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Thursday, 30 October 2014

Halloween Cupcake Decoration

These ghost and eyeball cupcakes are quite simple to make but so effective for Halloween! I made them today after researching ideas on google images and they will be going on sale at a charity Halloween event tomorrow. I used a basic vanilla sponge recipe for the cake itself (8oz each of sugar, self-raising flour and butter, 4 eggs, a 'sploosh' of milk and a 'sploosh' of vanilla extract). I spooned the mixture into the cases and baked at gas mark 5 for around 20-30 minutes or until a skewer put into the cakes came out clean.

I covered all the cakes I made in vanilla flavour frosting using the quantities of 150g butter to 190g icing sugar, plus a splash of milk and some vanilla extract. I simply spread the frosting onto the cupcakes with a knife-it doesn't require piping because it will be mostly covered up anyway.

Now for the exciting part!

For the eyeball design, I rolled out some fondant icing and used a cutter the size of the top of the cupcakes to cut out circles. I popped these on top of the frosting, which is there to make it stick, and created the eyeball design with some little tubes of writing icing-easy peasy!

For the ghost design, I stuck a large marshmallow onto the top of each cake then added another bit of frosting on top, to help the icing in the next step stick. I cut out some circles of the same white fondant I used before, but using a larger cutter-only you can judge how bog you want this to be from the size of your cupcake/ marshmallows. You could use a cutter, a large cup, a saucer, or whatever else you have lying around that you think is the sort of size you want. I then placed a fondant circle over each marshmallow so that it draped. I shaped it with my fingers to make it look more like a ghost. Finally, I used some chocolate chips for eyes and mouths, simply pushing them into the icing.

What do you think? Em x

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Beauty Empties and Fails #2

It's been about a month and a half since I last did an empties post and I seem to have used up quite a lot so here we go! I will give a mini review of each and let you know if I would repurchase...

1. Batiste dry shampoo, tropical scent. This is my favourite dry shampoo and something I buy over and over again. I have oily hair that would need washing pretty much every day of it wasn't for this, and we all know that that's not good for your hair so this is a lifesaver.

2. Asda's own dry shampoo. I bought this when I was running out of my Batiste and couldn't find it in my local Asda so I bought this just to tide me over til I got to another shop. If I recall correctly it cost £1 so I was prepared to take the risk. However, it turned out to be awful. It just doesn't do anything and my hair looked as oily as it was before I used it. I definitely won't buying this again! I used it once and it's going in the bin.

3. Garnier Micellar water. I love this stuff for removing my face make up. I use a seperate eye make up remover usually but this will do that job too in a pinch, you just have to hold a cotton pad soaked in it on your eye for a bit longer. You get  a massive 400ml bottle for £4.99, or I usually stock up when I find it on offer because it's something I use all the time.

4. L'oreal Micellar water. This is pretty much the same as the Garnier one, although I do find the Garnier slightly better for eye make up if you want to use it for that. It's around the same price too, but you only get 200ml so half the product. The way it comes out of the bottle is also a little annoying-the Garnier seemes to drip out in a controlled way while this just seems to go everywhere. I only buy this one if I can't get hold of the Garnier one-the Garnier seems popular because it's sometimes out of stock.

5. Herbal Essences Fresh Balance shampoo. I like this shampoo for my oily hair, it makes it feel really clean without drying it out and I am working my way through another bottle at the moment.

6. Moroccanoil. This stuff is great but very expensive (we're talking around £30 for the full size bottle). I like what it does for my hair and my hairdresser has actually commented on how my hair is in very good condition. However, I don't feel like there's really any difference in results between this and Macadamia oil, which I like just as much and is much cheaper. For the moment, I think I'll stick to the Macadamia oil.

7. Simple eye make up remover (mini size). I used this for travel purposes and it's pretty good. It takes my day to day eye makeup off without much of an issue but if you wear waterproof mascara/ heavier eye make up I'd go for something oil based instead.

8. Vichy Capital Soleil mattifying face fluid. This is a lovely sun cream for oily skin as it doesn't give you that shiny face that a lot of sun creams can. This isn't quite finished but I've had it open for more than the 12 month shelf life so the little bit that's left is going in the bin-I don't think it's worth the risk with sun protection as the SPF can deteriorate. I'd definitely buy this one again.

9. Murad Blemish Spot Treatment. This did absolutely nothing. I normally like Murad products but this was a complete fail for my skin. There are 'drugstore' priced spot treatments that work much better than this one for me personally so I'm afraid it's going in the bin nearly full and I definitely wouldn't buy it again!

10. Clean and Clear Advantage fast clearing spot treatment. This was just 'ok'. It did reduce spots but my favourite Neutrogena visibly clear spot treatment does a much better job. I wouldn't buy it again.

11. Rimmel Stay Matte Powder in shade Peach Glow x 2. I often have more than one of these on the go at once as it gets carried around in handbags sometimes, etc. Hene why I finished 2 in the same month. It's one of my absolute essentials for oily skin.

12. Soap and Glory Sexy Mother Pucker gloss stick in shade 'bashful'. I have mentioned this on my blog several times as it is such a favourite. It is a balmy feeling gloss in pencil form. This shade is a nice sheer but buildable baby pink that is great for everyday use. I already have another on the go.

13.Benefit They're Real mascara (mini size). I LOVE this mascara. I have had people ask me am I wearing fake eyelashes with it on or just complementing me on my long eyelashes. I promise you, they're not, it's all down to this. It's expensive but I tend to buy it when I can use a discount code online, I am using a full size version at the moment.

14. Ralph Lauren Big Pony Collection no 4. This is a nice fruity perfume, as is the pink one (no. 2 I believe) that I'm also near the end of. I bought this in the Boots sale after Christmas and got it for around £15 for the 30ml gift set-bargain! I would use it again but I have plenty of other perfumes at the moment so aren't looking to buy any more yet.

15. Nivea invisible deodorant. This really does not lave marks on your clothes. I always buy the ones aimed at that now (either this or the Sure one) because I got really fed up of my deodorant marking my clothes. Does what it says on the tin and I will buy again!

16. Urban Decay De-Slick makeup setting spray. I bought the small size of this to see how it compared to my favourite UD All Nighter spray since I have oily skin and the de-slick is aimed at us oily skinned people. I used it up, however I find that the all nighter is much better at helping my makeup to last and look less oily. De-Slick was actually a bit drying which I think results in my skin producing more oil. I will stick to the All Nighter in future.

17. Urban Decay eye shadow primer potion  6ml size. This is another essential product for me and I am in the process of using another. For some reason, the smaller size ones work out cheaper ml for ml on the Debenhams website than the larger size. I bought 2 of the smaller size (slightly more product) for the same price as 1 larger. I have now opened the 2nd one and will continue to use it, although I now have the Too Faced shadow insurance to try so we shall see how that compares!

Which beauty products have you finished recently?

Em x

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

October Beauty Favourites

Here are the beauty bits that I've been using the most throughout October. I have of course used other things too but I really had to narrow it down or we would be here all day!

1. Eylure brow crayon in medium brown. I've never been a fan of brow pencils, ususally preferring a powder to fill in my brows as it tends to be more natural looking but lately I'd started to notice that my brows didn't look as defined as I wanted them to and also that my brow gel didn't seem to be holding them in place very well. I decided to try this quite out of the blue after reading about the Eylure brow range on a few different blogs. It's slightly waxy, which to me is a positive because it helps my brows stay smoothed down. I have been using this to do little hair-like strokes then filling in any gaps left with a little powder (usually MAC's charcoal brown eye shadow) and setting with a gel. That might sound like a lot of products but really it doesn't take me long and my brows stay perfect all day.

2. Rimmel Brow This Way in mid brown-this is the gel I've been using and I like that it's tinted and matches the colour of my brows well.

3. Tarte pin up girl blush palette. I've loved using this since I bought it. The shades are really quite pigmented so although it mightn't look like I've used it, I promise I have! They also last really well on my skin as Tarte promise.

4. Urban Decay Naked palette (the original one). Mine is so battered that I bought a new one a little while ago but I haven't liked to use it until I use up a bit more the shades that are left in the old one, This has forced me to use some shades that I didn't really use as much as some of the others before and I've actually really been enjoying them, particularly sidecar and half baked, which now have a large dip in them.

5. Urban Decay Moondust eyeshadow in Moonspoon. I've used this on a few nights out lately and it's glittery amazingness (see the post on this here).

6. Nip and Fab glycolic fix serum. I've been using this for a few weeks now. It really helped my skin clear up during a spotty phase and has helped to keep it clear and smooth since-see my full review here.

7. Soap and Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Gloss Stick in the shade Plum Jam is an easy to wear Autmn shade-see it in my Autumn lippes post here.

8. Soap and Glory Solar Powder. This has turned into my everyday bronzer/ contour product this month and I'm loving how it gives a little bit of colour and shape to my face but is easy to work with because it's not super pigmented (a positive in my book where bronzers are concerned). You can see my review here.

Have you tried any of these products? Which products were your favourites this month?

Em x

Polar bear PJs

Every Winter I seem to pick up 1 or 2 pairs of PJs from Primark. I find the place to be a bit hit and miss a lot of the time but I feel like pyjamas is one thing they do well. I could do with throwing a pair or 2 that I've had for a few years away so off I went.

My most recent trip there saw me coming out with these super cute polar bear ones (as well as a couple of other items that may appear in future posts). The top is furry on the front and back so is super snuggly and has mint green )(one of my favourite colours!) sleeves. The bottoms are navy,cuffed at the bottom and have little polar bears and snow printed all over them. The top was £7 and the bottom were £5.

They had loads of really cute ones and I would definitely recommend checking out their pyjama section at the moment! I actually picked up 4 pairs in the shop before narrowing it down to these. I always think that a cute pair of pyjamas makes a nice Christmas present/ stocking filler too-it will be here before we know it!

Em x

Monday, 27 October 2014

Too Faced bargains at TK Maxx!

I wanted to get this post up quickly today in case anyone reading it wants to make a quick dash to their local TK Maxx branch. Today I picked up 2 Too Faced sets  called 'Joy to the Girls' and 'All I want for Christmas', I believe both from the Christmas 2013 collection. Both have a sticker saying the RRP was £32 although from my research online it looks like 'Joy to the Girls' was £38 and 'All I want for Christmas' was £35.

Now for the best part...the price I paid for these sets....£12.99 EACH! AMAZING!

Especially when you think about the fact that a full sized La Creme lipstick like the one in the 'All I want for Christmas' set would cost £18! That means that even if you just wanted the lipstick, it would still be cheaper, and really you could consider the rest of the set as a freebie! I've actually wanted to try out those lipsticks for a while but couldn't justify the price on another lip product, so this worked out perfectly! The shadow insurance also seems to be full size and retails for another £17! Plus there's a palette with 2 eye shadows and a blush, a mini lash injection mascara and a mini black eye liner.

The 'Joy to the Girls' set is also amazing value for £12.99, including a palette with 15 eye shadows and a full size Lashgasm mascara (which retails for £18 on it's own so again it's almost like all the eye shadows are free!). A lot of the shadows are neutrals with a little bit of colour thrown in. I have only swatched them so far but they seem like they are pigmented and lovely quality, as I have come to expect from Too Faced.

It would definitely be worth checking out your local TK Maxx to see if they have these in stock if you didn't pick them up last Christmas. To be honest, they work out cheaper than buying your standard 'drugstore' brands so you really can't go wrong!

Em x

UPDATE: The joy to the girls palette has now appeared on the TK Maxx website here for £12.99 :-) x

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Ebay wishlist #2

1.Full Length Mirror/ Jewellery Cabinet £76.99 here. I think this would be a brilliant storage item for jewellery while still being useful when it's closed-I love multi-purpose items.

2. Monin Flavoured Coffee Syrups Set £8.75 here. These are the same brand that Costa use in their coffees etc. I have a bottle of the gingerbread syrup that I bought in Tesco but they had a limited flavour selection. I think this little set with a lovely mug and some good quality coffee or hot chocolate would make a cute Christmas gift, or a way of trying the different flavours without committing to a larger bottle.

3. Acrylic Lipstick Storage £2.57 here. A great, cheap way of storing your lippies while keeping them accessible.

4. Cotton Bud Holder £2.64 here. Again this would be a handy item for your dressing table/ bathroom and looks a bit nicer than the container they come in.

5. Yankee Candle Wax Tarte gift set £10.99 here. This would make a great gift for someone who has a wax tart burner or just a nice treat for yourself. I would love to try some new Winter scents.

Em x

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

The perfect berry lip

I recently came across this lipstick when I was having a look around Superdrug-it's by Rimmel and it's from the Lasting Finish Kate range, in shade 30. I thought it would be a gorgeous berry shade for Autumn/ Winter. It is pigmented, has a nice creaminess to it and has a bit of a sheen, which personally I love in a lipstick as it makes it a bit more moisturising feeling.

worn as a stain

applied as normal

I like to wear this lipstick both patted onto the lips and smoothed in with my finger to give a stain effect, or more full on depending on my mood. I own the famous Rimmel 107 (a deep, vampy, red) which I feel like you can use for a similar effect. However, on my skin tone (fair), 30 is far more wearable. I think it's the touch of pink in it that does it.

You can find this shade in Boots or Superdrug but Superdrug currently have 3 for 2 across most make up brands  (on their website, at least) so you could get it even cheaper.

What do you think? Em x

Friday, 17 October 2014

Nip and Fab Glycolic Fix Serum

As I have have spoken about in previous posts, I am a fan of the exfoliating pads and scrub from the Nip and Fab glycolic line. My skin loves glycolic acid, which, if you don't know, is a chemical exfoliant. It's great for my oily-combination skin that is prone to breakouts as it removes any dead skin cells and anything that is going to block up pores and cause spots. I recently spotted the serum from the Nip and Fab Glycolic line half price in Superdrug (which it still is, here at £7.47 instead of £14.95). So of course, liking the other 2 products from the line so much I thought I'd give it a try.

First I'll mention the packaging. I like skincare products in this type of pump. It's very hygenic and non-messy. A couple of pumps and I'm done. You get 30ml and don't need a lot so I'm sure it would last quite a while. The only thing I would say is that I'm not going to know when I'm about to run out-it could do with some sort of window in the tube so we could see how much was left (please take note if you're reading, Nip and Fab!).

Now, onto the product itself...when I started to use this, I had a major...erm...'crop' shall we say of zits on my chin. None of them very big but it was very irritating because I'd get rid of 1 or 2 and more would pop up straight away and nothing was clearing it up-my skin just seemed to be going through a (probably hormone induced) spotty phase. Due to its exfoliating/ pore clearing out properties, glycolic can actually improve acne and boy did it work on my chin.

It sinks in very quickly and doesn't leave much of a residue. I applied my normal evening moisturiser afterwards and went to bed. In the morning, the spots were dramatically reduced and after about 2-3 nights of application my chin had completely cleared up. Not to mention the fact that the scars left behind were not as bad as they normally are. My skin seems to mark easily so having any zits isn't fun! I have to say that this actually cleared my skin up more quickly than any products I tried that were specifically aimed at spots. I've now been using it for a couple of weeks and have had no more spots since so it does seem to be helping to keep my skin clear. My skin feels smoother than it did before, too!

I am definitely impressed by this product! What do you think? Have you tried anything from the Nip and Fab Glycolic range?

Em x

Monday, 13 October 2014

Contour kit for under a fiver!

guess what I was wearing when I photographed this? lol

I recently picked up this bargainous 'Define and Conquer' contour kit from Seventeen for £4.99. What really interested me is that the whole thing is matte, even the highlight. If you look at higher end contouring palettes, there are often matte highlighting shades (Anastasia Beverley Hills contouring palette, I'm looking at you!) but you rarely see them in 'drugstore' makeup. Now I like a glowy, shimmery highlight in the evening but being an oily skinned girl with some large pores, shimmer on my face during the day is NOT going to happen so this palette seemed like a good, well priced option!

I like the packaging of this product-as well as having a good sized mirror, it reminds me of NARS packaging and we all know that NARS products cost a lot more than this! It also comes with a little instruction card if you're not sure how to use it which is handy for contouring beginners.

 The powders seem to blend well and the matte highlight is great for setting my under eye concealer as it is a little lighter than my skintone, or for brightening up my cheekbones without the shimmer. The bronzer is a nice matte shade that's not too dark or orangey on fair skin (I bought the shade 'fair' and I believe there is a medium and a dark). I also like to use this kit on my eyes with the contour shade in the crease, highlight shade on the brow bone and I then add in a shimmer shade for my lid. Overall I think this is a great little product for the price! You can find it at Boots here, where it's currently on 3 for 2 as well so could be even cheaper!

What do you think? 

Em x

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Review: Bite Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick Duo, neutral

left to right: musk, lychee



Today's review is of the Bite Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick Duo-another item from my recent Sephora order-and also the last apart from the sample sizes I got as a 100 point perk and with a promotional code.

The idea behind Bite Beauty, which I find quite interesting, is that they make lip products from food grade ingredients. This makes sense when you consider that every time you eat or have a cuppa with your lippie on,you probably end up eating a lot of it. Over a longer period of time, I imagine that it adds up.

Bite claim that the luminous creme lipsticks are also an anti-aging product, saying that 'with every application, antioxidant Resveratrol fights free radicals with potent long-term age-repair benefits. Each lipstcik contains the Resveratrol equivalent of two glasses of red wine, reducing fine lines and wrinkles on and around the lip area over time'. Now I don't know about the long term benefits, but it's certainly interesting that a company would make this sort of claim about a lipstick and it can't do any harm!

Onto the formula of the product itself, which is super creamy. It has a nice sheen to it and makes your lips appear fuller as a result, without being super glossy. It feels very luxurious on the lips and the 2 neutral shades (1 more on the pink side and 1 more of your classic nude) would be very useful in your handbag. That is one positive point about the small size.

However...I know it's 2 mini lipsticks and was only $12 (plus tax), but I must admit that I was a little shocked at how small it is and how little product you are getting for your money. I do think it would last a while and is great to try out if you've never had anything from the brand before, but it just feels very insubstantial. I would say that you need to be careful not to wind them up too much because the smaller size means that the bit of the lipstick that is 'stuck onto' the packaging for want of a better phrase, is obviously smaller, too. This means that it feels quite fragile.

Overall, I really like the product inside, I'm just not so sure on the idea of these duos. They are a good way of trying out the brand if you have to order online like me. However, I think the full size ones would most likely feel more substantial. There is another duo available but having seen this one, I think I'd rather go for full size products from them in future. Having said that, the product inside seems like really good quality and I would be happy to own some of their full size lip products.

Have you tried any Bite Beauty products?

Em x

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Review: Josie Maran Coconut Watercolour Eye Shadow

This is going to be another review of an item from my Sephora order (I'm working my way through them!), this time the Josie Maran Coconut Watercolour Eye Shadow in the shade 'Playa Del Pink' which is actually a champagne colour.

Strangely, it comes with a different lid on it than the one you see above, with the above lid being separate in the box. I'm not sure why they've done this because the lid with applicator in screws onto the bottle the same way that the other one does.

The product is very liquid like the name would suggest. You need to give it a little shake before using it as it does separate in the bottle. It has a little ball inside to help mix it. After that, you unscrew the lid and there is a little doe foot applicator. 

I found that I needed just a couple of dots on each eyelid-a little goes a long way with this product. You can blend it out to be quite sheer and just a bit shimmery or if you add a second layer (which is what I like to do), it gives a lovely metallic finish. It dries down to a powder sort of product so it lasts well on the eyes-I wore it all day and it didn't fade. It didn't crease either but I did wear it over Urban Decay Eye Shadow Primer Potion, as I do with all of my shadows.

Overall, I think this is a great shadow for a quick wash of colour or as a metallic finish on your lid with more matte shades in the crease of your eye. It lasts well and is very pretty in my opinion!

Have you tried this or any other Josie Maran products that you'd recommend?

Em x

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Review: Too Faced Melted Lipstick

Today I thought I'd post a review of the Too Faced Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipstick I got as part of my recent Sephora order. You can get this product in the UK, but everywhere I looked the shade that I wanted to try from looking at swatches online (Melted Peony) was out of stock. Since I was ordering from Sephora anyway and it worked out about the same price, if not a little cheaper, even with tax, I thought I'd add it to my basket.

Too Faced claim that it 'comfortably coats lips in bursts of intense colour that lasts for hours'. Would I agree? Absolutely. 

As you can see in the swatch above, it is super pigmented and very opaque. You need a tiny amount to cover your lips so the 12ml tube would last a long time even if you used it every day (which I own far too many lippies to do but oh well haha). It goes on a bit more glossy but sort of dries down to what I can only describe as a sort of creamy matte finish. It looks reasonably matte but doesn't have the uncomfortable feel of your typical matte lipstick and is not at all drying.

 It lasted for a few hours on my lips. It does transfer onto cups if you drink but it doesn't all seem to come off-there was still some left after I had finished two cups of tea. I did find that it didn't last through eating so it's not THAT long lasting, but I don't mind reapplying after eating so that's not a major problem. 

The applicator is one of those little spongey applicators were you squeeze the tube and it comes through ready to apply (similar to the applicator on the Clarins instant light lip perfectors if you're familiar with those). What I will say is that is perhaps not the most precise method of application for such a pigmented product. It's fine for this relatively natural shade but I wonder how it would work with the very bold shades.

Overall, I really like the texture and pigmentation of this product and would definitely recommend them, but I think that if you wanted to go for one of the bolder shades, you would need a lip brush handy to neaten up the edges because of the applicator.

Have you tried the Too Faced Melted Lipsticks? What did you think?

Em x

Friday, 3 October 2014

Fruit that tastes like chocolate?! Healthy snack discovery

The other day when I popped into my local Tesco, I noticed these at the checkout: Nakd Cocoa Orange Fruit and Nut Bits. I didn't look too closely at them before throwing them in my basket-to be honest, I just saw that they were half price and looked tasty.

It was only when I looked at the packet properly that I realised that the ingredients are 40% dates, 40% cashews, 14% raisins, 5% cocoa and the rest is rice flour and a hint of natural orange flavouring. A 35g portion (approx a quarter of the bag) is one of your 5 a day! They are also wheat, dairy and gluten free if that;s something that interests you.

But...and here's the best me they taste of chocolate orange! Really sweet and yummy with a bit of chewiness and they look like a bag of sweets. I think these make a nice afternoon snack when you're craving something sweet but want to have something a bit more healthy than a chocolate bar. I'd definitely buy these again!

Have you tried any of the Nakd snack range? Is there anything else from it you'd recommend?

Em x

Tarte pin up girl Amazonian clay blush palette

Another item I recently ordered from Sephora is this beautiful blush palette from Tarte. I have wanted to try the Amazonian clay blushes for the longest time because so many bloggers rave about them. This palette has an $110 value but retails for $42 so it seemed like a good time to try them.

I must say that I love the packaging on this palette-it's like a little golden clutch. It comes with 2 little hair grips-1 pearl and 1 diamante-which I can definitely see myself using at some point. The case would also be really cute to use for something else once you've finished the blushes.

On to the shades...
left to right: Breathless (pinky beige), Embraced (plummy rose with shimmer), Whimsy (light pink), Bashful (rosy peach), Irreplaceable (mauve rose)

I love the range of colours that this palette gives you. I don't really have anything else like the shade breathless (the first swatch) and I think it would be very pretty with a smokey eye as it wouldn't be too much. The 2nd, embraced, actually reminds me of a sleek blush-I think it's called pomegranate. It's a plummy shade with shimmer. Then we have a blue toned light pink, a peachy shade and a rosy pink. I think Tarte's shade descriptions are pretty accurate, actually.

They have a nice smooth texture and pick up onto a brush easily without being too powdery. The pigmentation is good without being too difficult to work with and they blend nicely. They last well on my cheeks but being honest this isn't something I really have an issue with. I have oily skin but since I use a long wearing foundation (Revlon colorstay) and a setting spray (Urban Decay All Nighter) for long days, I find that most blushes tend to last pretty well.

I think this would make a beautiful Christmas gift for a make up lover or of course a nice treat to yourself. It's certainly something I think I'll be getting a lot of use out of as it's so versatile and personally, I think it has pretty much all bases covered with a good variety of shades.
The palette is available here but is limited edition since it's part of the Tarte 2014 holiday collection. Last year's blush palette sold out quickly so if you want it, I'd pick it up sooner rather than later!

What do you think of the Tarte Amazonian clay blushes?

Em x

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Tarte Rainforest After Dark Colored Clay Eye & Cheek Palette

This Tarte palette was one of the things I received in my recent Sephora order. I have heard so many great things about the brand online and have wanted to try it out for a while.

Firstly, don't you just love the packaging? Beautiful! It's also just the right size to hold in one hand. Considering the number of products it contains, it's pretty compact so it would be ideal for travel or fitting into a makeup bag. It also has a mirror that's big enough that you could realistically use it to do your make up.

The palette contains bronzer, highlighter, blush and 6 eye shadows-a lot of what you need for a full face really.

left to right: bronzer in shade 'park avenue princess'/ highlighter in 'champagne'/ blush in 'unleashed'

Here are the face products swatched. The bronzer is a matte, which is something I look for. I can't stand shimmery bronzers. The highlight is a beautiful white-gold shimmery shade and the blush is a very wearable everyday shade that isn't overly pigmented (I had to build it up for this swatch). I actually like that in a blush because you don't have to worry so much about carefully applying it with a light hand when you're in a rush.

top row left to right: eye shadow shades 'bare to explore', 'make a mauve' and 'plum away with me'
bottom row left to right: eye shadow shades 'up to no gold', 'tan-gled up in you' and 'don't turn a-brown'

I love that the 6 eyeshadows are almost like 2 trios tone wise, although obviously you can mix and match til your heart's content. They are a pigmented and have a lovely smooth texture. The dark brown was slightly patchy when I first swatched it but it performs better on the eyes with a brush.

The Tarte Rainforest After Dark palette is available here for $38. Overall, I feel like it is a good introduction to the brand, which is exactly why I wanted to pick up a palette containing a few different products. I feel like it's a neutral palette with a bit of a 'kick' rather than just being the same old beiges and browns. I have no doubt that I'll get a lot of use out of it!

What do you think?

Em x