Avid readers of this blog might read this post and think “geez, she’s predictable”. Yup, in this 2015 round up of ‘all things that have really spun my beauty wheels’ there’s a few products that I’ve waxed lyrical about before (yeah, you probably should have put a bet on at the TAB). However, just for a bit of balance, I’m pleased to report there’s a few notable mentions: A newer, product that changed my life; A product I tried in an emergency as my usual tried and tested option had run out – and I’ve never looked back. Oh and a product I initially thought was crap. Curious to see what’s made my 2015 Beauty Favourites? Keep reading! (more…)
I often get asked about my all-time favourite makeup products and I figured a round up of my ‘all time favourite’, ‘can’t live without’ products would make a great post. I guess this post could also be called “If my makeup bag got nicked, I’d replace it with…”
I raved about this in a recent favourites post: The Body Shop’s Instablur. LOVE…. I’ve been doing Crossfit for the last couple of months, in the middle of the working day, when I’ve had a full face on. Long story short, I leave, and I still have a full face on. My Sport-Billy colleague Nat, who runs at lunchtime, and also has oily skin, is also blown away at how makeup lasts with Instablur. I love it so much – I just bought my second tube this week! (more…)
The blog post where I wax lyrical about beauty products and food that made me happy in the month of September… As it turns out (it wasn’t planned), all of this month’s beauty faves fall into the ‘cheap and cheerful category’.
Maybelline have been on the money lately, pumping out products galore that are getting good reviews. Naturally I jumped on the bandwagon and bought a few things including this eyebrow pencil that’s got me most excited. Why? The colour is spot on for my dark brown caterpillars: It’s an affordable staple for your makeup kit; It has a 2mm pencil for precision AND a smudger that has a built in filling powder at the other end. The result is filled in, gap free eyebrows without that painted on ‘sharpie’ look that have been doing the rounds far too much in recent years! Top marks Maybelline! Price: $19.00.
LA Girl Glide Gel Liner (Paradise Purple)
I spotted a LA Girl cosmetics stand tucked away in the corner of my local Life Pharmacy (Rotorua) recently and got a little excited. Why? I’ve heard great things from fellow beauty bloggers about the LA Girl pro concealer and I was keen to see if other items from the range were rave worthy (Note, I still haven’t tried the concealer yet!). I got this purple eyeliner for NZ$9 and what a great surprise! I don’t usually hold ‘cheap’ eyeliners in high regard but this is stunning. The colour pay-off is brilliant, it applies super smooth (like a gel liner). It’s also waterproof and smudge-proof. Tick, tick and tick – and lastly, did you hear the price? Keep an eye out for these in your local Life Pharmacy. I’m sure I’ve seen this range in the Warehouse too (?). LA Girl is also widely available online.
Sleek Matte Me Lip Cream – Fandango Purple
The bold lip craze continues for me! This was an impulse purchase from Beauty Bliss (my favourite online beauty store at the moment). This is a matte finish liquid lipstick and I’ve rocked this regularly over the last two weeks and it’s one of two lippies going on my girl’s weekend away to Auckland this weekend (MAC Syrup is the other one, no surprise there). My only grumble is that it’s quite a drying formula. Applying lip balm five minutes before lip cream application is a must, as is slapping on more balm before you hit the sack at night. Other than that, the colour is intense, as is the staying power, it takes quite some effort to budge it. My nine year old, who loves his goodbye kiss and cuddle before school in the morning, is a fan: He doesn’t have to wipe away the lipstick marks on his cheek (cute). “Oh good, that one is colour stay”, he says before he launches in for a snuggle. Price? NZ$14.00. Buy it here. PS It easily removes with coconut oil on a cotton pad (my No1 makeup remover at the moment!).
Soap & Glory Clean on Me Shower Gel
I almost had a little orgasm in Postie Plus when I stumbled across some Soap & Glory products recently. I adore this range and my Mum and I went nuts shopping up a storm when we found the range in Boots in Bangkok two years ago. The smell of their products is…. sublime (kind of reminiscent of Miss Dior). I’m obsessed with this shower gel. Formula wise, it’s pretty bog standard to be honest, but the smell. Goodness. I’ve been having two showers a day, I’m so obsessed. NZ$10.
Toni & Guy Casual Sea Salt Texturising Spray
I love the ‘just got out of bed’ aka ‘just got back from the beach’ look. Unfortunately I have quite fine and silky hair and it takes a tonne of product (or a good swim at the beach) to achieve that look. Well, I live an hour from the beach and I’m lazy with my hair, so neither approach is particularly convenient.
Now, I’m not sure about achieving beachy looking waves from this delicious smelling sea salt spray, but I do get thick and full-volume looking hair after a good all-over spritz. I usually dry my hair (with a blow dryer or air dry) until it’s about 75% dry, then I spray the product on the damp ends and then scrunch away with my hands. I also use it when I wear my hair up: My hair has finally grown to shoulder length and a few spritz adds grit and texture so my hair complies with staying in a messy bun. I’m impressed, noting this is the first sea salt spray I’ve tried. NZ$18. Available from New World.
Eggplant, Feta, Sundried Tomato and Basil Rolls
These were the morsels of the month. I made these one quiet rainy Sunday afternoon during a Homeland binge session on Netflix (I know it seems a bit flash for a quiet Sunday, but the eggplant needed using, it was going to go off otherwise!). I adore eggplant, I lived at Lake Garda in Northern Italy for eight months on my OE and I practically gorged myself on melanzane. These are ‘easy as’ to make:
- Heat the oven to 180 degrees.
- Slice the eggplant into thin strips vertically (about 0.5cm thick).
- Brush both sides of the eggplant with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and place on a baking paper lined oven tray and roast until golden brown – about 20 mins. Turn after 10 minutes so they brown evenly.
- Whack a bit of feta down on the eggplant, top with a sundried tomato and a basil leaf (or a dollop of pesto). Roll up. Secure with a fancy-pants skewer (or toothpick, who cares) and scoff them back.
It was a hard cull this month to only identify five favourites. Here’s what made the cull!
Body Shop: All-in-One 5 Action Perfection Instablur & Colour Crush lipstick (240 Damson in Distress)
The Body Shop is getting mega brownie points from me this month with two products I’ve developed OCD over. I’ve got a bit of a long standing love affair with The Body Shop: I worked at their Bond Street store in London for a while (the busiest Body Shop in the world! FACT: In one week we had the following famous people through our doors: The Queen of Spain, Boy George, Anita Roddick and Derek from Coronation Street – no shit).
First up: Instablur – 5 Action Perfector: I feel a bit bad featuring this as this is the second primer in a month that’s made my favourites list (last month it was this one but the price makes my bum pucker). Holy smokes, Instablur product requires a STOP PRESS: It’s my beauty find of the YEAR (so far) and I could easily write an entire
blog post essay expressing my adoration for it. I’ve done a few makeup workshops and lessons lately: This is the product that’s making everyone’s “Must buy” list and I’m taking it into work next week for a demo. Shout out must go to the fabulous, helpful and knowledgeable Rotorua Body Shop ladies who have been wowing me with their customer service. They gave me a tester of Instablur to try out and they weren’t surprised to see me back a few days later to buy it – they know it’s the schizzle!
What’s so amazeballs about Instablur? This silicone primer does a bunch of important work: Reduces the appearance of pores; Helps hide blemishes; Smoothes out your complexion and, critically, as a foundation primer it extends the appearance of your makeup. But, the fifth reason (as stated on the Body Shop website) is the Number 1 reason I love it – “Shine controlling 12h”… Yeah, they’ve got that nailed! I’ve been applying Instablur after my moisturiser, prior to foundation for the last two weeks and I’m delighted to report it’s totally keeping my oily skin at bay. I had a full face on at a Crossfit session this week (bad form wearing makeup, I know) and everyone commented how good my makeup looked after (and I was actually about to die). At the very least, go in and ask for a tester! Trust me on this! Check it out online: The Body Shop. Price: NZ$46.25.
Second up is this Body Shop Colour Crush lipstick (colour 240 – Damson in Distress) I’ve been looking for a colour like this since winter started. I combed the MAC, Nars and Stila, stands at Wellington’s Kirkaldies and Stains looking for a suitable shade, to no avail. I tried Revlon, Maybelline, L’Oreal, along with every other mainstream brand under the sun, but nothing measured up to the colour in my head. So I was full of joy when I popped into the Body Shop on a whim, and there it was! Boom! It’s reasonably long-lasting (as long as any lippy lasts on me), not drying and full of bright and bold fuchsia goodness. This is the perfect winter lip brightener and seemingly my friends agree, after several of them have toddled off to get this after seeing me rock it. My husband also comments positively on the colour when I wear it (he knows his makeup). That’s always an affirming sign. On a side note, actually, sod it being a winter appropriate colour, I’ll be rocking this year round. Price: NZ$27.75
This monthly round-up of beauty and foodie goodness is overdue, did anyone notice I didn’t do one last month? I had my hands full and I just couldn’t get laptop time! Sorry folks. I hope this one makes up for it 🙂 Enjoy! Lou x
Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Foundation
I’ve been hankering after a Bourjois foundation for ages: I’ve heard from a variety of sources that they are top notch. However, Bourjois was only available overseas, until…. I stumbled across a stand in Farmers! I was euphoric. Bourjois, which used to be owned by Chanel, is a well-known French brand that I use regularly when I lived in Paris in my early twenties. To celebrate their NZ launch I treated myself, courtesy of my Farmers beauty points, to a foundation.
In terms of coverage, Healthy Mix Serum offers a medium to full finish, which, as a lover of a relatively light finish I need to be careful with. So, I use about three-quarters of a pea sized to do my whole face (or a whole pea for a night out), taking my time to buff it in thoroughly with a foundation buffing brush. The finish is flawless, it covers all of my acne scars, takes away any redness. The best thing is that it lasts pretty much a full day on my slippy skin: You can still tell I’ve got it on at 5pm (though I’ve noticed it lasts longer with a primer). This is, hands-down, the best foundation I’ve come across – in fact, I haven’t used any of my other foundations since I got this five weeks ago. I got shade 53 ‘Light Beige’ which gets brownie points for having a yellow undertone, which is rare to find: Despite getting a lot of my foundations colour matched they always seem to develop have a pink undertone, which I dislike after a few hours wear on my pale (yet olive) skin.
Available from: Farmers. Price: NZ$40. (more…)
Is it just me, or do these monthly favourite blog posts rock around super fast?
Jordana Blackberry Lipstick
Right, let’s get this out of the way, yes, I bought a $4 lipstick from my local 1,2,3 Shop (i.e. $2 shop) and it’s CRANKING HOT. It’s so good my work colleague Lauren went and bought one as well and she’s rocking it daily. It’s the perfect winter shade, it’s a deep berry colour with a slight sheen finish to it and it applies smooth and pigmented. It’s also got a scent that is reminiscent of my youth when I played with Strawberry Shortcake dolls (but I can’t remember which doll). I mention this as some people will be put off by this.. Oh and the packaging is as you’d expect for $4 (pretty shoddy). Skin tone wise Blackberry is pretty versatile: It looks great on my super ghostly winter complexion and Lauren looks like a supermodel wearing it with her deep tanned olive skin tone. Beauty on a bargain. Happy times. PS I reckon lovers of MAC’s Rebel lipstick will adore Blackberry. Price: NZ$4. Available: Keep an eye out for a Jordana stand at your local $2 or 1,2,3 Shop.
Here’s the round-up of my beauty and foodie favourites for the month of April!
MAC Whole Lotta Love Pro Longwear Blush
I’ve had this hot pink/red blush for ages, lost it, refound it again (under the passenger seat of my car) and I’m not letting it out of my sight. Whole Lotta Love is a Pro Longwear blush that was recommended to me at Britomart’s Pro Mac store. I mentioned to the sales assistant that I was in the market for a new blush, something that had no coral or peach tones (as I seem to own a tonne of these). I was steered in the direction of some bright pink in the form of Whole Lotta Love. I was nervous I’d ended up looking like a dolly, but clearly, I didn’t. Certainly a super light hand is needed with this bright pink blush, but I love the ‘just got back from exercise’ look it gives my complexion, along with the awesome pigmentation and long lasting wear. This is my first Pro Longwear Blush – and I’m going to predict it won’t be my last. Note the pic below doesn’t quite show how vibrant it is!
I’m sure I only just hit ‘publish’ on my 2015 favourites – and now it’s time for January’s faves! I struggled to limit what made my ultimate favourites this month, as there’s been loads of makeup I’m loving (partly as a result of my USA haul arriving when my little brother paid courier delivery man on his holiday home to NZ). Here’s what made my relentless cull!
L’oreal Volume Million Lashes Mascara (waterproof)
I’ve had a few doozies with impulse purchase mascaras in the last year, but I hit the jackpot this time with Volume Million Lashes Mascara: It’s a game-changer that has BOOTED Maybelline’s Falsies Mascara out of my first place ranking. Why? We’ve had a hot and muggy summer here in Hawke’s Bay and even with the Falsies (waterproof), I’ve got unattractive black mascara smudges up around my browbone (cheers mugginess and oily eyelids). I had resigned myself to just putting up with smudging in the summer. Cue Volume Million lashes: Boom! No smudging, no budging: This stuff stays put all day and I have long spidery and super volumised lashes!
Oh, I also love how it applies quite dry. Let me explain: Have you encountered how some new mascaras apply really wet and you end up with it everywhere? This drives me nuts: With new mascara I always wipe excess mascara off the wand with a tissue, which upsets me because it’s super wasteful. Anyhow, with Volume Million Lashes you kind of have to yank the (anti-clump) wand out of the mascara tube and, ah, because it’s got a really tight hole you don’t end up with a truckload of mascara on the wand. Genius. I can’t wax lyrical about this mascara enough. I even love the packaging. Be warned though, you need a good waterproof eye makeup remover to get this waterproof goodness off (Neutrogena is great, Clinique’s Take The Day Off Balm is even better). Price: NZ$35 (9ml tube). Get it from Farmers, Kmart, Pharmacies, etc.