In part due to your comments in the giveaway post, I’ve been trying a few products to see if I can report back on cheaper alternatives to products I presently love. Rather than write a million separate reviews, I’ve decided to do a round-up review!
Starting at the left with the Sunsilk Captivating Curls and Waves mousse. I have really curly hair and use Kerastase Oleo Curl every day. I love Oleo Curl but in wet, windy winter weather my hair does tend to fluff up. I’ve tried other products (including a great John Frieda product that I’ll review at some stage) but my hairdresser’s pro tip was to mix a little Oleo Curl with mousse. I chose this one because it was anti-frizz and I LOVE it. It gives that extra bit of hold without making my hair at all crispy. Plus it is really cheap and available from the supermarket.
Mascara: I was a bit scared to try a cheap mascara since you put it on your eye. However, I sucked it up and tried thisBaolishi Waterproof with Fibre Liquid Mascarafrom Japan City (Wellington). It was $3.99 so hopes weren’t that high. It really does lengthen and thicken my lashes pretty well, it doesn’t smell weird, and I like the brush.
It took a looooong time to dry – to the point where I was wiping off residue nearly half an hour later – but once it dried it was all good. I guess for $3.99 this is a pretty good product, so long as you aren’t nervous about the provenance of your mascara.
I have dark circles (and always have) so when I saw the Australis Colour Corrector in Gold I was willing to give it a go. Yes, I think it helped a little. I used it over eye cream and under my concealer and it was illuminating, plus a little goes a long way. However, after using this for a couple of weeks my undereye got super dry and started to flake. Not a good look. I am going to trial this again but for now, I would suggest using this for special occasions only.
Speaking of undereyes, please run out and purchase the Natio Ageless Brightening Eye Cream. I have been using this religiously since the start of the year and (a) I am still on my first tube, and (b) my undereye is hydrated and delightful. This makes my concealer go on really smooth and is just generally good times. I have a theory that the best way to avoid aging in your eye area is just hydration and sunscreen. I hesitate to use anti-aging products even though I am 29 and prevention begins now, because I just don’t know what effect those products will have on such a sensitive part of my face. This product seems to back me up because twice in the past month I have been mistaken for an 18-year old. REPRESENT.
Also from our Australian buddies is this Australis Creme Colour for Cheeks and Lips. Sarah asked in the comments of the giveaway how you should apply cream blush. For this one I use a stippling brush (very easy to identify: they have brush hairs that start black near the handle and then turn white right at the top). I really like this but I haven’t been using it for very long so can’t fully report. At $16 plus the current 20% off at Farmers it is definitely worth trying though. It does have a strong fragrance of lavender as you apply it but that disappears quickly.
The Aussies didn’t do so well with this Chi Chi nail varnish. It claims to be salon formula but I am super sceptical. This was thick and gloopy, not opaque, and (troublingly) it kind of…melted…the nail shields I was using. I used this for a neon French manicure, where the tips are bright orange and the rest of the nail is natural and it was a nightmare. I haven’t chucked it yet because I want to use it for a pedicure and see how it goes, but I do not recommend and frankly am not looking forward to trying it.
Turning to lip products, I have really enjoyed the Revlon ColorStay Soft and Smooth lip product I purchased. I obviously did not need this, in light of my collection of balmy lip products, but I thought it might solve the “wears off really quickly” problem I had with the lighter colours in those. Unfortunately, this is not Color Stay like the other Revlon products of that type – this wears off just like any normal moisturising lipstick. However, it is beautifully smoothing on the lips and I have found myself reaching for it quite a bit.
I have not enjoyed the Flower LipGloss 03 that I purchased from Japan City. AVOID. This was a beautiful colour in the tube and I
thought might be a great dupe for my favourite Chanel gloss, which I am over halfway through. That was a special treat I bought myself during a hard time, and I do not generally consider it smart to throw down that much money on a lipgloss. However, better to spend 15 times as much on the Chanel than spend the $3.50 on this. It stunk of soap, which I could also taste when I put it on. It did nothing to my lips despite being shimmmery in the tube and was disgustingly sticky. I have already thrown this away.
Not all cheap products are bad though (duh) and thisLA Colours liquid eyeliner in Brown has performed really well. I got this at The Warehouse for a few dollars. Two things to note: first, this is a very wet formula and the brush is very flexible, so if you are new to liquid eyeliner you should avoid this until you get your skills. I prefer a reasonably thick line and I have put liquid eyeliner hundreds of times, so no worries for me. Secondly, this will take a while to set so I suggest curling your lashes first (otherwise your lash curler will lift this product off your eyeline).
Finally (I did not realise how long this would be) is the Broadway Fast French Deceptions stick on nails. You basically glue these on yourself. I really liked these and they looked super natural (I got them in the short length) but I did have to remove the fake French manicure coating on the nails and paint them in my own varnish. The coating was a bit too Geordie Shore for my liking. My Mum also tried these after seeing them on me and liked them too. I was a bit nervous about getting these off as you are meant to soak your fingers in acetone and melt it off, but in the end they just peeled off after about two weeks, which was right about when I needed to remove them as there was a small gap forming at the bottom of the nail by my cuticle. I don’t recommend that removal approach as it could damage your own nail but mine were pretty much fine. Again, these would be great for a special occasion and I will purchase these again.
Right, that’s it! A few cheaper products, some of which were a success and some of which possibly contained neurotoxins. Are there any super cheap things you’re loving? Let us know!