Diving into Subculture

Until around a year ago, I believed there were people who loved makeup and those who didn’t. I believed that those who loved makeup had their own reasons why they enjoyed it, but that they were content to use what they liked and leave what they didn’t.

I was so wrong. The palette that showed me how wrong was Subculture.

It feels like this palette has never been uncontroversial. It started with the leaked photos, moved on to the formula problems, escalated to the brand bashing and it feels like only since Soft Glam has come out that people are forgiving Anastasia Beverly Hills.

My own take on all the drama is that Subculture was doomed to fail by Modern Renaissance. That palette was just so good that to better it would require massive innovation and bold moves. That’s what Norvina and the team went for, and unfortunately it seems like they went to far.

I’ll admit that it caught my eye almost as soon as I saw that first leaked grainy picture. It was so different to brown and pink. It had a range of super deep shades in the most unusual colours. I was enthralled.

But I also was afraid to spend the money. I didn’t own any ABH products and if they were not to my taste it would be a huge disappointment. I took the plunge with Modern Renaissance and when I loved that, I knew that I would love Subculture as well.

Too bad no one else seemed to agree.

I remember watching video after video of YouTube influencers talking about all the flaws in the palette – the excessive kickback, the terrible blending, the oxidisation. I was stunned. It was utterly disappointing that such a unique and inspiring palette could be so bad.

The only positive review I found was Stephanie Nicole. She enjoyed using the palette, but did mention that it required a very specific technique and was quite time consuming. More negatives – and damning ones. I may be a fan, but I’m very much an amateur. New techniques? No thank you. I spend 1/3 of my life at work and I’m not willing to sacrifice extra time on my eyeshadow just to make it work.

That should have been the end of it, but then I watched Lisa Stevens review. Without a doubt, she is one of the influencers I trust the most. She has not yet given a recommendation that has failed me. And she liked it! I noticed that both she and Stephanie Nicole (Nicole Renee Cutter also had a positive review under the same conditions) had used the palette for a few weeks before giving their reviews, while most of the bad ones came from first impressions. I started to wonder.

All of that meant nothing however when I first saw the palette. I walked into Sephora and it just drew me in. The vivid brights, the deep darks and the gorgeous duochromes were just too much. I took a moment to swatch a shade and then bought it. It was absolutely irresistible.

The first look I did with it, I prepared myself for disaster. I did my eyes before my face (unusual for me), I used my softest brushes, and I gave myself plenty of time to take it off, cry and start again. Turns out, I needed none of that. The look was light and beautiful and just effortless. I was in love.

I then made two mistakes – I didn’t swatch everything, and I decided this was going to be easy.

The next look I tried to do was meant to be a green with bronze accents. I used destiny, mercury and axis and ended up with a mess. It was unsalvageable. It was awful. I had to remove it and start again. Just disastrous.

So when I went for a third look, I was cautious again. And it came out quite well. It was a lovely purple toned look that was quintessentially me. I’m a huge fan of the smoky eye and this one was just great.

I have super hooded eyes and generally take pictures at the end of day. These are not the best.

I used the shadows for a full two weeks and had a very mixed experience. Every time I used the lighter shades or shimmers, I enjoyed it. Whenever I ventured into the darker half of the palette it just became a mess, no matter what I did. So I pulled in the other ABH palettes to try and help. I got quite a decent green look out of it with some shades forom both Prism and Modern Renaissance, but it was not the most inspiring combination.

So what’s the problem? Is it the formula? Perhaps.

These swatches of the top row are done with my fingers without primer. The colours are beautiful, but they are not true to what’s in the pan. They are more saturated.

The swatches in the bottom row show the other problem. The effect looks similar to a smear of cheap watercolor paint drying. Very deep centrally but in a halo of dull. And this translates to the eyes.

The colours blend away without remaining true to the shade. For the lighter colours that’s fine. It makes them forgiving and buildable. For the darker colours, it leaves shadows all over. It doesn’t play well with various shades. The smallest variation in shade from pan to eye is disastrous because the effect will be a mess. You cannot blend it out. You cannot add a lighter colour to soften because they don’t hold. It makes tiny mistakes far more serious.

So do I regret buying it? I’m still not sure. I’ve swopped it out without reattempting the green-bronze look that I was so keen on. Even though I know mercury would make for a gorgeous purple eye, I was too nervous to use it again. Which means I have essentially been creating looks I could have done with most of my other palettes.

And yet, I still see the potential in there. I still see the amazing looks that would be so unique.

I cannot in all honesty recommend anyone other than a truly passionate makeup lover buy this palette. It requires patience and a real desire to push your boundaries. But I’ve honestly not seen anything on the market that’s as inspired and different. It’s absolutely unique.


Massive Dubai Haul!


At the end of March, my mom and I took a trip to Dubai. My mom runs a little boutique and she likes to source some things from there, and I just went along for fun. And also because they have a Sephora.

I’ve been in the cosmetics section of many department stores. I’ve visited countless drug stores. And of course I have experienced the standalone brand store. But Sephora was a whole different experience. There was so much to experience! I literally did not know where to start!

Unfortunately, Dubai does not receive things as and when they happen, so I missed out on some things I really wanted to see (Urban Decay’s Backtalk and Too Faced’s Just Peachy Mattes and White Peach palettes come to mind.) However that was absolutely minor.

I also visited a few drugstores that were absolutely amazing in terms of the sheer scope of brands and ranges – I was super surprised to find Dermalogica in Boots (!) alongside staples such as essence and L’Oréal. All I can say is – I’ve been missing out.

My no-buy was ammended to a low-buy which eventually became a buy-everything. Especially when I got the duty free. Self control was an absolute myth. But I figure that pictures of new makeup make for good blog posts so why not?

Starting off with a tool, this is a face brush from a convenience store that I bought because it was cheap. I’m a huge fan of discounted makeup brushes and this one really emphasizes why – it’s super soft, disperses product really evenly and washes well.

Yes, despite the less than favourable reviews, despite the brand patronisation and despite the fact that I like to be done with eyeshadow in 10 minutes or less, I was drawn to this. I walked past a display and had to stop and touch and admire and just buy it. From the moment I saw the leaked photos of this, I wanted it. The colour scheme is just me. It’s absolutely beautiful, and I am glad I took the plunge.

Huda Beauty Electric Obsessions – can we just talk about how much this looks like a dancefloor? I’ve swatched the Rose Gold palette before and was just not impressed, but these colours were vibrant and alive. I absolutely love the look of this and am looking forward to using it!

I only own a few eyeshadow palettes from Urban Decay, and yet if you ask me to pick a favourite brand, this would be it. I do not know what it is about the brand but I really feel as though they are always challenging what makeup should be. But you can’t have a favourite brand without a lipstick from them. I bought the shade Hex. It’s wonderfully smooth, evenly pigmented and super comfortable which is all I want in a lipstick.

Lipstick is something I really feel you cannot have enough of. There are so many variations in shades, finishes, and formulas that no two are the same. And the difference translates to the lips – even if it’s only a feeling. So of course, I didn’t stop with just Urban Decay.

My first ever Kat Von D product is this Studded Kiss lipstick in Homegirl. Honestly the packaging is even more beautiful in real life. I love how elegant and yet edgy it is. Truly masterful design.

I also picked up a No. 7 lipstick in the shade Deep Rust. Since I tried a Bella Pierre lipstick that had an orange tone and received a world of complements I have been trying to add some coral to my makeup collection. This shade was perfect – orange enough to be scary, but nude enough to give me the confidence to try.

I also bought makeup from theBalm. This is another brand I really enjoy. Again, I couldn’t get something new that I really wanted (the Meet MattShmaker palette) but I did get a buy two get one free offer!

The first thing I saw that pulled mein was the Balm Jovi palette. I love the musical references in this palette and I can just imagine how great it would be to put your makeup to a playlist based on the shades. Of course, the variety of colours and the fact that everything swatched beautifully really helped.

I’m been wanting a contour palette for ages. Not because I know how to contour properly, but because I would like to learn. I liked this one because you can almost do a complete face with it (it’s missing a matte setting powder) and the shades work well with a medium skin tone.

I got the Appétit palette for buying the other two. It’s not a palette I would necessarily have picked up, but when I took a look I found myself liking the shades quite a bit. I’ve read that the pigment is lacking, but I’ll use it before I decide…

I bought this essence palette on a whim – I liked the colours, I wasn’t sure we would get it in South Africa (we did – I found it when I came back) and by then I had spent so much I figured a little more couldn’t hurt.

I bought a lip liner from Mikyajy which I think is a local brand, mostly because I needed a lip liner in a deeper plum shade.

The last makeup item was a Cheeky Stowaways set from Benefit. I had wanted to try stuff from them for ages but couldn’t get myself to pay what they’re asking (I think they’re terribly overpriced.) This set however contains full sizes of Hoola and Rockateur, both of which are on my wishlist as well as a coral blush which I also wanted (not this one specifically, but a general orange-y blush.) The travel size mascara is always welcome (I’m close to 10 unopened mascaras at this stage) and I’ll confess to not believing that the push up gel liners are as bad as everyone says. I remember that this was so shockingly affordable that the lady at the checkout called a friend over so they could grab one each, but unfortunately I don’t remember the exact price (read – I refuse to look at my credit card statements.)

Moving on to haircare, I got lucky with Clicks and won a set of Frank Provost products to try. I’ve been embarking on a haircare mission that involves buying the most expensive products (rather than something that’s reasonably priced and works well) to try to see if I can get my frizzy mane to stay under control. Spoilers – I’m sorry to say that it’s working.

I also picked up a leave-in conditioner from H&M: we don’t get their beauty products in SA and my beloved Toni &Guy version seems to have been discontinued. So I’m looking for a replacement. I want a cream version (the sprays are NOT helpful) so if you know any, let me know! As I mentioned, price is not a consideration at this stage (😉).

Not pictured (because I used it up) is a hair mask from 7th Heaven. That stuff was AMAZING and I really wanted to go back and get more but there was no room in my bag. It was tragic.

Moving on to skincare, the consultant at Sephora gently convinced me that I could do with more masks (I literally have a boxful of unopened ones) and some makeup removal wipes (which I hate using as a rule). But I fully agreed with him in the moment. Le sigh.

At the drugstore, I picked up a Sleep Mask from Oh K! which I had first seen on ShopHush, but didn’t buy because I didn’t want to pay for shipping. I bought a Garnier sheet mask because I wanted to try it and it was on sale (even with the currency conversion it was cheaper than SA). And my skin was so dry and dehydrated in Dubai that I needed some sort of facial mist to prevent having to use 7 layers of moisturizer; hence the Too Cool For School (loved it.)

Having recently discovered the magic that is glycolic acid I’ve been searching for a reasonable one. The REN one that I am currently using is about half gone, and I find it slightly too expensive to keep buying it. The Ordinary’s Glycolic acid Toner is never in stock anywhere that ships to me. And I really don’t want to buy it from Dermalogica if I can get a cheaper version.

So I went browsing in a drugstore and again got suckered into the purchase of this Germaine de Cappuchini version. It was super expensive but at least it’s a huge bottle. If it causes me skin problems it will just be further proof that I do not deserve to be allowed into a store with salespeople ever again.

Lastly, some body care. I bought an eye mask from Sephora because my friend the Sales guy told me my circles looked awful. I bought a footmask for my mom who promptly said she doesn’t want it, so I’ll be using it after my next bad call when my feet are twice their normal size and feel like lead weights. I bought the gel gloves from Dischem almost as soon as I was off the plane because my hands took a beating with all the luggage and flights, and I didn’t think there was enough hand cream in the world to fix it.

At the airport, I realised I hadn’t bought anything from Soap and Glory, which is brand that’s been on my must try list for ages. I wanted to buy a Sexy MotherPucker gloss, but I convinced myself that I have way too much lipgloss and no body scrub other than what’s in my bathroom right now. So that’s what I picked up.

And because my impulse control is truly non existent, when I saw a marked down eyelash serum from a brand I don’t recognize, I took that too. I used it for a week before I lost it. I think I need to hand in my credit card and just move forward from there.

Project Useup 2018 – Update April 2018


I know I haven’t posted in a long, long time. There are lots of reasons for that and I don’t feel ready to get into them at this stage. But I do want to post an update for my useup project – mostly because I actually have some progress!

Smashbox Liquid Halo foundation – so I’ve had a lot of problems with this. I don’t use foundation often, and I actually only started using this in March. I’ve been trying to use it when I work nights so that I have time to blend and… honestly, I just don’t start getting ready until it’s too late. But I have used it quite a bit in the past month and I’m hoping for some progress. The bottle doesn’t make it easy to see any progress though.

L.A. Girl Pro Setting Spray – I’ve finished this! I do not recommend it at all. Don’t waste your money.

NIMUE Vitamin C Moisture Mist – I finished this today. I used the last few spritzes on my face this morning so that I could throw it away and honestly, I’m going to miss it. It was not a product I really knew what to do with before trying to pan it. I decided to use it as a night time toner and it did help add some hydration to my night routine. But I also found that it was quite nice to spritz on whenever my skin was dry or tight especially if I had makeup on. I actually considered repurchasing it but decided instead to try out different brands of hydration mists.

The palettes are proving to be as difficult as I had anticipated. The main reason for this is that I get bored of using the same things over and over again. I’ve been trying to use the face products daily every alternative month, but progress is slow. For the next four months I plan to use the products for every day shift and 24 hour shift. I really hope that makes a difference.

Wet n Wild Bare and Beautiful Palette – I’ve made some dips in the Crease and Base shades. I was using Base to set my eye primer until I realised how sparkly it was. I find the Crease shade really great with palettes that have a lot of shimmer shades. I also really like to use the palette to create a really quick nude look – not having to think about how colours will look together makes life really easy in the morning.

Clinique Cheek Pop Blush in Plum Pop – I’ve been loving the girls at Beauty News who absolutely insist that using up a blush takes a year. I believe that entirely. My goal for this was to get rid of the flower pattern, and I’m really concerned I won’t succeed even there.

essence Light Your Face Luminizer Palette – finally – visible progress! I’m really proud of the dip in the nude shade on the left : it’s a really lovely natural highlight. The pink is very glittery but still nice. The bronze is very underwhelming. I’m aiming for pan in the next four months.

Extensive Mascara Collection – I’ve used up the Tarte Lights Camera Lashes Mascara, and I’ve been working on (and actually really loving) the Lorac Pro Fiber, but there isn’t any sign of it being done yet.

essence Lights of the Orient lipstick – it’s not perfectly aligned, but I have made a lot of progress with this! It’s a lovely pink nude shade which is very versatile and I’ve enjoyed using it. I’m aiming to have this done in the next four months.

The Dermalogica hydrablur primer was not my favourite. It did give a nice dose of moisture and it did have the skin blurring effect (as the name suggests) but I prefer a mattifying primer I think. I’m still looking around for one I really like. So nice, but I was glad to be done!

Freeman Dead Sea Minerals Anti – Stress mask – I have used this maybe twice. It’s just very time consuming – so much easier to slap on a sheet mask and be done. But with #maymaskchallenge I’m hoping to get some use out it. There’s maybe 4-5 uses left. If I try I will definitely finish this.

You can’t really see the progress on these, but it’s definitely there. My Lancer : The Method Polish was unopened when I started and now is almost all gone. I’ve really enjoyed it even though I find it slightly too harsh for my skin. As for the Estée Lauder DayWear, that tube has more moisturizer than it it seems. It does not want to end!

So. 4 months in and I’ve managed to complete 4 products. I’ve made progress on 6 of them (at least that I can see – I wonder if anyone else panning weighs their items?) which leaves 5 practically untouched.

I’ll do another update hopefully after 4 more months and I hope to have some pan somewhere…

January Heroes


I’ve not been sticking to my posting goals, mostly because – work. But, as January FINALLY ends, I managed to get home and catch some sunlight for decent-ish pics and another favorites post.

Estee Lauder Pressed Translucent Powder

I love, love, LOVE this powder. It is easily not just my favorite face powder, but my favorite make up item. I love the sleek packaging, the softness of the powder and the flawless finish it gives. It’s super pricy and one compact only lasts about six months with regular use, but I really feel that it’s worth it. I refuse to use anything else if I’m going anywhere that photo’s are being taken – I was a bridesmaid this month, used this, and rediscovered my undying devotion to this powder. Really recommend.

essence Lights of the Orient Lipsticks

These mini collections of essence are truly genius – in a field so saturated with products, where negative review go up on the day of a product’s release and where trends change all the time releasing small collections that are truly “limited edition” is probably the way to go. I think that even where the collections are not full range, they allow for innovation and “hype” without the need for big budgets, celebrities or extensive R&D. I always enjoy looking, even though I don’t buy a lot.

I missed this collection when it launched, but was lucky enough to find one of the Lipsticks on clearance in Foshini and the other on clearance at Clicks (each less than R50!). Initially, I wasn’t sure if I liked it – I got the shade The Sultan’s Daughter which is a rosy nude very similar to my natural lip colour. It’s extremely matte, and I wasn’t too convinced that I was going to enjoy it, and stuck it into my useup for that reason.

Using it regularly, however has changed my mind completely. It is super moisturising and so easy to use! It gives a very professional and muted look to even my crazy smoky eyes, and I find myself reaching for it everyday. I wore it to the wedding! It’s amazing. When I saw Princess Jasmine’s Choice at Clicks I had to grab it. It’s a lovely purple shade, and I’ve been looking for a matte purple for a while now.

The Balm – Balm Desert Blush/Bronzer

This is the product that made me fall in love with The Balm. A powder that’s super smooth, evenly pigmented and makes me look as though I go out into the sun and enjoy life. It’s pricy, but so worth it. I want to own all the shades in this collection.

That is unfortunately it! Everything else I used this month was…average. Let me know what products you loved this month!

Project Useup 2018


I know, the last time I did a Useup I failed to give you guys any updates or info. I’m sorry. 

I’m hoping this year’s will be different for two reasons – I actually am going to set a deadline (December 30 2018) and I will not have to take too many “progress” pictures… I hope. 

I’ve picked 15 items – 5 skincare and 10 makeup. Let’s take a look at them! 

These are all face products and the best part is that two of them are almost done already! 

The L.A. Girl setting spray kinda sucks, but there’s very little left. I’m really optimistic about getting this out of my collection (and Fix + in). 

My Nimue Vitamin C Moisture Mist is a carryover from the last project I had. I’m proud of how much I got used up – I use it as a night time toner and it works okay. There’s about 1.5cm of product in there and as long as I remember to use it, I think I can finish it! 

Finally, the Smashbox Halo foundation. I like this foundation a lot, but I don’t use foundation in general. This is going to be a challenge…

I’m afraid I picked three palettes that are not my favorites to try and use up, which is going to be challenging as well. 

The Wet n Wild Eyeshadow Palette is really beautiful – all neutral tones and the pan sizes are small. I’m hoping to hit pan on at least one shade and see where we can go from there. I want to buy a palette of their new formula to compare and I can’t really justify it when I have this sitting around… Here’s hoping it takes a few months to hit SA shores! (Kidding)

The Essence Light Up Your Face Luminizer Palette is special to me because it’s the first highlighter I ever bought. I’ve used the nude shade so much that it’s actually lost the pattern, and I’m hoping to use it up completely. I’m also hoping to at least hit pan on one of the other shades. Is this too ambitious? Probably. 

The Clinique Cheek Pop Blush is in the shade Plum Pop and honestly not my favourite. It’s not long wearing but it is a lovely shade. I just think it’s overpriced. Anyway, I’m hoping to get rid of the flower design at least. Easy goal? Maybe…

Rounding up the makeup is a lot of mascara. Far too much, but, again, I have faith. 

On the extreme left it Tarte Lights Camera Lashes Mascara. It’s a travel size and is drying out slowly but surely. I don’t think it will last longer than another two to three weeks. 

I’ve kept the LORAC Pro Fiber+ mascara out for that eventuality. It’s not a bad mascara, but not my favourite either. I plan on using the Elizabeth Arden Grand Entrance Mascara next, and Maybelline Great Lash last. I use mascara everyday, so I do feel that I can make it!

essence Lights of the Orient Lipstick in The Sultan’s Daughter is a recent addition to my collection. It’s a rosy nude, quite light, matte and pretty, but not overwhelming in any way. That makes it a perfect everyday shade. 

I think that if I use this at least once a week I should make a dent in it..  I hope…

Finally, some skincare. I love the Freeman Dead Sea Minerals Anti Stress Mask but I’m having trouble using it up. There’s still so much left! 

The Lancer: The Method Polish is untouched. I got it in a Look Fantastic box, and I know I’ll keep it forever if I don’t force myself to use it (exfoliators are not for me…)

The Esteé Lauder Day Wear is not a bad moisturiser, it’s just not moisturising enough for me. I’m going to cart it with me every time I go home to try and use it up.

Finally, the Deramlogica hydrablur sample is just lovely. It evens out my skin tone, adds hydration and blurs pores. But I have another few primers to try, and I want to get to them!

15 products. 12 months. Here we go!

2018 – Makeup + Blog Goals


Happy New Year to everyone out there! I hope all of you had a great NYE and are looking forward to 2018 as much as I am. This post was pre written and ready to go out on the 1st but work was hell. Anyway. 

I’m not one to have new years resolutions but I do believe in the power of writing things down. So, here’s my goals for 2018 regarding this blog, makeup, and beauty generally.

I will not buy things because they’re on sale

Honestly, this is going to be hard. I love the clearance bins at Dischem and Clicks and have always gotten great bargains in them. But many of the products I get I just don’t use often. And it adds up. So I’m going to try to stick to a budget for these bins and avoid them as much as possible. 

I will get a Dermalogica Skin Consult

Although I have been using Deramlogica for almost ten years (!) I’ve only gotten skin mapped once. I’d like to get another one and get some professional advice about the products I use. 

No High End Purchases until May

My birthday is in May, and I really want to place a Sephora order then and get my birthday present. Because of the ridiculous shipping costs involved, I’m planning on giving myself some leeway to buy a LOT and so need to save money for that. 

At least three blog posts a month

 I enjoy doing a favorites post, and I’ve revamped makeup switchup (stay tuned!), so that means one more post per month. Between empties, reviews, hauls, skincare, haircare and events, I should manage one more post a month… Surely. 

I will stop obsessing about this blog and enjoy it more

Writing the posts are lots of fun, taking and editing the pictures – not so much. I know that it’s important to have good quality pictures to make the blog look good, but much of the reason I post so sparsely is that I’m working on the pictures and it’s just not fun. Blogging is supposed to be fun! I have a job that stresses me out enough – I will not allow a hobby to be stressful as well. 

I will do cat flicks once a week

Honestly, I’m not the best at these. I actually kinda suck. But practice is the key, and so I promise to try at least once a week to get better at it.

That’s six, and I think that’s enough for me. Do you have any beauty or blog goals for 2018? I’d love to hear about them! 

Also, I have book goals and some life goals set up too. Let me know if you guys want to hear about them! 

December Heroes


Last post of 2017! I cannot believe how much has happened this year! It’s been quite something, but overall more good than bad I think. Anyway, let’s get to the fun stuff!

Anastasia Beverly Hills Prism Palette

How could I not include this? I loved using it, I cannot wait to pull it back in to everyday use – it’s just gorgeous.

Ofra Highlighter in Everglow

I got this at Beauty Swop and Sale Expo at a discounted price and honestly love it. The medium shade is absolutely perfect for me and doesn’t emphasize texture at all. I used the dark shade as an eyeshadow and was so impressed with the pigmentation and wear. Really excellent product. 

Pink Cosmetics Brush Cleaner

This product is worth the money and more. I recently cleaned all my brushes, and all my mom’s brushes (42 in total) and it took me less than 30 minutes. The tub is still half full as well. Amazing. 

Dermalogica Daily Resurfacer

I have a full review of this on Instagram (@mymedicalmakeup). It’s just wonderful. I love it. 

That’s really it for standout products – I didn’t pull in a lot of new things and wasn’t very good with makeup switchup either. Here’s hoping for a fabulous 2018! 

P R I S M – A Holiday Palette Review


When Anastasia Beverly  Hills first put out pictures of their holiday collection for 2017, the only thing that caught my eye was the Prism palette. I love blush, but I am not a fan of blush or face palettes – I find that they are a waste because there’s always one shade that you don’t like or just don’t use. I’m also not a liquid lipstick fan. But the eyeshadows – oh, those beautiful eyeshadows. That palette called to me.

To be honest, I was ready to accept that I was never going to have it ( When ABH says limited edition they tend to mean it – RIP Master by Mario palette) when my friend Sarah was kind enough to volunteer to be a mule for me. I placed my Sephora order and have been using the palette ever since and I’m ready to review it.

Let’s start with the good stuff – these shades blend. I am extremely lazy and yet these shadows always look so much better than any other shadows because they are seamless without effort. Every single shade was super easy to use – even with a dry brush (I tend not to wet my brushes and not to use fingers; too much effort). I will say that the foiled shimmers work a lot better with a synthetic flat brush – I’m using a R20 one from Signature cosmetics.

The pigmentation was also definitely there – Eden was the lightest shade, almost too light for me but it showed up. The shades I was not a fan of were quite pigmented as well, it was a case of dip twice and blend once. I don’t really mind going back to add more, so they were fine for me.

The bad news is that the dark shades are quite chalky. The Modern Renaissance palette had beautiful dark shades that were super soft, but the Prism palette just does not have the same level of softness. This is a really minor difference but it is there and it is noticable.

The even worse news is that two of the shades are a bit sucky. The shade Sphere is meant to be a neon yellow. Mine is a lot more flat and green toned. It’s by no means a bad shadow, but it was disappointing not to get the bright yellow I’ve been seeing in everyone’s Instagrams. The shade Osiris was also quite disappointing – it looks like a dark blue foiled glitter shade, but is more deep chalky purple matte with lavender glitter. The first day I used it, it looked awful. It was mostly my fault for being late and not having time to build it up, but I usually don’t expect metallics to need that much work. I used it again as part of a purple smoky eye, and it was much better.

The final problem was glitter transfer. I know I have hooded eyes but it really sucks when your eyeshadow is a mess just three hours in…

Look, I know there’s lots of negatives in this post, but honestly I really love the Palette. The colour selection is amazingly creative and they are easy to use pigmented shadows. It is expensive (local resellers are pricing it around R1000) but it’s worth it for me.

I’d say if you’re into doing interesting and fun looks on your eye, and are an ABH fan, get the Palette if you can afford it. But if you like a neutral look, this is not for you. It was actually a bit difficult to put together a look that wasn’t glam with this. That’s not a complaint – just an observation. 😀😉






November Heroes


Wow, this year is going super fast! I can’t believe it! I didn’t try out many things in November, but here are some items that I loved – and honestly, most of them surprised me!

Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes! Mascara

 This is a sample I got with my Opening Act Lash Primer, and initially I was mostly indifferent to it. It has a dry consistency that I’m not a fan of, so it was banished to live in my car makeup bag. When we were going on vacation, I decided to take it along because it was small and convenient. 

Blew. My. Mind. 

The definition! The length! Okay, the curl was not as great as my Chanel, but wow! And lots of volume without any clumping! I really enjoyed using it. When I eventually have to buy mascara again (I’m aiming for 2020) I will definitely be considering this. 

The Body Shop Bath Bomb in Strawberry

If you’re following me on Instagram (@mymedicalmakeup) you will have seen my mini review of this. I’m going for full disclosure here – I picked this one as the least objectionable fragrance they had. I don’t like strawberry flavoured things – they’re just too sweet for me. But this was beautiful. The next day, my bath still smelled good. It’s not too expensive and was really fun. 

 essence Metal Shock Eyeshadow

Shade 02 stars & stories

I’ve had an eye on the Stila Magnificent Metals collection for a while. I find it ridiculously overpriced though, especially because I’m not a fan of liquid/cream eyeshadow. So when essence launched this collection, I decided to dip a toe in.

I took it along on holiday because I feel like when I’m away, I can wear crazy overdone makeup with no consequence. And if it didn’t work out, not so much of a problem. 

This stuff is magic. I sheered it out both alone and over a matte shadow and it just looked awesome. I used it alone and it was dramatic. I tried to use it in a halo eye and struggled mostly because I only took one double ended eye brush along and my makeup skills aren’t there yet 😂. 

L’Oréal True Match Powder

Shade is W4 Natural Beige. I’ll se if they have a neutral undertone in the same shade

This is a powder I found when I was cleaning out some cupboards. I absolutely love the finish – it gives my skin a beautiful velvet look and mattifies without making my skin look dry. It is maybe just a touch too warm for me – I’m trying to get through some old powders and when I buy it again I’ll opt for the same colour in a neutral tone. 

Toni&Guy Leave In Conditioner

This is an oldie, I’ve been using it for years. But I stopped a few months back when I was blow drying my hair regularly. I felt that product just weighed down my hair and gave a greasy finish. I started again this November when I went back to allowing my hair to air dry and then brushing through with my hairdryer brush. It makes my hair so much smoother and more manageable! I use it sparingly, so even though it’s expensive I manage to make a tube last a while. 

The Ordinary 100% Squalene

I’ve been using this at night for a few months now. It’s a thick oil that really hydrated my skin – so much so I stopped using a moisturizer at night and only used this. But it finally got into the heroes category when I got sunburned. 

I hate getting sunburned because my dry skin gets even worse. It’s unbearable. I tried aftersun cream, Laniege water sleep mask, my Dermalogica serum and they made only a marginal diffence. Then, I used this. 

Overnight, my skin was better. It was still dry, but not damaged and rough, just usual levels. After a day of normal skin care it was back to baseline. 

It’s become a bit too hydrating (dry skin girls – can you believe such a thing exists?) So I’ve pulled it out of regular use until next year. But I love it. And it’s given me a lot of faith in The Ordinary as a brand. I have every intention of trying out more from them! 
That’s it for this month! I swear I’ve been writing like crazy and have a few posts almost ready – it’s just the damn pictures that I need to motivate myself to take! It doesn’t help that I’m only awake at night (#shiftworklife). 

Catch me on Instagram for more! @mymedicalmakeup 



So if you have been following me on Instagram (@mymedicalmakeup) you’ll know that I’ve been teasing about an order I placed. The products are finally here – so the big reveal : I placed a Sephora order.

My friend Sarah was going to the US and when she went the last time I was sad because she didn’t tell me early enough for me to give her a shopping list. This time, we worked out that if I placed an online order and had it delivered to her Air BNB she would cart it home for me. So that’s what we did. 

I stalked the Sephora website for weeks and went through all my emails for special gift codes. Just so you guys know, anyone with an email address can sign up to Sephora’s reward programme and recieve these. 

I was a bit concerned about paying for the items – on a few websites and blogs I read it was mentioned that Sephora does not accept international credit cards and that I would have to buy a gift card from a third party site and use that. It seemed like quite a schlep. 

It was clear that I was going to have to set a limit to the spending. Sephora gives away a free product when you spend $100, so I decided to go for that only.  I also thought really hard about the products that I wanted – I think my cart changed around three times.

Especially when you’re faced with sales or other promotions, I think it’s really important to be very specific about what, if anything, you buy. I like to make wishlists when I’m bored, especially on Amazon, and I give myself certain times to order only. When it comes down to it, I hardly ever want anything on the lists – it’s just not that exciting anymore.

I knew one thing I absolutely had to have – the Anastasia Beverly Hills Prism Palette. I’ve been loving the look of it, I know it’s limited edition, and I was unsure if any local retailers would be getting a hold of it. So that went into my cart.

The case has the classic velvet lining

It arrived looking exactly as it does in all those insta pics – beautiful, unique and vibrant! I’m so excited to try this out – I will do a full review once I’ve played with it. 

I’m most excited about sphere and dimension, but honestly, there’s not a shade in here I don’t like!

Fenty Beauty has so much hype around it, but I don’t use foundation enough to justify a collection. The eyeshadow palette looked pretty, but I’ve felt that most of the palettes being released recently are full of shades I already have. Also, pink is having a moment, and I really don’t like pink eyeshadow. So that was out. The lipsticks and glosses… I’ll admit to being very interested in the Universal Lip Luminizer. It looked like it could be perfect on anyone and I really love lipgloss. So I bought that.

The packaging is absolutely classic

This is the only product I’ve actually used so far – it has a really sweet scent when opened but I haven’t yet put my finger on what it is. It looks very natural on – a no-makeup kind of product. It feels quite comfortable on as well. Again, I’ll do a full review once I’ve used it a bit more, but my initial feeling is that this is a great product.

You can just about see the micro glitter – I may use this as a topper. Sorry about the bad pics – I’m too excited to wait for good lighting in the morning!

Sephora Favorites collections have always been tempting to me. I wanted them all. But the one that spoke to my heart was the hair mask collection. Honestly, I have so many problems with my hair that masks have helped resolve. I have been wanting to try amika and Briogio and Moroccan Aryan Oil products for a long time, and the price of this convinced me. 

Sarah had removed the packaging to use the bag for some of the items in transit

I needed one more thing to make $100 and initially I was going to buy a Laneige set. But after trying out the water sleeping mask I decided against it. So I browsed a bit and decided on a Becca highlighter set. Champagne Pop is a favorite of so many beauty bloggers that I decided it was worth it. 

Look. At. The. Glow.

The highlight powder is tiny. I’m a little upset over how much I paid for it, but that’s my own fault for buying these gift sets. Nevertheless, it looks absolutely beautiful and swatches amazingly. I’m looking forward to using it!

I was all ready with my promo codes and my cart loaded up. I was going to order the day Sarah arrived and pay for overnight shipping. But then something happened that has apparently not been done before – Sephora’s VIB sale included the Beauty Insider category! That means I got 15%off everything! 

It also meant that I had to buy one more thing to qualify for a point perk. I decided to buy a lipstick from a luxury brand, assuming it would be around the $20 I needed. I chose NARS because I don’t own anything from them and they had a set of 2 chubby lip sticks. I chose one with a shade I liked for my mom so that I could give her a gift as well. 

So stylish!

I have to say – NARS products just radiate luxury. The packaging just makes everything look expensive. These crayons are so soft and yet sharp. Based on the swatches, my mom may not get a present. 😋 I will get back to you guys on wearability.

Sephora didn’t have my point perk in stock (annoying) and they couldn’t give me a replacement. So now I have points to spend and no real way of spending them… I’ll be looking into this in the new year if I am employed.

They also messed up the samples I chose. But seeing as how there wasn’t anything super special there, I don’t mind. I had chosen the Benefit Pore-fessional, a Belief face wash and a Boscia scrub. But I’m not too disappointed with what I got – the lilah b cheek and lip stain is a great way for me to try out that kind of product, I can never say no to a tinted moisturiser, and an ordinary moisturiser is always handy for an overnight trip. 

From top down – Champagne Pop liquid, Champagne Pop pressed powder, Walkyrie, Damned, Sphere, Dimension

I’m really happy with all my products and I’m so excited to use them all! Obviously, that’s what I’m using this week for #makeupswitchup ! 

Follow me on Instagram for updates as the days go by!