Going red, root canals, and a few of my favourite makeup bits from September

September was in all honesty a blur of a month, I turned 32, celebrated my fifth wedding anniversary, got a root canal (ouch doesn't quite cover it), dyed my hair red, and managed to apply some makeup in between countless appointments to the dentist. 

Blogging unfortunately moved to the back burner as a result, because I couldn't quite get myself to sit down and write. So instead of going into detail about the root canal, let's touch on the light-hearted stuff, makeup.

First up, brushes..

Real Techniques Bold Metals Collection

Real Techniques Bold Metals Collection

In late August Real Techniques released seven new brushes in order to appeal to both their grassroots fan base, as well as brush snobs like myself. Aesthetically pleasing to the eye with their angular lines and precious metal finish (rose gold, gold, and silver), and synthetic bristles -- read: animal-friendly. While I do love gold as much as the next gal, I cannot overlook the fact that the brush handles won't stay gold forever. Greasy fingerprints and annoying/tricky packaging take these seven brushes down a few notches in their hot pursuit of luxe-ness. RT brush prices range from $39 AUS to $65 AUS, and in the event you head to your local Priceline to check them out be sure to hit up the cashier as you won't be able to find them on the sales floor. 


  • Brush 301 - holy contour, Batman!
  • Brush 202 - the petite multi-tasker for lining the eyes and creating natural brows.
  • Brush 300 - this tapered blush brush was made for pairing up with Hourglass' Ambient Light Blush palette.


  • Brush 101 - the triangle foundation brush fails to compute, I just don't get it.
  • Brush 100 - the arched powder brush.. been there, done that. Plus there far better and cheaper alternatives out in the market.
  • Brush 200 - The oval shadow brush is too large for my small eyes. It can blend, but not with the same precision as MAC's 217.
  • Brush 201 - The pointed crease failed to leave a lasting impression.
Chanel's 2-in-1 Foundation Brush

Chanel's 2-in-1 Foundation Brush

Speaking of brush snobs, I picked this brush up, Chanel's 2-in-1 Foundation Brush Fluid and Powder, way back in August, and it's become the brush I'd like to master using. When used correctly Photoshop filters and the Healing Tool will quickly become obsolete. Sabrina's in-depth review definitely justifies this spend-y indulgence. 

Evo's roy wide-tooth comb (pictured in the first image) was an anniversary gift from Scott. Don't knock this comb until you've tried it -- made from recycled wood, this tooth-y comb really gets into the roots while the rounded ends massage the scalp.


Renewed Hope In a Jar Dry, as commented by my facialist, has left my skin looking and feeling plump, hydrated and youthful. Filled with AHA's, Philosophy's revamped formula spreads on evenly as it melts into the skin to moisturise, fill in fine lines, and promote gentle chemical exfoliation throughout the course of the day. Because of my sensitive skin I tend not to slather this stuff on morning and night in fear of having a negative reaction. *touchwood* Highly recommend this lightweight moisturiser for Spring and Summer, and don't forget to apply SPF!

And the scent, I can't help but think of babbling brooks and gentle streams.


Wearing look No. 2 from Urban Decay's Naked Smoky Eyeshadow Palette

Wearing look No. 2 from Urban Decay's Naked Smoky Eyeshadow Palette

When smoky eyes became a big thing again in the early aughts, the three colours of choice were black, silver and white; when executed on me I was left looking like a sad panda. Well, we've come a long way in the past decade, because UD's Naked Smoky Eyeshadow Palette for lack of a better word is sexy. From its plastic packaging, magnetic closure, and built-in mirror I seriously cannot get enough. Let's not forget about the four looks broken down in one handy insert created by Urban Decay's in-house makeup artists -- watered down instructions for the makeup impaired and uninspired, they help make the trickiest looks achievable. I was on the fence about picking up palette number four, but it was love at first swatch.

Maybelline's The Rocket Volum'Express was like a shot to the heart (in a good way). Mascara and I have had a love/hate relationship over the years. Just when I settle on a brand or a formula, without fail, things breakdown, and I'm left looking racoon-like. The Rocket Volume'Express' thicker consistency coats the lashes evenly and sets/dries rapidly, a feature more to my liking. My lashes are left looking fuller, albeit slightly crispy which I'll gladly accept in lieu of smudged mascara along the under eye area. Thank you, Diana 😘 


Becca's Champagne Pop

Becca's Champagne Pop

I like my bubbles right where I can see them, preferably in a glass. For the days when I can't imbibe Becca x Jaclyn Hill's Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Champagne Pop gives the structure of my face that extra oomph with a touch of ethereal glow.

Wearing Champagne Pop on my cheekbones and Marc Jacob's Role Play on my lips

Wearing Champagne Pop on my cheekbones and Marc Jacob's Role Play on my lips

Going Red

Growing your hair out is such a bear. Tired of seeing the dreaded line of demarkation between old and new, I made a huge leap of faith and dyed my hair RED, and I, of course, left this to the pros.

I won't go into huge detail, but I tried out a new salon and a new hairdresser, and was left with a sour taste in my mouth. I eventually grew to like the results (it took a couple of days), but now the hunt begins to find yet another hairdresser to take the reigns -- the red hair is here to stay (I think).

*PR samples provided (Real Techniques and Philosophy) –  Thoughts and ramblings written here are completely my own.

Liptember: help me kiss away the blues

Unfortunately, mental health issues and depression don't discriminate. I have friends and family members who've ambled through the darkest clouds. My words here can't even begin to scratch the surface of their personal struggles, but I can share my own story as a testament that depression can flow through the cracks and suck you right in.

September was typically a trepidatious time for me thanks to the new school year ticking over right around Labor Day in the US. Couple that with the fact that my birthday fell seven days into the aforementioned month, which should of been a happy time -- but, I was the awkward kid handing over the cupcake filled Tupperware container to my teacher on or around the first day of school while thinking I'd instantly become popular (never happened). The SAT's left me in cold sweats in Junior and Senior year, but it was the second year of university when things turned dark. Turns out living away from home for the first time plunged my already sensitive mind right down to the rip currents. Here I was 20-years-old, crying in the middle of the Gap on Newbury Street one lovely fall night, unable to see the tags through the hot tears -- with an hour left in my shift sizing underwear became less of a priority as my chest grew tense -- look busy, that's it, so no one would catch onto the tinge of mania.

I hated myself, the experience, for rooming with a girl who didn't even want to know about me, the gaggle of girls who partied at 3 AM in the common area, the neighbour who professed she was apple shaped after watching an episode of Dr. Phil and swore off all food (what does he even know about a woman's body, I thought), and the suite mate who disappeared in the middle of the night and to never be seen again after breaking down. It's safe to say she was having a much tougher time than me.

When you're twenty the minutiae of life really stings, and suffering in silence only cures the concrete. Instead of remaining stuck, I put in for a dorm transfer request to move closer to my best friend, Diana and found a counsellor. My sunny disposition slowly returned, I was finally able to immerse myself in schoolwork and comfortably socialise again, and I think my parents even made fewer trips up and down 93 in order to break me out of school. 

If I didn't change my situation, or recognise something was in fact wrong I think I would've given up on studying, and hated myself even more for squandering something I worked so hard for. 

Wearing three of six shades from the W7 Liptember range

Wearing three of six shades from the W7 Liptember range

Throughout the entire month of September I'll be raising money for Liptember to help support women's mental health; all donations will go directly to Lifeline, a crisis support hotline, and the Centre for Women's Mental Health in Australia.

Or, you could purchase a neon Liptember shade from Chemist Warehouse, and wear it proudly throughout the month of September.

Go on, make the first donation, you won't regret it!

My current favourite nude lip combo: MAC's Creme Cup and Colourpop's Button Pencil

Better together: Colourpop's Button and MAC's Creme Cup

Better together: Colourpop's Button and MAC's Creme Cup

I'm pretty lazy when it comes to my lips -- most days I opt for chapstick and a pale pinky/nude lippie, and if we're being totally honest here, I didn't see the point in applying lip liner until I finished beauty school. Lip liner not only defines your lips, it also evens out the colour of your them and helps make any run-of-the-mill lipstick last.

Armed with a bit more insight, I picked up a few cheap-o lip liners from Colourpop to see what all the fuss was about and MAC's Creme Cup, because this shade is the gateway to endless possibilities. When worn alone, I can't pull either shade off, but together. Oh, man, say hello to #kyliejenner calibre lips. 

Tip: if you can't get your hands on Colourpop's Pencil in Button, MAC's Spice is a close match, albeit a tad more expensive.

Swatches from left to right: Colourpop's Button, MAC's Creme Cup and blended together

Swatches from left to right: Colourpop's Button, MAC's Creme Cup and blended together

Wearing MAC's Creme Cup over Colourpop's Button

Wearing MAC's Creme Cup over Colourpop's Button

What's your current favourite lip combo?

It's all about the edging (and making your wife say ooo!)

G'day men.  Yep, it's Scott again, taking over the reigns at Bagful of Notions for another Adventures in Shaving post.  It's been a while, and I have a few updates that Nicole encouraged me to share.

Today's review is about the Remington WETech Power Series Shaver.  

In order to help you manage your expectations from this razor, you should know that the recommended retail price of the device is $99.95 AUD (but you should not expect to pay full price).

I say this because, as you may recall, I've been incredibly spoiled by the Nicole-Procured Panasonic LV-81 (you can read a bit more about this razor at this review), which is sold for rather a huge amount more than the WETech (like about four times as much).

I know what you're thinking - didn't I just review a Remington?  Yes, I suppose I did, but, there's a huge difference between these two models -- the WETech can be used (wait for it) WET!  Yes, that's right, they've made sure that this razor can be used in the shower, in the bath (but do not fully submerge the razor) and deliver a quality shave with the wet-shaving products of your choice.

And believe me, this is an incredibly important feature when it comes to certain beard types (like, say, mine) and rotary style razors.

The model I've been trying out is the PR1245AU, and it comes in a box a bit like this:

The accessories are pretty simple for this one:


You get the razor, a plastic cover for the rotary head, the electric charger, a plastic brush to help keep it clean, and the pouch to store it all in or use for travel.  No stand.

I've been using the WETech unit for just over a week now and feel pretty confident about understanding its strengths and weaknesses.  I will add that the instructions are very clear about using it for about a month to allow your face/beard to grow accustomed to a rotary razor.  

This is important, men, very important.  If you've not used a rotary before, or it's been a while, there is very much a facial-learning-curve that you need to go through.  Put simply, the first few days will not be particularly comfortable.  Stick with it though, it may well be worth it.

So, here are my notes on the WETech:

  • Better wet, much better
  • Okay dry, if you go slow
  • Takes a while for your face to get used to rotary razors
  • Shave in small, slow, circular motions
  • Takes a lot longer to shave than my Panasonic
  • Edging, such as around a moustache, goatee or sideburns is not easy
  • Needs face-pulling; one handed operation is not advised
  • Go slow.  Did I mention that?

So, who is this product perfect for?  Because of the rotary style head, I'm going to say that those who don't have any sort of a beard or facial hair (and don't want it) are best off.  If you want to keep a bit of growth, you'll find positioning and manoeuvring the circular cutting heads and the triangular shape to the razor's head to be somewhat awkward; it's an exercise facial geometry (lines, circles, and triangles, all intersecting).

In my case, I've had a goatee for nigh on 20 years and trying to edge around that has been tricky.  Not impossible, just very time consuming.  On the plus side, the rotary motion of the blades actually did a better job of some tricky areas on my face that my Panasonic often has trouble getting a close shave with.  The Remington WETech has a trimming tool built in, and that does an okay job with sideburns and longer hair, but it's not really meant for close-shaving.

Cleaning the WETech is pretty straightforward.  There's a button at the front of the rotary head, push it in, and the top of the head tips backwards, a bit like a Canadian on South Park.  Indeed, you can pull the entire plastic assembly off, and put it back on, quite easily.  This is also where you access the blades for replacement.

Do be warned, however, the three plastic rods which control the razor blades are attached to the base of the razor in what I'd call a "ball point pen" assembly.

If you've ever taken apart a ball point pen, the sort that you click to activate, then you'll know what I mean.  Basically, there's a bit of plastic which is held inside of a slight "cage" on the base of the razor, and underneath that bit of plastic there's a very small spring, keeping the plastic rod pushing upwards and helping to create the "floating head" that the Remington has.

In practice, this assembly works great.  However, one morning I opened the Canadian's Head a bit too quickly and the plastic rod popped out of its cage and the tiny spring did what springs are great at: it boinged energetically away.

Happy to report that the landing spot was NOT the toilet.

Putting it back together was easy enough, but my recommendation is to make sure you open the razor properly and possibly not over a bottomless pit, black hole, box of pit vipers, or similar.

The most important advice I have in using the WETech is to Know Your Beard and make a careful decision about whether a wet or dry shave is better for you.  In my case, my beard seems to grow at the rate of 0.15 Grizzly Adams per day, which is pretty significant, and can create quite the challenge to a razor.  Dry shaving with the Remington hasn't been the best for me.

Now, a wet shave, with the Aesop Neroli Shaving Serum, was an incredibly great combination.  I actually found that the Neroli serum didn't work brilliantly with my Panasonic, but, something about the rotary shave and the speed of the blades on the Remington made this duo work spectacularly.

I know I've done a great job shaving when Nicole can run her hand over the shaved regions of my face and proclaim "OOO!" - this is easy to accomplish when doing a wet shave on my Panasonic, and the wet shave of the Remington with Neroli also had her impressed.

But the dry shave?  Not a chance.  Which isn't to say that the shave isn't very good, but without a doubt the best results are achieved when you're using a shaving cream or oil.

My final note on the Remington:  This is a two-handed operation, men.  My eyes are at that awkward stage where without my glasses the mirror on the wall is too far away for shaving (without leaning stupidly far over the basin in the bathroom), so I tend to use a shaving mirror, held in my left hand, whilst the razor is operated by my right.  Never a problem with the Panasonic, but, the Remington really needs you to provide ideal shaving plains and they encourage you to pull/stretch your skin accordingly.

I definitely noticed the difference between the shaves where I tried to take care of business with only one hand and those where I really went to town with two.  Ehem.

Anyway, the Remington WETech actually impressed.  Being able to use it as a wet-shave razor is where it shines for me, and at the budget price it's available for, I'd definitely encourage you to take a look.  Especially if you're not into the habit of edging, which, as we all know, takes a bit of practice.

If Nicole will allow me to borrow from Bagful and give this a rating, It'd look like so:


  • Price
  • Wet/Dry shave option
  • Great introduction to rotary-style shaving


  • Awkward for keeping any facial hair
  • Construction is basic; a bit plasticy
  • Takes a while to get used to

I'd award this a good 6.75 out of 10 bags on the Bagful of Notions rating scale.  Shaving is a personal experience, not all beards are the same, and what may be the perfect shave for me, may not be for you.

*PR sample provided - Opinions and impressions are entirely mine.