spectrum

July 2017 GlossyBox Review

Oh look! I finally found some motivation to write a blog post!

Good day beautiful people and welcome back to my fave type of post: the one where I can just play with new products and boast/complain about them!

If you read my last Glossy review, you’ll have seen that I was really impressed with my last box, and this time isn’t going to be any different either. I really feel like GlossyBox have been hitting the nail on the head with their products recently, and the balance provided with the range in the boxes. So let’s look at this one together!

Once again we have a special box this month (or what I would call special just because the box is slightly different) and I looooove it. I might have mentioned before that although I love Glossy, I’m not all too keen on their pale pink and black colour scheme, and so I’m always excited to get a box that’s a little different. Especially because I end up using them for other things so they don’t go to waste (seriously, I have about nine in my bedroom being utilised right now).

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This month’s box is coral pink with metallic gold writing on the lid, and inside the Glossy logos, the ribbon and tissue paper are all white. Just a much nicer colour combo (in my humble opinion).

But if you thought the box was gorgeous, wait until you see what’s inside it.

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Once again, the balance of products is great, in my eyes. Last month, we had 3 skincare, 2 makeup and one hair. This month, we have 1 skincare, 2 makeup, 1 hair and 1 brush.
So without further ado, let’s get into it.

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MonuSpa First Defence Soothing After Sun (RRP £19.95; approx. £11.08 for this size)

The good: soothing, smells beautiful, cruelty-free
The bad: none so far

As you may have seen from my Edinburgh post, I went and got myself a little bit burnt. On holiday. In Scotland. Crazy right? So aftersun is probably just what I need right now.

So far I’ve encountered no problems with this. It’s really nice. It feels nice, it smells nice, lots of natural ingredients and cruelty free, and I also discovered from the website that it was formulated down the road from me at Cheltenham Spa… so it’s local too.

I wouldn’t buy it again, simply because of the price point, but it’s a nice product.


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Bella Pierre Banana Setting Powder (RRP £25)

The good: lightweight, non-cakey
The bad: the size

I’ll be real: I’ve only used this once so far so my review of it may not be entirely accurate. I’m gonna have to give it a few more tries before I can truly say.

However, so far I really like this. I had been looking for a loose setting powder for a while, and as if by magic, GlossyBox sends me one. Hurrah!
This banana setting powder is really really lightweight, and after my first try, I really like it. I have a bad problem with powders caking my makeup no matter how I apply them, especially on my little under-eye wrinkles and my nose. This one didn’t, and it feels really lightweight on my face.
It’s a yellow-toned powder so it’s good at combating redness, however I would watch what foundations you put it over, as if you’re really pale like me and use too much, it will just look yellow.

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The only complaint I have with this product so far is that it’s a small amount of product for the price. This is the full size and it’s 4g, which is not much at all for the price.


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Cute Balms Strawberry Tinted Lip Balm (RRP £3.99)

The good: cute packaging, smells and looks nice
The bad: no product info, more like a tint/lipstick

I never know what to say about products like this. There are so many on the market and they all tend to retail at low price points, so there’s rarely things that are distinguishable about them.

This is a cute item to throw in your handbag just in case you want a little colour for your lips or cheeks, but I personally don’t find it moisturising enough to be considered a balm. If I was using it for that purpose, I would need to reapply frequently.

It is however, a nice little product with cute packaging that I’ll keep.


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Papanga Spiral Hairbands (RRP £4.99)

The good: hardwearing, cute
The bad: I won’t get any use out of them

I won’t be able to say much about these, as I really don’t like these spiral headbands. I have some already which I received in a beauty box before, so I already know they don’t work very well on my hair and I just much prefer normal hair bobbles.

The clear one is really cute though and I can see why people wear them as bracelets when they’re not using them! These won’t go to waste though, as I’ll be passing them on to my partner who uses them 🙂


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Spectrum Collections small fan brush A10 (RRP £4.99)

The good: pretty, soft 🙂
The bad: none

Yay! I’m always so excited to get brushes in my beauty boxes, and I like that the three I’ve gotten from Glossy over the past year have all been different. But this one is particularly exciting because it’s by a brand I already know and love!

I actually purchased some brushes from Spectrum a while back, which I wrote a review on you can find here (hint hint read it hint hint) and I’m still enjoying the ones I purchases! One of them did break, but I do suspect that’s due to my terrible brush washing skills and allowing the water to reach the glue on the handle.

I don’t have another fan brush, so I was a little skeptical about the application, however after using it today, I can attest to how good it is 😀 It’s pretty great and well worth the price!


Total worth: £50.05

Overall thoughts: This was a fantastic box month! I’m really happy with it and will only not get use out of one of the products, which will happily go live with someone else anyway 😀

So what did the rest of you think about your GlossyBoxes this month? Would you get one if you don’t already? Let me know!

Until next time ❤

kirsten-xo

Spectrum Collection Brushes Review

Hello gorgeous people. Happy Monday! I hope you guys have a fantastic week ahead of you and don’t let the Monday blues get you down!

Today I’m going to be talking about something I don’t know a huge deal about: makeup brushes. My brush collection is relatively small. I have a Real Techniques Core Collection, a few Eco Tools brushes (here & here) and a buffer brush recently received in a Glossy Box. I’m sure this is enough for a makeup novice, but as I’ve been experimenting with makeup more, I find I’m needing more tools. For example, out of the ones listed above, there’s only one eyeshadow blending brush. I didn’t have a blending brush before, and I definitely feel like the Eco Tools one helped my makeup sooo much, but I need more to be able to do the kind of looks I’d like to experiment with.

Spectrum Collections are a company I heard about a while back via Danielle Vanier, when she attended the launch of the gorgeous Glam Clam (sidenote: if you’re not following Danielle, go do it now: she’s awesome). I was immediately taken in by the pretty colours and design (I’m visual, okay??), as you usually see brushes in just black, or block colours in plain brush wraps. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to afford them at the time, and I also just wasn’t as into makeup back then. So when I realised recently that I should own more brushes, they were the company I immediately thought of.
I did a bit of research, though. I knew I wanted vegan brushes as I am vegetarian and try to look into cruelty-free options wherever possible. I was looking at the vegan collection Morphe brushes have, but they have very mixed reviews and there were probably a bit more brushes in there than I needed at this time. After looking at several options I knew that Spectrum were just going to be the best option for me. The next problem was what to get.

I just know that if you’re pretty new to utilising makeup in specific ways and having numerous tools, you’ll understand what I mean. I don’t know what half of the makeup brushes on the site do, so would I be able to find a set to get that I would be able to utilise frequently and get my money’s worth?
If you’re a complete makeup novice and have the money, I definitely think that investing in their bigger collections is worth it: the Ultimate 30 Piece set, 10 Piece Essential Set and Marbelous 12 Piece Set are all beautiful and useful core options. I felt that I already had enough face brushes and sponges, so I wanted to focus on eyes, as – like I said above – that was the thing I felt I was lacking. I ended up going with the Siren Smoke collection, which looks like this:

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The collection has classic black brush handles, teal blue and black bristles, and a really cool petrol-like iridescent metal partition. It comes packaged in a plastic pink wallet, which I love so much as it seems to be made of the same material as those toy writing things I used as a kid in the 90s (anyone else remember these things?!). Don’t ask me why I’m so excited by that.

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The collection comprises of 7 brushes:

B03 – a small buffer brush
A06 – a large shader brush
B06 – a tapered blending brush
B04 – an angled shading brush
A12 – a detailing brush
A17 – an angled liner brush
A15 – a lip brush

All of these brushes can also be bought individually in the standard pink, blue & purple colour, which I think is a fantastic option for people who don’t need a full set.

I’ll try to go through each of these brushes individually and let you know what I’ve been using them for (if anything) and how I feel about them (I’ll also link the individual brush, bearing in mind it’s a different colour).

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B03 Baby Buffer

According to Spectrum’s website, this brush is for buffing concealer around the eye area. I will be completely honest and admit that I haven’t used this one yet, but I’m thinking that this one could be particularly helpful when buffing out my colour correction using my Nyx palette. The brush is basically exactly as stated; it’s like a buffer brush in miniature. The bristles of all of these brushes are very soft, however they also keep their shape very well, which obviously is particularly good when using a buffer.

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A06 Shady Lady

As you can see from the photo, this brush has seen a bit of use!
This is a flat shader brush, which is good for wide colour application of eyeshadow. I would use a brush like this for my base shadow which sets my primer. You can probably tell from the pigment on my brush, though, that that isn’t what I use this one for. I do use a flat shader brush for my base eyeshadow colour, but I use the shader brush from this Eco Tools set. What I actually use this Spectrum brush for is precise highlighter application, for example on my nose, upper lip and brow bone… and it works really well!

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B06 Blending Friend

The name of this brush is incredibly apt, as it has become my best friend for applying makeup and is my favourite makeup brush of my whole collection.
As I said above, my eyeshadow game stepped up when I discovered blending brushes, but this one takes it to a new level. My Eco Tools blender is great, but smaller than this and more suited for detailed crease work, whereas this works great as a transition colour blender. Now when doing my eye makeup, I will prime, use a flat shader for base, this one for light transition colours, my Eco Tools one for darker crease colours, and a smaller flat brush for lid colour. I then use this one again to blend everything out. It’s incredibly soft and I find it so easy to use for blending, even for a blending newb like myself.

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B04 Eye Spy

This is another brush I haven’t used yet. I don’t think I’ve ever used an angled blending brush, so I’ll probably have to look up some tutorials on it and how to contour the eye with shadow. I’ll get back to you!

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A12 Draw Me Pretty

This is a smaller detail brush, which I actually use for two different things. Firstly, it’s great for adding depth to crease shadow, so when using neutral shadows on smoky eyes I will use this one to gently apply a tiny amount of Urban Decay’s Blackout to deepen my crease. Secondly, I will clean this brush out thoroughly and use it on my brows to blend out my Anastasia Dip Brow Pomade so I don’t have too much application of product on the first third of my brows. This has really helped me to practice my gradient brow… I’m still not completely there, but blending out colour is something I didn’t think to do before and this brush really helps with that.

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A17 Brow Love

As you can see from its name, this brush was actually created for lining and applying brow product. It’s a precise angled liner, and I’m actually really impressed with how well packed the bristles are and how precise the application is.
I don’t use this on my brows as I have this brush which I use with my Dip Brow, however I needed another angled liner for eyeliner application, and this one is honestly fantastic.

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The top line you can see in this photo of lipstick on my hand is the eyeliner brush. It creates a very good sharp line, and I have yet to find any problem with fallout of bristles. I was using my Eco Tools angled liner previously, and it’s just too big for precise application, and I have also encountered problems with the bristles falling out of line, so this one has been a fantastic replacement for that.

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A15 Get Your Pout Out

This brush kinda breaks the mould of the collection, as it’s a lip brush and not an eye brush. It is very well packed and flat, allowing for precise application. One of the problems I find with lip brushes is that they are just too small and it takes forever to actually get the product onto your lips! This one is not like that. It’s a small brush, but larger than some lip brushes I’ve encountered, and certainly doesn’t take an age to use. It is flat and tapered, which means it’s particularly useful for both lining and filling out the lips. Turn it on its side and you get a sharp, precise line; turn it flat and you have a wider application for filling out the lips.

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In this photo the lip brush has been used on the bottom two applications of lipstick: the middle line is using the brush flat, and the bottom line is using it on its side. It’s a super useful brush and is now the best lip brush I own.

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Overall, I’m incredibly impressed with this collection. The brushes are also so, so soft, which you don’t often find from vegan brushes, but those which are well packed for precise application also perform incredibly well.

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Out of the set, these are the three brushes which I use the most (B06, A06, A12), however I will get use out of every single brush in this collection, so it has definitely been good value for money.

I had concerns about Spectrum before. The brushes look amazingly pretty, they’re vegan… I mean, what’s the catch? I’m yet to find one.

Obviously I will point out – as I do often – that I am not an expert, nor a professional. All of the reviews I do on products like these come from the view of someone who applies makeup solely to herself, and experiments. I’ve never had such a big brush collection (even now that only comprises of just over a dozen brushes) and I write as someone who hasn’t tried every brush on the market. However whether you are just starting your makeup brush collection, or are expanding, I am sure Spectrum brushes will make a welcome addition.

Have any of you tried the brand? What are your experiences with it?

Until next time chaps 😉

Kirsten xo

 

My First Experience with Colour Correcting

For the uninitiated, you may be confused as you wander drugstore aisles and see these new products milling about. Primers, concealers and other products now no longer just come in white and nude colours, but purples, greens, pinks, reds, yellows and even blues. Some seem like very wrong-looking foundations, whilst others look like strange lipgloss tubes, and others like new creamy pastel eyeshadows.

This is the world of colour correcting.

Now, colour correcting is not exactly new. As with a lot of things in makeup, it’s been something that’s there but has recently picked up steam as the “new in thing” (remember when we all started “baking” when drag queens had been doing it forever?). Because of this we’re seeing releases of colour correcting products left, right and centre, and it is very difficult to know what could potentially work for you, or not.

[I want to make very clear from here that I am no expert in colour correcting, just as I am no expert with makeup in general. This is something I do for fun and experimentation. It’s a hobby, and there are far more experienced makeup artists on the internet who can give you better advice. I’m just trying to let you know the things I’ve learned as a girl who simply likes makeup.]

So basically, colour correcting is the process of evening the skintone of your face. Our faces are pigmented in different ways varying in reasons, from blemishes to dark circles to sallowness to patchiness of melanin, and this can cause your face to be very different colours in different places (particularly if you are white or light-skinned).
It takes the premise of using a colour at the opposite end of the colour wheel in order to counteract skintone differentiations.

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So, if you have a lot of blemishes or have rosacea which causes reddish or pinkish-ness of the skin, then that should be counteracted with green. If you have circles under your eyes which are often of a blue tint, then that should be counteracted with a coral-ish colour through to darker red (depending on the darkness of your skin). If you have sallowness or a yellow tone to parts of your skin, that can be corrected with purple. If you have dark bruising or very evident facial veins and acne scarring, that can be evened out with yellow.
It can seem confusing, but if you don’t learn the uses of colour correcting products, then you could end up with one that actually exacerbates your problems, in the same way as wearing a foundation of the completely wrong colour.

Colour correcting is something I have wanted to try for a little while now. The skin on my face seems very skin and is pretty translucent. I am also very blemish-prone, and that leads to skin that when I have no makeup on is a palette of reds and purples and blues and whites. Because the blemishes I have are pretty much all over my face, alongside a touch of rosacea, I think a green-toned primer or base corrector would work well on me, but I really wanted to try a palette straight off.

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I saw this Nyx palette a while ago and thought it seemed pretty good for me. The colours are very pastel and non-intense, which I like the idea of as I think a highly pigmented corrector is just going to be too much on my light skin. I also like that you get so many colours in here, which I though was good for a first-time colour correcting user, as if you find that you’ve “gone wrong” in a colour choice to correct a certain patch of skin, you could try another one, or even blend two together.
I got this one from the Nyx store in Barcelona, but if you’re in the UK you can now get Nyx products from Boots!

Anyway let me get on with showing you how I did first time:

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This is my natural skin. As well as being very fair, you will also note that I have a lot of blemishes, redness along my cheeks, nose and chin, thin blue skin around my eyes, and evident veins on my eyelids and tops of my cheekbones. It’s not fabulous but it’s workable with.

I followed the standard guidelines for colour correcting, and here’s what my face looked like once I applied the colour correctors:

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I used a flat makeup brush to apply this, and I leaned very quickly that a little goes a looooong way with this palette. The concealers are super creamy and more pigmented than I expected, and so it was difficult to get the amount I needed to use right.

I used the coral-pinkish colour around my eyes, green on my blemishes, and yellow on all the bits of my face that have very evident veins and on my chin for my acne scarring. You can see that it worked very well on certain places (e.g. the pink around my eyes) and covered up certain areas perfectly, however that could be due to the amount I put on and not the properties of the product itself.

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And this is what I looked like once that was blended out. I used the pointed end of my Spectrum Collections Unicorn Tears sponge on my blemishes, and the tapered end of my Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge on all other areas, dabbing instead of sweeping so the colour was not displaced.

I want to point out that I feel I used way too much of the product. My face felt and looked a but “cakey”, and in the future I would certainly use less product. You can still see tinges of green on my blemishes, however, I feel this worked really, really well. I don’t usually show the process of putting my makeup on, so you will have to trust me when I say that I can not get this result from using ordinary concealer. The areas I were most impressed with were the inner corners of my eyes, and my chin. My chin is usually the bane when it comes to trying to cover up, and I can’t believe I managed to get some evenness to it at last!

After using this, I went on to apply the rest of my makeup for going out.

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[I’ll be doing a post on this look in a minute]

I definitely feel like this makes a difference. As I stated, I did feel a little cakey, especially once I had applied Lock It on top of my base, which is a heavy product in and of itself, so in the future will use a bit less. However, I highly rate this product as a colour correcting newb! My advice to you would be the same as I’m going to give myself: experiment. Find what colours you need, what colours work, and eventually I’m sure we’ll find a mix that is a perfect coverage for our skin.

What experiences do you all have with colour correcting? Do you have a product that is your go-to?

Kirsten xo