It seems not so long ago that I was squealing with excitement over the much anticipated release of Gwen Stefani's eyeshadow palette collaboration with Urban Decay, and now we have a whole new drop of goodness! When I first saw the blush palette as a sneak preview on instagram I immediately loved the look of the colours and the styling, and couldn't wait to give those shades a good swatch! There's also plenty more to this collection - new lippies, liners and a brow palette to boot. Read on for the swatch-fest and my thoughts on each of the products.
The Gwen Stefani blush palette is styled to coordinate with the eye shadow palette from her first collection, so these are going to look great stored together, but they are different enough (the eye palette has black peeping through the cut outs whereas this one has white) that you can easily tell which one you're reaching for. Just like the eye palette, the packaging is sleek and stylish whilst also being completely sturdy and practical, with a nice big mirror inside the lid which I appreciate. The shades are really beautiful, and although they look quite subtle in the pan, they're a lot brighter and deeper when applied to the skin. However, they are of course Gwen's choice of shades, and she has really pale skin, so I think they're lovely for pale and medium skin, deeper skin tones might not get a lot of use from some of these shades.
Cherry and easy are your true blush shades, with cherry giving a cool toned, bright pink pop of colour, whereas Easy is a rosy toned blush with a gold shimmer running through it - this one's not dissimilar to Nars' famous orgasm shade. Both of these apply easily and blend well, and a little goes a very long way as they're heavily pigmented - don't be fooled by the more muted appearance in the pan!
Next is Angel which is a lovely, soft gold highlight which gives a beautiful warm shimmer that's not too much even for daytime wear, and it's a lovely smooth texture with no chunky bits of glitter or anything harsh like that. Lo-Fi is a contour shade which is likely to work for pale to medium skin - I initially thought it was too pale for me, but it's really buildable, and gives me a more gentle contour. This is a really soft textured shade, so it's really easy to blend into the skin for that seamless contour look.
Hush is a warm toned bronzer, which again is not going to be too bold for a paler skin, but also works on more medium skintones like mine. These shades all work so well together, and I particularly like the combination of Easy, Angel and Hush, as they all have a warm and bronzey tone. And lastly we have OC, which I must admit I didn't really understand at first. I was unsure if it was an extra light contour powder, until I spotted that it contains an iridescent shimmer which you can catch in certain lights - I really struggled to capture that in this swatch unfortunately. Urban Decay describe this one as a soft pink with a peach shift, although I think it's the other way around! This is the only shade in the palette that doesn't really work for me, the others are all gorgeous, and I think it's a great value, versatile palette for £35.
Next we have the dinkiest little brow kit! How cute are those little travel sized tools? As well as your mini tweezers and brushes, you get two brow powders and a fixing wax in shades to suit those with blonde or perhaps light brown hair. The kit comes in just the one shade, and is called 'Bathwater blonde' so it's going to suit those with similar colouring to Gwen. Sadly I have some of the darkest brows known to man, so much as I love this kit, I'll be handing it over to a fair-haired friend. If these shades would suit your brow colour, you can pick this compact little kit up for £19.50.
Alongside the new products in the Gwen Stefani collaboration, there are also six new lipstick shades - four shades or red, one pink, and one nude. Here I have four of the colours ranging from the super loud and attention grabbing Firebird, to the very wearable easy-going sheer nude shade Ex-girlfriend. I've also been trying out two of the reds - 714 which is a stunningly glamorous pure red matte, and the deeper and more berry toned Rock Steady in a creamy finish. These are all really great quality lipsticks as you'd expect, but 714 in particular stands out to me because of its amazing ultra matte formula - the lightest sweep gives you a serious hit of full on colour, and it really stays put on the lips without looking dried out. The matte finish makes such a bold colour a lot more wearable too. Ex-girlfriend is my other favourite, because it's such an easy to wear, throw it on without barely even looking in the mirror, everyday shade, and I always love a nude because they go with everything. All of the shades and finishes are £16.
And lastly in this new drop there are six lipliners to match the lipsticks. It's funny how lip liner has suddenly had a mass resurgence, previously not being cool since the nineties. It makes me wonder why we went off it, because lip liners are so damn handy in terms of getting that perfect lip shape, preventing feathering and bleeding of your lipstick, and generally making your lip look last loads longer. I have the shades Firebird, Ex-girlfriend and 714. Firebird lipliner, to me is more wearable than the lipstick itself, and the sheeny finish of the lipstick makes it a very bold choice and a little OTT on me, whereas the lipliner is more matte and muted. Conversely Ex-Girlfriend lipliner is the bolder sister to it's lipstick counterpart, and when wore underneath, it nicely intensifies for that oh-so-now, exaggerated nude lip. And finally 714 lip liner is an absolute essential for me to go with the lipstick - I'm slow and precise when applying a red, and can spend ages trying to get that crisp edge, so a lip liner is a must if I don't want to be there all day!
The lip liner pencils are of the sharpen rather than twist up variety, and have that magical glide-ability on the lips that makes them super easy to apply with no dragging, and I really really rate them. They're £14 each.
The whole collection is available now at urbandecay.co.uk
So what do you think of the latest Gwen Stefani drop? I knew I'd love the blush palette, but I've been pretty bowled over by the lipsticks and liners too. I wonder if Gwen has more in store for us and what will be next?