I’ve gotten quite a few new beauty bits recently, including some makeup which I really don’t buy all that much of these days, so I wanted to do a roundup of what’s new in my stash. I’m not mentioning any skincare in this post because I didn’t want it to get too long and I figured I could probably put together a separate post on that, so this is mostly makeup with a few other things thrown in.
When my parents visited recently my mum brought over some treats from Mecca, so first up we have the Mecca Cosmetica Multi-Purpose Plumping Balm. This is basically Mecca’s answer to the Clarins Beauty Flash Balm, which I have been a fan of for years. They say you can use it as a moisturiser, primer or mask, although I personally stick to using it as a primer. I find that it has a really similar texture to the Clarins Balm and is great for those days when my skin is feeling dull and dehydrated, because it pairs really well with a long-wearing foundation that might otherwise suck the life out of my face on a day like that. Having oily skin is an eternal balancing act! I feel like this would be great for people with drier skin, or for anyone who struggles with dehydration. It does exactly what I thought it would, and it feels lovely on the skin and has absolutely beautiful packaging too so I’m happy with this one.
The other makeup item from the Mecca Cosmetica range is the Enlightened Lit From Within Illuminating Balm which my mum picked up because she liked the look of it. It turns out she found a winner, because I loved this from first use, and based on the rave reviews on Mecca’s website I’m not the only one. I dab this on my cheekbones with a finger and it melts in seamlessly and looks like a beautiful, fresh, natural glow. There’s no detectable shimmer, it doesn’t interfere with my other makeup, and it doesn’t make me look excessively oily. Ever since trying this it has quickly become my favourite cream highlighter and I really recommend checking it out if you're based in Aus.
Also on my cheeks I’ve been loving the Charlotte Tilbury Cheek to Chic Blush in First Love. This has been on my wishlist for a while, and although it may look a bit bland in the pan, on the cheeks it gives a beautiful, natural flush with a radiant, glowy finish (again, no detectable shimmer, which is key for me). I'm so glad I finally own this after wanting it for so long because it totally lives up to my expectations.
I managed to pick up the much-hyped Tarte Shape Tape Concealer from ULTA while in Detroit in May, and I have to say, I’m not as in love with it as everyone else seems to be. I think I bought a shade that’s a bit too fair for me (Fair Neutral), and because this is such a high-coverage concealer and I generally use a light-medium coverage product for the rest of my face, sometimes it can look a bit stark on my under-eyes. If you like highlighting your face with concealer then this would be great for that, but since that’s not really what I’m going for it can brighten a bit too much and look slightly unnatural if I’m not careful.
I have the same problem with the NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer (AU) which I bought in the shade Chantilly – because it’s so light it doesn’t always look as natural as I’d like. Obviously that’s my fault for choosing the wrong shades, but these two concealers have also made me rethink my idea of what medium vs. full coverage is, as they are both definitely full coverage. I can definitely still make them both work and I do enjoy using them, but for my personal tastes I think I prefer something that I consider to be medium coverage, like the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer (AU). I recently picked up a mini of this in the shade Vanilla and with a bit of distance from all the hype this got a few years ago, I can say that this is still a solid choice, especially if you do prefer a medium coverage like me. This works great under my eyes as well as around the face and I’ve really enjoyed having it back in rotation after being without it for a while. I feel like it’s more foolproof and is something I can just grab without thinking about it, which isn’t something I necessarily feel about the other two.
I haven’t got much new in the way of eyeshadows, there really aren’t many palettes around these days that have enough shades that I know I’ll actually use, so I can’t justifying buying them. I did pick up two single shadows though – I bought the Colourpop Super Shock Shadow in Twitterpated from ULTA mostly because I was excited to see Colour Pop products in real life, and I’m obsessed with neutral-pink shades and can’t find what I want in palette format. It looks super pink in the pot and I probably wouldn’t have bought this if I didn’t get to swatch it in real life, but it’s really more like a semi-sheer pink with a tonne of gold shimmer in it, so it looks a lot more warm-neutral on the eyes than you’d think from looking at it. The Anastasia Single Shadow (AU) in Pink Champagne (AU) is a beautiful, high-impact shimmery pink-champagne (as the name would suggest) and I absolute love it.
I’ve mentioned before that I’ve basically cornered the market in red lipsticks, but nudes are kind of a new thing for me. I feel pretty comfortable with the pinky-nude shades that I own, so without it really being intentional, I seem to have finally bought myself some pretty nude-nudes (plus one lip pencil), and I’m not mad about it. These two shades actually work really well for me and (thank the lord) don’t look like I’ve put concealer on my lips, which is always my fear when it comes to nudes. Instead these really look like my-lips-but-better, without being super pink like a lot of the other shades I have. They’re also not too deep, so they’re more of an understatement than a statement, and I feel like they’ve really filled in a gap that I didn’t know I had until now.
The Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat in Pillow Talk is probably the most hyped up lip pencil since everyone went crazy over Whirl a few years back, and although the lipstick is a more neutral and the liner is more pink, they still work really well together and I’m glad I finally got my hands on both. The lipstick formula is so beautiful and creamy and doesn’t feel at all drying, despite being part of the Matte Revolution line. It actually has quite a lot of slip to it on the lips, and although lipstick formulas can vary depending on the shade, I find this to be extremely comfortable and it’s made me start thinking about trying another nude lipstick from the line.
As much as I don’t want to say Tom Ford’s Lipsticks (AU) are the best, or that they’re worth paying that ultra-luxury premium for, they are seriously comfortable, creamy and long-lasting on the lips and they really do have an excellent formula. Is it head and shoulders above every other lipstick I’ve tried? No, but if you can justify the spend you probably won’t be disappointed – I’m definitely not. I actually spotted this shade on sale (Pink Dusk) and took a chance on it and it paid off because I love it! As I said, it’s definitely a nude-nude but it’s perfect for when I’ve gone a little heavy on the eye-makeup or blush and don’t want anything on my lips that’s going to clash. And yes – I did use the back-side of the lipstick until I was able to take photos so that I didn’t mess up the TF (lol).
The last lip product is the Tarte Quench Lip Rescue Balm (AU) in the shade Coral. I never hear anyone talk about these, but I own the shade Nude as well, which I got in a Sephora Favourites set a while back and I loved the formula so much I decided I buy another colour. I’m a big fan of a sheer wash of coral/orange on the lips, particularly in summer. I’ve owned a few products that have fit that bill in the past, but I was down to one singular gloss that can be kind of sticky, so I thought it was time for something different – more like a glossy balm, which is exactly what this is. It looks super shiny on the lips without being sticky at all, has a slightly minty tingle and the packaging is beautiful to boot.
Fragrance & Body
Maybe the most exciting thing in this entire post is Diptyque’s Eau Duelle EDP (AU), which I mentioned that I fell in love with when I first smelled it a few months ago. Although I remember back in the day there was a lot of hype on the original EDT fragrance (AU), it never really did it for me. I like something very warm and heady, and I find the EDT version is still quite fresh and light, so it never really left much of an impression on me. The EDP on the other hand, is a completely different fragrance. Diptyque describe the EDT as a “white vanilla” while the EDP is a “bourbon vanilla” which is much more my speed. In true Diptyque fashion the packaging is absolutely beautiful, and I find the scent strong but not overpowering, and I’m so happy to finally have my own bottle.
One last thing that I thought was worth mentioning is the Urban Outfitters hand cream in Lait de Coco – I mostly bought this because of the packaging, but I’m happy to say it feels like a very nourishing hand cream as well. Not one I would keep at my desk at work as it can take a bit of time to sink in, but perfect for overnight or when your hands are particularly dry (which is something I often have a problem with). It has a light milky-coconut scent (as the name would suggest) and overall I’m pretty impressed with this range from UO.