Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 Beauty Favourites

I often find it a hard task collating my ‘favourite’ products each month – the pressure for rounding up an entire year’s worth is therefore quite a daunting thing! I guess the finality of the end of year matches a post like this though, so here I go with my favourites for 2014.
It seemed I either adored supermarket cheapies or products tipping the other end of the scale this year – the new line released by Garnier blew me away, but the pricy Lancome Dreamtone serum* also made a mark in my skincare drawers (or rather, it faded some of my marks!) I switched out my Bioderma for the Garnier Micellar Water and it’s quite hard to look back now – the quality is excellent and the cheap price point is welcomed in my limited beauty budget (I picked this huge bottle up for less than $10 on sale!) so much so that I already have a backup bottle waiting in the wings. I also tried out the Garnier Moisture Match moisturiser (not pictured as I used it up) when it was first released and can’t remember the last time I liked a facial moisturiser so much – it softens my skin and is easily absorbed, the only thing I dislike about it is that I run through a tube quite fast (a small niggle considering it retails for $10…)
Lip Products
Bourjois knocked it out of the park with their Rouge Edition Velvets this year, and I adore the 3 shades that I picked up when they first launched (Pink Pong, Ole Flamingo and Frambourjoise) If ever I’m in need of a peppy bright lip I can rely on these babies, and I love how long-lasting but comfortable they are on the lips. For a more casual lip look I loved the Chapstick Cake Batter lip balm (even though it contains some nasties) or the gorgeous Maybelline Colour Elixir in Caramel Infused. My 2013 Christmas gift also got a good run, the NYX Butter Glosses which I now have in Tiramisu, Vanilla Cream Pie, Crème Brulee and Éclair. Anyone else hungry for some sweets right now…?
Eye Products
For all the palettes I loved during the year, this was the only one to really jump out as worthy of this post. I’m yet to wear this custom Inglot Palette without receiving a compliment and I am always chuffed with how my makeup looks when I use this, all sure signs of a stellar product. Another true love of mine is something I wear every day and couldn’t imagine being without – the essence Long Lasting Eye Pencil in Hot Chocolate, which I run along my upper lash line every morning. I added a lower lash line shade into the mix this year with the NYX Retractable Eye Liner in Silky Cashmere and all year long I loved how it ‘finished off’ every eye look for me with ease. I threw my all-time-so-far favourite mascara into the mix of favourites (Covergirl Clump Crusher) as well as the Australis Cray for Colour Eyes shadow pencil in Soiling the Fun. Terrible name aside, this is something I should’ve used more often as it’s lovely and such a pretty shade!
Scent & Nails
Every time I spray this I wish it wasn’t associated with the word ‘flirty’, but nevertheless one of my most loved fragrances this year was Vivienne Westwood’s Flirty Alice* which is lovely and fresh and something different from the rest of my scent stash. Another brilliant discovery in 2014 was the Elizabeth & James fragrances (Nirvana Black and Nirvana White, only one pictured as the other has gone walkabout) which are strong and sexy, which is what I often need to feign confidence on some days. Nails were a tricky one as I switch up my nail colour so often, but the shade that made the most impact and one I look forward to wearing is definitely the beautiful Essie Ruffles and Feathers*.
Maybelline Dream Matte Powder would forever make this list had it not been discontinued, but thankfully I hoarded two pans in anticipation of the wedding and now I get to enjoy my favourite powder for a while longer. Blushes are my favourite thing to read about/discuss/hoard and so I stretched it out to 3 even though my Chanel Joues Contraste Powder Blush in 80 Jersey easily won the top prize (and was the single blush I took overseas with me!) It’s followed closely by MAC Poised which I’ve mentioned quite often this year and I wore the heck out of. It was all about the nude and neutral blushes in 2014, they really were my obsession for the year. A brighter blush did manage to sneak into the line-up though, mainly due to the incredible formula…Hourglass were a big player in the beauty world this year and I enjoyed my pan of Ambient Lighting Blush in Radiant Magenta! It gives my skin that cliché ‘lit from within’ look that no other blush I own has managed to capture, and I’m looking forward to ripping into my Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette in the new year!
Sending out best wishes for your NYE celebrations and for the year ahead – 2014 was a big one for me with the wedding and a big honeymoon, so hopefully 2015 will be relaxing and productive!
Cheers! Emma x
*Provided for consideration. Honesty, always.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Festive Five #5 - 5 low maintenance red lippies for Christmas Day

Okay, I know I said I wasn’t going to go down the festive red lip route, but I have to be honest and say that I’m tempted to. I don’t want anything high maintenance (there are prawns to eat, people!) so I’ve been ruminating on my 5 favourite reds to wear as a stain or a light wash on the day. Mumma Bovary buys me a new dress to wear on Christmas Day each year and she is continuing the tradition even though I’m married and in my own home now, so yesterday we spent the day together doing last minute Christmas shopping and having some lunch. I’ll be posting a snap of the dress we chose on Instagram no doubt (@emmabovary) but it’s got flashes of red throughout so I think a red lip would look pretty good with it.
1. essence Breaking Dawn Part 2 Lipgloss in Renesmee Red
This smells so fruity and delicious, and the glittery jelly look of it would look perfect dabbed in the middle of a bright red lipstick. I don’t think it would help with the lip longevity but the glitter is drawing me in…

2. essence Tribal Summer Longlasting Lipstick in Waka Waka*
I’ve not worn this red shade before so it might be a bit of gamble, but it does claim to be long-lasting and the colour is a bit closer to a true red than the others pictured here. It also looks like it would complement the Renesmee Red gloss really nicely…

3. Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstick in Neon Red
The quality of this line of lipsticks is so good and this bright cherry red would be a perfect festive touch to my new outfit. I think it’s a bit creamier than I would ideally like for a day of feasting but still…

4. MAC Viva Glam Cyndi (lustre)
My beloved Cyndi, easily one of my favourite lipsticks and one that I need to use more often lest it go off as I admire it in my lipstick drawer. I have a feeling this shade will win out on the day as the almost coral tint to it makes it the most flattering on my super pale skin, and it’s nice and easy to reapply throughout the day, too.

5. Nars Lipgloss in Babe
This mini gloss came in a set I bought at Mecca Maxima, and I adore the formula of these. I’m yet to try the newly repackaged glosses as I’m unsure whether or not the formula is the same…? If anyone can confirm this I would love to know! This is a nice juicy red shade that I wear by itself but it would also work over a red lipstick on the day.

Renesmee Red, Waka Waka, Neon Red, Cyndi, Babe
One more sleep! Thanks so much for following along with my Festive Five series, it was nice to do something a bit different on the blog and your comments were all very much appreciated. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and I can't wait to hear what beauty products you all wore on the day!

*Product provided for consideration. Honesty, always.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Festive Five #4 - 5 Neutral Blushes to Wear with That Festive Lip or Smoky Eye

If you’ve logged onto YouTube lately, no doubt you’ve seen a barrage of ‘festive makeup tutorials’ following a similar principle – bronzer, shimmery eye and a big bold red lip! I’m not knocking this trend as its stunning and I love clicking on to watch a few of the videos (though Vlogmas gets my heart beating faster!) but I’m far more interested in what blush people choose to pair with their Christmas look! I’ve rustled up 5 of my favourite neutral blushes (most ended up being luxe brands, ooh la la) that I reach for if I’m wearing a bold lip or smoky eye.

1. Chanel Joues Contraste in Accent
One of the most revered Chanel blushes kicking around Instagram and blogs at the moment, I am so pleased each time I see a snap of it that I added this to my collection! Limited edition of course, this is along the same lines as Chanel Jersey so perhaps you could substitute with that if you’re interested in Accent.

2. MAC Poised
This was posted about here after I’d forgotten I owned this stunner, and it turned out to be one of the most used blushes in 2014 for me. It’s a nice easy to wear neutral that has really impressed me, and because of that I think I’ll be looking into more MAC blushes next year!

3. Dolce & Gabbana Caramel
This took a lot of hunting around for, and it surprises me that hardly any blog posts exist praising this silky smooth luxury blush. I ended up purchasing from ebay if memory serves, and though it isn’t my favourite neutral blush it is definitely a thing of beauty that I’m glad I own.

4. Chanel Joues Contraste in Jersey
This was the only blush I took along on our honeymoon – a serious thing for a certified blush fiend such as myself! I actually think I love this more than Chanel Accent and find it so pretty that I can’t get sick of wearing it. Definitely worth checking out if you are a fan of neutral blushes, or even Chanel blushes in general like I am.

5. Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Exposed
I couldn’t leave this out of a neutral blush line-up – it’s my all-time favourite blush and the one I wore on my wedding day. Need I say more!
Are you a fan of neutral blushes? Are you sick of the traditional Christmas YouTube videos, or are you loving them like mad this year?
-Emma xx

Monday, December 22, 2014

Festive Five #3 - polishes to adorn your fingertips for Christmas Day

Last year I went a bit left of field on Christmas Day and wore a bright summery pink nail polish to match the Tokito dress I bought for the occasion (check my post here to enjoy some swatches, it's my all-time favourite pink polish!) This time around I think I might go down the more traditional route of reds, greens and glitters - I've rounded up my five Christmas Day contenders and will pop a picture of my final choice on Instagram (@emmabovary) when I get my nails done this week!

1. Australis Glitter Top Coat in Eureka
I find it quite hard to wear a straight up metallic gold against my pale skin, so a nice top coat like this is the perfect way to inject a bit of my favourite festive metal into my nail look. I have gold tinsel on my tree each year and a stack of golden ornaments about the house, so I like that this ties into my overall Christmas theme!

2. Australis Metallic Edition in Red Hot Chilli Pepper* from the AC loves Me Collection
First of all, awesome shade name from the stars that keep the Priceline shelves full of on-trend and affordable beauty products! This rich dark metallic red is that classic Christmas colour that my polish collection was surprisingly lacking, and one that I think will be very popular for the Aussie brand.

3. Essie Hors d’Oeuvres from the Encrusted Collection*
Yet another mention for my current polish shade, the stunning chunky glitter that is my favourite Essie glitter to date. The fact that this shade manages to lean cool and warm at the same time is brilliant, but my frustration at not being able to accurately capture the shade on camera is driving me crazy! Trust me though; it is stunning on the nail and something that I think I will get a lot of wear from.

4. OPI Christmas Gone Plaid
Gwen Stefani has teamed up with OPI once again around the holiday season and as soon as I saw this dark forest green in a magazine, I knew I had to have it. I’m not one to buy polish all the time but after a few free drinks in Vegas, Mister and I visited the apothecary there and I took this baby straight to the counter. Stunning, I’m in love.

5. Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Snow Globe*
A gorgeous nail topper filled with various holographic flaky hexes and glitters – if there ever was a time to wear a sparkly stunner like this, Christmas certainly fits the bill! I believe this one was a limited edition around the spring carnival season here in Australia, but I saw it on the shelves during the week so if you’re interested in rocking this on Christmas Day you should be able to get your hands on a bottle.
Snow Globe!

Do you dress up for Christmas Day, or is it a totally casual affair? Have you chosen your nail shade yet?

-Emma xx

*Provided for consideration. Honesty, always.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Festive Five #2 - lip crayons to swipe on this season

I do love a good lip crayon, and seeing as they are easy to apply and tote around in your handbag they make an excellent lip choice for festive outings. Even though we're entering summer weather here in Melbourne it looks like it's going to rain on the 25th, so I've chosen 5 suitably Christmas-y shades to showcase today!

1. Rimmel Lasting Finish Colour Rush in 200 Keep Mauving*
These are one of the latest crayon releases to hit my desk, and one of my favourite features of them is the yummy vanilla smell that is in line with that typical MAC scent most of us know and love. This affordable drugstore option is a nice deep MLBB (my lips but better) shade that is a nice choice if you're playing up your eyes with darker shadow shades.

2. Clinique Chubby Stick in 11 two ton tomato
Clinique are bang on trend with their many chubby stick releases, and this shade is from the initial release (rather than the sheer, intense or cheek offerings that they've since launched!) A nice sheer fire engine red shade, this is generally easier to wear than a bold red and the mild plastic smell isn't something that is detectable once it's on the lips.

3. Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in 055 Adore
This has to be one of my very favourite lip crayon shades - the dark red is really flattering on a range of skin tones (my fair skin, Mumma Bovary's more olive skin etc) and the minty scent is something I really like about the Revlon crayon range. I frequently push this into peoples hands when Revlon sells for half price, it's a real winner and quite an underrated shade if you ask me.

4. Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in 005 Crush
This shade is a nice alternative to the blue-based red shades that are abundant (and gorgeous!) at this time of year. It's a deep berry that is quite wearable and pretty pigmented, with that signature mint scent as I mentioned for Adore.

5. Clinique Chubby Stick in Whole Lotta Honey**
Easily my most-used lip crayon, this neutral shade is MLBB and something I often reach for after smoking up my eye shadows for a dinner date or party. If I can't think of what lip colour to match with a look, this is almost always tucked in my handbag for ease of use.
Have we decided on a look for Christmas Day yet? I'm thinking a nice brown smoky eye with glitter, unless I find a summery dress to wear with a bold lip colour like last year!

-Emma xx

*Provided for consideration but sittin' pretty in my crayon drawer. **I won Whole Lotta Honey in a Facebook competition on my personal FB! Honesty, always.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Festive Five #1 - five beauty products to take you through the festive season!

I decided to whip up 5 festive posts to see you through until Christmas Eve, beginning today! Each day will see a new 5 product line up for you to peruse, and today brings you 5 miscellaneous stunners that I personally rely on at the moment for bringing me some nice festive cheer in the midst of some horrible things on the news in Australia.
1. Bath & Body Works Vanilla Bean Noel Fine Fragrance Mist
This scent is all I can wear at the moment, it's absolutely delicious and I love layering it over the matching body lotion (the haul for this is coming soon, promise) The notes are: Fresh Vanilla Bean, Warm Caramel, Sugar Cookies, Whipped Cream & Snow-Kissed Musk and it makes me feel warm and cozy without being too heavy for the Australian summer.

2. Dior Fairy Golds Quint
You all must be sick of seeing me mention this, but I want to write about the things I love and this beauty gets pulled out of the drawer every December! I love how I can wear the champagne shade for an easy day look (or maybe to go with a brighter lip colour) and then deepen up the look at night with the darker or more glittery shades for a night out.

3. Essie Hors d'Oeuvres*
The hype around the Essie Encrusted collection in 2013 seemed to be all about 'On A Silver Platter' but I'm currently wearing the platinum gold Hors d'Oeuvres which is filled with different sized silver glitter and it is seriously off the hook. It's warm and cool at the same time, and I'm enjoying how full on it looks as a full mani!

4. Yves Saint Laurent Volupte Sheer Candy in 07 Sheer Fig
I find red lipstick a bit tricky to pull off, so when I saw blog raves for this sheer and pretty silver bullet I needed to have it. I don't wear it as often as I should (especially considering how pricy YSL lipsticks are!) but when I think Christmas, I think red lips, and this is a mirror-free touch-up kinda shade and that is right up my alley.

5. Skindinavia Makeup Finishing Spray*
I've been testing this for a little while now and I'm surprised to say that I actually think that it's making a difference! I apply in an 'X' motion from a distance (as recommended) after applying all of my makeup (making sure my mascara is dry!) and by the end of the day/night I am shocked to see my face still looking fresh when I peek in the mirror. A miraculous discovery and one I'll definitely be whipping out over the party season...

So there you have it, the essentials for a fun festive season - nice scents, pretty shadows, blingy nails, an easy red lip and something to lock it all into place! Hope you're having a wonderful lead-up to Christmas and that you're fitting in some rest and relaxation along the way!
-Emma xx

*Provided for consideration, but popped into the festive five out of pure love! Honesty, always.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

An Easy Festive Forest Green Manicure

Around this time of year, one of my favourite things to see is a cheerful festive manicure! Even my sister-in-law is rocking this amazing red glittery snowflake adorned polish that is making me smile every time I see her! When I went to get my nails done after we returned from overseas I spotted the most beautiful green on my manicurist and that is how I ended up with my first festive mani for the season. Green polishes are most certainly my kryptonite at the moment with more than a few coming home with me from the US, and so this seemed a natural choice for a Christmas green!

The polish was a brand called Morgan Taylor which I’d not heard of before, but when we went to paint my acrylics we realised another lady in the salon was getting her nails done with the very same shade! I love knowing that 3 women in the one room had the same beautifully festive nails so I was happy to wait to use the shade, which is adorably named Later Alligator…as if I didn’t already love it enough! I topped my ring fingers with two light coats of Sinful Colours Call You Later which I had just purchased on clearance from Target and I like the way the names fit well together and that the gold and green shimmers bring a bit of pizazz to the forest green crème shade.

I’m currently considering my next festive manicure to take me through Christmas day and I’m not sure if I want to go down the red route or not…would another green mani be crazy?! How much glitter is too much?!


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Scotch on the Rocks - A Makeup Look

The first Christmas party of the season rolled around over the weekend and surprisingly enough it was for my Dad’s workplace, who were putting on a family event to enjoy with their workers. Since the event was early (it began at 6:30, presumably to accommodate younger families) I shied away from the typical (and beautiful) holiday addition of red lips at the thought of it fading awkwardly, and went for a more neutral lip colour and a careful eye look made entirely with my new Bobbi Brown palette.

Base & Cheeks:
I started with a thin layer of my Face of Australia Face Base (a dupe for the Napoleon Perdis primer!) before buffing in some Illamasqua Skin Base all over. I set it all with my Maybelline Matte Maker powder* and then set to work on bringing some colour back into my face. I couldn’t stop myself from using my Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Exposed (I must admit it was something I missed while overseas) but brought out a new highlighter for the festive season – the Bobbi Brown High Light powder in Bronze Glow* ($80 AUD) from the gorgeous new Scotch on the Rocks holiday collection. I’ve also been trying out the Skindivania Makeup Setting Spray* and so far it’s faring well.
I was aching to try out my new Bobbi Brown Deluxe Lip & Eye Palette* ($130 AUD) which is also from the Scotch on the Rocks collection so I put it to work. Over a base of MAC Painterly Paint Pot I applied the peachy brown Antique Rose then went over it with Bronzed Pink Metallic. I used Black Chocolate along the lashline to beef up my lashes and also as a crease colour, and then smudged some of Malted along the lower lashline to balance out the look.  I used Ivory Eye for my brow bone and Cream Metallic for my inner corner, and I was pretty impressed with how the palette came with all the basic shades you would need – so often palettes lack a good brow bone highlight!

The beloved Bite Beauty Matte Lip Cream in Leche was my natural choice, the formula of these is phenomenal.
The festivities were great fun and we enjoyed some drinks in the sunshine as the kids played on the Jurassic park themed jumping castle. It was a pretty low-key event and sometimes that is exactly what you need on a Friday afternoon!
Have you been heading out for work drinks or Christmas parties lately? I am really into the Christmas spirit at the moment and am loving being able to spend more time with family!
Emma x

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

Friday, December 12, 2014

My Top Five Eyeshadows Palettes

I'm still in a post-honeymoon funk and am trying to get the house in order before I even think about holiday posts and haul sharing. I've filed them away for now but they are coming, that I know for sure. Edging my way back into blogging with a top five post is the way to go about this, I think!
I may be a certified blush fiend, but show if I showed you my eyeshadow palette drawer I'll bet it'd also knock your socks off! I never set out to 'collect' eyeshadow palettes but I am someone who wears eyeshadow everyday, so it just sort of happened. I find them easier to store than single shadow pots and I like the value of getting a bunch of shades that generally fit well together rather than a few random pretties that I have to match up myself. I actually found it quite difficult to narrow my list down, but these 5 babies are the ones I'd save if the entire lot was threatened.

MAC 'Bare My Soul' quad (from the Temperature Rising collection 2013) is a serious stunner, and easily one of the best things I've bought from MAC in my time (see a look featuring it here) The two brown shades cop a beating regularly as they are the perfect tone for me, and the addition of 'easy to wear' colour is always a push in the right direction for me. I plan on creating a nice festive green look with this soon...
Dior Fairy Golds, the palette that signals the holiday season for me and brings back all the memories of the Christmas before. Long shifts in retail and hazy mornings resulted in this palette becoming my go-to, hence the nice bit of #panporn that is happening here (check this post for a fresh, pristine pretty) I'll be honest and say that the golden flakey shade doesn't come out often and the sparkly white is but a rare topper for my lids, but my love for the other three shades somehow makes that okay. I think I need another Dior palette in my life, though I probably should have thought about that on my holiday as they are so pricey here!
One of the more recent palettes to slide on into the drawer, Nars And God Created the Woman was a nice little workhorse during my 3 week+ jaunt abroad. I took this and one other palette with me to make do, and I was pretty pleased with how many looks I was able to whip up and blend fast with this set.
I was thinking hard when I chose the Pretty Rebel palette from Too Faced - I adore the Chocolate Bar palette among many others from the brand, but something about this one really makes my heart sing. I don't get as much use as I should from a lot of the colours (Miss Sparkles and Totally Fetch are pretty pristine as you can see!) but my love for the Ringleader and Gangsta shades pulled this bad boy into the top five. I love that they've included a matte blending/highlight colour in Dainty, and the duochrome Girly that reminds me of MAC Club is a really cool addition and makes this palette all the more unique.
Last but in no realm least is the belle of the ball, my beloved Urban Decay Naked palette. Yes it sits alongside it's shiny tinned 'Naked 2 & 3' siblings in the palette drawer, but nothing in my collection gets as much consistent love as this does and I much prefer it to the updated counterparts. I know that posts about it have been done to death in the blogging world but my love is pure and true, and so this is the one that must round out my top five eyeshadow palette round up!
I think it's quite obvious that my true love lies with a nice neutral shadow, but trust me when I say that I do often wear colours out of this category! I can't tell you how happy it made me to gush about these beauties - so often with this blog I overthink posts and I need to learn to let myself 'go with the flow' as they say.
Have a great weekend all -

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Christmas Tag

As soon as I saw this Christmas Tag on Milk Bubble Tea, I knew it was something I wanted to partake in. I absolutely adore Christmas time and all the cheer that comes along with it, and this year I'm not working in retail anymore so I can really enjoy decorating our house and spending family time on Christmas Eve and Boxing Day instead of working!
1. What is your favourite Christmas Movie/s?
I think Home Alone is probably the one that I watch most regularly, but most recently Mister and I watched Arthur Christmas and I thought it was so adorable.

2. Do you open your presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?
Only on Christmas morning! I've never been one to want to peek or open a gift early as it's just not something my family have ever done. I've actually been known to stash my own gifts away to prolong the opening process, as I think my favourite part of gift receiving is the anticipation when you've got a prettily wrapped gift in your mitts.

3. Do you have a favourite Christmas memory?
Each year I would help (aka watch) Mumma Bovary set up the many Christmas trees in our house. She really goes all out!

4. Favourite festive food?
I think it's a combination of all my favourites on the day - my mother in law's okra dish, my Dad's garlic prawns, roast Turkey with vegetables and then eating it all again as leftovers!

5. Favourite Christmas gift?
My most memorable was definitely the year that I received my first mobile phone, from my sister and her husband. I cried like a baby and couldn't wait to start texting everyone despite being in the same room as them, that was a pretty exciting moment for a technologically sheltered child haha.

6. Favourite Christmas scent?
The smell of tinsel! My recent acquisition of Bath and Body Works Vanilla Bean Noel is also pretty festive and smells delicious.
7. Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?
We used to sit around at Mumma and Pappa Bovary's to watch the Carols, but my years working retail put that to rest for me. This year I'm back in the game and am looking forward to having a very relaxing Christmas Eve indeed!

8. What tops your tree?
A sparkly golden star!

9. As a kid, what was the one (crazy, wild, extravagant) gift you always asked for but never received?
I don't think I was one for crazy or wild gifts - I was more likely to ask for books than anything else and my family normally came through with the goods.

10. What's the best part about Christmas for you?
The general feeling in the air; the excitement surrounding the great food, seeing all of my family and of course, the gifts that are shared (especially all of my niece's and nephews!)

Would love to see your responses to this festive tag - I'm deep into the Christmas spirit at the moment!
Emma x
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