How to ruin a photo? SPF

I started writing this post a good two weeks ago and to be honest, just got too busy (*lazy*) to actually continue writing it. I get too busy ‘researching’ what I want to write about, and then end up on a beauty website looking at things I can’t afford to buy, oops. In reality, I’ve just been a bit slack.

So anyway, this post was and still is going to be a rant as the majority of them are. So here we go…


I’m devastated, always devastated when I find a good, great or even slightly decent foundation, only to discover the dreaded Titanium Dioxide or Zinc Oxide in the ingredients list.

Like I get it, skin cancer is a huge issue both nationally and internationally, but I am telling you right now that a measly SPF or 10, 12 or 15 is not going to save a life, at all, ever.

Take Estee Lauders Doublewear foundation for example, it is my favourite foundation to date! It boasts an immense 15 hour wear, transfer proof, sweat proof, oil free and oil controlling, lightweight and comfortable, with a medium build-able coverage. And to be perfectly honest, it lives up to all of the claims it makes, for me at least! It’s absolutely perfect for a full day at work, I apply it at 7.30 in the morning and it still looks flawless at 9.30pm when I’m getting ready to head to bed, what more could you want right!?

You want a foundation you can interchange both during the day and night and know that you have full confidence in your foundation to both last all day and night, but to also photograph well, which is where we run into our issue.

Doublewear would sit as my dream foundation, if it existed in an SPF-less world! The titanium dioxide or zinc oxide that are found in the SPF of some foundations leave that gross white cast across the face when flash is used in photos, so essentially any night time photo taken, which is a pain in the ass.

So now the question is what direction does my oily ass skin head in for a flashback free foundation!! Any thoughts or opinions would be greatly appreciated!!!

Court xx


Rant of the Month – Shipping Costs

So, I’ve only really put serious thought into shipping costs since the Jaclyn Hill x Morphe palette came out the other day. I had umm’d and ahh’d about whether or not to get it based on the reviews that youtubers had put up, and decided against it based on some of the reviews and also the price of shipping.


I understand that New Zealand is on the other side of the world (6500 miles or so) But I really don’t understand how a company can get off charging $60USD to one town in a country and $27USD to another city in the same country, only a mere 131km away, nothing in the spectrum of the six and a half thousand miles really, is it?

Companies like Tarte, offer free shipping to NZ with a certain dollar spend (usually about $75USD)  and they ship out from New York I believe. And Jeffree Star Cosmetics (I know, I know, it’s for arguments sake) shipping starts at 11USD to NZ, and they ship from their warehouse in LA.

SO the question we MUST ask, is why in the fresh HELL do Morphe think they can bump their shipping ALL the way up for what is most likely going to be their biggest release EVER, like seriously, you’ve sold over 200,000 units, with more to come, GIVE YOUR CUSTOMERS A BREAK WITH THE SHIPPING COSTS PLEASE!

I understand that yes as a consumer I should have to pay to have my goods shipped 6000 miles across the world, what I just cannot fathom is why Morphe feel they can charge double or triple or in our case even more to their consumers for shipping. Your average person isn’t going to pay twice as much for the shipping as they would for the palette, and personally I think that Morphe are trying to pull the wool over their customers eyes and are just being plain greedy.

It’s almost like we’re being punished for wanting to own this palette that Jaclyn made ‘for her fans’ and yet the dumbest thing is, I rant and rave about this, yet you know I’m going to end up waking up at 3am for the next restock just so I can get my filthy paws on this beautiful creation, all because Jackie Aina told me to. DAMN.

Any ways, next time you’re ordering online from the states or anywhere else for that matter, consider how much you’re paying in shipping, and ask yourself if it’s really worth it, because we are 100% being sucked in.

Court xx


Primers, WHY?

So, primers… Let me first explain that I know exactly what primers are to be used for and what they do for the skin and how ‘important’ it is for the application of your makeup…

THAT BEING SAID, I have minimal to no time for them. Ok so the theory is that you wouldn’t paint a house without putting a primer down first, so why paint your face without priming it, right? So you can have primers that do different things, or can ‘help’ certain issues with the skin.

For example, I have oily skin, with larger pores on my t-zone area so I prefer something that will mattify my skin, usually something silicon based to help fill in my pores, and will help smooth out the texture on my skin.

Someone with drier skin however, may prefer a hydrating or radiant primer to help with any dullness or driness their skin may have.

Some primers claim to do all or many things, for example; they may have an SPF factor (not necessarily a great thing bc flash back), they may claim to reduce pore size, the may claim to reduce oil production, they may claim they hydrate the skin, they may claim that they’re just the bees knees.

The probability is that they can’t do all of this at the same time, it’s unfortunately just not really possible from a skin care/skin type perspective.

Don’t get me wrong, primers are and can be great for certain people but I’m just not about them. Not a single one I’ve found yet can contain the oiliness of my skin, or help with my gaping pores on my face.

However, no use losing sleep over large pores and oil, onwards and upwards to the next primer to try. Feel free to leave any recommendations for primers for oilier and pore-y skin down below in the comments!

Court xx


Brows… the boobs of the face…

So let’s talk brows… Whether or not anyone likes it they’re currently an unavoidable topic in the cosmetic world, and I mean they have been since people began to know who Cara Delevingne was. I feel like shes been the big influencer in the brow world, with obviously messier/bushier/fuller brows being in at the moment, and for like the last three years (also google ‘cara delevingne brows’ on images.. there is a whole bunch of photos of other celebs with her brows…. lawdy)


Brows are scary, I think they’re really scary. I’ve gotten into a rut with my brows. I’ve got my one tried and trued method, brow powder with an angled brush, followed by the trusty brow gel to set. It works for me, and it works for me well. I very occasionally use a cheap brow pencil on a Sunday when I’ve got no other makeup on and don’t want to run around with no brows at all, but i’m defo not phased by it, and it may very well be because it’s cheap and slightly too auburn to match with my hair…

While I was in Wellington I picked up some of Benefits KaBrow and the classic Gimme Brow to mix things up a bit. I’ve had a play with the KaBrow since then, and I don’t know if I’m doing it wrong but I’m not entirely sure about it.

First off I tried it all on it’s on, and it gave me a super defined, quite harsh brow compared to what I’m normally used to, and I just wasn’t sure I liked it. I also tried it over top of my powder to add a bit more depth and definition to my already sculpted powder brows, and I have to say I preferred this method much more to just using KaBrow on the solo. I’d be keen to hear everyone elses experiences with pomade type products, or maybe I just need to watch a couple of brow tutorials on the tube.  I absolutely LOVE Gimme Brow, and find the chichi brow gel quite comparable for a fraction of the cost which is nice.

I think I need to find the courage to escape my brow rut, and I encourage you all to give something new a go in your makeup routine

Court xx


Packing light…

I went to Wellington this weekend for a friends 21st, and in typical Court fashion, I booked flights with no additional baggage which could potentially be an issue on the way home…. ANYHOW I thought about how to most effectively utilise my space, which unfortunately means downsizing on how much makeup I can pack, as I’m only gone for a couple of days (oh how I wish it was longer, or international) so I really can’t justify a bigger makeup bag 😦
This has now however created me a challenge, how little can I pack into my makeup bag. I’m limiting myself to one of everything, I also know full well I’ll end up doing at least one other persons makeup so I’m keeping that in mind as well.
So first up we have base I guess…
For foundation I’m packing my Estée Lauder Doublewear. At the moment this is my fave foundation, it sits for the most part, perfectly on my skin, and wears phenomenally during the day. I do set it with my Australis fresh and flawless powder, which I shall also be packing!
For concealer I’m packing my Estée Lauder Doublewear Stay in Place Flawless Wear. I LOVE IT SO MUCH. Its super full coverage and long wearing and it hides all my bad dark circles. I’m going to take my Australis banana powder with me too, to set my under eye with.
As per usual, I’m taking my shiseido brow powder duo with me, which I apply with a morphe brow brush and set with the ChiChi brow gel, which is okay, I’m not in love and am looking for something different.
My tartelette in Bloom palette by Tarte is probably my favourite palette (maybe tied for first with my ABH modern renaissance) and it suits so many different eye colours with the perfect mix of neutrals and warm tones that are complimented with the three beautiful shimmer shades LOVE. I’ll take my ZA liquid liner because it’s fab, and I’ll take my Estée Lauder Little Black Primer, and Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes mascara with me for the eyes.
Bronzers I’d toss up between my Bobbi Brown bronzer or Hoola Bronzer by Benefit, but I think I’m gonna go for the Bobbi Bronzer as its winter and I’ve tanned so I need a warmer bronzer.
TheBalm has recently become available readily in NZ and I’ve got one of their Instain blushes from the give away promo they’re doing at the moment, so I’ll take him with me (Don’t ask me which shade, I couldn’t tell you lol)…
AND FOR HIGHLIGHT ILL BE TAKING MY BELOVED ABH X NICOLE GUERRIERO NICOLE GLOW KIT BECAUSE IT IS MY BABY AND I LOVE IT. Its perfect and beautiful and let’s be honest I can’t go away with just one highlighter because I really can’t make that kind of commitment.
IN ADDITION I’ll take a setting spray, not to set but to wet my shadows before I apply them, but I plan on nabbing an Urban Decay one whilst I’m away…
Wowza, that reads as a very long list…. I’m sure it’s not that much… I mean, I’m packing light….

Please Take Off The Day…

I feel like it’s basic knowledge that the first step to a flawless makeup application is a flawless base…

I know that for everyone, that isn’t always a possibility, but are you doing your best to prevent it and give your skin the best chance?

I’m not a beautician nor am I a dermatologist, but I do know a thing or two about skin care, and the general best way to care for your skin. Of course, the number one rule as always is TAKE YOUR MAKEUP OFF AT NIGHT. And no, using a baby wipe and calling it a night is NOT taking your makeup off properly! Yes I guess it’s alright as a first step, but preferably you would be using a makeup remover. Funnily enough baby wipes were designed to wipe excrement off small children, not to remove your expensive makeup that has been sitting in your pores all day.

So here it is Court’s Generalised Guide to Taking Off the Day…

  1. Makeup remover – I am personally a big fan of the ZA Double Cleanse Max Cream. It’s initial purpose was to be a 2 in one makeup remover and cleanser, but I really just don’t believe that a product can be both and leave you with a properly cleansed skin. I smother this all over my face (including my eye area) and give it a good rub around. THEN I remove that with a MAKEUP wipe (more hydrating, less baby bum cleaning).
  2. This step then begins with me generally burning my hands with the hot tap whilst wetting my wash cloth. This is now when you should be using an actual cleanser to properly clean the remaining makeup residue and toxin build up from the day. You’ve got a couple of choices for cleanser options, cream cleansers, foaming cleansers and gel cleansers are your most standard and accessible cleansers.
  3. My preference is a foaming cleanser (I’m using the Shiseido White Lucent Brighting Foam), I like the clean feeling it leaves my skin with, obviously not as hydrating as a cream or gel cleaner could be, but if you get one made well that shouldn’t be too much of a factor. Lather that bad boy all over your face in a similar fashion to before, and then take your hot wash cloth and wipe away the last of your day! It’s really quite an easy thing to do, but we are definitely not done here.
  4. Next up is toning, or softening as some companies like to call it. TONING IS IMPORTANT and please don’t let anyone tell your otherwise! Toning has a couple of main purposes, firstly it removes any final residue (oils/makeup/dirt) that might be left on the face post removal and cleansing. It also works to add hydration back into the skin, and mellow the skins pH level back out to it’s normal range, all whilst prepping the skin for more products to be added, so they can absorb more effectively. Toning is usually considered as your final step in your cleansing process. At the moment I’m using Lancome’s Energie de Vie Pearly Lotion, and I LOVE it.
  5. This is a totally optional step, but as I found out after working in the cosmetic world, serums are a thing, and they’re a beautiful thing at that. Serums can be used for a wide variety of reasons, anti-aging, radiance, hydration, pre exisiting skin conditions, large pores, uneven texture, the list is never ending. OR you can find you a serum that does all of these things. Most cosmetics brands will sell a general everything serum, that fights all the signs of again and helps with unhelpful things like pores or texture or dullness. Examples of these are Estee Lauders Advanced Night Repair, Shiseido’s Ultimune or Lancome’s Advanced Genifique. Generally these serums have a beautiful texture that feels phenomenal on the skin. I never really thought about using anti-aging skin care products until I started working for these brands, and while I can’t necessarily see what anti-ageing things these products are doing for me, it gives me some slight semblance of piece of mind that I might not get as old and wrinkly as quick. That being said, I have seen a difference in the way my makeup wears and the way my skins feels since using these serums, my once horrendously oily skin has definitely toned down since I started using a serum, my pores appear smaller and produce far less oil than they have prior, and because of this my makeup wears nicer, for longer. This may also have something to do with the hydration I’m getting from my serum, as dehydration can also play a factor in oily skin. I also feel like my frown lines are much less obvious and I’m no longer contemplating botox at the tender age of 20, so positives all round really. 18387245_1676660709014157_1228666514_n.jpg
  6. Eye Cream… the amount of people I know or have heard say they don’t use eye cream because it’s a myth, hurts me, it really does. I’m using Tarte’s Maracuja C-Brightener Eye Treatment – it says it’s suppose to “visibly hydrate, firm, and brighten the delicate eye-area” which I totally agree with, which really surprised me. I feel like my under eye dark circles aren’t as prominent, and I’m finding that the fine lines under my eyes are diminishing, so you go Tarte! Phenom eye cream! Eye cream can be optional I guess, but why not use it? Better than having wrinkly ball bag eye sockets, right?
  7. Finally, moisturise. Please for the love of all things sacred and beautiful in this world, moisturise yo damn skin. A) because you want to lock in all of the good you’ve just done for your skin and B) because your skin just wants the dang hydration. Dehydrated skin sucks, it can be gross and dry or gross and oily or gross and flaky and you just don’t need that kind of negativity in your life. By all means, you don’t need to be spending loads on one, just PUT. IT. ON. YO. FACE (also can we pls use face moisturiser not body stuff *praying emoji*)

See it’s not even that much hard work when you take out all of the rambling about it all that I’ve just done. It’s seven easy steps, and it can take less than 5 minutes if you’re efficient about it.

Your skin will love you after this, I promise! Not necessarily right away, but if you’re consistent, you’ll see the results!

Court xx




allcourtup… get it?

Hey, I’m Courtney.. But I prefer Court.

I’m from small town New Zealand, and I manage a cosmetics and skincare counter in a pharmacy. I live with my partner Felix in our wee little home in the suburbs. And makeup and all things beauty related are basically my life (aside from doggos and puns)

I’m a trained and qualified makeup artist, but that doesn’t really mean anything if I’m honest, because the best thing about makeup is that it’s for everyone, no rules, no regulations, just complete creative freedom to do what you want, how you want.

I consider myself a very straight up sort of gal, so everything that you read or hear from  my mouth are MY honest, unfiltered thoughts, feelings and opinions. I don’t claim to know everything, or even anything, so please don’t get upset if my thoughts or feelings aren’t the same as yours, that’s the beauty behind the whole beauty industry, there is no right or wrong (except using un-sanitised testers on your face). Im just a gal doing what I can with what I have and making content for all of the beautiful people in the world to read and watch, so let me keep y’all allcourtup (see then pun there…)