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

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
Amazon* | MemeBox (individual) | YesStyle* | WishTrend

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

purchased / contains affiliate links*

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*

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*

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*

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*

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*
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