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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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?

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Ah-mazing lashes with Napoleon Perdis Ah-Mazing lashes mascara!

I picked up the January 2013 issue of Instyle magazine a little while ago which came with a free Napoleon Perdis mascara. It’s called the Ah-mazing Lash mascara and it is ah-mazing! I wasn’t expecting much when I tried this mascara but it gives the most gorgeous lash effect!

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The trick seems to lie in the unique shape of the brush. It’s a long skinny wand which has a club shaped head. I don’t know what it is about the shape but it lifts and lengthens my lashes like no other mascara I’ve tried in a very long time! I find myself skipping liner since I’ve been using this mascara as I’m getting the definition I need with this alone. The formula is very smooth and long lasting and the shade is very intense.

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Here’s a before and after:

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Here’s a picture with me wearing the Napoleon mascara on the left and another mascara on the right. I can’t remember the mascara used in the picture on the right but it shows the dramatic difference this mascara has on my lashes compared to the effect I get from most mascaras.

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If you get a chance and you live in Oz, definitely go pick up the January issue of Instyle while you can so you can get your hands on this mascara. I went on to the Napoleon Perdis website to find out how much this sells for but I couldn’t find it. The magazine insert said it was limited edition and I don’t know what that means for repurchasing purposes but I’m determined to get to the bottom of it! Please leave me a comment if you know if and where this mascara is available for purchase.

Mascara Showdown: Loreal Telescopic Explosion vs Givenchy Phenomen’eyes Effet Extension

I’m sure you’ve all seen the new(ish) wave of mascaras the ball type brush heads. I was really curious about how they’d perform so I purchased the Givenchy one a while ago. I didn’t love it at first because it took me a while to get the hang of it but once I did, I was obsessed with it! When I saw the Loreal version I decided to pick it up too because I wanted to see if a drug store brand could pull off what Givenchy had.

Packaging wise, there’s just no comparing Givenchy to Loreal. Givenchy’s is so sleek and compact and beautiful to look at while Loreal’s is… well, a bit tacky in my opinion with its bright red telescope type design. I try not to judge a book by it’s cover or a makeup product by it’s packaging though so I held my judgment.

The Givenchy looks a lot smaller but despite its size, it contains a pretty similar amount of product as the Loreal version at .24oz versus .27oz of product in the Loreal.

The length of the wands is really different with the Loreal wand standing at almost double the length of the Givenchy mascara. I found this to be a bit of a problem at first since I prefer a shorter handle for a small brush head but I think you learn to control the Loreal wand after a few uses. I still think the shorter handle is much better for controlling application to the bottom and inner and outer corner lashes though.

The brush heads themselves are quite different with the Givency (on the left) resembling a ball shape whereas the Loreal has more of an oval shape.

The differences are a lot more noticeable when you view the mascaras from the top. You can see that the bristles on the  Loreal brush form a pin wheel type shape while the Givency is more haphazard with spikes sticking out all over the place

At first I was a Givenchy girl all the way but after a few goes with the Loreal mascara, I have to say that my loyalty may be turning. That’s mainly because the Loreal mascara seems to give a smoother look to the lashes, probably due to the fact that the bristles form a more uniform shape. The Givenchy on the other hand seems to excel more at seperation since it has so many more bristles. Both mascaras do a pretty good job at lengthening the lashes but I feel like the Loreal helps more with volume.

Bare eye:

One coat:

I think the way the two mascaras apply is really most noticeable with 2 or more coats. The Givenchy gets a bit spidery looking while the Loreal stays quite smooth.

Two coats:

I still like and use both mascaras and I prefer the Givenchy for my bottom lashes but I have to say that I’d probably recommend the Loreal one because of the huge difference in the prices. The Givenchy mascara sells for $29.50 US and the Loreal sells for $9.49 US. If you feel like splurging and want to try the original then go for the Givenchy but you’ll still get a great mascara even if you decide to go for the budget Loreal version.

Have you tried either of these mascaras? What are your thoughts? Also, do you think mascara’s are worth splurging on? Let me know below!

Givenchy Phenomen’eyes Effet Extension Mascara

I was out at dinner tonight and my friend was talking about this great mascara she had just bought and of course she was talking about the Givenchy Phenomeneyes mascara. Coincidentally I had decided to actually use it tonight because I’d recently rediscovered how awesome it was and yet I’ve forgotten to post about it! Well actually I’ve had a draft of a post about it sitting in my folder for 2 months and have just forgotten to actually finish it so here it is!

This is one of those mascaras that kept showing up on alot of ‘best mascara’ lists so of course I was intrigued. After seeing the unusual shape of it I knew that I’d have to try it and see what all the fuss was about. The packaging is gorgeous and chic but it’s Givenchy so that was of course expected! I was initially surprised by how small it was as it was about 2/3rd’s of the size of most of my mascaras but in terms of actual product, this mascara contains around the same amount.

So of course the buzz surrounding this mascara is mainly to do with its unique brush design. It’s a ball shaped wand with spikes coming out of it and it looks a little S&Mish but I swear it works beautifully. Here’s a picture of the wand:

Now I’ll be honest here, I wasn’t always convinced about the benefits of this product and actually stopped using it for quite a while but I picked it up again recently and couldn’t remember why I stopped using it! Before I start raving, here are pictures with the mascara on.

The first picture is bare lashes as always:

Here is one coat of mascara:

And here is two coats:

Just to clarify, two coats of mascara to me is when I have let the first coat dry and then applied another layer. Also all my photos are taken with uncurled lashes.

As an all purpose mascara I think this performs really well. It gives a decent lengthening effect and can be built up for extra volume as well. It does tend to get a bit clumpy with extra coats but so do most mascaras. I like the fact that even with two coats, despite the clumpiness, my lashes still look seperated to some degree and still look fanned out.

This mascara took a bit of getting used to as the design is very different to a conventional mascara. It’s not one of those product you can use in too much of a hurry because the design means you can cause some damage to your eyes in you’re not careful. That being said, once you get used to it the effect it can give is awesome. The small size means that you can literally coat every lash from the start to end including all those little lashes near the tear duct and those pesky lashes on the very outer end of your lashline that most mascaras miss. It’s also phenomenal at coating bottom lashes

Here’s a picture showing what I mean. The first is with bare lashes and the second is with mascara mainly on the bottom lashes and the inner and outer corner lashes of the top lashes.


I often skip applying mascara to these areas as it’s just too annoying to do with a conventional brush but this brush just coats them easily and with out looking overly done. The only downside to the mascara has to also be the selling point and that is the brush! As much as I love this mascara, when you’re in a hurry this product is just too finicky and time consuming to apply. I tend to use this mascara on days when I have time to get ready because applying it is like a ritual unto itself.

You may be put off by the idea of a mascara you have to learn to use but I honestly think that the trial and error is worth it in the end. I would actually repurchase this once it runs out which can’t be said for a lot of mascaras so that has to mean something right? I think that this is a product which is unique enough and effective enough that I will always be willing to wear it. I don’t think I would necessarily own it if I had to pick only one mascara but I appreciate having it as a compliment to my everyday mascaras.

YSL Singulier Mascara

I had such high hopes for this mascara. I’d read rave reviews about it and seen before and after shots that made me jump at the first chance I had to purchase it. Unfortunately this mascara just doesn’t give me those va-va-voom lashes I thought it would. I kept reading about how this mascara gives you a false lash effect but I honestly don’t think it does. To me a good mascara is one that can give you a great effect in one to two coats because I don’t like waiting for each layer of mascara to dry so that I can apply another one.

Here’s what the packaging looks like. It’s typical YSL and comes in a gold tube which makes it easy to spot amongst my mainly black coloured mascara tubes!

The brush is a silicone one and the design means that it has the potential to grab and coat all your lashes.

Here are some shots to show you how my lashes looked with and without the mascara on.

Here’s my bare lashes:

One coat of YSL Singulier:

Two coats of YSL Singulier:

and finally, three coats of YSL Singulier:

I’ve noticed that this isn’t one of those mascara’s that gives you great lashes the more you build it because it tends to clump up and get a bit spidery. You can probably also notice that as I added each layer of mascara, my lashes started to get less and less seperated which I really don’t like.

This is an ok mascara and as always it’s a try it yourself product. My friend owns this too and she said she didn’t really like it at first but loves it now and it gives her the most amazing looking lashes. I think the reason it looks so good on her is because she has more lashes than I do so maybe this is a product that works amazingly if you’ve got great lashes to begin with!

This isn’t going into my dislike pile because I do still use it quite often but it’s definitely going into my over-hyped pile! I’m secretly glad that I didn’t like it as much as I thought I would because now it gives me a reason to keep searching for the perfect mascara! I think that the new Diorshow or the Giorgio Armani Eye’s to Kill is going to be my next mascara purchase. Just FYI, I’ve recently rediscovered my Benefit Bad Gal Lash and I am loving the lashes it gives! Drama to the max!

Beauty Wish List: Mascara

My beauty wish list is an ever expanding work in progress so instead of updating my wish list on my side bar, I thought I’d just start doing posts on my most coveted items .

I go through different beauty phases all the time where I’ll just go blush crazy and buy a gajillion blushes or go lipstick crazy and buy a whole bunch of those. At the moment I’ve gone a wee bit mascara crazy and I’m trying to stop myself from buying too many at once because unlike blushes and lippies, these babies do not keep for long once opened.

I’m currently switching between Christian Dior Diorshow, Givenchy Phenomeneyes and Max Factor Lash Extension effect mascaras. I like all these mascaras but I just feel like a change so the ones that are on my ‘I really, really want it’ list are (in no particular order):

YSL Faux Cils Mascara

Majolica Majorca (a Shiseido brand only available in Asia) Lash Expander Mascara

YSL Singulier Mascara

Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Mascara

This last one is the Shiseido Mascara Base which I want as a replacement to my Lancome Oscillation Primer which just isn’t doing it for me.

Being high end brands they are all quite pricey so I guess I’ll have to show some self restraint but they just all look so pretty and seem like they give really good lashes so I don’t even know where to start!