12 September, 2014

Vacation time again!

This is a bit of a 'Hi! Bye!' post because I'm heading off overseas for a family holiday - TONIGHT!
We'll be starting off in Japan (Tokyo, Kyoto, Hiroshima, Osaka and back to Tokyo) then flying to Hawaii for some more laid back holidaying.  I'm keeping it brief because I'm packing as I write!
Normal posting will resume after the 4th of October but you can always keep up with my adventures on Instagram and Twitter in the meantime.
Until next time!!!

09 September, 2014

Natio: Tangerine

As soon as spring rolled around it was like, "Right! Let's go bright!" for me and as orange is still the thang at the moment it was my first logical colour choice. 
Tangerine is another one of local beauty brand Natio's 'Little Treasures' nail polishes and it is a little gem too!  Such a juicy vibrant orange and just the antidote to the dreary old winter we endured in Melbourne this year.  Anyhow let me get back on track: two coats glided on beautifully and this lasted well over the week.  I swear I may just collect all of the shades when no one's looking because they're so cheap and cheerful... 
Indirect daylight
Now take THAT winter!
Until next time...

06 September, 2014

August's farewelled products (and Beauty Diet update)

Ah the irony - another unattractive pile of empty products I've used in my mission to make myself more beautiful...
Skin care
81) Maybelline Makeup Remover Eye & Lip (70ml/2.4 fl. oz.) - Maybelline have gone and repackaged and reformulated again and have reverted to the blue and clear dual-phase liquid.  It does a perfectly gentle job of removing my eye makeup, and even if it's not quite as effective as LancĂ´me Bifacil (which I keep saying is too expensive) I'll be buying another bottle soon because it's a handy size for travel and it's cheap!
82) Kirkland Daily Facial Cleansing Towelettes (30 towelettes) - Damn, I'm getting a bit bored of these now but I still have a few packs to go.  One really annoying thing was a packaging fail:  the resealable lid came away from the pack so that makes me reluctant to take these away on my upcoming trip.
83) Pond's Flawless White Lightening Day Cream (50g) - This was the biggest disappointment of the year because I NEVER GOT TO USE IT. The expiry date is February 2015 but the cream had separated into a solid mass surrounded by watery liquid.  I gave it one valiant, stupid try but realized applying this grainy stuff was a risky prospect so washed it off and tossed the jar into my empties bag.  I don't have a sales receipt to exchange the product and after that experience I don't want to repurchase it.
84) & 85) La Clinica White Brilliant Intensive Correction Hydrating Day Cream (50ml/1.76 fl. oz. and 10ml sample size)* - I've used this day cream as part of the White Brilliant routine and it penetrates quickly, making my sleepy skin look just that little bit more radiant in the morning.  My pigmentation which is still my primary skin concern hasn't deteriorated so that's comforting.  Of course I wish I could completely eliminate my pigmentation but I'm not at the point of resorting to Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatments just yet and anything that keeps me away from that point is a good thing.
Hand and body care
86) OPI Expert Touch Lacquer Remover (120ml/4 fl.oz) - My seventh bottle and counting.  I couldn't get a full size bottle recently so I've resorted to a tiny travel size.  That tells you (and me) what I think about this remover. 
87) MOR Snow Gardenia Hand & Body Wash (500ml) - This bottle moved from the shower to the hand basin after a while only because it's so big and my caddy was getting crowded! A very heady floral scent, luxuriant in lather, and lasted an eternity so I enjoyed it both for showering and for washing my hands.  MOR never skimp on their fragrances and this is no exception.   
88) Crabtree & Evelyn Avocado, Olive & Basil Hand Therapy (25g/0.9 oz. travel size) - A beautifully "green" scent and one of my many C & E hand creams.  I'll tell you again why I'm a fan:  these hand creams are rich in scent, rich in moisture without being greasy, and gentle on my sensitive skin.
This will be my last beauty diet update before I head off for my Japan-Hawaii trip next week!  Sophie, Anissa, Norlin are planning to continue for the rest of the year so I may well be resuming when I get back.  I've been a little obsessed with makeup decluttering and downsizing YouTube videos lately so my attitude to makeup shopping is changing - maybe?
89) L'Oreal Nude Magique BB Powder (Medium Skin) - This is the month for fails it seems because this was another packaging fail.  Cosmetic companies please take note: Clear plastic packaging just doesn't stand up to everyday wear and tear because it's just too brittle! I can't carry a powder pan in my makeup bag once the lid has broken off now can I? Getting off that particular soapbox the powder itself offered less coverage than I've come to expect from a bb powder and it didn't work well for mattifying either so I won't be repurchasing.

90) MAC Cremesheen Lipstick (Modesty) - A great mauve-nude MLBB lipstick with a creamy, glossy finish.  Love.
91) Wet n Wild Coloricon Trio (Walking On Eggshells) - The perfect palette for everyday with its combination of ivory, warm pink and golden brown shades.  I'm not feeling too sad this time because I have a backup!

91) Tom Ford Rive D'Ambre EDP (1.5ml) - Weirdly enough this came in a Plum Japonais holder so I was almost disappointed until I smelled the rather crisp, zesty fragrance.  A lighter, easier to wear daytime fragrance from the TF wardrobe and I wasn't at all surprised to read this is unisex.  Notes are:  citruses, amber, bergamot, lemon, bitter orange, tarragon, mint, cardamom, cognac and tolu balsam.
So that's it for another episode of empties!

(Products marked * were provided for my consideration.  All comments and opinions are my own.)

05 September, 2014

BK Nail Polish: Natural 15

I have to laugh at this nail polish from BK being called Natural 15 because it's anything BUT natural in appearance!
Just one coat of this insane holographic yellow gold glitter turned a nude cream manicure into disco ball madness!  The downer was most definitely the smell...or should I more accurately say fumes - 100% toxic scariness so I was careful not to get too close with my nose.  I tamed the texture this time with two coats of top coat and there you have it...
Full sun
That's all for this post folks! Enjoy your weekend :)

02 September, 2014

Transforming your look from daytime to date-time (featuring INIKA Mineral Makeup)

If you're rushing from one activity to another on a regular basis and you like wearing makeup most days then you'll probably relate to this post. I'd like to say that when I'm going out after a long, busy day I take off all my makeup before I head out and start again - I'd like to say that but the reality is more often than not I don't have the time so I've mastered my own method of adding a few elements to my daytime makeup to change it up and transform from natural to glam. 

For this post I'm using products from luxury Australian Mineral Makeup brand INIKA.  To give you the briefest of brand intros all INIKA products are 100% Certified Vegan, Halal and Cruelty Free and many are also Certified Organic.  This is my first experience with INIKA makeup so it's going to be a bit of a first impressions post too. 

Daytime face

I'm a big, HUGE fan of the '5-product face' for everyday so this natural makeup look was every bit as easy to create as it appears.  This soft eye and lip combo is more a weekend-appropriate look for me but the same rules very much apply for the working week too - simply by choosing a brighter lipstick to make me feel more put together in that harsh fluoro lit office I "choose" to work in.   Best of all for me a pared down look like this just takes a few minutes which is the point really because I never have the time in the morning to do elaborate multi-tonal makeup.  Yes, I wish I could but this is my reality. Read on to see how it's done...

Products used:

I started by applying Liquid Mineral Foundation in Beige and quickly blended it out with my fingers out to and below the jawline.  Most of the time I do my eyes next (sometimes I like to do them first) so I applied loose Mineral Eye Shadow in the soft golden flecked caramel Whisper with a medium fluffy brush all over the lid and blended just slightly above the crease to create the softest accent - a standalone shade like this does all the work of accenting and brightening the eyes during the day.  Finally I applied two coats of Mineral Mascara (Black) to my upper lashes for length and definition.  This mascara has an unusual z-shaped brush to give you options of thickness or length depending on the way you wield the brush - I prefer length over fat lashes so I figured out using the flattened side of the brush does the job of dressing my lashes the way I like them.
I like a natural peachy pink on my cheeks day or night so I applied the super cute and fun little powder puff style Mineral Blush in Pink Pinch - sorry I had to say that because this blush packaging tops my cute list now!  This blush is so easy to use (and would take extreme effort to overuse) because you simply pat the puff over your cheeks and gradually build up the colour to the desired depth.
To finish off the entire look I applied Mineral Lipstick in natural pink/mauve Warm Dusk straight from the tube and that's about as simple as it gets.
Colour swatches from left to right:
Warm Dusk, Pink Pinch, Whisper

Date-ready face

This evening look uses my daytime makeup as a base and builds on it with the addition of just two extra eye shadow shades and a change of lipstick!  After seven hours of wearing my daytime face I just embellished a little to end up with a much more colourful and dramatic look...

Products used:

I checked my Liquid Mineral Foundation for wear and it really didn't need any touching up so I moved straight on making up my eyes.  Working with Whisper Mineral Eye Shadow already on my lids as my base shade I applied Autumn Plum, a deep warm plum shade with a crease/blending brush into the outer-v of my eyes, then applied the light and shimmery Gold Dust with a smaller shadow brush into my inner corners and tear-duct area for a brightening effect. As INIKA Mineral Eye Shadows can be used wet or dry, for a bit of fun and a change from my usual pencil liner I used a wet angled brush to apply Autumn Plum to line my upper and outer lower lash lines.  I then used a pencil brush to apply Whisper along the middle section of my lower lash line to soften and blend in from the dramatic metallic plum on the outer lash line. To finish my eyes I added another coat of Mineral Mascara, this time for a bit of extra thickness.

To freshen up my cheeks I applied a little more Pink Pinch Mineral Blush and then - although it doesn't show up in the pictures - I added a little touch of Gold Dust Mineral Eye Shadow as a cheekbone highlight.

The final touch was a coat of Mineral Lipstick, this time in the plum/red Bordeaux Bliss to give my lips some more emphasis without being too over the top.
Date-ready colour swatches from left to right:
Bordeaux Bliss, Pink Pinch, Whisper, Gold Dust, Autumn Plum

While I appreciated the luxury quality of all of the products I tried my favourites were the versatile, superbly pigmented loose mineral eye shadows and the easy to use mineral blush - I will definitely be collecting more!

INIKA products are available online from Facial Co.

(Products were provided for my consideration.  All comments and opinions are my own.)

25 August, 2014

Essie: Sand Tropez

Sand Tropez - It's beige, it's bone, it's cream, it's sand...
I don't think I've run out of ways to describe this neutral have I?  Or have I? So how does Essie describe Sand Tropez? They refer to it as a "soft sandy beige" so I've definitely covered it.  In terms of application this cream pastel polish is a fiddly one because it's thick and almost too creamy so it's prone to leaving an uneven finish on the nail.  Here I've used two coats plus top coat which helped to smooth it all out.  Despite the tricky application I do love the colour and, yes, it's brought on a craving for summer!

All pictures taken in indirect daylight:

Until next time!

20 August, 2014

REVIEW: ECO.Body - Women's Personal Body Wash (plus a 20% discount offer!)

Oh, hello! Here I am talking about another Australian natural skin care brand that's new to me...

 This time it's a brand called ECO. If you read my NAT.Body review post you might see some similarities with packaging and naming - you know, 'same but different' and that's because ECO. and NAT. stem from the same parent company (the Natalie Group in Queensland).  Like NAT., ECO. also specialises in aromatherapy-based products -

"We wanted to provide a quality natural skincare and aromatherapy brand that was results-driven while still being affordable. We value the history of aromatherapy and have incorporated this age-old therapy into every ECO. product due to its wide range of benefits for body and mind..."

"We understand that skincare and aromatherapy can be confusing at times and our aim is to show you that it doesn't have to be so serious! We can still use quality products that provide excellent skin and health benefits and have fun at the same time. So our products have been created with this simple philosophy in mind: daily rituals for modern living."

So to put it simply ECO. are saying they want to make skincare and aromatherapy simple, fun and affordable...

Okay, so keeping it simple let's come clean about ECO. Women's Personal Body Wash!
ECO. says their Women's Personal Body Wash is "a natural, soothing body cleanser which never strips skin of its natural oils."  The formula contains 100% essential oils including Lavender and Tea Tree Oils "to heal, cleanse and hygienically purify the skin" and is gentle enough "to be used on all areas of the body".   

My impressions:
Firstly, what do I want from an everyday body wash? I want it to cleanse and deodorise my skin obviously, I want it to smell appealing (that's because I'm a Taurean and ALL about the senses!), I want it to be non-irritating, and non-drying for my winter-sensitized skin, and finally I don't want to be paying megabucks for something that - literally - goes down the drain.  Pretty simple needs really.
The first impression for me is always the fragrance and this smells predominantly of tea tree oil which personally makes me think of the Australian bush! It's quite a clean, invigorating and natural scent - and I have to say it again - a very Australian scent. The clear gel is low foaming so using it with my loofah didn't coat me in a thick, velvety lather (which I admit I do love so that's something I miss) but it does refresh my skin and rinses off easily.  It's not at all drying and it's gentle and non-irritating to my seasonally itchy skin so I've been using it every day - sometimes twice a day when I've done a workout - with no issues at all.  At $13AUD for a 100ml bottle I think this is quite affordable too for a natural therapy based product.

Water, cocamidopropyl betaine, ammonium laureth sulphate, decyl glucoside, glycerin lactamide MEA, acetamide MEA, peg 60 almond glycerides, melaleuca alternifonia (tea tree) oil, lavandula angustifolia ( lavender ) oil, peg 120 methyl glucose dioleate , panthenol, chamomillia recutita ( matricaria ) extract, diazolidinyl urea, propyl hydroxbenzoate, methy hydroxy benzoate, propylene gylcol, polysorbate 80.
RRP:  $13.00AUD for 100ml

20% discount offer:
While I think the regular $13 price is very reasonable for an aromatherapy body care product ECO. is currently offering a 20% discount to all readers if you're interested in purchasing ECO. Women's Personal Body Wash to try.
Just place your order online at the ECO. site below and enter the discount code:  MFMY20 at the checkout. 
This offer is available until 15 October 2014.
(This product was provided for my consideration.  All comments and opinions are my own.)
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