Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Ombré Shimmer

I've never heard of the brand PONi Cosmetics, but when I was sent this Unicorn Champagne Highlighting Powder by RY, I was intrigued. I'm still enjoying an extended love affair with highlighter, and the images and feelings I associate with unicorns immediately evoke whimsy, magic, glitter, pastels, enchanted forests and fairytales. Sure, unicorns and makeup might not be an entirely new thing (hello Lime Crime Airborne Unicorn), but still, not a bad starting point, right?

The Unicorn Champagne Highlighting Powder comes in a plastic, rose gold circular compact with a mirror. Retailing for $40, you get 7.14g of product, which is slightly less than a Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter (8g, $64) or theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer (8.5g, $29.95). For me, I've never come remotely close to finishing even half a full size highlighter, so the amount of product doesn't bother me. PONi Cosmetics is Australian owned but the highlighter is made in China.

PONi Cosmetics Unicorn Champagne Highlighting Powder

The colour is a soft peachy gold. It's nothing revolutionary, but I think we've become so spoiled for choice when it comes to highlighter that a product has to be really unique or exceptional in quality to distinguish itself. It is a bit of a drier consistency and not quite as smooth, densely pigmented and creamy as Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter, theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer or even Kat Von D Metal Crush Eyeshadow in Thunderstruck, however it's still a notch above "drugstore" quality, as you'd expect at $40.

Top to bottom: Bottom of the pan, top of the pan

What is meant to be special about this highlighter is that it's an "ombré pressed powder ranging from low shimmer champagne to high shimmer champagne". Rather than the ombré being from light to dark in colour, there's different intensities of shimmer on offer despite the pan itself being entirely uniform in appearance.

I tried experimenting with various areas of the pan to find out how different the highlighter was depending on where you swatched. The results were a little confusing. If I lightly touched the surface, I could see a distinct difference in finish and colour. As you can see from the above swatch, it was more orangey/gold and darker at the top of the pan, and more whitish yet reflective at the bottom of the pan. However, when I tried to swatch the bottom, middle and top of the pan in the same way (one swipe up and down the pan, then swatched directly onto my arm), I couldn't really tell the difference.

Top to bottom: Top, middle, bottom of pan

I mean, can you? The swatch at the top of my wrist might be fractionally darker in colour and more vibrant, and the swatch at the bottom might be slightly paler and more subdued, but the differences are barely discernible.

l-r: Charlotte Tilbury Highlight, theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer, PONi Unicorn Champagne, Becca Champagne Pop

Compared with other popular highlighters, Unicorn Champagne is like a combination of the Highlight shade in Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow (lighter, more pink-toned), theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer (paler, more yellow-based), and Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter in Champagne Pop (peachier, brighter), in that I see a mix of pink, orange and gold. In colour, it's most similar to Champagne Pop, however not as bright or luminous. That may or may not be a good thing depending on your preferences and the occasion. Longevity is good and the powder lasted on my skin for the majority of the day. I especially enjoyed it applied down the bridge of the nose for a softly luminous but not too exaggerated/clownish effect.

While Unicorn Champagne professes to range from a soft sheen to high shimmer, it's probably a little too unpredictable to perform exactly as expected each time. Despite potential variability in tone and shimmer depending on where you place your brush and how much product you pick up, even at maximum impact, it's not as blindingly in-your-face as Becca Champagne Pop. When using it, I've been targeting the middle of the pan for a happy medium, but if I wanted to ensure a more consistent result, I would just swirl my brush around the whole pan to get an average of colour and glow.

Product was provided to me for review.

Monday, August 14, 2017

More Lotions and Potions

A couple of weeks ago, from 2 to 4 August 2017, Priceline had its 40% off skin care sale. I eagerly wait for this sale to occur every few months so I can stock up on my essentials and try out new products. In the last sale in January this year, I bought Derma E Hydrating Cleanser, Trilogy Rosapene Night Cream, Sukin Purifying Facial Masque, Swisse Manuka Honey Detoxifying Facial Mask and Botani Boost Balancing Moisturiser. The Trilogy and Sukin were repurchases, but everything else was new. I finished the Botani (reviewed here) and have been enjoying and using regularly both the Swisse mask and Derma E cleanser. This time, I purchased Burt's Bees Sensitive Facial Cleanser, Simple Hydrating Cleansing Oil, Egyptian Magic All Purpose Skin Cream, Lucas' Papaw Ointment and a travel size Avene Thermal Spring Water (not pictured). I wanted to repurchase my NUXE Rêve de Miel Ultra-Nourishing Lip Balm which I use as my nightly lip treatment before bed, but apparently Priceline discontinued stocking the brand in their stores, or so I was informed by a sales assistant.

I originally purchased the Burt's Bees Sensitive Cleanser as a gift for a friend, but decided to buy one for myself after I managed to sample it and liked the texture and how it made my skin feel. I favour cream cleansers (especially for a morning cleanse, or if I haven't worn makeup all day) to foaming cleansers, and was getting a little paranoid that the foaming cleansers I've been using were drying out my face. The Burt's Bees is a nice, rich consistency, slightly on the thicker side. I usually squeeze one small blob (around the size of the above picture) into my hand and rub my palms together, then massage the product over my bare face. The instructions say to wet your face beforehand, but I always find that unnecessarily dilutes the product and makes it more watery. You do have to take a tad more time to wash everything off thoroughly, especially if you're using cold water (which I do most of the time), however the end result is skin that's soft and properly cleansed with no oily residue or stripped feeling whatsoever.

I took a punt on Simple Hydrating Cleansing Oil after it was recommended by Ash. I've been loyal to my Palmer's Ultra Gentle Facial Cleansing Oil for a while now (which would have been $9 for a 192ml bottle), but I figured the Simple was the same cost per millilitre ($0.05/ml or $6 for 125ml, at 40% off), and what if it was better? Plus, the bottle is sleek and compact, making it ideal to travel with. I've only used it a couple of times so far, but I've really been liking it. It's probably too early to make any declarations of its definite superiority over the Palmer's, but so far, I love that it leaves the skin feeling super soft, it's very effective at removing stubborn eye makeup (moreso than the Palmer's, which sometimes doesn't get off all my eyeliner and mascara without intense scrubbing motions), and it doesn't irritate my eyes after I've tried to wash it all off but small amounts still adhere to my waterline. I can already see this being a perennial repurchase, especially come sale time.

I have been super curious about Egyptian Magic for the longest time, so when I saw it stocked in my local Priceline, I was genuinely surprised. I debated whether to get the small (59ml) or large (118ml) tub, but in the end, figured I might as well go for the larger size in case I really liked it. It contains six natural ingredients: olive oil, beeswax, honey, bee pollen, royal jelly and bee propolis. You're meant to take a small amount and rub it in your palms, melting it until it forms an oil. So far I've used it mainly as a night cream, though I have tried it as a hand cream. I'm not entirely convinced it's this miracle product. Firstly, it is distinctly oily in texture, so if the idea of going to bed with a greasy face isn't appealing, it might not be for you. When melted, it is more like a dry oil à la NUXE Huile Prodigieuse or Caudalie Divine Oil, as opposed to something more balmy and sticky like Vaseline. In terms of how my skin felt after I woke up, I don't think it was discernibly better than my usual conventional night cream (whether or not combined with a serum or face oil). It also feels like this waxy, oily layer is sitting on top of your skin as a protective barrier, as opposed to a cream which is absorbed and instantly soothes, hydrates and softens. Egyptian Magic does seem to be a case of marketing hype over substance, especially with their website featuring a plethora of celebrity "fans" waxing lyrical about how they swear by it and can't live without it. Somehow I'm not convinced.

Finally, I repurchased Lucas' Papaw Ointment. I grew to love this stuff. At first I thought it was barely better than Vaseline, but now I use it daily. It's a fantastic lip balm, among its many other uses, and it's great value for money being a generous 25g tube. I only just finished my previous tube and it took me years and years. It soothes skin complaints such as insect bites, it can be used as a spot moisturiser for particularly dry/flaky patches or a replacement hand/cuticle cream, and it's an instantly soothing remedy for dry and chapped lips. It's so multipurpose and a good size to pop into the purse. Plus, the trademark red packaging is distinctive and eye-catching.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...