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.

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?

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.

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.

SKIN | Seed and Soul New Zealand natural skincare

Seed and Soul New Zealand natural skincare company

Seed + Soul are the newest company to hit the growing New Zealand natural skincare market and today I’m looking at what they’re about and what sets them apart from the rest. I’m vibing on their sleek packaging and charming product names, but it’s what’s on the inside that counts, right? These products use all natural plant-derived, paraben free ingredients.

I know what you’re thinking. Morgan, you hate that kind of thing! Not quite. I’m perfectly happy putting parabens and chemicals on my skin but I’m also perfectly happy to put plant-based and natural ingredients on my skin—as long as they don’t claim to do anything they can’t.

With that out the way, let’s get in to the products proper.

SKIN | Gel-cream moisturisers, from cheap to heaps

za deep hydration lasting moisture gel, belif aqua bomb, sunday riley tidal brightening enzyme water cream, neutrogena hydroboost gel-cream moisturisers

It’s January 5 and at some point I might write about my 2016 favourites but right now I just owe my blog some kind of attention and these moisturisers are already photographed so let me write about them instead. Gel-cream moisturisers, to be specific. A real category, or a made-up descriptor to make an age-old formula sound novel and new? I don’t particularly care—all I care about is that this is the texture my skin likes best. Lightweight but not fleeting, cooling and non-greasy.

SKIN | Get amongst these cream cleansers

cream cleansers

If you’re unhappy with your current skincare routine, the one change I would recommend over anything else is switching to a cream cleanser. Dry skin? Perfect. Oily skin? It sounds counter-intuitive, but I promise my oily skin responds so much better to a cream cleanser than a foaming one.

Cleansers spend such little time on your skin, it’s hard to justify spending a lot of money on them. With that in mind, here’s a selection of seven cream cleansers, from cheap to less cheap (and you can buy ALL of them in stores in New Zealand!)

SKIN | What the hell is niacinamide?

skincare products with niacinamide

Niacinamide is a true hero ingredient, but I held off on writing about it because I wanted to get my hands on the hero niacinamide product: Cerave PM. Cerave is a drugstore skincare brand from the US, and quite difficult to get in New Zealand. I had a promising connection with their PR until it became apparent shipping internationally would be too much of a challenge (story of my life). Anyway, eventually I found a reputable seller on eBay who didn’t have offensively expensive shipping, and here we are!