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.


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

Birthday Beauty Haul Pt 1

I don’t often get the chance to buy multiple beauty products in one go; it’s a sad fact that being chronically ill does bad things to your disposable income! But on my birthday and at Christmas I tend to get beauty gifts and gift cards from the people close to me so I’m able to indulge in some beauty hauling. 

I’m still waiting for some goodies from Tarte but in the meantime I thought I’d share some pics of the products that have arrived and cheered up my Chronic Life. I’ll be reviewing everything individually but if there’s a shade of eyeshadow you need to know the name of right now, feel free to ask in the comments 😊.

From Makeup Geek I ordered 5 shadows to go in my palette, one of which is a foiled formula, as well as two blushes. From Clinique I repurchased a Quickliner for Eyes in Brown Black.

From Too Faced I opted for (after much deliberation & with advice from my spoonie beauty blogger buddies) the Natural Eyes palette and from Spectrum brushes I got a fan brush to use with highlight.

From Anastasia Beverly Hills I very excitedly went for the Moon Child Glow Kit and also threw in my first ABH liquid lipstick in Dusty Rose.

I’m just started to play with these products now but I couldn’t wait another minute to share these pics – swatches and full reviews coming soon!

What product have you hauled lately that you absolutely love? 

Wishing you good luck & happy days,

Kindra x

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

Mac Lucky Trolls Beauty Powder

I recently went into hospital to have a hole drilled in my skull and a tiny monitor put inside to assess the pressure around my brain. It was not fun 😬. While I was there, I decided I deserved a little treat, so I ordered myself a beauty powder from Mac’s Lucky Troll collection to meet me when I arrived home.

Beauty powders often appear in Mac limited edition collections. They can be used in a variety of ways – on the cheeks as blush, as highlight, on the entire face or even on your eyes depending on the shade and your preference.

The powder I went for is called Play It Proper. Mac describes it as ‘a soft pastel pink with sparkles.’ 

This product isn’t particularly pigmented but as I wanted to use it as an everyday highlight, it doesn’t need to be. I’ve found myself reaching for this compact every time I’ve applied makeup recently. My skin is very fair (approx NW10 right now) and it can be difficult to find a light pinkish highlight; the majority of the the highlights on the market seem to be in the gold/bronze area and such shades generally don’t work for me. This powder turned out to be an ideal shade for my skin and suitable for use as a highlight without being so over-the-top shimmery that I feel self conscious wearing it in the daytime.

The packaging is delightful. It might feel too childish for serious beauty gurus but personally I love it; it appeals to the 90s 14 year old in me! I suspect this packaging is the kind that you’ll either love it or hate it. It makes me happy every time I see it! The little troll outline in the product itself is also adorable, to the extent that I’ll be a little sad when it’s worn away.

I’m really happy with this product and can see myself getting a lot of use out of it. I’d recommend keeping an eye out for other beauty powders in limit edition collections – there may be one that’s ideal for you. Of course the downside is that you have to be quick with limited edition products as the best products tend to sell out fast. I’ve noticed that shades like this do turn up in collections now and then, so I’ll be on the look out for a replacement before this product runs out.

Have you found any gems in limited edition collections?

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.

Grav3yardGirl Tarte Palette

Time for a shocking confession – my eyeshadow skills are so poor that’s they’re pretty much nonexistent. You know how some people love a winged liquid eyeliner look but really struggle to create the desired look on themselves? That’s how I am with eyeshadow. At the age of 34 I’ve decided that I shall not be defeated by makeup products; I’m determined to develop grownup eyeshadow game. 

So when Bunny (wildly popular and fabulous YouTuber at Grav3yardgirl) collaborated with Tarte to create the Swamp Queen palette, which appeared to have lots of pretty yet neutral shades in it, I decided that I needed it in my life. Let’s dive right in to my thoughts on this much sought-after palette.


I have to start with the packaging because I LOVE it. The faux wood texture, fool’s gold vibe and winged gator make for a palette that definitely doesn’t look like anything  else on the market. A lot of thought has gone into the packaging and in my opinion it paid off. The palette feels nice & sturdy yet isn’t too heavy to carry in your handbag if you want to. The mirror inside is large and the brush that’s included is dense and soft.

The palette has the most delicious scent to it, which fortunately doesn’t trigger hideous pain over one eye for me (it’s a Chronic Daily Migraine thing). The fragrance is chocolate with a little extra something, vanilla maybe. Have you ever eaten a Kinder Egg or those little Kimder bars?  That’s what this palette reminds me of…yum.


Inside the palette you’ll find a bronzer, a blush, a highlighter and nine eyeshadows. I really like the fact that each product is named & connected with elements of Bunny’s life – it suggests attention to detail and that she actually spent time on these shades  (I’m not an expert in celebrity/YouTuber collaboration palettes by any means but from what I’ve read the amount of effort & actual contribution from said celebrity can vary wildly). 


As you can see from the swatches, I’m ludicrously pale so tend to avoid bronzer generally. Sweet Tea is pretty though so I see no reason why I can’t use it as an eyeshadow. The blush Does This Thing Really Work? is actually a lovely shade for me, though I suspect I’ll need to use a light hand (I always have to if a product is in any way pigmented, to avoid looking like Coco the Clown!). There is a slight shimmer through it which fits nicely with the palette’s summertime release. The Gator Wings highlight is a SERIOUS highlight; this highlight wants you to be visible from space. This is a popular element of the palette, although some people feel it’s too ‘chunky glitter’ and frosty but personally I just keep gazing at it like the magpie I am. It’s never occurred to me to want a gold highlight before but this one just makes me think ‘oooooooh, preeeeeettty’😍, which incidentally was exactly what my 5 year old daughter said when she watched me unboxing this palette.


I’m pleased with the range of colours in the eyeshadow section. Being such a newbie on the eyeshadow front, I’m pleased to have ‘wearable’ colours to play with. I particularly like the bottom row of shades. While some of the shadows are technically matte there’s a definite leaning towards shimmer in this palette. I’ve noticed that some of them are prone to fall out (I’m looking at you, Sippy Sippy) but not so much that it bothers me unduly. Here’s how they look swatched without primer on my NW10/15 skin:


Big Baby is a perfect shade to use just under my brows on an everyday basis. Sassy Bun is super pretty. While the overall range of shades is on the warmer side, I really think these eyeshadows could work on any skin tone. This palette is great for someone like me who doesn’t currently have many eyeshadows in their makeup collection. Of course, you may be someone who feels that you can never own too many palettes or just want this one because you’re a huge fan of Bunny – both perfectly valid reasons for treating yourself to this one 😊 (if you can get your hands on it).

This palette was a good buy for me. It wasn’t cheap to purchase and have delivered to the UK but it’s a gorgeous way to kick start my eyeshadow collection. Treats like this are a little slice of pleasure amongst my daily struggle with pain.  I’m awaiting a date for admission to hospital to have a hole drilled into my skull and a pressure sensor placed in there for a couple of days – I’ll be hooked up to monitor and largely immobile. I may spend that strange stranded time watching YouTube eyeshadow tutorials and practicing with this palette; that won’t look at all weird, right? 😜

What eyeshadow palettes / tutorials would you recommend to a newbie like me? 

Wishing you good luck and happy days,

Kindra x

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Note: this is not a sponsored post. All products were purchased, not PR samples.

MAC Mineralize Skin Finish – Nuanced 

MAC Mineralize Skin Finishes are soooo popular; ‘Soft & Gentle’ in particular has been a YouTube beauty guru favourite for years now. At the age of 34, I have finally purchased my own Mineralize Skin Finish so it’s only right that I share my thoughts with you 😊.


I spotted the shade ‘Nuanced’ online and was lured in by the four-shades-in-one thing. Admittedly I thought the shades had a slightly pinker undertone than they actually do in real life but that’s always a risk you take when buying without swatching. Mac describes this product as ‘sheer wash of light rosy champagne with slight fine pink and gold pearl.’

I use highlighters sparingly as I don’t want to look shiny; in fact I spend a lot of time battling the dreaded shine! This is a great product for highlighting / as a blush topper. It creates a pretty shimmer without actual bits of glitter. I use the shades separately as my skin is super pale but they can be used swirled together if that suits your skin tone.


{Swatched left to right, top row first}

I like having four shade options that I can choose from depending on what most suits the blush I’m wearing on any given day. The first shade (top left in compact) is the easiest to wear for me and pretty much goes with any blush. As the weather  warms up I may experiment with using the two darkest shades as shimmery blush.

Overall I’m pleased with this product; the shades are a little out of my comfort zone but I’m enjoying them. I probably wouldn’t have bought them separately but I’m glad I have them to play with. The amount of pigment and shimmer you want can be achieved by choosing the right shape and size brush – you can use a small angled brush with a light hand if you prefer a targeted area of light shimmer (like me) or a bigger fluffier brush if you’re after a more full-on glow.

Do you have a favourite Mineralize Skin Finish?

Wishing you good luck and happy days,

Kindra x

Tweet/follow me – @chroniccockney

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