THE TWO REVIEW: ‘MELBOURNE FROM A TO B’ – BEAUTY ESSENTIALS
While true beauty comes from within, let’s face it – sometimes a little help doesn’t hurt. This week The Two delve into their make-up bags and beauty cupboard to review five products in their current regime. Ranging from firm favourites to wondering what all the fuss over the latest cult products are, The Two review which ones deserve that coveted spot in your beauty routines. If they’re also not at a student-accommodating price then they’ll give you a cheaper alternative. This week they’ll rate out of mascaras.
A: THE ROSEHIP OIL: Trilogy Rosehip Oil with Antioxidants
Rosehip oil has made an appearance in many magazines over the last year or so and a bit over six months ago I decided I would see what all the fuss is about. I was very conscious of putting oil on my face, as many people who have been through pimple/acne stages in their life are. But in saying that, buying Trilogy Rosehip Oil with Antioxidants was one of the best beauty decisions I’ve ever made. I use it as a moisturiser and basis for anything else I put on my face and use about one to two drops after I clean my face (usually twice a day). I have used the original Trilogy Rosehip Oil before, but I think the one with antioxidants is much better, only it costs a little bit more to buy. My skin is amazingly soft and it feels tight and healthy every time I use it. Need I say more?
B: THE PRIMER : L’Oreal Base Magique Transforming Smoothing Primer
Confession: until recently I didn’t even really know what a primer was or why it was necessary. Thankfully now educated on the wonders of the primer, and having tested a few different ones out, I safely say this is one of, if not the best on the market. Those geniuses at L’Oreal certainly know what they’re doing. Base Magique an incredibly soft cream that eliminates pores and lines on the skin to create a perfect smooth base for makeup. It feels incredibly light on the skin, compared to others I’ve tried such as Benefit POREfessional. It also goes on clear, meaning it’s suitable for any skin tone. As a keen pharmacy make-up purchaser, at $29.99 I think it’s a bit on the expensive side, but it’s so worth it! If you can wait, keep an eye out for L’Oreal deals and promotions. After eyeing it up for months, I finally bought it at a 40 per cent off sale at Priceline (win!) and regret nothing.
Where to get it: Most makeup counters and pharmacies like Priceline.
How much: RRP $29.99
Cheaper alternative? Very much worth the price tag, just keen an eye out for sales and promotions to knock a few dollars off the cost.
The verdict: 4.5/5 mascaras
A: THE EVERYTHING PRODUCT :Loving Earth Raw Organic Coconut Butter
I actually went looking for coconut oil last year for a nice massage oil and came across The Body Shop’s Coconut Beautifying Oil. I loved it. You could add a few drops to the shower for a fragrant experience or a few drops in the bath for skin as soft as anything. I also put it on my skin and hair and it’s true, it makes you feel beautiful. Anyway once I finished that, I went looking for something with a bit more substance to it and came across Loving Earth Raw Organic Coconut Butter and holy shit, it’s one of the best beauty decisions I’ve ever made in my life! I use it for everything. It begins as a butter, which is great for cooking, but once it reaches 24 degrees it turns into a liquid. I put it on my stretch marks, (which unless you are incredibly gifted with genes) we all unfortunately have. I also use it as a moisturiser, (it works so well with freshly shaved legs and gives you a nice glow), hair oil (but only on my dry ends), in the bath for silky soft and nice smelling water AND I even cooked with it this morning when I made pancakes! It’s certified organic, so you know you’re getting the best quality and it’s just so great for your health.
Cheaper alternative: Most supermarket versions are slightly cheaper, but it can also be cheaper to make if yourself. Click here to find out how.
The verdict: 5/5 mascaras
B: THE LIQUID LINER: Sportsgirl ‘To The Point’ Liquid Eye Liner
As someone with slightly Oriental shaped eyes thanks to Russian heritage, I love my liquid liner. I find it finishes off any make-up look perfectly, and wear it so often I almost feel naked without it. Eye liner comes in many forms – pencil, liquid, pens, kohl pots – but nothing I’ve tried beats Sportsgirls’s To The Point liquid eye liner. It looks like a felt tip pen, with a very fine point. I LOVE IT! Because it’s a pen, it’s not as wet as typical liquid liners, and is so easy to apply. Liquid liner flicks are hard to perfect at the best of times, but this makes it incredibly easy to achieve, without ending up with black marks all over your face. While it’s fine tipped, it’s also easy to achieve thicker looks by literally just colouring it in! At under $10 a pop, it’s one of my absolute favourite beauty finds.
Where to get it: Sportsgirl
How much: RRP $9.95
Cheaper alternative? You’d be hard pressed to find a cheaper liner that’s this good!
The verdict: 5/5 mascaras
A: THE BB CREAM: YSL BB Cream
I was very intrigued by the BB cream phenomenon, given I’m an avid lover of tinted moisturisers as opposed to liquid or powder foundations. I also don’t put much on my face in regards to bases either. I get my eyelashes tinted (because I’m so fair haired) and I don’t feel the need to wear much make-up. So that’s why I wear an expensive and great quality BB cream – the Yves Saint Laurent BB Cream. I’m going to be downright honest. It’s not cheap. But I believe with all beauty products that you get what you pay for. Yes there are cheaper alternatives that work just as well (you’ll see below with my face scrub), but when it comes to something used as a base on your skin, I think it’s good to get something that will nourish and make you look great. If you know me, you’ll understand I have quite fair skin and a lot of freckles on my face and for much of my life, I was conscious of covering them up. But with this BB cream, I feel beautiful with barely anything on my face. It gives you the right amount of protection from the sun (SPF 25), but still lets your face glow naturally. Even better, not a single freckle is covered on my face and I don’t mind in the slightest. I am also only about halfway through my tube, so I would say it lasts about 18 months. Come on, this is a great beauty investment. (I think I’m still justifying the purchase to myself after all this time).
Where to get it: Myer and David Jones
How much: $79
Cheaper alternative: Garnier BB Cream (around $13.99 from supermarkets and chemists, which B will introduce below)
The verdict: 4.5/5 mascaras
B: THE BB CREAM: Garnier BB Cream Miracle Skin Perfector
Look at the beauty section of any magazine over the past year or so, and I can guarantee there’ll be some mention of the latest beauty wonder, the BB cream. Standing for beauty balm, it’s supposed to give you perfect skin by moisturising, hydrating and covering blemishes. Similar to a tinted moisturiser with added benefits, I’m still not quite convinced. Garnier is the second BB cream I’ve tried and while I think it’s a great alternative to foundation for summer, it still requires a fair bit to give good coverage. As someone with very pale skin (read: I glow in the dark), even the ‘light’ colour is a bit too dark for me (although it does for once in my life make me feel tanned!). While I’ll keep giving it a go over summer, I don’t think it’s quite a ‘miracle’ and best left to daytime, rather than going out or times when you need coverage.
Where to get it: Most beauty stockists including supermarkets and Priceline
How much: RRP $13.99 (currently on offer at Priceline for $11.19)
Cheaper alternative: Most cheaper BB creams sit around a similar price
The verdict: 3/5 mascaras
A: THE CONCEALER:YSL Touché Éclat
This was another expensive purchase that occurred on the same day as the BB cream experience. But once again, Yves Saint Laurent Touché Éclat has been another great beauty investment. In simple words it’s a concealer pen. You push the bottom of it, and then liquid concealer comes out the top of it through the brush. Then you lightly brush the concealer onto your face in simple strokes back and forth. I use it after my rosehip oil and BB cream and apply it under my eyes and wherever I have a blemish or red spot. It works like a charm. It also lasts for a very long time if used correctly (one push per use, so most of the time only one push a day). Unless you have perfectly immaculate skin, concealer is one of those things everyone needs. So why not splurge on a good one?
B: THE HAIR PRODUCTS: John Frieda Frizz-Ease Dream Curls Curl Perfecting Spray & Secret Weapon Flawless Finishing Crème
Don’t get me wrong, I love my curls, but I have often looked at those with straight hair and wondered what a frizz-free life would be like. Then my mum (who also has curly hair) started using these products. After she got so fed up of me “borrowing” hers, I finally bought my own and life has been filled with less frizz ever since. The Curl Perfecting Spray sculpts and shapes to define the curls but doesn’t make them rock solid. The directions on the bottle say to use on damp hair, but I use on dry hair too. The Flawless Finishing Crème gets rid of any flyaways and gives curls a bit of protection from the elements. I also use it as a finishing polish when I straighten my hair as it makes it sleek and shiny.
Where to get it: Hairdressers, Hairhouse Warehouse, Supermarkets and Pharmacies
How much: Both RRP $16.99
Cheaper alternative: N/A
The verdict:4/5 mascaras
A: THE FACE EXFOLIATOR/SCRUB: St Ives Green Tea Scrub
This is one of my cheaper beauty purchases, but in all seriousness I have been using St Ives face scrubs on my face for over 10 years and will confidently use it for the next 10. Everyone loves using this one – St Ives Green Tea Scrub. Both of my former roommates loved it, my sister loves it, my boyfriend loves it and even my boyfriend’s mum loves it! What makes it even better is that it’s affordable and easily accessible too. I use it whenever I’m in the shower or wash my face, so 1-2 times a day. Sometimes I’ll even apply it twice in one go to get that extra layer of dead skin off my face. It leaves your skin feeling refreshed and soft, and gets off any sort of make-up left on your face. I couldn’t live without this.
Where to get it: Safeway, Coles, Priceline, Chemist Warehouse
How much: Around $8
Cheaper alternative: This is basically as cheap as it gets for a good exfoliator/face scrub
The verdict: 5/5 mascaras
B: THE NAIL POLISH: Barry M ‘Blueberry Icecream’ Nail Polish
This is a bit of a difficult one as I haven’t found it stocked anywhere in Australia, but it is my favourite nail polish colour of all time. The brand is Barry M, and is readily available in the U.K. and it offers cheap great quality nail polish in a whole kalaidoscope of colours. Blueberry Icecream is the PERFECT summer sky blue colour (not really very blueberry like at all) and I wear it all year round. It goes with almost everything. It’s a fast-drying formula, lasts a few days without seriously chipping and I often only need to apply one coat to get a great colour. It goes on exactly as it looks too, and works as both matte and shiny if you add a top coat. If you’ve got any friends/family living or heading to the U.K., get them to pick you up a few bottles.
Where to get it: UK
How much: £2.99
Cheaper alternative: NA
The verdict: 5/5 mascaras
Next week will unfortunately be The Two’s last post. But don’t panic – we’ve got the perfect Melbourne-celbration for the end of our Catalyst blog stint and university year, while heralding the beginning of a fantastic summer. Don’t miss it.