Review: Sleek Makeup 3AM Eyeshadow Palette

The Sleek Makeup 3AM Palette title image. Behind the text is a photo of the palette open leaning on the card sleeve

This is the 3AM i-Divine Eyeshadow Palette from Sleek Makeup, a palette with twelve mineral based eyeshadows in multiple finishes. There’s metallic shadows, shimmers, mattes and one that could be a duochrome. It costs £8.99 so it’s definitely at the budget end of the scale and I will always be tempted by any of their new releases as they can be so good.

The 3AM palette looked like the perfect combination of two separate colour palettes, there are six that I would say come under the warm browns and coppers and six that come under the more reddy browns and maroon type colours. This would make it the perfect palette for travel as you could have so many different looks with some mattes in there for a more natural look too.

One thing I love about the Sleek eyeshadow palettes, is that when Sleek do eyeshadows well they’re some of the best eyeshadows I own. They beat more expensive palettes I have with blendability, staying power and the pigmentation can be up there with the best of them. However, they do often have some misses in the palettes and these always let them down. This palette is a good example of some of the best Sleek eyeshadows, but also some of the worst alongside them.

The Sleek Makeup 3AM eyeshadow palette open to show the colours inside. It's leaning on the white and pink card packaging.

I’ll start with the packaging, and I do love their matte black palettes. They are a bit of a fingerprint magnet so I do keep the card sleeves, though this design on the card sleeve isn’t my favourite and is a bit bright for me, I guess it goes with the 3AM party theme though. If you’re a fan of the eyeshadow applicators these are good ones, they have a rubbery feel and grab a lot of product so make it easy to place. I don’t like them but I do keep them in there just in case.

The open palette, the twelve eyeshadows with eight shimmers and four mattes. At the bottom of the palette is the sponge applicator.

The palette itself has a great sized mirror and I am yet to have one warp (my oldest palette is probably ten years and well used), and the hinge keeps the lid up at any angle. I also like the closing mechanism, it clicks and holds it firm but it’s not impossible to open. I’ve travelled with a few of these and don’t worry about throwing them in my bag, they stay closed and I haven’t had an eyeshadow crack from general use.

Recently Sleek seem to have stopped naming their eyeshadows, they just go with numbers, but I will do a bit of a description for each along with the swatches. As always, I’ve done a swatch with the top half on primer and the bottom just on my skin. Also they’re all one swipe unless I say otherwise.

A photo of the six eyeshadows from the top row swatched with and without primer

This top row is an example of Sleek doing their eyeshadows right. They’re all creamy, whether they’re matte or shimmer, and I can’t actually tell a difference pigmentation wise with or without a primer. It does help the matte stick for longer but the rest of them last well with or without. These are super pigmented but can be blended down for a sheerer look, they blend well with others and they also don’t stain your skin, always a plus.

  1. Copper shimmer but gives a metallic foil effect
  2. Light golden champagne shimmer, this almost has a pinky duochrome in some lights or silver in others. It’s an odd one but very pretty
  3. Antique gold shimmer that gives a metallic effect, it also has little silver shimmer particles in it
  4. Pale pink metallic shimmer, has a silver look to it in some lights
  5. Dark chestnut matte, does better on the primer but even colour
  6. Maroon shimmer with a bronzey duochrome to it
Swatches of the second row of eyeshadows with and without primer

The second row is definitely one of those hit or miss ones and I think you can see the misses from the swatches. 9, 11 and 12 are great and on par (or better) to the top row, however 7, 8 and 10 are so bad. They’re either very sheer or, as with the mattes, need the base to show up at all and then they’re the type that sticks in the one place and won’t blend. The two mattes feel dry and powdery and did not apply evenly even with the base. The three good ones are great, the three bad ones are very bad.

  • Sheer golden shimmer with duochrome shimmer particles. So sheer I had to do at least five layers on the swatch and it’s still not great
  • Light orange brown matte. I tried to do three layers but it doesn’t really help
  • Purpley brown shade, it has a bit of a bronze duochrome and silver shimmer in it
  • Warm mid brown matte. Three layers for this too and it doesn’t improve it much
  • Warm brown with a purple tint and a shimmer finish. Also has silver shimmer in it
  • Super creamy beige matte. The perfect skin tone for fair skin like mine and surprisingly for me the stand out colour of the palette, even if that sounds boring
The back of the card palette showing the ingredients for the eyeshadows.

I have used this a few times and I love the mix of colours, I do think they could have switched 5 and 8 so the six on the left were the coppers and browns and the ones on the right were the more maroon based colours, but you have two distinct colour palettes that work separately or together. I bought this thinking it would be one I’d use a lot, but unfortunately the fact the two mid tone mattes are so poorly pigmented means I need a second palette with me for looks using those colours, I just couldn’t get them to work for me. Other than that it’s a great palette.

If you want to try Sleek out and like the look of the top row and that gorgeous creamy nude colour in the bottom right then go for it. It’s got some amazing eyeshadows, some of their best pigmentation and usability wise, but you do have to put up with some of their worst mattes and a sheer gold that doesn’t do much more than a wash of colour. I think that for the price you get nine great shadows, that’s around £1 each so it’s a great deal when you look at it like that. What’s frustrating is that they’ve shown what they can do with mattes, even within this palette, but they don’t seem to do it consistently.

Basically it’s a decent palette, it’s one that’s good if you want a palette that includes both of these colour themes and would be a great way to play around with them and see if they’re for you. If you want to try Sleek there are better ones out there as a first palette, even as far as neutrals go, and I’d recommend one of them.

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Change is Scary

The title image. Behind the text is a photo of the front of a 2019 diary and a book about the Dreamweaver website designing program

Change is scary, it’s unknown and difficult, but a lot of the time it’s inevitable. Some things don’t change, like my love for cheesy 90s pop, Red Dwarf and Crash Bandicoot, but for most things it’s going to happen whether we like it or not. Even the best kind of change can be scary, especially when it’s something big. One of my goals for this year was to try new things, and I have definitely done that, more on that later. But, with my chronic illnesses it means that these changes can have more of an effect than I realised they would.

We all have our comfort zones, whether it’s staying at home reading, burying ourselves in our work or focussing on our friends or family over trying new things. This blog kind of became my comfort zone and I ended up almost relying on it for more than it was. I ended up getting anxious when I couldn’t post on the day I set myself, I’d end up posting a ‘sorry I can’t post’ type post and it wasn’t really fun at times. That’s one of the reasons the changes in my life, or maybe more my way of thinking, started.

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Review: Soap and Glory Make Yourself Youthful Sunshield Superfluid

Soap and Glory Make Yourself Youthful Sunshield Superfluid title image. Behind the text box is a phot of the bottle with its lid off and sat to one side

Until fairly recently I didn’t tend to use much different on my face when it comes to sun protection, I’d just throw on whatever I used on my body, which isn’t the best for my skin as it can be acne prone and sensitive. I still tend to find that a lot of high spf face products are a bit rich and either leave me looking oily or makeup just won’t stick to them. I do still love the Ultrasun Face SPF30 that I started using a couple of years ago, but as I was going to Fuerteventura a couple of months ago and I am pale with skin that does not like the sun I wanted to try something with an even higher SPF.

I saw the Soap and Glory Make Yourself Youthful Sunshield Superfluid on the Boots website and thought I’d give it a go. It’s got an SPF of 50 and costs £15 for a 30ml bottle. It seems quite expensive, but this bottle has lasted me the past two months and it’s probably still got a month in it. It’s definitely lasting longer than I thought when I pulled it out of the box.

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Review: No7 Nude to Night Palette

I got the No7 Nude to Night Palette as a free gift with purchase a while ago, it’s an all in one face palette with six eyeshadows, a bronzer, a highlighter and a blusher. It seemed like the perfect travel palette so I took it away on holiday with me to try out, then didn’t actually wear any makeup. I’ve been playing around with it quite a bit since to see how well they last.

If you buy this full price it’s £25, which isn’t a bad price when it comes to No7, their standard blushes come in a 3g pan and cost £9, this one has 3.2g of the bronzer and blush and a 3.8g pan for the highlighter so those three alone would probably cost more than this. It’s also nice and compact and would actually work for travel without being so small that it’s hard to use the face products with a standard brush.

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Debenhams Beauty Discovery Box

Debenhams Beauty Discovery Box title image. Behind the text is a photo of the drawer style box open with the products inside it.

I do love a good beauty box, they can be a great way to try new products in a way that’s larger than the tiny samples you get for free. Debenhams have a Beauty Discovery Box, with seven travel sized products in it, for £35. At the moment there is an offer where if you buy a beauty of fragrance product then it’s half price. I can’t find anywhere that says that it’s got a minimum spend and I spent just over £20 and got the offer.

The seven products included cover hair, skin and makeup and include products from Too Faced, Kat Von D, Clarins, Clinique, Smashbox, Murad and Aveda. I have to say that the Too Faced mascara and the Smashbox primer are the two that I wanted the most, and pretty much cover the cost of the box at half price, but I am looking forward to trying the others. As with any of these beauty box posts I do, this is pretty much first impressions, unless I’ve already used the product in the past, and I’ll add up the total of what everything would be worth separately to see if it’s worth the money.

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Summer Haul Part 2: A Bit of Everything – Boots, Matalan, Primark and TK Maxx

With our holiday a week away there were some bits I needed to get and some finishing touches I had planned for my room over a year ago now that I hadn’t bought so I decided to finish off both in one go. There’s a mix of home, beauty and fashion from TK Maxx, Matalan, Boots and Primark so there really is a bit of everything in this haul, or maybe that should be hauls.

All this holiday shopping has definitely got me feeling summery, even if it’s cold and wet here in the UK at the moment!

I’ve had my eye on the new Soap and Glory hair care products since I saw they were releasing them and after my no buy February I was getting low on a few supplies. I’ve decided to go blonder for the holidays so wanted to try their toner shampoo N-Ice and Bright Toning Shampoo (£7). The charcoal based Junk the Gunk Scalp Exfoliating Shampoo (£7.50) intrigued me as I tend to find charcoal products work well for my skin so thought I might help my scalp too. So far I’m happy and it’s definitely unusual using a pure black shampoo! I’ve also been on the lookout for a heat protecting product since my old favourite was discontinued so I got the Control Sleek Heat Activated Smoothing Cream (£9). I’ve heard good things about the La Roche-Posay Anthelios Sun Cream Body Spray SPF50+ (£17.50) and as I get prickly heat and heat rash the first time I’m in the sun I thought I’d give it a try.

I have a bit of a weakness for bags and needed a carry on bag for the plane so couldn’t resist this Bright Stripe Weekend Bag (£12) from Matalan. It holds so much and the sides pop up so it expands, it held almost everything I bought from Matalan. I love the colours and the shoulder strap. I also ended up getting this Circle Lock Bucket Bag (£14) in pink as it’s so pretty and I wanted a small handbag that would work well for on holiday.

At the moment I have quite a few plastic plant pots in my windowsill and have had plans to plant them into something more permanent. I saw these three in Matalan and thought they’d look good and have room for everything I wanted. The Brass Planter (£16) has the height my pitcher plant needs as it’s hitting the windowsill at the moment. The second largest I got isn’t on the site any more but it’s like this Patterned Planter (£10) and will hold some of the smaller cacti I have. The small Metallic Ceramic Planter (£5) is the perfect size for a small cactus garden my parents bought me a few years ago and is available in several colours and I do love these planters with legs.

I’m never sure how long these things will be in stock in Primark but the Pale Yellow Brooklyn Jumper (£5) and I want to get one a couple of sizes too big as it’s so comfy and cosy for summer evenings and they have them in so many colours and patterns. I think the NASA Socks were £3 and I love the height of these, half way between trainer socks and full ankle socks. The striped Linen Blend Sleeveless Top in Oatmeal was £2.50 and the Whinnie the Pooh Striped Top was £5. I really should have kept the receipt so I could check these!

As with anything from TK Maxx these aren’t in stock any more but I found these Peach Slip on Converse for £29.99. I love flat ballet pumps but they never fit my feet right and these are the perfect shape for my feet. I also found this Copper Finish Caddy with four shelves for £32 from £50 on their site as it was on offer. This fits perfectly in the space and holds what I wanted it to. I find having these kinds of things in places I can see them means I use them more and I keep my stashes down more.

I did also get some bralettes (£10 for a pack of 3) and some knickers (£6 for a pack of 3) from Matalan but they’re not available any more. They are some of the most comfortable underwear I have ever worn though so I’ll be going back to get more.

I was planning on cutting back on haul posts, but I don’t think I’ll be doing actual reviews on the things in these posts so there will be one more. Though I was wondering if you guys like these longer haul combination posts or more of the smaller posts but more often if I get things I want to share but won’t review. I love shopping for home decor but never really do proper posts in them so want to include them somewhere. I have some DIY bits planned so maybe home things in general may be appearing more in the future.

Review: New No7 Hydraluminous Foundation in Calico

No7 Hydraluminous Foundation title image. Behind the text is a photo of the Hydraluminous foundation tube on a fluffy white background

Recently No7 released their HydraLuminous Moisturising Foundation and concealer, along with a range of skin care products. These are all supposed to help people with dry skin and the foundation is supposed to help to improve your skin over time, like an additional skin care step within your makeup routine. If you’re thinking of trying it I’d recommend giving it a go soon as, at the moment, it’s on an offer where everything in the range is £10 so you’d save £5 off the RRP of £15 on this foundation and more on some of the others.

I wouldn’t normally buy a foundation without testing it first but I know that their lightest shade, Calico, is a pretty good match for me and I have drops that can lighten or darken it if the colour match was a total failure. The idea of a medium coverage foundation from a company that my skin gets on with and also works for dry skin sounded too good to be true so I had to give it a try.

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Getting Ready for Holidays Haul Part 1: Boots

The Summer Haul Part 1: Boots title image. Behind the text box is a photo of everything bought in the haul

It feels like it’s been a while since I last posted, it’s probably not been all that long but I think I needed to step back and life sort of took over. I’ll do more of a post about it soon but blogging was getting stressful, which is not what I ever want it to be, and this break means I’m actually looking forward to posting and have all these ideas. Anyway, onto the post itself.

I recently decided that I wasn’t really going to do many hauls, but as I’m going away to Fuerteventura in April I had so many things I wanted to get ready for that or that were on my list to buy after the no-buy February and my general decluttering that I felt like I wanted to share with you guys what I was getting. This is all from Boots and most of it is actually Soap and Glory but I am so ready for these summer products that I got a bit excited and may have bought almost everything in their new scent that they released in February. It did help that almost everything that I bought was in a mix and match three for two at the time so I got a few of these things free.

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No Buy February – Kind of Successful

The No Buy February title image. Behind the text is a photo of everything that was bought in the month

This is a bit late, it was meant to go up last week but apparently my scheduled post didn’t even save. Anyway, after the sales of January I decided to have a no buy February. We’re going on holiday in April, though it was originally going to be in February, and I bought a lot of things at the end of January for this so I wanted to save a bit for some spending money too.

I did set a few rules, the main one being this was for beauty and fashion except for the Red Nose Day t-shirts. I get one every time they release them and they were Disney this year so I had to get one. I did plan on buying a couple of things for my room, some final things for organising my wardrobe space and some plant pots that I’ve been meaning to get for over a year now, but I ended up getting none of them so I thought I’d do a post that has everything I bought in February, or rather everything that isn’t an essential thing that I bought in February, and I think I did pretty well!

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Review: Mario Badescu Drying Lotion and Buffering Lotion

The Mario Badescu Drying Lotion and Buffering Lotion review title image. Behind the text box is a phot of each of the lotion bottles.

I have heard so many good things about the Mario Badescu Drying Lotion but it always seemed expensive to just give it a go even if it is some wonder product as I’ve had so many failed acne treatments that I thought it might just join the pile. Then I saw this set in the Beauty Bay sale with two Mario Badescu products, the Drying Lotion and the Buffering Lotion and thought I’d give it a go. Both of these products are cruelty and paraben free.

From the description on these two lotions they’re aimed at targeting different types of acne, or different stages in acne anyway. The Drying Lotion basically does what it says and uses a combination of ingredients, including clay, to sit on the skin overnight and dry out any spots. The Buffering Lotion is supposed to help large under the surface bumps, to calm them and reduce their appearance.

I was intrigued to see how these two would work and if the Drying Lotion was the wonder product everyone seems to say it is as, at nearly thirty, I still haven’t found the perfect products to help my acne prone skin when it’s having a bad time.

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