Friday, January 30, 2015

2015 Goals

Now that we're at the end of January I feel like I'm beginning to settle back into normal life, and I've taken time out to assess my goals and what I'm aiming to achieve this year. 2014 was a big one for me with the wedding, honeymoon and finishing work, so 2015 will be very different and I can't wait to see what it holds for me! I plan on being more organised when it comes to blogging, I'd like to review more skincare this year and post more regularly, too. 

2015 Goals!

-Visit the Melbourne Aquarium
Mister has been promising me he'd take me there since we began dating - we are now married, so I think he needs to get a wriggle on!

-Read 30 Books
I'm off to a great start already, you can check out my Goodreads page here

-Start a herb garden
I've never been a keen gardener so this might be a challenge!

-Book our next overseas trip (Bali 2016!)
Our dear friends are getting married in Bali this time next year and it's so lovely to have a holiday to aim for!

-Make curry paste from scratch
My favourite dish is Massamun Curry and I'd love to make my own paste for it.

-Perfect Greek lemon potatoes
One attempt down so far and it was a success - now to perfect them!

-Buy new furniture for the guest bedroom
I am setting up one of our spare rooms as a guest bedroom and can't wait to decorate it all!

-Eat 6 different cuisines
Using Urbanspoon as a guide, I'm going to try 6 cuisines I've never had before and hopefully find some new favourite restaurants!

-Slimline my makeup and skincare stash (Project Use It Up!)
I think I would enjoy my stash a lot more if it were organised better and only had amazing products in it, so that is my ultimate aim.

-Install nail polish racks in beauty room
Who wouldn't want their polishes displayed so they are easy to reach for? 

What cuisine is your favourite? Anything out of the ordinary that I should try?
Emma x

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Peach Blush Perfection

Getting stuck in a blush rut is pretty frustrating for a #blushfiend - I love so many different blushes but often stick to my neutral loves and neglect the other colour families that should be thrown in every now and again. The ease of a neutral that goes with everything is tempting, but each time I lay a peachy powder across my apples I am reminded of just why these blushes are so darn popular.

All of these are quite pigmented peach shades, all with different shade leanings (some are more pink-toned, whereas orange shines through in others!) The Luma Cosmetics blush in Soft Peach* is the latest to enter my stash but don't let the 'soft' name fool you - this ginormous blush pan packs a punch and needs a light hand to apply without looking a bit crazy. The same can be said for TheBalm's Hot Mama which is the shimmeriest of this bunch, perhaps of my whole collection? (I try to buff the shimmer out for glowier cheeks #HotTip)

MAC Springsheen is the most orange-toned, a rusty sort of peach that I was once afraid of using on my fair skin before true #blushfiend bravery set in years ago. I think the fact that it is a sort-of neutral rusty peach is what redeems it in my eyes, ya know? A shade that needs no redemption is Clinique's Peach Pop*, a shade that consistently impresses every time I swipe some colour from the gorgeous embossed petal pan. More often than not this is the blush that sparks a blush upheaval in the ranks and pushes my neutral blushes aside, which as I mentioned earlier is no mean feat...

Saving the best for last, my beautiful Illamasqua Sophie*. When this hit my desk many moons ago I knew not how hard I'd fall for this stunner - in the pan she appears awkwardly glittery and dry, but on the cheeks she blends and brightens with an ease that makes me sigh every.single.time. It's the pink tones in this that make this so amazing I think, and it really cemented the fact that Illamasqua know how to knock it out of the park with their blushes!
I'm off to scan my blush drawers for more peachy goodness...hit me up with your favourite peach shades, lest I slide on back to my overloved Tarte Exposed...
Emma x

*Provided for consideration. Honesty, always.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Haute in the Heat with Essie for Summer 2014

Being the namesake of the recently released Essie summer collection, I was expecting Haute in the Heat* to be my very favourite from the shade range. It's described by Essie as a hot guava pink raspberry (quite fruity, right?) and it's nice alright, but not a patch on the stunning Ruffles and Feathers that was also released for the hot summer season. I am yet to do a full post on R&F but did feature it in my 2014 favourites, so you know it's a good 'un!

This shade actually graced my nails for my recent birthday celebrations, which this time around were quite low-key with a Doncaster shopping trip in which I only bought one beauty item. One! Times are a-changing, my friends. I also indulged in some delicious Thai food with my family and it was a nice way to celebrate turning a year older. It was also my first birthday as a wife which I thought was pretty cool!
Ultimately I was impressed by the formula of this polish, but I can't say the colour is going to be in any of my favourites any time soon. In a lot of lights this appeared red on my pale skin and while still pretty, that wasn't what I was going for and I probably should have turned to a true pink to satiate my bright needs. Having said that, the colour gathered a lot of compliments for me and I actually ended up gifting Mumma Bovary a bottle of Essie Style Hunter, which is a spot on dupe for this colour, after she raved about how much she loved my nail colour one time too many. If this colour is up your alley and you don't have anything similar, I would recommend it; otherwise, check out Ruffles & Feathers and get ready for your socks to be blown off...

Emma x

*This product was provided for consideration. Honesty, always.

Friday, January 23, 2015

My Current Go-To Lip Products - Clearing Out The Handbag

I recently delved into the makeup pouch in my everyday handbag and came up with more than a handful of lip products that had been kicking around in there! I try to only take the lip colour I'm wearing with me out each day but they seem to accumulate, and along with these I also have the Chapstick Cake Batter Balm and other makeup bits tucked inside the pocket of my bag - is there any wonder my shoulders have been aching lately? These are often taken out and placed back into my everyday makeup storage, but they seem to jump right back into my makeup pouch and I just can't get enough of these shades at the moment.

Covergirl Lip Perfection Jumbo Gloss Balm - Haute Pink Twist*
MAC Viva Glam - Cyndi 
Nars Lipgloss- Misbehave
Nars Lipgloss- Babe
Bite Beauty Matte Creme Lip Crayon- Glace
Nars Pure Matte Lipstick- Carthage
Bite Beauty Matte Creme Lip Crayon- Leche
So you tell me - are 7 coloured lip products too many for one handbag?
How many do YOU carry?
Which of these would you nick first if you were being a cheeky bugger?
Emma x

*Provided for consideration but honestly always in my handbag!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Project Use It Up #1

There is nothing more inspiring for a beauty blogger than a great beauty 'project' (except maybe a great makeup collection video, amiright?) They often spur me on to use up products, but as I lamented in my recent empties post the amount of actual makeup that left my stash wasn't very impressive in 2014 so I aim to rectify that this year. Using the wonderful Monika from Rocaille Writes as a direct inspiration (particularly these 'make a dent' posts) I've taken it upon myself  to set up a simple challenge...

I will use up these products in 2015 (preferably in the first half of the year!)
Project Use It Up Products as of January 2015

As you can see I'm not silly - I've chosen the products that need to leave my stash, the previous pan hits and the lip products that I really like and can wear often enough to make this challenge a success. Easy to wear lip colours in a mixture of formulas, a great foundation that I know I'll end up repurchasing and powders that aren't as impressive now that I have the likes of Chanel and Hourglass in my life.

The Products:
-Sportsgirl Get Cheeky Shimmer Powder
-Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation
-Smashbox Sheer Gloss in Overexposed*
-Laura Mercier Lip Glace in Sweetheart
-NYX Powder Blush in Peach
-Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Boy
-Clinique Chubby Stick in Whole Lotta Honey*
NYX Powder Blush in Peach

Clinique Whole Lotta Honey & Chanel Boy wound all the way up

Sportsgirl Get Cheeky
I know in theory I could easily toss these products, but the temptation of the thrill I'd get once they are completely used up is far too strong for me to do that. I actually really enjoy using all of these products and would probably repurchase some of them down the line (hence why they have been used so frequently already, I suppose) 

I actually forgot to include my mini Nars Laguna and some pans from my Urban Decay Naked palette so I'll have to exclude them from the challenge despite their pans showing. I will be checking in with you as I burn through these to let you know how I go, though I'm not placing stringent rules on myself in regards to not purchasing any other makeup etc. My general plan is to stop buying so many drugstore products that just go to waste and make deliberate and considered choices when it comes to new products entering my collection. A seemingly simple task that I often fail at (though I'm doing well for 2015 thus far!)
My 'Project Use It Up' products on the beautiful tray I received for my birthday

Do you have any tips for my first project?
Wish me luck!
Emma x

*The Smashbox gloss was a PR sample and I won the Clinique Chubby Stick in a Facebook competition on my personal page. Honesty, always.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Current Makeup Storage - The Everyday Products

I adore posts that allow me to take a sneaky peek into the makeup drawers of others, and since my ‘daily tray’ has now expanded to take up an entire drawer I thought it was time for me to share it. I used to store my most reached for products in a Muji-style open top container on my desk but found that the overspill was becoming unsightly and looked messy, so I rearranged my desk drawers to allow myself the freedom of a whole top drawer for my most loved/most reached for/most awesome beauty goodies.

I use white plastic baskets to separate and add order to the jumble of products within the drawer, though I am contemplating removing the long basket that currently holds brushes as it isn’t the easiest thing to find the brush you need when they are laid out flat like this. The drawer at the front holds some of my most used base products, including my Smashbox primer sample, BB creams and tinted moisturisers. The next drawer over is a bit of a mix, holding my daily mascara and eyeliners as well as my MAC Painterly Paint Pot and EOS lip balm.
I’m not sure where I’m going to put my aforementioned Muji style containers so for now I have one inside of the drawer housing my fuller coverage face options – Illamasqua Skin Base, Maybelline Dream Wonder foundation and my Clarins concealer. It also holds my two Maybelline tinted brow gels and my setting sprays (MAC Fix+ and Skindinavia Finishing Spray) I’ve sat my current favourite Revlon Colorstay Whipped Foundation next to this along with some perfumes and the products I’m trying to use up at the moment – full post on this new challenge to come soon!

On the far side of the drawer I have some larger palettes as well as an old Glossybox box which holds my current go-to blushes (Chanel JC's and some Thailand purchases) as well as products I want to play around with or have just purchased. All of my Bite Beauty products are here because they are too beautiful to be slipped into the regular old lip drawer, is that a bit sad or what? I like having my babies close, what can I say!?

Ultimately I think that this style of makeup storage is working for me – I can slide it shut to conceal mess and can sit on my comfy desk chair when I want to rotate products in and out of my routine as it is within easy reach. I still find myself lusting over an Ikea Alex 9 Drawer to store the bulk of my collection but at least I’ve found contentment with my every day products. As an aside, if you’ve spotted something you’d like a review of don’t hesitate to mention it in the comments – I’ll take any blogging inspiration I can get at the moment!

How do you store your daily products?
Do you have any makeup storage tips I should know about?
Emma x

Friday, January 16, 2015

The Perfect Primers for a Flawless Face

Well prepped skin is one of the most important factors for a smooth foundation application – allowing a good morning moisturiser time to sink in is a great first step to a flawless look (and I have to admit it’s one I sometimes forget to do pre-coffee) If I know I have a long day ahead or that I want my makeup to last longer than usual, I have an arsenal of primers in my everyday makeup drawer to reach for.

Quite often I will pull out my Face of Australia Face Base Primer for day time use – it’s a renowned dupe for the pricier Napoleon Perdis Auto Pilot Primer*, and having compared it to the travel size NP I have in my stash I have to agree with that claim! They basically feel just like a light moisturiser and sinks in really quickly without feeling velvety like a silicone based primer. My sister has pretty dry skin and uses this when she wears foundation, and she loves how easy it is to apply and that it doesn’t break her out.
Until quite recently I was apprehensive about using silicone-heavy primers, but the pores around my nose and in between my brows have been annoying me lately so I was excited to try the Smashbox Photo Finish Color-Correcting Primer sample that I received at Sephora on our honeymoon. A thick green paste in texture, this acts like ‘spak filler’ to put it bluntly and I’ve been vigilant about double-cleansing when I wear it so it hasn’t clogged my pores or broken me out at this stage.
Last but not least is an unlikely primer in the form of the Dermalogica Oil-Free Matte SPF30 sunscreen*, which smells citrusy fresh and is something I wore all year round to protect my skin from sun damage. It leaves the skin matte without taking away any moisture from the skin and I found that my foundation sat so much nicer when I wore this underneath – a great incentive to wear sunscreen daily, no?

Now that we’ve spoken about priming the skin, I’m off to sink a coffee to prime my brain for the day…
Emma x

*Products mentioned were provided for consideration. Honesty, always.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Final Empties for 2014

Though I thought my efforts at finishing products like skincare was decent in 2014, overall there was not a lot of makeup coming through and my aim for the New Year is to change that around. Committing to finishing something like a cleanser or moisturiser is evidently easier for me than finishing a blush pan or a lipgloss, so I plan on not only giving away a lot of unloved makeup this year but using up ‘almost done’ products to create some breathing room in my collection. I have a post detailing this coming up soon, but for now here are more of the products I finished off in 2014!

Shower Products
Dove Go Fresh Shower Gel* - The scent of this was lovely and once I’ve finished a few more body washes I will be exploring the Dove line a bit further.

L’Occitane Almond Shower Oil* - I can’t speak highly enough of this stuff, truly luxurious and worthy of all the hype it has in the beauty community.

Garnier Fructis Anti-Dandruff Shampoo (Sensitive + Classic) - My standard shampoo, as it is the only one my scalp will tolerate. I’m hoping to find another anti-dandruff shampoo in 2015 but the process of trying them out scares my poor scalp…

The Body Shop Japanese Cherry Blossom Shower Gel - Though I adore the TBS shower gel formulation, this scent did nothing for me.

L’Oreal  Elvive Fibralogy Thickening Conditioner - I didn’t mind this, though it was the pretty packaging rather than the promise of thickened hair that persuaded me to make the purchase. It became hard to get out of the tube at the end though so I’m not sure if I will repurchase at this stage.

Garnier Body Beauty Oil Scrub* - Heavenly, and the only reason I haven’t given this the full review it deserves is because Mister Bovary burned through it thinking it was a simple body wash! I need to pick up another tube to enjoy, review and ultimately hide from the husband…
Body Products
Rexona Deodorant x3 - Rexona is the Bovary household jam, we love the stuff (particularly the Tropical Energy scent, lovely!)

Old Spice ‘Fiji’ Deodorant - Mister and I bought new deodorants in CVS as we didn’t want to fly the first long haul flight with aerosols, and we each chose a stick deodorant - do American’s not have aerosol deo’s? We couldn’t find any! This was his choice and the scent was off the chain - I’m going to buy the body spray for our daily use next time I’m out shopping.

Endota Spa Lavender & Alpine Pepper Hand Cream* - My very favourite hand cream, the scent is lovely and the formula top notch.

Burberry Weekend Perfume Sample - Don’t remember too much about this scent, I want to burn through some of my samples though.
Face Products
Dermalogica Oil-Free Matte SPF30 Sunscreen* - I’ve often raved about how much I love this, the protection is nice and high and the citrus scent is so appealing to me. I love using this under make-up as it is a great daytime primer!

Bioderma Crealine h20 (travel size) - I’ve moved onto the much cheaper Garnier for my cleansing water but have a few of these floating around from the Priceline 40% skincare sale.

Covergirl Outlast Foundation - This is one of the best foundations I’ve tried thus far and I will definitely repurchase.

TheBalm Time Balm White Tea Rose Face Cleanser* - I have a full review of this coming!

La Mav Hyaluronic Daily Moisture Crème* - This was a bit too light for my skin which has become a bit drier lately, so Mister ended up finishing this and liked it quite a lot.

Jurlique Intense Recovery Mask* - This was tingly and refreshing and the sample tube lasted an age.

Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Make-Up Remover* - Really wasn’t a fan of this, this opinion was cemented when I moved onto the next bottle in my stash (a Maybelline one) and it knocked the socks off of this one.

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo - My beloved HG serum, saves my skin daily.

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant* - Once upon a time I preferred the Alpha H exfoliant to this, but then my opinion flipped and this came out on top. A really great staple from the skincare giants!

Apivita Express Beauty Mask with Pink Clay* - This was a nice clay-based mask, I used it in conjunction with a few others and think the sachets are cute if a little awkward to use effectively.

I’m quite proud of finishing up skincare during 2014, I once chopped and changed so often that product went to waste but now I think I’ve turned that all around. Sad to think that my pricy and beloved Lancome Dreamtone will be in the next empties post though…

Emma x

*Provided for consideration. Honesty, always.
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