SKIN | 7 Mini Reviews – Kiehl’s

I used up some more samples – this time from Kiehl’s. I’d heard so much about numerous Kiehl’s products, such as the green eye cream and the famous Midnight Recovery Oil so I headed over to a counter and had a consult. I was suggested these products – but what did I think?

Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Face Wash

This face wash was a non-event – not bad, not good. It didn’t irritate my skin, sure, but it also didn’t clean particularly deeply. Repurchase? No.

Calendula Herbal-Extract Toner – Alcohol Free

Just like the cleanser, nothing special. Good that it’s alcohol-free, but as far as I’m aware this has no actual hard-hitting skin friend ingredients. Repurchase? Nope.

Centella Skin-Calming Facial Cleanser

This was the loveliest cream cleanser I’ve ever used, hands-down. It obviously didn’t foam, but still left my skin feeling clean and soft without the residue my Trilogy one sometimes leaves. Repurchase? On the list.

Skin Rescuer

I’d heard that this was a miracle-working moisturiser; it calmed angry skin, hydrated (but not too much) and balanced the skin’s mantle. But it did the opposite, and despite washing it off as soon as the reaction was obvious, I had plenty of pimples the next day. Repurchase? No, as much as I love the idea.

Creamy Eye Treatment

This is ridiculously thick and takes an age to massage in, but it hydrates wonderfully and smooths my under-eyes. It’s average under make-up. Repurchase? Using the full-size now.

Hydro-Plumping Re-Texturising Serum Concentrate

I really needed a good boost of hydration when I used this, so I popped this on and it was awesome. I was initially worried about the silicone-y smoothness it gave to my face, but that soon went away and it didn’t have the clogging effects silicone-based serums usually have. Repurchase? Perhaps next winter.

Midnight Recovery Oil

Oh, what high hopes I had for this. It felt lovely and smelt incredible – but the next morning, my face was covered in tiny surface pustules (yet under those, very glowy). A week later I tried again and sure enough it repeated. Yet to work out which ingredient it was. Repurchase? No, god no.

So on the whole, an equal split of hits & misses from this sample batch. I’m definitely interested in trying some more Kiehl’s products – but I’ll be taking their promises with a grain of salt.

 

Have you tried any of these Kiehl’s products? What do you think of them?

 

SKIN | Hell Pore Clean-Up Mask

Today I’m reviewing the most bizzarely-named product in my cupboard: the Hell Pore Clean-Up Mask by Korean brand Elizavecca. I found this bonkers thing in one of my favourite little Korean skin/cosmetic shops in the Auckland CBD, and the minute I read the name I knew I had to have it, despite results. Luckily for me, it works.

Elizavecca is a brand I’ve been interested in for a while, mostly due to the carbonated cleansing mask I keep hearing about (and have found on amazon, but am resisting). This one belongs in the same range as the clay one – the MilkyPiggy range, which I think is the little pig fella on the packaging. This range is supposed to be super effective at removing dirt, hence a pig is used (’cause pigs.. spend time in dirt, I presume?), and I can tell you that this mask in the range most definitely does that. The information I have found says this about the product:

” A peel off mask that effectively removes skin impurities in just one use. This mask gets rid of whiteheads, blackheads and dead skin cells all over the face to free the skin from deep-seated dirt that clogs the pores. This mask contains 4% charcoal extract and caragana sinica which help control excessive sebum while also providing an abundant supply of nutrients to keep the skin healthy and glowing all day.” – Memebox

But how does it actually fare?

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This is a whole new level of peel-off mask – very thick, very grey and VERY strong. It takes a bloody long time to dry so in that time you should prepare yourself, because when time comes to grab the edge and pull your eyes will water. This stuff sticks to your face about as strongly as spirit gum, and on first application smells just like the nit stuff my mother used to gas my scalp with when I was a child. It’ll pull out tiny hairs on your face, sebaceous filaments (not necessarily a good thing, but harmless) and all the shit on your face that you thought you’d already got off. Unfortunately, it also dries out your skin a fair bit, so I followed it up with Clarins Hydra-Quench cream-mask, but so long as you moisturise appropriately (or for drier-skinned people, use a hydrating mask like I did), you’ll be fine.

My skin is left clear, smooth as a baby’s butt and pretty much perfect for quite a while – you’ll not be needing any other clarifying masks for a fair few days with this one, and I’d suggest going easy on any exfoliation as you’ll have pulled more dead skin off your face than you knew you ever had and it will be a bit sensitive. While it most definitely lives up to it’s claims of dirt/crap removal and sebum control, I’d certainly hesitate to say it provides “an abundant supply of nutrients” to the skin. I found it very stripping on the skin, but that much is to be expected when you’re using something called a ‘hell pore clean-up’ mask, I suppose – you’re getting a lot more from this than any clay mask.

Repurchase? When I use this up, I’ll buy another tube of this crazy mask – nothing else has ever cleaned my face so thoroughly, and although it’s very rare I need to use it, it would be ace for anyone with excessively clogged skin.

Have you tried any Korean skincare products?

SKIN | 5 Mini Reviews – Aesop

In a move borrowed directly from Evelyn over at We Were Raised By Wolves, I have decided to begin posts on the samples I use up in my wee sample drawers. I always find Evelyn’s sample reviews so interesting, and they offer a chance to discuss the first responses we have to products.

First up, I’m reviewing some Aesop samples I was given in Melbourne* a few months ago – cleanser, exfoliant, toner, moisturiser and a mask. Each sample was quite small, but with the exception of the mask, provided me with ample product to cover my face. There wasn’t actually any dud in this selection, the lovely lady who served me clearly paid excellent attention to my skin needs and selected the samples accordingly as my face felt positively wonderful after using them all. I’ve definitely got a few on my to-purchase list..

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Fabulous Face Cleanser

This is a very liquid-ey, low-foaming gel that smells fresh (bergamot & citrus) but is not stripping. Left my face supple and refreshed, but didn’t leave behind residue – a dream of a cleanser. Mildly calming, too (which God knows my skin needs!).

Repurchase? Most definitely – on the list.

B & Tea Balancing Toner

Nothing like any other toner I’ve tried – where you normally think of toner as a watery essence, B & Tea is more of a liquid-leaning gel. As I find with most regular toners, I couldn’t see an immediate difference. But it felt refreshing and most importantly, hydrating (which most toners don’t really do for me, so it can’t be a bad thing).

Repurchase? I’ll consider it, once I’ve used up my current stash.

Camellia Nut Facial Hydrating Cream

When I first squidged this out of the packet I was rather taken aback by it’s yellowness. But it didn’t smell weird so I put it on my face, and I am so glad I did. It hydrated my notoriously dry skin wonderfully without feeling too balmy and taking an age to sink in.

Repurchase? Oh, fuck yes. Hello, summer moisturiser.

Purifying Facial Exfoliant Paste

This was the finest grit I’ve ever felt in a physical exfoliator, and the closest I’ve ever been to a physical polish of my skin. I used this on my skin when I hadn’t exfoliated (in any form) in quite some time, and it’s a good job I did because I would be mildly concerned about stripping layers off if I used this regularly – even gently. Having said that, a full-size would last bloody ages because you don’t need much at all.

Repurchase? Probably not, I have exfoliators close to this grit already and I don’t use them enough to justify purchasing this.

Chamomile Concentrate Anti-Blemish Masque

A drying mask that doesn’t freak my skin out? What?! I’m sold. Especially when it left my skin visibly clearer and managed to soak up excess oil without pulling all moisture from my skin. Magical.

Repurchase? Yes, but only when I’m feeling seriously flush with cash.


For the record: I have dry and sensitive, mildly reactive skin that likes to be looked after gently (hint: just like people, most skin likes being looked after gently). If you have similar skin and you’re looking for something in these categories, I’d highly recommend giving these products a try. Or you could do what I suggest other skin types do and pop into an Aesop retailer and ask the expert, because I can’t see your skin and even if I could, they’re much less likely to fuck up a product recommendation.

Have you tried anything from Aesop before?

 

 

*Flinders Lane Store – Miranda served me and she was an absolute gem. Truly a stellar customer service experience.

MAKEUP | Lashes for Days

The item I hear most about stashes of in the beauty blogger/vlogger world is mascara. Mascara goes off quicker than just about any other beauty product (you should be popping that tube in the bin 6 months after opening, by the way) and I can’t personally justify having more than one on the go at once, but I did find eight – yes, count ’em, eight – hanging out in my stash of things during a huge clear out recently. I thought it’d be a good time to do a bit of a run down of them, and tell you my thoughts – there’s a repurchase in there, 90’s-esque colour, and a packaging hatred, so get amongst for some lash-by-lash breakdown..

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Line-up: Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye; Maybelline Rocket Volume Express; Maybelline Great Lash Classic in Vision in Violet and Very Berry; Maybelline Great Lash Lots of Lashes; Revlon Photoready 3D Volume in Blackest Brown; MaxFactor 2000 Calorie in Brown Black; LA Colors mascara in brown

First up, Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Mascara. This one is a miniature size, but oh BOY the price is not. Do you fancy dropping $57 on a mascara? Because I don’t, despite how perfect the product is. Smokey Eye Mascara is gorgeously black in pigment, lasts well and makes my lashes look long, and fluttery as fuck. I actually prefer the miniature size, because it means I can finish a mascara before it dries up and gets useless, but I don’t waste $30 when it does. Bobbi, please sell these perfect little minis. I’d drop the outrageous dollars I’m sure you’d charge on them, because I know how idyllic this stuff is – I just want a size I can finish!

Next, we set in on the half of this line up that Maybelline make. The Rocket Volume Express mascara was much-hyped in 2012-2o13, first brought to my attention by (then) Essie Button, but unavailable in NZ, as it remains to this day. It’s a pretty great one, separating lashes like no tomorrow and keeping them relatively same-looking all day, yet still easy to get off when all is said and done. It’s a plastic, mildly terrifying wand that will absolutely scrape your tightline and make you flinch several times, but if you’re happy to adjust then it does the job pretty well. Gets a little thick and spidery at the end of it’s life, but definitely one Maybelline need to bring to Antipodean shores. I hear the waterproof version is even better.

The Maybelline Great Lash formula is pretty damn iconic – around since the 70’s, the pink-and-green tube has several different incarnations – big/little wand, super-dark formula, blah blah blah.. and then, colour formulas! I picked up two from Amazon a while ago – ‘Vision in Violet‘, a playdough-purple monstrosity, and ‘Very Berry‘, a red mascara with the world’s most unimaginative name. These were technically fine – Violet was a bit thicker than Berry in my experience, but they both had a thin wand and average wear. On the whole, I have two words to say about Violet – never & again. It was a terrible colour and dried up far too quickly. Berry was actually pretty cool – being a burgundy it enhanced my blue eyes and really made them pop in a way a bit more obvious than the usual brown trick. However, trying to remove it was a horror film – despite thinking I had properly removed it all, I woke up to a terrified ex-boyfriend thinking there was something very wrong with my eyes. A lot of fun to own, but I’m sure the other few plum/burgundy mascaras out there will have formulas that outrank this.

The Maybelline Great Lash Brush Gimmick I chose to buy into was the Lots of Lashes brush – a tiny cone/heart-shaped brush that’s designed to get to every corner. I bought it because I’d been intrigued by it for a while and it was $11, but I bloody loved it – easy to get off, separates my lashes nicely, gets ’em all, and isn’t soul-rippingly expensive ($28 for a mascara that costs US$6 is a fucking rip, and you know it Maybelline).

Back when Kmart redid their makeup section, they sold stuff really cheap. I was well into brown/black mascaras at this time, and that’s when I picked up the Revlon Photoready 3D and the MaxFactor 2000 Calorie mascaras. Revlon’s offering stayed unopened for a while, and fell in love with Max Factor’s, which made my lashes look long and fluffy with it’s thicker, drier formula. I noticed as time went on that it flaked off onto my cheeks at the end of the day, and left my lashes looking pretty shite. I thought it was down to it needing to be chucked, so I picked up another one. Straight out of the shop, same deal. Gave it 7 tries and got fed up. No thanks, Max.

Revlon, had the opposite problem – as it got older it became wetter, and left lash imprints everywhere. I also found the name misleading – it did give a brilliant result (especially with that brush on there – long soft plastic bristles everywhere that got all my lashes and made them stand out of my face like nobody’s business) but I promise you there was no volumising going on there whatsoever. The final complaint I have about this one is packaging. It’s a good mascara, but a makeup bag space hog. Not my favourite mascara of them all, but I didn’t despise it. Not like..

LA Colors brown mascara – a nightmare I should’ve seen coming, given it cost me $3. It did fuck all, and was way to warm for anyone. It was cruelty-free though, so props for that. I ended up desperately trying it in my brows for a week, and then it got gloopy. Not a good time.

There you go – some thoughts on mascara. A post you didn’t know you’d want to read. Or maybe you didn’t – I don’t know. Now go forth, and don’t buy an LA Colors mascara.

WRITING: ‘Moving In’

My past is messy. There’s no two ways about it. I used to worry about being boring – wishing for a more ‘interesting’ tomorrow.

Fuck, if only I could’ve seen what lay ahead.

Now I’ve been through it all and unpacked all the boxes, I can understand it. I’ve officially ‘moved in’, you might say. But something still feels a little off.

See just as I get comfy, thinking I’ve unpacked the lot, I find another box, sealed all those years ago. And I know I’m prepared to handle what the box contains, but sometimes it gets a bit overwhelming; when I remember just how many boxes I’ve been through in my short time here. Most peoples’ are labelled by year, maybe split into a few months. But my boxes are labelled sporadically – some containing several years, and some containing just a few weeks.

It makes me question my current state – how am I still here? Why am I still here? It seems to just be one thing after another, these past few years. Like I’ll never, ever catch a break.

And then there’s times like these, times when I feel the need to back-track and re-evaluate the past year or so. I mean after all, that’s the biggest box in the stack.

I’ve got no idea who I am, or even what I want – and I have absolutely no plans to figure it out. Knowing my luck, any plans I do make are just going to fuck up anyway, so why try to evade the surprise? It’s not pessimism, it’s realism. The rest of my life is just one big surprise, splintered into tiny pieces I stumble upon every day.

Where once I was terrified of my future, I now embrace it. Expectations are not for me anymore. I have no need to prepare, because whatever life throws at me, or whatever box I find, I can handle it and deal with it, all with a smile on my face. I can and I will handle it – with or without you, and that smile is going to be geniune. Why? Because I’m okay.

Shit, I never thought I’d be able to really, truthfully say that. I bet you didn’t either, but now I can. I’m okay.

And I love it.


This piece was written in April 2013, and is an original work of my own. If you have any thoughts on this piece, feel free to comment below. For any other enquiries, please email me at contact@luxelis.com.

WRITING: ‘Lonely’

Sometimes I am lonely. Everyone is now and then, I suppose.
I used to think there was only one kind of lonely – the crippling sense of abandonment and loss, echoing around my skull.

But I have learned that there are different kinds of loneliness.

There is the one I knew so well, of course there is. But more importantly, there are new kinds of lonely I don’t recall ever experiencing.

Suddenly the term takes new shapes according to my day. My loneliness can be contented, melancholic, delirious, confused, nostalgic or cantankerous.

It is wonderful to have an array of emotions contained in one word. Awareness is key to comfort, and alone isn’t so lonely when you can be comfortable with yourself.

That’s not to say I don’t experience the sense of a missing piece, and yearn for a reassuring hug.

But it means that when I am lonely, it’s not the be-all and end-all.

I can see my days stretching out endlessly in front of me, leading me to the horizon line in never-ending hopscotch tiles.

I recognise that my emotions are fleeting, and it is a joy to be capable of experiencing them all in such vivid colours, knowing that they are not enhanced or manufactured, but they are reality. That there is no filter over my heart to edit the emotion I register.

Amazing, how one state of mind can trigger such revelations in one tiny person standing atop a tiny, pea-sized planet at the edge of a dairy-themed galaxy.

Amazing how I can feel so small, so insignificant, and yet so infinitely powerful.

Sometimes I am lonely. But I don’t mind.

After all, you need the blanket of night to truly appreciate the stars.


This piece was written in July 2013, and is an original work of my own. If you have any thoughts on this piece, feel free to comment below. For any other enquiries, please email me at contact@luxelis.com.

New Fascinations: Colour/Lips

Continuing with my last New Fascinations post, I’m still focusing on makeup. Ironic given that I rarely wear it.. I know, I know. This time around, it’s colour products (highlighters, blush, bronzer, etc) and lip products – the things that’ve been launching the most lately. I’ve picked out the ones that stood out slightly more than the same-old face kits and high-coverage concealers, did some vague research and written some thoughts. Anyway, let’s get to it:


COLOUR


Lancôme,  Belle De Teint Mosaic Palette:
A summery limited edition, I am enamoured with this packaging. A giant diamondy compact is already all I want and need, but the inside is gorgeous too. Two contrasting colours of blush, and two of complimentary bronzer. The paler version is so-so, but just LOOK at that deeper one. Red blushes are my weakness.


YSL, Baby Doll Kiss & Blush Duo Stick:
 This launch feels very Korean-cosmetic-inspired. An extension from their existing Baby Doll Kiss & Blush liquid stains, this is a matte dual-colour balm that you can use on the lips and cheeks. It’s apparently very pigmented – I’d love to give it a go.


Benefit, Hoola Lite:
 Pale kids, rejoice. The cult bronzer is available in shades that won’t make you look like Jersey Shore! Definitely on my wish list – but I feel weird about buying it unless Benefit are planning to release a corresponding ‘deep’ shade too. Whitewashing isn’t cool.


BareMinerals,  Invisible Bronze Powder Bronzer: 
I saw Ruth Crilly swatching this in a recent video, and I’m mesmerized. It was smooth, gently pigmented and most importantly, not too warm. Get me to a Mecca so I can swatch it!


RMS Beauty,Magic Luminizer:
  The younger sister of a cult favourite, this is a champagne-toned, very natural cream highlighter. I think the original Living Luminizer will suit me better, but I’m glad they’ve released this for a wider range of tones.


BECCA,  Prismatic Amethyst Shimmering Skin Perfector:
NOBODY NEEDS A PURPLE POWDER HIGHLIGHTER. Please, stop the fuckery.


Lancôme,  My Parisian Pastels Limited Edition Shimmer Cubes
 Apparently you can use these things as a highlighter by swirling your brush across the cubes, or pick up a cube and apply it straight to your eyelid. Thing is, if they can be picked up and applied, it can’t be a very soft formula.. and the idea of dragging a sugar-cube of glitter across my eye makes me wince.


YSL,  Touche Éclat White Strobing Pen: 
Like the Touche Éclat, but instead of colour-corrective luminising goodness, it’s just white and ultra-super-glowy. I think this will either be god-awful, or absolutely stunning – no middle ground when it comes to Touche Éclat. If there is a problem, I suspect it’ll be in the blendability as this is where liquid/cream products tend to fall down. But if it’s good.. this will be a big seller.


LIPS

Revlon,  Ultra HD Gel Lip Colours: I’m not a big fan of matte lipsticks on the whole, so anything promising a moisturizing, comfortable texture and a decent pigment is something I’m keen on. I love the slimline packaging, too – much more elegant and precise than the usual. The shades I fancy the most are two pinky-plum ones: ‘Dawn’ and ‘Vineyard’.

Bobbi Brown, Art Stick Liquid Lip:  Bobbi have revamped their (excellent) Art Sticks to create a thick, demi-matte cream housed in a squeezy-tube, and these things are ace. ‘Azalea’ is the brightest and best new lipstick I’ve seen in a long time, and ‘Vintage Pink’ is one I would wear on the regular too. Selinah tells me these last for ages and don’t turn your lips into a desert, but Fleur de Force doesn’t agree – nonetheless, I need some for myself.

Antipodes, Moisture-Boost Natural Lipsticks: I quite enjoyed the previous incarnation of Antipodes’ lipsticks; it always impressed me how relatively opaque they were, given the all-natural ingredient list, and how well they wore. The whole line has had a face-lift, and new shades added – apparently the new formula is even more pigmented than before. I’m eyeing up ‘Queenstown Hot Chocolate’ and ‘Piha Beach’ Tangerine.

Benefit,  They’re Real! Double The Lip: These are supposed to be a combination of lipliner and lipstick – separate shades in the same cartridge, and shaped so the liner stays sharp. I can see how it should work, but what I don’t see is why you’d want one of these in such wildly opposing shades. Some match up and look quite nice, like ‘Lusty Rose’ (god, you can tell I’m on a Rose roll at the moment); but others such as ‘Pink Thrills’ just don’t match up for me.

L’Oreal Paris,  Infallible Matte Lip Colour: L’Oreal bringing in the weird and impractical packaging once again. These consist of a sponge tip applicator with a condensed pigment packed into the lid, so when you screw it on, it re-colours the applicator. There are obvious practicality issues here, but I also worry about the longevity of the sponge-tip applicator. Regardless, I want to try them. The reds and oranges look ridiculously pigmented, and ‘Virgin’ is a nice everyday colour.

Hourglass,  GIRL Lip Stylo: Everyone loves Hourglass: fact. No surprise then, that these new lip stylos have been such a hit. If I’m honest, I was a little disappointed – no innovative or particularly unique colours, and the formula seems a little less pigmented than I’d expect. However, I definitely have a bit of a hankering for two shades – ‘Activist’ and ‘Inventor’. Not too out there, but still interesting and flattering.

Kevyn Aucoin,  The Molten Lip Colour – Top Coat:  I’m pretty sure a lip colour ‘top coat’ is just a gloss, but I’m willing to put that aside for these gorgeous-looking things. They’re designed to be worn over lipsticks to add an extra dimension of holographic shine, and unlike most ‘holographic’ makeup, I am on board.

Lime Crime,  Diamond Crushers: These are a mega intense version of a lip top coat and are aptly named, because they do look like you have kissed diamond dust. I love the duochrome shift in most of them, and based on swatches, ‘Acid Fairy’ and ‘Trip’ look like the best. Having said that, I’m still not over the excessively dodgy antics of the company a few years ago, so I’ll pass.

So that’s it! There’s my thoughts on the newest things in makeup. Look out for the skincare edition coming up soon. In the meantime – is there anything I’ve mentioned that you’d love to or have tried?

New Fascinations: Eyes/Base

In the past year, I’ve noticed a steadily increasing stream of product releases. It seems every few weeks, multiple brands release new items into their arsenal and take the blogging world by storm – emails flood inboxes, flatlays are instagrammed, and YouTube hauls cut away to slick close-up demonstrations. Now more than ever we’re bombarded with overwhelming newness and hyperboles on the necessity of beauty products, but I’m easily bored when it comes to makeup. With such a steady stream of newness, my eyes start glazing over – for the most part, it all looks like the same contour palette. Despite this, over the past few months I have found myself with quite a wee list of interesting new products so I’ve done some poking around, swatching and investigating, and have a few thoughts on the latest items in the beauty world. This is a collection of things beyond highlighting drops and liquid lipsticks, that stand out and seem to offer us something different. Read on, and see if I’m as enthralled as people with affiliate links.


EYES


YSL, The Shock Mascara:
 This looks like YSL’s answer to Too Faced’s Better Than Sex (even the same colour cap). Very volumising, I hear it gives the oomph you want for lashes that seduce; and it comes in burgundy. Oh yes please, so long as it isn’t too sticky.


Nude By Nature, Eyeshadow Trio:
 Not the newest of the new, but I was so blown away by Nude By Nature’s relaunched single shadows, that I went in search of more. Their 3-pan palettes are well-curated and so, so tempting – the rose one is just begging to be mine.


Lancôme, Grandiose Liner:
 If you hadn’t heard, Lancôme have made a liquid eyeliner with a really weird handle on the brush. Word is the packaging innovation is just okay, but the formula is absolutely bomb. I’ve been looking for a smudge-free alternative to my Napoleon Perdis Matte Eye Ink, and I think this is it.


Rimmel London, Precise Eyeliner:
 Who doesn’t want royal-blue liner? It’s unusual that the more affordable brands take big colour risks in such products, and I’m glad – Rimmel are known for some excellent eyeliners, so I expect a solid product from them.


Maybelline, Eye Studio Master Drama Nude Eyeliner: 
This is a few months old now, but all my blogging friends are raving about the new (very long-named) Eye Studio liners from Maybelline. I was super impressed with their Colour Show liners a few years ago, and these are reported to be just as creamy and pigmented, with shimmer involved.


Benefit ,They’re Real! Duo Eyeshadow Blender:
 3 words. What the fuck?! The only good things I’ve heard about these were in a very-obviously sponsored video by Shaaanxo, and the rest has been (rightfully, it seems) negative. It’s 2017 – we’ve just begun to forget our unhygienic sponge-applicator sins of past, so please don’t bring them back.


L’Oreal Paris, Brow Artist Maker:
 This looks MAD. A kabuki-style, dense brush for your eyebrows? Attached to a plastic barrel of powdery stuff? I have Googled, and I can’t figure out how this could possibly work, but I am fascinated and desperately want to get my hands on one.


Stila, Magnificent Metals Glitter & Glow Liquid Eye Shadow:
 Another hugely popular recent launch, I was at first uninterested – I’m not keen on forking out $40 for a tiny tube of cream eyeshadow. But then the reviews started coming in, and I hear its incredible. Long-lasting, properly metallic and non-scratchy removal. Oh god. I DO need it.


Clarins, 4-Colour All-in-One Pen: 
Straight off the bat, this was never going to work. Clarins, what were you thinking? Making a pen with 4 thin cylinders of liner with no oxidation protection was always going to result in brittle, scratchy and dry liners that hurt people’s faces. I do love a good bit of stationery, but perhaps not when it comes to a product that’s going near my eye.


BASE

Estee Lauder, Perfectionist Serum Compact: I loved the original fluid Perfectionist foundation when I tried it, and I want a new compact solid cream foundation. This looks especially lovely, and has had good reviews.

Bobbi Brown, Retouching Wand: Yeah, these came out like 6 months ago.. but I still haven’t managed to swatch one. The idea, however, is right up my alley and Sophie reckons it’s good so of course, I want it too!

L’Oreal Paris, Fixing Mist: It’s not often I bother going all-out when doing makeup on myself, but when I do, it pisses me off when it starts transferring (though it’s usually due to a fault with my face). I refuse to drop lots on a setting spray and I hear great things about this, so I’d like to give it a shot.

Shiseido, IBUKI Smart Filtering Smoother: So I should’ve realised when I read the ingredients list that this wasn’t a thick, tub product. But I thought it was. Regardless I was excited, especially due to the SPF content. Then I searched actual, not-PR images and it’s a flat, squeeze tube thing. HALF the height of it is just the damn lid. Not excited anymore.

Urban Decay, Self-Adjusting Complexion Primer: The aforementioned Shaaanxo video introduced me to this – I watched her put it on her face and I actually saw a magic difference, so I thought I would very much like it. Now I’m torn, because I’ve also read a few bad reviews. I’ll need to get a sample.

NARS, Soft Matte Complete Concealer: Another big-scale launch in Beauty Land. Apparently this is no normal pot concealer; it really is soft! It won’t tug at your eyes! Velvety as fuck, and as always with NARS, very sleek packaging.

Kevyn Aucoin, The Loose Powder Brush: I love the shape of this thing, it looks like a broom you’d find on a spaceship. It’s goat hair, which I do love in a powder brush, and is a nice size – smaller than others I have, but still enough for my moon of a face.

By Terry, Hyaluronic Hydra Powder: To be honest, I haven’t looked up reviews for this. ‘Hyaluronic’ + ‘Powder’ are not words I normally pair, so my interest is piqued. The mini is $17 at Mecca and I have decided I’ll have it. Don’t talk me out of it.

BECCA, First Light Priming Filter: Yeah, fine concept.. let’s be real though, most consumers can’t be arsed getting on the colour-correcting train. It’s vital for makeup artists, but we have other tricks that don’t have a pants-shittingly expensive price tag.

What new beauty things have caught your eye recently?

EMPTIES | January 2017

And again, here we are – but this time, with a new year to incorrectly write on forms for a few months.

Look at my trash, I guess?

Caudalie Beauty Elixir: I bought this on a whim from Sephora, after seeing long-time faves Sali Hughes and Caroline Hirons raving about it – I had no idea it had so much menthol in it, but I’m still a fan. Where most brands push their spritzes as “pore-tightening” or something equally as impossible for a fancy water to do, Beauty Elixir lives up to it’s claims and more. It really DOES speed skin healing, and feels incredible. The packaging is pretty luxe regularly, but my special edition Jason Wu design is one I’ll be keeping to reuse. I can see why it’s a classic. Repurchase? Yes, when I can afford to.

LUSH Curly Wurly coconut shampoo: This was a sample I received with one of my kitchen orders – I’d wanted to try it for ages, but was apprehensive about the chunks of coconut in it getting tangled in my hair. I was right to be – it made my hair washing process fairly harder than normal. Despite how much I liked the results of the rest of the shampoo, the coconut pieces just weren’t worth it. Repurchase? Not unless the formula is changed, sadly.

LUSH Angels On Bare Skin fresh cleanser: Another sample that came – I had it once before a few years ago and didn’t like it because of the oily layer it left. My skin is drier now, and I my skincare tastes have matured so I can appreciate the hydrating layer it leaves. I do like it, but I wish I could buy smaller sizes – due to the other LUSH cleanser in this empties, I never even finished this sample before it’s use-by*. Repurchase? I’m definitely considering it, but I’ll have to ensure I’m only using that one while I have it.

Seventeen Phwoarr Paint under-eye concealer in Fair: As you can see, this isn’t used up – but it’s so old, it really needs to go. I mentioned it a few months ago in a Favourites post and those feelings haven’t changed, if I’m honest. I’ve just had this far too long.. coming up 3 years now! Repurchase? When my Bobbi Brown corrector is used up, I think I will. An excellent dupe at a much more reasonable price.

Goodness Skincare Chia Seed Oil: Another recent favourites mention, I am well and truly on the Goodness bandwagon. A no-nonsense, quality skincare brand that doesn’t cost the earth. Inspired. This chia seed oil hydrates my face excellently, and its now a staple in my routine before my moisturiser. On days that are particular write-offs, I like to use twice as much as normal in place of my moisturiser for a big boost of nourishment. Repurchase? Currently using another mini I got with my full-size purchase, but when that’s up, I definitely will.

Trilogy Very Gentle Cleansing Cream: It’s been 18 months since I escaped left Farmers, and I’ve finally finished my last tube of this cleanser. It’s been my go-to gentle cleanser for the longest time, and there’s not much more I can say about it that I haven’t already. It leaves slight residue, but cleanses thoroughly without irritating the skin – one of the few cleansers I don’t have to immediately moisturise after using. Repurchase? I’m on a new cream cleanser buzz now due to budget, but if I can handle the price, I’d love to use this again.

LUSH Bûche de Noël fresh cleanser: Because I was just getting in to my sample of Angels on Bare Skin around Christmas, I thought I’d pick up the festive cleanser LUSH put out annually, as they were apparently quite similar. They were, but I didn’t like this. The smell is fine (though a little strange in summer), but large pieces of cranberry are really annoying to put on your skin and to fish out of your plughole. Also, didn’t last well. Repurchase? No, as I only got a third of the way through this before I needed to chuck it out.

Goodness Every Day Cream Cleanser: Another mini from my Goodness sample box, and boy is it a goodie. It’s now replaced my Trilogy Very Gentle as my favourite cleansing cream, not least because it’s less than half the price and works just as well. Not quite as soothing, I’ll admit, but still amazing – I use so little that my full-size will go very far. Repurchase? Already have!

Evolu Purifying Mask: Just like the Trilogy one, this is one of my final tubes from my days at Farmers. It’s a hard-core clay mask that will pull oil from your skin like nothing else. Incredible for when my skin feels congested and unbalanced. I also like to mix it with a cream mask such as my Antipodes Aura mask, and it does a beautiful job of rebalancing my complexion without sapping moisture from my mantle. Repurchase? It’ll be rough, but yes. It’s worth the dollars.

LUSH Wash That Man Right Out of My Hair shower gel: I bought this when the latest lot of new permanent products came into NZ LUSH Stores, and only in 100mL in case I hated it (reviews are pretty split across the blogosphere). Turns out I really like it – it’s a lavender/jasmine/rose/guava/fig scent, and I’m pretty sure it’s the first time I’ve experienced lavender in a more bracing format as opposed to the usual ‘relaxation’ vibe. It’s awesome – bright and refreshing. Also makes an excellent clarifying shampoo. Repurchase? Yes, definitely.

What did you use up in January? Anything you really loved/hated?