Before & after - using The Convertible Brow, Clear Brow Gel & Highlighter Pencil
New to NZ, The Brow Gal products offer unique and practical brow products developed by LA based brow expert and makeup artist Tonya Crooks.
Brand new to the market is a multi use product called The Convertible Brow, which can be used dry as a powder for a more natural but sculpted look - or wet like a pomade for a defined, structured finish.
Each compact comes with three colour shades that compliment an array of skin tones & hair colours. They are highly pigmented, easily blended and give definition without a heavy application.
Highlighter Pencil & Convertible Brow swatches
I was also sent the Clear Brow Gel, precision Angled Brush & Highlighter Pencil and am head over heels for each one! My brow routine has stepped up its game!!
I use the gel to set the hairs in place, always brushing upwards to achieve a fuller look. The highlighter pencil has one matte & one shimmery shade and is the perfect tool for sculpting and perfecting the brow. The brush is a must have item, double ended with a super fine angled brush and spoulie for combing out any excess product - perfect partner in crime for the Convertible Brow!
Verdict? Instant holy grail items that have conveniently made their way into my personal makeup kit for every day use.
You can find out more here https://thebrowgal.com
I received some goodies in the post this week from Mellow Cosmetics, a NZ based brand who are vegan and cruelty free.
I've been a long time fan of their lip products and they have now launched a new range of Brow Powder Duo's, Brow Gel's and Pomades in four fabulous shades. The staying power of these Pomades was what impressed me the most, will definitely be using these on my clients!
I was also sent the "Treasure Chest" eyeshadow palette, which contains 6 gorgeous shimmering shades and four perfect warm and cool tone mattes.
See below for swatches of these fab new additions to the Mellow family.
The brow powders and pomades come in correlating shades - Taupe, Caramel, Mocha & Chocolate - offering both warm and cool tones to suit everyone. They have great colour payoff, are easy to apply and like I mentioned above, super long lasting.
Yesterday I attended one of the first introductions into the M.A.C Technique App here in NZ. I'm sure you have heard of M.A.C Technique classes, I remember being a part of them back when I worked in store in 2008/2009. It's a hands on class, tailored to suit - and best of all redeemable on product so you can take away your fav products after you've mastered how to apply them.
The app itself is an interactive addition to these classes. Not only are you able to browse and book available nearby classes through the app, but once in the workshop you can photograph each step, make a list of each product used and essentially store all your must have items for the shopping session afterwards. This is all then stored in the app, so you can refer to it once you get home. Essentially it's your "own personal take home makeup artist" as stated by KieKie Stanners, the NZ M.A.C National Artist.
Once you have booked in for your M.A.C Technique you are able to access all the information including face charts specific to your class. These gorgeous Technique makeup bags are also exclusive to the event. You cannot buy these instore!
M.A.C Technique classes are available in two formats, either seminar or workshop & are $120 fully redeemable on product.
Download the app here:
Today's before and after. No editing, just true, honest me. I'm a mum of two, I don't sleep, I work way too much, I worry even more. I'm currently in week three of a huge detox and my health has been better. And it shows on my face, my skin is breaking out. But, I care very little about that.
I haven't always been so self accepting, and I must admit I used to hide behind makeup when I was younger. I've always beaten myself up about my weight. I was bulimic as a teen. I've said ugly, horrible things to myself. But, since having my daughters I have changed a lot. Their utter acceptance of who they are as human beings is so incredibly inspiring. It's them who have taught me about self love. It's their unconditional love for me that has made me realise that I do have value, and to them I am perfect. More importantly, I came to the realisation that the way I treat myself is an example to them.
Since having my babies, I have become so passionate about self love and dissolving illusions about makeup and why women wear it. We are constantly bombarded with unrealistic and unattainable expectations of how we are supposed to look by celebrities and advertising. Yes I edit my Instagram feed, just like a glossy magazine edits their already perfect models. I do this because it's my art, it's not because I'm ashamed of who I am.
When it comes to makeup I'm all about empowering women and teaching them how taking that time for themselves is ok. It's totally fine to wear none too, I rarely wear makeup unless I'm working. I'm bare faced at school drop offs, and to be honest most of the other mums are too. It's so incredibly important to be proud of who you are and what our "imperfections" represent. I have severe dark circles because I haven't slept for 5 years, and I'm gonna wear that shit like a badge of honour - and so should you.
I think this post is less about makeup, and a lot about self acceptance. I want to break down barriers and have transparency when it comes to realistic expectations of how women are perceived, and how we perceive ourselves. Have you been kind to yourself today?
I have been hearing a lot about the brand Arbonne, which recently made it's debut into the New Zealand market. I get sent a lot to review, and I don't mention everything I receive. However, I wanted to take the time to test this particular range out because of it's claim to contain naturally derived ingredients.
Arbonne contains zero petrochemicals, no mineral oil, petroleum & SD alcohol. It also excludes known irritants like acetone, lanolin, collagen, dyes, perfumes and human/animal by products. The range is botanically based, not tested on animals, hypoallergenic and dermatologist tested.
I was sent two of their top sellers, being the Makeup Primer & It's a Long Story Mascara. I was also sent the Prime & Proper Eye Primer, It's all in the Eyes Eyeshadow Duo in Amber & Forest and Smoothed over Lipstick in Iris (see swatches below).
First impression is the beautiful fragrance these products have. I love products that smell good, but don't want to put artificial perfumes on my skin on a daily basis. The botanicals in this line make it all smell amazing! The packaging itself is luxurious and well made - sleek, black and simple.
The shadows are a buttery, velvet texture with fantastic colour payoff. The lipstick is hydrating and creamy and it lasted a good few hours without need of a touch up despite this. I tested the face and eye primer over the course of a work day and had zero creasing in the areas I applied. The mascara would suit those that are after a lengthening effect. This will not clump your lashes! Best of all I had no reaction to these products, which is a common occurrence for me having eczema and allergies.
Arbonne's premium skin care and makeup products are formulated in Switzerland at the Arbonne Institute of Research and Development, and are made in the U.S.A. For more information contact Roslyn Ryan who kindly sent me these products to try.
This is for all my ladies on a budget. I know when I wasn't working and was at home with two little babes (and being obsessed with makeup) I really would have loved to be able to treat myself to a new products as a pick me up - but alas, it was just not in the budget at that time. In New Zealand we haven't had a lot of options for affordable makeup. "Drug store" products in the U.S for example, would still be upwards of $40 for a foundation. That's if we could even get our hands on it.
Essence Cosmetics is a European makeup brand that launched a couple years back in NZ. They are cruelty free and super affordable so I was keen to give the products a go! I was sent three of the Velvets eyeshadows in Mr Mocca-Bean (a cool toned dark brown), Taupe Secret (the perfect matte taupe colour) and Fluffy Clouds (a highly pigmented true white). These shadows are all matte, velvet in texture and have great colour payoff, especially at the price point of just $4.50 each!
The contour palette (RRP $8.95) consists of a warm toned matte bronzer, a matte highlighting powder, and a peach toned matte blush. I found the bronzer to be well pigmented, and easily blendable. The highlight powder & blush were not as pigmented as I would prefer, but ideal for those who may not be so confident with makeup or who may be heavy handed with application. The products are definitely buildable too.
Last, but not least I tried the Velvet Matte long lasting lipgloss, which is unique in the way this felt on the lips. Colour payoff was fab, longevity was great and it was actually hydrating too (unlike most liquid lipsticks on the market). I was confused at first as to why it was called a lipgloss when it has no shine whatsoever, but it feels like a gloss on the lips, even though it is essentially a matte product! These retail for just $5.20 so I will be heading out and picking up more colours for sure.
Essence Cosmetics is available at selected Farmers Department Stores.
I haven't posted for a while. I've been so incredibly busy with work & family, blogging has taken a back seat. Now that winter is well and truly here and work has slowed down I have much more time and energy to put into my writing! SO here goes.
I posted a few weeks back about trying Flash Lash serum, I have used Revitalash in the past and written about it here and on instagram, but the price point being quite high I decided to look into more affordable options. I was not blessed with long lashes, and after ceasing use of Revitalash my lashes were again their short, stumpy, selves. Flash lash has a price point of around $50-$60 for 2ml (3 month supply) and I had read positive reviews online so decided to give it a whirl.
At first I didn't see a big change, slight growth in some areas after a months use. Now at 7 weeks they are starting to look fuller and more lush (pic top right). Taking into consideration that the lashes have a 6 week growth cycle, and full effects won't be seen until around the 3 month mark I have high hopes for incredible lashes over the next few weeks.
With Revitalash I saw changes FAST, Like a month in my lashes had nearly doubled in length. It definitely works faster, and for the price point (3.5ml at $169 for a 6 month supply) it should do. I had less irritation (experienced slight itching at application for both) with Revitalash and if I had to pick a better product I would say this one is my fav - BUT for the price point Flash Lash will work for you too, you may just have to wait longer for those results to show.
You can purchase both, here.
#vivaglamarianagrande 💋 Today the M·A·C AIDS fund in NZ donated $148,301 to support Positive Women Inc. This donation comes directly from the New Zealand sales of M·A·C’s #VIVAGLAM lip products. 100% of the proceeds of Viva Glam go towards helping to support women and families living in New Zealand with HIV or AIDS. @maccosmetics NZ has raised $2million to date for this amazing cause! #arianagrandevivaglam shades in stores now 💋 #arianagrande #macaidsfund #sebmakeup
I love my bare face just as much as my made up one... dark circles, acne scarring, pigmentation and wrinkles remind me of my 34 years on this earth and what I have learned! I have days where I am really down on myself, that little mean voice that tells me I'm too fat, or my mum tum is a disgrace, or my skin is too wrinkled to be doing what I'm doing for a job. But deep down, I really do love and accept myself just the way I am. That is mainly down to really, honestly trying to be a good person. To do what I can to change this world in the short time I am here means so much more to me than my appearance. It's down to trying to do the best I can at raising my two daughters knowing they are loved and that I will always be there for them. It also comes down to how much I enjoy empowering women, and making them feel the same way. And that's where makeup steps in... Makeup is a tool for us to feel empowered. To feel like we can take on the world. When I am bare faced I am Seb the mum, my true self, which sometimes carries and harbours insecurities and doubts. With my makeup on I am Seb the WARRIOR, I give myself power and confidence to do kick ass things, and face this world with a little more power than I might otherwise feel I have. This is the meaning of 'The power of makeup" to me.
PRODUCTS USED 💀 @elfcosmetics acne fighting foundation in Porcelain, @maccosmetics pro longwear concealer in NC15, @thebalm_cosmetics Bahama Mama to bronze and sculpt, MLM to highlight, @nyxcosmetics @nyxnewzealand peach blush ✖ BROWS @anastasiabeverlyhills dipbrow pomade in Auburn ✖@mellowcosmetics gel liner in black & @socialeyeslash Minx on the eyes ✖ LIPS #maccosmetics Cherry pencil #sebmakeup
As a makeup artist, and more importantly as a feminist, I see makeup as a way for a woman to make herself feel good. I see it as a creative outlet. I don't wear it for praise from others, or to look "pretty." I am comfortable with no makeup on. I embrace my wrinkles, my acne scars, double chin and being plus size in real life. I don't even do my hair most days.
We need to remember social media is not real life & that we only show what we want you to see. I make it known that my images are edited. I want my page to look like a magazine spread, it's my art. It's not my reality.
When people say I'm pretty I actually take it as an insult. I want to be complimented for being fierce, being strong, being opinionated, kind, and intelligent... so many better things to be than pretty. I hope my girls grow up aspiring to be more than their looks. You have value as a human being, and you have so much more to offer than that. #immorethanpretty #sebmakeup
NZ based hair and makeup artist, Mum, wife, beauty blogger, & advocate for self acceptance & empowering women.