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.)

EYES | How I do my makeup for glasses

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!

EYES | Duping Anastasia Modern Renaissance

Modern Renaissance dupes

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.

EYE | Custom MAC palette redux

custom MAC eyeshadow palette vanilla, soft brown, swiss chocolate, embark, amber lights, omega, wedge, espresso, all that glitters, sumptuous olive, quarry, blackberry, mystery, expensive pink, humid

I got my custom MAC eyeshadow palette for Christmas in 2013, and it has been my most valuable makeup item ever since. By valuable I mean useful rather than financially valuable, although to be honest it’s probably the most financially valuable one too.

It’s had a few different iterations over the past few years, and at the start of the month I restored it to a full MAC palette, with a few new additions from last year’s 25% off sale on maccosmetics.com. The palette temporarily had a few Makeup Geek shadows in it, but they don’t quite fit perfectly and their texture is different, which bothered me.

EYES | Morphe single shadows

morphe single shadows from beauty bliss

Morphe, Morphe, Morphe. I’ve always been skeptical of Morphe: it’s clearly a private-label brand that relies heavily on affiliate deals with YouTubers to make sales. I don’t even want to think about how much money NikkieTutorials is making from shilling their ~amazing~ brushes and ~gorgeous~ palettes that’s she’s just ~obsessed~ with. Now, I don’t need an eyeshadow palette that has 35 pans in different shades of warm brown, but I was curious to see what Morphe single shadows (or should I say Coastal Scents shadows?) were actually like, so I chose three pans for my recent Beauty Bliss order. The colours are Birthday Suit, Aphrodite, and Rosewood.

MOTD | Makeup Geek Insomnia


Upon organising my makeup desk in yet another way, I rediscovered the Makeup Geek Insomnia pigment and realised how deceptively complex it makes your makeup look. It’s literally the only product on my eyes in these photos, besides mascara, but it looks like I’ve done some seriously skilled stuff. I haven’t!

My face has been buried in the past few posts so if you’re the type of reader who just scrolls through the homepage and never actually clicks into my blog posts, you’d be forgiven for thinking I don’t post my face here much (you won’t be forgiven for not reading everything, though). The other night I had the sudden compulsion to put a lot of makeup on my face (well, I really just needed to take photos for an xoVain article) and it ended up looking pretty decent so I took quite a lot.

FACE | A love letter to Witchery Beauty

Witchery Beauty Hazel eyeshadow palette, lip pencil and cream shadow
This is less a love letter to Witchery Beauty and more so a love letter to Witchery in general, but I don’t do well with outfit posts so we’ll stick to the bits for your face (and an honorable mention to the socks rounding out the photo). I was meant to write this post over a year ago, when the lovely Megan who does PR for Witchery sent me a couple of Witchery Beauty products as a birthday gift. For my twenty-fifth birthday. And I’m now twenty-six.

A year may have passed and I may be a shit blogger but this year for my birthday (Witchery always gives members a $20 voucher for their birthday) I bought some more of their makeup and thought, jesus, I’m buying more of it, I’m well overdue to write about this.

FACE | Sephora New Zealand is a thing and I got new things to celebrate!

Sephora New Zealand haul gif

Sephora New Zealand exists. I repeat, Sephora now has a New Zealand website. The Singapore-based Luxola, which was a cosmetics shopping site I had never used but had a New Zealand branch, has become part of the Sephora empire. This is pretty exciting news – even though they don’t carry all the same brands as the American Sephora does, there are a whole host of beauty brands that are now a million times more accessible to us in New Zealand.

As part of the launch celebrations I got to pick a few products from Sephora.nz to try, so naturally I picked the most hyped things I’ve wanted to get my hands on (I think Cass had the same idea). Pricing is pretty darn decent, and the site has free shipping over $75, which is not hard to reach.