#MaskVember – A Different Sheet Mask Every Sunday: Week 3 – Dr Jart+ Cheek & Eye Lift

Dr Jart+ Cheek & Eye Lift Targeted Hydrogel Patch for the “Apple Zone”

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Skin status prior to application: clean, dry – no moisturizer.

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Current skin condition: normal for me – oily/combo, a touch dry because of the weather. I felt that it was important to take a pic this time since this is meant to make your skin feel “lifted and firm”.

Cost: $12 for one mask, but I got mine in the Dr Jart+ Book of Masks (below) which is $39 ($56 value). Not great value IMO, the result would have to be remarkable!

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To use: Very similar to the last Dr Jart+ one – in that it’s a dry mask that you peel the backing from to reveal a gel surface that you place down onto your skin, this one is just for the cheek and eye area so it goes across the nose onto the apple zone (use a mirror), leave for 30 mins, peel off gently.

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During the mask: Same comments as last time do apply here. It’s very easy to apply, there’s no product dripping everywhere, I really like that aspect of it. It was comfortable while it was on, especially since it is only on one section of your face.

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After: Sadly I do not feel like this did anything for me. My skin felt exactly the same as before. But in saying that; I have relatively young/firm skin anyway because I’m oily – sagging isn’t really something I’m experiencing yet! So if you have dry skin that’s losing some elasticity I’d be really interested in your opinion of this mask!

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2 hours later: I was at a party and didn’t notice anything different! Sorry!

Next day: Absolutely no change or difference in the next-day condition of my skin.

Final Verdict: Would not buy again. It just doesn’t do it for me – mostly because as I said, it treats a problem I don’t have!

Side by side comparison:

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Note: I think the main reason the after looks better is that I was looking up more, lol! I also got my eyebrows threaded right between taking this pic and putting the mask on. Worst experimenter ever!

See you next week for the final installment…

Love++
F&V

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#MaskVember – A Different Sheet Mask Every Sunday: Week 2 – Dr Jart+ Water Fuse Hydrogel Mask

Dr Jart+ Water Fuse Water-Full Hydrogel Mask

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Skin status prior to application: Clean skin, not moisturized.

Current skin condition: “normal” for me, a little oily in the t-zone, combination, dry-ish because of the weather. A couple of almost-completely-healed pimples in the middle of the eyebrows.

Cost: $9.00 for one mask, $42.00 for 5 masks. Not amazing value, but let’s see the results before we make an official call.

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To use: Remove from packaging, peel film away from mask, place gel-side down onto face in 2 sections (hint: use a mirror). Leave on for 20-30 mins.

During mask: Ok so I want to use this moment to talk about how GREAT this mask is to apply. I loved it. The mask itself is DRY! Let me explain. While it has the film over it, it feels like … felt material? And the other side is glossy stiff paper. Then you peel that part away and on the other side to the felt is a sticky gel, and that’s the part that goes down on your face. This has multiple benefits. Firstly, it’s really clean to apply. You don’t have a drippy, wet, floppy mask to try to position onto your face. Secondly, it sticks beautifully once it’s down. THIRDLY, it makes you feel less cold and wet while it’s on. Hallelujah! One main drawback is that you can’t really reposition it, well you can, but it loses some of its stick. But this is such a small problem really! It’s such a great mask to use. It feels comfortable while it’s on, you don’t have to constantly adjust it and make sure it’s not sliding off. A+ usage factor! Whee! Note: by the end, this was a bit more annoying. The dryness and lack of moisture meant that the stickiness kind of wore off and I had to keep pressing it back onto my face.

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You can see above why I wish I had looked in a mirror to apply it, it’s a bit wonky around the mouth and eye area. Oh well!

After: My face was completely dry. Not uncomfortably, but not like the usual leftover serum to massage in. I added a smidgen of my usual sleep balm and went to bed.

COSDNA Analysis: http://cosdna.com/eng/cosmetic_c505200167.html – no issues at all though some might not love the mineral oil factor.

2 hours later: …. ummm

Confession time: I was mildly tipsy while I did this mask. It was 1am by the time I peeled it off so I went straight to sleep. Sorry!

Next day: My skin feels great! Nothing miraculous (but I never expect miracles), but it felt plump and moisturized and bright and comfortable. Not oily at all, not dry, just comfortable.

Final Verdict: I’m really really impressed with this mask. I think I will try to pick up a few more at some point. It’s a little more expensive than I would like, but I do think it’s a worthwhile cost. The dry, un-soaked, gel style is so pleasant to use compared to the usual sheet mask that’s dripping with product and sliding all over the place. Big fan! Dr Jart+ does it again.

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#MaskVember – A Different Sheet Mask Every Sunday: Week 1 – Tony Moly Rice Mask

So as you can guess from the title, I decided to do a little project for November to motivate myself to get back on board with blogging regularly. Every Saturday night in November I’ll be putting myself through the arduous task of applying a different sheet mask and analyzing the results. Yes, yes I know. I’m a brave soul.

Before I get started, it’s important to note that I do not really believe that one application of a sheet mask can make anything but a superficial difference to the condition of my skin. There’s nothing wrong with that obviously, when my skin feels nice I’m happy, but I just want you to know I’m not expecting miracles here.

There is value in doing things that just feel nice briefly. Self care is really important and what could be better than putting on a sheet mask and relaxing? I painted my nails (loving the CoverGirl Outlast polishes, by the way!) and watched some Netflix, but you could put on some music, lie back and relax (this has the bonus of making the sheet mask lie better on your skin, because gravity). You could do some coloring in your choice of adult coloring book. You could organize your makeup. You could write a blog post. Do whatever you want! But taking time for yourself is key.

Now that that’s all said and done, let’s get started on Week 1.

Tony Moly “I’m Real” Rice Face Sheet Mask – Clear Skin

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Skin status prior to application: Clean skin, not moisturized.

Current skin condition: Normal for me, ie combination – no current active blemishes, texture uneven, large pores, oily t-zone and dry cheeks (I probably should have taken a before photo. Oops!).

Cost: $7.50 for a twin pack, excellent value.

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To use: Remove from package and gently position over cleansed skin. Leave on for 20-30 mins. Remove sheet. Massage remaining serum into skin. Ok!

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During mask: Parts around mouth hole (lol) were very flappy and not very secure, I had to keep smoothing them down onto my face above and below my lips. the rest was very secure

After: Serum is viscous enough to stay on the skin, and slippery enough to provide a nice base for a facial massage (clean hands).

COSDNA analysis: No major issues – http://www.cosdna.com/eng/cosmetic_ce7d191543.html

2 hours later: Skin still feeling very well moisturized, a little tacky to the touch, no dry patches or tight feeling. Night time mask only.

Next day: First impressions were good. My skin felt soft, my forehead and nose were a bit oily but that’s pretty normal for me upon waking up. However, when I looked in the mirror, I had two surface pimples right between my eyebrows. This is a classic place for me to get “reaction” pimples, as opposed to my usual hormonal ones that appear around my chin and jaw, or normal breakouts.

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Confession time: You know how I said this was a twin-pack? Well, I actually used the first of these a couple of months back. And it gave me a couple of small pimples then, too. That’s why I didn’t use the second one for a long time. But then I thought, ok so I bet that was just a once-off, maybe it was from something else! Alas, no.

Final verdict: Nope. Won’t be buying again. And if this is the “clear skin” product, I certainly won’t be trying any of the others in the range either.

Stay tuned for next week, dear readers.

Love+++
F&V

Review: ColourPop Ultra Matte Lip – Budget Friendly Liquid Lipsticks?! Yep.

I finally grabbed some of these recently after resisting for quite some time. I decided to have a play today and I’m quite impressed so far!

I also bought a couple of new Kat von D Metal Crush shadows recently (Thrasher, Black No.1 and Doce, which is brand new) so I had a play with those as well, hooray! Colors!

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These are lovely. I don’t know what else to say. I’m a huge fan. I wish they were released in a palette, because I want all of them. They’re creamy and buttery, pigmented and super, suuuper shiny. Almost wet-looking in their shiny metallicness. I love them! I decided to just go nuts and use all three today and this is what I came up with…

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Doce, in the center, is a gorgeous fall color. It’s a coppery, reddish warm tone. It’s not as much of a true brownish copper as Synergy, but not as red as Raw Power.

Anyway, moving on to the the ColourPop Ultra Matte Lips.

I bought Donut, Mars, Succulent, Guess and Lychee. They’re $6 a pop so it’s hard to resist buying more than one!

I tried on Guess last night and while it is interesting I’m not completely sold on it. Same with Donut. I have the same problem with Donut that I have with Mi-Am-Ee from Australis’ VelourLips range. It’s a bit light and a bit watermelon-y for my taste and it made me feel a bit ridiculous. So I’m sorry to say that those are going to need a bit more work/bravery from me before there are pics. But Mars, Succulent and Lychee are all great! Here they are, in that order:

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Fun right! Ok so as for the consistency, it’s good. It’s somehow more comfortable than a lot of other liquid lipsticks. It’s only been a couple of hours but other ones often “flake/pill” up on me by now so I’m impressed. One layer was enough to build adequate opacity, and they were easy to apply with the applicator. Guess was tougher but that’s just because the color is less forgiving – mistakes are easier to see with dark colors. They dry down matte but not chunky. Because you don’t have to use a lot of it, it doesn’t get an opportunity to feel too ‘thick’ on your lips. Good times!

All in all, for $6 each I kinda feel like you can’t go wrong. The packaging is sturdy and not cheap-feeling.

2015-09-27 14.29.36L-R: Succulent, Mars, Lychee, Donut, Guess

Here’s the swatches in the same order as above:

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The lower end is a bit liquidy because that’s where I first touched with the wand, but the other end is already dry not more than a few seconds after application. Pretty impressive stuff.

So anyway that’s my review for today – pretty much loving all o’ dis. September Favorites is coming up this week.

Thanks for reading!

Love++
F&V

Facial Sprays: Prep, Prime, Hydrate and Refresh

A few people lately have asked in my various makeup groups about the Smashbox Primer Water, so I thought I’d do a post, not just about that but other facial sprays I use.

I love the feeling of a nice, cooling facial spray. It has been hot here (not for long!) so it’s been a lovely refreshing way to freshen my dull, sometimes cakey looking long-wear foundation after a good few hours of wear.

But what do the different sprays do? Let’s talk about it.

The First Aid Beauty Vitamin Hydrating Mist is something that I like to spray on between cleansing and moisturizing.

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I hate to apply moisturizer on a dry face, it just doesn’t feel nice and the spray helps the product to spread a little better. So it’s more of a skincare item than specifically a prep or fix spray. It feels nice and it’s got some decent skincare ingredients, and nothing irritating or more than level 1 comedogenic (I’m extremely acne prone and it hasn’t broken me out at all). There’s a slightly more comedogenic ingredient but it’s so far down the list that its amount is irrelevant.

I’ve probably used half of it and I only bought it maybe 3 weeks ago? So it’s not super great value IMO. That’s probably my only complaint.

You can pick this little beauty up at Sephora for $16 in the USA or  AU$17.40 from BeautyBay (which will ship to Australia).

The Smashbox Primer Water is interesting. I’ll admit: I wasn’t really that interested when it was announced. Primer water? Give me a break. What a fucking rort! I wasn’t even a little bit tempted. But then people whose opinions I respect started saying it was pretty great and because I’m a massive sheep I bought some.

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And you know what? I like it! I like to use it on top of a pore-refining primer to add some grip and moisture before I put foundation on. This product contains glycerin (well, it contains glycol and they are incredibly similar). The great thing about glycerin is that it is sticky! I know that sounds bad, but actually that’s exactly what we are looking for in primers, particularly oil-absorbing primers. Now, is this a miracle amazing revolutionary product? No – it’s probably only marginally better than a normal toner (and PC Beautypedia backs that up), but it’s pretty nice and does a good job, and you can use it as a setting spray allegedly as well (the girl in Sephora told me that, I’ve never done it myself). I also like that this is a “quick” primer if I want one, if I’m running out of time to do the full “dot and blend” primer routine. It gives another layer of oil-absorbing ingredients that your skin’s natural oils have to fight through to get to your makeup and oxidize it. So it does a great job for me. If you are someone who is very sensitive to fragrances you might want to be careful with this one, though. It’s not overly fragranced but it does contain potentially irritating fragrance.

A tip I heard just today (thanks Kelly!) is to press the product into your skin in the areas where you get most oily, for a little bit more oil absorption. I look forward to trying this tip!

You can get it for $16 to $32 (pick up a travel size if you’re not sure!) at Sephora or for $47 for the full size at Mecca in Australia.

MAC Fix+ is “the” prep and fix spray. It’s the original and let’s be honest, the best. It’s an amazing multi-purpose product.

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The spray mechanism is FANTASTIC, much better than any other non-aerosol facial spray I’ve ever used. It’s a very, very fine mist that really does enable one to have quite a lot of control over the spray direction. Its second ingredient is glycerin so that’s a definite plus as well. It contains a decent blend of small amounts of antioxidants etc. But it really is the spray mechanism that’s the star of the show.

I love to use this to refresh my makeup after a long day of makeup-wearing, say if I don’t want to take my makeup off and re-apply before going out at night. It works like a treat because it’s not a heavy spray. It can be used as a fixing spray too.

This is also available in a mini, which I keep in my handbag. It’s the perfect size for that purpose. You can pick up the full size from MAC Cosmetics for $22 or the mini for $10, and in Australia you can get the full size for $27 or the mini for $15.

The final product I’m going to talk about is one I have mixed feelings about. It’s the Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray.

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Ok so here’s the thing. This product shouldn’t really work. I mean, its second ingredient is alcohol. That’s not good. I always avoid alcohol. But I have been using this product for awhile and it seems to do the job and doesn’t break me out. I think this is because by the time you spray it on your face there’s quite a few layers between it and your skin, so it doesn’t get close enough to be irritating.

The mixed feeling comes from the fact that I’m not sure that this does any better job than a similar product, or even just a toner spray. So when this one is out, I won’t be buying another. I’m going to switch to just using Fix+ to see if it does a similar job.

In saying that, this is an EXTREMELY popular product that does work. But the ingredient list is a bit scary so be aware of that. In the US you can get this for $14 for a travel/trial size or $30 for the full size (select the other size), in Australia for $44 for the full size or the mini for $22. I would strongly recommend trying the smaller size first. It’s a pricey product and if it sucks (and you don’t like returning things), you may regret the purchase. Sidenote: there are other types of sprays in this product line that may suit better but I don’t feel that there’s a big difference, ingredients wise. Just something to keep in mind.

I’d love to hear what you guys think about these products, or if you’ve tried any similar ones!

Love++
F&V

Brand Review: Shiro Cosmetics [+ GlamourDollEyes bonus review]

A few weeks ago, I got an extremely exciting package in the mail. My friend Jaime in Australia had told me she was sending me some things to review so I was ALREADY excited when I saw her name on the package, but when I busted it open there it was. The most beautiful sight. Not only a little bag full of lipstick samples but also the special edition Vegemite Cadbury block! Spoiler alert: it’s fantastic. Anyway I know that topic is controversial so let’s move on.

The first thing that I noticed about these lipsticks was that they had AMAZING names, I can’t wait to share them with you guys as we go along. I looked up the website for this brand and went straight to the about section. The more soft and squishy amongst us will be interested to note that this brand is 100% vegan and cruelty free. The products are blended by hand and packaged by two lovely ladies in Portland, Oregon. It really reminds me of Baroque Cosmetics actually (see previous brand review) in that a lot of the products are a bit on the nerdy side which is RIGHT up my alley.

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Important notes x 3: Jaime sent these to me because she likes my reviews (so flattering!) and wanted to see what I thought of these products. I have no affiliation whatsoever with the brand (nor does Jaime) and have not contacted them in regards to this post. Also, all product packaging pictures (apart from the sample pots obviously) are from the Shiro website and all photo credit goes to them (click on the photos to go to the product page!). The packaging is too awesome not to show off! Finally, I should disclose that I’m not much of a lip gloss wearer. You know me, I like my matte lipsticks. I find glosses a bit annoying and sticky. So keep that in mind as you read this review (at the time of typing this sentence, I have not tried them on).

So, let’s get on with it. Jaime sent me SEVEN lip glosses. I would like to apologize to my lips in advance for what I’m about to subject them to. At least it’s glosses and not lipsticks which can be very hard to remove!

The Thrill of the Chasez

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This is a mid-toned pink, it’s quite nice actually. It’s not too bubblegum-y, which is surprising because it smells SO STRONGLY of bubblegum. Kind of a turnoff for me. It’s a reallllly sweet scent, not sure how I feel about it. Actually I am sure: I don’t like it. But I’m not known for liking sweet scents, to be fair! The color is nice, it’s not super bright and it isn’t overly sticky – more slippery than anything. It doesn’t feel like a very thick, shiny gloss which is nice because I find those a bit … gluggy.

Nic Cage Posing for a Calendar with Shiny Bright Red Cars

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I LOVE the name of this one! Can’t go wrong with Nic Cage jokes IMO. I really like this color! I feel like it’s a bright enough red to do it for me, and also has an extremely subtle pearl to it which means that it makes my lips look quite full, and blurs out the creases in my lips a little bit. It is NOT glittery which is good, nothing I dislike more than glittery lip gloss. The flavor/scent of this one isn’t nearly as strong and is kind of a cherryish flavor – the website says cherry pie and I suppose that’s close enough! Yep, this one’s a winner and will be going into rotation. I feel like this could be lovely over the top of a bright red matte lipstick to give a bit of shine and moisture.

Justin Time

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Eeeeeee you guys know how I feel about Justin Timberlake. Ok you probably don’t: I love him. That’s how I feel. Ever since the days of Justified and even at some points in the reign of NSYNC although I was always more of a Backstreet Boys girl at heart. Anyway, this color is exciting already :3 I really like this one! It’s a little warmer than the reds that I’m normally attracted to, almost a warm-rich-red-pink*, but I like it and it’s extremely opaque for a lip gloss. It’s almost more of a gloss-finish lipstick. I’d be interested to see how the longevity of this goes, I may try that out later. It is scented like vanilla which is pleasant and not overpowering at all. Another winner.

*EDIT: I know it seems like a cool red here, but when I look in the mirror I swear it’s warm! D:

Nic Cage Nibbling Petit Fours in a Posh Victorian Tearoom

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Love it! I feel like this is a weird Nic-Cage-As-Pinup-Model fetish but I’m into it. I can get the heck behind that. The color is kind of a dusty, neutral, rosey color (the website agrees). It’s got enough brown in it to not be a Pink Gloss but isn’t too brown. It’s actually not a bad “MLBB” color for me. It’s not very opaque which is fine, I feel once again that this could be a lovely gloss atop something like Anita by NARS in the Audacious lipsticks range, to give some gloss and moisture.

Red Wedding

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As a huge Game of Thrones fan (I have some … complex feelings about the last season) I had a big grin when I saw the name of this one. Let’s hope I have better luck with this color than Robb Stark did at the aforementioned nuptial celebration (as you may be able to tell, I’m writing this as I try each one). Ok so this is an interesting color. When I first put it on, I was a bit disappointed because it looked really brown. But as I kept going and built the color up a little bit, I got more into it. It’s a deep burgundy. One thing about those kinds of colors is that my husband LOVES them on me, much more than I love them on myself. I trundled off to the kitchen to show him and, as expected, he basically jumped me (these are not transfer-proof, FYI 😉 ). So I started off kinda eh about this but turns out it’s a winner. The scent is a kind of sherbet sharp cranberry. One thing about it is that it’s kinda patchy, it takes careful application, though that may be different if you have the actual doe-foot applicator to use – I’m applying all these with a Mecca Cosmetica lip brush. This one is a keeper and I’m glad I have a larger sample size of it!

Seven Minutes in Kevin

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Speaking of Backstreet Boys! Lol. I love it. This is another quite dark, vampy red/burgundy color but it’s not as dark as Red Wedding. My husband called this one “a nice compromise” and I agree. It’s not as intense or opaque as RW. It smells like Christmas – it’s kinda cinnamon-spicey, the most appealing scent so far for me!

Nic Cage Doing the Charleston in a Bustling Speakeasy

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Another quite vampy lipstick (with a fabulous name) though this lends itself more to a berry-type shade base rather than a burgundy. Once again it’s quite opaque for a lip gloss, I like it. These last three-four shades will be fabulous in the winter, I feel! Particularly now that I live somewhere with actual seasons, and I’m sure my lips will be in absolutely terrible condition! I don’t know how to explain the scent of this one. The site says “bubbly champagne” but I disagree, it’s way too sweet for that. It’s probably my second-least-favorite of the scents so far, I don’t like it. But it’s also not very strong unlike the first scent which was horrid AND strong (in my opinion). The color is worth it though!

Afterthought on this one: it leaves a BEAUTIFUL stain on the lips when you wipe it off. Something to keep in mind, may be a plus or a minus for you, I like it though! See below:
IMG_7855All of these are $8 which is a bargain IMO, they also have a sample option for $2 which is great. I think I’ll actually buy a couple of these, now to decide which ones. I do love a proper applicator though I feel today that I got a good lesson in applying with a brush which I normally don’t do.

So that’s the Shiro products, there were two other products in the bag that I thought I’d review at the same time, however, after I posted this blog a friend informed me of a recent issue with one of the brands (Fierce Magenta) in which they ignored and dismissed a customer’s valid and serious issues with mold and other quality issues in their products. As such they will not be featured on this blog. You can read more about this issue here. Just like I’ll never review, buy or wear Gerard Cosmetics or Lime Crime due to past unpleasantnesses, I don’t want to feature this brand. [this section has been edited]

GlamourDollEyes HydraGlaze lip gloss in “Homicide”

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It’s kinda nice I guess, nothing special, it’s a nice classic-red lip gloss. The packaging description (of the actual product, I just have a sample) is confusing. It’s a “squeeze tube with doe foot applicator”? I don’t get it. The other thing that annoys me about the description is that it’s called a “matte, true red gloss” which is just garbage IMO you can’t be a matte gloss. And this is definitely not a matte anything! Anyway it’s fine, I wouldn’t buy it because it’s nothing amazing, the smell is sweet (apparently it’s buttercream) but nothing obtrusive. It’s $9.

A massive thanks to beautiful Jaime for sending me these products to try out! I had a really fun time, and I think I may be converted to lip gloss actually… these are great and really fun, and comfortable. I’m going to post this now and apply the “Justin Time” one to see what the lasting power is like. Oh and in case you’re interested in the aftermath of this little experiment… Later addition: I feel that it really lasted a goodly time! It didn’t get cakey or chunky and it only faded down to a less glossy, even stain. Will purchase! [section edited]

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Heh.

Thanks for reading!

Love+++
F&V

Review: Lipstick Queen Sheer Tint & “Colour Transforming” Lipsticks (+ Threading!)

In previous iterations of my blog I have raved about Lipstick Queen lipsticks so I hope you don’t mind that I do it again (mostly).

I recently obtained from Ulta these two lipsticks: Hello Sailor and Frog Prince.

FullSizeRenderThe weird thing about these lipsticks is that the bullet color does not match the color they turn on your lips. In a process that has something to do with pH balance, they change color on your lips. They’re also extremely nourishing, the base of the lipstick is Vitamin E which is really hydrating and comfortable on the lips.

So first of all I want to talk about Hello Sailor. And that’s because, well, I hate it. I mean, hate might be a strong word? I don’t know. But these aren’t exactly cheap and this particular product does nothing. The description says: “Turn the blackberry lip trend on its head with this ultra-modern, navy blue sheer lipstick. In a nod to the nautical, Hello Sailor tints lips in a cool, berry tone with a hint of deep sapphire.”

I just don’t agree. Let’s take a look. I tried to get the same/similar light but the weather is weird today and basically it’s different shades of overcast at all times. Sorry!

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Navy blue bullet?! So promising!

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Hello Sailor: Before & After

So okay maybe there’s the tiniest weeniest bit of different maybe. But these lip colors are $25 each, man. As the amazing KathleenLights would say, “thasespensive”. As hell. So yeah this $25 lip balm gets a big ol’ NOPE from me.

IMPORTANT NOTE: I have very pigmented lips already and it’s totally possible that someone with less pigment on their lips may find that this shows up more for them.

Next I thought I’d mention trusty old Medieval. I’ve talked about this before. I love it. It does not only what it says on the tin (so to speak), but what it says on the bullet. It’s a lovely, natural red flush. Description from the site: “Medieval is the red that flatters all complexions. Impossible to detect as anything other than a sensual melancholic hue.” Yep! Accurate. Let’s take a look.

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Yep, I have worn this a lot D:

FullSizeRender_3 FullSizeRender_1A lovely natural red flush, as described. Hooray!

A winner for me and will definitely be repurchasing in the near future when this runs out. Must.. conserve.. product….

And now we come to, IMO, the star of the show. Let’s have a little talk about Frog Prince, shall we? For one thing, it’s green. I mean what the hell?! What is that about? Perhaps the site will provide some answers: “Get heads turning with Frog Prince, a remarkable emerald green lipstick that transforms into magical rosebud upon contact with the lips. Don’t be fooled by the deep green hue of this semi-sheer lipstick – the green reacts with the warmth of your lips turning them an intense, fairy tale rose. No two pairs of lips will look the same as it adapts according to your pH and natural coloring, appearing entirely different yet beautifully flattering on everyone.”

What!? But it’s bright green! I don’t believe you, Poppy King. I JUST DON’T. Let’s see, shall we?

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*narrows eyes suspiciously, looks for hidden cameras*

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Before and After. SO DELIGHTFUL OMG!

THIS IS SORCERY. I’m a witch now. Just so you know. Please don’t burn me. But yeah look at this?! I love it so much, I’m so impressed, this is a super cool product.

Just like Medieval it’s nourishing and moisturizing, and it’s the kind of lip color that’s great for those on the go, because you can smear it on without using a mirror. I mean, not too liberally but if you go a bit outside the lines it a) doesn’t matter really and b) is super easy to fix if you want to, the color won’t smudge around like a lipstick normally would.

These babies are US$25 each from Ulta and for someone who hates to have to always think about their lipstick, hoping it’s still sitting right and not bleeding or smearing or on their teeth, they are PERFECT. A great investment. I wear these a lot when I am giving my lips a break from more serious lipsticks, but still want to have some colour. In America you can grab them from Ulta, and in Australia from Kit Cosmetics stores or online from Mecca. Note: Aussies, sorry, only Medieval is available in Australia right now (for AU$27) so you might have to put in an order with me or wait patiently to see if Frog Prince comes out over there soon. I imagine it will. Poppy is an Aussie after all.

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Other things I played with today!

I also wanted to mention that I gave the Benefit Hello Flawless Oxygen WOW! foundation a go today, the nice Ulta lady gave me some samples when I was in Keene last. You can see from the photos, it’s a nice match (I mixed two together) and the coverage is medium. It’s a satin finish so not super matte but not dewy either. It’s quite nice. I probably won’t buy it, because I still think the Kat von D Tattoo Foundation is going to be my next purchase. I like to think that I want to wear more sheer bases but it might be lip service to what I think I “should” do, you know? Because as you can see I have some breakouts at the moment (related to taking a Biotin supplement to make my hair grow (it is working)) and it’s not doing a fantastic job of covering them up. I did use some concealer as well, but I didn’t want to cake too much product on and you know what? Some spots just won’t be covered. That’s life.

My hair looks like utter garbage but that’s kind of on purpose. I know I need to wash and blow dry my hair after being a the farm yesterday but it was too late when we got home and now it’s too cold and I never promised you guys I would look flawless erryday in errypost. In fact, I refuse to look flawless basically ever. It’s not realistic and it’s not why I’m here. Realtalk.

OH ALSO I got my eyebrows threaded! What do you guys think? I absolutely love it! They are a smidgy bit thin I think, not bushiness-wise but the actual distance between the top of the brow and the bottom if that makes sense. But it’s possible that I’m imagining it and even if I’m not, I still love how neat they look without being really sharp and severe. She also did my top lip which will save me using that smelly cream stuff ugh! ~ladymoustache problems~

Here’s another pic if you got this far. I let the Frog Prince sit a bit longer and it got even better I AM IN LOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!okay I’ll stop

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I know today should be May Favorites but the end of the month just really snuck up on me! I will get it done as soon as possible. LOVE YOUSE! ❤

Thanks for reading!

Brand Review: Baroque Cosmetics (Vegan, Cruelty Free Indie Eyeshadows & Blush)

I know I’ve been talking about doing this review for ages but to be honest there’s been two things holding me back. One – I have so many of these eyeshadows that it felt overwhelming and two – it kinda felt like I always had a package on the way so I told myself I’d do it after that one arrived. And that happened forever. But I’ve decided to stop procrastinating! Let’s get on with it. NB: I’ll have some instagram pics of me wearing these at the bottom as well as swatches so keep on scrollin’.

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My collection! <3_<3

I first came across Baroque Cosmetics when the owner and creator, Andi, asked for some opinions on a huge forum I’m a part of, in the makeup thread. When she finally announced the first collection, I jumped at the chance to support a brand that I felt “connected to” already. Did I mention they’re all vegan and cruelty free?

The way BC works is that it is released in “collections”, which are often based on fandoms or movies/games of the fairly nerdy ilk plus some historical literature type situations. FULL DISCLOSURE! I actually am not into games and I haven’t seen any of these movies, they’re of the very artsy anime style (Howl’s Moving Castle, Spirited Away etc) and it’s just not something I’ve ever been into. But hey, I love Les Miserables right? So the first collection, French Revolution, was exciting to me!

Here’s the thing though. You do NOT have to be in any way nerdy or get ANY of the references to freakin’ LOVE these products and admire the care, craftsmanship and sheer originality and creativity of these beautiful products. My love of the brand in spite of a lack of knowledge of the background to the collections is a prime example of this!

BC eyeshadows cover the spectrum from bare, nude, gorgeous neutral shades to ELECTRIC, FULL ON, TAKE NO PRISONERS bold shades in greens, blues and even reds. There is absolutely something for everyone here.

One of the most exciting and awesome things about these eyeshadows is the price. They’re incredibly good value! You can buy these shadows in their original powder form ($6 for full size, $3.50 for dainty size or $1.50 for a sample which comes in a little baggie) or you can order them pressed and Andi hand-presses them for you. You can also order any of them (except National Razor) pressed into a palette of four ($30 for 4 hand-pressed shadows and a palette? Come ON! Bargain!) or order single pressed pans for $8 each. The pressing process is actually quite complex so the extra $2 is well deserved IMO!

Another cool thing Andi does is she has “House Baroque” which is a kind of “colour of the month” thing – it means you don’t have to wait for new collections to come out before slaking your new-shade thirst. Aw yeah!

Disclaimer: I haven’t got any of the blushes apart from one that was made just for me (more on that later) because I am scared of blush. I’m not good at it and it is terrifying okay. OKAY? Okay.

Let’s get on with what I know you guys really want to see – the swatches. I ummed and ahhed over how to present these, whether I’d do it by collection or whatever but I decided against that particular path because I haven’t bought them based on the collections, I’ve just bought what I like. I’ve divided them up roughly into shade groups and I’ll label the collections underneath. So let’s get started.

Golds / Coppers / Neutrals: The Light Ones

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Masquerade – House Baroque #5 ||| Dragon Bones – Sovngarde ||| Hikari – Friends in My Heart ||| Good Doggy – A Heart’s a Heavy Burden

Ok so, Andi is GREAT at describing her own colours. I kind of feel like me doing that is moot because her descriptions are amazing and mine are bad. But I’ll give it a go. All these colours are in the neutral range, the lighter end of the neutrals I would say. Good Doggy surprised me SO MUCH. It’s absolutely beautiful. It’s this fabulous coppery shade that’s not too red, just a perfect coppery bronze I love it. Dragon Bones and Masquerade are perfect inner corner highlight shades or even browbone highlight shades. Hikari is an amazing neutral everyday shade that’s fantastic for just throwing on when you’re in a hurry. You can’t mess this one up and it suits everyone THE END.

Golds / Coppers / Neutrals: The Slightly Less Light Ones

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Versailles – French Revolution ||| Accolade – Cafe Baroque Exclusive* ||| Compass Rose – House Baroque #9 ||| Boiler Room – Always With Me ||| Walking On Air – A Heart’s a Heavy Burden ||| Pumpkin Queen – House Baroque #2

Versailles. Dupe Alert! Ok, have you guys ever seen the MAC Pigment in Old Gold and lusted after it? Well do yourself a favour and pick this one up instead. It’s like Old Gold but FINER. The colour is an exact match though pretty much. I did pick up Old Gold in the mini-pot recently which is how I know this. They’re both a gorgeous antiqued gold but the MAC one is obviously much more expensive. Accolade is a lovely light copper but was exclusive to the Cafe Baroque peeps (Andi’s FB group for CB fans! It’s great!) sorry! Compass Rose is one of my newest and most exciting purchases. LOOK AT IT. The perfect rose gold. Rose gold is hot right now and this little number is perfect. Boiler Room was kinda surprising to me. It’s a lot more brown than it looks. Andi described it as ‘blackened bronze’ which is accurate. Walking On Air is a true peachy coral, fantastic for a pop of colour! Pumpkin Queen is an orangey, bricky red.

Greys and Blues

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Ex-Adventurer – Sovngarde ||| National Razor – French Revolution ||| Sun King – French Revolution ||| Peeping Bug – A Heart’s a Heavy Burden ||| Swansea – Always Together*

Ex-Adventurer is a new one for me, and you know what, I love it. It totally reminds me of aluminium foil, in the coolest possible way. It’s a true steely grey. National Razor is a surprisingly neutral grey with flecks of red (a lot of these shades have glitter reflects! So cool). Sun King is a blue with flecks of gold, this one needs a bit of building, as does Peeping Bug which is a very interesting deep purple. Swansea… well… this is part 1 of the INCREDIBLE Christmas present my amazing husband got me last year. He emailed Andi to team up and make me some custom products based on our wedding colours – hence this one is a beautiful deep navy with a red reflect. The blush is coming!

Greens and Greeny-Blues

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Secret Garden – A Heart’s a Heavy Burden ||| Child Who Swallowed a Star – A Heart’s a Heavy Burden ||| Aurora – Sovngarde ||| Star Lake – A Heart’s a Heavy Burden ||| Wherever You Go – Always Together*

Umm so do I just have the whole AHaHB collection? Lol. Secret Garden is a leafy green (duh), Child Who Swallowed a Star is a deep blue/green, AURORA … oh man.. probably my #1 favourite shade of all (see later in post) is like.. I don’t know.. it’s the most beautiful teal colour, in fact Andi describes it as a “blackened teal”. I just love it. Star Lake is a PERFECT pop of colour for the inner corner with something darker on the rest of the lid and Wherever You Go is part 2 of the Always Together collection that Ray and Andi designed for me, it’s the blush shade.

And there you have it! That’s my collection.

A few more points about this brand…

Do yourself a favour – check out the website. Andi’s photography is amazing. As an example, look how appealing these pressed shadows are:

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Photo from Baroque Cosmetics – click to visit the site!

Don’t you just want to buy them all!? The website is clean, simple and easy to navigate. It’s set up by collection, you can buy the whole collection/s in sample or full sizes.

Postage to Australia is around USD6.50 (AUD8.30) and within the USA is about $2.50, how cheap is that! To Australia I remember it taking about 2-3 weeks, USA is your usual domestic ground shipping time of 5ish days.

The customer service is amazing. Example: when I moved, I packed all my eyeshadows in a box and when I got to New Hampshire, some of the BC eyeshadows had leaked and there was powder throughout the box. I had a long discussion with Andi and we troubleshooted some issues together. She apologised profusely which was 100% unnecessary – these things happen. Not a lot of product was lost (each full size jar contains 5g and the dainty jars include 3g, by the way) so it didn’t bother me. If you are the kind of person who does a lot of travelling (and as such has a lot of vibration in your eyeshadows’ lives) you might want to stick some washi tape or plain stickytape on the side of your shadow containers just to make sure.

The new containers with the matte black lids are much better than the previous ones. All of the loose shadows come in these little jars with a sifter which is a really handy way to not get too much shadow.

My top five shadows are Aurora (hands DOWN my favourite), Good Doggy (so wearable!), Swansea, Compass Rose and Versailles. This was hard! They’re all so good!

I thought I’d ask Andi if she would do a little mini interview for the blog and she agreed – what a superstar! Here it is:

Freedom & Vanity: First of all, how would you describe Baroque Cosmetics, briefly?

Andi: “Baroque is an indie and vegan/cruelty free makeup company that features chromatic themes applied to cosmetics.”

F&V: What made you want to start your own makeup line?

A: “I’ve always really loved makeup but I would become frustrated at how brands interpreted ideas or fandoms and translated that into colors. So once I was out of college I found myself with free time and started doing research and testing and in June of 2014 I opened Baroque!”

F&V: What is unique about your products? What separates you from other indie brands?

A: “My products are unique because when I start working on a collection I do my best to make each shade match its inspiration material while still retaining a cohesive feel when compared to the rest of that collection. I pride myself on my chromatic themeing, or how I can manage to make a set of colors embody the theme.”

F&V: What are your top three favourite shades?

A: “Hikari for its versatility. It’s a pale shimmery gold that pairs well with a huge variety of shades.

House Baroque #8 ‘Be Wherever You Are’ for the song it was named after. The song is about making sure you stop and just enjoy where you are in life. It’s something I try to do more since I have a tendency to try and plan for everything in the future.

Walking on Air for the color and for the song. It’s a warm shimmery coral that works really well on my skintone. The song was one I listened to a lot when I was younger and going through some hard times. So for me, its like a calming reminder that everything will be ok.”

F&V: Being an indie brand and as such without access to the perks of large distribution brands, what do you think is your greatest challenge?

A: “My greatest challenge right now is space. I’m at that sweet spot where I have a fair amount of orders to ship out but not quite enough to finance a larger office or warehouse. I currently work in the closed off basement of my home, and it’s fine for the moment but I can see it easily becoming an issue in half a year.”

F&V: If I were someone totally new to the brand, what would you suggest for me? Say I wanted to buy four eyeshadows and a blush. Should I get pressed or loose?

A: “If all you’ve ever used is pressed eyeshadows I suggest going for a pressed palette to sort of ease yourself into the world of indies. Shade wise I find that Death of Marat, Good Doggy, Dragon Bones and The Republic form a very flattering neutral look that works on a wide variety of skintones. For blushes it’s more dependent on your skintone but for warm/neutral leaning warm Mucha Ado About Nothing is a great match. If your skin is cool/neutral leaning cool, Such Galle or Sonrel Not Sonrel might be your best pick!”

Some fabulous advice here!

To end things, I thought I’d share some photos from my instagram where I’m wearing these products. Descriptions below photos.

FullSizeRenderLid colour – Swansea ||| inner corner – Star Lake ||| cheeks – Wherever You Go

FullSizeRender_1Superbowl Makeup! Inner corner – Child Who Swallowed A Star ||| lower lashline – Wherever You Go [on top of MAC – Cherry lipliner]  ||| lid – L’Oreal 24 Hour Infallible in All Night Blue]

FullSizeRender_2Lid – Boiler Room

FullSizeRender_3Soft & neutral – Good Doggy is TRUTH.

FullSizeRender_4Inner / centre of lid – Masquerade ||| outer corner – Aurora

FullSizeRenderLid colour – Aurora ||| inner corner – Star Lake

FullSizeRender_1Lid colour – Pumpkin Queen ||| inner corner – Good Doggy

I feel like this post could go on forever about how much I love this brand but it’s long enough already so I’m gonna end it here. If anyone has questions or would like to see other shades being worn please let me know, I’d be happy to help!

I’ll be doing another blog post on Sunday/Monday, it’s going to be a wrap-up of some new things I’ve been learning about (that everyone else has always known probably). Hooray!

Thanks for reading. Go forth and purchase!