An average foundation for me. In comparing this foundation to the Healthy Mix Serum (which I have been using for 3 or so months now) and the Flower Perfection from Bourjois, I would say it comes in number 3. It has the same medium coverage as the Serum (when kabuki'd on), but it seems to highlight blackheads and show up dry spots/pimples more? The serum just glides over them. It also didn't last as long as the serum on me, 6 hrs before it started to fade away. If compared to the flower perfection, it is not as much coverage and the FP has a smoother result. Colours wise, the Serum seems to lend towards the peachy to neutral tones, the FP neutral to golden tones (more neutral though), the Foundation - 51 seems very light pinky, 52 seems light yellowy. Neither matched my neutral fair to very fair skintone (I'm somewhere in between MAC 20 to 25, but neutral - not yellow like MAC!). I'm not sure what the purpose of this Foundation is if the Serum has the same coverage but looks better, and the FP has more coverage and looks better? So I mix 51 and 52 in the Serum to match my skin tone, and FP 52 is a tad too dark but right tone for me, so mixing FP 52 and Serum 51 works well :)
Makeup Brushes -Unlisted Brand - Manicare - Kabuki Brush
msmanetti 9/18/2011 7:13:00 AM
So disappointed with this brush. I used it all of 5 times and then when I washed it, it leaked black dye. Totally useless now, the black dye just keeps running. For those 5 uses though, bliss. I used it for liquid foundation and it made me look absolutely flawless. It is a fairly dense brush and very soft. It cost me AU$22 from Priceline, but Manicare goes on sale there quite often. This brush cost me just over $4 each use - ugh what a waste of money :( I have just bought a EcoTools Retractable Kabuki so I will review that when I have tried it.
Moisturizers -Unlisted Brand - Passion fruit (Maracuja) oil
msmanetti 9/8/2011 1:54:00 AM
My skin loves this oil. I have been using it for 2 months now and found it on my search for a more natural moisturiser (I'm trying to go organic/natural in my household on shampoo/handwash/body wash/moisturiser/toothpaste :). I purchased 30ml/1 ounze from Oca-Brazil's website for AU$9.50. I actually thought that was quite inexpensive considering how much I use at each time and how long it lasts (and also I have spent much more on less effective products). I haven't used anything other brands of Maracuja as yet. The one from Oca Brazil is a light to medium yellow colour, has a lovely fresh fruity smell, glides on smoothly (I use about 4 or 5 'drops' for my face and neck area each night. I have definately noticed a difference in the texture of my skin, my acne marks look less noticeable, skin is much smoother and softer and even toned. It feels lightweight on and sinks in quite quickly. The only thing for me is I don't think it will be enough hydration for me in the colder winter months, I will have to put something on top of this. No biggie though. The biggest bonus? This does not break me out or bring on any dermititis, and I have super sensitive skin. I also use it on my feet and hand nails with some good success. One of my big toe nails was splitting/tearing on the sides constantly, maracuja on it religiously every night for 2 weeks (and now I just do it as part of my after shower routine) has healed it up beautifully. Would absolutely repurchase and next time will buy double/triple the amount :)
Shampoo -Unlisted Brand - Natralia Nourish Naturals
msmanetti 9/4/2011 1:20:00 AM
I have never used a natural/organic with such graet results - my hair is moisturised, feels clean (but not that dry squeeky clean feel some natural shampoos give you), is incredibly shiny and managable. My hair has never looked better. It comes in a gel like consistency and foams very well - a little goes a long way (and I have thick long curly hair). The only downside is - and this will stop me from ever buying it again - is it makes my head itch like crazy and gives me some sort of build up on my scalp (although it is not dandruff?). One of the ingredients in the Normal and Red hair is cinnamon, maybe this is the culprit? I purchased for $6.99 on special (I think it was 40% off? usually retails for about $12 for 250ml) at Chemist Warehouse in Brisbane Australia, and I bought the Red hair, Brunette hair and Normal Hair varieties (plus normal hair conditioner which I am yet to try). Yet to try the normal hair one, will add to this review once I try it. I have tried some other natural/organic shampoos - Organix - head itches too, Australian organics - no itching but quite drying. Natralia rivals salon and high end shampoos in performance in my opinion and it is fully natural, only wish my scalp liked it too as this would have been 'the one' :(
Other -Unlisted Brand - Phisohex Antibacterial Skin Wash
msmanetti 9/4/2011 1:05:00 AM
I seem to be the only reviewer that hasn't had the best luck with this product :( I used it once a day in the evening on my face for about 4 days (I didn't wash twice, 3 times a day as the bottle indicates). Unfortunately my sensitive skin didn't like this (even at this minimal amount of use) and I broke out in dermatitis. Luckily I didn't use it as much as the bottle indicates or I would have been a red tomato :( As far as helping with pimples, I noticed a slight improvement even at my minimal use. Now it is getting used up as a back wash (trying to clear up the pimples there - ugh). I have only noticed again a very slight improvement after 8 days of using in the evening (I don't have time to wash 3 times a day twice each time!! and I am just too scared to use it anymore for fear it breaks me out in dermatitis there. So unfortunately for me, this was too harsh for my face skin, be aware if you have sensitive skin and want to give this a go. Going to try the age old salt water now :)
Liquid -Bourjois - Healthy Mix Serum Gel Foundation
msmanetti 9/3/2011 2:56:00 AM
I am very pleased with this foundation, it suits me wonderfully. I am really glad I tried it on my hunt for foundation. Here is what I think: Coverage - Light to medium, buildable but only to just above medium. Covers redness very well, I have dermatitis on my cheek every now and then and you would not know the red dots are there. The gel consistency seems to melt into your skin and even it out, acne scarring on my cheeks looks 80% better. If you use a finishing powder over the top this would definately give you medium to full coverage. Initially when applied it looks a little oily, but then when it sets/dries a few minutes later, gives a lovely 'normal' fresh, slightly dewy look. It really does look like your skin but better. Makes rough/dry/patchy spots look great, does not accentuate flaky bits in the least. Feels: Lightweight on, not itchy for my extremely sensitive skin. Hasn't broken me out (like Gurlein did after one day of wearing it) but I don't wear it every day so my skin gets a rest. However if foundation hasn't broken me out after one day of wearing it, for me that is a resounding pass :) Colours: A pretty good range for fair to medium neutral to warm skintones. 51 is Vanilla Clair, the lightest, I would say is a MAC 15 and the next one up 52 is Vanilla, NC25 (but obviously not that yellow toned). I am NC 20 (but not that yellow!) so I purchased 51 and 52 to mix - perfect :) This also didn't oxidise on me or change colour, the colour it was when I applied it, is the same many hours later. And just for reference I have tried Gurlein Lingerie de Peau recently which turned orange on me. Lasting power - 4 to 5 hours the same as when it is applied, then I need to powder/blot again. I have combination skin, oily'ish t-zone and dry cheeks. No problem for me, I stay at home with kids at the moment so when I go out, it is rarely for longer than 6 hours :) If you are working all day, you might want a primer and take your powder with you :) Application - I found it best with a kabuki brush (or any dense flatish topped brush). Foundation applicators, sponges didn't work for me, too sparse and really light coverage, Fingers worked fine too. I used moisturiser under this but I think it may not even be necessary and the gel like consistency is quite moisturising. Cost: $26.50 with 20% off at Priceline. They often have sales and some reviewers have said below they sometimes have 50% off, so if you want to try, wait for one. Target also sells this and I have seen it on special once this year (2011) so far, but it could have been on special more often than that, not sure) Package - Plastic pump pack, not at all tacky and quite nice looking. My pump has not clogged and I have been using it for about two months now approx 2 times a week. The only things I can think of is it doesn't have the 'heavy' make up look for a formal occasion, if you are like me and want to look a bit more 'made up' for a say a wedding, you might want something a little thicker in consistency. Also if you have oily skin to start with, blotting/powdering would be quite necessary. I don't know if this would melt off your face if you have really oily skin, it didn't off my nose :) but I am not super oily there. This definately rivals high end department store foundations, gives me a flawless natural look, and I will definately repurchase. I will also try the Healthy Mix Foundation too next time. Note: The swatches I took of the HM Foundation compared to the HM Serum are slightly different, the latter are a little warmer toned than the Foundation, that being more 'neutral' on me. For reference, I am neutral to warm skintone, fair to fair-medium - in other brands my closest matches are MAC NC20, Estee Lauder in between Bone and Desert Beige, Clarins Illuminating in Sand, Revlon Colorstay Buff (not quite that light/neutral/pasty though), and I have some acne scarring on my cheeks, dermatitis on cheeks near nose and mild to medium monthly pimples/acne. Edit: I still love this foundation 100%, but have discovered some other things when playing around with it. I found that I need a light moisturiser underneath it. I tried it with a heavyish, greasy-feel like moisturiser and it didn't look as great. Still good, but harder to blend and slightly blotchy. Also, a white moisturiser seems necessary. I tried it with Maracuja oil underneath (yellowish), and the serum went on fantastic, but looked slightly darker/yellow even though the oil absorbs completely. Maybe the oil oxidises the serum? I also have changed to a flat/round top kabuki from Sigma (as my Manicare one leaked dye) and it looks like an absolute dream :)
Loose Powders -Meow Cosmetics - Top Cat Finish Setting Powder
msmanetti 9/1/2011 4:57:00 AM
I have just placed an order for this and the glow powder from Meow Cosmetics, plus some full size blushes and sample eyeshadows. I just wanted to start my review by saying the e-mail/customer help service was quick with information on their products. Also some info on samples, you can get sample sizes of the products for $1 each, and international shipping is $8 normally for samples, but right now Sept 2011 they have free shipping internationally on orders over $30. Will update and revise my rating and review when I actually receive the products. I also have purchased some samples from another US brand called Lucy Minerals that offer very similar products and at the moment have free US domestic and international shipping for any order price/quantity (I ordered 7 sample products). On Lucy Minerals website they have a link to a Polish website with all their foundation colour swatches which helped me out enormously when trying to choose a shade. Their sample packet cost is $1.50 each. Will do a comparison when I receive both :)
This is a low to average foundation for me. If you are looking for a natural or dewy look, I don't think this one will fit the bill. For me it was very matte, a little cakey looking and drying and felt 'mask' like on. I also got it in Buff which was the closest match to my very neutral light skin colour with very slightly golden undertones (MAC NC20, EL DW Bone/Desert Beige for reference). I found the colour did nothing for my complexion, I just looked pasty and tired and my face looked dull and flat. It also seemed to accentuate any bumps or flaws even though it covered them enough (I would say this is medium to full coverage). I also didn't like the smell that much but I could deal with it. On the other hand, it doesn't show your hairs like some other foundations and doesn't emphasize pores or flaky bits although after a full day of wearing it my T-Zone was starting to oil up and my nose pores were showing through. Regardless, I think it had great staying power and quite good coverage over redness. My only conclusion is this would be much better for super oily skin and those that want long staying power. Australia doesn't generally accept 'tried' foundation returns so now I use this as a mixer, I add a slight drop of it to Bourjois Healthy Mix for staying power. Will take me a looooong time to use up. Priceline and Target often have this on special so if you want to try, wait for a sale. Note, Buff in the Oily skin range is a different colour to the Buff in the Dry skin range, latter is slightly darker and yellow toned. Thinking perhaps I should try this one next time, if there is one :) Edit: Hmmm, really not liking this much, face is flat and dull and pasty when wearing this on it's own. If I compared it to Estee Lauder Double Wear or MAC Studio Fix, they seem to do a little more for making the skin look healthy or give a bit of a glow. Will just need to use up the bottle bit by bit by adding to other foundations :(
Liquid -Unlisted Brand - Miessence - Translucent Foundation
msmanetti 8/12/2011 12:26:00 AM
I have mixed feelings about this product. It is very sheer so it doesn't cover redness/acne/pimples/dermatitis really well, but it feels soft on. Also, for me it looks quite oily/shiny (def not dewy) when I apply it (and I have dry skin), but that shine seems to disappear throughout the day (maybe the foundation wears off slightly?). It doesn't do anything to make acne scarring look any better in my opinion, in fact I think it highlighted my imperfections more as the shine drew attention to them (if that makes sense?). It is natural which I think is wonderful, and it does give a moderate evening out of the skin tone (I wouldn't say it is anything spectacular though). It does seem to sink into the skin and blends very easily, although I could see myself using more than regular foundation at each use just to get more coverage for my skin. It smoothed out some of my pores (on sides of nose) but some were still noticable/visable (forehead and nose). It also didn't fully hide blackheads either. I guess if you are paying a lot for a 'translucent' foundation like this one, you want it to do what it claims to do really well, regardless of being organic/natural. Overall, I would say if you have relatively good clear skin to start with and don't need lots of coverage, this foundation would be nice as an everyday foundation. I used porcelain and vanilla shades and they both looked fine on my skintone (MAC NC25 - although not quite that yellow). I have given this 4 stars as I am all for organic/natural, and I could see myself liking this more if my skin was clearer.
I purchased some manuka honey to treat some dermatitis and pimples. While it didn't seem to make a difference to the dermatitis spots on my face, boy did it ever for the pimples/acne. It took away the inflammation and healed them up quicker than anything else I have used. I love that it is natural and I don't need to put a chemical on my pimples. It is a little messy, but I am at home with kids so no one really sees me :). You don't need a lot, just a dab, and if one spot is really bad, put some on a band-aid and cover the spot with it overnight, by morning it will look much much better. A couple of weeks ago I had a cystic zit on my neck, one under the surface and I naughtily picked at it till it was out, but it looked terrible. I put some Manuka on it for a 24 hour period and when I took the bandaid off it was almost gone. It was amazing. So now, Manuka honey goes on everything, from cuts to burns, inside cups of tea and sometimes I have a teaspoon during the day (tastes a little medicinal but still has a sweet flavour). If you were consuming manuka honey daily I would say it is an expensive product (mine cost AU$24 for 250g and was MGO400 or UF16+, brand was 'Manuka Health New Zealand), but as a spot treatment - lasts for ages and best value ever! Would absolutely recommend it.
This has been the only foundation that leaves me flawless and glowing. The colour was slightly off (I am NC 25 'almost', that is, it is a little yellow for me) as it looks slightly pale/grey but I fix that by mixing the MAC NC 25 and this together :) I had my custom blend made almost 10 years ago at Mecca Cosmetica at David Jones in Australia (I have used other foundations in between :) in medium coverage and it *still* goes on beautifully with a kabuki brush. I have lost my prescriptives card so I have no idea of the mix, which makes purchasing it online now utterly useless :( The only issue I can think of with this custom blend is it is not waterproof or smudgeproof, and can easily wipe off if you don't prime or set with powder. But that is OK with me as I am usually super careful not to touch my face when I have make up. I would spend the exhoborent price again if they would just come back to Australia, under another brand, I don't care, come back!
Primer/ Corrector -Natio - Ageless Illuminating Primer
msmanetti 8/7/2011 12:29:00 AM
I quite liked this primer. It went on nicely and gave a glow (shea butter in it?). My face is quite dry so I moisturise, then this primer on top and I have a nice dewy look to my foundation. I found though I did have to make sure it was completely covering my face otherwise I would look 'patchy' when my foundation was done. Also, blend foundation in really well as the primer might make the foundation streaky. Other than that it held my foundation/eyeshadow/lipstick well all day with it still looking good by evening. I haven't used any other primer yet so I can't compare, but this seems to do its job perfectly fine to me :)
This mascara was just OK. On the positive side, it gives great volume, length and colour, I found it comparable to Dior's Backstage Mascara so it was pretty good, and it also didn't dry too quickly so you had time to get it right without it caking. But on the negative, it made my eyes water (fragrance?), flaked and panda'd after 5 or so hours. It really didn't have staying power. It is such a good price though so I might keep using it if I am only going out for a few hours and just put up with smell/watering eyes :)
Shampoo -Organix - Rejuvenating Cherry Blossom Ginseng Shampoo
msmanetti 8/6/2011 11:33:00 PM
Itchy itchy itchy, head was so itchy after using this! Yes it smells lovely, yes bottle is pink and cute, yes it is natural. BUT, my hair was a lot dryer and tangly than normal. I have tried other natural/organic shampoos - Natralia Nourish, Australian Organics, Natural Intincts, this was by far the least liked and most expensive. Give Natralia a go if you are looking for natural shampoos, Australian made, leaves your hair beautifully soft and bouncy (amazing for a natural shampoo) and sooo shiny. As for Organix, yes I used up the bottle (well, my poor husband did) but I won't buy their products again....
Top/Base Coats -Sally Hansen - Diamond Strength Diamond Shine Top and Base Coat
msmanetti 8/6/2011 11:24:00 PM
I didn't find this polish to work exceptionally or even very well. My nail polish lasted 2 days without any chips/dents (2 coats of normal nail polish last that long for me). AND....it didn't have 'diamond' shine like the bottle/box indicates, I would have expected it to dazzle like it says. It is just an average shine?? AND....what flimsy packaging, looks and feels cheaply made, the brush handle hardly closes properly, AND....it was soooo hard to get off with nail polish remover, arrhh! A week later I am still trying to remove it....I refuse to use it again as I don't want to spend the next week or more after an event to try and get it off...