15 Melbourne: All Natural Skincare

Natural skincare lovers – I’ve discovered another brand that I think you’ll love. There’s a special place in my heart for brands that who pride themselves on using natural ingredients. Many have jumped the bandwagon but there are only a few that have done it well.

File 15 Melbourne under “pretty spectacular”. I’ve only tried a few products from the line but color me impressed. Let’s start with a product that I know all too well.

Castile soap! I’ve raved over this magical stuff for years. I use it for EVERYTHING. Regrettably, I had to stop using it for my skin a while back (it can be too drying for us eczema suffers) but castile soap has a gajillon other uses. How does this compare to Dr. Bronner’s Lavender Castile Soap? The difference is the formula. Castile soap is made from 100% olive oil and Dr. Bonners uses a blend of oils but it’s not true castile soap.

I find them to be pretty comparable in look, feel and overall performance. 15 Melbourne’s 16 oz bottle runs for $15 and I believe Dr. Bronner’s is a little less than that. If you’re not familiar with castile soap, please oh please introduce yourself to it. This stuff is fantastic for body and hair as well as using as a cleaning agent for household chores. There really isn’t anything it can’t do. And since I’m a fan of lavender, I just love how relaxing and calming this smells.

Lavender & Chamomile Creamy Shea Butter Soap ($5)

Bar soap lovers rejoice! This bar of soap is currently sitting in my guest bathroom and the gal pals that come to visit can’t stop complimenting me on it. If you’re not a fan of lavender (I know many aren’t), you’ll appreciate how lightly scented this is. In fact, both the lavender and chamomile are subdued. Which is nice. This soap gives off a very nice and creamy lather.

Unlike many bar soaps, it doesn’t leave the hands and body streaky clean but cleansed and moisturized instead.

Organic Whipped Shea Butter-Pink Grapefruit ($7.50)

Oooooh how I adore shea butter! Especially white shea butter. I find it to be less nutty in smell in comparison to yellow shea butter. While I’m okay with my shea butters being fragrance-free the subtle whiff of pink grapefruit bodes well with me. It’s really hard to scent shea butter so it isn’t a prominent smell. The pink grapefruit really doesn’t last long on the skin but it smells pretty and citrus-y at first application.

Peppermint Lip Butter ($5)

Oooh la laaaaa. While I’m not a fan of dipping my fingers into lip products, I have actually just take this tin and rub the product over my lips. I’m not sure how much more sanitary that is but hey….it works. The primary ingredients of this lippy are shea and mango butters, argan and avocado oil. Oh, and that decadent essential peppermint oil too. It feels divine on the lips and I find myself using it more than my beloved Sugar Lip Balm. It works beautifully as a base for lipsticks too.

15 Melbourne has a ton of lovely homemade products and I think most have a nice price point. I love supporting smaller independent brands so it was my honor to feature this brand. I love how a great deal of the products are unscented and I’d also love to see some more products in their line-up. Maybe a natural body splash and body oil? Hmmm…

Check out 15 Melbourne and if you make any purchases, tell ‘em B from Clumps of Mascara sent you!

Mascara Monday: Prestige My Waterproof Lashes mascara

Lemme tell you something…want your lashes to grow longer? Stop wearing mascara. Yep, I said it. I went a week without wearing mascara and I’ve found my lashes to be far more plush. That means if I stopped reviewing mascaras, I’d have super long and amazing lashes! Whoooo knew? Buuuut, since I’ll never stop reviewing mascaras for you ladies ‘n gents, I will keep my mediocre lashes.

Aren’t I a doll? I know. Now here’s a brand that is making its first appearance on Clumps of Mascara. Say hi to Prestige Cosmetics! And say another hi to the mascara they call Prestige My Waterproof Lashes mascara.

Price: $9.95 at PrestigeCosmetics.com and you may spot it at Ulta stores.
Packaging (brush wand): 3 out of 5
Overall: 3 out of 5

What It Claims: “With all the benefits of our MY BIGGEST LASHES MASCARA Intense long lasting color NOW with WATERPROOF protection! My biggest lashes now paired with our new limited edition waterproof version for a special value.” (source)

The Truth: Well…it’s a darn good waterproof mascara.

What I Loved About It: It lasts allllll day.

What I Didn’t Like: It was just so so in the volumizing department.

Overall: So while this is my first time actually reviewing something from Prestige Cosmetics, I’ve seen the brand around for quite some time. When I go beauty stalking at Ulta, I always spot Prestige but haven’t had the nerve to buy anything from them yet. Why? I dunno know, girl. These things happen. I’ll pass over a brand without even knowing that using their products could change my life.

Or something less dramatic than that. ;)

So yes, Prestige is around and the next time you’re in Ulta, I urge you to take a peek. You may or may not see this mascara riding solo. It came in a set with its sibling My Biggest Lashes mascara. My Waterproof Lashes is actually the SAME thing as My Biggest Lashes except it’s waterproof. Confusing? Yes. But that’s why I’ve got ‘yo back in this mascara world.

Zee wand…

Not bad but nothing to write home about. I’ll tell you one thing though, I think it’s a fabulous lengthening wand which is interesting because it’s a volume mascara. I usually see volume mascaras with those plush wands that some may argue are too big. Not the case with this one. And that’s okay. You can still get away with volumizing the lashes with ease. A perk is that if you wiggle through the lashes, you won’t have any problem getting some added length too.

I wouldn’t say the volume outcome is all that spectacular. I found it to be decent at best. For those who prefer natural and the “I’ve just got a wee bit of mascara on.” looks, this will be just fine. But for those of us who look at the lashes of drag queens as inspiration…not so much. But while I wasn’t too impressed with the volume of this baby, the longevity blew me away. This mascara lasts for hours and hours without one bit of flaking or smudging. Wow! I found this to be impressive; even for a waterproof mascara.

So yeah – the wand makes application easy, the formula is nice AND it lasts all day. Not a mascara I’d grab if I wanted insane lashes but if I need my mascara to last ALLLL day and then some, I’d be pulling this out of my stash.

 

Bare Lashes



Lashes after 2 coats



Do I recommend it?: Sure! Especially if you’ve been looking for a great waterproof mascara.

Any Prestige fans in the house? Have you ever tried any of their mascaras?


It is an eyeshadow quad or alien spacecraft?

Remember back in the day when beauty lovers never considered getting eyeshadow from drugstores? A lipliner, lipstick and blush…maybe. But many of us beauty snobs people rigidly judged drugstores and assumed that their eyeshadow selections just weren’t on par with what the higher-end and department stores. Welp. Those days are gone, y’all. I actually find myself drawn more to drugstore cosmetics than the ‘spensive higher-end stuff. Take this Nuance Salma Hayek Beautiful Blends Eye Quad for example…

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…this CVS-exclusive alienesque piece of coolness not only has the packaging that would appeal to beauty lovers of all skill levels but its performance is stellar too. Oh! And it costs less than $9. Which rounds out to like $2 and some change per eyeshadow. Wicked.

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Packaging alone is enough to warrant a passerby to be curious enough to pick this up. And why?

  • It’s in a box.
  • It’s got an “interesting” design.
  • It’s in a box.

I’ve seen it all in the beauty world but I’ve never seen a quad in a box.

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I love when beauty brands have the little “apply by number” diagrams. It’s SO helpful for beauty newbies. It’s also helpful for people like me who look at a palette and don’t know where to start.

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When using this quad, I ended up not really paying attention to the diagram. I just applied whatever where ever. Because I’m a G like that. Ha! The quad itself is such an interesting little contraption.

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I don’t necessarily love it but I don’t hate it either. I’m not sure how travel-friendly is since it packs a bit of bulk but it looks super cool on a vanity. I don’t think it’s practical for everyday display though because it’s easy to knock down and scoot over. More than anything, it is definitely a conversational starter. While I think it may be a bit bulky for tossing in a suitcase, it fits nicely in the hand.

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Opening it up to reveal the shadows is a bit tricky but on each side of the quad, there is a little indention that makes popping it up open easy. See?

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And bam – you’ve revealed the glorious shadows.

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Pretty cool, uh? That little thingamajig in the middle is a little eyeshadow sponge.

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It’s not something I’d use but I’m not taking it out because I find it to aesthetically pleasing. I know. I’m weird like that.

Swatches-wise, I found the shadows to be amazingly buttery and smooth. It appears that each shadow has the same formula (frost?) and while I like that formula, I would have loved to see a matte thrown up in there.

DSC_3886(L-R Toasted Almond, Shimmering Bronze, Champagne Gold, Frosted Blush)

Not too shabby, uh? I found Toast Almond to be a little too frosty for my liking but I managed to crank out a quick look using all 4 shadows anyway.

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The next few times I use this quad, I’ll be sure to use a colored base underneath. I used just a simple primer and I think the look would have POPPED more if I used a gold eyeshadow base. There’s a lot of experimenting that I can do but overall, I’m pretty impressed with the quality and performance of the quad.

Way to go Nuance Salma Hayek! Another stellar product from the brand. I’ve also reviewed the Facial Cleansing Towelettes and the AMAZING Ulta-Defining mascara. I’m making my way around the Nuance goodies and I haven’t been too disappointed yet. Woot!

Where To Buy: CVS stores and CVS.com.

Cost: $8.49

 

Have you tried anything from the Nuance Salma Hayek line? How cool lookin’ is this quad?

The NEW Clarisonic Aria. My wallet groans…

I have a love/hate relationships with Clarisonic. And I’m not ashamed to admit this either. We all know why I LOVE the brand. I’ve publicly bragged about them  more times than I can count. I’ve purchased the Mia, played with the Plus and swooned over the Mia 2’s newest colors. Any time I’m asked about my favorite skincare products, I tell folx to save their pennies and get a Clarisonic.

So how I can hate Clarisonic at the same time? Because these magicians keep coming out with MORE Clarisonics that I feel like I HAVE to purchase. And just how in the world do you justify having more than one Clarisonic? How? You can’t. And for that I both scoff and jump for joy every time I see a Clarisonic doused in a new shade. And in this case…an entirely new brush.

Her name is Aria. A beautiful name for such a beautiful device. These press photos don’t do her any justice but she’s a beaut. And she’s glossy. Glossy! That’s like a synonym for glitter. Beauty lovers love glossy and glittery packaging.

Check out some of the specs of Lady Aria herself…

  • three speeds make for a variety of customizable cleansing options
  • an illuminated bezel indicates speed selection as well as pause and charging modes
  • a USB enabled p-Link charger allows you to recharge Aria
  • the convertible drying stand, which can be used on your sink or in your shower, converts into a charging cradle by simply attaching the pLink charger
  • beautifully modern high-gloss finish
  • two-year warranty ensures longevity

 

Dude, this chick is fancy yo. She comes with a USB charger and an illuminated bezel? I mean…wow. Priced at $199, she sits comfortably between the Mia ($119) and the Plus ($225). *sigh* I hate that I feel like I need it. I hate that I’ll be dreaming about this bloody thing until it’s in my possession. But I love that it exists.

The Clarisonic Aria is currently available online and in Sephora stores. For Clarisonic lovers who are like me and can never say “no”, give my condolences  to your wallet.

 

Amor de Lacquer: Essence’s pretty new bottles!

I freaking love Essence nail polish. Always have. Even though their bottle sizes freaked me out a bit (come on, Essence…you know they were too small) I was always in awe of the beautiful colors that they released. Very rarely do the affordable brands of nail polish come out with groundbreaking nail polish colors. I mean, it happens, but not every often. I can count on TWO sets of hands the gorgeous shades that Essence has. And now they’ve got larger and chic’er new bottles.

Looky!

Cute, right? I’ve got 3 shades here but I’m pretty sure I’ll be hoarding more. I am so in love with the bottle design, redesigned brush and beautiful shades.

L.O.L. is one of those Shrek greens that have been pretty popular. I’ve seen similar shades like this and if you’ve always wanted to snag one but didn’t want to spend a mess load of money on them, get L.O.L. It’s pretty, creamy and such an “interesting” shade that all nail polish lovers need to have in their stash.

Ultimate Pink is a hot pink and it’s a pretty awesome pedicure color.

Let’s Get Lost is more of a aqua blue but of course my camera is being nutty. As much as I love blues like this, I very rarely wear them because they always end up staining my nails no matter what I do. Grr.

Comparing the old Essence bottle to the new Essence bottle…

The newer bottle is just a bit taller but is obviously wider than the old bottle. Do you get as much product as say a bottle of Zoya?

Not really. But then again, this Essence nail polish is only $1.99. Oh! And then there’s the new wide brush.

…you’ll either love it or hate it. I actually really like brushes like these because I’ve got long and wide nail beds so I find them to be perfect in helping me achieve a smooth and even coat with just one stroke. I know I’m in the minority with the freakishly long nail beds so I’m pretty sure many nail polish lovers are not happy with the change.

But overall, I’m loving the updated look of these Essence nail polish bottles. They look classy, quirky and fun. I’m not sure if the update means they’ll be getting rid of the shades of the old bottles. I hope not because I’ve got some beautiful polishes in the old packaging that I don’t want them getting rid of. Time will tell… These babies are currently in Ulta stores and online too!

Any Essence nail polish lovers in the house? Whatcha think about the new bottle design?

Wet n Wild Juicy Lip Balm – For Chicks With Lips!

Ooooh Wet ‘n Wild. You are still killin’ the beauty game with affordable cosmetics for us all. I could write a never-ending list of the things that I love most about Wet ‘n Wild. One of those thangs? I love how they have so many different products for consumers of various skill levels. You know how there are brands that have products that just don’t seem to be newbie-friendly? Naw. Wet ‘n Wild isn’t like that. They have glosses for the everyday beauty girl, lipsticks for makeup artists and then these lip balms for…everyone!

It is my belief that EVERYONE needs to have at least one lip balm on them at all times. And not just to be “cute” but because ashy and crusty lips isn’t becoming for anyone. This is a fact. Or a law. Or something like that…

There isn’t much to say about these because they’re just so self-explanatory. Watch…

-They’re cheap. Only $2.99 a pop.
-They’ll last you forever. I mean look how ginormous they are.
-They smell good. They’re fruity and delightful but not overwhelming.
-They’re moisturizing.
-They contain SPF. Why don’t all lip products contain this stuff?
-They’re cute. No really. They are.
-Everyone needs a lip balm…7-year olds to 77-year olds.
-They don’t taste bad. Don’t you hate how some balms have a terrible taste?


(L-R) Strawberry Fraise (light pink/cotton candy), Cherry Cerise (red), Raspberry Frambois (purple-y), Watermelon Pasteque (pistachio) 

Despite their colors, they provide only a wee bit of tint. And I do mean wee bit. In fact, so little that my camera had a hard time picking it up. I like these mucho. I’ve got one in the beauty room that I use after doing lip swatches. It gives me a dose of moisture in between swatches. It doesn’t moisturize enough for hours on end but it gets the job done. Oh, and did I mention that they cheap. Yeah.

You can grab one or more of these babies at drugstores everywhere for only $2.99. I’ve been spotting them online at Walgreens.com.

Too Faced Teddy Bear Hair Professional Brush Set

Confession: When Esposo and I moved into our place together we fought over who would get the larger “hobby” room. He ended up winning because he had more equipment for his studio. I wanted the larger room primarily because it had a ton of beautiful natural light and I take a few hundred pics a week and I only like working with natural light.

And because I’m bossy and like to have my way. Anyway – long story short, I still crash his pad when I need to take beauty pics. Which is why until we move, you’ll always see a keyboard, vinyl record or cords and ish in my pics. I should really get Wife of the Year award for making that sacrifice, don’t you think?

Ah yes – but let’s get down to business. Looky! It’s Too Faced! I feel like it’s been forev since I’ve reviewed anything from them. Not that I haven’t been steadily stalking the brand. Because I do. I’ve tried quite a bit from them but never their brushes. Which is cray-zee because I’ve been missing out.

I’m squealing at the fact that it’s called Teddy Bear Hair. Coined by Too Faced Founder Jerrod Blandino, the idea is to give consumers a super soft brush without actually using animal hair. That’s right. These synthetic brushes are cruelty-free. Woot! The teddy bear feel is so dead on as these brushes are so incredibly soft. But let’s talk packaging first…

The 5-brushes are housed in a beautiful pink and gold cosmetic bag. It may be too small for travel purposes (you know…for beauty junkies like me who like to travel with EVERYTHING) but I think it’ll bode well for those who may want to toss it in a purse or bookbag.

It’s lightweight and perfectly portable. And what’s inside ain’t half bad either…

5 brushes with unlimited functions. I mean sure there are recommended uses for them but a true beauty rebel knows you can do anything with a good brush. These are crafted to perfection with detail everywhere. Each brush has pink chrome with Too Faced etched at the bottom.

Quick rundown of the team…

Powder Brush: This baby is super soft. While it would probably work just fine as all all over powder brush, I really like using it as a blush brush. It distributes the perfect amount of color on the cheekies.

Blending Fluff Brush: I’m a fan of stiff and dense brushes for blending in my crease but I love how this works when depositing color in the outer-V and blending it up into the crease.

Angled Eye Shadow Brush: This is another stunner that works great in the outer-V. I’ve tried using it that way a few times but I like it more for placing and blending color underneath my brow.

Small Crease Brush: I would use this for liquid and cream concealers more than anything else. But since I don’t use concealer much these days (I’m wearing foundation like a big girl!) I haven’t been getting much use out of this kid. Yet.

Angled Liner/Brow Brush: This is perfection. It isn’t as stiff as I’d like it to be but I have found that instead of using it on my lower lash line, it works REALLY well at putting a bit of color on or below the waterline. If I cared about those facial caterpillars enough, I reckon this would be a fab brush to use on the brows.

The crew altogether….

Overall: For $65, this is a pretty stellar brush set. And I know what you’re thinking…“OMG B…$65?” Not only are you getting 5 brushes, but you’re getting 5 brushes that you’ll actually use. AND you’re getting a groovy cosmetic bag to go with them. I think it’s a pretty good investment. Especially for makeup newbies or those wanting to treat themselves with some new brushes. Shedding won’t be a problem and I don’t see the paint on the handle of the brushes chipping either. These are definitely some quality brushes that will be lasting me for quite some time.

You can get this set from Sephora and Sephora.com. If you still find the price to be a little steep, maybe consider waiting to purchase these during one of Sephora’s many sales? Hmmm, think about it.

Any Too Faced lovers in the house? Or lovers of teddy bears? Anyone?

Amor de Lacquer: Zoya Designer collection

I’m back with another collection from Zoya’s Fall 2012 collections. I’m still swooning over the jellies that were the Gloss collection. Designer features 6 shades of my favorite nail polish formula ever…creamies!! Woo hooo!

Look at those luscious creams!

Evvie is described as an evergreen green cream and it’s unlike any kind of polish that I own. It’s such a beautiful and smoky hunter green. Fantastic!

Rekha is a blood red cream and while Zoya has plenty of red cream polishes, this one isn’t as bright as the others. Don’t let this picture fool you. It is actually a bit more muted.

Natty is a smoked navy blue cream and it is perfection. I love true blue polishes but Natty is goooorgeous!

Toni is a dark maroon red cream and don’t ask me why but it looks to be more of the dusty berry side. Not that I’m complaining though.

Monica is a dark mulberry purple cream is definitely my favorite of the bunch. Of course I don’t NEED any more purple creams but man…Monica is so pretty!

Noot is a charcoal green gray cream and as much as a I like it, it looks a lot like Evvie – just not as gray. I love both shades but they definitely fooled me as they almost look identical at a quick glance.

Must Haves:
-Natty
-Monica

This collection is currently available on Zoya.com for $8 a bottle. See any that you like?