Bite Sized Five – Thoughts on Things

I’ve been sick recently and it’s been hard to compile thoughts, but here are’s a quick grab bag of products that I’ve been wanting to share my thoughts on. Sometimes I start using a product a lot and I develop stronger thoughts on it and no one cares about them so I need a venue for that. This is the venue.

It Cosmetics Bye Bye Undereye Illumination – I should really update my Basics of Bases post, but a few products in that remain solid, including how I feel about the original Bye Bye Undereye concealer in that I love it when I need some hardcore coverage. I got a deluxe sample size of the newer version – the “illumination” version – and it’s…okay. It still gives me the same coverage, which is great. There’s no evidence of any darkness under my eyes when I put this on. However, the illumination factor is downright silvery in some lights, and it means that unlike the original you cannot use this or any excess on blemishes and if it isn’t blended studiously, you will be able to tell. I can only wear this concealer with a full coverage foundation, lest I end up a glittery mess – perhaps it would be a better option on someone with more darkness under their eyes that they’re trying to counteract, but I would worry about this highlighting it rather than erasing it. In short: not for me.

The Body Shop Matte Clay Foundation – From that same blog post, another product I still love and have completely surprised myself with is the Body Shop Fresh Nude foundation. It’s a relief, considering I really ought to wear it to work every day. For easy makeup that looks like skin, it’s the best. It’s still hard to fight my makeup loving instincts for full coverage makeup that looks like makeup, and while the new Matte Clay foundation is not at all an easy foundation, I am at the point in the learning curve where I’m totally into it.  This is not a foundation that forgives poor preparation or skincare – you need to prep and prime within an inch of your life. I love this with the primer I’m going to talk about in this post, actually. But I cannot skip moisturising or weekly physical exfoliation if I’m planning on wearing this, because it will find dry patches I did not know I had. It’s similar to the Tarte Amazonian Clay foundation in coverage and feeling, but it’s less thick and mask-like, but also less forgiving. It does share the property of being extremely long wearing and it keeps me matte to the high heavens, which I honestly was not expecting. It looks like makeup, but sometimes I want that – with heavier eye makeup and full contour/highlight, sometimes I feel like I need a more present base. The shade range on this one, though, is dismal. When I can wear shades three through seven, it’s a bad sign.

I’m ridiculously high maintenance, and I’ve found that my perfect work foundation is a combination of this one and the Fresh Nude. More forgiving than this alone, more matte and with more coverage than just Fresh Nude.

Zoeva Matte Full Spectrum Palette – I’m so boring and I just love matte eyeshadows. I’ve just been picking a few and then slapping on some g old glitter shadow or a beige satin and I’m good to go. This is a great palette for allowing me to do looks with greens or reds or blues depending on however I’m feeling, and it doesn’t waste my time with lazy metallics that I can just rip from other palettes. The Zoeva mattes are definitely stiffer than something like a Kat Von D or Anastasia matte, but they blend nicely and are good for building – you have to start small and work up, and I appreciate that. It stops the tendency to just rush overboard with orange and purple. It’s expensive – priced fairly, but it’s huge – and at more than $70, it’s only worth it if you know you’re going to use a spectrum of matte colours.

The Ordinary High Adherence Silicone Primer – I wrote recently about my enjoyment of The Ordinary’s other primer, the High Spreadability Fluid Primer, in a recent post. My enjoyment of that one lead me to pick up this option, which I was worried was going to be overly thick and tacky a la the Deciem Matte 12. Thankfully, this has the slight type of tackiness that is beneficial in a primer and helps to keep foundation adhering. Since it’s silicone based, it has the same smoothing action as the other primer. It feels lighter on the skin than the High Spreadability primer. That’s nice, sometimes. I wouldn’t wear this by itself, and it’s not the most effective pore filler around, but it’s become my go-to primer over the past few weeks. Frequency of use is okay, because I can actually afford to replace it (it’s around $10AUD from Myer), unlike the battle that is replacing NYX Angel Veil or the price of replacing Hourglass Mineral Veil.

Tarte Lights Camera Lashes – Tarte, as a brand, are not my cup of tea. I used to swear by their Amazonian Clay Foundation when I was young and struggling with texture, but then I realised that the heavier foundations weren’t always the best solution. Whoever posted a racist meme on their instagram today and then blamed an intern? Yikes. That all said, this mini mascara came in the Christmas lash stash (I redeemed for the Make Up Forever Excessive Lash), and it’s a pretty popular one on the scene so it deserves comment. It’s nice. If you want very long, fluttery lashes that don’t clump together, this is a good mascara for that. Not too wet or too dry. On initial application, it’s one of the most false lash adjacent mascaras I’ve ever tried. However! My god, this mascara does not stay on. I don’t generally struggle with mascara running as a rule, which is why I find this notable. I seldom opt for waterproof mascaras but this mascara, after four hours, had flaked all over my under eye area and at six hours was smudge city. So all in all, that outweighs the initial prettiness for me. I’ve been using it up through layering – it’s lovely on the top lashes only, working with a far more durable and volumising mascara. I’ve enjoyed using this alongside the Buxom mascara, which I’ll probably write about soon, as it’s become one of my absolute workhorse products.

I tend to avoid writing about lip products here, but a special shout out rant about the Nars Power Matte Liquid Lipstick packaging. Beautiful, beautiful products on the lips – I have Starwoman and it’s an absolutely gorgeous red – but be it a faulty item or a fault of a lack of proper stopper and a very thin product, this thing leaks everywhere. I have red liquid lipstick all over my handbag. Caution advised.

That’s all my cut down rants and rambles for the moment, but I’m sure more are soon to come.

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Bite Sized Five – Trying Things and Thinking Thoughts

I have five semi coherent thoughts about five new, new-to-me or just recently rotated products I’ve been wanting to talk about. No need to dither about, let’s dive right in.

Buxom Lash Mascara – I acquired this mascara as a part of a Sephora in JCP Favourites set as a part of my ridiculous USA haul. I didn’t open it straight away – I’ve never used anything from Buxom before, and it’s never really appealed to me. This mascara has a boring name and no extraordinary claims, but I kind of adore it? It’s a much larger plastic wand than I normally use (my other current mascara is the Makeup Forever Excessive Lash, which has a a really short brush) but I find it really grips my lashes and gives me the separation I want. I’m lucky in having quite long lashes, so I tend to go for volume and a fluttery look, and I get a really good level of drama with this mascara. Not much length, so I’d caution against it if that is your bag, but it works perfectly for me. I don’t know where I’d rebuy it in Australia, though.

Becca Ever Matte Poreless Priming Perfector – I was really happy when Sephora Australia added this as a point perk, because I’ve heard so much about it. My skin isn’t the oiliest, but this is touted as the be all and end all of oil control primers, so I’ve wanted to try it for nights out and long shifts. It’s a really good sized tube and you don’t need much, so it will last a long time (which is good, because a full size costs $55AUD). Everyone talks about the learning curve, and it’s harsh: you cannot rub it in. It needs to be pressed in. If you apply it wrong, your makeup will ball up or apply streaky; it’s no joke. Once you’ve worked out how to use it, it’s pretty great stuff. It’s not the primer to end all primers for my skin – I know some people swear by this – but it’s better at holding makeup on my face than, say, the Hourglass Mineral Veil, though it lacks the smoothing properties of the Hourglass primer. I enjoy this on intended occasions, but it’s not something I reach for on my days off or in my daily rotation. Perhaps in the summertime it might be more applicable.

Tarte Brighter Days Highlighting Moisturiser – We got this as a point perk before it launched at Australian Sephora, which was a rare event, so I picked it up on reflex with some of those points I’ve  accumulated. It was a ridiculous move on my part – I have pretty textured skin, and usually loathe products with glitter or shimmer particles through them. This fails for me both as a highlighting and as a moisturising product – instead, my face just feels a little gross and looks sparkly, which I hate. Why on earth am I still tempted by the new Australis Serum Primer? You tell me. A bit of a miss for me – Tarte’s whole “athleisure” collection is a bit confusing and gimmicky-seeming to me, really.

Sephora Collection Honey Lip Scrub – Look, it’s something I love! I’ve tried so many lip scrubs. I’m down to just the Lush couple in my collection, and I am far too lazy/not quite thrifty enough to ever make my own. I have always hated digging my fingers into a little pot, even the nice ones, so I appreciate the stick form of this. The Body Shop also has a stick scrub, but it’s double the price (the Sephora one is $9 in Australia). That said, this is an incredibly gentle scrub, and very soft. I’ll finish it pretty quickly, I can already tell. Half of the time I apply it and it’s hard to tell whether I’ve applied a scrub or just an ordinary balm. I’ve been using it before I go to bed, and then using a Lush one for a bit more intensity before I apply lipstick in the morning, and the combo is working pretty well for me.

Australis Jelly Bean Silicone Blending Sponge – I was never going to pay to order a silicone pad from the internet for my makeup when I so rarely use a beautyblender to apply my makeup as is. At the height of silisponge internet obsession, I was rolling my eyes every five minutes. I do hate getting foundation all over my fingers and then on my black work clothes in the morning, so that aspect of slapping makeup on with this and then blending out with something else really appealed. I’m glad Australis were the first cheap Aussie knockoff of the concept and I do actually really enjoy it for that and how easy it is to clean, but I also wonder why it has been so quickly pulled from their website and from the Priceline website. That makes me a bit nervous. I think you can still find it in some stores, and I know Sportsgirl also sell a two pack of them but I also can’t find that online. Weird stuff. Look – it’s not a revolutionary tool like all of the videos were attempting to prove or disprove when they first launched. The only reason it might be necessary is if you don’t like getting foundation on your fingers, and you’re happy to blend out with a sponge or a brush. And for that? It’s a good tool.

 

Bite-Sized Five: Products I’ve Been Thinking About in October

October has been a truly brutal month. I’m only writing right now because honestly, I need a bit of a distraction, and grief is blocking almost all of the inspiration I need to get any of my work done for university. This post might be impersonal, and it might really exceed in the bite-sized stakes, but it’s something.

It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream in Light – This is the baby size, and I caved to rave reviews in my quest to find something nice for everyday when I go to Hawaii and for during the awful Australian summer. While I really enjoy the light feeling melding with decent coverage – this isn’t a foundation, but it definitely does a more effective job at covering blemishes than the majority of BB or CC or XX whatever creams – but it is definitely thicker feeling than other lightweight bases I have used, and I do feel like a primer is necessary with this one. When I have used it sans primer, I’ve found it tends to get a little clingy onto dry patches. The colour range is not spectacular and it has quite a strong smell, and I’ve heard a lot of reports of it being not so great in terms of triggering breakouts (I personally can’t comment on this either way). The wear time is alright, and I probably will reach for it more come summer, but I do wish it were a little more fuss-free. I guess that’s the trade-off that comes with wanting some coverage when you’ve got spots and scars and the like.

Physician’s Formula Eye Booster 2-in-1 Lash Boosting Eyeliner + Serum in Ultra Black – My local Priceline didn’t have a Physician’s Formula stand and I’ve also only really heard good things about like two of their products, so I never really paid much attention to the brand. When a new Priceline opened up with a stand, I thought I’d finally give a go to the one product I hear raved about consistently from the brand, especially compared to one of my absolute favourite products – the Kat Von D tattoo liner. It does have a brush tip, which I like on the KVD for the precision it provides, and it is definitely very black. That said, I find it much thicker and harder to control, and I can’t get precision at all. I like using it to get the actual line along my eye, nice and opaque and intense, but if I’m doing a wing, nope. A lot of people call these dupes, and while this will get used, I would definitely not consider them equal.

Teeez Dessert Metals Mascara in Tigers Eye – I got this in my July Lust Have It bag,  and in the off chance that you come across it, my verdict is that it’s fine. Brown mascara doesn’t really suit me, despite the gorgeous packaging. The biggest claim of this mascara is that it is longwear but easy to wash off, which is a claim I’d have to dispute – I find this to be a bit of a pain in the ass to remove, if I’m honest. The wear is decent, but not spectacular. It’s fine.

The Body Shop Down to Earth Eye Palette Smoky Gold Quad – The first of two palettes I wanted to talk about quickly, and my requisite single body shop product per bite-sized five. These new eye palettes launched, and I really do have to commend The Body Shop for upping their game on the eyeshadow front. Each palette – I’ve played with them all – differs in quality, but they are a huge step up from the previous Body Shop palettes in terms of blendability and ease of use. I appreciate the focus on ease of use and simplicity rather than pigmentation, because it’s very in-line with the demographic (not me). I do really love this one. It’s so smooth, and the pigmentation is great in each shade. The individual shades pop out, but aren’t available separately yet. There’s a nice highlight shade (or base, on my skintone), a good deep matte brown, a beautiful satin shimmer gold and a pretty shimmery taupe. I also have the Smoky Brown palette, which has two peach shades, and I can say that the glitter shades are definitely the weakest ones. I’m not so much of a fan of the pigmentation on the plum quad, which also doesn’t go on very plum and has a boatload of fallout, and the black quad isn’t my thing. The palette of eight is a nice mix of the golds and the plums, but I stayed away because I wouldn’t use the black or the plums. I love the nice big mirror and the new packaging and basically holy shit, these are so much better than the shimmer cubes. They aren’t cheap, especially for four shadows – when you compare it to the Zoeva palette, it’s excessive – but you do get deep pans and they are, when you pick the right palette, good quality. I’d say tread carefully, choose wisely (strong recommendations for this one and the brown one, and the grey one is nice on fair skin), but a step in the right direction.

Zoeva Naturally Yours Palette – I recently sold my Rodeo Belle palette, which was full of colours that didn’t inspire me, and was thinking about replacing it with another one because the Zoeva palettes are lovely quality, affordable, and good for playing around with. I went with the full intention of getting a more well known option, like the Rose Gold or the En Taupe or something, but for some reason the Naturally Yours palette was just the one that was calling to me. I know who I am. I know I like bold lips and bland eyes with the occasional pop. Zoeva shadows blend beautifully and their palettes work cohesively and this is just a really easy palette to create the basis for anything. It’s got your creams and your browns of different hues and some great easy shimmers. It’s not a good base-for-any-eye kit in the same way that the Kat Von D Shade and Light eye palette is, but it’s great if you know you want neutral but aren’t feeling inspired. So basically, it’s great for me.

I haven’t got a lot else in me, right now. I’m consumed by a lot of weird emotions and everything feels heavy and slow.