fenty beauty review / the day mama rihanna blessed my face

It has been less than two weeks since mama Rihanna blessed us with her brand new makeup line, Fenty Beauty, and the makeup world is on fire.

Everything about this collection is beautiful – from the packaging to the shades she chose.

She totally nailed her pre-launch marketing by dropping teasers as early as June and drip feeding us tastes of what was to come, accompanied by actual countdown clocks on retailer’s websites.

That gloooowwww 😍 @fentybeauty

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She also set a new standard by releasing 40 shades in the first drop, 40 shades that cater to a broad range of skin tones and not just your standard light tones with one or two token dark shades.

I picked up for myself the Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 120, Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Primer, Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer in Fenty Glow and Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter Duo in Lightning Dust/Fire Crystal.

Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Primer

I love this stuff – it’s silky, smooth and packed with silicones to create a perfect base for your makeup. It contains coral powder which fills, texturises and evens out your skin giving you that gorgeous, soft focus skin look.

Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation

I was the most curious about this – I’d heard so many great things and so many bad things and I wanted to see for myself. I can confirm that it oxidized on my skin, so get a shade lighter than you would normally get. It also doesn’t wear particularly well around the crevices of my nose – by midday it’s sort of separating and with the lightest tap of a finger, it comes away from my skin. I have normal to dry skin, so I can’t imagine how this would wear on somebody with oily skin.

Fenty beauty oxidise oxidize pro filt'r 120

But for the first couple hours, and on the rest of my face it just looks absolutely flawless. It seriously makes me look like I’ve got a filter on my face. It’s light as air, sets without powder and doesn’t look cakey at all. It’s just a shame that it doesn’t stay that way.

Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter Duo in Lightning Dust/Fire Crystal

The absolute winner of the collection is, for me, this highlighter duo. It’s silky and glowy but not too sparkly. One of the shades in the duo is softer and subtler and the other shade packs a wee bit more punch but I usually layer them and I think that’s what a lot of people have been doing because it looks amazing.

The new love of my life 😍 thank u mom @badgalriri

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Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer in Fenty Glow

I don’t have much to say about this except it’s a really lovely gloss. It’s not sticky, it’s a really universally flattering shade, it’s moisturising and stays glossy for a good few hours.

As for price point, the foundation and the highlighter were $56, the primer $52 and the lipgloss $34 from Sephora. I think it’s pretty standard for what you get, especially considering it’s all quite high quality.

I’d love to know what you guys think, which pieces did you buy or are lusting after?

syrene skincare review

syrene skincare review

I didn’t want to like this range as much as I do.

I love good packaging – if you know me at all, you’ll already know this. I’m a huge sucker for a pretty label or a nice jar. And don’t even get me started on gold foil.

Syrene has all of this. Beautiful, frosted jars with shiny foiled letters… from the moment I laid eyes on them, I needed to try what was inside.

The ingredients sounded intriguing, too. The range boasts a whole host of natural ingredients like:

  • Kawakawa extract which is a native New Zealand leaf with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties
  • Pohutakawa extract which is supposed to soften skin and promote cell regeneration
  • Marine collagen
  • L22 which is a skin lipid that is supposed to make you look 22 (I think?)
  • Ephemer which is a powerful antioxidant

So why didn’t I want to like this range?

In a nutshell, the price tag. The toner and the lotion retail for NZ$99.99, the creme is NZ$109.99 and the masque will set you back NZ$119.99. So… not cheap.

I was lucky to be sent a sampler pack and I put the range to the test over a week. I would have loved to have tested it for longer as the range claims to have benefits for use longer than 28 days – unfortunately I can’t comment on if these claims are true.

But after using it for the last week my thoughts are as follows:

  1. It smells lovely. It’s got a sort of oceany smell that’s hard to describe. Also, it’s blue.
  2. The lotion and the masque leave your skin feeling a bit sticky, but not in an unpleasant way.
  3. Immediately after applying, my skin was GLOWING. It looked springier and fuller. What fine lines? I have no idea what you’re talking about.
  4. The lotion was an incredible primer – because it was sort of sticky, my foundation went on smooth and stayed put all day.
  5. I have sensitive skin and this did not react badly or make me break out. However, my skin is heavily affected by my hormones (lucky me!) and I only had a weeks worth of products so I can only tell you what it was like during the follicular phase of my cycle and not the luteal phase.

I would probably say the only product from this range that I wouldn’t buy is the Aquagel Refreshing Tonertoners don’t really do anything and this was no exception. I also don’t really trust a product that claims to “absorb into skin” and “soak up makeup and impurities”. I don’t think I want my makeup and impurities absorbing into my skin, thanks.

The Aqua Hydrating Masque was lovely, the Aqua Intense Creme was lovely and the Aqualight Moisture Gel made a fab hydrating primer.

All in all, if you’re looking for a bit of a luxury treat for your face, this range is fantastic and will look phenomenal on your bathroom shelf.

Is it worth it just for the packaging?

Maybe.

It’s just a bonus that the product is good, too.

If you would like to try Syrene for yourself, it is available from Health 2000.

As always, this post is entirely my own opinion. I received samples of these products for free however my opinion is completely honest and everything I have written here I believe to be true. It is my duty as a beauty blogger to give you the truth as I see it and I take that seriously.

au revoir, bleach damage

au revoir, bleach damage

I feel like I’ve found the holy grail.

Can you imagine being able to wake up with perfect hair?

We are so, so awful to our hair. We dye it, bleach it, flat iron it, put it up, take it down, tease it, curl it and then wonder why we wake up with a frizzy mop that refuses to take a chill pill. If you have ever bleached your hair, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

I bottle dyed my hair black for about seven years and then, on a whim, decided I wanted to be a redhead and the damage was catastrophic.

Gone were the days of being able to wake up in the morning, brush my hair, and go.

Suddenly I was in a never-ending game of battling my damaged tresses with my straighteners which in turn led to more damage and more straightening and more frustration.

And then I found the answer.

I’m not going to attribute my success in winning the war against my locks purely to this one thing. I do also use a number of styling and conditioning products (which I’ll go into in a bit) but I genuinely, truly feel like this makes such a huge difference that I just had to tell you about it.

Are you sitting down?

The number one thing that you can do to help your freshly bleached locks is to go get yourself a mulberry silk pillowcase.

Silk doesn’t absorb oils and moisture like cotton does so you get to keep all that goodness in your skin and hair where you need it. On top of that, the smoother surface reduces friction on the hair cuticle so you wake up with sleeker, silkier hair that hasn’t been roughed up all night.

I’m not even slightly kidding when I say this thing has been a complete game changer for me.

Once again, I wake up in the morning looking semi-decent like the good hair days of my youth. I cannot recommend this enough.

As for products, my ride or dies for battling bleach damage are as follows:

  1. Olaplex, baby, yeah. It’s a salon only product that works on a molecular level to repair broken bonds in your hair. My hair dresser mixes it into every stage of the lightening process to help ease the damage from bleaching. I also use the take-home mask once a week, the longer you can leave it on the better.
  2. Hask Bamboo Oil Strengthening Shine. I slather this onto my ends when I get out of the shower and also use it to slick down flyaways. I can run my fingers through my hair 5 hours after brushing it without getting stuck on knots. Can you?
  3. Redken Color Extend Magnetics shampoo & conditioner. The thing about bleaching your hair is it basically gives up on holding onto your colour. Using a lower sulphate or sulphate free shampoo makes a huge difference.
  4. Nak Heat Beat Protective Sealant. If you’re not using a heat protector and you straighten or curl your hair, you are literally not allowed to complain about damage. It’s against the law. This one doesn’t weigh my hair down, doesn’t affect the texture of my hair and it smells yummy like roses.
  5. A detangling hairbrush. It doesn’t have to be a branded tangleteezer or anything. I use a $9 one from Kmart (linked) and it’s amazing. Make sure you start brushing from the ends of your hair and work up in stages so you don’t end up forcing all the knots down (which leads to breakage). Brush your hair gently and try not to stress it out too much.
  6. An amazing hairdresser. Okay, Jordi isn’t a product. But she’s worth mentioning. If you’re in Christchurch you need to hit her up. A crap hairdresser can wreck your hair in one sitting. Jordi is the shit. (So take a big whiff)

If you have managed to successfully bleach your hair and not have to shave your head and hide in a cupboard for the remainder of your twenties, I’d love to know your secrets. Leave me a comment and let me know!

As always, this blog post is entirely my own opinion and I do not represent anyone or anything. I paid for all the products I have mentioned.

a slick quickie about oils

Back in my day, when a girl reached “that age” she was handed a Dolly magazine, a training bra and a Nivea three-step pack and told: “oil = bad”. And I believed it, for a long time.

Oil-free moisturisers, oil clearing cleansers, mattifying primers… These are all products that I’ve had in my skincare arsenal for yonks because I believed the myth that oil is bad and must be got rid of at all costs.

And, funnily enough, I also thought I had sensitive skin. I had dermatitis that flared up for seemingly no reason. But alongside the dry patches, I also had an ocean of zits on my forehead and temples that just wouldn’t go away – no matter how much I scrubbed and cleansed.

Then oil came along and I wondered what I had been afraid of for so long.

Oil = good.

I use 5 different oils in 5 different ways and the change in my skin has been quite dramatic.

  1. I switched my morning oil-free, SPF moisturiser for a day cream that contains sweet almond oil, chia seed oil, avocado oil, coconut oil and heaps of other skin-loving goodies. I was a little bit concerned that it would disagree with my foundation but I haven’t had any issues. In fact, after a couple of weeks, I stopped using foundation because my skin has been so good. I use Goodness Every Morning Moisturiser – it’s bae.
  2. I was using a standard body moisturiser after my shower but I find when it’s cold, all I wanna do is get my jammies on pronto. Which, unfortunately, meant that I was skipping the moisturiser more often than I like to admit. The game changer for me was when I switched to the Pure Fiji Bath & Body Oil because it’s liquid so it absorbs into your skin almost instantly (cutting down chilly naked time) but it’s also really nourishing. It has a blend of coconut oil, dilo oil, macadamia oil and sikeci oil and honestly does wonders for your skin.
  3. I started using a hair oil to tame the frizz and add shine – it’s hard to find one that isn’t just a bottle of perfumed silicone with a pretty label but I really love the Hask Strengthening Shine Oil because, yes, it has a healthy dose of silicones but it also has bamboo extract, biotin, collagen and avocado oil. I use it on wet hair but I also rub a small amount in my palms and use it to slick down flyaways to give my straightened ‘do a little protection from humidity.
  4. After using my night cream (which is essentially a heavier version of my day cream, sans SPF) I just pat two drops of this gorgeous chia seed oil into my skin. I find that I wake up with nicer skin, I get less dry patches and it helps my eyebrow hairs grow (seriously, not even kidding).
  5. I also use oil to remove my makeup. I use Break-Up Make-Up Balm which is a delicious blend of chia seed oil, coconut oil, olive oil, sunflower seed oil and avocado oil that dissolves my makeup before I cleanse. This makes a huge difference because I’m not scrubbing at my face with cotton pads to convince my long wearing mascara to get the hell off my face. Less friction on the face = happier skin (and more eyelashes).

Other skin types benefit from oils too, though – not just skin on the dryer end of the spectrum. Nadia has a great breakdown of oils by skin type here. So, even if you have oily skin, oil still = good.

Do you guys use oils? Which ones would you recommend for your skin type?

As always, this post is entirely my own opinion. Everything I have written here I believe to be true. I received products for consideration from Goodness. However, I have chosen to repurchase with my own money and continue using them because I genuinely think they are good products.

why you should never hit on the waitress

Never hit on the waitressRecently, I had an uncomfortable situation where a man who had spoken to me briefly at the gym took a bit of a fancy to me. He clearly hadn’t realised that, as the front desk girl, I was being paid to be nice to him. I said no, but he wouldn’t take no for an answer and I had to shut him down. But it got me thinking… almost every girl who has ever worked in customer service has stories like these.

So to the dude who’s wondering if he should ask out that cute barista, this one’s for you.

The Performance Review – Nicole

I worked at a shop in an outdoor mall and one of the regular customers asked me out for “a coffee or a drink”. I politely declined as I had a boyfriend. However, after I had finished my shift (at least a few hours later) I left my store and found he was sitting outside waiting for me. I assumed he was gonna try again but instead, he approached me and asked me how he did, like for a bloody performance review on him hitting on me! He was saying things like “I’m not someone who does this often, is there anything I could change? Did I do okay? If you were single, would you have said yes?”

The Leopard Print Body Double – Jaz

I worked in a lingerie store and this guy came in saying he was buying something for his girlfriend. He looked me up and down and said “you look about the same size as her, can you try it on for me?” and he wasn’t even kidding. It was underwear (which we don’t even let people try on!) and a bra and a silky robe, all in matching leopard print. Real classy guy.

The Facebook Stalker– Priya

I used to work on the checkout at a supermarket and this guy who came in pretty regularly had been sending me messages on Facebook, but he never added me as a friend so I didn’t see them. Then when he did add me, I accepted it and immediately saw this huge list of previous messages he had sent me over a period of months telling me how pretty he thought I was when he saw me as he walked past my store. That was super fucking creepy.

Pushing Fifty – Emma

When I was twenty I worked in a book shop. This guy who was easily pushing fifty came in for a subscription and on the way out bought a newspaper from me. Then he says “how about your phone number, love? Then we can get together and I can teach you how to do things”. He was literally old enough to be my father, so gross.

The Worst Bar Patrons – Cat

I worked in a bar and I had a super creepy dude ask me to suck his thumb, part of which was missing. The worst one was when a fat Irish guy offered me five pounds to have sex with him behind a tree and tried the line “don’t worry, it won’t last long!” …this is why I don’t work as a barmaid anymore.

Not Your Good Girl – Elspeth

I work in a shoe shop and I was serving a male customer and he grabbed a shoe horn and told me to “bend over like a good girl”…

Excited To Meet You! 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 – Charlotte

Okay, so when I first started working as a personal trainer, I was getting ready for my first session with a new client I hadn’t met before. Because I’d been texting him to arrange the session I knew he was a traveller and English wasn’t his first language, which is why I assumed that’s why he said how excited he was to meet me and put like, five smiley faces on each message. When I was at reception waiting for him to arrive, the receptionist told me he was really excited he had a girl trainer. I didn’t think much of it, then I get a big wave from a blonde guy and I sit down he goes “hey! This is for you!” and gives me a whole block of chocolate! I tried to push it back but he insisted and put it inside my folder. Then when we were out on the gym floor, every time I tried to put him on a machine or show him an exercise he’d try to find a way to turn what I was saying into something super hilarious so he’d have to curl over and laugh and touch my arm. Then he tried to ask me to hang out with him on the weekend so I had to cut the session short. He’d thought the session was a date! I felt so angry, he wasn’t taking me seriously as a professional – it was like he was turning my job into a joke.

Sixth Time Lucky – Georgie
There was this one guy who worked at a store near the mall I worked at, who on one particular day wandered slowly through my store to the supermarket and back about six times throughout the day, each time trying to make small talk. Back and forth, back and forth. Eventually, he plucked up the courage to actually ask for my number, to which I had to reply I was in a relationship. It was very awkward and whenever I saw him for months after that day he would immediately look away and shuffle off as fast as he could.

Here We Go Again – Holly

I work in a video game store so it brings a special breed of males at times… due to the nature of the clientele, I suppose. Awkward, and often socially inept. There was this guy who would always come in and talk to me. Eventually, he found me on Facebook and tried to add me. He messaged me a lot, so I told him I had a boyfriend and he went all “woe is me, all the good ones are taken”. Thankfully, after that, he stopped coming in. But then a year or so later I saw him at the shops and I waved and said hello, because I am a nice person, and when I got home he had added me on Facebook again and the flood of messages started all over again.

If you guys have any more funny stories feel free to pop them down in the comment section – the more the merrier!

how to tell if your man is actually a fuckboy

Ah, fuckboys. With their chinos, and their Tinder profiles, and their inability to put a label on your relationship… I tend to treat it quite simply: if it look like a duck, and it quack like a duck, it prolly a duck.

But it can be hard to tell in the beginning of a relationship if your man is a fuckboy because it’s so easy to get swept up in the romance of late night “what would you be doing if I was there” texts (eye roll).

I+m+super+cereal+right+now_b5e5dd_5232107.jpg

If you think you might be dealing with a fuckboy, here’s a simple checklist of 10 signs to watch out for.

  1. The ball is always in your court and he makes you come to him. He asks you to hang out but instead of making plans he says “let me know when you’re free”, or he makes plans with you but then doesn’t follow up the day of and when you text him he acts like it’s your idea
  2. You can’t be “boyfriend and girlfriend” because he “doesn’t like labels”
  3. He’s always texting when you’re together and yet it takes him about eight years to reply to you when he’s out with his friends
  4. He never calls your relationship a “secret” but he doesn’t post online about it or do anything public and he doesn’t like it when you do either
  5. He won’t take a photo with you
  6. He doesn’t want you to meet his friends or hang out with them as a group
  7. When you’re out together and you bump into someone he knows, he doesn’t introduce you (or if he does, he doesn’t introduce you as his girlfriend)
  8. He disappears for several days at a time and won’t answer your messages and then slides back in like nothing happened and won’t acknowledge that he ignored you for, like, three whole days
  9. He doesn’t like it when you go out without him but he goes out without you pretty much every weekend
  10. He bitches about his female friends and ex-girlfriends (does “she’s crazy” sound familiar?) to discourage you from making friends with them (probably because he’s seeing them, too)

If you related to some or all of these signs, I’m sorry but your man is probably a fuckboy. It’s up to you now if you want to pursue the relationship, but personally, I have one simple rule when it comes to fuckboys and it’s don’t.

urban decay naked heat review

The Naked Heat palette is the smoky, warm palette of my dreams.

It’s a Naked palette but it’s certainly not a nude palette – it has warm neutrals, but they’re alongside smoky reds and oranges and a sultry deep purple. Heat it promises, and heat it delivers.

Colour pay off is fantastic (would we expect anything less from Urban Decay?), and while there are a couple of shades that have a slightly drier formula the majority are smooth and buttery and blend like a dream. 

At NZ$91, it’s not a cheap palette. But it’s more versatile than you’d expect a red eyeshadow palette to be – you can use this for a warm neutral look or a smouldering smoky eye and just about everything in between. 
If I have to pick something I don’t like about it, it would be the lack of a black shadow. I know we’ve seen black before in Naked palettes but when I think of heat, I think of charcoal black blending out with smoky, sultry reds.

This palette is a huge yes from me and when it launches on the 29th of August, there are worse things you could be buying.
As always, this blog post is entirely my own opinion. I do not represent anyone or anything. I paid full price for this product and everything I have written here I believe to be true.