Thursday, 29 August 2013

Review: theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer

Highlighters. A product that isn't crucial for your everyday makeup look, yet when introduced, you cannot turn back. I first heard about theBalm's Mary-Lou Manizer from Essiebutton and never really thought about buying it, I just thought it would have been something nice to have. Then came along a few more reviews and I couldn't resist. The tipping point was when David Jones had a fantastic offer- spend $27.95 on any theBalm products and receive a Shady Lady Eyeshadow Palette worth $49.95 for free! Must I say, after parting with $34.95 for the Mary-Lou Manizer, I came home with not one product, but a Shady Lady Vol. 2 palette as well, which I will review another time. Today it's all about Mary-Lou.

L-R: Shady Lady Eyeshadow Palette Vol.2, Mary-Lou Manizer

Packaging wise,  Mary-Lou presents itself well. The 8.5g of beautiful highlighter is encased with a sturdy click case which I have no doubts of failing me, if I were to tote it around. The Mary-Lou Manizer is described as an innocent honey-hued luminizer which can be used as a highlighter, shadow and shimmer, giving either a subtle glow or a sexy sheen, depending on the amount you use. I found the champagne colour of Mary-Lou absolutely gorgeous and I can see it being very flattering on all skin tones.

The first swatch of the Mary-Lou Manizer was amazing- this finely milled highlighter is unbelievably smooth, buttery soft and pigmented! There surely couldn't be anything that could feel any more luxurious than this beauty. The best thing was that it provided such a beautiful shimmer without any chunks of glitter. The results were effortless- even though it is quite pigmented, it is hard to go wrong and nothing couldn't be fixed with extra blending! The perfect brushes to apply the Mary-Lou with would be Real Techniques' Contour Brush from the Core Collection, great for highlighting the cheekbones to make them pop, and the Real Techniques' Blush Brush for the perfect sheen.

No other makeup here except some Garnier BB Cream for Sensitive Skin and theBalm's Mary-Lou Manizer. You can definitely see what a difference this beautiful highlighter does, and it gives such a healthy glow to the face. Mary-Lou can also be used as a highlight to the inner corners of the eyes too, and wow, does it impress. Longevity is stunning and is also my favourite way of brightening and opening my eyes.

I am glad that theBalm's Mary-Lou Manizer found its way into my beauty collection, and I have no regrets whatsoever. However thank goodness for the David Jones offer, as without it, I wouldn't have had that extra incentive to purchase such a multi-purpose, luxurious and impressive highlighter.

Paired with Real Techniques Blush Brush for a lovely sheen

Have you tried theBalm's Mary-Lou Manizer? What other highlighters do you use?

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Review: Grown Alchemist Lip Balm Watermelon & Vanilla

I'm no stranger to the bargain corner of a store. So when Priceline had a shelf hidden at the back of its store, stuffed with marked down products (I'm assuming discontinued products) I had a look around. My friend was able to snag a Trilogy Rosehip Oil Antioxidant+ with a bonus cream for only $15! I found a whole row of Grown Alchemist products which I didn't know a lot about. I remember always walking past this brand, scoffing at its ridiculously high prices, however I decided to pick up the Lip Balm in Watermelon & Vanilla for $5, down from $19.95 for 12mL.   
I must say I am admiring the box, made from recycled card and actually feels of quality. The lip balm itself is encased in a metal tube with a simple twist lid, from afar you wouldn't think it was a lip balm! I'm also liking the simplicity of the monochrome design, it makes it look very minimalist. 

Grown Alchemist  does not test on animals and also uses certified organic ingredients, which is always a great plus in the skincare and beauty field. The lip balm is described as a luxurious silky vitamin and antioxidant rich lip balm that hydrates, softens and nourishes the lips- I am such a huge sucker for lip products! The lip balm is a clear gel, but the main first impression was that it smelled amazing, a sweet candy scent that was reminiscent of my childhood, which brought back many nostalgic memories. I was in love!

But back to its lip hydrating capabilities- I was a little disappointed but perhaps it is due to my very high expectations for lip balms (I will review my most favourite lip moisturising product soon, keep an eye out!). I felt my lips became dry not long after application. I had to constantly reapply- which although is a pleasure because of the wonderful scent, I would rather it have longer lasting effects. I can actually say it is similar to the Lucas' Papaw Ointment in terms of moisturisation- it really wears off quickly and doesn't leave the lips moisturised (due to the petroleum), but I'm glad that the Lip Balm in Watermelon & Vanilla doesn't have petroleum. At $5 I did not have any regrets, but if I were to pay the full price, I would have been disappointed.

Have you tried any products from Grown Alchemist?

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Review: Garnier BB Cream for sensitive skin

I don't know about you, but on those cold winter mornings when you wake up wishing that you can snuggle in bed just a little bit longer, you find yourself in a rush to get ready for the day. One of my saviours has been easy-to-slap-on BB cream which requires minimal effort. When Garnier first released their original BB Cream formula a couple of years ago, I was so excited to snatch it up and found that its thick formula was perfect for my dry, dehydrated skin, and was a nice shade match for me. Earlier this year, out came the Garnier BB Cream for sensitive skin and I happily picked it up, eager to see how it compared to the original formula.

The Garnier BB Cream for sensitive skin is described as a formula that soothes and reduces redness of the skin, along with the million other claims BB creams always have including correcting blemishes, evening and illuminating the skin while providing SPF protection. This sensitive skin formulation was fragrance-free which I thought was great for those who didn't like the scent of the original- although I personally loved the fresh pleasant fragrance it had! These BB creams are definitely more on the moisturising side and can leave a dewy or shiny finish that some people may not like, and I'll probably stay away if you have oily or combination skin. If you have dry to normal skin like me, then these will be great!

L-R: Garnier BB Cream for normal skin, Garnier BB Cream for sensitive skin

I had really liked the original BB Cream as it worked well with my skin despite being a little on the greasier side, which I didn't mind as I could always set my face with a pressed powder to mattify it- like the Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder. I never realised that the original formula was made in Germany while the sensitive version was made in France! When I first used the Garnier BB Cream for sensitive skin, I actually found it a little difficult to blend into my skin and that it sometimes balled up on my face. It was so hard to work with depending on what skincare products I had put on my face earlier (usually rosehip oil, a moisturiser and sometimes a sunscreen) and the product would constantly rub off into little balls! I found that it made my face more pink than usual, opposing the fact that it was meant to "reduce redness".

 After many uses I found the sensitive formulation to be quite temperamental- sometimes it would stay on, other times it would rub off and leave a mess. However eventually I found a way to minimise the balling up of the product- to use my Real Techniques Buffing Brush or by minimally blending in the BB Cream using my fingers. Because of this, I have to say I like the original formula for normal skin better, as it didn't have the problem of "balling up" on my face which made it just that much easier to use.

L-R: Garnier BB Cream for normal skin, Garnier BB Cream for sensitive skin
I absolutely love the simplicity and ease in using these BB creams with its natural-looking coverage, perfect for quick morning routines when I want to indulge in a sleep in! I find that its thicker formulation is great for keeping my dry skin moisturised , and any oiliness around my nose was fixed with a little powder and I was good to go. There is also an oily skin version for those with oilier skins which I believe will not have the dewy finish that these BB Cream formulations have. 

Have you tried the Garnier BB Creams? What are your go-to products for lazy mornings?