Ultimate Vitamin C Skincare Guide Part 1: Ascorbic Acid (with video)

Vitamin C product guide

Vitamin C is one of the most commonly raved about ingredients in skincare, with lots of evidence to back up its effects. But it’s also one of the most confusing. There are just so many different vitamin C ingredients and product types, and this is before you even get to all the different products you can buy! So this is …

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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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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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Korean Gray-Brown Brow Pencil Comparison

Asian-brow-pencils

I have undyed East Asian hair, so it’s hard to find a good brow product in stores in Australia. Luckily the Asian beauty market has it covered with tons of grey-brown options! I couldn’t find many comparison swatches online so I ended up buying a whole stack of “Gray Brown” pencils from a range of Korean brands (The Face Shop, Missha, A’pieu, Skinfood, Tonymoly, Lioele) from RoseRoseShop, and swatched them to show the difference. I hope this helps someone with the same dilemma!

Asian-brow-pencils

Here are the “Gray Brown” products I swatched:

A’pieu Nature Easy Eyebrow Pencil in Gray Brown
Tonymoly Lovely Eyebrow Pencil in Gray Brown
Skinfood Black Bean Eyebrow Pencil in Gray Brown
The Face Shop Lovely ME:EX Design My Eyebrow in Gray Brown
The Face Shop Lovely ME:EX Design My Eyebrow in Dark Gray
Lioele Auto Eyebrow in Gray Black
Missha The Style Perfect Eyebrow Styler in Gray Brown
A’pieu Harutatoo Brow in Dark Brown

Asian-brow-pencil-comparison-grey-brown

Since my hair is undyed, the roots of my hair and brows are naturally grey-tinged. Pretty much all of the affordable brown brow pencils designed for brunettes in Australia pull too red, while black pencils are too dark, so they both look pretty unnatural. There are a few OK products on the market, but they’re few and far between, so I’ve been using The Face Shop ME:EX Design My Eyebrow in Gray Brown as my everyday brow pencil, while my sister uses the same pencil in Dark Gray. The shades are very similar, though Gray Brown has a subtle brown tone.

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Australis AC on Tour & Models Prefer Contour Comparison

australis-ac-on-tour-contouring-IMG_7067

Australis brought out their AC on Tour (get it?) contouring and highlighting palette a bit earlier than Models Prefer, who brought out their Contour/Collection highlighting and contour palette recently with very very similar shades. Here’s the inevitable comparison, including side-by-side swatches!

contouring-kit-comparison-australia-models-prefer-IMG_7064

Price

Both palettes are $16.95, for 6 x 3.5 g pans.

Packaging

australis-ac-on-tour-contouring-IMG_7067models-prefer-contour-IMG_7069

Australis’s AC on Tour palette is housed in a matte black plastic case. Models Prefer’s Contour/Collection palette has a glossy black plastic case, with a full sized mirror which puts it in front, but Australis are repackaging theirs to also include a mirror. The glossy Models Prefer case collects fingerprints, but I actually like it more than the matte black. It’s really a matter of preference – there’s no real winner here.

Availability

Australis palettes can be found in Priceline, as well as Big W, Kmart and some pharmacies. Models Prefer are a Priceline brand, so you can only get them at Priceline…which isn’t really a problem for most people, because Pricelines are everywhere. Australis’ palette is currently available online, but the Models Prefer kit isn’t on there.

Shades

The shades look almost identical in the pan. In both palettes, there’s a nude highlight, a banana highlight and a shimmery illuminating highlight, along with a neutral, cool and warm contouring shade. On the skin is where you really start to see a difference:

australis-models-prefer-highlight-1australis-models-prefer-highlight-2

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MAC Twig Dupes and Comparisons

MAC-Twig-dupes

I’ve always been a fan of the brown/rose/mauve family of lipsticks, so when I got my hot little hands on the much-loved MAC Twig, I wasn’t surprised when I loved it. Then I realised that I had an embarrassing number of lipsticks in my collection in the same colour family…so why not do a swatch comparison post?

(This is only about a third of my pinky-browns. Like I said, embarrassing.)mac-twig-dupes

MAC-Twig-dupes

MAC Satin Lipstick in Twig* – This is a lovely pinky-brown colour that’s great for my-lips-but-better looks on darker girls i.e. “Kylie Jenner lips”. It smells pleasantly vanilla. The formula is a bit drying on my lips, but my lips are very prone to dehydration (fat lip life) so most people will fare better. The colour payoff is magnificent, and it’s opaque with one swipe, with a not-quite-matte, not-quite cream finish.

Marc Jacobs Lip Crème in Infamous* – Close colour dupe. This is a tiny bit little pinker than Twig, but has the same sort of finish. It’s very creamy and moisturising for a satin lipstick, with nicely opaque colour payoff. The packaging screams luxury, with a cool magnetic closure that snaps shut with a satisfying click. It’s practically fragrance-free.

Revlon ColorBurst Matte Balm in SultryClose colour dupe. The crayon format of this lipstick makes it very easy to apply, and I love the matte metal detail on the twist-up end, although I’ve found that these Revlon lids crack very easily and then slip off in handbags. The colour is a bit redder than Twig, but it’s pretty damn close! The colour payoff is great. Like other Revlon crayons, this has peppermint oil which gives a minty scent and a weird tingle.

ulta3 Matte Lipstick in Rose BloomClose colour dupe, slightly matter finish. It’s almost the same shade as Revlon Sultry and the colour is fantastically long-lasting. This is an excellent budget option – the main drawback is that the packaging feels flimsy, and the bullet is a bit wobbly in the packaging. Its floral scent also hangs around for a bit, which won’t be to everyone’s liking. It’s a bit drying as well, but for the price it’s hard to complain too much.

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Micellar Water Price Comparison

micellar-water

I’ve put together this price comparison of different micellar waters available in Australia. Keep in mind that they contain different ingredients, and some might be more effective at removing makeup (i.e. you might need to use less), so the Price per mL should only be treated as a rough guide. I hope some of you find it useful!