27 March, 2015

Gone fishin'...


(My boys goofing around on the beach at sunset last year)
 Actually the husband, son and I are off on another little break seeking some sun and sand up north in sunny Queensland!
If I can - wifi and time permitting - I'll try and get some posts out over the next few weeks.  If not, normal posting will resume after the 11th of April.
See you soon!

Island Girl Nail Color: Island Paradise

I'm way behind in my nail swatch posts so here's another summer swatch although we're well into autumn down here!
Island Paradise from US brand Island Girl is a magenta purple cream and just so damn pretty without being cutesy. I was pretty much obsessed with it over summer so it made it onto my toes as well as fingertips and I look forward to wearing it again when spring comes around.  In terms of application this was average - in all fairness this is an inexpensive polish - and care is needed for even coverage.  Still the result is worth it for the colour alone! This is two coats with top coat.



This makes me dream of another trip to Hawaii...

Until next time!

25 March, 2015

Vaseline Intensive Care Spray Moisturiser Dry Skin Repair (Priceline Beauty Click favourites)

Question:  Do you diligently moisturise your body every morning?
Do you decide you can't spare the precious early morning minutes struggling with products that can be messy or take determined massaging to absorb so you leave such pampering until the weekend?  
Given I'm always in a rush during the week I most definitely fell into the latter category! That's why I was pleasantly surprised by Vaseline's Intensive Care Spray Moisturiser and why it's the second product I'm featuring in my Priceline Beauty Click favourites series.
Vaseline Intensive Care Spray Moisturiser, infused with "pure oat extract...moisturizes deeply and absorbs in seconds to help heal dry skin" in a most convenient compressed air spray delivery method.

My impressions:
As I'm used to sticking my fingers into pots of rich body butters, squeezing lotion bottles or using body oils this way of moisturising my body was a bit liberating for little old me.  The twist-lock nozzle delivers a continuous fine spray of light lotion that - yes - can be sprayed upside down so it makes getting to awkward areas like the back of my legs, or my actual back for that matter, simple rather than resorting to contortionist moves. 
The lotion is very light so it rubs in instantly - seconds as opposed to minutes - and doesn't feel greasy in the slightest while the 'Dry Skin Repair' formula does a pretty respectable job of moisturising most of my body in a single application.  I do find problematic extra dry areas like elbows and knees may need a more concentrated moisturiser but overall this spray has been great for time-poor me as I have no excuse for heading out the door with scaly skin! 

Water, Isopropyl Myristate, Glycerin, Sorbitan, Isostearate, Dimethicone, Fragrance, Avena Sativa (oat) Straw Extract, Polyglyceryl-3 Disostearate, Tapioca Starch, Carbomer, Xanthan Gum, Ammonium Acryloydimethyltaurate/vp Copolymer, Stearic Acid, Dihydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Disodium Edta, Propylene Glycol, Avena Sativa (Oat) Straw Extract, Lactic Acid
Have you tried this product?

 (This  product was provided for my consideration.  All comments and opinions are my own.)

24 March, 2015

She Aromatherapy Nail Varnish: Pink Diamonds

Rose gold was a big trend in beauty and accessories over the last couple of years and I still love it.  Cue Pink Diamonds from She Aromatherapy's All That Sparkles collection!
Pink Diamonds is another quite simple but high impact, dense micro-glitter polish from this 'mystery' All That Sparkles collection (see my first swatch, Lustrous Pearls here) and is a soft rose gold on the nails.  As per usual this is two coats sealed with a top coat.
I've been enjoying wearing these micro-glitter polishes because they have all the sparkle without the stubborn removal.
Until my next post!

22 March, 2015

Review: Rimmel Apocalips Lip Velvet Matte Liquid Lip Colours

As I have a self-confessed craze for matte lips at the moment I was pleased to have a few of Rimmel's Apocalips Lip Velvet Mattes come my way for review.  I'm growing quite a little collection of liquid matte lipsticks and as we head into the cooler months down here I've been leaning that way more and more especially as I favour a clean-edged highly pigmented lip look in winter.
So what do Rimmel promise with their Apocalips Lip Velvet lippies?
• Weightless liquid colour with a velvety smooth finish
• Earth-shattering intense colour stays true for up to 8 hours
• Moisturizing formula instantly increases lip moisture by 31%*

I received 3 of the 4 shades in the range for review.  From left to right above and swatched below these are:  Atomic Rose, Meteoric Matte, and Burning Lava:

I agree with the weightless, velvety smooth finish colour claims as these shades all apply smoothly in a single coat and sit very comfortably on my lips.  There's that slightly velvety feel but no dryness and I'd almost have to check in the mirror to see the colour's still on.  There is no patchiness on application so one dip of the doe-foot wand is enough to coat the lips with 100% opaque colour.
The colours didn't quite last the claimed 8 hours as they do start to fade on the inside of my lips due to doing the usual things like drinking coffee etc. (and some do this more obviously than others) so I would reapply after about 4 to 5 hours to touch up where the colour needed refreshing.  Still, I didn't experience any caking or build up on reapplication so that wasn't a deal breaker at all. 
With regards to moisture, while these lip colours look matte they actually don't dry down 100% so they don't dry out my lips either and I can wear them on consecutive days without feeling like they're sucking the life out of my them!
There's another issue I want to address and that is the smell/taste.  I've been asked by several of you out there in social media land as to whether these smell as weird as the original Apocalips lip colours and after comparing I find these new Lip Velvets are slightly sweet scented and have no discernible taste although I'd still suggest you swatch in store if you are sensitive to scented lip products. 
And now for some lip swatches and my thoughts on the individual shades. 

Atomic Rose
 The least favourite shade for me.  I found it looked a little aging and the colour actually faded to a strange whitish peach on the inside of my lips.

Meteoric Matte

This beautiful blue red is going to be my favourite this winter and I love how smooth it looks on my lips. 
Burning Lava
 A true red and another flatteringly smooth lip colour.  I suppose this is my 'other' favourite.
Overall I'm giving these lip colours a big thumbs up for long-lasting, non-drying lip colour. 
Rimmel Apocalips Lip Velvet Matte Liquid lip colours sell for $15.95AUD and are available at: 
Priceline, Priceline Pharmacy, Big W, Woolworths, Coles, Chemist Warehouse, My Chemist,
Target and Kmart and various Independent Pharmacies.
(This product was provided for my consideration.  All comments and opinions are my own.)

18 March, 2015

Rimmel Velvet Matte Nail Colours: Sumptuous Red and Midnight Kiss

Being mad for all things matte I rushed out and bought these new Rimmel Velvet Matte polishes as soon as I saw them on the stand - the colours, the velvet matte finish...What's not to love, right?  It turns out there was plenty on this occasion unfortunately but let's start with the good...
What's good?  The colours themselves are exactly what I'd choose to wear as a matte mani - Sumptuous Red (which is actually a deep plum) and Midnight Kiss (deep midnight blue) are beautiful in the bottle and do look lovely and velvety once on the nails.  On this occasion I couldn't decide which colour to wear first so I opted for both.
What's disappointing? A few things actually. Firstly, I had major issues colouring within the lines because the brushes were unevenly cut so I was just about holding my breath trying to control the colour placement. Yep, unless it was just me being unlucky scoring bad brushes I'm warning you to be prepared for clean up!  And...these polishes are a one-day wonder when it comes to durability.  I experienced chipping within 24 hours, and the matte finish started to wear off after a few days so it evolved into a semi shiny finish.  For that reason this polish is for special occasions only...
All swatches taken in indirect daylight:
Have you tried these? I'd be interested to hear other impressions on these polishes.

15 March, 2015

Physicians Formula Bronze Booster: Airbrushing Bronzing Veil Deluxe Edition (Priceline Beauty Click favourites )

If you follow me on Instagram you might know that I was recently selected as an official #BeautyClick member reviewing products for leading Australian health and drugstore beauty chain Priceline!  I received a very generous boxful of products to test which has been keeping me quite busy and while I'm loving it I feel there are some products I've been reviewing I could say a lot more about (we have a character limit on the Priceline website which is good in its own way because I have to get straight to the point but sometimes I run out characters to say all that I need!)  Therefore I've decided to do a Beauty Click favourites series so I can put up more detailed reviews on the products that have really wowed me - starting with Physicians Formula Airbrushing Bronzing Veil Deluxe Edition from their Bronze Booster range.

I'll remind you that 2015 has been the year of the bronzer for me as I pledged at the start of the year to show more love for the collection I have when THIS bronzer came along...

As their website says:  Physicians Formula Airbrushing Bronzing Veil Deluxe Edition "combines the best features of powder, baked and cream bronzers for the most stunning bronze..." and the "...luxurious, light bronze veil melts into skin providing an airbrushed lit-from-within glow that looks so natural it is virtually undetectable on the skin." 

Light to Medium

Ah yes it looks scarily pretty and - even worse - SO shimmery doesn't it!  Let's face it I probably took at least 20 pictures of this product before I dared disturb the surface and I think that a lot of the other Beauty Click reviewers were the same, being caught up in the superficial prettiness of it and suffering the apprehension of disturbing the perfectly sculpted, blingy, golden over sprayed surface.

Alright, admiration aside once I got past the insanely gold overspray I found a very wearable shade of warm bronze beneath.  The texture is indeed creamy to the touch and there is no powdery kick-up whatsoever when I pick up the product with my bronzer brush. 

It's warm toned so not really suited for contouring on my particular complexion but buffed into my temples and cheeks this gives me a very natural and surprisingly subtle warmth - I'm definitely not a bronzing expert but this product makes me feel confident with my application.  I think it's because this is a cream to powder texture that it's so forgiving and so easy to blend out and the subtle glow provides a lift to the complexion too without looking like a glitterbomb and is suitable for everyday wear - and I have been wearing it on an almost daily basis!

Swatched heavily on my arm below you can see the difference between the overspray on the left and the product beneath on the right:
So I say:  Don't be afraid of the overspray because this is a beautifully natural drugstore bronzer!
 (This  product was provided for my consideration.  All comments and opinions are my own.)

14 March, 2015

She Aromatherapy Nail Varnish: Lustrous Pearls

A couple of months ago I won an entire collection of nail polish called All That Sparkles from Australian brand She Aromatherapy.  The All That Sparkles collection is a selection of 6 micro-glitter polishes and somewhat of a mystery collection in that I can't find any reference to it on the She Aromatherapy website or anywhere else online! It may be an upcoming collection or it may be a sample collection.  If I happen to find out I'll let you know...in the meantime here's the first swatch.
Lustrous Pearls is more of a metallic pewter than a pearl shade as such and is a dense micro-glitter polish.  I applied two coats and finished with top coat to set the polish and add shine.  I was expecting difficulties with removal but this wasn't too tough at all for a glitter - although it did leave minute stubborn sparkles around my cuticles and fingers afterwards...
Until next time!

12 March, 2015

Tag: Addicted to blush

I was tagged by my sweet Melbourne blogger friend Emma (aka emmabovarybeauty), and a self-proclaimed #blushfiend, to do the Addicted to Blush tag and the timing was ripe!  From a regular person with a meagre/normal collection of around 4 or so blushes when I started blogging in 2011, I now have in excess of 30 so I'd say that qualifies me as a blush addict, or to put it much more nicely, a #blushfiend! 

Now onto the questions and there are some toughies in there...
What colour blush suits you the most?
 (clockwise from top left:  theBalm - Hot Mama!, Tom Ford - Love Lust, Physicians Formula Happy Booster - Natural, Canmake - CL03, Face of Australia - Outback Nutmeg, Bloom Sheer Colour Cream - Coy, Smashbox Blush Rush - Chiffon , Revlon Photoready - Coral Reef)
I'd have to say any variation along the coral to peach spectrum because those shades add colour and warmth to my face and I don't look too dolly cheeked - and as you can see above I have no end of choices available in that colour family! I'll always gravitate to those colours first when I'm shopping for a new blush.  In spite of that...in my heart I would have loved to say bright pink because those blushes always look so pretty but in real life it just ain't happening baby!

Pressed/cream/loose blush?
Can I choose two out of the three options here?  I love pressed blush for the ease of application especially on bleary eyed mornings, when I'm getting ready for work before the sun comes up but then on the other hand I love cream blushes for how they give luminous life back to my sometimes flat and dull cheeks - cream blush gives me a very youthful dewy look.  If cream blush wasn't quite so fiddly I'd probably lean more towards the cream and I am collecting cream blushes more and more so once I have completely mastered the art of cream blush then you'll have to ask me again!

Favourite shimmery blush?
 (Left to right:  Physicians Formula Happy Booster - Natural, Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush - Mood Exposure)
In terms of shimmery blush choices, after sitting around being admired more than used for the longest time Physician's Formula Happy Booster in Natural has recently become an almost daily favourite for adding that naturally peachy glow.  Also I have to mention the plummy Hourglass Mood Exposure for the cooler months as I'm picking it up again. 

Favourite matte blush?
 (Left to right:  Illamasqua Powder Blusher - Naked Rose, Laura Mercier - Fresh Peach)
Now this matte blush seems to be just about everyone's favourite but, honestly, the one I reach for most consistently is Illamasqua Naked Rose for just the lightest wash of dusty pink on my cheeks - and it literally does take the lightest pat of the brush into the pan to pick up enough colour. Just to add something different from everyone, Fresh Peach blush in my trusty old Laura Mercier Lingerie palette is also a favourite pat and go shade.

Favourite cream blush?
 (Left to right:  Bloom Sheer Colour Creams - Shy, Coy, Tint)
I'm going with my little trio of Bloom Sheer Colour Creams because they were my first cream blushes and they feel so emollient on the skin without being too slippery, providing just the right amount of colour for a natural glow - even that scary old pot of Tint on the right translates to a soft berry on the cheeks. Of course I have to single out one favourite from the trio of favourites and that has to be the peach toned (of course!) Coy seen below...


Favourite drugstore blush?
(Left to right:  NYX Mosaic Powder Blushers - Rosey, Plummy)

My NYX Mosaic blushes in Rosey and Plummy are my favourites because of their versatility and also for the ease of getting a multi-dimensional look just by swirling the brush around the pan.  After consistently using Plummy over the past few years I always knew I would have to buy more from the Mosaic range and Rosey hasn't disappointed either. 

Favourite high end blush?
(Tom Ford Cheek Color - 01 Love Lust)
Tom Ford's Love Lust is a favourite not just because it's from Tom 'freaking' Ford but because the colour is a beautifully wearable peach shot with a subtle golden glow.  I hoarded this for ages (because of the Tom 'freaking' Ford factor and being too pretty to use blah, blah...) but once I started wearing it I realised this really is a quality blush from the velvety texture to the flattering warm glow it gives me.  It's too pretty NOT to use!
Favourite bright blush?
 (Revlon Photoready - Coral Reef)
Hmmm...I like blushes which may look deceptively bright in the pan but translate more softly on the skin and Revlon's Photoready cream blush in Coral Reef does just that.  I like applying this one with my fingers to melt the colour into my skin.

Biggest blush disappointment/regret?
(MAC Powder Blush - Immortal Flower)
I feel terrible knocking a MAC blush (of all things!) but MAC Immortal Flower was a disappointment because it just does NOT show up on me! It's extremely pretty in the pan but even for the once blush-shy me this is not enough.  I don't know...maybe I should try it again in the depths of winter?

Best blush packaging?

 (YSL Flower Crush Palette - Rosy Blush)
I'll interpret that as meaning the most attractive packaging and for me it was definitely YSL's Flower Crush Palette Rosy Blush from the 2014 Spring collection - I mean, just look at it *sigh*.  Those of you who've known me long enough will know just how obsessed I was with getting my hands on it and I don't regret it for one second.  And, yes, I have used it!
What's on your blush wish list?
I have two picks on my wish list:  Stila's  Field of Florals Convertible Color palette (hopefully on its way to me) and any of Milani's Rose Powder blushes.

Number 1 Holy Grail blush?
Ooh that's a toughie and I'm not going to stick my neck out that far - I'm still looking for that one perfect blush!! Until then I guess I'll have to keep collecting ;-)


Does anyone care to answer that last question?  What's your number 1 HG blush?

10 March, 2015

FABY nail lacquer: FABY Is My Boss!

So, who's been getting on board with Pantone's 2015 colour of the year and embracing Marsala?
I've been slow to dip into it myself so I'm taking baby steps with a nail polish sent to me for review from 5 Free salon nail brand FABY.  FABY Is My Boss! (yes that's the shade name!) is described by the brand as a "classic berry-tinged mocha crème" and it's a deep red-brown - perhaps even a little plum - in keeping with the Marsala theme. 
The formula was trouble-free and I had no issues with application as again the polish was just the right consistency to glide onto the nail without flooding or pooling and the neat, narrowish perfectly cut brush made placement easy, with full even coverage achieved in the usual two coats.  I really put this polish to the test this time to see how durable it is and I remained chip-free until day 6.  Not too bad. 
Now onto the swatches, which have all been taken on another gloomy Melbourne day.  It's like someone said 'Autumn's here!' and flicked the switch on our weather...
I love the versatility of this shade as it can appear to be either warm or cool depending on what it's worn with. Now that I'm in a Marsala frame of mind I need to go stash diving to see what other Marsala items I can come up with!
FABY nail lacquers are available from leading salons or the FABY website here.

(This  product was provided for my consideration.  All comments and opinions are my own.)

09 March, 2015

February's farewelled products

My bag of empties was bulging this past month as I finished a lot of rather large items in quick succession.  Big empty containers take up a lot of space so I'm in a hurry to get these reviews out of the way to make room for the new batch!

Skin care

11) Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water (400ml) - After being rather underwhelmed initially, I've now made my peace with cleansing water and have decided that I do enjoy it especially when there are more affordable options around like this Garnier version.  I still use a specific eye makeup remover for my eye makeup but I love using this as a refreshing method for cleansing the rest of my face.  I am already onto my second bottle!
Hand and body care

12) SODA & Co Orange Splash Sugar Scrub (225g)* -  I still say these are the scrubbiest scrubs ever and I really enjoyed this scent.  The only thing is if I'd used it every day as the jar suggests I would have used it up in about a week! Read here for my full review.

13) L'Occitane Verbena Shower Gel (75ml/2.5fl.oz) - Such a refreshing unisex scent and the perfect shower gel selection for summer because of its citrusy zing courtesy of verbena, lemon oil and grapefruit extract.  I'll be buying a full size some time in the future.

14) I Love...Coconut & Cream Bubble Bath & Shower Crème (500ml) - I used this huge bottle solely for showers and it made me feel like I was taking a standing up bubble bath anyway so I really enjoyed it!  The coconut scent is deliciously summery too and the formula is soap and paraben free, cleansing without stripping my skin.  Best of all this massive bottle was only $6AUD so I can also see another bottle of this in my future.

15) OPI Original Nail Envy Nail Strengthener - My go to nail base.  A bottle lasts a year on average so I don't mind the initial spend. Just to mix it up (actually by accidentally picking the wrong bottle in store!) I'm currently using the formula for peeling nails so I'll be interested to see if my years of loyalty can be swayed.

16) OPI Expert Touch Lacquer Remover (120ml/4 fl.oz) - My go to nail polish remover. I won't bore you with repeated details. As you know this will pop up again and again.

17) Crabtree & Evelyn La Source Hand Therapy (25g/0.9 oz) - Yet another summery choice, this time in the form of a "sea air" fragrance.  I love those C & E hand creams! The only thing I can criticise is the metal tube which can and did split at the sides on this occasion. 

Hair care

I've decided to include all of my hair care empties this year for those who are interested in what I use on my fine, coloured tresses.  If not feel free to skip to the cosmetics section below!

18) Cedel Extra Firm Hairspray (40g travel size) - This would hold hair in a hurricane! It was a bit too rigid for me because I prefer movement in my hair so I won't be buying this again.

19) John Frieda Luxurious Volume Touchably Full Conditioner (8.45fl.oz/250ml) - I've been pairing this with another branded blonde shampoo and it does a reliable job of detangling and conditioning my hair without weighing it down.  If only it was scented like JF's Full Repair line it would be perfect.


20) blinc Mascara Amplified (Black)* - This was my first experience using a tubing mascara and it's the one water resistant mascara I can be confident will hold up through strenuous activity and then 100% remove without any next day panda eyes.  See my full review here.

21) Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter (Juicy Papaya) - I have a love-hate relationship with these lip butters.  The colours are great, the balm moisturising, but the colour of this migrated to the edges of my lips.

22) Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips Custom Eye Enhancing Eyeliner Trio For Green Eyes (Purple) -  Great longwearing dark purple liner in a twist up pencil.  I would certainly buy this again if only I could buy this shade individually rather than part of a trio - I've yet to use the other two shades so...

Rimmel Glam'Eyes Mono Eye Shadow (180 Gold Rush) - See all the glittery particle fallout?  This annoyingly kicked up shimmery dust everywhere but didn't have much payoff on my actual lids.  Bye bye!
So until the next round of empties.  There's four in the March bag already!

03 March, 2015

Covergirl Outlast Stay Brilliant Nail Gloss: Salt Water Taffy

I have another Hawaii-trip-nail-polish-purchase-swatch (what a mouthful!) to share with you.  It's funny how something like 6 months after the event I finally decide to put them up in quick succession.
Salt Water Taffy is from Covergirl's Stay Brilliant Nail Gloss line and while I was initially drawn to the soft colour it was the amazing high gloss lacquer finish that won me over.  But first the colour: The ultra pale green cream is a softer alternative to white and I love the idea of wearing a slightly off-centre neutral.  The polish itself was a dream to work with and I got beautifully even, GLOSSY coverage in two coats! Damn I should have bought more of these too...

All pictures taken in indirect daylight 

Until next time!

02 March, 2015

Review: Rimmel Idol Eyes Mascara by Kate Moss

The timing for a new mascara review has been perfect seeing as I've just finished off a few recently so I was up for checking out what's new... 
Rimmel has just released a new variation of their ScandalEyes mascara in a collaboration with Kate Moss.  This new version, called Idol Eyes is designed to "rock the eyes" and add "voluminous lift" to the lashes and I was ever curious to find out what that meant.  Certainly the silver bullet looks suitably menacing doesn't it?

Moving on to the brush below which also looks pretty intimidating too - the large, curved wand is in a "broken heart" shape, and is designed to provide the voluminous lift.  From my own experimentation I found that twirling the brush with the widest part facing my outer lashes I actually did get a pretty decent volumising and curling effect.  It's a bit fiddly at first but quite effective once you get the hang of it and the twirling managed to curl my lashes without any prior use of a lash curler.

The formula itself is non-clumping, does take a little while to dry (so beware of sneezing particularly while the mascara is new and extra wet!), doesn't flake and the lashes hold their curl throughout the day.  It is EXTREMELY black and volumising and does make for standout lashes.  You'll see the evidence of that inky black on your makeup remover pads too. 

Two coats on the left compared with my natural lashes on the right:

Side view to demonstrate the lift and curl:

Overall I was impressed with this mascara and I think it will improve even more as the formula dries out a little after a few weeks.  Ideally I would have liked to see it in a waterproof formula too.
Idol Eyes Mascara by Kate Moss retails for $16.95AUD and is available at:
Priceline, Priceline Pharmacy, Big W, Woolworths, Coles, Chemist Warehouse, My Chemist,
Target and Kmart and various Independent Pharmacies.
(This product was provided for my consideration.  All comments and opinions are my own.)

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