29 April, 2014

REVIEW: Blinc Cosmetics (Eye Shadow Primer, Lash Primer, Mascara Amplified, Liquid Eyeliner)

Blinc Cosmetics have recently launched in Australia and I've been trying out a number of their much raved about eye products. Going on a Queensland beach holiday came in very handy for this little exercise because I was able to seriously put them to the test for myself to see if they really do "...combine ease of use, with the performance no other product can match".  Are blinc eye products really sweat-proof, flake-proof, run-proof and water-proof?  Grab yourself a cuppa, glass of wine, or whatever happens to be your beverage of choice and get comfortable for a mega review because I have four products to get through here!  If you're in Melbourne I'd suggest you get your blanket out too because it's suddenly very cold down here...

Let's set the scene with this excerpt from blinc Australia's website: 
"Our Life Proof promise

Is to help beautify your eyes by continuously introducing technologically superior eye cosmetics, such as the 'tube-forming' mascara, 'peelable' eyeliner and eyebrow mousse.

ALL blinc products offer complete performance worthy of a prestige cosmetics brand. Namely; ease of application, endless wear, and effortless removal.

ALL blinc products offer our Life Proof properties being smudge-proof, sweat-proof, water-resistant and flake proof, so you can exercise, cry, swim, hit the beach and do everything else you want to do in your busy schedule feeling confident your eyes look as good when you take your blinc makeup off, as you did when you first put it on!

That's the blinc Life Proof promise that women around the world have grown to love and trust."

Eye Shadow Primer

After reading the intro above you shouldn't be surprised to hear blinc claim this primer holds eye shadow in place without creasing, smudging or fading through a sweaty workout or even in "harsh weather conditions".  I have very oily eyelids so I need a good primer to prevent my eye shadow from the inevitable creasing even without extreme conditions - some primers just don't cut it for me at all, particularly cream products posing as eye shadow bases because they never quite dry on the eyelids and can sometimes give me a worse result than going without. That said, I'm a good candidate to put eye shadow primer to the test!

 Blinc also call this primer a fountain of youthful colour, as aside from anchoring eye shadow in place the claims include a "53% increase in skin's moisture after just one week" and a "63% decrease in fine lines and wrinkles after six weeks".  Okay, I have almost 48 year old eyelids so I'll welcome anti-aging in that area!

My impressions:
  As you can see above the primer is applied with a doe-foot applicator and is quite an opaque formula, so only a little dab is needed which I patted gently over my lids to even out then allowed to dry for a few seconds.   The shade I've tried here (Light Tone) is quite light but I found it good as an eye brightening base, although a darker shade (Flesh Tone) is also available. 

This primer most definitely held my eye shadow in place no matter what I did! I put it through 3km runs (where the rest of my face melted off in a hot, sweaty mess yet my eye shadow looked 100% freshly applied), humid weather, swimming in the resort pool, and long 16 hour days.  It stayed on until I decided to take it off with remover.  As a point of further amusement for me the primer I patch tested on the back of my hand stayed there for nearly two days - yes I did shower and wash my hands - until I used some makeup remover! This stuff really, really works. 

Okay - so what about the anti-aging claims?  It hasn't been six weeks yet so I can't assess overall wrinkle reduction, however this product immediately provides a smoother base for my eye shadow so my eyes do look fresher when made up.  My eye shadow seems to glide on more easily when applying over blinc primer and of course the pigment looks more vibrant too.  So far I am pretty impressed on all fronts with blinc eye shadow primer and I'll continue to use it every day on my lids.

Lash Primer

Blinc Lash Primer has been developed to "...nourish and enhance lashes..." with its Vitamin E enriched formula while adding "...incredible volume and length that amplifies your mascara's effect." Multiple coats may be applied for desired volumising, lengthening effect and removal (even when topped with mascara) only requires a "generous dose of warm water".  It can be used alone as an overnight treatment for the lashes or beneath mascara for immediate oomph.  This primer can also be brushed onto eyebrows.

My lashes are already rather long but I liked the idea of pampering them (I never thought of conditioning my eyelashes!) and thickening them without using scary dry fibres which I'm forever terrified might fall into my eyes. 

My impressions:
The brush is made up of soft, flexible bristles in a spiral pattern which easily pick up the creamy primer and evenly sweep it through the lashes.  I've been getting away with a single coat on my lashes as a daytime volumiser but I've applied two coats here (waiting the recommended 30 seconds setting time between coats) for full effect. 

I like the idea of controlling the amount of volume and the primer certainly delivers a good amount of volume even with one coat and emphasises the length of my lashes.  My lashes are visibly thicker but still defined and feel super soft and conditioned - I hate crunchy, brittle feeling lashes -  and there are no nasty fibres to worry about so this product should also be a safe choice for contact lens wearers. 

Removal is as easy as blinc say and I either remove this primer (usually worn under my mascara) with cotton pads soaked in warm water or in the shower. 

Naked eyes with lash primer.  Yup my lashes are up to my eyebrows:

Mascara Amplified

Blinc have quite a few rave points about their Mascara Amplified:  It makes all of the "Life Proof" claims outlined in this post intro (smudge-proof, sweat-proof, water-resistant and flake proof)coats lashes with a "glossy, volumizing and extending" coat that forms tiny water resistant “tubes” around the lash, and differently from the traditional tubing mascara the Amplified formula allows for "buildable, glamorous volume and length" as multiple coats may be applied.  Blinc also promise this mascara removes as easily as the traditional tubing formula, with only warm water and gentle pressure from fingertips or a cloth.

I've heard of tubing mascaras but had never tried them myself until now.  I'm one of those people who wears mascara 365 days a year, through all life's daily demands including exercise so I was totally armed to test something which promises to hold fast - and then removes with just warm water and a little gentle rubbing!

My impressions:
I've tried Amplified alone and over blinc lash primer.  The soft bristle brush is very much the same as the lash primer so it easily sweeps through to coat my lashes.  The Amplified formula is glossy but not too wet so it is easy to build up coverage with multiple coats (I've applied two quick coats below) as the mascara glides on without clumping. 

This mascara really does wear as well as it claims too as I wore it through sweaty exercise sessions, swimming and even dared to leave it on overnight just to see what would happen (not something I normally do!) and it stayed put with no flaking whatsoever. 

Despite the budge-proof wear I was amazed at how easily and thoroughly Amplified removes with warm water and a little gentle rubbing.  It's a bit weird seeing the little tubes, which look disconcertingly like lashes on my fingertips in the shower but of course my lashes were all still there and 100% bare afterwards.  Absence of panda eyes is guaranteed with this stuff (unlike more traditional waterproof formulas which can sometimes resist the even most effective makeup removers - I go to bed thinking I've done the job only to find tell-tale smudges in the morning).   I'm impressed with Amplified because I just love the ease of it. 

Amplified is available in black or dark brown.

Lashes dressed with two coats of Mascara Amplified.  Yes they really ARE up to my eyebrows:

Liquid Eyeliner
Blinc say their Liquid Eyeliner is different from traditional liquid liners as rather than performing like a paint this liner applies a water-resistant "layer of colour"  which "cannot fade, run, smudge or flake, even if you cry or rub your eyes"

If you've read from the top of the post you know what I'm going to say next:  when you're ready to remove it blinc liner should "slide off" with the combination of lots of warm water and a little gentle pressure applied with fingertips or a wet cloth. 


 My impressions:
The soft fine-tipped brush allowed the liner to glide on smoothly and precisely so liquid liner-phobe me found it quite easy to get a straight (well not too shaky!) line and I was able to build up it up for glossy looking definition along my upper lash line.  It does set quite quickly so once it's on it's on - although you can make refinements with a warm water dipped cotton bud if you do need to.

I loved the glossy, vinyl looking black line. It stayed looking freshly applied and didn't bleed, fade or transfer from my lids all day, including through an exercise session.  It didn't budge until I decided to make it budge with warm water soaked cotton pads - it didn't necessarily slide off my lids when I rubbed them but it did thoroughly remove without any residue left behind.  No panda eyes!

Blinc Liquid Liner is available in four colours:  black, dark blue, medium brown and grey.


If I had to pick my "wow" blinc product from the four I've reviewed I'd cheat and pick two - Eye Shadow Primer because it provides a smooth eye shadow base which stands up to my oily eyelids with zero creasing and Mascara Amplified because I rely on waterproof mascara and I love how gently and thoroughly Amplified removes with warm water. 

Of course all of the four products do as they say so there are no fails here in terms of performance - this range is worth checking out if you need your eye makeup to go the distance.  Blinc products are safe for contact lens wearers.

Click here for your nearest blinc stockist.

(Products were provided for my consideration.  All comments and opinions are my own.)


22 April, 2014

L'Oreal: Flaming Lilac

Hello again!
My mini vacation/hiatus is over and I'm easing back in to the blogging routine with a quick nail swatch post before I launch into any detailed product reviews...of which I have a few up my sleeve...
L'Oreal's Flaming Lilac is a vibrant neon lilac from their Color Riche Neons collection released late 2013.  This shade is bordering on Radiant Orchid for me with its distinctly pink-purple hue - and that makes it instant love for me!  Flaming Lilac was very nearly a one-coater and was easily applied with the broad flattened brush. 

All pictures taken in cloudy conditions
Thanks for looking as always!

09 April, 2014

Time for a vacation...

Hi again!  Posting twice in one day must be an all-time record for me!
After the flurry of posts I thought I'd let you know as of the 10th of April (tomorrow down here) I'll be taking a little break because we're heading up to the Gold Coast in Queensland for a family getaway. Things might be quiet around here for the next couple of weeks depending on little things like wifi availability and how busy (or lazy) we are.  Normal posting will resume from 19th of April.
Hopefully the weather will be a little something like this:
Speak to you all soon!

OPI: Where Did Suzi's Man-Go?

I'm still in the middle of my orange/tangerine kick so Where Did Suzi's Man-Go? is right up my alley...

This juicy looking tangerine polish is another vibrant shade from OPI's current Brazil Collection, where they cheekily describe this cream shade as "mango smoothie" - Yes, I'll agree with that too, definitely when viewed in the full glare of the sun! This was another two-coater, which applied beautifully and was my choice to cheer up the working week.  This is probably the most trans-seasonal of the vibrant shades I've tried from the collection as I think it works well for spring, summer and autumn.

And that's it for my current round of OPI Brazil swatches.
 Which was your favourite?
(This product was provided for my consideration.  All comments and opinions are my own.)

08 April, 2014

OPI: Kiss Me I'm Brazilian

I'm back in my comfort zone with my second Brazil collection manicure - pink!
Kiss Me I'm Brazilian is another of the vivid hues from the Brazil collection and OPI describes it as a "warm luscious pink".  I describe it in my own long-winded way as a warm neon pastel pink cream with a slight leaning to coral - very vibrant and pretty at the same time.  Don't be fooled by this polish in the bottle because it dries down a full shade darker (and brighter). It's definitely a statement pink, perfect for summery fingers and toes or for delaying the inevitable late autumn mood we're going to be creeping into soon down here in Melbourne.  Two coats were enough to do the job this time for a smooth creamy coverage.
All pictures taken in indirect daylight:
Thanks for looking!
 (This product was provided for my consideration.  All comments and opinions are my own.)

07 April, 2014

OPI: I Just Can't Cope-Acabana

I have a few selections from OPI's recently released Brazil collection to post and I thought I'd get the most outrageous one out there first. I guess yellow isn't outrageous to some of you but if you know me you'll realize it's outside of my colour comfort zone.  Still - I keep an open mind and my son loves yellow so I'm doing it!
Whew! What a name for a nail polish shade is I Just Can't Cope-Acabana! OPI are as quirky and creative as always with their shade names especially when they come out with their more quirky colours.  IJCA is a quirky colour alright - it's a bright and very uplifting "sunshine yellow" as described by OPI themselves and I can't really top that.  Because this is a pastel cream I found I needed 3 coats of colour for perfect coverage but with more careful application I think I could have got away with the usual 2. 

What do you think about yellow nails? Yay or nay?
 (This product was provided for my consideration.  All comments and opinions are my own.)

06 April, 2014

REVIEW: Palmer's Purifying Mask

You know up until recently I hadn't used a clay mask for years so my memories of clay masks were along the lines of thick, sometimes smelly, cakey masks which cracked on my skin, were hell to remove and left my skin feeling dried out. I'm happy to say Palmer's Purifying Mask was a revelation then - times have obviously changed for the better!  Palmer's Purifying Mask is suitable for all skin types and claims to "draw out impurities, tighten and cool" the skin.
 Ingredients list:
Water, Kaolin, Glycereth-26, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Cyclotetrasiloane, Isopropyl Myristate, Titanium Dioxide, Bentonite, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceteareth-20, Magnesium Aluminium Silicate, Carrageenan, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Prunus Amydalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Panthenol, Polymide-1, Disodium EDTA, Silica, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Quaternium-15, Tocopheryl Acetate, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Root Extract, Menthol, Propylene Glycol, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Hydrolyzed Milk Protein, Lactose, Phenoxyethanol Methylisothazolinone, Glycerin, Steareth-20, Fragrance (Parfum), Chrysin, N-Hydroxysuccinimide, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Bultyphenyl Methylpropional.

Palmer's Australia's website explains the key ingredients in plain English:

Sweet Almond Oil
A non-greasy, super moisturizing, emollient extracted from the kernel of Almond seeds. Sweet Almond Oil is rich in Vitamins B1, B6, B2 and E, as well as Omega-9 and Omega-6 fatty acids. The lightweight oil is easily absorbed into the skin and its antimicrobial properties help reduce the chances of scarring and markings on skin.

Shea Butter
Shea Butter is ideal for sensitive skin due to its naturally high vitamin content (including A, E and F). It has the ability to absorb quickly into the skin, soothing irritation and providing on-going nourishment. Shea Butter acts as a natural anti-inflammatory agent which makes it effective in addressing dry skin & irritation. The high moisture content helps diminish discoloration, wrinkles and loss of elasticity.

Vitamin E
Vitamin E is contained in all Palmer's products. This top antioxidant enhances the protective function of skin and decreases the appearance of lines, wrinkles and scars by keeping cells hydrated.

Cocoa Butter
Cocoa Butter addresses skin concerns such as roughness, loss of elasticity, scars and dryness. Cocoa Butter is an all natural skin conditioning plant extract loaded with essential fatty acids. It softens and protects by diminishing water loss - keeping skin hydrated and supple.

Kaolin Clay
A natural Chinese clay that gently absorbs oil on the surface of skin and helps clear breakouts. Kaolin Clay gently dries on the surface of the skin to deep clean and draw out impurities.

My impressions:
As soon as I squeezed the mask out of the tube I noticed the fine, rather rich creamy texture.  It seems more of a thick enriching cream than a clay mask at first glance:

As you can see below there's no grittiness at all and the mask glides smoothly onto the skin.  I applied a thin layer to my face and it spread very easily, feeling very creamy. 

Freshly applied:
Within two minutes as the mask started to dry I noticed an intense cooling effect on my skin - kind of like that intense cooling sensation you get when you suck on a strong mint - and once that subsided I could feel the mask firming my skin.  The pleasant white lily/cocoa scent isn't distracting at all and became apparent as the mask dried.

After 10 minutes:

Finally once the mask was dry I was relieved not to feel any "cracking face" sensation!  Better still the mask was easily removed with a wet face cloth - it just dissolved away and left my skin feeling super cleansed.  I noticed my skin looked refined immediately afterward - my pores were reduced, my skin felt softer and plumped and looked more radiant somehow.  I'd actually noticed this earlier when I did the first patch test on the back of my hand.  The pampered hand was noticeably lighter and softer than the untreated hand. Although I could have applied moisturiser afterward I decided to skip it to see if there was any residual tightness and there wasn't any at all.  Because of the Cocoa Butter and Shea Butter my skin simply felt comfortable and clean.  As I've said before on this blog I've yet to try a Palmer's product I don't like and this is no exception.

Palmer's Purifying Mask is gentle enough to be used up to 3 times a week and at $9.99 for 120g of product is an affordable pamper for my skin.

 Palmer's products are available from Priceline, Chemist Warehouse, Woolworths, Coles, Big W, Target, My Chemist, selected pharmacies & selected IGA stores nationally.

 (This product was provided for my consideration.  All comments and opinions are my own.)

05 April, 2014

Essie: Too Too Hot

Summer's well and truly gone (5 weeks gone) but I needed another hit of bright colour before the warm days become too much of a distant memory.  I know I'll be gravitating towards darker, and more subdued colours soon enough so when I chose a red polish to wear this week I chose Essie's Too Too Hot.
Too Too Hot was released in Essie's 2011 Brazilliant Summer collection and Essie's website describes it as a "sizzling rich red coral".  Against my skin it leans more red than coral but it is the most vibrant summery red which is exactly what I was looking for.  This polish performed better than my previous Essie experience and applied smoothly with no dragging in two coats.

All pictures taken in full sun

Until next time!

03 April, 2014

March's farewelled products (and beauty diet update)

This month's not just about empties - there are also a few product fails in here I finally psyched myself up to let go.  Read on and you'll find out why...

Skin care
24) Burt's Bees Facial Cleansing Towelettes With White Tea Extract (30 towelettes) - These pleasant smelling wipes promised to "...remove makeup, cleanse and tone in one easy step". They were sufficiently moist to do a thorough job and leave my skin feeling comfortable afterwards.  Besides White Tea Extract other botanical goodies include Aloe Leaf Juice and Cucumber Extract. I liked the snap seal on the package too. 
25) Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturiser SPF 15 (75ml) - I normally go for moisturisers with higher SPF but I got this as a magazine freebie a while ago so I was happy to use it.  The oil-free, soy enriched formula felt light on the skin and two pumps were enough to moisturise my face and neck so the bottle lasted a few months.  It did leave a bit of sheen on my combination skin though so I needed to mattify afterwards.
26) The Face Shop Collagen Essential Mask Sheet - I loved this lifting and moisturizing mask because it did as it promised as my skin felt softer and firmer afterwards.  I will be repurchasing this (and my other favourite Pearl Extract) from The Face Shop the next time I need to replenish my sheet mask supply.

Hand and body care
27) Natio Meditate Hand Wash Yoga Scent Khus Attar (240ml/8.1fl.oz) - I loved this moisturising hand wash but I used it up far too quickly and now I'm pretty sure it's been discontinued.  As you can infer from the yoga reference the Khus Attar scent was distinctly relaxing and I'm sadly deeply inhaling the remnants of the bottle now as I prepare to throw it away.
28) OPI Expert Touch Lacquer Remover (120ml/4 fl.oz) - My third bottle for the year. 
29) MOR Grapefruit Body Butter - This little tub was part of a 3-pack I bought for a Christmas gift a couple of years ago but then naughtily decided to keep! The truth is I found something more appropriate for that person and then I put these away and forgot all about them! The grapefruit scent has the perfect mix of citrus zing and sugary sweetness and it absorbed beautifully into the skin.  The small tub (say around 50ml) didn't last very long at all unfortunately and this scent has been discontinued.

I decided to get a bit more brutal on my beauty diet this month and following Anissa's very brave and sensible lead (Norlin has also made fantastic progress!), so in addition to accumulating the empties I'm taking a long hard look at some of the makeup items which shouldn't be taking up space in my drawers.  Let's start with the empties first:
30) Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Treatment Concealer (20 Light) - Perhaps all the hype around this concealer set my expectations way too high because I was underwhelmed by it.  The coverage was too sheer for me, meaning I had to build it and sometimes even reapply it under my eyes later in the day.  I don't have anything against Maybelline concealers per se because I still swear by my old favourite Dream Lumi - I just won't be buying this one again because it doesn't stand up to my PANDA EYES!

31) Lancôme Hypnose Doll Eyes Waterproof Mascara (Black) - I was sad to let this mascara go and not just because it's limited edition.  Read my original mini review here.

32) Bloom Eye Base (3.5g/0.12oz) - I thought this was quite a good eye primer until I switched up products recently.  No matter as it's been discontinued anyway.

Yup, I've finally taken the plunge and decided to get rid of a few products that didn't quite work for me.  At this point I'm deciding these won't count towards makeup empties and I won't use them as credit towards new products in my beauty diet - if they don't work they don't necessarily need to be replaced!
Styli-Style Timeless Lipstick (Beauty 1512) - I received this in a swap ages ago and unfortunately silvery matte beige lips are just not for me.  If this was glossy I could have used it as a topper and I suppose conversely I could have topped this lipstick with gloss but seriously I have too many lipsticks already to have to worry about making this one work!
L'Oreal Shine Caresse (Princess & Eve) - Ugh, I do feel bad about not loving these and I so wanted them to work for me. Another case of not being swayed by the hype perhaps - but for me they applied unevenly, felt weird on the lips and worse still, bled out in a tacky mess beyond the lip line. Out they go.
Essence Cherry Blossom Girl Lipstick Pencil (Cherry Cherry Girl) - Considering they are a budget brand Essence are usually surprisingly good quality so I was in a state of disbelief over the shocking performance of this pencil.  It applied way too thickly, virtually pilling into balls of colour on the lips.  Very hard to describe but trust me it was horrendous and unwearable.  The only positive was it didn't cost much.

33) Tom Ford Lys Fume EDP (1.5ml sample) - This is my second sample vial of Lys Fume so I don't need to say too much.   Top notes:  Italian mandarin, pink pepper, turmeric and nutmeg;  middle notes: white lily, ylang-ylang, Artemisia and rum;  base notes: Madagascar vanilla, labdanum, styrax and oak. 

Now that feels lighter!

02 April, 2014

Layering with Revlon Moon Candy: Galactic

Happy Hump Day!
I couldn't leave my little blue manicure alone so after a day or so I got out a bottle of Revlon Moon Candy to apply a colour coordinated topper for a bit of added...umm...flakiness?? I mean that in the best possible way of course. I'm just struggling with my creative vocabulary today!
This is the second time I've experimented with Revlon's Moon Candy polishes.  I struggled the first time and I struggled again here.  The issue I have is with the flakies - those lovely iridescent flakes refuse to play nice and sit flat on the nail and can't be tamed with a thick top coat either. Hmmph! End of verbal tantrum.
Like all of Revlon's Nail Art polishes Galactic is a double ended polish: very deep, almost black, blue cream polish at one end with the ethereal iridescent blue flakes on the other end for the topping.  I'm sure the Revlon combination would be very effective but I decided to let the flakies compliment rather than contrast by applying them over a similarly bright blue base.
All pictures taken in cloudy conditions:
What are your thoughts on these?

01 April, 2014

Sasatinnie: SPN117

I'm back to shorter nails again so I feel freer to experiment with fun colours like this cute blue from Asian beauty superstore Sa Sa's own brand Sasatinnie.
SPN117 is a vivid primary shade of blue which takes me back to my childhood playing with poster paint - do you remember funny little things like that?  Given the tiny bottle and brush I had no trouble applying this polish and achieved good even coverage in two coats.  There was no ugly blue staining with this baby either when I removed it which is always a relief when taking the risk with blue nail polish.
Pictures taken in cloudy conditions:
  Finally just look at the cute heart shaped bottle!
I bought four of these little cuties in Hong Kong last year - now I'm looking forward to wearing the other three!
Until next time

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