LIFE | Two social enterprise Kickstarters worth backing

(Well, one’s technically a Pledge Me, not a Kickstarter, but nitpicking over details is a waste of time.)

A few weeks ago I worked on a photoshoot for a new underwear brand based in Wellington, called nisa. Nisa is a social enterprise producing organic cotton underwear made by women with a refugee background, and they’ve launched a Pledge Me to get the company off the ground.

Another Kickstarter on my radar, which I’ve already backed but needs more support, is indigo & iris.

FACE | Max Factor Miracle Touch foundation review

Max Factor foundation review

I’m a foundation fiend. Along with lipstick, it’s probably the category of makeup that I’m most prepared to buy, despite having more than enough foundation to cover my face for as long as I’ll need and having found a few foundations that I’m perfectly content with.

I didn’t buy Max Factor Miracle Touch foundation—I was sent it to review by the team at Beauty Review along with the Max Factor Smooth Miracle Primer. (Beauty Review is a NZ-based beauty review site that’s worth joining, if you haven’t already!)

I’m glad I didn’t buy these products, because they’re A Bit Shit.

BLOG | How I stage my blog backgrounds

I don’t blog about blogging very much. I have lots of opinions about blogging, but they tend to go on my Twitter and never make it to fully-formed blog posts. (The real ruthless ones get saved for my little Twitter.)

One of the things I have opinions about is how blog photos are staged. I’ve gone through various phases of how I like to take photos of beauty products (and of myself). I use a purely white setup if I’m lazy, and I like using coloured paper, but paper gets ratty and picks up makeup marks easily, and is also Murphy’s favourite thing to shred.

I tend not to stage photos in the classic ~flatlay~—it’s just not me. Occasionally I’ll put a candle or something in a photo but truthfully, I feel like beautifully staged flatlays imply that I have a beautifully staged house full of adorable trinkets. The reality is more like a house full of crap that I shovel out of the way to clear the minimum amount of space I can take a good photo in.

I can never get excited about interiors ‘inspiration’ and minimalist design, as much as I’d like to, because it stresses me out wondering where everyone’s stuff is. Where are the car keys, the cables, the scissors, the cat toys, the bobby pins, the D&D dice, the spare batteries, the letter you have to remember to post, the washing that needs folding, the button that needs sewing back on, the pictures that need hanging on the wall still? (These are all things I can see from where I’m sitting.)

Writing for xoVain, we had to provide all our own images and no plain white backgrounds were allowed. That’s when I learned how handy fabric was as a photography background. All the Youtubers do it now, of course, with acres of sequined fabrics hung slightly out of focus behind them. My strategy is much more low budget!

LIFE | 48Hours—I won best makeup!

A couple of posts ago I mentioned that the makeup I did for my team’s 48Hours film was nominated for Best Makeup in Wellington, and it turns out that I won! I wasn’t at the screening/Wellington finals but got a message from a friend who had been there saying congrats, so that was a nice surprise.

This isn’t going to be much of a blog post but I wanted to post a couple of screenshots from the film and a link to watch it if you feel like it. There’s a kind of revolving crew of folks that make up the team and I’ve worked with them for the past three years. It’s lots of fun, although very exhausting—and I somehow always end up getting roped in to act in it as well. I’m in this one. It is what it is ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

FACE | Tinies

Miniature beauty products - deluxe sized recent releases

Everyone has a soft spot for miniature-sized beauty products. The subscription box industry is built on this fact. Loyalty programmes are built on this fact. Smaller products are a marketer’s way to get people to try something expensive without having to buying the full size.

Ever wonder why cheap products don’t come in deluxe mini sizes? It’s because most peoples’ impulse spending threshold is high enough that we’ll just buy the full product. Like, you know, I’ll buy the full size of a Neutrogena or Goodness product untested because it’s only $20 if I don’t like it—but it’s only these Drunk Elephant minis that could get me to try the brand when the full-sized B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Gel is $82. (I haven’t even caved and bought the Drunk Elephant minis yet… but it’s only a matter of time.)

Anyway, more and more brands are making baby-sized products and my cynicism will step aside and make room for them every time. Tiny foundation bottle that looks like the full size? Yes please. Teeny powder jar, sifter and all? Get into my hands.

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!

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.

FOTD | Colours! On my eyelids!


I’ve been publishing a lot of posts with question marks in their titles and that’s a) boring and b) bad journalism, so this one has lots of exclamation marks instead. And it’s a makeup look! How exciting. I’ve been slack with makeup lately but the other day I felt a sudden urge to put colours on my eyelids and I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out. And those brows *ok emoji* if I do say so myself.