A year ago I would wear at least mascara to work everyday. If I was going out after work I’d put a face of makeup on or take it with me in a nice little makeup bag. A squirt of perfume would make me feel fresh and smell delicious whilst mingling with colleagues. But oh how times have changed… now that I work from home you’ll be lucky to catch me in a bra nevermind make up!
But now the days are getting longer, the sun is actually shining and an end to the lockdown is in sight. So I thought it’s about time I tried out some new products to get me out of the house and start feeling like myself again. I own more than enough of all the basics; foundation, concealer, powder, blusher, bronzer etc so what I need are pops of colour and bold shades and some fresh scents to bring my new look to life.
The first product I was given to try was a revolutionary new lipstick from makeup artist Kevyn Aucoin. The Unforgettable lipstick comes in three full coverage finishes: Matte, cream and shine. I tried out Unforgettable in the shade ‘Confidential’ in the matte finish. Ignoring traditional lipstick shapes and inspired by Kevyn’s on-set and on-the-go mentality, its slim-line packaging allows for precise application for any makeup novice or expert. As a novice I really noticed a difference in how easy it was to apply so this really is a stroke of genius. What I enjoyed most about Unforgettable is that the formula is so thin and lightweight yet the colour is so vibrant. The product glides on effortlessly and has incredible staying power even after eating and drinking. This one is going straight in my handbag.
Sticking to the theme of bold colours I was then treated to the latest set from new British makeup brand Emolyne, created by beauty entrepreneur Emolyne Ramlov. With inclusivity at the brand’s core, this new line of covetable and accessible makeup has shades for every skin tone. Ugandan-Dane founder Emolyne looked to the continent of her birth for inspiration in creating her debut range. Each shade is named after an iconic African city, country or landmark as a homage to the rich and vast essences of beauty the continent holds.
The Emolyne: Colour Match set consists of 30 shades of rich reds and creamy nudes and contains a velvet semi-matte lipstick, a longwear lip pencil liner and a gel effect nail lacquer. The lipstick is in some of the most beautiful packaging I have ever seen, a gorgeous octagonal, sparkly, gold case which opens at the press of a button. I simply cannot wait to get back out into the world just so I can pull this out of my handbag and impress my friends!
But of course every great lipstick needs a good liner and this one really does step up to the plate. The creamy pencil helps to both sculpt and shape the lips with ease and creates fullness and volume without bleeding over the lip line.
And finally the Metamorphoses gel lacquer which matches the lip colour precisely for a striking overall look. As someone who has never stepped in a nail salon and religiously paints their own nails, I can say with confidence that this is great nail polish. Only needs two coats, highly pigmented, quick drying and has a lovely shiny finish that’s long lasting and not easily chipped.
Next I was sent a collaboration between Huda Beauty and KAYALI, their exclusive, limited edition KAYALI x Huda Beauty Darling Kit. The kit contains KAYALI Eau de Parfum Rollerball MUSK 12 and VANILLA 28, a stunning Huda Beauty Topaz Obsessions eyeshadow Palette and a Huda Beauty Power Bullet Matte Lipstick in shade Interview. It comes in a beautiful gold, limited edition diamond shaped pouch making it perfect for travel.
This set I found really impressive because each product was just so special. The lipstick is creamy and long lasting and such a complimentary shade for almost all skin tones, the eyeshadow palette is just stunning with highly pigmented shades that blend so beautifully the product will last you longer than most. But my favourite part of this set was the KAYALI Eau de Parfum. In a double sided stick with a rollerball applicator, the scents are lovely on their own but absolutely magical together.
Laced with exquisite musk, the Musk 12 scent shines a light on one of the world’s most mysterious ingredients. A voluptuous blend of vanilla and creamy sandalwood gives this distinguished fragrance an enchanting and tempered soul. The Vanilla 28 has beautifully balanced oriental notes of musk, amber, patchouli and brown sugar which form the distinguished wood base of this utterly sublime scent. This is the kind of scent you can smell on yourself all day long whether you’re out for a hike or sitting in your home office, and every noseful is just lovely.
From one intoxicating scent to another, I was lucky enough to sample Art de Parfum’s limited edition Encore Une Fois featuring rare materials such as natural ambergris tincture, meaning it won’t be made again once this small-batch runs out. Inspired by creator Ruta’s love of the earthy, organic smells of the ocean, the scent focuses on the famous grey amber, otherwise known as ambergris. The fragrance starts off with a fireworks display of fresh citrus notes, the sourness of bergamot and the bitter sparkle of petitgrain mingling with ambergris to create the sensation of musky, sun-kissed skin. The interaction between the patchouli, cedar, and balsams in the base is a tantalising mixture of all the spicy, earthy things one might find growing in a dark green forest by the ocean. The ambergris acts as a waft of sea air, lifting and separating densely-knotted branches of the forest, aerating the scent. As the scent dries down, subtle accents of old books, sea salt, tobacco, and caramel are revealed, underlined by the fiery-hot sensuality of Peru balsam and benzoin. It’s distinctive and powerful, one of those smells you want to hold in your lungs and savour as it calls you to the sea in the summer sun.
Armed with perfectly blended eyeshadow, striking nails, bold lips and scents so delicious I just want everyone to have a sniff, I’m ready to get back out there!
Now I just need to lose 2 stone…