Hello there little powderpuff!
Happy December to each and every one of you! I hope you're all as excited as I am for the festive holiday season. Christmas has always been my favourite time of year. Being from Northern Europe, we make a very big deal every year since I was a little child when nothing was more exciting than the decorations, the advent calendar, baking gingerbread and making toffees, as well as my mother's secretive phone calls to her brother and mother where she spoke Swedish - a language I only ever marginally understood. It was a time of excitement and anticipation.
I say that like it isn't anymore. You are never too old to love holidays!
During the holiday season in Sydney - it may be hot and sunny but we have some amazing decorations up. Near where I work, there is a large shopping centre and this year they have decorated by creative animal statues made of fake pine, decorated with lights. Also in this mall is a store that has become my addiction - Mecca Maxima. Mecca Maxima is one of three stores in a chain (the others being Mecca Cosmetica and Kit Cosmetics), and it is a large makeup store that carries several brands that aren't distributed by many (if any) others in Australia. These include Nars, Too Faced, Stila, By Terry as well as others such as Bobbi Brown and YSL Cosmetics and of course the Mecca Cosmetica/Kit Cosmetics own brands.
Before Sephora opened in Sydney earlier this month (vague sounds of joyous shrieks heard in the background), there weren't many of these kinds of stores. Most high end makeup in Australia is sold in independent stores - such as M.A.C Pro Stores - or in counters in makeup halls in major department stores including the two biggest: Myer and David Jones.
This month I've dropped into Mecca Maxima quite a few times - and as it is a struggle to go in there and not fall in love, I have managed to pick up these six products.
I'm sure many have heard of the Veil Mineral Primer. When I went in there, I had heard a lot of talk about this product and I got talking to a lovely woman who worked there and she couldn't stop talking about how wonderful it is. I have problems with dry skin, and after using the Benefit Prefessional for months, it felt as though it was ahrdly doing anything and since it is a cream to powder formula, it was far more drying than it was anything else. This primer, however, is incredible. I only bought the travel sized bottle (8.95mL) instead of the fullsize product (30mL) just because it is a very expensive product and I had to make sure I would actually like it before I could justify forking out almost $70 for the full size bottle.
The formula is very gentle on the skin, and once it is spread over the face it is most definitely unnoticable. It is very smoothing, and it certainly makes my foundation last a lot longer (maybe even longer than the PoreFessional did.) Primer is still a relatively new thing for me, but this product is exceptionally luxurious and beautiful and I would recommend it to anyone.
Going on the Hourglass theme, I also picked up another product - the Ambient Lighting Blush Palette. This blush trio is a special edition for their Holiday Collection, and every time I went into Mecca this month (and last month) I would stop, stare and whimper a little at how damn beautiful it is. Then I went in, looked at them and one of the women working there mentioned offhandedly that they had been so popular that there were only four left in stock at this particular store and no more would be coming back into stock. Ever. So I grabbed it and bought it and honestly I think I have been using it every day since.
Lucky too cause I went in two days later and the whole display was gone. Whew.
The palette consists of three blush shades - Luminous Flush (Peachy pink marbled with a light golden highlight), Incandescent Electra (bright orange/pink with a white highlight marbled through) and Mood Exposure (browny/plum blush with a lighter browny/plum highlight marbled through). The range of colours is perfect and they are easily buildable. A light swipe of a blush gives a gorgeous almost radiant sunkissed look, but laying it on a little heavier can bring a deeper flush to the cheeks.
The way the highlight is marbled through causes a perfect sheen on the cheekbones when the light hits, bringing more definition and when bared with a subtle contour they can bring new angles to the face.
If you want to get your hands on this product I would suggest going to your nearest retailer that sells Hourglass and hopefully you can still find one!
*powderpuff Fact! All of Hourglass's products are certified animal cruelty free! Hourglass are a brand from the United States, but within the last few years the European Union have made it illegal to sell cosmetic products in the EU who test on animals. This means that all products bought in a country in the European Union are cruelty free and that most European Brands (such as Soap and Glory) are made cruelty free.
The Too Faced Better than Sex Mascara. If you haven't heard of this product then where have you been for the past few months? Bloggers and youtubers have been raving about this and Mecca Maxima has been out of stock since forever it feels like, but I managed to get my hands on one finally! The formula of this is a little thicker than most others I have tried (especially Benefit's They're real) and is more similar to the more Gel/Paste forumla of Benefit's Bad Gal Lash.
It is no secret that I am a bit of a Mascara addict, but one of my biggest pet peeves is Mascaras with those flimsy plastic wands (such as Benefit's They're Real, Rimmel's Wonder'Full Argan Mascara etc). I much prefer wands with long, thick brushes with proper bristles (which is why my Mascara favourites are M.A.C Opulash, Benefit Bad Gal Lash and now the Better than Sex). The shape and make of the wand means you can really get the product through your lashes and they get coated well in product and they are separated at the same time. Volume, length, separation and no clumps - tell me what else could you want in a Mascara?
Brows Brows Brows. I never did anything with my brows until earlier this year when I began to use the Benefit GimmeBrow (I use both the light and dark - depending on mood and look that day of course.) However since using those products I felt that they weren't really giving my brows the shape that I wanted them to as well as they didn't do much to help cover the scar situated in my left eyebrow from being pushed into a tree when I was 3. Siblings are great.
After a lot of research I went on the hunt for a brow powder duo. Most brow kits you get these days come with one powder and one kind of wax, whereas this Bobbi Brown duo (which is also available in a lighter shade) has two different powders which gives options. My hair is naturally quite dark, which means my brows are also quite dark and really, what can I say. I want brows like Cara Deleveingne. I am jealous of the strength of her brow game.
This brow kit in the shade Saddle/Mahogany comes with two mirrors (if the visible mirror is pulled out there is a magnified one behind), a pair of tweezers and a small brow brush - which makes it fantastic for travelling or on the go, the powders are also very easy to use with no fallout at all. The colour I use mostly is Saddle, which is the lighter of the two, but for an even more dramatic look the darker of the shades can be used. Having a duo also means that you can use both for extra definition (Mahogany on the inner to define, while Saddle blends out lighter on the dies with a light highlight below the browbone).
And lets be real - as my gorgeous friend Tanja says - "Mmmmmm Bobbi"
These last two products were suggested to me by the gorgeous Elle from OnceUponABeautyTime. You should definitely check her out on youtube, as well as her blog and Instagram. She's a wonderful Beauty Blogger also from Sydney.
In her own haul from Mecca Maxima, she mentioned the Nars Audacious lipsticks and I simply had to go out and check them out. If there is one thing I am a sucker for - it is a Berry Lipstick. I love them so much but for some reason I have always struggled finding the right Berry lip, so when she mentioned the Audacious Lipstick in the shade Charlotte, I just had to run out and check it out. After I swatched it the first time, I became obsessed simply because of how vibrant and beautiful it is. The colour is deep with a satin finish and the texture is very rich, creamy and luxurious. I had never tried Nars lipsticks before, but I heard fabulous things about them and I am so thrilled with this first one! I put it on as soon as I finished taking the photos and I am so excited to wear it many many times in the future - starting tomorrow!
Last but certainly not least - I have a moisturiser. I know Skincare isn't the main focus of this blog, but the Kate Somerville Goat Milk Cream is a holy grail product that I cannot not rave about. My skin is exceptionally dry. So dry that at times I get patches where skin starts flaking off and foundation clings - especially on my eyelids, between my brows and on my cheekbones or jawline. Recently I was having an exceptionally bad time for my skin and Elle suggested I try out this product, saying that Kate Somerville was something that could never go wrong. So after a trip to Mecca Maxima, I bought a tub and I tried it out.
The product should be put on twice a day (once in the morning - under makeup, and once in the evening as a night cream). I began using it that evening, praying it would work (I had tried straight sorbelene, products from the Body Shop, garnier, Aesop, QV and nothing did a thing) and two days later there was already an improvement. Within a week of starting to use it my skin was soft, even and not a single dry or flaky patch could be seen. I was astonished and so absolutely thrilled that I couldn't believe it.
This product was not on the cheaper side, but my belief is that if there is one product it is worth forking out for it should be skincare or the products you wear on your face daily (such as foundation). I would recommend this to each and every person who asked me what a good moisturiser to use is, and don't be intimidated by the word Goat in the title!
Well that's a wrap for this week!
Is there a post you want to see? Is there a product you want reviewed? Let me know by sending me a tweet, or by leaving a comment in the comments section below and I would love to try it out for you!
Until next time, stay cute little powderpuffs!
xoxo Matilde Elisabeth