Back to Black!

Ok so last week, after about 8 years of dying my hair various shades of brown/blonde at the ends, I did something I’ve wanted to do for ages and dyed the whole thing black!

I didn’t actually expect to notice such a difference but I guess I never realised how light it had gotten! And I was prompted to write this blogpost because of the overwhelmingly positive response I received on social media! I had 27 DMs about my hair which was honestly so nice and flattering – thanks guys!

One thing I got asked a lot was how to grow it so long and how to look after it. Unfortunately I am not an expert in either of those things so I’ll answer as best I can here.

HAIR GROWTH 

For me, entirely hormonal. I haven’t always had long hair (my mum made me keep it short until the age of like 16) and I hated short hair on me after that! I kept growing it and got it cut maybe once every 5 months and only a few inches at a time. During my teens, I had layers (who didn’t pls the volume was everything back in school) but as it got really long in my early 20s, I stopped getting layers cut into it. I wanted one-length, straight blunt hair. This was because it looked thicker and at the time, my thyroid troubles had pretty much butchered my hair – it thinned out quite a lot.

As I stopped going to the gym regularly, I was able to get away with not washing it for up to 10 days at a time. This was really helpful in letting my hair grow as I used to just put it up and out the way so it kinda did its growy thing. Once my thyroid was under control, my hair started growing back and it started to look thicker. This, combined with my blunt haircut was a good guise for my hair troubles.

HAIR CONDITION

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Ok my hair was in terrible condition. As it’s so long, it can look a bit ratty at the ends which is a shame. I intended on dying the whole lot an ash blonde last year and went to the first stage of bleaching it (ALWAYS bleach dark hair in stages to preserve it). Although we used Olaplex, the blonde hair never really shined or looked that great. I decided against going blonde soon after as I just wasn’t feeling that vibe anymore. And I’m SO GLAD I didn’t do it! Anyway, at this point I was left with really light hair on the ends as a result of my continual balayage. I think balayaged hair is gorgeous when it’s first done and it’s really popular at the moment, but for me, it just never really looked that great. My hair didn’t come across on camera as light as it did in person, so it was always a bit meh. As before, the lighter strands lose their shine and dimension so it will always look a little flat once the salon treatment has worn off (and this doesn’t take long). Unless you keep giving your hair expensive treatments to keep it shiny, balayaged hair is really hard to upkeep.

What products do I use? Well until last week, pretty much none. I use kerastase shampoo and conditioner, or Aussie, or OGX shampoo. Nothing hugely groundbreaking there. I have been reverse conditioning my hair for as long as I can remember (condition from the roots to the ends first, and then shampoo it all out) as it helped to stop my hair going greasy BUTTTTT I have been advised by my new hairdresser to stop doing that as the science behind shampoo and conditioner doesn’t favour that routine. Basically, shampoo is supposed to open your hair (?) and clean it and conditioner seals it back up giving it shine. So I pretty much wasted half my life washing my hair the wrong way thinking I was sitting on this mad haircare secret lolz.

HAIR COLOUR

I went to Hare & Bone to get my hair done as I really didn’t want it to go wrong with my brother’s wedding coming up really soon. I knew it was going to be pricey but it was A LOT more expensive than I anticipated. I didn’t want to get it cut there, so just assumed I would need a full tint (£87) which is quite reasonable. But after my consultation, the hairdresser said I would need a Glossing treatment to cover the blonde fully. This was another £73 (this did not include a blowdry and that’s an extra £45). Soooo, yeah, it was an expensive trip considering it was an overall colour with no blending or different shades that requires a bit of artistry. Nevertheless, it was absolutely worth it and the glossing treatment was SO GOOD. My hair is so shiny and soft and just feels brand new.

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To read more on Glossing Treatments, this is interesting: https://www.sheknows.com/beauty-and-style/articles/985711/gloss-hair-treatment-what-it-is-why-get-one

Fast forward to today, I’m still using the same shampoo and conditioner for now but have recently bought heat protection spray, shine spray and hair oil. I’m hoping this helps me retain the shine from the glossing treatment a little longer than normal. I’m going to get a little trim later this week to keep it looking fre$h for the wedding, but keeping my signature style – long, blunt, no layers except for two short pieces of hair bluntly cut around my face.

At the minute, my hair is darker than it is naturally (I’m a warm brown/black naturally) and this is jet, raven black. I’m intending on going even darker (lol how is this possible hums) in the autumn! You’ll have to wait and see! I’m also going to get a significant amount chopped off because long hair just isn’t very trendy and I have FOMO from all the cool people with shorter hair.

Please let me know if you have any haircare tips or styling tips that extend beyond straightening! I’m rubbish at styling my hair and it holds a curl for approximately 3 minutes. That’s likely due to the weight and length but I’m sure other people have the same issue!!

 

Here’s some more ‘before’ pics!

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My blunt haircut!

Ex1 Delete Fluide Concealer and Invisiwear Foundation

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Left, concealer 5.0 and Right, foundation in 6.0

Hey guys! (youtube voice)

Ex1 Cosmetics have come out with a new concealer. If you’re Asian/middle eastern/olive or even slightly olive undertone, ex1 is a makeup brand that caters for you (and only you). I have been a fan of this brand for a few years now and have just repurchased my 4th bottle of foundation from them! That’s quite the testament isn’t it. This post isn’t really about the foundation but I’ll include a mini review for completeness.

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Ex1 Invisiwear Liquid Foundation

This is a light-medium buildable foundation that comes in a variety of yellow toned shades. They expanded the shade range a couple of years ago to make more sense and include more colours. In the original charting, I used to wear F200 and F300. Then I started wearing shade 6.0, which seems to be the replacement for both of these shades. It’s such an easy foundation to wear every day or when you don’t feel like caking up in Huda (because that stuff is HEAVY). It has the added benefit of having a moisturiser-like texture which makes application easier than the Fenty. It’s not a better foundation than either of these two, just easier and much more fuss free. The thing that really seals the deal is the bargain price. It’s £12.50! I genuinely have finished three bottles of this stuff because it gives me a bit of colour, isn’t too full coverage so I don’t need to put it everywhere (most of the time I don’t put foundation on the sides of my cheeks cos cba) and it’s luminous, glowy and lasts all day (not day and night though). It’s just a good one to have and use on a daily basis in my opinion. It’s non-comedogenic and most likely won’t break you out. But even if it does, it’s not like it’s a £40 Armani foundation!

  • Pigmentation – 8/10
  • Texture – 9/10
  • Longevity – 8/10
  • Price – 10/10
  • Overall – 9/10

Buy it here.

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Ex1 Delete Fluide Concealer

Their newest launch caught my eye because I already feel so heavily invested in their other products. They don’t have many so I like to think each one is well thought out and won’t disappoint. I went on a real journey with this concealer let me tell ya.

I got the shade 5.0 as I’m 6.0 in the foundation and like my concealer to be a little lighter under the eyes. I didn’t want a highlighting concealer (nothing will beat tarte shape tape in that department), rather I wanted an alternative to my everyday concealer which is the Nars radiant creamy one in Ginger. The colour of the Ex1 is okay on me – not the best colour match tbh. But seriously, I could not get this to full coverage for AGES. I have really awful under eye circles that are practically purple. I therefore consider myself to be a good candidate for testing under eye concealers. People with no eye bags can’t test concealer, sorry. You’re too blessed, move yourself.

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Top Ex1 Foundation 6.0, then ex1 Concealer in 5.0, then Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in Ginger, then Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer in SX10.

Anyway, so what seemed like multiple pumps and half a bottle later, I stopped building up the coverage. It just wasn’t doing anything and my under eyes still looked so hollow. I was ready to write this product off and be disappointed for the rest of the day tbh. But then I decided to set one eye with translucent powder (i.e. it has no coverage of its own to skew the results) and leave one eye to see if it creases (it did). THE DIFFERENCE that setting it made was insane! I applied translucent powder with my beauty blender (same one I used to apply the concealer) and didn’t let it bake but just brushed it off. It was amazing. It suddenly transformed to this full coverage extremely natural and undetectable concealer! I realised why – it’s because the formula is quite a luminous satin type, which reflects the light and draws attention to the hollowness. Get rid of the shine and you are left with perfectly concealed under eyes! How bout thaaaa

The little bottle is reminiscent of MAC prolongwear concealer, and no, it’s not the most convenient, but it is very hygienic. And great for doing other people’s makeup. The foundation is a pump bottle too. Which is fab, and great for travelling. Plastic containers keep the products lightweight and shatterproof as well. It’s a bit spenny for ex1 at £10.50, which is almost the price of the foundation, but I assume it’s the first step in increasing the price point of the brand, which is a shame but not unexpected. Will it replace the Nars? Perhaps not, but I’ll use it up.

  • Pigmentation – 7/10
  • Texture – 8/10
  • Longevity – 7/10
  • Price – 8/10
  • Overall – 7/10

Buy it here.

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Airtight Pump bottles

Finished look with an ex1 face!

 

My Laser Hair Removal experience!

Fed up of waxing? Epilating? Shaving? Me, the heck, too. I have waxed for years and years, and genuinely like the results, but hate the in-between time and the cost. Like a lot of you, I have spent considerable time debating laser hair removal (LHR) to rid myself of unwanted hair, and to be a smooth hair-free goddess (not that there is anything wrong with body hair, it’s a personal decision). I made a somewhat spur of the moment decision in January to go and get a free consultation – it’s no obligation and you can ask questions. I did some research online and decided on a consultation at Pulse Light Clinic in London (the Bank branch as it was nearest me).

At this stage I hadn’t decided if I actually wanted to go through with the treatment, but I was intrigued and wanted to know more. I called up, and they fit me in a couple of days later for a consultation. The consultation was quick but thorough. The nice lady managed my expectations, told me to expect a 60-80% reduction in growth and gave a few more disclaimers because I am severely hypothyroid and have had PCOS before (medication has put my hormones back in range so I don’t suffer many symptoms). I was initially convinced I wanted my whole body done (being Asian and all, my hair is dark and, in my opinion, visible). However, she was very honest and said there was no point and that most of the hair is too fine to be picked up by the laser. You can get it done, but you’ll need double the sessions (up to 24) for the laser to convert the vellus (thin, baby hair) into terminal hair that’s thick enough to zap. Essentially, it makes you hairier so it would get worse before it gets better. Take this into consideration if you think you’re super hairy! These clinics have seen SUPER hairy and honestly, you’re most likely not fluffy enough for full body laser. All this considered, she said I’d get a good result and was an ideal candidate – I decided on only treating the areas I usually get waxed. I quickly found myself agreeing a package service of 8 sessions and found myself under the knife laser a week later.

Another nice lady who treats me begins by telling me what to expect, and drawing lines on my skin, so she could methodologically track where she needs to laser. I suppose I kind of guessed what to expect in terms of pain, having had all the areas to be treated zapped once during the consultation as part of a patch test, but I was wrong. I expected mild discomfort throughout the procedure but was instead greeted with a complete mix. I’ll summarise; bikini and bony areas such as calves and ankles HURT LIKE HELL. But everything else is completely fine. Boy, oh boy, was I not prepared for how much it would hurt! The pain in those areas is worse than a wax, and it hurts a bit like a strong electric shock or bee sting might. The common “elastic band” comparison is true for some parts, but in others it’s more like a million hot needles poking you. It made me flinch, a lot. There was a little cool air blaster that kiiiind of helped and is supposedly much better than the old school gel they put all over you in older lasers. My technician lady actually started laughing at how much I was wriggling around! FYI – I have a pretty high pain tolerance.

The session is over in an hour, and I’m feeling prettyyyyy red raw. She smooths aloe vera gel over the redness and I proceed to walk 25 minutes to get home. I am told that this is fine, but to avoid exercise, hot showers or saunas etc for the next day or so. Avoiding exercise is my favourite thing to do, so I don’t mind. Over the next few days, my legs calm down in sensitivity and I can’t notice that much of a difference. I suppose it is only session 1/8. A few weeks later, my hair starts shedding – this is genuinely such a weird phenomenon. A lot of it falls out, and then I just shave the rest. I have been pretty much hair-free since it started falling out – not many signs of regrowth yet! My skin is MUCH more sensitive though and gets super itchy at the slightest hint of irritation. This is mainly confined to the lower legs. V uncomfortable but aloe vera helps.

I will update this blog post with my results, which I expect to become really visible after about session 3 or 4. That will be in around 6 months time, as I am being treated every 6 weeks. During, and before your first treatment, you have to abandon all other methods of hair removal and start shaving. Absolutely DO NOT wax/pluck/epilate the areas as this removes the follicle which needs to be targeted by the laser in order for it not to grow back. If you do remove hair this way, you are wasting money and slowing your journey down. ALSO, importantly, you can’t plan any holidays during your treatment time. This can be up to a year so just make sure you’re ready to stay pale.

As it is hair “reduction” not removal, you will still get the odd hairs even after all the treatments are over. So, you shouldn’t really wax or anything ever again in these areas as you may stimulate the follicle to grow back thicker and darker as after laser it will be super fine and supposedly unnoticeable. Have I just committed to a lifetime of sporadic shaving? Only time will tell if it works! I’m hopeful, and so was my technician. Goodbye strip (and hot) wax forever guys.

All the above considered, here’s a few things to bear in mind if you’re considering LHR:

  • Don’t let them promise you the world – it’s not going to magically remove every hair on your body.
  • Avoid Groupon – DO NOT seek cheap deals for laser. The side effects of poor treatment are NOT worth it – second and third degree burns on your face/body are much harder to treat than excess hair, and will cost you more long-term than you would save short-term.
  • Go to a specialist laser clinic, not a medi-spa (such as Sk:n clinic) – have heard multiple bad experiences from people about sk:n clinic – can’t comment on it as I didn’t go there but it factored in to my decision so made sense to include this info here as well.
  • If you’re medium-dark skintone, you need the Nd:YAG laser (or Soprano Ice which is a bit harder to find in the UK).
  • The candela gentlemax pro (the laser used on me) is a mix of two lasers: Alexandrite (the strongest, works best on pale skin) and Nd:YAG laser (still pretty strong, massively reduces the risk of burns in people of colour by targeting the melanin in the follicle, not surrounding skin). The combination of the two yields an effective laser, that is safe for all skin tones. They will change the settings depending on the area treated.
  • Buy a good sun screen – spf 50 is recommended (wear every day on your face if getting it treated).

I’ll let you all know how it goes!

Huda Beauty Faux Filter Foundation Review

PC Selfridges Huda Beauty Foundation

Okay, I waited a minute before writing up my thoughts on this foundation. I actually bought it around the same time I bought the Fenty but wanted to give it a good go before reviewing (I got mine from Selfridges online). Overall thoughts? I like it. I really like the formula – my skin looks FLAWLESS once I’ve applied and the staying power is pretty good as well.

What don’t I like? Well, not much. But I have the wrong colour lolz. I have the shade 340G Baklava (MAC shade is NC35 for ref). As detailed in my fenty beauty review, my skin tone is adaptable, but not this much. As you can see from the swatches below, it dries down HELLAAA dark. The only time I can wear a full face of Huda is if I have a roll neck on as you can’t see my neck. Otherwise, your gal has to mix things into it. I know the shade I should have gotten as I went to Harrods a few weeks ago and swatched (it’s Tres Leches) but you know, when you panic order online because you think it’ll sell out, you’re prone to choosing the wrong colour. The best combo is mixing 1 drop of fenty beauty into the Huda – it lightens it up enough to wear, without mattifying it and giving the same finish as Fenty. Et voilà. I have combined two very good foundations to create the crème de la crème. (I also need to stop watching French YouTube). Another thing I mix into it to brighten it up is the Make Up For Ever Chromatic Mix in Yellow. I used to use this a lot to change the undertone of my foundations as brands never used to diversify their ranges as much, but now its gets used much less. I really love this though – they have a whole bunch of colours and you just need to put one drop in to customise your base. You can even use it in concealer. It’s water-based so you won’t change the finish of the product, just the colour. If you struggle to match your base to your skintone, I thoroughly recommend these little mixers.

Huda Baklava Fenty 260Huda 340G Fenty 260

Anyway, back to the Faux Filter Foundation. It’s really very good, the only complaint I have is that it settles in my fine lines around my mouth. I didn’t even know I had fine lines until this foundation (I’m 23). But yeah, the problem is easily solved by a light dusting of translucent powder (pigmented powder not necessary as the foundation is already so full coverage). The finish has an oddly sticky feel to it, which also goes away with a bit of powder. I would call this out as a negative, but according to Huda herself, you’re meant to set it.

It has a very strong perfumed smell, that most will either love or hate. Surprisingly, I’m indifferent to it. It reminds me of the Middle East, and the waft of oud you get as the Emirati women sashay past you with their abayas. Makes sense seeing as she lives in Dubai, so I’m not mad about it.

But, the thing that really makes this foundation stand out to me? I use it to conceal my undereyes too. If you know me, you know I have really bad dark circles under my eyes (thanks to my dad) and I usually need two concealers. This foundation eliminates the need for my first step concealer (Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer) and allows me to use my Tarte Shape Tape to highlight. It looks exactly the same as the 2-step process but with much less faff! (Still love the Nars though – I wear it every day when I have no foundation on). Most foundations won’t work as a concealer as the formula is different. But because this one is SO thick and full coverage, it works a treat!

Foundation Swatches NC35

Here it is compared to some of my other foundations

The foundation is £32 which is pretty pricey especially compared to the Fenty, but I feel like it’ll last for ages. I  have attached a couple of pics of me wearing it (cocktailed with Fenty) so you can see the coverage.

  • Pigmentation – 10/10
  • Texture – 9/10
  • Longevity – 8/10
  • Price – 8/10
  • Overall – 9/10

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Guys both these eyeshadow looks took 3 MINUTES to do. HMU if you wanna know how.

Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Foundation

fentySooo, big news in makeup community – RiRi has entered and seemingly, monopolised the “hot new product” market. (Or so we thought…) I thought the launch was cool, she dropped it so nonchalantly and effortlessly and I thought that was cool too. She is gorgeous, tanned, unpredictable and sassy so I KNEW I was going to spend some dollar on Fenty Beauty and the utter chaos it has caused.

I waited a while, because I naively thought the ridiculous queues outside Harvey Nichols in Knightsbridge would fade as the buzz died down. How wrong I was!! I went on a weekday, a Monday in fact, because who wants to trek to Knightsbridge in the midst of Hurricane Ophelia and 70mph winds after work, to wait outside for some makeup?! Yeah, apparently like 50 people wanted to do that so I had to wait outside in the storm for like 67 minutes. Yes, I counted. I didn’t even have headphones to listen to the hot fire that is Jhene Aiko’s new album.

Anyway, time trickled on. I get inside and I am greeted by a makeup artist. She explains a little. She is a legit makeup artist, and not a sales rep that you would ordinarily find on a makeup counter. They have been trained to pick the best match out of 40 shades for each skin tone. She asks me what I’m after and I tell her it’s the foundation but I’m interested in some other stuff too. She sits me down in a very cramped Harvey Nicks surrounded by boisterous women who on one side are trying to break into the enclosed Fenty scene to avoid queuing, and on the other, knocking over products and giving the staff hell.

The girl picked up a shade swatcher aka a reel of different shade cards and held a couple to my face before disappearing off to collect some sample bottles. She wasn’t gone long. Maybe a minute. She came back with 3 bottles: 260, 290, 300. Now, I’d done a little research online and assumed I was in the 300 range as this shade on all the models is what seemed most similar to my skin tone. Turns out I was wrong. She shuffled the neckline of my jumper slightly and said “yes, this is why I bought 260.” Basically, my neck and chest is approx. 2 shades lighter than my usual face shade. I never try to match it because when my face is the same colour I look ill. It reminds me of a not very nice time when I was very sick and didn’t have my thyroid under control. I avoid this look and pile on bronzer like it’s going out of fashion.

However, she was adamant that this was the right shade. I did ask to try shade 270 but she said she didn’t bring it out because I’m not the right undertone for it. Ordinarily I would just go up a shade BUTTTTT you can’t do that in Fenty Beauty BECAUSE the shades don’t go up chronologically. They go up in undertones that are (loosely) in groups of two. So, 260 is neutral, followed by 270 which is pink, 280 which is pink, 290 which is yellow and 300 which is yellow. Annoyingly, there are no real olive shades in the range. My undertone is super neutral but yellow always looks more flattering than any other shade on me. Then we tried 290. I liked this! But it dried down in about a minute and the difference between the foundation and my face was too stark. My artist said no, basically. So we put 260 all over the face. And then I bought it. I probably will purchase 290 as the summer months roll around again. My advice is to trust these women! They literally have matched thousands of people with your skin tone to the foundation. They are experienced and trained.

FB Pro Filt'r

Pay special attention to the labels and corresponding undertones! For olive girls (or NC girls), the 270 + 280 shades will pull too pink/muddy. These are Mac NW shades 🙂

I also bought the highlight duo in Girl Next Door and Chic Phreak, and the Mocha contour stick. The highlight duo is the less popular one, it’s slightly more peachy than the gold sister duo but it’s so unique!! I don’t have any highlighters like it and I have A LOT of highlighters. My artist kind of sold it to me as a blush topper but tbh it wasn’t dark enough to be a blush topper. It just melted into my skin and gave me the warmest peach glow I could imagine. Definite new fave.

The Mocha contour stick is from the Dark matchstix trio, it’s cheaper to buy the trio instead of the sticks individually but I didn’t care for the highlight stick or concealer stick. The “correct” match for the shades in the 200 range is the medium matchstix trio which has a very cool undertone but it wasn’t strong enough for me (ya girl needs to draw on her cheekbones ygm). I got this one from the dark trio instead. I like contour sticks. I used to use and love the smashbox ones back in the day! For the last year or so, the morphe concealer in the dark brown cool shade has been working really well. But now I’m happy to try a new one!

FB Products

I always think it’s hard to review foundations without at least a week’s trial but I’ve worn it for a few days and do have some general thoughts. Firstly, it’s pretty full coverage, but atypically. Usually, fuller coverage foundations are quite thick as there is more pigment in the formula so thicker binding agents are needed. (Science, bro). However, this is super liquid. Not unlike the nyx total control foundation! Main difference is that it dries within seconds and dries COMPLETELY FREAKIN’ MATTE. This is my only matte foundation. I am a dry skin gal. I do not do matte anywhere. So once it dries, and the colour settles (it dries a TAD darker than it’s liquid form), it is completely touch/transfer proof. It’s BIZARRE. I actually really like that aspect as I am always touching my face for some reason or the other (ew). It doesn’t need setting or anything and my even my t-zone stays matte. Importantly, the foundation doesn’t oxidise. Everyone throws round the word oxidise but that’s only the case when it carries on getting darker during the day as it’s exposed to, you guessed it, oxygen. Once Fenty Beauty has dried down a bit darker, it stays that colour. An example of an oxidising foundation is Mac, or Nyx total control. Not a bad thing, just something to bear in mind.

Swatches Fenty Beauty

Fenty is MUCH less yellow.

Swatches Fenty Beauty 2

BUT, it dries similar to some of the others, except the NYX. Please excuse the insta story swatches!

I’m okay with it, it’s reasonably priced and not gimmicky. I wish the shade range pulled more yellow instead of neutral/pink as I feel a lot of olive skinned people might struggle to find a perfect match.

Fenty Beauty 260

I definitely could have gotten away with 290, it’s the shade of most of my other foundations, but as they say… Winter is coming (new GoT fan here).

  • Pigmentation – 9/10
  • Texture – 7/10
  • Longevity – 9/10
  • Price – 10/10 (£26)
  • Overall – 8/10

(The rating is for the foundation, the other products get 9/10 from me because they are great).

Huda next, guys!

 

 

 

Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture Palette Review

 

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Okay, so it’s been a hot minute since I bought new makeup, but my investigative self just had to get my hands on the new ABH subculture palette. AKA the brand’s biggest controversy since inception. They’re a solid brand, and have cult following, so to polarise opinions the way that this palette did? It has to be groundbreaking-ly bad. Anyway, after my not-so-glowing Modern Renaissance palette review, I thought it would be interesting to see how this “sister palette” compares… I was in the minority of not liking Modern Renaissance, but that was mainly down to the colours. As far as I can tell, the tea on subculture is the formula. A lot of cosmetic chemists have weighed in on this issue, and I am not one of them so I won’t harper on about the talc content or lack of “binding ingredients” but it is certainly interesting. In terms of packaging, it comes in a lovely teal cardboard box, with the palette encased in that soft touch velvet kind of material, the same as Modern Renaissance. It’s a pretty looking palette.

I am currently going through a minimal makeup phase. This means no eyeshadow or lashes at all, and barely foundation and concealer. However, even if I put a full face on, I’ll skip my eyes and just wear mascara. I don’t know why I’m doing it, and I’ll probably grow out of it, but there’s a charming simplicity of skipping heavy eye makeup in the summer. This makes it difficult to review allllll the new makeup currently sitting in my drawers. However, I’m trying, guys.

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Please forgive my pictures and swatches – they are iphone quality and not my usual DSLR quality as my DSLR is at home, and I have recently moved to the big smoke (more on this later – keep your eye on BBH).

First impressions:

I LOVE the colour palette. It’s gorgeous. Neutral, cool, autumnal, different etc. It’s so much more appealing and flattering than modern renaissance and much less mainstream. This is what caught my eye in the first place.

 

*Swirling my brush in*:

Wow. Hella fallout. Like, worse than Lorac Pro 2 level of fallout (one of the best palettes I own). Fallout itself doesn’t make me mad but this is excessive. No more swirling.

*Tapping brush lightly*:

Okay. This works. It blends well if you prime and set your eyelids. So far so good.

*Using shade All Star*

Hmm. The colour on my lid is not the same as the colour in the pan. It oxidises to a blackish red-brown. Kinda cool. But there is no maroon shade in the palette. It works, however.

*General use of palette*:

I tested this palette by doing an eye look using 9/14 shades in the palette. They all worked well together, but I will say this. Do not buy this palette if you don’t know how to use a light hand. If you use a heavy hand it won’t work. It will be hard to blend out and just make a mess. I always do my eyes before my face, so fallout isn’t necessarily an issue, but on the lower lash line, it can be difficult to control your brush, so be careful.

This was the eye look I created. It turned out nicer in person, I think.

I used Dawn as the transition shade all over the space between crease and brow, then Roxy as the crease colour with All Star in the outer crease. Then over the lid, I packed on Untamed, then used Adorn in the middle for a halo eye effect. I used Edge and Axis on the lower lash line and again, Adorn in the middle. I used Electric on the inner corner and Cube on the brow bone as a highlight.

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On the rest of the face: ABH Dipbrow in Ebony, Charlotte Tilbury Liquid Liner, Red Cherry Stevie lashes, Too Faced BTS Mascara, NYX Total Control Foundation, Nars radiant creamy concealer in Ginger, Tarte Shape Tape concealer in Light Medium, ABH Powder Contour kit, Cover FX highlight drops in Moonlight, Ofra blush in raisin, Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat in Iconic Nude with Blondie Gloss over the top.

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^ This is the palette with the kickback of 1 tap of a brush. As you can see it’s pretty dusty. I would advise blowing the fallout off before closing the palette so it doesn’t get messy.

Overall opinion:

I like it much more than Modern Renaissance. The colours are a lot more universally flattering, and I was careful with application so that I didn’t pick up too much product on my brush. ONE TAP is all you need for a full coverage application of the eyeshadow. This also means I can do my eyes a little faster than if I were to use less pigmented or harder pressed shadows as I don’t have to build up the intensity. Personal preference but I really didn’t find it that difficult to use. It’s similar to the Lorac palettes and even Modern Renaissance is pigmented! Hellooo, has anyone used the Mario palette?! It’s similar. Perhaps not as dramatic, but that’s just the nature of ABH palettes. (I don’t think I reviewed the Mario palette – if you were wondering, it’s nice but there are quite a lot of satin shades). If you prefer palettes that are easier to use, pass on this palette, and wait for a new one… Guarantee the market will become saturated with similar toned palettes in the next few months!

You can find it here for £41:

http://www.beautybay.com/cosmetics/anastasiabeverlyhills/subcultureeyeshadowpalette/

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  • Pigmentation – 8/10 (it’s too pigmented so dropping it to an 8)
  • Texture – 8/10 (very very soft)
  • Longevity – 9/10
  • Price – 6/10
  • Overall – 8/10

Farsali Rose Gold Elixir and Volcanic Elixir Review

dsc07823So I’ve been busy. If you want to read more about what’s been going on in my life, read this post over here on BakedByH. I probably won’t continue that narrative on this post but it may help to explain why all my reviews are coming at once instead of in a timely manner. That, and, I just haven’t been feeling make up recently. But I’ve still been keeping up with skin care, and hopefully going to expand on my routine over the next few posts.

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Today we’re talking about the Farsali Elixirs. I’ve been using these for about ten months now, so they’re definitely tried and tested. Generally, I really like these. Both of them, for different reasons. First we’ll talk about the Rose Gold Elixir.

This is the popular one in all the Instagram videos, with the tell-tale gold flicks. It looks bougie, and it kinda is let’s not lie. It’s $35 for 15ml, which is a fairly small bottle. The ingredients are: Rosehip Seed Oil, Pumpkin Seed Oil, 24k Gold, Vitamin E, Lemongrass Oil, Orange Peel Oil. These are all natural and fairly easy to obtain (aside from the gold). The cynic in me thinks the Rose Gold Elixir is just a fancy bottle of Vitamin E oil, but I’ll suppress that thought for now.

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It’s quite a thin consistency and the gold flecks disappear when blended out, I mean.. I’m not entirely sure where they go but they seem to dissolve into the skin. Which means I’m now made of gold? Idk. Hmm. *Ponders* 🤔

The oil is lightweight and won’t clog your pores – it really is a moisturiser. I use it in the morning on freshly cleansed and toned skin (current cleanser: Alpha H Balancing Cleanser or Mario Badescu Glycolic Cleanser twice a week) and current toner: Pixi Glow Tonic).

I have repurchased this one, in the larger size because I do really like it. I take it everywhere as it can be used both morning and night, and under the eye so I don’t have to travel with a million creams!

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Ok, the Volcanic Elixir. It’s a greenish thick oil that occasionally gets a little solid if cold. It is also really great. BUT. There is a but. And it may be a deal breaker. It smells like curry. No lie, actual proper depths of a spice market, I can’t even describe it, CURRY. And, like, I’m Asian sooooo, I don’t want people to think that’s just what I naturally smell like, you know?! Okay, I’m exaggerating slightly – the smell does disappear after about 15 mins and I only ever use it at night time to minimise the consequences!  But this is the one I use when my skin is really dry and quite textured. It evens, brightens and calms it overnight. It’s better than the Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate (in my opinion) because it delivers on all of those claims but does it better. It’s just stronger. I do like the Kiehl’s, and I use it when I need something a little lighter with a nicer fragrance.

It’s made of 100% Polynesian Tamanu Oil. I understand this isn’t as common as the ingredients in the Rose Gold Elixir, but I can totally get on board with it.

I do have dry skin, combination to some extent – my t-zone is normal but, my oh my, do my cheeks and mouth area get dry over winter! The cold weather is so unforgiving to delicate skin types and facial oils are my saviour. I have no desire to change the three oils mentioned in this post as they all work for me. Of course, I may add more. But, currently no pressing desire to do so.

I have noticed an overall evening of skin tone with these products, though, it’s likely that’s in conjunction with the rest of my fairly rigorous skin care routine… But they are really quite lovely products. I would definitely recommend the Rose Gold Elixir because it’s suitable for pretty much everyone. The Volcanic Elixir is good – more potent and does more for the skin, but the smell is extremely overpowering and I know that would be enough to put some people off.

Farsali is the brainchild of Farah Dhukai and her husband, I believe. I bought these at the beginning of Summer 2016, off the Farsali website. Although I paid in dollars, I was charged in £ and not charged customs because it was shipped from the UK, if you order in the UK. There are often hidden deals on each of the elixirs, and a page comes up before you buy one of them, offering the other at a potentially discounted rate. I think that’s the case anyway, or it was when I ordered them.

It’s an 8.5/10 from me for the Farsali Elixirs. 

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