REVIEW - In the Balm of Your Hand

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'In the Balm of Your Hand' 
What TheBalm says...

Introducing In theBalm of Your Hand Vol. 2, the second edition of our coveted all-in-one face palette. This all-inclusive must-have features 4 blendable eyeshadows, 3 flattering blush colors, a matte bronzer and champagne-hued highlighter. Limitless looks await with everything you need “In theBalm of Your Hand”!

What I think...

Let's be honest....  I have been lusting over this palette for a LONG time! I've looked at TheBalm products for ages & read lots of reviews but have never bought any.  

Everything about this palette said 'BUY ME', well everything expect the price :(  I've really wanted Mary Lou Manizer, Bahama Mama & Frat Boy so much so after much longing I finally took the plunge & purchased this palette last week. Rather than purchasing 3 full sized products I've got all 3 I wanted but in mini sizes - so here's my thoughts on the palette...

Packaging – Oh yes!  I love the cute packaging TheBalm does - their graphic designers rock & certainly helped me in making the purchasing decision. This palette comes in a sturdy white cardboard packaging with a collage picture of all the balm face products in their original packaging. It's attractive and I like the big mirror in the inside flap.
Pigmentation and Texture – All the shades are highly pigmented. A little goes a long way with all the products so definitely apply with good brushes to get the best out of the product.The blushes are smooth and buttery and blend beautifully into the skin. Their blushes have a really good reputation because of their amazing quality and how nicely they blend and these mini sizes are no exception. 

Am I happy? - Oh Yes! Very happy in fact! I'm glad I spent the money and got exactly what I wanted... I haven't been disappointed and looking to purchase some more of their products now.


Starting out in Makeup : Part 1 - Using Primer

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Face - Creating the Base

I've met so many ladies who don't wear any makeup but really want to. The problem is that they don't know where to start. 

You'll find millions of different makeup products out on the market ranging from inexpensive to very expensive all declaring they can do amazing things. It can be confusing and intimidating for those who don't know much about makeup to know just where to start and to work out if it is worth paying extra for the luxury brands . Plus some makeup shops (and staff -ha ha!) can be really intimidating...

The best way to enter the makeup world, is starting off with the basics. I'm going to help you cover all the basics starting with the "Face" and breaking products into little sections so it isn't too overwhelming. I will also cover brows, eyes and lips once I've finished with covering the face

Lets gets started!

Face Primer

The purpose of using a face primer is to help your BB cream/foundation last longer, blend easier and look smoother. It also fills in fine lines and pores and can help control oil for those who have a oily skin type. 

Primer is used after your moisturizer and before your BB cream/Foundation.  It creates a base for your foundation and I consider it an essential product in summer as it really helps your foundation last through the heat of the day.

Affordable Options: 
  • She Pure Magic Primer (all skin types ) 
  • Rimmel Stay Matte Primer (oily skin)
Splurge Options: 

  • Smashbox Photo Finish
  • Mac Prep and Prime Natural Radiance

Personally sometimes I skip using primer in my makeup routine...  Some day I just want to do wear a touch of makeup but I can really tell the difference in how long my makeup lasts and how fresh it looks.  So if you want your makeup to last all day I really recommend using a primer first and you will be able to see the difference.



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What they say about their product...

'Purederm Clean & Bright Oxygen Mask "Peach" immediately turns into oxygen-rich foam, revitalizing skin with oxygen as it deep-cleanses, exfoliates, and massages skin. The oxygen foam deeply penetrates into the skin to eliminate pore-clogging impurities, blackheads, and dead skin cells, while it helps brighten uneven skin tones. Peach extracts moisturizes and re-illuminates dull skin, papaya, green tea, and bamboo extract leave skin soft and supple"

What I think....

Firstly I was VERY surprised to learn that Purederm is actually a Korean brand...  Without reading the back of the product closely I wouldn't have known this and just assumed it was American.  Korean skin care and cosmetics have taken the makeup world by storm in recent years and produce lots of great products. However usually they are all labelled in Korean which it just a bit tricker :) 

Regardless of where it was produced I was excited to give this product a try as I've previously tried several products from this brand and been really pleased with the results. In the past I blogged about the Purederm Nose Pore Strips   - which I didn't even realise were a Korean product!

It is a very easy product to use... Just apply product onto a dry face and start gently rubbing it it. Once it is applied to your face the mask starts to foam up. I kept  just massaging it onto my skin until I had used the full sachet. Leave on your skin for 30-60 seconds before washing off with warm water. 

The mask  has a pleasant peachy smell and my skin felt lovely once I had washed it off.  I always find these sort of masks an enjoyable experience, probably because of the pampering aspect...  I'm not sure it re-illuminated my skin as they say it will but my skin definitely looked and felt better after I used it.

Priced at under $5 it is an affordable treat and probably much better for me than a coffee. I would definitely consider re-buying this product as a little treat for myself!  


DUPE ALERT : MAC Matte Finish Lipstick - Lady Danger

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MAC Matte Finish Lipstick in Shade Lady Danger vs.
NYX Matte Lipstick in Shade Pure Red

Image credit -

Quite some time ago I purchased a MAC Matte Finish Lipstick in the shade Lady Danger.... I don't often wear red lipstick but of course everyone needs to own one red lipstick that flatters their skin tone! I found this warm-toned red, super flattering and lovely to wear on a special occasion when I wanted to rock standout lips :)

Unfortunately I mislaid this perfect lipstick and due to budget constraints have not replaced it - even though I would have loved to.

So I did what every sense girl would do and started looking for a more economically replacement. As NYX is now more readily available in NZ I was thrilled to learn that the NYX Matte Lipstick in Pure Red is often recommended as a dupe. So for a small outlay I purchased a new lipstick and agree that it seems to be the perfect dupe for Lady Danger :)

The colour is almost totally identical and it feels great on my lips! Personally I can't really tell any difference between the MAC and NYX lipsticks once I've put them on and both seem to last well on my lips.

Obviously it is lovely to wear MAC lipsticks and they feel luxurious in their little black bullet casing however when you are looking for a cheaper similar product I definitely feel like I've hit the jackpot with the NYX Matte Lipstick.

Do you love dupes as well?  Let me know your favourite....


Tips for buying your foundation online

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Buying Foundation Online


REVIEW : ZA Cosmetics BB Cream

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Za Total Hydration 12 in 1 BB Cream

Really a 12 in 1 BB cream???

ZA say this...

The Za Total Hydration BB CREAM is a multi-functional 12-in-1 BB cream that will give your skin a healthy natural glow.
Za Total Hydration BB CREAM has a special mineral formula, it moisturises your skin and protects it from the sun’s harmful rays with SPF 43 and PA+++, it also works as a foundation and conceal to hide blemishes and other skin concerns, and smooth’s skin to achieve a healthy skin tone.
Can we really believe one product can do the job of 12 products?

I was very keen to give this product a try as I really love it when I discover a product that makes my life easier.  After trying this product I was hooked and it is a perfect product for me when I'm travelling :)

So here are are my thoughts on this product...

It is great value for money - I paid less than $12.00 for it at LoveMy Makeup

The squeeze tube makes it easy to dispense and you don't need to worry about the container breaking in your makeup bag

The lightweight coverage blends well into my skin. I use my finger tips to apply!

At SPF 43 it is good extra sun protection for my skin
(although I still like to use a proper sunscreen if I'm heading to the beach)

Gives your skin extra moisture. Acts as double moisturiser when conjunction with your usual moisturiser

A small amount of product goes a long way and it looks really natural on 

It asts well through the day - even when the day is hot and sticky

To me the only downside is that it only comes in one shade - the colour suits my fair colourings but won't match darker skin tones

I'm not sure if does the job of 12 products but it certainly is a great multi purpose product and certainly worth trying if you are looking for a good BB cream with SPF


Matching foundation

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Finding your perfect foundation shade can be tricky...

I spend quite a lot of time at work colour matching to find the perfect foundation shade for customers. Some skin tones are more tricky to find the perfect foundation for but rest assured a perfect match can always be found!

Obviously most makeup stores will colour match for free but sometimes you might want to find a match without asking for help or there might not be someone around to help you straight away.

Here's some tips & tricks I've learnt over the years as a Makeup Artist...

  • Do more than one test swatch - I suggest cheek & jawline 
  • Check the test swatches under a couple of different lighting situations 
  • When you can’t open the products hold up the bottle next to your face to check 
  • Buy somewhere with a good return policy and don’t be ashamed to return if it’s not a match 
  • Have two foundation shades if you colourings change from summer to winter 
  • If you really want a low-maintenance routine use BB cream or tinted moisturizer :) 

The perfect shade of foundation will almost appear to blend into your skin. You don't want to look like you are wearing a mask once you've spread it all over your face!

Natural sunlight is always best to check if you have the correct colour match. Lighting conditions can really affect how a product looks on your skin. 

For lots of people their skin tone can change through the year.  So it may be worth having a slightly lighter foundation for winter months and another slightly darker shade for summer. 

Sheer products such as tinted moisturizers and BB creams allow for more leeway when it comes to colour matching and the light coverage allows for your natural skin tone to show through.

Have you got any tips to share?


REVIEW - NYX Professional Makeup - Lip Lingerie Lipsticks

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NYX Professional Makeup 

Lip Lingerie Liquid Lipstick

OK I'm probably a bit late to the party in trying this product as I realise they have been around for a while...  However until relatively recently it has been rather tricky to get your hands on this range in NZ. I'm definitely pleased to see more NYX Professional Makeup products available in the local market :)

(NAME CHANGE - We are used to talking about NYX products the proper company name is NYX Professional Makeup so I'm going to try to use this going forward!)

NYX Lip Lingerie lipsticks are liquids lipstick with a soft matte finish. The range is well known for the large range of nude colours and their must be a nude to suit every single skin tone!   When you are looking at all shades in the holder it can be rather overwhelming and personally I found it rather tricky to see the difference in some of the colours as they look so similar. However when you swatch them you can see they are actually quite different on your skin tone. 

Before I even applied Lip Lingerie I noticed the yummy smell...  I love vanilla scent and these are vanilla scented :) I tried 'Lace Detail' and it is really pretty on my lips.

To be honest I didn't really like the applicator wand, I mean it is ok but could be better.  I didn't feel it necessarily applied the product that evenly and smoothly on my lips. They have a mousse-like texture and although they are quite pigmented I did apply a second coat to ensure my lips looked perfect.

The product dries to a soft matte once it is on your lips.  As seems standard with liquid matte lip products they can feel a bit drying depending on your skin type. However the product looked good and lasted all day through eating and drinking etc. and that is really important to me.  Costing under $12.00 from LoveMy Makeup it was a thumbs up purchase!

All in all I would recommend this product but probably wouldn't wear it every single day but then with so many great lip products on the market I need to mix it up!

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