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5 Holy Grail Products from the UK

By Adrienne, Scotland Contributor

Adrienne lives in Scotland, and she writes for The Sunday Girl, which is mostly beauty but with a little life thrown into the mix. She was born and bred in Scotland, still resides in a damp Scottish town, and jokes that she sees about three days of sunshine a year–but it’s a lovely place to live. She is currently attending university studying both English and French with hopes to become an English teacher.In her free time, she loves to shop and hang out with friends–and beauty blog when she can!


MUA Pro Heaven & Earth Palette

5 Holy Grail Products from the UK

Today, I am going to share with you some great British products that I use on almost on a daily basis. These are products that have become great staples in my ever growing make-up bag. I thought long and hard about my five choices and whittled my list down by asking myself, “What would I recommend to a friend?”

MUA Pro Heaven & Earth Palette (£4.00) is a palette of twelve neutral eyeshadows that has almost reached cult status, and rightly so, as it is a really pretty selection of neutral shadows as well as it is an extremely good dupe for the often hard to source Urban Decay Naked Palette. The main differences aside from price, (MUA Pro palettes cost £4, Urban Decay Naked Palette retails around £35), is that MUA Pro palette is constructed wholly of shimmer and frost eye shadows compared to the Naked Palette, which has more of a variety in finishes. Heaven and Earth leans towards the cool end of the spectrum but each eyeshadow is finely-milled and packs a punch pigmentation wise. For £4, it is a wonderful neutral palette to add to your stash, but you may want to skip it if prefer matte formulas.

Barry M Lip Paints (£4.49) have a huge selection of shades–thirty one at last count–and they are always adding new shades to the line.  There really is a shade for everyone! I am a huge lipstick fan; I’d go as far as saying it is my favorite thing to purchase cosmetic-wise. For me there is no better UK high street brand for lipsticks than Barry M. Each shade is intensely pigmented and wears extremely well.  On average, I get around four hours wear per application. Unlike some high street/drugstore brands, these do not have am artificial smell nor are they overly drying in formula. There is one down side to Barry M lipsticks, though, and that is they all have the same semi-matte satin finish. Barry M lipsticks are well known for being great dupes for famous brands that are hard to get or of popular sold out shades. For instance, Barry M #147 Peach Pink is a wonderful dupe for MAC’s Ever Hip!

SleekMakeUp Blushes (£4.30) come with a low price tag but perform just as well, if not better, than some of the leading high-end brands out there. With the huge array of blushes available on the market, you grow to have high expectations regardless of the price tag! Why should you pay top dollar for a lackluster product? What I personally enjoy about SleekMakeUp blushes is that they are insanely pigmented, so much so that I urge all light skinned ladies to approach these with a light hand. The reason all SleekMakeUp products carry a high dosage of pigment is due to the fact the line was originally created with dark skin tones in mind. In my experience (and I have a stash of around ten), each one of the blushes is highly pigmented but also so finely milled and well pressed that the shades are never chalky, apply well with minimal fallout, and are a dream to apply and blend. My personal recommendation is Rose Gold, which is similar to a very famous shade with a rude name–yep–NARS Orgasm!

17 Wild Eyes Mousse Eyeshadows (£3.99) are a new addition to the Boots 17 line and come in six shades.  They are a semi-soft cream eyeshadow that works equally as well as an eyeshadow base or as a subtle all over wash of color.  I have been preaching about these little leopard print pots of cream shadow to all that will listen!  17 Wild Eyes Eyeshadows dry down to a powder finish. They are extremely easy to apply and wear best with a primer of some kind. I have oily lids, and with a primer, I can get eight hours of wear. Some have likened these to Chanel, but I see them as more a rival to MAC Paint Pots as this is what the texture most emulates and wears most similarly to. If you do try these out, I highly recommend the Wild Nude shade.

Collection 2000 Ultimate Wear Concealer (£3.99) is excellent! It is very seldom that you come across a budget buy concealer that performs well. On first inspection, it looks like any cheap drugstore buy, and you would be forgiven for not having high expectations, but this is certainly a case of not judging the book by the cover. Inside the tube houses a doe foot applicator and a thick, yet creamy, concealer that blends exceptionally well and hides all imperfections from dark circles to blemishes. It is a little on the thick side but not so much so that it can’t be used on the delicate eye area, and it doesn’t crease either. The only downsides of this product is the lack of shade variety as there are only three shades. My one tip for any potential buyers would be to choose one shade lighter than you would usually purchase as they have a tendency to oxidize throughout the day. I am an NC37 in Mac and wear shade two – light, if that provides any help!

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Chanel Grenat Stylo Yeux Waterproof Long-Lasting Eyeliner

Chanel Grenat Stylo Yeux Waterproof Long-Lasting Eyeliner
Chanel Grenat Stylo Yeux Waterproof Long-Lasting Eyeliner

Chanel Spring 2012: Chanel Grenat Stylo Yeux Waterproof Long-Lasting Eyeliner

Chanel Grenat Stylo Yeux Waterproof Long-Lasting Eyeliner ($29.00 for 0.01 oz.) is described as “garnet.” It’s a rich burnished burgundy-red with a subtle coppery-red shimmer and even subtler sheen. It has pretty good color payoff in a single pass, though it tends to look browner and less red. If you were worried it might appear too red on the lash line, it doesn’t–it seems to compliment and work well against the natural tones of the skin so it does not make eyes look bloodshot.

This eyeliner formula is good; it’s both waterproof and long-wearing–no fading, smudging, or disappearing over the course of ten hours. Though the size of twist-up pencils always worries me, it’s true across all price points (from drugstore to high-end). There’s a sharpener on the opposite end which detaches and enables you to sharpen the tip of the eyeliner. The pencil is small enough that, for the most part, sharpening isn’t a must (as, inevitably, you’ll waste some product by doing so).  It’s creamy enough that it delivers good pigmentation in a single pass, but it could be a little creamier to enable better glide.

Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof Long-Lasting Eyeliner Grenat
Grenat
Grenat
10
Product
9.5
Pigmentation
9
Texture
10
Longevity
4
Application
94%
Total

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Canadian Spotlight: Annabelle Cosmetics

By Tamara, Local Contributor – Canada

Tamara lives in southwestern Ontario, where she works in a multi-disciplinary physical rehabilitation clinic. When she’s not there, you’ll find her at the local cosmetic counters or freelancing as a makeup artist.

She rediscovered makeup in her early twenties, and since then, she’s become immersed in the beauty community. Tamara loves the idea of sharing information with others who share her beauty interests. After being an observer for some time, she started her own beauty blog. She has learned so much and had an amazing time since starting, and she considers herself lucky to have two jobs she adores.


Annabelle Smoothie Eye Shadow Pencils

Canadian Spotlight: Annabelle Cosmetics

Annabelle is a brand that has been around for quite some time. The line was first launched in August of 1967 by Morrie Cohen, a Montreal businessman. Known as “the house of colors,” the have always offered a wide range of color cosmetics, makeup accessories, and nail polish to consumers.  (Though sadly, in 2004, the line of nail polishes was discontinued!)  The company was named after Mr. Cohen’s mother-in-law, Anabel. The name Anabel, was modified to Annabelle to give a bilingual twist to the Canadian brand.

My top three products from Annabelle are…

Le Big Show Mascara ($9.95 CDN): I’ve had a drugstore favourite for mascara for a long time, but Le Big Show took over a few months ago. This is an absolutely fantastic mascara that gives length, volume and an intensely black colour payoff.

Smoothie Eye Shadow Pencil ($8.95 CDN) As someone with eyelids oily enough to eat through many popular bases, these over-sized pencils really impressed me with their longevity. They can be worn on their own or layered under shadows. I frequently use Melonade (mid-tone peachy pink) or Cocoaloco (rich chocolate brown) with some mascara for a quick low-key look, and Licoriche is perfect for smokey eyes.

Hush Mineral Powder Blush ($10.50 CDN): Amazing colour payoff, smooth application and good wear time are all hallmarks of a great cheek colour and Hush has them all. This was my first experience with a mineral blush and it was a pleasant surprise to find a mineral product at the drugstore that showed up on my skin tone.

Annabelle is widely available across Canada in a number of box-stores, drugstores and supermarkets. U.S. customers are able to make telephone purchases, but only for those products permanent to the line.

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Bobbi Brown Spring 2012 Collection: Neons & Nudes


Bobbi Brown Spring 2012 Collection: Neons & Nudes

“The most modern way to wear bright color is as an accent on an otherwise neutral face.” — Bobbi Brown

The Neons & Nudes Collection features a unique pairing of bright, neon colors that are balanced by soft nudes and neutrals. Pair a soft, nude eye with a neon lip or a bright eye with a nude lip depending on your mood.

Ultra Nude Eye Palette ($45.00) (Limited Edition)

  • Stone (Eyeshadow)
  • Chino (Eyeshadow)
  • Pink Chandelier (Metallic Eyeshadow)
  • Praline (Shimmer Wash Eyeshadow)
  • Champagne Truffle (Shimmer Wash Eyeshadow)
  • Cocoa Berry (Shimmer Wash Eyeshadow)

Ink Liner ($24.00) (Limited Edition)

This liner is the perfect complement to the neon and nude face. Offering the precise, dramatic look of liquid liner, it easily defines the eye. The slanted, flexible felt tip applicator releases rich pigment in one simple stroke, and since the formula is long-wearing, there is no need to re-apply throughout the day.

  • Really Black Black

Lip Gloss ($23.00) (New, Permanent)

Gorgeous, sheer and super shiny, these lip glosses are pure fun and will pair perfectly with a nude eye to polish off your look.

  • Cosmic Pink Pink
  • Citrus Tangerine
  • Ultra Violet Violet

Lip Color ($23.00) (Limited Edition)

Two super vibrant colors and one neutral shade, these new lip colors are made of a unique blend of Beeswax and Vitamins E and C for comfortable wear.

  • Atomic Orange Orange
  • Neon Pink Pink
  • Uber Beige Beige

Eyeshadow ($21.00) (New, Permanent)

  • Ultra Violet (Shimmer Wash Eyeshadow)
  • Bluebell (Eyeshadow)

Blush ($24.00) (New, Permanent)

Nothing gives the face a lift like blush. These two universally flattering, muted pink and peach blush shades are the perfect complement to brightly accented eyes and lips.

  • Nude Peach Soft peach
  • Nude Pink Soft pink

availability: January 2012 (I saw a few pieces pop up at Nordstrom this morning!)

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