Brows maketh the face

eye brow meme.png

When I look back on my high school years, I think of all those hairs I tweezed out of my eyebrows that I’ll never see again. In my adolescent years (and very likely in your adolescent years, unless you are around 20) THIN & SHARP are the words that come to mind when we imagine the perfect brow. How far we have come in the past decade – over tweezing is out, patches be gone and the perfect brow is thick and neat. If I walk around my local shopping centre, I don’t think I see anybody under the age of 25 with thin brows. Of course, this isn’t always a good thing – like any trend, some people just take it TOO FAR.

Anastasia Beverly Hills can be credited with some of the biggest improvements in the brow game with her pencils and powders. If you want to improve your brow look, read on…

(Disclaimer: I haven’t talked about concealer or eyebrow brushes – consider this a beginners guide to eyebrows)

Pencil

perfect-brow-pencil

If you are new to getting your eyebrows on fleek, or want something low-fuss, this stuff is THE SH*T. Easy and quick to use, huge range of colours and completely natural finish. You can buy it direct from the Anastasia Beverly Hills site, or from Sephora Aus.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Perfect Brow Pencil
RRP: $26.00 (USD) / $42.00
Stockists: Anastasia Beverly Hills / Sephora 

Powder

smashbox-powder

Anybody who watches Cammy on Snapchat [she’s an eyebrow queen from LA / find her @blossombeautylo] knows that the secret to a completely natural brow is the ombre finish at the start of the brow. For a long time I only used powder, but I find the ABH pencil is quicker and more precise than this powder. If you have unruly brows, the wax in this set is useful. Unfortunately, I think this powder is either on it’s way out or just isn’t worthy of being in Australia. Keep your eyes peeled if you’re overseas.

Smashbox Brow Tech
RRP: $26.00 (USD)
Stockists: www.sephora.com

1brow-zings-component_0

It is completely annoying to read recommendations of products not available in Australia, so I’ll include a product that you most definitely can find locally. Benefit has really upped their brow range this year and although I’m satisfied with my current tools, I think they are worth checking out if you are keen to find a decent product at your local department store. Powder and wax combo that has 6 shades.

Benefit Brow Zings
RRP: $55.00
Stockist: Myer 

Gel

benefit 3d tones.jpg

If you were not naturally blessed with a lot of hair in your brow, but have a decent shape and want to thicken up your look, use a gel to add some fake hair. This will help even up any patches or thinness and will blend in effortlessly. If you fear any of these other products or think drawing it on is too much, this is the stuff for you.

Benefit 3D Browtones
RRP: $42.00
Stockist: Myer 

Cream

pomade

I admit this stuff is the scariest of the lot – the almighty pomade. It’s not a product I personally want to use, but the severe nature of the pomade just doesn’t suit me and nor do I have the patience for it. Keep in mind, I am olive skinned and have naturally dark brows (no $$$ spent on eyebrow tints for me), so I’ve found the pomade finish is just a bit too much for me. If you have some serious bald patches or are seriously faking it when it comes to your brows (i.e. you don’t have much hair there), this stuff is for you. You will need a stiff angled brush for this as well as a spare 10 or so minutes.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade
RRP: $18.00 (USD) / $32.00
Stockists: Anastasia Beverly Hills / Sephora 

Waxing, Tweezing and in between

My final warning to you is about what to do to care for your brows. You can have all the pomades and powders that Anastasia can think of, but they are useless to you if the base is hopeless. Only tweeze stray hairs, don’t even think about touching those long hairs your face has been growing for God knows how long! Find a decent brow technician, and find what suits you – tweezing, waxing or threading. Whatever you do, DO NOT go to a walk-in salon that does not specialise in brows – you will be butchered, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll never see those hairs return. You may be slaying in all other aspects, but rubbish brows will be your downfall. Go to someone who will see you as an ongoing client – save your walk-in waxing for arms and legs.

Remember, BROWS MAKETH YOUR FACE.

And if irritation occurs, discontinue use… 

The Teen Face

We all remember our awkward teen years, right? Bad eyeliner, poorly matched foundation and Lip Smackers… surely it wasn’t just me? The teen makeup market looks totally different from when I was in that phase, but I think a line needs to be drawn somewhere. Girls are going to be girls, but what do I actually recommend for those starting their makeup journey?

BASE
We all know teenagers don’t actually need foundation or significant coverage, but they just don’t listen! Acne can never be truly covered up, so no need to waste your time with a thick foundation. We all dream of an even skin tone however, so if we can’t win the battle, let’s help.

revlon bb cream

I keep bangin’ on about this stuff because it really is so good. Revlon Photoready BB Cream has SPF and pretty decent coverage – it really is a skin perfector, it will help accentuate and hide all the right things ($24.95).

EYES
Young lady, step away from the eyeliner. You do not need it. I know Taylor Swift looks amazing with her cat eye, but she is literally a star. You are not Tay Tay. Instead, go for an eyeshadow! I admit I have always loved eyeshadow, and wore it as a teen rather than eyeliner, but this habit has not changed for me.

FOA Nude Palette

One can never go wrong with a palette – but we are not talking about the Urban Decay Naked palette for a 14 year old. Face of Australia is such an underrated brand in my opinion. They have released 2 nude-ish palettes: Nude and Naked which retail for $18.95. A smokey eye is possible for a party or a brown shadow across the lash line for a softer eyeliner look.

LIPS
Ok, I know Lip Smackers aren’t really a thing anymore for anyone with MQ (Makeup Quotient). Go for a balm that is in a crayon form – easy to apply, has enough colour to add variety to your life and is much classier than a chapstick.

covergirl lip balm

Covergirl Lip Perfection Jumbo Gloss Balm is the right price and product. $12.95 from Priceline means it will go on sale, there will be no tears if it’s lost or stolen (remember how valuable makeup was at that age?), and it will add some moisture back to lips. If Covergirl isn’t your thing, there are loads of versions of these balms in every major brand in Priceline.

CHEEKS
Ok, this was something I didn’t really touch in high school, but nor was there such thing as Instagram or YouTube tutorials when I was in high school! Now, be warned that most people are committing crimes with bronzer – so try a blush instead.

savvy blush

Savvy by DB is perfect for those learning. I’ve made lots of errors with blush in my life and continue to make errors, but until you can own classic universal shades like NARS’ “Orgasm”, go for something cheap and easy. $4.99 from Priceline and there are 6 decent shades.

LASHES

Mascara was probably the most irresistible makeup item when I was a teenager. It made such a difference to my eyes and I just loved it. I find it really hard to wear on a daily basis as an adult (disclaimer is that my eyelashes are dark, so I don’t need the colour), but this may be because I wore it so religiously in my teen years.

essence mascara

Oh how I wish something like Essence existed when I was 14. A brand that is cheap and easy to find, has a huge range of products but isn’t intentionally trying to break you out (such as products that are found in a $2 shop). The range is cheap as chips, and when you’re a teenager, you really just want a bit of colour and some volume (or at least that’s all teenagers should want from mascara). This stuff is $5.75 from Priceline and can be chucked at the 3 month mascara life cut-off with no hesitation.

As for the rest: contouring, strobing, highlight, lip liner, liquid eyeliner etc… Well, you have to earn your stripes for that stuff. Plus, does a teenager’s weekly allowance really allow for that kind of makeup use? I can barely afford it as an adult!

If irritation occurs, discontinue use… 

 

Shine bright like a diamond

My disclaimer for this post is that I’m about to rave about a ludicrously priced product that is quite hard to source. I apologise in advance, but it was too stunning to exclude from this blog!

I picked up the Stila Magnificent Metals Foil Finish Eye Shadow with some difficulty during my time in the US. This stuff seemed to be sold out wherever I went, or I would only find one lonely shade. I’d tested out the shadow in Mecca Cosmetica a few months before, and was stunned at the coverage and quality, and how easy it was to use. I was determined to get the gold shade for greatest impact and maximum use (as I regularly wear gold and brown shades). For $US32.00, I wanted this shade [Metallic Gilded Gold], and no other [RRP $AUD44.00].

Stila-Pack

So as you can see, the eye shadow comes in a serious little bundle. It comes with a primer and a mixing plate, and a dropper to use with the primer. I’m slightly obsessive with keeping things new, so after using it, I cleaned it all up and took the dropper out – but if I was going to use this regularly, I could store it with just the dropper in the bottle.

Stila-Open

The texture of this reminds me of a paste; I wouldn’t say it’s a cream, as it’s not as smooth or fine as a cream shadow. I’ve paired this randomly with a concealer brush, but an alternative brush would be the MAC 239.

Stila-Mixing

So it’s a simple procedure – drop the primer into the pan, add the shadow, mix and apply. Upon application, it feels like any cream shadow, but once it sets, it actually feels like what I would imagine eyelash glue would feel like if it was applied to the entire eyelid – not uncomfortable, but noticeable. You’ve got a little bit of time to move it around before it sets – again, just like eyelash glue. Unlike cream shadows, it doesn’t rub into the skin, so it can be physically moved around the lid, rather than blended in.

The pigmentation from this stuff is insane – it’s really strong and deep, and really makes an impact. Unfortunately, I only took a dodgy photo of me wearing this with my phone (and with the front camera at that! Amateur!), so no great selfie to share at this stage. You’ll have to take my word for it (or obviously refer to some other beauty blogs) – this stuff is gorgeous!

Stila - On Hand

It really is like tiny bits of foil – who knows how this stuff is made?! My only issue with it is that it’s not really a buildable shadow – this is the main performer. I paired it with an extremely dark shadow (Naked 3: Blackheart) and packed this on top. I personally wouldn’t spend the time packing and blending millions of shades underneath this, as you will probably not see any of it.

Would I buy it again? Sure, it’s very unique. Shame about the hideous price.
Who would I recommend it to? I think my sisters from the Indian Subcontinent will love this shadow – it suits the style of makeup we can pull off at a traditional event.
Is it value for money? I’m not sure what to say on this – I’ve made my thoughts very clear on the price. I suggest not thinking about the price and just buying it if it seems like your thing.
How can you get it? Mecca Cosmetica in Australia and Sephora internationally.  

And remember… if irritation occurs, discontinue use.

Is it worth the hype? [Naked 3 Palette]

The long-awaited and much-discussed Urban Decay Naked Palette 3… was it worth the wait? Was it going to be a let down like Naked 2? Will they ever be able to repeat the success of the original Naked palette?

In terms of the last question, if you measure success on the quality and initiative of the first palette, then no, I don’t think that can ever be repeated. If you base it on pure sales, I think Urban Decay will constantly get huge sales from their Naked products, simply because of the beauty cult and hype that surrounds it. It most definitely is not a let down like the Naked 2 was for me. Naked 2 was far too silver-toned for me (my most hated eyeshadow shade is silver), so Naked 2 didn’t get much interest or use by me. Naked 3 was promoted as a rose gold toned palette, and it really does fit that description.

Naked 3In typical Naked fashion, the palette comes with a brush, which I have clearly not used. I’ve used the brush from the original Naked palette which is excellent quality, so I expect this to be the same. There are 12 shades that are the size equivalent of a full-sized eyeshadow. As expected, the shadows are excellent quality – highly pigmented and easy to work with – applying and blending. My top 3 shades have to be:
Blackheart  – a really dark, smokey shade (it’s the last shade in the palette). It has a shimmer through it, and blends beautifully. It really doesn’t compare with anything from previous Naked palettes.
Liar – a shimmery brown-mauve shade, that highlights beautifully with Blackheart, and is really quite a different shade.
Buzz – now this seems to sum up the entirety of the Naked 3 palette – a classic rose-gold shade. I don’t find this as wearable as some of the other shades, but it is quite unique to this palette.

Eyes

 

 

Here’s me looking at you (while wearing Naked 3)…

 

 

Would I buy it again? I can’t see myself needing it again anytime soon, due to my severe addiction to palettes. But yes, I would want this to be in a my makeup collection permanently.
Who would I recommend it to? Palette lovers, and neutrals lovers.
Is it value for money? $US54 is a bargain for 12 full shadows!
How can you get it? Aussie buyers can source this on Beauty Bay for $82.10. If you know anyone travelling to the US, it’s worth requesting! Don’t bother waiting for Sephora Australia, as they have informed us recently that Urban Decay won’t be stocked here. Boo hiss.

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

The US Wishlist: Palettes

So, for those who know my history of beauty loves will know that I am a long-time lover of palettes. One of the first makeup products I ever got as a teenager was an eyeshadow palette from an older, and therefore glamorous cousin. It provided me with hours of fun, and I have never moved on from my palette love. Fast forward over a decade, and Urban Decay introduced their Naked palette, which I think totally transformed the palette market. For so long, palettes were too cheap and nasty to consider as real makeup, and instead were gifts given from older to younger cousins. The Naked Palette began the incredibly competitive market of nude-themed palettes which are still dominating the beauty market.

I’ve picked up the Naked and Naked 2 palettes in previous travels, and am keen to add to my palette collection on my upcoming US trip next month. Unfortunately for my budget, there are many palettes that I want to purchase, and have resisted buying in the 6 months leading up to my trip.

Image The NARSissist Eye Palette
Incredibly expensive here in Aus (around $AUD139 when I last spotted it advertised – which I can’t confirm at the time of writing), and is quite obviously a luxe product. I’m keen to swatch this in store – if there is any on my list I can live without, it’s probably this one. It’s also the most expensive ($US79) on this list, so needs more thought.

Image Urban Decay Naked 3
I am pretty sure I could live without this – I have the first and second one, and was never particularly fussed on the second one. I absolutely adore the first one, think it suits my skin tone, allows for plenty of eye looks and I still have plenty of product. However, I’m a sucker for marketing and frankly, I suffer from FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). I know I probably don’t need it… but I don’t wanna miss out ($US54).

ImageToo Faced Chocolate Bar
I’ve only tried one other Too Faced product, which was the eye primer “Shadow Insurance”. I had a significant allergic reaction to it, my eyes puffed up like crazy, and I ended up having to give it away. This made it really hard to trust the brand, even though I know it was an ingredient in the primer solution, rather than the brand itself. The Chocolate Bar palette looks right up my alley with its gorgeous golden shades and chocolate-y brown shadows. I had a “Treat Yoself” day recently, and was committed to purchasing it locally at Mecca Maxima – it’s completely sold out until May. I can wait one more month and pay US prices ($US49), thanks.

LORAC-PRO-Palette

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lorac Pro 


This is the one I’m most intrigued in – I have no idea where or even if one can source this in Australia at all, so it’s definitely worthy of US investigation. It’s $US42 (for 16 shadows) which brings it in as the cheapest out of these 5 palettes.

Smashbox Full Exposure

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Smashbox Full Exposure

 

This is the one that is a definite on my list. I love Smashbox, I love the matte and shimmer mix, and the pricetag of $US49 isn’t horrifying. I loved the Masterclass 2 Palette, but there are a whole lot of colours in that, that I never ever use. I think this is a more practical upgrade, and one I’ve been interested in for quite a while.

So, that’s it from me for today. It’s a bit of a different post, as I’m really trying hard to avoid buying any new products, and instead trying to research and plan what I need to investigate and pick up in the US.

Line up, line up…

Eyeliner… I love you, and I hate you. When nobody of interest is going to see me on a particular day, you glide on with perfection. When everybody significant in my life is going to see me, you become a raging mess. Why do you do this to me? And why can’t I dump you?

As you can guess, I have a love-hate relationship with eyeliner. Someone recently asked me for some eyeliner recommendations (thanks for the inspiration, MA), so I thought I’d do a multi-product review, which seems to be my thang lately.

Image[Pot on the left is MAC Fluidline in ‘Dipdown’; Top to bottom: Face of Australia High Definition Liquid Eyeliner in ‘Brown’, Sephora Collection Nano Eyeliner in ’01 Midnight Black’, Shu Uemura Liquid Eyeliner Pen in ‘Black’ and Lancome’s Le Crayon Kohl in ‘Noir’]

Now, I use eyeliner basically on a daily basis, and I’ve tried a fair few different eyeliners over the years.. and these are my current favourites, and have been for the past 1-2 years.

MAC Fluidline
This is a gel eyeliner in the most traditional sense – you need a seperate brush to apply it, and it glides on wet, and dries quickly. I absolutely love the MAC Fluidline range, and highly recommend it, despite its high cost. It goes on smoothly, and can be tidied up quite easily before it dries. I find it stays put all day, but comes off without you needing to tear out all your eyelashes from scrubbing. I’ve just got a cheap Models Prefer Angled Eyeliner brush (see below) to apply this – it does the job just fine.

Image

RRP: $32.00 – Available at all MAC counters (Myer) and MAC stores. 

Face of Australia High Definition Liquid Eyeliner
This was a total surprise for me – I had really low expectations. I love to have a brown liquid in my collection at all times, and wear it more regularly than I wear black liner. I’ve been using this for about 4 months, and have been pleasantly surprised. I’m a diehard Face of Australia fan, which is why I trusted the brand, and was so pleased that it went on so easily, and stayed on for the whole day. It’s got a felt-tip applicator, which is perfect for me when I’m rushing to work.
RRP: $11.95 – Available at Priceline. 

Sephora Collection Nano Eyeliner
This was such an adorable and surprising find! I got this in a gift pack from a girlfriend last year who had travelled to Malaysia, and didn’t have big expectations for a Sephora branded mini-product. This doesn’t have the perfect staying power, but what I love about it is that it’s tiny and therefore does an awesome fine line against my lashes. It is a bit smudgey if it’s used for a thicker line, but for a thin line, it’s perfect. It’s beautifully soft, so goes on really nicely, but the softness is where the smudging comes from, in my opinion.
RRP: $5.00 (USD) – Exclusive to Sephora. 

Shu Uemura Liquid Eyeliner Pen
This eyeliner has been my long-time love, and started my love for liquid eyeliners. The tip on this thing is so fine, and gets the most accurate line every time. It has a calligraphy pen-style cartridge that you insert (and therefore replace), and a fibre hair tip. I think this thing needs a bit more Beauty Blogger love – it’s really hard to get in Australia, but easy everywhere else, so I’m surprised it doesn’t get a lot more love. I picked up my first pen in Hong Kong Duty-Free, and have picked up replacement pens and cartridges in Singapore, Dubai, London and Thailand (this isn’t my tale of travel, I just mean it’s quite easy to get for an Australian traveller – these are common destinations or transits).
RRP: $20.00 (USD) – All decent international department stores and Duty Free stores – just look for the Shu Uemura logo (very popular in Asia). 

Lancome Le Crayon Kohl
Finally, this is my most recommended out of the lot. It’s a staple kohl pencil, nothing fancy or complicated like the Shu Uemura or MAC Fluidline. You need a basic pencil sharpener to maintain this thing, and it can be bought easily. Lancome is stocked in Myer and David Jones, and some of the dodgiest and smallest of these chains that I’ve ventured into have managed to have a Lancome counter. It’s not as soft as the Sephora, but that gives it better wearing power – no smudging! It’s one of the only pencils I can easily apply to my extremely sensitive water line, and it softens up enough on application to make it comfortable. It’s expensive, but it’s also very long – so I think you get a lot for your buck, especially when comparing with a mid-range eyeliner that might come in between the $20 and $30 mark.
RRP: $45.00 – Available Myer & David Jones.

Which one would I buy again? The one I’m most tempted to restock for its uniqueness is the Shu Uemura – I love that it gets a super fine line. However, the one I actually couldn’t afford to not have is the Lancome – it’s just such a staple, and so versatile.
Is it value for money? You get a lot of product for your money. Myer is known for it’s 10% off all cosmetics nights/weekends, and Lancome makeup is always included – so you could at least save $4.50 off the RRP.
How can you get it? Myer & David Jones. All the other eyeliners I’ve listed their stockists above.
Which one do I recommend for something different? Hah, what a loaded question. If you’re an experienced eyeliner user, and want a change, try out the Fluidline. I’ve also heard good things about the Loreal gel eyeliner, so that may be worth a try.

 

Now, eyeliner is very important to makeup loving women – do any of my readers have any recommendations or eyeliner loves? If so, I’m always interested in expanding my collection – please comment below! 

So you want to start a brush collection? (Eyes)

Makeup brushes, one of my greatest beauty loves! I have to start the post with thanking my colleague for the inspiration. We were caught in the rain leaving work the other day, and she asked me in passing if there were any MAC brushes I recommended… Errr, makeup brush recommendations in the rain? This is a conversation that needs to be had in drier conditions, because it’s definitely not a quick discussion. Now, she asked about MAC brushes, so it makes sense to naturally start there, and work our way through – this will be part of a series of posts about brushes. Obviously the prices of the brushes I mention today will make most people scream, but fear not, I will eventually get to some more budget options.

My love of brushes started way before my makeup collection grew. It was before the time of YouTube tutorials and #beautybloggers, so I’m not sure where the interest came from – I just had this strong feeling that brushes would be a really key component of my love of makeup. I got my first MAC brush set for my 18th birthday from my brothers – one was travelling overseas quite close to my birthday, so that was my request. 10 years later, I can tell you I still have all the brushes, and use 4 out of the 5 – truly an investment that paid off. They were a little disappointing in that they shed more hair than I expected, but Mr. Google told me that was because they were part of the Special Edition (SE) range, and were of an inferior quality to the full-sized (and therefore full-priced) MAC brushes. I’ve never purchased another SE brush set, and instead saved my pennies for the regular product instead, and the difference in quality is quite noticeable – minimal hair shed, and noticeably softer hair. Anyways, that’s enough about how and why I love brushes.

Today, I’m going to detail 3 excellent eyeshadow brushes that I really rate, and think are worth the investment. They are ridiculous in their  cost, so if you have a friend or family member off to the US, MAC brushes are the thing to request – light and easy to bring back, extremely easy for someone to find for you, and essentially half the price of the Australian pricing.

Image

MAC 217 Blending Brush
This is literally my Holy Grail in eyeshadow brushes. There is really nothing else like it on the market. I’ve even tried to find other MAC brushes that might come quite close (286 Duo Fibre Tapered Blending Brush for those hardcore fans out there), and it didn’t come close. Anybody who loves (or requires, in some people’s cases) a smokey eye, this is the brush for you. If you only buy ONE brush from MAC in your lifetime – make it this one. The difference this makes to any heavy eye look cannot be compared to any other brush in a kit – it softens and really polishes off the look. I personally don’t use it a lot to apply colour (I use the 286 for that), and instead try to keep it as naked as possible, so that it can really do its best blending work with no residual colour present. It’s essentially a fluffy white brush that softens up any harsh lines or over application of shadow, but does this in the most magical way possible.
RRP: $37.00

Image

MAC 239 Eye Shader Brush
Now this is one of the brushes that came in my beloved Special Edition collection all those years ago. It has been used with much love and enthusiasm, so much so that the top of the brush came away from the handle of the brush! Thankfully the brush hairs weren’t effected, and it can still be used – the full-sized one is on my list from the US this year. Now this is your standard eye shadow packer. I have two brushes in this same style – short, but firm and tightly packed hairs. None of this sweeping movement that you get from the 239, but just pure packing on of colour. The hairs are quite thick, so what I like to do is use one side for light shades, and one side for dark shades. Lately my go-to eyeshadow combo has been the Bourjois Cream to Powder shadow as the base, and the Rimmel Scandaleyes in Bad Bronze – so one very light shade, and one very dark shade, but both creamy, so needing lots of packing. One side gets used for the light Bourjois shadow, one side gets used for the darker Bad Bronze shadow – no colour transfer. This has been an everyday work look, so ain’t nobody got time to spot clean a shadow brush!
I don’t think that MAC are the only uses to do such a style of brush – I have a Lancome version that is very similar, but it definitely doesn’t have the firm packing ability that this brush has. I’ve always used this for very dark shades on the outer eyelid, and anytime I’ve used any sort of cream shadow (MAC Paint Pots, for example). So, keep your eyes peeled for a similar brush – keywords being short, thick and firm hairs. If you can’t find it anywhere, go for the MAC one.
RRP: $48.00

Image

219 Pencil Brush
Now, my final brush is just a little favourite of mine – it’s definitely a non-essential, but this also depends on how serious you are about eyeshadow. My favourite feature is definitely my eyes, and I enjoy trying out some different looks, and spending some time on my eye makeup. So, for someone like myself, I think this is worth it. For someone who doesn’t own a single brush, then this is definitely not necessary, and not something I recommend early on. This is another firm-hair brush – but angled like a pencil, as the name suggests. I generally use this on my inner corner, or when I’m doing a really heavy smokey eye, and want to go back towards the inner corner with some lighter shades. It’s precision is amazing – holds product beautifully, and really gets into those smaller spots. I don’t often apply eyeshadow under my bottom lash line, but if I ever do feel compelled, this is the brush for it. I’ve tried the 215 Medium Shader brush for the bottom lash line as well, but that is just too firmly packed for my liking. I have extremely sensitive eyes, so the 219 Pencil Brush has just the right amount of packing to reduce product fall, but still soft enough to use on the more sensitive parts of my eye. I haven’t even investigated any dupes from another other brands, but I’ll keep my eyes peeled to see if there any worthy companions. To be honest, this was a USA request from a friend a few years ago, which is why I frivolously got the MAC version without looking for any cheaper options. Let me know if you’ve seen anything like it.
RRP: $45.00

All MAC products are available at MAC stores and counters (located within Myer) across Australia. They also have an online store which has free shipping for >$100.00 order (and often have >$50.00 free shipping specials).

Thanks for reading the first part of my brush collection series. I did forewarn you that the prices may make you extremely angry, but I feel minimal guilt with MAC brushes. They should last you easily over 10 years, you will start using them every time you want to apply eyeshadow, and you’ll be shocked at what a difference they can make to your final look.

Until next time, readers…

*Disclaimer: Please note that I am not a professional makeup artist – just a simple lover of products. I am merely giving my thoughts and opinions on makeup brushes for the average citizen, as a fellow average citizen.

(All photos in this post courtesy of Google Images)

So shiny and beautiful… Gold.

GOLDAnybody who knows me and my makeup loves, will know that I’m a big lover of gold, and gold toned products. I love doing a gold eye, and think it provides plenty of variety and different looks. One of the first makeup items I remember buying for my own personal collection was a killer shade of gold – single pot design, Face of Australia, $2 from Priceline. My mum was with me and approved of the purchase – perhaps this approval started my love for gold eyeshadows? Who knows.

That single pot of gold eyeshadow got me through my glory years of high school and probably fed my addiction to eyeshadows on an everyday basis. While all the other girls were lining their water lines and lash lines in the school toilets, I was coming from home with this undetectable shade of gold with some light mascara. To this day, I wear eyeshadow on a daily basis, and love playing around with different looks and shades… But I can’t get away from gold. I’ve thought for a long time that I was set in the gold department – Urban Decay Naked palettes, a Napolean Perdis gold quad, a Clinique quad, some single pots… But I can never get enough.

In my Priceline haul a fortnight ago, I had the pleasure of finding a new gold shadow worth trialling. Bourjois Colour Edition 24H Cream-To-Shadow is, as it claims, a cream to powder shadow. It’s currently available in 3 shades (a tea pink shade, this gold shade ‘Petale de glace’ and a navy shade), however my international research tells me some more colours may hit our shores later this year (and unlike the Maybelline Colour Tattoo, there will be no hideous bright teal and other unusable inclusions). The texture in the pan is quite firm, which meant I had to do some firm packing of the shadow onto my eyelid, but the colour result is pretty good. Definitely needs to be paired with a primer to ensure no creasing.

This product was a worthy addition to my gold collection. Goes on so smoothly, with just the right level of shimmer. I’m not into super glittery eyeshadows or any look described as “dewy” “glowing” or with a “hint of shine” – I want a highlight, but not all of tha’ lights. This gives the right amount, and it is really easy to work with. I’ve got a handful of paint pots by MAC, which are obviously amazing, but require a lot of effort to be used well – I’m pretty good with approaching morning makeup, I love to experiment with looks, but I’ll never reach for a paint pot midweek – that’s definitely a weekend product. The Bourjois 24H shadow is a worthy entrant to the midweek cream eyeshadow. It definitely has the finish of a powder shadow which suits my oily eyelids just fine!
Next Bourjois sale, the navy shadow will be mine.

Would I buy it again? There is plenty of product, so I won’t need anymore for a long time – but I would definitely buy this particular line of shadows in the navy shade next.
Who would I recommend this to? Lovers of cream shadows who simultaneously are oily skin sufferers – the powder finish helps keep any creasing to a minimum.
Is it value for money? RRP is $22.00, which is a bit steep. But think of it like this – Chanel and Bourjois are owned by the same company. So it’s a great price for a Chanel associated brand (I know, I’m clutching at straws). I bought it from Priceline at the 40% off cosmetics sale, so got it for $13.20.
How can you get it? Your local Priceline store if it stocks Bourjois. Otherwise, you may be able to snag this product on Asos.

Mascara Wars: Rimmel vs. Loreal

Although I love eye makeup and eye products, I’ve never been very fussy with mascaras. I have never been committed to one type or brand, and am constantly trying out new ones. Rimmel is a brand I return to time and time again, simply due to the cost and variety they offer. The time frame for mascara use is only 3 months, and although I’m not that rigid about it, I do generally use a decent mascara endlessly for 3 months, and retire it fairly soon after the 3 month mark.

In recent months, I’ve trialled these two mascaras, as I embark on a hunt for a decently priced mascara. 3 months is not a long time to get bang for your buck, so I think mascara is worth saving your money on, unless you are a very dedicated one-mascara user, which unfortunately does not describe me. In the higher end brands, I think there is a range of great mascaras, my personal favourites being Lancome Hypnose and Christian Dior’s Dior Show (I mention these two from experience – there are many I’ve yet to try). The great thing when trialling a mascara is that you can tell very quickly if it’s any good; of course this is also a negative, because if you have a dud, you’ll know very quickly, and have early days buyer’s remorse.

ImageMoving along, the two mascaras I tried were Rimmel’s Lash Accelerator Endless, and Loreal’s False Lash Telescopic. I’ve only had the Loreal one for about 2 weeks, but remember what I said about early indicators? The same, unfortunately, goes for the Lash Accelerator.

Loreal’s Falsh Lash Telescopic won this round, hands down. It is a great day time mascara! I personally don’t think it does enough to my eyelashes for a heavy eye look, but for a decent coat for a day of work or leisure, it’s a great choice. Coats the lashes perfectly, adds a decent amount of length, and the pièce de résistance – no clumping or flaking! At the end of the day, the mascara is where you put it at the start of the day. I have suffered a lot from flaking recently, so much so that I had decided it was my eyelashes and under eyes that was causing this; no no, it was the mascara.

Rimmel’s Lash Accelerator Endless did all the stuff I mentioned above, in reverse. It clumped, it flaked, it didn’t add any length or volume, and needed heavy handling to actually coat the lashes. What I found most surprising was that it somehow managed to make my eyelashes look thinner and spidery, which is hardly the look I wanted. I actually quite liked the packaging despite how ordinary it looks in the photo – I thought it was a nice change to the usual fat tube marketed by Rimmel.

Loreal False Lash Telescopic Mascara
Would I buy it again? Sure thing – but not anytime soon, as I am going to continue my mascara hunt.
Who would I recommend this to? Anybody starting to doubt their eyelash or under eye condition; anyone in the market for a decent lengthening mascara.
Is it value for money? I got it on special from Priceline for $18, which was well worth it.
How can you get it? Any self-respecting Loreal counter will stock this cult-ish item.

As always, thank you for reading. I’m looking for some blog inspiration, so please comment below if there is anything you’d like me to write about, or a product line which makes you curious.