February 28, 2011

Benefit Hoola - perfect for contouring

If you're a regular reader of my blog you would've gathered I'm into my contouring. I have quite a few bronzers and contouring products, e.g. Nars Laguna, Illamasqua Bronzing Duo, Chic Australia Bronzer, but most are warm toned. For a few days last week we had rainy days and I wasn't able to use my regular products because they looked fake on those cloudy days...

...So I promptly marched into my nearest Benefit counter one lunch time at work and bought the Benefit Hoola, the perfect cool toned totally matte bronzer and contour powder.

The brush that comes with it is good for contouring around the nose, but it's too stripy for use all over the face.

Because it's so matte it gives a most natural look whether you use it as a bronzer or a contour powder. I've only ever used it for contouring as I don't really feel the need to bronze my entire face, and this is just perfect.

As you can see the colour is perfectly matte, not a hint of shimmer (any sparkly bits you see on my finger is from another product I had been swatching).

Have you tried Hoola? Do you contour? If so, what do you use?

February 26, 2011

EOTD using UD Ammo Palette

Sometimes I don't show much love to perfectly good eyeshadow palettes... the Ammo palette by Urban Decay is one of them, don't know why. But the other day when i took it out to do the turqoise eye look posted here I got distracted by the colour Grifter, a beautiful lilacy pink so here's a look I did with it.

On lips - Illamasqua Obey topped with Mac Dreamy

Inglot #460 used in the crease

On lid - Grifter
Highlight - Polyester Bride
Smudged on lashline - Oil Slick

There are still a couple of colours in the Ammo palette that I've never used, so I'm determined to use them in the near future.

I'm sure you all have palettes you've been neglecting at some point or another, I'd love to hear it. Or in general, what perfectly good makeup items have you been neglecting lately?

February 25, 2011

Friday Link Love

I haven't been doing nearly as much blog reading this week as I'd like, but here's what's been keeping me glued to the computer during my brief blog reading periods.

Jade at Jade Musing is in need of a new moisturiser - can you help her?
Jen from My Funny Valentine does a great NOTD with Butter London Union Jack Black
Tara at Keeping up With me shows us her nails using OPI Hong Kong Sunrise
Stacey from PopMakeup shares her MAC Champale haul
Anita from LoveVulcanella shows how great Shattered looks over turqoise nails.
Kellstar reviews Simple Makeup Remover, a fabulous budget find!
PopBlush has been swatching her Inglot palette
Kimmi from the Plastic Diaries has a major confession about MAC.
Sarah from Hip&Haute shows us some new perfumes
Annica HauteandStylish shares her Illamasqua experience - and yeay, she got Obey, my favourite lipstick!
Anissa from Beautifully Glossy  is having a giveway, don't forget to enter.
Emily from Emily's Anthology shows us a fab look with super thick eyeliner.
Dee from Miss Prissypants gives another concealer a try... and briefly mentions UDPP!

OPI Black Shatter NOTD

I'm not normally someone who paints any kinds of designs on her nails, but for some reason i've been loving the look that OPI Black Shatter gives even the plainest of nailpolishes.

So the other day I picked it up along with Not Like the Movies (a dark metallic silver grey with mauve-y undertones) and I'm loving it.

At first I was afraid, will it look trashy? will it make my nails look like it's got old polish on it that's chipped away? will it make my co-workers think I'm too weird? The answers to all are no (in my opinion anyway!).

For anyone that doesn't know, Black Shatter is opaque black polish that you paint over any dry nail polish and almost instantly it starts "shattering" away, leaving patterns of cracks on your nails. The thicker you paint on Shatter, the bigger the cracks. I had painted it super thick, hence the big 'cracks' on my nails.

I really like the look over Not Like the Movies, but in the weekend I'll be trying over other polishes to see if t
here are any other combinations I'd like.

Have you tried Shatter? Are you going to? Is it trashy or cool?

February 23, 2011

MAC Hue dupes

While sorting through my makeup collection, which I like to do every now and again just so I don't forget what things I have and what things I want need, I identified a couple of dupes for MAC Hue.

Hue is one of those colours that most people I know have in their collection. But if you don't already have it and are looking for a cheaper alternative, here are a couple that you might like - BYS lipstick in Champagne Rain and OCC Liptar in Hush.

While there is a slight variation in tone, I think they're pretty close!

They almost look like the same shot! Hush is slightly brighter than the other two, but still a close dupe in my opinion.

I hadn't been wearing Hue and Champagne Rain much lately as I've got a bit of a tan and they're too light for my current skintone. As for Hush, I've only been wearing it with a brighter gloss on top because again I think it's currently too light for me. But in winter when I'm paler these will be on high rotation no doubt.

This is what they retail for in Australia
  • MAC Hue - $36
  • BYS Champagne Rain - $3.95
  • OCC Hush - $16
So if you're on a budget but are craving Hue, there are cheaper options out there for you!

February 20, 2011


I just wanted to give a shoutout to 4 lovely ladies who recently had awarded me various blogger awards.

Shameera from My Frosted World
Linsay from Ramblings from a Beauty Newbie
Dee from Facefixers
Jaci from Jaci Walker

Thanks ladies! I feel like I'm forgetting someone (I hope not!) so apologies if you've tagged me in an award and I haven't mentioned you. Let me know in the comments and I'll make sure to mention you!

The rules are that you need to name some facts about you and pass on the award to other beautettes, but since I had done this already in the past I won't be doing it again. Plus I follow so many lovely blogs, that I can't choose a favourite to give to!

So if you're looking for some more beauty reading I encourge you to check out these lovely ladies' blogs!

February 19, 2011

I'm now on Twitter AND Facebook

Hi all, just a quick note to let you know I've finally gotten a Twitter and a Facebook account for my blog! See the links on the right if you'd like to follow me on those.


EOTD - Turqoise eyes

Turqoise is not something I normally wear on my eyes, I just don't think it suits me. But the other day my cousin was wearing turqoise eyeshadow which looked divine on her, then yesteday I saw Sandra and Liparazzi both doing turqoise looks so I thought I'd give it a try too!

Excuse the messy fringe all over my eyes!

I used my Ammo palette from UD and Play it Cool palette from MAC to do the looks. I quite like the result, and I'd probably do this again.

MAC Hold My Gaze - contour eye area
UD Shattered - all over lid
UD Polyester Bride - highlight
UD Black eyeliner - zero (not pictured)
UD Oil Slick - outer V area.
Max Factor False Lash Effect Mascara - (not pictured)

Do you wear bright colours on your eyes?

PS: giveaway coming real soon.

February 17, 2011

Thank you!

Wow, a 100 followers now! Thank you guys, thank you so much for you support and kindness, and lovely comments and for following me.

I've decided to do a 100 follower giveaway, so if you give me a few days I'll buy some of my favourite goodies and put a giveaway together!

Thank you again!

Lots of Love


February 15, 2011

Challenge: Complete My Kit For Under $100

Clare from ClareBear has put out a challenge - to complete her friend Lucy's make-up kit for $100. Being a bargain makeup lover I thought... easy! I can do this.

When choosing the make-up colours I kept Lucy's colouring in mind as I wanted to make sure to choose things that would suit her. Lucy's photo is available on Clare's blog.

I also went for my two favourite budget brands which both happen to be Australian! These are all products that I have used in the past or are still using them (in fact my all time favourite blush is the Coral one below), so I didn't go for any cheapo option. I think budget makeup has come a long way in the last few years.

So here's what I've picked.


Australis Primer - $13.95
Australis Concealer - $9.95
Australis Cream to Powder Foundation - $14.50
BYS Blushes - 2 x $3.95
Total face - $46.30


BYS Eyeliner/ eyebrow pencil - 2 x $3.95
BYS Eyeshadows - 2 x $4.75 (I chose a warm and a cool palette)
Australis Mega Lash Mascara - $11.95
Total eye - $29.35


BYS Lipliners - 3 x $3.95 (I chose a variety of shades to match the lipsticks)
BYS Lipsticks - 3 x $3.95 (I chose a beige, a pink and a red lipstick as you need some variety)
Total lip - $23.70

Total Makeup Stash - $99.35

I could have gone even cheaper by reducing some of the items chosen, but I like to have variety in my make-up bag and I'm sure Lucy would like to as well!

Let me know what you think. Can you re-stock your entire makeup kit for less than $100?

* BYS is available at Gloss and KMart. Australis is available in Priceline and other department stores and chemists. All prices are in AUD. All pictures are from http://www.bys.com.au/ or http://www.australiscosmetics.com.au/

February 13, 2011

Hot Pink = Love

Tomorrow is Valentine's Day and what colours will I be sporting on my lips and nails? Why, hot pink of course!

It just so happens that my favourite hot pinks of the moment are from Illamasqua.

I bought this lipstick, called Corrupt, at the same time that I bought Obey (remember the lipstick I was obsessing about?). This is a gorgeous totally wearable fuchsia/hot pink colour that I just couldn't resist.

Illamasqua lipstick in Corrupt

And the matching nailpolish to this gorgeous lipstick comes in the form of the colour Grab. This is my first Illamasqua nailpolish and my are they fantastic or what. Even with one coat you get beautiful streak free colour that I just know will last a few days without chipping.

Illamasqua Nail Varnish in Grab

While the husband and I have no plans for Valentine's Day, with my hot pink lipstick and polish I'm totally in the mood for love.

What colours will you be sporting for Valentine's day?

February 11, 2011

Review - Chic Australia Baked Contour Powder

I love my contouring and bronzing powders, so when I was offered the chance to try the Chic Australia Baked Contour Powder I jumped at the chance.

There are 8 different colours to choose from, and I got the one called Banksia Bloom which is a bronze shade with a subtle pearly shimmer.

As you can see from the swatch above the pigmentation is excellent.

While it has some shimmer to it, it's not too shiny to use for contouring. In fact according to the Chic Australia website the powder can be used in 7 different ways: Blush, Bronzer, Contour Powder, Eyeshadow, Eyeliner, Lip colour, Highlighter.

I can see how this would work depending on what colour you get, however the one that I got I can only really use as bronzer, contour powder and eyeshadow as it's too dark for my complexion to work as a highlighter or blush. I also tried using it as a lip colour (dab on lips, top with clear lip gloss) but the colour didn't suit me so again it depends on what shade you get as to what uses you can get out of it. 

I also compared this to my two other favourite bronzing powders, Nars Laguna and the bronze colour in the Illamasqua Bronzing Duo.

Banksia Bloom is warmer that Laguna, but not as golden as Illamasqua. In terms of quality, it's just as pigmented as the other two which I probably don't have to say it since it's evident from the pics above.

While I'm yet to use it as a bronzer/contour, today I used it as an eyeshadow, basically as a wash of colour all over my lids and then used black eyeliner (UD Zero) to line my eyes. I quite liked the look of it, and it stayed on all day.

The glittery fallout is actually from a UD eyeshadow I used to highlight.

This powder is available to buy online from http://www.chicaustralia.com.au/ and they also have details of actual stockists if you prefer to swatch your things in person before buying them. If you're into peachy shades, there's a gorgeous one called Pandorea Pearl which I've got my eye on but I've spent so much money on makeup lately I'm trying to be good and stay away... but for how long can I stay away?

*This product was provided to me for review purposes. I was not paid for this review and my opinion as always is honest.

February 09, 2011

Recipe - Choc Hazelnut Macaroons

Hi all, last week I decided to make some choc - hazelnut macaroons. Of all the different types of macaroons I make I would have to say this is the easiest one... mainly because I take some shortcuts (ok ok I cheat) when it comes to making a filling for it.

So here's the recipe and instructions for it.

Ingredients for macaroon shells

  • 4 eggwhites aged overnight - if you don't have time to age them overnight, you can also put in microwave for 10 seconds.
  • 2 x coffee mugs of icing sugar - I don't have kitchen scales, so I just use a standard coffee mug to measure
  • 1 x coffee mug of almond meal
  • 4.5 tbs of caster sugar
  • 4 tbs of cocoa powder

To make macaroon shells

  • Sift the icing sugar and almond meal together to get rid of any lumps
  • Beat the egg whites and caster sugar together until stiff peaks form 
  • Fold the icing sugar/almond meal into the egg whites until just combined

  • Add the cocoa powder to the mixture
  • Pipe the mixture in 2cm circles onto a baking tray lined with baking powder

  • Leave the piped macaroons in the tray for 15 - 30mins to harden a bit
  • Bake in a pre-heated oven at 160C deg for 15 minutes
  • Take out of oven, leave to cool then remove from tray

Now to the cheating part... you can either make a ganache like I did in my previous other recipes (Rosewater & Choc Mint) or you can use... Nutella! This is basically a chocolately hazelnut spread which is perfect to use as a macaroon filling. Just refrigerate it for an hour before using it to sandwich 2 macaroon shells together. Easy!

Macaroons ready to be assembled

The finished product!

The above recipe makes about 35 macaroons.

February 08, 2011

MAC Snob vs Revlon Pink Pout

I've heard a lot of people say that Revlon Pink Pout is an exact dupe for MAC Snob, and since I happen to have both colours I thought I'd do a comparison.

Side by side the colours look identical.

Swatched on my hand they also look pretty close.

However worn on my lips I can actually tell the difference.

While they're almost identical, Snob (left) is definitely more pigmented, and a cooler pink. I feel that I can't wear Snob when I have a bit of a tan as it makes my lips look too blue. For me Pink Pout is the summer version of Snob.

Have you got either of these colours? Do you think they're good dupes?

February 06, 2011

Illamasqua Lipstick - Obey

No flash
For the past couple of weeks I had been lusting after this lipstick by Illamasqua in Obey. It is the perfect shade of peachy-pinky-apricoty colour that is just right for summer. And I think this is one of those complexion enhancing colours that just brightens up the face.

I googled to see if there were cheaper dupes of it, but alas... I knew I had to get the original. So to cut a long story short I went to the Illamasqua counter at Myer and came home with this little beauty (actually I bought another lipstick as well, but I'll review that later!). And lucky for me the guy at the counter said I could take advantage of the amnesty even though I thought it had finished on 31 Jan.

With flash

The Illamasqua lipsticks are quite matte, so I recommend you moisten your lips with some lipbalm first before applying this.

Because it's matte, the staying power is amazing. And if you don't like the feel of matte lips then top it with either some clear gloss or a peachy lipgloss to enhance the colour.

The colour reminds me a little of OCC Lip Tar in Hush, but obviously in a different formula. I'll do a comparison of the two soon to show you.

Have you tried Illamsqua lipsticks before? What do you think of this colour?


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