All Shades of Wrong : A beauty lesson learned.

Let this be a major lesson to all the beauty loving ladies out there, before purchasing a product please make sure you test it out properly. In natural lighting Never settle for the store lighting because boy are they misleading. If you choose not to follow this simple rule that many beauty bloggers live by, you'll end up with this. A pile of make-up purchases regret. It's a relatively small pile but a pile of regret that I can certainly live without.

So there I was, innocently cleaning and tidying up my room (a very rare occurrence), spending more time reorganising my make-up stash and less time, cleaning the mess that is my bedroom floor and even less time getting to grips with the vacuum cleaner - as per usual, what else is new here? ;) High five for me. This right here is pretty much a regular occurrence when it comes to the subject of cleaning and then BAM.

Swatches (left to right): Rimmel Lasting Finish 25 Hour foundation in 400 Natural Beige, Avon Calming Effects Illuminating Foundation in Medium Beige and 17 Lasting Fix lipstick in Dreamy (wrong shades in so many levels)

I saw these products and I swear, I died a little bit inside. Of what? Of shame. I've committed what perhaps many will consider the biggest beauty crime known to womankind. Wearing the wrong make-up shade. Okay in my defense, I bought these a LOOOONG time ago, like 3 years ago. Meaning I was absolutely clueless when it came to beauty products ( I haven't developed my obsession with beauty back then).When I came to my senses though and trust me I did- pretty damn quickly, these were shoved inside all sorts of hidden places in my room, never to see the daylight again. Why did I keep them after all this time instead of tossing them in the trash like any other sane person? Because aside from being a beauty obsessive, I'm also a beauty hoarder. Yes I'll never be caught outside in public wearing these products again but I can't let go. Feel free to call me crazy.

Rimmel Lasting Finish 25 Hour Foundation in 400 Natural Beige: A shade that's 3-4 shades darker than my skin and I only have myself to blame. See when I picked this up in Boots, I was in a hurry and grabbed the one that  I thought was the closest to my skin tone. All the others seemed too pale/light. I did manage to swatch it and I naively thought that it was actually a pretty close match but clearly I had a slight problem with my vision that day because there's no doubt about it, it's too dark for me. It's actually the darkest shade in the entire line.And you know what? It's such a shame because I love the coverage that it gives and its semi-matte finish. It offers a medium to full coverage without feeling heavy/cakey on the skin in the slightest. Rimmel claims that it's ''transfer proof, hydrating with a lightweight feel'' and I'm happy to report that they were telling the truth. The formula is enriched with a revitalizing Mineral Complex and moisturizing Aqua Primer to keep skin energized and hydrated all day. Now let me get one thing straight here. Since I've only worn this foundation out in public, three times (3 years ago) I can't vouch for its long term hydration effects but that said, I did find it hydrating. Not overly so but just enough to make it comfortable to wear. As for its lasting power, I can't say it lasts for 25 hours but the coverage can easily last for an entire working/Uni day. Will I go back and maybe try a shade that suits me a million times better? Maybe but the strong foundation scent upon application is rather off-putting. It doesn't linger that long post application but it's enough to make me want to stay away.

Bottom line: Lovely coverage and finish, lightweight feel and easy to blend but the strong synthetic scent upon application and the lack of suitable shades for everyone (there are only 6 shades to choose from) lets it down.

Avon Calming Effects Illuminating Foundation in Warmest Beige is a great choice for a gal with sensitive skin like myself because during application, it feels so soothing as it's enriched with vitamin complex, aloe and lavender. It also has a light scent of the lavender which is detectable upon application. I found it quite soothing but I know it's one of those scents that people will either love or hate. It applies smoothly with the help of my  Real Techniques Buffing Brush and leaves a lovely natural looking, semi--dewy  finish. If only I picked it up in the right shade. Now this one is actually not my fault. The state of the swatches in Avon brochures are misleading 99.9% of the time but to their credit though, they do offer a 90 day money back guarantee. I'm currently kicking myself for not exchanging this shade for a lighter one when I had the chance because it turns out, it's pretty darn awesome. Can we turn back time?

Bottom line: Hydrating, lightweight and creamy formula that blends so seamlessly with a natural looking, semi- dewy finish makes this a winner but the very slim shade choices (there are only 5 shades) makes this a loser :(

Seventeen Lasting Fix lipstick in Dreamy this vibrant almost neon bubblegum pink with strong yellow undertones + my lips = match made in hell against my olive skin tone. It just looks so incredibly wrong, wrong side of the tracks if you will. What was I thinking 3 years ago, when I purchased this? I Do Not Know. I can count with one finger how many times I've worn this in public, yep just once.I quickly found out that Dreamy is a very unflattering shade on me. No one had the heart to tell me that I looked hideous, god bless my family and friends. If I have future plans to dress up as Nicki Minaj for Halloween down the line, then Dreamy will be the front runner, fo'sho. I don't even need to think about it. But alas, I have no plans so I think it's for the best that I leave this type of shades to Nicki because she'll always rock it better than I ever could. This is the first and last time that I'll gladly accept defeat :). Aside from the shade, I hate the formula. It has a semi-matte finish which unsurprisingly feels drying, right from the moment it graces my lips. It accentuates dry patches and seeps into lip lines. I'm a gal who loves her lipstick/lipbalms/lipgloss hybrids, so this was a no go for me.

Bottom line: If your name is not Nicki Minaj and if you have a tan/olive/dark complexion- stay away. Far far away. If you hate drying formulas and a matte finish- stay away too. Simples. Go for the Mirrorshine range. I love the formula of those. My favorite shade? Belle.

Take-home lessons here? 
1) Never trust the lighting in stores. It'll always lie.
 2) Common sense goes a long way. 
3.) When in doubt, ask for assistance especially if you're purchasing expensive foundations because if you're paying a small fortune for a bottle of the stuff, you'll want to get it right. Ask for samples. 
4) Get to know your skin and complexion inside and out. You'll thank yourself one day. 
5.) If you can't wear it, throw it away. 
And most important of all? When it comes to beauty, there's always room for error but there's always room to learn. You live and you learn. Just look at me. Fast forward to 2013, I've learned so much in the 3 years that I've been beauty obsessed.


  1. HAHA so true... i remember last year i chose the wrong foundation shade from sephora(bought it online), fortunately they changed it (in store) and got the right one :D

  2. It's so difficult finding the right foundation shade in shop lighting, you'd think they'd try and make it a little more like daylight!

    Jennie xo |

  3. Loved this post - the lighting in stores are just awful. i dread to think how much money I've wasted on products that have been a totally different shade once I've got them home! xx

    Gem // Miss Makeup Magpie


If you have any questions relating to a product please don't hesitate to ask. I'd love to answer them. I'd always try to reply as promptly as I can. Thank you for taking the time to comment. I truly appreciate and read every single one of them. Have a beautiful day ahead of you, beautiful :)