Kiss Kiss

Recently my darling boyfriend Howard visited Chicago for a conference, and being the wonderful man he is, brought back with him something I'd had my beauty loving eyes on for ages.

I am a sucker for the cosmetic alchemy contained within most ladies make-up bags, and E.L.F cosmetics (Eyes Lips Face) have been a beauty favourite of mine for a few years with their cruelty free range equally kind to my bank balance. Their Daily Brush Cleaner in particular has been a key part of my make-up kit for years, but it was their Disney Villains collaboration which had me swooning over my laptop.

E.L.F. Maleficent Palette.
Sadly the Disney Villains series, designed "for the villainous beauty in you" was only on sale in selected American branches of Walgreens and as a Londoner on the wrong side of "the pond", I had given up any hope of ever getting my hands on one.

The collections were a fantastic idea - E.L.F. took four key Disney Villains (Maleficent, Evil Queen, Ursula and Cruella DeVille) and created a day and night look using their core colours as inspiration. The "look book" came with instructions, a palette of six eye-shadows, a mascara, kohl-liner, liquid liner, lip-gloss, eye primer and a blending brush, all for just $9.99 (approximately £6.21).

You can probably already tell where this story is going. I was over the moon when Howard had tracked one down whilst visiting Chicago, and couldn't wait to test it out upon his return!

The Day and Night "Maleficent" looks as suggested by the E.L.F. lookbook.
How I would use the "Maleficent" to create something which I could wear everyday in the studio.
With regards to what came in the box, it was a great introduction to some of the products I'd never used before. As E.L.F. is such a budget brand, I had overlooked some of their main products on account of them being so cheap but their eye primer and lip gloss were wonderful. The liquid liner was a strong, solid black and the mascara lifted and lengthened far more than I thought possible for such a cheaply priced item. Even the eyeshadows which I had again previously overlooked had a buildable quality to them, with the brown shade proving great at doubling up as a brow-cake.

Coincidently, I had also placed an order with the UK branch of E.L.F which arrived the same day I received my gift, and has already been used in conjunction with the lookbook and the rest of my make-up kit.

I used my E.L.F. angled foundation brush to apply the Mineral Infused Face Primer.
My favourite item in the delivery was the Mineral Infused Face Primer (£6), which has made my foundation stay put even when shooting in the studio. I chose the "clear" one which gave my skin a surge of moisture and a blank canvas on which to apply my foundation.

The Baked Blush in Pinktastic (£3.75) offered a lovely, soft wash of colour to bring out my cheekbones a little more, whilst the High Definition Powder in Translucent (£6) masked any imperfections and set my foundation in place for the day.

The MakeUp Remover Pen (£3.75), Mascara & Shadow Shield (£3.75) and Mineral Glow in Shimmer (£7) were all brought as impulse purchases, and I was very excited to work with them. The pen was perfect for removing those unsightly liner or mascara smudges offering flawless touch-ups throughout the day. The shield too does exactly what you'd imagine it would and solved the problem of how to put mascara on my lower lashes without looking like a black eyed zombie by the end of it!

The Mineral Glow was perhaps the most interesting product. 100% mineral based and with no parabens, preservatives or chemical dyes, this pink based shimmer leaves a radiant glow wherever it's placed. Perfect for legs, arms, cheeks and collar bones, this pot of sparkle will be shimmering right into my party season beauty arsenal once Christmas gets a little closer.

As excited as I was to receive my gift, I was even more happy to have Howard home in one piece as his flight was the last to leave Chicago as the UK braced itself for the worst storm it's experienced in decades. Being a bit of a night owl when editing, I finished a particular set of images a little after 2am and realised that if I left shortly after, I would make it to Heathrow with more than enough time to meet him off the aeroplane. At this point we had only really started to be pelted with rain, and I knew the worst was to come just after he landed and felt that a horrible journey from Heathrow to North London would be made easier by a sleepy girlfriend holding coffee.

Green Park during the start of the UK Storm - the first change in a network of over 2 hours of night buses!

Although the journey took over two hours to complete across a series of nightbuses, I felt so happy when I found myself walking into the International Arrivals area at Heathrow's Terminal 5. So armed with coffee and a book, I dried off and waited, having been awake for almost 24 hours by the point and bubbling with caffeine fuelled excitement!

His face when he walked out and saw me was probably one of the loveliest things I've ever seen and made the rain soaked journey more than worthwhile. And armed with the knowledge of what was and wasn't working on the London transport network, we managed to navigate our way home swiftly and happily with the longest we'd ever been apart finally behind us. 

(Note: This is an honest, impartial review after purchasing an item, and not one which I have been paid for.)

Until next time,
Diana xx

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