Hello, everyone! If you follow me on 1 or 2 of my social media platforms, then you probably feel like this is déjà vu. Nope, your eyes are not deceiving you – I did post the above ‘Makeup Of The Day’ photo on Facebook etc. about a month ago. After I posted the photo, I received quite a few messages and emails from my readers asking for pricing, stockists and more information (mini reviews) on some of the makeup products I used. So, that’s exactly what I’m going to do for you today!
I really, REALLY like how the eye makeup look turned out on this one – it’s very much out of my comfort zone, but it’s always good to try something new…right? I attempted a warm smokey eye AND winged liner (shocking, I know!) and I think it turned out okay? I hardly ever do winged eyeliner because 1. I have hooded eyes and it feels like my wing always disappears in my crease; and 2. I can never get my wings to line up perfectly on each side. I’m on a mission to master the art of winged liner on my specific eye shape – we all know practice makes perfect, so I’ll just have to keep trying.
I’m loving the Stila Eyes Are The Window Eyeshadow Palette in ‘Mind’, and I’ve been using it non-stop lately. I reckon it’s definitely worth the money, but if you feel like R495,00 is a bit steep, then wait until Takealot.com have one of their amazing SALES – I actually bought this palette, as well as the ‘Body’ palette for R371,00 each back in April.
It may seem like a lot of products to use for just one makeup look, but remember, I’m makeup lover / hoarder (and beauty blogger) – I love to play around with new products as much as I can.
Anyway, let’s get on with the product lineup as well as mini reviews:
DERMALOGICA HYDRABLUR PRIMER (R850,00) – I’ve been loving this makeup primer, especially now with the cold, dry weather we’ve been having. My skin tends to become quite dry around the forehead and cheeks during Winter (plus I’m so bad with drinking water), and the Hydrablur primer has not only put the hydration and nourishment back into my skin, but it is also one heck of a makeup primer. It’s not a silicone-based primer, so it actually feels like you’re applying a lightweight moisturiser. Their H2ORelease Complex and Abyssinian Oil slowly releases hydration during the course of the day, and Whu-Zhu-Yu Fruit Extract adds a natural radiance to the skin. Click here for more information on this product. Stockists: Dermalogica South Africa online store, Dermalogica Concept Stores, Sorbet salons, and selected beauty salons nationwide.
RIMMEL LASTING FINISH 25-HOUR FOUNDATION (R139,95) – I honestly didn’t think I would love this foundation as much as I do, it provides incredible coverage and yet doesn’t feel too heavy on the skin. I use the shade ‘Sand Beige’ but it’s a teensy bit too dark for my skin tone at the moment, so I used the ‘Shade Adjusting Drops’ from The Body Shop to lighten it. Even though it has a matte finish, it still feels hydrating and comfortable. If you’re wondering how it compares to the Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation, then I’d say this one covers imperfections and discolouration a lot more effectively and has a stronger matte finish. Stockists: Clicks, Dis-Chem, Takealot.com, Zando.
THE BODY SHOP SHADE ADJUSTING DROPS – LIGHTENING (R300,00) – This is definitely one of my best discoveries of 2016 so far! I wrote a very detailed review on the Shade Adjusting Drops from The Body Shop in this blog post, plus I also included swatches of the drops mixed in with different foundations. As mentioned above, I used the ‘Lightening’ drops to lighten my Rimmel foundation by 1 shade. This is definitely a must-have product for any beauty lover and ALL makeup artists out there. Stockist: The Body Shop stores.
Top Tip: Since the Shade Adjusting Drops are liquid products, you can basically mix them in with ANY other liquid-based product i.e. concealer, corrector, liquid lipstick etc.
THE BODY SHOP SHADE ADJUSTING DROPS – DARKENING (R300,00) – I used the ‘Darkening’ drops as-is (not mixed in with a foundation) to contour my face just a little bit. I’m not a fan of a very strong contour on myself, so I used a light hand and blended it out with a dampened beautyblender makeup sponge for a very natural look. I used a slim makeup brush (like this one) to draw thin stripes under my cheekbones, along my forehead, and under my jawline. I then blended everything out with my damp makeup sponge to create subtle shadows in those areas, adding structure to the face. For more information on ‘How To: Contour & Highlight For Beginners’, take a look at this blog post. Stockist: The Body Shop stores.
THE BODY SHOP ALL IN ONE CONCEALER (R165,00) – This was actually the first time I used this unique concealer, it reminds me so much of the Benefit Fakeup Hydrating Undereye Concealer. The twist-up concealer comes in a stick form and has a type of ‘moisture core’ that promises to hydrate the under eye area (sorry, my bad…you can’t really see the moisture core in the photo above). Although the coverage was quite good, I found it was too creamy for me and actually settled into the fine lines under my eyes before I could even set it with a powder. I suspect it will be a bit too thick and creamy for the rest of my face too (I have combo skin) but if you have normal to dry skin, then this might be a great option for you. I used ‘Shade 00’, which has a strong pink undertone to brighten up the under eye area. Stockist: The Body Shop stores.
MAC MINERALIZE SKINFINISH NATURAL POWDER (R390,00) – This is my ride-or-die setting powder, I’ve been using it for the last 3 years and will keep repurchasing it until I’m too old to wear face powders. I featured it in my ‘Best Of Beauty 2014 – Makeup’ blog post, so you can read my full review over there. I use the shade ‘Light’ to set my undereye concealer (to keep it light & bright) and the shade ‘Light Medium’ to set the rest of my face. I know using 2 powders is overkill, but trust me, they are THAT GOOD! Stockists: MAC South Africa online store, MAC counters (in Edgars and Foschini stores), and MAC standalone stores.
THE BODY SHOP HONEY BRONZER (R215,00) – This product is also a firm favourite of mine, and I featured it in my ‘Best Of Beauty 2015 – Makeup’ blog post earlier this year (go check out that blog post for a full review). I use it in almost every makeup look / tutorial (unless it’s a drugstore makeup look) and definitely use it every single time I do my makeup on a normal day. It’s my go-to bronzer, and ‘Shade 03’ adds the perfect amount of warmth and dimension to my light (NW20) skin tone. Stockist: The Body Shop stores.
L’ORÉAL INFALLIBLE BLUSH SCULPT TRIO (R169,95) – Love! I own the shade ‘Nude Beige’ which consists of 3 warm-toned neutral blush and highlight shades. The tones in this trio complement each other so well, and can either be applied individually or as one radiant blush shade when mixed together. I usually like to buff the top blush shade onto the apples of my cheeks using a fluffy brush, and then top it off with the shimmery highlight shade in the bottom corner of the trio. For this makeup look, though, I only used the blush shade. The textures are lightweight and feel velvety to the touch, making them very easy to blend into the skin. I just wish the L’Oréal Infallible Blush Sculpt Trio had a price tag that is a bit more pocket-friendly. Stockists: Clicks, Dis-Chem, Edgars, Red Square, and other department stores nationwide.
MAC MINERALIZE SKINFINISH (R390,00) – Sorry, ladies, but this one was part of the ‘Future MAC’ collection a couple of months ago. It’s called ‘Otherearthly’ and contains 3 individual highlight shades – a metallic silver, a pearlescent peach, and a shimmery golden bronze. Swirled together, they create a glowy light peach shade. I used it to add highlights to the high points of the face i.e. top of the cheekbones, tip of the nose, and cupid’s bow. I really like the texture of this highlighter, it’s smooth and very blendable on the skin (especially if you use a highlighter brush like this one). Stockists: Limited edition.
MAC BIG BROW PENCIL (R280,00) – If you’re a regular here on the blog, then you’ll know the original MAC twist-up brow pencil in the shade ‘Lingering’ is my holy grail brow pencil. I had my reservations about the new ‘Big Brow Pencil’ because I knew that it probably wouldn’t be the best fit for my ‘unique brow type’. Fortunately the shades are exactly the same as the original brow pencils (I was sent a couple of shades, including ‘Lingering’) but as soon as I started applying the rather large crayon to my brows, I immediately knew that it just wasn’t for me. By now you probably already know I have VERY sparse brows (I was very naughty in high school and decided the ‘skinny brow look’ was very trendy) and unfortunately this thick waxy crayon was just too bulky for my brows. If you already have full well-defined eyebrows, then you’ll love this product because it allows you to quickly fill in your brows with broad strokes. I need something a little bit more fine and dainty to fill in my brows, so using this chubby pencil was a struggle for me (I ended up adding a bit of my original MAC Brow Pencil in Lingering to my brows as well). Stockists: MAC South Africa online store, MAC counters (in Edgars and Foschini), and MAC standalone stores.
SMASHBOX BROW TECH SHAPING POWDER (R290,00) – This product has found a permanent spot in my brow routine! When I was first introduced to this product I thought it was a bit gimmicky, but as it turns out it’s actually very unique and works really well as a brow shading product. I use the shade ‘Taupe’, which is a very nice cool-toned brown shade and I imagine it will work for most brow hair colours. On to the actual product – it’s an ultra fine, loose, highly pigmented brow powder that is housed in a small, liquid liner-style container with a screw-on cap fitted with a very skinny sponge tip applicator (holy mackerel, that’s a mouthful!). The flexible, pointed tip mimics the look of natural hairs to fill in sparse patches, and adds natural-looking depth and volume to the brows. It’s very easy to use, and provides consistent colour without looking ‘drawn on’. The formula builds really well (doesn’t flake) and because it has a strong colour pay-off, I suggest you start out with a light hand when applying this to the brows. As for the staying power, I really can’t fault it – it doesn’t smear, smudge, flake or fade (even after 8 hours of wear). Stockists: Selected Woolworths & Red Square stores, or in the Red Square online store.
BENEFIT STAY DON’T STRAY EYESHADOW PRIMER (R365,00) – If you read this blog post, then you already know I adore this product. Here’s something you might not know about this primer: It has been formulated to work as an eyeshadow primer AND an under eye concealer primer. So, your eyeshadows stay put, and your concealer won’t crease or fade. For a full review on the Stay Don’t Stray Eyeshadow Primer, go take a look at my ‘What’s New In My Makeup Bag + Makeup Look’ blog post. Stockists: Benefit counters in selected Edgars & Red Square stores, or in the Red Square online store.
STILA EYES ARE THE WINDOW PALETTE (R495,00) – As mentioned at the beginning of this blog post, I used the palette in ‘Mind’ (there is a total of 4 palettes in the range). What I like about this palette, is that it contains ONLY matte eyeshadow shades. These days, it’s really hard to find a quality eyeshadow palette that contains mostly (if not all) matte shades with impressive pigmentation. The ‘Mind’ palette contains 12 matte shades with a mix of cool-toned purple and slate shades, warm-toned earthy shades, and a good mix of wearable neutrals too. I also like the layout of the palette – the top 2 rows contain the cool-toned shades, while the bottom 2 rows contain the warmer shades. I’ve been looking for a very warm burnt orange eyeshadow for the longest time (I even considered ordering the Morphe 35O palette and paying Morphe’s ridiculous shipping fee) but when I saw ‘Perception’ in the bottom row of this palette, I was S-O-L-D! It is the perfect transition crease shade, with the perfect formula too. Speaking of formula, the eyeshadows in this palette are bomb – smooth, pigmented, easy to blend and not chalky at all. I’ve been using this palette non-stop lately, and I can’t see myself putting it away anytime soon. For a review & swatches post on the Stila Eyes Are The Window Palette in ‘Spirit’, take a look at this blog post. And for a review on the Stila Eyes Are The Window Palette in ‘Soul’, take a look at this blog post. Stockists: Selected Woolworths, Truworths, Edgars, and Red Square stores, or on Takealot.com and Retail Box (but it’s a bit more expensive on Retail Box).
INGLOT AMC PURE PIGMENT (R269,00) – I wanted to add a little bit of sparkle to the eyeshadow look, so I foiled my Inglot pigment in ‘No. 14’. I own a couple of the ‘AMC Pure Pigment Eyeshadows’ but 14 is my fave, it is the most intense metallic champagne shade I have ever seen. These are not the fluffy, powdery pigments we’re all used to (i.e. MAC Loose Powder Pigment or NYX Loose Pearl Eyeshadow), they’re dense and moist, which makes them cling together to form little clusters. Some might think they’re chunky because of the little clusters, but once you apply the clusters to the eyelid, they melt into the skin. They also blend really easily with each other and other products. You can use them dry or with a damp brush (spritzed with MAC Fix+ or any other makeup setting spray), or for an intense molten metal-esque finish, make a paste using the pigment and INGLOT Duraline. The colours of these AMC Pure Pigments are extremely rich and saturated, and they apply very evenly too (no patches in sight). Their wear time is very good, ranging from 7 hours (when used dry) to 12+ hours when used with a mixing medium like Fix+ or Duraline. Stockists: INGLOT counters in Edgars stores, stand-alone INGLOT counters, and in the INGLOT SA online store.
Top Tip: Pigments can sometimes be a bit tricky to work with. Here’s how use them – I like to take out a tiny amount using a flat, synthetic eyeshadow brush and transfer the pigment to the underside of the lid of the jar. If you’re using the pigment dry, use the flat brush or your finger to pat the pigment on the eyelid. If you want to foil the pigment, either pick it up with the eyeshadow brush and spray your makeup setting spray directly onto the pigment & brush, then apply to the lid. OR mix the pigment with a mixing medium (eye drops, Duraline, Fix+) in the lid of the jar and apply the paste to the eyelid.
STILA GOT INKED CUSHION EYELINER (R335,00) – Unfortunately not worth the hefty price tag for me… This was definitely an impulse buy (and one I regret) when we were on holiday in Cape Town last year. You know how it goes – you’re on holiday, feeling relaxed, not a care in the world, a R300+ eyeliner seems like a good idea at the time. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad eyeliner – it’s actually really easy to use and the shade ‘Black Obsidian Ink’ is one of the blackest black liners I have ever seen…BUT you can definitely get the same effect with the INGLOT AMC Eyeliner Gel. It’s a rather unique product, though, as it’s a cushion-sponge liquid liner packaged in a jar (it’s not a gel liner). You can use any type of eyeliner brush with it (of course I bought the limited edition Stila La Quill brush on a whim too, but the CALA 318 Eyeliner Brush works just as well) and since the formula is so thin & runny, it offers versatility in creating a thin, precise- or thick line based on what kind of brush you use. You don’t have to worry about your brush gunking up with a thick gel liner, BUT it’s important to rinse the bristles after each use. Otherwise, the leftover product on the brush will harden as it dries, and trust me, it’s a pain in the you-know-what to clean once it’s dry. But like I said, there are other more affordable gel liner options out there that work a treat too! I think this eyeliner was limited edition, but if not, here are the Stockists: Woolworths, Truworths, Edgars, and Red Square stores as well as selected pharmacies, spas and salons (for a complete list of Stila stockists, click here).
Top Tip: Any liquid or gel liner can double as eyeshadow bases to intensify the pigmentation of any eyeshadow and prolong the wear too.
REVLON ULTRA VOLUME MASCARA (R149,00) – I’ve been testing the new Revlon mascaras for the past couple of months, there’s currently 5 variants available in South Africa i.e. ‘Super Length’, ‘Ultimate All-In-One’, ‘Dramatic Definition’, ‘Volume & Length Magnified’, and ‘Ultra Volume’. I’ll share my thoughts on each of the mascaras in another blog post soon, but for this makeup look I decided I wanted thick, bold lashes. I’m usually not the biggest fan of bulky mascara wands, but the size of this one didn’t bother me at all. The formula is quite wet and black, so you have more than enough time to play around with the wand to separate / define your lashes. Although I was happy with the amount of volume this mascara gave my lashes, I wanted a little bit more drama…so I opted for falsies as well. I like the ‘Ultra Volume’ mascara, but I love the ‘Super Length’ (green tube) and ‘Volume & Length Magnified’ (blue tube) options even more! Stockists: Clicks, Dis-Chem, Woolworths, Truworths, Foschini, Edgars and Red Square stores; or online in the Red Square online store, Takealot.com and Zando.
Announcement: Speaking of Revlon…so I can finally let you in on the secret project I’ve been working on these past few weeks. I’m very proud to announce that I am an official Revlon Brand Representative, and will be working with Revlon for the next 5 months. I’m 1 of 5 Revlon #LoveSquadSA members (the other 4 are fellow bloggers, who are lovely girlies by the way), and Bonang Matheba is our ‘Squad Leader’. I’ll be sharing all the campaign deets in another blog post, BUT for now, I need you to tune in to the Afternoon Express TV show tomorrow (Thursday, 30 June 2016) at 16h00 on SABC3. I’ll be in a segment where Bonang interviews her 5 #LoveSquadSA members. Eeeep! I’m going to be on TV! That’s what I flew down to Cape Town for 2 weeks ago, and let me tell you, I was a bundle of nerves. I also filmed 3 makeup tutorials which will be featured on Afternoon Express and the Revlon SA YouTube channel in July, September and October. But like I said, I’ll give you more details on that in another upcoming blog post.
EYLURE VOLUME FALSE LASHES (R59,95) – These are definitely my ultimate favourite eyelashes of all time! I don’t like super fake-looking lashes, you know…the ones that are extremely long and spiky. Aaaack! The Eylure 101’s are long enough to be noticeable, but still very natural too. They are also lightweight (they don’t feel uncomfortable on the eyes) and a very good fit (in terms of width) for me, so I don’t have to trim them down. The lashes are also staggered in length along the band, which really opens up the eyes and makes them look larger and more rounded. Plus, these lashes are definitely reusable but only if you take care of them. You really can’t go wrong with a pair of Eylure lashes, the price is budget-friendly, they’re cruelty-free and they’re easy to get your hands on. Stockists: Clicks and Dis-Chem stores.
L.A. GIRL ENDLESS SEMI-PERMANENT AUTO LIP LINER (R29,95) – If you love lip liners that last for absolute aaages, then these L.A. Girl liners are right up your street! The one I used is called ‘Natural’ and it’s a dead-on dupe for MAC Whirl lip pencil (and if you can’t get your hands on the L.A. Girl one, then the NYX Lipliner Pencil in ‘810 Natural’ is a perfect match too). We all know Kylie Jenner made ‘Whirl’ very famous back in the day, some people describe it as a mauvey pink, but on me it looks very brown. The same goes for ‘Natural’ from L.A. Girl, it’s a neutral brown with slight brick undertone. I can’t wear this particular shade alone because it makes me look like a zombie, so I like to pair it with nude lippies. A little bit on the dry side in terms of texture, and there is some tugging and pulling when applied to the lips, but I actually think the MAC lip pencil is a bit more drying. The staying power of this lip liner is amazing and lasts for hours at a stretch (it will last even longer if you layer it with a lipstick). One thing I really like about this shade is that it complements A LOT of different lipstick shades too. Stockist: Dis-Chem stores.
REVLON ULTRA HD MATTE LIPCOLOR (R165,00) – I already reviewed one of the Revlon Ultra HR Matte Lipcolor liquid lipsticks in this blog post, and for the most part the texture and staying power is exactly the same. I actually also mentioned this particular shade called ‘Seduction’ in that blog post. I described it as the perfect nude – not too pink, not too peach, not too brown. I think it will be very flattering on a multitude of skin tones, plus you can pair it with a nude pink or neutral brown lip liner and it will look fab! The Ultra HD Matte Lipcolors from Revlon feel nice & velvety on the lips, and here’s what I love about them: They don’t dry down to a flat matte finish, they stay semi-matte (yet comfortable). Trust me, you need at least one of these babies in your makeup collection! P.S. I have ALL the shades in the collection, anyone keen on seeing a swatcharoo of each of the shades? I might do a quick review & swatches blog post on them – if you’re interested? Stockists: Clicks, Dis-Chem, Woolworths, Truworths, Foschini, Edgars and Red Square stores; or online in the Red Square online store, Takealot.com and Zando.
ESSENCE BB BEAUTY BALM LIPGLOSS (R38,95) – I wanted a glossy lip, so I opted for this very affordable gloss from Essence. Another product I mentioned in my ‘What’s New In My Makeup Bag’ blog post a few weeks ago, this shade is called ’01 Keep It Real’. I’ve been popping in to Dis-Chem quite regularly lately (what else is new?) and have been purchasing little bits & bobs of the new Essence permanent collection products. These Beauty Balm lipglosses have become a permanent item in my handbag, because they feel so comfortable on the lips (not sticky, or gloopy) and they’re perfect for on-the-go. They’re quite sheer too, so you don’t need a mirror when applying them. Since this is a gloss, it doesn’t last very long on the lips (which I don’t mind) but it definitely adds a bit of hydration to the lips, thanks to the shea butter and Vitamin E ingredients. For more info on the Essence BB Beauty Balm glosses, take a look at this blog post. Stockists: Dis-Chem and Red Square stores; or online on Takealot.com and the Red Square online store (Clicks unfortunately doesn’t have the new permanent collection items as yet – not sure why?).
BODYOGRAPHY PRO READY, SET, GO MAKEUP SETTING SPRAY (R230,00) – If you’re looking for a cruelty-free makeup setting spray…look no further! Here’s a bit of background on Bodyography as a brand: Their guiding principle is ‘beauty with a conscience’. This means they offer mineral based makeup, boasting clean ingredient lists (free from preservatives, additives, fragrances and other potential skin irritants) and recyclable packaging. Their makeup products are also infused with skincare benefits such as fruit- and plant derived vitamins and antioxidants, plus they offer vegan-, gluten- & paraben free products to fit within any lifestyle. I’ve been using this as a makeup setting spray for just over a month now, and I really like it. I only recently found out you can also use this as a makeup priming spray (think along the lines of the Smashbox Photofinish Primer Water) but I personally prefer a pore-filling, skin smoothing makeup primer (in tube form). As a makeup setting spray, though, it works like a charm. It contains alcohol, which in this case is a good thing, because that’s the ingredient that creates a film on the skin to set your makeup in place all day long. It also contains Ylang Ylang Flower Extract, which is extremely effective in maintaining moisture balance, and keeps the skin looking hydrated, smooth, and youthful. I use this as a setting spray after I’ve finished the last step in my makeup routine, and I find it prevents my foundation, blush, eyeshadows etc. from fading. It also intensifies my fleeky highlight areas, and effectively controls oil production around my T-zone. Need a makeup pick-me-up during the day? You can also use this to freshen up your makeup halfway through the day or even after work. All in all, it helps your makeup stay fresh all day long and leaves the skin feeling soft and hydrated.
You’re wondering how this makeup setting spray compares to my beloved MAC Fix+, right? Well, both set my makeup in place, both settle a matte / powdery complexion (so that it looks more natural), both smell divine, but I think I prefer the fine misting nozzle on the Fix+ spray. The Bodyography setting spray also disperses a fine mist, but I find the Fix+ bottle spritzes an even finer mist. Where Bodyography gets a bonus point, though, is you pay R230,00 for 177ml and MAC Fix+ costs R250,00 for 100ml. Stockists: Selected Perfect 10 and Placecol salons, and Placecol SA online store.
Top Tip: A setting spray can also be used to dampen makeup brushes to foil shimmery / metallic eyeshadows and pigments – this intensifies vibrancy and increases wear time.
And there you have it! Mini reviews on all the products I used for my ‘Warm Smokey Eye’ makeup look. I’m off to Cape Town tomorrow (Thursday) to attend a Benefit South Africa launch. Guess what they’ll be launching soon? ALL their new brow products! Take a look at this blog post to see the new Benefit Brow Collection. Ya’ll know I’m always on the hunt for new & exciting brow products, I have a feeling the new brow goodies from Benefit are going to knock my socks off!
P.S. Only 2 days left to enter my Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette GIVEAWAY – have you entered yet? Hhhhmmmm…?