Monday, 28 December 2015

Carli Bybel 14 Colour eyeshadow & highlighter palette

Hey all,

I hope everybody has had a great festive season!

Over the past month, I've been splurging on a few products for myself and one of them is the Carli Bybel 14 colour eyeshadow & highlighter palette!

I am a big lover of brown/gold/bronze shades and when I saw that Carli Bybel had announced the release of this palette, I just had to get my hands on one! I ordered it during the Black Friday sale and took the opportunity to add some extra goodies into my shopping cart for the discount pricing.

BH Cosmetics Haul

The Carli Bybel palette contains a variety of 14 shades (10 eyeshadows and 4 highlighters).
What I like about this palette is that some of the eyeshadows are matte which can be used on the crease. There are a lot of warm tones in this palette so this is a great palette especially for the autumn/fall season. It can be used for a day time natural look but can also be intensified for a night time dramatic style.
Take note that one or two of the colours in the palette may need to be used in conjunction with a shadow base as you will see in the upcoming swatch pictures but other than that, most of the colours swatch very opaque and pigmented and they are absolutely gorgeous for the bronze/gold/champagne shade lover!

On the back of the palette, you will see the ingredients contained in this product.
Back of Carli Bybel palette indicating the ingredients

I like the fact that a mirror was included so it makes this handy for travelling without the need to carry an extra compact mirror.
The case itself is made of cardboard which feels very lightweight and has that similar structure/texture to the Z palette. The lid closes magnetically.
The highlighters have this cute floral design and it makes me also not want to use them to avoid ruining them!

Starting with the top row of swatches:
*Vanilla/ivory (matte)
*Light rose gold (shimmer)
*Pink taupe (matte)
*Mauve (matte)
*Burgundy (matte)

Top row of swatches from Carli Bybel palette

Middle row of swatches:
*Beige gold (shimmer)
*Yellow gold (shimmer)
*Rusty bronze (shimmer)
*Copper (shimmer)
*Cool tone dark brown (matte)

Middle row of swatches from Carli Bybel palette

Bottom row of swatches:
*Pastel pink (shimmer)
*Champagne (shimmer)
*Warm gold (shimmer)
*Copper (shimmer) - very similar, if not exact same, to the second last shade in the middle row

Bottom row of swatches from Carli Bybel palette

*They feel smooth and buttery to the touch
*Very pigmented
*Variety of shimmer and matte shades
*Packaging contains a mirror for easier travels
*Has both eyeshadows and highlighters so no need to bring seperate ones
*Affordable price

*It was hard to find cons on this. The only smallest issue is that the vanilla shade and cool tone dark brown had to take a few more swipes for the colour to show up so this one lacks a bit of pigmentation but it's nothing a little shadow base can't fix ;)

It is currently selling at $12.50 (USD) on the BH Cosmetics website. At such a decently affordable price, I'd say go for it if you are a fan of warm shades!

Happy Holidays and I hope that you will all have an amazing New Year!

From Anna Cubana

Friday, 4 December 2015

Drugstore Review & Swatches: Maybelline 'The Nudes' palette

Hi all!

I decided to jump back on the blogging bandwagon as I have so much new products to blog about but today, we shall talk about Maybelline's 'The Nudes' eyeshadow palette!

When I first saw this on the shelf at my local drugstore, it gave me the impression straight away that the combination of colours were like a dupe for the more high-end Urban Decay Naked palettes.

Whether they are an exact dupe or not, I cannot guarantee seeing as I unfortunately do not own any of the first three from the Naked collection (what I thought was the Naked 1 palette a few years ago, turned out to be fake because I was oblivious to the trend of selling fake cosmetics on eBay). I do however have the Smoky one which I will review in another post and link it here once it's complete.

Front of Maybelline The Nudes palette

A little bit about the packaging: its sleek plastic case feels sturdy and clicks securely closed in front. The thickness is comparable to that of an iPhone I'd say? It does not contain a mirror which would have been nice but is not that important when I can keep a seperate cute compact with me.
As with most palettes, this had its own sponge applicator which was dual ended - one end was a bit thinner and more precise than the other end so I find that this can come in handy for when you want to smoke out the lower lash line.

Back of Maybelline The Nudes palette

Maybelline provided a handy guide on the back of the palette for those who would like some ideas on which colours to combine. The colours can be divided into either 'quads', 'trios', or 'duos' so there is a variety of looks you can do with this palette!

What's good about this palette is that it contains matte as well as shimmer finish eyeshadows. There are also cool tones and warm tones; a bronze, champagne, and black shade too if you want to aim for that smoky eye!

Onto the swatches: below are two pictures showing the shades with and without a shadow base (I used MAC's Soft Ochre paint pot as it was the only one near me at the time. I know it contradicts the 'drugstore' part of this blog but you should get a similar result with any favourite eye primer/base of your choice).

Maybelline 'The Nudes' swatches without shadow base

Maybelline 'The Nudes' swatches with MAC Soft Ochre shadow base

I'll be honest: not all of the colours came out pigmented and it took a few swipes to try and get a visible swatch. They show up much better when applied on top of the shadow base I used so a base is definitely needed for some of the shades! What I've also noticed was that some of the shadows came out a bit chalky and had some fallout because they're a bit soft so application would be easy but a bit messy.

*Some of the colours do pick up well without needing primer/shadow base
*Variety of cool vs warm tone shades
*Contains a black shade which is great for a smoky eye
*Packaging feels sturdy and comes its own dual ended sponge applicator
*Contains 12 different nude shades so it gives you that flexibility of different looks

*Some of the shades have a chalky texture
*May produce fallout because they're soft
*Some of the shades are not as pigmented as others so need several applications
*Palette does not contain its own mirror (not a major con but would have been handy)

For an affordable price of £9.99 at UK retailer, this is a decent palette to travel with if you're looking for some neutral/nude shades and the optional smoky eye look!

Until next time,
Ciao! :)

Anna Cubana (a.k.a. ArtisticallyCurious)

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

IMATS London 2014 - Part 1 - My Experience

Hi all!

As you may know, this weekend was the IMATS London 2014 event held at Kensington Olympia hall and it was also my first time experience at this annual make-up trade show.

For those who are not familiar with IMATS, it is an 'International Make-up Artist Trade Show' (as it's abbreviated) open to the public so not just professional make-up artists can attend, but so can make-up fanatics such as myself! It is held annually at several major cities worldwide including New York and Sydney.

Extracted from their website
"The International Make-Up Artist Trade Show is the make-up world’s biggest gathering. Thousands of make-up artists, exhibitors and enthusiasts discuss, display and collect the best the industry has to offer. Make-up pros from fashion and film (including Oscar, BAFTA and Saturn award winners) provide education and demonstrations at IMATS, and new products often debut there. IMATS also features a make-up museum and the Battle of the Brushes student make-up competitions, where international make-up students race to create winning looks."

It was a great experience for me as I got to see some of the amazing make-up art that was done on models and I also got to buy some brand make-up products (at discounted prices!) that has been constantly ranted about on the Internet by some of my favourite beauty gurus.
Got to meet the amazing Zukreat Nazar (owner of Artist Of Makeup product range - visit her online store at and saw the talented Karla Powell create a Human Emotion 'Envy' look on a model (see end result pic here).

It was really amazing to also see some of the special FX and mould makeup being done and some of the film makeup schools showcasing their artwork. I always find that interesting and wish to create my own looks!

The products I bought (which I blog about in my next post - Part 2) were:
  • Make Up For Ever lipstick in Rouge Artist Intense Mat 1
  • BeautySoClean Cosmetic Wipes and Sanitiser Mist
  • IMATS souvenir mug and lipstick shaped pen
  • Lime Crime Velvetine lip stain in Red Velvet
  • Zukreat's Artist of Makeup HD eyeshadows in Nutmeg, St. Tropez, and Gold Leaf
  • NARS blush in Deep Throat and bronzing powder in Laguna
  • Sugarpill eyeshadows in Poison Plum and Dollipop
  • MAC Smolder Eye Kohl pencil, Soft Ochre paint pot, and Cranberry eyeshadow pan
Doesn't seem a lot but I am happy with what I got so far!

Here are some of the pictures I took of the event (and some taken by my cousin Lily's iPhone seeing as I ran out of space *sniff*)...

Top floor overview of the IMATS stalls

My cousin and I going crazy with swatching all the gorgeous vibrant eyeshadows!

Our IMATS stamps to make-up heaven!
Goodies that I bought hiding in these bags - tee hee :)

Presentation done by Pablo Rodriguez on MAC Runway Trends

Make Up For Ever Academy model being done up

The longest queue led to the NYX stall!

Somerset College showcasing some artwork, it looks so cool!

Graftobian Make-up working their art skills on some models

Bentley Advanced Materials were busy with a mould on their model. Looks creepy but cool ha!

The NYX stall was PACKED! So much awesome looking stuff!

The artwork on this guy looked great with all the vibrant colours!

Some more awesome body artwork done at the Royal & Langnickel stall

Another model in vibrant colour artwork
My cousin and I with Amelia Arsenic at the Sugarpill Cosmetics stall :)
Got to meet one of my favourite Youtube beauty gurus, Zukreat Nazar!

Overall, I'm happy that I finally got to experience IMATS for the first time and enjoyed it with the best company I could possibly have ... my cousin (who is like a sister to me!) Lily - thank you so much for winning the tickets for us to go through this awesome experience! :)

Anna Cubana xoxo

Friday, 9 May 2014

Wet n Wild Comfort Zone - Review and Swatches

Hi all

I've always wanted to try out one of Wet n Wild's eyeshadow palettes so I thought I'd give the Comfort Zone ColorIcon palette a go. Click here to find this palette on their website.

Comfort Zone has a range of 8 shimmer browns and greens - mostly browns though.
The great thing about these Wet n Wild palettes is that their shades are labelled with the appropriate eye area on where to place the eyeshadows so it acts as a guideline. I don't always follow them though haha :)
It also contains a dual ended applicator that has a sponge tip on one end and a soft small brush on the other. I've never used this as I have makeup brushes but this seems ideal for if you're on the go and don't have much storage space for those extra bits.

The shades show beautifully in pan but when transferred onto skin, one or two of them appeared slightly different. Not a disappointment though as they are very pigmented and the shades are gorgeous!

Be warned though! They do cause some fallout. I'm not surprised though as I've seen others mention that Wet n Wild eyeshadow products do cause fallout.

Another downside for me is that there are no matte shades in this palette, which is something I would have preferred for applying on and above the crease or as a transition colour as I find shimmer shades harder to blend and unflattering in the crease area.

Left side contains brown shades and right side contains green shades

Swatches of the left side of the palette
For those who are more into a neutral smokey eye, the left side shades are ideal for you!
The browbone shade is a pretty soft champagne colour that can also be used to highlight your inner corners by the tear ducts.
The eyelid shade is rosy copper toned while the crease shade is a warmer medium chocolate brown shade.
The definer shade is a dark brown with black undertone to it so this would be great for applying on the outer-V area for that smokey eye look!

Swatches of the right side of the palette

 While this palette is aimed at toned down neutrals, the colours on the right side are a bit more daring so it's more for a night time look or for those like me who don't mind wearing this during the day haha!
The browbone shade is a deeper champagne with a slight grey undertone.
The eyelid shade is a gorgeous emerald/khaki green.
The crease shade comes across similar to the definer shade on the left side but seems to have a slight yellow undertone and little gold flecks.
The definer shade is an interesting colour. It appears in pan as a gunmetal black-blue shade with an iridescent brown undertone but when swatched, it looks like a deep burnt copper with a little bit of gunmetal iridescence shining through so it's almost like it reversed itself in the way the shade looks.

  • Very pigmented in colour
  • Lasts a few hours with the use of a primer (around 5 to 6 hours)
  • Affordable, considering there are 8 shades and a dual ended applicator for travel
  • Soft texture and blendable
  • Fallout may occur
  • There are no matte shades, only shimmer

I would give this a 4 out of 5!

If you would like to see some looks using this palette, please comment below and also let me know what are your favourite Wet n Wild products!

Anna Cubana xoxo

UPDATE - Back in action!

Hey all

So...I'll admit that I've been really lazy in posting up some blogs. I've bought so many products that I wanted to review and/or swatch but just never could have been bothered to post it up until now :)

Just a quick update on what's been happening:
Went through a bad patch last year and year before where I lost my last three grandparents (mom's parents and dad's mother; dad's father passed away way before I was born) all in a space of less than a year.
I really couldn't believe it! It was already heartbreaking to lose one family member and then while I was trying to pick myself back up again after mourning, it happened all over again...and again.

To top it all off, our beloved dog had gotten sick as well and we eventually had him put down due to the constant suffering that meds weren't able to mend.

So it has been a sad journey thus far but throughout all this, I've stayed positive and I cherish those loved ones who are still around with me.

On a more positive note, I've relocated away from my home country South Africa and moved to England to live with family! I've been fixated on moving for a while now and have finally done so!
People constantly ask me (with a crazy expression on their face - I might add) why I moved away. Yes! South Africa is a beautiful country - known for its hot weather, beaches, Table Mountain, wine farms, shark diving, wildlife, and so much more - and I'll always miss it as it's my home and where I grew up. I relocated with the intention of achieving my goal of travelling. I would like to at least tick that off my bucket list haha. I won't scratch out the idea completely of moving back home one day but I'd like to see how far I go with the dream to travel while I have the opportunity.
You only live once anyways!

Updates aside, I'll be adding a new blog post soon on my take and swatches on the Comfort Zone Wet n Wild ColorIcon palette so stay tuned!

Anna Cubana xoxo

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Beauty Blogger Tag

Hey all

I've been tagged my gorgeous cousin Lily (CosmeticallyCreative) to do this Beauty Blogger tag.


The Rules:

1. State who the tag was created by: The Beau Bow

2. Tag five beauty bloggers

3. Title this like I have done to state what the tag is about.


1. Name a beauty routine you barely do.

Style my hair...purely out of laziness!

I couldn't be bothered to use a hair straightener (or flat iron) every morning haha. I just brush my hair and pull it up into a ponytail/braid or clamp it up.

2. Is washing your make up brushes something you do regularly?

I don't wash it as regular as I should. Sometimes I will wash them a week after use, sometime 3 to 4 weeks after use. I should stick to at least once a week!

3. How long will you last with chipped nail polish?

In my work environment (IT helpdesk support with the odd job here and there in physical labour on computers so I do get "handsy" sometimes haha), it would last around 3 days before it starts chipping as I usually paint 2 coats (without top coat).

4. How long do you put off buying/replacing a beauty or nail polish product even if you need it? (i.e, top coat, foundation and so on)

Hmm, tough one! Depends what it is...I don't put off buying face wash, toner, or moisturiser for very long when I'm running out of product. I can hold off other beauty products for a while but there's the odd temptation where I can't resist and have to grab it!

5. What is your worst beauty habit?

It used to be biting my fingernails! Pimple popping on the seldom occasion when my skin reacts.

6. Name something non-beauty related that you put off doing all the time?

Re-designing my blog website! Procrastinating my work's online courses!

7. When going out somewhere, do you leave getting ready till last minute or not?

My cousin Lily will know the answer to this one ;) ...
I'm ALWAYS leaving it until the last minute, I'll be painting my nails even while I'm walking out the door!

8. Can you commit to spending bans?

As hard as it can be sometimes, yes I can commit to not spending especially when I have so many products already that I need to use!

9. How organised is your make up and nail polish collection?

It is semi-organised I'd say...I have most of my makeup laid out on a table with the exception of palettes which are all packed in a shoebox haha. My brushes are all sleeping in brush roll pouches so they're pretty happy too :)

10. What is the longest time you have gone without writing a blog post?

About 3 months - yeah I know, soooo bad! :(


The five people I tag are:

*Kallie from But First, Coffee

*Sakuranko from Sakuranko

*Natalie from Natalie Loves Beauty

*Vanessa (Mausi) from alittlebitof FASHION

*Kate from Sparkle Dust


Please feel free to leave me a link below to your blog in the comments section and let me know if you've done this tag so I can check it out :)


Anna Cubana :) x

Friday, 22 March 2013

Avon Haul Part 1 - Fragrance Frenzy

Greetings all

I'm back in action hehe ;)

I've been indulging in some Avon goodies by buying through a friend who sells the brand and been a bit addicted to the great priced deals they had over the past few months so took advantage where I could!

I bought two purse-sized sprays: Ballroom Beauty, and Latin Sensation.

Avon's Ballroom Beauty and Latin Sensation purse-sized sprays

These are 15ml (0.5oz) each - decent amount and size for your travel pack!

Size of each spray bottle - about a hand length

Description on the scent, according to Avon:

  • Ballroom Beauty - Sparkle in the limelight with romantic raspberry, feminine pink rose petals and sensual amber.
  • Latin Sensation - Steal the show with a passionate mix of warm cardamom spice, sexy hot pink osmanthus and captivating sandalwood.

I can smell the floral/rose scent in Ballroom Beauty and it also has a fresh tinge to it (kind of reminds me of Lacoste Touch of Pink smell) but if you're into soft feminine not-so-overpowering floral scents, this is the one for you! I would wear this on a regular basis.

Latin Sensation does smell a bit spicy but not overpowering, it does fade after a little while of spraying it on. I might have to get used to this as I'm usually into floral and sweet smelling scents.

These were both R39.95 each (2.85 British Pounds or 4.29 U.S. Dollars).

There was a promo in buying a combination of perfume and roll-on for the Little Black Dress range (R199 together when it would have cost R399).

Upon sampling the Eau de parfum, I was a little disappointed at the packaging as I had expected it to be a spray but it turned out to be an open bottle end (which I almost spilled!) similar to that of cologne so I'll have to dab dab dab instead of spritz spritz spritz! Should totally make that a song haha!
The bottle has such a cute elegant design to it and contains 50ml of product. I'm sure that will last me a long time as long as I don't drop the bottle while opened!

Little Black Dress Eau de Parfum

It has a soft feminine elegant scent, a bit of floral undertone to it as well and slightly musky. It's not overpowering and would be great for a date night out (where you're wearing a little black dress, of course!).
Avon describes it as an:
Oriental fragrance with top notes of cyclamen, coriander, african ginger, jasmine and apricot blossom; middle notes are gardenia, ylang-ylang and pink peony; base notes are sandalwood, tonka bean, musk and japanese plum.
Quite a combination, don't you think?
I'm liking this fragrance. Very feminine so I'd indulge when on a mission to enjoying girly or date nights out.

The matching Little Black Dress roll-on anti-perspirant was included free in the promo for this fragrance range.
Now, I'm not used to the idea of a body perfume scent going on my armpits (sorry to put it so bluntly) - I usually go with a fresh, low fragrance smelling roll-on because my concern is to keep dry there rather than to smell all pretty and floral-like.
It does say 'anti-perspirant' but this will have to be put to the test!

Little Black Dress Roll-on Anti-perspirant

It has 50ml of product and when I twisted it open (should have probably rather cut around it), the whole packaged wrapping ripped apart and just has a plain white bottle underneath it so I can't chuck the wrapping away or else I won't know what it is!
Not sure what the cost of this is but probably isn't too pricey.

That's it for now on the fragrance part of my Avon haul! I can't squander any more on Avon products as I'm overloaded with so much other stuff that I need to start panning out!

What fragrance products do you have or prefer in the Avon brand range?