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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
That’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.
I’m getting pretty bored of all the warm and berry-toned eyeshadow palettes that have come out recently. The Anastasia Modern Renaissance eyeshadow palette blew up in the makeup world in 2016 and now every person who has ever taken a photo of their makeup owns it and uses it and loves it. I didn’t think I’d love it, though—too pink, too trendy, and too extraneous in my already pretty comprehensive eyeshadow collection.
Instead of buying it I thoroughly trawled Temptalia’s dupe list for shadows I already owned or that were similar and swatched them out. It was a good exercise to re-familiarise myself with the depths of my eyeshadow collection! While I wasn’t able to pull together an entire palette of Modern Renaissance dupes, I did pretty well with what I already have.
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.
Postie+, land of school uniforms, tiny-child-sized fluorescent hunting jackets, and incredibly affordable makeup! Wait, let’s call it what it is—cheap. Nothing wrong with cheap! If your beauty budget is small, your spending on beauty should be sized accordingly, but it’s hard when you have two MAC counters in your vicinity and a Mecca Maxima on its way. (I’m talking about myself, in case you couldn’t tell.)
The last time I went to a Postie+ store was in Paraparaumu where I got a super-cheap flannel shirt and a buttload of makeup wipes for $2 a pack, so it was super exciting when the Postie+ beauty section came to me in the form of a giant haul from their PR. Lots of the stuff here is neutral in tone, making it super functional and practical, eyeshadows in particular. I mean, the fact you can get a whole decent 12-shade eyeshadow palette for like fifteen dollars… who needs Urban Decay, anyway! (I uh… I don’t mean that.)
MAC have released a very trendily-packaged and very functionally-coloured collection with Caitlyn Jenner, and I received four items from the collection from PR. I have mixed feelings about the collaboration, as I did with the MAC/Miley Cyrus Viva Glam release. As a cis-het person I’m not the best person to launch into a criticism of Caitlyn Jenner, but the gist is that while Caitlyn Jenner has raised the profile of transpeople in the media, her personal beliefs are pretty questionable (intensely Republican, not keen on gay marriage). This article from Tranzgendr goes into it a little better than I can.
That aside, there are some great products in the collection and if that’s enough to get you reaching for your wallet, I’m pretty sure most of them are still available on counter in New Zealand.