Brush Up | Face

I'm finally getting around to writing my reviews on the Real Techniques by Samantha Chapman makeup brushes! A few months ago I picked up a quite a few of her brushes and today I'll be featuring the Core Collection. These have gotten sooo much hype and rightly so! They are really great and I had high expectations for them - after all, they were created by a very talented makeup-artist who obviously knows what she's doing!

The set contains four brushes and a case. The case is actually quite nice and a good, practical addition to my collection as I don't have anything like it. It has elastic slots to put the brushes in (and extras on the other side). The case itself is quite hardy and durable. You can also flip it in half (horizintally) and secure it with the toggle to create a brush stand. All of her brushes have colour-coded handles, orange being for the face/base makeup. The handles are aluminium with a rubberized base and feel nice and lightweight. They feature the brush name on the handle which is always handy.

The brush I was definitely most excited about from this set was the Buffing brush which is so popular. The set also contains the Contour brush, the pointed foundation brush and the detailer brush. The brushes are made with synthetic taklon bristles which are uber soft and great to use with any texture - cream, powder and liquid. I'll start out with my two favourites!

I had no doubt in my mind that I was going to love the Buffing brush. I don't believe there is a single person who has tried it who hasn't loved it. No matter how high the expectations, I knew it would surpass them, and it did. It is a round, slightly domed top brush densely packed with bristles. This guy is perfect for buffing in foundation whether it be liquid, cream or powder. There's no denying it can also be used for a plethora of other things like bronzer and blush. That is precisely what I love about these brushes; that you can use them for so many different things! Having previously only used the traditional paintbrush style foundation brush, this has completely reinvented my application of foundation! It leaves a beautiful, flawless finish with no streaks or uneven patches. It buffs the product right into the skin. It's quick, easy and pretty much fool-proof!

The contour brush is another great multi-tasker. It is a rather small, fluffy, tapered brush perfect for contouring. It fits almost exactly right under the cheekbone to give the effect that we all desire - higher cheekbones! It creates a well blended line that looks very natural and defined. On the other end of contouring, it's great for applying highlighter precisely on the tops of the cheekbones, without getting shimmer everywhere else! It can also be used to apply blush, blend in concealer and apply powder to small areas - for me, that's underneath the eyes.

The Pointed foundation brush is definitely my least used brush. It's much too small to apply foundation all over the face - it would take way too long to do so! It's quite flat and flimsy and therefore not very good at a streak-less application. I thought I might get use out of it to apply concealer under the eyes but honestly it's too much of a bother. Not a fan for sure!

The Detailer brush is a nice one to have but not amazing. It is a tiny little flat brush mainly used for applying lip product or concealer. For me (similar to the Pointed foundation brush) it's too bothersome to apply concealer. As I previously did not own a lip brush, this has filled that hole and has been getting some use! It's quite precise and applies lipsticks, etc well.

So those are my thoughts on the Core Collection! This review is probably redundant to a lot of you who already own the set or have read/seen just about a hundred reviews on these brushes - but I hope it helped someone out! I think these are AMAZING quality for the price and definitely recommend anyone and everyone to buy any of the Real Techniques brushes. My reviews for the other sets and things I bought will be up soon-ish. You can buy the set at Priceline or IHerb which I do recommend over Priceline as it sells the brushes at US RRP (less than half the price of AUS!). I also have a discount code located in the sidebar. 


A Trio of Trios

Another blush post today! What can I say...I'm a blushaholic. I have to share a few of the new BYS Blush trios. I believe they are newish at least... There are 4 shades/colour combos altogether and I got three of them (a bit excessive...? Nah!). When I first saw these I truly thought they were the Sleek Blush by 3's! They are seriously the spitting image of them and there may even be some dupes...

This is actually my first wander into the BYS brand which is very cheap here in Australia but the quality is not too horrible for the price and actually very good in some instances. One of their more notable products are there blushes - so I figured that the formula of these was going to be good! Was it though...? Well these guys certainly are pigmented - so much so that they can get hard to apply. The slightest tap of the brush leaves me with too much product. I need to tap off the excess AND take the excess off onto my hand. If I don't, the pigment tends to be deposited in the one place and not blend well. It ends up looking a bit blotchy. When applied well though, they look really pretty but like I said, they can get hard to blend because of their concentrated pigment. Some of the matte shades can come off a bit chalky but it's not evident on the cheek. I find that the frosty/shimmery shades are a lot easier to apply and blend much better.

I got them in the shades Coral Me In, Endless Summer and On the Brightside. The packaging - it's what you would expect from such a budget brand. It's cheap looking and feeling. It has thin, flimsy plastic with a closure that is secure but I feel may be worn down with use. Packaging is definitely not BYS' strong suit. I feel that a budget brand like Essence has awesome packaging for it's price so it's not an impossible feat to have decent packaging for cheap!

On the Brightside is definitely your pinky palette - if you like pinks, go for this one. If you vaguely know me, you know that pink blushes are not my first choice which is exactly why I decided to grab this palette! I really don't have any shades like this in my collection so I thought it would be good to get to build up my pink collection. It contains mostly cooler toned pinks. The shade on the left is a rather shimmery bordering frosty (silver shimmers), medium toned pink. The middle shade is a matte fuchsia pink. The right shade is a lighter, barbie-esque pink with the slightest silver shimmer, in a matte base from what I can tell.

Endless Summer is your pinky coral palette - definitely more up my alley! The left shade is a matte, warm almost peachy-pink. The middle shade is the only shimmery shade in the palette (with a similar finish the the left shade in On the Brightside). It's more peachy than the first shade and a little bit lighter. The last (right) shade is another matte. It is a vibrant pinky coral colour.

Here's where things get dupe-y...To me this looks VERY similar to the Sleek Blush by 3 in Lace. Now I don't own that one but from swatches online they look so similar that I wouldn't need both. I would say this is the only shade crossover between the two ranges (I could be wrong though) that is SO similar. There may be some similarities between other shades (On the Brightside and Pink Sprint???) but definitely not as close as Lace and this one. This palette is definitely my fave though! The left shade is a true, tangerine orange with a matte finish. The middle shade is a metallic (different finish to the other frosty shades) rose goldy shade. It looks very bronze in the pan but that's the overlaying golden metallic-ness, the pink comes out a lot more in the swatch. The right shade is a true, super vibrant, coral shade with a matte finish. This has more red in it than the pink coral in the previous palette.

Overall, I am quite content with these blushes. The formula isn't up to par but they are so cheap! And honestly it's not easy to find such vibrant, bright shades from cheaper brands so kudos to you BYS! They are definitely a welcome addition to my collection. The other shade in the range is mostly cooler toned mauvey shades but all of which are quite frosty and not much differentiation between shades. I bought these for $6 each (8g of product) at Cosmetics Plus but the price of BYS differs depending on where you buy it. I would recommend these if you're looking for some bright shades at a good price!

Have you tried these or any other BYS products?


Guest post over at Missy in the Mirror!

Hi guys!

Just wanted to let you know that I wrote a guest blog post over at Shruti's blog Missy in the Mirror. You can find it here and it's all about my top 5 bold Summer lip products! Shruti lives in the US where it is currently Summer so I thought it was the perfect opportunity to share my Summer picks! Thankyou Shruti for letting me write for your blog and I recommend checking it out!


Wishlist #3

Hello! I have a wishlist post today and yes I am still attempting some sort of a spending ban, but that doesn't mean I can't think about my next shopping spree! Haha, this wishlist includes some new things out on the Aussie market and some long time lemmings. It's quite a bright one!

1. Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner
There has been quite a bit of hype surrounding this product recently - it is a toner with acids that gently exfoliate the skin to reveal a new, brighter layer of skin. I am close-ish to finishing my current toner (which is not Caroline Hirons approved! (even though I quite like it)) and would love to give this one a go. I have quite a bit of acne scarring and I am trying not to use such abrasive scrubs on my face!

2. Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector in Rose Shimmer
This is another cult beauty product - being boasted by many a beauty guru as the 'best lip gloss formula ever'. I have been getting quite a bit more into lipgloss since discovering those of the non-sticky variety, this one being on my wishlist for a while, but has since jumped up quite a few spots. Having swatched it instore, it feels amazing and this colour is super pretty.

3. Lush Grease Lightning
I am at the stage where I have to shake the bottle of my current spot treatment vigourously to get the product out. I have decided not to repurchase that one as I do really like trying new things, and while it worked, it wasn't particularly amazing. Grease Lightning has been claimed to do wonders for acne scarring (in terms of the pimple not leaving a scar in the first place). My skin is terrible in that department - any pimple is sure to leave a horrible dark mark.

4. The Balm Instain blush in Toile
I am a crazy blushaholic and this new formula seems super great. It is marketed as a powder stain that will last a super long time. I find that blushes don't last particularly well on me so I would love to give this one a go, and this shade is so beautiful! Also the price isn't horrible, it's going for AUD$27 compared to the US$22, so not a huge markup!

5. Maybelline Colour Tattoo in Inked in Pink
This colour seemed super popular when it was released in the US and rightly so as it is very pretty! It is a metallic pink shade that is right up my alley and I do quite like the formula of these cream shadows. 

6. Maybelline Dream Pure BB cream
I haven't bought a new BB cream in quite a while but the Western offerings really haven't been tickling my fancy - and I prefer to think of them as light coverage foundations. This one garnered a rave review from Jodi over at GooRoo Beauty who first recommended the Garnier Oily/combo BB cream which I do love. The Maybelline does come in more shades so I would be interested in checking it out - but probably only when it's on sale (as with everything, haha).

7. Sally Hansen Fuzzy Coat polishes
I've been waiting for these guys! This mani over at Chalkboard nails is soo cute and really made me want these haha. These are quite dupeable to the Nails Inc Feather polishes. They consist of small bar glitters in varying shades. I'm thinking of grabbing a few from the collection :)


Hot and Fabulous

Hullo there! Today I have a review on a skincare product I have wanted for a while and have been using for the past month or so. It is the Soap & Glory Fab Pore Hot Cloth Cleanser. I picked this up because the previous cleanser I was using was a gel foaming one, which as we all know, skincare god Caroline Hirons (who might I add everyone has been talking about lately) would be very dissaproving of. It really didn't do much for the skin and I felt that my skin was quite dry after use. This creamy cleanser is supposed to be very similar to the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish. It has received some really good reviews however I have read a small few that have said this has caused them to  break out really badly so please do be wary!

First up, the packaging is absolutely adorable on this thing! Pretty much all Soap & Glory products are awesomely packaged with punny names and other awesome shiz. I really like the typography on the box and tube, haha. It is packaged in a metal tube, that isn't really metal? It's sort of a plastic metal because it doesn't feel as hard or keep it's shape as firmly as an actual metal (am I even making sense right now?). Anyways the packaging is functional and aesthetically pleasing. :)

The cleanser comes with a muslin cloth which is quite thin and not the best of quality but it does the job. As the name of the cleanser suggests, you use the cloth with warm/hot water to press the product off of the face - giving it a bit of a steam at the same time! It is advised to massage the product into the skin for 60 seconds and leave it on for another minute before wiping it off. I use it at night in the shower and I'm actually not completely sure whether you are supposed to use it on damp or dry skin, but I've tried it both ways and prefer patting my face dry before use. Regardless, it's a lovely experience using it!

The consistency of the cleanser itself is thick and more of a cream-balm texture. It has a scent from the infusion of the sweet almond, orange and lavender oils. The scent is nice, kind of spa-like (not that I've ever been to one) but not overly offensive. I will note though that this may have caused the breakouts, but obviously I couldn't know! Luckily though I haven't had any problems with skin reactions.

Enlarge for ingredients
I find the cleanser works really well to melt away makeup and also I have no problems with it around the eye area, I can get right into the lashes to remove mascara with no stinging or irritation! It removes pretty much everything except waterproof mascara. I think this in combination with the cloth to remove it works super well to really clean the face! I find it has the best feeling after use though! My skin feels fresh, super clean but very soft and moisturised! 

I feel like my skin has benefited greatly from the use of this cleanser, especially compared to my previous one! I think it removes makeup a lot better, doesn't strip the skin but instead moisturises it and therefore helping my skin in general. My skin is combination and this doesn't make it oily at all (but I do use it at night). I also have quite acne-prone skin and this doesn't irritate it at all, but I feel it has helped it! Maybe because it cleans out the skin really well so there is no bacteria there to cause breakouts in the first place. 

I feel this is a really nice, basic cleanser that could benefit all skin types. It cleans really well and leaves the skin feeling lovely and moisturised, overall I highly recommend! I know that my skin has definitely improved since using this. Please do be aware though as I mentioned, this did break some people out really badly. It retails for AUD$28 at Mecca Cosmetica or Kit cosmetics for 100mL of product.

Have you tried this cleanser or anything similar?


Model's Flush

Hi guys, today I have a blush-y post for you all! I was very excited when I saw the Model's Prefer Beauty to Go kits at Priceline. They are excellent value for money and just super cute little kits! I picked up the blush one which was only $4 (at the time I bought it, I think they go for $5 regularly, awesome price though!). So, on to the review!

The set contains a powder and cream blush, both in a very pretty, wearable shade. The compact blush is in the shade Desk to Date which is a permanent shade, however I feel that the actual blushes are different. The full size one is a lot more glittery/shimmery so if you already own Desk to Date, they are actually a bit different. The cream blush is in the shade Tickled Pink.

The packaging on these is super cute! Both plastic containers, the powder compact is very reminiscent of NYX powder blush packaging. It contains a good 4g of product which is a pretty standard amount. The cream blush is packaged in a tube in a stick form, easily wound up and it closes very securely. This one contains 6.2g.

Colour-wise, they are both very pretty peachy-pinks. Desk to Date is pigmented (but not overly so), smooth, blendable and just has a really nice formula in general! It has a bit of gold shimmer but overall it gives off more of a satin finish and the shimmer is hardly detectable. It has a pretty good lasting power too!

Tickled Pink is slightly more metallic with a stronger golden sheen. This is a great colour for a blush-highlighter hybrid applied to the cheekbones. In terms of its formula, it is really nice! I haven't tried too many cream blushes but this is one is quite good. It is creamy, but a little bit stiff to apply straight to the cheeks. I prefer using my fingers to apply it to the face or a stippling brush. It is not sticky but still dewy, is not a cream-to-powder formula. I find you can also wear this on the lips but the metallic finish is a bit frosty on my skintone. I think this would be really great for popping in your bag and touching up! I didn't find this to be particularly long wearing though, okay as far as cream blushes go (hey that rhymed!).

Tickled Pink, Desk to Date

This was my first experience with Model's Prefer and I really enjoy these products! I really like the look of the Beauty Addict blush (a super pretty berry-purple with golden shimmer). The full size blushes contain 6g of product for $10, so you are getting a really good deal with this kit! They have a bunch of the Beauty to Go's with nail polish, lipsticks, etc. These are both great daily blushes and I'm sure I'll get heaps of use out of them (peachy-pinks are my weakness!).

What are your favourite Model's Prefer products?


Haul | Estee Lauder Corporate Store

Hey guys! Today I have a relatively exciting haul to share with you all! This past weekend I was lucky enough to take a trip to the Estee Lauder Corporate store. The corporate store is pretty much where all discontinued, limited edition, excess stock goes and is sold at discounted prices. They sell a lot of the brands owned by Estee Lauder like Estee Lauder (obviously), Clinique, Bobbi Brown, MAC, Aveda, DKNY, Jo Malone, etc. Sadly though, the store is invite only! My mum is friends with a lady who works at an Estee Lauder counter and was lovely enough to give us a couple of guest passes. So let's get on to what I bought!

Pretty much all the things I bought are from MAC. They had the largest selection of MAC as they frequently release limited edition collections, meaning more stock at the corporate store! There were hardly any permanent items from MAC. The range at the store (from any brand) was quite small, they would have a few foundations but only 2-3 shades, same going for lipsticks, eyeshadows, etc. I found the best deals were on the gift sets as they are already cheaper (I think) than buying individually, so even better further reduced!

I picked up this Iced Delights Nail & Lip Bag in the shade Pure Drama. This is actually from the 2011 Holiday collection which is so long ago - probably why this was so discounted! I got it for $15 which I think is super awesome considering it contains 2 full sized products! It contains a lipstick in Hang Up, a lipglass in Frozen Lame and a mini nail polish in the shade Vintage Vamp. Both the lipstick and nail polish shades are permanent so I will have a review of this little set soon as it is perfect for Autumn/Winter. It also came with a cute bag.

The next gift set I got is the Viva Glam It Up Lip Bag. This I believe was in last year's holiday collection. It contains a little leopard print bag, Viva Glam Nicki and the MAC Lip Conditioner (with Ricky Martin's signature!). This set was $25 which I still think is really good as the lipstick alone will run you $36. I'll also have a review on this once the warmer months roll around!

I got this lip gloss set from MAC which was also in last year's holiday collection. It is the Guilty Passions 4 Lavish Rose Lip Gloss. This was only $30 which I think is really good! Individual Dazzleglasses and Cremesheen glasses go for $43! These are either just under or even over the regular size! It comes with the shades Demure (Dazzleglass creme), Going Casual (Cremesheen glass), Colour Saturation (Cremesheen glass) and Boys go crazy (Dazzleglass). I believe all of these shades are limited edition. They are nicely pigmented and my faves are the cremesheens as they are not very sticky - they are thick which adds a little bit of stick. The dazzleglasses are a little bit stickier and I don't think I'll get very much use out of Boys go crazy as it is such a glittery, dark shade. Also, the box is absolutely adorable!

The last MAC thing I got is the eyeshadow in the shade Vintage Bloom which was only $5! I'm not sure if this shade is discontinued, or what, as I've never heard anything about it. It is a really pretty metallic light-ish pink shade with a golden sheen. It doesn't say what the finish is anywhere on the packaging. The pigmentation is okay, but it is super pretty and I'm really glad I grabbed it! I figured if the shade didn't work on the eyes, it would always be a great cheek colour! This is now living in my little homemade 'Z palette' (which is really just an old chocolate tin, which was the perfect size and height to be a palette).

Finally, I picked up a few bits from Estee Lauder. They had little packs made up of items that were testers (unused obviously) but they were probably excess or something. They were selling them for $20 each. I got this one specifically for the Pure Color Stay on shadow paint in the shade 02 Halo. I've heard heaps of good things about this cream shadow formula so I grabbed it! I'm not sure how much this is full price, but I'm guessing a lot more. It also came with a Pure Color Lipstick in the shade Pink Riot and a mini tester size of the Double Wear Powder in the shade Spiced Sand which is just ever so slightly too dark for me. The packaging is pretty munted on the lipstick as it is made to be slotted into the display, but it's nothing impractical! The colour itself is a really pretty, medium berry-pink with a slight shimmer.

Swatchies! L-R: Vintage Bloom, Going Casual, Demure (interesting blue shimmers!), Color Saturation, Boys go crazy

So that was my haul! I hope you enjoyed! It was an absolutely awesome experience and I definitely had to exercise restraint from buying the whole store! I did spend quite a bit, but think of how much I saved! I'm definitely going on an unofficial official spending ban now haha. I did pick up a few things before this trip though from the shops, but they'll be popping up on the blog soon enough.

Have you ever been to the EL Corporate Store? Do you want to?


Smelly Sunday | Smaug the Golden

Hey guys, for today's Smelly Sunday I have one of Lush's Bath Ballistics. I have the Dragon's Egg Bath Ballistic (hence the very Hobbit inspired title) which I was gifted very kindly for my birthday! I don't often take baths, maybe 3 times a year? As relaxing as they are, I find it much easier and time efficient to shower. In the winter time though, I love taking nice, hot and long baths and throwing in a bath bomb (or two!) along with other bath time pampers I don't usually get to use.

Usually I cut my larger bath bombs in half, but I decided, what the heck! Let's throw this mother in! Haha, it is described as 'Bath tub fireworks. Fizz. Froth. Fruity Fragrance - what more could you ask for?'. The scent on this one is overall quite citrus-y containing Lemon oil but also Bergamot oil which is a lovely addition. I really liked the smell of this, it smelt quite like sherbet with that 'fizzy' aspect. However, the smell was not as potent in the bath tub. For me, I honestly couldn't smell much. I don't know if it's just my bath bomb or nose, but I didn't experience the lovely aroma :( .

Onto the fun pics of it in the tub!

It took around 5 or so minutes to dissolve and it was quite fun to watch! The main colour emitted from this ballistic is an orangey golden shade which in theory looks very pretty. But! Once the bubbles and froth subside...well it looks like someone had a bit of an accident, or they are bathing in beer! So, the colour is not that appetising for the bath! Within the froth and such were tiny gold glitters which were quite fun but the bath had to have a bit of a rinse afterwards. The ballistic left the water feeling almost a bit creamy and moisturising the skin. The bubbles and orange foam did dissapate quite quickly though, leaving the afforementioned *ahem* pee colour. Like I said, I didn't detect much fragrance during and it didn't leave a scent on the skin.

To be quite honest, bath bombs don't excite me too much. I wouldn't purchase this (not that I really buy bath products anyways) but I would rather a bubble bar or bath melt next time! I did have a wonderful experience in the bath though. See you again next Winter, bath!

What are your favourite Lush bath ballistics/bubble bar/melt/etc?