30 November, 2014

OPI: Shorts Story

As I write this - on the last day of the southern hemisphere spring - it's feeling distinctly like summer and, I can't resist the pun, like shorts weather! I'm flaking out on the bed, under the ceiling cooler so you know I'm not kidding at all!
Let's just segue awkwardly from the shorts wearing weather to Shorts Story, one of the summery shades from OPI's Brights Collection.  I'm a huge fan of this particular pink shade because it's just so PINK!  It's a pure bright pink - not a coral pink, not a mauve pink, not a blue pink - just PINK! Two coats of colour later and I had glossy pink statement nails for a week...
What's your favourite shade of pink polish?

25 November, 2014

Revitanail Triple Strength: Pomegranate

Revitanail is a local brand best known for their nail treatments - Revitanail's Nail Strengthener is their version of OPI's Nail Envy - but they also have a small range of Triple Strength nail colours in classic everyday shades.  I received one of them, Pomegranate, in a gift box last year and finally got around to trying it out a few weeks ago when I was digging around for a bright spring red. 
I was in the mood to do a bit of research on the Triple Strength line and true to Revitanail's emphasis on nailcare their colour polishes contain ingredients such as bamboo "to improve flexibility and strength", and calcium "for protection and growth". Sounds good so far and then they say the polish  "features a quick-dry gloss finish and streak–free smooth application...". 

I obviously had high hopes for this polish but ended up a little underwhelmed by all but the colour.  Pomegranate was exactly the colour I was looking for and I loved the vibrant pink/red but the application was average because of the thick formula and unfortunately the wear time was less than average, as despite wearing base and topcoat I experienced chipping after a few days.  Oh well, let's just admire the colour shall we?
Have you tried this line of polish?

21 November, 2014

Hawaii Beauty Buys: The Luxury Edit

I've been very sporadic in my posting lately (if you follow on Twitter then you might know there have been some family health dramas taking up my time and energy) so this is another better late than never post from me.  I'm finally in the mood to get back on with the lighter, more fun side of my life and what better way for a beauty blogger to get happy than photographing lots of new makeup courtesy of a big overseas makeup haul!

I think I left the best of the vacation shopping posts until this last instalment - the best value for money perhaps? I don't know about that because I wasn't comparing the $$ but I do know I had a lot of fun buying all of these products which for the most part are not yet readily available in Australia - until Sephora opens it's doors in Sydney next month anyway! I actually did most of my beauty shopping in Sephora - Yeah baby!!! -  so let's start there! Now why on earth am I channelling Austin Powers?!?...

  • Urban Decay Naked2 Basics - I know the original Urban Decay Naked Basics palette was a bit of a love it or leave it item depending on how colour obsessed you are (I guess?), but being a bit of a neutral girl in my everyday life, I was in the love it category.  The cooler toned option of 2 was on my radar from the moment it was released so I bought this as a 'must have' item for my little UD collection. 
  • Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion - I've used up a couple of sample sized tubes and found it did the job well enough so I basically threw this into my basket!
  • NARS Audacious Lipstick (Grace) - Just look at that black minimalist packaging and of  course the now almost mandatory embossed bullet. After seeing all the buzz on Instagram a NARS Audacious lipstick was also on my wishlist to try because I'm all about high pigment lipstick.  I confess I don't own a NARS blush but now I do own a NARS lipstick! I chose Grace as it's a bright pink coral and very promising as a perfect shade for summer statement lips.
  • Bite Beauty Luminous Crème Lipstick Duos (Vivid Violet/Palomino & Neutral Lychee/Musk) -  I've been a fan of the moisturising Luminous Lip Crème formula since buying my first (and only until now) Bite Beauty lipstick last year and these lip duos are a cutely portable, more affordable way of trying other shades from the range. I love how Sephora have all those irresistible little items lined up along the way to the counter for the last minute impulse buys - It's the beauty equivalent of the candy stand at the supermarket checkout!
  • Give Me More Lip - Sephora Favorites - Oh my, I walked around and around this one because the idea of getting 17 new lip products in one hit felt pretty extravagant after all my discipline earlier this year.  Ah well, it's 17 sample sizes and a heap of them are products I'd not tried before but seen raves about (Too Faced Melted Liquified Long Wear lipstick, Bare Minerals Marvelous Moxie lipstick are just two worth mentioning) so why not?  It's becoming pretty clear my beauty obsession is leaning a LOT more heavily towards lip colours these days, hmm?
  • Stila Pretty Pick-Me-Ups lip & cheek set - Another on the way to the counter grab!  This little set contains two mini versions of popular Stila products that I didn't have:  the much obsessed about Peony Convertible Color Dual Lip & Cheek Cream and Guava Lip Glaze.  It's taken me a long time to 'get' cream cheek products but now that I do I'm in love with the healthy, youthful glow they give to my middle aged old cheeks and I can't get enough of them!
  • Sephora Outrageous Prisma Chrome mono eye shadow pots - I found these two shades (Outrageous Metallic Grey and Outrageous Metallic Lilac) in the discount bin for $5 each and, being typically indecisive, bought them both! Since getting back from my trip I've read raves about these wet/dry metallic eye shadows so can't understand why they've been discontinued unless it's only these shades? 

And the samples...

After all that shopping I qualified for Sephora Beauty Insider signup so I received my free samples, mini Bare Minerals 5 in 1 cream eye shadow as a points perk and MUFE birthday gift on the spot. Not having regular access to Sephora made this a bit of a big deal for me so it makes me excited for when Sephora expands in Australia and...finally comes to Melbourne.  Hurry up, will you?

Neiman Marcus

I really should say this was the "Tom Ford beauty counter at Neiman Marcus" because that's what I zeroed in on and where I had an impromptu makeover while the SA wooed me with the above products - and the rest, hah! If there was one additional thing I should have bought at the time but didn't was the TF Eye Primer Duo. We decided to go for a hike up to Diamond Head Lookout later in the afternoon and while the rest of my face melted off in the sweaty heat my eye shadow was FLAWLESS! If only I'd had time to get back to that counter.  You know how it is, wise after the fact *sigh*.

So I ended adding these products to my Tom 'freaking' Ford collection:
  • Tom Ford Lip Color (31 Twist of Fate) - This coral lipstick is from TF's Fall 2014 collection and given that we don't get many of the LE releases in Australia I didn't hesitate after trying it on at the counter. It's more subtle than TF's True Coral and looks equally put together yet in a low-key way.
  • Tom Ford Ultra Shine Lip Gloss (07 Peach Absolut) - The SA used this as a complimentary topper for the lippy and...I don't have any TF glosses in my collection...and this looked perfect...so...yes.
  • Tom Ford Concealing Pen (02 Light Medium) - Being the concealer addict I am I was all up for trying this newish release and it was on my luxe beauty wishlist so I can now check that one off! 

Yes I found this at Macy's! The Too Faced Chocolate Bar palette has been around for some time and I'm a latecomer to exploring the brand per se so...I had that first sniff of the cocoa powder shadows, had a little swatch - these are velvety as opposed to buttery and well pigmented - and was convinced I had to buy me a palette!

After my first use I'm already impressed because the shades build and blend well, and with all of those complimentary colours I was able to create my own look very easily without too much deliberation.  There are three eye makeup looks included in the Chocolate Bar pamphlet but just looking at the palette I can see a multitude of looks in the making.  Lots of playing to be done with the Chocolate Bar and I can understand the raves it gets.

Well that's enough shopping for now perhaps?

If you'd like any more detailed reviews or swatches please let me know in the comments!

11 November, 2014

October's farewelled products

Yes I'm late again and I'm mildly freaking out because as I write my October empties post my bag's already filling up with NOVEMBER empties! No more time to waste then - let's get into it!
Skin care
107) Olay Fresh Effects Refreshing Make-up Removal Cloths (20 cloths) - I think these were my only skin care purchase overseas, because makeup wipes were the only thing I ran out of!  I liked the fresh scent and they did a reasonable job of removing light makeup at the end of a long day.  I've no need to either rant or rave about them and I'll stop right here because the Fresh Effects wipes aren't available in Australia.
108) Maybelline Makeup Remover Eye & Lip (70ml/2.4 fl. oz.) - I bought this again for travel because it's the smallest bottle out there.  It does a good enough job for a drugstore makeup remover (gentle but effective on waterproof makeup, blah, blah, blah...) so I'm sure I'll buy some more in future.

109) La Clinica White Brilliant Intensive Correction Hydrating Night Cream (10ml/0.35 fl.oz)* - I found a sample tube in my drawer to finish up.  See last month's post for my thoughts on this.
110) La Clinica Gly C Refine Microdermabrasion Facial Scrub (100ml/3.52 fl.oz)* -  I'm a fan of this facial exfoliant and I'm onto a second tube because it smoothes my skin without any irritation.  See my full review here.

111) Hourglass No. 28 Lip Treatment Oil - A luxury indulgence I spent my birthday $$$ on last year and I made it stretch for months because I used it as an occasional overnight lip treatment.  It was superbly effective as a lip moisturiser although I don't know whether it is quite as effective an anti-aging product as it claims (perhaps because I didn't use it night after night).  Still, I'd probably buy this again as a luxury treat because I'm not over my love affair with all things Hourglass!
Hand and body care
112) Palmer's Cocoa Butter Moisturizing Body Wash (400ml/13.5 fl.oz)* - For those of you who are chocolate freaks like me you might appreciate the fact this smells like you're washing yourself in hot chocolate - if you're not then, well, you get what I'm saying.  This was fabulously creamy and foamy and I loved using it particularly in the depths of winter.
113) ECO. Body Women's Personal Body Wash (100ml)* -  I used this fresh herbal scented, antibacterial body wash as a post workout pick me up.  See here for my full review.

114) Dirty Works Supreme Cream Body Butter (300ml)* -  If I didn't have the massive stash of body butters that currently lurk in my bathroom cupboard I'd buy another tub of this tomorrow because I was hooked on the salty sea air scent and the tub lasted for ages - of course it did a decent job of moisturising too.  This is a summer holiday in a tub of body butter I tell you!  Read my full review here.
115) Natio AUM Purifying Body Scrub (150ml/5.1 fl.oz) - Usually I love everything from Natio but this product was equal parts enjoyable and frustrating.  The creamy formula was one of the most moisturising body exfoliants I've tried but the irregular shaped granules were impossible to squeeze out of the tube.  I had to twist off the base just about every time - that 'convenient' flip top lid was just for show! It was too annoying for me and I'll probably stay away for that reason alone.

116) Nivea Rich Nourishing Body Lotion (75ml travel size) -  I'm pretty sure this is the last of my travel empties! I enjoy that age old Nivea scent but this lotion took a lot of rubbing in before the milky film disappeared into the skin.  Maybe I'm just getting too impatient but I want that happy balance of a rich moisturiser that absorbs quickly and this one wasn't quite quick enough for me.

117) Crabtree & Evelyn Gardeners Hand Therapy (25g/0.9.oz) - This is yet another wonderfully rich hand cream from my C & E stash.  Silky and easily absorbed.
118) OPI Expert Touch Lacquer Remover (30ml/1 fl.oz) - I bought this mini bottle when I couldn't find the full sized version at the store.  At the risk of repeating myself like a sound loop, this formula is my favourite from the OPI range.
119) L'Occitane Pivoine Flora Hand Cream (30ml/1oz) - This hand cream was heavier on fragrance but lighter on moisture, with a more watery texture than I've come to expect from L'Occitane.  I found it okay - and it would be perfectly fine for normal skin - but my dry hands need a richer formula for more lasting hydration.

Okay...Now I'm ready to take on that Sephora haul post!
 (Products marked * were provided for my consideration.  All comments and opinions are my own.)

05 November, 2014

Canmake Colorful Nails: 10 Lavender Milk

My latest nail post features a feminine pastel from Japanese polish brand Canmake, and one of only two nail polishes I bought in Japan.  I saw so many more I could have bought - particularly from the Canmake line because they have such a pretty selection including glitter versions - but I was more focused on makeup this time, and for whatever reason I'm just not as nail obsessed at the moment.  Plus, it's amazing how much those little buggers weigh when you start accumulating them in your luggage!
Lavender Milk is an apt name for this lovely pastel polish so I'm not going to try and top it with my spin on it - milky lavender it definitely is.  Two coats applied perfectly smoothly, with no streaking or flooding at all.  Drawn as I am to purple throughout the entire spectrum, if I had to choose my one favourite pastel shade this would be right up there as somehow lavender seems to be pretty without being too overtly girly - if you know what I mean.
All pictures taken in indirect daylight:
That's it for now :)
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