Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Haul: Mecca Maxima

MECCA MAXIMA is probably the closest thing Australia is going to have to a Sephora. Sydney opened the first two stores last week in Parramatta Westfield and Warringah Mall. They are a chain to Mecca Cosmetica but bigger and with a wider range of products across 100 brands.

I spent a good half hour just swatching and browsing through the store and picked out a few items that I had always wanted where prices were not as inflated compared to overseas or online beauty sites.

The first product to go into my basket was the GlamGlow Youth Mud which has received a lot of hype due to its apparent magical radiance after just 10 minutes on the face.  I haven't used it yet and I will try to write an in depth review for this product once I have used it a couple of times to see if it is indeed as miraculous as Nina Dobrev claims it to be! This was AUD $75 for a jar of 50mL which I don't think is too expensive as they are around USD 69 from Sephora.

The next product that I wanted to try was the BareMinerals foundation. I have seen so many beauty gurus use this product but have always dismissed it as I've never been a mineral cosmetics enthusiast. And powder foundation just didn't sit right with me. But after seeing it used as a make up setting powder which offered another layer of coverage, I was hooked and needed to try it out. Anything light with heavy coverage I will welcome with open arms (and credit cards). 

The sales was super nice and we chatted about my pregnancy and her babies. She matched me to the colour W10 Golden Fair which is my current colour. She warned me that it might become a little too light if I planned to get some tan during the summer. But with a newborn coming in the next two weeks, I don't think I'll be hitting the beach too often! I used this over my Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua (as I did not want a thick foundation underneath this powder) and the finished result is so dewy. Almost too dewy. I'm not sure if its because the Vitalumiere Aqua is so moisture rich that the powder just got absorbed into it or whether the original formula of the BareMinerals foundation is meant to have a dewy finish. (I know there is a Matte version of this powder foundation available). The finish is not too thick at all and have almost a no makeup feel to it which I am thoroughly enjoying. This was AUD $34.95. Which is a lot cheaper than I thought it would be. Cosmeticsnow.com.au is selling it for $35 and beautybay.com has it for $36 and thats the "on special" price as well!

After trying on the foundation, I thought "what the heck, may as well try out the infamous Well Rested under eye concealer. The sales applied it on my under eyes with a dome shadow brush which puzzled me and it didn't blend out at all. But being a self anointed make up expert (ha.ha.) I overlooked this as I know my Real Techniques setting brush will make it all ok. But to my dismay, the well dressed was out of stock :( I swatched Summer Bisque next to Well Rested and the colour was very very similar with well resteded just a bit more warmer and yellow toned. And I was fine with that. Summer Bisque was AUD $24.95 which again was cheaper than online which baffled me. Had these prices gone down recently?

I haven't used a pen liner in about 2 years. I love how convenient and easy to use/control they are but one thing that bugged me all the time was that eye shadow would transfer onto the tips of the liner, making it 1. blunt and 2. blocks the liquid from coming out of the tip. So I usually end up having to throw away a liner not because there was no more product but because it was no longer making its way down to the tips. Recently I have been using the MAC fluid line gel liner everyday and I'm sad to say it has gotten to the end of it's lifespan. So what better time to try out this Eyeko Skinny Liquid Liner. It is very easy to glide on, the colour comes out beautifully and I'm loving the control I have over it. Due to the fact that I have used a brush applicator to apply my fluid line for the past 2 years, I'm not yet used to the pen tip. It literally feels like I'm dragging a sharpie across my lids at the moment. This retails for RRP $18.95 and beautybay.com has it for $17.70 so again not much difference.

Again, as Mecca Maxima is new to Sydney, each customer purchase over $65 will receive a GWP gift. It contains a 30mL Philosophy cleanser (which smells amazing! the whole box smells of this product), a 15mL Clinique Super Primer, a full size Lancome Vintage Rose Lipstick and a Living Proof full thickening cream for hair. Because I purchased a fair bit of products, the sales was kind enough to offer me 2 sets of these which I am dying to try out.

Thanks for reading through my rant. I'd love to hear your opinions on the GlamGlow Youth Mud as I have yet to try it!

xo Kristen

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Swatch: Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain

Recently there was a Revlon promotion at Priceline where you can get 3 products for the price of 2. I wasn't really interested in anything until I saw the 5 Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain gift set. Being a huge, huge, HUGE fan of the Clinique Chubby Sticks, I was excited to try out Revlon's cheaper alternative. 

Doing some quick math, if I were to pick out 2 more Balm Stains, the total of each stain would come to $8.30 after the promotional discount. The usual RRP is $17.95 each. WIN! The colors included in the Gift set are:
010 Darling
015 Cherish
020 Lovesick
040 Rendezvous
055 Adore

And the two extra that I picked out from the permanent range are:
001 Honey
045 Romantic

From L-R: Honey, Cherish, Darling, Lovesick, Rendezvous, Romantic, Adore

These balm stains are quite glossy. And I feel that the colour intensifies over time (so it does work as a stain!) But I am a bit undecided about whether I like the scent of these stains. They have a minty/tiger balm scent to them. I haven't tasted it but I wouldn't imagine it to be pleasant. So this is my only downside for these stains compared to the fragrance-free Clinique Chubby sticks.

Swatch from L-R: Honey, Cherish, Darling, Lovesick, Rendezvous, Romantic, Adore

This is one wipe with tissue (no make up remover used)

Of these colours, I would probably only wear Honey, Lovesick, Romantic and Adore on a daily basis. Honey is my most favorite for a pinky nude lip. I hear Revlon have released "Lacquer Stains" and also a Matte range of the balm stains in America and I can't wait to try them when they arrive in Australia. I am such a sucker for Matte lip products!

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer

The Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer is my second "Youtube made me buy it" product for this month. After watching all the reviews, I needed this humungous 18gram jar of concealing goodness in my collection. 

My current holy grail concealer is the Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage concealer and these two products can't be anymore different. First is the texture. LM is a solid and dry-to-the-touch cream which needs to be warmed underneath your fingertips prior to application. It also doesn't spread so much upon application (which I guess is also why it's such a great concealer because it doesn't move at all) and has to be blotted on using stippling motions. The Kevyn Aucoin SSE is creamy soft and if you don't use a light touch, you're likely to get too much product on your finger. It is so rich and creamy that the smallest amount can be spread over a substantial surface area with fairly high coverage.

The colour that findation.com matched me to was SX04 which is light with yellow undertones. I did find a little bit of creasing under the inner corners of my eyes. But i still consider this to be a small flaw which can be overlooked once I set it with Laura Mercier's Secret Brightening Powder. 

This small jar of goodness is fairly pricey. I purchased it from yesstyle.com.au for AUD$58. However, LM Secret Camouflage was $49 for half the amount of product, so in the end it seems worthwhile. I am definitely interested in trying out more of Kevyn Aucoin's products. The packaging for some is so slick and absolutely elegant. 

Have you used Kevyn Aucoin products? Is there anything you could recommend me to try for next time?

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Jouer Matte Moisture Tint

This is one of those "Youtube made me buy it" products. Namely, Missglamorazzi made me buy it. Self-diagnosed with oily skin, I usually flinch at the idea of a tinted moisturizer. They make me look as if I have a layer of cling wrap wrapped around my face and causes all products applied on my face to change GPS locations. Not to mention their known lack of coverage which my acne scarred skin needs to stay away from. But after seeing Ingrid's applications and reviews, it seemed that this product was;
1. lightweight on the skin
2. had build able coverage
3. had a matte finish

I was sold. All my adolescent years, I had wished to have flawless, makeup free skin. And this might just be the product to offer me that no-makeup makeup effect. Now Jouer is very hard to come by in Australia, infact, if you don't follow the beauty blogosphere, chances are, you'll never even know about this brand. I purchased mine from a korean website yesstyle.com.au for AUD$52 and used findation.com to find my colour match. 

Upon squeezing out my first dollop, I noticed it had a mousse texture rather than the creamy smoothness of usual tinted moisturizers. I buffed it into my skin with a flat top kabuki and I must say, it wears like a dream. It is lightweight, similar to Giorgio Armani's Maestro but covers up spots and pigmentation like Covergirl's Outlast Stay Fabulous foundation. I think this will definitely become a staple base product for me this coming summer. Set with a loose setting powder, I don't think I can go wrong ;)

The moussey texture can be seen from this swatch

Blended out

Friday, 4 October 2013

Monthly Marvels - September

During the month of September, I have bought an above average amount of beauty products. None of which I actually needed but all of which I had to have to make me happy. The first lot are drugstore products which I picked up from Priceline during their September “30 days of fashion & beauty” sales.

There has been a lot of hype around the Covergirl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3 in 1 (primer, foundation and concealer) foundation. And I must admit, it has become one of my favourite drugstore foundations. It is very light weight with medium to buildable full coverage. I definitely think it is comparable to Loreal’s True Match. I still use a primer although it’s is already included in the foundation just to give my oily-combo skin a little more help. RRP $19.95 (but keep an eye out for sales, I purchased this for $10)

Covergirl & Olay simply ageless eye concealer. I purchased this product after seeing the reviews from Missglamorazzi and Casey Holmes. It is a very moisturizing which does not crease once setting powder is applied. This colour 215 is a perfect match against my skin tone but I have also added 210 to my wishlist to see if the lighter colour can brighten up my under-eyes more. RRP $17.95

Real Techniques Expert Face Brush. Oh my goodness, why has it taken me this long to discover this brush? It is by far one of the best brushes for applying liquid foundation that I have ever used. It blends out the foundation evenly without any streaking. Available on iherb.com for $8.99

Rimmel Apocalypse in Celestial. Very pigmented neutral pink glass. It does not stain the lips and has a nice scent to it which is a bonus. Approx $10 on asos.com

Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer and Hourglass Veil Foundation. I hadn’t heard much about this foundation prior to walking into Mecca Cosmetica. It’s not a common product that Youtube Gurus review or mention. And I have no idea why that is because this foundation is A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. I think I might even love it more than my all time favourite foundation: Dior Capture Totale. I definitely find myself reaching for this Hourglass duo more. It is quite pricey but I think a good base is definitely worth the splurge, especially for us girls with the super oily t-zones. I will definitely do a detailed product review for these in another post. Primer RRP $79 & Foundation RRP $87 from Mecca.

Mary Lou-manizer. You need it in your life. That’s all I have to say really. Just get it, you won’t regret it. AvaiMac paintlable on feelunique.com for AUD $21. (bargain!)

MAC Paintpot in Painterly. I used to use Bare Study as a base for eyeshadow but due to its creamy white shimmer, it alters the true colour of the eyeshadows that I apply on top of it. I have similar skin tone to Ingrid from Missglamorazzi and after seeing her use Painterly in 90% of her make up videos, I decided I needed it…on my face. This really is the perfect colour for my lids and doesn’t crease my eyeshadow for a good 8+ hours. RRP $35 from MAC.

MAC Pigment in Tan. I’m always skeptical about pigments as they are so messy and most of the time don’t tend to remain in the area that you first applied it. But after swatching this colour, I just couldn’t help myself and disregarded all reasoning. Turns out, it works great applied over Painterly and adds a soft subtle bronze shimmer to the middle of the lids (which is where I apply it. I sandwich it between an inner corner highlight – mary lou-manizer and a matte brown shadow for the outer crease). RRP $39 from MAC.

Nars Orgasm and Hoola Bronzer. These are re-discovered products. I haven’t used my Orgasm blush in over a year and had forgotten how much I loved this blush. I asked my dad to buy the Hoola bronzer for me earlier this year when he went to Hawaii but hadn’t really used it as I’m not usually big on bronzers/contouring. But recently due to my increasing pregnancy weight gain, I’ve been using it in an attempt to make my face appear smaller. It is a really natural matte finish that can be blended out or built up easily. I apply it using the RT stippling brush. Orgasm USD$29 from kissandmakeup.com. Hoola Bronzer USD$28 benefit.com.

FIIF Eyeshadow in color #58 . I purchased this whilst on holidays in China. I’ve never used it before and have just found out that this is the perfect subtle glitter over a brown matte shadow to add a little fun.

Hope you enjoyed.
K x.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

E.L.F. Essential Bronzing Brush & E.L.F. Studio Blush Brush

Having purchased quite a large haul from E.L.F. earlier this year, I was really surprisingly impressed with the quality of their products considering the pricing. In the haul I purchased a Studio powder brush (which is the one similar to a flat top kabuki foundation brush) and found it to be dense, soft and witnessed no signs of shedding. 

So in a recent purchase from Beautyjoint.com I decided to try some of their other brushes. These two brushes were a big disappointment. At $1.99 for the Essential Blushing, Bronzing and Blending Brush and $3.99 for the Studio Blush Brush you really get what you pay for. Not much! 

First up, the essential bronzing brush has hair that seems to be made out of hay. The hairs are not soft, not fine and they are certainly not dense. It is very thin in volume and does not make blending an easy job. Frankly, I can't imagine anyone to brush this up against their cheeks. Someone posted on makeupalley.com that this brush gets softer with use, but unfortunately I am not willing to test that theory out.

Next up is the Studio Blush Brush. This brush has much finer and softer hair which is silky smooth to the touch. I would definitely prefer to use this for bronzer than blush as it is quite tapered/pointed. I personally prefer my blush brushes to be more rounded and puffy because for me it blends out the blush more evenly for a natural hint of colour. I will keep this in my collection, however, if you are from Australia and looking for good quality medium price ranged cosmetic tools, i recommend Artiste from Priceline or Real Techniques. They are available from various websites for around $10 each.

Have you used E.L.F. brushes before? Which ones? And how did you find them?

Estee Lauder Illuminating Powder Gelee Blush - Tease

So of course my first blog post would have to be about one of 2013's most famous limited edition blushes. This Blush was released in the rest of the world earlier in the year around March and were long sold out before us Aussies even caught wind this product existed. It has been raved about by the likes of Tanya Burr, Zoella and just about every other Beauty Guru with a Youtube account. So of course, being a religious follower of holy grails products and monthly favourite videos, I HAD to have this blush in my collection.

It was a long wait. It was launched in Australia on 15th September. But of course, if it was on schedule something would be terribly wrong. So most stores didn't received any stock of it until days later and I was finally able to get my hands on the blush after going to about 5 different department stores. The Lauder staff actually used the "this is our last one" sales pitch on me which annoyed me a little bit as I hate sales people who feel the need to say this to push a sale. 

In terms of the product, I think it just might be a little bit too shimmery for me to wear on an everyday bases for just buying some groceries and running errands (in other words, for a housewife). It is just pink and silver shimmer from every angle that you look at it. It is gorgeously soft to the touch and applies like a dream but the staying power is not the best on the market. 

The soft creamy yet powdery texture has me hooked and I will definitely be on the lookout for more of Estee Lauders Powder Gelee products from now on.

This blush retails in Australia for a whopping $75 AUD. For those who don't know, it equals to about $71 USD with today's currency. Which is really, really, extremely unfair as temptalia.com mentioned this product retailed for $40 in America and Tanya Burr purchased hers for 30 Pounds in the UK.

Let me know if you have purchased this blush and how you find it. Do you love it or can you live without it?