Category: Review

Makeup Brushes by Illamasqua


I am not sure if Illamasqua counters in the UAE had brushes before, i’ve shopped several times there and i’ve never seen them on display non the sellers “convinced” me to buy them, so it might or might not be available before, but they are definitely available now.

I love makeup brushes, and adding more to my brush collection wont do any harm since i always use them, and i tend to get lazy to clean them so i switch to other clean ones, so having extra clean brushes is always a good idea.

I always prefer natural animal hair because it is truly soft on the skin and they are always the best, but Illamasqua are “cruelty-free” and their brushes are made of synthetic hairs, they are not as soft as the natural hairs but still i was amazed by them, i even feel comfortable using the powder/blush brushes on my skin, and this is not surprise since they are “hypoallergenic“, meaning they dont cause an allergic reaction and suitable for all skin types.

All the brushes come in black color even the handles and have an Illamasqua stamp only without a name or number  which makes it a bit confusing, the names were only labeled on the packaging. I will have to label them myself to know exactly how Illamasqua name and define them.

Regarding prices, they are somehow pricey and close to MAC pricing, but the brush collection isnt that big so it wasnt a problem buying most of them, i only left few which i will definitely buy later.

I threw away all the labeling thinking i learnt them by heart and let me try and guess what brushes i have :p, anyways as you can see the brushes come in black from head o toe, no name or number just the Illamasqua stamp on the bottom of the handle, the top brush is the blush brush but i use it to powder my face, its not too big as a regular powder brush and not small as the blush brush which gives me the perfect control to powder my face. The brush below is the angled blush brush, i believe there were two angled brushes, ones is for contouring and the other is for blush, i think i am bit confused and dont know which one i got.


Here is a close up photo on how the brushes look like, the blush brush is a bit long and rounded on top and as i said before makes it perfect to powder my face, the other angled one i use for blushers and it is flat and angled, a bit weird since i always use puffy angled brushed for the blushes.

Those are the three eye brushes, the one on top is a flat eyeshadow brush, the one in the middle is a fluffy blending brush a bit small for blending but i like to use it to define and blend the crease area. The below brush is a highlighting brush but i like to use it to powder on top of the concealer area, the size is perfect for it.

This is a close up picture for the brushes i mentioned before, see the difference in sizes between the highlight and blending brush, and as you can see the bristles of all three brushes are a bit longer than MAC and Sigma brushes, they are more like MAC 224 and Sigma E40 when it comes to their length.

Those are the last two brushes i got from Illamasqua, the one on top is an angled brush, this one is a multi use brush, you can use it to apply eyeshadow as a liner or you can use it to apply gel liner which i mostly prefer and use it to refill your eyebrows. The lower brush is a very thin liner brush that i dont think i have ever seen before in another brand and correct me if i am wrong, this brush makes the thinnest eyeliner line.

Here is a close up of the two brushes, i just realized the focus isnt clear here on the fine eye liner brush but you will know exactly how fine it is once  you see it in real.

The fine liner brush comes with a cover which makes it perfect to put inside the makeup bag without making a mess just like a lip brush.

You can see here how fine the eyeliner brush is, and you will be amazed once you see it in reality, i like using this brush to draw a very thin eyeliner without winging it out, just to give more depth to the make up look, sometimes the eye looks bare without black line and sometimes i feel adding a black line will look too much for the look so this is perfect just to line the upper lash line.

Illamasqua counters are available in Abu Dhabi at Areej-Marina Mall, Dubai at Bloomingdales-The Dubai Mall, and Harvey Nichols at Mall of the Emirates, a new store will open soon also at The Dubai Mall.

Candelight Glow Highlighing Powder Duo


Candlelight Glow is a highlighting powder duo from Too Faced that i absolutely love, it has one pearl side and the other is light pink with a cute chandelier emboss in the middle which caught my eyes at first, Too Faced has alot of cute and girly stuff packaging which i absolutely love.






The highlighting powder duo can be used each side alone or blended together which i mostly prefer, or i only use the white/pearl side, i dont like to use the pink side only.

Too Faced can be found at Sephora Stores.

Urban Decay Optical Blurring Brush


When Urban Decay launched their Naked Skin foundation, it came along with a foundation brush called Optical Blurring, this brush is made perfect to apply the Naked Skin foundation.


The brush is made of synthetic fiber, it is dense and soft,  if you are familiar with the Sigma Synthetic Kabuki brushes you will see that it is very similar to them, but the UD brush has longer bristles, Sigma ones are short and more dense.


Now i have applied the Naked Skin foundation in several ways (like using a Sigma F84 which is an angled kabuki brush and BeautyBlender sponge) but non gave me a flawless result like it did when i used the Optical Blurring brush, it gave me a real airbrushed and soft look, it even gave more coverage than applying it with another brush.

Now i love using the Naked Skin foundation more after applying it with the Optical Blurring brush, they are perfect together!!


And since i posted a makeup photo i will show you some of the products i usually use while applying makeup and that are my favorite, of course i spoke about Urban Decay Naked Skin foundation and the Optical Blurring brush which are perfect for a flawless finish, but before that i like to apply an oil free foundation primer from Smashbox that is called Photo Finish Light which is the oil free one and i have spoken about it in a previous post. After that i like to correct my skin with Bobbi Brown Corrector in the shade Peach that i apply it on the dark spots and on the undereye areas. For concealing the undereye areas my favorite concealer is Instant Age Rewind from Maybelline but unfortunately we dont have it in the UAE but you can order it online from through Shop&Ship service from Aramex. For my eyebrows i am using a new product that i recently got from a brand called Beautiful Brows which i will have a different post about it soon, and as an eyeshadow primer i am currently using Primer Potion from Urban Decay. Sometimes i use Powderflage by Benefit to powder the undereye area after the concealer, as far as i know this is a discontinued product. The eyeshadow quad is from Bare Minerals that i lately got from Sephora in Dubai Mall, i havent seen it yet in Abu Dhabi branch, this quad is all neutral and browns that is called The Truth. I like using it when i cant decide what makeup to go for, it can go with anything.

Urban Decay Smoked Palette


First of all, i am happy to announce that finally we have Urban Decay (and Too Faced) brands in Abu Dhabi at the recently opened Sephora store at Al Wehda Mall. Of course my information is not new since the store was opened several months back, my bad that i didnt update my website sooner.

Anyways, this is a quick photo review about the latest palette by Urban Decay called Smoked, this palette is created to have the perfect colors to create a smokey eye and i think the choice of colors are brilliant.

No surprise that the quality and pigmentation of UD eyeshadows are amazing, except of the fall outs which you have to be careful about while doing your makeup.

This is the outside box of the palette, i like the font they used to write “smoked” and i also liked the idea of having a kind of matte black box and the writing is shining “foiled”. You will also know what the box contains from the white writing on the left lower corner where it has, of course, the Smoked Palette, a 24/7 Glide-On eye pencil in black which is one of the best eye pencils in the market, an eyeshadow primer potion and a “how-to-look” book.

This is the back of the outside box, you can see all the eyeshadow colors and its names, in addition to the eye pencil and a picture of the primer potion. I believe this is the new tube of the primer.

This is the smoked palette which comes in a shape of a pouch with a zipper, the pouch feels leathery and nice but i know this kind of leather tend to get dirty in no time. And this is also the size of the primer potion that comes with the palette, it can be found in one side of the box, so make sure if you got the palette to open the box from two sides to get the palette from one side and the primer from the other.

As i said the palette comes in a shape of a pouch with a very neat zipper, i hate this kind of palettes for no reason but when you think about it they are very secure for carrying in a bag or while traveling, the box will never accidental open like some cases with other palettes.

The beautiful palette from the inside, you have 5 colors on top and 5 colors below and the eye pencil comes in the middle, as i said this eye pencil is really good and creamy, one of the best eye pencils in the market. You have 4 matte eyeshadows and 6 shimmery ones.

A closer look on the colors, as you can see the black and brown are matte colors but Mushroom is shimmery.

Kinky and Freestyle are also matte colors, those are suitable for wearing on all over lid of highlighting “Kinky”. Mushroom is the only shimmery color on the upper line.

Those are the beautiful and shimmery colors from the lower line, Barlust is my favorite color which i like to wear on all over lid.

The last two colors in the palette which are also shimmery, you can tell from the photos how beautiful the colors are and if you are familiar with UD eyeshadow quality you will know how beautiful they will turn out in real. As i said before UD eyeshadows are really pigmented and beautiful especially the shimmery colors.


Urban Decay Naked Skin Foundation

This is the new lightweight foundation by Urban Decay, i wasnt surprised when they called it “Naked” skin after the outrageous success of their original Naked and Naked 2 eyeshadow palettes.


The bottle is a bit taller than usual and here is a comparison in size between Naked Skin and Makeup Forever HD foundation.

The bottle comes with a pump, and the amount of product that comes out of a single pump is reasonable, i mostly use two pumps for a full face, so to me one pump is little. The product is pretty runny and maybe that’s why it is light weighted.

They made the numbering system easy, first of all make sure that you know which skin tone you have, are you warm or cool? The numbers that ends with (.0) are for warm skintones, the ones that ends with (.5) are for cool skintones.

Regarding coverage, its is light, so dont expect much of its coverage, you have to work on correcting your face properly before applying the foundation and i like using the corrector by Bobbi Brown. It says that the foundation is buildable but i dont like adding to much product on my face, if it didnt give me a full coverage from the first or second application then i wont try to add more.

The foundation has a demi matte finish but at the same time it gives a little glow, and it does last long, i didnt need to touch up for more than 6 hours which is really good for an oily skin. The foundation is oil free, some product claim to be oil free but they dont feel like it once i wear them, you can tell what the real product once you try it but this one is true to its word.

Apart from what it says about the foundation, this is what i personally think of it: once i apply it i feel my skin is “naked”, like i didnt apply anything, just looking straight at my bare skin but at the same time it looks smooth and almost flawless, i know that i wore makeup but my skin doesnt really tell that. Who is seeking a natural foundation that enhances the skin and look then this is the one.

The only thing i didnt like about this foundation is its strong smell, it reminds me of the chemical smell of MAC foundations, other than this i didnt see anything i didnt like.

The way i apply this foundation: After applying primer, i apply foundation on all over my face (you can use any brush like MAC 190 or Sigma F60) but i usually use Real Technique  Stippling brush, then by using a Sigma F84 i just dab it on my skin, the foundation is light so it will blend in no time.

Urban Decay Naked Skin Foundation is going to be available at Sephora stores starting first of December, this is what the saleslady at Sephora store told me.

Smashbox Photo Finish Light Foundation Primer

Winner of Allure Magazine’s Best of Beauty Award for Best Primer.

The Smashbox Photo Finish Light Foundation Primer is ideal for oily, acne prone and sensitive skin because it is oil free, 60% water based and enriched with vitamins and antioxidants to help reduce fine lines and the appearance of open pores. The Photo Finish Light Primer is formulated to absorb excess oil for a matte finish all day.

This is one of the best primers i have ever used, first of all i love its lightweight feel and smooth application, it gives a velvet finish but not as obvious as Too Faced primer, it feels so soft and smooth that makes applying the primer is one of the best moments while wearing makeup :p

Again foundation primers are used to hold makeup and make it last way longer, very recommended for oily skin and will help the foundation not oxidize which happens fast with oily skins.

Clinique Age Defense BB Cream

When i first saw this product at Bloomingdales and tested it which i usually do on the back of my hand i instantly loved it, this Clinique BB Cream is a alot different from the one i use from Garnier. Garnier BB cream is very thick, heavy and a bit oily for my skin, but Clinique wasnt and i felt it more suitable for my skin and i immediately purchased it.

Clinique Age Defense BB Cream comes with a sun protection of SPF 30 in addition to antioxidants to prevent imperfections. Clinique BB Cream (as most BB cream problem) only comes in 3 shades.

Surprisingly, once i applied it on my skin i got a shocked and horror look on my face, even if the cream looks dark squeezing it out of the tube or  swatching it on my hand it turns shades lighter than its actual color, it feels and smell alot like a sun block. Once i applied it on my skin it no longer looks like a BB cream but more like a regular sun block, the scent is overwhelming and i dont know how the color transferred shades lighter, even though it looks pretty dark.


Blush Highlighter by Lancome

I find it a bit weird to call this product a “blush highlighter”, i am not sure exactly what they meant with it, but its a typical frosty highlighter, i love the flower shape and the color is amazing, a bit too frosted for daytime, a small amount is enough. The color ( Moonlight Rose) is rosy champagne which i absolutely love.


Lancome Hypnose Doll Eyes vs. Star Mascaras


Lately, i was in the makeup hunting mood (for other than MAC) and i came across the Lancome Hypnose Star mascara with its glittery packaging that really caught my eyes, its super pretty and when i went home i realized i actually got one as a mini mascara in one of the GlamBox.ME boxes, and not only this but i also got the other one that is called Doll Eyes.
Honestly, i wished i paid attention to them before and tested them before buying Star, if i did i wouldn’ve gone for the Doll Eyes and here i will show you why.

Lancome Hypnose Star mascara is really beautiful if you wanted a natural finish lashes, the mascara doesnt clamp and is perfect to work with on the lower lashes too. The mascara brush has a thinner tip that goes wider on the bottom. The downside about this mascara is that it is flat from one side, so as you can see in the photo the brush looks thin, it is hard to apply the mascara without twisting it to find the right angle to work with.
The final finish: will give you a natrual looking long lashes and thats it, it doesnt give volume or anything super special.

Lancome Hypnose Doll Eyes mascara. Probably you can tell from the photo of the brush that you will have better results since it is fully rounded, it still has the thinner tip to wider base and still this gives an easy movement of the brush and works easy on lower lash line, again it doesnt clump but it will take a several coats to give the full lash effect.
The final finish: long voluminous lashes, no clamps at all. The lashes look pretty neat afterwards which i absolutely love.

I prefer Doll Eyes and i wished i tried the testers i had before, i will definitely would’ve gone get the full size instead of Star. Again i will pay more attention to what i have in my GlamBox.Me

Current Favorite Blushes by MAC

Recently MAC launched a Limited Edition Collection called StyleSeeker, and i got those two blushes that instantly became my top favorites right now as soon as i used them.


The bronzy one is called Worldly Wealth and it has a frost finish. I like to use this just like a regular blush and apply it the same way and pulling it a bit down to the hollow of my cheeks, but i avoid the apple of my cheeks.


The peachy color is called Supercontinental and it has a satin finish, i like to apply this color on the apple of my cheeks only just to give a pop of color with the bronze (Worldly Wealth).