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.

New Fyrinnae Metallic Liquid Matte Lipsticks (quick swatch/review)

When it comes to liquid lipsticks, I’ve tried out…a lot of the market.

I have raved about the Fyrinnae liquid matte lipsticks three hundred times or more. Between these two posts on my old blog, I have swatched and reviewed nearly my entire collection (but I have more). I own almost all of the colours and there are a still a couple I am eyeing up: the other one that was released with these two, a beautiful matte-metallic purple shade called Vintage; a gold called Enchanted.

As a recap, or for the unfamiliar: the main selling point for me are the beautiful and interesting colours, as well as how light these feel on the lips. While they do feel drier than formulas like the NYX Matte Lip Creams or the Colourpop Ultra Satin lips, neither of which are particularly matte, I never feel like these are balling up or cracking on my lips and they don’t wear away in chunks (which is one of my many, many beefs with the Jeffree Star liquid lipsticks, and one shared by the Anastasia Beverly Hills liquid lipsticks). The formula, I will definitely say, is not the most consistent – there are definitely some hits and misses in the collection – but when they’re good, they’re great. They’re very thin and liquidy, so some have issues with opacity and there is a steeper learning curve than with some other brands, but the doe foot is good and a liner will fix most of the worst of it.

I also love supporting Fyrinnae – they’re one of the most consistent brands when it comes to indie cosmetics, and one of the few I can be bothered ordering from now in my weird stage of indie fatigue. Enter the three newest shades, released on sale while I was in hospital (though they normally retail for $10USD). I picked up the two that spoke to me he clearest.

So the blue. I picked the blue. It’s always the blue.

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Fyrinnae Sugar Coated

Sugar Coated is a blue shimmer over a black base, and it is stunning. It is the lipstick for all of your spooky witchy needs. You can kind of see that gorgeous blue sparkle here, but it shows up differently under different lights. It requires two coats (I did them wet) because otherwise the shimmer disperses a little unevenly, or it would be fine over a black or blue liner (NYX have a black lipliner). I ate a messy fish dinner and it held up with no smudging and fair colour loss.

I also picked up the red, because I’m a huge fan of two of their existing reds (Vixen and Naughty & Nice), and the metallic spin looked beautiful.

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Fyrinnae Candied Kisses

Candied Kisses is a metallic dark browned crimson. It isn’t a rich bright red – definitely less richness than Naughty & Nice – and the brown and purple tones differ depending on the light. I love the metallic finish, and it’s incredibly easy to get opaque, but it wears away faster than Sugar Coated and fades after a couple of hours. The Fyrinnae formula stands up really well to reapplication, so it’s not really an issue for me.

Overall,

Pros:

  • Beautiful colours
  • Comfortable formula
  • Wears away nicely and reapplies well

Cons:

  • Higher learning curve than mousse formulas
  • Can take a liner/second coat for even dispersion/opacity
  • Not as long wearing as some of the colours from the range

 

That’s a bit of a quick and dirty overview of the formula with my investigation of the new colours, which I adore. It was a blue on black lipstick – it was practically made for me.

 

June Bellabox 2016 – an irritated unboxing/review

Is it possible? Is this Bellabox worse than that time the only thing  I was excited about was a tiny spray can of deodorant? Usually I try to keep you on your toes as to whether my thoughts on the box of the month are negative or positive, but as soon as I saw the first preview for this box, I knew this was going to be bad.

Like, this photo isn’t even in focus. I’m the worst and my maths will be every bit as bad as it was in my Marie Claire unboxing. Delete my blog.

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Can you not just predict exactly what I’m going to say?

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleansing Wipes (25 wipes for $7.50; full size) – I mean, they’re basic makeup removal wipes. I haven’t had good experiences with the brand. They’ll be fine for removing swatches, if necessary. That’s nearly as positive as this review is going to get.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel (50g costs $24.99; this is a 5g tube so it’s worth about $2.50) – I was into this sample! That is, when I received it in my first ever Bellabox. I know I’m bound to get repeats across different boxes, but the exact same product in the same box? Come on, guys. If you’re curious as to my opinion, I ended up hating it – it felt sticky, and way too light, and like it didn’t actually give me any hydration. This will go into The Box.

Dermal Therapy Lip Balm (10g for $4.95; full size) – This is the item I’m the most pleased with, and it’s a standard petroleum based lip balm (my favourites tend to be lanolin based). It doesn’t feel too sticky, and it has a very lightly minty smell, so I’ll probably use it overnight.It doesn’t make me angry.

Colgate Optic White High Impact White Toothpaste (This is advertised as a bonus item not counting to value but the full size is 85g for $9.99 so this 21g tube adds about $2.50) – Double standards here, because I was happy with this when I got it in my Marie Claire Parcel. That’s because 1) I was in hospital and it was incredibly helpful and 2) the rest of the box was awesome. This tube has the problem of being the second I’ve received, so I know that I’m not a fan of the taste, and I don’t really have any use for it. Sad trombones.

Mizon Soothing Mask (single masks are $4.00) – It’s a sheet mask. I’m not really a sheet mask person. I’m also not a lavender person, which this contains, so I’m wary. But it’s usable, and I haven’t received it before.

Your Tea Skin Magic Tea (60 pack is $35; this is a 9 pack worth by my shitty calculations about $5.25) – This was the spoiler I saw that set the whole box as a failure for me. I’m adamantly against “slimming” teas and the promotion thereof to susceptible audiences  and detox teas are also definitely not my jam (WHAT TOXINS? THAT’S WHAT YOUR ORGANS ARE DOING), so at least they picked a “complexion” tea. I don’t have a problem with concepts of chinese medicine and the application thereof in teas, but I do have a problem with supporting companies who sell weightloss and “liver cleanse” teas and eugh. Especially not if they’re advertised as the big ticket item of the box. I’d accept it, maybe, as a “bonus” item – in place of the toothpaste, perhaps – but…come on. Nope.

Gelogic Gel Nail Polish in Champagne (18mL $9.95; full size) – Not only do I not wear nail polish, but I received the ugliest beige colour in the world.

And then there’s that bullshit “get $100 off when you spend $100 on a box of wine which is actually only worth $100 in the first place so there’s no discount”, which…stop it, Bellabox.

This is the closest I’ve come to unsubscribing. I’m extremely unimpressed with the tea. One of the items is a repeat from this box, and one I’ve got in another box. Two items I flat out won’t use (nail polish and tea), leaving me with…face wipes in a brand that has irritated my skin in the past, a sheet mask with an ingredient that tends to irritate me, and a lip balm I’ll use. Okay, it’s not quite as bad as that goddawful box from all those months ago, but it’s not good. The value is not atrocious, at about $36.65, but the perceived value is…not that.

0.5/5. I suppose.

Get it together, Bellabox. I think it’s autorolled over to next month, so I’d hope they pick themselves up.

Marie Claire The Parcel – Winter Edit Unboxing/Review

The Parcel is the box with which I have experienced the highest highs and the lowest lows. It’s on the pricier side of boxes I am subscribed to – a single box costs $30, although there are significant discounts as you subscribe either seasonally for $25 a  box or $99 for a year’s worth like I have, and you can pair it with the magazine should you choose to – and given I have it for a year, I’m not really here to be disappointed overall. Last season left a really sour taste in my mouth.

I’m in hospital at the moment, so I was set up to really enjoy this box. Thankfully it delivered on being the bright spot I needed, and also provided a few weirdly useful things that would have ordinarily been boring, but came at the perfect time.

As per usual, the parcel is presented beautifully. In terms of straight out value, you never have to worry about getting $30 worth – it’s whether or not the items are of usable quality and perceived value. The box is shrink wrapped and nothing is broken, and unlike last month, it doesn’t smell ridiculously intense and overpowering. There’s also a great little booklet explaining what everything is, what is costs and how to use it.

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Atrocious hospital lighting does not make for good photo quality

Colgate Optic White High Impact White (full size is 85G for $9.99; this is 21G so approximately $2.50 and I’m not using a calculator so let’s go with my rounded up maths) – Toothpaste would ordinarily be a super boring thing to put in a box, but I’m in hospital and I made the mistake of grabbing the first travel sized toothpaste I could find, and it is HORRIBLE. I generally use Colgate, so I am incredibly grateful for this. I wouldn’t say no to whiter teeth, so hey.

MOR Rosa Noir Hand & Body Milk (full size is 500mL for $39.95,  my box is no longer with me but I believe it’s around 50mL or $4) – I’m on record of not being a fan of how heavily scented MOR’s products are, but this one surprised me by being actually quite subtle. It’s a lovely lightweight formula that seems to still do a decent job of moisturising, so even though it’s still heavier on scent than I generally reach for, I’ll definitely use it up. Once I finish one of my other three million body lotion samples.

Garnier Wake Up Cream (full size; 50mL for $19.95) – A full size face cream is a nice inclusion, and this is actually a really interesting one that I think will please a lot of different skin types. Again, heavier on scent than most creams I go for, but a really interesting thick cream formula that feels light and almost whipped on the skin. It claims to be “fatigue fighting”, and I’m about to undergo a change in medication that will mess with my sleep cycle, so I’m definitely willing to give it a go and work it into my skincare rotation.

Rituals Cosmetics Fortune Oil (full size is 200mL for $18; this is 20mL so $1.80 in value) – I actually used this tonight! I had never used a shower oil before and I was all out of tiny Lush shower gels for travel/hospital, so this was a much nicer alternative to the antibacterial generic hospital stuff. It smells orangey and woody, makes a really sparse foam but spreads beautifully, and leaves the skin super soft. I don’t think I’ll get many uses from it – it pours out pretty quickly – but it’ll make this hospitalization a lot nicer.

Klorane Shampoo with Quinine and B Vitamins (full size is 400mL for $20.95; this is 25mL so like…$1.30) – This Klorane creation is for adding thickness and strength, which isn’t really something I go for in my haircare – my hair is weirdly thick, although I do lose a lot of it from meds. I use mostly colour haircare at the moment, so this will get put in the sample bag to get used eventually.

Nivea Sensitive Caring Micellar Water (full size; 200mL for $9.97) – Another full size. A while back I declared I had reached micellar saturation (unless it’s tiny bottles of Bioderma). Another bottle was literally the last thing I needed. At least I’ll never have to buy it again? I haven’t tried this one, so it’s something new. Maybe it’ll blow me away and I’ll prefer it to Bioderma, or at the very least prefer it to the Garnier.

Garnier BB Cream Miracle Skin Perfector (foil sachet – the full size is $13.95)  – I actually love the oil free version of this for beach days, but I was never a fan of the original. I’ll try it again, because why not?

John Frieda Frizz Ease Forever Smooth Anti-Frizz Primer (full size; 100mL for $16.99) – I feel like we could just call this a leave in treatment and not need to be buzzwordy and call it a primer. I’ve mentioned that I don’t really do much with my hair, so this will probably go to my sister, but I appreciate the full size and I do have very frizzy hair and I’ll probably give it a go.

The Body Shop Drops of Youth Concentrate (full size is 50mL for $69.95; this is about 7mL so it’s worth around $9? Maths, man) – I spoke about this briefly in my most recent empties post, because I work at the Body Shop and I’ve been using it for about six months. I don’t personally necessarily go for the latest advances in stem cell technology, because I’m not really about gimmicky skincare (fun as it may be), but all I know is that this stuff makes my skin feel amazing. It gives the kind of hydration my skin needs without any kind of heaviness or stickiness (the kind of things that deter me from using serums), and seems to have creams absorbing faster on top of it. I find that when I’m using it I get a lot more compliments on my skin, and it’s one of the only products I can say that for. It’s definitely not cheap, but I accidentally got hooked on it. I’ve already got a big bottle of it, so this little one has gone straight to my mother.

Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm (full size; 4.25g for $12.95) – I got mine in “Sweet Violet” and ordinarily I’d  insert a swatch but there is literally no pigment to these tinted lip balms so I will not bother. It’s a little waxy but softer than most stick balms, and it smells nice. I’ve been addicted to the Epically Epic lip balms which come in amazing scents and melt beautifully into the lips, but the one I brought to hospital (Snow Angel) has a strong peppermint flavour that I can’t use around meal times, so it’s nice to have something simpler on hand. As a lipstick girl, I don’t often do the lip balm thing, but I’ll never say no to them.

 

Overall, the box had about $75 of my badly calculated value, which is probably actually lower than most of the parcels I’ve received. There were no big ticket fancy Estee Lauder serums or severely underwhelming $40 lipsticks (god damn it Gilded Cage). That said, I am way happier with its perceived value than the last box because there are no $40 lipsticks with formulas that I hate in colours I won’t wear or $20 soaps that give me migraines or $20 nail polishes that I won’t use. Nearly everything in this box is something I’ll use, except maybe the hair stuff, and the Drops of Youth that just so happens to be something I’m already into. I’ll get around to some things eventually, but I was surprised by my enjoyment of the lotion and the face cream. I’ll give the micellar water a go.

It’s not as overwhelming of a success as my first box (Zoeva brush! Paula’s Choice Vitamin C serum! Trilogy Cleansing Balm! Swisse Deep Sea Toner Spray! Man, what a box), but it’s definitely not making me regret my subscription. Let’s give it a 3.5/5.

 

May Empties 2016

I love writing about stuff that I’ve used up because it encourages me to actually use things up instead of hoarding and never getting through product, and also because I find it’s the best way of finding out what people think about products. I have been battling vestibular migraine for about four days now, so I haven’t got my writing mojo going, but this is giving me something to distract myself with, so let’s have at it.

Full sizes

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Fortune Cookie Soap Guardian of the Forest – This smells like three thousand different kinds of flowers and it’s just way too much. These soaps don’t stand up to shower use – they fall apart really easily – so I use them as hand soaps. Purchase? I would never buy these shaped soaps, but I like their normal bar soaps. This smell, though? Nope.

Lush Reindeer Rock Soap – This is a lovely smelling berry soap that I had left over from Christmas. It’s nice, not incredible, but really nice. Repurchase? If it came back for Christmas? Sure. I’m a sucker for Lush soaps.

Lush Egg Snog lip balm – Why did I buy this lip balm? It smells delicious and cinnamon-y but I never finish these lip balms and I hate lip balm pots and eugh. I was lured in by the good smell. Repurchase? Why did I buy it in the first place?

Fortune Cookie Soap Candy Fluff lip scrub – Oh my god this lip scrub is beautiful. I wish it didn’t have the too-chunky bits of candy cane at the top, because they’re too harsh on the lips,  but the rest of this is super finely milled and it makes the lips feel lovely and I love minty flavour/smell. Bring it back, FCS. Repurchase? If I could, hell yes.

The Body Shop Calming Aloe Toner – I have sensitive skin and sometimes cleansing leaves my skin a little exhausted and so I need a toner, and this one is unscented and non-drying. It’s super simple, and if you don’t use a toner then just ignore it, but I love it. Repurchase? Yes, and I have.

Philosophy Melon Daiquiri Shower Gel – I finally finished the last shower gel from my Christmas 2014 trio! And despite what I was expecting, this was my favourite. It smelt like watermelon lollies. I loved it. Really summery, and one of the only shower gel formulas that doesn’t dry me out. Repurchase? If it was available individually. Now to start on my christmas 2015 shower gel.

The Body Shop Virgin Mojito Shower Gel – The Body Shop messed up by making this limited edition. This scent is the best thing in the world. I’m so bummed that I’ve finished the last of my shower gels and I keep being tempted to buy the $40 buckets with all of the products in, just so I can get the shower gel. Repurchase? I wish, I wish, I wish.

The Body Shop Drops of Youth Concentrate – Look, I’m as dubious as to the actual scientific benefits of the “stem cell technology” claims this concentrate boasts as you are, and I work at The Body Shop. That said, this stuff makes my skin feel amazing. It’s hydration and a boost without greasiness or stickiness, and really, that’s my main concern. What matters to me is that it makes my skin look and feel good. Repurchase? Already have.

The Body Shop Tea Tree Blemish Lotion – Yeah, I loved this when I was 13, but it’s time for this tube to go. It’s way too light for my combo-dry skin, and I tend to react to anything too strong in salicylic acid or tea tree left on the skin. It’s just not for me. Repurchase? No

Old Spice Classic Anti Antiperspirant – This stuff works, but it smells too much like man and I just could not get through it. Repurchase? No.

Physiogel Daily Moisturising Therapy – My sister and I both love this stuff when we’re rash-y and gross, and winter isn’t kind to our skin. I was frustrated to learn that it’s not sold at Priceline anymore, which means it won’t be easy to purchase. Repurchase? I don’t want to get it online, so probably not.

Dove Original Deodorant – Now this is more like it. It’s a deodorant, it doesn’t smell gross, and it does the job. Repurchase? Every time.

Kleenex Anti Bacterial Wipes – They keep my hands and my desk clean so I don’t get foundation over every single thing I touch. Repurchase? Yeah.

Swisspers Cotton Rounds – They’re not my favourite – they’re not super soft – but they get the job done. Repurchase? In times of necessity.

I do not know where this makeup brush is from and I do not want to talk about it.

Max Factor Masterpiece Max Mascara – This is such a nice mascara. It gives volume, length, drama, a little definition, and it does it in one coat. It’s super pretty, and I have Bellabox to thank for that. Bellabox, you did well one time. Repurchase? If I ever need mascara again, I’d consider it.

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper – This liner is the easiest thing to do winged liner with when my arthritis is flaring up, and in the winter I cannot live without it. As soon as this dried up – it takes about six months for me, as opposed to two months for my Body Shop one or the Maybelline Master Precise – I have to rebuy it. It goes on beautiful and black and it’s just amazing – but for the sake of fairness, I hate the Stila liner that a lot of people love. Repurchase? Already have, in the Sephora black card 20% off sale.

And now, for the other stuff.

Samples/Deluxe Sized:

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Wotnot Facial Wipes for Normal/Sensitive Skin – These were nice, and I loved how nice and big they were, but they were way too fancy for me to use as facial wipes, and they weren’t that great at removing eye makeup. Simple face wipes still have my heart. Purchase? No

It Cosmetics Bye Bye Undereye Concealer in Medium – These samples lasted a good month each, and I ended up falling in love. Such great coverage, and a tiny bit goes such a long way. You definitely need to set it, but I don’t mind that considering the wear time I get out of it and how little it cakes on pimples or the undereye area. Purchase? Ended up buying it in that Sephora sale as well, for 20% off.

Josie Maran Argan Milk Josie Maran stuff just does not agree with my skin at all. I used some of this and my sister stole the rest, but it broke me out anyway. Purchase? No

Aroma Magic Almond Moisturising Lotion – this product is the kind of thing I talk about when I mention prioritising a “natural” image over functionality. It’s the brand’s choice to make whatever lotion they want, and I’m sure some people loved this in their May bellaboxes, but for me it was everything that irritates me in a lotion – way too light to properly hydrate but still greasy feeling, and way too heavy on certain essential oils making it unusable on my danger regions (my arms, thighs and chest are way more sensitive than the rest of my body). I used this up to use it up. Purchase? No.

Fortune Cookie Soap Company Intervention Whipped Cream – when I got my spring/summer box, this was the item I was most excited about and with good reason. The whipped cream formula is way less frustrating to use in the cooler months, and this one smells like a straight up Malibu and pineapple. I don’t need to buy body moisturiser for at least another year, but I do have a whipped cream to work through. Purchase? In this scent, potentially, depending on if it was still around by the time I end up actually needing moisturiser (probably not).

BareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Moisturiser – Finally finished up this tune from a couple of BeautyLoop boxes back, and it was ok. I don’t generally go for lighter bases – I either just conceal or I go full foundation, so I didn’t find myself reaching for this terribly often. It doesn’t give much coverage (unlike something with more, a la the NARS matte skin tint) but it does even out the skin tone and it has a nice natural finish. I wasn’t a huge fan of the thicker gel texture – if I want a light base, it feels like too much. Purchase? No

L’oreal Nude Magique BB Cream – don’t even talk to me. I wore this around the house because I knew how little I would like it. These magical “universal” shades are bullshit and everyone knows it, and it was a tinted moisturiser, if that. Purchase? No

GlamGlow Powermud Mud-to-Oil Dualcleanse Treatment – I wanted to hate this sample because I objectively hate GlamGlow and their pseudoscience ingredients lists full of bullshit trademarks (claytox? Really?) but I actually really loved how my skin felt after I used it. One test is not enough to conclusively be swayed, but I might try another sample, and then maybe one of the minis they sell at Mecca. Hell, the full size is $100. Purchase? For $100? Never. Could I justify one of the little tubs for a treat? Maybe.

Nars Sheer Glow Foundation in Mont Blanc – this foundation is one of the most widely adored bases online, and it looks beautiful on my skin for one hour. After that, it’s a hot mess. It gets patchy where I’m oily and clings to dryness I didn’t know I had and around spots and loses coverage and it’s just dismal. Purchase? Hell no.

Laura Mercier Hydrating Primer – this was fine, but these hydrating primers really aren’t my bag. I have too much texture in my skin and I need that protective smoothing factor. Purchase? No.

Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy – after about two years of use I have retired my baby Pixie Epoxy. My big tube is still going strong, but this is the one I would take to friends when doing makeup or allow to get slightly messy of applying over the tops of other things. Pixie Epoxy is a glitter adhesive, and it is legitimate. It will lock onto any shifty shadow, find the beauty hiding, turn it into an eyeliner, you name it. It’s not the most user friendly product by any means – you need to work quickly with it, you can’t blend over it, you have to work out how much time to give it and what shadows don’t mesh with it – but I need to have some around.   Repurchase? I’ve got a big tube on the go.

Nourish Naturals Dry Skin Lotion – a lightweight, undetectably scented  lotion that I used on my arms where I was red and itchy. It was find. Purchase? Maybe if I ever desperately need one of those easy unscented chemist lotions for a sudden hardcore reaction.

Guerlain Super Aqua Creme Day Cream – holy smokes, this was heavily scented. I ended up using most of it on my neck because it was itching on my face. Purchase? Definitely not.

Nivea Q10 Plus Anti Wrinkle Replenishing Pearls – the packaging of this foil sample looked cool but was a pain to use, and the product itself was…fine? I’m totally not the target market. It didn’t feel like it did much at all to my skin, other than feel superficially silicone-y and smoothing. It reminds me a lot of the Body Shop Vitamin C Skin Boost, in that it’s more of a primer, but people use it as a serum? Its marketing, at least in the box I received, was confusing. Purchase? No.

The Face Shop The Therapy Secret-made Anti-aging Eye Cream – it’s an eye cream. It moisturised. I still can’t convince myself to use one. Purchase? No

Indeed Labs Vitamin C24 – I like the primer texture of this vitamin c booster, but I don’t like using it at night – I’d like a vitamin c more akin to the Paula’s Choice one I tried a while back – and I don’t need to increase my sun sensitivity more than medication already has. Think I’ll stick to primer. I am very curious about the science aesthetic of this brand, and I’ve heard a lot of talk about their products, so I’ll keep an eye out. Purchase? No.

We’re finally done!

Sorry I’m posting it so late – in the last week of the month, as I mentioned, another bout of migraine hit. I’m actually finishing this post off in a moment of feeling alive – I’m in hospital. Hopefully it’s a short stay.

 

 

 

 

 

Lust Have It May 2016 – Unboxing/Review

Another day, another box. It’s the time of the month when everything just…arrives. I love it. After a disappointing Bellabox, can Lust Have It lure me in? Will the race between the two end in me cancelling one? Or both? Look, let’s make decisions later. Let’s talk about the bag.

 

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It’s definitely an interesting month. I do love, on an aesthetic level, the pops of pink between the bag and the tights and the lip balm and the card. Cute curation. In terms of the contents, it’s a bit of a

mixed bag. Hopefully I’m hilarious at every turn and can make many more hilarious puns so you can insert your own sound effects.

Back on topic:

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Teez Cosmetics Spectrum of Stars Eyeshadow (Full size, retails for $29) – I was prepared to be underwhelmed by this eyeshadow, which is clearly supposed to make up the bulk of the bag’s value at $29. The packaging is bizarre, a weird golden sphere? And so bulky, yikes:

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With the standard issue Lust Have It Card, possibly an unhelpful scale

But the colour I recieved, Sea Glare, is a beautiful shifty iridescent green gold. It’s obviously not an everyday colour, but my god, it’s gorgeous. I can’t see myself whipping out my weird chunky gold sphere to do my makeup, but I might make an exception. Swatches, for the curious:

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TEEZ Spectrum of Stars Eyeshadow in Sea Glare swatched over Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy and alone, Starlooks Luxe Longwear Eye Liner Pen

I swatched it alone in the middle (you really can’t see the green gold shiftiness), and then on top over Fyrinnae’s Pixie Epoxy. The swatches suck, because it’s night time and I did them in three seconds and I’m sorry. Basically: ooh, pretty.

PHR Recovery Leave-in Moisturiser (15mL – 125mL retails for $35.95) – This is a leave in conditioner for hair, which is not typically the kind of product I use. My hair tends more on the oily side, but I have recently bleached the lot of it, so who knows. That said, it does seem like a fair bit more effort than I usually put in my hair, so it will probably get passed on.

Lollipops Baume Grenadine (Retails for $7.45) I mean, this is a cheap lip balm, so I’m not sure why it’s disappointing to me that it feels cheap. Not in quality – the actual product, on the lips, feels like a standard glossy balm, even a nice one. The packaging, though, is total trash, and it smells so strongly plastic strawberry bubblegum that it’s borderline too much. The tint is minimal and not worth photographing, so this probably will end up getting passed on.

Starlooks Luxe Longwear Eye Liner Pen (Retails for $20) – When it comes to things I use daily, eyeliner pens are my go-to. I do winged liner practically on the daily because it works really nicely with my eye shape and makes me look a little more pulled together. I’m happy to try Starlooks, and I’ve heard good things about their liner pens. It seems consistent – it’s not the thinnest, as you’ll see in the swatch above, but nice and opaque and even. Now that it’s dried on my arm, it’s not smudging at all, so that bodes well. I’m curious to see how this thickness will manage a finer wing, but I have no doubt this will be great for more graphic looks.

Mystery Item (Lust Have It offloads their leftover sample stock) – Soak Superfood Skincare Skin Booster Body Lotion (25mL) – This is just a body lotion. I have a million, but I like the gently fruity lotion smell of this one and the consistency is a nice balance between richness and fast absorbance. It’s also an okay size. As far as random throwaway lotion samples go, that I use just in order to use, I prefer this one to the one in my May Bellabox (and far prefer the Whipped Cream from the Fortune Cookie Soap Box).

Razzamatazz Perfectly Matte Opaque Leggings (Retails for $11.95) – Just this morning I was lamenting my lack of leggings, and in comes Lust Have It was a frail attempt to help out. Guys. Curators. Subscription box creators of the world. If you ever intend on sending out clothing or clothing-adjacent items that have sizes, get the sizes of your subscribers or make sure your items are legitimately one size fits all. These leggings are average/tall, and I am a large lady. Average is not going to work. I know that logistically, it’s a nightmare, but it’s also extremely isolating as a customer to receive things that immediately ice you out. Even just including this for the people who’d fit it, or sending out other sizes to other people (I would have loved the extra tall), would have been great. Not necessarily feasible, but ideal.

Look, Lust Have It. There are some major wins here. I love the eyeshadow and I’m stoked for the eyeliner. I’ll use the body lotion and I’m going to attempt to stretch out the leggings and make them work for my larger than “average”  size thighs. It’s an example of the ways some great items can really drag up the ok items in a bag/box and make receiving it fun instead of frustrating. Really, the only frustration came from the leggings, and that’s more of an ideological issue.

In terms of rating, I’d give this a solid 3.5/5. It’s a good bag, but it’s not great. I’m happy to have it.

 

 

 

 

In Sickness and In Makeup: Makeup for the Disabled and Chronically Ill

When I  first started writing about makeup in my spare time, a long time ago, I was very barely in control of my body. I’m very open about my struggles with chronic illness, and there is very little cross section between the glamour of talking about makeup and beauty, and the world of the chronically ill or disables. I had grand intentions to write for people like myself, who were struggling with things I was struggling with.  Unfortunately, being amidst active illness made finding the time to write a little bit harder than I was anticipating.

Now here I am with my shiny new blog, arthritis flaring up, and it feels like a great time to write.

For context, my body is pretty broken. As it goes with chronic illness, once you’re diagnosed with one, your body tends to want to collect them all. I was initially diagnosed with an autoimmune condition called Crohn’s Disease at sixteen, which was followed in quick succession by issues with arthritis (predominantly in my wrists and ankles), chronic neuropathic pain, and vestibular migraine. I do also battle with major depression and generalised anxiety, both of which are thankfully under fairly decent control with medication.

“Why?” I imagine is a question that could come up. After all, there isn’t a lot of common ground between the two topics – until you’ve lived with them. Living with a body that doesn’t fit the ideal “able”ness loads the everyday with challenges that you may never have considered. Suddenly you’re plunged into a world where your body doesn’t work in the way you want it to, and things won’t cooperate. Your body tends to degrade, and so it’s easy to get tied up in trying to make it look better, or giving yourself a boost. When I’m pale and weathered and worn, putting on a red lipstick makes me feel strong. Concealer helps me cover up the evidence of missed sleep, painkillers, rashes. Filling in my brows gives me polish. Makeup helps me tie my body back together.

On the surface, I could write tips: I could write about the importance of lip balm when you’re on steroids, of brow powder when medication makes your hair fall out, of finding the perfect concealer shade. The truth is, though, that makeup for the sick is a minefield and it’s different for everyone, and the real tips are the concepts.

  • Use the available aids
    When you are a sick person, you spend your life looking for ways to make things easier for yourself. You find things that help you live. I know that my arthritis is far more manageable when I am wearing my wrist splints, and I know that severe bouts of pain are better when I stop trying to be strong and allow myself to take the pills. It extends to makeup – you don’t have to be the strong person. You can allow yourself help and it does not make you lesser of an individual. Your eyeliner wing is not less impressive because you used the card to get the line straight, or you put on your wrist splints to draw it. Sitting down to apply your makeup isn’t a weakness.
    Relying on things that help you and make your life, and your makeup application, easier, don’t make your application less valid.
  • Give yourself time
    Makeup is not easy, and living life as a disabled or chronically ill person is damn hard. Things can take longer. That doesn’t make the end results (again) any less valid, nor does it mean that looking less polished means that you are a failure. I know that doing my winged liner in the morning can take half an hour and several do-overs when my wrists are unsteady and things are shaking. If a painkiller has left me sluggish, things take longer. That’s how it is. Take time. If you want to express yourself through makeup, or that is a way you make yourself feel better, it is a completely reasonable thing to put aside a considerable amount of time for it.
  • Get help
    Makeup is a weird, wide world. It’s confusing and easy to get lost in and overwhelmed by, and even moreso when there’s a lot of other stuff in your life to get overwhelmed by. I learn a lot by spending a huge chunk of my free time – because this is what I love – watching videos and reading blogs and going into my favourite stores and talking to people. I try samples of different things and test them out on gross days – how will this foundation stand up to working on a bad pain day when I sweat a lot and get really gross? I don’t need the trouble of buying something and finding out that it doesn’t work under my very specific conditions. Ask a youtuber you trust what they think of that new eyeliner they bought. Ask me what my favourite vomit-proof lipstick is.
    Being sick, being disabled, being mentally ill, these are things that can be incredibly isolating. Find communities, find support. Ask. It’s alright and (again) there is no admission of weakness here. It’s okay.
  • And of course, finally, and most preachingly and sing-song koombaya – don’t tie your self worth to your appearance
    Everyone is going to say this and it’s so easy to dismiss it as bullshit. Honestly though – makeup is fun. Makeup is a thing that allows for expression and can be a great tool for making you feel stronger or better. That said, it isn’t something essential. You are not required by the world to look pretty or polished or “healthy”to be treated as a human, and even though people might live as though this is the truth, they will shudder the second you suggest it to them. You are a person who is dealing with a different set of obstacles and the entirety of your being is not made up on what is observable from the surface. It’s not always as simple as loving yourself, because it can be hard to love yourself when you can’t necessarily wholeheartedly embrace the body and brain that you’re in, but even if you don’t love yourself, at least cut yourself some slack.

 

I know I might be coming off very new age and zen, but time teaches. If you’re ever struggling with anything, shoot me an email – I’m always happy to hear a rant – but the fact of the matter is that there should be a visible intersection between disability/illness and makeup, and I’m here to do whatever I can to further that.