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. 

26 November, 2013

Ulta3: xoxo

Well, it's almost December and that means Christmas is around the corner.  Almost time for something a little festive then? I have just the thing if you're into all things frosty...

Ulta3's xoxo is an ivory glass fleck with a myriad of iridescent sparkles.  It's one of those sheer shades best put to work layering but I was in the mood to wear it over bare nails.  It took 3 coats to get semi-opaque coverage but I wasn't unhappy with the look.  It did take forever to dry though and was prone to dents for a few hours afterward even with the use of a quick-drying topcoat - I was babying it because I didn't want to damage it.  Luckily it was one of those rare lazy days otherwise I would have been in a world of trouble with this one!



What's your pick for festive nails?

25 November, 2013

RiRi Hearts MAC Fall 2013 collection: my picks and thoughts

I'll apologize straight up for posting on a sold out collection.  Something like this was always going to sell out quickly - in days - and despite my sincere intentions of getting this post up a whole month ago I'm still stubbornly going ahead with it now because, well, I did take the pictures a month ago and I have some definite opinions I want to share -  I'm not just talking about the stunning rose gold packaging either okay?  Yeeessss well...that's what drew me in initially but stating the blindingly obvious, ultimately it's the performance of the product inside which counts.

Well, for the sake of it, let's just get the swooning over the packaging out of the way first shall we? You may know that I have a weakness for all things rose gold and such prettiness was not going to be overlooked.  I knew I had to get one of those sleek looking lipstick bullets but I particularly loved the packaging of the blush.  So here they are in all their gilt glory:  RiRi Woo lipstick and Hibiscus Kiss Satin Powder blush...

 The packaging's so highly reflective that you can even see me photographing it...

Although the look is metallic, as with all MAC packaging these are in fact lightweight plastic so I know I will worry about the durability of the gilt finish flaking off and won't be bashing these around too freely in my everyday cosmetic purse.  Oh well.  Rest assured at least one of these will be used.  Yes, just one...

Hibiscus Kiss

Although labelled as a satin powder blush Hibiscus Kiss is not that simple, but instead a very pretty multitasking blush-bronzer. I was a bit hesitant at first but the MAC SA convinced me the bronzer wouldn't be too dark and a few swatches later I was tentatively convinced - at least enough to buy it.  What sold it to me was the idea of mixing the two shades to come up with a warm blush and the fact the bronzer was matte, and relatively 'safe'. 

Since getting it home, as a pale skinned NC20 chick I don't have any regrets about this buy at all.  The shades apply very smoothly and are all flattering for my yellow undertones.  I started off using the two shades combined but I've since fallen in love with the bronzer itself - completely unlike me because I'm a self-confessed bronzerphobe, one with a complete fear of bronzers even though I have a few!  I apply this bronzer with the largest, fluffiest brush I can find and I look a little more alive.  Completely natural, yes!  I suppose this means it's not going to be great for those with medium to dark skin tones but this is a great choice for those like me with fair skin who normally steer clear of bronzer.

Heavily swatched L - R:
blush, bronzer, blush/bronzer combined

RiRi Woo matte lipstick

Doesn't she look beautiful? Alas, she is beautiful but unfortunately not kind to me. This gorgeous cool toned red is a "retro-matte" formula and it's the formula which worked against me.  The powdery lipstick literally drags across my lips making it extremely difficult to get smooth coverage.  I did try applying it with a brush as recommended but found it only slightly easier.  Yes, I could apply it over a balm I suppose but I'm not the only one out there who feels a balm beneath a matte lipstick defeats the purpose.

The other thing which mightily bothered me was how the lipstick faded all too quickly from the inner third of my lips so I had to touch up more often than I would with a cream formula.  I know there was a matching lipliner the SA tried to sell me at the time which would have solved that particular problem - just colour in the entire lip with the matching pencil first! If only I knew then what I know now...

She's still beautiful in the swatch on the back of my hand. 
Now if only my lips could look like that too without all the hassle. *sigh*

Did you fall under the spell of this collection?

24 November, 2013

L'Oreal Color Riche Neon: Atomic Purple

A little while ago (while haunting the Priceline aisles in my usual lunchtime "browsing" session) I came across the wonderfully vibrant Neon nail colour collection by L'Oreal.  I chose three shades and naturally one of them was going to be purple!
Atomic Purple by name is atomic purple by nature because this true purple cream just pops too!  As with neon polishes the finish is more of a rubber or vinyl finish - something I'd normally override with a layer of glossy topcoat but I decided to just go with it this time and I did end up liking it! The wide brush makes for an almost one stroke application for each nail and two coats gave full coverage.  Dry time was quite quick so I wasn't sitting around waiting.  Fickle old me likes the 5ml bottle size too because this is something I may actually manage to finish...


Were you tempted by this collection too?

23 November, 2013

YOUTUBE GIVEAWAY!!! La Clinica 'On Vacation' Happy Holidays Gift Pack

Hi again!

It's been just a little while I know, but the good news is that I have a healthy backlog of posts waiting to be written up.  My creative juices are still a-flowing and this time of year it's just impossible not to be falling under the spell of all the shiny, pretty makeup and nail polish.  You'll know all about it from Instagram posts and whatnot that I've been busily accumulating, in spite of any good intentions to keep my money in my pockets!

Anyway let me segue from receiving to giving and announce that Ling and I are both excited to be running our first skincare giveaway from our teeny little YouTube channel Making Up in Heels.

 Watch the video below to find out all about it and see the review on one of the star products in the 'On Vacation' pack, the Perfect Complexion Sunscreen...

The pack also includes:
Rebalancing 'Vitamin A' Day Cream
Rebalancing 'Vitamin A' Eye Cream
Rebalancing 'Vitamin A' Facial Scrub
Rebalancing 'Vitamin A' Facial Mask
Black cosmetic bag

The giveaway closes midnight on Friday 7th December (Australian Eastern Daylight Time) and the following rules apply:

- Australian residents only (this time)
-Public subscribers only
-'Like' the video by clicking on the thumbs up icon
-Leave a comment to let us know what you would like to see in our future videos

Looking forward to seeing your entries!
Good luck!

17 November, 2013

The baby shower manicure (aka Hello Kitty - Gun of Roses & The Face Shop - PK 107)

Being invited to a pink themed baby shower a few weeks ago (for one of my lovely Melbourne beauty blogger friends Ling from The Best Beauty Blog) it was certain that I'd go for a girly pink manicure!  By the way this is another Ling, not my YouTube buddy just so you don't congratulate the wrong girl...
I chose the musk candy pink cream Gun of Roses by Hello Kitty accented with some silver holo bar glitter courtesy of The Face Shop's PK 107. Two coats of base colour, topped with two coats of the glitter and - Voila! - one hyper feminine pink manicure to go with the pink theme.  Naturally I also went over the top with a hot pink blouse and hot pink lipstick.  Too much pink? No, I fitted right in with the rest of the 'pink ladies' at the afternoon tea!

All pictures taken in indirect daylight:

That's all for now!

13 November, 2013

VIDEO POST: Collective Haul (Bite Beauty, Dior, Hourglass, L'Oreal, MAC, Napoleon Perdis, YSL & more!)

It's been a while but Ling and I finally had the chance to record another video! 
This time we share all of the beauty booty we "accumulated" during October via gifts, free offers and obviously shopping.  Sit back and relax in front of your computer screen while we take you through and give some first impressions - mostly good but there was one notable disappointment...


Brands and products featured:
 Bite Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick - Rose
Butter London Nail Lacquer - Scouse
Dior Vernis - 658
Face of Australia Carnivale Nail Enamel - Between the Flags
Face of Australia - Gentle Make-up Remover
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder - Dim Light
L'Oreal Color Riche nail polish - Atomic Purple, Neon Turquoise, Flashing Lilac
 MAC Ri Ri Hearts MAC Collection - Hibiscus Kiss Powder Blush, Ri Ri Woo matte lipstick
Milk - beauty wipes
Napoleon Perdis - Cream Blush, Lip Gloss, Lashes to Lashes Mascara 
Pati Dubroff Lip Balm Crayons - Bare Petal, Dark Orchid, Honeysuckle, Persimmon, Rosebloom
She lipstick - Afina
YSL Glossy Stain - 104
Until next time...

06 November, 2013

Layering with China Glaze Snow Globe

Layering is a much more fun way of correcting a manicure boo-boo than just taking all the polish off and starting all over again.  It opens up all the possibilities of enhancing and contrasting with the base polish beneath.  Of course I often layer just because...
In my last NOTD post I mentioned the problem with my thick old top coat rumpling the finish of my Natio Teal manicure but I wasn't in the mood to start from scratch - enter Snow Globe, that amazingly icy looking glitter polish, perfect for layering over practically anything.  Yes it really does remind me of a just shaken snow globe too - it's a pretty fairy tale mix of pearly, holographic glitter of varying sizes and shapes.  I applied two coats over my manicure and the dreaded rumples disappeared beneath the pretty layers of "snow".  My photos are just not going to do this one justice but here they are anyway!



It doesn't surprise me at all that Snow Globe was part of a holiday collection - so festive!

Until next time.

03 November, 2013

October's farewelled products (2013 edition)

October was a productive month for emptying as I had the satisfaction of finishing quite a few makeup items.  Heck I even tossed one!  Nothing like a good purge!

 Skin care
107) Milk Moisture Mask - This delicately scented sheet mask contains 110mg milk extract and did as it said, leaving my skin feeling "moist and soft" after wearing it.  The scent was particularly lovely and added to the enjoyment as I relaxed with the sheet mask on my face.  I'd love to buy more of these! Fingers crossed I can find them on the Sasa website.

108) Skinlite Anti-stress Chamomile Mask - This mask is meant to soothe and relax the skin.  I don't remember it being remarkable in any way but of course it's enjoyable taking the time out to relax nonetheless.

109) Rose Moisture Mask - With 30mg rose extract this mask is one for rose lovers as it was permeated with their fragrance.  As with all of these sheet masks my skin felt super soft afterwards - still I'd say the milk moisture mask was my favourite of the three masks I tried last month, even if it was all about the scent!

110) Sasatinnie Rose Makeup Remover Wipes for Sensitive Skin (10 wipes) - the last pack of these lovely gentle rose-scented wipes is now finished. Add these to my Sasa shopping list because I loved them.

111) Sasatinnie Cherry Blossom Makeup Remover Wipes For Normal Skin (10 wipes) - I was in love with these Cherry Blossom wipes the first time I tried them but the second time around I did notice these being a little more drying on the skin and I definitely needed a moisturiser afterwards.  Still nice but the rose wipes were the favourite as voted by my skin.
112) Cyber Colors Gentle Eye Makeup Remover (59ml/2oz.) - Yet another Sasa purchase gone! I bought two bottles because they were a travel-friendly size and now I've finished both.  For some more of my thoughts on this effective dual-phase remover click here.
113) Dior Capture Totale One Essential Skin Boosting Super Serum (3ml/0.10 fl.oz.) - Samples are never enough to give you optimal results but they can be enough to get you hooked! I think that's the case with this serum.  The formula is almost gel-like and absorbed instantly with a cooling, refreshing effect on my skin (I'm guessing this is due to the alcohol which is probably a no-no?).  At first impressions my skin was left feeling noticeably smoother and softer and I tolerated this rather strong serum very well.  I would consider this for a skincare splurge as to be honest I don't think there's a Dior skincare item that I've not liked.
Hand and body care
114) Crabtree & Evelyn Pomegranate Argan & Grapeseed Ultra-Moisturising Hand Therapy (100g/3.5 oz) - This hand cream is enriched with natural plant oils (macadamia nut, pomegranate, grapeseed and argan oil) so it's extremely moisturising.  The scent was lovely and fruity and the cream absorbed quickly. The only thing I can fault is the metal tube which split at the sides from continuous bending and squeezing, allowing some of the product to seep out.
115) The Body Shop Macadamia Body Butter Duo (200ml/6.75 oz) - I bought this split tub comprising two different strengths of body butter (half of the tub for normal skin/half for drier areas such as elbows) at half price and was disappointed to find this clever product had been discontinued.  True, I did end up with the drier skin formula left in the tub long after I'd plundered the normal skin butter but...the richer formula melted easily into my skin so I found myself liberally applying it all over because it absorbed so well! In my opinion TBS didn't need to discontinue this product but just rethink the repackaging - instead of a 50/50 split they could have relaunched this as, say, 70% normal body butter, 30% dry skin formula and there wouldn't be so many beauties out there with half-used tubs! Bring it back!!
116) OPI Original Polish Remover (120ml/4 fl.oz) - Just another bottle of my usual remover added to the yearly pile.
117) OPI Nail Lacquer Thinner (60ml/2 fl.oz) - I've used these drops to salvage many thickened old nail polishes.  Mostly I found the drops useful for thinning base and top coats to get maximum value out of them - I can get down to the bottom of the bottle using these!  I often found the recommended 2-3 drops of thinner insufficient, but nonetheless even when using 6 or 7 drops regularly this bottle lasted me a good couple of years.  I've repurchased already.

118) China Glaze Fast Forward Top Coat (14ml/.5 fl.oz.) - This is still one of my favourite quick dry top coats because it won't dissolve or disturb the fresh nail colour underneath.  However as I've said before it will shrink and wrinkle your manicure when it gets old and thick - usually right down the bottom of the bottle though when I don't mind tossing it.

119) Revlon Colorburst Lipstick (Raspberry) - I wasn't happy about finishing this lipstick as it's been discontinued.  Revlon, why oh why did you get rid of this line? 
120) Maybelline Dream Lumi Touch highlighting concealer (02 Nude) - I still love this concealer.  I'm currently trying Maybelline's other best seller, their Age Rewind concealer but I have a strong feeling I'll be coming back to this one.
121) ModelCo Fibre LashExtend Mascara - It wasn't that long ago I told you what I thought of this mascara.  It's just not for me - see my thoughts here.
122) Revlon Wet/Dry Shadow (Not Quite White) - There's not much point in reviewing this long discontinued dinosaur.  I used it as my browbone highlight and there's a thousand matte ivory shadows out there to do the job.
123) Silkygirl Magic BB Powder Foundation SPF20/PA+ (01 Ivory) - I'm sure I'd still be using this pan if I hadn't dropped and crumbled it.  Luckily it happened when I was in Singapore so I was able to buy a backup then and there!  I really enjoyed using this bb powder because I prefer powder coverage on my face (why take two steps with foundation and powder when only one will do?) and the colour match was great for me too.  I'd either use it with the sponge for heavy coverage or sweep it over with a powder brush for a sheerer look as a finishing powder.  It's one of those little drugstore gems I enjoy finding - actually I didn't find it.  Thanks again Liz!

124) Versace Bright Crystal EDT (30ml) - Crisp, slightly green floral and my summertime, vacation scent.  Notes are Iced accord, yuzu, pomegranate, peony, magnolia, lotus flower, acajou, vegetal amber, musk.
Until next month!

01 November, 2013

Natio: Teal

Natio's Little Treasures nail polish bottles are pretty darn cute so it's no surprise that this particular cute addict bought a handful of them at the Natio warehouse sale (see my warehouse sale post and products purchased list here).  I've tried a few of Natio's polishes before and loved the quality so at a mere $3 a bottle I didn't hesitate to buy every colour that took my fancy.
Even though I bought Denim - the prized dupe for Chanel's Blue Boy - Teal was my first choice to wear because it's such a fresh spring colour.  Teal requires no further description other than to say it is a teal cream.  I only needed to apply a single coat of this too - the coverage of this polish was excellent! 

All pictures taken indoors in indirect daylight
I did manage to ruin this gorgeous mani shortly after by applying a top coat which decided to wrinkle and rumple but that is ANOTHER story...
Enjoy your Friday!
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