Catherine Reviews..

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.


Friday, February 1, 2013

January Favourites

If you are a regular peruser of this blog (hi!) you'll notice that I didn't do a December Favourites post. This was mostly because I really had no new products to share with you guys.  This month however, I got a lot of great  presents for Christmas and my favourites this month reflects just how good at present giving my family and friends are! Or maybe it just shows how good they are at buying things that I ask for! :p

 I already mentioned these first two products this in a First Impressions post, they are the Chanel Rouge Allure lipstick in Pirate and the L'Occitane Almond Shower oil. Both of these products I got for Christmas, although I received another bottle of the shower oil for my birthday too (hence the full bottle in the photo).

The Chanel lipstick is amazing, it's quickly become my favourite red, it's a not so bright but very red blue red. Perfect for night time and my research has told me that it is popular with those who never wear red lipstick. With a swipe of MAC Cherry lip liner underneath this baby lasts me the whole night even with a couple of drinks. However, reapplication  is necessary if you're planning on eating.

The L'Occitane shower oil has quickly become staple in my bathroom, the smell is relaxing and almost sensual and because it emulsifies with water makes it perfect for shaving.

Another lip product which I recently mentioned as well is the Apivita lip care with beeswax. Normally I find chapsticks too waxy and not soft enough to apply but this once is just soft and moisturising enough without it melting in the hot weather. It's SPF 15 which is a bonus all year round.

Lastly are two mini-sized nail polishes I got for Christmas which were part of the Mecca Cosmetica Best of 2012 nail polish collection. The  blue, called Thaisia, is a lovely dark greyish almost navy blue whereas the brown-y shade, Maria, is a sort of taupe-y mushroom with a tiny bit of shimmer that doesn't really appear on the nails. The formula is easy to apply and lasts a good while on my nails I never really wear nail polish for more than a few days at a time anyway, I will definitely purchase these in full size when I finish the mini bottle.