Bellabox July 2014

In this box I got

– Sample of Yu-Be moisturising cream
– Nicole by OPI nail polish in “Hello World” (full size)
– Lash genius waterproof top coat (?deluxe mini – 3.2g vs full size of 5.3g)
– Paw-Paw Plus hand cream by Designer Brands
– Coconut lip butter by Designer Brands
– Sample of Strivectin Get even Serum

photo 2

The box was themed as The American Beauty box which is a little random as the products are Japanese, US, US, Australia, and Australian. But I guess the APEC* box is probably a little bit less mainstream and more of a niche beauty-economist kind of box.

I was really happpy with the value, I always like nail polishes and Nicole by OPI is a good brand and I got a color I don’t own get (an orange jelly!). The Anastasia waterproof top coat is one I wanted to try anyway as I’m a smudgy McPanda eyes by the end of lots of days. I really like DB products as well and find they often punch well above their weight performance wise, and hand cream and lip butter are always useful. The moisturiser samples are nice but tiny so it will be hard to really see how they perform.

Unfortunately the nail polish formula is a bit meh, its very sheer and runny and gives a very definite VNL after 3 coats (and oddly make the VNL darker somehow, compared to a normal line so you look vaguely like there is something dirty under your nails all the time.

photo 1

* APEC is the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-Operation forum and includes those countries. It’s known for the leaders of the countries coming out wearing some quite lively shirts on the last day reflecting the host countries culture (loosely!)

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Everyday glitter EOTD


I really love the Beguile pigment by Illamasqua for patting over a smoky eye to add some rainbow holographic glitter goodness. But today I wore it by itself with Benefit Bad Girl mascara, brown-black Designer brands eyeliner and a touch of Illamasqua Fondle as highlighter at the brow bone.

It’s a good everyday look with glitter and a nice way to add some sparkle to my day 🙂

Liquid Eye Liner Review – Designer Brands vs Revlon vs Illamasqua

Liquid eyeliners are part of my day-to-day makeup look, which adds that retro sexy vibe. I love the precise line that liquid liners get, and how easy they are to transport vs gel liner for on the go application. For years my HG was the Revlon ColorStay line but I thought it might be fun to do a comparison between my favourite drugstore brand Designer Brands Liquid Eye Liner in Brown-Black, Revlon Colorstay Liquid Eye Pen in the new pen applicator, Revlon Color stay Liquid Liner both in Blackest Black in the more traditional pot and Illamasqua Precision Ink in a pen-style applicator with the reservoir of pigment in the lid.

First things first, it’s worth noting the applicators. The Designer Brands Liquid Eye Liner has a very fine brush, which is how nearly all liquid eyeliners used to come. The other 3 have a felt tip, which most higher end brands use now. The brush could always splay a little, but I loved the control of the thickness and control you have over how much liner is on the brush in traditional eyeliner.

Applicators Bottom to Top; Designer Brands, Revlon Eye Pen, Revlon Liquid Eyeliner, Illamasqua.

Applicators Bottom to Top; Designer Brands, Revlon Eye Pen, Revlon Liquid Eyeliner, Illamasqua.

The advantage of the pen is a consistency in the amount of liner flowing out a smoother, easier line. It’s a good style for applying in a hurry. The Illamasqua Precision Inks have the reservoir in the lid which allows you to have a bit more control over the amount of eyeliner you are applying.

Comparison of Eyeliners

Comparison of Eyeliners

Now onto relative sizes, the Designer Brands is a whopping 6.5ml for $7.99, the Revlon Pen a paltry1.6ml for $26.95, the Revlon pot is a 2.5ml pot for $23.95 and the Illamasqua Precision Inks are 1.8ml and cost $26. I was initially a bit miffed that the Revlon Eye Pens are that pricy, it seemed a fair increase from the old price especially with a matching downgrade in volumes.

But as you can see in the pictures, it looks like the formula has had a nice upgrade at the same time and you get a much darker line now. I suspect I probably use less liner building up a dark enough line and it definitely is nicer to transport.

Finally, these all claim smudge-proof ‘ness’. I let a line of each products set for 20 minutes on my arm and rubbed hard, aka pretty similar to my hay fever eye rubbing. The Revlon smudged, the Illamasqua largely didn’t and the Designer Brands performed best of all (now can you see why I buy their products!). If anything my gripe with the Designer Brands Liquid Eye Liner comes at makeup removal time…

Smudge Test; top to bottom Designer Brands, Revlon Eye Pen, Revlon Liquid Eyeliner, Illamasqua.

Smudge Test; top to bottom Designer Brands, Revlon Eye Pen, Revlon Liquid Eyeliner, Illamasqua.

So which is the winner;

Designer Brands on price, quantity, smudgeproof

Illamasqua on colours, applicator

Revlon on… yeah, I’ll probably move on to other brands after my no buy is finished at this price point. I’ve heard good things about MAC but it’s so expensive in Australia.

Quick Swatch – Designer brands chubby lipstick crayons

I love the look of these – Designer brands are doing a chubby lipstick crayon that seems ‘inspired’ by the Clinique chubbys. Image

The colours. left to right, are dollface, guava kiss, kiss and tell and enchanted kiss. Dollface and enchanted kiss are my favourites, but guava kiss is a very ‘now’ orange. The texture is lovely – somewhere between balm and lipstick.

They don’t seem to be a direct dupe for Clinique, both in texture, the heavier colour coverage and smaller colour range but it’s a nice addition. Also for the price difference ($7.99 vs $35) where the designer brands are a distinct winner!!!

Iluminator review – Highbeam vs Hi-Lights

Just to change things up I thought a comparison shot of some of my products was in order.


In this shot I have Benefit High Beam (bottom), Designer Brands Hi-Lights Illuminator in Starlight (middle) and the illuminating end of Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Double Face perfector In Light/Meduim.

unblended swatch

The price points are $45 for the Highbeam, $9.99 for the Designer Brands Illuminator, and the Maybelline pen has been discontinued but was $19.99 original – I got mine for $10 from the local pharmacy (all aussie dollars).

blended illuminators

The first photo is unblended, the second blended. The designer brands is definitely slightly more pink toned, while the highbeam has a slightly warmer pinky gold feel by comparison. Both feel moisturising while blended, the designer brands is more pigmented whilst the highbeam feels more moisturising. The maybelline is a more powdery option and seems harder to blend.

Both the highbeam and designer brands contain some ingredients that can be pore clogging – ie Dimethicone so yes, a potential issue with both but I don’t tend to break out in the areas that I use illuminator in.

Highbeam uses a brush, as does Maybelline while the designer brands has a doe foot applicator which I prefer for applying. The Designer brands and Maybelline are much more transportable which is nice for on the go application (ie in the toilets between work and dinner!!) and less inclined to be knocked over and spilt which is an unpleasant experience with Highbeam given the price.

Round by round winners
Price: Designer Brands Hi-Lights
Pigmentation: Designer Brands Hi-Lights
Packaging: Maybelline for transportability and combo appeal
Product:  Highbeam for a warmer look and moisturising feel although this probably depends on your skin tone

Overall winner:
Designer Brands Hi-Lights Illuminator on points

Ingredients for comparison:

DB Illuminator Ingredients: Aqua, Soft Paraffin, Stearic Acid, Dimethicone, 1.3 Butylene Glycol, Beeswax, Triethanolamine, Phenoxyethanol, Nipaguard CMB, Vitamin E. Pigment May Contain: Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Pearl (Titanated Mica), Iron Oxide Red.