March Favourites + Highlights 2020

Literally on the first day of March I felt myself coming down with something. I had inflamed tonsils and a sore throat for most of the month and that resulted in two separate trips to the doctor and being prescribed two different antibiotics. I think I am finally on the mend now and getting back to ‘normal’.

I will be working from home over the coming weeks as New Zealand officially went into lockdown on March 26th for a minimum of four weeks. People are only supposed to leave home to pick up groceries, medication or if they are walking around the block for exercise. I hope everyone takes this period of self isolation seriously and thinks how their actions could impact others. It’s also important to be kind to yourself and find activities that make you feel good and keep you busy. If any of my blogging friends need a chat, I’m here.

Onto this month’s favourites:

1. Absent Melange Short Sleeve T-shirt Pink – The weather is starting to cool down now as autumn is properly underway but over the past few months I have loved wearing this t-shirt. I picked it up on Boxing Day for $10 and it’s such a good basic. It’s actually a men’s t-shirt and I also picked up one in blue. The blue is an Extra Small and the pink is a Small as there was no Extra Small left. Both fit really nicely – they’re straight cut which suits my body shape and don’t cling. The length is good and I like how the sleeves are a little longer too.

2. Viva la Juicy La Fleur – I purchased this perfume in August 2019 and over the past few weeks it’s the one I’ve found myself reaching for the most. As I have been sick most of March I wanted something light for the days I was able to go to work and this fits the bill. Viva la Juicy is a nice fruity floral with notes of mandarin, wild berries, honeysuckle, gardenia and jasmine with a creamy gourmand base. This is lighter and not as intense as the original VLJ if you’re curious about how it differs.

3. BECCA First Light Priming Filter – I got a 15ml deluxe sample of this in a BECCA travel set I purchased at the end of last year. This primer makes the skin lovely and dewy so if you have normal to oily skin or you like dewy foundations you’ll probably need a setting powder. I have used this primer several times throughout the month and I really enjoy it, the product feels lightweight yet hydrating on the skin. It soaks in quickly and all products sit on top of it nicely.

4. xoBeauty “The Heiress” False Lashes – I tried false lashes for the very first time this month and I wrote a post about my experience HERE. In February I purchased a couple of sets of lashes from xoBeauty and “The Heiress” lashes are the ones I was most excited to try! These lashes are medium length and give a beautiful curled, fluttery effect. The lashes look very natural on and feel incredibly lightweight. They were so easy to apply and I can’t wait to wear them again!

5. Max Factor Creme Puff Blush in 10 Nude Mauve – This blush is one of those staple shades everyone needs in their makeup collection. If you have medium to dark skin tones this colour may not show up well but for fair to light skin tones it is the perfect everyday blush! Nude Mauve is a brown-pink mauve with subtle shimmer and it can also be used to sculpt and highlight the cheekbones if you feel like skipping contour and highlighter.

March Highlights

  • Early in the month I met up with a friend who’s also an ex work colleague. We caught up for food, had plenty of laughs and good conversation. She’s one of those people where I can be completely myself and I know she’s always got my back.
  • Before the country went into lockdown I placed a final order with Dominos as I won’t be able to have takeaway food for a while. I don’t buy a lot of takeaways or food when I’m out but I wanted to get in while I had the chance.

March’s Spotify Playlist


How was your month? Share one of your highlights in the comments!

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YouTubers Made Me Buy It

Let’s face it, we all have those purchases someone else has convinced us to buy! We hear about a product and want to try it for ourselves. I watch a few beauty YouTubers and recently there have been some items I’ve wanted to give a go. I am on a low buy for 2020 and I’m not doing badly so far but a couple of these items were on sale and I was sick so I decided to treat myself!

1. Benefit Roller Lash Mascara – Black

I have never tried anything from Benefit before because their products are pricey! I picked up Roller Lash as it was on sale on Makeup.co.nz for 20% off and while it was more than I usually pay for mascara it’s more justifiable than the regular price. Roller Lash is a mascara I’ve always been interested in trying and it seems to be a firm favourite in the beauty community. The packaging is cute and the mascara aims to grab, separate, lift and curl lashes. The formula contains provitamin B5 and serin, ingredients known for their lash-conditioning benefits. The mascara is also said to be water resistant and easy to remove. Roller Lash has a plastic wand which usually isn’t my preference but I’m hopeful the mascara will deliver.

Who made me buy it: Zoella and Shaaanxo

2. Australis Metallix Foiled Shadow – Guns ‘n Rose Petals

I am very much a single shadow girl. I love quick, easy looks that can be done in a couple of minutes. I’m also not afraid to use my fingers which is my preferred method to apply shimmery, metallic shadows as they appear more pigmented that way. Single cream shadows are not something I have a lot of but I was drawn to this shade because it looks super shiny and bright and will make my eyes pop. Guns ‘n Rose Petals is is a cool toned champagne pink and this will be pretty on it’s own or layered over powder shadows for a little more depth.

Who made me buy it: Arna Alayne

3. Colourpop Lilac You a Lot Palette

When this palette was released my first thought was It’s My Pleasure volume two… definitely don’t need it. When I watched the launch video for Makeup.Just.For.Fun’s No Shrinking Violet bundle made up of her Colourpop favourites and this featured I started to see the palette in a different light. Lilac You a Lot is much more lavender and cool toned whereas It’s My Pleasure is more warm toned. It’s My Pleasure is a beautiful palette but it’s my least favourite of the nine pans I have (I haven’t tested this palette out yet). The cooler tones of Lilac You a Lot will work really well in conjunction with It’s My Pleasure and hopefully make me enjoy it more.

Who made me buy it: Makeup.Just.For.Fun

4. Colourpop Still Crazy Lux Lipstick

This lipstick also features in the No Shrinking Violet bundle and it is described as a mauvey pink on the Colourpop site which is right up my street! I did consider picking up the entire No Shrinking Violet bundle to show my support for Amanda but I have similar products to the other three items and these were the two I was most drawn to. When I was reading reviews and looking at pictures, Still Crazy sometimes came across as brown-pink and other times just pink. I think it depends on skin tone to be honest, I am very fair so how a lipstick looks in the bullet is generally how it looks on me. I saw this labelled as a dupe for Craving by MAC which I included in my 1,000 Followers Giveaway in 2018. Craving also looks like a colour I would enjoy and this way I am getting a similar colour to Craving for half the price. I have another of Colourpop’s Lux Lipsticks in the shade Scorpio Moon and the formula is so comfortable and creamy on the lips.

Who made me buy it: Makeup.Just.For.Fun

5. Wella Oil Reflections Luminous Trio and Luminous Reboost Mask

Last month I got the layers cut out of my hair and got it cut to one length. The salon I went to had a stand full of Wella products and I’m assuming that was the brand of shampoo and conditioner used on my hair. Afterwards my hair felt so soft and lovely and I jumped online to research Wella products. I remember Melanie Murphy mentioning her love for Wella in the past and after looking online I was intrigued by the Oil Reflections range. The range is suitable for all hair types and is light and moisturising with white tea extract to leave hair cleansed, luminous and smooth.

The Luminous Trio contains shampoo, conditioner and a light reflective oil. I haven’t used a hair oil before but the oil in this set sounds like it adds a healthy shine without weighing the hair down. I opted to get the hair mask from this range as well as I read it can be used in place of the conditioner to deeply nourish hair and restore moisture and hydration. The conditioner comes with 50ml less product than the shampoo so this way I’ll be more likely to not to run out of one before the other.

Who made me buy it: Melanie Murphy


What have you been influenced to buy either from YouTubers or other bloggers?

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Trying False Lashes For the First Time

In February I purchased two pairs of false lashes from xoBeauty. xoBeauty is New Zealand YouTuber Shaaanxo’s brand and a brand I have purchased quite a bit from over the past couple of years. I have watched Shannon apply lashes numerous times in her videos and recently I was curious to give them a go myself. I’ve read glowing reviews praising how easy the lashes are to apply and how affordable they are for the quality.

Along with the two pairs of lashes I purchased lash glue and special xoBeauty tweezers. The tweezers are nicely weighted and have a non-slip grip. The prongs are shaped in such a way to aid application and really let you get the false lashes to sit flush with your natural lashes and clamp the two sets of lashes together.

xoBeauty have a range of different styles of lashes on their website from natural to long and fluttery as well as faux mink styles for when you want extra drama. xoBeauty’s lashes are cruelty free and are 100% handcrafted with soft, synthetic hairs. Pairs of lashes can be purchased individually or in value packs of five. There are also sets of mixed styles available if you want to try more than one. I purchased two individual sets of lashes; The Heiress and The Innocent.

“The Heiress” lashes are beautifully natural and are a medium length. They give a fluttery effect to your lashes, and have a gorgeous curl to them. Perfect for adding volume and subtle length!

“The Innocent” were designed for the utmost natural girls in mind. These are lightweight, natural, and not too long. They have a criss-cross pattern in order to blend with any natural hairs you already have and this pattern will give the perfect amount of volume! If you already have semi long lashes, these will amp up the volume of your lashes and they look almost undetectable.

Close up of “The Heiress” lashes I applied

Application

I kept my eye makeup simple to balance out the effect The Heiress lashes would give. I applied two coats of mascara prior to the lashes and didn’t go in with another coat afterwards in order to prolong the life of the lashes. I want to be able to reuse this set as much as possible. I held the first lash with the tweezers and checked the size of the lash band against my eyelid to make sure it wasn’t too long and to see if I needed to trim the end. No trimming was required so still holding the lash with the tweezers I applied Duo’s clear, latex-free eyelash glue to the band and let it set for 30-40 seconds. I guided the lash into place and managed to place it correctly on the first go which I was very impressed with! I used the tweezers to adhere the centre of the lash band first before making sure each end was also attached. I then clamped the false lashes and my own lashes together and I was done! From applying the glue to the lash being on it would have only taken 90 seconds. The other lash went on just as easily and I couldn’t believe how little time it took.

How they feel

The outer lashes are curled and beautiful and the lashes do look natural and fluttery. The lashes are incredibly lightweight and it doesn’t feel like I’m wearing anything. The length is perfect and the lashes don’t touch my glasses which is what I wanted. I can’t see a shadow from the lashes when I’m going about normal activities, they seem like my normal lashes. The glue doesn’t weigh the lashes down and I can’t feel it on my eyelids. The glue doesn’t have an odour which is good and it dries down clear. The Heiress lashes have a clear band so they blend in effortlessly and look pretty much invisible.
Left: Just mascara vs one lash applied
Right: Full face of makeup
 

Other products used:
  • Olay Complete UV Sensitive Lotion
  • Becca First Light Priming Filter
  • Rimmel Professional Brow Pencil in 002 Hazel
  • YSL Touche Éclat Le Teint Radiance Awakening Foundation in B10 Porcelain
  • MAC Studio Finish Concealer in NW10
  • Milani Eyeshadow Primer
  • Zoella x Colourpop Brunch Date Eyeshadow Palette
  • YSL Volume Effet Faux Cils The Curler Mascara
  • theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer
  • Max Factor Creme Puff Blush in 10 Nude Mauve
  • MAC Viva Glam III Lipstick

I am extremely happy with my first lash trying experience! I didn’t anticipate it would be such a simple process from start to finish and how light the lashes would feel once they are on. The lashes don’t look dramatic, they add a lovely curled effect and natural length. The quality of these lashes is outstanding and they are super affordable. I will reach for these on special occasions or when I want to feel extra glam. I can definitely see myself checking out other lash styles from xoBeauty in the future too.


Have you tried false lashes before? Do you have a favourite brand or set that you use?

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Empty Products #13

My second empties post of the year! I currently seem to be getting one of these posts up every other month which is satisfying and makes sticking to a low buy easier. When it comes to a low buy I don’t restrict myself with a dollar amount and I still allow myself the occasional impulse purchase. I find I’m working through products more smartly and I’m able to identify what I enjoy and what (if anything) is missing from my collection.

Makeup/Beauty

1. Urban Decay Primer Potion

Up until 18 months ago I hadn’t tried an eyeshadow primer but now I’m sold on the difference they make to the longevity of my eye makeup. This primer from Urban Decay is one that is well loved and one I’d heard a lot about and it is really good. I picked up the 5.7g size and it lasts a long time, a little goes a long way. If you’re curious about eyeshadow primer or are on the fence over this one, I highly urge you to give it a try!

Repurchase: Yes.

2. Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Primer

Over the past couple of years Fenty Beauty have been making a real name for themselves and to date this is the only product I have tried from the brand. I picked up the 15ml version to see if I like the primer and at first I was on the fence about it, it felt nice and soft on the skin but it was just an ordinary primer. This primer is more on the matte side and I really started enjoying it when I paired it with foundations that verge on being too dewy to create more of a satin finish and keep excess glow at bay.

Repurchase: Maybe – I would at least consider picking up the 15ml size again.

3. MAC Pinklite Strobe Cream 30ml

One thing MAC’s Strobe Cream has going for it is it’s versatility. You can use this as a moisturising primer, mix a little bit in with foundation for a subtle glow or apply it on top of foundation for more of a blinding effect. I used this like a primer on top of my moisturiser as I didn’t find the cream moisturising enough on it’s own for my dry skin. I would be interested to swatch the peach and silver shades to see what they look like on my skintone. It’s a shame not all shades come in the small 30ml size.

Repurchase: Maybe.

4. Rimmel Scandaleyes Lycra Flex Mascara – 003 Extreme Black

This mascara is my holy grail! It gives length and volume and the formula is super easy to work with. In my experience this is one of the only mascaras I’ve tried where the formula stays the same from when the tube is first opened. The mascara doesn’t flake or smudge and is a breeze to remove at the end of the day. I was extremely happy when I found out the extreme black shade wasn’t being discontinued, the product was just being re-packaged. I am yet to try a re-packaged tube however.

Repurchase: Already have a backup.

5. Maybelline Dr Rescue Top Coat

The bottle is not technically empty but I can’t get any more product out and it’s time to call done on this one. The top coat itself is excellent but the brush is really thin and doesn’t pick up a lot of product at once. The amount of product that gets left behind in combination with the small brush is a little disappointing.

Repurchase: Not sure. Value for money wise this is good but I think I prefer my Revlon top coat.

Skincare & Fragrance

6. The Body Shop Shea EDT

I love the Shea range from The Body Shop but this EDT was my least favourite out of all the scents I’ve tried. I thought this scent would work as a fragrance but I didn’t like it on me.

Repurchase: No.

7. Palmer’s Moisture Rich Night Cream

This is a good, inexpensive option for nighttime but I definitely need to apply my facial oil when I use it. My current night moisturiser is more hydrating and lately I have been able to get away with applying that on it’s own without the facial oil. This was the second time I’d purchased this cream so I do like it but I think there are better options.

Repurchase: Maybe.

8. Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm

I purchased this tub in April 2019 and 98% of the time I have worn makeup over the past year I have removed it with this. It is a little pricey but for me the price tag is worth it; my skin doesn’t get irritated, my skin has improved since using the balm regularly and the product isn’t scented or full of harsh ingredients.

Repurchase: Yes.

Body

9. Nivea Invisible Anti-Perspirant – Clear

I haven’t gotten around to trying a different anti-perspirant yet but I will! As you know these feature in every empties and it’s a great everyday staple.

Repurchase: Yes.

10. The Body Shop Moringa Body Yogurt

I first mentioned the Moringa body yogurt in my November 2019 favourites. If you find body lotions and body butters too heavy and want more of a lightweight, gel texture you will enjoy these. Product absorbs quickly, it’s great for all skin types and you get the same amount as you would in a tub of body butter for a cheaper price. A great all over body moisturiser!

Repurchase: Yes. I’d be interested to try other scents too.

Discards

1. Soap & Glory Hand Food – Hydrating Hand Cream

I purchased this hand cream at the end of 2018 and it sat sealed in my beauty drawer for around a year before I got to using it. I noticed at the start of the year only a couple of weeks after opening the hand cream the texture changed to an oily, greasy mess. I shook the tube to try and mix the product back up but that didn’t do anything. The product must have gone bad which is a shame because I’d heard good things about this hand cream and it’s scent. The cream itself did feel nice on the skin and for the price it’s very reasonable. I’m not inclined to repurchase but I’d happily try this again if I received it as a gift.


What was the last product you finished up?

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GRWM: New Makeup + First Impressions

I haven’t done a get ready with me or shared a makeup look in a while and there’s a couple of newer products in my collection that I want to talk about. I thought it would be fun to create a look with them and share my first impressions. With the majority of the other products I have tried to use ones that I don’t reach for on a regular basis.

Products marked with *** are newer to my collection.

BASE

Olay Complete UV Lotion Sensitive – A good everyday moisturiser that is inexpensive, contains SPF and does the job.

BECCA First Light Priming Filter *** – I have only used this a handful of times so far but it feels lovely and lightweight on the skin and blends in very easily. Makeup sits nicely on top and this is a product I see myself really enjoying.

IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream in Fair – I am really enjoying this CC Cream. A good shade match, easy to blend, longwearing, comfortable on the skin and covers my redness well. I urge you to try this if you’ve been on the fence. I picked up my tube from Sephora which is smaller and cheaper than the full size but a good way to sample the product.

MAC Studio Finish Concealer in NW10 – This concealer pairs well with the IT Cosmetics CC Cream and isn’t drying when used in conjunction with hydrating foundations.

Rimmel Match Perfection Translucent Powder – With the warm weather lately this powder has helped to stop excess shine. I tend to only reach for powder in summer or if my base makeup looks too glowy.

eyes

Rimmel Professional Brow Pencil in 002 Hazel – This pencil is still all I use to fill in my brows. The red tones go with the red in my hair and my brows never look overdone.

Milani Eyeshadow Primer *** – I didn’t realise this eyeshadow primer didn’t have a brush on applicator and is a squeezy tube. Product seems easy to blend on to the eyelids and the eyeshadows I wore on top applied well. I need to continue using this for a while before I can decide whether or not I’m a fan but I’m not disappointed after the first use.

Zoella x Colourpop Brunch Date Palette – Brunch Date is such a beautiful palette and it is the palette I have selected for my one palette, one month challenge for March. This palette gives me autumn vibes and is packed full of neutrals with pops of colour and shimmers. I used Maple Syrup all over the lid, Extra Slice to deepen the crease and applied Pancakes Please across the centre with my finger.

YSL Volume Effet Faux Cils The Curler Mascara *** – I purchased a four piece set of YSL minis in order to sample Black Opium towards the end of 2019 and this mascara was also in the set. I prefer to only have one mascara open at a time so I waited until my previous mascara was finished before trying this. I was curious to see how I’d find the mini size as I’ve only used full sized tubes before but application wasn’t any harder as the wand is full size. I was surprised by the shape of the wand and a little shocked as to how it manages to fit in the tube (image of the wand below). The wand is long and curved and has two sides of bristles designed to give lashes a full, lifted look. Upon first application the mascara definitely gave me length and product applied easily, the formula isn’t too wet or too dry and I’m looking forward to using this more.

Cheeks & Lips

BECCA Moonstone Shimmering Skin Perfector *** – This highlighter came in the same set as the First Light Priming Filter. Moonstone is a light gold and sits somewhere between theBalm’s Mary-Lou Manzier and BECCA’s Opal, of which I own both. This shade is very natural on the skin but can be built up if desired. The glow BECCA highlighters give is super pretty. The mini size lasts ages too!

Max Factor Creme Puff Blush in 10 Nude Mauve *** – I believe blush is one of those products you don’t need to own a lot of if you have a few good staple shades. Baby pinks don’t work for my skin so I tend to be drawn to more dusty, mauve pinks or peachy pinks. Nude Mauve is a stunning brown-pink mauve that is subtle but still gives my cheeks some oomph. This blush can really be layered up to sculpt and highlight the cheeks.

xoBeauty Liquid Lipstick – Aroha – Aroha is a beautiful muted deep plum but a shade I haven’t worn much since purchasing it. I thought this colour would be perfect for this look as I went for simple colours on the eyes and cheeks and I’m sure you all know how much I love a bold lip!


What do you think of this look? Have you tried any new makeup recently?

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February Favourites + Highlights 2020

I didn’t find January to be a slow month but February has zoomed by! I was on leave from work for the first week and absolutely loved it, I spent time listening to lots of music, completed a jigsaw puzzle, slept in, ate when I liked (I find this makes me less hungry as opposed to having structured times to eat and being in the ‘work routine’) and did some online shopping. I’ve been back at work for the past three weeks and honestly I am really tired. The heat is so draining and I cannot wait for the cooler, autumn weather.

Onto this month’s favourites:

1. Zoella Reach For the Stars hand cream – One of my closest blogging friends, Dannii, sent me this hand cream along with a few other goodies at the end of 2018. I started using it recently and I’m really enjoying the scent which is a mix of vanilla and peppermint. The hand cream was released as part of the Cosmos Collection but Zoe announced the end of Zoella Beauty so I wouldn’t imagine it’s readily available unless you try eBay or somewhere like that. The cream itself is lovely, it feels very moisturising and the tube contains 90ml of product which will last me ages! I love the iridescent shiny tube as well.

2. The Body Shop Warm Vanilla body butter – Warm Vanilla was one of the Christmas scents released by The Body Shop last year and I’m a sucker for vanilla so I wanted to try something from this range. When the body butter arrived I was a little overwhelmed at how sweet and sickly this smelled and wasn’t sure if I’d like it. After using this for a while the scent has grown on me a lot, when the body butter is applied to the skin the scent isn’t as intense and it’s more subtle. It does have a warmth to it and I thought this would be more suitable for winter but it’s summer in New Zealand and I’m a fan! The texture is soft and luxurious and spreads very easily over the body.

3. IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream in Fair – If you’re curious to try this product I highly recommend you do! The coverage of this CC Cream is amazing and the texture is lighter than most regular foundations. I squeeze a little line out onto my hand and dab product over my face and that is enough for me. I find most days I don’t need to go in with additional product in the areas I have more redness. Product blends like a dream and feels good on the skin too. If you read my Testing Four New Foundations post you’ll know this came out on top and got a glowing review!

4. Natio Renew Radiance Night Cream – I have been using this night cream for about a month now and a combination of this product and the heat has meant I haven’t needed to apply my facial oil as my skin hasn’t been dry. A little goes a long way and the cream soaks in quickly and leaves my face feeling soft through the night. My face doesn’t feel greasy and my makeup has been applying nicely the following day. The key ingredients are pomegranate and vitamin C.

5. Louise – Heavy Love – I can’t remember how I first heard about Louise as she hasn’t had chart success in New Zealand but she has such a beautiful, pure tone to her voice with a slight R&B edge. Heavy Love is Louise’s first album in 20 years and is a great pop album! Louise co-wrote the majority of tracks and a lot of the lyrics talk about heartbreak which is to be expected after splitting from her ex-husband. Pop music with a catchy beat and heartfelt lyrics is right up my street. Standout Tracks: Stretch, Not the Same, Hurt, Straight To My Heart, Settle For Nothing and Wrong.

February Highlights:

  • I am ahead with my Goodreads goal for 2020 which is exciting!
  • I started my one palette, one month challenge where I aim to use one eyeshadow palette each month in an attempt to use all the palettes in my collection more. Each palette is paired with a different highlighter for the month as well.
  • At the beginning of February mum and I went out for a belated birthday lunch (our birthdays are three days apart). I had pancakes with bacon, banana, maple syrup and cream.

February’s Spotify Playlist:


How was your month? Share one of your highlights in the comments!

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Collective Haul: Beauty + Entertainment

I still seem to go through phases where I buy nothing at all or place a couple of online orders around the same time. Does anyone else get excited for packages in the mail or is it just me?! I am really excited about the items (a little nervous for one but more on that later) and now that everything has arrived I can talk about them.

1. Max Factor Creme Puff Blushes in 10 Nude Mauve and 20 Lavish Mauve

I saw one of these blushes on sale in a shop for half price and although I’ve heard lots of good things about them I’d never swatched them for myself. The shade on sale wasn’t quite up my street but there were a couple of other shades that were. Before I commit to buying most makeup products I will research them and watch YouTube videos. Nude Mauve is a gorgeous brown-mauve and Lavish Mauve has more prominent pink-mauve tones. Both shades are suitable for my fair skin and apply beautifully on the cheeks. The formula is soft and buildable and the packaging is compact and feels sturdy.

Blush swatches:

Left to right: Nude Mauve and Lavish Mauve

2. xoBeauty “The Innocent” and “The Heiress” False Lashes

This is the purchase I was nervous about! I have never worn false eyelashes in my life and I feel like I will either be terrible at trying to apply them or I will get better with practice. xoBeauty is a brand I have purchased numerous products from and Shannon’s lash line gets a lot of love. I opted for natural looking styles that aren’t too long as I wear glasses. The Innocent are a short criss cross pattern that will add a nice amount of volume. The Heiress lashes aim to give a fluttery, curled effect and are slightly more dramatic. I haven’t tried the lashes yet but I will experiment on one of my days off.

3. Duo False Eyelash Glue (Clear, latex-free)

You can’t apply lashes without glue! On the xoBeauty site there are a few different glue options but I went for this one as it dries clear and is more suitable for sensitive eyes. My eyes aren’t overly sensitive but I liked the sound of this glue the best. The brush on applicator sounds really useful as well.

4. Lash Applicator Tweezer

xoBeauty have special tweezers which Shannon always uses to apply eyelashes and I’ve watched her use these in numerous YouTube videos – she makes it look so easy! The tweezers are nicely weighted, matte black and have a non-slip grip. The shape of the prongs is designed to aid with application and help fuse the false lashes with your natural lashes.

5. Louise – Heavy Love CD

Louise is a British singer-songwriter who found fame as one quarter of 90s R&B/pop group Eternal. Louise left the group in 1995 to pursue a solo career and released her fourth studio album in January 2020. It was a mission to get this CD, I pre-ordered a signed copy from Amazon.co.uk in August 2019 and during the week or two following release I didn’t get any update on my order. Amazon estimated the CD would arrive by February 3 (which it didn’t) and the next day I got an update saying there is an unexpected delay and delivery will now be between mid February and the end of March. I really wanted a signed CD and thought I’ll cancel my Amazon order and get one from Louise’s official store instead, it was more expensive but it was still signed. When I went to order from Louise’s store the signed CDs were sold out but luckily I found a company called Banquet Records who listed signed copies on their website. I tweeted to ask about stock and there were still signed CDs available. I cancelled my Amazon order, placed an order with Banquet Records and the order was dispatched within a few days.

6. Frankie Bridge – Open

In my life a lot of things seem to come back to music and this book is an example of that. Frankie is a singer I have looked up to for half of my life and my admiration for her multiplied when she revealed a struggle with anxiety and depression in 2011/2012. I am quite an anxious person and whilst I have never been diagnosed with a mental illness or been on medication some of the things Frankie says in interviews and this book resonate with me. In a way it’s comforting to know I’m not alone in some of my thoughts. I finished this book within 24 hours and it was great to learn more about Frankie. The book is written in such a kind way, it doesn’t come across as needy (not that I thought it would) and my only con is that it’s not longer.


What was the last thing you treated yourself to?

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Products I Want To Use Up

I prefer to use up what I have before purchasing replacements and new products. There’s something satisfying about minimalism and being without clutter which also prevents me from feeling overwhelmed and questioning what to use. It’s more effective when I can use a product and move on to the next one rather than having a ton I’m working my way through at the same time. Makeup is a slight exception as I don’t wear the same lipstick and eyeshadow everyday. I’m sure these products will make an appearance in an empties post in the near future.

1. The Body Shop Shea EDT

I do enjoy these 30ml bottles of EDT from The Body Shop for their size and their portability. If I need to carry fragrance in my handbag these fit perfectly. The Shea range from The Body Shop is my favourite but I don’t think Shea works as a perfume. I don’t dislike this product but it’s my least favourite of the eau de toilettes I have tried. The scent has grown on me the more I’ve used it and it shouldn’t take me long to finish up.

Estimated amount of product left: 1/5

2. Rimmel Match Perfection Translucent Loose Powder

This powder is lovely but I never see anyone talking about it. Rimmel is an underrated brand in my opinion, the quality you get for the price point is very reasonable. I have had this powder for a few years now and I want to use it up while it’s still good. If you have dry skin like I do this is a good option as it’s not matte and can be applied with a very light hand. I don’t find the product messy despite having to tip it into the lid and as it’s translucent it doesn’t alter how foundation looks underneath.

Estimated amount of product left: 1/3

3. IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream in Fair

I know you’re probably thinking this is only a relatively new addition to my makeup collection and you’d be right. Realistically being a deluxe sample containing 12ml of product compared to a normal foundation containing 30ml I don’t think this will take me long to use if I’m consistent and don’t switch between foundations. I’m also interested to see how this works for me over a period of time so I can decide whether I’d purchase the full size once. I’m also excited about my makeup looking consistently good as when I tested this along with three other foundations I was very impressed!

Estimated amount of product left: Almost full

4. MAC Studio Finish Concealer in NW10

This concealer is a little over two years old and I have made such a big dent in it. Every day the amount of pan gets bigger but the product seems to keep going. This works well in conjunction with the IT Cosmetics CC Cream so that will be a good match. This concealer is good but I still prefer Collection’s Lasting Perfection. Creamy concealers work better with my skin type.

Estimated amount of product left: 1/4

5. Stila Glitter & Glow minis in Perlina and Kitten Karma

I purchased a set of three Stila Glitter & Glow minis as a Christmas present to myself in 2018 and in all honesty I was disappointed. I wrote this post in March 2019 about how I don’t think these are worth the hype and I’ve barely reached for these since. I threw Golden Girl in the bin as the colour/glitter is practically non-existent. I would like to finish Perlina and Kitten Karma as they are easier to work with and I’m hoping to incorporate them into an eyeshadow challenge I am setting for myself even as an inner corner highlight or topper or something simple like that.

Estimated amount of product left: Perlina = 2/3, Kitten Karma = 3/4

6. Urban Decay Primer Potion

This is cheating a little as it is so close to being finished and I am ready for it! This eye primer has been a game changer for me, I love it and it definitely makes my eye makeup last better but I’ve had a Milani eye primer I’ve been waiting to try for a few months in my drawer that I’m itching to crack into. I’d say there’s another week or two left with the Urban Decay primer at most.

Estimated amount of product left: Nearly empty

7. The Body Shop Mandarin Face Mist

This is my least favourite product of the bunch. The scent is a little sickly and the mist isn’t as good as the Strawberry one I’ve tried previously. I don’t feel this mist does anything for my skin and I find I have to do quite a few sprays to feel the product on my face. Compared to the strawberry mist this doesn’t smooth or set my makeup so I’ll probably use this under/on top of my moisturiser in the morning to give my skin a boost of moisture.

Estimated amount of product left: 1/2


What products are you trying to finish up at the moment?

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Testing Four New Foundations

If you’re a regular viewer of The Anna Edit’s YouTube channel you may have seen her video testing six different foundations over the course of six weeks. She shared thoughts and opinions on each and I’m doing something similar in this post. I have purchased a couple of new base products recently and have two drugstore foundations that have been sitting unused in my collection for a while. I will be mentioning the claims of each foundation, how each one applies and performs, doing a shade comparison and ranking the foundations from my favourite to least favourite.

When it comes to foundation I like a lightweight formula that doesn’t feel heavy on the skin. I like a foundation that offers natural coverage, evens out redness and is easy to blend. I prefer a finish somewhere between dewy and matte and one that is suited to dry skin types and doesn’t sink in to or accentuate lines.

The four foundations being put to the test are:

  1. IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream in Fair
  2. MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation in NW10
  3. Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation in 010 Light Porcelain
  4. Max Factor Miracle Match Foundation in 40 Light Ivory

Claims

IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream

  • SPF 50
  • Hydrates skin while diffusing the appearance of imperfections
  • Full, flawless coverage that won’t crease or crack
  • Anti-ageing benefits
  • Delivers seven products in one

MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation

  • SPF 15
  • Medium, buildable coverage
  • Natural matte finish that is smooth and blendable
  • Oil production, shine and visible pores are kept under control by specially treated micronized pigments
  • Up to 24 hours wear time
  • Ideal for all skin types

Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation

  • SPF 20
  • Instantly reawakens skin with a healthy, radiant glow
  • Light, moisturising texture applies smoothly and leaves skin feeling soft and comfortable
  • Gives a flawless natural-looking finish
  • Visible anti-fatigue effect with peptides and vitamin moisturising complex

Max Factor Miracle Match Foundation

  • Enhances the look of skin for a healthy-looking finish
  • Hydrating formula creates a natural, dewy complexion
  • Blurs imperfections
  • Lightweight texture for seamless blending
  • Suitable for sensitive skin
  • Oil free

Shade Comparison

Left to right: IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream – Fair, MAC Cosmetics Studio Fix Fluid Foundation – NW10, Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation – 010 Light Porcelain and Max Factor Miracle Match – 40 Light Ivory.

IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream is the most yellow toned but this blends out well and the product is designed to be colour correcting so it works on my skin tone and doesn’t look too dark once it is applied.

MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation is the one I feel matches my skin tone the best. It is quite pink in contrast to the IT Cosmetics CC Cream on the left but you can still see the neutral tone coming through. MAC’s shade system is really useful if you aren’t strictly warm or cool toned.

Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation looks orange-pink and this is what makes it my least favourite colour match. 010 Light Porcelain looks similar to NW10 but the more I stare at the two middle swatches the more I notice how much better NW10 blends into my natural skin colour.

Max Factor Miracle Match Foundation is probably the most neutral toned swatch and this neutral tone also translates onto the face. This shade isn’t the lightest that Max Factor do but it doesn’t pull overly warm or cool and I can get away with it. I need a touch of warmth so I don’t look washed out.

Application/Formula

IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream – This blends easily, a little bit of product goes a long way and product feels lightweight – like a soft mousse – as it is being blended into the skin. The finish is the perfect amount of matte and dewy and can easily be made to look one way or the other depending on your preference. For example, I don’t use powder often as I’m a dry skinned girl but if I was using a glowy primer with a bit of slip and this CC Cream I would powder. Alternatively I could use a primer that is not glowy and not powder as the CC Cream would add a natural dewiness to the skin on it’s own. This doesn’t have a typical foundation scent, it’s zesty and reminds me of laundry powder but fades quickly and doesn’t put me off using the product.

MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation –  This is the only one of the four foundations that claims to be matte and it still looks nicer on my skin compared to a couple of the others. It is a very soft matte finish that does not cling to dry skin and covers well. I use 1 and a half – 2 pumps to cover my face, the pumps are quite small and I find that extra half pump gives me the finish I like. The formula doesn’t feel heavy and drag across the skin and is comfortable to wear. I had a sample of this foundation last year in NW13 so if you’ve read this post you’ll know the formula is one I enjoy.

Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation – I purchased this foundation towards the end of 2018 but was focused on finishing up a couple of others first so it has sat mostly untouched since then. Upon initial application this does feel a little heavier than the previous two foundations and I feel like more buffing is required to get this blended into the skin. In comparison to MAC Studio Fix I only need one pump of Wake Me Up as more product comes out at once. This foundation is certainly the most dewy of the bunch but what I find lets this down is lack of coverage. Going in with another layer doesn’t necessarily fix it and as product feels heavier the brush soaks some up.

Max Factor Miracle Match Foundation – I can’t go past the scent of this foundation, it is the most unpleasant out of these, it’s like a cross between feet and corn chips (it’s weird). This test has taught me pricier foundations tend to have more of a lightweight formula and blend into the skin more easily. The product itself doesn’t feel heavy on the skin but the brush does soak a bit of product up. The formula feels quite thin and light and I need 2 pumps to get the coverage I like but this foundation does layer. Miracle Match is billed as hydrating and dewy but upon initial application it can be a little drying.

Performance

IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream – This CC cream can definitely be built up to full coverage and it does conceal and cover imperfections whilst still looking natural. The hydrating element of the formula means it doesn’t settle into lines around my nose and mouth. After a full day at work my face looks exactly the same as it did 10 hours earlier, there’s no fading or excess shine and my skin doesn’t feel like it’s caked in makeup. I can see why people love this, it lives up to the claims and delivers in spades!

MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation – This foundation claims to last for 24 hours and whilst I don’t wear makeup for that long this does have good lasting power. This stays put without breaking down or fading and keeps my skin looking nice and naturally made up. I think this will make such a lovely everyday foundation for work.

Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation – Where this foundation falls down for me is the lack of coverage. It barely looks like I’m wearing anything on my skin and doesn’t work unless I’m having a good skin day. It is very light coverage and doesn’t build all that well either. This can almost make me look too pink and washed out. This foundation does perform better over top of Fenty Beauty’s Pro Filt’r Primer as it is slightly more matte and combats the slipperiness of the dewy formula.

Max Factor Miracle Match Foundation – This performs better than the other drugstore option in this test. The formula feels a little drying when it is freshly applied but once product has sat on the skin for a while and my natural oils come out it looks fine. I can build this up to medium coverage which I struggled with with Wake Me Up and I also think this has decent lasting power, I don’t think it would break down too much after a day at work. I definitely think this needs to be worn in conjunction with a creamy concealer, my little pot concealer from MAC does accentuate spots and dry patches with this foundation.

Summary and Overall Ranking

Testing these four products together made me realise what I like in a foundation and put me in a better position to evaluate how they perform. Being able to compare and contrast has been useful and there are elements of each foundation I like. I will definitely be keeping two of the foundations and I want to do further testing and see how well the two foundations I didn’t enjoy as much blend with a sponge and how they perform with a different concealer applied on top. Foundation is an important step in my makeup routine and if I have to spend more to get a nicer result I’m not mad about that. I think price will be less of a factor in future foundation purchases.

The results:

1st place = IT Cosmetics CC Cream
2nd place = MAC Studio Fix Fluid
3rd place = Max Factor Miracle Match
4th place = Rimmel Wake Me Up

I ranked each foundation on six different criteria using a points system. The highest number of points, 4, was awarded to my favourite in each category, 3 points to my second favourite and so on.

(Click the image to make it bigger)

Rimmel’s Wake Me Up and Max Factor’s Miracle Match both tied on 10 points but Miracle Match has the edge as the overall look on the skin is nicer.


Have you tried any of these foundations?

I hope you enjoyed this post. I know it was a wordy one and well done on making to the end!

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January Favourites + Highlights 2020

I personally feel January gets a bad wrap, people exaggerate about it “being the longest month ever” which I don’t think is true. January for me is a chance to reset and start fresh for the year and it always feels quite calm after the busy festive season. January is also my birthday month and I feel like people who complain about disliking it are making an unintentional dig at those who celebrate their birthday in January. I find it hard to believe we are one month through 2020 already, I swear every year gets faster!

Onto this month’s favourites:

1. Nutella – I’ve never been a huge Nutella fan but I saw a teeny tiny jar at the supermarket and purchased it purely for the size. I enjoyed having toast with Nutella to use up the contents of the jar and purchased a bigger size after it was finished. Toast with Nutella is nice to alternate between the yoghurt or fruit I usually have. Nutella hasn’t become a cupboard staple but it’s a nice treat!

2. YSL Rouge Pur Couture Lipstick – Le Rouge 01 – This lipstick is one of the four minis that came in a YSL set I purchased from Mecca towards the end of last year. Le Rouge 01 is a classic red and it has such a lovely comfortable satin finish. The colour lasts all day and doesn’t slip or bleed. I also think the mini sized bullet makes it easier to control and apply, no lip liner is required.

3. And So It Begins by Rachel Abbott – My second read of 2020! Over the past year or so I have been reading more psychological thrillers and this one was extremely gripping and kept me guessing right until the end. The twists and turns weren’t predictable and the book overall was super easy to read, the story was told well and the ending felt complete. I am looking forward to reading the follow up novel coming in April.

Mark and Evie had a whirlwind romance. Evie brought Mark back to life after the sudden death of his first wife. Cleo, Mark’s sister, knows she should be happy for him. But Cleo doesn’t trust Evie…

When Evie starts having accidents at home, her friends grow concerned. Could Mark be causing her injuries? Called out to their cliff-top house one night, Sergeant Stephanie King finds two bodies entangled on blood-drenched sheets.

4. House Rules – House Rules is an Australian home renovation show that I have watched for years and a new season started airing in New Zealand this month. Six teams travel around Australia renovating each other’s houses and gardens to ultimately try and win money to pay off their mortgage. Teams get scored on their work by a panel of judges and eliminated one by one until a team are crowned the winners. This is a good show for sitting down in front of with my book, I can see what’s happening but I don’t have to be glued to the screen in case I miss something.

5. Deep Water – Deep Water has been called the British version of Big Little Lies which is another series I really enjoyed. Deep Water is described as a modern day look at family through the eyes of three women as they try to balance work and life pressures. Each woman has secrets that surface and their lives intertwine with each other.

January Highlights

  • After watching a documentary about Michael Hutchence in December I have been listening to INXS music a fair bit. The instrumentation and vocals are sensational!
  • It was my birthday on January 24th and also my last day at work for a couple of weeks. I went out to dinner with some friends and had a lovely day.

January’s Spotify Playlist:


How was your month? Share one of your highlights in the comments!

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