Monthly Archives: September 2015

Freedom Makeup London: Pro Butters and Pro Melts

Freedom Makeup London is a brand which I have been really enjoying since it launched earlier this year.  When I last ordered from Freedom I picked up one each of their lip lacquers in the Pro Butters and Pro Melts formulas just to try them out.

Firstly, lets just take a moment to appreciate that gorgeous silver box.  Cute packaging!!  The tube itself is very simple with a sleek white cap, doe foot applicator and silver writing.

The texture of the two products is very different but I actually don’t have a favourite.

Top - Pro Butter in 'Cats Whiskers.'  Bottom - Pro Melt in 'Jammy Dodger.'

Top – Pro Butter in ‘Cats Whiskers.’ Bottom – Pro Melt in ‘Jammy Dodger.’

The Pro Butters are thinner in texture and less opaque than that Pro Melts but the colours are still vibrant.  I purchased the colour called ‘Cats Whiskers.’  I love this kind of coral colour but mainly I bought this because the name is so stinkin’ cute!  The Pro Butters apply quite easily and you can build them a bit.  The texture is very smooth and kind of velvety and then they dry down to quite a matte feel and look.  These last really well.

The Pro Melts are thick, pigmented and glossy without being sticky.  These are really a liquid lipstick.  The colour I purchased is ‘Jammy Dodger’ and it is so beautiful.  Again, super cute name – it takes me back to when I lived in the UK and was eating those jam cookies all the time!  This has a surprisingly long wear time too and it is stunning, STUNNING on the lips.

I really like both these formulas.  If you are up for a more subtle, matte look then I recommend the Pro Butters formular, but if you want a vibrant, glossy liquid lipstick then the Pro Melts are for you.

These sell for GBP3 which is about AU$6 on the Freedom Website.  I will certainly order more of these if I purchase from Freedom again.  If you have tried either of these formulas of the Freedom Lip Lacquers I’d love to know what colours you recommend.

Have a fantastic day!

Things I Don’t Love: Chi Chi Moisturising Lip Crayon

Welcome back to Things I Don’t Love – the blog where we discuss products that didn’t work for me, or that I just didn’t love and wouldn’t buy again.

Today we are going to discuss the Chi Chi Moisturising Lip Crayons.  I purchased these lip crayons as a boxed set of five at Target for AU$20.  My first mistake was that I purchased these impulsively.  There were no crayons out as testers and I hadn’t read any reviews.  If I had been able to access either of those two things I would not have purchased these.

I need to be clear.  These are good quality.  They last quite well on the lips, the colours are really pigmented and the packaging is convenient and automatic (so no sharpening required).  My issue here is not quality but rather the formula of the colours.

Chi Chi: Moisurising Lip Crayons and swatches

Chi Chi: Moisturising Lip Crayons and swatches

If we number these crayons from top (crayon 1) to bottom (crayon 5), that will make them easier to discuss as they don’t have names.  You can see the colours offer a range of pinks which get progressively darker.  Out of the five colours, crayon 4 is extremely shimmery.  When I say that, I seriously mean metallic lips.  I have no idea when or how I would use this as the cool tone of this pink makes the metallic finish even less wearable.

Crayon 1 is a lovely peachy pink but it and crayon 5 which is a bright fuchsia are almost drier in texture than the other three crayons.  Although these two colours are lovely they contain silver micro-glitter.  This wasn’t immediately obvious to me in the tube or even in the swatches but you can certainly see it on the lips.  Glitter in a lip product is off-putting for me so I don’t reach for these.

Lip Crayon swatch close-ups

Lip Crayon swatch close-ups out of direct sunlight.

The remaining two crayons in the set are crayon 2 and crayon 3 which are very creamy in comparison to the other three.  These do not have glitter that I can see and are therefore the most wearable colours in the set in my opinion.  The creamy texture of these two does mean they can gather a little on dry patches though.

Overall I think the biggest issue here is not the actual product, but that I didn’t really know what I was buying.  If bright, glittery lip crayons are something you enjoy, then you will love these.  Unfortunately I was expecting these to be different – no glitter or metallic sheen and more balmy in style.  Chi Chi is a great Australian company and I look forward to trying other lip products from them (their lipsticks are raved about), but I don’t love these lip crayons.

Have a fantastic day!!

Colourpop: Super Shock Shadows from the permanent collection

So I am a ColourPop addict.  They are so unique in texture and so pigmented and they wear really well on long, hot days.  ColourPop ships internationally and orders over US$50 are free globally.

I purchased eight shadows from the permanent collection.  When I made my purchase I tried to buy the shadows in groups that I felt I could wear together.

The first group of four shadows were more rosey tones.

Bill, Cricket, Hustle, Partridge.

Bill, Cricket, Hustle, Partridge.

Swatches of Bill, Cricket, Hustle, Partridge.

Swatches of Bill, Cricket, Hustle, Partridge.

Bill is a great transition matte shade.  Cricket is a lovely mauve, metallic shade.  This is quite similar to Prickly Pear from the Monday’s in Malibu collection, but the shimmer is a different colour and the tone is just slightly different.  It is one of my favourites for all over the lid.  Next is Hustle which is also a matte but I feel like it has a slight sheen to it.  This is a very pigmented colour and I tend to use it to darken the outer V of the eyelid.  Lastly, Partridge is a duo chrome finish with a pearlized formula.  The undertone is brown with a green reflective colour.  Partridge reminds me a little of MAC’s ‘Club’ shadow.  It is gorgeous and works surprisingly well as a single colour eye look when you blend it out into the crease.

Next I purchased some warm coppery tones.  I am always drawn to these kinds of colours and ColourPop doesn’t disappoint

Shark Attack, La La, On the Rocks, Game Face.

Shark Attack, La La, On the Rocks, Game Face.

Swatches of Shark Attack, La La, On the Rocks, Game Face.

Swatches of Shark Attack, La La, On the Rocks, Game Face.

Shark Attack is a really beautiful coral shade with a subtle gold duo chrome.  This is a pearlized finish and it is probably one of my favourite eyeshadows ever.  (I know that is a big call, but I will hit pan on this one FOR SURE).  Next is La La which is a really stunning ultra metallic shadow in rose gold.  Oh… it is beautiful.  I mean seriously.  I am swooning here.

Next is On the Rocks, a metallic bronze with gold and violet glitter.  And lastly we have Game Face.  Every time I wear this shadow I get complements.  This is an ultra metallic formula and it is an intense copper colour.  I adore this for a really bold eye look.

Look, I am not sure what else to say here.  The swatches above are a single swipe of colour.  No building up, no mucking around just BAM – pigmentation.  These transfer really well from the finger to the lid when you are packing on colour but I always use a synthetic blending brush to apply the matte shades and that works really well too.  The quality of these is wonderful.

If you haven’t tried the ColourPop Super Shock Shadows yet then you are honestly missing out.  At US$5 each your order quickly adds up but they really are worth the price.  They also have some great powder eyeshadows in their range now too which are also really worth a go.

Have a great day!

Flora & Fauna Beauty Box Subscription

My spring Flora & Fauna box arrived in the last fortnight and I have been loving it so I thought that I would share the eco, cruelty-free goodies it contained with you all.

Kosmea Moisturising Lotion and Sunscreen SPF30 (full size)

Kosmea Moisturising Lotion and Sunscreen SPF30 (full size)

I have been wearing the Kosmea Moisturising Lotion for the past week and I really like it.  With summer just around the corner I am looking for face creams with a high SPF so this is perfect.  The cream is beige in colour with a slightly odd smell – I can’t pin point it but it is a little off-putting BUT it doesn’t linger.  Once the cream is rubbed in the smell is gone.  It feels lovely on the face and is really hydrating and it hasn’t triggered my sensitive skin!  This retails for AU$44.50.

Vanessa Megan Darling Perfume (trial size)

Vanessa Megan Darling Perfume (trial size)

Next was the Vanessa Megan Darling Perfume.  I thought this was a great trial size.  The smell is spicy and warm with a hint of flora scents.  It is slightly ‘herbal’ smelling, but in a good way.  The card says the essential oils in this perfume are known to encourage a positive outlook, dispel tension, stimulate the mind and have aphrodisiac qualities!  Here is hoping 🙂

Eco Tools Spa Moisture Gloves

Eco Tools Spa Moisture Gloves

The third item in the box this season was the Eco Tools spa moisture gloves.  I have never used anything like these before and at first figured that these would sit in my drawer without being touched but I forced myself to give them a go while I slept with a thick, rich moisturiser and I certainly did wake up with very soft, hydrated skin.  I was surprised by the point-at-able change to my skin texture and have used them a number of times since.  The hydration does wear away during the day but the process of wearing these is a nice treat for yourself.

Dr Hauschka Rose Day Cream and Weleda Sea Buckthorn Replenishing Hand Cream

Dr Hauschka Rose Day Cream and Weleda Sea Buckthorn Replenishing Hand Cream

I haven’t used these foil samples yet but I will be taking them with me on my trip to Japan next week where they will be a handy size in my bag.

Tula Naturals Ultra Nourishing Facial Serum

Tula Naturals Ultra Nourishing Facial Serum

The Tula Naturals Ultra Nourishing Facial Serum is the sixth item in the box and was a very welcome addition.  I use rosehip oil at night time but I am nearly out so this will be my new night moisturiser soon.  This is heavy to be described as a serum.  It contains a combination of hemp, rosehip and macadamia oils.  I have tried it once and it is very rich – perfect to wear at night!  I look forward to trying this out more.

Adorn Cosmetics Natural Loose Illuminiser (trial size)

Adorn Cosmetics Natural Loose Illuminiser (trial size)

The last item in the box was this generous sample of the Adorn Cosmetics Natural Loose Illuminiser.  The colour looks quite champagne in the pot but as you can see from the swatch it is quite a bright, gold on the skin.  If this is too dark for highlighting my cheeks it will be stunning as an inner-corner highlight for the eyes.  Again, I haven’t tried this yet but it is in my cosmetics bag to take on holidays.  I love highlighter so I was really excited to see this!

By my very loose calculations this box was worth about $73 which is fantastic value for money and it offers such a great opportunity to try really good quality products without committing to the cost of paying for a full size upfront.

I thought this was an excellent box.  I really do love these seasonal beauty boxes from Flora & Fauna.  You can purchase a single box for $29.99 plus shipping or you can pay for four seasons for AU$119.99 and the shipping is free.  If you would like to check out this subscription box for yourself you can find the website here.

Have a fantastic day!

Things I Don’t Love: E.L.F. Waterproof Eyeliner Crayon

Welcome back to the Things I Don’t Love series where I discuss products that didn’t work for me at all or products that I just didn’t love and wouldn’t buy again.  Today I am going to be talking about the E.L.F. Waterproof Eyeliner Crayon.  As always, let me preface this blog by saying that E.L.F. is a cruelty-free, budget-freindly brand that I love.  LOVE.  But I don’t love this product.

Saying that, let me start my review by saying a couple of good points about this product:

  • The colours are lovely.  The Champagne shade is stunning and the Pitch Black shade really is BLACK.
  • Once these are set, they don’t smudge (even when you rub them) and they are waterproof.
  • You get a LOT of product for your money.
  • This is an automatic crayon so you don’t need to sharpen it.
Waterproof Eyeliner Crayons: Champagne and Pitch Black

Waterproof Eyeliner Crayons: Champagne and Pitch Black

I originally purchased three of these Eyeliner Crayons so I had the Champagne shade, the Pitch Black shade and the Navy shade.  This leads me to my biggest complaint about these crayons.  The Navy eyeliner arrived and it wouldn’t draw on the skin.  From the moment I opened the packet it was clear to me that the Navy crayon was already completely dried out.  SO – it went straight in the bin.  This has continued to be an issue that has plagued me.  I have now owned these for 6 months and the Champagne crayon is now also dried out.  I can still get this to draw for the purpose of a swatch on my arm but I need to put a lot of pressure – more than would ever be safe around my eye area, and you can see in the closeup swatch below that the colour is now cakey and flakey because it is so dry.

Swatches: Champagne and Pitch Black

Swatches: Champagne and Pitch Black

The second major issue for me is the size of these eyeliner crayons.  The only crayon that I own that still works is Pitch Black and above you can see what a standard drawn line of this crayon looks like.  The tip is very thick and it is difficult to control as a result.  I have found that it is easy to make a mess with this product because (at the moment) it is creamy and soft and because it is so pigmented – eek!  You can also see in the closeup photo below that because the tip of the crayon is blunt the edge of the line is quite feathered.  This crayon will not give you a sharp line.

closeup swatches of Champagne and Pitch Black

closeup swatches of Champagne and Pitch Black

So, for me it is a catch twenty-two.  When the product is working properly it is too soft and large to control accurately around the eye – and then when it dries out you can’t draw with it at all.

I have never had an automatic eyeliner that dries out so for me that is a significant formula issue.  I do like this kind of chubby stick design for cream eyeshadow but I don’t like this sort of design for eyeliner because it means the tip is just too thick for me to use accurately around my eye.

I would not recommend these Waterproof Eyeliner Crayons primarily because they just dry out so quickly.  Although this product hasn’t worked for me personally, some E.L.F. products are ‘holy grail’ in my collection.  Will I continue to buy from the E.L.F. makeup range – absolutely.  Would I buy this particular Waterproof Eyeliner Crayon again – absolutely not!

Have a wonderful day!

Freedom Makeup London: Pro 12 Eyeshadow Palettes – Dreamcatcher and Chasing Rainbows

This is the third instalment in my series of blogs exploring the Freedom Makeup London Pro 12 Eyeshadow Palettes.  This post will be dedicated to the two palettes that contain particularly bright, fun colours.  I encourage you to go and have a read of my other articles if you prefer neutral shades or are interested in these palettes generally and would like to see swatches from across the range.  You can find article 1 and article 2 here.

I am always drawn to the bright coloured palettes but I must say, I am never quite sure what to do once I have them.  If you are in a similar situation then the Dreamcatcher palette may be a nice compromise.

Pro 12 Dreamcatcher

Pro 12 Dreamcatcher

Dreamcatcher Swatches - top row

Dreamcatcher Swatches – top row

The top row of this palette is very soft, pretty and neutral.  I see these as being the base onto which a pop of colour can be applied.  The first shade, which looks champagne in the swatch above actually has a lovely, subtle lavender duo chrome to it.

Dreamcatcher Swatches - middle row

Dreamcatcher Swatches – middle row

The third row offers the most vibrant colours.  While they certainly offer a pop of colour, I consider these very wearable colours.  The dark purple, royal blue and dark green here are VERY similar to a purple, blue and green that appear in a number of Makeup Revolution palettes, so if you own any of those you may well already have these colours in your collection.

Dreamcatcher Swatches - bottom row

Dreamcatcher Swatches – bottom row

The bottom row contains my favourite colour from this palette which is that really pretty lavender colour seen in the first swatch above.

The only negative aspect of this palette for me is that all the colours are satins or shimmers and the only matte shade is the black.  I own the Pro 12 Audacious Mattes palette so obviously this isn’t a real issue but my preference is to be able to grab for a single palette and get my whole look from that one place.

If you are a bit braver, a bit more adventurous or (like me), hope to be one day, then the Chasing Rainbows palette is really beautiful.  This palette is for unicorn lovers 🙂  I mean LOOK at those colours!  This palette contains two mattes (shades 1 and 12), five satin/shimmer shades (shade 3, 4, 5, 7, and 10) and five satin shades with silver micro glitter (shades 2, 5, 8, 9 and 11).

Pro 12 Chasing Rainbows

Pro 12 Chasing Rainbows

Chasing Rainbows Swatches: top row

Chasing Rainbows Swatches: top row

The top row begins with a fluorescent yellow matte colour.  This isn’t that pigmented on the first swatch, but it is buildable.  The first green shade contains silver micro glitter  Then you have soft shimmery green and a bright fuchsia pink shade that REALLY pops and is so pigmented.

Chasing Rainbows Swatches: middle row

Chasing Rainbows Swatches: middle row

The middle row has a shimmery blue followed by a slightly lighter blue with micro glitter, a dark purple (which is identical to the dark purple in the Dreamcatcher palette!!) and a dark pink with micro glitter.

Chasing Rainbows Swatches: bottom row

Chasing Rainbows Swatches: bottom row

Lastly, the bottom row has a bright, pastel purple with micro glitter, a royal blue (which again, is identical to the blue from the Dreamcatcher palette – colour double-ups like this really bug me!) and then a fluorescent matte pink.  Again, the pigmentation of the matte pink isn’t great, but it is buildable.

There are some very pretty colours in the Chasing Rainbows palette, but I have to admit that I don’t love the micro glitter shades.  These really are too sparkly for my personal taste although they work well.

Overall, these are lovely palettes.  They sit well within the Pro 12 range by offering a pop of colour to what is generally a neutral range of eyeshadow palettes.  My only complaint is that there are definitely two colours here that appear in both palettes which makes me wonder how many of the neutral colours are doubled-up across the Pro 12 range.  BUT if you own a more reasonable amount of makeup, this probably isn’t going to be an issue for you because you won’t own every palette 🙂  To be honest I probably wouldn’t have purchase the Chasing Rainbows palette if I had realised that five of the shades were glittery but, let’s get real, this palette only cost me AU$8, which is less than what I would pay for a cup of coffee and a slice of cake at a cafe SO I have hardly broken the bank.  If you like glittery, colourful eyeshadow then this is the perfect palette for you!

The compulsive part of my personality is tempted to buy the Audacious 3 palette because it is the only one from the range that I don’t own, but I am fighting the urge because I DON’T NEED MORE EYESHADOW!!  And I believe that it is very similar to the Makeup Revolution Iconic 3 which I do own.  If you do own both those palettes I’d be interested to hear how you think they compare.

Do you own any of the Pro 12 palettes?  I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Have a fantastic day!

Freedom Makeup London: Pro 12 Eyeshadow Palettes – Le Fabuleux, Stunning Smokes and Audacious Mattes

When I did my very first order of Freedom Makeup London I ordered two palettes, Romance and Jewels and Secret Rose, from the Pro 12 Eyeshadow range and I really liked them.  The quality is excellent, particularly the matte shades, and I thought the colours were just beautiful.  I did quite a comprehensive review of those first two palettes so I won’t repeat myself too much, but if you would like to read more about the quality of these palette you can find my first review here.  Needless to say that I was so impressed by these palettes that when I decided to make a second order I went back and purchased a heap more.  There is one palette that I don’t own from the Pro 12 range called Audacious 3, as it was extremely similar to the Iconic 3 palette from Makeup Revolution, but I do own the rest of the range so I though I would do a couple of posts of swatches for those of you who might be interested in making a purchase as there aren’t swatches for all of these palettes available on the website yet.

So – brace yourself for a lot of photos 🙂

I will start with the more neutral palettes in this post and work my way out of my comfort zone and into the brighter palettes in my next blog.

First we have Le Fabuleux.  This palette offers a really nice mix of colours and finishes with both warm and cool tones.

Pro 12 Le Fabuleux

Pro 12 Le Fabuleux

Le Fabuleux Swatches - top row

Le Fabuleux Swatches – top row

Le Fabuleux Swatches -  middle row

Le Fabuleux Swatches – middle row

Le Fabuleux Swatches - bottom row

Le Fabuleux Swatches – bottom row

The next neutral palette in this range is the Stunning Smokes palette.  This palette provides colours for a rich brown smokey eye, a cranberry smokey eye as well as for a traditional grey or black smoky eye BUT there is enough here for a very neutral, everyday look too.  I love the matte camel colour, second along in the top row for a crease colour and find myself pulling this palette out just for that shade.

Pro 12 Stunning Smokes

Pro 12 Stunning Smokes

I took the images for this post on different days, so please excuse the inconsistency in how I approached the swatches.  Here I have divided the palette in half.

Stunning Smokes: Left of palette

Stunning Smokes: Left of palette

Stunning Smokes: Left of palette  swatches

Stunning Smokes: Left of palette swatches

Stunning Smokes: Right of palette

Stunning Smokes: Right of palette

Stunning Smokes: Right of palette  swatches

Stunning Smokes: Right of palette swatches

And finally for the more neutral palettes in the Pro 12 range we have the Audacious Mattes.  These are so soft and velvety to the touch and work really well on the eye.  I feel like the pigmentation is much more easy to build on the eye than the swatches on my arm might suggest.

Pro 12 Audacious Mattes

Pro 12 Audacious Mattes

Interestingly there is actually one shimmer shade in this palette, which is second along in the top row.  I love the thought behind this because it gives you a really beautiful inner corner highlight even though you may only want mattes for the rest of the eye look.  A very practical inclusion for those of us who like to get our whole eye look from the one place.

Audacious Mattes: left of palette

Audacious Mattes: left of palette

Audacious Mattes: left of palette swatches

Audacious Mattes: left of palette swatches

Audacious Mattes: right of palette

Audacious Mattes: right of palette

Audacious Mattes: right of palette swatches

Audacious Mattes: right of palette swatches

I really do like these palettes.  They are priced at GPB4 on the Freedom Makeup Website which is just over AU$8 with the current exchange rate and that is excellent value for the quality in my opinion.  Do I really need to own all these neutral palettes?  NO!  But I do use them and I do love them.

Look out for my next swatch post looking at the Pro 12 Dreamcatcher and Pro 12 Chasing Rainbows palettes for some really fun, bright colours.

Have a wonderful day!