REVIEW: Beauty Essentials

This post was first published as part of Brittany’s Catalyst blogging residency, ‘The Two Review’ with fellow student Alexandra McManus. The Two Review offered a unique double review of all things MelbourneBelow, however are just Brittany’s parts of the post.

Summary: The beauty essentials that deserve a spot in your everyday routine.


The Two Review: Beauty Essentials

While true beauty comes from within, let’s face it – sometimes a little help doesn’t hurt. This week The Twodelve into their make-up bags and beauty cupboard to review five products in their current regime. Ranging from firm favourites to wondering what all the fuss over the latest cult products are, The Two review which ones deserve that coveted spot in your beauty routines. If they’re also not at a student-accommodating price then they’ll give you a cheaper alternative. This week they’ll rate out of mascaras.

B: THE PRIMER : L’Oreal Base Magique Transforming Smoothing Primer

Confession: until recently I didn’t even really know what a primer was or why it was necessary. Thankfully now educated on the wonders of the primer, and having tested a few different ones out, I safely say this is one of, if not the best on the market. Those geniuses at L’Oreal certainly know what they’re doing. Base Magique an incredibly soft cream that eliminates pores and lines on the skin to create a perfect smooth base for makeup. It feels incredibly light on the skin, compared to others I’ve tried such as Benefit POREfessional. It also goes on clear, meaning it’s suitable for any skin tone. As a keen pharmacy make-up purchaser, at $29.99 I think it’s a bit on the expensive side, but it’s so worth it! If you can wait, keep an eye out for L’Oreal deals and promotions. After eyeing it up for months, I finally bought it at a 40 per cent off sale at Priceline (win!) and regret nothing.

Where to get it: Most makeup counters and pharmacies like Priceline.

How much: RRP $29.99

Cheaper alternative? Very much worth the price tag, just keen an eye out for sales and promotions to knock a few dollars off the cost.

The verdict4.5/5 mascaras

B: THE LIQUID LINER: Sportsgirl ‘To The Point’ Liquid Eye Liner

As someone with slightly Oriental shaped eyes thanks to Russian heritage, I love my liquid liner. I find it finishes off any make-up look perfectly, and wear it so often I almost feel naked without it. Eye liner comes in many forms – pencil, liquid, pens, kohl pots – but nothing I’ve tried beats Sportsgirls’s To The Point liquid eye liner. It looks like a felt tip pen, with a very fine point. I LOVE IT! Because it’s a pen, it’s not as wet as typical liquid liners, and is so easy to apply. Liquid liner flicks are hard to perfect at the best of times, but this makes it incredibly easy to achieve, without ending up with black marks all over your face. While it’s fine tipped, it’s also easy to achieve thicker looks by literally just colouring it in! At under $10 a pop, it’s one of my absolute favourite beauty finds.

Where to get it: Sportsgirl

How much: RRP $9.95

Cheaper alternative? You’d be hard pressed to find a cheaper liner that’s this good!

The verdict: 5/5 mascaras

B: THE BB CREAM: Garnier BB Cream Miracle Skin Perfector

Look at the beauty section of any magazine over the past year or so, and I can guarantee there’ll be some mention of the latest beauty wonder, the BB cream. Standing for beauty balm, it’s supposed to give you perfect skin by moisturising, hydrating and covering blemishes. Similar to a tinted moisturiser with added benefits, I’m still not quite convinced. Garnier is the second BB cream I’ve tried and while I think it’s a great alternative to foundation for summer, it still requires a fair bit to give good coverage. As someone with very pale skin (read: I glow in the dark), even the ‘light’ colour is a bit too dark for me (although it does for once in my life make me feel tanned!). While I’ll keep giving it a go over summer, I don’t think it’s quite a ‘miracle’ and best left to daytime, rather than going out or times when you need coverage.

Where to get it: Most beauty stockists including supermarkets and Priceline

How much: RRP $13.99 (currently on offer at Priceline for $11.19)

Cheaper alternative: Most cheaper BB creams sit around a similar price

The verdict: 3/5 mascaras  

B: THE HAIR PRODUCTS: John Frieda Frizz-Ease Dream Curls Curl Perfecting Spray & Secret Weapon Flawless Finishing Crème

Don’t get me wrong, I love my curls, but I have often looked at those with straight hair and wondered what a frizz-free life would be like. Then my mum (who also has curly hair) started using these products. After she got so fed up of me “borrowing” hers, I finally bought my own and life has been filled with less frizz ever since. The Curl Perfecting Spray sculpts and shapes to define the curls but doesn’t make them rock solid. The directions on the bottle say to use on damp hair, but I use on dry hair too. The Flawless Finishing Crème gets rid of any flyaways and gives curls a bit of protection from the elements. I also use it as a finishing polish when I straighten my hair as it makes it sleek and shiny.

Where to get it: Hairdressers, Hairhouse Warehouse, Supermarkets and Pharmacies

How much: Both RRP $16.99

Cheaper alternative: N/A

The verdict:4/5 mascaras

B: THE NAIL POLISH: Barry M  ‘Blueberry Icecream’ Nail Polish

This is a bit of a difficult one as I haven’t found it stocked anywhere in Australia, but it is my favourite nail polish colour of all time. The brand is Barry M, and is readily available in the U.K. and it offers cheap great quality nail polish in a whole kalaidoscope of colours. Blueberry Icecream is the PERFECT summer sky blue colour (not really very blueberry like at all) and I wear it all year round. It goes with almost everything. It’s a fast-drying formula, lasts a few days without seriously chipping and I often only need to apply one coat to get a great colour. It goes on exactly as it looks too, and works as both matte and shiny if you add a top coat. If you’ve got any friends/family living or heading to the U.K., get them to pick you up a few bottles.

Where to get it: UK

How much: £2.99

Cheaper alternative: NA

The verdict: 5/5 mascaras