Sunday, 29 November 2015

Revlon Ultra HD Lipstick Review

After returning from my adventure last week to Priceline's Cosmetics sale with a fairly significant loot I was faced with the dilemma of what to try first. First world problems, I'm well aware. So I figured I'd start with the lippies. What I love about trialling makeup over skincare is that you tend to know straight off the bat if you like a lipstick or not, and by the end of the day you assess its longevity and how much work it is to maintain and you know for sure where it stands. Skincare generally needs a longer trial period and although I really love skincare I do enjoy the instant love you get from great cosmetics.

You may recall from my last post I picked up four of the Revlon Ultra HD lipsticks in Tulip, Poppy, Primrose and Dahlia. Tulip is a soft coral nude, Poppy is a warm orange toned red, Primrose is a rich plummy brown and Dahlia is a deep red toned brown.

I like to be able to apply lipstick straight from the bullet. For a normal work day I like to put it on in the morning at home, throw the tube in my handbag and touch-up once after lunch, and have it carry me through to home time. Ideally, a lipstick should be able to withstand careful sipping of tea and water throughout the day with minimal fading. 

These lipsticks didn't quite tick all those requirements. The shape of this lipstick is a bit unusual, for me anyway. It is round in shape as you would normally see but rather than the tip coming to a defined point you are working with a flat surface. I don't love the shape, I found it tricky to get a smooth line, especially towards the corners of my mouth. I tried using a liner and a brush, both of which obviously helped, but it meant taking that bit longer to put on my makeup and early in the morning before work I tend to favour products that look great without the extra fuss. Maybe it will just take some getting used to but I think I prefer the traditional shaped bullet that has a tear drop point, I think it curves around the contours of your lips more easily giving you are more natural application.

L - R: Dahlia, Primrose, Tulip and Poppy

The colours are beautiful and look gorgeous on, and the finish has a glossy sheen that quickly dries to a more satin look without feeling dried out which I love. But the longevity just wasn't there, I found the intensity of the colour faded as I sipped tea and after eating lunch it was almost gone leaving only a faint stain.
 L - R: Dahlia, Primrose, Tulip and Poppy
The range has twenty floral-named hues to pick from and they are all really gorgeous colours. I will definitely keep wearing the four I have but will probably only reach for these in times when my makeup doesn't need to last as long.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Priceline's 40% Off Cosmetics Sale Haul

I get way too excited at the prospect of a Priceline '40% Off Sale'. This time around it was Cosmetics and I was really organised. I made my list, sorted it by brand so I had a clear and direct route in-store, got in and then got out quick smart. Priceline on sale days can be a bit of a circus, there are heaps of helpful staff around but if you don't know what you are looking for it can get a little overwhelming and in my experience you tend to throw things in your basket that you haven't given enough thought to. Especially if you go with some friends.

Now I know you could look at this haul and tell me I went over the top, my friends certainly did went I got back to work, but I use these sales as an opportunity to both stock up on things I love as well as pick up things that I have wanted to try for ages but wasn't completely sold on. I'd much rather be disappointed with a product I got on sale than one I paid full price for, which I'm sure we can all agree on.

Now that I'm done justifying my loot, let's just take a look shall we?

Mascara is the single beauty product I use up the quickest. I know you are meant to throw them out every three months but mine never last that long anyway. I try to only have one or two on the go at a time, and if I don't love it I chuck it and move on. Life is too short to battle with a crappy mascara I think. If I do love it, it will get used everyday but I always find they go a bit dry or I use them up by the three month mark. I have had two of these before (L'Oreal's Telescopic and False Lash Butterfly Wings) and have loved them both so I repurchased them, however the other four I have had on 'the list' for ages because of recommendations or loving the other versions of them.

As much as I wish I could easily find drugstore foundations that I love the truth is that as a pale person the colour range available from brands (or at least the selection that gets stocked in Australia) is often not wide enough to accommodate us fair gals. I'm the shade Siberia in NARS Sheer Glow for anyone wondering. The Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum and Maybelline Fit Me have had my eye for a while because they get such great reviews online so I picked up the lightest shades in each. Can't wait to see how these go.

I also grabbed the Max Factor Face Finity All Day Primer and a couple of powders; with the weather warming up and the days getting that bit longer I'm keen to find things that help me keep my makeup looking fresher for longer.

Finally lippies and eyes. These are probably my favourite things to shop for, and judging by the number of people I spotted leaving Priceline with a rainbow of pink, red and coral swatches on the back of their hands I would say I'm not alone. I grabbed four of the Revlon Ultra HD Lipsticks in lively summer perfect hues and two of the L'Oreal Colour Riche Lipsticks in more neutral tones.

I have been to a few of these sales now and my tips would be firstly, to have a list. It's easy to get carried away when you see a hundred other people reaching for a thousand different things. It's equally easy to walk out and completely forget something that was at the top of your list. Secondly, stock up on favourites. Self explanatory really but make use of the discount on things you know you will need in a month or two, or you tend to go through quickly. And finally, take tissues. No, not because it's an emotional day, although I was pretty irritated when there were no fair coloured concealers left in Maybelline Age Rewind. No you need tissues because there's few things more annoying than having a handful of swatches and no tissues in sight to wipe them off. Just a few ideas to make the day a little easier!

Hope you all enjoyed this sale and picked up some new goodies. I have being loving seeing everyone's hauls on Instagram this week and it's already getting me way too excited for the next sale.

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Cult Beauty Box by Caroline Hirons # 2

Caroline Hirons has long been an expert fixture on the beauty and skincare blogging/vlogging scene but it wasn’t until she was featured in the Sali Hughes ‘In The Bathroom’ series that she popped up on my radar. How it is possible it took me this long to find her I’m not sure, but I’m well on board the Hirons train now.

I have spent the last few months working through her YouTube back catalogue and her blog and seriously feel like I’m learning of new products but also how  and what makes them work in equal measures. 
So when I heard that her collaboration with Cult Beauty was booting up for issue two of the coveted Beauty Box I waitlisted myself and order one as soon as they were available. The box contains eight products which aim to give ‘luminous, glowing skin’ which is something that I think everyone wants all year around. Healthy and glowing skin is on most people’s wishlist all the time but I think as the weather changes my skin can get quite dull and dry until I find the right mix of products for the new season.

My box arrived a while ago (so I have given everything a very decent test run), with seriously quick shipping from the UK to Australia, and I quickly ripped it opened and was struck with the fragrance of coconut… let me explain.

Left: Pommade Divine Remedy Balm    Right: RMS Beauty Raw Coconut Cream
RMS Beauty Raw Coconut Cream: This was the first product that caught my attention. The jar was sealed in a snap lock bag, and luckily so, because as the product warms the contents will liquefy and seep from the jar, as mine had. The smell filled the box but the product stayed put within the bag. In texture and appearance this looks and feels much like any other Coconut Oil, what makes this different though is that the unique extraction process doesn’t disrupt the Lauric Acid. This ingredient is anti-bacterial and anti-microbial which is what makes it different to the stuff you can get in the grocery store. This can be used a cleanser, makeup-remover or moisturiser but I have been loving it for dry skin on the body.
I can’t comment on the Pommade Divine Remedy Balm because I am yet to use it. It is recommend for skin suffering from everything from Eczema to blisters and severe dryness so when I feel the need I’ll give this little pot a whirl and let you know what I think.

Pixi Glow Tonic: The next item I grabbed was the one I was most excited about. I have heard Caroline mention it countless times in her vlogs so it was well endorsed. For starters the scent is amazing; it is floral but not overly sweet and beautifully refreshing and Summery without smelling artificial. As for the product itself, I love the effect it has on my skin. It’s a very gentle exfoliating toner (5% Glycolic), much softer than the others I have in my stash, and so light that I have been able to use this morning and night. I haven’t used it every morning, only when I have worn heavier products to bed the night before (rich creams or oils) but it gives good glow and a really soft and nourished clean (rather than a squeaky clean) feel.
Skin Owl Eye+ Concentrate: This eye gel has the strongest scent of cucumber freshness I have ever smelt in a product. It is very refreshing and cooling on the skin and I think it would be great in the warm weather when you don’t want a heavy eye cream but still want all the hydration and nourishment in a fast-absorbing cream. I have used this under makeup and it’s not my favourite, for me this is a day eye cream for makeup free days or at night only.

REN Omega-3 Serum & Odacité Serum Concentrate: Both of these oils work in the same way; by adding two to three drops of one to your night moisturiser for a boost of hydration and radiance. I think both work similarly well but are still quite different, the REN is a thin oil and has little to no scent, the Odacité is thicker and smells of Pomegranate, Rose and Geranium. They both leave a shine to the skin and take a little time to soak in so I have used them at night mixed in with my Korres Wild Rose Moisturiser. Both are nice, if you have combination skin I would look in to the REN or if you have more dry skin that would really soak up thicker oil I would consider the Odacité. I’ll stick to the REN added to night creams when I use them and the Odacité when I need a good hit of an overnight hydration treatment.

Alpha H Hydrating Cream: This is a fast absorbing moisturiser and it has a great refreshing scent too. For both of these reasons I think this makes a wonderful moisturiser option for the warmer weather, not sure if this would be enough in Winter but as we are in Spring now here this is perfection. I have actually already ordered a full size of this so that should arrive very soon.

Skyn Iceland Cloud Cleanser: This cleanser is a bit whatever for me. It is gentle, it does a decent job but it doesn’t do anything amazing for my skin. I tried it both with and without the provided muslin cloth and had brighter skin after using it with, but that had more to do with the cloth than the cleanser. Nice to have on standby when my face is feeling really delicate and I need something really soft but probably wouldn’t purchase this.
If you missed out on the box this time around I would say that although all the products have their benefits the standouts for me would be Alpha H Hydrating Cream, Pixi Glow Tonic, Skin Owl Eye+ and the Odacité Serum Concentrate. I would also suggest keeping your eyes peeled for the next box, (Caroline recently hinted that box three is a definite possibility) because it is a great way to try a range of products and brands that could be new to you but at a fraction of the retail price. Big thank you to Caroline Hirons for collating this range for us all, it seems like an impossible task to create a skincare collection that any skin type could benefit from but I really think this box contains something for everyone and I genuinely think I have found some new staples so that’s a big win in my book.

Monday, 6 July 2015

The Body Shop Drops of Youth Review

I don’t visit The Body Shop very often but I was in there on the hunt for a new bubble bath and while I was there I saw a display for the Drops of Youth collection. Anything that promises to delay the signs of aging and give fresh and smooth skin is bound to get my attention so no surprise that I thought I would give it a try. The range has a number of products but I picked up the Concentrate and the Bouncy Sleeping Mask.

All the products in the range contain Edelweiss stem cells which are used for their ‘renewing properties’ and Hyaluronic Acid. Although it may sound a bit scary Hyaluronic Acid is actually a component already found in the body, it is a lubricant found in joints and tissue where there is a high concentration of fluid. It is thought to retain moisture and when you think of it as doing that it becomes a whole lot less scary to slather this acid all over your face. The range has a fresh and moist fragrance (apparently products can smell like moisture, who knew?) which I really like and the packaging is a combination of glass and thick plastic so it feels sturdy and well made. 

The Body Shop Drops of Youth Concentrate and Mask
As for the products themselves, I didn’t get along very well with the overnight mask. It is an unusual consistency that is quite solid so you can spoon some out with the provided spatula and warm it between your fingers to liquefy it slightly. I then covered my face with it and proceeded to bed with it on as instructed. In the morning though I didn’t have ‘bouncy’ and plumped skin, however it did look moisturised but I think it was too thick/took too long to be absorbed into my skin because everytime I used this I would get a spot. It’s not like I never get spots but every morning I used this mask I would wake up with a shiny face and I would have a new blemish on my chin or near my nose (the usual suspects really). I tried using a thinner coverage, with and without the concentrate and I tried using it directly after a toner but I always got the same results so my best guess would be that this mask might suit a drier skin type where it would absorb more quickly than mine.

As for the concentrate, that was a totally different kettle of fish. I really like this formula, it has the same fresh scent and it is a thick consistency but still liquid enough to apply evenly all over the face with just a few drops. It absorbs quickly and leaves the skin feeling smooth and plumper but not at all tight. The bottle has a handy dropper but as it is quite thick in viscosity this only picks up one to two drops at a time, which is no big deal. I did try using this of a morning underneath my makeup but I found that it gave my foundation a fluffy appearance and would ball up in some areas.

I found I got the best results with this when I used it immediately after cleansing in the evening and then about fifteen minutes later I would apply a light moisturiser over top. I would use this at night and look fresh faced and well rested in the morning with a nice even complexion. Which is what the line is meant to provide so a tick for this product.
Overall I wouldn’t say either product were must haves but if you are looking for a night time treatment that is fast absorbing or specifically after a gel/liquid I would suggest giving the concentrate a go. Oils seem to be all the rage right now but they don’t suit everyone so this could be a winner if you fall into that category.

Sunday, 31 May 2015

Colourpop Cosmetics Haul and Review

So a while ago I started seeing all these individual eyeshadows begin to pop up on Instagram of little pots of gorgeous looking shadows in pretty white packaging. But as someone who has more eyeshadows than any reasonable person could ever need I did my best to not even venture anywhere near looking into who was making them/where I could buy them from.

Well my willpower was short lived (like usual really) and I quickly caved and got on to the net and found that the creator of these little pots of glory was a brand I had never heard of called Colourpop Cosmetics. I dug a little further and I watched a review on YouTube that was so glowing and positive that I watched three more because I was convinced it was a biased advertisement. But all the videos were the same. All exceptionally favourable. So I did what any reasonable online shopper would do, I ordered a truckload of stuff to see what all the fuss was about. And I'm so glad I did.

Colourpop Cosmetics Eyeshadow Packaging
I picked out eight eyeshadows and nine lipstick/liner combos. I thought that was enough to get a feel for the range without being too excessive #deluded.

So fast forward a little over a week (very quick delivery from the US) and I had my box of goodies in my hot little hands. Like any good makeup addict I could hardly wait to stick my fingers in everything and swatch the lipsticks up my arm but I resisted and took a few happy snaps beforehand while the gorgeous embossed top was still visible.

Colourpop Cosmetics Eyeshadow Pots

After three weeks of use I can say that, to me anyways, the hype is completely justified.

The eyeshadows aren't your typical powder consistency, they certainly aren't 'cream' shadows but they have an almost wet feel when you slide your finger on them and then have insane pigmentation when you pat the colour onto your lids by which time they fell dry. They come with the recommendation of finger over brushes and you certainly do get better colour pay off that way but I think I will always love the precision you get with a brush so I use fingers for placement and brushes for blending.

Colourpop Cosmetics Eyeshadow Swatches
Left to Right: Hustle, Cricket, 3, Partridge, Hammered, So Quiche, I Heart This and Fringe

As for the lippies (called Lippiestix) each has a coordinating lip pencil which I think is exceptional because I always wear lipliner and I hate it when you find a great lipstick and have to hunt down a matching coloured liner elsewhere because the brand doesn't have something the matches (not mentioning anyone in particular...NARS). Again, the Lippiestix come in a range of formulas but I mostly stuck to Matte just because that's what I tend to prefer. The Lippiestix are creamy and really pigmented but you should definitely do a light exfoliate before using them because the Matte ones do tend to emphasise any flakiness. And as for staying power they aren't exactly in the same league as a NARS Matte Velvet Pencil but they aren't that far off it either.

Colourpop Cosmetics Lippiestix and Liners
Colourpop Cosmetics Lippiestix Swatches
Left to Right: Cookie, Lumiere, Brunch, Yasmin, Clique, Frenchie, Bossy, LBB and Bichette

Looking at this picture I may have overdone it on the red hues, just a little bit...maybe.

Something that I really want to mention is the price. Each shadow, stick and pencil is USD$5.00. Seriously...five dollars. At first I found this a bit off putting if I'm totally honest, I wondered how good a product sold for a fiver could really be but it has honestly blown me away. Now just to give you a little comparison, the Colourpop eyeshadows contain 2.1g of product for about AUD$6.50 (given the current exchange rate). Now compare that to a MAC eyeshadow which contains 1.5g of product for AUD$33.00. If that doesn't convince you to at least give Colourpop a try I don't know what will! 

The brand has just celebrated it's first birthday so it is still relatively young, I can't wait to see how the brand grows and evolves. They have just added bronzers and highlighters as well as launching their new Summer range of colours so I'm excited to see more of what's to come.

LINK: Colourpop Cosmetics

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Recent Empties

I get a real sense of satisfaction out of finishing skincare and makeup products. First off, it means that I obviously liked it enough to use it all up which makes me happy but secondly (and perhaps more importantly) it means that I get to go shopping and try something new. I will definitely repurchase things that I have enjoyed using and if I really love something I will even repurchase before I have actually finished the current one, just because I can’t stand the thought of being without it. However in the last few weeks I have finished a few things so I thought I would share my opinions on them and whether or not they would make it to the ‘must re-purchase’ list.

Let’s start with skincare. I like to use different products at night than I do in the morning, at night I like a richer and thicker cream and of a morning I tend to prefer moisturisers with a more gel-like consistency so they slip on to my face and soak in quickly, giving my makeup a good base to cling to. Of course I switch this up depending on how my skin is feeling but in general that is what I like.

These two products were both items I used of an evening. The Mario Badescu Seaweed Night Cream is a thick and creamy consistency and is light green in colour (to remind you it contains seaweed I think). It doesn’t really have a fragrance; it just has that typical ‘cream’ scent and it contains Collagen, Elastin and Hyaluronic Acid to ‘maintain maximum moisture levels’. I like this but I wouldn’t repurchase. It is meant for dehydrated skin (which my skin often is) and it wasn’t bad but it was nothing special either and my skin didn’t look or feel any better after using it. It was all a bit blah.
The Origins Make A Difference Plus + in Rejuvenating Treatment I have really enjoyed. This product comes in three types: Rejuvenating Treatment, Rejuvenating Moisturiser and Ultra-Rich Cream. They are all the same price and do much the same thing but the consistency varies from gel to cream to thicker cream. I tried the Rejuvenating Treatment which is the gel consistency and I really loved using it. Typically for a night cream I would have gone for the Rejuvenating Moisturiser which had a denser consistency but I liked the way the gel felt on the back of my hand when I tried it in the store and how quickly it absorbed into my skin and it felt instantly moisturising. I went back to Mecca to repurchase this but a new cream caught my eye too so I grabbed them both and will use this when I feel like I need a quick injection of moisture for those really dry skin days.
Next up is two NARS base products. The NARS Sheer Glow Foundation (I’m the lightest shade Siberia) and the NARS Creamy Concealer in Light 1 Chantilly (also the lightest available shade). I love both these products and have since repurchased both. I use the concealer daily over my Bobbi Brown Corrector and together they get rid of the darkness under my eyes so the concealer is a definite winner. The foundation I also really like but it’s a little heavier coverage than I like to wear everyday (you could sheer it out by applying it with a sponge but it’s quite buildable so I tend to think of it as a medium coverage product). This is what I wear when my skin is playing up and I need a little more coverage or if I just want a more perfected looking base (if I’m going out or wearing red lipstick and want my natural cheek ‘blush’/redness toned down). I know it’s called ‘Sheer Glow’ but to me it’s not a sheer finish foundation which isn’t a bad thing but it is worth noting if you are looking at buying it.

Yes, I have gone though three Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz pencils over the last little while. I’m in the colour Taupe (formally known as Ash Blonde, again the lightest colour, have you figured out that I’m pretty fair yet?). Love these, I like mechanical windups which saves on sharpening, I like how thin they are and I like that they have a brush at the other end. A winner in my book; will definitely repurchase them again I just wish they lasted a bit longer.
As far as mascara goes I definitely have favourites that I will repurchase over time but I never really use the same one twice in a row. I love trying newies and am always on the hunt for one that gives me the best lash look. L’Oreal Voluminous* I wouldn’t buy again, it was a very wet formula at first and I had to let it dry out a long time before I could use it, it has a really 'chemically' smell and the brush is not my favourite.  *I don't think this one is actually available in Australia yet/anymore but trust me, we aren't missing much.

I really liked the Make Up For Ever Smoky Extravagant, the formula was great and didn’t smudge at all, the brush is shaped like a cone so it’s easy to get the tiny inner lashes and lower lashes if needed and the packaging is great, I love the slanted shape of the handle. I would definitely repurchase if getting this brand wasn’t such an effort in Australia.

Thirdly we have the Bourjois Volumizer Mascara. It has two brushes, first you use step one which is a thinner brush for length and then use step two which is a thicker and denser brush. It doesn’t smudge, gives good length and curl and is easy to use. I like this and will probably be repurchasing.

Finally a lip product. These Maxfactor Lipfinity Lasting Lip Tints I haven’t technically emptied but I won’t be so I figured I may as well throw in my two cents worth here. I find them quite drying and it is really difficult to get an even colour all over, and they emphasise any lines in the lip. Hence why they are getting the toss. It’s a shame because the colour range is good and they swatch nicely, but as a lip colour I wouldn’t recommend.
So those are the products I have finished up as of late and what I thought of them, I can’t wait to get shopping and trial some new goodies. That’s the whole point of finishing up products, right?

Friday, 3 April 2015

Summer Favourites 2015

Now don’t get me wrong, I buy and trial my fair share of makeup and skincare products throughout the year, but I definitely wouldn’t say that every month I find new favourites. I love the idea of monthly favourite blog posts and videos, in fact they are some of my favourites to read and watch. But my own beauty regime is much more seasonal than monthly. I change out products with the changing of the weather so for me a seasonal favourite post seems like a much better fit.

Now this isn’t a definitive list of all the products I use over the summer, it’s more so a collection of the items that I use especially often or even exclusively in the warmer weather. Whether it be skincare items the work best for me when my skin is dehydrated or makeup that looks better on me when I have a touch more warmth in my complexion these are the things I would be worse off for if I was without. With that been said, here is my best of summer products for 2015.

I’m going to start with this product because first of all it’s a bit boring, let’s be honest, but secondly because it’s probably the most important thing on this page. A good sunscreen that you can wear under your makeup without it affecting how you look will make you so much more likely to actually wear it. The Kit Cosmetics SPF 30+ Face is a real winner, I apply it a few minutes after my morning moisturiser and then wait a couple of minutes before getting on with my base makeup. I like to let the layers soak in or else I just feel like they get all mixed up on my face and don't absorb or last as well. It doesn’t get greasy throughout the day, it doesn’t make your makeup get that fluffy appearance when you apply foundation and it’s a high enough protection to do what it’s meant to; anything less than SPF 30+ and I feel like I’m wasting my time.
These are a few of the skincare products that I use to essentially keep my face as hydrated as possible. The Origins Make A Difference Plus + Treatment is a gel consistency cream that refreshes and soaks into the skin quickly. I use this as a night time moisturiser and apply it quite thinly and let it soak in and then after go in with more in certain areas if I feel like I need it right before bed. The spray is the Mario Badescu Facial Spray and is something I have spoken about before, I apply it straight after cleansing and it helps hydrate the skin. It has been a face-saver through summer but I’ll likely use it year round, it’s really that good. The cleanser is a relatively new find and it is the Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel. I have been using this alone on good skin days and after a stronger cleanser on not-so-good skin days. It is a non-foaming gel that rids the skin of that filmy residue that some other cleaners/makeup removers leave behind. It feels refreshing, moisturises the skin and smells like cucumber and citrus, very summery indeed.
Now on to the fun stuff, the makeup.
Now obviously this isn’t all I wore during summer but these are the things that I probably dove in to my makeup drawer for on a daily basis and didn't switch up at all. My bronzer of choice has been the Bourjois Delice de Poudre Bronzer in 52, it’s great for pale skin and when applied with a light hand and you will get enough glow to look like you have seen the sun but not so much that you look dirty or unnatural #palegirlproblems. In the pan you can see tiny little gold shimmer bits but thankfully these are non-existent when applied to the face and it appears pretty much completely matte to me.

Continuing with the glowy complexion ideal my highlighter has been the Mary-Lou Manizer powder highlighter. As much as I love a cream or liquid highlighting product in summer a powder just tends to last so much longer on me so I usually opted for this one.

For lips in summer I always like a nice plain look. I know that in the summer lots of people flock to brights but when its 35°C and over the last thing I want to battle with is a melting bright mouth so I tend to go with rose toned nudes or sheer browns (plus these look the best on me when I have blushing cheeks which are a staple for me in the heat). Two of my favourites products for this are the MAC In Anticipation Pro Longwear Lip Pencil (this will not budge, you will need makeup remover for this) or the Revlon ColourBurst Matte Balm in Elusive 205 (this is mint scented and makes me feel fresh even at the end of the work day) and the Covergirl LipPerfection Jumbo Gloss Balm in 270. Can you tell I like lip products in pencil/crayon form? You can just colour-in your lips and go.  

Now to some people, these polishes might just look like three different shades of the colour pink, but I promise they are different enough to justify having all three. See below picture for further justification for splurging on all three. My favourites lately have been from Essie and are Peach Daiquiri, Splash of Grenadine and Watermelon (T-B).

For hair I’m pretty low fuss. I don’t use a leave-in conditioner every time I wash my hair, more like when I remember/can be bothered, but I do like to use the Schwarzkopf Extra Care Colour Protect Leave-In Conditioner one in summer because that’s when my hair is usually exposed to more bright sunlight, chlorine in pools and is generally more dehydrated. I don’t really buy the bit about ‘liquidised crystals’ but the fact it’s specifically for coloured hair and has a UV filter is enough to sucker me in.

Now this isn’t really a beauty product but it helps me get my ‘beauty sleep’ so I thought I’d include it. Sometimes in the warmer weather I need a bit of encouragement to fall asleep. It’s easy to crawl into bed and cuddle up when it freezing outside and you can hear wintery rain falling but when the daylight lasts so late into the evening I can often be busy right up till bedtime so it’s nice to have something that calms me down quickly and preps me for sleep. Some people like wine, but I prefer lavender. I keep this diffuser on my bed head and I take a nice big inhale near it if I’m tossing about and it almost always sends be straight to sleep. If you struggle with relaxing before bed or you find your mind is always racing when it’s meant to be winding down then this could be of benefit for you. Tilley Australia make some beautiful scents but the Tasmanian Lavender one is a definite favourite, not to mention the reed diffusers last a really long time.

So that's it for my summer wrap up. I personally love the cooler weather so now that the leaves have began changing colour and the weather has chilled off a bit I can honestly say that I'm slightly thrilled. The prospect of boots and scarves and dark lipsticks and fluffy socks gets me all giddy so here's hoping we have a true Autumn this year.

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Bobbi Brown Haul

As hinted in my last post a trip to Bobbi Brown was bound to happen, and happen it did. I went in knowing I wanted to try their famous Corrector and look for a ‘your lips but better’ nude lipstick which was the first product that the brand ever created. I walked out with five products. Pretty standard really. This is what I got.

I have been using the products for a little over a week now and I can say that some things I love and others I could leave.

Let's start with the love.

The Corrector. This hides a late night (or a few late nights) like nothing I have ever tried before. I like to use it very sparingly, applying little by little until I reach my desired/required coverage. I apply it with a small flat brush and then build and build. This step probably takes the longest out of all my daily makeup routine, but trust me it’s worth it. After applying the product and dabbing it in to the skin with my finger I am almost entirely rid of my purple shadows. Then I do my whole face with foundation and I then apply a thin swipe of Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer and blend that in with a Real Techniques brush, then (final step, I promise) I sweep the area with the Bobbi Brown setting powder found in the Creamy Concealer Kit. The whole process may seem like a bit of work, but it guarantees to give me proper under eye coverage all day and doesn’t look worn out, cakey or get set in the creases; even at the end of another long day. One thing worth mentioning with this Corrector is that moisture is essential. I apply a light gel based serum to the area before getting started and let it soak in for a couple of minutes. This gives the Corrector a good base to cling to and ensures it doesn’t gather in those fine lines.

Bobbi Brown Corrector in Porcelain Bisque

My other love from this haul is the Pink Ballet lip pencil.
I picked this up because it filled a gap in my makeup collection (how very practical of me), I didn’t have a pinky nude lip pencil. I have a brown nude, I have a peach nude and now I have a pink nude too. See? It was essential. As for this pencil itself the colour is lovely and flattering on my pale skintone; it adds warmth without adding too much colour, it wears well and isn’t too hard in texture. Overall, a good pick.
Bobbi Brown Lip Pencil in Ballet Pink

And as for the items I would be happy to leave.
I could definitely live without the Creamy Concealer Kit and the lipstick I got. Although I quite enjoy the powder for setting my under eye area the concealer itself I could be without. I don’t believe you can purchase that shade powder (the colour is White, I'm really pale) alone so I'll have to check out the full range of Sheer Finish Pressed Powders and see if they have another colour that works just as well. I use it to set the area under my eyes, around my nose and on my chin. and it works well. The Concealer itself though, I’d pass on.

Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer Kit in Porcelain / White Powder
As for the lipstick, well the smell itself isn’t enough to put me off entirely but it’s certainly not my favourite scent. I find it neither moisturising nor drying exactly but after wearing it for a few hours I do feel like I really need a good lip balm. The colour is Pale Pink and is a sheer finish. It is a lovely tone but that's about all it has going for it my opinion.
Bobbi Brown Rouge A Levres Lipstick in Pale Pink

I will keep using all these products, they aren’t bad they just aren’t all standouts so perhaps they will grow on me or I’ll find another purpose for them. I definitely think that Bobbi Brown has some great products and I’ll definitely we keeping a more watchful eye on the new collections and products that come out. But in all seriousness, if you struggle with a dark under eye area and want a product that will last give this one a go. I can’t guarantee it will work as amazingly for you as it does for me, but on the chance that it might it's worth the trial and error to find Holy Grail products.

LINK: Bobbi Brown

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Lunch With Bobbi Brown

Today I was lucky enough to attend a gorgeous event created by the Australian company Business Chicks which promotes women in business and offers networking events to help connect them with inspirational players in the corporate world as well as like minded business people.

Business Chicks Bobbi Brown Luncheon
It was the first event I have attended with the company but when I saw who the guest speaker was I bought my ticket immediately and could hardly wait for the big day, there was no way I was going to miss this. The luncheon was hosted by Bobbi Brown who is an absolute powerhouse in the cosmetics industry with eight books, an extensive range of products and retail outlets the world over. What has always captured my attention about this brand in particular is that, yes they sell makeup, but what they are really selling is a state mind of mind. Deep huh? But seriously, most advertising campaigns for cosmetic houses leave you thinking that if you buy those products you’ll look as pretty as the model. Who is usually genetically gifted, airbrushed to perfection and hasn’t eaten anything that would risk a breakout in a very long time. But when I look at the promotional material for Bobbi Brown I can’t help but think that if I buy her makeup products I’ll be as happy and confident as her smiling and healthy looking models (who by the way, still look like real everyday people, often because they are). Her recent campaign stars have included Katie Holmes and Kate Upton who are truly stunning women but still have a naturalness and a warmth that I think reflects the Bobbi brand perfectly, as well as using a range of everyday people who she has met throughout her life for the photographs in her books as well.
Business Chicks Bobbi Brown Luncheon
Business Chicks Bobbi Brown Luncheon
I love that her foundations let freckles shine through and aim to even skin tone, not ‘perfect’ it and how her skincare doesn’t make drastic claims about re-winding the effects of aging or ridding your face of fine lines in a certain timeframe. Instead Bobbi said that there’s no product anywhere that gets rid of lines entirely but there are ways to minimise their emphasis and enhance your preferred features and all of her advice and suggestions seemed to always come back to leading a healthy and balanced life.
So the main message of today? Well I think what was encapsulated for me by the whole event is that makeup is a tool you can use to make yourself the best version of yourself. When we wear makeup it changes the way we feel and hold ourselves and whether it is just a bit of concealer and a sweep of lipgloss or a whole drawer of different products it is the confidence you feel when you wear them that is the true power of makeup.
Business Chicks Bobbi Brown Luncheon Bobbi's Life Rules
So after today and hearing some of the history and the priorities of the brand I’m now really inspired to go and peruse the Bobbi Brown counter and hopefully walk away with some new goodies to play with. And I’ll most definitely be attending more Business Chicks functions in the future; I couldn’t recommend them enough for offering highly organised, well managed and engaging events.

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Benefit Haul

So I needed new tweezers. And a new beige cream eye shadow base. And maybe a new highlight product at an absolute stretch, but before I knew it there were seven things in my Benefit bag, you know how it is.

Having said that I’m super excited to play with all my new goodies as each is something I have never tried before. I have always loved the packaging from Benefit but for some reason they aren’t a brand that I have actually purchased many items from. I have had mixed results in the past from their products, I love Hoola Bronzer but the That Gal Primer left me pretty unimpressed.
Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow in Birthday Suit and Skinny Jeans

Tweezerman for Benefit
Benefit Watt's Up
But as I said, I needed a couple of things and so I thought I’d give Benefit a go and trial a range of their products, just for good measure. Happily I can report that my first impressions are good so I’m very excited to try all these out very soon. Especially the Watt’s Up Highlight, it swatches with the most beautiful golden, candle-lit glow and the Birthday Suit Creaseless Cream Shadow which I think will be a total winner in this warm weather.

Benefit Watt's Up

Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow in Birthday Suit (L) and Skinny Jeans (R)
I can't wait to give these a go, trying new makeup products out is something I really enjoy because you never know what you are going to find, you could find a product that just isn't for you but you could also stumble across your next holy grail find.

LINK: Benefit Cosmetics