Cheapskate Love

26 May

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Elnett Hairspray.

My first memories of this hairspray involve me being told to close my eyes and mouth and not to breath in. My entire face was then doused in a few coats of the stuff. I was a childhood ballet student and doing this would apparently set my pancake foundation and blue eyeshadow in place. This was just one of the many “backstage” makeup tricks I picked up as a prancing little swan (I’ll divulge some more of these handy/wacky/damaging tips in another post). Fast forward twenty or so years and I’m still using the stuff, albeit in a slightly more run of the mill way, on my hair. It’s my favourite hairspray and I’ve remained faithful to it for one main reason. It doesn’t feel like hairspray. Confused? It’s a bit of a mixed up concept, but basically this gives you the hold, the volume, and the curls that last a few days, but it doesn’t make your hair sticky, crunchy or stiff in any way. The front of the can says it “disappears at the stroke of a brush” and the truth is, it does. Once you brush your hair, this stuff is completely gonezies. I don’t know where it goes and I don’t care! It’s bye bye hairspray and hello luscious flowing locks (mild exaggeration). I love you Elnett! I love your fabulous retro can and your old lady smell. I will continue to buy this for as long as I have hair to spray (apologies for ending on a visual of a bald Lulu. Yikes).

All out of love #4

21 May

 

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I was inspired by Stacey from expatmake-upaddict to change the format of my empties posts. She has been doing a sort of highlights list instead of talking in detail about every single one of the products she’s used up. Since my empties stash has reached overflowing, taking over my room, drowning in a sea of plastic proportions, I thought doing a highlights and lowlights list would be a fun idea, and would also save me from getting arthritis in my fingies due to typing overload. Let’s begin with the highs…

Philosophy – Eternal Grace Firming Body Emulsion.
This was such a lovely body cream to use. Firming? No. Let’s be real. The gym is firming, a cream is not. But it’s moisturising ability is outstanding. It’s one of the only body creams that I can still feel on my skin the next day. The smell is lovely, it’s quite intense though, so I only used this at night so as not to interfere with my perfume. Have already repurchased.

Original Source – Vanilla and Raspberry shower gel.
I always have one of these kicking around in my shower. Literally kicking back and cruising like a homie. Cheap, makes me clean, smells nice, not drying, and he ain’t no playa. That ticks all my boxes in terms of shower gel requirements. Will always repurchase.

Aesop – Camellia Nut Facial Hydrating cream.
I used up two samples of this and loved it. My night time oils mixed in very well with it, didn’t cause any breakouts or irritation and most importantly, it was very hydrating. Smells nice too. Will be purchasing a full size fo sure.

Kiehls – Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado.
I love this stuff. Have already done a solo post on it, so I won’t ramble here. But it’s great green goo and I’ve already repurchased.

L’oreal – Elvive Re-nutrition Nourishing Shampoo and Conditioner.
This was a surprise hit. Left my hair smooth and soft, smelt yummy (I know that I mention the scent of pretty much every product I write about, but smells can be a deal breaker for me, my nose is a sensitive little thing), and it left my hair manageable. Probably won’t repurchase because I rarely repurchase shampoo and conditioner, I just never get that attached to them, know what I mean?

And now for the lows…

Neutrogena – Norweigian formula hand cream.
Now, I don’t know what the heck they are doing up there in Norweige, but this was the thickest, most un-absorbable hand cream I’ve ever come across. It literally sat on my hands like a new layer of greasy skin. It was so uncomfortable. I don’t even know if it was super hydrating because I usually ended up wiping most of it onto my pyjama bottoms in an effort to rid myself of some of the slime. Has no scent and is an effort to squeeze out of the tube due to its glue like consistency. Props to me for persevering and finishing the stuff. Yucky poo. Will not repurchase. (Side note – the Norweige thing was a joke, so pipe down you geography nazis).

Aesop – Perfect Facial Hydrating Cream.
This cream was nice and hydrating but….wait for it….the smell is beyond. It smells like..I don’t even have the words. Seriously. I know it must be a bit annoying for you reading this as I can’t even describe the scent to you but I don’t know what it is! It’s unbearable though. Reading the ingredients list it contains things like: soybean oil, citric acid, fusanus spicatus wood oil (what the?) carrot root extract and linalool (linalool is a cool word hey). So basically I guess it smells like a woody carrot cake made with soy milk and linalool. That actually doesn’t sound too bad. But trust me it’s bad. I couldn’t stand the smell of it on my face. Linalool (just writing it for funzies now). Won’t repurchase purely for scent reasons. Linalool. Ha!

TheBalm – Tall, Dark and Handsome Mascara.
Cute name? Tick. Cute packaging? Tick. Cute performance? Ahh. No. This was a dry, flaky formula that didn’t do a great deal for my lashes. It certainly didn’t lengthen or separate or offer any volume, so basically It did none of the usual mascara duties. What is your purpose then Mr tall, dark and handsome? Are you just here to look good? Shallow, shallow mascara. You should be ashamed of your lack of substance. Will not repurchase.

Cheapskate love.

12 May

I am predominantly a lover of all things high end, not because I diss a bargain, but I just like my pretty stuff to come in pretty packaging and to feel lux and princessy. Shallow, perhaps, apologies, zero. Occasionally though, a product will make its way from the drugstore shelves into my stash and I find its performance impressive and worthy of a mention on this here bloggy blog. So I created the cheapskate love post. It’s kind of like being taken to Oporto on a first date. A bit uncool and not at all fancy, but surprisingly satisfying. Chicken burger in yo tum!

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Garnier – Clean sensitive 2 in 1 gentle makeup remover.
$9.99 AUD http://www.priceline.com.au

Over the past few months, I’ve become quite a fan of waterproof mascara. The double edged sword-y-ness of this, is that removal is usually quite challenging. I’m not a fan of using my cleansing balm to tackle my eye makeup, despite the fact that I know my Holy Grail Clinique stuff could handle it, but I hate having black stuff smeared all over my face and looking like a coal miner. “I think I’m getting the black lung pop”. #Zoolanderquotes4life
Anyway, I picked up this Garnier bottle when I was in Priceline one day because I remembered someone, somewhere writing or talking about it, (I’m a bit vague on those details), and I’d just run out of my Clarins eye makeup remover. No, this stuff isn’t glamorous, the bottle and pouring spout situation are shocking, spillages are just something you will have to come to terms with when using it, but at that price, all can be forgiven, because this stuff really works! It gets off my waterproof mascara so easily. I pour a little (or more accurately, I pour out whatever the spout gives me, because you really have no control over that whole deal with this bottle), onto a cotton pad and hold it over my eyelid for around 15 seconds and then one or two wipes later, every scrap of eye makeup is gone. No greasy residue, no irritation, no need to break a $50 for it. Ding ding ding, we have a cheapskate love.

Love Bite

7 May

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MAC – Pro Longwear Concealer in shade NW25.

$32 AUD http://www.maccosmetics.com.au

Every once in a while a product comes along that makes Lulu think, “How was I living without this?”. Dramatic, yes. But in this case, justifiably so. This little concealer gem had been on my wish-list for so darn long that by the time I finally got around to picking it up, I kind of wasn’t even excited anymore. It’s sparkle had worn off and it was now just something that I had to buy, like dishwashing liquid. My lack of enthusiasm only added to the joy that I felt when it finally did grace my face. Well, not really my face, but my under eye area specifically. It covers dark circles like nothing else. On low-key makeup days, I don’t tend to use it as its pretty full on. On those days, I go for a sheerer stocking as oppose to opaque liquorish legs, if you get what I mean (does anyone? ever?), and on those occasions that I don’t have it on, I really notice just how much coverage it offers. Its the best I’ve found. Its reasonably priced and the colour selection is huge. Yes, I have some annoying little gripes with the product, its thick, it smells like paint stripper and the pump is so insanely impossible to operate it will make you want to perforate your own ear drum, but dayyuum! The stuff inside is good, seriously good. Also, it truly doesn’t crease, and my eyes are pretty creasy, due to the myriad of highly involved facial expressions I like to use on a daily basis. I don’t even set this stuff with powder and it doesn’t move. Holy majoly. Have I mentioned its good stuff. Ok rave over, do your face a favour and get some.

Love Bite

30 Apr

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Benefit- Hoola bronzer
$51 AUD (full size) http://www.myer.com.au

Benefit’s Hoola is one of those products that I’ve always been curious to try but have never actually considered purchasing. I’m perfectly happy with my NARS Laguna bronzer for bronzing and TheBalm’s Bahama Mama for contouring, so I haven’t really felt the need to explore other bronzing options. However, a mini size Hoola was included in last years Benefit advent calendar, so I was excited to now have the chance to try it out. I experimented a few times using it for bronzing and contouring. Hmmph, not impressed. It didn’t hold a candle to my other bronzy options. It sat unloved for a while until I saw a YouTuber use it as an eyeshadow crease colour. Lulu thought to herself, “maybe that could work for me? I love warm toned browns in the crease. I’m all about that shizzle.” So I tried it. And loved it. It’s become my go-to crease colour for pretty much every eye look I do. (Lets not kid ourselves here though, my only eye looks are simple, warm neutrals, it’s not like I’m experimenting with neons and cut creases or anything. Yikes.) I love that I have it in the mini size too, cuz it fits nicely into my eyeshadow drawer and he doesn’t look out of place in there which satisfies my OCD tendencies (grabbing an eyeshadow from the bronzer drawer would literally cause my brain to erupt). It’s smooth, buttery, easy to blend and finishes off my eye looks perfectly. As a bronzer, I’ll pass, but as a crease colour, Lulu is on board.

Love Bite

25 Apr

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A’kin- Pure rose hydrating mist.
$21.95 AUD http://www.davidjones.com.au

In my recent efforts to simplify my skincare routine due to facial area meltdown (otherwise known as breakouts), I went hunting for a basic spray toner to use after cleansing. I didn’t want anything fancy or high tech, just a nice calming and balancing mist that sprayed out evenly. That part is key. I am a bit of a spritz nozzle Nazi (there is such a thing). I like a nice, fine mist that covers large sections at a time. I don’t like having bubbles or droplets of product left on my face after a spray, and I don’t like feeling like someone is hitting me with a super soaker from close range. Nazi I tell you! I picked up this A’kin one on a bit of a whim, I liked the look of the ingredients and it didn’t break the bank so it was worth a shot. There weren’t any testers available so it’s spray capacity was a mystery to me until I got home and tried it out. I braced myself, eyes closed tightly, mouth sealed. I pushed down on the nozzle ready for a possibly painful soaking, and I was hit with rose scented kisses from baby cherubs! A perfectly formed mist which covered my entire face in two spritzes was dispersed. I never knew spraying a toner could be so beautiful! It’s hydrating and soothing and everything I wanted. I’ve found myself sometimes spraying it over my makeup for a bit of a refresh and just to get some more of those cherub kisses. Pucker up people, we’ve found a winning toner.

Love Bite

16 Apr

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Physicians Formula – Eye Booster 2 in 1 Lash Boosting Eyeliner + Serum in Ultra Black

$21.95 AUD http://www.priceline.com.au

Yesterday, Lulu was sat deep in thought. I was pondering what product I’d like to feature in this week’s love bite post. The boyfriend piped up and said “Why don’t you do a post about an eyeliner?” This was alarming and exciting for two reasons. Firstly, he had just used the word eyeliner confidently and in context, and secondly, he had just used the word eyeliner confidently and in context. Crazy times. I said “Why?” He said “Because your eyeliner has been looking really good lately”. I happy danced inside (and a little outside too), asked no further questions and got to typing up this post. The Physicians Formula Eye Booster 2 in 1 Lash Boosting Eyeliner and Serum in Ultra Black came into my life mainly due to my penchant for exceedingly long, ridiculously detailed product names. (That’s sarcasm there kids, I despise them.) I had also heard about it numerous times on Tati’s YouTube channel and she knows her stuff. I was at a desperate time in my eyeliner life, where I wasn’t satisfied with my Stila stay all day eyeliner, mostly because mine kept sprouting little hairs out of the end of the tip (annoyance times a million), but I wasn’t sure what else to buy. I saw this one on sale (it’s regular price is pretty cheap anyway), so I grabbed it and hoped for the best. I’ve been using it pretty much every day for around a month and to be honest, I’m really not sure why I haven’t blogged about it sooner (bad blogger, slaps wrist). This stuff is good. Pretty darn good. The formula is smooth, very black and stays put all day. The tip is firm and fine (that sounds saucier than I intended it to), and allows you to create a nice precise line with a super slim flick on the end if your in a catty mood (when aren’t you Lulu?). This little pen has been going strong for a whole month now and shows absolutely no signs of drying up, the tip is still in perfect condition, no stray fluffs or anything poking out the end and its just basically making me happy. I cant comment on its boosting ability however, (is it my eyes or lashes that are meant to be being boosted? Confused Lulu.) but I don’t care, that’s not what I’m here for. I’m here for a perfect winged liner that’s super easy to do when your still bleary eyed in the morning. Also, something that impresses the boyfriend is always welcome. 

Love Bite

10 Apr

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Antipodes – Divine Face Oil.

$33 AUD http://www.adorebeauty.com.au

First up, we all know about Lulu’s obsession with Rosehip oil. If you don’t, perhaps you need to spend a few minutes trawling back through the Lulu archives and catching up on past Lulu excellence and Rosehip references. We will wait for you to get back. Ok. Now that we are all up to date and on the same page, we can proceed to discuss the magic that this divine little oil is. I popped this bottle of goodness on my Christmas wish list and Santa was kind enough to deliver it to me. I used it a few times but I wasn’t really wowed. I was currently in a state of Clarins Blue Orchid oil obsession though (again, take a few minutes and do some catch up reading if you’re not familiar with my love for this stuff, and then slap yourself on the wrist for not religiously reading all of Lulu’s posts and committing them to memory), so I felt as though this Antipodes oil wasn’t quite up there with the best of the best. Fast forward to April, and my skin is in such a state of turmoil (I’m blaming product overload, Amelia’s recent YouTube video and blog post explained what’s happening on my facial surface perfectly), that I didn’t know what to do. So, for now, I’ve stripped it all back to the basics. Cleanse, tone, eye cream, moisturiser/face oil. That’s it. This little baby has made the cut as my face oil of choice and so far I’ve been thrilled with his performance. The blemish and scar healing power of the rosehip oil combined with the nourishing and hydrating properties of the avocado oil join forces in this little bottle to make a lovely concoction of happiness. No, its not the most glow giving, radiance enhancing, smooth skin producing oil I know of (Clarins Blue Orchid still holds that title for me), but it is soothing and calming and non-irritating and exactly what my grumpy skin needs at the moment. Happy skin is on the way back, and this oil has played a leading role in its return. 

A Lovely Lip Duo

8 Apr

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Revlon Balm Stain in Honey and NYX Butter Gloss in Crème Brulee. 

Lulu is not really a fan of the nude lip. Admired from afar yes, but on Lulu herself, it always makes her look like a dead face, corpse head or zombie brain. Not the look we are going for, usually. My latest lip love team is about as nude as I will go. Its not even nude really, its pretty much a pink, so I don’t even know why I’m rambling on about nudes, but this post started off that way and the backspace key is so far away. Nudy-ness or non-nudy-ness aside, this lip duo has been gracing my face for the last few days running and I’ve been loving it. I’ve been in the sort of mood where lip liner and statement lips just feel too hard (shame on you Lulu, statement lips are your thang girl). I’ve had the Revlon balm stain in the shade Honey for a while now and every time I put it on it just felt a bit too mauvey on my complexion. I’ve had the NYX butter gloss in Crème Brulee for a while now too, and every time I swiped that on it made me look washed out. One day I had a stroke of genius, (don’t get too impressed by that, I have them daily) and put these two together. Now. We’re. Talking. They are a match made in lip colour heaven. It’s like my lips but better combined with nude combined with sunshine and lollipops. It’s easy, doesn’t require a mirror, makes me look alive and like I put in some effort and it just works. Kind of like breakfast for dinner. (Cereal tastes different after 6pm, I don’t know how, but it just does.) So, to summarise, this lip combo is good, you should try it, me likey, me want cereal.

Love Bite

1 Apr

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Chanel – Poudre Universal Libre in the shade 30 Naturel

$71 AUD http://www.davidjones.com.au

You know the old saying, “you don’t know what you got till it’s gone”? Well for one, its bugs me, because if it’s gone, you don’t got it anymore, so there’s no way that you could know what you got once its gone, so the silly thing doesn’t actually make any sense. But for the purpose of this post, I’m going to put my ocd punctuality and grammar nit pickings aside and reference the dumb little saying here anyway. Early last week I trudged off to work, (why am I always trudging there?) and during the day I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror, (let’s not kid ourselves here, I was purposefully checking myself out) and I thought “Gee Lulu, you look awfully shiny for 11am.” I inched a bit closer, “Gee Lulu, your pores look super noticeable today”, closer still, “Gee Lulu, I can actually see every single crease and blemish and imperfection on your skin you hideous beast!”. Admittedly my nose was virtually touching the mirror at this point. I recoiled in horror. “Nooooo!!!!! I forgot to powder my face!!!!!” It was at this moment that I realised that I really don’t know what I got till its gone, (even typing it makes me cringe). Powdering my face is something I’ve always done, never paid all that much attention to, but diligently swirled my brush and patted my skin with it nonetheless. On this powderless day, I came to see exactly how much difference that step makes, particularly when you are using our good friend Mr Chanel. He is of course, one of the fancy pants of the powder world, but with good reason. This stuff is light as fluffy little fluffs (comparing it to air or feathers wouldn’t do it justice), it feels like you have nothing on your skin. It keeps shine at bay but doesn’t make you completely dead matte and it somehow blurs and smooths over any icky bits. Pores seem less noticeable, blemishes seem to scream out for attention a bit less and you just get this smooth glowy look about you. I’ve used it over tonnes of different bases and its always just as good. Holy schnitzels! I’m in powder love.