l-r: Daylight (matte), Gaze (shimmer), Color Du Jour (metallic), Lezard (matte)
This Lancome Color Design Sensational Effects Eyeshadow quad was been overlooked and neglected for a very long time. I bought it from Chemist Warehouse a while ago as it was super cheap for a high end product and the colours seemed appealing enough. The shadows are good quality, very nicely textured and decently pigmented. Color Du Jour reminds me of Laura Mercier African Violet, but warmer and more red (it's said to be similar to MAC Trax). The tiny size and inbuilt mirror makes it ideal for travelling with, especially as there's a good mix of finishes and light/dark shades.
Sportsgirl Time to Shine Bronze Cosmetic Palette is an old favourite. I never touch the lip gloss included in it, but the eyeshadows really surprised me in terms of quality. Sportsgirl is a bit hit and miss with their cosmetics and they're not exactly renowned for putting out incredible eyeshadows, but the ones in the Bronze Palette are without a doubt the best I've tried from the brand (miles superior than the Work of Heart eyeshadow palette). I've previously used the last two shades so much that there's a considerable dent in both pans. I remember being really happy with the performance and look of these eyeshadows, so I'm looking forward to getting some wear out of them soon. It's times like these I wish I knew how to depot eyeshadows so I could throw away the rest of the palette that just unnecessarily takes up space.
l-r: Face of Australia Sundae, Australis Screen Siren, Models Prefer Brown & Dirty, Maybelline Tough as Taupe
I wish I could find a way to make Maybelline Color Tattoo in Tough as Taupe work, because something tells me that it does have its purpose and value, I just haven't been able to tap into it yet. I mean, it's a matte, neutral cream eyeshadow — that in itself is exciting. As a base, it does increase the vibrancy and longevity of powder eyeshadows it's paired with. It also has the potential to effect subtle changes to the finish or colour. As Lau and Carolyn suggested in my post on L'Oréal Infallible eyeshadow in Tender Caramel, using a matte base like Tough as Taupe could be just the solution to tone down a super shimmery shade.
The Models Prefer Mineral Eyeshadow Duo in Brown & Dirty was something I purchased while trying to convince myself I didn't need Urban Decay Naked2 (needless to say, that plan backfired). The shadows aren't the most vibrant, richly pigmented or long-lasting, but the neutral colours and soft, satin finish are perfectly acceptable for a more low-key, daytime look. The peachy champagne gold and cool, slightly purplish, bark-brown taupe work well together.
In the blush department, I pulled out Australis Paparazzi Perfect High Definition Blush in Screen Siren. I honestly feel this blush is comparable in quality to MAC (though admittedly I don't have any MAC blushes — this is just from my experience swatching them in the store). It is super pigmented, finely milled, soft and blendable. This is a warm matte peach with some red tones, which makes it a bit tricky for me to apply without looking overdone or ruddy. I guess I'll just have to find the right brush and adopt a very light hand.
For lips, there's Face of Australia Sheer Gloss lip crayon in Sundae. This MLBB shade is extremely reminiscent of YSL Rouge Volupté Shine in 9 (Nude in Private). Back when Tiffany was tempting me with the YSL, I may even have placed a bit of Sundae on my hand and then headed to the shops to swatch Nude in Private next to it to compare. Seeing how similar they were side-by-side effectively put an end to that lemming, though I now have a new one for 19 (Fuchsia in Rage) thanks to Lisa Eldridge.
Speaking of YSL, my Touche Éclat barely ever gets used. It does make a powerful difference in terms of highlighting darker/discoloured areas of my face (including under the eyes), but not so much as a concealer for blemishes. I just never remember to use it because I'm reluctant and too time-poor to add another step to my base makeup after I've put on foundation. It's quite fiddly in that I have to be careful with the amount and placement, and sometimes I need to mix it with a tiny bit of moisturiser so it applies better to the skin. But maybe if I can be bothered to wake up a few minutes earlier one day, I'll give this pen a whirl.
Finally, we have the Clarins Toning Lotion with Camomile for normal or dry skin. This alcohol-free toner was in the unbelievably good value Renewing set that I mentioned I bought on Boxing Day in my January Favourites. I've seen similar value packs pop up at Myer and David Jones recently, though unfortunately none of them included a 30ml tube of the Multi-Active Night Youth Recovery Comfort Cream for Normal to Dry Skin that I'm now hooked on (only one had a 15ml tube which I thought was too small to warrant a purchase). I figured since I never use toner, I might as well try to regularly use this product and finish it up. I like that it's non-drying and doesn't leave my skin feeling tight or stripped of moisture, though I'd need to use it more consistently for a longer period of time to comment on any skin care benefits it has, if any.