FACE | Brow pencil bonanza ft. L’Oreal, Anastasia & Hourglass

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I bought a L’Oreal eyebrow pencil during the Farmers Beauty Week sales, and given my brow product purchases are usually towards the higher end of the price scale, I thought I’d give it a thorough review. The Anastasia Brow Wiz has been my ultimate favourite for some time now (it was in my very first post on this blog) and the Hourglass Arch Brow pencil made it into my 2014 makeup favourites, so the L’Oreal Le Sourcil pencil has some big shoes to fill. Because I’m stingy, I bought it with the intention of putting it in my kit, and the hope that it would be as good as my more expensive favourites. Here’s how it holds up.

SKIN | What the hell is an acid mantle?

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The ‘acid mantle’ is a term you might have heard mentioned if you’re a skincare science enthusiast, but chances are you don’t really know what it is and how it works. It came up in my skincare class at school, to the extent that ‘you have an acid mantle on your skin’. That’s it. So I didn’t understand it properly until I started researching for this article. It sounds like somewhere you might visit with Ms Frizzle on the Magic School Bus. Is there a skincare-based Magic School Bus episode?

This is an article I wrote for xoVain but it got dropped due to some changes happening to the site, which explains the slightly different tone to normal. Let me know if you’re into it!

FACE | Ballerina bun & Heroine FOTD

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Purple lipstick is my jam. I crowned MAC Heroine as my favourite when I was interviewed for FishHead Magazine, and I think it still holds true. So rarely are purple lipsticks a) actually purple, rather than simply a purple-toned pink, and b) somehow still acceptable enough for you to wear them all day without everyone commenting on your lipstick. Don’t get me wrong, I like when people comment on my lipstick, but sometimes it’s more of an ‘oh, your lipstick is …interesting, rather than a genuine ‘I really like your lipstick’. (I’ve swatched some of my other favourite purple lipsticks further down this post.)

Second note: My hair is finally long enough to do a ballerina bun! I figured I should try the bun donut I bought, seeing as how it didn’t get used in my xoVain hair tutorial.

FACE | Milani Bella Eyes eyeshadow FOTD

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I liked this photo so much that I made it my sidebar profile photo, even though my hand looks weird as hell. Callum says it makes my eyes look swollen, and maybe it does, but if you look close enough you’ll see that’s metallic copper eyeshadow underneath my eyes, and definitely not swelling. This look was mostly to test out the Milani Bella Eyes gel powder eyeshadows – I’ve got Bella Copper and Bella Espresso. I’ve paired it with a couple of new lipsticks, as well as finding that Bella Copper is a dupe for an old MAC favourite.

LIPS | Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheats vs MAC lip pencils

MAC Lip Pencil vs Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat lip liners

I, like the rest of the world, am really into lip liners at the moment. I’ve actually kinda always been into lip liner. I find that, on the whole, they’re easier to control and have better pigmentation and wear time than most lipsticks. I’ve been gradually building my MAC Lip Pencil collection, because there are tons of them and they’re always great, and of course all those neutral-warm-mauve ones are popular at the moment. I also grabbed two Charlotte Tilbury ones as part of my haul last month, so I thought, why not compare them?

EYES | Rimmel Scandaleyes vs. L’Oreal Color Riche

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After discovering how easy it is to work with cream eyeshadow, I set out to find a golden-bronze eyeshadow stick. The search was harder than you might think, and all the high end ranges I looked at favoured taupe for their brown option, over bronze. I ended up spending not very much money on the Rimmel Scandaleyes Eye Shadow Stick in 003 Bad Girl Bronze. Then, about a week after that arrived, I received the L’Oreal Color Riche Eye Color Pencil in 02 Enigmatic Brown in my Makeup Obsessives meetup goodie bag. They look remarkably similar, so I’ve pitted them against each other.

TOOLS | Jessup brushes superpost

Jessup makeup brushes on Hyacinth Girl

Jessup makeup brushes are pretty well-known in the bargain-hunting online beauty community. They’re touted as being as good as Sigma, Real Techniques or xoBeauty brushes, but are significantly cheaper. Are they actually though? DON’T WORRY, I BOUGHT ALL OF THEM FROM EBAY TO TRY FOR YOU. In this post I’ll tell you what I think of the Jessup 15pc makeup brush set, and both the large and small 4pc Kabuki makeup brush sets. This is a pretty massive post, so grab a cup of tea and while you’re at it, blow a goodbye kiss in the direction of your other brushes. Trust me.

LIPS | Maybelline Color Drama lip pencils

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The Maybelline Color Drama Intense Velvet lip pencils are finally out in New Zealand and I’m fucking stoked. These have been all over UK blogs for months and are touted as the second coming of lip pencils (the first being NARS lip pencils, of course) so I was pretty happy to get these in the mail. They were a PR sample, so they don’t violate my no-buy, if you’re wondering. They’re also mega affordable and dope as hell, so you should check them out if you get the chance. Lip swatches and attempted NARS dupes ahead!

FACE | The changing shape of brushes

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It’s hard to believe these two brushes started out looking identical – although if you’ve owned a Real Techniques Blush Brush you might. It was only once I got my second one that I realised how much the bristles had changed shape over the time I’d owned it. Given most people buy the RT Blush Brush for its narrow shape and tapered tip, it can be a bit disappointing. (That being said, the blown-out version makes a great powder brush.)

I realised it was entirely stupid to replace my brushes when they did things like this, and set out to see what else I could do about it.

GIFTS | Medium-sized gifts to give – a guide, of sorts

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Christmas is coming and I don’t like it. I mean, I like Christmas, I just don’t like how soon it is and how under-prepared and under-financed I am. Gift-giving is so stressful! I want to give meaningful gifts for people and not just useless crap.

I don’t know how many of these ‘guide’ posts I’ll be doing, but here is one about medium-sized gifts to begin with, anyway. Gift guides are hard because I don’t know who you all are buying for, so I have made lists of pros and cons for each of these ideas.