Article & Review: The Worst BB Cream I’ve Ever Tried

Dear reader, most of the things I choose to feature on this blog are positive because I like to share with you the wonderful things that I’ve tried.

Sometimes I try mediocre products, and sometimes I try okay products. I don’t always blog about these ones and so the blog is generally a pretty happy place and I am generally a happy camper – but today, something different happened. I tried a truly abysmal product.

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Enter Garnier’s Sensitive Miracle Skin Protector BB Cream. I was sent this by BeautyReview to review on their site and I did so accordingly, but it was just so terribad that I had to have a grump about it here too.

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I have many qualms with this product, but first and foremost I’d like to say that I do like their version of this for oily skin, as well as another Garnier one I’ve tried in a skinnier tube that a friend showed me. I found both to be rather agreeable, but a little too orange for me and I’m quite happy plodding along with my Lioele Triple the Solution.

Unfortunately this sensitive version of the BB cream fails on nearly all levels – the only thing I can say that it does do somewhat effectively is combats redness. On the other hand, it irritated my (somewhat) sensitive skin, which is where the grumpiness began.

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My skin isn’t extremely sensitive and is doing pretty well lately thanks to my current skincare routine so I was surprised that it reacted in this way. I was frustrated by this particularly because the product claims to be designed for sensitive skin, and also makes claims about being soothing and hydrating.

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I did a comparison above by doing half my face with the BB and half without. You can see at the very top right of my forehead that it’s a little too orange for me, and that although it covered a little redness it didn’t do much more than that.

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You can see above the minimal difference this stuff made – I know it’s BB cream but if you compare it to the coverage and quality of some of the Korean BB creams it’s totally sub-par. It smells overwhelmingly like sunscreen and feels greasy on my skin. I took it off about five minutes after putting it on because I was so concerned about the burning sensation it caused.

I would not buy this or recommend it to a friend, but I have heard good things about the oily version. I have tried both the Missha and Lioele BB creams and both of them are far superior to this poor excuse for a tinted sunscreen.

I hope you’ll all excuse the grumpier-than-usual review but I was really disappointed with this product as I’ve had some great Garnier products in the past. Step your game up Garnier!

What did you guys think of my grumpy review? Have you tried this Garnier BB cream? Let me know in the comments.

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Article: My Skincare Routine (Every Other Day)

We’ve talked about this, dear reader. On Monday I revealed (!!!) my daily routine, and today is the day that I show you a little more of my skin(care).

These four products are little add-ons to the base routine, and I reach for them when my skin’s feeling a bit flatter than usual, or if I’m just looking to feel a bit more pampered.

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7. Oasis Beauty Lips and Lashes
I’ve reviewed this before here and it has proved to be more than just a one-hit-wonder in my books. This is a curious product but it’s like a kind of uber-soothing eye cream that does great things for both your eyes and your lips. I have had a lot of compliments on my eyelashes and I think it’s because I put this on every second or third night. I neglected it a bit for a couple of weeks and I looked a lot more tired than usual too – I think it has brightened up my eye area and is wonderful and gentle to put on.

8. Now Solutions European Clay Powder
This stuff is good fun because you can use it as a base for a multitude of face masks. I mix it with a little Dr Bronner’s castille soap because the soap is jojoba and coconut oil-based but you could also mix it with any other kind of oil suitable for your face, or with water if your skin is oily. It’s great for drawing out impurities and it dries hard on your face. I use it when my skin is feeling a bit hormonal and pimply.

9. Korean/Taiwanese/Japanese Facial Sheet Masks
The one pictured is a My Beauty Diary mask but I am not mask-ist and like to use a wide range of different face masks. You can see some that I’ve reviewed by clicking here. I pretty much pick these up anywhere and everywhere, and while I bought the one pictured from a Japan Mart in Glenfield Mall, I’ve bought others from Missha and Cutie & Beautie. You can also get them from Amazon and of course, BeautyNetKorea.

10. Clarins Extra Firming Night Cream
I love Clarins but sadly it’s not really in my budget. I bought this travel size product from a little shop on Ponsonby Road down the Three Lamps end for a great price and I use it sparingly when my skin feels super tired and lustreless. It’s a little bit of luxury and I like to think it calms down my thinking wrinkles.

Have you used any of these products before? Have you got any recommendations for sheet masks? Let me know in the comments!

Article & Look: David Bowie

I decided to join the hoardes of people that aspire to appear in Google Image Searches of “David Bowie Makeup” recently by painting my beautiful model D’s face in what I’m going to call a Reverse Bowie.

20140701_122530She was a very good sport and let me do her hair in a very wild 80s kind of half up-half down style with a lot of volume at the top. We took inspiration from the cover of Bowie’s Aladdin Sane, as you might have already guessed!

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To achieve this Ziggy Stardust-esque look, we used the Kryolan Aqua Colours which were fantastic to work with and would be great fun to do other colour-heavy face painting looks.

20140701_122659After the base was applied and the colour went on, we did a dark blue contour on her other cheek which you might be able to spot in these pictures. You could also pair this with a bolder red lip or try it with other colours – pink and teal perhaps!

20140701_122653Although it’s not your usual smoky-eye-and-a-bit-of-lippy, I thought I’d post this look up for a change – we had a great time putting it together.

What did you think of the Bowie look? Would you try this for a party? Let me know in the comments!

Article: My Skincare Routine

HALLOOOOOOO THERE! I am back from a wee blog hiatus with a brand new look for the blog. We’re back on track and I’ve got lots to share with you, starting with my skincare routine which a lot of you said you’d like to see!

My skincare routine has quite a few steps and this is likely to be because I’ve been heartily influenced by Korean methods – one of the first posts I read about this was Steph’s over at Misc Bliss and I strongly encourage you to have a read of her post here.

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Here it is – the daily lineup in its full glory. There are a couple of other steps that feature regularly too but I’ll talk about those on Friday so stay tuned! This potentially frightening lineup comprises one of my favourite daily activities, which is of course, washing my face. I might sound like a madwoman but I feel like I’m pampering myself every time I get near my bathroom cupboard to reach for these guys.

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1. ROAR Virgin Cold Pressed Coconut Oil
This is the best-priced cold pressed virgin coconut oil I’ve found and it is a wonderful product. I’m a sucker for good packaging and a great website too and the people at ROAR fulfil both of those briefs. (In typing this I thought of a terrible pun pertaining to brief-filling but we won’t go there). I spoke about coconut oil in this post and I’ll speak about it again – if I’ve got a lot of makeup on I’ll start by rubbing this stuff over my face then putting a hot flannel over my face for 20 seconds to steam all the crap out of my pores. If you haven’t done this before I urge you to give it a go ASAP – it’s amazing.

2. Innisfree Apple Juicy Lip & Eye Remover
Holy crap this stuff smells amazing. I read about it on another Korean beauty blog and had to have it. Once you get past the name (don’t worry, it won’t really remove your facial features), you won’t be able to put it down. It is like the best apple juice ever invented and I wish I could drink it. It’s extremely gentle and I use it to take off my eye makeup (not my eyes – important to differentiate). I soak a cotton pad in it and let it sit on my eye for five seconds or so, then wipe away my remaining eye makeup gently. It is less than $10 and is better than any other makeup remover I’ve ever used. Ever.

3. Dr Bronner’s Liquid Castille Soap in Rose
I was recommended this one by a friend who lives in Korea and since picking up my first bottle from ASOS I’ve never looked back. I think that it is essentially just coconut oil and jojoba (both great for your skin) but it froths up into this beautiful, fragrant, rose sherbert smelling wash. I also use as it a body wash and to clean my makeup brushes (thanks for the brush tip Lena!) but there are hundreds of other uses for it! You can pick up any of the liquid varieties for your face too so there’s a scent for everyone!

4. Reviva Labs Rosewater Facial Spray
You might have picked up by now that I’m pretty keen on anything that smells good – particularly rose scents and fruit scents. This Reviva Labs spray is cheap as chips (just under $7 US) and smells, as the name would suggest, like roses. It contains aloe and hyaluronic acid too which soothe and plump the skin respectively. I use it as a toner and it is outrageously gentle – in my opinion astringent toners should probably go back to the 80s or something – so it’s a goodie in my books.

5. Benton Snail Bee High Content Essence
I did a bit of raving about this stuff here, and for good reason. Benton is a great company, and I think that this essence is one of the main reasons my skin is so good. Korean skincare is all about layering up the moisture and using lots of gentle but active products and this essence does both of those things. In my experience it’s corrected some of my acne scarring while keeping my skin plump and hydrated. Recently the product was recalled by Benton, who sent me a replacement product and a refund which I was really stoked with. I would 999999999999 recommend, and even though it’s the most expensive product on this list it’s still really well-priced at less than $16 US.

6. Sukin Sensitive Facial Moisturizer
For ages I thought Sukin was an NZ company and was really proud of our little country in the South Pacific. Turns out it’s an Aussie company (but the product’s so good I can’t go past it)! I blogged about it here and it is one of my favourite skincare products OF ALL TIME. If you have normal to dry skin I would highly recommend that you stop screwing around and start slathering this on your skin morning and night. This is the final step in my day skincare routine and it locks in all the other moisture that’s gone onto my face – something crucial I’ve learnt from other Korean skincare enthusiasts.

I know it might seem like a lot but really we’re just getting warmed up here – I’m still searching for a good serum, and Friday’s post will include four of my every-other-day staples including treatments and products that are just as well priced as those listed above.

What did you all think of this post? Do you use any of these products? What’s your skincare routine? Let me know in the comments!

Article & Look: Bridal Skincare & Makeup

My friend C, who is one of the MOST beautiful, is getting married very soon. As you read this, I will likely be embarking upon a HEN’S WEEKEND of snow (!!!) and hot chocolates (!!!) and other exciting Hen’s things. It seems apt then, dear reader, that we have a little chat about bridal hair and makeup.

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Can you see how ready I am to talk about bridal hair and makeup? Can you see how scarily sharp this image is? Maybe as sharp as my wit. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

We’ll get on with it, shall we? As I see it, there are three key components to the bridal makeup look. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a bride, the mother of the bride, a bridesmaid or just a lowly wedding attendee – you’ve got to make sure The Big Three are On Point:

  • Hair
  • Makeup
  • Outfit

Naturally, as a makeup artist, the makeup part is the most important for me, but the hair and outfit come a close second. For this look, my hair is in a loose romantic updo, and my makeup is simple and natural. The outfit isn’t going to be featured, but a well-tailored dress is a good wedding starting position.

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To achieve the simple, natural makeup look, you need to start with a clean base. Everyone knows that a good, clean base starts with great skin, and if they don’t you need to educate them or defriend them on Facebook (KIDDING LOL). Above is a wee collage of a top notch Missha Ceramide face mask, which is a good way to top up your skincare routine and keep your skin in great shape.

To get wedding-proof skin you need to start at least six months to a year out. Your skincare routine should consist of, at the very least, a gentle cleanser like Dr Bronner’s or the Nubian Heritage Black Africa Soap, a low-PH toner like the Etude House Wonder Pore Freshner or one with rosewater and witch hazel in it, and a good moisturiser like the Sukin sensitive one.

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Closer to the wedding, you’ll want to get your manicure and last-minute waxing done the week of, and on the day, sort your hair and makeup out like this. Wedding hair can be anything you like almost as long as it falls within the realm of “would wear outside the house.” Curls are a good option – this hair up took a set of curling tongs, some hairspray and a LOT of bobby pins.

Wedding makeup is usually quite natural and beautiful. You don’t often see a purple lip on a bride, although wedding guests can get away with it. For this look, I did some very simple, natural pink-hued blended shadow, a natural contour and highlight, and a soft, natural lip colour. This is really all you need – you don’t want to overshadow the bride!

Would you like to see a post about my current skincare routine? What did you think of this post? Let me know in the comments!

Article: How To Depot Your MAC Lipsticks!

Dear reader, the video you are about to witness is a somewhat disturbing one. It contains graphic images of me cutting a MAC lipstick in half, right off the tube. The two colours in question are Girl About Town and Pure Heroine, the latter of which you can win in my giveaway ending Sunday. Enter by clicking here!

clipClick on the picture of the video to see the tutorial!

The method I use here means that you get to keep your MAC lipstick while still filling your palette for your kit (or just if you like things to be more compact for travel). You simply need a lighter, candle, empty large pro palette and pan, two spoons, a small metal spatula or knife, and of course your MAC lipsticks.

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Sorry this post is a little late, hope you all have a great weekend! Did you enjoy the video? Let me know in the comments! 

Review: Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in Ash Blonde!

YOU GUYS YOU GUYS YOU GUYS YOU GUYS:

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My friend Meg bought me back this Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz from America recently and HOLY GRAIL ALERT BATMAN this thing has got me so excited there’s a possibility there will be more caps lock in this post than there was in my latest MAC lipstick giveaway post.

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At first I was a little underwhelmed because I found it a little hard to draw with, but after the first go I started to get the hang of it. As a blonde lady, it is often difficult to get brow products that aren’t red-toned.

For some reason nearly all eyebrow product manufacturers think that all blondes are by definition strawberry blondes, and so they need ruddy-toned beige colours for their brows. Anastasia is a fine woman who understands colour and form, and has ended this strawberry epidemic once and for all.

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I have a bad habit of over-filling my brows at the top and this is a little bit amplified here, but you can see how natural and full this makes my brows look. It is super easy and everyday I am learning to make my brows look even better with this genius little tool.

The pencil is retractable, which means no sharpening, and the point is very fine which makes for easy and precise application. There’s also a great little spoolie on the end for combing through the brows at the beginning and the end. I’m considering buying another for the handbag because it’s just SO GREAT.

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I’ve been using this little combo pictured above to create my ideal everyday brow look for natural, everyday brows – the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz and the MAC brow set in clear, which has slowly and somewhat disgustingly become a dirty blonde colour (thank you, Elf Brow Kit).

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Now that I have added this wonderful pencil to my repetoire I can take selfies at 6:30am and not feel bad about my brow game. I think that’s a pretty strong claim, and maybe for this fact alone, I think it’s worth the money. Anastasia Beverly Hills ship internationally, otherwise you can pick one up from Net-A-Porter, Sephora or Nordstrom!

Have you got a Holy Grail brow product you’d like to share? Have you tried Anastasia Beverly Hills? Let me know in the comments!

Giveaway & Review: MAC x Lorde Lipstick in Pure Heroine!

I HAVE A VERY EXCITING ANNOUNCEMENT TO MAKE: I am hosting my FIRST GIVEAWAY!

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Recently I had to make an EMERGENCY MAC PURCHASE (!) and thought I’d carpe diem the opportunity to pick up TWO of a certain lipstick colour so I could GIVE ONE AWAY. ARE YOU EXCITED YET?! ARE YOU SICK OF ME TYPING IN CAPS LOCK YET??! DO YOU KNOW WHAT IT IS??!

Naturally, I’m talking about the MAC x Lorde Pure Heroine lipstick, which is very wittily titled. As a New Zealander and a budding makeup artist, I had to pick one of these up.

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Holy crap I’m excited. Here I’ve swatched MAC Heroine (left) and MAC Pure Heroine (right) to compare the two. MAC Heroine is much more matte, and a little more purple. MAC Pure Heroine is an amplified finish, and it is the most amazing velvety texture.

The colour is kind of like they added a tiny bit of Rebel to MAC Heroine and then made the finish FANTASTIC. They could have just as easily called it “Winter Heroine” because it has that wintery-berry feel while still retaining that Heroine quality.

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This is Pure Heroine on my face. It’s much more of a satiny finish than Heroine as you can see, and it feels a little more moisturizing. I am in LOVE with this colour, and I feel like it’s one I’ve been trying to recreate for a long time. GOOD WORK LORDE, GOOD WORK MAC.

Now YOU have the chance to win a MAC x Lorde Pure Heroine lipstick for yourself. Just jump on over here to enter! There are bonus entries for tweeting about the giveaway too so get tweeting and make sure you’re following my Facebook page for more updates.

THANK YOU TO YOU ALL FOR BEING TOP NOTCH READERS AND BEST OF LUCK FOR THE GIVEAWAY

Review: Bibiana’s Cosmetics (Beauty by Bibby) lipsticks in Carousel & Lavender Lady!

When fellow MUO Bibby announced that her new cruelty-free lipsticks were available for pre-sale, I got rather excited indeed. I messaged her immediately and pre-purchased two of them: Carousel (a deep pink berry colour) and Lady Lavender (a gorgeous lilac). These two beautiful lipsticks arrived on my doorstep a few days ago, and now, dear reader, I have the privilege of bringing this review to you.

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When these showed up in the post I’d had a bit of a cold and was feeling pretty grumpy, but these bright colours cheered me up right away. What struck me first was the uniqueness of the colours – I’m not sure it will be easy to find dupes of these two, or for too many of the colours she has in stock!

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Upon swatching these I was very impressed by the quality – they are rich, pigmented and super smooth, kind of similar to the finish of MAC Rebel. Carousel (the deep berry colour) is less red and more pink than my photo captures here, and it’s ever so slightly more matte than Lady Lavender, which is a little sheerer than Carousel.

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I tried the lipsticks on and was particularly stoked with Lady Lavender – Both Chinchilla and D’Lilac by Lime Crime are too pale for my liking and most other lipsticks on offer are much darker. Bibby has nailed the perfect remedy to this MUO dilemma with Lady Lavender! The shade is gorgeous and wearable, and if you’re not up for all-over-lavender it would also be great for an ombre lip.

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Carousel is also a harder-to-match colour, and I’ve swatched it here against some other MAC colours (along with Lady Lavender) to give you an idea of how it stacks up. Again, the berry tones in Carousel aren’t quite coming through but on my wrist it was like a deeper, more berry kind of Girl About Town.

I thought Carousel would be like Girl About Town mixed with a little Diva but it’s not that easy to put your finger on it. Seeing Lady Lavender next to Heroine makes me like Lady Lavender even more – it’s such a beautiful, soft colour and I can’t get enough of it!

Overall, I’m extremely pleased with these beautiful lipsticks – at only $15 each these are amazing with the pigment and finish being super high quality. A huge well done to Bibby – the colours in her range are a real point of difference and I think there will be a lot of happy chappies picking up the unique shades.

Have you tried any of the Bibiana Cosmetics lipsticks? Which one is your favourite? Let me know in the comments!