Best Beauty Tools in the Biz.

I am super passionate about good quality beauty tools. I think the saying ‘you’re only as good as the tools you use’ rings true, even when it comes to beauty. You can have the highest quality foundation, but if you apply it with a ratchet scratchy foundation brush, it will always be patchy and streaky – And vise versa. Use a high quality sponge or brush and your drugstore foundation will look like an airbrushed dream.

Here is a run down of my favourite brushes and brands.

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The best brush kits and basics – Zoeva

These brushes and flippin’ magical. Seriously. A couple of years ago I invested in two Zoeva brush sets and I never looked back. These babies have lasted insanely well. They are as dense, in-shape and effective as the day I first got them. While these aren’t the most expensive or inexpensive brushes on the market, I personally believe they perform the best. The Complete Eye Set and the the Vegan Face Set would be ideal places to start, but I do have my all-time favourites as well. Oh, and they come in a range of finishes to match your vanity 😉

The 234 Luxe Smokey Shaper brush is perfect for patting on an eyeshadow with high pigment or shimmer. It transfers the shadow perfectly and is great for laying down any base eyeshadow.

The 244 Luxe Defined Crease Brush  has completely changed my eyeshadow game. It fits perfectly into the crease of my hooded eyes and blends out eyeshadow like a dream. It really allows me to add depth and dimension to my crease subtly, and allows product build up without going over board. This is seriously my #1 when it comes to a smoky eye. I think it is a fantastic brush for a beginner, because you cannot go wrong with this little gem.

The 228 Crease Brush is ideal for blending out your finished eye look. It a lovely tapered fluffy brush that diffuses your dark outer corner and blends all shows together to complete the look. I can create a whole eye look just with this trusty brush alone.

The 322 Brow Liner seriously changed the way I did my eyebrows. I remember trying for months to get my eyebrows on point with the ABH Dip Brow, but I just could not get the results I desired. When I got this baby in brush set, it changed everything.The pomade applied perfectly and I was able to get a really defined line. To this day, it is still my go-to brow brush.

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Best Base tool – The Beauty Blender

Hands down the best beauty tool in the biz. This little squishy tear drop of magic blends like nothing else. While is does tend to sheer out foundations a touch, it makes your base melt into your skin and prevent the dreaded mask effect. It is great to use after a brush application of foundation as well, to even out and ensure no streaky coverage. I use my BB everyday, without fail. Not only for foundation but for creme blush and contour, and liquid illuminisers. It has been replicated a fair bit, and there are great inexpensive options, but the original will always be my pick. I do prefer the black pro version too, purely because of the colour.

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Most practical and unique – The Beauty Exchange*

This is the best idea I have seen in a long time. The bottom of these gorgeous brushes are magnetic and stand ever so stylishly in the rectangle stand.  Not only do they add a little chicness to your vanity but they are great quality and really practical, too. The brush range isn’t huge, but the tools they do have are fabulous. I particularly love the  stumpy little kabuki brush, which is lovely and dense and super soft.  Perfect for blending out powders and making things look seamless.  I also really love the Foundation Buffer Brush which is oh-so perfect for …you guessed it, buffing out foundation. But also the size is great for getting in around the nose and chin area to reduce caking and patchiness.

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Best base and cheek brushes – IT Cosmetics*

Even by just looking at IT Cosmetics brushes you can tell how soft and luxurious they are going to be. I was kindly gifted a gorgeous set of these brushes and have been on the hunt for more since. The Heavenly Luxe Flawless Foundation Brush is the most perfectly dense foundation brush I’ve ever used. It is a great size to effortlessly blend out product, and the brush hairs are so soft and leave a gorgeous even finish.

I pick my Heavenly Luxe cheek brush over most of my other brushes to apply blush. The size is perfect to add pigment to the apples of my cheeks, and the shape is perfect for blending out and diffusing.  The bristles pick up just enough product to disperse enough pigment.

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Best affordable options

 Platinum*

These shiny guys have only recently landed at Beauty Bender HQ , but it was love at first sight. I love the gun-metal gray aesthetic and love that they don’t have a wooden handle. These brushes are super soft and are actually weighted better than other more expensive alternatives. I honestly cannot pick a favourite out of the brushes that I own. Platinum Brushes are definitely comparable to IT Cosmetics, but for a fraction of the price. Would you believe that these gorgeous little things are available from Woolworths exclusively? Get on to it ladies.

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 Eco Tools*

Eco tools make some really great quality beauty tools. They have recently updated their range with new handles and new brush styles. I am currently obsessed with the ECO Tools Sheer Powder Brush. With its soft bristles and tapered shape, I have been using this little dude for dusting away translucent powder used for baking. Eco Tools also have great brush sets in Priceline, usually with dual ended brushed that are so practical and perfect for travel, but not sparing on the quality.  Eco Tools have recently released some new Beauty Sponges too, which look great for baking. I’ve been keeping a keen eye out for these little green babies.

Nude By Nature

Nude By Nature just keep coming out with the goods, whether it be cosmetics or tools, they are really ahead of the drugstore game at the moment. I only have a few of their brushes, but I adore what I do have. The Ultimate Perfecting Brush is absolutely fabulous! The shape and density is great for adding a shadow underneath your cheekbone. It fits into the contours of the face perfectly and delivers product like a dream. It fits in my hand comfortably and feels oh-so soft.  I also love the BB Brush* to spread out sheerer foundations. It applies and blends product really well without to much tugging and dragging across the skin.

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Natio*

I have a fab little brush from Natio that I have been loving for quite a while now. It’s a dual ended foundation and concealer brush that is so handy. I actually love using this brush for dabbing on under-eye concealer. It is the perfect size and shape to gently pat on product and then blend out. I also take this brush with me in my handbag to touch up through the day. It really is a great option for an inexpensive price.

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Best luxe – Real Tech Bold Metals

I’m not going to pretend that these brushes don’t cost an arm and a leg, but man, just look at these pieces of art. They are weighted perfectly and I just feel so glamorous just using them. I especially love the rose gold cheek brushes which really work well with bronzers and blushes. Do you need these highly priced babies? Not really, no. But they sure are pretty.

Most gorgeous – Vani-T*

This brush doesn’t need many words to sum up why I love it. I mean, just look at it. Apart from being eye-catching and deliciously luxe, the dual ended brush is beautifully soft and works like a charm. I NEED the whole set of these bad boys.

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What are you favourite brushes?

 

Speak soon,

 

Camille

 

 

You can find more of me on Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat (@onabeautybender)

*DISCLAIMER – Although this product was sent for my consideration, all views and opinions are 100% honest. All opinions are based purely from my own experiences. I try my hardest to provide my readers with accurate information, but I am not by any means a professional, nor am I an expert. Please do not confuse my opinions with professional advice.

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The Perfect Palette Tag

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Anyone who knows me, know that I am a complete sucker for eyeshadow palettes. I stumbled across this tag over at The Beauty Collection and thought it would be fun to do (Although I have changed a few titles in the tag). So strap yourselves in and prepare for me to say things like shades, buttery, soft and pigment over and over again – Sorry, not sorry.

Let’s go…

 

Best Packaging

This is such a tough one. I like the packaging of many different palettes, for so many different reasons. It also depends on my mood, sometimes I like classy, sleek and black or there are other times where I like something a little more colourful and kitsch-y. My mood must be the later today because I think I like LimeCrime’s Venus’ packaging the best today. It is so unique and full of fun and colour. Although the packaging itself is cardboard, it is sturdy and has a strong magnetic closure. I adore the artwork on the front and the gold details and I love the contrast of the colour on the inside.

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Best Color Payoff

Nubian Palette by Juvia’s Place. These shades, all of them, ar so so so pigmented. They apply just beautifully. They’re so velvety soft but so full of delicious colour. This palette has surprised me in terms of quality and I am so glad I purchased it. – There is a little funny story behind this purchase, that you can read here. I would like to give an honourable mention to Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance in this category as well.

 

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I almost always take Zoeva Cocoa Blend with me when I travel – It is  a really good all-rounder. The packaging is sleek and thin, perfect to slip into an overnight bag. The colour range is vast, so the look options are basically limitless.  There are mattes and shimmers in cool, neutral and warm tones, darker shades for depth,and a couple of pops of unique colours for something different. The quality and colour pay off is great. Such a versatile palette.

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Biggest Regret

This might offend some people, but I’m going to do it any. I really regret spending so much money on my Mac Warm Neutrals palette. While the packaging is stunning and shades selection is great, the colour payoff really lets me down. It’s not bad, but it doesn’t blow me away – like I expected MAC eyeshadows to. There are a couple of colours that are amazing – the bronzey copper shimmer is so pretty (second row, second from the right). But, then there are others that are chalky and give me nothing. So, the palette as a whole is quite disappointing, especially when it is the one I paid the most for.

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Best Color Names

This one goes to my Too Faced Sweet Peach – I love that the names match the theme and are even a little outside the box. Names like Candied Peach, Cobbler, Bellini and Peach Pit just remind me of lazy summer afternoons and I love this palette for that. The names, mixed with the Peach scent is just perfection.

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Least Used

Now, I firstly want to say that this isn’t because of the quality that the Tarte Greatest Glitz Collector Set (2015) is the winner of this category, It is purely because of the packaging and how it fits into my vanity – A little unfair, I know, but that’s just how it is. This set is made up of 4 smaller palettes and is in quite a large box. Granted there is a smaller box inside that fits one of the smaller palettes for travel but I just haven’t used it. The colours are beautiful and true to Tarte form, full of pigment. Each little palette includes one of their famous blushes as well. Because the housing is so large, it sits right at the back of my drawer and gets forgotten about. I am now, going to make a bigger effort to use these cute little palettes.

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Most Used

My most used would have to be Shade and Light by Kat Von D, I pretty much use this baby daily. The shades in this palette are super versatile and are perfect base, transition and depth shades. I am not a fan of all shimmer lids, so I love using these colours to make my look a little more matte. The pigment and the quality of this palette is beautiful. Matte’s can be chalky with little to no colour payoff, but that cannot be said for this entirely matte palette. I would recommned everyone have this palette in their collection.

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Most Loved

Why you do dis to me, tag?  I honestly cannot pick one. Sorry tag police.  Most loved palette would have to be a three-way tie, soz.  Firstly I adore Violet Voss’ Holy Grail. The shades and quality give me life.  Seriously, just look at it. It is just so stunning, the lay out of colours is absolute perfection. Not only are there deep burgundy and warm toned browns, but there are pinks, oranges and neutrals. Everything a blue-eyed girl needs in a palette. Secondly is the ABH Modern Renaissance palette. The sheen that these shades provide is so gorgeous, I adore how these shadows look on my eyes and the way the blend into each with little to no effort, it is amazing. Lastly, is the Morphe 35O, I couldn’t possible be writing a posts about palettes and leave this guy out. There is no other palette that has so many shades in such a high-quality for the price. Morphe have the best value for money goin’. Again, the pigment in this palette is incredible. Granted, there a few shades that verge on the chalky side, but overall the quality is top-notch.  Just look at these three palettes, how could you not love them.

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Best Drugstore

This palette is only a new one to my collection, but I am so impressed with the quality. Natio have recently released a few eye shadow palettes and I got my hands on the Golden* Palette.  The colours are perfect for everyday wear and the formula is gorgeous, super soft, pigmented and buttery. I have been reaching for this quite a bit recently. I am a bit of an eyeshadow snob and don’t generally buy any drugstore palettes, because in all honesty, with the collection I already own, I don’t see the point in buying any. But I am so glad this Natio palette landed in my grubby little mitts.

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Best for Beginners

I am going to go with my first ever palette, The original Lorac Pro, because I found that it has treated me so well and taught me a lot about colour matching. The quality of this palette is second to none, so buttery and full of colour. The shades are easy to blend, with not a huge amount of fallout. Plus there are 8 mattes and 8 matching shimmers which makes it super easy to pair colours. The spectrum of the palette is amazing too, there is a shade for everything, both cool and warm toned and few neutrals for thrown in for good measure. This is a palette that is needed in every collection.

 

 

I encourage you all to have a go at this tag, I really enjoyed doing it. What answers would you change?

 

Speak soon,

 

Camille x

 

*DISCLAIMER – Although this product was sent for my consideration, all views and opinions are 100% honest. All opinions are based purely from my own experiences. I try my hardest to provide my readers with accurate information, but I am not by any means a professional, nor am I an expert. Please do not confuse my opinions with professional advice.

 

 

 

Beauty Worth Investing In

This whole beauty business can be very pricey. While I do tend to opt for drugstore buys there are some items that I believe are worth investing in.

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Clarisonic*

Yes. This is an expensive product, and yes, I am aware that there are cheaper alternatives. But I wouldn’t harp on about this device if I didn’t love it. I have used many different replicas like Clinique and Olay but seriously nothing compares. I thought I cleaned my face well enough, but after using this guy for the first time, I was shocked at the amount of foundation that the Clarisonic picked up. I have forever struggled with my skin and now, after seeing this, I know why. The Clarisonic was the first of its kind and uses sonic oceslation technology to gently work with your skin’s elasticity, not against it. Other alternatives rotate and spin which can actually do more damage than good. I also think that the brush head makes a lot of difference. Even though I don’t have sensitive skin, I find that the normal brush can be a little too much, so I opt for the delicate or sensitive type.

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Foreo Luna Mini*
Not a fan of the Clarisonic? Maybe the Foreo Luna Mini is more your speed. To be utterly honest, I love both the Clarisonic and Foreo equally, but for different reasons. The Foreo is this gorgeous little vibrating silicone pebble that is really gentle on the skin. There are no interchangeable parts, so what you see it what you get. And after the first initial purchase, you don’t need to keep re-purchasing parts. I love using the Luna Mini in the morning to wake up my skin, as soothing massage to prepare my face for the day. As mentioned before, this device it supremely gentle and I would recommend this baby for sensitive and even mature skin. The battery life lasts forever and this little guy seems to be a little more hygienic – there is no science behind this, it is just something I have in my head, haha. But the only downside is that I don’t feel like it gives me enough cleansing action to remove my cakeface, and that’s where my love for my Clarisonic fits in. If you want a more in-depth comparison, let me know and I’ll get my bum into gear and get typing.

Pssst. There is a sale on Foreo over on bransexclusive right now and only lasts for a few more days. Jump to it!
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Skincare

While you don’t need to spend a small fortune on skincare to get great results, I think you need to invest time and effort into planning and sticking to your skin regime. For so long I just used any skincare products willy nilly. But, in order for your skin to benefit from skincare products, they have to be used religiously. Every so often I like to sit down and think about what it is that I want to target and with what product. Do you want anti-aging? Should you use rentinol based products, or should you be using Hydraluronic Acid. Do you want to fight blemishes or un-even skin tone? Brightening or balancing?  Skin is constantly changing and is a product of environmental, genetic and health factors, so it is super beneficial to change-up your regime every season.  Since I have dedicated time and effort into my skincare routine I have noticed a huge difference, and because I am giving the products the best advantage to work, I can see what my skin likes and doesn’t like. For a starting point I would suggest Real-U SkinFit program. This program contains the products you need, as well as a monthly guide to get an understanding of how to work your routine. Real-U* gave me incredible results. While I try literally hundreds of products, Real-U has definitely changed the game for me, and I will revert back to it whenever my skin is looking a bit weathered.

Skin Treatment

This is only a new luxury to me, but I can really see the benefit in getting semi-regular facials. I say semi-regular because I honestly don’t believe they need to be had too often, just when you think your skin is lacking. Since having a few peels/microdermabrasion/facials I have noticed a big difference in my skin’s texture and all-round health. While I am not someone who forks out a lot of money for regular professional treatments, I am happy to treat my self for a special occasion or if my skin is looking particularly dull and tired. After a bit of research and conversations with professionals, I think that peels, particularly glycolic based peels,  are the way to go. Peels come in a variety of strengths, with very little downtime. Peels aim to correct skin texture, fine lines, sun damage, congestion and dull skin – basically a general all-round treatment. I recently went for a facial at the Ella Bache College *in North Sydney, and it was probably one of the most relaxing afternoons of my life! My skin is still glowing a week and a half later.

 

 

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Brushes

There are so many different brush brands out there that offer high quality for super reasonable prices. I have never forked out for high-end brushes when something half the price is just as good. However, that being said, I believe that there is some aspects of investment involved. Everyone needs a good base brush kit with great quality, that will last the distance. I use so many different brushes but always come back to my staples. I purchased two Zoeva brush sets around 2 years ago and these babies have not let me down.  They are easily cleaned, with no threat to their integrity. There is also a huge range, so definitely a brush that suits your every need. Although the brush kits seem expensive, when you break it down per brush it is much cheaper than buying them individually. Zoeva Brushes have truly stood the test of time in my collection, when other brushes started to shed and lose their shape in a fraction of the time, my Zoeva babies continue to blend like a dream. Absolute workhorses.

OLAPLEX

If you are going lighter and your hairdresser asks if you would like an Olaplex treatment, say yes! Grab onto the opportunity with both hands and scream yes! Put simply, Olaplex is an in-salon repair treatment which limits the amount of damage to the hair during or after colouring. As someone who has been lightning their hair for years, this technology is a life-saver. My hair doesn’t feel weak, coarse and knotty after bleaching, it actually feels strong and healthy, with a great deal of shine. I get this treatment probably every other salon visit and my hair reaps the results. I also buy the take-home component of the treatment, to give my hair a good boost between visit. I notice less hair loss and breakage, better colour longevity and health after using Olaplex. Olaplex also allows a drastic change in colour (think black to blonde) in a shorter amount of time and with minimal damage to the integrity of your hair. Even if your current salon doesn’t offer this, I would highly recommend a salon that does, it is that good.

 

The list isn’t really that long, and that’s because I think makeup and cosmetics are things that should be enjoyed and experimented with. Different of things work for different people, and I feel that every one’s collection is a true reflection style and attitude. Never feel like you need to own the most expensive products to get the best results, because it is just not true.

Is there anything else that you would add to my list?

Camille

*DISCLAIMER – Although this prouduct was sent for my consideration, all views and opinions are 100% honest. All opinions are based purely from my own experiences. I try my hardest to provide my readers with accurate information, but I am not by any means a professional, nor am I an expert. Please do not confuse my opinions with professional advice.

Top 5 Palettes

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Hello beautiful people,
Who doesn’t love an eyeshadow palette? I probably like them a little too much – on last count I have 29, with another one on the way (Too Faced Sweet Peach, eeek!).  Hope my mum isn’t reading this :|. Granted, I have been collecting them for many years.  Anyway, as much as I don’t like to play favourites with my children there are certainly some palettes I use more than others. I’ve narrowed my favourites down to 5, and trust me, that was a challenge in itself.

Proceed with caution – I will say buttery, blend, pigmented and colours a lot – Don’t say I didn’t warn you, haha.

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Lorac – Pro Palette (AU$ 79)

I wish I could include all my Lorac eyeshadow palettes in this list as the quality is second to none. But that wouldn’t be fair, would it? So, I have chosen the most versatile of my collection. I have had the Original Lorac Pro or over two years, it was my first big high-end beauty buy.  I am still as in love with it today as I was when I first used it. As a relative newbie to make-up back then, the idea of 8 matte shades with 8 matching shimmers made it easy for me to know which colours were best to use together. As my confidence and skills improved this palette remained a staple item in my collection. The colours are so beautiful and rich. The set out of the pans is probably my favourite overall – It is just so aesthetically pleasing. The colours blend like a dream and are just to velvety soft. This guy is a great palette to take travelling as it covers all bases, lasts forever and is so easy to use.

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Zoeva – Cocoa Blend (AU$ 38)

Holy shitballs, this palette is just incredible. Considering the price* I was expecting the colours to be a little chalky, with not a whole lot of colour pay-off, but man was I wrong. First of all this palette looks like an expensive box of chocolates, it always feels a little bit special when I use it. It’s slim, sleek and sturdy with very generous pan sizes. There is a great mix of colours, both shimmer and matte, ranging from creams and golds, warm neutrals to dark vampy shades. The colours are buttery and pigmented, they are easy to blend and really long wearing. Cocoa Blend is generally the palette I take travelling, with such a mix of colours the combinations are limitless; It is as easy to create a dark smokey eye as it is to create something really natural.  Dare I say it, this little guy could very well be my number 1.

  *It is worth noting that I purchased this palette from the now defunct Luxola for around $20

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Lime Crime – Venus Palette (US$ 32)

When I first saw the release of Venus, I didn’t think it was that exciting. A couple of reds, browns and pinks, what a strange combination of colours. However, after becoming more comfortable with make-up and learning what colours worked for me, this was a palette that I could really see myself using. I purchased this beautiful palette from Urban Outfitters about 18 months or so ago and I am so glad I did. What I first thought were a couple of miss-matched boring shades turned out to be really diverse colours. Deep and rich earthy colours that really suit my blue eyes, two multi-dimensional highlight colours, a perfect transitional beige and a dark brown to add depth.  The colours are soft and smooth and so very pigmented. They way they blend into each other still surprises me with every use. The packaging is adorable and full of character. This unusual mix of colours and aesthetics works perfectly, winning itself a place in my top 5 favourite palettes.

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Kat Von D – Shade and Light Eye Contour Palette (AU$ 64)

I have only had this palette for a month or so, but it was love at first sight. I find that most all-matte palettes can be a little boring and lack-lustre, but this bad boy is breaking all the rules. I have never come across such pigmented, buttey colours that apply and blend so well. The packaging is sleek and sturdy and the pan size is huge. The colour selection is great, with quads of cool, neutral and warm tones. I find myself constantly picking up Shade and Light and using the shades as transition colours whilst using other palettes. It is an absolute make-up collection staple. You can find more thoughts on this palette here.

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Morphe – 35O Palette (AU$ 45)

Last but certainly not least is the mother of all warm toned palettes – the 35O, cue angelic singing. This huge palette contains 35 high-quality and high-pigmented shades. It does look a little daunting at first glance, all those bright orange shades can seem a bit gawdy – but trust me they aren’t in the slightest. The mattes are soft with a decent amount of colour pay off, but what sets this palette apart are those shimmers. Oh my goodness, they are insane. They are so buttery and so so so pigmented and don’t lose any of there glorious-ness when applied to the lid. I haven’t even used fix+ with these because I’m afraid it would be just too overwhelming, haha. Every single colour in this palette can be used with ease. There is not one colour that doesn’t get a work out. The palette is so versatile, such high-quality and is crazy value for money (if you can find it in stock). If you get the opportunity to add Morphe 35O to your collection, just do it…. that is if you are obsessed with warm tones, like me.

 

I wonder if my Too Faced Sweet Peach palette will knock any of these out of my top 5. I’ll have to wait and see. Do you agree with my picks? What would be in your top 5?

 

Until next time –

Love and Lipstick,

Camille x

* All products in this post were purchased with my own money.