Cosmetics Haul – Primark and Revolution ✨

Hello everybody! How are you? Well, I hope! Today I have a post coming with items and swatches from the last few days – yesterday I went to Lincoln for a day, I saw Avengers: Endgame (no spoilers but I loved it), and of course went into Primark! I didn’t buy much, but I wanted a few makeup things, and I got some other items as well. And today a box arrived from Revolution with some things I ordered last week, plus a goodie bag! I’ll put that last. The deal to get the goodie bag is still on as of right now (3pm, 1st of May), so if you want these items go spend £30 to get your £28 value bag of free goodies!! Every time they put the deal on it’s a new bag of goods compared to the previous one, and every goodie bag within the same deal will be the same, so don’t go spending £30 twice thinking you’re gonna get different stuff, you’ll just get two of the same alright, save the next purchase for the next time they put goodie bag deals on! I got this one, and I got one that I ordered at the end of January and got delivered at the start of February, but I think they’ve done one I between as well, so they do seem to do these quite often.

But without further ado, let’s get into it! We’ll start with the Primark haul!

Here’s a picture of everything I bought:

The Mentos chewing gum was because we really wanted chewing gum yesterday. And the breath spray, because I wanted to try it (it tasted delicious). I also got me some in-soles, the ones for the front of your shoes, and the ones to put behind your heel to reduce friction or to use when the shoes are too large (I have a pair of heels I plan to put these in). Then I got some “lace footies”, basically thin socks for ballerina flats. I like these lace ones, they have the anti-slip underneath, which makes them great in flats that are leather/smooth on the inside (as opposed to fabric)! So I got them in nude and white, I have nude and black already from before.

Everything else was cosmetics.

I got myself some face masks – a soothing aloe vera mask, a hydrating coconut mask, a d a brightening peel-off pomegranate mask! I haven’t tried either of these, but they were 80p each and I love face masks! Pro tip: use a flat foundation brush to apply them, much better than using your fingers, and those brushes are pretty much useless for anything else (they leave my foundation streaky so I never use them for that)!

I got me some new lip liners – I actually doubled the amount of lip liners I own with this purchase haha! This is what they look like:

This is in the same order as above. “Toast” is a brown nude, “Spice” is a darker brown nude, “Ruby” is a more bright red, and “Victoria” is on the deeper side. I expect the red ones will go nicely with the next items, and the nude ones will go nicely with some other lipsticks I have from before!

These next ones are lipsticks I first saw on Primark’s Instagram profile: the Primark x Miss Gloria lipsticks! I wanted all four, but the Primark I went to didn’t have “Everyday Goddess” or “You Do You, Babe”, so I only got “Powerful Woman” and “She Is Fearless”, both red ones.

I love the mechanism here – you push the bottom and it pops out like this, then you can pull the lid off. When you’re finished you push the bottom back in again, and the lid stays on!

“She Is Fearless” is a brighter red, and “Powerful Woman” is a darker red mauve colour, from the looks of it.

I swatched “She Is Fearless” first:

On the right I only went back and forth a couple of times, whereas on the left I went over it multiple times to see how the colour would change. As you can see, it got more intense and more bright with multiple layers.

Then I swatched “Powerful Woman”:

To be honest I expected this one to be much darker, definitely not as pink. And as I went over it multiple times… It didn’t get darker, just less opaque. I’ll still wear this, it’ll be nice for summer I’m sure, but I expected a much darker browny red.

After swatching this I went back to “She Is Fearless” to swatch it next to it, to see the difference on my skin… And the lipstick broke. It was £2.50 so not a huge loss, but I was still upset. I’m gonna try and fix it by melting the edges in the tube and “glue” it back together, well see if it works. If not, I can still use a lip brush to apply it, it’ll just be harder to bring with me when I go somewhere…

Lastly, I got a mascara. I only have two working ones at the moment and I’m not 100% happy with either. Primark isn’t exactly shy when it comes to dupes and the packaging, it’s usually pretty obvious, and this looked like a dupe for the L’Oréal flash lash wings butterfly effect mascara which I love but haven’t been able to get for a while. I don’t have high hopes but we’ll see!

That’s it for the Primark section, now let’s move on to the Revolution stuff!

Firstly – THANK YOU REVOLUTION for reducing plastic waste by limiting bubble wrap and just strapping the products to a piece of cardboard with cling film! So much easier for me to dispose of as well! The brown piece of cardboard just pulls straight out of the box and the clingfilm is easy to rip off.

Here’s everything I ordered. This was quite a highlighter heavy haul, I won’t lie. I’m kind of obsessed with it… So, what we have here are 5 single highlighters, one bronzer, a brow pomade, two contour and highlighter sticks, a setting spray, and two packs of skincare products – “never basic” , and “always extra”.

The skincare products are a fairly recent launch of Revolution’s, they made these little 5ml bottles and put them into two separate sets so people like me can try a few different once before buying the full sized bottles, it’s genius really!

I only got one picture of all six products but the “never basic” set is on the left and the “always extra” set is on the right. The following descriptions are taken from the Revolution website:

Plumping & Hydrating Solution – 2% Hyaluronic Acid
Thirsty? Drink up with our hydration hero! The ultimate ingredient for dehydrated skin, Hyaluronic Acid attracts moisture to the skin’s surface for lasting hydration that plumps up dehydrated skin – leaving your complexion looking smoother, healthier and feeling silky soft.

Fine Line Correcting Serum – 0.2% Retinol
Ideal for sensitive types or those new to Retinol, this all-round skin booster uses a low concentration of retinoid to improve the appearance of skin. A form of Vitamin A, this ingredient encourages the natural cell turnover of your skin to reveal a smoother complexion, softened appearance of fine lines and more even tone.

Blemish and Pore Refining Serum – 10% Niacinamide + 1% Zinc
Meet our skincare hero for oily skin types prone to blemishes, congestion and enlarged pores. Using two skin-friendly ingredients, Niacinamide and Zinc, this lightweight and gentle serum helps to reduce the appearance of active blemishes and prevent further congestion, whilst regulating the skin’s natural oil production and soothing the skin. (Source)

Conditioning Serum – EGF Serum
Nourish lacklustre skin with some plant-based goodness! This lightweight and versatile skin-conditioning serum is our unsung skincare hero for giving skin a fresh and healthy look while softening the appearance of fine lines.

Nourishing Oil – CBD OIL
Meet our favourite skin super ingredient! Formulated with cannabidiol (an extract from the flowers and leaves of non-drug hemp), this groundbreaking ingredient helps to calm and soothe skin prone to dryness and sensitivity with its ultra-nourishing properties and high concentration of rich fatty acids.

Rosehip Seed Oil – Gold Elixir
Rich in essential fatty acids, this ultra-nourishing oil promotes supple skin and even texture. The added subtle gold flecks instantly boost radiance for skin that’s as good as gold! (Source)

I know Revolution has many other serums and skincare items like these (here), but I’m happy I get to try a few different ones like this, and they’re only £5 each! The only one I had from before was the hyaluronic acid one, but I look forward to trying the rest! I’m especially excited for CBD Oil and Gold Elixir!

The setting spray I got is just the green tea scented fixing spray from I ❤️ Revolution, it was £6, and had good reviews, and my other revolution spray is running low so I thought I’d just try a different one this time.

I’ve never had a brow pomade in my life. I’ve had tons of different pencils, from the ones that need sharpening to the twist-up ones to the skinny twist-up ones, and also a lot of different powders, but never a brow gel or a pomade. So I thought I’d try. I got the shade medium brown, I don’t really like how it looks on my hand but I think it’s about the same as the brown pencils from Primark that I’ve been using and I think it’ll be fine once it’s on my face.

Contour sticks is another item I’ve never had before – I’ve only used powder contour and bronzing. I got Medium 1 and Medium 2, I didn’t find a light one in there, and I knew the dark one would be too dark. These looked pretty similar in colour on the website, one looked more pink and the other more yellow, but 02 is a lot darker in person than 01, but again, they were really cheap and I’m sure I’ll find uses for all four shades!

I’ve actually never bought a single bronzer shade, ever. I once got a thing that was like half bronzer/contour, half highlighter from Physicians Formula, the first contour/bronzer/highlighter product I ever bought (more on that in a post coming soon), but other than that all contour and bronzers I’ve used have been in kits/palettes alongside highlighter and/or blush. So this is my first single full-on bronzer, with a little sheen to it, too! I’ve only used matte products before, as my forehead tends to get oily, but I’m starting to like more shimmery products on my skin now that the weather is nicer and my skin has gotten less oily as I’ve gotten older. For example, I recently used shades from the “Strobe Lighting” palette to set my face, and the “Gradient highlighter: Sunlight Mood Lights” as blush (both from my last revolution haul, post here). So I really look forward to wearing this on my face sometime soon! 😁 Oh, and this is the Reloaded Bronzer in the shade “Holiday Romance”.

Last but not least, the highlighters! I have been eyeing these for a long time. And I mean like, two months. I’ll be the first to admit I wasn’t too positive in my first impressions post of my last Revolution haul and the free things I got in the goodie bag then, but the Skin Kiss highlighter in “Ice Kiss” grew on me quickly once I started putting it on my face. It’s glittery! And so pretty. Many of my old favourite highlighters seem dull by comparison now… I quickly started watching reviews, especially Sophdoesnails’ videos (here and here) about the skin kiss ones, and the “Frozen Kiss” caught my eye quickly – she described it as a more silvery one than “Ice Kiss”. So I decided to get it! I also considered “Star Kiss”, but reviews said it was more blue in person and I already have a blue-toned single highlighter, I don’t need another.

Now, the highlighter section of Revolution’s website is a bit of a maze. There are a lot of products on there. I prefer powder highlighters, especially when I wear a full face of makeup – creme ones are better for when I just wear some concealer and eyebrows and mascara maybe. Anywhoo… I noticed the Reloaded highlighters and the Strobe highlighters the most. And I noticed a lot of shades seemed really similar. So I did some more research, watched some more videos. More of Soph, and this person and this person…

And in the end I narrowed it down to two highlighters from each range: “Set The Tone” and “Just My Type” from the Reloaded highlighters, and “Magnitude” and “Supernova” from the Strobe highlight range. Plus “Frozen Kiss” of course.

From left to right on my hand, you see “Frozen Kiss “, “Set The Tone “, “Supernova “, “Magnitude “, and “Just My Type”. I included two full-sized pictures here so you can see them up close and from two different angles – especially the one on the right by my knuckles looks quite different in the two photos, I think.

From the pictures below I’ve flipped the pans around so you can see the names on the back of each one.

“Frozen Kiss” is a silvery white, and quite glittery. I expected nothing less, as “Ice Kiss” is very glittery as well (which is why I think I hit pan in about one month of using it, that it’s very glittery and also has a bit of kickback). I look forward to using it on my face a lot, although I think it’ll be more of a wintery shade for me.

“Set The Tone” is almost completely white. If I had to pick one, I’d say it leans more towards silver than gold, but really it’s right in the middle and not particularly either one of them. It’s just so very white. And beautiful! Shiny, but not glittery.

The two Strobe highlight shades were the most exciting ones for me. Looking at them in the pans, I struggle to tell the difference. There was also a chance they’d not be very shiny. Remember the “Strobe highlighting palette” I got for free last time (link here, so you don’t have to scroll)? The white-green duo-chrome was bright and beautiful, but the pink and gold ones were so matte I’ve been using them to set my foundation with lately! Fortunately, that was not the case with the two I got, they’re both very shiny and bright and beautiful. “Magnitude” is a pale yellow gold, perfect for my pale skin. “Supernova” is more of a white gold to me, it’s not silver the way “Frozen Kiss ” and “Set The Tone” are, on my hand anyway. But definitely not as gold-gold, or yellow-gold as “Magnitude”.

The last Reloaded highlighter, “Just My Type”, looked like it was gonna be a darker gold, something I could use in the summer. To my surprise, it has rosy undertones, it’s more of a rose gold colour on me! I’m not really into pink highlighters at the moment, but I’m really excited to try this on my face! It’s more peach than straight up pink, but in other lights it looks more gold, which I find super exciting!

To sum up the highlighters, the Skin Kiss one is more glittery than the Reloaded and Strobe highlighters. And just because a shade looks similar to another shade, it might not actually be. There was another strobe one I considered – “Northern Lights” it’s called. But the reviews I found said it has a green shift to it, and from what I saw it looks pretty much identical to the white one in the “Strobe Lighting” palette, and I don’t need another green toned highlighter anytime soon if I’m being honest. I’ll still use it but I don’t need a duplicate!

Alright, that’s all the things I bought which came to a total of £41, and therefore I got a free goodie bag! Let’s have a look at that:

As before, the goodie bag items game in a separate package (in the same box), all black and bubble wrapped on the inside, and it contained 4 items this time too, which were as follows:

I ❤️ Revolution “Mermaid’s Heart” eyeshadow palette

I ❤️ Makeup Unicorn Tears Silicone Sponges

I ❤️ Makeup Lip Lava liquid lipstick in the shade “Shockwave”

I ❤️ Makeup “Parental Advisory Explicit Content” eyeshadow palette

I have never tried a silicone makeup sponge before. I saw it in ads on Facebook a long time ago, and then I watched Tati Westbrook try one and fail (here), while others have loved them, so I’m not quite sure what to think. I’ve never bothered buying one to try. But now I’ve got three free ones and I look forward to seeing how I get on with these! Maybe they’ll work with face masks too.

This lip product… Probably won’t get much use with me, to be honest. It is HOT PINK. It is more like a gloss than a lipstick though, so maybe… We’ll see. I have to try it with a neutral eye look someday and see what it looks like. It has vitamin e in it, which is good. First impression not great, but who knows!

The eyeshadow palettes was what I was most excited about. I’ve seen the “Mermaid’s Heart” one along with unicorn and dragon palettes before so I had an idea what to expect, even if I didn’t remember exactly, I knew it was very… Oceany. I knew nothing regarding the “Parental Advisory” palette at all, and even so, I did not expect this:

IT IS HUGE. 36 shadows. THIRTY SIX SHADOWS. And 12 in the “Mermaid” palette. I’ve just got 48 eyeshadows FOR FREE. How mad is that?! And I just got 7 new blue/turquoise shades which I’ve been craving lately, but I was hesitant about buying a palette like the blue donut or the “Deep Dive” Reloaded palette because realistically, how much would I really use them? But look at them… How gorgeous are they?! Let’s have some swatches:

Look at how beautiful these are… With each shade, I swirled my finger in the pan, went back and forth over the shadow twice, and then repeated. Absolutely stunning. A beautiful mix of mattes and shimmers, even distribution actually. I can’t wait to play with this palette! I even feel like the two palettes compliment each other nicely too, don’t you think?

Next I have some swatches of the “Parental Advisory” palette, now because there are so many shades I actually had to divide it in two, and I did the top two rows first, then the bottom two rows:

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I’ve kept the pictures full size here so you’ll be able to really see what’s in each row clearly and appreciate the colours because wow I am amazed!

Not all of these shades were super pigmented but I think there is a ton of super stunning shades in this one! There are several highlighting shades inn here, one or two that’d be possible to use in my eyebrows, and other than that, many stunning shadow and liner colours! I see some shades I’m sure I have in other palettes, but also a lot of unique ones.

And, is anyone else getting Urban Decay Naked palettes vibes from this? I see a lot of Naked and Naked2 in the neutrals here, also a few shades from Naked Reloaded, and some from Naked Smoky – tell me I’m not crazy?!

That is all for today! This was a long post, but I had so much fun trying all of these products and I hope you enjoyed seeing and reading about them!

Xoxo

Julie

PS: I started writing this entry at 3.15pm, it is now 7.05pm… (it’s taken me about an hour to fix the pictures (arrange into mosaic tiles etc, so not actually taking the pics, I did that before I started writing), edit, add abut 5000 tags… and before that I was writing everything out on my phone! But still. That’s a lot of time spent on a blog post, holy sheet…).

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Urban Decay ‘Game of Thrones’ Collection

It is finally here! The makeup collection that Urban Decay has been teasing for months on their Instagram page – the Game of Thrones collection! To view the full collection, this link will take you to their UK website where you can see the eyeshadow palette, highlighter palette, lipsticks, eyeliners, lip & cheek stain, and the full vault of everything including two eyeshadow brushes shaped like Longclaw and Needle (Jon and Arya’s swords).

As soon as I found out about it (which was later than a lot of people, I’m sure, as I tend to kinda live under a rock when it comes to a lot of things), I knew I’d want it. Maybe not all of it, but definitely some of it. They revealed the whole collection on their website weeks before the launch, and included a countdown, giving everyone plenty of time to look at the items and decide what they wanted. For me, it quickly became clear that the only product I really really wanted, was the eyeshadow palette. Had I had £198 to spend on the vault I probably would have gotten it, but living on a budget with very few splurges at this point in my life, I decided I could get one thing and one thing only, and my choice was an easy one to make: I don’t use eyeliner pencils. I just don’t like using them. The colours were cool, but I don’t use them normally so why would I use these? None of the lipsticks REALLY spoke to me. I have a lot of lip products (as you will see in a later post, I am working on a makeup inventory one as well), and I struggle to get through them enough as it is. Plus, they are expensive for just one lipstick! I most likely wouldn’t be able to use any of the highlighters. I adore the packaging, but I don’t really like pink highlighter and both of the gold ones looked way too dark to work for me as well. The lip and cheek stain was intriguing, but again, I have a lot of lip products, and I struggle enough to use up the powder blushes I already have (seriously, I’ve had MAC “peaches” since 2014 and there’s only a slight dent in it, doesn’t look like I’m close to hitting pan even). The brushes, had I been able to purchase them individually, would’ve been cool to have as collector’s items, but I couldn’t, and no doubt they’d’ve been really pricey as well. So what’s left, is the eyeshadow palette. £45 for 20 eyeshadows really isn’t that bad, and I know I like the formula of my other UD eyeshadow palettes. Plus, it really seemed like the highlight of the whole collection!!

I was up before 8am on Sunday the 14th, release day, to be ready to order at 8. By 8.06 I was checked out. I received it at mid day on the 18th. The following pictures were taken as I unboxed the item:

We’ll get to swatches and the actual eyeshadows in a second, but first I want to talk a bit about the packaging, and the names. Please keep in mind that these are just my opinions, they are subjective, and you’re certainly free to disagree. Also remember that for the following 8 paragraphs I am not talking about the eyeshadows specifically, nothing to do with the formula or shades, but pure packaging, colour story, and name choices.

First thing first: I love this product. As a collection item, it’s magnificent. It’s a big box, big mirror, an actual iron throne, a couple of quotes, one of which is one of my favourites in the whole show. As a makeup item, the packaging isn’t exactly the most practical. It is huge. It takes up a lot of space, I actually have it sitting on my desk because shoving it in my drawer will mess up the order of everything else. There is a lot of stuff here I don’t need. Or at least, that I wish was optional. My only real wish for change, packaging wise, is that the pull-out drawer of eyeshadows had a lid itself, something like the original Naked palette, just a small magnetic one. so that I could store the eyeshadows in my drawer and put the throne on a shelf for show. I’ve seen people complain that the palette itself doesn’t have a mirror so you have to put it down to pick up a mirror, but that’s not really an issue for me, as I’m used to that with a lot of the items I have anyway.

Now let’s have a look at the colour story and names for this palette. I’ve inserted pictures below so you can see them more clearly, apologies if they are a little blurry, my phone camera tends to only want to focus on one thing, I guess I should really use an actual camera where I can change the aperture and do macro photography for this, really…

The palette is divided into four sections. You can refer to them as locations: North of The Wall/Hardhome, Winterfell, Kings Landing, and Bay of Dragons (Dany’s new name for Slaver’s Bay which she liberated one city after another before departing Essos for Westeros). Or you can refer to them by names: White Walkers/Freefolk, Stark, Lannister, Targaryen. Personally I prefer the latter, and to use Freefolk for the top one. There really is no rule to how you choose to refer to each section of this palette. But I do like that they’ve sectioned it off. Now that so many of the major houses and families are gone, these really are the main players left – the White Walkers, the Freefolk, the Starks, the Lannisters, and the Targaryens, and those loyal to them (such as the Ironborn, the Bear Islanders, and others). But I guess if you really think about it, they were the major players from the start as well, weren’t they, and the other houses pledged their allegiance… but enough show analysis! Let’s get to my thoughts on the colours and names.

There are a lot of different shades here, practically the whole colour wheel! Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet… And black, and silver, and gold, lots of gold! With these shades, you can create practically any look you want.

In the top/first section, I feel like the icy blue shade really should have been titled “White Walker”, for the colour of their eyes, while a more icy, snowy, cold white or silver could have been called “Frozen North”. “Take the Black” is a fitting name for a black shade so I have no issues with that. “Free Folk”, though a stunning shade, could probably have been some sort of different colour, maybe a cool toned matte transition shade of some sort, I don’t know. It is beautiful! “Hardhome”… I have no specific feelings about, really!

In the second section, I have more issues with the names… None of the dire wolves were orangy brown, so why is that first shade named “Nymeria”? And wouldn’t “Winter is Coming” be a more fitting name for a brassy brown shade, rather than “Winter is Here”, what with being both the words for the Stark house and relating it to the fact that none of the Stark children had seen winter until now? “Weirwood Leaves” is fine, and I guess I have no issues with “The Sight”, although I don’t associate any kind of green with those words, but I do like the woodsy green colour in this section a lot! Now that I think of it, maybe it has some connection to the Children of the Forest, their green eyes, the foresty green of this shade… Hm. Maybe it’s not that badly named at all. My issues are not with the shades, I love the colour story, it’s the names of the shades I don’t particularly like (not for all of the shades though, some are quite fitting”.  And while gold goes really well with the other colours in this section, it’s not really what I associate with Winterfell, and there’s so much more gold to come in this palette, they could perhaps have chosen a different colour here, maybe something more silvery (but don’t get me wrong this shade is stunning, as you’ll see a bit later!). The shade “Free Folk” here, maybe, and then a cool toned matte in “Free Folk”s place in the top section would’ve been lovely, I think!

For the third section, “Red Keep”, “Casterly Rock”, and “Lannister Red” are all perfectly named shades in my opinion; the colours and the names go well together, even though “Lannister Red” is maybe just a slight bit too brown – although for me that makes it more wearable. What confuses me here is why a peachy pink shade has been called “House Lannister” – surely something more red and gold would go better here? Peach is definitely not a colour I associate with the Lannisters, The Rock, or Kings Landing… Speaking of Kings Landing, the shade with the same name is beautiful and glowy and regal, but I almost feel like “Winterfell” would’ve fitted more in this section, due to it being the capital city and where the royal family lives, and “Winterfell” is more of a regal colour to me. That being said, “Kings Landing” wouldn’t’ve fitted anywhere else either, to me, as a shade, unless perhaps in the last section, which we’ll come to next.

The fourth section, consists of two purples, two golds, and a pink. I reiterate, I absolutely love the shades themselves. I used all five of these in a look I did a couple of days ago, and I loved the look more than I thought I would (I don’t really wear purple eyeshadow). The two purples are different, and the two golds are different, but I feel that gold especially has already been covered, and perhaps it wasn’t necessary to have another two of them in this palette. “Stormborn” is indeed a stormy colour, it has dark undertones and I feel it’s appropriately named, given that Daenerys was born during a storm, and the Targaryens are known for their purple eyes. What I don’t associate with the family, is the gold shade named “House Targaryen”, given that their sigil is red and black, and their words are “fire and blood”. I would’ve thought something more dragon-like, or a purple shade here maybe. “Dothraki” I can see being a greeny gold colour, given that they roam Essos, there’s desert and the great grass sea… So I don’t really have any issues with that. But a colour called “Bend the Knee”? It should’ve been more powerful, not the summery lilac that it is (but again, stunning). Perhaps “Bend the Knee” and “House Targaryen” should’ve switched names? And lastly, “Bay of Dragons”… Another gorgeous shade, but I don’t really see the connection between the colour and the name, again. Thinking about the Bay of Dragons, the colour “Kings Landing” feels closer, more appropriate, than the pink in the last section, to me. It just feels a bit misplaced, I don’t associate pink with anything in the Game of Thrones universe, really. So while I love all the colours, I feel like this one had the most distance between the colours of the shades and the shade names.

Now. Let’s have a look at the colours themselves, some swatches, formula, texture… All the fun stuff! But this time, let’s go from the bottom and up! Keep in mind – these are all swatches done with my fingers, on the back of my bare hand, so they’ll most likely look different when applied on a primed eyelid with a brush. These swatches are a couple of layers each, they can be blended out into almost nothing, but I wanted to pack them on to see the colours properly.

Targaryen – Bay of Dragons

Earlier, I said that the bottom section has two purples, two golds, and a pink. And that’s true. But as you can see, they’re two very different purples, and two very different golds. “Stormborn” reminds me of a storm, you know those summer thunderstorms where everything goes dark really quickly but it’s not because it’s dark outside, it’s just the clouds? That kind of dark. It’s a beautiful shimmery purple with dark undertones. “Bend the Knee” however, is light and lilac, it almost looks pink from some angles. “House Targaryen” is a more sandy gold, more towards rose gold than yellow gold, whereas “Dothraki” is a yellow gold leaning towards green, and it’s brighter. “Bay of Dragons” is a rosy pink, a bit sheerer and more crumbly than the others even though they are all shimmers. Some have referred to the round shades as transformer shades, others as eyeshadow toppers, so that might explain the different texture.

In writing moment, these are the only shadows I’ve used on my eyes, as I haven’t worn makeup other than that one day since receiving the palette. They applied beautifully, but I think the colours faded a little over time, although it’s hard to tell, as I applied the shadows in daylight and it was dark by the time I went to remove my makeup. There was definitely shimmer fallout throughout the day though, I know that for a fact, as I applied my eye makeup first and my base after, but after a few hours I saw glitter on my cheeks that definitely wasn’t but there on purpose.

Lannister – Kings Landing

 

“Red Keep” is a beautiful copper red shimmer shade, exactly what I expected from the name, it really does remind me of the building in the show. “Casterly Rock”, another shimmer, is more brassy bronze, also stunning. As I wrote above, I don’t think “House Lannister” really suits its name, but it is nonetheless a beautiful peachy pink matte, great transition shade that goes with many of the colours in the palette. “Lannister Red” is an absolutely gorgeous matte shade as well, it’s a bit rusty, which I think makes it more wearable, and I can’t wait to wear it on my eyes! The topper/transformer shade is “Kings Landing”, a pale gold, almost looks like a highlighter from some angles on me. I bet it would look gorgeous on top of “Lannister Red”…

Stark – Winterfell

Along with the Lannister section, this is one that’s way up my alley when it comes to colour. First, “Nymeria” is a matte orangey brown, great transition shade. “Winter is Here” is a brassy brown again, slightly darker than “Casterly Rock”, but less shimmery, it’s got more of a satin finish I think. “Weirwood Leaves” has the same sort of finish, and it’s a beautiful burgundy red. “The Sight” has more shimmer to it than the previous two, and it’s a gorgeous forest green. “Winterfell” is the real gem in this section, it is like straight up glitter, except that it doesn’t require glue to stick down! It’s chunkier than the others, but it is a transformer/topper shade, supposedly, although with how pigmented it is I expect anything underneath it would actually be covered up!

Free Folk – White Walkers – Hardhome – Beyond the Wall

This is actually the section I struggled to name the most, haha. And I wanted to save the best for last, especially when it comes to that blue shade. Have you ever seen anything so gorgeous in your life?! But let’s do them in the same order as before, starting with “Take the Black”. This one, to me, was probably the least pigmented shade in the whole palette. To get it to that intensity you see on my hand, I went over it about 7 times with my finger to try and put more colour down (swirl my finger in the pan, go back and forth, swirl my finger in the pan, go back and forth… seven times.).  All the other shades I did the same thing twice with. Nevertheless, once I built it up, it is a stunning black with micro glitter in it – the black itself is matte. Second up is “White Walker”, a shimmery duochrome white blue shade, very frosty, very cold. To be honest, I’m surprised this isn’t the topper/transformer shade in this section. The highlight of the palette: “Frozen North”. I ONLY DIPPED AND SWIPED ONCE BACK AND FORTH WITH THIS SHADE! It’s definitely the most pigmented of all the shades in the palette. A beautiful shimmer! The next shade is “Free Folk”, a cool silver shimmer. And lastly, “Hardhome” is actually leaning towards pink, a pinky white colour, and warmer than the other colours in this section. This one I can also see being used as a highlighter, actually.

Now, I’m no expert when it comes to eyeshadow finishes. I can tell if a shade is matte or shimmery or in between (so, more satin or sheen), or straight up glitter, but I can’t really look at one and say that’s frost or metallic, not shimmer, or anything like that. So I’ve judged these shades to the best of my abilities, but I’m no expert. I did come across this post by Temptalia, which describes all the shades quite detailed, if you want to have a look. This post also lists all the dupes for this shade, how close of a match they are, and what the main difference is, so if you’re interested in any shades specifically, I’d definitely go check that out!

That’s it for this post on my thoughts of the Urban Decay Game of Thrones eyeshadow palette with my own swatches! There are already a ton of videos about this palette on youtube, the only one I watched before receiving the palette was this one by ThatGirlShaeXo, it was really the only video at the time I looked. Sophdoesnails did her own video (here) that I watched after receiving my palette but before trying out the colours. I think it might be fun to do another post about this sometime soon, where I try the shades with and without the topper/transformation shade, so I can see them next to each other, sort of like, topper on one side, shadow on the other, and shadow with the topper on top in the middle, just to see what the toppers do to the shades!

What do you think of this collection? Too much over the top? Had so much potential? Overrated, didn’t live up to the expectations? Exactly what you wanted? Let me know in the comments! ❤

Xoxo

Julie

App Review: ActionDash

Our cell or mobile phones are hugely important in this day and time, perhaps especially so to us millennials. I was born in the early 90s, so I’m kind of in the middle of the generation. I got my first phone for my 13th birthday, or a few days before actually. My brother, who is three years younger than me, was 11 or 12 when he got his first phone. Many millennials that I know are proud to belong to a generation that grew up playing outside, as am I, but we’re also proud that we encountered technology like phones and computers at a young enough age for it to become natural for us to use them, we’re not struggling in the same way as older generations, but we’ve also not been enslaved by technology from a really young age like the younger generations. When I was around 15, one of my grandmothers said that the mobile phone was the older children’s pacifier, and when I was 17 and on exchange (and got to experience unlimited texting for the first time) my host mother said that to teenagers the phone was like an extension to the arm. I know there are a lot of millennials who don’t use their phones a lot, but I am not one of them. I’m on my phone a lot. When I’m not on my phone, I’m on my tablet or PC, or in a movie theatre – I even have to put my phone away so I won’t get distracted when reading books. I know it’s bad.

I have seen Apple iPhone users talk on twitter about how their phones are notifying them of the amount of time they’ve spent on their phone. Philip DeFranco tweeted about how much time he’d spent on Twitter specifically, that he tried to justify it with needing to use Twitter for work, but then he said he couldn’t possibly justify spending that amount of time on social media because it’s not all for work. I don’t use iPhone, or any Apple products, and I have no desire to. My phone doesn’t have a built in function to track screen time, so I went looking through the Google Play store, and that’s where I found ActionDash, a free to use app with the option of purchasing a pro version that will remove ads, among other things. The free version lets you see all the info about your screen time over the past week, so of course I went ahead and tracked it for a week straight, not restricting myself, using my phone as I normally would, so in this post I want to take you on my journey of how I’ve been using my phone for the past week!

Introducing: ActionDash

Let’s start with Saturday, March 16th. When I open the app I get the picture you see below, and I can scroll back through the past week, the 16th being the earliest day I could view at the time I took these screenshots.

I made sure to take the screenshots not on the day but the following day, so the data would be complete. And this is what we see: A wheel showing the 4 most used apps of the day, as well as “others”, number of unlocks of the phone, and notifications received, and at the bottom, a graph showing how long each session in each app has been. In this first image, the bottom two lines are missing, but we can still get the gist of what the graph shows: 1 session lasted 20-30 minutes, another lasted 15-20, three sessions lasted 10-15 minutes, 23 lasted between 5 and 10 minutes, 17 3-5 minutes, and what the picture doesn’t show is 1-2 minutes and less than 1 minute, which has been the longest bar on every day that I’ve checked the app!

On this Saturday, the app I spend the most time in was Instagram, followed by Twitter, Google, and then Pokemon GO. From what I can remember, this was a very antisocial day for me, I stayed in bed the majority of the day with the TV playing shows and YouTube, and I was scrolling on my phone the majority of the time as well. I promise, most days I do not spend 8.5 hours actively on my phone!

Let’s have a look at the following few days of the week:

If we’re being honest, I don’t remember everything about all of these days, as I’m not writing it as we go, but I do remember some things so let’s see… As we can see from Sunday the 17th, I spent less than three hours on my phone that day, which was a better day for me emotionally than the 16th, I do remember that. I spent nearly half that time on Instagram, which I can easily see, as a lot of the time I’ll be scrolling on Instagram while watching stuff, it requires little to no concentration as I just take in the pictures and I don’t have to actually read the words like I do on Twitter. But still, we can see the same few apps repeated almost daily, Twitter and Instagram are on daily, which was no surprise. WordPress was on the wheel on the 19th, because I was reading a rather lengthy article, and I kept putting my phone down, and got distracted a lot, so I probably wasn’t actually reading the whole time, I just left the screen on when I put my phone down and the screen doesn’t black out right away. Let’s see, what else… Oh, Friday the 22nd – Google was my most used app! That was a bit surprising, but I know exactly why: I fell down a rabbit hole of wikipedia articles, which happens on occasion, this time it was reading up on Russian history, starting with Stalin, then Lenin, and then the Tsars that ruled the country up until the revolution in 1917. And because it’s wikipedia, every article contains links to other articles so I end up getting side tracked and yeah, that’s how that happened! I also spent quite a lot of time on YouTube that day – I usually watch YouTube on the TV, but we had to have repair people come by and then set up a new TV, so to stay out of the way I watched YouTube on my phone in another room. Saturday the 23rd was Community Day, so that’s why Pokemon GO won first place on screen time then, as the event lasted for 3 hours, although I wasn’t actually playing it the full time…

Now let’s have a closer look at the app itself:

This picture is from Sunday the 24th, if I’m not mistaken. Either way, it doesn’t matter, what I wanted to show you was the graph where you can see the app session length breakdown for the day. Out of 271 app sessions, 203 of them lasted less than a minute! Thinking about how that works in reality… one of two things happened: I got a notification, clicked on it, and went out of the app again, or I opened the app out of boredom and closed it again almost immediately. The first one isn’t that bad, in my opinion. The second one however, that’s the kind of stuff I want to avoid, a habit I really want to work on breaking. All those little one minute sessions, I really want to stop them.

You can also view the whole week in the same way you can each day:

Over the course of one week, I spent 33 hours and 4 minutes on my phone.

168 hours to a week.

56 hours spent sleeping, if I sleep 8 hours a day.

Sleeping and phone stuff comes to 89 hours, so let’s just say 90 hours of the week.

168-90=78. I’ve spent more than half my time sleeping and on my phone. 53%. For only 47% of my week have I been awake and not on my phone. That’s kind of scary.

Let’s have a look at some other ways you can track your screen activity using the app ActionDash.

If you click on the icons in the circle of the opening screen, you can view the stats for that app daily, showing the time spent in it over the past week, and hourly, showing the stats for the day:

At the top of the home screen, you have some icons you can click on and it shows you different things as well:

The first icon, the cake diagram, is the start screen, which we’ve already covered. Next to it you can view the stats for screen time. The next icon shows the stats for app launches. Next to that, you can view notification stats. Lastly, the padlock symbolises unlocks, and you can view the stats for that as well.

So as you can see, there is a LOT of things you can view and track in the free version of this app, which is what I’ve been doing. Like I mentioned at the start, it is also possible to purchase a pro version, which gives you the additional benefits of stats beyond 7 days, enhanced usage graphs, no ads, dark theme, advanced customisation, and the possibility of restoring manual backups. It’s a one time upgrade which will cost you about £5 (my app store which is in Norwegian Kroner says it’s 45,-). Is it necessary? I don’t think so. I don’t feel the need to track more than the past 7 days, and if I were to I’d probably do it manually every day as it goes by in my bullet journal.

Just to show you, this is what days beyond the past 7 look like:

I don’t know if these are accurate, or if they just show that I’ve spent some time in these apps. One of them shows six apps in addition to “other”, while the other one only shows three – it could be that you need to spend over a specific amount of time in the app before it shows in the pie chart, I don’t know. I just wanted to show you what it looks like if you don’t upgrade to the pro version.

Final Thoughts

Is an app like this worth it? Is there a point to tracking your screen time like this?

I think it can be useful, yes. By using an app that tracks your time, you can become more aware of how you’re ACTUALLY spending your time, and that’s not a bad thing.

When I first downloaded the app, I was a bit obsessed with checking in multiple times a day and see how the pie chart and time change. In writing moment, it’s 2.40pm, I’ve unlocked my phone 53 times, had 192 notifications, and spent 1 hour and 17 minutes on my phone. It would probably have been more if I hadn’t spent the past couple of hours working on this blog post. The obsession wore off over time, but the first couple of days… I spent a lot of time checking in on the app to see how I was spending my time!

Have I learned anything? Yes. I’ve learned that I am way too guilty of the crime of unlocking my phone for no reason, and checking in on apps for less than a minute.

Will I change anything going forward? Eventually, I would like to. I’d like to eventually blacklist a lot of the apps in Forest that I’ve had whitelisted for a few months now, to stay off my phone completely when I have a tree or a bush growing, and to spend time on my phone on purpose, not just picking it up out of boredom. Eventually, I would like to change the bars on the stats, so that the “less than 1 minute” bar goes way down, and some of the higher ones go up. I’d like to plan out that I can spend the next 10 minutes on Twitter, that I can go on Instagram in the morning and at night. That I can play Pokemon GO when I’m out on walks. Those kinds of things. I’d like to be more mindful when it comes to how I spend time on my phone, and this app helped me to see that.

Have to  ever tracked your screen time?

What do you think of it, is it useful?

Related posts: SleepTown App (stay off your phone at night) // 2018 in Trees (Forest: Stay Focused app) // A Very Satisfying Forest (Forest: Stay Focused app)

Xoxo

Julie

Anno 1800 – Beta test

From January 31st through February 4th, I was lucky enough to get to beta test the game Anno 1800 – a city builder strategy game set in the 19th century. This is a game I came across a few months ago on youtube when watching videos about upcoming city building games, and the trailer was in multiple compilations, and I thought it looked really good and it made me really want to play the game! I did watch a few people play earlier Anno games on youtube as preparation so that I knew a little bit about what I was getting myself into, mainly Anno 1404 but also Anno 2070 and a tiny bit of Anno 2205, which are the three last games to come out in the series. Despite 1404 being the oldest of these 3, I actually liked the look of it better than the futuristic 2070 and 2205, but that might just be because I love history and I didn’t connect with the futuristic buildings in the same way. So I was really excited about 1800 coming out this year, a game set in the past, but with today’s graphics and all. And I was lucky that I got to play the beta for a few days, especially now that the release has been delayed from February to April!

You can watch the gamescom trailer for Anno 1800 here, and the trailer for the beta that I got to play here!

I haven’t played any of the other Anno games before, this was a series I hadn’t heard of until I saw the trailer for 1800. I also don’t self-identify as a “gamer”, I just like playing some games from time to time, and I can get sucked in and get addicted and play a game non stop for hours or even days, which is exactly what happened over the few days I got to play this game. Having never played an Anno game before, I prepared by watching a few youtube videos, and there are people out there who have been making videos while playing the beta as well. I particularly like League of Ungentlemanly Warfare, but I also know Geekism has been playing it, and others as well, you can just search for “Anno 1800 beta” on youtube and you’ll find them! I also had to start over a few times, as I wasn’t entirely sure what I was doing and I tried and failed a little, but ultimately I’m very happy I got to play this free beta and test out the game, so I know for a fact I will want to buy it when the game comes out!

Bottom line is, I really enjoyed playing Anno 1800. I enjoyed learning how the game works, working my way up from farmers to workers and eventually to artisans, which was the top upgrade level in the beta, although I know there will be more in the full game. I enjoyed learning how to set up trade routes and using multiple islands to maximise the space and potential of each – for example, I ended up moving all my animal farms to separate farming islands as my city grew, and the majority of my food farms as well, although those are dependant on finding islands with the right fertility.

I started playing single player to learn the basics of the game, and then my boyfriend and I started a multiplayer game together. We then started another multiplayer game with a third person, and I got really far into that! I also had a second single player game at this point, but I liked the three person multiplayer game better as I’d gotten a lot further over 2 days of playing it. On the last day, I actually started from scratch in a 3rd single player game, and I plated on full speed for about 11 hours. I got very far into the game, but I could not get my expedition ships to find the new world. Every time, it turned into a zoological expedition or I lost the ship or it returned early. So I didn’t get to discover the new world and I was unable to provide my artisans with all their needs and wants. However, I got very good at playing the old world, in my own opinion, and these are skills I will take with me into the full version of the game when it releases. Hopefully I’ll be able to reach the new world then!

Between now and then, I want to go back and watch as much beta play by others as I can, to try and learn from their skills, ideas, and mistakes (because we all make them, there’s no denying that). Specifically, I want to focus on city layouts, and learn from what they do, and also how they utilise the parks and other decor to make their cities pretty. I also want to learn how the use the different beaches to maximise functionality as well as beautification – because I want to be able to create functional islands, as well as beautiful ones. And any other tips and tricks I can pick up as well…

I want to leave you with a little slideshow of pictures I took from the main island of my last single player game, to show what I was able to do. I know it’s not the best, that things aren’t even, and that I have a lot to learn, but I’m really happy with this and how it turned out! Also, can we just appreciate how beautiful the details of this game are? The textures, the colours, the fact that when it rains you can see splashback in the mud, and if you zoom in on the sea you can see the fish, and the movement of the fountains and the trees and aaah just everything, this game is so beautiful! Enjoy!

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Are you looking forward to this game?

xoxo

Julie

SleepTown App

Another week, another app post for you all (I say this like I do it all the time when in reality I’ve done like one…)! Sleep Town is developed by the same people who developed Forest: Stay Focused, which I’ve written about before, and which I use daily. Sleep Town is an app I discovered and started using back in October last year, and have been using almost nightly since then!

Like Forest, Sleep Town is designed to keep you off of your phone in order to do other things. While Forest aims to keep you focused on the tasks you need to do during the day, Sleep Town aims to keep you off your phone during the night in order to create and maintain healthy sleep cycles (which again will help you focus during the day).

When you’ve been using the app for a while, this is what a Sleep Town looks like. I think you can create multiple towns, but I don’t know why I would do that, because I like seeing the town grow, and even though I have some duplicates of for example banks and schools, that’s realistic even for a real city, so it doesn’t bother me that much.

When you open the app, this is what it looks like (picture below). You set your bedtime and wake-up goals, as you can see mine are 1am and 9am. The reason for this is that you can put your town to sleep for up to 2 hours before your set bedtime goal, and you can wake up your town for up to 2 hours before your wake-up time goal. So I can start my town anywhere from 11pm until 1am, and wake it up anywhere between 7am and 9am, which are realistic times for me in my current situation, for both weekends and weekdays. You can reset the goals at any time, but you will lose your building streak by doing so – because the goal is to set and maintain a healthy sleep cycle, which means going to bed and waking up at the same time every day.

That is not to say that you cannot wake up earlier than this though! You can set the in-app alarm clock to whatever time you want. For example, I had to get up before 6am one morning as I was going away and would have to leave at 7.15, so I set the alarm to 5.45am, was able to turn it off, but the building for the night was still being built, so I left my phone alone until just after 7, hit the wake-up button, and then saw my building for the day and could use my phone as normal!

One more thing worth mentioning about this app at the beginning, is that if you want to leave the app and stop the building after it has started, you physically have to choose “yes” when asked the question “do you want to demolish your building and leave the app”, and then you will have a demolished building in your town forever!! …unless you use your coins to delete it, like I’ve done once, hahah. If you try to leave the app without demolishing your building, it will go back to the app in a fraction of a second, and the time seems to get shorter and shorter every time, as I tried to do it once, to get into my audiobook app after I’d put my town to sleep, which I was eventually able to do, but I had to do it in very slow steps and it took me about 7 times to get what I wanted as SleepTown kept reopening faster and faster each time I exited it (I achieved my sleep goal AND was able to listen to my audio book, but it’s not how this app is supposed to work). This app also does not have a whitelist function like Forest does, but if you want to put on music or an audiobook on a timer before you start the construction of your building, I’ve never had any issues with that at all.

You can see your weekly town by clicking on the button “town” in the menu, and scroll through your weeks to see what you built and when. The weekly towns will look like the pictures below, which are two consecutive weeks in my town from this month. You see the times when your phone was asleep in the diagram below it, and you can click on each individual night to see what building was constructed that night.

When you click on “the big town”, you can see all the buildings you’ve constructed over time in that town! If you’ve noticed the picture below being slightly different from the first picture of this blog post, it’s because the buildings move around every night, so your town is constantly changing.

Let’s talk about what we see on the right hand side of this picture. The top box, that says 589, that’s how many coins I get for completing my sleep goal every night. Each building collects revenue, from 1 to 20, of the buildings I’ve constructed, and all together my buildings add up to 589 coins per night. And the +85%? That’s a bonus for keeping up my streak for the past 85 days. So I get an additional 85% of the 589 coins for the next night! And of course, these numbers change every night as you complete another night and add another building with a new value (compare to the top image of this post where I had 549 coins per night and a 76 day streak). The box below it that says 114, that’s just the number of buildings I have in my town, so I’ve achieved my sleep goals for a total of 114 nights since I started using the app, but only the past 85 have been consecutive, meaning I either did not start construction of a building before 1am, or I demolished a building after I’d started it, 86 days ago. At the bottom you can see my current coin count, which is 46,985. We’ll get back to how we can spend the coins in a little bit.

Every 7 days you successfully achieve your sleep goal and build a building, you get a ticket (this is not dependent on a streak, so even if you break the streak every couple of nights you’ll still get this when you’ve built 7 buildings, it doesn’t have to 7 days in a row). When you redeem the ticket, you get a higher chance of getting a rare building the following night. I use mine as soon as I get them, as there are no bonuses to saving them up (other than, I guess, if you want to spend a week trying to build rarer houses in one go, but even then, the ticket doesn’t guarantee a rare building, it just increases your chances of getting one).

Like with Forest, there are achievements in this game; the screenshot below shows off a few. Some of them, like the bus stop, cake shop, and water park, are ones you just have to be patient and wait for, as there is no way to actively make these appear. Then you have the streak ones, which are 7, 30, and 100 days; for those you just have to actively achieve your bedtime and wake-up goals, and not fail or miss out on days. And obviously, the more you use the app, the more buildings you will get and the more coins you will get, which are the achievements at the bottom, the last of which I am currently working towards reaching, while simultaneously working on reaching 100 days in a row of successful building – just 15 more days to go, woooh!

Speaking of streaks – it is possible to give yourself 1 or 2 nights off per week, where you can fail to meet your goals, but not lose your streak! I’ve set mine to Friday and Saturday, meaning Friday evening I don’t have to start constructing a building before 1am, and same Saturday night, and it doesn’t affect my streak. It’s pretty nice for if you’re going out or something and you don’t want to have to put your phone to sleep when you might need to use it later! You can change these days later, but that again will reset your streak to 0.

I mentioned earlier about getting back to how you can spend the money your town earns every night, and that time is now: you can spend your hard earned coins on choosing your next building! However, there is a catch: you can only choose the buildings which already exist in your town. So when you keep building random buildings, the new ones will get added to your buildex, eventually, which you can see in the app, and it looks like the pictures below. The coloured buildings are the ones I have in my town, and the grey shadows are buildings which I don’t yet have.

On any given night, I can choose whether I want my phone to construct a random building, or if I want to redeem a ticket (which as I said earlier I always do as soon as I get them), or if I want to pick a building to be built, so that it’s not a surprise when I wake up to see what has been constructed. By clicking the little pointy finger in the picture below, I am taken to a screen where I can scroll through the options for buildings I can choose, and see how much they cost. The more revenue a building will get me once successfully constructed, the more coins it costs me to choose that building to construct. So you can use it as a way to continue to earn more money per night, but personally I’ve only tried it a couple of times to see how it works. I prefer to use the random option, as one of the things that makes this app so addictive is the fact that I want to get all the buildings into the buildex! And that won’t happen unless I continue to construct random buildings. Even though, sometimes, it feels like there are buildings I’m just never supposed to get! But hopefully, we’ll get there in the end… hopefully by the end of this year! To set a goal that should be achievable, even though I have no control over it…

There is one more feature to this app that I’ve not yet talked about, which was added only towards the end of last year: The Circle. The Circle works in the way that you gather friends who have the app (they will need to have paid for premium, I believe, which is about £2 or something like that), and then you sort of challenge each other to achieve your sleep goals! When you succeed, you contribute with “energy” which helps construct Wonders of the World. The ongoing progress of constructing a Wonder looks something like this (it’s different for each one) – which is my 2nd wonder, as I don’t have any progress pictures for my first one:

As time goes on, and you continue to achieve your sleep goals, you will get closer and closer to the finished Wonder of the World. The more people are in the circle, the faster the Wonder will build, but it is possible to get there with fewer people too. As you can see, I am in a circle with just one other person, and it took us a few weeks to construct the first wonder, as each successful night only gave us 100 energy each, and we needed 10,000, and we didn’t both complete our sleep goals every night, so it took us a while. On this second one, however, we’re getting 250 energy per successful night, so it’s going a lot quicker. Plus, leftover energy from the previous Wonder transfers to the next one! Which is why, even though we both have achieved our sleep goals every night since starting this Wonder, one person has contributed with 100 more energy than the other.

Little by little, it all comes together and voila! Our first Wonder of the World was the Taj Mahal! I’m excited to see what the next one will be – this one took us over 50 nights to build, but the next one should only take 20, and we’re 100 energy away from being halfway there!

screenshot_20190119-091858-1.jpg

This will probably be the last app review / tutorial I write for a while. I mostly use my phone for social media, and these are the two apps that I have found for time management  that I really enjoy, because they don’t block stuff off your phone / create a blacklist, but you’re actually rewarded in the form of a house or a tree, which to me is the reason I want to keep using the apps. You can read my previous entries about Forest by clicking the links below:

2018 in trees
A Very Satisfying Forest

Thank you for reading! Let’s talk in the comments – let me know if you find your phone distracting, if you’ve used any apps or programs to keep you from using your phone or specific websites or apps, and how you found them!

xoxo

Julie

 

7 Days of Extra Spice

I have loved makeup for as long as I can remember. Once, when I was very young, I found a red lipstick belonging to my mum, and decided to colour with in on the wall and the door of the wardrobe. I’m pretty sure I got yelled at for doing so… but that’s my earliest memory of makeup. When I was in primary school, my mother decorated a shoe box with purple wrapping paper for me, so I could store all my playtime makeup in it – I had several of those kids’ makeup sets, and my mum gave me some of her old stuff from the late 80s/early 90s to play with as well, and also samples she got that she didn’t like. I still had makeup in this box into my early teens when I started wearing makeup to school. At first, a friend would let me borrow her eyeliner and mascara, and I’d hurry to take it off at home before my parents could see me. I was a few months into my 13th year of life when my mum took me to buy my own makeup for the first time – I’d received a black pencil eyeliner from a friend for Christmas, and mum took me to an H&M in the city when I had a dentist appointment and I got my first mascara (not counting the old dried out one in the set of stuff my mum gave me to play with). I had plenty of lip glosses that had come in all those different magazines, and that’s basically what I wore. I gradually got some more things, and started to spend some of my pocket money on makeup as well, throughout my teen years.

I’m not a teenager anymore. I’m 26. I’ve gone through all of school (13 years), a year of photo school, and 6 years of university studies. But I’ve continued to love makeup throughout these different stages of my life. I’ve always watched tutorials on youtube, and followed people like Tati Westbrook (glamlifeguru) and Marlena Stell (Make Up Geek). The threshold for being a makeup youtuber has changed a lot over the year, there are a lot of makeup enthusiasts and lovers on the platform now, some really talented, in addition to people who have gone to school to become makeup artists. And in the world we live in today, where Influencer is a profession, a lot of these people have released their own products, either through starting their own companies, or working with makeup brands. One of these people, is Sophie from Sophdoesnails, who has collaborated with Revolution (Makeup Revolution), and has released two eye shadow palettes, a highlighter palette, and three lipsticks with them. I have everything except the highlighter palette (simply because I can’t imagine needing all 8 different shades in there, and because I am in love with different products at the moment), and my most recent acquisition was her 2nd palette, the Extra Spice palette, which looks like this:

Tati from Glamlifeguru said in a video not long ago, that in addition to doing first impression videos of products, she also enjoys playing around with them before filming, and really  “getting to know a palette”. I think this is a really good idea, to explore the potential of the palette you’ve just bought, and not just do one or two different looks using the same shades over and over. Of course, there are some shades that will be used more than others, for example for me, a light brown transition shade is in almost all my looks, whereas a black shadow is something I hardly ever use. However, I wanted to put this palette to the test and really see what it can do, because it has a lot of potential. So here is what I did:

I created 7 different eye shadow looks, over 7 different days, and throughout this week I’ve dipped into every. single. shade. in the Soph x Revolution Extra Spice eye shadow palette.

Of course, these are not the only looks you can do, and there are almost infinite amounts of ways you can combine these shadows to create looks, depending on how many different shades you use in one look and what sort of colours you put together. But these are 7 looks that I either came up with on my own or took inspiration from other people for. Some are very “me”, others are quite far out of my comfort zone. I’ve written a little bit about each look, which shadows I used and where, and I hope you enjoy this post!

Also: I decided to include pictures both with and without glasses, as I wear glasses on a daily basis, but I CAN also wear contacts if I want to. I have myopia (I am near-sighted), which means that my eyes through the glasses look smaller than they actually are, which again means that for makeup to really show up I need to make it more dramatic without glasses for it to look the way I want when I wear glasses, so I just thought I’d show you the comparison of these shadows with and without glasses on!

Also also: None of these pictures are edited in any way. I took them using the selfie camera on my OnePlus 6, uploaded them to a cloud server, and added them to this entry from that server, and that’s all. I tried to use as much natural light as possible, standing by the window when doing my makeup and also using the window light when taking the pictures.

The first thing I did with this palette, naturally, was swatch it. Using my fingers and my arm, just rubbing the shadow on in a back and forth motion, this is what the shadows look like:

Picture 1, from the top: Dreams, Cookie Dough, Cheesecake, Infinity, Running Late, Everyday

Picture 2, from the top: Lakes, Enchanted, Romance, Twenty One, Sweet n Sour, Vitamin C

Picture 3, from the top: Reputation, Aurora, LA sun, Mulled Wine, Chocolate Orange, Brownies.

If you want to see the video Sophie made talking about the palette, shade names, and her own swatches, you can click this link here!

Two things I want to say about these shades: They are pigmented, and they are buildable! These swatches are of dry colours on dry skin, so if you think they don’t show up well, such as Everyday and Dreams, remember how you would put them on your eye: probably on top of primer, or concealer, wet or powdered, and maybe even using a brush sprayed with some setting spray, and not just straight onto skin that has nothing on it already.

My most memorable moment from these swatches was after the black shade, the last one I swatched. It went on my arm SO black, and my finger was still completely black too, it looked like when I’d been drawing with charcoal in art class in school! So I was really impressed by that shade, but also quite intimidated, which is why I didn’t use it until my 7th and last look of this experiment.

Day 1: Burgundy Silver

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For my first look, I wanted to use shades that were COMPLETELY different from the shades in Soph’s first palette, which I’ve had since August 2018, and I was immediately drawn to the burgundy purple shades. For this look, I used Mulled Wine in the crease, deepened the colour with Enchanted, cut the crease, used Infinity on the lid, and for my lower lash line I went back to Mulled Wine and Enchanted, and also added a tiny bit of Romance although I don’t think it shows in the pictures, and also Infinity on the lower inner corner. A bit of white eyeliner on my waterline and mascara, and this is the finished look! I also used Soph’s lipstick in the shade Cake for this!

Oh and I actually forgot to take pictures with my glasses on for this look… but I have them for every other look!

Day 2: Subtle Daytime

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Warm tones have been “in” for quite some time now, and Soph is quite into warm toned looks herself, as she has said multiple times on her channel, so these shades were no surprise to this palette. For this more simple, faster, wearable daytime look, which really just adds some colour and dimension to your face, I started off with Running Late all over my eyelid and into my crease. To deepen it a little bit, I then used Sweet n Sour on the outer corner, blending it inwards. I used both shades on my lower lash line as well. Then I added a tiny bit of Everyday to the centre of my eyelid, and the inner part of my lower lash line, as well as on my brow bone. Also wearing Soph’s lipstick in Syrup with this look. And I remembered to take pictures with my glasses on!

Day 3: Dramatic Sunset

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This look is a little more out of my comfort zone than the previous two, and I think the main reason for that is that sunset looks have been SO popular lately and it’s very easy to  get intimidated by the immensely beautiful looks created by both professionals and amateur makeup artists out there. For this look I started out with Vitamin C in the crease, and I was a bit disappointed at first, but as I kept blending and building I did get the colour to be what I wanted it to be. I alternated between adding Vitamin C and Running Late over and over, and then deepened with Sweet n Sour, and then Twenty One on the centre and outer part of my mobile lid. Used all the same colours on my lower lash line as well, and also added some LA Sun to my inner corner instead of a highlighter shade, as I thought it went well with this look. For this look, I think you can really see how much difference the glasses make for my look, the shadows are a lot more intense and in-your-face without my glasses on. Lipstick is Soph’s in the shade Fudge.

Day 4: Smokey Brown

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On the 4th day, I actually decided to pick my lipstick first and match my eye shadow to it, instead of the other way around. I was going out for a meal in the evening, and I wanted to wear MAC Ruby Woo which is a retro matte formula that I know stays put through food and drinks. A more smokey brown look would go well with this lip colour, I thought, and therefore my choices fell on Cookie dough for my crease, Cheesecake to deepen it, a tiny bit of Brownies just on the outer corner and along my lower lash line (smoked out with the other colours), and then I also added a bit of Dreams to the inner part of my eyelid for some shimmer to this otherwise very matte look. This was much more within my comfort zone, and more like the eye looks I would do when working in the reception at a museum when I lived in Trondheim!

Day 5: Lakes and Aurora

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Staying more within my comfort zone still, I did another smokey look for day 5, but this time using green tones. I have done similar looks using other palettes before, including Soph’s original palette, and Jordan Lipscombe’s Trooper palette, but I wanted to see what these shadows could do. I believe I used Cookie Dough in my crease again first, before using a lot of Lakes across my crease and also on the outer and inner corners of my eye. I didn’t want to do a cut crease, but I used Aurora wet on the centre of my eyelid for this look; not cutting the crease made the colours blend into each other more, and the Aurora shade doesn’t stand out as much as it would have if I’d cut the crease, which I could have done, but I don’t know, I just didn’t feel like it on this day I guess. The highlighter around my inner corner was whatever I used on my face that day (so, not an eye shadow from this palette) and I used the Fudge lipstick again for this look.

Day 6: Pop the Blue

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I don’t know about you guys, but I feel like all of these looks have made my eyes pop and look extra blue. Or maybe it’s the lighting? Hard to say. However, according to the colour wheel, orange is the opposite of blue. When I was a teenager, I read in a magazine that most people wouldn’t put orange eye shadow on their eyes however, and it recommended brown tones. In this look, I’ve used a little bit of everything that’s supposed to make blue eyes pop: orange, yellow, and brown shades. I started with Chocolate Orange  creating the outer V, and into the crease, and used Sweet n Sour to soften it up.Then I used three different shades on my lid, starting from the outer corner with Brownies, then Vitamin C on the inner corner, and Running late to kind of blend them together without making the yellow muddy in the middle. On the inner corner of my bottom lash line I added some LA sun for some shimmer as well. I was trying to kind of recreate a look I saw once on youtube for this, but I don’t remember who made the look or if I recreated it correctly, as I wasn’t actively following the tutorial for this look, I just went off memory. And for my lips, yes, you guessed it: Soph’s lipstick in Fudge again today!

Day 7: Silver and Black for Prom

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By day 7, there was only one shade left to use, and it was the one that scared me the most: Reputation, the deep charcoal black shadow that emo me would have loved back when I couldn’t find a black shade that was black enough. For this look, I tried to recreate a look Soph did herself (video here), using browns, black, and silver to create a dramatic look that would look good with any dress colour for prom, for example. I used Cookie Dough and Brownies in the crease first, before going in with Reputation to create that black to brown transition. I cut my crease for this one, and used Infinity on top of the wet concealer across my lid, and went back with Reputation and Brownies again to smooth out the edges. Mine and Soph’s looks are different, her cut crease is a lot neater than mine, and I think there is less of the brown and black visible above after she does the cut crease, and more on the outer corner, but she does makeup for a living and I just wanted to try this look which is something I normally wouldn’t do at all, at least not anymore. A few years ago, yes. I also used a black kohl liner in my waterline, which is something I used to do a few years ago when I did a lot of silver/grey/black eye makeup, as well as when I first started out with makeup which was 10+ years ago! #2009v2019 right? Actually, that was more like 2006-2008, now that I think about it… Anyway! On my lips I wore a L’Oreal matte lipstick in the shade Mon Jules with this look.

So there we have it! 7 Days of wearing the Extra Spice palette from Soph x Revolution! I did a final count, to make sure I definitely had used all the shades, and this is how it looked:

Everyday: used in 1 look
Running Late: used in 3 looks
Infinity: used in 2 looks
Cheesecake: used in 1 look
Cookie Dough: used in 3 looks
Dreams: used in 1 look
Vitamin C: used in 2 looks
Sweet n Sour: used in 3 looks
Twenty One: used in 1 look
Romance: used in 1 look (barely, but it was used!)
Enchanted: used in 1 look
Lakes: used in 1 look
Brownies: used in 3 looks
Chocolate Orange: used in 1 look
Mulled Wine: used in 1 look
LA Sun: used in 2 looks
Aurora: used in 1 look
Reputation: used in 1 look

Final thoughts: I love this palette! I will definitely keep using this palette to do similar looks and different looks, and I want to mix this palette with Soph’s original palette as well. And also, these shadows stay put! I have a MAC duo shadow which I wore not long ago, just the two shades, and I’d done the rest of my makeup as usual, and in less than 5 hours, the shadows had creased and my eyelids were streaky with the colour. It was a horrible surprise to see it in the mirror on my way out the door. The black and silver look, however, which I did this weekend, was done around noon, and I wore it until bedtime, which was after midnight, and I didn’t see any creases on my eyelids at all when I went to take my makeup off for the night! If you want good drug store eye shadows, I definitely recommend both of Soph’s palettes with Revolution! I haven’t tried any other palettes from Revolution, but I can with certainty say that these to palettes are DEFINITELY WORTH IT (they’re only £10. How are they only £10?! I don’t even mind that Extra Spice has “only” 18 shadows and each shadow is 0.8g while her other palette has 1.1g per shadow and 24 of them – they’re just that good!)!

Question for you: You’ve made it to the end of this post! So can I assume you enjoyed this type of a blog post that’s more of a project I worked on over time? If you enjoyed this, would you like to see more posts like this, where I challenge myself to create multiple different looks using the same palette? I have Soph’s original palette, I have all 3 of Jordan Lipscombe’s palettes with Beauty Bay (swatches and thoughts in this entry here), I have two of Urban Decay’s Naked palettes (3 and Heat)… Let me know down below if you have any requests!

xoxo

Julie

2018 in trees

2018 was the year I really got into using the app Forest: Stay Focused. You can read about it on their website here, but I’m also going to tell you what this app is about and how I have been using it over the past year.

The whole point of the app, as evident from the name, is to keep you off your phone so you can do your work, and rewarding you with trees and money to buy more trees, so you can grow a forest. It’s good for anyone who needs to do anything in life really, but I particularly found it good as a student who needed to stay off my phone, away from facebook and twitter and instagram, and focus on my course work. It’s also good for people working who want or need to stay off their phones for the same reason, or people struggling with phone addictions. I’ve used it to stay off my phone during movies, during lectures, and also to time things like laundry and other chores around the house. I’ll get back to this later, with pictures, so I can show you.

Firstly, how Forest works, is you set a timer, anywhere between 10 minutes and 2 hours, and then you don’t touch your phone in that time, and it grows a tree or a bush for you. If you exit the app or try to use your phone to go on other apps, your bush or tree dies. Bushes grow when you set the time to 10, 15, or 20 minutes, while trees grow when you set the time to anything longer than that. Up to 55 minutes, you grow one tree. At 1 hour, you grow two trees. At 90 minutes, you grow three trees, and at the longest time setting of 2 hours, you grow four trees, each one a little more advanced and fancy looking than the previous one.

When you start out, you have one tree and one bush available. As you continue to grow trees, you get coins that you can use in the shop and buy different types of bushes and trees. The first one you buy costs 500 coins, the next 600, then 700, 800, 900, and 1000, but once you reach that, every other tree or bush remains 1000 coins as well. Use the “watch ad to double coins” feature to earn coins faster. For 2 hours, you get 43 coins, so 86 if you watch an ad and double it. If you buy the premium version, you can unlock achievements that give you more coins, you can turn off the ad feature, or you can choose to keep it on to keep earning more coins. You can also donate your coins, meaning you use them to plant a real tree in the world, it costs 2500 coins. Personally I have not done this, but I’m planning to do so as I’ve now saved up a lot of coins and there are no more trees, bushes, or sounds for me to buy in the shop at this moment. Oh yes, you can also choose to have sounds, such as forest rain, cafe noises, thunder storm, times square, and beach waves, if you like these kinds of sound in the background when working.

 

The picture above shows the whole forest I grew in 2018, with a graph. 3858 living trees and bushes, 60 that I’ve had to kill because I needed my phone for some reason. 1929 hours, that’s about 80.3 days, so that’s something like 2.5 months of time that I’ve spent growing my forest over the course of one year!

So, I didn’t really get into using the app in January, at all. I had used it before, for a few days one month in 2017, because someone told me about it, but as you can see, I kind of forgot the app existed.

In February, I started using the app in the last half of the month. This was a time period where I went to visit my boyfriend in England, and I used the trees when we were watching things together to stay off my phone, and the sunflower which was probably the first bush I spent money on, was from me reading a book that was kind of boring and slow to read, so I did 20 minutes at a time and tried to get through as much as possible. But this was my beginning!

In March, things started to pick up. At the beginning, I was just using random trees and planting whatever I felt like, but later on in the month I realised I could use different trees for different things, and I started colour coding, or should I say tree coding, my subjects. I gave my different subjects a tree each, so 4 trees for 4 classes, and I started growing trees during lectures to stay off my phone, and used the same codes for when I was studying the different subjects outside of class as well.

I changed up my codes once, I believe, and I added more trees as well. I had the four trees for my classes, but I also had a tree for free time/me time, and I kept buying bushes and using them for shorter things, like when I needed a timer for 10 minutes or having a shower, those kinds of things.

I’m not entirely sure why I planted less trees in May than I did in April, to be honest. It doesn’t make sense, because I had exams for the majority of the month – home exams and school exams. You can see that one of the classes was majorly prioritised, and I think that was because I had a home exam stretching 2.5 weeks, then one day of break, a school exam, one day break, another school exam, and on that same day, another one week home exam starting as well.

June has less trees because I finished my studies at the university this month. I finished up my exams in the beginning of the year, and the green trees are me having free time and me time, and I also started growing trees when I went to bed. This was when I started to get annoyed that you could only grow them for 2 hours max, because I’d usually sleep 7-8, and would have liked to have grown trees the whole night. How hard would it be to extend the focus time from 2 hours to 6 hours right? And you’d get 12 trees out of it? Would also be good for anyone not allowed their phone at work, or during an exam… My school exams were 4 hours long, but I have had 6 hour ones in the past, and I did grow trees during the exams this spring, but as with the sleeping trees, I could only plant that one 2-hour tree, which was a bit annoying. It’s safe to say I was getting a bit addicted to growing trees by this point, I’d grow one for anything I could think of.

By June, the cherry trees changed function for me. While they’d previously been for one of my classes, I changed it for work during my summer job. We weren’t allowed phones, had to leave them in our lockers, and because we had specific break times I’d calculate the time so I could use my phone on my lunch break, so I grew trees before and after.

Not much changed for me during the summer, I kept using Forest in the same way throughout July and August as well.

In August, my summer job finished and on the 23rd I moved, which is why I have less trees grown towards the end of the month, only really the night time trees, maybe a few for some movies.

In September, I went ahead and bought all the remaining trees and bushes. A few new ones were released throughout the autumn months as well. I even bought AND USED one I never thought I would – the cotton candy tree. That was for my birthday. Other than that, I grew lemon trees during the day, and the blue night sky and space ship trees at night, just to give my forest some variation. As you can see from the time, I started using the app more, and that’s not because I was using my phone less. By this time, I was no longer a student, and no longer working my summer job, I had no need to stay off my phone to focus, so I started taking advantage of the whitelisting feature the app offers. Basically, you can select apps you want to be able to use without killing your tree, and I’ve selected some, like google, twitter, and instagram, while kept others blacklisted, like facebook, which annoys me to pieces. I had no need to grow trees at this point, but it almost turned into a game of trying to see how many trees I can grow in a day, how big can I grow my forest. It’s satisfying, and it’s addictive.

For October, I changed the colours again. Now I wanted to go for a more autumnal theme. I had red and yellow trees, and I wanted to use both, and since November is also a mostly autumnal month, I went with yellow for October, and red for November, as you can see below, and also switched my night time tree to a new one they brought out, with a moon and a sleeping bunny. Oh and the ghost bush came out for halloween, I barely remembered it, so I only have a few that I grew really late on the 31st, which is why they show up in both months. Previously, when you started growing a tree before midnight, it would only appear in that day’s forest, even if it was past midnight when it finished. This was changed in the autumn, and now, if a 2 hour tree is started even just 5 minutes before midnight, all four trees show up on both days.

For December, Forest brought out a Christmas theme. Basically, this was something you could turn on in your settings, and you’d get a white ground, snow across the screen, and all the trees and bushes were decorated for the holidays. From the graph of the first picture, you can see that December was my best month for growing trees. This was largely because I wanted to make sure I grew every single type of tree and bush during the month, which you can see from the picture. For the first half of the month I only grew the different pine and spruce trees, because they are very Christmassy, but then I started to grow other trees on travel days and the days I spent with my family over the holidays. On one day, I grew only bushes, all the bushes, three times each. Candy trees for Christmas and New Year’s Eve…. and on some days I tried to stick to themes or shapes, so for example “only the round looking trees” or “only the oddly shaped ones” or “only the colourful ones” or “only green ones”. I made it through all of the trees and bushes. And the theme stayed on, so even though the month is over, when I go back to December on my phone those trees are still in Christmas mode.

So that was my year in growing trees in 2018! I hope you enjoyed this entry, I might blog more about this app in the future, or similar apps. I definitely recommend trying it, it’s very easy to use and highly addictive – it sounds contradictory, but being addicted to an app that keeps you off your phone can’t be a bad thing surely?

xoxo

Julie

Similar posts: A Very Satisfying Forest

Jordan x Beauty Bay – First impressions, thoughts, and swatches

{ This blog post is in no way sponsored, I purchased these items with my own money, and I am writing about them purely because I want to. Links are for your convenience if you want to check out the things I write about, and I do not receive anything from you clicking on links in this blog post }

Almost two weeks ago, beauty Youtuber Jordan Lipscombe announced announced that she has collaborated with Beauty Bay to release 3 makeup pallets consisting of 6 eyes hadows and 2 highlighters each (watch her announcement video here). The pallets were made available for purchase two days ago, on the 27th of September, and when I went on Beauty Bay’s website to look at the price, my initial thought was “£20 for ONE?!”. It seemed really pricey to me, as I bought a makeup pallet by another Youtuber with 24 eye shadows for £10 just over a month ago. Beauty Bay also has a deal on where you get all 3 for £50 so it saves you £10 (here’s the link to buy the pallets). So you get 18 eye shadows and 6 highlighters for £50, which I compared to my Naked Heat that I also bought in England: 12 eye shadows for £39.50. Then, the price didn’t seem so bad, and I did have birthday money in my pocket, burning to be spent…

I put off buying them for a day, but yesterday afternoon I started to really want to purchase the pallets again as I think the colours are gorgeous and different shades of highlighters is something I’ve been wanting to get for a while, but not purchased because I don’t want blue and purple and pink and whatnot, which is what I’ve found in a lot of highlighter pallets I’ve seen around.

Anyway, I did some research yesterday afternoon, and by research I mean I checked if I had to pay for shipping, how long I’d have to wait to receive the pallets, as well as go on Youtube and watch videos about the pallets. Jordan has made a video where she demonstrates looks using the three different pallets (check it out here), and this was the first video I watched. I then went on to a suggested video by Sophdoesnails (here), another Youtuber I follow and whose colouring is a lot closer to mine, to see how she used the pallets. As Beauty Bay had free next day delivery if ordered before 11PM and it was a Friday night, I went on to order the pallets yesterday evening so they’d be delivered today, which is Saturday, so I could play around with them this weekend and not have to wait until Monday as there’s “no post on Sundays”! Fortunately they arrived early today (around noon) so I’ve been able to test all the colours and that is why I’m writing this blog post – to share my first impressions, thoughts, and of course swatches for those of you who are interested in that sort of thing!

First of all, I want to say Beauty Bay does a good job packing items before shipping them – the ziplock bag in the picture above was inside two bubble wrap pouches, and came in a big cardboard box with protecting paper both under and above it to make sure the pallets did not get damaged. I’m impressed!

The pallets, which are named Trooper, Onyx, and Fuego, are each inside a cardboard sleeve with the name of the pallet on it. The Youtube videos I watched made it look really easy to slide the pallets out – I had to work a little, but we got there eventually, and the pallets look like this:

The pallets themselves are somewhat plain, just matte black paper/cardboard with the B logo on the front, and a sticker on the back with info about the product and name. BUT – each pallet comes with a sheet of stickers so you can decorate the outside as you want! We’ll get to that in a minute!

The pallets open just by lifting the lid, there is no closing mechanism, other than what feels like a slight magnetic pull. For me, this is not an issue as long as I have the pallets at home, but it might be an issue if I take them travelling. I’d probably put them back into the sleeve if I take them with me anywhere, just to be sure the makeup doesn’t get damaged.

And here we have them! From left to right: Onyx, Fuego, and Trooper! Onyx is a smoky eye type of pallet, with three browns, a nude, a black, and a yellow eye shadow, all matte. The highlighters in this one are pink toned, one a bit lighter and one a bit darker.

Fuego is a warm toned pallet with four matte colours, two browns and two reds, as well as a copper and a pink which are shimmery. The highlighters in Fuego are gold toned, and might be too dark for us very pale people, but it’s possible to use them on the eyes as well!

Trooper is a pallet that looks camouflage uniform inspired (coming from a girl whose father is in the air force). It has an ochre yellow, a brown, a green and a black matte eye shadow (this black seems lighter than the one in Onyx, like it’s mixed with a little bit of green almost), and a gold and green shimmery eye shadow. This pallet has the two lightest highlighter shades, one champagne-y and one almost white. These might be difficult to use for darker skinned people, but mixing Quartz and Gilded for example might work to create a darker highlighter colour.

I think I could definitely find ways to use all the eye shadows and highlighters in all of these pallets. I love how varied they are! The one I was most excited to try was Trooper, as I don’t actually have green eye shadows anymore, since cleaning out a lot of old makeup when moving the last couple of times. Onyx was second on my wish list, because I have many different brown toned eye shadows, but the yellow and black in combination with the pink highlighters made me want this one too. Fuego was at the bottom of the list of these three pallets as far as which order I would purchase them in if I were to buy them individually, simply because I bought Urban Decay Naked Heat only earlier this year, which is also a warm toned pallet. However, if I were to buy two and not the third, I’d only have to spend £10 more to get all three, plus I’d get new highlighters, and the formula might be completely different, and in the end that’s what persuaded me to buy all three pallets in one go. Furthermore, earlier this morning I saw that someone had asked Jordan how long the pallets would be available for, and she said as long as stock lasts, which made me glad I’d bought them all when I did, just in case they’d be sold out if I’d waited and wanted to get them at a later point in time!

But without further ado, let’s get to the swatches, which I’m sure is much more interesting than me rambling about my thought process when deciding to buy the pallets!

I decided to do the swatches by colour of the highlighters, from light to dark, starting with Trooper. I did the swatches with my fingers, not brushes, and I went back and forth a few times on each swatch. Going from my tattoo towards my elbow, the shades are: Quartz, Daze, Ambush, Olive, Coco, Ochre, Gilded, Envious. It was hard to get an angle that showed off both the shimmer in the highlighters and the shimmery eye shadows, but the shimmer is definitely there in the eye shadows as well!

I love both of the highlighters in this pallet, and I think I could use them pretty much all year. And I can’t wait to play with the green eye shadows!

The order of the swatches from tattoo to elbow in the Onyx pallet is: Rosado, Sparkling Rosé, Stung, Smoke, Marron, Henna, Amber, and Fawn. Fawn was barely visible on my pale skin on my arm, but I’m betting it’ll be different when used on my eyelid with a brush!

Rosado might be a little too dark for me, especially now that winter is coming, but I expect I could use Sparkling Rosé quite a lot! Brown eye shadows are very versatile and can be used for almost any occasion, so I think I could use this pallet a lot, and I look forward to trying the pop of yellow like Jordan did in her video!

Lastly, the Fuego pallet from tattoo to elbow: Heart of Gold, Gold Dust, Mocha, Pinot, Ember, Tan, Molten, and Mercy. I managed to get the shimmer in the shadows in this picture, but it meant the names of the shades in the pallet being blurry – hopefully you can still make out which name is on which colour.

The highlighters in this pallet are too dark for me, I think, I might be able to get away with Gold Dust in summer time if I manage to get a bit of a tan, but Heart of Gold will probably have to be used as an eye shadow for me!

Ember and Mercy are probably the two shades in this pallet that I don’t have from before. Comparing to Naked Heat, Molten looks a lot like Dirty Talk, Pinot is similar to En Fuego, Tan is similar to ow Blow, and Mocha is similar to brown shades in other pallets I have. However, I like the square packaging a lot and the mirror a lot more than the rectangular ones in the Naked pallets. If I were to travel and bring a warm toned pallet, the chances are high I’d grab this one!

Overall, I like the formulas of the eye shadows and highlighters, they glide on smoothly, they were not chalky or powdery, there was a tiny bit of fallout but not much as I was doing these swatches. I look forward to trying them on my face next!

If you made it through the entire blog post, I applaud you, as this was a long one! Thank you so much for reading my first impressions and thoughts about these three brand new makeup pallets! If you have tried any of them, or have any comments or want to talk about them, please leave a comment below!

xoxo

Julie