NARS Blushes – New Favourites

There should probably be a disclaimer here to begin, that I should not be held responsible for this post because I know nothing of make-up other than I like it. With that said, I have developed a real appreciation for the wonders of a good blush.  Seeing as my face is, at the best of times, a pasty lifeless sheet, I have been in search of a few different colours to perk up my dull complexion.  My only other blush at present is MAC in Peaches, but to be honest it is anything but peachy, instead being quite pink on my skin, which is why I went in search for something new and fancy!  The two fantastic recent finds are NARS Blush in Gina and Orgasm.

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Price: ( $$ ) $45, available from Mecca Cosmetica. (Pricey, but I think this is going to last me years).

NARS Blushes. Left: Gina. Right: Orgasm.

NARS Blushes. Left: Gina. Right: Orgasm.

Application:  Gina needs barely a touch of my brush to pick up enough colour for one cheek.  Gina glides on really well and doesn’t need much effort to build the colour. Orgasm on the other hand, requires me to mash my brush into the pan in attempt to loosen just a little of the powder.  It doesn’t show on my skin very well at all.  Not sure if just unlucky… but I have to say I am a bit confused as to why everyone raves about this -_-

Thoughts:  Both these blushes are great – but for entirely different reasons.  Gina is this gorgeous, deeply peachy, tangerine matte, while Orgasm is more pink with flecks of gold shimmer.  I have always shied away from shimmer blushes – or shimmer anything – as I have firmly believed that shimmer should be reserved for my eyelids alone.  I am slowly coming around to the idea of slight shimmer on the cheeks, but for me, I just use Orgasm as a highlighter at the top of my cheekbones to get the desired effect.  Gina is the perfect tangerine for my skin, and the soft, powdery formula is a breeze to work with so it is foolproof even for a fool like me!

NARS Blushes. Left: Gina. Right: Orgasm.

NARS Blushes. Left: Gina. Right: Orgasm.

Conclusion: It is only quite recent that I learnt that make-up is in fact a lot of fun and not at all scary. What a thing to learn at 24! What I have now learnt about blush, is that if it is good quality, the colour and texture are far superior AND the product will last longer.  Gina fades during the afternoon, so it isn’t something I could wear all day into the night, but it still lasted well considering my combination skin.  Orgasm isn’t a shade I would purchase myself, but I would definitely purchase other NARS blushes. Hooray for blushes!!

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NARS is a great brand, but is owned by Shiseido. NARS themselves claim to not test on animals, but unfortunately Shiseido do. Just a little note to keep anyone who is interested informed.

Bon Appetite!

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Guerlain “Aqua Allegoria: Mandarine Basilic” Perfume Review

Happy Monday everyone!  To alleviate the pain from going back to work or uni, here is what I use for a little pick-me-up:

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Score:  ♥♥♥♥♥

Product Plus:  For me, no allergies when using this perfume!

Application:  Lasts surprisingly well for an Eau de Toilette.  On my skin (moisturised) I can still smell the base notes and a little of the middle after 5 hours.

Fragrance Notes:  Aromatic Citrus.  Top includes clementine, orange blossom, green tea.  Middle includes peony, mandarin orange, basil.  Base includes sandalwood and amber.

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Thoughts:  Apart from the fragrance being irresistible, the bottles are gorgeous with honey-combed gold detail to accent a simple shape.  This is an amazingly refreshing perfume, and although it is a Citrus, the notes of Mandarine last a lot longer than most.  Guerlain is one of the original perfume houses of France, so I think by now it is very clear that they know what they’re doing!   The layering of scent is perfect, and unlike a lot of Citrus it has depth.

Conclusion:  On me, Mandarine Basilic maintains a strong mandarin fragrance with a little less basil, and once settled has a wonderful spicy amber/citrus scent.  One of my favourites!  Perfumes in the Aqua Allegoria range all seem to have similar positive points, and it is a very large range with something for everyone!

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Perfume Tip:  Just in case anyone hasn’t heard this before!  When applying perfume ensure the areas of skin you are applying to are moisturised.  Many brands will have matching scented body lotions or creams designed to assist in layering your fragrance and ensuring it lasts.  However, if you want to go for either a less scented option or even if you want something cheaper or basic, try to match it to the base notes of the perfume.  In my experience matching to top notes can clash and alter the fragrance of the perfume, sometimes with pretty awful results.

Bon Appetite!

 

Smashbox “Photo Finish Foundation Primer Colour Correcting: Adjust” Review

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This product was purchased at the same time as the Drying Lotion in my last post, obviously because my skin is rubbish and warrants use of all of the products! But seriously, this little beauty is pretty handy. I had been skeptical for some time as to the effectiveness of primers in general, but I do generally have lots of red spots (either acne or scars) so I figured I had nothing to lose.

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Price: $21.95 ( $$$ ) for the 12ml, $54.95 for 30ml full size product

Score: ♥♥♥

Product Plus: Contains vitamins A and E, antioxidants and is an oil-free formula. It doesn’t have any parabens, which is kinda nice.

Application: For use before foundation to reduce redness and to prime skin for a smoother and more effective application of foundation.

Coverage: I would recommend it for light-moderate coverage of redness.

Thoughts:  At first I found the texture to feel almost oily, but it is actually more of a silky feeling. It disappears quite fast into the skin, which makes me feel like I need to layer more on.  I only apply it to spots and my nose area, but you could use it over the full face to get more even coverage.  I found during the first wear, that it only lasts well for an initial few hours, which is disappointing because I do have many red spots that then are more obvious.  This is using a liquid foundation over the top with a powder to finish.  The second trial I actually let it settle into my skin for a couple of minutes first, before applying foundation, and that seemed to help a little.

Conclusion:  It does seem to help with the smooth application of a liquid foundation, I am not sure of others though.  I would repurchase this in the future, but it might not be for a while because I might only use it for special events.

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On a happy side note… I have to say I am very impressed with Smashbox, both by the products and by the brand. They are listed by PETA as an ethical make-up brand, and although they may not be considered a ‘natural’ brand, they don’t have parabens in quite a few of their products that I’ve noticed, which is a plus too.

Bon Appetite!

Bad Skin Be Gone

This is something I had lusted after for quite a while, the Mario Badescu Drying Lotion.  Now, I know this has probably been done to death by just how famous it is, but seriously this stuff works, so I want to rave about it too.

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I don’t know about everyone else, but since I’ve been in my early twenties, my skin has lost it’s mind.  I had regular break-outs as a teenager, but now they are just terrible.  Apparently it is a common thing for women at this age, which is unfortunate, and is why Mario Badescu is a lifesaver.  Who wants to be feeling ultra self-conscious about breakouts at work or university at 25?  Not me.

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Price:  $26.95  ( $$ )

Score:  ♥♥♥♥

Application:  DO NOT SHAKE.  Moisturise your face first, if you are going to.  Use a cotton bud to dip in then apply only to the affected area so it entirely covers it.  I found after a few days use it can really dry skin out, so I have taken to making sure the area is extra moisturised before application.  It does take a while to dry, so don’t smear it over everything by accident before it has a chance to work.  I would be careful with sensitive skin, and if you love to scrub, dial it down a bit while you test out the limits of this product on your own skin.

Thoughts:  To be honest, from what I had read and been told about this product I did kinda expect it to be an instant overnight fix.  I think that if you applied it to smaller breakouts, it would be, but on more serious ones (even if caught early) I still had to use it several nights.  For me however that is brilliant, because sometimes a breakout for me lasts weeks, whereas with this it is limited to days.  Be warned, it smells extremely strong, and kinda gives the impression you’ve just doused yourself with toxic chemicals.  For me, that’s not great, but I am just so over continuous breakouts, so this product gets a big tick in my book.  Apparently there is a Healing Cream to match, and if anyone has tried this I would love to hear the results!

Conclusion:  A very effective product, and if I need to I will purchase again.

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Bon Appetite!