Monthly Favourites // March 2014

'Tis that time again...favourites time! I am almost finished up all my assessment for my first term of grade 12 which is scary stuff! I'm excited though to get into the holidays (obvs) so that I can do some more bloggy things and also catch up on tv shows and books ;). Anyways, because I've just been at school (and attempting a spending ban, which will inevitably end with the coming of holidays) I haven't been using many new products. I did however manage to scrounge together a few things I've been enjoying this month!

If you guys didn't already know, I have pretty dang damaged hair which is the result of me having not had it trimmed for moooooonthss but it also means it's super long :) I am getting it cut soon anyways! I haven't been using any heat on it though so it's been better than it would usually. This leave in conditioner has an interesting consistency - one akin to a body lotion which makes it interesting to use. It says you can use it on dry hair, but I prefer it on damp hair as it rubs in and absorbs much better without making the hair feel weighed down or slightly greasy. My hair isn't particularly soft the next morning, but definitely feels nourished so I think their name of leave-in moisture is quite accurate. When I choose to do 'no heat curls' (twisting my hair into little bun danglies and pinning it (sort of like Princess Leia, but not)) and use this, I find it makes the curls much nicer and also my hair softer as it is soaking in it, as opposed to rubbing all over my pillow.

Trilogy Very Gentle Moisturising cream
This has been my night cream for a while now and one that I've really been enjoying. I mix it in with my rosehip/facial oil and the combination is really lovely and moisturising. It doesn't irritate my skin in the slightest (as the name would suggest) and I just find it to be a nice, basic moisturiser. Dry skins could even use this during the day I think.

Heroine Make Lasting Mineral BB cream in shade 2
As you know, my daily routine consists of using one of my three BB creams. Though I haven't been using this one everyday, I've been using it often and really like it. It deserves its own full review though so I won't go too in depth. I find this to be my highest coverage BB cream (light-medium but very buildable) and have the longest staying power. Seriously, this stuff controls oil and stays looking nice for the whole day. Even from 7am to 8pm I've only got an oily t-zone (which I would usually get with other products at 3 or 4pm). Awesome product!

Blush and Lip combo: Clarins Rouge Hydra Nude in 04 Nude Caramel and Tarte 12hr Amazonian Clay blush in Exposed
If I ever had a makeup habit, it would be that I match my lips and cheeks (thinking about doing a post about my fave lip-cheek combos) because using shades of completely different colour families seems weird to me - even though I haven't really tried it. Regardless, I think it looks nice to have a bit o' cohesion through the facial. My fave combo this month has been a subdued one and along the lines of nudey-pinky-mauve, though the lippy is a tad more peach. I've already done a full review on the lipstick, but one for the blush is yet to come. I do have a few gripes with the blush that I'll explain in the review, but ultimately I do really like it. Exposed gives a lovely natural nuded-rose flush to the cheeks that looks slightly sculpted.

What have been your favourites in March?


Omitted by Oil

Aaah, cleansing oils...the latest phenomena to jump from the Asian beauty world to the Western one! Although the cleansing oil I'm featuring today is from an Asian brand, cleansing oils have been making numerous appearances on the market in the US (drugstore prices!), so it's only a matter of time before they become more widely available here. The oil I'll be reviewing is from Hada Labo, I'm actually not sure what the proper name of this is as it's all in another language...but ya get the idea.

A lot of people might find the idea of smearing oil all over their face a bit disgusting, but when you think about it, it makes a lot of sense for good makeup removal as it breaks down even the toughest of makeup, just as long as it is practical amirite? 

The Hada Labo Cleansing Oil is the first one I've ever tried so I wasn't completely sure of what to expect, but I had high hopes. The texture is oily (duh) but it's not greasy, if that makes sense? I'm drawing conclusions to, like, cooking oils which probably isn't the best but hoping you know what I'm trying to say! The experience of using it is not as unpleasant as you might think, I actually find the worst bit is when you're rinsing it off. Basically, you rub/massage the oil into your dry face to break down all the makeup. Then you mix it with a bit of water to 'emulsify' it. I find the rinsing process a bit messy as the water runs down my arms, gross makeupy-dirty-ness splatters all over the sink, etc. I find it easiest just to wet my hands slightly and go from there. I also find that although it doesn't leave an oily residue after rinsing, some of the water-oil mixture gets in my eyes and blurs my vision which is pretty annoying but I go straight to the shower and wash my face etc, and it clears up. It doesn't sting my eyes though which is a plus! In terms of makeup removal, it removes pretty much everything really well. It breaks down waterproof mascara giving you that panda eye situation, but actually removing the smudgy mess is a little harder. It doesn't come off during the rinsing process so a second cleanse is key (I would always cleanse properly after anyway). Apart from that, I find it really effective and removes basically everything with no discomfort, dryness or residue after.

Although it took a little getting used to, using a cleansing oil to remove makeup has been a really easy, gentle way that gets rid of basically everything! While Hada Labo's version is nice, I feel like there could be better out there, which hopefully I will get the chance to try out!

Have you tried a cleansing oil before? What are your thoughts?


NOTD // Space Jam

Although I've been a bit of a nail junkie for something like two years now, and wanted to try ALL the finishes there were, I'd never tried a holographic polish until recently because I was too lazy to order online. When I spotted this polish on clearance, I snatched it up as holographic polishes are rare on the drugstore scene. Today I'll be featuring Sportsgirl Space Jam which I do think was limited edition (as typical with Sportsgirl polishes) but I really wanted to show it!

Being my first holo polish, I wasn't exactly sure what to expect, also because I'm not too familiar with the different holo finishes/effects. Space Jam's holo effect is not as strong as others I've seen as it is densely packed full of fine, micro holographic glitters. Although the effect is slightly more subtle and from afar looks more like a silver nail polish, when they catch the light, each glitter sparkles and reflects a rainbow of colours. The effect is absolutely gorgeous and eye catching, but also hard to capture on camera. You might be able to see it a bit better in this photo. The glitters are very densely packed and it only took two coats to achieve the opacity shown. However, the glitters dry down to an almost textured finish, being quite gritty and therefore require top coat to allow the holographic particles to sparkle. It actually took four coats of Revlon Colorstay top coat to get the shiny and smooth finish you see here. This also meant that wear time was amazing - over a week with little chipping. It's also a bit of a hassle but what can ya do with a top coat hungry polish. Because of this, removal was a bit of a bitch, but what's new with glitter polishes?

I did absolutely love the effect of this polish as it still appears neutral, but up close it is absolutely gorgeous and something that grabs the compliments! In future I'll probably use my Essence Peel off Basecoat to make removal easier, but it's definitely worth the extra effort. You guys know I really love Sportsgirl polishes for having innovative polishes that often go on sale, so I definitely recommend checking them out!

Have you tried a holographic nail polish before?


An Oxymoron

Matte lip products have been making a serious appearance on the market lately, those and lip laquers. Regardless, I'm liking it! With the imminent release of the Revlon Colourburst Matte lip crayons I was hungering for some matte lippies and with the Revlon display completely empty, I spontaneously checked out the L'oreal stand and stumbled across the Colour Riche Moisture Matte Lipsticks. L'oreal was on 30% off at Target and the shade Cherry Crush jumped out at me. I saw, I swatched, I bought.

First lip swatch ever! Only because I had all my makeup done...

I've heard pretty much nothing about these lipsticks as they are quite new so they caught me by surprise! I'm usually not so frivolous with my purchases, but the colour was stunning and it felt really nice when I swatched it! Firstly though, the packaging is absolutely top notch. It definitely feels like something more high end - although  I do consider L'oreal to be the 'high end' of the drugstore. It's sleek, sturdy and snaps shut. The gunmetal-bronze exterior actually makes it look quite luxurious. I also like the little bubble on the front that shows the shade of the lipstick.

The description provided on the website is pretty spot on, if not a little ambitious. The formula is like none other that I've ever tried though! It has a  velvet matte finish, which isn't totally dry or powdered looking, but doesn't retain much sheen at all. Despite this, the lipstick is so creamy. It glides on without 'skipping' over the lips. The way it feels on the lips is truly lovely. It's almost airy? I find it similar in finish and feel to the NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams but lighter - the NYX is a thicker, liquid-cream consistency. The Moisture Matte lipsticks basically feel weightless on the lips. It is pigmented but not like WHAPOW! PIGMENT! Haha, it gives you a bit of leeway to build it to full opacity or a slightly lighter layer. L'oreal does describe the lipstick as having jojoba oil to provide "intense moisture". I wouldn't say it's particularly moisturising but it isn't drying at all, which is unique for a matte lipstick. You might be able to see in the lip swatch that I do have some dryness/slight flakiness but the lipstick doesn't accentuate it badly at all in comparison to even some glossier products! The staying power is definitely there (4+ hours with slight staining) but will need reapplication after eating as you get some wear through the centre of the lips.

The shade Cherry Crush was the only one that really jumped out to me - though they do have a beautiful berry/fuschia and orange! Being a very 'me' colour, Cherry Crush is a warm toned, peach leaning light to medium pink shade. I find it very wearable but still quite bright and youthful. I absolutely adore the shade and can see it becoming a favourite, coupled with its formula!

Seriously, this lipstick has now raised my standard of matte lippies. If the Revlon crayons don't live up to it...I will probably be disappointed! These L'oreal Colour Riche Moisture Matte lipsticks retail for AUD$21.95.

Have you tried these Moisture Matte lipsticks? An oxymoron that actually describes the formula perfectly!


Conceal, don't Feel

Hey guys! Today I have a review on Maybelline's Fit Me concealer which I have in the shade Medium. This concealer has been raved about by many and even claimed to be an almost dupe for the NARS Radiant Creamy concealer! Though I haven't tried that one (boy, would I love to!), I have established my thoughts on the more inexpensive offering.

Just in case it wasn't obvious enough that I was referencing Frozen, because reasons. Also, Elsa displaying the product with her usual flair ;)

Swatched, blended

The concealer is packaged in a nice slim and compact tube, however it is not the most robust. My friend's tube has started leaking and causing all sorts of trouble. Though I haven't experienced that yet (and hopefully won't), the tube can get a bit grubby, and concealer caking around the spouty-opening-thing. It has a very small doe-foot applicator though which holds a decent amount of product - I tend to wipe the it off on the edge of the tube - and its small size makes it quite precise and provides a very quick application.

Undoubtedly, this concealer has a very nice formula. It's a thin, creamy liquid consistency that works well in all areas of the face; from blemishes to bags. Unlike other concealers I've tried, this doesn't accentuate dry patches or areas of the face too badly - unless it's a particularly flaky spot. Similarly, it doesn't crease, look cakey or dry when used on the under eye area. Coverage wise, I'd say it's medium to full in the spectrum of concealers. I tend to apply and blend with the Real Techniques Deluxe Crease brush which sheers it out a little, but blends it quickly and seamlessly into the skin.When blended and patted into the skin, the coverage is much better. Either way it looks natural and light on the skin! The staying power is decent, lasting ten hour days with some fading and it can look a little dry in parts as time goes on, while it does stay reasonably well on oilier parts. Bear in mind I always set with a powder.

The Fit Me range of products boasts having shades for everyone - at least I think that's the idea. They do have a decent range of shades though, and with differing undertones. Medium seems to be a pretty good match for me, yellow toned and if anything a tad dark for some of my base products.

I do thoroughly enjoy this concealer and it has been a quick and easy product to use in the mornings. It's still probably not the best concealer I've ever tried (though I haven't tried many), but it will satisfy my desire for the NARS for the mean time! The Fit Me concealer retails for AUD$14.95.


The Lipstick Tag

I was recently tagged by Cherie from Cherry Picking, and Monica & Lin from Twoplicates to do the Lipstick tag. Lipstick is probably my second favourite makeup item next to blush, so when I saw this tag floating around I was very eager to do it, so thank you girls for tagging me!

Fun Fact (courtesy of my friend Tam!): In Medieval Europe, lipstick was banned by the church and was thought to be used as an 'incarnation of Satan'. Scandalous!

1. How many lipsticks do you own?
I was actually a bit afraid to count, but it's not terribly bad - about medium compared to other bloggers' tags I've read. I own 37 lipsticks and my total lip product number comes to 69 (excluding clear lip balms). Considering I only wear about three on any sort of a daily basis, it's definitely too much! Also especially in comparison to other 'normal' girls my age who probably don't even own any lipsticks! I will say though that a lot (basically the whole third row was from my Mum) were handed down, gifted or won in a giveaway so technically I haven't spent too much money on them! I would love to wear all my lipsticks, all the time but considering I'm still in school it's not really possible :S

2. What was the first lipstick you owned?
Apart from my huge Lip Smackers collection that I had when I was little, and the various lip balms along the way, my first lipstick was a hand me down from a GWP from my Mum. She only wears one shade of lipstick (dark red), so any other shade gathered in her drawers until I snatched them up! The first I really loved and started wearing from that bunch was Estee Lauder Signature Lipstick in Venetian Rose.

3. What is your favourite lipstick brand?
To be honest, I don't think I really have one, but if I had to choose it would probably be MAC. Just because, they have a huge range of colours and finishes where I think there is something for everyone.

4. What is your most worn lipstick?
Probably Essence All about Cupcake which is a great MLBB, pinky-nude shade that is slightly sheer, slightly glossy and very cheap!

5. What is your favourite finish?
Something slightly sheer (but still with medium pigment) with a lightweight and creamy texture that is slightly moisturising. Something like the L'oreal Nutri-Shine lipsticks or MAC Cremesheens.

6. What was the last lipstick you bought?
The last lipstick I bought was from my last haul, the Clarins Rouge Hydra Nude lipstick in the shade 04 Nude Caramel. I picked this up on a whim when I saw it for only $10. I have a review of it up here, but the formula is quite similar to the finish mentioned above, and the shade is a lovely peachy-brown-nude.

7. How many lip products do you currently have in your bag?
Well, considering I don't carry a handbag with me everyday, I can't really answer this question. I do, however, keep my Nivea Lip Butter in my pencil case at school. When I go out, I usually only take my lip balm and the product I'm wearing that day. I'm pretty good with clearing out my bag after - mostly because I'm so anal with my makeup collection, it all has to stay in the one place!

8. What is your favourite red lip colour?
To be honest, I don't wear red lipsticks very often but in my collection, my favourite has to be Napoleon Perdis Devine Goddess lipstick in shade Aphrodite. It's slightly lighter than it looks in the bullet (it's more like the shade you see in the bottom of the tube), but it's an amazing, bold blue-toned red that looks dayum stunning on. The formula is also super pigmented, but still creamy and long wearing.

9. How do you store your lipsticks?
I store my lipsticks in a drawer of my Keji 4 drawer set from Officeworks that is cheap, yet mimics other acrylic makeup storage. They lay flat and I'm really weird about having them 'tessellate' (I'm SUCH a nerd), hence why all the rectangular ones are at the front. As you can see though, the drawer is preeeeetty much full up so I think I'll be buying some sort of lipstick holder soon.

10. Which lipstick(s) are you currently lusting after?
Lots. Of the more high-end spectrum, I've got MAC Crosswires, the YSL Rouge Volupte Shines and the NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencils on my wishlist (and probably countless others that aren't springing to mind right now). On the more realistic side, I can't wait to get my hands on the Revlon Colorburst Matte Balms and the newly reformulated Rimmel Moisture Renew lipsticks.

Gee that tag was pretty fun! I tag Sheri, Vanessa, Yige, Lulu and Nhi if you haven't already done it, and anyone else who would like to!


Creamy Contour

Finding the perfect contour shade and product has been a bit of a struggle, it also doesn't help that I'm a complete noob when it comes to contouring. I can never fake that glorious shadow-line of a well carved cheekbone. One product that has quickly become a favourite though in helping me look like I have moderately okay cheekbones is the Illamasqua Concealer in shade CC325. I snagged this on clearance for only $6 and thought, why not give it a go for cream contouring?

swatched, blended

Despite this being marketed as a concealer, I have doubts that it would work well as one. The formula is a very stiff and dry cream that honestly doesn't feel creamy or emollient at all - even when 'warmed up' with a finger. I think that its dry formula would cling to dry skin making it ineffective on blemishes, and I expect that it would be drying or cakey looking on the under-eyes. However, when used with a brush (my personal fave is the Real Techniques Contour Brush) it transfers amazingly. It's like its a powder (but more stiff, and obviously not powdery), but it kind of just 'melds' into the skin when blended with a brush. The edges are diffused but is still precise, it looks natural and never obvious - which is exactly what you want when it comes to contouring (NO body wants a brown line down the side of their face!). I feel like with fingers it can apply a bit patchily (the swatches above) but I don't find that's an issue with a brush. Although it's very dry, it doesn't dry to a powder, the texture is very hard to explain! Regardless, I also find the staying power of the product to be absolutely stellar. It lasts much better than any typical cream blush type product and even better that some powders. I suspect this is due to its dry nature so it really sets and sticks to the skin, hanging around till the end of the day.

Shade wise, it's pretty awesome too. It's probably the darkest brown in my collection. It is warm but doesn't give off any orange tones at all, it looks very natural and even quite convincing despite my cack-handed approach! It's a shade or two darker than the contour shade in my Sleek kit, and cooler in tone. It's probably most similar to my e.l.f bronzer from the St Lucia blush/bronzer duo, however that one contains shimmer and it probably a bit warmer.

Overall, the shadow this gives is very natural and when used with the right brush can really mimic somewhat of a cheekbone! Woo hoo! Haha, I'm really glad I picked this up and it will be filling the void of a contour shade very well!


On the Daily

What with me back at school again, I've settled back into the routine of using similar, if not the same products during the week. My daily makeup is nothing extravagant - especially considering there is a no makeup rule at my school (shh...). I tend to opt for a natural look, covering my main imperfections and making myself look a bit healthier and more awake. I thought I would share the selection of products I've been using on the daily and my thoughts on them!

I store my daily makeup in my MUJI 2 drawer narrow acrylic box set with flip top lid so that it is all conveniently in one place and so that I won't have to go rummaging through my main makeup storage. I really love this little box set, it's nice and sleek and I wish that my whole storage was MUJI! I often rotate what is in here sometimes daily, or weekly depending on if I want to wear a particular product/whatever I'm feeling. A lot of the products here are constant though.

Biore UV Perfect Face Milk
I've already talked about this in a Monthly Favourites and a full review will be coming soon. This has been my sunscreen of choice as it is so thin it feels like nothing on the skin, and it also mattifies my skin slightly, to the point that I actually notice my skin not being as oily as usual by the end of the day! Also it has an amazingly high SPF.

For my base I will almost always reach for one of my BB creams, this one being my most used. A nice, light almost moussey cream consistency that has a satin finish. A quite light coverage and smooths on easily with fingers. 

Maybelline Fit Me Concealer in Medium
My latest concealer addition. I find it really quick to apply to any spots and scars with the doe foot applicator then blend with the Real Techniques Deluxe Crease Brush. It's a really good shade match, and while the coverage isn't totally full, it's still very good, looks natural and doesn't cling to dry patches.

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Dark Circle Eraser in Brightener
I don't use this everyday but when I feel like I have any dark circles or my face needs brightening up I reach for this. I apply it underneath my BB cream as it is quite pale and pink. It does a good job of concealing and brightening, and has a lovely thin consistency that blends well and doesn't cake/settle.

The only brow-filler-inner product I own and it's been fulfilling the job now for over a year. A lovely shade for my brows and I find powder looks much more natural than pencil. I use the Real Techniques Brow Brush which is a bit thicker but actually makes the job much quicker. I also forgot to photograph my Essence Lash and Brow Gel Mascara which I use everyday to set them. It's probably for the best actually as my tube is looking pretty gunky!

Rimmel Lash Accelerator Endless Mascara
I don't wear mascara everyday but depending on the weather, I will use this or the L'oreal Telescopic Waterproof mascara. If I want to hold a curl I'll use the L'oreal, but otherwise I've been using this one a lot. I really like the brush as I find it applies the product well by grasping all my lashes - it's not too big either. The formula is very natural and a bit wispy which is generally how I like my mascaras. It slightly lengthens and thickens without clumping. You don't get a lot of volume with this though.

Australis Fresh and Flawless Pressed Powder in Darkest Brown
I tend to powder nearer the end so my face makeup has had a chance to settle into my skin. This powder is really nice and one of the gems available on the Australian drugstore scene. It adds a tad more coverage, mattifies and sets with a satin finish and is a really soft, smooth powder. I think I might be hitting pan on this soon!

I've mentioned this countless times so I'll spare the spiel. It's lovely to warm up the face and put a bit more dimension back into my face without contouring. Depending on whether or not my base is a bit pale for me, I'll either go heavier or lighter with this.

One of my favourite blushes - a beautiful warm pink-peach with a slight golden shimmer that isn't too apparent on the skin. Complements my skin tone well and is just a lovely shade to add a bit of colour to the face. I tend to change up my blush shade quite often, but this one is a fail safe.

I use the Real Techniques Blush Brush for those three powder products.

I always like to coordinate my lip colour with my blush shade and this gloss is a really pretty peachy-pink that goes well with Desk to Date. I tend to apply this lightly so that it's only the slightest wash of colour. The formula is really nice - non-sticky and even slightly moisturising.


Caramel Coat

Nude lipsticks and I don't mix. Pale lipsticks tend to look horrific on me - they clash with my skin tone, settle into my lip lines and just look plain pasty. Not to mention, they make me look dead and my face devoid of colour! I'm always jealous of the girls who can pull of lovely nudes with little other makeup on. I'd resigned to the fact that I would never find the nude for me, until I stumbled across the Clarins Rouge Hydra Nude lipstick in 04 Nude Caramel.

First of all, I picked it up for only $10 on clearance at a local Terry Whites chemist which is an absolute steal for a high end lipstick! It doesn't seem to be on any of Clarins' official websites though, but I did find it on various department store sites, so I'm not sure if it's been discontinued or not. I didn't just buy it because it was cheap though, when I swatched it I thought "hey, this is a nude that would probably work for me!".

The packaging is absolutely gorgeous. Although it appears luxurious, it is a very lightweight tube with a plastic lid and a hollow metal base. The lid is translucent with an ombre effect. It also has a notch with a 'C' written on it which I thought was a cute detail.

The formula was also something I noticed straight away when I swatched it for the first time. Being named Rouge Hydra Nude, you would expect something hydrating which is what you get. The formula is very similar to other sheer lipstick/balm hybrids - Revlon Lip Butters, L'oreal Nutri-shine lipsticks, etc. but this offering is probably my favourite. It has a thin, emollient formula that isn't glossy, but isn't satin either. I think this helps it wear a little better as it's not as slippy. It feels extremely light on the lips and almost feels like nothing besides the comfort of soft feeling lips. It is slightly moisturising and doesn't cling to dry patches or settle into lines. To me, it feels very similar on the lips to the Face of Australia Glossy Lip Crayons but a bit thinner as it's not as glossy. The pigmentation is good, it's sheer but not too translucent - if that makes sense. The nude colour still shows up on my lips but doesn't look thick or like a layer of lipstick. The wear time is pretty good for a sheer lipstick, it lasts around four hours but will need touching up after eating. The lipstick does have a faint scent as well. It's sort of sweet and vanilla-ry, whilst also being lipstick-y? I really enjoy it but it doesn't linger on the lips.

Nude Caramel is a delicious sounding name and one that describes the colour pretty perfectly. The shade is a peachy-brown-nude with a depth that I would describe as being medium on the scale of nudes. For some reason I think of this as a darker, more brown version of MAC Shy Girl even though I've never swatched that lipstick. Being slightly sheer, my lip colour comes through slightly but it still blanks out the mauvey-brown shade of my lips. I'd describe it as a MLBB nude as it's not pale or concealer-y, only slightly lighter than my natural lip colour. It's very flattering on my skintone and could be worn with a no makeup makeup look to a smokey eye.

I think I've finally found the colour family of nudes that suit me! I've been wearing this a lot, and I'd say it's even become a staple shade in my collection!