That monthly blog post where I witter on about beauty and foodie goodness, i.e. Lou’s faves – for the month of February. On that note: HOLY CRAP! Where did February go?  I can’t decide if I’m rapt that with 1 March NZ has landed upon the start of autumn (rapt because I’m sick of hot and sticky sleepless nights) or sad that summer BBQs and wines on the deck with my friends will soon be coming to an end… Might as well roll with it I guess… There’s nothing I can do about it!

Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara (waterproof)

Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara review

You might recall I bought this Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara at the start of summer. I took a pic of me ‘wearing it’ (you know what I mean), whacked it on Facebook, used it a couple of times and decided it was, frankly, alright,  but nothing worth waxing lyrical about. I wasn’t enamored with the brush, it seemed to be designed so it wasn’t conducive to combing the lashes, mine ended up clumpy, in part because the product was so wet when first applied.  I detest a ‘super wet’ mascara.  So, with a sigh, I biffed the tube to the back of the third drawer down in my makeup trolley (LOL).  Later I read a few negative reviews about the product and was comforted that I wasn’t alone in deciding that this mascara didn’t stack up (for me, especially so, compared to my beloved, albeit pricey, Lancome Hypnose Doll Eyes Mascara). Or so I thought.

Fast forward to early February and, dammit, my Doll Eyes mascara ran out.  I decided I couldn’t justify parting with $60 at the Lancome counter when there was a full brand new tube of Lash Sensational right under my nose. So, in a way, I was forced into giving it a decent test run. This is bloody fortunate as I’ve done a U-turn on my initial thoughts – I really like it! However, this comes with a caution: I’ve had a play around to make it work for me…

lash sensational mascara review

Remember I said the mascara applies wet on the lashes?  Well, I’ve helped the tube dry out slightly by wiping the excess product off on some tissue prior to use (wasteful, I know!). Good news: This has been the trick to not having the wand too wet and, consequently, the tube has slightly dried out. Why is this good? Now that it’s dried out a tad, Maybelline Lash Sensational delivers long spidery and thick looking lashes (at a sharp price).  No flaking, no smudging. Whoop.  Here’s a pic of it on my mug:

Maybelline Lash Sensational (and if you are wondering on my lips is a mix of two MAC lippies: Heroine and Up the Amp).
Maybelline Lash Sensational (and if you are wondering on my lips is a mix of two MAC lippies: Heroine and Up the Amp)

If, like me, you are an eyelash curling junkie, you’ll be pleased to hear that the waterproof formula keeps the curl in place (for this reason I only ever use waterproof mascara:  I know it’s a bastard to get off, but this job is EASY PEASY with coconut oil or Clinique Take the Day Off Balm!) .  

Executive Summary: I stand by previous declarations that Maybelline is the queen of inexpensive mascaras. Watch this space to see if I head back to the Lancome counter…  

Where to buy: Farmers, Kmart, pharmacies stocking Maybelline. Price: NZ$26.99.

Culley’s Chipotle Sauce

Culley's Chipotle sauceI popped into Countdown  with my friend Alyson and, knowing I’m a) A sauce lover and b) slightly mad about spicy food, Alyson MADE me by this, declaring it a fave in their family.  We’ve pretty much demolished this bottle in the last 3 weeks, so I’d concur that it is definitely delicious. This Mexican smoked jalapeno pepper sauce has a tomato base with a taste of charred capsicum so it adds an instant BBQ flavour to anything. It’s fairly spicy (medium, allegedly), but I love that.  We had it for dinner last week mixed with some leftover pasta sauce served with BBQ pork. Mmmm (I have to show off the photo, the meal was a visual symphony).

culley's chipotle sauce

 Where to buy: My local Countdown supermarket stocks this, I’m not sure if all supermarkets do? It’s worth looking for. Here it is online.  Price: NZ$9.

Anchor Greek Style Yogurt Natural

Anchor Greek style yogurt natural

We’ve been chopping back 950g tubs of this delicious Anchor Greek Yogurt. It’s super thick, creamy and has no artificial flavours or colours. As you know I’ve become a smoothie addict since (finally) getting my Nutribullet and a dollop (or two) of this yogurt adds a delicious creamy depth to any smoothie.  It’s also delicious with my muesli in the mornings, along with being tip top for cooking: I’ve been using it in my stock standard Five Minute Banana Cake recipe and adding it to curries. Yum yum.  Haven’t tried the flavoured versions of this and I’m not going to, I’m just not a fan of flavoured yogurt: I find them too high in sugar (hence if I want to ‘spice things up’ I add my own fruit and a bit of honey to sweeten).
Where to buy: All major supermarkets.  Price: NZ$6.50for the 950g tub (or there’s a 180g tub for $2.99).

Naked Palette – Urban Decay

Naked Palette review nzI have never featured the Naked eyeshadow palette in a favourites blog post… That’s poor form on my behalf as this eyeshadow palette is an all-time fave (yes, EVER).  I used Naked quite a bit in February and wondered why on earth I hadn’t really used it in 2015.  I fixed that Naked is now in my makeup bag and I’m using it most days!  It’s a stunning palette and, frankly, kicks the ass of many of my other palettes in my makeup trolley (also the third drawer down and, in case you were wondering, this is where the ‘eye stuff’ gets stashed). 

Now, if you are reading this and you don’t wear eyeshadow, but you’d like to, this is one of the palettes I’d recommend you hook yourself up.  Why? 

  • The pigmentation is phenomenal (if you an eyeshadow noob, this means the eyeshadow goes on easily and looks the same as the colour in the palette)
  • Naked has a heap of colours – so it’s versatile! No need to do the same look over and over!
  • It will suit a variety of skin tones 
  • The quality is astonishingly good and it’s bloody well priced (NZ$85?) approx and you get 12 eyeshadows. This is great bang for beauty buck

For balance, I feel obliged to mention I have one teeny grumble with this palette: There’s one colour that’s a pain in the bum and that’s ‘Sidecar’ – even if I tap the excess product off my eyeshadow brush before I apply the colour to my eyelids, I still end up with glittery bits falling down all over my cheekbones (which are not particularly prominent, let’s be honest).  I hate that. I’ve figured out a work around though if I’m in the mood for Sidecar: I apply my eyeshadow first, clean up the fallout, then move onto base application. Sorted. 

Want to see Naked on a face – and not mine for a change? Sure, here’s my beautiful friend Su rocking Naked (snigger). Here’s a link to the tutorial I did on this.

naked palette tutorial

Where to buy: If you are overseas bound, departing out of Auckland international Airport, then get your bum to the Urban Decay counter, stat! This is, unfortunately, at the time of writing this blog post, the only place you can buy this palette retail in NZ. If, like me, you are an online shopper, visit Beauty Bay (this is where I bought two of my Urban Decay palettes, I rate Beauty Bay, but be warned you might be waiting for up to three weeks for your goodies to arrive, grrr, but hell, i’ts worth the wait).  Price: AUD$79.

That’s it for my beauty and foodie faves for the month of Feb, on that note, do share:  What are you loving?  

PS Off the back of NZ’s recent cheese awards I’m off to the supermarket shortly to find Puhoi Valley’s Kawau Blue,, which has taken out the title of ‘the Best Cheese in NZ’. Nice! Given I’m a blue cheese nut, I’m desperate to get my mitts on this and I have high hopes (i.e. I’m anticipating my socks to be blown off in delight and to find a new fave… Watch this space).