May Empties and Reviews

Short and sweet this month. I made considerable dents in a lot of products, but didn’t flat out finish much. Three days into June and my bag of empty things will runneth over. But as for these few products:

The Body Shop Pinita Colada Shower Gel – I’ve gone through bottles of this – I stocked up when it came out, and then again when it was on sale to get through the rest of the units. It’s summer in a bottle. If you live somewhere that this is being brought back as the summer limited edition scent, I’d highly recommend it – in Australia, it’s winter, and we’re getting raspberry, and cocoa butter. Repurchase? If/when it comes back, I’ll probably buy another bottle. I have enough shower gel to last a lifetime.

The Body Shop Virgin Mojito Body Scrub – Speaking of long lost limited editions that are being brought back in some places as summer scents! Virgin Mojito is my favourite scent TBS have ever done, and so I used the body scrub in spite of it totally not being my thing. I like my scrubs a little more abrasive than this, and this is one of the most gentle scrubs that’s come around – it’s like the Fuji Green Tea, to compare a permanent one. I used it more as a gently exfoliating body wash, to get my Virgin Mojito fix. Repurchase? Not the scrub, but if the shower gel comes back I will bulk buy it like a doomsday prepper.

Sephora Daily Makeup Brush Cleanser – This was good for spot cleaning brushes without smelling too offensive. I don’t think it’s still available in Australia? Sephora US has a different version. Repurchase? I need something for convenient spot cleaning, but I’ll take whatever I can find.

Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Moisture Rich Night Cream – This came in my Autumn Marie Claire Parcel (I’m saddened that there will only be one more Parcel!) and I really enjoyed it but it was probably a bit too heavy for my skin – I felt like I was breaking out more than usual when I was trialing it. It was a great sample, though, and lasted a good amount of time. If I was drier and less prone to breaking out, sure. Purchase? No.

The Body Shop Felt Tip Eyeliner – This is my day to day liner when I’m not going more graphic and using my holy grail Kat Von D Tattoo Liner. My full thoughts are in another empties post! Basically: I need more flexibility and a brush for true love, but this is nice and precise and opaque. Repurchase? Yes.

Christophe Robin Regenerating Mask – This came in a hair mask pack that I picked up in my USA haul,  and it was probably my favourite of the ones I’ve tried so far. It smelled really nice and it made my hair lovely and soft, so of course it’s $71USD. I’ve got one or two masks left to try, and have been surprisingly happy with that purchase despite not really being a hair mask girl. Who knew? Purchase? At that price? That money will probably just go to destroying my hair further with bleach and blue dye.

Poesie Perfume Tuff Baby – I actually got this in the Reddit indie makeup exchange ages ago! I have since drifted away largely from indie makeup – I like to be able to swatch – and the community, because it is unhelpful to my own disposition towards compulsive consumerism in my manic periods. I’m glad I got to try this perfume, though, which was lovely – towards the end, I accidentally spilled a bunch of it on myself one night, and got so many compliments on how lovely it was. It smells like watermelon lollies, a splash of lime juice, and a kick of ginger. It’s delicious. I should dig into my indie perfume sample box more often. Purchase? You know, if I didn’t have three million perfumes, I might. The fact that they do roll ons is an even more enticing prospect.

Too Faced Lip Insurance Primer – This was fine, but I take pretty good care of my lips and there were very few lipsticks that I found it made a difference with. The rare exception to this was Mac’s Ruby Woo – a lip primer under that bastard of a lipstick makes a world of difference, it turns out. I ended up using it almost exclusively with that. Purchase? It’s not worth owning just so that Ruby Woo goes on nicely, to be honest. I’m sure I can find a better, cheaper alternative.

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BH Cosmetics Backlight Highlight Palette Review

I saw this palette launch and managed to hold off on pulling the trigger for a while. I don’t own, but have lusted over, the Kat Von D Alchemist palette and the Anastasia Beverly Hills Moonchild Glow Kit (or its more recent iteration, the Aurora Glow Kit). Anastasia is notoriously rough to get a hold of in Australia if it’s not stuff that’s stocked in Sephora, and the trickle through is slow and inconsistent. Kat Von D…stock is limited to Sephora, and it either launches fast and sells through nearly instantly (this seems to have been the case with the Alchemist palette) or comes very late and with far too much stock (a la Serpentina and the Metal Matte palette). The biggest issue, and the thing that underpins most “anti-hauls” concerning highlighters – please treat yourself to Kimberly Clark, idea originator, tackling the highlighter influx – is that the differences between highlighters are so small on your face that it isn’t really necessary to have 22 different kinds. I have highlighters that I love! I’ve written about Mac’s Soft Frost, for example, over here, and it’s one of my absolute favourites. I’ll talk more about my favourite formulas for reference later. I can say that there are objectively good and bad formulas out there, but instead of spending upwards of $50AUD to splurge on some interestingly coloured highlighters, I waited til one of the roughly weekly BH Cosmetics sales and snapped this palette up to fill the spot in my heart.

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Let’s kick this off with a terrible photo! There are six shades in the Blacklight Highlight palette. Their names range from fine to utterly cringeworthy, and they have quite strong bases. I don’t have individual swatches – the website ones are pretty accurate – nor face swatches, because my camera quality is honestly not going to add anything anyone’s not already done better. Instead, here’s my little discussion of the colours because all I have to give to the world are words.

My favourite colours in the palette are definitely the less conventional ones. I’m actually wearing Laser today – it’s a green shift on an almost white base. There’s glitter in all of these shades but in all of the three here, it’s small and doesn’t over-emphasise skin texture. Having quite strong bases, none of these are going to be subtle or particularly forgiving – you go into a formula like this knowing that. I feel similarly about Kween, which to spite its terrible name is an icy blue highlight and really flattering. And then possibly my favourite shade, Illusion, which looks pink and has a pink base but has a beautiful blue-lilac shift and shimmer. It’s one of the smoothest shades, very wearable, but still something that catches eyes.

I’m less of a fan of the other shades. On Point is a lovely colour but the base is a little too strong of a purple for me to pull of ordinarily as a highlight. Electra is nice, but I don’t tend to go for yellow or golden tones unless I’m wearing a very specific kind of look. Then there’s Strobe – Strobe is easily my least favourite shade of the bunch. It is by far the most standard shade, a classic white highlight, but it is also the most opaque and the chunkiest as far as glitter goes. It makes for a great formula in terms of eyeshadow, but perhaps a little too stark for a highlight. It’s very hard to not make this shade just look like a stripe on my face, and I think that’s due to the opacity of it.

Miscellaneous points to note: Don’t buy this palette for its full price. BH is perpetually on sale, and if this is not marked down to at least $12.74USD (25% off the “full” $16.99), you should wait a week. The mirror is good and it feels decent quality, which is a perk for the price. Some reviews comment on a weird smell and my palette didn’t have any of that. I wish it wore longer – by the end of the day, it looks like a generic highlighter, rather than something a bit more interesting.

I’ve been reaching for these a lot. It’s fun to play with them and to have them in the one place, and it’s fun to have the full array of weird colours in the one place. I don’t have an overwhelming need now for anything else. To fulfil my desire for the especially weird things, I have my Femme Fatale Gemtone powders – Fire Opal, for example, has an amazing Red Shift, and I love that they are all shift with no base. The formula is not exceptional – it’s just that little bit too quick to fade, that little bit too glittery (I’ve heard that complaint with the ABH ones as well, while the Kat Von D palette seems very smooth), that little too icy for me. If you have a lot of highlighters, you absolutely do not need this. I’d say coloured highlighters are only something worth buying if you are absolutely keen on experimenting, but I’m glad there’s an affordable and easily accessible option around. I do recommend checking out the Femme Fatale options, because you can buy them as singles, but I personally am useless with loose powders. The more expensive ones will undoubtedly be higher quality, but really do evaluate the frequency with which you’ll use them and what else you have in your collection. Someone with less use for strange makeup than me but a collection of my size would absolutely not need this palette, but for my needs I’m glad I picked this up.

 

 

 

November/December Empties (Or: Too Much Junk)

I was away over the end of November and so this stack of garbage built up and my god, there’s a lot. I’m also in a pretty rubbish mood because New Year’s Eve is famously a trash night designed to be filled with disappointment and make me feel inferior, so let’s get this show on the road. Yikes.

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Aveeno Skin Relief Moisturising Cream (Skin Cooling Effect) – This big tub lasted for an extraordinarily long time, because it’s mainly a cream I use when my skin is irritated in warmer weather. The cooling effect is quite nice, not too extreme, but definitely noticeable. It’s great when I’m amidst heat rash or other kinds of grossness. Repurchase? Maybe, when I have a few less moisturisers

Lush Bubbly Shower Gel – There’s usually one Christmas shower gel from Lush that I really gravitate towards (RIP Glogg, Hot Toddy, Ponche), but this year I was kind of underwhelmed. I also am starting to find the formula more and more drying? Maybe my skin is getting used to the time off. I bought Bubbly just to get it, and it was way too one-note for me, just straight up citrus. Also, Lush shower gels are…not cheap. I’ll still buy limited editions, but I’d rather they just brought back Glogg. Repurchase? No.

Bath and Body Works Pretty as a Peach Foaming Scrub – Loved the formula of this, am kind of hooked and wish I bought more because I feel like it’s really easy to go through quickly, which was a major downside. It’s also not super intense, and I do feel like I need a bit more sometimes. I wasn’t a huge fan of the scent – the peach was a bit perfumey – but I like the way it foamed and spread and exfoliated. Repurchase? In other scents, if the only Bath and Body Works wasn’t at the airport.

Bath and Body Works Frosted Coconut Snowball Shower Gel – I needed a little shower gel for Hawaii and this was the summeriest Christmas smell I’d ever come across. It’s a really lovely one and I’m definitely a fan. The bottle also lasted for a decent amount of time. Repurchase? If it were available to me in full size easily and I ever needed shower gel, sure.

Herbal Essences Moroccan My Shine Conditioner – I have no comments on this conditioner, which was fine and worked for travel. My hair eats up shampoo and conditioner, it turns out. Repurchase? Not particularly

OGX Coconut Milk Shampoo and Conditioner – These were also fine and worked okay, but I similarly went through them very quickly in Hawaii where I was washing my hair very frequently. On the bright side, these smelt amazing. Repurchase? Maybe for shorter, less swimmy travel stints.

Bath and Body Works True Blue Mini Foot Butter – Needed some foot cream abroad, where my feet were garbage and dry and gross. This worked fine, nothing spectacular. Smelt nice. Repurchase? If it was necessary and the nearest available foot cream

Dermal Heel Balm Platinum – Another mini foot cream. I swear I have normal feet. This was from a subscription, and it was actually pretty good. I preferred this to the B&BW one. Still not a miracle worker for travel torn feet, but good. Purchase? Maybe

Ouai Treatment Masque – From the Sephora Favourites box of hair treatments, because my hair was another thing that took a real beating from sun and sea water and constant washing. This one was pretty nice, not my favourite that I used, but it smelt good and my hair felt soft afterwards. Purchase? No

Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Daily Cleansing Pads – My skin just doesn’t like glycolic acid, it seems. This, pixi glow tonic, Paula’s Choice AHA…it’s just a recipe for breakouts, regardless of how consistently I use them. This was the closest we got to decent. Still, not a step I feel like my skin needs. Purchase? No

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Bobbi Brown Smoky Eye Mascara – Wasn’t a huge fan of this one. It tended to flake a bit on me after a few hours, and it didn’t do anything of exception to my lashes. Purchase? No

Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer – I was not a fan of the sample of this primer I tried long ago, but my decision to splurge on a travel size to take overseas with me was such a a good move and a different experience. I guess now my skin is less congested and covered in breakouts, I appreciate something that just smoothes the skin and boosts foundation. I don’t need the same leveling from a very siliconey primer that I do when I’m going for a full base and when breakouts are bad. Repurchase? Maybe, but I don’t know if I could bring myself to do the full size!

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper – I’ve said this a million times, but I love this liner more than any other liner I’ve used. The Physician’s Formula one can’t hold a candle, the Stila one flakes right off – until the day someone else has a brush tip this precise with a formula this black and longlasting, I’ll be using this liner. It’s $30 in Australia, which pisses me off, but mine last for months. I picked up a replacement in a Sephora Favourites set in the US. Repurchase? Obviously.

Rimmel Colour Precise White – This liner dried out after one use. Get absolutely wrecked. Repurchase? Go to hell.

Giorgio Armani Lasting Silk Foundation – Such a good lightweight foundation for medium coverage, easy makeup days. So expensive, such a splurge, and really not a neccessity but…Purchase? If you can justify it? Sure. I bought it for $45USD on a fluke and I do not regret it at all.

Mac Pro Longwear Waterproof Foundation – This stuff sucks on my skin. It never sets and feels sticky and gross and looks inorganic and weird. Purchase? No

This Works Deep Sleep Plus Pillow Spray – This stuff was a little too strong, but I like having something soothing to spray on my pillow before I go to sleep, and the scent blend here is definitely soothing. I prefer the original version, which I’m using right now, because it’s less  intense. Repurchase? Not this version

Sunday Riley Good Genes – This stuff doesn’t smell great and logically, it’s not the most amazing based on ingredients, but my skin is really loves it. Purchase? Already have.

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Simple Kind to Skin Cleansing Wipes – These are the cleansing wipes that I use when I use wipes, and they are good. They don’t hurt and they get stuff off, though I need extra to get off heavy duty eye makeup and I would avoid overusing makeup wipes where possible because they rarely get it all off. Repurchase? Always

Lush Fireside Soap – Where I hated the last Lush Christmas soap I had, this one smells much more my style. Very spicy, wintery, clovey. I love it. I don’t use these soaps for much other than my hands, but my family complain that they don’t lather much. Repurchase? Probably

Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Balm-to-Oil Pre-Shampoo Masque – Really liked how this one from the Sephora set made my hair feel, but it was a pain to use and difficult to saturate my hair with, considering how much hair I have. Purchase? No

Those are just some cotton rounds from rite aid and I didn’t like them at all, one side didn’t absorb any product and the other was “exfoliating” but actually crap.

Daiso Cotton Puff – I liked these but I went through them pretty quickly. You get 180 for about $2.80, though, which is a great price. Repurchase? Sure

CLab &  Co Coffee Scrub with Coconut – I actually really liked this, in spite of the coffee smell – I hate coffee. That said, it made my skin really smooth. It was incredibly messy, though, which was irritating – because it has no real oil base to it or any kind of viscosity, it just falls around everywhere. Purchase? No, but I did enjoy it.

And now, Body Shop stuff. Yeah.

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The Body Shop Aloe Vera Calming Cream Cleanser – This is my go to cleanser, and I’ve been using it for years. I go through it quicker now, because my sister has decided that she loves it as well. It’s non irritating, doesn’t dry out my skin (I use it in the shower, even though it’s designed to be used on dry skin), doesn’t sting my eyes. I use a more intense cleanser if I’m following up an oil makeup remover to double cleanse, but this is my everyday go to. Repurchase? Constantly.

The Body Shop Papaya Shower Gel – A really lovely summery smell. Some places still have it in their sale stock, and while it isn’t my favourite Body Shop smell of all time, it’s definitely a great one. Repurchase? If it comes around again as a limited edition, sure.

The Body Shop Vitamin E Moisture Cream (sample) – This stuff is fine, but I just so much prefer the aloe vera creams. They’re much more soothing. My absolute moisturiser is the Drops of Youth moisturiser, weirdly, which I also finished a tub of but forget to take a photo of – much lighter, but still as moisturising and makes my skin look lovely and feel great. Purchase? No

The Body Shop Tea Tree Facial Wash (sample) – This used to be my jam as a young teenager, but it’s way too intense for me now. Just dries me out. It was nostalgic to revisit it, though. Purchase? No

The Body Shop Fresh Nude Foundation in 024 Hawaiian Macadamia – Man, look at this beat up foundation.  I thought I was developing a form of stockholm syndrome for it when I started to wear it all the time, but it turns out my preferences in foundation have just changed quite a lot in the second half of this year. I really like how natural this is, with medium coverage and a really natural weardown over the day. Repurchase? I already have a new bottle on the go.

The Body Shop Moisture Foundation in 06 – This is too dark except in summer, but it’s also a formula that my skin hates. It looks so good on so many people, but on me or on people who – in my experience applying it – have any kind of combination, flakiness or oiliness to their skin, it picks up on those things and amplifies them. I also find that instead of wearing down naturally, it gets patchy and cakes over the course of the day. Repurchase? No

The Body Shop Calming Aloe Toner – Even this tiny bottle – no longer available – took several holidays and hospital stays to finish up. It’s a good toner, very basic but soothing. Nice after a non-cream cleanser especially. Repurchase? Can’t get this size any more, but I have a bottle on the go and a backup ready. After that I’ve got a Muji generic toner to try out, which is super affordable and in a huge bottle that would enable me to not buy for months. If that works for me, it would be nice.

The Body Shop Vanilla Chai Shower Gel – This smell from Christmas is incredible, and naturally it sold out almost immediately. If you can find any of this in the remains of the boxing day sale stuff, I’d definitely recommend picking it up, because it smells flat out like a vanilla chai latte and I am the whitest girl that ever did live. I did manage to snag a full size of this, which I’m excited to use up later on in the year. Repurchase? Hey Body Shop, listen to the sales statistics, bring back Vanilla Chai.

The Body Shop Super Volume Mascara – My go to work mascara, does the volume and the curl for me. A little clumpier than some others, like the Divide & Lengthen, but I like the volume and I’ve been enjoying layering it with Benefit’s Roller Lash for separation. Repurchase? Have done.

The Body Shop Skinny Felt Tip Liner – Nice for filling in the line and for day to day stuff, but I wish it was a little more flexible and god, I love brush tips for the wing. I’m so spoilt by the Kat Von D tattoo liner. I still use this liner for everyday stuff, but it dries out quite quickly and it could be blacker and easier to work with, despite being better than a lot of the options I’ve tried. Repurchase? Have done.

Alright! Now I’m off to go and wallow in some misery and loneliness and maybe put some more turquoise in my hair so that my laziness induced regrowth looks more like an intentional balyage.

 

September Empties 2016

Look at my junk! Not too much junk – I went easy on the small stuff this month.

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The Body Shop Fuji Green Tea Shower Gel – I, with the help of my sister, use up a lot of shower gel. This is one of my favourites from the main line up (this and olive) because I like fresh smells. It lathers well and it doesn’t dry out my skin. Repurchase? Come a time when I need more shower gel, sure. I work at the body shop. I have so many shower gels.

The Body Shop Passionfruit Shower Gel – This one was a limited edition pretty recently, and it smelled like passionfruit soft drink. I loved it. It’s long sold out, although it tends to appear occasionally around the world (I believe you can still find it abroad?), but it’s just a nice summery smell. Repurchase? If it was another limited edition, sure.

The Body Shop Matte It Primer – Decent mattifying siliconey primer similar to most dense siliconey primers on the market. I liked it, but I’m 90% certain it’s been discontinued in Australia. Repurchase? It’s not my top pick of the primers available, but it does in a pinch.

Vitafive CPR Always Blonde Conditioner – Finally used up the matching conditioner to the shampoo I finished, and it’s way too expensive for me to ever actually buy it, especially considering my hair is not blonde. I don’t know if my hair was any better or my colour lasted any longer, because I have no means for comparison. Purchase? No

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper – My favourite liquid liner around. The brush tip makes for an easy wing, and it’s remarkably arthritis friendly. It’s nice and black too. The one i have now feels a little like a dud – it’s not as opaque – but nearly every one I’ve gone through has been phenomenal, and yes, it’s more precise than its supposed dupes. The inconsistency between batches that I’ve now seen is not fun, I will say. Repurchase? Yes

Fortune Cookie Soap Company Butterbeer Sugar Scrub – This is now the “rum butter” sugar scrub, presumably for copyright reasons. I liked the foaming sugar scrub texture, and it felt nice on the skin, but I went through it quicker than a scrub that would remain the same texture. The smell, though, was beautiful. Repurchase? No

GlamGlow Powermud Dualcleanse Treatment – I first bought this for the impossibility of resisting it, and reviewed it here. It’s a nice mask, hydrating and still clay based, and while I loved it initially…I just don’t need it anymore. I sound like such an ad, but seriously, I talked about the Body Shop Chinese Ginseng and Rice mask over here and that does just as good of a job for me of being hydrating but also clarifying and smoothing. Repurchase? No

eos Lip Balm in Summer Fruit – I hate this lip balm. It’s not finished, but it’s old and gross and nah. It doesn’t actually do much for hydration, the application is clunky, blah. Repurchase? No

Mecca Cosmetica Soft Focus Smoothing Primer – This is a smoothing primer, but weirdly not that siliconey feeling. It didn’t do much to my skin and my makeup didn’t sit well over it. Purchase? No

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Simple Kind To Skin Cleansing Wipes – Fifty second verse, same as the first. These are my favourite cleansing wipes, they don’t irritate my skin and they get stuff off. I still need micellar water or an oil cleanser for my eye makeup, but these are a decent first step on heavy makeup days. Repurchase? Yes

Kleenex Anti Bacterial Wipes – These clean surfaces and hands and they do it well. Repurchase? Sure

Fortune Cookie Soap Company Winter Has Come Bar Soap – This is a good soap. It smells nice and it’s a good size. It’s a nice thing to spend soap box vouchers on. Repurchase? Maybe a different scent for some change

June Jacobs Perfect Pumpkin Peeling Enzyme Mask – Would not recommend this for sensitive skin, I broke out hardcore. I just wanted to try it because it smelled really nice and I am weak.

Fyrinnae Hollywood Sorcery Finishing Powder – A very pretty finishing powder, but took me a long time to use because I prefer my base to be a bit more matte and this has some dimension that makes it more suited to photography. Repurchase? In the future maybe

Avene Tolerence Extreme Creme – Too heavy for me, but not irritating. Didn’t love it. Purchase? No

The Body Shop Polynesian Island Tiare EDT – I love this new fragrance – fresh and sweet and a little touch woody. Frangipani is my favourite floral smell, so this is pretty perfect for me. Purchase? Not anywhere soon – I have a million perfumes – but perhaps in the future

Palmolive Oil Infusions Body Moisturiser – I bitched about not wanted to join the #moisturemoment conversation or whatever it was when I received this in a subscription box, but whining aside, this was a decent moisturiser. The smell was too strong, but it was nice. Purchase? No

The Body Shop Oils of Life Revitalising Eye Creme-Gel – This launches on Monday, and while the tiny jar it comes in is adorable, it’s a little too expensive for me (a person who is too lazy for eye creams). It is nice and light, which I appreciate, because too heavy an eye cream is the worst for me, but it’s also way too “brightening” (aka it contains – glitter) to be my kind of a cream. If I did use eye creams, I would go for this type – light but hydrating – but this is just too exxy for my personal tastes. Purchase? No

It’s been a really tough month, emotionally, and it’s just going to get worse. I’ll try and keep up with posts, because it’s a good distraction. I might fall off a little. It’s rough.

 

 

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.