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Julia

Make Up

Oily Skin Struggles: Keeping Your Makeup In Place

September 28, 2015

I have oily skin. Always have, always will. I apply my makeup carefully each morning. As the day progresses my skin starts to glow. My makeup starts to oxidise. Everything starts shifting around, and my skin feels damp and sticky when I touch it. Eventually I just look shiny and sweaty, and I have to blot like crazy to keep things under control.

I’ve tried almost everything on the market for oily skin. These are my favourites. When I use these products I can remain almost shine free for most of the day. The idea of a non-oily day is literally an impossibility for me.

NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base
It doesn’t matter if I’m not wearing eye makeup. Somehow, I end up with foundation creases across my eyelids even though I don’t put foundation on my lids. When I say my makeup moves, I mean it moves. So I use this primer on my eyelids every single day. It’s the only one that works.

Becca Ever Matte Poreless Priming Perfector
This primer is hardcore. If you don’t have oily skin you will probably find it extremely drying. The best way to use it is to squeeze a pea size amount onto one palm, quickly rub your hands together and then press it over your face. If you use too much you’ll get white patches where it has dried. Your skin is going to feel really tight and stiff for a moment after it dries. I wait a minute or two and then apply my foundation on top. It really helps with staying power.

Urban Decay De-Slick Mattifying Powder
I brush this powder across my skin after applying my liquid foundation. I basically use it like a setting powder. When I’m super organised I keep it in my bag for blotting during the day – but most of the time I just use a paper towel in the bathroom!

Urban Decay De-Slick Oil Control Makeup Setting Spray
I’ve tried a few of Urban Decay’s setting sprays but this one is the best. I spray it on my face once all my makeup is done. It really does help to keep things under control. If it’s a hot day I’ll also spray it on my face after applying my moisturiser.

I also used to use Prime Time Oil Control Primer which was amazing despite having a very weird sticky texture, but I can’t find it in Australia anymore.

I won’t go into this too much, but my foundations of choice are Make Up Forever HD Foundation, and Make Up Forever Pro Finish powder. I also like Laura Mercier Mineral Powder for days when I don’t want to use liquid foundation.

What do you use to control your oily skin?

oily-skin-makeup

 

 

Reviews Skin Care

Mario Badescu Drying Lotion vs Buffering Lotion

August 20, 2015

Mario Badescu makes two killer pimple busting products, Drying Lotion and Buffering Lotion. Actually they have a whole range of pimple and acne targeting products – but I’m focusing on these two today.

I’m a long time user of the Drying Lotion to clear up any break outs, and I’ve recently added the Buffering Lotion to my ever expanding collection of products. I thought it was time for a run down of each product, and to discover which one reigns supreme!

Mario Badescu Drying Lotion

Mario Badescu Drying Lotion
What:
A spot treatment made of salicylic acid and calamine that separates into two distinct layers when left to settle.
How To:
There’s a bit of a learning curve with this product. You don’t want to combine the two layers, instead you want to dip a cotton bud into the bottle and cover it in the pink calamine solution. Then you need to dab it over your pimples and leave it to dry. It is going to be bright pink and very obvious – there’s no way of covering it in makeup! For this reason I tend to put it on overnight and wash off any residue in the morning. Results: I honestly think this product is a miracle worker. Although they say it’s for whiteheads, I use it on basically every kind of break out. It really helps to shrink down big pimples, and it makes whiteheads and smaller blemishes almost completely disappear. It’s magic!

Mario Badescu Buffering Lotion

Mario Badescu Buffering Lotion
What:
A potent lotion designed to treat outbreaks of deep cystic acne. Made from B vitamins, amino acids and herbal extracts.
How To: Like the Drying Lotion this settles into two layers, but with this product you want to shake it up to combine everything. Then use your fingertips to apply it to cleansed skin. It’s quite a watery texture, so I kind of tap it into my skin to make it stay in place. This one dries pretty much clear, so even though the instructions say to use it overnight I have worn it during the day under makeup.
Results: I do find that it helps to shrink big pimples slightly, but nothing drastic. I have recently had a few cystic style pimples, and while I do think wearing this during the day helped reduce their size I don’t find myself reaching for it over my beloved Drying Lotion at night.

The Verdict: My favourite of the two is absolutely the Drying Lotion. Honestly this should be an essential item for every blemish prone person in the world. However, the downside is that you can only wear it at night, which is the one advantage the Buffering Lotion has. The Buffering Lotion does an okay job, but it’s nothing that special. Go for the Drying Lotion and just make sure you’re sleeping alone when you use it!

Make Up

Four Ways To Clean Your Makeup Brushes

August 11, 2015

Cleaning your make up brushes is such a hassle. We’re all guilty of leaving it just a bit too long between washes! But your brushes can be serious bacteria factories, which means you’re in danger of transferring dirt, dust and grime from your brushes to your products to your face every time you use them.

In an ideal world we’d all wash our brushes after every use, but that’s probably not really going to happen. If you use them heavily it’s a good idea to wash them once a week. If you’re an occasional user then 2-3 times a month is okay.

These are my four favourite methods for cleaning makeup brushes. You can use commercial makeup brush cleansers, or you might be able to get away with using products you already have at home.

cleaning_makeup_brush_easy

1. Quick And Simple

This method is great for a quick midweek clean. It won’t remove deeply embedded product stains, but it will help keep your brushes sanitised.

You’ll need:
– Make up brush cleanser spray
– Paper towel

Method:
Spritz some of the brush cleanser spray on the paper towel. Then lightly rub your brush across the paper in a normal brushing motion. You’ll see product immediately come off onto the paper towel. Leave your brushes to dry so they’re ready to use the next morning.

washing brush with baby shampoo

2. Baby Shampoo

This is an absolute classic way of washing your brushes.

You’ll need:
– A bowl of warm water
– Baby shampoo

Method:
Mix up a squirt of baby shampoo in the bowl of warm water. Dip your brush in the mixture and swirl it around for a few seconds. Gently squeeze out the brush into a sink and then run the brush under cold water until it runs clean.

 

cleaning_brush_sard_wonder_soap

3. Bar Of Soap

This is a really effective way of cleaning your brushes, especially those that get used heavily for liquid products.

You’ll need:
– A hard bar of gentle soap or a block of Sard Wonder Soap (from the cleaning aisle)

Method:
Wet your brushes with cold water and also drip a little water on the soap to moisten it. One at a time run each brush across the soap in a back and forth motion. Product will immediately start coming off the brushes. Rinse under a cold tap until the water runs clean and then leave to dry.

beauty_blender_solid

4. The Beauty Blender

Everyone’s favourite sponge has its very own cleansing brick. I discovered that mine doesn’t just do a great job of cleaning the beauty blender – it also cleans brushes like a charm!

You’ll need:
– Beauty Blender Solid

Method:
Wet the brushes and the soap. Using a back and forth motion brush each one of your brushes across the Beauty Blender soap. Rinse each brush until the water runs clean. Leave to dry.


Drying Tips

Leave your brushes to dry flat on a towel or with the brush heads facing slightly downwards. This allows the water to drain away. It’s a good idea to reshape the bristles while the brushes are wet so that they don’t dry at funny angles.

How often do you wash your brushes? Let me know in the comments!

Skin Care

My Top Five Serums

August 3, 2015

I’m obsessed with serums.

People often wonder why they need to use a serum. What’s the point? Why not just moisturise? What do serums actually do? Well in general, a serum targets any skin conditions that you are concerned about, while a moisturiser provides more general hydration.

I usually use serum in the morning and one at night, switching between my arsenal of products. I cleanse, apply my serum, and then moisturise. Then I can apply makeup and get on with my day or head straight to bed.

A note about my skin: I am prone to pimples and blackheads, have a few little fine lines around my eyes but nothing too serious, and although I get oily throughout the day my skin is really quite dry.

These are the serums in my regular skincare rotation. I’m only writing about the products I actually use – there are plenty of serums that I’ve tried and discarded along the way!

Aspect Serums

Aspect Jungle Brew
This is my number one, my holy grail, the best serum ever invented for people with pimples, acne, blackheads and blocked pores. It is an antioxidant and antibacterial oil free serum, which contains special ingredients from the Amazon rainforest to regular oil production. I get regular extraction facials and my beauty therapist put me onto this. I see huge improvements in my skin when I am using it regularly, so I try to use it ever night before bed. The only downside is that costs over $100 AU – and you’re not going to find it cheaper overseas because it is an Australian product. I will use this until I die or my skin clears up permanently. I’m on my third bottle.

Aspect Retinol Brulee
I believe that it is never too early to start using anti-ageing products. Think of them as age-prevention. Retinol is the best anti-ageing ingredient out there, and it also helps to fight pimples. Aspect Retinol Brulee combines retinol (vitamin A) and Lanablue (blue algae extract) to help smooth out the skin. Unlike other retinol products I’ve used in the past there are no weird side effects, and it absorbs easily. I usually apply this in the morning, and only use it maybe twice a week. I feel like it makes my skin firmer and tighter, and improves my general complexion.

Aspect Extreme B17
Noticing a theme here? This is yet another Aspect serum that I use regularly. I tend to think of my skin as oily, but in actual fact it is quite dehydrated and it responds to my bad moisturising habits by creating more oil. My beauty therapist recommended this serum to help balance that dehydration. It’s also recommended for pigmentation, sun damage and acne scars. It really helps my skin to glow and feel plumper and smoother. I use it in conjunction with either the Retinol Brulee or Jungle Brew.

serums_02

La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo+  
When I can’t afford Jungle Brew (like at the end of a pay cycle) this is my alternative pimple targeting serum. It reduces imperfections, unclogs pores and mattifies the skin. I’ve had good results from this product, but it doesn’t quite match up to the wonders of Jungle Brew. But on the plus side it is cheaper and available at Priceline. If I didn’t know about Jungle Brew I would think this was the absolute best imperfection clearing serum around.

Boots No 7 Protect & Perfect
This cult serum is pretty much the most popular anti-ageing product in the UK. The original formula went viral after a British TV show showed that it actually reduced the appearance of wrinkles, and this is the newer and more potent formulation. Yes I bought into the hype when I was in England. But here’s why I like it – a lot of anti-ageing products are very heavy and pore clogging, which isn’t great for those of us who get regular breakouts. This serum contains salicylic acid which helps to clear up imperfections, as well as Matrixyl 3000 Plus and antioxidants for the anti-ageing side of things. It’s great for those of us in the “still getting pimples but also terrified of the first signs of ageing” category. As far as I can tell, in Australia this product has been repackaged as Serum 7 Beauty Serum.

Spill – what are your favourite serums? Let me know in the comments!

Skin Care

How To Get Rid Of Keratosis Pilaris

July 24, 2015

Do you get those little hard bumps that look like chicken skin all over your arms or legs? They actually have a name, keratosis pilaris or KP, and they are tricky to get rid of! While there’s no cure, as a lifelong sufferer of KP or “chicken skin” I have discovered a few treatments to help reduce the bumps and get silky smooth skin – at least for a little while!

Keratosis pilaris kind of looks like permanent goose bumps. The bumps are generally skin colour, white or red, and while they can itch for some people usually they’re not noticeable. They’re caused by keratin building up and blocking the opening of the hair follicle, resulting in a hard little bump. Luckily the only thing they’re harming is your self confidence – they aren’t going to cause any long term damage.

There’s no way to totally banish them forever, but there are a few methods that will help tame your bumbs and keep them at bay. With all of these methods being consistent is key. If you stop for a few weeks you will notice your KP creeping back and ruining your life once again.

Exfoliating And Moisturising
The easiest way to reduce the appearance of your keratosis pilaris is to get into a really good exfoliating and moisturising routine. This means really scrubbing down in the shower using exfoliating mitts, an exfoliating shower gel or a really grainy scrub. I like to use a coffee scrub like Frank or one of the many imitations. Then follow up with a nice thick moisturiser.

For minor KP outbreaks this might be all you need to do, and you can use products that you already have at home.

Dry Body Brushing
I’ve had a lot of success with dry body brushing. Before I hop in the shower I stand in the bathroom and spend a minute or so brushing my legs and arms. I read somewhere to brush towards your centre to increase blood circulation – to be honest I have no idea if that really does anything, but the act of brushing definitely does help to manually exfoliate your skin.

I just use a really simple Manicare brush, you can get expensive body brushes which I’m sure do an amazing job but I’m happy with my cheapie. Then rinse off in the shower and apply a moisturiser afterwards.

AHA Treatments And Creams
Creams and lotions that contain Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHAs) can really have a big impact on your KP. These chemical exfoliants soften the skin and help dead skin cells to fall off.

While you’re probably familiar with chemical exfoliants for your face, there are also body lotions and serums packed with AHAs! A nice moderately priced option is Palmer’s Anti-Ageing Smoothing Lotion, which doesn’t mention keratosis pilaris in the name but does contain AHAs. Or you can purchase targeted products like DermaDoctor’s KP Duty. I’ve actually used this one and while it is pricey it does work incredibly well! My legs were silky smooth… until I ran out of it of course.

 

If your KP is really bad and doesn’t respond to any kind of simple treatment, you can go and see a doctor and see what they recommend. I have not explored this option, but if you have please let me know in the comments what your doctor recommended!

keratosis_pilaris_dry_brush

Reviews

Review Hello Hair Hydrating Hair Mask

July 19, 2015
Hello Hair Hydrating Hair Mask

Oh hello hair! It’s time to review the extremely popular Hello Hair Hydrating Hair Mask.

I bought the Hello Hair Hydrating Hair Mask a few months ago after spending a good half hour stalking their Instagram. My hair is long, slightly wavy and prone to tangles and frizz. The individual strands are fine but there’s a lot of it. I basically never wear my hair au naturel – I always straighten it or improve the waves and curls with my GHD. I haven’t dyed it in years so at least the GHD is the only regular damaging thing happening to it!

The Hello Hair Mask arrived really fast, within a day or two of ordering it. At $15 it’s pretty cheap, at least I think so!  This hair mask is an all-natural treatment and contains coconut oil, almond oil, argan oil, olive oil, olive leaf extract and castor oil. This combination basically hydrates and nourishes the hair.

Hello Hair Hydrating Hair Mask

The Consistency: It’s an oil treatment, so depending on the temperature in your bathroom it could be a bit solid or it could be like liquid oil. Either is fine – if it’s too runny you could put it in the fridge for a little bit, or if it’s too thick stand it in a warm room and should thin out a bit (or warm it up in your hands).

How To Apply: This hair treatment is applied on dry hair. I wrap a towel around my shoulders to protect my clothes, and then squeeze some of the oil into my hands. The first time I used it the consistency was quite thick and kind of lumpy, but it melted as I rubbed my hands together. Then I used my fingers to work it through the lengths of my hair. You don’t need to use too much as it spreads pretty easily.

Waiting Time: You should leave it in for at least thirty minutes, but I generally leave it on for an hour. You can pull all your hair up into a bun or shove it under a shower cap during this time. Then I wash and condition my hair and leave it to air dry. Make sure to really wash your hair well (shampoo twice if necessary) to get the oil out. I find very hot water helps as it breaks down the oil.

Hello Hair Hydrating Hair Mask

The Verdict: I legitimately love this hair mask. I want to marry it. After using it my hair is ridiculously soft and silky, and the frizz is gone. I still like to use the GHD to style my hair (as in the pictures above), but it’s just a matter of touching it up slightly rather than needing to do my whole head! I find that this feeling lasts a few days, even through my next wash. However to maintain it you definitely do need to do the mask regularly. I’ve used my mask three times and will probably get at least another one or two uses out of my packet.

The Hello Hair Hydrating Mask is available from hellohair.com.au.

Note: Both these photos are of me – the top is taken with flash, the second image is taken in natural light.

Reviews

Clarisonic or Foreo Luna Review

July 16, 2015
Foreo Luna T-Sonic Facial Cleansing Brush

The Clarisonic and the Foreo Luna are two of the most popular skin cleansing brushes on the market. But which one is better? Which cleansing tool will change your life? And are they really worth the money? This review will give you the full low down. Should you get the Clarisonic or Foreo?

I am lucky enough to own both. Or should I say “crazy enough”. I purchased a Clarisonic Mia around three years ago, and got hold of a Foreo Luna about a year ago. So it’s fair to say I have plenty of experience with both of them!

Clarisonic Mia Purple

Clarisonic Mia
This is the most basic model available when it comes to the Clarisonic, and it has served me well. I can’t comment on the other models, but in general they are all similar.
Price: $150 plus the individual brush heads which need to be replaced every few months are $32
Battery Life: Average. Needs to be charged every few weeks.
How It Works: The rotating brush head scrubs away at your skin and removes every last trace of dirt and makeup. There are different brushes available and I prefer the Delicate brush as it is really gentle.

Pros:

  • Completely gets rid of any makeup, probably more than you even realise is on your skin!
  • Really deep clean which helps to clear up pimples and blackheads.
  • Skin feels soft after using.
  • A body brush can also be attached to the more expensive models for an all over scrub.

Cons:

  • Can be too harsh for sensitive skin
  • Replacing brushes regularly can be very expensive.
  • Battery life is not very long and requires regular charging.
  • A little cumbersome to clean, especially if a lot of makeup has been caught on the brush.

Foreo Luna Normal Skin

Foreo Luna
This is the top model of the Foreo and as well as the cleansing mode it includes an anti-ageing mode. Basically you hold the Foreo Luna at certain points across your face and it gives you a little vibrating massage to relax your muscles.
Price: $249 or $179 for the Mini
Battery Life: Excellent. I have charged my Foreo Luna once in the past year, and the battery wasn’t even dead. I was going on a trip and thought I should do it before I left.
How It Works: The Foreo is an all silicone device that vibrates as you brush it across your skin – they call it “T-Sonic” technology. There are different designs for various skin types – I have the Normal Foreo Luna which has little silicone bristles at the top.

Pros:

  • Leaves skin feeling incredibly soft, smooth and more refined. My skin has never felt this nice before.
  • Serums and moisturisers seem to absorb better after cleansing with the Foreo Luna
  • Multiple speeds available so you can clean around the eyes without damaging skin
  • One time cost
  • An excellent travel size
  • Totally waterproof and can be left in the shower
  • Extremely easy to clean – just rinse with water
  • Anti-ageing mode really does make your face feel relaxed (can’t comment on whether or not it actually reduces signs of ageing though!)

Cons:

  • Doesn’t completely remove really heavy makeup
  • If you like the feeling of a “deep cleanse” you won’t get it with the Foreo Luna.
  • Doesn’t do much for pimples and blackheads

Product Preferences: I use the same cleanser with both, Payot Les Absolute Pure White Mousse Clarte. You should avoid any grainy scrubs with both the Clarisonic and the Foreo Luna.

Day To Day: I tend to alternate between the two, and there are days where I don’t use either. If I have been wearing a lot of make up or my skin is more congested I’ll use the Clarisonic. I’m more likely to reach for the Foreo Luna in the morning or after a day spent entirely at home. I tend to find that the Clarisonic does a better job of actually cleaning my face, I’m never sure if the Foreo has removed all my makeup.

Price Wars: The Clarisonic Mia is a cheaper initial purchase, but at the end of the day the Foreo Luna is more cost effective because you don’t need to purchase any extra brush heads. If you purchase a Foreo Mini or one of the more expensive Clarisonic models the initial price difference becomes a moot point and the Foreo is automatically better value.

Travel: The Foreo Luna is much easier to travel with than the Clarisonic. The Clarisonic can take a few hours to dry after using, while the Foreo Luna can be wiped down quickly and dries really fast. It’s also smaller and lighter and comes with a little carry bag.

The Verdict: It’s hard to say that one of these is better than the other. The Clarisonic does a better job at actually cleaning skin, while the Foreo Luna improves the texture and feel. If you have pimples, blackheads and congestion I would steer you towards the Clarisonic. If your issues relate more to dryness, dull skin or you want to focus on anti-ageing then the Foreo Luna is for you. And if you’re like me just get both!

Let me know in the comments if you’re a Foreo girl or a Clarisonic girl!

Make Up

My Top 5 Make Up Must Haves

July 13, 2015

This is the beginning of a new era for me. My names is Jules, and I am a sometime beauty editor and former celebrity gossip journalist. I live in Melbourne, Australia.

Jules Beauty is a place for me to talk about an obsession I’m sure we share: beauty and makeup.

By way of introduction, I thought I’d showcase my top five make up must haves. I use these products every single day. They’re all cult products, and I love them for one single reason: they work. These products form the basis of my everyday look, and with a few additions they also become my evening look!

 1. Nars Laguna

A classic. I bought my first Nars Laguna way back in 2006. The internet told me I needed it, so I listened. I’m the palest girl around, and use a light sweeping of this bronzer over my face every single day.

 2. Nars Orgasm Blush

This perfectly peachy blush needs no introduction. I can actually remember purchasing my first Nars Orgasm. It was on my very first trip to America in 2008. I had one full day in New York on my own before I headed off to work at a summer camp, and I had planned my Sephora haul for months in advance. I used Google maps to plot my route to Sephora, where I picked up this blush and a basket of other products. Then I went off to camp and didn’t wear makeup for two months. Look how dirty this blush looks in the photo – you can tell I definitely use it often!

 3. Armani Eyes To Kill Mascara

Surprisingly I don’t hear much hype for this mascara, which kind of shocks me. It gives me the biggest, longest, thickest lashes I’ve ever seen. It’s a bit too dramatic for daytime, but when has that ever stopped anyone?

4. Benefit Gimme Brow

The easiest way to fill in my brows. I discovered this one on a trip to Sephora in Boston. I was aimlessly walking around dropping products in my basket like I was in Kmart or something. As I approached the Benefit section a staff member asked me if I needed anything. I muttered something about my eyebrows, and she pulled this product off the shelves and dropped it in my basket. I haven’t looked back.

5. Make Up For Ever HD Foundation

I’ll never be a BB Cream only girl. I’ve spent a long time searching for my perfect foundation. I think I’ve found it in Make Up For Ever HD Foundation. It blends like a dream, doesn’t get too oily during the day and has a buildable coverage.

What are your must haves? Let me know in the comments!

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