BROWS | NYX Micro Brow vs Anastasia Brow Wiz

The Anastasia Brow Wiz has been my preferred eyebrow pencil from way back (and by way back I mean literally, right-the-way-back-to-my-first-ever-blog-post-in-2013 way back.) It’s a bit expensive though, and that fact hasn’t changed either. I’ve tried other brow pencils over the years but haven’t found anything that I like as much as the Brow Wiz.

Then Farmers started selling NYX and I had a Farmers voucher so I ordered the NYX Micro Brow pencil. It looks virtually identical to the Brow Wiz so naturally I was curious to see how it held up. (Plus for $20 it’s about half the price of a Brow Wiz pencil.)

HAIR | Long hair, please

Irresistible Me hair extensions in Chocolate Brown

Last year, I was sent some hair extensions to try from Irresistible Me*. I took an arty photo and then neglected them entirely, mostly because they were incredibly long (Rapunzel Me) and I was intimidated (Intimidated Me).

I’ve always had the intention of getting them back out (Well-Intentioned Me) and playing with them, but I knew they needed a lot of work. I’ve had hair extensions before (two of them pictured in a 2013 blog post about my hair history) but they’ve always been cheap and a bit shitty.

The Irresistible Me ones aren’t cheap or shitty, so I wanted to do them justice… but then in January I was at my hair appointment with Matt and spontaneously decided to colour my hair black (Spontaneous Me) and suddenly the dark brown hair extensions wouldn’t look so good in my hair.

Well, the black has softened a bit and I felt guilty enough (Guilty Me) to finally give these extensions a good chance. And I’m impressed! (Impressible Me.) But it took a bit of work to get there.

LIFE | Kmart Petone is open

Kmart Petone is open and has a bunch of affordable beauty buys, like the ELF Foundation Blurring Brush and brow razors.
Kmart opened in Petone (my neighbourhood) two weeks ago and I’ve already been twice! I haven’t bought anything special—someone asked what I’d bought and I struggled to remember, because it was mostly impulse buys of cheap shit (more on that in a moment) but there are a few useful things I picked up.

FACE | My affordable foundation collection

hyacinth-girl-low-end-foundations

I wrote about my high-end foundation collection fairly recently (okay maybe not that recently), but given some of those foundations are pushing $100 NZD, I figured I better write about some more affordable foundations too. A lot of these I’ve written about individually, so I’ll link to those reviews where I can.

Truthfully, I never have good luck with cheaper foundations, which is why I do tend to pay for more expensive ones. Because foundation goes all over your face, it’s more visible when it’s either the wrong colour or a bad texture, so in my mind it’s worth spending the money to get it right.

KIT | My MAC Vueset Tahiti lipstick palette

MAC Vueset Tahiti palette

In makeup school I got a shitty Kryolan lip palette as part of my basic kit. Kryolan isn’t a bad brand by any means, but for some reason the colours included meant it was virtually impossible to mix a natural brown or pink shade. The formula was also quite sheer and slippery—not good for longevity, especially if you’re doing wedding makeup.

My solution has been to gradually build up the most expensive item in my kit: a custom MAC lipstick palette housed in a Vueset Tahiti container. I picked the Vueset Tahiti because it’s transparent, airtight and incredibly compact, while still fitting a full MAC lipstick in each well.

FACE | The most extra highlighter

Becca Prismatic Amethyst highlighter

The Becca Prismatic Amethyst Highlighter is a duo-chrome lavender highlight powder. Given I barely wear makeup on the daily anymore, let alone a makeup look that warrants highlighter, let alone a makeup look that warrants pearlescent purple highlighter, it’s not the most utilitarian purchase.

Having said all this… I fucking love it. It’s so extra, it’s so unnecessary, but it’s also beautiful. I bought it as a kind-of birthday gift to myself, and because ‘prismatic amethyst’ sounded witchy and mystical and amethyst is my birthstone and even the pattern pressed into the powder is beautiful.

SKIN | Essence of Humanity skincare

Essence of Humanity Nourishing Moisture Cream and Softening Cream Cleanser

With natural skincare brands proliferating in New Zealand it’s sometimes hard to care about new ones—so your brand uses natural plant oils, like every other brand on the market? Congrats.

That’s not the case with Essence of Humanity. They’re a social enterprise, and 100% of the surplus proceeds from their products go to a charitable trust working against poverty. It’s a great concept, especially if you’re not keen on your beauty dollars going to multinationals.

EYES | Real vs fake Anastasia Modern Renaissance Palette

Exteriors of real and fake Anastasia Modern Renaissance palettes
The Anastasia Modern Renaissance palette has to be the most talked-about makeup item of 2016. And since the Anastasia Beverly Hills warehouse was burgled in March, it has been one of the most difficult to buy.

I talked shit on this palette a few months ago and didn’t expect to ever buy it, but then I was shopping on eBay or maybe Aliexpress and found a fake version of it for six dollars. (I wasn’t looking for replica makeup, I promise!)

Naturally, I bought the fake Anastasia Modern Renaissance palette—for research purposes. And after it arrived and I saw what it was like, I felt I owed it to everyone to write a comparison post. (I bought the real palette from Cult Beauty but it is also available on Sephora NZ.)

BODY | The Body Shop shower gels

The Body Shop Shower Gels: Almond and Honey, Pinita Colada, Mango, Strawberry and British Rose

I love The Body Shop. My favourite ever range is the strawberry range—a classic, absolutely-doesn’t-smell-like-real-strawberries scent that reminds me of childhood and never gets old. New scents come out all the time and they’re always great (that Christmas apple one in particular) but nothing will surpass strawberry for me.

That being said… I get spoiled by The Body Shop and always have a queue of Body Shop shower gels to use and I’m not complaining that they don’t keep me in permanent stock of the strawberry one. The latest addition to the stash on the laundry shelf (the shower is in the laundry in my house, weirdly) is Almond Milk and Honey*—actually a shower cream and not a gel.

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.