Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Too Faced Sweet Peach Palette

I love Too Faced products especially their eyeshadow palettes. Last year they released a peach palette which sold out. I tried looking on E Bay but there seem to be a lot of fakes around. Sellers having palettes for around £15 each and always a high quantity available, something there don't sound right. So I decided not to bother with getting one on E Bay. Fortunately Too Faced have decided to re release the palette, so it is once again available. 

The palette is called Sweet Peach and features 18 colors in a good mix of shades. Another amazing thing about this palette is it is scented of peaches too. The scent is fantastic and the packaging is equally amazing.

The palette also comes with a guide showing you how to create different looks with the palette. The pigment in the colors is fantastic and once they are on they didn't fade or crease. I really enjoyed playing with the colors and creating different looks.

The paler colors can be worn on their own and people who love something natural will like using these ones. I liked to use them as base colors and then apply the darker ones on top, blending them into each other.

Here are some of the looks I created.

Monday, 30 January 2017

I Heart Makeup Unicorns Heart

Highlighters are all the rage right now and one budget beauty brand I really like is I Heart Makeup. This is the sister brand to Makeup Revolution, and very recently they brought out a brand new highlighter called Unicorns Heart. If you are familiar with I Heart Makeup you will know that they do a range of blushers in heart shaped packaging. Unicorns Heart comes in very similar packaging and is actually a rainbow highlighter. This was £5.00 at TAM Beauty.

I've never used a rainbow highlighter before and the colors do look really interesting. They also look awesome together in the packaging. I guess you can use the colors separately to create different shades of highlight. I like to get my brush and swirl it around each color and then apply to different areas. The great thing about it is, it is really buildable too.

The pigment in this one is good and it gave my skin a really nice glow to it. I just love the packaging too as it reminds me of one of those chocolate gift boxes you can buy.

Sunday, 29 January 2017

MAC Before Estee Lauder

So I've decided to do a post about the brand MAC and how it used to be before Estee Lauder bought it. Estee Lauder is one of the biggest beauty brands around and owns a lot of other brands including Bobbi Brown and Clinique. I've often heard people saying MAC used to be so much better as an independent brand and it's a makeup subject that has interested me for a while. I don't remember the company when it was independent as it was way before I got into makeup. MAC got bought out around the mid 90s, I was only a kid back then.

This post is not having a dig at the brand or attacking any of the staff. The staff at MAC work really hard and if the company was better independent, compared to now, it's the fault of Estee Lauder management, not the workers who work for them.

Writing this post hasn't been easy as the information pre Lauder is very scarce. People my age and younger won't remember any of this at all. I've got my info from asking on different makeup artists on Facebook who used to work for MAC back in the day. They have managed to tell me what they remember about the company. There are a few makeup forums that have some info too.

MAC Eyeshadows (current packaging)

MAC stands for Makeup Artist Cosmetics and was started by makeup artist and photographer - Frank Toskan and beauty salon owner, Frank Angelo in Toronto in 1984. They came up with a studio makeup line that would fulfill their professional needs. Back then, the two were frustrated that there was a lack of color that would shoot well with photography. The makeup was made in their kitchen and sold in their beauty salon. The first customers were models, photographers and fellow makeup artists. Then came the stylists and editors, the makeup brand just grew from there. 

Frank Angelo and Frank Toskan

The staff were professional makeup artists and over time the brand just grew. Madonna wore MAC's Russian Red lipstick on stage on her Blond Ambition Tour in 1990. Russian Red is still available today, it's a proper old skool color. MAC was the first brand in history to invest in it's staff's training and education. Instead of making sales through traditional advertising, sampling and gifts with purchase, MAC relied on the integrity of it's carefully formulated product line. 

Then Estee Lauder came along and decided to purchase a percentage of MAC. In 1998, Lauder bought the remaining shares of the company and MAC was no longer an independent brand. 

So you're probably wondering what changed since it got bought by Lauder. A lot, it seems. First off is product quality. I've heard many people saying over the years the quality of the products in going down, especially with the company bringing out all these endless collections. The original price of a MAC lipstick in the 90s was $8, as soon as Estee Lauder bought the company the price went up a lot. If you are familiar with the packaging of the lippies you will know they come in bullet packaging with a plastic turn mechanism. When MAC was an independent brand the actual tubes were made out of metal and not plastic. Plus in the box packaging, the lipstick used to get wrapped in black tissue paper.

MAC still make some great products. I love their eyeshadows, blushers and lipsticks. Plus I'm a fan of their blot powder. Although I wouldn't call the products that they bring out these days pro standards any more. They seem to spend more time bringing out all of these limited editions, rather than concentrating on a good line of permanent products. It should be about quality, not quantity. This once was the case before Lauder, these endless limited editions and often gimmicky collections didn't happen.

The pigments of the colors were just insane and the original MAC brushes were so much better than they are today.

To be fair it's not just MAC that went wrong. I've heard that the quality of Bobbi Brown went downhill when Lauder bought that brand too.

MAC Lipsticks (current packaging)

MAC Pro Was Always Free
The MAC pro programme also used to be free. If you are familiar with makeup artistry you will know that MAC offers a programme for qualified makeup artists who are working in the industry. For a fee you can get a MAC Pro Card which gives you a good discount. Back in the day this used to be free. Under Estee Lauder the Pro Programme is now one you have to pay for. Although I did get told by a makeup artist on Facebook that the programme is now going to be free once more.

Staff Training
When MAC was it's own company it used to spend a lot of time giving it's staff excellent and extensive training. They also used to hire staff based on their actual talent, and not just their retail experience. The staff back then were made up of well trained artists who would happily let you play with the testers and not pressure you to buy them. Don't get me wrong, there are some very talented people at MAC, but now under the control of Lauder they seem to put sales experience before talent. Very often if you go to the MAC counters in different places you just get a high pressure sales environment. Estee Lauder seem to put more priority on sales, rather than the products itself. These days they seem to be concerned with hiring mainly sales people and not artists.

Too Much Focus On Sales And Not Artistry
Before MAC was bought, sales goals weren't a huge factor and pressure sales to customers were non existent. 

An artist back then could exercise their artistic strengths without fear of getting fired. Focus was on artistry and not pushing paper. The products were so good they would often sell themselves. MAC used to have some great artists working for them and when pushing paper became the main thing they left, with only a few staying. 

Back then the staff were hugely talented. Now it's not the same. There are some good people still working for MAC who do have talent, but I have heard and read about people finding the staff cannot do makeup properly, yet they can sell anything to anyone. A number of people have said they have been put off having makeup done at MAC because some of the staff look like clowns.

I've mentioned above that the lipsticks used to be made of actual metal packaging rather than plastic. Did you know that the eyeshadows used to to come in durable screw top pots. 

The brushes also used to be far better quality than they are now. Today MAC brushes are still good, but back then they used to be far better. 

Animal Testing
And finally there is animal testing. MAC sadly is no longer cruelty free, thanks to Estee Lauder putting profit before ethics. The brand now sells in China. If a brand wants to sell their products there, Chinese law requires that the products are tested on animals. It's not just MAC either, but the other Lauder brands too. Pamela Anderson once was a Viva Glam Spokesperson for MAC in 2004 and she actually wrote a letter to the president of Estee Lauder - John Demsey, saying how disappointed she was. Check out her letter here.

To be fair on Estee Lauder, it's not just them as other big makeup companies are just as guilty for animal testing too. L'Oreal is another big company that owns a lot of brands including Urban Decay. A few years back Urban Decay announced they were going to sell in China. Loads of people said they would boycott the brand if they did. This led to Urban Decay changing their mind and they are still cruelty free.

So this is how MAC used to be before it got bought by Estee Lauder. From what I've been told by people who used to work for MAC back then, the company was far better. To me it seems as if Estee Lauder have killed a brand that was once amazing and changed it into something else. I don't remember the original MAC, but it sure did sound a lot better. If only I had a time machine, I could go back and check it all out. 

Death by Estee Lauder. RIP MAC x

Note: Image taken from Eating Lipsticks

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Benefit They're Real Push Up Liner

If you are familiar with Benefit you will know all about the They're Real range of products. They started out with the They're Real mascara a few years back and have developed the range into push up liners, lipsticks and even a makeup remover. I've tried the mascara and while there is nothing wrong with it and is a not bad mascara, I just think it is really overrated and actually prefer Benefit's other two mascaras - Bad Gal and Rollerlash. As I've been to the Benefit counters many times I've seen the staff rave over the They're Real Push Up Liner. As I needed a new eyeliner I decided to get it. This one was £18.50.

This is a really hyped up eyeliner and I was expecting a lot from it. It looks like a really good design. Comes in a pen and is designed with this flexi tip which is supposed to make applying your eyeliner really easy. It's not a liquid liner, but actually a gel liner. I love gel liners. I have tried the MAC, Illamasqua and Bobbi Brown ones and think they are great.

The Tip

To use you have to twist the bottom to get the liner to come out. This eyeliner pen may look great but that is where it ends. I've tried getting used to it by using it time and time again, but I just find the thing not easy to use. It's really hard to get the right amount out and if you are not careful you can get too much out at once.

It has a really dry formula too it and flakes like hell. It also dries really quick and I mean extremely quick. Once dry the color stays put so if you make a mistake or need to build it up, correcting is virtually impossible. If you try building it up the color will flake. The dry formula it has makes it very difficult to work with.

The design of the tip is really flexible, Benefit call it the AccuFlex. It may be alright to start with but after a few uses the tip just gets a bit too flexible and is just useless. And yes I did clean the tip and wipe off the excess just like Benefit suggested, it made no difference.

After using this I had read a few reviews, thinking it was just me who couldn't use this. A google search of many reviews of this will tell you that this is not a good liner. All the bad reviews I read seem to say exactly the same thing - too dry, extremely flaky and difficult to use. In work today I was telling someone about it and she told me her daughter hated it. She then got given it instead and found it awful too.

This is one of those products I just regret buying and this one will be going in the bin. I went and bought another eyeliner called Supercat by Soap And Glory. It's a felt tip liner and is far superior to this one. It was only £6 and a lot cheaper than this They're Real one. Supercat is very pigmented, easy to use and long lasting. It's not dry or flaky either.

Benefit used to do a really good liquid eyeliner called Magic Ink. It's now discontinued. This They're Real one is absolute rubbish and not worth the money at all.

My Favorite MAC Collections Over The Years

I've been liking MAC makeup for over ten years now. Through that time, they have had some good collections and I've now managed to decide which ones out of them all I like best. I actually remember buying something from most of these ones. The funniest memory I have has to be back in 2010 with the Venomous Villains Collection. This was probably one of the best collections MAC has ever released and was themed on 4 Disney villains - Cruella, Maleficent, Evil Queen and Dr Facilier. As we all know MAC limitied editions sell out really fast and I wanted a lot from the collection. I actually skipped uni to go and buy this one. Got up super early and was one of the first customers of the day. Crazy, but definitely worth it.

So here are my favorites, starting way back in 2004.






Racquel Welch

Barbie Loves MAC


Strange Hybrid

Blue Storm

Smoke Signals

Royal Assets





Dame Edna


Hello Kitty Wild

Hello Kitty Mild


A Tartan Tale

A Tartan Tale Chapter 1

Venomous Villains

To The Beach


Quite Cute

Surf Baby

Semi Precious Eyes

Glitter And Ice


Shop MAC

Chen Man

Hey Sailor

Heavenly Creature

Marilyn Monroe

Glamour Daze

Primped Out


Temperature Rising

Tropical Taboo


RiRi Hearts Fall

RiRi Hearts MAC Holiday


Kelly Osbourne

Sharon Osbourne

The Simpsons


Wash And Dry

MAC Is Beauty




It's A Strike


Mariah Carey

So these are my favorite collections so far. Do you have any favorite MAC collections?

Images from Chic Profile, Temptalia and MAC Color Story Collections