Beauty bits I’m currently loving

It probably goes without saying that I recently went HAM at Sephora and basically any beauty section I laid my eyes on during my recent trip. While a haul is coming (via my YouTube), I thought I’d take a minute to touch on some of the new beauty bits that have been right up my street.

Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Ultra Definition Foundation – I’ve been on the hunt for a great foundation come wedding day (it’s only 8 weeks away now… eek!) and this was on my list of foundations that I’d been dying to try. I loved the fact that there was an incredible selection of shades, and that this foundation really lived up to my expectations. It’s a very thin consistency, and feels virtually weightless on the skin. It’s much lighter coverage than some of the other foundations on my vanity, however I find that it does an excellent job of evening skin tone and masking any redness that I have on my face.

Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Concealer – I picked this up on a whim from the miniatures section of Sephora in New York and really didn’t expect to like it even quite as much as I did. Just like the foundation, this is lightweight, super creamy, covers up redness like no other, and blends out beautifully. I love the fact that this is compact enough to slip into a small purse for touch ups on the go. Definitely going to be repurchasing this one in the full size!

KIKO Ultimate Pen Longwear Eye Liner – Unfortunately while in transit my Maybelline eyeliner dried out, so one of my first stops while in Italy was to pick up a new eyeliner. This eyeliner from KIKO is an absolute winner; it stays on practically all day, and the nib gives you the perfect cat eye flick, every time.

Urban Decay x Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette – This has been on my radar for months, and I’m a little glad I held out as I managed to snag it for less than half price during a quick stop in Macy’s. The shadows are extremely pigmented (though do kick up a bit), and there’s a great selection of everyday neutrals, including some more colourful options for those wanting to have a little bit of fun with their makeup. This one’s limited edition, I believe, so if you manage to spot one at your local department store or Mecca (if you’re in Australia), then I highly recommend giving this one a second look.

MAC Matte Lipstick in Lady Danger – I’m a huge fan of a bold red lip, and when I spotted this while picking out the shades for my new MAC eyeshadow palette (more on this later), I just had to have it. I absolutely adore MAC’s matte lipstick formula; it’s incredibly creamy, long wearing, and far less drying than other mattes I’ve tried.

Rimmel Good to Glow Highlighter – For me, it’s all about that cream highlight, and this one has been a bit of a winner. I have this in the shade ‘003 Soho Glow’, which has a gold undertone that literally glows. When swatched, this does have some glitter particles but I find that this adds a subtle illumination and blends in rather than sitting on the cheeks.

Heaven by Deborah Mitchell WillowBee Mask & Cleanse* – My skin has been in desperate need of hydration since getting back home from our holiday, and this WillowBee Mask & Cleanse has been a lifesaver. I was lucky enough to be sent a few different things from the Heaven range from Tazzanna Store ahead of their launch today, and this has become a fast favourite While you can use this as a cream cleanser, I prefer to slather this on as a mask (which I leave for 20 minutes), as it feels so rich and nourishing on the skin – exactly what my skin has been craving! After I rinse it off I follow it up with a light layer of the Orange Flower Hydrogel; this has a gel like consistency that sinks into the skin immediately and while it’s not my favourite, I feel like it helps to lock in moisture.

Rimmel Moisture Renew Sheer & Shine Lipstick Review

rimmel moisture renew sheer shine lipstick review and swatches
rimmel moisture renew sheer shine lipstick review and swatches

While I’ve spent the last week complaining about just how cold it is in Sydney, this new lipstick launch from Rimmel has definitely been putting a little spring in my step. I’m a sucker for anything pink plus I’ve typically loved Rimmel lipsticks; they’re one of the better affordable lipsticks out there. I’ve been putting these to the test over the last few weeks so figured it was high time I shared my thoughts for those of you thinking of picking up a shade or two.

The formula is a little lighter than the rest of their Moisture Renew line, and as the name would suggest, the lipstick applies a sheer wash of colour on the lips. Once applied, the lipstick itself is very moisturizing and feels cushion-like on the lips. As with all sheer lipsticks, the colour does wear and fade quickly – but evenly – leaving a light stain on the lips, so you’ll need to reapply throughout the course of the day if you’re after a bolder look. There’s also a light citrus or fruity scent (it seems to vary depending on the shade), which dissipates very quickly upon applying the lipstick to your lips.

I’ve seen this released in six shades here in Australia (five of which I’ve swatched for you below), the latter of which I don’t have being a very neutral looking nude.

With so many bright fun shades, these are the perfect way to start Spring – just a few short weeks away!! – and also a great alternative for those who don’t typically wear lipstick often. The formulation and the wear is a little like a tinted lip balm, though I find these to be much more pigmented and very reminiscent of MAC’s cremesheen formula.

rimmel moisture renew sheer shine lipstick review and swatches

Woke Up Like This [100] – A sheer, almost milky pink with a faint peach undertone, this is probably the only shade which came across as less wearable for me.

Glow-rious Pink [200] – This is essentially Spring in a tube. It’s a light petal pink which looks stunning on the lips.

Pink Rules [300] – A magenta-hued pink, this shade just screams summer. It’s one of the more pigmented out of the range and leaves a stain on your lips once the initial gloss has worn off.

Red-y, Set, Go! [500] – One of my favourite shades of the lot, this is an excellent dupe for MAC’s Dozen Carnations. It’s a bright, orange toned red that really packs a punch; perfect for a summer night out!

Spin All Spring [600] – This is a beautiful apricot hued-peach shade, with a lot more depth and pigmentation than Woke Up Like This. It reminds me a lot of MAC’s Shanghai Spice!

Overall, I think that these are a really fun new addition to Rimmel’s Moisture Renew range, and a great alternative for those who want to try a little colour, without fully committing. Even though we still have a good month to go before spring hits Sydney, I’ll definitely be tucking these lippies into my makeup bag once the weather warms up.

Tartelette In Bloom Palette Review and Swatches

tarte tartelette in bloom palette review and swatches
tarte tartelette in bloom palette review and swatches

Tartelette ‘in bloom’ eyeshadow palette

I know… I’m a little late to the party. I’ve been keeping this palette to myself for the last few months, but I really wanted to make sure that it was worth its salt before I shared with you just how good this is. I was dead set keen on nabbing their latest offering, the ‘in bloom’ palette (or Amazonian Clay 2), as along with a decent array of mattes, it included three shimmer shades, something which felt a little lacking from Tarte’s original Amazonian Clay Palette.

tarte tartelette in bloom palette review and swatches

In the palette, you get 12 shades; 9 mattes and three shimmers:

  • Charmer (off white)
  • Jetsetter (warm taupe)
  • Rocker (shimmering taupe)
  • Smokeshow (black brown)
  • Flower Child (peachy nude)
  • Smarty Pants (tan)
  • Firecracker (bronze copper)
  • Activist (dark brown)
  • Funny Girl (champagne)
  • Sweetheart (peach)
  • Rebel (chestnut brown)
  • Leader (aubergine)

Just like the original, the pigmentation is excellent, overall. Funny Girl is probably the only shade of the lot which takes some work to get a decent colour payoff, however I think it works best layered over deeper shadows to add a little bit of sparkle. The shadows do kick up a little bit of powder, however they blend out beautifully, and the formulas themselves are incredibly smooth. The wear time on them is also excellent; my eyelids are on the oilier side, but with a primer I find that these shadows last all day on me and then some.

For me, this has become one of those palettes that I reach for frequently, as the shadows range from cool to warm, and it’s incredibly versatile – you can make it work for day and for night (and the HUGE mirror makes it very travel friendly). What really surprised me about this palette wasn’t how good it was, but the scent. It’s a little bit of a cross between Too Faced’s Chocolate Bar Palette and a fresh marshmallow plucked straight from the bag, and makes the whole palette seem that much sweeter (as long as you have a sweet tooth like me, that is!).

My favourites in the palette are hands down Flower Child, Smarty Pants and Sweetheart, plus I love a little bit of Leader packed onto the lash line and smoked out for a little bit of depth.

Personally, this definitely sits within my top three favourite palettes; it’s fairly neutral, high quality, and has a large enough variety of shades to keep me coming back to it on a daily basis. Have you added this palette to your collection yet? x

Beauty Samples I’ve Tried and Liked

I’ve talked quite a lot about beauty products I love, but today, I wanted to try something a little different.. I wanted to give a little love to the samples that I’ve tried, and liked – but just haven’t had the budget to buy the full size yet!

I like to mix up my routine, and even with sensitive skin, I’m always up for trying out something new, whether it’s a foundation, a cleanser, or a blacker than black liquid eyeliner. It’s so easy to get caught up in the hype of the latest beauty launches, so I find that this is the best way to get a little taste of what I should expect, and figure out if the investment is going to be worth it – cos lets be real, makeup, and skincare in particular, can cost a girl a pretty penny or two.

So let’s jump straight into the samples that really nailed it for me…

Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip Cleanser ($45 USD) – I tend to have oily/dry skin depending on the weather (my T-zone is definitely a problem area for me), and what I loved about this cleanser was that it made my skin feel really clean but didn’t strip it of moisture. It has a really earthy scent which honestly, wasn’t my favourite, but I didn’t have any breakouts while using this and overall I just really like the way this made my skin feel.

La Roche Posay Lipikar Baume AP ($19.99 USD) – I’m not going to lie, I am terrible at remembering to moisturize (it happens once in a blue moon), but I feel like I would if I had a tub of this body balm lying around. It has a beautiful soft scent, and sinks in right away, leaving a luxurious and velvety feel to the skin. It is super moisturizing so I feel like it is one of those products that would be perfect for winter.. which makes me think that I probably should look at picking this up in a full size pretty soon.

Kate Somerville 360 Tanning Towelettes ($48 USD for a pack of 8) – The last time I properly used any kind of tanning products I was probably in my teens, but for a lark, I thought I would give this a go and you know what, I was pleasantly surprised. First off, it’s incredibly easy to use, you basically just rub the towelette over the areas where you’d like a bit of glow; for me, that was my legs! Secondly, I loved the colour, I got a gorgeous golden bronze tan which looked very natural, and lasted for more than three days. I will admit I was a little nervous about the product rubbing off on my bedsheets at night but I didn’t have that problem at all. It has me thinking that maybe I really should seriously start considering using a fake tan on the regular, given I’m less excited about sun bathing now than I was in my early twenties (and who doesn’t want that golden glow?).

Jouer Matte Moisture Tint ($40 USD) – In the last twelve months, I’ve heard a lot about Jouer. From their blushes and eyeshadow sticks to their recently launched liquid lipsticks, it seems to be a beauty brand that is having a bit of a moment. I tried out their matte tinted moisturizer last year and really loved it, enough to still be thinking about it all those months later. It has a matte finish – as you’d expect, but in a glowy way – and a mousse-like texture on application which bonds out really nicely, and it has medium coverage. Sydney tends to get so humid in the summertime but this is just one of those bases that I think would really work well for me during those warmer months.

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer ($36 USD) – Even though I recently picked this up, I just had to keep this primer on the list. Its silky consistency that just melts into the skin was what truly won me over. It’s silicone based so has a slippy feel to it (which I love) and it has a beautiful finish that really reduced the size of my pores. Given that I couldn’t resist buying this i full size, I’d say that this one is a winner.

Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer ($52 USD) – I’ve got to admit, primers have never really been much of a beauty necessity for me. It took me a while to see the point, though lately I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect one come our wedding day (I’ll be doing my own makeup, so let’s pray I don’t slip my hand while doing winged eyeliner!). In comparison to the Smashbox primer, I think I prefer this one, if only just. Before application, it looks like a cream on your fingertips, but it has a slippy silicone feel to it when applied. This works into the skin really beautifully and gives a lovely semi-perfected look to your face. I love the fact that it is oil free AND that it has SPF. This one is on my shopping wishlist for sure (though I might be saving for a while…).

Chantecaille Faux Clis Mascara ($52 USD) – While the thought of paying upwards of $60 for a mascara stresses me out, I have absolutely adored using the Faux Clis Mascara from Chantecaille. I was lucky to get this in a beauty box from Mecca, and it’s one of the few non-waterproof mascaras that doesn’t smudge on my brow bone. The wand has a natural bristle brush, and the formula itself is very separating and lengthening, oh, and it is very black. If money grew on trees I think I’d use this and only this.

Byredo Eau de Parfum in Gypsy Water ($150 USD) – This was one of those products that I had seen e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e to the point that even the thought of purchasing this perfume seemed a little cliche at best. Perhaps marring the whole experience was that I’d tested this out on one of those little test strips at Mecca and just couldn’t quite understand the hype. BUT, I’ll admit that I’ve really been won over by this perfume; spending a few days wearing it (well, I was sold after the first hour) was enough for me to know that I need this on my vanity. I’ve been rationing the use of the small spray bottle I have until I can save my pennies for a full size, as it’s just such a perfect mix of fresh and floral fragrances.

So, there you have it. High end makeup (and skincare!) can so easily be hit or miss, though I’ve found my fair share of gems by being militant about using up my samples, and getting a taste for what is out there, beyond my own vanity. Given that make up and skincare can be a bit of an investment, are there any higher end products that you’ve tried and fallen head over heels for?

New in beauty

lorac pro contour palette clinique cheek pop review
lorac pro contour palette clinique cheek pop review

I recently picked up a few bits and pieces from Everlane and The Real Real , and figured it was as good a time as any to nab a few beauty products that I’d had sitting on my wishlist.

First up was the Lorac Pro Contour Palette; while I don’t contour quite as much as I used to (I tend to go pretty minimal on the base these days), I thought that this would be a great product to have in my vanity. I’ve been using it the last couple of weeks and I’ve been really impressed with the quality. Highly pigmented – trust me when I saw a little goes a long way – incredibly smooth, and so versatile.

Then, I decided to stock up on a couple more of the Clinique Cheek Pop blushes. I tend to reach for the shade Pink Pop most days; I love the formulation of these, they are slightly sheer but build up quickly for a nice flush of colour on the cheeks making them great for beginners. I picked up two new shades, Ginger Pop (a red toned coral) and Peach Pop (a true peach) which are both beautiful and I think will be perfect particularly during the warmer months of the year.

As I mentioned earlier, I tend to keep my base very minimal. Most days I’ll leave the house without applying any foundation or tinted moisturiser – my face tends to get pretty pale in the cooler months and I’ve been trying to embrace it, while avoiding clogging my pores. But one thing I have been keen to pick up is the pore minimising photo finish primer from Smashbox. I tried out a sample of this earlier in the year and absolutely loved it. It has a slippy silicone texture to it, which for my oilier skin type is ideal. I’m really looking forward to wearing this on days where I do opt for a full face of make up – it’s definitely a product that feels very comfortable on the skin.

Lastly, I picked up a new lip pencil from MAC. I’m a huge fan of MAC’s pro longwear lip pencils; it’s one of the more comfortable and creamy formulas that I’ve tried, and I find that they help to prolong the wear time of any lipstick I’ve swiped over the top (as you’d hope!). Practicality for my make up has been first and foremost as of late, so I opted for the shade Nice’n’Spicy. This is a gorgeous brown toned nude with a hint of pink – great for everyday and also a good option if you’re planning to overdraw your lips a little bit.

Next on my wishlist has to be Charlotte Olympia’s makeup collaboration with MAC, although I’m still at odds over how many red lipsticks is too many…