Thursday, September 25, 2014

5 Beauty Lover Saving Tips

I'm currently in the midst of a mega-life change - I've just left my job and plan on getting a job in my field next year, am getting married in a month and have a busy end of year ahead with overseas family coming out and a big glorious honeymoon to enjoy.

I'm becoming better at pinching the pennies to make my wedding lovely and keep our household running, but the beauty lover in me still needs a hit every now and again! I've been thinking about how I usually save money or shop sensibly when it comes to beauty products and the like, and have rounded up my ideas for you. These 5 tips will help you think smart about how you shop and hopefully stop you from coming home with products that won't get any love in your stash!

1 //  Evaluate your stash
Are you like me and own a million red lipsticks, a shade you wear approximately twice a year? Once you get to know your stash properly it becomes so much easier to evaluate purchases on the go. For example, I know that I own far too many neutral blushes (blushes in general actually, as this evidence shows...) but that they are something I wear all of the time, so if I'm pondering a new nude blush at least I know I will use it, and can think back to my current shades to see if this one is too similar to the others. Now that I've learnt to do this I find myself never buying red lipstick ;)
my true obsession, and my wasted money obsession!

2 // Check out current deals before you click 'checkout'
This is one that I have always done before I checkout when shopping online, and I think the same sort of reasoning works when shopping in store as well. You wouldn't dismiss sale information or a free GWP at a store, so checking current sales for favourite sites like Adore Beauty and BeautyBay just makes sense! Sites that collect coupons for a bunch of places are my favourite as they've done the gathering for me, leaving me more time to check out swatches of the items I'm lemming ;)

3 // Wish List
You have to be realistic when it comes to loving beauty - I am well aware that I could never pull off a project pan, so beginning one would just set me up for disaster in the long run in the form of a huge splurge on products that may not be worth it. Instead, I like to create wish lists to whittle down my lusts and really work out what it is that really gets my heart racing. Lately I've been all about the honeymoon wishlists (see part one and part two) and it's always good to look back to past lemmings to notice trends!

4 // Follow International Trends
Being in a remote country like Australia means that we are made to wait a really long time for products to hit our shores. I keep an eye on my favourite international beauty blogs like Temptalia, Eye Heart It, Beauty Reductionista and Beauty Reflections to make sure I know what will eventually come out. This gives me time to check out more reviews and work out whether or not a product would work for me, and by the time it comes out here I am prepared with a full purse for it!
Products I've bought after reading about them on international blogs!

5 // Sign up to email lists for your favourite stores
This is a double-edged sword - if you are on a shopping ban this can cause too much temptation, but I personally find it wonderful to get the notification about a sale as soon as it has begun. Some of my non-beauty favourites include Lovisa (I love a good costume piece!) and Cotton On (I've used both of these recently for wedding related purchases, and didn't pay full price because I was notified about the promotion early!)

How do you save money when it comes to beauty shopping? Have you ever done a project pan or a similar mission?

Emma x

Monday, September 22, 2014

Bright Pink Drugstore Makeup Look ft. NYX and Maybelline

My penchant for Chanel blushes and big expensive eyeshadow palettes needs to ease up sometimes, and so in an attempt to 'get real' I grabbed some of my nicer drugstore products to give them a whirl. What eventuated was a nice and easy makeup look with my new NYX Matte Lipstick in Sweet Pink being the star of the show!
I wasn't thinking of a particular brand focus with this look, but Maybelline and NYX just naturally dominates for me (especially since they are the most affordable, particularly when Maybelline goes half off at Chemist Warehouse!) I've been using the Matte Maker powder* for a while now and I don't love it like I did the old Dream Matte, but it is a pretty decent powder (despite this funny incident)
I am a fan of liner lately, I was once too lazy to put any effort into that aspect of my makeup but now I realise how much fun it can be to play around with liquid options, different pencil shades and the placement on the eye, too. I'm completely enamoured by the NYX eyeliner in Silky Cashmere which I've been running along the length of my lower lash-line for some subtle and pretty definition. For this look I just smudged a bit into my outer third so it didn't compete with the Australis Curve Ink Eyeliner*.
I'll be honest and say that I had hoped the NYX matte lipstick in Sweet Pink was going to actually be matte, but it is more of a satin finish to me and doesn't hold a candle to my Bourjois Pink Pong or my Nars Carthage (which I still can't find and plan on repurchasing in America) I find brighter pinks like this much easier to wear than pastel shades or red lipsticks, so the purchase was still a good one for me (especially since it was 30% off as seen in my August haul)
I'm currently obsessed with scouring the Sephora website looking for nice things to swatch when I first visit in November - any tips on skincare, eyeliners and blushes I should try?
Emma x

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Getting Deep and Dark with L'Oreal Rock N Roll Denim

I swing between the extremes when it comes to my choice of nail polish - I love a nice bright cream (orange and pink especially!) and a good heavy glitter, but my true nail spirit comes in the form of a deep and dark metallic like this. My all-time favourite nail polish shade is easily L'Oreal Colour Riche Vernis in Luxembourg Garden, so when I saw this glittery denim Rock 'n' Roll Denim polish that was reminiscent of it I didn't hesitate to pick it up.
I love the way that this flashes a deep grey metallic from a distance (as shown in the shot below) but the depth and complexity of the colour when you look at it closely is even better. Colours like this can be really easy to wear because they look great with an all-black outfit (my favourite kind!) but just as great with a pretty pink and feminine dress.
I have quite a weakness for the L'Oreal polish range, I think the bottle design is much better than other drugstore brands (even when brands rerelease things, they aren't as nice as this!) and the smaller size and corresponding price is also a real pleaser if you're in need of a nice little pick-me-up that is easy on the hip pocket.
The L'Oreal Colour Riche Vernis range retails for $6.95 AUD and is something I genuinely recommend you try out if you are in the mood for a new shade to perk up your polish collection.

What colour have you tried from the L'Oreal polish line up?
Do you have a polish 'style' too, do you wear the same sorts of shade all the time?
Emma x

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Nars And God Created The Woman Set

As soon as I spotted the infamous Nars palette online at Mecca Cosmetica ($79 AUD), I clicked add to cart and made it mine. I've seen many a post raving about the beauty of this teensy palette and the fact that it comes with a mini eye primer and a shadow brush made the decision even easier for me. I have to admit that I am completely enamoured by this, despite not having tried many Nars eyeshadows before, but I did have my reservations when I saw the size in person...

I've been interested in trying out the Nars Pro-Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base thanks to Ingrid Nilsen's love for it and so a mini tube was more exciting to me than it probably should have been! I'm yet to try it out (still using my Australis for now) and I haven't broached that strangely shaped brush yet, either. I did a bit of research and found out that they switched out the brush type since this was first launched at Sephora in 2013, and the Australian release also has the shadows in different positions in the palette which I thought was quite strange.

 I have to admit that my heart sank when I first unwrapped my Mecca parcel to see that the giant Nars box was housing a palette closer in size to a credit card...I'm used to my Lorac Pro, Naked Palettes etc so this was an eye-opener for me. For reference, it's a bit smaller than the NYX Love in Paris palettes which are in themselves quite a small size, so those looking for a palette that is easy to travel with might be elated with it's tiny physique. I can definitely see myself hitting pan on these shadows in this lifetime, but the shadow pans fit my brush perfectly so I don't really have any complaints at this point.

A neutral lovers dream, right? I have had a go at all of these shadows and can't say I'm disappointed with the quality of any of them. Despite them looking a bit 'meh' in swatches, once they hit the eye with my Royal & Langnickel brush it's all systems go and smooth sailing!

My favourite shadows from this palette are probably Kalahari, Alambra and Coconut Grove - the latter purely because I've been lusting over the single shadow for years! I went out for Thai on Saturday night with friends and I popped a bit of Night Clubbing into my crease to make my eyes more dramatic, and it was totally better and less scary a shade than I thought it would be.

To see some of the shades in action, hit up these lovely ladies - Tiffany, Alison and Anna.

The Nars And God Created the Woman set retails for $79 AUD and is available at Mecca Cosmetica. They are still in stock at the time of posting but I'm sure it will be one that sells out as it is limited edition, so hop to it! The set contains one shadow palette (6x 1g shadows) as well as an 0.09 oz Pro-Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base and the #42 Wide Contour Eye Shadow Brush.

My intense love for a palette isn't a common occurrence despite my love for beauty, and that is a testament to Nars indeed! It has made me all the more excited to check out this mega Nars palette...

Emma x

Monday, September 15, 2014

Makeup Diary #1

It seems I need to work on rotating my bases and blushes...I took a snap of my daily makeup for a week and love being able to pick up patterns in the photos! I am very much into neutral eyes at the moment (and you can see I hauled towards the end of the week!) and lips have been quite low key most of the time.
Getting back into a Nars frame of mind, the standout for this lazy errand day with my sister in law was definitely the taupe shade from the Grand Palais duo
Sticking the the Nars trend but stuck Lorac Pewter over the top for some jazz! I went wedding shopping with Mumma Bovary and oh she looks stunning in her 'mother of the bride' dress!
Working out how to pull off silver eyeshadow and wearing my beloved MAC Poised blush. After dinner we hand delivered a stack of wedding invitations and it felt so good!
Tried to keep the eyes nice and simple with Burberry Pale Barley, as this was the only day this week that I wore a bright lip! Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet in 02 Frambourjoise was the lip of choice, and thank goodness the lasting power is great because I forgot to bring it along with me for touch-ups!
A relatively makeup free day, I evened out my complexion (I'm currently in a terrible skin phase...) and added mascara to feel human. Cake batter lip balm, by the way? Genius!
I told you it was Nars-centric! I chose to try out Nars Orgasm blush (from the Danmari Cheek Palette) this time around, as I still don't love it as much as everyone else seems to. The Turkish Delight gloss is a whole other story though, I adore that pale pink shade.
As soon as my Nars And God Created the Woman palette arrived I snapped the obligatory blogger shots then threw it on my lids. Absolutely swooning over this tiny palette.
I'm the kind of person who finds a base she likes and sticks to it, and Illamasqua Skin Base is no exception. It's one of the few foundations that matches my pale skin but I have been needing a whole lotta undereye concealer lately, so had to pop some YSL Touche Éclat over the top of my Maybelline Age Rewind to make things half-decent.

So that is my makeup diary for the week! If you like peeking into the makeup bloggers use everyday, check out Liz's post which is what inspired me to keep my makeup diary! If you want to know more about anything in these shots just let me know, I would love to chat more about them.

Do you wear similar products for your everyday style?
What blush gets a heavy rotation for you?
Emma x

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Bought in August

Another frugal monthly haul is ready for perusal, I did indulge in some drugstore bits but once again I kept away from the Myer counter and was content to cover my hands and arms in swatches instead.

The new Revlon Shadowlinks were definitely an impulse buy after a bad day, as was the Maybelline Chocolate Chip eyeliner – but I’d had my eye on the latter for quite a while so it was going to be mine sooner or later. I’ve got a bit of an obsession with Essie Mojito Madness after seeing it on Larie’s Twitter header, and I bought an essence polish in an attempt at quashing the lemming until I reach U.S shores where I can pick that shade up. I'll have a full post up on that another time!

I bought quite a few wedding related things this month, namely my wedding shoes (squeee!) and gifts for the bridal party as well as a few jewellery contenders for myself for the big day. Does anyone have an online jewellery store recommendation for me for blingy pieces? Would love some help in that department! As an aside, I’m thinking of posting some wedding related things up here, is there anything you’d like to know about at this point? Less than 2 months to go then it’s honeymoon time!
I saw the Revlon Playful Plum blush in the clearance section of Priceline and even though we’re coming into the warmer weather when I’d hardly wear a shade like this, I’m a fan of the Revlon cheek formula (see my post here) and decided to pick it up anyway. The half price Maybelline sale was the cause of the Colour Tattoo in Edgy Emerald, coupled with my obsession with the aforementioned green shade…green bags, green tops, green shoes, green makeup, greeeeeeen!
Mini set of Antipodes at 40% off? How could I say no!?

Cute jewellery pieces on sale from Colette and Equip

A few things  I picked up with the 30% off NYX sale at Target, and my beloved Covergirl Clump Crusher mascara finally went down to $10 at Priceline.

I splurged on some of my favourite Urban Rituelle Cotton Candy purse sprays while shopping at Forever New (full review is here) and some of the Juicy Couture Dirty English mini’s while buying Dad’s Fathers Day gift (Enrique Adrenaline!) – technically a male scent, this discontinued gem is my ‘signature scent’ for winter. My sister in law was so sweet to buy me this Nicole Richie No Rules bottle while we were out for coffee one day, and looking at it now on the screen I can see it was a scent-centred month indeed!

September might have a few splurges at the shops, but not too second iPhone button just broke but I’m hoping it will hold out until we leave for our honeymoon. The rest of our cash is for wedding related activities – can’t wait for my hens and my kitchen tea!

Did you buy anything exciting this month so I can live vicariously through you?
I can’t wait for a big haul in Vegas, it is well overdue!
Emma x

Monday, September 8, 2014

September Goals

Recapping August...
-Walk 54km
I ended up following along with the Blogilates calender this month which meant I only managed 25.5km, so although this was technically a fail I am still really happy with my fitness effort.

-Donate 2+ bags of clothes to Vinnie's
I still have so much to donate, want to get onto this soon so I can start building up a nice summer wardrobe (for Hawaii as well)

-Donate 2+ handbags to Vinnie's/family + friends
I have a handbag sitting in our spare room for my sister but haven't had a chance to go through the rest yet.

-Book into the Benefit brow bar
Didn't end up doing this, pure laziness but I really need to get onto it to help fix my brows before the wedding!

-Organise beauty room
Made headway with this but still have a bit to organise and give away.

Wedding Goals!
-Finalise wedding stationary
The invitations are in the printer as we speak and I cannot wait to see them in person! So much effort and thought went into every word, never have I studied fonts that hard before.

-Book our honeymoon
Hawaii baby, our first time to the US and we are SO pumped! Any Hawaii or Vegas tips?

-Buy/choose my wedding shoes in time for dress fitting
Oh baby, I am so in love with my shoes. I had two options when I went to my fitting and had to decide between the two, and as soon as I put on 'the ones' with my wedding dress I felt amazing.

-Finalise cake design + flavours
Our cake tasting session was probably Mister Bovary's favourite part of wedding planning, truth be told.

-Book hair + makeup artists
Ended up nabbing my number one pick for both my hair and makeup, couldn't be happier!

loving my Blogilates workouts!
Hawaii, I'm checking my countdown every day for this holiday
Mint green, a colour in my kitchen tea theme
Mister and I in Thailand years ago
My all-time favourite novel
TBS Honeycomb Bronzer

Now onto the goals for September!
-Walk 35km
-Smash out the Blogilates SepTONEber calender to the best of my ability
-Fix the brows!
-Dye my hair (same ol' chocolate brown)
-Read 4 books
-Only buy beauty products if I: a) really love them + they are limited edition or b) really need them
-Start making decorations for the kitchen tea

How did you go with your goals in August?

Friday, September 5, 2014

The Remington Vacgroom // Mister Bovary Mentions

Now that we're getting hitched, Mister Bovary has decided to step up in the blogging realm with his own series, and I'm stoked to have a chance to guinea pig some male-orientated beauty and lifestyle products with him. He isn't much of a writer so I'll be throwing his thoughts into a semi-regular post for you to enjoy!

our little family, and le beard in action

First up is a good 'un, with the uber schmancy Remington Vacgroom 2-in-1 Beard Trimmer hitting our vanity for a good run through. Mister is hardly ever clean shaven (baby face syndrome when it does happens!) and prefers light stubble for his day-to-day look. Often I spot cool looking shavers around this time of year (Father's Day on Sunday, say whaaaat!) but a trimmer is so much more useful in our household. The best thing about this Remington robot? Say it with me now ladies - vacuum!

I love when Mister puts a wee bit of effort into his looks, but my oh my those beard hairs fly everywhere and clean up after he is done is such a pain. He always tries to cover the vanity with a towel but inevitably there are some missed hairs so I lurve the fact that this bad boy sucks up all the pesky hairs so I don't have to later!

Mister Bovary: Very impressed! He liked the blue accents and the inclusion of a wee beardy brush and a Remington bag to keep it all in was a definite score with this one. He has a single drawer in our second bathroom (my collection of haircare takes up the rest!) so keeping it all in a nice black Remington bag in his drawer is a great idea.

Mister used the Vacgroom without the brushguard attached as his stubble wasn't very long, and he used it to tidy up around the edges (I did tell him there was a smaller head to clip on for that but nope, he wanted it his way) and trim the overall length. We both raced to have a squiz inside the vacuum compartment and seeing all of the hairs collected in there was awesome - they really mean it when they say no mess!

Some facts to gloss over for you -
-The Vacgroom comes with 2 attachement heads, a 32mm trimmer as well as a 16mm detail head for shaping up those edges

-It boasts a long-lasting and rechargeable Lithium Powered Battery and "a power-drive dual gear system work to deliver maximum power and torque." If that isn't manly, I don't know what is!

-The Vacgroom retails for $99.95, call 1800 623 118 for stockists.

-It will turn your other half into a suave and spunky man, or your Dad into a slick and trimmed one...*

So if you feel like spoiling your other half while keeping your vanity clean, check this one out. It's also perfect as a Father's Day gift if your old man likes a bit of stubble - think about it this way, you get brownie points from your Mum with this gift as well! Just sayin'!

Emma and Mister Bovary x

*Results may vary, depending on how awesome your men are to start with!
*Product was provided for consideration. Honesty, always.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Honeymoon Wishlist (Part Two)

We're less than two months away from the wedding - which also means the honeymoon is looming closer! Since my last Honeymoon Wishlist we've booked the whole lot, so now I know we are definitely heading over the the U.S for the very first time. We'll be spending the majority of our honeymoon in Hawaii (Maui + Waikiki) with jaunts in LA and Vegas beforehand, suffice to say shopping is on my mind along with the lolling around relaxing.

I have been perusing the Sephora website to no end looking at all the things I will get to check out, and the things that have intrigued me greatly are the palettes - surprise surprise!
Anything Tarte is going to tempt me on this trip, I can see myself grabbing a whole bunch of products from the brand to try out and this palette looks like the best value so far. The shades look very wearable and I hope they swatch smoothly, too!
I've been eyeing this one off at the Myer counter since it launched, but think I might wait until we hit US shores where everything is cheaper to indulge in my first Chanel eye quad.
I definitely want to pick up one of the MJ palettes as we don't have access to his beauty brand here in Australia. I love the look of the bright palette in this range but realistically speaking I will get more joy from the neutral palette options, so they are probably what I will head home with.
As a celebrity, I'm really not a fan of Kat Von D's style or mannerisms - in fact I always ask Mister Bovary to turn over the channel if he starts watching her while I'm in the room! Her makeup line has a pretty good reputation though so I'm looking forward to swatching some of the shadows and lip products to see if anything catches my eye.
I have to say that I don't have as much experience with Nars as many other bloggers seem to - the blushes are yet to amaze me and I only have the odd eyeshadow duo to use, so I don't know much about the shades in this 15 strong palette. They definitely look like colours I would wear often and I'm thinking of picking up the Nars eye primer also, so if this is in stock I want to see how it fares. I have always wanted the Coconut Grove single shadow and since it's in here it would be a shame to pass on it...
This is something I want to swatch, but I'm not necessarily going to pick it up. I find Bobbi Brown shadows quite sheer and I've never been able to take the plunge and buy any, though I am always intrigued by them. Perhaps this trip will topple me over the edge of Bobbi Brown mountain?
Thinking about the percentage of these that I may actually pick up is equal parts exciting and ridiculous, so there's that...what can I say, I know what I like and what I'll use and it just makes sense to haul these rather than a bunch of random stuff I might not enjoy!
We'll see how we go, honeymoon countdown timer is ticking and purse-strings are pulled tight to save for this lot!
Emma x

Monday, September 1, 2014

Dream Week - enjoying #7daysoflipstick for LGFB

Swiping on some bright lipstick to raise awareness for a good cause? No worries! Spring brights will be gracing my lips for the next week to support Look Good...Feel Better's Dream Week (August 31st - September 6th)
day 1 of Dream Week for LGFB!
LGFB helps women cope with the physical side effects of cancer treatment by holding free workshops, and I am a firm believer that a big part of coping with an illness is about mindset. If feeling better about how you look can help you push through the pain and hardships of illness then I am all for it, and being a beauty blogger means that cosmetics are the key to that for me.
Our family actually lost my beautiful Aunty just 6 months ago to cancer, and last week in particular was a really hard one for me. I was writing out our guest list for the wedding, and broke down into tears when I had to write my Uncle's name without hers beside it. I think I'm still numb to the idea that she is gone and it is only just starting to hit home now, so I've been all for waterproof mascara this week.
Cancer is an illness that touches so many people in many different ways, and I'm grateful to LGFB for providing support for women undergoing their treatment in this respect.
All you have to do to get involved is rock a new lipstick (or a bright one) and if you want to pick up a new lip colour, David Jones and Myer will donate $1 from every one sold during Dream Week to LGFB. Be sure to post up your lippie snaps on Instagram using the #7daysoflipstick and @LGFBAustralia tag - I'm loving the lipstick lemmings this is creating for me!
Check out these links for more information:
After my 7 days of lipstick I'll be posting up a round up for you to peruse - I would love to see some of you share your pouts this week! What lipstick shade do you want to see me wear?
Emma x
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