Friday, 23 January 2015

Review | Real Techniques Core Collection Brush Set


You've all heard what they say about your makeup being only as good as the tools you apply them with, right? A truer statement has never been made. If you want your makeup to turn out flawless, you have to invest in very good brushes. Unfortunately, a lot of these very good brushes are super expensive (I'm looking at you MAC -_-) making it really difficult to shell out the cash for them. This was until Samantha and Nic Chapman of Pixiwoo released their Real Techniques range of makeup brushes! *cues in angels singing Hallelujah*



Sam and Nic released two brush sets, Core Collection which is a set of face brushes and the Starter Kit- a set of eye brushes. They also recently released a limited edition- Nic's Picks but this post is reviewing the RT Core Collection Brush Set.





The set comes with four brushes- Buffing, Powder, Foundation and Detailer. They are all made from taklon- an artificial material that is more hygienic for makeup than real hair brushes because they are easier to clean. 

Buffing Brush


The buffing brush is amazing for applying liquid foundation. It's densely packed with a flattened top so it really works the product into your skin for a flawless finish. My only problem with this brush though is that it gets dirty very easily. After about one week of use, the brush becomes really dirty which results in streaky application, no bueno! So to get the best out of this brush just make sure you wash it regularly.

Detailer Brush


This tiny brush is a multifunctional bad-ass. I use it to apply concealer under my eyebrows, around my lips (to create definition and clean up after applying lipstick), to apply eyeshadow in my inner tear duct area and many other things. If you need a small brush to apply any product in difficult to reach areas, the RT Detailer Brush is it- end of!


Pointed Foundation Brush


Ok, I want to believe that Sam and Nic were taking the piss when they called this a foundation brush...Really girls? The brush is so small that you would probably need an hour to successfully cover your whole face with foundation!

Don't give up on this brush just yet though, it's PHENOMENAL for applying concealer under the eyes. #ShoutOut to all my under eye dark circle layydeess! It's the perfect shape for the under eye area and that pointed tip really gets the product under the lower lashes. There is nothing worse than applying under eye concealer and you forget to cover just below the lash area. I'm not sure if you guys get what I mean but yeah, its horrible. You can completely cover your under eye area to perfection with this brush.


Contour Brush


2014 was the year of contouring and highlighting- I don't see 2015 being any different. The RT Contour Brush really holds it's own in the contouring department. It's perfectly shaped to fit in the hollow of the cheeks for precise product placement. I also find that it blends the product really well if you want a a much softer/less defined contour.


In summary, I think the RT Core Collection are the best value face brushes available on the market right now. Plush, soft to touch and just great at what they do. I find that I have hardly touched my other face brushes since I bought this set almost two years ago. They are still holding up very nicely which is a major plus. (The set pictured in this post is new though,  I repurchased because I love them so!). Other brushes I have and use religiously from the brand are the Powder Brush, Blush Brush and Miracle Complexion Sponge (their version of the Beauty Blender) which are all amazing!

You can buy the RT Core Collection for N5,800 here.

Which makeup brushes are you guys loving at the moment?


Peace and Love,


Y.


Monday, 12 January 2015

Makeup Haul and Review | NYX, Mac, OCC and more...


Hiii! 

After an amazing weekend it's back to work! Wishing you all a great week with the hope that the weekend comes by very fast..lol

I feel like I haven't bought new makeup in a while (I shall leave the actual time frame undisclosed so that I won't be judged -_-) so I decided to do a mini-haul at the best online makeup store in Nigeria, BeautyRevNG. If you want it, they have it and on very good time with international releases too. 

Now I know I'm a little tardy to the pardyy with some of these products but heyyyy, I have finally gotten with it... 


Mac Flat Out Fabulous Lipstick



This lipstick is part of Mac's Retro Matte Collection. I will describe Retro Matte as super-duper-matte; think Ruby Woo. That was the inspiration for Mac when they released this collection. So if you are not a fan of Mac lipsticks, feel free to skip this one because it packs a MATTE punch! 

It is described as a "bright plum matte", I describe it as the pink lipstick to have for matte texture lovers. It reminds me a lot of Girl About Town, one of my favorites but in a matte texture which makes me love it even more. I have been wearing it almost everyday since I got it. 

It can be quite drying though so make sure to prep your lips with a scrub and balm before applying. I don't need to speak about it's staying power, y'all be knowing! Buy it at the Mac Store in the Palms or Ikeja mall. 

Cover Girl Queen Collection Bronzer in Ebony Bronze


The way this product has been hyped by black YouTube gurus, I have been itching to get it for ages with no luck. So when I saw it on the BeautyRevNG website, I was delighted and immediately purchased it-cost, N2000.

This product is a bronzer but is more commonly used as a contour powder. Ebony bronze is a dark brown shade with some gold shimmer which can be tricky when using as a contour powder. I think contour powders work better when matte.

I tried this out and yeah it was nice but I don't get the hype, still very happy with my Sleek contour kit, I don't see how this is any better but I will keep using it probably as a bronzer/blusher on those days when I want a slight flush of natural color on my cheeks.


OCC Lip Tar in Hoochie


This is the first product I am trying from OCC which has also been making waves in the beauty blogosphere. As you guys may know, I'm not big on glossy lip products at all, so I haven't been moved to purchase any of these lip tars. However the lovely people at BeautyRevNG gifted me this product with my haul.

Hoochie is a bright purple shade. reminds me very much of Mac's Up the Amp. It's finish is glossy but it applies really well with perfect opacity in a few swipes. As much as I don't quite fancy glossy producs, this lip tar is actually not bad, it is not sticky or gloopy and did not form particles between my lips (why I hate glossy lip products).

I discovered that there is a matte range of these lip tars though, yayy! Much more my cup of tea so I will be purchasing and trying them out. If you are interested in trying out these lip tars, BeautyRevNG stocks a decent range of here.

 NYX Soft Matte Cream in Copenhagen




NYX is a brand that I have read so many rave reviews about but I just have never gotten round to trying any of their products. I'm fixing up in 2015 though starting with their soft matter lipcream in Copenhagen. I saw this product on on of my favorite beauty blogger's instagram, Maryam Maquillage.  She is so gorgeous but that's a story for another day.

NYX describe their Lip Creams thus "Neither lipstick nor lip gloss, this matte lip cream is a new kind of lip color that goes on silky smooth and sets to a matte finish".

Many makeup brands have branched out into this "liquid lipstick" trend for a while not but this NYX one is the first I have tried and I love it! The brush allows for precision when applying and makes the application much smoother and even. When it dries out into a matte lipstick though, that's when the real magic happens. I almost could not believe it, so awesome! It was matte but not so drying so it might be one to try if you are looking to start trying out this formula of lip products. This lipstick lasted about 6 hours and it did not transfer, not to my wine glass or husband's collar..LOL! That gives it a top score from me.

Copenhagen is a deliciously dark plum shade, very similar to Mac's Media lipstick. I foresee it becoming one of my firm favorites pretty soon. Buy it here.

NYX Jumbo Pencil in Milk


Another cult favorite from NYX that I'm finally trying. This product is a creamy eyeliner that can also double as an eye shadow. It comes in a range of colors but Milk, which is a white shade is best known as the baddest eye shadow base ever liveth. Before now, I have been using Urban Decay Primer Potion as a base, but trying NYX Milk, I would say that they both have their strengths. UDPP works really well under shimmery/ metallic eye shadows  but Milk works well under both matte colored eye shadows. 

It creates a smooth and even base for eye shadow application and it makes the color pop, I will definitely recommend this product , buy here


LA Girls Pro Conceal in Fawn





This is the last product I picked up simply because I am a concealer addict. When you have terrible under eye bags, you don't have much of a choice :). These are the most popular drugstore concealers at the moment and I got it in the shade Fawn. 

I tried it under my eyes and it was a decent shade match. In comparison to Maybelline Fit Me (my current fave), this product offers more coverage. My dark circles were almost completely concealed (get at me if you know a product that provides 100percent coverage, please :D). I set it with my Ben Nye Banana powder and my dark circles were almost non-existent. 

It also brightened up my under eye area so it works very well as a highlighter if you were looking for one to try. I want to try a few more shades though (Toffee in particular) before I decide which is best for me.  You can buy a range of LA Girl concealers and other products here

Product Swatches


NYX Jumbo Pencil in Milk, N1600

LA Girls Pro Conceal in Fawn, N1000

Top: NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Copenhagen; Left: Mac Flat Out Fabulous; Right: OCC Lip Tar in Hoochie


Mac Flat Out Fabulous Lipstick, N3900


NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Copenhagen, N2250

OCC Lip Tar in Hoochie

Which of these products has ignited the product junkie spirit in you?  


Peace and Love, 


Y



Friday, 9 January 2015

Recipe | Pineapple Upside Down Cake


This is not becoming a food blog, I promise :) I just really enjoy baking these days and want to share with you guys. 

I have always loved Pineapple Upside Down cakes, one of my favorite desserts. Could it be because this was served as dessert on my Christening as my dear mother has often told me? Who knows?! 

For some reason though, I just imagine that it would be very difficult to make given the deliciousness factor- was I wrong. This recipe from my girl Laura Vitale is literally as easy as A-B-C. 



What You Need

2 Tbsp of Unsalted Butter
1/3 Cup of Brown Sugar
1 Tbsp of Water
A can of sliced pineapples or fresh if you prefer
Maraschino Cherries
1 1/3 Cup of All Purpose Flour
2 tsp of Baking Powder
1/8 tsp of Salt
2/3 Cup of Granulated Sugar
2/3 Cup of Sour Cream
¼ Cup of Unsalted Butter
1 Egg
1 tsp of Vanilla Extract

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 176 degrees C
  • Melt the butter in a baking tin by placing it in the oven. Once melted, pour in the brown sugar, 1 Tbsp of water, mix by hand until smooth





  • Line the baking tin with sliced pineapples and dot the cherries between each pineapple or any other spaces and set aside



  • Cream room temperature butter and sugar together. 
  • Add the egg, vanilla essence and sour cream and mix till combined


  • Add the dry ingredients- flour, baking powder and salt. Mix until batter is smooth
  • Pour batter into the baking tin and bake for 35mins


  • Allow the cake to cool for 5 mins precisely before inverting on a plate. Any sooner and the topping will not have set properly causing it to slide off. Any later and the topping will harden and stick to the pan

Husband helping out, I am always too scared to invert the cake :) 
And there you have it- deliciously decadent pineapple upside down cake! Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and watch people sing your praises- haha!


Enjoy the weekend guys and if you choose to try this lovely dessert, it will be an even better one!


Peace and Love,


Y.

Monday, 5 January 2015

Makeup Review | Mac Heroine Lipstick


Happy New Year!!!

I wish you guys the absolute best in 2015- it is going to be your best year yet, AMEN!

I'm starting off 2015 with a makeup review because you guys requested more of them this year. Enter, Mac's Heroine lipstick…






For me, purple is a difficult lipstick colour to get right but Mac does it for me every single time- Rebel, Cyber, Up the Amp and now Heroine! It is described as a "bright violet/purple" but I find it really difficult to describe this colour. Sometimes, it appears dark purple, sometimes medium purple, other times lilac. I don't know, all I know is that I love it! 

Being a matte finish, I love it even more because you get opaque perfection in about two swipes and it lasts for hours. I must say however that it's one of Mac's better matte formulas- not as drying which scores it extra points. 

Heroine is a pretty loud one so I tone it down by wearing it with a neutral eye….

Swatches

Due to a very busy Christmas festivities schedule, these pictures were taken  around 6pm on the day, the sunlight was quickly fading away but I think I still managed to get a few decent shots :) 









So, how do you guys feel about Heroine? 


Peace and Love, 

Y.

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Recipe | Chocolate Chip Muffins


There’s something about Christmas time that has me feeling very Martha Stewart-y. I am in the kitchen trying out my hands on all sorts of things and churning them out to the delight of friends and family.

A few days ago, a made these super yummy, super easy chocolate chip muffins using a recipe by Laura Vitale- my cooking icon. She’s seriously amazing guys, you should check out her website- www.laurainthekitchen.com, I have tried out so many of her wonderful recipes.




What you need

2 cups of Flour
1 Tbsp of Baking Powder
½ tsp of Salt
1/8 tsp of Ground Cinnamon
1 12 oz Bag of Milk Chocolate Chips
2/3 of a cup of Whole Milk
½ cup of Melted Unsalted Butter
2 Tbsp of Sour Cream
2 Eggs
½ tsp of Vanilla Extract
1/3 cup of Granulated Sugar
1/3 cup of Brown Sugar




Method 
  • Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees celsius, line your muffin tray and set aside.


  • Combine dry ingredients- flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon and set aside
  • Coat chocolate chips with some of the flour and set aside. Coating them ensures that they don’t sink to the bottom of your muffin.

  • Beat wet ingredients together (eggs, melted butter, sugar, milk, sour cream) either by hand or using a mixer.

  • Add dry ingredients to the bowl and mix together to combine.

  • Scoop batter using a deep spoon and distribute evenly into the muffin tray. Spray the edges with cooking spray to avoid it sticking to the sides.

  • Bake muffins for about 15 to 18 mins. Laura advises that at the 15min mark, stick a toothpick into one muffin, if it comes out clean with no wet batter on it then your muffins are ready, if not bake for another 3mins.



That’s it! You guys really should try this out; it makes the most delicious, melt-in-your-mouth muffins. Oh and by the way, the sour cream is Laura’s secret ingredient for moist muffins so be sure to include! Let me know how it goes if you do decide to give this a try.


Peace and Love,


Y.
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