Thursday, 30 July 2015

The Balm - Meet Matt(e) Hughes

The Balm is a brand we have only recently got to know. They have been producing products sine 2004 but maybe it's just taken this long to get across 'The Pond' to us.

 The balm packaging and marketing does have a Benefit cosmetics feel to it. Kitsch images on the card packaging with puns in the shade names. They also hail from San Fransisco!

 We have used a few of their products in various tutorials, mainly the Mary-Lou Manizer highlighter which we love. You can see it used here...

A matte finish lipgloss is always a winner for us. Not being huge fans of an overly sticky gloss we generally prefer the matte variety.
 The Balm have a range of liquid lips called Meet Matt(e) Hughes. 

  Eight bold shades with a doe foot style applicator. Extremely creamy texture which glides onto the lips in a smooth, creamy layer. They are infused with Peppermint oil which smells great, really uplifting and fresh.
 Initially we thought these liquid lips had a shimmer as they appear to have a fine sparkle but this dries off and you are left with a flat, matte finish.
 The matte texture means these last well on the lips. They don't dry off to an immovable matte finish like other liquid lips we have reviewed but they do last really well and will stain the lips.
 Colours are beautifully bold and punchy.

 They don't feel drying on the lips and hardly need any touching up throughout the day.

 If you live in the States then you're in luck as these will be delivered in 2-8 working days with free shipping from If you're in the in the rest of the world then delivery is around 2 weeks and to be honest the shipping charges are pretty astronomical. You can get a shipping quote on The Balm website so check for your country. In the UK these are available from
 These liquid lips are $17.00 each (around £11.00.


Wednesday, 29 July 2015

YSL Pretty Metal

YSL has gone all grunge like for it's 2015 Autumn collection.
 Pretty metal is a compilation which mainly focuses on the eyes.

 Kicking off for the eyes is the Metal Clash eye shadow palette.
  This is the showstopper piece of the collection and the case of this palette had us drawn in immediately.

 The classic gold casing has had a revamp and now features a white gold studded YSL logo.
 Inside the mirrored palette are the tell tale classic shades which scream autumn but will also see you through to (dare we say it)..Christmas!!

 Five shades including a ashen gold, a lilac highlighter, deep satin finish plum, choclate satin brown and dirty red burgundy.
 Great colour vibrancy, little drop down and easily blended. A very wearable palette. You could layer on and blend every colour in this palette and it would work harmoniously well.

This palette would work on all eye colours but would look insane on a green or blue eye.
 This palette is £42.00 and limited edition.

Next up for the eyes are the Kajal crayons. Four shades available with this collection in black, navy, petrol blue and a opalescent green.
 The kajal have a very waxy texture which is great for application ease and longevity. Not the best liners for blending as they tend to adhere quickly to the skin but great for an intense liner look. Each kajal is £25.00.

No2 Bleu Cobalt
 Couture Brow shaper mascara in a glossy brunette or ash blonde finishes the brows and frames the eyes. We love the packaging for this, it has a real 70's vibe. The long wand holds a mini, tapered brush which softly brushes the product through the brows. Hairs are naturally tinted and set without looking brittle.

No2 Ash Blonde

 This shade in Ash blonde is the perfect shade for blondes. Not too warm but a great blend of ash and taupe.
 The brow shapers are £21.00. 

There are three lipsticks as part of the collection and we have the shade in No34 Rose in sound. A soft pink with an undertone of coral. Feels super glossy and moisturising. Due to the glossy texture they are not super long lasting but they feel very comfortable and are easy just to quickly apply a slick and go. Lipsticks are £26.00 each.

 This collection is available today (29th July 2015) nationwide and from

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Elemis Pro-Radiance Illuminating Eye Balm

We have never been a huge fan of makeup products which illuminate around the eyeUsed correctly in small amounts with precise product placements they can work. Who really has time to apply them in this cautious way though! Generally they are swiped all around the under eye causing the tell tale "Panda eye" in photographs. These products also are the main culprits for creasing and settling in the fine lines around the eye, drawing attention to skin texture around the eye.
 What we do like however are skin care products which you can apply as part of your regime or mix with your concealer to effectively do the same job.

This August Elemis are launching their new illuminating eye balm.
 The balm comes in a squeezy 10ml tube and is applied through a zamac head (a metal from the zinc/aluminium family). This metal remains cold so as you squeeze the product out and massage over the eye area. It feels refreshing and cooling. 
 The balm itself is very subtly tinted in an apricot tone which helps to correct an ashy under eye tone.

 Contains Bird of Paradise flower to help reduce puffiness, optical blurring powders to give a soft focus to the skin, Apricot kernel and vitamins A and E to nourish and nurture. Extracts of Arnica and Chamomile are also added which are well known for their calming and healing properties.
 The finish on the skin is a very subtle healthy radiance. It really does give the skin a lift and a refreshing sheen without looking unnatural or overly reflective.

You can apply it as part of your skin care routine but we like to mix a little with our concealer on the back of our hand and then massage over the under eye area. Saves time and also gives your under eye concealer a natural glow that won't reflect in photographs.
 A little goes a long way so you will get a good few months use from this. Not cheap at £34.00 but it does work really well.
 Great for those with dark circles who want the radiance without the obvious makeup in fine lines.

 Available from August at and selected John Lewis, Debenhams, Harvey Nichols and online at



Monday, 27 July 2015

Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick- Fall collection

We blogged the new ABH liquid lips back in January and spoke about their AMAZING pigment and texture. 
 This lip product is fast becoming quite the cult product and new shade extensions are being launched to suit the season.
 In typical Autumn (fall if you're in the States!)style the latest launch combines russets, sepia's, plums and a few surprising alternative shades.
 Extremely long lasting shot of colour which dries off to a matte finish.

 Beautiful finish and a true, bold pigment colour. Dries quickly to form a comfortable block of colour.

Nic has created a tutorial using the blue Paint shade. This tutorial will be up in the next two weeks.

 If only they were easier to get hold of! Currently available from priced at $20 (approximately £13.00) but with shipping charges if you're in the UK or Europe.


Friday, 24 July 2015

No7 Dramatic Lift Mascara

No7 have no less than fourteen mascara's in their line up and have now thrown another into the mix. We can't keep up!
 Their latest launch is the Dramatic lift mascara.

Short natural bristles are curved gently to enable the brush to sit comfortably in the contour of the eye.
 The actual mascara has a creamy gel like texture and provides a glossy shine.
 Flexible polymers and building waxes keep lashes soft rather than brittle looking.

 It does give the lashes a nice lift and the lashes definitely felt softly curled and weightless. I wouldn't say it's overly dramatic but a nice every day mascara to open the eye, gives a jet black pigment to the lashes and awesome lash separation. The brush is also a nice shape to apply product to the lower lashes without transferring product onto your skin.
 Also available in brown which is a nice option for brides who like a really natural look.
  Available now for £10.00 as an introductory price but will be £13.50 from the 5th August 2015.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Summer Feel Good Tutorial

Did you catch Nic's Summer makeup tutorial last week? Check it out here....


Thursday, 16 July 2015

Tuesday Chat Blindfold Makeup Challenge

If you fancy a laugh then check out our blindfold makeup challenge.....


Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Urban Decay Smoky Palette

We had heard a rumour there was a new Naked palette on the horizon and had a sneaking suspicion it would be of the smoky variety.

 Obviously you can create a smoky eye from any of the existing palettes however these 12 shades are the more stereotypically smoky shades.

 The palette contains 9 brand new shades and 3 exclusive shades.
 Includes a mix of matte, satins and shimmer shades.
 Sam has created a tutorial using the palette which will be live 24th July.

 Includes a duel ended synthetic brush. One end is a small, firm pencil brush which is great for using under the eye and increasing colour intensity. The other end is a long fluffy blending brush for a seamless blend.

There is a good colour selection and mix of warm and cool tones.
 Colour pigment is good and each shade blends well. The darker colours, particularly those with the shimmer finish did drop on application. No more fall out than any of the other palettes but no improvement either we would say. We would advise creating your smoky eye first and then clean up and apply your foundation second.

 Watch Sam recreate a smoky eye using the palette here... 

The Naked Smoky palette is £38.00 and is available in the UK from 28th July online at


Monday, 13 July 2015

Purple Haze Tutorial

Did you catch Sam's purple haze tutorial over the weekend?

Give it a try and tweet us your pictures @nixiepixi @Pixiwoos


Friday, 10 July 2015

Bobbi Brown Telluride Collection

Telluride is a town in Colorado which happens to be Bobbi Brown's favourite destination. The rugged mountainous landscape has provided her with inspirational ideas on colours produced in the late afternoon sun.

 Innovative and original? Not really but a very nice, wearable summer collection none the less.

Classic seven shadow palette from Bobbi Brown featuring sunset inspired tones. Slimline case with large mirror and duel ended application and blending brush in both synthetic and natural hair. This palette it £39.50 and features a mix of shimmering and matte tones. Good day to evening palette with colours to suit all skin tones.

 The matte shades need quite a bit of building up to achieve a good color payoff. The shimmering shades are much stronger and look stunning in the sunlight.

 Limited edition shimmer brick in sunset pink gives a pink/bronze radiance to the skin. Looks amazing as a highlighter on an olive to darker skin tone. The shimmer brick is £33.00.

 The lip trio is really nice for brightening the skin tone naturally without being too in your face or overly coral.
 The three come as a set for £39.00.
 Lip pencil in Pink Guava,Sunset pink sheer lip colour with a moisturising sheen and Sunset lip gloss all compliment each other beautifully.

 The pot rouge in New Maui is pinker than it looks in the pot. It sinks in nicely with no greasy texture to a satin finish. 

 This collection is available online now and available in store from the 16th July 2015. 


Thursday, 9 July 2015

OPI Colourpaints

It's festival season so we are embracing our inner hippy and painting tie dye nails.
Image courtesy of OPI created by nail expert Sophie Harris-Greenslade
 This collection holds nine shades which blend into each other to create a rainbow tie-dye.

 Nobody has a large enough nail bed to fit all the colours in but select your blend and get creative.
Once you have filed your nails paint a layer of the silver canvas. This will give you a base in which to blend your colours into.

  I selected the yellow and green to blend together but you can choose which ever colours you prefer.

 We used a fine liner brush to apply the shade in primarily yellow. It's easier to blend your next colour while the 1st is still wet just make sure you have cleaned your brush before dipping into the next colour.

I blended the green into the yellow, cleaned my brush and then built each colour up to make them stronger.

Once dry, paint on a clear top coat to help blend and protect.

These are available now exclusively at Selfridges store and online.
 You can purchase singularly for £12.50 each, in a mini kit for £19.95 or as a large size trio which also includes a nail art brush for £29.95. 

Tweet us your creations to @Pixiwoos @nixiepixi @PixiwooHQ


Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Kevyn Aucoin Eye pigment Primatif

We enjoy wearing cream eye shadows in the summer and actually don't mind a bit of creasing however it's not every ones cup of tea.
 If you have oily eye lids, live in a humid country or just like to dance the night away in a sweaty club then check these out.
 Kevyn Aucoin say this product is an elastomeric gel. Basically translating as a product which has the elasticity of rubber.
 The 4g glass pots contain a sponge gel/cream which has a putty texture.
 They feel like a soft, dry velour as you blend them over the eye and have no tacky or greasy feel.

Top: Fog, Mistress. Middle: Titian, Champagne, Horizon. Bottom: Haze, Dawn
 Eight shades (we only have 7) in a mix of matte and shimmering tones. They initially apply in a very sheer wash so you need to layer up quite a bit to get a strong colour payoff. 

They blend super easily and have amazing longevity. They actually absorb excess sebum from the eye lid so perfect for people who have oily lids naturally.
What was slightly disappointing though was that some of the colours had already shrunk in the pot and fell out in a block when I opened the lid. They still performed well and the texture hadn't been compromised but if you're spending £38.00 on this then I'd expect it to look perfect without product reduction.

These are available now from SpaceNK for £38.00 each.




Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Scholl Velvet Smooth Pedicure

Okay so we have made the transition from winter shoes into summer sandals and flip flops. This is the moment where you realise your feet resemble pigs trotters with cracked skin all around the heel and pads of hard skin under the toes.
 A certain amount of hard skin on the soles is not a bad thing as it protects your feet. It's when the hard skin starts to take on a dusty, white/grey colour and feels rough you need to act. When the hard skin starts to catch on socks or tights is always the final straw for us!
  We have had our Scholl velvet smooth express pedi for months now. It's the sort of product you have laying in a bathroom drawer and forget how much you love it.

It's basically the lazy persons foot file. It doesn't do anything different to the good old fashioned foot file however it's quicker, easier and takes less effort. We all want that don't we?
  It's a battery operated device (takes x4 AA Batteries) which has a rotating roller to remove the hard skin. The roller has no sharp edges and doesn't hurt or pull the skin and it doesn't tickle either. It's made from an abrasive sandpaper effect roller which has tiny diamond crystal particles embedded onto it.

Making sure your feet are totally dry when you start, switch it on and gently roll it over the dry, hard skin on the feet. If the feet are wet it's too hard to tell where the hard skin is. Ensure you keep it only over the hard skin and not any soft, squidgy skin. It won't cut or hurt the softer skin but it won't feel very comfortable. The hard skin will literally fly off into the air (gross) so we would advise sitting in the garden to do it or over the bath. 
 Be careful though as it does get really addictive. It's so satisfying seeing all the dry skin fly off that you can take it down too far. Just give it a gentle once over and see how it feels before you carry on.
 Your feet will feel so soft and amazing!
 Once your roller head starts to wear down (they last ages) you can purchase a new head to fit in your roller. There are also different levels of abrasive texture depending on how extreme your hard skin is.
 You can purchase this from tons of suppliers so shop around online to get the best price but they are generally around £29.99.


Monday, 6 July 2015

Taylor Swift Tutorial

We have had tons of requests for a Taylor Swift tutorial so I chose her classic red lip look that we know and love her for.
  Hope you enjoy.


Friday, 3 July 2015

NARS Summer 2015 Gifting

This week NARS have launched their Summer palettes which are exclusive to Selfridges.
 There are three palette options, two of the sets are for the lips and one is for the cheeks.
 We have one of the lip palettes to share with you called True NARS.

 We love the bold print on the casing and the huge mirror inside. This set contains three lip crayons in bold, punchy colours and also a jumbo sharpener.

 This particular palette contains more pinky/berry shades.

Shades from top: Yu, Luxembourg, Provacative Red

The shade in Yu ans Luxembourg are a satin finish and the last shade in provacative red is a velvet matte. The jumbo stick isn't so large that it's impossible to get colour inside the lip line and it is quick and easy to fill in the lips. Make sure you keep it sharpened to maintain the point.

Yu and Luxembourg pencils have a satin, moisturised finish on application but actually dry off slightly to more of a semi-matte finish. They last suprisingly well considering their initial satin texture.
 Provocative red being a velvet matte is much drier on application and dragged the lips a little more. It did last well on the skin though.
 This palette is £29.00 and available from 1st July 2015 at

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Make up Forever Ultra HD Foundation

The original MUFE HD foundation has been around since 2008. HD TV and advances in camera technology meant that a new level of foundation needed to be created to meet the flawless skin demands we all require in this digital age.
 MUFE developed their original foundation to meet these needs but as with everything in life products have to move with the times and evolve. We now have 4K HD. In less confusing talk this basically means that a 4K Camera has 8 million pixels. This is 4 times the amount that regular HD has. The depth and detail is so much stronger that every part of the image is hugely magnified.
 To support the change MUFE have developed their new HD Ultra foundation.
 The old HD foundation has been reformulated to produce this new updated version.

 The bottle is the same as the original formula. A 30ml plastic, pump action bottle. The lids still fall off in your makeup bag like the old bottle unfortunately.

 The liquid texture feels fairly lightweight when you pump it out. Not too runny, not too thick.
 It absorbs into the skin fairly quickly and initially with a sheer cover. We found a stippling brush was a nice brush type to use to really buff this into the skin. It was a really easy foundation to build up providing you with a fuller, flawless cover if this is what you require. A smaller amount buffed into the skin will also just give you a wash of cover making this a good choice for all coverage needs.
 It feels very silky on the skin. Not greasy at all but not drying either. Quite a unique texture really. It is water based which explains how it glides into the skin so easily but it has a very smooth almost light silicone feel once blended, even though there is no actual silicone included. It's witchcraft! 
 The finish is a natural skin radiance. It contains luminosity boosters which stimulate the blood circulation. These skin boosting ingredients help to give the skin a natural oomph and radiance.
 It contains hyaluronic acid so it plumps a dehydrated skin and evens fine lines.
 We tested this foundation on an oily skin and a dryer skin. It performed exceptionally well on both types.
 On an oily skin it never felt greasy, it didn't pool in the T-Zone area and it didn't settle into open pores. It lasted all day and still looked beautifully flawless even at 6pm.It gave the skin a soft natural radiance without looking shiny.
 On a dryer skin it blended well and never dragged. It gave a natural radiance and didn't cling to dry patches. Best of all it felt comfortable all day and it never sunk into the fine lines.
 It genuinely performed excellently well on both skin types. We think it would be great on a more mature skin also as it wasn't cakey and didn't sink into fine lines or imperfections.

 The best part of all is the colour selection. There are a whopping 40 shades in the line up. The worst part of this huge shade lineup is trying to figure out the numbering system and how to tell what you are! 
 Because this foundation is designed to look flawless under all conditions MUFE needed to create an extensive colour selection to suit a large variety of skin types. Nic wears this foundation in her Taylor Swift tutorial which is live this Friday for you.

Okay so let us try and make the numbering system a little less confusing....
The shades are categorised into four main colour groups. Light, medium, tan and dark. 
 Within each of these groups there are red based foundations and yellow based foundations.
  The numbering system on the base of each bottle consists of a letter and then a 3 digit number.
 The letter is either an R or a Y depending on if it is a red base or a yellow base. The light shade numbers all begin with a 2, medium with a 3, tan with a 4 and dark with a 5..stay with me!

So firstly you need to decide whereabouts you think you would normally sit with regards to light, medium, tan or dark. Next you need to think if you have a more red undertone to your skin or a yellow undertone.
 The numbers all go up in 5's so the lower the number eg R210 the lighter the foundation compared to R260 which is a higher number and therefore darker.

Once you get your head around that it's actually easy to pinpoint what shade you need.

Here are the shades...

Light-Red based foundations

 Light-Yellow based foundations

 Medium-Yellow based foundations

 Medium-Red based foundations

Tan-Yellow based foundations

 Tan-Red based foundations

Dark-Red based foundations

 We found the colours translated lighter on the skin than they look in the bottle.
  If you are someone who always used the old formula HD Foundation then MUFE have also included the number of the old original colour on the new bottle. It does somewhat look confusing but it's a great idea if you had found the prefect shade in the old formula.
 It looks like this...


For example 160 is the number of the shade in the old formula which matches this new shade.
 R410 means it sits in the tan shade range, it has a red undertone and it's on the lighter end of the tan spectrum.
 The third number at the bottom is a batch code which you don't need to pay attention to. It'll be different on every bottle.

 Here are the original HD foundation numbers and their new equivalent in HD Ultra...


Original shades 150 &185 have been discontinued.
 This foundation is £29.00 and available from August 2015 at
 It is also available from this week for £35.00.

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