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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Sara Happ 'The Lip Slip' Lip balm - Review

I'm always on the hunt for a perfect lip balm. My lips love to dry out, it's like their hobby. I have a few favourites but I'd been longing to try out this balm for a long, long time. 

'The Lip Slip' by Sara Happ is an ultra rich balm with an incredibly wear time. I have never tried a lip balm that stays put for so long. If I apply it before bed it will still be on my lips when I wake up, it's that rich.

However, luxury like this doesn't come without a cost. Because the balm is so rich and so moisturising it also happens to be incredibly sticky. As someone who won't even wear a semi-sticky lip gloss, this is an adjustment for me. I want my lips to slide together, not grip onto each other. I've never encountered a product as sticky as this, no lip gloss could compete with the grip that this balm has.

The balm is long wearing because it's sticky, you couldn't eliminate this factor without changing the balm completely.

The balm is petroleum free (yay!) and contains Beeswax, Jojoba and Sweet almond oil for nourishment.

The other downfall is the taste. While it's nothing horrible and it's not that unpleasant, it does have that 'plastic' kind of taste to it. It smells nice though and looks great on the lips. It's a clear balm with the smallest micro-shimmer. It looks really fresh and glossy.

For me, this isn't a day time balm. The sticky texture is just too much for me to handle. It works perfectly as a night time treatment though, as long as you're not planning for any midnight kisses.

A 15g pot (which will last you a long, long time when using as a night treatment) will cost you $34.95 in Australia (you can buy online HERE) or $24 in the US, available from Sephora and Nordstrom.

Animal Testing: Sara Happ does not test on animals.

Benefit POREfessional Primer - Review

The thought of using a 'spackle' like primer to even out the skin surface sounds horrible. 'Filling in pores'? Sounds like a recipe for cake-face. Especially if you have oily skin and know that whatever goes into pores loves to come right back out an hour or so after applying make up.

I've tried a lot of primers and have always settled into using more fluid, skin tone correcting ones rather than gel-like skin surface smoothing ones. They're more comfortable and hold up longer on oily skin.

But, being the ever-loving product junkie that I am, when a new product is released with over-the-top claims I'm going to be sucked right in. I have to say that I was quite surprised at how easy it was to wear.

Benefit Porefessional is a light weight gel that smooths over skin while filling in pores (and fine lines). It claims to smooth over acne scars.

I don't exactly have a problem with large pores, my pores are regular sized and I never notice that they're there but either way, who doesn't want to achieve more flawless skin.

It's a primer so it's going to help your foundation last longer on the skin. I saw an increase of wear from 4-5 hours to 7-8 hours, which for combination skin like mine that's a great accomplishment.

It's translucent when applied so it will work on any skin tone. I was horrified when I saw the tan shade of the primer in the bottle but it definitely does apply translucent.

The thing that I liked most about this primer is that you can use it both over and under make up. It's oil free and oil absorbing which means that it won't promote excess oil on the skin and you can also use to absorb and 're-smooth' out your skin if you are oily during the day. It also contains Vitamin E to help protect your skin from daily elements. 

To apply will cleanse/moisturise my skin first, then rub a small amount of Benefit Porefessional between my finger tips. I pat it only to areas with visible pores such as around the nose and near the apples of the cheeks. when applying it over make up I clear my face of excess oil with blotting film and then warm up a small amount of the primer between clean fingers and pat it over the same areas.

I must mention also that the packaging is in true Benefit style, fun and bright.

Benefit Porefessional will set you back $53 in Australia or $30 in the US for 22ml.

Animal Testing: Benefit does not test on animals.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Yes To Cucumbers Calming Shower Gel

If you read my review on the Yes To Cucumbers Facial Wipes HERE you would know that I'm a new fan of the brand.

It's been a while since I've switched up my body wash but I saw this one and thought that since I was so in love with the Facial Wipes, maybe the shower gel would deserve my love too.

The shower gel is packed with Vitamins A and C to hydrate the skin and calm down any irritations. It's 99.8% natural and contains mostly organic ingredients.

It smells like cucumbers, a lot of cucumbers. I love the fresh, cool scent but if you prefer a more relaxing or mild scent it could be bit off putting.

It lathers like crazy on a loofah and leaves the skin feeling incredibly soft. It's made especially for sensitive skin so it's not drying or 'stripping' or your skins natural oils. I am more of a 'don't fix what isn't broken' kind of person when it comes to skin care and since I have 'normal' skin on my body I don't want anything that could tamper with my skins natural balance. However if you're used to sulfate-loaded, paraben based 'squeaky clean' shower gels it may take you a while to get used to this wash. You won't get that 'squeaky clean' feeling but you will feel that your skin is nourished and hydrated.
 Active ingredients in this product are Cucumbers, Rosemary, Broccoli, Dill, Green Pepper, Dead Sea Water, Olive Oil, Aloe Vera, Green Tea, Spinach and Almond Oil. I know, sounds like a side salad.

It does contain a sulfate. This particular sulfate is called 'Sodium Coceth Sulfate' and from what I can find it's a mild product derived from coconut oil.

It also contains fragrance with no indication of it's origin, do be wary if you're sensitive.

All in all, I don't mind it. I'll use up the bottle (the GIANT bottle, it's half a litre) and could possibly repurchase.

If you have sensitive or dry skin I definitely recommend giving it a try.
I picked mine up at Priceline for $9.95.

Animal Testing: Yes To (including Yes To Cucumbers) does not test on animals.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

How to choose a MAC Concealer

MAC can be quite overwhelming, there offer a far wider variety than most make up brands but while this can be quite confusing, it's also quite wonderful.

No matter what your hair colour, skin colour, gender, skin type, eye colour or desired finish is, MAC has a product for you.

MAC is also favoured because it is high end make up with a lower price tag, you're looking at about $36 for a concealer (compared to* $58 for Chanel, $48 for Lancome or $28 for Revlon).

So, seeing as I seem to gather make up in hoards, I've pulled out all of the MAC Concealers and am going to give you a run through of what each one does and how to pick one for your specific needs.

Studio Finish SPF 35 Concealer

Studio Finish is definitely the most favoured from all of the MAC Concealers because it is so multi purpose. It's a lightweight cream with a full coverage. It's water resistant, fragrance free and is designed for all skin types. This means that if you have dry skin it won't dry you out even further, if you have acne-prone skin it won't cause further acne and if you have oily skin it won't product excess oil.

It's great for covering blemishes or skin imperfections and won't settle into lines and pores. It's very concentrated so you only need a small amount. It also dries down into a matte finish quite quickly which mean you can build up the coverage if needed.

It's great for covering dark circles under the eyes but it because it's a cream you should put a thin layer of eye cream or moisturiser on first to help the concealer blend without pulling at the eye.

It contains vitamins A and E as well as silica to absorb any oils your skin might produce.

I apply the concealer with a brush and then blend it out with my fingers. Your skins warmth helps to melt the concealer down and blend it evenly.

Select Cover-Up Concealer.

Select Cover-Up is unique because it's texture free with a skin finish. It's not matte, satin, dewy, illuminating or light reflecting. It is just like applying skin and is impossible to detect when blended into the skin.

It's a medium coverage but can be built up to a medium-full coverage. A lot of make up artists actually use this concealer as a foundation because of it's unique texture-free properties. It erases dark circles, brightens your skin and covers any imperfections.

It also comes in a squeeze-tube which increases sanitation of the product, another reason why it's popular among make up artists.

It is recommended to use the concealer pre-foundation, then add a little more over the top of your foundation where necessary.

Select Moisturecover Concealer.

This is my favourite MAC Concealer. It's in a tube with a doe-foot applicator and goes exactly where you want it. It's a liquid concealer but it is so creamy and blendable with a soft, velvet finish.

It provides a medium coverage and is perfect for minor imperfections (such as acne scars or red spots) and is great under the eyes because it is so incredibly moisturising.

It has a satin finish so it's not completely matte but will stay in place all day. It's a soft, natural camouflage for almost any concealing purpose. It's skin-perfecting and line softening, doesn't settle into lines and doesn't fade throughout the day.
I apply it to the back of my hand and then use a concealer brush to blend it into the areas I choose.

Studio Sculpt Concealer.

Studio Sculpt Concealer is a more concentrated version of Studio Sculpt Foundation. It contains almost the same ingredients but it made thicker to provide a higher coverage. All MAC Concealers are water based except for this one which is gel based.

It's a thick cream with a full coverage and matte finish. It sets in place for a long lasting finish but gives enough time to blend it into place. It's great for covering scars or dark markings on the skin but can also be applied lightly for a lighter coverage. It's also water resistant.

If you apply too much of this one you will find it settling into lines and pores, but applied with a light hand and slowly building up the coverage you will get a flawless result.

Pro Longwear Concealer.

There are so many reasons to love this concealer, but unfortunately there are a handful of reasons to avoid it also.

It's a medium-full coverage concealer that stays put until you remove it yourself, it's not going to fade or move on the skin during the day. It comes with a pump bottle which provides extra sanitation for your skin and there is a huge amount of shades to choose from.

It's perfect for use on the skin to cover blemishes, scars, darker spots or rosacea. It has a natural matte finish and sets true to colour.

Okay, the cons. The pump delivers far too much product, you're going to get enough product for 4-5 uses with each pump because a little goes a long way. This has been discussed online since the day it was released with few coming up with solutions. Some people are depotting it into a small container bit by bit to use during the week. Others just deal with the extra product and wipe it away. I have found that if I press the pump hard against my knuckle I can control the amount of product that is released.

The other con is that although MAC states that it is suitable as an undereye concealer, it's not. Pro Longwear Concealer subtly contracts as it sets which is fine on skin, you won't feel or notice it. But on your delicate under eye skin it is quite uncomfortable. It feels like its pulling at the skin and leaves eyes looking quite dark and tired because of the stress left on the skin. I researched this to see if anyone else had found the same problem and it turns out it's quite widely discussed online. I don't recommend using this concealer under your eyes.

Otherwise, it's a great, long wearing facial concealer.

Mineralise Concealer

This is MACs newest concealer release. It's enriched with minerals, nourishing botanicals and vitamins to sooth the skin.

It's a very creamy and easy to blend concealer, perfect for face and under eyes. It sets to a luminous natural finish and is best to set with a powder if you have oily skin. It's a medium coverage and is slightly buildable.

I can't tell you how it wears throughout the day because I am allergic to cosmetic minerals and had to remove it soon after applying but MAC claims it to be a medium wear concealer.

Because of its luminosity it's great for touch ups and can be applied over powder if you find you need more coverage throughout the day.


  • If you want to use a cream concealer under your eyes make sure you moisturise first. You don't want crepe paper eyes or to have product settling into fine lines.
  • If you have oily skin choose a satin or matte concealer and set with a powder.
  • If you have dry skin, luminous liquids are best for you. Try natural finishes or dewy finishes.
  • If you're covering acne it's best to remove the product from the pot/tube and transfer onto your hand, then use fingers or a brush to apply it. Putting fingers or a brush into the pot transfers bacteria and can create more acne.

Estee Lauder, who own MAC, have recently started selling in China where animal testing is mandatory. As of April 2012, MAC stood against animal testing. Their current stance is unknown.

*approximate prices only

Disclaimer: I have worked with MAC on a professional level for many years and received a lot of my professional training from MAC. However I have never been employed by MAC and this product was paid for with my own money. I am not being paid for this review, all opinions are my own.

Animal Testing: MAC has always maintained cruelty-free production of products and is against animal testing. There has been some controversy over the past few months but MAC is still maintaining that they do not test on animals. 
Some MAC brushes do contain animal hair. MAC maintains that the hair is is farmed ethically and cruelty-free. 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Illamasqua 'Hussy' Blush - Review

Illamasqua 'Hussy' is a complete staple in my every day make up routine. I wear it 3-4 times a week out of the 40+ blushes I own, that's saying something.

It's so rich and pigmented that you only need the smallest amount to give the perfect flush to your cheeks.

'Hussy' is a completely matte bright petal pink with a slightly coral tint. You can wear it as a bold blush or as a gently flush to the cheeks.

It's incredibly pink, doesn't settle into pores and would suit light to medium-dark skin tones.

The blush lasts throughout the day until you remove it at night, I find that even with just the subtle flush that I like it won't fade down or wear out during the day.

I can't get over the amazing pigmentation of this blush. My collection consists of a variety of high end and low end blushes and nothing compares to the depth and fine-milled consistency of this blush.

You can buy it online at illamasqua.com and I highly suggest you do!

Animal Testing: Illamasqua does not test on animals.