Hanami – Cosmetics with Conscience: Mineral Lipstick and Cream Blush review

I like everything that the Hanami brand represents.  Hanami is a Japanese word for their traditional custom of enjoying the transient beauty of flowers.  How perfect is that for a cosmetic company name?!  Hanami are vegan, cruelty free, palm oil free, Australian Made and Owned and they are focused on natural ingredients and being kind to the planet.  I love these ideals and wish every brand could be like this.

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I have tried two products from the range including one of their vegan mineral lipsticks and also one of their vegan cream blushes and to be honest we have one hit and one miss here for me.

Lets start with the product that hasn’t worked for me.  The Mineral lipstick that I have is in the shade Valley of the Dolls which retails for $31.95 AUD.  It is a baby pink shade and is a semi matte formula.  There are a few issues here for me.  One is that this shade really doens’t suit me 😦  but more importantly the scent of this lipstick is sickly for me.  It contains Citrus Aurantium Duulcis Peel oil (sweet orange) and the scent is quite strong and it lingers on the lips for me.  I imagine that this wouldn’t be a deal breaker for most people but it bothers me.  They also claim it is really long wearing, but I can’t comment on that as every time I have put this lipstick on I have ended up removing it within the hour due to the scent.

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Mineral lipstick in Valley of the Dolls

The other issue is that this formula is quite streaky.  I find it really sinks into the lines on my lips, even if I totally fill in my lips with a liner first.  The formula contains Jojoba oil and shea butter so it feels balmy and moisturising, but it doesn’t look flattering on my lips at all.  It may just be an issue specific to this colour, I don’t know, but at AU$32 I won’t be trying another shade to find out.  To be honest I desperately wanted to love this as I love the ideals of the brand but this lipstick didn’t work for me.

On to a product that I do love and that is the cream blush which retails for AU$29.95.  I have the shade Sunset Boulevard which they describe as being a deep rose with orange undertones and best suited to dark skin tones.  I actually have fair skin but I find this works perfectly when applied with a light hand.

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Cream Blush in Sunset Boulevard

This blush comes in a very small, screw top compact (smaller than I expected to be honest – around the size of a AUD 50cent coin).  The formula is quite dry but it does blend out easily with a small stipple brush.  (I use the small stipple brush from E.L.F.).  I layer this on top of my foundation and before powder.  I live in the tropics and even in the hot, humid summer months this wears really well for me, particularly when layered with a powder blush.

Overall, I am intrigued by the Hanami brand.  I received both of these products in “Flora and Fauna” beauty subscription boxes so I’m not sure I would have purchased them otherwise as they are quite pricey.  I’m so glad I got the opportunity to test them out though as I love everything about Hanami’s ideology and out of the two products I have tried one has been a fantastic addition to my collection.

Have you tried anything from this vegan brand?  I’d love to hear your thoughts and recommendations if you have.

Have a glorious day!

 

Nude by Nature: contour palette

Nude By Nature is a cruelty free, Australian brand that is formulated using 100% natural ingredients and without preservatives or harmful synthetics.  They are PETA certified and are widely available in stores in Australia, as well as through their website.  I believe they are also sold throughout the UK, Europe, Canada and New Zealand.  Although Nude by Nature is a “drug store” brand it is certainly at the upper end in price.  I’m a girl on a budget so I was slow to try their makeup until I discovered their bundle kits which are MUCH better value and a great way to try out products from the brand.

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I purchased this contour kit as part of a 2016 Christmas set in the 2017 January sales for a GREAT price and I have been very impressed.  The packaging is stylish with a rose gold outer plastic compact and good quality mirror and the overall size is great for travel and storage.  Each pan contains 4g of product.

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Unlike other contour kits that I have tried there are not a mass of shades on offer here but it is everything you need for a matte contoured look: a cool-toned contour shade, a warm bronzer shade and a yellow-toned matte, highlighting shade.  The powders are soft, blendable and not SO pigmented that they are hard to work with.  I really enjoy these powders, so much so that I decluttered my other, larger contour kit once I had this in my collection.

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Now, this is where we get to the cons about this product.  I have fair skin and these tones work well for me… but this is the only contour kit that they sell and it obviously won’t work for medium to deep complexions.  They certainly need a medium and deep version of this kit to properly meet the needs of the market.

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Secondly, this product has a 24 month recommended shelf life but I found that after 12 months I started to get hard pan on the contour and bronzer shades which was disappointing.  Admittedly I have a large makeup collection that I rotate so I don’t use this product every week, and I live in a very humid climate so both of these factors may have contributed to the problem but it is not an issue I have generally encountered in my other powder products.  I have been just using a spoolie to lightly remove the affected areas but it is a bit of a bummer.

The Nude by Nature contour kit retails for AU$39.95 which is pretty expensive in my books and I don`t think I could justify paying that price​.  Saying that, I do think it is a lovely product and if these tones will work for your complexion they are definitely worth trying.  Nude by Nature frequently goes on sale at Priceline so I`d recommend waiting for a good deal if you are interested or try one of their value sets.  (They do amazing, seasonal makeup kits on their website which will save you 50% off the retail price and would be a great way to sample from across the brand.  Anyway, I digress)

Have a great day!

ColourPop: Sol and Mar

I live in the tropics so even though it is winter here at the moment I’m always ready for a summery colour story and ColourPop’s 2018 summer collection which is inspired by the sun and sea doesn’t disappoint.  Sol is a very warm, red toned palette with pops of coral and Mar has blues, a green and a selection of bronzes and browns.  The colour selections are smart for a summer release and very on trend.

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Unlike previous ColourPop releases these are 9 pan palettes.  They have square, white plastic packaging and come with a mirror.  It is compact and sleek but I do wish that ColourPop sold these in their original cardboard style packaging because I’m all about reducing plastic consumption and this seems like an unnecessary move away from a more environmental packaging choice.  The quality of the shadows in these two palettes is excellent.  These last really well on my eyes with or without primer.  The shimmers really pop when applied with a finger or with some fixing spray but regardless they are beautiful.  The mattes are super pigmented and blend beautifully but will give you plenty of kick-back in the pan so be warned: dip into them gently.

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Sol Shadow Palette

The Sol palette has a very clear colour story which I appreciate in a palette this size.  Everything is very warm and red toned and everything goes together seamlessly.  You don’t need to be a creative thinker to make a look.  Initially I was worried that all my looks would turn out the same regardless of shadow choice as a result, but actually it is possible to get something extremely bright, fiery and dramatic as well as something much more neutral.

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Sol swatches left to right: New Digs, Anthem, Dynamite, Hotel, Motel, B+B, Floaties, ooo, Unwind

There are 4 mattes and 5 shimmers in Sol which is a good balance but New Digs and Dynamite are actually very similar when blended out on the eye so I would argue that you only need one and rather this palette would benefit from a deeper, darker matte shade to allow for more dimension – everything is pretty mid-toned.  I did get some minor staining when using the coral matte, ooo, and the red shimmer, Motel, but it was nothing major and these two shades are the stars of the show!

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Mar Shadow Palette

In relation to the Mar palette, there are 3 mattes and 6 shimmers, one of which has glitter (Gridlock).  Even though there are only three mates, it has everything you need to do a nice crease including that delicious cobalt blue, Detour.  Surprisingly, this palette can get very smokey, very quickly if you blend the blue matte over the dark brown matte Top Down.  This combination can get very muddy so beware, but you can end up with a grey shade that is dark and grungy.  Detour is such a stunning colour though and I was shocked at how pigmented it is and how well it blended.

The real stars of this palette for me are HWY and Gridlock.  These are both beautiful and quite unique.  Boozy is also a gorgeous shade but in comparison it is really pretty flakey.  I would definitely recommend using some fixing spray with this one to avoid fallout.

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Mar swatches left to right: El Rey, Wild One, Detour, Boozy, Gridlock, Sorbet, HWY, Top Down and My Way

I would have actually preferred to see Mar be a cooler-toned palette as I feel like that would have helped make these two palettes a more interesting and dynamic set.  I very much enjoy the blue and green shades HWY, Gridlock and Detour, but among the remaining shades there are certainly three shadows which are extremely similar to shadows in Sol – perhaps not exact dupes but close enough that you would be hard pressed to see a difference once they are on the eye.

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Top row Sol palette: B+B, Hotel and Anthem, Bottom row Mar palette: El Rey, Wild One and My Way.

Mar’s El Rey is very simiar to B+B from the Sol palette, Wild One is similar to Hotel from the Sol palette and My Way is similar to Anthem from the Sol palette.  Considering that you can purchase these palettes as a bundle it is a real shame that out of your 18 shadows 6 are so similar to one another!  If the Mar palette had been more cool-toned this could have been completely avoided or ColourPop could have just selected ANY OTHER COLOUR to avoid the double-ups – perhaps yellows inspired by the beach sand?

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ColourPop palettes Yes, Please and Sol

Lastly, if you own the Yes, Please palette also by ColourPop then you really have everything you need to make very similar looks to the Sol palette.  I would say that you don’t need both BUT they are very affordable and because Motel and ooo are such gorgeous, bright coral/red shades which are unique to my collection, I’m not mad that I own both.

Overall, I really like these.  They are fun, summery and great quality for a very affordable price.  At just US$12 (approximately AU$16), these are a steal.

I really can’t recommend the ColourPop pressed shadows enough.  I’m having so much fun with this brand at the moment.

Have a glorious day!

 

ColourPop: Give it to me Straight

As you can probably tell if you follow my blog, I’m a little bit addicted to the 12 pan eyeshadow palettes from ColourPop.  The quality is typically really good, the colours are pretty, they are cruelty free and the price is right.  So, when ColourPop released the ‘Give it to me Straight’ palette, I purchased it impulsively.

I would say the quality of this palette is in keeping with the other pressed eyeshadows in ColourPop’s range.  I have seen comments from people online who were a bit disgruntled with the release of yet “another” neautral, warm toned palette, but I actually really like the way this palette has been curated.

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Firstly, I feel like the range of formulas is really balanced between matte and shimmer.  There are 6 matte shades ranging from a pale cream to a dark, chocolate brown with a nice range of depth in between.  There is 1 matte-based glitter shade (BS), which is my least favourite formula, and then 5 shimmery shades.  In terms of shade selection there are some more neuatral browns, some very warm tan and copper shades and then some deeper berry tones.  I can get some very diverse looks from this one little palette which makes it great for travel.

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Row 1 swatches: Matter of Fact, Up front, Straight Up, BS

I have found the darker shades to be the weakest in the palette.  There are two shimmers which are a little flakey to the touch which are ‘Forthright’ and ‘Be Blunt’.  They are beautiful colours and very pigmented but I think they are best used with some fixing spray to avoid fallout.  Also the matte colours ‘TMI’ and ‘Actually’ are dry to the touch and kick up quite a bit of powder when you dip into them.  They are pigmented but can be a little patchy if you over-blend them.  Saying that, this is me being REALLY picky for the purpose of this review.  I love this palette and find it works so well for every day wear.  I have no problem using just this palette every day.

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Row 2 swatches: Frank, Candid, Forthright, Downright

If I were to compare this to other palettes in ColourPop’s range I would say it is a combination of the types of shades offered in the ‘Double Entendre and the ‘You had me at Hello’ palettes so if you own either of those palettes you probably don’t need this one.  I do own all three palettes but I don’t regret the purchases at all.  I have packed this for travel and loved it and will be taking it with me again on my next trip in a few weeks.

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Row 3 swatches: Truth Hurts, Be blunt, TMI, Actually

Look, this is a US$12 palette.  We aren’t talking sheep stations here so if you are looking for a pretty little palette and you like these shades, then I say it is well worth the money.

Have a glorious day!

Physician’s Formula: Happy Booster range

I own two products from the Happy Booster range and I will admit that the packaging and the heart imprints on the powders really suckered me in.  These look cute – but do the products work?  In Australia, Physician’s formula is not what I would consider a super budget friendly brand.  If you are going to pay $20-$25 for a drugstore product, you want to be sure it is worth it!

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Considering that the cute aesthetic of these products is the reason I purchased them, let’s address the packaging first.  These compacts come with a brush and mirror.  Although the heart indentation and shiny pink base is pretty these are super bulky.  The mirror is a handy addition but the brush is terrible and I would only ever use it in an absolute pinch.  I would have rather they ditched the brush for a more streamline (easier to store!) compact.

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Happy Booster blush compared to a ColourPop blush compact

Now for the actual products.

The Glow and Mood Boosting Blush that I own is in the shade ‘natural’.  It is a pale pink shade with a satin formula.  This is a subtle blush to be sure.  It is easy for every day wear as you can really slap it on without too much thought and you won’t get crazy clown cheeks.  To be honest, I find it almost needs a bit of building up  to show, even on my fair skin.  I don’t find it is overly long lasting but it does get me through a work day without disappearing completely.  I can’t imagine that this would work on skin any darker than light to fair complexions.

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Happy Booster Glow and Mood Boosting Blush in Natural

The other product I decided to try is the Glow and Mood Boosting Powder in ‘translucent.’  I wasn’t sure what to expect with this one, but hoped it was a glowy finishing powder – and so it is.  For a moment I was really disappointed with this product as the first time I used it I could see micro glitter on my face.  EEK!  But don’t panic my friends, the glitter is an overspray.  Is it truely translucent though?  I don’t think so.  It is glowy but it also has a very pale, slightly pink base pigment that gives a slight cast on the skin and I imagine this could be a bit ashy on people with darker skin tones than mine.  The glow is very subtle – too much so to really be used as a targeted highlighter but I enjoy using this as a final step to finish my contour, blush and highlight for a really blended, glowy look.  I would compare this to the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders (if you are familiar with those).

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Happy Booster Glow and Mood Boosting Powder in Translucent

So, do I think that these Happy Booster products are worth the money?  To be honest, not really.  If I had my time again I would have used that same money on something else because I have very similar products from other budget-friendly, cruelty free brands that cost half the price.  These are nice enough, but they aren’t anything super special.

Have a wonderful day!

ColourPop: In-Nude-Endo Highlighter palette

I purchased the In-Nude-Endo palette impulsively right when it launched having only tried one other pressed powder highlighter from ColourPop previously and it has not disappointed.  The packaging is a sturdy cardboard with the shade names on the back and under each pan, and each pan contains 3.25g of product.  The package design is simple but pretty and despite containing six highlighters it is a compact palette.  N.B. This palette does not have a mirror.

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Sturdy cardboard packaging and the pans are easy to depot.  (N.B. This image makes the shades look more cool-toned than they are in person.)

I need another highlighter like I need a hole in the head BUT the formula on these highlighters is really beautiful: as good or better than any in my collection!  The powders are super soft, finely milled and pigmented.  You have the capacity to sheer them out for a very wearable glow or build them up if you want something more dramatic.  There is no actual glitter in these powders which is great.  I can’t deal with glitter in face proaducts.

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Swatches: (row 1) Glad You Came, On the Loose, Fine Line, (row 2) On Tempo, Morning After, Losing Sleep

On the face these blend really well and I don’t find that they particularly emphasise texture or fine lines.  I’m in my mid 30’s now and sometimes highlighters can be quite aging but the powders from the In-Nude-Endo palette melt into the skin and look quite natural.  I haven’t found a dud shade :-). I tend to lay the colour down first and then buff it into the skin in circular motions with my brush and this works really well.

The colours look quite dark in the pan but when you swatch them they seem lighter in tone.  As such I feel like I can make five of these work on my fair skin tone, particularly when I mix in some of the lightest shade called ‘Glad you came’.  I imagine the same could be done in reverse if you have a darker skin tone and want to use ‘Losing Sleep’ to darken things up a bit.  I suppose the benefit of a palette like this is it really does allow you to make your custom shade.

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ColourPop: In-Nude-Endo

I appreciate the colour selection of this palette.  You have a pearl, a gold, a champagne, a mauve/rose, a rose gold and copper/bronze.  If you have a big makeup collection there is probably nothing really new on offer in this palette for you, but the quality is excellent.  If you have a fair to medium skin tone and you owned this, you wouldn’t really need any other highlighters.  For me ‘On Tempo’ is the most unique shade as a cool, mauve/rose tone.  This colour has the potential to be a little ashy but I really love it with a cool-toned eye look.  If you have an extremely light or dark complexion this may not work for you – but such is the case with almost every face palette on the market!

Overall, I find these wear really well for me.  I have combo skin and live in a tropical climate but even in the humidity these don’t melt off my face as so many powders do.  In my opinion this palette is a great buy.  ColourPop is a very affordable, cruelty free brand and I really don’t think you can go wrong with this palette if you are in the market for some new highlighters.  You will spend less on this whole palette than you might on a single, high end highlighter and the quality if very comparable.  I don’t think you will be disappointed.

Have a great day!

 

Things I don’t Love: The Natural Nude Shimmer Strips Custom Eye Enhancing Shadows

Full disclosure.  I purchased this palette for three reasons that didn’t really have anything to do with the product inside.  1) the packaging is super cute, 2) I love the ‘warm nude all-in-1 shimmer strip palette for the face’ from the same range and 3) I got it on sale.  This may explain some of my disappointment with this palette.  But I digress.

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Top: All-in-1 face palette, below: eye enhancing palette

 

The Natural Nude Eye Enhancing Shimmer Strip palette is a mini shadow palette that contains nine warm, nude, shimmer shades.  It is marketed as containing eye enhancing shadow shades and a liner shade, and as you can see from the swatches, the dark liner shade is certainly the most pigmented shadow of the bunch.  Pigmentation is my main gripe with this palette.  The shadows are soft and pretty, but they are very firmly pressed and I had a hard time building up any kind of real pigmentation on the eye.  Plus, the colours are all SO SIMILAR on the eye that it is hardly worth having nine to choose from!  And being all shimmers, this is not a stand alone palette for me.

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Natural Nude Eye Enhancing Shimmer strip swatches… very similar!

I really was unimpressed by this palette.  I found the colours, such as they were, faded on me quite quickly and it really is accurately named in being ‘natural’ and ‘nude’ as this is certainly “no makeup” makeup.  I also own the ‘Warm Nude Shimmer Strip All-in-1 face palette‘ from this range and I LOVE it as a highlighter.  In my opinion it also works much better as eyeshadow too than this actual eyeshadow version!   Plus there is a better range of colours in the All-in-1 shimmer strips too.

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All-in-1 Shimmer strips palette and the Natural Nude eye enhancing shimmer strips.

Another con for me is that the strips of the eyeshadow palette are not separated and each colour strip is really narrow so it is hard to pick up discrete colours with your brush.

Basically, I don’t love this.

The ‘Natural Nude Shimmer Strip Custom Eye Enhancing Shadows’ retails for $24.95 in Australia. WOW.  That is expensive!  It contains only 7.5g of product and if I had paid that price for this product I would have been extremely disappointed.  Honestly, order a Revolution Beauty or ColourPop pressed shadow palette for half the price and you will be so much happier!

Have a wonderful day.

p.s.  Why do Physician’s Formula have to name their products such LONG names!!!