Essence All about palettes

I’m a big fan of Essence cosmetics and I’m always impressed with their quality, but it’s still nice to be surprised. Obviously the brightest palette drew my eye first, All about Paradise. Not expecting much I swatched the colours and were surprised by the texture and pigmentation. I immediately thought that they could work well with my matte Concrete Mineral and Sugarpill shadows. Unfortunately the first palette in the range was sold out, but I’m hoping to get All about Nude, when it’s back in stock.

First impression:

The shadows have a shimmer finish which can lead to a little bit of fall out. Most of them have a smooth texture but the lighter shades specifically are rougher with more fall out. Considering the price of the palettes (R55) a bit of fall out is acceptable.

The swatches below are done without an eyeshadow base as I felt the shadows did themselves justice. Using a base will just make them that much more awesome.

02 All about Candies

I’m usually not a big fan of highlighter shades, and of the three palettes this is my least favourite, but it is filling the highligher gap I have in my kit. Like I’ve mentioned the lighter shades are rougher in texture and this is definitely true for this palette specifically.

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03 All about Sunrise

I’m loving this palette! A very nice collection of warm neutral shades. My favourites are the top row of shadows and that dark brown will work beautifully for a smokey eye.  I love the peachy shade but unfortunately it’s the roughest of all the shadows, so it’s really hard to blend.

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O4 All about Paradise

This is the first palette that caught my eye, especially that pink and blue. I can’t wait to pair them with some of my matte shadows and pigments to create some magic. I suspect the peach shade in this palette is the same as the on in the sunrise palette. Also a gorgeous colour but just too grainy to blend. Other than that I’m highly impressed with the pigmentation of this palette.

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Verdict:

This is a very good set of palettes to have if you like a bit of sparkle. They’re cost effective at R55 per palette and you get quite a bit of product for that price. I’m especially keen to complete my collection with All about Nude.

Concrete Minerals review and swatches 2

This took long enough to get done. Things have been a bit hectic in my personal life, but I can finally present you with the second installment of my Concrete Minerals review:

I finally got the rest of the Concrete Minerals matte pigments! (except Confessions which is a new release).

I’ve waited all of last year for black Friday to come around and I made sure I’d saved up well for the occasion. I made use of their 8 shadow special and their free shipping if you order more than $50 dollars. So it was a wonderful cherry on top when they included Wanderlust, a limited addition shadow that you could only get if you ordered it over that weekend and your total was over $50

To see my first review on Concrete Minerals, click here. 

So without further delay, here’s the shadows and my thoughts on them.

Risque

This is a stunning pigmented red. Slightly on the cool side and not as bright as Sugarpill’s Love+, but it contains no slight shimmer and is an amazing matte red that photographs great.

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Top: bare skin. Bottom: Nyx HD eyeshadow base.

Ember

Quite a deep orange, more on the red than the yellow side. Beautifully matte and pigmented.

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Top: bare skin. Bottom: Nyx HD eyeshadow base.

 Fame

A buttercup yellow. Not quite as bright in real life as the swatch photographs but still plenty bright and since it’s a pigment its easy to build up. Fame works great over a white eyeshadow base, I like to use Inglot’s white gel liner.

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Top: bare skin. Bottom: Nyx HD eyeshadow base.

 Gossip

This is a soft teal colour similar to Sugarpill’s Mochi. This one is just more towards the green side than the light blue. It’s quite light and very pastel when applied.

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Top: bare skin. Bottom: Nyx HD eyeshadow base.

 Bulletproof

The holy grail of matte blue eyeshadows! It’s hard to explain how amazing this pigment really is. To my knowledge this is the best selling matte pigment for Concrete Minerals and it’s very clear why.
It’s a true royal, bright blue with insane pigmentation.

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Top: bare skin. Bottom: Nyx HD eyeshadow base.

 Ravage

Ravage is beautiful soft lavender shade. Great for softening out looks and perfect for pastel trends.

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Top: bare skin. Bottom: Nyx HD eyeshadow base.

 Queen

This is a dark purple shade useful for creating depth in an eyeshadow look. I love using this for a smokey eye with a twist.

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Top: bare skin. Bottom: Nyx HD eyeshadow base.

 Jet

Pure black pigment. There’s not much to say, it’s a pigment, it’s black, it does it’s job as it should.

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Top: bare skin. Bottom: Nyx HD eyeshadow base.

 Wanderlust

This is the limited edition shade that came with any purchase over the amount of $50 dollars on the day of the Black Friday sale. This is what that crappy Essence Twilight pigment wishes it was. A purple black pigment with a gorgeous shimmer to it. So stunning!

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Top: bare skin. Bottom: Nyx HD eyeshadow base.

 Prude

I got a sample of this with my first purchase of Concrete Minerals and I fell in love with it. I’m almost never tempted by shimmery pale shades, but I just had to have this for my kit. It works amazing in combination with Hi Fi!

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Top: bare skin. Bottom: Nyx HD eyeshadow base.

 Rocked

I wish I’d truly known what this shade looked like earlier. Luckily I got a sample otherwise I might’ve never got to experience it. Like I said I’m not usually a fan of light shimmery shades, but I can think of so many uses for this pigment. It will definitely be in my next order. This is a soft peach highligter that warms up a cool pale complexion wonderfully.

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Top: bare skin. Bottom: Nyx HD eyeshadow base.

 Wicked

This is definitely pretty, but I can never make up my mind whether I truly like it or not. Wicked is a pastel purple shade with a turquoise shimmer to it. Really something different, but I’m not always sure what to pair it with.

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Top: bare skin. Bottom: Nyx HD eyeshadow base.

 Jezebel

This is a reddish purple with a purplish shimmer. It’s a strange colour to try and describe. It tends to show up in swatches as much more purple than it is, which is why I was excited to get a sample of it. But in reality Wanderlust is much more my kinda dark purple shimmer pigment.

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Top: bare skin. Bottom: Nyx HD eyeshadow base.

 

Monster High makeup collab: Results

I just realised I never uploaded the results of the Monster High Collab I hosted; I can be such a dunce. If you feel like trying your hand at any of the characters at any stage, feel free to send your look a long and I’ll add it to the list :)

My entry for the collab:  Jinafire Long makeup look.

My entry for the collab: Jinafire Long makeup look.

Linki Lutz Makeup's first makeup collab entry. She looks just like Caterine, so gorgeous! Show her page and entry some love

Linki Lutz Makeup’s first makeup collab entry. She looks just like Caterine, so gorgeous! Show her page and entry some love

Cornelia's stunning Robecca Steam look! I love details

Cornelia’s stunning Robecca Steam look! I love details

ZenAh's gorgeous Rochelle Goyle entry! I adore those details and the blend from pink to blue.

ZenAh’s gorgeous Rochelle Goyle entry! I adore those details and the blend from pink to blue.

I love this look by Colorized by Andrea! She really did a great job on Venus

I love this look by Colorized by Andrea! She really did a great job on Venus

Such a beautiful entry from Nicole! I love all the details she added in.

Such a beautiful entry from Nicole! I love all the details she added in.

Rita's super cute entry. I love her hair and the ombre lips!

Rita’s super cute entry. I love her hair and the ombre lips!

I love the colour blend in Sam Ellenberger's Spectra entry, so beautifully done! And her lovely daughter Zoë played model for her

I love the colour blend in Sam Ellenberger’s Spectra entry, so beautifully done! And her lovely daughter Zoë played model for her

Say hi to Kaylee's cute Frankie Stein entry!

Say hi to Kaylee’s cute Frankie Stein entry!

I love this look by Yasmin Rose Anne. Based on Toralei The detail around the eyes are stunning!

I love this look by Yasmin Rose Anne. Based on Toralei The detail around the eyes are stunning!

Dreadfully Divine's great Howleen makeup look

Dreadfully Divine’s great Howleen makeup look

Here's Kayla's of GLAM Makeup Service's entry. I love the shading in the crease; such a beautiful colour!

Here’s Kayla’s of GLAM Makeup Service’s entry. I love the shading in the crease; such a beautiful colour!

Entry from the beautiful Cat Jacobs. She was inspired by Purrsephone

Entry from the beautiful Cat Jacobs. She was inspired by Purrsephone

Emily's awesome Meowlody entry!

Emily’s awesome Meowlody entry!

Sugarpill vs Concrete Minerals – The Matte Showdown

I’ve been wanting to do this for some time. The Matte Showdown: Sugarpill vs Concrete Minerals!

I’m a big fan of both brands. And I was very lucky this year to complete my Sugarpill palette collection by finally getting the Sweetheart palette. And double lucky that on Black Friday this year I got to order the rest of the Concrete Minerals matte collection. Once all the other colours arrive in the mail I’ll do a post update comparing all similar colours in both collections that I have.

So first off, this is not a which-brand-is-better comparison. Both have exceptional quality matte eyeshadows. This is just to show how their products compare to each other. Subtle differences in finish, pigmentation and things like that. Both are amazing! I can’t stress this enough. It’s just a matter of preference.

So below you’ll see which colours I have from both collections that are similar so far. 

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First thing to know is that Sugarpill’s matte shadows are pressed eyeshadows and Concrete is loose pigments. So you immediately have a comparison in terms of pressed vs loose.

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As you can see from the swatches. Despite seemingly appearing the same if you search for swatches online from both brands, there are differences. Both brands are marketed as highly pigmented matte shadows. And from a makeup perspective both deliver very well. From a photography point of view the slight shimmer…(actually it’s more a satin finish, extremely subtle), in the Sugarpill shadows does make them photograph differently than if they were completely matte like the Concrete pigments. In person Midori/Thrash, Afterparty/Domino and Dollipop/Hi-fi look extremely similar. But due to the slight satin finish in the Sugarpill shadows, they photograph lighter, but this also allows them to blend a bit easier. Toxic despite very often showing up in swatches as a contender for Acidberry is definitely more pastel in comparison than a bright acid green.

Technical side of things (how much do they cost):

Sugarpill: Single eyeshadows cost $12 for 3.5 grams (0.12oz) of product.
Equals: $3.4 /gram

Concrete Minerals: Matte pigments cost $8 for 1.5 grams (0.05 oz) of product.
Equals: $5.3/gram for Matte

So Concrete might sell a cheaper/smaller size, but their price per gram is much higher than Sugarpill’s. On the other hand Concrete offers free shipping internationally with any order over $50 or a $2.99 flat rate in the USA, whereas with Sugarpill your order needs to be over $100 to qualify for free shipping or ther flat rate is $6 in the USA.

Like I said, I’m a big fan of both, but there are subtle differences and pros & cons to both brands. But if you’re looking for great matte shadows either brand would do.

If you have any other question in terms of differences between the brands and you’re having trouble making up your mind, please leave a question and I’ll try to answer as best I can.

 

Sugarpill Sweet Heart palette review and swatches

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My Sugarpill palette collection is finally complete! Mwhahahahaha… Here’s my impression of the Sweet Heart palette:

The palette consists of 4 colours: Dollipop (pink), Afterparty (skyblue), Midori (green) and Tako(white). It’s taken me a while to get this palette as these colors are the ones I was the least drawn to in the Sugarpill palette collections. But I recently got a few shadows from Concrete Minerals and became addicted to using Hi Fi, their pink matte pigment shadow. I’ve been wondering how Sugarpill and Concrete Minerals would weigh up against each other in terms of color (I’ll make a comparison post asap).

Ok so how do the colors perform?

As can be expected from Sugarpill: Amazing! I doubt there’s anything I can truly say that’s new about this palette in terms of a review considering how long it’s been on the market, but I just once again want to impress how pigmented these shadows are. A comment on Tako – I’ve been searching for a pigmented smooth white eyeshadow for some time. I own Gesso from MAC and White from Nyx. Gesso is incredibly smooth but unless I’m willing to scratch some off, it’s not that pigmented. On the other hand Nyx’s white is beautifully pigmented but not smooth at all. I thought I’d found what I needed and Tako wasn’t even a consideration when I bought this palette. But it’s actually become my best find. Super smooth and so pigmented. When I layer this over Inglot’s White gel eyeliner I get a pure white; it makes me so happy ^_^.

Am I happy with the purchase?

Yes! I now have all 3 of the Sugarpill palettes and the only matte colour that isn’t covered by their palettes is Bulletproof(black). But I’m very happy with the black eyeshadows in my Sleek palettes for now, that I don’t have a burning desire to acquire it.

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DIY cosplay horns

Model: Cheri Serenity Warrington Photography & Makeup: Ambra

Model: Cheri Serenity Warrington
Photography & Makeup: Ambra

This post is severely over due. I made these horns sometime last year, just to see if I could and they came in handy for an upcoming cosplay. I made 2 sets of horns. The one I wanted to see how “realistic” I could make them and the second inspired by Dreaded Eden. Mostly I just wanted to see if I can engineer a pair.

Right, so here is what i used:

Bell styrofoam shapes
Plastic alice bands.
Screws
Dremel tool
Florist wire
Masking tape
Newspaper torn into 2cm strips
Woodglue
Premade paper mache
Bostik – Clear gel glue
Acrylic paint
Felt fibres (the rainbow coloured bag underneath all the string and ribbons, honestly I have no clue what you call it, but i found it next to the felt in the craft shop and i know you can make felted patterns with it, if anyone knows what you call it please let me know)

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The base for both horns:

Cut two pieces of florist wire double the length of your intended horns. Fold them in half and twist the tips together (securing the tips together is a trick I learnt while trying to bend them, it helps a lot).

I used the styrofoam shapes as a base to push the wires through to give them better support. If necessary use blocks of styrofoam along the length of your horn to keep its shape when you wrap the masking tape around it.

Wrap masking tape along the length of of the horn try not to crush the shape you’ve created for your horns.

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Once your done wrapping both horns, tweak the shape to make them symmetrical.

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Dilute the wood glue with some water and use this with the newspaper strips to build up the shape of your horns and to make them stronger. Paper mache 101.

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Also another important step: I had to learn the hard way that the styrofoam isn’t a strong enough base. The screws pull right out of it. Should’ve been obvious but this is how I learnt, with my horns constantly falling off at the cosplay picnic.

So to fix this: I hollowed out the base of the styrofoam and filled it with a plug of paper mache and let it dry properly. This can take up to a day or more depending on how deep you make the plug. But I’d suggest erring on the side of a deeper plug, it gives more grip to the screws. Be warned if you’re going to be very hard on the horns the plug itself might pull out. But sofar it’s worked quite well for myself.

To attach the horns to the alice band. Using the Dremel tool drill a hole through the alice band at the height you’d like your horns to be and also a hole in the paper mache plug. Just make sure it’s slightly smaller than the screw so it can get a proper grip when being screwed in.

Horn 1:

For the more “realistic” set I used the pre-made paper mache to give it texture and to add ridges. The first time I only added the bigger ridges that go with the turn of the horns.

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Only afterwards I realised I should’ve added the ridges running around the horns as well. No matter, the paper mache adhered well enough on top of the acrylic paint.

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After finishing them off I used a combination of black and Burnt Umber paint to add details.

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Horn 2:

Unfortunately I didn’t take progress photos of this one. But i’ll try to explain as best I can.

I separated each colour of the felt fibers into to equal amounts; for each horn. I then applied a line of the clear glue on both sides of a horn and started to wrap the fibers around the horn, starting at the tip.

Think well beforehand in what sequence you want the colours to be. As I wrap the fibers i keep gliding my hands over them in a twisting motion, always in the same direction to smooth them down. Before the one colour is done, I add the next colour just underneath and then blend them over each other. At the bottom i just applied enough glue to secure the last piece.. I added the golden ribbon as a round off but you can decorate it any way you like. Rhinestones, ribbon, fabric paint. Whatever would make your’s special.

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If you guys have any questions let me know anytime in the comments section. I’ll try to help anyway i can ^_^

Final product:

And here’s a few pics of Horns 1 in use. Unfortunately I haven’t used the rainbow horns for a shoot yet.

Did my friend's makeup and styling for MCQP 2012 Photography & Makeup: Ambra

Did my friend’s makeup and styling for MCQP 2012
Photography & Makeup: Ambra

Model: Cheri Serenity Warrington Photography & Makeup: Ambra

Model: Cheri Serenity Warrington
Photography & Makeup: Ambra

Myself at the cosplay picnic. I did prepare a costume based on a known character so just threw things together to create a character

Myself at the cosplay picnic. I did prepare a costume based on a known character so just threw things together to create a character