'I'm a product developer. Here are my honest thoughts on 7 cult beauty products.'

As someone immersed in the world of product development, I'm here to offer my honest reviews of some of the beauty purchases I made this month. Because with constant launches flooding our social media feeds, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. That’s where I come in.

I specialise in developing beauty and wellness products for both global and local brands. Every day, I am exposed to the latest innovations, ingredients, and packaging designs — and I know firsthand how daunting it can be to navigate this ever-changing beauty world. 

Skincare is my favourite trivia, ingredients are my expertise and experimenting with textures is my favourite hobby. Like many of you, I find myself endlessly scrolling through TikTok and Instagram, adding items to my cart after hours of research. 

So I'm going to use that skill to help you cut through the noise and give you my honest reviews on my beauty buys this month: 

Summer Fridays Lip Oil, $45.

Summery Fridays Lip Oil. Image: Mecca/Mamamia.


First up: the Summer Fridays Dream Lip Oil. When I say, I am a true Summer Fridays lip girlie, I mean it. You'll find my collection includes every. single. shade — and I've restocked the Summer Fridays Butter Balm in Vanilla Beige more times than I can count over the past couple of months. It's just THAT good.

Summer Fridays Lip Oil. Image: Supplied.


Here, I'm wearing the shade 'Rosewood Nights'. My first impression is that it's incredibly hydrating, leaving my lips looking irresistibly plush. Unlike the Butter Balm, this oil-based lip product offers a less glossy finish. While oils provide superior slip and hydration, they can wear off relatively quickly. However, their moisturising effect is profound due to their occlusive nature. 

Packed with a blend of squalene, avocado oil, and Jojoba oil, this formula penetrates deeply into the lips, reducing the need for frequent re-application.

Compared to the Butter Balm, the Dream Lip Oil provides more hydration and nourishment, making it perfect for those with dry lips. It does lack dense pigment, however it leaves a sheer colour tint, giving a natural look to your lips.

When it comes down to choosing between the Dream Lip Oil and the Butter Balm, there's no definitive answer — it all boils down to personal preference. If you crave intense hydration and nourishment, opt for the Dream Oil. But if you're seeking a glossy finish, the Butter Balm remains your best bet.


Anua Heart Leaf 77% Clear Pad Toner, $45.67.

Anua Heartleaf 77 Clear Pad 70 Pads. Image: Olive Young/Mamamia.

Before I travelled to Korea, I made sure I collected enough TikTok screenshots to ensure I had every essential beauty product covered. I even had to invest in a second piece of luggage just to accommodate my purchases. Among all my purchases, one that truly caught my attention was the Anua Heart Leaf Toner. The best part? It's available for purchase in Australia!


My skin was wildin' with the constant flying and extreme weather change from our 40-degree heat wave in Sydney to a chilly minus three degrees in Seoul. The Anua Heart Leaf Toner effectively calmed and exfoliated my congested skin. Its gentle exfoliating action removed dead skin cells, leaving my skin feeling revitalised, refreshed, and soothing any sensitivity.

The formula contains plant extracts such as evening primrose, Ulmus Davidiana root extract and Pueraria lobata root extract which work in harmony to control oil and minimise pores. You’ll notice after first use, skin looks bouncier and more hydrated. I carried this product on the plane with me to help refresh my skin. 

I am running low and will definitely repurchase once I’m done. They’re great if you have sensitive or acne-prone skin as they help exfoliate your skin without being too harsh.

No Wash Water Ampoule Treatment, $38.

UNOVE No Wash Water Ampoule Treatment. Image: Nudie Glow/Mamamia.


Here's another gem I discovered during my time in Korea — but fear not, it's readily available for purchase here as well. This year, the trend is all about achieving that coveted glass hair look — yes, you heard it here first. And it's no wonder why this particular brand reigns as one of Korea's top hair care brands.

Enter the UNOVE No Wash Water Ampoule Treatment — a revolutionary no-wash, watery hair essence designed to provide intensive care for damaged hair.

The effect of the UNOVE No Wash Water Ampoule Treatment on my hair. Image: Supplied.


The formula is infused with 25 types of proteins and amino acids and works tirelessly to nourish and repair every strand. Think of it as a protein shake for your hair.

I love spritzing this on immediately after washing my hair — not only does it leave behind a beautiful floral scent that I can't get enough of, but gives my hair softness and undeniable shine. Credit goes to its potent blend of ingredients, including argan oil, kelp extract, and silk amino acids.

When I use this product, I find myself constantly running my fingers through my hair. So silky!

Elf Halo Glow Liquid Filter, $35. 

Elf Halo Glow Liquid Filter. Image: Elf Australia/Mamamia.


After witnessing the widespread popularity of Elf Halo Glow Liquid on my TikTok feed, I couldn't resist getting one for myself to understand it and see if it is really worth the hype. 

My instant thoughts? I love the texture of the formula — it's thick and luxurious and provides excellent coverage while giving your skin a beautiful healthy-looking glow. While it's a pretty bang-on dupe for the Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Filter, the CT formula is thinner in terms of texture.


I typically opt for shade number three 'Light Medium', although shade two ('Fair Light') also complements my skin tone perfectly. I apply it to key areas such as my forehead and cheeks, as well as any uneven spots. It's the ideal choice if you're seeking some coverage without committing to a heavy foundation.  

The Elf Halo Glow Filter swatch. Image: Supplied.


What sets this product apart for me is its dual-purpose nature — it seamlessly blends skin care benefits with makeup. Infused with hydrating ingredients like squalane and hyaluronic acid, it effectively moisturises and plumps the skin. Additionally, its finely milled powders work wonders in minimising the appearance of lines, achieving a smoother, filter-like effect. Considering its affordability and impressive performance, it's no wonder this product has gained some serious hype.

Korres Greek Yoghurt Nourishing Probiotic Intense Cream, $54.

Korres Greek Yoghurt Nourishing Probiotic Intense-Cream. Image: Mecca/Mamamia.


Not a new product but a great product. I wiped this pot clean. With the constant travelling, weather changes and trialling out product samples, my skin barrier has become super moody. I picked this product up in Mecca and it was the only moisturiser I carried with me when I travelled to Hong Kong and Korea. The melting texture is everything and more. 

It’s an intensely hydrating moisturiser containing a blend of microbiome-friendly ingredients such as soja oil, which has anti-inflammatory benefits, making it ideal for those who have sensitive or inflamed skin.

Korres Greek Yoghurt Nourishing Probiotic Intense-Cream. Image: Supplied.


I would recommend this product for anyone with an impaired skin barrier, those who want to improve their skin microbiome or those whose skin just needs some extra TLC. 

Sunnies Face Airblush, $24.

Sunnies Face Airblush. Image: Sunnies Face/Mamamia.


When I found out Sunnies Face now officially ships to Australia, I had to get my hands on the cult Airblush. 

Its cream-to-powder formula effortlessly blends with your skin, delivering a soft, sheer cheek tint with a velvety matte finish. Unlike many cream blushes that can appear heavy on the skin, the Airblush seamlessly blends for a filtered effect.

What sets this product apart is its buildable nature and its ability to avoid leaving a muddy residue on your cheeks. It's incredibly versatile, suitable for use on your cheeks, eyes, lips, and nose — anywhere you desire a hint of colour.

The Sunnies Face Airblush swatch and the result. Image: Supplied.


Currently, I'm wearing the shade 'Doll'. I highly recommend this product if you have oilier or combination skin. Thanks to its powder-like finish, it boasts longevity throughout the day, unlike creamier blushes that may tend to slide off.

Tan-Luxe The Creme, $75.

Tan-Luxe The Cream. Image: Sephora/Mamamia.


I tend to steer clear of frequent fake tanning and instead opt for tanning drops or creamy formulations. Cue: Tan-Luxe's The Creme — a perfect solution for those craving a Bahamian glow with minimal effort. Its velvety liquid texture effortlessly blends into the skin, ensuring a seamless application.

This luxurious formula boasts hydrating ingredients like squalene and glycerin, imparting a healthier appearance to the skin. 

Here's a snapshot of me with just one layer for a subtle, natural sun-kissed effect:

The Tan-Luxe The Creme effect. Image: Supplied.


I do need to warn you that with formulas like this, it can be challenging to see where you’ve applied, as it’s more transparent. I recommend applying it in upward sweeping motions and washing your hands afterwards to avoid any unwanted streaks!

To see more from Shinta, you can follow her on Instagram here.

Want more beauty content? Listen to Mamamia's beauty podcast, You Beauty.

Have you tried any of the above products? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.

Feature image: Supplied.

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