Empty Products #17

Long time, no post! Life happened and I simply haven’t had energy or time to focus on the blog. I had this post written and the photos taken at the start of April but my mum got sick and was admitted to hospital again. It’s nice to finally share it!

I enjoy being nosy and seeing what products people have finished up which is part of the reason I continue to share what I use up. A number of products I started my project pan with feature in this empties, I’m proud of all the progress I’m making so far! A quick warning, these empties are VERY makeup heavy.

Makeup

1. Revlon Lip Butter – Lollipop

This is a classic example of what I dub “the Chanelle lip colour”. Lollipop is a beautiful bright fuchsia with hints of micro-shimmer and the formula is lovely. The lip butters were designed to be more like a stain but Lollipop can be built up and layered and is very pigmented. The formula can be quite glossy and slip a little but I didn’t have any trouble with this shade.

Repurchase: This range is discontinued but if it was still available I would consider purchasing Lollipop again. I do have other fuchsia shades in my collection.

2. MAC Studio Finish Concealer in NW10

I purchased this concealer in 2017 and it lasted me around 3 years. I didn’t use it solidly or exclusively throughout that time, I used other concealers in between. The formula works well with my dry skin, product can be built up and layered easily without looking cakey and clinging to dry patches. This isn’t the most high coverage concealer but as it can be layered it is able to cover redness and blemishes. Since finishing this up, I do miss it. I’m currently using L’Oreal’s Infallible More Than Concealer and while the coverage is amazing, it can perform differently depending on the foundation and primer used underneath.

Repurchase: Maybe

3. Clinique Rosewater Pop Lipgloss

I got this lipgloss in a set a couple of years ago. The colour is really pretty, it gives such a natural, rosy sheen to the lips. The formula isn’t sticky and this was nice to wear on no makeup days but the gloss didn’t have much staying power. Lips felt nice and soft after wearing this but it’s not something I would reach for often. I used this up because it had been with me for a while.

Repurchase: No.

4. BECCA Skin Love Brighten & Blur Primer

This primer has such a lovely fruity scent and the product itself is incredibly moisturising and hydrating. Where this fell down for me is I found it was too hydrating and makeup wouldn’t always sit nicely on top. I have dry skin so I need hydration but the texture felt thick and heavy on my skin. It’s nice to have tried this but I wouldn’t buy the full size.

Repurchase: No

5. Rimmel Professional Brow Pencil in 002 Hazel

I have used this to fill in my brows for about five years now. I am currently using a different brow product from Rimmel which I’m enjoying and I think the cooler brown shade suits me a little bit more at the moment. I do still enjoy the pencil as it’s quick and easy.

Repurchase: Already have.

6. Johnson’s Baby Shampoo

I use this to clean my makeup brushes which is why I’ve included it in this category. One of these bottles lasts me a couple of years and several brush washes. The product is inexpensive, brushes wash up nicely and my skin doesn’t get irritated when this has been on the bristles and they come into contact with my skin.

Repurchase: Already have.

7. Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara (4.8 ml)

In a previous empties post I used a sample size of Too Faced’s Better Than Sex mascara and was on the fence about it as sometimes the product would smudge onto my eyelids and I didn’t always get on with it. As the product dried out I did enjoy the mascara more but it’s interesting that using a second sample I had a different experience. What I think made the difference is the wand, the pink part of the wand on this sample was a lot longer so it was easier to hold and really get into the eyelashes and apply product. There was pretty much no smudging and my lashes looked really full and voluminous.

Repurchase: I’m not sure I would pay full prize for this mascara ($44 NZD) but I would use this mascara again if it was on sale, I was given it or received another sample.

 

Skincare & Fragrance

8. Natio Ageless Advanced Lifting and Firming Serum

I hadn’t used a serum before as I really enjoy facial oils but I decided to buy this one last year when Natio had a 3 For 2 offer on. I didn’t hate the serum but I also didn’t notice much difference when I used it. My skin didn’t seem plumper or softer but perhaps in hindsight laughter lines looked less prominent. This was easy to spread over the skin and it soaked in quickly but I also looked forward to finishing the serum.

Repurchase: No.

Body

9. Nivea Invisible Anti-Perspirant – Clear

Still using and loving this! A nice, fresh smelling anti-perspirant that doesn’t cause skin irritation or leave residue on clothing.

Repurchase: Yes.

10. The Body Shop Shea Nourishing Body Lotion

I love The Body Shop and the Shea range is a firm favourite but this body lotion isn’t quite how I remembered it. It used to come in a pump bottle and there used to be some product wastage but the texture of the lotion seemed to be softer, more moisturising and have a stronger scent. The squeeze tube as opposed to the pump bottle is great but the lotion doesn’t seem as malleable and it seems like more product is needed at a time.

Repurchase: Maybe. If the brand bring out a Shea Body Yoghurt I’ll be all for it! I love the texture of those and there’s no product wastage.

11. The Body Shop British Rose Body Butter (50ml)

I had always been curious to try a product from the British Rose range. I held off for a while as I was worried the floral scent would be overwhelming but I didn’t find the scent of this body butter too much at all – it’s a nice, fresh floral. This does give a glowy sheen to the skin but I don’t find the formula as moisturising as other body butters I’ve used in the past. Not sure I’d purchase the full 200ml size.

Repurchase: Maybe the 50ml size.


What was the last product you finished up?

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September Favourites + Highlights 2020


September has been an interesting month. A second wave of Corona Virus hit New Zealand’s shores in August and there has been a mixture of cases at the border and in the community. I feel as a country we will fluctuate between levels for some time. Also this month I received a letter with a date for my tonsillectomy – October 6th. I’m a little nervous anticipating what the pain will be like but in the long run I’ll be better off. I’ve got plenty of ice cream at the ready and I plan to rest and take it easy for a week or two. There’s been another hiccup with my mum, her magnesium levels have dropped right down again. The magnesium she was given in hospital isn’t available from a pharmacy and trying to find an alternative isn’t straightforward. Perhaps October will be a simpler month?

Onto this month’s favourites:

1. Cotton On Body Cropped Fluro Hoodie – I purchased this hoodie last year and it is so comfy and cosy. I love the bright green colour and striped balloon sleeves, it’s certainly unlike anything else I own. The crop is not too short for my body and hits at the right place. It’s a good piece for the transitional months for layering too. I’ve included a picture of the hoodie below to give you a better idea what it looks like on.

2. Rimmel Magnif’Eyes Eye Primer – I only used this primer for the first time about a week and a half ago in my Full Face of First Impressions and boy am I impressed! I have not gone back to the Milani primer since trying this as it’s much kinder to my eyes. I don’t know if its seasonal but over the past few weeks the Milani primer has dried out my eyelids and made them sensitive. The Rimmel primer does set but not to the point where eyeshadow doesn’t apply on top and it feels like pigment is dragging across the eyelids. I like that this has a doe foot applicator, it’s easier to control how much to apply.

3. MAC Double Gleam Extra Dimension Skinfinish – Double Gleam is my highlighter focus for September and she is a beauty! I had heard so many rave reviews about this shade and it really is worth all the hype. If you have fair to light skin you will especially love this, it is the perfect lit from within glow and the type of shade that goes with everything. MAC describe Double Gleam as a beige that breaks silver and the unique cream to powder formula is lovely, it’s very soft and easy to build and looks flawless on the skin. It can be used wet or dry, I have only used it dry as I like the intensity that gives but I can imagine it would be even more glowy if applied wet.

4. GHD Gold Styler – At the beginning of the month I treated myself to a new straightener. In all honesty the straightener I had was fine and did the job but I would have to go over certain areas of my hair a few times as it is quite thick. Once my hair is straight it will stay that way until it is washed again. The reason I looked at a GHD is to cut down on the amount of time it would take to straighten my hair. I also really like that the GHDs remain at a constant temperature and you can’t accidentally hit a button on the side that bumps the temperature up. I have used the straightener once so far and it only took 10 minutes to do all of my hair, my other straightener would take about half an hour. The quality and technology is really top notch, the straightener plays a sound when you turn it on and another sound when it’s heated up (roughly 25 seconds later). Hair is left looking shiny, sleek and healthy.

Close up of the sparkly detail on the plates of the straightener.

September Highlights

  • Steps released a new single and announced they are releasing a new album in November. Within minutes of getting the email announcing the album you can bet I had a signed copy pre-ordered!
  • September has been a good month for new music in general with releases from Delta Goodrem and Kylie Minogue as well.

September’s Spotify Playlist:


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

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Full Face of First Impressions

I have acquired some new makeup recently and there are enough products to warrant trying out a bunch together for a dedicated post. I love trying out new makeup and enjoy watching videos and reading about other people doing the same. Before purchasing products I always research and look up plenty of reviews and over the years there aren’t many products I’ve purchased that I really haven’t liked.

Products listed in order of application. Products marked with *** are new:

1. Natio Daily Defence Face Moisturiser SPF 50+*** – Natio face products work well for my skin. Their products are full of good, natural ingredients and the price you pay for the quality you get is sensational. The main ingredients in this moisturiser are Aloe Vera and Vitamin E which are wonderful for dry skin like mine. SPF 50 in a moisturiser is great too and this one doesn’t smell like sunscreen. It feels light and non-greasy on the skin. It spreads easily and soaks in quickly without leaving skin feeling like it’s parched.

2. BECCA Skin Love Brighten & Blur Primer*** – This primer was part of a set I purchased at the end of 2019 and I have been waiting to finish up a couple of other primers before trying this one. The primer is lightweight and blends easily into the skin. It’s less runny than something like First Light by BECCA and more akin to the texture of the Hangover Primer by Too Faced. I love the sound of this, it aims to smooth, brighten and nourish the skin and diffuse the look of pores to allow makeup to apply flawlessly over top.

3. Rimmel Professional Brow Pencil in 002 Hazel

4. Lancôme Teint Miracle Foundation in 005 Beige Ivoire*** – Since trying a couple of high end foundations I see a difference in how my skin looks and the overall finish of my makeup is nicer and more flawless. This particular foundation is a favourite of one of my closest online friends (Nadine) and she has dry skin as well so I knew it would be a winner. I purchased the lightest shade available 005 Beige Ivoire which leans a little yellow but in a good way that I can make work. I don’t know if bronzer on top would be too much right now but in summer when I’m a little less fair it should be fine. The formula is extremely lightweight to allow for breathable coverage and a natural glow. The texture is quite runny as it is a water based foundation but that also helps product spread easily over the face. I usually wear one layer of foundation but to test how this builds I used two light layers around my nose and chin where I get redness. The foundation built nicely and didn’t cake or settle into lines.

5. MAC StudioFinish Concealer in NW10

6. Fenty Beauty Mini Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Setting Powder in Butter*** – I got the mini size of this powder as a back up for when I have finished my Rimmel Match Perfection loose powder. Fenty Beauty’s powder is ideal for all skin types and the powder does feel silky smooth once applied. I have been enjoying using powder to set my concealer recently as it does make a difference to the overall look of my makeup. I purchased the shade Butter as it is one of the shades recommended for fair skin tones and aims to give a soft, brightening effect. I have heard a few people say this powder is messy but I’ll have to use it a few more times to see whether or not that’s true. The combination of this powder with the other base products left my skin feeling like velvet.

7. BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector in Champagne Pop*** – This is the third of these little mini highlighters I’ve purchased and they are some of my favourites! Champagne Pop is described as a soft white gold with pinky peach undertones. In comparison to the other minis I own by Becca Champagne Pop is warmer and more golden than Opal and Moonstone. This shade isn’t too golden for my liking and it’s absolutely beautiful on the skin, Becca highlighters have a lovely, soft formula that blends into the skin effortlessly.

8. Rimmel Magnif’Eyes Eye Primer*** – I have been using Milani’s Eyeshadow Primer but I notice sometimes it makes my eyelids dry and different eyeshadow formulas can be hard to apply and blend over top of the Milani primer. I’m a big fan of Rimmel and this primer was half the price of the Milani one. It reminds me a lot of Urban Decay’s Primer Potion which I love, looking forward to using this more!

9. Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette*** – I love neutral palettes and I know this has been discontinued but it’s an absolute classic! I picked this up brand new a couple of months ago and it has been sitting in my drawer since. I used the shade Bootycall as a base shadow, Tease to deepen the crease and Suspect all over the lid. I used the fluffy side of the double ended brush that comes with the palette to apply Bootycall and Tease and my ring finger to apply Suspect. The shadows were incredibly easy to work with and blended like a dream. I can tell I’m going to get a lot of use from this palette.

10. Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara This mascara isn’t brand new to me but I haven’t spoken about it on the blog before. Does this mascara live up to its name, no, is this mascara the most lengthening and volumising I’ve used, also no. It is however a decent mascara and as the formula dries out I enjoy it more. The formula was very wet when I first started using it and it didn’t layer well and would smudge. I probably wouldn’t repurchase the full size of this mascara but I’m glad I’ve tried it.

11. BECCA Glow Gloss in Foxglove*** – I purchased three Glow Glosses from Becca and Foxglove is my favourite shade out of the three. It is a muted plum with cool silver pearl and gives me MAC Syrup vibes. The formula has little flecks of glitter but this doesn’t feel gritty on the lips and it’s very subtle. The gloss does have a minty scent and a bit of tingling upon application but nothing uncomfortable and it stops after a few minutes. The formula isn’t sticky, it’s very comfortable to wear and the gloss is nicely pigmented.

The Finished Look

Overall I’m impressed with how this look turned out and I’m a fan of all the new products I tried. Standouts after the first use that I’m looking forward to trying more are the moisturiser, foundation, eye primer and eyeshadow palette.


What do you think of this look? Have you tried any of these products or purchased any new makeup recently?

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August Favourites + Highlights 2020

I will start by saying the past two months have been full of disruptions and upheaval which is why I haven’t been posting. I wrote THIS POST at the start of August that mostly explains everything. Since then my mum was admitted to hospital for a third time (and has since been discharged and is back home). It was finally discovered she had a bad bacterial infection that had possibly been laying dormant for a while which is why the first two rounds of antibiotics didn’t kill it and why her electrolyte levels weren’t holding and she’d feel weak and fuzzy in the head. My life for the past two months has pretty much been eat, hospital, try to sleep and go to work when I can – I haven’t had time for much else. I really hope this is the end and she can continue to get her strength back at home!

Onto this month’s favourites:

1. Ellie Goulding – Brightest Blue – I have been a fan of Ellie since she released her first album 10 years ago! Her voice is incredibly beautiful and angelic, I understand it’s not for everyone but it’s certainly distinctive. I never tire of listening to Ellie and when she announced her album release I was very excited – nearly everything she does is perfect in my eyes. This album really sees Ellie return to her roots, the melodies are quite simple which gives Ellie’s voice even more chance to shine. Her voice also has powerful, raspy moments and her lyrical phrasing is always something I look forward to hearing. Ellie’s music is uniquely her and that’s why I enjoy it so much, she’s uber cool and does things unexpected and different. Standout Tracks: How Deep Is Too Deep, Love I’m Given, Tides, Flux and Brightest Blue.

2. MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation in NW10 – I originally tried a sample of this foundation in NW13 and liked the formula and how product looked on my skin so much I purchased the full size in a shade lighter. Studio Fix Fluid has a natural matte finish and an oil controlling formula. I have dry skin but I don’t find this foundation too matte or drying, it gives a soft, velvety look to my skin. This is my current everyday foundation I use for work and it’s very easy to wear. It has SPF 15, is comfortable and long wearing and helps minimise the appearance of pores and imperfections making skin look smoother and more flawless.

3. Natio Rosewater Hydration Moisture Boost Day Cream-Gel – Natio is a brand I have used for a number of years. Their products are reasonably priced, good quality and contain natural ingredients. I was interested in trying a new daytime moisturiser and this cream-gel hybrid appealed to me. The texture is lightweight, product soaks into skin quickly and keeps it feeling moisturised throughout the day. This is what I thought Clinique’s Moisture Surge would be like but I was a little disappointed when I tried that. The scent of rose is noticeable but it isn’t overpowering and doesn’t irritate my skin or my nose. The pink tube is sturdy and travel friendly and looks cute on my dresser too.

4. BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector in Moonstone – I got a mini Moonstone as part of a three piece BECCA set from Sephora at the end of last year. As I have been focusing on a different eyeshadow palette and highlighter pairing per month in 2020, it was finally Moonstone’s turn in the spotlight in August. Moonstone is described as a pale, incandescent gold best suited for fair-light skin tones. The formula of BECCA’s highlighters is lovely; soft and buildable and they don’t look chunky on the skin. Moonstone is a great everyday highlighter that looks natural but can be built up if you want more glow.

August Highlights

  • I was keen to purchase another luxury foundation and settled on Lancôme’s Teint Miracle in 005 Beige Ivoire after one of my closest blogging/Instagram friends always mentions how much she loves it. (I’m yet to use the foundation but very excited to try it).
  • Purchased a shampoo and conditioner set from Function of Beauty. I’ve seen lots of good reviews and being able to customise my own hair products was fun. Let me know if you’d like a review once the products arrive and I’ve had a chance to use them.

July + August’s Spotify Playlists (since there was no July Favourites):


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

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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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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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