MAC's Literal 'Shining Hour' (and mine too!)

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Oh mama, is this palette beautiful or what?! (skip down for the review; there's a story first!)

This is a quad of 'Dazzleshadows' by MAC in collaboration with Kabuki Magic which was released in the UK earlier this month. I had seen this quad feature on Tati Westbrook's YouTube channel before its release and she had praised it to high heaven and so the love affair began. I didn't just want this quad - I was a woman obsessed. When the palette launched in the US I was obsessively checking MAC UK every day to see if the collection had dropped.

And then I missed it.

This palette may have sold out in minutes - I have no idea. I checked it in my Thursday morning lecture (don't try that at home kids) and it had gone, causing me to whimper sorrowfully in the echo-y lecture theatre. But I didn't give up hope! I tweeted MAC UK that day and...

Even this didn't deter me! I dragged Johnny along to Selfridges and strolled confidently up to the MAC counter. I searched for the collection. Nothing. I asked a noir-clad MAC worker. Nothing. I was so sad. Tail between my legs, I went and tried to heal the pain by raiding the NARS counter but all it did was hurt my wallet. 

I'd given up hope. 'Oh well,' I'd said to Johnny as we walked out, 'I guess that saves me £25'. 

The following Saturday I was out with a friend in central London. We had gone to the British Museum and decided that a stroll to Covent Garden was in order as we were so close. We went for a browse in MAC mostly because I wanted to get the Stone lipstick but then, as I walked in, I saw it. The Shining Hour quad. In the flesh. I ran up to it, barely able to contain my excitement and asked the nearest MAC lady 'PLEASEDOYOUHAVETHISINSTOCKICANTFINDITANYWHERE?!?!?'.

She went to check and produced it for me, in it's matte black box. I was so excited I ran up to pay, forgetting the reason I was in there was to get Stone (still don't have it - lol). 

Anyway, on to the review!

All jokes and ridiculous stories aside, this palette is really nice. Obviously in this palette you can't create a full look as there are no mattes or anything that can be used as a transition colour, but the pay-off of all the shades is really nice and each shade can be used as a really nice lid colour to add a little extra shine and sparkle to your look.

The white shade makes a really popping inner corner highlight and the golden one looks beautiful on top of browns and golds - I think this will be stunning come Autumn. My favourite by far is the brown one, as it's very duo-chrome and in some lights you can see its gorgeous blue glitters. 

I think for these shadows to reach their full potential you need some Fix+ and a really flat brush (there's one from Morphe I like to use but I can't remember its name) to really pack the colour on, as dry the pay-off can be a little patchy and light in places. 

I'd liken these to the Urban Decay Moondust shadows. The pinky shade is really similar to one that is in the Moondust palette which Urban Decay released in the summer. However, I find the Moondust shadows can be a little messy and provide a bit of fall-out, and these MAC ones really don't. Although, I would advise cleaning your undereye up with a bit of powder after using because even the best glitter eye-shadows get a bit of transfer. 

As far as value for money goes, I'd say that for MAC eyeshadows this quad is a steel. It's £25 which roughly works out at £6 an eyeshadow, which is really good value considering buying a pan of shadow at MAC is £10. 

I hate reviewing limited edition stuff because often readers may not be able to get it. As you know, you can't get this online but you may be able to find it in selected MAC stores. This is the only item I got from this collection but if you like this palette then it's worth checking out some of the other items they have in the collection. There is a gorgeous cream eyeshadow palette which Tati and Pixiwoo have both raved about and if I wasn't on such a tight budget I probably would have picked that up to. 

All in all, if you can get your paws on this palette and it's something you'd wear, get it. It's a nice little shimmery novelty in my make up bag which just makes me happy. 

UNI CHATS || Should you live in university halls?

Sunday, 26 February 2017

As some of you know, I'm currently studying politics at QMUL. Being in London makes the process of housing slightly different but, as Queen Mary is a campus university, my experience has probably been very similar to universities that aren't in London. I chose the mid-range accommodation and got a place easily and now this is where I live. 

I share my flat with 5 other people. Before I came to uni, I was expecting my flat-mates to be my best friends. I'd planned out in my mind that we'd have pizza nights and always pre-drink together, but this literally has never happened. I don't dislike my flat-mates (apart from one but I won't tell that story until the year's over), we just don't have a lot in common and so we've made other friendship groups and the only contact I have with them is if we're making dinner at the same time or passing on the stairs. It's fine, just not what I expected. 

While I'm not friends with the people in my flat, having the friends I've made on my course so close by living in a student village makes socialising a dream. A text of 'does anyone want to come over for drinks?' can have your kitchen brimming with life in minutes. Most of my friends live within a minutes walk away. It means that you're never too far away from home so if you die at pres you can quickly make it back to your own flat to vomit. (Can confirm this has happened to me before.)

I have some friends who commute to uni everyday, either from home or off-campus accommodation and they hate not living in halls. They feel like they're missing out and want to be in on the action which is something I empathise with. Even people who live in Stratford (one tube stop from Mile End) feel like they're missing out, that the grass is greener on the other side. They might be right - but they might also be very wrong.

Halls are definitely an eye-opener to how disgusting human beings can be. Whether it's breaking a glass and not picking it up, leaving it on the ground for anyone to step on, or leaving their mouldy tupper-wear on the microwave some of my flat-mates have made me realise this. I'm not an overly OCD person but I do like things to be clean. Sure, I might leave my washing up out for a day or two but I've never left the sink blocked with peppers and water over-flowing onto the floor. Luckily, we don't have to share a bathroom but I've heard horror stories of gammy plasters that have made my stomach churn. 

And in my halls it's not just humans you have to worry about... Yeah, that's right... We have vermin. One night, I was relaxing on my bed after a hard day of doing nothing and out of the corner of my eye I saw something move. I turned my head and that's when I saw it... a little brown mouse running across the floor. Obviously I panicked and messaged my friends immediately asking them what I should do. They were really helpful and suggested naming it (I named him Tim) but Housing Services were so unhelpful and asked me why I was scared of something so small - which is what they did again when we found one in the kitchen. 

Halls are also LOUD. I probably get two nights uninterrupted sleep a week due to the sheer amount of noise that comes from the smoking shelter that's right next to my window, as well as the noise from the rooms of one of my less considerate flatmates and his rowdy friends. I suggest getting ear plugs. Our housing hub gives them away for free and they are honestly life-saving. As soon as it gets a little loud outside, I pop them in and sleep like a baby. 

People also steal your stuff - like all the time. I've been at uni for just over 6 months. I started with 6 glasses and I now have 2. Where have they gone? Who knows... Someone probably used them and forgot to return them or broke them and didn't want to owe someone £1. That's student life. Luckily my fridge is in my room so people don't really steal my food and most of my flatmates don't actually cook (half of them are pretty wealthy so eat out constantly) so food theft isn't an issue but utensil-gate is real and it is happening.

Halls are expensive. I pay around £150 a week for basically a bed, desk, bathroom and use of a basic, communal kitchen. However, private accommodation is more expensive and other than that in London, there isn't much choice for students. 

With all these negatives, you'd think I hate living in halls. I actually don't. I think it's been quite the experience and will oddly miss my little room when I have to move out. I am glad I will be moving into a flat with Johnny though and not into student housing - at least I know he won't be stealing my stuff. However, we're renting in London so we might still have vermin...

So, if you're looking to go to uni in September, I would definitely recommend halls. They're really fun and who knows, you might have the cleanest, un-klepto-like flatmates ever and live in halls without vermin - but if not, I still guarantee you'd have the best time.

CULT CLASSICS REVISITED || Bobbi Brown Apricot Blush

Friday, 24 February 2017

Welcome to my Cult Classic Revisited series, where once a month I'm revisiting an old YouTube/Blogger favourite and seeing if I still love it as much as I did/as much as everyone did back when it took the world of social media beauty by storm. Today's pick is a blush that was everywhere back in the day: Apricot by Bobbi Brown.

I was shopping at the weekend and saw that there is a new Bobbi Brown shop in Bath. I couldn't resist a peek inside and migrated to the blush counter where I saw this beauty. 

'Oh my god, do you remember this?'

Johnny replied with a blank stare and a 'No?'. Men, eh?

But I did. I remember watching YouTube videos when I should've been studying, obsessed with this blush that everyone seemed to have and love. I watched swatch after swatch, tutorial after tutorial and put it in my online John Lewis basket so many times that I'm not sure why I didn't just buy it. Estee Lalonde was especially obsessed with it as I seem to remember, and I trusted her opinion like it was gospel.  (And still do!)

So, for old times sake, I promptly bought it and couldn't wait to get home and try it and it truly is a lovely blush. It looks kind of scary in the pan for someone pale like me but if you just get a little bit on your brush at a time and build it up it's very wearable (and very beautiful). It kind of reminds me of a peachier Nars Amour, which is one of my favourite blushes. As much as I like a light, peachy blush, I love deep pinks like this too. It's completely matte which is my blush preference. I prefer to get my shimmer in with a bit of highlighter - although obviously I'm not opposed to shimmery blushes. I just find matte blushes easier to work with and build. 

I can see why everyone was obsessed with this back in the day. It's a really lovely quality blush that's wearable on most skin tones and blends beautifully. Now I'm obsessed with it - very, very late to the party.

Which products do you want me to look at next? I have a few ideas (MAC Soft & Gentle, MAC Warm Soul, Urban Decay Naked palette - the original) but let me know! If I don't already have it, I will re-buy it! 


Thursday, 23 February 2017

Stila eyeliners get a lot of hype on the internet. The most recent example I can think of was Zoella claiming that she'd never found an eyeliner that could last as long. I've never tried these eyeliners before. Personally, I was a fan of the MAC Kohl liners, Rimmel Kohl liners and the Illamasqua ones. However, in the space of 2 weeks I lost the lid to my favourite MAC black eyeliner (Bold Brilliance) and lost my Rimmel Kohl brown liner altogether, so I was in the market for some new ones.

Stila is always a brand I've liked and I've heard so much hype about these eyeliners so when I saw a set of 5 for £25 on BeautyBay, I couldn't resist! I quickly added them to my basket and waited patiently for the parcel to arrive.

In this set you get 5 eyeliners: a staple black called 'stingray'; a shimmery brown called 'lionfish'; a shiny burgundy called 'aubergine'; a navy blue imaginatively called 'navy' and a garish green called 'emerald'. They are all full-size eyeliners with 0.28g of product in them.

A few positives to start:

The black shade is gorgeous, creamy and matte which is perfect. It's exactly what I'd look for in a black eyeliner and it does not budge. I could (and do, often) cry my eyes out and it would stay. I showered with a swatch on my hand and the black is the only one that stayed. Amazing.  This eyeliner passes the Marley & Me test.

The consistency of the navy and aubergine eyeliners is lovely. While they're not colours I'd use everyday I can see myself getting use out of them. Emerald has a nice texture but it's just a little garish for me right now. They do stay on all day, but slip if I cry or rub my eyes. They didn't last the shower test but preform moderately in the Marley & Me test.

The value for money is insanely good. I urge you to check out BeautyBay's Outlet to see if you can get your paws on one.

Now, negatives:

The brown is awful and I'm sad. Maybe I got a dud? Who knows? All I know is that it's crap. The texture is scratchy, the nib doesn't twist up, the colour is patchy so much so that you can't get one straight line complete, you have to go over it. It's unpleasant to put in your waterline and honestly, I hate it. Avoid Lionfish. Fail.

If you're looking to buy individual liners, I'd recommend Stingray highly. The others are okay but I think there's better out there. Rimmel do better colours and they're a fraction of the price. Stingray, however, is amazing. I would recommend 100%.

Swatches from top to bottom: lionfish, stingray, aubergine, navy and emerald.

You can shop my post here:


Monday, 20 February 2017

I've lost my way with blogging over the last few months and realise I'm just not that passionate about it anymore. Well, in it's current state. I need a new theme, a new direction and a new image... Hence the changes.

New features:

  • A new layout - purchased from Etsy - that is far more in-keeping with the image I want to portray.
  • A new name! My name, in fact! My blog is now called 'Chloe Alice Lily', which is my first name and two middle names!
  • A new domain - you can now find my blog at Cool, right? Was a bit of a faff but I managed it.
  • A new style of picture-taking: flay-lay photography is what I'm going to focus on and I'm going to do my best with an iPhone camera (only 6s) and natural light but hopefully I'll improve! 
  • A 'Shop my Blog' page where you can shop all the items you find mentioned on my blog, and just some other bits that I've picked up recently that I adore. 
  • More social media presence: I want this blog to be more openly advertised on social media, so that's what I aim to do!
  • A new posting bi-weekly schedule featuring tips on uni life, beauty reviews, moving updates, 'Tasty Tuesdays' and much more! (Posts every Tuesday, Thursday & Sunday).

I really hope you love the new look as much as I do! I hope to see you around! 

Let's Talk Politics: Why 'The Donald' Might Not Be What's Dangerous

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

I don't use my platform to speak about politics and as a student of the politic, that seems bizarre to me. Why am I so scared to talk about my political opinions on the internet? Trolls can't hurt me. It's important to have a say.

On Monday, I went to an anti-Trump rally on the streets of London (see above photo). It was exhilarating going to something like this, as I'd never done it before. Technically, it was an anti-Trump and anti-Theresa May rally, but I was just there against Trump, although I really do not agree with May's idea that we should just leave Trump to it - and let him into the country on a state visit, no less! Anyway, that's beside the point. It was great to go out and get actively involved in politics. And so, I'm going to start writing more politics posts. Because I love it. Sorry not sorry.

I've seen loads of articles calling for an impeachment of Trump, or an assassination of Trump, but honestly I don't think that would make a different. Because you know who you'd get after Trump? You'd get his brain: Mike Pence. It's clear to me that Trump does have some business accumen, but really what could a man who is a self-professed anti-establishmentarian, know about government? That's where Pence comes into things.

I personally feel that Pence is the Cheney to Trump's Bush (oo-err!). If you aren't familiar with the Cheney-Bush relationship, Dick Cheney was George W. Bush's Vice President, and Cheney practically ran the show while Bush cuddled up to Tony Blair and played golf. During 9/11, it was Cheney who called all the shots, while Bush was reading to school kids in Florida, before being lifted into Air Force 1, completely panicked about the whole situation.

Pence is Trump's Cheney. Famously, in an interview before 'The Donald' was elected, his son Donald Trump Jr. (no, not the ghostly 10-year-old, the one who looks like his activities include being racist and apres-ski) was asked about the responsibilities of the VP would be. Junior replied "domestic and foreign policy." Hang on, isn't that just a blanket term for everything? When asked what his father's duties would be, Junior replied with the almost punchline-like phrase "making America great again."

While I believe Trump should be impeached (obviously), I don't think that would help anything, unless Pence, Paul Ryan and all other 'Christian Supremacists' in the Republican Party go with him and we find someone, anyone, in the Republican Party who doesn't think they have the right to a woman's uterus. 

Do you know who we need? We need Bernie Sanders - or even Hillary!

Disclaimer: Often when I get very political on the internet, I am asked, by Americans, why I care about the American president when I myself am not American. My answer is that firstly, I am a student of politics. Therefore, any government of any form is fascinating to me. If I only studied British politics, I'd probably have my degree by now. Secondly, Donald Trump is now the most powerful man in the world. He (or Pence) will impose foreign policy. You know who foreign policy effects? The rest of the world! Similarly, it's clear that Theresa wants to keep up this friendship with America, and often we ally with them when they start wars or we start wars. We have kind of an 'aggravators code' where we help each other out when we get too big for our boots and start a war in a small Asian country. If America start wars, May could be sending out troops and then that affects me. Do you see what I mean? Any politics of any form is interesting.

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