Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Pretty Heart Blushes

The much lauded day of romance that is synonymous with hearts and flowers has passed us once more, and yet still love remains in all facets of life. Rather than sharing these beautiful product images on February 14th, I chose to withhold them and celebrate love in an everyday setting- today is just a regular day, and here they are! I am a strong advocate for pretty cosmetics, and blush is just about the prettiest a product there is. Patterned blushes are among my favourites within my blush drawer (yes, I need a whole drawer just for them!) and these sweet choices make me swoon with ease.
Physician’s Formula are known for their interesting powder designs, and this Happy Booster Glow & Mood Boosting Blush in Rose ($21.95 AUD) is no exception. Comprised of various shades of pink ranging  from baby pink to neutral and plum toned pink, the overall shade is best described as a hot pink shade. The formula leaves a great glowy look to the cheek, thanks to the multi-reflective pearls within the powder itself. Though I can’t vouch for the plant extracts that are there to produce endorphins to promote a feeling of happiness, I definitely break out into a smile every time I see this pan of hearts so I guess it works anyway.
The Stila Make me Blush powder is yet another stunner that was sadly limited edition from a few years back. The great news is that Stila are definitely on the pretty blush bandwagon, and each year release a new heart designed blush around this romantic time of year. The 2013 offering (a 4 square pale pink pan, check 'emmabovary' on Instagram for an image) is better suited to fair complexions, whereas Make me Blush is perhaps a tad darker than necessary. A light hand is vital for a nice application on Snow White cheeks like mine.  Much more red-toned when compared to the PF Rose, the fine golden overspray imparts a warm shimmer to the cheeks before revealing coral hearts underneath, and the true colour of the blush is definitely coral overall. I use a stippling brush when I wear this, and prefer the shade that sits under the hearts rather than the initial shade with the overspray included. The great thing about the Stila limited editions is that they retail for around $25 AUD, making them much more affordable than the majority of blushes us Aussie’s have at our disposal, pretty or otherwise.

Are you one of those people who love pretty blush pans but don’t actually use them, or are you like me and snap a million pictures before throwing it onto your chipmunk cheeks? What do you think of the over the top heart craze?

*Both of these were purchased by me. Honesty, always.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Triple Threat Facial

Sitting in front of the laptop with an hour or two to spare, it’s often quite nice to treat your skin to a wee bit of pampering. Rather than going for the everyday serum-eye cream-moisturiser routine, I like to plump up my skin every once in a while with what I call the ‘triple threat facial’. No credit can be taken for this by me, as I was completely inspired (as in thispost) by Vivianna Does Makeup (who got the idea from Caroline Hirons, skincare gem) An idea so genius that I can’t believe it hadn’t popped into my head already, I’m now getting a lot more use from more of my face masks and my skin seems to be thankful for it. For the record, my skin is a real mixed bag and has lots of issues, from dry patches and a shiny forehead to hormonal breakouts and general dullness. Choose masks that suit your individual needs, and start achieving better skin!

First things first, the facial begins with a clay-based detoxifying mumma jumma, for which I bring out my mighty Queen Helene Mint Julip mask. Bright green and minty, this clarifies the skin and I like to apply it with a paddle foundation brush for even coverage that doesn’t waste any of the minty goodness. As Anna points out in her post, this digs down deep into pores and cleans them right out, so that the next two steps can work to their full potential without any grime in the way. After leaving Mint Julip on for 30 mins and removing with a damp muslin cloth, step two of this process can begin.

Radiance is the next thing you want to slap on your mug, and at the moment I am using the Guinot Instant Radiance Moisturizing Mask*. Wafts of lavender and rosemary are key features of this greige face treat, and I leave this on for 15-20 minutes before whipping it off with a tissue. I like the look of the REN Glycolatic Radiance Renewal Mask that Anna used and was eyeing it off in Mecca Cosmetica the other day, but I just can’t take the plunge until I’ve used up some other face masks first. I’m trying to be good, you see?

Final step is my favourite, not purely because the long process is drawing to a close but because this mask is my very favourite. The Jojoba Company Botanical Hydrating Face Mask* is clay based and uses a bunch of classic hydrating ingredients to soften and plump up the skin. I love the way it tingles, and that it actually does what it promises to do, and does it well. Using these three dedicated masks in a single evening is a real treat for the skin, and I see it as ensuring I have some brownie points stored up to trade on those days when it threatens to act up on me.
 Let me know what face masks you love in the comments below, and if you ever have time for this sort of at-home pampering.
*Marked items were provided for consideration. Honesty, always.
*Interested in the Queen Helene? iHerb stocks it for $3.84 here, and if you use my discount code BEJ649  you can save extra! $10 off every order $40+, or $5 off if order is below $40. Happy shopping!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Green Up Ahead

Green nails is a trend you either love or you hate, and personally I enjoy wearing a lot of green on my nails all year round.  Chatreuse is probably my most favoured shade of green (both in eyeshadow and in nail shades!) so OPI’s Did It On ‘Em from the Nicki Minaj collection is a definite favourite of mine. A gift from fellow blogger Melissa, the shade is bright and opaque, and definitely stands out! I know a lot of people (Melissa included!) found that this didn’t flatter their hands, but the shade makes me smile so I don't mind that it is a bit, well, strange.
For most people, shimmery green shades make the colour more wearable, but I tend to prefer crème finishes when I head into Shrek territory. Ulta3’s Lagoon is a shimmery spring appropriate shade that I can see working on a wide variety of skin tones.  Nicole by OPI’s Lemon-Lime Twist, on the other hand, is a bit too light for my skin and I think it would look bangin’ on a darker skin tone.
Saving the best for last, I present the oh-so-beautiful OPI Green-wich Village to you all. Numero Uno for my MIL, this is a repurchase after she smashed her first bottle while cleaning one day. The kelly-green-esque shade really takes my breath away, and I find it incredibly flattering on my skintone, as well as on the slightly deeper skintone of my man’s Mumma. It glides on effortlessly, looks great and is one of the most, if not the very most wearable green I know of.
Which of these shades is juiciest to you? Are you a lemon-lime gal, or set on taking a trip to a village called Greenwich?

Friday, February 22, 2013

Instagramming #2

Queen Helene, saving me from spots // Flash byJimmy Choo, having a nosy around the Myer Fragance Hall // New IntenseHydration range from BB is mighty tempting // Checking out the new Maybellinemakeup remover
Party animal on a Saturday night // Australis Pout Paste– dare I say, an OCC Lip Tar drugstore equivalent? // First time trying Ben& Jerry’s!
Sweet Valentine gestures // A bright blush face of the daywith Illamasqua Morale // What I Wore for Valentine’s Day date night //Some much loved products that are copping a hiding this week
Froyo time, favourite topping was the popping mango balls //Bargains filling up my basket // Oogling the new Rimmel duochrome nailshades at Priceline // Revlon Honey & L’Oreal The Muse’s Blush-apicture so nice you saw it twice ;)
It has been a while since my first Instagramming blog post,so I thought I would update you with what has been happening over there! If you’dlike to follow me, my name is emmabovaryon Instagram.
Hope you are having a lovely weekend, I’d love to hear yourplans in the comments below!

Dot to Dot

Fashion season is upon us, with international shows keeping beauty bloggers busy with new trends in hair, makeup and of course nails. A blog I turn to for trend reports (and just a daily dose of swoon-worthy awesomeness) is ViviannaDoesMakeup, and once again she has her finger on the pulse and recent posts are covering beauty trends from London Fashion Week.

As soon as I clapped eyes on the nail trend she sported in a post earlier in the week, I put down my iPad and set to work recreating the look on my own hands.  A pretty nail trend that even I can manage, this screams class with a neutral base shade and a bit of fun with the metallic accent. I prepped my nails lightly using the funky Aztec Nail Shaper* from Manicare (1.95) I used the upcoming L’Oreal Vernis Color Riche shade in 622 Soft Chinchilla*(5.95) which is an absolutely beautiful grey shot through with mushroom that I find really flattering on the nail. I tried to find a pretty and opaque metallic to dot onto the base on the nail with my splayed out bobby pin, and Australis’ Foil Spoil* (7.95, original review here) fit the bill nicely.
A nice and simple bit of nail art like this makes me feel classic but on trend at the same time. Now I’m off to scour the fashion week blog posts for another hit of inspiration…
*Marked products were provided for consideration. Honesty, always.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Easiest Products for Brilliant Cheeks

 Everyone knows I’m a sucker for blushes, but a bronzer has also come into my life and swept me off my feet so I’ve included it in this cheek-central post. Any of these products can turn your cheeks into sexy apples of awesomeness with just a few flicks of the brush, and so I’ve deemed myself a loyal cheek lover (no, not that sort!)
Though I’ve had iffy experiences with the strong spicy scent of Covergirl powders in the past, these blushes don’t tend to send the scent up my snoz so it hasn’t been a problem thus far. The first shade, 185 True Plum, came to me by way of a swap, and sprung forth an addiction that thankfully doesn’t hurt the coin purse. Retailing for a mere $9.95, I’ve seen these go half price at a few stores and have even coerced my non-blush-wearing older sister to pass 120 Soft Sable through the checkout.  I also own the other shade available in Australia,  105 Rose Silk, but have my eye on some US only shades that may be flung my way via ebay.

Now back to bronzers, and my on-off relationship with the meddlesome buggers. Being so fair I glow when in a nightclub (and not in the good way!) I need a bronzer to be brown toned but not too pigmented, and easily blendable. Clinique sent this grinder style Superbalanced Bronzer*($65AUD) my way quite a while ago, and my love for it is really standing the test of time. I have the lighter of two shades (Bronzed 1) and love the way I can shave off a fresh wee slice o’ sunshine every morning with ease. The packaging, yes, quite bulky, but is overpowered by its awesomeness.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be off searching for new Covergirl blush shades to add to my collection…

*Clinique Bronzer, as stated, was sent for consideration. It’s awesomeness is evident though. Honesty, always.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Beauty Experience : Facial @ Biotherm

I’d often wandered past Biotherm and been intrigued by their sleek products and bright, cheerful looking counters. I didn’t realise that they offered facials behind the scenes at their Bourke Street Myer location, so when I was given the chance to trial one I was all on board. I am not one to go for regular facials (or any kind of pamper treatment for that matter) but with the wedding coming up, I thought it a good excuse to get in early and invest in my skin with plenty of time to fix its problems. I was led to a room away from the hustle and bustle of shoppers, and asked to strip off and don the ultra-glam terry towelling cover-up in preparation for the 45 minute pamper fest.
Some samples for my man to try-how sweet!
The facial is catered to your personal skin concerns, and at the time of my visit my skin was quite dehydrated, so Vanessa really concentrated on hydrating my face to keep it happy and glowing. The Biotherm company is inspired by aquatic extracts, as noted in this quote from their website:

“Through our expertise in biotechnology, we infuse efficient aquatic extracts in fresh and pleasurable textures to make your skin look healthier and more radiant.

From the depths of living waters,

To the depth of the skin.”
...and some samples for me!

The facial was very relaxing, and Vanessa gave me a beautiful hand and arm massage complete with hand cream as we waited for my facial mask to work its magic. She was also kind enough to let me know what she was applying as she went, so that at all times I knew what was happening to my skin. I think regular facials like these are great for keeping skin in a happy state, and because they are $65 redeemable for 3 products, you can stock up on your Biotherm essentials, making the facial practically free! If this sounds like something you’d enjoy, call (03) 9661 1246 and they can tell you the available dates and book you in. Go on, treat yourself!
Now tell me honestly- when was the last time you had a facial, or do you prefer to D.I.Y?
*The facial was complimentary, with thanks to L'Oreal.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Dermalogica Precleanse + an exciting price drop!

Don't get me wrong, I had heard rave reviews about the Dermalogica Precleanse* from fellow beauty bloggers, but for some reason it still slipped under the radar for me. To be honest, Dermalogica in general was a favourite of many I knew, and until the middle of last year I had only really skimmed to surface of their product range. I enjoyed using the Microfoliant*, but it wasn't until the Precleanse met my face that the love affair truly began.

The premise of this is something that some disagree with, but the notion of pre-cleansing truly is something worth trying for yourself. Foundations are now lasting longer, primers are gaining popularity and sunscreen is an everyday necessity, so 'double cleansing' or using a precleanse is an easy way to ensure you are thoroughly cleaning your skin before applyling your serums and moisturisers. I use a dedicated eye makeup remover on my lids and lashes, before using precleanse and my cleanser in the shower. You rub this oil over your (dry) face, add some water to emulsify and work it into the skin before it easily rinses away. I prefer this over other oil-based cleansers I have used, as it leaves my skin happy and clean without drama.

Dermalogica Precleanse is pretty much a citrus scented addiction, as my skin never feels totally clean unless I've used this before my regular cleanser.

Now that the price of Dermalogica products have dropped in Australia, I will be repurchasing a 150ml bottle for $43.35 from Adore Beauty when this one runs out. Shouldn't need to repurchase for quite a while though, as this bottle lasts for ages!

What do you think about the idea of precleansing? A necessity , or just another step in your already-too-long skincare routine?

*This product was provided for consideration, but opinions are all mine. Honesty, always.

Monday, February 18, 2013

What I Wore // Love Edition

Even though I am a firm believer that romance is nicer on random days than on February 14th, I still used Valentine’s Day as an excuse to enjoy a nice meal out with my man. I have a few heart themed posts coming up, just to push the idea that love (for life, for beauty, for everything!) is something to be revered all year round. I used some exciting cosmetics to make the night feel a bit special, and I was really happy with how it all turned out. I was only able to catch this blurry picture of my actual face as I was too focused on the thought of food to find some decent lighting. It says a lot that my dinner pictures are clearer, doesn’t it!? I hope you still manage to see how it looked, and I’d love to know what you think of it.
MAC Rags to Riches Dazzleglass, Laura Mercier Artist Palette (particularly Plum Smoke & Coffee Ground), Revlon Carnation, Stila heart blush

pumpkin & spinach risotto, chilli prawns, crumbed brie with pita, spanish chorizo penne
(photo from Intagram, follow me 'emmabovary')

Hope you find love in beauty and food like I do! I’d love to hear what you got up to on February 14th!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Lover & Shell

I wear this eye combo quite a lot, and it is most likely my favourite colourful eye look I’ve come across. I use two Inglot shades from my most colourful palette to make a shimmery deep orange eye, and though I know that some might think it over the top, I like to play matchy matchy and since I wear orange so much, it just works for me.  
I used to struggle to pair a blush with this eye look, but since I bought the Illamasqua Duo, Lover has been my go-to orange toned cheek colour. MAC Coquette was thrown through my brows and smudged under my lower lashline to ground the look, and I used TheBalm’s Mary Lou Manizer atop Lover to get myself glowing.
oh Mary Lou!
Still loving the nude lip trend, I chose fall back shade Nude Delight from Rimmel. Addicted to glossy lips, Mineralogie’s lipgloss in Shell* was plucked from the depths of my handbag and paired with it. I have been wearing this paraben-free shade a stack lately, and I love the way it is pigmented for a gloss, and takes my lips into a pretty nude realm rather than a sheer lip look like my other pale glosses can do.
Are you a fan of orange and peach tones? What blush do you recommend I try next to go with a look like this?

*Marked item was provided for consideration. Honesty, always. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

An Opulent Valentine

Even though my man and I aren’t doing anything fancy for the most romantic day of the year, I am still planning on wearing a nail shade that makes my heart flutter. Without a doubt, the polish that never fails to make me ooh and aah is OPI’s DS Opulence, from the Designer Series. A permanent but pricier nail range, the bottles are topped with sexy silver lids and have a luxe feeling.  I’d say that this shade is my one true polish love, even though the bottle actually belongs to my mother in law. It is a stunning pink with a mauve tone, filled with holographic shimmer. The effect is subtle, but makes the polish something really special.
Now it is your turn! Share your one true polish love in the comments below, and we can polishgasm our way through Valentine’s Day together!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Favourites for January ft. Chanel, Haus of Gloi + more

twice is nice haus of gloi
An edit of the products I loved the most in January would be incomplete without the mention of my beloved Dermalogica Precleanse*. I feel as though my skin is happier now that I’m using this before my cleanser, so it is a definite favourite for me right now.

The Endota Spa Lavender & Alpine Pepper hand cream* is the best hand cream I’ve tried, and I’ve been loving popping this on as I watch YouTube videos at night time. I’ve been meticulous with moisturising my bod as well this year, and my Haus of Gloi pumpkin butter in Twice is Nice smells like amazing almond sugar cookies, and is thick and intense for my skin.

Despite it being summer in Australia and peach blushes being spruiked, my obsession with bright pink cheeks still reigns! Chanel Pink Explosion is naturally still in my everyday makeup bag, joined by the affordable Fierce Fuschia from BYS.
The YSL Touche Eclat* was something I didn’t think I would love as much as I do, but it really does work magic on brightening up my face, and I’ve found that throwing a bit on blemishes (not straight from the brush, don’t worry!) works wonders if I’m in a pinch. Barry M’s Toffee gloss is something I bought after seeing Ingrid (aka Miss Glamorazzi on YT) rave about it, and she was right! Smells amazing and is a great wearable nude, made better by the cheap price tag on ASOS.
Even though I tried to branch out with my eyeshadow choices during the first month of the year, all I could manage when I wasn’t doing a look soley for the blog featured these shades. L’Oreal's Infallible’s are one of my very favourite shadow formulations, and Metallic Lilac is fast becoming my colour of choice from the stack that I have. Paired with MAC’s Moth Brown=heaven!  Maybelline’s Colour Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze finally got some loving on my lids, after I realised that I needed it smudged along the lower lashline for it to work on me.
What products did you love hardest in January? Anything new I need to check out?
*Marked items were provided for consideration, but are legitimate favourites. Honesty, always.


Friday, February 8, 2013

Scrubbing with Chocolate // Palmer's Cocoa Body Scrub

Being a total body scrub snob, I initially dismissed the Palmer’s Cocoa body scrub when I bought a cheap pack which contained it alongside a body butter. The idea of a lotion-like scrub filled with sparse particles put me off, but being a fan of the brand I threw it into the shower anyway. I should know by now not to judge a book by its cover (or a product but the formula!) as this silky scrub has changed my opinion of what a body scrub can be. The chocolately scent is pure heaven (and has been helping me steer clear of Smarties…) while the texture of the scrub is really working for me. It is moisturising without leaving a noticeable film behind (pet hate right there!) because of the shea butter, cocoa butter and Palmer’s staple vitamin E, so it is almost like applying a body butter, in the shower! The scrublets in this are actually crushed up cocoa beans, which I think is pretty rad, and they do a top job of smoothing out my skin. All in all, this impressed me greatly considering I didn’t have high hopes for it at all. In fact, since it is only $10.99, I am going to repurchase when the chocolately goodness runs out, lest my skin get mad at me.

Are you a fan of foodie scents in the shower? Does the thought of scrubbing yourself with chocolate turn you on, or off?
*Bought this all by myself. Honesty, always.
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