July Favourites 2014

Friday, August 1, 2014

You've more than likely heard this at the start of every favourites post this month but I really can't believe July is already over. There were so many products I loved this month it was so hard to narrow them all down!

I picked up these two NYX Jumbo Eye Pencils in Cashmere and Sparkle Nude. They've been my go-to duo when I'm in a rush and it makes me feel like I just rediscovered jumbo eye pencils again (always a great feeling).

I reviewed NP Set Eyeshadow palette in Atlanta a week ago here and I've been loving it so much I couldn't leave it out of this post. It makes things so convenient because I can just chuck it in my bag if I'm staying somewhere overnight and it's all the eyshadow I'll need! Miss Dior has pretty much been my signature scent of the month. I can see myself repurchasing this soon as it's already halfway gone (cries). It's such a lovely, sweet and feminine scent. I can't get enough of it!

I was in desperate need of a light powder to set my under eye highlight while I left my Australis one at home whilst on a trip and came across the Maybelline Fit Me Pressed Powder. The reason why I loved it so much is because of the colour selection. I've never been able to find a decent drugstore pressed powder that has no yellow or pink tone to it. Of course being Winter, my skin has been leaning more towards the dry side. I've taken up a few new skincare routines to see what works best for me and I've incorporated the Antipodes Vanilla Pod Hydrating Day cream into the mix. I've honestly found it so hydrating for my skin and it's just always in my handbag these days.

My new favourite eye base has been MAC's paint pot in 'Mooncake'. This was actually part of their Baking Beauties collection last year (one of my favourites ever!). I just find MAC's paint pots so much easier to use rather than Maybelline Color Tattoos. My room is quite cold and I find the color tattoos go very hard and I find it difficult to blend them or pick up any colour - where as the paint pots always stay a smooth and creamy consistency.

Finally, I tested out the much raved about Chanel Vitalumiere foundation in a sample. I'll definitely be going back for the full size version as I loved it so much. I think it'd be perfect once it starts warming up as it feels very lightweight but still delivers a medium coverage for me.

Sanctuary Spa 5 Minute Thermal Detox Mask Review

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Ever since I first heard of self-heating masks, I've been very intrigued by them so when I was sent Sanctuary Spa's 5 Minute Thermal Detox Mask* I was more than excited to try it. This mask promises to leave your skin clean and purified as well as rebalance the skin's oil levels to clarify, cleanse and give soft skin. The mask is made up of charcoal and koalin clay which is supposed to help draw out impurities from deep within the skin.

How it works is that you have to dampen your face a bit and then begin to massage on a thin layer (and trust me, you only need a thin layer!). By this point, the mask will begin to warm up. It doesn't heat up to an uncomfortable heat if some of you are wondering, but just enough to feel it is opening and cleaning your pores. I actually quite liked the feeling! Do take into note that this mask does not dry like other masks, it just becomes firm. After a few minutes, you'll notice the mask starts to cool down and by 5 minutes it'll be ready to be washed off.

Once I patted my face dry with a towel I could already see the results. My skin felt so incredibly soft, just like it does once I've had a facial. I've used a lot of face masks in the past but none have left my face feeling as silky as this one does. The directions are that you use this mask twice a week like most other face masks.

I believe this mask works best on people with more oily skin rather than dry. I have combination skin and prefer to use it on the oily areas to help decongest them. It retails at $19.95 AU for 100ml and you can find it at Priceline pharmacies. Considering you only need a small amount of product, I think it's great value for your money especially compared to some other masks. This is the first product I've tried from Sanctuary Spa and I'm very impressed. I'll definitely be trying out some other things from their range now!

Most Loved Concealers | Drugstore

Monday, July 28, 2014

Concealers are something that I never used to use until I actually started getting into makeup. I honestly am not too sure how I ever lived without them because they are one of the most staple makeup items. I can safely say I've turned into a massive concealer hoarder and today I'm going to share with you two of my most loved concealers.

I've chosen two because I use both of these with each other. I've found these two concealers compliment each other when looking to highlight under your eyes.  However, you can of course always choose to wear them individually.

As you can see I've almost run out of Maybelline's Instant Age Rewind, and it's my third repurchase! That's probably the downfall with this product - it tends to run out really quickly. On the other hand, Rimmel's Wake Me Up has lasted so long which is honestly amazing and so convenient considering I use it on a daily basis. Sometimes twice a day. I use Wake Me Up right under my eyes to cover up any dark circles and add brightness and then blend in Instant Age Rewind on my upper cheek to add highlight (great for contouring too!). As these are used for highlighting under eye areas, they need to be much lighter than your skin tone. These are both in shades of Ivory (the lightest shades in each range).

Left: Rimmel Wake Me Up - $14.95 | Right: Maybelline Age Rewind  - $18.95

Rimmel's Wake Me Up is a much creamier, thicker and yellow-toned concealer. It covers up any dark circles as it is heavy coverage but at the same time blends into your skin and feels lighter than it is. It's probably my favourite out of the two and I find it works on all skin types. I really like the applicator as I quickly do 3 lines around my eyes, blend in and I'm done. Maybeline's Age Rewind is a bit more pink-toned and lighter in it's colour and coverage. The great thing about this one though is that you can build it up, it just requires more product. In my opinion, it's more suited to contouring and perfect for creating that under eye highlighting and covers more skin.  However, I'm on the fence about the applicator. Its broken on me once before and I've found it not too reliable so it's best to take your time and use a light hand which is sometimes a bit inconvenient.

Make sure when applying under eye concealer you set them with a light powder. I use Australis' face powder in the lightest shade and find it definitely extends the longevity of the concealers and stops it from creasing or moving throughout the day.

What is your favourite drugstore concealer? Have you tried either of these?

Ebay Makeup Brushes

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Being labelled as 'Sigma dupes' I couldn't resist buying myself a set of these off eBay a couple weeks ago. I was originally only going to buy a few to test out but of course I convinced myself into thinking I needed the entire set. Plus I'm a sucker for any type of dupe so these were right up my alley. Now, Sigma have to be one of my favourite makeup brush brands and I'd recommend them to anyone starting off at makeup or even at a professional level. In my opinion, I find them the same or if not better quality than MAC brushes which retail at double the price.

First off, let me just point out that this set only cost me $10! How crazy is that. And yes, that's including shipping too. Still can't get over it. I purchased the 8 piece set but you can also get them individually or in 4 piece sets as well. They come in all different colours and I opted for gold so I'm able to differentiate them from my other brushes which all seem to be silver (smart thinking hey). They're made of wood and are all synthetic hair brushes.

I've also noticed a remarkable resemblance to the xoBeauty brushes by Shaaanxo and so have other people after looking up reviews and comparisons which has sparked some controversy. Her brush sets here are literally identical to these ones - including the quality, design and colours. Considering this set would cost you $130 with xoBeauty, I'd be really disappointed to find out that they are the same brushes (which I'm pretty much convinced they are) and the only difference is the label.

I've washed them once since getting them and I've had close to no fallout which I'm really impressed about. They feel so incredibly soft which is not at all what I was expecting. I spent the first 10 minutes just brushing them across my face (which I think is completely normal considering their softness... trust me you'd do the same ;)

These brushes took a bit of getting used to after using Sigma synthetic brushes religiously. They do work so nicely if you're looking for a more affordable alternative. They're soft, blend out smoothly and apply products quite well. However, they aren't very dense which is a bit of a shame. The hair is a bit too long for my liking and there isn't enough of it in the brush. If I push the bristles all to one side I can see a bit of a gap where there is space for extra bristles. In saying that, it's pretty much the only downfall here and at just over $1 a brush - how can you really complain! Just make sure to use a lighter hand :)

Angled Kabuki - This is a great brush for contouring and buffing blush or bronzer into the skin. It works best with cream or liquid products.

Tapered Kabuki - This would probably have to be my favourite brush out of the set. I've been using it to apply under eye brightener or liquid/cream highlighters.

Flat Kabuki - This is supposed to be used for foundation but I don't find it works that well. However, it's great for blending or buffing out bronzer or blush (especially if you've put too much!) and for applying powders on the face.

Round Kabuki - I find this one works best to apply your liquid foundation with. Just dab and buff it in around your face and voila!

I wasn't as impressed with these brushes as I was the others. I don't think I'll be getting much use out of them and the Precision Flat brush as it is no where near dense enough. There aren't enough bristles on the brush. Personally, besides the tapered brush, I find these brushes a bit unnecessary and they aren't as precise as I'd like them to be.

Precision Flat - It's supposed to be used to stipple concealer on sun spots and blemishes but I don't find it works well at all.

Precision Tapered - This is a great little brush to apply concealer around the eyes and nose, chin, around the mouth and hard to reach places.

Precision Round - This is used to apply eye shadow base or primer onto the lid.

Precision Angled - Used to contour the nose with cream or liquid products. The round and angled precision brushes could also pretty much be used for the same thing!

If you'd like, you can check them out on eBay here. They ship from China and took about 12-14 days to Australia. Of course, you can always find many other sellers that ship the same brushes for different prices. This was just the lowest I could find at the time :)

NP Set Eyeshadows

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

On my last shopping trip I managed to pick up a couple pieces from Napoleon Perdis Set Cosmetics. I've never tried any of their eyeshadow palettes or duos before so I really didn't know what to expect. I purchased the Eye palette in 'Atlanta' and the duo palette in 'Saint Croix'. For those who don't know, NP Set Cosmetics is a second cosmetics line from Napoleon Perdis that's available in drugstores. I believe they retail in Australia, New Zealand, the US and Canada.

Eyeshadow duo in Saint Croix, $11.20
A gorgeous duo of a pearly pink and shimmery grayish plum, I really liked the packaging of these. As you can see from the swatch, the pigmentation is amazing. The formula is described as silky and long-lasting which this duo definitely lives up to. A bit pricier than most drugstore duos but you certainly get your moneys worth. I've only worn these a few times as I don't find myself reaching for it that often because I naturally gravitate towards my bronze neutrals (...how exciting). I think they'd compliment any eye colour well and as they do have shimmer in them, I find it looks gorgeous for any night-time smokey looks. If you're looking to try and step out of always wearing bronze shades like me, you should give this one a go!

Eyeshadow palette in Atlanta, $17.50
At first impressions, I wasn't a big fan of the packaging of this one. The embossing of the stars in each individual eyeshadow just seemed a bit tacky to me. Apart from that, I do like the rest of the packaging. It's very simple and sleek. It came with a little two-sided brush however as usual, quite bad quality and I think I'll end up just throwing it out to be honest. As you can see, I've been reaching for this palette more often than the other because they're more suited to everyday. The colours are really gorgeous, blend nicely and are complimentary of each other. I use the lightest shade on the lid, the middle one in the crease and the darkest shade in the outer corners of my eyes blending into the crease. Not as pigmented as the duo but still a great purchase, especially if you're just a beginner at makeup.
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