Scrubtastic – the Cheap, Easy way to Clean your Brushes

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I’m going to be completely honest with you guys: I am an avid brush deep cleansing avoider. There, I said it! There’s a huge load of my chest let me tell you.

What’s worse, is that I don’t have an excuse for my laziness aside from, well, laziness! But I knew this had to stop, my sporadic and rare deep brush cleanse routine needed a pick me up. I’d heard things about Sigma’s Spa Glove for washing brushes, and thought it was a clever concept, but beyond my budget. I thought to myself, “Surely, there must be something else out there?!” and yes, there was.

I was hunting around my local Daiso the other week, a Japanese $2 store (except that everything is $2.70) and came across this cute little (lizard?) oven mitt. I was stopped in my tracks, and a light bulb turned on in my head and said “Hey, what a good idea!”

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Say hello to my little friend! This tool has made cleaning my brushes sooo much easier and more time efficient. No longer will my back ache from bending over the sink for hours; no longer will my hands crinkle up like raisins from all that water exposure. Ok, so it’s not as big or as high tech as Sigma’s one, but it still has two different textured ridges, that allow for the perfect amount of abrasion, and ensure that all those cheeky black eyeshadow pigments and stubborn foundation stains get washed away.

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I will use this with my Johnson’s Baby Conditioning Shampoo, working the water and shampoo into a good lather in the palm of the glove. At first I thought it was just a novelty, but this glove has really made a difference in how clean my brushes are. Formerly, I’d have to use a great deal more shampoo to clean each brush; now, just one squirt is sufficient for a number of smaller brushes, and more than enough for larger ones.

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As you can see, it isn’t quite big enough to cover my knuckles, but I generally don’t submerge my entire hand under the tap, so that isn’t a problem. I will hold my hand ‘ajar’ to expose the ridges in the glove, and work from there. It is a bit of an awkward position for the hand to be in, but considering how efficient this little baby is, I don’t really mind.

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And I mean look at it! It’s bright, fluorescent pink, and in the shape of a (lizard?) – you can’t go wrong.

Are you just as lazy as me when it comes to deep cleansing your brushes? What are some of your tips for brush cleaning?

Thanks for reading everyone!

Rosie xx

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Beauty Haul: Diorskin Amber Diamond

I don’t even know how long I’ve been lusting after this product, it’s crazy. No matter where I looked here in Aus, I just could not find it anywhere. I desperately searched high and low, but to no prevail. I did manage to source it online, at strawberrynet.com from memory, but it was around the $100 mark. I knew the US sold this powder for $45, and though it looked amazing, I was not prepared to pay twice that amount for it!

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Luckily, one of my close friends just was recently traveling in the US, and she kindly offered to pick one up from me from Sephora! You have no idea how excited I was for this powder, it’s a little sad, I have to admit. What I’ve been going so crazy over is the Dior Diorskin Poudre Shimmer, an ‘ultra-shimmering all over face powder’ in the shade ‘002 Diamant Ambré (Amber Diamond)’.

This. Is. Amazing.

As I’m only a student, I don’t really have the budget to afford such high end, luxury products. However, in Australia, this product is cheaper than Mac’s Soft and Gentle Mineralise Skin Finish (which comes in at $47AUD), so to pay less for something that is much more special seemed like a no brainer to me (women logic!).

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When my friend handed over my new baby, I’m pretty sure I let out gasp of joy. I just couldn’t wait to open up the box and take a look inside, I felt like a child at Christmas!

The powder compact comes in a velvet pouch, which can be used for storage. The pouch has the letters ‘CD’ embossed into it, oh how very chic indeed. It’s such a novelty to have a velvet sleeve, but it makes the product seem that much more glamorous.

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The compact itself is made of sturdy plastic, and has a clip release button which you can just make out in the photo. The ‘C’ and ‘D’ in the background are sort of holographic, and disappear in darker light. It’s all in the details!

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And there it is. Beautiful, isn’t it? Just for the record, these photos do not to it justice. The classic Dior pattern has been meticulously embossed into the powder alongside the word ‘Dior’. I honestly had to sit and stare at it for a few moments. I’m jus a huge sucker for attention to detail, and Dior ticks all the boxes.

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From what I’ve read online, this powder should last a lifetime. I’ve seen Temptalia’s compact after her owning it for 3 years, and you can still clearly see the embossing in the powder! This stuff is UBER pigmented, so I can imagine just how long it will last.

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When I swipe my finger across all of the colours, this is the result. A beautiful, warm toned bronze, with a hint of peach I’d say. I’m glad this turned out to be more on the bronze side than gold, as my other highlighters from memory lean more towards the gold side. What’s really cool about this product, is that you can select just one, or two of the colours for a different result, or even use them as eyeshadows. Versatility is always a plus!

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Like I said before, photos do not do this powder justice. I know it looks pretty standard in the above photo, but in real life it’s like my hand has been swatched with liquid bronze. This product appears to have very finely milled shimmer in it, rather than big chunks of glitter. This makes application more refined and delicate; it is in no way heavy or over the top.

I simply cannot wait to wear this gorgeous highlighter. My skin is quite warm and I think this will compliment it well. For those of you fairer, more pink based gals out there, Dior has another of the Poudre Shimmer powders in ‘Rose Diamond’, which has stunning pinks and frosts. In all honesty though, I think this highlighter would flatter a whole range of skin tones.

 

Ok I think that about wraps it up! As always, thank you for stopping by and having a read.

Til next time,

Rosie xx

Brush Haul: Bdellium Tools

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So I know I’ve been a bit MIA lately…but I’m back! Let’s dive right in.

The other day I made an order on Iherb.com, an online shop mainly for natural products, that also happens to sell a few brands of brushes and makeup. I’ve ordered Real Techniques brushes and Physician’s Formula makeup from them before, so I know they’re a trusted site. I made an order on either Thursday or Friday (I’m not sure), but the brushes arrived yesterday, which is pretty dang fast if you ask me!

For a while now, I’ve been on the hunt for new brushes. Not because I necessarily need more, but I just felt that I wanted to expand my collection, and venture beyond the brands I already own. Before this week, I was a devoted Mac and Real Techniques brush user. Though Mac brushes are superb and make applying my makeup feel more glamorous, if you will, I just cannot justify spending north of $30 per brush (and that’s for the smaller ones!). I love my Real Techniques ones though. I own almost all of their face brushes, none of which have shed (unlike some brands, I’m looking at you Mac) and really do a fantastic job, considering how affordable they are.

I’d heard great things about Sigma brushes, having watched countless reviews and tutorials in which these have been featured. For a while now, I’ve mulled over different sets and individual brushes, trying to work out what would best suit my needs, what is most budget-friendly etc etc. Unfortunately, no matter close I came to making a decision, I’d always end up backing out as their shipping is exorbitant – ain’t nobody got time for that.

I can’t exactly remember how, but I somehow stumbled across the name Bdellium Tools, perhaps on a blog or somewhere on YouTube. I was immediately intrigued – I mean how the hell do you say that!? Dealium? Dellium? B-Dellium? I just had to know! So, I did my research, and found out a few things. Firstly, it’s pronounced ‘Dellium’ (the ‘b’ is silent), and Bdellium Tools is a brand that make a whole range of brushes, divided into several ‘classes’. I was drawn to the Studio line (I ended up going with the 24 piece set from this range), because of its yellow handles, not going to lie! Apparently, this is the consumer grade, second to the Maestro collection, which are aimed at more professional use. This brush set cost about $150AUD all up, plus a little extra for another 2 brushes I bought that were not part of the set. I know you’re thinking ‘Woah! That’s a heck of a lot to spend on brushes!’ Yes, I know. But if you think about it, each brush averages out to be $6.25 – that is pretty impressive! Considering drugstore, crappy quality brushes will set you back at least that, reaching up to the $20 and $30 mark, I had no problem paying under $10 for each of these brushes.

Now, whenever I have to make an online purchase, particularly of something that I have no prior experience of testing/swatching/seeing/holding myself, I am incredibly scrupulous, and will spend a good amount of time researching the brand and its products I’m interested in buying. With Bdellium Tools, it seems that not much content is readily available on the net (i.e. reviews, articles). This puzzled me, as this brand is featured at IMATS shows, and I figured there would be loads of content online, right? Though I knew I was taking a risk in buying this brush set, I’m so glad I did. Let me tell you why.

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Naturally, the first thing I notice when I open a shipment of goodies, is the packaging. I had already seen what the 24 piece set’s box looked like, having Google imaged it to death. The brush set came in a relatively cheap cardboard box, but in all honesty, who gives a toss about that (not me, anyway). I quickly opened it up to find that the brush roll and the brushes were packaged separately. I expelled a huge sigh of relief – if the brushes had come mashed into the brush roll, there may have been some damage or squishing of the brush hairs, which would have made me a sad panda.

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I was expecting the brush roll to be some crappy, thin, manufacture-smelling piece of plastic. Though it is made of leatherette, this brush roll seems surprisingly sturdy. I did test slotting each of the brushes inside, and it rolls up somewhat like a jam roll, in a cylindrical shape.

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The interior of the brush roll is made of that scratchy, plasticy material. I think this is useful considering its flexibility and water-resistant texture.

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The 24 piece brush set comes with, yep, you guessed it, 24 brushes. These brushes are treated with an anti-bacterial agent, which sounds pretty cool, but doesn’t amaze me. The box advises against washing these with alcohol based cleaners to make the agent last longer, but I’d rather use my usual cleaner to ensure I’m really killing that bacteria. The agent is said to wear off after a while anyway, and I can’t seeing it making that much of a difference, at least for me.

In addition to buying the 24 piece set, I did purchase 2 extra brushes separately, having heard rave reviews from a couple of Bdellium fans. One of these is the #985S Duet Fiber Powder (pictured above), and the #787S Duet Fiber Large Tapered Blending, which is apparently awesome for under eye concealer (pictured below).

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These brushes are all pictured after being washed with baby shampoo (Johnson’s, oh yeah!). I’m not going to lie, some of the brushes did shed a little. I read that this seems to be relatively common with the first wash. I really don’t mind that much, considering Mac brushes still shed when washing them, even after owning them for months. The brushes that shed tended to be those made of natural hair, and are predominantly face brushes.

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I really did try to separate each brush and show its label, but some of them just wouldn’t stay in their spots and insisted on rolling around all over the place!

What really drew me to this brush set was the variety of brushes that were included. A few of these I had never seen carried in any other brush lines, such as the #769S Angled Contour and the infamous #957S Precision Kabuki. I liked that they included both standard and funky brushes in the one set, rather than just trying to fill up each 24 brush slots with ‘meh’ brushes.

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Here is a close-up detail of the #948S Foundation brush. What you’ll notice is the seamless transition between the ferrule (the metal part that binds the bristles of the brush, and connects to the yellow handle). I even tried to pull and wiggle the ferrule, to see if it would come loose, as has been my experience with cheap brushes. This ferrule would not budge! To me, this is definitely a sign of well manufactured brushes. There’s nothing more disconcerting than being right in the middle of blending your eyeshadow or buffing in your foundation, to find the top of your brush slip off the handle and topple to the ground!

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From what I’d seen during my research, their #957S Precision Kabuki is one of their best-selling brushes. I used this brush this morning to buff in my liquid foundation, and it did an incredible job. It is dense, yet surprisingly flexible, so you don’t have to try to drag it across your skin. The bristles spread out enough to ease application, but don’t leave you with that streaky look that you might get with something like a stippling brush.

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The bristles of this one are SUPER dense, I mean look at that! I have the Elf Powder Brush which I’ve used on occasion for foundation application, but the bristles are nowhere near as dense as the #957S (not to mention Elf’s crappy, lightweight handle and ferrule that constantly comes loose).

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The handles have a satin finish, so they’re more like Sigma handles, rather than more matte brushes, such as Mac ones. They are painted with 7 (I think) layers of golden yellow paint, how sleek! Another thing I noticed is the weight of these brushes. They are incredibly comfortable to hold, and they are probably on the heavier side as brushes go. To me, this is a major plus; in my opinion, there is a fairly consistent correlation between cheap and lightweight brushes (Real Techniques is an exception to this rule, mind you!). I like being able to feel the weight of the brush in my hand, and to know that I’ll have that little bit of extra control when using them.

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Just to give you an idea of the drying shape of the brushes, here are a couple of the eye ones. I love how the #710S Eye Liner brush (left) kept its pointed shape, even after a good scrubbing. The same goes for the #714S Flat Eye Definer (right), which remains stiff and tightly packed after a wash – I can see this brush being great for filling in brows!

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This here is the #942S Slanted Contour brush, which has a slightly smaller head to its Mac and Sigma counterparts. I thought this was clever, since it’s hard to get a ‘believable’ contour line with such a big brush head.

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Here is an indication of the weight of one of the powder brushes. As you can see, the handle is almost exactly as heavy as the ferrule and brush head. This ain’t cheap stuff guys, let me tell you.

This haul managed to turn into an essay very, very quickly! My apologies and congratulations if you’ve made it this far :P If you can’t already tell, I am pretty darn stoked to start using this brush set. Considering they tick the boxes of both being affordable and good quality, I can see I’ll get a lot of use out of these.

I might think about doing a post on my thoughts on the brushes a little later on, after I’ve given them a thorough workout!

Thanks for reading everyone, hope you’re having a lovely day!

Rosie xx

Favourites: Cheek products

For the second part of this series I’ll be mentioning a few cheek products that have been included in my makeup routine for quite some time now. Some of these are old favourites, and some are newer discoveries. Sometimes it’s nice to try out new things, but I know that once I’ve found something that I love, it’s hard for me to resist using it all the time!

Ok, let’s get into the good stuff.

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Mac Mineralise Skin Finish in ‘Give Me Sun’ 

I think I may have found my new HG bronzer. I was having a look and a play at my local Mac counter a few weeks back, and overheard a girl with a similar complexion to mine asking about a bronzer. She wanted one without shimmer (like me), and the assistant recommended Mac’s Give Me Sun. I had never thought of using something like this as a bronzer, as I didn’t think it would do much for my skin tone. Once the other girl had made her purchase and left, I asked the same assistant about the bronzer and asked if she could try some on me. She applied it with a contoured blush brush in the ‘3’ motion, sweeping the product across my temples, under my cheek bones and down under my jawline. I looked in the mirror and was actually quite surprised – this powder is so light and blendable, yet it gives the most beautiful, sunkissed effect on the skin. If there’s one thing I cannot stand, it’s bronzers that are overly pigmented or too dark, so you end up with a patch of colour that is impossible to blend out – I definitely don’t have that problem with this bronzer. I like to use a big powder brush, and blend this around the outer edges of my face, just to give me a bit of colour. It’s perfect for both winter and summer, and I’m sure will last a long time.

 

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Stila’s All Over Shimmer Duo in ‘Kitten’

This was another recent purchase of mine from Mecca Cosmetica. I am quite new to the brand Stila, and before this only owned a lip glaze set I bought on Christmas clearance. I saw Shaaanxo using this on YouTube, and it made her skin look dewy and lively, something I definitely seek with my dry complexion. I know Stila is famous for Kitten, so I thought I’d give this a shot. I have to say that this stuff is truly a stunning product for the price. The powder is finely milled, so you’re not going to end up with chunks of glitter on your face, but will achieve more of a sheen that glows when the light catches your skin. The fact that this comes with two shades – a more pink based highlighter, and a more bronze one, makes it that much more versatile than other highlighters. I’ve been rocking some Mac Woodwinked swept over and under my lid, bold brows, and the golden side of this highlighting powder across my cheekbones. I do think this half flatters my warm skintone more than the pink, but I’m not really bothered and happily wear both sides.

 

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Nars blush in ‘Deep Throat’

Deep Throat (nice and crude, just the way Nars likes it!) is a pinky peach blush with gold flecks and a shimmery finish. The blush is housed in Nars’ signature packaging, a plastic snap container with a velvety, rubberised case. I love the feeling of these products, but boy do they get dirty.
I know Nars is famous for Orgasm, which I also own, but I find that Deep Throat is more universal and can be worn with a variety of eyeshadow or lip combinations – I think the coral in Orgasm is what limits its uses, in my opinion. This is probably my all time favourite, HG blush, which you can probably tell – I’ve just hit pan on it. You need the smallest amount (tapping off excess product is a must as this stuff is suuuuper pigmented), and a light dusting on the apples, then pull the colour back to your hair line. I find this is the most natural application, as I naturally don’t blush on the apples alone. I think this colour would compliment a variety of skin tones, as you can really sheer it out, or build up the opacity.

 

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Mac blush in ‘Gingerly’

For a while, I was on the hunt for a more natural, matte blush. I have my fair share, believe me, of coral and pink, shimmery blushes and felt like trying something new. I had heard good things about Gingerly, so stalked some reviews on YouTube and Google, and set on out to my Mac counter to give it a shot. Don’t get me wrong, I do love a bright blush, but sometimes I like to tone it down a little. This blush goes perfectly with a nude pink lipstick and a dark smokey eye (I don’t like putting bright blushes and busy eyes together, it’s a little overkill), and gives a warm, natural flush to your cheeks and warms up your complexion. I’m not sure how this would look on fairer skin, it could be a little muddy. If you’re medium or tan, this blush would compliment your skin beautifully.


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Mac’s Mineralise Skin Finish in ‘Soft and Gentle’

What’s a favourite cheek product post without Mac’s Soft and Gentle? I mean just look at that thing, it’s like something from outer space, right? I absolutely love this highlighter. It is on the warmer side, with an array of browns and golds swirled into its baked texture. Like Deep Throat, you need a tiny amount for a natural glow, but can build it up, say, for a night out. If you’re concerned about having to spend a bit more on something like this, don’t be – this stuff will last you a lifetime; I’ve had mine for about 4 years now, and it still has its original domed shape! I do have other highlighters that I like to use every now and then, but I always divert back to this one, HG highlighter for sure.

 

So those are my current cheek favourite products. Have you used any of these and, if so, what do you think of them? What are your go-to cheek products?

 

Thanks for reading everyone :)
Rosie xx

 

 

Favourites: Face products

If there’s one thing I have tried to perfect over the years, it’s a flawless face. I don’t mean a flawless face naturally, but one that can be near-accomplished with a little help from foundation and concealer. This post will detail a few of the products that, at least for me, help to achieve a flawless face. I have dry, medium skin with yellow undertones for background.

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Mac Studio Fix Fluid – NC37

This is currently my HG foundation. It gives a natural, matte finish and helps to “minimise the appearance of pores and imperfections, giving skin a smoother, more flawless look and finish”, according to Mac’s website. I know this isn’t the best foundation for someone with dry skin, but I find that the finish it gives is not completely flat in the matte sense. It certainly does help to conceal pores, particularly around my cheek area, where mine are more prominent. I do like to reach for different foundations sometimes, but constantly find myself coming back to this one. I usually purchase mine from my local Myer or David Jones stores, and retails for $49 in Australia. I know, it’s expensive, but I kid you not, I am still on a bottle I purchased overseas this time last year – it lasts for ages!
Price: $49AUD Mac website

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Mac Pro Longwear Concealer – NW25

To me, this is like Studio Fix’s sister. It too provides a natural, matte finish, and has medium to buildable coverage. This concealer is great in the sense that it has enough pigment to conceal well, but doesn’t enhance your fine lines or look cakey. My only pet peeve about this product is the darn pump! Way too much product comes out if you’re not careful – I have to press the opening against my finger to try and stop a full pump from coming out. It seems like a great, hygienic way to extract product, but it would be soo much more effective if Mac adjusted the amount of product – pretty simple in my opinion! However, I’m willing to overlook this flaw because of the beautiful coverage and finish it gives.
Price: $32AUD Mac website

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Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer and Corrector

First off, I have to admit I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with these products. Yes, they are a dynamic duo when you’re going for full coverage, will-not-see-through-this-stuff concealing, but application and determining how much product you need is a pain in the behind. I’ve tried using brushes to apply both products (which is what the lady at the Bobbi Brown counter initially advised me to do, use something like a Mac 217 fluffy blending brush), and for me this gives an awful, streaky application that heightens under eye lines and creases. So, I like to use my fingers for this stuff. Dab into the pot ever so slightly (this stuff is super concentrated) and delicately, but quickly, pat this under my eye area. Because the consistency of these products is like a thick paste, you need to move quickly and with warmth from your finger for optimal blending, I find. I start with the corrector, which is a peachy shade (I have quite noticeable but fine veins all across my under eye area, which I’m quite self-conscious of), then I go on top with the concealer to match the pinky tone back to my skin colour.
This isn’t a bad product, but it isn’t a particularly great one. I love the coverage for when I want my face to look spotless, say, for a night out, but for day to day use this stuff isn’t necessary (not to mention, it is ridiculously overpriced here in Australia…).
Price: Concealer kit (the larger of the two) – $60; Corrector – $46, both from Bobbi Brown website. I know, crazy right?? Safe to say I won’t be repurchasing once these run out!

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Revlon PhotoReady Concealer – Light Medium

Now here’s something more within my budget! Here we have a beautifully, creamy concealer in stick form. I flipping love the packaging of Revlon’s concealer – just twist up, sweep across your skin, pat in with your fingertips and you’re good to go. The coverage of this beauty is fantastic, too. I’ve mentioned previously that I am a little skeptical when it comes to drugstore foundations and concealers (my skin is annoying to match), but this shade is perfect for my NC37, dry skin. This doesn’t look cake or build up throughout the day, and is so quick and easy to apply – great for when you’re running out the door.
Price: $24.95 from Priceline – I snagged mine during their 40% off sale a while back, bargain!

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Ben Nye Luxury Powder in Banana 3 oz.

Ohhh boy banana powder! This stuff is awesome! Ben Nye’s Banana Powder has taken off and increased in popularity from its celebrity status – Kim Kardashian’s makeup artist uses this setting powder on her (not that I really consider her a celebrity). This powder is so finely milled, that you need the TINIEST amount to sufficiently cover and seal in your concealer for the whole day. I bought the 3 oz. jar because it was only a couple of dollars more than the 1 oz., and I figured, well, what the hey. Once I’ve applied my concealer, I like to wait a little while until it’s set into my skin. Then, taking my Real Techniques Setting Brush, I’ll tap the top of the jar (pictured) then swirl the product I’ve picked up into the cap. Tapping off the excess, I’ll then sweep this under my eyes, ensuring to dust off any excess powder after application. This is like a translucent powder, but better. It cuts out that noticeable, white cast that some translucent powders can have, and just makes your concealer blend in and look like a second skin. All in all, for the price and quality of this product, you simply can’t go wrong – I can tell this baby is going to last me forever!
Price: $15.29 from Camera Ready Cosmetics.

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Mac Studio Fix Powder – NC40

Oh man, I looove this powder. For those days or nights when I want my skin to look seamless, I reach for my Studio Fix powder. This is actually a powder foundation, but I prefer to use this to loosely set my liquid foundation. I’ll take this on a big powder brush and sweep it across my forehead, down my nose, across my cheeks and on my chin. You don’t need a whole lot of this stuff, nor do you need to buff it in forever with something like a kabuki brush – a light dusting will do. Also, for those days where I want to be a little less made up, I’ll just blend in a little concealer then dust a layer of this over my skin to even out my complexion. Just as you might imagine, this stuff lasts forever! I’ve only ever owned one, and that’s the one I’m still getting through. Surely, it must look cakey? Nup! Just like my other, medium to full coverage Mac products, this gives a natural finish, and doesn’t emphasise what you’re trying to cover up, like some powders do. This is definitely my HG powder, top notch stuff!
Price: $49 Mac website

That’s it for my current face favourites. I’ll be doing a post soon on my cheek products to follow up, then posts for both eye and lip favourites, so stay tuned!
What are your favourite face products? Do you have any that you’d recommend? I’m always looking for new products to try :)

Thanks for reading everyone!

Rosie xx

MAC Lipstick Collection + Swatches

Hey everybody! Long time no speak, hey? Sorry I haven’t posted in soo long, I’ve been totally bogged down in uni work and had a whopper 3 X 2500 word essays plus a 3.5 hour exam, all within two days of each other! But that’s all over now so I should have more time to post on here from now :)

Anyway, enough babbling. I thought I’d do a post on my MAC lipstick collection, as I just loooove watching videos or reading posts of this sort. Just a disclaimer before we get into the good stuff – I am not in anyway trying to ‘show off’ what I have. I have been collecting these (i.e. purchasing with my own money) for a few years now, and yes, the amount I have may seem silly to some or reasonable to others, but I have invested my money in these products and feel that since this is a beauty blog, it is an appropriate topic for a post. Sorry to sound like a Negative Nancy, but I just don’t want to cause any trouble :)

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Here’s a little sneak peak into my lip drawer – I keep my Mac lipsticks in the container in the middle with the labels facing upward for easy access

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Close up of my Mac lipsticks and their labels

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As you can see, most of my lipsticks have the standard, satin finish packaging, and a couple are limited edition, and one is from the Viva Glam line

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First up, we have Ronnie Red from the Archie’s Girls Collection (bright red, matte); Feel My Pulse from the Temperature Rising Collection (magenta, frosted purple, cremesheen); Viva Glam Gaga 2 (creamy nude, amplified)

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Full Fuchsia (raspberry pink, amplified); Lickable (medium pink, cremesheen); Quick Sizzle (deep pink, matte)

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Impassioned (bright coral, amplified); Candy Yum-Yum (neon pink, matte); Watch Me Simmer (coral orange, amplified)

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Lady Danger (orange-toned red, matte); Rebel (plum, satin)

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Bare Again (pinkish nude, sheen supreme); Playing Koi (pale nude, satin); Angel (pink nude, frost)

It might already be quite apparent, but Mac is my favourite brand for lipsticks. I feel that their large variety of colours and textures caters for a wide range of ages and skin tones, something unparalleled in any other brand, in my opinion. I find their amplified lipsticks to be impeccable in pigmentation, but a tad drying. Their mattes are quite drying and feel slightly restricting on the lips, but applying these over a lip balm does help a little. Though Angel is a frost, I would classify it as a satin finish, as there really isn’t anything frosty about it. The satin and cremesheen finishes are lovely to wear, as they ensure your lips are moisturised, however the pigmentation isn’t the best – applying these over a lip liner (particularly Rebel) creates the perfect balance between good opacity and comfortable texture.

Here are some of my favourites

Nude: Angel – this colour is so wearable and doesn’t give you that ‘I’ve just woken up’, dead look that other, more opaque nudes (such as Playing Koi or Viva Glam 2) can give. It is the perfect balance between nude and pink, and it can add a slight wash of colour so you don’t look so washed out. If there’s one thing I cannot stand, it is lips that match your foundation. So, I naturally don’t reach for the aforementioned shades unless I’m a little more tanned, and when I do wear them, I make sure to sheer them out by using a pink lipgloss.

Pink: Full Fuchsia – I absolutely looove this lipstick! It compliments my olive skin tone so nicely and brings out the green in my eyes (at least I seem to think so!), and I feel I can wear this shade all year round – it’s bright enough for spring and summer, yet deep enough for autumn and winter.

Red: Ronnie Red – I feel bad that this shade is limited edition but it is beautiful. Even though it’s classified as a matte, it is surprisingly comfortable to wear on the lips. Its blue undertones make your teeth look whiter, which is always a plus! Red lips are something that can really boost a look – I love pairing this shade with thick, winged out black liner, and I’m good to go!

Purple: Rebel – this colour deserves a mention, without a doubt. Its glossy finish and deep colour makes it so easy to wear, and makes you stand out from the standard pink/red/nude colours most tend to opt for. If I’m wearing a really neutral outfit (black and white tones), this colour looks stunning without being too in-your-face. I’d definitely wear a lipliner under this one, as it does tend to bleed after a few hours of wear (trust me on this from personal experience!). I’ve recommended this shade to two friends who were just starting out with Mac lipsticks and they both loved it.

What Mac lipsticks are your favourite? Are there any you think don’t deserve the hype? Let me know!

Thanks for reading everyone,

Rosie xx

NARS Danmari Palette – Review & Swatches

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So here we have the NARS Danmari palette! I think this was limited edition a little while back, and I’m not sure whether it was available in Australia as I bought mine off Ebay. The shades are all part of NARS’ permanent line though, so you could always pick one up from your local Mecca in Australia :)

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To start off, I thought I’d show the packaging of the palette. If you are familiar with NARS packaging, the Danmari palette is of the same texture (a rubberised, matte finish). Although I do like this packaging purely because of the way it feels, it does pick up a LOT of dirt/makeup/fingerprints, and even though I did give my palette a quick wipe-down with a damp towel, it didn’t make much of a difference (as you can probably tell!)

The colours of the palette are all listed on the back, which is great for reference.

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Top to bottom: NARS’ Hungry Heart Duo (I) and Casino

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Top to bottom: NARS’ Orgasm and Super Orgasm

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Top to bottom: NARS’ Desire and Sin

Okey dokie – so my first observations when I bought this palette were that every shade in this palette has shimmer, with the exception of Desire (the matte, hot pink shade). Although I am a shimmer lover, don’t get me wrong, I thought it would have been nice if the palette offered another matte blush, or even if the bronzer shade Casino was matte. That said, the shimmer isn’t as noticeable in some shades, so I guess that worked out well.

Here are some swatches:

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From left to right: Hungry Heart Duo (I), Orgasm, Desire, Casino, Super Orgasm, Sin

With these swatches I did find that I needed to run my finger back and forth quite a few times to get sufficient pigmentation (some of the shades required a couple of swatches layered up to build up the opacity). As I tend to find with most powder products, be it eyeshadow, blush or bronzer, I found the matte shade less pigmented (at least from the swatch), but I don’t mind that in a blush as I much prefer to build up colour slowly rather than dab on too much!

In terms of the texture of the blushes, the first two shades have quite thick, chunky glitter particles which lowers their opacity and makes them a little difficult to work with. For that reason, I tend not to reach for these shades (Hungry Heart Duo (I) and Orgasm – despite the hype!). Though the next shade, Desire, does look a little intense from the swatch, I find it to be one of the more natural shades as it gives a perfect, pink flush. Casino is quite a dark shade, so I tend to use it in the summertime but now that we’re going into the cooler months, I probably won’t reach for this shade as much. Like its sister Orgasm, Super Orgasm is much too glittery for me, and as a result isn’t natural enough for me to pull off. Having said that, I sometimes reach for the two if I’m going for a dewy look and want to brighten up my cheeks. Sin is one of my favourite shades, it looks a little intimidating in the pan, but it compliments my olive skin tone beautifully, especially in the cooler months.

Overall, I do love this palette, but I think I should have looked into the shades a little more before making the splurge. It is a beautiful palette though, although I do prefer NARS’ other larger palette, which I’ll be reviewing on here too very soon :)

Thanks for stopping by!

RB xx