THE MOST CONTROVERSIAL PALETTE OF THEM ALL - ABH SUBCULTURE


Reviews on the new Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture palette have been everywhere recently. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such controversy over a makeup product in my life! Everyone is getting so angry at the performance of this palette. Most people say it doesn’t blend well, others say there’s way too much fallout and the list goes on. I’m not usually one to watch reviews, but I must say that even I got drawn into all this drama and have watched quite possibly all the reviews out there haha. The video that Alyssa posted on Twitter of her hitting pan on the first day she used it had everyone’s jaws drop. Like I said, I watched way too many videos about this palette, and to be fair, if I went by anything I watched, I most definitely would have stayed away from it, but I like to make up my own mind on things.

The colour selection is what drew me to it in the first place. I love the greens and the yellows! Although it has the pops of colour, it can definitely be a palette for everyday use if you stick to the more neutral shades. I got this palette about a week and a half ago and I literally jumped around in excitement when my boyfriend said it arrived. I was going to put up a review after using it once, but I’m glad I didn’t because I did change my mind a bit.

Top Row, L to R - Cube, Dawn, Destiny, Adorn, All Star, Mercury, Axis

The first day I used it I stuck to using the neutral shades and avoided the darker colours in the palette. I loved it the first time I used it and I really didn’t relate to any of the bad reviews I had seen. The colours blended really well together, there was no patchiness and there was no fallout. Yes, there is a lot of kickback when you put your brush in the shadows, but I’ve watched way too many videos to know that there is no need to swirl your brush in the pan. The colours are super pigmented, you literally only need a small dab in the pan to get full colour saturation on your brush. 

The second time I used it I wanted to venture into the darker shades, especially the greens. I have to say that the shades Axis and Untamed are the driest to touch. They feel the most powdery out of them all and they’re not really soft either, they feel quite gritty. Using the darker shades I could see what everyone was talking about when it came to blending. Every time I would apply the colour and then tried to blend it out, I would lose a lot of the pigmentation. It’s like I was wiping away the colour instead of blending. After doing a couple of different looks I’ve noticed that you need to keep building up the colour and try to blend out the edges using the smallest brush you have, or by blending it out with a darker crease shade. Also, you need to place the brush where you want the most pigment, because if you place it in the wrong spot you will struggle to get it to blend.

Bottom row, L to R - Roxy, Electric, Fudge, New Wave, Untamed, Edge, Rowdy

You can do many looks using this palette, but if you’re going to use the darker shades you will require a lot more time and effort to get it exactly how you want. Personally the shades Destiny, Fudge, All Star, Untamed, Axis, Mercury and Rowdy are the hardest to work with. But like I said, you can make them work, you just need more time to blend and build than you usually would. These shades are a little hard to work with and they tend to go a little muddy looking the more you blend them out. They don’t look the same as when you first apply them which is why you need to keep packing on the colour.

But let’s talk about the shades I did like and the shades I have a lot of love for! Dawn, Roxy, New Wave and Edge are shades I’ve been reaching for everyday. They look incredible in the crease, or even all over the lid and they blend out amazingly well. They are also super pigmented. The darker shades are also really pigmented, but almost all the colour falls off the brush when you tap off the excess. With the lighter shades, this doesn’t happen. 

The duo-chrome shadows, Cube and Electric are both equally stunning! They don’t work well wet - not for me anyway, nor do they work very well with a brush, they give off the most pigment when used with your fingers. Cube looks like nothing in the pan but when applied on the eyelids it gives off such a stunning pink reflex in certain lighting. Adorn is also beautiful, it’s a metallic finish and it’s my favourite bronzy gold at the moment. Adorn all over the lid and some of those matte neutral shades in the crease, work really well for an everyday look.


The palette also comes with a brush that I really like! I always seem to like the brushes that come with eyeshadow palettes, anyone else? It’s double ended, one side for blending and the other end to pack on colour. The flat end of the brush I’m not so keen on, but I love the rounded, fluffy side. It’s super soft and perfect for blending out crease shades. The packaging is also very nice and compact, it would be great to travel with, however I can imagine it getting dirty very quickly if you’re not careful with it.

So that’s it for my review. It’s a mixed bag really. I absolutely love some of the shades in the palette and others not so much. I won’t say I hate the darker shades, because I don’t and I will definitely use them again, but I just wish it was easier to work with and wasn’t so time consuming. Not great when you want a quick smokey eye look for a night out with your friends. However I do think the palette is worth the money, the colour selection is incredible, the pigmentation is unreal and I love the endless looks you can create with it. 

I’m working on a post where I will show you some looks you can create using this palette, it’ll be on the blog soon! :) 

Have you tried this palette? What are your thoughts?
Lots of love, SFS.

ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK


Oh hello!! I was doing so well, can’t believe I've missed two posts, well technically one because I am publishing this today. Still, very naughty, Sandra! I’ve just been so busy the last couple of weeks. You know them weeks when you’re working all the time and then when your days off come around you’re busy too? Yeah, it’s been like that. 

My 17 year old cousin and his girlfriend came to visit this weekend and I absolutely loved having them here. Can’t believe he’s got a girlfriend, I feel like only yesterday he was 8 years old haha. Where’s time going? But yeah, I finally met his other half and she’s such a lovely girl. They’re so in love bless them. They came to visit in the most perfect time, it was the Balloon Fiesta in Bristol this weekend, not sure if you’ve ever heard of it? It’s basically a hot air balloon festival, where there are a lot of rides, games, food vans and at the end of the night they have a ‘Night Glow’ show. It’s basically loads of hot air balloons being lit up to the sound of music. It’s incredible and definitely something I would highly suggest you get on your ’to see’ list. During the day you can also see loads of balloons scattered around in the air. It really is something special! 

Yeah, you could say it was windy!

This outfit I wore back when I was in Kefalonia and I have to say I felt rather comfortable in it. Usually I’d feel very unlike myself in a skirt, but something about the shape of this one made me feel somewhat confident. I picked it up from Missguided for only £15 so as you can imagine it doesn’t feel like incredible quality, it feels very cheap, but it’s comfortable and I knew I wouldn’t get much wear out of it in the UK anyway, so I wouldn’t want to spend too much money on a clothing piece like that.


The shirt is from River Island. I bought this a couple of months ago and I really like it. It’s very oversized and baggy, so it does look a little boxy, however I adore the cold shoulder detail! To disguise the boxy look I tied the shirt into a bow at the front and tucked away the loose ends. I’m a huge white shirt lover, however looking back on this outfit now I do think that it would’ve looked a lot better if I wore the skirt with a t-shirt instead. What do you think?

My sliders are from New Look. I absolutely adore New Look shoes, they’re my favourite highstreet shoe brand. I just find their footwear so comfortable and great quality, especially for the price too! Pretty much all my non-designer shoes are from New Look, that’s how much I love them. These sliders are no exception, they’re mega comfy. When I first wore them I thought that the front part of the suede was going to dig into my big toe and cause a blister, but nope, nothing. I found myself reaching for these shoes every day while I was away. The sunnies are Ray Bans, they’re currently my favourite sunglasses and I wear them every time the sun is out.


I’m currently half way through writing a review on the ABH Subculture palette. Gosh, everyone and their mum has been banging on about this palette. I’ll let you know my thoughts on it soon, just waiting for a day off where I can actually shoot some looks. Right, now I’m off to bed. Been staying up way too late and I have a lot of sleep to catch up on :) 

Night, night - or good morning!
SFS.

3 LOOKS - URBAN DECAY NAKED HEAT

It’s Friday and guess what? I’m off! I don’t usually like having my days off on the weekend as it’s crowded everywhere I go, however, it’s the ever so famous Balloon Fiesta here in Bristol and my cousin and his girlfriend are here to visit, so it’s the perfect time to show them around. The other day I published a post where I wrote a review on the new Urban Decay Naked Heat palette, and I was going to add some looks on that post, but I came down with a cold and my nose was all red, so it wouldn’t look too good in pictures haha. But I've recovered since and wanted to share some looks that I created using the palette. I wanted to show you how versatile this palette is and that you can use it to create a very simple everyday look, some bolder looks using the shimmers and the oranges, or even a smokey evening eye look. 


This first look is one for those who don’t like wearing too much makeup, or aren’t allowed to in their job or at school. It’s very subtle, but still adds a little something to the eyes. I used the shades Chaser and Sauced in the crease, Ounce all over the lid and then a touch of Cayenne and Low Blow in the crease again to add a bit more warmth. For my bottom lash line I used the shades Sauced and Low Blow mixed together.


This I think might be my favourite look of the three. I absolutely adore orange shades and I think these colours will suit every eye colour out there. It’s a suitable look for both day and night, however if I wore this on a night out or for a dinner, I would probably add a winged liner and some lashes. I used Sauced in the crease to start off with. I took this shade a little higher up and winged out the shadow. To add more depth I used He Devil in the crease too. I like layering different crease shades as I find it gives a better finish. Cayenne is my favourite matte in the palette, so of course I had to use it again. I added it on the outer V of my eye and also ran it along the crease. For the lid shades I went in with Lumbre first in the inner corner of my eye and towards the centre of the lid, and then I added Dirty Talk which is my favourite shimmer from half of my lid outwards. After this was done, I drew on a very thin liner with the shades En Fuego and Ashes. In the bottom lash line I used the shade Sauced to begin with, and then added Cayenne to smoke it out further. 


The last look I created was something a little more suited for evenings out, however I didn’t want to add lashes or liner as I thought it would distract from the main feature which is the eyeshadow. I took Sauced and Low Blow mixed together and added that to the crease, again winging out the eyeshadow. Then to deepen the crease a bit more I used He Devil. On the lid I used the most stunning shade I’ve ever come across, Ember. It’s definitely one you have to see for yourself as it’s not like any other eyeshadow I own or seen before. Then I took En Fuego and Ashes to deepen the outer corner of the eyes. And finally on the crease I used Cayenne again to smoke out the crease even further. To finish off the look I used Cayenne and He Devil on the lower lash line.

For all three looks I used Ounce as a brow bone highlight, however it isn’t very shimmery so it doesn’t show up too well. For the inner corner highlight I used a Becca highlighter and another by ABH. 

As you can see this is a very versatile palette, and you can really play around with all the shades as they all mix well together. Obviously there are many more combinations you can come up with, however I just wanted to show you these three as I think it can take you from day to evening, and has you sorted for any occasion. 

What is your favourite look? Hope you have a wonderful weekend :)
Lots of love, SFS.

UPDATED BROW ROUTINE


I’ve used up a whole Dipbrow Pomade. I don’t get how some people say theirs has dried out and they can no longer use it? I’ve had mine for maybe a year and I never had an issue with it drying up. I actually think it works better when it’s not so soft because you have more control over how much product you use. Although I loved it, I felt like going back to the eyebrow pencil life. I just missed it. So I made an order the other day, one of the many orders I’ve made lately and went old school. I got the ABH Brow Wiz in Soft Brown and I got the Ready, Set, Brow gel by Benefit which is something I haven’t used in ages! With the Dipbrow Pomade I felt like I didn’t need to used a brow gel as the pomade kept my hairs in place, however I am loving the control I have with this gel.

My brows are looking so much better since using this combo, and I am loving the gel to brush some of my brow hairs up. Recently I’ve been really into bushy brows and kinda like the werewolf look. You know the one? Where girls brush up some brow hairs to make them look fluffy. Usually I would hate that, but lately I am all about that look. Not sure how long this is going to last for, but I’m sure I’ll look back on pictures one day and say ‘wow Sandra, you looked ridiculous’ haha.


Werewolf  trend not used in this picture as I didn't want to scare you away. You're welcomed!

This brow pencil stays in place all day and is super easy to use. It’s not too hard, nor is it too soft where it can go all over the place. It draws on perfectly and you have complete control over it. I also love that it has a spooly! It’s the perfect pencil to travel with. Do I think it’s the best eyebrow pencil I’ve ever used? Definitely not. I used one by Maybelline a couple of years ago and it was just as good, but I do like that it’s a twist up pencil and that you don’t need to worry about carrying around a sharper in case the tip breaks. 

As for the brow gel, I’m not too sure yet. It feels a little weird. When you apply it it feels like a regular brow gel, but when it sets you can actually feel the product on the brows. To the touch they don’t feel crispy at all, I mean, you can't feel the product with your fingers full stop, but you can feel the product sitting on your face. Did that make sense? Weird, weird, weird. But I am loving how my brows look lately, so at least there’s that :D

What are your thoughts on the werewolf brow trend?
Lots of love, SFS.

URBAN DECAY NAKED HEAT - A REVIEW


Omg, omg, omg! I can’t tell you how excited I am to own this!! If you read my recent makeup haul post, you will know that it was this palette that sparked my love for makeup again. I haven’t been this excited for a product in ages! I got in the post a couple of days ago and I literally ran down the stairs when the postman pressed the doorbell - and trust me, running down the stairs in my house is hard work, they are so steep! I quickly took these photos for the blog and went on to using it straight away. 

Orange, red and very warm shades in general have been my go to ever since I tried a couple of eyeshadows from Makeup Geek, particularly Cocoa Bear which is an eyeshadow I use every single day, so this palette literally screamed my name. I’ll be honest, I’ve never really been a fan of the Urban Decay Naked palettes. I own the first and the second and I hardly ever use them. I find that Urban Decay eyeshadows are super pigmented and creamy, but they always have so much kickback and fallout. This Heat palette does also have a lot of kickback, but no fallout! Did you read that? No. Fallout! I usually do my eyes before my face makeup anyway, but now I don’t have to worry about having makeup wipes near me because there is nothing to wipe away! Yaay :D


This packaging is also very different for urban Decay, it has a lot of colour and comes in a plastic case. It’s my favourite look out of all their palettes. It’s also very easy to wipe down if you get any makeup on it. The palette also comes with a double ended brush which I personally love. I know many people say that it’s too dense, but I love it for that exact reason. The domed side of the brush has become a staple for me, and I love using it to pack on colour in my outer crease. Personally I think the brush is a great addition to the palette.

Now, let’s move on to the shades. It has 12 shades in total, 5 shimmers and 7 mattes. A lot of people have said that they’re not a fan of the shimmers, but I absolutely love them! My favourite shimmer of them all is Dirty Talk, it’s a gorgeous metallic copper. I am yet to try using it with a wet brush, but even when dry it looks stunning. The mattes are all shades that I will use on a regular basis, however if I had to pick a favourite it would be Cayenne. It’s a very warm brown with a hint of orange. It reminds me a lot of Makeup Geeks Cocoa Bear which if you haven’t already noticed, I love! 

This is by far my favourite Urban Decay Naked palette and one I have been using every single day since it arrived. This will definitely become my go-to travel palette as it has every shade I would normally wear. The variety of looks you could get out of this palette is no joke. You can create a very subtle nude look, but you can also go all out with the copper shades, or even go for a really smokey evening look using the shades Ashes and Embre - these 3 different looks will be coming on the blog soon. Ember is such an unusual colour, I haven’t seen anything like it before, so, so stunning! This Heat palette will look great against every eye colour, especially blue and green, but hey, I have brown eyes and I love it just as much.

What are your thoughts on this palette? Are you a fan?
Lots of love, SFS.

GOT INK? MY FIRST TATTOO - PAIN, WHAT IT MEANS TO ME & GENERAL ADVICE


Ahhh guysss, I finally got my first tattoo! :D What the hell?! I can’t even tell you how long I’ve wanted this tattoo for, it’s been years! I’ve always known exactly what I wanted and where I wanted it, the only reason why it took me so long was because I didn’t have the balls haha. But hey, looks like a grew a pair because I finally done it! I got it done last week Thursday with two friends of mine. I tried to get it done the week before, but they didn’t have any space to fit me in. The guys at the tattoo shop said that we can only book to get a tattoo done if it’s big, for small tattoos they just do walk ins and it's a first come, first served basis. 

Apparently you need to have a good breakfast before getting a tattoo, so me and my friend went to have breakfast in a cute little place near where we live. We then made our way to the tattoo place, it’s called Tattoo Time and it’s in North Street in Bristol. We got there really early, but the tattoo artist was already busy, so the owner of the place kept my phone number and said he would call me back during the day to let me know if they had space for us. Trust me, I was a nervous wreck the whole time! I’m the kind of person that likes to get things done straight away, so waiting really got my anxiety levels up. Around midday another friend of mine said she was coming to get a tattoo too, so the three of us just waited around for the phone call. The phone call came at about 3pm and we got to the tattoo shop in about five minutes!

We were all bricking it! Haha. One of my friends had already had a tattoo before, so she was the calmest out of the three. My other friend was shaking, and I just couldn’t wait to get it over and done with. I went first as I already had my design all printed out and ready for them to tattoo. Here's how I experienced the whole thing.

I still have a bit of adhesive tape left on my skin. It's a pain to remove! I also had a skin allergy because of it.

PAIN
I won’t lie to you, it hurts! Personally it felt like a box cutter cutting my skin over and over again. When she first started tattooing, I was shaking! I guess it’s just because I didn’t know what to expect. It was a different kind of pain to anything I’ve ever felt. The worse parts were the words ‘Keep Me’ the rest was absolutely fine. And I mean fine! I couldn’t even feel it. I had to ask Katie (the tattoo artist) if she was actually touching my skin because I couldn’t feel a thing. But the 'Keep Me' part was really bad, I'm assuming it’s because it was on the boniest part. The tattoo took less than 10 minutes, so it was super quick. I also didn’t bleed much which I was really surprised about for some reason.

MEANING
My tattoo says ‘Keep me where the light is’. It's in a John Mayer song, but that isn’t why I got it. I got it because I love the meaning. For someone who has suffered with anxiety since the age of 17, I feel like it’s important to always see the positive in everything and to stay away from negative/dark thoughts, so that’s the meaning behind the tattoo. I’ve also always known I wanted to get it on my left side, and on my upper shoulder/back. Don’t know why, but I always knew I wanted it there. Also, I wanted to quickly mention that I don’t believe you should always have a meaning for your tattoos. If you like something enough to have it on your body for life, that to me is meaning enough.

That is the exact paper I showed the tattoo artist. I don't remember the name of the font, but I found it on the DaFont website.

HOW IT FELT AFTER & HOW I TOOK CARE OF IT
I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but the pain is temporary. The minute they get the needle off your skin, the pain stops.. hallelujah! However, about 10/15 minutes after getting the tattoo done, my skin did start to sting a little. I kept my tattoo wrapped for a few hours, although the tattoo artist mentioned that I could remove the dressing 1h after getting it done. I bought a Dove Baby Wash and Bepanthen to care for the tattoo. After a couple of hours I filled up my sink with warm water, made some bubbles with the baby wash and used a cotton round to clean the tattoo. Then I went in with a thin layer of Bepanthen and covered it again with a dressing. My friends didn’t keep theirs covered, but I saw a video of Jamie Genevieve where she mentioned that she always applies cream and covers her tattoos for a couple of days after getting it done, and that it helps keep the tattoo moisturised and therefore causing less itchiness, and I have to say I agree. I’ve had close to no itchiness at all so far. The worst itchiness I've experienced was exactly a week after getting it done, and to be fair I did forget to put cream on it the whole day, so I guess it was just a little dry. I wash my tattoo twice a day, once in the morning and again in the evening, and I apply Bepanthen three times a day. The first few days I cleaned my tattoo a bit of ink came off which is normal, but I haven't noticed any more since.

ADVICE
I know I’ve only got one tattoo, but I still want to give you my two cents of advice. Firstly, eat! If you’re as nervous as I was, it will be hard to fit anything in your stomach, but I can see why they tell you to eat a big meal. You can feel a little faint if you’re under the pain for too long, so make sure you eat well and bring in a sugary drink or snack if you’re going for a longer session. Secondly, make sure you know exactly what it is you want and where you want it. Spontaneity is great, but a tattoo is something that is going to be on your body for life, so make sure you’re 100% sure before getting it done. Thirdly, don’t be scared to tell the tattoo artist if you don’t like the placement/design of your tattoo. It’s going to be on your body not theirs, so make sure you speak up. And lastly, just enjoy it! It’s over before you know it and like I already mentioned, the pain doesn’t last long, so if the fear of the pain is holding you back, just go for it! Its’ not that bad. 

I paid £50 to get mine done, which I guess is a standard price for a small tattoo, and I did tip the tattoo artist. I read somewhere that you should always tip them, and I agree. They’re giving you something that's going to be on your body forever, so why not thank them with a little something? Now that I know what getting a tattoo feels like, and I no longer fear it, I am most definitely going to get a couple more done. Let me know if you would like me to share my future tattoos with you. 

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday! 
Lots of love, SFS.

AQUAZZURA - NEW IN MY DESIGNER SHOE COLLECTION


I kinda made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t post any more shoes on the blog for a while, but I just couldn’t resist sharing these with you. I had been eyeing up these Aquazzura beauties for such a long time, but I just couldn’t justify the price, until they went on sale! Aaah, I know!! I literally squealed with excitement when I saw that they were on reduction. I ran downstairs to get my card and purchased them on the spot. They went down from £490 to £195, it'd be silly not to!

I’m usually not a lover of sales, mainly clothing sales because the clothes are always all over the place, the shops are always crowded and it’s almost impossible to find something decent in the middle of all the mess. Online sale shopping however, is a completely different story, especially when it comes down to designer items. Who doesn’t want a few pounds knocked off such a hefty price tag? These shoes went on sale on Net-a-Porter and I just couldn’t resist getting them. Although £195 still isn’t cheap, it’s definitely a friendlier price tag and one I can justify a lot more.


They won’t be to everyone’s taste, as with everything. I feel like I’m going through a phase of loving ‘pretty ugly’. Like with the Gucci Slingback Loafers, they're absolutely hideous, yet I can’t get enough of them. I get the same vibe from these shoes. There’s something so ugly about them, but at the same time I find them the most beautiful shoes ever. How weird! Haha. I didn’t think it would be possible, but I like them even more in person than I did when I first saw them online. 

They’re a gorgeous tan suede with a white pattern running through it. They have a gorgeous bohemian vibe and that really translates to any outfit you pair them with. As usual with Aquazzura, they tie around the ankle and have tassels right at the end. The ankle straps are also suede and I have to say that they're holding up really well when it comes to cleanliness. Usually I spray my suede shoes with a suede protector before wearing them out, however I couldn’t resist wearing these as soon as I unboxed them, and so far they’re still as good as new. I should really spray them some time soon though.


I showed them to a friend of mine before they even went on sale, and he told me in a very nice way that they were ugly and tried to persuade me to get the Wild Thing's instead - I always appreciate your bluntness Apo haha. And I will agree, the Wild Thing's are a lot prettier, but if I’m thinking of practicality and cost per wear, I know that I will get much more wear out of these. The shoes and the heel is super comfortable. The side of the shoes don’t dig into the foot at all, and the heel is only 50mm, so it’s the ideal everyday height. I got these in my usual designer shoe size, EU35 and they fit like a glove.

I’m starting to think that Aquazzura are my favourite designer shoe brand. I just love so many of their shoes at the moment, my wishlist is never ending! But I am aware that my designer shoe addiction is getting a little out of hand, so I’ve told myself that I am not allowed any more shoes until October at least! Let’s see if I can refrain from buying more until then...

What are your thoughts on them? Hope you have an amazing weekend!
Lots of love, SFS.

© Sandra F. Silva

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