28 April, 2013

Maybelline: Sapphire Siren

What's a girl to do when she's faced with a 3 for 2 beauty product offer and she doesn't know what to choose for her third product? Why not throw a bottle of nail polish into the basket? Well, that's how I think anyway!  Right the scene's set:  I'd chosen two backup products from Maybelline and the lovely deep blue Sapphire Siren polish caught my eye as the possible third.  I honestly hadn't been impressed by the look of the product in the bottle when the Color Show Nail Collection first launched a few months ago - I don't know, it just looked rather watery, and the pigment was actually visibly settling in some of the bottles.  Not promising at all.  I passed back then but figured this time my choice was effectively a freebie so it wouldn't hurt too much if it really was a dud polish. 

It turns out the polish wasn't too bad after all.  Not fantastic, but not terrible by any means. The application was smooth, and not too watery, although the coverage was a little on the sheer side.  For such a deep shade as Sapphire Siren I would normally expect 100% opaque coverage in 2 coats - which is what I applied - but I can see 3 coats would be needed for that coverage I'm used to.  The colour itself is a lovely autumn/winter almost navy blue with just the teeniest leaning towards teal. Nice.

All pictures taken in cloudy conditions:

Have you tried any shades from the Color Show Nail Collection?

Until next time.

25 April, 2013

Caviar mani: BYS Caviar for Nails - Jane Bond

I've been curious about caviar or fish egg manicures ever since I first saw them but I was a little unsure so I've held back - until now...

As Australian budget nail polish brand BYS recently launched a version of their own, appropriately called Caviar for Nails, I finally decided to try out the trend.  It was ridiculously easy - literally easy, peasy - to do too.  I'd seen and feared the caviar sprinkle application method because it looked so messy (you shake the caviar onto wet nails) but the BYS kit carries the caviar beads in a little tub that you simply dip your freshly painted, wet nails into.  I applied two coats of colour for a thick base, rolled my wet nails into the caviar tub to coat them thoroughly, then used the small brush included in the Caviar for Nails kit to pat them down gently.  Finally I sealed the tips with a touch of top coat and -  voila! - some not too shabby looking caviar nails!

For this look I used the black Jane Bond Caviar on my ring and pinky fingers and paired that with the contrast of metallic silver polish (Revlon - Silver Dollar):

Each Caviar for Nails kit contains:  coloured polish, a tub of caviar in a complimentary shade and a small brush for finessing your application.

There are 10 shades in the range and they retail for $7.95AUD each.

BYS Caviar for Nails can be purchased online from the Fashion Addict or BYS websites, or in-store at the following Australian locations:  KMart, Gloss or Cosmetics Plus.

(These products have been provided for my consideration.  All comments and opinions are my own.)

18 April, 2013

Catrice: Iron Mermaiden

I received my first ever Catrice polishes in a swap some time ago with the lovely Ina (see here) and I was lucky enough to score the cool toned duo-chrome Iron Mermaiden.

I actually think this is more multi-chrome as the metallic silver switches from pink to green-toned depending on the way it catches the light.  It was a little sheer in application so I needed three good coats to get full opacity but the result was worth it.  I loved the cold metallic, almost mirror finish and found myself checking out my nails more than once, tilting them this way and that to catch the flashes of colour.  These polishes are always a challenge to photograph and inevitably they look more eye-catching in real life but anyway here are LOTS of pictures...

Indirect daylight

Direct daylight

That's it for tonight!

17 April, 2013

REVIEW: Nude by Nature Natural Mineral Cover

The Nude by Nature range of mineral makeup products has been spruiked on Australian television for a few years now and I'm sure lots of you Australian readers have flirted with the Nude range.  I'm not always quick to jump onto trends (and clearly I'm way behind the pack here) but this was my first experience with their Natural Mineral Cover.  So, why not share my impressions anyway?  These are the impressions of an NC20 coloured, combination skinned, mildly pigmented middle aged female...

Firstly here are the claims as directly quoted from Nude's website:

"...Taking the concept of minerals to the next level, we took out the bismuth, that can irritate sensitive skin and appear cakey on the skin, and left only the ingredients that help to create the perfect, flawless, airbrushed complexion, NATURALLY!..."

"...Remarkably enhance and even out your natural skin-tone with a swirl of Natural Mineral Cover. This genius formulation is sure to impress when it covers redness, enlarged pores and birthmarks and is so gentle you can even use it on rosacea!"

"The beauty of this product is its ability to look like skin, not powder, with Kaolin Clay included, this Natural Mineral Cover allows it to mould easily with the natural oils in your skin. With no talcs, parabens and bismuth, you have a product that not only works, but is perfect for the most sensitive of skins.
It also contains SPF 15 ensuring you’re protected from the harsh damaging rays of the Australian sun."

There's absolutely no denying this is a fantastically gentle product and free from many nasties which can irritate sensitive skin but did I achieve that "...perfect, flawless, airbrushed complexion" that I crave?  

I've definitely been spoiled by the full coverage mineral makeup I've used in the past so my standards were set at a certain high-ish level.  I expected flawless, luminous coverage, and longevity of wear - and I've come to expect that kind of cover over bare (read:  moisturised but otherwise unprimed) skin.  Firstly I tried brushing this loose powder over bare skin and I found the coverage to be quite sheer, although I was able to build it to a medium coverage with repeated applications.  Whilst it did look natural I found I missed the glow I've become accustomed to, which is possibly due to the lack of boron nitrate - I'm no mineral scientist - I just did a direct comparison of ingredient lists and found the luminosity was attributed to boron nitrate in the other product.  Finally, the coverage disappeared from my t-zone all too quickly so I needed powder touch-ups throughout the day to cover my shiny and glowing nose.  

The good news is - ta-dah! - worn over primer the intensity and longevity of coverage was improved significantly so it lasted all day and into the evening.  Yes, I finally caved and introduced primer into my makeup repertoire which I didn't plan on having to do so that was a bit of a disappointment.  The other disappointment was the definite lack of luminosity but I suppose that is a matter of personal preference.  You're either going to go for the glow or the matte.  

  • Does not contain bismuth, talc or parabens
  • Suitable for extremely sensitive skin
  • Buildable coverage
  • Non-cakey finish
  • Creates a soft matte finish
  • Non-mess packaging
  • Contains SPF15
  • Available in 5 shades - Fair, Light, Light / Medium, Medium & Dark
  •  Requires primer to maximize coverage and wear time
  •  Lacks the luminosity of some other mineral makeup brands

Would I buy this again?
I admit I'm enjoying wearing this product more now that I've introduced primer but I do miss my dewy glow.  This isn't a holy grail product for me so I know I'll be back out there on my journey looking for the next best thing in mineral makeup once I finish this pot.

Until next time,

14 April, 2013

Reverse glitter gradient manicure

Here's a quickie glitter art post for the weekend!

I've done a few glitter gradient mani's but this is my first ever reverse version. It requires the same application method but starting from the base of the nail rather than the tip, working one coat of glitter polish half-way down the nail, then finishing with another layer of glitter only going one-third of the way down the nail. 

I find glitter gradients such an easy way to dress up a plain manicure and I was really pleased with this regal combination of purple and gold:

Nail polish shades used from left:
OPI - Tomorrow Never Dies, Australis - Eureka

Thanks for looking!

12 April, 2013

OPI: Tomorrow Never Dies

Happy Friday everyone!

I try and keep my manicure colours season-appropriate as much as possible and that's the only reason why it's taken me so long to get around to wearing this mysterious beauty of a polish - Tomorrow Never Dies from OPI's 2012 Skyfall collection.

Tomorrow Never Dies is a deep shimmery indigo purple, and just the kind of colour I naturally gravitate to as the weather closes in.  Of course purple is one of those colours my eye is drawn to first so I was never going to let this one get away in any case!  Two coats provided a beautiful depth of coverage and as it happened it was one very gloomy day when I chose to wear it - cue the moody, cloudy weather pics.  Apologies for the streaked middle nail - I didn't realise until after I'd taken the pictures.  Blame the manicurist (moi), not the polish!

Daylight Indoors


Have a great weekend!

11 April, 2013

Bourjois 10 Day Nail Enamel: 25

This Bourjois NOTD features one of the shades from their Sweet Paris 2012 Spring Collection.  While I'm late to the party posting it I believe (hope?) it's still available at some Priceline stores locally.

Shade number 25 is described on Bourjois' website as a spring pastel coral and I can't add to that except to say it's a glossy cream finish.  This was my first experience with Bourjois' 10 Day formula and first impressions were good as it applied quite smoothly and easily with the flat wide brush.  Now here's where things went downhill:  I decided to put it to the wear test - not 10 days because obviously I'm way too impatient - through a typical 5 day working week.  Even after reinforcing it with my usual base and top coats the performance was well below what I was expecting - tip wear within a few days, with very noticeable chips appearing within 5 days.  Honestly, some of my $3 bottles have performed better so I was disappointed.  Nice colour but don't expect any miracles in terms of wear time unfortunately.

All pictures were taken in cloudy conditions: 

Have you tried Bourjois 10 Day Nail Enamel?
How has it performed for you?

09 April, 2013

Luxe purchases: Diorshow Wet & Dry Eyeshadow and Dior Extreme Wear Nail Lacquer

I was in a bit of a self-indulgent mood over the past few weeks and floated past the prestige beauty counters several times before I settled on making a purchase from Dior - helped along by a Twitter chat with lovely Larie!  My original idea was to spoil myself only with a bottle of luxe branded polish (only, onlyyyy...*sigh*) but after I'd made my polish shade selection I started swatching Dior's rainbow of new Diorshow Wet & Dry Backstage mono eyeshadow knowing full well I was flirting with danger.  Okay, I admit my weakness and now I'm sharing the evidence with you...

Diorshow Wet & Dry Backstage Eyeshadow -
 826 Bikini

In all honesty I can almost justify this purchase because I'd just finished my pale pink highlight eyeshadow and Bikini filled that gap very nicely with its pearlescent pink shimmer.  Overall I was taken with the texture of the new Backstage eyeshadow shades as they swatched smoothly and silkily on the back of my hand and were richly and evenly pigmented.  Of course I would have expected nothing less of this brand - years ago I had a much treasured mono eyeshadow that applied smoothly all the way to the bottom of the pan and I was so disappointed to see it discontinued.

The pristine pan up close (it didn't stay that way for long!)

The other feature which helped me justify this purchase is the wet and dry formula.  The eyeshadow may be applied dry for a softly finished daytime eye, or when applied with a wet brush the eyeshadow transforms into a more intense, reflective shade for a more striking nighttime look.  The SA told me the eyeshadow won't change or degrade when exposed to the wet brush and returns to its normal state in the pan when the surface moisture dries.

Swatched dry and wet:

While I haven't tried a nighttime eye yet I've worn this pretty pink dry a few times now all over my lids for daytime looks and I'm loving the smooth, fallout free application and the long-lasting shimmer. No creasing without primer either - always a winner for me! I'm heading back to Dior for a facial soon so...should I look for a crease shade to work with this pretty pink?

Dior Extreme Wear Nail Lacquer -
355 Rosy Bow

This was the reason I went to Dior in the first place.  I don't often indulge in luxe brand nail polish so this is me being really extravagant! Rosy Bow is a medium, very slightly coral pink cream from Dior's Cherie Bow 2013 Spring collection.  I'm not usually a pink lover but there is something a little more chic and grownup about this pink polish.  I look forward to wearing this for a hit of pretty on my fingers.  In the meantime, I've done a quick nail-wheel swatch to give an idea of how this will look on the nails:

Until next time,

08 April, 2013

Rimmel Precious Stones: 001 Diamond Dust

UK brand Rimmel has released some new nail polish finishes over the past few months and the tiny Precious Stones collection (comprising only two shades) released for the 2012 holiday season, was always going to catch my eye.  You'd think I'd be jaded by glitters by now, but no, no, no - not yet!  There's always something new and different to try!

According to Rimmel the point of difference with Precious Stones polishes is they're not traditional layering glitter top coats but standalone opaque polishes.  I chose the darkly interesting Diamond Dust to try and applied two generous coats to get good opaque coverage.  Diamond Dust sparkles with holographic silver glitter and micro-glitter in a deep gunmetal grey base.  This polish dries down to a rough matte, kind of mean looking finish but I applied two coats of top coat to smooth it out and bring out the brilliance of the glitter.  It's a matter of preference and mood as to how you wear this one!

Indirect daylight indoors


That's it for now!

07 April, 2013

Face of Australia: Once In A Blue Moon

I'm clearly under the influence of the Northern Spring at the moment because I'm flirting with pastels again!

Late last year I posted quite a few shades from Face of Australia's Pastels collection (here, here, here, and here just to remind you) and although I quietly bought a few more(!) I stashed them away and got distracted by other newer collections - as you do when nail and beauty brands flood you with wave after wave of them! Okay, getting to the point here's one of those pretty pastels I've been hiding away - Once In A Blue Moon.

Once In A Blue Moon (not to be confused with Lime Crime's eggshell blue Once In A Blue Mousse also swatched on this blog) is a soft powder blue or baby blue with a cream finish.  As with the other FOA pastels, application was a smooth easy two coats for an opaque coverage, topped with a single layer of top coat for extra shine.  Although I didn't think too much of this soft colour in the bottle I really liked how it translated on my nails...



What's your favourite pastel colour?

06 April, 2013

March's farewelled products (2013 edition)

Here's another month's worth of empties served up fresh with my opinions for your enjoyment!

Hand and body care

18) Jericho Hand Cream (2ml sample) - Whoa! What's a sample doing in here?!? I'm a renowned hoarder of samples for that 'rainy day' which never seems to come...Well...one day last month I actually was caught out without a tube of hand cream in my bag so cue the rainy day sample! It's impossible to form a definitive opinion on a 2ml sample of hand cream but my first impressions were positive enough although nothing really remarkable.  The cream absorbed quickly, and left no greasy feel and I also note it is paraben-free and "...enriched with Dead Sea minerals".  Would I consider buying it? If I didn't have such a glut of hand creams in my drawers, on my bedside table, and in my handbag and I was looking for a specifically paraben-free formula then I'd delve a bit further into researching it first - or at least grabbing another sample or two to get more of a lasting impression!

19) L'Occitane Dry Skin Hand Cream (30ml/1.oz) - Now this one is my favourite hand cream for instant relief from desert-dry skin.  This rich, luxuriously perfumed cream is one of L'Occitane's Shea Butter based products enriched with 20% Shea Butter and I'm unapologetically addicted to it.  I use it any time of the day as needed but if your skin isn't as dry as parchment paper you may find it a little on the rich side and it's recommended as an overnight hand treatment for best results.  It's one of the more expensive hand creams on the market but I don't mind paying for this luxe paint tube.

20) Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser (1 litre) - One of my in-shower daily essentials that also serves as a facial cleanser in a pinch!  It's not sexy at all but it cleanses my sensitive skin without drying it out and the 1 litre bottle lasts an age.  Expect a few more of these to pop up throughout the year.

21) BYS Nail Polish Remover (100ml approx) - I bought this bottle for a very reasonable $4AUD on holiday and it did the job of removing my polish with a pleasantly fragranced, acetone-free formula.  Bonus points for the spill-proof top too!

Hair care

I don't usually include shampoo or conditioner in my empties but I don't usually use Toni&Guy either so I figured I'd share my impressions on these trial size bottles I had gifted to me from Priceline a little while ago.

22) Toni&Guy Cleanse Shampoo for Damaged Hair (50ml/1.7 fl.oz travel size) - It promises to "...repair and revitalize dull damaged hair".  I'm always skeptical about anything that claims to repair damaged hair but I did notice this thick creamy shampoo left my over-processed, straw-like blonde hair feeling conditioned rather than its usual tangled snarl after rinsing.  I was even tempted to skip the conditioner because this was so rich in itself, although nooo I didn't! Because it is so rich I found only a small dollop was sufficient to wash my hair and while I did worry it may have weighed down my fine hair I didn't notice my strands looking lank or spaghetti-like at all.  Oh yes, did I mention the divinely fresh fragrance too? Oops, I think I may have just sold myself on this to alternate with my blonde shampoo...  

23) Toni&Guy Nourish Conditioner for Damaged Hair (50ml/1.7 fl.oz travel size) - The blurb on the bottle is much the same as the shampoo with the words "repair and revitalize" headlining the claims.  The conditioner was extremely thick, to the point of being difficult to squeeze out of the bottle and very rich, like a pomade on the hair although it rinsed out easily and thoroughly.  I tend to find very little difference across drugstore brand conditioners and this actually reminded me of some considerably less expensive drugstore varieties I've tried.  While I was in hair heaven with the shampoo I found this unremarkable. Did it condition and detangle my hair? Yes. Did it weigh down my hair? No. Did my hair feel like it was in superior condition when using this product? No.  Did it have that lovely fresh fragrance?  Well, yes. Would I buy it based on that alone???


24) Maybelline Dream Lumi Touch Highlighting Concealer (02 Nude) - I've raved about this little highlighter/concealer pen in my full review here and Maybelline have recently upgraded the packaging so the brush in my newly opened tube is even softer and more tapered.  It's now perfection in a pen!

25) MAC Frost Eye Shadow (Phloof!) - or was it?  I was so disappointed with this pan I bought from a discount online site because it wasn't the real deal.  I hit the bottom of the pan after a few months of use, after which the shadow crumbled away very quickly and was all done and dusted in another few months.  I've never encountered this with a MAC eyeshadow before - all other shades I've used on a daily basis have lasted several months to a year and have never crumbled away.  The definitive test was when I swatched Phloof! in-store at the MAC counter and saw and felt the difference between the silky, smooth in-store version compared to the sad crumbly, chalky imposter I had.  The lesson has been learned and I'm glad to see this go!

26) Revlon Super Lustrous Lip Gloss (Racy Raspberry - Limited Edition) - It may look like there's still a little bit of gloss left in the tube but I swiped every available bit of it because I loved the cool-toned pink sheen.  I've loved many tubes of Revlon's Super Lustrous glosses over the years because of the buttery feel on the lips. These really do feel like a more luxe product. Repurchase? Yes!

27) L'Oreal Shadow Minerals Mineral Eye Shadow (10 Gold) - This was not an empty but a toss-out.  I found this shadow was poorly pigmented, messy to apply resulting in glittery fallout glistening on my cheeks, creased like crazy, then all but disappeared from my eyelids by mid-afternoon. Oh yes - that's a great big crack running down the front of the pot too.  The good news? These little pots have been discontinued.

28) L'Oreal Bare Naturale Powdered Mineral Foundation (Light Ivory 458) - Contrary to my opinion of the eyeshadow I actually liked this mineral foundation because it provided easily buildable, opaque coverage and rather than looking flat and matte it actually gave my skin a more natural luminous look.  I also need to confess I'm lazy when it comes to wearing primer beneath makeup (beauty crime!) and I wore this all day without primer and didn't need any touch ups.  Finally, in terms of how it agreed with my combination/sensitive skin, I didn't have any problems with dryness, clogged pores or breakouts and I like the convenience of products with built in SPF - SPF 19 in this case.  If there's one thing to fault it would be the stiff, slightly scratchy brush although that wouldn't detract me from buying this powdered mineral foundation again.


29) Tom Ford Black Orchid Eau de Parfum (1.5ml sample) - Ahhh, I just inhaled a little of the lingering scent from the vial.  I was sad to see this little vial go but rapturously happy to receive a full size bottle from my husband!  Mr Ford's Black Orchid fragrance contains notes of:  bergamot, citrus, mandarin, black gardenia, jasmine, ylang-ylang, lotus wood, black orchid, patchouli, sandalwood, incense and vanilla.  Truly intoxicating as those deeper notes develop on the skin but I learned it must be applied with restraint!

What product were you sad (or happy) to finish this month?

04 April, 2013

Missha The Style Lucid Nail Polish - CR03

So...after another internet-related hiccup I'm back again!  I've got a load of backlogged posts to get onto so let's kick off with a quickie nail polish post which should suit both the Northern and Southern hemispheres.

Unfortunately Missha don't get descriptive with their shade names so this nail polish is simply known as CR03.  My guess is maybe CR stands for cream(?) because this is a Spring/Summer/Autumn appropriate cream polish - a flattering pink-toned peach with a hint of pearly sheen that glints subtly in the sunlight.  Missha polishes have huge flat brushes which make for quick coverage although I had to take a bit of extra care as the formula was a little on gluggy side.  With super careful application I'd say this could be a one-coater but I found I needed two for a perfectly smooth veneer. 



I'm happy to be back from the internet wilderness and I hope you all had a great Easter!
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