Just Charlie G

Mac Mineralize Skinfinish LightscapadeOver the years I’ve owned lots of Mac’s Mineralize Skinfishes. Some I still have and love and some went in blog sales. While I’ve previously reviewed the Mineralize Skinfinish Natural, the ones without the word natural in the name serve different purposes. These beautiful domes of baked powder mostly serve as blushers and/or highlighters and the finishes range from soft and subtle through to uber chunks of shimmer.

I treated myself to the Lightscapade Mineralize Skinfinisha while ago and its fair to say its my favourite of the lot.

Mac Mineralize Skinfinish Lightscapade Mac Mineralize Skinfinish LightscapadeIt’s an incredibly looking product and always used to be released on a limited edition basis in collections, but at some point it became a permanent product, probaly because of enduring demand. The powder consists of swirls of pastel shades, peach, blue, pink and yellow/gold. The nature of this product means each one is going to be slightly different, I would imagine that the end result for most would be the same though when swirled together with your brush.

The powder itself is incredibly soft and smooth, and whilst it gives a beautiful soft glow, it’s not what I’d call shimmery, and most definitely not glittery. In short, its my perfect highlighter.

Mac Mineralize Skinfinish LightscapadeAnd while I don’t choose to wear it every day, it’s a soft enough glow to wear in the day time if you want to, and I do sometimes.

Mac Mineralize Skinfinish LightscapadeIt’s a whopping £24 but bear in mind they are big, weighing in at 10g, compared to a Mac Blusher which is 6g and retails at £18.50.

I bought mine from my local Mac store.

I loved the look of the Mac Ellie Goulding collection when I first saw it floating around on the internet. I remember thinking it was sure to be an absolute sell out with its pinky/peachy/nude tones, but apparently I was wrong, as far as I can see the whole collection is still in stock. I don’t understand why because it’s beautiful. I spent a my Christmas vouchers on a few products from the range so here is my Mac Ellie Goulding review and swatches.

Mac Ellie GouldingMac Ellie GouldingFirst a word about the packaging, the Ellie Goulding Logo is embossed in gold on shiny black packaging which is replicated in the exterior packaging, which is beautifully line in a metallic rose gold shade, matching the peachy shades in the collection beautifully.

I picked up three pieces, but easily could have grabbed more. There are two palettes available, Halcyon Days and Halcyon Nights (£39.50 each). The Halcyon Days Palette is primarily cream products, so I opted for the Halcyon Nights Palette which houses four eye shadows and one Cream Colour Base.

Mac Ellie Goulding Halcyon NightsMac Ellie Goulding Halcyon Nights

The Cream Colour Base, This Love, is a pinky orange pearl, which in the pan looks like it will be difficult to wear, but as you will see in the swatches, it’s actually a sheer, wearable highlighter. Cream Colour Bases can be used in multiple ways. They can  be worn sheerly or built up for dramatic looks and can be worn on eyes or cheeks, on bare skin and even over foundation and/or powder.

The eye shadows in the palette are in a variety of finishes… Starry Eyed is a cream high pearl finish, actually its not shimmery, it’s glittery, but much like the Bobbi Brown Sparkle eyeshadows its a grown up sparkle. There is fall out, but it wasn’t too bad, and swept away quickly and easily leaving no residue. Next is top right shadow, You My Everything, a mid tone peachy brown, which is a matte finish, bottom left is Saddle, a golden orange brown, also a matte finish, and finally, bottom right is Hanging On, a muted plum brown with a satin finish.

Swatches are Starry Eyed, You My Everything, Saddle, Hanging On and This Love Cream Colour Base.

Mac Ellie Goulding Halcyon NightsAbsolutely thrilled with this palette, it’s incredibly beautiful and performs really well in my opinion.

Next I purchased the Powder Blush Duo in I’ll Hold My Breath, which was £23.

Mac Ellie Goulding I'll Hold My BreathWhile this is expensive at £23, you must take into account the fact that it’s huge, the box it came in is larger than the Halcyon Nights palette. It’s 12.3g, thats more than twice the size of a normal Mac blusher which retails at £18.50. While I love the Halcyon Nights palette, its this product that’s my favourite. It’s a lovely mirrored compact, and embossed with the Ellie Goulding logo, and has is split in two unequal parts, the larger is a matte, medium toned bronzer, with a pearly peach pink blusher. When blended together it looks beautiful, but you can of course pick out each shade and use them as you see fit. Swatches are further down the page.

Finally I picked up one of the lipsticks from the collection, Only You (£17).

Mac Ellie Goulding Only You

Officially I believe this is a mid tone muted coral. To me its a warm, mid toned pink and its the perfect every day colour. I don’t love cremesheen finishes, but this is surprisingly comfortable to wear, but doesn’t last terribly long on my lips, I’m more than happy to whip this beautiful product out in public though to reapply. It really is a beautiful lipstick and complements the rest of the items in the range perfectly.

Swatches, I’ll Hold My Breath Bronzer, I’ll Hold my Breath Blusher and Only You Lipstick.

Mac Ellie GouldingAll in all I’m delighted with my purchases, they all create a soft day look which you can really ramp up with shimmer and shine for evenings if you want. I’d like to go back for the pink Lustre Drops which look beautiful, as well as perhaps, one of the Patentpolish Lip Pencils.

As I say, the collection looks like its all fully instock, so go shopping, would highly recommend.

I purchased all my items from Mac Online.

I can’t remember quite where I first saw the Mac Dark Desires collection, but I knew that I needed it in my life, and this feeling increased with each swatch or review I saw. Sadly, the old budget put something of a dampener on my shopping plans so I ended up with just three pieces.

Mac Dark Desires I bought all my products from Mac Online, so it was nice to receive a couple of samples with my order, firstly of the Skin Base Primer and secondly the Zoom Fast Black Lash Mascara.

Onto the Dark Desires Products, starting with the Lipstick. I picked up Boyfriend Stealer which is a blackened plum shade, in a cremesheen finish. Mac Boyfriend StealerActually I don’t like cremesheen finishes generally speaking, but I knew that if was going to wear this colour, it couldn’t be too opaque, so this finish is ideal. One swipe gets me my ideal coverage for a shade like this, but it can be built up for greater impact.

Mac Boyfriend Stealer Mac Boyfriend StealerIt is a tricky colour to wear, very cool, with a touch of grey, but I love it. I prefer to wear it with everything else pared back, but it would look phenomenal with smokey eyes for an evening look.

Which leads me neatly onto the Into the Well eyeshadows.

Mac Into The WellThese eyeshadows offer a little well in the centre, the reason being, you can use the centre like an inkwell with a wet brush. These were released in five shades and I wanted all of them, there’s also a darkest blue, darkest brown and a black, and it took me two days to choose the shades I was going to get. I’m happy with my choices but I still want the others.

Okay starting with the Mac Dark Desires Into the Well Shadow.

Mac Dark DesiresThis is a blackened aubergine shade and really gorgeous.

I also picked up What’s Your Fantasy.

Mac What's Your FantasyOfficially this is a black with heavy multi-coloured pearl. I actually think its a dark grey with gold glitter. Whatevs, its beautiful.

Before I purchased, I read reviews about these not being especially amazing when used dry. I think they are just fine, they are obviously nothing like as pigmented dry, as they are wet, but that suits me just fine and is actually the whole reason I wanted them. I don’t find them patchy, and they blend very well, but the reason I was so taken with the idea of these is that you can apply them dry as a single wash of dark smokey colour, and then line using the same product wet. And I have to say they work brilliantly. My eyeshadow skills aren’t brilliant so I won’t show you but hopefully my swatches below will give a good idea of how they work. Dark Desires is a stunning colour, but What’s your Fantasy is glorious, both are amazing wet and so brilliantly easy to use. They make the most incredibly eye liners, my only tip would be to wear a primer, as I did get some transfer to my upper eyelid without it. The lines themselves though stayed put all day.

Anyway, swatches, left is Boyfriend Stealer Lipstick, Dark Desires Into the Well Eyeshadow dry, then wet, and finally What’s your Fantasy dry, then wet.

Mac Dark DesiresThe bad news is that none of these products are available online any more. However, most of the eyeshadows are available from Debenhams online and it is most definitely worth checking your local Mac stores/counters as my local was quite well stocked.

A really lovely collection, one of the nicest I’ve seen from Mac in a long time!

Phew, here I am! Gosh, I know its the same for everyone at the moment, but life is a bit hectic, what with illness, parents meetings, visitors, christmas shopping and so on.

But I’m managing to squeeze in a blog post. Here’s my Mac Pro Longwear SPF10 Foundation & Pro Longwear Concealer Review. I’m sorry things are a bit Mac-centric at the moment, after a long absence from the brand I’m really having a great time discovering some of their newer products.

I absolutely love Urban Decay Naked Skin Foundation and you can see my review here but I like to have more than one foundation in rotation, so I can match according to my skin on the day.

So I found myself at the Mac store, having a consultation to find my colour and perfect finish. I walked away the Pro Longwear Foundation and as the concealer was out of stock in store, I ordered the matching Pro Longwear Concealer online when I got home.

Mac Pro Longwear

I was matched as shade NW15 and the first thing I noticed was that the concealer is quite considerably paler than the foundation. (Concealer on the left)

Mac Pro LongwearMac Pro LongwearNow this is perfect for me for reasons that I’ll go into in a moment, but it’s definitely something to be aware of when purchasing. I love my concealers to be paler than my foundation for two main reasons. The first is that when applying to under eyes, or indeed any shady areas of the face, it doubles up as a highlighting product (no shimmer naturally), and secondly, when I’m spotty I tend to layer on my products, often in multiple layers, and things can end up orangey, even if the products I use are the right colour to start with. When layered, it can all end up a bit orange. Using a fair concealer tends to minimise this, and when using it alone on small blemishes, a sweep of Mineralise Skinfinish Natural tends to bring any lighter spots (and once blended its not terribly noticeable anyway) into line.

The foundation promises to deliver up to 15 hours of wear and I’ve been amazed by how well it stays in place, all day. I don’t think I’ve ever had a foundation that looks as perfect at tea time as it did when I applied it at 7.00am. Some don’t even make it  to lunchtime. I’d go so far as to say there have been days I’ve removed this at bedtime and its still looked perfect. The only times I’ve found this varied is when I’ve had a day of touching my face a lot! It also applies like a dream. I can’t say whether it does that thing on my dry nose because since I’ve been using the Mac Primer (review here), that problem is history.

It blends perfectly, no streaks, no dry patches and the concealer blends perfectly into the foundation. In fact I’ve had something of a revelation when it comes to concealer application, thanks to the lovely girl in the Mac Store. I’ve always applied concealer using a traditional concealer brush, like a small paint brush, I just paint on the blemish and then sort of press it in with my fingers to blend. However, the girl in Mac used a fluffy brush, like a fluffy eyeshadow brush. So I’ve been applying with an old fluffy blending brush and its a revelation!!! Works a treat on under eye areas, as well as allowing you to build up on blemishes, which blending it perfectly into your base. Its magic! Oh and the other thing… it doesn’t settle in fine lines at all.

There is however something I don’t like about the Pro Longwear Concealer. It’s incredibly pigmented (a good thing!) and  the tiniest amount covers everything with ease. I’m talking about maybe two pin heads worth to do every bit of my face I want to conceal, but its a pump bottle and pumps out far too much product. There is a lot of wastage. Other than that this has replaced my trusty Cover Fx concealer as my go to. Its a dream, and the combination of both products is amazing.

Coverage wise its sheer to medium, definitely buildable and using the concealer too offers a very high level of coverage on bad skin days or very dark circles.

Here’s me today in a couple of different lights.

Mac Pro LongwearMac Pro Longwear

Would absolutely recommend both of these to anyone. Amazing!! Pro Longwear SPF10 Foundation is £25.50 and comes in a pump bottle, while the Pro Longwear Concealer is £17.50. I bought mine from the Mac Shop in Exeter, and online.

I’ve tried many a highlighter over the years in creams and gels and powders, some have been great, some have been average and some have been terrible. Somehow though, I’d not managed to try the cult Mac Strobe Cream.

It’s fair to say that I love powder highlighters best of all, but finding a good one can be difficult, many are far too shimmery or far too glittery, and they often don’t look natural. Which is fine if you are young but at 41 I’m looking for a subtle highlight. Powders are also, in my opinion, the quickest and easiest way to add a touch of glow, but, as mentioned, it’s not always the most natural look.

Mac’s Strobe Cream  has long been loved by professionals and consumers alike for its ability to brighten dull skin, not only by highlighting but with ingredients carefully chosen to do good, such as vitamins and green tea.

Anyway, I treated myself to the Sized to Go travel size Strobe Cream recently, which at £10 for 30ml seemed like a good way to give it a go.

Mac Strobe CreamActually, you need so little product, this 30ml travel size will last me a very long time indeed. The full size is 50ml and retails at £24.50 so unless you highlight lots of faces daily, grab the travel size!

It smells lovely, and its moisturising too, and as I’ve mentioned, a little goes a very long way. While it is officially a cream, it has a gel like feel to me. It’s really light and cool on the skin, but it applies like a cream. I suppose if you didn’t need much in the way of moisture, you could use this alone but with my dry skin, I find it works best over moisturiser.

Mac Strobe Cream Mac Strobe Cream

You can use this in several ways, apply it all over under your foundation for a dewy finish, or mix it with your foundation for more glow or alternatively you can blend in where required on top of your base to highlight specific areas. I’ve tried all ways and they all work well. If you choose to wear it on top of foundation it can take a little care not to mess up your base, but it is possible with the two foundations I tried.

The effect is magic. It doesn’t look like you’re wearing a highlighter, it looks like your skin, or foundation are glowing.

Mac Strobe Cream Mac Strobe CreamI absolutely love this product. I’m permanently tired and headachy and this helps me fake a healthier look with ease. With my spot prone skin I was concerned this might break me out, but it does nothing of the sort, it’s just so light.

I would highly recommend this product to tired mummies, those with dull or tired skin or anyway looking for a bit more oomph in their complexion, I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to try out. A word of warning though, add too much and although you won’t look glittery, you’ll be so glowy you’ll look like a mannequin so go lightly, if you’re nervous, definitely go for the under foundation option, its the most natural effect.

I bought mine from my local Mac Store.

I mentioned recently that I’ve had a little return to Mac after a lengthy break, and I’m honestly wondering what I was thinking because all of the items I bought have been excellent.

Today I’m reviewing the Mac Prep + Prime Natural Radiance primer in Radiant Pink.

Mac Prep & Prime Natural Radiance Before I go any further, we just need to talk about the packaging. You can’t tell in the above photo, but both the box and the pump bottle sparkle…

Mac Prep & Prime Natural Radiance I wasn’t at all expecting the glitter and its so pretty. Just wanted to mention it as its a cute change from Macs normal plain black packaging and containers.

I’ve used primers in the past but none have been miraculous enough to keep me using it daily. Some have been outright terrible. Some have broken me out. Some have been okay but not mind blowing. I have however been having problems with foundation on my nose. Although my nose doesn’t feel especially dry, it would seem that when I apply foundation there, my nose is actually bone dry, and patchy, and its very difficult to get a good foundation application on my nose and even my most favourite foundation isn’t perfect. While I was in the Mac store recently I asked for a foundation recommendation, but when I explained my problem they suggested I keep using my foundations, but try a primer and this is the one they suggested.

Prep + Prime Natural Radiance is available in both Radiant Pink and Radiant Yellow, but with my pink tones, it had to be pink for me. Actually its the merest hint of colour so I’d imagine it wouldn’t make a tremendous difference if you were to buy the wrong shade.

Mac Prep & Prime Natural Radiance The texture is a gel formulation and is really light,  and it hydrates and primes with the intention of hydrating, while making your foundation apply smoothly, control oil and improving texture. There are lovely ingredients too, vitamins and plant extracts as well as pearl powders for radiance. And a great relief for me, if there are silicones, they are light handed. There isn’t the usual velvety feel you get with silicone heavy primers, and they usual break me out. I’ve only been using this for a week, but so far no break outs and under usual circumstances, it takes as little as a day for a product to cause me spots.

I absolutely love this. Yes it does impart some radiance which is lovely, it definitely gives me some glow. There are also definite sparkles, however, they are are widely spread and tiny, meaning that once your foundation is in place they are not visible at all, which is good.

The main reason I love this is my foundation does look flawless, even on my nose, when I use this, its perfect. Not only that, but it stays that way for much longer than foundations usually do, a good eight hours, where my foundation has usually slipped by lunchtime.

I also like that it works as well on my dry patches as it does on my more oily patches… hello chin. All areas are equal when it comes to this primer, so I’d say it was suitable for most skins, if not all.

The only downside in fact is the price, at £29.50 this is a pricey product, but you do get 50ml and you need only the smallest amount for your whole face. Smaller than a pea size blob and I’d envision this lasting ages.

If you’ve got the cash and you’re looking for a primer, I’d definitely recommend this one. Check out your local Mac shop/counter or online.

In recent years I’ve strayed from Mac a little and I’m not entirely sure why that is. There are products that I’ve used and loved until there’s not a scrap left. The only reason I can think I’ve not replaced them is because, as I’m a blogger, there’s always something new to try.

I’ve been having some issues with my base make up lately, with it not staying in place and not looking flawless. Looking through some old blog photographs really made me realise that somewhere along the way I’ve lost my touch!

So, when Exeter finally got a Mac store, and I finally got a tax rebate, it was time to have a little splurge. I picked up a few products but today I wanted to talk about the Mac Mineralize Skinfinish Natural.

Mac Mineralize Skinfinish NaturalI used to love this product, you can see it mentioned in an old post here. In fact I used it until there wasn’t any left. So I decided to repurchase. The range has had a facelift and the shade names have changed. I used to be a Light Medium, but that no longer exists so I wanted to be matched in store. My new shade is Light Plus, which I actually think is the same as Light Medium, just a new name. The packaging has also had a revamp and is much more attractive now.

Mac Mineralize Skinfinish NaturalThe powder inside however, is exactly how I remember it. A perfect dome of pressed, mineral powder. The photo below shows the colour more accurately that the one above which is a touch too warm.

Mac Mineralize Skinfinish NaturalApply it with a big, soft, fluffy brush and you’ll get a perfect finish to your make up. I can’t believe I forgot about it. This is absolutely without a doubt the best powder I have ever used. It seems to hold everything in place, nearly all day, with a touch being unnecessary for me (but I am prone to dryness rather than oilyness), but touch up can freshen everything up at about 3/4pm. Personally at that stage of the day I don’t really bother, and I find that my make up still looks good even though there’s a touch of shine creeping in.

I can’t recommend this powder enough, its amazing.

Mac Mineralize Skinfinish NaturalThe only downside I can think of is that it’s had a hefty £6 price increase since my last purchase, making it £24, but it lasts, and it is one of the few products that I know I will use every single bit of.

A very definite recommendation from me and I won’t ever stray again, using this again for the first time in years felt like coming home.

You can purchase your own from Mac counters and online.



It’s well documented that I LOVE matte lipsticks, in fact despite a huge lipstick collection, its a matte I’ll reach for nearly all of the time. I bought Mac’s Whirl lipstick on the back of all the hype later. I love the nineties lip colour trend (possibly because in the early 90’s I was in my teens) and I love matte lipstick, so I just had to get this lipstick didn’t I?

It’s described on the website as matte Dirty Rose.

Mac Whirl LipstickI’d agree with the dirty rose description, although its not a description I’d give it. No I’d go for reddish brown, because I’m descriptive like that!

mac whirl lipstickI absolutely love it, but it comes off a little darker than the picture above and a little more matte. Its similar to Gerard Cosmetics 1995, which I also love.

mac whirl lipstick

mac whirl lipstick (2)A final note, the wear time on this is excellent. I can apply it in the morning and it’ll still be there mid afternoon, albeit faded. A great purchase in my humble opinion and its been a very long time since I bought  Mac lipstick!

Thanks to Kylie Jenner, this shade and similar shades are big news right now, so hop on the bandwagon and grab one for yourself from Mac Cosmetics for £15.50

Ah the nude lip, once upon a time finding the the perfect nude lip shade was every beauty blogger’s goal, but times have changed somewhat and we no longer want to wear a nude lip as much, but it is something that is handy to always have. Nude lips can make a perfect partner to the endless releases of neutral eye shadow palettes brands are throwing at us at the moment.

However, finding a nude lipstick to suit me turned out be difficult. Every shade looked wrong on me, at first I thought it was because my lips are so pigmented, and because I’m so pale, but it turns out that me and really warm shades just are never going to suit me, no matter how much I try and make them, because my skin is decidedly cool toned. So, if you’re pale, have a cool skin tone and have pigmented lips, you’re not going to find the search for a nude shade very easy.

I did however find one.  The catch is, and I might as well get this out of the way at the beginning of the post, I can’t find it anywhere to buy anymore. This is because the lipstick, Altered Beige by Mac, was limited and from the Mac Temperature Rising collection in 2013. Not even Ebay has been my friend. But before you go, please have a read of the post… do you know anything that will work as a dupe?

The packaging was lovely, a bronze matte, soft touch finish.

P1160730Inside is a lipstick that looks like an absolute horror!

P1160729It looks like a shell pink frosty finish. Actually, Altered Beige is a lustre finish, one which I’ve historically not got along with at all, and although there’s a hint of shimmer, its not frosty or shimmery really, neither is it pink. I believe it’s official description was “yellow beige” and I am not sure what possessed me to buy it. Pale, urgh, shimmery, urgh, lustre finish, urgh…but buy it I did and I absolutely love it.

P1160732Lustre finishes by Mac are slightly sheer but buildable and the reason I dislike them so much is that I’ve always found they just apply unevenly. This does not. I also don’t like sheer finishes in this sort of shade because of the colour of my lips, they always end up looking odd. But in my opinion this does not.

P1160746It’s just perfect.

So, despite having just written a post about a lipstick you can’t actually get (sorry!) I’m hoping someone out there might have some suggestions for dupes so that I can get a back up?

Thank you!

I thought today I’d do a post about my most favourite eyeshadow. I ummed and ahhed about whether to do so but in the end I decided to go with it and you’ll see why at the end.

Mac Smoke & Diamonds was a limited edition shadow from Mac’s Starflash collection a few years ago. I believe that it has made reappearances in the years since and it is well worth grabbing if you if it ever crops up again.

Mac Smoke & Diamonds

I really struggle to describe this shadow. It’s a taupe. No scratch that, it’s definitely an olive green shade. No no. It’s a grey. What the hell, lets just call this a taupey greeny grey!

Mac Smoke & Diamonds

Mac Smoke & Diamonds

It is a perfect colour for days where you just want one shade of shadow, it makes for the simplest smokey eye. But it’s incredibly versatile and looks greats with coppers, greys, golds, browns, pretty much everything.

I like to wear it alone on lazy days, teamed up with lashings of mascara and some kohl.

Mac Smoke & Diamonds

Mac Smoke & Diamonds

Mac Smoke & Diamonds
It does occasionally crop up on Ebay but it does tend to go for a pretty penny and it’s not currently available from Mac.

The good news is that there’s a pretty good dupe in Stila’s Diamond Lil shadow. I’ve not tried it but Pink Sith has and I trust her swatches implicitly!

As I say, if you ever find this, get it, otherwise, there’s another option there for you if this takes your fancy!