Monthly Archives: December 2015

Things I Don’t Love: E.L.F. Brightening Eye Colour Quad

Welcome back to another instalment of my ‘Things I Don’t Love’ series where I discuss products that didn’t work for me and that I’m just not in love with.

I enjoy many things from the brand E.L.F. but today we are going to discuss one product from their range that I just don’t love and it is their Brightening Eye Colour Quads.

I find these quads to be very hit and miss.  Some of the shadows are lovely, buttery and pigmented but most of the shadows aren’t.  I find that the shadows seem too tightly pressed into the pans so you really need to scrub to pick up any product and when you apply them to the eye they are quite patchy.  The mattes, in particular, are very dry, hard and lack pigmentation.  Shades that contain glitter are quite crumbly, and I don’t find the glitter transfers well to the skin.

I purchased one of these quads in Day 2 Night and I thought the quality was quite good for the price so when I was back to the site I picked up a number of others and I was really disappointed with the inconsistent quality.  To demonstrate this I have swatched the quads all in the same way: I swirled my finger three times around the pan and then applied it to my bare skin (no primer).

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Brownstone

Brownstone is the worst quad in my collection in terms of pigmentation.  You can see that the black shade has almost no pigmentation when swatched using the method described.

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Ocean Dreams

Here you can see the issues with pigmentation and patchiness of colour.

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Ethereal

Ethereal is one of the quads that I think is quite nice.  The shades perform much better and more consistently across the palette.

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Silver Lining

The lightest shade (swatch 1) of the Silver Lining quad is really quite nice but the other shades lack pigmentation.  The blue is probably also workable if you are happy to build up the colour but it will be work.  Meanwhile that dark grey (swatch 3)- where is the pigmentation?

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Pretty n’ Pink

Again, the colours of the Pretty n’ Pink quad look really pretty in the pan but the pigmentation is such a bummer.

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Day 2 Night

Day 2 Night was the first quad from this range that I purchased and I think these colours are pretty.  I particularly like the copper shade (swatch 4).  Unfortunately the quality of this quad is not indicative of the whole range 😦

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Drama

Lastly, we have drama.  You can see that the glitter black shade is super patchy here and I did run over this with my finger in an attempt to smooth out the pigment, to no avail.  The matte white shade (swatch 1) is almost non-existent when swatched!

So, overall, even though these little quads are really budget-freindly, and cruelty-free, they aren’t products I would recommend.  I think that the quality is very inconsistent and generally the pigmentation is wanting.  Plus, the triangular shape of the pans makes dipping your brush in a bit awkward.  If you are desperate to give these a go I would say that the quads Ethereal and Day 2 Night are the best ones I have tried from the range, but, I have to be honest, I just don’t reach for these at all because I have much better examples of similar colours from other brands.

If you want to try some really stunning eyeshadows from E.L.F. I can’t recommend their Prism palettes enough.  You can read my review and see swatches of the Prism palettes here if you are interested.

Have a fabulous day!

Freedom Makeup London: Professional Pro Blushes

I purchased these Professional Pro Blushes from Freedom Makeup when I made my first order from them months ago.  There are six colours currently in the range and the colours are beautiful.    I have been using these for a while now and think they are really excellent.  I find the powders to be very soft to the touch as they are quite finely milled.  Because they are so soft they do kick up a bit of powder if you don’t tap your brush in gently, but they are wonderfully pigmented and they blend nicely on my skin.  I also find that they last really well throughout the day.

So, lets have a closer look.

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Freedom blushes (from left to right): Banish, Angelic and True Love.

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Swatches: Banish, Angelic and True Love

Banish is a soft, pink blush in a matte formula.  This is probably the least pigmented blush out of the range, making it a little more ‘fool proof’ and the colour is perfect for everyday wear.  I find this one neutral enough for any makeup look.

Angelic is a peach coloured blush with golden micro-shimmers.  As you can see from the swatch it doesn’t come off as ‘glittery’ on the skin but it does have a lovely glow.

Next is True Love which is a deeper, rose coloured blush in a matte finish.  This is a lovely autumnal blush that is very flattering on the cheeks.

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Freedom blushes (from left to right): Lethal Weapon, Rare and Beyond.

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Swatches: Lethal Weapon, Rare and Beyond.

The next three blushes are much more bold in colour, but still very wearable.

First up is Lethal Weapon which is a bright, blue-toned pink colour in a satin finish.  I feel like this blush has almost a silvery glow to it which is very pretty.

Rare is a gorgeous coral coloured blush with golden micro-shimmers.  This is one of my favourite colours of the six.  I have very much enjoyed this colour for summer this year.

Finally, we have the blush called Beyond.  This blush is very shimmery and gives a very bright glow to the cheeks.  I would describe it as a coral base packed with golden shimmer.  This is a nice blush for days when you are in a rush because it has so much glow to it that you really don’t need to add highlighter.  Again, I think this is a great blush for summer when I am a little more tanned.  (To be honest I don’t really tan… I just burn and freckle – but a girl can dream).

I really enjoy these blushes from Freedom.  I think the range of colours is excellent and these apply very nicely, plus, the price point, at just GBP1 – about Au$2, is hard to refuse!  And of course, these are cruelty-free 🙂  If you want to have a look at these for yourself, you can find these blushes online here.

Have a wonderful day!

Festive Holiday Makeup

Festive Holiday Makeup.

Tis’ the season for parties and celebrations and even for those of us who may wear makeup infrequently, this is the time of year where you might just be tempted to drag out an old blush and slap on some foundation.  I went out to dinner with some girlfriends last night (the sisterhood!) and decided to get in the spirit with a green and red eye look.  If you are interested in the products I used to create my festive holiday makeup please read on!

Now before we begin, lets be clear: makeup artist…I am not.  But I do love playing with makeup.  This is in no way a tutorial, but hopefully it might inspire you to pull out some sparkles from your own collection for your next party look 🙂

So lets start at the very beginning – face primer.

Primers

Primers: Makeup Revolution Aqua Priming Base and Ultra Face Base Primer.

At the moment I am trying out the Aqua Priming Base from Makeup Revolution which I sprayed on my moisturised skin and then when dry I added a little of the Ultra Face Base Primer to my T-zone.  I need all the help I can get with makeup longevity in the hot, humid summer weather!

foundation and concealer

Foundation: Australis ‘Stay put! Longwear Foundation’; Concealer: E.L.F. under eye concealer and highlighter.

Next I applied the Australis Stay Put! Longwear Foundation in ‘Nude’ using my Real Techniques sponge and then I added a little of the E.L.F. under eye concealer in ‘light’ in a (vain) attempt to hide my dark undereye circles.

Bronzer

Bronzer: Makeup Revolution – The One Blush Stick in Malibu.

The last of my cream base products is also new to my collection from Makeup Revolution and it is The One Blush Stick in ‘Malibu.’  This is not a matte bronzer but I am enjoying the, quite natural, bronze glow that it gives my skin.  It looks super orange in the tube but, surprisingly, I am enjoying it on the face to warm up my complexion.

Setting Powders

Setting Powders: Australis – fresh & flawless pressed powder; E.L.F. – HD undereye setting powder.

To help mattify my face and set everything in place I used the E.L.F. HD Undereye Setting Powder in ‘light’ followed by a dusting of the Australis Fresh & Flawless pressed powder in ‘Natural,’ over my face.

Coloured Face Products

Coloured Face Products: Makeup Revolution – Radiant Lights and Powder blush.

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Radiant Lights: Exahale and Blush: Love.

Because I intended to do something quite dramatic on the eyes I kept the coloured face products quite subtle.  I did some soft highlighting on the tops of the cheeks with Exhale from the Makeup Revolution ‘Radiant Lights’ range.  I then added a touch of nude blush with the colour Love.

E.L.F. brow kit in medium and clear brow mascara

Eyebrows: E.L.F. brow kit in medium and clear brow mascara.

Next up I used the E.L.F. brow kit in medium to lightly fill in my brows and then set them with the clear brow mascara.

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Eyeshadow: ColourPop Super Shock Shadows, Essence Matte Effect shadow in ‘Blockbuster’ and the E.L.F. eyeshadow primer.

So – onto the exciting stuff: eyeshadow!  I started with the E.L.F. eyeshadow primer and then put the Essence matte effect eyeshadow in Blockbuster onto the brow bone.

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ColourPop shadows: Bill (matte) and Party Time (matte)

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Swatches: Bill and Party Time.

I used the ColourPop matte Super Shock Shadow called Bill as a transition shade all through the crease and blended it out towards the brow bone.  I then put Party Time more precisely into the crease and outer V of the eyelid to darken things up and smoke it out.

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ColourPop Shadows: Drift, Partridge & Mirage (all pearlized finish).

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Swatches: Drift, Partridge & Mirage.

Next I put Partridge, a gorgeous brown/green duo chrome, across the inner and middle sections of the eyelid with Drift on the outer third of the lid.  I also blended a mix of these two colours on the lower lash line.  Finally, I placed Mirage in the inner corner to brighten things up before lining my water line with the Essence eye pencil Berry Merry.  (I forgot to take a picture of Berry Merry but you can see it in a previous review here).

Lashes

Lashes: E.L.F. mascara primer and mineral infused mascara.

To finish off the eyes I used my E.L.F mascara primer and their mineral infused mascara.

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I was pretty happy with the finished eye look.

So, to wrap up this festive holiday makeup a red matte lip seemed like the only logical option.

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Lips: Essence lipliner and Colourpop Matte Lippie Stix.

Swatches

Swatches: lippie stix – Dazed (top) and lipliner – Red Blush.

I selected the Essence lipliner in Red Blush topped with the matte ColourPop lippie stix in Dazed.  Apologies for the lipliner swatch… it isn’t normally so thick but I stupidly left it on my table and softened it in the sun!

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Finishing Spray: Makeup Revolution Oil Control Fixing Spray.

And because my makeup will melt off in the heat given half a chance, I complete the look with the Makeup Revolution Oil Control Fixing Spray.  If you live in a humid climate this is a great product!

So – there you have it.  A red and green festive holiday makeup look using all budget-friendly and cruelty-free makeup.

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Not a very flattering picture in the harsh natural light, but you get the idea!

Have a wonderful festive season beautiful people!

 

Essence Long Lasting Eye Pencils

Essence: Long Lasting Eye Pencil

This is going to be a quick review of the Essence Long Lasting Eye pencils.  These are not a new product by any means, but they are my favourite eye liners at the moment so I thought that was as good of a reason as any to review them now.

I own every shade that that is available in Australia (I think??).  Of the eight shades there are two mattes (Black Fever and Hot Chocolate), four metallic shades (Hot Scorch, Berry Merry, Cool Down and C’est La Vie!) and then two shades that contain some silver micro glitter (I have a Green and Tu-Tu Touquoise).

Swatches

Swatches – left to right: Black Fever, Hot Chocolate, Hot Scorch, Berry Merry, I have a Green, Cool Down, Tu-Tu Touquoise and C’est La Vie!

I use these in the water line with great success and I do not find that they bleed into the corner of my eyes like other liners have done in my past.  I love the colour selection offered.  Originally I held off on purchasing the blue-toned colours, but now that I own them I find I use them on the lower lash line regularly and they make my blue eyes pop.

You can smudge these liners out when you initially apply them, but you need to move quite quickly as once they set they don’t budge – which I love!  As you can see from the swatches these are very smooth and pigmented and they go on to the eye without tugging or pulling the skin.

Essence long lasting eye pencils - mechanical liners.

Essence long lasting eye pencils – mechanical liners.

I very much enjoy the fact that these are mechanical liners.  Sharpening liners is one of my pet hates so it is so nice to just twist up the product without needing to worry.

Now, to round this off, we should comment on whether these liners live up to their ‘long lasting’ claims.

Yes.  They are long lasting 🙂

I find these last extremely well even in our Australian heat which has the capacity to melt pretty much anything off my face.

So, that is it.  These retail for about AU$3 which is a fantastic price point.  The long lasting eye pencils from Essence are fantastic, budget-friendly, cruelty-free liners.  I use these above any other liners in my collection.

If you know of other colours in this collection I would love to know about them – please comment below.

I hope you have a fantastic day!

P.s.  If you aren’t following along with my blog already you can do so via email or Facebook.  It is always exciting to see people subscribing 🙂

Flora & Fauna: Summer Beauty Box

It is the most exciting time of the new season – my Flora & Fauna beauty box arrived for summer!

Flora & Fauna: Summer Beauty Box

Flora & Fauna: Summer Beauty Box

This post is going to be an ‘unboxing’ rather than a review as I have literally just opened the box and taken photos so I am yet to try these products.  So if you are interested to see what I got in my Summer Flora & Fauna beauty box then read on 🙂

Eco Tan Pink Himalayan Salt Scrub

Eco Tan Pink Himalayan Salt Scrub

The first product that I pulled out of the box is this Eco Tan, Pink Himalayan Salt Scrub.  The info card states that this is an intensely exfoliating scrub that can be used on both the body and the face.

Grants Aloe Vera Crystal Deodorant.

Grants Aloe Vera Crystal Deodorant.

The next product is this Aloe Vera Crystal Deodorant.  I have never seen a product like this before and I look forward to trying out this deodorant alternative which states that it is composed of natural minerals, which help control body odour… we shall see.

Dr Hauschka Lemon Lemongrass Body Wash

Dr Hauschka Lemon Lemongrass Body Wash

This cute little guy is a Lemon, Lemongrass body wash.  I very much enjoy lemon scents so I am looking forward to trying this out.  Plus it is super tiny and I am all about miniature things 🙂

AWE Rasadana Hydrating Mask.

AWE Rasadana Hydrating Mask.

The next item is the AWE Rasadana Hydrating Mask.  This is a generous sample with a pump, which I appreciate.  The full size version is 50ml and retails for $59 which makes it a luxury product in my book so I am excited to try this mask out.

Atom Coffee Body Scrub.

Atom Coffee Body Scrub.

This is another great cruelty-free, vegan product that I am keen to try.  I am going to try a fake tan for the first time this summer so I am excited to have some good exfoliators to use in preparation.

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Dr Bronner’s 18-in-1 citrus orange pure Castille Soap.

Again, another cute little sample of Dr Bronner.  I have never heard of this soap but I’m interested to try a product that claims to be good for ‘just about any cleaning task.’  It appears you can use this all over the body as well as around the house – interesting!

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Zuii Organic coral red lipstick sample and sachet of Weleda Birch Cellulite Oil.

The last samples in the box include this little sample of the Zuii Organic Coral Red Lipstick as well as a sachet of the Weleda Birch Cellulite Oil.

Zuii Organic coral red lipstick swatch.

Zuii Organic coral red lipstick swatch.

This is a cute way to try out a lipstick and from the swatch it is a colour that I will love.

Overall, I have LOVED this summer box.  I really enjoy this subscription from Flora & Fauna and will certainly be renewing my subscription in the new year.

Have a great day!

Makeup Revolution: ‘Heroine’ 2015 holiday bag set

'Heroine' bag set

‘Heroine’ bag set: rose gold makeup bag, lip gloss and mini rose-toned palette.

In the same Makeup Revolution haul where I purchased the Ultra Professional Blush & Highlight Expert set (click the link to see my review and swatches), I also picked up this super cute “‘Heroine’ – Be Revolutionary bag set”.  Again, at the time, this kit was part of the Black Friday sales and was 1/3 off, plus I had a 20% coupon so I paid GBP2.67 for this kit which is about AU$6!  At the time of writing this blog, this set appears to be sold out online, but if you are lucky enough to have access to a Superdrug you may still be able to find this kit in store.  I believe it retails for GBP5.

So, onto the review.

Firstly, I adore the little makeup bag.  It is the perfect size to fit in your purse with a few essentials for touch-ups.  I love rose gold and the simple square design of this bag.  It is simple but classy.

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Intense Lipgloss

The lipgloss is a pale nude colour which gives nice shine without much pigmentation.  It is the sort of gloss colour that will work paired over any lipstick, although I am yet to try it that way.  In the heat of our summer I am wearing minimal makeup and have enjoyed this on its own for a bit of shine.  It isn’t sticky, which I love, and although it looks like there may be tiny iridescent shimmers in this gloss, they don’t show up on the lips in a glittery way.  Like all glosses you need to reapply this frequently but I am enjoying it so far.

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swatches of the ‘Heroine’ set mini palette.

The last item in the kit is this totally adorable mini palette.  I am all about tiny things.  Give me a ‘miniature’ anything and I am dying with the cuteness.  Needless to say I love this.  This palette contains seven shades including two mattes and five shimmer shades.  The mattes have not swatched well here (swatch 1 and 3) but they are totally workable on the eye.  I love that this little palette contains these two workhorse matte colours:  a highlight shade perfect for the brow bone, and a good transition shade.  This palette is super small, super light and contains everything I would need when travelling.  This is going straight into my travel makeup kit for sure.

Swatches of the 'Heroine' mini palette.

Swatches of the ‘Heroine’ mini palette.

'Heroine' mini palette compared to the Makeup Revolution Iconic 3

‘Heroine’ mini palette compared to the Makeup Revolution Iconic 3 palette. Can anyone else see some similarities??

When this arrived in the post I could immediately see the similarity between the mini palette shades and the Iconic 3 palette from Makeup Revolution’s permanent collection, which itself is a dupe of the Urban Decay Naked 3 palette.  I haven’t swatched these out to do an exact comparison, but even just eyeballing them you can see that the ‘Heroine’ mini palette has a big sister 🙂

I really like this set.  So much so that I purchased another one for my cousin as a gift.

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Have a great day!

 

Makeup Revolution: Ultra Professional Blush & Highlight Expert 2015 Holiday Kit

Ultra Professional Blush and Highlight Expert holiday kit.

Ultra Professional Blush and Highlight Expert holiday kit.

I put an order in to Makeup Revolution when they were having their Black Friday deals.  As part of the offer their holiday kits were 1/3 off the marked price, and I had a 20% code so I figured it was a nice time to give one of these kits a go.  I selected the Ultra Professional Blush & Highlight Expert holiday kit which comes with a blush palette, highlight palette and then blush and highlight brushes.  This kit retails for GBP14 but with the deal and my discount code I paid GBP7.47 which is about AU$15.  Bargain!

The Brushes

These brushes are super soft.  I love the rose gold ferrule and overall they feel well made.  The brush itself is synthetic (a necessity in my cruelty-free book) and they seem to pick up product well and blend nicely.  These are definitely for powder products though as the brush is super soft and has a lot of movement to it.  I am really enjoying these.

The Blush Palette

This palette is certainly pink in tone and as I don’t own the ‘All about pink – blush palette’ from Makeup Revolution’s permanent range, I thought this would be a nice addition to my collection.  My first impression is that these blushers have the same pigmentation and soft texture that you will find in all the Makeup Revolution blush palettes.

If you are familiar with the permanent blush palettes from MUR you will notice that this holiday addition has two major differences from the standard version:

1) the palette does not contain a mirror and, in my opinion, the packaging looks ‘cheaper’ with the clear lid.  The pro of this packaging is that you can see the colours it contains which I do quite like.

2)  This palette contains powder blushes but NO baked products.  The permanent blush palettes all contain at least two baked blushers.  This is not a pro or con for me, I am merely pointing out the difference.

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Blush palette

The blushes on the top row appear matte but I feel like they have a nice glow about them (which may be my imagination).  I have given heavy swatches below but these aren’t actually that scary to apply.

Swatches of the top row.

Swatches of the top row.

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Swatches of second row.

The first blush in the second row is the only one that appears to contain some finely milled glitter in the pan, but as you can see from my swatch it hasn’t really transferred to the skin.

My criticism of this palette would be that I feel the colours in the top row are VERY similar to the bottom row.  Admittedly the nuanced differences were more apparent to me in person, but from these photos you can see that they aren’t going to look significantly different on the skin.  Saying that, these are all pink toned blushers, so I suppose – how different can they be?

The Highlighter Palette

This palettes is the reason why I purchased this holiday kit.  I love highlighters and Makeup Revolution do not currently have a highlighter palette with this configuration in their permanent range so when I saw this in their Christmas collection it called my name.

Highlighter Palette

Highlighter Palette: six satin powder highlights and two baked highlighters.

This palette does not disappoint.  The six satin powder highlighters are very soft and pigmented without being too metallic looking on the face.  The colours range from white through soft mauve, champagne tones and into pinks.  The colour differences are subtle on the skin, but these are beautiful and I feel like this palette offers something for everyone.

Swatches of top row

Swatches of top row (from left to right – bottom to top). You can see that the baked highlighter (top swatch) is super metallic!

The two baked products are drier to the touch than their straight powder counterparts, but they are so beautiful with their swirled, baked colouring.  I used the same method to swatch all of the powders and you can see that the white baked powder really shines in comparison.

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Swatches of bottom row (left to right from bottom to top).

Overall, I think this is a great kit.  If you love blusher and highlighter this is a budget-friendly and cruelty-free way to feed your addiction.  Or, if you know someone who loves makeup, or is building their collection, this holiday kit offers all the blusher and highlighter you would every realistically need – plus some lovely brushes for application!

As this is a holiday kit I am presuming that these products are limited addition so don’t wait around if you are keen to try these.  If you would like to check them out for yourselves you can find them here.

Have a wonderful day!