I've had this highlighter ever since it was released in Australia (must be almost two years ago) and only now am I coming to review it. Indeed, I've had Becca's Opal for even longer and still haven't reviewed that either.

Ooops! Better late than never I guess.

I introduced this product to my Project Dent series two weeks ago (see here) and I was using it every day until the last few days, when I've been testing other products. 

So I do plan to do an update post soon but I'll give myself a few more days of use before I do that.

While I do like Becca's UFO packaging, I was always a bit sad that they didn't make the packaging different for this (previously) limited edition release. Only the box was changed. 

Sure, Becca cottoned on to fancy packaging eventually and any limited edition releases now come in special packaging, but this one missed out.

Hoh well. Not the world's largest issue ; )  

Becca claims/product details:
  • An exclusive shade of the bestselling, creamy highlighter powder to light up your best features with a high-shine finish
  • Like a spotlight for your skin
  • With a high-impact, ultra-reflective shine
  • Inspired by the dazzling light of the midday sun, this iconic formula is enriched with ultra-fine, luminescent pearls that absorb, reflect and refract light to amplify your natural radiance
  • The multi-toned pigment pearls adjust to your skin’s natural undertones
  • Unlike traditional pressed powders, this formula blends pigments with liquids to create an unparalleled, creamy feel that applies seamlessly for a silky finish without caking
  • For an elegant finish that doesn’t look glittery
  • 'Champagne Pop' shade is a soft gold with sunny, peach undertones - created in collaboration with Jaclyn Hill
  • RRP $68 AUD for 8g

There's the pan in direct sunlight below:

Now for swatches.

Below I've given you a heavier swatch and a lighter one in different lights, and after that I've given you some comparison swatches so you can see how it looks alongside other popular highlighters.

Direct sunlight:

 Indirect sunlight (you can really see the peach here): 

Natural light (outdoors): 

Now for comparison swatches. 

Below I've swatched it alongside Becca's Opal, Kevyn Aucoin's The Celestial Powder in Candlelight and TheBalm's Mary-Lou Manizer.

Direct sunlight: 

* L-R: Champagne Pop, Opal, Mary-Lou, Candlelight 

Indirect sunlight:

 * L-R: Champagne Pop, Opal, Mary-Lou, Candlelight 

 Natural light (outdoors): 

* L-R: Champagne Pop, Opal, Mary-Lou, Candlelight 

Natural light (indoors): 

 * L-R: Champagne Pop, Opal, Mary-Lou, Candlelight 


I do really like this highlighter - indeed, it made my 2016 yearly favourites (see here) - but it's not my favourite formula and it's the colour more than anything that draws me to this product.

It's a beautifully soft, creamy powder that feels divine in texture. Almost like a powder cushion. I may be imagining things but I think Champagne Pop is even a tiny bit smoother and softer than Opal. This texture is just how I like my powders to feel: like luxury to the touch.

Worth noting is that I didn't buy Becca's Opal for years because I thought it would be too intense for my personal tastes (I prefer a natural highlight) but eventually I got sick of hearing everyone rave about it so I bought one for myself. I was happy to discover that you can go in really carefully with these so a natural highlight is achievable - it's just that you can barely touch your brush into the pan if that's the look you're going for.

Also worth noting is that I can see super tiny flecks of glitter in this - including when I apply it to my face. Sure, they're almost impossible to see and probably only I am aware of them, but they are there.

The reason why Becca doesn't make my favourite formula for highlighters is that they can emphasise texture. Even if I apply the smallest amount, my pores do look more noticeable when I wear Champagne Pop or Opal. If you prefer a stronger highlight then the problem will be even worse, but if you use a tiny amount, it's not too bad.

Having said this, I recently bought Becca's Prismatic Amethyst and that doesn't emphasise texture - so Becca has obviously changed the formula and I for one am pleased about that.

There's something magical about Champagne Pop as a colour, I must say. I've heard others say that Jaclyn Hill really nailed the colour, and I have to agree with them. Of all the highlighters I own, this is probably my favourite colour - even though the formula isn't my favourite.

Champagne Pop also looks beautiful on the eyes, and I often reach for it for that purpose even if it's not my facial highlight of the day. I think it's the peachy warmth that makes it special.

The product applies and blends well, and it lasts well on me too. I have no complaints about the formula overall, except for the can-emphasise-texture issue.

All in all, this is a beautiful highlighter and I do love it. It's just not perfect so it's not HG for me, but I do recommend it and it contains so much product that I'll likely be passing it on to my grandchildren.


This lip balm was included as a freebie in one of my Beautyheaven Beautorium hauls. I used to use Blistex a lot when I was in school and it was my favourite brand for lip treatment products, so I was happy to see this show up: it's been a while since I've used anything from them.

Worth noting is that I would have been happier with a plain old tube because I find these 'egg' balms rather chunky, gimmicky and annoying. More on that below.

Blistex claims/product details:
  • Flip open lid to discover the pearl - a premium dome of moisturising lip balm
  • Delicious plum-vanilla flavour
  • A satiny blend packed with silk extracts and conditioners 
  • For super smooth lips with a hint of shine
  • Breakthrough packaging: unique flip-under cap opens and stays attached
  • RRP $5.95 AUD for 7g, but do shop around

There's nothing wrong with the packaging and I suppose it's a bit nifty, the way it flips back to reveal the balm. 

When I've finished the product I'll likely wash out the packaging and give it to my toddler to play with: it's the kind of thing she would love fiddling with.

Probably the main thing I don't like about the packaging is the shape of the balm itself. I don't want a round balm: I want a normal tube product that's small and easy to apply to the lips.

After a month of use my balm is no longer round - it has now formed a 'peak' in the middle because my lips have worn down the sides and caused more of a slope. And of course, the more you use it, the wider it gets as you move further down the dome.


This product is fine but it's not one I would buy. I'll certainly use mine while I have it, but it's not the best lip balm I've tried (including from Blistex itself) and the packaging just isn't for me.

It's quite a hard balm and it's a little too waxy for my personal tastes but it's certainly not the most waxy balm I've ever used.

It has a faint, plum-vanilla scent and I do enjoy the fragrance: I also like that it's not too strong because I don't like it when my lip products smell so much that I'm aware of them all the time.

The problem I find with waxy balms is that they're not as hydrating as they should be because they don't sink in as well and nourish the lips, but instead sit on top and slide around. While I do find that this hydrates at least a little, it doesn't leave my lips feeling that comfortable so it's not a balm I would buy if you need a treatment product.

The good news, though, is that it does adhere to the lips well so I don't find that I need to keep reapplying this all the time. Yes it comes off when you eat or drink, but it does hang around longer than other balms.

Also, the packaging is a bit annoying to me. This isn't the kind of balm that you can throw in any old jacket pocket or small handbag because it takes up too much real estate. I don't want something this chunky: I want something small that I can slip anywhere without second thought.

For this reason there's only one spot I have for this product: it's my bedside table balm, but I don't wake up with super nourished and soft lips - I wake up and they feel ok but a little dry and rather coated.

All in all, this isn't a terrible product but it's not for me and I think you can find more hydrating lip balms that aren't this chunky. Sure it's nice to play around with different packaging now and then, but the simplest is often the best.


I've owned this bronzer in Radiant Bronze Light (the full size) ever since it was released in Australia, and I bought this mini in Luminous Bronze Light sometime before Christmas last year.

I've also recently bought one of the new shades (Nude Bronze Light) and I'd been holding off on posting my reviews of the other bronzers until I had that shade so I could do comparison swatches. 

However, since I don't intend to open Nude Bronze Light until I've finished off a bronzer in my collection, those comparison swatches could take a while - so best I post this review now. I can always update the swatches later on.

When I first bought this bronzer, I was annoyed with myself because I couldn't believe how small it was (I'd bought it online). It cost something like $34 AUD for this tiny 1.4g compact, so it's definitely not good value.

Having said this, I'm now pleased that I only bought the small one because the reality is that I would probably have bought the large one if this smaller one wasn't available, which would have cost $72 AUD and I'd have wound up with yet another full-sized bronzer that I couldn't hope to get through any time soon.

So in the end, this was the right choice for me: I do like this shade but I prefer Radiant Bronze Light and I have a feeling I'll prefer Nude Bronze Light too. Luminous Bronze Light pulls a little too peach on me and that's not my preferred undertone for bronzers.

Hourglass claims/product details:
  • Blends the illuminating effects of Ambient Lighting Powder with the warming effects of a bronzer to deliver a naturally glowing complexion
  • Airy, weightless formula utilises photo-luminescent technology to provide depth and dimension to the face
  • Ultra blendable
  • Naturally contour the face for a sunkissed, lustrous complexion
  • RRP $72 AUD for 11g

I must say, I'm pleased that Hourglass decided to add two new shades to the existing range: Luminous Bronze Light and Radiant Bronze Light are both quite warm and they're not that different from each other in terms of depth so there were holes in the original range.

Of the new shades, Diffused Bronze Light is cool-toned and Nude Bronze Light is neutral (and it's the only matte of the four shades), so hopefully there's now something for most people.

There's the pan in direct sunlight:

And in natural light:

Now for swatches. 

Below I've done a heavy and a blended swatch in different lights.  

Direct sunlight (outdoors):

Indirect sunlight (indoors): 

And in natural light (indoors): 


These are my favourite bronzers on the market, hands down. The formula is my HG for bronzing and I honestly think it can't be beat.

I own one of Laura Mercier's fabled bronzers, one from Bobbi Brown and Benefit's Hoola to name a few. These Hourglass bronzers remain the ones I reach for when I want to look my best or when I just want to feel a little bit special for the day.

Now let's talk about the visible flecks of glitter: you guys know that I'm not a fan of that in my face products (including highlighters), so in theory it should bother me here. But for some reason, the glitter doesn't translate to the face and never once have I seen a speck of it when I've been wearing one of these. I have no idea why that is - especially because I can see the flecks on my face with the Ambient Lighting Powders that contain them - but I can't with these bronzers. So I wouldn't be worried about the shimmer, but certainly test these first if you're concerned.

Luminous Bronze Light is a nice, warm shade that should suit light-to-medium skintones. If you're paler it may well pull orange on you, but on me it's more of a peachy brown. While I do prefer Radiant Bronze Light because it has more of a red undertone, I can certainly get away with this shade year-round.

Why do I love this formula so much? Because I honestly can't fault it. These bronzers can blend over glue (so I don't need to set my tinted moisturiser unless I want to) and they apply effortlessly and beautifully. Every single time. No other formula I've tried to date does it quite like this one does.

While I need to be careful with Radiant Bronze Light because it's so pigmented, Luminous Bronze Light is more forgiving so I've never accidentally over-applied it - perhaps in part because it's a little paler. Yes the pigment is there, but it's more of a buildable formula so for me it's foolproof.

Better yet, the soft-focus effect these bronzers give takes years off my face. When I have a face full of Hourglass on (as I so often do), I just look younger and healthier - and you can't see my facial texture (pores, fine lines etc) as much as you can when I wear other products.

Indeed, if I had to part with all my collection and just keep one of everything, I would absolutely have one of Hourglass - including one of these bronzers.

In sum, I can't rave about these enough. Yes they're expensive, but they last forever and I honestly believe they're worth every penny.


Hello and welcome to August's Pan that Palette update!

It's been a pretty good month for me and I've hit more pan, plus I've also mixed two shades that I wasn't using and pressed them into spare pans - and I'm now using them often so that's a win.

Also note that I've decided I'll most likely wrap up this year's challenge early in December, for the simple reason that I'd like to give myself a break before Pan that Palette 2018.

Let's have a look.

Here's how my Stila cream contour duo was looking at the end of July:

And here's how it's looking now:

As you can see, there's been great progress on this and I can see myself finishing it by the end of October.

While for most of the year I was using this for contouring only, since I wasn't getting through it fast enough, for the last two months I've been mixing the shades together (along with a liquid illuminator) and adding that to my sunscreen or moisturiser each day. I find this gives a beautiful, even bronze glow that peeks through my tinted moisturiser and I've really been enjoying it for that purpose.  

I won't be sad when it's gone, but I do like this product more now than when I was using it for contouring only.

Now for my palette.

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

And here's how it's looking now, after another month's worth of use: 

So I've finished one shade completely and hit pan in three more (including a blush). Huzzah!

Let's look at each half.

Here's the left side, as of last month:

And here it is now:

Let's start with the eight Stila pans (top). I've hit pan in the matte grey shade: I only use it as a dry shampoo because I don't like the formula (it's dry and ageing) so it wasn't difficult to do. You'll note that I've expanded the pans in Sunset and Gilded Gold, and also note that Night Sky (shimmery grey, top middle) is no longer Night Sky but now a mix between that shade and Nars Charade.

The three Nars pans: so I've mixed the purple with Night Sky and it's now in the pan just mentioned and also in two additional pans on the other side of my palette. The two browns (Nars Portobello) have been mixed and I use them for contouring or bronzing. There's only a tiny bit left so that will be gone next month.

The two square GA-DE pans: I've now hit pan on the paler one and made more progress in the darker one. These are not good shadows and they crumble whenever I use them (and they're not very old) so even though I don't use them every day, I've still made decent progress.

The round Becca pan: I use that every day to set my eye primer and I also use it on my face during the day to manage any oil around my nose and chin. I expect this will be gone within a couple of months.

As for the right side of my palette, here's how it looked at the end of July:

And here's how it's looking now:

I've hit pan on the larger brown powder (I mixed that one myself). I use this daily on my brows, for lining and sometimes for contouring. Not sure I can finish this by year's end: we'll see.

The highlighter I use each day on my collarbones only so we won't see a huge amount of progress in this for ages.

I've hit pan on theBalm's Hot Mama blush! Now I wouldn't normally expect to hit pan on a blush within a few months of introducing it to the challenge, but it's the oldest powder I own so it's crumbly, plus I tend to use it on my eyes mostly and you need a lot for it to show up (it's not as pigmented as it once was). Plus because it's old, it doesn't grip to my eyes as well these days and I usually reapply it after lunch. If I can clear out most of that top half by year's end, I'll be happy.

I've now finished the So Susan lavender shade and I've almost finished the Lancome purple shade beneath it. I use these quite a bit and they're also old so they're not very pigmented - plus they fall off the eyes too so I've been applying them twice daily.

The two Stila pans that were previously empty: these contain the rest of the mix of Stila's Night Sky and Nars' Charade. The shade I have now is the only grey I've ever used that suits me and brings out the brown in my eyes (I guess because it's a purple/blue grey). I love this shade and my aim is to finish the pan that's already half empty and keep the other two pans to put into different palettes at year's end.

I'm not sure I've even touched the four round pans at the bottom and I may end up just leaving those for panning at a later date so I can focus on the other shadows in my palette.

In sum

That's all from me! I'm happy with my progress so far but I'm also getting a bit over my palette so I'm looking forward to setting it aside in December and giving myself some time off.

Do let me know in the comment how you're going with your own panning challenges.

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

Today I have a very quick Project Pan mini update for you. I've finished the above Davidoff Cool Water Woman fragrance and I wanted to post on that before my full August Project Pan update - purely because it will mean having one less item to photograph and that can only be a good thing ; )

So yes, I finished off the fragrance this morning. I used it both on myself and as an air freshener, so I'm not surprised that I was able to get through it within a month.

There's my purple nail polish marker below:

I don't mind this fragrance but I'd had more than enough of it (it's 100ml in size) and I used to like it more when I was younger than I do now.

It's a light, fresh and inoffensive scent that's good for everyday use but the longevity isn't great so I was able to spritz it twice daily on myself to help me get through it.

There's the marker again:

I've decided not to replace it with anything for now because my list is already full enough and I'd rather introduce any new products in August's full update.

I plan to have the August update done over the next few days so stay tuned for that if you're interested.

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

We received this cleanser in our recent edits from Maslow & Co (unboxed here).

It was the first item I opened from the box and I expected to love it because with dry skin, I almost always love cleansing balms - but for some reason this one hasn't grabbed me. 

I just don't like it as much as the other cleansing balms I've used and there's also something a little fake about it that doesn't appeal. More on that below.

RAFRA claims/product details:
  • A multi-functional balm that serves as a makeup remover, facial cleanser, massage cream, exfoliant and facial mask
  • Thoroughly removes impurities from the pores and promotes smooth, luminous skin
  • Crafted with powerhouse ingredients including essence, hyaluronic acid and collagen
  • Gently emulsifies makeup and impurities to wash away the day’s grime 
  • Bursting with the scent of zesty citrus
  • Skin is left cleansed, supple and radiant
  • RAFRA's top-selling product
  • Free of artificial fragrance, colouring, mineral oil, preservatives, petroleum surfactants, parabens and alcohol
  • RRP $55 AUD for 100g

Below I've photographed the product and you may notice the fingerprint mark on the balm's surface.

This happened because, when I opened the tub, it looked as though it had one of those little plastic 'dishes' on top that I needed to pull out before photographing it. 

I was wrong. That's just what the balm looks like and there is indeed something 'plastic-y' about its look and consistency.


I don't hate this product but I don't love it either and it's not one I would buy.

It's an orange-tinted, clear balm that smells strongly of fresh oranges. I do like the scent but it's rather overpowering so I'm sick of it already, even after only two weeks of use.

As mentioned above, there's something a little fake about this balm. It's hard to put my finger on it, but everything about it - from the look to the feel to the smell - feels over-processed and plastic-y to me. I mean, that's why I accidentally stuck my finger in it: I thought there was a plastic covering over the top, but there wasn't. That's just how it is.

You take some product and warm it in your hands before application, and I definitely suggest warming it first - otherwise you'll use too much. Mind you, I do tend to use a lot anyway (even if I warm it first) because it doesn't melt and 'thin out' as well as other balms I've used. This makes it bad value on a price-per-use basis.

However the main reason I don't love the product is this:

You may remember that I always apply a cleansing balm to my dry skin first thing in the morning, then I leave it there for twenty minutes or so to keep my skin feeling comfortable while I change nappies/get the kids breakfast etc, then later I'll add water, massage and remove it, following up with a second cleanser etc.

With every other cleansing balm I've tried, my dry skin feels happy and comfortable while I'm running around doing things for the kids. With this, it doesn't. For that twenty minutes, my poor face feels awfully dry and tight underneath the balm, so I can tell it's not hydrating my skin but instead sitting on top and doing not much. Sure, this is a cleanser and not a moisturiser - but it does market itself as being multipurpose (so you can use it as a mask) and it absolutely does not do that for me.

Worth noting: this morning I applied this product to half my face and another balm to the other half. The side with the other balm felt happy, hydrated and comfortable while I left it on, whereas the side covered in this product felt horribly dry and tight. Indeed, this is the only balm cleanser I've used that hasn't worked for that 'slap on and leave as a mask while caring for the kids' spot. I find that surprising.

In other news, this does dissolve makeup well (not waterproof mascara) so you can certainly use it for makeup removal if you want to, and it does make a reasonable cleanser although I definitely do need a cloth to remove it. It's not the most effective balm cleanser I've used but it does the job well enough.

Overall, I don't love this product and I can't recommend it. It's fine, but it's not the right cleansing balm for me. Mind you, every other review I've seen so far has been glowing so perhaps it works for many but it just doesn't suit my needs.

It's not cheap either.


Today I have a review for you that's been a long time coming. I've been using this BareMinerals tinted moisturiser for ages now and it's a favourite that I keep coming back to.

It's one of those rare products that offers enough coverage to actually do something, but it always looks natural on the skin and I reckon it's just about as close to 'undetectable' as you'll ever get.

Quite simply, it's just an excellent product. It made my yearly favourites last year (see post here) and it may well make the list again because I'm yet to find another base that I can always rely on to look good without looking like too much.

This product is well-loved in the beauty community for a reason, so if you're yet to try it, then I recommend grabbing a sample. Even some of those who prefer more coverage rave about this one, so it's absolutely worth testing.

BareMinerals claims/product details:
  • From the makers who reinvented foundation, comes this tinted hydrating gel cream
  • Gives skin sheer to medium, natural-looking coverage 
  • The complexion is left looking dewy and healthily glowing
  • Blending a range of skin-loving ingredients together, this weightless skin-quenching gel cream glides onto skin with ease
  • Marine botanicals inject hydration and rejuvenate thirsty skin 
  • Mineral electrolytes help energise
  • Infusing naturally radiant colour onto the face, broad spectrum SPF 30 is included for sun protection and to fight against free radicals
  • RRP $42 AUD for 35g

Now for swatches. 

As always I've given you a heavier one, a partially blended one and a blended one in a variety of different lights.

First up, indirect sunlight:

Direct sunlight:

 Natural light (indoors):

And natural light (outdoors):


I love this stuff and it's absolutely a repurchase for me.

It's a lightweight product and I can see why they've called it a 'gel cream' because it's not as thick or heavy as a cream and it feels beautifully soothing and cooling when applied.

The shade 06 Ginger is a reasonable match in terms of depth for my light-medium to medium skin, but it's a little golden for me (I'm yellow-based) so I may well try a different shade in future. Still, because the coverage isn't too much, it's a forgiving product and I can certainly get away with Ginger year-round.

On that, worth noting is that I have a feeling Mecca now stocks more shades than it used to because I don't remember seeing the '0.5' colours when I was buying this. So it may be that eg 5.5 Bamboo is a better match because it looks more yellow in undertone: I may try that one next time.

The product melts into the skin nicely and half a pea gives me a sheer coverage that's enough to even out my skintone and add healthy, dewy finish that's not too shiny. I can and often do go in with another half-pea amount to give a light-medium coverage, and you could build this to close to a medium if you wanted to. I've certainly done that before for big events.

One thing to note about this product is that it can go on a little streaky if you apply too much in one hit. While it does absorb, if I apply too much then I have some trouble getting it to rub in properly (I use my fingers) so I have to wait a few minutes before I can iron out any streaks. This is why I prefer to work in fine layers if I want to build coverage.

The lasting power is about what you'd expect from a tinted moisturiser: I find it lasts around six hours on me before starting to fade evenly. This happens even if I set it with a powder, which I usually do - just to take the edge off the tacky finish and ensure that my powder products like blush and bronzer blend well over the top.

For me, the best thing about this product is that it evens out my skin while still looking natural. It's probably the most natural-looking base I've used. But it does enough to make my skin look its best, so it's not in that 'natural but non-existent' category. It definitely does something.

I do also love that this contains sunscreen, and because the coverage isn't too much, you could apply a good deal of this product to boost your sun protection if you wanted to.

All in all, I love this product and it's HG material for me. I've tried countless tinted moisturisers and BB/CC creams over the years because I love them (more than I do foundations) and this remains a favourite.

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