It’s the new year! I tried out a lot of products in December but didn’t have time to write about them all so I figured that it would be best to start off with my favourite Holiday Release of 2020 – the Hourglass Sculpture collection.
I’m a big fan of Hourglass products and have been for quite a few years now – I love their aesthetic, formulas and packaging. The only main downside to their range is the price point (I have also been made aware of some recent controversy in regards to diversity in their shade ranges, but won’t be discussing that as it’s a much bigger conversation), which is why I’m always eying their holiday collections.
Their Ambient Lighting Products usually range from AUD$64 – AUD$83 (depending on whether it’s a face powder, blush or bronzer). I much prefer to invest in these limited edition palettes, rather than buying a full size, so I can get a better variety of shades and product types. They also have a duo of their Confessions Lipsticks, which are a cult favourite for so many.
These are available on the Mecca website for a limited time (and they’re going fast). If you are outside of Australia or Zealand though, you can also head to the official Hourglass website to shop or find your nearest stockist.
But before you do that, let’s get into my thoughts on all three products!
It’s that time of the year again – holiday releases are coming. I’ve been keeping an eye on some of these launches and, while some brands have slacked off a little in 2020 (understandable given how the pandemic has impacted everything), there are still a lot of great ones! From celebratory eyeshadow palettes to brilliant skincare sets – there’s so much to choose from.
It would be exhaustive to include absolutely everything, so this article mostly features things that I’m personally interested in trying or think would be a great gift option. Most, if not all, of these will be beauty related and available either in Australian stockists or online – all information which you will find here, of course.
Please note that this list is also being updated as new announcements are made so let me know if there’s a brand or release you think I should add in!
Now let’s start shopping!
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It’s a fact that I am obsessed with purple so the release of the first Norvina Pro Palettes caught my eye more than all of the others. The main issue that I had with it was the size – I’ve had storage issues for a while so have been avoiding larger palettes but I really liked the colour story here. I was so on the fence about it but then my best friends made the choice for me: I got the Norvina Pro Pigment Palette for my 28th birthday!
I know – I am spoiled and so, so lucky.
The Pro Pigment Palette was the first release from the (sort of) sub-range Norvina. Although it still sits under the Anastasia Beverly Hills brand, the direction of their line is more vibrant, youthful and experimental, drawing its influence from Norvina herself (who is the current president of ABH and also the daughter of its founder). Since the release of this first palette, there have been quite a few other releases in this range and honestly – it is the bomb and I am loving the direction!
Sure, it’s still only October but the holiday season is here and all of these exciting launches are heading our way! This year, it seems like every brand and company is launching their collection(s) in multiple waves and – so far – it’s mostly the first wave that’s arrived. More will be launching in store at Mecca Maxima (and possibly Sephora as well) in the next few weeks!
I would have waited for everything to arrive before writing this guide but, considering how quickly things were gone last year, that doesn’t seem like it’d be helpful. Instead, here’s my 2019 Christmas Shopping Guide for Mecca and Sephora Australia with the information that I do have (I receive full press releases from Mecca so I have further information on their future releases but can only go by what I see in store for Sephora). I have split everything here into price points so that it’s easy to find ideas for what ever you budget is. Categories are:
This is going to be a quick one, but I really wanted to talk about the new Urban Decay release – in particular, the Heavy Metal Glitter Gels. I had previously tested this out at Meccaland (on my face) and also recently got a sample pot to test it out on my eyes and the formula of this has honestly exceeded all expectations that I have of a glitter gel!
When I recently went to Meccaland though (the beauty festival hosted by Mecca here in Australia), I finally had the excuse to smear this all over my cheekbones! I fell so in love with it that I just had to then try it on my eyes and I have to say that this formula is a step above all typical 90s glitter gels – seriously.
When Laura Mercier first left Australia in June 2018, there were a lot of frantic beauty lovers – the brand is known for selling really high quality products that a lot of people consider staples in their beauty routine. At the end of February though, there was a lot of excitement to see that they’d returned – and I’m sure that the past few months have been so long for a lot of people!
Laura Mercier is now back in stock exclusively at Mecca (in-stores or online) and people can now easily access all of her products again. I have personally never tried anything from the Laura Mercier brand, since they were previously situated inside department stores but I prefer shop at places like Mecca, but I’m actually pretty keen to try out some things now!
A no brainer would be their Translucent Loose Setting Powder (which I discuss below) and it is a cult-favourite. In fact, it’s probably the top product from the brand that people literally never stop talking to me about. There are also a few other products that I’ve heard some buzz about or that caught my eye while I was browsing so – since I have zero experience with this brand – let me chat about everything on my Laura Mercier wishlist!
And I’ll definitely be checking it all out at the new Mecca Maxima at opened near by work place.
Being Australia, we often get releases later than other countries so I don’t always write about them (nor do I get the chance to try them on time for the post to actually be relevant). When Too Faced first announced the Tutti Frutti collection, I was super excited because the concept and packaging of it was just so cute – and not overdone like some other releases. However, I first thought that this was never going to come to our shores, since it was an Ulta exclusive, but it’s finally here at Mecca Maxima!
There was a pre-release for Level 3 members maybe two weeks ago but, for everyone else, this collection is dropping in just two days on January 30th. From Mecca:
Introducing a new fabulous and fruity line from Too Faced, just in time for Summer! It’s impossible not to be the life of the party with these feminine pops of colour, infused with juicy scents and party-ready sparkle. Wrapped in playful prints and modern packaging, the collection includes 53 brand new products such as candy glaze lip glosses, sparkling eye shadows and refreshing cucumber and watermelon-infused foundations that turn any moment into a celebration.
So, let’s get right into this because I want to share details on every product in this new release and my personal thoughts on whether I’ll be buying them!
This product was sent to me by Mecca Maxima for review purposes. I was not paid for this post and affiliate links are not used in this post.
There are very few lip products now that are really innovative – lipsticks and lip glosses are reformulated and improved all the time, of course, but they generally will keep the same sort of format. There was a product that launched last year and caused a bit of a stir, mostly because it was so unlike everything else in the market that people didn’t really know what to expect.
This is the Urban Decay Lo-Fi Lip Mousse, which (I believe) was released around September last year. It is an entirely new formula for the brand and is currently available in eight shades; the range isn’t massive but, since it’s new, I assume that they were testing the waters.
Some people really liked this, while others were on the fence, so I think it really comes down to personal preference. It is less about the formula, which is generally well liked, but rather the format of delivery in a pan compact. I think that it will really come down to how you prefer to apply your lips but I’ll get more into that later.
The entire range of the Lo-Fi Lip Mousse is now available at Mecca Maxima for AUD$37 each – which means it also qualifies for free shipping! If you’re outside of Australia/New Zealand, then check out the Urban Decay website for stockist information. So, let’s get into the review!
If there is anything that Too Faced is really good at, then it’s definitely packaging. They always have this way of making things super cute, almost a little bit childish, but still maintaining their high quality and appealing to their adult audience (because they are a high end brand, they are not children’s make up even if their blusher is shaped like a peach). Even if I haven’t loved every release from them, and haven’t agreed with everything they have done, they consistently impress me with how covetable their products are.
And that is exactly what propelled me to buy this, even though I knew that I hated the scent! This is the Too FacedSweetie Pie Radiant Matte Bronzer – which is part of their permanent Peaches & Cream Collection (and hence has that signature sweet fig cream scent). Although this is marketed as a bronzer, I have primarily used it as a blush due to the slight pink tones in the pan and also the fact that I don’t really use bronzer all that much.
So, read on and let’s get into the review so you can get a better look at how pretty this is!
This product was gifted to me by Mecca Maxima. I was not paid for this post and affiliate links are not used.
2018 was definitely the year of eyeshadow palettes because there were so many great releases – and I also bought way more than an average person really needs. Amongst them, there were also a handful of products that I was graciously gifted by Mecca Maxima – just to try out really. Although this following palette was not right at the top of my ‘best palettes’ list (which I should write soon), it was a close runner up!
This is the Urban Decay Backtalk Palette, a travel friendly palette inspired by the popularity of the Backtalk shade from their Vice Lipsticks range (described as a mauve-nude pink). It includes a series of eyeshadow shades, all in berry and rose-mauve shades and also four cheek shades (two blushers and two highlighters) on the other side. This is actually very different to what Urban Decay has done in the past and, although I was initially unsure about the packaging design, I’ve come to really love this.
The Backtalk Palette was released as a limited-edition product to Mecca Maxima and, as such, it’s no longer available. However, it is a permanent product in the Urban Decay collection and is still available on their website – so I have my tail crossed that it will come back! Otherwise, feel free to check out the rest of the Urban Decay products available (I would especially recommend their Born to Run palette which is one of my top picks of the year).