beautyreview

Review & Swatches: Shanghai Suzy Lipsticks

I am a lover of lipstick. So when I started to hear great things about the lipstick brand Shanghai Suzy I, of course, gave it a quick Google to see what the fuss was about. Not gonna lie, I assumed this was a Chinese brand from the name, but it turns out it’s a local Australian brand. The lipstick-only brand was created to fill the hole in the market for good quality yet affordable lipsticks, and they nailed it.

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I wasn’t really sure what to expect from Shanghai Suzy lipsticks, but it just went ahead and blew my mind. For starters, they are AU$12.95. So, naturally, my plan of buying just one to try the formula out quickly turned into a little trio of first impressions.

 

The formula? Fabulous. They are so creamy, and yet not heavy on the lips, and they last. Like not last as in do-nothing-all-day-like-don’t-even-chew-gum and it lasts, but like really lasts. I gave these guys a workout, I even wore one out to Mexican one night and it still looked respectable after a night of having shoved tacos/burritos/cocktails in my gob. It had faded slightly, but this was almost unnoticeable and it had done it well. Nothing annoys me more with a lipstick than when you go to the bathroom and you have nothing left but a lip liner-esque ring around your lips; that didn’t happen with these lipsticks.

 

As mentioned earlier, I picked up three colours. They are all name ‘Miss somethingoranother” which I think is just adorable. The three I own are Miss Bree (Pink Blush), Miss Sanja (Fuschia) and Miss Victorine (Classic Red). I will say one thing though, it’s not necessarily a negative, it’s just a note. All three of my lipsticks are the ‘matte formula’…they ain’t matte. They aren’t shimmery, or frosted or anything like that at all, but they are also not matte. That doesn’t bother me, but if you are after a MAC style matte lipstick, these are not for you.

 

On to swatches…

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L-R: Miss Victorine, Miss Sanja, Miss Bree

 

Miss Bree – Pink Blush

A cute pink that can go from every day to blushing night-time beauty.
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Miss Sanja – Fuschia

A gorgeous almost-purple. This is probably the one I wear most often, it finished off any outfit perfectly.

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Miss Victorine – Classic Red

I’m going to make a bold statement; this is a pretty good dupe for MAC’s Ruby Woo. I love Ruby Woo, and (as I mentioned) this is nowhere near as matte, but to be honest I think that may be in Miss Victorine’s favour! This is just a gorgeous, classic red. A must have in any girls lipstick collection.

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Top – Miss Victorine Bottom – Ruby Woo

 

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All in all I am a huge fan and will definitely be purchasing more and getting them as gifts for friends and family. Miss Tanielle (Desert Rose) is next on my list.

Do you have any lipstick brand recommendations for me to try? Let me know in the comments below.

 

Stay beautiful, N x

Review: Maybelline The Nudes Eyeshadow Palette

I love my mum, but if Lisa Eldridge offered to adopt me I wouldn’t hesitate for a second before I said “hells yes!”. She is so elegant and soothing and I think she may well be an angel sent from heaven to make the world a better, more beautiful place. But I’ve got way off track. Where was I going with this?…

Oh yeah, a few months ago I was watching a Lisa Eldridge tutorial and she used The Nudes eyeshadow palette by Maybelline. I was so soothed by her amazing voice that I barely noticed myself going out and buying it instantly. I just realised one day that it was in my makeup draw, oops. Really though, can you have too many natural eyeshadow palettes?! Probably.

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So was it worth the AU$21.99, or should you fork out the extra dollars for a high end substitute? Keep reading to find out.

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The 12 eyeshadow colours are right up my alley. Browns and ashy greys through some almost-coppers to a beautiful gold. Whilst 8 of them are shimmery, 4 are matte. I’m a huge fan of matte eyeshadow, especially for my everyday makeup and when I’m wearing glasses; somebody told me once that you should always wear matte shadows with glasses and I have run with that for years…I should really check out whether that is true. My favourites are the matte brown (top row, second from the right) and the almost-coppery brown (top row, third from the right). I also use the black to tight line my upper-lash line when I can’t be bothered with eyeliner but want the appearance of thick lashes.

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Top Row

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Bottom Row

Quality is where they are lacking. The first thing I noticed is that these bad boys have A LOT of fallout. You notice it as soon as you put your brush in the shadow, it falls errywhere. Ignoring that fact, which is super annoying but something I can get past, the quality is about a 6/10. They’re not terrible, the pigmentation is pretty good, just not fantastic. Same goes for the blendability. I mean, they blend eventually, it just takes a little more time and effort. If you don’t mind taking a bit longer to get ready then that’s not a massive issue either.

The thing that really lets the palette down is the staying power. They just don’t last, particularly the shimmery shades. Even with eyeshadow primer, setting the eyelid, you name it, I gave it a crack, and by the end of the day/night my eyes were but a remnant of what they were in the beginning. Which is such a pity because, as I said, the colours are SO pretty.

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Final verdict: Give it a miss.

I so wanted to say it was worth the money. But I just don’t think that it was. My high-end shadows, yes they cost significantly more, but they also last 10x longer. I just don’t see the point of even applying eyeshadow if it’s going to be gone in an hour or two. Sorry, Lisa.

If you want to give it a shot rather than taking my word for it, I picked mine up here.

Have you got any recommendations of drugstore substitutes for this palette? I am always keen to try new products out!

 

Stay happy, N x

Review: Urban Decay Naked Skin Ultra Definition Liquid Makeup

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I am a massive fan of the “I woke up like this” makeup look. Which, of course, involves several steps, many makeup products and looks in no way how I appear when I wake up. Nailing that natural look makes my heart sing. So when Urban Decay released a foundation called “Naked Skin” I was all over that like a bad rash.   Did it live up to my expectations? Keep reading to find out…

 

First things first: What is up with that name, Urban Decay? I understand that you’re trying to get a lot of information across, but were all those words really necessary? I think we could have cut it down a tad. It’s quite the mouthful. But that’s just nit-picking really.

The packaging is pretty much perfect, in my eyes. It looks high-end, but the lightweight packaging means you won’t have to compromise when it comes to travelling. I love my YSL Touche Èclat but it’s so damn heavy! If I want to take that on a trip I have to cut down on other products, and that’s a real pain. I’ve also had mine for months, rolling around with all my other foundations an the packaging has stayed un-tarnished.

Okay, onto the important stuff.

It comes in 18 shades, which means it covers girls ranging all the way from 0.5 (very fair, porcelain) to 12 (dark with deep golden undertones). Nothing annoys me more than when a company brings out a foundation with shades ranging from mildly pale – slightly tanned and leaves the rest of us hanging. So, props to Urban Decay.  I use the shade 2.0 (fair with slight yellow undertone).

The product description promises “coverage without compromise…the best of both worlds…buildable coverage…that looks and feels like nothing.” For me this was spot on. It gave me enough coverage to help me cover and blemishes and help me to feel confident even on my worst days. At the same time it looked and felt light, meaning I didn’t have to feel like I had caked on makeup if I was just going out for coffee or running errands. Even if I did cake it on for a night out it still felt light and natural. This is achieved through the super thin consistency of the foundation. It literally runs down my face before I blend it in. This does mean you need more than one coat to get full coverage (so you need to use more product) but that’s something I prefer.

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It leaves a demi-matte finish, which for me is exactly what I’m after for an everyday foundation. It gives me that glowy, healthy, youthful look that I love whilst also keeping my t-zone in check; something that dewy foundations struggle to do for long periods of time.   I do still set my t-zone and under my eyes with powder for special occasions, but it’s not strictly necessary, you can definitely get away without it.

As far as staying power…I am still undecided on this one. It’s by no means my longest wearing foundation. After a full day of wear, my skin is definitely peeking through and those blemishes are back out on show. However, whilst this isn’t fantastic, it does wear away naturally. There’s none patchiness or caking that can occur with other products. I would say it lasts a good 4-5 hours before it needs a touch up.

So all in all, I’m going to give the Urban Decay Naked Skin Weighless Ultra Defintion Liquid Makeup a 3.5/5. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good foundation, but there’s just something about it that stops me from loving it as opposed to just liking it. It probably would have been 4 if it lasted just a little bit longer.

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If you are a fan of no-makeup foundation, then definitely give this baby a go.

Aussie gals can pick their’s up here.

What are your favourite natural-looking foundations? Let me know in the comments below.

 

Stay beautiful, N x

 

EMPTIES – NOVEMBER 2015

Hair Care

QV Hair Nourishing Shampoo

IMG_0004_2I have a sensitive scalp so the QV shampoo and conditioner is great! The gentle range is definitely not made for anyone with more hair than a buzz cut so I like to use the Nourishing Shampoo and Conditioner to keep my hair squeaky clean and luscious without irritating my scalp.

Repurchase? Yes – over and over again!

Skin Care

Clinique Liquid Facial Soap – Extra Mild

IMG_0001_2My skin went through a really bad patch a few months ago and I searched high and low for something that would save me from my dry-flaky hell. Quite a few people recommended that I try the Clinique Extra Mild facial cleanser so I picked it up from Myer. This did nothing for my skin. It’s not like it made it worse, and it did have a lovely creamy texture but it just wasn’t the saviour I was hoping for.

Repurchase? No.

 

Clean & Clear Morning Burst Exfoliator

IMG_0003_2This is a fabulous exfoliator! It has vitamin C in it, so I found it gave my skin a nice morning (or night time) glow and was gentle enough on my skin to use every day! I also have very sensitive and dry skin and I found that it neither irritated or dried out my skin! Thanks Clean & Clear!

Repurchase? Definitely!

 

Michael Todd Charcoal Detox Deep Pore Gel Cleanser

IMG_0009_2If you Google “Michael Todd review” the number of hits that involve this cleanser far outweigh any of their other products. The vast majority of those reviews are incredibly positive; I however have mixed feelings about it. It is formulated for acne and oily skin, not my combination skin type, and this is probably why this made my skin dry. Like, drrrryyyyyy. If I used it at the beginning of my shower by the end of it my skin felt uncomfortably tight and dry, even my oily areas felt too dry.

Repurchase? No. But oily skinned gals, this may be your lifesaver.

Dry/Combination skin types, check out their Honey & Oat cleanser here.

 

Michael Todd Jojoba Charcoal Facial Scrub

IMG_0010_2This scrub was gentle enough not to irritate my skin with regular use, but I just didn’t get the same results as I did with the Tropical Fruit scrub. I’m not saying I didn’t like it, I just didn’t love it.

Repurchase? No.

Sukin Facial Treatment Oil

IMG_0011_2I was really excited to try this product out. I’m a huge fan of Sukin products and love their rosehip oil. The packaging says that the combined argan, rosehip, maracuja, jojoba oils will leave me with brighter and softer skin within four weeks. The results were…meh. I mean, it worked I guess. It kept my skin hydrated and soft, but I didn’t get the same results in brightening that I did with Sukin’s regular rosehip oil or Trilogy’s Rosehip Plus (the latter in particular was like WOW).

Repurchase? No.

Fragrances

Si by Giorgio Armani EDP

IMG_0015I got my first bottle of Si at the Boxing day sales and Myer last year and instantly fell in love! It’s the perfect musky, yet sweet fragrance and one that I would literally get a comment on every single day I wore it. I was devastated when I ran out and am tossing up whether I should get the instense version or the normal Eau De Parfum for my next bottle… What do you think?

Repurchase? Absolutely!

Lovely by Sarah Jessica Parker

IMG_0020This is not my first bottle of SJP’s Lovely and it will not be my last. I have been wearing this since I was 16 (at the birth of my Sex & the City love) and I am yet to stop loving the gorgeous soft, floral scent. It’s inexpensive and yet gorgeous. I highly recommend it! You’ll love it as much as I do.

Repurchase? Always. Forever. Yes.

 

Make-Up

The Body Shop Baked to Last Bronzer in Warm Glow

IMG_0008_2This is my go-to bronzer when I am seriously in need of a bronzed healthy glow. If I fall sick (and look it), this baby revives my poor sickly face. People actually compliment my skin tone on sick days – not a bad effort by this bronzer. When I started to hit pan I actually said “noooooooo!” aloud, I love this bronzer that much. Get it in your life.

Repurchase? Hells yes. Asap.

 

Stila One Step Correct Primer

IMG_0022This is one of the most hydrating primers I have ever used but I just don’t see any colour correcting properties using it! I’ve used it on days when my face almost looks sunburnt in some areas and there is no difference at all. I’m not sure if I wasn’t using it right but I wouldn’t really recommend it for anyone who needs big help with colour correcting.

Repurchase? No, sorry.

 

MAC Face & Body

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You’ve heard us talk about MAC’s Face and Body Foundation before and I am sure it won’t be the last time. It is our fail safe, holygrail foundation. You can wear it sheer for a natural look and build it up in areas where you need more coverage and it will never look cakey as it is water based! We have converted COUNTLESS friends and family members onto Face and Body and will forever wear this liquid gold!

Repurchase? Forever.

 

Plink by MAC

IMG_0017Plink! is my favourite natural lipstick of all time! If I don’t know what to wear I’ll always go for it. It’s like my lips, but better and never lets me down! You can read more about Plink! and my other MAC lipsticks in my MAC LIPSTICK COLLECTION post.

Repurchase? Already have.

MAC Bronzer in Matte Bronze

IMG_0016This is my favourite matte bronzer and I’m already quite far through my second pan. It was my first every bronzer and I did A LOT of research in to what I wanted so I didn’t waste my pennies and I was not disappointed in my decision! It’s not super pigmented so you can build it up to whatever kind of look you want and it doesn’t go patchy. Love, love, love this bronzer for an every day look!

Repurchase? Absolutely!

 

Until next time, stay happy!

N & M xx

 

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