Beauty Review | Manuka Doctor ApiRefine Radiance Serum

WELCOME TO THE MUMMY MAKE-UP PROJECT!  I’M FIVE YEARS SHY OF 40 AND AFTER 20 YEARS OF CLUELESS MAKE-UP APPLICATION, 2015 IS THE YEAR OF TURNING DRAB TO FAB.  I’M GOING TO FIND THE BEST SKINCARE AND MAKE-UP PRODUCTS, SHARE THEM WITH YOU AND ACTUALLY LEARN HOW TO USE THEM.  I WOULD LOVE YOUR ADVICE ALONG THE WAY AS WELL AS YOUR SUPPORT – I’M SURE I’M NOT THE ONLY MUMMY OUT THERE WHO IS COMPLETELY CLUELESS ABOUT MAKE-UP!

Oh I love, love, love serums.  They are just the best, most magical wee potions ever.  If you’ve never used one expect a light, non-greasy formulation that spreads easily and can be worn underneath make-up.  These are usually super concentrated and pack a power punch of luscious goodness for your skin.

I headed into the city a couple of weeks ago to visit The Manuka Doctor Concept Store for the first time.  Located downtown Auckland, across the street from the Ferry Building, this is definitely a destination for the skincare conscious.  I left with a couple of gifted products to review, and a little more knowledge about the use of bee friendly products in the Manuka Doctor Range.

The ApiRefine Radiance Serum RRP $35.95 (30ml)

Beauty Blogger Manuka Doctor Radiance Serum Review NZFirst impressions – this was so hard to capture but the lovely, refined texture of the serum has the most amaze opalescent hue, totally what you want in a product that claims an “instant illuminating effect”.  It goes on like a charm and a little goes a long way which is what you should expect from these concentrated formulas which can be super expensive per ml.

Beauty Blog New Zealand Manuka Doctor Serum ReviewI have been applying this after moisturising every day.  On days when I’m heading out I pop my L’Oréal BB cream on over the top, or most days, when I could care less, I’ve been sporting the serum with a naked face and maybe just some mascara.  So, back-up.  Did you pay attention there?  A naked face!  This serum delivers.  I have pretty uneven skin tone from years of sun damage and the Radiance Serum worked beautifully to counteract the blotchiness.  There are so many wonder ingredients in this stuff (Organic Cactus Extract, Purified Bee Venom, Manuka Honey are just some)  I don’t know what’s responsible for what, but, my skin feels and looks brighter, hydrated, dewy and younger.  

The serum also provided an excellent non-greasy base for make-up application.  It felt good to know that there was a product actually doing my skin some good underneath the camouflage layer!  Long term I’m definitely planning to continue using this product.  I’ve used bee venom based skincare products for years and I’m totally on board with the statements that it’s clinically proven to refine fine lines and wrinkles.

So, I’m impressed.  ApiRefine Radiance Serum is a keeper, plus I’m pretty excited to try more products from the three Manuka Doctor ranges; apiclear, apinourish and apirefine.

Beauty Blogger Manuka Doctor Radiance Serum Review NZ

The Mascara Showdown | Benefit They’re Real! v Eye of Horus Goddess Mascara

Welcome to The Mummy Make-up Project!  I’m five years shy of 40 and after 20 years of clueless make-up application, 2015 is the year of turning drab to fab.  I’m going to find the best skincare and make-up products, share them with you and actually learn how to use them.  I would love your advice along the way as well as your support – I’m sure I’m not the only Mummy out there who is completely clueless about make-up!

Best Mascara Benefit or Eye of Horus NZ Beauty Blog

So, a couple of weeks ago I kicked off The Mummy Make-up Project by asking for your opinions on the BEST mascara on my Fb page.  You guys were into it!  Many had strong favourites but even more of you were also looking for advice on a new lash BFF.  The only mascara I have ever used is ye ol’ faithful, Maybelline Great Lash Waterproof mascara.  After 20 years of service it’s time to retire the old girl in search of something a little more ‘new millenium’.

Overwhelmingly you all recommended I try Benefit’s They’re Real! Mascara and the Goddess Mascara from cruelty free brand Eye of Horus.  I purchased both of these products with my own husbands hard earned cash, so rest assured this is not a sponsored review.

I ordered both mascaras online, the Benefit from Smith & Caughey’s RRP$45 + $5 shipping and the Eye of Horus from their website RRP$44 +$4.50 shipping.  Both were despatched super quickly and received in excellent condition.  During the trial week I wore the Benefit mascara on my left eye and Eye of Horus on my right – 7 days of faffing around with two different products!  See what I do in the name of science!  You.  Are.  Welcome.

Benefit They're Real Mascara Review Beauty Blog NZ

Benefit They’re real! Mascara

Ok, this mascara has some huge fans out there, ladies love this product so I was expecting BIG things.  I wasn’t disappointed. They’re Real! delivers some long lashes on initial, one swipe application.  The brush is a rubbery, spiky looking thing which is WAY different to the bristly, brushy Great Lash and this, I have come to believe over the past week, makes all the difference.  I had no problem with panda eyes, even after a swimming lesson with Nixon involving huge bombs in my face, I barely had any black under my eye.  I also had no trouble removing this mascara at night with the miracle product that is micellar water.  Though, in all fairness, I doubt there is much that could withstand a few cotton ball swipes of micellar! {review coming soon}.  

One thing which irked was that big clump on the end of the brush – you can see it in the image.  There are bristles right on the end of the brush which serve no purpose to me but to exacerbate clumping.  This was honestly the only negative in an otherwise amazing product.  I particularly loved how quick drying it was so no black marks on your lids from blinking.

Eye of Horus Review Beauty Blogger NZ

Eye of Horus Goddess Mascara

Like the Benefit, Eye of Horus mascara has it’s own cult following.  I’ve heard professional makeup artists swear by it and those cruelty-free gals get quivering knees at the mere mention of EOH!  So what’s all the fuss about?  Again, the brush is brilliant.  Same rubbery, spikey stylus, but…..look at that concave in the middle of the brush!  I have no idea why this makes a difference, but to my very unprofessional hand, it feels easier to apply, like I’m less likely to slip and smear it around my eye.  After more than a week of daily use, almost zero visible product on the brush.  That’s pretty impressive I think.  Overall I had less clumps with the EOH than They’re Real! but, it takes a few seconds longer to dry so I did have to fix a few lash marks on my lids over the week.  It doesn’t go on quite as long with one swipe, however after a couple more strokes there is no difference between the two products.  Again, I survived swimming with no panda eyes and was easily able to remove EOH at night with my Garnier Micellar water.

Overall, both mascara’s are just light years ahead of the Maybelline Great Lash I was using, check out the vintage brush on pinky!  Ugh.  Her only saving grace was her staying power, but these new generation mascaras can definitely hang without the specified ‘waterproof’ formulation.

Maybelline Great Lash REview Beauty Blog NZ

Mascara comaprison and Review Beauty Blogger NZ

So which would I purchase again?  The Mascara Showdown has been won by Eye of Horus Goddess Mascara.  I SO loved this product, the formulation is 10/10 with NO clumping plus that brush has curves in all the right places.  My lashes have never looked better, or longer.  If you were wondering, I am convinced that mascara is definitely one beauty product worth spending a wee bit more on, those brushes don’t lie ladies!