Saturday, 21 April 2018

Soft Focus Powders | An affordable option from Freedom?

Freedom Pro Highlight Powder in Ambient

I'm sure a lot of you will know what a soft focus powder is, or would have heard about the Hourglass ones. However, I was a bit late to the party and if you're also like me, you might be wondering what on earth they are?! To put it simply they're almost like a very subtle highlighter but one which you can use all over your face as a setting powder (well maybe with the t zone left out).

I first heard about this concept when I was reading some reviews on the Freedom Pro Highlight Powder in Ambient. I don't have many powder highlighters (my dry skin prefers cream/liquid formulas), but I wanted one or two just to try out, and this one was on offer for £1.50 so I thought might as well! (In hindsight maybe I should have just gone for one of the MUA ones). Anyway, a lot of the reviews were saying it's a very, very subtle highlight and more of a finishing powder to give a natural glow. I'm all about the glow these days (although to be fair I've never been hugely bothered about contouring, I prefer the dewy high cheekbones look).

I really wanted this product to work for me because who doesn't want their skin to look glowy with minimal effort?! However, the first obstacle was the shade range. With the choice of only two shades and both of them quite cool toned, I went for Ambient as it seemed like the only feasible one for South Asian skin. The other option was Diffused which was much cooler. Although on the Revolution Beauty website it seems like they also do two more shades in Brighten and Glow (but those swatches aren't appealing to me either).

Freedom Pro Highlight Powder in Ambient

When I first got this, I loved trying it out on a daily basis. It was definitely a bit more pink toned but it blended into the skin so it wasn't too apparent, and I loved how smooth the formula felt and how it melted into the skin to give it a very soft reflective sheen. However, the more I used it, the more I started thinking that wait this isn't actually working! I would swirl a massive powder brush into this and go around the perimeter of my face a few times, really getting a lot of product on the brush but it barely showed up. Then when I overloaded it, I realised yes the powder was smooth but it felt too ashy on the skin, then it would layer up to look a bit powdery (with quite a bit of fall out too). Layering up the shade would also give a pinky-grey tinge which is far removed from the glow we want.

So to sum it up, I love the idea of a soft focus highlighting powder but this isn't the product for it (it might be a coincidence but they've also discontinued it on Superdrug). The formula doesn't really have any glow imparting properties, especially for those of us with dry skin. I can't help but think a base, like a radiance primer or hydrating serum, would be more effective. However, I do have to mention the packaging is really amazing for such a low budget product, what with all the swirls and the sturdy compact (makes you think where all the money goes in high end products!).

Freedom Pro Highlight Powder in Ambient

However, I will not give up in my quest for a soft focus powder! I've scoured the internet and some good options so far seem to be; Wet n Wild Reserve your Cabana (for fair skin), Models Prefer Soft Touch Mineral Powder (for fair - medium skin), Essence Pure Nude Highlighter (for medium skin, this one seems to be a bit more shimmery though), Laura Mercier Candleglow Sheer Perfecting Powder (for fair - tanned skin), or the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders. The Elf illuminating palette was going to make a feature but it seems like they reformulated it for the worse.

Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be many more options, especially for tanned skin, but I'll try to update this once I hear of any!

I hope you enjoyed this post!
Have you ever tried soft focus powders, and do you have any recommendations?

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Saturday, 7 April 2018

My New Obsession: Lariat Necklaces

Hello, so it's been a while! By the time you read this, I would have completed my first three professional exams yesterday for my job, and good news I found out that I passed them all today (life update post to follow!). Honestly, some of the hardest and most stressful exams I've ever done so far, so a break is very welcome! I can finally focus on getting stuff done, and sorting out my life haha (it's always the way that stuff stops working or goes a bit awry when you have enough on your plate).

Anyway, moving on to the post; Lariat necklaces. I can't remember where I saw them (heck I didn't even know what they were called!). I think it must have been on Instagram, but I knew they would be on my buy list this summer. I initially brought a simple one from Acessorize a few months back now, and I recently received some from Tobi to try out. I think it's the fact that they look quite dainty and elegant that appeals to me. I am over the chunky necklace phase now (honestly I was having a clear out the other day, and my first thought was why did no-one stop me?! There were some necklaces that were atleast an inch wide!).

From the ones I received from Tobi, I have to say the Starry Light Gold Stud Earrings* here are my favourites. For the last few years I actually haven't been much of an earring fan because I find them too chunky or they feel like they pull down on my earlobes too much, and my ears are a bit on the small side, but these are the perfect size and the perfect level of bling-iness for me. I love the way they sort of peek out from under your hair and the detailing is so cute, but at the same time they look quite subtle and understated. The outside of the stars is a a gold shade, whereas the centre has little silver diamantees. These are available for £7.

The two necklaces I received from Tobi also have a gold theme. The Daydreaming Crescent Gold Layered Choker* here is a three layered lariat style necklace, not so much of a choker apart from the flower layer that sits a bit higher. Again, I love the detailing of this one, I love the little moon and the flower detailing. I'm a bit of a daydreamer, so I think the theme of this one is quite relatable! This one is available for £22, which I admit is a bit more pricey compared to their other pieces.

Lastly, I received the Conquer The World Gold Layered Choker Set* here. This one is again made of three layers, where the first two sit as a choker. I like this one too but I wish the third chain layer didn't sit so much below the others as it can look a bit odd. Maybe it would look better with that layer removed? This one is available for £5.

The one I brought from Accessorize has two layers, with one simple chain layer and one more detailed bit. It does look silver, but it actually has a more slight rose gold theme, but it's a pain to photograph! This one is considerately longer than the others, so I think it would look best with a more v shaped neckline or a blouse. Unfortunately, it looks like they no longer stock it, but I think they might still have similar ones. This one cost me £12 which actually isn't that pricey in terms of Accessorize prices I guess.

Here is an awkward collage of me trying them out haha! Honestly, photographing necklaces was more difficult than I imagined so these aren't the best shots but hopefully they're a bit helpful.

I also received a shift dress* from Tobi which is perfect for a simple work dress, see here. Unfortunately, the sizing doesn't work for a UK 6, but then again I have that problem in a lot of high street stores too. Sigh, because the scallop detail is really pretty, if I manage to get it altered I'll show you!

I hope you enjoyed this post!
What style of jewellery do you prefer?

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