Review: NARS Audacious Lipstick “Anita” & “Audrey”

nars audacious lipsticks anita audrey

NARS Audacious Lipstick in Anita (left) | Audrey (right)

I purchased these two from Fresh Fragrances & Cosmetics during a 25% off sale last year. I wanted some extremely long-lasting and budge-proof lipsticks (a neutral-ish shade, and a bold lip red shade) since everything I have doesn’t last that long, and this new formula seemed really promising in terms of pigmentation and lasting power. I pondered for many months over which colours to get, going into Mecca numerous times to see the colours in person and swatch them. Online swatches helped but it’s always better to swatch for yourself, right?

Eventually, after much deliberation, I picked Anita and Audrey, although the latter was hotly contested by Vivien. The shade is not available in Australia though, so I was unable to swatch it. Anita ended up looking just a touch brighter and pinker on my lips than I had wanted, but it’s still a lovely colour. Audrey is a really cool-toned wine-coloured red – definitely bold!

nars audacious lipsticks anita audrey

Anita (top) | Audrey (bottom)

The formulas are exactly what I had hoped for. They are incredibly matte and pigmented, but don’t glide on very easily and actually take some effort to apply, requiring caution and precision. But once on (especially if I tissue blot and apply a second layer), it can last almost the whole day. It looks pretty good even after eating and drinking, which is especially great for the bolder shade, as it doesn’t fade noticeable and obviously in a splotchy manner. Even if I am out the whole day, I wouldn’t feel the need to touch up (a little bit) beyond once or twice, and only after meals. Because it is so matte, it can accentuate dry flakes a little bit, and too many applications in a day can make dry flaky lips worse. Overall I’m really pleased to own both and they are indeed very high quality lipsticks. The packaging is also so chic.

NARS Audacious Lipstick 3.4g via Mecca $48; via Fresh Frangrances & Cosmetics $49 (but occasionally 25% off storewide; + cashback via CashRewards)

NARS is cruelty-free and their products are not sold in China. Their parent company, however, is not cruelty-free.

Review: Shiseido Expert Sun Aging Protection Lotion For Face & Body

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One thing I feel strongly about is wearing sunscreen everyday. Every morning, I use Shiseido Expert Sun Aging Protection Lotion for Face & Body with my moisturiser. I’ve been using this product religiously for years now. Although it says for face and body, I only use it for my face. Hence a little goes a long way and a bottle this size will easily last me several years.

It also acts as a good base for face makeup, and reviews indicating it helped to prime the skin for foundation was the initial reason why I picked this sun lotion to try. Since then I haven’t looked back and I’ve been slapping this on every day (it’s probably been six or more years now).

The packaging is minimal but perfect and not bigger than it needs to be. Importantly, the lid is also very secure and I’ve never had an issue with it when it gets thrown around (like during travel). I give it a good shake to mix the product, and because the formula is very liquidy, it disperses incredibly easily, when using a gentle hand.

shiseido expert sun lotion 02

The formula is incredibly liquid-y and lightweight and blends so well into the skin. Once fully blended, there is no white cast or anything, and it dries slightly matte. I especially love how smooth and lightweight it is, and I don’t feel it at all on my skin.

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shiseido expert sun lotion 04

The active ingredients are zinc oxide, octyl methozycinnamate and titanium dioxide. Being a mineral-based sun lotion, I have also recently started using it for my eye area (I was startled to realised this blind spot that I had ignored all these years) and have been happy with how it feels. I have been very careful and thus there has been no discomfort.

I’ve noticed that in Australia, this product is SPF 30 whereas online I see other countries have SPF 50. My other bottle purchased from overseas has a different SPF to Australia. This is strange, but I am not too fussed. It is, afterall, only a mild sun lotion and if I was going to be in strong sun for a long time, I would definitely use more heavy duty sun protection and top up every couple of hours. But this is not what I need on a daily basis. For day to day use, this has provided me with good protection over the years and I’ve not had any sun burns even during summer. It is also water and sweat resistant. Of course, the sun protection and water resistant properties only last an hour or two.

Shiseido Expert Sun Aging Protection Lotion For Face & Body SPF 30 100mL via Fresh Fragrances & Cosmetics $43 (on sale); via StrawberryNet $41 (on sale, + 8% cashback via CashRewards)

Shiseido is not a cruelty-free company. Products or ingredients may be tested on animals when required.

Review: Tarte Maracuja C-Brighter Eye Treatment & Gifted Amazonian Clay Smart Mascara

Review: Tarte Maracuja C-Brighter Eye Treatment & Gifted Amazonian Clay Smart Mascara

I have been using both of these products for over a month now.

tarte maracuja c-brigher eye cream

Starting with the Maracuja C-Brighter Eye Treatment, Tarte claims: “An intense, maracuja fruit- and vitamin C-infused, multitasking eye-treatment that visibly hydrates, firms, and brightens the delicate eye-area.” And it will: “Refresh, renew, and recharge tired eyes. This skintuitive™ eye treatment contains rice bran, mango, and coconut, which are naturally rich in antioxidants and help fight signs of aging and free radical damage. Meanwhile, oat sugars instantly smooth and visibly tighten skin. The opthalmologist-tested nutrient-rich formula also delivers the ultimate in hydration for smooth, youthful-looking eyes.”

The eye cream is very balm-y, and I struggle to get the right amount of product with my fingers. However it is incredibly light and soothing on the skin. It sinks in almost immediately and leaves the skin feeling really soft and smooth. I don’t notice visible differences in terms of brightness. My dark circles and any puffiness looks the same with or without this eye cream. I still like it for its light hydration and how smooth and soft it feels.

tarte maracuja c-brigher eye cream

The core ingredients promoted in this eye cream (vitamin C and antioxidants) are virtually worthless though, as the open jar packaging leads to the instability of such ingredients because they quickly deteriorate when exposed to air and light. As such, I find this product pricey for providing nothing more than some hydration to the eye area.

Tarte Maracuja C-Brighter Eye Treatment 10mL via Sephora $46.00 (+ 11.20% cashback via CashRewards)

tarte gifted amazonian clay mascara

The Gifted Amazonian Clay Smart Mascara, according to Tarte: “This mascara delivers a 406% increase in lash volume and offers long-term reparative, rebuilding, and strengthening benefits with each swipe, giving you instant results and better lash health. Amazonian clay, known for intuitively restoring hydration and the skin’s texture, also works to hydrate and replenish dry and brittle lashes to prevent fallout. This natural clay performs all day by absorbing oil and keeping the mascara in place for flake-free, longer wear. It prevents lash loss and promotes lash health, and after daily wear, lashes are intact, healthier, and stronger. Amazonian clay also enriches the pure color pigments, creating a volume-boosting formula with higher intensity and truer color. The result is healthier and more voluminous lashes that won’t ever flake or transfer.”

tarte gifted amazonian clay mascara

I have very short, sparse and stick straight Asian lashes. I curl them before wearing mascara, and I need a mascara to hold the curl while also lengthening and volumising. The wand has sparse and short bristles so it’s not the greatest for coating my sparse and short lashes, but I get it done if I spend a bit of time. The formula actually looks quite dry and it has dried out quite significantly since I started using it, so it seems to be reaching the end of its life much quicker than my usual mascaras would. The formula really doesn’t work for my Asian lashes. They do not lengthen my lashes and give little volume. Furthermore they don’t even hold my curl! Within a few minutes my lashes start drooping and continue to the point where it wouldn’t really matter if I curled them or not. If it’s been a particularly long and hot day, I sometimes also get a bit of mascara transfer below my eye. Once again, this has not lived up to what my favourite Japanese mascaras can do for me.

tarte gifted amazonian clay mascara

Natural | Curled | One thick coat of mascara

Overall I’m quite disappointed. It didn’t work well on my lashes and I don’t see that my lashes are healthier after over a month. I wonder if the popular Lights Camera Lashes mascara would work better or if I should safely stick to my usual (Japanese) mascaras – I would love to review all my favourite Japanese mascaras in the future!

Tarte Gifted Amazonian Clay Smart Mascara 6.8g via Sephora $38.00 (+ 11.20% cashback via CashRewards)

Tarte is a cruelty-free brand and they are not sold in China. Their parent company, however, is not cruelty-free.

Review: COLAB Dry Shampoo Sheer & Invisible

Happy April Fools’ Day!

I typically wash my hair every second day but on the days I don’t wash, I like to just tie it up. I don’t think my hair looks greasy, but it just feels just that tiny bit greasy and unclean to me. I tried Batiste a few years ago and it didn’t make any difference to me so I gave it away. Hearing so many good reviews for the COLAB dry shampoos, I decided to pick one up to try, specifically the New York scent from the Sheer & Invisible collection.

colab dry shampoo

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After shaking and spraying it on my roots, I see absolutely no residue although there is a slight cooling sensation on the scalp. While massaging the product in, you can feel some of the product there but it gets worked into the roots really easily. The scent of the “New York” one is fruity but a bit strong.

While I like how easy and quick it is to use and that there was absolutely no evidence left behind (except the scent), it also didn’t do anything for me. My hair still didn’t feel clean enough. It still felt like second day hair. The overall look and texture of my hair was also unchanged, but that’s expected since this is from the Sheer & Invisible line, not the Extreme Volume line. Overall it just didn’t really make a difference and my hair looked and felt the same as before after a few minutes. I don’t mind spritzing a bit at the roots every now and then, but maybe dry shampoos are just not for me.

COLAB Dry Shampoo Sheer & Invisible New York 200 mL via Priceline ($10.99 frequently 20% off for $8.79)

According to COLAB’s statement, they are a cruelty-free brand – no animal testing on ingredients or finished products, and no testing by third parties. I cannot find evidence that they are sold in China.