FRANCE: The place to be for skincare!

Hey lovelies!

So I just got back from an incredible 6 week trip overseas! And now it’s time to share with you all the amazing products I sourced in my travels!

My favourites for skincare:

  • Bioderma Créaline H20
  • Bioderma Atoderm Stick Lêvres Lip Balm
  • NUXE Reve de Miel Ultra-Nourishing Lip Balm
  • La Roche Possay Effaclar A.I. Corrector cream

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All the hype surrounding Bioderma Créaline Water…SO. AMAZING. I. CAN’T. EVEN. EXPRESS. It is the best makeup remover I have ever used! Best paired with a cotton pad as to not waste any product, one pad was enough to remove majority of my makeup before attacking my face with my favourite cleansing oil by Shu Umera. My skin has never felt better. I don’t even understand how this product works, I mean it’s pretty much water but all your makeup just glides off without putting up I fight. I don’t know how I lived without this for so long.

It was winter over in Europe so I was determined to find a great lip balm to prevent my lips from drying. I found two! The first, a lighter option, is the Bioderma Atoderm Stick Lêvres Lip Balm. Lightly fragranced and soft to the touch, this lipbalm was my savior while I was over there. Will be a must have in my handbag this coming winter in Melbourne. And second, the miracle treatment lip balm: NUXE Reve de Miel Ultra-Nourishing Lip Balm! Thick, soft and amazingly hydrating, I would put this on before bed and wake up with the most amazingly smooth and soft lips.  The most amazing thing…you barely need any product to cover your lips. For the 14euro price tag it’s definitely worth it.

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And lastly, the La Roche Possay Effaclar A.I. Corrector cream. It is the best blemish cream I have ever tried in my life! I know this seems ludicrous, my enthusiasm towards these French products, but wow…the French really know what they are doing when it comes to skincare. Travelling from Switzerland over to India my skin was not doing great with all the airplane travel and from the freezing cold of the north of India, down to the boiling 80% humidity south. Everytime I felt a pimple coming on, I would just put some of this miracle gel on and it would be significantly reduced in appearance by morning. I never expect treatment creams to be miracle workers and make a blemish disappear overnight but this product is the closest I’ve come to finding such a thing.

So these are my top recommendations for French skincare. I hope this post has helped some of you get some ideas of products to look out for in the future. Please let us know if you have any other amazing skincare recommendations! Always looking to try and review new products 🙂

-Rubenesque xoxo

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Fall and Winter Recommendations!

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So we are well into Spring here in Australia, but I felt that I couldn’t leave Winter behind without sharing with the rest of you my favourites from the season. So let’s get straight into it!

Lips:

We all know that the colder seasons are perfect for those grungy-vampy dark lips, but one of my more favourite shades for the past winter was ‘Naked Paris’ by M.A.C. It is a really subtle shimmery-nude colour, with just enough darkness to grunge up your look a little. Lipstick Swatches

Another favourite was ‘Poisonberry’ by Lime Crime. This is a vibrant but dark purple at its full pigmentation. In most online swatches you’ll see it as a gorgeous dark sheen of purple, however, for an everyday look I tended to pat it onto my lips to a pigmentation that I was comfortable with. I’ll swatch it for you at both pigmentation levels so just check the images to the side.

I get really into stains in Winter too, because I’m always putting lip balm on to avoid chapped lips. Stains are a great way to keep some colour while continuously applying the balms that we so desperately need in the cold. Two of my favourite stains are ‘Rhubarb’ by Bloom Cosmetics and ‘Posietint’ by Benefit Cosmetics. Where Rhubard is a definite dark vampy shade, posietint can be used on both the lips or the cheeks to give a natural flushed look which can be really flattering in the colder seasons.

And last but not least the lip product that took the makeup world by storm last season ‘Solstice 201′ from the Apocalips series by Rimmel London! These gorgeous liquid lipsticks are so incredible, sit so well on the lips, give great pigmentation and have a cute colour range for most seasons. Well worth a look in the coming seasons *fingers crossed they release some more shades*

Eyes:

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This fall and winter I didn’t really discover many new eye products that I liked in terms of eyeliner or mascara but as far as eyeshadow goes, I found myself coming back to the same palette most days. The Nude ‘tude palette by theBalm has so many fantastic neutrals with enough warm, dark shades to really grunge up your look for Winter. As far as selling it to you further, I really feel that this palette speaks for itself so check out the images.

Cheeks:

theBalm really stood out to me in the last season, with their blush ‘Down Boy’ being another favourite. (though I really feel that it is a great shade for any season)

As a highlight and finishing powder for the under-eye area I found myself wearing Hourglass’ Ambient lighting powder in ‘Diffused Light’ it is a stunning (yet ridiculously expensive) powder with just enough shimmer in it that it really lights up your face without making you feel like you are covered in glitter.

Nails:

I have really been getting into Butter London nail polishes in the last year. They always have great pigmentation, great lasting power and not too long a drying period so as you can imagine, I use them all the time. My two favourite shades for Fall and Winter would be ‘Queen Vic’ and ‘Gobsmacked’. I would highly recommend most of the glitter polishes from Butter London as they dry ridiculously fast which is always a bonus, and look so cute!

HOW TO: Secrets of Sexy, Healthy Hair!

It’s Winter here in Australia, which means dry, unhealthy hair. But even for those of you that have just been through Summer, hours in chlorinated pools alongside heat styling before nights out can also do a fair amount of damage.

When it comes to the maintenance and repair of your hair there are a few simple steps to keeping it healthy and sexy smooth!

1. Heat Protectant ProductsBoth Amelia and I have naturally straight hair, but that doesn’t mean we don’t use heat styling. Most people make the mistake of not considering a hair dryer as a heat styling tool. BIG MISTAKE! When you are applying that much heat to your hair you are attempting to rapidly remove the moisture (being the excess water…) but often it takes the natural moisture from it too, especially at the ends. Leading to split ends and dry looking, listless hair.

So when using a hair straightener, curling wand or hair dryer…make sure you apply a heat protectant product beforehand. My personal favourite at the moment is REDKEN ‘heat styling-satinwear 02’ this is a serum so should be applied to wet hair…for straightening or curling of dry hair I would recommend using a spray version instead.

l'oreal mythic oil

 

2. Treatments

Treatments are a great way to restore life to your hair. Where heat protectant products act as preventative measures against damaged hair, treatments are a great way to fix already unhealthy hair.

I have colour treated hair which is a sure-fire way to damage your hair straight out. I went from brown to dark auburn to an orange blonde, so as you can imagine…my hair is not loving me right now.

My favourite treatments right now are’ Mythic Oil’ by L’Oreal Paris which is a nourishing hair mask for all hair types and the Pantene ‘3 minute miracle’ which is an intensive treatment for severely damaged hair. Both of these work wonders in minutes!

3. Invest in good quality shampoos and conditioners

It seems like such a simple thing to say…but it’s actually really important.

Those products we all love, you know the ones that smell like a perfumery or a candy store? They are the ones to avoid. I know, I know…it’s incredibly depressing, but those products contain a lot of perfumed chemicals that end up causing a damaging, drying effects long term. Try to look for organic shampoos and conditioners (often they can smell amazing but don’t contain the same chemicals as the bad ones because the scents are organic and natural.)

My all time favourite shampoo and conditioner are part of the Moroccan Oil series but they can cost a pretty penny. Looking to go organic? A great brand to try is Organix.

And last but not least…

4. Try to not wash your hair too often

Again…a fairly simple thing to suggest. But washing your hair too often removes the natural oils from your hair, causing damage. At the same time, your hair is forced to produce more oils at a faster rate in order to compensate for the ones being washed away…this results in your hair getting greasy sooner.

I’m not telling you to go around with greasy hair and avoid washing it, but try to use things like dry shampoo to make your hair last that extra day without washing. My favourite dry shampoo at the moment is by Batiste in the Tropical scent! YUM!

There we have it! I hope this post has helped some of you with your hair care! Let me know if you incorporate any of these things into your new regime and if they work for you. Or if you are already doing these things and have some great brand suggestions I’d love to hear from you!

– Rubenesque xoxo

Battle of the Mascaras

Mascara

Recently we went to Chanel to purchase the illustrious Vitalumière Aqua foundation. When we were there the shop assistant gave both of us samples of their new mascara: Le Volume de Chanel. So we thought we’d try it out and do a review to compare it to the drugstore mascaras of our current collection and decide if the High-end brands are really worth the hype.

High End makeup brands…we all want them in our collection, don’t lie ladies. The packaging, the colour range, the hype; we are all very easily sucked in. Unfortunately, purchasing these items puts a serious dent in our savings. But often you are paying for quality, so it’s worth it. But don’t be fooled! Many of these products are not worth the hype, and often there are products from cheaper brands that produce really similar results.

It is worth doing your research before making such expensive purchases. Good sources for easy research include youtube and beauty blogs.

Today we are endeavoring to compare a couple of high-end mascaras with some of our favourite drugstore mascaras.

Covergirl Lash Perfection Mascara 

Advertised as a volumising mascara that gives a ‘dramatic look’ with a brush that attempts to coat each lash individually. From personal experience it does have really great separation of the lashes that gives a quite natural, volumising look. No clumps, and lasts on the eyes all day. I wouldn’t say that it’s that ‘dramatic’ in its volume but it’s great for a slightly voluminous, natural looking lashes. We give this mascara 8/10.

Maybelline Define-a-lash (waterproof formula)

This is NOT WATERPROOF! Both of us will testify that we initially really liked this mascara, but the formula changed and since then we just haven’t been as happy. Also, unlike the advertising, it is not waterproof and smudges when wet, however, is still ridiculously hard to wash off your eyes at the end of the day. Nevertheless there are positives to this mascara. It provides great length and definition whilst minimally enhancing volume so gives a fairly natural look. It advertises as a mascara that ‘elongates and accentuates the lashes’ so overall it almost lives up to expectations. We give this mascara 6.5/10.

Maybelline The Falsies Flared

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A mascara that has a pro-keratin formula, in my personal opinion it doesn’t visually make a difference but may be better for your lashes as keratin is a main component in hair. The falsies is one of my favourite, it is extremely thickening and lengthening, it does give you great looking lashes but I still wouldn’t go as far to say that they look like falsies. I do love the thick curved wand, it is really great  at curling the eyelashes and the formula does hold the curl a pretty well. The formula is quite thin and wet but the bristles tend to dry out the product quickly. The only bad thing I have to say about this mascara is its longevity, after only a few hours it starts to mildly flake off, it isn’t a deal breaker but just a slight annoyance. We give this mascara 9/10. 

Revlon Grow Lucious Mascara 

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Okay so this is a mascara that I really love, what I look for most in a mascara is longevity. And this mascara lasts perfectly, there is no smudging or flaking as long as you don’t get wet. The large brush claims to plump and visibly lengthens lashes and I have to say I agree. The brush is very large which I like but I know many people hate them, so I guess this mascara may not be for those people. It has a wet think formula that lengthens the lashes but I would say it doesn’t give much volume to them, I like the formula though as it is easy to apply and dries quickly. As for the claims that it helps to grow your lashes, I don’t think that it has done anything to my natural lashes, however I didn’t buy this mascara with the hopes that it would work so there wasn’t any disappointment from me. This mascara is a good drugstore version of my holy-grail one. We give this mascara 9.5/10.

Covergirl lash blast length 

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This mascara gives great length and beautiful separated lashes but basically no volume giving the overall effect on the lashes a nice natural look. I love this mascara for everyday when you don’t really feel like wearing makeup. It is buildable and you can  get a little more volume if you want that sort of look. It claims to be water-resistant which I haven’t yet fully tested, but I have never had an issue with smudging or flaking. We give this mascara 8/10.

Le Volume de Chanel (10 noir)

Advertises as a mascara that provides ‘volume and curl – lash by lash’. And it definitely delivered! It is incredibly light weight, so doesn’t weigh down the lashes over the day. Lasts all day and looks exactly as you applied it in the morning! Gorgeous deep black colour with amazing separation of the lashes that gives you such an incredible volumising and lengthening look. We honestly couldn’t believe how amazing our lashes looked with it on.

We give this mascara 11/10!

They’re Real Benefit

Probably one of the best mascaras on the market at the moment. And yes, you have probably seen about 1 million reviews on this already. With good reason. It really lives up to it’s name with about 95% of people who try it. It advertises that it ‘lengthens, curls, volumizes, lifts and separates’ and it really does all that! And on top of all that it has great long lasting results! The brush is also fantastic in that it allows you to get into those small lashes closer to your nose that sometimes get left behind. The formula lasts all day and doesn’t weigh your lashes down at all. Unfortunately, although it is not as expensive as some of the other mascaras that are considered ‘high end’ it still costs a pretty penny. We  give this mascara 9/10.

Dior Extase

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This is a great mascara, it has one of those wavy wands that look like three balls have been stuck together. I am a big fan of these wands but I know it is personal preference because Carla hates them. These wands give your eyelashes a super curled effect and make your lashes look fantastic. There are a few downsides however, the formula dries up quickly, it is a dark grey instead of black (like advertised) and it weighs down your eyelashes which means after a couple of hours you have already lost the brilliant curl that the mascara wand just gave you. The mascara really does give you great looking lashes, it lengthens and gives great volume  We give this mascara 6/10.

Lancome Virtuose 

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One of our higher end mascaras Lancome Virtuose was one of the first wands to have this curved shape when brands like Maybelline (with the falsies flared) caught onto the trend. I do love this mascara but for the $30 price tag I’d rather go with the falsies flared as the formula is almost identical. The only reason I would go over this over the falsies is because of the wand, it grabs every single lash (even those little ones still growing) and lengthens, separates and gives amazing volume. I would love to try out the Hypnose version of this one as I tend to like the wavy wands more. We give this mascara 9/10. 

Just remember that everyone has a different eye shape and different preferences so we can’t guarantee our experiences will be universal. However, we believe the clear winner is…

DRUM ROLL PLEASE!

Le Volume De Chanel!

Considering that mascaras only last 3-4 months and most people won’t want to spend $160 on mascara a year, we believe that the close runner up is Revlon Grow Lucious.

So the final verdict, are high end mascaras worth it? Well in our honest opinion with the short expiry date on most mascaras and the large price tags, luxury mascaras are just that, luxury items. Overall they are better quality mascaras, they make your lashes look incredible and generally last longer than drug store ones, but for three to four times the price it just isn’t worth it on a day to day basis. Besides drug store brands over the past year have really picked up their game and the quality has skyrocketed. Don’t get us wrong, high end brands and their mascaras are amazing and if you feel like a spluge the price definitely reflects the quality, we recommend them for special occasions and days where you feel like an extra kick with your look.

Hope you enjoyed

xxx Rubenesque

(PS. If you have any questions regarding specific use, retail price, or anything else, feel free to comment below and we will reply as best we can)

Starter Brush Kit

When I started using makeup, sponge tip applicators were the extent of my makeup brush knowledge, however my curiosity for makeup soon had me ditching the sponges and spending all my money on every brush I could get my hands on. So I have created a list of brushes that will cover you for all your makeup needs. I have my recommendations of each type of brush in brackets (please note that the photo may not always match the recommendation)

Blending brush– (MAC 217)
As you can probably work out this is a brush I like to use to blend out eyeshadow. It can also be used to apply eyeshadow however this will most likely result in fall out (eyeshadow falling under the eyes) and will give more of a wash of colour on the lids.

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Crease brush– Louise Young LY38
These brushes are like a miniature version of a blending brush, usually tapered, they are perfect for creating cut creases and for general precision work in the crease.

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Flat shader brush
One of the absolute essentials. A good flat shader brush will be quite stiff and won’t have a lot of give. This brush is perfect for apply eyeshadow onto the eyelids, it prevents fall out and you can use the tip of the brush for eyeshadow application under the eyes and on the lashline.

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Angle brush
This is such a multi-purpose brush. It should have a thin width, be soft and have a little give in the bristles. These brushes are great for: filling in eyebrows, eyeliner and even applying eyeshadow in smaller areas such as the top and bottom lashline

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Eyeliner brush
Pretty self-explanatory I would say that this brush is not an essential for beginners as the angle brush is usually easier when first starting out with liquid, gel or cake liners.

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Contour brush
Again a self-explanatory brush. A good contouring brush will be small, fluffy and have an a slight angle to it. When contouring it is easiest to make a fishy face and follow the contour below your cheekbone using a colour that is only two shades darker than your face powder with a cool undertone.

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Blush/ Powder brush
There are so many of these! They come in all shapes and sizes and materials. My advice for buying a powder brush is to go with one that is a) really soft and b) is no bigger than your cheek when the bristles are splayed out. This will make it easier to control where the powder is going. My favourite ones are duo fiber stippling brushes.

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Dense Foundation brush- (Sigma Round Kabuki Brush)
Okay these brushes are not essential if you prefer to just work with your hands, but boy, these are my life saver. They give you a better coverage than a standard flat foundation brush but you can really work in into the skin giving a flawless finish. The only downside to these brushes is that they tend to suck up a lot of product so to minimize this effect I generally apply my moisturiser with them.

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For newbies to makeup I don’t think you need all these brushes. I would say you need a:

– blending brush
– powder brush (go with a duo fiber stippling brush so that you can use it for contouring, blush and powder)
– flat shader brush
– angle brush

That should be plenty to learn with. I would also say that if you can get your hands on a generic brand Beauty Blender then that would be great for foundation or your hands usually gives the most natural finish.

Rubenesque Recommends:

There are a few brands that I highly recommend when it comes to brushes. (I have only included brands that have reasonable pricing because this is a post on starting a set)

Real Technique brushes
http://realtechniques.com/where-to-buy

Sigma brushes
http://www.sigmabeauty.com/category_s/98.htm?searching=Y&sort=5&cat=98&show=75&page=1

Introducing Rubenesque

Hi guys,

This is just an introductory post from us, Carla and Amelia from Rubenesque. This blog will give you tips and tricks for everyday beauty as well as insights into the makeup industry.

Our passion for makeup and beauty has recently reached a level of embarrassing obsession. So we have set this blog up to share with you our favourite products, techniques and styles. We hope you enjoy xo