Category: Product Reviews

BECCA Under Eye Brightening Corrector

I want to talk about bags. No not Gucci or Mimco. I’m talking about ones that seem to be permanently stored under your eyes.

Now I’m just going to get a little soap boxy here for a minute. For a small proportion of the population, under eye bags are a real and annoying thing. A constant puffiness that never seems to go away. Then there are the people with hyper pigmentation which is a fancy way of saying they have extra dark patches of skin. In both these cases the cause is mostly genetic and there really isn’t a whole lot you can do to produce lasting change. A cold compress or even haemorrhoid cream can temporarily ease puffiness in some people but the jury is still out if cucumber actually really does anything at all. Frustratingly not a great deal can be done for hyper pigmentation aside from cosmetic bleaching products and intense abrasive facials. But as soon as your skin sees just a tiny bit of sunlight it will start to come back again. Not great news I know. Just telling it like it is.
For everyone else here is your number one, true, tried and tested, absolutely guaranteed way to make those dark shadows under your eyes disappear…. Ready?

Move away from overhead lighting!! Shocking isn’t it?

Heres an anatomy lesson… it’s your eye socket. It’s round and curved and naturally creates a shadow any time the light source is not staring you down the nose. We can thank ring beauty lights and photoshop for perpetuating this crazy goal of not having any darkness under the eye. But it’s just not realistic. Where there is depth there is shadow. Also the skin under your eye is really quite thin so all the veins (blue/purple) and capillaries (red) show through and add to the appearance of those dreaded dark circles.
While there doesn’t appear to be much that can ‘cure’ us of this horrible affliction, the old standards of drinking more water, drinking less caffeine and alcohol and getting more sleep can go along way for a lot of people. And if that isn’t working there is always makeup.
Shadows and bags can be minimised with a concealer containing a little light reflection. I actually mix my concealer with my BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector in Pearl or Opal which adds just the right amount of refection without looking glittery.
If dark circles are your bane then ‘Colour Correcting’ is the ‘new’ thing, except it’s not new. In fact it’s old. Really old! But while it is true that some colours do cancel other colours out, like blue and orange, it can be tricky to do right. Put yellow over purple veins and you get a cold grey colour which makes you look less sexy-bright-eyed-goddess and more, well, dead. And orange over blue veins on anyone not very dark, just looks odd. However for darker skin or hyper pigmentation, the red/orange concealers can really work really well. Everyone else, just look for something peachy. That said, I honestly believe that colour correcting is overkill for most people! A great skin tone matching concealer and an illuminator will often do the trick in less time and with far less hassle.
So I just got my hands on the Under Eye Brightening Corrector from BECCA and I’m just a little bit in love! It’s literally like you are walking around with a beauty light attached to your nose! It’s not a concealer though. It is a skin brightener that is designed to go under or over your concealer. Under your concealer, it’s light refection and soft peachy tone help to get rid of the dark shadows and conceal some of those purple/blue tones. Over your concealer it reflects light away from fine lines and circles which creates a soft diffusing effect. It is super creamy and I worried it would move but I dusted just a tiny smidge of powder over the top which set it before applying concealer over that. Best applied with your fingers or a damp sponge but make sure you do the old ‘press and roll’ rather than a ‘patting’ technique which will give you a smoother look.
If you want to get your hands on this or any BECCA products, go see my friend Kerrie at Gloss & Bone.

Disclaimer: I only review products I love and use. I am not paid in any way for my endorsement of either the product or the business mentioned in this post.

BECCA – Shimmering Skin Perfector

I’ve never really been into the whole Kim.K extreme contour thing. Its all just a little too much for me… but then isn’t that the great thing about makeup? That we can all choose to wear as much or as little (or even none!!) as we want? It’s only makeup and frankly I’m really tired of all the makeup bashing going around. If it makes YOU feel good then that really is all that matters!

I love products that make your skin look better without looking like its even there! That make the skin glow without completely erasing life’s little reminders of the distance we have travelled. 

becca shimmering skin perfector in opal BECCA Shimmering Skin PERFECTOR!!

They say ‘Water-light and sheer, it absorbs, reflects and refracts creating a prismatic effect that allows it to adjust in any light so your refined glow is never lost’.

I say… It just makes your skin look bloody AWESOME!! Pop it on under foundation on top of the cheekbones and along the collarbone, because who doesn’t love a sexy collarbone! Make your lips extra pouty with a dab on your cupids bow or elongate your nose with a narrow (no seriously…NARROW people!) line down the bridge. You can even mix it into your body moisturiser for a little extra body glow.

Its not as iridescent as MAC’s Strobe Cream or glittery as NARS Highlighter Sticks, but that’s what I love about it. It gives you all the highlight without the extra bling!! There are 5 colours in the range and my favourite is the OPAL which is dynamite under the eyes.  If you have a little darkness mix a small amount into your concealer and you’ve got something that’s a little bit like YSL’s Touche Eclat but with coverage.

And then there is this… 

BECCA does not endorse or conduct animal testing on any of our products or ingredients, nor do we have any other parties, such as manufacturers and suppliers, conduct animal testing on our behalf. All collaborating parties are in compliance with the requirements and timelines of the European Union (EU) Cosmetics Regulation EC/1223/2009, banning the testing of cosmetics ingredients on animals within the EU.

If you think you would like to get your hands on some of this genie in a bottle then head over to Gloss and Bone where you also find some pretty cool tutorials. 

And no this is not a paid endorsement/affiliate type of thing. I happen to genuinely LOVE this product and also know that the owner over at Gloss and Bone is one awesome chick 🙂

Iridis Eye Primer

Anything that will make my clients eye makeup last through tears is a winner in my book and Iridis Cosmetics Eye Primer is most definitely a winner!

I’ve been loyal to Urban Decays Eye Primer Potion for years. You can read my review on that here. Seriously what’s not to love? So when I mentioned that to Peta-Gai the bright and sparkling-like-a-unicorn founder of Australian Brand Iridis Cosmetic, she decided to send me her primer to try out. And I have to say sorry PG, I was skeptical.

I was wrong! This is a totally fab product. crease-proof, water proof and fool proof… well nearly. Like all eye primers I have tried, you only need to use this sparingly. If you use too much it will look cakey. A little goes a really long way! I found it easiest to get a little on my ring finger and pat gently along the lash line until blended in. I also add a little just under the eye using a brush or cotton bud to push the product into the lash line. This will work wonders if your eyeliner tends to wander but again use sparingly. By their very nature, eye primers like this are dry and will highlight those under eye lines. Ain’t no one interested in that!

Again like all primers, including my long time loved Urban Decay, this colour is fab for most skin tones. It will brighten the eye area and neutralise that pinky/purple tint in the lids which makes us look tired. But for my clients with much darker skin tones,
Sri Lankan or Indian for example, with hyper pigmentation on the lids, it can look grey. Using a colour corrector underneath like BECCAs Backlight Targeted Correctors in Peach or Papaya may be a good fix but I would love to put in a request for a deeper tone.

This really is a super product that does exactly what it says it will and for $35 its not expensive. The packaging is mostly glass so easily recycled plus Iridis have a Loyalty Recycling Program. Return 6 containers and get a freebie of your choice up to $40! Hello! Awesome!! They are cruelty free, including sourcing their ingredients from cruelty free suppliers and mostly vegan with the exception of a little beeswax in lip products. PLUS they are Australian owned and made and run by two kick arse chicks right here in Melbourne! Winning!

I’ve decided that once my Urban Decay eye primer is finished in my kit I will replace it with a new Iridis Cosmetics one. But for now the kit will have to wait because this one is mine 🙂

What is Airbrush Makeup and is it really any better?

So what is airbrush makeup and what is all the fuss about?
Is it really any better than a liquid or cream foundation? Does it last any longer and can it cover spots without looking caked on?

For anyone new to airbrush makeup there are questions, so I just wanted to give you a little lowdown on the subject to help you decide if this technique is right for you.

So what is Airbrush Makeup?
Ok so basically it is a method of spraying makeup on to the skin. Technically a small air compressor uses gentle air pressure to push the super fine liquid makeup through the nozzle of the ‘gun’.  The result is a super fine mist of makeup that can be as sheer or full coverage as you want. The makeup itself is super highly pigmented (has lots and lots of colour) which means you don’t need a thick layer to get great coverage. Awesome right? No more heavy cakey foundations!! Generally the application process is super quick and with the right skin prep it will hold up while you bawl your way through your vows (speaking from experience!)

But is Airbrush Makeup Better?
Now that depends on who you talk to. Really airbrushing is simply a technique just as applying foundation with your fingers is a technique or with a brush is a technique or with a sponge is another technique. And every artist has their own preferred technique. One they have mastered by doing it over and over again for years! So here’s the truth….it’s not the technique that’s better…it’s the artist and their product. Boom!! There I said it!!

​This image gives you a bit of an idea about the way the foundation is laid onto the skin with each different technique but I do have to say that it isn’t an entirely accurate representation. A talented artist will easily create a beautiful finish with either brush or sponge and some mad blending skills. Also the Beauty Blender, which I reviewed HERE, certainly wouldn’t give this splodgy effect but some of the older latex sponges would. What I do believe though is that with either sponge or brush a little more attention and elbow grease is required to blend it just right.
Personally I LOVE airbrushing! For me it is a super fast way to create a beautiful flawless finish. It lasts brilliantly well up to the last dance of the evening and I haven’t yet found a face that I couldn’t use it on. In fact I will use it on everyone that allows me to. My go-to ranges are the vegan water-based offering from Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics with is kind to sensitive skin and gives a slightly matte, real skin look or the silicone based Element2 which is awesome on super dry and mature skins and provides a more dewy finish.
At the end of the day though it really doesn’t matter which technique is better. What is important is that you choose a makeup artist based on their skill, experience and their ability to translate your ideas into the perfect look for you because a great artist can do that no matter what technique they use.

Photo Credit:

Mecca Cosmetica – To Save Face SPF 50+

I know what you’re thinking. It’s bloody freezing so why am I doing a sunscreen product review??

Well beside the fact that sun protection isn’t just a summer thing, the real reason is that hubby, the kid & I have tried to escape the Melbourne chill and headed to the Gold Coast to warm the bones. Sadly winter has decided it wants to play in Queensland as well and I’m sitting in my apartment watching a huge freezing storm cell make it’s way along the coast. Not a whole lot of sun going on! Ahh Queensland… Perfect one day, Stormy the next!

But just 2 days ago the sunshine was glorious and I was super quick to slather on my favourite facial sunscreen. Not all sunscreens are the same and I’m fussy about what I put on my face. This has more to do with the texture and feel of the product than being an ingredient snob. I hate how most sunscreens, even the ones that are designed to go on your face, feel thick and sticky. I look forward to scrubbing it off at the end of the day. But I don’t get that feeling with this product. It’s super light and fluid and feels more like a moisturiser than a sunscreen. It doesn’t get sticky if you get sweaty and it doesn’t even smell like a sunscreen! With an SPF of 50+ I love this product so much I put it into my kit to use on my clients.

Most people try to get away mid year and whether you are escaping to somewhere warmer or just hanging out on the ski slopes, you need a really great broad spectrum sunscreen to protect your face from sun damage and premature ageing and this is my pick. Cruelty free and Australian. Enjoy 🙂

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion

If you are doing bridal work or just want your own makeup to last more than 5 minutes then you definitely consider using a primer. Every company seems to have one on the market but, from my own experience, they don’t all do what they should do, improve the texture of the skin and help makeup last longer.

One of my makeup crushes is for Urban Decay. I do a lot (A LOT!) of weddings and am always looking for products that will stay on longer than the dress does.

TaDaa… Eyeshadow Primer Potion!!!

Firstly wow! And secondly… WOW!

I have tried 2 of the 4 shades. Original and Eden. Both are pretty awesome but I do love Eden as it tones down the pinky/purple tones in the eyelids and negates the need to use any concealer there as well. It goes on quite wet but then dries down to form a crease proof, budge proof, cry proof, sweat proof, you name it proof, base that makes your shadow last and last and last!! Brilliant for bridal work but it is also perfect for those of us with oily lids that are sick of our liner running away from our eyes. You can use your fingers to apply it but I get a better result using either the Beauty Blender or a small (clean) fluffy eyeshadow brush. Just make sure you blend out any creases because once this stuff sets you can’t move it anymore. If you’re putting shadow or liner on the lower lash line then definitely put a little potion there too. And before you head to bed, it all melts off easily with a gentle eye makeup remover.

I do love this product and it has become a staple in both my kit and bathroom. I love it even more that Urban Decay are a cruelty free company. “We don’t test on animals, how could anyone?” And thankfully Mecca Maxima recently bought this much in demand company back to Australia instead of us having to order from the UK! Yay! Thanks Mecca xx

Beauty Blender

When I first tried the Beauty Blender is was BIG NEWS! I had been converted to using a sponge!! Ok well not entirely. My favourite toy in my kit will always be my airbrush, but when it comes to blending out concealer before I spray I had always been a brush girl. And it’s been that way for two decades ago! Having never been able to re-create the same flawless skin finish with either my fingers or those stupid triangle sponge thingys, I was reluctant to give the Beauty Blender a go. I mean come on… it’s just a sponge!!
But I was wrong! This perfect little hot pink, egged shaped wonder makes applying the perfect foundation base so quick and easy. It’s brilliant for both personal and professional use and I have to say I have been super impressed with how easily it helps pimples, scars, pores and even fine lines disappear. (Assuming you’re using a half decent primer and foundation to begin with.) It feels lovely in the hand and all my clients have commented on how soft it feels on their skin. It comes in a bunch of colours and there is even a super tiny mini version for even more precise application. These little babies are meant to be used WET so give them a good soak and squeeze first and then use a press and roll technique to get a beautiful finish. They work beautifully with both my Urban Decay and  IRIDIS concealers.
At AUS$30 for just 1 sponge it is a lot to pay, but then it really is SO much more than a just a sponge. The Beauty Blender is washable and reusable and if you lovingly care for it using its very own Solid Cleansing Bar, it will reward you with a perfect base many, many applications into the future.
Available in store or online at Sephora and Crush Cosmetics this is definitely one to use both in the kit and at home!!