Ace The Base: October 2018 – Rimmel, Benefit and MAC Cosmetics

Ace The Base: October 2018 – Rimmel, Benefit and MAC Cosmetics

Welcome to another new series on my blog, this new project of mine is called Ace The Base, in this series I will choose and focus on four products each month from the ‘base makeup’ category; primer, foundation, concealer and setting spray/powder. This will give me an opportunity to feature and review four of the top base makeup products for each current month, during this post for the month of October 2018, I’m going to focus on the following brands: Rimmel London, Benefit Cosmetics and MAC Cosmetics!

Ace The Base: October 2018; featuring MAC Cosmetics, Benefit Cosmetics and Rimmel London.

Intro
We’re all looking for the perfect combination for our base when applying makeup, whether it be from an amazing primer applied under our foundation or a terrific setting spray that makes our makeup last all day long. We all have different skin tones, different pores, different skin conditions and some of us prefer matte over dewy, but at the end of the day our goal is the same, to have a great lasting makeup application throughout the day/night. In this post I will be shining the spotlight down on four key base products; talking about the product’s claims/inspiration behind their creation, the formulas, key points on how to use and a run down on my own experiences using them. Following after that will be a star rating on what I thought about each one, whether they lived up to the claim/hype and of course, pricing and availability info for each product in Australia, UK and the USA.

The Products & Their Formulas
Let’s start with the beginning of the makeup application process, and that is with the priming. Firstly, I cannot express enough how important skincare is… especially to exfoliate your face gently either the night before or a few hours before you are going to apply your makeup. It’s really the start to a great lasting makeup look. The smoother and moisturised the surface is, the better the application will be. I recommend following through with your daily/nightly skincare routine beforehand, it makes a world of difference.

– Benefit: The POREfessional Pearl Primer; designed to target dullness, brighten the skin, minimise pores, lock in makeup, provide a matte silky finish and a soft radiance. The packaging states its oil-free, matte, a soft pink colour in appearance and is silky. With 90% of women who tested it, saying their complexion looked bright after using it, 91% said it minimised the look of pores, and 96% said it created a soft matte radiance. The Pearl primer comes available in a full size 22.0ml 0.75 Fl Oz. and a mini size 7.5ml 0.25 Fl Oz., it is a soft light pink creamy consistency which you apply using your fingertips, spreading it out and smoothing it over your face. For extra brightness, you can create a second layer of it over your skin.

My Thoughts & Ratings; I picked this up in an online order from Sephora Australia, I got the mini version as a trial tester and figured that if I liked it enough then I could purchase the full size later down the track. I love the texture of this soft primer, it is so light weighted and feels like it literally melts into my skin when I apply it. It instantly blurs my pores and does provide a radiant glow to my face. It sits pretty well under my foundation, it remains smooth and I love the way it looks and feels under my make up. I sadly can’t actually compare this one to the original Benefit POREfessional primer because I simply have not tried the original one, haha yeah I know I must be the only person in the world who hasn’t, haha. All in all, I really like this primer and I love the formula a lot, I can see myself purchasing a back up full size next time, for sure! Rating: I give the primer 4/5 ★★★★☆

– Rimmel London: Lasting Finish 25HR Breathable SPF 20 Medium Coverage Foundation in ‘Light Porcelain‘; designed to provide a medium to full coverage, be long-wearing and blendable, feel light-weighted and remain kind to the skin with it’s light serum formula and breathable skin technology. It comes with a wand doe-foot applicator that has a fluffy 3D cushion tip. It comes in a 30ml 1 Fl Oz. glass bottle with silver lid and red font blazoned across the front. It is a creamy, light consistency liquid formula that can be applied starting with dots in targeted areas with the doe-foot wand, then blended out with your preferred brush or blending sponge.

My Thoughts & Rating; as soon as I opened the lid I loved the doe-foot wand applicator, it’s large, fluffy, so soft and it made plotting down my targeted dots for application a lot easier! I enjoyed the mild scent to the formula, it’s not overly powering like some foundations can be with SPF in them, this is a pleasant scent and gives me serious skincare vibes. While this foundation is a medium-to-full coverage, I found it to apply to an almost instant full coverage on my face and I was very impressed with how it sat on my skin afterwards, and how it blended out with my blending sponge. In terms of shade match; I am using ‘Light Porcelain’ and it has been a pretty perfect match for me! I usually struggle to find matching shades in drug-store foundations but with Rimmel London, I have always matched their ‘Light Porcelain’ offerings. Usually the drug-store foundations in the light shades are really often too pink, or even too orange still.. but this shade in all of Rimmel London’s foundation ranges has been a godsend for my skin! PS. thank you so much Rimmel London, you’re invited to my bbq’s anytime, because that shade in itself needs to be celebrated! Haha. Overall, I really LOVE this foundation, I actually believe it gives higher end brands a run for their money. Let me tell you why.. I slept in it. Yup. I did that. I slept in this foundation by accident, it’s a no no but I fell asleep wearing it.. it was late at night and I was exhausted so basically it didn’t come off until the morning after, but the real eye opener was.. it was still on my face as if I had only worn it for 1hr, honestly… I have never been so impressed by a drug-store foundation, ever! The 25hr claim is true. So, a big kudos to Rimmel London! This one is a HIT! Rating: I definitely give this amazing foundation a 5/5 ★★★★★

– MAC: Pro Longwear Concealer; designed to be a medium-to-full liquid concealer, lightweight, 15hr lasting that is transfer and water proof. To give a comfortable matte finish whilst leaving the skin looking flawless and smooth. Aimed at concealing dark spots, blemishes, dark under eye circles and any flaws. It is fragrance free, dermatologically tested, ophthalmologist tested, non acnegenic and for all skin types. It comes in a size of 9ml 0.30 Fl Oz., in a small glass tube with a pump action dispenser, black font on the front and a black plastic clip-on lid.

My Thoughts & Rating; I am instantly impressed with the packaging.. it comes in a perfectly sized tube with a easy to use pump action dispensary, I think it’s so easy to apply to the skin using a blending sponge. The formula is a thin liquid consistency, a very pigmented matte colour and it seems to blend out quite well. It dries and sets quite at a perfect rate, enabling you to get it everywhere you need before it fully sets. I really love the coverage it provides to my skin in an instant of being on there, it really covers up my under eye area well and it has longevity. It never creases on me, it always feels moisturising on my skin and I can rely on it to work with just about any foundation that I use. I’m quite impressed by this concealer. Rating: I give it 4/5 ★★★★☆

– MAC: Prep + Prime Fix Setting Spray; designed to be sprayed on before your makeup application to prepare your skin for the makeup application, or afterwards to help set everything in place. It’s hydrating, refreshing, smells pleasant with a very slight fragrance to it (the original), it’s best used after being shaken up and then sprayed directly over the face making sure to close your eyes beforehand. It can also soothe tired skin, extend makeup length of wear, it is available in three different scents as well; rose, lavender and coconut. It comes in a tall round frosted plastic clear bottle, with a black lid with clip open/shut and pressure pad on the top of the lid to spray it out. The mist is a fine mist and is filled with minerals and vitamins. It’s enriching to skim and is able to be used without makeup at all to simply refreshen skin. Dermatologist tested. It comes available in sizes 100ml or 30ml trial/mini sizes.

My Thoughts & Rating; I enjoy this spray a lot! Not only do I use it over my face before foundation application but I also use it after to help set my makeup. I love how refreshing it feels upon each use, I love how it soothes my skin and hydrates it well. I have normal to dry skin, so during Winter or Autumn when it’s cooler, it’s perfect to rehydrate the skin. I sometimes use it even when I’m not going to be wearing any makeup, just to refresh and rehydrate my skin. I love the slight fragrance it has, and I even picked up the rose version as well, I love rose! I think it’s quite affective with setting makeup and prolonging the wear of it, it seems to hold everything in place really well. Rating: I give it 5/5 ★★★★★

Ace The Base: October 2018; featuring MAC Cosmetics, Benefit Cosmetics and Rimmel London.

Where To Buy & Worldwide Pricing
Australia;
– the Benefit Cosmetics POREfessional Pearl Primer is available: 22ml for $55 AUD | 7.5ml for $23 AUD at Sephora Australia, at Myer, at Adore Beauty, at Princess Polly and at Benefit Cosmetics Australia.

– the Rimmel London Breathable 24HR Foundation is available: 30ml for $22.95 AUD at Priceline.

USA;
– the Benefit Cosmetics POREfessional Pearl Primer is available: 22ml for $32 USD | 7.5ml for $13 USD at Sephora USA, at Ulta Beauty, at Benefit Cosmetics USA, and at Macys.

UK;
– the Benefit Cosmetics POREfessional Pearl Primer

Would I Repurchase These Products?
It’s a definite YES to all of them. Here’s why: with the MAC Cosmetics Prep + Prime Fix Setting Spray; I loved how much contents you get for the price firstly, its 100ml of product that is a fine mist so it lasts a fairly long time. It’s extremely effective and does what its supposed to.

Sampling The Scents: May 2018 – Marc Jacobs, Tom Ford, YSL, Prada, John Varvatos & Guerlain

Sampling The Scents: May 2018 – Marc Jacobs, Tom Ford, YSL, Prada, John Varvatos & Guerlain

Welcome to the May 2018 edition of my ‘Sampling The Scents’ series. If you’re new here, this post will feature six different perfumed fragrances, where I will share my thoughts on each scent and provide my own personal star rating on. Without furthermore, lets dive into the third instalment of ‘Sampling The Scents‘, for May 2018. To start it all off, let me introduce this month’s scents..

Sampling The Scents: May 2018; featuring Marc Jacobs, Tom Ford, YSL, Prada, John Varvatos & Guerlain.

Intro
As you will see, my May 2018 ‘Sampling The Scents’ series features; Marc Jacobs, Tom Ford, YSL, Prada, John Varvatos and last but not least, Guerlain. These particular samples are from shopping orders that I’ve made and I love the fact that you can sample fragrances this way to see what you really like before buying a full size bottle! Let’s get ready to go through them all..

The Fragrances and Their Notes

Marc Jacobs Decadence; starting off with top notes of Iris, Saffron and Plum, with middle notes of Bulgarian Rose, Jasmin Sambac and Orris, while ending with base notes of Amber, Papyrus and Vetiver. Released globally in June 2015, developed by perfumer’s Annie Buzantian and Anne Gottlieb, ‘Decadence’ is considered to be the first mature fragrance from the designer house and exudes sexy and sophistication. The campaign for Decadence was shot by Steven Meisel and starred model Adriana Lima as the face of the campaign. The bottle packaging is inspired an Emerald Green handbag with python pattern and is depicting a personal talisman of the designer by representing glamour and opulence. The bottle is a replica of the emerald green handbag with python pattern and gold chain detailing by the sides and gold font title. Decadence comes available in the sizes of 30ml, 50ml and 100ml.

Tom Ford Black Orchid; it starts off with top notes of Ylang Ylang, Lemon, Gardenia, Patchouli, Truffle, Bergamot, Black Currant, Jasmine, Mandarin & Tuber, with middle notes of Jasmine, Ylang Ylang, Orchid, Lotus, Gardenia, Fruit & Spices, while rounding it up with base notes of Vanilla, Amber, Sandalwood, Dark Chocolate Cocoa, Vetiver, White Musk & Incense. ‘Black Orchid’ was released in November 2006 at Saks Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, New York as the first fragrance under Tom Ford Beauty and was developed by perfumers David Arpel and Pierre Negrin from Givaudan. ‘Black Orchid’ is a woody, oriental scent that was designed to be classically dark. Full of spices, inspiring dark chocolate, remaining modern, timeless & opulent. The darkest Black Orchid was in mind with the creation of this popular scent. The bottle is a black sleek elongated design with rigid line grooves throughout in a pattern and a gold flat plaque title in the centre front. It typically comes available in a 50ml and 100ml size bottle but also offers a limited edition size 15ml.

YSL Black Opium; starts out with top notes of Pear, Pink Pepper, Orange Blossom, Vanilla & Coffee Bean, with middle notes of Jasmine, Almond, Coffee Bean & Licoruce. The base notes consist of Vanilla, Patchouli, Cashmere Wood & Cedar. Released globally in September of 2014, Yves Saint Laurent went for a glam rocked up interpretation of the classic which highlights the mysterious and darker side to YSL. Developed by perfumers Marie Salamagne & Nathalie Lorson, alongside perfumers Olivier Cresp & Honorine Blanc, whom designer the compositions. British model Edie Campbell served as the face of the campaign, which was shot by Daniel Wolfe. The bottle is a dark black, elegantly detailed with shiny black sequins giving it a glam, luxe look with the title emblazoned in capital black font with a round rose gold background. ‘Black Opium’ comes available in a 30ml, 50ml and 100mk size.

Prada Candy; it starts off with top notes of Musk, Caramel & Benzoin, with middle notes of Powdered Orris & Musk, then it settles with base notes of Vanilla, Musk & Benzoin. ‘Candy’ was released globally in August 2011 under the fashion house and was designed by perfumer Daniela Andrier to inspire a fun, bright, sensual and bold fragrance that is very feminine. The campaign starred French model/actress Lea Seydoux and was shot by Jean Paul Goude. The bottle is a tall, slim golden tower with a black push top lid. Hot pink foreground details the top of the glass bottle while the title emblazoned in gold lettering shines bright. It comes available in a 30ml, 50ml and 80ml size.

John Varvatos John Varvatos Classic; top notes of Coriander, Leather, Lime, Plum & Sandalwood, with middle notes of Pepper, Sage, Cinnamon, Cedar & Indian Fig, and rounding off with base notes of Fig Leaf, Tamarind & Amber. ‘John Varvatos Classic’ was released globally in March 2004 as the first ever fragrance under the fashion house, titled ‘John Varvatos’ and created as a men’s cologne. It was developed in cooperation with perfumer Rodrigo Flores Roux. John Varvatos would later expand the fragrance line to women as well. ‘John Varvatos’ bottle design is a sleek black glass oval shape with a leather banding going around it with silver font emblazoned across the front saying ‘John Varvatos’, the tip spray is a silver metal push down. It exudes sleekness! It comes available in a 75ml and 125ml bottle, with also a 75ml deodorant stick, a 125ml aftershave and a 250ml bath & shampoo gel as part of a extra collection.

Guerlain Mon; starting out with top notes of Vanilla, Bergamot, Courmarin & Lavender, with middle notes of Iris, Rose & Jasmine, and ending with base notes of Vanilla, Sandalwood, Patchouli, Benzoin, Licorice & Courmarin. ‘Guerlain Mon’ was released globally in March 2017 with well known Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie as the face of the campaign. Jacques Guerlain states that his company Guerlain, liked to create perfume for the women that it admires. Created and developed by perfumers Thierry Wasser and Delphine Jelk, Thierry was inspired to create a scent filled with notes of a woman and the choices, dreams and emotions that embody modern day feminity. The fragrance bottle is a classic glass squared dome shape with gold detailing for the rim and a clear crystal-like, rounded mushroom lid. It comes available in 30ml, 50ml and 100ml sizes.
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My Thoughts & Ratings
After a couple of months of trialling these out for different occasions, I have gathered my thoughts on each one, lets break it down:

Marc Jacob Decadence; this is something completely different than to any of the previous releases from Marc Jacobs, and yet this still oozes luxury and taste. Much like all the other MJ fragrances have done. Upon first experience of this one, I notice the a bolder, spicier, sweet plum hue and amber straight away.. then comes in the sharp rose aroma and vetiver. It’s quite a woody scent in a way & a lot darker, deeper but yet remains very feminine all the while. I like it, it’s different than any of my other fragrances, it’s actually a very unique scent that grows on you in time! Rating: I will give this one a 3/5 ★★★☆☆.

Tom Ford Black Orchid; instantly with this I can smell the white musk, then the jasmine and vetiver set in with the dark chocolate cocoa lingering at the end.. this is a strong scent, I must admit I don’t like the dark chocolate at the end, it throws it off for me. I feel as though the white musk and vanilla saves this, it’s a bit too spicy for me. I think this would be perfect for a bold statement but it’s personally not for me.Rating: I will give this one a 2/5 ★★☆☆☆.

YSL Black Opium; I instantly notice the jasmine, then the vanilla.. it opens strong and sweet. Coming in next is the coffee bean, then it sets with orange blossom lingering. I like how this one starts off strong but mellows out to the orange blossom and its very pleasant and bright, fun! I really enjoy the bubbly nature of this one, its a lot of fun but it also exudes class, luxury and femininity all rolled into one. I quite like this one, it’s nice. Perfect for a night out of a few drinks with friends or even a lunch with the girls. I definitely give this one a 3/5 ★★★☆☆.

Prada Candy; this opens with a sweet essence of vanilla, musk and caramel all rolled into one. At first you think it’s going to be strong throughout but it blends out nicely and mellows to a sweet vanilla-ry musk with a settlement of caramel lingering at the base. It stays put too, I really love this one for a fun night out! It’s exudes femininity and style.. I picture wearing a summery dress with this on! I’m a big fan. I must admit, at first I was thinking it would stay too sweet but it surprisingly mellows out and softens down. I love fragrances that can achieve this! I give this beautiful release a big 4/5 ★★★★☆.

John Varvatos John Varvatos Classic; this opens with coriander and lime, I notice the leather and cedar coming through next, and it settles with pepper and plum. It is a unique scent and for a bold one, I quite like it. I feel like this one is a unisex fragrance, it starts off strong but blends out to a nice base. I give this a 3/5 ★★★☆☆.

Guerlain Mon; opening with musk, vanilla, rose and bergamot. I am instantly a fan! Its softer than most musks, it’s subdued and a beautiful blend of aroma’s. I can see myself wearing this for any occasion; brunch, lunch, dinner, at the cinema, a festival, a fair, any event & anywhere! I love it! It’s feminine, sexy, fun and softly sweet! I definitely give this one 5/5 ★★★★★.

Sampling The Scents: May 2018; featuring Marc Jacobs, Tom Ford, YSL, Prada, John Varvatos & Guerlain.

Where To Buy & Availability
Liked the sounds of one of the fragrances you saw on this post? Want to purchase it? I’ve got you covered! Please find below all the info you need on availability, pricing, locations, etc.

Marc Jacobs Decadence – the 30ml for $90 AUD, 50ml for $135 AUD & the 100ml for $171 AUD at Myer, the 50ml for $150 AUD at Priceline, the 50ml for $89.99 AUD at Chemist Warehouse, the 100ml for $129.99 AUD at Chemist Warehouse and the 30ml for $80 AUD, the 50ml for $99 AUD & the 100ml for $157 AUD currently at Strawberrynet.

Tom Ford Black Orchid – the 50ml for $139 AUD at Priceline and the 30ml for $108 AUD, the 50ml for $167.50 AUD & the 100ml for $231.50 AUD at Strawberrynet.

YSL Black Opium – the 90ml for $119.99 AUD at Chemist Warehouse, the 50ml for $149 AUD at Priceline, the 90ml for $199 AUD at Priceline and the 30ml for $99 AUD, the 50ml for $165 AUD & the 90ml for $218 AUD at Myer.

Prada Candy – the 50ml is $99.99 AUD at Priceline, the 30ml for $85 AUD, the 50ml for $116 AUD & the 80ml for $154 AUD at Strawberrynet and currently the 50ml for $127.80 AUD & the 80ml for $161.10 AUD at Myer.

John Varvatos – the 75ml is $66 AUD & the 125ml is $84 AUD at Strawberrynet and the 75ml is currently $76.50 AUD & the 125ml is $103.50 AUD at Myer.

Guerlain Mon – the 30ml is $79.99 AUD at Chemist Warehouse, the 50ml is $99.99 AUD at Chemist Warehouse, the 30ml is $92 AUD, the 50ml is $129.50 AUD & the 100ml is $172.50 AUD at Strawberrynet and currently the 30ml is $91.80 AUD, the 50ml is $126 AUD & the 100ml is $184.50 AUD (normally $205 AUD) at Myer.

Would I Purchase the Full Sizes?
Referring to the big question, would I purchase the full size of any of the fragrances listed in this post? Let’s get through each one.. starting with Marc Jacobs Decadence; I like this as it grew on me, I will admit that at first I wasn’t that into it, but after a while I recognise its uniqueness and how mellowing out it becomes. I definitely like it, but it’s not my favourite so I think I would just use up the rest of the sample I have and that would be it. With Tom Ford Black Orchid; I was a bit disappointed. It’s true to it’s description in terms of notes, and it’s definitely different, for my personal taste though I think I will pass. I just didn’t like the dark chocolate cocoa, it threw it off for me. Anyone the same? Onto YSL Black Opium; I found this one to be bright, fun, bubbly and a nice fragrance to wear on any occasion, it is a tad strong at first but it softens down nicely and is a good perfume, so yes, I would buy a bottle of this. Going onto Prada Candy; I love it! Again like Black Opium, this one starts out a little strong but mellows out and subdues down to a nice, pretty feminine scent. I love the white musk and caramel in this a lot! I would definitely buy a bottle of this one. With John Varvatos John Varvatos Classic; I feel like this one is a unisex fragrance and although I don’t typically like woody, bold scents that much.. this one grows well on me and has become a favourite. It starts off with a lime and coriander and turns into plum and pepper. I love the vetiver in it, I think I would use the rest of this sample and I’m still on the fence whether I’d buy a bottle or not, but I did like it, so maybe? Last but not least, definitely not least.. is Guerlain Mon; the answer is a big YES!, I thoroughly love this! It’s luxury, sexy, sensual, feminine and fun! I immediately love the vanilla and musk, and the rose that rounds it out. Absolutely in love with it! I could wear this one everywhere! I’ve already added it to my ‘buy’ list. That concludes this month’s ‘Sampling The Scents’, I hope you have enjoyed reading more about these particular fragrances and I hope you look forward to next month’s instalment. Have a great week ahead! xo

Sampling The Scents: March 2018 – Chanel, Gucci, Chloé, Burberry & Juicy Couture

Sampling The Scents: March 2018 – Chanel, Gucci, Chloé, Burberry & Juicy Couture

I’m an avid lover of all things beauty, and this month I’m kick-starting a brand new monthly series on my blog called ‘Sampling The Scents‘. I’m not sure about you, but I somehow accumulate a fair few fragrance samples throughout my shopping adventures. Whether it be from orders I’ve purchased online or ones I’ve received in a sample bag, I’ve got a lot. So, I decided to point a blog post focus each month toward what new fragrances I’ve been testing out recently. Each month will see a new post featuring a lineup of six different products, from varying brands, that I have chosen to focus on. Let me introduce you to this month’s sampled scents..

Sampling The Scents: March 2018; featuring Chloé, Gucci, Chanel, Juicy Couture and Burberry.

Intro
As you see above, my March 2018 ‘Sampling The Scents’ series features; Gucci Bloom, Chanel Gabrielle, Juicy Couture Viva La Juicy, Chloé Fleur De Parfum, Gucci Gucci Premiere and last but not least, Burberry’s ‘My Burberry’. I’ve gotten these particular ones from beauty purchases that I’ve made. I’m not sure I could pick one favourite from this lineup but I love Gabrielle Chanel and the Gucci Bloom, they would definitely be up at the very top. Now, lets break down the details on each one, shall we?

The Fragrances and Their Notes
Fragrances give us all sorts of feelings, aromas provide many vibes, our moods can change just simply by a certain scent. Known as an aroma compound we signify a ‘smell’ via the olfactory system in the upper part of our nose. Aroma compounds can be found in food, flora, wine, oils, and of course perfumes. In synthetic and natural aroma compounds of perfume, you will find what is known as the ‘fragrance wheel‘, made up of four chambers; fresh, floral, woody and oriental. Usually perfumes will be a mixture of notes under these categories. I’m going to give a run through of each six fragrances I’ve featured here, to talk about each one’s ingredient of notes, their pricing & availability, and of course what I like or dislike about them.

Gucci Bloom; top notes of citrus oranges & fresh leafy stems, middle notes of tuberose, honeysuckle & jasmine sambac, with base notes of vanilla, sandalwood, orris root and a red native Indian flower called Rangoon, which is exclusive to this fragrance. Released globally in August 2017, it is the first fragrance released under Gucci’s new creative director, Alessandro Michele. The perfume comes available in a light dusty pink, frosted bottle with white labelling, in the sizes of 30ml, 50ml and 100ml. The exterior boxing it comes in is decorated with the red Rangoon flower and other flowers over a beige background. Pricing: 30ml – $105 AUD at Myer & 50ml – $140 AUD at David Jones.

Chanel Gabrielle; top notes of grapefruit, black currant & mandarin, middle notes of ylang ylang, pear, jasmine, orange blossom & tuberose, with base notes of sandalwood, musk and orris. Gabrielle launched in 2017 with actress Kristin Stewart as the face of the campaign, the fragrance is based around four white flowers and the glass bottle (available in either 50ml or 100ml) is covered in a light golden tint that transmits light. The label is a shiny light gold with black capital font. Pricing: 35ml – $134 AUD at Myer, 50ml – $174 AUD & 100ml – $248 AUD at Myer, and the same prices at David Jones, however slightly higher at 50ml – $200.50 AUD & 100ml – $267.50 AUD at Strawberrynet.

Chloé Fleur De Parfum; top notes of bergamot, verbena & grapefruit, top notes of cherry blossom, black currant, rose & peach, with base notes of white musk, powdery rice and cedar. Released in July 2016 with Dree Hemingway as the face of the campaign, Chloé Fleur De Parfum was described as a naturally elegant and sensual veil that covers the skin. The gorgeous bottle is draped in a beige ribbon tied around it, it has no labelling, and it comes available in a 30ml, 50ml and 75ml size. Pricing: 30ml – $99, 50ml – $140 and 75ml – $180 AUD all at Myer, 50ml – $140 AUD at Mecca, 50ml – $140 & 75ml – $180 AUD at David Jones, however I found it the cheapest at 50ml – $113 & 75ml – $141.50 AUD at Strawberrynet.

Burberry My Burberry; top notes of mandarin, sweet pea, lemon, bergamot & grapefruit, middle notes of freesia, geranium, gardenia, passionfruit, fresh green notes, peach and quince, with base notes of violet, rose, patchouli and musk. My Burberry was inspired by the smell of a London garden after the rain and the iconic Burberry trench coat, Kate Moss and Cara Delevigne serve as the faces of the campaign and it was released in September 2014. The perfumer of this creation is Francis Kurkdjian, the bottle is a glass design with a honey beige tint throughout, it’s draped with a beige golden ribbon made out of the same fabric as the Burberry trench coat and with a stopper replicated of the button from the same coat. The title ‘My Burberry’ is printed across the front in a yellow gold font. It comes available in a 30ml, 50ml, 90ml and 100ml size, it is also accompanied by a range of body care products in the way of a shower oil, three soaps, a body mist and a deodorant. Pricing: 50ml – $79 AUD at Priceline (reduced down from $150), 30ml – $79.99 AUD or 50ml plus body lotion – $79.99 AUD at Chemist warehouse or 90ml plus Moisturising Body Mist – $119,99 AUD also at Chemist Warehouse, or its 30ml – $110 AUD, 50ml – $150 AUD & 90ml – $220 AUD at Myer and 30ml – $110 AUD at David Jones. Very interesting pricing situation there on this one, its cheaper at Chemist Warehouse & Priceline in this case.

Juicy Couture Viva La Juicy; top notes of wild berries, oranges & mandarin, middle notes of gardenia, jasmine & honeysuckle, with base notes of amber, vanilla, praline, sandalwood and caramel. Launched in 2008; the bottle design is draped with a fuchsia ribbon tied around the neck and features a typical Juicy Couture glass design with logo embossed in the glass and no labelling, the perfume is a light golden honey tint. It comes available in a 50ml and 100ml size, with also a 7.5ml roll-on, perfect for your handbag! The release also saw a range of body care products launched in the same scent, including a 200ml body cream, a 250ml bath and body lotion. Pricing: 30ml – $34.99 AUD & 100ml – $49.99 AUD at Chemist Warehouse and 50ml – $85 AUD & 100ml – $110 AUD at Myer.

Gucci Gucci Premiere; top notes of blackberry & bergamot, middle notes of orange blossom, musk & white flower, with base notes of sandalwood, patchouli and woody leather. Launched in 2012 with actress Blake Lively as the face of the campaign; in inspiration of the couture gowns worn at the Gucci Couture collection showcase at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival, Gucci Premiere is dedicated to celebrating the star in every woman. The bottle design has a shiny brown exterior with gold trim, and it comes available in a 30ml, 50ml and 75ml size with a range of body care products included, such as; a 200ml shower gel, a 200ml body lotion and a 100ml body spray. Pricing: 30ml – $59.99 AUD & 75ml – $99.99 AUD at Chemist Warehouse, 50ml – $79 AUD (reduced from $125) at Priceline or the 75ml – $144 AUD at Priceline and lastly 75ml – $159 AUD at David Jones. As you can see, prices vary if you shop around. I recommend scouring online & in-store for the latest specials before ever purchasing an expensive fragrance. With that, I do hope that pricing info & the direct links have helped you be more informed.

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My Thoughts & Ratings
I have gathered my thoughts on all of the sampled fragrances featured here, some I liked more than others, some I didn’t like much at all, etc. Let me break it down for each one:

Gucci Bloom; I love how refreshed it makes me feel when I smell it, it’s floral and perfect for a night or day outing. It is beautifully feminine to me. Rating: I’m going to give it 5/5 ★★★★★.

Chanel Gabrielle; hands down my favourite of them all, it screams sexy and sensual to me, I always instantly notice the musk and orange citrus in it which I think is a lovely mixture, and musk is an all-time fave of mine. Rating: I definitely give this 5/5 ★★★★★.

Chloé Fleur De Parfum; this one gives me summer vibes and after a while it is a pretty scent, however its quite strong at first & really needs to mellow out a bit before I like it. But I eventually like the scent once it has settled. Rating: I give it 3/5 ★★★☆☆.

Burberry’s ‘My Burberry’; this one reminds me of ‘Cool Water’ by Davidoff, its fairly strong at first but mellows down to a unisex scent.. I notice the mandarin in it straight away, but its not my cup of tea. Rating: I’ll give this one 1/5 ★☆☆☆☆.

Juicy Couture Viva La Juicy; instantly I notice the mandarin and vanilla, it’s pretty strong at first but mellows quickly to hints of gardenia and amber. I like it, especially when its mellowed down that’s when it’s quite beautiful, its great for a lunch date or dinner night. Rating: I’ll give it 3/5 ★★★☆☆.

Gucci Gucci Premiere; at first it sort of reminds me of ‘Old Spice’ by Procter and Gamble, but it’s not quite as nice, it’s a bit bitter and I notice the woody leather scent straight away. However, it gets a bit better when the musk and white flower make their appearance. Again, it’s still not really my cup of tea but has some nice aspects to it. Rating: I give it a 2/5 ★★☆☆☆.

Sampling The Scents: March 2018; featuring Chloé, Gucci, Chanel, Juicy Couture and Burberry.

Where To Buy & Availability
The fragrances shown here are available at either of your local Myer, David Jones, Chemist Warehouse or Priceline store. Let me break down which store each bottle is available at with direct links; Gucci Bloom can be found at Myer and David Jones. Chanel Gabrielle can be found at Strawberrynet, Myer and David Jones. Chloé Fleur De Parfum can be found at Myer, Mecca, Strawberrynet and David Jones. Burberry My Burberry can be found at Chemist Warehouse, Priceline, Myer and David Jones. Juicy Couture Viva La Juicy can be found at Chemist Warehouse and Myer. Gucci Gucci Premiere can be found at Chemist Warehouse, Priceline, Myer and David Jones.

Would I Purchase the Full Sizes?
The big question is, which of these fragrances would I purchase a full size bottle of? I can definitely tell you right now that I would 110% purchase a full size bottle of both the Chanel Gabrielle and the Gucci Bloom… especially the Chanel Gabrielle!! I just simply love it! I already own the Juicy Couture Viva La Juicy in a 100ml size and I like it, I probably would repurchase it but I’d only get a smaller size next time, I just don’t reach for it as much as I thought I would. It’s just not that scent I get addicted to, like I do for Chanel Gabrielle. Chloé Fleur De Parfum is a lovely scent once it has mellowed down & settled, I do like it. I probably would buy it but only a small size. Would I purchase the other two? No. Maybe if my partner liked them, I would, but they’re just not for me. That wraps up this month’s focus on the fragrances, I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about these six featured samples and I hope you can join me again for next month’s Sampling The Scents series in April. Have a great week ahead! xo

Clinique Pep-Start Skincare Range – Full Review & Swatches

Clinique Pep-Start Skincare Range – Full Review & Swatches

I have always been a huge fan of Clinique, I simply love their approach to skincare. Having been an avid user of their Dramatically Different Moisturising Lotion for years (which is seriously terrific stuff!), you could imagine how excited and happy I was to receive a parcel in the mail of their new Pep-Start collection releases! Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been trying out a number of their Pep-Start products. Ahh! It was a glorious day for me when the postman had this parcel waiting for me, I can assure you! You couldn’t wipe the smile off my face! And I’m still smiling.. because this gorgeous collection of new Pep-Start releases are AMAZING! Let’s get introduced to the products via a bag-spill and a run-down on each item…

Clinique Pep-Start Skincare Range

Intro
The Clinique Pep-Start Skincare Collection features products in various treatments. All of them have been designed to enhance the quality of skin, let’s list them all; for the eyes, there is the Pep-Start Eye Cream – 15ml 0.05 Fl Oz, of course for skin moisturising (a big factor), there is the Pep-Start Hydroblur Moisturiser – 50ml 1.7 Oz, which doesn’t just moisturise but also blurs imperfections. In terms of exfoliation, there is the Pep-Start 2-in-1 Exfoliating Cleanser – 125ml 4.2 Fl Oz, aiming to provide a daily glow and flawlessly smooth finish to the skin. On the topic of purifying the body’s skin, Clinique offer the very popular Pep-Start Double Bubble Purifying Mask – 50ml 1.7 Fl Oz, to enhance skin’s radiance, unclog the pores and purify the cells. Moving onto our pouts.. you can’t go wrong with the Pep-Start Pout Perfecting Balm – 3.6g 0.12 Oz, they’re nourishing to the lips skin and so long-lasting for hydration, they also come in a variety of subtle tints of colour; Cherry, Guava, Tangerine and Clear. Of course, the collection wouldn’t be complete without a lip mask, Clinique have included the very highly-rated Pep-Start Pout Restoring Night Mask 10ml 0.34 Fl Oz, designed to intensely hydrate, plumpen and soothe the lips. Click through the gallery below to see swatches and take a closer look at each product in this famous Pep-Start collection..
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The Products and Formulas
The entire range is designed to hydrate your skin, smooth it out and enhance the elasticity. All products in this group have moisturising capabilities and Clinique have thought of every targeted area with these products. I have loved the way the Double Bubble Purifying Mask makes me skin feel after leaving it on for a little while and rinsing it off, it clears my skin and makes it feel so clean. I love to apply it on in the morning to set a nice base for my makeup later on and it really allows for a mattified look! Another favourite of mine from this range would have to be the Hydroblur Moisturiser, it isn’t your typical creamy moisturiser, instead it’s a lot thicker and absorbs quite well into the skin by being rubbed in circular motions over the targeted area. There is no strong scent to it either, which I know a lot of people enjoy skincare products not having. Let’s move onto the formulas of each product..

Pep-Start 2-in-1 Exfoliating Cleanser; an orange clear gel with tiny clear granules.
Pep-Start Hydroblur Moisturiser; a fluffy & silky light pink whipped cream.
Pep-Start Double Bubble Purifying Mask; a pinky clear gel cream that bubbles lightly.
Pep-Start Eye Cream; a white cooling, silky & smooth cream.
Pep-Start Pout Perfecting Balm; a hydrating & creamy bullet lip balm with tinted colour.
Pep-Start Pout Restoring Night Mask; a clear gel that is silky smooth.

Swatches
Clinique Pep-Start Skincare Range swatches, Top Row, L - R: Pep-Start Pout Restoring Night Mask & Pep-Start Pout Perfecting Lip Balm, Bottom Row, L - R: Pep-Start 2-in-1 Exfoliating Cleanser, Pep-Start Double Bubble Purifying Mask, Pep-Start Hydroblur Moisturiser & the Pep-Start Eye Cream.


Top Row, L – R: Pep-Start Pout Restoring Night Mask & Pep-Start Pout Perfecting Lip Balm in ‘Cherry’.
Bottom Row, L – R: Pep-Start 2-in-1 Exfoliating Cleanser, Pep-Start Double Bubble Purifying Mask, Pep-Start Hydroblur Moisturiser & the Pep-Start Eye Cream.

I have found this range of skincare products to be very pleasant and easy to apply. Each product is also suitable for all skin types and won’t dry you out after a few uses. I love that about Clinique products!

Pricing
Pep-Start 2-in-1 Exfoliating Cleanser 125ml 4.2 Fl Oz. – $29 AUD | $19.50 USD | £16.50 GBP
Pep-Start Hydroblur Moisturiser 50ml 1.7 Oz. – $42 AUD | $29.50 USD | £24.50 GBP
Pep-Start Double Bubble Purifying Mask 50ml 1.7 Fl Oz. – $52 AUD | $24.50 USD | £24 GBP
Pep-Start Eye Cream 15ml 0.05 Fl Oz. – $42 AUD | $26.50 USD | £22 GBP
Pep-Start Pout Perfecting Balm 3.6g 0.12 Oz. – $36 AUD | $17.50 USD | £16 GBP
Pep-Start Pout Restoring Night Mask 10ml 0.34 Fl Oz. – $36 AUD | $17.50 USD | £16 GBP

Where To Buy
The Pep-Start products from this Clinique collection are available at many places worldwide. As Clinique is a global brand, the products are stocked almost everywhere, yay!

In Australia, you can find all of the products from the Pep-Start collection online & in-store; at Clinique Australia, at Myer, at Sephora Australia, at David Jones, and of course at Mecca Maxima as well.

For the USA; it can be found online & in-store; at Clinique, at Sephora, at Nordstrom, at Macys, at JC Penney and at Bloomingdales.

For all shoppers in the UK; you can find these products in-store & online; at Clinique UK, Harvey Nichols, at Harrods, at Debenhams & Boots, at House of Fraser and John Lewis.

Availability
All of the products mentioned in this post (from the Pep-Start collection) are available at all of the stores mentioned directly above in ‘Where To Buy’, both in-store and online. Obviously at times in certain stores or online, there may be a low stock level but this will always be replenished as it’s an on-going permanent collection of products. How AMAZING is that?!?

The Clinique Pep-Start Pout Perfecting Balm range.

Restock?
Yes, yes, yes! I definitely will! Having been a fan of Clinique for over many years, I will continue to use their products for as long as I can. If you asked me what my favourite product was, I’m not sure I could pick one. But if you asked which is my fave product from this particular collection… I would say; there’s three! The first one being the incredible Pep-Start Double Bubble Purifying Mask, the second one is the Pep-Start Hydroblur Moisturiser and he third one is the Pep-Start Eye Cream. I love the feeling of the Double Bubble Purifying mask as it develops into a thin layer of bubbles on the face.

Fenty Beauty Collection by Rihanna – Products Intro, Swatches & Review

Fenty Beauty Collection by Rihanna – Products Intro, Swatches & Review

On Friday the 8th of September 2017, the WHOLE world got to finally see Rihanna’s much talked about makeup line, Fenty Beauty. Released exclusively at Sephora worldwide and at Harvey Nichols in the UK (and ALL at the same time! How’s that for fairness?!). Shelves inside every Sephora flagship store and Harvey Nichols shop were stocked up with the new coveted collection and everywhere you looked inside those stores, was shuffling beauty lovers browsing through all of the new products! One fact in particular about this new collection (which was on everybody’s minds), was the incredible 40 shade selection of the liquid foundation! Say what now? Yep! Riri has ultimately thought of EVERYBODY with this collection, having brought out the extensive 40 unique shades in the medium-to-full coverage offering. You know I HAD to pick up a couple of items to trial out, check out my first haul below..

Fenty Beauty: A flatlay of my first haul from the Fenty Beauty Collection.

Intro
Rihanna explained it quite simply at the launch… she wanted to create something for the palest person and the darkest person. Keeping in mind that not everybody has yellow or pink undertones, some people have red undertones, etc. Siri also explained that she hoped to be so inclusive that nobody had to say the usual dreaded words ‘Oh, thats a nice colour but it’ll only look nice on such and such, not really me.’ Basically Rihanna has thought of everything, and everyone. I really admire that an artist (mostly musical/singing/acting) can come out with a makeup brand all on her own, and do it SO WELL that it honestly puts some other competing high-end brands much lower in variety and convenience. Because in reality; WE’RE all different colours, tones, undertones, and every one of us would love to look OUR best self! So the variety Rihanna has accommodated for is truly outstanding and a real testament to herself, her dedication and her character. I am so impressed with this collection and how it has been launched, here’s why: everybody around the world got to purchase and try the products at the same time, meaning no country was ahead or behind. I like that a lot because why not? Why shouldn’t everybody get to witness the products and experience it at the same time? I feel that way it’s completely more fun, and also fair for everybody to not have to wait months for a release just because they’re in a certain other country. That is the first thing I really loved and was very impressed by. The second thing I really loved was that Rihanna actually physically went to the Fenty Beauty launch in New York as it happened, and celebrated with everybody. Riri also talked to the media and explained her goals and ideas for the collection, making it very clear that she had thought of everyone. Browse my unboxed haul below…

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In my order was: the Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Primer – a pore smoothing and diffusing primer that sets a base for longwear foundation application and also states to decrease shine, the Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in shades ‘100’ & ‘120’ – a quick drying, matte liquid foundation that provides a medium-to-full coverage and longwear, the Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick in ‘Starstruck’ – a light, creamy shimmer formula in a magnetised stick for creating a perfectly lit highlight or blush the cheeks, the Full-Bodied Foundation Brush 110, the Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in ‘Metal Moon’ (also available in ‘Trophy Wife’), and the Match Stix Matte Skinstick in ‘Porcelain. I’ll go through the swatches and product reviews shortly from the products I purchased and have tried. For now I’ll talk about my favourite product and why it is my fave, and I’m talking about the Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Primer! It is fantastic! Not only does it feel extremely light-weighted, but it also absorbs extremely well into the skin. Without an oily feeling too, it also smooths the surface on the skin and smells amazing! In fact, the scent smells like an old fave perfume of mine called ‘Amour’, by Kenzo. A really lovely vanilla-esque, musk scent that gives me reminiscent thoughts of the years I wore the fragrance. Now let’s talk about the products at hand.


Swatches

L - R: Pro Filt'r Instant Retouch Primer, Pro Filt'r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in '100', Match Stix Matte Skinstick in 'Porcelain' & Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick in 'Starstruck'.

L – R: Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Primer, Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in ‘100’, Match Stix Matte Skinstick in ‘Porcelain’ & Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick in ‘Starstruck’.

The Products & Formulas
Let’s start with my favourite product, the Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Primer, it is a true stand-out. This primer formula isn’t your average thick film texture, it is not anything silicone-like at all, it’s actually very thin, light-weighted and creamy instead. It absorbs into the skin like chocolate would melt on your fingers on a warm day. But thats not all, it provides an incredible lit-from-within glow from the skin! It blurs, mattifies and perfects the base of the skin. It does an amazing job of getting the skin ready for the foundation application, I was extremely impressed with the primer and better yet, it smells delicious! Onto the foundation; the Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation is a very comfortable liquid matte foundation that feels light on the skin, smoothing to touch and easily blends out. One thing to mention is that it dries quite quickly, so you have to be very fast at blending it out. It also does dry-down to a slightly darker colour after applying, not necessarily oxidising but definitely dries to a touch darker tone so I advise anyone to pick the shade the next tone down that would otherwise be too light for them, or select your matched shade but also the one lighter incase. The Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter is so finely milled, such a smooth textured creamy powder that melts into your skin and is so shiny! I have loved this! The Match Stix Matte Skinstick is a creamy textured formula, coming in a solid stick and interestingly enough it is very blend-able and covers pretty well.

Pricing
Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Primer – $32 USD | $46 AUD | £24 GBP
Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation – $34 USD | $50 AUD | £26 GBP
Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter – $34 USD | $50 AUD | £26 GBP
Match Stix Matte Skinstick – $25 USD | $37 AUD | £21 GBP
Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick – $25 USD | $37 AUD | £21 GBP
Full-Bodied Foundation Brush 110 – $34 USD | $47 AUD | £26 GBP

Where To Buy
Exclusively available at Sephora, and at Harvey Nichols in the UK. For Australia; the collection can be found at Sephora Australia and of course for my American readers, you can find the Fenty Beauty collection at Sephora US. For my British readers from the UK, the collection can be found directly at Harvey Nichols. The previous links will take you all straight to the collection.

Availability
Everything from the collection is permanent and is available at all Sephora stores worldwide and at Harvey Nichols stores in the UK. If by chance one item or certain items sell out, do not fear as the products will be consistently restocked. Nobody should ever have to miss out! If you follow those links provided above under ‘Where To Buy’, they will take you straight directly to the Fenty Beauty collection.

Other Products Available
So far I’ve only talked about the products that I had bought & trialled myself, but there is still a lot of other items available in the collection that I haven’t yet tested. Going onto other items worth a mention, there is the Cheek Hugging Highlight Brush 120 which is a specially designed brush to hug the curve of our cheeks, brow bones, cupid’s bow, the bridge of our noses and even our collarbones to create the most precise killa glow! Then there is the Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer which is a shea-butter infused formula to provide high explosive shine whilst giving the look of fuller, smoother lips. It comes in a universal rose-nude shade that Rihanna hand-picked, its meant to compliment everybody and has a delicious vanilla-peach scent. Next is the Precision Makeup Sponge 100 – a 3-sided latex-free sponge, the slanted edge to allow controlled stippling, the mini-moon edge for perfected coverage & flawless blending, and the rounded edge for all-over buffing. The Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter Duo that features two shimmers, one subtle (for everyday wear) and one supercharged (for a night-time high-shine glow), this can be used anywhere you desire to be LIT. The last products worth mentioning is the Invisimatte Blotting Paper – a portable blotting paper roll used for quick touch-ups and is refillable, the case it comes in also has a mirror. The very last products to mention is the Portable Contour & Concealer Brush, the Portable Highlighter Brush and the Portable Touch-Up Brush, all three portable brushes come in a very compact plastic, retractable and magnetised honeycomb-shaped handle. They’re the perfect size for on-the-go, in-your-handbag type scenarios. I feel like the magnetic ability will stop anyone from losing their brushes in the bottom of their handbag or makeup bag.

Fenty Beauty: Pro Filt'r Instant Retouch Primer and Pro Filt'r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in '100'

Repurchase?
110% YES! It is seriously that great! The whole collection is amazing but my most favourite product is definitely the Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Primer! Hands down, its one of the best formulated primers that I’ve ever tried. I’m a huge fan of the Primer The Original by my beloved Australis Cosmetics but I can easily add the Fenty Beauty primer to my go-to list as well. Onto the other products, in terms of repurchasing, I would reorder the highlighters, the brush and the concealer. And whilst I like the foundation as it is light-weight, smoothing, and has a nice build able coverage, I think once it dries down the slightly darker oxidised tone is a bit of a let down. Overall, the foundation is good, but does oxidise a tad. This is just my own taste, I prefer Urban Decay’s All Nighter or MAC’s Studio Fix, or of course Estee Lauder’s Double Wear. But the rest of the products, I would definitely repurchase!

Have you tried any products from the Fenty Beauty line? What did you like?