Oribe Dry Texturising Spray
I hated the fact I loved this product so much after I liberally sprayed some in my hair while at Bloomingdale's (they have a Space.NK.apothecary inside). Seriously hated it, because this stuff is not cheap. I don't take the decision to buy a $42 USD hair product lightly (a sickening $66 AUD), but it was the last day of my holidays, I'd been sitting on the fence about whether to buy it for most of the trip, and I didn't want to regret not taking it home. Oribe is apparently stocked in Sydney, but a) I don't go into swanky hair salons b) I can't be bothered making a special trip to Paddington or wherever just to buy it.
I tried to convince myself with various texturising sprays that I don't need the Oribe (from the ineffectual Garnier Fructis Full & Luscious Volume Booster Spray, to the hairsprayish Charles Worthington Volume & Bounce Texturising Spray, to the close contender amika Un.Done Texture Spray), but really, as is the case with any product I covet but mentally close off the possibility of buying because it's too expensive, I should've just gone straight for what I really want. The Oribe is the best of the bunch. It's just that touch more refined, better smelling, less crunchy in my hair, and effective. It creates long lasting volume, doubles up as a mild dry shampoo, gives the hair added texture and slight grit so it's a bit more piecey and beachy, and smells like an expensive hair perfume. I think the amika is close enough and like, half the price, but I can't deny I like the Oribe just that touch more.
Bottom to top: Ivory Bisque, Peach Pop, Black Honey, At Dusk, Morning Java, Bronze Satin
Clinique Limited Edition All About Shadow Palette
I just talked about it in this post, so I won't ramble on for too long here. But basically, this palette has been such a standout among the products I purchased while in the US. Even more surprising, given it was included in a gift with purchase. I've been really impressed with the pigmentation and application of the shadows, especially the incredibly vibrant and metallic At Dusk.
Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara
I packed this mascara in my makeup bag to the US, and my appreciation for it only grew as time went on. Before my trip, my first impressions were that it wasn't all that voluminising, but since using it daily in the States, I don't really know what I was going on about. Maybe the mascara needed some time to dry out and for the formula to become more clumpy and less wet, but I now think it does a great job at separating, lengthening, darkening and thickening. What I like about Lash Sensational is that it's a solid all-rounder that's ultra reliable. If you want a mascara that will deliver noticeable results, quickly and without fuss, it ticks the boxes. While hurriedly slapping on makeup in front of whatever mirrored surface the hotel room had, I'd haphazardly whack some of this on my tragic Asian lashes and it really made a difference.
MAC Prep + Prime Fix+
I feel like I'm very late to the bandwagon with this one. Fix+ never particularly appealed to me, I think in large part because I never find myself drawn to MAC's packaging. But I'm becoming somewhat obsessed with facial mists and sprays, and Fix+ is such a staple that I had to try it. I bought the 30ml mini from the MAC store on Powell St in San Francisco for $10 USD, since the full 100ml size would've been more expensive than if I'd bought it from Australia ($35 vs $27), and I wanted to sample it first. I started to immediately use it while on holiday, and it was instant loovveee. This stuff is all my glowy, milky, hydrated skin fantasies in a bottle. Combined with a dewy foundation and radiance-boosting sunscreen, my skin was at next level luminosity, right on the brink of too much. The ingredients seem kind to the skin (even Paula's Choice Beautypedia gave it a positive review) and it doesn't leave my skin feeling dry or irritated in the slightest. I do have to say if I'm not careful with distributing the mist evenly, it can disturb the surface of my foundation, so after most of the product has dried, I'll take a look at my face and gently blend out with my finger any areas of unevenness. I'm converted and will likely buy a full bottle in the future.
Maybelline Fit Me Concealer in Sand
I've had this for a while, but it was only after I packed it in my holiday makeup bag that I realised just how damn amazing it is. On days when I didn't feel like wearing a base all over (the other option I brought was Bobbi Brown BB Cream), I would place the concealer under my eyes, around the sides and down the bridge of my nose, around the corners of my mouth, in a three-pronged V-shape on my forehead, and whatever residual product was left on the applicator on my cheeks. Then I'd blend it all out with my finger in a tapping motion. I'd achieve the same or fuller coverage than the Bobbi Brown BB Cream, but the product would actually stick to my face rather than slide right off. But more than that, the finish was SO luminous. Not in a shimmery or even sheeny way, but luminous in a natural, undetectable, glow-from-within way. I never realised just how radiance-boosting the Fit Me Concealer is until I used it as an alternative to foundation. Quality stuff.
I felt it was important to include this brush in my favourites, because almost three and a half years ago (gulp), I reviewed it and didn't understand it at all. In that post, I didn't even mention the Setting Brush could be used to apply concealer (only for setting concealer under the eyes or spot powdering...)! I've been loving using the Setting Brush to apply concealer to areas of my face that need extra coverage — it's the ideal size, shape and density to blend product into the skin seamlessly. The bristles are super soft and don't irritate the delicate under eye area at all. I've also been reaching for it to apply powder highlighter, particularly Dior Diorskin Poudre Shimmer in Amber Diamond. I run the brush across the different coloured strips and apply the highlighter to the top of cheekbones and under the browbone. Because Amber Diamond is a bit harder and drier in texture compared with softer, creamier highlighters like theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer or Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Champagne Pop, it calls for a firmer, flatter brush to pick up product, which the Setting Brush is perfect for.