June Favourites + Highlights 2020

June has felt like a very busy month and not always in a good way. My brain has gone back to feeling a little overwhelmed at times and I’ve had a couple of low moments. Everything with Corona is still changing constantly and New Zealand went from having 24 days in a row with no cases to reporting new cases almost every day for the past two weeks. I for one was unaware so many people were returning to the country all at once so that’s why there are new cases but there have been slip ups along the way too – people haven’t always adhered to quarantine rules. It’ll be interesting to see if we have to move back up into different alert levels over the coming weeks/months.

Onto this month’s favourites:

1. MAC Love Me Lipsticks in Hey, Frenchie! and Très Blasé – Since falling in love with the formula of this range back in March when I purchased the shade Laissez-Faire I knew a couple of other shades would soon make their way into my collection. The formula is incredibly comfortable and the perfect mix between MAC’s satin and lustre formulas, the feel of a lustre with lasting power more akin to a satin. Hey, Frenchie! is a deep mauvey nude and Très Blasé is a light peachy beige. Très Blasé does pull pinky-peach on me which I don’t mind, it reminds me of a cross between two of my favourite MAC shades; Syrup and Patisserie.

2. L’Oreal Infallible More Than Concealer – I was a little apprehensive this concealer may not work for my skin as it is more on the matte side of creamy and I have dry skin but it looks so flawless once applied. I purchased the shade 323 Fawn after hearing Arna Alayne mention this numerous times on her YouTube channel, she has fair skin like me and her makeup always looks so beautiful. This concealer is full coverage and literally a few dots around my nose and on my chin is all I need. One layer is ample and this blends in seamlessly using my finger. Setting powder and bronzer apply nicely over top too and surprisingly product doesn’t sink into lines or emphasise dry skin.

3. Estée Lauder Pure Colour Envy – Intense Nude – A work colleague gave me this lipstick and I feel very lucky to own such a luxurious item. I hadn’t previously tried anything from Estée Lauder but I know it’s a renowned brand and the products are high quality. Intense Nude is a gorgeous pink-brown shade that’s not too far away from Très Blasé. The formula of this lipstick is extremely soft, it feels like you’ve got nothing on the lips. Colour fades evenly and lasts well throughout the day. This makes such a good work day lipstick and would also be a nice one for date nights.

4. MAC Fix+ Magic Radiance – I am enjoying using setting sprays lately. I featured The Body Shop’s Rose Face Mist in last month’s favourites post and I have also tried out Fix+ Magic Radiance numerous times over the past few weeks. This one is particularly good for dry skin or if you like a healthy glow – it’s packed with Vitamin C, hyaluronic acid and essential oils. It has a lovely fresh scent and gives a beautiful dewy look to the skin.

5. Normal People – Over the weekend I finished watching Normal People and really enjoyed it. I read the book a few years ago and the series is very similar, the author was heavily involved with it. I highly recommend watching it if you’re on the fence, certain scenes were emotional to watch and made me cry so have tissues at the ready. The series follows the relationship between Marianne and Connell as they navigate adulthood from their final days in secondary school to their undergraduate years in Trinity College. They weave in and out of each other’s lives and somehow always find themselves drawn back to each other. There is quite a sexual emphasis on Marianne and Connell’s relationship but as a reader/viewer you can’t help but hope they stay together.

June Highlights

  • Unintentional social media detox. Every once in a while I take a bit of time away from social media and go days or a week between posts. I try to upload when I’ve got something to say or share and try not to post for the sake of it.
  • I made two batches of chocolate chunk cookies. Photographic evidence can be found HERE. The second batch came out a lot better than the first, the key is definitely to crush up pieces of chocolate and bake them at a lower temperature. Let me know if you want me to share the recipe!

June’s Spotify Playlist:


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

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GRWM: Luxurious Makeup Look

I am lucky enough to have some really beautiful makeup products that aren’t exactly on the lower end of the price spectrum. Before I purchase a product I always look up reviews and do my research, especially if I’m considering parting with a substantial amount of money. I definitely feel comfortable splurging in some areas and saving money in others. I know what works for my skin and how I want my makeup to turn out.

I wanted to be a little boujee and create a look using as many luxury products as possible. I didn’t doubt for a minute the look would come together well and I’m so pleased with it!

Products listed in order of application:

Products marked with an * means I didn’t have a luxury alternative

1. Olay Complete UV Lotion Sensitive*

2. Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer – I sampled this primer last year and fell in love with it straight away. I purchased a full size during lockdown. It makes my skin feel silky smooth and foundation applies beautifully over the top. A little goes a long way as this spreads really easily over the skin. It feels moisturising but it’s not at all greasy.

3. Rimmel Professional Brow Pencil in 002 Hazel*

4. YSL Touche Éclat Le Teint Radiance Awakening Foundation in B10 Porcelain – This is as close to a holy grail foundation that I have discovered so far. The shade is such a perfect match for my skin – it’s the right amount of warm and cool and like the primer, a little goes a long way. One layer is enough and the consistency of the foundation is light but blendable. Product is very easy to move around the face. This foundation makes your skin look like skin but enhances it and gives a dewy, healthy glow. I’m so impressed every time I wear it!

5. MAC Studio Finish Concealer in NW10 – This concealer blends nicely on top of the YSL foundation. It can be layered up and covers redness and spots well. This can sink into lines if my skin is feeling dry but using a good primer and foundation combats that. Studio Finish also feels lightweight and doesn’t clog my skin or make me oily.

6. Rimmel Match Perfection Translucent Setting Powder*

7. Milani Eyeshadow Primer*

8. xoBeauty Heaps of Sweets Palette – This palette cost around $55 (NZD) which compared to lots of other palettes on the market isn’t expensive. Ever since trying xoBeauty a couple of years ago I have been impressed with the price points of products in relation to quality. I tend to use drugstore eyeshadow palettes as I don’t have any high end ones but this is a good in-between. I went for a cool toned eye look, I used the shade Vanilla (light neutral that leans purple) as a base shadow all over the lid, Brownie (chocolate brown) to deepen up the crease and Cupcake (shimmery taupe) for a wash of shimmer.

9. YSL Volume Effet Faux Cils The Curler Mascara – I have been using this little mini since the end of February and it has lasted well! This has a rubber wand which I’m not usually a fan of but this mascara is really pleasant to use. The formula has stayed the same since it’s been open and it gives a bit of length and volume which I love. (Technically this mini wasn’t expensive as I got it as part of a set but if I purchased a full size it would be the priciest mascara in my collection).

10. MAC Double Gleam Extra Dimension Skinfinish – This highlighter literally melts into the skin. A little goes a long way and it gives the skin such a beautiful gleam. The cream-powder formula is flattering and doesn’t accentuate pores. This shade is versatile and one I see myself reaching for a lot as it will go with everything!

11. MAC Warm Soul – I was opting for a rosy-nude lip and knew this blush would be perfect on the cheeks to accompany it. Warm Soul is one of MAC’s Mineralize blushes so it has a baked formula and a gorgeous speckled marble effect that translates onto the skin. Like the highlighter, this blush is such a versatile shade and the combination of this and Double Gleam is a winner.

12. MAC Fix+ Magic Radiance – After setting my base with powder I knew a few sprays of this would re-hydrate the skin and make it look lovely and glowy again. Magic Radiance is even more hydrating than the regular Fix+ and it is packed with Vitamin C, hyaluronic acid and essential oils which are all great for the skin. This smells amazing too!

13. Estée Lauder Pure Colour Envy – Intense Nude – A work colleague gave me this lipstick as it wasn’t the right shade for her and it was the inspiration behind creating this luxury look. Estée Lauder is a brand I haven’t tried before. The bullet is navy and gold with a magnetic closure – it feels satisfying when the lid snaps back into place. Intense Nude is number 130 in the Pure Envy range and it is described as a moderately warm-toned light plum. This shade isn’t a true nude as it has hints of pink, brown and red but it is one of those shades that is a great everyday colour. The scent is lovely and the lipstick glides over the lips like butter. It’s incredibly comfortable to wear.

The Finished Look:

Close up of my eye makeup using xoBeauty’s Heaps of Sweets palette. Also wearing “The Romantic” lashes by xoBeauty.


Do you own any luxury makeup products?

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The Lockdown Me Spree

I kept everything as ‘normal’ as possible over the lockdown period and I did end up making a handful of online orders. I was in two minds about sharing the items as understandably a lot of people have gone quiet online and are being super mindful of the content they put out.

I do want to say I 100% purchase everything myself and I am in no way bragging. I was fortunate to be in a position to work from home and continue earning my salary. I am very much a saver and also go through periods of time where I don’t spend anything.


Hourglass

Since sampling Hourglass’ Veil Mineral Primer last year I have wanted the full size, but I held off as this primer is pricey. I purchased the 56ml tube (which is the largest size) as value for money wise it works out the best. This primer feels like silk on the skin and makes foundation apply like a dream over top. It has SPF15 in it too.

xoBeauty

1. Round Face Brush – I didn’t need another foundation brush but I wanted to compare this to my Zoeva 104 Buffer Brush. These two brushes are bigger than my others and I tend to reach for them when my smaller foundations brushes are dirty. This brush is dense and by the time I’ve applied foundation my hand is sore from buffing but the finish it gives is nice and worth it.

2. Kelly Lip Pencil – I only own one other lip pencil but I thought this deep brown toned mauve would work nicely with MAC Viva Glam III and other nude/berry lipsticks in my collection.

3. False eyelashes – Since trying false lashes from xoBeauty in March I have been obsessed with how good they look and I wanted to pick up another couple of pairs in different styles:

“The Girl Next Door” were designed for the utmost natural girls in mind. These are lightweight, natural, and not too long. They are perfect for anyone with not a lot of eye space, or anyone with hooded eyelids. They have a zig-zag pattern that looks feminine and gorgeous!

“The Romantic” were designed for the girly girl who likes a bit of flirt, a bit of length, and a bit of volume! They are super full but do not take over your eyes, so they can be worn day or night. Tapered on the inner corner for comfort, and finished off with a beautiful flick and curve on the ‘Outer V’ to elongate your eye shape.

“The Glamourista” are ideal for any glamorous look! Even though they are slightly more dramatic, you can still get away with wearing them for any occasion, day or night, because they are so wispy and lightweight.

Chemist Warehouse

1. YSL – Black Opium – Since trying a sample of this perfume at the end of 2019 I knew I would pick up a full size eventually. Black Opium is a great everyday perfume or one for date nights – the main note is vanilla but it also has hints of coffee and it’s a very warm, sexy scent.

2. Concealers – Cream concealers are best for my dry skin and I want a back up option if I am unable to pick up Collection’s Lasting Perfection Concealer – the brand is not widely available in New Zealand. I’ve always been curious to try Maybelline’s Instant Age Rewind Concealer and I’ve also heard Arna Alayne praise the L’Oreal Infallible More Than Concealer on her YouTube channel as a great full coverage option.

3. Revlon Diamond Shine Gel Envy Top Coat – This is the top coat I currently use and it is great so I picked up a backup. The width of the brush is perfect and the top coat spreads so easily. It gives a lovely shine to nail polish and doesn’t chip easily.

MAC

1. Extra Dimension Skinfinish in Double Gleam – Double Gleam is a liquid-powder highlighter that gives a luminous, well-defined finish and is described as a beige that breaks silver. As I carry out my challenge of using one eyeshadow palette and highlighter per month I’m learning what textures I like and what works best on my skin. I have a few highlighters in the same colour family as Double Gleam but ultimately I enjoy being a minimalist and only keeping products I really love. I’m hoping Double Gleam will allow me to let go of a couple of other products I don’t reach for as often.

2. Love Me Lipsticks in Hey, Frenchie! and Très Blasé – I mentioned I was curious to try these shades when I reviewed Laissez-Faire, (also from the Love Me Range). Hey, Frenchie! is a deep mauvey nude and Très Blasé is a light peachy beige. I ordered both of these from the same company but there was a stock issue with Très Blasé so I am waiting for an ETA to hear when it will ship. If it doesn’t come back into stock I will look at getting it from somewhere else. I thought I’d mention it here anyway as I do intend to buy it.

Wearing Hey, Frenchie!

3. MAC Peachlite Strobe Cream – A little while ago I finished up a 30ml tube of Strobe Cream in the original Pinklite shade. I did enjoy using the product as a glowy moisturiser with no makeup on weekends or as a primer before applying foundation. I was curious about a couple of other shades; Silverlite and Peachlite. Silverlite was out of stock so I opted for Peachlite. Peachlite has a peachy pink sheen and is the shade of Strobe Cream that is probably the most universal and will suit all skin tones. I’ve worn Peachlite a couple of times since it arrived and my skin feels extremely soft and moisturised.

4. MAC Fix+ Magic Radiance – I have used the original Fix+ in the past and since MAC launched Fix+ Magic Radiance I have wanted to try it. I suffer with dry skin and this product is supposed to be super hydrating. Magic Radiance is loaded with Vitamin C, hyaluronic acid and essential oils. It aims to cool and soothe the skin, set makeup for extended wear and refresh lacklustre complexions. Fix+ is also great for spraying on your brush before applying eyeshadow or highlighter to make it more intense.


Hope you enjoyed seeing everything I’ve picked up recently! Have you treated yourself to anything during lockdown?

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May Favourites + Highlights 2020

I can’t believe we are at the end of May and it’s monthly favourites time again already! I’ve only got a small selection of products to talk about this month but they are really good ones.

New Zealand is also no longer under strict quarantine, most people have returned to work and businesses and shops have re-opened. Currently I split my working day between home and the library, I work from home in the morning and go into the office in the afternoon. This means there are less staff in the building until we fully re-integrate.

Onto this month’s favourites:

1. Colourpop It’s My Pleasure Palette – I purchased this palette in July 2019 and I feel like it isn’t until now that I have really started to appreciate it. Don’t get me wrong I’ve always liked It’s My Pleasure and before purchasing it I saw so many people raving about it but I didn’t start to gel with it until recently. For May, June and July I’m rotating through my Colourpop nine pan palettes week by week and I’m already looking forward to revisiting It’s My Pleasure! I’ve got a better idea how the colours work together and what combinations I like. My favourite shades are Do Or Dough, Earthshine, Fan Fiction and Sleeper.

2. Wella Oil Reflections Shampoo and Conditioner – After getting my hair cut in February and being impressed with how the Wella products that were used made my hair feel I started looking at products online with the intention of purchasing some. I decided on the Oil Reflections range as it’s suited for all hair types and aims to leave hair cleansed and luminous. The scent is lovely too, a mix of vanilla, white tea and fruit. The products make my hair feel amazing and since I started using these my hair looks nourished, soft and more sleek. This is more pricey than regular shampoo and conditioner but I’m proud of my hair and I want it to look good so I don’t mind paying a little extra.

3. The Body Shop Rose Face Mist – I was not expecting to enjoy this as much as I have. I recently finished up the mandarin face mist from The Body Shop and I didn’t really like it so I was apprehensive about this one. The rose most is in an entirely different league and it really does make my skin and makeup look beautiful and dewy. The mist is fine and not too wet which is why I didn’t like the mandarin one, it didn’t feel refreshing and the scent wasn’t my favourite either. The rose scent is spot on, it’s very subtle and one I wouldn’t imagine would irritate you if you are sensitive to smell.

4. Colourpop Berry Good Lipgloss – This gloss was released alongside Colourpop’s Strawberry Shake palette. I have checked the website and this is no longer available but it is a beautiful shade that I have been reaching for a bit recently. Berry Good is a juicy pink-red that gives a lovely strawberry coloured tint to the lips. I purchased this gloss last year and the first time I wore it I wasn’t sure I liked it but I every time I have tried it since it has really grown on me. I purchased the other gloss from the Strawberry collection called Easy Bake (still on the website but showing as out of stock) and I personally prefer Berry Good.

May Highlights

  • I’ve been feeling more body confident recently and I very bravely shared *THIS* photo to Instagram. The comments are all so sweet!
  • I came up with an idea for a semi-regular Instagram series to share some of my favourite songs relating to a theme. For example, the first one featured five of my favourite feel good tracks (new and old). Feel free to leave any theme ideas in the comments!

May’s Spotify Playlist:


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

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April Favourites + Highlights 2020

Let me start by asking how everyone’s quarantine/lockdown/isolaton life is going? Whilst each country has different measures and restrictions in place we are all in this together. As mentioned in my March Favourites, I’m here if anyone would like a chat!

Over the past month I have adapted well to working from home, I am pretty much able to do my job as usual which keeps me in a good routine. Like so many other people I am using Zoom to connect with work colleagues and I’m really enjoying doing my makeup on the days there’s video calls and making myself that little bit more glam. I am also proud to say I haven’t worked in my pyjamas once (no shame if you do) and have gotten dressed each work day. This month has been relatively quiet but I have enjoyed the calm peacefulness. I am eating less than I would if I was going to work and I’m back into an exercise routine. I feel like I’ve been singing better as a result too and I’m not as stressed which is huge!

Onto this month’s favourites:

1. Dua Lipa – Future Nostalgia – I have been a fan of Dua for a while now and ever since she released Don’t Start Now as the first single from this album I was excited! The vibe, the beats and the lyrics really stood out to me and it’s probably my favourite track Dua has released to date. Dua puts so much personality into her music and I love the deep, raspy element to her voice. The songs on this album are personal but still radio friendly and whilst she’s undoubtedly pop she adds in her own unique touches. This album is very cohesive and by the time it’s over you want to go right back to the start and press play again. Standout Tracks: Don’t Start Now, Physical, Levitating, Hallucinate and Break My Heart.

2. MAC Viva Glam III Lipstick – I purchased this alongside another MAC lipstick in March and over the past month I have already worn it a handful of times. I saw pictures of this shade online and was unsure whether it would suit me and be too dark but I really don’t have anything like this in my collection. Viva Glam III is described as a muted brownish-plum and is a matte finish. This lipstick has a very comfortable matte finish that doesn’t dry out the lips and despite the dark shade I don’t need to wear a lip liner with this. I wore Viva Glam III when I tried false lashes for the first time – CLICK HERE to see.

3. The Guest List by Lucy Foley – I have been smashing my Goodreads target during lockdown and I finished this particular book last week. It is one of my favourite reads of 2020 so far and the second book I’ve read by Lucy Foley in a matter of weeks. Set on a remote island off the Irish coast, guests are invited to the glamorous wedding between Will and Jules. Lives unravel whilst on the island and secrets from the past are revealed. Everything comes to a head when someone is murdered on the night of the wedding. I won’t spoil who is murdered as we don’t find out until the last quarter of the book but it was obvious to me who the victim would be and I was right. The reveal of the murderer wasn’t as easy to guess but it definitely makes sense. If you’re an Agatha Christie fan or enjoy reading books with plenty of twists you will enjoy this!

4. Glassons Cropped Stretch Skinny Jean – I picked up these jeans in a mid blue wash at the beginning of March when I was out shopping with a friend. This is the fourth pair of these jeans I have bought as the cropped length is the perfect full length on me. I also have these jeans in white, black and a light blue wash. The jeans are comfortable, have a slight stretch to them so they are the good kind of tight and won’t lose their shape but still allow you to move. These are probably my favourite pair as they are that classic blue denim and don’t attract cat hairs like my black pair.

April Highlights

  • I have completed a few jigsaw puzzles this month.
  • I treated myself to a couple of luxury lockdown purchases: YSL Black Opium perfume and Hourglass Veil Mineral face primer. I have sampled both of these in the past and loved them!
  • My Future Nostalgia CD arrived in the post.

April’s Spotify Playlist


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

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My Blush Collection

I’m having a real moment with blush lately. Sometimes I go through phases where I don’t wear blush a lot but recently I have been appreciating the lovely, natural flush it gives my cheeks and how it pulls a look together. I believe blush is one of those products you don’t need to own a lot of different shades of if you’ve found a couple that really suit your skin tone. I know what works for me and what I personally like. I tend to go for mauve tones and blushes that have a bit of shimmer and can be built up. If you’ve followed my blog for a while you may have heard me mention these products but I thought this would be a great way to collectively talk through my favourite blushes and if you have fair-light skin like me these will also work well for you.

Starting from the blush I’ve owned longest and working through to the newest:

1. Dainty Doll – Billion Dollar Babies

Firstly, look at that pan! This is the only cream blush in my collection but it is my most used blush hands down! Billion Dollar Babies is a neutral pink-brown nude. It may look plain in the pan but once it is on the face it adds the most natural flush of colour whilst making the skin look dewy. This blush is the most versatile I own and it really does go with every makeup look! I don’t tend to wear bronzer or contour when I wear this blush as I find it layers better on top of foundation this way and stops my makeup looking heavy. I keep this blush in my everyday makeup bag on top of my dresser which contains products I reach for often.

2. Dainty Doll – You Are My Sunshine

You Are My Sunshine is a dupe for NARS Orgasm and I purchased this blush a couple of years after I started blogging. I don’t know how I first heard about Orgasm but I remember thinking it was such a beautiful shade and the fact it suits many different skin tones is a bonus. I found this blush brand new on eBay for $8 (NZD) and this easily comes in as a close second to Billion Dollar Babies for being my most used. This blush is also my personal favourite in my collection and I love the healthy effect the peachy golden shimmer gives the skin. A little goes a long way with this blush and if I’m feeling under the weather or want my makeup to pop this is the blush I’ll choose. It pairs well with my fuchsia lipsticks and a light shimmery shadow on the lids.

3. NARS Mini Orgasm Blush/Highlight Duo

I picked up this NARS duo in 2018 as I was curious to see how my dupe for Orgasm compared to the real thing. Taking pictures for this post was actually the first time I had swatched both blushes side by side. They are equally as beautiful and look similar on the skin but Orgasm is more pink and easier to diffuse whereas You Are My Sunshine is more peachy and shimmery and needs to be applied with a lighter hand. I bought the NARS duo as it has a blush and highlighter meaning it’s convenient for travel and takes up less space. Despite the fact the blush is mini it will still last a long time. Orgasm is a classic shade and if you haven’t tried it I highly encourage you to give it a go, it may look intimidating in the pan but it is a surprisingly versatile shade.

4. MAC Mineralize Blush – Warm Soul

I forgot I owned this blush for a little while because my Dainty Doll blushes are so good at covering all bases that I didn’t find myself for reaching this one as often. A couple of weeks ago I used it for the first time in ages and fell in love all over again. Warm Soul has a baked mineral formula meaning it layers well whilst still looking soft and gives a pearl-like shimmer. This blush pairs really well with a pink highlight or if you prefer something simple and subtle, Warm Soul can be worn on it’s own and applied a little higher up to double as a blush and highlighter. The microshimmers will catch the light and make the cheeks look more sculpted.

5. Max Factor Creme Puff Blushes – 10 Nude Mauve and 20 Lavish Mauve

I purchased both of these in February so they are still relatively new to me. I have used each shade a handful of times so far and I’m happy with how they perform. This range of blushes is supposedly similar to the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes so if you’re looking to try a cheaper alternative, these are a good option. Nude Mauve has a muted pink/brown tone whilst Lavish Mauve is brighter and more pink. The marbled effect in the pan is gorgeous and these blushes also contain microshimmers similar to Warm Soul so they can double as blushes and highlighters. If you have a deeper skin tone these particular shades would make pretty highlighters but if you’re fair like me they are perfect blushes.

Swatches:

Left to right: Billion Dollar Babies, You Are My Sunshine, Orgasm, Warm Soul, Nude Mauve and Lavish Mauve.


Have you tried any of these blushes? What’s your favourite blush?

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MAC Laissez-Faire Love Me Lipstick Review

Last year MAC launched their Love Me range of lipsticks and I hadn’t really heard much about these until recently when I saw a YouTube video of someone swatching and trying on a bunch of shades. The Love Me lipsticks have been made to express the love and respect you have for yourself and come in 24 shades – a mix of nudes, purples and reds. I will talk more about the formula later but what sets it apart is that it’s infused with argan oil and represents a new type of sensation and texture from MAC. I think this range will appeal to a lot of people.

I purchased the shade Laissez-Faire which is described by MAC as a muted greyish pink. This shade has a neutral undertone and it doesn’t pull cool on the lips. Read on to see me compare Laissez-Faire to other lipsticks in my collection and point out similarities and differences.

Claims

  • Instant hit of powerful colour
  • All day moisture
  • Weightless feel
  • Lighter than air texture

Packaging

Each lipstick has MAC’s distinctive bullet style packaging with a shiny ombré effect. The outer packaging of each shade is matched to the colour family it belongs too; the nudes have a nude and black bullet, the purples a purple and black bullet and the reds a red and black bullet. The packaging is very pretty and probably the nicest in my lipstick collection! I like how these have been given a different design to MAC’s regular lipstick line, it makes them easy to distinguish in your drawer or makeup bag. The packaging doesn’t look cheap or feel any less luxurious.

Formula

The formula has been enriched with moisturising argan oil and nourishing lychee fruit extracts to keep lips soft and nourished all day long. The texture does feel very lightweight on the lips and it can be layered without feeling heavy. I would describe the Love Me formula like a cross between MAC’s satin and lustre finishes. They have the pigmentation and look of a satin lipstick and glide on effortlessly like a lustre. I find the formula fades evenly throughout the day and you will get a good amount of wear time before needing to reapply. I feel I can’t always test how long lipsticks last fairly as almost every colour lasts a long time on my lips. However, you will easily get more staying power than a gloss or lustre.

Application

Laissez-Faire applies like a dream. The colour goes on smoothly, is not streaky and 1-2 layers is perfect for even, pigmented coverage. The lipstick doesn’t feather or sink into lines. With the mauves and lighter shades I wouldn’t say you need a lip liner. The lipstick applies true to how it looks in the bullet and can be re-applied without disturbing the existing colour underneath.

Wearing Laissez-Faire

Swatches & Comparisons

Blankety is the lightest of these shades and the most beige. Hug Me is the closest match to Laissez-Faire but it is more sheer due to the lustre finish. Bois de Rose is the most similar in texture but it is more of a rosy pink. Brave is the brightest pink and also the most pigmented.

Other ‘Love Me’ Shades I’m Interested in

  • Hey, Frenchie! (deep mauvey nude) – Purples
  • Pure Nonchalance (lavender) – Purples
  • Très Blasé (light peachy beige) – Nudes
  • Under the Covers (dusty rose pink) – Nudes

I do have a knack for blind buying lipstick and I’m lucky that the colour in the bullet tends to be how that shade applies on me. There are a handful of other shades I like the look of and would consider picking up but before committing to them I’d like to watch more swatch videos or preferably, swatch the shades in store (lockdown permitting).

Summary

I am very happy to have Laissez-Faire in my collection and the pink tones remind me a little bit of Syrup which is my all time favourite MAC lipstick. The packaging is absolutely gorgeous and the formula lives up to the claims. The lipstick feels extremely soft and weightless on the lips and you get a decent hit of colour with the first swipe. I’m not really interested in the darker shades and the reds but it would be interesting to know if they perform as well.


Have you tried any lipsticks from MAC’s Love Me range?

What’s your favourite MAC lipstick?

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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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