Sunday, 23 February 2014

MAC Heroine review

I recently acquired Mac's newly permanent Heroine matte lipstick - a bright orchid purple, or violet leaning fuchsia, which I've speedily swatched next to other similarly coloured lipsticks I own:

Taken in indirect sunlight, as swatch photos should be!

  • Top left: Maybelline Colour Elixir Lip Gloss in Vision in Violet
  • Top right: Revlon Matte Balm Stain in Shameless
  • Centre: MAC Heroine matte lipstick
  • Bottom left: OCC Lip Tar in Hoochie liquid lipstick
  • Bottom right: MAC Flat Out Fabulous retro matte lipstick

I'm not going to describe the differences between these varying shades of purple as the above photo gives an extremely accurate colour reference, but I will say that Heroine is not as opaque as I'd hoped and expected it to be. Since I'm insanely pale and without strongly pigmented lips it's rare that lipsticks allow my natural lip colour to peep though (unless of course they're a deliberately sheer formula) and to be honest Heroine is only slightly less than fully opaque - I just expect better from MAC.

Not going to lie - I can't wink, but neither am I going to let that stop me

Since I have no time in my life right now for neat on-the-mouth swatches in daylight (I live in the library during the hours the sun is out) I'm just going to leave you with some snaps of the makeup I did for an event I attended this weekend - as the photo was taken at night under my stupid eco-friendly energy saving lights the colours are naturally slightly off - suffice to say Heroine is the colour shown above on the swatches, not how it appears here on my mouth.

Overall I'd give Heroine a B+ - it was adequately opaque, applied well straight from the tube, was matte enough to be very long-wearing yet also comfortable without patchiness. It did however leave a significant bright pink stain which doesn't bother me in the slightest but is probably something to consider. I'd definitely re-buy it if I lost or finished it because it's such a gorgeous colour and easy to use, but hopefully there's something a little bit better out there!


  • NARS Oil Free Primer
  • NARS Sheer Glow in Siberia foundation
  • Illamasqua Hollow contour
  • Illamasqua Delirium blush
  • Illamasqua Concealer in 105 and 115
  • Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder

  • Illamasqua Motto Brow Cake
  • Sugarpill Bulletproof eyeshadow

  • NARS and Urban Decay eyeshadow primer (one on each eye - literally no difference)
  • Laura Mercier Morning Dew eyeshadow
  • Inglot 363 eyeshadow (my absolute favourite crease colour)
  • Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy
  • Fyrinnae Serendipity and Rapunzel Had Extensions eyeshadow
  • Sugarpill Bulletproof eyeshadow
  • Urban Decay Perversion eyeliner
  • Oh My Lash Lucille eyelashes
  • Duo Lash Glue
  • Misc rhinestones from Amazon

  • MAC Prep+Prime Lips
  • MAC Heroine lipstick

This feels invasively close

Also here's my other and all time favourite purple lipstick, also by MAC but sadly Limited Edition - Instigator:

Hair's still wet, no one to impress

All FACE and BROW products are exactly the same as above.


  • NARS Smudgeproof Shadow Base
  • Laura Mercier Morning Dew
  • Inglot 363 eyeshadow
  • Sugarpill Bulletproof eyeshadow
  • Urban Decay Pervesion eyeliner
  • Red Cherry #48 eyelashes

  • MAC Instigator

Hopefully soon I'll find time in my life to post more than just a few snaps of looks I've done for nights out, but until then I'll be living barefaced in the library.

Saskia X

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

This friday was the first time I've been out in weeks as university's been so busy recently, and as it just so happened to be Valentine's day - despite being a holiday I don't really celebrate (except when my Dad sends me roses) - I thought I'd do something festive. Red lips, metallic gold and rose gold eyeshadow and long wispy lashes.


  • NARS Oil Free Primer
  • NARS Sheer Glow Foundation in Siberia
  • Illamasqua concealer in 105 and 115
  • Illamasqua Hollow contour
  • Illamasqua Delirium blush
  • NARS Albatross highlight
  • Laura Mercier Loose Translucent Setting Powder

  • Illamasqua Motto Brow Cake
  • Sugarpill Bulletproof eyeshadow
  • Questionable clear mascara

  • NARS Smudgeproof Eyeshadow Base
  • Laura Mercier Morning Dew eyeshadow
  • Stila Magnificent Metals Foil Finish Eyeshadow in Comex Gold
  • Urban Decay Naked3 palette
  • Sugarpill Bulletproof eyeshadow
  • Laura Mercier Tightlining Cake in black and Activator
  • Red Cherry Wispy eyelashes
  • Benefit They're Real mascara

  • Armani Rouge D'Armani lipstick in 406 

I hope you all had a love/chocolate/alcohol filled 14th!

Saskia X

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Makeup Addiction: My Beautiful Sickness

So I bought Illamasqua Posture - the greyed lavender lipstick I've been lusting over for months and am convinced will make me look ill (but in a cool way). That combined with the fact I'd never used my Illasmasqua Rich Liquid foundation by itself - it's pure white - inspired me to try an artsy ill/tiered look.

I'm actually really pleased with the results - I almost gave up half way through because the contouring was being incredibly uncooperative - I was worried it would look too costume-y or halloween-y, but I think I've pulled it off it I don't say so myself!

Without further ado check out how fully opaque pure white foundation just looks like my regular skin:

Are you ready for a product list? [Yeah!]

  • Illamasqua Rich Liquid Foundation in 100 (pure white)
  • Illasmaqua Hollow Cream Pigment contour
  • NYX Taupe blush contour
  • Sleek Dark Mattes eyeshadow in grey contour
  • Illamasqua Motto Brow Cake
  • MUFE Aqua Brow in 35/Taupe
  • Sugarpill Bulletproof eyeshadow
  • Questionable Clear Mascara
  • Mac Paint Pot in Stormy Pink
  • Laura Mercier Morning Dew, Plum Smoke and Black Plum eyeshadows
  • Sugarpill Bulletproof, Love+ and Poison Plum eyeshadows
  • Rimmel Scandaleyes eyeliner in black
  • Illamasqua False Eyelashes in 21
  • Benefit They're Real mascara
  • Illamasqua Posture
  • OCC Lip Tar in NSFW

And now I have about two dozen different brushes to clean...

As always you can contact me at -

Sask X

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Sleek Garden of Eden review, and a Laura Mercier African Violet 'dupe'

As soon as I saw this palette I knew it had to be mine - it contained both green, purple(ish) and gold eyeshadows from my favourite highstreet brand - Sleek. Luckily, it was both inexpensive (£7.99) and easily accessible (at my local Superdrug) - instant gratification is excellent isn't it?

I obviously forgot to take a picture before I stuck my fingers in it

I googled swatches of this palette online and found perfectly even, neat, pigmented swatches that made it look like Garden of Eden could compete with Inglot in terms of quality. However when I swatched this palette myself I found quite a few dud colours: essentially all the non-metallic shades, to some extent, were chalky and unpigmented. This is obviously rather frustrating as all the beautifully perfect swatches I saw online are somewhat misleading for the sake of aesthetics.

All of my swatches are done with a clean finger over bare skin, and the photos were taken in indirect sunlight.

Technically all of the shadows have individual names that came printed on a loose transparent card in the palette, but I threw it away because it cluttered the palette and would get so dusty and grubby after a week. So I'm just going to refer to the shadows by their colours and/or position in the palette.

The first four metallic colours on the top row are all excellent quality - pigmented, soft and blend-able, don't let my messy swatches throw you off: these colours are great. The last two matte-ish colours were awful quality - they were so hard and un-pigmented I actually had to scrape a layer of them off into a powder just to get them to show up on my arm for these swatches. The penultimate shade was a particular shame as it is a rather unique colour - mauve-grey with gold glitter.

The same was true for the first and last colours (again, both matte-ish) of the bottom row - the last colour, a matte dark green, was particularly surprising as I have a similar colour in my Sleek Dark Mattes palette which had great pigmentation and texture. The second colour, a lime green, was smack bang on average quality in terms of texture and pigmentation.

Below I've shown the vertical Garden of Eden swatches with similar colours from my collection in horizontal swatches. The dark green is from the Sleek Dark Mattes palette - proof that Sleek is capable of making excellent quality matte shades.

The second similar colour is Laura Mercier's African Violet - a shade that is particularly in vogue right now - although I personally would not call this a dupe as it is not identical in colour or texture (let alone ease of application and wear time which I haven't even tested) but it is certainly a very, very similar alternative.

Above you can see African Violet is violet in direct sunlight whereas Sleek is significantly browner. Below African Violet almost looks like a mix between the two Sleek shades however is is pinker than both and most importantly has golden shimmer rather than just having a simple overall metallic sheen.

Below is another photo which shows the main differences: the Sleek shade is darker and browner and African Violet has a distinct gold shimmer.

Considering that this whole Sleek palette is only £7.99 while a Laura Mercier single is £18.50 this is a great alternative for someone who isn't sure if African Violet is their favourite colour, or is on a budget. Especially if that person is based in the UK as the only other close alternatives or 'dupes'  for African Violet are from US indie companies which, while lovely, take a while to ship and require international postage (plus 20% VAT and handling charges for any order over £15).

Note the scraping I had to do on the matte shades to get them to swatch

Overall I think the palette is well worth it's price as it contains 7 great quality metallic shadows in an interesting and unique colour scheme. Also, it's perfect colour scheme to transition into Spring!

The obvious downside of this palette are the dud matte shades, but maybe with some scraping, a primer, sticky base and a stiff brush a patient and could make them work - I am just not that person. The only other thing I dislike about this palette is the tacky and altogether useless sponge applicator - it's a waste of space and lowers the aesthetics of the palette, but then again even high end luxury brands like Guerlain and Lancome insist on including them so I can't judge Sleek too harshly for this.

The Sleek Dark Mattes paltte for comparison

The Dark Mattes palette was a much more consistent palette in terms of quality with no obvious duds, I'd highly recommend it to anyone who likes matte colours or is looking to branch out into somewhat muted colours.

The newer one is the less grubby looking one obviously.

A far as application goes the metallic shades in Garden of Eden were easy to apply and blend - they didn't give opaque coverage when just patted on over a regular eyeshadow primer (Urban Decay Primer Potion) but if applied over a sticky base (like Pixie Epoxy) or wet they would probably give opaque coverage with a foiled effect.

I applied the green metallics to one eye; the colours were vivid and true to pan, while being clearly distinguishable individual shades on the eye even when blended together. The other pink and gold eye was obviously less bright and gave a sheerer wash of colour - this lent itself well to a relatively subtle neutral eye. Again the colours applied and blended together well, however I found that the two pinks when blended together were extremely similar. These colours could all also be built up to full opacity or foiled over a sticky base or used wet.

Overall, if we disclude the D-F quality mattes I'd rate this palette at a solid B - overall good, in some ways excellent but let down by a few average qualities. Not bad for £7.99!

Saskia X