Natural stage make up – Zuii Eyeshadow

NATURAL MAKE-UP REVIEW – Zuii Organic ‘Vanilla Frost’ and ‘Jade’ Eyeshadow

 It’s Make up Monday again – so here is another natural make up review for you!

Zuii is another of those natural make up brands I looked at many times when I was in the Health food store … should I , shouldn’t I… nah too expensive. Natural Eyeshadow reviewWhat if I pick a product I don’t like? It’s just too much money to lose. I really liked the sound of the products though so I wrote to the manufacturer and asked if there was any where I could get a makeover with their products so I could find out which ones worked for me. They sent me a friendly response with a list of their stockists which didn’t really help at all (I already knew where they were stocked) so I forgot about Zuii.

Many months later I noticed that Zuii stock were marked half price in the local Go Vita Toormina and shortly after were discontinued in Kombu Bellingen too. I asked the shop owners about it and they said that Zuii just didn’t sell well. I reluctantly bought a couple of reduced items out of curiosity – I didn’t have high hopes. I mean, if no one was buying them then they must suck, right??

 Zuii Organic ‘Vanilla Frost’ and ‘Jade’ Eyeshadow 

What a pleasant surprise I got. These products rock! (or raq, he he)

They are a compressed powder eyeshade in a 1.5gram black circular, screw top container. The screw top bit is both great and terrible. It means it doesn’t spill when travelling but is a bit fiddly for everyday.

The truly great thing about these eye shadows is that they have excellent pigmentation with a bit of a shimmer. Yep, you can use them for stage and actually see them!! Hurrah! Natural and effective – it can be done apparently.

The vanilla is not quite white. I chose it because it was in the reduced basket and I had recently been experimenting with stronger highlights under the brow, inner eye and water line. I got the idea of colouring the water line from a Misschevious video on youtube and while I doubt the long term safety of continually putting products on the water line (i.e. above lower lashes), if you have had a really poor night’s sleep and have red rimmed eyes but need to perform then it works a treat to make you look less haggard. The white I had tried out previously (out of a cheap and nasty palette of colours) seemed to irritate my eye a little but this doesn’t seem to make the eye feel as gritty.

Jade is a jade green colour that is very vibrant and again very suitable for performances, night wear and general showiness. It is probably a bit over the top for everyday unless applied lightly and played down with more neutral or blending tones.

I applied both shades using artists’ brushes (my favourite tools of the trade and all I could get that were decent where I lived before I became such an online shopper). Both applied well with minimum fallout. They travel well – i.e. they didn’t crumble to pieces when knocked around in my bag and are basically the best natural eyeshadows I have tried yet.


“Zuii Certified Organics has embraced the essence of nature with a unique blend of Certified Organic Flora powders and ingredients to nurture protect and improve the health of your skin and the earth. Zuii’s timeless and evolving color palette is created with the benefits of certified organic floral ingredients, essential oils, vitamins and minerals to allow you to create any look you desire without the use of chemicals. Not tested on animals, No petrochemicals, No parabens, No talc, No GM ingredients is the Zuii commitment to Love of Nature and Organics.” –zuii websitevanilla frost natural eye make up packaging

Sounds awesome, doesn’t it? It was tedious but as Zuii products have not been independantly reviewed by the EWG, I went through each listed ingredient and ran it through the EWG safety in cosmetics website. It scored very well indeed with most ingredients getting a 0 (the best rating) with the highest score of 2-3 for zinc oxides. It is the safest ratings I have so far found for a cosmetic product so I am impressed again.

I have to get really pedantic to find a problem here and the only fly in the ointment is the organic certification. Apparently last year there was a bit of an online uproar about Zuii advertising itself as USDA Certified Organic. There was some finger pointing by the USDA at the Australian certifying body involved and they concluded that The Organic Food Chain (TOFC) had made errors in its certification and that Zuii products did not meet their standards (see here for more info).

The products remain Australian Certified Organic however but it is a shame that Zuii picked TOFC as their certifier, from my investigations they are one of the least respected certifying bodies in Australia and have certified many businesses that were de-certified by other certifying bodies. Oh well, it is unlikely Zuii knew this and the eye shadow is still the best natural product I have tried.

I liked them so much I have rushed out and bought 3 other shades and several other Zuii products from the half price sales and will review them here for you soon.

 My summary

(5 stars being the best)

Product: Zuii Organic ‘Vanilla Frost’ and “Jade’Eyeshadow

Effectiveness: 5

Packaging: 4.5

Safety: 5

Price: $21.75 AUD ea (I paid $10.50ea)

Size: 1.5g or .052oz

Suitable for day wear: yes (if lightly applied)

Suitable for stage: Oh yeah!!!

Where can I buy it?:

 Overall Star rating: 5 !!!

With online shopping most products can be purchased from anywhere in the world but if you are after American natural make up reviews then I would like to recommend the excellent “glamorganic goddess” blog.

Have you used these products? What did you think? I love comments please comment below.

Common Arabic Words in Songs with Houda

Coffs Harbour’s best kept belly dance secret- Houda!

Born in Lebanon during turbulent times, (so turbulent in fact that her birth wasn’t recorded!! ), this local belly dance teacher is not well known outside of Coffs Harbour.


So if she is so good, why doesn’t she have youtube clips showing her countless choreographies, why isn’t she gracing all the local stages here and further abroad?

Well the answer is quite simple, where she is from, the dance is part of her culture, where it is a dance for women and danced  with other women; a dance where every woman is a dancer and she is to be celebrated. Houda  has been dancing since childhood, the dance that has been passed on from mother to daughter. Public performance does not feel right for her (though she doesn’t judge those that choose to). You can however catch her moves at women’s only bellydance events that are held sporadically in the area – but again not on the stage only on the dance floor. So is she worth getting lessons off? Absolutely, this gal doesn’t even have to advertise her belly dance class she is that good. There is something special about getting lessons off someone that comes from the culture and understands the lyrics!!! Houda’s belly dance classes have a gentle, authentic feel (not performance based) and her Arabic classes are personal and dance oriented. I highly recommend both. Houda is also available for private tuition and to run dance workshops (ladies only) or Arabic classes (commencing 10th of May 2012 for term2) for your event. Houda has been teaching in the Coffs Harbour area for many years on a Wednesday night at Cavanbah Hall 5.30-6.30 pm she can be contacted on 0421 220 499  email Her dance school is called Arabesque Bellydance. Houda believes in uniting all dancers in a sisterhood and promotes co-operation and supporting each other rather than competitiveness. Jade Belly Dance supports these ideals as well and is happy to promote Houda and the Arabesque Bellydance dancers.

5 Common Arabic words used in songs

Listen for these – you will be surprised how often they occur in belly dance music

Al Hobb – the love

Gamaal – beauty

albi – my heart

Habibi – my darling

Ammar – moon

Want more? Houda has made a list of the most common words that she will be sharing at her upcoming workshop. See below for more details. I am going, don’t miss out!

Houdas Arabic Music Workshop People's Choice Award Please, please, please consider clicking the icon and voting for me! I am trying really hard to deliver a great and useful blog to all dancers of our genre. Wouldn’t it be great if a belly dance blog got some recognition? Raising the profile of our art helps us all. I am up against a lot of slick professional bloggers in various fields and would love it if you could give this hard working mum a hand! You do not have to be Australian to vote! My international readers are more than welcome to join in.

Belly Dance Make-up for the Ultra Beginner

This information is aimed at those that infrequently or never wear make-up and find themselves facing a student belly dance performance with no idea of what to do. Leaving your face unadorned when you have costumed the rest of you can spoil the effect. Not using make up for an actual stage production under lights is never recommended. People won’t be able to see your eyes and will have trouble connecting with you. I will go over a very basic and easy process to get you started. The quickest and easiest way to learn about make-up Jade Belly Dance red head in blackapplication is to go to a free make over. These are offered by big department stores as well as make up companies or artists trying to build up a following. Don’t panic if you live in a small town, I saw one advertised in Bellingen (pop. approx 2000) many years ago and that is where I started my journey into cosmetics. I bought a few items off the artist and she showed me what to do with them.

SOOooo, no free make overs available at any times or places you can get to??

Other places you can try are Avon or Nutrimetics distributors. They often have at least basic knowledge of make- up and will sometimes come to you. Of course there is always that feeling of obligation that can ensue, especially when you have no idea how much money it will all cost. Still don’t panic!! I will outline below the cheapest and easiest way to get started.


  • Eye liner preferably black
  • Eye shadow (3 to 4 shades)
  • Lip stick

Really good to have:

  • Foundation
  • Blush
  • Lip liner
  • Mascara also black

The first 2 under ‘really good to have’ are essentials if you do not have clear skin.

Now there are so many other products that are also great to have but careful use of the above will yield a pleasing result and start you on your way to familiarity as to what suits you.


Lipstick – Check with your belly dance teacher if you are doing a group piece – this is fairly likely as you are just starting out. Everyone in the troupe wearing the same shade of lippy helps give a unified look. If the teacher does not mind then its up to personal preference. A fairly nude or pale lip colour has been quite fashionable for a while now but doesn’t work well for me. I recommend a deep red as a starting colour; it usually goes well for most styles of belly dancing and most colours. If you are fair watch out for reds with too much of an orangey tone to them – it can highlight all the flaws in your skin. Lip liner should be darker than your lipstick and preferably in a similar colour range.

Eye liner – go black. Most belly dancers wear very dark eyeliner and it will blend you in with your troupe. Felt tip pen eyeliners are easiest for beginners.

Foundation – to suit your skin tone

Blush – ‘cause if you wear foundation and no blush you will look featureless and scary.

Eye Shadow – I tell all my beginners to buy a 4 pack of different shades of brown (Dark brown to a pale neutral shade). Why? Because it looks good to great on almost everyone, is available in many brands, is natural enough looking that people new to make up won’t freak out when applying it and you can use it later outside of performance.

If money is tight, ask close friends and family (that don’t have skin diseases, LOL!) if they have any make- up they don’t want or are happy to lend. It is fairly common that women will buy a product, use it once or twice then decide it isn’t what they were after and it sits at the bottom of a drawer gathering dust. It may be exactly what you want! After all – a lot of things that may be too garish for day wear can be perfect for stage.Jade Belly Dance in bellingen NSW

How to apply

Or, what do I do with it all now I have it? There are many tricky techniques you can use but I will cover the bare, bare essentials to get you on your way. Once you know the basics you will find youtube a treasure trove of help. I highly recommend Miss chevious video tutorials for intermediate to advanced users.

Apply foundation to your face.

Apply eyeliner to the edge of your top eyelid as close to the eyelashes as possible. Now we are going to extend it out to give a more exotic look. With your eyes OPEN put a small dot as to where you want your line to end – then close that eye and connect the line. If you do not the line will tend to droop down and be unattractive. See picture of me in green – the line follows approximately the same place the dotted line does in the line drawing. Don’t worry about putting any on the bottom lid until you are more experienced with taking things into account such as your eye shape, etc.

Use one of the shades to accentuate your eye brows – be really light to start with and fill in any gaps and neaten the shape. This will of course work best for people with brown hair but it works well for me with red too. The dark brown in most 4 colour sets is dark enough for most people to get away with when they are beginning. If you are really fair skinned try using the next shade up.

Use the darkest brown to follow along just above the eyeliner line also apply a bit to the crease and up a little in the 1/3 of your eye furthest away from your nose. Use the next shade to blend in to the dark brown – above the crease out to the extended line and below the crease in the furthest third. Use the third shade to blend in to the the rest of the eye lid and above the last shade. The light colour can be used to highlight under the brow and a little in the inner third to give a wider set to the eyes.

eyeshadow pic

eyeshadow pic

The line drawing here has a slightly different approach but I include it to show you the dotted line and to give you a general idea that the darkest shades go in the furthest corner. In the picture of me I have done a few more complicated things but you can still make out the eyeliner line and the darker shades in the crease of the eye and towards the outer third, with highlights just under the brow as explained.

Apply Blush on a diagonal along your cheekbone. For younger dancers you can apply it mostly to the apples of your cheeks. To find the apples just smile and lightly brush over the rounded sticky out bits! Use a big make up brush for blush application. For the eyeshadow to start with you can get away with using cosmetic tips (similar to Q-tips or cotton buds just a bit stiffer and easier to use for make-up), they are cheap and easy to get. However I do recommend getting a nice set of brushes at some point. It makes life much easier. I could not find any good brushes in Coffs Harbour or Bellingen when I needed them – just those awful foam on a stick things that I find to be of minimal use and have a very short life span. So I bought art brushes and they work well. Ebay has plenty of cheap sets from china these days too and that is probably what I would suggest you try if there is nothing good near to you. For Example a  ‘24 Pcs Professional Makeup set Kit Case Cosmetic Brush‘ goes for $13.06 AUD including postage. You don’t need 24 brushes to start with but wow what a bargain! I just looked again and there are also 7 piece sets for $2.47 AUD including postage which is even cheaper than I knew about and probably cheaper than any cotton buds you buy – plus they are reusable! &  7 is totally adequate for the newbie.

Other belly dance specific tutorials are available on Ansuya’s ‘The Magic of Bellydance‘ DVD, Meleah has a whole dvd available called “Face It” available at that covers different ages and techniques – a great resource and I believe Zoe Jakes’ soon to be released DVD set also includes her favourite make up tips. Oh, Oh, Oh, I should also mention that Bellydance Oasis magazine (its from Australia) also regularly runs articles on make- up too.

Brands to buy

If it is just for a one off performance or infrequent events then buy anything you find in a good colour. Preferably something cheap until you are more familiar with what you are doing and what works. BUT – if all this inspires you and you end up wearing make- up a lot, then it is really worth your while to buy a good natural brand (usually found in health food shops and labeled as ‘organic’ or ‘free of toxins’). Locally natural brands are available at Go Vita Toormina and Kombu in Bellingen. “As surprising as it may sound, the majority of cosmetic ingredients are not tested for safety, according to a study released by the non profit Environmental Working Group. Because the government does not monitor cosmetic companies, questionable ingredients creep into most makeup products”.

Using eyeliner as an example Avon, l’oreal and physicians formula offer some of the most toxic choices on the market. Yet for other items their brands are ok. If this topic is of interest to you then check out it list 65 000 different products in order of safety.

Overall – don’t worry to start with just use what’s on hand, then buy the good stuff when you are experienced. (Unless you have plenty of money – in which case go totally natural from the beginning!!!)

Miessence is a good brand but I did not like the wearability of their foundation. That was many years ago however and they may have improved their formula. Other natural brands include Honey Bee Gardens and Zuji. What natural brands have you tried and how did you find them? Comment below and share what your wisdom.

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