Friday, May 31, 2013

What's In My Makeup Bag

I’ve recently begun to appreciate a well-stocked makeup bag for every day, and so have been using this Lust Have It bag in my very favourite colour to tote around the basics so that I am prepared for whatever is thrown my way. Let’s dive in!

I always keep a mini perfume vial in my makeup bag in case I need to freshen up during the day, and at the moment Oscar de la Renta’s Sargasso* has the top spot. As a side note, I also keep a travel sized Rexona in my handbag, but it is too bulky to fit inside the actual makeup bag, as is my Uriage Thermal Facial Spray*. I also keep a small mirror that was a gift from Chris as well as my essence Return to Paradise blotting papers, to absorb any oil throughout the day.
I don’t always keep my Manicare tweezers* in my makeup bag, but I’m in need of a brow wax and am using these to tame them until I can get there. I also love keeping my YSL Touche Eclat* on me at all times, as I use it to cover any redness or blemishes that pop up throughout the day (I apply with clean fingers, not the brush) and Chris also likes popping a bit of this on if we’re heading out after work, to cover his dark circles. My current powder is the MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Light, but I have to say that I still prefer my Maybelline Dream Matte powder for both the finish and the oil control. I also keep the blush of the day in my bag (in this case Tarte Exposed) in case I need to top it up before work (I have been working in retail after placement + uni) or want to intensify the colour at all. I keep brushes for each of these powders, alternating them with whatever is clean that morning.

I always like to keep a selection of lip products on me in case my mood changes during the day, or I want to switch out the colour for evening. Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Boy is something I am trying to use up (look out for my Chanel Boy challenge post next week!) and the Kool Aid lip balm is one of the nicest I’ve tried in a long time. I have been loving the new Max Factor Colour Elixir lip crayons (shade pictured is Couture Blush) and my Nars gloss in Oasis. Other lip products include my beloved Carmex balms*, Barry M Toffee lipgloss and Rimmel Apocalips in Celestial.
I love having my essentials with me all the time on long days – how much do you carry around on a daily basis?
What powder are you using at the moment?
Do you carry around as many lip products as I do?

*Marked items were provided for consideration, but were honestly in my makeup bag. Honesty, always.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Adore Beauty Sampler Bag

I love the idea of sample boxes, but am often left disappointed with the lacklustre contents and unused products that fill my drawers even though I’ve long cancelled any subscriptions. I was elated to see that Adore Beauty have once again brought out some sampler packs, letting customers know exactly what they are getting before they order! All of the products are high quality and decently (cutely!) sized, and I was kindly sent the Skincare/Makeup option as opposed to the Skincare/Haircare option.

Before I hop onto my mini-loving bandwagon, let me mention the other products that fill this lovely sampler bag. The St.Tropez Illuminator is pretty darn cool, I had thought ‘ooh nice brand’ and thought no more of it, but when I swatched it I saw that it is fill of iridescent blue shimmers that have blown my mind. Can’t wait to play around with this and see how I can make it work for me. The Philosophy Purity cleanser is a nice size to get a feel for the brand; I actually have another of the same size in my stash so thumbs up for two travel friendly cleansers to trial!
I was also happy to see a nice Rose Balm from Lanolips included, I’ve had lots of experience with their lovely lip products but am yet to try this rose scented tube. Another product I haven’t had much experience with (technically) is the Napoleon Perdis Auto Pilot Primer (not to prime is a crime, as Mister Christopher loves quoting when I apply my makeup!) I have heard that this is the same formula as my beloved Face of Australia Face Base primer, so thumbs up already if that is true.
Let’s talk mini products- I am a huge sucker for them! Look how darn cute the mini products are, Bioderma Crealine h20 comes in a few sizes and I had previously thought my travel sized bottle* was the cutest of the family, but as it turns out this little guy trumps them all! I will be saving this for a weekend away with Mister Christopher, until then the squeeing will continue.
Next to regular sized products from my stash, for comparison

The squeeing continues with the mini Benefit They’re Real, which is adorable compared to the regular sized mascara. I have had the normal tube for so long, sitting unopened in my mascara drawer waiting for the right moment to crack it open. I am a big fan of travel sized mascaras as I find they last a long time without taking up too much space in the makeup bag, so I am going to make an effort to try this highly lauded mascara soon. I have also had TheBalm Hot Mama in my stash for a while and think I might like it more than the famed Nars Orgasm, so when I saw this little baby pan I was thrown into a world of cute! I think it might take a bit of work with a smaller than usual sized blush brush, but seriously, I think I might just keep it out on my desk to make me smile.

So I am happy to report that the sampler packs contain a wonderful group of products to get you out of any skincare or makeup rut, and they each retail for $34.95AUD at Adore Beauty (click this to buy, not an affiliated link) I am pretty chuffed with my super cute mini's and am excited to try out the new products and see how I go with them. In the sampler you also receive a 10% off voucher to use on any full size version of the products included, which is a terrific idea from the Adore Beauty team!

What are YOUR opinions on sample box subscriptions or sampler bags?
Do you wish they were all as good as this one?

*Sampler bag was provided for consideration. Honesty, always.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Get Pompous in 60 Seconds with Rimmel London

Sometimes I just get gripped by the thought of a new polish, and the obsession won’t leave until the shade has coated my tips. I was hauling at Chemist Warehouse’s infamous 50% off sale when I spotted Rimmel’s Pompous at the checkout. Rather than go down the sensible route and just tack it onto my order, I told myself I never wear purple polishes and moved along. In my spare moments during the week I kept thinking about the multi coloured shimmers in the purple base, and succumbed to the pressure before work one night and set out to hunt it down.

After seeing the Pompous spot empty at Priceline (where Rimmel polishes were 2 for $10) and on the My Chemist shelf (where Rimmel was 50% off!) I managed to snare a bottle for the lovely price of $3.98 (usually $7.95) from the other My Chemist in the area, right by my work! I was elated at my purchase, and love the way that this applies and looks on the nails. I really need to love a purple shade for it to make it onto my nails, and this hasn’t disappointed. I definitely prefer the deep and glossy complexity that a top coats adds to this colour (Seche Vite, for example) as I tried a thinner top coat and (the Skin Food pictured below) it just didn’t have the same appeal.

Have you ever become obsessed with the thought of owning a beauty product? What lengths have you gone to in order to track it down?

*Purchased by me, and the Skin Food top coat was a much appreciated CP from the stunning Emily Quak from Emily’s Anthology. Thanks Emily!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Trying Out a New Brand // Shu Uemura

Trying out a new brand for the first time is such an exciting moment, especially for someone who spends so much time in the beauty world. Previous to these products I had tried the Shu Uemura Skin Purifying Cleansing Oil (pink bottle) and enjoyed the small sample bottle, but apart from that I had only gazed in awe at the luxurious lashes at the David Jones counter on Bourke St Melbourne, and not actually tried my hand at any of the colour products available. I know of so many bloggers who are big Shu fans, and I was elated when a package full of this makeup (and a cleansing oil) landed on my desk.
I used all of the makeup in a single look in order to showcase them all, and it just so happened that all of the shades worked well together. The Glow On blush refill in Soft Orange (M 542) is quite a pastel shade, and when compared to something like Cream Soda from MAC is really is orange. Though I applied the cheek shade heavily in order to take these photos, I think a lighter flush would work well on my pale skin tone and be a nice change to my usually orange (which tends to be Stila Gerbera more often than not!) I still prefer some of the other blush shades from the brand though, so though I like the formula this colour isn't 100% in my book.

The Drawing Pencil in Pearly Gold was surprisingly my favourite product from this package, and I love the way that the pale gold looks as an inner corner highlight. I have used this pencil quite a lot for that task, and though it isn’t a shade I would normally pick out I think it has made me rethink my choices when I head to a makeup counter. Often I reach for the typical ‘exciting’ products (blush, anyone?) but pencils like this can slot so well into an everyday routine to perk it up a bit!

Working with the warm toned theme, Shu Uemura kindly sent me a Rouge Unlimited lipstick in Bright Orange, and I think the sleek modern packaging really stands out amongst my black MAC and gold YSL lipstick tubes. I love the way this glides on without accentuating any dryness on my lips, and I think I really needed a shade like this to stand as a true orange in my collection, as opposed to the bountiful coral oranges I tend to collect like Pokemon! I also love the way this photographs, though I think a bit of mascara would have balanced it out a little bit. I was trying to branch out and see how I fared without a bit of definition on the lashes, but I am definitely in camp three-coats-at-least on this one.
So now it is your turn- when was the last time you tried a new brand out for yourself?


*Products were provided for consideration. Opinions are my own. Honesty, always.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Blush Week 02

Any time I feel as though I am in a blush rut, I set myself a challenge to use a different blush each day for a whole week. I find blush week really helps me to dive into my overflowing blush drawer to try shades that haven’t graced my face in a while. I pulled out a few favourites as well as some as yet unloved new shades for this second blush week round, and I hope you enjoy peeking into what I wore last week!
Prom Princess was the first to hit my cheeks, the mid tone pink berry Veronica shade from the MAC Archie’s Girls collection was well worth the hunt. I have been wearing Cream Soda from the Betty side of the collection more often than this pink shade, so I made an effort to put the satin finish onto my apples first off the bat. I tend to wear toned down lip shades when I use this so that I don’t look overdone, I prefer to keep this the star of the show with lots of mascara.
I really wanted to incorporate a cream blush into the mix this blush week, and the best cream blush I own is definitely Powdery Rose from YSL’s Crème de Blush range. I use the Samantha Chapman for Real Techniques Stippling Brush to apply this and I think it does a perfect job of blending it seamlessly into my cheeks. I think the benefit of cream blushes are definitely how great and seamless the finish can be if applied correctly, and the YSL pots are simply perfection for me, as I love that these are a crème to powder and don’t look too dewy without losing the glow.

Of course, during a blush week a moment of weakness is a definite possibility. I thought it would be a case of me reaching for Tarte Exposed (are you getting sick of me mentioning it yet?) but it turned out that L’Oreal The Muse’s Blush was what I gravitated towards without meaning to. The peach shade is really easy to wear and I love how large the pan is, I wish this Project Runway range was available in Australia but unfortunately I bought this from overseas (specifically from Lilladylife’s blog sale!)

Thursday saw me tired and with sore feet as I spent the day teaching and the night working retail, so I was pleased at the pretty flush that Laura Mercier’s Rose Desire left on my cheeks. I’ll be honest and say that I tend to reach for the eyeshadows in the Lingerie palette more than the two cheek shades that sit aside it, but now that I know how pretty Rose Desire is on my fair skin tone I think I will be wearing it a lot more often. Having said that, I will just drop in a mention of how amazing LM palettes are in general- very, very amazing. Highly recommend that you snatch up any you come across, as they sell out quite quickly (as Sleep and Water can attest to!)

Friday was another all day all night work day, and I leant on Rimmel’s Autumn Catwalk blush which is an old favourite of mine that is highly underrated. I’ve seen quite a few US bloggers/Youtubers mentions this line of blushes and I think that they are seriously impressive. The packaging is slimline and the colour of Autumn Catwalk is so lovely (I mix the three shades together, for reference) I am itching to get my hands on other shades from this range, perhaps I will turn to eBay or have a gander at ASOS as I know they stock some Rimmel goodies.
I had been chatting with Sarah from More than Adored and I managed to talk her into buying one of the Illamasqua Blush Duo’s* that I posted about here. I decided to take Ambition* out for a spin and wow, I had forgotten how pretty this shimmery blush is! I love the glow it gives my face and the muted berry tone of it is so pretty in pan and on cheek. I am pretty much a sucker for all things Illamasqua and this is a lot easier to throw on than some of the brighter shades, which my early mornings have appreciated.

To round up the week, I decided to take one of my brand new blushes for a spin! TheBalm’s Frat Boy is described as a peachy apricot and I think it is really pretty on the cheek. It reminds me of NYX Peach but perhaps a tad nicer on? I’m still undecided but either way I really like this, and the slimline pans the TheBalm are famous for really are awesome for storing and travel.

Are you as obsessed with blushes as I am?
What blushes have you been wearing lately? .
*Provided for consideration. Honesty, always


Monday, May 20, 2013

Skincare Routine

Each time I am in the midst of a ‘good skin’ month, I feel the urge to post a round-up of the products that I’ve been enjoying. Despite suffering through what I believe was an allergic reaction to my hair mask (exacerbated by constant scarf wear!) I have been happy with the texture of my skin and am thankful for a range of products for helping me out in that respect. Since I am consistently rotating my skincare in order to review products on this blog, many are press samples or things that I only use for a 6 week period to keep the reviews coming. Just something to keep in mind!
In terms of my morning routine, I like to keep it quite simple and use cleansing water like Bioderma Crealine h20 to rid my skin of any remnants of my nightly routine. I’ll be honest and say that this isn’t always a step I undertake daily as I can be quite lazy in the mornings! I then pop on a full pump of Cetaphil Derma Control SPF30+ moisturiser*, which is broad spectrum and non comedogenic. This keeps my skin smooth and helps prevent acne whilst providing UVA/UVB sun protection. I find this to be a great moisturiser and I’m glad that the lightweight bottle is pump action and cheap enough when it comes time to repurchase! While this sinks in, I begin applying my eye makeup, then move onto applying primer and the rest of my makeup routine.

At night, I take a lot more time caring for my skin. I begin by removing my eye makeup before I hope into the shower, with Maybelline’s City Rescue makeup remover which I am about to run out of. I then use Dermalogica Precleanse* and Antipodes Grace cleanser* while I shower. I am still having a love affair with Precleanse, and am enjoying the touch of class that Antipodes brings to my bathroom. I find the creamy formula of Grace to still be quite lightweight, and it doesn’t add any oil or shine to my skin as I at first thought it might. I do still prefer my Soap & Glory Fab Pore Hot Clothcleanser* though, as I find it leaves my skin softer and smells a little nicer than this luxe metal tube. I switch up my facial scrubs quite often, and right now I’m using the Dermalogica Skin Prep scrub* (sample tube).

After cleansing, I move onto layering a few treatments and serums depending on how my skin is acting that particular day. I suffer from a little bit of acne, and so without these treatments my skin acts a fool! Mario Badescu is wonderful for acne prone skin, and I rely on the Buffering Lotion to take care of my bumpy forehead and deep pimples, while the Drying Lotion stops the spots about to erupt in their tracks. I also love La Roche Posay Efflacar Duo to keep my skin acne free overall, and will definitely be repurchasing when this tube meets its end. I sometimes use Lacura Hyaluronic Gel to help suck some moisture into my skin, but lately I’ve been favouring my Kosmea Radiance 24/7 Youth Boost*.

To end my skincare routine, I take time massaging in a night cream to moisturise the dry patches of my face. I was using a lightweight lotion during the heat wave we experienced earlier in the year, but now that it is chilly I have cracked open my tub of Aveeno Positively Radiant Intensive Night Cream*. Such a lovely name, isn’t it? I found the texture of this really strange, it is sort of like curdled yoghurt, and at first I doubted how hydrating it would be. Happy to report that I was way off, you need the tiniest bit of this to cover your whole face and it works so well at hydrating without being heavy or breaking me out!

Phew! That rounds up the skincare loot that has been slapped on my mug lately. Now it is YOUR turn! What products do you swear by for your skin?

 *Items provided for consideration. Honesty, always.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

What's On My Face // Placement Edition

I began the daunting task of my first rounds of student teaching over a month ago now, and though at first I shook like a leaf and was constantly lost, I am absolutely loving the chance to sink my teeth into what will hopefully be my future career. Since I'm used to wearing bright eye looks to work and university, the change to a teaching position means I've had to evaluate my look. I decided that though my school is quite casual in style I would still tone down my makeup, at least until I get to know the students and they are comfortable around me. I'd rather be known as 'that teacher who helped me with the tricky question' than 'that teacher with the cool eyeshadow!', you know?
My face staples have naturally been lazy morning staples such as Tarte Amazonian Clay blush in Exposed and Australis Curve Ink liner*, but I’ve been throwing a bit of essence Hot Chocolate liner in as well. Chanel Troublant and Stila Glaze are top lip picks, and Chanel makes another appearance with the Pink Explosion JC which lasts all day long on my cheeks.
My default eye look has been a simple one that I trust will last the long work day, and I'm really happy with how it has been working and lasting for me so far. As always, I set a base of MAC Painterly paint pot to give the shadows something to adhere to and to stop them from creasing up as the day goes on. I then go in with my Maybelline Bad to the Bronze Color Tattoo, which creates a nice bronzed chocolate base for my eye. I use my fingers for both of these cream products, and then I head in with a sweet of Maybelline Silken Taupe to ice up the look a wee bit, and just add some interest. It’s quite a strange mix that I stumbled across, but I like the way it makes my eyes pop and is easy to apply.

What makeup look do you turn to for work days? Do you tend to wear neutrals to err on the safe side?

*Provided for consideration. Honesty, always.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Cosmecology Paris // Hydra Skin Hydrating Face Cream

As much as I adore and appreciate the appeal of prestige French skincare, the reality is that I am not always able to indulge in it. I am currently completing my post grad at university, and the pressures of buying a new home and planning a wedding often take a toll on my cosmetic addiction. When I found out that there was an affordable French skincare brand by the name of Cosmecology Paris, I was intrigued.

No outer packaging demonstrates how much the company prides itself on being environmentally aware, and the clear white tubes splashed with colourfully classy ingredient symbols is an attractive addition to my skincare loot. At the Cosmecology Paris launch in South Yarra I had a good sniff of most of the haircare, skincare and bodycare, and I am happy to report that everything smells deliciously fruity and divine!

I have been using the Hydra Skin*  facial moisturiser for quite a long time now and I am about to run out, so I thought it time to sit down and share this product with you. Fruity and nourishing, this aloe + hyaluronic acid filled moisturiser is thicker than a lotion but still sinks in quite fast. I use a pea sized amount each morning and night (though in the PM I use it in conjunction with a serum or facial oil) and though I feel as though it could sink a little deeper, I’m content with how much it moisturises my face. It leaves a slightly shiny finish to the skin, but because I always put it on before bed or under makeup it doesn’t faze me at all.

Priced at only $28 for 50ml, this is a good every day skin moisturiser for all skin types that brings a touch of French skincare to your cabinet, without hurting your purse. I would ideally prefer a matte finish, so those with extremely oily skins may want to look to the Cosmecology Paris Mattifying Face Cream instead.

Cosmecology Paris is salon only, for stockists please ring 1300 300 954. 
What French skincare do you adore?
*This product was provided for consideration. Honesty, always.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Dirty Snow

It has been well documented that I have a weakness for glitter polishes, and as I mentioned in my BYSpolish post one of my very favourite bottles is Cold as Ice from the ultra-affordable brand. The beautiful mix of silvery fine shimmers is so addictive for me, and I adore it when thrown over a cement grey like Wet Cement from Sally Hansen.

Sadly my Seche Vite is super gluggy and in need of resuscitation, but I think I will end up switching to a Sally Hansen topcoat and just deal with it later on. What top coat do you use?

*All bottles purchased by me. Honesty, always.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Mary-Kate & Ashley Inspired Makeup Look

We all remember the Olsen twins for their role on Full House when they were barely walking, but since then they’ve had a rollercoaster ride adjusting to the life that has become typical for a Hollywood child star. One of their stand out features is their unique sense of style (did someone say bag lady?!) and I am personally a huge fan of the makeup looks they tend to play around with. Today I have recreated a look that is inspired by both young ladies, drawing on the non-smiling nature of their street style and the smudgy bronze makeup they tend to favour.

To recreate this look I layered a few coats of Maybelline Colour Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze over my lids, and smudged it quite low underneath my eye. I love the consistency of this shade and how it can be worn sheer or layered and it always looks great. I blended the edges with a fluffy brush and applied a few coats of Face of Australia Impact Curl mascara, and that was it for the eyes!
I’m trialling a few new base products at the moment, and for this look I went for the Palmer’s Eventone BB Cream in Fair/Light*. It gave quite a nice finish to the skin, but I went in with my Maybelline SuperStay Concealer as I have a few blemishes and redness in my skin that the BB cream didn’t completely cover. I chose my favourite neutral blush as the Olsen girls tend to veer away from bright cheeks, and the Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Exposed seemed like the kind of shade that would look beautiful on them. I set everything with a light dusting of Face of Australia Loose Powder in Outback Translucent.*
I originally chose Rimmel Nude Delight lipstick for this look, but once it was applied I remembered why I only ever wear this shade underneath a gloss – by itself it just isn’t flattering on me! Once I threw a bit of Elianto Baby Nude over the top I was really happy with the result, and thought it suited the overall look nicely. 

Do you think I captured the bohemian/chic style of Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen? I actually felt beautiful in this look (especially once I cracked a smile!) and have worn a variation of it quite often since I took these photos.

Who are your style icons? I'd love for you to tell me about their style in the comments!

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

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