sold alone but it comes in a set with the perfume which would make the perfect Christmas gift and is very affordable! I love this hand cream and the perfume which I have now ran out of but the hand cream has lasted me the whole year and is my favourite out of all of the ones I have used!

Next is the hand cream which I picked up from Primark. In all honesty I was sucked in by the quirky packaging but it is in fact a very good hand cream. Not my favourite but it does the job, keeps my hands hydrated whenever I use it and is an all round good product especially just for £1. However, I do prefer using the body lotions as hand creams, I find the formula a lot more moisturising, hydrating and the scent of the body lotions are more perfume like, leaving my hands smelling lovely in comparison to the non scented hand cream. I do like the hand cream but it does not compare to using the body lotions as hand creams!

Last but not least is the Only way is Essex dazzle body lotion. Again, just like the ghost eclipse this comes alongside a perfume in a gift set making a gorgeous and affordable gift. The perfume I have used up but the body lotion still remains with at least 50% of product left! This tube is slightly larger than the Ghost eclipse body lotion so I may not always pop it into my bag but I do like to grab it to moisturise my hands before leaving the house, on the odd occasion I will take it with me and I don’t find it any more hassle to use than a regular hand cream.

Overall from altering between the 3 products mentioned above, I hold a preference for the ghost eclipse body lotion with the primark hand cream being my least favourite. I used to never use the body lotions in gift sets or only use them a handful of times and then leave them at the back of my perfume shelf to never be used until I chuck them away when having a clear out. Now I have found a great use for these amazing products and if you are the same with gift sets that feature body lotions, I highly recommend trying them as a hand cream!

What is your favourite hand cream and what do you recommend? I really want to try out something from the body shop!

Desire4Beauty

Blogmas Day 16 – The Christmas tag!

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What is blogmas without the Christmas tag? Even if you’re not doing blogmas, the Christmas tag is a must for all bloggers, It is so fun to do and really gets me into the festive spirit, I hope my readers love it just as much as I do!

What is your favourite Christmas film?

I mentioned a few of my favourites on day 4 of Blogmas and my favourite has always been Elf but this year Love actually is up there with Elf, I love the reality of it and how similar it is to every day life at Christmas time, it really puts me in the festive mood and is a must watch if you haven’t seen it already!

Have you ever had a white Christmas?

Only ever once if I remember correctly but it had previously snowed the day before Christmas, it still counts as a white Christmas though!

What’s your favourite Christmas colour?

The traditional red! Red tinsel, red lights, red Santa, Rudolph’s’ nose I just love the colour red at this time of the year, makes me feel very festive!

Do you like to stay in your PJ’s or dress up for Christmas?

As much as I wish they did, my family don’t celebrate Christmas so they don’t really do much which means I can’t either *looks down at floor in sadness* So I tend to stay in my PJ’s all day, nothing new there!

If you could only buy one person a present this year who would it be?

A homeless person! It makes me sad seeing them sat on the streets knowing they may still be stuck there on Christmas day so I would love to get them a Christmas present to hopefully make their Christmas a lot better.

Do you open your presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?

The only presents I get to open are from friends and neighbours so I always tend to save them so I actually have something to open on Christmas day!

Have you ever built a gingerbread house?

Nope but I really want to! Definitely on my bucket list for next year.

What do you like to do on Christmas break?

Get plenty of sleep, plan to be more organised for the new year and hope it lasts longer than the start of this year. I have a ton of revision to do for mock A level exams in January so that will take up a lot of my time but I also want to go out with my best friends during the break too!

Any Christmas wishes?

As cringe or cliche as it sounds, to be happy and healthy.

Favourite Christmas scent?

Usually it is the festive cinnamon scents but this year it is definitely the black cherry scent, especially the Yankee candle I love it!

Favourite Christmas meal or treat?

As unfortunate as it sounds I have never had a Christmas meal. My favourite Christmas treat is mince pies or the Black forest hot chocolate that appears on the Costa Christmas menu each year, as soon as winter arrives it is all I look forward to!

Let me know in the comments your answer to any of these questions, I would love to find out more about my readers at this time of the year and what you guys get up to!

Desire4Beauty

Blogmas day 15 – Winter relaxation!

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Waking up in the mornings at this time of the year it is dark, getting home from college, it is dark and then I have little time to do coursework, blog and find a little time for myself but self care is very important so every now and then it is essential to take a little time to yourself to just do absolutely nothing, as hard and rare as it is to get this time try to find it at least once a fortnight if not once a week, just an hour or 2 of your evening, forget your worries and cares and just relax. With the cold weather and darker evenings nothing beats coming home from work or college than a nice relaxation session to de-stress from any issues at school, college or work.

My favourite way to begin a relaxation evening is to fill up the bath and create lots of bubbles using a bubble bar from my favourite skincare brand, Lush Cosmetics! I used the ruby red slipper which you may have seen in my Lush Haul. This is a new addition to Lush’s Christmas collection this year and I absolutely love it! I wasn’t too keen on the scent at first but it is actually such a nice Christmassy smell I loved it and it created hundreds of bubbles as you can see!

To create a serene environment I like to light some candles to place around the bath. For this relaxation session I used my Yankee Christmas treats candle, Yankee berry trifle votive candle and a candle that doesn’t really have a scent to it but the jar is cute so I love it and I don’t end up being over powered with scents. These candles around my bath with the lights off is the perfect sight to help me relax.

Last but not least, to complete this relaxation session is my favourite Christmas playlist which you can read more about here. I used my new headphones in the bath for the first time and oh my gosh! It is so much better than having earphones and worrying about them falling in the bath or quickly grabbing a towel to dry them when they do. I no longer have to take my earphones round the back of my head so I can relax without the wire being near the water, I just place my phone on the corner of the bath and put the amazing quality headphones over my head, lie back and chill! Find out more about these headphones in my gift guide for her.

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I like to chill in the bath for at least 45 minutes when I am trying to full on relax like this. I come out feeling like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders, super relaxed and festive from the Christmas tunes! If you haven’t tried this yet you definitely should!

How do you like to relax? Let me know in the comments below!

Desire4Beauty

Blogmas Day 14 – Makeup Revolution 12 days of Christmas unboxing!

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This year Makeup Revolution bought back their much loved advent calendar but a new seasonal product entered the shelves of Superdrug this year and that is this beautiful Makeup Revolution 12 days of Christmas box! This would make such a lovely gift or would be a good idea to perhaps by and as the products inside it are boxed up you could give them out as gifts to various people. I am over the moon to own this luxury box of makeup. In all honesty as much as I love Makeup Revolution I very rarely will purchase something from the brand simply because I am a sucker for high end and as good quality as the brand is I do have other brands which a favour more however this doesn’t mean I dislike Makeup Revolution. I received this box as a birthday present, it definitely isn’t something I would have picked up myself but I was overwhelmed with excitement when I unwrapped this gift and opened the box!

In this little treasure chest it contains:

  • Lip gloss nude edit set
  • Blush palette
  • Ultra strobe balm palette
  • Aqua priming base
  • Makeup fixing spray
  • Ultra contour stick
  • Ultra strobe stick
  • Ultra strobe cream
  • Focus and fix eye primer
  • HD Pro brows palette
  • 2 Eye shadow palettes

You can’t really complain at all. So many new products to try in one set and such a variety of products too!

This is the Lip gloss nude edit set with and without flash. I absolutely love these shades they are gorgeous nudes and have such a lovely formula. Definitely not something that would have grabbed my attention in store but these are absolutely gorgeous I love them!

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The shades in the blush palette look gorgeous I can’t wait to use them! I am also excited to use the ultra strobe balm palette as I haven’t tried any strobing products yet so I can’t wait  to try this!

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I have wanted to try the Makeup Revolution fixing spray for a while now so as much as I want to keep this for my MUA kit I think I’ll be using it myself and I am extremely fascinated by the aqua priming base, I have never used a primer spray so I am looking very forward to trying this!

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I am super impressed with the Ultra contour stick and the Ultra strobe stick. They are far more pigmented than I would’ve expected and how stunning are the swatches of the strobe stick?! (Bottom 2 swatches) I will definitely be using these to highlight they are gorgeous shades!

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The ultra strobe cream is another product I have wanted to try for a while and now I can! I feel like this would be great to mix in with foundation or apply just before to give that extra glow so I will have to try that out and report back on the blog! The focus & fix eye primer was a product I hadn’t come across until I saw it in this box. Firstly, the packaging is stunning! I look forward to trying this too and hopefully it will help the longevity of my eye makeup.

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There is quite a lot of different products inside the HD pro brows palette so I am looking forward to trying this palette out and both eye shadow palettes have some beautiful nude shades. My favourite has to be the one on the furthest right the shades in it are so pretty. The other palette has a few versatile shades I am looking forward to trying the red as a crease shade. I will definitely be trying out these palettes and getting back to the blog with a review as my first ever eye shadow palette was from Makeup Revolution but after experiencing high end eye shadows I never went back so I definitely need to try these out and see how I feel about the formula and quality!

I love the packaging all of these heavenly products come in! The box has the most accurate quote ever within the lid

“you can never have too much makeup”

Which pretty much is my life motto, I am forever collection makeup and I believe I can never have too much!

Desire4Beauty