SKIN | What the hell is Vitamin C?

Well this post has been sitting in my drafts for far too long so it’s time for me to stop procrastinating and tell you why you should care about vitamin C in skincare.

Vitamin C’s having a real time at the moment, helped by the proliferation of vitamin C and vitamin C-adjacent serums in The Ordinary’s lineup. It’s a complicated ingredient, though, and it’s fickle—not all types of the molecule are created equal, so it’s important to know what you’re buying. Even the wrong type of packaging can make your vitamin C product a total dud.

So who should use vitamin C in skincare? Oh, you know, everybody. It’s one of the most versatile skincare ingredients, having measurable effects for preventing and repairing signs of aging, preventing and repairing dark spots and other pigmentation, minimising inflammation… it’s a comprehensive list, basically.

FACE | MAC Next to Nothing vs Face and Body

MAC Next to Nothing vs Face and Body foundation

What don’t I need? More foundation. What am I instantly interested in? New foundation launches. So when I got the news that MAC were launching a new foundation, or should I say “face colour”, called Next to Nothing*, I was keen to try it—especially so I could compare it to Face and Body.

I’ve written about my high-end and affordable foundations lately, but I omitted MAC Face and Body from both blog posts, because I wanted to dedicate an entire post to how much I loved it. It’s my preferred daily foundation, and it’s also pretty much the only foundation I use in my makeup artist kit. Of course, I never found time to do an entire post about it, but in summary: I love Face and Body.

Face and Body is lightweight and can be worn very sheer on the skin, so the big question about MAC’s new Next to Nothing Face Colour launch is how well it holds up against that.

I’m looking for a natural finish, not too matte or dewy, that evens out the skintone without looking like I’m wearing a lot of makeup. It sounds like a lot to ask, but it’s what Face and Body offers, so it’s not impossible.

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.)

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.

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.)

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 | 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.

FACE | Stick foundation is my new crush

Stick foundations Hourglass Vanish stick, Shiseido The Makeup stick foundation, Maybelline Fit Me Foundation stick, NYX Mineral Stick Foundation

Stick foundations are having a real moment and I couldn’t help but investigate them for myself. The second the Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick came into Mecca I had to go try it out, and after seeing how nicely it sat on my skin I bought it. The Hourglass stick foundation is bloody expensive and comes with very little product, comparatively, though, so I wanted to see how it compared to a few other stick foundations on the market. Keep in mind that I have a very oily skin type (I thought I was getting it under control for a while, but it’s oily again at the moment), so these recommendations come from that viewpoint.

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!