So, the Ironborn… where are they again?

I was doing some very important work chatting about Game of Thrones with my cousin the other night (so, do you think Daenerys is about to GO UTTERLY MAD or what?). We mentioned that the Ironborn seem oddly missing – well apart from Theon’s ill fated raid on Winterfell. It’s a little sad because I assume that they discuss the broad brushstrokes of where the stories are all going with GRRM before they write the scripts and presumably that means that the Ironborn don’t have a major part to play going forward.

Anyway, I have worked on a little Ironborn tribute mani. It has a squid decal on a background of Mysterious Icon by L’Oreal which is a bronzy gold shimmer. They I did some little golden glitter sprinkles at the top, as let’s be honest I’m not the one to pay the iron price.


It could probably do with a lighter colour under the decal but I kind of like it anyway.


NOTD using L’Oreal 24 Carat Gold

This is a quick NOTD using the L’Oreal 24 Carat over Ulta 3 Cloud Nine. The L’Oreal top coat is one of the little goodies from the Priceline goody bag. It’s a simple fine gold glitter top, but nice and sparkly and dries quickly without messing up the undercoat.


NOTD – I don’t give a Rotterdam (matte top coat).

I am loving this L’Oreal matte top coat. It’s such a great brush for a mini and just works quicky and dries well. How pretty does this polish come out matte! I love the blue-grey subtleness. 


I need to get back to posting more regularly but the beta testing for the next version of My Makeup Collection is continuing and I’m totally busy. On the bright side I’m so exited by how v2 is looking!

NOTD -OPI I spotted the Lizard Mattified


I have been taking the L’Oreal Matte Top coat for a spin (so to speak) and I’m quite impressed. It dries quickly, dries to a good matte finish and has a nice easy to use brush for a mini bottle. The price is *comparatively* not that great at $6.95 for a mini but the mini does stop it all from drying up before you are finished which can be an issue with special top coats for me. I picked it up at the 40% off priceline sale (so paid 415 ish) and I’ll definitely get a new one once I get through this one esp at that price.

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.

Image 1

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.

Image 4

Finally this is after 10 minutes and in the sun.

Image 3

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.

Face off – Maybelline BB cream SPF50+/PA+++ vs Loreal BB cream UV Perfect Max SPF 50+/PA+++

The previous face off posts seem to be popular so this seemed like it might be worth doing.



The maybelline cream is initially a touch more yellow than the L’oreal and a touch thicker.


I picked this one up in Singapore where the bb creams are both available for ~$SG17 ($AU14) although I had the L’Oreal one from Indonesia where the exact product was about $10/10,000Rp. As a slight aside Maybelline in Singapore has the most adorable mascot, Mabel in the City that I haven’t seen anywhere else. Isn’t that weird? Why wouldn’t they use her everywhere…


Blended after 5 mins

Blended after 5 mins

Blended after 10 mins

Blended after 10 mins

The Maybelline is a touch more smoothing and more matte than the l’oreal which is more dewy and illuminating (the maybelline ‘sets’ whilst the L’Oreal product stays a bit more fluid and moist on the skin). I prefer the more matte effect as I have large-ish pores, but it’s worth noting the ingredients include silicones like dimethicone which can be clogging. I found that the Maybelline was a better product for my skin texture wise and the smoothing effect was relatively long lived on my oil-y slightly sallow skin, but preferred the pigmentation/coloring of the L’Oreal cream which manages to come pretty close to my skin in the end whilst the Maybelline maintained a yellow-er tone.

Face off – Etude House Precious Mineral BB cream SPF30/PA++ vs L’Oreal BB cream “UV Perfect” SPF 50+/PA+++

The previous face off post seemed to be popular so this seemed like it might be worth doing. The etude house cream is initially a touch more beige than the L’oreal which is good and the texture is thicker.


The RRP of the L’Oreal cream is about $SG17.50/30ml in singapore (although I purchased mine in Indonesia so paid about 70% of that). The etude house cream looks like it retails for around $SG39.90. the etude house cream comes in 4 shades whilst the L’oreal has one colour ‘whitening’ which I can do on my skin tone and just look a touch paler but I suspect might not work as much on darker toned skins.


The etude cream also has a slightly blue undertone which knocks out some of the yellower under tones that asian skin can have but is more likely to give the grey-ish tinge pinker toned caucasian skins sometimes see when they use bb creams.

Immediately after application

Immediately after application

Full blended and left for 5 mins

Full blended and left for 5 mins

The Etude is a touch more glowing/dewy and much more smoothing on the pores and fine lines  than the L’oreal which is more fluid and illuminating. I prefer the more smoothing effect as I have large-ish pores, but it’s worth noting the ingredients include silicones like dimethicone which can be clogging. I found that the etude was a better product for my skin and the smoothing effect was relatively long lived on my oil-y slightly sallow skin. The biggest downside is the higher price tag and lower sun protection.  More mature skins would probably prefer the L’Oreal, as would anyone with a pink undertone in their skin.

UVA and UVB protection

I thought it might be worth summarising some of the material I have found while researching UVA and UVB protection. The SPF rating you see on sunscreen is measured by reviewing the UVB protection offered by sunscreen, largely due to skin reddening (technically known as erythema). SPF ratings tell you how much longer you can stay in the sun to prevent sunburn.

UVA on the other hand causes DNA damage and is related to higher rates of melanoma, albeit this relationship is not full understood yet. To find a suncreen that offers UVA protection you need to look for broad spectrum suncreen ingredients. Often it’s written as PA+ or PA++. (According to the Japan Cosmetic Industry Association PA+ corresponds to a UVA protection factor between two and four, PA++ between four and eight, and PA+++ more than eight.)

L’Oreal (and many brands in the L’Oreal family) use Ecamsule, which has been sold in Canada and Europe for a long period but only had approval in the last 5-6 years for use in the US. It is a highly photostable UVA filter, and EWG calls it low risk which gets a huge tick from me.

Avobenzene is also commonly used in broad spectrum sunscreen, but this can be an issue as it’s protective abilities degrade over the time spent in the light as well as combining with iron to sometimes stain clothes … which isn’t excellent from things like sitting in old pool chairs 😦 Clinique, Aveeno and Neutrogena are combining avobezene and oxybenzone for a more stabilised UVA sunprotection. Some of the ‘off brands’ I checked in my local chemist that said they offered broad spectrum sunscreen only had avobenzone or zinc oxide. Oyybenzone can be a little irritating and triggers skin irritations in some of my family.

Anyway, when you see that a sunscreen offers broad spectrum sunscreen it’s a good idea to check what the active ingredients are and see whether it is a photostable sunscreen (doesn’t degrade in light). The other thing to remember is the SPF relies on you using a certain amount of sunscreen (about 1/3 teaspoon on your face), so if you use you makeup more sparingly than that amount you will need to combine your makeup with a sunscreen to get adequate sun protection.

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.

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