LIFE | Mecca Maxima is in Wellington!

Mecca Maxima Wellington haul

Mecca Maxima Wellington opened last week and I was invited to check it out on opening day. Wellington has been waiting for this for a long time—the Christchurch store opened earlier this year, but before that there has been a whole host of beauty brands virtually impossible to get in New Zealand.

The opening was conveniently in the school holidays (I see what you did there, Mecca) and there were folks queuing practically around the block, so it’s not just me that was excited. I ducked away from work over the lunch break (an extended lunch break, okay) to check out the store—and there’s lots to be excited about.

LIPS | Give me blue lipstick, give me green lipstick

Kat Von D blue lipstick liquid in Echo

MAC’s beauty guru collaboration lipsticks start launching this month and they are boring as fuck. If you got a chance to collaborate with MAC on your own lipstick colour, why would you pick the blandest shade of white-girl-nude? And if you were MAC, why would you let the ten ~beauty gurus~ you’re collaborating with make nine indistinguishable shades of light pinky brown? (I don’t really know who Vic Ceridono is but her lipstick is the only non-nude shade in the bunch so I instantly feel very favourably towards her.)

These bloggers all just made a shade that matches their natural lip colour (Samantha Ravndahl even admitted as much). Every colour Temptalia has reviewed so far has multiple 95% match dupes.

I’m so bored even writing about this 😩 This blog post is meant to be about fun lipstick instead! Green lipstick! Blue lipstick! Death to nude lipstick!

SKIN | What’s the deal with powder cleanser?

Powder cleanser review - DHC face wash powder, Dermalogica Daily Superfoliant, Clinique Fresh Pressed cleanser, Nude Detox Fizzy Powder Wash

Powder cleansers have come to my attention recently. Dermalogica launched the Daily Superfoliant* as a kind of dialed-up version of their ever-popular Daily Microfoliant, and Clinique’s new Fresh Pressed Vitamin C-based range includes a powder cleanser. Upon remembering I had a bunch of sachets of the Nude Brightening Fizzy Powder Wash that I’d never used either, I figured I should give them all a go and see how I feel about them. Is the powder cleanser format shelf-stable genius or over-complicated moisture magnet?

LIPS | New Antipodes Moisture-Boost natural lipstick

I was telling myself it had been a productive weekend, until I remembered that none of the three-thousand-odd words I’ve written were for Hyacinth Girl and that I haven’t published a blog post for a couple of weeks. So, here I am on Sunday night at 10pm, listening to the ever-enthusiastic Steve1989 open military rations while I write a well-overdue post about Antipodes’ recently relaunched Moisture-Boost natural lipsticks.

Antipodes have had natural lipsticks in their range for years, but last month I was invited to their relaunch where they introduced the refreshed line with an extended range of colours, all named after New Zealand locations.

SKIN | The Ordinary skincare review

The Ordinary skincare products: Vitamin C, Lactic Acid and Alpha Arbutin

I’ve written about products from DECIEM’s NIOD and Hylamide ranges before, but The Ordinary is the line that everyone’s excited about because it’s so goddamn cheap (like, ten New Zealand dollars per bottle). The whole vibe of the Ordinary is offering single-ingredient-focus formulas that can be layered and coordinated into a routine that addresses your skin’s specific concerns.

The entire point of marketing is to tell people what outcomes and benefits a product will give them, and that’s one of the places where The Ordinary are saving their money. The challenge with their ingredient-focus concept for a lot of people is knowing which products to choose. I feel like I have a pretty sound grip on what skincare ingredients are and what they do, but it took me a while of navigating their website and doing some extra research before I decided on the products I wanted to try.

FACE | The Organic Skin Co makeup

The Organic Skin Co is a skincare and makeup brand created by World Organics. Organic skincare isn’t that exciting but seeing an organic beauty company that does base cosmetics is a little less common. I’m used to seeing mineral powder foundations maybe, but The Organic Skin Co does a full range of cosmetics including cream concealers, luminising primers and highlighters, some of which I’ve been sent to review and swatch for you guys. I was really stoked to see the breadth of shades available as well—too often, natural beauty brands offer a pitiful range of colours in base products.

One thing I will say: this brand has the least memorable name possible. I’m surprised they don’t struggle with their SEO, as the name is so generic. I get that it describes what they do, but I was all ready to write a blog post about ‘The Natural Beauty Co’ and then ‘The Organic Beauty Co’ before I realised they were actually called ‘The Organic Skin Co’. Lucky I triple checked!

EYES | How I do my makeup for glasses

I remember having a long and heated argument with an ex-boyfriend about whether wearing fake glasses for fashion purposes was stupid or not (I said it was, he said it wasn’t). That argument isn’t relevant today because although these glasses don’t have my prescription in them, they will very shortly, and I need that prescription to be able to see properly. You don’t see me wearing glasses on my blog that often because it’s hard to take photos without getting reflections in the lenses, but I wear them every day of my life.

The glasses I’m showing off in this post are the Marc Jacobs Havana frames*, a very cool and slightly outside of my comfort zone pair of glasses that have newly come into my life as a gift from Smart Buy Glasses. They’re blue! The longer I’ve worn glasses, the braver I’ve become with the style I wear—I started out with quite a conservative Carter Bond pair before my current default frames from Bailey Nelson.

Despite intending to write this blog post years ago, I’ve never written about how I change my makeup for glasses, so I’m going to do that today!

MOTD | Glambot haul and makeup look

Glambot haul flatlay

Second-hand makeup is an interesting concept. I’m not bothered by it at all—I’ve bought plenty of second-hand makeup, all the way back to when the mac_cosmetics livejournal community was still a thing, and I still sell things I’ve bought but changed my mind on (usually on Facebook groups or TradeMe).

There are extra things to be cautious of with second-hand makeup, though. It’s harder to guarantee that it’s authentic, and you want to be sure you’ve sanitised it thoroughly before you go whacking it on your face. Conveniently, there’s a site that takes care of all that business for you—Glambot. They buy the products and re-sell them, so you don’t have to mess around with annoying sellers.

I’ve had an account on Glambot for ages, mostly using their wishlist feature to get an alert if a discontinued product I really wanted became available. When they contacted me and asked if I wanted to try a Glambot haul myself, of course I said yes!

HAIR | Remington straightening brush review

Remington straightening brush bristles

I remember when hair straighteners were chunky plastic tongs that had plates 3 inches wide, creaked open and shut, and didn’t do much actual straightening. In high school I had a friend who took 45 minutes each day to straighten her hair, and she’d still have tell-tale curls all around her hairline where the straightener was too unwieldy to reach.

Anyway, straightening isn’t like that anymore. You can get functional straighteners for an affordable price, and brands are coming out with novel straightening devices all the time. One such device is the Remington Keratin & Argan Oil Nourish Straightening Brush*, which I was sent to try. Was I intrigued? Yes. Skeptical? Even more so, which makes for my favourite type of hair-instrument-review.

BROWS | I got my brows tattooed and they’re everything

Browography before and afterThat’s me! Thanks Katt for the pro before-and-afters.

When I heard that OFF & ON was coming to Wellington and offering their Browography brow tattoo service here, I was stoked. I’ve wanted my eyebrows tattooed for ages, but I didn’t trust any of the people who were offering it in Wellington (I would say ‘no shade’, but I guess that’s the definition of shade).

OFF & ON Wellington don’t offer Browography (their term for featherstroke semi-permanent eyebrow tattooing) all the time—instead their brow artist Katt comes down from Auckland once a month or so. I had my first session last Monday, so just over a week ago now. I’m loving the results and can’t wait to see how they heal and end up looking after my second session next month.

Heads-up: this is going to be a long one. I didn’t know a whole lot about the technique or process going in so I’m going to go through it in detail for you. I trusted Katt entirely with my face and thankfully she didn’t let me down, but I know it’s a big commitment, especially for the cost, so I want to tell you all about it.