Sephora haul: Pantone colour of the year, Too Faced & Urban Decay

Hi guys!
A quick post on my brand new Sephora haul. Review to come soon!

Sephora x Pantone colour of the year Radiant Femme Artistry Palette

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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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Roundup of best eyebrow kits

I’ve been obsessed with brow grooming lately, more so than usual. I don’t feel complete without a neat, but not perfectly shaped, brow. It’s a complex art, I know… you want to avoid that dreadful tattooed on brow look where the eyebrow is thin, overplucked and flat. You also want to avoid filling in your brows with a colour that doesn’t match your natural hair. What you want are natural and healthy looking eyebrows that frame your face and imparts an air of confidence and intelligence.

Okay, so that might sound a bit far fetched, but the basic idea is that a good eyebrow polishes off your entire look. You can have a perfectly made up face but if your eyebrows are sparse, patchy or light, it will throw the whole look off.

Case in point – Olivia Wilde in 2003 (Image from Allure magazine June 2013 issue)

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… and now:

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With this in mind, I’m going to present an eyebrow kit roundup – including some I have tried and some that have just caught my eye.

1. Bobbi Brown Dark Brown Brow Kit ($90)

Bobbi Brown Dark Brow Kit

What it comes with: two powder eyeshadows, mini tweezers and mini brow brush. The dark brow kit version includes Saddle and Mahogany shadows (Saddle is my personal favourite). You can find this at the Bobbi Brown website or at Myer/David Jones.

What I like about this: The mirror on the underside of the lid swings out to reveal a magnifying mirror behind! Also, the eyeshadows are high quality and looks very natural.

What I don’t like about this: The price – I get more than just a few raised eyebrows when I tell customers how much it costs…

2. Lunasol Brow Styling Compact

Lunasol brow styling compact

I’m not sure what the price is, it wasn’t on the Lunasol website but it’s one of the higher end Japanese brands. It comes with 4 powder eyebrow shades, a dual ended brow brush and an eyeshadow applicator. Four colours seems a little excessive for an eyebrow, but the pale ivory shade is supposed to highlight the browbone while the other 3 colours are supposed to fill in the brow with a 3D “gradating effect”.

What I like about this: The lighter shades can be used as eyeshadows.

What I don’t like about this: Too many shades!

3. Benefit Brow Zings (US$30 but probably more in Australia)

Benefit Brow Zings

This little kit comes with a brown wax to keep hairs in place, and a powder to fill and set eyebrows. There are also tweezers, a hard angle brow brush and a blending brush.

What I like about this: It comes with wax!

What I don’t like: I would have preferred a spoolie brush instead of a blending brush to comb through the hairs.

4. Urban Decay Brow Box (US$29)

Urban Decay brow box

Urban Decay’s version is a purple plastic case with a metallic cover. Inside, it comes with 2 powder eyebrow shades, wax, tweezers, 2 angled brow brushes and 2 mirrors.

What I like about this: A lot of things! The fact that it comes with wax and has 2 mirrors (one is magnifying) as well as the cute packaging.

What I don’t like: It can be a little bulky. It fits into the palm of your hand, yes, but it’s rather tall!

Note: This brand isn’t available in Australia but there are sites such as beautybay.com that will ship to Australia :)

5. Sephora Eyebrow Editor Complete Brow Kit (US$19)

Sephora Eyebrow Editor

I love the design of this one! It comes with 2 brow powders, setting wax, tweezer, spoolie brush and angled brow brush. It also comes in shades for light, medium and dark hair.

What I like about this: It’s an all in one kit with the perfect type of brushes that I like to use.

What I don’t: If the eyebrow powder is too powdery or doesn’t last, if the wax is too shiny, and if the angle brush isn’t stiff enough. (These are all if’s though, as I haven’t tried it!)

6. Too Faced Brow Envy Brow Shaping & Defining Kit (US$35)

Too faced brow envy

Wow… This kit is like the ultimate dream for any brow-obsessed individual! It contains wax, 2 brow powders in Blonde and Brunette, a highlighter shade, tweezers, 2 brushes, 3 stencils, a brow pencil (dark brown) and a step by step guide.

What I like about it: It’s a pretty indulgent brow experience, and I love the little pullout drawer. Perfect for displaying on the dresser! Also, the highlight is a nice touch.

What I don’t: It’s a one size fits all kit, there are no specific editions for dark haired girls and light haired girls. I also wouldn’t use the stencils as I have mine shaped professionally. Also it’s bulky and not good for travel, but I don’t think this is made for travel anyway :)

7. Milani Brow Fix ($13.95 from CrushCosmetics.com.au)

Milani brow fix

 

According to the Crush Cosmetics website, this comes with 7 essential tools: “Straight edged tweezers, slanted brow filler brush, brow bone sponge applicator, 3X magnifying mirror, brow bone highlighter and two tone-on-tone powders (light & dark) to fill and shape brows”.

What I like about this: It has a stand up applicator holder that’s so cute! Also, the price is great!

What I don’t: The darkest version looks like it would be too light for my eyebrows, plus I don’t really like sponge tipped applicators. The packaging also looks cheap (it is a drugstore brand anyway, so I can’t really hold that against Milani).

8. Face Shop Face It Designing Cake Eyebrow 

Face Shop

Again I’m not sure how much this is as it wasn’t online, but there is a store in the Perth CBD (and one in Melbourne Central) in case anyone wants to know… Anyway, it comes with 2 powders, a spoolie and an angled brush. Nothing too special but just the basics.

What I like about this: A nice basic kit for those who don’t want to mess around with wax if they’re in a hurry. Also, the Face Shop is generally quite affordable (my thoughts are that this set is below $25)

What I don’t like about this: No wax, although that isn’t really a big deal.

9. Le Sourcil de Chanel ($49)

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I’m surprised at the price – not bad, considering it’s Chanel! It comes with 3 powders, an angled brush, a flat spoolie and tweezers.

What I like about this: The packaging and the fact that it comes with a magnifying mirror. Also, the powders are mineral pigments.

What I don’t: From the picture it seems as if the third shade has a green tinge, which I don’t particularly like. Maybe it’s different in real life?

10. Lancome Le Regard Pro Eye Brow Expertise Kit

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This actually looks a lot nicer than the Chanel kit! It comes with 4 powders (one is a highlight shade), tweezers and a double ended applicator.

What I like about this: It’s really sleek and slim, packaging is a major plus point. Also, the tweezers are actually full size, and from the reviews I have read so far, the tweezers perform quite well. The double ended brush is also a great idea and the flat brush side can be used to apply eyeshadow.

What I don’t: I probably won’t have much use for the third shade, which is more suited to blondes, but it could be easily used as a matte eyeshadow. Also, the darkest shade may not be dark enough for me (I have black hair).

 

So.. which brow kit will you pick? Or will you stick with the good old brow pencil?

 

Review: Urban Decay NAKED basics

Today I’m going to review Urban Decay’s NAKED basics palette, which retails for US$27 at Sephora. My mum kindly bought this for me on her recent trip to the States (along with some other makeup goodies I’ll be reviewing later on as well).

This compact palette of 6 neutral shades is Urban Decay’s first matte palette, four of which have not been released before. Foxy and Walk of Shame (WOS) are the two previously released shades. It comes in a sturdy plastic brown case that fits into the palm of my hand. Inside there is a wide mirror that takes up all of the cover side of the palette. However, this palette doesn’t come with a brush.

Read on for my review!

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Tag: 40 beauty questions

I’m not sure why I like doing tags so much, it’s probably the same reason why I love making lists of everything, from groceries to makeup items I need/want most now. I think it makes me feel organised! Anyway, I stumbled upon The Beauty Loft‘s answers to the 40 beauty questions tag and thought it would be fun to do. So here we go!

SKINCARE:

How many times do you wash your face daily?

Once a day, when I shower. In the morning, I use toner and cold water to wake up.

What skin type do you have? (dry,oily,combo)

I have normal/combination skin. My cheeks can be a tad dry and my t-zone slightly shiny by the afternoon.

What is your current facial wash?

Fresh Soy Face Cleanser. I bought it to try out a non-soapy cleanser and am liking it so far, although my face doesn’t feel as ‘clean’ as when I use a foaming cleanser.

Do you exfoliate?

Yes, once a week.

What brand do you use?

Being a makeup artist and makeup lover, I use a range of brands but find myself going back to Chanel, Bobbi Brown, Laura Mercier, Urban Decay and NARS.

What moisturiser do you use?

SKII Stempower Cream.

Do you have freckles?

Nope.

Do you use eye cream?

Yes – Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Synchronised Complex.

Do you or did you have acne prone skin?

No.

Did you ever have to use Pro-activ?

No but I’ve heard good things about it.

MAKEUP:

What foundation do you use?

I actually switch between 4-5 different foundations, but a favourite has been Laura Mercier Oil-Free Supreme Foundation.

How about concealer?

Since I purchased my Cle de Peau concealer in December, I have not gone a day without this on. Definitely HG item!

Do you know your undertone color?

I’m not distinctly warm nor cool so I’d say neutral (can wear pink based shades and yellow based shades in moderation).

What do you think of fake eyelashes?

Love them, but not for everyday wear.

Did you know that you are supposed to change your mascara every 3 months?

Yes… and I try to dispose of them every 3 months but if it’s a high-end brand I usually use them ’till the end.

What brand of mascara do you use?

Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes!

Sephora or MAC?

Sephora – more brands!

Do you have a MAC Pro card?

Yes.

What makeup tools do you use in make up application?

My face and eye brushes, sponge, eyelash curler, brow spoolie and of course, my fingers!

Do you use make-up base/primer for the eyes?

Most of the time. I use Too Faced Shadow Insurance.

For the face?

Not on myself usually, but on clients (depending on skin type) I will use either Too Faced sensitive skin primer or Clinique Pore Minimiser.

What is your favorite eyeshadow (color or shade)?

My go-to shade is taupe. It makes me look more awake and my eyes look bigger and brighter, strangely enough. I like using Bare Minerals The Truth palette (shade in Magnetism) or Satin Taupe by MAC.

Do you use pencil or liquid eyeliner?

Neither – a gel is my usual choice.

How often do you poke your eyes with an eyeliner pencil?

I don’t poke my eyes with a pencil but sometimes when I apply mascara, bits can get into my eye. :(

What do you think of pigment eyeshadows?

They’re beautiful, but I don’t use them for everyday or natural looks as they, well, don’t look too natural.

Do you use mineral makeup?

Yes. Bare Minerals do a really great loose foundation and mineral veil.

What is your favorite lipstick?

Chanel Rouge Allure in Genius.

How about lipgloss?

Probably Tarte’s Vitamin Infused Lip Gloss – I have a variety of shades. I love the minty, non-sticky feeling, plus it doesn’t highlight lines.

What is your favorite blush to use?

Korres Zea Mays blush in Wild Rose, a cool-toned dark pink blush with a purple undertone. Weirdly enough this shade looks natural on me!

Do you buy your makeup on ebay?

Nope.

Do you like drugstore makeup?

Yes, but in Australia it’s kind of expensive – some of the brands are similar to MAC prices, believe it or not.

Do you go to CCO’s? (cosmetic company outlets)

There aren’t any in Australia but when I am in the US, I always do!

Did you ever consider taking make-up classes?

Yep – I completed my makeup course in 2011.

Are you clumsy in putting on makeup?

Haha, strange question… I would hope not.

Name a makeup crime that you hate?

Apart from orangey fake tans, I really hate it when women wear foundation that’s too dark or too light for them. Most of the time, it’s too light and gives this the face a white cast.

Do you like colorful shades of makeup (lipstick,eyeshadow) or neutral ones?

I love both, but I tend to reach for neutral colours.

Which celebrity always has great make up?

Emma Stone! She always experiments with different looks without looking over the top or too ‘fashion-y’.

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If you could leave the house using just ONE make up item, what would you use?

Eyeliner, on top and bottom lash lines just to define and make my eyes look bigger.

Could you ever leave the house without any makeup on?

Yes, I have done so a couple of times to run errands, although I always hope I don’t see anyone I know!

Do you think you look good even without any makeup on?

I think I know my face a bit too well by now so it’s hard to tell if I look good without makeup. My sister and boyfriend say I do. Aww :)

In your opinion, what is the BEST makeup line?

There is no best line – all brands have great products but they also invariably have not so great ones.

What do you think of makeup??

I love it. It’s more than just a passion to me – it’s my life and my employment! Putting on makeup makes me feel better knowing that I look better, and hopefully others do too.

How to shop for beauty products online

If you’re like me and love shopping online, but aren’t sure where and how to go about purchasing makeup and beauty products online, then this guide is for you.

You may have avoided online shopping in the past because you were unsure of how the products would look on your skin or if the colours were true to depiction. These are all valid concerns, but the great thing about the Internet is that you may actually be getting a better deal online than in stores. Here’s what to watch out for.

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Favourite eye palettes

I was walking by Kit Cosmetics today on a window shopping trip (money is tight at the moment) and saw the new eyeshadow palette from Smashbox, the Shades of Fame palette. I saw EmilyNoel83 talk about this on youtube, so I went to have a closer look… It’s amazing!

I’m not the biggest fan of Smashbox’s products, in fact their eyeshadow trios are a little dusty and not very pigmented, so I was surprised when I tested out the Shades of Fame colours – it’s like they changed their formulation or something.

Anyway, I thought I would share with you my five fave eyeshadow palettes, since we’re on the topic – I’m definitely including this Smashbox one! I only have one thing to say about the prices of these palettes in Australia – they are OUTRAGEOUS, given the dollar is so strong!!!

In no particular order…

1. Smashbox Shades of Fame, $64.95, Kit Cosmetics

Image from Smashbox Cosmetics

Despite not having actually purchased this palette, I can already tell it’ll be one of my favourites because of the beautiful pigmentation of all the shadows. Unlike their previous formulations, these glide on easily and the colour selection is fresh and on-trend without being unwearable. Pacific, the brightest colour in the palette, can be worn as a ‘pop’ shade on the lower lashline. My favourite colours, though, are Praline and Sherbert.

I also like it because it comes with two cream shadows or liners, which are nice complementary colours and saves you some time when it comes to doing your makeup. Previous experience with Smashbox liners has informed me that they have great staying power, too. The only thing I would be concerned about is that they might dry out over time as they don’t have any lid or covering over the top.

Other cons? I’m not crazy about cover images of photographers and models, either.

2. Urban Decay Naked Palette, Beautybay.com, $57.50

Of course, like any other blogger out there, the Naked palette makes my top five. Since they no longer stock UD in Australia, I had to purchase mine from a UK site.

You can read my review here, but in a nutshell: it is one of the best colour selections and pigmentation I’ve ever seen in an eyeshadow palette, but it’s really natural as well. Great for bridal makeup!

Loved it so much I bought two!

3. bare minerals READY eyeshadow 4.0 in The Truth, Kit Cosmetics, $39.95

Image from gorgeousshop.co.uk

If I were to go on holiday and were only allowed one eyeshadow palette, I would take this along. It’s compact, not too heavy, and can take me from day to night, that’s why! The shade Magnetism (top right), in particular, is so pretty, and perfect for everyday use. In fact, that’s the shade I use the most on an everyday basis, with Serendipitous (top left) in the inner corner and browbone.

Again, pigmentation is excellent (that’s a must-have for my eyeshadows) and while it doesn’t wear as long as the Naked palette, it stays on for a reasonable length of time, goes on really smoothly and blends well. I like it also because it contains ingredients like borage oil, cucumber, caffeine etc – and I like to know that my eyeshadow can double up as skin care at the same time! While there is some fallout (because it’s really mineral powder made into pressed format), it doesn’t really bother me.

4. Lancome travel palette (limited edition), Singapore Changi Airport, $65

[Picture and exact name coming soon… I’m not at home at the moment so I can’t check!]

I know I said that the bare minerals READY palette would be by no.1 choice for travel, but this Lancome palette would be my choice for an all-in-one makeup palette (eyes + face + lips). It’s an Asian limited edition, purchased in the airport en route to Melbourne in January this year. It’s really lightweight, looks really posh and is amazing quality.

The slim case is black and glossy and inside are four eyeshadows (ivory, pink, taupe and brown) that are really soft to the touch. Not as pigmented as the other eyeshadows I’ve just mentioned; when worn they are really subtle but gives a more natural look. It also comes with a rose pink blush which is perfect for my skin tone and two lip colours (one a berry lipstick and one a sparkly pink lipgloss). Everything applies well and gives an overall very natural look! Simply love this!

5. NYX 10 colour eyeshadow palette in Caviar and Bubbles, Groove Cosmetics, $14.95

Can you tell I love neutrals? :)

This is another one of my faves, this time a budget friendly pick! I love NYX eyeshadows because they’re usually really silky and stay for a good five hours, although they aren’t as pigmented as my other higher end shadows. The price is pretty good though, so I’m satisfied!

 

 

Tag! Seven deadly sins of beauty

I’ve seen the ‘Seven deadly sins of beauty’ floating around youtube world for the past couple of weeks and it looks fun and I love makeup obsessively as it is, so I thought I’d try it out!

Images via Forever21 lookbook

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