Gift card giveaway for reaching 100 (+) followers

Quick reminder about the Sephora/etsy gift card giveaway for reaching 100 (+) followers. It is open internationally so anyone could snag some nice etsy treats even if Sephora is not local to you!


I seem to have reached (and indeed passed) the magic milestone of 100 wordpress followers and *ahem* missed it.

It seems the tradition for a 100 follower celebration is a rafflecopter giveaway and I have gone with the tradition. I have self sponsored this through my app My Makeup Collection. I am offering a prize of either a $50 Sephora voucher or a $50 etsy voucher for the winner. I hope you enjoy and purchase something a bit fab if you win 😉

a Rafflecopter giveaway


3D printers for makeup – as good as the store front?

There has been some tech coverage of a new 3D printer startup called Mink which let’s you colour match and print makeup. The coverage is a bit patchy but I have a few questions that haven’t been answered in the press…

  • How much are the refills likely to cost?
  • How will the machine deal with the different materials required for different materials (eyeshadows vs lipstick vs eyeliner)? Will you have to clean it between (yuck)?
  • How will the machine go with laying down ingredients that are designed to change from solid to liquid at room temperature, or vaporise (ie fragrances)? The 3D printers I have used tend to be quite …. warm and I can’t see how they will go with laying down a wax product like a lipstick that is designed to liquify at body temperature. Not to mention that the texture of a lipstick that has melted in the car and reformed is not quite the same so I think that the volatiles that escape are actually quite important to the overall texture and perfomances
  • This isn’t only an issue for lipsticks and such, what about the moisturising ingredients in powder foundationss like shea butters and such. These are the difference between a chalky product and something that really dissolves into the skin and blends beautifully.
  • Equally the texture of makeup changes signficantly between brands – there is a reason that people go gaga over urban decay/MAC/Guerlain eyeshadows in a way that they don’t over cheaper brands, it’s the fine milling and texture that makes all the difference.

So these are all the things I am wondering about 3D makeup printing. I think it’s still a way away to be honest, not so much as as it hasn’t captured an issue but that the technology is not at the right point to make this happen well. (I think you could make the product, but I think the quality is more likely to be Wet’n’Wild at a MAC price tag than the other way round).

To be honest I’m more looking forward to the point I can print randomn bits of Lego we need and can’t find around the place than lipsticks! That’s the true market for a $200 home 3D printer.

100 (+) follower giveaway

I seem to have reached (and indeed passed) the magic milestone of 100 wordpress followers and *ahem* missed it.

It seems the tradition for a 100 follower celebration is a rafflecopter giveaway and I have gone with the tradition. I have self sponsored this through my app My Makeup Collection. I am offering a prize of either a $50 Sephora voucher or a $50 etsy voucher for the winner. I hope you enjoy and purchase something a bit fab if you win 😉

a Rafflecopter giveaway

On men and how much makeup they like

Yet another press article has appeared about a recent study from the Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology suggesting men find women with less makeup more attractive. I keep ignoring this but feel the need to point out a few small issues with the study;

– The women were told to put on makeup as though they were preparing for a “big night out” then photographed in a daylight styled lighting. People often wear more makeup in low light situations as the low light makes features less distinct. What looks good in a darkened restaurant, nightclub or theatre is not the same as what looks by day.

– The study involved 44 people. Not the most impressive sample size for the generalised makeup commentary that seems to come from this study. What about culture factors? Bangor university is towards the west of Wales and a distinctly different place culturally from a big city. I’d love to see this replicated over multiple geographies. This French study seems to show a distinct preference in tips from male customers to waitresses in more distinctive makeup.

– Finally, and perhaps most annoyingly for me, is the assumption that all makeup is being worn for men. My experience is that women are more likely to wear makeup to feel more attractive in themselves, and to a large extent signal certain things about their social status. (I realise there is an argument that we have all intregrated the desire to be pleasing to the male gaze, but I look at things like nail art and think – no, that’s not being done for men. Not at all.) I personally am not wearing makeup on a daily basis to attract a man (“already snagged me one of ’em” I say in my most ocker Aussie accent). In truth I run into very few men at all in my day to day run of stay at home mum duties, men are largely absent from my sphere of small children and domestic chores and erranfs. I suspect the same is true for many women. I wear makeup to look more like the person I feel like inside, or the person I want to be. My daily makeup makes me look slightly less tired, less blotchy skin, someone who spends some time on herself and not just her kids. So many of the groundbreaking research articles I read rely on the premise women wear makeup to attract men without questioning it or examining the premise in detail. It’s lazy science and lazy journalism to keep repeating this in the same way.

Are you wearing makeup to lure the men folk in? Does the knowledge men like less makeup make a jot of difference to you?


$50 Giftcard giveaway

How would you spend a $50 giftcard for Sephora or etsy or As part of the celebrations for us releasing the Android version of My Makeup Collection there is a giveaway running on our facebook page. Simply follow My Makeup Collection on facebook and post a stash (makeup) picture to our wall tagged with #MyMakeupCollection #Giveaway. It’s being drawn using on the 26th November so you’ll have it in time for those sweet black Friday sales!

How to buy cheap cosmetics, (or not!)

I realised by checking my referal stats that an awful lot of people seem to land here by searching for “how to buy cheap cosmetics’ “how to buy cheap mac cosmetics” “how to buy cheap revlon cosmetics” (and so on and so forth). No doubt it’s similar for many beauty bloggers. Here is my advice on buying ‘cheap’ cosmetics;

Step 1 – is to work out your budget, and whether this is a once off or recurring budget item. You can get good makeup in any price point but there will often be a step up in quality with different price points.

Step 2 – is to work which look you are going as that (with the price point) will drive the brands you buy. If you are going for a subtle, neutral based look you might look at Benefit or Bobbi Brown, a colourful, latest trend based look might come from MAC or Illamasqua, and a classic look might come from Elizabeth Arden or Chanel.

Step 3 – Do a search and review all your current makeup. (Try putting it in an app like My Makeup Collection even!). Figure out which items you need to complete the look you want (eyeliners, lipsticks, etc) and what colours you might be look for and this should hopefully narrow down your selection

Step 4 – OK, hit the internet. Try the makeupalley reviews and try some google searches for blog reviews. See what other users like and which products do not work.

Step 5 – Tired yet? TIME TO SHOP. It looks like you know what you want and how much you have to spend. Try online retailers but be wary as there are fake cosmetics by the tonne out there (be very wary of OPI nail polish and MAC cosmetics on ebay, these are notorious for high levels of fake products). Try the very highest rated ebay sellers but also try the (home) websites of the brands – urban decay, benefit and stila for example all do great run out on their sites. Also worth trying the retailers like,, and Compare prices regularly as sales come and go and it’s worth stocking up on the flash sales.

Step 6 – Sob a little. You want makeup you can’t afford! You don’t want fake products! Try the makeup sales on blogs and forums like and People with huge collections will often be selling barely used products and you can pick up some bargains if you search around enough. Also try the tester bar at your drugstore. People are often amazed by how much Essence makeup I have, but it’s great quality for the (very low) price point and a great way to try trends I’m not 100% sold on yet.

Anyway, what are your tips on saving money on cosmetics?

The My Makeup Collection app – finally in release (and free for this week!)

I’m excited to say a side project of mine has finally come to fruition and some regular readers may have already received this email from me directly. I have just released my first app!

The app is called My Makeup Collection on iTunes and It allows you to post short form reviews from your phone (with a photo/swatch and some brief usage notes) to facebook or email, and post notes as well as posting ‘looks’ with (tap to tag) notes on which products have been used (for nail art this will be the polishes used). I think this will sit nicely between tweets and longer blog reviews.

It also as some other functions like the ability to keep a track of your swatches on your phone so that you can check existing swatches and compare in store and hopefully avoid coming home with dupes! You can also save swatches of polishes you like in your wish list, then compare them in store to the polishes in store. This will be really useful when you are searching for dupes for those really hard to get your hands on indies… or really expensive high end new releases!

It also has a function that allows you to send your entire collection (or a selection) back to email to maintain any current stash spreadsheets.  It has a wishlist that can be sent as well. The data is all kept private. This is simply a tool for keeping a track of your makeup collections.

The website for the app is and the app is free this week at ( I hope you all enjoy using it.

Free nail polish anyone?

Some old colleagues of mine are working on a new app in the beauty space and are looking for some soft testers. In exchange for looking through the app in test flight and after providing some feedback testers will get a $10 gift certificate for sephora or Harlow and Co. You’ll also get a prerelease copy of the app to review on your blog or just personally.

You don’t need to be IT savvy at all, just be a makeup enthusiast with an apple device. Android app will be coming up later in the year and will have a similar deal open and I’ll let you know closer to the time. It’s open globally as they need testers from all markets.

I am planning on doing it and will be looking at getting dementors kiss (!). If you are interested in either being a tester, or just getting some more info email with the subject line “App tester”.

Owning my own appearance

It’s funny how we all seem to be slightly embarassed about writing about beauty. Beauty isn’t considered worthless when it’s the subject of great artworks (usually by men). Somehow I find when I tell people I’m writing a beauty blog they find if quite surprising, so unlike me. It’s actually quite like me to deconstruct something I see, and work out how to do it myself. In my engineering days we would reverse engineer products, and work out how to construct them. Artists do the same when learning techniques of reproducing artworks. Yet it’s not something we were proudly.

I think there are a few things at play. We are prouder, and take more status, from owning things of beauty rather than being beautiful. Which I reject entirely, I am worth as much to myself as to my partner. My appearance is mine. Also at play is the notion that beauty should be effortless. Makeup is cheating, we should look like this when we wake up. Again I reject this. I don’t think is true, because even the most beautiful people in the world regularly get ridiculed in STARS WITHOUT THEIR MAKEUP type headlines.

I thought I might do a roundup of some of my all time favourite posts on beauty;

You don’t owe prettiness to anyone. Not to your boyfriend/spouse/partner, not to your co-workers, especially not to random men on the street. You don’t owe it to your mother, you don’t owe it to your children, you don’t owe it to civilization in general. Prettiness is not a rent you pay for occupying a space marked “female”. Erin from dressaday talking about the beauty and fashion choices (and our feeling of uniform or obligation)

Nails are the one part of everyone’s body that they pretty much feel OK about. Nobody’s nails are too fat! The nail polish industry has a special place in the world of make-up because nail polish is the only product that cannot be used to make you look like the more attractive person you’re not. Stupid Polish Names taking OPI to town on the name Iris I was thinner. 

Does anyone have some others to recommend?


Face-Off – L’Oreal BB cream “UV Perfect” SPF 50+ vs Garnier BB cream “Miracle Skin Perfector”

First things first, I did go out and buy makeup which I feel terrible about. I had gone overseas to Indonesia for a wedding and my makeup turned out to be just about run out! (But I did have more at home, I just bought the nearly empty tube with me 😦 )I left the dregs of the Garnier BB cream so I could do a face-off comparison and picked up the cheapest BB cream I could find in the little Guardian pharmacy near the hotel.


What I picked up was the L’OREAL UV PERFECT BB cream Max SPF 50 PA+++ 12H Longlasting UV Protector for 99,000 rupiah for 30ml (which is a touch under $AU10 according to my credit card statement). It only comes in one colour and claims all sorts of benefits including anti-pollution protection and a 12hour suncreen. The Garnier BB cream “Miracle Skin Perfector” is $13.95 for 50ml, which is a touch cheaper but both products are definitely in the same price range. I have medium as I’m a little too sallow for their light colour.

Garnier BB

First pic is the back of my hand for comparison. I have some small freckles, and general fine lines associated with age and sun damage. My skin is about an NW20 for reference, maybe up to a 25 at the moment as I get a little darker in summer.


The first thing I noticed is that the L’Oreal is more fluid, and had a much less noticable odour than the Garnier which has a fruity sort of smell which is quite strong. The Garnier in medium seems quite a bit darker than my skin (although I do wear it regularly and it blends well) and the L’Oreal much lighter.

On blending the L’Oreal still seems quite white, and the Garnier a touch darker. Then I left then sit for 5 mins as the BB creams often seem to need a while to sit. Pictures for comparison below.


Finally the colours seem to both be a little off my skin tone. The L’Oreal still seems to have a whitening effect (which may be intentional as this is for the Asian market?), but has a much more positive ‘plumping’ effect (ie the skin seems a little softer and the fine lines are a bit less visible.) It also covers lines better and feels much lighter on the skin. The Garnier is lighter than a full foundation but sits in a similar way to a standard suncreen – ie noticable and a touch heavier on the skin.


I suspect that my search on the foundation front is not yet over, but I do love the skin enhancements of the L’Oreal and I suspect it will be a nice primer for full makeup when outside. I won’t repurchase the Garnier as I think I can do better on the tinted moisturiser/BB front for the price.

Have you entered my 100+ followers giveaway? It’s open until the 23-May-2014. Go on!
a Rafflecopter giveaway