Tag Archives: Megan’s Makeup Muses

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!

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!

Comparing ‘Naked’ dupe eyeshadow palettes: MUA vs Makeup Revolution

The Urban Decay ‘Naked’ palette is a cult favourite and for good reason.  It offers a nice ranged of colours with a combination of matte and shimmer formulas.  I don’t own the Urban Decay original ‘Naked’ palette so I can’t comment on the quality of the Urban Decay formula but it has been successful enough that HEAPS of rival companies have duped them.  Today I’m going to be comparing two such affordable dupes from the companies MUA (Makeup Academy) and Makeup Revolution (TAM Beauty).  The two companies offer similar dupe palettes for the same budge price of 4GPB (approximately AU$8) – but which one is better for the price?

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MUA – undressed palette

I originally purchased the ‘Undressed’ palette from MUA as it was a firm favourite with good reviews.  It comes in basic plastic packaging with a clear front window and contains 9.6grams of product presented in round pans.  The shades are named and these are provided on the back of the palette (for what that is worth to the average consumer).

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Undressed swatches – top row

I don’t love the formula of these shadows.  The first ingredient in these shadows is talc, followed by Mica.  They are really dusty and kick up heaps of product when you dip your brush in – particularly the mattes.

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Undressed swatches – bottom row

These blend ok but if you over work them they blend away to nothing.  The shimmers are quite dry and I find they perform infinitely better with some fixing spray.  I won’t say they totally lack pigment but they aren’t fantastic.  I really wasn’t that impressed with this palette.

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Makeup Revolution – Redemption Palette: Iconic 1

When Makeup Revolution released their ‘Naked’ dupe, the ‘Redemption Palette – Iconic 1’ I was tempted to give it a go because the MUA version had been underwhelming.

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Iconic 1 swatches – first 6 shades

The ‘Iconic 1’ is a slightly larger palette with similar basic plastic packaging and a clear front window.  The pans are rectangular (and a little narrow to be honest!), but you get quite a bit more product for your money with a total of 14grams of eyeshadow.  The first ingredient in these shadows is Mica followed by talc.  These shadows will also kick up when you dip your brush in but they are nowhere near as dry and dusty as the MUA version.  Overall I find them to be creamier and more pigmented in comparison and much easier to work with.  They are better quality shadows by far in my opinion. The Makeup Revolution shadows also last longer on my eyes which is great.

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Iconic 1 swatches – final 6 shades

Both of these palettes are budget products so, to be fair, you aren’t really investing much to try either of them BUT I would argue that the ‘Iconic 1’ palette from Makeup Revolution is not only better value in terms of quantity of eyeshadow, but in my opinion it is also much better quality.

Have a wonderful day!

Face Base Favourites – Australis for the win!

I have had a lot of trouble finding a cruelty-free, budget-friendly face base combination that works for me and this year my typical face base routine has become a celebration of Australis!

Foundations are certainly a product that are going to be specific to each person based on their personal skin type, colouring and the climate in which they live – so what works for me may most likely not work for you, so here are some face facts for you so you can contextualise this review:

  • I have combination skin
  • I am very fair
  • At 34 years old, I do have some fine lines 😦
  • I live in the tropics, so my face base needs to combat heat and humidity

My current holy grail involves three products:

  1. Oh 2 Glow Light-diffusing Foundation in the shade Nude.
  2. Stay put 16 hr foundation in the shade Nude.
  3. Fresh and Flawless Pressed Powder in the shade Natural.
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Australis – Oh 2 Glow Light-diffusing Foundation in the shade Nude.

The Oh 2 Glow Foundation is a very fluid formula which means you can apply a very thin layer and avoid caking on the face.  It is illuminating, but not too glowy, so as to emphasise the dewiness already created by the hot weather.  A single layer gives sheer coverage but you can build this up somewhat.

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The shade is Nude.

This works really well for me in combination with the Stayput Longwear Foundation. I use one pump of each to do my entire face.  It is an added bonus that both are Vegan Friendly!!   

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Australis – Stayput Longwear Foundation in Nude.

I wear the Stayput foundation in the shade Nude and it purports to be longer wearing and has the added bonus of SPF 15 protection.  This foundation is thicker in formula and has more of a medium coverage.  The colour is a shade or two darker than Oh 2 Glow but together they make my perfect match both in terms of coverage, wear and colour.

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The shade is Nude

With the foundation partnership sorted all that is left is to set the face.  In the heat of summer I find this step essential and I can totally recommend the Fresh & Flawless Pressed Powder for this step.  It is very finely milled and doesn’t get cakey.  I carry this in my bag for touchups during the day if I am going to be out in the heat.  It is a great basic powder.

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Australis – Fresh & Flawless Pressed Powder in Natural

As a final general point can I just say that the packaging of all these products is super practical.  The foundations are both in lovely glass bottles and each come with an excellent pump.  The powder comes with a mirror and puff in the base.  Great!

I know that this reads like an advert for Australis but if you have read my other reviews of Australis products then you know that I haven’t had a lot of success with their coloured face products… but these base products have REALLY worked for me.

If you would like to try these for yourself you can find all three on the Australis website.  They do ship internationally!

Have a great day!

Makeup Revolution: Iconic Pro 1 & 2

Brace yourself people.  The palettes I am about to show you are quite possibly two of my favourite all-time eyeshadow palettes.  They are the Iconic Pro 1 & 2 palettes form Makeup Revolution and they are divine.  These palettes are designed to be dupes of the Lorac Pro 1 & 2 palettes.  I don’t own the Lorac versions to do a comparison for you but from comparisons I have seen online they are a very close match.

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Regardless of their dupe status, these palettes are just beautiful.  They come with a matte case, large mirror and a double ended brush which I do enjoy.  They also come with a transparent slip which provides all the shade names.  I tend to throw these away; but if you do makeup tutorials, I am sure they would be useful.

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Makeup Revolution: Iconic Pro 1

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Makeup Revolution: Iconic Pro 1

The Iconic Pro palettes offer a perfect blend of matte and shimmer shades with eight of each included in each palette.  I also think there is a nice balance of warm and cool tones in both palettes.

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Iconic Pro 1 swatches: mattes, left to right

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Iconic Pro 2 swatches: shimmers, left to right

The pigmentation of all shades is consistently good across both palettes.  The texture of the matte shades is velvety soft and they blend so well.  The shimmer shades are equally beautiful with a lovely range of colours.

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Makeup Revolution: Iconic Pro 2

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Makeup Revolution: Iconic Pro 2 (here you can see the included brush)

I find the Iconic Pro 1 to be more neutral in tone while the Iconic Pro 2 has a few more pops of colour that are unique, but totally wearable.

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Iconic Pro 2: mattes, left to right

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Iconic Pro 2: shimmers, left to right

The quality of these shadows is some of the best to come from the Makeup Revolution labs.  To be fair you could own these two Iconic Pro palettes and not really need anything else in your collection.  You know, if you are one of those minimalist people… the kind that only buys just what they need in a show of extraordinary self-control which I can only look up to and admire 🙂

If I lost my entire makeup collection tomorrow, I would repurchase these in a heartbeat.  The Iconic Pro palettes are a pair of classy eyeshadow collections and I can’t recommend them enough.

If you would like to try them for yourself, they cost about AU$14 and you can find them here.

Have a fantastic day!