Review: Dr Lewinns Revitanail Whitening Glow

If you wear nail polish A LOT, then you might have run into the problem of yellowing nails. I think we can all agree that this is not the most attractive ‘look’. Some nail polish colours stain the nail bed more easily (reds, purples, blacks etc), so it makes sense that if you wear even light shades of nail polish over extended periods of time (without a break) they will stain your nails eventually to some degree. Of course, you have to rule out other health issues (such as nail infections/fungus etc) however, generally if you are healthy and you know that you have been wearing nail polish non-stop over the last few weeks/months, you can generally put it down to this cause. If you want to get even more technical and science-y, a good explanation of this phenomena is because your nails are made up of dead cells binded together and keratin. Keratin allows the movement of water throughout your nail bed and can also absorb water. Some of the pigments within nail polishes are a types of iron oxides. Iron oxide is often used to make yellow and red pigment and is what is found in rust (it’s what gives rust it’s orangey or red tone). A good base coat can sometimes act as a total barrier between your nail bed and coloured nail polish, however not all base coats are as good as each other and they can break down over time.

Not only is a break from nail polish a good idea if you find your nails starting to yellow, but once you start to paint them again, a whitening nail polish which is a translucent white colour can counter-act the yellow pigments in the nail bed (visually at least). As you can guess, I have been wearing nail polish way to often lately and found this to happen to my nails. I saw the new Dr Lewinns Revitanail Whitening Glow polish at my local chemist and decided to give it a go.

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This is what Dr Lewinns Revitanail claims this polish will do:

“An enhancing nail treatment providing an instant smoothing and perfecting effect. Makes yellow brittle nails natural looking, beautiful and bright. Contains perfecting White Sapphire and whitening peptide B-White to help brighten nails. Directions: Apply 1 coat for a sheer finish and 2 coats for a brighter look. Finish with 1 coat of Top Coat for a gel-like finish. Reapply top coat every 2 days for extended wear.”

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Pretty big claims huh lol I don’t know what or how the white sapphire and peptides are meant to work, but I was willing to give it a go. First of all, I tried the Whitening Glow product on its own, without any undercoat or top coat. The polish in itself isn’t strengthening which is a shame. After about 2-3 days the polish starts to chip and flake away quite dramatically. I then tried the polish on top of a strengthening base coat, which seemed to help it last and keep my nails in better condition. A top coat also helps with this of course. Even when using a base and top coat, the staying power of this nail polish isn’t the best ever. I start to notice wear after a few days and chips start to occur around day 4-5. One coat of the Whitening nail polish gives a very subtle look but it does minimise the yellow tone of nails.

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Above: One coat of Whitening Glow

A second coat of Whitening Glow gives you a whiter and brighter nail bed, however I do have to add that if you apply the nail polish to thickly (which is easy to do with this formula as it’s slightly on the thicker side) it can go streaky and look very uneven. I wouldn’t recommend applying more than two coats of this polish, because each layer takes a while to dry since it’s on the thicker side and if you apply a layer over half dry nail polish, you have to deal with unevenness, streaks and general messiness.

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Above: Two coats of Whitening Glow

If you are careful with your application and your prep and finish your nails with a base coat and a top coat, this product can make your nails look healthy and gives them a subtle and sophisticated glow. Because it is fussy and frustrating (who has time to wait 10 minutes or more in-between coats) I won’t be reaching for it to often.

I remember back in high school I used a whitening nail polish by Cutex and I am going to see if it is still available, as that nail polish was so easy to apply without the fear of streaks appearing and from what I remember, had awesome lasting power. Let’s *hope* it is still around so i can compare it to the Revitanail Whitening Glow.

Have you used a whitening nail polish before? Are there any that you recommend? Let me know below! :)

Until next time beauties,

Beauty Bee~

Review: L’Occitane Aromacholgie Collection

I love aromatherapy. The simplicity of altering your mood with scents just appeals to me. I think it’s also a little nostalgic for me – I remember when aromatherapy was ‘in’ in the 90s and my sister and I would go around to all of our local candle shops, collecting essential oils and candles. It seems that L’Occitane has also wanted to go back to basics and use the gorgeous pure essential oils they became famous for in their new collection. After all, Provence France is known for it’s flower crops, so there’s lots of delicious scented oils to be distilled. Here is what L’Occitane says about it’s Aromacholgie collection:

Since 1976 when rosemary was first distilled by our founder, Olivier Baussan, essential oils lie at the heart of L’OCCITANE research which creates formulas that combine their active ingredients with the benefits of their scents.
Our body care rituals contain Mediterranean essential oils and feature 100% natural scents which help to soothe or to revitalise body and mind.
Each of our hair care ranges contain a blend of five essentials oils brought together to act in perfect synergy to meet the needs of different hair types.

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The collection is made up of products designed to relax your body and mind (Aromacholgie Relaxing), to energise (Aromachologie Revitalising) and a whole variety of hair care products. I don’t have the whole collection (it’s pretty large!) but I have bought a selection of products from the Relaxing variety to the Revitalising.

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I haven’t been sleeping the best lately. I don’t have insomnia per se, but I’m so exhausted by the end of most days that I can’t fall asleep very quickly (you know the feeling?). It sux. So I was really really *hoping* and praying that L’Occitane’s Relaxing line of products would work their magic on me.

First up are the really cute and rustic looking Aromachologie Relaxing Perfumed Sachets. Filled with dried lavender and scented beads (only naturally scented with lavender, bergamot, sweet orange and geranium essential oils) these sachets are meant to naturally relax and soothe your mind. They are quite subtle in scent (nothing overly powerful or intense) with lavender being the most noticeable scent (though it is lightly sweet, so it isn’t a ‘dull’  and heavy or suffocating scent). L’Occitane recommends placing the sachets on your bedside table. I would recommend that you keep them in-between your bedsheets or pillows while you are out and about, so that your bed linen becomes lightly fragranced. As my dogs would automatically steal these sachets and devour them, I actually keep them in my cupboard. Keeping them in a confined space intensifies the subtle scent. If I kept them out in the open, I have a feeling the scent would become a little to diffused and un-noticeable, so this works for me a little more. I love that they are cloth/linen bags and work so well in cupboards and drawers. They come in sets of twos for $20, so I have a feeling I will be getting a few more of these.  They aren’t an essential product to have, but they enhance your bedroom space and home is all about the little touches right?

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Next up is one of the products I was most excited about, the Relaxing Essential Oil Blend. A blend of 100% pure essential oils (made up of lavender, bergamot and orange organic essential oils). The scent is very similar to the Relaxing Perfumed Sachets however as it is concentrated, the scent is obviously more intense. You shouldn’t use the essential oil blend undiluted – however there is a variety of ways you can use it. You can either add about 15 drops of the essential oil blend into a warm bath for a relaxing treat (which isn’t to oily) or make your own scented body oil by adding a few drops of the blend into a carrier oil (e.g. jojoba or argan oil etc.). My favourite way to use it, is in an oil burner. I add about 5 drops into some water and then relax while the oil evaporates, filling the room with a gorgeous soothing scent. The sweet lavender scent is just perfect.

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Pure essential oils always come in little bottles, as you only need a few drops per use. The relaxing Essential Oil Blend comes with 10ml of oil and costs $25. I light my oil burner as soon as I get home from work and it helps me to unwind slowly throughout the evening. I find this really helps me to fall asleep quicker once it is bedtime.

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The other product I had super high hopes for was the Relaxing Pillow Mist. You can use this mist over your pillows and bedding right before going to bed or as a room spray. The spray is also made up of the same essential oil blend found in the other relaxing products – lavender, bergamot, mandarin, sweet orange and geranium, however, this blend is a little more woody and has some more depth to it. As it is supposed to induce you to fall asleep, I think it makes sense that it is a little more ‘heavy’. It isn’t my favourite scent out of all the products but I actually think it works. It’s woody and specific in scent, but I wouldn’t say that it is offensive or to strange. Every time I have used it, I have fallen asleep quicker and haven’t tossed and turned as much as I usually do.

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I love that the pillow mist comes in a heavy glass bottle. It’s very classic and feels luxurious also. You get 100ml of product for $30. I would expect that this bottle will last me a long time as you don’t need to spray a lot of the scent for it to be effective (especially since it is quite unique and concentrated). If I had to recommend only one product from the range to someone who was having trouble sleeping – this product would be it. It’s the first pillow mist I have tried and I’m so surprised at how well it works. I will also mention that my dogs hate the smell of this pillow mist, but that’s a bonus for me as it means that when they are sleeping in my room, they don’t hog the pillows haha excellent!

Lastly, I wanted to try the Revitalising Roll-On oil. Because I don’t usually sleep very well, mornings are hard. Oh so hard lol Anything to wake me up and feel more energised is always welcome.

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I’ve also noticed that uplifting scents can help soothe my headaches and get me through the work day if I have no choice but to keep going. The blend of uplifting essential oils includes lemon peel, grapefruit, rosemary, orange and spearmint oil. The notes most noticeable to me is the orange oil and the spearmint. The combination of the citrus oils and the spearmint is so uplifting and balances really well. I will say this though, don’t expect to get an idea of the roll-on’s scent by sniffing the roller ball. All you get when doing that is the scent of alcohol. Same goes for when you first apply the scent to your wrists. Let the oil sit on top of your skin for a few second (5 to 6 seconds or so). If you smell it immediately after application, you will get a strong scent of alcohol. I assume that after a few seconds of sitting on your warm skin the alcohol evaporates, leaving the essential oils behind. It is a little bothersome as when I have a headache, if I get a whiff of alcohol I feel immediately nauseous. Luckily, I can avoid this as long as I know to hold off from smelling the oil for that few seconds. Once the essential oils do come through, it is uplifting and really pleasant.  The 10ml roll on will set you back $25. It’s also made from glass which is a nice touch.

I’m very happy with my new buys and especially happy with the essential oil blend and pillow mist. I know that L’Occitane also recommends that you incorporate the Relaxing Massage Oil into your nightly routine, to feel and see the full effect of it’s oils relaxing properties but at this point I don’t have a nightly routine down pat, but I think I’m on the right path. As I’m exhausted by the end of the day, I don’t want my nightly to do list to get large either.

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If only we could all sleep as soundly as a Beagle….

Do you have a nightly routine down pat for unwinding? Any tricks or tips for getting a good nights sleep despite stress? L’Occitane has so many products in it’s Aromachologie range, which you can check out here.

Until next time beauties,

Beauty Bee~

Review: Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Ultimate 16h Wear Concealer

If you are a fan of watching beauty and makeup videos on Youtube, I’m sure you would have heard about Collection 2000’s concealers. These concealers have become famous on Youtube because they are not only ‘cheap’ but also darn effective at concealing (specifically, the under eye area). The problem is that Collection 2000 is a brand from the UK and you can only find these drug-store concealers in the UK and Ireland (I do believe). As I am someone who suffers from dark under-eye circles, I am always on the look out for a fabulous and effective concealer, so after watching countless videos on these very concealers, I was determined to find them and give them a go myself! I couldn’t find any online retailers that would ship the products overseas (to Australia), so I finally gave in and started searching Ebay for a trusted seller that would sell me the legit product. Low and behold I found a seller from Latvia who sells a lot of British drug-store beauty brands, called MrsFashionistaUK. There’s only three shades in the range and I snapped them all up.

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Each concealer works out to be about $20 each when converted to Aus dollars and I think that’s a pretty standard price when you are talking about good drug store brands. The packaging isn’t flash – the product comes in a plastic tube with a doe foot applicator. The product stopper at the top of the tube doesn’t completely stop the product from leaking a little into the cap (if you have a look at the middle concealer in the top photo, you can see a little of the concealer peeping out from under the cap) however, it’s not terrible – I haven’t had it spill all over other products etc. I have also heard that when you are running low on the product, that the product stopper is removable and if you remove it, it will allow you to get the last drops of concealer out of the tube (good tip!). I do wish the print on the tube didn’t rub off so easily, but that’s a minor detail when you are talking about drug store branded products. So how do the colours compare and what is the coverage like on *pretty bad* under eye circles?

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L to R: Fair 1, Cool Medium 2 & Warm Medium 3

Fair is very light and cool toned. I probably could get away with using just no. #1, however I don’t want to risk the panda eyes effect, so for a little more colour correcting power, I mix colours #1 and #2 together. I would call #2 cool toned, but it’s definitely quite a bit darker than #1. Because of the limited shade range, to get the perfect under eye colour you probably do have to mix two shades together, to balance out the depth of colour which will be best for your skin tone. No. #3 is most definitely warm toned and quite peachy.

The texture of the concealer is quite creamy and light in feel, but because this is a concealer which ‘sets’ it can be a little drying. You need to be quite light handed when applying the concealer, as the more you add, the more drying it becomes. Because it can dry out areas which have fine lines (accentuating them more), a hydrating eye cream is a must before application. It doesn’t turn patchy or cakey as long as your under eye area is hydrated and as long as you don’t apply a tonne of concealer under the eye, but I find that using a under eye concealer primer also helps the concealer stay smooth and more creamy (my choice is the Smashbox Photo Finish Hydrating Under Eye Primer). Another technique I use when using this concealer is to only use it where the dark circles actually are – not all the way to the outer corner of the eye. I find applying concealer all around the line is usually overkill, and emphasises those little laugh lines.

The concealing power of these guys is pretty darn good! I get what the hype was about now. I gave the Balm’s Time Balm concealer a 7.5 out of 10, and I would give Collection 2000’s concealer an 8 out of 10. It’s on par with Laura Mercier’s Secret Concealer (when i started pairing it with Smashbox’s Photo Finish Hydrating Under Eye Primer, I don’t have issues with patchiness anymore etc and it’s easier to work with) which I would also give an 8 out of 10. Laura Mercier’s Secret Concealer is much thicker and creamier, but as I mentioned, as long as your under eye area is hydrated using eye creams etc, the dryness of the concealer shouldn’t be *to much* of an issue. For a $20 concealer, that’s pretty darn good!

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My formula for camouflaging dark under eye circles, L to R: Kosmea Apple of My Eye Cream, Smashbox Photo Finish Hydrating Under Eye Primer, Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Ultimate 16h Wear Concealer and Laura Mercier’s Secret Brightening Powder  #1.  

Despite the limited colours in this line, for $20 I think you are getting a super decent concealer to work with. I know I will be using my concealers very often. If you live in the UK or Ireland, you are very lucky to have these babies more widely available! I doubt that another drugstore concealer has the same high coverage power as this guy, but if you do perhaps know of some other fantastic under eye concealer I just have to try – let me know in the comments below!

Until next time beauties!

Beauty Bee~

Book Review: In Real Life: Love, Lies & Identity in the Digital Age by Nev Schulman

Hi beauties! Today I am back with another book review :) Most of you would have heard about the documentary Catfish which became really successful a few years ago (if you haven’t watched it, please do because it’s great!) and came to coin the term ‘catfish’ to mean, someone who deceives another person/s online by lying about their identity. The documentary followed Nev’s online romantic relationship with a girl named Megan and ended with Nev turning up in Michigan where Megan supposedly lived, only to find out that ‘Megan’ was created by a married, middle-aged woman named Angela. After the success of the documentary, Nev started receiving emails from people all across the world who could relate to his story because either they had been deceived by a catfish online or they were worried that the person that they were currently in an online relationship with, was indeed lying to them and also a catfish. Online relationships are a phenomena of our generation and time, so with all the people looking for help and guidance, Nev decided to create a tv show, helping regular ‘Joes’ investigate who they were really in an online relationship with (and hence the MTV tv show came about, titled Catfish: the TV Show).

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Snacks – check! A good book – check! 

Nev both in his documentary and tv shows, comes across as the ultimate good guy – empathetic, insightful and intelligent. I think through his book he wanted his audience to understand that who is today, is not who he was 10 or even 2 years ago, and that it was only through hard work that he could start to change from a self-described a-hole, into ‘the all round good guy’. I like that throughout the book he isn’t self-righteous about the changes he has made (and still needs to make) but rather presents his story in a really honest light. The parts in the book that detail his personal story (or journey) are my favourite, because it’s real and honest. The book is also a short guide on how not to present yourself online and includes someone online dating ‘rules’ or tips. These sections of the book weren’t my favourite, only because I don’t date online and the warnings he gives people about what not to post online, I’ve already figured out thankfully (e.g. don’t send compromising or naked photos of yourself to someone online or via sms, even if they are your bf or gf), though I can see that for younger kids especially, this may not be so obvious (especially with the rise of snapchat – people can still capture images before they are deleted kids!). I did also really appreciate Nev’s insights into why people invest soooo much time online creating the perfect online representation of themselves (even when it’s often tweaked to excess or totally made up) and why people seek out online relationships instead of relationships in the real world. Here are a few of my favourites quotes from the book –

In other words, catfishing has become so ingrained in modern life that many people do it unconciously, in small but significant ways.

The quote above really struck a cord with me because we have to realise that everything that is posted online is edited – people choose what to post up online, it is not a real reflection of the world or our lives. It’s either unrealistic and made up or only a snapshot of a given situation or person. One look at Facebook demonstrates this perfectly – who hasn’t altered a profile picture or posted up only flattering photos of themselves? Here is also a good quote on why some people prefer to invest time in online relationships, rather than face to face relationships, even when they have a big suspicion that the relationship online is based on lies.

This is key; it reveals how little it takes for people to feel valued these days. We are so desperate for external validation that we’ll even accept it from someone who may be lying to us. We want people to tell us that we are worthy and our connections online are about confirming what we already want to believe about ourselves.

The book time and time again, pushes the fact that who we want to be, cannot be merely created online – if anything, the time we spend online takes away from what we could be doing to improve ourselves and better our lives. Nev isn’t naive in thinking that we will all switch off our apps and social media accounts, but he highlights the idea that we usually don’t use these tools in the right way anymore (to stay in touch with family, friends who live far away) and instead, they take time away from our real lives, friendships and erode our privacy (why do we let people who we don’t even like or who we don’t even know, observe our life?). I liked that he pointed out that we often feel ‘connected’ and in touch with the world when we take part in online discussions, but let’s be honest, unless you are using these tools to either create something or for chatting with people who we have shared experiences with etc, these ‘contributions’ often don’t lead to anywhere. Occasionally, we do start new friendships online which are fruitful and start something positive, but unless we move these friendships into the real world and as long as these new friendships are numbered, they won’t be distracting us from what’s actually happening outside of our windows.

Here’s how friendship works: There’s a finite amount of connection that any one person can have with the world around them. You get to choose how to distribute that time and energy. It’s like your bank account of friendship. If you have a gf or bf, you’ll give a certain value of time and energy there. And then you have your family and your best friends, who take up more value. At that point, your account is pretty depleted. There’s no “failure” online, in the real world sense – but there’s no acheivment either. The things that seem like “success” online – gaining more friends; having people “like” your pictures, repost your comments, read your Twitter feed – are, for the most part, ephemeral. These social media achievements are merely a kind of popularity contest. And being popular online doesn’t get us any closer to the things we want in real life (I know there are exceptions – but they are not the norm).

When it comes to online relationships (and sometimes even ‘real life’ relationships), we think that as long as we love someone and they love us back, everything will be fine and it will save us from our daily troubles and dissatisfaction, making us feel fulfilled. But that’s not how it works.

You can’t rely on someone else to feel good about yourself. If you judge your worth based on the person you are dating or the people you are friends with, you will never be happy. Love isn’t the answer either. Growing up, we’re led to believe that love is a fairy tale. love solves everything: Find it, and you’re set for life. We believe in love at first sight and that once you meet your perfectly fitting ‘soul mate’ the rest is easy. There’s no need to work on yourself, because the person you’ve found will love you unconditionally. That couldn’t be further from the truth. In reality, relationships require constant care and maintenance. And you as an individual have to challenge yourself to grow and improve so you can bring that knowledge to your relationship.

A friend of mine recently started a psychological blog (check it out here) and in her first post, she tackles the concept of love. It turns out that many studies and philosophical debates, reiterate that love makes us happy when the other person challenges us to grow and become better. Love needs to stimulate us cognitively and physically. At the same time, we need to see that our partner is also willing to put in the hard work it takes to make a relationship succeed. I really do think that Nev is spot on with this line of thinking.

The problem we get into when our relationship is 90% online (if not more), is that we don’t see the other person in everyday situations. After all, you can ‘log off’ whenever you want to. It’s a censored reality. This doesn’t mean that online relationships can’t work, but the majority of online relationships end because people can’t transition them into ‘real life’ relationships. Long distance relationships are different albeit also really difficult, because these relationships begin with that physical connection (which is also essential to a relationship – it isn’t the only important factor of course) and is built on shared experiences also (before one person needs to move away from the other). Online relationships unfortunately don’t have this foundation, so you need to be realistic when it comes to deciding whether or not it will lead you to a dead end. I really enjoyed this book and all the lessons contained within it :) It’s quite an easy read, despite presenting lots of meaningful ideas. I would highly recommend the book especially for teenagers or young adults who put a lot of time (and probably to much time) in creating their ‘perfect online profiles’. While not every section of the book was entirely relevant to myself, I enjoyed the parts where Nev critically assessed his online relationships and journey to becoming a better person.

The biggest lesson I will take away from the book is to switch off my phone more often and limit my time on Facebook/Instagram. Instead of trying to document every event that happens in your life, go out and enjoy those moments without being tied down to your phone :)

I bought my copy of the book from the Nile (free postage is offered for all orders).

Have you see the documentary Catfish or the tv show? Do you spend to much time online? ;)

Until next time beauties,

Beauty Bee~

Nails of the Day: Navy & Gold

Hi Beauties! I hope you have all been keeping dry (Sydney experienced a typhoon like weather sensation it lasted for three full days – it was insane) and safe!

If you remember a little while ago, I used gold foil on my nails for the first time (here). The results were good, however not as delicate as I would have liked. This time, not only did I try using smaller gold leaf pieces but I used way less of them, only adding a ‘little’ detail to each nail. I’m even happier with this result this time round and the nail look is even more eye catching in real life. I’ve received lots of compliments about my nails these last couple of days, which is lovely. It’s the little details that count, right? ;)

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I contrasted the gold leaf with OPI’s nail polish in Road House Blue. a gorgeous deep navy blue. The gold leaf looks a little more delicate in real life than it does in the photo (I think this is because of the high resolution of colours in the photo), so it is definitely a more subtle look. While I loooove the colour Road House Blue, it doesn’t last as long as other OPI nail colours. I’m not sure why, but if the polish last a week without chips etc. I am very happy (it doesn’t chip horrendously, it just seems to ‘wear’ down more easily). So you must wear a good base and top coat with this colour. In saying that, I put my hands through torture most days (e.g. I don’t wear gloves when washing dishes etc). So that also probably doesn’t help… but what’s a working girl gonna do?!

How do you like this nail look? Any ideas about what i could do with gold leaf next? :)

Until next time,

Beauty Bee~

Beauty Chat: First Makeup Loves!

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Welcome to a new edition of Beauty Chat beauties!

This week I was doing some ‘sorting’ in my bedroom and came across an old beauty gem of mine – a little round container of Avon Face Pearls. I must have bought these little pearls when I was about 15 or 16 (so they are – wait for it – about 10 years old) and have subconsciously hung onto them even though I don’t use them anymore. Back in the day, I thought they were brilliant and as they didn’t appear in the Avon catalogue for a long time and I only had one little jar of the stuff, I never ever wanted them to end, so I ‘saved’ them and used them sparingly (well, very often, but I still thought I was being ‘careful’ with how much I used and hey, I still have them, so it worked right?!).

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This got me thinking… what were the first makeup products that you loved, beginning your journey as a makeup enthusiast? Do you have any funny stories about how you applied them and how much you loved them? Unfortunately most of the basic products I began using as a teenager, don’t get made anymore (if they did, I’d repurchase them now just to have a giggle and try them out again to see if they are still as ‘amazing’ as I once thought), however a few on them still pop out in my memory :)

Let’s start with the face pearls since I do actually still own these! These guys, aren’t actually half bad at all! I used them as an all over powder back in the day, as they don’t have any obvious chunks of glitter in them (*phew – thank goodness lol). There’s pink, beige and white balls and they are seriously glow inducing. While there’s no chunky glitter, they are quite pearly and leave a satin finish on the skin. They would have cost $20 tops, which is quite reasonable. I can still see why I loved these so :)

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I’m also impressed that these were made in England! Not bad Avon!

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Swatch of the pearls above – they were difficult to swatch, but what you can make out is that they give a subtle wash of colour and are quite light diffusing. Guerlain meteorites anyone? :P

The other product I remember distinctively from high school is my first ‘proper’ foundation. I used a wide range of tinted moisturisers for a while and sometimes stole my sisters foundation (or old foundation scraps – it was sometimes that bad and orange lol) but the first foundation that actually matched my skin tone and made me look ‘flawless’ was Maybelline’s Wonder Finish foundation. I’m 90% sure it was this foundation even though they don’t make it anymore. It was a liquid to powder formula, and you had to shake the bottle before use so the formula wouldn’t come out separated.

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This was the first foundation I had ever tried that actually looked ‘natural’ and not cakey or to full on. It was pretty a pretty darn amazing discovery. As I started experiencing acne as a teen very early on, my first initial reaction was to 1) try and steal some makeup from my sister and 2) cake it on – ha! Luckily, seeing a dermatologist and finding this guy, changed all of that!

I also remember using a light pink Sugar Baby cream blusher, constantly. It’s a brand which still exists but I think they now focus on body products more so than makeup and you can only find them at Myer (a little like Chi Chi Cosmetics). I also looooved L’Oreal’s Double Extension Fortifying Extending Mascara, which came with a mascara primer and a mascara. I used the L’Oreal mascara all throughout year 11 and 12 (senior high school). Before that I used Maybelline mascaras but never found them to be extraordinary (I think the Full n Soft mascara was my first ever mascara and it gave a very natural but defined look). Funnily enough, ever since using that L’Oreal mascara, I always use a mascara primer now to give my lashes extra volume. Smart move L’Oreal… Hooking them when they’re young!

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The only other makeup product which I would have called a ‘staple’ back in the good ol’ days, was an eyeshadow quad from Sportsgirl (a clothing store which makes it even more random). I used that quad all the time and it lasted me for years until I threw it out a year or so ago (another clean out) – how I didn’t finish it back in high school is beyond me. It contained four eyeshadows, one light beige shade, a light pink, a bronzy brown and dark chocolate brown. They were all quite shimmery but buttery and soft. Not a bad choice at all.

So what products started it all for you? Let me know, I would love to know! :D

Catch ya next time,

Beauty Bee~

Lime Crime Velvetines Vs. Savvy Ultra Matte Lip Colour

So everyone by now has heard about the whole Lime Crime saga (and a saga, it really is). I actually caught onto everything really late – I dunno where I was (and I had liked Lime Crime on Facebook and Instagram) but I was seriously not with it lol I caught on when I heard that Lime Crime wouldn’t be selling their products via different online retailers and instead would be making customers use their website only, as sole suppliers. I ain’t no business genius (or am I?), but if your having security issues regarding payment systems and loosing customer trust and satisfaction – making customers buy your products only via your website isn’t all that smart in my opinion. It’s possible that I would have still bought some of their products via Australian e-retailers since I love their Velvetine Matte Lipsticks, but I’m not taking the risk and buying from their site directly after the bungles that they have had. Customer service is also a dying art these days and I’d rather support smaller brands that I know listen to their customers (criticisms included) and do everything to make their shopping experience brilliant, rather then waste time of companies who are only interested in profit and building up their own egos. I was left in a bit of a pickle because as I mentioned, I really liked and still do, Lime Crime’s Velvetines (matte liquid lipsticks) but need to find alternatives, seeing as once I run out, I won’t be repurchasing them. My current love is the Velvetine in the colour Utopia – a medium toned, very vibrant, neutral purple. So unique and a gorgeous, that it pained me to think that I could forever run out of this shade…

Until a bright sunny day saw me hop along to Priceline for a sneaky midday browse. I couldn’t believe it when I spotted Savvy’s Ultra Matte Lip Colours at Priceline, and saw their liquid lipstick in Icon – also a medium toned, matte purple, which looked suspiciously familiar. Could this be a dupe for Utopia, taking into consideration the massive price difference?  I also spotted a pink Ultra Matte Lip Colour which I thought could be somewhat similar to Lime Crime’s Pink Velvet Lip Velvetine (which I also own), called Rodeo Drive. I snapped up both and prayed they would be! Are they dupes and how do they compare? Let’s take a look!

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From first glances, even the packaging of both products is similar. Both the Velvetines and the Ultra Matte Lip Colours are packaged in a frosted glass tube, which optically makes the amount of product in the tubes appear to be quite generous. Funnily enough, both products don’t contain a whole lot of product – the Velvetines contain 2.6 ml of product and the Ultra Matte Lip Colours contain 2ml each. The Velvetines packaging is more aesthetically pleasing to the eye (cute cap and all), but it’s what’s on the inside that counts (the most) right?

Velvetines comes in at $20 USD, this works out to be about $26 Australian dollars currently (plus you’d also have to factor in shipping). The Ultra Matte Lip Colours are only $7.99 Australian dollars. The Velvetines thus work out to be twice as expensive if not more, should you factor is exchange rates and shipping costs. Both products apply wet to the lips with the help of a doe foot applicator and dry down to a totally matte finish.

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Swatches L to R: Pink Velvet (Lime Crime Velvetine), Rodeo Drive (Savvy Ultra Matte Lip Colour), Utopia (Lime Crime Velvetine) and Iconic (Savyvy Ultra Matte Lip Colour).

The finishes of both products is very alike – very pigmented and totally matte once dry. I would say that the Velvetine’s are slightly more thin in consistency and because of this they dry down and set much quicker. You would also then need to use less product – in saying that, the Ultra Matte Lip Colours are not thick in texture by any means, they just take a little longer to dry down and set into place.

 From the swatches, you can see that Lime Crime’s Pink Velvet is a darker pink than Savvy’s Rodeo Drive. I applied the Velvetine to my top lip and the Ultra Matte Lip Colour to my bottom lip to test out the resemblance between the two colours.

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Is it a direct dupe? No. Savvy’s Rodeo Drive is lighter and cooler in tone. It’s close perhaps – but not a dupe in my books unfortunately. Let’s take a look at the purples now instead! Again, the Velvetine is on my top lip (Utopia) and Savvy is on my bottom lip (Iconic).

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From the photo you can see that Iconic is lighter than Utopia – BUT this difference is very, very minimal, especially once Iconic totally dries down. I would say that it is indeed a dupe (9 out of 10). The difference is more noticeable in the photo , but in real life the difference is minimal – I wouldn’t expect anyone to actually pick up the difference (I asked members of my family, and no one saw a difference between the colours on my top and bottom lip – yay!).

Both products are very resistant when it comes to drinks and food – unless the food is very greasy and hot. If you are eating something hot and greasy, then the Savvy Ultra Matte Lip Colours do wear down a little more quickly however, they do not go patchy or gross – they wear down evenly and it is not a pain to touch up either product.

In conclusion, the Savvy Ultra Matte Lip Colours are quite impressive and you cannot go past how budget friendly they are to boot ($8! That’s like a McChicken meal at Maccas). I am so so happy that I have found a dupe for Utopia – I am very happy with the colour of Iconic. I’m not so wowed by Rodeo Drive, just because I think slightly darker pinks are a little more wearable and it’s not a complete dupe of Pink Velvet. I will keep looking for Lime Crime Velvetine dupes, so stay tuned if you like I, like Velvatines, but would rather find alternatives going forward. If you can recommend any liquid matte lip lipsticks (because of their fab formulas or colour range) let me know!

*I will also add this, I also have Red Velvet and Suedeberry Velvetines (from way back when they were first released) and I do think the quality has changed over time. The old Velvetines I have aren’t as ‘watery’ in consistency, but still dry down to a matte finish very quickly. The newer Velvetines have a really strong play-doh scent to them, which the old ones don’t have. Unfortunately, I think they have changed the formula over time and not for the better (they smell funky now and the consistency makes the product difficult to control because it is so thin and dries so quickly – it’s difficult to fix mistakes as a result). You can see that the swatches of the Velvetines on the back of my hand are not neat and this is because they are so thin and watery in texture – so messy. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s to drive up their profit margins, but that’s another story for another day :P

Until next time,

Beauty Bee~

Skincare 101: Acids

Acids in skincare sound scary – but they’re actually quite loveable! Not only are they safe (they’ve been used for the last 20 years or so in dermatology) but you can see results in your skin texture and appearance (because they push the skin to regenerate itself) quite quickly after introducing them into your skincare routine. You don’t have to go see a dermatologist for a peel anymore (though you can of course for a stronger treatment) as they have been added into a variety of skincare products – cleansers, toners, masks, serums and even moisturises these days. Acids most commonly are known for their exfoliating properties – and rightly so because they are the bomb when it comes to this function. Acids however don’t only supercharge your skins ability to turn over new skin cells (and keep breakouts at bay) but skin is also able to produce more hyaluronic acid (which is actually a sugar not an acid) leaving skin more moisturised (yep, our skin produces hyaluronic acid naturally!) and collagen which firms your skin. I have always preferred acids over physical scrubbing, as if chosen and used correctly, they won’t break down your skins lipid barrier (your skins protection mechanism) and are more kind to your skin.

There is two types of acids commonly used in skincare and dermatological treatments – alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta hydroxy acids (BHAs). It’s crucial to know the difference between both so you know what kinds of acids will suit your skin’s needs best. The main difference between AHAs and BHAs is their solubility. BHAs are oil soluble, so this means that they can sink into the pores of your skin easily, getting past the gunk lying on your skins surface and into the pores even if they are blocked by oil and other impurities – exfoliating skin cells from within pores. BHAs are superb at getting rid of blackheads, whiteheads and make pores seem ‘smaller’ because they lessen skin congestion and make your skin clearer. The main BHA used in skin care is salicylic acid (you will see this ingredient in most acne prone skin care lines).  While AHAs are not oil soluble and are only water soluble, they work at refining skin texture – especially when it comes to refining fine lines, wrinkles and surface scars (like hyper-pigmentation, which occurs after a breakout or a deeper pimple). This makes AHAs perfect for sun damaged skin, skin prone to all types of pigmentation, skin already showing the signs of ageing (wrinkles or dehydration lines) and skin with bumps and a ‘rougher texture’. While topical skincare treatments used at home containing acids are more delicate than salon/dermatological treatments, this does not mean that they don’t work well.

The key to achieving results at home is to use products containing acids consistently, as directed by the instructions on the packaging. You can use  multiple products containing acids, however you should introduce them slowly into your skin routine and adjust the use of acids depending on your skins needs. Over doing anything (even if it’s a good thing) can be counter-productive, so either stick to using a serum consistently (which tend to be quite strong), or use more gentler forms of BHAs/AHAs regularly (like toners and moisturises, paired with a hydrating serum instead to counteract any irritation). Serums and masks containing acids should be used in the evening only (or concentrated toners) since they contain the highest concentration of acids and you may notice some slight irritation when using them, especially for the first time. When using any kinds of acids in your skincare routine, be aware that they can make your skin more sensitive to the suns rays. This also makes sunscreen a must for the morning – you don’t want to be working to remove pigmentation and treat sun damage and then expose your sensitive skin to more sun spots by not using sunscreen. Any kind of skin irritation hates the sun, so just keep this in mind!

So who can benefit from using acids? Everyone! Younger skin also benefits from acids, because they help keep breakouts at bay, brighten dull skin and slows down the ageing process.  Once you hit 30-35, cell turnover slows down quite a bit, so skin is left looking sallow and dull. Acids turn this process up a notch, so skin is left feeling smoother, firmer and brighter thanks to acids (an even skin tone makes skin appear more youthful). Sun damaged skin or hormonal pigmentation (which can arise during pregnancy as melanin products seems to go into overdrive during this time) will benefit from acids. Skin regenerates itself at night, while during the day it defends itself, so if you’ve been pulling all nighters or haven’t been sleeping well, your regenerative processes might have been interrupted. A mask containing acids, will help your skin get back on track and look more healthy. If you spend a lot of time in an office where the aircon or heating is blasting and you drink a lot of coffee, your skin might start showing signs of dryness and dehydration. Acids will help your skin shed dry cells so other products can penetrate into your skin and they themselves will hydrate skin by upping hyaluronic acid production etc. If you smoke (which hopefully, everyone is working on quitting in this day and age) acids will help your skin enormously, as your skin will be struggling to shed all the toxins affecting skin cells (which also block the flow of oxygen to cells). This is why smokers tend to have dull and yellowish complexions.

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I need to get my hands on this mask from Rodial full of delicious acids (glycolic acid and fruit extracts), since there are nights that I don’t sleep well and I spend long days in city smog… 

What acids are most commonly used in skincare products and which one will suit me best? Let’s see!

Glycolic Acid – An AHA derived from sugar cane, glycolic acid’s molecules are super small (probably the smallest of all acids) so they absorb into the skin very well. For this reason, glycolic acid is really popular in take home skin care products. Glycolic acid really smooths the skin and any surface irregularities, evening out skin tone so it appears more youthful and refined. One of the best products containing glycolic acid is Alpha-H’s Liquid Gold. Containing two active ingredients, glycolic acid (5%) and licorice extract, both ingredients work to even out skin tone, lighten pigmentation and retexturise the skin. The formulation also contains glycerin to help counteract dryness to soothe the skin. This product is interesting because it’s like a toner, but a super charged one, so you may want to skip your nightly serum when using this since it contains actives (or pop a hydrating serum/moisturiser over the top).

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Isn’t my sample of Alpha-H Liquid Gold cute? 

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You can find Liquid Gold at Adore Beauty for $48.88 with free shipping – yay!

AHA’s can be quite irritating, so if you have sensitive skin or highly pigmented skin (your skin might be highly reactive if this is the case) you might want to use one of the gentler AHAs out there or a different type of acid. Some ‘gentler’ acids include;

  • Lactic acid – An AHA, derived from sour milk and yogurt, lightly exfoliates and hydrates the skin. Lactic acid hydrates exceptionally well, as it stimulates the production of hyaluronic acid in the skin via a skin healing mechanism. Lactic acid is a natural trigger for hylauronic acid synthesis and deposition in the skin, more so than any other AHA. While full fat, natural yogurt doesn’t contain as much lactic acid as some skincare products out there (which tend to be more concentrated) you can use natural yogurt as an easy and gentle ‘exfoliating’ DIY mask at home. For more info, check out my One Hit Wonders post on yogurt here.
  • Mandelic acid – An AHA, derived from a bitter almond solution, exfoliates the top layer of the skin like other AHAs, but is also anti-microbial. Because of its anti-microbial activity, acne sufferers may prefer mandelic acid, especially combined with salicylic acid (more on salicylic acid down below).
  • Citric acids – AHAs derived from citrus fruits and corn, also exfoliate the skin well, by breaking down a protein that bonds living cells to dead cells, allowing the dead cells to fall a part.  Citric acids used in peels and other over the counter products, eliminate fine lines, refine skin texture, treat skin discolouration and scars. *Note* Firstly, rubbing citrus fruits onto your skin is NOT the same as using isolated citric acid formed in a lab. Why? Citrus fruits themselves don’t contain a huge amount of citric acid to begin with (labs usually ferment a special type of fungus called aspergillus niger, in order to create larger amounts of citric acid) and these amounts vary from fruit specimen to fruit specimen, so you never really know how much citric acid you are putting on your skin. Secondly, citrus fruits contain citric oils which are photo-toxic, which make your skin highly reactive to UV light. Allergic reactions to the sun can swiftly follow after using lemon on your face (I say lemon because this comes up in DIY masks all the time). Citrus fruits can also upset the ph barrier of your skin, exposing it to hyper sensitivity when the lipid barrier breaks down.
  • Malic acid – An AHA derived from apples and grapes, exfoliates and stimulates collagen production within the skin.
  • Polyhydroxy acids (PHAs) – This is somewhat a ‘new’ type of acid, similar to AHAs, except that they have larger molecules which means they can’t sink into the epidermis quite as much and are as a result, less irritating (very sensitive skin rejoice!). PHAs come in the forms of galactose (a sugar used for glycosaminoglycan and collagen synthesis and cell migration), gluconolactone and lactobionic acid. They also exfoliate the skin well, improve the skins barrier function (big plus for very sensitive skin) and also have some antioxidant properties, protecting skin from free radical tissue breakdown and helps repair sun damage including pigmentation. From what I’ve researched online, NeoStrata hold a patent for gluconolactone – however I think this is to be able to promote the ingredient as an anti-wrinkle ingredient. Either way, NeoStrata love their PHA’s and you can find them in their products. I especially like the sound of their Bionic Lotion which contains 12 percent gluconolactone and 3 percent lactobionic acid.

The best acids for oily and acne prone skins are salicylic acid (a BHA), Pyruvic Acid (PA) and lipohydroxy acid (LHA). Salicylic acid as I mentioned above, is oil soluble, and can sink into pores and exfoliate them from within, minimising impurities and blocked pores. Pyruvic acid stimulates collagen production, elastin and has some antiseptic properties. LHA can also penetrate into the pores and is bacteria zapping! It’s great at exfoliation because it works more slowly, but also lessens irritation. It’s also anti-inflammatory and has a similar ph to the skin (5.5), it can be used in conjuction with  retinols and vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid), if used on its own. SkinCeuticals have some great skincare products containing LHA, including a cleanser and toner (the LHA Cleansing Gel and LHA Solution). La Roche-Posay have just brought out a new cleanser called the Sensi White Foaming Cream, designed especially for sensitive skin looking to reduce pigmentation. It looks promising and is so reasonably price to!

The other two acids worth mentioning are kojic acid and l-ascorbic acid (vitamin C). They might not have the exfoliating powers of the other acids mentioned, but they lighten skin tone/pigmentation excellently and prevent new pigmentation from arising. Kojic acid is made from fermented mushrooms and is used predominately for it’s skin lightening abilities. Japanese skincare products looove Kojic acid. It balances skin tone and helps to fade age spots, hyperpigmentation (from past acne), as well as sun spots. Kojic acid halts the production and over-production of melanin. It can be a little unstable in water, but Medik8 for example have come up with a nifty solution for this problem. In their White Balance Click serum, the kojic acid is stored in the cap of the product as a powder. Once you are ready to use the product, you press down on the cap and the powder releases into the serum base. Your serum is then ‘fresh’ and potent, ready to use. You receive two little bottles in a pack, which is such a brilliant idea. Each little bottle also has a coloured strip on it, so you can compare the colour of the serum with the strip to see if it has darkened over time (if it has, it’s best to move onto bottle no. 2 as it has become unstable). L-ascorbic acid on the other hand is a powerful antioxidant, which you should use in the morning. Studies using 15% or more l-ascorbic acid have shown to brighten skin tone and lighten sun spots. Along with added vitamin E, the vitamins work synergistically, protecting skin from UVA/UVB rays, decomposing damaged collagen and triggering new collagen production. As an anti-oxidant, the vitamin also protects the skin from free radicals and oxidative stress. Using a vitamin C serum in the morning (which uses l-ascorbic acid and vitamin E) and then using another type of acid in the evenings (either every evening or every second) is perfect.  So what acids do I use? When and how?

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Every second evening I use my Ultraceuticals Even Skintone Serum. I alternative between this serum and my Futurederm Time-Release Retinol 0.5% *note* don’t use acids in conjunction with retinol! Use them separately.  I loooove the Even Skin Tone serum because it keep breakouts out bay, unclogs blackheads and pores, and rexturises my skin so it is smooth and so clear! Let’s hope and pray they continue making it forever, because it is one of my few tried and tested staples. I have been using this guy for YEARS. All those years ago it helped get my acne under control and now it keeps working to keep my skin clear and fine! It uses citric acid, lactic acid and salicylic acid to do the job. It also contains bearberry leaf extract (to help lighten pigmentation), glycerin and niacinamide (vitamin B3). Niacinamide is one of my favourite skin care ingredients because it reduces glycation (which can result in the yellowing of the skin with age or sallowness), reduces the distribution of melanin so it evens out skin tone, reduces hyper-pigmentation and ups ceramide synthesis so your skin is more hydrated.  Ultraceuticals have a version of this serum for sensitive skin called the Even Skintone Serum Mild. The mild version is the perfect serum to start off using if you are new to acids (I used to use this version, and then I moved up the ‘original’ concentration). They also do a concentrate for very problematic skin.

In the mornings, I use my Medik8 White Balance Click serum as a spot treatment (on stubborn pigmentation spots) underneath my vitamin C serum. I’m onto my second little bottle and after I finish it, I will give my skin a break from it for a while. It has lightened a stubborn sun spot I had on my cheek. It’s very light and I luckily haven’t experience any irritation from the kojic acid. The serum also contains lactic acid and niacinamide (bonus!).

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On top of my Medik8 White Balance Click ‘spot treatment’, I use my Futurederm CE Caffeic Silk Serum 16+2 serum. The serum contains 16% L-ascorbic acid (8% of which is microencapsulated so it releases into the epidermis slowly), 2% vitamin E and caffeic acid (an antioxidant). It now comes in an airless pump which is awesome! L-ascorbic acid can oxidise quite quickly thanks to air and sunlight, so this is such a great development. The ‘new’ CE Caffeic serum also contains avacado and grapseed oil (hydrating and anti-oxidant benefits). It’s suspended in a silicone formula so that your moisturiser and makeup sit on top of the serum beautifully. The serum makes sure that my skin is protected throughout the day (while night time products should help your skin regenerate). As I hinted above, I plan to get the Rodial Super Acids X-Treme Hangover Mask (how great is the name?) soon, and when I do test it out, I will let you know of the effects etc.

Do you use acids in your skincare routines beauties? Are there any products containing acids that you swear by? If you don’t, is it something you will now look into? I know this post is a little long, but I wanted to talk through the subject thoroughly :) Having the right information makes choosing skincare products so much more easy and more effective in the long run. So I hope this post has been helpful!

Until next time beauties,

Beauty Bee~

Nails of the Day: Bubble Bath

Ahhh simplicity!

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Simplicity is beautiful isn’t it? After my gold foiled nails, I felt like going back to basics and painting my nails a gorgeous pale pink, which goes with every outfit and every occasion. OPI’s Bubble Bath is such a gorgeous pink – pale, but still noticeable and neither to cool nor to warm. It makes your nails look super neat and sophisticated.

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You do need a good three layers of this nail polish to get an opaque pink colour. However, a sheer wash of pink also looks great, so if you are in a rush, one or two layers will work to. Luckily, it lasts on the nails a good week as long as you pair it with a good base and top coat.

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Are you a fan of light pinks on the nails? Pinks can be a ‘safe neutral’ nude colour to use, as beiges can make me look a little anaemic. It doesn’t shout at walkers passing by but it isn’t invisible either. I love the formula of OPI nail polishes and with this colour, there is no exception. Not to thick but not to watery either. I would go as far to say that this colour is perfect for weddings, whether you are a bride or wedding guest. Some mid-week sophistication at it’s best!

You can find OPI nail polishes at Adore Beauty (and they offer free postage!).

Catch ya next time beauties,

Beauty Bee~

Review & Comparison: Urban Decay’s Naked Basics Eyeshadow Palette and Naked Basics 2 Eyeshadow Palette

Hi Beauty Bees! Since it’s a long weekend, I thought a post for reading this Easter might be a good idea, even though most beauties will be buzzing around spending time with family and friends (everyone needs a little time out don’t they?).

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Now that Urban Decay is easily accessible in Australia (FINALLY – thanks to Mecca Maxima) I thought I would review and show you a comparison of the two Naked Basics palettes offered by Urban Decay. These little palettes are soooo handy to have and are just the bomb when it comes to creating everyday makeup looks. The quality of the shadows is also wonderful and considering that most shades contained within the palettes are matte, they’ve done a great job at creating soft, pigmented and not to powdery matte eyeshadows. Offering natural and neutral shades of brown, beige and grey, they make a great base and pairing for coloured makeup to. I have both versions of the palettes but honestly, I don’t think most people will need both. If you are new to makeup or eyeshadow, one eyeshadow palette with provide you with six high quality shadows, that will help you create a multitude number of looks, from the most natural to the most dramatic! To find out which palette I prefer and to see how they compare tone wise, keep reading! :)

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On the Left, Naked Basics and on the Right, Naked Basics 2

The first Naked Basics palette is more neutral toned while the second Naked Basics palette is cool toned and more yellow based. I loooove the first Naked Basics palette, especially the cool toned brown Naked 2 shade (you can see in the photo above that it has quite a dent in it!). It’s the perfect everyday crease colour for me because it looks like an actual shadow instead of looking muddy or toooo dark. Let’s go through all the shades within the first palette :)

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Above: Urban Decay’s Naked Basic palette and Below: Swatches from the Naked Basics palette (without an eyeshadow primer underneath).

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L to R: Venus, Foxy, W.O.S, Naked 2, Faint and Crave

In the first Naked Basics palette, Venus is the only shimmery/satin eyeshadow in the palette. It’s a light beige which is sooo buttery and soft, with a nice shimmer throughout. You can’t see the shimmer flecks per se, so they are very finely milled. Sophisticated shimmer you could say :) Next there is Foxy which is a very yellow matte beige. I don’t like wearing it on it’s own as an eyeshadow base because it is just far to yellow for my skin tone (it makes me look like I have jaundice…). I can however, mix it with W.O.S, which is a neutral beige (and perfect on it’s own as an eyeshadow base for other colours). I started doing this so I could use up Foxy somehow and it turns out that mixing it with W.O.S brightens the eyelid a touch more than if I had used W.O.S on it’s own.

Next is my hands down favourite shade out of the palette, Naked 2. A taupe-y cool toned brown that works like a boss at worked into the crease. It’s sooo easy to blend out and it never looks muddy on my complexion. Faint is also a cool toned brown, but it is much deeper than Naked 2. Also super buttery and soft. Crave is a deep matte black and has to be one of the best black eyeshadows that I have tried. I love using Crave as an ‘eyeliner’ pushed into my top lash line. That was it looks very natural but still provide some definition and makes my lashes look thicker. One of the big pluses of the first Naked Basics palette is that each shade is quite a different tone or colour to the other shades in the palette. I think this is why I struggle with the Naked Basics 2 palette. Some of the shades in the second palette are just to close to each other and it’s difficult to differentiate them on the eye. The quality of the shadows is just as good as the first palette, but it just doesn’t pull at my heart strings as much.

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Above: urban Decay’s Naked Basics 2 palette. Below: Swatches from the Naked Basics 2 palette (without an eyeshadow primer underneath).

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L to R: Skimp, Stark, Frisk, Cover, Primal and Undone.

Skimp like Venus in the first palette, is a very smooth satin eyeshadow with a bit of a gleam to it (it’s the only shade which isn’t a matte in the palette). Skimp is a yellow and warm toned beige. Stark is totally matte, but also a yellow, warm toned beige. These two shades would probably be perfect for those with darker and warmer complexions. I should note that the two beige shadows in this palette look less yellow in the photos than they are in real life.

Frisk is similar to Naked 2 – both are very cool toned taupe-y browns, except that Frisk is slightly a little purple (so it’s probably a touch cooler than Naked 2). It’s an interesting choice to pair with two warm beige eyeshadows. Cover is a mid-toned neutral brown, while Primal is a mid-toned cool brown. Undone is probably my favourite shadow in the 2nd palette because it is a cool dark grey, instead of usual black.

Urban Decay’s matte eyeshadow formula is very impressive, because the eyeshadows are not chalky at all compared to some other brands. I have had my first Naked Basics palette for years (probably about two?) and I still have so much product left, so the are worth the pennies. Both palettes cost $42 dollars each (in Aus from Mecca) so that’s $7 per shade (since you get 6 in a palette). That’s not bad at all! The eyeshadow pans are just as big as the pans in the bigger Naked palettes. I always wear an eyeshadow primer with these eyeshadows and they last all day on my eyes. It is definitely worth having one of these palettes in your collection, because you will keep going back to it again and again!

My clear favourite is the first Naked Basics palette, but this will of course depend on you skin tone and what you are planning to use the palettes for. I do like the cooler shades in the second palette, so I do use it from time to time, just not as often as the first palette. I hope this post has helped you decide which one you need in your life (for some be it both!). Let me know if you end up getting one!

At the moment it is pouring in Sydney and all this talk of neutral colours and basic eyeshadow shades has reminded me of storms (especially captured in black and white photography). There are some amaaaazing photos out there of storms, so here is one for you in case you are looking for a little inspiration! :)

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Photo by Mitch Dobrowner – Amazing much?

Have you tried Urban Decay’s eyeshadows? What is your favourite product from Urban Decay or what are you dying to try?

Catch ya next time beauties,

Beauty Bee~