Urban Decay X Gwen Stefani | The Lipsticks


Last week I posted about Urban Decay’s collaboration with Gwen Stefani to release her go-to eyeshadow palette. They will soon be expanding the line to include eight lipsticks, lipliners, a blush palette and a brow box. When you purchase the eyeshadow palette you will receive a sample card with four of the lipsticks to try so I though I would share the swatches today. I think Gwen is more known for her signature bold lip than her eye looks so this is the part of the collection I think that most people will be excited about.


Included in the sample is a range of finishes and a couple which are sure to be the bestsellers. Also, the design of the packaging of the actual lipstick is glorious. I’ve not seen it in person yet so I don’t know what the quality will be like but I love the black and gold design. Definitely display-worthy.


From left to right we have: ‘Firebird’ a pink with a strong blue undertone which makes it appear purple in the bullet but not on the lips; ‘Ex-Girlfriend’, a sheer nude wash; ‘714’, a true red matte and lastly, ‘Rock Steady’ looks like a dark red but swatches up pretty pink, definitely one that will be very versatile depending on how you apply it.

It’s lucky that UD will be releasing the matching lip liners with these as they are all (with the exception of ‘Ex-Girlfriend’) very pigmented and will need the precise application a liner can help with. The cream formula of ‘Firebird’ and ‘Rock Steady’ is lovely, very comfortable to wear but definitely presents a risk of bleeding so I would say a lip liner will be a must with at least the cream formulas in this range.

I don’t usually wear mattes as I have horrendously dry lips so I was a bit scared of the mega matte ‘714’. However, I must have been having a good lip day as actually I really liked it. It did feel very dry and is tricky to apply (especially if like me you don’t wear a lot of mattes) but it is super opaque and somehow doesn’t accentuate flaws.

UDxGwen Lipstick

‘Ex-Girlfriend’ is probably my favourite of these four and one that I would wear often. You can also see from the above that one light coat of ‘Rock Steady’ gives a very pink-toned red.


Also in the collection will be three more cream formulas: ‘Spiderweb’ (a mid-toned red); ‘Wonderland’ (a dark reddish pink) and ‘Phone Call’ (mid-toned bubblegum pink). There will also be one more sheer formula – ‘Plaid’ is a deep berry which I’m assuming will also pull quite pink.

The UK release date is this Thursday 21st Jan on the Urban Decay website (they’re already out/sold out in the States) and you can sign up to be notified of the release here. I’ve not seen any prices yet but I’m assuming that both the lipstick and the pencil will be in the £15-£20 each mark.

I’ve got my eye on ‘Ex-Girlfriend’ and I think either ‘Plaid’ or ‘Spiderweb’. Do any take your fancy?

Urban Decay x Gwen Stefani | The Eyeshadow Palette

Urban Decay x Gwen Stefani | The Eyeshadow Palette

Urban Decay x Gwen Stefani | The Eyeshadow Palette

In my early teenage years (and actually still a bit now) third-wave ska was my thing. While the majority of my pals were more into the indie-rock scene, Less Than Jake, Reel Big Fish and of course, No Doubt’s The Tragic Kingdom were my tracks of choice. So I have a huge space in my heart for Gwen Stefani. When Urban Decay announced their collaboration with Gwen, I kinda knew that I was going to buy it regardless. Luckily the first product to be launched, the 15-shade eyeshadow palette, is beautiful. It retails at £40, I purchased it from Feel Unique during the sale so received 10% off – not a huge discount, but when you’re meant to be saving for a house every little counts.


Urban Decay x Gwen Stefani | The Eyeshadow Palette

The packaging is super luxe. I love the graphic print on the outer box and the black, white and gold colour scheme. It’s a heavy plastic with a really strong magnetic closure. It has a full size mirror on the inside with a nice nod to the No Doubt song. It is a pretty thick and heavy palette so although it is sturdy it’s not a great option for travelling due to it’s bulk (in my opinion).

Urban Decay x Gwen Stefani | The Eyeshadow Palette

Urban Decay x Gwen Stefani | The Eyeshadow Palette

Unlike palettes like the Naked series there’s no brush included in this one and so no space in the palette to store it. I actually like this. Although the brushes included in other UD sets are really good quality I always think they’re a bit of a waste of space in the palette in general.

As you can see the majority of the Gwen palette is neutral with a good range from light to dark and a couple of statement shades. 12 of the shades are new and named by Gwen and 3 are repeats. Skimp and Stark are both in the Naked 2 Basics palette (which I have) and Blackout is in Naked2 (which I don’t have) as well as being available individually.

If I’m being really nit-picky, it’s weird that the names are printed above the shadow when normally they’re below.

Urban Decay x Gwen Stefani | The Eyeshadow Palette

Sorry, for the crappy swatches but hopefully you get the idea. Blonde is a pale beige with a subtle pink iridescent shift. Bathwater is a pearly pale gold shimmer. Skimp is an almost matte pale beige with the slighest hint of a satiny shine. Steady is a gorgeous rosy-gold shimmer. Punk is a matte reddish-brown that would be a great  shade for lining or creating an interesting smoky look.

Urban Decay x Gwen Stefani | The Eyeshadow Palette

On the middle row, Baby is a metallic rose. Anaheim is a matte, cool, light brown. Stark is a matte beige. Zone is a mid-toned brown, also matte. Serious is a really unusual grey with a very subtle pink pearl that just lifts it.

Urban Decay x Gwen Stefani | The Eyeshadow Palette

On to the last row and Pop is a sheer sparkly champagne, Harajuku is a cool toned pink metallic. Danger is a really intense navy metallic. 1987 is a yellow gold metallic with much better pay-off than my picture shows. Blackout is a black matte.

The biggest disappointment of the palette is Pop. This is a really grainy glitter that has a tonne of fallout, much like Midnight Cowboy Rides Again and one that I probably won’t use even though it looks lovely in the pan. Harajuku also feels quite stiff in the pan and has a much more sheer pay off than one might expect. However, for a bright pink this is probably a good thing! The rest are all buttery soft, high quality shadows. The overall feel is a very wearable, neutral look with a couple of pops of colour and good smoky options. I also think that the navy Danger and the gold 1987 are still quite wearable shades, even if they seem a bit bold at first.

I know that a lot of people were surprised at how neutral the palette was, but this actually suits Gwen’s make up look perfectly – girl is all about the lipsticks! Overall, I think this is a beautiful, collectable palette and I am super happy to have it in my collection.

This palette is limited edition so snap it up quickly if you fancy it. Urban Decay will be adding to the Gwen Stefani collection with lipsticks and lip pencils, a blush palette (amazing) and a brow kit (strictly for blondies I think). The eyeshadow palette came with a set of 4 samples from the upcoming lipstick range so I’m excited to try those out. I will report back with my thoughts very soon.

What do you think of the UDxGwen offering? Were you a noughties ska kid too? I’m off to download No Doubt’s greatest hits now…

My First MAC Purchases

My First MAC Purchases

My First MAC Purchases

Yes really, these are the first MAC products that I’ve bought. I’ve had a couple as gifts before, but these are the very first that I’ve gone into a shop, chosen and paid for with my own cash money. How have I managed it? I’m 28, I’m very easily influenced by hype and I love buying makeup. I guess it’s because in the beauty blogger world there are so many dupes bandied around that sometimes I hear about the best dupe before even hearing about the actual product. I do see the limited collections and make a mental wishlist (that Marge Simpson blush anyone?), but am never quick enough of the mark to actually buy anything; when MAC say limited, they mean limited. And finally, the MAC stores and counters and just a bit… intimidating.

So when I recently had 2 hours to kill in Edinburgh Airport I decided it was time to bit the bullet and make my very first MAC purchase. Plus it meant I got to take advantage of the duty free discount. Win!

My First MAC Purchases My First MAC Purchases My First MAC Purchases

I decided that the first thing I would get would be a lipstick. I was drawn to the lustre finish ones as I think they’re the easiest for people like me who have super dry, cracked lips all the time to wear. They are quite moisturising and very forgiving. They don’t last the longest, but for me they look the best. I was torn between Syrup and Plumful, but in the end I chose Plumful (£15.50). It’s a rosy-plum that can be applied lightly for a sheer sweep of colour or built up for a stronger look.

My First MAC Purchases My First MAC Purchases My First MAC Purchases

I didn’t actually intend on buying anything else but as I was waiting for the assistant to finish up with another customer I had a little swatch of the Paint Pots. I’ve always liked the look of these, but the first I heard of them was people saying that the Maybelline Colour Tattoos were exactly the same, just as good etc etc. “Fine,” I thought, “I don’t need to pay four times as much in MAC then, great”. Er, yeah, they are not the same. Don’t get me wrong, the Colour Tattoos are amazing but they don’t have the same staying power as the MAC Paint Pots. To be honest, the Paint Pots probably last a little too long, I had to scrub at my hands for ages to get the swatches off (no makeup remover to hand!).

I was really torn in trying to decide which to buy, the bronze Constructivist, copper Let Me Pop and the dark multi-tonal Blackground were all very tempting  but in the end I plumped for Perky (£16). It’s an unusual shade – and orangey pink coral with a shimmer to it, but orange tones look good with blue eyes (colour wheel science eh) and I don’t already have anything like it.

So I’m pretty happy with my purchases. I think I made some good choice and I now have a MAC wishlist as long as my arm. Just like everyone else!

What do you recommend I try from MAC next? What are your must-haves?

Sample Samplin' | Sept & Oct

Sample Samplin’ | Sept & Oct

Sample Samplin' | Sept & Oct

It’s been months since I last did a post like this and I still haven’t used up that much! What can I say, stuff lasts me a long time… Lots of Benefit this time so that’ll be interesting at least. Let’s get right into it:

Sample Samplin' | Sept & Oct

Starting with these sachets I got from Bumble & Bumble (do sachets even count as samples?), their famous Surf shampoo and conditioner. The shampoo and conditioner doesn’t have the same dramatic effect as the Surf Spray, but they are a lovely pair. They lather easily, the conditioner is light so won’t weigh your hair down, and they’ll enhance your natural texture. Sadly, my hair has no natural texture (unless flat is a texture) so I won’t be investing in these, sticking to the more heavy duty spray instead.

Sample Samplin' | Sept & Oct

Next up, I had a sample of the Urban Decay Naked foundation. Getting colour matched was pretty funny – “I’ll be the palest shade” “oh no, I don’t think so, I’ll try this one” “Er, that looks a bit dark” “OK, maybe the next one” “Is that the palest one? I’m usually the palest shade” “Hmm, I’ll try one more” …. “So when you come back just ask for the palest shade” Anyway, I got the palest shade (eventually) which is the perfect colour for me. It’s light and quite sheer, which I like in a foundation so I would buy this again. My one complaint is that it does cling to dry patches so I can’t wear it is my skin is dehydrated – which is almost always sadly. But I find this with most foundations so I do like this.

Another product that I love is Benefit’s Stay Don’t Stray eye primer. I really like this as it’s a good multi-tasker for both neutralising your eyelid area, and helping your eyeshadow to last. It’s not silicone based so it’s not slipperly. I want to try and get a more budget friendly one, but I think in the meantime I’ll be buying this (the full size will probably last me forever anyway!).

Sample Samplin' | Sept & Oct

This Balance Me Super Toning Body Polish was a bit disappointing. As I’ve said before I’m not a bit fan of purely rose-scented products as this is, but I can overlook the smell if the product is good. Sadly, this is not. There’s just not enough of the exfoliating element to make it a decent scrub. I do love that it’s natural ingredients with ground walnut shell instead of the evil microbeads, it just needs more of them in there! I’ll be sticking to sugar scrubs for a good buff.

Sample Samplin' | Sept & Oct

I got these dinky Benefit skincare products as part of a set a wee while ago and this is the last of it. I really liked the Total Moisture Facial cream. It has a medium consistency so you can apply a light layer for  during the day or layer it up for night time. It sunk in quickly and didn’t clog up my skin so I got on with it well. I don’t think I’d buy it but that’s only because there are more affordable alternatives. The packaging is lovely though.

Similarly, I also really liked the toner. It had a lovely fragrance too.

Unfortunately, I didn’t like the facial emulsion AT ALL. An emulsion is supposed to be lighter than a moisturiser, but I found this to be so sticky! To be frank, it was really unpleasant to apply so I didn’t even get through this little bottle (which is also a terrible design for a cream tbh).

And that’s my recent samples. Let me know if you’ve tried any of these and what you thought of them.

Tanya Burr Hollywood Palette Review

Tanya Burr Hollywood Palette Review

Tanya Burr Hollywood Palette Review Tanya Burr Hollywood Palette Review Tanya Burr Hollywood Palette Review

When I bought the Tanya Burr nail polish that I reviewed earlier today, I also decided to pick up one of her eyeshadow palettes. I saw Tanya doing a video using the Hollywood palette, and obviously it looked great. For some reason it reminded me of the KathleenLights x ColourPop Quad (which it definitely is not like, so don’t ask me why I thought this, I just did) so I decided to go for it.

The packaging isn’t to my taste, it’s a bit young and cutesy with the hearts and the pink, but that’s fine as I’m clearly a lot older than the target market. However, I was hoping that the product inside would be as good as Tanya made it look.

Tanya Burr Hollywood Palette ReviewTanya Burr Hollywood Palette ReviewTanya Burr Hollywood Palette Review

The Hollywood palette is a one-stop quad for a day-time neutral or a bronze smoky eye look. ‘Nude Delight’ is matte and provides a decent base and highlight colour. ‘Gold Coin’ is a shimmery champagne which is a good all-over colour. ‘Enchantment’ is a warm gold and unfortunately the worst of the palette – it has chunky glitter, is very hard and barely pigmented. ‘Book Worm’ fares a better as a warm, mid-tone brown which is good for the crease and for adding definition.

Tanya Burr Hollywood Palette Review Tanya Burr Hollywood Palette Review

I took the palette away when I was staying in a hotel for a week for work, thinking it’d be a good test for it. For a daytime look I used ‘Nude Delight’ as a base, ‘Gold Coin’ all over and ‘Book Worm’ in the crease and along my bottom lash line. This combination worked well, but good lord, the fallout is crazy! Especially with ‘Book Worm’. I had to use a make up wipe to remove it all, so it’s definitely an eyes-first, base-second number.

For the evening, I attempted to add some of the Enchantment’ shade to darken it all up and add some sparkle. Unfortunately this didn’t pan out and it ended up looking very patchy with more eyeshadow on my cheeks than on my eyes. In short, it was rubbish.

Tanya Burr Hollywood Palette Review

I also realised that the colours were actually pretty similar to what I already had in my MUA Undress Me Too palette, which will, by extension also be in the Urban Decay Naked 2 palette for which the MUA is a dupe.

The Hollywood palette was £6, which is reasonable enough. Three out of the four shades are OK, but I still don’t think it’s a great buy. The MUA palette is £4, the shadows are all better quality and you get eight other colours. Given the stiff competition the Tanya Burr Cosmetics range faces from the high street, I don’t think this particular palette is worth it.

Have you tried any of the Tanya Burr make up? How did you get on with it?

Selfridges Summer Beauty Box 2015

Selfridges Summer Beauty Box 2015

Selfridges Summer Beauty Box 2015

Feel like treating yourself? I think you should. You deserve it!  Struggling for an idea? Well this bumper beauty box from Selfridges is a treat and a half! Sure, it’s pricey as beauty boxes go at £40, but take a look, and I’m sure there will be something that’ll tempt you in. The contents are worth £174 (although I personally think that’s subjective – depending on how many products in it you’ll actually use) and I think there are a few good products in here that make it worth the splurge.

Selfridges Summer Beauty Box 2015

Hair stuff: The iconic (in some circles at least) Tangle Teezer. I’ve never used this before so I’m chuffed to finally have one.

How cute are the pastel Ribband hair ties? Pretty cute! The no-snag ties will be handy as my hair is starting to get to the length where it’s annoying again.

Selfridges Summer Beauty Box 2015

Two Starskin products – a brightening face mask and a cleansing face puff. These both look very interesting to me even though I’ve never heard of them before. Looking forward to trying them out.

Selfridges Summer Beauty Box 2015

A Nails Inc Gel Effect polish in ‘Chiltern Street’ as well as a £10 gift voucher for a salon service. Unfortunately I don’t think I’ll be able to use the voucher (although I may give it to a colleague in Manchester) but it’s a nice gesture. I do like the colour of the nail polish. I don’t own many baby pinks but I do like them so it’s a welcome addition.

Selfridges Summer Beauty Box 2015

I love Eyeko eye liners, although I’ve only used their skinny ones, so excited to try this one out. Might take a bit of practice though!

Selfridges Summer Beauty Box 2015

Face and body stuff: The Clarins body cream is a generous 100ml and smells gorge. I really need to get better at applying body lotion more regularly – I have enough!

DRAGON’S BLOOD Sculpting Gel from Rodial. I don’t know what DRAGON’S BLOOD is as a skincare ingredient but it sounds all Game of Thrones-ey and I’m down with that.

Some James Read gradual tan for the face. I’ve siad before, but I don’t use fake tan so won’t be using this. By the way, if you want any fake tan samples to try, give me a shout and I’ll send you mine! Genuinely, they might as well go to use.

Selfridges Summer Beauty Box 2015

Lip shit: Oooh – first Nars product! (useless blogger here). This is the ‘Orgasm’ lipgloss. It’s a gold peach. Interesting.

Next is the Illamasqua lipstick in ‘Luster’ – I think that’s the shade name although it could be the finish. It’s a really bright, bright pink. Not sure it’ll suit me but I’ll give it a go!

Selfridges Summer Beauty Box 2015

Lastly, a couple of face sprays. The Urban Decay De-Slick setting spray. This might be a bit drying for me as I don’t have oily skin, but I want to try it anyway.

I do like cooling water sprays so I definitely will use this Caudalie Grape Water. Yey for instant moisturising!

Selfridges Summer Beauty Box 2015

But wait! That isn’t all! All those products came wrapped in this awesome Alphabet Bags pouch. As well as the funky slogan, it’s really huge and would be perfect as a holiday make up bag. You can fit so much in it. This was definitely the thing that made me what to purchase this box.

Selfridges Summer Beauty Box 2015

The box itself also doubles up as a neat cat bed. Wins all round.

Have you tried any of these products? Would you buy the Selfridges Summer Beauty Box? Let me know what you think in the comments :)

Latest in Beauty The Glamour Summer Edi

Latest in Beauty | The Glamour Summer Edit

Latest in Beauty The Glamour Summer Edi

It’s been a few months since I indulged in a beauty box, but I was tempted back into the waters by a recent launch from Latest in Beauty and Glamour magazine. For £17.99, you receive 9 products hand picked by the Glamour Beauty Director, Alessandra Steinherr. She has selected her summer must-haves, ensuring you have a summer in a box.

Latest in Beauty The Glamour Summer EdiLatest in Beauty The Glamour Summer Edi

I love the packaging! Very summer appropriate. As well as the products you also receive discount vouchers for all the brands included.

Latest in Beauty The Glamour Summer Edi

The first item is a sheet of metallic temporary tattoos from Seekers of the Sun. I think these are really cute and I’m sure would be great for festival goers. I like the dots and the mendhi style patterns and I will be trying them out as finger tattoos.

Latest in Beauty The Glamour Summer Edi

I’ve seen this Caudelie Divine Oil in lots of beauty boxes in the past, but have never picked one up. It’s a dry oil that can be used on your hair and skin or in your bath. I like oils like this for overnight moisture and look forward to having a go with this.

The Pixi Glow Tonic was the item that made me decide to buy the box. I’ve heard loads of good things about the Glow Tonic but £18 it’s quite pricey for a toner – especially since (so far) all toners seem to be pretty similar. So, despite the dinky size, I’m excited to trial this. Will let you know how I get on!

Latest in Beauty The Glamour Summer Edi

Next up is the L’Occitane Shampoo and Conditioner which includes 5 essential oils. I like the small size so I’m going to take them to Edinburgh with me (going home for a week!). I’m hoping for shiny, nourished hair.

Latest in Beauty The Glamour Summer Edi

I was also looking forward to trying out a Nails Inc Gel Effect nail polish but oh my God, this colour choice is terrible. It’s called ‘Uptown’ and is a dusky pink-greige. What is summery about that??!! Sorry, but I am sick of the ‘safe‘ boring nail colour choices these boxes always make. This range includes a yellow, an ice-cream mint, a bright orchid colour…lots that are so much more summer appropriate than this one. It’s probably the least summery colour in the collection. Gah! It’s been chucked in the drawer until October.

On a more positive note, I love the Bourjois Color Boost Lip Crayon. Unfortunately, I already have this colour, but I’m more than happy to share the love and pass it on to a pal. This is called ‘Peach on the Beach’ and is summery!

Latest in Beauty The Glamour Summer Edi

I like the look of this Balance Me Super Toning Body Polish. I’m the worst at using remembering to use scrubs, but this is an exfoliator, toner and moisturiser in one so I’m sure I can get  use of it.

The second big disappointment of this box for me is the Eucerin Sun Creme. Again, this was something I was excited to try, and one of the main reasons I bought the box. The Eucerin range is a high-factor SPF but is great for the face as it is not as oily as other brands. However, this one is tinted – argh! It’s way to dark for me and as it’s an SPF, you need to put a decent amount on to ensure adequate protection. Seriously, who has skin that dark and needs SPF 50?! (Obviously I know people with darker skin tones also need sun protection, but not that high!). So annoyed I can’t use this.

Latest in Beauty The Glamour Summer Edi Latest in Beauty The Glamour Summer Edi

Lastly is the Vita Liberata Trystral Minerals self-tanning bronzer. The idea is that it’s a powder gradual facial fake tan. I don’t use fake tan so I knew I wouldn’t use this so I’m not disappointed. In fact, I’m quite pleased because the brush that came with it seems great. It’s very soft and dense so I’m not sure what I’ll use it for but sure it’ll be handy. I would say that if I had wanted to use the bronzer, I’d probably be a bit miffed that the pot was less than half full…

So overall, a bit of a mixed bag. I guess I’ll get over my disappointment with the Nails Inc colour – I’m probably being a bit bratty because it is a generous addition. I am pleased with the brush and tattoos and I’m looking forward to trying the Pixi, Caudelie and Balance Me products.

Ending on a positive! Let me know what you think of this box.