Friday, December 30, 2011

review: covergirl lashexact waterproof mascara

Covergirl's mascaras are probably the brand's most celebrated products in their entire line.  There have been many raves and reviews of the Lashblast mascara (the one in the fat orange tube), but today I'm going to talk about my current favourite mascara.

From the Covergirl website: Get long-lasting, no clump, no glob, beautifully defined lashes. The LashExact brush uses a patented technology with bristles that are aligned and flexible, so you get the Exact look you want.

Covergirl LashExact Waterproof mascara is the perfect everyday mascara for me because it holds curl so well and doesn't budge, even if I rub my eyes (which I never do anyway, haha...)

From what I've learned and heard over the years, waterproof mascaras tend to contain more wax, which dries more stiff, which is why those formulas tend to hold curl better than the regular/non-waterproof versions.

For me, a mascara's curl holding ability is probably one of its most important performance factors (unless I'm wearing false eyelashes). I have quite short Asian eyelashes, and if my lashes aren't curled, a mascara that gives volume and length don't look very impressive on them.

The brush head is medium sized with flexible rubber bristles, which I like because it coats my top lashes well without being too big to apply to my bottom lashes.

 No makeup, lashes curled.

With Covergirl LashExact.

The downfall of this mascara is that you can't really build up very much volume or length, but for an every day makeup look, I don't need it to.  It gives enough definition and colour to be enough to slightly open up the eye.  It stays on all day without smudging, even on a warm summer day! 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

review: mac paint pot in rubenesque

From the MAC website:
"PAINT POT: A highly pigmented eye colour that goes on creamy but dries to an intense, vibrant finish. Long-wearing, colourfast. Creates seamless coverage without weight or caking. Blends smoothly over the lids. Cream-based, can be mixed with M·A·C shadows and liners."

I bought this paint pot not long after I subscribed to Catalina's youtube channel (cl2425).  She mostly uses this as an eyeshadow base in her videos, and it makes her eyeshadows look really vibrant and luminous, especially against her skin tone.  Because I am a MAC NC20 just like her, I figured the shadow should look good on me too!

The first thing I noticed was that the packaging is very well made. It is stored in a very nice and thick glass jar and has a sturdy black plastic lid with a foam lining inside to prevent the shadow from drying out.

I hope you've all noticed that I'm a sucker for nice packaging by now! =)

"Rubenesque" is described on the MAC website as being a "golden peach with gold pearl".  I'd say that is a pretty accurate description of the shade.  Because it is a frost finish, this cream shadow is quite shimmery without being overly so.  This is the first (and only) paint pot I've tried, and it really is a very well performing product.  It is creamy and opaque enough that I can pick up enough product with one circular swipe of my finger, but firm enough so that I don't displace any product when I push down.

I like to use my fingers with cream products because it helps to warm the product up before applying to your face (as I've mentioned in previous posts).  But once again, using a small synthetic brush will also work with this versatile product.

When I reach for this product, I usually use it as an eyeshadow base to give my eyeshadows more warmth and glow.  However, I do also use it as an all over lid colour, simply because it is such a pretty golden peach colour.  I think it would also work well as an inner corner highlight colour because it is very shimmery.

The staying power of paint pots are excellent.  I like to let these dry for a few seconds before I apply product on top.  Paint pots stay on my lids all day and don't fade at all, which is phenomenal considering it is a cream eyeshadow.

I was so impressed with this product that I plan on trying some more paint pots in the future, maybe "Treasure Hunt" or "Hyperviolet"?  Let me know if you have tried them!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

review: face q red pomegranate + co q10 mask

For those of you who know me, you will know that I have a bit of a sheet mask obsession.  I order about 2-3 boxes from sasa every time I place an order because they are quite affordable, and I'm always out to try new ones.

I was first introduced to face q masks after reading my favourite blog by pink.  I bought some things from her blog sale and she threw in some complimentary face q masks for me to try.

I bought a 10 pack of Red pomegranate + CoQ10 mask from for $12.70 USD.  At $1.27 per mask, I don't feel too bad about using one every few days.

Like I said before, there are many, many different kinds of Asian sheet masks and I'm always out to try new ones, so I'll never buy the same one twice.

Having said that, this mask is my favourite, thus I am currently on my second box =)

These masks come in a pretty cardboard box:

~I haven't had a chance/been bothered to decipher the chinese on the back of the box yet...

Inside, there are 10 individually packaged masks in foil sachets.

To use these, you just open the sachet, gently unfold the mask, remove the plastic backing of the mask and gently smooth onto your face.  I tend to leave these masks on for 20-30 minutes.

After I peel them off, I rinse the excess serum off if I am putting on makeup straight aftewards.  You can choose to just rub the residual serum into your skin if you use this at bedtime.

My skin always feels brighter and very moisturised after I use these sheet masks.  The effect is only temporary, so it would be great to use before an event, night out, or if you just feel like giving your skin a treat!

Friday, December 16, 2011

bellabox december

I'm so happy and excited about my December Bellabox that I'm going to skip my introductory blurb and go straight into it! =)

This month there were TWO full sized products! (although I counted it as 3, because the nail polish bottle is pretty big for a "sample size" and also I've never finished a bottle of nail polish before)

As usual, I will only be reviewing in detail my two favourite products, however I will post some close up photos of the rest of the box!


Savoir Faire Concealer Pack in Light ($35 for 1g concealer plus 2g finishing powder)

This concealer is like a "three-in-one" product. It contains 0.5g of a lighter cream concealer, 0.5g of a darker cream concealer and 2g of a finishing powder. The whole set is house in a plastic flip top container which reveals the cream concealer. The complete top part of the housing screws off to reveal the finishing powder with a sift opening to dispense the product.

This concealer has a super creamy and opaque texture.  The formula reminds me of Benefit "Boi-ing", but it has two shades, half of the pan is lighter and the other half is darker.

I got sent the shade "Light", but the concealer also comes in "Medium" and "Dark".  I find it colour matches very well with my skin (I'm a MAC NC20).  Since there are two shades, it's easy to play around mix the two shades to help get a close match to your skin tone, or to use the darker shade if you get a bit more tan in summer.

Since this is a cream pan concealer, I like to use my (clean!) fingers to apply so it warms up the product in the pan and allows for better application.  However if you are less inclined to put your fingers into your cosmetics, it is creamy enough for you to use a synthetic concealer brush too!  I applied with my ecotools concealer brush, and the application was just fine.

This concealer works really well to conceal my under eye circles.  I used the lighter shade only under my eyes and non only did it conceal well, it also helps to brighten up the area.  I only used a small amount as this product is quite pigmented.  I mixed the two shades together to conceal redness and pigmentation on the rest of my face and it does such a good job that for an every day look, I don't need to put foundation afterwards.

The setting powder included is just a loose translucent powder which compliments the cream concealer.  Since the container is quite small (about 4.3cm in diameter) a powder brush isn't very practical.  I like to tap some powder into the lid, swirl a large fluffy eyeshadow blending brush around the lid and tap off the excess before patting the powder on top of my concealer.

I can see this concealer pack being convenient to throw in my handbag, being a three-in-one product and also having a compact packaging.


Ozotic Pro Elytra Nail Polish in #530 ($14.95 for 16mL)

I think this is my favourite product this month. Shade 530 is a multi-dimensional fine glitter polish with pink and gold duochrome in a clear base.  Bellabox suggests that this be layered over a black nail polish for the best effect, but I only had a black blue polish, so that's what I used.

This polish is SO PRETTY, it's beyond description and since a picture speaks a thousand words, I'll stop typing now and just post my pictures!

Because I took these photos at night under incandescent light (instead of natural light.. boo...) some parts of my nail look like there's glitter missing, but it's all there.

For the swatches above, I used 1 layer of L'oreal Resist & Shine Titanium in Navy Velvet and 3 layers of Ozotic Elytra in 530.

I am definitely going to buy some other shades from the Elytra collection, but I have no idea where to buy these nail polishes, even though Ozotic is an Australian brand...

If anyone knows, please tell me!


Here are the rest of the products in my December box that I haven't had a chance to try yet.

Elemis Enzyme Peel (3mL sample)

Phytomer Souffle Marin Energizing Oxygenating Serum (3 x 3mL samples)

Eylure Naturalite Intense Lash - 140 (One pair)

I generally only use half lashes with a criss cross design because my eyelids tend to push the inner half of false lashes down and it looks pretty bad haha...  I think I may just give these away to a friend who has better eyelids than me!


Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this review, I know it was a bit long winded, but I just loved this month's box so much!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

review: avene very high protection sunscreen cream

I have been an avid user of sunscreen since I was 17 when I started to notice sun spots on my face after I grew out of my acne phase.  I have been using so many different serums and creams to try to get rid of those spots, but they don't seem to budge no matter what I do.

Since then, I have been using sunscreen every day (unless I'm staying at home).  I have tried many different sunscreens/tinted moisturisers with SPF.  Like most people, the main thing I look for in a sunscreen (besides SPF) is a non-greasy formula.  Given that most sunscreens (even ones especially for the face) are slightly greasy to a degree, I'm always looking for one that has the most matte finish.

I was in Cairns for placement earlier this year, and while I was at packing Websters, I overheard the conversation an Avene sales rep was having with the shop staff regarding their line of skin care products, and my ears pricked up when I heard about their sunscreen.

When I got back to Sydney, I was curious and decided to have a closer look at the sunscreen next time I went into work and tried the tester.

I was initially surprised that the sunscreen was flesh coloured and not white when it came out of the tube, but the colour completely disappears after I rubbed it in and left it for 60 seconds.

swatches on my arm: (left to right) straight out of the tube, slightly spread out, after rubbing in

After using this for a few days, I really liked the formulation.  It is probably the least greasy sunscreen I've tried so far and wears great under makeup.  The smell isn't bad, but it's not particularly fragrant either.  I assume this is because the selling point of Avene products is that it is extremely hypoallergenic and designed for people with extra sensitive or intolerant skin and adding artificial fragrances usually causes skin irritation.

Not only is the formulation great on this sunscreen, the stuff inside is great too!

First of all, it is SPF 30+ (generally I'm okay with an SPF of  at least 30), but the biggest appeal to me in terms of ingredients is that it contains Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide.

These ingredients are so called "physical blockers" and act like mirrors to reflect UV rays away from the skin.  On the other hand, "chemical blockers" are molecules that absorb the UV energy to prevent it  from reaching your skin.  A lot of sunscreens often contain both physical and chemical blockers so I was quite happy to find one with only physical.

There are a few advantages of using a sunscreen with physical blockers:

  • Chemical sunscreens need to be applied to bare skin to maximise its effectiveness as it needs to interact with your skin to be absorbed, whereas physical sunscreens do not.
  • Chemical sunscreens also need 20 minutes after application to be active, which is why most on most sunscreen labels it tells you to apply 20 minutes before sun exposure.  Once again, physical sunscreens can be put on and start working straight away (which is great for me because I'm always running late...)
  • There are some controversies regarding the safety of chemical blockers such as avobenzene, but there haven't been any studies to conclusively prove that this is the case (yet).
However, physical sunscreens don't tend to last as long as chemical sunscreens (especially after exposure to water) so I suppose it need to be applied more often if you're going to the beach or having a super long day outdoors!

Another thing I've learnt about sunscreens in general is that it makes your face look ghostly in flash photography.  I've seen many photos of girls whose faces look significantly paler than the rest of their body, and I'm almost sure it's because they are wearing either sunscreen or a foundation with SPF.

I definitely would recommend this sunscreen to anyone who is looking for a non-greasy and effective sunscreen for every day use.

I bought mine at work when it was on sale for around $18, and with my staff discount, it worked out to be quite cheap because it doesn't require much product to cover your whole face.  I imagine this 50mL tube will last me at least 6 months, if not more.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

nail of the day

I couldn't decide which colour to paint, so I did one for each hand =)

Left hand: Essie Aruba Blue with Essie Kisses and Bises on top
Right hand: Zoya Chelsea

lancome la laque fever in crazy clementine review

So this lipgloss has a story behind it...

I bought this lipgloss a while back when Lancome had a GWP offer, and I still had $120 left on my David Jones giftcard.

I knew I needed a new concealer because my old Lancome effacernes concealer seemed to be running low. I picked up a new one, but didn't quite reach the GWP limit, so I decided to get a lipgloss as well, even though I NEVER buy Lancome from Australia (because of the ridiculously inflated prices...)

I picked the only colour that seemed to flatter my skintone and show up on my lips.

Crazy Clementine is a peachy coral colour with very fine multicoloured shimmer which showed up lighter in the lip swatch (below) than in real life. It has above average pigmentation for a lipgloss, but is slightly sticky (which I personally don't mind). The texture is actually quite similar to MAC lipglasses.

It has a slanted applicator which is tapered at the tip, which makes application quite easy. The formula feels like a high-end lipgloss and wears for about 2 hours before I need to reapply.

I really like this colour because it goes especially well with matching blushes such as the notorious Nars Orgasm. However, for the amount of money I spent on it (something like $40), I honestly don't think it was worth it. I know for a fact I wouldn't have purchased it at all if it weren't for my giftcard.

Overall, this lipgloss is quite decent in terms of the formula and pigmentation, and if you're not thrown by the price (or get it on ebay), I think it is worth a try!

Monday, December 5, 2011

bellabox november

About one and a half months ago, I saw some ads for a beauty samples subscription service on facebook, and noticed one of my good friends had "Liked" the page and I clicked on the link because I was curious. After a bit of reading, it sounded like something I would be interested in so I gave it a go.

Bellabox is an online monthly beauty sample subscription service where you pay $15 a month and they send you a very generous box of sample sized and sometimes even full sized cosmetics, skincare and other beauty related products.

I completed a "style quiz" which asks some questions regarding things like your skin type and what kinds of makeup "looks" you prefer. This helps them to "customise" your box so that it contains products which would be of interest to you.

I received my bellabox around the 2nd week of November, and I was super excited to see the cute box in the mail!

I actually misplaced my own box, so this picture is from google images =(

The first thing I noticed was that the box itself is very sturdy and well made, it reminds me of a fancy shoe box except half the size!

When I opened the box, the contents were carefully wrapped with black tissue paper and sealed with a sticker.

The box also came with some cards listing information about the contents of the box and some information about the company.

I received 6 different products in my bellabox, 1 full sized and the rest were sample sizes.

In this post, I'm just going to talk about the two products I am planning to repurchase.


OCC Lip Tar in NSFW ($16 for 8mL)

Out of all the products in the box, this was the most anticipated one for me. I first saw a review of them by Christine from temptalia quite a long time ago.

OCC lip tars are very aptly named, because the texture and feel is very different to any other lip products I've tried. It has quite a thin consistency and feels smooth but not greasy or sticky on the lips. They are designed to be mixed with other shades or worn alone.

Let me just start off by saying that this product has got to be the most pigmented, most concentrated and most longwearing lip colour I have ever tried!

Even with such a vibrant colour as NSFW, I only used the tiniest drop (see below) to cover my WHOLE LIPS. If you use too much of this, chances are the colour might feather a bit or migrate to your teeth. The tube may look small (8mL), but it will last you FOREVER, and for $16 for such a great quality product, it really is a steal.

Because it is so easy to use too much product, the easiest way to apply this neatly to your lips is with a synthetic lip brush. This way you don't risk wasting a lot of the product or getting it all over your face!

I don't know why all my photos turned out so yellow, the colour in real life is a cooler, darker red... the arm swatch photo below is probably the most true to colour.

Bellabox has a store where you can buy these individually for $16 with free shipping, and there are quite a few different shades available. I am planning to buy the shade called "Grandma" which is a bright creamy coral colour.


Orofluido Beauty Elixir ($49.95 for 100mL Elixir PLUS 250mL Mask)

excuse the half empty bottle, i've already started using it and forgot to photograph it when it was full...

Before I received this product, I have never heard of the brand "Orofluido" before. However after a quick google search, I discovered it is under the same umbrella company as Revlon hair products.

Orofluido Elixir is a hair oil comprising of a mixture of Argan, Cyperus and Linseed oils. The first thing that came to mind was the much raved/celebrated Moroccanoil. After finishing a bottle of Moroccanoil and then trying Orofluido Elixir, I feel that these two products are comparable. Even the ingredient list of these two products are almost identical.

The oil is quite viscous which is good because I can control the amount I want to use (only need a small amount) and it has a pleasant smell.

I usually use about 2-3 pumps of hair oil/serums after I towel dry my hair and before blow drying. This tends to make my hair more soft, silky and smooth after it dries.

I would definitely purchase the full size of this simply because it is so much cheaper than Moroccanoil ($49.95 for 100mL Orofluido Elixir PLUS 250mL Hair Mask compared to $40-$50+ for 100mL of Moroccanoil)


So in summary, for $15 I received at least $40 worth of high quality products, some from brands which are not even available in Australia and even products from luxury brands like Lancome.

I was very impressed with my first bellabox and I would definitely recommend this to everyone to try out!