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The Only Product I Wear On Makeup-Free Days
Joanna Fleming

This little trick of mine is almost guaranteed to banish ‘you look tired’ comments from your life. Do other people insist on asking if something’s wrong when you’re bare-faced? Come on people, haven’t you ever seen a pale person before?! Give us a break.

With the help of a single product, I’ve managed to get away with going makeup-free without being questioned. Say hello to Clarins Beauty Flash Balm. This product is so underrated in my opinion.

What’s So Good About Beauty Flash Balm?

– Imparts both immediate & long-lasting radiance to the skin

– Firms & helps minimise the appearance of fine lines & wrinkles

– Helps to smooth & soften textural irregularities like dry patches

– Diminishes signs of fatigue from the skin, evening the complexion

– Gives a slight airbrushed finish to bare skin

– Works excellently as a makeup primer for a flawless finish

– Has a very lightweight, comfortable creamy texture

Buy here

The Key Ingredients:

Olive Leaf Extract: packed full of protective antioxidants, this ingredient also helps to smooth the surface of the skin.

Bisabolol: this skin-brightening extract is derived from chamomile so it soothes & softens the skin.

Witch Hazel: is a natural astringent with antioxidant qualities that can soothe skin, control redness, help to heal & balance oil production.

Algae Extract: features antioxidants, as well as amino acids, proteins and vitamins, offering hydration, plus protection from environmental damage & premature ageing.

Buy here

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What’s Everyone Saying?

★★★★★ In love already! – Kathryn

“Only been using for a few days and I already love it! Leaves my face feeling so fresh! Perfect primer for my liquid foundation. I was using another popular primer but wasn’t seeing good results after applying the foundation. So glad I read all these positive reviews on this miracle balm to convince me to purchase! Will be buying again!”

★★★★★ Absolute must-have Amy

“If I was stranded on a desert island and could only have one thing… at least I’d die pretty. This cream just makes you look better. I can’t even pinpoint what it is, but I can tell the difference when I don’t use it before applying my makeup.”

★★★★★ I LOVE this product as a primer – Janaya

“Without it, my foundation looks chalky and my skin seems to lack that glow that it has when I use Beauty Flash Balm underneath. I put on the balm and then the foundation on literally straight after while the skin is still damp. It is an amazing product, if you haven’t tried it- do!”

Buy Clarins Beauty Flash Balm Here

 

The Vegan-Friendly Brand Making Contouring Simple!
Joanna Fleming

For some of you, contouring is sooo 2015 – yet despite the copious amount of contouring tutorials on YouTube, I still have people ask me how to contour. Not the typical Instagram-girl contour, but a more natural, novice-friendly version.

So here we are! And I figure while we’re at it, let’s cover the vegan and organic category too with Inika’s Baked Mineral Contour Duo.

 

Why Choose Inika’s Baked Mineral Contour Duo?

– The pressed powders are finely-milled & blend seamlessly onto the skin

– The contouring shades have a semi-matte finish (which don’t look flat or muddy)

– The universally flattering highlight shade has a softly luminous champagne tone

– Inika is 100% natural, vegan-friendly & free from chemical pressing agents

– Features anti-inflammatory & protective skincare ingredients

– Each shade is subtle yet buildable for a natural-looking finish

– A great option for sensitive & acne-prone skin types

– Each shade in the duo is baked traditionally on a terracotta tile in Tuscany

– Contains mineral pigments, corn starch, sugar cane & Magnolia bark extract

Buy here

 

Now, How To Contour (Naturally):

We’re just trying to add warmth and dimension here, so it really is super simple. I like to use the ‘three’ technique when it comes to contouring.

1. Pick up your contour shade on your brush, and using the shape of a ‘3’ as a guide, apply your contour shade from your hairline at your forehead, to your temple, then bring your brush underneath your cheekbones and back along the edge of your jawline.

2. With your highlighter, you want to apply this to the high points of your face that naturally catch the light. This includes your cheekbones, down your nose, brow bones and Cupid’s bow.

3. To soften your contour and tie it together, I like to apply blush to the apples of my cheeks, swiping it up towards my temples. I like Inika’s Baked Blush Duo in Pink Tickle.

 

Buy Inika Baked Mineral Contour Duo Here

Makeup That Actually Looks After Your Skin
Joanna Fleming

I often get asked to recommend makeup suitable for problematic skin types. Whether it’s acne-prone skin, or skin affected by conditions like rosacea – finding a suitable product that won’t exacerbate those concerns is sometimes a game of trial and error.

That’s where my favourite skincare brand comes in. Luckily, asap also have their pure mineral makeup range, with both a powder and liquid foundation option to suit more intolerant skin types.

 

Why Opt For Mineral Makeup?

asap’s range of powders and foundations provide a lightweight, long-lasting finish, that allow skin to breathe whilst protecting from sun, moisture loss, pigmentation and the damaging effects of pollution. These powders and foundations also contain skin-loving ingredients to improve and support skin health over time.

no makeup VS asap pure mineral 

 

Powder: pure mineral foundation

– Provides light-medium natural-looking comfortable coverage

– Protects skin from UVA/UVB damage with a natural SPF 15

– It’s a gentle mineral formula perfect for even the most sensitive skin

– Calms & soothes skin, minimising redness & irritation

The Key Ingredients:

Hyaluronic Acid microspheres: prevent your makeup from appearing chalky or powdery – plus his ingredient also helps to smooth the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, minimising visible dehydration lines as well as signs of ageing.

Mineral Pigments: are naturally derived, providing a safe option for those with sensitivities to synthetic ingredients.

Zinc & Titanium Dioxide: provide UVA/UVB protection as they calm the skin, boost the skin’s barrier function & minimise inflammation.

★★★★★ Great foundation – Sherilyn

“Love this powder. The shade matches my skin so well it’s hard to detect where I’ve applied it. You can build the coverage but it still has a lovely natural look – not cakey at all. It doesn’t accentuate pores like most powders do. Have been wearing this for a couple of years and after I strayed to another brand on impulse, I came straight back to this one. Love love love.”

Buy here

 

Liquid: skin perfecting mineral foundation

– This unique formula combines primer & coverage in a foundation

– Instantly smooths, nourishes & evens out the complexion

– It’s super lightweight & diffuses light for a soft, flawless finish

– Contains gentle mineral ingredients so it’s safe for sensitive skin

– Minimises the appearance of pore size & uneven texture

The Key Ingredients:

Red Clover Flower: helps to minimise the appearance of enlarged pores.

Grapefruit & Vitamin E: provide antioxidant protection, fortifying the skin’s barrier function to prevent environmental damage.

Titanium Dioxide: provides natural protection against sun damage whilst blurring and diffusing light, giving skin a glowing matte finish.

★★★★ Great for everyday wear Tessa

“I have relatively blemish-prone skin so need something with a little coverage. This is great for everyday wear, decent coverage and wears lightly and lasts for the whole day. It has a creamy texture and spreads easily over the skin. Also love that its all of the above and mineral.”

Buy here

 

Shop asap pure mineral makeup here

 

I’ve Finally Found A Replacement For My Fave Laura Mercier Powder
Joanna Fleming

While I’m still trying to get over the devastation of one of my favourite makeup brands departing the country, I have found solace in Bobbi Brown’s Nude Finish Illuminating Powder.

This particular powder has striking similarities to my beloved Candleglow Sheer Perfecting Powder by Laura Mercier – which is making my transition into life without Laura a bit easier.

 

Why I Love This Powder:

Much like my Candleglow Powder, the Nude Finish Illuminating Powder gives your skin a subtle, natural-looking lit-from-within glow. So you can imagine how relieved I was to discover it was a dupe for my usual go-to.

– Contains a blend of skin-brightening botanicals & light-reflective powders

– Features varying levels of pearlescent pigments for a naturally luminous effect

– Formulated with brightening Mulberry, Grape & Scutellaria extracts

– Available in multiple shades to suit most skin tones

– Can also be used as a highlighter, bronzer & eyeshadow

– Super comfortable on the skin with zero caking & no powdery finish

– Has slightly more shimmer than Laura Mercier’s powder

Buy here

 

How To Use:

What I like about this powder is that it can be multi-use if you want it to be. Some shade squares in the compact are just a matte colour, while others have a shimmer through them. So when blended all together, you get a beautiful glowing finish to the skin.

This also gives you the ability to use the more shimmery shades as a sheer eyeshadow or highlighter (just use a smaller brush). Fairer skin tones can have a deeper shade compact on rotation as a bronzing powder and terracotta/bronze eyeshadow duo.

I’m wearing shade Nude as a finishing powder below.

Buy here

 

What’s Everyone Else Saying?

★★★★★ Absolute life saver – Josephine

“I like to use this everyday to set my makeup but it also doubles as a highlighter. It gives you a nice glowy look that isn’t too shimmery. You can also use a little bit if you don’t want to put on a full face of makeup and it will give you a nice glow. I have been using this product for a year now and I absolutely love it.”

★★★★★ Beautiful, natural finish – Aaziya

“I use this as an all-over finishing powder which sets my make up without highlighting my pores. It takes away shine but imparts a subtle illuminating glow and makes my skin look flawless. I am in love with its texture and the tiny sparkles give my skin such a gorgeous highlight and gives the most natural finish ever. It’s much easier to use and less messy than a loose powder.”

★★★★★ Stunning – Crystal

“I have never been so in love with a compact powder till I found this. I use a very firm flat kabuki brush to buff it into my skin and it was stunning. I’m pale but they actually had a shade for me! Perfectly glowy and not glittery. I have normal/combination skin and it was a dream.”

Shop Bobbi Brown Nude Finish Illuminating Powder Here

 

The Most Interesting Lip Balm I’ve Ever Used
Joanna Fleming

I don’t usually expect to see a flower suspended inside a lip balm, but here we are!

After trying out the INC.redible You Glow Girl Iridescent Jelly Highlighter, I’m frantically scrambling to try the rest of the range, fearing I’ll miss out on the next best thing. And I think these Jelly Shot Lip Quenchers might be something to write home about.

 

What Makes This Lip Balm Different?

Well, I let the cat out of the bag already about the flower, but I don’t want you to think that makes this lip balm gimmicky (that was my first thought). This formula actually serves its purpose.

– These Jelly Shot lip balms contain restorative natural oils

– The formula nourishes, repairs & protects your lips from the elements

– Helps to prevent dry, peeling, cracked lips

– Ideal for all lip types including very dry & very sensitive

– Can be used alone, or underneath other lip products for added moisture

– Available in four very subtle shades

– Each shade features a different flower encased in the balm itself

Buy here

 

The Key Ingredients:

Vitamin E: Helps defend the skin from pollution and other environmental damage, as well as soothing the skin & harnessing anti-ageing benefits.

Avocado Oil: Rich in antioxidants & anti-inflammatory properties to protect & replenish the skin.

Rice Bran Oil:  Also packed with antixoidants and vitamins, this ingredient acts as a hydrating & protective emollient.

The Shades:

Just Be Me: a very subtle blush tint that adds a natural flush to your lips.

Watch Me Go: a pH-reactive shade that adjusts to enhance your natural lip colour.

It Was Only a Kiss: a pale lilac shade that gives a very slight tint to the lips.

Ex Revenge: infused with 24 carat gold, this shade gives a natural glow to the lips.

View shades here

 

What’s Everyone Saying?

★★★★★ Amazing and super trendy! – Malaak

“Super smooth on lips and hydrates them to keep them looking fresh. Very ‘instagrammable’ and really cute! The flower inside makes it even better and would 100% recommend for anyone! It’s also really affordable!”

★★★★★ I really like this! – Adrianna

“This is my first jelly lipstick and I find it amazing. Looks like a gloss. I’m not big on having colour on my lips, iff I had colour it would be nude. But I really like this one! I recommend if you just want a glossy look!”

★★★★★ Fabulous – Lisa

“Amazing product. Even though it’s green in colour it goes on clear. It brings out the natural colour in your lips with a lovely soft shine. I suffer from dry lips and have tried numerous brands of lip balm. This is the best I’ve ever used.”

Buy INC.redible Jelly Shot Superfood Lip Quencher Here

 

Our Beauty Editor Spills On The Best Laura Mercier Dupes
Joanna Fleming

On my list of personal first world problems, this is definitely number one. I nearly cried (okay fine, I loudly sobbed) when I found out Laura Mercier was leaving Australia.

HOW DARE THEY! Laura Mercier has long been my favourite makeup brand, so for the last few months I’ve been preparing myself for the break up by trying to find replacements for my favourite products. It hasn’t been easy, but I’ve worked with our resident makeup artist to find some dupes.

In case you’re wondering, I’ll be alright. Time heals all wounds.

Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder

Dupe: Make Up For Ever Loose Setting Powder

This is a major staple product in a lot of your makeup kits, so I know you’re probably desperately on the hunt for a replacement (unless you just bought a lifetime supply while it was still available).

Make Up For Ever’s Loose Setting Powder is a really good option. It’s super finely-milled so you only need to use a tiny amount – just press and roll your powder brush onto the mesh layer over the powder, and tap off the excess before applying. Make Up For Ever products are made for use in front of high definition cameras, so you can be sure this powder will give you a flawless finish.

★★★★★ One of the best – Megan

“The micro-finish formula is one of the best high-end setting powders! It’s lightweight and silky smooth. Once it’s been applied your makeup will look airbrushed! It doesn’t cling to dry patches or make your face like look flat. It’s perfect for everyday. And if you have a special occasion, it doesn’t look white in photos.”

Buy here

 

Laura Mercier Indiscretion Highlighter

Dupe: Bobbi Brown Bronze Glow

If you’re familiar with Indiscretion, you’ll know this highlighter has more of a bronzey-champagne shade to it – as does Bobbi Brown’s Bronze Glow (it’s slightly more bronze than Indiscretion). They pick up really similarly on your brush, and have almost the same amount of pigment and shimmer.

I’d recommend this highlighter for light/medium-deep skin tones, it’s not ideal for very fair skin as a highlighter.

★★★★★ Fabulous highlighter!  Black Tulip

I’m so glad this highlighter is back! The texture and pigment is fantastic, and it wears beautifully on the skin. It certainly provides the glow I’m looking for but does not contain any glitter, which is perfect for my “almost 40″, medium to dark skin tone.”

Buy here

 

Laura Mercier Radiance Foundation Pimer

Dupe: Estée Lauder Perfecting Primer The Illuminator

I don’t think anything will ever directly compare to the Radiance Primer, it was my holy grail, but Estée Lauder’s Perfecting Primer comes a close second. It doesn’t have the same champagne finish that the Radiance Primer has, but this is actually a positive for more textured skin, as the shimmer through the Estée Lauder primer is much more subtle, so it doesn’t grab to dry patches or blemishes.

I’ve found Estée Lauder’s Perfecting Primer does an excellent job at airbrushing the skin and adding subtle luminosity, without being too shiny. It also smooths out and hydrates the skin quite well for a more flawless foundation finish.

★★★★★ I have fallen in love with this primer! – Tina

“First of all, I have really dry skin especially around the T-zone, and I always had problems finding a primer and foundation that didn’t exacerbate the dryness. This primer made for a very good base, and helped to lightly moisturise my dry zones so that my foundation went on a lot easier. The other plus was that my skin didn’t look dry after a whole day of wearing, which has also never happened before! This primer made my skin look like a million bucks!”

Buy here

 

Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder

Dupe: BECCA Under Eye Brightening Setting Powder

If flashback is your concern with under-eye powders, I’m happy to report BECCA’s Under Eye Brightening Setting Powder actually has little to no flashback in photos, compared to Laura Mercier’s Secret Brightening Powder which can create quite a white cast from the camera flash.

BECCA’S Under Eye Brightening Powder does just that – it contains light-reflecting pearl powders that instantly brighten the under-eye area, while still being suitable for most skin tones. This setting powder prolongs the wear of your concealer, too (and it blurs fine lines).

★★★★★ Hydrating & brightening Beauty Bee

“This is the best under eye setting powder I have ever used! I have set aside my Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder, because it lightens my under eye area to much (so much so, my concealer ends up looking too light for me). The Becca powder doesn’t change the colour of your concealer and the brightening effect is more subtle (but it is there). The powder is soooo fine, I’d say it’s even finer than the LM powder and it’s more hydrating. It never looks super powdery (which looks awful under the eye area) or dry. It is just perfect!”

Buy here

Laura Mercier Illuminating Tinted Moisturiser SPF20

Dupe: Erin Bigg Cosmetics BB Cream SPF 30+

Not only does Erin Bigg’s BB Cream offer higher sun protection, but it almost mimics the luminous radiance of Laura Mercier’s coveted Illuminating Tinted Moisturiser.

If you haven’t heard of Erin Bigg before, it’s an Australian brand gaining popularity with a lot of professional makeup artists, especially for their Creme Gel Eyeliner, Illuminating Powder and Luminous Foundation. Erin Bigg’s BB Cream is a great option if you’re scrambling to find a replacement for your Illuminating Tinted Moisturiser.

Shop All Makeup Here

 

Have You Heard About The Soap Trick?
Joanna Fleming

This isn’t a new thing for those in the beauty world. But for anyone who doesn’t regularly watch makeup tutorials, or follow beauty bloggers, soap may not be the first thing that comes to mind when doing your brows.

Professional makeup artists have been using this little trick for years now to create feathery, brushed-up brows that actually stay put – so when I was skimming through Instagram and I spotted @alexsteinherr documenting @nikki_makeup doing her brows with soap, I had to talk about it.

 

Tell Me More:

The thing that struck me about Nikki’s technique was that she was using Dr Bronner’s Castile Bar Soap in Rose. And it doesn’t need to stop at brows – you can use this soap for a whole manner of things.

But this isn’t just any soap, Dr Bronner’s is famous for their commitment to organic and sustainable practices when it comes to their products.

– It’s certified fair trade and made with organic ingredients

– Contains hemp, coconut & olive oils with a sweet, floral fragrance

– The vegetable-based formula is vegan-friendly & completely biodegradable

– Lathers up richly for gentle & effective cleansing without drying out the skin

– Can be used to style brows or cleanse the body, face or hair

– Available in 11 different fragrances including lavender & green tea

★★★★★ Beautiful rose – Amanda

“Love this soap. It’s gentle, smells great and makes your hands feel really cleansed afterwards. Quite a big bar too, so it’s lasted me a while.”

Buy here

 

So How Do I Use It For My Brows?

I personally love really full, feathery brows. The good thing about this little trick, is that even if your brows are on the thinner side, you can create the illusion of them being full and fluffy – without even needing to fill them in.

To start, you want to take a clean spoolie brush (or you can use a disposable mascara wand), and run it under warm water. Flick off the excess water, and rub the spoolie horizontally across the bar of soap. You’ll notice the waxy formula of the soap picking up on the brush.

Then use your spoolie to brush your brows in an upward and outward direction until you’ve achieved your desired look. You can also add a pencil or tinted gel for more definition if you need it.

 

Buy Dr Bronner’s Castile Bar Soap Here