31 October, 2014

Hawaii Beauty Buys: The Drugstore Edit

All of my Australian readers will know that drugstore shopping is disproportionately expensive down here (which was one of the reasons I was on a drugstore ban during my beauty diet, knowing that I would be going to the US this year). Okay...so fast forward to Hawaii, USA where everything suddenly becomes so much more affordable! My Hawaii trip wasn't quite the laidback beach bum experience I was expecting - it was more of a whirlwind trying to squeeze in all the sightseeing as my husband shared some memories of his past trips - so all of my drugstore beauty shopping was crammed into a single trip to Walgreens and a couple of visits to the corner ABC store.  Now, the corner ABC store is a literal concept as ABC stores seem to be on every corner, sometimes even on opposite corners in Waikiki but I digress.  I'm here to talk about the makeup!

Onto the Walgreens expedition first - I filled my basket with items from Wet n Wild, L'Oreal, Covergirl and NYX, plus some Halloween candies for a grand total of 55 USD!  Aussie girls will know that's a pretty good deal...
Wet n Wild

  • Wet n Wild Color Icon Eye Shadow Trio (Silent Treatment) - I have a much loved little collection of these trios and I've long been after Silent Treatment.  Wonderful Larie shipped one out to me last year but the taupe eyelid shade sadly crumbled during the long trip from Seattle so I grabbed another as soon as I saw it! You can the see the super soft taupe has started to crumble again so I will have to baby this little palette. 
  • Wet n Wild Color Icon Eye Shadow Palette (Floral Values) - I seen mixed reviews on these newish quint palettes but at $3.99 (a quint for $3.99?!) I was prepared to take the risk because I love the spring appropriate shades.

  • L'Oreal Infallible Eye Shadow (Eternal Sunshine) - These babies sell at around $19.95 each in Australia so at 8.49 USD this was a bargain.  I could have chosen more than the golden Eternal Sunshine but had a feeling of déjà vu about some of the shades - the names were different but they looked like what I have at home so I resisted.
  • L'Oreal Voluminous Miss Manga Waterproof Mascara (Black) - I bought this because waterproof mascara I'd packed had dried out during the trip.  I love the soft, flexy brush but the mascara formula hasn't completely wowed me.  It's a reliable waterproof formula but I'm not getting those feathery doll-like lashes I thought I would!

I spotted some interesting nail polish shades in the Covergirl display that I haven't seen in Australia so I chose from left to right:  Salt Water Taffy, Seared Bronze, and Inferno. 

  • NYX Mosaic Powder Blush (Rosey) - I love my Plummy Mosaic Powder Blush a lot so I decided on warm pink toned Rosey for a spring/summer version.
  • NYX Matte Lipstick (Shocking Pink) - It's so hard to choose lipstick when there aren't any testers so I chose just one of these lipsticks to try because I've heard great things about them.  At 5.99USD compared to 12.99AUD I sort of wish I'd bought more shades.  Since researching the shades and swatches on Pinterest I wish I'd added Indie Flick (orange-red) to my basket too.


Onto the ABC store...
As I said ABC stores are everywhere - and they sell pretty much everything too from food and drinks, clothes, souvenirs and of course cosmetics including the local nail polish brand Island Girl.

Island Girl

  • Island Girl Nail Color - I was so disciplined around nail polish this trip!  I kept my selections down to just two shades:  Island Paradise (mid tone neon purple) and Mahalo Color (neon pink).   
  • Island Girl Scented Cuticle Oil Mini Pack - The teeny bottles filled with natural dried flowers were too cute to pass up!
I have one last instalment to go and then I'm done.  Be warned I did get a little carried away in Sephora...

29 October, 2014

Maybelline Brocades: Beaming Blue

I've been noticing a lot of teal and aquatic blue nails around this spring - in my office of all places! - so I jumped onto the bandwagon with a glittery aquatic blue from Maybelline's LE Brocades collection.  The Brocades were released late last year and while no longer on the shelves you can still find them selling on some online pharmacy and retail sites if you're keen.
Beaming Blue is a very dense, textured blue/gold micro-glitter polish with a light smattering of larger blue hex glitter.  The effect is almost like shot silk as the colour subtly shifts from blue to gold in the light in a kind of faux gradient.  Two coats was all it took for 100% opaque nails and I left it as is with no topcoat.  That decision turned out to be a mistake because the polish did chip off in ghastly chunks again - topcoat really is recommended for durability when wearing these.  At least it was sparkly perfection for a few days anyway...
All pictures taken in indirect daylight

What colour statements do you like to make in spring?


28 October, 2014

Japan Trip Beauty Buys: The Luxury Edit

This is a mix of impractical pretties I bought while venturing through department store beauty halls and boutiques in Japan...
Anna Sui

 Once upon a time I could buy Anna Sui down here in Melbourne and when it was here, right under my nose I took it for granted so didn't actually buy anything!  Of course for me there's nothing more alluring than something that's hard to get so the appeal went up after the availability became limited. Oh alright - the antique boudoir style packaging is appealing too, so that coupled with Anna Sui's amazing looking blushes and recent lipstick release had me on the lookout for this brand in Japan.
Let's start with the blush...
Rose Cheek Color

Anna Sui's Rose Cheek Color powder blushes are all so opulent with their floral embossed, multi-tonal combinations so it was a difficult decision here!  I was initially drawn to the pink palettes (and there are quite a few if you're a pink blush fan) but ended up going for the most practical choice for my colouring, the golden coral/peach 602. Yes, I do intend to get right in there with my brush and swirl away - I'm going to wear it - after I'm done with gawping at it! Lol!

Lipstick V
Oh, puh-lease! I first saw the star shaped bullets of Anna Sui's Lipstick V range on Pinterest a few months ago and was instantly obsessed with getting my hands on one because, I mean, a star shaped bullet?!  Things like that just bring out the little girl in me I suppose.  Shade 401 is a sheer blue-toned red. Maybe I'll need a little more time before I damage this by daring to use it. 
To set the lipstick colour I also purchased a tube of Anna Sui Lip Color Top Coat, which is dabbed over lipstick to seal it.  I've heard of lipstick top coats before but haven't actually tried them and the SA's demonstration was persuasive so we'll see!
 Rose Ring Rouge
I won't even try and justify this purchase! Anna Sui Rose Ring Rouge 300 is an insanely obnoxious deep purple poison ring with pink gloss encased within.  Maybe I could wear it for Halloween?!? That said, the gloss itself is quite wearable although I don't know if I'd have the balls to wear such bling on my fingers so into my makeup purse it will go.
 Nail Color
The SA was wearing Anna Sui Nail Color 003 and I couldn't stop looking at her nails! I can't say any more about that choice other than it was me giving in to my weakness for glitter.
Jill Stuart
I have a longstanding weakness for Jill Stuart too and I was very restrained considering that little fact! I chose only one item, a Velvet Crystal Eyes palette in the very wearable neutral 103 Moonlight Invitation from Jill Stuart's Limited Edition Crystal Black Fall 2014 Collection
I'm not too sure about the tarnished looking Crystal Black packaging but in terms of actual shades I'd say this is the most practical Jill Stuart quad I own.  The shimmery peach and warm taupe are bookended by two matte shades (ivory and deep brown) so I can see myself getting a lot of wear out of it. 
Paul & Joe
I know Paul & Joe is actually a French brand but seeing as we don't have any counters in Melbourne, once I started to play with the bright lipstick shades and the endless possibilities of matching the refillable cases in all of their cuteness I was hooked! Besides, I can't go past kitties!!! 
Frivolous? Yes!!!
My lipstick refill choices were medium pink 212 Rose Sachet (in lipstick case 017) and orange red 303 Silk Stockings (in that cute kitty case 022), both perfect for Spring/Summer when I particularly love wearing vibrant shades - although I'd wear them all year round really.  I'm curious as to how durable the cases will actually be and whether they really would stand up to the test of time and be in any condition to warrant a refill.  Only time will tell with that I suppose.
 Eye Color Trio Refill 093
Again I went for the most wearable option choosing the warm plum trio 093 popped into floral compact 004.  As I say, purple is my other 'neutral' choice for my green eyes so this was an obvious choice for me. The individual shades swatch creamily smooth on my fingertips so I'm looking forward to my first wear.
 So that's all of my Japanese beauty shopping - as always let me know in the comments if you're interested in any individual product reviews or swatches.
Until next time,

22 October, 2014

Revlon: Timeless

Here I am sneaking back with a quick manicure post to fill the gap before I get into the next Japanese beauty haul instalment.  I've been extra busy at work lately, putting in some extra hours at the office so I've been a bit tired and lazy about posting - Sorry! This too shall pass and the routine should resume soon...
Okay so this post features a discount bin find from earlier this year.  Revlon seems to have discontinued this timeless grey cream, not surprisingly called Timeless (what else?) which is a real shame because it is the perfect soft dove grey.  I adore the colour but...the formula was another let down with those dreaded bubbles appearing a few minutes after I'd finished applying.  I remember a time when the classic Revlon formula was a winner so what happened? Oh the frustration.
This is two coats with top coat, photographed in natural indirect daylight:
If you know of a dupe for this - which doesn't bubble and is still available - then please share in the comments!
Until my next haul post :)

18 October, 2014

Japan Trip Beauty Buys: The Drugstore Edit

Finally I'm putting up a vacation shopping post and, *deep breath*, I must admit I'm having a mid-life makeup crisis of sorts because I keep watching makeup decluttering videos on YouTube and then this sort of thing happens... 
Coming out of the restrictions of my self-imposed beauty diet I started off slowly... then REALLY got going as you'll see - to tell you the truth I shocked myself! As a result I've decided to do four instalments otherwise this would be a ridiculously long, overwhelming post so here's the first instalment devoted entirely to Japanese drugstore shopping...
KATE (Kanebo)
KATE (marketed as urban, sharp and cool on their website) had been recommended for their eye products so that was my initial focus. All those shimmery beauties made it impossible for this little magpie to decide on just one palette so I chose two, plus a few other things - over the course of a few shopping sessions just so you know that it wasn't one ginormous binge! Just a few teensy little ones, eh?
Onto the specifics:
  • KATE Rouge HG Lipstick (PK-21 & RD-15) - These are like sleeker packaged Revlon lip butters with a medium to high shine, decent pigmentation and that buttery feel on the lips.
  • KATE Volume Gel Mascara (BK-1) - I couldn't find Kiss Me mascara which was recommended by an Instagram follower so I thought I'd try this volumising mascara instead. 
  • KATE Brown Shade Eyes quad (BR-3 Sepia) - These quads were newly released and are a range of - why of course - brown shade quads in various finishes such as pearl, matte and sepia.  I've already worn this and the rose gold shades are flattering for everyday wear with just enough shimmer to add dimension to the lids.
  • KATE Goldish Eyes quad (PU-1) - Shimmery purple and gold for layering over the other neutral shades? Yes, I'm looking forward to playing with this!
Visée (Kosé)
Visée was another recommendation from a Japanese IG follower as a great drugstore brand to check out:
  • Visée Lip & Cheek Cream (OR-3 & PK-2) - These were released only a month before I visited Japan so they were another new find to get a little excited about! I'm now well and truly into cream cheek products so honestly I had a difficult time paring my selection down to these two bright spring-appropriate choices.  They're brighter than what I'd normally choose but I think I was under the influence of all the pretty rouged cheeks I was surrounded by in Japan - Japanese girls know how to rock blush in the prettiest way! I had blush envy over there - SERIOUSLY.
  • Visée Creamy Lipstick (RD 400) - Another lipstick that slips on like butter.  Since I've returned I've read some reviews saying these are actually drying on the lips but I haven't had that problem.  I found mine super creamy, very pigmented and long lasting on the lips.  The initial creamy sheen does eventually dry down to a semi-matte look but it didn't dry out my lips at all.
Coffret D'Or (Kanebo)
 I found these Coffret D'Or products in a mega drugstore beneath my hotel in Osaka and I'm hopeless at resisting ultra-girly packaging and cute floral blush designs! I can't say much more about the brand as their website is only in Japanese:
  • Coffret D'Or Smile Up Cheeks Cheek and Face Color (01) - I haven't tried this yet but the beautiful rose embossed palette (which comes with its own little brush) is a combined blush/highlighter with a pearly sheen so it will be for those days I want just a little glow without obviously wearing blush.  Let's be honest - I bought this just because it's pretty!
  • Coffret D'Or Fall 2014 Makeup Collection (EX-4) - I was going to buy the Smile Up Cheeks blush only, when I spotted some boxed Coffret D'Or sets at the cash register (oh the temptation when I'm on holiday in another country!!!) for a reasonable price that I can't remember now but anyway... The boxed set comprised an eye shadow quad (Smile Eyes 06 Grey Brown) which I've unfortunately gouged a chunk out of while prising it open, another blush (Color Blush - RS), and a sheer gloss (Liquid Rouge EX-100).    
I've tried Canmake products before so I didn't go overboard this time: 
  • Canmake Glow Fleur Cheeks (02) -  Canmake sell such pretty blushes! This might just be a knock-off of Anna Sui, but what the heck, I bought this pretty peachy pink to add to what is now a considerably large blush collection.
  • Canmake Colorful nails (10) - This is the only drugstore nail polish I bought in Japan.
Maquillage (Shiseido)
Shiseido's diffusion line Maquillage is one I've known about for a long time:
  • Maquillage Concealer Liquid (Natural) - There's no particular story about this concealer pen.  I actually had to buy it because the concealer I'd packed for my vacation ran out! I've been using it daily to brighten my under eye circles and it does the job without any creasing so I'll definitely use this one up!
  •  Maquillage Essence Glamorous Rouge Neo (RD 342) - I've seen a bit of buzz around regarding these lip products so I bought one to try for myself.  RD 342 is not red - actually it's very difficult to find bright lip products in Japan - but more of an everyday peach/nude.
Other bits and pieces...
And now the random one-off buys:
  • Majolica Majorca Majolook quad (BR799) - These get rave reviews so I've been very restrained just buying one but I opted for the quad I'd get the most use out of. After reading the reviews I really need to get playing with this one!
  • Chu Lip balm - I bought this because it's cute; it reminds me of EOS balms; and it has Tokyo in the name! Enough said.
  • Za Perfect Concealer (02) - This is actually a repurchase because this concealer covers like nothing else I've tried.  A little goes a very, very long way... 
For me Japan drugstore shopping was probably the most exciting of all the beauty shopping I did overseas because there are so many brands I don't see at home or I don't know much about! Also I love how it seems almost every high end Japanese cosmetics brand has a drugstore diffusion brand - if only more high end cosmetic houses would sit up and take notice that you don't need to hide your drugstore connections...

If you're interested in any individual reviews or swatches on any of these products please let me know.

10 October, 2014

September's farewelled products

This post includes a lot of travel sized products used up during my recent trip - surprisingly I even managed to finish off a few makeup items while I was away! That takes a little edge off any shopper's guilt I may have from the subsequent indulgence perhaps?...
Skin care
92) Gaia Skin & Body Foaming Cleanser (50ml travel size) - This is formulated for normal/combination sensitive skin and I found the gel formula a refreshing way to cleanse my face in my morning shower.  It wasn't overly foamy and the citrusy floral scent was perfect for the summery climate!

93) La Clinica White Brilliant Intensive Correction Hydrating Night Cream (50ml/1.76 fl.oz)* - This moisturiser feels richly moisturising, softening without the greasy feel of some other night creams I've tried over the years and it penetrates quickly so it doesn't feel claustrophobic or suffocating on my skin overnight.  I've yet to find the magic bullet that zaps all pigmentation but you know I'll keep on trying! 

94) Yes To Cucumbers Soothing Hypoallergenic Facial Towelettes (10 travel towelettes) - It's pretty obvious I bought this pack for travel!  I've used these wipes before and previously I found them a little tingly and astringent.  My summer humidified skin tolerated them better this time around so I'd now consider them for a summertime travel cleansing option.
Hand and body care
95) Aesop Geranium Leaf Body Cleanser (50ml/1.77 fl.oz travel size) - I was spoilt with Aesop toiletries during our one-night stopover in the Tokyo Park Hyatt so once I'd used this I took the rest of the bottle with me to finish it off - they're not going to leave a half-used bottle for the next guests after all! The scent is a zesty wake me up combination of Geranium Leaf, Mandarin Rind and Bergamot Rind which certainly clears the head so I loved it.  The gel formula is low foaming so easily rinsed off and my skin felt refreshed afterwards.  In-shower indulgences are something I do feel conflicted about though because it does all go down the drain after all so I don't know if I would rush out to spend almost $50 on a half-litre bottle...but you know this one is going to tempt me because of the associated memories of Tokyo. I might drop a hint to the family if they don't know what to buy me for Christmas perhaps???
96) L'Occitane Dry Skin Hand Cream (30ml/1.oz) - I've raved about this silky shea butter hand cream many times before and it's still my favourite so it's going to pop up here again!
97) Dr Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Exfoliating Body Towel (1 textured towel) - I'm guessing these towelettes are primarily for pre self-tan exfoliation but I used this as a once-off treatment for my upper arm bumps (keratosis pilaris) and if I could easily buy a box of these I would - even if only for travel - because I felt instant smoothing results! Fingers crossed Sephora Australia stocks this line when they finally open their doors.  Thanks to lovely Larie for sending this out to me in our swap!

Hair care
98) & 99) Unico Intensive Shampoo & Intensive Conditioner (250ml each)* - This was really interesting because I was recently able to compare these directly to Aesop hair products and I can say Unico definitely hold their own.  I used the intensive shampoo and conditioner daily and I had "happy" hair - by which I mean fresh smelling, volumized, soft hair which you is just what you want from a salon shampoo and conditioner isn't it?  (Read here for my full review.)

100) & 101) Aesop Classic Shampoo & Classic Conditioner (50ml each) - More luxury hotel freebies that I had the pleasure of using! These reminded me a lot of the Unico products as they're also botanical hair care products, this time enriched with herbal oils such as Rosemary Leaf, Cedarwood Bark and Lavender and the scent is similarly green and fresh.  I had the same "happy" hair really - the only differences are the conditioner is slightly thicker, and more like a conditioning crème, and the price point is higher ($29AUD for 200ml full sized bottles). 
 I'm on a break from the beauty diet but I did manage to finish a few of the makeup items I took away with me... 

102) Sportsgirl Pout About It crème lipstick (Beauty Queen) - This is a soft baby pink lipstick and not something I'd usually wear at work but it was a subtle holiday choice and a more fun, summery alternative to my usual nude-mauve selections.  These lippies aren't tested on animals and at around $9.95 are a good local budget beauty buy.

103) Models Prefer Anti-Wrinkle Concealer (Light) - Funnily enough, Light wasn't quite light enough for me so I couldn't use it as a brightening or highlighting concealer.  Coverage-wise it offers medium coverage which on the plus side doesn't settle into lines so it was good enough for everyday wear. 

104) Revlon Lash Potion by Grow Luscious Waterproof Mascara (Blackest Black) - A reasonable waterproof mascara that thickened my lashes and held fast through exercise although it didn't do anything to the length of my lashes - I don't need longer lashes anyway! Unfortunately I managed to bend the wand after only a few uses which was annoying, although prestige makeup houses now sell those bendy wand mascaras so...
 105) Balenciaga Rosabotanica EDP (1.2ml sample) - This fresh and summery spicy floral fragrance is going to be the scent that reminds me of my holiday and I bought a full size bottle at the airport. Top notes: blue hyacinth, fig leaf & petitgrain; middle notes: rose, grapefruit, cardamom & pink pepper;  base notes:  white amber, cedar, vetiver, patchouli & woody accords.
106) Shiseido Zen EDP (1ml sample) - Yes, I know it's clichéd but I packed this vial for Japan!   Top notes are grapefruit, sweet bergamot, orange, pineapple,  and blue rose. Middle notes are freesia, gardenia, violet, lily-of-the-valley, Chinese rose, red apple and lotus blossom and the base notes are patchouli, cedar wood, musk and white musk, amber and frankincense.
That's it for the latest empties then...Japan drugstore shopping post next!
 (Products marked * were provided for my consideration.  All comments and opinions are my own.)

07 October, 2014

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel: Sugar Fix

Hello, I'm back again!
I'll warm up with a manicure post featuring one of Sally Hansen's recently released Miracle Gel polishes - and my personal pick of the colours.  Sugar Fix is one of those irresistible (to me) periwinkle blue creams which I just keep quietly accumulating.  This is my first experience with any kind of gel polish so I didn't have any particular expectations apart from extended wear.  With this polish you skip the base coat, apply two or three coats of colour then finish with Sally Hansen's Miracle Gel top coat - this step is a must.  The polish will then 'cure' in natural light without any need for a special UV lamp. 
I found the colour polish a little on the thicker side so a little care was needed to avoid any streaks, and the top coat is not a particularly quick dry formula so took over 30 minutes to cure to my satisfaction.  Once dried the manicure was certainly long wearing and the fresh looking finish easily lasted a week for me with no sign of tip wear or chips.  I was impressed enough to wear another shade from the range for the first two weeks of my vacation and it stayed in fresh condition until around the 10 day mark when a few little cracks appeared in the finish, although it hung in there pretty well for the next few days by which time I was bored and well and truly ready to remove it! Speaking of which, removal is just the same as regular polish as the polish is easily dissolved with standard polish remover. 
Enough about the product - onto the pictures...
My next post will run through my vacation empties so I can get them out of the way before I share my Japan and Hawaii buys!
Chat soon :)

(Products were provided for my consideration.  All comments and opinions are my own.)
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...