Monday, 9 January 2017

Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Palette

Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Palette: Swatches & Review

Hey everyone! One of my Christmas presents was the beautiful Modern Renaissance Palette by Anastasia Beverly Hills. It has quickly become a favourite and I am constantly reaching for it.

I bought mine from Cult Beauty where it's currently £41.00 or AUD$68.

First of all, it comes in really unique packaging with the exterior a light mauve velvet type of material. Inside it comes with a double-ended brush and of course the 14 matte and shimmery eyeshadows.

The colour palette is very warm, with a range of oranges and pinks/reds. It ranges from a few lighter gold toned shades to deeper warm orange and red-browns.

The quality of the eyeshadows are some of the most pigmented I have used. I would compare them very similarly to Makeup Geek eyeshadows. You only need the smallest amount on your brush for most of the colours to get intense pigment.

I find the darker shades are the most pigmented, particularly Cyprus Umber and Realgar. Both Vermeer and Primavera however are gorgeous light shimmery white and gold shades, and are very pigmented.

Some of the colours take a bit more work to get as pigmented, particularly Tempera, Golden Ochre, Buon Fresco, and Warm Taupe, which are some of the lighter mattes. However they are still very nice in quality and I still use them just as much as the other shades in the palette.

First Row L-R Tempera - Cyprus Umber

Second Row L-R Raw Sienna - Realgar
The included brush is a double-ended one with a blending brush and shader brush. Unfortunately I found the brush to be quite a let down. The blending side is not overly soft, and rather scratchy on the eyelids. The other end is more decent, with quite soft bristles, but is quite a bit smaller than your regular shader brush, although this does make it good for the lower lash line or to work in smaller sections of the eye. 

Despite the quality of the brush, I still absolutely love this palette and would still purchase it just for the eyeshadows. 

If you're thinking of buying this palette, I would highly recommend it. The pigmentation is amazing, it has gorgeous packaging, and it isn't your regular nude palette, so you probably won't be buying a palette filled with shades you already own tons of.

Hopefully this review was helpful for any of you to decide whether to buy this palette! Let me know if you bought it and what you think of it.

I'm also wanting to do a tutorial using this palette, so stay tuned for that!

- Ella

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Highlighter Collection - Swatches & Reviews

Hi everyone! It's been a while, but I'm back with a post all about my highlighter collection. Highlighting and highlighters seems to have blown up recently, and I have to say I'm loving it! So here is an overview of all the highlighters I own with swatches and some mini reviews.

I have separated my collection into three sections: liquid, cream, and powder highlighters. I have included both blended and unblended swatches with both flash and no flash.

Liquid Highlighters


L-R Becca Pearl; TonyMoly Pink Glam; Becca Opal; Benefit Girl Meets Pearl

 No Flash // Flash

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Pearl: This highlighter is beautiful and can create a perfect natural glow on fair skin. It's super pigmented and you really only need the tiniest bit to create a bright glow.

TonyMoly Goddess Aura in Pink Glam: This is another gorgeous highlighter for fair skin, with a pink tint. It has a relatively thick formula but is easily blendable.

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal: The colour of this highlight is a gold/copper which is a bit to dark for my fair skin but is a beautiful shade. I feel that the formula is a bit thicker than Pearl, but this may be because I have a sample size with a doe foot applicator as opposed to a pump. 

Benefit Girl Meets Pearl: This is the most sheer of the liquid highlighters, which makes it easy to blend out but still gives a lovely pink-gold glow.

Cream Highlighters


L-R Colourpop Hippo; Eglips Highlighter; Benefit Watt's Up; Colourpop Lunch Money; Essence Look on the Bright Side

 No Flash // Flash

Colourpop Super Shock Cheek Hippo: Technically these have more of a cream to powder formula, which is quite unique and is very soft and silky. Despite being a purple highlight, it looks relatively natural when blended out with a soft purple tint.

Eglips Multi Unique Highlighter: This highlighter is in stick form, similar to a lipstick. It applies quite thickly which makes it a bit harder to blend out on the skin. But the highlight itself has a very natural result.

Benefit Watt's Up! Cream Highlighter: A super popular highlight however on my skin it is slightly too dark. After swatching them I realised it has a very similar colour to Becca's Opal, so it could be a potential dupe!

Colourpop Super Shock Cheek Lunch Money: Again a cream to powder formula light white gold which blends out perfectly. It gives a lovely natural glow.

Essence Soo Glow! Look on the Bright Side: Essence is a super affordable brand with some really great products. This highlighter is relatively thick and doesn't blend out quite as nicely as the others, but for the price is a great product.

Powder Highlighters


L-R Becca Opal; TheBalm Mary-Lou Manizer; Elf Peachy Cheeky; Models Prefer Glitz & Glamour (quad - mixed & separate) 

 No Flash // Flash

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal: I prefer the formula of the powder over the liquid, as I fell it is easier to blend out and therefore easier to make it work with my skin tone.

TheBalm Mary-Lou Manizer: Definitely my most reached for highlighter, it is a light gold which really makes the skin glow. It blends out perfectly and only a small amount is needed.

Elf Baked Blush in Peachy Cheeky: This is technically a blush, but it is quite sheer and shimmery so it actually works well as a peachy-pink highlight.

Models Prefer Highlighter in Glitz & Glamour: This is a quad highlighter so the swatches above show the mixed colour then the separate shades. The formula is quite chunky but is very pigmented and is another good affordable option.

I hope this was helpful! What are your favourite highlighters?
As always feel free to comment any questions or suggestions!

- Ella 

Saturday, 16 January 2016

2015 Favourites

Hey everyone, I hope you are all having a great new year! Today I am doing a list of my favourite products of 2015. I have included some links to my other posts including swatches/reviews of the products!


This year I have been trying heaps of new nude shades, and here are my favourites!

MAC Velvet Teddy: This is a super popular shade from Mac, and I can see why - it's a really unique colour, and is a cool toned brown with warmer reddish hints, whilst remaining a nude shade. It has become one of my everyday picks!

MAC Peach Blossom: Another nude, but this lipstick is a cremesheen and therefore slightly sheer and glossy shade, and is a gorgeous light pink nude.

Essence lipliner in In the Nude: Probably my most used lipliner, this is so versatile and goes with most lighter nudes or can be worn by itself. The best part is it only costs $2!

Australis Velourlips in Pa-ree: Again one of my favourite nudes. This is a light brownish pink and is a perfect natural nude for my fair skin.


Maybelline Colossal Mascara: This mascara is the 'Smoky Eyes' version of the Colossal mascara. I picked this up not knowing what it would be like, and despite the larger wand which I usually do not prefer, this became a favourite! I found it really separated the lashes whilst giving plenty of volume.

Maybelline Big Eyes Mascara: If you like the Falsies mascara, you will love this! This is a double ended mascara, one end the normal Falsies wand, and the other a smaller, thinner brush for your lower lashes. This is a must have for me, and something I would by just for the lower lash wand, which tends to be hard to find in drugstore brands.

Maybelline Hyper Sharp liner: This liner is a new liner made to perfect your winged eyeliner, and it works amazingly! It is flat with a thick side and thin edge which makes it perfect to shape your wings.

Australis Metallix eyeshadow in Guns and Rose Petals: This eyeshadow is absolutely amazing and I have never seen anything exactly like it before! It is a creamy shadow which is incredibly metallic and glowy on the eyes, as if you have real gems on them.

Makeup Geek eyeshadows: The 'MUG' eyeshadows are incredibly pigmented, particularly the matte shades. They come in a huge range of colours with a reasonable price and are great quality. The foiled eyeshadows are especially incredible, similar to the Metallix in powder form.


Secret Key Finish Up BB Cream: This is a Korean BB cream which I love for using as a base for my makeup. It works amazingly at covering up pores and redness, and reminds me of Benefit's Porefessional for a fraction of the price! (I bought mine from

Nars Creamy Concealer: I never thought I would splurge on a concealer like this one, but here it is and I can say it was definitely worth it! The tiniest bit of this concealer goes such a long way and conceals amazingly. I have the shade Chantilly which is perfect for under the eyes for fair skin as it has a yellow undertone, although I find it works anywhere on my face.

Models Prefer Contour Collection: Contour kits were all the range this year, and I'm glad that I picked one up, in particular this one! It has great contour colours for lighter skin tones which can be difficult to find, as well as a gorgeous yellow shade and highlighter.


Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Pomade in Medium Brown: I love this product as it is so versatile and easy to use, and can be used for any style on your brows. I actually find it easier to use than a pencil or even powder as it glides on so smoothly and makes it easy to define your brows.

Maybelline Brow Satin in Dark Brown: I love this product for its convenience as well as its quality. It is double sided with a pencil on one end and a powder applicator on the other. It is a very easy to use product and I really love how it looks on my brows.


TheBalm Mary-Lou Manizer: This highlighter is a very popular product and for a good reason. It is a beautiful gold shimmery powder which beautifully illuminates the face.

Nars blush in Gaiety: This blush looks alarmingly bright pink, but actually applies a more natural almost peachy pink. It gives a lovely glow to the skin which makes you look slightly flushed without looking crazy.

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal: Another very popular highlighter which I found works even on my very fair skin despite its slightly bronzier colour. I love this as it gives a gorgeous natural glow when used lightly or can be built up to look super glamorous, but just looks so beautiful on the skin.

And that's it for my 2015 favourites! What were your favourites from the year? Did you discover any amazing new products? Let me know!

- Ella

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

My Christmas Gifts

Hi everyone, I hope you all had a great Christmas/holidays! Today I'm sharing all my beauty related Christmas presents. I am very lucky and grateful to have received all these gifts. Enjoy!

Becca Glow on the Go set - This set features a liquid (5g) and powder (2.4g) version of Becca's Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal. I have really been wanting to try this and it was a complete surprise to receive it so I am very happy!

LUSH Snow Fairy Shower Gel - This is one of my favourite ever scents, and Lush is one of my favourite brands, so it's definitely an appreciated gift!

LUSH Think Pink Bath Bomb - Lush bath bombs are another one of my favourite things, and this is one I haven't tried before, which smells sweet and amazing and looks so pretty with the flowers on top, and I can't wait to use it.

Mariah Carey's Lollipop Bling: Mine Again - I actually chose this out myself after smelling it, and had to get it - it smells of lollipops as the title suggests. If you haven't guessed yet, I really love sweet scents!

Mecca Cosmetica Artistry Nail Polish in Gold - despite my huge nail polish collection, I didn't own a single a single gold shade, so this was perfect! It's a really nice pale shade of gold which I really love.

Mac Matte Lipstick in Velvet Teddy - I only owned a couple of Mac lipsticks and I loved them, and this colour has been on my wish list for quit a while. It is a perfect darker nude shade and I have a feeling it is going to become one of my favourites!

Art & Makeup by Lan Nguyen-Grealis - This is an amazing book which shows how makeup is a form of art and how it can be used to create art, as well as looks inspired by artists and pieces of art. It includes tons of beautiful pictures as well as some tips, tutorials, and information and history. It is definitely a book worth getting.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and holiday. Let me know what you all got for Christmas, or if you got anything similar, and how you spent the holidays. Also tell me if you would like to see a review on any of the products.


Sunday, 13 December 2015

Tarte Rainforest After Dark Palette

Recently I recieved my first ever Tarte product, the Tarte Rainforest After Dark coloured eye & cheek palette, which includes 6 eyeshadows, a blush, bronzer, and highlighter. It is a really beautiful palette which is very usable and can create many different looks, and I have found myself reaching for it every day!

The palette comes in gorgeous packaging. The box is a purple gradient with a snake skin texture and a metallic gold snake. The packaging of the palette itself has the same gold snake with a purple gem on its head, and is on top of a wood patterned background (the palette is made of plastic).

It also comes with a page of two tutorials for different eye looks you can make with the palette.

In the palette, the two larger colours around the edge are the highlighter on the left and the bronzer on the right and the blush in the centre of the palette. The eyeshadows include both pink tones and warm browns & gold. It includes three matte and three shimmery shadows.

I found the blush to be much more of a peachy pink than it appears to be in the palette where it looks like much more of a muted pink. The highlighter is subtle but gives a really nice glow. I also found that using a brush picks up a lot more pigment than using your fingers.

I really love this palette, and I think it would be a perfect Christmas gift for a makeup lover as it is very versatile with a nice range of shades.

 Let me know if you would like to see more of this palette, such as a tutorial! I hope you enjoyed the post!

- Ella

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Essence Lip Liners: Review & Swatches

I'm sure many of you have heard of Essence Cosmetics - if not, they are a brand which offers a range of very affordable products available on their website or in Target and Priceline, and tend to be very good quality for the low, low price! So today I am going to be reviewing their lipliners, which run for only $2 each!

These lipliners come in a really versatile range of colours, meaning everyone should be able to find at least one shade you like! They range from a nude & light pink, to red to deeper purples and browns. You can tell which one is my favourite - I use 'In The Nude' By itself or under my favourite nude lipstick, 'Pa-ree' Velourlips by Australis.

L-R Soft Berry, Satin Mauve, In The Nude, Wish Me A Rose, Femme Fatale

The Essence Lipliners claim to create a "super soft and precise application", which I think is pretty accurate.

The texture of the lipliners is very soft, smooth & creamy. I would say the one downfall of the lipliners is that they are a bit too soft and break quite easily. 

As for its last-ability, I found the red lipliner which I think is an older formula of the liners lasts very well on my lips whereas the newer liners do not last quite as long. However they last just as well as any other lip liner I have tried, and for the price I definitely do not mind.

As I have quite dry lips, I first used a lip scrub then a lip balm on my lips which helps the application of the lip liner (and hence the slightly glossy finish).

#05 Soft Berry - A slightly brown dark purple

#06 Satin Mauve - a slightly dark purple mauve

#11 In The Nude - a brown toned pink nude

#12 Wish Me A Rose - a light pink shade

#10 Femme Fatale - a bright classic red

I hope you all enjoyed this post! Have you tried Essence? Let me know in the comments!

- Ella

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Mango, Banana & Passionfruit Smoothie

Today I have a different post - a smoothie recipe! I love to cook and love food, so I thought I would share a part of that.
I love making this smoothie in the summer, but also just for a quick & healthy breakfast or snack.

1 tblspn passionfruit pulp
1 cup frozen mango
1/2 - 1 banana
1/2 cup yoghurt (I use vanilla)
1 cup+ milk

All you do is put the ingredients together in a blender and blend until smooth! You can add more milk or yoghurt if you want it thicker or thinner (you may need more milk if you want a bigger smoothie).

You can of course add any additional ingredients - sometimes I add some frozen berries into the mix. But you can take away ingredients, use fresh fruits, do whatever you like with it - I find this is a great base for creating any smoothie!

Let me know if you try out this recipe!

- Ella