Makeup Obsessives meet up

Friday, January 30th 2015 Makeup

In 2013, I joined a Facebook group that would change my life. That sounds slightly dramatic, but really, it’s true. I joined Makeup Obsessives, and went from someone with a mild interest in makeup, to a full on obsessive. The group started small, but now it has 30 000 members which is incredible – but it still feels like a cosy family that is super supportive and amazing. People say sometimes that women who are interested in typically girly things, especially makeup, are vapid, and bitchy, but I haven’t found that to be the case with MUO.

Of course, I’ve had the odd clash with someone but that’s bound to happen with so many people – but the admins manage to keep things running smoothly. Recently a meet up for the group was held in Auckland, and I headed along. This was my fourth meet up, and as always it was great. Even at my first meet up when I had never met anyone else, I felt really welcomed and like part of the group. Today’s post is a bit of a long one, but it’s a goodie – all about the great event, and of course, the makeup that I wore.

Meagan Kerr and I

Meagan and I (Photo by Nicola May)

Inside my travel makeup bag

Wednesday, August 20th 2014 Makeup

By the time you read this post I will be on holiday in Australia, for a girly holiday with my friend Laura and staying with my mum, yay! I always like looking at peoples’ travel makeup bag posts, so I’ll share mine with you now. It was hard to whittle down my collection, but I managed to fit it all into a reasonable sized bag!

Clinique Super City Block, NYX Anti redness primer, Clinique CC Cream, MAC Studio Sculpt, Rimmel Stay Matte, ELF Blush, ELF Under eye concealer and highlighterThe base products I chose were Clinique Super City Block, NYX Photo-loving primer, Clinique CC Cream light, MAC Studio Sculpt NW20, Rimmel Stay Matte primer, ELF blush Peachy Keen, and ELF Under Eye concealer and highlighter in light. I wanted to have the option to do a full coverage base, as well as just swipe on some of the CC cream. I haven’t featured the CC cream on here before – here’s a swatch.

Clinique CC cream light vs MAc Studio Sculpt.

Maybelline Big Eyes, NYX wonder pencil, Bobbi Brown gel eyeliner, Maybelline Color Tattoo, Benefit they're real eyeliner, Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer

Eye makeup was another set of difficult decisions! The mascara was a no-brainer, I chose Maybelline The Falsies Big Eyes which I’ve been using for a little while now and loving. The Sephora eyeliner pencil is handy because it’s got brown and black, and the NYX wonder pencil is perfect for the inner rims of my eyes. Then there’s Bobbi Brown gel eyeliner in Espresso Ink, Chi Chi Rock With You baked eyeshadow, Maybelline Color Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze and Maybelline Color Tattoo Pure Pigment in Potent Purple. I’ve got my ELF brow kit of course, and Urban Decay eyeshadow primer potion, as they’re essentials for me. I’ve also packed my Benefit They’re Real eyeliner sample so I can continue to experiment with it.

NYX soft matte lip cream, NYX butter gloss, art deco lipstick, Milani gloss stain, revlon sugar plum

I whittled down my lip product choices to only five! NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Milan, NYX Butter Gloss in Strawberry Parfait, Art Deco lipstick #23 Sandal, Milani Power Lip gloss stain 07 Mango Tango and Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Sugar Plum. Although to be realistic, more might be chucked in my handbag at the last minute!

XO Beauty, EcoTools, Sephora brushes

Brushes are always an essential for me. I’ve got here my Ecotools concealer brush, XO Beauty flat top foundation brush, a random angled brush I use for my brows, Sephora blush, eyeshadow and eyeliner brushes, and my Ecotools travel kabuki brush. I love ectools brushes so much – I get mine from because they are so cheap there.

I was terribly slack and didn’t take photos of my skincare, but I’ll tell you what I’ve got with me! For a previous trip I decanted my Cetaphil cleanser into a bottle from the $2 shop, so I’ll be taking that along with me. I’ll also take some Simple makeup remover wipes, and a mini Simple eye makeup remover, for stubborn mascara. For acne treatments I’ll take my usual Differin and Benzac. Of course I’ll take my Paula’s Choice Vitamin C serum which I have previously raved about. I’m taking Dove SPF 15 moisturiser as well as a mini Trilogy Rosehip oil, and the Linden Leave eyes treatment which I received in last month’s Goodie Box.

I’m meeting up with Sarah from BowsandPleats for some shopping, so keep an eye out on my instagram and other social media for pics of all the makeup I’m certain to buy!

Lena x

Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation

Sunday, July 13th 2014 Makeup

Estee Lauder recently had a promotion here in New Zealand where they were offering free 10 Day samples of all of their foundations. I love samples, and trying new things, and I have heard a lot of people talk about how great their Double Wear foundation is, so of course I had to get one for myself. The sales assistant was really helpful, and sat me down so that she could match my skin tone to the right shade, which turned out to be 2C1 Pure Beige. She did a bit of a mini-makeover too – blush, a bit of mascara and some lip gloss too which was a really nice touch, I felt great heading off into the mall looking made up, as opposed to the bare face I had walked in with. They advertise it as having a 15 hour wear time, and although I didn’t wear it for quite that long, it did look pretty good when I took it off at the end of the day, after about 10 hours. It was slightly patchy around my jaw which has very dry skin, so the next time I wore it I made sure to use plenty of moisturiser with before applying foundation, and that seemed to fix the problem.

Estee Lauder Double Wear vs MAC Studio Sculpt

I used my sample when I was going to a party last weekend because I really needed the full coverage that it provides because my skin has been particularly troublesome lately. I applied it with a standard ‘paddle’ style foundation brush, it dries fairly quickly so it’s best to work across your face in sections so that it blends well.

The coverage is really great, the picture below shows my jaw are which is where most of my breakouts are, with only the foundation applied, no additional concealer. You can still see that there is some acne under the skin, but it does look a LOT better which made me feel much more confident.

The coverage is excellent.

The foundation has a matte finish, so I didn’t use any powder on top as my skin already tends towards dry. I was really happy with how it looked, I didn’t feel ashamed of my acne at all that night, and I’ll show you the rest of my makeup look while we’re at it too.

Full face Double Wear

In addition to the Double Wear foundation I wore my usual MAC Satin powder blush in the shade Easy Manner. On my eyes I wore Maybelline Color Tattoo Pure Pigment in Improper Copper all over the lid, blended the shade Mugshot from the Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette in the crease and I wore Bobbi Brown gel eyeliner in Espresso Ink on the top and bottom. I used the ELF brow kit in light on my brows and wore Maybelline The Falsies Big Eyes mascara. On my lips I wore NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Addis Abada – I am absolutely in love with this range of lip products.

Double Wear looked great all night and I’ll be honest, I fell asleep with it on which I NEVER normally do. But hey, we all make mistakes. It actually still looked really good in the morning, smudged eye makeup aside, but I gave my face a good wash anyway. Some people I know have said that they struggled to remove Double Wear with their usual cleanser, but I used baby oil and it melted it right off. You could also use coconut oil, or an oil cleanser/pre-cleanse, just anything which will remove all of the product so that your cleanser can actually work on your skin.

Now for the big question – how much does it cost? In NZ it costs $80 for 30ml, which isn’t cheap, but it’s not that much more than say, MAC Studio Sculpt which is $70 for 40ml. Estee Lauder often have promotions for things like buy 2 products and get a bag of other mini sized products, so you could wait for one of them if you’re on the fence about the cost, but you will be getting a high quality product if you do spend the money. I won’t be buying Double Wear just yet, as I still have plenty of Studio Sculpt, but I’ll definitely consider it for when I need a new foundation in the future. Thumbs up to Estee Lauder for a great product and a great promotion – everyone in various makeup groups I’m in has been talking about and buying their products as a result of this promotion.

Have you tried Double Wear – what do you think?

Lena x

The Seven Deadly Sins of Makeup

Saturday, May 10th 2014 Uncategorised

My friend tagged me to do this, so here goes!

Greed: What’s your most expensive beauty item?

I don’t really have many things that are that expensive, I tend to have a lot of cheaper products rather than expensive ones.My Naked 3 palette retails for about $52 USD but I didn’t personally buy it. So the next most expensive thing is probably a Bobbi Brown eyeshadow. I still can’t believe I paid $50 for a grey eyeshadow to use on my eyebrows. It does match really well, but I’m sure I could have got a cheaper version. However, the makeup artist taught me how to fill in my eyebrows, and she did pretty eyes and lips on me too, so I feel like I got my money’s worth in that sense. All of the make up artists I’ve met at Bobbi Brown’s Britomart store are really helpful, as well as at their other counters.

Wrath: What item do you have a love/hate relationship with?

MASCARA. I love the way it looks, but I have bought so many duds in my life. Either they make my lashes clumpy, or the wand’s shape means I get mascara under my eyes, or it rubs on my skin easily. So many frustrations have come with mascara. You can’t usually get testers, not that I’d really want to use a gross tester on my eyes, so it’s always a bit of a guessing game. When it’s right, it looks so good though. Any recommendations for mascara, dear followers?

Gluttony: What brand takes up most of your collection?

It’s a real mix of brands, I use a range of different products. I have about 9 MAC products, and that is probably the most of any one brand.


Sloth: What product do you neglect the most due to laziness?

I neglect make up other than lipstick most days of the week, so does that count? I tend to be all or nothing with my make up. I’ve been neglecting trying my new ELF highlighter as I’m scared of looking stupid, but I plan on giving it a try tonight.

Pride: What product gives you the most confidence?

Lipstick.  Even when I have no other make up on, I feel like lipstick makes me look more put together and professional which always makes me feel confident.

Lust: Which item is top of your beauty wishlist?

I really want to get a dark purple lipstick, like Harlot from Blush Baby – I just need to get brave enough to wear it. I also want a Tangle Teezer, my hair has been getting so knotty since it has been long.



Envy: Which makeup product/look is great on others but not on you?

Bold, winged eyeliner. Not much of my eyelid is visible when my eyes are open, so wearing eyeliner like that means none of my eye make up really shows up, and so they can look kind of small.


What’s my face worth?

Tuesday, April 22nd 2014 Makeup

Recently a blogger I follow did a post about what her daily face of make up is worth, and I’ve decided to do the same. For reference, her post is at Elese, Aesthete here.

This is for the look that I wore on Monday, just for a fairly casual trip to the mall and catching up with a friend, but it’s fairly similar to what I would wear to the office. I took a picture of my make up when I was wearing MAC Syrup, but then changed the lipstick to Revlon Raspberry Pie to take a photo for my last post about my favourite lipsticks. Here I am with both looks:

MAC Syrup on the left, Revlon Lip Butter in Raspberry Pie on the right

MAC Syrup on the left, Revlon Lip Butter in Raspberry Pie on the right

Now let’s add it all up. I’m going to link to either where I bought it from, or somewhere similarly priced if I can’t find it.

Sukin sensitive facial moisturiser $14.99
NYX Studio Perfect anti-redness primer $22
MAC Pro long wear concealer NW25 $19 USD or $22 NZD if bought from, $40 in NZ stores.
Ecotools Airbrush concealer brush 3.99 USD or $4.69 NZD
MAC Studio Sculpt foundation NW20 31USD, $36 NZD if bought from Around $70 in NZ stores.
XoBeauty flat top synthetic face brush $26
Maybelline Dream LumiTouch highlighting concealer – can’t find it online but based on their other concealers it was around $20
Ecotools retractable Kabuki brush
 6.99 USD or $8.17 NZD
Rimmel Stay Matte Transparent pressed powder $15
MAC satin powder blush – the shade is Easy Manner which seems to be discontinued now. $21 USD, $25 NZD from or around $50 in NZ stores.
Sephora brush – $28 USD, $32 NZD. I bought it as part of a travel kit so it was cheaper.
NYX wonder pencil in medium $10.50
Bobbi Brown eyeshadow in grey $22 USD or $25 NZD on or around $50 in NZ stores
Silk naturals synthetic bamboo angled eyeliner brush $2.99 USD or $3.50 NZD
Urban Decay Eyeshadow primer potion, Mine was a sample size but full size is $30 on
Urban Decay Fun palette, colours Sellout and Stray Dog – no longer sold, was $36 USD or $42 NZD
Bobbi Brown gel eyeliner in Espresso Ink. $24 USD or $28 NZD on or around $50 in NZ stores.
Sephora short angled brush from this kit $22 USD or $25NZD.
Napoleon Perdis Mascara, was free with a magazine but similar Napoleon Perdis mascaras are around $40.
EOS lip balm in Sweet Mint – $3.29 USD or $3.84 NZD, as far as I know, not sold in NZ stores.
Revlon Lip Butter in Raspberry Pie $27.49


Based on what I actually paid, we get a total of $411 for products, and $100 for brushes! Yikes. The good thing is that a lot of these products have lasted me a long time, even with quite regular use. It also seems like a lot of things to use every day but this look probably only took me 20 minutes including time for moisturiser, primer and foundation to absorb, which isn’t actually a terribly long routine.

Have any of you calculated the cost of your daily face? I’d be interested to see how mine stacks up. Let me know in the comments section!

Lena x

*If you want to buy any EcoTools brushes or other iHerb products such as ELF make up and a wide range of beauty and health products, you can use my code JPP391 to get $5 to $10 off your first order. This saves you money, as well as helps me earn money. 

You must never underestimate the power of the eyebrow

Friday, April 18th 2014 Makeup

The title of this post comes from a quote by Jack Black that I think is SO TRUE. Eyebrows really frame your face, and they can often be neglected, or plucked into oblivion.

Thanks to my mum’s guidance and also laziness I never did anything outrageous to my eyebrows as a teenager, like so many people seem to do. I mainly left them alone, other than some fairly minor plucking to keep them in their natural shape. Then as I got into my 20s and got more into make up and my appearance I started to get them waxed at a great salon called Off Wax and Brow Bar. If you’re in Auckland, I recommend going there if your brows need some help. Now I mainly keep on top of them with regular plucking, but occasionally to see the ladies at Off Wax for some fine tuning. There are countless online articles about brow shaping, and of course everyone has their own opinions about what looks best. One of the best picture tutorials I’ve seen is by my fellow user Sssamanthaa,  Eyebrows 101: A guide to plucking and filling in for all you brow lovers out there. It covers the right angles and also filling in your brows, and I think it’s a really helpful starting point.

In the last few years thicker, bolder brows seem to have become much more popular. You can see this with people like  Lorde and Demi Lovato who have fabulously thick and perfectly shaped brows.

demi-lovato-x-factor-eyebrows  lorde

Along with this trend, people have started to use more make up on their eyebrows. Among people I know, and in magazines, blogs, and youtube tutorials, the traditional eyebrow pencil has fallen out of favour in exchange for powders, waxes and gels. Before this big eyebrow trend began, I had a seldom used Australis eyebrow pencil that I actually bought by mistake, thinking it was an eyeliner. It did the job, but the thickness of the pencil made it easily look like my brows were really drawn on. I do use it occasionally but it’s not my preferred option.

Bobbi brown eyeshadow,

I then got talked into buying a $50 grey eyeshadow at Bobbi Brown which I often use to fill in my brows. The price might have been excessive but the colour matches really nicely and I’m pretty sure it will last me forever. I use it with a small angled eyeshadow brush, which you can see in the photo below. It gives a much softer look to my brows, which is subtle and therefore more appropriate for daytime in the conservative office where I work.

First here’s a pic of my brows naked (Don’t worry, it’s not R18)

Eyebrows with no product in them


And here they are after being filled in

My eyebrows after using Bobbi Brown eyeshadow

My eyebrows after using Bobbi Brown eyeshadow

When I do want to go for more of Power Brow I tend to use my super cheap ELF eyebrow kit. I bought it for $3 on, because girls in a beauty group were all raving about it, and now I understand why it’s so popular. It comes with a gel and a powder, as well as a tiny brush to apply it with. I use the stiffer end of the brush for the gel, although I would prefer to use a more sturdy brush, I’ve yet to find one that’s appropriate for the gel. I concentrate the gel at the inner edges of my brows as I think that there are some gaps in there, but I fill in my whole eyebrows too. I then go over my brows with the powder and my angled eyeshadow brush. This will not budge, even on a night out when you might be sweating more than you would like. The finished effect is this, which I think looks fabulous.

Eyebrows using ELF brow kit

My eyebrows after using the ELF brow kit

Eyebrows really stand out on your face, especially if they don’t look their greatest, so I think giving some attention to them is important. When I look at someone, brows and lips are the two things I tend to notice the most, so if I’m in a rush getting ready I keep that in mind. Another important thing to remember is this:

Don't let anyone with bad eyebrows tell you shit about life

Do you also have Serious Opinions on eyebrows? What products do you recommend, and what should I steer clear of? Let me know in the comment section.

Until next time,

Lena xx


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