Trying to be a beautiful brunette…

Well weren’t you a wonderful little surprise, Beautiful Brunette? After years of committing myself as a John Frieda Brilliant Brunette devotee, I never really gave any other coloured shampoos a chance – very racist of me.

Now my hair tale is essentially this – I am brunette. I don’t have dark ethnic locks, I don’t have mousey brown hair – I have a fairly classic brunette colour. A sucker for a trend, I started getting balayage (ombre) done to it about a year ago, and each visit I get lighter and lighter (sometimes intentional, sometimes not so intentional). Post USA, my hair was a darling shade of orange, and I understand the pain of those who have blonde highlights – it is so hard to maintain! Most Friday’s I get a bit of time to browse Priceline, which is one of my favourite past times. Unfortunately, it’s very hard for me to walk out not having spent any money. One particularly orange-y day, I browsed the hair section, particularly the blonde toners. $15 for a bottle I will rarely use wasn’t enough to convince me, so instead I started browsing some of the bargain bins – and discovered the Beautiful Brunette range.

BB shampoo

$6.90 – minimal risk. It was marked down by about $1, but I’m also a sucker for marketing – slap a pink piece of paper on it Priceline, and I’m interested. I picked up the above shampoo, and the below conditioner (Argan Smooth Deep Moisture Conditioner), and figured my hair couldn’t end up any worse.
ArganSmoothConditioner

These were both a very good find! The shampoo seemed to take a bit of the orange brassiness of my highlights off, and the conditioner was looovely. I returned the following week, and bought another pair. If you’re going to give one of the two a chance, I really recommend the conditioner – the combo is nice, but I think the real winner is the conditioner. It’s very moisturising, and smells quite nice. It has a bit of a shimmer to it when squeezed out of the bottle, but don’t let that scare you off – it doesn’t seem to transfer into your hair. I noticed quite an improvement after only a few uses – combine this with coconut oil, and you’ll be unstoppable!

Would I buy it again? Already have – I think it’s a more competitively priced version of Brilliant Brunette.
Who would I recommend it to? Anyone who wants serious moisture – or wants to maintain a decent brunette colour.
Is it value for money? It’s fairly normal shampoo pricing, so yes.
How can you get it? Priceline has plenty of stock – I also spotted it tonight in Big W for $4.80.

Advertisements

It’s time to tell the truth: Smashbox Full Exposure Palette

Regular readers may recall my excitement to pick up new palettes in the US – in fact, I had quite the list of palettes to add to my collection. My brother went to the US the week before I did, so he treated me to the Naked 3 palette; this opened up some space for an extra palette. I ended up buying the Smashbox Full Exposure palette early in the trip, then treated myself to a Marc Jacobs one just before returning home. The downside to palettes is that they can add quite a bit of weight to one’s makeup baggage allowance, so I had to make some very considered decisions. I figured the Smashbox one was a safe choice, as I had previously owned and enjoyed a Smashbox palette.

Well, you sure screwed me Smashbox. This palette was really disappointing. Based on my experience with the Masterclass 2 palette (see earlier link), I had high hopes for the matte shadows in this palette, and minimal interest in the shimmers. The whole palette had 14 shadows – 7 shimmer, 7 matte (about 8 with gold tones, and 6 with silver tones). For $49.00, I didn’t expect the world, but I did expect to like and use more than 4 shades! Oddly enough, the 4 gold toned shimmers have tickled my fancy, and have become a part of my regular weekly makeup. 4 shadows out of 14 is hardly impressive – a poor choice of palette on my part. The only thing that I liked was that there was a fairly decent brush included – a double-sided brush, with one side recommended for matte, and the other for shimmers. It’s not an amazing brush, but it’s pretty good for an included brush, and it suited me during my travels (I took really minimal makeup this trip – I had big makeup dreams!).

Basically, my issue is the pigmentation in this palette. Really minimal colour payoff, despite how much you dip and rub that brush (even using my regular brushes didn’t change that!). The mattes barely show up, and although I’m not one to wear shimmer to work, the 4 gold-toned shimmers are quite lovely, so have been quite nice to wear. I can’t explain why this is always sold out – beauty bloggers have a lot to answer for, I guess. My recommendation is stick with the Urban Decay Naked palettes, or check out the Lorac Pro palette – I don’t own that, but I’ve heard great things.

Would I buy it again? Definitely not.
Who would I recommend this to? Someone who is being offered it for free – if exchanging money, stick with the Naked Palette!
Is it value for money? Definitely not.
How can you get it? In Australia, from Mecca Cosmetica (it’s constantly sold out – go figure!)

Smashbox Full Exposure Eye Shadow Palette

Well, I do apologise…

Ramadan has come and gone, hence why I have been so silent for so long. Waking early, fasting all day, and being disciplined at night made blogging quite tough. So as my heading suggests… I do apologise for my silence. But I’m back, the blog lives on, and my beauty love continues to grow.

Now, of course I have a huge range of things I picked up in the US that I want to review. I honestly don’t know where to begin, as there is heaps to still try out. But something I’ve already started using that I love already, is the Caudalie Beauty Elixir. I was blessed to have a huge breakout recently; after having been breakout free for quite a while, this was distressing, and I had to bust out some of my previously well-loved and respected products (e.g. Dermalogica Overnight Clearing Gel, ASAP Clearskin Gel). Much to my horror they weren’t quite doing it – I got a lot of tiny pimples that lasted for a day, but left me with a permanent blemish – thanks a lot skin!

Enter the Beauty Elixir. Now this stuff smells DIVINE. I’m personally using it as a toner, when I’ve used a hardcore exfoliator (ASAP Exfoliating Facial Scrub – I only use it twice a week, as I find it quite strong on my skin), just before I apply some serious hydration (Clarins Facial Oil). I got the travel sized bottle, so this stuff is precious to me. It’s made up of grape, orange blossom, rose, balm mint and rosemary (according to the website), which creates a seriously delightful smelling mist, and it settles really beautifully on the skin. My number one skin concern, when I’m not having a feral month, is hyperpigmentation (blemishes) and scars. This stuff seems to be working a beauty on my hyperpigmentation, especially when used in conjunction with the other hardcore clearing stuff. I’m not entirely sure about its claims re: glowing, bright skin, but it sure is nice to use.

caudalie-beauty elixir

Would I buy it again? Definitely. Where from, I’m not entirely sure.
Who would I recommend this to? Lovers of floral scents, those who want a serious toner product, and those who have cash to burn.
How can you get it? I picked mine up in Sephora, which is of no help to Australians. I’ve googled around, ASOS potentially stocks it (though they have none at the time of searching); LookFantastic stocks it and claims to have free worldwide shipping, however I’ve never personally used that website. Please let me know if you’ve seen Caudalie stocked anywhere that would be accessible for Aussies!

Until next time, readers…