beautyreview

Review: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Surreal Light Palette (Limited Edition)

In my experience so far, I’ve learned two things about Hourglass: 1) You have to mortgage your house to afford their makeup. I don’t even have a house so I really have to get creative, which leads me to 2) Their products are of incredible quality, which means you find yourself wondering if you really need that second kidney more than you need their latest product.

 

Which is exactly the place I was at when Hourglass launched their limited edition (holiday release) Ambient Lighting Edit Surreal Light. A face palette about the size of my hand that will set you back a whopping AU$116. So is it worth it? Read on to find out my thoughts.

 

 

First Impressions

I tentatively swatched this in Mecca just after its release, fully expecting to love it so much I would end up in tears trying to justify its addition to the budget. So I was (almost pleasantly) surprised by how awful it looked on my hand. A glitter bomb of little pigment. It did nothing for me, so I congratulated myself on saving a hundred bucks from not buying it online and continued my Mecca browse.

 

Cut to ten minutes later when the Mecca girl suggested I try it out on my face, an offer I begrudgingly accepted. Dammit. It looked freaking amazing, and no glitter in sight. I had to get it. There goes that hundred bucks I saved earlier.

 

What You Get



For AU$116 you will get yourself one ambient lighting powder in Surreal light, two ambient lighting blushes (surreal glow and surreal effect), an ambient lighting bronzer in surreal bronze glow, and an ambient lighting strobe powder in surreal strobe light.  This palette is the perfect colour range to help you look like you naturally wake up looking like a freaking goddess every morning.

 

I’m not sure how the colour range would go on darker skin tones, the bronzer is natural even on my pale-to-the-extreme skin.

 

Worth It?

In a word, yes.

 

In many more words:

 

This palette just makes me feel so pretty.

The ambient lighting powder in surreal light is by far my favourite ambient lighting powder to date! That is saying something because they are all great.

 

 

The bronzer gives me the perfect natural glow. Gives my skin some warmth and definition without looking too done. I love it. It’s that sun-kissed look we’re all after.

 

The blushes may be my favourite part of the palette. There is a nude and a pink blush, both of which apply extremely naturally. They blend themselves. The nude blush is my new go-to. I cannot rave about them enough… they’re gorgeous! Unfortunately I think I’ll now have to try the other hourglass blushes out…dammit.

 

The highlight is beautiful. It’s not going to give you a beaming streak of light across your cheekbone but if you’re after a natural gleam then this is for you. I personally think it is stunning, just makes you look like you have perfect lighting on you 24/7.

The only downside for me (aside from the price) is the pan size. You do get a large pan (4g) of the finishing powder  but the other four are small (1.4g).  Aside from the fact you’re paying for not a heap of product, for the bronzer in particular, it is just annoying getting your brush into the tiny pan.

I’m so sorry to tell you this. But mortgage the house, get a second job, go sell your kidneys, cause you need this in your life.

 

100% in love.

 

Have you tried this palette? What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below!

 

Stay beautiful,

N x

2016 Drugstore Beauty Favourites

Buckle up your seat belts and prepare some snacks because  we are about to show you our 2016 Drugstore Beauty Favourites! Enjoy.

Skincare

N

SugarBaby Vita+Skin Slim-Ulate Coconut & Coffee Stimulating Body Scrub

This was an impulse purchase. I was at a Priceline sale, and remembered just as I was about to head for the checkout that I had run out of coffee scrub. Which will just not do! So I grabbed this bad boy because it was close by. Excellent impulse purchase. It smells AMAZING, I feel beautifully moisturised and exfoliated. New fave scrub.

Honourable Mention

Beauty Essentials Bright Eye Cream

Another impulse purchase. This was bought when I needed an eye cream for travel but didn’t want to spend a fortune. I LOVE THIS. It is possibly my favourite eye cream ever, over all the ones I’ve tried, drugstore or high end. Get around this. It’s amazing. And SO cheap.

M

Clearasil Ultra Rapid Action Pads

I got these bad boys when I was having a particularly in a particularly bad skin phase and didn’t realised how much I would love them. I have been using them religiously morning and night. They make my skin brighter with no drying effects. Love.

Hair care

M

TONI&GUY Nourish Reconstruction Mask

This mask has saved my hair this year! It is so incredible moisturising and (surprisingly, considering the quality) doesn’t cost a small fortune! This is a must for anyone who wants to give their hair some lovin’

Primer

N & M

Nyx Angel Veil Skin Perfecting Primer

So many YouTubers rave about this primer, and it was slowly killing us not being able to get our hands on it in Aus. So when N went to Europe in 2016, she snapped it up quick smart. Our thoughts? Think a less greasy version of Hourglass Veil primer (which is one of our all time faves). One of our fave primers, not just in the drugstore category but in life. If you can, try this baby out.

 

Foundation

N

Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Foundation

It was a rocky start to my relationship with Bourjois healthy mix serum foundtaion. It’s a regular in beauty bloggers drugstore favourites, and so I was super keen to try it! The first time I wore it, I applied it with a BeautyBlender and it didn’t sit on my skin well at all. Second time I used my hands, same deal. I was not impressed. The third time, however, in a somewhat uncharacteristic move, I used a buffing brush. Generally, I really dislike applying foundation with a brush, but for this particular foundation, it’s absolute perfection. Glowly, healthy, medium-long wearing, I truly love this foundation….when it’s applied with a brush.

 

Concealer

N&M

Maybelline Fit Me Concealer

Everyone’s raved about Fit Me concealer since forever, and we found out this year that it was for good reason. This is high-end quality stuff; it doesn’t dry out our under eyes but we do find it needs to be applied with a beauty sponge. It’s also great for spot concealing.

 

Corrector

M

Models Prefer Colour Correcting Concealer

I’ve written a whole post on this, if you want to read more click here. The short version is: creamy, blendable, effective, and cheap. You need this.

Powder

N

Rimmel Stay Matte Powder

I am not even sure this is my powder tbh, I think it is M’s from many moons ago. But I found it in a draw, used it and fell in love. My skin does not get on well with setting powder, I can look ghostly and cakey very easily with my dry under eyes. The Stay Matte powder helps to get rid of that greasy look whilst keeping me looking fresh. Great powder.

 

M

Australis Banana Powder

This stuff has changed my setting game. My only qualm is that the colour is only suitable for small range of skin tones; people in the super pale or super dark tones won’t suit this colour. Otherwise, I love it.

Contour

N

Nyx Highlight & Contour Palette

This was another UK purchase (and then typically it turned up in every store in Australia the second I got it there…*eye roll*). YouTubers raved, and they were right. Is it as good at Kat Von D or Anastasia? No. Is it still fantastic? Yes. It is an amazing drugstore alternative to those ride or die high end palettes. No muddiness in site.

M

Australis Take Me On Tour Contouring & Highlighting Kit

I’ve mentioned this in my Australis Full Face Tutorial post. I use this as a brontour and love the effect it gives me. This definitely feels like a high quality powder, well done Australis.

Bronzer

N

Soap & Glory Solar Powder

For some reason, Soap & Glory products cost a mint in Australia. So when I saw this bronzer in the UK for a much more reasonable price I snapped it up, keen to try the brand I’ve seen so much of! This bronzer reminds me of the Too Faced Chocolate Soleil bronzer. I really love it. Natural, buildable, blendable bronze. Really glad I got it.

 

Honourable Mention

Models Prefer Bronzer

If you’re looking for a bronzer next time you’re in Priceline, grab this bad boy. Cheap as. Great colour. It doesn’t blend seamlessly at first, it does take a little more work than the Soap & Glory bronzer, but for availability and price, who care!? Definitely recommend.

 

Blush

N

Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso

I feel boring putting this in. Everyone loves it, everyone goes on about it, and everyone has it. But….this is my favourite blush. Hands down, in all categories. Ride or die. I’d be lying if I put any other blush here. I feel so pretty every time I wear it and I get excited to use it. If you haven’t got it yet, get on it asap.

M

Nyx Cream Blush in Boho Chic

This blush has a really cool consistency. It’s definitely a cream product but on me (I do have dry skin) it transforms into more of a powder when I apply it. I really like the colour and I’m keen to try more of this formula.

Highlight

N & M

Carli Bybel Eyeshadow & Highlighter Palette by BH Cosmetics

Carli is queen. This palette is da bomb. You can more in M’s review here.

 

Honourable Mention

Australis

Like the rest of the palette the hightlighter is incredible quality. The thing I like about it is that it’s less intense than the Carli Bybel, which is perfect for an everyday highlight. This palette is perfect for travelling.

Eye Shadow

N

BYS Nude Eye shadow Palette

I’ve done a full review on this palette here. In short: great quality, great pigmentation, great colour range, great price.

M

Morphe 12P Palette

To be completely honest, I bought this palette thinking I would create a couple of colourful looks for the gram and be done with it. I was wrong. It has completely changed my makeup game in 2016. I’ve full review here.

Brow Product

N

NYX Auto Eyebrow Pencil

There’s not much to say about this. It’s easy to apply, lasts all day, great colour range, and super cheap. NYX eyebrow products are all ace, and this is one of my faves. I find myself reaching for this over all my other brow products.

M

Rimmel Brow This Way Brow Styling Gel in Clear

This stuff keeps your brows in place all day. Big tick.

Mascara

N

Max Factor Velvet Volume Mascara

I got this for free with Vogue. Thanks Vogue. I LOVE, this mascara. No clumping (my absolute pet hate), length and volume. My go to every day mascara. I will repurchase this forever.

 

Honourable Mention

Essence I <3 Extreme Volume Waterproof Mascara

Looking for amazing mascara under $10? Look no further. Great volume, great lasting power, fantastically jet black, it doesn’t give the clump free effect of the MaxFactor product, but to be honest no other mascara does that for me, so for under a tenner, this mascara is bloody fantastic.

 

Lips

N

Shanghai Suzy in Dusty Rose

I’ve done a review on Shanghai Suzy lipsticks here. This colour is my favourite of them all. A wonderful pinky nude that goes with everything, and suits everyone and great quality. All for an insanely reasonable price. Get around it.

 

M

Apocalips by Rimmel London

Lip Velvet in Atomic Rose

Atomic rose is a beautiful every day matte colour that wears really nicely throughout the day with a velvety finish.

 

Lip Lacquer in Celestial

This is the perfect “whack it on and don’t think about it for the rest of the day” product. The pigmentation is insane.

Brushes

N & M

Real Techniques Blush Brush

I was forever stealing M’s one of these and so finally got myself one. I use it for everything. Blush, bronzer, setting powder. It’s so soft, so great at blending, washes perfectly, and a great price! Definitely my favourite brush.

 

Honourable Mention

Real Techniques Setting Brush

It broke my heart not putting these in first place because I really do love these too. I have two of these, one for setting under my eyes and my t zone, and one for highlighting. They are my go to brush for both of those things. I will probably buy more. I love them.

 

Tanning

N&M

Bondi Sands Summer Bronze Instant Tan in Light/Medium

This is a very recent edition to our lives. We got sent this product to test out by a PR company, and didn’t really know what we were going to think, not normally being into instant tans and often disliking the smell of the Bondi Sands products. We were very pleasantly surprised. Great natural colour, so easy to apply (we use a mit to rub it in), dried quickly, and lasts really well! Definitely a new fave!!

Happy New Year and stay happy,
N & M xx

 

Cream Contouring 

I can always use a bit of help in the face sculpting department so I decided to pick up the Anastasia Cream Contour Kit in Fair a few months back to see if it was worth the hype and could help me look like a French model in the moonlight. Keep reading if you want to see what I think of it. 

Price: I bought mine on Beauty Bay which was $66.40 and $4.60 cheaper than it is at Sephora Au (all about those savings).


Packaging: I really like the packaging! It has a sleek see through case with black edging and bottom and six magnetic pans that can be taken out and put in to any other palette or replaced as you use them up. I’ve got to admit, I think it would have been great to have a mirror in this palette but it doesn’t bother me too much as I always seem to have a mirror handy anyway. 


What you get: The palette includes three Contour shades, two matte highlight shades and one shimmery highlight. I think they did really well with the selection of Contour shades in this palette as they suit a good variety of tones. Although they aren’t super dark, Anastasia does have four shades available in her cream palettes to suit everyone from super fair to extra deep skin tones. The two matte highlight shades are very, very fair and quite similar. I would have probably preferred if one was more yellow toned and one more peachy but I guess that’s harder to do in a palette marketed for such fair skin tones. The shimmery highlight shade is one of my favourite parts of the palette! It reminds me a lot of the MAC cream colour base in pearl and is such a beautiful, subtle highlight shade! 


The Formula: I heard a lot of people saying that the formula of this palette was really dry and hard to blend which, to be honest, is why I didn’t get it until now. I’m happy to say I completely disagree with these people! I use a setting spray on my brush, face or the palette (or all three) before I use it and find that it blends so beautifully in to my skin which is a miracle for my super dry skin! It also doesn’t move my foundation around underneath it and blends seamlessly with any base! What I do find great is that because it isn’t the creamiest formula it’s no going to move around and be gone within a few hours. The coverage of the creams are amazing! If I’m having a good skin day I often don’t wear foundation or Concealer and think my skin look pretty ace! 10/10 from me! 


How I use it: Depending on how deep my skin tone is at the time I use either of the darker shades under my cheek bones, along my jaw line and hair line and through my temples and the crease of my eyes to create a natural looking shadow and the illusion of some dimension! Then, using one or both of the two matte highlight shades, I highlight my undereyes, centre of my forehead, chin, Cupid’s bow, and under my cheek contour. This acts as a contrast to the contouring I’ve just done and brighten up my face a bit. I either use the brush I applied the product with or  a damp beauty blender to blend it all together find that both work really well. 


Overall thoughts: I really, really like this palette and think it’s totally worth the money! I might even grab a few more shades to use in my mua kit! 

Stay Happy,

-M xx 

Empties: November 2016

I don’t know about you, but I love an empties post. They seem so honest and informative! If you want to see what I thought about the products I have finished and whether or not I would repurchase them, keep on reading.

 

Hair 

Cedel Dry Shampoo


This is not the first time I’ve used this dry shampoo and I doubt it will be the last. Is it my favourite dry shampoo I’ve ever used? No. Having said that, it is affordable, readily available at most supermarkets/Priceline/pharmacies and it does the job. The only two things I don’t love about it is the white cast it gives off (which can be frustrating on darker hair) and that it doesn’t leave me with run-my-fingers-leisurely-through-my-locks softness. But, really no dry shampoo does that and, like I said, it cleans my hair.

 

Repurchase? I’d say so.

 

Bumble and Bumble Prep


I’m really very lazy when it comes to doing my hair. I find it time consuming and frustrating and I’m just not very good at it. So, naturally, my blow-drying routine normally consists of me flipping my hair upside down and waving the hair dyer around until it’s dry enough.   This prep spray has my lazy routine looking like I’ve had a professional blowout. Thick, luscious volume. If you have pancake hair like me, get this in your life.

 

Repurchase? ASAP.

 

Skin

La Roche Posay Thermal Spring Water


I honestly don’t even know how I came to have this in my draw. I’m assuming at some point it came free with another La Roche Posay product as it’s certainly not something I would normally bother spending my money on. Having said that, I really enjoyed using this both as a toner and as a refresher on long-haul flights. But, to be honest, it’s water in a can and you can find much more affordable alternatives.

 

Repurchase? Nah. Well, maybe if I’m feeling fancy.

 

The Fix Coffee Scrub


We are Tassie girls, born and bred, and we love to support local brands, businesses and communities. So when we saw this coffee scrub at a twilight market, as both Tasmanians and avid coffee scrub enthusiasts, we snatched it right up. It’s available from their Etsy page and makes a really awesome gift (it was our gift of choice for friends and family in 2015).

 

In comparison to say the Frank coffee scrub it is less…moist (sorry, I hate that word too).   At first I thought this meant it would be less moisturising, but it was equally as moisturising, it just left our bath tub less slippery. So it was actually a plus! It also smells like peppermint. Honestly it’s heavenly, get around it.

 

Repurchase? Yes.

 

Skin Republic Foot Peel


I’m going to keep this short and sweet. M has used foot peels in the past (not this brand) that, although completely disgusting, looks fun as hell and left her with the feet of an angel and I wanted in on some of that action. This foot peel promises to remove dead skin in seven days. It has been 3 weeks and I am still sans angel feet. In fact I think they may be worse, just a little peely but with none of the satisfaction that M experienced.

 

Repurchase? Nope. Total waste of $15.

 

NKD Body Scrub – Mint


As mentioned above, we are skin scrub junkies. It is a bandwagon upon which we have well and truly jumped. This scrub from NKD Body is….meh. Don’t get me wrong, it smelled lovely and it exfoliated my skin, it just didn’t do it as well as other products (such as The Fix mentioned earlier). My skin was softer, it just wasn’t “omg you have you feel my leg, isn’t it the softest things you’ve EVER FELT” soft. This scrub may be perhaps suited to people with more sensitive skin.

 

Repurchase? Perhaps as a gift.

 

Michael Todd Intensive Organic Cream Eye Treatment


That is quite the lengthy title for what is essentially an eye cream; An eye cream that I really enjoyed. I saw visible difference in the fine lines around my eyes and mouth (because I apply it there also), it kept my dry skin moisturised all day, and was perfect prep for undereye concealer. If you have oily skin I would steer clear of this product, it sometimes even left my dry skin looking greasy if I used too much product.

 

Having said all of that, I am currently using a cheaper drugstore eye cream that is giving me very similar results for a much smaller price.

 

Repurchase? Perhaps in a sale.

 

Makeup

 

Benefit Fake Up Crease Control Hydrating Concealer


As mentioned in my recent(ish) Travel Makeup Bag post, it is one of life’s great mysteries to me why this concealer is not more popular.

 

As it’s name suggests it both hydrates and conceals my under eyes whilst looking completely natural. It doesn’t highlight, but for everyday that is exactly what I’m after. It is honestly my favourite under eye concealer for every day. If you have dry skin, you have to try this out.

 

I have used it for blemishes when I don’t have any other product on me and, for a short term solution, it worked fine. It is very moisturising so it works best set with powder.

 

Repurchase? I already had a backup.

 

BeautyBlender BlenderCleanser – Liquid


I’m going to be honest, I didn’t think this was worth the money when baby shampoo has been doing a pretty good job for me all this time. I was wrong. This is the only thing that gets my BeautyBlenders/beauty sponges looking like new. It does have a pretty strong scent (which I didn’t notice until Karima McKimmie pointed it out – thanks for that gal!) but if you can get past/don’t mind that then you have to try this out.

 

Repurchase? Yes. However, M tells me that the solid BlenderCleanser is even better and without the scent, so maybe I’ll check that out first.

 

Revlon Lash Potion by Grow Luscious


I have a feeling that this product may be discontinued, but I’m going to review it anyway. Did this make my lashes grow? Nope. Was it a good mascara otherwise? Yeah. It wasn’t the best mascara I’ve ever tried but it was waterproof, a lovely jet black and it did the job at a reasonable price. I definitely used this mascara well past the time where it should have been replaced.

 

Repurchase? I would have if it wasn’t discontinued. I will if I see it in a discount shop.

 

Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge


I’m sure I can’t be the only one who had their life transformed by beauty sponges. I am a HUGE fan of the way they apply my foundation. Yes, the OG BeautyBlender is really fantastic, but to be honest, I think I prefer the Real Techniques sponge. It is a bit softer but without soaking up any more product, and I think it just gives a better finish with less effort for me. The only downside and the only reason I am throwing this out (aside from the fact that it is 2 years old and that is disgusting and it probably has diseases by now) is that it tears reeeeaalllly easily. Which is not an issue I have had with any other beauty sponge.

 

Repurchase? Definitely.

 

Have you tried any of these products? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Stay beautiful,

N x

%d bloggers like this: