Category Archives: Essence

ColourPop: Lip liners

Now that I am a mum, I don’t wear lipstick as regularly as I used to, but when I do wear lipstick, I routinely wear lip liner too.  My lips are quite heavily lined and I find that a lip liner seems to help all lipsticks look smoother when applied, last longer and reduce the colour running outside my lip line.

I do have a specific preference when it comes to lip liner formula though.  It needs to be creamy and pigmented.  While I appreciate that I am in fact drawing onto my mouth with a pencil, I don’t want it to feel that harsh!  The ColourPop lip liners really fit the bill for me.

These lip liners are in pencil form with the plasticky outer covering that seems like you may not be able to sharpen it… but you can!  All the pencils in this range are packaged in white with the colour marked on the tip.  These are beautifully pigmented and nice and creamy.  You could certainly wear these on their own or, as I often do, just topped off with a gloss.  They last really well and are super comfortable.  Under a lipstick they make any formula appear more opache and certainly increase the longevity of anything you wear over the top.

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Swatches (from top to bottom): BFF, Chi, Oh Snap

I have two qualms about this product though.  One is that the pencil caps can be a little loose and often fall off which is annoying as becuase the colour is marked on the pencil end, you inevitably want to store them cap end down.  The other complaint is that as these pencils age and dry out slightly the product shrinks a little and the whole pencil centre can slide out.  This isn’t a disaster for me, but it is annoying, particularly if you are storing them cap side down!!

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Do either of these issues impact on the functionality of the product on your lips?  No.  But they aren’t problems I have with other lip liners in my collection so are worth mentioning.

As far as lip liners go, I think I still prefer my Essence lip liners – they are cheaper and equally as good quality without any of the minor packaging concerns.  Plus, I can buy them at my local chemist so can swatch colours before purchase which is convenient for me.  But, ColourPop has a large range of colours so if you are placing an order, I would certainly say it is worth giving these a go.

Have a glorious day!

Essence: Lash Princess – False Lash Effect Mascara

I purchased the Essence ‘Lash Princess – False Lash Effect Mascara’ after seeing it hyped up on youtube by a number of ladies.  I was looking for a new mascara and Essence is one of the few cruelty-free makeup brands that I can access in person in my small town.

I have mixed feelings about this product.  What this mascara has taught me is that I am actually more of a lengthening mascara lover rather than a volumizing mascara lover.   Overall, I think I am more in the natural lash basket rather than a super dramatic lash person – so keep that in mind when reading this review.

Before I get started, the packaging of this is super cute.  I enjoy the rubber embossing on the lid – very grippy  🙂  I like that the brush is relatively small as I am not about those big, bristle mascara brushes.  Saying that, I found that this brush comes from the tube quite heavy with product.  I have to clean it off considerably to avoid uber clumping.  This mascara sure does give a lot of volume though!  One coat gives plenty of drama.  I often ran a clean spoolie through my lashes after application to separate my lashes a bit but that is just personal preference.

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One criticism for me is that the formula is very thick and slow to dry when applied and I found it extremely difficult to avoid it transferring on my lid and/or under eye during application.  I certainly enjoyed this mascara much more when it was a little older… but the catch is that I found the ‘golden era’ quite short.  I was just enjoying the formula when it was suddenly too dry and moving into the flakey zone.  That isn’t necessarily a bad thing though.  Mascara does need to be used and replaced quickly so it was a timely reminder to replace the product in a way.

Overall, this was a pretty good mascara.  It wouldn’t be MY first pick, but if you enjoy a dramatic mascara this may be work a try.  With a price tag around AU$5 you don’t have much to lose!

Have a great day  🙂

Makeup Declutter December 2016

I love trying new makeup.  It is the reason that I have more eyeshadow than I could use in my lifetime… a terrible thing to admit, but I just love experimenting with, testing and then reviewing products.  Of course I have my ‘weekly makeup drawer’ that I rotate to ensure that I continue to use all the things that I have, but when you have a collection as big as mine it soon becomes clear when things just don’t cut the mustard because you NEVER REACH FOR THEM.

Here are some products that I am decluttering because they just didn’t work for me.

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E.L.F. Clarifying Pressed Powder and E.L.F. cover everything concealer in corrective yellow and fair.

These E.L.F. face products from their essentials range are certainly less than average.  the Clarifying Pressed Powder is not a skin match for me – too dark and too orange.  It is also a bit cakey so it is a pass on all fronts.  The Cover Everything Concealers are greasy, thick and are difficult to blend.  I also found that these stayed kind of tacky on the skin.  Another pass.  These guys are a bit cheap and nasty!

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Savvy – Graduating Blush and Bronzer

Although Savvy by DB claims on their packaging that they do not test on animals I have not been able to clarify whether they are owned by a third party that may test or whether they use a third party to test their products… so I can’t confirm their cruelty-free status.  After trying these I am not that tempted to do so anyway.  I thought that these looked like quite multi-use products but they are SO powdery and lack pigmentation.  The texture on all three is dry and flakey and I really don’t enjoy them at all.

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Essence – Wave Goddess Highlighter Powder

This highlighter was disappointing.  It is basically a white powder that is quite matte and contains micro glitters.  Sigh.  It looks really odd on the skin and reminded me of children’s makeup.  I used it once and never touched it again.

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E.L.F. – Shimmering Facial Whip and Holiday Blush and Bronzer duo

I didn’t mind the shimmering facial whip as a liquid highlighter.  It worked well enough with a stippling brush although it did tend to stay a bit tacky.  My main issues is that the product separated in the tube not long after purchase and wasn’t really useable from that point.

The blush and bronzer duo was part of a holiday kit which included a kabuki brush.  The brush is gone already as it was truely terrible – scratchy and awful.  The duo is an odd one – the blush is powdery and quite patchy and it contains (groan) micro glitter.  The bronzer is satin and is more gold in tone that bronze.  It was a bit too shimmery for my taste.

Other decluttered products include:

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Designer Brands – Starry Nights Eyeshadow Quad

The DB Starry Nights quad lacks pigmentation.  I never reach for it as a result.

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Essence – Mosaic Compact Powder

Mosaic Compact Powder?  Glitter!!  (see full review here)

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E.L.F. Shimmer Powders

The E.L.F. shimmer powders are also glittery and they lack pigmentation altogether.  (see full review here).

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E.L.F. Duo Eye Shadow Cream

Oh and the E.L.F. Duo Eyeshadow creams… greasy and bad.  Enough said – but if you want a full review you can find it here.

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E.L.F. – pressed powder in porcelaine

The E.L.F. pressed powder was fine but the colour wasn’t a match for me.  (full review here).

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Chi Chi – Real Minerals Bronzing Powder and Blush

The Chi Chi Real Minerals products were good quality but they were too shimmery and glittery for my taste.  This came in a set of four with a powdered foundation and translucent finishing powder – both of which I enjoy and have remained in my collection.  For a full review see here.

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BYS – eyeshadow palette

Lastly, I am decluttering this BYS eyeshadow palette.  I can’t confirm the cruelty-free status of BYS as I have never researched their brand or products, but it does say on the packaging that they don’t test on animals.  This was a gift many moons ago and I never reach for it as the quality of these shadows is pretty poor – super powdery and no real pigmentation at all.  This is an old product though so I can’t speak for their current eyeshadow formula.

And that is everything that I am decluttering this time around.  I figure there is no use keeping things that I am simply not going to use.  I donated all these products to a local school’s beauty program for their experimentation.  I think it is useful for the kids to see a range of makeup so they can recognise the elements that make for good quality products.  The kids were thrilled and had a ball seeing if they could make these items work for themselves.

Have a wonderful day!

I have been looking for the “perfect” eyebrow pencil so when I saw this new pencil on my local Essence stand I figured it was worth a go.  This pencil was part of the Essence ‘Lights of the Orient’ collection but I am hoping that it might stick around in their permanent range!

Pros:

  • It is a retractable pencil which is super convenient.
  • The colour is a good match for me for a natural brow look.
  • The formula is waxy and quite firm making it easier to control the amount of colour with application pressure.  (Not too soft and pigmented leading to an unintended, overly bold brow!)
  • The smudging sponge on the end can be removed to reveal a sharpener.
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Essence lights of orient eyebrow shaper – oriental beauty

Cons:

  • The tip of the pencil is a bit larger than I would like making it quite blunt and a little bit fiddly for really precise work unless you sharpen it every time before use.
  • There were only two shades available in this range.  A warm, medium brown shade called ‘sunkissed beauty’ and then the shade I purchased which is more or a taupe colour in ‘oriental beauty’.
  • It doesn’t come with a spoolie 😦  Rather, it comes with a ‘smudging sponge’ which is a bit weird and not my preference.

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Overall, I really like this product.  The firm nature of the formula makes it easy to control and I appreciate the convenience of a mechanical pencil.  The thicker tip does make it hard to do individual hair strokes if that is what you need, but the smudging sponge included does suggest that this is designed to block in colour rather than draw on hairs.  Plus, this was super affordable and a good colour match for me.

If you see this eyebrow pencil it is certainly worth a try if you can find a colour match for the extremely limited range.

Have a wonderful day!

Things I Don’t Love – Essence: Mosaic Compact Powder

I purchased this Mosaic Compact Powder from Essence on an impulse one day at my local chemist.  I was waiting for a script and saw this on their stand.  They didn’t have a tester out but it seemed like a pretty, light bronzing powder (not too orange) and it was very affordable so I just grabbed it.  Now, I love Essence products typically, so I had high hopes but this Mosaic Compact Powder has one fatal flaw in my books:  Glitter.

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Can you see those sparkles?  That is silver micro-glitter my friends.

The overall texture is quite soft but the glitter makes it grainy to the touch.  I did enjoy the tone of this powder – colour wise it could have worked well as a very natural bronzer for my pale skin.  I found the formula to be a bit dry and dusty so if you blend too much the pigment seemed to disappear – but not that glitter!  I just can’t deal with the silver micro-glitter.

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Essence: Mosaic Compact Powder

As you can see from the images above the glitter isn’t that obvious when you first look at this product, but trust me, the first time I wore it the sparkles caught my eye all day.

To try and get some use out of this I did take it with me on a trip to Bali and used it as a body bronzer.  It worked ok for that in the context of a resort holiday, where wearing glitter near the sand while drinking cocktails, seems appropriate… but I don’t live the kind of life that requires ‘sparkly body bronzing’ on a daily basis.

I haven’t worn it since and that was over a year ago.

If a sparkly, affordable and fair bronzer sounds like your thing, you can purchase this Mosaic Powder Compact for AU$5.75 from Priceline, but I have to admit that I just don’t love this product.

Have an amazing 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!

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