A Mecca Haul
With Sephora VIB sales and Black Friday been and gone, it seems like November's been a spendy month for everyone, including myself. It's not very often that I buy a whole lot of beauty products in one go, but I had a Mecca gift card to spend, as well as a couple from Myer, and as I've also used up a few products recently, it was the perfect time to spend them. From swatching every single pinky brown nude lipstick to smelling all the Diptyque and Byredo candles, Mecca is my favourite place on Earth to spend my money. I hit up both Mecca Cosmetica and Mecca Maxima on three separate occasions and after doing a wee bit of damage to my bank account, today's post is a good old classic beauty haul.
Although my birthday was two months ago now, I was waiting for the release of Mecca's Holiday 2017 packaging to spend my gift card (the Myer gift cards were received through my Myer One membership). Those beautiful boxes always come in so handy for storage and every year, they're just as dazzling and vibrant as the last. This year, Mecca collaborated with Indigenous Australian artist, Claudia Moodoonuthi, for their collection and I think it's really cool to see my favourite beauty retailer support women in the arts. Through their Mecca M-Power scheme, they also partner with the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) to acquire works by Australian contemporary artists and commission emerging talent as way of empowering girls and women. Claudia Moodoonuthi's work is simply incredible and out of all the beauty retailers in the world, Mecca's branding is by far the most stunning. Anyway, onto the haul!
Buying makeup is something I've severely cut back on this year; in fact, before this haul, I hadn't I hadn't bought anything new since July! For a beauty blogger, that's some serious growth and willpower, if I do say so myself. Where I once used to get excited over new releases, I'm now jaded by a good majority of them and for anything that's on my wishlist, I don't have that same desire to go out and immediately purchase them anymore.
One of the very few new releases that has taken my fancy this year is the in-house Mecca beauty range, Mecca Max. Launched back in August, the collection consists of over 200 products all priced under $45, which is pretty reasonable from a high end retailer! Naturally, it was the pink, red and gold packaging that drew me in and I was keen to try a thing or two from the brand.
The first product I bought was the Mecca Max Nail Care Cube because it was cheap and my previous one was looking worse for wear. I use a glass nail file to shape and properly file down my nails, but I also like buffing over them afterwards so they're smooth and shiny. This one does the job well and it's a bonus that it's super cute too! The second product purchased was the Mecca Max Bring On Bright Illuminating Primer. I have to admit, this was a little bit of a spontaneous purchase, but it was love at first swatch and I know my makeup style well enough now to confidently buy something and know I'm not going to regret it. Very rarely do I find myself compelled to buy makeup like this though! Comparable to the BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector Liquids, it's a shimmery champagne hue that's neutral in tone and immediately wakes up the skin with subtlety. My dehydrated skin can often leave my complexion looking lacklustre, so I just love anything that makes me glow and it can even work as a dewy highlighter. In addition, it lasts well on the skin, but the one qualm that I have - and many others seem to have too - is the fragrance. It's not bad, it's just strong, so if you're sensitive to fragrance, I'd be mindful. For me, it's not a deal breaker, I just think it's unnecessary.
When it comes to buying makeup, there's nothing more exciting than picking up a new lip product and since I had my birthday voucher, it was well justified. I'm really into sheeny nudes at moment (as opposed to those that are super opaque and matte), but since I don't really have any products that fit that criteria, I decided to get the Hourglass GIRL Lip Stylo in Achiever. Described as a "deep mauve", it's more of a my-lips-but-better shade on me and I love how effortless it is despite it being quite pigmented. It's the kind of product you don't have to worry about reapplying because it fades really nicely (that may be a different story for the non-nude shades though) and if you love the Fresh Sugar Lip Treatments, you'll probably like the GIRL Lip Stylos too. It's hydrating like a balm, lustrous, but not glossy and perfect for everyday wear.
A few weeks ago, I swatched the Stila Heaven's Hue Highlighter in Kitten and was simply mesmerised. I'm usually pretty good at swatching a whole bunch of products and not being fazed at all, but it was a totally different story when it came to this and the Bring On Bright Illuminating Primer! I managed to put the highlighter out of my mind, but when it came to spending my voucher, I immediately remembered it and it was still just as beautiful upon my second swatch. I was feeling a little bit hesitant because I tend to favour buying products that have been on my wishlist for a longer period of time, but my sister agreed that it was indeed really pretty and said that I should get it. That was almost two weeks ago and I haven't stopped wearing it since! A cream-to-powder formula, it has a unique bouncy, putty texture (the child in me just wants to squish my fingers into it!) and on the skin, it translates into a sheeny, ethereal glow. It's subtle, yet noticeable and if you like a more in-your-face highlighter, it's definitely also buildable. I'd say it'd be suitable for a wide variety of skin colours and it's quite neutral in tone too. When it catches the light, it has an almost wet-look effect that's dreamy and hazy, which is totally the aesthetic I'm into, and if I want to add some dimension to my eyeshadow, I'll tap a bit into the centre of my eyelids. I was actually wanting to look into getting a couple of shimmery, sparkly cream eyeshadows (inspired by Allana Davison's beautiful eye makeup!), but considering how versatile this product is, I think I've got my bases covered now. I'm over the moon with this purchase.
I had a couple of makeup brushes I wanted to replace and when I spotted these limited edition Mecca Cosmetica brushes, they were too beautiful too pass up. I bought these back in July, but I thought I'd mention them in this post in case you want to grab them before they disappear and also because I really rate them. I replaced my MAC 138 Tapered Face Brush (it's quite fluffy and I wanted something a little denser) with the Cheek Enhancing Brush and it's perfect for applying highlighter. My previous brush didn't give as much impact, whereas I find my highlighters more buildable with a denser brush, and I hear this works great with blush and contour products too. The other brush I replaced is another one by MAC (it's not online anymore and I can't remember the number) as it was getting quite old and constantly ran with dye, which every time I washed it, would mark my skin! In its place, I now have the Eye Blending Brush and I use this for my brow bone highlight. It's a simple enough task, so it does the job well, but I probably wouldn't use it as an actual blending brush as I prefer something fluffier and less dense than this. The third brush I bought was the Eye Base Brush, which wasn't replaced by anything, but you can never have enough all-over-the-lid brushes! I "only" had two, so it doesn't hurt to have a third now considering they're the main type of brush I use when doing my eyeshadow. It packs on the colour really nicely and it works well for lining the lashline too.
While I buy less makeup nowadays (this haul may prove otherwise though!), I'm still all for investing in skincare, and as I've run out and I'm coming to the end of a few products, I had a little bit of splurge moment!
Mecca recently celebrated their 20th birthday and to commemorate the occasion, they were giving Beauty Loop members a free full size product in this quarter's box, which I thought was really generous. Most of the time, I don't even bother picking up my boxes as they aren't usually that great. As a Level 2 Beauty Loop member, I was entitled to the Mecca Cosmetica Multi-Purpose Plumping Balm, which as the only product I was interested in, worked out well, and priced at $42, I was also more than happy to have received this for free! Considered a day moisturiser, a primer and radiance-boosting mask all in one, I've been using it as a moisturiser both day and night. It sits beautifully underneath makeup and the pump packaging is really convenient too. While I do enjoy the formula (it's neither too liquidly or too thick) of this product, it has the tendency to leave fine shimmer particles on the skin and it's also heavily perfumed. I'll use it up and I'll continue to enjoy doing so, but I definitely wouldn't spend my own money on it.
My current lip scrub has seen better days, while I'm on the last legs of my sunscreen and these two from Mecca Cosmetica are both repurchases. I really love Mecca's in-house products and if I had to choose between having access to Mecca or Glossier, I'd definitely choose the former! I have the tube version of their Kissable Lips Smoothing Lip Exfoliant, but I decided to replace it with the pot for no reason other than the pink lid. I know, I'm ridiculous, but I just love pink! It's not exactly cheap for what it is (you get 3ml less in the pot, but it's $5 more than the tube too), but I prefer it over the Lush Lip Scrubs as the sugar is more finely milled, while being more effective and less abrasive. I've harped on about my love for their To Save Face Superscreen SPF 50+ many times on my blog, so I won't go on too much about it, but this is my holy grail sunscreen and I'll never ever use anything else. I'm not even close to being interested in another SPF, this one is so good.
I'm reaching the end of my Glossier Priming Moisturiser Rich and while I do really like it, I've increasingly found its lavender scent really off-putting. I'm not opposed to fragrance in skincare (especially if it's rose), but for the most part, it's just not needed and lavender is also said to be damaging to the skin. As I also don't want to go through the effort of using a US mail forwarding service right now, I did a lot of research into what nighttime moisturiser I should try next and decided to splurge on the Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream. It's definitely not cheap, but for someone with dehydrated skin, I don't mind splashing out a little more on moisturising products and this one came so highly reviewed (I haven't read any negative reviews other than the price!), I needed to see what all the fuss was about for myself. Drunk Elephant products are known for being very well made, so I suspect it'll be worth the money, but nevertheless, I'll be sure to give you my full review once I begin using it.
I was happy to let my haul end there, but when I was browsing the Mecca website (as you do), I came across the Drunk Elephant Rise + Glow set, which I just couldn't pass up. Mini sets are a great way to try out products that are too expensive to take the risk and buy full size, and this one is $33, which I think is quite reasonable. Granted, you only get 8ml worth of product in each bottle, but it should be enough to get a feel for how good they are. Another reason why I decided to buy this is because I've just finished up my Glossier Super Bounce and Super Glow (I liked them, but probably not enough to repurchase) and this set contains B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Gel and C-Firma Day Serum, which I can replace them with. I've only used them a couple of times each, but on first impression, the oily formula of C-Firma Day Serum is really lovely on my dehydrated skin and I found the B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Gel smoothing, lightweight and for my makeup to sit beautifully over top it. Reviews indicate the latter won't be hydrating enough for my skin type, but I'll let you know how I get on!
What beauty products have you bought recently?