Illamasqua's Blush Up Brush - modelesque cheekbones in a swipe!

I have never actually looked into Illamasqua's brushes before purely because I already have a tonne of brushes and also because I do find them very slightly pricey. So I was thrilled to find this in my goody bag in their launch event considering I have only heard good things about them till date. 

Now that the I'mperfection collection has launched on the Illamasqua website, I thought I shall do a little rave post about their new Blush-up Brush that aims to revolutionise the way women typically apply blushes i.e. in round, circular motions on the apples of their cheeks. Of course it might be flattering for those with longer, slimmer faces and help bring out the 'flesh' in the face and give a more wholesome look. However not so foolproof on ladies with a round, squarish face is it now? 

I am guilty of applying blusher on the apples of the cheeks mostly because I feel it shows the colour more and I usually only associate sculpting or contouring with the bronzer technique and not so much with blusher. 

So I gave it a try after being sceptical at first and was amazed to find how absolutely easy it is to apply blush on the cheekbones with this blush. It's stubby and dense for that sharp, high cheekbone effect yet soft at the same time to make blending a dream. The trick according to Illamasqua is to begin sculpting from under your cheekbones and drag it upwards hence the name 'Blush-up' brush creating an ombre, gradually fading effect. If you suck at contouring, this will be your easy way out to fake those high, runway cheekbones. 

I personally like to use this brush with my unloved blushers (mostly the uber bright Sleek ones) that I cannot wear on the apple of the cheeks due to their colour. This gives me a chance to experiment with them subtly as they peek oh so slightly from behind the hollows of the cheeks. Plus it's just so unique when a hint of hot pink or bright coral pops out from behind the cheekbones.

Will you be forking out £28.50 for this? I feel it's slightly overpriced but well worth it if you have a round, chubby or square face and non-existent cheekbones.


Sponsored Video: Schwarzkopf’s Ultra Bright Hair Colour

Schwarzkopf have come up with a new range of hair colours called 'Ultra Brights' that are semi permanent, hair dye's which are packed with extreme pigment and are available in feisty, attention grabbing, runway ready shades such a bright pinks, bold red and striking copper to begin with. Not for the faint hearted for sure! What's amazing about them is the fact that they produce tremendous colour payout as if done by a senior hair colourist on pre lightened hair but nonetheless can be used on other hair colours as well with equally great results. 

I love the fact that these hair colour boxes help save a tonne of cash that you’d otherwise end up splurging in the salon. Especially with the beginning of a brand new year, everyone’s usually excited to revamp their hair but at the same time, January is the month where we’re most tight on cash as well after spending generously over Christmas hence this is great as a middle option. Speaking about revamping your hair, opting for a full head colour refresh is the safest way to experiment with these shades in my opinion as it’s difficult to notice mistakes and it doesn’t need a professional hand to get an even, all over coat. Plus, it’s underrated how a drastic new hair colour can lend a brand new perspective to life.

If you’re feeling a little more brave, I feel highlights, streaks, ombre, dip dye or pastel hair are fantastic hair trends to experiment with. Seeing how chic they looked on the runway last year, I definitely feel the trends will continue to be a big hit on the streets this year. I feel ombre in particular is a bit like skinny jeans to be honest, I doubt it will ever be out of fashion now really. I opted for a golden brown ombre last year on my pitch black hair however I am so tempted to opt for something richer such as a bright copper to refresh my ombre.

My alter ego would love to go pastel but I am sure it’s more suitable for the blonde hair ladies amongst you. It gives such a surreal, cover girl, vintage chic, rockstar-esque effect doesn't it?

What hair trends will you be playing around with this year? Do check out the new range of Ultra Bright Hair Colours by Schwarzkopf however. I surely will! 

*Sponsored by Schwarzkopf but thoughts are my own


Illamasqua Speckled Pastel Nails

Now if these Nail Paints by Illamasqua's I'mperfection collection had only been pastel or speckled, I wouldn't have thought much of them but because Illamasqua has taken the leap and mixed two trends together, pastel and textured nails, I feel the balance is a work of art.

My pictures don't do much justice as believe it or not, the sun has been shining bright in London these days and the sunlight is washing out the pictures. I have two shades, 'Freckle' - a nude, skin coloured, modern beige and 'Speckle' - a bright and fun lilac.

All the nail paints have a pastel, milky almost diluted base to them with a generous dose of matte black speckled particles thrown in. These particles are three dimensional in texture however they seem to blend in tremendously and once on the nails and dry, it's impossible to tell they exist. It rather looks like they have been painted on top with another nail polish.

The end result varies depending on the frequency of the matte black particles in the nail paint. As you see below, the nude, skin coloured polish has significantly more black dots than lilac polish.

Overall, the consistency of the nail paints is quite good to be honest compared to other high end ones I have tried previously. The base paint is sheer so a good two coats and you'll get a nice opaque finish. Don't set this one with a glossy coat as it looks more interesting when matte.

I personally like the super cute, laid back, on trend, boho-chic, nail-art-in-a-bottle concept that these come with. If you like perfectly polished, glossy red carpet nails, this might not be your cup of tea! If you're like me on the other hand and suck at DIY nail art, these are actually pretty darn cool as your personal manicurist.


Illamasqua I'mperfection Spring Collection

Illamasqua brings you the beauty of imperfection this Spring with their edgy collection that is more about redefining trends than experimenting with wacky colours this time in my opinion. I in fact found it much more wearable than any of their previous collections with the exception of the 'green' gloss of course. Even that can apparently be mixed with a regular lipstick shade to create the perfect 'nude' lip, especially for Asian skin
tones so I have been told.

Trends Illamasqua's I'mperfection SS13 redefines

  • Amp up your usual graphic, cat eye liner with speckled white dots
  • Dodge round fluffy brushes and embrace super sharp, runway cheeks
  • Red carpet nails are so last century, dot pastels up for a boho-chic look

Do you see how nothings 'conventionally perfect' in this collection? It's pretty and wearable but in an interesting way. Dolled up cheeks, perfectly glossy nails and a winged out liner is so 1970's if you think about it and I quite like how the brand has shaken things up a little and made it more 2013 appropriate.

I personally am a laid back person and like to embrace my little imperfections hence the matte finish, black speckled, pastel based carefree nail paints are surely me as I suck at nail art and this is a manicurist in a bottle! I am guilty of applying blush with a humongous body bronzer brush when I am in a hurry so their chiseled brush will be my new best friend, as although it looks intimidating - high cheekbones have never been easier to achieve.

The uber pigmented, silky soft, matte finish blusher duo's make sculpting with the new brush even easier.

Launching tomorrow, the collection is here to remind us about our personal definition of 'perfection', which can sometimes even lie in the little imperfections in our appearances. Do we really have to believe in what the traditional beauty brands tell us is pretty? Nah, I don't think so and never will. Whatever it is that you're shy to flaunt, flag it up this season. Be it those gorgeous freckles, that statement mole, the gap in your teeth or a birthmark.

Separate reviews of the individual products in the collection are to follow. I thought I should just give you guys a gist of the collection prior to it's launch on the 31st of Janurary instead of cramming it up in one post, so keep your eyes peeled!


Neom Organic Body Scrub...So delicious, you can scoop out and eat!

Now I don't suggest you literally grab a soup spoon and start digging in on a Monday evening but this beauty here is a work of art. The product development peeps at Neom have worked hard at creating a quality product, that stands out in the crowd putting the rest to shame.

That too in a market with shelves overflowing with 'organic' products and scrubs that will give you the velvetest (that's a word, use it next time!) skin be it winter or summer, this one actually works according to what it claims and sweeps you off your feet on just a sniff.

Long story short, me and my sister hate body scrubs and find them tedious especially as we don't use fake tan and don't have extremely dry skin conditions, meaning no 'real' need to exfoliate the body. I mean I do use them occasionally but you literally have to chain me to the shower for that to happen. I'd rather spend more time drenching my hair in masks then trying to peel of dead skin cells from my arms and legs that I will anyway smother with cardigans.

If you can relate to the above condition, you'll love this one! It gives you plenty of reasons to use the product, the primary one being it's out of this world scent. Don't get me wrong I like my Neom candles but the scent of this is times ten.

It's that universally lovable sultry, smoky, musky and very slightly rosey scent that makes me want to go the shower to use it. It's actually Lavender, Jasmine and Brazilian Rosewood. The texture of this is very finely milled sugar granules with a slightly watery texture, I am guessing due to the added Jojoba and Safflower Oils.

The result is extremely hydrated, super soft feeling skin that does not need topping up with a moisturiser, at least in my case. Oh and you'll smell real good too as the scent lingers around for long. I find it particularly useful for lazy areas such as the legs where I don't usually moisturise and this way, can even get away with it.



Glossybox: Detox January

Not sure how and why I forgot to write about this *comes out from a heap of products waiting to be reviewed*. I actually LOVED this month's Glossybox which focused on Detoxing your skin for a fresh start to a new year.

Why did I love it so much? Well basically I am obsessed with face masks recently and was ecstatic to find three masks in this box. I am not even kidding, I have used all three by now and I loved them all.

The Renu Flash Relax Mask is an anti-ageing, lifting one. I like how it's transparent making it perfect for holidays or long haul flights. You have to massage the serum like product into skin and let it sink if before washing off. It has a nice tightening effect to it and leaves skin plump and supple. I haven't looked into Renu as a skincare brand so this has definitely intrigued me.

The Sanctuary Spa 30 Day Thermal Transformation is a 2 step warming clay mask which is supposedly meant to replicate the effects of cosmetic surgery on mature skin. Me and my mum didn't quite like this one as much, it's quite ordinary like a usual clay mask but worth a try for it's fancy application ritual and the relaxing warming effect.

Finally, the Tri-Active Cleanser by Vichy you see in the image is gorgeously potent, just like other Vichy products. It's very strong and perfect for when skin's breaking out or feeling overtly oily or clogged. Plus it can be used as a face wash or a mask depending on your preference. Must-buy!

Overall, Glossybox stuck to their 'detox' theme pretty well. Two thumbs up!