What’s in a Lipstick? (with video)

What's in a Lipstick?

Have you ever wondered what’s in a lipstick? Obviously there’s the colouring agents that make it red or pink, but what’s all the other stuff? Let’s talk lipstick science. The video is here on YouTube, scroll down for the blog post version… What makes a good lipstick? First let’s talk about what a lipstick is. I mean, I think we …

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Detangling Brush Comparison: Tangle Teezer vs Lady Jayne

Lady Jayne Tangle Teezer comparison

I’ve been really enjoying the Tangle Teezer, a brush with soft bristles designed to minimise breakage. I’ve been using it to quickly but gently detangle my fragile bleached hair, with much less breakage than the wide-toothed comb I was using before. I did need a second portable hairbrush though, and since the Lady Jayne Tanglepro Detangling Brush (RRP $13.99 AUD) …

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Chemical vs Physical Sunscreens: The Science

Video: Chemical vs Physical Sunscreens: The Science

Video: Chemical vs Physical Sunscreens: The Science

Are chemical or physical sunscreens better? I touched on this in my Sunscreen and Make-up video, but a lot of people have been asking me to talk more about it, so I’ve expanded on the topic in this post, which comes in video form as well!

Click here for the video – scroll down for the blog post “summary” version with references and product recommendations (which is still somehow 1500+ words long…).

What Are Chemical and Physical Sunscreens?

The active ingredients in sunscreens are often divided into two categories:

  • Physical sunscreen ingredients (more correctly known as inorganic sunscreen ingredients) are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.
  • Chemical sunscreen ingredients (more correctly known as organic sunscreen ingredients) are everything else.

You can have sunscreens containing only organic filters, only inorganic filters, or a combination of both.

Video: Chemical vs Physical Sunscreens: The Science

The reason organic (carbon-based) and inorganic (not carbon-based) is a better classification than chemical/physical is that there’s overlap between how they work. Both types work by absorbing UV and turning it into heat. Inorganic sunscreens also scatter and reflect about 5-10% of the incoming UV, as do some particulate organic sunscreens like Tinosorb M, so really they should be classified as both chemical and physical.

Differences Between Chemical and Physical Sunscreens

The big differences between them that you should consider are:

Protection Level

SPF 50+ is pretty common with both types of sunscreen, but broad spectrum protection (that includes protection against longer wavelengths of UVA) is where there’s a difference.

Organic sunscreens give higher, photostable protection from UVA if you use newer filters like Tinosorbs S and M, and Uvinul A Plus (not yet available in the US). The more common avobenzone gives really high UVA protection, but it breaks down in UV so you have to be diligent about reapplication (although some formulas stabilise avobenzone so it breaks down slower, and you should diligently reapply sunscreen anyway if you’re spending a lot of time in the sun).

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Bondi Sands Gradual Tan Comparison and Review

Bondi Sands Gradual Tan Comparison and Review

Bondi Sands make some of my favourite fake tan products. Here in Australia they’re pretty affordable and easy to find. Since I’m pretty slapdash at applying fake tan, I much prefer gradual tan products – that way all my uneven applications can average out over a few days, and no one has to see me as a splotchy oompa loompa (although that tends to happen regardless). Bondi Sands has a huge range, including 6 different gradual tan products at the moment, all of which contain both dihydroxyacetone for rapidly developing colour, and erythrulose for a longer-lasting tan. Here’s my review of 4 of them: Everyday Gradual Tanning Milk, Everyday Gradual Tanning Foam, Everyday Gradual Tanning Foam for Men, and Everyday Liquid Gold Gradual Tanning Oil.

Bondi Sands Gradual Tan Comparison and Review

Everyday Gradual Tanning Milk

Everyday Gradual Tanning Milk (375 mL, $17.99 AUD at Priceline, $29.99 at Amazon) was my first Bondi Sands product. As I’ve reviewed before, has a light cocoa butter scent that effectively masks fake tan smell. It dries quite quickly, and is reasonably moisturising, which is important because well-moisturised skin makes the tan apply more evenly and fade more slowly.

Since I last reviewed the Everyday Gradual Tanning Milk, Bondi Sands seems to have changed the bottle from round to flat. It still has the convenient pump lid that’s a winner when you’re trying to juggle mitts and sticky skin. It also applies nicely with your hands as well, if you don’t have a mitt handy.

Ingredients: Water, Dihydroxyacetone, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Cocoglycerides, Bis-PEG-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Laureth-7, Isopropyl Palmitate, Glyceryl Stearate, Phenoxyethanol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Isobutylparaben, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Fragrance, Polyacrylamide, Ethylparaben, Cetyl Phosphate, Triethanolamine, Erythrulose, Methylparaben, Butylparaben, Propylparaben.

Everyday Gradual Tanning Foam

Everyday Gradual Tanning Foam (270 mL, $19.99 AUD at Priceline, $29.99 at Amazon) has the same cocoa butter scent as the Everyday Gradual Tanning Milk, but in a watery foam format. It’s a clear liquid that comes in a bottle with a foaming pump on top. It works a lot better with a mitt than bare hands, since the foam dies down into flat liquid pretty quickly. I found it easier to spread than the milk but it didn’t give quite as intense a tan, probably because it was very easy to apply a lot less. Applying two layers made a big difference, and didn’t take any more time because it dried so quickly.

This performed surprisingly well moisturisation-wise, even though I wasn’t expecting too much from such a light textured product. Price-wise it works out to be dearer than the Milk, but the convenience factor makes up for that in my opinion.

Ingredients: Aqua, Propylene Glycol, Trideceth-9, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Polysorbate 20, Dihydroxyacetone, Ethoxydiglycol, PEG-5 Ethylhexanoate, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Erythrulose, PEG-12 Dimethicone, Sodium Metabisulfite, Tocopheryl Acetate, Panthenol, Parfum, Benzyl Alcohol, Disodium EDTA.

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Why Make-Up Flashback Happens and How to Avoid It


Ah, the dreaded make-up flashback! Celebrities like Angelina Jolie, Nicole Kidman and Miley Cyrus aren’t immune to it, even with their hordes of make-up artists:

Here’s the science behind make-up flashback, and how to avoid it.

What causes make-up flashback?

The harsh white markings are caused by silica, an ingredient in many translucent powders, particularly those labelled as “HD”. (Note: silica is not the same as silicon and silicone!) it-cosmetics-bye-bye-pores-IMG_8765 The silica used in makeup is fumed silica, a type of amorphous silica which has been processed to give it a large surface area. This means that it’s great as a microscopic sponge for soaking up oil (kind of like activated charcoal but colourless).

It’s also fantastic for diffusing light – all the tiny surfaces scatter light at different angles, giving a blurry, matte texture, making your skin look flawless on HD video (hence the HD label).

But not when direct flash comes out!

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Maybelline Color Tattoo Leather swatches and comparison


There are 4 new shades joining the Maybelline EyeStudio Color Tattoo range in Australia in February. 3 of these are matte, and the final shade is a satin with subtle shimmer. They’re neutral colours which will be fantastic for everyday wear. I’ve swatched these next to similar shades in the permanent range, so you can work out if they’re worth adding to your collection (my vote is yes – I love these colours and can see myself getting lots of use out of them!).


The 4 shades are:

Creamy Beige – matte beige-brown
Vintage Plum – matte grey-purple
Chocolate Suede – satin chocolate brown
Dramatic Black – matte black


Like the other Color Tattoos, the texture is creamy smooth, and they slide on oily eyelids a bit unless you set them with powder (eyeshadow or translucent powder both work). I like using these as bases under similar coloured shadows, or by themselves on lazy days.

Here are some comparisons with the permanent shades in the Color Tattoo line:


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