March Raves and Rejects


For something new and different this month, I have taken inspiration from one of my favourite YouTubers ThaTaylaa and I am starting a new series on the blog called Raves & Rejects. This will certainly be similar to my normal Monthly Favourites, however I also wanted to more regularly include products that didn't work for me more so you can get a sense of things I didn't like and a more holistic view of my preferences, which might be helpful for you as well! I hope you like this idea to mix things up a bit more on the blog. So, let's get into it! 




I am still currently on a spending ban, so I have really stuck to products already in my collection this month, mainly rediscovering old favourites,

I have really been loving the Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse*, which is a multi-purpose oil for face, body and hair. I have been primarily using this as a body moisturiser after I shave or get out of the shower. It has been a complete life-saver, and always leaves my skin feeling like silk. The 100ml bottle would last you forever because a little goes a long way with this stuff. It will be a staple product for me this winter!

A new product which has recently popped across my desk has been the Bioderma Sebium Pore Refiner*, which is an interesting product. This comes out like a cream, but has astringent properties like a traditional toner. I feel like this is a hybrid between a toner and a primer. It certainly mattifies the skin and leaves the face feeling smooth, perfect for a makeup base. I apply mine by placing some on a cotton pad and going over my entire face, concentrating on the t-zone. I have read some negative reviews stating that people found this was not an effective primer, and I agree. I think it needs to be used in place of a toner, and I would still use a primer on top of this. This product contains salicylic acid, so it is useful when you are experiencing breakouts and want to treat your skin underneath your makeup during the day. 

My favourite cleanser for the past several months now has been the Korres Milk Proteins Foaming Cleanser, which is a very misleading name since this isn't your typical gel foaming cleanser at all. This is a cream-based cleanser that is hydrating, creamy and luxurious. It does create a little foam when you start to lather it, but it doesn't leave your skin feeling tight and dry in the slightest. It works a treat at removing heavy makeup and has just been a clear favourite for me among my cleansers over the past few months. This cleanser contains 100% natural emulsifiers with vegetable oils that leave the skin feeling supple and hydrated.


Next up, in the hair department, I have been using the Toni & Guy Heat Protection Mist* which is a straightforward product that does what it says it does. I find that it works really for me, smells super good and doesn't leave my hair feeling heavy. The mist applicator is easy to use and if you add a few spritzes to towel-dried hair you are good to go. This product retails for just $16 AUD as well so it's definitely a bargain and a good product to have on hand.

For makeup items, I have reverted back to an old favourite of mine with the Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay In Place Foundation. I honestly took a break from this foundation for about six months. I left it because it felt heavy on my skin and I didn't favor the full matte finish. So, I began to move on to trying alternative full-coverage bases. I still agree with my original conclusions, but when applied with a beauty blender and using an illuminating base such as the Tarte Brighter Days Highlighting Moisturiser, I love the effect of this foundation. A brightening base makes the finish less matte, and more natural-looking. It is still one of the most full-coverage and long lasting foundations I can say I have in my collection. I find that 2N1 Desert Beige is a perfect match for me and with my pump applicator from the MAC store, I am a happy camper! I wonder if I should try the Estee Lauder Double Wear Light or the Nude Cushion Stick foundation next? This bottle is almost empty. Let me know if you have tried either and what you think of them.

I have been so pleasantly surprised by my NYX Avant Pop Eyeshadow Palette in Nouveau Chic which I picked up when NYX was first available at Priceline. These shadows are buttery soft with little fallout and great pigmentation. I love how the shades from this palette contain both neutrals and pops of colour that are still quite wearable and work together well. I would highly recommend this palette if you are looking for some cheaper eyeshadow alternatives.




I have also been obsessed with the Tarte Amazonian Clay Highlighter in Exposed, which is a nude highlight. This is a really stunning highlighter that I find is perfect for everyday use. It doesn't lean too cool or too warm and is pretty neutral. It appears natural on the high points of the cheeks with just one swipe application, but can easily built up to be very dramatic. This has been a new highlighter obsession for me and I really have been enjoying using it!


In terms of rejects, there were also quite a few products over the past few weeks that just didn't work for me. I really value being 100% honest with my readers, so I hope you enjoy these reviews and keep in mind that just because something doesn't work for me, doesn't mean that it won't work for you!

The Sugar Baby Skin Bling Luminous Bronze 24K Bronzer* is definitely not what I would consider a bronzer. It is a peachy-orange shade with huge chunks of glitter. It makes a gorgeous eyeshadow shade but I would certainly never use this on my face. I also found the packaging for one small face product very bulky and inconvenient.

Similarly, the Sugar Baby Skin Bling Illuminiser in Natural Aura* didn't work well for me as a highlight. Although extremely pigmented, the "micro-glitter" in my opinion was very chunky, and this functioned a lot better as an inner corner highlight or eyeshadow, rather than a highlight. It is too harsh as a highlight in my opinion.

In terms of base products, I wasn't a fan of the Bioderma Sensibio Anti-Redness BB Cream* in Light which is supposed to come in a versatile shade for light skintones. This product is designed to work for people who have a lot of redness (such as myself) and aims to sooth and hydrate the skin while still covering over redness. I found this was quite dark (even a little too dark for my light to medium skin), went on very thick and didn't blend out well. I was very disappointed by this one. 

Furthermore, I had very high hopes for the EX1 Cosmetics Invisiwear Liquid Foundation in Shade 2, which is described as being suited for pale tones with light yellow undertones. This foundation was a perfect match for my skin. However, I personally really didn't like this foundation. Although it feels like a medium, creamy consistency going on, it is extremely light coverage that takes a long time to build up. Once on, this foundation wore very poorly and tended to go patchy on my skin. I found it had no longevity and didn't compliment my skin's texture at all. Too bad, as this is one that Jaclyn Hill raves about as one of her holy grails. 

Finally, the Maybelline Master Precise Skinny Gel Liner in Defining Black was a liner I had picked out from the 40% sale at Priceline, and I was hoping it would work well for my tightline. I loved the thin tip of this eyeliner, the creamy, jet-black formula but unfortunately this one transferred from my tightline to my waterline so it's a no from me. 






Well, that is my roundup of the good and bad products that I came across over the past month! I'd love to know the items that have stood out for you this month. I am already starting to make a wishlist for my trip to Europe as well as a list of what items I will be bringing! It's so hard to decide which makeup to take (first world problems).

Please feel free to leave me a comment with your product recommendations. I hope you like the new format for this monthly installment on Bows & Pleats.

I'll talk to you all in my next post. Hope you all have a great day! 

*This product was sent to Bows & Pleats for consideration. All opinions are 100% honest and my own. For more information please read my disclaimer.


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