Hero Product: MUFE HD Foundation

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If all my makeup disappeared and I had only £100 to buy new products – this foundation would be the first thing I buy. This is my holy grail product, the best foundation I have ever used.

About a year ago I wrote a review of Urban Decay’s Naked Foundation and said it was my favourite foundation (here). A couple months later I travelled to mainland Europe and visited Sephora. I have always wanted to try Make Up For Ever foundations. Tiffany from MakeupByTiffanyD mentioned Matt Velvet + so many times in her videos.

I tried the HD Foundation in shade N120 and have fallen in love. I have been using this foundation since January 2013 and even though I continue to test new foundation this one is by far the best. I still think Urban Decay’s Naked Foundation is a great product but it pales in comparison.

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What’s so amazing about this foundation?

It really is HD. It’s almost invisible on my skin while providing good coverage. I don’t like it when you can see that a person is wearing foundation. Good makeup should be invisible and this foundation is really light on the skin and looks natural all day.

It gives good coverage. It covers all my dark spots and redness very well and evens out my skin tone. I would say it’s medium to full coverage (buildable).

It works very well on oily and combo skin. I started using it last winter when I had dry patches on my cheeks and the rest of my face was oily as usual. This foundation seemed to cover my dry patches and moisturise them. At the same time it stayed matt all day on my oily skin and didn’t require many touch ups.

It’s super long-lasting. It doesn’t oxidise and stays fresh all day. It’s one of these products I can rely on.

I can use it without a primer. When I started using it back in January, I noticed that I was able to get better results than with the Naked Foundation but without using my MAC prep and prime primer. That was great as it allowed me to save some time in the morning.

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The only small problem I have with this product is that it doesn’t have SPF in it. So I had to start using MAC Prep and Prime again to prevent skin damage.

I’m on my second bottle of this foundation and it’s the only foundation I have ever repurchased. I don’t think this product gets the recognition and love it deserves although lately I’ve heard some bloggers and youtubers mention it in their favourites.

As there is no MUFE store in the UK it’s a bit difficult to buy it here. But it is definitely worth the effort!

Update:

When I wrote this post I was asked where I buy this foundation from in the UK and how much it costs. I usually buy it when I’m abroad but after posting I realised that I was running out of it and I simply cannot live without this product. So I decided to order from Precious About Makeup, a London-based store that sells a lot of brands you can’t normally buy here. I was planning on going there in person but realised that their delivery charge is cheaper than tube fare.

Just wanted to give a shout-out to Precious About Makeup store. I called them cause they didn’t have my shade on the website (turned out they did but I didn’t see it). The lady that picked up was super helpful and really nice. She must have sent it straight away as well cause it arrived the next day! The foundation was £32 and P&P about £3.5. I was very impressed with the service and will definitely need to visit them in the New Year to check out other products. You can find them here!

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4 Cream Eye Shadows

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I’ve been loving cream eye shadows lately. Since I now get up at 6 am and travel all the time, I have very little time to get my makeup done in the morning. Living out of a suitcase also means that I can’t take much makeup with me. As a result, cream eye shadows have replaced powders and palettes in my makeup bag.

About a year ago I wrote a comparison of Mac Paint Pots and Benefit Creaseless Cream Eyeshadows (here) and concluded that Benefit’s shadows were my favourite. Unfortunately, they have changed the formula and packaging and the new ones CREASE a lot.

So I’ve been trying other brands. I wanted to share my thought with you.

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The first one is Smashbox Limitless 15 Hour Wear Cream Shadows in Quartz. It’s a really shimmery pink shadow that blends really nicely and brightens up the eye area. I really like this product. It does crease after a couple of hours but other than that it’s really easy to apply and blend. The only problem is that they don’t come in many shades (10 in the UK). They are £15.

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The next one is Aqua Cream from Make Up For Ever shade 15. As you can’t get MUFE in the UK, I got a friend to bring it back from the US. I heard so much about these shadows so was really disappointed when I tried them. These things are so difficult to work with – they don’t blend and dry out in a second so you have to be really quick when you apply them. I also find it quite difficult to apply them evenly and they crease. I would not repurchase them. I think it was around £15.

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Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Shadows were recommended to me by a girl at a MAC counter. She said they were the only cream shadows that don’t crease. I spend hours trying to choose a colour and finally decided on Velvet Plum. It’s a really strange shade – it has some glitter in it but is really subtle on the eye. I really love this product. It comes in a really small pot but I’ve been using it for several months and I still have over half of it left. It blends really well and DOESN’T CREASE. It’s very easy to apply and you can build it up to go from a day time to a night time look. They are £18.50 and come in many shades.

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Finally, I got Autograph’s cream shadow in Russet. As I mentioned in my haul post, I got this after watching A Model Recommends video and I have to say it’s brilliant. It does crease a bit after a couple of hours but it’s so easy to blend and the colour is so beautiful. As first I thought it might be weird to wear red eye shadows but with a brown eye liner they look really nice. The best thing about this product is its texture – it’s a soft bouncy mousse. Yes, I know it sounds strange but just try it and you’ll understand. Unfortunately they only come in 3 shades: gold, silver and this one. On the plus side they are only £7.5.

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Bobbi Brown and Autograph’s cream shadows are my favourite. They have been my staple products for the past couple of months. 

How to make your dark circles disappear completely! Best full coverage concealer and application tips

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I haven’t posted in a while. Things have just been a bit hectic lately with work and I’ve also been travelling a lot. On the plus side, I have a lot of favourites and discoveries to share with you guys.

A couple of weeks ago, I promised Amy that I will post a review of a new concealer I’ve using now for a couple of months. A concealer that is BETTER than Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection. It is probably the best thing since sliced bread.

It is Estee Lauder Double Wear Maximum Cover Makeup Foundation. Now bear with me: this stuff really works even though it’s not actually a concealer.

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It works for two reasons:

1) It’s maximum coverage foundation – which means that a small amount of this product can cover tattoos as well as even the darkest under-eye circles. As much as I love Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer, it never fully covered my dark circles. If yours are less dark, it’s still a great concealer. But if you feel you need to put a lot of product to fully cover your dark circles – try this product foundation instead!

2) Because it’s a foundation when you use it as a concealer your under-eye area is the same colour as the rest of your face. That means that you won’t look as if you sun tanned in goggles.

You need only a small amount of this product to cover your circles. It doesn’t look cakey, it doesn’t crease – it’s simply perfect.

How to apply it so it stays on all day

Now, if you are going to wear it for more than 8h per day, which is what I do most days, here is a little tip on how to make it last all day. I believe this was one of the youtube gurus who I’ve learned this from and have been using this trick everyday.
1) Spray some of Urban Decay’s All Nighter on a make-up sponge applicator and apply it under the eye before makeup.

2) Then apply the Double Wear foundation or other concealer. I powder it lightly with MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural powder.

3) Finally, spray a bit more of the All Nighter and gently apply it over makeup under the eye.

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No retouching – how it looks when you first apply it

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A bit later in the day – still perfect

This will prevent creasing and your concealer will look fresh all day long. It’s about £28.50 for 30ml. One tube will last you a very long time.

April Haul

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I’m in the midst of flat searching and flat viewing. You would have thought that the prospect of packing and moving would stop me from shopping. You would be wrong. Here are some of my latest picks including a second order from Escentual and their March French pharmacy sale.

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La Roche-Posay Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel

This is the second Effaclar cleanser I bought. I got the first one on a whim at Boots. I wanted to try a drugstore paraben-free facial cleanser. It doesn’t really makes sense for me to buy expensive facial cleansers as I use them up so quickly. I really like this one. It’s really good at removing makeup, it doesn’t dry out my skin and I feel like it cleanses well. It doesn’t really smell of anything but it has a nice, gel consistency and is great for oily skin. It’s my new go-to cleanser and silent favourite of the past couple of months. It’s soap-free and suitable for sensitive skin (200ml £11).

Nuxe Reve de Miel Face Cleansing and Make-up Removing Gel 

I have a lip balm from the Reve de Miel line and wanted to try other products. I love honey, the smell, the colour… This facial cleanser is a bit more nourishing and moisturising than Effaclar. I only use it at night as I feel it might be too much for my oily skin. However, this might be brilliant for people with dry skin. It smells amazing. It looks and smells like liquid honey. I think Effaclar is a bit better at removing makeup while this one is better at moisturising the skin. It’s like washing your face in a ray of sunshine. Nuxe products are also paraben- and nasty chemicals- free (200ml £12).

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Nuxe Reve de Miel Hand and Nail Cream

I’m addicted to hand creams. I use a hand cream every single time I wash my hands, which is a lot of times per day. As a result I can never have enough hand creams. This one is really thick and creamy which I like. It has the same honey-based scent as all products from the Reve de Miel line although it’s the cream is not strongly scented. Funnily, it smells more like the Reve de Miel facial cleanser than the lip balm which has a very distinctive honey scent. It’s an excellent paraben-free product that can easily fit in a handbag (75ml £10).

Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Multipurpose Dry Oil

I have tried so many hair oils. Some of them work some don’t. Most of them are quite oily. What I really like about this product is that it’s a dry oil. This means that when you put it in your hair your hair your hands are not greasy or sticky like with so many other oils. My Percy & Reed No Oil Oil has so much silicones that I have to use a washing up liquid to get it of my hands (it works great though). I have super think, frizzy hair. Not many things work on it. I was surprised but it seems like this oil does. You can also use it on your body and face. It smells really good. I also love the packaging: a classy glass bottle. I can see why this is a cult product (50ml £17).

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KMS Free Shape Quick Blow Dry

This product is a bit of a strange one. I got a sample in one of the subscription boxes. I used the sample and decided I couldn’t live without this product. The thing is I don’t know why. It doesn’t make my hair sleek, doesn’t defrizze them. According to the product description it speeds up the drying process and lightly conditions the hair. Not sure if I see the difference but for some reason I really like using it. It’s a two-phase liquid. It has a nice scent and I do feel like my hair dries quicker. It’s also a heat protecting spray which is always good (200ml £11.50).

Irene Adler Inspired Eye Make Up Look

Irene Comp

Irene on the right, me on the left

The filming of the third series of BBC’s Sherlock started in March and I’m getting excited for the new episodes. Clearly, I’ve re-visited the two previous series just to refresh my memory. While I’m aware that I’ve been beaten to the punch by a number of youtubers and bloggers, I’ve been wearing an Irene Adler inspired eye look for the past couple of weeks and I thought I’d share it with you.

Irene’s look is quite subtle: she’s not wearing a lot of eyeshadows, in fact in some scenes she looks like she’s not wearing any. I’ve used a matte neutral colour just to cover any redness or discolouration around the eyes. I’ve also used a darker brown colour for a bit of crease work. Irene contours her eyes and accentuates the outer corners of her eyes to give herself that cat eye look. The most prominent feature of Irene’s eye makeup is of course jade eyeliner. The actual eyeliner which was used on the set of the series (MAC liquid eyeliner) has unfortunately been discontinued. I used a pencil eyeliner instead.

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Finally, I used Photoshop to change my eye colour to resemble Irene’s :). Below is a short tutorial including the final look with both brown and blue eyes. Hope you enjoy it!

Tutorial

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Here are some of the products I used. I used MAC Style blush as I thought it would it would match the look but then forgot to photograph it. Oops…

1. I primed the eye with Urban Decay Primer Potion and applied Illamasqua Justify eyeshadow all over the eyelid. I  blended it out with Sigma E40 fluffy brush.

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2. I used Inglot 10S brush and Sephora 23 brush to apply MAC Era to the crease and Inglot 461 eyeshadow to the outside corner, the outer part of the crease, and to the lower lash line.

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3. Finally, I used MAC Satin Taupe and applied it using ELF contour brush to the outer corner of the eye and blended it out.

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4. I applied a couple of layers of MAC So There Jade eyeliner along the upper lash line. And a little bit along the lower lash line.

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5. I used one coat of mascara to complete the look. Irene used Borghese Superiore State Of The Art Mascara (which I don’t have).

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6. And now for a bit of pure Photoshop magic.

Irene 7

A Quick Word On Fake Eyelashes.

Fake Lashes

My first attempt

I have always admired women who wear fake eyelashes. When I lived in Japan I was in awe of Japanese girls who wore them every single day. The reason was simple: I was not able to apply them. I watched a number of youtube tutorials, I asked my friends and I still couldn’t do it.

I finally managed this weekend! I went to an event where I wore Victorian clothes and I thought that fake eyelashes would make my outfit complete. After about an half an hour I managed to put the damn things on. What’s even more impressive I wore them 3 days in a row. My conclusions:

1) They are difficult to apply. Even on the third day it took me well over 20 min to apply them.

2) They are not comfortable.

3) I take my hat off to all the girls who apply them on a daily basis and those who apply them after they their eye makeup and manage not to mess anything up!

As I was going for a glammed-up look I got Eylure Naturalites Ultra Glam Lashes (107) from Boots for £5.35. Next time I will probably go for something more natural.

Do you have any advice on how to buy, apply, or wear fake eyelashes?

Lashes

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