Beat Yo’self 30

The 30th season has well and truly arrived, and it includes my own movement into the next decade. What better way to celebrate than to “beat my face” and also engage in “treat yo’self”! This post is going to be link heavy, but I don’t pretend to be someone who does tutorials, nor am I going to do a tutorial better than Lisa Eldridge or Wayne Goss – just go to the originals! So here are my go-to tutorials and tips if you want to give yourself a bit of extra oomph for a 30th (although this is not restricted to 30th’s only!).

CONTOUR

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How to Contour Like a Pro – Invisible

Wayne Goss is amazing, and this tutorial is #onpoint. I love the idea of contouring, but am so anti sharp lines and cake face (as I’ve said before, you are not a bakery!). I watched this video once, used Wayne’s techniques and was loving myself sick instantly. This is perfect for someone who wants to have dimension, but is acutely aware that most 30 year olds don’t want a drag look.

COLOUR

The beauty of the summer party season is that anything goes! I think the lighter the better, but if you’re into bold colours, that works as well. I’m really not into tanning, bronzers, sun kissed skin and so on, but colour is important! There is NO excuse to be pale at a party during summer! This does NOT mean you need a fake tan, it does not mean you need to wear a darker foundation – it just means you need to consider some dimension and glow. I love porcelain complexions and think it can be so ultrachic. If you are a MAC NC10-type (i.e. very fair) go for a Clinique Cheek Pop. They are so cute, perfect for Spring/Summer and completely useless for my complexion!

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The Summer Edit | ViviannaDoesMakeup

Vivianna is a gorgeous British blogger/Youtuber and has great tips if you want something subtle or are really concerned about looking clownish.

For those blessed with more tanned complexions or want something with a bit more pop, you will never go wrong with the NARS cult classics – Orgasm and Deep Throat – they have a summery shimmer without looking like you’ve massacred yourself in body glitter (those reading who are 30 will definitely recall the Body Glitter Craze of 2000). Screen Shot 2016-02-19 at 10.38.11 pm.png

EYES

Those who know me well know how much I love colour on the eyes – but it’s tough during summer. Sydney summer’s can be hard work – humid one hour, 40 degrees the next hour, pouring rain the 3rd hour and then bizarrely cool 4 hours later. This is a lethal combination to anyone who is prone to oiliness – eyeshadow creases and panda eyes. I honestly don’t know if a particular product can help all of these rapid climate changes, so less colour is more when you aren’t confident re: the staying power. Feline eyes will never go out of fashion, so go for it. Make sure your eyeliner won’t budge (go for liquid or gel) and keep it simple and chic. One of the simplest yet best tutorials I’ve seen on a feline eye (and I promise you, I’ve watched loads!) is this one by Charlotte Tilbury.

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The Feline Flick |Charlotte Tilbury

LIPS

It’s summer and either you are 30, or you are about to enjoy the company of 30 year olds – you can do a bold lip! Red, orange red, pink, berry, purple – whatever you want!

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Easy Summertime Pink Makeup Tutorial

Honestly, look up any of Lisa’s lips tutorials – whatever look you go for, just make sure your cheeks balance it out – you do not want to look washed out! A good tip is if you are going for a bold lip, do them first so you can get a feel for how much colour is needed on your cheeks.

I’m told that the greatest joy of entering your 30’s is that you basically don’t give a hoot anymore about the things that really don’t matter. What a thrilling thought and I think it rings true for makeup as well! If you are 30, you have been wearing some form of makeup for more than half of your life – you got this! These are just some tips if you are hitting the party circuit, but do whatever it is that you want. Enjoy!

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… 

 

March into the Long Weekend…

Hello Easter Long Weekend – one of my favourite times of the year! It’s way less fussy than Christmas, the weather is starting to cool and people are generally quite relaxed and ready to enjoy some time off. Oh, and the shops are open and retailers are working hard for decent sales, so shopping on Easter weekend is a must for me. I’ll be part of the hoards of people at the shops on Saturday, and most likely Monday as well – if everyone is going to the shops, I’m going too!

So, this weekend, I’m giving you my favourite products from March. I’m not really into ‘monthly favourites’ (because I think they are usually garbage – unless you literally change all your products every month, how do these reviewers decide that a product is decent or not within a 4 week period?), but I wanted to mention a few products I’ve had for a few months, that I decided within the month of March were worth a rave. If you are a nutter like me and planning to hit the shops for a browse this weekend, check them out!

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First up is the Chanel Illusion D’Ombre cream shadow. Now, this dodgy photo does not do this product justice, so I do apologise! This stuff is long-wear and absolutely divine. It comes with its own little brush, which I haven’t used – have I mentioned how I love to hoard things and keep them perfect and new forever? This is a stand-alone product – you really don’t need to layer it with any other shadows or colours, it has so much dimension and depth to it. I’m a complete lover of eyeshadow and colour, so it’s a big deal for me to think something should be worn on its own! I have Shade 83 Illusoire which is a purple-grey shade and has a really beautiful shimmer in it. I picked this up at Macy’s in Hawaii, but it can be sourced here in Australia at David Jones – RRP $48.00. A total splurge but honestly worth it!

20150403_114938Next up is the Make Up For Ever Aqua Lip pencil. This came in some 50 Shades of Grey gift pack (Sephora, Hawaii), but don’t let that turn you off. This pencil is divine – I’m rarely impressed by an expensive lip pencil, but this is worth the $$$. I have Shade 3C, which is a great nude shade for my skin tone. The quality of this pencil, and the fact that it is truly waterproof makes it worth the hunt. This brand and line of product should be available at Sephora Australia (Sydney). RRP is a bit unclear, but it’s listed at $28.00 on Strawberrynet.

20150403_115158Ooooooh, Real Techniques – you have renewed my teenage love of Priceline tools. Since hitting my adult years, I’ve been a loyal lover of MAC brushes but Real Techniques are worth the hype! This dodgy picture is the Contour Brush, which is part of the Flawless Core Collection – which means it has to be purchased within a pack. Don’t let that worry you – the Core Collection is excellent and includes my number #1 brush of the moment – the Buffing brush! If you are lovin’ contouring like most of the devoted makeup population currently is, you will love this brush. The collection of brushes have an RRP of $44.99 and can be found in Priceline – like all good Priceline products, wait for a sale of some sort!

20150403_115051To nobody’s surprise, my final pick is a bright lip stain! This was one of the first Revlon balms I ever purchased, and I was bitterly disappointed – I hate glitter finishes (shimmer being completely different, obviously) and this balm has some sort of glittery shine to it – ugh. It turns out that I don’t mind it in the cooler weather – there is something about this that makes it suited for the Autumn months – go figure. This is Shade 115 Whimsical – I paired it with the Rimmel lip liner ‘Indian Pink’ and it was perfect for a long day at work. It’s RRP is $17.95 but read above for my thoughts on Priceline prices.

Anyways, wishing you all a lovely Easter weekend! I’d love to know if there’s anything you’ve discovered recently that you rate – maybe I will become one of those bloggers who reviews new products every 4 weeks?!

And as always, if irritation occurs, discontinue use…

40% off, you say?

You must be living under a social media-free rock if you haven’t heard about the Priceline cosmetics sale this week. Check out #pricelinehaul, #priceline #bbloggersau and you will see lots of Priceline love! I’ve become a big fan of the 40% off cosmetics sales, and since the RRP is pretty controlled for cosmetics, I think you generally do get a good deal (unlike their perfume sales). They always market it as a 2-day sale, and it is usually on Tuesday/Wednesday, so requires some careful planning for those that work Mon-Fri, 9-5. Luckily, Priceline is incredibly accessible and can quite often be visited during a lunch break.

So, we’ve got one more day of the sale, and here are my little raves and rants about what I think you should check out (sale goes until 11.59pm online, and until COB in store).

Bourjois – I am a huge fan of this entire brand, and it hardly goes on sale compared with the other Priceline brands. The 40% off sale is the best time to check out this stand – this sale is about stocking up as well as trying something new! I recommend trying a foundation or a blush from this brand (foundations come down to around the $20 mark, and blush is $12.00 on sale). Plus, this stand seems to get very little love at this huge sale, so you’ll get some peace and quiet here. I picked up the Felt Tip Liner for $14 yesterday, but haven’t tried it yet, so can’t recommend it.

L’Oreal – I’m not a huge L’Oreal user, but again, this is the time to try something new. I really rate the False Lash Telescopic mascara which comes down to $16.17 on sale. They had some other gorgeous stuff that I was interested in yesterday, but their stock levels were really low. If anyone is after a nude lipstick and has an olive skin tone, check out the Colour Riche Lipstick by Freida Pinto. I found the tester and fell in love, but no unopened stock unfortunately.

Revlon – Do not be tricked into the Lip Butter at this sale! It is really easy to pick up a Butter for $10, so 40% off at $13 is not a steal. Everyone is loving the Gel Envy range, but I found it chipped really quickly – this may be the fault of my application technique, so I’m just leaving this at the moment. It can also be picked up for some good deals lately, so not a major temptation for me. I really like the Photoready BB Cream Skin Perfecter ($14.97 on sale), but only recommended for those who want light coverage and a dewy finish!

Rimmel – I’m a massive Rimmel lover, but this brand goes on sale a lot, so I always found the attention it gets at these sales very surprising. You can pick up Rimmel at 40% off so often, so don’t waste your time here unless you are restocking! But if you insist on buying something this week, the Salon Pro nail polishes are great, and the Apocolips range has expanded to some matte finish products, so these may be worth checking out (all testers gone at my local Pricey!).

Essie – This is where you should make some serious savings! These don’t go on sale at a 40% drop very often, they are almost always neglected at these sales (as a lot of people don’t realise nail polish is included in cosmetics), and they are well worth the attention. Regular readers will know I love Essie polish, so no surprise I picked up some things yesterday. I really recommend trying out the Good to Go topcoat – perfect for late night nail polish appliers like myself ($10.77 on sale).

Australis – I know it’s almost cliché to mention this product, but it’s my duty to make sure it’s included for anyone who may not know about it! The AC On Tour kit is a powder contour kit that you can pick up for $10.17 at this sale. It’s not exactly Anastasia Beverly Hills, but it’s pretty bloody good for $10! Even if you don’t love it, you will enjoy playing around with it, and for makeup lovers like myself, it’s an exciting little purchase to take home, because nothing else in Priceline is quite like it. The stock at my local Priceline was crazy, so you shouldn’t have too much trouble getting your hands on it like people did last year.

Anyways, those are just some of my recommendations, I’d love to know what everyone else picked up, so please comment and share below! My love for makeup is like a disease, so let me know if you recommend anything I should check out today (I have until 11.59pm!).

PL Collage

Best of 2014

Happy new year, readers! Hope you have all been enjoying some sort of break, whether you celebrate Christmas or not. I personally don’t celebrate (though I do enjoy it, possibly due to my love of shiny things), so I headed to Hawaii for a beach break. Regular readers will know that I love the USA, and need little encouragement to visit. The Australian dollar isn’t quite as strong as it has been in the past, but Hawaii did not fail me with it’s offerings. I was flying for NYE, which suited me just fine, because I’m a bit of a NYE grinch.

So as 2015 rolls in, I think it’s customary for bloggers to post their 2014 favourites… right? I drafted this very easily, so turns out I had some very clear favourites in 2014. I selected one clear standout product in each category of Skincare, Eyes, Face, Lips, Hair & Nails.

Best of 2014

Skincare Clarins HydraQuench Cream
This stuff is so gorgeous and was a late-2014 discovery. I picked up a Christmas gift set that included this cream, the matching serum and a third item I haven’t even taken out of the bag yet. This cream is extremely hydrating, sinks into the skin beautifully and feels amazing. My only gripe is the packaging – I hate jars you have to dip your fingers into, as it doesn’t seem that hygienic plus I find I use a lot more product. Clarins does great skincare and is really easy to find in department stores and salons. This cream retails at $65.00 [Myer]. Not the cheapest product, but it’s worth the $$$.

Eyes Stila Magnificent Metals Foil Finish Eyeshadow
I did a whole blog post on this, so it’s probably not a big surprise to regular readers that it’s a favourite. This stuff is fiddly to use, definitely not an item for everyday and is crazy expensive – but I haven’t seen much else on the market that does the same job. Retails for $44.00 [Mecca Cosmetica].

Face Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette
2014 saw me increase my highlighter use as part of my everyday routine. Now I’m addicted to using it to add some colour to my face without adding blush. It really adds dimension to my face, and helps fake a healthy glow. I had read a lot about this highlighting palette before picking it up in the US, and after first use I realised why it was the holy grail for so many beauty bloggers. The powder is like velvet, and the tiniest bit goes a long way. Face palettes can sometimes be rubbish, because they try to cater for too many skin tones, but this palette seems universal. Retails for $76.00 [Mecca Cosmetica].

Lips Rimmel Exaggerate Lip Liner
Finally something that does not cost a bomb! I’ve been a long time lover of Rimmel as a brand, but this was my first year of buying the Exaggerate lip liner – which is their automatic wind up pencil. I generally don’t like automatic pencils because I feel they never have a decent point and the wind up mechanism can die before the pencil runs out – but Rimmel does not fail. I picked up the nude shade (the shade name escapes me now) and it quickly became everyday wear. I can’t think of any other product that I used to completion in 2014, but this little number got used up. Not much thinking or risk involved for a product that retails at $12.50 [Priceline].

Hair Moroccan Oil Intense Hydrating Mask
This is another product that made it from a single blog post to the favourites list. When I used it on its own, I liked it, but didn’t love it. Recently I used it in conjunction with a toning shampoo (I’ve become addicted to blonde ombre in 2014 also), and the results were magnificent. Anyone who has ever used a toning shampoo will know that their hair will turn to straw immediately. I used this straight after using the Fudge Purple Shampoo, and not only did my blonde ends look better but my hair felt better than before! Retails for $49.50 [Skincare Store].

Nails Essie Good To Go Topcoat
This may be boring to some, but anyone who loves painting their nails like me will know there is nothing worse than painting your nails and then managing to bump the paint an hour later. This topcoat is fast drying without chipping easily like some other fast-drying polishes do. Extremely shiny, and maintains a manicure for 5-7 days; retails for $17.95 [Priceline].

So that’s it for me! Thank you for those who have been reading along in 2014 – I really appreciate you reading my beauty raves and rants, and look forward to sharing more in 2015.

And remember – 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.

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.

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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

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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

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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)