Hello and welcome to another Project Pan full update for 2017!

I'm pleased to say that it's been an excellent month for me - indeed, it may be my best panning month of all time - and I've finished off thirteen products in total. 

This means that I now have ten products remaining on my list and I'm happy with that amount so I won't be introducing any more products at this late stage in the game: I'll save the new additions for next year.

I guess the other thing I should note is that it's very dark and rainy here today in Melbourne, and I've had to take my photos on the stove with the range-hood light - so if they're looking a little off, that's why.

Here's how my list is looking at the end of November:

  • Becca Aqua Luminous Perfecting Foundation in Beige 
  • Becca Under Eye Brightening Corrector 
  • BareMinerals 5-in-1 BB Advanced Performance Cream Eyeshadow SPF 15 in Sweet Spice 
  • Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powder in Bronze 04 
  • Stila's Gilded Gold from the In the Light Palette 
  • Rimmel Exaggerate Auto Waterproof Eye Definer in 212 Rich Brown 
  • Dazzhop Lasting Eyebrow Pencil 
  • Marc Jacobs Lipstick in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang 
  • Rimmel Kate Moss Lasting Finish Lipstick in 32 
  • Alpha-H Balancing & Pore Refining Mask with Jojoba 
  • Natural World Hair Oil 
  • Neuma Neusmooth Leave-on Conditioner 
  • St Tropez tanning mousse 
  • Rimmel Moisture Renew Lipstick in 720 Nottinghill Nude 
  • Rimmel Moisture Renew Lipstick in 220 Heather Shimmer 
  • Too Faced lipstick in Juicy Melons 
  • Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer in Luminous Bronze Light 
  • Nars Liquid Laguna Bronzer 
  • Gorgeous Cosmetics Prism Powder Highlighter 
  • Gorgeous Cosmetics Lip Pencil in Tangerine 
  • Becca eyeshadow pan (from Ombre Rouge Palette) 
  • Self-mixed eyeshadow pan 
  • Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal 

Let's have a quick look at each item in turn.

First up, Stila's Gilded Gold (which I've re-pressed into a smaller pan) and Becca's Under-eye Brightening Corrector. Please note that I've included the photos of these products from last month's update below so you can track progress.

I cannot, cannot believe that the Becca product is still going. I really thought I'd finish it this month, but since you need to use so little each time, I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that it's still hanging in there. I know I'll finish it this month, but gosh, it's lasted FOREVER.

As for Gilded Gold, it's not the same shadow that it once was so it's not as pigmented and it also doesn't stay on the eye as well, which means I'm getting through it a lot faster than I normally would. Still, I love the colour so I'm happy to keep panning it and I should get there by Christmas. Just.

Above is how the Becca product looked at the end of October. 

Yes I've made progress since then by you can see how slow it's moving.

Above is Gilded Gold. So between now and October's full update, I've managed to hit side pan, expand the pan and also flatten the edges a bit.

We're getting there : )

Next, my Rimmel Kate Moss Lasting Finish Lipstick in 32 and Marc Jacobs Lipstick in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. You'll see my marker sheet for both products below.

The Rimmel is lasting longer than most lipsticks (I pan lip products very quickly) for the simple reason that it's super drying so I can't wear it alone and it's also a weird, almost fluoro colour on me. I'll be really glad when this one's gone, I must say.

The Marc Jacobs lipstick I'm really enjoying - and it's one of the rare pink lipsticks I can wear because it's deeper and not too bright. I'm rationing it a little because I like it and it's only a mini, plus I need to review it so I don't want to burn through it before I've had the chance to do swatches etc.

Both of these products will likely be finished within the next couple of weeks.

Above we have my Dazzshop brow pencil and Rimmel eyeliner. Again, you'll see the marker sheets for both products below.

I use the brow pencil daily but I only use a little because my brows are very thick and dark so too much product looks unnatural on me. I'm not sure if I can finish it this month but I'll certainly try.

As for the liner, I only line my upper and lower waterlines with this, so again, progress is very slow. However you'll see from the marker sheet that I've used about half of the remaining amount since I introduced it earlier in November, so I should be able to finish it this month.

Next, my Becca foundation and BareMinerals cream eyeshadow. Both these products have been on my list for months now so I'm starting to tire of them, but it's looking like I'll be able to get through both in December so that's promising.

The Becca product is a little too dark for me and I also don't like wearing it alone because the formula isn't my favourite, but I've been using it as a mixer for any base that's too pale for me - and to make things move faster, I also often mix in a drop or two with whatever primer I'm using to give a bronze glow beneath my tinted moisturiser. I've also been wearing it occasionally by itself (mixed with some whitening drops) if I'm not leaving the house, and if I keep triple-purposing it, I should be able to get through it by year's end. Looking forward.

The BareMinerals I'm using as a facial contour because I don't love it on the eyes, and I must say, I love it for that - it's perfect because it's exactly the right colour and it blends out beautifully. Mind you, I don't contour normally and I'm only doing it to pan this product, so I'll be pleased when it's gone so I can take an extra step out of my makeup routine.

Now for my non-makeup products: my Natural Wold hair oil and Alpha-H face mask.

The hair oil is showing good progress so I should be able to finish it by year's end. I do love this product but I've had it for absolutely ages so I want to finish it before it expires, and it's the only hair oil I've tried to date that I can apply to all of my hair (not just the ends) so it's not the hardest product to pan.

I can't say the same for the mask! There's a huge 100ml in this and the shelf-life is only six months, so I don't know what Alpha-H was thinking with the size of this tube because you're only meant to use it once a week (I can't use it more often on my dry skin anyway). It's such a fantastic mask and I have been applying it to my face, neck and dec, but as you can see from the markers, it's probably going to take me six months to pan and it's already been open for around six months now, so I really hope it doesn't turn before I've finished it.

And last, my Laura Mercier bronzer. I only introduced this product on the 15th of November, and it had barely been touched at that point because it's not my favourite and I kept forgetting to use it.

However. As you can see from the dent in the pan, this thing has been seriously flattened in only a couple of weeks. My golly! Not only this, half of the pan (where I naturally focus my brush) is about one-third lower than it was when I started using it. 

This tells me that I should be able to pan the whole thing within three or four months. And you know what? That's not good enough for a high-end bronzer. Bronzers normally take me about a year to pan, but this one's so sheer - even though I bought the darkest shade, and I only have a light/medium to medium skintone - that it's vanishing before my eyes. And it's not like I pile it on: I prefer a natural look. Grumble grumble.

There's my marker sheet below:

In sum

That's all from me! I hope you're going well with your own panning projects, and that you manage to finish off plenty of stuff before the new year.

I should also mention again that I'm hoping to wind-up Project Pan early this year (either that or I'll take a short break in January), just so I can have some 'free time' before PP 2018. I would like to finish most of the products on this list before I close down PP 2017, though, so I'll keep going until I do that.

Hope all's well with you, and speak soon x

I realised recently that it's been ages since I wrote a list of my favourite bloggers or Youtubers, so I thought I'd write a post on those today.

My last list was in November 2015 (!) and I included both bloggers and youtubers in that, but today I've decided to separate them so I'll start with the latter.

If you would like to see my last list, it's here. I've just scanned through that list and my preferences still hold, but I do spend a lot more time on Youtube than I used to so I have some new favourites that I'd like to mention.

Here they are...

Beauty News

I found these two Melbourne girls (Kat and Hailey) on their second video back when I was pregnant with my son - so it can't be far off two years ago now - and I haven't looked back. 

Their videos are quite long and they bring us beauty news on Fridays - so details of new releases, sneak peeks of upcoming releases and the occasional beauty drama - and on Mondays they update us on news they've discussed previously.

They also run a series called The Makeup Breakup, where they destroy products and weigh the contents to check that we're getting what we paid for etc, and while I tend not to watch these videos because I prefer their other ones, I know that a lot of people love them.

I love these guys because they're good fun and well-researched, and they also bring a balanced view on new releases and drama etc. I always look forward to sitting down and watching the latest episode on Fridays especially. If you haven't watched these guys yet and you love beauty, then I suggest having a look.


Emily is one of the longer-standing Youtubers and she has to be one of the most well-respected people in the community. I'm sure you've probably seen her or at least heard of her, but if you haven't, then I absolutely recommend checking her out. 

She's lovely and she appears to genuinely care about her subscribers, plus she has this slightly nerdy/goofy demeanor (and I mean that in the best way possible) that makes her really endearing.

Better still, I believe her to be very honest and trustworthy so I know that if she recommends something, it's because she really likes it and not because she's being paid to say that. By the same token, she'll put herself out there and tell you if something is bad even though it has been sent to her for review. Not everyone has the guts to do that.

There's a reason why Emily has inspired so many other Youtubers (and they often say so): she's just good.

Jessica Braun (JAMBeauty89)

Jessica is one of the very first Youtubers I found, and I've been subscribed to her for a long time. I think she had around 200,000 subscribers when I found her, and I'm pleased to see that she's now close to 500,000 because I think she deserves it.

Like Emily Noel, she's honest and not afraid to tell you what she does and doesn't like - so she's another person I trust and always have.

I also like her simple, no nonsense style - she's enjoyable to watch but she's not 'frilly' - and I know she's a teacher so perhaps that has something to do with it.

Jessica is also good for budget/drugstore recommendations so she's one I would recommend if you're mainly interested in more affordable products, but she does talk about high-end stuff too.

Stephanie Nicole 

I found Stephanie when she only had around 100,000 subscribers and she's another one that I'm pleased to say is now getting close to the 500,000 mark. She certainly deserves it, given the time she puts into her videos and the amount of detail contained in her reviews.

I love her because she's bold, blunt and she doesn't take shit. She gives the appearance of being completely herself in her videos, and if you don't like that, then she probably wouldn't want you as a subscriber anyway.

Her reviews are excellent and I find them helpful because she puts time into them and really gets to know a product before putting her opinion out there. Indeed, if I'm interested in a makeup item, then it's her review that I look out for above anyone else's because I know she'll say it straight, and she'll also have thought of things that other people perhaps mightn't have.

Definitely worth watching.

Jen Luvs Reviews

Jen is newer to the Youtube community and I'm pleased that her numbers are starting to rise (she has over 100,000 subscribers now): we need more people like her on the internet. Like Stephanie Nicole, her review videos are very detailed and well-organised - you can tell that a lot of work has gone into them.

I also like her warm, engaging style and the fact that she's prepared to be completely honest about her feelings on a product. I seem to be saying 'she's honest' about everyone on this list (!) - but obviously that's what I look for in Youtubers so it's something that applies to all the people I'm mentioning.

Jen Luvs Reviews is one of those channels that I feel should be a lot bigger than it is. Still, she hasn't been around as long as most of the channels mentioned on this list, so she may get bigger yet.

Samantha March

Samantha is another newer channel and I have a feeling she's going to get very big, very fast. She has an upbeat style and a lot of people like her for her humorous approach and also for the fact that she's a self-confessed 'book nerd' (she's a writer) who doesn't take makeup too seriously.

What I like about Samantha is that she comes up with fresh ideas for videos and is always searching for new and interesting topics, so you don't get the whole 'I've seen it all before' feeling with her that you can sometimes get when watching other Youtubers.

Also, because she's small (she's the smallest channel so far on this list), she isn't yet used to receiving PR packages so when she does, I've seen her get quite emotional about them and that's very sweet. She doesn't take it for granted. I like that.


I recently watched Jen Luvs Reviews talking about her favourite Youtubers, and when she talked about Livloveshermakeup, it was like she'd reached inside my brain and said my feelings exactly. I had to smile!

As Jen said, 'Liv's grown on me'. It wasn't as though I didn't like her previously, it's just that I found her hard to watch - she always spoke very fast, her voice was quite young and high, and I found listening to her difficult because I watch Youtube in the evenings after a long day of looking after kids, so I don't want to watch anyone that stops me from feeling relaxed.

However. Somewhere along the way, Liv's style changed. I think it was around the 12,000 subscriber mark when I watched her speak of her ADD and lupus (I didn't know she had these things), and she's also a flute teacher so she said that her ADD had a lot to do with her speed and the flute had a lot to do with the fact that she rarely takes a breath.

It was around this time that her videos started to get more gritty - she became bolder, more sassy and more blunt (her voice isn't as high now either) - and these days I love watching her. As Jen also said, 'I have to be in the mood for Liv' and I feel the same way, but I do love Liv's content and she tests a lot of makeup so I trust her opinion.

Honourable mentions

And last, I have a few honourable mentions that don't quite make the list, but I do watch most of the videos they put out and I trust them so I thought I would mention them all the same.

The first is Puffins Wife. She has that slightly goofy, nerdy and endearing style that reminds me of Emily Noel, and while at first I found her hard to watch because of the strong accent (it's just not something I'm used to hearing), I now don't notice that and she tests a lot of makeup so I know I'm likely to find reviews of new products on her channel.

The second is Mandy Davis MUA. What I like about Mandy is that she's a bit older (so late thirties, like me) and she doesn't wear super heavy makeup, so her preferences tend to be quite similar to mine. Her skintone is also similar to mine and she does a lot of foundation reviews, and since she's a makeup artist who tests a lot of makeup, I really trust her opinion.

Next, Kaily Baute. Kaily is a smaller channel but she does some really excellent eyeshadow palette reviews and she's great at breaking down a palette and telling you whether you need it. She also has kids and she has to budget for her makeup purchases (more so than younger people with more disposable income who don't have kids), so I know that everything she buys has been thoroughly researched. Plus she's a fingers-applier with foundation, and we're few and far between in this makeup-sponge world so we have that in common!

And finally, Mariah Leonard. Mariah doesn't get talked about much but she does have over 300,000 subscribers and I find her self-deprecating style to be very funny (actually Samantha Ravndahl is very funny too). Mariah's good at makeup and knows her stuff, plus she has some great ideas for content and I always find myself wanting to watch her videos because their titles sound interesting but not bait-like. On top of that, she has dry skin and so do I - so I know I can trust her when it comes to skincare and complexion products like primers and foundations.

In sum

I hope you enjoyed this post and found a few new ideas for Youtubers to watch! 

Please note that I haven't included any panners on this list because I generally watch their videos for the panning and I'll watch just about any panner (!), although I do like Amberf because I find her voice to be very soothing and she's also a seasoned panner so she's great to watch for ideas.

Do let me know in the comments who your favourite Youtubers are. I'm always watching Youtube so I'd love to find some new channels!

Hope all's well with you, and speak soon x

* All images courtesy of unsplash.com

Hello and welcome to another empties post for November.

We're so close to the end of the year now and I've been working hard this month to get through as many products as possible, so I can start the new year with a wave of fresh items in the bathroom and on my desk. This includes both makeup and skincare, since many of the products I'm using have been around for a while and I'm ready to move on to other things.

Anyhoo! Here's my next bundle of empties for this month.

Pūrearth Turmeric Exfoliating Face Sand

Full review here. This came from Maslow & Co and while I quite liked it, it's expensive for what it is (the full size costs $76 AUD) so I wouldn't buy it and I don't think you need to spend that much on a decent exfoliant.

It's a turmeric-coloured powder and you add it to a carrier (I use water) before applying it to your face. Look, it worked well as an exfoliant, but an expensive powder that's messy to use like this would need to be pretty amazing for me to want to buy it, and this wasn't. Plus it always dyed my face the colour of turmeric and got in my eyes when I used it, which was annoying. Purchase? No.

Kevyn Murphy Plumping Wash and Plumping Rinse

The wash was absolute rubbish. It didn't clean my hair at all so what I had to do was double-wash with another shampoo (I always double-wash) and then use this afterwards to see if it did anything else (it didn't).

The conditioner, however, was lovely and it left my hair feeling super nourished and soft. It smelled nice too. Having said this, while I normally get four or five days between washes, with this conditioner my hair was dirty and gross by day two or three. Not ideal.

I didn't notice any plumping with either product - although my hair is textured, frizzy and wavy so perhaps that's why - and you might see more results on fine, straight hair. Purchase? No.

Odacité Skincare Gt+L Radiance Effect, Ba+S Eye Contour and Po+R Hydration

These also came from Maslow & Co and I remember struggling when I reviewed them because there wasn't much to say about them - aside from how they smelled and the fact that they were little oils that you add to your regular skincare (eg your moisturiser) to super-charge it. See that review here.

Basically the only one that did something 'extra' for me was the Po+R Hydration: it was very hydrating so it kept my dry skin feeling nourished and comfortable. Yes the other two also helped nourish my skin - of course they did, I was adding oil to non-oily products - but they didn't do enough to leave a mark.

All these are, are expensive and very small products (the full sizes are only 5ml) and they require an extra step because you need to open another bottle and add more product to whatever product you've just opened. I personally would rather just buy the right skincare and use that. Purchase? No.

Asap Gentle Cleansing Gel

Full review here. This product was ok. It was definitely gentle and it was fine for the morning spot (I used it as my second cleanse), but it didn't remove makeup well and it wasn't something I loved using because it didn't grab me. 

Having said this, it wasn't a bad product and it never left my skin feeling stripped so you could certainly do a lot worse than this and I think it would suit sensitive skin. Maybe the issue is that I've used so many cleansers and have found so many I love, that this one was a bit meh by comparison. Purchase? No.

Merumaya Melting Cleansing Balm

I really enjoyed this product and I'm sad to see it go, although by the end I was ready to move on and try something else because it lasted such a long time. I've reviewed it here.

It was a standard cleansing balm and it smelled quite strong (herbs and ginger) so if you don't like scented products then I would avoid this. It removed makeup well but I tended to use it in the morning as my first cleanse, and it left my skin feeling clean and hydrated after use. Plus it was super easy to remove (some balms/oils aren't), which matters to me because I don't like the ones that you need to hack off. Repurchase? Yes.

Project Pan items

As always I won't go on too much about these here because I've already talked about them to death, but I will let you know briefly what I would and wouldn't repurchase.

  • Too Faced La Crème Colour Drenched Lipstick in Juicy Melons: full review here. I did enjoy the formula of this lipstick because it was hydrating enough that it didn't dry out my lips with frequent use and it also functioned as a balm that I could layer under other lipsticks. Still, it wasn't good enough to encourage me to buy more. Repurchase? No.
  • Gorgeous Cosmetics Prism Powder Highlighter: I liked this highlighter because it was subtle enough that you could use it as a finishing powder and that's how I got through it. I've reviewed it here. I still think it was overpriced for what it is, though, and I'll be sticking with Hourglass powders from now on because those not only add a glow, but they also minimise texture. Repurchase? No.
  • Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer in Luminous Bronze Light: full review here. This formula is my favourite for bronzing on the market - it blends, applies and diffuses beautifully, plus it offers a natural, airbrushed glow to the face and I love it. This particular colour isn't my favourite, though (it's too peach for me) so I'll be sticking with Radiant Bronze Light from now on. Repurchase? Yes, but in another shade.

  • St Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse in Dark: This is a good product that creates a natural, believeable tan and it tends to last on my skin longer than most (despite frequent exfoliation) so that's a plus. Full review hereHaving said this, I just can't get behind tanning foams and I don't think I ever will. Why would I apply something, leave it on for hours on end before washing it off, when I can just use a cream and be done with it? Maybe I'm just lazy. Purchase? No.
  • Neuma Neusmooth Leave-on Conditioner: full review here. I didn't get on with this product at all. It's meant to do things like condition your hair, manage knots and tame frizz, but all it did for me was weigh my hair down and reduce the time between washes - without offering any benefits. I'm glad it's gone! Purchase? No.

In sum

Hooray for more empties! The best items in this lot were the Hourglass bronzer and the Merumaya cleansing balm. Everything else I can live without.

Let me know in the comments if you've finished anything amazing this month: I'd love to hear.

Hope all's well with you, and speak soon x

At the moment I have five products from The Ordinary in current rotation, and this toner is the one I've been using the longest of those five. 

It was the second product I opened from The Ordinary and I've been using it for perhaps five months now - so I've only got about a third of this huge bottle left and I've been meaning to review it for a while.

Happily I really like it. It's an excellent product that does what it's meant to do and I'm so pleased I found it. Although it's not my Alpha-H Liquid Gold (another glycolic acid based treatment), it still performs well and I'm glad I can now recommend a similar product for those on a budget.

As you may know, earlier in the year I bought a bunch of products from The Ordinary (perhaps ten or twelve) with some Adore Beauty gift vouchers. 

Like many, I'd been desperate to try the brand so I spent one of my vouchers on The Ordinary's products whenever the items I wanted were in stock. And I only spent a few dollars of 'real' money for my troubles because everything is so cheap! Yay to that.

Worth noting is that I've made sure to introduce my products from The Ordinary individually (and the ones I have open aren't designed to do similar things to each other), with a space of a month or two between introducing them. 

I've done this because I've seen a lot of reviews from people who've started using various products at the same time (or who have followed one of The Ordinary's suggested regimens), so I wanted to do something different - just for those who are only interested in a product or two and want to know exactly what each item does when used alone.

The Ordinary claims/product details:
  • Glycolic acid is an alpha hydroxyl acid that exfoliates the skin
  • This 7% toning solution offers mild exfoliation for improved skin radiance and visible clarity
  • The formula also improves the appearance of skin texture with continued use
  • Contains a studied Tasmanian Pepperberry derivative to help reduce irritation associated with acid use
  • Also contains ginseng root and aloe vera for both visible radiance and soothing benefits
  • Contraindications: should not be used on sensitive, peeling or compromised skin; please refer to additional sun protection note and other warnings
  • This pH of this formula is approximately 3.6
  • To use: ideally use in the PM, no more frequently than once per day; after cleansing, saturate a cotton pad with the formula and sweep across face and neck; avoid the eye contour and contact with eyes; do not rinse off
  • RRP $14.50 AUD for 240ml


This is an excellent product and I'm pleased to report that it works and does exactly what it's meant to do. I'm also pleased to say that I think it's a lot better than Pixi's Glow Tonic (reviewed here), which is another more affordable option that others rave about but that never worked very well for me. Pixi's version is also more expensive than this one, so if you want to try a glycolic acid but don't want to pay a lot for it, I would definitely pick this one over the Pixi because it's cheaper and more effective - or at least it is for me.

It's a liquid product with a very slight chemical scent that I'm only aware of if I hold the toner up to my nose. You apply it to a cotton pad and run it over your face after cleansing, and it's better to use it in the evenings because your skin regenerates, repairs itself and absorbs skincare more effectively overnight.

When I first introduced this product, I was using it on alternative evenings to my Alpha-H Liquid Gold (reviewed here), just so I could compare them. Then I gave this a break while only using Liquid Gold, and since finishing off my Liquid Gold two months ago, I've been using this every evening.

Although I do find that the Liquid Gold is more effective and my skin prefers it, I still think this is excellent and I really don't think you can beat it for the price.

It does everything you would expect a glycolic acid to do - so it tones, brightens and exfoliates/resurfaces the skin - and my face always looks more awake and feels smoother after I've used it. For me, glycolic acid also has an effect on clarity because it clears gunk from my face and helps keep my pores clean, so a product like this helps minimise the amount of blemishes I get along my jawline.

On the claims: yes it mildly exfoliates; yes it helps with radiance and clarity; and yes it improves the appearance of skin texture. While I wouldn't say that it's soothing, I do think it's been formulated well because it doesn't irritate my sensitive skin and I've experienced no adverse effects when using the product - just the mild tingling (bordering on stinging) that one can normally expect while using an acid like this.

Overall I think this is a fantastic product and you really can't beat the price-point. No it hasn't replaced my Liquid Gold because that's my HG, but I do plan to keep purchasing this one as a budget alternative and I can always use the Liquid Gold less often when I'm using this to help my bottle last longer.

Love. Recommended.

Hello and welcome to another Project Pan mini update for 2017! 

I'm pleased to report that I've finished four more items, and I've decided to sneak in this mini update before November's full update post for the simple reason that I'll have less items to photograph.

Also, note that I've decided not to replace anything today and I may well not introduce any more products between now and the end of the year. Reason being, there's not a lot I can finish between now and Christmas, and I'm also keen to wrap-up Project Pan 2017 a little early if possible so I can use whatever I want for a few weeks before kicking off next year's challenge.

First up, my St Tropez tanning foam. This was on my list earlier in the year and I removed it because I'd stopped using it, but I brought it back so I could knock it out before year's end.

I used the last application this morning and even though it's a good product, I'm glad I've finished it because I find tanning foams to be a bit of a nightmare to use. I much prefer creams that I can just whack on after my shower and forget about. Yay that it's done.

Next, my Neuma Neusmooth Leave-on Conditioner. I really didn't like this product because it did nothing for me, so in the end I got through it by using it as a pre-wash treatment and also for protecting my hair before taking the kids swimming.

I'm not sure if it actually did anything, but I do believe that it helps to load your hair up with something (even water) before getting into a chlorinated pool because apparently your hair can only hold so much fluid, so by loading it up first, you're stopping too much chlorine from damaging your locks. That's what I've heard, anyway!

I'm glad it's gone.

Next, my Gorgeous Cosmetics Prism Powder. This is a nice, very subtle and very wearable highlighter that I enjoyed, but I don't need it in my collection because I have other subtle highlighters that I prefer.

It took me a while to get through this but not as long as other highlighters because I was able to use it as a finishing powder (the same way you'd use the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders), and it did offer a nice glow but it doesn't have the airbrushing effect of the Hourglass ones so that's why I was happy to move it out of my collection.

Still, it was a good product and I'm all for subtle, glitter-free highlighters.

And last, my Too Faced lipstick in Juicy Melons. I quite liked this formula because it was hydrating and it didn't dry my lips out with frequent use, which meant that even if I didn't want to use it as my lip colour for the day, I could still layer it beneath other products for moisture.

Mind you, the formula didn't convince me that I need to stock up on high-end lipsticks because I still think you can find some brilliant budget options that perform just as well as most of the fancy formulas I've tried so far.

There's my marker sheet for the lipstick below (second column from the right):

In sum

That's all from me for now. I hope you enjoyed this little post, and that you're going well with your own panning projects. 

It's always good to push out as many products as possible before the end of the year, and start a new year with less stuff and a more streamlined collection of things you love above all others.

Hope all's well with you, and speak soon x

This little 15ml jojoba oil came in a subscription box a while ago and I've been using it for the last two months so it's definitely time to review it. 

I've received this oil via a sub box before so I already had some idea of how I felt about it, but it was nice to try it again and refresh my memory because I didn't review it last time.

Long story short, it's a nice oil and I do like it, but I don't think it's amazing and I've used other oils I prefer so I wouldn't buy it. More on that below.

I didn't know much about this brand so I had a quick look on its website and apparently it was founded by a father and daughter team in 2008. The brand is 100% Australian owned, and the products are grown on the family's farm and made locally.

Interestingly, the website says that the jojoba plant produces a little bean that creates a rich, pure golden liquid wax (called jojoba 'oil'), and the oil acts like our skin's own natural oils, absorbing deep below the skin's surface. The jojoba plant is said to be the only plant on earth that's known to produce a wax similar to that found in young, healthy skin.

I didn't know any of this, so you do indeed learn something new every day ; )

The Jojoba Company claims/product details:
  • Pure jojoba is so versatile, gentle and safe for all skin types 
  • As the only plant in the world known to produce a wax similar to our own skin’s sebum, it is able to penetrate deep into the skin
  • It also contains powerful antioxidants, omega 6 & 9 essential fatty acids, and vitamin a, d and e
  • These ingredients nourish, soothe and deeply moisturise
  • Jojoba’s unique structure means it is non-greasy (it's not an oil) and is very quickly absorbed
  • Keep a bottle handy throughout the day for protecting dry skin or soothing skin conditions, great for chapped lips or rough cuticles
  • No shiny, oily afterglow - just soft, plump skin
  • Naturally antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, analgesic, anti-inflammatory and hypoallergenic
  • RRP $19.95 AUD for 30ml; $29.95 AUD for 85ml; $34.95 AUD for 100ml; or $49.95 AUD for 200ml

Thankfully even this 15ml deluxe sample bottle comes with a pump, and I'm all for that because oils are notoriously messy so the pump keeps things cleaner.

Pumps are also easier and faster to use than dropper bottles (which so often come with oils), so the brand gets full points on that front.


I've just had a look back through the blog and although I didn't review this product last time I used it, I did include it in an empties post so I've been able to see what I said about it. In that post I said that I loved it, that it wasn't too greasy (more towards the dry oil category but not quite) and that I would consider purchasing it.

Interestingly, I don't love this second bottle as much as I did the first one - and I wonder whether that's partly because I've now tried so much more skincare than I had when I started this blog. Back then I'd certainly used a lot, but a few years later when I've tried many more oils in between, this oil isn't grabbing me much at all.

It's a bright yellow oil with a slightly odd scent: it does smell a little bean-like so I wasn't surprised to read that the oil is made from the jojoba bean. The product spreads and absorbs well, and a little goes a long way so even this 15ml bottle is lasting me a while.

I agree that it's not a super greasy oil, although it's not quite a dry one and it does leave a slight residue on the skin, so your face looks a little glowy and feels a little tacky after you've applied it. 

While it does nourish and hydrate my dry skin, it doesn't feel as though it does the job as well as other oils I've used so it's been a better product for the warmer months because my skin doesn't need as much TLC these days as it does during winter.

On the claims: yes I agree that it's gentle and it does nourish, soothe and moisturise the skin; I agree that it's not super greasy and it does absorb well; and I also agree that you won't look shiny after using this but you'll definitely look more glowy.

Otherwise I'm not quite sure what to say about this product (rare for me, I know - I do tend to ramble on ; )), other than that yes it's an oil, yes it hydrates and yes I think it would be fine for different skin types because it's not too heavy. But you know what? It hasn't done anything amazing for me and I've used other oils that I prefer, so I personally wouldn't buy it.

If you're after a good, budget option, I suggest Natural Instinct's Rosehip Oil (reviewed here), which helped with skin firmness and elasticity, and also really plumped up lines - as well as nourishing my skin. Another good option is the Goodness Certified Organic Chia Seed Oil (mini review here), which my skin loved so much (it was like giving your face a drink) that I can't believe I haven't managed to repurchase it yet. It's on the list.

A nice product, but not my favourite.

Hello and welcome to my next round of Project Dent!

I'm super pleased to report that the next product I'll be denting is the ABH Master Palette by Mario, which happens to be my favourite eyeshadow palette of all time. 

Yes I love the ABH Modern Renaissance (who doesn't), but this one has shades that I reach for on a daily basis while the MR has a few shades (I'm talking about the reds and pinks) that I don't use as often.

I love the formula of this palette but I also love that there isn't a wasted shade in here. Not only do I like every shade, but there aren't any super dark colours - which I don't use often because I prefer lighter/softer eye looks - plus there's no matte highlight shade. While for some that's an essential, it's not for me because my eyes are so hooded/puffy that highlighting the browbone is a bad idea, and I can just use my setting powder as a base 'shadow' so pale highlight shades are a waste of space for me personally.

There's another shot of the palette, enhanced for clarity:

If you're wondering how I got my hands on this (because it wasn't released in Australia and it was limited edition), I bought it on ebay and yes I paid too much for it - around $100 AUD, including shipping - but let's face it, Sephora probably would have sold it for around $80 AUD anyway so that's not the world's biggest difference.

I was able to buy it for that amount with a 20 per cent off code, and I can definitely say that it's not a fake because I've compared it to one that a friend bought in the US (phew). While I normally wouldn't pay extra for products on ebay, in this case I did because I already knew that I loved the formula and I just couldn't go past the colour selection. Turns out it's been one of the best makeup purchases I've ever made, so yay to that.

Anyhoo. I've brought this into Project Dent because I knew I wanted to focus on at least one of my ABH palettes before kicking off Pan that Palette 2018, and I decided to go for this one because the light was bad for most of yesterday so I couldn't take my usual photos - and since I don't plan to review this palette because you can't buy it anymore, then we don't really need the other shots and I can just use these ones.

But enough preamble.

Here's how the left side of my palette is looking today, 28 November 2017:

Below I've enhanced the above shot for clarity:

I use and love all six shades on this side of the palette, and I won't be surprised if this half is showing the most progress at the end of the denting period - not only because it contains the only three mattes in the palette, but also because I use all three shimmers on this side a lot.

Here's the right side of the palette:

And there it is again, enhanced for clarity:

I love all the shades in this half of the palette too, although I'm less likely to reach for the blue and green as compared to the other colours. I do use them, though, and they're very neutral and wearable so they're fine for everyday wear and I'm looking forward to playing with them some more over the denting period.

So my plan is to use this palette every day for at least two weeks and see if I can't get some dents happening. I've really been looking forward to denting it because it is my favourite palette, so it will be a fun round of Project Dent : )

Hope all's well with you, and speak soon x

I just reviewed the bronzer I own from Laura Mercier (see here) so I thought I might as well keep going and review this highlighter, which is in the same range.

Long story short, yes it's a nice highlighter but unfortunately it's not quite the right colour for me (it's too frosty on my light/medium to medium skin), which may be partly because I have such warm undertones - so it can be jarring in some lights and I therefore don't reach for it often.

Now I should state outright that so many people love this highlighter, and indeed it's an HG product for some. I will say, though, that from memory all the people I've seen rave about this are lighter in complexion than I am. Yes I'm sure there are exceptions to that rule, but it's something I've noticed.

Also, this powder is on the dry, dusty side. Sure it's not terrible - nothing like my super dry Laura Mercier bronzer - but it's drier than every other highlighter I own. This won't bother everyone, but it does bother my dry skin if I try to use it on the eyes so that's something to keep in mind. If you have oily/combination skin, I suspect you won't even notice this aspect.

Laura Mercier claims/product details:
  • An ultra-smooth, baked face powder that provides natural colour with soft matte radiance 
  • For a flawless, no-makeup look
  • Sheer, buildable coverage lets you customise your glow, while the modern multidimensional matte finish imparts a hint of soft luminosity
  • Highlight 01 wakes up the skin with a subtle sheen
  • The ultra-lightweight formula feels weightless on skin, applies smoothly and blends effortlessly
  • The smooth, silky, velvety texture feels comfortable, while the long-wearing formula lasts up to eight hours and stays colour-true without oxidizing for an even wear
  • Non-dusty, non-drying
  • Formulated without fragrance
  • Dermatologist tested
  • RRP $50 AUD for 7.5g, but do shop around

Below I've photographed the pan in different lights.

Indirect sunlight (outdoors):

Direct sunlight (you can see how dry it looks here):

Indirect sunlight (indoors):

Below I've given you heavy and light swatches in different lights. You should be able to see in the swatches that although it looks deeper and more champagne when you swatch it heavily, once you sheer it out (as you would on the face), that's when it starts looking frosty.

Indirect sunlight (outdoors):

Direct sunlight (outdoors):

Indirect sunlight (indoors):

Now for comparison swatches.

Below I've swatched the Laura Mercier highlighter alongside Kevyn Aucoin's Candlelight, Becca's Opal and Champagne Pop, and theBalm's Mary-Lou Manizer.

Direct sunlight:

L-R: Laura Mercier, Candlelight, Mary-Lou, Opal, Champagne Pop

Indirect sunlight: 

Natural light (indoors): 


While I don't mind this highlighter, it's not my favourite for a few reasons.

First, it's quite a dry, dusty powder and I prefer my powders to be creamier. Sure, it's not as dry as the Laura Mercier bronzer I own (that's unbelievably dry), but it doesn't feel as soft and creamy as my other highlighters.

Of course, dryness doesn't always affect how powders perform, but in this case I feel it does: both my Laura Mercier powders look ok on my dry skin if I only use a little, but as soon as I try to build them, they look (and feel) dry on me and I don't like that. 

They look especially dry on my eyes (where we tend to build colour the most), which bothers me because I love using bronzers and highlighters on my eyes - but I don't with these because the formula isn't right for that on me. If you don't have dry skin then you probably won't notice this aspect, but I do.

Second, it's not the right colour for me. In the above photos you'll see that it looks rather similar to Kevyn Aucoin's Candlelight when swatched, but they don't look similar in the pan (Candlelight is more golden and this is more pink/beige) and they definitely don't look similar on the face. 

This one's more reflective than Candlelight and it has a metallic pearl/white sheen that's especially noticeable when it catches the light. It's this sheen, I think - more than the colour of the powder - that makes it not-quite-flattering on my light/medium to medium skintone. No doubt this is partly because I have strong yellow undertones, so warmer highlighters tend to suit me better and they also generally look more natural on me.

Third, I don't like the clunky, dated and cheap-feeling packaging. Yes it's the product that matters more than the packaging, but if I'm going to drop a decent chunk of money on something (these retail for $50 AUD at the moment, although from memory mine cost $42), then I want to enjoy the experience of using it. I want to pick up a heavy, well-made compact and feel that I'm using something luxurious.

I don't feel that with this. I feel as though I'm using something that should have cost less and I tend not to reach for my two Laura Mercier powders much because there's no ceremony attached to using them - at least, not for me. I've held budget products that feel more special than these do.

What I do like about this powder, however, is that it applies and blends well, and it's sheer enough that you can get a natural highlight without being too careful - but you can also build it so it looks more reflective. This makes it a versatile product that should suit people who prefer natural highlights as well as those who prefer more intense ones (and of course those who like both). 

In other news it lasts well on the skin (unlike the bronzer, which falls off my face within a few hours) and it also doesn't emphasise texture so that's a huge plus. And although I do notice tiny flecks of pearl/white shimmer in the pan and in swatches, I rarely notice these on my face so it should suit those who don't like glitter chunks in their highlights.

Overall I think this is a good product and my biggest gripe with it is that it's not the right shade for my skin. On some it may look more champagne, but with my very warm undertones, it looks too frosty/unnatural so it's not my favourite. I do however see why others love it - it's pretty, it doesn't emphasise texture and it's easy to use - so if it's the right colour for you, then it's definitely one to consider.

Worth testing.
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