Monthly Archives: August 2016

Things I Don’t Love: MUA – Matte palettes

Welcome back to my ‘Things I don’t love’ series where we discuss products that didn’t work for me or that I just haven’t loved.

I purchased two matte palettes from MUA at this time in 2015.  I hadn’t tried any eyeshadows from MUA at the time so I wasn’t sure what to expect but I had read many good reviews so I had high hopes.  The two palettes that I picked up are the Ever After Matte Palette and the Winter Forest Matte Collection and I have to say that I don’t love either of these palettes.

Firstly, the packaging is quite cheap looking and is extremely basic in style.  There is no mirror provided and these palettes come with 10 shadows.  On a positive note, both palettes have a sticker on the back that provide shade names, which I do like.  Another pro is that these are very compact.DSC02978

Looking at the Ever After Matte Palette first, you can see that the shades are very neutral and there are a number of shades in the palette that look quite similar – particularly the shades in the top row and the first two browns in the second row.  Annoying!


MUA – Ever After Matte Palette


Top Row, left to right: Unwrap, Butter, Bare, Taffeta, Fade.


Bottom Row, left to right: Penny, Chino, Truffle, Fog, Smoke.

The Winter Forest Matte Collection has an unusual range of colours but I can see how this was curated for ‘winter.’  Again, the pigmentation is extremely hit and miss – either quite poor or staining.  The two grey shades (Smoke and Dove Grey) make my eyes look tired and bruised so I never use these shades.  Also, the dark blue (Midnight) and the teal colour (Aqua), really do stain so if you don’t use a primer these are hard to blend and difficult to remove.


MUA – Winter Forest Matte Palette


Top Row, left to right: Smoke, Midnight, Aqua, Azure, Camel.


Bottom Row, left to right: Slate, Dove Grey, Chino, Truffle, Sand.

The formula of these shadows is consistent across these two palettes so I am going to make a few general points:

  • The texture of these shadows in general is very dry.
  • Some of them are very densely packed into the pan so they also feel very hard to the touch.
  • The dry texture converts to a crumbly, dusty powder when you tap in your brush.
  • The pigmentation is really not great and you can see in the swatches that these shadows can be quite patchy (I made an effort to blend these out smoothly as they were so very dusty/crumbly).
  • It is sort of a weird situation of having the shadows either blend away to nothing OR having them be so dark that they kind of stain and are hard to blend.

I feel like these shadows appear to be much better quality in the swatches here than they are in real life.  I never reach for these palettes because I just don’t enjoy these shadows at all.  I feel like I can build and build some of the mid-toned crease shades and just don’t seem to get anywhere pigmentation wise – with a brush they just don’t seem to transfer well to the lids, even with a primer.

Overall, I can’t recommend these matte palettes from MUA.  I know that people really rate the MAU eyeshadow palettes but these really haven’t worked for me.  In my opinion if you want a great budget-friendly, cruelty-free matte eyeshadow palette, the Freedom Makeup London Pro 12 Audacious Matte palette is excellent and I believe it is the same price!  You can read my review of the Pro 12 Audacious Matte palette here for more information.

Have a fantastic day!

Makeup Revolution – I Heart Makeup: Naked Underneath – Faux Fur covered palette

I think the combination of colours in this Naked Underneath palette from I Heart Makeup are really lovely.  I have very much enjoyed this selection of shadows for both day and night.  I haven’t really seen much hype about this palette and some of that may be because the packaging looks a bit tacky and childish, but I think this palette has been curated in a very thoughtful and dynamic way and that this is a great all-rounder palette.


I Heart Makeup: Naked Underneath – Faux Fur covered palette

The quality of the shadows are lovely: soft, pigmented and they blend very nicely.  These last well on my lids without creasing.


Left side of the palette: Free (matte), Stroke, Love, Hidden (matte), 2004, Attention (matte), Seeking (matte), Covered (matte).


Swatches (top to bottom, left to right): Free, Stroke, Love, Hidden, 2004, Attention, Seeking, Covered.

There is a great mix of mattes and shimmer/satin formulas with 6 mattes and 10 shimmer shades.  The colours are also excellently curated with a mix of light, mid and dark tones as well as warm and cool tones.  I feel like it is obvious how the shadows could be pulled together for easy, but beautiful looks.  And there is a perfect matte transition shade for every tone combination which I LOVE!  Plus, there is a matte brow highlight (Free) and a bright inner-corner highlight (Wonderous), which, I might add, is also gorgeous all over the lid.


Right Side of the Palette: Reveal, Meow (glitter shade), Darkness (matte), Glory, 1970, After Hours, Missile, Wonderous.


Swatches (top to bottom, left to right): Reveal, Meow, Darkness, Glory, 1970, After Hours, Missile, Wonderous.

On a practical note, the fur fabric on the lid molts a bit and it does gather dust so even if you like this packaging, you can’t really display it.  For me, like I said at the beginning, the aesthetic of the packaging, well, it isn’t my thing.  The fake fur, the big jewel; it is all a bit glitzy and totally not my style at all, but the contents of the palette, which is what really matters, is quite beautiful.

I actually really like this selection of shades for travel and would happily take this away on trips where I needed a range of colours and the capacity to move from a very neutral everyday look to a dramatic, smokey or glam look but I don’t want to pack a tone of makeup.

This palette retails for GBP7.99 but I purchased this one on sale for GBP4.99 which is about AU$10.  At that price, for 16 eyeshadows, I think this is a steal!

If you would like to check it out for yourself, you can find the Naked Underneath palette on the Makeup Revolution website and they ship worldwide 🙂

Have a glorious day!






Chi Chi: Real Minerals Powder Value Kit

I purchased the Real Mineral Powder Value Kit from Chi Chi, in ‘Light,’ during the post-Christmas sale from Myer this year.  It contains a full size Real Minerals Foundation, a full size Bronzer, a full size Finishing Powder, a blush and a kabuki brush (which I haven’t photographed here as god only knows where I have put it!).  I get rosacea on my cheeks and Chi Chi claims that their mineral formula allows your skin to breathe and is great for sensitive skin.  Chi Chi is cruelty-free and these powders are also free of nasty ingredients.  This pack has a reported value of AU$85 if you buy the products separately but the ‘value kit’ retails at AU$29.95… in the Christmas sales I paid just AU$10!!  Bargain.

I would recommend trying the Real Minerals range through the Value Kit as two of them are really great and two of them are powders that I just don’t love.

Lets start with the winners 🙂


Real Minerals Foundation: Fair

The Real Mineral Foundation in Fair is a very soft powder.  The colour is quite neutral in tone and it blends out beautifully on the skin.  I would say the coverage is light at best, so I am not convinced that it really functions as a ‘foundation’, but I very much enjoy it in combination with a BB cream (or a liquid foundation if I really need the coverage) or to very softly even out skin tone on a ‘no makeup’ day.  The colour would be too dark for girls with porcelain skin but I can make it work, particularly in combination with the Chi Chi Finishing Powder.


Real Minerals Finishing Powder

The Finishing Powder is again, a very soft, finely milled powder.  I very much enjoy this to set my foundation with a big fluffy brush.  It is so fine that you only need such a small amount and it doesn’t end up looking cakey.  As it is translucent it doesn’t add to the coverage of the foundation which is nice for daily wear and avoids ‘cake face.’.  I also enjoy this powder to blend out contour, blusher, bronzer and highlighter at the very end of putting on my face products.  It blends the coloured face products out in such a natural way.

Now onto the two products that I don’t love.


Real Minerals Bronzing Powder

The Bronzing Powder is very different in texture to the foundation and finishing powder – dryer and courser.  The powder seems to have two distinct parts, a red-toned matte bronze base and then gold micro glitters.  As I purchased this online I didn’t realise that this wasn’t a matte bronzer until the kit arrived 😦  I don’t mind bronzers that are glowy, but I can’t dig the glitter.  Also, this colour is much too dark for me and the red undertone just doesn’t look natural on my skin tone.  I think this would suit someone with a medium skin tone. Also, I find this bronzer is VERY pigmented, a situation which is amplified by the loose powder nature of the product.  Even a slight touch of the brush picks up a lot of powder, which I run off on the lid, then tap off the brush, then run the brush over my hand and then it can still be a bit patchy and hard to blend.  Bummer.


Real Minerals Blush

I have to be honest, I have barely worn this blush.  Again, I didn’t realise that this would be a glittery product so I was really disappointed when I opened it.  The website states it contains ‘light reflecting particles’ so I probably should have known better!  The base colour is, again, quite dark for my fair complexion, but I do like this kind of dark rose for the cooler months.  Like the bronzer, this powder really separates into a base layer and glitter layer and the silver micro glitters get everywhere when you blend this out on the cheek.  The colour looks pretty, but I just can’t deal with the glitter so I never reach for this.

Overall, I am still really happy with my purchase of this Real Minerals Powder Value Kit.  The foundation and finishing powders are great products and if you buy them separately they retail for AU$19 each, so my AU$10 outlay was money well spent, even though I don’t love the bronzer and blush.  In fact the Value Kit retail price of AU$29 is still good value!  Plus, the kabuki brush was also lovely… pity I don’t know where it is!

If you would like to check out the Real Minerals Value Kit for yourself you can find it here on the Chi Chi website or you can also buy Chi Chi in Australia at Target or Myers.

Have a wonderful day 🙂


The Vegan Mystery Box – August 2016

Here is a bonus little blog for you all, reviewing a wonderful subscription service called The Vegan Mystery Box.  The Vegan Mystery Box is a monthly service offered through The Cruelty Free Shop that sends through 8-10 vegan, cruelty-free products for you to try that can include snacks, treats, pantry essentials and personal and household products.  I received my August box as a gift from my sister-in-law (thank you Victoria!) and it was such a wonderful surprise that I had to share it with you here.


Buontempo Deli Thins – Garlic & Herb, Mandy Foods Vegetable Spread.

The first two products I pulled out of the box were the Deli Thins and Vegetable spread.  One of the recommendations for eating the spread is to use it on crackers like pate – and that is exactly what I intend to do using these two products.  A Friday afternoon treat for my husband and I this week – yum!


Foodie Fee Coconut & Cacao Chia Pudding, Provamel Banana Milk

I was extremely excited to see the Coconut & Cacao Chia Pudding mix as I frequently make chia pudding for our work lunches.  At the moment I have a large batch of Mango, Cardamon and Coconut Chia pudding in my fridge but when we have eaten that deliciousness up, I will be trying this mix next.

The Provamel Soya Banana Milk popper is now in my handbag.  As I am currently 32 weeks pregnant I am always looking for transportable snacks as I seem to be constantly hungry and as this product doesn’t need to be refrigerated it is the perfect carry-along treat.


Herbamare Seasoning, Tsubi Soup – Spicy Red Miso with Mushrooms

I have already tried Herbamare so was happy to see this sample in the box.  I can attest to the fact that it is a very tasty alternative to salt as a seasoning.

As for the Tsubi Soup, I am saving this one for my husband’s lunch box.  He loves Japanese food and will very much enjoy this as a treat I am sure.  This soup flavour contains a combination of Shiitake, Enoki, Maitake and Nameko mushrooms, which sounds pretty amazing to me!


Borja-Booja – Almond Salted Caramel Truffles, Wallaby Superfoodie Bar – Blueberry Lemon

Now, I have a confession to make.  The Almond Salted Caramel Truffles did not survive past the first evening of my opening this box… nor did I share them with my husband.  They are pure indulgence and totally delicious.  The truffle is rich and smooth and spiked with chewy caramel pieces.  This pack came with two truffles and it is the perfect serving size for a totally delicious treat for one sweet-toothed person.  I will be going back to The Cruelty Free Shop website to purchase more of these gems!!

Meanwhile, the Superfoodie bar has been stashed with my banana soya popper in my handbag for my next snack attack – and I look forward to trying it as blueberry and lemon flavourings sound perfect to me.


The Cruelty Free Shop Pantry – Black Salt, Well & Good – Gooey Chocolate Pudding in a mug

These last two products were the ones I was most excited about upon opening the Vegan Mystery Box.  First we have Black Salt which apparently can be used to replicate the taste of eggs in cooking!!  Who knew!  I can’t wait to try adding this to my tofu scramble for breakfast this weekend.

And lastly, we have the Gooey Chocolate Pudding in a Mug.  I love the sound of everything about this product.  It is vegan.  It is chocolate.  It is pudding.  You can make it in a mug! AND, it only takes 1 minutes to cook in the microwave!!  I nearly made this the day it arrived but I have managed to control myself in this instance and am saving it up for a special dessert when I am craving something warm and sweet (tonight perhaps??).

I have really enjoyed this Vegan Mystery Box.  It is such a fun way to try new things and receiving the subscription on a monthly basis would be a pleasure.  As I received this as a gift I can absolutely recommend this for gifting purposes too!!  I also love the idea that you can go back to The Cruelty Free Shop and buy more of the things you like.

The Vegan Mystery Box can be purchased for AU$34.95 for a monthly subscription or you can also pay upfront for a 3 month or 6 month subscription too.  If you would like to check it out for yourself you can find more details here.

Have a wonderful day beautiful people.

I think I might just go and make myself a Gooey Chocolate pudding in a mug because… well, why not!

Thin Lizzy: 6 in 1 professional powder – light (DUPE alert!)

This is going to be a quick little review of a product that could easily be put in the ‘dorky’ makeup basket.  Thin Lizzy products started out with infomercials on TV and then slowly made their way into Priceline and Big W in Australia.  My mother purchased this for me for Christmas as she thought that it might be a nice multi-use product, plus it was cruelty-free and made in New Zealand.


Thin Lizzy: 6 in 1 profession powder – light

I have not actually used this powder in all the multi-use ways for which it is marketed and in fact, I would say that the suggested ‘6 in 1’ is misleading marketing when it comes to practical use.  They claim it can be used as blusher, lip colour, eyeshadow, contour, bronzer and body bronzer and I would suggest that it really doesn’t work for me as a lip colour or blusher and to be honest, it doesn’t make a great eyeshadow either BUT I do really like this product as a bronzer and contour.

Firstly, it is a really good bronzer shade for my skin tone.  It has a cool undertone but with a slight golden sheen making it not too muddy on my skin.  You can build it up and it is extremely easy to blend out.  The power itself is very finely milled and I very much enjoy this as a contour shade.  If this was marketed solely as a contour/bronzer then I could absolutely say that it is an amazing product.


I swatched the powder with my finger on the left and then used the brush to apply one light layer on the right.

I was also interested to learn through KitchSnitch on youtube, that the Thin Lizzy 6 in 1 Professional Powder is an excellent dupe for the NARS Laguna Bronzing Powder.  I don’t own the Laguna bronzer to do a comparison for your here but I will leave the link to Kat’s review HERE for you so you can see it side by side.

I am surprised to admit that this is a really great product.  It also came with a lovely soft brush, double ended black and brown eyeliner (which I love for travel) and a clear lipgloss, so overall it was a good value set.  If you see this in store, despite its dorky appearance, it is actually worth giving a go 🙂  I would absolutely repurchase this product.

Have a great day!