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My Experiment in Bleaching my Brows

I coloured my hair last week and went a few shades lighter and had some blonde(ish) highlights put through. I love the lighter look and the warmer tone of my hair but decided that my dark brows needed a bit of lightening up as well. Being a beauty addict, I naturally assumed that a different shade of brow product would get me the look I was after but an hour or two in the makeup department proved me wrong. Turns out my dark brows were too much of a match for any brow product to make a dint so I’d have to lighten them chemically instead.


I did some research and finally came across this post by Nikki from Curly Nikki and decided to take the plunge. I’ve never used bleach before so I was a bit nervous and kept having visions of me with burned off brows, blonde brows or chemically burned skin! Considering how worried I was, I should have actually taken the time to do the patch test but impatience is one of my flaws. If you decide to try this, definitely do the patch test first because you don’t want any reactions on somewhere as visible as your face.


I headed off to Priceline and picked up the Julienne Sensitive Creme Bleach Set for Face and Body ($11.99) but not before checking to make sure the store also stocked brow tinting products should the whole experience go horribly wrong. I headed back home with the sales assistant wishing me luck and hoping she didn’t see me back the next day to correct a bleaching fail. The package came with a tub of creme bleach, a container of powder activator and a plastic spatula. The only thing you need is a plastic palette or container to make the mixture up in.


The process was really easy and just involved mixing one spatula full of creme with 1/2 a spatula full of the powder activator. The only issue I had was that the packaging of the powder activator was poorly made and hard to open so I ended up with it all over the bathroom sink. After mixing the mixture together, it was a just a matter of trying to manoeuvre the mixture on to my brows (which I’d washed with cold water and patted dry first) without getting it on to my skin and eyes.


I was so terrified of walking away with blond brows that I only left the bleach on for 5 minutes the first time round. This had little to no effect on my brows so I reapplied the mixture for a further 20 minutes while checking the colour every few minutes. I underestimated how thick and dark my brow hairs are so, even with the 25 minutes of bleach, the change is very subtle. The picture above is of my brows pre-bleach and below is post-bleach. If you look carefully you can see that a bit of the weight has been taken out of my brows  and that they’ve gone from a cooler black to a dark warmer toned brown. By the way, I apologise for my unruly brows but I’m favouring a much more natural look at the moment.


I really love the change in shade but it means that my usual brow products were too dark and cool toned. I swatched three of my usual product on the left and three of my new products on the right so you could better see the change. From left to right- MAC Spiked brow crayon (I usually use Stud but had run out), Benefit Gimme Brow in Medium/Deep, Hourglass Brow Sculpting Pencil in Dark Brunette (this is holy grail stuff!), Maybelline Master Shape in Soft Brown, Maybelline Brow Drama Sculpting Brow Mascara in Medium Brown (loving these Maybelline products!) and MAC Veluxe Brow Liner in Redhead (which in hind sight I shouldn’t have bought).


You might have been looking at the ‘before and after’ brow photos above and wondered whether there was actually a change or whether I’ve just convinced myself there is so I put together this full face ‘before and after’. My brows have product in them in both photos and I think the difference in shade is much more noticeable here. The change is subtle but I think it definitely softens my face and works better with the tone of my hair. I’m planning on going a little bit lighter when I head back to the hairdresser in a few weeks so don’t be surprised if the brows do too!


Have you ever lightened your brows? How did your experience go?

~Blush FOTD~ Antipodean Beauties Challenge


I love when I decide to photograph a look and then, by some good fortune, it ends up working perfectly for one of these Antipodean Beauties challenges! This look is one I tried a few days ago and the inspiration is makeup that I saw a makeup artist from Mecca wearing a few months ago. I noticed how amazing the vibrant orange shade was that she had on her lids and when I asked her about it, she said that she was wearing NARS Taj Mahal blush.


I love Taj Mahal as a blush and and it’s one of my ‘brown girl staples’ but I always forget that it can be super pretty on the eyes. The last time I used it as an eyeshadow was back in 2011 when I was travelling in Sri Lanka and had very minimal makeup with me so I had to improvise with what I did bring. I used it in the eye look below and, if you’re interested in what I used, you can check out the original post by clicking here.


I decided to try out a ‘blush only’ eye look and used NARS Blushes in Taj Mahal, Gina and Albatross and Chanel Joues Contraste Powder Blush in Brume d’Or. Now I should add a disclaimer here that, while I use blushes as eye shadows, many blushes are not considered ‘eye safe’. This is because they may contain red pigments and dyes which aren’t made for use around the sensitive eye area. I tend to keep pink and red toned blushes on the lid only and keep them away from the waterline and haven’t had any issues. If you have very sensitive eyes though, you might want to take more care.


clockwise from top left: Chanel Brume d’Or, NARS Taj Mahal, Gina and Albatross.

To get the look below I used:

  • NARS Taj Mahal on the lid
  • NARS Gina on the inner lid
  • Chanel Brume d’Or to blend out the crease
  • NARS Albatross as an inner corner highlight
  • Stila All Day Waterproof Liquid liner in black on the top lashline
  • YSL Faux Cils Mascara on the lashes





I applied a combination of NARS Taj Mahal and Gina to the cheeks as well to tie the look together.



I finished up the look by applying Natio Smoothie Lip Colour Crayon in Hazel to my lips. I wish I’d gone with something more orange or peach toned and actually ended up changing out the lips later for Lanolips Ointment with Colour in Rhubarb.


What blush would you use as eyeshadow?

2013 Favourites- Eyes & Brows

I’m working my way through these favourites posts a lot slower than I’d expected but there’s only one more to go after this one. Today I’m looking at my favourite products for the eye and brow area so let’s get into it.

Favourite Eyebrow Definer- MAC Brow Crayon in Stud

I’ve been using the MAC Brow Crayon for years because it’s easy to buy, relatively cheap and the shade Stud is the perfect dark cool brown for my colouring.  I’ve tried brow markers, pens, pencils and gel products in the past but this is the one that I keep going back to. It’s just really easy to use and if I get a little carried away with it and over apply, I just brush through my brows quickly with a spoolie brush and it’s fine.

Favourite Eyebrow Gel- Laura Mercier Eye Brow Gel

I did a bit of a mini rave about Laura Mercier Products in my last favourites posts so it’s not going to surprise you that I’ve got another one of her products in this post. I used to favour coloured brow gels but have stuck to clear brow gels since discovering this one. I like it because it goes on well without getting that dry, crunchy texture that some brow gels have and it keeps my brows in place all day. If you’re like me and have brow hairs that grow in every direction, you need this in your life.


Favourite Eyeshadow Primer- NARS Smudgeproof Base

I was a die hard Urban Decay Primer Potion fan but I started to get a rash from it (still haven’t worked out why, maybe a silicone allergy?) so I switched to the Too Faced Shadow Insurance primer. I loved that but the product kept separating which I found really frustrating. I’d heard lots of rave reviews about the NARS one so I decided to give it a go and haven’t looked back since. This primer lets me do what the others couldn’t and that’s using shadow or concealer directly on top of it and have no creasing even after a really hot day. I must have really oily lids because with the other two the only way I could avoid any creasing at all was if I put primer down first, a paint pot on top of that and then the eyeshadow. My eyelids have also stopped reacting so whatever is in here is working really well for me.

Favourite Mascara- Loreal Voluminous Mascara in Carbon Black

I used to use this mascara for years but stopped to go see what else was out there but I came back to it in a big way this last year. I love everything about this product and the way it lengthens and thickens my lashes. It also holds a curl really well and I like it just as much with dramatic eye makeup as I do with a very bare eye look.

Favourite Liquid Eyeliner- Stila Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner in Black

This liquid liner by Stila has become my favourite because it’s very black and long lasting which is a necessity for me since my lids are so oily. I also really like the brush and the product comes out really easily and gives a lovely smooth line.


Favourite Eyeshadow Palette- Stila ‘In the Light’ palette

Stila has been one of my stand out brands in 2013 because their products have been really high quality with great colour choices and the prices are also quite reasonable. I have a lot of palettes but the ‘In the Light’ palette has been a constant go-to for every day looks because the colours just work well together. You can tell from the picture above that Bubbly, the gold shade, has been my most used but you’ll find  that the gold shade is always the first to go in any palette I own. What can I say, I love me some gold lids!


Swatched above from left to right is the top row of the palette: Bare, Kitten, Bliss, Sunset and Sandstone. The other two shades I use the most are Kitten for an inner corner highlight and Sandstone to blend out the crease. I also mix in a little Bliss with the Sandstone if I want something a little more subtle in the crease. Sunset is also really pretty on the lid and it’s the shade I wish I’d remember to use more.


Swatched above from left to right is the bottom row of the palette: Bubbly, Gilded Gold, Luster, Night Sky and Ebony. Gilded Gold is probably the most disappointing shade in the palette because it’s not very pigmented, has a lot of fallout and just seems unnecessary. The palette would have been better if this shade had been replaced with a mid-tone taupe that could be used on the lid. I don’t tend to use this row much, apart from the gold shade, because I like more brown toned neutral looks. The last three shades are perfect for a cooler toned smokey eye look though.

Have you tried any of the products in this post? What are some of your favourites in this category?

Eyebrow fix ups: Tips on filling in your brows

I don’t know about you but I always seem to fall victim to over plucking whenever I attempt to shape my brows. I always tell myself that all I’m going to do is tidy them up but then I just keep going until I’m left with this overly thin/shapeless line on my face! I then have to wait for weeks for them to grow out and dread stepping out in public in the mean time! Well that was until I discoverd the wonders of filling in my brows.

I’d always associated filling in brows with older women because I’d grown up seeing these drawn on brows on people my mum’s age but I’ve realised now that those were just the women who didn’t know how to fill in properly. Brows that are filled in properly should just look like your natural brows but better. If you’re a fan of the ‘no makeup’ makeup look or just simply want to ride out a bad eyebrow shape then filling in your brows is a great way to enhance your natural beauty and fill in any mishaps. Read on for a before and after and some brow filling in tips.

For the sake of the blog and to help those of you out there who have the same problem I do I’ve decided to suck it up and post a picture of my bare brows in all their un-shaped glory. I’m also including the after filling picture right after it so you can see the difference it makes. Enjoy!

I apologise for the uneven skin but my face was sans makeup except for the brows. Even filled in my brows aren’t that great but hopefully you can tell the difference because that would suck otherwise!

Here’s what I used to fill in my brows:
Laura Mercier Brow Definer in ‘Warm’
Smashbox Brow Tech Quad
MAC Brow Set in ‘Mink’
Sigma SS266 brush

What I usually do is take my Sigma brush and dip it in my Laura Mercier brow definer and use short little hair like lines to fill in where my brows are especially sparse. I then take my Smashbox Brow Tech quad and use the supplied brush to get some of the first shade and some of the third shade to fill in the rest of my brow using short little lines. I finish off by using my Mac Brow set and brushing it through my brows to keep them in place. I always make sure to wipe off the brush applicator against the side of the tbe opening so that there’s only a little bit of product on the brush when I use it or else my brow hairs stick together.

From my various experiences of trial and error when filling in my brows, these are the best tips that I can give you:

1. Use the right colour!
People always mistakenly assume that if you have black eyebrows that you should use black coloured products to fill them in but that’s a big no-no. I’ve discovered that the best shades that work for my brows are dark browns with an ashy undertone. If I use colours that are too warmed tone then they tend to stick out and look fake.

2. Always use short hair like lines when filling in.
People sometimes use one continuous line to fill in their brows but your brows are made up of lots of short hairs so try to keep that pattern when filling in.

3. Don’t fill the start of your brows too much
Our brows are usually a lot sparser where they begin and then get darker towards the middle. If you fill your brows in too much at the start then you run the risk of making them look fake and have them be unflattering to your face.

4. Always fill in your brows while looking at your whole face in the mirror.
It’s so easy to fill your brows in perfectly by using a magnifying mirror but then go and look in a normal mirror and see that your brows just don’t work with your whole face. Your brows are meant to help frame your eyes and compliment your face so always make sure you’re looking at your whole face when doing them. That way you can tell if they look too dark/thick or uneven when compared with your other brow.

The final thing I want to say is that when you first start to fill your brows in you’ll feel like they look too dark or overdone but you honestly get used to it. Your brows are the part of your face that most people are least used to seeing colour on so even a subtle difference seems alot bigger than it actually is. As with all makeup application, just start off light and apply more if needed and soon you’ll begin to wonder how you ever went without filling in your brows!