Long Wearing Makeup: My Experience

Hi Beauties!

Recently, I went down to Canberra for a work conference. I was a little nervous because I had never attended a conference of this size before and one at which I would hopefully, meet some potential future employers (that always raises the pressure and potential awkwardness right up!). One thing I did not want to worry about – and instead, wanted it to work on my behalf by giving me more confidence, was my makeup. So what did I need it to do? Well, I needed it to help me look professional, sophisticated and last 9+ hours (ideally 12). The conference began at 8.30am and finished at 5.30pm but there was drinks scheduled for after the conference. That’s quite a while! I only wanted to have to do minor touchups (my lips, perhaps my cheeks and maybe reduce shine on my skin should I get a little oily etc.) and I’m pleased to say that I only needed to touch up my lipstick after countless coffees. I was so, so impressed with the performance of my makeup!

So what did I use and why? And what are some tips that we can can away from the experience?

First of all, I started with choosing a makeup primer.

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A makeup primer for your foundation and base makeup is a no brainer. If you don’t have troubled skin, you could get away with using a trusted moisturiser or sunscreen over moisturiser as your primer (especially if it is a physical sunscreen which sits on top of your skin). The point of the primer is so that your makeup sits on top of your skin for as long as possible, looking fresh. A primer extends the wear of your foundation for three to four hours according to my research… I like to use a primer especially when I’m tired. Something illuminating – but sophisticated – helps my tired skin enormously (I ain’t no morning person!). If I’m out an about, I just use a sunscreen, however the conference meant I would be indoors, all day. Le Blanc De Chanel Sheer Illuminating Base isn’t silicon-y feeling at all (if that is something you don’t like) and it doesn’t contain any visible shimmers, so it’s pretty subtle. I also used some of this primer on top of my foundation for the most sophisticated of highlighters ;) Used as a highlighter, it gives you that ‘model glow’ you see in photos, but can’t figure out what product they have used (because it’s undetectable on the skin).

For foundation I went with my creamy NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation. It has a satin finish and while I prefer dewy finishes, they can look a little oily quicker and I didn’t want to need to touch up my complexion if I didn’t have to. Subtle radiance again, wins out. This particular cream foundation is lovely to use and isn’t to flat (office lights can be make your skin look drained and colour-less). I will just add that for me, it can cling to dry skin and patches, so going for a hydrating base if you are dry is a must. *Tip* If you want to go for a matte foundation because you have oily skin, just be aware that going for a mattifying moisturiser, primer and foundation could send your skin into overdrive and make it produce even more oil. For very oily skin, I would just use a light moisturiser but a mattifying primer and a satin foundation – because powder will mattify your skin even more (and you need powder to set your foundation) especially if you use an oil-absorbing powder. This way, your skin shouldn’t look to flat either.

Concealers and correctors contain a lot of pigment and usually products which are really pigmented are drying. Smashbox’s Photo Finish Hydrating Under Eye Primer is the perfect companion for a heavier under eye concealer, because sometimes, a hydrating eye cream just isn’t enough.

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I’m still trying to find my perfect corrector-concealer combo, but at the moment I’m quite happy with pairing my Laura Mercier Secret Concealer (a peachy potted ‘corrector’ in #1) with It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer (in #2 Neutral Medium. I set my corrector and concealer with Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder (seen in the very first photo) as it’s specifically formulated for the under eye area (so it’s finer and not as drying as regular powder can be). For any spots or to conceal redness around my nose, I use Dior’s DiorSkin Nude Skin Perfecting Hydrating Concealer. This small tube has lasted me about a year if not more… Its light but covers redness well, and is actually hydrating – it doesn’t cling to any dry skin or spots which is perfect.

I then set my base makeup (foundation) with Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Mood Light. Mood Light has a pink tone to it – which is great for brightening up pale skin (if your skin isn’t red to begin with). The colour is slightly visible upon application, but then ‘diffuses out’ and is barely noticeable. I love the Ambient Lighting Powders because not only are they super soft, but they seem to adhere to the skin super well. It’s difficult to explain, but I don’t find that they leave a very powdery finish, which can happen when the powder sits on top of the skin and looks almost separate to the foundation, leaving that cakey look behind. And finally, a gentle contour thanks the Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit, just to add a little more depth and dimension to my face.

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I decided to use neutral and muted colours on my face in order to look ‘professional’, so I wanted to use my favourite cream blush, Becca’s Lip & Cheek Creme in the colour Blossom. I know that applying cream blush to powdered skin is considered a no no – but I actually find that it lasts on my skin so much longer if applied on top, because the emollients have something to adhere to. Maybe it depends on the cream blusher you are also using, but I don’t find any problems using this cream blush on top of my Hourglass powder (it doesn’t go patchy or funky and is still easy to blend). What kills me though is that Becca have discontinued this line :( :( :( This blush leaves your skin looking sooo fresh and dewey, and the colour range had the most beautiful natural looking colours (or had, I should say). Luckily I have one saved pot which is amazing because I don’t usually stockpile backups of products. Once I use up this pot however, I will be devastated.

On my eye lids I use the Smashbox 24 Hour Photo Finish Shadow Primer. I only need to tiniest amount and it glides over my skin wonderfully and with ease. I actually like this primer a touch more than the NARS Pro Prime which is crazy! I just find that I can blend eye shadows so very easily over the top, while the NARS primer would ‘set’ and to much blending could rub away the edges of the primer. Urban Decay’s Naked Basics eye shadow palette (the first one) just contains the most perfect neutral eye shadow shades which are pigmented and so easy to blend. I use the black eyeshadow contained within the palette to lightly pack some shadow into my upper lash line, so that it makes my lashes look thicker and the whites of my eyes brighter. I don’t trust myself on rushed mornings with gel eyeliner, however if I do have more time, I would have used Bobbi Brown’s gel eyeliner and just drawn on the thinest and simplest line ever, gently raising the end on the outer corner of my line so my eyes look slightly more lifted. For mascara I use my Estee Lauder Little Black Primer and Dior’s Diorshow Iconic mascara. *Tip* Make sure that you have removed every last inch of mascara from your eyelashes the day before your ‘big day’ (ideally this should always be done, but you know…) because if you apply new mascara on top of old mascara, your new mascara might not adhere to the lashes as well as it could do and it could become flaky and crumbly. Not ideal.

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Once I’m all done my face makeup (excluding the lips) I spray my face with Urban Decay’s All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray. This is not a gimmick – it actually works! Most makeup setting sprays should keep your makeup looking fresh and bright for up to 16 hours – and I would say I get very close to that!

For your lips it’s best to go for something matte, because matte lipsticks contain the most pigment out of all lip products and adhere to the lips like no other (hence they can be drying, just like very pigmented concealers). My picks are the Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet liquid lipsticks and their more traditional counter parts in a lipstick bullet, Bourjois Rouge Edition lipstick. The Rouge Edition Velvet products last longer on my lips compared to the traditional lipstick bullets, but both are still richly pigmented. A surprise product which impressed me immensely was the Nudus Lipstick, a handcrafted, botanical packed lipstick, which is more of a satin lipstick yet is soooo rich in pigment, it wears as long as a traditional matte lippy. I will be doing a review of this lippy asap!

I took a photo of my makeup in the morning (say 9am) just using my iphone (classy shots always take place in public bathrooms…) and then again around 5pm. Not the clearest shots in the world because of the lighting ,but the point is that I didn’t need to touch up my face one bit throughout the day and I think I still look rather put together at 5pm, which I am quite proud of!

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What are your go to products for long lasting makeup? Let me know in the comments below which products you ‘trust’ to do this job correctly! :D

Until next time,

Beauty Bee~

Review: Charlotte Tilbury & Norman Parkinson, Colour of Youth Healthy, Happy Lip & Cheek Glow and Dreamy Glow Highlighter Illuminating Youth Powder

I usually try and stay away from limited edition collections, seeing as some brands release sooo many of them, it’s getting ridiculous. Added to that – limited edition products are usually so-so in quality, so it really does seem like a flat out marketing ploy most of the time. I haven’t tried any Charlotte Tilbury products to date (though I have wanted to try one of her eyeshadow quads for ages) and I have to admit that her new limited edition collection hooked me instantly, because I love historical vintage looking makeup. Charlotte teamed up with renowned photographer Norman Parkinson, who is well known for his iconic celebrity photo-shoots, very reminiscent of old Hollywood glamour, using his photographs for her cosmetic compacts. Charlotte Tilbury’s makeup line isn’t the cheapest, so her limited edition collection is no exception. Because of the prices I was only able to pick up two pieces – the Colour of Youth Lip and Cheek Glow (a cream blush and lip colour) and Dreamy Glow Highlighter (a powder highlighter).

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The photographs on the compacts are gorgeous. They are incredible quality and don’t look like the would fade or rub off as the photographs are covered in some type of clear resin. Thank goodness they aren’t stickers or something else equally as awful. The rest of the compacts are a rose gold colour and I have to admit that I was so very disappointed to see that the compacts themselves were made from plastic. They look gorgeous don’t get me wrong – but because of the price of the makeup, I expected the best. If they had been metal and heavy in weight, they would have been so reminiscent of makeup compacts from the 40s. In the 50s metal was difficult to get a hold of because of world war 2 – but these days, that shouldn’t be a problem ;) So what is the makeup itself like?

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Colour of Youth Healthy, Happy Lip & Cheek Glow, $80 (AUD) A coral, cheek and lip cream with a little translucency to it, so it makes your cheeks and skin look fresh and vibrant! You can build up the colour for a rosier, stronger flush, if that is what you are after. The cream does leave some sheen on the skin, so it would look great on a dewey base. The blush lasts about half a day on my cheeks, without needing any touch ups.

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The colour of the cheek glow is a coral, but it leans more pink than orange. I was worried that it would be incredibly similar to Bobbi Brown’s Pot Rouge for Lips and Cheeks in Coral Calypso, but Coral Calypso is most definitely more orange despite also being a coral. Coral Calypso almost looks neon next the Colour of Youth.  The texture of both products is very, very similar.

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Above Top to Bottom: Charlotte Tilbury’s Colour of Youth Healthy, Happy Lip & Cheek Glow and Bobbi Brown’s Pot Rouge for Lips and Cheeks in Calypso Coral (#2).

It’s a lovely rosey-coral which is very youthful. It’s a colour which reminds me of spring and healthy flushed cheeks! The description of the product is captured beautifully on Charlotte Tilbury’s website – here is what she says about the formulation and the picture on the compact:

Capture the youthful, soft-focus light of Parkinson’s lens, encased in the dreamy glamour of vintage Hollywood.

I created the Colour of Youth blusher as part of the Charlotte Tilbury X Norman Parkinson collection. It is the colour of love, youth and happiness, inspired by the love story of Norman Parkinson and his wife Wenda. It bottles the delicate, rosy hue you see in young, innocent and fresh cheeks – paint the youth back into your skin with this pretty pink that works will all skin tones.

  • Berry Flux Vita increases Hyaluronic Acid to moisturise the skin, protecting the epidermis from dehydration.
  • Microfine pigment technology ensures high colour performance and a long-lasting finish.
  • It’s creamy, blendable, weightless, hydrating glamour on the go.

Capture the youthful, soft-focused light of Parkinson’s lens, encased in the dreamy glamour of vintage Hollywood. The Colour of Youth blusher is the colour of love, youth and happiness, inspired by the love story of Norman Parkinson and his wife Wenda. It bottles the delicate, rosy hue you see in young, innocent and fresh cheeks – paint the youth back into your skin with this pretty pink that works with all skin tones.The beautiful compact features a previously unprinted picture of Wenda. It is an image of pure, endless summer that transports me to a world of castaway, dream-like paradise. I discovered it as a negative at the archive and this compact is the first time the image has been produced and made available to own. I couldn’t do a collaboration with Norman Parkinson without honouring his biggest muse and wife, Wenda. Wenda was an actress, model and author, and she was introduced to Norman by Cecil Beaton. She was his most enduring muse. They met in 1947 and remained together for the rest of their lives.“Wenda…offered to my camera a quiet beauty that does not look so out of date today. Girls change, clothes change, but beauty itself, in whatever form it is viewed, is sealed there forever – it is frozen, it is permanent and it does not age.” Norman Parkinson

PHOTO CREDITS: CLOTHES IN THE SUN, MAY 1956. Editor: Audrey Withers, Model: Wenda Parkinson. Shot on Pigeon Point, Tobago by Norman Parkinson.

It does feel very weightless and is very blendable. I just use my fingers to apply the blush and it blends out beautifully without any difficulty.

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Dreamy Glow Highlighter, Illuminating Youth Powder, $90 (AUD) – I’m a sucker for highlighters and who wouldn’t want one in a compact looking like this?! It reminds me of safaris and sunkissed skin :) The powder is super soft and finelly milled, to the point where it is a little powdery (very easy to pick up with a fan brush) so there is a little fall out over the compact when you pick up the powder with your brush. It is a light peach colour with pale gold shimmer. It isn’t overstated or over the top shimmer but it is a little demure, but not as much as say, the Gorgeous Cosmetics Prism Powder is. It’s sophisticated and again, reminds me of rosey spring and peach tones of makeup.

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Here is how Charlotte describes the highlighter and how it’s formulated:

Capture the youthful, soft-focus light of Parkinson’s lens, encased in the dreamy glamour of vintage Hollywood.

I created the Dreamy Glow Highlighter as part of the Charlotte Tilbury X Norman Parkinson collection. It is a soft, mood-lit Youth Highlighter that creates ‘peaches and cream’, dreamy skin. It’s the perfect blend of pearl and pigment to enhance your complexion, scattering light and opalescence across the features, transitioning skin from winter to golden summer in one easy swipe.

  • With golden, mother-of-pearl tones, this highlighting youth powder uses light flex technology to capture light and radiate it out across the skin, for a dreamy soft-focus effect. 
  • The glamorous, vintage-style compact features an image of Carmen dell’Orefice shot by Norman Parkinson for Vogue, in the Bahamas. I fell in love with this image as soon as I saw it – it’s chic, timeless and glamorous. I’m inspired by Carmen’s dreamy, ethereal beauty – her perfect almond eyes, beautiful heart lips and killer cheekbones. Parkinson first shot Carmen when she was a teenager and took countless images of her throughout their careers. Carmen has worked on iconic shoots, shows and campaigns and is still gracing the catwalks today.

“Carmen has been my best friend for over thirty years – she’s electrically charged.” Norman Parkinson

PHOTO CREDITS: NEW HOLIDAY LOOKS IN THE BAHAMAS, VOGUE, 1959. Editor: Audrey Withers. Model: Carmen dell’Orefice. Shot on Love Beach by Norman Parkinson.

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The cream blush and the highlighter work wonderfully together, but of course they look lovely separately. In the photo below I am wearing both products on my cheeks.

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So are the products worth their price? Aghhh* It’s so hard to tell, but I’m leaning towards a yes more than a no. The packaging is seriously gorgeous and I get that you are almost paying for art (the photos themselves) but it *could have* been better if the compacts were made out of metal, like the super duper expensive Burberry blush that I bought – also limited edition, but the compact was metal which felt fabulous. The products themselves are great and I’m not disappointed in the makeup itself. But I do think they did go a touch nuts with the price – if you are going to charge that much, every detail should be perfect. I will also mention that my order was processed sooo quickly (it was sent the day after I placed my order) and it arrived via courier from the UK like lightning! I received free shipping due to a promotion but paying for that kind of service wouldn’t bother me. The compacts were nicely packaged and wrapped in tissue, so everything arrived in perfect condition.

They are still available, so if you would like to pick something out of the line you can find the products here.

Have you tried any products from Charlotte Tilbury? Are you tempted by the collection?

Catch ya next time beauties,

Beauty Bee~

The Best Lip Balms on the Block!

Lip balms are such a beauty staple for most beauty bees – myself included! I think one of the worst feelings ever is knowing and feeling that your lips are super dry and not having a lip balm on hand. So for that reason, I have a multitude of balms laying around should an emergency of such nature strike! I think before I purchase another balm, I will use up all of the ones I have acquired thus far, because it is getting a bit ridiculous but I was on a mission you see… to find the best lip balm ever! I can only blame my Lip Smacker collection as a child ;) I wanted to share some of my favourites with you beauties just in case you are looking for a new lip balm and need some inspiration!

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Let’s first start with the classic and the most hardcore lip balm out there – Carmex. Carmex was the lip balm my Dermatologist recommended (and gave me a pot of actually) when I was on very strong antibiotics for my skin, which dried out my lips to the point where they would almost bleed (I told you – hardcore!). Now granted, those days are over and my lips don’t get to such a state thankfully, but it just does the job and does it well, so it is worth having around. The original Carmex comes in a pot, which is still available, but I always buy it in the squeezy tube because the pot contains 7.5g of product while the squeezy tube contains 10g of product for the same price! Plus the squeezy tube means that your lip balm stays more hygienic. Now the scent and taste of Carmex is quite peculiar and not so great – the ingredients do list menthol and vanilla and while the menthol cools the lips and makes them tingle, the balm still tastes a little medicinal… it’s not a subtle scent or flavour at all. It’s quite thick and smooth in texture, but not to tacky/sticky, which is probably due to the petroleum. It is extremely soothing, so if you need something to give you relief – you need this guy.

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I also love that Carmex products are still made in the U.S.A. You can find Carmex in most supermarkets and chemists. It generally comes in at around $5.20 AUD. They also do a wind up lip balm stick version of the original Carmex, in a strawberry flavour with an added SPF of 15 (these I usually find in chemists more often than supermarkets). Perfect for summer!

Ingredients: Petrolatum, Lanolin, Cetyl Esters, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Paraffinum Liquidum, Cera Alba (Beeswax), Camphor, Menthol, Salicylic Acid, Fragrance, Vanillin

If you would like to try Carmex but are really worried about the odd and quite strong flavour/scent of the original balm, the Moisture Plus Ultra Hydrating Lip Balm in Clear, with an SPF of 15+ is for you! It contains 2g of product, but it is lighter, smooth and has this very subtle sweet, carmel flavour. It really is lovely.

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It’s not the most economical coming in at $7.20 for 2g of product, but it’s handy, practical and non-offensive. It also comes in coloured tinted versions, which is nice!

Ingredients: C10-30 Cholesterol/Lanosterol Esters, Ozokerite, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate (Octinoxate), Benzophenone-3 (Oxybenzone),Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride Isopropyl Palmitate, Cera Alba (Beeswax), Euphoriba Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Paraffin, PPG-3BenzylEther Myristate, Aroma, Saccharin, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Persea Gratissima (Avocado Butter), HydrogenatedVegetableOil, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Tocopheryl Linoleate (Vitamin E Linoleate),PalmitoylOligopeptide, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Tribehenin, Sorbitan Isostearate, Camphor, Ethyl Vanillin, Menthol.

I actually picked up the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Lip Therapy in a fancy Woolies (supermarket). I was so surprised to see it there, that I picked it up quickly. This lip balm is petroleum free if that is important to you and contains some excellent ingredients. It’s very minty fresh is taste and scent – spearmint gum to a tee! For that reason, I think most gentlemen wouldn’t mind using this balm. It comes with a slanted applicator and isn’t to thick or sticky and has a semi-matte finish. It is a little textured – it almost feels like it contains little beads which melt on the lips.

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While I love all of the delicious and natural ingredients in this balm, it does seem to disappear from my lips quite quickly (maybe I’m just subconsciously eating it?!) – so if you have a serious issue which cracked and chapped lips, I’m not sure this guy is for you. For a universal, natural lip balm, everyone can reach for – it’s worth having a tube of this stuff on hand! It contains 14.8ml and comes in at $12.95.

Ingredients: Diisostearyl Malate, Microcrystalline Wax, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Glyceryl Diisostearate, Dimethicone, Flavor (Aroma), Glycerin, Triisostearin, Colloidal Oat Flour, Tocopherol, Squalane, Phenoxyethanol, Limonene, Water, Allantoin, Chrysanthemum Parthenium (Feverfew) Extract, Camellia Sinensis (White Tea) Leaf Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract , Hyaluronic Acid.

The next lip balm is new cult classic, which I received a mini of as a gift – Fresh Rose Sugar Lip Treatment with SPF 15+. It does smell really fresh and lightly floral. The balm itself is sooo soft I have a feeling it would melt on the very hot summer days, but there is do doubt that it feels lovely on the lips.

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The light tint it is a little translucent and rosey as the name suggests. Being made in France, it does feel luxurious. It’s a little difficult to get here in Aus and the sites which do sell it, sell it for about 50 quid – so a lot! In the states it retails for about $22.50, so it’s worth checking out if you go on holidays or if a friend does ;) Fresh do a whole range of lip treatments in different coloured tints (with Rose being the original), so it’s almost like a collectable item! They would make lovely gifts also :)

Ingredients: Cera Alba (Beeswax), Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Hydrogenated Olive Oil Decyl Esters, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Parfum (Fragrance), Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Sucrose Tetrastearate Triacetate, Limnanthes Alba, (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Passiflora Incarnata Seed Oil, Ribes Nigrum (Black Currant) Seed Oil, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Tocopherol, Retinyl Palmitate, Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate, Persea Gratissima, (Avocado) Oil , Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Vanillin, Ammonium Glycyrrhizate, Polyglyceryl-3 Polyricinoleate, Propyl Gallate, Aluminum Hydroxide, Ci 15850 (Red 7 Lake), Ci 19140 (Yellow 5 Lake), Ci 42090 (Blue 1 Lake), Ci 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), Limonene, Citral, Linalool, Benzyl Alcohol, BHT.

The next lip balm and one of my favourites – L’Occitane Shea Ultra Rich Lip Balm with 10% shea butter. This stick lip balm is a little ‘no frills’ but it works. I kinda like that it’s a simple lip balm stick which is maybe a touch on the drier side, perhaps a little waxxy – but won’t melt on you as you’re out and about. It’s perhaps a little waxxy only because of the high shea content, but you can still easily apply a nice layer to your lips, which will shield your lips from the elements. If you need a lip balm to soothe, perhaps this one isn’t the best for you – it is more protective. Because of it’s drier texture, it’s not sticky.

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The balm has a ‘creamy’ scent if that makes sense. This balm is also made in France but won’t break the bank, coming in at $15.00 for 4.5g. Annoyingly though, I can’t find an ingredient list for this guy…

Second last, is also another favourite and cult classic, Nuxe’s Reve De Miel Lip Balm in a glass pot. Creamy, like a whipped honey, it is both soothing and protective. 80% of the lip balm’s ingredients are all natural, with the hero ingredient being of course, honey. This lip balm is also a little waxxy perhaps because it contains beeswax, but because it is a little whipped, it isn’t to difficult to get it out of the pot.

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Perfect for popping on before bed or to act as a primer under lipstick. It does smell and taste like honey and is a little sweet. It is on the thicker side, but is matte in texture. Also French (I see a theme developing here!) the glass pot does make it feel a little more special. You get a decent 15g of product and it will set you back $19.99. My little pot has laster me forever I may add, and I’m only about half way through it.

Ingredients: CERA ALBA/BEESWAX, OLUS OIL/VEGETABLE OIL, LECITHIN, BEHENOXY DIMETHICONE, PRUNUS AMYGDALUS DULCIS (SWEET ALMOND) OIL,BUTYROSPERMUM PARKII (SHEA BUTTER) EXTRACT, MEL /HONEY, BUTYROSPERMUM PARKII (SHEA BUTTER), DIMETHICONE, ETHYLHEXYLMETHOXYCINNAMATE, CITRUS GRANDIS (GRAPEFRUIT) PEEL OIL, CAPRYLIC/CAPRIC TRIGLYCERIDE, HYDROGENATED VEGETABLE OIL, GLYCINE SOJA(SOYBEAN) OIL, ROSA MOSCHATA SEED OIL, TOCOPHERYL ACETATE, TOCOPHEROL, CITRUS MEDICA LIMONUM (LEMON) PEEL OIL, CANDELILLACERA/EUPHORBIA CERIFERA (CANDELILLA) WAX, ALLANTOIN, CALENDULA OFFICINALIS FLOWER EXTRACT, BHT, CITRIC ACID, CITRAL, LIMONENE,LINALOOL [N0802/C].

Last but not least, maybe a surprising lip balm to add to the mix, is Clarins Moisture Replenishing Lip Balm. I bought this balm after a Polish Youtube makeup artists was raving about it. It’s a little thick, but it’s so smooth and soothing – without any stickiness, but still adds a hint of glass to the lips.

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It contains rose wax, which sounds fancy, but it doesn’t feel waxxy at all. I can see why it was so highly recommended. It’s like Carmex’s fancier, 2nd cousin ;) I can’t really detect a particular scent – whatever it is, it is light and perhaps just a little sweet. Perhaps it is the rose, but in a non-artificial kind of way. It is on the expensive side – $30 for 15ml.

Ingredients: Paraffinum Liquidum/Mineral Oil/Huile Minerale, Diisostearyl Malate, Hydrogenated Styrene/Isoprene Copolymer, Cera Microcristallina/Microcrystalline Wax,Cire Microcristalline, Ozkerite, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Paraffin, Polyethylene, Ricinus Communic (Castor) Seed Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Nylon-12, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Roas Centifolia Flower Wax, Rosa Damascena Flower Wax, Silica, Aroma/Flavor, Tocopherol, Oryzanol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tribehenin, Ceramide 3, Sorbitan Isostearate, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, BHT, CI 15850/Red 7 Lake.

So which lip balm is my favourite? Hmmm…. I don’t know if I could pick :/ I do love the Clarins lip balm for it’s simplicity yet wonderful texture and soothing power, however the Nuxe honey lip balm is just as soothing but for a lower price, and still feels fancy and French :) It would probably last for a wee bit longer both in the pot and on the lips. For a gift – receiving the Fresh Rose lip balm as a gift would be special. Carmex lip products are always cheep and cheerful for the whole family, however if you can’t really stand the scents, then the First Aid Beauty Lip Therapy Balm may be for you! The L’Occitane Shea UltraRich Lip Balm in a stick, is great at maintaining healthy lips and protects them well from the cold and wind.

What are your favourite lip balms beauties?

Until next time,

Beauty Bee~

Battling Dark Circles; an Experiment.

It’s difficult to find under eye products that work – however – it’s best to stick with a routine in order to achieve results, as the delicate skin around our eyes does not handle stress, harsh environmental factors and a lack of sleep very well…Those with dark under eye circles usually have a genetic predisposition to them in part, which can be exacerbated by lifestyle factors and the environment. I notice that my under eye circles become especially bad when my migraines hit and when I don’t sleep well due to stress or anxiety. I use a two different eye cream daily (one for mornings and for night time – read why in my Eye Care 101 Post here) however, while the eye area looks better when it’s all plump and hydrated, I still haven’t found any cream to seriously help with lightening the pigmentation of my dark under eye circles. The worst is when you actually feel rested and in good form – but you still look tired because of your eyes. Nicki from Futurederm mentioned a study conducted by the Cosmetic Dermatology textbook, which studied the combination of vitamin K (also known asphytonadione) and retinol (at least 0.15%) and their effects when used together, around the eye area. 93% of patients studied claimed to see a decent reduction in their under eye circles due to epidermal and dermal melanin reduction after treatment (which didn’t reoccur up to a year later!). I don’t know about you beauties, but hearing that – from a scientific study none-the-less, is like music to my ears! Now some dermatologists don’t recommend using high strength retinol around the eye area, but there are also many dermatologists which think that it is perfectly ok (such as DermaDoctor’s, Audrey Kunin M.D.), as long as you introduce retinol into your eye care routine gradually and carefully. Because I oh so want to reduce my under eye circles, I decided to give this combination of ingredients a go! The only other issue is that you won’t usually find an eye cream with a decent amount of retinol in it’s formula (enough to lighten under eye circles) let alone combined with vitamin K, so I needed to find two separate products and pair them together. And so here is my dynamic duo!

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I already use Futurederm’s Time Release Retinol 0.5, which is a gel and micro-encapsulated retinol. It sinks into the skin instantly and because of it’s gel formula and retinol micro-encapsulation, it releases in the deeper level of the skin gradually over 8 hours, minimising irritation (which around the eye area is super important). It also contains aloe vera and witch hazel, just to help ease the possible dryness associated with introducing a retinol to your skin. I’ve been slowly introducing the retinol to my eye area by using it only every third night or so, underneath my eye cream, however so far – no irritation at all which is amazing – and at the concentration of 0.5%, it is going to work like a bomb (a delicate, yet powerful bomb that is :P).

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The only eye care product that I could find with a high dose of vitamin K, was Peter Thomas Roth’s Power K Eye Rescue Eye Treatment. I’m not sure exactly what the vitamin K concentration is, but it’s right up there in the ingredient list and Nicki from Futurederm recommends it! It is expensive, but it also contains other great ingredients, so I’m hoping that it works it’s magic! You don’t need to introduce this product into your routine slowly, so you can use it from the get go. I will be using my retinol product first on the eye area and then pop the Power K Eye Treatment over the top. I will only use this duo at night, because retinol makes your skin sensitive to the suns rays. Perhaps it’s best to not start this combination in summer time.

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As I have just started using this duo – I can’t report on the effects just yet, but – I will report back in about three months time and let you know how I am travelling, as I am just as anxious to see results and share them with you!

I will also just add that it was difficult trying to find the Peter Thomas Roth Power K Eye Rescue Eye Treatment. I ended up buying mine from Fresh Fragrance & Cosmetics as I get a discount on every purchase I make with them (as does everyone if you sign up to their loyalty program) and I redeemed my loyalty points to lower the price to a cool 80 buckaroos (I was saving those points for a long time…)! However, I do think their regular price is a little high compared to Mecca Cosmetica – the only catch is, they only sell the eye cream in store (why I do not know).

I can’t wait to report back, but in the mean time, let me know if you are a fan of eye creams and what you have been using lately!

Until next time,

Beauty Bee~

Book Review: Younger by Harold Lancer

I stumbled upon this book by accident really. I think I was browsing books on Amazon and it came up as a recommended book for my ‘interests’. I bought it on a whim and I admit that I didn’t have high expectations (now that I think about it, it was pure luck that I stumbled upon it) and I can’t believe it, but I was soooo pleasantly surprised by this book! When you read so much on beauty and specifically skincare, certain topics become repetitive and boring. I  try to read dermatological/medical journal articles on the subject, because I want to find out something new. I feel starved of new information sometimes. As I’m not a medical student myself, it’s difficult to strike that balance between finding new scientifically backed information, which is somewhat easy to understand and finding a way to incorporate it into your own life and skincare regime. I was worried that this book would be to ‘dumbed down’ and not not dig deeper into skincare and the skin’s biological processes, despite it being written by a very well known and renowned Dermatologist, based in Beverly Hills. I think my scepticism also stemmed from the claim that Dr Lancer had created a revolutionary ‘3 step’ skincare method to rejuvenate the skin. We all know of the ‘original’ 3 steps in skincare (thank you Clinique for all of those ads in the 90s!) – cleansing, toning and moisturising, so I just couldn’t fathom how you could reinvent those steps to really make a difference to your skin.

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Here is the official book description or ‘blurb’ which hooked me!

Renowned Beverly Hills dermatologist Dr. Harold Lancer is the expert on whom Hollywood’s top celebrities rely to maintain their radiant complexions and to reverse the effects of aging. Now, he offers readers his groundbreaking, 3-Step Method to rejuvenate their skin at home. Based on years of clinical research, Dr. Lancer’s regimen stimulates the skin’s own transformative healing power for lasting results. He provides a road map to help readers navigate the mixed messages of today’s dermatological advice, avoid expensive invasive treatments, and see through the empty promises of so many beauty products. He recommends the most effective skin care products for every budget from drugstores, department stores, and spas. He suggests surprising lifestyle choices in diet, exercise, and stress management that support beautiful skin. Whether the reader wants to maintain youthful skin or reverse the aging process, Dr. Lancer’s Anti-Aging Method offers a comprehensive program for ageless, radiant skin.

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So what is this new three step skincare system? Quite simply, exfoliation, cleansing and nourishment. Dr Lancer mentions that this extra step of exfoliation each night, ramps up your skins rejuvenation and healing systems. It’s almost like your traditional double cleanse, except that one of those cleansing steps need to incorporate some exfoliation. In the mornings, the three steps turn into cleansing, nourishing and sunscreen – pretty practical. I’m not sure what Dr Lancer thinks of cleansing devices, since his exfoliation steps mention the use of traditional ‘polishing’ products which contain very gentle micro beads (which he mentions shouldn’t be made out of micro-plastics which are damaging to the environment – I love that he is environmentally conscious) and perhaps chemical exfoliants. I would assume that a cleansing device could step in as this ‘exfoliating’ step, especially if you use it alongside a cleanser which includes AHAs or BHAs.

Dr Lancers book is terrific because it discusses the mechanisms of your skin and how each step of the skincare system works to stimulate your natural biological processes, targeting different layers of your skin. The book also discusses his anti-ageing method for the body and trouble areas, as well as how ethnicity can influence different dermatological procedures and the ‘development’ of your skin. The book also goes on to suggest how you can ‘ramp up’ your skincare routine by layering different products morning and night, if you feel that moisturising your skin is not enough (or as he calls it, ‘nourishment’). Because the book starts at the basics of skin care and gets quite complex, discussing how to layer skincare products once you are ready (and I mean a lot of products!), any level of skin enthusiast will love the tips and guidance shared. The book also details ingredients to look for (and in what concentrations which I love!) and what ingredients to avoid. There’s also a chapter on lifestyle factors, so diet and exercise tips and finally dermatological procedures that you may want to look into if your daily skincare routine hasn’t corrected some of your concerns. He makes a very big point about the fact that most dermatological treatments – especially the invasive ones, aren’t usually needed if a solid and consistent skincare routine is established. There’s also a chapter on troubled skin (covering issues such as acne, rosacea and sensitive skin). Along the way, products are recommended – from the high end brands (such as Dr Lancers own skincare line) to more budget friendly options. Most of the brands recommended are well known and easy to get a hold of even in Aus.

One extra tip Dr Lancer mentions which I thought I would test out on myself and share the results with you beauties, is using oils to remove makeup. Dr Lancer mentions that he doesn’t use makeup remover in his clinic – he uses either a high grade olive oil (great for drier skins) or grape seed oil (lighter than olive oil) to do so, which are cheaper and most of all, gentler on skin. Luckily I had grape seed oil in my cupboard and only needed a handy container slash jar to store my oil in for bathroom. I went by Daiso and bought an awesome glass jar (much more oil friendly than plastic – plastic will make the oil go rancid if it’s kept in the container for to long, but it’s ok for travel purposes) with a pump! The only issue I have is that the nozzle points up in an awkward position, but now when I want to pump out some of the oil, I just know to cover the nozzle with the palm of my hand so it doesn’t shoot out all over the place! For $2.80 I can put up with the nozzle lol So does it work? It does indeed remove 90% of my makeup! It melts my base makeup (even if I’ve used a makeup setting spray), eyeshadow, concealer etc. completely away. I was actually surprised at how gentle and pleasant the oil is to use. Because it is pure oil, it doesn’t irritate my eyes at all and the grape seed oil doesn’t leave that weird oily film over your eyeball (that always sounds weird doesn’t it lol). It does leave a film of oil on your skin, but it washes away super easily with a good cleanser. The only difficulty it has is with mascara. I don’t use waterproof mascara (most of the time) but I do layer on quite a bit of it, so it struggles. It does dislodge some of the mascara which I then just gently wipe away with a flat cotton round. Even if I have to use some extra micellar water etc to remove the majority of my mascara, I don’t have to use as much as I usually would, so it’s still a win-win budget wise and feels pretty luxurious also!

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The book itself is hardcover and I thought the pages inside it would be glossy, but there quite ‘ordinary’, with a matte finish (I know that’s probably a terrible way to describe the paper quality!) but it’s about the content right? The book was released in 2014, so it’s very up to date and relevant. Dr Lancer at the end of the book calls the reader of his book his ‘patient’ which I think is a really nice stance. He also offers up the contact details of his clinic should any reader have particular questions or concerns over his methods, advice etc. I love that his advice really is professional. If you’ve never been to a dermatologist before or cannot afford to see one, this book will give you that sound, quality advice you can put into practise! I don’t see a dermatologist atm, but I always thought seeing one was worth every penny.

I’m so happy with this book beauties and I can’t recommend it highly enough! I bought my book from Amazon but you can also find it at the Nile (an Aus site which includes free shipping).

Do you love beauty/skincare books? Does this book interest you?

Catch ya next time beauties!

Beauty Bee~

Review: Gorgeous Cosmetics Prism Powder Highlighter

I loooove highlighters. They just bring so much light and magic back into your skin, I almost feel like they are magical* But at the same time, a lot of highlighters can be garish and instead of making your skin looks healthy from within, they make your skin look unnatural and harsh – so not what we want.

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I wanted to try the Gorgeous Cosmetics Prism Highlighter because it looked so soft, pink and delicate. I had never tried anything from Gorgeous Cosmetics before this highlighter, so my hopes were high! As an Australian, higher-end makeup brand, they aren’t super well known and I think this is because they only have a few stand alone (flagship) stores and aren’t sold in many retailers – however they been around for a while and are branching out – not only can you buy their products from their own official website, but other e-retailers have also taken them on board (like Adore Beauty, where I bought my highlighter from!).

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Here is what Gorgeous Cosmetics say about their Prism highlighter:

Prism’s multi-dimensional reflective properties give you a sophisticated shimmer. This transparent and pearlised, luminous powder gives skin a gorgeous subtle sheen. Prism’s soft particles are so finely milled that they reflect and diffuse the light, reducing the appearance of imperfections. Use as a highlighter to create catwalk cheek bones and backstage brows, by sweeping delicately along cheek and brow bones. 12gms.”
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 The black rubber packaging feels nice and sturdy. I like that the packaging is simple, yet well made. I love the embossed ‘Gorgeous’ in the pan – beautiful simplicity! The powder itself is indeed, super finely milled. You can see really teeny tiny sparkles in the pan, but nothing scary. The light pink colour of the powder itself should work for most skin tones as there is some translucency to it. The sparkles do show up on the skin, but because they are so very fine and because the pink shade is almost a translucent neutral pink – the highlighter is very subtle in regards to it’s effect. The powder doesn’t have a strong reflective quality to it, I would almost describe it like a ‘diffuser’ of light rather than a ‘highlighter’ in the traditional notion of the word. Because of it’s pink tone, I wouldn’t use this as an all over powder, but if you are very pale or fair, you could get away with using this guy as a blush.
Those of you who are scared of highlighters and all that can go wrong with them, would love this powder so much, because it really is fool proof. I tried to pack on the highlighter in the photos below, but it doesn’t build up after a certain point. Not all highlighters need to be super reflective, and it does give you that sophisticated, ‘expensive’ skin look which many beauties will love!
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 Above: A swatch of Gorgeous Cosmetics Prism Highlighter.
 I think it’s worth having a more subtle and natural looking highlighter in your kit – I personally don’t think that all highlighters have to sparkle (lighter shades of powders or cream will also highlight the high points of your face) and with Prism, you get the best of both worlds, a very subtle shimmer, which is still totally sophisticated and almost undetectable. It all depends on what mood you are in and what look you are going for. Prism is perfect for day time looks and even work. The other highlighter I recently reviewed for you beauties was the Bikor Kyoto Highlighter, which has a pearly sheen to it, more reminiscent of a traditional highlighter (but not over the top or garish – I just love it) and below you can see the powders next to each other and their swatches.
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Above L-R: Gorgeous Cosmetics Prism Highlighter and Bikor Cosmetics Kyoto Highlighter
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Above: I tried to capture the Gorgeous Cosmetics Prism Powder Highlighter on my cheeks, but as you can see, it’s so subtle it is difficult to capture on camera. Perfect for that ‘no makeup, makeup look’! 
Even though it is a very subtle highlighter, it is still beautiful and I’m glad I bought it. This highlighter will set you back $49 and if you buy it from Adore Beauty, free postage is included with every order!
Have you tried any products from Gorgeous Cosmetics beauties? Are you a fan of subtle highlighters or are you into the more reflective highlighters?
Catch ya next time!
Beauty Bee~

Review: Garnier Miracle Skin Cream & Miracle Eye Cream

Garnier sent me their newest offerings to trial and I was happy because the Miracle Skin Cream sounded really promising (calling it a ‘miracle’ cream creates a lot of high hopes!). There’s a few things I want from my daily day cream – firstly, hydration (both humectant and occlusive ingredients would be fab). Secondly, anti-oxidants to help protect my skin from oxidative stress and free radicals, so ingredients like vitamin C and green tea. The other important ‘ingredient’ is sunscreen, however I don’t mind using a separate sunscreen if I have to, however if it is high enough, having it combined with a great moisturiser is a time saver (and who doesn’t want that!). What would I want my miracle cream to achieve? To make my tired skin look awake, illuminated and feel fresh!

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Here is what Garnier promises to deliver with it’s Miracle Skin Cream:

A breakthrough formula with 12 patents that combines self-adjusting technology with anti-ageing benefits for an instant & long-lasting transformation. Instantly, its self-adjusting formula is enriched with micro-pigments that provide natural coverage by adjusting to match your skin tone. Skin is immediately flawless, radiant and appears visibly younger. Enriched with 7 anti-ageing actives* + SPF 15 protection, fights against the signs of ageing for lasting results. In 28 days, wrinkles and imperfections are reduced, complexion is more even and skin is firmer.

*An anti-ageing complex of 7 active ingredients: LHA, Pro-Retinol, Vitamin C, Vitamin B3, firming peptides, anti-oxidant ginger.

The cream is light and smells floral but fresh. It is quite fragranced so if you are sensitive to smell or have very sensitive skin, this cream may not be for you (fragrance is listed quite high in the ingredient list, so there must be quite a bit of it in there). What I notice very quickly with this cream is that it is tinted. I honestly don’t believe that the cream can ‘adjust itself’ to match your skin tone. I think that upon rubbing the cream onto your skin, the heat releases the pigments which are a medium warm tone, but are translucent at the same time. The tint doesn’t actually offer any coverage like a tinted moisturiser would (minimal coverage), but rather I think they were trying to add just a little bit of colour and warmth into the complexion. The problem with this is, that if you have a cool complexion or even a neutral skin tone, it can make you look a little funny. If you apply makeup over the top of the moisturiser, it isn’t very noticeable, however I just feel like it looks like a bad fading self tan whenever I wear it. I really, really dislike ‘tinted’ skincare products. I don’t think products can do 1000 different things amazingly well, so I wish they had just concentrated on 3 or 4 tasks and done those incredibly well. The eye cream is unfortunately also tinted. This makes the eye cream even tricker to use, because the pigments are encapsulated in little beads. You need to rub the cream into your skin for the beads to disappear and release colour. I don’t know about you, but I don’t rub my eye cream underneath my eye area, I dab it on, as gently as possible. I’ve tried ‘dabbing’ this eye cream on but the pigments make the eye cream look more visible than it should be and it’s difficult to distribute the pigment evenly. Why oh why did they do this?!

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Above: Garnier Miracle Skin Cream

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Above: Garnier’s Miracle Skin Cream rubbed into the back of my hand a little.

Back to the day cream itself, it is great that Garnier have used some fabulous skin care ingredients like vitamin B3 (niacinamide) which you beauties know I love because it hydrates the skin, helps reduce inflammation and evens out the skin tone – and it is at the top of a very long ingredient list (a really good thing!). The cream also contains LHA, which if you remember my Acids 101 post, is a great yet gentle exfoliant, perfect for sensitive skins. What makes me scratch my head is the combination of vitamin A (retinol), salicylic acid and vitamin C, as any AHAs or BHAs (like salicylic acid) and vitamin C, degrade the ability of vitamin A (retinol) to convert within your skin into it’s active form. It makes the addition of vitamin A a little redundant. Plus, retinol can make your skin sensitive to the suns rays, so adding it into a day cream doesn’t make much sense to me. Using vitamin C in the mornings is perfect, however I want to know how much vitamin C I am getting from my products so I know if they are working to their best ability and Garnier of course doesn’t tell us how much Vitamin C is in their moisturiser. The day cream also contains an spf of 15+ which is good (better than nothing!) but not great – if you live in Australia or are a skin care fanatic, you need to use a sunscreen of at least 30+ daily. The cream hydrates my normal to combination skin well, however I don’t know that it is ‘extremely’ hydrating, so very dry skin could suffer using this day cream.

This day cream will set you back $20 in Aus. Would I repurchase it? No. I wanted to like this cream, but the tint of the cream really puts me off. If the cream lightly highlighted and illuminated the skin without any obvious shimmer, then I would love it – but the addition of a ‘skin tint’, will not suit everybody. The ingredients list isn’t terrible – it has some nice additions in there, but as I mentioned, I’d rather my moisturiser do a few tasks extremely well (like moisturise and contain anti-oxidants) rather than try and fight countless skin conditions in one go. That might be a nice idea, but it’s difficult to achieve.

Ingredients: AQUA / WATER, GLYCERIN, E T H Y L H E X Y L S A L I C Y L AT E , N I A C I N A M I D E , DIMETHICONE, ALCOHOL DENAT., OCTOCRYLENE,BUTYL METHOXYDIBENZOYLMETHANE, ISOPROPYL ISOSTEARATE, PHENYLBENZIMIDAZOLE SULFONIC ACID, BEHENYL ALCOHOL, TRIETHANOLAMINE,PHENOXYETHANOL, POLYACRYLAMIDE, PARFUM / FRAGRANCE, AMMONIUM ACRYLOYLDIMETHYLTAURATE / STEARETH-25 METHACRYLATE CROSSPOLYMER,DISODIUM STEAROYL GLUTAMATE, OCTYLDODECANOL, CETYL ALCOHOL, DIMETHICONE/VINYL DIMETHICONE CROSSPOLYMER, TITANIUM DIOXIDE [NANO] /TITANIUM DIOXIDE, MANNITOL, PEG-100 STEARATE, PTFE, DIMETHICONOL, C13-14 ISOPARAFFIN, CETEARYL ALCOHOL, TOCOPHERYL ACETATE,ASCORBYL GLUCOSIDE, PANTHENOL, ARACHIDYL ALCOHOL, HYDROXYPROPYL TETRAHYDROPYRANTRIOL, PROPYLENE GLYCOL, CAPRYLOYL SALICYLIC ACID,DISODIUM EDTA, LAURETH-7, ZEA MAYS STARCH / CORN STARCH, CARBOMER, CETEARYL GLUCOSIDE, ZINGIBER OFFICINALE ROOT EXTRACT / GINGERROOT EXTRACT, RETINYL LINOLEATE, STEARIC ACID, ALUMINA, HYDROGENATED LECITHIN, LINALOOL, SILICA [NANO] / SILICA, BENZYL SALICYLATE,LIMONENE, HYDROLYZED RICE PROTEIN, BENZYL ALCOHOL, METHYLISOTHIAZOLINONE, GERANIOL, CITRAL, [+/- MAY CONTAIN: CI 77891 / TITANIUMDIOXIDE, CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499 / IRON OXIDES].

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Now onto the Eye Cream promises:

Garnier Miracle Skin Cream Eye instantly smooths, brightens, illuminates and corrects dark circles. Consistent use reduces theappearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and firms skin. Contains 7 anti-ageing actives, and provides natural coverage that adjusts tomatch your skin tone. Instant transformation:
The unique self-adjusting formula of Garnier Miracle Skin Cream Eye blends upon contact with the skin. It immediately corrects the visible signs of ageing around the eye contour area. Instant visible results: Illuminates and brightens eyes. Smooths the eye contour area. Reduces signs of fatigue from morning until night.

A formula enriched with: 
– LHA
– Pro-retinol
– Vitamin E
– Vitamins B5
– Firming peptides
– Antioxidant ginger
– Argan protein

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Above: Garnier Miracle Skin Cream Eyes

The biggest plus of this eye cream for me is that it contains an spf of 20+ which is so good, as most eye cream don’t include sunscreen protection. Most facial sunscreens are generally ok to use around the eye area (unless the product specifies otherwise), however if spf is included in your eye cream, then that is one less thing to worry about! Vitamin A or retinol, is great to use around the eye area so your skin regenerates and cell turnover increases, but again, using it in the day time is risky. As the product contains sunscreen you are getting some protection to counter-act the UV sensitivity retinol can cause, however if there was a decent amount of retinol in the product, I don’t think they would have added it into a day eye cream. I can’t imagine using this eye cream at night because it is tinted, so it must be designed for day time use only. If it has a lower level of retinol, then it will only really help those with unproblematic skin which isn’t showing the first signs of wrinkles or ageing. The tint in this eye cream again is my biggest issue with the product, however it is nicely moisturising. For $20 it’s not a terrible product, however I would recommend you reach for something else if your under eye area is dehydrated or if you are showing fine lines or wrinkles. I want my eye cream to give a punch when it comes to active ingredients and moisturise like no other. Unfortunately this eye cream does nothing for my under eye circles, which is a shame as I struggle with the darkness under my eyes. Would I repurchase this product? No.

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Above: The eye cream contain little white beads which hold pigment. Garnier says that the beads are invisible, which isn’t true as you can pick them up on camera (and even more so in person).

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Above: Garnier Miracle Skin Cream Eyes rubbed into the back of my hand a little (you can see that not all of the white beads have yet released their pigment).

Ingredients: AQUA / WATER, GLYCERIN, ETHYLHEXYL SALICYLATE, OCTOCRYLENE, DIMETHICONE, ISOPROPYL ISOSTEARATE, PTFE, ALCOHOL DENAT.,DIMETHICONE/VINYL DIMETHICONE CROSSPOLYMER, BEHENYL ALCOHOL, PHENOXYETHANOL, POLYACRYLAMIDE, AMMONIUM ACRYLOYLDIMETHYLTAURATE/STEARETH-25 METHACRYLATE CROSSPOLYMER, DISODIUM STEAROYL GLUTAMATE, CETYL ALCOHOL, MANNITOL, PEG-100 STEARATE, ARGANIA SPINOSAKERNEL EXTRACT, DIMETHICONOL, C13-14 ISOPARAFFIN, CETEARYL ALCOHOL, METHYLPARABEN, TOCOPHERYL ACETATE, PANTHENOL, ARACHIDYL ALCOHOL, RETINYL LINOLEATE, CAPRYLOYL SALICYLIC ACID, DISODIUM EDTA , LAURETH-7, ZEA MAYS STARCH / CORN STARCH, CARBOMER, CETEARYLGLUCOSIDE, SODIUM COCOYL GLUTAMATE, ZINGIBER OFFICINALE ROOT EXTRACT / GINGER ROOT EXTRACT, HYDROGENATED LECITHIN, SILICA [NANO] /SILICA, HYDROLYZED RICE PROTEIN, METHYLISOTHIAZOLINONE, CITRAL, [+/- MAY CONTAIN: CI 77891 / TITANIUM DIOXIDE, CI 77491, CI 77492,CI 77499 / IRON OXIDES] (F.I.L. B162653/1).

Sorry my beauties, these products just didn’t work for me – however, these products could still work for you if you don’t need to much moisture (if you have oily skin for example), are on a budget and if you think the tint of the creams would work for your skin tone. I’m definitely not against drug store skin care products, I just hate tinted skin care products with a passion lol (that also includes Clinique’s Even Better Eyes Dark Circle Corrector – terrible…).

If you would like to see what skin care products I am currently using in the mornings, check out my Morning Routine Skin Care post here!

Are you a fan of Garnier skin care products beauties? I think I have only tried their makeup remover and skin care wipes, so a moisturiser from the company is a first for me. Let me know of your experiences with the brand and products!

Until next time beauties,

Beauty Bee~

Review: Estee Lauder’s Little Black Primer

I’m back beauties!!! The end of the semester was mental and I’m sooo happy to be back at it and have some time for myself again. Luckily during this ‘break’ from the blog, I got so many great ideas that I can’t wait to get started on :) But today I have a product review for you, which I have been able to test thoroughly over the last couple of weeks – Estee Lauder’s Little Black Primer. The product is a mascara primer which is black instead of the usual white. How obvious yet innovative at the same time lol Estee Lauder is the first (and probably now won’t be the last) to release a totally black mascara primer.

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I love mascara primers because while I have long lashes, I crave volume. Primers thicken up your lashes because you are of course adding an extra layer to your lashes, but it shouldn’t make your usual mascara look clumpy or crusty. Mascara primers are usually enriched with some added treatment ingredients, to help condition your lashes. Because my favourite mascara in the world is the original Dior Diorshow mascara, I have also been using the Dior Diorshow Maximizer Lash Plumping Serum (what a mouthful!). The Dior mascara primer is good, however I didn’t feel to bad giving another primer a whirl, because who isn’t on the look out for something a little better? ;) I used to also use the Clinique Mascara Primer back in the day which was fabulous (and cheaper) but it was a pain in the butt to find and repurchase, so I just gave up on that mission.

Here is what Estee Lauder claim their Little Black Primer will do for your lashes:

“Think of it as the little black dress for lashes. Unlike traditional lash primers that are white, this primer is tinted black, so you can use it on its own.

Three ways to wear it:

Tint: Colours and lifts bare lashes so they stay silky black throughout the day and even overnight.

Amplify: As a primer, it’s the optimal mascara base for volume, lift and length.

Set: Brush over mascara for a long-wearing, water-resistant topcoat that helps reduce smudging and flaking.

No well-dressed lashes should be without it.”

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When I excitedly opened up my very new new mascara primer, I was actually disappointed by the brush. It just looked so ‘meh’. Nothing fancy indeed. It looks like an ordinary curved mascara brush, that ‘curling mascaras’ always have. The bristles are quite short and this isn’t a silicone brush. I’m used to seeing big bristles on mascara primers because those brushes usually go with volumising mascaras.

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Above: The wand and brush of Estee Lauder’s Little Black Primer. I had a very difficult time trying to get my camera to focus on the brush lol I think the white flowers behind it were to distracting…

However, I found the brush to be pretty darn good at applying the primer to the lashes! My lashes have a natural curl to them, so I can’t tell you if it does indeed help to curl lashes (and hold the curl), but it separates them well, applies without any clumps or glugginess. You could as Estee Lauder suggests, wear the primer on it’s own for very natural but yet defined lashes. The primer on it’s own doesn’t add any volume to my lashes, but it does add some length. If you are after simplicity and perhaps a multi-tasker – this guy is it! The primer layers beautifully under your regular mascara and does give your regular mascara that little bit of ‘lift’ (both length and volume). I couldn’t find any info on the mascara primer working as a lash conditioner, but that isn’t a deal breaker for me. Here is how the primer works on my lashes!

Photo one is me with no product on my eye lashes. Because I used a little bit of black eyeshadow on my lash line, the camera didn’t pick up any of my natural lashes lol I naturally have quite long lashes, but they are light at the base and darken as you go up the lash (so they do look mostly black).

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With one coat, as I mentioned, lashes look defined but very natural.

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With mascara over the top, I get the effect that I am after – thicker, longer and more defined lashes.

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Not bad eh?

Estee Lauder’s Little Black Primer will set you back $45 in Aus. Usually I would pair any mascara primer with my fav mascara – the original Diorshow mascara – but when my boyfriend was off to the States I asked him to pick up the EL Little Black Primer primer along with Dior’s Diorshow mascara, but the poor lad got confused and bought me Dior’s Iconic mascara instead, so I’ve been wearing that lately (and it’s what I’m wearing with the Estee Lauder Little Black Primer in the photo above). It’s not bad and gives a very similar effect to Diorshow but it does transfer a little onto my brow bone unlike Diorshow, so once I’ve used it up, I will go back to my tried and tested fav!

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Would I buy the Little Black Primer again? I would :) I would say that it’s very comparable to Dior’s Lash Plumping Serum. I also heard that the Smashbox mascara primer is fab, so just maybe I will give that one a go next.

Here is my finished makeup of the day look btw :) You may have seen the photo as I posted it up on FB showing off my new haircut ;) Join me on FB if you haven’t already!

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I noticed of course that Estee Lauder got Kendall Jenner to be the face of this new release. How do you you feel about celebrity endorsed products? I can see that her current popularity might be well received by the ‘younger generation’, but I almost feel like using her as the cash cow is a little… tacky? I don’t know, I just don’t see the appeal but whatever floats your boat! I only buy a product based on the product itself, not on who is endorsing it, but the celebrity endorsements do get irritating…

Do you use a mascara primer ever? Does the Little Black Primer look appealing to you?

Catch ya next times beauties!

Beauty Bee~

 

Review: Rodial’s Dragon’s Blood Eye Masks & Super Acids X-treme Hangover Mask

Today beauties, I have two skincare goodies to review for you :) Both come from the UK brand, Rodial. It’s a brand which I have heard and seen about the place, but I had never tried any of their goodies before. Not only can you find their products in Priceline now (how easy and convenient is that!) but I noticed that their eye masks not only have a cool name (hellooo – dragon’s blood anyone?) but they are also made out of bio-cellulose! I loooove bio-cellulose because it is the most premium ‘sheet mask’ material you can get (you may remember my spiel on why bio-cellulose is superior in my Bel Mondo Beauty Facial Sheet Mask review). And then the super charged lime green Super Acids X-treme Hangover Mask also caught my eye, as I’m on an acids kick lately (not the drugs kids, just the skincare type ;) ).

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Rodial Dragon’s Blood Eye Masks 

I’m a big fan of eye care products (so both eye creams and eye masks) because the skin around your eyes is such a delicate area. It’s one of the first areas on your face which show the signs of ageing and as I put my eyes through some torture (late nights studying or marking on the computer and suffering from migraines will make you look oh so tired and accentuate under eye circles) I want to do everything I can to make them happy and look more rested. But I do admit, it’s hard to find good quality eye care products which actually work – so I was happy to test out Rodial’s offering for myself (oh and I did buy these products with my own hard earned cash btw)!

“A recent addition to the cult Dragon’s Blood range, these innovative eye masks combine the expertise in bio-cellulose technology with our unique dragon’s blood complex to intensely hydrate and moisturise the eye area. The dragons blood extract works as a second skin whilst soothing and repairing the skin cells. The Hyaluronic Acid works instantly to plump and hydrate, helping the eyes to appear firmer, plumper and younger! Arnica extract helps to reduce the look of under-eye puffiness and dark circles for an instant, brighter-eyed appearance. If your eyes are lacking life and starting to show signs of ageing this eye mask is your solution! “

  • Instantly plumps the skin and offers 24 hour hydration.
  • Elimination of blood pigments to reduce puffiness and inflammation around the eyes.

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Dragon’s blood isn’t a skincare ingredient you see around very often, but it has a lot of topical benefits! It isn’t a made up ingredient either, it’s actually the sap from a very special tree (croton lechleri) which is red – hence the name. This special tree grows in a few places in the world and one of those is the Amazon. Tribes living in the Amazon have used dragon’s blood for various skin ailments – stings, rashes, burns, sores, cuts and wounds. It contains antioxidant phenols (they may affect cell to cell signaling, receptor sensitivity and inflammatory enzyme activity) and help reduce inflammation, swelling (so great for the eye area) and protects active healthy cells. Dragon’s blood also contains proanthocyanidins, an antioxidant which protects skin cells from oxidation, prolongs the lifespan of vitamin E and C, and helps strengthen cell linings and the lattice like structure of proteins in the skin (like collagen). Another reason why it is used by Amazonian tribes is because it does have antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral activity – so perfect for helping your skin heal from lesions but also great for reinforcing your skins delicate lipid barrier around the sensitive eye area.

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Above: A drop of dragon’s blood! 

One ingredient that the Rodial product description doesn’t mention (even though it’s quite high up in the ingredient list) is scutellaria baicalensis root extract – a root from a herb, most often used in traditional Chinese medicine. My research tells me that it’s an anti-allergin, often used to treat eczema, psoriasis and atopic dermatitis, and also contains antiviral properties. Some of the flavonoids contained within the root boost skin thickness and the levels of matrix metalloproteinase, suggesting it’s great at repairing damaged caused by UVB rays. Not bad eh?

The other mentioned ingredient is arnica extract, which comes from a mountain flower. Arnica flowers have been used since the 1500s and it’s still a really popular extract in Polish eye creams and gels, because it’s anti-inflammatory, cooling and is great at minimising puffiness and swelling.

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Above: Arnica Flowers

The other ingredients include sodium hyaluronate (similar to but more stable than hyaluronic acid, which is a great humectant moisturiser), allantoin (soothing), hydrolyzed collagen (which is quite a large molecule and won’t actually penetrate the skin, but it does moisturise), glycerin (a humectant, occlusive moisturiser AND an emollient), morus alba bark extract (white mulberry – has antioxidant properties and reduces the production of melanin so it brightens skin tone) and witch hazel (de-puffing and tightens skin).

Remember that moisturisers allow your skin to work at full capacity so they are very much needed if you want to look young and fresh! The skin around our eyes is soooo fine with little to no sebaceous glands , so damage rears it’s head very quickly if you don’t take care of it. What I love is that these dragon’s blood eye masks are made out of bio-cellulose. Bio-cellulose is superior to other sheet mask materials because it was originally developed for medical use (for burns patients etc) as it covers the skin exceptionally well, aiding the healing process. It’s moldable, flexible and comfortable, allowing ingredients to fully penetrate into the skin. Bio-cellulose is made from cultured bacteria, so it’s even environmentally friendly and is bio-degradable. It feels like a gel like material and because of it’s structure, it can hold up to 100-times it’s weight in fluid – perfect for face masks! It is more expensive than other sheet mask materials, but it’s worth it as you are getting the most our of the mask formula and delivering it to your skin in the most comfortable and efficient way. You get 8 pairs of eye masks in your Rodial Dragon’s Blood Eye Masks box for $49.95, which isn’t to bad! That’s $6.25 per mask, not bad at all. I bought my box from Priceline and you can usually hold out and wait for a promotion before buying them (I bought mine when the Rodial line was discounted by 20%).

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So what do I think of them?

First of all, as with all bio cellulose masks, the eye masks are very comfortable to wear. The masks sit in-between two protective sheets, so that they don’t get damaged or get teared. I have noticed that sometimes one eye mask can be thicker or more opaque in colour compared to the other eye mask which is from the same pack. That’s a little odd, but I don’t think it changes how the mask works etc. Rodial suggest leaving the eye masks on for about 20-30 minutes which I think is ideal (sometimes if I forget about them being there, so I will leave them on for a bit longer). When you peel away the eye masks, there’s barely any serum left on your skin because your skin as absorbed the serum so well. The mask serum is hydrating. The skin around my eyes looks and feels more rested after these babies and any dehydration lines etc disappear. The one thing I think they could work on is the shape of the eye masks. The eye masks themselves reach down quite low onto your cheek, which isn’t bad per se, but they don’t entirely reach into the corner of my eye very well (it’s a little difficult to position the mask into the inner corner of my eye) and don’t cover my dark circles as well as I’d like. I think that’s a shame, because that’s where I want my skin to be especially hydrated so that my dark circles don’t become more pronounced. I’ve included an unflattering photo for you, just so you can see what I’m on about :)

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I don’t think they lighten my under eye circles or improve their look significantly, but because dryness is so detrimental to the eye area it does help my eyes look more rested generally and I know that I am helping to prevent fine lines and dehydration.

Would I buy Rodial’s Dragon’s Blood Eye Masks Again? Yes, I  would – but I will be on the look out for some other great eye masks also. They are easily accessible, are made out of a premium material and are still reasonably priced for the amount you get. You also can’t go wrong with a hydrating formula (I will still keep looking for a dark circle zapping miracle product!). I do wish they were shaped more like the Lonvitalite Collagen Crystal Eye Masks but alas.

Ingredients: Aqua(Water/Eau), Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Propanediol, Croton Lechleri Resin Extract, Olive Oil Glycereth-8 Esters,Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Carbomer, Arginine, Glyceryl Caprylate, Xanthan Gum,Panthenol, Arnica Montana Flower Extract, Sodium Citrate, Polysorbate 20, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Allantoin,Disodium EDTA, Parfum(Fragrance), Hydrolyzed Collagen, Morus Alba Bark Extract, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract,Pentylene Glycol.

Rodial Super Acids X-treme Hangover Mask

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I think the name of this mask is fun but also smart – whenever your skin is feeling dry, dull and out of whack, this guy will come to the rescue! If you remember in my Acids Skincare 101 post, I spoke about how wonderful acids are – they not only exfoliate, removing dull dead skin cells, unclog pores, but they also stimulate your skin to produce more hyaluronic acid and collagen, which keep your skin plump and hydrated. I thought this mask was interesting because not only is it full of juicy fruit acids, but it also combines clay and probiotics. Interesting combination!

A triple action resurfacing clay mask to deeply cleanse, exfoliate and restore a healthy looking complexion. Pronalen fruit acids gently exfoliate and retexture whilst age-defying laracare and argireline exapeptide help to minimise the appearance of fine lines for skin that appears lifted with improved tone and texture. Beneficial biotilys probiotic technology helps strengthen and protect skin from daily external aggressions by boosting hydration. The perfect post-party recovery mask to revitalise skin.

  • Eliminates dead skin cells
  • Reduces appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Improves skin hydration
  • Boosts skin radiance

Kaolin clay (also known as China clay or white clay) is one of the main ingredients in this mask and it’s probably one of the most popular clays used in skincare. Kaolin helps to exfoliate and deeply cleanse the skin but it is still gentle as it’s very fine, so it is also recommended for sensitive skins. It has disinfectant properties and stimulates circulation, improving healing processes (perfect for treating breakouts and acne).

The other stars of the show are the fruit acids! Pronalen fruit acids are a concentration of passionfruit, lemon, grape and pineapple acids. These acids are alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) which are water soluble and refine skin texture. They are perfect for refining surface scars like hyper-pigmentation, sun damage, wrinkles, fine lines and any bumps and lumps. To bump up the acid kick, Rodial have also added glycolic acid to their mask – also an AHA (derived from sugar cane). If skin texture is an issue for you – glygolic acid and fruit acids are your heroes <3

Probiotics are an exciting area of skincare, because some recent studies have shown great benefits for the skin when they are applied topically (internally they also work wonders, zapping skin inflammation).  Some studies have shown that probiotics decrease skin sensitivity, redness, inflammation and improve skin elasticity. That makes it a great pairing with acids, especially if you do have sensitive skin.

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How did I rate the mask?

I love this face mask. I thought I’d love the eye masks a bit more than the face mask (just because my eyes suffer so much) but this guy stole my heart! The texture of the mask is quite thin thanks to the fine kaolin clay and it has a pale green colour. It smells light and fruity and the scent reminds me of something I can’t quite put my finger on (I think perhaps some fruity chewing gum from my childhood?) but I love it! It dries down like a regular clay mask but it leaves your skin feeling so refreshed and clear. I have also tried this mask on days when I’m super tired and my skin is red and a little distressed, and not only did it remove some of the redness in my skin but it also didn’t irritate my skin one bit. The one odd aspect of this mask is, that the instructions only mention to leave the mask on your skin for a minimum of 5 minutes. So how long do you leave it on for? I’ve left it on for about 20 minutes before, with no irritation. If you have sensitive skin, perhaps leaving it on for 5 minutes to begin with is a good idea and then work your way up time wise. The green tube looks amazing and fresh, and I love that the mask comes out of a squeezy tube.

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The mask costs $49.95 at Priceline (though again, you can wait for a promotion and get this guy for a bit cheaper). I highly recommend this mask for whenever your skin is feeling dull, dry or blotchy.

Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Kaolin, Cera Microcrystallina, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Sodium Lactate, Phenoxyethanol,Glycolic Acid, Stearyl Alcohol, Propylene Glycol, Ceteareth 20, Ananas Sativus (Pineapple) Fruit Extract, Punica Granatum(Pomegranate) Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Fruit Extract, Parfum (Fragrance), Galactoarabinan, Alcohol Denat, Ethylhexylglycerin, Lactobacillus Ferment Lysate, Passiflora Quadrangularis Fruit Extract, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Acetyl Hexapeptide- 8,Sodium Bisulfite, Tetrasodium EDTA, CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), CI 19140 (FD & C Yellow No. 5), CI 42090 (FD & C Blue No. 1),Limonene, Geraniol, Linalool, Farnesol

Would I buy Rodial’s Super Acids X-treme Hangover Mask Again?

Yes – definitely! From the packaging, the scent of the mask and how it leaves my skin feeling (clear, soft, refined and soothed even) it’s the perfect pick me up – just like a mojito! :D Check out these mojito and kiwi inspired ice-blocks, amazing :)

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Have you tried any goodies from Rodial before? I’m so happy with my new picks, especially the Super Acids X-treme Hangover Mask <3 love, love, love!

Catch ya next time beauties,

Beauty Bee~

Review: Bikor Makeup – Kyoto Highlighter, Morocco Eyeshadow Quads no. 1 Palace Royal and no. 4 Marry Me

I have a ‘new’ makeup brand to introduce to you beauty bees, Bikor Makeup. I was so excited to find this brand, because there isn’t to many higher end, professional Polish makeup brands (besides maybe the well known Inglot makeup). For those of you who don’t know or who haven’t been following my blog for a while, my background is Polish, so I love keeping up to do with what is happening in the Motherland :) Not only does the aesthetic of the brand appeal to me, but so does their ethos, which is all about translating beauty to others using your own history and creativity. The range of the brand also surprised me, because I know the brand started out in 1992 with a bronzing powder called Egyptische Erde (which I do believe translates from German into English as Egyptian Land) which is still available, however their line now carries single eyeshadows, eyeshadow quads, a pressed powder highlighter, powder foundation, blushes and brushes (so it’s quite large), Bikor have been receiving great reviews in the Polish bloggasphere since their products reformulation and expansion, so I was itching to try some of their products. Luckily their website can be viewed in both Polish and English and they ship worldwide. The products have been reformulated and are made in Italy, so I was expecting great quality (plus, when a brand is founded by a makeup artists such as Bikor is, I assume that makeup artists want to create products which perform superbly and push the boundaries of innovation).

I decided to start with purchasing the Kyoto powder highlighter because I love highlighters and I love Kyoto (so that was an obvious and easy choice lol) plus two eyeshadow quads. Their eyeshadow quads look amazing and I love that they offer so many bright colours. It was soooo hard settling on just two eyeshadow quads (the quads are called Morocco Eyeshadows), but I did eventually choose no. 1 Palace Royal and no. 4 Marry Me.

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All the product I have so far are packaged in a matte black, plastic compact. The matte black elevates the packaging so it doesn’t feel cheap. All of the powders are also scented with this sweet vanilla caramel scent (a little bit like MAC lipsticks) which I am in love with! It’s not something which is needed, but I think it adds a nice touch. Once the powders have been app[lied to your face, you can’t detect the scent at all, so it is rather the compact perhaps, more so than the powders.

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Above: Kyoto Highlighter

All of the powders, whether it is the highlighter or the eyeshadows are so so soft. I think this is also because the formulations contain skin loving oils and vitamins. This gives them that almost ‘creamy’ feel to the touch. The Kyoto Highlighter contains very fine shimmer, which leans towards very light pink and pearl tones, This is one of those ‘sophisticated’ highlighters, which isn’t garish and is hard to over-do.

Play of Light & Shadows – Unparalleled selection of components and it’s structure created based on the formula with the highest degree of micronization, enable the KYOTO highlighter to condition the skin, not only optically evening it out but also imparting a beaming and luminous look to it. 

Care – The unique formula of the KYOTO highligher includes emollients which actively condition the skin and are used in creams. Vitamins A and E softens and smooths the epidermis, increases the elasticity and connective tissue, preventing dehydration. Supports cellular renewal, has the ability to neutralise free radicals, thus protecting against oxidation and damage to collagen and elastin fibers responsible for skin springiness. It slows down the ageing process of the complexion by creating a natural antiradical shield. Sweetbrier Oil characterised by intense properties that help condition and regenerate the skin. The component has its application in sensitive and irritated skin care, possessing highly soothing and calming effects. It is extremely effective in the fight against skin that is dehydrated or devoid of color. Lecithin normalises metabolic processes of the epidermal cells and increases it’s overall degree of hydration. Coconut Oil provides vitamins and minerals . It is an unmatched component with natural antioxidants delivering potent nutrition, regardless of thermal fluctuations. It softens the skin, restoring its elasticity. Lanolin by moisturising the skin in an indirect manner, it forms an occlusive layer that prevents excessive water evaporation. It perceptibly smooths the epidermis, rebuilding the lipid barrier. Does not contain parabens, hypoallergenic and dermatologically tested. 

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It’s difficult to confirm the skincare benefits of makeup products, but hey, if they do something, even in a very small percentage then that’s better than nothing! I’d rather they try! I can’t say that the highlighter moisturisers my skin, but as I mentioned, it’s so uber soft to the touch, and it doesn’t highlight any dry patches on my skin which is a bonus. It doesn’t accentuate pores and because of it’s texture is blends beautifully on the skin, so it almost looks like it has blended itself out for you (you can’t pick up any harsh lines), maybe ‘airbrushed’ is the right description!

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Above: Swatch of Kyoto Highlighter

It’s difficult to pick up all of the tones of the highlighter on camera, but as it’s a traditional pearly shade (pearl and pink particles), so it should suit most skin tones. I packed on the highlighter in the photo below and not only does it still not look over the top, but it just makes my skin look diffused – as if perfections have been blurred away and I have a glow from within!

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I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this highlighter and at $52 US dollars, I think it’s an adequate price.  Perfect for everyday but also for evenings out where you still want to look sophisticated ;)

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Now to the Morocco eyeshadow palettes! Both palettes comes with two matte eyeshadows and two shimmery/stain eyeshadows. I love that both the no. 1 Palace Royal (the purple toned palette) and no.4 Marry Me (the more neutral toned palette) come with mattes, as mattes will ground any shimmery shades and make them look more sophisticated. I do prefer matte eyeshadows for everyday looks over shimmery shades (that’s just my personal preference) but sometimes you do want that added drama and sparkle.

The Face of Color – The very high level of pigmentation, the color combinations and the unique silky texture of MOROCCO eyeshadows offer a virtually unlimited spectrum of eye makeup possibilities. They may vary from ‘nude’ effect natural, matte, or satin, to smokey eyes – expressive and metallic. Moreover, the eyeshadows also include components that condition the skin of your eyelids. Thanks to out original micronization process and near creamy texture, each layer adheres to the eyelids to prevent crumbling and deposition of eyeshadows in the eyelid crease. The unique formula of MOROCCO eyeshadows enables you to use it dry or wet, making it a great substitute for an eyeliner. The wet application extends the longevity of the eyeshadows. Keep in mind that the applicator (brush) should be only slightly moistened. In both cases apply the base (OSLO compact powder) under the eyeshadow first. The idea here it to allow combining different eyeshades to create new colours. Does not contain parabens, hypoallergenic and dermatologically tested. 

The eyeshadows just as the highlighter (if not more so) are buttery soft. The pigmentation of all the shades, especially the mattes is phenomenal. The mattes are as creamy as Urban Decay matte eyeshadows (which I rate highly and enjoy using) but I think they are even more pigmented. I have no trouble blending the matte eyeshadows.

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Above: Morocco Eyeshadow Palette in No. 4 Marry Me

Marry Me could be your everyday makeup kind of palette if you are into neutrals, but want a little colour to lift your complexion. The individual shades in the palette don’t have names from what I can tell. The top left hand shade is a pearly satin white. It has some transparency to it, but I think that’s to stop it from becoming a frosty white. The shimmer in the eyeshadow is very fine and understated. These white shade is my kind of highlighter eyeshadow – not over the top. The gold metallic eyeshadow on the top right of the palette, is soooo super creamy its almost like a dream :P It’s a light cool toned gold. The brown shade in the palette on the bottom left, is a dark cool brown. totally matte and yet very workable and blends out like a dream. The pink shade on the bottom right hand side is really interesting, because on my skin at least, it applies as a medium toned pink, looking almost like a salmon pink. It isn’t a pastel or wishy-washy pink. It’s also totally matte and very pigmented.

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Swatches from the Morocco eyeshadow palette in no. 4 Marry Me

Palace Royal is a purple toned palette, also containing two matte eyeshadows and two super shimmery eye shadow shades.

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Above: Morocco Eyeshadow Palette in No. 1 Palace Royal

The top left shadow is a totally white matte shade, with a hint of pink to it. I think the pink warms it up slightly, and makes it a little less stark looking. It’s a good base eyeshadow and blends out very easily, thanks to it’s light tone. The top right hand eyeshadow on the other hand is a very dark eggplant purple. It almost looks like a dark navy in the pan, but it’s definitely purple. It’s maybe not as soft and buttery as the mattes in the Marry Me palette, but I think that’s because purples are more difficult pigments to work with (alway rebelling lol). It’s still lovely though. The bottom left eyeshadow is probably the most stunning shade in the palette. It’s quite  light violet metallic purple. Worn all over the eyelid, this colour would give you the most stunning bold purple eye look! It’s again, maybe not as soft as the gold metallic shade found in Marry Me, but it’s still decently pigmented and layers wonderfully. I’ll also note that the swatched below don’t capture the gorgeousness of this violet shade – it’s a lot more true to pan in person. The bottom right had shade is also a metallic, but more of a silver – maybe with a teeny tiny hint of warmness? It’s difficult to tell, but it’s super soft and shiny!

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Swatches from the Morocco eyeshadow palette in no. 1 Palace Royal

Each Morocco eyeshadow palette retails for $54 USD. I’m so happy with the quality of my Bikor makeup buys. Not only is the quality of the products great, but their customer service is top notch as well. Bikor ship worldwide, but when I went through the checkout process and picked Australia as my shipping destination, no shipping methods came up for me to choose from. I emailed Bikor and they replied to my query super quickly. I arranged to pay for the order via Paypal and the whole transaction went through smoothly. When you spend over $200 USD (or 150 euros or 120 GBP) you receive complimentary shipping. Shipping is via courier, so my order arrived in a matter of days, which amazed me (one day the order was showing as being in Poland and the next it was at my door).

I’m already thinking about what my next purchase might be – I’d love to try the all matte quad, no. 5 Bed & Breakfast and no. 3 Rainforest (a palette of greens), no. 7 Summer Break (blues) or perhaps no. 10 Wonderland (bright metallic glitters). The website is really well layed out and looks super professional, so have a browse and let me know what products appeal to you then most! Hopefully some of you beauties will be tempted to try a few of their goodies :)

Until next time!

Beauty Bee~