Bellabox August 2014 – Sport your style

This is the August Bellabox. It’s all pretty good, nothing stunning but all pretty decent.

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The wipes are nice wipes. They will be handy, but as I have small kids I have wipes in the house and I buy the nice baby ones at about $10 for 240 so I’m never going to really splash out $6 for 25 makeup wipes!

The aveeno moisturiser is nice but doesn’t have SPF so it’ll be limited to non exposed parts of the body. Maybe my feet?

The Nuxe hand cream is AMAZING. Its so light yet moisturising and has really minimal scent which I like in a hand cream. I mean if I’m wearing perfume at my wrist I don’t want a stinky handcream messing with the scent.

The Australis lipstick is nice. I have lots of red lipsticks, but this is a decent one. Its a true red with a slight shimmer. The photo is a swatch and a smudged one – it’s going to need setting in order to stay on for a full day but it’s definitely work keeping in a handbag.


The Burts Bee cleanser is another winner. There’s not too much to stay about cleanser but it smells lovely and leaves the skin feeling clean but not crazy dry. The size is decent for a travel pack too.

The final sample is a sachet of Palmers body lotion which is nice – but not overly useful to apply at the gym! I have used this one in the past as a night cream. It smells yummy like chocolate!

Do you subscribe to any boxes? which are your favorites?

(Feel like signing up for Bellabox? This is my referal link)


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.

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?


Tag: The Seven deadly sins

Greed: What’s your most expensive beauty item?

Let’s see… Diorific lipsticks, YSL Touche Eclat which I rarely use as I prefer Benefit Highbeam/Illamasque Fondle, J’adore perfume.

Wrath: What item do you have a strong love/hate relationship with?

I love a yellow nail polish but whites and yellows always streak on me.

Gluttony: What brand takes up most of your collection?

Its close to a draw between Illamasqua and Revlon. I love Illamasqua for nail polishes, pigments and glosses. Revlon does foundations and skin products than work for me.

Sloth: What product do you ignore the most due to laziness?

Probably eyeshadows. I’m in awe of the looks of the gurus like Queen of Blending but just can’t seem to get it happening. It’s a combination of laziness and lack of time on the school run!!

Pride: Which product gives you the most confidence?

Illuminator. It turns me from flat into 3 dimensional! People comment on how well I look when I wear and how sick I look when I don’t… Benetint and a lipstain like Revlon Colorstay Liquid Lipstick are a close second and make my 20 second makeup look for when I’m running out the door on the school run!

Lust: What item is at the top of your list?

Some more Urban Decay eyeliner and I’d love to try some more Tarte products (the eyeshadow/liner I have from them is utterly amazing) and I’ve heard great things about the rest of their products.

Envy: Which makeup product/look looks great on others but not on you?

Bronzer. I just can’t make it work. I look more dirty than warmly sunkissed.

Hat tip to Ginger Loves Makeup for tagging me 🙂

A year of no-buying

I have been drafting this post for a while but at some point I have to just hit send I guess. I have completed one of my initial goals since starting this blog a year ago and that was to blog for a year. I probably hit about 80% on the cosmetics no buys – I had a couple of splurges, once on hoidays and twice on nail polish sales. I felt icky afterwards and made sure I cut back on other areas so I could still donate to homeless charities.

I have donated $675 in total this year. Which is a lot and yet a drop in the ocean really. The homeless problem in my city seems to be growing exponentially at least by the visibility of beggars on the streets. Housing affordability is one side of it but the bigger issue is that supported housing for people with issues that intefer with them maintaining a household (drug dependencies, mental illnesses or so forth) are expensive and very hard to come by. The charities I support tend to the transitional homeless support (rather than crisis care they look at getting people into the level of supported housing that best suits their abilities). It’s slow, it’s expensive, it’s messy. It doesn’t tie up neatly in a bow at the end of a time period and often people will need ongoing support and never fully leave the system.

I’m not craving clothes or makeup in the same way. I threw out a few bags on clothes and yet really need to do more. I think in part its just that I have so much damn stuff it’s hard to see what else I need sometimes. So my buying is getting a lot less crazed. It’s a little offputting how few item I have actually used up this year though. It makes me realise the scope of my makeup hoarding and not in a good way!

I bought out an app so I can track which makeup I already have. This is actually super useful as it stops me feeling like ‘OMG what a great deal I’ll just buy…” as I stop and work out which versions of the same colour I already own. It is going pretty well though hasn’t set the world on fire by any means! I have learnt a lot about app development which is fun and hopefully I can continue to grow and refine the concept over time.

Thanks to everyone who has read and followed me this year. It’s been fun seeing you all and getting to know people with similar interests. Over the next year I think my blog will change focus a little but will definitely continue to have a makeup theme.

(And now I really must press post or this will sit in drafts until next year!)

$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!

My Makeup Collection for Android

I am extremely happy to say that I *finally* can link you to My Makeup Collection on Android. My Makeup Collection is the latest and best way to organize your swatches and makeup collection in your phone or tablet. It’s a great addition to our iphone app which has been very popular with our users.

If you want some more info you can check out the website at My Makeup Collection, and our facebook page has lots of updates and cool links.

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?