Mac Nutcracker Sweet Blush Highlight Compact

Every now and then, a limited edition product comes along that makes my eyes widen and I just HAVE to have it. In my own defence, this is actually quite rare; lots of limited edition products strike me as over hyped and all too often they aren’t going to work with my milk coloured skin. Plus, living with a chronic debilitating illness tends to do bad things to your disposal income. 

But when I saw this compact in the marketing ads/reviews for Mac’s Nutcracker Sweet collection, I fell in love. I was lucky enough to get it as an early Christmas gift – yay! It’s one of those products that really makes me look forward to the times when I’m well enough to put on makeup.

There were two versions of this compact available in the collection; I went for the Peach version which includes (unsurprisingly) a peachy pink shade of blush called At Dusk. The Copper version was super popular because it included the much loved Whisper of Gilt highlight but those shades just weren’t to my taste for my skin tone.

Both of these products are easy to wear and buildable. I don’t own many peachy tone blushes but have found that I really like it; it’s a soft and natural look that’s great for daytime. I found that is was just the right side of pigmented, meaning that the colour pay off is good but not so stark that one swipe needs endless blending to be wearable. The highlight is a lovely shade called Tutu that you don’t often see on the market, light but not stark or cold looking. Mac descibes it as a pale white peach. It works really well on my very fair skin tone. 

The packaging in this collection is adorable without being juvenile. I love the burgundy/purple and pink combination and the stitched detailing makes the whole thing feel a little luxurious. The detailing is repeated on the pans of product and makes using them for the first time a little sad! Mac have really got it right with this collection in my opinion.

I’m going to include a couple of pics of me wearing these products but bear in mind that I’m no expert at taking such photos – it looks great in real life! On that morning I was well enough to wear makeup but not well enough to remove shades in any kind of light; pretty typical of my rare ‘good hours’ these days.

The Nutcracker Sweet collection is well worth checking out. At the time of writing, this product was still available  online in the UK (yay!) along with some of the gorgeous lip and eye sets.

Did you buy anything from this collection? Have you spotted any other LE holiday products that you’ve fallen in love with?

Wishing you good luck and happy days,

Kindra x

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Note: this is not a sponsored post. All products discussed in this post were purchased with my own money.

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Revlon Diamond Top Coat

A good top coat is one of those beauty products that tends to be an unsung hero; they aren’t as glamorous as much a hyped highlight or eyeshadow palette but finding a good one is a little beauty blessing. I’m very much enjoying this Colorstay Gel Envy Diamond Top Coat from Revlon so I though it deserved a quick post.

I was pleased to receive this top coat in my October Glossybox as I had almost run out of my previous bottle from Sally Hansen. There are so many top coats on the market to choose from and I’ve never loved one so much that it became a regular repurchase.

That said, I intend to buy another of this product when I run out. I like the double brush design; I can cover my entire nail with one swipe if I’m trying to be quick.

The finish this top coat creates is super glossy and long lasting. The formula is slightly thicker than most top coats I’ve tried but it doesn’t take any longer to dry. I’ve found that it helps keep my nails shiney and ‘just painted’ looking for a good 5-7 days, bearing in mind that I like my nails to look really glossy.

This photo shows my nails in serious need of in-fills (I have a layer of acrylic on top of my natural nails) and the top coat is doing any excellent job of distracting attention away from the shabbiness of my nails, with the cunning use of glossiness. This is very useful when I’ve been too unwell to get to the nail place regularly; let’s face it, that’s the case all the time these days.

So if you’re browsing the drugstore for your next top coat, I recommend giving this ago – what’s not to like about a top coat that’s glossy and keeps your nails look freshly ‘done’ for longer?

Wishing you good luck and happy days,

Kindra x

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Note – this is not a sponsored post. All products discussed were purchased with my own money.

Jouer Liquid Lipstick and Lip Topper

On the topic of liquid lipsticks, I seem to have gone from one extreme to the other; from not being remotely interested in them to owning several and rarely reaching for anything else. The brand I’m posting about today is one that has been popping up all over Instagram and after seeing so many lovely swatches, I finally took the plunge and bought a liquid lipstick and a lip topper from Jouer.

At £15 each, these products are in the Mac kinda price range, which for me means that I’ll buy one now and then but I expect them to perform well. I went for the shade Tawny Rose in the liquid lipstick and the lip topper in Skinny Dip. I purchased mine from the Cult Beauty website which is the only place that I’m aware of that sells them in the UK.

The packaging is sturdy but not too heavy. I like that it’s transparent so that you can see when you’re running low before you’ve actually run out of product. These products have a delicious fragrance that is sweet and for some reason reminds me of childhood…marzipan? I can’t put my finger on it but it smells lovely and doesn’t hurt my fragrance-sensitive brain, so yay! 

Tawny Rose is such a gorgeous shade! It’s a perfect colour for easy daytime wear. The applicator is small and doesn’t bend, which is the kind I like best for creating clean lines. It dries down relatively quickly. It can feel a little dry on the lips after a few hours wear but nothing unusual for a liquid lipstick. It survives eating and drinking impressively well.

Skinny Dip is an ideal way to lift your makeup slightly if you’re going out straight after work (I miss those days!). Applied on top of dried down liquid lipstick, it creates a gorgeous shimmer and also stops the lips feeling dry. Of course there’s no reason that it couldn’t be used during the day to sparkle up your lips and combat the dryness that tends to come with liquid lipstick.


{Me test driving Tawny Rose before one of my rare ventures away from home for a couple of hours}

I’m really pleased with these products. Obviously I’ve only been able to test them for a few hours at a time (Chronic Life restrictions 🙄) but I’m impressed with how transfer resistant Tawny Rose is. I think Skinny Dip should now live in my handbag to help me out on those occasions when the dryness of liquid lipstick alone is irritating me. I must check out Jouer’s more metallic liquid lipsticks…

Have you tried any Jouer products?

Wishing you good luck and happy days,

Kindra x

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This blog is also available via Bloglovin.

Note: this is not a sponsored post. All products discussed were purchased with my own money.

Makeup Geek Blush Review

It feels like an age ago that I got these two blushes from Makeup Geek as part of my Birthday Beauty Haul (Part 1 & Part 2) back in August. My Chronic Life currently restricts my ‘well enough to apply makeup’ hours drastically so it’s taken a while for me to have used these blushes enough to be ready to review them…but finally I’m there 😊. 

These are the first Makeup Geek blushes I’ve bought and I ordered them online from Beauty Bay. MUG has released a new batch of blushes in compact form since but I rarely carry blush about with me so am happy to buy pan versions to live inside my Tarteist Pro Custom Palette.

The shades I went for were Valentine (left) which is described as a pastel pink beige and Soulmate (right) which is described as muted mauve with rosy nude undertones and a shimmer finish. I find myself reaching for Soulmate most often. Both shades are suitable for my very fair skin but I think my taste has changed somewhat since I bought Mac’s Blush Baby almost a year ago; I’ve started to lean away from lighter pinks towards those that have some mauve or hints of brown in them. It’s worth noting that whatever shimmer is supposed to be present in Soulmate isn’t very noticeable to my eye; this is a bonus in my opinion as I prefer my blushes to provide colour rather than shimmer.

The swatches may not look particularly pigmented but for me that’s not necessarily a bad thing – I don’t want to look like Coco the Clown after one light swipe. These blushes produce enough colour on the cheek that I still need to concentrate so as not to overdo it! 

The thing I like about these blushes is that they blend beautifully. A fluffy face brush blends and smooths the edges very nicely without removing the colour. Both of these shades work nicely with the silver or pink toned highlighters that I gravitate towards.

So far I’ve only been able to test drive them for a few hours at a time, since that’s as long as any excursion of mine lasts (if I’m lucky). But I’m impressed with them and think they’re worth the £8.50 each that they cost in the UK. Soulmate has fast become a blush that I use regularly. If you haven’t tried Makeup Geek blushes then I recommend you check them out.

What is your favourite blush?

Wishing you good luck & happy days,

Kindra x 

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Tweet me – @chroniccockney.

This blog is also available via Bloglovin.

Note: this is not a sponsored post. All products discussed were purchased with my own money. 

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick

This Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick has been waiting patiently for a while, looking forward to the day that I’d be well enough to take it for a test drive. That day finally came recently when I was able to go out to eat with my family. This post is intended to share my first impressions rather than an in-depth definitive verdict  – if I waited until I was well enough to wear this product for several full days, this post wouldn’t have been written for a looooong time. That’s Chronic Life for ya.


Let’s talk about the shade first. I found it difficult to tell online exactly what colour I was going to end up with, a not uncommon problem if you are forced to buy exclusively online as I am. Even with the help of Pinterest or YouTube swatches, there’s a bit of guess work involved. I opted for the shade Amore and was aware that it might appear darker on my very fair skin than on most online swatches.


Amore is a lovely deep berry kind of shade which in my opinion is a great choice for Autumn/Winter. I would say that it’s a lipstick that will look markedly different depending on skin tone, but I think it would still look pretty on anyone.


The formula dried down quickly and felt comfortable on the lips, thankfully not as dry feeling as Anastasia Beverly Hills’ Liquid Lipstick. It lasted well through eating and drinking, with the only signs of transfer and wear happening on the inner lip. Touching up that area was easy and no unpleasant crumbling happened when the product was applied over itself.

I found the applicator a bit annoying as it was a little flexible. I much prefer an applicator that doesn’t bend, as I find it easier to achieve clean lines that way. 


The shade ended up looking darker than it should have on me, as I found that getting the colour to look even took a couple of dips into the lipstick tube. As you can see, my lines aren’t quite as neat as I’d like, but I do like the colour.

Overall I like this product but it hasn’t succeeded in toppling theBalm’s Meet Matte Hughes from the ‘My Fave Liquid Lipstick’ throne. I’ll definitely get some use out of this Stila offering over the Autumn/Winter; it’s a good choice for when you’re going out for a meal and want your lips to require minimal  touching up. I’d be interested to try another shade from Stila, something a bit lighter, to see if performance varies between shades at all. If you’re looking for a berry shade liquid lipstick (and don’t mind slightly flexible applicators)  you should definitely check this one out. 

Wishing you good luck and happy days, 

Kindra x 

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This blog is also available via Bloglovin.

Note: this is not a sponsored post. All products discussed were purchased with my own money.

ABH Moon Child Glow Kit

Anastasia Bevelery Hills’ Glow Kits have been EVERYWHERE on Instagram and YouTube beauty channels for quite some time. As ever, the majority of these highlighting products are not a suitable shade for my milk-white skin tone. Golds and bronzes just don’t work on me! But when the Moon Child kit launched a few months ago, I wondered if this might finally be a Glow Kit I could work with. When the time rolled around to do my birthday beauty haul (Part 1 and Part 2), this palette was my number one priority.

The palette contains 6 shimmery highlight shades, some of which are pretty unusual compared to the range of highlight shades currently on the market. The palette itself doesn’t have a mirror which is a bit of a shame in my opinion. The packaging is pretty but doesn’t feel particularly sturdy as it’s cardboard rather than plastic or faux metal. To be honest I’d have preferred a more solid feeling palette with a mirror from a product in this price range. 

I have fallen in love with the highlights themselves. The shades appear quite muted in the pan but when you start swatching them, their true colours shines out! You might think that these colours would be hard to use in an every day sense but it is actually possible to use them without going to Instagram-worthy extremes (as gorgeous as the photos are of stripes of highlight that can be seen glinting miles away, they can be a bit much for day time in IRL!). These powders are easy to blend and mix together to get the look you’re after.

At this stage it’s too early in my love affair with the Moon Child kit to choose a favourite shade, but for quick and easy every day look Pink Heart is the easiest to use. Star can also be used with a light hand for day time looks; to be honest they all can with a little blending. When I’m well enough to being going out in the evening again, I’ll definitely be incorporating Blue Ice and Purple Horseshoe into a shimmery highlight and eye look. Lucky Clover is also a really interesting colour with more green & yellow going on than you’d expect from looking at it in the pan.

Overall I’m really happy with this palette; it’s a joy to behold. While the packaging and design of the palette could have been a bit better, I really like the products themselves. It’s a really unusual collection of shades and I’m looking forward to playing with them more as my Chronic Life allows.

What do you think of the ABH Glow Kits?

Wishing you good luck and happy days,

Kindra x

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Tweet me – @chroniccockney

This blog is also available via Bloglovin.

Note: this is not a sponsored post. All products discussed were purchased with my own money.

Review: ABH Liquid Lipstick 

If you’ve read my recent post on theBalm’s Meet Matte Hughes Liquid Lipstick, you’ll already know that I resisted the liquid lipstick trend for a loooong time. I was perfectly happy with Mac lipliners and matte or satin finish lipstick and more recently fell in love with Urban Decay’s Vice Lipstick in the comfort matte finish and 24/7 Glide On Lipliner. But I now own a few liquid lipsticks from the theBalm and I must confess, I’m largely neglecting the rest of my lipstick collection in favour of them.

So I decided to include a liquid lipstick from Anastasia Beverly Hills in my recent birthday beauty haul, to see if it would become a instant hit with me as well.

ABH has become wildly popular of late – between their brow products, their liquid lipstick and their Glow Kits (my birthday haul included Moon Child), their products are all over Instagram. So when I ordered this lipstick in the shade Dusty Rose, I was fairly confident that it would turn out to be a decent product at the very least. 

The first thing to say is that I LOVE the shade. ABH describes it on their website as a nude mauve. As ever, such mauve shades are a favourite of mine but on my very fair skin (Mac NW10) they are by no means a true nude shade. Dusty Rose is so easy to wear and would work on a range of different skin tones and with many different makeup looks.

The formula is long wearing and can be touched up when you’re out and about without it turning into a crumbling mess – a vital characteristic in a good liquid lipstick!

I have one issue with this product – the somewhat parched feel of it once it has dried down. It feels far more dry on my lips after an hour or so of wear than the Meet Matte Hughes liquid lipsticks from the theBalm. In my opinion it also looks more dry and therefore excentuates the natural lines on the lip itself. This is a shame as I do really love the shade but am more likely to reach for theBalm’s Charming instead as it looks and feels more comfortable.

I’ll still use this lipstick, maybe with a little lip balm underneath, but sadly it fell just short of the high standards theBalm have set for me re. liquid lipsticks.

What’s your favourite liquid lipstick?

Wishing you good luck and happy days,

Kindra x 

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Tweet me – @chroniccockney

This blog is also available via Bloglovin.

Note: this is not a sponsored post. All products discussed were purchased with my own money.

Mac Lipstick Review: Twig

There are some shades of lipstick that you can reach for with complete confidence, knowing that it will work with your skin tone and with a variety of makeup looks. For me, Mac’s Twig  is one such lipstick. 

Mac describes the shade as ‘soft muted brownish-pink’. This shade comes in a Satin finish, which is a nice change from the matte formulas we all seem to have become obsessed with in recent years. It works well with Mac’s lipliners in Soar, Whirl or Dervish depending on your preference. Layering this lipstick over lips that are completely filled-in with one of these liners will really increase wear time. I feel that this shade has a bit of a 90s vibe going on but is easier to wear that some of the darker Browns that were all the range then.

As you can see, I’m very fair-skinned so while Twig is a relatively deep looking shade on me, it would make a lovely nude shade for ladies (or indeed gentleman) with dark skin. I actually can’t think of a skin tone this shade wouldn’t look pretty against. Along with Brave & Mehr, this is a shade I can always count on to help me look put together, even when I’m in a lot of pain and trying to mask it by wearing my shades…which is most of the time to be honest!

There are drugstore alternatives to this colour, but personally I’d rather buy one Mac lipstick than a couple of cheaper ones. They apply so smoothly and smell delicious.

If you’re relatively new to Mac products, I highly recommend checking out this shade. Regardless of current makeup trends, this is a lipstick you can always depend on to look lovely all year around.

Do you have a favourite Mac lipstick?

Wishing you good luck and happy days,

Kindra x

Follow me on Instagram.

Tweet me @chroniccockney

Note: this is not a sponsored post. All products discussed were purchased with my own money.

Birthday Beauty Haul Pt 2

If you’ve read my last post, you’ll know that I get super excited for my birthday in August and super excited again at Christmas; they are the times of year I tend to get beauty gifts and gift cards from the lovely people close to me. The Chronic Life I’m living right now means that I really wouldn’t feel right spending money on higher end beauty hauls while I’m too sick to work. But twice a year I get to indulge myself guilt-free and I don’t mind admitting that I really enjoy it. If you haven’t checked out my Birthday Beauty Haul Pt 1  post yet, you should (it includes my first ever purchases from Anastasia Beverly Hills😍).


As you can tell, part 2 of my birthday haul is made up of 4 products from Tarte. I’ve wanted to try out the brand for a long time but couldn’t justify the increased total spend when postage to the UK & taxes were factored in. When I saw the Blush Book 2, I decided that this birthday was the time to get my Tarte on!

In addition to the Blush Book 2, I ordered the animal print eyeshadow palette (empty like a Z Palette), the Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation in the shade Honey and the Airbuki Brush that’s designed to be used with the foundation.

I haven’t tested these products yet (the daily pain limits the amount of time I am well enough to sit up & apply makeup…oh how I miss working and putting my face on every day!) but as ever I couldn’t wait any longer to show you what I’ll be reviewing in upcoming posts.

It will of course get a separate post but here’s a peek inside the Blush Book 2….just look at that blushy goodness😍.

I’ll be back soon with reviews of these products and the ones from part 1 of my birthday haul. I’m so excited to try them all!

Have you hauled anything that you’re really excited about lately? 

Wishing you good luck and happy days,

Kindra x

Follow me on Instagram.

Tweet me – @chroniccockney

Note: this is not a sponsored post. All products discussed were purchased with my own money.

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