Friday, July 15, 2016

2016 Empties - Second Quarter

I finally feel like I'm making a dent in my backup stash of beauty and bath products, and with much more room for storage in the cupboards of my spare rooms I'm a lot more content with things in general. Let's have a look at what I've finished up so far this year!
The Dirty Works Life's A Beach Coconut Scrub* took me a while to finish as it just wasn't scrubby enough to make me want to reach for it, whereas the Cocoa Brown Tough Stuff Scrub* I eked out bit by bit to make it last longer. As an aside, you should all follow Marissa Carter on Snapchat (cartermarissa) as it led to me gaining a deep admiration for her as a person and her brand  - her product tips are pretty spot on too! Also used up were a variety of shower gels, most notably a hotel sample from our honeymoon in Hawaii which brought back beautiful memories and the new Cherry & Nettle Original Source which was just heavenly.
Mister Bovary finished up his beloved Muk Hard Muk Styling Mud that was featured in his recent post here, while I finished off a pot of my favourite hair mask, Dove's Intensive Repair. I tried out some new anti-dandruff shampoos that were just okay, and emptied out a bottle of coconut and lime conditioner that was also hoarded from our honeymoon in 2014.
I'm probably most proud of using up two cleansers, my unofficial goal for the year is to work through the cleansers in my stash and use them up entirely so I can justify trying newly released cleansers on the market. I finished the Paula's Choice Hydralight One Step Face Cleanser that I won from The Belle Lumiere and a tube of the Natio Facial Cleansing Balm which I'll have a full review of up soon (spoiler alert: it's great!) I also finished up some travel and sample sized products: Neutrogena Deep Clean Gentle Scrub (contains microbeads, not effective) Simple Kind to Eyes Eye Makeup Remover (not effective) Natralus Paw Paw 95% Pure Moisturiser (no petroleum, yahoo!) and Kate Somerville Exfolikate Cleanser (instant love)
I'm still not using up as much makeup as I'd like but at least my samples are getting a workout, right? I used up the Rimmel Lasting Finish Powder Foundation* by using it as a pigmented setting powder, and a tube of my Face of Australia Face Base Primer which I recommend to everyone. Also gone are a sample vial of Chanel Coco Mademoiselle and sample sachets of Too Faced Shadow Insurance (great stuff!) and Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer (was glad to try because of the hype, would like to trial properly one day!)
I look forward to the days of having a curated stash, but for now I'm content with delving through my old hoarding efforts and coming up with new products to try out and use up. I've curbed the habit of flip-flopping between skincare and body products leaving a tonne of half-empty bottles in my wake and that has to count for something, right?
-Emma x

*Marked products were provided for consideration. Honesty, always.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The Sculpting Cheek Palette

I know that it would take a tonne of people from Kim Kardashian's squad to transform my chipmunk cheeks into anything resembling a sculpted face, but this is as close as I've come with ease to having anything resembling cheekbones, so lets just let me indulge for a moment. When this product hit my desk I thought it was cute, but didn't think much more if I'm honest. I'm not one to wear bronzer everyday, I prefer my highlight more intense than the daily average, and trying to pry a Chanel Joues Contraste blush out of my hands is a task in itself - but I'm happy to report that my cheek look lately was done with a single palette, from the drugstore!

Kate Moss for Rimmel London has created this sculpting palette in 002 Coral Glow* that is adorably packaged, and actually brings the goods when it comes to pigment and lasting power. For my first few uses I neglected the blush shade and used the aforementioned Chanel pan, but during the second week of use I figured that if I liked the contour and highlight shade that much, I should probably give the seemingly plain blush a red hot go. It turns out that Rimmel know what they're on about when it comes to cheeks - the easy to wear blush colour is a winner and I featured it in my recent favourites post!

pretty neat guide on the back of the packaging
I knew I needed to dedicate a post to this when I caught myself raving about it to my Mum, sister and nieces when they asked what I was wearing, and a few have since bought it for themselves on my recommendation. I use the very tame 'day appropriate' highlighter first on the tops of my cheekbones (or where they would be if you could see them) and then the contour shade underneath the cheekbones. I'm not game enough for a full on contoured look like Kim K (and this shade has some slight shimmer so I'm sure diehard contour fans wouldn't approve anyway!) but this blends with almost no effort to give my face a bit of shape, and I take it up through my temples and the top of my forehead which warms up my very pale complexion without looking like Snooki circa 2009.
A helpful photo if you've forgotten where cheeks are...LOL

This palette gets two thumbs up from me, and if you follow me on Snapchat (emmabovaryt) I'm sure you've spotted this product quite a few times in my flat lays and get ready with me shots! It's a bargain at $16.95 and my niece sent me a Snapchat saying she scored it for half price at last week, so keep your eyes peeled at the usual drugstore haunts (Priceline, Woolworths, Coles etc)

Emma x

*Product provided for consideration. Honesty, always.

Monday, July 11, 2016

2016 Empties - First Quarter

Why did I leave the first instalment in this years empties so late? Purely because I am forgetful, but I want it up for my own personal record so this will be short and sweet with the next instalment up this Friday!
I'd purchase all of these shower products again - The Body Shop makes amazing shower gels, Original Source is my affordable go-to, Palmolive scents are divine and Lush is lush - need I say more?
I was disappointed with my Hollister Silver Strand Beach Body Spray that I ended up using as a room spray - I adore the scent and ambience of their stores but think their true scents are the way to go as this smelt of alcohol to me. I'll miss the addition of a classy rose scent in my collection now that I've finished up Bvlgari Rose Essentielle, and it will be a while before I purchase the lovely smelling Schwarzkopf Ultimate Repair Anti-Damage Mask again as I'm trialling a stack of other hair products now.
This is the section that makes me feel most accomplished. For the first quarter I used up Maybelline Make-Up Remover* (wasn't effective) My Beauty Diary Red Vine sheet mask (enjoyed this) Biore Deep Cleansing Pore Strips (automatic repurchase) and am tossing the Yes to Cucumber Wipes* as they dried up before I could finish them. I was sad to finish off my Dermalogica Precleanse as it's my favourite cleansing oil, and my love affair with La Roche-Posay Efflaclar Duo+* is well documented on this blog. I also used up an adorably teensy Bioderma Crealine H2O and Caudalie Cleansing Water, which was okay but I still prefer the classic Bioderma or Garnier cleansing waters.
What products do you find most satisfying to use up? It's always frustrating if the product is limited edition or hard to get your hands on, but even finishing my favourite skincare can be annoying because it just means I have to fork out more cash to have it back in my routine!
-Emma x
*Marked products were provided for consideration.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Winter Kissed Cheeks with essence // Winter Wonderful Blush

I recently fell into the trap of using only my high end blushes each morning when I put on my face, and while my love for the likes of Chanel and MAC run strong I knew it meant I was neglecting a whole stack of other wonderful blushes! I'm still being a bit of a blush snob (as you will see in my upcoming blush rotation post!) but have added a cheek trio into my routine, as well as this newly released and limited edition blush from one of my favourite affordable brands, essence! 
The Winter Wonderful collection was full of some pretty neat looking products, but the one that spoke to me straight away was the Winter Kissed Cheeks blush - I mean, look at that embossing and the mix of pink, peach and nude!? I also knew from experience that the limited edition blushes tend to be more pigmented than the standard run of essence blushes, so that pop of hot pink was a welcome addition for a truly winter-appropriate flush.

Each shade swatched individually, then mixed
There are small particles of glimmer in the powder but in swatches and during use it translates to a satin finish, and almost a matte/satin finish on the cheeks for me. I like how easy it is to add a pop of colour to my apples without having to blend it out much at all, and I'm happy to report that the flush of pink colour lasted all day on my cheeks when I trialled it. I'm constantly frustrated by blushes that fade, so to have a pan around the $6 AUD mark that stays put leaves a big smile on my face for sure.
Are you a blush snob too?
What is your favourite high end and drugstore blush?
-Emma x

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Mister Bovary's Current Favourites

When it comes to my husband, low-key is the perfect way to describe him! Since I've slowly been working beauty products into his routine he has enough of a product pool to pick some favourites for me, so here is his inaugural current favourites post! 
Scent is a driving factor for so many of his favourites, so it makes sense that two of his favourites are aftershaves! His very favourite is Polo Red by Ralph Lauren, but he recently hijacked my bottle of Calvin Klein CK2* that is marketed as a unisex fragrance. It doesn't mesh all that well with me but he loves the oceanic scent on himself so I was happy to let him take over use of the bottle.

Another seemingly random favourite of his? Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist, which smells divine and is another item we 'share' but that he uses more of by far. He loves that it relaxes him and his skin drinks it up, plus I love the cool mist and luxurious scent right before bed every evening.

He hardly ever does anything to his hair (beanies are his newfound love!) but when he does it's all about the MUK Hard Muk Styling Mud, which is a firm paste that tousles his short hair perfectly. I buy him the 2 pack when it goes on special at Hairhouse Warehouse so we always have it on the go for special occasions. Staples in his routine are his beloved Rexona (we share as I prefer the male selection to the floral and sweet female deodorants!) and the Biore Pore Strips - grossly satisfying, am I right?
Is your man into primping or preening? What is his favourite product? Is there anything cool you think I should buy for Mister to try out and review for you?
-Emma x

*Product provided for consideration. Honesty, always.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Melbourne Tea Festival - Review & Haul

Coming from Melbourne I'm a big fan of a good cup of coffee, but in recent years I've become partial to a good cup of tea as well, which is what drew me to the Melbourne Tea Festival! I spotted a mention of it on Facebook and marked it as something I'd love to attend, so at the end of May my husband and I hopped on a train into the city to see what the first ever Melbourne Tea Festival was all about! Keeping in mind that my husband doesn't really drink tea I knew I didn't want to spend the whole day at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, and despite their being specialist workshops available I wasn't interested in spending the extra money on those this time around (entry was $15 at the door, and workshops ranged from $20-$44 each on top of that)
We ended up visiting every stall as they festival wasn't a big one, and I spent quite a bit loading up on lots of new tea brands to try. It was a little bit difficult to access each stall as there were people standing around each one drinking tea from the provided tasting cups, but it was still great to see so many Australian brands spruiking their wares. My favourite stall was the Madame Flavour one (they make my favourite choc mint rooibos tea!) because they had lots of different teas to sample, and had the owners daughter serving (seen here!) and she was an absolute star.
catching up with Mum after the festival
Melbourne CBD
Sliders on Tyres
Our sliders!
Tea Ceremony on show
Sliders on Tyres were a highlight of our day, I had The Fisherman which was fried tender calamari, crisp lettuce and lemon mayo, while Mr has The Boss with pork sausage, BBQ capsicum, double cheese, lettuce and aioli. The hand cut chips were way too thick though, next time I'd definitely get a few sliders each and omit the fries altogether. I thought it was clever to have a range of food trucks at the venue with a picnic area set up, as it gave another dimension to the event and provided much needed fuel after sampling so many tea flavours. The hauling was easily my favourite part of the day though...
I definitely didn't hold back when it came to buying new teas to try!
-Madame Flavour Afternoon in Paris tea + a stack of samplers
-Truly Tea Coconut Tea (Byron Bay)
-The Art of Tea Choc Mintea (Tasmania)
-The Dragon Tea Company Doublemint & Moroccan Berber (Bendigo)
It felt great to be supporting Australian companies and I can't wait to try all of these new blends. I love my tea sweet or minty, as evident in the flavours I chose.

Some new tea accessories I bought after attending the Tea Festival!
You can check out their facebook and website if you are interested in the next tea festival (they also hold one in Sydney!) I had a good time but wouldn't be able to spend a whole afternoon there - it was a nice part of a day in the city though, and I think I would go again if I had the chance.
Are you a tea or coffee drinker, or both? What is your favourite thing to sip?
Emma x

*Not a sponsored post, just my thoughts on an experience I paid for myself. Honesty, always.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Dermalogica Skin Prep Scrub - Product Review

I'm hard pressed to think of a Dermalogica product I've tried that hasn't been terrific...this Skin Prep Scrub* sample cements that, and I was pleased with how long this 22ml sample tube lasted with regular use. I can't remember if I came across this in a subscription box or through the Dermalogica PR but it has no bearing on my thoughts anyway - this is one of the few manual exfoliators I've really enjoyed! If I had to classify my tastes I'd say I preferred chemical/fruit acid exfoliants, but I do appreciate a scrubby facial scrub and I like to alternate use between the two for optimum results. Goodness knows that this is better than the scratchy formulas out on the market!
"This skin polishing scrub with finely-granulated Corn Cob Meal gently removes dulling surface debris, allowing for improved absorption of moisturizing treatments. Skin is left with a smooth, healthy-looking finish. Formulated without artificial fragrances and colors." Taken from the Dermalogica website. It's also worth noting that Dermalogica are Cruelty Free and PETA Accredited.
Water (Aqua), Disodium Cocoamphodipropionate, Glyceryl Stearate, Zea Mays (Corn) Cob Meal, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Polysorbate 20, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Citric Acid, Malva Slyvestris (Mallow) Extract, Hedera Helix (Ivy) Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Sambucus Nigra Flower Extract, Arnica Montana Flower Extract, Parietaria Officinalis Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Tocopheryl Acetate, Potassium Sorbate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Sodium Benzoate, Disodium EDTA, Butylene Glycol, Benzyl Alcohol, Xanthan Gum, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891).
It's quite a thick paste-like texture and you hardly need any to get a good scrub (even on my giant chipmunk cheeks!) and as you would want from a facial scrub, it leaves your skin smooth and soft. I love applying a hydrating mask after using this and find that it allows product to penetrate the skin more deeply. This doesn't leave my skin tight after use which means I look forward to using it when my skin needs rid of all the dead skin cells. I tend to only avoid using this if I have a rare angry spot as I don't like using manual scrubs when my skin is sore, as the abrasive nature aggravates the blemish giving me dramas I don't want to deal with.
Overall a big thumbs up for me, this is a product I'd happily buy once I've worked through my stocks of scrubs. Nothing better than a smooth face, right?

Dermalogica Skin Prep Scrub $49.50 AUD/75ml
Available at Adore Beauty

*Provided for consideration. Honesty, always.
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