Monday, February 15, 2016

Birthday 2016 // Gifts I Received & Casual Celebrations

It's been over a month since my birthday but I wanted to post about the gorgeous little gifts I received and about the day in general, for reflection and a record of my special day. I'm a big fan of birthday shopping sprees but unfortunately I had to work through this year, so Mister took me out for breakfast beforehand which was really lovely. After work our family came over for pizza and cake to celebrate, and we finished off the night, as we often do on my birthday, with some board games!
breakfast with Mister- thick French toast slathered with butterscotch sauce + banana!
my cookie cake!
with Mumma Bovary
playing Logo and snacking

Gorgeous Sue Sensi bracelet from my brother and his family! 
I also received a gorgeous handmade card from my niece, it was gorgeous!

Mister bought me the perfume I'd been asking for, the new Britney Spears
Intimate Fantasy.

Mister knew I was sad to miss out on my usual Doncaster birthday shopping day,
 so he gave me a raincheck and a voucher!

Super cute black patent Colette by Colette Hayman crossbody bag with gold hardware from my sister and her family.

Golden snakeskin passport holder from my sister, also from Colette
I used this on our trip to Bali the next week!

Lisa T for Target rose gold paper bag style plant pot holder, how cool is this?!
Since we were flying to Bali the week after my birthday I received a lot of spending money (which you just know I blew in Bath and Body Works, right?) I also bought myself a new bottle of my all-time favourite perfume Guerlain Champs Elysees with some birthday money and I am so happy to be reunited with my signature scent.
Do you have any birthday traditions?
Are you a fan of low-key birthday celebrations, too?
-Emma x

Friday, February 12, 2016

5 Valentine's Polish Ideas to Romance You

Valentine's Day - the day of heart-eye emoji's, big rose bouquets on Instagram and schmoozy romance all around! I can't say I hate the day but it never quite stacks up with the images in my head/online so I've taken the liberty of organising my own date this year! I've booked a Thai restaurant for dinner and have hinted hard at the sweet mugs Coles supermarkets have out so Mister knows what I'd like most, but I plan on picking myself up something nice just in case ;) Now we all know I love a good theme, so I decided to pick through my nail polish drawers and came up with 5 different 'romantic' polish ideas to share with you.
Sinful Colors 'Rose Dust' is a pretty shimmery lilac pink shade that was much nicer on my pale skin that I had anticipated. It was super fast to apply and had a nice sheen to it that I appreciated, this would make a great quick and affordable choice if you wanted to try a shimmery polish that wasn't streaky or tricky to apply.

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel 240 'Get It Bright'* is a classic bright medium pink on my skin tone, and I just love it! I didn't use the matching Miracle Gel top coat as it was all about swatching the colour, but my nails get along really well with Sally Hansen polishes in general and Mumma Bovary is a sucker for the Miracle Gel range. I'd say that this shade is the happiest out of my picks today, just looking at it makes me smile.

Rimmel Super Gel 042 'Rock N Roll'* is one I just had to include, a classic dark red crème that is also part of a two-step gel process, but again I only used the shade alone for swatch purposes. Without trying to sound like a broken record I also get along really well with the Rimmel polish line (I am loving the Rita Ora collection right now, so cute!) so this actually tempts me to wear red polish out, which is something I never usually have the courage to do!  

Ulta3 Nail Colour 'Pinot' is something a bit different and I thought the deep wine shade and pretty shimmer said 'romance' (picture me saying that like Sebastian from The Little Mermaid, oui? Got it? Brilliant, ha!) I needed a few coats of this to bring the bottle colour to life but I can see Mumma Bovary's more olive skin tone rocking this colour, so I might just pass this bottle on for her to enjoy...

essie 'Ladylike'* & essie Luxeffects 'A Cut Above' is my favourite combination for Valentine's Day, and is the polish I'm currently wearing - Mister Bovary commented on how nice my nails looked which is a rare occurrence indeed, so I know I've picked a winner! The soft mauve nude (first seen here) is a serious favourite of mine and has brought the compliments rolling in. I jazzed it up with essie's A Cut Above, a rose gold pink glitter topper that I've wanted for ages and only just picked up from the pharmacy when I went in for painkillers for my broken toe - and yes, it worked at perking up my bad mood that day!  

Do you have any romantic plans for Sunday? Even if you're flying solo I hope you plan on treating yourself to a yummy dinner and a relaxing weekend!

*Product provided for consideration. Honesty, always.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Face of the Day // The January Look

I've just sat down to blog after a lovely brunch with a girlfriend from work, and I thought it worth documenting my makeup look since it was primarily based on the products that I wore throughout the month of January (seen here in this post!) I'm about to switch out my everyday makeup drawer to save things getting repetitive, but in an effort to use up some staple liquid products (like primer and foundation etc) I'll be keeping those in rotation so I can use them up. I want to switch out eyeshadows and blushes mainly, since I tend to gravitate towards the same bunch all of the time and I want to show some love to the rest of my makeup collection. I'll have a post up on what I decide to switch out next week, but for now here is the makeup look I wore today for a casual brunch with a friend.

Face of Australia Face Base Primer (Napoleon Perdis dupe alert)
Revlon Colorstay Whipped Crème Foundation (repurchase, yay!)
Rimmel Lasting Finish 25HR Powder Foundation* (always worn as a finishing powder)
Chanel Joues Contraste 'Jersey' (my true blush love)
Inglot Freedom System Neutral Trio (can't stop using this, argh)
Maybelline Master Graphic Liquid Liner* (finally back into black liner)
Covergirl Full Lash Bloom Mascara (why is this so hard to remove?)
Smashbox Overexposed Lip Gloss* (still a firm favourite for me)
I recently painfully broke my toe after a spate of bad luck in our household, and so I've been loving Netflix (how good is Making a Murderer?!) and just finished reading Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty which I really enjoyed. What are you watching and reading at the moment? Would love some recommendations!

*Product provided for consideration. Honesty, always.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Disappointing Products #1

This is the first disappointing products post I've ever written, and the idea of it all makes me feel equal parts thrilled and nervous. I'm open to all opinions on product and am always straight up in my reviews, but often if a product doesn't meet the mark I leave it off the blog rather than goss about it - I've decided that it's important for my slice of the internet to have a good balance so here are some products that I've personally not got on with recently!

Maybelline Make Up Remover Eye & Lip*
The redeeming feature of this was the fact that it didn't leave behind an oily film...but it also failed to remove the majority of my eye makeup and stung my eyes every now and again! I've seen a few people post about their love for this and I think I might've been recently spoilt with the amazing Clarins Gentle Eye Makeup Remover*, but this Maybelline bottle is definitely not on my list of products to purchase!

Luma Cosmetics Tinted Moisturiser*
I like a fair whack of coverage even when it comes to my tinted moisturisers, so the sheer nature of this just wasn't up my alley. For those who like a light look that is quite dewy this might be worth a try, but I think I'll stick to my medium to full satin bases from now on!

Luma Cosmetics Fawn + Taupe Eyeshadow*
I tried as hard as I could to get enough pigment from this duo for a makeup look, but I just couldn't get it to work for me as it was so sheer. I'd put money towards one of the pigmented blushes from this line instead, they seem like far better value and the pale pink packaging is very sweet (check out my review of the shade Soft Peach here)

Revlon Colorstay Moisture Stain (Barcelona Nights)
I had high hopes for this but found that it wouldn't sit on my lips nicely, migrating away from the centre of my lips instead of coating them. I found this really tacky too, and had more success dabbing it on as a nice stain as the colour is truly beautiful.

Schwarzkopf Moisture Gloss 10 Days Shine Hair Mask
The holographic sparkly box this was packaged in was (seen in this haul) is much prettier than the plain blue tub it reveals, and despite the promising name I didn't find this to add much moisture (or gloss!) to my hair at all. I'm in the process of trying out a bunch of hair masks and it seems that my hair might be too thick and long for a lot of them, so perhaps those with fine thin hair would enjoy this mask a lot more than I did.

Original Source Daily Scrub Blood Orange
I've come to realise that 'daily scrub' means weak scrub, or body wash with some chunks inside for good measure. I'm all about that scrub life (as I wrote about here!) and this just didn't cut it for me, so I'll stick to spending my cash on the amazing Original Source shower gels instead!

The Body Shop Vanilla Bliss Body Polish*
I definitely prefer the tub scrubs that The Body Shop sell over these body polishes, they are in that grey area between shower scrub and gel and they just don't suit my tastes. The TBS shower gels are probably my favourite product they sell, so I'd recommend trying those instead if you're in the market for a great body wash (I'm currently using the Satsuma scent, it's amazing!)

If you are a fan of these products, feel free to tell me why in the comments below; all opinions are welcome and what doesn't work for me might totally work for you!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The Scrub Selection

Body scrubs would have to be my favourite body product, followed closely by body lotions thanks to their ability to perfume the skin. I love how clean a good body scrub can make you feel after a shower, and following a wonderful full body scrub experience at a spa in Bali on my recent holiday, I rounded up the body scrubs I've been using lately which are all quite different to one another, and put them on trial.

The creamiest of the lot, the Palmolive Body Butter Peppermint Crush Exfoliating Body Wash ($7.48) is more of a luxurious body wash than anything that would provide an adequate scrub in my opinion, but it's worth noting that I'm partial to a coarse sugar or salt scrub and so I begin with a bias. That being said, I adored this and liked that the small scrubbing particles weren't annoying in any way, and simply provided a touch of mild exfoliation when I used this in conjunction with my shower puff.
This Kmart branded Jasmine Paradise Body Polish is perhaps the most enjoyable scrub for me in the traditional sense of the word, with the strong jasmine fragrance also being pleasant (I'm yet to try the other scents in the range, but look forward to it!) Polish is the perfect word for what this does to the skin, and the oil to scrub ratio is pretty spot on for a product that sits around the $3 mark (though I did get a bit of shower water in it at some stage, and at the start it is quite dry and needs a-mixin'!)
Dirty Works Life's a Beach Coconut Scrub* ($8.80) was the tropical hopeful in my shower caddy, and is a gel formula with sparse scrubby bits scented with artificial 'coconut' (I don't actually get much of a coconut scent from this at all!) I quite liked the Soap and Glory-esque packaging and the fact that it is available at Coles is also a big bonus, but truth be told I'm going to try the other body scrub in the line (Buff Your Stuff!) and leave this one for those who like gentle, daily scrubs.
Cocoa Brown Tough Stuff* ($15.95) is a pretty pink concoction that seems to be pretty big across the UK, and is finely milled and quite scrubby considering the fluid formula. Technically marketed for fake tanning ladies of which I am not one, this gel texture scrubs really well because it's designed for removing the old and grotty tan residue when you want to start afresh. The scent of this is the main drawcard in my opinion - a floral melon scent that is so, so delicious. I sadly dropped and broke the top of this when I first used it so have taken to pouring out of the top after screwing the flip-top lid up, but it hasn't bothered me too much as I really like the scrub.
Clockwise from the top left:
Palmolive Peppermint Crush
Dirty Works Coconut Scrub
Cocoa Brown Tough Stuff
Jasmine Paradise Body Polish

What scents tempts you most when it comes to body products? Are you a lover of strong scents in your scrubs and lotions, or do they turn you off a purchase? Do you like gentle or more abrasive formulas?

*Provided for consideration. Honesty, always.

Monday, February 8, 2016

What I Wore // January 2016

For a chunk of January I was away with friends in Canggu, Bali having the time of my life and enjoying a bare face, but when I have worn makeup after the new year ticked over, this has been the face of choice. I have been enjoying playing with some other blush shades and will have a post up on those soon, but in general these were the staples I relied on during the month of January!
Inglot Freedom Palette Trio - perhaps the best fluke ever, these colours are utter perfection and were just chosen on a whim at Inglot after they applied my makeup for an event. January saw me using the third and lightest colour all over the lid, and the matte chocolate shade thrown through the crease if the need arose for something a bit more 'done up' 

Revlon Colorstay Whipped Crème Foundation - I caved in and repurchased this after seeing that it was half price at Chemist Warehouse, and I don't know how I managed without it for so long! I'll have to drum up a full review of this at some point as it's just so good. 

Chanel Jersey Joues Contraste - Chanel, need I say more? But in all seriousness, this has become my favourite go-to blush and I took it away on both of my recent overseas trips as it goes with every look you can think of!

Covergirl Full Lash Bloom Mascara -  I usually only have a mascara or two open at any given time and right now this is the one I'm trying out. Love the cute packaging and it works quite well with my lashes, but it does seem a bit harder to remove than some of my other mascaras so I'm still undecided about it.

Maybelline Master Graphic Liquid Liner* - This is a surprising winner in my books, and has gotten me back into liquid lining, and black liner in general after my long stint with chocolate eyeliner crayons. It has a slanted sharpie-esque tip that I find really easy to manoeuvre, and I'm finding it faster to apply than my Face of Australia brush tip liner, so that's a definite plus.
Inglot Trio &
Chanel Jersey Joues Contraste
I have a heap of new goodies to play with after our holiday as well as my usual trial products, so I'm looking forward to changing things up and getting creative with my makeup again. I'd love to know what eyeshadow/palette you've been loving this year, too, so let me know!

*Product provided for consideration. Honesty, always.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Russian Navy - The Classic OPI Blue I Was Yet to Try

For someone who has a shedload of nail polish, I have to admit that I haven't tried as many of the 'classic' popular shades that most lacquer aficionados so often rave about. For my latest manicure I pulled out the bottle of Russian Navy* that OPI sent me many moons ago but that I was yet to try, because despite it technically being summer here in Australia, the cold winds and rain call for a deep and mysterious colour.
Russian Navy is a deep blue that's filled with blue and red shimmers, the latter causing the polish to appear quite purple in the bottle in my opinion. On the nail the fine shimmer seems much less pronounced and dare I say more demure? I wasn't sure if I was keen on the colour but the compliments rolled in and the fact that a dark shade like this is flattering and not harsh on my very pale hands is no mean feat, so I will give Russian Navy props for that.


I'm still on the fence about this colour, but I think the fact that I've not worn a dark shade like this in quite some time has played into my opinion of it and I definitely appreciate how beautiful this appears when the coloured shimmers flash, particularly in low light. After having a look at other reviews of Russian Navy (The Daily Varnish, All Lacquered Up) I learnt that it came out with the Russian collection back in 2007, but was made permanent by OPI so is still widely available today. The more shimmery OPI Ink is still in my mind as a colour to try and this comparison post has kind of cemented my wish to try it on one day - what can I say, I love a fair whack of shimmer in my polishes!
 Are you a fan of dark and mysterious shades like this?
What classic polish shade do you swear by?

*Product provided for consideration. Honesty, always.

Monday, February 1, 2016

2015 Empties - Fourth Quarter

Here we are, the final instalment of the products I used up during 2015. I'm pleased with the bits I managed to complete before the years end, and overall I think the year went well in terms of sticking to a skincare regime as well as using up more samples than I usually would.
I managed to finish off quite a few base products this quarter, including the Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation, Maybelline Dream Pure BB Cream, Napoleon Perdis Auto-Pilot Primer and Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer alongside two sample pots of the new Too Faced Born This Way Foundation which I love. I also did quite well on the perfume front following my Perfume Purge post, I used up a bottle of Michael Kors Very Hollywood and a travel sized bottle of Urban Rituelle's Cotton Candy - I also have another empty perfume for my next empties post, ripping through them now!
I used up some travel sized shower gels taken from hotels I stayed at for my honeymoon and anniversary, as well as the awesome Palmolive Peppermint Crush Body Butter Body Wash that I reviewed here and used as my festive body wash for December. I'd definitely purchase that one again, it's one of the nicest mint body products I've come across and it's easy to throw in during the weekly grocery shop. I adored the el cheapo Kmart body scrub in Jasmine and will definitely repurchase, and I'll always have a soft spot for Aveeno body products as the are such great quality.
Can you tell what our favourite deodorant is? Rexona is the best of the best but there are only so many times I can rave about them on the blog, so from now on my empties posts won't include deodorants unless a new one is worth a mention.

A bit lousy on the haircare front, I only used up my basic staples and a hotel travel sized conditioner, but I have a few products almost out in the wings so the first instalment of 2016 empties should be slightly more impressive.

I was glad to finally finish the Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel and Kiehl's Washable Cleansing Milk* as they had been open for quite a while and I didn't want them to expire. I also finished up the Simple Micellar Cleansing Water which did the trick, and the Garnier Moisture Match Light Softening Cream which was a repurchase for me. A few samples made it out of my stash too (Clinique Take the Day Off Remover for Lids, Lashes and Lips, Dermalogica Skin Prep Scrub*, Bioderma Sebium H2O) I was so sad to see the end of the Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm, and will have a full review up shortly professing my love for it.

I've really enjoyed sharing my empties in a quarterly post and have decided to continue that into 2016 - to check out the other products I finished in 2015, here are some links!
First Quarter
Second Quarter
Third Quarter


*Product provided for consideration. Honesty, always.
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