June 2015 | Alexis Adrienne

25.6.15

Is a fake NARS Ita comparable to the real deal?

Hi loves,

Not too long ago I finally purchased the highly coveted NARS Ita! I paid $88 for it from Mecca Cosmetica and was absolutely THRILLED. A few weeks later I found a $5 copy of it on eBay, and I just had to buy it and see for myself how different (or similar!) it was to the real thing. For all of the photos, the authentic brush is on the left and the fake is on the right.
nars ita authentic vs fake brush
I was pretty amazed by how close the fake looked to the real thing, but when I started to use it there were some pretty significant differences that set the real Ita apart. Firstly, the 'NARS' logo isn't stamped as deeply in the fake brush as it is in the authentic one. The fake brush's bristles are slightly longer, and splay a little bit more from their setting in the base of the brush. The brushes are also very soft in comparison to the authentic one, but they aren't as firm and splay quite easily, warping from the original shape of the brush. However, that's not to say that the authentic Ita has rough fibres - both are soft to the touch on the face.
nars ita fake authentic comparison
A teeny tiny difference is that each brush has a small code printed into the other side of it - the authentic has 4KHUA while the fake has 4YHUA. Unfortunately, I'm not too sure of the meaning of these codes.
Authentic on top, fake on bottom
The setting that the bristles are placed in is much longer in the fake than in the real one, and from a side-on view you can really see how much wider the fake brush's bristles splay out than the authentic one.
The biggest issue that I had with the fake was that it shed bristles like no other. It shed when I used it and it shed even worse when I went to wash it. I could literally pull the bristles out with no resistance at all. I've yet to have ANY shedding at all with the authentic Ita.

In the end, I'm going to have to recommend the real deal. It's more precise to contour with, and you have a guarantee of quality from NARS that the brush won't shed black hairs EVERYWHERE when you go to use it.

Have you tried the NARS Ita? What's your favourite contouring brush?

Lexie xx

where to buy nars
Mecca Cosmetica

18.6.15

Review: Sally Hansen 18K Gold Hardener and Cuticle Eraser

Hey lovelies,

Today I have the Sally Hansen 18K Gold nail care system to share with you! It's made of a cuticle care pen and a nail strengthener.
The base coat claims to fortify nails with a combination of 18K gold, peptides, and amino acids - pretty bold claims, if you ask me! In my opinion, peptides and amino acids are wasted in hair and nail products - both are dead and gain no benefit from 'actives' like this. I did a little Google-fu and it turns out that the gold-coloured flakies in the product aren't the 18K gold - instead, it's present in the formula as colloidal gold.
As a base coat, it was probably a good thing that the flakies themselves aren't gold - they lay close to the nail and don't create any bumps or ridges when nail polish is applied over the top. By itself, the strengthener is very subtle - you can hardly see the flakes. The cap also pops off to reveal a much more ergonomic lid to hold when applying the product.
I found that this works really well as a base coat - I experienced hardly any chips until I took my polish off (which would be 3-5 days later, depending on my mood!). Unfortunately, I can't comment on its strengthening abilities. My nails are already quite strong from a combination of Duri Rejuvacote and frequent cuticle oil use.
With one coat of 18K Strengthener.
I found the cuticle eraser to be slightly gimmicky. It comes in a small tube with a twist off cap, which has a small scrubber at the end with which you can rub the product into your cuticles. The product itself is very florally scented, and full of small, sparkly scrubbing particles to exfoliate your cuticles away with.
I found the applicator a little difficult to work with, and think it would have been better as a brush tip to apply to such a small area. I also realised that it was pretty easy to go overboard with the scrubber, so I definitely recommend that you use it carefully!

Something important to note is that this does need to be washed from your hands before you apply nail polish, or else it will turn into a dry white residue on your fingers.

Have you tried the Sally Hansen 18K system? What did you think?

Lexie xx

Products in this post were provided to me for review. All opinions are my own.

11.6.15

Review: OXX Liquid Eyeliner from Kmart

Hi doves!

NB: My opinion on this has changed since I initially posted this review.

Edit 01/10/15:
Hi everyone, just making a tiny edit as my opinion has changed on this product. After I first reviewed it, I figured I would just keep it as a product to use on days when my angled brushes for my gel eyeliner were dirty. However... It took me forever to get around to cleaning my brushes, and this product quickly became my go-to. It doesn't irritate me anymore (I'm not sure why), and it lasts MUCH better on my lids, even with primer than my gel eyeliner.

I was in Kmart the other day and thought I would try a brand that I've heard about all over social media, OXX. Everything from OXX costs only $3 and at that price I figured I didn't have much to lose by trying their liquid eyeliner.

6.6.15

Review: Furless Cosmetics Couture Body Contour Brush Kit

Hi lovelies,

Furless Cosmetics generously sent me this luxurious brush kit for review, and I've had a great time putting the brushes through their paces. While the brush kit is labelled as a Body Contour Kit, I've found quite a few other applications for them.
All of the brushes are made of 100% synthetic fibres, and are full and soft to the touch. From the largest to the smallest they are simply labelled as BC1, BC2, and so on. I really love the black on black design - black handles and black ferrules together just look so classy. I also really like that the handles taper to a point, however I found this a little tricky when drying them on my brush tree. Just because the handle fits doesn't mean the brush head will! 
I loved the feel of these brushes on my face - I never realised how scratchy my old Crown powder brush was until I started using the BC1/BC2 as powder brushes. They're so soft and luxurious and pick up just the right amount of product. I found that the BC2 was just too big to use as a blush brush, but I'm sure it would be a fantastic bronzing brush.
I actually really liked the BC3 as a highlighting brush! It's slightly larger than the brush I normally use for highlighter (pictured below), but still worked fantastically well. The smallest brush, the BC4, was honestly my favourite of them all. It's small size makes it perfect for setting undereye concealer, or brushing away excess powder after baking your makeup.
I did find that their dark colour bled a little, resulting in grey water when I washed them for the first time. However, I think that's pretty normal when washing dark/black brushes for the first time. The only bone I have to pick is that pricing is a little steep for synthetic brushes, IMO - individually, the prices range from AUD$19.99-29.99, and as a kit it costs AUD$99.99 from the Furless Cosmetics website. Despite that, these brushes are fantastic and have definitely found a place in my daily makeup routine!

I found out that Furless is running a Buy-One-Get-One promo on the entire Body Contour and Must Have Pro range until June 15th AEST - bargain!

Have you tried Furless Cosmetics? What are your favourite synthetic brushes?

Lexie xx

press sample

3.6.15

Nail Art: Lightning Bolts with Colors by Llarowe & China Glaze

Hi loves,

I've got a really summery look for you all today! I thought I would get creative with some nail vinyls since I haven't used any for SO long! The ones I used for this manicure are from NailVinyls.com.

The two colours I used are Colors by Llarowe My Own Private Paradise and China Glaze That's Shore Bright. They're very similar in tone except for the fact that MOPP is holographic, and together they create a really nice, subtle look in indirect sunlight.

But when you bring out the sun... BAM!

For some reason, That's Shore Bright took on a slightly more purple hue on my ring finger in comparison to all of my other nails - not sure if it's a result of the top coat I use (Sally Hansen Big Shine) or if it's because it was painted over a holo, but either way I like it!

Have you tried nail vinyls before? What did you think?

Lexie xx

Colors by Llarowe is available online from Llarowe and Harlow & Co.
China Glaze is available online from various eBay and TradeMe sellers 

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