30 September, 2015

Review: Blinc Shadow Fusion

It wasn't so long ago that I was swatching blinc's Shadow Fusion palette instore at David Jones Melbourne city location and pondering whether I needed another eye shadow palette when the opportunity to review it came my way.  I'm becoming a little more selective in what I'll accept to review on my blog these days but I didn't bother hesitating this time because I was this close to buying it and took it as a sign I was supposed to own it! I was attracted to the mix of warm and cool neutrals, mattes and shimmers...

Before I share my thoughts let's begin with what blinc has to say about this palette which provides, "...nine benefits...one blend."

The palette is called Shadow "Fusion" as the shadows combine "..the best attributes of liquid, gel, powder and cream shadows into one..." to provide "...a luxurious shadow that glides on smooth, blends seamlessly and offers a velvety, highly pigmented finish that doesn’t fade, crease or smudge...anti-aging ingredients [that] treat the skin while filling in existing fine lines for silky smooth coverage...Only when you are ready, remove blinc shadow fusion with any gentle makeup remover."

My impressions:
The 10 pan palette is housed in a sturdy tin which looks like a supersized version of blinc's mascara packaging as all blinc mascaras come housed in metal canisters - I'm not going to buy into the obvious comparisons with another brand fond of metal palettes!  There is the obligatory mirror in the lid which is a great size to get a view of almost your entire face during makeup application and the lid itself is hinged with a magnetic closure which unfortunately doesn't prop up by itself too well - although maybe I'm being a tad fussy because not being able to position the lid at the angle I wanted made it an issue for photography.  Beauty blogger problems perhaps?

As you can see in the picture below the shade names are all conveniently printed on the palette itself  rather than on a pesky plastic insert - yeah inserts can annoy me too, especially the ones that aren't attached - and there's a double-ended "shade & blend" brush included.  I took the brush for a test run and it picks up and blends out the shadows nicely so if I needed to grab and go without packing extra brushes I very easily could.

The shades are a good mix of shimmers, mattes, cool and warm neutrals, arranged in the palette with 6 smaller 1.1g shades in the centre, bookended by 4 larger 1.6g shades.  The rationale behind the choice of the shades for the larger pans is not just the typical brow bone or base shades, but mostly a mix of deeper satiny accents and lid shades. I'm not sure what my opinion is on that right now because I've only just started using this palette so time will tell if I do find myself using the larger pans more than the others. Stay tuned I guess...

What has really impressed me with these eye shadows is how creamy they all feel - and that goes for the mattes too.  These are not chalky or powdery in the slightest and are well pigmented so a tap of the brush into the pan is all that's needed to pick up enough colour for application.  The colours apply smoothly and blend out for a natural effect - I can't tell you yet if they've been treating the fine lines on my lids though!  The shadows do stay put all day without any fading or creasing so they live up to the blinc promise of being "Life Proof" as they stand up to the rigours of daily activity and long hours. 

Now for some arm swatches.  These have been swatched on umprimed skin, and due to poor lighting - sorry! - I don't think my swatches do justice to the shadows so I've also included pictures of a quick natural eye look I've done just so you can see some of them in action.

Centre shades from lightest to darkest (sort of):
Gypsum, Citrine, Moonstone, Terra, Graphite, Obsidian

Outer shades from left to right (as arranged in the palette):
Hyaline, Cinnabar, Sienna, Amber

I'm curious as to whether this Shadow Fusion palette specifically being called 'neutral' suggests the possibility of other colour combinations in future.  Given how prettily these translate on the lids I'd be happy to consider more, if only I could make the space...

Finally, for those who are ethical in their beauty choices - as I am becoming increasingly these days - blinc's Shadow Fusion palette is vegan.  The shadows are also gluten free.

Click here for your nearest blinc stockist.

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

21 September, 2015

FABY: The Ladies Of Leonardo

Bright pink nails are back on the radar this season as I've seen in magazines and beauty catalogues. I probably follow trends more accidentally than anything as I'd rather follow my mood when it comes to colour, however, I'm bang on trend...on point...on fleek (lol!) with this manicure!

The Ladies Of Leonardo is my second pick from FABY's polish collection and it is without a doubt a bright, hot pink.  At first glance I thought this was a glossy cream but there is the barest hint of pearly shimmer visible in the sunlit pictures. This polish was another easy two-coater, with no issues whatsoever with application or coverage and it lasted about five days with a topcoat before I got noticeable chipping on a few nails.  I've opted for natural daylight pictures this time as they came out the most true to colour.

Outdoors shade


Until next time!

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

20 September, 2015

Singapore beauty haul 2015 part 1: The drugstore edition

If you follow me on Instagram you'd probably know that a Singapore beauty haul post was in the works - I'm sorry for keeping you waiting so long! I initially decided to split the haul into two posts starting with the drugstore items first, but to be honest I'm now strongly considering doing this in three posts because I did quite a bit of hauling from Korean green beauty brand Innisfree and I don't want to overwhelm anyone - including myself.  

Okay, so I'll start off small(ish) with the drugstore haul. For the sake of splitting the load I've also included one brand, Missha, that isn't strictly drugstore but I don't consider it a high end department store brand either so the drugstore category was the best fit.  Right, so without further ado I've sorted most of this post out by brand...


Catrice is one drugstore brand I've been curious about for a few years now.  While Catrice's more youth-oriented "sister" brand Essence has been available in Australia for the last 5 years or so, we've yet to see the more sophisticated Catrice line widely available - if available at all -  down here.  For the most part I've been a fan of Essence as providing great quality at a very low price point so I jumped at the chance to grab some Catrice items when I spotted the stand at a Guardian drugstore.  My one regret is that I didn't buy any of their lipsticks.  Having done my research after returning I've read that Catrice Ultimate Colour Lipsticks are well pigmented and very long lasting compared to their Essence counterparts.

Being new to the brand I made some very safe and neutral choices. Starting from the top:
  • Absolute Eye Colour Monos - I chose two matte shades to be worn either together or alone, going for taupe (350 Starlight Espresso), and beige (870 On The Taupe Of The Matt Everest).  Initial swatches on the back of the hand are promising as these don't feel as chalky as Essence mattes have been in my experience so I'm looking forward to wearing them.
  • Illuminating Blush (010 I Am Nuts About You) - This line of blushes looked so pretty and I went for what might have seemed the most 'boring' choice but, fear not, this produces the most luminous peachy glow with just a little bit of sparkle - I'm swatching as I write and getting pretty excited about this blush!
  • Defining Blush (020 Rose Royce) - I am now kicking myself just a little for not choosing at least one pink blush from this line because Rose Royce is effectively another peach, although this is a more subdued and natural matte version for everyday.
  • Re-Touch Light-Reflecting Concealer (005 Light Nude) - I can't resist my highlighting pens! I'll throw this into my makeup bag as soon as I'm done with my current Maybelline highlighting concealer.

  • Ultimate Nail Lacquer (66 Blue And A Half Men) - This polish caught my eye as it looks like the kind of blue that's popping up everywhere this season.


I made one repurchase and a few extras from this brand:
  • Moisture Rich Lipstick Lipstick (Limited Edition 01) - I rationally know I don't need another red lipstick but I was a little seduced by the shiny silver bullet and the lightweight and glossy lippy formula when I tried it in the store.
  • Moisture Smooth Lipstick (06 Juicy Pink) - Juicy Pink is another lightweight, buildable lip colour in a warm, medium toned - you guessed it - pink.  Spring influenced my decision here! 
  • Magic BB Powder Foundation (01 Ivory) - Of course I bought another pan of my favourite BB powder because this covers and mattifies like no other I've tried so far.  It's ready and waiting in the wings for summer.


I found a Missha store near my closest train station and there were some items 70% off so I indulged just a little buying these few items:
  • Signature Glam Art Triple Lips SPF 10 (TVL01) - This liquid lip colour can apparently be layered and built up from a tint to a full glossy lipstick in three coats.  What can I say? I was intrigued and I'm wondering if it's going to be a Korean version of YSL's Glossy Stains. TVL01 is a very nondescript label for the vibrant raspberry pink you can see peeking through the side of the tube.
  • The Style Lucid Nail Polish (VL01) - A violet-pink cream nail colour that will be gracing my fingers and toes as the weather warms up. Say no more.

A few Sasa picks

In times gone by I may not have shown such restraint in a Sasa store but I kept it very contained this time around.  Normally I'd buy loads of sheet masks etc but I'd already bought some from Innisfree so I just got a couple of colour cosmetics:

  • Wet n Wild Coloricon Eye Shadow Palette (The Naked Truth) - Neutrals again! I remember overlooking this very palette in Hawaii last year so I snapped it up without hesitation this time. I'm sure there's nothing wrong with having 50 variations of beige and brown...
  • Gosh Cosmetics Natural Blush (43 Flower Power) - This is such a pretty peachy-pink blush that blends like silk.  I've heard great things about Gosh blushes so now I'll find out for myself if the hype is justified.


Part 1 of my Singapore beauty haul for 2015 done and dusted - 
Let me know if you're interested in any in-depth reviews or swatches and I'll be happy to oblige!

Until next time...

17 September, 2015

FABY: Springtime Art

My first spring manicure is a good one even if I say so myself! 

I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to select some polish shades from cruelty-free brand FABY for swatching so I chose a trio of fresh and bright spring colours, the first being the vibrant green Springtime Art.  Springtime Art is from FABY's Renaissance collection and perfectly described on their site as "...the colour of new grass shoots as spring unfolds." I'm not going to even try to top that so I'll just talk about application: a superbly smooth cream formula that applied evenly and perfectly opaque in two coats.  The pictures can do the rest of the talking.

All pictures taken indoors under artificial light:

FABY nail colours are salon quality and 5 Free.

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

15 September, 2015

My travel makeup bag: What I packed and what I actually used...

I've been back from Singapore three weeks already(!) but my travel makeup choices are still fresh in my mind so for once I'm sharing my travel makeup bag contents with you.  I was aiming for the barest minimum I could get away with packing this time, because you know how it goes, you - well, me - might pack for every possibility then only end up using a small core number of items anyway...

I thought I did a pretty good job of pared down packing this time around yet I still didn't use everything and I also had some disappointments in my smallish selection.  So as you've figured, this post is about what I packed, what I did/didn't like and what I didn't even use!


I was never going to go overboard with my base products and I know the Singapore climate can get pretty steamy at times so I stuck to the basics so as not to have to worry about my face melting off.

I didn't want to bother with glass bottles so opted for a stick foundation this time and had a winning combination in Revlon Photoready Insta-Fix Makeup (140 Nude)* set with a little Rimmel Lasting Finish Powder Foundation (002 Soft Beige)*. After initial struggles with it, I've finally found the best way to use the Rimmel powder is as a topper, and the foundation stick and powder combination stood up to the humidity while still looking natural.

Benefit's The Porefessional was my primer because of the small tube - well yes I was all about cramming in as little as possible this time - and because it works to blur the dreaded pores on and around my nose.  I used the teeny Benefit Stay Don't Stray for the first time (ever!) as my eye shadow base and found it pretty darn good as an eyelid brightener as much as a effective base for holding my eye makeup in place so that was a daily staple.  On the other hand - and I'm not sure why - Benefit's Ooh La Lift didn't really get much use and I only used it once to brighten the under eye area after I realized my rather expensive Tom Ford concealer wasn't cutting it. See below for my thoughts on that product - I forgot to include it with the base products so it's with eye makeup stuff.

For colour I used Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Medium/Deep Matte Bronzer for the occasional bit of after-dark contouring and a little sweep of the very soft Bourjois Rose Pompon blush for the daily dose of cheek colour.  I've had that blush in my drawer forever so it had its inaugural outing on this trip.  It's very soft and needs to be built up so it was good choice for avoiding the obviously made up look - I don't want to look like I've tried too hard on holiday!


Again it was all about low-fuss low key items so I chose the very compact neutral Urban Decay Naked 2 Basics for my every day eye makeup - I personally prefer this slightly cooler, more muted palette over the original Naked Basics - and packed my favourite L'Oreal Infallible Hourglass Beige shadow which came in handy to add a touch of shimmer for evening eyes.  I like a little bit of pencil liner for daily definition and Face of Australia's Brown Eye Definer was a no-brainer choice because I use it just about every day anyway.

Now for the disappointments. Tom Ford Concealing Pen (Light/Medium) was something I'd stashed away for a worthy special occasion and it just completely underwhelmed me.  I didn't like the sponge applicator and the shade was too dark to do anything to brighten my under eye area - I don't know how the hell I got sold into making that mistake! The other disappointment was Kevyn Aucoin's The Volume mascara. I packed this because it's a tubing mascara, perfect for humidity, swimming and so on...but the brush...I think it's the brush...maybe it's the rather dry formula too?...did nothing to deposit enough mascara to volumize my lashes. They were tinted more than voluminous. Ugh.


I tried to cover all the possibilities, within reason, for a week's worth of lip choices (I only chose 6 items and most of them were minis, hah!) and you know what? This is where I actually over packed!

I was so sure I would need a red lip option that I packed two - Tom Ford Cherry Lush Lip Colour and the very vampy Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick (Icon) - and yet I wore neither! Nude or mauve pinks were the winners - rather than reaching for the obvious red I ended up wearing bareMinerals Marvellous Moxie Lipstick (Speak Your Mind) topped with another bareMinerals Marvellous Moxie Lip Gloss (Show Off) for my evening lips, while Chanel Glossimer (119) or The Body Shop Flavoured Gloss (Coconut) were easy daily choices.


So that was my vacay makeup bag:  mostly good choices, some bad, a few unnecessary things, but I'm satisfied to have used most of what I'd packed!

Do you travel light when it comes to makeup or do you like to plan for all the possibilities?

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

09 September, 2015

Nails Inc for Marie Claire UK: Fashion 501

As we move tentatively into spring down here - and I say that because the wintry weather is still hanging on - I'm sharing my final winter manicure for 2015.

I found this wonderful pastel grey polish a few months ago as a freebie with the April 2015 issue of Marie Claire UK and I can never resist a good freebie!  Fashion is a chic cool toned grey cream with a kiss of lilac and I loved this colour so much that I've actually worn it twice over the last few weeks - initially as a vacation mani in Singapore and then again once I arrived back in Melbourne.  The formula was opaque enough to wear as a single coater but I opted for two coats on the second outing as featured in these pictures.  

All pictures taken indoors under artificial light:

Until next time!

07 September, 2015

August's farewelled products

Here are the last bits and pieces I finished for the winter season - quite an even mix of skin care and makeup this time around...

Skin care

89) La Clinica Anti-Ageing Gentle Milk Facial Cleanser (200ml/7.4 fl.oz)* - This creamy and gentle cleanser was my morning in-shower choice although it's so gentle it can simply be wiped off with a damp cleansing cloth. I loved the natural Rosehip oil scent too.

90) L'Oreal Skin Perfection 3 in 1 Micellar Cleansing Water (200ml) - Just as effective and soothing as the other micellar waters I've used although for whatever reason I found it really messy to squeeze out of the bottle.  A bit of a packaging fail for me.

91) Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleansing Cloths (25 towelettes)* - These fragrance-free cloths live up to their claims as they left my skin feeling simply clean with no residue whatsoever.  My one criticism? The cloths are reasonably small so sometimes more than one cloth was needed for a full cleanse.

92) Palmer's Daily Facial Lotion SPF 15 (100ml/3.38oz.)* - This daily moisturizer had a disconcerting 'grainy' feel when rubbing it into my skin.  I usually love Palmer's products so I was disappointed this didn't live up to their usual standards - I don't know if I was unlucky and received a faulty product?

93) Timeless Truth Stem Cell Extract Mask - I used this to replenish my skin as the second step in a two mask pampering session, following a deep cleansing clay mask.  Problem? This tiny little sheet mask was designed for a smaller face so I felt quite claustrophobic while it was on my face!

Hand and body care

94) OPI Expert Touch Lacquer Remover (120ml/4 fl.oz) - Yet another bottle of my favourite remover done.

95) Italian Garden Honey & Almond Shower Gel (245ml/8.28 fl.oz) - This was given to me as part of a set for Christmas.  I really loved the strong, predominantly honey scent and it was a cozy choice for a winter morning shower!

96) Italian Garden Honey & Almond Body Scrub (145ml/4.9 fl.oz) - I didn't love this at all.  The scrub was less effective than the shower puff I squirted it into.


97) Rimmel Idol Eyes Mascara by Kate Moss (004 Eye Rock Jet Black)* - This is such an intensely black mascara as evidenced by the black residue soaking all the way through my makeup remover pads! The heart-shaped brush did require a little twirl of the wrist for the best effect but I really enjoyed the thick black lashes and this product did not flake or run.  

98) Rimmel Stay Matte Long Lasting Pressed Powder (001 Transparent) - Not a bad mattifying powder but not a HG either and the cheap plastic lid cracked and broke in my makeup purse.

99) The Body Shop Flavoured Lip Gloss (10 Coconut) - Deliciously flavoured and the shimmery, milky shade was a gorgeous topper for nude lippy. I'm considering a repurchase of this some time in future.

100) Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain (Honey) - I loved this go-to mauve-pink lip colour so much that I have a backup!

101) Urban Decay 24/7 Liner Pencil (Ransom) - Such gorgeousness in a purple liner and I love the glide on formula. I'm considering a repurchase of this one too!


102) Miss Dior Blooming Bouquet (1ml/0.03 fl.oz sample) - Very soft and delicately pretty for spring, but no lasting power at all unfortunately.  From the Dior website this fragrance: "...glorifies the mandarin and the peony on downy notes of white musk. The peony is at the heart of this new signature. Its unique trail combines the rose Damascus essence with fruity notes to recreate the outstanding scent of this flower, elusive in its natural state."

And some more samples...

Over and out for now!

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