Madara Insider Box – Spring 2019

2019, April 2019

I actually pre-ordered this box back in September (so it’s still within my no buy rules) and I was really looking forward to receiving it once I knew I wasn’t going to buy anything new this year.

This is the second Madara insider box I’ve purchased and so far they’ve been ok. Really reflective of how I feel about the brand altogether – I like the products, but I’m never really blown away and it’s very rare that I go back and repurchase. I also have a bit of a history with not being able to get on with some of the products purely based on their scents, sometimes to a point that I have had to stop using the products altogether. This time around everything has actually been fine in that regard.

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One of the things included this time around is the Grow Volume Conditioner (€19.90/175ml) from their new Boost line designed to aid hair growth. It has chanterelle extracts (yum) and it’s packaged in a plant based plastic tube (I cannot tell you how impressed I am by that alone). It smells like a herby spice cupboard – something I actually quite enjoy, a bit spa like in fact. The smell doesn’t last too long on the hair once rinsed out. Texture wise it’s a thick cream that absorbs very quickly. In terms of the actual performance – as I was rinsing the conditioner out I noticed that my hair felt stronger, if that makes sense. I actually think I will get on with this product quite well.

Beach BB Shimmering Sunscreen SPF15 (€21.95/100ml) – I’m a bit on the fence about this one. It’s not as thick and greasy feeling as the other products from Madara’s sun protection range, but then again, it also has a lot lower SPF than the others. SPF 15 is not going to get you very far especially in the height of the summer which is when you would want to take the most advantage of the included shimmer since the weather is a lot more forgiving to exposing more skin. The shimmer itself is very nice and quite subtle and the cream has nice florally scent. It’s great to add some umph on a night out, but I’m not so sure about the whole SPF thing. I would use it as a body makeup type of product and rely on something else for the actual sun protection if I was to use it during the day.

Fake It Natural Look Self Tan Milk (full size €27.00/150ml) – I haven’t actually tested it out since I’m staying away from the fake tans now that I’m pregnant, but I did apply a bit on my hand just to test out the texture and smell. It’s very light and absorbs quickly, it’s also colourless on application – so far so good. The smell is a bit funky – like a very intense citrus, but I’m not sure whether this lingers or in fact develops in to something even more pungent. I also don’t know how well the actual tan develops and how long it lasts etc. I’ll have to report back on this.

Exfoliating Oil to Milk Scrub (full size €24.95/60ml) – It’s not very clear from the description whether this is to be used on face or body so I assume it can be used on either. However, the actual scrubby particles are very fine and the product is super gentle on the skin to the point that you almost can’t feel it (I used it on my face) so it probably wouldn’t be the most effective body scrub.  I don’t normally use physical exfoliators on my face so I’m not really sure how it compares to other products in this category, but it seemed nice enough and if facial scrubs are your thing it’s probably decent enough to try.

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Included also were two 3ml samples – Daily Defence Cream (full size €17.50/60ml) which I have used before and I like as an intensive hand cream. Also the Weightless Sun Milk SPF20 (full size €22.95/150ml) – which I had very high hopes for, but it’s not actually that lightweight and it’s very fragranced. It protects the skin well but there’s nothing exceptional about it compared to other similar products on the market.

All in all – it’s been interesting to test some new products. I won’t buy the next box since I’m on a no buy, but I might get another one at some point in the future. I wouldn’t say it’s a must, though. From the value perspective the boxes work out quite well – it’s €27.95 for one or €37.95 for two so you definitely get your moneys worth.

What are your favourite Madara products?

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My No Buy Year 2019 – Three Month Check In

2019, April 2019

2FB85FB0-E5CE-448C-A2A6-E0AFECAC93C7Last of the no buy posts (have a look at my wishlist HERE and the list of things I have bought HERE) is an overall roundup of my experience so far.

It definitely started on a high – in January it was all fresh and exciting, it was an interesting project to concentrate on. The time flew and the whole thing didn’t seem that difficult at all.

In February I was a little bit more tempted to buy, but I actually had decided not to buy a single beauty or clothing related item for the whole month – including repurchases (since I knew I wasn’t going to run out of anything). Having a dedicated page in my calendar and crossing out days one by one was definitely helpful. And so I kept my ground for another month.

At the beginning of March I felt like I didn’t want to buy anything because I just didn’t want to ruin my perfect record. Until I went through a few emotionally quite taxing days and I was just itching to make a purchase, any purchase! There was that little voice in my head whispering “common on now, you’ve had an absolutely horrendous day, just treat yourself”. This actually made me realise just how closely connected my buying habits and changes in my emotional state are. Thinking back it’s definitely very true – emotionally last year was by far the worst year of my life and coincidentally it was also the year I spent the most money on buying things. I mean – off the charts spending! So that is something I will definitely address in the coming months. Now that I have identified the triggers I just need to come up with a better strategy to deal with these situations. All in all – March has been hard, but I do feel I’m getting back on top of things and I’m hoping for a much better April.

I’ve mentioned wishlists before, but they really do work for me. I am surprised by how quickly things rotate in and out – there are items I would delete just hours after placing them at the top of my must buy list. As a result I have become a bit more selective when it comes to placing things on my wishlist in the first place. I have also become a bit wishlist obsessed spending more time than I would like to on perfecting my selections. Again – something I can improve on.

I do think I have become better at instinctively knowing what I will end up purchasing once my no buy is over and what will just not work for me. If I feel any hesitation or if I have to find reasons to convince myself to like something I know it’s not right and move on. It has also inspired me to declutter my collection because I can now very clearly hone in on things that should never have been there in the first place.

So far I have used up a whopping 26 items across the board, but I haven’t had to repurchase any. I still have at least one item in each category which has made me realise just how unnecessarily big my collection is. I have also discovered some absolute gems in my current collection and most times when I see something new and shiny I go back to the things I already own and I’m able find something very similar.

I have been able to carve out a bit more time to spend on other things like reading and just relaxing but I’m still not where I was hoping to be, but then there’s another nine month to go. And that’s the thing – it will take time to fix something I  have ignored for so long. I just hope a year is enough.

If you are also doing a no buy let me know in the comments below how it’s been going for you.

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My No Buy Year 2019 – What I’ve bought so far

2019, March 2019

A few weeks ago I shared what was on my current wishlist (HERE) – things that I would buy if it wasn’t for the no-buy. This time I thought I’ll share the products that I have actually purchased. I really do think I’ve done pretty well, especially compared to the quantities of beauty products I used to acquire pre my no buy year.

So far I’ve bought four items – three of which were partially covered by gift vouchers that were about to expire and another item entirely paid with by a gift voucher.

So these are the products that have made the cut:

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Mac Dazzleglass in Steppi’n Out (AUD 40.00) – I used to own a Dazlleglass and I remember really liking it, it’s probably one of the very few lip products that I’ve actually used up. I was really craving having it back in my collection. I had a gift voucher and I decided to go for it. No regrets there. I’ve really cherished it and have gotten a lot of use out of it. It’s supper shimmery and sticky, but it’s also pretty long lasting for a lip gloss and doesn’t bleed outside the lip line. I really like that it applies with a mini lip brush (I much prefer a brush over a traditional doe foot applicator for lip glosses). It’s not as bright and scary looking on the lips – the base colour is actually pretty sheer, it really is all about the shimmer with this one.

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter (£30.00/30ml) – I first swatched this when it launched about a year ago. Back then I thought it was a foundation and for that it was definitely too sheer so I just left it at that. However, at the end of 2018 when all the best in beauty yearly roundups started popping up on youtube this was being mentioned quite frequently, so I decided to give it another go. I mainly use it as a primer – it gives that extra dimension to whatever you put on top. It makes my complexion look absolutely luminous. So beautiful! The giant doe foot applicator, though? A pump would have been so much more convenient.

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L-R: Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter in 2. Light; Mac Dazzleglass in Steppi’n Out

By Terry Lash-Expert Twist Brush Mascara (£25.00/8.3g) – In my opinion, it’s currently one of the best mascaras on the market. Even without using the two step application method it will take your lashes to unseen heights. It’s also super long lasting, I would even say it’s semi waterproof, yet not too hard to remove when you’re done with it.

Charlotte Tilbury Goddess Cleansing Ritual (£32.50/2x75ml) – I am a sucker for oil cleansers and even a bigger sucker for Charlotte Tilbury, so really it’s no surprise I went for this. My full review is HERE, but in short – it’s a win.

I’m very happy with everything I have bought so far and I’m even happier I’ve managed to stick with my no buy rules (if you’re interested you can read more about my no buy HERE).

What are some of your favourite beauty purchases of 2019 so far?

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Charlotte Tilbury Goddess Cleansing Ritual Cleansers

2018 March, 2019, March 2019, May

The new-ish cleansers form Charlotte Tilbury (£32.50/2x75ml) are a two step cleansing system (or ritual if you please) consisting of an oil/gel cleanser as the first step and a charcoal cleanser as the second step. It also comes complete with a muslin cloth.

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I do love a good oil based cleanser, it’s definitely my favourite cleanser texture. A charcoal cleanser, however, is something I have never tried before so I was very intrigued to see how these two work together.

The oil cleanser actually has a bit of a sticky honey-like texture which doesn’t go supper thin when applied (once applied it’s actually very similar in texture to the Oskia Renaissance Cleanser if you’re familiar with that one). I do really like it. I also really enjoy the very gentle lemon fragrance this has. It’s good at removing makeup (I do, however, usually use some kind of micellar water to remove the bulk of my makeup before going in with my cleanser). It does leave some residue on the skin but since you go over with the second step it doesn’t actually bother me too much.

The charcoal cleanser has almost a whipped texture – it’s very pleasant to use. Once I’m done with both steps my skin is left super super soft.

Together both products really make for a special little ritual and I’m very glad I decided to pick this duo up. I would happily buy it again. You do have to remember, though, that it’s quite pricey and I seem to be using it up quite quickly so it could easily turn in to an expensive habit especially if used both in the morning and in the evening. As a special treat, however, I’m all for it.

Have you tried any of the Charlotte Tilbury skin care products?

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Natasha Denona Star Palette

2019, March 2019

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This purchase was definitely inspired by Casey Holmes and her constant raving about the Green/Brown 28 pan palette a while back. Definitely a pricey purchase – the Natasha Denona Star Palette retails for AUD 245.00! It does, however, contain 18 shades which works out much cheaper than some other luxury shadows (for example, a single Chanel shade will set you back a whopping AUD 52.00!!!). It’s not much of a justification, I know. And for that much money you really want it to be perfect so lets get in-to the nitty-gritty.

My heart literally skipped a beat when I swatched some of the shades on display in Sephora. The eye-shadows are sooo soft and have the exact right level of pigmentation, they really are a pure joy! They apply, blend and build effortlessly.

Generally speaking I’m not much of a bright eye-shadow wearer. I tend to gravitate towards warmer neutrals with some rust and pink shades somewhere in the mix. The shades in the Star palette are quite neutral-ish. Sure there are some exciting duo-chromes and a fair share of very sparkly glitters, but there are also plenty of very wearable basics. From just looking at it I know I could very comfortably wear every single shade.

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L-R: Spectrum, Earth, Bellatrix, Diadem, Vega, Galaxia

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L-R: Flesh, Orion, Gemma, Phoenix, Supernova, Electra

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L-R: Atria, Titania, Cosmo, Polaris, Atik, Rhea

It’s up to you whether you want to use a primer or not. I did, I always do when I use powder eye-shadows because the shades come up brighter and stay put for longer. You will definitely need to use some sort of primer for the glitter shades (I used Too Faced’s Glitter Glue AUD 30.00/10.40 ml) to get them stick properly. There is also a lot of fall out with these shades so a setting powder to dust off the excess is another must. Or you can really channel your inner Casey and apply your eye-shadows before applying your base/face makeup.

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The only other con I can see is the transparent shade name sheet that is neither here nor there. I have kept it in for the photos but I will be removing it soon after this post goes live because it ends up either in front of the mirror or flaps on the actual shadows. I can’t see myself hanging on to the sheet once it’s out and do I really need to know the names of the shades I’m using? For completeness, though, the shade names should really be printed inside the palette. Other than that the packaging is very sturdy. It’s soft but not flimsy and I haven’t tried but I imagine it would travel well.

If money isn’t an issue and makeup is something that you enjoy this really has happy times written all over it. It’s a very special and a vey treasured item in my collection!

If, however, it’s a bit too pricey definitely look at some of the smaller Natasha Denona five shade palettes that retail for AUD 69.00. In terms of what else this compares to I would say Anastasia Beverly Hills eye shadow textures are just as superb as are Marc Jacobs’ offerings.

Do you own any Natasha Denona eye shadows? Do you think they are worth the hefty price tag?

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