Thursday, 30 October 2014

New Makeup Brushes

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Like most girls, I’m constantly building up my collection and searching for the perfect combination of brushes to perfect my makeup looks. Using a good makeup brush is like being softly kissed by a flock of heavenly makeup angels who make you look flawless at the same time. A bad makeup brush is like a small angry cat: does not like being bathed, sheds and may occasionally scratch you. I’ve had my share of the bad brushes over the years but here are some of my recent brush purchases that are much closer to the angel end of the spectrum.

Crown Brushes C452 Infinity Flat Bronzer Brush $19.95

This is one of the brushes I picked up at IMATS (you can see my entire haul here). Although this is technically a “bronzer” brush, I feel that it’s perfectly suited for applying foundation. More specifically, it’s great for buffing in liquid foundation (which I apply using my Beauty Blender) or for applying powder foundation flawlessly. One of the reasons I went for the Infinity range of brushes over some of the others was because they’re just so soft! Not only do they feel great but I’m yet to have a bad day with this brush, the finish it gives is beautiful.

Crown Brushes C458 Infinity Jumbo Powder Brush $28.95

This is the second of the Crown Brushes I picked up at IMATS, also from the Infinity Range. I’ve been searching for the perfect powder brush for ages without success so I’m very glad to have found this one. As someone with oily skin, it’s extremely rare for me to apply makeup without a powder to set so this brush is definitely one of my most used. Just as soft as its sister brush and equally good at providing a flawless finish, this has to be one of my current most-loved brushes. 

bareMinerals Perfecting Face Brush $36.00 

I recently strolled into Mecca on my lunch break (as you do) to discover they were having a special bareMinerals event so I decided to get my makeup done (as you do) and see what bareMinerals had to offer. I’m not overly familiar with the brand but I really enjoyed having my makeup done and ended up purchasing both the new Brightening Serum Foundation (review coming soon) and this Perfecting Face Brush. The design is quite unique and I personally haven’t seen anything like it before. It’s got longer bristles on the outside and shorter ones on the inside forming a little bowl to hold and distribute your liquid foundation. I was very taken with this brush and I really love how quick and easy it makes foundation application, particularly with runnier foundations (I’m looking at you, Eau de Teint!). Like the Crown Brushes, it’s super soft but for me, it’s the unique design and speedy application that make this brush so special. 

Artiste Brushes Contour Brush $21.95

This little brush took the beauty world by storm when it first came out as it’s a great dupe for the NARS Kabuki Ita Brush. While the Artiste version doesn’t have the same striking design and flat brush handle that the NARS one does, the brush itself looks very similar. I scoured two different Priceline stores looking for this brush before finally finding an unpackaged one hiding on the bottom shelf. I was warned by a few fellow beauty bloggers that the dye in this brush runs like nobody’s business when washed and yes, it was true! The dye on my brush ran quite a lot but did eventually clear up. I’ve heard from a few people that the dye on theirs just continued to run and ruined a few towels in the process but Artiste (Manicare) have offered to replace those faulty ones. Back to the actual brush, I didn’t experience much shedding on this brush which I did with a previous Artiste brush. I found that the shape and texture of the brush (it’s quite firm) gave a really striking contour. Overall, I’m quite pleased with this brush and I thought it was worth the dye issues because it’s still a fraction of the price of the NARS brush, which retails for $74 AUD.

If you’ve had any experience with these brushes, I’d love to heard from you, especially if you’ve been using the Artiste Contour Brush or the bareMinerals Perfecting Face Brush. And let me know what your current favourite brushes are too, the comments section awaits you!

Dani xo

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Face/ (Mask) Off

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The other night, I decided to take a relaxing bath and pop a face mask on. I opened up my bathroom drawer and was literally gobsmacked by the amount of face masks that I’ve managed to accumulate. I usually do a face mask two or three times a week (if I have time and am not living in my tent in the bush) but even so, I have a ridiculous amount of face masks. So I’ve decided to take you through some of the masks that I currently have on rotation in a post that I've named after a creepy/awesome movie.

Milk & Co Rejuvenating Masque* $19.99 for 100g

Milk & Co are a brand that I’ve only recently become familiar with. It was actually founded by Olympic swimmer Michael Klim and his wife, Lindy and Klim spelled backwards obviously = milk, hence the name. The Rejuvenating Masque is a clay based mask, containing an unusual combination of fruit extracts, vitamin E, rosehip oil and green tea extract, which acts as a chemical exfoliant. This masks smells absolutely mouthwatering, I often choose it when I’ve had a particularly bad day because the scent is always a great pick-me-up. The other unusual feature of this mask is the warming sensation, which isn’t unpleasant at all, but definitely takes some getting used to. I love how plump and refreshed my skin feels after using this mask, it’s a great skin and mood boosting mask!

Formula 10.0.6 No Time To Shine Oil-Absorbing Mud Mask $8.99 for 100ml

The mud mask is every oily skinned girls BFF, and this mask is no exception. The active ingredients responsible for drawing out the oils are kaolin clays and sea kelp. Like the Rejuvenating Masque, No Time To Shine also has a warming tingling sensation, but I would say that the Milk & Co version is a bit less intense. I do find it a bit too harsh to use the recommended 1-3 times a week, I usually go for once or twice a month, but it does a fantastic job at clearing up and controlling oils.

Montagne Jeunesse Cucumber Peel-Off Masque $8.99 for 100ml

I love Montagne Jeunesse but I can’t for the life of me pronounce it properly, as evidenced on my YouTube channel! But back to face masks, this is a current favourite of mine. I love peel-off masks because they are just so much fun to take off! Aside from the fun aspect, this is deep cleansing pore mask with fresh cucumber and zingy citrus to get your skin back in tip-top condition. It smells to me like the Golden Circle Pine Lime cordial which is something a little different! I love the entire Montagne Jeunesse range and the Cucumber Peel-Off Masqueis no exception.

GlamGlow YouthMud Masque $75.00 for 50g

Last, but definitely not least, is the cult beauty product by GlamGlow, the YouthMud Tinglexfoliate Treatment Masque. I love the classy packaging on this, it makes me feel like I’m holding something precious which, at $75 a go, is fairly close to the truth! Price aside, this little baby is a pretty neat piece of kit. While I originally wasn’t that impressed, it’s definitely grown on me the more I use it. Again, it can be quite harsh, so those with sensitive skin should probably steer well clear.  I find that this works best if applied only to the T-zone, rather than used as a full face mask, it’s just too harsh for that. Like No Time To Shine, I find this mask is one that’s best used infrequently. It also comes with a warming, tingling sensation that I think is more pronounced than either the Rejuvenating Masque or No Time To Shine but it does have physical exfoliating particles (pumice), which the other two don’t. My skin always feels super clean after using this and while a lot of people don’t like the strong, almost chemical tea-tree type scent, I find it quite pleasant.

 I hope you enjoyed the foray into my face mask collection, let me know what your favourite face masks are in the comments section.

Dani xo


Thursday, 23 October 2014

I am a NARSissist!

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No, no, not a narcissist but a NARSisisst, I love NARS! One of the very first high end products I ever bought was by NARS (it's featured in this post!) and my collection has been growing steadily since that purchase. Here are the current members of my NARS family.

NARS Compact Powder Foundation in Fiji $59.00 for 12g
This was the product that launched my love for NARS. I actually reviewed this as part of my Ace Yo' Base series, you can read all about it here. This powder is a dream to work with, it's lightweight and never looks cakey or flakey. On a bad skin day, I will usually use this over a liquid foundation as a matte setting powder or to give a bit of extra coverage. On a good day, I will use this alone over a primer and I love how natural it looks on its own.
NARS Sheer Glow Foundation in Fiji $59.00 for 30ml
I debated with myself for a long time before deciding to buy this, did I REALLY need another foundation? The answer is probably not but I bought it anyway. I really love the actual foundation, it has light to medium coverage and is perfect for giving a healthy glow to oily skin, without making you look like you've been swimming in the deep fat fryer! What I don't like is that this foundation doesn't come with its own pump, you have to buy it separately. Without the pump, the top is just a screw on and you have very little control over the amount of product dispensed. It was nigh impossible for me to track down a NARS foundation pump, I was on the waiting list at Mecca for months before they finally came in stock. When the pump did arrive, I was shocked to find that the lid that came with the foundation didn't fit over the pump. WHAT IS THE POINT IN THAT? So NARS, please fix your foundation pump issues, k? In summary, love the product, hate the packaging. 
NARS Blushes in Mata Hari and Luster $39.00 for 4.8g
Mata Hari (left) and Luster (right)
Mata Hari: I nabbed this delightful blush from Abby over at the Shrinking Wallet when she had a blog sale and I'm glad I did. It isn't a shade that I would normally go for, it's quite a bright, in-your-face kind of pink but it's definitely grown on me. It's very pigmented, so I tend to use it sparingly to avoid looking like an escapee from the circus but I find that it adds the perfect pop of colour my everyday office (read: boring) makeup.
Luster: If you watched my IMATS Haul video, you'll know that I did a spot of shopping with Kat from Kitsch Snitch after IMATS and picked up this little baby. Again, it's not a shade that I would normally have thought of as "me" but I'm now head-over-heels in love with it. It's kind of a golden/tangerine colour and I definitely think of it as more bronzer-ish than blush-like. The colour is really easy to build but I like more of a sheer wash to give me, sun kissed, lightly shimmery cheeks. 
Swatches of Mata Hari (bottom) and Luster (top). Luster isn't quite as orange as it looks here!
NARSissist Cheek Kit $49.00 USD
I'm sure that if you follow me on Instagram, you would have heard me wax lyrical about this little kit. It was one of the (many) things I picked up from Sephora when I was in the USA at the beginning of the year. This kit contains Devotee (highlighter), Orgasm (blush) and Laguna(bronzer). I think that of the three, Orgasm is my most used, it has to be one of my favourite blushes. My only gripe is that if you wanted to use this as a contour kit, you might be put out by the fact that Laguna is a shimmery and not a matte bronzer. Otherwise, it's perfect for travel and it's one of my personal favourite beauty items. I'm so so terrified of using this all up and not being able to get another one!
Swatches of Devotee (bottom), Orgasm (centre) & Laguna (top). The swatches really don't do Devotee and Orgasm justice!
NARS Eyeshadow Single in Strada $34.00 for 2.2g
This is another of my post-IMATS shopping purchases and it's not a shade that I would normally go for at all! I would not normally pay $34 for one eyeshadow either but once I'd swatched it, I just couldn't walk away. It's a lilac with a beautiful golden shimmer through it and I just want to wear it everywhere! I never would have thought of myself as a purple eyeshadow person (hello, stereotypical elderly lady shade!) but I'm 100% sold on this eyeshadow. Now excuse me while I go and slap some more on!
And there you have it, my small but very well loved NARS family! I think NARS are one of the great high end brands and I can't wait to try more from them. I'm especially keen to get my hands on their creamy concealers as I've heard such good things about them. If you have any suggestions for what the next member of my NARS family should be, let me know in the comments section.
Dani xo

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