Face Off – L’oreal Nude Magnifique BB Cream SPF 12 vs Maybelline Dream Fresh BB cream SPF

I found myself with a 45 minute break with nothing to do today, so I did a comparison on L’oreal Nude Magnifique Light BB Cream, L’oreal Nude Magnifique Medium  BB Cream,  L’oreal Nude Magnifique Colour Correcting (CC) Cream and Maybelline Dream Fresh BB cream in a Light (left to right below). The nude magnifique range has this funny texture with pigment beads that break open as you rub it – they claim it’s colour matching but I don’t think it is!


Anyway, the first thing I noticed is how fluid the formulations are… really, really wet and runny compared to what I am used to particularly on the Maybelline Dream Fresh.

This is directly after blending. I was somewhat surprised how different the textures are on the L’oreal creams. The CC cream is much thicker and damper, but the medium BB cream is also quite a bit thicker than the light BB cream. The tones are relatively dark as well, even the lighter tone is still a touch dark for my NW/NC20ish skin tone.

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This is blended and left for 5 mins in the store. The difference in textures is still noticeable with the L’oreal cream in the light still the lightest at most matte, then Maybelline cream which has a pearlescent sheen.

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Finally this is after 10 minutes and in the sun.

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I think the L’oreal Nude Magnifique BB Cream in Light was the best option for a light coverage BB cream and the Maybelline has a more glowing tone. Both come in a good range of colours (although a touch darker than suits me) and have a similar price point around $15 but overall I prefer the Singapore ones due to a higher SPF and lighter colour range… I mean SPF 12… not really high enough for Australian consumers.


OMD – Inspired by Fashion

My inspired by fashion manicure for the OMD challenge was inspired by the Creatures of the Wind manicures from New York Fashion Week. If you haven’t seen the original here, its white based nails with coloured squiggly lines down one side. I decided to do a more neutral one with a black base/white accent nail and 3 colours of gold squiggles using my Illamasqua precision inks in Wisdom (antique gold), Alchemy (bright gold) and Glister (Pearlescent nude).


I think the Wisdom was a touch dark for the white, and Glister barely showed up against the black but it was a fun night time mani I ended up wearing for 3 days! The black used was Illamasqua Boosh, and the white was Illamasqua Scorch.

Donating to crisis centres vs charity bins

In addition to volunteering I donate my odds and sods (the kids old clothing, spare food) to a local crisis centre. A lot of the time the easiest option for us is to donate stuff by putting it in a charity bin but I prefer donating to the crisis centre for a few reasons;

– donating using a bin removes you physically and emotionally from the people you are donating to, and seeing how the donations are used. While it’s so easy, and handy, and you can always find a bin no matter what the hour! you don’t have to think about what would be useful or what a reasonable quality level is for donated goods.

– charity shops sell all their goods for a small price. But that price, particularly around where I live is often out of the reach of people who honestly need the goods. The charity stores are trying to maximise revenue from ‘thrifters’ who resell goods, but those in genuine need might find they cannot afford the $3 for new shoes so that they can send their kids to school in shoes the next day. Rents are sky high, and the wait for public housing is over 7 years in my city. Crisis centres offer people a small amount of free goods each week or fortnight (5 or 10 usually) and finding school shoes, decent baby clothing or a lunchbox is a boon to some families.

– The crisis centres will donate the unsold goods back to the larger charity chains.

– The larger charity chains operate as businesses – but often without the same checks and balances a government run service will have. Locally we have seen issues with them on selling goods for less than reasonable prices. I know the crisis centres are not running as businesses but serving genuine crisises.

As a result of donating to my crisis centre I’m picking up slightly different things to donate. Recently I found some boys undies on a sale at Kmart, so I picked up a spare 3pair set in a few sizes for the donating to the centre, and when the big washing powder box was on sale I picked some of that up to. (The local laundromat, which is the only option to clean your clothes without a washing machine, charges $1 a scoop for about 7c of washing powder so I know the crisis centre can get about 90 scoops out of the big box for people to access). By making more effort to see what people need I can make a difference to them beyond donating another can of baked beans.

In terms of my initial project, I’m still transferring my discretionary spending into charity, but focusing in a slightly different way this month. The 4 packs of 3pairs boys undies = the price of a cheapie Ulta3 nail polish. A super box of laundry powder = price of a OPI nail polish. Seeing like that makes me realise that I have it pretty good in my life, to be able to chose which way to spend this money and not be scraping around to clothe and feed my boys.

Wolverine Inspired Manicure with Adamantium Claws


This was inspired by the latest Wolverine pic. I freaking love Hugh Jackman. Such an awesome example of Aussie masculinity I think.

I have used a base of OPI My Private Jet. It took me a while of experimenting to get claws I liked, foil finish polishes are so finicky to get looking good. I was cursing my lack of foil nail decals to shred, but then I realised that the inside of the foil pack my coffee bags come in could easily be cut and glued on. I like the way it turned out too!


The holo is subtle but comes out in the light and the claws are sharp and bright! just like they should.


I have been chewing over a range of posts on poverty and homelessness and volunteering. I struggle with the idea that I wanted to write a blog about redistributing some of my silly discretionary income from cosmetics to money that means something serious in helping the homeless shelter I support and volunteer for locally.

Every time I sit down to write though I run into a few issues; either I’m writing about someones else poverty and that seems like I am co-opting their story, otherwise I’m writing about my own issues and that seems like the ultimate in #firstworldsproblems. There are some great writers out there writing about their poverty like a girl called jack. 

A lot of the guys I volunteer with won’t be able to write a blog. This isn’t because they don’t have a voice but largely they are people who have had a range of issues. It’s not as simple as financial problems, mental health problems, addiction issues or problematic issues. A lot of the time it’s a range of issues lined up, straws on a camels back that end up with people ending up homeless. There is a lack of services out there for people who need a small amount of in home help (cleaning, shopping, budgetting, once a week shopping) in order to live alone but many more available once people end up homeless. It’s wrong, it’s unefficient, and it’s undigified. We should not wait until people have exhausted every internal resource and strained all personal relationships before we help. I don’t know what to do, but I’m tired and I’m sad and I feel hopeless. How haven’t we gotten beyond this stage as a society?




Space Jam by Australis

Do you have any polishes that really don’t live up to the bottle? Image

This polish looked so good in the bottle. Pale blue and royal blue hexes, with pink fine glitter in a dark raspberry jelly base.

Alas the formula kills it 😦 The polish is so thick and gloopy and the jelly base dries so dark that the glitter isn’t any wear as near as visible. I can’t find any decent swatches on google images, they all look like mine do so I suspect I’m not the only one with this issue. This is with multiple top coats to try and even it out and notch up the shine as well.


It also has the heavy chemical odor that’s common for the cheaper polishes like Ulta3. I’ll probably hold onto it for frankening… but I’m not sure I’ll use it again by itself.

OMD – Flowers

I did some poppies for my floral edition of the Oh Mon Dieu! It’s Rather Awesome Challenge. The base is Revlon Pure Cashmere with Essence Fately Red and Revlon lunar for accents. I spent too long hmmm and hawing on whether the stems should go up or down I left them off.


Poppies are such a sweet and sad flower. They are used for remembrance and I chose them as this is the anniversary of a family members passing.

OMD – Metallic Greys on a Black Background

This is a base of Revlon Black Lunar with Orly Seagurl and Essence Icy Princess Dots. I think it’s quite nice when the colour complement but don’t quite match in a dotticure and I love a random gradient type effect.

black and grey dots

I seem to have a lot of metallic greys but I do wear them a lot. Maybe I don’t need any more though!

Jolly Holly by China Glaze

This is a swatch of Jolly Holly by China Glaze. It’s a mani I did 4 days ago and you can see there is really minimal tip wear. It’s from one of the past years Christmas packs – maybe 2011?


It’s a rich shimmery forest green and whilst it does bring to mind Christmas, its also a lovely polish for wearing through the year. The shimmer give a great depth to the dark colour.

This is one coat of China Glaze, with a Poshe top coat.