Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Stash in the Bag

Just can’t seem to keep a ‘normal’ amount of makeup in my handbag! They really seem to multiply, but it is great for giving me a snapshot of what I have been loving lately if I’m too lazy to sit down and nut it out myself. I was at my sisters for dinner last week and decided to rifle through my stash, and here is what I retrieved.
That typical winter thing, a stack of moisturising lippies or balms to keep the chapped flakiness at bay. I feel like I need to get cracking with my Lush lip scrub, which is sitting forlorn wondering where the love has gone. Love is still there for it (despite it being something I could essentially make myself) it is just that I have become a busy lazy lady of late you know how it is. Have cracked out the Baby Lips stash and it is a tad more extensive that I first thought it would be. The pictured tube is Energising Orange, but I have my eyes on the Relieving Menthol because I am a sheep who adores Sleep and Water and must have anything she approves of.

La Roche Posay Ceralip also gets a look in, though I haven’t used it enough to decide if I love it yet. It does feel pleasant and smooth on the lips, which is a positive first impression I suppose. The Jack Black balm is ace, and because I have this formula in almost every scent you can trust me on that! This Vanilla & Lavender is my personal favourite, and is great for a nice sheen and some wind protection on my nightly walks with Mister Bovary and his Papa. Last but not least for balms, my beloved Carmex Peach Sheer Tint*, of which I professed my love for in this post quite recently.

I was all about a strong chocolate crease for the eyes last week, so the lipsticks were a change from my bright line up of late. YSL Rose Bergamasque is one of the best lipsticks I possess, and a wedding lip contender at that (full post and comparison swatches are here for you) The other nude lip love to enter my life is one I am wearing as I type this – L’Oreal Color Riche 378 Velvet Rose*. This formula is seriously stellar, doesn’t fall into my lip lines or get cakey, just sits beautifully and is my perfect MLBB shade right now. Much love for both of these nudes, and that is a lot coming from a fair bear like me.
YSL Rose Bergamasque, L'Oreal Velvet Rose, Carmex Peach

Fess up- have you found a good nude for your complexion yet?  And do you have any tips of taking care of lips during harsh weather?

*Marked items provided for consideration, but were really in my bag! Honesty, always.

Monday, July 29, 2013

The Perfume Purge

Now that the SOLD sign is up and our settlement date is less than a month away, I have decided it is time to try to use up as much of my beauty loot as I can before we move into our first home. Rather than taking all the bulky half-finished products with me, I hope to have them done and dusted and be able to celebrate with a big ol’ empties post! The first products I’ve set my target on is my perfume stash, which is overtaking space right now…
Though I love having lots of perfume bottles to enjoy and will continue to have a good rotation happening, it is time to get rid of bottles with nothing but a dribble left inside, or those that I like but don’t really love.

FCUK For Her is a total cheapie that you can pick up for peanuts at most perfume stores, and mine was a gift from my brother long ago. It’s a nice enough scent, but nothing amazing, so it should be easy enough to use up.

Paco Rabanne Black XS For Her was the signature scent of my cousin when she lived with our family for a few years, but now that she is back in the UK my Mum grabbed a bottle of this sweet stuff to use. Sadly it was too strong for her, so I nabbed it and really like the way it smells on me. It reminds me of my feisty cousin, and has notes of cranberry, pink peppercorn and cocoa blossom.

Vera Wang Princess was my most lusted over product for a long time during my teen years. The sweet vanilla fragrance is still something I love, but I’m not sure if I’d buy this again these days. This is my second bottle, and I love the shape of this range (I actually received Glam Princess as a gift recently!)

Elizabeth Arden Mediterranean is a musky floral sort of scent, and every single time I wear it someone comments on how great I smell. Reason enough to buy a big bottle in the future, right?!

Bvlgari Rose Essentielle is yep, you guessed it, essentially rose! Powdery and beautiful, this is one of the few perfume bottles I actually purchased myself. I really only receive perfume as gifts from family members (sometimes requested, sometimes random) but it is rare for me to hand over dosh for a bottle myself. I think I would buy another bottle of this in the future, and because it has the most juice left I think it will be harder to use up in this time frame.

I have my eye on some body mists from Hollister so these being gone should make space for them – has anyone tried a Hollister scent? How often do you finish up perfume bottles? Do you jump from scent to scent as well, or are you loyal to one or two favourites? Give me your scent recommendations in the comments below, I would love to hear of some new bottles to sniff at the shops.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Sunshine + Beauty

While Melbourne stays overcast and sends me diving into my scarf collection, the thought of sunshine and laying on the sand is still planted firm within my mind. With a tropical holiday not in near sight, I turn to my beauty cabinets to inject some sunshine + happiness into my days!

Apart from the beautiful bright orange bottle of Clarins Sunshine*, I love the summery fresh scent despite it not lasting too long on my skin. I had a look at Fragrantica for the notes of this (detecting notes is definitely not my forte!) and this is what it told me:

Top notes are sicilian mandarin, grapefruit, watermelon and bergamot; middle notes are mimose, chamomile, ylang-ylang and carnation; base notes are tonka bean, patchouli, lime (linden blossom) and osmanthus.

Sicilian mandarin and mimosa, mmm mmm! I like that this smells summery but still doesn’t feel out of place in the cold Melbourne winter, which is perhaps due to the lack of coconut or strong summer fruits that ‘summer’ scents normally possess.

In terms of actually wearing orange, I can’t go past the Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Rendezvous, which was originally not released with the rest of the collection but has now crept onto Australian shelves where it belongs. I bought my crayon on eBay and find it the perfect orange shade for my pale skin tone, to really brighten up my whole face! Having said that, I think this would also be amazing on darker skin tones, so I recommend a swatch next time you hit up Priceline. Another orange makeup I marvel over is the Stila Convertible Colour in the shade Gladiola, which appears bright orange but sheers out to a wearable peachy orange on the cheek. I apply this either with a stippling brush (blush brush staple, for sure) or a paddle foundation brush, and it melds in with the skin so easily.
I've also popped my little REN Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask sample into the shot above, as I'm very excited to try it out since nabbing it from one of the lovely ladies at Mecca Maxima Melbourne. I love the orange colour of the mask, and hope that it will indeed renew my radiance when I try it out.

Orange nails were my first real beauty obsession, and anytime I get a manicure I gravitate towards orange- the brighter, the better! Jinx* is one of the new Liquid Sand shades from the OPI Bond Girls collection, and when I saw it at David Jones both Chris and I found the golden shimmer in the shade just breathtaking in the bottle. I was happy to have the shade hit my desk not long after, and the textured sand finish paired with the golden shimmer filled bright orange is just stunning.
What shades makes YOU smile the most? Are you like me, and embrace brighter colours in the colder months to perk up your day?

*Marked items provided for consideration. Honesty, always.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

BYS Blush Trio - 4 Blush Palettes to Drive You Wild!

When I saw these gorgeous BYS blush trios for $4.50 at my local discount store, I knew I had to take them all home with me. The RRP price is $6.50, and I would still happily pay that per palette, no problems. I love the idea of having three blush shades in one handy palette, and I love that the packaging is clear on top so that you can see which palette you are picking up at a glance.

The packaging, while feeling a little cheap, is still really sturdy and has the positive feature of being really slim so it sits in my blush drawer with ease. I have a stack of the BYS blush singles which I also like, but I really think they’ve stepped it up with such bright shades this time around! All you need is the Real Techniques Stippling Brush for these to all be wearable, and just remember that a light hand works wonders with blushes like this and you’ll be fine. I have been wearing primarily these for well over a month now, and am showing no signs of stopping!

My obsession with bright pink cheeks has meant that On The Brightside has really won my heart over. I would say that I wear all 3 shades from this one pretty regularly, including the matte coral pink and the shimmery paler pink as well. For dolly pink lovers (Chanel Pink Explosion, MAC Dollymix, etc.) this is a bargain.

 Endless Summer is the next shade in this line up, a beautiful trio of burnt coral oranges that looks great on pale skin and darker skin alike. This might be best suited to lovers for shades like Nars Orgasm, or other coral toned shades like MAC Springsheen.

I would have to say that my very favourite palette from the 4 available is Coral Me In, and it is all because of that shimmery centre shade. I fell head over heels for this pretty shade, and the shimmer is so beautiful when buffed into the skin with my stippling brush that I just can’t get over it. Signs of blush obsession, anyone? It really makes me look 'glowy' rather than shimmery, and we all love that!

The fourth and final palette to choose from is probably my least favourite, though I think it would be the most wearable for the masses if my guess is correct. Heart Skipped A Beat is a trio of paler pink shades, one with a nice plummy tone, one a candy floss sort of tone and a mid tone in the centre. I think they are still really pretty and have been wearing them quite a bit as well, but we have to pick favourites in this beauty bloggin’ biz, ya know?
All of that being said, I would highly recommend that you grab a palette or two if you happen to track them down. They are being released as we speak, with lots of shelves already full of the bright trios. While you aren’t getting Burberry quality silkiness in the formula (or the luxe packaging) these are much better than their price tag suggests, and I have had no problems with them being too chalky or powdery since I apply them with the best brush - Cough buy the RT stippling brush cough.
Which palette would you grab for first?
Do you prefer shimmery blushes to matte or satin finishes?
*I purchased all of these with my own money. Honesty,always.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Turning Violet // Introducing A New Sample Box - Violet Box!

A little delayed, but a post musing on beauty boxes is something I always like to read so here it is anyway! Violet Box is the latest subscription sample to hit Australian shores, and I was sent the launch box to peruse and use. Here are my thoughts!

The packaging was nice, the box itself is sleek and black with (not surprisingly) violet branded imagery, and it is sent in a white branded box wrapped around the black which I thought was a nice touch. I was happy to see makeup in the box, as with many other sample boxes I’ve tried makeup is often the lacking component that ruins the experience for me. Of course, a beauty box wouldn’t be complete without an Avene sample (seriously, they are everywhere!) alongside a John Plunkett Glyco Peel that contains 25% glycolic acid. I have had great experiences with the John Plunkett brand in the past and like trying peels like this, but I think if someone not skin savvy were to get this it might be a bit dangerous. It was one of the best inclusions in the Violet Box for me though, and I am looking forward to trialling it.

A perfume sample never goes astray for me, and I’ve not yet tried Calvin Klein Sheer Beauty so that was a thumbs up from me. I know many people dislike perfume samples in boxes they pay for (since technically we can all get them for free…) but I enjoy trying new fragrances in this lazy way, plus it seems more of an add on than a proper item so it’s not too bad. A small bottle of Argania Oil for Hair might be nice for my hair it is looking a little crazy right now and the Lash Control Squeezable Clear Mascara will be designated for brows. I think it is a pretty cool concept squeeze squeeze awesome brows but we will see how we go. The star of the box would have to be the Calvin Klein Gloss Eyecolour which is a glossy + translucent bright blue shade. I would have preferred some of the more neutral shades that other boxes contained, but these sample boxes are all about trying new things so a bright glossy eye it is!

 I am still torn between wanting to save my money to put towards high end products, and the fun of receiving a surprise parcel full of treats in the mail. Do these sample boxes make you feel the same?

What are your thoughts on sample subscription boxes like Violet Box?

Which product is the best from this launch box, in your opinion?

This box was provided for review of the launch. Honesty, always.


Monday, July 22, 2013

Sample Swooning

Goodness knows I am not lacking in new products to try, but the lure of a sample pot is sometimes too strong to pull away. I have had my eye on the Diorskin Nude BB Crème since I saw Anna rave about it, but the steep price tag ($72 AUD!) has kept me at bay. I figured that since I had bought so many Dior products in recent months (Bikini Crème Blush, Addict gloss, Addict lipstick, I’ll stop the list here for my sanity…) I’d head down and request a sample of the BB Crème to try at home. I don’t know about you, but having it applied at the counter just isn’t the same experience and I find that they make good products look crappy with their strange techniques. For example, every time I head to Chanel they apply the Rouge Coco Shines on me with a lip brush, which isn’t how I would ever use it at home and just doesn’t look as good. Could also be something to do with their knack of drawing it outside the lip line, every-single-time! Anyway, I digress.
I strolled up to the young woman working the Dior counter at Myer Melbourne (Bourke St, my favourite, for those playing at home) and asked nicely if they could fill me up a sample pot. She got busy doin’ her thang while I swatched cough almost bought cough the other Crème Blushes, and when I swivelled around she had a sweet little bag tied with a ribbon for me. Colour me impressed! I am happy enough with the abundance of perfume samples they fill my bags with when I swipe through with my Mastercard, but when I haven’t spent a dime mmm it feels good!

I was happy with my faux haul (c’mon, it came in a Dior bag!) when I snuck a peek at the newish Hairhouse Warehouse counter while doing my well-trodden rounds of the Myer beauty hall. Perusing the Macadamia Oil stand, I enquired about the Deep Repair Masque as I know it is a favourite in the blogging world. The woman praised it, and handed me a large sachet of it to take home and try. “I know you’ll be back to buy. Enjoy it!” With that, and not a dollar spent, I headed out to a few blogger events where I was continually asked “ooh Dior, what did you buy”, and you know what? It felt good, for once, to say - nothing!
Had a great sample experience lately?
Or can you name and shame some greedy MUA's who aren't fond of handing out samples?

Friday, July 19, 2013

Diamonds are Forever with Tiffany Case // OPI Bond Girls Liquid Sand // Photos, Swatches, Review

Though it has been 50 years since Ian Fleming put pen to paper and created the James Bond character, I am yet to see a full Bond film. Considering that my minor for my undergraduate course was cinema, I am quite surprised at that fact (in fact, there are a lot of films I should have seen by now…) When OPI reached out to me about trying some of the new Liquid Sand polishes based around the female characters in the Bond films, my interest was piqued. Of the 3 bottles I received, the medium blue glitter filled Tiffany Case* was the most surprising to me.

Seemingly taking inspiration from the namesake of this shade (the 1971 film Diamonds are Forever in which Tiffany Case stars) this amazing blue is filled with a pretty glitter, which really adds a depth to it that it just captivates me once it is atop my nails. I use a single coat when I wear the Liquid Sand formula as they are so opaque, though I am interested in trying out a top coat with it to see how it reacts with the formula. They are so easy to remove as well, which means I reach for them quite a bit! Purely because I was feeling creative during a study break I decided to play around with my Konad stamping for an accent nail, and using Sally Hansen Pacific Blue over Australis Kick The Bucket*. I don’t like the look of an accent nail with the liquid sands, so it isn’t something I would do again.

What do you think of Tiffany Case?
Which of the Bond films are your top pick?
Is there a classic movie you haven’t seen yet even though you know you should’ve?

You can buy OPI Bond Girls from Adore Beauty, David Jones, Myer + other retailers.
*This polish was a PR sample. Honesty, always.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Bovary's Bought a House!

Not wholly beauty related (until you see my beauty room!!) but I just had to share the news on here as I’ve already mentioned it on Twitter and Facebook. We bought our first home!!
stalking the paint section of Bunnings...
Mr Bovary and I have wanted to buy a house for such a long time now, and since the end of my post grad is looming it just seemed right for us to begin looking. We didn’t expect to find a house so soon… A few weeks later and the paperwork is signed and we are counting down until settlement at the end of August! Since we bought a 3 bedroom I get to take control of one of the guest rooms and turn it into an office slash beauty room, or ‘heaven’ as I have been calling it.
Though I’m the lucky last child to move out of our family home and therefore have a whole lot of space to call my own at my parents place, I can’t wait to begin this new chapter with Chris and have space that I really can call my own. We bought a place one suburb over from both of our families so Mumma Bovary won’t pine for me too much (though she has started to talk about how strange it will be to live in our family home without any children in it for the first time in almost 40 years!)

I’d love to hear your moving experiences in the comments below, as I’ve not once had to move house before so am very new to it all! Give me home stores to hunt down and good Pinterest boards to follow! How did you feel when you moved for the first time (or how do you think you will feel?!) ?

Monday, July 15, 2013

Maybelline Vivids // Photos, Swatches, Review // Pink Pop, Vivid Rose, Hot Plum, Vibrant Mandarin + Neon Red

When the rumours spread that Maybelline were launching a new line full of super bright lipsticks, I was on high alert! I can be quite brave when it comes to lip colours, and so I ended up picking up a few tubes from the line to try. Now that I’ve had some time to wear them and figure out which are my favourites, I thought it time to share some swatches with you!
I dabbled in each section of the colour spectrum with my choices (all of which I bought from Priceline, some on sale and others full price)

Pink Pop:  a pale blue based pink, not the easiest shade to wear but one I definitely like having in my collection.

Vivid Rose: a dark pink with rose undertones, this is one of my favourite from the line and leaves a great stain when it wears off which is why I like to wear it to work.

Hot Plum: another favourite, this is bright magenta pink is unique in my stash, and I love how it manages to be super bright but still really wearable.

Vibrant Mandarin: I tend to wear orange shades like this when the weather heats up, so I haven’t shown this too much love yet. I love adding orange lip colours to my collection, as whenever I try to find ‘the one’ for a day out I struggle – the more the merrier for the orange lip drawer!

Neon Red: this is an orange toned red that I haven’t shown much love to (I tend to prefer dark berry tones for winter) but it applies really nicely.

I think this range is definitely worth a swatch, especially when Maybelline are on special at Priceline as they so often are. If I could only keep two from the collection Hot Plum + Vivid Rose would have to stay, as they wear really nicely and leave a nice even stain behind which make them nice and long wearing. I haven’t found any of these shades to bleed at all and they are creamy and comfortable to wear and never dry out my lips. I will note that because they are quite creamy they do leave marks on coffee cups and wear away if you are eating, but the stain saves the situation and they are easy enough to reapply. I have always loved the Maybelline Colour Sensational range but wasn't excited by the overly brown toned range, so this was a welcome addition to the Maybelline family for me, and something I think the brand really needed to revitalise their traditional lipstick image!
Maybelline Colour Sensational Lipsticks retail for $16.95 AUD.

Have you a penchant for bright lips?

Which of these would you buy?

*I purchased all of these. Honesty, always.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Keep It Sheer with Carmex Sheer Tints

When you are a beauty blogger who has a weakness for bright and pigmented lip products, it takes a lot for a tinted balm to worm its way into your daily makeup bag. I honestly can’t remember the last time I left the house without one of my Carmex Moisture Plus balms*, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.
The first Moisture Plus balm I tried was the Clear formula, and I loved how smooth it felt on my lips and the tingle that the camphor gave me. It isn’t as strong as something like Soap & Glory’s Sexy Motherpucker (fire ants on the lips, anybody?) but is definitely a noticeable tingle. This is something to keep in mind if that isn’t something you like in a balm, but I personally love how fresh and minty it makes my lips feel. The balm seems to actually sink into my lips rather than just sitting atop them, but still leaves them glossy and healthy looking.

I was elated when the Sheer Peach Tint and Sheer Pink Tint landed on my desk, and I was pleasantly surprised that the colours are buildable and are reminiscent of a typical MLBB (my lips but better) shade. I always have one of the tinted Moisture Plus balms in my bag for those times where I can’t decide on a bright lippy or my lips are feeling particularly dry or in need of some attention.
Even though I really love all of them, I wear the Peach Sheer Tint more often than the others, so I'd have to say that it is my favourite of the bunch. They really are wonderful balms that I highly recommend, and for only $8.99 I urge you to try them for yourself and let me know how you go! They are available at Priceline and other pharmacies in Australia, and I believe they are available internationally as well so I'd love to hear from some International readers too!
What is the best lip balm you’ve tried so far?
Are you a fan of tinted balms?

*Provided for consideration, but they really are my favourite balms! Honesty, always.


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

A Golden Makeup Look with Laura Mercier + Sunday Riley

Golden tones can sometimes be hard to make work on my pale skin tone, so I am often dubious when trying a new shade on my eyelids. When this beautiful Gilded Moonlight* pan landed on my desk from Laura Mercier, I was equal parts impressed with the embossed powder and hesitant about how it would look atop my lids. I decided to go for broke and dipped my Royal & Langnickel dense shadow brush into the pan!

Gilded Moonlight is quite a yellow based gold, and I decided to pair the shadow with my Max Factor Colour Elixir Giant Pen Stick in Hot Chocolate as the golden shimmer in the dark nude shade tied in nicely with the overall look. Gilded Moonlight is pigmented but not as buttery as something like Urban Decay, and I can see myself wearing this at Christmas time for that stereotypical festive look! Considering the size of my eyeshadow collection I surprisingly lack gold shadows, with my Urban Decay Naked palette being the only thing that springs to mind for that category, so I am very happy to have Gilded Moonlight nestled in my drawer. 
I used a light base as I only had a few errands to run, and my favourite light base is the Dove Tinted Moisturiser topped with a dusting of Maybelline Dream Matte Powder. It gives enough coverage to even out my skin tone and make me feel comfortable, but feels like I’m not wearing much at all which is perfect for a catch up with my local barista ;)
I finished off the look with a sweep of my new Sunday Riley Powder Blush in Blushing, which is a very easy shade to throw on and has made me pop a few more Sunday Riley shades onto my wish list (Honeymoon Night, come to Mama!) I think the next time I use this shadow I will anchor down the yellow tone with a slash of black liner and a chocolate brown in the crease, but I'd love to hear what YOU think I should pair this with next?
How often do you wear golden shades on your face?

What do you think of beautifully embossed pans like this one?

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