I picked up this brush for around $10 AUD a while back because I had nothing like it in my collection and needed something in the 'small but not too small' category.

I'm super glad I did because it's been a useful addition to my brush armoury, and from the first time I used it, it became my go-to brush for setting my under-eye concealer and also for adding some powder around my nose (it's a little red there) because the brush is such a useful shape.

Real Techniques claims/product details:
  • The key to completing any look with a controlled dusting of powder or highlighter
  • Look pixel-perfect even in harsh light
  • Ultra-plush, synthetic bristles are hand-cut and 100% cruelty-free
  • Extended aluminum handle is light and easy to use
  • Designed by Samantha Chapman, makeup artist
  • RRP $11 AUD, but do shop around

As you can see, it has a nicely long handle that's easy to use.

The brush is fluffy and soft without being too soft (so it doesn't pick up too much powder) and it tapers off at the end, allowing for more controlled application if that's what you're after.

I've pictured the wider side of the brush in the above and below photos, but the other edge is a little thinner. Having sides of different widths broadens its potential functions and I'm a big fan of tools that can be used for a number of things.


I have a few Real Techniques brushes now and this is definitely one of the better ones - I reach for it almost every day.

It's the perfect shape for setting concealer because you can use the wider side under your eyes (so it gets the job done quickly) and the thinner side is ideal for applying powder to the inner corners of your eyes and also around the edges of your nose.

If you're into contouring, the brush is a great shape for putting your shading powder down the edges of your nose, and it's also good for applying your highlighting shade down your nose, on your cheekbones and also on your forehead. Some contouring brushes are a little too large but this one is just right.

I have tried using it for applying base shadow - just because I like to see what each tool can do - and it's too big for that so I wouldn't use it for that purpose. What it is good for however is running over your finished eyeshadow application, just to help your powders look as even/blended as possible and to remove any 'loose' bits of shadow that are destined to fall off during the day.

It's a soft, fluffy brush that strikes a nice balance between loose and dense, so it applies a good amount of powder - not too little and not too much.

I've had it for a while now and it's held its shape well and hasn't shed yet. It also dries quite quickly when it comes to cleaning it, so that's a plus.

All in all, this is a really useful tool and I recommend it. It's not too expensive either. Yay for great brushes!

I've had this primer for ages, I just haven't opened it until recently because I've had so many other primers to get through.

I bought it on special a while back after trialling the clear version of this primer (reviewed here), since I liked the clear version but was more drawn to this one, hoping it would give me a nice glow and be good for summer.

It does indeed give me a nice glow and, now that I've tested it over the past few weeks, I'll put it aside until the warmer months and keep going with my Project Pan products for the time being.

Primers take me a while to get through and I've managed to accrue too many of them via subscription boxes and stocking up on products while they were on special (thank god I've learned to stop doing that!), so I have enough in the primer department to last me around a year. Ooops!

Bodyography claims/product details:
  • One of Bodyography's most popular products
  • Contains anti-oxidants, vitamins A and E, green tea and grape seed extract
  • A weightless oil-free primer that fills in fine lines and wrinkles, prevents collagen breakdown and gives the skin a silky smooth, long lasting, flawless base
  • 'Tahitian Glow' gives a bronzed tint and adds shimmer, perfect for achieving that sun-kissed glow from within
  • Great for quick applications 
  • Extends wear of foundation and controls shine
  • Won't irritate sensitive skin
  • Over time, aides in evening out skintone
  • Instantly fills in fine lines and wrinkles up to 40% with powerful anti-ageing ingredient and antioxidant dermaxyl
  • Creates a stunning uniform complexion, soothing redness with natural green tea extract
  • Quenches, nourishes and protects your skin 
  • High grade silicone will never clog your pores due to a smooth, whipped texture and noncomedogenic formula
  • Keeps your makeup looking fresh and camera ready all day long
  • Can be used underneath foundation, tinted moisturiser, powder, or on its own to smooth fine lines and neutralise the skin
  • Non greasy formula quickly absorbs into skin creating the perfect canvas for makeup
  • RRP $59.95 for 30ml, but do shop around (I paid about half that)

As you can see, it does add some warmth and shimmer to the skin. Above I've left an unblended blob on the left (you can see the 'whipped' texture here) and I've blended it a little on the right.

Below I've blended it out. It adds some nice shimmer and warmth without being overpowering.


This is a great product and it's one that I'm really glad to own. In my humble opinion, Bodyography products are a cut above the rest (at least, the ones I've tried) and I urge you to give the brand a go if you haven't already.

This primer is unlike anything else I've used. It does have a different, whipped texture that takes a little getting used to because to start with I wondered whether it was spreading well and evenly, and I wondered how much was absorbing and whether it was just sitting uncomfortably on the top of my skin and interfering with my base product.

All those fears were quickly cast aside after a few uses. It smooths out beautifully and does give the perfect base for makeup. One pump is enough for my whole face (with a little leftover for my neck and dec) and it warms my complexion nicely without being too much or adding too much shimmer.

I think this product does give you a bronzed, lit from within kind of glow, but it doesn't interfere with your base product and instead complements it beautifully. I'm yet to find a base (BB/CC cream, tinted moisturiser or foundation) that does not work well with this primer or look better for it.

On the product claims I haven't mentioned yet: I think it does make your foundation last longer; it does do something towards filling in lines and wrinkles; it is oil free and it doesn't irritate my sensitive skin.

It also has a mattifying effect, although not a bad one (matte doesn't look good on me and I prefer a dewy look) and I can live with it and use a more dewy base to combat this. I'm not sure whether it evens out skintone over time because I haven't used it consistently for ages, although I'd be pretty surprised if it achieved that claim.

Other than this, I think it meets all its claims and it's one of the few primers I've found that does what it says it will do - particularly when it comes to extending the life of your base product.

Ticks from me. I've given it an HG tag.

We received this little lip gloss in June's Violet Box (reviewed here). I go through lip glosses ridiculously quickly so I'm always pleased to receive more, particularly when I like them.

Happily I do like this one, although it's not something I would rush out and buy because $14 is a lot to pay for a gloss this size.

Starlooks claims/product details:
  • A non-stick, moisturising formula with an exotic vanilla scent 
  • Creamy, glassy and long-lasting 
  • Adds a glistening effect to any look 
  • Available in 47 different shades; tint ranges from sheer to opaque, and finish ranges from shimmer to satin 
  • Designed to be worn alone or in combination with other Starlooks lip products for a truly customisable finish 
  • Comes beautifully packaged in a translucent tube with a doe foot applicator 
  • RRP $14 
There's what it looks like:

As you can see, it's pretty sheer. On my lips it doesn't add anything in terms of colour, just gives a nice sheen.

Below I've coloured my lips with a pink liner and put the gloss over the top:


I do like this gloss, and it's one I would consider buying if it didn't cost $14 for such a small tube.

I like the so-called exotic vanilla scent because it's not overpowering but it's pleasant without being too vanilla-sweet.

The gloss itself has a great texture and, while it is a little sticky (so I don't agree with the non-sticky claim), it's sticky in a good way because it adheres well and lasts a lot longer than many other glosses I own.

The colour is a kind of coppery rose gold but it winds up looking sheer because it's not very pigmented. I personally don't mind that because I have enough coloured lip products and it's nice to have something that I can wear over lipstick without affecting the colour, just adding a nice bit of depth and dimension.

On the product claims I haven't mentioned yet: it is moisturising and my dry lips are loving it; it does work well when paired with a coloured product underneath (some glosses don't because they can shift them - this doesn't); and I think it is quite creamy and it does add a glistening effect.

All in all, I really like this gloss and I'm glad I received it, but I won't be buying more of these unless I can get them for half price or less.

Ticks from me.

It's close enough to the end of the month that it felt like a good time to clear out my empties box again and have a look at what I've finished this month.

As I mentioned in my first empties post for July, I have a feeling that these posts will continue to contain less products as time passes, since I no longer have a bunch of Memebox duds that I'm trying to get through.

What I may do in future is roll my two empties posts back into one, but for now I'm sticking with two so any single post won't be too long.

This month I've finished quite a few things that I've wanted to get through so I could move on to something new - eg the Too Faced base and Benefit concealer - so it feels like it's been a good month in that respect because I've happily moved quite a few new and fun products into circulation. Yay to that!

Lancome Trésor Midnight Rose EDT

This is my second bottle of this perfume: I bought the first one and my husband grabbed another one for me overseas because he likes it too. It's a great night perfume because it's on the richer side but it isn't too heavy, and the blackcurrant notes are yum. It also lasts well so it gets points for that too because so many perfumes don't go the distance, but this one still has legs at the end of the day. Repurchase? Yes, but not for a while because I'm ready to try something new.

Nivea Pure Invisible Anti-perspirant Deodorant

I don't often include products like deodorant in these posts unless they're really good or really bad. Unfortunately this one was really bad, which surprised me because I used to use it and it worked well enough, but for some reason this didn't keep me smelling fresh. Not what you want from deodorant! It worked better if I applied a truckload of it, but even then it wasn't great. Repurchase? No.

Project Pan 2015 Products

I was glad to see the back of my Too Faced BB Tinted Moisturiser and my Benefit Boi-ing Concealer in 02/03 because I was more than ready to bring some fresh products into circulation.

I won't talk about these two items too much here because I've done that enough via Project Pan, but suffice to say that I won't buy either of these again. The Too Faced product wasn't quite right for me and it was a little paler than I'd hoped, and the Boi-ing concealer creases so I had to keep smoothing it out as the day progressed. So repurchase? No.

BioElixia Body Shaper - stretch mark diminishing créme

Full review here. This is one of the many products that promises to do something about stretchmarks but of course doesn't deliver because things like that are largely determined by genetics and, as far as I know, no miracle cream exists to deal with them. It's fine as a body cream although it doesn't absorb that well so you really have to rub it in or you'll be left covered in white streaks. I'm glad it's gone. Repurchase? No.

Sharashara Pink Piggy Collagen Cream

This is one of the few Memebox products that I've really loved. Full review here. It's the perfect cream to apply over makeup throughout the day because it doesn't 'lift' makeup of your face (some products can) and leave you looking like you'll need to apply your face again. Plus it plumps and hydrates amazingly and I'm so sad to see it gone that I might have to buy it again if I haven't got a suitable replacement in stock. Repurchase? Yes.

Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturising Lotion

I got this as part of a set for Christmas a while ago and I never used it because it wasn't great on my skin, but recently I've been finishing off the 'random' items of skincare I own to make way for a new round of products, and this one was on the randoms list. I've used this cream many years ago and it didn't agree with my skin then, and it still doesn't. It's not hydrating/plumping enough for me and I'm glad it's gone! Repurchase? No.

Zelens 3t Complex Essential Anti-aging cream

I absolutely loved this cream and I'm sad to see the back of it! Full review here. It's insanely hydrating and my skin looked so much better while I was using it. The only downside is the huge price tag, and that's the only reason why I wouldn't buy it. So repurchase? No, unless I win the lottery.

Shanghai Suzy Lipstick in Miss Ally Amethyst

As you may know, I'm a huge fan of Shanghai Suzy lipsticks, it's just that this one wasn't a good colour on me. Full review here. As I'm sure many have done, in the past I've stocked up on these because they only cost $12.95 each and you can usually find a 'four for the price of three' deal online. Problem is, a deal like that isn't good value if not all the colours suit you! I worked hard to finish this one, and I've promised myself that I'll get through at least one more dud colour this year (I just wear them at home and then put something else on if I'm going out). Repurchase? Yes, just not in this colour.

Clarins Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch

Oh how I loved this little primer! I'm very sad it's gone. Full review here. You only need to use the smallest amount each time so this little 4ml pot lasted for ages, and it did wonders for the look and feel of my skin. It was a great base for makeup and felt so velvety on - it's an amazing product and it's gone straight to the wishlist. Purchase? Yes.

In sum

Some great products here and some not so good ones. The best of this lot are the Zelens and Clarins products, plus the Sharashara moisturiser. If I had the dough, I'd be buying all three of those straight away.

We received this product in our June 2015 Violet Boxes (reviewed here). I love the little tin and the packaging in general so it's something I'll keep and display, but it's a rubbish lip/cheek tint (there's no tint!) and I'll use it only as a gloss because it's there.

Mullein & Sparrow claims/product details:
  • An all-natural, sheer, tinted balm that gives your lips and cheeks a slight flush and dewy finish 
  • Apply desired amount to lips for nourishment, protection, and colour
  • Dab a small amount on cheeks as a light cream blush
  • Perfect for beauty on-the-go
  • Brightens the whole face with a sheer rosey flush for the cheeks, gloss for the lips, and a sweet orange scent!
  • A rich balm that hydrates lips and smooths into skin 
  • RRP $22

You can see above that even after only a few uses, this tint is starting to look a bit cloudy and gross - maybe because my finger picked up some of my tinted moisturiser when I was testing this on my cheeks. I can imagine that over time it will only get worse.

Below I've swatched it on the back of my hand. You can see there's no colour - it just leaves a greasy/dewy look and feel.

Below I've put it on my cheeks. You definitely can't see a thing! I put something else over it when I went out later on, and it had slipped off or absorbed by then anyway - so any dewy/greasy effect that existed (which you can't even see below) was long gone.


I like this product in theory - the tin is cute and I'm all for double-purpose products that you can easily chuck in your purse - but the colour pay-off isn't there so I can't give it any marks as a lip and cheek tint. It doesn't show up at all on either my lips or cheeks, other than to add a bit of shine (and not in a good way on my face).

If you have really pale skin this might work for you as a tint, but even then I would be surprised if it could deliver much punch. As you may know, I love natural-looking products because I don't like looking overdone, but this takes natural into non-existent.

If this were marketed as a plain lip balm I'd be calling it a good enough product. As a balm it's fine and I've been using it to keep my lips moisturised throughout the day, but that's all I can use it for and I don't think it should be called a lip/cheek tint because it doesn't deliver any colour. This isn't just on my skin - most reviews I've seen of this product complain about the lack of colour, so it's obviously a common problem.

Another common problem that a lot of people mention is that what little colour there is, doesn't last so it's not worth using as a colour product. I have to agree with that. Not only can you not see the colour in the photo above, you can't even see that I've applied the balm itself.

One other thing to note is that I've seen many people say that the contents of the tin start to get grainy and feel/smell bad quite quickly, so you need to keep using the product once it's open or it will go rancid. Erk. Guess I'm tied to using this one for now at least. Maybe I should put in on my Project Pan 'reserve' list for the moment until I'm ready to bring some more products into circulation.

All in all, this isn't a great product but I love the little tin so I'll keep it for that reason alone. As a lip balm it's fine as well and has a nice chocolate-orange scent, so I'm happy enough to use it for that purpose.

Disappointing but not a complete loss.

This hair treatment arrived in May's Violet Box and I was excited about it at the time because I don't have a lot of haircare in stock and I definitely needed something nourishing like this for my dry hair.

Unfortunately I don't think this is a great treatment and while I've finally managed to get it to work for me well enough, it took a few goes and even now it's not a given that my hair will be better for using it.

Hair & Me claims/product details:
  • A 100% organic oil-based product that uses coconut, macadamia, jojoba and almond oils
  • Designed to help repair, moisturise and strengthen your hair and scalp
  • Also helps rejuvenate and restore hair
  • To use: apply to damp hair, covering roots to ends; leave for a minimum of 45 minutes; rinse well, then shampoo twice thoroughly and condition as normal
  • RRP $19.95 AUD for 90ml


100% raw certified organic extra virgin Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Prunus Amygdalua Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Macadamia Integrifolia (Macadamia) Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (jojoba) Oil

The product comes out as a thick, lemon coloured oil but then melts once applied and looks like this:


I didn't like this on the first three goes because it somehow made my dry ends drier, and the rest of my hair dull and greasy. I'm not sure why it did that (I wasn't applying any more than I do now) but I was ready to give it away because it wasn't agreeing with my hair at all.

Then I finished off the shampoo and conditioner I was using, and the ones I'm using now seem to pair better with this treatment because I'm not having the same issue. I don't think it does a hell of a lot for my hair, but it no longer makes it dry/greasy in parts and I think it does have some beneficial impact. My hair does feel softer after using it, but it also feels a bit coated so it's not one I'll use often because it reduces the time between washes and I'm lazy.

With dry hair like mine, hair treatments like this will never go astray but I'm not sold on this one and I've used plenty that do a much better job of making my hair feel nicer and more nourished without weighing it down. Also, this one's temperamental to use (I'm talking about the issues I had with it to begin with) and it's annoying to have to leave it on for 45 minutes. I just want something I can leave on for a bit while I shower and then wash off.

In sum, I don't think this is a great product and I think you can do much better. There aren't many reviews about this treatment online but I have seen in the Facebook Violet Box swap group that this product has mixed reviews.

Test it before buying if you can.

While we're looking for a bigger place, we've moved into my parents' house since they're overseas and their joint is near Mecca Maxima. I haven't worked out yet whether that's a good or bad thing: unlike Mecca, Mecca Maxima houses a number of more affordable brands and products - and travel sizes of more expensive products - so it's very easy to go in there and say 'well, this only costs $19 so it's ok'. That can add up pretty quickly!

But I'm still on my $50 monthly cosmetics budget and I've blown it a little this month because a Ren skincare special popped up whereby if you spent $85 on Ren items, you got a free travel set of Ren products. Since I'd planned to buy a few Ren items anyway, I just accelerated that purchase and bought two months' worth of stuff so I could get the free pack. This also meant a number of visits into Mecca Maxima to work out exactly what I was going to buy, so I've accrued a lot of sample pots in the last month and I now need to get through them!

Still, testing skincare is one of my loves so I'm not complaining, and I do need to collate my next round of skincare since I'm currently using some travel-sized Alpha-H and Eslor products, and they won't last forever.

Anyway, I guess what I'm saying is: expect a few of these sachet city posts from me in the near future!

Suki Eye Lift Renewal Cream - Day

This was a Violet Box sample and I really loved it. The full size costs $79.95, which is around what you'd expect to pay for a great eye cream and it's certainly not the most expensive eye cream I've tried of late. It absorbs instantly and brightens/lifts the area, plus it feels soothing and I like the texture and feel on my eye area. Violet Box is still running a 20 per cent discount on Suki products and I have a bunch of points to use up, so I'll buy this in September since I've already blown my July/August beauty budget. Love.

Suki Even-tone Brightening Serum

I really loved this one too - indeed, I've loved almost every Suki product I've ever tried. It definitely brightens the face and absorbs quickly and well, making your skin look more plumped and just happier in general. I have another sachet of this that I'll test next month, to see whether I want to buy it. It's not available in the VB shop so I'll have to source it elsewhere, but it's definitely on the wishlist.

Suki Balancing Facial Oil

I've used this before and I loved it. Full review here. It's nicely hydrating without being greasy or leaving a slick residue, and it feels lovely on and has an anti-inflammatory effect. This particular oil is designed for combo/oily skin, however, and I'm better off with the oil that's meant for combo/dry skin - so if I buy a Suki oil, it will be the other one.

Origins Dr Weil Mega Bright Eye Cream

This is a lovely eye cream but I'm not sold on it. It feels velvety on the skin and it's quite thick and absorbs well, I've just tried some better eye creams recently (eg the Suki one above) so it didn't stand out. It's more affordable than many, however (it costs $55), so don't discount it - especially if you can pick it up on special. I can imagine using this one for day and a different eye cream for night.

Mecca Cosmetica To Save Face Superscreen SPF 50

My most-trusted Mecca staff member gave me this sample and recommended it for use under makeup, and I did really like it. It's an amped-up version of the best-selling Mecca Cosmetica To Save Face 30+, and is described as a lightweight, non-greasy, ultra hydrating formula that works well as a primer under makeup. I did really like this and I think those claims are true - it doesn't feel heavy like some sunscreens can and it didn't feel like it clogged pores. There's so much in this sample that I saved half and I'll trial it again in a future sachet city post, just to see whether I want to commit to buying either this or the regular 30+ version (which you can buy in a smaller size).

Ren Keep Young and Beautiful Instant Firming Beauty Shot

Ach, seems I can't escape this product. I've reviewed it here and you'll see in that review that I really didn't like this product because I found that it tightened my skin (in a bad way) and made it feel dry. That same Mecca staff member mentioned above urged me to try this again, but to try it over moisturiser - which isn't what the instructions recommend. I must say, I did prefer it that way because it didn't make my face feel quite so awful, but I'm still not sold on this product.

Ren Flash Rinse 1 Minute Facial

I loved this from the first use. I bought a value pack of Ren stuff when I made the skincare purchase mentioned above, and it includes a tube of this. I wouldn't have made the purchase if I hadn't used this sample, so the sample service that Mecca offers definitely pays off in terms of sales!

This is described as a transforming treatment that instantly revitalises and visibly rejuvenates the skin. Formulated with potent water-activated vitamin C, it's meant to give immediate spa facial results, leaving skin firm, toned and smoothed.

It does those things. Can't wait to crack open my little tube : )

Ren ClearCalm Clarifying Cleansing Balm

This is described as a purifying antibacterial cleanser that's formulated to combat the appearance of breakouts and blemishes, leaving skin visibly clearer and calmer. This is another product that I loved from first use, and it's gone straight to the wishlist so I might use my October beauty budget to buy it - it costs a reasonable $36 for a massive 150ml bottle, so it's well within my budget. It's soothing and smells wonderful, and I think it cleans well too. While it's not specifically designed for dry skin like mine, it's gentle enough for me to use and will hopefully help target the blemishes I get around my chin.

Ren V-CENSE Revitalising Night Cream

This is apparently formulated to hydrate, recharge and renew the skin, while providing antioxidant protection. I did like it and it melted like butter into my skin, feeling wonderful at the same time. But I've used better night creams and I'm not sold on this one, so I might need to investigate products from other brands that I can use in conjunction with the Ren products I have/want (which are mainly cleansers and treatments).

Ren ClearCalm Clarity Restore Mask

I absolutely loved this mask, but it costs $59 and I prefer the Ren radiance mask that I tried in my last sachet city post - and I bought the Ren skincare value pack because it contained a full-sized one of those. So I think that's enough money spent on Ren masks for the moment and I might look at this one again next year to see whether I still like it.

It's described as a purifying treatment mask that visibly prevents and diminishes the appearance of blemishes, and the sample wasn't enough to know whether it actually performs that function - all I know is that it felt great on the skin and my face looked fresher after using it.

In sum

Some lovely products in here and ones that I plan to get my hot little hands on, if I haven't already! The stand-outs are the Suki serum and eye cream, and the Ren clay cleanser and one minute facial (the restore mask too).

So much to choose from! I can't wait to explore the other little sample pots I have on hand so I can keep compiling my skincare routine for next year.

I first discovered these Essenzza wipes via Lust Have It. We received the blue ones and, as soon as I used the little blue travel wipes included with the big pack, I knew I'd struck gold.

You would think that cleansing wipes would be much-of-a-muchness - kind of like, I dunno, make up pads - but turns out they're not. These hit HG status straight away; they're truly sensational and I'm so glad I've found them! (Can you believe I'm saying that about cleansing wipes?! Ha. How sad.)

Once I'd tried the blue wipes, I went out to source the pink and green ones, which I happily got for 20 per cent off.

In this post I'll be reviewing the blue version, the first ones I used but the last ones I'm reviewing - and I promised in my earlier posts on the pink and green versions that I would let you know which ones I liked best once I'd used them all.

The green ones win, purely because I like the smell of those the best (they contain citrus and pineapple enzymes). These ones are just as good in terms of performance but yes, the scent sets the green ones apart so I'm more likely to buy those over the pink and blue versions.

Anyhoo. Let's have a look at the blue ones.

Essenzza claims/product details:
  • Experience the superior cleansing action 
  • Textured on one side to remove dirt and makeup with ease, and smooth on the other side for a perfect finish to your daily facial cleansing
  • Removes makeup (including waterproof mascara) and gently exfoliates skin
  • Deep cleansing action will leave your skin feeling clean and smooth, and looking bright
  • No parabens or sulphates 
  • Non greasy and non drying 
  • Suitable for all skin types 
  • 25 large wipes per pack 
  • RRP $6.99 for 25 wipes, but do shop around


I love these! They're the first face wipes I've been impressed by - all the others I've just used because I've received them in eg sub boxes - I'd never gone out and bought my own. Now I have!

They're nicely wet (I hate ones that don't have enough moisture in them), soft and do the job well when it comes to removing dirt and makeup. They don't always remove all my mascara on their own - I really need warm water for that because some mascaras I use are too heavy duty - but they fare better on that front than any other wipes I've used.

The textured side is pure genius: you feel like it's really cleansing and also helps with exfoliation, leaving your skin brighter and fresher afterwards. It's also nice to finish off on the smooth side, really making sure you've removed everything.

I reckon these do smell like aloe vera and cucumber, which makes them feel even more refreshing, but the scent is very faint so don't discount these if you prefer unscented products. I also like the packaging, not that this really matters.

I can't recommend these enough. I do prefer the scent of the green ones but these would be a close second. 

Yes, these wipes live up to their claims, and they've become something I can't live without. 


I received two of these little 5ml samples as a gift with purchase and that's more than enough product to know that I don't like this CC cream. At all.

Indeed, it's one of the worst products I've ever used on my face and I won't finish the samples as they're meant to be used - I might use them on my shoulders in summer for the sun protection factor just so they don't go to waste (this product is so sheer that I won't look like I've put makeup on my body!), but I really have no use for them otherwise.

Asap claims/product details:
  • Light textured, hydrating formulation 
  • Leaves skin with a light tint and a natural, flawless finish 
  • Prevents premature ageing
  • Instantly brightens dull skin, diminishes redness and promote a fresh, radiant complexion 
  • Light reflecting, natural minerals blend easily into skin, providing smooth, even coverage and beautiful luminosity
  • Contains antioxidants, white tea and pomegranate, to help reduce free radical damage and promote radiant, healthy looking skin
  • SPF15 broad spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays 
  • May be worn alone or under makeup
  • Suitable for all skin types
  • To use: apply in the morning; gently massage into the skin using a circular motion; avoid contact with eyes
  • RRP $55 AUD for 75ml

Above I've left an unblended blob on the left, a partially blended one in the middle and I've blended it out on the right.

Below I've rubbed the whole lot in: you can see that it's very sheer. So sheer that it offers no coverage so I'm not really sure what the point of this product is.

Note: I made the decision not to include a photo wearing the product on my face, the reason being that you can't actually see it because it's almost the same colour as my face (unlike my wrist, which is paler) and it offers nothing in the way of coverage so there's no point.

I did try taking a before and after shot but you couldn't tell the difference, so the wrist swatches are better indicators of the product in this instance.


This is easily one of the worst CC creams I've tried and I wouldn't go near it again.

First and foremost, Asap wasn't kidding when it said to 'avoid contact with eyes'. I didn't put this cream in my eyes of course but I did put a little underneath them for sun protection. The effect was instantaneous: my eyes stung and watered non-stop for half an hour. In the end I had to wash my entire face to stop them stinging and watering.

Even when I used this product a second/third time and gave my eye area a wide berth, my eyes still stung a bit so there must be something in this that's causing them to react. Never before have I had this issue with a base product - and I use plenty that contain sunscreen - so it makes me worry about what's in this.

Leaving the eye issue aside, this isn't a good product anyway. It's insanely greasy so my face looks like an oil slick after using it, and I have dry skin so this rarely happens to me - even with dedicated sunscreen products - so it must be pretty bad. I can't imagine what it would be like for someone with oily skin!

It doesn't absorb well and I need to powder my face after using it (I don't normally need to do this with base products) and it clings to the powder so I apply too much and end up looking dry and chalked, and wind up with wrinkles I never knew I had.

Also, the coverage it offers is non-existent. It tints your skin and that's all. You can see that in the above swatches - it sheers out so it does nothing in terms of evening out skintone or covering imperfections, and I prefer lighter bases so I'm used to tinted moisturisers and BB/CC creams that are light on coverage, but this gives me nothing. As mentioned above, that's why I haven't included a shot of my face: this product is a similar colour to my face (unlike my wrist) so you can't even see it. All you can see is the oil.

In sum, this is a terrible product and I don't think it meets any of its claims - except for the one saying it contains sunscreen (and it doesn't even contain a high SPF). I would avoid this like the proverbial plague, especially if you have sensitive skin or eyes.


A friend of mine gave me this sample mascara because she didn't want it, and I almost didn't take it because of my hatred for Benefit's They're Real mascara and its ridiculously large brush.

In the end I decided to review it at least, knowing I could pass it on to another friend who's a Benefit junkie.

If I thought They're Real's brush was oversized, this one really takes the cake. My golly. What was Benefit thinking when it designed this fat paddle?

Benefit claims/product details:
  • An unadulterated black mascara for dramatically full and voluminous lashes
  • This magic mascara is like a set of sexy black false eyelashes...without the glue! 
  • With its famously big brush and volumising formula, this matte-black mascara builds beautiful, bodacious lashes
  • To use: wear alone or apply They’re Real! Mascara to the tips of lashes for a glossy finish
  • RRP $19 USD for 8.5g

Seriously, look at that brush. I'm surprised by its size whenever I open the tube and it's definitely time to pass this one on after only a week of testing.

The brush is unusable, in my opinion - especially if you have puffy eyes like mine.

I've applied it above. You can see I've struggled to apply mascara to the outer lashes because I can't get the brush there. I've also struggled to coat the lashes in full because I can't get the wand close enough to my lashline.

Below you can see the same issues, and I haven't even tried to get the lashes towards my inner corner because I would surely have wound up with mascara where I didn't want it. Ridiculous.


I'll rant about the brush again briefly and then move on to the formula itself.

It's a terrible brush. Really terrible. I can't get it close to my lashline; I managed to get product on my puffy upper eye area each time I used it; and it's unusable for precision jobs like the lashes on the inner and outer corners. Rubbish.

Aside from the ridiculous shape of the brush, as you can see from the above photo, too much product is picked up on the end so you risk clumping/uneven application unless you wipe off the brush each time. You can wipe it on the edge of the tube a bit (instead of using eg a tissue, which is a waste of product), but the way it's shaped makes it hard to clean the end properly. Such a terrible design.

On to the formula. I think this is better than They're Real - for me at least - because it delivers a more natural lash and I didn't mind how it made my lashes look if I didn't get too close and see how badly the brush had fared in terms of coating each lash well enough.

One bad thing though: it smudges. I've had a look online and quite a few people mention this issue, so it's obviously a formula problem and you'd hope that something costing this much would perform better than something you can buy in the pharmacy. It does not.

It also flakes a little (although this issue isn't quite as bad as the smudging), so you're left to remove little black bits from under your eyes throughout the day. Not ideal.

All in all, this product isn't worth the price tag (or any price tag, in my opinion) and you're much better off buying something cheaper that performs better.

I've long felt that Benefit is completely overrated as a brand and this product does nothing but confirm that view for me.


After finally scraping out the last of my Benefit Boi-ing Concealer yesterday, I decided it was well and truly time for a Project Pan update and a bit of an overhaul: it's time to shake up my list a bit and start bringing some new things into circulation.

Let's kick off with my last PP list:
  • Sally Hansen Diamond Strength Top Coat 
  • ModelCo Colourbox Eyeshadow in Tahiti 
  • Emite Make Up Precision Eye Pencil in Spir 
  • The Cosmetic Kitchen Macadamia Wax Creme Highlighter 
  • 'Tini Beauty Eyetini Cordial Eyeshadow + Base 
  • OCC Lip Tar in Cha Cha 
  • Bloom Eye Definer Pencil in Dark Brown
  • Dd'ell Stay Forever Gel Eye Pencil 04 in Espresso
  • Emite Make Up BB Highlighting Pen in Coco 
  • theBalm Time Balm Primer 
  • theBalm Shelter Tinted Moisturiser in Medium and Light/Medium
  • Benefit High Beam 
  • Benefit Cha Cha Tint 
  • Benefit the POREfessional 
  • theBalm Bahama Mama Bronzer (switched out)
  • Too Faced BB in Linen Glow 
  • Benefit Boi-ing concealer 

The products I've finished:

My golly I never thought I would see the back of that Benefit concealer. Thank god it's gone! It's an ok product but it does crease if you have fine lines around the eyes like I do, so you have to keep smoothing it throughout the day. Annoying. I've got one more 'lesser' concealer to get through (see below) and then I only have two concealers left, and they're both great so I'm in no rush to get through them.

That Too Faced BB cream lasted about as long as I thought it would, and I'm glad it's gone so I can move on to my next base product. One of my aims for this year has been to get through half the bases I have - I have far too many - so next year I'm left with a more manageable amount and don't feel the need to finish anything before it starts to get too old. I'm getting there!

The Emite cream pencil is getting smaller, much more slowly than I thought it would. The rubbish Bloom eye pencil is faring quite well as a brow pencil and I'll get through it eventually. I'm giving these at least another two months but I think they'll last more like three or four.

That Cha Cha tint is one of those products that will outlast us all - I apply it once daily and there's barely a dent in it. Why the tubes are so large is beyond me.

It doesn't look like I've been using that ModelCo eyeshadow but I certainly have been! Dark shadows last an amazing amount of time and I suspect this one will go rancid before I get even a quarter of the way through it.

The 'Tini Beauty Eye Cordial is still going strong but I can definitely tell that it's vanishing, day by day. I picked up a second one of these in Violet Box's 'build a box', and I'm looking forward to finishing this one so I can open the new one - they do make good bases and I'll be more than ready for a change by then.

The Emite highlighting pen isn't something I have a lot of use for, so it's getting used as a spot concealer on and off. I'm not sure how long it will last, but if it's still going by Christmas I may well just turf it and move on to something better.

Now for the products I'm adding!

Australis AC On Tour Contouring & Highlighting Kit

This has to be one of the most over-hyped products of the recent past, and I fell for it. Foo! Full review here.

The highlighting shades are ok - it's the contouring powders that are complete rubbish. Muddy, difficult to blend and sit in pores. Ach. I'm going to use this until the end of the year and then turf it (or leave it in the travel drawer to gather dust), but at least I can get some use from it before then and get my money's worth.

If I hit pan on anything, it will be the yellow and shimmer powders. The pink I won't use and the middle brown I occasionally use as an eyeshadow, but I have better products to reach for so I don't use it often.

Royal Nature The Original Soothing Blemish Balm

Full review here. This is a really lovely BB cream, it's just far too pale for me. It was a Memebox inclusion and it's the only Memebox BB or CC cream that I've used for anything other than mixing with my sunscreen to make the latter last longer.

I've been using it to mix with any darker base that needs to be lightened a little, but it's been open a while now (around ten months from memory) so it's time to start moving through it faster than that. It'll be a good mixer for the ModelCo product, which is too dark.

ModelCo BB+ Cream in Medium

I received this via a FB beauty swap group, and I swapped it for something else because I'm a BB cream junkie and can't help myself. It's too dark for me and I'm surprised it's a 'medium' shade.

Still, it contains a good amount of sunscreen so it won't go to waste, and I'll mix it with the Royal Nature product so I can get through both of them.

I'm still using my bases from theBalm, but I'll alternate them with these so I don't get bored. I hope to be through all four base products by the end of the year. I might just make it.

Croquis Dual Concealer and Croquis Alight Pact

The Croquis Alight Pact is easily the best makeup item I received from Memebox and I absolutely love it. It's not a Project Pan item because I'm trying to get through it, but because I'm using it every day at the moment anyway, so I might as well include it on the list. Full review here.

The only time I'm not using it is on weekends, when I use my incomparable Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette. This Croquis product is still a great substitute for giving your face a nice glow but no one has topped Hourglass yet in that department (not in my books, anyway) so I keep that palette for when we go out.

The concealer is fine (I've recently reviewed it here), it's just another product that creases so I would like to finish it off and leave myself with only two crease-free concealers to choose from. I hope to finish it by the end of the year. Earlier, if I'm lucky.

There's the Croquis Alight Pact below, so you can see where it's at. I've already made a dent in it, but there's plenty to go:

In sum

I mentioned in my last PP mini update that I haven't been doing enough updates of late, so I'll try to do at least one full update and one mini one each month.

I've no idea what I'll get through next - most of the products on my list are in for the long haul - but I suspect that one of the Benefit minis (not pictured) will be next.

I'll check back in soon with another update : )

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