Recent Lipstick Wrap Up – Swatches, Reviews and a Whole Lotta Lip Stuff

I was waiting to post this until some gorgeous friends returned from the US with a lipstick delivery for me – Mac’s Colour Rocker collection was going to fall into my hands, and we all knew it was inevitable. While I talk about those new arrivals, I figured it was also a great time to discuss some other brand new (and less brand new stuff): new additions to the excellent Sephora Cream Lip Stain collection, the Smashbox Always On liquid lipsticks and Winky Lux lipsticks that just launched at Mecca, Rimmel’s matte iterations of their Only One lipsticks and the Sugarpill liquid lipsticks that I’ve had since returning from the US and have so much to say about but have yet to form thoughts into some semblance of coherency.

Here are the swatches! There’s a certain colour palette evident in them that gives you a nice idea of what I’ve been gravitating towards recently.

17200647_10155217968930039_1634391980_o
L-R: MAC Yash, MAC Show and Teal, MAC Deep with Envy, Rimmel 750 Look Who’s Talking, Rimmel 500 Take the Stage, Winky Lux Mermaid — Sugarpill Trinket, Sugarpill Pumpkin Spice, Sephora 17 Dark Red, Sephora 29 Dark Forest, Smashbox Out Loud

Bullets, then liquids. With my hair newly dyed, a lot more green in it, I’ve been gravitating towards dark teal and emerald shades. I’ve also been going for no makeup more often on my days off, when I’ll tend to just do a red lip or a neutral tone. I was also on a quest for the perfect burnt orange, which I think I’ve found.

Bullet Lipsticks

bullets.jpg

Mac Yash (Permanent, top left) – Despite owning a frankly preposterous amount of lipsticks, it might shock you to know that I do not think that there are really…any real nudes in the bunch. There are a lot of brown-neutrals, which tend to be what I reach for in place of nudes, but they tend to be too strong and have too prominent tones on the odd occasion I want to play with a dark eye. I love the Mac matte formula, and looking at lots of swatches on lots of skintones, I decided that Yash was what I was looking for. It’s glorious, and just a notch past corpsey. I definitely won’t wear this on my palest and sickliest of days – the days where Crohn’s has ripped all of my life force out of me – but it’s something I feel like was actually missing from my extensive and ridiculous collection.

Mac Show and Teal (Limited edition, top right) – As far as teals go, I probably own more than one person should. There’s something lovely about this one – it teeters between a true teal and a sky blue. I didn’t have problems with opacity or adherence to my lips, but I did find it quite slippery for a Mac matte. This will be fairly high maintenance, because of that slip combined with the unforgiving colour. It’s the things we do for weirdness.

Mac Deep with Envy (Limited edition, middle left) – This colour makes me froth with glee. Just thinking about it excites me. It is definitely drier than Show and Teal or Yash, shows through a little more of the lip, takes a bit more layering…the payoff is that it lasts really nicely for such a wacky colour. With good lip prep, ensuring that my lips aren’t stained, it’s perfect. Just that colour, straddling the line between teal and forest green, almost with some blackness to it.

Rimmel The Only One Matte lipstick in 750 Look Who’s Talking (Permanent, middle right) – Speaking of the brown toned neutrals I tend to reach for instead of nudes, here’s one! I used my priceline voucher this quarter to try out this new branch of Rimmel lipsticks, but I wasn’t worried: the Kate Moss matte lipsticks are some of the best matte lipsticks at affordable pricing. These still have that typical Rimmel lipstick smell, but the formula is excellent – smooth and opaque, great lasting power, intensely comfortable. Not as matte as a Mac matte, but definitely something. I actually like these flat angled bullet shapes. Provided you’ve got fairly full lips, they allow for quite easy application.

Rimmel The Only One Matte lipstick in 500 Take the Stage (Permanent, bottom left) – I didn’t at all need another red lipstick. Particularly one like this, that is quite pink toned and shares a lot of DNA with lipsticks like Ruby Woo and all of its leagues of imitators. I absolutely have no need for this, but it is a completely practical lipstick for the everyday consumer, and I would definitely recommend this or one of the Maybelline Mattes as a nice staple that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.

Winky Lux Matte Lip Velour in Mermaid (Permanent, bottom right) – Let’s all stop and take a moment to acknowledge that this is absolutely not a matte lipstick. Lies and slander, Winky Lux. It is, however, a gorgeous colour. It’s Show and Teal and Deep with Envy had a baby in a cream finish. I’ll forever find justifications for different shades of teal. It’s dark but not gothic, and it’s kind of a nice change to have some dimension.

Matte Liquid Lipsticks

liquids.jpg

Sugarpill Liquid Lip Color in Trinket (Permanent, top left just after initial application; top right after slight rubbing with finger to show gold glitter) – You’d think “Trinket is way too neutral for Sara” but you’d be wrong. I fell in love with this lipstick the moment I saw it on a gorgeous waitress in a seedy sports bar in Honolulu. We talked about it for fifteen solid minutes, she let me swatch it, and it was love. It’s mostly the way it transforms as it wears that bewitches me. It starts neutral-with-a-twist and gradually gets more and more golden, which is why I put two swatches there. It wears beautifully, but I do wish the colour to the base was a little stronger so that the colour didn’t lose itself to the micro glitter over time.

Sugarpill Liquid Lip Color in Pumpkin Spice (Limited edition, middle left) – I caved to all of the beautiful photos of this lipstick, despite knowing that gold is not really my colour. Sadly, this colour did what I dreaded it would do, and went on a bit sheerer than it looked like it would. It’s a lot more liquid than Trinket, and somehow the orange tones don’t transfer as much so it’s more neutral gold than pumpkin. Talking pumpkin, the pumpkin spice scent is heavy – if you’re sensitive on the lips, the cinnamon in this is definitely irritating on delicate sorts. With the metallic finish, it also wears away a lot faster than Trinket.

Sephora Cream Lip Stain in 17 Dark Red (Permanent, middle right) – It looks like the collection expansion that came to Australia is different to the shade expansion that the US got. It’s a bummer in that the more fun shades, other than the black, haven’t reached Australian shores, but on the bright side – different shades to explore that don’t seem to be around in the states. This dark red shade is not that dark, but it’s darker than 01 Always Red (the best red liquid lipstick about), which makes it perfect for me. Like the rest of the lipsticks in this formula, sans the few weird ones in the original collection, it’s opaque and comfortable and wears spectacularly and smells like cake. It’s become a new everyday colour for me.

Sephora Cream Lip Stain in 29 Dark Forest (Permanent, bottom left) – Very much the liquid lipstick version of Deep with Envy, so my platonic ideal of a lipstick. Great formula, obviously takes a tiny bit more work because the colour is so bold, and wears away a little more quickly.

Smashbox Always On Liquid Lipstick in Out Loud (Permanent, bottom right) – I had heard such great things about this formula but the brown shade, True Grit, underwhelmed me and got a little flaky. With my recent gravitation towards anything burnt orange, I was excited that these finally hit Australian shelves and I got to put a Mecca voucher I had towards trying out what I’ve seen to be the standout shade from the range. Thankfully, this is incredibly comfortable – it feels like one of the Sephora brand ones on the lips. I’m not hugely into the giant triangle applicator, which makes it harder to get a clean application quickly. This wears wonderfully. It’s a great liquid lipstick.

Look, I know I have too much lipstick. You don’t have to tell me that.

 

January/February Empties: Junkpocalypse 2017, Rubbish Reviews

I’m never going away over the end of a month again.

Actually, this wasn’t nearly as bad as it could have been. All things considered.

17093028_10155196474845039_1494946494_o

Bath and Body Works Love & Sunshine Shower Gel – I like the B&BW shower gel formula, and this scent is a really nice fruity one with a touch of sunny floral. My one complaint with this is that once you’ve lathered it and it’s been on the skin for a little bit, the smell changes a little? It gets a bit funky and sickly. It isn’t consistent with all of the shower gels – the two others I’ve used recently haven’t had that- but I have had it with their shower gels in the past. Repurchase? Not in this scent, as nice as it was from the bottle.

Foreo Luna Play – 100 uses goes quickly! I wrote about my thoughts at length over here. In short: I enjoyed it, , but it’s absolutely overpriced. I am now using a Model’s Prefer knockoff device from Priceline that I got in the 40% off skincare sale for a bit over $20, and while it isn’t as nicely shaped, it recharges and it does the same job. Repurchase? No

Innisfree Super Volcanic Pure Clay Mask – This was actually one of my favourite clay masks I’ve used recently. It did such a nice job where I was post-travel congested around my nose and because I didn’t need to use much, it lasted quite a while (I got it in my November Bellabox). I’ve got plenty of clay masks to use up, but I would consider buying this. Purchase? I could see it happening!

I can’t remember what this was called but look! I finished a hand sanitiser and didn’t lose it! That’s never happened before. This one also smelled really good. I’ll miss nice Fortune Cookie Soap Company hand sanitisers.

Briogeo Don’t Despair Repair Deep Conditioning Mask – This was a pretty nice hair mask, but it wasn’t anything exceptional? I can’t pick up any major discernible results. Sorry, Briogeo. Purchase? No

Foreo Day Cleanser – This was fine, and it worked nicely with the actual Foreo. It didn’t foam too much, but it still dried me out more than I’ve come to like from a cleanser. It wasn’t  bad, though, as a cleanser for when I needed to have something on hand. Purchase? Oh, absolutely not. What a pain.

Sunday Riley Good Genes – I also wrote about this in that same Bite Sized Five! I really liked it, but I don’t $154 like it. It’s nice and it makes my skin look lovely. I’m currently using The Ordinary’s Lactic Acid 10% + HA 2%, and honestly, that’s giving me my fix. Repurchase? Maybe one day if I’m a millionaire, but otherwise no, and I kind of resent them charging that much.

Nars Pore and Shine Primer – Definitely my favourite of the new primers Nars launched, but by no means anything worth uprooting my routine and switching to. Honestly, I’ve been loving my NYX Angel Veil primer over everything else. Purchase? No – it’s like $50 and it’s not amazing.

CoverFX Custom Enhancer Drops in Moonlight – I got a sample of this because while they look like absolute magic when swatched, I suspected I’d have next to no use for them and I didn’t want to get sucked in. I was right. It’s a glitter bomb, and yet it somehow sheers out to next to nothing? Repurchase? To play with this kind of thing, I’d want it to be unique or affordable – I’d either wait for the beautiful shifty blue/purple shade, or just go for the cheap Australis alternative.

Monomola Eyebrow Tattoo – This came in a Bellabox and dried out almost immediately. Womp Womp. Purchase? No

Benefit Rollerlash Mascara – I actually really liked this mascara mini! I used this when I was travelling, and I took it on the cruise with me. It did really nicely for separation and curl and some really pretty feathering. Not too natural, not too false. It also didn’t go bad super quickly, which was nice for a mascara. I’ve got enough mascaras to last me for the rest of the year (Do I like the Buxom mascara? I don’t know yet! Am I into Tarte’s Light Camera Lashes? Only time will tell!) but I did really like this. That’s actually why I was so utterly irritated by Benefit’s  They’re Real. EUGH. Purchase? Maybe one day? Not any time soon.

Tarte Gifted Mascara – I’d had this open for a little while, but not that long, so when I went and opened it and it less than three months later and it smelled awful, it was a little disconcerting. It wasn’t a great mascara anyway – it flaked quite intensely. Purchase? No

Estee Edit Pore Vanishing Stick – Slippery, but really effective for getting a good foundation application around the nose. I didn’t use it all over my face, because I was kind of grossed out by the concept of smearing the stick around, and also because I don’t need pore filling on my temples. Purchase? Way too expensive for something that is essentially a fancy silicone primer.

Maybelline Full’n’Soft Waterproof Mascara – I used to adore this mascara, and it’s still absolutely serviceable, but it’s no longer the best of the bunch. I’ve definitely used better. I do love how long it goes without getting super gross and foul, though. Repurchase? If I need a cheap mascara in a bind, this is my go-to. I’m blessed with pretty great lashes, thankfully, so I don’t really need anything that fancy.

Rimmel Super Curler 24hr Mascara – Amazing for volume but borderline clumpy, especially as it started to dry out. A good cheap mascara in a pinch, though, perhaps even more so than Full’n’Soft if I was looking for volume over definition. Repurchase? Maybe one day? I have so many mascaras, it’s ridiculous.

Cetaphil Suntivity Sunscreen 50+SPF – I had a bad reaction to this and walked around with a big old rash on my face for a few days on the cruise. I also got sunburnt, because apparently the reaction negated the SPF. Purchase? No, and please get out of my life.

IndeedLabs Nanoblur – Yeah, no. This was a confusing, slippery, weird product that didn’t do it for me. Purchase? No

17090984_10155196474970039_1456634931_o

Kleenex Anti-Bacterial Wipes – These are anti-bacterial! They wipe! Good stuff. Repurchase? Yes.

Simple Kind to Skin Cleansing Wipes – I was trying to go without these to finish up my Mac wipes, but I hate those so much. These don’t irritate my skin, blah blah, good stuff. Repurchase? Have done.

Daiso Cotton Puffs – These are fine? I prefer the Target Cosmetic Pads,even though you get more with these because you get two boxes for like $3. I felt like they broke apart really easily. Repurchase? No

Target Cosmetic Pads – My favourite cotton rounds. I keep trying others and then remembering why I use these. Repurchase? Every time.

Brite Pastel Green Dye – I used this to attempt to brighten up the ends of my hair before I completely bleached and re-dyed my hair, and it was surprisingly effective. It took even on parts of my hair that weren’t already blue? Not extremely, but decently. Not as effective as the best thing, which is the full re-bleach. I got my hair bleached and re-dyed back at the beginning of February, and I feel like myself again. Repurchase? If I was home dying, sure.

EyePro Eye Makeup Shields – I rolled my eyes a bit when this came in my January Bellabox, but it was nice to not deal with fallout on a heavy eye makeup day. It was a weirdly rounded shape, though. Purchase? No

Neat 3B Action Cream – Such a boring workhorse product and nothing to do with beauty, but holy shit, I cannot live without a tube of this stuff. I keep one in my bedroom, one in my bathroom, and one in my travel bag. It’s the only thing that helps the chafing  I get on my inner thighs (aka the dreaded “Chub rub”) which has been deadly in this long hot summer. You can also use it for boobs (another chafe zone for me) and anywhere else that tends to rub, but it’s excellent as a preventative and then as a soothing agent. Repurchase? I will literally never stop using this.

17101427_10155196474885039_92288616_o

And now all the Body Shop stuff! Yikes.

Camomile Cleansing Butter – This is a bit of a cult product and for good reason. It’s non irritating and gentle on the eyes and excellent as a first cleanse to remove makeup.My skin is mostly reactive when it comes to cleansing, so I’m really grateful for this stuff. I haven’t used this to clean sponges, but apparently it’s great for that too. Repurchase? I tend to alternate between this and the liquid form, based on what’s in stock and what my skin is doing. At the moment I’m using the liquid, which is admittedly a little easier, but I find it’s slightly less effective. Very little, but there is something. It is also a touch lighter in liquid form, but I find I go through it quicker (which is not saying much – I take about 9 months to finish a tub?). I’ll keep using it in some form.

Vanilla Chai Shower Gel – Why did I only buy one of these shower gels? I used up a mini in my November/December empties, and now this, my lone full size. It was so beautifully scented and I wanted to use it so liberally but I tried to be a little bit restrained. It was also really nice and hydrating, not too sweet, a little spicy, just lovely. Repurchase? Bring Back Vanilla Chai All Year Round.

Pinita Colada Shower Gel – My two favourite shower gels! I’m so glad this stuck around for a few extra months and I managed to get some extra backups. It’s just the perfect summery shower gel. Not too sweet or too coconutty. Repurchase? Thankfully I have two left.

All in One Face Base 04 – This is a really nice powder. It’s not too matte, which is ideal, but it still stops excessive shininess. I do wish it was slightly better at bringing shine down for touch ups, but it’s still pretty good. It’s not flat at all, which is great. Repurchase? Yes.

Tea Tree Face Mask – I’ve had this for so long, but the tea tree stuff is way too intense for me now. I’m so devoted to the Ginseng and Rice mask that forcing myself to use this up was a pain in the ass anyway. It’s almost too effective at bringing pimples out – I find I tended to wake up with whiteheads all over the place. Repurchase? No

Vanilla Chai Body Butter – Second verse, same as first. As if I need more body butter, though. Repurchase? No

Colour Crush Lipstick in 125 Crazy Sexy Crimson – I finished a lipstick! Who’d have thought? I’m not usually one for cream formulas, but this is a lovely colour and I reach for it all the time. It also suits so many different complexions? I love it so much. I’ve bought a replacement. Repurchase? Have done.

Peppermint Foot Scrub – This is fine and works nicely on my gross retail-worn feet, but I’m really lazy. If I could be bothered to use this consistently it would be much more effective. Repurchase? If I can get it, I’ll take it, but it’s not something I’ll seek out.

Drops of Youth Liquid Peel – I’ve never seen the appeal (heh) of these peeling gels, but now I’ve established that most manual exfoliation is too much for me, I kind of get it. It has a really strong smell that I’m not into, and I don’t like the false idea that these scrubs are peeling off just dead skin (Here’s a great post over at Lab Muffin on that). Still, it’s quite an effective one. I’ve since been feeling the other ones launched, and I prefer the texture of the Drops of Light one, which is much more liquidy and feels lighter. I wish this, the Drops of Light and the Vitamin C ones weren’t all so similar. Purchase? No

Next time? Probably just one month.

Next up in posts, I’ve got a lot of new lipsticks to write about (Smashbox Always On! Winky Lux! I should write about those Sugarpill ones!) and probably a semi-spur of the moment post about the intersections of gender, sexuality and makeup that tends to come around Mardi Gras. I’ve done those before, but they evolve, and it never ceases to be an important topic that I get very easily passionate about. Plus, surely you’ll want to see whatever glittery abomination of makeup I end up in.

 

 

Lust Have It February 2017 – Unboxing and Review

Any progress is progress. Compared to the subscription-ending, final-straw Bellabox I just got, I think my reviewing matrix is skewed.

16990427_10155183879525039_676609139_o

Before I go into the products, can I comment on the bag? It’s barely relevant, but it’s so cute. Take the “lust have it!” off it, and it’s the platonic ideal of a makeup bag.

16990410_10155183879465039_1542506218_o

Lots of options in here! I got the lesser option of most of them, but that’s okay.

Revlon Colorstay Nail Enamel (RRP $9.95 but this is an older formula and I found it for $3.95 and it seems to sell for around $5 most places; this is the shade 030 Calla Lily) – Honestly, this is a lovely formula. I’m a big fan of the current iteration – the Colorstay Gel Envy – but this is quite nice, considering it’s discontinued. I thought this was the Gel Envy, so this discovery has kind of harshed my vibe. What a shame I got a semi-sheer opal shade called Calla Lily, rather than an opaque shade I might actually wear. Someone will use this, though. It’s surprisingly pretty at two coats, but it picks up blue from my hair really easily.

ETC Lipstick (RRP $2; I think they’re phasing this brand out overseas? The shade I got is called”True mango”) – I’m over getting this brand. The eyeliner last time was alright, and at least shows up on the Gosh Copenhagen website, but this lipstick seems to be untraceable online and it’s one of those typical cheap greasy lipsticks, in a weird coral neon orange lipsticks.

Anatomicals Lilac Body Lotion (100mL; 200mL full size retails for $8 apparently) – I like this brand and it’s a good size for a body lotion. Those a good comments! I’m not so into the smell of lilacs, but it’s not horribly offensive.

Hola Sheet Masks – DuWhite Masque and Honey Anti Wrinkle Masque (RRP $25.95 for five packs of each, these are just one of each) – Neither of these specific needs are mine, “whitening” or anti-wrinkle, but face masks are good to have around. I mostly just give them to friends who like using them, because I’m more of a full on face mask gal. I wish we could have had one normal product to try rather than two sheet masks, but whatever. This is decent, and these are actually still available for sale.

The Body Shop Vitamin E Moisture Cream (15mL Sample – 50mL is $24.95) – This is a good size sample of a decent product, and it’s not too old either – the batch code is a fairly recent one. If you got one of the Oils of Life minis, you’re one of the lucky ones – that stuff is beautiful, and I use it all through winter, so a little one for travel would have been lovely. This cream isn’t one that agrees with my skin, for some reason, but I know a lot of people who adore it and I’ll pass it on to one of them.

Sasy n Savy SPF Skin Firming Creme (Part of the “Bath and Body mixed samples, but it’s not listed as an option? It appears to be worth $6 on the website) – I find it hard to get past the strong smell of peppermint – why do people put peppermint in day creams? – and it’s got that weird texture I’m not into, where it’s heavy but too fast absorbing. I also tend to be wary of anything that claims to be firming, honestly. This brand has some okay products that I’ve tried, but this isn’t for me. I’ll try it? We’ll see.

Reading those individually, this seems not great. It’s compared to past experiences that I’m excited at the improvement, and I’m willing to give Lust Have It…another month. Let’s see. I’m still disappointed in the lack of availability of certain products and the seeming outdatedness, the occasional clumsiness in curation, but I do appreciate the mix of things.

Bite-Sized Five for February – Absences, Apologies and Photos of My Face

You know when your mental health takes a dive, you revert to less-than-healthy coping mechanisms and then you find yourself crying on a bathroom floor for three days straight and you realise you need to get your meds fixed up and stop doing what you’re doing? And then you leave the state for a while to go hang out at sea and write poetry? And then you’re back but you’re focusing on burying yourself in work and pouring energy into relationships that make you feel happy and supported? No? Not much else I can say then. Mental health is a constant stream of ups and downs and the downs have been pretty prominent recently. Rough.

Let’s not focus on that, and instead focus on some products I have thoughts about!

L’oreal Pure Clay Detox + Brighten Mask – This mask is…wicked intense. I finished my old detoxifying mask, for the rare occasion when I need something deep cleansing, so I picked this up in the Priceline 40% off skincare sale. It’s also good for if I want to use a combination of masks – this on the chin, with something softer everywhere else. It’s way too intense for me for weekly use. It dries incredibly quickly and goes very stiff, and if I leave it on for a full ten minutes I start to feel a burn. But: like the classic, intensely overhyped glamglow, it does the very satisfying action of showing up darker on the pores, and it leaves your skin looking fresh and cleansed and definitely smooth. I do feel like I have to use a lot of product to get a very thin layer, because it dries so quickly, so I imagine this will be finished quickly.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Eyeshadow Palette – I held off on buying this palette for so long. I was so good. But just look at it.

16880740_10155171851035039_815726460_o.jpg

It is absolutely stunning. If you don’t do a lot of warm toned looks, then it is definitely not worth it, but those are my bread and butter. The shadows are incredibly soft, and do kick up quite a bit of powder – I can see how people are panning shades – but they blend beautifully and don’t feel powdery or chalky on my eyelids, even without a primer. The brush is great quality, and I can do a pretty solid quick look using just that brush if I’m on the go, which is a great post-work quality to have for me (likewise, the mirror is top notch). The only shadow I have not really played with is Golden Ochre, because that yellow tone of neutral tends to look a bit sickly on me if not paired with very specific shades, but I don’t mind that as a trade off. My favourites are definitely the red shades, which are so hard to do well – Love Letter, Venetian Red and Red Ochre – Venetian red has some pink tones and some shimmer while Love Letter is truer red, as to Red Ochre which is browned and deep and good for adding depth. I also love the oranges, Burnt Orange and Realgar, and the neutrals-with-a-twist like Buon Fresco. Vermeer is one of the most gorgeous inner corner highlight shades I’ve ever used. Everything is capable of being really powerful, or playing subtle and toned down.

Will it be as much of a workhorse as my Kat Von D Shade and Light Eye palette? Probably not. That palette renders the most out there of shades usable for me. Where this does win out is by being one of the most forgiving palettes I’ve ever worked with, and by being one that I can open up and get excited by. If only the packaging wasn’t damn suede textured. This is going to get so grotty, I can already tell.

I’m wearing some shadows from this palette today along with the mascara and concealer in this Bite Sized Five, so I’ll put a photo at the bottom with a note on which shades I used.

Benefit They’re Real Mascara – This mascara has lost some of its steam in the beauty community over the past couple of years, but it was once the mascara to end all mascaras if you asked around. I mentioned this in my USA Haul, and I have already finished the tube of Roller Lash which will be in my empties (January and February have see many long standing minis of mascara meet their ends – a little spoiler is that I actually really enjoyed Benefit’s Roller Lash and while it didn’t blow me away, it was one of the nicer mascaras I’ve used for definition and curl). Common complaints with this mascara are that the brush is HUGE and SPIKY and VERY DANGEROUS, which I can absolutely confirm; can make lashes look spidery and prone to clumping, also very true; is atrocious to take off. Case in point:

16930552_10155171851150039_507536414_o
Post lashings of Bioderma and my usual makeup removing cleanser, usually a fine combo on mascara – thanks They’re Real, I guess.

Still, as you’ll see where I’ve used it below, when it’s used sparingly and with great caution to avoid eye-stabbing, it’s quite lovely. It’s way too much work for everyday, but I understand why it garnered so much affection. I have since tried it with the designated They’re Real Remover, but I think I’ll stick to oil.

Tarte Shape Tape Concealer in Light – Now admittedly, I picked this shade based on…almost entirely guesswork, and it is well and truly too light for me to use on blemishes while I’m at my darkest. I definitely recommend looking up swatches for this. Swatches are even more important if you do what I did and impulse buy this off the tarte website when they have a free international shipping promotion. It is still perfect for under my eyes, and workable for blemishes blended under a concealer. And let me say – this concealer is getting some ridiculous levels of hype. People are putting it at holy grail status. I’m not so quick to make final judgements, but I will say that it is extremely concentrated and creamy with coverage out of its ears. Really, other than the colour range, my main faults with this are the applicator and the scent. The applicator is overly huge and I always just end up dabbing it on with my fingers, and the scent is intense. It’s fake and floral and it lingers for a good few seconds after application.  But this, unlike the mascara, is something I’m willing to work with daily. It’s easy to blend and although creasing isn’t a major problem for me, I don’t have any problems with it. I’m almost tempted to get it in another colour next time tarte have free shipping.

Sunday Riley Luna Night Oil – Another much raved about item, I got this half-sized bottle in a set with the Good Genes treatment. I loved Good Genes, and it will be in my Jan/Feb empties. Luna? Not so much my thing. Admittedly, it’s not targeted at people with my skin type. I am very much combination, and while I get dry in the winter, in summer I can be a sweaty, oily mess. I’m prone to breakouts regardless of oiliness to dryness, and I’m not really that worried about aging yet (at the ripe old age of 21). I do really enjoy oils, though, and this is well reviewed, so I’m glad I got to give this a go. That said, it hasn’t wowed me too much. I’ll keep using it, and I’ll probably prefer it in winter when I go back to dry, itchy Sara skin. It doesn’t break me out, but it is pretty heavily scented and full of extracts that I’m not fussed on. If I had to choose, though, I would have just invested in Good Genes and skipped this guy. In Australia, I can’t bring myself to drop the money on either of them.That’s the honest opinion. In the US, it felt manageable – waiting for a Sephora sale, using a voucher, being a smart shopper. Here, Good Genes is about $150. I don’t think it’s $150 worth of results.

As for the makeup I did with some subtle Modern Renaissance, a frustrating coating of They’re Real and Tarte Shape Tape:

16832936_10155171850950039_1771665220_o.jpg

I’m also wearing Sugarpill’s Trinket on my lips – I’m planning on writing about it at length in my next Recent Lipstick Wrap Up – over Urban Decay Deep lipliner, which gives the liquid lipstick a much more nude look. I love how the gold comes out over the course of wear. I’ve also got the It Cosmetics Brow pencil on, and the Physician’s Formula Butter Bronzer for some warmth. I only used neutral shades from the ABH palette to stay basic for my day off, laid down some Warm Taupe with Cyprus Umber for depth and then Primavera for lightness on the bulk of the lid. I need a better camera. My skin is great at the moment (hallelujah), so I didn’t have a lot to conceal, but the few things that were bothering me are pretty well covered.

And that’s that!

Bellabox Feburary 2017 – Unboxing, Review and The Straw That Broke The Camel’s Back – Unsubscribing

Bellabox. We had a fun time together. We’ve been on the rocks for a while. This box was…it was the last straw. I can’t do this anymore. I’m sorry.

16776172_10155154459295039_773973211_o

I was greeted by pink powder everywhere, even before I’d taken off the tissue paper. They’d spoiler-ed the NYX blush, which I’d been slightly interested in. Not interested enough to ask for a replacement. Here’s the overall damage:

16810069_10155154459110039_444314081_o

I’m sure you can guess some of my feelings here.

Eye Majic swipe on eyeshadow? I thought we gave up on this gimmick at least ten years ago. I had an old Chi Chi version of these and they didn’t work. They were a muddy mess that I got in a sale bin. The NYX blush seems like a pretty colour? I can’t really tell. It’s in the bin. I’ve received plenty of samples of the Klorane shampoo and the little tubes of Neutrogena sunscreen (it’s a nice idea, but it breaks me out).  There’s some tea, I guess. At least it’s Twinings and not some godforsaken detox weightloss tea brand. There are Avon samples, which I’ve complained about before. I salvaged the Bath and Body Works spray, because my sister likes to have something like that in her bag for school, and these are a good size. I have a Twisted Peppermint one – I’m not into Japanese Cherry Blossom, but it’s not a bad scent.

Guys, this is a mess. If I hadn’t been long disengaged with Bellabox, I’d have contacted them to try and get the blush replaced at the very least. The point where I realised I needed to unsubscribe was the point where I realised that I just didn’t care enough. I didn’t want to get involved.

I haven’t got this month’s Lust Have It bag, so I’m yet to see how that relationship will pan out. Honestly, I’m okay with ending it. Subscriptions are fun, but so is spending that money on things I’m interested in.

Bellabox January 2017 – Unboxing and Review

I feel like I start all of these reviews with disappointment. Sad trombone noises, womp womp womp, you know the drill. I thought I’d give Lust Have It the axe, especially if Bellabox had themselves together this month, but I’m thoroughly underwhelmed. Let’s discuss.

16118721_10155054662090039_449496448_n

Maybe I was being too harsh in my opening statement. There’s dollops of potential here, and my sighs don’t necessarily indicate that. Sadly, potential doesn’t always equate to a good box.

16122255_10155054662065039_1000839803_o

BB Summer Shimmer Trio (I got the Unicorn trio, RRP $9.95) – I love highlighters, especially pastel tones, so this is a nice item in theory. I did get the shade I would prefer as opposed to the golden trio, not that the name is mentioned anywhere on the actual packaging.  Where the theory falls down is that in Bellabox’s foray into cosmetic manufacturing, they’ve entirely prioritised hitting a trend over creating a usable, quality product. They have that distinct kiddy makeup texture, really greasy with lots of glitter, not to mention the accompanying toy makeup smell. The lightest shade, a pearl, is all glitter and has no base in pigment (the other two are slightly better). They blend out to indistinct glitter and disrupt base makeup so really only work on bare skin. I wish this had been a powder formula, where even the worst are easier to repurpose, or a little more thought had been given to the actual texture and workability of the product.

Cetaphil Suntivity SPF50+ Liposomal Lotion (100mL retails for $19.05 and this is 10mL so around $1.90) – I love getting sunscreen in boxes. I like how this is packaged – it’s got a proper lid for multiple uses – and I appreciate that it’s SPF50. The only dampener on it is that I’ve actually received this sunscreen in a Bellabox before, and that one was a full size. I imagine this is a convenient size for short term travel – I might take it away with me at the end of the month – but I have a lot of sunscreen, because I live in Australia.

Skinny Tan Gradual Tanner (Full size 150mL; RRP $29.95) – This is a high value item, but I’m always automatically irritated by things that use “skinny” in their marketing. Like…this is a gradual tanner. All that’s “skinny” about it is the inclusion of guarana, so you’ve got a bit of caffeine I guess, and that a tan does help to smooth over the appearance of cellulite. As someone with plenty of cellulite, I don’t care, and I’m not won over by marketing that targets a fear of being overweight to make money (see: skinny teas) or the implications of my my body being awful and wrong. I have, however, been looking for a gradual tanner to help even out all the pigmentation on my legs, and this one smells like coconut. Hopefully it won’t work out a streaky mess on me the way the Jergens did.

Klorane Shampoo with Camomile (I am no longer placing values on these but they are 25mL and the full size is 200mL for $13.95) – You lose value with omnipresence. The more of these I acquire, the less likely I am to use them. A shampoo without a conditioner is a weird thing to send, they’re too small for travel, and they’re basically just things that overrun my drawers.

EyePro Eye Makeup Pad (a ten pack is $14.95; this is one set so around $1.50) – I’m vaguely interested in the idea of a product that gets me a straight wing without me having to hold something to my face, but also protects from fallout. Would I pay for it? Absolutely not.

Maybe I was too harsh. I feel like it was better than I made out initially. I don’t know. Maybe I’ll just cancel them both? One more month? Why am I doing this to myself?

Lust Have It January 2017 – Unboxing and Review

I don’t really know how to feel.

15967702_10155043844115039_552771277_o

I mean, the elements are all there, but now I’ve been receiving subscriptions for over a year, I’ve just become a little jaded. Now I’m at a point where I’ve reached saturation for bits and bobs, and the money I feel I could put elsewhere. It’s not just Lust Have It, it’s just bits-and-bobs in general. I want the fun of choice back with my money, especially when I’m consistently ending up with things that I’m using to use. My usual whining will commence below. Colour swatches at the bottom of the list of products.

15967383_10155043843375039_1890829181_o

Your Tea Her Tea – We only got one bag last month, and so they compensated with…a plastic bag full of tea. I don’t drink tea, so I don’t care, but I’m glad they went through with it.

Burt’s Bees Lipstick in Blush (RRP $19.95) – This was the big spoiler item, and I love getting lipsticks, so I was tentatively keen to get this. Sadly, I have swatched most of these, and none have great pigmentation, nor do they wear particularly well. This shade is a peachy my-lips-but-better colour, which is not my thing at all. At least it feels nice on the lips.

Ofra Pressed Eyeshadow Pan in Bohemian (4g full size; RRP $12USD so approx $16AUD) – This is a very pretty shimmer shade, an antique gold with a bit of bronze to it. I don’t have a palette to store it in, which is annoying, but I have been considering getting one. I don’t reach for single shadows often, but this does have nice payoff and applies smoothly.

Unani Dermo Defense Face Mask (100mL, roughly $24AUD) – Naturally, this has changed packaging (I frequently ding Lust Have It for their inclusion of old stock, like a sample of a foundation that changed packaging more than 2 years prior), but it seems like an interesting mask and I like receiving this kind of thing. It’s a gel mask – I’ll give it a go at some point.

OPI Shatter Nail Lacquer in Super Bass Shatter (RRP $13.85) – although, let’s be honest, shatter nail polish hasn’t been a thing for years and they’re just trying to get rid of this however they can. This colour is beautiful and I wish it was solid rather than – cringe – shatter.

ETC Eye Liner Pencil in Silver (RRP “$15” but really who knows) – I don’t think too  much of this international drugstore brand, but I will say that this at least had a decent amount of pigment and felt soft enough to use around the lower lash line.

15991839_10155043843210039_126493039_o

If this gets another month, it’s because I’m lazy and haven’t cancelled it in time. It’s not so much a problem with the bag, but a problem with disillusionment and subscription boxes in general. I suspect the case will be similar with Bellabox. I am intending on keeping around the Marie Claire box for a little while, though.