Catherine Reviews..

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Liz Earle Skin Tint in Bare 01

A ways back I wrote about my first impressions of the Laura Mercier Oil free Tinted Moisturiser. Now, maybe a year later, I stumbled upon another tinted moisturiser that I think I love even more. It's the Liz Earle Skin Tint in Bare 01. I have been using Liz Earle skin care for several years now, way before they even released their makeup line. However, I hadn't really tried anything from their makeup line because I really don't like ordering make up unseen and there is no Liz Earle counter here. I always feel like that no matter how many swatches and reviews you read you'll never really know exactly how the product will look and feel.

However, when I ordered my usual skincare order they had a special deal where you got a full sized skint tint in the colour of your choice. I quite like wearing a sheer coverage base during the day so I thought I'd make an effort and give this one a try, it was free after all! I ended up being pleasantly surprised, the colour match is great for my skin, even better than the Laura Mercier offering which can be a little too dark and yellow sometimes. 

The coverage is super minimal but the sheer wash helps even out my skin and helps concealer blend in better, all while still looking super natural. It does give a very glowy effect which is really good for my dry, sometimes dull skin but probably means that those with oily skin should steer clear. The formula can be a little tacky after it's first applied but I find applying a finely milled sheer powder on top helps. Despite its texture I feel like this skin tint has pretty good staying power especially because I don't use a primer with it.

Even though I got this free with purchase I would definitely consider purchasing it again especially considering it works out to be cheaper than the Laura Mercier TM offering at 21GBP for 40mL. It has SPF 15 and is available on the Liz Earle website which ships internationally.
Swatch: Liz Earle Sheer Skin Tint in Bare 01

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

By Terry in Review: Light Expert and Touch Expert Advanced

Well, it certainly has been a long time since I posted on this blog. There are probably a few different reasons for my absence but none of them really warrant wasting space here.

I do have a post for you today about two well-tested products from By Terry. The first is the Light Expert in the shade 1 - Rosy Light and the second is the Touch Expert Advanced in the shade 1. These products both have a in built brush with a click-pen mechanism. The smaller product of the two, the Touch Expert is a concealer/highlighter hybrid and the Light Expert is a foundation.

By Terry Touch Expert Advanced and Light Expert.

The Touch Expert Advanced is a product in the same vein as the YSL Touche Eclat. In fact, apart from the shade selection and the colour of the packaging they may as well be the same product. This is unsurprising, however, as the creator of By Terry, Terry de Gunzburg, was involved in the development of the original YSL product. I have previously used the YSL Touche Eclat and liked it enough to repurchase it. I do think that I prefer the By Terry version because it seems to give slightly better coverage and I like the peachy pink tone better than the shade of the Touche Eclat I was using. It works very well as an under-eye concealer and a highlighter and I use it in conjunction with the Nars Radiant Touch Concealer in Chantilly as a blemish concealer.

The only real con with the Touch Expert Advanced is its price. The By Terry Touch Expert Advanced is 68AUD vs. 55AUD for the YSL version. All in all I would still recommend this product but if you are already using the YSL Touche Eclat and liking it I see no real reason to spend $13 more on the By Terry version.

The Light Expert foundation is a little more controversial. It seems that it is supposed to be similar to the Touch Expert Advanced as it is also a click-pen just in a foundation form. Firstly, I would be hesitant to call this a foundation, mostly because it is very sheer, sheerer than some BB creams or tinted moisturisers. The sheerness does however lend itself to its mode of application with its built-in brush which supposedly means you can just click, swipe it on, blend and go. It's a product that should deliver maximum results for minimum effort. But does it? Not exactly. The brush doesn't really apply the product evenly (see swatch below) and it's also pretty clumsy and useless for blending. A lot of the time I click some onto my hand and use another brush to apply and blend. When I'm in a rush I do sometimes blob it straight on to my face and blend out with my fingers.
L: Touch Expert Advanced (shade 1) R: Light Expert (shade 1)

The formula itself is very blendable and I love the shade match. It really does brighten the skin and blur imperfections without looking like you're wearing anything. I bought this when I was in New York for around 45USD and it was great whilst I was travelling because it was so compact and still relatively easy to apply. Despite its issues it's a lovely base product for people who don't like wearing base products.

Have you tried any of the By Terry base products? What do you think?
<3 Catherine

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

First Impressions: Illamasqua, Soap & Glory and MAC

Here are a few new products that I purchased recently first Soap & Glory's Pulp Friction Foaming Body Scrub. I love the branding of Soap & Glory products, the packaging is bright and girly but not too contrived or childish (I'm looking at you Benefit) and the product names are usually clever and are sometimes a bit cheeky which I like. I've used this a couple of times and I really like it so far, it seems to do the exfoliate well and I really like the way it foams. The smell might not suit those who dislike fruity scents but it doesn't linger after you've rinsed it away.

I recently ran out of my Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua foundation (review here) and after hearing that Illamasqua was touted as a brand good for pale skin I decided to give it a try. Unfortunately, there is no counter near me so I bought the Skin Base in number 2 online, relying on various  Google image-searched swatches. It's not a bad colour match as it matches my neck and shoulders perfectly but because of its paleness and its medium-coverage (I'm used to a much lighter coverage) I feel it drains just a little too much colour from my face. This could probably be rectified with the right blush/bronzer/contour combination but I will probably also mix it with a slightly darker shade of foundation just to make application a little less involved. I will definitely be posting a review of it further down the track.

Finally, MAC Sheertone Blush in Tenderling was a very recent purchase but something that has been on my wish list for awhile. I was looking for a good muted pink-brown blush just to add subtle definition to the cheeks and I was debating over a few different options before I decided on Tenderling. At first when I swatched it on my hand in the store I was slightly afraid that it may be too orange for me but quite the contrary, when applied to my cheeks the peachy tone helps to give me a lovely warm glow which suits my cool-toned skin well. Not too orange, bronze, or muddy I plan to use this as a contour too, to warm up my skin when necessary (see above).

Stick around to see full reviews of these products in the future!
Have you used any of these products before? What did you think? Let me know!


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Sun, Summer and Swimwear

It's summer in Australia and that means one thing - very hot weather. Today for instance, it's going to reach a maximum of 38 degrees Celsius and just a week or so ago we had 5 days over 35, with at least two of those days being over 40.

So what does one do when the weather is so awful? You could retreat indoors into the air conditioning but that's not particularly fun or adventurous. Australia also happens to an island which means it's surrounded by water and a trip to the beach can be perfect solution to a hot summers day.

This, although more exciting than the former option, does come with it's own host of problems especially for someone who is as fair skinned as I. This is mostly do to with the sun and it's harmful UV rays. Firstly, I do not tan ever, I just burn. So lying on the beach sunbathing is not an option.  Even the highest SPF cannot properly protect me from the worst sunburn for more than maybe half an hour.

Obviously certain areas of skin are easier to to take care of/cover up and some places like the legs, stomach, face etc. However, the areas of my body that are the most sensitive to sun burn/sun exposure are the shoulders, neck, back etc places which are just not provided with any coverage by the standard  two piece swimsuit/hat/sunglasses ensemble. And because sunscreen just sometimes doesn't cut it I am faced with the dilemma how to keep sunburn free without having to go the awkward wet t-shirt route.

Then I found the answer...


A two piece swimsuit with sleeves! This one is from Black Milk and is the first swimsuit with sleeves I've seen that I can actually purchase right nowfor a reasonable price. It's part of their new collection called The Day I Tried to Live, which was released yesterday. I'm so excited for these and I hope they make more of this design in different colours. It's not perfect but it still has more coverage than a regular bikini.

I'm not sure if I'm going to get this one, only because I'm not a huge fan of the word pattern on it or the colours available and also because I already have a new swimsuit and to be honest, I don't often go swimming. However, despite all this I am still quite tempted to just purchase it purely because of the design. If they brought out different patterns however, I would be first in line.

What do you think of this design?
Do you have a similar war with the sun like me? Let me know in the comments below!


*Disclaimer: image from

Monday, February 18, 2013

Laura Mercier Oil-Free Tinted Moisturiser in Porcelain

Today I'm going to review a much discussed and well-liked product which is the Laura Mercier Oil-Free Tinted Moisturizer. I bought this to be suitable to wear during the day on hot summer days and to help even out my uneven skin tone with the added bonus of having SPF20.

Overall, I really like this tinted moisturizer. It applies best with the fingers and blends out fairly easily. The product seems quite thick coming out of the tube but it blends out to be quite sheer and is successful evens out my skin tone without too much concealer needed. However, I've had pretty good skin the past few weeks (touch wood) so it hasn't been tested over any major blemishes. Another thing about this TM is that it is very moisturising even though I have the oil-free version it gives my a healthy glow, I don't use much moisturizer under this just on my driest areas. If you have oily skin and live in a warm climate  you might want to try before you buy (my skin is combination btw).

The colour match is also perfect for me in shade porcelain it's very light and not too yellow so I recommend this to people who are pale skinned and have trouble finding a decent colour match (for a good set of swatches visit karla sugar). Really the thing that this falls down on is wear time, it only lasts probably 6 hours wear-time max without the need for touch ups. I don't care that much about wear time though so I'd still be willing to purchase this again.

In Australia this TM retails for $59.

Does anyone have any other TM recommendations?
Have you tried the Laura Mercier one?


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Monochrome & Gold

Monochrome & Gold
Half and Half Spot Tee Topshop / American Apparel disco pants, / Bardot flat pointy shoes
So apparently monochrome is in for spring & I was initially wondering how this trend could work in spring and not be too errr... black and white. But then I saw this Topshop Half and Half Spot tee which is neither black-with-white spots nor white-with-black spots. It's both! I think this is a subtle take on a classic trend especially when paired with the ever-popular  American Apparel disco pants.  I also incorporated some gold accents to jazz it up a bit but I totally think that this look could work without them for a more understated effect for day time. 

What do you think about this rather unusual colour scheme in store for Spring? 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

First Impressions: Laura Mercier Oil-Free Tinted Moisturiser

The other day I went shopping with my sister to spend some vouchers that we were gifted for Christmas. I bought the Laura Mercier Oil-Free Tinted Moisturiser in Porcelain. The reason I decided to give this tinted moisturiser I try because it is raved about everywhere and I've been looking for new and better base products after my Foundation Dilemma.

I've never used a tinted moisturizer before and I bought one mainly for use during the day because of the SPF factor and for a lighter coverage. As for my first impressions of this is that it is certainly very moisturising and it does give my face a healthy, dewy look. Even though it's oil free and claims that it's supposed to control oil production I feel like if you have oilier skin than me it may be too dewy for you (my skin is combination).

The formula itself seems very thick when you squeeze it out of the tube but it applies and blends very well. It is also applies very sheer as you would expect from a tinted moisturizer.

Keep your eyes open for a full review further down the track.