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.)

19 August, 2014

OPI: Vodka & Caviar

Because I'm not doing quite as many nail polish posts these days I'm trying to mix it up so you don't just get the same shades over and over - like purple and more purple if I had my way...
Not true! I do get different colour cravings and I decided last week was a red week so I went hunting for one of the few classic red creams I have in my collection.  Vodka & Caviar is one of those classic OPI reds from their Russian Collection released years ago and it's a slightly translucent jelly so the finish is something a little special.  The formula was the perfect consistency to maintain control without any flooding or streaking so two coats applied super smoothly and the precision cut brush always helps too. Unfortunately I've found out this particular red has been discontinued - I know I'll be hanging onto it now!

All pictures taken in indirect daylight

This actually reminds me of toffee apples :)
Until next time!

18 August, 2014

REVIEW: NAT.Body - Cuticle Treatment Serum and Hand Cream (plus 20% discount offer!)

I've been very fortunate to review a few Australian skincare and beauty brands this year and NAT. is another Australian brand I'm pleased to have been introduced to in 2014.  Let's have an intro to the brand before I get into my reviews:

As the name suggests NAT. is all about natural skin and body care.  NAT. emphasises aromatherapy at its heart in all its ranges - NAT.Face, NAT.Body and NAT.Aroma because "...nature provides us with potent properties from flowers, herbs and plants that heal and nurture, so we have taken the goodness from these active botanical essences and fused it with advanced technology to produce natural products that work effectively within skin and body".  In keeping with their philosophy of creating the "...perfect blend of nature’s timeless healing properties with the best of technology and science"  all products have been manufactured in a TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration) licensed and GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) approved manufacturing facility (in Queensland), are not tested on animals and are cruelty-free.

I've chosen to review some products from the NAT.Body range because I'm more than a little obsessed with hand creams and treatments and in winter it seems as though I am forever reaching for them!

NAT.Body Cuticle Treatment Serum

NAT says: "NAT.BODY cuticle treatment serum contains high levels of vitamin A from carrot oil, known for its healing properties as well as other active ingredients of calendula oil to help treat skin inflammation and rapid cell repair, jojoba oil for its moisturising properties and lavender oil to soothe."  By applying only one drop of serum - that's one drop per hand - and massaging it into all five cuticles the combination of natural moisturising ingredients acts to nourish and soften the cuticles. 

My impressions:
One pump of the nozzle (above) delivers a rather generous "drop" of  golden tinged serum oil to the base of my cuticles. While I've been using the recommended single drop per hand lately, originally (because I misread the instructions) I was using a single drop for both hands and found even that small amount was enough to spread across and massage in to all of my cuticles.  Just saying - this oil goes a long way.
NAT.Body Cuticle Treatment Serum is made from 100% plant and natural oils so it goes to work immediately, and after massaging it in I can gently push back my cuticles.  I've been using the serum as a nightly bedtime treatment and have noticed a difference.  My cuticles are definitely softer and I no longer have to deal with icky dry bits of cuticle, which used to catch and tear so my hands have a generally neater appearance which is good for all of the manicure pictures I post. 
Also, if you want to use the serum more than once throughout the day the handy little 15ml bottle is easy to carry around in your bag. 
Calendula officinalis ( calendula ) oil, tocopheryl acetate ( Natural Vitamin E ) oil, simmondsia chinensis ( jojoba ) oil, lavendula angustifolia ( lavender ) oil, daucus carota ( carrot ) oil.
RRP: $20.00AUD for 15ml.

After using the NAT.Body Cuticle Treatment Serum I immediately follow it with...

 NAT.Body Hand Cream
"NAT. BODY hand cream is a beautifully nourishing hand cream with a rich blend of nut oils, calendula and essential oils of lavender, ylang ylang and geranium. It absorbs into the skin with no sticky residue and leaves hands feeling soft and hydrated."
The key ingredients are: 
  • Nut oils (macadamia, almond and sesame) to help "skin to balance the loss and absorption of moisture"
  • Lavender essential oil for cell renewal
  • Vitamin A for "stimulating the production of more epidermal protein and increasing skin elasticity and reducing the depth of fine lines/wrinkles."
  • Vitamin B5 to "soften and help to balance the skin natural PH. Helps skin to retain moisture levels and [work as] a powerful anti-oxidant"
  • Natural Vitamin E extracted from vegetable oils for its ability to "boost the production of collagen. Helps repair the top layer of skin. Antioxidant properties and helps maintain cell integrity."
My impressions:
As you can see above the cream is the consistency of thin cream or thick lotion depending on how you like to describe it!  I find two pumps from the 100ml dispenser bottle gives me enough product to moisturise my hands so I think this is going to last me a long time.
Instinctively - and from past experience - I always think a lotion isn't going to do the job of moisturising my papery hands but NAT.Body Hand Cream does it quite well.  Because it's a lotion it spreads and penetrates more quickly and easily than a cream and there's no greasy feel afterward so my hands simply feel softer. 
My eczema-afflicted hands can sometimes erupt in reaction to scented hand creams but the soft added fragrance in this one doesn't upset them at all so from my experience this would be safe for sensitive skin.  For those who don't like heavily perfumed products the fragrance is quite subtle and natural so it won't distract or get in the way of other scents either.
The sturdy pump bottle is best suited to sit on the bedside table (where I keep mine to use as an overnight hand treatment), office desk or bathroom basin.   
Purified water, caprylic capric triglycerife ( vegetable derived ), stearic acid ( vegetable derived ), cetearyl alcohol, tricaprylin, glycerin, lactamide MEA, acetate MEA, sesamum indicum ( sesame ) seed oil, macadamia integrifolia seed oil, prunus amygdalus dulcis ( sweet almond )
oil, calendula officinalis flower extract, tocopheryl acetate ( Natural Vitamin E ), tocopherol,retinyl palmitate ( Vitamin A ), cholecalciferol, panthenol ( Vitamin B ), disodium EDTA, carbomer, dimethicone, ceteareth 20, triethanolamine, methyparaben, propylparaben,
ethylparaben, butylparaben, iso-butylparaben, phenoxyethanol, fragance.
RRP:  $24.00AUD for 100ml
20% discount offer:
My first impressions with NAT.Body natural hand and nail care products have been very positive so I'm pretty excited to let you know NAT. Skincare are currently offering a 20% discount to all readers if you're interested in purchasing NAT.Body Cuticle Treatment Serum and/or Hand Cream to try for yourself!
Simply place your order online at the NAT. Skin Care site below and enter the discount code:  MFMY20 at the checkout. 
This offer is available until 15 October 2014.
Happy shopping!
(Products were provided for my consideration.  All comments and opinions are my own.)

14 August, 2014

Covergirl Outlast: Midnight Magic

I have a complex little nail polish shade from Covergirl this time which I'll struggle to adequately describe...
I bought Midnight Magic several months ago, then put it away and did the old "out of sight, out of mind" thing and forgot about it.  Well honestly that was a silly thing to do because once I finally got this onto my nails I was mesmerized! Now how do I describe this? Up close there's the multi-faceted detail of individual specks of blue, gold and green as you can see in the pictures (the first one is most colour accurate) and yet from a distance it's as though I've coated my nails with graphite...

All pictures taken in indirect daylight

It's always exciting to find a hidden gem from the drugstore.
Until next time! 

12 August, 2014

REVIEW: Rimmel Lasting Finish Colour Rush Intense Colour Balm

So the time has finally come for Rimmel to launch their own version of balm crayons as part of the new Rita Ora Colour Rush collection...
I love jumbo lip crayons because of the 'fun' factor and the convenience of a lipstick/liner/balm in one and because just about every makeup brand have launched their own jumbo crayons I have quite a few - to the point of feeling a little jumbo crayon fatigued.  I was still curious to try these because, you know, it's Rimmel and they are my go-to for drugstore lipstick. 

Rimmel says: "Indulge your lips with hi-voltage shades of rich, feel-good colour for an all-day super charged stand out lip look [with]... a stay-put colour balm offering all-day comfort without ever feeling sticky."
There are six colours in the range and I've been testing 100 - Give Me A Cuddle (peachy pink) and 200 - Keep Mauving (deep mauve ): 
My impressions:
Okay so these crayons obviously look the same as others out there, with the same colour matched packaging and same twist up mechanism.  When it comes to scent or 'taste', rather than the minty scented varieties I'm used to these have a soft creamy vanilla scent so that's an initial point of difference worth noting if you're not partial to mint, or are a fan of vanilla. Me? I'm partial to both.
The Colour Rush Intense Colour Balms are definitely well pigmented, with a creamier finish than some other brands so they don't take too many swipes to build up the colour - I'd describe these as more lipstick-y than balm-y in that department. I'm going to pretty much agree with the "all-day comfort" claim too because they're not drying at all and feel perpetually moisturising every time I press my lips together.  They don't necessarily last all day - they will fade with eating and drinking - but will last from breakfast to lunch before the need for a touch up so the staying power is very good.  The best thing from my perspective is how such a moisturising lip colour clings to the lips with zero bleeding - that's a big plus for me.  If I have one criticism it's that these will stain the lips after several hours of wear, but that's a similar criticism of most lip crayons.
 Swatched L to R:
100 Give Me A Cuddle, 200 Keep Mauving

  100 - Give Me A Cuddle
 200 - Keep Mauving

At $12.95AUD these are probably the best priced crayons out there too so are well worth trying if you've yet to jump on the bandwagon!

The Colour Rush Collection by Rita Ora is now available from Priceline, Priceline Pharmacy, Target, Kmart, BIG W, selected pharmacies and selected Coles and Woolworths stores.

(This product was provided for my consideration.  All comments and opinions are my own.)
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