So….. DUPES! Who doesn’t love a good dupe? In this day and age, we get bombarded with new beauty products every week, making our poor bank accounts weep- trust me, MUOs, I feel you. So when an inexpensive product comes along that performs in exactly the same way as the pricier original...well...it’s like a lil’ gift from God, am I right? The last time I wrote a dupes post (link HERE!), it was crazy popular, so I thought I’d produce part TWO- here it is. I ttraveledto Thailand last month and got to try a couple of brands not easily available in NZ, & was blown away by how great some products were. When I got back, I did a little research, and guess what? You CAN get these bands here at La Femme Beauty- I’ve provided links to purchase throughout this post (not affiliate links, btw). Now, some dupes are spot on, some a 80% close...and some are around the 60%-70% mark...but what works for me may not work for others. For reference, my skin is normal on a good day & dry on a bad day, and I wear NC30 (in MAC). Let’s goooooooo!
After hosing down my feet in a gutter outside, I'm ushered inside and told to lie face down. A sign that what I'm about to experience will be something very very odd.
She holds up my feet, and gets the lady next to her to look at them. They both laugh their heads off.
Another lady comes over. They all laugh. I make eye contact with the girl next to me and make a grimacing crab face. She looks back at me with sympathy.
They start to put what feels like feathers on my feet- I look and realise it's those foot strips that contain different types of acid to make your skin peel off on its own.
I realise they've placed acid over my huge heel blister. Silent screams of pain.
Two more ladies come over to look at my feet and start laughing. I get in a huff and ask wth they're laughing at. They laugh at me. I ask them why my feet are funny. They laugh even more.
I give up, and start writing this post. My blister is killing.
She starts to massage my butt. Start to get concerned about what I've asked for. She soon stops, thank god.
More tapping on my feet, and an excruciating calf rub down. I want to run away but have strips of acid stuck to the soles of my feet. Feeling very far from home rn.
Oh god what now. Okay, the strips are being peeled off. I wish I could see but am also scared. I think most of my foot skin is coming off also. FUCKKKKK
PUMICE. Such, such hard pumice. It hurts and tickles all at once, times a million. I'm trying so hard not to reflex and kick her in the face. Please make it stop.
Realise I could have had two cocktails at the hotel pool bar for the price of this agony. Swearing at myself in a rage for being so stupid.
Time for the other foot, old blister foot. The skin is seriously flaking off, and I kind of want to be sick. But also want to cry, and laugh hysterically.
Pumice. Can't type, trying not to explode. Make a low, groaning sound. The girl next to me whimpers back in solidarity. We are sisters now.
Okay. Feet being soaked in a bowl, though I'm still on my stomach and have NO idea wtf is happening really ever.
My new sister leaves, and I want to scream "NO NO YOU CANNOT" but I don't. Too busy trying not to swear.
More pumice. More soaking. I don't even want to think about how much skin they've removed. Or how I'll manage to walk back to my hotel.
Decide to have a stiff drink on the way back, regardless. I fucking deserve it mate.
The foot scrub is finished! Now it's only a nail paint job left...or is it?!
It's SO not. The oldest lady comes over and whacks me on the back of my thigh. Apparently this means I have to get up and go to another bed. Because obviously.
She looks at my current colour. A perfectly lovely OPI coral/red. She tuts. She then hits me on the arm which means I have to choose one of her shades. There's a frosted red, cerise, frosted blue, and a frosted purple. I deliberate. I get whacked again. Cerise it is.
I lie down and she tells me off for not putting a towel behind my head first. I tell her I have no towel. She tuts, and throws one at me that she has beside her. It lands half on my stomach, half on my face. I have zero dignity left.
Mate, now she's doing my cuticles. Will I have any toes left? I want to scream but this lady is scarier than the last one and I'm sick of her whacking me.
Thinking about a scotch on the rocks and 2 cigarettes. Happier times.
Vaseline is put all over my toes and I am DONE fighting. At this point, I have no option but to lie back and sweat.
Why didn't I just get a massage like normal people?
Every now and again between ripping off my cuticles, the lady yells at everyone and I think she's telling them to shut the hell up because everyone does. I wonder where she was before when they were all cracking up at my feet.
Decide I HATE feet.
Pick pick rip rip tut tut. A near bottle of acetone is poured over my feet- including my idiot blister. Sneak a peek and see her pouring acetone into the nail polish bottle because it has clearly been in rotation since 1986.
Wonder what my fabulous nail artist friend Leah would say about all this. Realise she'd most likely laugh her ass off and tell me that that's what I get for $16. Realise she'd be right. Feel like a real dick.
The lady starts to apply the polish, and every time she bends down my toe pokes into her boob. She tuts at me, but doesn't hit me- yet.
We MUST be on the home straight now. Surely. Starting to get super, super excited. Not about seeing the end results, but about running out of here back to the safety of the pool bar.
When I say "pool bar", I mean a swim up bar. Not a bar where you play pool. Not that I've anything against that, but honestly right now whatever I can't even finish this train of thought.
My toe isn't bending the way she wants it to (it needs to go OUT more, it's CROOKED and FUNNY), so she just kind of jams it into her preferred position.
Think about when I can go to a chemist to buy polish remover, and a new colour. Not tonight- I've plans to cry at the bar. Tomorrow.
But hey- maybe it won't be as bad as I imagine?! My feet are tingling and kind of fiery, but I can cope with that. Time will tell.
She directs a huge fan on my feet and walks off so I guess she's done. I still have sponges wedged between each toe so I can't really move.
Can anyone please save me????
IT IS FINISHED. I'm out. Guess what? The soles of my feet are ridiculously smooth, with zero dry or rough bits. The colour really, really isn't my vibe, but I can live with that. But guess what? I still really, really hate feet now.
Okay- imagine that you're in the following scenario; you're at work, swiveling around on your chair & pretending to be busy (while actually surreptitiously scrolling through MUO), and you get a text from your best friend. It's her BIRTHDAY PARTY that night, and you thought it was the NEXT night. GASP. You also only have two hours before it begins. SCREAM. Look, this not a judgement on you for being forgetful, because I do things like this all the time. This is all about how you can take your simple (but i'm sure still very gorgeous) day makeup look to a glamorous, hot-babe evening look when you're on a short time frame. I don't want to panic you, but you so are. I'm going to share a few super-easy tips with you to up the ante with your makeup, using products from theBalm (because not only are they high-performance, but they're a dream to work with) while also staying completely on-trend! No more stressing- let's go!
Our New Zealand summer may “officially” be over; but I have a feeling that this month is going to be filled with hot, sunny days. Wishful thinking? Perhaps! What can I say- I dream big ;) However, with warm weather also comes a whole host of things that are important to keep in mind when looking after your skin & body. Because you want to keep looking your best on those balmy nights, right?! So I’ve teamed up with the legends from OVI Hydration (a delicious, better for you range of drinks that I’ll tell you more about in a minute) to bring you a list of five super easy summer skin hacks. Let’s go!
As a rule, I wouldn’t say that I’m particularly demanding or high maintenance when it comes to my preferred beauty products. Part of my job is to try a huge array of potions and lotions, from all different price points and brands - I have to try and not become TOO attached to any one thing. However, that’s gone out the window with the new product from Kérastase L’Incroyable Blowdry. Why? Because I NEED it - FOREVER.This bad boy has spoilt me, because there is simply nothing else that does everything it does...and with such ease! I’m raving, I know. But look, it’s *that* good*- read on to find out why I’m such a smitten kitten.
I wouldn’t say that before I became a beauty blogger I was completely clueless about beauty...but over the past nearly 4 years I have learnt SO much that I didn’t know before. It’s been from a combination of being exposed to a wider range of products, having to research trends…& of course, from the MUO members! You guys teach me something new everyday, & I love it. I’ve teamed up with Schick Intuition on this post to sum up the main tips & tricks I’ve learnt - & I’d love to hear even more from you all (there’s a prize pack up for grabs too, so read on!). Let’s go!
These days, it’s not only important to know what we’re putting into our bodies, but also knowing what ingredients are in the skincare products we use. Learning about natural skincare ingredients is easier than you think, and a must-do to make sure you’re using the right products for your skin type.
I’m an avid Fly Buys member, so when the new Fly Buys magazine arrived, I decided to do a little investigating for you all. If there’s two things I love, it’s magazines and shopping - so I was stoked to sit down with the new mag and have a browse over a coffee (okay, a wine). There are over 3,000 products in the Fly Buys store (including some of my favourite beauty brands such as Antipodes and A'kin) which you can get for just 100 points + cash.
Now, let’s look into the natural skincare products available in the Fly Buys reward store, what the benefits of the ingredients are, and I’ll also let you know why I love them. Let’s get shopping and spend our hard earned points!
Image credit: Jarrad Mapp
Grayson Coutts is a professional makeup artist with nearly 10 years industry experience. he has worked with New Zealand’s biggest names including
Colin Mathura-Jeffree, Boh Runga, Kimbra, Keisha Castle-Hughes and was the personal makeup artist for Carly Rae Jepsen, Fall Out Boy, and Rachel Platten (singer of the hit song Fight Song) when they were visiting New Zealand. With a strong background in fashion and beauty he works on location and also from his private studio in Auckland’s Ponsonby.
-What is your skincare regime, and which products you use and why?
I wouldn’t say I have a simple regime however it’s not as specific as it sounds and products sometimes change depending on what I’m reviewing at the time. At the moment I cleanse twice, both morning and night (I’m a big fan of the Double Cleanse), starting with dermalogica precleanse, then their dermal cleansing clay. This gets my skin incredibly clean but doesn’t strip it. In the morning I use Trilogy Replenishing Night Cream (strange to use a night cream in the morning I know but for my dry skin it works). At night I use Dr Hauschka Night Serum followed by a few drops of Trilogy Antioxidant+ Rosehip Oil.
-What are your favourite makeup products and why?
Smashbox Photofinish clear primer. It doubles the wear of foundation, fills in fine lines and pores, and smooths out the texture of the skin. They have like eight different primers and I carry a few of them but the Clear works well for every skin
Benefit They’re Real! Mascara. Hands down the best mascara. It lengthens, volumizes and curls. I’ve yet to use the actual brush that it comes with (for hygiene reasons I can’t reuse the same mascara brush on multiple people so I use disposable wands) but I’d bet this improves results even further.
Make Up For Ever Aqua Lipliner in 1C. You can’t yet buy it in NZ directly but you can order online and it’s worth it. All of they’re lipliners are creamy, waterproof and long wearing. 1C is the perfect all rounder nude tone.
Smashbox BB Water. Water foundation is the new trend to hit the market and this one is a good one. Really lightweight but decent coverage, it comes with a glass dropper in the bottle so you can disperse the perfect amount. It’s also SPF 30 so good for wear during the day in summer.
Karen Murrell Lipstick in Poppy Passion. The most amazing colour for spring/summer and all their lipsticks are 100% natural, cruelty free and smell like cinnamon.
Benefit Ka-Brow cream-gel brow pots for the most flawless brows. You can get feather like fine strokes or fill in larger areas and it sets to last you the day.
MAC Paint Pot in Painterly. Probably the most used colour in my kit. It’s a good base for shadows to go on top and covers any discolouration on the lids.
-Do you have any makeup tips/tricks you swear by?
Always do your eyes first before you tackle the rest of your face. It’s easier to clean up the fallout from your eyeshadow and you won’t smudge and ruin the foundation when you’re applying your eye makeup.
If you only have a few minutes to get ready in the morning, make brows your number 1 priority. Good brows will make your face look finished and put together and it takes very little time. Get them shaped professionally and then fill them in every day. Still have a couple seconds to spare? Apply concealer under the eyes and one to two coats of mascara and you’re out the door.
Invest in regular facials. Even if it’s just four times a year with the change of the seasons it’s the best thing you can do for your skin and a wise investment in your beauty future.
-What are your favourite hair products and why?
L’Oreal Air Fix Anti Frizz hair Spray for hold and control without wet stickiness
Redken Diamond oil as a prep product for the perfect shiny healthy blow out
Davines Melu Hair Shield to protect hair from any heat damage and full of natural goodness
Schwarzkopf OSiS dust powder is the best for adding texture and volume to soft and silky hair. Ideal before an updo.
Kerastase Fluidissime heat and frizz protection with incredible shine for health looking hair.
L’Oreal Paris Everstrong Texturising spray for all over texture, volume and hold for updos
Kevin Murphy Hair Resort for that beachy, natural hair texture. This will also be the best product you’ve ever smelt.
What are your favourite fragrances and why?
I alternate between Tom Ford Noir in winter/evenings as it has a dark sort of spiciness to it and Chanel Allure Homme Sport in summer for its fresh citrus appeal.
What/who are your beauty inspirations/icons?
Grace Kelly for her timeless fresh look that showed restraint and effortless class.
Beyonce - I don’t think this requires any explanation
Angelina Jolie because I’ve loved her look in recent years of paired back makeup and soft natural hair
Gwen Stefani - she’s often looked like a psychiatric escapee but she doesn’t care and somehow it just works for her and I love her for it. Plus how many nearly 50 year olds can wear what she wears and look good!?
Describe your favourite makeup look or trend of the moment
The “i woke up like this’ look. Of course no one actually wakes up looking half decent and if you do I don’t want to know about it. But there’s something incredibly skilful and modern about looking fresh and groomed without looking overdone. It’s about enhancing your features and concealing minor imperfections rather than covering everything up and starting from scratch. To me it’s more impressive.
Favourite YouTubers or Instagram accounts?
Madeyewlook does amazing special effects transformations. Lilith Moon has great quick hair tutorials and of course Michelle Phan wins the youtube.
Any last words of wisdom? :D
It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.
Keep up to date with Grayson at www.facebook.com/graysoncouttsmua
I can virtually guarantee that if you’re reading this, you’re either an MUO member, or a beauty product lover, or both- which makes us friends, so HI! The problem with loving beauty products and living in New Zealand is that it can either be a real drain on our bank accounts, or simply unaffordable. Obviously you could save up...but then you have to WAIT, & trust me, I know what it’s like when you see something or read about something & want it NOW. Waiting can be torture! I'm going to tell you about a new shopping site called Makeup Your Mind which makes buying your fave luxe beauty products MUCH easier & faster- it’s a game changer for NZ! Read on, & don’t forget to check out the giveaway at the end ;)
What is Makeup Your Mind?
Makeup Your Mind (MYM) is a new online beauty boutique, which is based in NZ…& specialises in high end makeup, hair products, and fragrance.
What makes MYM different from other online beauty boutiques?
MYM is completely different from every other online store because they offer payment plans! It’s not layby...it’s better- you actually get sent your goodies after your very first payment- amazing! Prices start at a minimum of $25 a week, & you’re completely in charge of your payments at all times. You have 12 weeks to pay off the total...and best of all? It’s interest free! HUZZAH! I love that they’re based in Auckland, because it means shipping is super fast- & wait until you see how beautifully it’s packaged.
Tell me what brands are available!
Holy smokes- so many. Think YSL, Bareminerals, NARS, Christian Dior, Chanel, Kerastase, Marc Jacobs….and so, so much more.
Are these products authentic?
YES! I wouldn’t sit here and tell you guys about them if they weren’t :D MYM stand by their products being authentic- & so do I. They have all been sourced from New York, and trust me, kittens, they’re real as real can be!
I’m sold- where do I start?
It’s time to shop, obviously! Check out the link here & browse through the products; there are over 600 (all in stock!) so it may take awhile ;) You’ll notice that there’s a small pink box at the right hand top of the website which tells you how much your minimum weekly payments will be. As I said above, the payments start at $25; after I added a YSL fragrance, a YSL lippy & a mascara from Lancome, the minimum was $27. Which is PRETTY sweet- especially because you get the products straight away!
Once you’ve shopped your little heart out- it’s time to check out! You’ll create an account (which includes your delivery details, plus ID details, & makes the whole process faster for next time!). Then it’s as simple as making your first weekly payment, & sitting back & waiting for your treats to arrive!
How long do I have to wait until my goodies arrive?
In only 1-3 business days! Since the MYM warehouse is located in Auckland, you have very little time to wait. I can personally vouch for the exemplary customer service that MYM provides- it’s so easy to get in touch with them if you have a question about your delivery! They have a live chat on their website, email them, or call them- any problems can and will be solved straight away. Because shopping for beauty products should NOT be stressful, right??!
So...are you doing a giveaway?
Well, OBVIOUSLY! The awesome team at MYM have a gorgeous YSL Black Opium EDP to giveaway to one lucky MUO! All you need to do is comment below & tell us which three products from MYM you have your eye on…& be sure to be following their FB page here. The winner will be announced on the 24th of July- good luck, lovers!!!
Do you have any other special offers for us?!
Yes! To receive a free Revlon Lash Potion mascara worth $29 with your first order, simply enter the code MUO at checkout, in the friend referral code box! Happy shopping, guys- I can't wait to see pics of your hauls!
Finally- check out the gorgeous packaging from MYM below! Not only is it beautifully wrapped, but it's super securely parcelled. High five, guys!!!
By now you may have come across Beauty Book’s inspo filled Instagram account, heard the buzz about their insanely generous giveaways ($2000 makeup kit, Kylie Lip Kit products, and I am told even more to come) or perhaps stumbled across their website.
Beauty Book is changing the way to find and book makeup artists online. Their 24/7 booking platform is the first of its kind for freelancers in New Zealand, and my prediction is that it’s going to mark a huge mark on the makeup industry!
Who can be a Beauty Book artist?
It doesn’t matter if you are self-taught, work at a makeup counter part-time or have been freelancing for years– Beauty Book wants to hear from you!
I am Artist! If I sign up to Beauty Book, what should I expect?
· Beauty Book is your partner in growing a profitable freelance business, enabling you to earn money in a field you are a passionate about. Through monthly snapshots of your bookings, Beauty Book pinpoints your peak booking times and areas for growth.
· As an artist, you will receive constant support through weekly emails. These are filled with artistry inspiration, marketing hints, booking opportunities and industry trend updates.
· Struggling to stock up your kit? Beauty Book has secured pro artistry discounts to some of my favourite brands, including Mellow Cosmetics, Blac Cosmetics and Eve Lashes. This is the start of a growing list of exclusive discounts, with even more exciting brands in the pipeline!
· Beauty Book is committed to showcasing New Zealand’s talented artists. As a Beauty Book artist, your work will be reposted across their social media platforms, and promoted via a targeted customer email database. This means you will have an ever-growing audience of potential clients!
· Beauty Book is your personal receptionist. Your appointments will revolve around your daily schedule. You choose your availability and how far in advance you can be booked. You work when you want to!
· Sick of no-shows to appointments? Beauty Book’s cancellation policy ensures you still get paid!
I’m sold! How do I sign up?
Simply head to www.beautybook.co.nz and select the sign up option. The next step is to create your personalised profile! This aims to capture your artist personality – from your favourite products in your kit to your beauty philosophy. You have total control over the imagery you upload, the pricing and services you offer, distance you are willing to travel and can update your weekly availability at any time.
What is the cost involved?
An annual subscription to Beauty Book services is $109.99. However Beauty Book has allocated MUO’s an exclusive discount code, which reduces the price to $80.00. This is for a limited time only- from the 5th July until the 19th July- so definitely get in quickly using the discount code MUO when you sign up!
What I honestly think about Beauty Book:
When it comes to careers & taking the next step, I am a big believer in having to spend money to make money. For a small initial cost ($80.00 is literally the standard price for just one client makeover), Beauty Book could be the launch pad for your career – you have nothing to lose! Just as a blogger or model might sign up to a talent agency, you need to invest in making a name for yourself in a competitive industry.
I know I wouldn’t be where I am now without having to dish out some extra money on self promotion. I am aware of how many talented girls we have in the MUO forum, and I urge you to back yourself, take a leap of faith and invest in your artistry passion! I have confidence in you and so does Beauty Book!
Are you on the hunt for a Makeup Artist for an upcoming event? Beauty Book has got you covered!
As a customer, I know how frustrating it can be to miss out on an appointment at your nearby makeup counter. Where do you go from here? Luckily, Beauty Book has a range of artists that will suit your style, location and budget needs.
Does it cost for me to use as a customer?
Beauty Book is free of charge for a customer. Simply make a client account, and you will instantly have access to some of New Zealand’s most talented artists.
I have fallen in love with an artist! How can I book?
Browse your preferred artists availability calendar, select an appointment time, determine your travel requirements (many artists are happy to come to you) and pay online. You will receive a text and email reminder of your booking. Kiss goodbye to awkward phone calls, confusing Facebook messages or makeup counter queues!
Another launch giveaway you say?
Beauty Book loves spoiling their customers almost as much as they love makeup artistry! Make a booking between July 5h- July 30th and be in the draw to win a year's supply of free makeovers! And guess what? You can receive 10% off your first appointment cost. To be eligible for the 10% discount, all you need to do is sign up as a customer, and you will be emailed your discount code.
So what are you waiting for? Head on over to www.beautybook.co.nz and get Beauty Booking!
This post was kindly brought to you by the legends at Beauty Book :)