Well I've been up since 1am feeding my newborn son (that's right, consistently - for almost ten hours) and this is my first break of more than a few minutes, so I wanted to sit down and write something. Obviously I'm feeling somewhat fried in the head after all that and none of the reviews I have in draft are calling my name, which sounds like a good time for another one of these tag posts.

I do like reading others' tag posts and also doing them myself: they're a good way to get to know someone a little more and also have a giggle over common ground. Plus I don't need to think too hard, which is exactly what the doctor ordered today ; )

Have you ever done yoga and did you like it?

I have, and no. No I did not. Yoga to me feels a bit like golf - not really a sport or a walk (yes, I'm one of those 'golf spoils a nice walk' people).

I do mindfulness meditation and I love it. I do regular exercise and I love it. Yoga to me feels like something that's somewhere in the middle of these and it doesn't hit either mark well. Whatever floats your boat and all that, but I would rather sit and meditate or get up and go for a run. Yoga just doesn't gel with me.

What products do you splurge on?

Generally good skincare first and foremost, and after that, good powders: setting powders, blushes and eyeshadow. Things like lipstick etc I reckon you can save your pennies on because you can find some great ones at the chemist/drugstore and I don't put as much value into fancy lipsticks. Sure they're nice to have, but I'm just as happy with my budget buys.

When it comes to powders, however: I have dry skin that's over 30, so bad powders make me look and feel older and drier, meaning I'm more likely to go for the fancy stuff because, in general, that works best for my skin.

What products do you save on?

Lipsticks (for the reasons mentioned above), brow products (my brows grow like never-ending weeds so most of my time is spent plucking them, not filling them) and mascara (because why would I spend the big bucks on something that needs to be tossed in a few months - particularly when many awesome budget options exist).

I also tend to buy cheaper body and hair products because I would rather spend my dough on good skincare.

What is your best tip for maintaining healthy skin?

Wear sunscreen. Eat well. Stay hydrated.

What do you use to remove your makeup?

I'll use a budget makeup remover or micellar water because I don't want my special cleansers to be 'wasted' as makeup removers - I would rather they be skin cleansers. You can also pick up some budget oils (whether dedicated cleansing oils or just coconut oil) that work well for makeup removal and don't break the bank.

How do you maintain your eyebrows (example, threading/waxing)?

Plucking. I need to pluck the damn things every day. If I don't, they look like a forest within 48 hours. I'm not kidding. It's an endless source of amusement for my husband.

They grow so much and so, ahem, bountifully, that it's not cost-effective for me to spend money on things like waxing sessions. We'd be broke. Due to eyebrow maintenance. There's a first for everything (!).

What is your favourite mascara?

High end: Too Faced Better Than Sex. Hate the name, love the product.

Budget: Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara. That stuff is indeed sensational. I love it even more than Too Faced's offering.

Where do you buy most of your makeup?

I buy a lot of stuff online, but Mecca is where I buy most of my fancier makeup. Mecca carries brands I love (like Hourglass) and you can't beat being able to try something in-store so you know whether it works for you. I like Mecca much better than Sephora (better customer service, for starters) so I'm more likely to spend my money there because I'd prefer to support them.

What is your favourite shade of lipstick?

Coral. I can't get enough of that colour in lip products and blushes especially. I also love purple lipstick, but that's not something I wear every day.

What is your favourite perfume?

Oooh that's hard. La Dolce Vita by Dior. La Vie Est Belle by Lancome. Chanel Chance (the original pink version).

If I had to pick one, La Dolce Vita. I've run out and I really need to get another one. I miss it. It's one of those scents that just makes me happy whenever I smell it.

In sum

That's it! Super pleased I was able to sneak this in today - I didn't think I'd have the chance!

You're meant to tag other bloggers, but as usual, I tag anyone who wants to have a go at these questions.

Wishing you a lovely Melbourne Cup Day and hope you pick a winner xx

I received this product in one of my recent sub boxes, and while I wasn't disappointed to see it because I knew I would use it, I also wasn't that excited because I've got micellar waters coming out of my ears these days.

Indeed, micellar waters seem to be the new black when it comes to beauty products and I keep receiving them, so I've got a back-log and have for a while, and I've never actually bought one for myself. Enough of the micellar already! Anyhoo. Let's have a look.

Nivea claims/product details:
  • Want a quick and easy way to cleanse that’s kind to your skin too? 
  • Try the 3-in-1 care cleanser for your face and eyes
  • Cleanses deeply, removes makeup (even from the eyes) without rinsing or rubbing, and moisturises in one cool, refreshing sweep 
  • So mild, even sensitive skin will love it
  • Micelle technology works like a magnet to attract and remove dirt
  • Fuss-free, revolutionary skincare that's both gentle and highly effective
  • With dexpanthenol and grape seed oil 
  • Free from parabens, colours and perfume
  • RRP $9.99 for 200ml, but do shop around


I think this product is fine and overall it's not much better or worse than most other micellar waters I've tried. Having said this, I do prefer the Unani version I've just finished because there's something special about that one (I've reviewed it here), and I remember liking the Garnier version a touch more than this (I've reviewed that here) - although that could partly be because I used it before the Unani version so I didn't have that as my most recent benchmark. 

This Nivea version is a standard micellar water formula that looks and feels exactly like water, and it has no scent so it shouldn't bother people who don't like fragranced products. 

I use it as the first step in my evening cleansing routine and it removes makeup reasonably well, although I remember feeling that the Gariner product was a touch more effective than this one (and I also needed to use less of that per application). Mind you, the difference isn't huge and it's not enough to say that one is vastly better than the other.

This Nivea version doesn't remove mascara, but I've come to realise that nothing besides a decent cleanser and a shower will do that for me - I wonder whether my lashes are super dry and 'cling' to makeup - so it may work better for others when it comes to eye makeup removal. 

Mind you, I've seen a few reviewers say that this is better for 'standard' face makeup than it is for eye makeup, so looks like I'm not the only one who would need to go through a good few cotton pads to remove the gunk from my eyes.

On the claims: this does remove makeup relatively easily (but not eye makeup) without rinsing or rubbing; it doesn't irritate or dry out my dry, sensitive skin; it does feel refreshing and cooling when applied; and it does cleanse the skin, although I wouldn't rely on this as my only cleanser because I need something extra to get my skin feeling super clean.

All in all, I think this product is fine and it's well-priced (particularly if you can grab it on special), but it hasn't wowed me and I mightn't buy it because I prefer the Garnier version, which is in the same price bracket. 

Good but not great.

I must say, I'm super pleased to finally be sitting down to write this post: I've had this little corrector for ages now, and while I photographed it before using it for the first time (which is why it looks brand new below), the swatches themselves have taken ages.

Honestly, this might be the product I've had to photograph more than any other - I just couldn't get the 'action shots' to work - which is why I've opted for arm swatches as opposed to applying this on my face. When put under my eyes, I can certainly see the difference but this doesn't translate in photos. Plus my under-eye bags are uneven, meaning that any 'with and without' comparison shots were never going to work.

Anyhoo. I'm glad to report that I do love this product, so I haven't been too annoyed with it when it wouldn't photograph the way I wanted it to. It's the first dedicated corrector I've owned, and while I have tried others in-store, I'm yet to find a suitable replacement for it.

Also, the product is currently on my Project Pan list and I'm not yet sick of it: that's saying something!

Becca claims/product details:
  • A creamy, brightening corrector that completely eradicates under eye darkness by  neutralising, brightening and evening skintone
  • Full coverage 
  • Your eye area is primed and backlit for your concealer, giving even coverage
  • Ultra-fine, light-reflecting illuminators restore vibrancy to the face
  • Long-wearing, water and transfer-resistant
  • Doesn't settle into fine lines and wrinkles
  • To use: using your ring finger or a concealer brush, pat underneath the eye and gently blend; follow with concealer application
  • RRP $45 AUD for 4.5g, but do shop around (I got mine for around $34)

What I've done in the shots below is draw on my arm with blue pen, then I've added three blobs over the top: one being my concealer on its own (left); one being the corrector alone (centre); and the last being the corrector with my concealer placed over the top (right, closest to the corrector).

You should be able to see a slight difference in coverage between what the concealer does on its own (left) versus what it does with the corrector underneath it (right). 

Note that I've used less of my concealer when it's combined with the corrector, although it looks like I might have put it on a little more thickly - that's just because the corrector boosts its coverage.

Indirect sunlight:

Direct sunlight:

Natural light:


I really like this product and I recommend it - but I also suggest testing it first because it's one of those polarising products that some people think is fantastic and others think is pretty rubbish. So I wouldn't blind-buy this because you mightn't love the result.

It's a thick, emollient cream that I think is best applied with your fingers. Some people like using a brush but I prefer my fingers because my hands warm the product up, meaning I can spread it out more easily and achieve a finer layer.

And achieving a fine layer with this is, I think, the key to making it work. If you apply too much, your under-eyes will look shiny and some of the corrector may mix in with your concealer, which isn't what you want - it needs to adhere to bare skin and sit underneath the concealer.

Indeed, for the people who don't love this, I've seen a few of them on youtube doing demonstrations and I can see that they're applying way too much product, which could be one of the reasons why it isn't working for them. It's possible of course that they're applying more than usual so viewers can see it, but just be aware that this is definitely a product that needs to be rationed or you'll likely run into problems.

What I love about this is that the tiniest amount somehow boosts the coverage of my concealer so I can use less product overall. This helps avoid my makeup looking overdone, and it also has the added benefit of correcting my under-eyes so they don't look quite so dark.

I've tried this product with countless different concealers and I'm yet to find one that doesn't work with it. To start with I wasn't sure how it would fare (I thought it would mix in with my concealer and make it too light and shiny), but it doesn't do this if used the right way. That is, just use a tiny bit!

One thing to be aware of is that I've occasionally had issues with this product causing the mascara on my lower lashes to 'dissolve', giving me panda eyes - and I'm not the only one who's had this problem, judging by the reviews. The way around this is to either use a tubing mascara or to make sure that your concealer is set and sealed really well with a powder.

As for claims, this product generally meets those - including the one saying that this doesn't settle into fine lines and wrinkles. I do get a bit of creasing as the day wears on, but I suspect that my concealer is to blame for this, and this product certainly doesn't worsen the issue.

One claim to ignore (in my opinion) is the one saying that this product 'completely eradicates' under-eye circles. It does not. Becca is over-saucing it here, and if that's what you're after, you'll most likely be disappointed. What it does do is halve the work of your concealer, so you can use 'lesser' concealers and rest assured that this corrector will have you covered.

All in all, I reckon this is a great product and I recommend it. Having said this, I'm also convinced that I can find something that's even more effective, and I'll be looking at Becca's other correctors as a starting point because I know this formula works.

It's been an ok month for Project Pan and I've finished off five more products, plus the second of three Nars foundation minis (I'm counting the three as one item). 

Since my last mini update, I've knocked off the two products above: my Shanghai Suzy Lipstick in Miss Sophia Lilac and my Nars Sheer Matte Foundation (Fiji) sample.

Despite some good progress, I'm definitely experiencing Project Pan fatigue and I can't wait to move out more items and bring some new ones in.

Here's the chunk of things I'm still working on:

And here's my full PP list:
  • Nars foundation samples (two of three down)
  • Stila Stay all Day 10-in-1 HD Bronzing Beauty Balm
  • Becca Under Eye Brightening Corrector
  • Evelyn Iona Natural and Organic Concealer in Flawless
  • Bodyography Skin Perfecter Concealer in #430
  • Josie Maran Coconut Watercolor Cheek Gelée in Honeymoon Honey
  • Lust Have It Sunset Strobe Natural Highlighter
  • The Cosmetic Kitchen Macadamia Créme Wax Highlighter
  • Sportsgirl Lipstick in Enchanted
  • Savvy Soft Glide Eyeliner in Glitzy Gold
  • Alpha-H Liquid Gold Smoothing & Perfecting Mask 
  • Peter Thomas Roth Rose Stem Cell Bio-Repair Mask
  • clariSEA Rapid Detox Charcoal Exfoliant
  • TRESemme Youth Boost Fullness Emulsion Spray
  • Davroe Replenish Jojoba Créme Treatment
  • Estee Lauder Sensuous EDP
  • Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector (Liquid) in Moonstone
  • Mememe Cosmetics Goddess Rocks 
  • Be a Bombshell Eye Base in Nudist
  • Shanghai Suzy Lipstick in Miss Cassandra Peony
  • Shanghai Suzy Lipstick in Miss Sophia Lilac

That's sixteen products in total, which is a number I'm happy with for now.

Let's have a quick look at each one. Note: for those products that don't have markers, you can see where they were at the end of September in my last full update post here.

First up, haircare and fragrance. I've made some good inroads into the Davroe product (see marker in photo below) but this treatment may find itself on my Project Pan 2017 list if I can't get through it in the next two months. I've been using it as a pre-wash treatment but I may start using it as a shaving cream as well because I really don't want it to last into next year.

As for my TRESemme Youth Boost Fullness Emulsion Spray, I quite like this product but it's slow going because I only use it after washing my hair (and I only wash that once or twice a week because it's dry). I can see this lasting well into 2017, but that's ok because I like it and I'm not sick of it yet.

You'll see below that I've made a good dip in the EL Sensuous EDP this month, and I'm hoping to have it out of circulation by the end of November. I'm using it as an air freshener because I don't love it, and I'm trying to fight the urge to spray it through the whole house daily just so I can move something else into circulation ; )

There are my markers above. You can see that I've been consistent in my use of the Tresemme product, while the Davroe item has moved faster this month and the EL perfume slower.

Now for my skincare:

I was really hoping to see a bigger dent in the Alpha-H mask by now (see marker in photo below), but it's one of those products that I can only use once a week because my dry skin can't tolerate too many mud masks in a short space of time. Now that the weather's warmer and my skin is less dry, I'll see if I can't use it more often but I don't like my chances of having this done by Christmas. 

The clariSEA scrub, on the other hand, is a product I've been focusing on this month and you'll see in the shot below that my efforts have paid off. I've been using it not only to mix with a body scrub that's not scrubby enough (and the two products work well together), but also as a facial exfoliant and a lip scrub. This should be gone by the end of November.

As for the mask from Peter Thomas Roth, you can see above that there's maybe one quarter left. This mask does nothing for me but it feels nice and cooling on the skin, and since you're meant to be able to use it daily for 'intensive repair', that's what I've been doing and I expect it to be gone in November. I'm not seeing any intensive repair, though ; )

Now for the tough stuff - makeup!

First, my base products. That Stila Bronzing BB Cream is finally, finally starting to look like it's on its last legs (see marker in photo below). Just look at the dip I've managed to achieve in the past month by focusing on it more than I had been. If I can move this out by year's end, I'll be happy!

Fortunately, I'm now down to my last Nars foundation sample, and I can't wait to get through it. It's in the shade Deauville, which is too pale for me so it will make a good mixer product for some of my darker bases. There's only 4ml in here but it will last for a month at least.

You can see above that my progress on my Bodyography concealer has been pretty steady so far. I need to step up my game, however, because it will last out all of next year if I'm not careful. Soon I'll be able to move my Marc Jacobs foundation into circulation (I've earmarked that for PP 2017), and when I do, I'll move through the Bodyography concealer more quickly because it's the yellow mixer I use to make that foundation less peach. 

As for my Evelyn Iona Concealer, I really can't wait to finish this because it's the second one of these sample pots I've included in Project Pan this year. I have other concealers that I'd like to move into circulation but I don't want to do that until this one's done. Fingers crossed I can finish it by Christmas - it's lasting forever!

My Lust Have It highlighter has started shedding flakes whenever I use it. This isn't because it's old, but because it's not great quality. You'll see in the shot below that I have quite a bit of pan showing now and the product that's left is shallow. Whatever happens, I'll make sure it's gone by the end of the year - even if this means crushing up the rest and adding it to a body cream - because I'm keen to move on to another powder highlighter for 2017.

As for my Josie Maran blush, it'll be slow-going with this and I can see it lasting for another six months. I don't mind that because it's a versatile product that works on both my cheeks and lips, and it's a good summer product so I'm happy enough to use it frequently. Once it's gone, I'll move my one other non-powder blush into circulation so I can finish it before it goes off.

The Becca Under Eye Brightening Corrector is a newer inclusion and, while I've made good progress already, I can see it lasting out most of Project Pan 2017. That's ok, I'd be using it almost every day anyway because I really like it, so I don't mind that at all. Once it's gone, I'd like to try a peach corrector so I'll buy one when this is finished.

As for my last three products:

I can't believe the amount of progress I've made in my wax highlighter from The Cosmetics Kitchen over the past month. I've panned this before and it took ages, but I must have used more of it than I realised because it's vanishing quickly. Unfortunately the lid of the packaging has burst, but that's ok because I was at the stage where I needed to unscrew the cap and remove product with a brush anyway. Again, I'll make sure this is finished by the end of the year so I can focus on something else.

Both my Savvy and Sportsgirl products haven't been moving that quickly (see where I've marked them below), but I have used them a bit so at least that's something. The lipstick I may be able to finish by Christmas if I'm dedicated, but the eyeliner will hang around for another good few months yet.

Now, for my replacements:

While I'm keen to keep my list at around fifteen products because otherwise these update posts are quite tough to manage, I can safely move three new items in now because I'm confident that I can move out at least three items during the month to make room for them.

Those products are:
  • My Revlon BB Cream (reviewed here), which I don't love because it's too sheer and also feels like it clogs pores, but I'll mix it with my moisturiser because it contains sunscreen and is also quite hydrating. I hope to be done with it by early next year.
  • The above Mine Tan self-tanning mousse (reviewed here), which I like but I find tanning mousses a hassle to use, and somehow I wound up with three of them (none of them purchased by me) so I'll need to include them in Project Pans to make myself use them!
  • Another Sportsgirl lipstick, this one in Birthday Suit (reviewed here). I love this but it's getting old so it's time to get through it.

There are my markers above - note that the Revlon product is already marked because I used it in Project Dent - and I've included Birthday Suit on the piece of paper I've used above to mark my other products.

In sum

Phew! I was starting to think I would never get through this post. My son has been on a feeding frenzy this morning and I've been up since four (it's now almost nine), slotting in a sentence or two when I can. I'd almost (not quite ; )) forgotten what it was like to have a newborn - you often wind up confined to one-handed tasks when they're eating this much.

Anyhoo. I'm happy with my October progress and I'm looking forward to an even better month in November because I can't wait to move out some things that have been on my PP list for a while.

Speak soon x

I received this mask in one of my Mecca Beauty Loop boxes and it's taken me a while to review it because I have so many masks on the go and I've wanted to knock off a few other things first.

I've been testing it again throughout October, however, and while I don't think it's the best mask I've used, it's not bad and I've been enjoying it - especially because it's a great double-duty product that not only serves as a clay mask but also contains scrubby matter to exfoliate. Perfect for time-poor parents!

Malin + Goetz claims/product details:
  • A deep cleansing and exfoliating clay mask that's ideal for oily or acne-prone skin
  • Formulated with refined kaolin clay to help absorb excess oil and draw out impurities, powder-like pumice to gently polish away dead skin, and witch hazel and arnica extract, known to be anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial
  • This pore-minimising, 10 minute mask purifies and balances to improve clarity and texture for healthy-looking, radiant skin
  • The non-irritating mask is also suitable for sensitive skin
  • RRP $70 AUD for 100ml


This is a standard clay mask that dries down while you wait for it to work, and like most clay masks it can feel a little tightening as it dries - but not in an uncomfortable way so that's a plus.

What's different about it is that it also contains some fine, scrubby matter, and just before you wash it off, you're meant to massage it in circular motions across your face.

The first time I used it, I wasn't expecting the exfoliating particles and I was pleasantly surprised to find them because I like double-duty products. I only tend to use clarifying masks and physical exfoliants once a week each, so it's nice to come across a product that covers both bases.

Once I've massaged this in and washed it off, my skin feels smoother and looks brighter and more refined. I can imagine that it would be useful for oily or blemish-prone skin, but having dry/sensitive skin, I can't comment on whether it works well for those with a different skin type than mine.

What I can say however is that it doesn't irritate my dry/sensitive skin or further dry it out - another plus because I've used clay masks before that my skin can't tolerate. It can easily tolerate this and I've noticed no adverse reaction from using the product: indeed, I could probably use it more than once a week if I wanted to because it's reasonably gentle while still being effective.

On the claims: yes this cleanses and exfoliates; yes it polishes away dead skin; and yes I do think it improves clarity and texture for more healthy-looking, radiant skin. I can't comment on the other aspects (eg whether it's good for oily skin) because that's not my skin-type, but I imagine that it could help with blemishes etc, based on my experience with the product.

As for whether I would buy it or think it's worth the hefty price tag, I'm very picky when it comes to my masks because I want something that works wonders if I'm going to go to the trouble of using it, and this hasn't grabbed me enough for me to say it's worth the $70 AUD for the full size (but do note the full size contains 100ml, so it's large).

I think it's a good product but it's not one I would buy because it's not a stand-out for me, and I've also used similar masks before that do more for my skin - so this isn't near the top of my list.

Good but not great.
Welcome to my October favourites!

It's been a rather disjointed month because I gave birth to my son earlier in October and didn't play with much skincare and makeup while we were in hospital, but nevertheless I've absolutely had some stand-out products for the month and I've been looking forward to writing this post.

So without further ado, and in no particular order...

Natural Instinct Rejuvenating Rosehip Oil

This product was sent to me for review and I'm so glad it was because I've been loving it and it's one of the nicest oils I've tried in a while. I've reviewed it here.

I've used a few rosehip oils before but none of them really grabbed me like this one did, perhaps because it feels so beautiful, melts into the skin and doesn't leave behind a heavy residue (so I can even wear it under makeup).

It keeps my dry skin feeling nourished and comfortable, and it only costs $20 a pop so it's on my radar now and it's definitely something I might buy in future. If you're in the market for a good facial oil that hydrates without being too heavy and doesn't break the bank, you really can't go past this.

Mecca To Save Face SPF 50+ Superscreen

Ah, my old friend. This is the best facial sunscreen I've ever used and it's an HG product of mine. If you haven't tried this or the original SPF 30+ version, I urge you to grab a sample because there's nothing else I've found on the market that's this good and doesn't cost too much. Full review here

It spreads and absorbs well, and it doesn't have an offensive sunscreen scent or leave behind a greasy residue. Somehow it manages to hydrate my dry skin and protect it in the process, and it gives the perfect non-oily base for makeup application.

Better still, it's one of those rare facial sunscreens that you can apply over makeup throughout the day without disturbing what's underneath or making yourself look greasy. That's probably my favourite thing about it! Love.

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector (Liquid) in Opal

Full review here. This is another HG product of mine because it's the best liquid illuminator I've used to date. Plus it's reasonable value because you get so much product and the bottle should last for ages. If you were only going to use this as a spot highlighter, I'm convinced you'd never get through it!

The formula is a thin, light cream with no detectable scent. It's one of those products that just vanishes into the skin without feeling heavy/oily or drying, so I'd say it would suit all skin types and you shouldn't be aware of it once it's on.

What sets these illuminators apart for me is both their versatility and also the effect they give on the skin. Liquid illuminators are more versatile in general, but these Becca ones don't contain noticeable glitter chunks and instead just give a natural, credible sheen to the skin. That may be why I've had three of them. And counting ; )

Marc Jacobs Genius Gel Super Charged Foundation in #34

I used this as part of my Project Dent series earlier in the month, and while it's not my favourite foundation of all time, it's the foundation I'm loving most from my collection at the moment.

It's a lightweight gel that spreads and applies well. If you have dry skin like me, you may prefer to whack on a super hydrating primer underneath (or even a facial oil) because the finish is a touch on the powdery side of satin for my personal tastes, and I'd prefer something with more glow. The other thing I do is mix this with a drop of oil: something to consider if you want a dewier finish.

It doesn't last super well on the skin but I personally don't need long-lasting foundations at the moment so I'll live with that issue because I love the natural finish it gives and the way it blurs imperfections. Best thing is, it doesn't sit in pores around the hairline - an issue I consistently have with lesser products.

Pixi Overnight Glow Serum

Last up, this fantastic little serum that I've fallen in love with. It mightn't be as effective as my HG Alpha-H Liquid Gold (another glycolic acid product), but it's a tad more gentle than that - while still giving good results. Full review here.

It's a light, gel formula that absorbs beautifully into the skin and immediately brightens the complexion. I use glycolic acid products because they make my skin look and feel more awake, and this definitely achieves that - both immediately and the morning after use.

The serum does have a resurfacing, exfoliating effect and my skin feels smoother and looks more even after use. It also has an effect on the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, so my face happily looks a few years younger when I use this. Always a good thing!

In sum

Them's my favourites for the month! It was super easy to pick them out because I haven't been playing around with too many things of late (having a newborn and running panning projects will do that to you ; ) ), but these five items have definitely led the pack for October.

Let me know what you've been loving this month - I'd love to hear : ) x

We received this blush in one of our Maslow & Co boxes and it's taken me a while to test and review it because I've been focusing on my products for Project Pan and Pan that Palette 2016.

I was super pleased to see it because I've always wanted to try one of these blushes - Milani's fabled Luminoso shade in particular - and I was double pleased to receive this in a coral colour, which is my favourite cheek shade of all time.

While I do like it and have plenty of good things to say about the formula, it does have glitter flecks in it so it's not something I'll reach for often because I have an aversion to putting glitter on my face, no matter how finely milled it may be. More on that below.

Milani claims/product details:
  • Richly pigmented and highly buildable
  • Beautiful matte and shimmery shades 
  • The perfect cheeky pop of colour for every skintone
  • Sunbaked on Italian terracotta tiles
  • The warm finish adds a radiance that is the very essence of beauty
  • Shape, contour and highlight your best features
  • Corallina is described as a 'shimmering, vivid coral'
  • To use: glide brush through colour and lightly tap off excess powder; lightly apply to cheeks, forehead, chin and/or nose and blend well for a soft glow
  • RRP $15.95 AUD for 3.5g

As you can see, the compact lifts up to reveal a brush compartment that's housed beneath the blush itself (there's a mirror there too). 

The brush isn't good quality - it's stiff and scratchy against the skin - and it's not the kind of brush I would use for blush-application in terms of shape. I personally would prefer no brush at all and a sleeker compact, but of course that's personal preference.

There's a swatch, direct sunlight:

One more for good measure (you can see there's indeed quite a bit of visible shimmer, although at least it's finely milled):

Wearing a light dusting of blush (without highlighter), direct sunlight:

And in natural light (outdoors); I'm wearing it on my eyes here too:

And in natural light (indoors); click on any image to enlarge it:


This is a great little blush for the price and I can see why so many people rave about these products: they're inexpensive, pigmented and easy to work with, plus this is one of the best budget blush formulas I've tried.

'Corallina' is a beautiful bright coral that leans orange (my favourite kind) and you can apply it more intensely or with a light hand so it's just a wash of colour that really lifts the face. A light dusting is my personal preference for a shade like this, and you'll see that's how I've applied it in the shots above.

The blush feels very soft and smooth to the touch, and do be careful when you first use it because if you go in too hard, it's so soft that you'll loosen some product in the pan (that's what happened to me when I first swatched it - oops!). I suppose you could say that it's almost a touch crumbly, but I personally don't mind this because I prefer softer products and this one manages to be soft without feeling too powdery or dry.

Now, for the visible shimmer. I really hate visible shimmer in things like blushes and bronzers - I would much prefer a sheen or just a straight matte formula. If I want to look glowy, I'll opt for a highlighter that's placed where I want it to be - I certainly don't want glitter flecks all over my face. That's just me.

While I have seen some reviewers say that you can keep buffing and blending this blush until the shimmer 'disappears', I haven't found this: yes it's possible to loosen a good deal of the flecks if you keep blending, but I can still see them on my face when I step into the light, no matter how much I've worked the product in.

Not only that, once you try to blend the flecks away, many invariably shift and stick to other areas of your face instead. So that's something to be aware of if like me you're not big on visible shimmer - but note also that this blush certainly doesn't have the worst display of shimmer that I've seen, so it's worth testing anyway if you don't like flecks in your blushes because you may be ok with this.

Otherwise I really can't fault this blush: it applies, blends and diffuses well, and it lasts well throughout the day. The colour is gorgeous and there are plenty of shades to choose from so you should find something to love in the range, plus you'd be hard-pressed to find a good formula like this at this price point.

Probably the only other thing I don't love about this is the packaging: it's too chunky and I think the blush compartment is completely unnecessary - particularly because the brush isn't good quality and I suspect that most people won't ever use it.

All in all, a beautiful blush but unfortunately the shimmer means I won't be reaching for it often.

I've been really looking forward to writing this update post for the month because I know I've made some good progress on my powders, and I couldn't wait to see the before and after shots alongside each other. Plus I've been excited about sharing my progress with you guys because some items are starting to look like they mightn't last out the year. Woot woot!

So without further ado, here's the progress I've made this month:

My Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit is one of those products that doesn't show progress readily and also seems to last for ages. That's a good thing because it ain't cheap and it's one of my favourite products of all time, but I am looking to move it out of my collection because it's getting old and I'm keen to try other things from the brand.

Here's how it looked at the end of September:

And here's where it is now, at the end of October:

It's hard to see what progress I've made but I promise there's some! Both powders look flatter and I'm not too far away from hitting pan on the edge of Radiant Light (right).

I expect this palette to last well into 2017, and I'll certainly keep using it until it's all gone.

Here's the progress in my Makeup Geek Travel Vault, which contains a bronzer and six eyeshadows that I'm working on (the seventh being Bubbly from Stila In The Light, which I'm not attempting to pan just yet):

First up, my Gorgeous Cosmetics bronzer. Here's where it was at the end of September:

And here's where it is now:

As you can see, I've made some good progress and it's really starting to crumble now: in part because I've already had to repress it once and in part because the powder isn't great quality. It looks nice-enough on the skin, but it keeps developing a crust that I have to remove. Coupled with the fact that it keeps flaking away, I'm moving through this relatively quickly and hope it's done by Christmas.

Next up, my Stila shadows from the In The Light palette. Here's where Bare and Bliss were at the end of September:

And here's where they are now:

Thankfully I've now hit pan on Bare, and I've had to re-press Bliss twice or three times now because it's starting to crumble, so I've probably made a little more progress on that than it seems in the photos. Other panners warn that shadows start to crumble after a while and make things difficult, and that's definitely been my experience too. 

I would love to finish both these shades by the end of the year but I mightn't make it. I think I'm slower than most when it comes to getting through eyeshadows (as opposed to bronzers and blushes) because I really don't use much each time, so Pan that Palette is definitely challenging for me!

Next up, Stila's Sandstone. Here's where it was one month back: 

And here's where it is now:

There's a bigger dip in the middle now but I can see this shadow lasting out next year because I really don't use much each time. I've been mixing it with either Bare or Bliss to use on my brows (it's a bit dark and not ashy enough on its own) so it is getting used daily, but it's pigmented so it's going to take some time to get through.

As for my Nars shadows, they're newer inclusions and here's where they were last month:

And here's where they are now:

All three are showing some good dips in the middle, which makes me happy but I know they're in for the long haul because there's over 2g of product in each pan. Yikes! I've definitely got my work cut out for me!  

In sum

While it's been a good month for Pan that Palette, I'd like to do better in November and find ways to use more of my products per application. So eg Bare I could also use to set my under-eyes and Bliss might also work as a contour shade for the face. I'll play around with the other items too and see if I can't find fresh ways to use them. Wish me luck!

Speak soon xx
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