Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Sunday 25 November 2012

Yves Saint Laurent | Le Teint Touche Eclat Foundation

YSL - Le Teint Touche Eclat Foundation in 'B40' - £28

I tried so hard not to fall in love with this product. I did, honestly. When i first heard of the YSL's Touche Eclat foundation I knew I had to try it. And here I am a week or two later with a rather luxurious bottle sat on my dressing room shelf and £25 lighter (i got mine when there was a price match offer on at John Lewis). I didn't just jump straight in - I went to get myself matched for a sample to try before I committed myself to buying into a high-end product that I might not have even liked. Foundation is just one of those things that I have such a love/hate relationship with - it takes a lot for me to find one that ticks all the boxes, there's always something I don't like, and up until now I don't think I've ever really found my perfect match. But I can't think of a single thing I don't like about this foundation. A very strong statement I'm sure you'll all agree but I found myself getting towards the end of my sample bottle and feeling rather uneasy about having to live without it...

Firstly, I would say it's a light to medium coverage, but it is one that is very buildable and blendable.  Claiming to be a 'soft focused gel' - it blurs any imperfections you have and smooths away any problem areas with ease. The consistency is lovely and luxurious - it's very creamy and smooth, and I can easily cover my whole face with just one pump. It also smells lovely - one thing that instantly puts me off foundations is that false, plasticy smell that a lot of them have (anything that smells like this does not go on my face) - if you ever tried Rimmel's 'Wake Me Up' foundation then I'd liken it to the scent of that. It smells very fresh and light, it lets your skin breathe and I haven't had any breakouts whatsoever since using this foundation. Usually I know within a week if something doesn't agree with my sensitive skin, but Touche Eclat has been perfectly fine. My skin looks so unbelievably smooth when I apply this - it even manages to cover any dark circles. This foundation is all about attracting light to your face and making you appear more 'radiant' - it does this exceptionally well, and doesn't make you look shiny or greasy in the slightest. It's just the perfect finish for me and it feels as if you're wearing nothing at all.

With light-medium coverage foundations I often find you compromise on the wear time. I'm not going to say it beats a heavier coverage foundation, but it lasts me through an 8 hour shift or a 9-5 at uni with ease, with only the need to top up under my eyes and maybe slightly around my chin at a push. I always use a primer and powder with my foundations anyway, but the coverage pretty much stays the same all day. Of course, the bottle is amazing, and as always with YSL the packaging ticks all the boxes for a high-end brand. The bottle is weighty, it's good quality and it looks very luxurious - i'm a massive fan of the gold accents to all their products. There is not a single thing I could fault and I could sit here and rave all day about this foundation to you all... but fear not, I shall end this rather lengthy review here. If you're a heavy, matte coverage girl, this won't be for you - but if like me, you prefer something lighter but buildable, then I really recommend it.

Have you tried YSL's Touche Eclat foundation? Did you like it as much as me?

Fantasy Shopper | Shopping Inspiration

As a bit of a self-confessed shopaholic, I'm constantly looking online and taking inspiration for new outfits and eyeing up key pieces for the season. I regularly online shop, and spend many an evening trawling the shops for the right thing to buy - sometimes I have something specific in mind and it can take me ages to find the right item. So, I thought i'd let you all know of this wonderous little tool that might just become an asset to your online shopping habits. Fantasy Shopper is a fashion and style website which allows you to build up a 'wardrobe' of your most wanted items and pieces on your wishlist. If you're after something specific you can type a word into the search bar and it will bring up hundreds of pieces from a large list of shops - this list can be narrowed down further using the drop-down menus on the sidebar which is really handy if you have something you're searching for that you've seen in a particular shop or if you're after a certain colour. You can simply click a little button to add the item to your online wardrobe to save for future inspiration, or click to find out more information and link to that item's website to make a sneaky purchase... This fabulous little online closet can also be sorted into categories - which i find rather satisfying (i like my real wardobe to be organised so i'm not about to let my online one slip, am i? ;)).

What I love about this website, is that it allows you to view items from shops you would never have thought twice about looking in before - I have pieces in my online 'wardrobe/wishlist' that I never would have found before. It just gives you a wider perspective of whats out there, and if you're after a quick online shopping fix, it saves you the time of looking through individual websites.  I must admit, I use this more for inspiration more than the actual shopping side of things at the moment; i just find it more useful for collecting images and gathering ideas for outfits with items that are actually available to buy (as much as I love Pinterest..sometimes i get a little disheartened when I can't find a similar outfit anywhere!). There's so many different things to explore on here - it has been recently launched so I keep finding new things that have been added - you can follow people and add your friends to give you feedback on outfits and give you help if your struggling to find something. All in all I just find it a little bit addictive! There's a really fun side to the website too which allows you to unlock badges and challenge yourself a little bit - it also totals up how much you've 'spent'. Put it this way, if i'd actually bought everything i've added to my online wardrobe I would be a few thousand pounds poorer ;) It puts a little twist on the whole idea of 'online shopping' and if you fancy having a nosey then hop on over, and do let me know if you sign up - I will hop on over and follow you!

Have you tried Fantasy Shopper? Is this something you would use? 

Thursday 22 November 2012

Lilac & Gold Glitter Nails | Barry M

Barry M 'Prickly Pear' | Barry M 'Yellow Topaz Glitter'

I'm a massive fan of pastel nails, but often find that in the Autumn/Winter time they can look a little out of place. Just recently, the cold weather has meant a lot of breakage for my poor little talons, and I sometimes feel like dark colours show up the 'dodgy bits'. So, I figured I would attempt to put a spin on a simple pastel shade, and make it a little more festive. I popped into Boots before work and picked up Barry M's 'Prickly Pear' alongside their gold glitter polish as I thought they looked rather pretty together, and took it upon myself to create a really simple look that's both effective and quick to create. I decided on a glitter gradient effect that looks fabulous when it catches the light and I seriously can't wait to 'christmas' this look up even more and maybe paint some snowflakes on there too as soon as the first of December rolls around!

I have to say, the 'Gelly Hi-Shine' polishes are fabulous and I can't wait to pick up the other shades within the range. I've had this polish on for almost a week now with minimal chipping, and the finish is amazingly glossy even without a topcoat.

What are your favourite winter-pastels at the moment?

Sunday 18 November 2012

Sanctuary Skincare | My Current Favourites

I sometimes tend to put off doing skincare posts, simply because everyone is different and what might work for me, won't work for other people - but i've been using the Sanctuary range now since the beginning of June and it's become a firm favourite of mine.  Their skincare range is actually really impressive and suprisingly affordable, and it's one that I know I will continue to go back to. Here's a quick rundown of the products from the range that i'm using religiously at the moment:

Pore Refining Toner 150ml | £9 - This is without a doubt, my favourite product i've tried from the range. I included it in an August favourites post a while back and have since caved in and bought the big bottle. It's really gentle, yet removes every trace of makeup left on my face after cleansing, and it has a really comforting smell to it that isn't overpowering. It sprays out in a mist and can be applied directly to a cotton pad for direct toning, or it can even be used as a refreshing spray throughout the day over your makeup or just to refresh the skin in general. It helps to balance the Ph of your skin, whilst helping to refine and tighten pores - all big thumbs up for me since I do have large pores around my t-zone. Dare I say it, but my skin has looked a million times better since I began using this, and it doesn't leave my skin feeling dry or tight after use like other toners i've used in the past.

Brightening Facial Radiance Exfoliator 100ml | £10.50 - This exfoliator contains 'ultra fine apricot granules and grape seed' and smells really fresh. This is great for those days when you feel as if your skin is looking a bit dull and uneven in tone. It's gentle enough to use fairly regularly, but not so much so that it doesn't make a difference. My skin is left feeling super soft and revitalised afterwards and appears smoother in tone.

Deep Cleanse Facial - Fresh Faced Purifying Wash 140ml | £9 - This gentle little facewash helps to balance the skin's moisture levels (which is great for me as I have combination skin) and contains witch hazel, chamomile and cucumber to cool and soothe. It has the same fragrance as the toner, and works really well used side by side. It leaves my skin feeling suitably moisturised and clean - all in all it's just a really nice little cleansing face wash that does what it says on the tin (or tube in this case... and a rather wonky one at that... i always manage to pick up the dodgy one out of everything!)

All items can be purchased from Boots, and it's worth keeping your eyes peeled for their 3 for 2! They also offer some of their products in the mini-range so you can try before you buy.

Have you tried Sanctuary skincare?

Thursday 15 November 2012

Chanel Injection | Soleil Tan De Chanel

Chanel | Soleil Tan De Chanel | £30 [link]

I know. I know. I finally cracked. It's taken me well over a year now to get to this stage, but after my beloved Nars Laguna started to show signs of running out (a terrible moment in one's life i'm sure you'll all agree), I decided to just grab the bull by the horns, and treat myself to Chanel's infamous Bronze Universal - Soleil Tan De Chanel. I've wanted this ever since I first heard about it, and never quite been able to justify such a splurge. However, my lovely colleagues at work treated me to some vouchers for my 22nd birthday earlier this year (they are all aware of my love for beauty products) so i decided to spend them on a luxury item that I wouldn't usually buy on a day to day basis. I ended up at the Chanel counter...

The lovely young lady at the counter explained how to use it - either as a bronzing base buffed in with a kabuki brush, or used as a contour with a flat foundation brush. I really can't wait to start using this (although I feel slightly sad about having to ruin the perfect whipped finish on the top - anyone else feel a bit sad when this happens?!) and i'll be doing a follow up post/review once i've had a fair bit of use out of it. In the meantime, i'm sure it will look beautiful sat on my dressing table - there's no way this little beauty is getting shoved in a drawer!


Tuesday 13 November 2012

Sleek | Shangri-La Collection | Truly Mattely Deeply in 'Jazz'

  Sleek | Shangri-La Collection | Truly Mattely Deeply in 'Jazz' | £4.99
 | Bottom photograph - 'Jazz' worn with Barry M lipgloss over the top

When I first heard of Sleek's Shangri-La Collection, I was really intrigued by their Truly Mattely Deeply lip glosses. Personally, I can't see how they can be classed as a 'gloss' - but the idea of a highly pigmented lip product really sparked a bit of excitement in me and I was at Superdrug's counters quicker than you could say 'typical beauty blogger'. I decided on the shade 'Jazz' - a vibrant, bright red shade (there's only 2 shades available, the other being a candyfloss pink) - as much as I love my nudes, I must admit I adore a good red lippie for nighttime wear, and this is just the most amazing shade of statement red. Just my cup of tea.

It does say on the packaging to apply to fully moisturised lips - and believe me you do need a damn good lip balm to apply before and after application as this product is drying. It 'sets' to the lips within seconds and doesn't budge for anything. This is great for longevity - a few seconds after application and it won't smudge or transfer whatsoever - i actually had to use make-up remover to take it off! But it does flake off after a bit of wear. It's ridiculously drying and It didn't feel very 'comfortable' even after application of a balm. I applied a gloss over it to blur any dry bits it shows up and to make the colour stand out even more (as seen above) and I also applied a balm beforehand to 'prep' my lips and give them a bit of moisture. I suppose you have to expect a little bit of dryness when you buy a 'matte' lip product..

What I cannot fault, however, is the pigmentation. Sleek aren't telling fibs on the packaging - 'Jazz' is amazingly pigmented and the colour you see in the tube is the exact colour you get on the lips. It's so eye-catchingly bright - I really cannot wait to use this in summer when I have my tan back as it has slight orange undertones that add a bit of warmth to the skin.

Have you tried the Sleek Truly Mattely Deeply glosses or anything from the PPQ Shangri-La Collection?  

Sunday 11 November 2012

Tigi Bed Head | Dumb Blonde Smoothing Stuff

 Tigi Dumb Blonde | Smoothing Stuff £9.99

I think it's fair to say that I am a marketer's dream. Put something in a shiny pink ball and I will buy it regardless of what's in it, but Tigi's Dumb Blonde Smoothing Stuff has to be the most beautifully packaged product I've ever laid my eyes on.. Amazing packaging aside, I've been in the market for a new smoothing serum - my hair has been quite dry due to the cold weather we've had just recently and it's been looking a little bit sorry for itself. I needed something not only to smooth any 'birds nest-y bits' but also something that would add a bit more shine and general all round 'oomph'. Blonde hair sometimes needs a little bit of help in the shine department, and I wanted a product that wasn't going to weigh my hair down - I'm a big fan of huge glamorous hair, so heavy serums and glosses are a big no-no for me.

This has to be my new go-to smoothing product. It's light, it's shimmery, and it does the job without weighing down the hair. It doesn't leave it feeling sticky or overloaded with product, and it settles down any dry frizzy bits effortlessly. It has more of a gel-like texture to it that's really light and cooling and a little goes a long way. It smells good enough to eat - very strawberries and cream. In fact, if any of you remember Calpol when you were little? Because it smells ridiculously similar to that (I swear i used to imagine up headaches and sniffles just so I could have a spoonful of Calpol..) It also doesn't dull the hair, making it the perfect smoothing serum for my fellow blondies - it contains tiny iridescent shimmers in it, which help to combat any brassiness and it generally just leaves my hair feeling smoother, softer to the touch and more manageable.

Have you tried Tigi's Dumb Blonde Range?

Wednesday 7 November 2012

Maybelline Fit Me Foundation | Review

 Maybelline Fit Me Foundation in '120 Classic Ivory' - £7

When I first heard through the grapevine about Maybelline's Fit Me foundation, I was so excited to try it. It's not often I get excited about drugstore foundations - I struggle so much to find a shade that truely matches my skin and I find looking for a new foundation a bit of a disheartening experience to say the least. This is what I love about this foundation - it's not often you see a drugstore range offer colours to match different undertones in your skin...

Personally, I'm very cool/yellow toned and I often find generic shades either too pink or orange for me. With the Fit Me range, it's easy to pick out a shade which suits these undertones (yellow or pink), and there is a colour guide placed next to the product range to help you choose your perfect match. I've never found picking a shade so easy - it normally takes me ages (and often a bit of trial and error and wasting money on wrong shades) for me to find a colour to suit me. This was not the case this time around. I can honestly say, hands down, this colour is the best match for my skin I have ever found with a drugstore foundation. It blends in instantly and I never thought i'd be able to achieve such a fabulous colour tone match so easily.

The best thing about this foundation for me, and the thing that intrigued me the most, is the fact that it contains no oils or waxes.. 'no nonsense' being the selling point of the Fit Me range. The texture is very gel-like and light - it is quite runny but it doesn't leave a greasy feel to the skin that most foundations tend to give. The consistency is what has made me love this foundation over any other drugstore foundation i've tried - it feels very natural, and for once I feel as if my skin is able to breathe. It also doesn't have a yucky, overpowering scent. I only need one pump of this to cover my whole face, as a little goes a long way. Applied with my stippling brush this really does give a flawless finish - and does not appear like I have caked my entire face in makeup. It blurs all of my imperfections really well, and blends effortlessly. It gives a really smooth finish and doesn't 'sit' on top of the skin.  I must say, those of you who prefer a heavy coverage might not like this foundation too much - i'd say its a light to medium coverage and it does feel very light on the skin.

The only downside i have found, is longevity. You do need to use a primer and a setting powder for it to last the majority of the day (i use Loreal's Smoothing Resurfacing primer and it seems to hold it quite well!) It can tend to slide off the area around my T-zone slightly if I haven't primed my skin properly - and i know this is what has been an issue for some people. But i sometimes top up half way through the day, and because the texture is so light, it doesn't feel as if you are 'layering' up product on your face. This personally doesn't bother me, and with my primer and powder it lasts all day at uni without the need to top up at all. Just be aware of this if you do have oilier skin - it's great that it doesn't contain oils, but it can wear off a bit quicker than heavier foundations. Overall, it's a really good little foundation and the packaging is lovely too. The pump can get a little messy but apart from that I can't really fault it. 

Have you tried the Fit Me range? What did you think?

Tuesday 6 November 2012

October Favourites

 Swatches L-R / 1. Fashionista Blush 'Rose Thrill' / 2. Nars Eyeshadow in 'Mekong' / 3. Urban Decay 'Bootycall' / 4. Urban Decay 'Suspect' / 5. Barry M lipgloss in 'Toffee' / 6. Mac Brow Set in 'Beguile'

Where did October go? I feel like this year has just completely flown by and I just can't keep up - I've gone from suncream and bikinis to pumpkins and fleecy pyjamas in the blink of an eye! Here's a rundown of my most reached for products of the month of October... I'm aware there's quite a few of them!

Tresemme Keratin Smooth Heat Protection Shine Spray | £5.50 - I must admit, i struggle very much to get excited over heat protection sprays. They're just part of my daily routine but I'm a bit of a goody-two-shoes when it comes to using them - I'll never touch my hair with the straighteners unless I've sprayed a decent amount of the stuff onto the lengths. Just recently, my hair has felt really dry and lifeless - I felt awful having to keep using more heat on it only for it to look even worse once I'd finished. This seems to help keep my hair looking smooth and shiny, and I've noticed my style seems to look more polished when I've used it. If you're in the market for a new heat protectant, then give this a whirl.

Fashionista Blush in 'Rose Thrill' | £4 - My current winter blush favourite! I've been wanting a cool toned bright pink for ages now and since I'd never tried Fashionista as a brand, I thought I'd give it a go. Needless to say, I'm in love. It's really pigmented, so you don't need a lot at all, and it brings a bit of extra brightness to wintery skin. It's very buildable, so if you wanted to create a more 'doll like' finish then it would be really easy to achieve with this. The texture is wonderfully soft and velvety - and the matte finish helps to achieve a flawless look that's just perfect for this time of year.

Real Techniques Blush Brush | £9.99 - Real Techniques brushes have filled the gap in the market for really good quality make up brushes at an affordable price. I have quite the collection now but this one has just blown me away. It picks up just the right amount of product and disperses it perfectly, and the bristles are so incredibly soft. Honestly, it's like heaven for your cheeks. I could literally sit here all day and stroke my face on it....  wow. Not strange at all Beth... (and now you're all having strange thoughts of me sitting at my laptop running a brush across my face aren't you...)

Mac Brow Set in 'Beguile' | £12.50 - I won't say too much about this since I typed up a hefty review for you all last week (if you wish to read it, you can see my review here) - but this product has been the finishing step in my 'eyebrow routine' and it gives such a lovely, groomed appearance to the brows that is unachievable through waxes and powders alone.

Nars Eyeshadow in 'Mekong' | £16.50 - My first Nars eyeshadow, and I'm sure it's going to be the first of many! I'm amazed at the colour pay off and pigmentation of this product. Just the tiniest touch of an eyeshadow brush picks up so much colour and it applies amazingly. It stays put all day, and is surprisingly versatile. I apply this in the outer corners of my eye for a daytime smokey look. I can't wait to build up a collection of these shadows - they're an indulgence for sure, but the quality is just exceptional and in my opinion, really worth the the splurge.

Barry M Lipgloss in 'Toffee' | £4.49 - Since I've been wearing darker eyeshadows and a more defined eye look just recently, I've also been wearing a lot of sheer, nude colours on my lips. I'm really not a lipgloss person at all since I hate feeling of them on my lips, but Barry M is the only brand so far that has managed to change my opinion. This one smells good enough to eat (it actually smells like toffee!) and looks beautiful when applied over my nude lipsticks. A really good all-rounder and one to try if you're a bit of a lipgloss-avoider like me as it doesn't feel sticky or gloopy.

Urban Decay Naked2 Palette | £36 - Again, I've just recently done a more in-depth post about the Naked Palettes (you can read this here), but I've been reaching for this palette so much this month. In particularly the colours 'Bootycall' and 'Suspect'. 'Bootycall' just looks amazing when applied in the tear duct/inner corner of the eye as it really wakes you up and makes you appear generally more bright eyed and bushy tailed.  'Suspect' is such a good colour for both day and night and looks really nice blended into the crease for a bit of definition.

Maybelline 'Fit Me' foundation in '120' | £7 - I really don't want to say too much, as I have a review of this foundation scheduled for later this week. I've really come to like this product. It's not the most long wearing of foundations and you do have to use a primer/powder with it, but it's the best match for my skin tone I've ever found in a drugstore and I've never had a foundation that blends in so well to my skin. It provides a fairly light coverage, but it's one that blurs all imperfections and doesn't give you that 'caked on' look, even if you need to top up throughout the day.

What are your favourite beauty products of this month?


Sunday 4 November 2012

"You're So Thin! - Here, Have a Burger!" | Weight & Body Image

 Image: WeHeartIt

We all know how much pressure is put on girls these days to look a certain way - there's no getting away from the fact that us females get the shit end of the stick when it comes to what we look like. Whether we want to admit it or not, we are conscious of what we look like, what we're wearing, and what other people think to a certain extent. I'm a massive fan of glossy magazines - I love to see what's in fashion, what new products are coming onto the market and I must admit I'm partial to having a little nosey at what celebrities are wearing (as I'm sure most of you do) - but sometimes, these magazines really get on my nerves.  The past few years, there's been a lot of focus on weight, and what is 'healthy' for your height and age. Rightfully so, it's no longer acceptable for these magazines to focus on 'overweight' celebrities - these days it's all about celebrating your curves and your lumpy bits. I'm all for this. What annoys me, is that they still think it's perfectly fine to publish pictures of women on the other end of the scale, naming them 'skinny' and 'underweight'.

I've never ever been one to fuss over what size I am or what i weigh. I've always been a size 8 and i rarely ever vary from this - if you asked me how much i actually weigh I wouldn't be able to tell you - in fact I can't remember the last time i stepped on a pair of scales. I have bloated days just like everyone else, I have bits of me that I don't like so much just like everyone else, and i have hips, boobs and a bum like everyone else. Just because somebody is a size 8 or a size 10, doesn't mean they don't have curves like everyone else. What gets on my nerves is that all my life I've had to put up with people saying 'get some meat on your bones' or 'how do you stay so thin?!'. Now, I'd never ever walk up to someone i barely know and say "oo, you're so fat!" or 'bloodyhell, you've let yourself go, lose some weight'- so what gives people the right to assume that just because I'm 'skinny' - that I don't eat?  I've never had an eating disorder and I've always loved my food (albeit being a bit of a fussy eater, i must admit ;)), but it annoys me so much when people stare at me in shock if I order a burger in a restaurant, or eat a few packs of crisps in a row. I feel as if i have to apologise for being the way I am - I'm happy with myself and I eat like every normal person does.. and above all, I'm healthy. I'm petite, and there's nothing wrong with that. I don't moderate what calories i intake - it just doesn't bother me. I'm aware I'm quite lucky to not have to think about these things too much - and a lot of you will probably be rolling your eyes right now - but I know for a fact that other girls feel like this. It's not just me. I don't judge people on their weight, if you're happy and healthy then it doesn't matter whether you're a size 8 or a size 18. Why should it matter so much?

I don't even think of myself as 'skinny' - yes there are girls out there who genuinely need help, I'm not denying this. But sometimes i can't help but feel a little bit offended when people say to me 'you're so thin' - surely you can put that in a slightly nicer way rather than sound so accusing? I know they don't mean to be so negative - but I'm normal for my height and my build.  I'd personally never dream of calling anybody fat - or telling someone they should lose some weight - so what makes it acceptable the other way round? I've had friends in the past make me feel so awful telling me they don't want to be photographed near me in case i make them look 'fat' - this made me incredibly upset - 1. because they said it in the way they did and 2. because they felt as if they had to indirectly put themselves down like that; because to me they're beautiful anyway. 

So girls, please, please, please stop reading these magazines and believing everything they imply. And stop looking at these 'perfect' girls that certain men seem to idolise and realise if you had a team of makeup artists on hand to airbrush your every imperfection 24 hours a day, and a professional photographer/touch of photoshop everytime you took a walk on the beach, you would probably look like that as well (in fact, most photos you see of celebrities on a beach are staged... in ridiculous sweaty heat, would you really have a full face of makeup on and your hair curled all the way down your back? no.. no you wouldn't). These perfect girls don't exist. I love it when I see features here on Blogger about how everyone can wear what they like no matter what their size; American Apparel's disco pants have been this years staple wardrobe item - and ever since my outfit post I've had girls email me asking me how to wear them because they don't think they'll suit them - you can. And you do suit them. Everybody has down days about their body whatever size they are - everybody has a case of nervous jitters before they break out the bikini on the beach and everyone has that heart stopping moment in the changing rooms when the lighting makes your thighs look like an ancient bit of orange peel. I just think it works both ways when something is said about body image/weight. There should be no 'ideal' size for anyone - as long as you're happy and above all else you're healthy, then it shouldn't matter in the slightest. I realise i've done a similar post on this before, but it annoys me how girls get labelled 'fat' or 'skinny' - either way, it's offensive.

What's everyone else's thought on this matter? Is it just as offensive to call somebody 'skinny' than it is to label somebody 'fat'?

Thursday 1 November 2012

Urban Decay Naked Palettes | Which One Should You Choose?

Urban Decay Naked and Naked 2 Palettes - £36

Lets face it, everybody and their nan's cat has something to say about the Urban Decay Naked Palettes - me included. I've owned these palettes for quite a while now, and feel as if I've used both of them for long enough to warrant putting my two pennies worth in. The Christmas season is coming up, and I know a lot of you have probably got one of these scribbled down on your list ready for the jolly old bearded chap to bring down your chimney. But which one should you choose?

Generally, it seems that the original Naked palette contains slightly warmer shades, compared with the cooler tones provided in Naked2. I find there's more choice for a daytime look in the Naked2 - as the colours are slightly lighter and brighter ('Bootycall' is perfect for the inner corners of your eyes and instantly wakes you up), whereas the original contains more subdued colours for a smokey eye. That said, I wouldn't struggle to create both daytime/nighttime looks with both palettes.  Also, I know a lot of people were slightly miffed at the fact that Urban Decay have included 'Half Baked' in both palettes. Personally, I am so glad they did. Half Baked became another staple shade for me, especially through the summer time as it's just the most beautiful bright gold colour, and it's one that I know I will continue to use.

The packaging is another big difference between the two. I loved the original packaging - the velvet casing made the palette feel really luxurious and unique - however, as you can see, it easily becomes quite battered and worse for wear! Believe me, I haven't been throwing this palette from the rooftops although I'm aware it looks as if I've been in a fight with it... and goodness knows how the mirror cracked (7 years bad luck for me, crikey..) - if you're going to take this palette away on holidays and trips with you (as i have) then prepare for it to get battered. I much prefer the Naked2 packaging - no it isn't as luxurious, but it's so much sturdier and weightier and generally just feels better made. It also contains a larger mirror - which is a big plus for me. The brush that comes with the Naked2 palette is also more handy to have - as it contains a blending/contouring brush on one side and a general eyeshadow application brush on the other.

Which one do I prefer?
It really is difficult to pick one over the other. I'm very much sitting firmly on the fence with this one, and YES I'm refusing to budge from that fence! I must admit I think i'm leaning towards the Naked2...although I really wish they had included a slightly lighter matte shade in this palette - and if this was the case then maybe I'd be more inclined to opt for the second palette as my favourite. Naked2 seems more of a general 'all rounder'. Either way, they've been the best addition to make my makeup collection and i wouldn't be without either. If I'm ever going away on holiday, or staying away somewhere for a few nights, then they're all I need to bring with me - it's nice to have everything in one place. They have changed the way I use eyeshadow, and I've fallen in love with neutral shades more than ever. Do you need both palettes? Honestly, no. But as a makeup collector and cosmetic fan, of course it's absolutely essential... ;)

Which Naked palette is your favourite? Are you as in love with them as I am?

Apologies for the lack of swatches - so many people have swatched these palettes now that it seemed slightly pointless?