Friday, 29 March 2013

Review: Revlon PhotoReady Perfecting Primer and Eye Primer

I had never really been interested in trying makeup primers, even though I know they can really make a difference to how long your makeup lasts and how it looks. Perhaps it's because I don't know what primer to go for, as I only know a handful of brands which have affordable primers (I'm not willing to spend a lot on primer for some reason) or maybe it's due to laziness. However I've been lucky enough to receive these Revlon primers for free- the PhotoReady Perfecting Primer and PhotoReady Eye Primer and Brightener.

I have always considered Revlon as a higher-end "drugstore" brand, and this is also reflected in their prices. Prices for makeup here in Australia are exorbitant, ridiculous, whatever you would like to call it! The Perfecting Primer and Eye Primer and Brightener retail for $29.95 and $24.95 respectively- which to all your fellow American bloggers may find crazy! I am so jealous at the inexpensive makeup overseas. Alright that is enough rambling for now!

Revlon PhotoReady Perfecting Primer $29.95

A primer that applies on smoothly and effortlessly, this lightweight Perfecting Primer is described to create a perfect canvas for makeup, and softens the skin by reducing the appearance of pores and fine lines. Packaging wise, I like this primer- the glass bottle feels solid and of good quality, and the easy to dispense pump doesn't hurt either (as opposed to L'Oreal Paris' Base Magique Smoothing Primer which is in a jar which isn't a very hygienic way to use a primer!).

On first application I found this primer to be greasy, but only afterwards I realised it wasn't the primer itself- it was all the other products I had on; my rosehip oil, moisturiser and sunscreen! On another attempt, the primer melted into my skin which was amazing! I can't really comment on its minimising pores and fine lines capability as I don't have either of those! I couldn't really feel or see a significant difference between using it and not using it under foundation, however that isn't to say there wasn't a difference. It probably did make my foundation last longer, but I just didn't realise it. A nice product but doesn't really "wow" me, and as a result I don't use the Revlon PhotoReady Perfecting Primer very often.

Revlon PhotoReady Eye Primer and Brightener $24.95

I've been using this eye primer daily, but seeing as I haven't used any other eye primers before, I don't have anything to compare it to! Claiming to be a perfect base for the eyelids, this PhotoReady Eye Primer and Brightener can be used to prime the eyelids and under the eye, as well as brighten anywhere on the face. The brush applicator makes the product easy to apply, although dispensing it is sometimes difficult- one twist isn't enough for any primer to come out, but a couple more makes too much come out! I personally like to apply it using my fingers as I find I can get more control over its application. Instead of eyeliner pencils dragging on my eye sans primer, the PhotoReady Eye Primer and Brightener allows eyeliner to glide on smoothly and effortlessly! Any eye makeup stays on for longer too, and eyeshadows look more vibrant. As a brightener, I'm not a fan. It doesn't really do much, and when it isn't blended out properly, it looks terrible. I would rather use other products as a highlighter- even a light coloured eyeshadow would work better! However as an eye primer, this is excellent!

L-R: Revlon PhotoReady Eye Primer and Brightener, Revlon PhotoReady Perfecting Primer
L-R: Eyeshadow without primer, eyeshadow with Eye Primer, eyeshadow without primer, eyeshadow with Perfecting Primer
If you look carefully, you can tell there is a difference when applying the eyeshadow with and without primer! Both primers work amazingly under eyeshadow, and you can definitely tell that it looks more pigmented and vibrant. What I also love about these Revlon primers is that they are oil free, talc free, fragrance free and paraben free which will give you an extra peace of mind! Maybe I should give my Perfecting Primer another chance after all...

After I use up my PhotoReady Eye Primer and Brightener, I'm not sure what eye primer I will go for next. I've heard that Urban Decay has a great formulation for its primer, but I have no clue where to get it (in Australia) and how much it would cost! If anyone could help me with that it'll be much appreciated :)

Have you tried any of these Revlon primers? Do you use primers, and if so, which ones?

Monday, 18 March 2013

Bronzed Up!

Perhaps this post would have been better suited for when summer was starting instead of ending, but then I thought of all of you in the Northern Hemisphere who are approaching spring and summer- so I guess I am not completely out of sync! I dug out all the products I could think of that had to do with bronze, and yes, it's not a huge collection. And how is it that I do not have a powder bronzer in my makeup collection? I am looking at the Bourjois Delice de Soleil Bronzing Powder but any other suggestions are welcome. Anyways, here we have my bronze coloured products.

Dove Summer Glow Body Lotion, Bonne Bell Sunblush Bronze in Sunkissed Copper, Maybelline Color Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze, Korres Sunflower & Evening Primrose Eyeshadow in Bronze Brown,  Australis 10 Hour Wear Pencil in Bombastic Bronze, L'oreal Studio Secrets Eye Pencil in 531 Brown, Clarins Crayon Yeux in 02 Brun

I'm very certain that the Bonne Bell Sunblush Bronze cream and L'Oreal Studio Secrets Eye Pencil are discontinued, hence it is hard to find much information on them now. I did get the Sunblush Bronze 8 years ago, so perhaps it shouldn't still be my collection... oh well. Moving onto the products themselves now.

L-R: Maybelline Color Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze, Korres Sunflower & Evening Primrose Eyeshadow in Bronze Brown

Maybelline Color Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze $11.95
Not much needs to be said about this cult favourite eyeshadow cream gel. With a creamy and smooth texture, this is a beautiful everyday shade which applies nicely and stays on the eyelids. The colour is longlasting and intense and I absolutely love it. Quality is very high with a very affordable price, and these little jars of colour have even been dubbed as having a formulation comparable to MAC's Paint Pots. Definitely one of my favourite eye products.

Korres Sunflower & Evening Primrose Eyeshadow in Bronze Brown $29.95
I got this little cute eyeshadow from a part of my Korres Smoky Bronze Antioxidant Eye Collection which I reviewed here and bought for only $10 from StrawberryNET. Bronze Brown is a very wearable shade, and I absolutely love nude and brown eyeshadows (yes I am boring). Pigmentation is decent but nothing amazing, and does apply well. To the naked eye the Korres Eyeshadow and Maybelline Color Tattoo shades are very similar, but when swatched (see below) they are quite different.

Bonne Bell Sunblush Bronze in Sunkissed Copper $N/A
As I mentioned earlier, this is a very old product, roughly 8 years old. Since this was a product I didn't use very often, it still looks like it is in good condition! The packaging is quite practical, as it allows just the right amount of product to be dispensed out of the soft tube which is easy to squeeze. The bronzer cream is very pigmented, and a little goes a long way. This definitely has orange undertones so it is best used for a nice sunkissed look.

Top to bottom: Australis 10 Hour Wear Pencil in Bombastic Bronze, L'Oreal Studio Secrets Eye Pencil in 531 Brown, Clarins Crayon Yeux in 02 Brun

Australis 10 Hour Wear Pencil in Bombastic Bronze $9.95
One of my favourite eye pencils ever, I am so glad it is so accessible and affordable! I reviewed this here last year. Absolutely amazing texture, smooth and creamy and such a breeze to apply. Smudgeproof and stays on for the day! I love the colour as I'm not a huge fan of black eyeliner, and I find that brown and bronze shades are very natural looking. I find that its formulation and colour are extraordinarily similar to the Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal Eyeliner in Bronze (oh what a mouthful!). The Australis pencil rivals my Clarins Crayon Yeux in Brun for my favourite eyeliner, yet at a fraction of its cost. My only qualm? That it runs out too quickly and needs to be sharpened regularly (mainly due to its creaminess).

L'Oreal Studio Secrets Eye Pencil in 531 Brown $N/A
I purchased this from a clearance bin at Priceline for $4. I wasn't sure what to expect from it but it did impress me with its colour. This is a very neutral and modest shade, I can even use it for a "no makeup" look as it is very subtle. Doesn't apply as smooth as the Australis pencil but does the job. Not very longlasting and does fade throughout the day.

Clarins Crayon Yeux in Brun $36
I got this eyeliner free from work so calm down, I didn't buy it for the exuberant $36! Creamy, pigmented and glides on beautifully- what could I not like? It is slightly less shimmery than the Australis 10 Hour Wear Pencil so it makes it perfect for everyday wear. It also doesn't run down as fast as the Australis, which is something you'd hope for, especially in a high end pencil. To be honest I don't use the foam end at all for smudging, but being a smudgeable pencil, it isn't smudgeproof like the Australis. Phew that was a lot of "smudge" in one sentence.

Dove Summer Glow Beauty Body Lotion in Medium to Dark $6.95
Lastly, here is the Dove's offering for a gradual tan moisturiser. Easy to apply, smells a treat and gets the job done. Just make sure you exfoliate and don't pack on the lotion thickly... as you can get orange patches! Back in the day when gradual tan lotions were very popular, I remember the Johnson's Holiday Skin Lotion which was the leader in its market. I'm not sure what has happened to it, as a Google search doesn't bring much up. I haven't used this lotion in years, and don't plan to. Not sure what to do with it...

L-R swatches: Maybelline Bad to the Bronze, Korres Bronze Brown, Bonne Bell Sunblush Bronze, L'Oreal Studio Secrets Eye Pencil Brown, Clarins Crayon Yeux Brun and Australis Bombastic Bronze
After these swatches, I'm thinking that this post shouldn't even be called "Bronzed Up"! Oh well, too late now. Just look at Bad to the Bronze compared to Korres' Bronze Brown! What a huge difference. Bad to the Bronze looks more of a shimmery taupe than a bronze while the Korres is more true to a bronze. Bonne Bell's Sunblush Bronze in Sunkissed Copper is the most bronze out of everything else! See what I mean about its pigmentation? That was only a very tiny dollop of product too. L'Oreal's Eye Pencil is far from bronze, Clarin's Brown is less bronze than Australis' Bombastic Bronze and is less shimmery too, although it isn't perfectly depicted in this photo. In reality, Bombastic Bronze looks more appealing than Clarin's Brown when swatched.

Phew what a post, I don't usually do "long" posts due to laziness. But there you have it, my bronze products.

Have you tried any of these products before? What do you think?

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Review: Avene Thermal Spring Water

As promised, here is a review of Avene's Thermal Spring Water, otherwise also known as Avène Eau Thermale (oh how I love the French language). A very simple product, but essentially it is water in a can with a multitude of uses and is suitable for sensitive skin types. 

I've longed for this product for quite a long time but never really justified spending $10.95 for a 50mL can of water (other sizes include 150mL for $18.95 and 300mL for $23.95)! However thanks to Beautyheaven's Beautorium I managed to get a small can of the popular spring water.

I was going to go on about the history of Avene and why its spring water is so good, but instead of boring you with information you can easily Google, I'll get on to the review. Avene's Thermal Spring Water is sourced directly from the Avene Thermal springs and has a low mineral content, a neutral pH and a high proportion of precious trace elements such as silica. So that's all the facts listed down, but what does it actually do?

Great thing about the Thermal Spring Water is that it can comfort skin irritations (such as sunburn, eczema, itching, facial redness, razor burn or even after surgeries- which I assume mean facial cosmetic surgeries) as well as toning, and generally refreshing the face especially during hot days and while travelling. Having dry and irritated skin at times, I find that this spring water spray works a charm. The mist is beautiful, probably the best mist I've tried- don't you just hate ones that squirt at your face? It was extremely refreshing and a joy to use, and I found it perfect for these past hot days (37 degrees anyone?).

Despite it being quite a fun product to use and giving me a fresh pick-up when I need to, I do find the price of Avene Thermal Spring Water a little on the expensive side, especially for something that is "just" water. I would love to be able to compare prices and quality to another spring water spray though, but the only one I can think of from the top of my head is Evian's Facial Spray which I don't think is readily stocked here in Australia. Give me a bit of time, and I might eventually get my hands on a bottle (hooray for online shopping) and then I can compare.

Do you use Avene's Thermal Spring Water? Do you think it is actually worth its price?

Friday, 8 March 2013

Review: Revlon Nail Enamel in Popular

The first time I set my eyes on this beauty, I knew I had to get it. A pale pink with just the right amount of silver hexagonal glitters and minute shimmers dispersed throughout, Revlon 230 Popular is quite the pretty one. At $13.95 a bottle, it isn't cheap but I did manage to get this at half price!

Most of you aren't strangers to the Revlon Nail Enamels, but to those who are, you are missing out on the beautiful shade varieties on offer (55 of them!) with smooth formulations which can be available at drugstores (haha yes, I am using American terminology). Revlon claims that their formulations are smooth, chip resistant and give up to ten days worth of lasting colour and shine. The nail enamels also contain a "silk-protein shield" which helps even out the surface of the nail while smoothing away bubbles, streaks and brush marks.

This photo doesn't do any justice to this pretty glittery polish!
Such pretty glitters
Revlon 230 Popular applied smoothly and quite nicely. One coat is quite sheer so at least two coats are needed to be able to clearly see the light pink base colour. I was quite happy with the formulation as I've been disappointed before with another Revlon nail enamel I have, Blue Lagoon. It was streaky, had brush marks, was difficult to apply and took a long time to dry. I took the chance with 230 Popular and hoped that the formula was much better and I ended up happy with it. 

How do some people take such nice photos of their nails?
Mine looks awful!
This polish did chip after a few days which was expected (especially since it is a glitter!) but did not last the ten days it claimed. I adore this polish though- the combination of pale pink and the two different glitters make it so pretty and girly. Revlon have a couple of more other glitter shades too which look amazing too! Even though people have raved about how great Revlon Nail Enamels were, I wasn't too impressed especially after my encounter with the streaky formulation of Blue Lagoon. I still think that OPI make the best nail polishes by far- they have an extraordinary range of shades and glitters, as well as having fantastic formulations- shame that they cost $20 a pop here in Australia though! All in all, Revlon 230 Popular is a joy to wear and has a beautiful smooth finish.

What do you think of 230 Popular? Have you tried Revlon nail enamels before?

Friday, 1 March 2013

Beautyheaven Beautorium Feb 2013

When I heard there was going to be another Beautorium being held by Beautyheaven I was very excited especially after having gotten a few items from the first one last year! After some patience and waiting for a few weeks, I finally received all the products I got from the Beautorium.

Top to bottom, L-R: John Plunkett Multi Vitamin Moisturiser, John Plunkett Glyco Peel, Alpha-H Gentle Daily Exfoliant, Avene Thermal Spring Water, Sunsilk Straight Perfection Gloss Finish Serum Spray, Lady Jayne Bun Styl'r

The main thing I wanted from the Beautorium were the Alpha-H Gentle Daily Exfoliant which has won two awards from Beautyheaven and the Avene Thermal Spring Water which I have been wanting to try for so long but never gotten around to it (this has also won a Beautheaven award!). I have heard many comparisons between the Alpha-H Gentle Daily Exfoliant and Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant which is my favourite exfoliant product ever- so I am excited to see how the Alpha-H compares.

The John Plunkett products were add ons- they sounded quite good and I had never tried any of their products so I thought this would be a great opportunity to give them a go! Since I had some leftover points I decided to grab the Sunsilk Straight Perfection Gloss Finish Serum Spray which is from Sunsilk's new Co-Creations collection. The Lady Jayne Bun Styl'r kit was provided as a gift and thank you very much Beautyheaven! The only problem is that it is a size medium/large and is far too big for my thin hair :( The package also came with some Compeed samples- a blister patch and cold sore patch which aren't in any of these photos.

I will definitely review all these products soon once I've used them for a while and post my thoughts on them. Here is a list of all the things I received and their Australian retail prices too:

Very excited to try these all and thank you again Beautyheaven for such a wonderful event! 

Did you get anything from the Beautorium this time round? Or have you tried any of these products before?