Beauty Product Reviews

Art Deco High Performance Eyeshadow Stylo – Easy, Quick, Gorgeous

Art Deco High Performance Stylo reviewI thought about popping this Art Deco eyeshadow crayon in my upcoming September favourites blogpost, but, frankly, it’s so good, I know I won’t be able to keep it short enough for a favourites mention: So it gets it’s own blogpost. Yeah, it’s that good.

Whenever I’m in Farmers I feel a magnetic pull to the Art Deco stand, which, sadly, is usually tucked away somewhere out of the way. I say, sadly, as everything I’ve bought from Art Deco makes both my cheque account and I happy (there’s bargains galore) and yearning for more.

I spied this NZ$22 new release eyeshadow crayon in Wellington’s Cuba Street Farmers and promptly tried out all six colours on my arm. I thought “oooh these are pretty, but I don’t need one” until I asked the sales assistant for a tissue to remove my sparkly art work.  Holy crap: I couldn’t remove said art work and that’s when I had a change of heart. Simply, I realised, I needed one of these. If you’ve been following my blog for a while you’ll be sick of hearing me bang on about my oily eyelids and the necessity for me to wear a decent eyeprimer. Well, these Art Deco High Performance Eyeshadow Stylos (crikey that’s a long name! I’m going to call it ‘the crayon’ from here) are the first eye product I’ve chanced upon that do not budge and, better still, do not require an eyeprimer as a base! This bad boy, applies super pigmented, sticks like concrete and doesn’t crease even after all day wear. What a winner!  I’ve got a feeling this product will come into it’s own in summer, I’m predicting it might stand up to swimming with my head under.

I have one grumble though – not all Farmers’ Art Deco stands are stocked with this goodness.  Rotorua Farmers, for example, doesn’t have them. I’m a bit dark about that.  Rest assured: They are worth trying to hunt down.

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For the love of: Zoeva Cocoa Blend eyeshadow palette

Palette Contains:  Bitter Start - Palest matte nude. Sweeter End - Shimmering duo chrome nougat. Warm Notes - Glittering cranberry purple. Subtle Blend - Metallic deep bronze. Beans Are White - Deep cocoa brown matte. Pure Ganache - Pure and luxurious metallic gold. Substitute For Love - Toffee brown with subtle shimmer. Freshly Toasted - Rich mahogany brown. Infusion - Matte dark brown infused with golden glitter. Delicate Acidity - Berry toned brown shimmer.
Zoeva Cocoa Blend Palette It’s as good as it looks…

Let’s cut to the chase: A photo of the most gorgeous eyeshadow palette that I’ve ever seen, Zoeva’s newly released Cocoa Blend, popped up in my Facebook newsfeed, on Beauty Bay’s Facie page. So dazzled I was, that I inhaled, sharply, and my stomach did a lurch. “Sod it”, I thought.  “I’ve got to have it”. So, for the absolute bargain price of AUD$33.20 (NZ$36.90), thanks to Beauty Bay, this bad boy from German cosmetics company Zoeva, was mine within two weeks (free international shipping).  I had a feeling I needed to act FAST, this palette is a thing of such beauty I knew it would sell out fast. I’m right – it did: I’m feeling slightly smug at my trend-spotting abilities.  

Sadly, as I write this blog post it’s still out of stock on Beauty Bay, but keep checking lovelies, it’ll be back.  I want to get another one too as this eyeshadow palette is as every bit as good as I hoped. In fact, I’m hoping it comes back in stock soon as I want to get one for a friend’s ‘zero birthday’ that is looming.  Note: You can buy this online from Zoeva directly, but you’ll get whacked with EUR16.00 shipping fee (NZ$26). Ouch. Beauty Bay seems to be the way to go.

Luxurious is the first word that springs to mind when I look at this. Oh, and good enough to eat. In fact, when I’ve showed it off to friends they’ve thought it’s a bar of chocolate as it’s about the same size as a bar of chocolate from Whittaker’s new Artisan range, actually, the packaging ain’t that dissimilar either.  When you open it up, the word ‘chocolate’ is the next word that’ll pop into your head: The colours range from chocolate tones, to rose gold shades. (more…)

Moreish Skincare – It just gets better

moreish skincare review
Ahhhh. Happiness.  LOVE Moreish’s re-branded look!

On the face of it, being contacted by a PR agency to see if you are interested in reviewing some natural, cruelty-free and Kiwi-made products for my blog sounds super exciting.  And, usually, emails of this regard cause me to do a little dance of joy (and it would be cool if it happened more often, LOL). But, here comes ‘the but’… On this occasion: I got really nervous.  What was my dilemma? You see the PR company didn’t mention what brand of products I’d be reviewing and I’ve got a reasonably long-standing love affair happening with Moreish, the NZ made, natural, cruelty free skincare range. Clearly I’m a loyal creature, because I got my tits in a right tangle at the prospect of potentially falling in love with a range from Moreish’s competitors. What happened if I loved Moriesh’s competitor’s products just as much, or even more? Then what?  Clearly, sometimes, I catastrophise and fail to consider the obvious. Because when the box of goodies arrived, guess what?   It was a sample of recently rebranded and relaunched Moreish goodies.  What a relief.  I’m such an egg sometimes.

I’ve waxed lyrical about Moreish before (see this blogpost, crikey, I wrote this over 18 months ago!), raving about: Their great price point, ethical practices, quality of product, and ‘no baddies’ approach to skin care. Yeah, I’m a fan and, to cut to the chase, I still am.  So, I’ll keep this post relatively brief (I can hear you all snorting in disbelief that I’ll ever have few words on any topic…).

I got three items sent to me (thank you PR Shop and Moreish!). Nothing disappointed, rather, all delighted. Here’s my thoughts. (more…)

Dry Shampoo – Save or Splurge?

good dry shampoo

Talk about frustrating.  I buy a ‘higher end’ dry shampoo and ended up having to buy a thrifty one… Sigh.  But before I tell that story, here’s some background…

I’ve already waxed lyrical ages ago about dry shampoo, declaring it the best beauty find, ever. I haven’t changed my position on this bold statement. It’s still the schizzle and, if anything, I am an even bigger dry shampoo fan now than I was way back when I wrote this blog post.

Are you a dry shampoo virgin? He’s a whistlestop summary:

  • It’s a tremendous timesaver: These days I stretch ‘hair wash night’ out to every three, if not four days.
  • It’s also economical: I use less of my $40 per-bloody-bottle ‘gourmet’ shampoo and conditioner AND I don’t need as many colour jobs.  

What’s not to like?  Incidentally, my oily hair has been the bane of my life (along with my oily eyelids) for years and discovering dry shampoo has been a gamechanger. I can’t believe that, pre-dry shampoo discovery, I used to wash and style my hair daily.  Nowadays washing and styling my hair is a complete chore (I’d far rather spend 20 mins doing my makeup!!).

Anyhoo, I’m rambling… You might recall from my recent Empties blog post that my beloved de Lorenzo et Absorb dry shampoo was all used up.  I’d decided to live on the edge and I’d subsequently bought a new (i.e. new to me) higher end dry shampoo from Joico their Instant Refresh Dry Shampoo.  I really wanted to get out of my comfort zone before buying my fourth de Lorenzo can of goodness.  What if there was a better product on the market?  Do you hear me?   

Before I launch in – you’ll see this blog post is called ‘save or splurge’. If you are wondering where I’m going with this, here’s the Exec Summary:   Either I got a faulty Joico Instant Refresh dry shampoo or I’m using it wrong. I can’t get it to work for me, at all. I’ve tried and tried – and I’ve admitted defeat. The roots of my hair look as oily after spraying as they did before. I’m super disappointed and my wallet is crying, for with a $25 price-tag, it wasn’t in the ‘cheap as chips’ category.  [insert grumble: Should have got a new Maybelline or L’Oreal mascara for that price…. Or some more Australis eyeliners.]    So, simply put, dear readers, this blog post is called ‘Save or Splurge’ as I had to buy another new dry shampoo because Joico didn’t deliver. (more…)

Micellar Water – Miraculous or over-hyped?

loreal micellar water reviewI know this is probably the worst introduction to a piece of writing, ever, but it’s taken me six weeks of procrastination to write this blog post about micellar water. 

In case you missed all the hype, micellar cleansing water popped up on the NZ beauty market recently. Beauty PR teams were creaming themselves largely over Garnier’s Micellar Water which is widely touted as a dupe of Bioderma’s micellar water (which has done the beauty equivalent of ‘gone viral).

Being an avid reader of beauty blogs I first learnt about this so-called ‘miracle’ cleansing water a few years ago and I was itching to road test it to see how it compared against my beloved (albeit kinda pricey) Clinique Take the Day Off Balm which I use every night to take all my makeup off (or Coconut Oil when I’m attempting to reduce my beauty spend, snort…). After the ‘face is off’ I move onto proper cleansing (using warm water, a flannel and a cleanser).

As you can imagine, after learning micellar water had hit NZ shores six weeks back,  I was in like Flynn. There commenced serious stalking of all my local supermarkets, Farmers and pharmacies daily (don’t judge me, I was on holiday after just moving to Rotorua). Finally, I found some. Having given up trying to find Garnier’s offering, instead, I purchased L’Oreal’s equivalent (which, I’d heard was better than Garnier’s).   So, with micellar water finally in my hot little hand, I skipped home with alacrity to take off all my makeup. It was 10.00am, I didn’t care. This is research people, research. (more…)

Empties – A round up

I haven’t done one of these ‘beauty empties’ posts before!   I stumbled across one recently on another beauty blog and enjoyed it and figured I’d give writing one a crack. This thought was superb timing as a heap of my beauty products have run out all at the same bloody time (grumble).  Here’s a whistle-stop tour of my thoughts on each product!

empties

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Maybelline Colour Drama – Lip Crayon Review

Your comfort zone is a beautiful placeWhen it comes to lipstick I’m so stuck in my comfort zone, it’s ridiculous. I am a massive fan of a bold smokey eye and a nude lip. So much so that, even though I own more bold lipsticks than I care to admit, I’m constantly rocking variations of the same thing, day in, day out: Bold eyes and, more often than not MAC’s Syrup lipstick (which is the same colour as my lips, but better). Anyway, off the back of hearing a quote which really struck a chord with me recently (“your comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there”)  I decided not to get too deep and meaningful on it, rather just have a have a sweep out of some cobwebs and revisit my boring lipstick ways. Start small girls, start small.

Maybelline colour drama lip crayon reviewEnter a trip to Taupo with an hour to kill whilst my hubby was at the accountant recently. I figured there was no better place to invest an hour than at Farmers, aimlessly browsing the beauty aisles.  Yes, it’s true. I didn’t even get as far as the clothing or accessories: In the beauty aisle I stayed.  I must say, I found it very hard not to tap into my former retail/customer service and sales training background and serve overwhelmed beauty customers. Anyway, I digress (just for a change).  There I am at Maybelline stand when… Shock! What’s this? Jumbo lip crayons in an array of pretty colours? When did these get released?  A while ago it seems (early 2015). Clearly I’ve been living under a rock. I wasn’t impressed: Usually I pride myself for being bang on with beauty trends. Sniff.

I’m mortified to admit that it took at least ten minutes of indecision to choose from the rather limited selection of scrummy colours. I tossed and turned between two bold colours ‘Pink so Chic’ (which isn’t really pink at all, rather a deep plum) and ‘Berry Much’ (a deep berry colour). At a very affordable price point of $11.99 I don’t know why I mucked about: These lip crayons are so bloody good, I should have snapped a couple of ’em (at least). Finally I settled on ‘Pink so Chic’ and I’m LOVING it and it hasn’t left the makeup bag that resides nearby in my handbag (as opposed to the makeup bag in the top draw of my bathroom, or the makeup bag that’s on top of my makeup trolley, or my professional makeup kit, oh, or the emergency makeup stash in the car…)

Maybelline colour drama lip crayon review
Maybelline Colour Lip Drama in the colour ‘Pink So Chic’

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Australis Bombastic Bronze Eyeliner – You need this in your makeup bag!

Australis 10hr eyeliner Bombastic BronzeIf you’ve been following my blog for a while you’ll know I get very excited when I chance upon makeup that’s both seriously inexpensive – and seriously good.

First though a point to clarify: Something in my book that is ‘seriously inexpensive’ is something under NZ$15. If you are in the USA and reading this, yes, I can hear you gasping: I’m aware the NZ$ equivalent of US$15 will get you big bang for beauty buck in the USA. However, bear in mind that, whilst I am cognisant that I’m truly blessed to live, arguably, in one of the world’s most beautiful countries, we are not blessed by our cost of living, nor makeup prices. Both subjects, incidentally, see me getting quickly up on my soap box so I’d better change the subject, stat. Anyhow, there’s my Lou Logic for arriving at NZ$15 and under as my ‘seriously inexpensive’ beauty find price point…

I stumbled across Australis’ 10 hour waterproof eyeliner in Kmart and I was hooked for two reasons: 1) NZ$13.50 is a price point that sings to me and 2) It’s waterproof, so it’s likely to live up to the 10 hour sustainability promise.  As I tried out the testers of the three available colours in the 10 hour wear range I thought to myself that the Bombastic Bronze colour reminded me of MAC’s Teddy eyeliner, one of my favourite dark brown eyeliners. Like Teddy,  Bombastic Bronze has has a shimmer with faint gold flecks running through it, so it’s not just a matt brown, it’s got the X Factor. (more…)