April 29, 2011

The good oil - Argan oil

I treat my hair so badly, I blow dry it, I straighten it, I curl it I tease... In other words if my hair could talk it would tell a sorry tale of mistreatment in the hands of moi. But for the past few months I have been trying to treat it well... yes I still heat style it almost every day (bad, I know!), but I have been giving my hair some much needed nourishment in the form of Argan oil.

MoroccanOil Hair Oil - Original
Where has this been all my life! Despite being an oil, this doesn't make the hair greasy at all if used sparingly. While it is quite pricey at $49.95, the bottle will last you for ages. I've been using mine for 4 months now, almost every day, and you can hardly tell from looking at the bottle. This makes my hair really smooth and silky, and I absolutely adore the smell (although I know some people can't stand the smell). In the 4 months of using it I would say my hair feels shinier, silkier, and the dry ends seem less noticeable.

How I use it
On wet hair - After shampoo and conditioning my hair I apply a 5 cent piece to the palm of my hands, rub them together then distribute all over my hair. You only need a tiny bit, otherwise you risk weighing the hair down. Used this way, I can honestly say this makes drying the hair quicker.

On dry hair - I only use on dry hair if I haven't already used it while my hair is wet. I generally curl or straighten my hair, then apply a 5 cent piece to the palm of my hands, rub them together and run my hands over the top layers of my hair, concentrating on the ends.

This is what my hair looks like roughly blow dried and un-brushed when using this oil. Yes, not a single stroke of brush has gone through my hair in the pic above. Normally my hair would be a tangled mess when dried this way, but with MoroccanOil it's smooth and tangle free.

Babyliss Pro Argan Oil Restorative Hair Mask
I bought this a couple of months ago after someone (thanks Kath!) recommended that I check out this range. It comes with a matching shampoo and conditioner but the hair mask caught my eye.

How I use it
After shampooing my hair, I rinse the excess water out of my hair and put about a 20 cent piece all through the ends. I leave this on for about 5 - 7 minutes then rinse. I use this once or twice a week, and on the days that I've put this  mask on I don't put MoroccanOil in my hair as this alone is enough to make my hair feel lovely and soft. It has the same smell as MoroccanOil, so you'll either love it (yeay!) or hate it. I think this retails for around $20aud.

The pic below is where I've rough dried my hair after using this hair mask. Again, it's un-brushed and no other smoothing/glossing serum has been put on it.

I will definitely be repurchasing both when they run out.

Have you used any Argan Oil products? What are your thoughts on it?

April 27, 2011

Illamasqua & MAC newbies

Meet the new additions to my Illamasqua and MAC family.

For our 2 year wedding anniversary amongst other gifts my husband decided to feed my makeup addiction and bought me two things I'd been lusting after for ages - Illamasqua blush in Hussy, and MAC lipstick in Up The Amp.

Illamasqua Blush Hussy

Just like it's peachier sister blush Lover, Hussy is an extremely pigmented, finelly milled matte blush. It's a gorgeous warm pink that instantly brightens the complexion, giving a really healthy look.

It comes in the standard Illamasqua packaging, i.e. square with the sides caved in. I know some people don't like the packaging, but I love it. To me the packaging just epitomises the 1920s glamour that this brand channels oh so well.

M.A.C. Lipstick Up The Amp

I was torn between this and Girl About Town, but in the end I decided that I needed a darker purple lipstick, especially since the weather is cooling down here and the muted colour would look perfect on those grey days which we'll no doubt be having soon. Plus when we went shopping I was wearing a hat in almost the same colour (see pic at end of this post), and the lipstick matched it perfectly.

The formula of the lipstick is amplified, which is quickly becoming my favourite formula, as I love its gorgeous pigmentation and longevity. The colour itself is surprisingly wearable for a purple, although you'd need to wear warmer toned blush otherwise this could make you a bit dull and grey.

The photo below was taken straight after we got home from the shops. I quickly powdered my cheeks to get rid of whatever blush I had on before, brushed on Hussy and put a swipe of Up The Amp on my lips.

I've used flash in all the pics, as by the time we got home from the shops it was dark and I couldn't get a decent pic without a flash. When the weather clears up a bit I will do some proper swatches in natural light as well.

Have you tried either of these products? What do you think of Illamasqua blushes?

April 26, 2011

My mini-getaway makeup bag

It was our 2nd wedding anniversary on 18th April, and because it was so close to the Easter break the husband and I decided to go on a mini-getaway. We hired a little place up at Berowra Waters, which is an hour north of Sydney surrounded by national parklands and majority of the properties are only accessible by boat. Luckily the place we hired came with its own boat for us to use, otherwise we'd have no way of going anywhere!

We were there only for 3 days, so I tried to keep my makeup bag small... and tell you the truth some of the things I took I never even got to use. Here is what made the journey. (Where I'd already reviewed them, I've provided a link to previous reviews of these products).



  • Eyeshadows: Inglot custom palette in Greys and Taupes - This is the perfect travel palette of neutral and smokey tones.
  • Mascara: Maybellline The Falsies - I'm not really a huge fan of this mascara, but it does the job and I'm trying to use it up so I took it with me.
  • Eyeliner: Australis eyeliner pencil in Blackest Black - This is a cheapie but a goody. I'm forever looking for a really black eyeliner, and this one fits the bill. It's quite creamy, so perfect for smudging. However be warned, if worn in the waterline it will start to run after about 3 hours.
  • Eyebrow Pencil: Rimmel brow pencil in Black/Brown - When at home I prefer to use powders to colour my brows, but this is easier for when travelling.


  • MAC lipstick Impassioned - I took this with me just in case, but I never actually wore it. The place we were at was a fairly laid back place where I would have stood out too much if I'd worn this colour. It was good to have it with me though, as everyone knows how much I love this!
  • Rimmel lipstick Pink Blush - This is a very pretty soft pink that's been a staple on my lips the past few weeks. It's easy to wear and I don't have to think about it matching with different clothes as it seems to match everything.
  • Face of Australia lip glaze in Fairy Floss - This was given to me a while back at the beauty blogger meet up and it's one of those things that hasn't left my handbag. I wore this every day we were away, as it's the perfect cross between a balm and a lipstick. Plus the vanilla smell makes it so addictive that I just want to keep reapplying.


  • Cleanser: Face of Australia Purifying Cleansing Wipes - Cleansing wipes are perfect for when travelling, who can be bothered taking a whole cleansing kit with them? This was sent to me a while back and I've almost used it up now. It's alcohol free, which I love, because it doesn't dry out my skin or sting around the eyes. And most importantly it gets rid of heavy eyemakeup with no problems. I think these are stocked near the FOA makeup at Priceline, which to me is a bad place to stock them as when I'm looking for cleansing wipes I go to the skincare isle, rather than the makeup isle so I always end up missing them. Hopefully FOA people will realise this and move these to the skincare isle.
  • Facial oil: 100% pure Argan Oil - I bought mine from Audra James Botanicals and I use this as my night time moisturiser. I've been switching between this and Rosehip oil and my skin seems to be happy and glowy.
  • Hair product: The Body Shop Coconut Hair shine - I use this on the ends of my hair to get rid of dry/split end appearances. It's also perfect for smoothing any flyaways plus I can't go past the yummy coconut smell.

And in the pic below is what I looked like most of the days we were away, very minimal makeup, hair up in a bun with my fringe down to hide un-carefully applied eye makeup.

Have you used any of the products I mentioned here? What do you take with you on holidays?

April 22, 2011

Simple brown smokey eye with SAX Cosmetics

There are days when I'm too lazy to make much of an effort with my makeup, and it's on those days when I reach for browny tones and just do this simple smokey eye.

All makeup used is from SAX Cosmetics, which were sent to me recently for review. Below is my review of the products, and as usual my opinion is honest.

SAX Cosmetics is an Australian brand that has been around since 1995. I remember when I was still in high school a local chemist stocked their nailpolishes which I absolutely loved... then... I don't know what happened and I didn't see them at the shops again until recently. Whatever the reason, I'm glad they're back, and they have a whole new range of goodies for lips and eyes. Check out their website for stockist and more product details.

SAX Luxe Eyeshadow Quintette in "Love At First Sight" RRP $14.95 - This is my favourite product from their range. The colours all work so well together, and they are so lovely and pigmented which you can see in the pic above. No joke, but I saw this palette a few weeks ago at a chemist in Top Ryde city and the only reason I didn't buy it is because they only had the tester out and the full stock was not out for purchase yet. So as you can imagine I felt very lucky to receive this.

Wonderlash Dramatic Volume Mascara in "So Black" RRP $17.50 - This does what it says it will, it gives volume and curl. It's not as black as I like my mascaras to be, but it's no deal breaker for me. The only thing I didn't like about this mascara was the tube, or more specifically the opening of the tube. It felt too small for the brush and every time I put the brush back in the tube there was a great glob of mascara oozing out from the sides.

Sax Creme Precision Eyeliner in "Platinum" RRP $12.95 - This is a steely grey sort of a colour, and feels quite dry for a Creme liner. Some people might not like the dryness, but I didn't really mind as it meant I could get a more precise line because it didn't smudge.

For this look I used all the products mentioned above, and the eyeshadows I used were # 2 (all over lid), #1 (browbone) and #3 (inner corner).

Have you tried SAX cosmetics before?

April 21, 2011

Reorganising my eyeshadow palettes

With the change in weather (Australia is heading into cooler weather now) I've started going more for cooler grey and purple toned shadows, so I decided to reorganise my Inglot eyeshadow palettes to suit my changing needs.

I already had 2 x eyeshadow palettes from Inglot that fit 5 shadows each, but I felt the colours in each were too similar. Plus I had bought a few other Inglot eyeshadow refills that didn't have a home. So last weekend I bought an empty Inglot 10 pan palette and started swapping my colours around.

This is what I ended up with. The good thing about the Inglot round palettes is they fit my MAC shadows as well. Bonus... means I don't need a separate palette for my favourite MAC e/s. A few other brands' shadows also fit in there, so I use the same palette for all my favourites.

All photos are with flash - when I was taking the pics it was a horrible overcast day and it was impossible to shoot without flash. All photos can be enlarged bi clicking on them.

 Palette 1 - Greys and Taupes

My favourite out of this palette is 420, just look at the incredible pigmentation.

Palette 2 - Purples

Palette 3 - Blues and Greens

I still have my Naked Palette which is fabulous for warmer toned shadows, but during winter I know all three of my Inglot palettes will be getting a good workout.

Do you change your shadows around based on the weather?

April 19, 2011

MAC Chatterbox vs NYX Fig

My makeup collection is full of dupes, and I may have discovered yet another dupe. I really need to stop buying so many of the same colours.  Sorry to do another lipstick post after overdozing everyone with my lipstick posts of last week, but this is a dupe I just had to share.

L/R: NYX Fig, MAC Chatterbox

MAC Chatterbox (right) is a lovely pink which is quite warm toned and suits most skintones. This is something I'd been lusting after for a long time, but my local MAC counter had always sold out. So when I finally saw it about a month ago I had to get it. NYX Fig (left) is something I've had for ages, it's one of my favourite go to pinks.

L/R: NYX Fig, MAC Chatterbox

I'd never considered Fig to be a dupe for Chatterbox until I was searching for lipsticks to use during my lipstick challenge, and swatched both at the same time.

L/R: NYX Fig, MAC Chatterbox

While they are not 100% dupes, I think they're still pretty close. Fig is a bit warmer and lighter on the lips than Chatterbox.

L/R: NYX Fig, MAC Chatterbox

In terms of formula, Chatterbox is longer lasting and has that lovely vanilla smell that all MAC lippies have. But the price difference is enormous! In Australia Chatterbox retails for $36aud, vs NYX which I bought for around $4aud from Crush Cosmetics. So if you're loooking for Chatterbox but can't find it and you're craving a similar colour, Fig might be the way to go. 

What other dupes do you know?

April 18, 2011

New uses for Benefit High Brow

A few weeks ago I attended a blogger swap meet and picked up this Benefit High Brow pencil, which was brought in by Clare from ClareBear. Thanks Clare!

Now  most of you know that this is used on your brow bone, just under your eyebrow to give you that high arched brow look. I find that when I use it on my brow bone it goes a bit cakey with shadows layered on top of it.

So what other uses do I put it to?

To brighten the inner eye area: I apply it in the inner V of my eye straight after applying concealer to give it a more brighter look. Because the pencil is quite thick, it's best to use your finger to blend it in as the warmth of your finger will melt the product better and allow you to blend better. (click on pic to enlarge)

To define the lips: I don't generally use lipliners, I find it a bit of a hassle to use actually. But I do always need to have a bit more definition around my cupid's bow area, and this pencil is perfect for it. As you can see in the pic below, just draw a line following where the cupid's bow is meant to be and then blend.

My lips look so horrible and dry! Excuse the eeek factor pls... I really need to sue more lipbalm

It's very easy and allows you to get multiple uses out of the one product.

Are there any products that you use differently to their original intent?

April 17, 2011

Challenge wrap up - the good, the bad, and the blah

Here is a little wrap up of last week's lipstick challenge. A BIG thank you to all of you for tuning into my posts and for giving your honest opinion. For those who are just tuning in, the challenge was that I would wear a different lipstick every day for 7 days to make sure that my lippies get some love.

Day 1 - MAC Impassioned. This is my favourite ever lipstick, it's ridiculously bright but I find it so wearable. Based on your comments this was a hit with you too.

Day 2 - BYS Champagne Rain. This used to be a favourite of mine, but after wearing brights lately this colour was a bit blah for me. Some of you agreed with me, some of you thought it was ok.

Day 3 - Illamasqua Corrupt. I definitely felt better wearing a brighter lip after the blah nude of the day before, and you agreed. Plus it's Illamasqua, of course it made me feel better :)

Day 4 - Inglot 104. This was surprisingly well received by all, including myself! This lovely coral shade had been in the bottom of my makeup box for a while not getting much love, but since digging it out for this challenge I've really come to love it.

Day 5 - GOSH Lambada. I'd been lemming for this lipstick for so long, but unfortunately when I got it I never wore it. I don't think the colour suits me, I think it makes me look older and I don't feel like me when I wear it. A few of you agreed with me and a few thought it looked nice. I'm still unsure about this one.

Day 6 - BYS Pink Flamingo. Back to wearing a colour I'm comfortable with, lovely and fresh and so easy on the wallet. This lippy cost less than $4aud.

Day 7 - Bloom Peach with NYX Orange Soda layered on top. The horrible rainy weather meant that Peach alone was too garish, so I toned it down by layering Orange Soda on top.

I really hope you enjoyed these posts.

Whilst I enjoyed doing this challenge, I also found it a bit hard to do... not just finding the time for photos and posting every day, but the hardest part was putting up my face on my page every day. After about day 3 I started worrying that you would all get sick of seeing my face, but you didn't, so thank you so much for persevering!

A big thank you to Tiffany whose blog I "stole" the challenge idea from.

I tag everyone (especially Tara from Keeping up With Me) that wants to do this challenge, I'd love to see your lipstick choices.

Which was your favourite look?

April 16, 2011

Lipstick Challenge Day 7 - Peach

This is the last post of my Lipstick Challenge series.

I layered two lipsticks for the look of today.

L/R - Bloom Peach; NYX Orange Soda

My original plan was to use Peach by Bloom on its own, which is a lovely bright but sheer colour, perfect for summer. The only problem was when I put it on today, it just looked really out of place with the grey skies and the dreary rainy day we're having. I muted it down by layering NYX Orange Soda on top.

L/R: Bloom Peach, NYX Orange Soda

I had to use flash in every photo. It was seriously such a dark and dreary day that it was impossible to take pics without flash.

Foundation: Maybelline Dream Liquid Mousse in Nude
Concealer: Bourjois Healthy Mix in Light Radiance
Powder: MAC MSFN Medium
Blush: NARS Orgasm

EYES - used my UD Naked Palette
Lid: Sidecar
Crease: Smog
Highlight: Sin
Mascara: Benefit Bad Gal Lash

Bloom Peach
NYX Orange Soda

Well that's all for my lipstick challenge series, I will do a wrap up post tomorrow to compare all the various looks of the last 7 days. I hope you enjoyed reading them. xx

April 15, 2011

Lipstick Challenge Day 6: Lilac

Today's lipstick is a cheapie by the Australian makeup brand BYS.

The colour is called Flamingo Pink but in my opinion it's more an iridescent blue based lilac than a pink.

It's no secret I love BYS lippies, and this one is no exception. It's a lovely vibrant colour that's not too OTT. My only gripe with these lippies is the packagins, it looks cheap, I'm talking clear plastic lids...eeek, but the quality of the lippies are fabulous! The formulas are very similar to the NYX lippies, very creamy.

I wear this lipstick quite a lot, and will definitely re-purchase it when it runs out. At around $4AUD why wouldn't I repurchase! That's the price of my morning coffee.

Foundation: Revlon Colourstay in Nude 200
Powder: MAC MSFN in Medium
Blush: MAC Melba

Eyeshadows from the MAC Play It Cool Palette (top row)
Eyeliner: UD Zero Black
Mascara: Maybelline The Falsies

Lipstick: BYS Flamingo Pink

Have you tried BYS Lippies yet? And do you know any other lilac lippies in other brands? I'm keen to try others.

April 14, 2011

Lipstick Challenge Day 5: Red lips

Thanks so much to everyone for sticking through this lipstick challenge collection.

Today's look is using Gosh Lambada.

Ahh lambada, dancin' the lambada... does anyone remember that Brazilian song from early 90s? If you don't remember it, it's the original version of J Lo's On The Floor.

Anyway back to the lipstick... I really wanted to love it, I really did. I saw this colour on a few blogs and absolutely loved how it looked so I hunted it down at the Melbourne based online store Zuza

The colour itself is a gorgeous true red, a very creamy formula and somewhat long lasting. I didn't experience any bleeding even without using a lipliner.

All up it's a great lipstick... but... I don't think the colour suits me. I'm sure you guys have all figured out I love bright lips, so it's not that it's too bright or anything, I just think it makes me look older and I don't feel like me when wearing this.

I wore it out to dinner, as I couldn't pull it off at day time. I think this will be going  either in the unloved makeup box, or given away to mum or cousin.

Foundation: Maybelline Dream Liquid Mousse in Nude
Powder: Rimmel Stay Matta Translucent
Blush: NARS Orgasm

Lid: UD Smog
Outer V: UD Darkhorse
Highlight: UD Sin
Eyeliner: UD Zero
Mascara: Benefit Badgal Lash

Lipstick: Gosh Lambada

How do you feel about red lips? Do you wear reds? What are your favourites?

April 13, 2011

Lipstick Challenge Day 4: Coral

Hi all, thanks so much for all your lovely and supportive comments. I hope you're not sick of seeing my face every day for the last 4 days as I know I'm getting sick of putting it up everyday! I promise once this challenge is over you'll all get a break for seeing my mug for a while.

Today's lipstick is from Inglot, another favourite brand of mine.

The colour is #104 and is a somewhat frosted light Coral.

It reminds me of a lighter version of MAC's Costa Chic but I don't own Costa Chic so I can't really compare next to each other.

No flash - daylight

Foundation: Maybelline Dream Liquid Mousse in Nude
Concealer: Bourjois Healthy Mix in Light Radiance
Powder: Rimmel Stay Matte Translucent powder
Blush: NARS Orgasm

Lid: UD Toasted
Crease: UD Hustle
Highlight: UD Sin
Eyeliner: UD Zero with UD Hustle smudged on top
Mascara: Maybelline The Falsies

Lipstick - Inglot #104

I actually quite like this colour, and I don't know why I'd been neglecting it lately. This is definitely coming out of the "unloved makeup" box.

Have you used Inglot lipsticks before?


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