Saturday, 24 January 2015

Topcoat To Get You Out The Door Fast

I'm a big believer in no nail polish being better than chipped nail polish but unfortunately I don't always have the time for touch-ups every couple of days which means most colour applications are quite short lived and I'm quickly back to a natural buff. I have always done the whole 'base coat, layer of colour then a top coat to seal' procedure and it really is quite the process. It's especially lengthy if like me, you start pottering around the house dinting your digits on everything you touch and then need an extra coat of something to hide your impatience/clumsiness.

I picked up a bottle of the INM Out The Door topcoat when I finished my last bottle of OPI Drip Dry Drops and not only is this the fastest drying topcoat I have ever used but it also dries as hard as a rock in no time, making your new manicure immune to immediate scuffs and dints. I find I can get a solid five days out of a colour now, after then my tips start to fade courtesy of typing all day but even at day five there are rarely any chips at all.

INM Out The Door Fast Drying Nail Topcoat

Since discovering this little miracle worker I have gotten back into the swing of painting my nails again and here are some of my favourites that I have being wearing recently:

Essie Bright Nail Polishes
Clockwise Starting With Leftmost: Essie
Watermelon, Peach Daiquiri, Chinchilly, Mint Candy Apple, Lapis of Luxury, Splash of Grenadine and Adore-A-Ball

As far as basecoats go I rate the Essie First Base as my winner, and it is leaps and bounds ahead of the OPI equivalent. I actually find that my colour will chip and flake quicker if I use the OPI base than if I don't use a base at all.

Essie First Base Nail Base Coat

But for a topcoat to seal in your colour and prevent chips I wouldn't go past INM Out The Door. If you find maintaining a mint-condition mani all a bit tedious and time-consuming this is definitely worth giving a go.

LINK: INM Out The Door
LINK: Essie Nail Polishes

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Mario Badescu Facial Spray

Anyone who has ever ventured out to find a new moisturizing product will know that almost every skincare item out there claims to be 'moisturizing', 'nourishing' or 'renewing'. Whether it be a cream, lotion, treatment, serum or gel they all seem to declare variations of the same thing. But how many actually change your skin? Most products will make you skin feel different immediately but few make permanent changes to the appearance and feel of your actual skin.

I recently received an order from BeautyBay and as part of the order they kindly included two free sample sized Mario Badescu products. One of the samples was the Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs and Rosewater. Now I should start by saying that I was already a fan of this particular skincare line but they have such a vast offering of products that I was probably not likely to try this particular one.

I'm lucky to have picked it up as a freebie because I would have never added a 'Facial Spray' to my cart. I just wouldn't have ever thought it would do all that much for my skin. But I would have been very wrong indeed. In fact I loved this product so much a went out and bought a full sized one before I was even half way through my sample, I wasn't going to run the risk of being without this amazing product, not even for a day or two.

Mario Badescu Facial Spray

I use this after I get out of the shower (after cleansing) to lock in a bit of moisture before I apply my night time moisturizer. I find that it helps my cream slide on with a bit more slip and in the morning my skin definitely looks plumper and I have less dry spots (like on my forehead and nose) than when I don't use the spray. This in turn gives my foundation a smoother base to cling to and as a result I achieve a much nicer finish.

It has a gorgeously fresh floral scent that smells of Rose however the ingredients section lists Gardenia Extract and Aloe Juice, but no specific Rose extract. In terms of the scent I still love the Caudalie Beauty Elixir but with the Mario Badescu spray costing a mere fraction of the Elixir's hefty price tag I can spray this liberally every day and not wince at the thought of how much it is costing me.

I will also occasionally use this on top of my makeup to refresh it if I need to get a few more hours than normal out of my face, and when I do this it does do a great job of freshening up and setting my makeup but my main recommendation for this spray is when used underneath your regular skincare as an extra layer of moisture. And honestly, at this time of year especially, who would say no to that?

LINK: Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs and Rosewater

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Friday Night Bubbles

The first full week back at work after the holiday season is always a drag. All the Christmas build-up and anticipation is over and jobs like pulling down fairy lights, dismantling the tree and re-boxing all the decorations for the next eleven months demand your attention. The shops are still crazy busy as the Boxing Day sales continue which means that lunch-break dash into a store to grab one thing is never going to be a quick task. Not to mention the comedown from New Years! Add to that a week of wild weather; a few near 40°C days and a few afternoons of torrential rain and thunderstorms and I’d say this week has lasted what feels like an eternity.
Fortunately for me, someone somewhere invented bubble baths.
Philosophy Senorita Margarita
My favourite Friday night in is spent in a hot bath tub with mountains of bubbles and a great book or TV show. It also most likely includes a full facemask so I look like an absolute treat but it is completely heavenly so appearances can fall by the wayside, I don't mind.
My current favourite bubble bath is the Philosophy Senorita Margarita. It will turn your bath water a lovely and fresh lime green colour if you use enough (and I suggest you do, we want loads of bubbles here). It has a lovely and fresh fruity aroma and I find the gel itself to be gentle on the skin and quite moisturising. It smells of lime definitely but I also get a hit of apple so it's a great scent for the warmer months as this stuff doubles as a shower gel, but I'll be saving mine for more luxurious baths.
No relaxing bath is complete without the gentle flicker of a flame so add your favourite scented candle and even the longest week will fade off to be a distant memory. This one from Tilley Australia has a beautiful Orange Blossom scent, so although it is a citrus based aroma it is still quite sweet which I love.
Tilley Australia Orange Blossom

LINK: Philosophy Senorita Margarita
LINK: Tilley Australia Candles

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Lipsticks Make The Best Presents

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I used to get really in to the Christmas collections that all the big cosmetic houses put out each year. Limited edition products, special gifts with purchases, unique packaging and very often some smaller sized offerings which allow you to try a handful of new products without the full sized price tags. I had gone off them recently but this year NARS has suckered me back in and this beauty was added to my Christmas list.

I have been a longtime fan of the NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencils, they are easy to apply and are insanely pigmented meaning high staying power. If you aren't familiar with these products they are your typical lip colour in a crayon that is available from almost every brand. Note though that these aren't the wind-up variety, they do require a special NARS pencil sharper. But what sets NARS apart, for me anyway, is the amazing range of colours and the longevity of their bright and dark shades.

This year NARS released a set of 5 travel-sized colours in the Digital World gift set, housed in a lovely acrylic box. Two of the colours are from the permanent range however the other three are limited editions (two of which are repromotes from past collections). In any case they were five that I didn't already have so I figured it was a perfect way to try a few more.

L - R: Iberico, Torres Del Paine, Descanso, Yu and Cruella

The colour range is great with two Matte Velvet shades and three Satin finishes, and since they work out significantly more cost effective than their larger counterparts I would definitely recommend giving them a whirl if you are new to NARS lip products, or if like me, you can just never have too many.