30 December, 2013

Christmas Day mani: OPI - Underneath The Mistletoe

Now for what's likely to be my last post for 2013!

Continuing with the traditional red and gold theme for Christmas season manicures I chose another variation for my Christmas Day mani using a combination of something new and something old from OPI, who always manage to bring out something to blow me away in their annual holiday collections.
The new shade I used on most of my nails is Underneath The Mistletoe from OPI's latest collaboration with Mariah Carey for their 2013 holiday collection.  Underneath The Mistletoe is a deep cranberry jelly polish swimming with fine silver glitter giving it a multidimensional sparkle.  I used three coats for an opaque coverage.  For my accent nail I chose an old OPI holiday glitter, the slightly greenish gold Glow Up Already (from OPI's 2010 Burlesque collection) to add yet more sparkle and voila!


Sun - the camera's freaking out here...

Until next year!

29 December, 2013

TAG: My top 5 makeup products

I was tagged a month ago to do this post and with Christmas festivities finally out of the way I can get onto it and do it properly!  Norlin aka Baubles, Bubbles & Bags is one of my most longstanding Melbourne blogger friends so when she tagged me to nominate my top 5, go-to makeup items I immediately agreed to do it.  The idea is to share the 5 items I'd pick in a pinch to make up my face - very similar to the 5-product face (see my previous post here) but this is more about naming my 5 favourites, the products I'd consider my "go-to, cannot live without" items.  And yes, on a relaxed day these would be all I need for my face too!
I can tell you now there are no surprises here - I think I've raved about most of these products before...
  • Laura Mercier Lingerie Eye & Cheek Palette (Limited Edition) - I know this is limited edition but the fact is this palette accompanied me for my last two holiday trips because it contains all I need for all kinds of warm or cool eye makeup looks from demure to dramatic and the two blush shades are so pretty and wearable too.  Laura Mercier matte shades have a silky feel so they sweep evenly and blend beautifully on the eyes and the "luster" shades (such as the iconic African Violet which is part of the core line) have just the right amount of subtle shimmer for a bit of interest without ever daring to be over the top.  I wouldn't hesitate to buy another LM palette in future.  By the way, and not to rub it in, but this palette scores 4.8 out of 5 on Makeup Alley so you know I'm not the only one in love with the Lingerie palette.
  • Lancôme Hypnose Doll Eyes Waterproof Mascara (Black) - My current favourite waterproof mascara because I love the clump-free, flake-free, smudge-free waterproof formula and I love the tapered brush.  Read all about it here.
  • Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil (Perversion) - Super soft and creamy and so definitively inky black - UD themselves describe this shade as "blackest-black matte" so you get the picture.  This is so defined and easy to apply that I can use it in place of liquid eyeliner (my personal beauty fail - I'm so clumsy with liquid eyeliner) and because it's waterproof it stays put so it's my numero uno choice for the waterline too if I'm in that kind of mood.
  • Maybelline Dream Lumi Touch Highlighting Concealer - My much raved about drugstore highlighting concealer because it actually works! I occasionally wander off to try something else - because I want to know what else is out there - but so far I just keep returning to this. My review is consistently in the popular posts roll on the right but if it's not just click on the link here.
  • Tom Ford Lip Color - My desert island lipstick choice because it's literally loaded with wonderful ingredients, is creamy and moisturising, offers high coverage and the packaging is uber chic too - suitable for looking the part when being rescued from that island, lol!  I admit I always feel a little more put together with a slick of a bright Tom Ford shade on my lips
So... What are your top 5 makeup products?
Feel free to do this tag too!  

26 December, 2013

Face Of Australia: Between The Flags

I hope you've all had a wonderful Christmas! I have been busy catching up with family and friends so the first of my Christmas manis are being posted just after Christmas day - but hey they're still within the "12 days of Christmas" which ends on the 6th of January so I'm technically not late to this party!
 I went for traditional with a twist with this one, embracing red and gold but using textured and foil polishes to give it a bit of interest.  The red polish is Between The Flags, a textured polish from Face Of Australia's recently released Carnivale collection.  Two coats did the trick with that one.  For the gold accent I went with three coats o the most golden foil polish I have in my collection - Goldeneye from OPI.  I've previously worn this as a full manicure but I think it works so much better as a contrasting accent, as somehow it looks even more gold if that's at all possible!
All pictures taken in cloudy conditions:

 Until next time...

20 December, 2013

Sportsgirl Nail It! Glitter Envy

Feeling festive?  It's taken me a while to warm up but I'm finally into it so my nails are lately all about festive colours and finishes.
Sportsgirl released a gorgeous tinselly green polish some months ago called Glitter Envy.  It's basically very densely packed fine teal green glitter in a green base so it's a standalone polish, although I'm sure a single coat could also be used as a festive topper.  I used three coats plus top coat for a depth of finish.  This polish is utterly perfect for this time of year so I'm so disappointed it's disappeared from Sportgirl's line up.  You may be lucky to find it in their discount bins - very lucky - and if you are that lucky grab it!
Until next time.

18 December, 2013

2014 beauty resolutions AKA The 2014 Beauty Diet!

It's the business end of the year when some of us take stock of all sorts of things in our lives - and pledge to do things differently in the coming year!
I don't think I resolved to do anything particular in 2013, although I did work at shedding 12.5 kg (27.5 lbs) this year but that's not what I'm here to elaborate on in this little post.  Being beauty and makeup obsessed as I am I think I may have allowed myself to blow out just a little (read "by a truckload") with impulse buying this past year so this is where I pledge to shed just a little next year - at least until I head overseas in late 2014 to Japan and Hawaii when I figure all bets are surely off - depending on exchange rates of course!
For inspiration/motivation/focus here are the makeup items I believe I'll be able to finish over the coming year...
In previous attempts I've tried the hard core Project Pan approach, and other methods of denying myself only to binge BIG TIME once I reached the end so next year it will be a softer, more doable approach by reducing in the slowest way possible.  Much like a sensible diet I'm going for an everything in moderation approach rather than all out deprivation.  We're all attracted by the lure of the forbidden aren't we?  So: 

(1)  For every two makeup items I finish I'll be able to treat myself to one new luxe makeup item as a reward (the 1 for 2 approach if you like).

(2)  The only other "condition" will be to create a makeup wish list and stick strictly to that wish list to prevent impulse buying - yes the wish list can grow over the year to accommodate those dreaded limited editions too.
I'm not going it alone as the wonderful Gloss Queen Anissa of Beautifully Glossy will be joining me so we'll be supporting each other.  We've been tweeting each other about it with great enthusiasm!

There is one pretty significant thing I have to tell you before we start.  In the last couple of months before deciding to do this I organised a few overseas beauty swaps which I have yet to post (I have quickly put them up on Instagram) - and one is yet to arrive.  Just so you understand I'm not looking for loopholes here!

The first step is making this public declaration (check!).  The next step will be putting together my wish list and sharing that with you.  I'm going to be thinking hard and choosing carefully because that is my one makeup shopping list. So far I have three must-haves burning away in my brain...

If you're interested in trying our beauty diet to get your makeup shopping under control let me know in the comments below.  Likewise if you have another tactic you'd like to share let me know too!

Until next time!

17 December, 2013

Bitten by my first Bite Beauty lipstick!

When I say I was bitten I mean I was bitten in a good way!  I'd been intrigued for a while because I'd read, heard, almost osmotically (not literally of course!) absorbed the vibe that Bite Beauty lipsticks were goooood, and you know that means a must try!
I never thought I'd stumble across these lipsticks in a vitamin store, especially a vitamin store called Go Vita(?!) but that's how it happened for me.  My first Bite Beauty pick is the warm pink cream Rose from their Luminous Crème Lipstick collection.  I chose it for the creaminess and rich opacity of the swatch, and the summery pink colour.  Unfortunately it appears a lot more coral in my pictures but trust me it's definitely a pink - Bite describe it as a peachy pink to give you more of an idea.
The Luminous Crème formula glides on and one swipe gives guaranteed coverage.  These feel so divinely creamy on the lips too! The creaminess makes me want to apply it, not just because it's a pretty colour but because it feels so comfortable and enriching on my lips.  Wear time is fantastic and lasts a good few hours without a touch up - and no bleeding!! There is a very slight scent when sniffing the bullet in the tube but it is not detectable once on the lips. 
The report card ingredients wise is A+ too.  From the Sephora website:
"This lip color delivers super antioxidant resveratrol, which fights free radicals with potent long-term antiaging benefits. Each lipstick contains the amount of resveratrol found in five glasses of red wine...
What it is formulated WITHOUT:

- Parabens
- Sulfates
- Synthetic Fragrances
- Synthetic Dyes
- Petrochemicals
- Phthalates
- GMOs
- Triclosan"
If I must be picky it will be about two things - and one is me just being plain ridiculous probably and revealing more about myself and my own quirks than any real failing of this lipstick:
1) Price - Of course right?  Unfortunately these are around $36.95AUD or slightly more than MAC down here.  Given the fantastic formula - antiaging is the word - I can forgive the price.
2) The rubberized grey packaging is a bit too utilitarian for my liking.  That's just my opinion of course and stems from a lifelong dislike of anything grey after wearing it as my school uniform for six years.  Okayyyy, that is definitely just me and my personal preferences taking over.
Swatched on the back of my hand...
...and on my lips
Overall, I think this lipstick deserves a place on my own little lipstick leader board.  It's almost up there with my precious Tom Fords.  Yes I am 100% serious.
Have you been bitten by Bite Beauty lipstick?

12 December, 2013

Sephora: Hippie Hippie Shake

Our Melbourne summer has been all over the place since it started but all the same I decided to embrace the summer vibe with a retro summer shade of polish.
Sephora's Hippie Hippie Shake is quite retro in my book as it's a shimmery hot pink-coral - something of a throwback to the 1960's maybe as its name suggests???  Well I took the leap and I think this polish is perfect for summer. So perfect in fact I decided it was the thing for my first official summer pedicure too.  It's a joyously fun colour which really reminds me of icy watermelon granita.  Summery indeed...



What are your colour picks for summer?

10 December, 2013

Covergirl: Grapevine

Here's another jewel-toned Covergirl nail polish for you!
Grapevine is a wonderfully warm pink-toned purple with a metallic shimmer.  Application wasn't quite as seamless as my first experience but still pretty smooth and the rich colour is perfect to feed my purple obsession.  This is the usual two coats plus a top coat which adds the mirror shine...
That's all for now!

09 December, 2013

November's farewelled products (2013 edition)

I don't have much to say by way of introducing this post although I suppose it feels like November was skincare month for me because I got through a lot of it...
Skin care
125) Vanedo Beauty Friends Raspberry Essence Mask - Expect to see sheet masks popping up every month from now on because I have a new skincare addiction and I've recently replenished my stock!  This particular mask claimed to be firming and brightening and I certainly did notice a comfortably firming effect while I was wearing the mask and for a little while afterwards.  I love the Vanedo brand of sheet masks although they've been a bit difficult to source online so far.
126) Skinlite Green Tea Essence Mask - I know the Skinlite range of sheet masks can be purchased via the Sasa website.  This green tea essence mask also claims lifting properties but I didn't particularly notice, although it was hydrating so I guess I'd score it a 5 out of 10.  Nice but not remarkable.  See I am starting to get picky about these finally!
127) BE Fresh Make-up Remover Wipes For Sensitive Skin (25 wipes) - This is the second variety of wipes I've tried from this Priceline brand (see my previous experience here).  Although these are for sensitive skin and are fragrance free, they do contain alcohol - not an issue for me but possibly worth noting for some of you.  Anyway they did a perfectly good job of removing my makeup so I would repurchase if I wasn't still on my journey of trying every different makeup wipe in sight!
128) Maybelline City Rescue Total Clean! Express Eye & Lip Makeup Remover (70ml) - This is the third bottle of Maybelline's City Rescue Total Clean! I've used this year which means a couple of things: 1) I like it; but...  2) The 70ml bottle's a little small for this makeup junkie!
129) Pond's Flawless White Ultra Luminous Serum (30ml) - Serums are always so dang small in volume aren't they? I inevitably finish the serum first when I'm using an entire skincare range so of course this happened.  I don't think I'd ever tried a Pond's product until they brought out the Flawless White range this year - anyway, the serum is one of those slightly velvety, almost silicone feeling products that slides onto the skin making it feel instantly smooth.  Apart from it feeling nice I can't say that I noticed any remarkable changes in my skin's appearance so I won't be repurchasing. 
130) Neutrogena Healthy Defence Daily Moisturiser SPF 30+ (40ml) - One of my old faithful SPF moisturisers and a repeat purchase because of its high SPF and light, non-oily formula. 
 131) Dior Capture Totale Multi Perfection Concentrated Serum (3ml sample) - Another teaser from my little collection of Dior skincare samples this serum is meant to "intensely correct even the most deep-set visible signs of aging".  It's a light gel fluid, quickly absorbed and left my skin feeling refreshed.  Indulgent but tempting all the same. 

132) Dior Capture Totale Multi Perfection Crème (3ml sample) - As with the serum this is an anti-aging product. A very easily absorbed daily moisturiser with a lovely gentle scent.  A nice teaser as above!

133) La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL Extreme Fluid SPF 50+ (3ml sample) - This facial sunscreen is suitable for oily and acne prone skin so I expected it to be more matte than it was.  A good product in terms of its high protection factor but be warned:  more powdering of the T-zone is necessary!
Hand and body care
134) The Body Shop Vanilla Bliss Hand Cream (30ml/1.0 Fl.oz) - I loved this little tube of rich, almost edible scented hand cream a little too much because I used it up so quickly, applying it at every opportunity.  Just how yummy does it smell?  Well, the deliciously sugary vanilla scent was so irresistible that my work colleague had to buy a tube too! The 30ml tube is the perfect handbag size so I would definitely repurchase this for moisturising my hands on the go.
135) OPI Expert Touch Lacquer Remover (120 ml/4 Fl.oz) - This remover promises "superior performance" and, well, it works - I'd have to do some kind of comparison trial to tell exactly how much better this is than the original!  Even though it is slightly more expensive than the original formula I'll be sticking with this now that I've discovered it because I feel it does a better job of dissolving nail polish with less wiping or rubbing necessary. 
136) Garnier Bodytonic Sugar Scrub (200ml) - This scrub is a repurchase after a long break.  It does a reasonable job of exfoliating and I like the citrus scent as a morning wake me up and the ease of application from the tube.  Also being a sugar scrub means it's easily rinsed off and doesn't leave any pesky granules in the shower.  Not a bad drugstore option so I can see I'll buy it again when the mood strikes. 
137) Tom Ford Café Rose EDP (1.5ml/.05fl.oz) - I have collected quite a few TF sample vials and I've been stupidly torn between hoarding them and using them - the problem being, what if I love a particular scent? And then of course it'll be prohibitively expensive and I'll be pining over it because I've used it all up.  Oh well, I've decided I'm just going to use them and risk that broken heart.  Café Rose was one to break my heart a little because I enjoyed how it was clearly rose but with a distinctly spicy, incense slant. The top notes are saffron, black pepper and may rose; middle notes are Turkish rose, Bulgarian rose and coffee; base notes are incense, amber (the note I come back to again and again), sandalwood and patchouli.
138) Bulgari Mon Jasmin Noir EDP (50 ml/1.7 fl.oz) - Okay so this one has broken my heart to finish largely because it was a gift from my husband.  I'm considering holding onto the bottle as a keepsake for that reason and for its elegance.  This fragrance was a bit of a sleeper for me - initially I felt it was too straightforward floral jasmine but there is also a slight woodiness about it which gives it that little bit of interest.  The notes are:  lily of the valley, sambac jasmine, musky nougatine, vibrant wood.
So that's it for November's empties.  I was considering a video post too but it's been a little too hectic around here to coordinate! 

05 December, 2013

Covergirl: Constant Caribbean

Covergirl's Outlast Stay Brilliant nail polish line has been around in Australia for months now however I hesitated to buy any - it was only when I scored a Priceline voucher that I came down from the fence to try some.  It turns out I should never have worried!
Constant Caribbean is one of the most vibrant teal green shimmer polishes I've ever tried and the application was pretty much flawless.  The polish was easy to control and superbly smooth on the nails.  This manicure easily lasted the week too with no chipping and...and I was impressed that a shade like this removed with zero staining!  Seriously, this drugstore polish is a case of what's not to love about it? So it's pretty clear how I feel then!
All pictures taken indoors in indirect daylight:
Have you tried Covergirl Outlast nail polish?
What do you think?

04 December, 2013

VIDEO POST: Hourglass No. 28 Lip Treatment Oil review

 Hourglass No. 28 Lip Treatment Oil has been on my wish list for several months as I was very keen to try this product with its impressive claims of soothing and anti-aging properties (An anti-aging product for my lips? Yes please!) and its equally impressive ingredient list as sourced from the Hourglass Cosmetics website:
  • 14 essential oils: Bois De Rose, Lavender, Geranium, Petitgrain, Lemon, Rosemary, Vanilla, Clove, Amyris, Orange, Ylang Ylang, Eucalyptus, Cedar and Rose Geranium.
  • 10 lipid-rich plant oils: Hazelnut, Kukui Nut, Rose Hip, Borage, Olive, Green Tea, Cherry Pit, Sweet Almond, Jojoba, and Evening Primrose.
  • 4 Vitamins: A, B5, C and E
Did it impress me?
Yes. Actually a resounding yes to the point of me putting it out there that I think this is going to be one of those cult beauty products. If you want to find out more watch my video review...


One significant thing I forgot to mention in the video is this lip treatment is free of parabens, phthalates, sulfates, synthetic dyes and petroleum derivatives.

Until next time.

30 November, 2013

OPI: I Snow You Love Me

As soon as I saw I Snow You Love Me around I knew I just had to have it.  This glittery confection from OPI's Mariah Carey Holiday 2013 collection was irresistible - it's quite simply a whole lot of holographic silver, almost sequin-like glitter in a thick, slightly milky polish.  Now that I have it I want to use it to layer over everything quite frankly but I'm starting with a subtle combination here.
I used two coats over my Yokohama Twilight base and - as I have been doing a lot of late - I liked it so much I kept it on for an entire week.  I'm getting pretty selfish with my manicures these days I guess.  If I enjoy them I don't want to take them off, especially if complete strangers decide to compliment them and this particular mani got tons of compliments! 



That's all for now!

28 November, 2013

TAG: 5-product face!

I was tagged by wonderful blogger friend Larie of Eye Heart It fame to create a look with just five products!

You know, I thought this would be easy but then I realized - Hang on! - I need to show this face, it's not just me heading out to the post box so I do need to look presentable.  I'm pretty minimalist on weekends but even without doing the mental arithmetic I'm sure it would normally involve (slightly) more than five.  Never let it be said that I back away from a beauty blogger challenge though.  Let's get into it!

 I'll tackle the products in the order I'd use them, which is my own slightly non-conformist order:  eyes, base, cheeks then finally lips.  I've adopted the habit of doing my eyes first so I can deal with any fallout without needing to reapply base products.

  1. The easiest way for me accentuate my eyes is with a "standalone" eye shadow swept over the lids, so for a natural but slightly shimmery option I chose Maybelline Silken Taupe to give my eyes some light and depth.  (Click here for my other standalone eyeshadow picks.)
  2. After that I decided some serious lashes were in order so I picked Benefit They're Real! I've only recently started using this much raved about mascara and it does a great job of thickening lashes without clumping.  That's it - eyes are done!
  3. I simply can't go without concealer so that was always going to be one my five products.  Without the option of using primer I opted for my concealer to work even harder than usual as a multi-tasker.  I applied Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer not just to cover my under eye circles, but also down the bridge and sides of my nose, and the middle of my forehead to act as a brightener and "primer". 
  4. If I wear cream or liquid base I also need a powder to finish over the top so I opted for mineral powder foundation Nude By Nature for matte coverage and eliminate the extra step.  I find this mineral foundation does need a primer to make it last, particularly on oilier parts of the face such as the nose, so that's why the concealer beneath!
  5. Finally I chose Becca Watermelon Beach Tint for my lips and cheeks to complete the natural look I was aiming for.  Just to make sure the tint stayed in place on my cheeks I applied it first underneath then again over my powder foundation.

So that's the list.  And this is the subtle result:

Feel free to play this tag - just link back and let me know what your five-product face looks like!

Until next time.

27 November, 2013

OPI: Yokohama Twilight

Happy Hump Day!

Completely lacking any idea of what nail polish to wear (Really? How could that be?) I did a random dive into my polish collection and came up with an older Limited Edition OPI shade, the unusual lavender-blue duochrome Yokohama Twilight. The Yokohama collection was apparently originally released as an Asia exclusive back in the late noughties.  I'm wondering how I scored this polish in Melbourne but I'm pretty sure I got this in local department David Jones.  Oh well, I digress.

I applied three coats of this semi-sheer polish for full coverage.  Although this isn't the kind of colour I'd normally select I did admire the very subtle duochrome effect.  It's an ethereal sort of colour and very understatedly pretty.

Indirect daylight


Random tidbit:  I'm planning to go back to Japan next year. 

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