Beauty Pick: Top 5 Mascaras

Mascaras are one of the most difficult things to buy. Unlike a blush or eyeshadow, you can’t simply pick one up and purchase without testing. Even if you do test them, it can be hard to tell if they are doing anything for your lashes.
I do admit I am picky when it comes to mascaras. I need to know that they will wear well, don’t smudge, hold the curl and yet thicken and lengthen my lashes at the same time. Also, I need any new mascara to play well with others as I often layer up to three on the same eyelashes. Beauty gurus out there, I know you feel me!
So after the dozens of mascaras I’ve been through, I have rounded up the 5 best ones that work especially well for voluminising and lengthening lashes. I haven’t yet found a perfect mascara that holds the curl for more than 4 hours, so I’ll keep you posted on that!

Note: these mascaras aren’t in order of pick: mascaras

1. Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Mascara

This new discovery has quickly become one of my faves! The thicker brush means that mascara voluminises lashes in one swipe, meaning you don’t have to apply multiple coats. It is also very black and does not flake/smudge even after a good 10 hours of wear.

The only thing is that it can clump lashes together so I have to use a skinny brush to comb them out (as I apply a few coats) but if you only apply one coat it should be fine!

Repurchased? No, still on my first tube.

2. Chanel Inimitable Intense Mascara

Aside from Bobbi, Chanel is one of my favourite luxury makeup brands. I know I say this for a lot of different products, but they do many products consistently well. One of these fantastic products is the Inimitable Intense in Noir.

I was a convert early on quite a few years ago when the original Inimitable was introduced. What I LOVE about it is the brush shape, which is rare amongst most mascaras.

The conical shape gets every lash and makes sure there are absolutely no clumps. It doesn’t smudge a bit yet gives a really lush black appearance to lashes. I zigzag the wand when I use it and it boosts the volume as well as length.

No complaints, I love it!

Repurchased? Not the Intense version but I have owned the original Inimitable.

3. Maybelline Volum’ Express The Falsies Mascara

The fluffy, curved brush (apparently a patented Spoon Brush design) takes some getting used to but it really does give you the false lash look in just a few swipes.

It’s also available in Waterproof but I didn’t buy that as waterproof mascaras usually dry out my lashes. This is probably one of the best drugstore options out there along with Covergirl Lash Blast (an old fave). My lashes are noticeably thicker and blacker when I have The Falsies on.

Repurchased? No, I want to test out other drugstore versions. Also, I have so many mascaras I’m trying to use up…

4. Tarte Amazonian Clay Smart Mascara

The best feature of this mascara is its lash regenerating ability. Whenever I use it for a prolonged period (>2 weeks daily) I notice my lashes are stronger, don’t fall out as much and are slightly thicker. They’re also blacker and glossier.

It’s also super comfortable to apply and wear; no clumps whatsoever and it lengthens/thickens my lashes easily. Only complaint is that I apply so many coats that the curl doesn’t hold up for long!

Repurchased? Yes, twice already! (Partly because it’s not available in Australia)

5. Koji Dolly Wink Black Mascara

I purchased this for the first time from Watsons in Takashimaya Singapore, as they were having a special deal (mascara + pencil eyeliner for $21 I believe).

It’s not one I instinctively reach for though, but it is a pretty good mascara. It lengthens more than thickens, and is totally clump free. In fact, I use this mascara to declump my Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye mascara.

The skinny brush makes it easy to apply each lash, even the bottom ones, and is a nice everyday mascara.

Repurchased? Nope.

Mascaras I don’t like:

Just because we’re on this subject, the mascaras I have tried and disliked include:

Dior DiorShow – The XXL brush is way too large for my eyes and I feel it didn’t thicken/lengthen my lashes whatsoever.. Don’t understand the hype at all!

Benefit Bad Gal – Again, an unremarkable mascara that doesn’t deserve cult status (too natural looking and smudges!)

NYX Faux Lashes Boudoir – Unsure of why I even purchased this (from Asos). It clumps and smudges too easily…

Revlon Grow Luscious – I purchased this as it had Jessica Biel as the spokesmodel. Unfortunately a bad buy! It was too natural looking and didn’t ‘grow’ my lashes at all.

Stila Stay All Day – Umm, stay all day it did NOT! I remember wearing this to Disneyland two years ago and it totally smudged after a mere 2 hours. I constantly had to touch up in the restrooms which was a pain!

P.S I threw it away after the second day.


OK, enough ranting. Hope you enjoyed!


Sephora Haul: NAKED3, Becca and Tarte

It’s been a long time since I last posted, but here I am again with a fresh new haul from Sephora, courtesy of HopShopGo, a US parcel forwarding service. Sephora, when are you going to listen to your international customers and start offering shipping to Australia??

Anyway, I just wanted to post a quick haul and first impressions of 3 things that I purchased (note: all prices in USD):

  • Tarte Eye-ssentials Amazonian Clay Discovery Kit, $33
  • Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette, $52
  • Becca Shimmering Skin Pressed Perfector in Moonstone, $38


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What to pack for… A winter weekend getaway

what to pack for a winter weekend

Have you ever found yourself at a loss to what to pack when faced with an upcoming holiday or vacation? I’ve been there, done that and after countless trips involving a moment of agony when I realised I forgot to pack moisturiser, or worse, my entire makeup bag, I feel like I’ve learnt my lesson when it comes to packing.

And yes, I did actually leave my entire makeup bag behind by accident before a weekend trip to Sydney, meaning that I had to depend on the ONLY makeup item in my hand carry, which was a black pencil eyeliner. I even used it to do my brows.

So, because of these unpleasant memories, I’m going to start doing a “What to pack” series each week, so that you’ll never have to forget a single item again!

This week is what I would pack when going away for the weekend in winter…

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Review: Chanel Travel Makeup Palette Altitude



On my recent trip to Singapore and Hong Kong, I couldn’t help but pick up a few more Chanel items – when you’re at duty free and prices are significantly cheaper than at home, there’s no question about it: simply buy them! Well, it seemed simple then. Not so much when I looked at my credit card statements last month…

Anyway, I digress – here is one of the most exciting things that I got! I purchased the Chanel Travel Makeup Palette Altitude at Changi Airport as it was limited edition and I believe it may also only be an Asia-only release. It was sold out at the Hong Kong airport, would you believe?



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USA haul: Part 1

On my recent month long trip to America in November, I picked up a number of makeup things (actually, quite a lot of makeup things) from Sephora, Nordstrom and Walgreens/CVS.

Here’s what I bought day one in San Francisco – prices are in USD with the AUD price for comparison (note that 1 USD = 0.95 AUD).

  • Stila Snow Angel Colour Palette (limited edition) & Stay All Day waterproof mascara, $39 (amazing price! This retails in Australia for $79 at Mecca)
  • Obsessive Compulsive Pro Picks Lip Tar Set, $49 (not available in Australia)
  • Becca Beach Tint mini duo in Watermelon and Fig, $20 (retails in Australia for $39)
  • Bite Beauty Bite Size Discovery Set, $25 (not sold in Australia)
  • Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Blush in Quickie, $39 (not sold here)


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“No makeup” makeup look

 Everyone wants to get that natural, “no makeup” look, but very few can actually pull that off wearing no makeup at all. Most of us need a little concealing, a little highlighting and some definition to get our faces looking perfectly natural.

Here’s how I get my “no makeup” makeup look.

1. Wake up.

2. Moisturise – a fairly thick formulation in the winter and a lighter, gel-like one in the summer

3. Squeeze a little concealer onto my finger and pat it into my under-eye circles with my fingers to warm up the product, which gives a more natural application. Usually a bisque coloured concealer will eliminate most dark circles, but if yours are purplish in colour you may need a yellow toned corrector.

4. Dab more concealer onto small blemishes with my finger. Steps 3 and 4 are essential to create a flawless, healthy look.

5. Mix a little moisturiser with foundation to get a tinted moisturiser. Alternatively, you can just use store-bought tinted moisturiser. This will even out your skin tone, but not make it seem as if you’re wearing a thick layer of foundation. I use either my fingers or a stippling brush.

6. Rub some cream blush onto the apples of my cheeks with my fingers again. One of my newest favourite products is MAC Cream Colour in Bamboo. The sheer peach-brown colour is ideal for this look. Blush will add colour into your face, but the creamy consistency means that it goes on sheer.

7. Dab some highlighting cream onto the tops of my cheekbones, under the brow bone and cupid’s bow. I like using DuWop Doubleglow 7 or YSL Touche Eclat in a shade lighter than my skin tone. This will bring a ‘lit from within’ glow to your face.

8. Fill in my brows with a matching shade, just enough to fill in the gaps but not defining the brow too much.

9. Curl my eyelashes and add a few coats of mascara – a really natural option is Maybelline Full N’ Soft.

10. I also like to run a dark brown eyeliner pencil closely along my upper lashline, then diffusing the line out with an angled eyeliner brush. It won’t look like you’re wearing eyeliner but still provides subtle definition.

11. Add a coat of tinted lip balm.

And that’s it! It’s relatively easy to create a “no makeup” look – it’s really all about perfecting the skin and adding some natural colour into your face. No strong brows, no heavy eyeliner and certainly no bright lips – they look great but aren’t suitable for this type of look.

The “no makeup” look is perfect for low-key days when you want to show your face to the public but don’t want to look overly tired or worn out. Hope you enjoyed it! :)