Review: Topshop Glow Highlighter in Polished

Posted on January 30, 2015 under Reviews

I love the concept of highlighter. I love the idea of looking like I glow from within, like an ethereal goddess. I love the idea of drawing attention to the tops of my cheekbones, the arch of my brows, my cupid’s bow.

The reality of highlighter, as a product that exists in real life, is not my favourite, and mainly for a selfish reason: it’s hard to find one that works for me.

Many, many highlighters are gold-toned, when I generally go for cooler-toned cosmetics of all types. And many of them are actually darker than my skin, which surely defeats the point of highlighter. Benefit Watt’s Up, I’m looking at you. (But not just you. I’m just angry with you because you’re a gorgeous product – for other people.)

My previous favourite highlighter was gold-toned but fair enough that it worked for me: the cult classic Mary Lou-Manizer by theBalm. However, I only own that product in a palette, which makes it not super convenient for travel, as the palette isn’t one of my go-tos for eyeshadow. (One of these days I should get around to depotting it, but it’s more fun to buy new things!)

Enter the Topshop Glow Highlighter in Polished, a cool-toned, pearlescent cream highlighter with irridescent pink shimmer.


Topshop Glow Highlighter in Polished on cheekbones, bridge of the nose, and cupid’s bow.

I know that description sounds a bit nuts, but I love it. It’s a step above natural, but not so weird that it can’t be worn in an everyday setting. Once it’s tapped into the skin (and it positively melts in), you just look a tiny bit ethereal, like you might have a small amount of mermaid DNA. Which, I mean, who doesn’t want that?

The texture of this product is very interesting: it looks like a cream eyeshadow, but it’s not as solid. I would describe it as mousse-like. It reacts very well to body heat and blends easily with fingers. I haven’t used it with a brush because I pretty much always apply cream products with my fingers, since I find creams generally respond best to that bit of warmth.


Close-up of Topshop Glow Highlighter in Polished on the cheekbone.

A word also must be said about the packaging. That word is “lovely”. The matte, frosted glass pot is so clean and pretty, and I love the whimsical touches on the Topshop makeup packaging. The little stars and handwritten font are adorable! Plus, it just feels so solid in my hand. The glass – rather than plastic – is a nice touch; it makes it feel more expensive than it is, although it is a bit pricier than your average drugstore product.

This product is very difficult to photograph – pictures just don’t do justice to that irridescent, pearly glow. But trust me – it is seriously gorgeous, and my new go-to highlighter.


On the left, a heavy application so you can see the colour. On the right, the highlighter blended in to my skin.

Topshop Glow Highlighter retails for £9 ($17.27 CAD) and can be purchased in Topshop stores or online. At 0.14oz, the price works out to £64.29, or $123.36, per oz.

Review: Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Red Carpet Red

Posted on November 10, 2014 under Reviews

Let’s all be honest with each other here for a moment (and eternity).

There are products that circulate around the beauty blogging and vlogging community all at once, and you know they were comped and maybe sponsored. And bloggers post pictures of them and maybe not even swatches (and certainly not any looks with the products), and they’re never mentioned again.

I don’t like this.

First of all, it’s lazy. If you get sent hundreds of dollars worth of lipstick for free and your job is YouTube, I feel like lip swatches are the bare minimum. Yet nobody does this!

Second of all, it’s disingenuous. Don’t pretend you weren’t comped products, then barely use them, then act as if we should spend ACTUAL MONEY on them. Because there’s a difference between “I was given this for free and it’s passable considering I didn’t have to pay for it” and “I purchased this with my own money and I feel that it was worth the price”.

Like, good for you that you received 10 full-sized high-end lipsticks for free, but sometimes the best review comes from someone who went out and plopped down £23 of their own cash.

So. Yes. I bought a Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution lipstick. This was on the recommendation of Aisling, who has one and loves it.

This is the most expensive lipstick I have ever purchased by the equivalent of $12.50, which is enough to buy me two Rimmel lipsticks. So you know that if I work for 4 hours to be able to afford a single lipstick, I am going to expect it to be flawless in every conceivable way.


I got the colour Red Carpet Red, a true red that leans a bit on the cool side. I chose it mostly because it seemed like the most versatile and I think that it’s important to get a lot of wear out of a $41 lipstick, but also because I think that having a red lipstick in fancy packaging is possibly one of the most gratifying material experiences a person can ever have. Even if you’re not a red lipstick person!

Gorgeous textured rose gold packaging aside (and it is truly, decadently beautiful), how does this lipstick perform?

First of all, it applies like an absolute dream. It feels like a balm on the lips, even though it’s very pigmented and definitely matte. It goes on so smoothly and doesn’t accentuate any dryness. I love the shape of the bullet itself: the straight edge makes it easy to get a perfect, crisp lip line even without a brush.

As for wear, this lipstick is practically indestructible. The first time I wore it out, I had a full day in London including two meals and plenty of drinks. (Normally when I go out for drinks I submit myself to the fact that my lipstick will probably get messed up, but not this time.) There was minimal fading on the very inside of my lower lip after I ate, but even if I hadn’t touched it up I don’t think I would have looked noticeably weird wandering around!


Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution lipstick in Red Carpet Red just after application, and after 5 hours and a messy meal. It could use some minor touch-ups in the center of the lower lip, but nothing serious, and no feathering whatsoever! Plus, it still feels great – not dry or flaky.

Is this lipstick a splurge? Definitely. Am I sorry that I spent my own money on it? Not at all. It’s certainly not an essential item, but if you’re in the mood for a fancy and gorgeous lipstick I would absolutely recommend one from the Matte Revolution line. My only complaint is that the colour selection is fairly limited – most of the colours are either dark, vampy cold weather colours (which I do love) or very similar shades of peachy/browny/pinky neutrals.

Charlotte Tilbury Tilbury Matte Revolution lipsticks retail for £23 ($41 CAD) for 0.12 oz, or £191.67 ($341.67 CAD) per oz, and can be purchased from Charlotte Tilbury counters at Selfridges or online from

Review: Tanya Burr Everyday Flutter False Eyelashes

Posted on November 06, 2014 under Reviews

This weekend while in Brighton, something possessed me to pick up a pair of Tanya Burr false eyelashes despite the following two facts:

  1. I am not a big falsie wearer – they’re a hassle, generally not super comfortable, and look too dramatic for my day-to-day life!
  2. I’m not Tanya Burr’s biggest fan.

However, I didn’t bring my very small lash collection over to the UK with me in September, so I thought I might as well buy a pair just in case I needed them. Plus, I suppose my curiosity about Tanya’s line got the better of me.


I selected the “Everyday Flutter” style, because I thought half lashes would be easier to apply and more wearable for an everyday context.

Now, I was not expecting to be impressed. I mean, I didn’t think I’d hate them, but I thought that they’d just be another set of lashes.

Because it’s my style to reveal my conclusion near the beginning of the post: I love these lashes. Yes, I used the L-word. (No, not lesbian. Or lesbians.)


In case anyone was wondering, other eye makeup: Burnout and Darkside from the Naked 3 Palette, Stila Stay All Day liquid eyeliner, Lancôme Hypnôse Doll Lashes mascara.

These half lashes are fairly long, with thin criss-crossing lashes that do make for a fluttery effect. Although they’re long, the fact that they’re not very voluminous makes them very wearable for daytime. I mean, I’m sure people know that my eyelashes aren’t naturally that good, but I don’t think they look out of place if I wear them to class to test-drive them.

Not only do they look great, they feel wonderful. Actually, they feel like nothing. At one point during my lecture, I was convinced they’d fallen off since I felt absolutely nothing. Nope – still on. Just super comfy.


I did find them easy to apply, probably thanks to the fact that they are half lashes. There’s no inner corner to tuck – that’s what always gets me! Also, the glue that comes with it is really nice. Normally I toss the glue included with lashes since it always sucks and I have my trusty Duo, but Tanya’s glue is the perfect consistency and has a little applicator that makes it easy to apply directly and accurately onto the band. Plus, it’s shimmery – what’s not to love? The glue holds very well and dries clear, which is always nice. (A bit of eyeliner to hide the seam is still a good idea, though!)


My own lashes (with mascara) on top; Tanya Burr Everyday Flutter lashes on bottom.

I can’t speak for the ease of application or comfort of the full strips, but I am so impressed (and surprised!) with the quality of the half strip. Next time I’m in the market for lashes I might just have to try another set in Tanya’s range.

Tanya Burr Everyday Flutter false eyelashes retail for £5.29 ($9.65) at Superdrug.