Maybelline Color Blur Matte Pencil Swatches and Review

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Maybelline Color Blur Matte Pencils are making their way to Australia, and I’ve managed to swatch them all! These pencils contain a twist-up matte lip shade with a smudger on the other end, so that you can create effects like ombre lips and the super-chic “just ate an ice block” lip look that’s all over Asia right now. There are …

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Korean Gray-Brown Brow Pencil Comparison

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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!

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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

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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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Maybelline Color Tattoo Leather swatches and comparison

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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!).

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The 4 shades are:

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

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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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Face of Australia Glamazon Contour Kit review

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Face of Australia’s Glamazon Contour Kit is back and is joining the permanent range! I wasn’t really into contouring when this contour/highlight duo first came out, but as I got into subtly sculpting my cheekbones and jawline and trying out different products, I discovered that the brown shade in this kit is perfect. It’s cool-toned, which is important if you want a natural looking shadow, and it’s sheer and smooth, which is important if you’re not absolutely amazing at placing the shadow exactly where you want it.

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Compared to the old Glamazon Leopardess Contour Kit (launched as a limited edition around the end of 2013), the contour looks slightly darker in the pan and the highlighter looks slightly paler, but on the skin they blend out to be almost indistinguishable. The ingredients lists are identical, so I think there’s just a slight batch difference.

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I’m not much of a highlighter person, since my skin is oily and provides its own highlight 10 minutes after I apply makeup, but I’ve been using the warm champagne shimmer on the tip of my nose and on the tops of my cheekbones, as well as mixing it into my everyday powder to add a subtle glow all over.

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It Cosmetics Blurred Lines Lipstick Swatches and Review

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It Cosmetics has been featuring prominently in my makeup routine, with their yellow-toned Your Skin But Better CC+ cream and their easy-to-apply Bye Bye Redness concealer. I’ve recently added their new CC+ Blurred Lines Smooth-Fill Lipsticks to my rotation.

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There are 7 new shades available in Australia, 4 of which are creme and 3 which contain shimmer. Swatches:

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Daring: sheer brownish plum creme

IT Girl: vibrant red creme

Love:  sheer mauve rose creme

Live: sheer rose pink creme

Naturally Pretty: soft mauve pink with subtle gold shimmer

Believe: sheer berry with silver shimmer

Ruby Slippers: sheer pinkish red with gold shimmer

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Make Up For Ever Aqua Matic Eyeshadow Review

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make-up-for-ever-aqua-matic

XOVain said these Make Up For Ever Aqua Matic Waterproof Glide-On Eye Shadow would change my life, and while they’re not exactly life-changing, I can see where they’re coming from!

I’m a big fan of cream eyeshadows for a quick and simple everyday eye look, but they can get messy, and some of them crease if you don’t have a primer underneath. Aqua Matic pencils though – they’re super convenient and don’t budge until you actually want to take them off. The pencils are also narrow enough that you can easily get into tricky areas like around the inner eye, but wide enough that it’s easy to colour in your entire lid. There’s also a nifty sharpener in the end so you can keep the tip fresh!

I tried Diamond Golden Grey, Satiny Flesh-colored Pink, Iridescent Pop Purple and Iridescent Electric Blue. The pigmentation is fantastic! They also blend out nicely before they set – I’ve found it easiest to use my fingers.

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Luxola Blush Review: Mirenesse, Sleek and Wet n Wild

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Online shopping is the bomb-diggity. There’s no pressure from pushy sales assistants, you have all the time in the world to do price comparisons and read reviews, plus you don’t have to wear pants! Luxola also stocks brands that don’t have a great presence in brick-and-mortar stores in Australia, like Mirenesse, Sleek and Wet ‘n Wild, so when they asked me if I’d like to try some of their blushes out, I jumped at the chance!

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Mirenesse Marble Mineral Blush in Paros Pink ($60.99 for 12 g) – The marbled pattern is gorgeous in the pan, and it smells of rose – it’s easy to see why this has fantastic reviews everywhere! Paros Pink is a little light for me to use alone, but it makes for a lovely cool pink highlight over the blush, with a pretty sheen that isn’t too sparkly.

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Sleek Blush in Rose Gold ($15.25 for 8 g) – This is a warm peachy pink with gold shimmer. On lighter skin this would be decently pigmented, but just like the Mirenesse blush, I mostly just get golden glow on my face. It’s a really pretty glow though, so I’m not complaining!

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Moogoo and Dusty Girls review

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I recently had the opportunity to try out some products from natural Australian brand Moogoo, and their associated cosmetics line Dusty Girls. Moogoo are a cult brand for people with sensitive skin, so I was excited to try it out for myself.

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Moogoo and Dusty Girls are on the natural marketing side of things, but they’re relatively sensible – though not always consistent.

For example, they have these encouragingly sensible statements that I wholeheartedly agree with, and address common myths that natural (and non-natural!) brands often exploit for sweet sweet profits:

  • We don’t claim that everything not natural is dangerous. Sometimes science can concentrate the beneficial effects from natural ingredients. And we use those ingredients ourselves. However, we do feel that some skin care products use poor quality ingredients because they are cheap and easy to manufacture in large quantities.
  • If there are no preservation ingredients shown on the label, then the product will become contaminated with bacteria very quickly, just like any food. The bacteria cannot be seen or smelt. A poorly preserved cream can cause serious skin infection and eye damage if used on the face. Grapefruit Seed Extract and Essential Oils have been proven many times to be unreliable methods of keeping products free from bacteria. In our opinion, a tiny amount of an effective preservative is much safer on the skin than a large amount of bacteria. 
  • These “trials” and “studies” are not independent. They are performed by the company or its ingredient supplier. The trials are generally not published, are often not supplied when requested, and not able to be reviewed by scientific peers as all studies should be. This makes them meaningless. To find out if the ingredient has any peer reviewed evidence, try using Google Scholar which searches scientific articles (www.scholar.google.com)
  • Therefore, if a cream is priced at $250 for 30ml, we would assume it has better ingredients. Unfortunately this is not the case at all. The price is dependent on the target market, not the formula.
  • [citing the EWG] Many websites claim that almost anything else with a chemical name is toxic without providing the full references. Presumably the aim is to shock people. (BURN!)

But they also have statements that are a bit dubious:

  • Moogoo pride themselves on not using certain ingredients such as paraffin oil (or mineral oil). They have some incorrect information on their site on this topic, such as that Aqueous Cream causes irritation due to paraffin oil, when in reality it’s probably due to the fact it contains SLS or preservatives or pretty much anything apart from the paraffin oil – I think this is a bit careless, since it’s information you can easily find with a quick Google search (here are some sources).

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