Monday, April 30, 2012

U.S Makeup Swap!

Back around Valentine's Day, Beast and Beauty organised a makeup swap so that we could all benefit from the beauty that was available internationally. I was paired with the lovely nail blogger Sun-Dried Lacquer, and if you are interested in seeing what Australian goodies I chose to send her, please see her post here! As you can see from the image above, she went above and beyond and absolutely spoilt me rotten! I am so envious of those living in America, beauty products are much cheaper there and I would love to be able to haul like crazy over there!

These two beauties were special requests on my part, as I knew that they were affordable and easy to find over there. Tough as Taupe Color Tattoo from Maybelline, as well as a Dream Bouncy Blush.

Polishes galore! I was quite angry with the way the postal system works, as I enquired about sending polish overseas and was adamantly told over and over again that it was impossible to do. When my parcel arrived filled with beautiful lacquers, I felt terrible that I hadn't been able to send any at all! Mini Essie's and a gorgeous Zoya were highlights in this lot, as well as that glitter and stunning NYX berry shade.

A gorgeous NYC palette filled shades made for blue eyes and instructions on how to use them!

Some great Physicians Formula products that I don't have access to here in Australia. Our woeful Physicians Formula stands in Priceline really do my head in. Anyone agree?

A beautiful pearl-style bracelet, Zum Bar Goats Milk soap bar, Sally Hansen nail goody and Physicians Formula Shimmer Strip!

I've been wanting to try these Yes To Cucumbers wipes so I was elated to have a huge packet nestled into my parcel.

Have you tried any of these products before? I would love to know what you think I should review first. My favourite products from the swap were the gorgeous polishes, the Maybelline pieces and the NYC wine coloured gloss that matches the lacquer!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

April Favourites

Benefit Watts Up! highlighter*

YSL Rouge Volupte 01 Nude Beige

Rimmel Match Perfection Gel Foundation in Ivory*

Covergirl 185 True Plum blush

L'Occitane Cherry Princess hand cream* (review)

Jack Black lip balm in Vanilla & Lavender

MAC Sheen Supreme lipstick in Asian Flower

MAC Flamingo lipstick 

Nude Beige, Asian Flower, Flamingo

April was a busy month for me with two Easter celebrations, birthdays galore, engagement party planning and university assignments up to my ears. Obsessed with the above products-especially Watts Up and my Rouge Volupte, which have been getting a run for their money in my makeup rotation. What would you like me to review first from this bunch?

Items marked with * were provided for consideration for review, which has not influenced their place in my favourites list. Honesty, always.

Friday, April 27, 2012

My MAC shadow collection

Have begun to fill up my large MAC palette with the few shadows that I own. Some of these came from blog sales, some I depotted myself, and a few are Pro shades I bought instore. I definitely need a better range of colours than this, and many more neutrals, but I do love most of the shades I have in this palette. I have some pre-made palettes from MAC holiday collections etc, but I've chosen to have them in a separate post, so this is not my complete MAC collection.
The large palettes can be purchased from Pro stores for $28 AUD, and fit 15 MAC pans within them. You can wiggle the dividers out in order to fit more than that, but I would rather buy another palette. I've heard the shadows tend to break during travel when the divider is out, so that is also something to consider. You can also buy a 4 pan palette for $10 AUD, which I also own (but cannot find!) I purchased mine from the Chapel St store in Melbourne, which is the nearest Pro store to me.
Outre is breathtaking, and though it looks unassuming in the pan it is amazing when on the lid. Outre came out with the Mac Me Over collection, and was the shadow I was most afraid of chipping when I depotted my shadows recently (post here) It is described as a matte mid-toned mustard. It is excellent with the rose shade from the Nars Grand Palais palette, or paired with other brown shades (especially from the Naked palette)
One of my most worn MAC shades, Mink & Sable is a starflash khaki filled with a golden sheen. I feel that this colour is the most flattering on me, and the compliments I get when I wear this tend to support that idea. I wear this, generally, all by itself, and take it right up and over the crease just a touch before blending it out, and highlighting my brow. It adds a depth to my eyes while the golden sheen brightens them, and it is my favourite MAC shade.
I wear French Cuff quite often during the colder months, and I find it performs best when paired with a wine coloured lip. It was described as a burgundy purple when it was released in 2008 with the Brunette, Blonde, Redhead collection, but I wouldn't align it to a purple, personally. It is a lustre finish and like Mink & Sable, it really lights up my eyes when I wear it. This is really similar to Methology (also called Mythology) and Expensive Pink, which are below, but it prettier in my opinion.
Patina is one that I bought because I heard a lot about it, and I wanted to add more MAC neutrals to my collection. It is a shimmery, brownish taupe with a golden sheen to it. On Makeup and Beauty Blog here, she mentions that it shows up more purple on her than on lighter skin tones, and I agree with that as it's definitely a light-toned brown with a strong gold lean on my light skin. This isn't my most flattering shadow, but I'm still happy to have it in my collection. I just need to play around iwth it some more and find out how to make it work for me.
Methology was a gift from the lovely Melissa (blog here) as she purchased it while in the U.S, but came home to find that it was pretty much identical to her Mythology pan! Not sure what is up with that, if anyone knows why they name varies I'd love to hear it in the comments. This is a coppery pink shade that is super similar the Expensive Pink (below) when on the lid. I don't use these pink shades as much as I probably should, as I like them over the lid. Once I get my hands on Cranberry I am going to attempt to recreate this look.
Expensive Pink is, again, super similar to Methology/Mythology and also French Cuff. It's a coppery pink shade, with perhaps a touch more shimmer than the other shades, and a little bit darker.
Plumage is a matte dusty peacock blue sort of colour that is my sort of smoky eye shade! I purchased this from a blog sale without having seen it in person, as I knew I would be able to make a matte navy sort of shade fit right into my collection. It's a bit hard to blend, even in swatches, but I don't really mind as I like to blend shades like this right out when I'm creating a smoky eye. I've also seen it paired with pale shades with just this in the crease, and it looks amazing!
Humid was a blog sale no brainer, as it was super cheap and a green, which means it would get a lot of use from me! It's a shimmery, deep true green, which despite it's frost finish is rich in colour and not at all frosty. I love pairing this with all of the other greens in my collection, it's very wearable.
Of Summer, my least favourite shadow from my collection. This was thrown in as a freebie when I purchased from a blog sale, and I can sort of see why. It's so darn hard to make this show up, both in swatches and on the lid. I understand that some people may appreciate Of Summer for the sheer quality, but I prefer pigmented shadows and find them much easier to work with in general. Having said that, this lilac with a fine sheen is really pretty once I manage to get it to show up.
Shimmermoss is a darling, it really is. The fact that it has been discontinued makes me sad, as it's a vibrant teal with is really pigmented and lovely once you build up the confidence to wear it. I regularly wear bright eye looks, so I get quite a bit of use from this shade. You can see from the swatches below how much it stands out from all of the other shades! I am really glad I picked this up before it was discontinued, if you come across it I think it's definitely worth grabbing.
Patina, Methology, Expensive Pink, Outre, Mink & Sable, French Cuff, Plumage, Humid,
Of Summer, Shimmermoss
From top: Mink & Sable, Outre, Expensive Pink, Methology, Patina.
From top: Humid, Plumage, French Cuff, Mink & Sable
From top: Shimmermoss, Of Summer, Humid, French Cuff
From top, Methology and Patina.
Order as above.
I'm excited to be filling up my palette, and have my eye on a few more staple shades from the permanent MAC collection to go into the final 5 slots. Now that I'm confident at depotting my shadows (see post here) I don't mind getting the pans from the Pro store or ordering some online, so we'll see what I choose next.

 I'd love any MAC recommendations in the comments, or some ideas on what sort of looks you'd like me to showcase on the blog with the above shades! In my opnion, the must have shades from my palette are Mink & Sable, French Cuff and Outre, with Shimmermoss a close runner up.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Cherry Princess by L'Occitane

L'Occitane have been hitting it out of the park with their recent collections, and this one is no exception. The scent of a cherry blossom is one that I just adore, and having that in such a range of products is a wonderfully sweet addition to the L'Occitane brand. A limited edition release, the Cherry Princess scented range contains quite a few stunningly packaged products. This post will share the pearlescent shower cream, the hand cream and the solid perfume.
I adore shower time, and having a shimmering creamy bottle of this is a little slice of heaven. Though it is a shower cream, it does lather once it hits the sponge and goes a long way. The lather isn't completely creamy, but still quite moisturising and lovely to use.
I am fond of pearlescent products for the shower, I think they add a touch of luxe to any bathing ritual, and that is something I definitely endorse.
Ingredients, in case anyone is interested in them.
I tend to think of hand creams as a necessary indulgence, and when I'm sitting in the library writing all day, I look forward to using a sweetly-scented one to perk up a dull mood or slump in writing action. This leaves my hands super soft and isn't greasy at all. L'Occitane hand creams are some of the best I've used, and this scent is less sickly-sweet than just plain lovely, and I adore the packaging as well. It isn't a classic floral print, but geometric and definitely adds a modern touch to L'Occitane.
Again, the ingredients list if anyone is interested.
I only have a few solid perfumes in my collection, and I like being able to take the convenient size along with me. This is not a strong scent, it's subtle but something to surprise my nose each time my wrist happens to pass by my nose.
It's much easier to reapply throughout the day than a spray, as I don't have to leave the desk at the library for fear of offending any sensitive noses nearby. I have also been using this before bed at night, as I sleep with my hands clasped near my face (bit random?) and this delicate lil' flower is excellent to drift into dreamland with.
Ingredients for the solid perfume (as an aside, I love things that are made in France a little more than others, and I'm not ashamed to admit it!)
Any pieces from this collection would make a lovely gift for yourself or for Mother's Day, and the collection is now out at L'Occitane stores so be sure to check it out. Alternatively, you can order from the new collection online here. They have some great promotions going on, including a $30 'Spring Blossom' hand cream trio in a tin, or a complete Mother's Day set for $95 which is amazing! If you spend $80 in L'Occitane which includes a piece from the new collection, you get a great GWP as well.

Overall I think this collection is one of the best I've seen from L'Occitane, the packaging and product execution is stellar and the prices make these products very accessible.

Pearlescent Shower Cream 250ml $28
Solid Perfume 10g $16
Hand Cream 30ml $12

Are you a fan of cherry blossom scents?
What are some of your favourite L'Occitane products?
Would love to hear what you think of the packaging of this collection in the comments!

*These products were provided for consideration for review, which has not affected my opinions or review of this collection. Honesty, always.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

NP Set Launch : Makeup Tips

I was invited along to to the launch of a new set of palettes from the Napoleon Perdis affordable offset, NP Set. NP Set is all about introducing those who may not be experts in makeup application to fun new products and ways to apply them.

NP Set stresses that colour is key, and seeing these palettes reinforces that idea. All of the NP Set products have handy hints on the back of their packaging in order to make it easier to understand for those who aren't beauty obsessed, or those looking to learn a little bit more.

The two palettes are the Red Carpet Set and the Glam Set, and the image in the beginning of this post used a mixture of both blushes from the Glam Set through the crease to create a natural looking eye shape.

The above look is taken primarily from the Red Carpet set, and I love the way the artist paired the gorgeous cheek colour with deep purple and blue eyes, and very glowing skin. The artists stressed the importance of applying mascara first, as they said it creates a good indication of how much work you need to do on the eyes before you begin application.

The artists were amazing, and gave a wealth of tips as they dipped their brushes into the new offerings from NP Set and made masterpieces of the already stunning models. One that I found interesting was when the NP Paris liner was used to squinch your eyes tight immediately after applying, which means that any gaps in the upper or lower lashline will be filled in automatically. I think this is a great lazy lady tip!

Another great tip from the night was an obvious one that is often overlooked, is to blend well. The idea is that you wear makeup to look like you were born with it, not that it was created. I can't say I always follow this rule, as I wear super bright shades that are far from natural! I do try to blend shadows well though, I think it's always worth the effort.

We all grilled the make up artists on their contouring tips, and these images show us watching Val from Ponikuta giving it a go!

I learnt a lot at the event, and will have a closer look at the palettes on the blog next week, along with a face of the day that I created with the palettes.

(Image owned by Val of Ponikuta, please do not reproduce without her permission)

A group shot of the beauty bloggers who attended the NP Set Event! Stay tuned for more information on the new NP Set palettes, and my NP Set FOTD!

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