My May Empties

Tuesday, June 14th 2016 Body

May Empties - OGX, Plantae, Madre Labs, Za, Kiehl's, Dove, XO Beauty - Lena Talks Beauty

Another month, another empties post, and this time I’ve finished up some products that I truly loved! I have emptied products from Plantae, OGX, Madre Labs, Dove, Za, Kiehl’s, and XO Beauty. Okay, so one isn’t technically an empty but it’s something I’m throwing out so it counts for this. That’s one haircare item, two skincare, three body, and one makeup tool. Let’s get into it!

May Empties - Lena Talks Beauty-2

October Empties – Makeup

Wednesday, November 4th 2015 Makeup

Nude by nature tinted moisturiser, phoenix custom fondation, bare minerals concealer, clinique pressed powder, estee lauder doublewear. Lena Talks Beauty

I’m back with part two of my October Empties, and this time it’s all of the makeup products that I finished or decided to throw out during October. I did some spring cleaning when I organised my makeup storage  so a fair few of these aren’t actual empties in the truest sense, but it’s nice to have a chance to do a quick review of things that wouldn’t actually be worth a full post. For some reason it’s mainly face products, probably since I’m so fussy about having them be right for my skin type and colour.October Empties - Makeup. XObeauty, stila, clinique, phoenix, nude by nature, oasis, bare minerals, estee lauder - Lena Talks Beauty

Makeup brushes for the face

Sunday, July 12th 2015 Makeup

It recently occurred to me that whilst I have waxed lyrical about every makeup item I own, I haven’t written very much about the brushes that I use to apply it with! Well, that changes today, I’m going to share what some of my favourite makeup brushes are. I use brushes from a wide variety of brands, and the majority are from fairly affordable brands such as Eco Tools and Real Techniques. I’ve decided to split this into two different posts because otherwise it would be an excessively long, so today is all about the FACE.

xo beauty flat top face brush, real techniques setting brush, ecotools kabuki brush, real techniques miracle complexion sponge, sephora blush brush

MUA for a day with Jordanne

Saturday, June 13th 2015 Makeup

Last weekend, my friend Jordanne from Jordanne Leigh  and I played makeup artist for the day, and did each other’s makeup. It was a great afternoon, with many cups of tea consumed, me cuddling her baby extensively, and then we got down to business. I really enjoyed being able to see all of her products, many of which I had never tried before. I’ve done other people’s makeup on a handful of occasions, but it’s always a challenge. Here is the beautiful finished result, and then I’ll go through what I used and how I applied it, to get the look that Jordanne is wearing.

jordanne leigh makeover

XO Beauty Flat Top Face Brush

Tuesday, May 12th 2015 Makeup

Like millions of other people around the world, I’m a fan of watching beauty videos by New Zealand’s own Shaaanxo or Shannon Harris. She has expanded her empire beyond YouTube, and now has her own make up brush and false eyelash company, XOBeauty. After seeing how great her foundation application is, I knew I had to get my hands on the same brush that she uses! I purchased the Flat Top Synthetic Face Brush, and I am so pleased that I did.

xo-beauty flat top foundation brush

My base routine

Saturday, May 3rd 2014 Makeup

To me, one of the most important parts of a make up look is the base. It doesn’t matter how fabulous your eyeshadow looks if your foundation doesn’t match your skin, or you have way too much powder on. It’s taken me a while to find products that work for me, and now I’m really happy with my usual base routine.

If my skin is dry, I’ll apply moisturiser, and then usually brush my teeth or something while it absorbs. The next step is applying primer, at the moment I’m using NYX anti-redness primer – you can see how it compares to other primers here. After that comes concealer, and I want to take a moment to rave about how great MAC Pro-longwear concealer is. I only need to use a tiny amount, and it covers all my pimples really well. I’ve tried a fair few other concealers and most of them did a rubbish job compared to this. I put a bit on my finger and pat it on any blemishes, and then blend it in with my Ecotools Airbrush concealer brush.

The small amount of concealer that you need to apply

The small amount of concealer that you need to apply

After applying MAC pro longwear concealer

After applying concealer – pimples, what pimples?

Once my concealer is on, foundation is the next step. I am really in love with MAC Studio Sculpt foundation – it’s quite a thick formula but I don’t think that it makes me look cakey. I used to use Face and Body, but I like that this gives me more coverage and it lasts better during the day. I buff it in with my XO Beauty flat top foundation brush as I think it gives a better finish than a normal paintbrush type, or using my hands. I’m interesting in trying a Beauty Blender but they’re not cheap.

How I apply my foundationfoundationon

Lately I’ve been quite into a cream blush from Napoleon Perdis that I got free with a magazine last year – it gives a really nice colour to my cheeks. I apply it to the apples of my cheeks with my fingers. Once that’s on, I use my Ecotools kabuki brush and put on my Rimmel Stay Matte powder in transparent. It prevents me from looking greasy, but doesn’t look cakey or chalky at all – some matte powders can just look awful, especially if you have dry skin.

Ecotools concealer brush, XO Beauty foundation Brush, Ecotools kabuki brush

The tools

NYX primer, MAC pro longwear concealer, MAC studio sculpt foundation, Napoleon Perdis blush, Rimmel Powder

The necessary make up

Here’s what the finished product looked like, once I had also put my eye make up and trusty Revlon Lip Butter in Sugar Plum on. I used my ELF brow kit, and the shadows are Urban Decay Buzz, Factory and Dust from the Naked 3 palette, finished off with Smashbox mascara. All ready to go shopping with a friend, and then to a comedy show with my BF in the evening!

.Face routine

I’m always interested to know more about what products other people use – have any of you tried the Beauty Blender? Do you think it’s worth investing in? Do you have any burning questions for me?

Lena x

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. 


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