EYES | MAC 217 vs Bdellium Tools 776

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When I started watching makeup tutorials on YouTube, the most confusing part was the references to so many different makeup brushes, all labeled with letters and numbers with no consistent system of categorisation. Oh, the MAC 217? OF COURSE. While that ‘of course’ was initially sarcastic, I quickly learned that if there was one brush to have, the MAC 217 was it. Fluffy and good for everything from blending powder eyeshadow to undereye concealer. Expensive, but one day I must have been feeling flush and I ordered myself one from Nordstrom for $24 USD and I use it for everything ever since.

The thing with brushes, though, is the fewer you have, the more you have to wash them. Washing brushes is boring. So I decided to buy myself some more blending brushes… but slightly cheaper this time. I had heard the Bdellium Tools 776 was a good dupe for the MAC 217, and much less expensive. Now that I own both, I thought it might be useful to compare them (along with some other, inferior blending brushes).

SKIN | The lazy way to chemically exfoliate

AHA and BHA pads

As if I didn’t have enough chemically exfoliating products already, I bought some more in pad form – to support my laziness, of course. The Stridex pads are from iHerb via the Skincare Addiction sub-reddit, whose members seem to fall over themselves to promote these as a BHA holy grail. ‘Holy grail’ is a funny way to describe a product, really. The only way I could use these as a grail would be if I took the pads out and drank from the tub.

LIPS | Uslu Airlines lipsticks

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I’ve had these photos ready to post for ages, and I’ve had the lipsticks for even longer. But there’s no time like the present, right? (What does that even mean?) Anyway, here are some Uslu Airlines* lipsticks, via the lovely ladies at Outergold. The intention was always to write a post about how you can wear bright lipsticks to work because come the fuck on, you can wear bright lipsticks anywhere you want, which is why I am wearing smart worky clothes in these photos.

(P.S. If you’re reading this on the website, you can see I clearly have an ‘angle’. Lol.)

FACE | Mecca’s price cuts vs. Sephora

mecca price drop

So Mecca Cosmetica have lowered their prices across stores in New Zealand and Australia in light of Sephora opening stores in Australia next year. Is this good news? Of course. Will this make shopping here finally more viable than buying online? Possibly not. I’ve mocked up a few hypothetical Sephora orders to calculate whether it’s worth it.

SKIN | Battle of the mud masks

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Mud masks are a bit much-of-a-muchness, right? Apart from assuming that different colours came from different types of clay, I have to admit I didn’t know too much about mud masks. I’ve never had any reason to use more than one at once, so it is hard to know the difference. All I needed to know was that it made a difference to my oily skin.

But then! I had some free time and a lot of masks to try. So I did what any sensible person would, and put all of them on my face.

Harriet: Packaging is stupid and Sorbet is great

It me, Harriet, here for a little guest appearance. This has been sitting unfinished for a little while but my positive vibes re: these products have not changed. Stay fancy xo. 

I’m currently sitting up in bed with wet hair, fresh outta the shower, so this seems like an extremely appropriate time to talk about the shampoo, conditioner and cleanser that I’ve been using and loving lately. I found Sorbet while reading back through Kirsty’s weekly favourites at Makeup Obsessives, and pretty much right away I had eight tabs open with stuff I wanted to try. Brianne was kind enough to send a few things to try, and the short answer is that I’m really, really impressed.

LIFE | On My Dining Table

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Yesterday on Twitter I mentioned how much I hate when bloggers use the phrase “landed on my desk” or “came across my desk” to talk about products that are provided to them as PR samples. It’s a phrase that draws attention to how casual it’s pretending to be. ‘Oh, no big deal, this happens all the time, it’s my job,’ when in reality, I see it most on small blogs that are imitating bigger bloggers. It’s also silly because how many of these people actually have desks that they a) dedicate to blogging and b) use?

My version of this post is accurately titled ‘On My Dining Table’, because that’s where this stuff lives. The dining table has not been used for dining in possibly a month (we like to eat sitting on the floor, or in bed). It’s also not all PR samples. 

FACE | Artiste brush review

Artiste brush review

While the whole blogging world is reviewing Zoeva brushes, I’m over here looking at my Artiste brushes and thinking that, considering they’re the only makeup brushes you can reliably buy in stores in New Zealand, it might be useful to say some words about them. Artiste brushes, made by Manicare, are carried at Farmers stores and it would be fair to say they are most people’s first forays into makeup brushes beyond the stubby plastic scourers that come free in your blush compact.

SKIN | Affordable natural serums

New Zealand skincare brand natural serums

One of the most intimidating products in skincare is the serum. Designed for intensive treatment targeted at a specific issue, serums are often the most expensive part of your skincare routine. If you’re spending major cash, you want to be certain a product will work. This is why I don’t write about serums a lot here: I just don’t have the money to be throwing at specialised treatments. Luckily, nice brands sometimes send me things to try, which means I get to do the testing part and you get to do the ‘making informed decisions about where you put your money’ part. Here are two natural serums that tick three major boxes for me: a) functional, b) affordable, and c) New Zealand made!