Jeffree Star Cosmetics Blood Sugar Palette Review

If I am going to write a review of a Jeffree Star product, shall I do so in the enchanting style that he speaks? Should I have opened this piece with “Good morrr-ning!” or “Hey girl, how are YA?”

I can’t help but feel that his personality comes through in his products. Vibrant, questionable colour choices at times, but unfailingly impressive. So should his personality come through in a review about his products? It could be a good stance to take.

The Palette

The Blood Sugar Palette is arguably Jeffree’s most famous, selling out after 3 minutes of release in February. Lucky for us, it finally restocked in October – and biiiiiiiiitch, it was worth the wait.Processed with VSCO with s3 presetThe eye-shadow comes in a red faux leather box with metal clasps and it is HEAVY. Just like Jeffree, I love a heavy product. Heavy screams luxury, moneys-worth and no pigment spared… generally speaking. I have never been taken aback by packaging before, but the presentation of Blood Sugar forced me to take a moment.

It soon became obvious that the formulas of the eye-shadows were worthy of every feeling of luxury the packaging gave. The payoff is unbelievable. I can’t think of a better adjective to describe the shadows because I just didn’t believe it when I first swatched the palette. Un-bloody-believable.Processed with VSCO with s3 presetAnything goes with the colour scheme and range of finishes. You can create looks that are purple, red, pink, multi, brown, muted, neon, dark, glittery, foily and so much more. If you’re less of an extremist when it comes to beauty, then view each row of pans as a colour scheme to work with.
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But for me, purple crease and brow bone with a golden halo lid? Yes to the please.

I mostly avoid shimmer shadows (I have a weird thing in thinking they draw attention to the round shape of my eyes and make me look like something out of Macbeth) but the pink shimmer shade ‘Candy Floss’ is ready to change my life. I think we’re having a moment.

My Look

My first look with this palette was Halloween – what better time to channel red vibes than for a celebration about blood and gore?

I created a base with ‘Cake Mix’ before getting stuck in with ‘Prick’. Then, with a more refined blending brush, I worked ‘Cherry Soda’ and ‘Coma’ into the crease. On my lid I swatched ‘Cavity’ with a flat shading brush before taking my finger on ‘Candy Floss’ and blending that on top. Processed with VSCO with a5 presetUnder my lash line I worked ‘Coma’ and ‘Cavity’ again to drag the look out further and add some drama.

The shimmer on ‘Candy Floss’ was muted due to me using my finger but the pigment came through. I loved the shade so much that I ended up highlighting my inner-corner and brow bone with it to see it’s true potential. The proof is in the pudding.Processed with VSCO with dog3 presetThe pigment in every single pan – be it a matte, glitter or pressed pigment – gives so much product with the slightest swatch, and there’s minimal falloff. The colour scheme presents so many possibilities without swaying from the theme. Each colour works well together but are significant individually.

Right now, there is an abundance of red-themed palettes littering cosmetic retailers so it can be hard to choose the right one. But even at the £46 price point, Blood Sugar takes the cake.

Invest in product, invest in luxe packaging and pigment payoff.

Let Your Lips Do The Halloween Talking

There is nothing toned-down about werewolves, witches, risen-again skeletons, creepy clowns and the rest of Halloween’s scary stock types. But sometimes, it is understandable to want to tone down your Halloween make-up. Not everyone likes thick black cat-eyeliner or wants to wear cheap face paint (because who is really investing in expensive face paint for one celebration?) or wants to have a face full of liquid latex.

It is undeniable that not everyone has the desire or means to sport all-out-there Halloween glam. I recognise that some of you have work, personal commitments, etc. that mean you can’t spend 5 hours in the mirror carving out a multi-colour skeletons face. That’s a shame really – 5 hours in front of the mirror is exactly how I plan to spend this Halloween in a bid to ignore my uni assignments.

This means that we must look for new ways of going glam for Halloween that is both beyond the norms of extravagant designs but not humdrum. We need something that is stately but chic; something that adds a new spin on the bold conventions of Halloween.

I believe that a bold lip is your best friend this Halloween.

If you want to inject a spooky essence into your make-up but don’t have the desire or means to go ‘all out’, scaring yourself with the prospect of a bold lip is a plausible reinstatement.

A bold swish of a striking lip paint, be it liquid, lipstick, peel-off, tint, etc., is all you need. And do not be scared of intense or dark colour –  you were only going to channel this creativity in fake blood or splashes of glitter.

A glossy red or jet black matte or metallic purple lip will add that Halloween vibe to your face without forcing you to compromise on looking glam. These three colours have the potential to turn subtle eye-shadow or a dusting of highlighter into an unwound Halloween look. Lipstick is attention-grabbing when it is daring – let lazy people reach for the fake blood and glitter.

Red

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Red is your ally this Halloween, no matter how much you shy away from it every other day of the year. It makes a statement: you’re playing up to blood aesthetics with an air of assurance that this look, this Halloween vibe, is glam by the grace of red’s usual boldness. Just at this time of year, it’s the spectacle of Halloween’s essence from a tasteful angle.

Josie Marie Suggests
MAC Lipglass in ‘Ruby Woo’, £15.50, available at maccosmetics.co.uk
E.l.f Highshine Liquid Lip Gloss in ‘Red Apple’, £5, available at elfcosmetics.co.uk

Black

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A black lip is a not-so-subtle style that lets you feel at one with Halloween without layering face paint on. It is not a conventional lip, nor is it a comfortable one. It requires maintenance, and many would shy away in fear of it being “too much”, “too intense” or “not pretty.” But Halloween is not about shying away. And if you’re feeling particularly fearless, I would say contrast your black lip with a neon lip-liner.

Josie Marie Suggests
Anastasia Beverly Hills Matte Lipstick in ‘Midnight’, £18, available at beautybay.com
Kiko Matte Liquid Lip Colour in ‘Anthracite’, £7.90, available at kikocosmetics.com

Purple

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Christian Dior said that purple is the “King of colours.” So if you slip into a purple lip this Halloween, just know you’re on a royal route. Purple is a facial sign that reads “black and red aren’t the only colours of Halloween – and here’s my testimony to that.” It’s vibrant and unique, but doesn’t stray too far from Halloween colour convention.

Josie Marie Suggests
Gerard Cosmetics Hydra Matte Metallic Liquid Lipstick in ‘Grape Crush’, £15, at beautybay.com
Beauty Bakerie Metallic Lip Whip in ‘The Grape Life’, £16, at beautybay.com

If you feel apprehensive to try a bold lip this Halloween, just remember that being scared is all in the celebrations nature. So get a grip, and get painting those lips.

Thinking In Pink

A few months ago I wrote something about why pink and orange are the colours of Spring. My follow up from that, which I have testified to already, is that these colours have followed me into winter.

Call me lazy, call me biased, but regardless of season, I’ll always lean towards bright colours.Continue reading “Thinking In Pink”

Show-Stopping Soft Glam

Everyone knows that the showstopper of soft glam is perfect concealer. All that your face demands in soft glam moments is well-concealed under-eyes and a positively bright forehead.

Continue reading “Show-Stopping Soft Glam”

I’m A Boux Avenue Ambassador!

In a break from essay writing and debating the essence of highlighting, I am now a student ambassador for Boux Avenue! My content is taking an exciting turn toward representing my favourite lingerie brand, as well as writing about make-up.

I have always avoided gimmicky writing and content clichés when writing, and my work with Boux Avenue won’t be changing that. And so, it’ll be no surprise that I plan to keep things colourful and funky as ever. My work with Boux Avenue will stay true to the philosophy of my blog and my love of colourful aesthetics and creative language and angles.

Think silk for lounge style, hot water bottles as friday-night-in clutch bags and underwear turned outerwear. I’ll be styling their lingerie, pyjamas, activewear and cute accessories, and showing how I utilise my Boux essentials. I’ll also be providing you with collection sneak peaks and decent deals – you can currently get 20% off all of the new in section on their website with my code JOSIEOBOUX20.

Beauty blogger turned Boux ambassador – a perfect medley on Josie-Marie.com.

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Exciting things to come, stay tuned!

The Oily Diaries: Rose Hip Oil

Incorporating rose hip oil into my skincare routine for oily skin does not make me a walking contradiction. Why? Because it’s anti-inflammatory and regenerative properties shrink pores, smooth the skin and create a second-skin-style barrier. Sometimes you should fight fire with fire.

Continue reading “The Oily Diaries: Rose Hip Oil”

The Oily Diaries: Intro

Oily skin is a beauty guru’s kryptonite. With most make-up and skincare products formulated for dry or sensitive skin, it is insanely difficult to find matte finish make-up that doesn’t force us to compromise on a glowing complexion and durability. Because let’s face it, a ‘mattifying’ primer just isn’t enough.

Here on Josie Marie, I am inviting you on my anti-oil journey. I am going to test and review a range of product concoctions (categorised by brands or ingredients) to seek out the true secret to oil-free make-up. Consider the oily diaries a definitive and progressive guide to the best products and brands to invest in, whether it’s to control oily skin, oily T-Zone or simply one-off oily days.

Click here to find the comprehensive (but not complete) list of The Oily Diaries segments.

 

Holy Grail Glows

A matte finish as the holy grail state of make-up is a minor passing cloud in today’s glowing sky. Setting sprays, lip glosses, highlighters in all their variations and the skincare brands influencing cosmetic trends are devoted to radiant finishes. Yet, we must still question why make-up’s renewed vitality is so important.

The spirit of highlighting – product, application, result – mingles effortless radiance with skilled application. Perhaps it is so popular because it suits global warming‘s melting of ice crystals, or because luminous skin indicates health, or because a glowy finish requires far less maintenance than matte. But I personally believe it lays with the passage of time and the nature of cosmetic trends. Time has allowed the perfect highlight, be it powder, cream, liquid, stick or even jelly, to embody pigmented colour that settles on the skin under the shimmer of the actual highlighting molecules.

The True Essence Of Highlighting

‘Highlighting’ is no longer the singular act of applying a silver shimmer on your cheekbones. Application is also required (for the most luminous of glows) on the nose, cupids bow, chin, brow arches and tails, and inner eyelid corners. The look achieved by tactical highlighting and attention to individual bone structure is somewhat un-achievable with well blended bronzer or cream contour.

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I spent many a day in front of the mirror unsure on why highlighting is so hyped. I just didn’t get it. I found it impossible to apply without drowning my face and accentuating my pores, acne patches and scars, and ill-blended contour. I also found it impossible to work into a natural makeup look. But alas, after much experimentation, many fails and even more awful make-up days, I realised that choosing the right product is, as always, essential.

Josie Marie’s Take

My devotion to eyeshadow palettes works overtime in my psyche and directed me toward powdered and colouful highlight palettes, rather than strobing sticks or singular pans. I believe that a variation in colour provides better means to reach the perfect colour for your individual skin tone – if there is not one immediate suitable colour, a palette grants the opportunity to mix multiple colours.

My journey to radiance started with Anastasia Beverly Hills’ Moon Child palette. The purple pans and the warm undertones of the shade ‘Pink Heart’ coupled with the amazing reviews, convinced me this was the palette for me. Unfortunately, the colour pigments didn’t suit my skin tone, despite how pigmented and easy to apply they were.

Luckily, I did not have to search much further to discover that I was better suited to the shades in Jeffree Star’s 24 Karat Skinfrost Pro Palette. Taking place as my current highlight holy grail, the browns work as a median between contour and cheekbone highlight, while ‘Sarcophagus’ and ‘King Tut’ really do give an easy-to-blend, difficult-to-ignore glow. The pigment is as commendable as ABH’s glow kits.

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This weekend, my make-up look (as pictured above) was bronzed skin, subtle shadow, natural brows and a Legendary-Sarcophagus-King Tut glow. Tactically mixing these colours to blend across my face made my glow look well blended and suited. Of course, the buttery formula of Jeffrey Star’s Skin Frost range played a big role in the easy blending.

For those looking to hone their highlighting craft, trial and error of palettes is definitely a good place to begin. I still don’t even know what brush to use, but at least I know what my highlight holy grail is.

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A Weekend Visit Guide To Madrid

With busy boulevards, contemporary architecture, and an abundance of roof top bars, Madrid is an underestimated city when it comes to culture trips. The Spanish capital provides an unparalleled submersion in both city and Spanish culture, and here is Josie Marie’s weekend visit guide.

Location

Plaza Mayor is the best place to stay. I stayed here in Air BnB overlooking the city’s most popular square. The highlight of this location? There’s never a dull moment.

A balcony in Plaza Mayor grants you atmospheric access, as well as distance from the hustle and bustle. You can check out where looks good before the stress of crowds and trotting along cobble stones in heels is necessary (or at least, we did.)

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Cuisine

If you only eat one thing in Madrid, it must be a calamari sandwich. Forget the paella dinners that the British always pine over in Spain, and shift your desire to calamari lunches.

Lining Madrid’s back streets are little shops with trays of fried calamari. For me, these shops were the height of fast food. A squeeze of lemon over your squid and soft bread is the ideal lunch for just 3 euros.

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The Palace

The Royal Palace of Madrid is a monumental building of baroque architecture and artistic prestige that you don’t even need to go inside to appreciate. You can browse it’s outer stone walls and iconic columns from the outer pathway.

The palace has a classical look perfect for pictures and historical wonderment.

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The Metro

A far cry from London’s suffocating underground, the Metro is somewhat clean and un-claustrophobic. Once you have mastered the art of Spanish ticket machines, the metro is the best way to get around.

Although, I recommend knowing the stop name of every location you are travelling to before going to the machines – it’s better to be smart than sorry.

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Rooftop Bars

Madrid does not mess around with its rooftop bars. My favourite was the Circulo De Bellas Artes. This bar boasts the best views and the best beds in all of the city. It also provides cushioned beds under wicker shaders for day drinks and picturesque views.

At night, go classier with Radio rooftop bar. This chain has the best daiquiris in every city you can find it in.

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Saludos a ti, Madrid.

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The Essentials To Eye-shadow Blending

Eye-shadow can be a difficult thing to crack. Sometimes it feels like the only cracks are in your concealer base. I live for the moment when all blending is done and it is time to apply foundation – I class this as the time when one is out of the colourful woods and can start on the much-easier-to-crack complexion. That’s not to say that contouring isn’t difficult, of course, but it is undeniably easier to pull off powders that aren’t green or blue or purple.

I have found in my not-so-extensive, but very effective, years of eye-shadow application that the trick to flawless blending comes down to 3 things: the brush itself, the way you hold the brush and the way you move the brush. And in true Josie Marie style, here is a little piece of prose on my findings:

THE BRUSH

You will find no success in a bad brush. I am very aware of the saying “a good workman never blames his tools”, yet I am also aware that the good work man must invest in worthwhile tools for the best possible result. Regarding blending, it is good to have a large, fluffy and synthetic brush for transition shades as well as general blending, and also a slightly smaller, but equally as fluffy, one for the nitty-gritty blending details. My favourites are the BH Cosmetics 101 Blending Brush, “a fluffy fibred brush ideal for creating a flawlessly blended finish” and the 103 small shader brush for more precise blending.

HOLDING THE BRUSH

With brush importance in mind, one must also remember that the best way to hold the blending brush is loose and relatively low down on the handle. The handle is that long for a reason – use it. The looser and lower your grip means the more fluid your blending strokes become. A loose grip eases off the physical (and mental!) pressure in a way that allows you to focus on certain areas for major colour impact without applying too much product and exhausting the shadow in one area.

MOVING THE BRUSH

Back and forth is good, but so is circular. My advice is to apply first with gentle circles and gradually largen them. And then, once effectively applied, run the brush back and forth to ensure all areas of your lid have been accounted for. Blending is tedious, and it can rattle everyone’s patience, but keeping these ideas in mind next time you put brush to canvas will show a huge difference in the way your eyeshadow sits.

We live in a world where blending is pinnacle to achieving the perfect eye look, and without the fundamental skills in check, you may be playing up to bad habits. Don’t give in to temper or terrible habits and master the art of blending before unfortunate habits define your looks.