Review MegaPost: Pale Girl Self-Tan, Cleansing Oil, a Brow Pen & Drugstore Lipstick

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Wednesdays off are blog post days and there’s a few things I’ve been wanting to review lately, so I thought I’d condense them into one post. Hopefully this will stop me going on for too long about each product!

First of all, let’s talk about a much-reviewed product of late, the St Tropez Gradual Tan In-Shower self-tanner.

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The pale, lazy girl’s ideal self-tanner.

I was very curious about this product for a very important reason: I am super, super lazy with self-tan. And the prime factor influencing this is that being tanned is just not a priority for me at all, I don’t really mind being pale. But I really like how I look with a very slight tan, for instance you can see my veins a little less and it disguises cellulite and all that good stuff. I am working on giving fewer fucks about cellulite but it’s still pretty cool when you can make it less obvious!

So the instructions for this product are to get in the shower, wash your body like normal (though if you use an oil or very moisturizing gel I’d recommend swapping to a normal soap – self-tans do not cope well with overly moisturized skin) then turn the shower off, apply the product with circular motions all over your body, wash your palms and wait 3 minutes. Then you just rinse and you’re done. They recommend during the 3 minutes you put a mask in your hair or something like that but I just turned the kitchen timer on and waddled around damp and slimy doing a couple of things because I have the (in this case) luxury of a tiny apartment where everything is close to the bathroom.

The tan then develops over the next 24 hours. When I first washed it off, there definitely wasn’t any evidence of a tan which was in line with what I expected. But overnight I definitely developed a light, even, natural tan. I SO wish I had taken before and after pictures. AMATEUR! It’s so light and natural that my husband couldn’t even tell I’d done it but I could definitely tell. It was just like I’d got a little bit of sun, a healthy amount, without the tan-lines. There were no yucky streaks or patches because the product has a slippy quality that makes it really easy to spread. There was no orange-ness or unnatural Dorito-hued aspects to this tan. Pro!

A few things: the smell of this product is not offensive at all. It does linger, I could smell it even the next day. It kinda reminds me of biscuits or scones or something like that. It didn’t last past my next shower and it wasn’t obvious to anyone but me.

The 3 minutes you have to stand around naked and damp could be a problem if it’s cold where you are, or just in your bathroom or whatever. It wasn’t really the case for me (New England is finally seeing summer!) so I didn’t mind at all.

If you are the kind of person who wants a nice deep tan, or who is ALREADY tan, then this product is not for you, not as a tanner anyway. I think if you wanted to extend your tan a little longer it could be perfect, but for US$25 I’m not sure how keen you’d be to pick it up.

Bottom line: it’s really easy to apply, it’s really natural and it’s really subtle. TICK TICK TICK DONE WILL PURCHASE AGAIN A+ PRODUCT! Grab it from Ulta or Sephora for $25.

Next up let’s talk about a very recent purchase for me, the Boscia Makeup Breakup Cool Cleansing Oil.

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I bought the mini (50mL) size of this to try it out to see whether I like it more than my current oil cleanser obsession (Nude Skincare Omega Cleansing Jelly). The product comes in a pump pack which already puts it above the other to me, but that could just be me.. anyway, I used a full pump and massaged it into my skin to remove my makeup and my first impressions were that the amount I used was WAYYY too much for my face, which is good news, means the product will last longer. I also felt that the smell was quite strong – it reminded me of eucalyptus which is a scent I enjoy but I worried that there would be an irritant oil or perfume in it. I also felt that it was a lot thinner in consistency to the Nude jelly but that wasn’t necessarily a negative, it spread a lot more easily but has the potential for more mess.

I used the same technique as always, giving my face a good massage with the product to break up all the makeup then wipe off with a warm, damp cloth.

I have to say, I really like this product a lot. I felt that it did a better job than the Nude product and will last longer. I waited a few days to write this review in case it broke me out but it hasn’t at all, and after using it my skin feels more soft than it does with the other product too, I don’t feel that I need to run straight to my moisturizer and slather it on immediately. I will be buying the full size of this (US$28, mini size is $10) when the mini runs out. Very impressed.

Next up, something I was not at all impressed with – the L’Oreal Colour Riche Le Matte Lipcolor Stick.

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When I posted on my fb that I had bought this, a fellow beauty lover said that the smell was unbearable for her. I’m not particularly sensitive to smells so I wasn’t too worried. Nevertheless I picked it up, uncapped the lid, brought the product up to my nose and nearly passed out. It is TRULY DISGUSTING. It smells like the worst kind of shitty plastic kids toys you can get from the crappiest stores. Like chemical laden play-doh. I decided to try it on anyway and look, I’m not gonna lie. It lasted about.. 2 minutes before I took it off. I literally couldn’t wear it, the smell was so strong. The application was also very patchy, I couldn’t get it to look smooth and even. I got the colour “Matte-r of Fact” which is a magenta pink and a really nice color but just .. no.

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Even in the swatch I had to go over and over it to make it come out an even color. This product sucks and unless you like that smell and patchy lipstick I just wouldn’t bother. If that sounds great to you, you can grab it from anywhere that sells L’Oreal or from Ulta for $10, congrats on being a huge weirdo I guess!

The final product is one that I’m going to return to Sephora for reasons that aren’t really to do with any failing of the product itself, but more of a systematic issue in brow products: STOP MAKING BROWN SHADES SO FRICKIN’ WARM, MAKEUP COMPANIES! GRRRRRRRRRRR! It’s the Kat von D Tattoo Brow Brush Tip Brow Pen.

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I bought medium brown which is the darkest shade and I’m so cranky at how red-toned it is, especially when compared to my dark-brow/black brow hairs because as a product it is GREAT. I really like how you can adjust the pressure to make the product work differently. A little bit of pressure paints the thinnest, finest hairs into where they might be missing from your brows, a little more pressure adds fullness and depth to the brow area in general. You can then brush out the brows to blend everything together for an overall full effect. Fantastic!

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But it’s so warm and it’s just really upsetting. There’s no darker color either so I can’t swap it. Please KVD, please create a cooler or just straight black brow pen. I love this product and it will suck to take it back. If your brow hairs are more of a warm brown then you can grab this handy little sucker from Sephora for $US19 and I recommend you do because it’s really great!

Heading off to the gym now. My next post is going to be about the Kat von D Shade & Light Eye palette and how to create 3 different looks using it. I hope the weather holds so I can take good pictures! One day I’ll get a good camera.. one day..

Love,
F&V

Makeup Startup, How To & Mini Product Review: the Eyebrow Post

Hello and welcome to a bit of a mashup post! Speaking of mashups, this post is brought to you today by the most excellent mashup album I have EVER heard, Isosine’s Mashup Manifesto IV which you can find HERE on BandCamp. It has been blowing my mind all day. Ed Sheeran v Sia? Fallout Boy v Taylor Swift? Come ON! Anyway, let’s talk about eyebrows.

I’m actually a pretty new brow-lover. I ignored them for a long time. I didn’t really think anything needed to be done apart from making sure they were waxed regularly. Then I started filling them and my whole world changed!

I will admit, I don’t really like the whole “instagram brows” trend. If you don’t know what that is, you can google it and you’ll see a lot of SHARP, perfect, sculpted brows with very straight edges and the inner part of the brow slightly faded out. Not only do I Not Have Time Fo Dat, I just don’t like how it looks on anyone let alone on me. That’s not to say that if you like it, you shouldn’t wear it – you know my deal, wear what makes you happy! I just can’t get into it. I like a strong, full, dark but still natural brow. So that’s my little disclaimer, let’s get on with it.

I gathered together my brow stuff thinking I’d just have a couple of things to photograph and then uhhhhhhhhhhhhh

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I have no idea how this happened. NO REGRETS

Anyway, I am not going to talk about all these things today. I thought I’d pick just a few things to run through.

Here’s my face makeup for the day, products and result. I went mostly high end here, but the brows lean more towards drugstore.

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The above photo contains my totally untouched brows. All I’ve done is run a wet q-tip through them to make sure they don’t have any foundation left in them. They’re not bad really – they don’t need heaps of work. Of course, the left one is way more of a mess than the right one – don’t we all have one naughty brow and one good?

Let’s talk about how I make the magic happen. First of all, a good brow brush. My absolute ride-or-die brow brush is the Anastasia Brow Brush. It has a great spoolie on one end and a sharp, fine, angled brush on the other end. You can see it near the tweezers in the picture. The other brow brush I got in a BoxyCharm box and it’s kind of garbage, the brow brush end is too “fluffy” make it really not exact at all but I might use it for travel or something (tossing things out is hard okay?). I always give my brows a good brush through with a spoolie before I do anything to them, and I strongly recommend this for everyone as a first step.

For the purposes of the review section of this post, I decided I would do one picture with JUST the two products I bought yesterday at CVS. They’re both “mascara wand” type brow products that promise to fill and define brows. They looked pretty similar to me but in saying that I couldn’t see the wands through the packaging. I bought the Rimmel Brow This Way brow styling gel in dark brown and the L’Oreal Brow Stylist Plumper in medium brown.

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The first thing I noticed when I started carefully brushing the Rimmel one through my brows is that the wand was a smidge too big to be useful for me, and the product was .. well there was a lot of it. It was a bit gloopy. I got a bit blorp of it right where I didn’t want it and it was just kind of a mess and took a lot of cleaning up. The color however was very good, nice and dark and not too warm (amirite, brunette girls? Why is everything for us so warm/orange?!). I did a bit of a cleanup (but not TOO much, I wanted this to be an honest image) and moved on.

Now, the next product was .. well.. look, I just really love it. The wand is tiny, and enables much more precision. The color is a little tiny bit lighter, but not by much, and it’s no warmer than the other one. Observe:

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I really must moisturize more often. D:

The top is the Rimmel, and you can see even in this picture how gloopy and “too much” it is. When I wiped this off, I noticed how even the staying power of the L’Oreal was better – it was harder to wipe off. The L’Oreal really is just a winner in every single way. It’s so much easier to use and still gives a great effect. Here’s the comparison pic.

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L: Rimmel; R: L’Oreal

So as you can see, the brow on (your) left is a mess. There’s stuff all over the place. The right is neater. HOWEVER! I still feel like, for me, these products aren’t quite enough by themselves. So I decided to wipe and start again, using one of my latest absolute LOVES, the IT Cosmetics Brow Power eyebrow pencil in “Universal Taupe”. They really mean it. Taupe is not a color I’d ever go for but it is actually perfect and I love it. This is a mini version that I got in an Ipsy bag and you can bet your bottom dollar I’ll be buying the full size when this one runs out. It is $24 so a little pricier than the other things in this post but well worth it IMO.

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In order to use this I just give another brush through with the spoolie end and then use the other end to fill in my brows. To do that I just use short, light strokes to make sure any more sparse areas are filled in and that my brows have a more defined shape. The tail ends of my brows don’t really trail to a point so I don’t do too much there, I just run over them quickly. This is actually weirdly hard to explain and I really recommend just playing with your technique to see what works for you! Speaking of which: if you’re new to filling in your brows you might find that the look is TOO strong. Trust me – it’s not. Just let your eyes get used to your face with stronger brows. It takes time. Take a picture and see what you think – guaranteed you’ll be like “oh yes that is actually great” or you might even think they need more filling in. Anyway here’s my brows just filled in with this product:

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P good IMO! After this I would pretty often use a clear brow gel to set them, something like the very cheap Ardell clear brow gel that I got from Priceline and pretty much swear by, or for a bit of extra color maybe the Maybelline Brow Drama which I really like. But now even that has been surpassed! The weird ball end of that wand has always been a bit strange to me, and the amazing little mini wand on the L’Oreal Brow Stylist Plumper has taken its place in the pack. Here’s my brows after a quick brush through on top of the crayon:

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I pretty much love this product and strongly recommend grabbing it. It’s about $9 in the USA from any drugstore or Ulta, and hopefully also available in the usual places in Australia.

The stars of the show:

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HELLO, NEW DAILY BROW ROUTINE!

And here, have a bonus very-good-light pic with a lil bit of contour added for funsies (and practice):

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Loving myself sick, and I hope you are too on this fine Sunday/Monday.

Some more mini reviews coming soon – as always please let me know if there’s stuff you want me to ramble on about!

Love+++
F&V