Tag: product reviews

The Search for Sunscreen

This post has been a long time coming! When I first started on this skincare journey, I struggled a lot with finding a good sunscreen that didn’t break me out. I grew up in a time when sunscreen was disgusting and not cosmetically elegant (See Labmuffin’s posts – she’s amazing). And getting older meant more sun-damage thanks to New Zealand’s harsh Sun. So! Enter my search!

I first started out hunting out sunscreens I had read about online when I was travelling overseas – even a couple of years ago the range in New Zealand was rather limited. I wanted something hardcore – like SPF 50 or PA+++++(as many pluses as possible!). Thankfully, we now get all the three I am reviewing here in my country.

A little bit of a caveat here: skin is a fickle beastie and so is anything you put on it. So please take my little review as a grain of salt.

All sunscreens have a cost/benefit trade-off.

First up is Anthelios XL by La Roche-Posay, second is Neutrogena Ultra Sheer fluid (found this in my local supermarket – New World), and last is Kiss Me Sunkiller Cool Perfect Strong (found in my local Japanese supermarket/store) (link given is not affiliated).

 tl;dr There are more cosmetically elegant sunscreen around – hunt around your local supermarket and pharmacy


The Gang: Anthelios XL, Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Fluid, and Sunkiller

La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL- ultra light

La Roche-Posay is one of those brands that is ‘science-y’ (yes I am writing that as a person with a PhD) – they have nice pictures of (actors posing) as dermatologists and their tag-line is ‘trusted by dermatologists. dedicated to sensitive skin’. I had heard nothing but good things about their sunscreen online so was excited to see it in New Zealand.


Cost? $$$

Rating? 50+ (UVB + UVA)

White cast? A little bit, not horrifically so and can be covered with foundation.

Cost/Benefit Tradeoff: It was first tacky but then dried down to a film that acted almost like a primer when I put my foundation on. You also have to shake it thoroughly.

Did it work for me? Sadly, my sensitive and dry skin reacted and within days I had redness and itchiness. I normally react to alcohol in sunscreens. It also, surprisingly, clogged my skin but that could be because I reacted to it.

Will it work for you? Probably! It was almost cosmetically elegant, although it was drying due to the alcohol (so might be good for oily skin) and a little perfumed. This is also a chemical sunscreen if you are after that sort of thing.

tl;dr Good if your skin handles alcohol and don’t mind a little bit of white-cast.

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer fluid

I don’t really feel like I need to introduce Neutrogena, its a well-known brand in supermarkets and some pharmacies. I like most of their products, especially their make up removal wipes. I am a little brand loyal to them, so decided to try out their sunscreen.


Cost? $

Rating? 50+

White cast? Oh dear yes and still made a difference after I put on foundation.

Cost/Benefit Tradeoff: Dries to a semi-matte finish and soaks up skin oil. This makes it rather drying and you will need a moisturizer underneath if you are not super oily. It also makes it a good primer for foundation (though I would rather use an actual primer).

Did it work for me? Again, I reacted after a couple of days and it was too drying for my dry and sensitive skin.

Will it work for you? Most likely – and its a cheaper version of the La Roche-Posay reviewed above. Again, avoid if you have super sensitive skin that is dry.

tl;dr A good average sunscreen you can find in the supermarket. Good if your skin can handle its drying effect.

Kiss Me Sunkiller Cool Perfect Strong

Nevermind the title sounds like the perfect man (NOTICE ME SENPAI!), this sunscreen was a winner for me. Let me tell you why!


Cost? $/$$ (it’s much cheaper online)

Rating? 50+ PA+++

White cast? A little bit but nothing after the dry-down.

Cost/Benefit Tradeoff: Dries to a semi-matte finish but…was not drying?! I couldn’t believe it. This is the cooling version for summer and since then I have used the normal Perfect Strong version too. Very light and non-greasy!

Did it work for me? Yes! Even acted as a type of primer and make my foundation look smoother. Even on days without foundation, it dried down to an almost skin finish and I didn’t feel like I was wearing anything. I was gob-smacked.

Will it work for you? Yes! But again, it is a bit drying so be sure to use a moisturizer if you have dry skin. This ‘cooling’ version has more alcohol than the other versions, so have a look for the normal Perfect Strong.

tl;dr Fantastic sunscreen! A winner for me. Non-irritating and dried down nicely to a semi-matte finish. Look for the normal Perfect Strong version if you want less alcohol and therefore less of a drying effect. 


So you can see, the Japanese sunscreen was a winner for me. What you don’t see is all the OTHER sunscreens I tried out as well, such as:

  • Biore UV Aqua Rich Water Essense SPF50+ PA+++
  • Neutrogena Sensitive Lotion SPF60
  • Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Dry Touch SPF 50
  • Nivea Sun Protect Plus UV Milky Essense SPF50+ PA++++
  • Nivea Light Feel Daily Face Veil SPF30
  • Mecca Cosmetica To Save Face Superscreen SPF50+ (I really wanted my skin to like this one!)

So it was a bit of an expensive exercise! I hope one day I will be able to find a sunscreen that doesn’t cost a lot of money and that I can find easily at the local supermarket – until then I am buying my Kiss Me Sunkiller Perfect Strong (*swoon*) from my local Japanese supermarket!

THE ORDINARY| Foundations review

I just had the opportunity to finally get my hands on The Ordinary Foundations – The coverage foundation and the serum foundation.


I know one of them was around for a while and the other is quite new. However, they both go out of stock pretty fast and therefore, I know many of you have not had the chance of trying them out.

I bought mine via Beautylish. It’s US$ 6.90 (~ NZ$ 10.35). When you buy via Beautylish, all orders over US$35 are shipped free and takes only about 10-14 days to arrive. *Not Sponsored!


Both the foundations come with a pump and carry 30ml. They both should have a semi-matte finish. Both are oil-free, cruelty-free (as is the product line) and has a light-weight formula.

IMG_20171205_125747.jpgThe foundations come in 21 shades. So you, quite easily, can find a close match for your skin shade (No foundation will be able to carry shades that match all the skin colours in the world). Here Wayne Goss has a list that matches The Ordinary shade based on your MAC foundation shade. I bought 3.0Y in both foundations (which is the shade match for MAC NC44).

In the picture to the right, the top swatch represents the coverage foundation and the lower, the Serum foundation.

The Serum foundation

The serum foundation has a watery consistency and has a light coverage buildable to a medium. I used The Ordinary high spreadability fluid primer underneath and used a brush on one half of the face and the LA Girl beauty sponge on the other half to apply the foundation. The application was indifferent on both sides.

The foundation does have a semi-matte finish as it claims. it went on smooth.  I did not notice any of it clinging to the smile-lines after the first application. The foundation is tacky to the touch so it needs to be set with a light powder. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture soon after the application.

The picture below is after about 3 hours of wear. 

IMG_20171205_173117.jpgAt this point, the foundation starts to break apart. It got cakey around my mouth and settled into the smile-lines despite what it claims.  I always get oily no matter what foundation I wear, so the oiliness you see is not specifically because of this foundation.  The foundation gave me a white cast which was visible to the naked eye.

So naturally, my first impression was a BIG NO!



I decided to try it once more, with a colour corrector underneath and skipped the primer this time. Oh My God! … the result was b.e.a.u.t.i.f.u.l. The white cast disappeared with the colour corrector and skipping the primer.


The picture to the right is an untouched (no filters, not edited) photo taken from my phone. The foundation looked absolutely amazing. It lasted quite long this time – about 6 hours,  without breaking apart (on a 33 degrees Celcius day too).

Final verdict: The foundation is definitely not long wearing but can be extended with a good setting spray (I recommend the UD all nighter).  The foundation gave a smooth finish and looks gorgeous in the pictures. but I did notice tiny bumps on my face after wearing this for a prolonged time. So, if you have sensitive skin, be aware!

I would give this an 8/10.

Coverage Foundation 

The coverage foundation has a creamy consistency and gives a medium coverage buildable to a full. Like the serum, this too has a semi-matte finish. the picture below is taken soon after it was applied before setting it with powder. I used the same technique of applying the foundation with a brush and the beauty sponge with the same primer underneath. No colour corrector.

Picture 1

It applies light at the beginning but gets darker. However, the final shade is the shade you are buying (at least in my case).

Even though the foundation was full coverage it was not ‘full’ enough to cover the dark spots around my mouth and cheeks. It looks cakey in some places.

This too gave me the same white-casty look that did not look good in real life.



Picture 2 and 3 were taken at the 3-hour mark.

It shows how the foundation has started to break around my mouth just like the serum foundation did in my first attempt.

Unfortunately, I could not try this with the colour corrector yet. But I assume it would perform the same way as the serum foundation did since the result at the end of the first attempt at wearing them were pretty much the same except the coverage.

Final verdict: For the price point, I think this foundation did an okay job. I’m sure colour correcting before the application would rectify the white-cast problem too. However, the setting spray did not extend its wearability.

overall, I’d give this a 7/10.

Even though I would not say these are two of the best foundations in the market, they are pretty good for $10. I recommend the serum foundation a little bit more than the other only because I like its coverage and the amazing natural finish.

Let me know if you have tried these and what you think of them.

Until the next,



MORPHE|Jaclyn Hill Palette


I am so stoked to finally get my hands on the Morphe x Jaclyn Hill collaboration. this palette a few weeks ago. It was a little hard to get hold of it on the Morphe website because, you know, they sell out really quick. The first release was gone within hours (I actually woke up at 3 am NZT to buy this but when I finally made it to the payment page, it was sold out). So when it went live again, I just gave up and thought well, I don’t want to wake up at 3am again just to be disappointed, so I don’t want it. But Once I woke up around 10 am, the inner makeup junkie in me said ‘why not see if it is still there’ and it WAS!!! So I finally bought it.

On the Morphe website (not sold anywhere else yet), the price was USD38 (≈NZD 56) and shipping was another USD30 (≈NZD 45) (I KNOW!!!).



The palette has a mix of vibrant colours, neutrals as well as dark shades. It is also a mix of mattes, shimmers and duochromes. Since I suck at swatches, I am using the amazing swatches from ANALESE REDMAN of @annybeeutee. 

First and second rows (Image by ANALESE REDMAN @annybeeutee)
third and fourth rows (Image by ANALESE REDMAN @annybeeutee)
Fifth row (Image by ANALESE REDMAN @annybeeutee)

Shade names

Image from Morphe brushes


 What do I think

If you are familiar Morphe eyeshadows, they are pigmented and feels creamy. In my personal opinion, this palette is a tad bit better than the other Morphe palettes formula-wise. These shades feel like butter, hence so soft to touch. They go on really well (I did not have to use any fixed+ to apply these) and blends even better. The matte shades do not swatch as nicely as the shimmers but then again, not many matte formulas do. But they apply on the eye perfectly and performs the same way as the shimmers. According to Jaclyn, using a natural fibre brush gives you the best application. I used natural fibre for mattes and synthetic fibre for shimmers.


My eyelids get pretty oily throughout the day. So the chances of any eyeshadow surviving beyond 2-3 hours are pretty unlikely always and I do not use any special primer on my eyelids apart from applying a little concealer to neutralise the pigmentation.

But to my utmost surprise, these shadows lasted for about five hours on my eyes. The picture above was taken after the five to six hours wear time (I have used a filter just to smoothen my skin out otherwise the picture is unedited). As you can see the eyelids are shiny but the shadows still peak through and visible (I promise to be more organised next time and click a pic as soon I apply makeup too).

If you have normal eyelids or use an eyeshadow base or an eye primer on the eyelids, these would last even longer. So, I am IMPRESSED! I always try to keep my reviews balanced, but this palette has nothing wrong to say apart from the white casing which gets dirty really quick.

Some of my favourite shades


This palette is currently out of stock but is scheduled to return both via Morphe site (P.S. Note: 19th September 8am PST ≈ 20th September at 3am NZ time) as well as retailers (as far as I know and we’ll know which ones later). So if you can afford it, do grab it. It is a wonderful collection of shades for every occasion, time and place. You can find enough coupon codes on youtube, to get some money off your purchase if buying via Morphe site.

If you are a beginner, this may be the only palette you need in your collection at the beginning. For hoarders like me, well, you know you need this.

Let me know what you think of this palette if you have it already.

Until my next,



Disclaimer: This article has no affiliate links in it. This post is not sponsored.  

WET ‘N WILD| Treasures from the drug store

The day I heard that Wet ‘ n Wild (WNW) is coming to Farmers, New Zealand (it was available before via online retailers like La Femme Beauty, but Farmers has a full display and affordable prices), I had to check them out at my nearest Farmers store.

For the makeup lovers, WNW needs no introduction. It is one of the most affordable beauty brands in the world, yet has not compromised in quality products.


While I apologise for not taking pictures before I use them (For some reason I am very impatient with new makeup :D; have to dig in as soon as possible), I actually found some treasures in the WNW line and one dud so far. I bought these from Farmers, Love My Makeup as well as from Beautyjoint.com.

Eye shadow palettes

These eye shadow palettes are at the top of my favourites. They feel buttery and go on like a dream. The shadows are so pigmented that you need to use a really light hand to apply them. The colour selection is amazing too. I know that I have chosen quite similar colours, but the Bare and Beautiful palette is a collection of mattes and shimmers while the Comfort Zone is a collection of shimmers. The packaging is quite flimsy and fragile, but I am not really concerned about. They are lightweight and great to travel with because of the size. These two palettes have everything you need to transform yourself from a daytime look to a wearable smokey or a shimmery night-out look. I will post some swatches in the Instagram, so keep an eye on it.

WNW Photofocus Foundation and Concealer

IMG_20170827_151235Hands down one of the best foundations ever! It stands true to what it claims – a truly photo-ready look.

It sinks right into the skin to give you that airbrushed look which looks amazing in photos.

Unfortunately, it does not last very long. The maximum wear time I had with this foundation is around the 4-hour mark. After that, it just starts to break apart and look really oily and shiny (Having an oily T-zone does not help!). I could extend it a little bit with the Urban Decay All nighter spray, but the maximum is about 5 hours.

Powdering and touch ups do not really help after the foundation starts to get oily and breakup. But I have to say, I’ve worn this for 8-9 hours some days (just because I was working), and even though it starts to break after 5 hours, you don’t look entirely unpresentable at 8 hours.

The concealer is pretty much similar in performance. The consistency in on the thicker side and it dries down quite fast. I recommend working in sections and blending out before moving to the next application to get the maximum out of this product (e.g. one eye at a time, or one spot at a time).



I bought three Megalast lipsticks and one Mega Lip colour SPF15.

The Mega-last range is matte and is truly long lasting. They are pigmented too. About 3 minutes after the initial application you won’t even feel it on your lips. I’ve worn it on my lips for about 8 hours without touching up, and it stayed on quite well. Some fading was visible towards the inside the lips, but in their defence, I had some oily noodle stir fry just before.

The Mega lip colour has SPF 15 for sun-protection and goes on sheer. So, the colour payoff is not as rich as the Megalast line, but very comfortable and moisturising on the lips. Even though they do not last long, reapplying does not cake up the lipstick.

Again, keep an eye on my Instagram for swatches 🙂

Megaliner eyeliner – Fail! 

The megaliner liquid eyeliner claims to dry fast, stay-put, long-lasting, smudge-proof.


I will agree with ‘dry-fast’ but none of the rest! It is not long-lasting at all and smudged quite easily than some of my other non-waterproof liners.

On the plus side though, it does come with an easy-to-use brush applicator. This is a wonderful applicator for the eyeliner-amateurs like me to get a nice and controlled wing.

The formula is thick and highly pigmented too.

I loved applying it, but it was streaking down my face (embarrassing!!!) in the first instance my eye started watering. I don’t understand how my upper lid liner gets washed off with tears – never happened before with any liner.

The brow mascara was nothing phenomenal. It was an okay product. I always prefer a clear gel to set my brows, so this was a nice option.

That is the round up of my thoughts on the WNW products I tried so far. If I am to pick my top 3 from the brand, I would highly recommend the Photofocus foundation, Eye shadow palettes and the Megalast lipsticks.

Let me know if you tried any of these and what you thought about them…




THE ORDINARY | affordable skincare – Part 1

Hello everyone, I am back after a while 🙂 … Sorry for going AWOL but I had to do quite a bit of travelling during last few months. Anyway, now that I am back, let’s talk about some affordable skincare…

Those of you who follow me on Instagram know that I recently bought a few skin care items from The Ordinary line. I have been using them for a little over three weeks now and think I have formed my opinion about them :).


First a little about this abnormal brand:

The brand ‘The Ordinary’ is a part of DECEIM – the abnormal beauty company, a team that is versed in materials chemistry and biochemistry. While the group hosts high-end (I mean high priced and specifically formulated) skincare brands such as Hylamid and NIOD, The Ordinary was formed to present high-quality skincare at an affordable price. the philosophy of the company is to ‘disallow commodity being disguised as ingenuity’. Founders of The Ordinary claim that in the beauty sphere, commonplace technologies and formulations are presented as innovative and advance; the price markups, hence, are insensible. The objective of The Ordinary line is to present high quality, clinical grade skincare formulations with integrity.

Unlike other skincare lines, The Ordinary gives you the liberty to make up your own skincare regime. the products are meant to be used as ‘ingredients’ that you put together to create your preferred concoction, based on your skin type, problems and preference.

You can find the review of Vitamin C suspension in Part 2

Here’s what I got;

Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 

This is a vegan hydrator that can attract water up to 1000 times its weight. According to DECEIM, even though many skincare products offer Hyaluronic acid (HA), they cannot penetrate the skin in naturally. Instead, they sit on the skin and attract from the skin and give an illusion of plumpness. So when you wash off the product, the skin screams for more to keep hydrated. In this version, there are multiple forms of HA used to ensure skin hydration in different layers, not just the surface. Vitamin B5 aids the surface hydration. Probably, for this reason, the first time I used HA I did not see a visible plumpness as I saw when using the Loreal Hydraboost gel. But with continuous use for over a week, I started noticing that my skin looks more hydrated. Because of my travelling schedules, I could not use HA every day over the last three weeks, but that did not take away the hydration it had already delivered to my skin.  I use HA 2% + B5, both in the AM and PM.

Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) in this product is meant to reduce the appearance of blemishes and congestion. I have oily/combination skin and this has helped to reduce the oiliness to a healthy level (does not make my face look completely matte) without making my dry spots dry. The brand claims, and I agree, that this does not help acne. However, it has reduced the dullness of my face noticeably. This is included only in my morning routine.

Note: The company warns against using Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% in conjunction with Vitamin C suspensions. Please visit The Ordinary website for more details.

Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG

This is meant to reduce the dark circles and puffiness under eyes. The EGCG (I won’t even try pronouncing the longer name of this…) is a derivative from green tea leaves. both the ingredients are highly effective in reducing puffiness around the undereye region. This solution again (among many other eye creams) has failed me in reducing my undereye dark circles. However, as the company claims, this may be due to the born and fat structure of my eyes (I’ve been told that this is genetic, by a doctor in my family too) which cannot be treated with skincare solutions. But the solution definitely reduces puffiness around the eye. I use this in the morning and night.

Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution

Glycolic acid is an exfoliant that offers mild but direct exfoliation to the skin. This product demands careful usage not only because it is an acid (a mild one) but also has an AHA that increases the sun-sensitivity of the skin (no joke!). I use this only at night as instructed and completely forgot about the sun protection warning. I always wear sun protection (a daily SPF of 15) but with this product, it is not sufficient. Even though my skin did not get sunburnt badly, I definitely sensed the increased sensitivity while in the direct sun. so, if you use this, always wear higher SPF and use an umbrella or a hat to keep the direct sun away from your skin, even up to a week after you stopped using this product.

However, this product is wonderful and I love using it every night. My skin feels so much softer and cleaner since I started using this.

These are the products I tried from The Ordinary line. I fell in love with this brand so much that I ordered some more items which are yet to arrive in the mail. Will do another review once I use them too. Look for the next part of this review either on Picon’s hoard or here.

Most importantly, please hang on for more posts in the future. I will try and get to back to normal blog routine once I settle down a bit with the travelling.. Until then.. have a lovely day!



SUNDAY RILEY| Power couple

Phew! It’s been a hot minute since I posted last… My PhD sometimes get’s in the way 😁

Anyway, finally, I am going to talk about the Sunday Riley power couple. If you remember, I bought this about two months ago when I was at Mecca Maxima.


These are probably two of the most hyped products in the cybersphere. So, I was pretty excited to try these together for a much affordable price of $126.

Good Genes:  Gently exfoliates the skin to even out skin. claims to transform the skin look plump, reduce fine lines and reveal brighter, smoother, firmer clear complexion. Consists of anti-aging lactic acid, lemongrass and licorice.

Luna Oil: A retinol treatment for an anti-aging effect. Consists of trans-retinol ester, cold pressed avocado, chia and concord grapeseed oils. Claims to leave the skin looking smoother, firmer and clearer.


People who used these items claimed to have had visible results in few days. However, the items claim to show results within a week. Before writing this article, I used mine for over a month, until they are completely used up (15ml each).

Before using

Good Genes is intended to be used day and night. If using with conjunction with the Luna Oil, it says to wait five minutes after applying Luna to go ahead with Good Genes. The first night I applied them together, it gave me breakouts. So, I used Good Genes only in the morning.

I took pictures before and after to see if there was any difference in my face. (Pls ignore the red eye in my ‘before’ picture. I was having allergies).

After one-month use

Apart from the differences in lighting, I don’t see any other difference, to be honest, in my complexion. I don’t feel different either. You can still see the hyperpigmentation around my mouth, and the texture of my skin is still the same as it used to be.

Overall, I was quite disappointed with the products because it did not work on my skin and they were not cheap in NZ.

But it does not mean, it may not work for you.

As for myself, I will be looking for other alternatives in future. Please let me know if you know of any alternatives that I should try.

Did these products work differently for you? Let me know in the comments section below.

Until next,



Mini Haul | Treasures from the drugstore

I always hunt for affordable but good quality makeup. Last week, I grabbed a few items from Postie+ and The Warehouse. I haven’t had the chance to wear all of these long enough to test their longevity, but I definitely swatched them and wore them a bit. Below is what I think…


LA Colors eyeshadow palettes These were just $5 each at The Warehouse.


Boy oh boy! I was blown away when I swatched them… I did not think they would be bad but was not expecting them to be this pigmented either.

The shadows have quite a bit of kickback as well as fallout. Therefore, I recommend doing your eye makeup first, unless you have those special stick-on fallout-catchers.

Loreal Lipsticks were $7.50 each when buying two.


Unfortunately, I forgot to take closeups of the Kleancolor madly matte lip glosses (weird combination – matte gloss?!), but you can see them in the picture on the very top. They retailed for $5 each.

The swatches are in the picture below. The numbered swatches 1603 and 1604 represent the lip glosses. They did not have any other names on them.


The Loreal lipsticks were very creamy and moisturising. Frieda’s Nude worn alone is not flattering on me. But I might layer it with one of the lip glosses next time.

The Kleancolor lip glosses are pigmented as you can see. They can be worn alone and still has an incredible colour payoff. They dry down to a matte (duh!). I recommend applying a little lip balm underneath if you plan to wear them alone. Otherwise, the lips can feel like dried prunes after some time :D.

Let me know if there are any more products from these brands that I need to try. If you have tried these, let me know how you feel about them too.

Until my next…



GARNIER | Oily Roots Dry Ends

I went on a mad hunt last weekend to find the best shampoo for my oily hair with dry ends (combination hair). Believe it or not, there are not many shampoos in the supermarkets in NZ – Pak n’ Save, Countdown, New world or even in Farmers (I did not try the high-end shops like shampoo n’ things) – for oily hair, let alone finding the best!

When I say not many options, I meant, not many brands label their products explicitly for oily hair. But interestingly, every brand had shampoo for dry, dull, damaged hair 😒 clearly indicated. Anyway, I found one product that had the exact label I was looking for. So I went for it!


First impression

Since I have used the Garnier Fructis Oily Roots Dry Ends shampoo only once, I can only give you a first impression at this moment. But as you can imagine, there were significant observations that prompted me to write this post.

First, during the shower, I noticed a significant lessening of hair loss. When I say significant, I meant SIGNIFICANT! Usually, I lose a lot of hair when washing it (I feel like, my hair spends more time in drains and on carpets than it spent on my scalp). This shampoo reduced the hair loss in the first wash.

Secondly, I felt ‘squeaky clean’ (in a good way) after the shower. My hair was not dry, it was soft and slightly silky with a little bit of volume.

Thirdly and most importantly, I don’t see any flakes in my scalp anymore. I am on my third day after washing my hair and usually by this time, I have dandruff back even if I used an anti-dandruff shampoo.

I used my regular post-wash hair care routine with the shampoo. In other words, I only changed the shampoo; the rest was the same including conditioners, oils and elixirs. (Please excuse the bad lighting. My apparatus was not coping with me today!).


I will let you know if things changed with continuous use.

This shampoo is available in pretty much any supermarket in NZ. I bought mine from New World.

If you have any other product recommendations for oily hair, please let me know in the comment section below. Most importantly please mentioned where you bought them from too :).

See you in my next!



ESSENCE| Lash Princess Mascara

Essence Lash Princess mascara is a cult favourite. There are two types of mascara in this line – one is volumising, and the other is lengthening (false lash effect).

Photo: from Ulta.com

Because everyone raves about this and because it is quite affordable in NZ too, I bought the lengthening one (the green one) to test out if it is worth the hype.

Photo credit: www.writingwhimsy.com

As you can see, the wand is the usual straight wand- nothing out of ordinary. It has natural bristles and is stiff in a good way. This meant the application was smoother than some other mascaras. The applicator is slightly pointed and is designed to coat every strand of hair evenly. The mascara itself contains fibre to lengthen the lashes with each coat applied. I usually end up having to clean up my lids and lower lash line after applying mascara, but this one did not get on my lids or the lashline.


On the flip side;

  • It did not give me a considerable false lash effect as it claimed, but it did lengthen.
  • It also did not hold the curl.
  • It started to crumble a little bit after some time (not very noticeable but I could feel it).
  • It is also not waterproof.

Even though this did not perform miracles, I still loved it and can understand why beauticians rave about it. It is a great everyday wearable mascara that gives your lashes a nice boost especially on days you don’t feel like wearing a full face of glam.

I am intrigued to try the orange mascara (which is the original Lash Princess as it is claimed) and will let you know how I feel about it once I did.

This cost me NZ$ 6.75 at Farmers NZ (pretty affordable, eh!). Essence cosmetics are available across many Farmers branches throughout the island (way more branches carry it now than what is listed on their web site).

In the US, you can purchase this from Ulta or from Target.

Let me know how you liked this mascara if you tried it. Let me also know about the volumising one and if I should try it 🙂

See you in my next!



eBay finds| Makeup mixing palette

I am huge eBay fan! Whenever I need to buy a tool, electronic item, or even beauty accessories, one of the first places I search is eBay. Although one need to be very careful when buying off eBay because of false advertising, counterfeit items as well as piracy, it is a buyers’ paradise if you find the right product for a bargain price. Because I spend so much time and money buying off eBay, I thought I would share some of my purchases  (both good and bad) through this series of posts.

In this first post, let’s talk about the makeup mixing palette I bought.


For NZ$ 5.50ish, I was expecting a flimsy piece of an aluminium-foil-like palette and an equally flimsy mixing tool. But I was pleasantly surprised to get this excellent quality stainless steel palette. Usually, I use the back of the hand (well, most of us do) to mix foundations with other foundations, BB creams, moisturisers or face oil. Sometimes, it helps to warm up the consistency a bit. But most of the times, I forget I have foundation or concealer on my hand and ruin my clothes by wiping the products on them. This palette is useful to avoid that as well as to keep some left over foundation until the end, in case you want to do any touch ups after you are done.

The mixing tool is useful to scrape products off containers that do not come with a pump like foundation bottles, cream/liquid products that come in jars, etc., or to scoop pigments to mix with glue or any other use you can think of.

One side of the tool is a spatula, and the other side has a curved hook to scoop off products such as lipsticks (especially from palettes) and cream concealers.

It also comes with a see-through plastic bag to carry the palette and the tool.

Let me know your eBay finds that I should try, in the comments below.