Monthly Favourites | February 2013

Today I have my monthly favourites for February! This month has seriously zoomed past, not to be cliched or anything, but it really has! Here are a few things that I've really been enjoying.

First up for the face:

The Skin79 Super+ Hot Pink BB cream (review here) has been my go-to base for the month. It is just so easy! I slap it on as the last step of my skincare. It provides moisture without making my face oily, has an SPF of 25, decent light coverage and a slew of other skincare benefits! Although this oxidizes quite close to my skin tone, I still find that I appear to have a slight grey cast or that my face looks quite pale and washed out. To perk up my face I use another product featured in this post!

Rimmel Stay Matte powder in the shade 001 Transparent has been my setting powder of choice. It doesn't add any more coverage to the face so it doesn't look cakey, nor does it look powdery. It sets everything nicely and controls oil for me to be matte for a good 4-6 hours depending on what I'm doing or what the weather is like. It's super good for touch ups too!

My new fave concealer is the Sonia Kashuk Hidden Agenda Concealer palette (review here). I love that I can mix the colours to achieve my perfect match and the neutralizer works really well for reducing redness. Not a huge fan of the powder, but I'm a lover of the rest of the palette!

Brows, Eyes and Cheeks:

Here's a bit of a sneak peek into my brow routine!
First up I fill them in with the Dolly Wink Eyebrow Powder in the shade Dark Chocolate (review here) with my Essence Angled Eyeliner brush. It is really thin and stiff so it applies the powder in really natural, hair-like strokes. I really reccommend it for less than $3! The colour of the powder matches really well with my hair colour and gives me nice full while naturally defined brows.

I top off my brows with coat of the Essence clear gel mascara which does the trick! It sets my brows, keeping them in place all day whilst helping the colour last longer. Very cheap and does the job. Wish I could say the same for the packaging though! The spoolie from mine has completely broken off of the lid, it's still usable so I'll try and finish the tube!

The MAC Eyeshadow in the shade All that glitters has been a lovely all over lid colour. It's not too metallic but it is just such a beautiful shade which I am in love with! 

Like I said earlier, to perk up my face and give it a bit more warmth I've been reaching for the Topshop Blush in the shade Head over heels (review here). It's just such a sweet peachy-pink shade with a subtle gold shimmer to give a lovely glow. It also has amazing staying power!

Lastly for the lips, Essence lipstick in All about Cupcake has been my go-to. Such a cute name and shade of pink that looks wonderfully natural. It's a definite my-lips-but-pinker colour. It is a bit sheer and glossy which is what I love about it. Decently moisturizing and very cheap!

That sums it up for the products I've been using this month! What have you guys been loving using in February?


NOTD | Pacific Blue

I have another NOTD today! It is Sally Hansen's Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear nail colour in the shade Pacific Blue. I have been searching for this colour for the longest time! It has been raved about so much by International youtubers and for whatever reason it wasn't available in Australia. At least that's what I thought! I randomly stumbled upon this product in Kmart recently, it was all alone next to the Sally Hansen Xtreme wear display. It was so odd! I'm not sure if it has been out and it was the last one, or they are starting to get them but don't have a place for them on the stand yet. But, I'm so glad I found it!

It is such a beautiful, bold and bright cobalt blue shade! Now I know why it is so popular! A lot of brands are now coming out with similar cobalt shades. It is now my favourite blue polish, it is so eye-catching!

Not only is the colour simply amazing, but so is the formula! It took two easy coats to opacity and it lasted really well on my nails. I had minor chipping and minimal tip wear by day four. I must say that is pretty good! I don't normally have issues with chipped polish and I generally change colours before it gets the chance to chip. I topped it with my Revlon Colorstay top coat.

If you have been hunting down this colour, don't give up! Check out wherever Sally Hansen is sold as I'm sure it was there for a reason, and there must be more where it came from!


I do believe in Fairies! I do! I do!

Today I have an Essence Stay All Day long lasting eyeshadow to share. I have it in the shade 09 For Fairies. The Stay All Day shadows are cream shadows with a metallic finish.

The packaging is super cute! It's a sturdy plastic jar with a screw top lid. The lid has a domed top and the colour of the shadow is splashed across the top so it's easy to tell what colour it is when stored!

For Fairies is a really pretty light pink metallic shade. I bought this one because it was the lightest shade in the range and it really works as a base for all coloured eyeshadows and for everyday wear. Light-metallicy pink shades are some of my favourite to wear on the eyelid!

Being my first cream eyeshadow, I don't have a lot to compare this to. The Maybelline Color Tattoos are on my wishlist (Bad to the Bronze is always sold out!) and from swatching the various shades in store, the Essence version doesn't quite compare. This shadow doesn't apply smoothly (with a finger). The product almost 'balls' up into little clumps which you really have to work at to achieve a smooth even finish. Even then, the shadow isn't totally opaque and with one layer you only get a sheer shimmer and no real amount of colour.

The photo above is a couple of layers and you can see that the texture isn't totally smooth. Applying a lot of pressure to my eye area is not exactly what I would like to do so trying to get good colour payoff whilst having a smooth texture is a very hard task indeed! This product does however have a few good qualities, it really does live up to its name and lasts for quite a good long while. It sets rather quickly so if you are planning on placing a shadow over the top, work quickly! After is has set, it does not budge! As I have a couple of powder shadows this colour, I do plan on using it as a base to intensify their colour.

Although I do like the colour, I probably wouldn't recommend this cream shadow. I have heard mixed reviews about these shadows, so maybe it is just this shade but I don't think I will be investigating the other colours in the range. The Stay All Day shadows are AUD$5.50 for 5.5g of product. I would say spend the few extra bucks and pick up a Maybelline Color Tattoo!


More Orange?

Today I have a review of a MAC lipstick which my sister gave me as she works in the Beauty/Hair Industry. It is in the shade Morange which has an Amplified Cream finish.

The packaging is the classic MAC bullet shaped black tube which is lightweight whilst still very sleek. The only downfall of the packaging is that the top of the lipstick is rounded, so you can't store them upside down with the name showing. 

The colour itself is a super bold red-orange shade. It is definitely a more wearable shade of orange because of the good amount of red tones in it. As the colour of the year for 2012 was Tangerine Tango, orange definitely became a popular shade and I think it will be still quite trendy for this year. Although Summer is almost over I thought I would sneak this post in. I've been brave enough to wear it a couple of times and I love the bold lip it gives! You can wear it to it's full potential with opaque colour payoff or it can be tapped onto the lips and blended out for a more subtle coral lip.

The Amplified Cream formula is super creamy and packs a real punch in terms of colour payoff! It applies rather smoothly to the lips straight from the bullet but a lip brush will provide extra precision. It has a semi-matte finish to it and no shimmer at all. The colour lasts  a really long time on the lips and leaves a slight stain after wear. The colour doesn't bleed outside of the lips, even without a lip liner! The one thing I don't love about the formula is that it makes dry lips very noticable so make sure they are exfoliated and moisturised properly beforehand! Also the lipstick doesn't dry out the lips nor does it moisturise them.

Overall I really like Morange for the bold pop of colour it provides! For a more wearable shade I really enjoy wearing it sheered out topped with a lip balm or gloss. 


Hidden Agenda

Today I'll be reviewing the Sonia Kashuk Hidden Agenda Concealer Palette. This was one of the products I was most excited about receiving from America.

The packaging is a sleek plastic case with magnetic closure. I really like that you can see the product through the packaging.

The palette contains two concealer shades (one lighter and one darker), a green-toned neutralizer for redness and a translucent powder. The idea is to mix the two concealers to achieve your ideal shade. The neutralizer works well to eliminate redness. I use it underneath foundation and/or concealer. I find the powder to be a bit too powdery. When I dip my brush into the pan, it kicks up a lot of excess powder. I also notice that it is not completely translucent and leaves a slight white cast to the skin.

lighter concealer shade, darker concealer shade, neutralizer, powder
The texture of the concealers is very nice and creamy. I find it easier to apply using my fingers as their warmth makes the concealers more malleable. Despite their creamy consistency, when put over dry or flaky skin, it makes it more obvious. They work well under the eyes and don't crease or cake and are not drying. Their staying power is quite good especially when topped with a powder, whether it be the one provided in the palette or another. I think though that the palette would be better off without the powder, and instead have a peachy toned neutralizer for darkness. That would have made this the ultimate concealer palette!

Overall I really like this palette and I can get my perfect shade from mixing the concealers together. Also I use the lighter shade under my eyes to provide a brightened and highlighted effect. I think the quality of the concealers is good and that it is a very multi-purpose product!


Buttered Up

Today I have two of the very popular and hyped up Colorburst Lip Butters from Revlon. I have the shades 050 Berry Smoothie and 025 Peach Parfait.

First up, the packaging of these is really nice! It has semi-transparent plastic lid with a quilted pattern as well as the shade of the product inside, which is always helpful! The lid snaps shut very firmly so there's no need to worry about it coming off and smearing all over your bag.

Berry Smoothie is a very pretty everyday, wearable berry shade. On my lips it's not too bold and looks quite 'natural' as it is fairly close to my natural lip colour. It has a slight pink shimmer to it which is not too apparent on the lips.

Peach Parfait is a really flattering peachy-pink with golden shimmer. The shimmer in this one is more obvious on the lips and it is more like larger shimmer chunks/particles. I know a lot of people dislike the shimmer in it, but I quite like it. Because of the sheer nature of these lipsticks, the colour doesn't really show up on my pigmented lips. What I'm left with is a sparkly lip shade, so it is more of an everyday natural pink colour. 

Berry Smoothie, Peach Parfait
The formula of these lippies is very nice and definitely something I could wear on a daily basis, throw in my bag and touch up without a mirror (though it's always good to have one!). They are pretty moisturising but do provide a good amount of colour payoff. I really like sheerer lipsticks, so these are right up my alley! They are super soft and smooth which is their downfall during hot weather. They can get a bit melt-y, visible from my tube of Berry Smoothie. They have a nice glossy finish and are just really easy lip products.

Berry Smoothie, Peach Parfait

I really love these and am definitely interested in getting more as they really do live up to the hype! They retail for around AUD$21.95 but you can usually pick Revlon up on sale.


Let's Get Naked!

I am so excited to share this product today! It is the Chi Chi Glamorous Nudes eyeshadow palette. I have been hunting this down for quite a while and my friend Yasmin managed to find it and pick it up for me. Thanks so much! It has been so scarce because it is an intentional dupe of the famed Urban Decay Naked Palette and has been sold out everywhere for the past month! Almost all the shades are very similar and even the layout of the shadows is copied! As I don't own the Naked Palette I can't compare them, but Mishelle has a wonderful post here and this video from Gooroo beauty is a very in-depth comparison.

The packaging is plastic with a black base and a clear lid with 'nudes' written on top in silver. It clasps shut very firmly so the packaging definitely isn't flimsy. It includes 2 double-ended foam applicators.

Just for reference, here are the UD Naked palette shadows:

Image credit Roseyreview
Very similar huh? Anyhow, the shades consist of a good range of light, medium and dark neutrals, mostly warm toned. The only thing that I wish was that it had more matte shades. The two matte browns included in the Chi Chi palette are very similar (Buck is darker than the corresponding shade in the Nudes palette), but other than that the colours are beautiful. Everything you would need for daily wear or night time smokey eyes is provided in this palette!

The shades don't have names so I've just numbered them 1 through to 12.
1 is a light, shimmery, pink-toned off-white shade
2 is a more metallic, darker, champagne compared to 1
3 is a matte light brown
4 is a metallic light bronzey brown
5 is a matte mid-tone brown, only slightly darker than shade 3
6 is a very warm metallic coppery gold

7  is a deeper bronzey brown shade
8 is a deep, shimmery, taupey brown
9 is a warm metallic mauvey-brown shade
10 is a shimmery purple-taupe
11 is a dark gunmetal grey with shimmer
12 is a metallic steel blue-grey shade

L-R, 1-6
L-R, 7-12
All of the shades have really amazing formulas! They are smooth and pigmented, even the mattes. A few of the shades are slightly powdery but nothing too annoying! Of the shades I've tried, they apply really nicely to the eyelids with a brush. Having never tried any Urban Decay shadows, I can't compare the formulas of the two brands, but on its own, the formulas of the Chi Chi shadows are very good!

Overall, this is a really good and cheap alternative to the UD palette and I highly recommend it! It was $19.95 for 16g of product, but Chi Chi is often on sale. There are 2 other colour variations of this palette; Bronzes and Brights. I'm very happy to have added this to my collection! Now for the Naked 2 palette...


Blushed and Bronzed

Today I have e.l.f's contouring blush and bronzing powder in the shade St Lucia which has been on my wishlist for quite a while! It is an alleged dupe of the Nars Orgasm and Laguna duo. I can't speak of their similarity but there are quite a few blog posts and videos noting their differences. 

It is packaged in a sleek black plastic compact which is very similar to the Nars packaging. I really like it and for a $3 product, the packaging is very nice. It also contains a fairly large mirror which is very handy!

The blush is a peachy-pink with gold shimmer. The shimmer isn't chunky or glittery at all and it provides a nice warm glow to the cheeks. The Bronzer is a nice warm brown which does not lean orange at all. It is quite a dark shade so it can be very easily used to contour as well. It does contain quite a bit of shimmer. In the pan in seems like the blush and bronzer have the same amount of shimmer but I find that the shimmer in the bronzer isn't too obvious but rather provides a nice glow.

The formula of the powders is pretty good considering how affordable it is. They are a little powdery but not so much so that they are difficult to work with. They aren't particularly silky or soft but they have good pigmentation and blend well. Their lasting power is pretty standard, especially as blush and bronzer is typically the first thing to fade on me. 

As my first foray into e.l.f cosmetics, I really like it! I definitely would like to pick up more of their products, namely their studio blushes and brushes. I know I will get quite a bit of use out of these powders!


Skin79 Hot Pink BB cream

Today I have a product that I was very excited to get the chance to buy whilst I was in Hong Kong. It is the Skin79 Super+ BB cream with triple functions but it is also widely known as the 'Hot Pink' BB cream. Skin79 is a very popular South Korean brand which produces a wide range of BB creams suited for different skin types and needs. I opted for the Hot Pink one because it is for oily/combination skin as it provides sebum control as well as the 'triple functions' listed on the bottle, which are whitening, UV protection (SPF25 PA++) and wrinkle improvement. It is also their best seller and most widely known.

The packaging is a cylinder with a pump. I do like the packaging, its colour and the shape of it but I do find some flaws in it. I have found that because the pump doesn't have a 'lock', it can be pressed down at any time. This could prove problematic if it were in a makeup bag and something pressed down on it. Imagine the mess!

It claims to be your primer, foundation and sunscreen in the one product with added skincare benefits such as nourishment, building skin resistance, brightening as well as the triple functions listed on the bottle. I'm yet to find if it 'whitens' which really means it will lighten scars, especially because I'm currently using the Garnier Dark Spot Corrector, I'm not sure which is helping the most with the lightening of my acne scarring!

Onto the cream itself, it is a thick creamy texture with a scent slightly of sunscreen. It does have grey-cast but after about 5-10 minutes it is supposed to oxidize to your skin tone, so don't be alarmed! I would probably say though that anyone who is darker than, say a  medium skin tone probably wouldn't be able to get away with it as for me it is only just right and I can't imagine it oxidizing much darker.

The coverage is good and I would say it is light but definitely buildable. It looks super natural and like you're not even wearing any sort of makeup. I would definitely use it on a day to day basis and as it has a relatively high amount of SPF, I probably wouldn't use it at night or with flash photography as it probably has flashback. It leaves a rather dewy, natural effect on the skin and in terms of the 'sebum control', my t-zone which is where I am the oiliest, doesn't get oily until around the 3 hour mark, bearing in mind that I haven't topped with a powder. I'm yet to discover whether it tightens, brightens or whitens the skin as I don't feel I've been using it enough on a regular basis and with other products I'm using I'm not sure what is causing the difference in my skin. 

Overall, I really like this product for everyday as it provides a really natural look with good coverage and sun protection. It's definitely become a favourite!