July Lust Have It 2016 – Unboxing/Review

This bag came on the 29th of July, so it made it in within the month. I spent that day on the drive to a mini family trip to wine country. Basically, my stomach hurts. I drunk a lot and I ate a hell of a lot of cheese. Usually I would have tested these products out in passing, but a few of them got a nice, real life test. Unfortunately, no swatches. We’re in a pickle here.

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Not pictured: the black version of the bag – into it

“Hey Sara, you went to a bunch of wineries, why’d you take a photo on some nondescript wood?” Look man, it was an emotionally heavy weekend.

The theme for this bag is “All About Makeup”, which is cute, and it is a makeup heavy bag – three makeup items. Not all about makeup, though, if I were to pick a nit. Also about a couple of other things.

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Teeez Cosmetics Desert Metals Mascara (Full size; RRP $32.50 – seems about right with exchange rate) – Now, for me to want to spend $32.50 on a mascara, it would have to do incredible things. This mascara may not be magical, but the packaging is admittedly stunning. It’s also a pretty decent mascara – it gives you some length, some volume, gets right in there and does the job. It’s brown! I don’t own a brown mascara, because my colouring tends to demand intensity (I have blue hair, for heaven’s sake). I would argue that it isn’t easy to wash off, which is their claim, but it didn’t flake or run on me, which outweighs ease of washing it off.

MPrincess Mineral Blush in the shade Strawberry Kisses (Full size; RRP $15.45 although the website says $16.99) – I don’t wear blush, as a rule, so I rolled my eyes at this inclusion. Holy shit, though, this is beautiful. Not only does the name evoke the Nikki Webstar song that defined my girlhood, but the colour is a soft pinky lavender and it blends so wonderfully on the cheeks. It’s one of the few blushes I’ve tried that ends up looking soft and not like I’ve got natural redness/pink coming through. It’s a little overfull, so the sifter is inconvenient, but it’s such a lovely formula.

Marsk Mineral Eyeshadow in the shade Rich List (Full Size; RRP $29 although the website says $22.50) – This could have been a great eyeshadow, despite my general wariness of unfamiliar loose eyeshadow formulas – I trust Fyrinnae, I trust My Pretty Zombie, but what the fuck are Marsk? This eyeshadow is pretty, but sadly it’s just not for me. It’s a total glitterbomb, heavy on the fallout, and a bit of a pain on application.

Essenzza Fuss Free Naturals Masquerade + Moisturise Mask (Full size; RRP $4.95) – This brand sells a strange assortment of goods – sheet masks, face wipes…ear candles? It seems like a pretty basic sheet mask, and it’s not really my thing – especially with the emphasis on moisture, rather than things like smoothing, but I always question the effectiveness of sheet masks for anything other than moisture anyway. The masquerade gimmick is cute.

Glamourflage Saucy Sue Shower Cap (Full size; RRP $7.95?) – This was the “mystery item”, so I have no information on it, but it seems like a pretty standard fake silk shower cap with a pinup-esque print. I don’t use shower caps because I don’t style my hair or really ever do anything, but this is cute anyway and I liked enough other stuff in this bag that I don’t mind.

This bag had more of an emphasis on smaller, high value items, and I liked that. Even though the eyeshadow was a miss for me, the blush and mascara were big successes, so the shower cap and mask whatevers that were chucked in were fine being just that. I do wish the prices given were a little more in line with what things actually retail for, especially when they only sell from one location and are full size items (everything was full size! No bad maths!), but it’s again, a little nit to pick.

Another 3.5/5 for this bag, and most of that is because I really really love that blush. Like, that blush might be the blush that makes me wear blush.

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July Bellabox 2016 – Unboxing/Review

Now, these pictures are terrible. These are some of the worst photos that have ever graced my blog. My plan was to retake them in the morning before posting this, but one of the items in the box has already been ripped from me and taken to the depths of my sister’s room, never to be returned. This box answered her prayers. It’s not my favourite box, but she’s over the moon about it. Let’s investigate the contents!

Of course, not including the bits of rubbish that I’m ignoring the HelloFresh “voucher” because as I’ve explained before, they make me angry and Bellabox have given up on even including them on the card. Beyond that, there’s also a $30USD voucher for Sweet & Spark, which is a vintage costume jewellery website. That’s fine, but it’s not a cheap, and I couldn’t really give a toss about costume jewellery. If you’re into that stuff, though, I’m sure you’ll find something nice (and the code is BELLABOX16).

Then there is the actual, usable stuff.

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And the card, with all the info (and the theme, which is apparently “Back to basics” – although how a purple eyeshadow fits that, I’m not sure).

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Klorane Shampoo and Conditioner with Quinine and B Vitamins (Both retail in full size for $13.95, the shampoo is in a little bottle with two uses but the conditioner is a foil sachet; I gave the shampoo about $1.30 value in my Marie Claire but honestly I’ve had so many of these recently I’m going to cap the combined value at $1, because when you’ve received something for free four times in three months, it starts to lose its perceived value) – I’ve got all these samples building up and I never use them because I’m busy using stuff for my very very coloured hair, or stuff that comes in bottles with more than two uses. My time is worth more than that. I’m sure this stuff is fine? I’ll use it eventually I guess.

Physiogel Daily Moisture Therapy Intensive Cream (100mL full size, RRP for $13.99) – This stuff, which I have used before, is great for easily irritated skin. My sister loves it, and has stolen all of my past tubes of it, and since it stopped being available at Priceline (there’s no Amcal locally) she has been stealing all of my other moisturises. I figured that since this was probably going to end up stolen anyway, I may as well pass it straight over to her, and no sooner was the offer extended she had snatched it up and taken it away. It’s nice to get a full size, and of a product that is basic, but good.

Gosh Mono Eyeshadow (Mine is in Aubergine, RRP is $24.95) – As of right now, Gosh Cosmetics aren’t available in Australia, so I appreciate that this is a little preview of sorts while they secure a stockist. The RRP seems a little high – I’ve tried Gosh while in the UK, and it’s very much a drugstore brand, so singles for $25? If the quality is up there with the Prestige Cosmetics singles, maybe. The colour I got is, obviously, an eggplant purple with a satiny shimmer. It could have swatched smoother, and I wish the purple was a little richer and less brown, but I can see it being quite nice. I can definitely report back on blendability and versatility. Here’s a swatch:

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It does actually go on the lids quite nicely, albeit a little muddy when you work with it.

Revo Lip Balms (Mine is Melon Mint, these retail for $4.99) – I like the smell of this, but I’ve had bad experiences with EOS balms and their ilk. This will probably get given to my mum or sister – I prefer more emollient balms, when I do use lip balms – I want things that can really get in there and hydrate overnight or at the beginning of my morning so that when I remove excess product, my lips are totally dry but kept soft. Not my thing.

Baimeni Hydrating Eye and Face Serum with Hyaluronic Acid (Full size is 30mL for $25.00; this lil baby is 3mL so $2.50) – Now this is my kind of thing. Looking at the ingredients list for this is actually really exciting for me – hyaluronic acid is the next ingredient after purified water, and I’ve been wanting to try something rich in HA but not heavy in too much else (though I’m not mad at the inclusions of glycerin, aloe vera, lactic acid, that sort of thing – the ingredients list is pretty nice), and my skin is pretty dry in this miserable weather. I tried it out amongst my nighttime routine, and it’s quite lovely – lightweight, but hydrating. 3mL should give me quite a few uses, especially as the packaging is not a shitty foil sachet.

Palmers Ultra Gentle Facial Cleansing Oil (Listed as a bonus item so ostensibly no value, but I’m pretty happy with the inclusion despite booo foil sachet; full size is 192mL for $14.99) – Sure, it’s a tiny boring sachet, but Palmers products smell nice and I like cleansing oils. This one is nice enough, though a little thicker and, um, oilier than than my favourite cleansing oil options, but it smells nice and it does the job. I can’t use it directly in the eye area, but that’s me with most options. Thankfully this foil sachet is more than one use.

 

So overall value wise, this rounds out at about $47.50 (not including the voucher-esque content, or the palmers sample), but the content was okay. That’s really what it comes down to. I’m really happy to try out the Baimeni serum, something I wouldn’t have otherwise found, and the Gosh shadow and Physiogel cream are both nice inclusions (though the latter doesn’t end up in my hands). The rest is kind of give or take. It’s, maybe, a 2.5/5 box? I’ve had worse, definitely.

Oh Bellabox. Our relationship is hanging on by a thread. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I’m hanging in there.

Basics of Bases – My Ride or Die Base Products

There is absolutely no reason for a post about bases, other than the fact that I’m super enthusiastic about a couple of things. Half of the lead up to the post was just debating whether or not to make the title a song reference – I decided “Totally addicted to base-s” was a little too on the nose. This isn’t an in-depth review, although I might come back and talk more about these products again later at greater length, but I wanted to give an overview on the products that have been my staples. Whether it’s been a couple of months or a couple of years, they’ve all wormed their way into my heart and I’ve formed pretty solid opinions on all of the products featured.

I’m a pimple-prone girl with bumpy mystery skin. In the summer, I get slick and sweaty, but right now I am normal to dry. I’ve got a lot of texture and redness and little bits of scarring and of course, the spots, so it’s pretty rare that I’ll leave the house without a concealer. I feel more comfortable, and more like myself. If I’m going out or feeling more energised, I’ll wear a foundation and powder, regardless of what I layer on top or beneath – that’s why these three categories were the ones that felt like the real essentials to me.

Concealers

Maybelline Superstay Better Skin Concealer (This photo is of the Medium shade, which I use if I am miraculously tan; generally I use the Light) – Maybelline get a lot of praise for their FitMe concealer, and for that weird one with the sponge applicator, but those ones have never done it for me. I like my concealer full coverage, and though this is the lightest of the three, it is still more than enough to make any breakouts look better. If you’re oily it will definitely need setting, but I like the liquid consistency for how easily it blends out and how little I need to use. Cheap and cheerful, wish there were more shades.

IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Undereye Concealer (Medium) – I was wary of this concealer, because most of its devotees tend to be quite dry skinned, but thankfully this was a match made in heaven. The coverage is out of this world and it is rich and creamy, perfect for the under-eye area (but also usable with the excess around the face). It needs setting, non-negotiable, but you also only need to use the tiniest bit imaginable to get your skin looking flawless.

Mac Prolongwear Concealer (NC20) – I, like everyone else who has tried this concealer, loathe the packaging. The pump is ridiculous and will inevitably pump out more product than you need, because you need hardly anything to get good coverage. It also sets nicely, far less transfer prone than the IT cosmetics offering, so it’s actually good for the face and the under eyes (I tend not to mess with my under eyes unless I’ve had a really rough night). It’s always the coverage that does it for me, and how much product you get – there’s loads in here, and it packs a punch.

Foundations

Rimmel Matte BB Cream (Light) – It’s rare that I’ll go for lighter coverage base, and this is another one that you don’t hear a lot about online or in the beauty community. The reason I love it is because I love having the ease of a BB cream without the greasy,  gross, glowy finish most alphabet creams will give you. I know a lot of people love that, but it just highlights the textural issues with my skin, and I end up feeling gross. This one isn’t the longest wearing, but paired with some good concealer, I’ve got a super easy lightweight base that evens me out without feeling heavy or dull or flat. It definitely runs dark – when I am the lightest shade of the three available, there are some issues there at both ends of the scale.

Tarte Amazonian Clay Foundation (Light Medium Neutral) – I’m about halfway through my second tube of this foundation, and while I no longer reach for it every single day – I’m more often satisfied with something softer – I still harbour my love for it. For textured skin, there’s something magical about the mousse formula in the way it smooths over the surface without highlighting the places where lumps and bumps lurk. I love the coverage it gives – medium to full, and definitely buildable – and how easy it is for me to make my skin look close to flawless with this foundation.

The Body Shop Fresh Nude Foundation (024 Hawaiian Macadamia) – When this foundation first launched, I was not a fan. I wasn’t used to seeing my skin without full coverage, and I didn’t like letting my skin be itself. As I’ve been wearing it every day to work for the past three months, I’ve developed a passionate love affair with it. This has become my most worn day-to-day, day off foundation. It’s light-medium coverage, nicely buildable, but what’s important to me is how nicely it wears. I can wear it for a twelve hour day, and as it wears down I’ll see a glow to my skin, but there isn’t patchiness or clinging. Instead, even oily gross me, just soft and fresh looking, and the coverage stays there, even if a few more things peek through than at the start of the day. It’s not the coverage I thought I wanted, but for something for everyday, it’s lovely.

Powder

The Body Shop All In One Face Base (05) – Basically, when I want something not totally matte, I go for either this or the Australis Fresh and Flawless powder (except the colour options in that are not great). I like the compact, because of ease of reapplication, and I like the natural finish, and it’s basically just simple and easy and done. I haven’t been going for matte finishing powder as often, because I find that it’s the biggest contributor to clinging around my dry patches/spots, so I’ve been reaching for this way more often to set.

Rimmel Stay Matte Powder (Sandstorm but I own most of them and see minimal difference) – If I am, perchance, feeling like I want to be matte, I am a cliche and go for the classic Stay Matte powder. I haven’t bought this is a long time, because I don’t reach for it like I used to – matte just isn’t as flattering as it used to be. The packaging is also, for what it’s worth, atrocious – this is the only one I have owned without a cracked lid. It’s still good stuff, and it’s cheap, and it does what it says it will do. I need to reapply it fairly frequently, but I know what to expect.

And now I have totally addicted to base stuck in my head. Great.

“My heart is breaking”: Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche lipstick in Kale – review

Let’s start with the obvious: this lipstick is beautiful. When Bite Beauty decided to bring out a selection of shades for Summer and I saw that half of them were these beautifully rich, dark colours, I was psyched. So psyched, in fact, that I couldn’t wait for them to amble their way over to Australia, if indeed they ever get over here. I have poor impulse control when it comes to blue and green lipsticks. It was a costly and complicated ordeal and I don’t want to talk about it. I was well-behaved, though. I only ordered one, the single most enchanting lipstick I had seen: Kale.

Kale is a blackened forest green. It is completely unique in my collection, and if you’re familiar with my collection, that is saying something. It looks straight up black in some lights, but there’s a lit-from-within unmistakably green tilt. I could wax poetic about the colour for hours, but instead, here’s a photo.

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It is a pure sexy sea witch colour.

But sadly – and god, it is sad – I have qualms. Mostly, they’re my own fault. I digress.

The colour goes on mostly opaque, though it does drag a little on initial application. It smells like lemon cleaning products, but not in an unpleasant way and I’m kind of into it. Once on the lips, it’s a distinct cream finish, so your enjoyment of it will come down to your enjoyment for cream finishes and formulas. I had conveniently forgotten that I am…not a fan.

The cons. Ay.

Without a lip primer or liner, this colour has the tendency to do that thing when it separates on the upper lip and you try to fix it by applying more and it just makes things worse. When adequately prepped, like in this photo (I used the Too Faced Lip Insurance in this instance), it’s not as much of a problem.

This lipstick is so damn slippery. I love it, and I want to wear it forever, but it slips and slides around on my lips like no one’s business. I can get maybe two hours of comfortable and appropriate wear without weird slip’n’slide lip action going on and everything looking a mess. With less intense, beautiful colours, it’s not a problem, but with this colour, it’s so obvious that there’s no avoiding it.

Not sure if it’s just my bullet, but it is nearly impossible to get a clean line with direct application. The bullet has no sharpness to it, and while that’s resolved with a liner or applying with a brush, I am notoriously lazy and need to be able to apply my lipstick straight from the bullet on the go from the bullet, as is. Here is an unfortunate, unflattering close-up of what I am talking about:

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It’s  not atrocious, but it’s not great. I hate looking messy when I’m wearing a lip as high impact as this. I want to look my sexy goddamn sea witch best, right?

Alright. I’m calm.

This lipstick is beautiful. It’s one of the prettiest colours I own, and were it in a liquid formula I love or a great matte, I would wear it next to non-stop. If you love hydrating cream formulas, you might love it, and I might very well love this formula in less intense colours.

But these lipsticks retail for $40 in Australia, and these colours aren’t currently and may not be available in Australia at any point in the future. Who knows. So to pay to have this shipped over via a third party from the US, was it worth it? I’m glad I have it to play with, but I honestly just don’t know.

I’ve heard nothing but raves for this formula, and truly, so so beautiful, so take my review with lots of salt grains, but the overall melancholy is palpable.

Onwards with your lipstick ventures!

 

 

Bite-Sized Five: Mini-Reviews of New-to-Me Products + Purchases

I’ve been meaning to post some more regular content (this blog needs at least 70% more lipstick), so I’ve decided to introduce a new little feature. Time will tell whether or not this becomes regular or not. Basically, the idea: I encounter a lot of new releases, and just in general acquire a lot of new products. Some are new-new, and some are just new to me. Eventually they will surface, whether in empties or favourites posts, but by that point, they’re old news. Let’s talk about them while they’re fresh to me – while I’ve had some time to develop thoughts, but while I’m still excited and wanted to share. These opinions may not yet be fully formed – I will happily update later, or when I use them up – but there’s meat to them.

I’m going to avoid lip products in these posts, because I like to be very – very – thorough with my lip product reviews. I’m really keen to talk about Bite Beauty’s Amuse Bouche lipstick in Kale – that’s coming soon.

Benefit Gimme Brow in Deep (Deluxe sample – NEW – Launches in Australia on the 22nd of July) – I’ve never tried the original Gimme Brow, but I was happy to try out the deluxe sample of this when it was offered to Black Card holders at Sephora Australia.  I’m generally pretty low maintenance when it comes to brows – mine are notoriously full and angry – but I’m surprised at how much I’m enjoying this. I feel like this sample will last me for a decent chunk of time, and it’s really easy to toss on in a rush. I just brush it through my tails and define my arch a little and I’m good to go. I like the precision of a pencil, but this is a good easy alternative, and it’s definitely something I’d recommend to people recovering from bad bouts trichotillomnia (compulsive hair pickers like myself) or who are balding on the brows from meds (also me) – it won’t give you brows where there are none, but it will do great with thinned out, balder patches.

Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant (Deluxe sample) – I received this in my June Lust Have It bag, and it saved the bag for me. Thankfully, I ended up really enjoying it, and have since ordered the full size. I don’t know whether it will become a regular thing, but I want to see how the full bottle goes. I have felt like there’s been a noticeable improvement in the stubborn closed comodones on my forehead. My skin feels nice and smooth, and I’m not reacting to it (I don’t use it on days when I use a mask or physical exfoliant). It’s a generous deluxe sample size, and I appreciate that you can order this size from the website – though it is prone to leakage. I’m not a part of the Cult of Paula’s Choice, but I’m also not against using good stuff.

The Body Shop Hawaiian Kukui Cream – This product isn’t new to me (I work at the body shop) but I’ve managed to resist on buying it since it’s launch. I thought I much preferred the Japanese Camellia Cream, and while I like the light texture or that one, for winter this one is so much more luxurious and warms up nicer on the skin so I don’t have to go to bed cold. It’s super moisturising and the smell is heavenly and lingers on the skin for a good twenty/thirty minutes, which I love when the weather is cold. I also find I can use it on my chest and arms, where I’m the most sensitive, which is a welcome change from a lot of the body butters and lotions I have to steer clear of. It’s expensive as hell, but damn, it’s good shit.

Sephora Collection Skincare Booster – Luminizer – I know all about the purported benefits of Vitamin C for the skin, but while this one promises to be a kind of concentrate, it’s not particularly concentrated. That said, I’d trade that for being able to use it on my skin – a lot of other Vitamin C things I’ve used that are more active are hell on my skin (though I do remember enjoying the Paula’s Choice Vitamin C 25% spot treatment – not $70 enjoy). I don’t know if this is doing anything, really. I doubt it is. I’ll use it for the suggested 14 days per season, because it smells like orange sherbet and it feels lovely and light on the skin, and my skin looks lovely right now. I doubt it has to do with this product, and more to do with the other product combinations, but I’m happy to keep this up. Not something I’ll be rebuying, though, unless sudden dramatic changes occur.

Smashbox Fan Brush no.22 – Thought I’d try out a fan brush! I’m coming down from the ultra intense highlight train, liking it a little more diffused, and fan brushes should give that effect more easily than my alternative Real Techniques setting brush (which I actually love for more intense highlight). So far I’ve only played with this and very buttery powders like the Becca and Balm powders, but I’m looking forward to more experimentation. It is lovely and soft, not too dense, a little more frayed than I was anticipating.

Five things, five mostly positive thoughts. That’s not always the way, but I’m glad that’s how it’s gone this week.

 

 

 

June Empties 2016

June started with a hospitalisation, so I didn’t use up a whole lot of products. Understandably. Then things got underway, and I started churning out my regular quantity of rubbish. Let’s dig in.

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TonyMoly Baby Shine Foot – Because I am a disgusting human, I love these exfoliating foot masks. I like feeling like a snake and shedding the entirety of the skin on my feet. After hospital my feet were a mess, and it was time for another go at one of these. This is a cheaper option than the $30 Milky Foot you get at Chemist’s Warehouse, and more expensive than the Softsole one by 1000Hours that I used last time, but I don’t think it works quite as well. Repurchase? I’d probably try and track down the cheaper 1000Hours option.

Ecoya Coconut and Elderflower Soap – This is a nice, creamy soap that I got as a gift a while ago.  It smells beautiful and fancy and it isn’t over-drying. Purchase? No

The Body Shop Quiet Night Mist – This is the exact same thing as the Deep Sleep mist (why did they rename it? Don’t ask me) and it is, I must admit, a beautiful camomile/date herbal blend with a lavender feel that definitely throws out a soothing vibe. It’s discontinued internationally, but Australia is going to keep carrying it for a while, so if you like it, definitely pick it up. Repurchase? Probably not – I just spray whatever I’m feeling onto my sheets. At the moment, it’s a ginger/sandalwood blend.

The Body Shop Calming Aloe Cleanser – I talk about this cleanser about every second empties post because I keep using it up? It’s nice and simple and soothing and it doesn’t mess my skin up. They’ve just changed the packaging and I’m sussing out the formula. Repurchase? Yeah. Assuming the formula is similar and it still works the same, I’ll probably keep at it for a considerable amount of time.

The Body Shop Early Harvest Raspberry Shower Gel – This smelled exactly like raspberry jam and it was pretty lovely, but towards the end, I did start tiring of it. I’m just not a berry person as much as I am a cinnamon and sweet stuff person. Repurchase? If it comes back, I’m sure I will.

The Body Shop Glazed Apple Sugar Scrub – I love the smell of this, and I liked the texture at first, but after a while I got some water in it and it just turned sludgy (that’ll happen). It wasn’t rough enough for me, but god, that smell. Repurchase? I have the body butter in this scent somewhere tucked away. I’d buy something else in it, but probably not the scrub – as a personal preference, I like my scrubs rough.

The Body Shop Hemp Foot Protector – Until I find a better foot cream, I’ll keep using this. It does the job, and keeps my feet soft. It doesn’t smell sweet – it’s earthy and a little spicy – but it lasts a good while and my feet need it. Repurchase? Already have

Lush Volcano Foot Mask – Been hacking away at this for months. I love the smell – spicy and sweet – but it just doesn’t do anything for me. It’s also a pain in the ass to use, because you get the stuff everywhere. I liked it the first time, but after that…nothing. Repurchase? No. But it was my fifth black pot, so time for a face mask.

Rexona Deodorant – Why do I put deodorant into these? It’s a deodorant and it worked. Repurchase? Sure.

NYX Lipliner in Sienna – I love this colour – a rusty red – and the formula on this is nicer than the dark red I use sometimes from NYX. It’s pretty and affordable and not the creamiest lipliner, but it does its job. Repurchase? NYX stands are rarely stocked up at Target, but they’re apparently moving to Priceline in the next couple of months so I’ll happily pick this up then.

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Kleenex Anti Bacterial Wipes – I use these up every month to clean my hands and get makeup off of stuff.They do their job well and I buy them in bulk. Repurchase? Already have.

Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Wipes – I liked these quite a lot, the ones from my Lust Have It bag this month. I don’t love them more than my Simple wipes, though. They weren’t quite as effective at getting off my makeup. Purchase? No. Maybe? Probably not.

Simple Kind to Skin Cleansing Wipes – These get my makeup off really well and they don’t irritate my skin, so it’s a win-win situation for me. I’ve run out of stuff to say. Repurchase? Already have.

And some samples/deluxe sample sized things!

Ole Henriksen Sheer Transformation Cream – This little cream was fine. It didn’t do anything special. It was light, but left me feeling a little greasier than I prefer. I bought the little trio of Ole Henriksen products, and at least I could use this one. The Truth Serum – the bestseller – I had to give away. Purchase? No

Ole Henriksen Invigorating Night Treatment – This was probably my favourite of the three products in the trio. I couldn’t use too much of it – it irritated me if I did – but when I used a tiny bit, I did feel that my skin looked lovely and glowy and smooth for the duration of the product use. I don’t think I liked it enough to buy it, but it was nice. Purchase? No

Clinique Even Better Makeup Foundation (Alabastor) – I might have found my next foundation, if I’m honest with you. I was not expecting to love this, and actually had no intention of trying it, but the girl at Mecca showed it to me and it just…worked. It’s not the full coverage I usually go for, but when my skin is semi-decent, this gives medium-buildable coverage and looks gorgeous. It just looks lovely. I don’t know. I might get another sample – I like to try twice before I commit. Purchase? Maybe

Origins Original Skin Rose Clay Mask – I liked this mask – it was gentle, but still did its job of being a mask. I felt refreshed afterwards, but I didn’t feel like it really did its job in terms of purifying or smoothing the skin. Like – my skin felt nice, but it just felt the same. You know? Purchase? No.

Soak Superfood Skin Booster Body Lotion – This was just a body lotion, and it was too lightweight and slippy and blah to really do much of anything. I wasn’t keen on it. Purchase? No

First Aid Beauty Daily Moisturiser (???) – Whatever this product is, they don’t make it anymore and it smells funny, so it’s going in the bin. I remember it being fine, I guess? I don’t know. Repurchase? Ha

Rituals Cosmetics Fortune Oil – This is a shower oil and it is actually gorgeous, although I am well and truly set for shower gels for life. This was fun for a week, though, and really luxurious while I was in hospital and my skin was disgusting and dry, and I liked the orange and cedar smell. Purchase? Most likely not.

Mac Prep and Prime – One of the primers that has been around since the beginning, but I was kind of disappointed by it. It didn’t make my makeup wear particularly well on skin, and it didn’t smooth it out much. It also had a really weird fine shimmer to it (?) so I would see the occasional speck of tiny glitter on my face, and I am not a fan of that. Purchase? No

Derma E Charcoal 2-in-1 Purifying Scrub – Got this in a Bellabox and yikes, it is WAY too intense for my skin. I used it mostly on my shoulder grossness, which I had a couple of this month in response to hospital messing my skin up, and on my forehead (the most resilient part of my face). Purchase? No

L’occitane Immortelle Divine Cream – I was already prepared to be doubtful about L’occitane facial care, because their bodycare is expensive enough, but this cream is apparently $145?!?!?! I am even more disappointed in my experience with it now – it made my face weirdly itchy. Maybe if it was more relevant to my skin concerns? I don’t know, man, $145 for a face cream that isn’t even really from a prestige brand seems a little bizarre to me, but you do you. Purchase? Hahahahahahaha.

Laneige Water Bank Serum – This was a fine serum, but I don’t think it did anything particularly special or felt particularly nice. Serums are hard to tell in sachet form. Purchase? No

Kate Somerville Goat Milk Cream – Why do I keep trying Kate Somerville products and hoping that they’ll work for me? This supposedly super gentle cream felt greasy and broke me out on my jawline. Grr. Curse you, Kate Somerville. Purchase? No

That’s that!

I was surprisingly brief, and I don’t know what’s got into me.

June 2016 Lust Have It – unboxing/review

Oh, Lust Have It, you coy thing. I was almost going to have two vaguely disappointing subscriptions this month, but you really pulled it out of the bag with one item in this one.

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My phone storage was full and I couldn’t retake this photo SO WE’RE STUCK WITH THIS RUBBISH

I have notes! Generally, though, I’m pretty okay with this selection.

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Time for the part where I stop with the brevity.

Edgy Tempting Cosmetics Eyeliner Pen (full size; RRP $15) – This is probably the worst item in the box and it’s almost entirely because they keep referring to it as an eyeliner pen when it is clearly a pencil. It’s not even pen-like in consistency – it’s a cheap-feeling, flimsy-looking pencil that goes on a bit uneven and looks like it’s in BYS packaging, and I definitely wouldn’t pay $15. I hope it applies better onto the eye, and I like that it’s grey rather than black, but this is just not great, an. Here’s a not great swatch to go with it:

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Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Wipes (full size is 25 wipes for $12.99; this is 7 wipes so it’s worth about…$2.25? Maths, guys) – Everyone and their mothers claims that these wipes are the best on the market. I always go back to the Simple Kind to Skin Cleansing Wipes, but I’ve never actually tried these, so I guess it’ll be good to get around to that. Not exciting, but technically practical.

Neutrogena Deep Clean Gentle Scrub (full size is 125mL for $12.99; this is 15mL so approximately $1.56) – This, I’m a little more hesitant of – scrubs tend to scare me, with my skin freaking out at weird things. I’ll probably end up using this if I’m staying somewhere overnight or in hospital or something.

Sasy n Savy Peppermint n Rosemary Revive Bath n Shower Gel (full size is 250mL for $35; this is 30mL and worth about $4.20) – This is expensive for a shower gel – $35 is a hell of a lot for 250mL, so it better be good stuff. It looks like something you’d find at a hotel, and I’m not a fan of all of the ns in the name – yikes – but I will say that it smells delicious.

Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA liquid (trial size 30mL RRP $13) – And with their mystery item, it’s something I actually really wanted to try. I do tend to struggle with forehead congestion from time to time and I’ve heard this stuff is really good for it, and it’s decently priced, but as a person with sensitive skin I really did want to try it first. In my experience PC sample sizes tend to last well, and while I have some weariness with the brand (more to do with their inaccessibility and the reviews, and my not really caring for some of the things Paula herself has been known to say), I’m really looking forward to this.

Not the best bag, but definitely a decent one! Let’s give it a 3/5. Mine was worth about $36, although the value on that eyeliner pencil seems kind of dubious to me. Who knows? Maybe it will be incredible.