If you know me at all then you'll know I'm a complete lip gloss junkie, so when the reviews of this Fenty gloss came out and everyone was raving about it, it went straight onto my wishlist and I bought it when Sephora had its next 20 per cent off sale.

While I'm pleased to say that I do really enjoy it and I can understand why everyone loves it, I don't think it's perfect because it does dry my lips out with frequent use so I need to be careful of how often I use it. That's fine, I just keep it for use on weekends or nights out, and I do love how it looks on so that's a plus. More on that below.

Fenty Beauty claims/product details:

  • Addictive shine, nourishing wear, universal finishing touch
  • The ultimate, gotta-have-it Fenty lip gloss with explosive shine that feels as good as it looks
  • Delivers explosive shine in one universal rose nude shade handpicked by Rihanna herself: we’re talking the unicorn of nudes that looks good on everyone
  • One luscious swipe of the XXL wand gives lips more to love, while conditioning shea butter enriches from within
  • Lips look instantly fuller, with a non-sticky formula that’s super shiny and has an addictive peach-vanilla scent
  • Fenty Beauty is 100% cruelty free
  • RRP $30 AUD for 9ml, but do shop around

Note this gloss is now available in another shade, with the second one being Diamond Milk - a clear gloss with shimmer. I probably will buy that one once I've finished this, because I do like the formula for the most part and I like having one fancy gloss to use when I'm out.

One thing I like about the packaging is the lid: it's wide enough on the flat parts and also reflective enough that I can use it as a mirror when I'm applying this on the run. Bonus.

There's the applicator below:

Now for swatches. 

Light and heavy swatches, indirect sunlight:

And direct sunlight:

My bare lips for reference:

Wearing the product, indirect sunlight:

And in natural light:


This is a beautiful lip gloss and I'm enjoying using it.

It's a standard gloss that comes in a tube with a doe-foot applicator, although the applicator is bigger than usual and it does apply more gloss than a standard applicator - which will be good for some, but I do find that I need to be a little more careful with it to avoid applying too much. Still, it's fine and it feels nice enough on the lips.

The product indeed has a peach-vanilla scent and it is quite strong so I can smell it when I apply it, so keep that in mind if you don't like scented products - although note that the fragrance dies down pretty quickly and I'm not aware of it after it's been on for five minutes.

The texture is quite thick and plush so it feels lovely on, and it's not super sticky so it should suit those who don't like sticky glosses. It does however have a slight tackiness to it that means it won't come off completely as soon as you eat and drink.

What I love about this gloss is that it plumps up my lips beautifully and does a great job of reducing the look of my lip lines, plus it offers some gorgeous shine that I think looks flattering on the lips without being too much. I also like the nude colour (so it goes with everything but adds just enough something to make me look a bit more polished) and the shimmer it contains is there but it's very subtle so it doesn't look overly unnatural or glittery.

My only issue with this product is that it dries my lips out with frequent use, especially if I'm not wearing anything underneath it, and it also doesn't feel like it's nourishing my lips: instead it's sitting on top of them, rather than sinking in and moisturising them. Indeed, this is the only reason why I haven't given this gloss an HG tag, and it's the only reason why NYX Butter Glosses suit me a little better overall - because those do add enough nourishment and they don't dry out my lips over time.

In sum, I think this is a lovely gloss and I recommend it - plus I would repurchase it - but despite how nice it looks, it's not moisturising enough for me personally so it's not top of my list. Still, I really enjoy it and it's great to use as my going-out gloss.


I bought these three Bleach London eyeshadow singles a while ago from Cult Beauty, because I needed some cheap custom palettes and Bleach London's were on sale - and if I spent a few more dollars I would not only get a bigger discount (which effectively made my order cheaper overall), but I would also get a free makeup brush.

So I added three of these to get me over the line because they cost a measly $2.50 AUD each at the time, and I had a few gaps in my eyeshadow collection that I'd been meaning to fill for a while.

Unfortunately only one of the three is exactly what I wanted, but I do think these shadows are worth considering because even though they're hit and miss, the hits are excellent for the price.

Bleach London claims/product details:

  • Calling all colour chameleons: our versatile powder offers a 39-strong kaleidoscope of gorgeous rainbow hues and varying textures so that you can create every eye look imaginable
  • In sheer, matte and metallic finishes, each shade is stunning enough to stand out on its own, or you can combine a few (and even curate your own palette) 
  • Every pressed powder provides sublime pigment payoff: this is statement eyes made simple
  • RRP $5 AUD approx for 1.6g, but do wait for specials

Each shadow comes in its own little cardboard sleeve that you slide out (see below).

I picked the violet because I wanted a shimmer in this colour family to replace a lavender shadow that I'd finished and was missing. Unfortunately it's not the same as that colour (although it looked similar in photos) and it's more unnatural and iridescent when applied than it looks in the pan, plus it has a green shift - which I absolutely didn't want because I don't like how shifting shadows and duochromes look on me (too unnatural). Foo.

The tangerine I chose because I wanted something like Makeup Geek's Chickadee, which I've always wanted to own but had never bought because I have enough eyeshadow as it is, and while this looks similar to that one, it's incredibly hard to the touch and has the least pigment of any eyeshadow I've ever used. Let's call this one a dud because the other two shadows fare a lot better.

The warm, medium-deep brown I chose because I love shadows in this colour family but I didn't have one that looked like this: that is, not so dark that I would never use it, and not so pale that it wasn't good for deepening up the crease and outer v. This one's perfect and I really like it.

There they are:

Below I've given you photos of the individual pans.

VS 1 sh, indirect sunlight:

VS 1 sh, indirect sunlight:

TD 2 ma, indirect sunlight:

TD 2 ma, direct sunlight:

AP 4 ma, indirect sunlight:

AP 4 ma, direct sunlight:

Below I've swatched all three shades, indirect sunlight:

 * L-R: VS 1 sh, TD 2 ma, AP 4 ma

And direct sunlight:

 * L-R: VS 1 sh, TD 2 ma, AP 4 ma


VS 1 sh is an iridescent, shimmery lavender with a green shift. It's soft and smooth to the touch (if a little dry) and it applies and blends well. This one has a reasonable amount of pigment but I don't get full opacity with this shadow and it has a tendency to fade pretty quickly throughout the day, even with a good eye primer. I would suggest using a glitter glue with this shadow.

TD 2 ma is a medium, matte tangerine with yellow undertones. It's a bad shadow and I don't recommend it at all: it's hard in texture so it's impossible to get any reasonable amount of pigment from this with a brush, and I think that partly explains why whatever pigment applies, often applies patchily (because the brush can't pick up an even coating). Indeed, I had to do a dozen swipes to get the colour to show up in the above swatches, which I didn't need to do with other two. I would avoid this eyeshadow: let's just call it a dud.

AP 4 ma is a medium-deep, warm matte brown with red and orange undertones (in some lights it looks more red and in others it looks more orange). It's soft, smooth and silky to the touch and it applies and blends well. It also has a good amount of pigment - enough that it shows up well but not so much that it's hard to work with - and it's my favourite shadow of the three. I use this a lot as a lid shade and also to add soft but still noticeable definition to the crease and outer v.

Overall, I think these shadows are worth looking into (especially when you can find them as cheaply as I did), but I would certainly test them first if possible because not all of them are going to be good, and you wouldn't want to end up with a dud like TD 2 ma - which is basically unusable, and indeed it developed some awful hard-pan while I was doing the above swatches. As for the other two, I'm really impressed with AP 4ma: that's a good eyeshadow, and it's even better when you consider how little I paid for it. VS 1 sh is a reasonable shadow, although don't expect full opacity from this shade.

Worth considering.

I've used one of these before (reviewed here) but I wanted to review this one separately because it has a little bit of colour and shimmer to it so the swatches may be useful to someone, although note that the shade doesn't show up on me (perhaps my lips are too pigmented for it) so it's essentially a clear gloss with a bit of shimmer in it.

Still, it's a lovely product and I've been enjoying using it, although I have to say that it's been hijacked by my 3yo because she has chronically dry lips (sorry my dear, can't fight the genes ; )) and this is the only gloss or balm that she will use. Funny that. I think she just likes the look of the neon lid...

Mecca claims/product details:

  • A lip-conditioning classic made with rich botanicals, nourishing vitamin e and a glossy finish for on-the-go chic
  • Special edition version for Beauty Loop containing shimmer and housed in neon packaging
  • An all-time favourite
  • Hydrates and conditions lips with a lip-loving formula containing shea butter, hyaluronic filling spheres, pomegranate seed oil and SPF 25 for beautifully soft, SPF protected lips
  • RRP $28 AUD for 11g

There's the pot in direct sunlight:

And natural light:

Light and heavy swatches, direct sunlight:

And indirect sunlight (you can see how it doesn't have much colour once sheered out):

 My bare lips for reference:

Wearing the product, natural light (indoors):

And natural light (outdoors):


I've used plenty of lip gloss over the years so I have a lot to compare this to. I really like the formula, and obviously my daughter likes it too - and given how many glosses she's refused to use (or used once and refused to use again), that's saying something.

The product is a thick gloss/balm in texture and it's on the sticky side so it won't be for everyone, but I personally don't mind a bit of stickiness to my glosses because it means they tend to last longer on the lips. And do note this isn't so sticky that it's unbearable or that I really notice it - it's just sticky enough to stay where it needs to.

Note also that this does have a scent - it smells like balm to me and I suspect what I'm smelling is the shea butter - but the fragrance is only noticeable when I sniff the tub so I'm not aware of it once it's on and that's always a plus for me because I hate strongly scented lip products that I can smell all day because your nose is of course directly above your lips.

What I love about this gloss is the texture: there's something plush about it and I enjoy applying it for that reason alone. Better still, it plumps up my lips and fills in lines so it's a great gloss to pair with any lip product because it will turn bad, drying formulas into good ones. Indeed, something that plumps lips and reduces the look of lines is what I look for in lip products so I'm pleased to report that this one ticks those boxes.

On top of that, the product feels nicely hydrating and conditioning on the lips. My lips are perpetually dry but I'm not so aware of that when I'm using this product because it manages the issue beautifully. While I can't say that this stops my lips from being as dry as they are (I'm yet to find a product that can change how they feel when I'm not wearing it), this keeps them comfortable whenever I apply it so that's a big plus. It has nursed my daughter's lips back to health too.

Note that the colour of this gloss doesn't really add anything to the product because it doesn't show up on me (it just looks clear), and I personally would prefer to see a bit more pigment - otherwise there's no point including it at all. I also do like a bit of shimmer in my glosses when it's not too noticeable (but instead adds a nice sheen) and I think that's the case with this product.

All in all, I think this is a great gloss that generally meets its claims and it's one I would buy. Sometimes products are hyped-up for a reason, I reckon this is one of those.


As you may know, I unboxed an Origins skincare set a couple of months ago and over the past week I've been reviewing each item in turn.

Note, though, that I still have two items that I haven't opened yet - purely because I'm waiting until I finish more stuff before replacing it with those products - so the reviews of those two won't happen for a while.

Next up is this night cream, which I'm really enjoying and which I think is one of the better products I've tried from this set so far.

Origins claims/product details:

  • Rise and shine with skin that's radiant and refreshed with this mineral-enriched night cream that works wonders while you sleep to diminish dullness and dead skin cells
  • A nature-infused night cream that replenishes your skin overnight
  • A silky formula enriched with vitamins c, e and h to hydrate and restore
  • A series of relaxing aromas sends you off to sleep before time-releasing minerals gently exfoliate dead layers to reveal brighter, plump, more youthful-looking skin
  • Dullness is diminished and damage is repaired so you start the new day with a complexion that is rested and radiant
  • Suitable for normal to combination skin
  • RRP $64 AUD for 50ml


This is a lovely cream and I'm enjoying using it, and I might have put it on my list of potential purchases except that it's apparently no longer stocked at Mecca, which is annoying for those who like it and indeed it's had some good reviews (see eg Mecca's website).

It's a white cream with an orange scent. It applies, spreads and absorbs well, and it's quite thick and rich but not so much so that it weighs the skin down or doesn't absorb properly.

I've been using this at night for the last couple of months and my skin really likes it. Not only does it make my dry skin feel comfortable, but it seems to have a resurfacing effect so my face looks fresher and brighter after use, and it also feels smoother too.

I also like that it makes my skin feel softer and more hydrated, and while it does leave behind a tacky finish, I don't mind that because it's a night cream so it doesn't interfere with my makeup.

On the claims: yes I think this helps diminish dullness and dead skin cells; yes I think it replenishes and refreshes the skin; yes I think it hydrates and restores; and yes I think it makes my skin look more bright, radiant and youthful (at least temporarily).

Overall I think this is a great cream and I recommend it, although it's annoying that you can't buy it anymore. Perhaps it will continue to show up in some of Origins' skincare kits, of which there are usually many available. In any event, it's not quite as good as the Korres night cream I tried recently (reviewed here) so I would probably have opted for that one anyway.


It's not often that I come across a body wash I'm obsessed with - I normally just buy whatever's on special and want something that works - but I am obsessed with this and I can't wait to try more from the range.

Do note from the outset, though, that this is marketed as a scrub but it's a rubbish exfoliant (more on why below) so don't buy it for that reason: buy it for the unbelievably delicious scent.

Palmolive claims/product details:

  • Gently exfoliates to leave your skin feeling soft and smooth
  • Awaken your skin and delight your senses with this sweet and delicious coffee scrub aroma
  • Rich formula transforms into an ultra-creamy lather that gently exfoliates with natural apricot seeds, to leave your skin feeling soft and smooth
  • Store away from direct sunlight
  • RRP $6.79 AUD for 400ml, but do shop around

I've had a look online and you can also buy these in coconut, peach and vanilla - and since all of those sound pretty good to me, I'll certainly be trying them. Can't wait to stock up next time Palmolive is on sale.

I also like that these aren't expensive, that they're often on special and that they're widely available, meaning you can find them at most chemists and supermarkets. Bonus.


This is a really lovely product and I'm enjoying using it, so much so that I suspect I'll always have one in my shower from now on and I can't wait to try the other fragrances.

It's a creamy gel product that contains little exfoliating grains. Do note that the grains don't do anything because they're so small and there isn't enough of them, so I wouldn't buy this if you want a good exfoliant: this won't do it.

What it does do, however, is smell unbelievably divine. It smells like coffee cream, coffee ice cream or Baileys Irish Cream (the drink). Every time I smell it, I want to eat it. And every time I smell it, I'm transported off to some ethereal utopia where all good smells live on a permanent basis - and I don't want to leave.

Seriously, if you like the smell of coffee, then go buy one of these for the scent alone. It's worth it just for that and they're not expensive anyway so that's a double bonus.

As for what it does, minus the rubbish exfoliation, it actually makes a nice body wash. While it doesn't foam super well so I need to put more on my shower puff than I would another product, it feels creamy and hydrating on the skin and it doesn't strip it or dry me out the way other body washes have done for me lately.

Indeed, I've tested the pH and it comes in at somewhere between a five and a six, so it's not too astringent and it certainly feels gentle on my skin, plus it leaves my body feeling soft and hydrated after use. Yes it contains sodium laureth sulphate as the second listed ingredient (SLS' sister, otherwise known as SLES, which is meant to be a little less irritating on the skin), but I've found that this product leaves my body feeling clean, soft and nicely hydrated after use so I'll continue to buy it.

Overall I think this is a lovely product because it smells divine and doesn't dry out my skin, and while I wouldn't buy it as an exfoliant because it's rubbish, it's a really nice body wash and I can't wait to try more of them. I've given it an HG tag for the scent alone, but the effect and the price are worth noting too.


Hello and welcome to my next Project Pan mini update for the year.

Yes we're almost at the end of September now, but you may remember that I was late with August's update because it was a busy month so I didn't get that post up until the first week of September.

For this reason I won't do my October update until say the first or second of October, meaning I've still got a few days and I may as well update you on my empties now.

As you can see above, I've finished three more products. Let's have a quick look at each item in turn.

First up, my Natio Tinted Moisturiser SPF 20 in Honey (reviewed here).

This product wasn't great (it had no coverage) so in the end I got through it by adding some to my facial sunscreen to make that last longer. Not only did this delay a purchase, but it also gave me a slight bronze glow beneath my makeup that meant I could lay off the fake tan for a while.

I'm glad it's gone.

Next, my Urban Decay Anti-ageing Primer Potion (reviewed here).

This product wasn't awful but it wasn't great either. I found that my eyeshadows did tend to crease over it so it didn't help that much with longevity (although I think it did help with intensity) and for this reason I wouldn't buy it again.

I used this for around a year, and despite having a six-month shelf-life, it got me almost to the end of that year before slightly drying out when I had only a few applications left.

Last up, my Skinstitut Glycolic Cleanser 12% (reviewed here).

This product was ok but it was my least-favourite cleanser of the ones I have open at the moment, so I'm glad I've finished it because it didn't work that well for me and I really want to open something new.

I was able to get through it relatively quickly by using it twice a day, and I applied quite a bit each time because I used it like a mask: after my first cleanse, I would apply a thick layer of this over my face, neck and dec (in an attempt to get the glycolic acid it contains to do something for me), and it did work better that way (slightly more brightening) but it still wasn't great and I'm glad it's gone.

That's all from me. I'm pleased to have finished another few products and I may well sneak in one more before September's update.

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

At the moment I'm trying to review all the Origins products I have from that kit I unboxed (see here), which I've been using for the last couple of months.

Next up is this cleanser, which I like in theory because it's nice to use - but unfortunately I find that it strips my skin so I can't recommend it and I wouldn't buy it. More on that below.

Origins claims/product details:

  • This gentle, frothy cleanser cleverly balances both dry and oily skin, treating everything from oily t-zones to the parched skin around the nose and mouth
  • It takes a unique cleanser to wash and treat both dry and oily skin, and this gentle, foaming formula cleverly does both
  • Built on a unique blend of botanicals, it uses broad leaf kelp extract to tackle excess oil and wheat protein to hydrate and protect dry areas
  • Water-activated tourmaline washes away dirt and makeup while essential oils such as bergamot, lavender and spearmint leave skin feeling nourished and refreshed, never tight, pulled or parched
  • Suitable for normal to combination skin
  • RRP $17 AUD for 50ml or $33 AUD for 150ml


I can see why a lot of people love this cleanser because it's nice to use, but I agree with those who say it strips their skin and dries it out - that's certainly what it's done for me.

It's a white gel that smells like sherbet mixed with soap. A little goes a long way because it foams like crazy, and while I can't see SLS or its derivatives listed in the ingredients, something is making it foam that much and this may be why it's too astringent for my dry skin.

Indeed, I tested the pH of this product this morning and it's sitting somewhere between a nine and a ten, which means it's too alkaline and I'm not surprised that it's stripping and drying out my skin.

One thing to note is that I've read the less positive reviews of this product on Mecca's website (see here), and everyone who has given it one or two stars has commented on how drying it is. This includes people with oily, combination, normal and dry skin, and some of those with oily skin have noted that it strips their skin to the point that they start to produce more oil.

I've also seen some people with sensitive skin say that this causes their face to flare up, so that's worth noting too and I would absolutely test this product before committing to a purchase (or at least buy the travel-size first).

The good news, I suppose, is that this cleanser is nice to use and the foam it creates feels lovely - creamy and velvety - on the skin, and it does remove makeup well so I suppose you could use it for that if you wanted to and save your more gentle cleansers for your second cleanse.

As for claims: no I don't think this is gentle or balancing; no it doesn't treat my dry skin; no it doesn't hydrate or protect my dry skin; no it doesn't nourish or refresh my face; and yes it does leave my skin feeling tight, pulled and parched.

Overall I don't recommend this product because it's too drying. Sure, it's nice to use, but I don't want to use it anymore because my face is dry enough as it is, so I may end up using it as a body wash because life's too short.

Not for me.

This liquid illuminator was on my Project Pan list a while ago and I kept meaning to review it, but then I lost the little container that I'd scraped the remaining product into so I haven't been able to do so until now - thankfully my husband finally found that container in the car two weeks ago and I've been playing with what's left since then.

While I do think it's an ok product, it's not my favourite illuminator and I still prefer Becca's offering (I've reviewed one here), especially because the Becca product is better value when you consider the amount you get. More on that below.

Mecca claims/product details:

  • Own your glow with our customisable, ultra-pigmented illuminating drops that adorn the skin with a delicate sheen
  • Our face-flattering drops can be mixed with moisturisers, primer, SPF or foundation to add luminosity, or applied directly to the skin as a serum, balancing skintone, offsetting uneven pigmentation and blurring imperfections
  • RRP $45 AUD for 15ml

The bottle comes with a pump, which I appreciate, and it's glass so it mightn't suit those who want to travel with it. Still, you can always squirt some into a small container and just use that, which is what I usually do.

Now for swatches. Below I've swatched this alongside Becca's Shimmering Skin Perfectors (Liquid) in Opal and Champage Pop.

Direct sunlight:

* L-R: Becca Champagne Pop, Becca Opal, Mecca Drops and Mecca Drops blended

Indirect sunlight:


I think this is an ok product but it's not my favourite liquid illuminator and it's also quite expensive for the amount you get so that's something to keep in mind. By comparison, a Becca illuminator costs $62 AUD for 50ml (so over three times the amount of product) and you can often buy them discounted with a code or during sales.

It's a standard liquid illuminator that comes in a little glass bottle with a pump. I use my fingers to apply it and the product doesn't emphasise texture so that's a plus.

Note that it's a peach colour and I've seen a few people with my colouring (light/medium to medium) say it's too dark for them. I haven't found that, although I don't apply much and it sheers out a lot because it's very thin, so I don't get much coloured pigment from this once it's applied.

What I do get, however, is a good amount of visible glitter, and that's not what I want from my highlighters. I prefer a natural sheen, and anything with glitter in it isn't going to offer that. Indeed, there seems to be more glitter in this than there is pigment or sheen, and for this reason I prefer the Becca.

By comparison, the Becca is more pigmented so I don't need to use as much, it has more of a sheen rather than glitter, and it's also a thicker product so I find it easier to work with because it doesn't run and diffuse everywhere. The Mecca product is so thin and slippery that I find it harder to use for spot highlighting.

For this reason I've preferred to use this illuminator mixed in with my foundation, and it does offer a nice glow but I find that I need to use quite a lot of it to achieve that, and by then I can see the visible glitter on my face when I step into the light.

Overall I think this product is ok but it's expensive for the amount you get and it's not my favourite formula anyway because it's not that easy to work with and it also contains noticeable glitter.

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