2016 | Alexis Adrienne

17.12.16

JUST SHEET IT: TonyMoly I'm Real Tomato Radiance Mask Sheet Review

tonymoly tomato radiance mask review nz

Hey babes!

I'm still working through that massive TonyMoly mask haul I did AAAGES ago and today I've got the tomato mask to review for you. It piqued my interest as a radiance mask, since radiance is often a synonym for brightening/whitening in skincare. I also read good reviews about it so I was super keen to try it!

Tomatoes contain lycopene, a powerful antioxidant. However, it's debatable as to exactly how much lycopene the tomato extract contains, and considering how far down it is on the ingredients list, it will be interesting to see the instant and latent effects of this mask.
asian beauty review tonymoly i'm real tomato radiance mask
One of the first things I noticed about it was the smell - honestly, I thought it was so rank that I only wore the mask for about 10 minutes the first time I tried it (normally I'll put one on and read for like an hour or watch a show!). I'm not sure if I was feeling particularily sensitive to smells that day but it smelled terrible. Looking at the ingredients list, I think it was just a combination of the extract smells that threw me. I'm not a fan of anything that smells like peaches unless it's a real peach! Needless to say, I didn't see any results (instant or otherwise) after wearing it for just 10 minutes.

I decided that I had to try it again in order to give a fair review on it, and tbh I'm pretty glad I did. The mask still smelled a bit, but wasn't as overpowering as the first time. I wore it for 40 minutes, and was quite pleasantly surprised to see how bouncy and smooth my skin was after removing the mask! If you can get past the smell, this is a great mask to use.
Let's take a look at the ingredients:

Water, Glycerin, Glycereth-26, Butylene Glycol, Peg/ppg-17/6 Copolymer, Bis-ethoxy Diglycol Succinate, Panthenol, Allantoin, Peg-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Chlorphenesin, Carbomer, Phenoxyethanol, Tromethamine, Solanium Lycopersicum (Tomato) Fruit Extract, 1,2-hexanediol, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Honey Extract, Prunus Persica (Peach) Fruit Extract, Caprylyl Glycol, Illicium Verum (Anise) Fruit Extract, Disodium Edta, Fragrance

Overall, this gets a 3/5 from me. Unfortunately, the smell really ruins this mask for me, despite the positive results!

Have you tried this mask before? What's your favourite tomato-based skincare product?

Lexie xx

rating scale
1 - Terrible: Negative effects on skin.
2 - Mediocre: No change in skin/claims not met.
3 - Average: Performs as expected.
4 - Good: Would repurchase unless I try something better.
5 - Amazing: Meets trifecta of perfect packaging, formula, & cost.

where to buy TonyMoly online
Peach & Lily (individual) | iHerb* (variety pack) | YesStyle* (individual) | RoseRoseShop (individual) | q-depot* (10-pack) | BeautyJoint (individual)

where to buy TonyMoly in-store
The Cosmetic Store | Vanessa | Ippondo

purchased / contains affiliate links*

10.12.16

IT'S A MIRACLE: Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge Review

Hey babes!

It's no secret that sponges are my favourite way to apply base makeup, and I've definitely tried my fair share of them. They give me an unmatchable, skin like finish that I just can't get from brushes! The RT sponge was actually the very first one I bought YEARS ago, but I haven't reviewed it until now. Real Techniques is super widely available - iHerb has the best prices IMO, but Farmers and Unichem Pharmacies also have them (at a markup) if you can't wait for shipping times.
Despite the fact that it says "wet or dry" on the packaging I ALWAYS use my sponges wet. Just the thought of using a dry makeup sponge on my skin grosses me out! Not to mention all the product wasted...
nailgirl.net real techniques miracle sponge review beauty blender dupe
The mark of a good sponge for me is how much it expands when it's dampened. For comparison, those shitty $3 Kmart ones didn't expand at all and that's why it feels like you're punching yourself in the face when you use them. The RT sponge expands quite a lot, making it more comfortable to use and expanding its surface area to blend foundation with.

This sponge is definitely a favourite in my rotation and highly recommend it! It gets a 5/5 from me.

Have you tried this RT sponge? What's your favourite way to apply foundation?

Lexie xx

rating scale
1 - Terrible: Negative effects on skin.
2 - Mediocre: No change in skin/claims not met.
3 - Average: Performs as expected.
4 - Good: Would repurchase unless I try something better.
5 - Amazing: Meets trifecta of perfect packaging, formula, & cost.

where to buy Real Techniques online
iHerb (single)* | iHerb (2 pack)* | iHerb (4 pack)* | Real Techniques

where to buy Real Techniques in-store
Farmers | Unichem Pharmacy

purchased / contains affiliate links*

24.11.16

Movember Isn't Just For Guys: Moustache Nail Art

movember nail art winstonia
Hey babes!

I've been bitten by the nail art bug again (after the longest dry spell EVER) and I'm super excited to share my latest creation with you all!
I busted out a stamping plate I've had for ages from Winstonia in one of their older stamping plate sets. I can't seem to find the exact set on their website - I must have got it so long ago!
I used my clear jelly stamper to stamp the moustache at the top of the plate over two coats of Lime Crime Milky Ways. My accent nail is two coats of It's Frosty Outside topped with a coat of Just Crown Me Already. The black and white glitter is Salt N Pepa from Polish Me Silly (formerly known as Lush Lacquer).

I hope you enjoyed this sweet and simple moustache mani! Did you do anything for Movember?

Lexie xx

18.11.16

JUST SHEET IT: Papa Recipe Bombee Honey Mask Review

Hey babes!

I'm finally ready to review a mask that has helped my skin so much while being on tretinoin. The Papa Recipe Bombee Honey Mask review quickly surged to cult status, and it's pretty easy to see why. It features honey and propolis extracts, both of which are incredibly beneficial to skin. Researchers found that combined, propolis and honey have synergistic healing effect on wounds - this is exactly why so many people find that this mask heals and soothes sore, red pimples! Propolis also has an amazing antimicrobial effect which is super effective on any bacteria in the skin.
korean cosmetic review papa recipe bombee sheetmask review

On to the mask itself - a box contains 10 masks, each of which contains 25g of essence. Something I had heard a lot about this mask was how wonderful it smells! The smell is quite strong, but not overpowering. It smells sweetly floral and of honey - super soothing and relaxing. The mask is quite thin, but perfectly so - while the eye holes and nose holes weren't a 100% perfect fit, the thinness of the mask still allows it to contour to my face quite well. The mask is also super saturated with a clear, viscous essence. Combined with such a thin mask, it kind of felt like a hydrogel on my face.

kbeauty review papa recipe bombee honey mask

In addition to the honey and propolis extracts, the mask contains quite a few other beneficial ingredients:

Water, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Honey Extract, Propolis Extract, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Glyceryl Acrylate/Acrylic Acid Copolymer, Propylene Glycol, PVM/MA Copolymer, Trehalose, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Panthenol, Carbomer, Arginine, Disodium EDTA, Allantoin, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Schizandra Chinensis Fruit Extract, Coptis Japonica Root Extract, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed Extract, Acorus Gramineus Root/Stem Extract, Perilla Ocymoides Leaf Extract, Fragrance

After I removed the mask, my skin was noticably hydrated. As I patted the remainder of the essence into my skin and continued with my routine, my skin was incredibly bouncy - much more so than before I had put the mask on. I also found that any active breakouts I had were less angry and irritated, and my face was overall much less red, which made my face look brighter.

I paid NZ $25 at The Cosmetic Store, but I have seen the masks (whitening & black variations as well) available at Ippondo for NZ $19.99. I haven't seen them locally for sale individually, but they are online.

Overall this gets a 5/5 from me! I always reach for this mask because of how well it soothes my skin after use and the long-term benefits of honey and propolis.

Have you tried any Papa Recipe products?

Lexie xx

rating scale

1 - Terrible: Negative effects on skin.
2 - Mediocre: No change in skin/claims not met.
3 - Average: Performs as expected.
4 - Good: Would repurchase unless I try something better.
5 - Amazing: Meets trifecta of perfect packaging, formula, & cost.

where to buy Papa Recipe online
 YesStyle* | WishTrend*

where to buy Papa Recipe in-store
The Cosmetic Store | Vanessa | Ippondo

12.11.16

FACEOFF: Hada Labo Gokujyun Hydrating Lotion or Shirojyun Whitening Lotion?

Hey babes,

I've been happily using these two almost identical products for a little while now, and I figured it's finally time I share which one I think is better. They're both super similar, but have slightly different key ingredients which decide which one is ideal for your skin.
hada labo gokujyun shirojyun whitenening hydration review comparison
The version of Hydrating Lotion that I have is the light version. As an oily-skinned gal, I wasn't sure that I needed all the punch of the regular version. Here is the ingredients list straight off the bottle for the Hydration Lotion:

Water, Diproplyene Glycol, Glycerin, Disodium Succinate, Methylparaben, Sodium Hyaluronate (Small-Size HA), Sodium Hyaluronate (Medium-Size HA), Succinic Acid, PPG-20 Methyl Glucose Ether, Hyaluronic Acid (Nano HA), Sodium Acetylated Hyaluronate (Super HA)

So despite only being the light version, it still boasts four different types of hyaluronic acid. Each type is meant to penetrate a specific layer of the skin, boosting hydration. I'm not exactly sure how this works and how they're able to specify each kind of HA on the ingredients list, I wonder if a cosmetic chemist can explain this? In comparison, here is the ingredients list (again, straight off the bottle) for the Whitening Lotion:

Water, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Arbutin, Sorbitol, PPG-10 Methyl Glucose Ether, Disodium Succinate, Styrene/VP Copolymer, Methylisothiazolinone/Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate/Water, Sodium Hyaluronate (Medium-Size HA) Succinic Acid, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Hyaluronic Acid (Nano HA), Sodium Hyaluronate (Small-Size HA)

Bizarrely, it's a little bit different from the ingredients list I originally found and posted about in my full review of the Whitening Lotion. I'm more inclined to go with this one as it's literally on the packaging - in my original review, I had to Google it because I ordered the product straight from Japan. I bought these two in Singapore from Watsons (a pharmacy chain in SE Asia).

Anyway, you can see that while the Whitening Lotion only has three kinds of Hyaluronic Acid, it's got a few other goodie ingredients like Arbutin and a gentle form of Vitamin C, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate. These two are the key whitening ingredients for this lotion, and it's good to see Arbutin fairly high up in the ingredients list.

Both of them have a thin, watery texture that needs to be patted into the skin for best effect - not swiped on with a cotton pad! The Hydrating Lotion is clear, while the Whitening Lotion is slightly milky. My skin feels pretty much exactly the same after using either of them: hydrated and bouncy. Both would be great additions for anyone looking to add some hydration to their routine!

My advice to anyone choosing between buying either of these two is to evaluate what your skin needs. Is PIH a concern? Just hydration? Or is PIH already taken care of by another product in your routine?

Personally, I would probably repurchase the Whitening Lotion. Even though I do use other products that address PIH, it's just such a big concern for me that I really want every product in my routine to address that issue.

I hope this comparison has helped some of you decide between the two lotions! What is your favourite hydrating lotion/toner?

Lexie xx

where to buy hada labo shirojyun whitening lotion

where to buy hada labo gokujyun hydrating lotion

purchased / contains affiliate links*

30.9.16

DREAM ON: Maybelline Dream Velvet Soft Matte Hydrating Foundation Review

Hey babes,

As an oily-skinned girl, today's product was a very hyped up release for me! I was super stoked to finally get my hands on the Dream Velvet foundation when it released at Farmers in 10 shades. I chose the shade 60 Sandy Beige. The texture is a whipped, mousse texture - very, very similar to the Rimmel Stay Matte mousse foundation. It has a true matte finish once applied, and actually does control oil decently well.
maybelline dream velvet foundation nc25 review
Unfortunately, my excitement for it ends here. I found it to be very difficult to work with if my skin wasn't primed and moisturised enough before application. It was very easy to use too much product and end up with a cakey finish.

I found that it took a lot of work to blend into the skin (spreading around then patting in with a beauty blender), which just makes it oxidise more. The more I have to push around and blend a product into my skin, the more orange and oxidised it will turn. I tried to remedy this by mixing with a facial oil, which did improve the overall finish but did not completely fix oxidising. I feel like drugstore foundations ALWAYS oxidise on me :(

It also did not wear well, with or without facial oil. It wore off on my nose (always happens) but wore off very quickly on my chin as well - definitely an issue I don't have with most other foundations or BB creams.

We can take a peek at the full ingredients list here:
Aqua / Water / Eau, Dimethicone, Glycerin, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate / Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Phenoxyethanol, Disodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Aluminum Hydroxide. May Contain: CI 77891 / Titanium Dioxide, CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499 / Iron Oxides.
maybelline dream velvet foundation ingredients
Some swatches compared to other foundations - really illustrates how thick and moussey this formula is. From left to right: Etude House Cotton Fit BB Cream (W24), Maybelline Dream Velvet Foundation, Maybelline Fit Me Matte & Poreless (220), MAC Studio Fix Fluid (NC25), MAC Pro Longwear Foundation (NC25)
maybelline dream velvet foundation swatch nc25
I made a short gif to show the texture of the foundation. Notice that it sticks together well enough to not even drip when upside down - this is why I had such a hard time blending it!
Overall, I'm going to give this a 2/5. While it's a tricky formula to work with and oxidises TERRIBLY, it kept my skin matte where it was able to actually stay on my face.

Have you tried this foundation yet? Did it work for you?

Lexie xx

rating scale
1 - Terrible: Negative effects on skin.
2 - Mediocre: No change in skin/claims not met.
3 - Average: Performs as expected.
4 - Good: Would repurchase unless I try something better.
5 - Amazing: Meets trifecta of perfect packaging, formula, & cost.

where to buy Maybelline online
Amazon* | Farmers

where to buy Maybelline in-store
kmart | The Warehouse | Farmers | Unichem Pharmacies

purchased / contains affiliate links*

21.9.16

The Truth About e.l.f. Primer (& Review!)

Hey babes!

Every so often I see a post on social media complaining about how this particular little product is a complete rip off - deceptively large packaging, tiny product reservoir, etc etc. I finally decided I've had enough of that and wanted to help explain how exactly e.l.f's Primer packaging works! I'm using the Tone Adjusting Primer as my guinea pig today. I picked it up for NZ $14 at Kmart!
elf primer packaging small
So, as you can see here it comes in a nice pump bottle (yay for hygienic packaging!) with a frosted outer, with the product inside the green inner tube. The outer packaging also states it has a volume of 14ml.
elf tone adjusting primer review
The removable outer shell reveals the bottom of the airless pump which e.l.f. uses for this product. This is where people get confused! Because of how airless pumps work, the bottom of it moves up each time it is used. Thus, people open their fully used primers and don't realise that it looks like that because the product is used.
In these photos, I haven't even used the primer yet - so this is what a completely untouched primer looks like.
I'm going to decant it into another airless pump to show you how much the bottom plate moves up (and how much product I can actually get out!). The container I'm decanting into has a volume of 15ml.
You can see that there is some space left at the top - I'm not sure if that is the entire 1ml difference, or partially from product being left in the original packaging.
And here you can see a fully used tube - the bottom is fully pushed up, indicating all the product is gone.

As far as the product itself goes, it's a pretty standard primer. It has a smoothing & mattifying effect once applied, however it doesn't meet it's claim of neutralizing any redness - it's just not pigmented enough for the green tint to actually do anything on bare skin. My foundations/bb creams definitely go on smoother when I use this, though! It's a silicone-based primer, and we can have a full look at the ingredients here:

Cyclopentasiloxane, Cyclohexasiloxane, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Dimethicone, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Silica, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Phenoxyethanol. May Contain: Mica, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Manganese Violet (CI 77742), Red 40 Lake (CI 16035), Blue 1 Lake (CI 42090), Ultramarines (CI 77007), Chromium Oxide Greens (CI 77288), Tin Oxide (CI 77861)

My only gripe about this, and some other silicone-based primers is they smell lightly of petrol to me. It's not strong and dissipates fairly quickly, but I'm not sure why this happens. I first noticed it with the L'Oreal Infallible Matte primer... If anyone out there could help explain this, please comment below!

Overall, this gets a 3/5 from me. Even though it doesn't neutralize any redness, it's still a decent and cheap primer.

I hope this post has helped to understand the product and packaging a little more! If you have any more questions or comments do let me know!

Lexie xx

rating scale
1 - Terrible: Negative effects on skin.
2 - Mediocre: No change in skin/claims not met.
3 - Average: Performs as expected.
4 - Good: Would repurchase unless I try something better.
5 - Amazing: Meets trifecta of perfect packaging, formula, & cost.

where to buy e.l.f. online
Amazon* | e.l.f. cosmetics | BeautyJoint | makeup.co.nz | iHerb*

where to buy e.l.f. in-store
kmart

purchased / contains affiliate links*

9.9.16

JUST SHEET IT: TonyMoly I'm Real Red Wine Mask Sheet

Hey babes!

I'm starting to slowly work my way through my TonyMoly mask haul, and the mask I have up next is the Red Wine one. It claims to "tighten uneven skin texture with enlarged pores". I feel like I have pretty big pores on either side of my nose, so I was definitely curious to see how well this worked!
I was worried about how this would smell - things soaked with wine tend to smell awful and vinegary to me! However, I found that the mask smelled lightly of artificial grape/grape lollies. Like the tea tree mask, the mask was richly saturated in a thin, watery essence.
Here is the ingredients list:

Purified water, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, PEG/PPG-17/6 Copolymer, Panthenol, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Chlorphenesin, Phenoxyethanol, Xanthan Gum, Phenyl Trimethicone, Red Wine Extract, Carbomer, 1,2-Hexanediol, Propanediol, Tromethamine, Camellia Japonica Flower Extract, Chrysanthellum Indicum Extract, Green Tea Extract, Melissa Officinalis Leaf Extract, Rosemary Leaf Extract, Aspalathus Linearis Leaf Extract, Thymus Vulgaris Flower/Leaf Extract, Jasmine Flower Juice, Dipotassium Glycyrrizate, Caprylyl-Glycol, Illicium Verum Fruit Extract, Allantoin, Disodium EDTA, Perfume

Like the other flavours in this collection that I've tried, the mask doesn't fit me amazingly well, but the thinner fabric allows me to pull and stretch it into an ideal shape. So did it meet it's claim of shrinking my pores? Unfortunately not. However, it still worked well to hydrate and soothe my skin due to the other beneficial ingredients such as green tea and Japenese Camellia extract. I give this a 2.5/5!

What's your favourite sheetmask brand?

Lexie

rating scale

1 - Terrible: Negative effects on skin.
2 - Mediocre: No change in skin/claims not met.
3 - Average: Performs as expected.
4 - Good: Would repurchase unless I try something better.
5 - Amazing: Meets trifecta of perfect packaging, formula, & cost.

where to buy tony moly online
Amazon (all flavour pack)* | RoseRoseShop (individual) | q-depot (10-pack)*

where to buy tony moly in-store
The Cosmetic Store | Vanessa

purchased / contains affiliate links*

1.8.16

GET READY, GET SET: Maybelline Master Fix Setting Spray Review

Hey babes,

As a recent convert to the power of setting sprays (thank you Urban Decay De-Slick!) I was super excited for the launch of Maybelline's new Master Fix Setting Spray. I picked it up at Farmers with a 20% off promo - it sits at a pretty affordable $19.99, but promos make everything better! The Setting Spray comes in a generous 100ml size (in comparison, the NYX sprays are around $18 for just 60ml).


The spray only claims to keep makeup in place. I'd like my fellow oily-skinned girls to note that it doesn't claim to mattify or control oil, HOWEVER, I have found a way to get it to do just that. I tried it three different ways to see how I could get the best results - over makeup, under makeup, and sprayed on my makeup sponge.

The first method (the recommended method according to the instructions) does work pretty well. The only thing I dislike is that for some reason, the spray decides to sit on all my little tiny facial hairs (don't pretend like you don't have them!) and I have to pat the spray in so I don't look like I have a weird fuzzy lil beard. This isn't an issue I've had with other setting sprays. HOWEVER, after patting that down, my face does look pretty flawless and blended together and ready for the day. I still get oily about 4 hours into my day, but again - it's not an oil control product. As a glasses-wearer, my glasses disturb my makeup on my cheeks just below my eyes quite a lot. Using a setting spray has completely stopped this - Maybelline included.

The second method I tried was spraying it all over my face as a priming step BEFORE base makeup. I actually really enjoyed this, as it made blending foundation super easy and my skin looked extra flawless. The second thing I really liked was that this method actually kept my skin matte for about 6 hours! This was a really nice surprise, and I'll definitely use this method for when I need that extra oil control oomph.

The third method was pretty meh to be honest - there wasn't a significant benefit when spraying it straight on my makeup sponge.

Here's a quick peek at the ingredients list:

Aqua, Alcohol Denat., PVP, Dimethicone PEG-7 Phosphate, Phenoxyethanol, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, PPG-3 Benzyl Ether Myristate, Poloaxemer 406, Isononyl Isononanoate, Ethylhexyl Isononanoate, Sodium Cocamidopropyl PG-Dimonium Chloride Phosphate, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Parfum/Fragrance

Overall, this gets a 4.5 from me. I think it performs well and is decently sized for the pricepoint its at. I also love that I've 'hacked' it into giving me matte skin, but having to pat in a fuzzy spray beard every single use is a little annoying... 

Have you tried this? What's your favourite setting spray?

Lexie xx

rating scale
1 - Terrible: Negative effects on skin.
2 - Mediocre: No change in skin/claims not met.
3 - Average: Performs as expected.
4 - Good: Would repurchase unless I try something better. 
5 - Amazing: Meets trifecta of perfect packaging, formula, & cost.

where to buy maybelline online
BeautyJoint | BeautyBliss* | Makeup.co.nz | Amazon*

where to buy maybelline in-store
Farmers | Unichem Pharmacies

purchased / contains affiliate links*

29.7.16

OH, SHEET: Tony Moly I'm Real Tea Tree Mask Review

Hey babes!

You may have seen my massive RoseRoseShop mask haul on Insta, and I'm slowly getting 'round to trying all the flavours of mask that I bought. First up is the Tea Tree mask, which is honestly the one I was most excited about.
i'm real tony moly tea tree mask review skincare nail girl new zealand
The mask is quite saturated with essence - always a good thing in my opinion! The essence is quite thin and watery though, and it dripped quite a lot while I wore the mask. I did find it smelt lightly of tea tree, but wasn't too overpowering.
tea tree soothing mask tony moly i'm real review
It came without a liner, and is one of the thinner masks I tried. I kind of prefer thinner masks as its easier to make them fit on my face. The fit of this was pretty average - not perfect but not bad. It could have done without flaps cut into it, as I find those make masks fit worse on me. Kind of ironic because I think they are meant to help improve fit?

Here's the full ingredients list:

Water, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, PEG/PPG-17/6 Copolymer, Glycereth-26, Panthenol Bis-Ethoxydiglycol Succinate, Allantoin, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Chlorphenesin Carbomer, Phenoxyethanol, Tromethamine, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Extract 1,2-Hexanediol, Propanediol, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Musa Sapientum (Banana) Fruit Extract Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Caprylyl Glycol, Illicium Verum (Anise) Fruit Extract, Disodium EDTA, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil.

tony moly i'm real tea tree soothing mask review
I wore this for around 40 minutes. When I took it off, my skin was quite hydrated and a LOT of my pimples were soothed and much less red and irritated, which I'm really pleased with. Based on how well it worked for me and how it only cost me US $0.69, it gets a 4.9 from me. The .1 gets taken off for the fit.

What's your favourite sheet mask? What does it do for you?

Lexie xx

rating scale
1 - Terrible: Negative effects on skin.
2 - Mediocre: No change in skin/claims not met.
3 - Average: Performs as expected.
4 - Good: Would repurchase unless I try something better. 
5 - Amazing: Meets trifecta of perfect packaging, formula, & cost.

where to buy tony moly online
Amazon (all flavour pack)* | RoseRoseShop (individual) | q-depot (10-pack)*

where to buy tony moly in-store
The Cosmetic Store | Vanessa

purchased / contains affiliate links*

26.7.16

GLOW ON UP: Eleanor Dorn Highlighting Shimmer Powder Review

Hey loves,

I have few highlighters in my rotation, and one that I find I reach more and more for lately is this Highlighting Shimmer Powder ($32) by Eleanor Dorn. It's a gorgeous champagne/white gold highlight that is PERFECT for getting that super glowed up look.
It comes in a neat little square compact with Eleanor's branding and logo embossed in gold on top. There's also a mirror in the compact, which makes it pretty ideal for travel.
The formula itself is SUPER pigmented - I always get compliments whenever I wear to this to work or do a look with it on my snapchat. It's just so, so glowy and flattering. It's also very soft too, but not so soft that it crumbles. I use all my highlighters with the Eleanor Dorn #19 brush (which I know I've posted about so many times on here) but it's just so perfect for the job!
My only gripe is that the pan is pretty small for a highlighter. The pan is the same size as the ones in the Australis AC On Tour powder contour palette, and is easily dwarfed by my other highlighters. The weight of the item is not listed on the packaging or on the website either, so I'm not sure of how much product is actually in the pan.

The other two highlighters here are The Balm Mary-Lou Manizer and MAC Perfect Topping. MLM is very, very close in colour - it's just a touch darker and more gold. It's also slightly less soft, but it's still pigmented enough to create a gorgeous glow. Perfect Topping is much more pink and is quite different, but I thought it would be good to show the differences anyway.
I'm actually really bummed that the highlighter is so small, because it would otherwise be pretty much a holy grail for me - I just see myself going through it far too quickly at a pricepoint I can't justify. It's definitely one of my more luxury items in my collection. It gets a solid 3.7 from me.

What are your favourite highlighters?

Lexie xx

rating scale
1 - Terrible: Negative effects on skin.
2 - Mediocre: No change in skin/claims not met.
3 - Average: Performs as expected.
4 - Good: Would repurchase unless I try something better. 
5 - Amazing: Meets trifecta of perfect packaging, formula, & cost.


where to buy eleanor dorn
Eleanor Dorn Makeup

where to buy the balm
Amazon* | makeup.co.nz | BeautyBliss*

press sample / contains affiliate links*

23.7.16

NAILING IT: Arcadia Cuticle Butter & Cuticle Oil Review


Hey babes!

Cuticle oil is absolutely essential to any good hand/nail care routine, and my two most recent additions come from New Zealand-based company, Arcadia. I was able to grab these on a promo posted by the owner on Facebook. The products themselves come in an amazing variety of scents (which I love, because most commercial cuticle products are unscented or just not in scents I like). The owner is able to provide products in such a wide range because they are made to order, if I'm not mistaken.

I ordered the cuticle butter in Vanilla Hazelnut, and the cuticle oil in Toasted Marshmallow. The label is missing from my butter because I got it wet and I took it off cause it looked ugly :(
The butter is very airy with a whipped texture. I love that it's a MASSIVE tub in comparison to Burt's Bees cuticle butter, but I worry that it will become annoying and unhygienic to get product out of as I use it up. It's more travel friendly than the cuticle oil for obvious reasons, and I like having it with me in my bag. I find that the Vanilla Hazelnut scent is much stronger than that of the cuticle oil, and I'm not sure why this is!

The cuticle oil comes in a glass vial with a brush attached to the lid. However, the brush is far too long and as a result, the brush itself is squashed and deformed at the bottom. This makes application kind of annoying as the bristles are splayed out every which way. I'm definitely planning on trimming the bristles - I recommend doing so as soon as you receive the product. The Toasted Marshmallow scent is MUCH more subtle than the Vanilla Hazelnut, but it's still strong enough for my fiancé to say that something smells "like cookies" when I open it around him.

Both of them hydrate and moisturise my cuticles and nails VERY well, and I highly recommend them to anyone looking for new cuticle care to try!

What are your favourite cuticle products?

Lexie xx

where to buy

11.7.16

JUNE EMPTIES: CosRx, Batiste, Hada Labo, + MORE

Hey babes!

Can't believe it's July already - the year is going by so quickly! Here's a couple little empties that I finally got through this month.

Batiste Dry Shampoo - Love love love this stuff. Most mornings I'm pretty much made of coffee and dry shampoo! I love all the different scents as well - I grab a new one pretty much every time I repurchase.

Hada Labo Shirojyun Milk* - My current night moisturiser. It layers really well with the Hada Labo toners I use, but is hydrating enough on it's own if I'm short for time and skip my toners. So moisturising and soothing! Have already repurchased.

Schwarzkopf Ultimate Repair Mask - Combining this with coconut oil leaves my hair feeling so soft, silky, and nourished. I was having trouble with putting pure coconut oil in my hair (it wouldn't rinse out, no matter how many times I shampooed!) so I thought why not mix it with a treatment? This stuff is totally amazeballs for dry, bleached hair. Have already repurchased!

CosRx Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence* - Probably my only 'meh' of the group. I bought this to see how well it would replace my much adored Benton Snail Bee High Content Essence. Short story - I only used it to use it up. It didn't make my skin worse, but I can't really say it made it better. It wasn't particularly soothing, didn't heal my pimples faster, or give me any kind of glow (all of which the Benton Essence did). Would not repurchase.

Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser - Another essential repurchase. I'm frankly very boring when it comes to facial cleansers - I don't see any point in spending lots on something that's on my face for a short period of time. I also don't see any point in having actives in cleansers for the same reason! So this ticks all the boxes - cheap, easily available, and doesn't break me out. Have already repurchased!

Do you spot any of your favourites here? Let me know!

Lexie xx

purchased / contains affiliate links*

2.7.16

JUST SHEET IT: TonyMoly Pureness 100 Snail Mask Sheet Review

Hey babes!

Today I tried the TonyMoly Pureness 100 Snail mask that I purchased from The Cosmetic Store the other week. It's my first TonyMoly product ever, so I was quite excited to try it!
tonymoly pureness 100 snail mask review packaging
I'm no stranger to snail skincare, so I went straight for this - I can't even remember the other options to be honest. When I opened it, I noticed a light, floral fragrance straight away. However, it wasn't strong and faded fairly quickly. The mask has a thick, clear essence. Even though the mask was LOADED with essence, it wasn't drippy at all. It also didn't come with a plastic liner (woo less wastage!) and to be honest, it probably didn't really need one since the unbleached cotton was thick enough to maintain its folds without one.
tonymoly pureness 100 snail mask review ingredients
Probably my only disappointment was that for a snail mask, snail filtrate was featured pretty low on the list. I like my snail products FULL of snail, and to see it almost at the end of the list was a bit shit.
However, the ingredients list is still full of moisturising ingredients, and I could definitely feel that my skin was more soft and hydrated after taking off the mask.
tonymoly pureness 100 snail mask review
The mask itself was really nice - it was thick enough to not stretch over my features (looking at you, Papa Recipe Bombee), yet not so thick that it wouldn't fit. It's also one of the few masks where the mouth hole is actually big enough to be comfortable! The unbleached cotton was a nice touch, too.

Overall, I give this a 3.5/5. It moisturised really well without irritating my skin, but I can't help but feel like it could have used more snail.

Have you tried anything from TonyMoly? Or do you have any sheetmask recommendations?

Lexie xx

rating scale
1 - Terrible: Negative effects on skin.
2 - Mediocre: No change in skin/claims not met.
3 - Average: Not amazing, but not terrible.
4 - Good: Would repurchase unless I try something better.
5 - Amazing: Meets trifecta of perfect packaging, formula, & cost.

where to buy

28.6.16

TOP 5 MAKEUP BRUSHES: Real Techniques, Elf, Zoeva, + More

Hey babes!
buy real techniques zoeva elf e.l.f. hakuhodo hakuhodo nz review
Today I've got my top 5 makeup brushes to show you. I chose them based on how often I use them and generally how much I get out of them! I hope you can spot some of your favourites here too.
elf e.l.f. small angled brush buy nz review
e.l.f. Studio Small Angled Brush*, NZ $4.25 - e.l.f. has a great range of well priced brushes, and this is definitely one of my favourites. I get a lot of use out of it because I like to multipurpose it - it's great for gel eyeliner, filling in eyebrows, carving eyebrows, cleaning up around my lips, and even applying shadow to my lower lashline. I have about 5 of these (and who wouldn't! They're so damn cheap!) so whenever I need a clean one, there's always one ready to go. This brush has synthetic bristles, and I prefer it that way since I tend to use it for wetter products.

hakuhodo j5523 buy nz review
Hakuhodo J5523, US $19 - My holy grail eyeshadow blending brush! I love using this to take colours into the the crease and blending them out. Hakuhodo brushes are worth every cent in my opinion - they are carefully hand crafted in Japan, rather than cut into shape by machinery. This creates a superior brush as the natural taper of the hair isn't lost due to trimming. Some very similar brushes are the Zoeva 227* and MAC 217, but the Hakuhodo is definitely the highest quality of the three. It is made of goat hair, which I prefer for blending powders. However, Zoeva does make a version with taklon bristles* for those who would prefer synthetic.

eleanor dorn brush buy nz review
Eleanor Dorn #19 Pointed Face Brush, NZ $18 - I love using this brush for my highlighter! I have two in my rotation, so just in case one is dirty I've got one to fall back on. It's also a great size and shape for setting my undereyes with banana powder! I'm pretty sure the bristles are synthetic.

zoeva 234 buy nz review
Zoeva 234 Luxe Smokey Shader Brush*, NZ $19 - Another great brush that I use for more than one purpose. The main one would be to apply highlighter to the inner corner of my eye and under my brow, but it's also great for packing eyeshadow onto the lid and applying/blending eyeshadow to my lower lashline. This brush is a blend of natural and synthetic bristles - for those uncomfortable with natural bristles, Zoeva also has a taklon version here.

real techniques deluxe crease brush buy nz review
Real Techniques Deluxe Crease Brush*,  NZ $25.48 (as a set) - I would have to say that this brush plus the J5523 changed my eyeshadow game FOREVER. The sole purpose that I use this brush for is to blend out eyeshadow. After any eye look is done, I use this without any product on it to soften any edges. Not that I'm left with harsh edges per se, but doing this as a last step makes any eyeshadow look 1000% better. Like all RT brushes, this has synthetic bristles. I am kind of annoyed that this is only available in the RT Eye Starter Set because I literally use nothing else out of the set. However, some brushes that I've noticed look quite similar are the EcoTools Correcting Concealer Brush* and the Zoeva 142 Concealer and Buffer Brush. If anyone can say for sure how similar these are, I'd love to know!

Do you use any of these brushes? Let me know if you have any brush recommendations, too!

Lexie xx

purchased / contains affiliate links*

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