March 2016 | KITSCH/SNITCH
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Today we are talking about a couple of products from Physicians Formula and I have read many reviews about the Physicians Formula range but I honesty haven't tried too many of their products. I was sent the Physicians Formula Bronze Booster in Light to Medium and Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips All-In-1 Custom Nude Palette for Face in Warm Nude to test and spoiler alert - I love the Shimmer Strips so much that I also bought the Natural Nude version and they have seriously become my favourite drugstore highlighters ever! (I know, big claim).

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Let's start with some basics. You can buy Physicians Formula in store in Australia from Priceline or you can order them online at Priceline.com.au or iHerb.com. The Bronze Booster Glow-Booster Pressed Bronzer in Light to Medium retails in Australia for $29.95 for 9g of product and the Shimmer Strips All-In-1 Custom Nude Palette For Face And Eyes which retails for $24.95 for 7.5g.

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I quite like the packaging of the bronzer. It has a bronze metallic and orange translucent plastic design and the compact has a clip closure, a mirror in the lid and a brush under the pan. The Shimmer Strip packaging in comparison looks a lot bulkier and is a cardboard box that has a very girly boudoir/lingerie feel to it that isn't my style at all. The Shimmer Strips has a clear flimsy plastic window in the lid and the lid holds close with a magnet. There is a flap at the bottom which opens to show a mirror, more information about how to apply the product and a brush and foam eyeshadow applicator. This all seems a little clunky and has a tacky design. The Shimmer Strips would have benefitted from having packaging more like the bronzer.

Onto the formula...

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Let's start by talking about the bronzer. This is a matte bronzer that doesn't have any added fragrance. It is a lovely bronzer to apply with a soft fluffy brush to warm up the face, but since this is matte you could also use it as a soft contour. I say soft contour because if you build it up too much it can look a little orange and patchy, but lightly it looks really lovely. Since this is a light-medium bronzer it would work for people who have fair to medium skin tones and would be too light for deeper or tanned skin tones. I have definitely been reaching for this as my daily bronzer because with a fluffy brush it does apply quickly, evenly and adds a nice amount of colour and depth to the face. You can see a swatch later in the post.

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Onto my new love... the Shimmer Strips (and yes I have shortened the ridiculously long name). This is designed to be an eyeshadow palette, a highlighter, a blush and a bronzer in one. The guide says that the top layer can be used as a highlighter or a highlighting eyeshadow, the second row can be a blush or a all over the lid eyeshadow, the third row can be a defining eyeshadow or a bronzer and the fourth row can be a liner or a bronzer.


PicMonkey Photo

Above is a swatch of what the all of the Shimmer Strips palette looks like mixed together (in case thats how you wanted to apply it). You can see that it makes a really pretty almost nude beige shimmery highlight that reminds me a little of MAC Soft and Gentle. You can also see that the bronzer applies quite nicely on the skin, it applies evenly, is matte and adds some depth and warmth.

PicMonkey Photo


Above is a photo of all of the Shimmer Strips shades individually swatches. I have a lot of thoughts on the Shimmer Strips palette and I will try to make this as quick as possible.

Firstly, I love it as a highlighter! I think it makes for an amazing highlighter and you can get a variety of different shades from it. You can mimic most higher end highlighter shades - shimmery white, champagne, pinky coral, gold, bronze etc etc. As this is also designed to be used as eyeshadows, it means that the highlighter much more intense than any other drugstore highlighter I have used and it definitely rivals the formula of higher end highlighters. This would be the perfect product for anyone who was starting out with highlighting because you can really test out what shades suit you the most before committing to one shade of highlighter. The versatility also means you can use it with most makeup looks and all year round.

Secondly, this works quite well as a bronzer/contour product when applied with a light hand. Since this is very shimmery and warm you need to be careful using it as a contour, but it does work. It also works well as eyeshadows as the shades are quite pigmented and smooth to apply, but I think the bottom two rows do all look very similar when applied on the eyes. The one thing I don't think this works as is a blush as the pink isn't prominent enough.

Lastly, even though this does work phenomenally as a highlighter and it is pretty decent as a bronzer/eyeshadow palette, I really think the suggested way to use this palette is wrong. The squares are fine to use with an eyeshadow brush, but the rows are too thin to use with a blush, highlighter or bronzer brush. For this reason the theory of row 1 for highlighter, row 2 for blush and rows 3 and 4 for bronzer just doesn't work. The best way that I find to use the product is to pick it up on your brush in groups of 4 squares.

Overall I really think the Shimmer Strips is an outstanding highlighter (and would be even more amazing if they changed the packaging) and the bronzer is a decent matte bronzer. On both accounts I suggest picking them up on sale as they are in the higher price bracket for drugstore products. Hint hint - Priceline should be having their 40% off makeup sale in the second week of April so if you were thinking of picking these up then thats a great opportunity.



Follow

Special thanks to my assistant for keeping me company and repositioning the products when he was in a playful mood.

Note: some of these products were sent to me as a press sample. My review is based 100% on my own opinion

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Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips and Bronze Booster review and swatches

March 28, 2016

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Today we are talking about a couple of products from Physicians Formula and I have read many reviews about the Physicians Formula range but I honesty haven't tried too many of their products. I was sent the Physicians Formula Bronze Booster in Light to Medium and Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips All-In-1 Custom Nude Palette for Face in Warm Nude to test and spoiler alert - I love the Shimmer Strips so much that I also bought the Natural Nude version and they have seriously become my favourite drugstore highlighters ever! (I know, big claim).

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Let's start with some basics. You can buy Physicians Formula in store in Australia from Priceline or you can order them online at Priceline.com.au or iHerb.com. The Bronze Booster Glow-Booster Pressed Bronzer in Light to Medium retails in Australia for $29.95 for 9g of product and the Shimmer Strips All-In-1 Custom Nude Palette For Face And Eyes which retails for $24.95 for 7.5g.

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I quite like the packaging of the bronzer. It has a bronze metallic and orange translucent plastic design and the compact has a clip closure, a mirror in the lid and a brush under the pan. The Shimmer Strip packaging in comparison looks a lot bulkier and is a cardboard box that has a very girly boudoir/lingerie feel to it that isn't my style at all. The Shimmer Strips has a clear flimsy plastic window in the lid and the lid holds close with a magnet. There is a flap at the bottom which opens to show a mirror, more information about how to apply the product and a brush and foam eyeshadow applicator. This all seems a little clunky and has a tacky design. The Shimmer Strips would have benefitted from having packaging more like the bronzer.

Onto the formula...

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Let's start by talking about the bronzer. This is a matte bronzer that doesn't have any added fragrance. It is a lovely bronzer to apply with a soft fluffy brush to warm up the face, but since this is matte you could also use it as a soft contour. I say soft contour because if you build it up too much it can look a little orange and patchy, but lightly it looks really lovely. Since this is a light-medium bronzer it would work for people who have fair to medium skin tones and would be too light for deeper or tanned skin tones. I have definitely been reaching for this as my daily bronzer because with a fluffy brush it does apply quickly, evenly and adds a nice amount of colour and depth to the face. You can see a swatch later in the post.

IMG_3007

Onto my new love... the Shimmer Strips (and yes I have shortened the ridiculously long name). This is designed to be an eyeshadow palette, a highlighter, a blush and a bronzer in one. The guide says that the top layer can be used as a highlighter or a highlighting eyeshadow, the second row can be a blush or a all over the lid eyeshadow, the third row can be a defining eyeshadow or a bronzer and the fourth row can be a liner or a bronzer.


PicMonkey Photo

Above is a swatch of what the all of the Shimmer Strips palette looks like mixed together (in case thats how you wanted to apply it). You can see that it makes a really pretty almost nude beige shimmery highlight that reminds me a little of MAC Soft and Gentle. You can also see that the bronzer applies quite nicely on the skin, it applies evenly, is matte and adds some depth and warmth.

PicMonkey Photo


Above is a photo of all of the Shimmer Strips shades individually swatches. I have a lot of thoughts on the Shimmer Strips palette and I will try to make this as quick as possible.

Firstly, I love it as a highlighter! I think it makes for an amazing highlighter and you can get a variety of different shades from it. You can mimic most higher end highlighter shades - shimmery white, champagne, pinky coral, gold, bronze etc etc. As this is also designed to be used as eyeshadows, it means that the highlighter much more intense than any other drugstore highlighter I have used and it definitely rivals the formula of higher end highlighters. This would be the perfect product for anyone who was starting out with highlighting because you can really test out what shades suit you the most before committing to one shade of highlighter. The versatility also means you can use it with most makeup looks and all year round.

Secondly, this works quite well as a bronzer/contour product when applied with a light hand. Since this is very shimmery and warm you need to be careful using it as a contour, but it does work. It also works well as eyeshadows as the shades are quite pigmented and smooth to apply, but I think the bottom two rows do all look very similar when applied on the eyes. The one thing I don't think this works as is a blush as the pink isn't prominent enough.

Lastly, even though this does work phenomenally as a highlighter and it is pretty decent as a bronzer/eyeshadow palette, I really think the suggested way to use this palette is wrong. The squares are fine to use with an eyeshadow brush, but the rows are too thin to use with a blush, highlighter or bronzer brush. For this reason the theory of row 1 for highlighter, row 2 for blush and rows 3 and 4 for bronzer just doesn't work. The best way that I find to use the product is to pick it up on your brush in groups of 4 squares.

Overall I really think the Shimmer Strips is an outstanding highlighter (and would be even more amazing if they changed the packaging) and the bronzer is a decent matte bronzer. On both accounts I suggest picking them up on sale as they are in the higher price bracket for drugstore products. Hint hint - Priceline should be having their 40% off makeup sale in the second week of April so if you were thinking of picking these up then thats a great opportunity.



Follow

Special thanks to my assistant for keeping me company and repositioning the products when he was in a playful mood.

Note: some of these products were sent to me as a press sample. My review is based 100% on my own opinion

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Happy hump day!

Today I thought I would start my one brand tutorial series where I attempt to do a complete face look (well, as complete as possible) using only one brand. I thought I would start the series with Benefit Cosmetics.

I also did a tutorial/review video where you can see how the products apply and how to get this look.

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Benefit Cosmetics products used:
Triple Performing Facial Emulsion
It's Potent Eye Cream
The Porefessional Face Primer
Brow Zings Eyebrow Shaping Kit in Light
Instant Brow Eyebrow Pencil in Medium
High Brow Eyebrow Highlighter Pencil
Gimme Brow Eyebrow Gel in Medium/Deep
Fakeup Hydrating Under Eye Concealer in 02 Medium
Longwear Powder Shadow in Thanks A Latte
They're Real! Gel Eyeliner Pen in Beyond Blue
They're Real! Lengthening Mascara in Jet Black
Hoola Matte Bronzer
Majorette Cream Blush
Watt's Up! Cream Highlighter
Benetint Cheek & Lip Stain
Benebalm

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Out of all the products I have tried, my top 5 products are:
1. Watt's Up! Cream Highlighter
2. Longwear Powder Shadow in Thanks A Latte
3. The Porefessional Face Primer
4. Hoola Matte Bronzer
5. Majorette Cream Blush

What are your favourite products from Benefit Cosmetics?
 
You can buy Benefit in Australia in Myer or online at Adore Beauty or check out the Benefit website if you are from the US.
 
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Note: some of these products were sent to me as a press sample. My review is based 100% on my own opinion

One brand tutorial: BENEFIT COSMETICS

March 23, 2016

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Happy hump day!

Today I thought I would start my one brand tutorial series where I attempt to do a complete face look (well, as complete as possible) using only one brand. I thought I would start the series with Benefit Cosmetics.

I also did a tutorial/review video where you can see how the products apply and how to get this look.

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Benefit Cosmetics products used:
Triple Performing Facial Emulsion
It's Potent Eye Cream
The Porefessional Face Primer
Brow Zings Eyebrow Shaping Kit in Light
Instant Brow Eyebrow Pencil in Medium
High Brow Eyebrow Highlighter Pencil
Gimme Brow Eyebrow Gel in Medium/Deep
Fakeup Hydrating Under Eye Concealer in 02 Medium
Longwear Powder Shadow in Thanks A Latte
They're Real! Gel Eyeliner Pen in Beyond Blue
They're Real! Lengthening Mascara in Jet Black
Hoola Matte Bronzer
Majorette Cream Blush
Watt's Up! Cream Highlighter
Benetint Cheek & Lip Stain
Benebalm

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Out of all the products I have tried, my top 5 products are:
1. Watt's Up! Cream Highlighter
2. Longwear Powder Shadow in Thanks A Latte
3. The Porefessional Face Primer
4. Hoola Matte Bronzer
5. Majorette Cream Blush

What are your favourite products from Benefit Cosmetics?
 
You can buy Benefit in Australia in Myer or online at Adore Beauty or check out the Benefit website if you are from the US.
 
Follow

Note: some of these products were sent to me as a press sample. My review is based 100% on my own opinion
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This review has been hanging over my head for a few weeks now. Usually I get really excited to review new palettes, but after a few days wearing this palette my excitement died down very quickly. I am a fan of the Too Faced Chocolate Bar eye shadow palettes and had heard numerous YouTubers and bloggers say that this new addition to the range is the best one yet... spoiler alert - it's not!

This is the Too Faced Chocolate Bon Bons Palette which is the third in the range and all of the chocolate bar palettes are permanent releases. The chocolate bar palettes are available in Australia from Mecca Maxima stores or the Mecca website. This retails for $78 and contains a total of 18.8g of product (14 small eye shadows containing 1g each and two larger eye shadows containing 2.2g each). These eye shadows also contain cocoa so they have a soft chocolate scent (and taste - don't ask!).

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The packaging is very similar to the previous palettes. It has a thin metal tin packaging with a magnetic closure. The previous palettes were brown and looked like chocolate bars, but this one is coloured pink with a heart design (see comparisons later in the post). The inside of the palette also has an ok sized mirror and the names of each shade printed in gold below the pan.

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The Bon Bons palette also comes with a How-To Glamour Guide which gives three suggestions on looks that you can create with the palette.

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Before I go into more depth about the shades and what I think of the palette overall, I thought it is worth while comparing it to the Chocolate Bar and the Semi Sweet palettes. You can see that all palettes have 14 smaller shades and 2 larger highlight shades (the amount of product that each palette contains does vary from palette to palette). The main difference between the pans is that the Chocolate Bar and the Semi Sweet have rectangular pans but the Semi Sweet has heart shaped pans for the smaller shades.

When it comes to the shades in each palette there aren't any overlapping shades and there aren't too many that are so similar that it makes getting all palettes pointless. Sure, there are some shades that look similar but I was surprised at how different the shades in each palette actually are.

The Chocolate Bar palette (the first palette released) is quite a neutral palette in the sense that it doesn't lean too warm or too cool - it has a mix of very wearable basic shades and some pops of more interesting colour like a violet purple, a matte pink and a few burgundy shades.

The Semi Sweet palette is the warmest of the three palettes with burnt oranges and warm golds and probably contains some of the most basic shades of the three palettes - eg the typical matte black and basic browns. This also has a pop of colour which is a blue shade.

The Bon Bons palette is the most cool toned and colourful of the three. This has a lot of matte taupe grey shades, a shimmer silver taupe and has the most colours with a few pink shades, one grape purple shade and a deep teal.

If you have the other palettes and were wondering whether getting the Bon Bons palette will double up on too many shades - it won't. If you don't have any and were wondering which one of the three to get then it's best to look at the overall colours of the palette - do you prefer a more neutral eye shadow look (Chocolate Bar), a warmer look (Semi Sweet), or a cooler/pink toned eye look (Bon Bons)? I do still think that the original Chocolate Bar palette has the best formula because all the shades are consistently good quality, whereas the Semi Sweet and the Bon Bons have a lot of nice performing shades but there are a few duds. It is also worth noting that the original Chocolate Bar contains the most amount of product. Also the cocoa scent in the Bon Bons palette isn't as strong in the first two palettes.

Onto the shades in the Bon Bons palette...


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left to right: Almond Truffle, Satin Sheets, Sprinkles, Molasses Chip, Malted
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left to right: Cashew Chew, Cotton Candy, Cafe Au Lait, Bordeaux, Mocha, Blackcurrant
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left to right: Dark Truffle, Pecan Praline, Totally Fetch, Earl Grey, Divinity

All of the swatches above are one swipe of each shade without any primer underneath.

Top row:
Almond Truffle is one of my favourite shades in the palette. It is a rosy taupe matte and it reminds me of the shade Mauve in the Lorac Pro Palette. This is a great crease colour and I would have loved to see more variations of this type of shade in this palette (eg a shimmery version). This is a great way to introduce soft pinks into an eye look without needing to go over the top with unwearable bright pinks.
Satin Sheets is not a Bon Bons exclusive shade and has popped up in many of Too Faced's palettes. This is a highly pigmented and shimmery light pink highligh shade with a soft gold sheen to it.
Sprinkles is another shimmery pink shade (and not the last in the palette). This isn't as metallic and as light as Satin Sheets but is a soft pink with a gold shimmer.
Molasses Chip is one of the most wearable shades in the palette. It is a very shimmery metallic warm gold bronze. This looks more bronze in the pan but applies almost like a deep rose gold on the eyes. This has really great pigmentation and is one of the best performing shades in the palette.
Malted is a dark chocolate brown matte shade with specks of gold glitter. This shade doesn't perform very well and is less pigmented and much more patchy than the other shades from this row. This is also similar to other shades in the previous palette (which had a better formulas).

Middle row:
Cashew Chew is an interesting shade. This is a soft pinky nude with an almost cool undertone to it. This looks matte in the pan but actually has more of a satin finish with a slight silver sheen. This does apply nice and evenly but it is a very softly coloured shade which can give it the impression that it's not very pigmented.
Cotton Candy is a shimmery blue toned pink with almost a blue/silver sheen to it. Even though this shade is nicely pigmented, it's not a colour that will be flattering on most people... it's a very childish eye shadow colour.
Cafe Au Lait is a lovely shade. This is very nicely pigmented and is a taupe with a silvery metallic finish.
Bordeaux is a deep burnt red brown matte shade that is quite a unique and beautiful. The pigmentation could be a bit better but it blends nicely and you can easily build it up.
Mocha is a typical mid toned warm matte brown that works well as a crease colour, sadly the pigmentation and blendability with this shade is pretty poor.
Blackcurrant is a berry purple shade with a lot of purple and gold glitter. This is nicely pigmented but when blended out the glitter doesn't translate very well on the eye.

Bottom row:
Dark Truffle is a nicely pigmented deep warm chocolate brown shimmer shade.
Pecan Praline is a matte nude grey that has very poor pigmentation.
Totally Fetch is another shade that is taken from an existing Too Faced palette and I must admit that I hate this shade. It is a bright shimmery pink and it isn't even very pigmented. I can't see 99% of people using this shade and it is a waste of a eye shadow pan.
Early Grey is a deep teal shimmery shade with silver shimmer. This could be an amazing shade if it really packed a punch with the pigmentation but it's a little eh. This shade could create a nice smokey teal eye.
Divinity is a really lovely off white matte shade that has a slight shimmer to it. This a very versatile shade and it is very nicely pigmented and blendable.

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Overall you can see that the shades are a bit of a mixed bag, both in the quality of the shades and the colours of shades. The thing I hate the most about this palette is that it contains so many unwearable and unflattering pink shades. Sure, the Urban Decay Naked 3 is a pink themed palette but it uses rosy taupes and rose golds to make pink toned shades very wearable and flattering - there's no bright Barbie pinks in sight. I have no idea what Too Faced were doing when they picked the shades they for the Bon Bons palette.

I also really like using a mid toned bronze/gold/taupe all over my eye as the primary eye shadow colour and I challenged myself to use this palette without using Molasses Chip and it was a complete and utter struggle. This palette has some nice mattes, crease colours and highlight shades but it is really lacking wearable all over the lid shades - there is a bronze (beautiful), a few bright pinks (yuck), a deep teal (not every day wearable) and a shimmery purple (eh). I would have loved to see all the bright pinks changed to shimmery rosy taupes and cool toned taupes to fit in with the cool shadow theme but make it a lot more wearable.

I don't mind this palette as an accompanying palette, but I hate it as a stand alone palette. To be honest the only reason I haven't returned this palette is because I wanted to complete the collection. I don't recommend this palette unless you like bright pink eye shadows paired with greige matte crease colours (or unless you are a collector like me!).

Too Faced Chocolate Bon Bons Palette - review & swatches

March 21, 2016

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This review has been hanging over my head for a few weeks now. Usually I get really excited to review new palettes, but after a few days wearing this palette my excitement died down very quickly. I am a fan of the Too Faced Chocolate Bar eye shadow palettes and had heard numerous YouTubers and bloggers say that this new addition to the range is the best one yet... spoiler alert - it's not!

This is the Too Faced Chocolate Bon Bons Palette which is the third in the range and all of the chocolate bar palettes are permanent releases. The chocolate bar palettes are available in Australia from Mecca Maxima stores or the Mecca website. This retails for $78 and contains a total of 18.8g of product (14 small eye shadows containing 1g each and two larger eye shadows containing 2.2g each). These eye shadows also contain cocoa so they have a soft chocolate scent (and taste - don't ask!).

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The packaging is very similar to the previous palettes. It has a thin metal tin packaging with a magnetic closure. The previous palettes were brown and looked like chocolate bars, but this one is coloured pink with a heart design (see comparisons later in the post). The inside of the palette also has an ok sized mirror and the names of each shade printed in gold below the pan.

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The Bon Bons palette also comes with a How-To Glamour Guide which gives three suggestions on looks that you can create with the palette.

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Before I go into more depth about the shades and what I think of the palette overall, I thought it is worth while comparing it to the Chocolate Bar and the Semi Sweet palettes. You can see that all palettes have 14 smaller shades and 2 larger highlight shades (the amount of product that each palette contains does vary from palette to palette). The main difference between the pans is that the Chocolate Bar and the Semi Sweet have rectangular pans but the Semi Sweet has heart shaped pans for the smaller shades.

When it comes to the shades in each palette there aren't any overlapping shades and there aren't too many that are so similar that it makes getting all palettes pointless. Sure, there are some shades that look similar but I was surprised at how different the shades in each palette actually are.

The Chocolate Bar palette (the first palette released) is quite a neutral palette in the sense that it doesn't lean too warm or too cool - it has a mix of very wearable basic shades and some pops of more interesting colour like a violet purple, a matte pink and a few burgundy shades.

The Semi Sweet palette is the warmest of the three palettes with burnt oranges and warm golds and probably contains some of the most basic shades of the three palettes - eg the typical matte black and basic browns. This also has a pop of colour which is a blue shade.

The Bon Bons palette is the most cool toned and colourful of the three. This has a lot of matte taupe grey shades, a shimmer silver taupe and has the most colours with a few pink shades, one grape purple shade and a deep teal.

If you have the other palettes and were wondering whether getting the Bon Bons palette will double up on too many shades - it won't. If you don't have any and were wondering which one of the three to get then it's best to look at the overall colours of the palette - do you prefer a more neutral eye shadow look (Chocolate Bar), a warmer look (Semi Sweet), or a cooler/pink toned eye look (Bon Bons)? I do still think that the original Chocolate Bar palette has the best formula because all the shades are consistently good quality, whereas the Semi Sweet and the Bon Bons have a lot of nice performing shades but there are a few duds. It is also worth noting that the original Chocolate Bar contains the most amount of product. Also the cocoa scent in the Bon Bons palette isn't as strong in the first two palettes.

Onto the shades in the Bon Bons palette...


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left to right: Almond Truffle, Satin Sheets, Sprinkles, Molasses Chip, Malted
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left to right: Cashew Chew, Cotton Candy, Cafe Au Lait, Bordeaux, Mocha, Blackcurrant
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left to right: Dark Truffle, Pecan Praline, Totally Fetch, Earl Grey, Divinity

All of the swatches above are one swipe of each shade without any primer underneath.

Top row:
Almond Truffle is one of my favourite shades in the palette. It is a rosy taupe matte and it reminds me of the shade Mauve in the Lorac Pro Palette. This is a great crease colour and I would have loved to see more variations of this type of shade in this palette (eg a shimmery version). This is a great way to introduce soft pinks into an eye look without needing to go over the top with unwearable bright pinks.
Satin Sheets is not a Bon Bons exclusive shade and has popped up in many of Too Faced's palettes. This is a highly pigmented and shimmery light pink highligh shade with a soft gold sheen to it.
Sprinkles is another shimmery pink shade (and not the last in the palette). This isn't as metallic and as light as Satin Sheets but is a soft pink with a gold shimmer.
Molasses Chip is one of the most wearable shades in the palette. It is a very shimmery metallic warm gold bronze. This looks more bronze in the pan but applies almost like a deep rose gold on the eyes. This has really great pigmentation and is one of the best performing shades in the palette.
Malted is a dark chocolate brown matte shade with specks of gold glitter. This shade doesn't perform very well and is less pigmented and much more patchy than the other shades from this row. This is also similar to other shades in the previous palette (which had a better formulas).

Middle row:
Cashew Chew is an interesting shade. This is a soft pinky nude with an almost cool undertone to it. This looks matte in the pan but actually has more of a satin finish with a slight silver sheen. This does apply nice and evenly but it is a very softly coloured shade which can give it the impression that it's not very pigmented.
Cotton Candy is a shimmery blue toned pink with almost a blue/silver sheen to it. Even though this shade is nicely pigmented, it's not a colour that will be flattering on most people... it's a very childish eye shadow colour.
Cafe Au Lait is a lovely shade. This is very nicely pigmented and is a taupe with a silvery metallic finish.
Bordeaux is a deep burnt red brown matte shade that is quite a unique and beautiful. The pigmentation could be a bit better but it blends nicely and you can easily build it up.
Mocha is a typical mid toned warm matte brown that works well as a crease colour, sadly the pigmentation and blendability with this shade is pretty poor.
Blackcurrant is a berry purple shade with a lot of purple and gold glitter. This is nicely pigmented but when blended out the glitter doesn't translate very well on the eye.

Bottom row:
Dark Truffle is a nicely pigmented deep warm chocolate brown shimmer shade.
Pecan Praline is a matte nude grey that has very poor pigmentation.
Totally Fetch is another shade that is taken from an existing Too Faced palette and I must admit that I hate this shade. It is a bright shimmery pink and it isn't even very pigmented. I can't see 99% of people using this shade and it is a waste of a eye shadow pan.
Early Grey is a deep teal shimmery shade with silver shimmer. This could be an amazing shade if it really packed a punch with the pigmentation but it's a little eh. This shade could create a nice smokey teal eye.
Divinity is a really lovely off white matte shade that has a slight shimmer to it. This a very versatile shade and it is very nicely pigmented and blendable.

PicMonkey Collagetoo facec

Overall you can see that the shades are a bit of a mixed bag, both in the quality of the shades and the colours of shades. The thing I hate the most about this palette is that it contains so many unwearable and unflattering pink shades. Sure, the Urban Decay Naked 3 is a pink themed palette but it uses rosy taupes and rose golds to make pink toned shades very wearable and flattering - there's no bright Barbie pinks in sight. I have no idea what Too Faced were doing when they picked the shades they for the Bon Bons palette.

I also really like using a mid toned bronze/gold/taupe all over my eye as the primary eye shadow colour and I challenged myself to use this palette without using Molasses Chip and it was a complete and utter struggle. This palette has some nice mattes, crease colours and highlight shades but it is really lacking wearable all over the lid shades - there is a bronze (beautiful), a few bright pinks (yuck), a deep teal (not every day wearable) and a shimmery purple (eh). I would have loved to see all the bright pinks changed to shimmery rosy taupes and cool toned taupes to fit in with the cool shadow theme but make it a lot more wearable.

I don't mind this palette as an accompanying palette, but I hate it as a stand alone palette. To be honest the only reason I haven't returned this palette is because I wanted to complete the collection. I don't recommend this palette unless you like bright pink eye shadows paired with greige matte crease colours (or unless you are a collector like me!).

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One annoying thing about being an oily skinned adult (besides makeup break down during the day - don't even get me started on that!) is that I'm turning 30 in May yet I still have to deal with the occasional break out! One skincare range that I have been really liking is the Clear Start range from Dermalogica. I first heard about this range from a few high profile YouTubers who are a similar age and similar skin type as me and I knew I had to try it.

This range is designed for teens and young adults so it is surprisingly affordable. Sure, I am getting out of the young adult bracket, buuuut I like this range so I will continue to use it! What I like most about this range is that it is effective but also gentle. I remember when I was in high school all of the skin clearing products were harsh and very stripping and damaging to the skin. This is the worst thing to do to oily skin because it makes your skin over produce oil as a response to the stripping and it makes the whole problem worse!

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The Dermalogica Clear Start Breakout Clearing Overnight Treatment ($24.50 for 60ml) is an lotion that I use as a night moisturiser when I am having a bad skin week. If you have very dry or dehydrated skin then you may wish to apply a moisturiser over the top, but for me this provides enough moisture. The overnight treatment contains salicylic acid that helps unclog your pores, cucumber and licorice to reduce redness and tea tree and lavender which helps control overactive oil production. This sounds like it would be harsh on your skin but it is amazingly gentle and just feels like you are applying a light moisturiser - the only thing worth noting is that it does have a strong tea tree/lavender/licorice scent which does fade shortly after application.

The Dermalogica Clear Start Skin Soothing Hydrating Lotion ($29 for 60ml) is a newer addition to the Clear Start range and is a great follow up product to the night treatment (or in conjunction with the night treatment if you find that you need more hydration). This is a very light lotion that contains ginger, orange and grapefruit that helps soothe the skin and Hyaluronic Acid which helps hydrate the skin. People often forget that healing and hydration is a very important part of treating problem skin. This has a beautiful soft citrus scent and its a joy to apply.

You can find Dermalogica in store at David Jones and Endota Spa or you can buy it online at the Dermalogica website (where you can also search for your closest store).
 
Have you tried any Dermalogica skincare? What is your favourite product?
 

Note: one of these products was sent to me as a press sample. My review is based 100% on my own opinion

A clear start with Dermalogica

March 16, 2016

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One annoying thing about being an oily skinned adult (besides makeup break down during the day - don't even get me started on that!) is that I'm turning 30 in May yet I still have to deal with the occasional break out! One skincare range that I have been really liking is the Clear Start range from Dermalogica. I first heard about this range from a few high profile YouTubers who are a similar age and similar skin type as me and I knew I had to try it.

This range is designed for teens and young adults so it is surprisingly affordable. Sure, I am getting out of the young adult bracket, buuuut I like this range so I will continue to use it! What I like most about this range is that it is effective but also gentle. I remember when I was in high school all of the skin clearing products were harsh and very stripping and damaging to the skin. This is the worst thing to do to oily skin because it makes your skin over produce oil as a response to the stripping and it makes the whole problem worse!

IMG_1993

The Dermalogica Clear Start Breakout Clearing Overnight Treatment ($24.50 for 60ml) is an lotion that I use as a night moisturiser when I am having a bad skin week. If you have very dry or dehydrated skin then you may wish to apply a moisturiser over the top, but for me this provides enough moisture. The overnight treatment contains salicylic acid that helps unclog your pores, cucumber and licorice to reduce redness and tea tree and lavender which helps control overactive oil production. This sounds like it would be harsh on your skin but it is amazingly gentle and just feels like you are applying a light moisturiser - the only thing worth noting is that it does have a strong tea tree/lavender/licorice scent which does fade shortly after application.

The Dermalogica Clear Start Skin Soothing Hydrating Lotion ($29 for 60ml) is a newer addition to the Clear Start range and is a great follow up product to the night treatment (or in conjunction with the night treatment if you find that you need more hydration). This is a very light lotion that contains ginger, orange and grapefruit that helps soothe the skin and Hyaluronic Acid which helps hydrate the skin. People often forget that healing and hydration is a very important part of treating problem skin. This has a beautiful soft citrus scent and its a joy to apply.

You can find Dermalogica in store at David Jones and Endota Spa or you can buy it online at the Dermalogica website (where you can also search for your closest store).
 
Have you tried any Dermalogica skincare? What is your favourite product?
 

Note: one of these products was sent to me as a press sample. My review is based 100% on my own opinion
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A couple of weeks ago the second instalment of the Urban Decay x Gwen Stefani collaboration hit Australian shores. The first release was the eye shadow palette (see my full review here) and the second release contained lip liners, lipsticks, a brow box and a blush palette. These are all limited edition released and you can find them in store at Mecca Maxima or on the Mecca website.

This review is of the Urban Decay Gwen Stefani Blush Palette which retails in Australia for $82 ($45 in the US) and contains 16.8g of product. Even though this has 6 shades in the palette, it is roughly the equivalent to the amount of 2 and a half single Urban Decay blushes (which retail in Australia for $42 each) so the value is pretty good but you aren't getting a phenomenal deal where you get amount of six single blushes in this palette. I would mainly recommend checking out this palette if you like having blushes in a palette form (or you like the packaging), if you like the limited edition shades, or if you like Gwen Stefani... otherwise it's a decent value for money, but it's not good enough value for me to tell everyone to run out and spend $82 on it.

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The box that this comes in has a black and reflective gold line pattern with red and white polka dots on the inside. It also has photos of the pans and the shade names on the back. This looks very similar to the box of the eye shadow palette, except the eye shadow palette box design was gold and white.

I do want to quickly mention that as a blogger one of my pet peeves is reflective packaging. It is so hard to photograph as it makes everything else darker. So if these photos aren't very bright, that's why.

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The actual packaging of the palette is white plastic with gold detailing. This is a very similar design as the eye shadow palette which instead is mainly gold with white and black detailing. I love that these look the same but have different colours, they make for great collectors items and they are easy to tell the difference between without having to open them up.

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Inside the palette there is a large mirror with the phrase "magic's in the makeup" printed in the corner. Just like the eye shadow palette, the blush pans are set in shiny black plastic and the shade names are printed above each pan in bright pink lettering.

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Cherry - soft blue toned pink blush with a satin finish
Easy - deep rose blush with gold glitter
Angel - champagne nude shimmery highlight
Lo Fi - light warm toned matte bronzer
Hush - very shimmery peachy pink blush/deep highlighter
OC - very unique orange blush with a duo-chrome pink flash.

Overall I quite like this palette, but I can understand why it won't be for everyone. The shades are all very pigmented but some shades are soft in colour, so some people may perceive this as being badly pigmented but it just means that it will suit people with lighter skin tones and may not show up on medium or deeper skin tones. The formula also tends to be a bit powdery which means that if you aren't careful you can kick up a lot of powder in the pan. When it comes to blushes, I prefer a powdery formula over a firm formula because it means it blends nicer on the skin and applies more evenly and lightly.

This palette does contain a wide range of blush finishes from a highly a shimmery blush, a duo-chrome blush, a satin finish blush and a blush with glitter in it. I personally would have loved to see the matte bronzer switched out for a nude matte blush just to ground this palette a little since it is overall very pink and shimmery. I did find the bronzer surprisingly wearable as both a bronzer and a contour (I originally thought it looked too orange in the pan) and it would suit light skin toned people who want to warm up their complexion (it is way too light for medium to deep skin tones). My only reason why I would prefer this not to be in the palette is because if you used this palette on a daily basis you would use up the bronzer in a couple of months (you use bronzer on more areas of the face and because it's soft in both colour and texture so you may need to use a heavy hand) and the idea of having a limited edition blush palette with one shade completely used up when the other shades are barely used just drives me insane! I would prefer to have seen a nude matte blush in it's place and the bronzer be sold as an individual item.

So I guess what I am saying is that I like this palette, but I will only recommend it to people who love the look of the shades and have fair to light-medium skin tones. If you have medium or darker skin tones then most of these shades will barely show up on you.

If you do have fairer skin and you do like the look of this palette, I recommend getting this palette for one reason and one reason alone... the shade OC is magical witchcraft!

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I encourage anyone considering getting this palette to go swatch the shade OC in store because the amazingness of this shade can't be captured on camera. It has a very yellow toned orange base but has the most amazing pink shimmer which gives it a duo-chrome effect. The awesome thing about this blush is that it gives the cheeks a peachy orange flush but when the light hits your face it looks pink. I love the look of pink highlighters and this is a blush and highlighter product in one. I have not come across any blush like this, but I want to see more! This is a limited edition shade so if you are a blush lover then do yourself a favour and swatch this shade just for the wow factor!

So that's it! This palette isn't amazing value - but it's decent value, the shades are lovely - but aren't very universal. If this peaks your interest I do suggest checking out it, but it won't be everyone's cup of tea.

What are your thoughts on this palette?
 

Urban Decay x Gwen Stefani Blush Palette - review & swatches

March 15, 2016

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A couple of weeks ago the second instalment of the Urban Decay x Gwen Stefani collaboration hit Australian shores. The first release was the eye shadow palette (see my full review here) and the second release contained lip liners, lipsticks, a brow box and a blush palette. These are all limited edition released and you can find them in store at Mecca Maxima or on the Mecca website.

This review is of the Urban Decay Gwen Stefani Blush Palette which retails in Australia for $82 ($45 in the US) and contains 16.8g of product. Even though this has 6 shades in the palette, it is roughly the equivalent to the amount of 2 and a half single Urban Decay blushes (which retail in Australia for $42 each) so the value is pretty good but you aren't getting a phenomenal deal where you get amount of six single blushes in this palette. I would mainly recommend checking out this palette if you like having blushes in a palette form (or you like the packaging), if you like the limited edition shades, or if you like Gwen Stefani... otherwise it's a decent value for money, but it's not good enough value for me to tell everyone to run out and spend $82 on it.

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The box that this comes in has a black and reflective gold line pattern with red and white polka dots on the inside. It also has photos of the pans and the shade names on the back. This looks very similar to the box of the eye shadow palette, except the eye shadow palette box design was gold and white.

I do want to quickly mention that as a blogger one of my pet peeves is reflective packaging. It is so hard to photograph as it makes everything else darker. So if these photos aren't very bright, that's why.

IMG_3009
IMG_3015
IMG_3022

The actual packaging of the palette is white plastic with gold detailing. This is a very similar design as the eye shadow palette which instead is mainly gold with white and black detailing. I love that these look the same but have different colours, they make for great collectors items and they are easy to tell the difference between without having to open them up.

IMG_3032
IMG_3028
IMG_3046

Inside the palette there is a large mirror with the phrase "magic's in the makeup" printed in the corner. Just like the eye shadow palette, the blush pans are set in shiny black plastic and the shade names are printed above each pan in bright pink lettering.

IMG_3044
IMG_3052

Cherry - soft blue toned pink blush with a satin finish
Easy - deep rose blush with gold glitter
Angel - champagne nude shimmery highlight
Lo Fi - light warm toned matte bronzer
Hush - very shimmery peachy pink blush/deep highlighter
OC - very unique orange blush with a duo-chrome pink flash.

Overall I quite like this palette, but I can understand why it won't be for everyone. The shades are all very pigmented but some shades are soft in colour, so some people may perceive this as being badly pigmented but it just means that it will suit people with lighter skin tones and may not show up on medium or deeper skin tones. The formula also tends to be a bit powdery which means that if you aren't careful you can kick up a lot of powder in the pan. When it comes to blushes, I prefer a powdery formula over a firm formula because it means it blends nicer on the skin and applies more evenly and lightly.

This palette does contain a wide range of blush finishes from a highly a shimmery blush, a duo-chrome blush, a satin finish blush and a blush with glitter in it. I personally would have loved to see the matte bronzer switched out for a nude matte blush just to ground this palette a little since it is overall very pink and shimmery. I did find the bronzer surprisingly wearable as both a bronzer and a contour (I originally thought it looked too orange in the pan) and it would suit light skin toned people who want to warm up their complexion (it is way too light for medium to deep skin tones). My only reason why I would prefer this not to be in the palette is because if you used this palette on a daily basis you would use up the bronzer in a couple of months (you use bronzer on more areas of the face and because it's soft in both colour and texture so you may need to use a heavy hand) and the idea of having a limited edition blush palette with one shade completely used up when the other shades are barely used just drives me insane! I would prefer to have seen a nude matte blush in it's place and the bronzer be sold as an individual item.

So I guess what I am saying is that I like this palette, but I will only recommend it to people who love the look of the shades and have fair to light-medium skin tones. If you have medium or darker skin tones then most of these shades will barely show up on you.

If you do have fairer skin and you do like the look of this palette, I recommend getting this palette for one reason and one reason alone... the shade OC is magical witchcraft!

IMG_3097

I encourage anyone considering getting this palette to go swatch the shade OC in store because the amazingness of this shade can't be captured on camera. It has a very yellow toned orange base but has the most amazing pink shimmer which gives it a duo-chrome effect. The awesome thing about this blush is that it gives the cheeks a peachy orange flush but when the light hits your face it looks pink. I love the look of pink highlighters and this is a blush and highlighter product in one. I have not come across any blush like this, but I want to see more! This is a limited edition shade so if you are a blush lover then do yourself a favour and swatch this shade just for the wow factor!

So that's it! This palette isn't amazing value - but it's decent value, the shades are lovely - but aren't very universal. If this peaks your interest I do suggest checking out it, but it won't be everyone's cup of tea.

What are your thoughts on this palette?
 
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It's that time of the month where Hailey and I discuss new gossip and releases in the beauty industry.
You can find the photos shown in the video below!


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BEAUTY NEWS March 2016

March 10, 2016

march thumbnail

It's that time of the month where Hailey and I discuss new gossip and releases in the beauty industry.
You can find the photos shown in the video below!


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