August 31, 2011

Current Skincare Routine - Fuss Free and Simple

If you’ve been a reader of my blog for a while now, you might notice that I don’t write about skincare that much. Also, as a beauty blogger, from time to time I get asked by PR to try out new products and more often than not I say no to skincare products.

This is because my skincare routine hardly changes, and while from time to time I do try new products, reality is I’ve been sticking to the same stuff for years now. In fact one particular product I’ve been using for over 10 years now… yes I know, showing my age!

So without much further ado, I'd like to share with you the skincare products that I am using, some old ones, and some that I've only recently gotten into.

For reference, my skin is normal to dry, with some old acne scars and a couple of crows feet here and there, apart from that I’m generally happy with my skin, for which I have my Armenian genes to thank for.


Dermaveen Soap Free Wash (approx $20 for 1L)
I’ve been using this for over 10 years ever since a dermatologist recommended this to me. It gets rid of makeup, dirt and grime easily and quickly, and leaves my face feeling hydrated. It’s a pharmacy brand, and you can get a large 1L bottle for around $20. Dermaveen has new packaging now, but I usually buy the 1L bottle and then fill  up my existing smaller old container as it's easier to handle. As long as they keep making it I will keep using it.

Comvita Gentle Beauty Bar * ($10)
This looks like soap and acts like soap, but it's actually quite gentle on the skin thanks to the olive, coconut and palm oils. Because I have dry skin I don't use this bar every day. I mainly use them on days I'm feeling extra grimy, i.e. if I have been out for a run (I know, can you believe I’ve started exercising?), or if I have been cleaning the house and transferred all the house germs on to my skin, as I feel this cleans better on those days than my favourite Dermaveen.

Scrub & Face Mask

Comvita Pore Refining Mask* $50
I use this twice a week, usually on days that I don't use a scrub. It has a lovely honey smell, and contains jojoba and macadamia oils. Basically what it's meant to do is draw away any impurities and gunk from your pores so your skin feels fresher and better moisturised. I love it because it makes my skin feel smooth, with a satin like feel. Plus I'm a sucker for honey like smells, so this draws me in with the smell too. 

St Ives Moisturising Olive scrub (approx $15)
Wrote about it in the past HERE. Have been using it 2 times a week for over a year now. I love that the scrub particles are small and non-abrasive on my skin, and every time I use it, it leaves my skin feeling baby smooth. I also really like the somewhat organic olive smell, but this might not be to everyone’s liking so make sure you give it a good sniff before buying. 

Day products

Moo Goo Full Milk Cream (approx $18)
This is a really light moisturiser, with a delicious milk and honey smell (I told you I like honey smells!). It’s very soothing, and doesn’t feel like I have anything on my face when I use this. Most of the time this is what I use under my foundation, as it sinks into my skin really quickly and doesn’t make my skin feel oily. That said, on days when my skin is feeling troublesome (naughty skin!) and requires extra moisture, I use the IZ Olive Oil Creme (below)

Invisible Zinc Organic Olive Oil creme* ($48)
Besides Olive Oil this also contains Rosehip Oil, Aloe Vera and Vitamin E. The smell is similar to the St Ives Olive scrub, very earthy olive smell. This is a really rich product, a heavy duty moisturiser which doesn't feel oily on my skin. Although I think I’ll stop using this in summer as it might feel too heavy.  And don't you just love the gorgeous golden ball shape of the container? Anyway, digressing here... I love it because it feels really soothing on the skin. Definitely a great winter moisturiser.

Invisible Zinc Tinted Daywear* ($32)
Does this product even need any introductions? It has won beauty awards in the past, and is Invisible Zinc's #1 selling product. If you're after a tinted moisturiser with a great deal of coverage, this isn’t it. But if you want something that will give you my-skin-but-better results with the added bonus of sun protection, this is perfect.
I wore this when I went out for a run and when I came home my face wasn’t all red and blotchy like it usually gets when I exercise. It actually looked really glowy and smooth, and above all with no hint of blotchiness. So it's perfect for the gym bag and the beach. And best of all, some sunscreens/tinted moisturisers give me pimples but this is great as you can feel it doesn't clog pores.

Night products

QV Night cream (approx $15)
I don’t use a night cream every night as sometimes I don’t feel the need. But when I do, I usually reach for this. This is another pharmacy brand. It’s fragrance free and great for sensitive skin. When I put this on at night I wake up with really soft and supple skin, and any dry patches that I have will disappear overnight when I use this cream. For the last 4 weeks I haven’t been using this cream as I’ve been trying the BIO Effect (below), but once my BIO Effect samples run out I’ll be returning to this.

Bio Effect EGF Serum* ($180)
I had a sample of this sent to me, and another sample vial was included in my Lust Haves box, all up a 2 month supply. Everyone raves about it, but if I had to be honest in the 4 weeks of using this I haven’t seen any special improvements to my skin. But as I mentioned before I do generally have good skin, so for me it’s more about maintaining the current condition rather than improving it which is why I haven't seen any special improvements. For the price, this is not something I'd purchase.

Have you tried any of these products? What is your skincare routine like?

Note: products marked with an * were either given for review purposes or included in my monthly Lust Haves box. I did not get paid for this review, and all opinions here are my honest views based on my personal experience.

August 29, 2011

Revlon Top Speed Nailpolishes - swatches and review

Normally quick-dry nailpolish formulas seem to be fairly heavy and thick, to the point where they go gluggy after a few uses. Not so the Revlon Top Speed polishes. For a quick-dry formula they were actually quite runny, but not in an annoying way that you couldn't work with.

L/R: Electric, Royal, Jelly, Sheer Cotton, Chili. Back: Olga Berg Electric Blue Clutch.  

Today I'm going to show you 5 polishes which I was lucky enough to be sent as part of the September 30 days of Fashion and Beauty events that will be happening soon. There are free daily fashion and beauty events occuring all over Australia, so head on over to their website and start registering for ones near you.

You'll have to excuse the dry messy cuticles, the dry cold weather has been playing havoc wiht my hands!

Revlon Top Speed Nail Polish - Electric
This is a gorgeous sunny bright yellow polish with slight sparkles throughout. I'm wearing two coats in the swatches above, and as you can see the coverage is very nice and opaque. This colour would look perfect on a sunny summer's day and if you're living in the Southern Hemisphere... hello summer! Ok, still/almost spring, but I can just feel the summer around the corner.

Revlon Top Speed Nail Polish - Royal
This was extremely hard to photograph, and my swatch and photo doesn't do it justice. In the pic above it looks quite like the tips are darker than the rest, but in real life that wasn't the case at all. In 2 coats I was able to get perfect coverage. My only concern with this colour is that it dried to a matte finish, but a topping of coat top fixed that. The colour is a deep royal blue, and it's stunning worn with jeans.

Revlon Top Speed Nail Polish - Jelly
This is my favourite of the lot, and it's a bright reddish pink. Two coats are enough for a perfect coverage. I've got this polish on right now, and even after 3 days it still looks freshly applied and shiny.

Revlon Top Speed Nail Polish - Sheer Cotton

I liked the colour of this one, but not the formulation. I'm wearing 3 coats in the pic above, and as you can see it's still streaky. Granted, it is meant to be a sheer colour, but 1 layer alone was too streaky and even 3 layers didn't get rid of the insconsisteny in coverage. Also I found the formula of this one a bit runnier than the others.

Revlon Top Speed Nail Polish - Chili
This is another favourite of the lot. Chili red is the perfect description for it, it's vibrant warm toned red which is making me crave Mexican food right now with lots and lots of chilies.... yummm.  Two coats equals perfect glossy coverage that dries in less than 5 minutes.

Have you tried any of the Top Speed polishes yet? Which one is your favourite colour?

Note: All products shown were sent for review purposes. I do not get paid to write reviews and the opinions expressed here are my own. 

August 28, 2011

Favourite Lip Combo with Illamasqua Corrupt and SLA Orchid Pink #117

If you're anything like me you probably like mixing your lip colours. Not only do you get a wider variety of colours to play with, but layering your lippies also makes them last longer.

This combination I'll be showing is one of my favourites, and it lasts through the whole day no joke. In fact I wore this combo last Friday at work (8hr day), followed by dinner and dessert at Coco Cubano (I'm talking tapas and caramel waffles) got home around 10pm and I still had it on! Granted, it was definitely more faded but considering it lasted a 15hr day I say not bad.

So what is this magic lipstick concoction? Serge Louis Alvarez matte lipstick in 117 with Illamasqua Corrupt layered over it.

Illamasqua Corrupt 
I've had this lipstick for ages, in fact it was probably my first Illamasqua lipstick purchase ever. It's a bright warm toned candy pink that lasts for ages. It is a matte formula, so if you don't like the feeling of matte lipsticks you will need to put some balm on beforehand. I wear it straight from the tube, but I've heard a lot of people say they prefer using a lipbrush as otherwise the matte-ness makes it difficult to work with.  To see what Corrupt looks like on its own, see this previous posts HERE and HERE.

Serge Louis Alvarez Lipstick in Orchid Pink #117
This lipstick is just fabulous. Even though it's matte it's actually quite moisturising and doesn't dry out the lips. I bought it at the Balmain SLA store when I went there for an event, posted about HERE. It cost around $39AUD, same as for the Illamasqua Lipstick and MUA get a 30% discount there. Visit their website to find out more.

The reason I like to layer them is, not just the longevity, but also because the warmer Corrupt tones down the coolness of SLA and makes it more wearable. The fact that this combo lasts forever is an added bonus.

Do you layer your lipsticks? What are some of your favourite combinations?

August 27, 2011

Guess who's going to IMATS?

That's right, I'm going to the International Make-up Artist Trade Show  in Sydney which is on 24 & 25 September.

Not only that, I'm also participating in The Australian Beauty Bloggers Weekend organised by super blogger extraordinaires Kimmi from The Plastic Diaries and Jacie from You've Got Nail. Basically a whole bunch of us beauty bloggers from all over Australia are going to descend on IMATS at Darling Harbour, I hope the Convention Centre can handle us all!

.....and how do I feel about all this? Yes that's right, just a little bit excited!
Please note this photo of me looking mighty excited is actually taken at the Rock Markets by Moonlight... the reason for my excitement? HERE is the original post to find out.
"The International Make-Up Artist Trade Show is the make-up world’s biggest gathering. Thousands of make-up artists, vendors and enthusiasts discuss, display and collect the best the industry has to offer. Make-up pros from fashion and film (including Oscar, BAFTA and Saturn award winners) provide education and demonstrations at IMATS, and new products often debut there. "

You don't have to be a makeup artist to go to IMATS, you just need to love makeup!

Images from IMATS website
This is my first time going to IMATS so I've been researching their website like mad trying to see what to expect. Some of the exhibitors I'm most keen on seeing (and hauling!) include:
  • M.A.C
  • Make Up For Ever
  • Inglot
  • Ben NYE
  • Crown Brushes
Image from  IMATS website

Not only that, there will also be makeup demonstrations and keynote speakers like Napoleon Perdis and Rae Morris.


The IMATS is held at Darling Harbour on 24 & 25 September 2011, and more info can be found at their website, where you can also buy tickets. Tickets are:
1 day pass - $40
2 day pass - $65

I will be there on both days, so if you end up going and see me around make sure you come say hello.

Will you be going to IMATS? Have you ever been?

August 25, 2011

Loving the teal with MAC Colourization Double Feature 3

Lately I've been in a bit of a rut with my eyeshadow choices, going for neutral greys, taupes and browns. But when I saw swatches if this gorgeous duo from the MAC Colourization range I knew this was the perfect duo to take me out of my rut.
MAC Colourization Double Feature 3

Teal or turquoise eyeshadows aren't generally in my comfort zone, but seeing Karen's look using this duo convinced me to get it. The colour combination of matte teal and brown is just gorgeous, so if you're too scared of the teal colour on its own you can always ground it with some of the brown.

Thoughts on MAC Double Feature 3
  • Pigmentation of the teal side is quite strong, but the brown side required extra hard swatching to get it to work.
  • Ok, what's the deal with MAC not naming the colours here? They're usually good with coming up with names, but DF and a number? I don't get it. 
  • The colours aren't anything unique, and I'm pretty sure you can find them individually in the standard MAC collection, but I like the idea of having this duo together.
  • The eyeshadows are really long lasting... the photo below is taken at the end of the day after about 10 hours of wear and as you can see it still looks fresh.

For the look above I used my new Models Prefer Kohl Pencil in Matte Black ($8.99) and small eyeshadow brush ($9.99) which was included in my Models Prefer goody bag I mentioned in yesterday's post. The mascara I used is my standard HG, Covergirl Lash Blast volume.

I bought the MAC duo online from the Australian MAC website for $55... yes, I know it's less than half that price in the US stores but that's how much they cost in AU, and at this point in time imagine me doing the *hands-on-ears-la-la-la-can't-hear-you* move.

The Models Prefer range is available exclusively at Priceline stores.

Have you tried anything from the MAC Colourization range? What are some of your tricks to coming out of an eyeshadow rut?

August 24, 2011

Models Prefer - Highlighter, Bronzer and Blush review

Last week I had a lovely surprise in the mail... a huge package of goodies from Models Prefer.  They had seen my previous review of their eyeshadow duo and liquid liner, and had sent me some more products to try. I really think it was incredibly generous of them, and I truly appreciate the opportunity to try more of their products and review them for you.

I'll be spreading out my review over a few posts, as I don't want to overload you with so much product information. Today I'll be concentrating on the cheek products, my favourites of the lot.

L-R: Highlighter in Glitz & Glamour, Blush in Desk to Date, Bronzer in Million Bucks

Models Prefer Highlighter Quad in Glitz & Glamour - $9.99AUD

What can I say that you can't already see from the swatches above. It's crazily pigmented, with gorgeous colours, whether you look at them individually or swirled together. I can't believe that this is only $9.99 as the quality and lasting power is just amazing. If blended lightly you can wear this over your regular blush to add a lovely highlight. Or you can use a heavier hand and swirl from the top half of the pan (the darker half) to give both colour and shine to the cheeks.

Models Prefer Bronzer Quad in Million Bucks - $9.99

I love the colours in this quad a lot. This is of course meant to be a bronzer, but I see no reason why you can't use the colours as eyeshadows. I mean, look a the swatches above, don't you think they are perfect for a shimmery golden eye look? This quad too has incredible pigmentation. If I had to find fault with this, I'd say it's too shimmery as a bronzer but with a light hand this can give a lovely glow to tanned (fake) cheeks.

Models Prefer Blush in Desk to Date - $9.99

This is a lovely warm toned rose-pink that gives cheeks a healthy glow. Just like the other two products this is very pigmented. In fact probably too pigmented, so you'd have to be careful unless you want an extra rosey cheek. It's really soft and blends like a dream.

Overall thoughts
All three products are extremely pigmented and finely milled. At $9.99 each these are great value that you can't pass up on, especially since these are decent sized products. Unlike other budget brands, the packaging is elegant and sturdy. Would I purchase these? YES.

I'll be ending this post with a mini conversation I just had with the husband.

The Husband: what are you doing?
Me: Reviewing the Models Prefer goodies
TH: Are they good?
Me: Yep, can't find fault with them.
TH: Can't be that good?
Me: Yep, they can.

* Models Prefer is available exclusively at Priceline stores in Australia only. I did not get paid to write this review. In fact I was not even asked to write this review. My opinions as always are honest.

Have you tried anything from this range yet?

August 23, 2011

Going from AM to PM in 5 minutes

Most of the time if I'm going out in the evenings I don't wash off my day makeup and start all over again, I usually just build on it with a few key touches. And if I've done my day makeup right I can usually PM-ise (yes, not a real word) my makeup in 5 minutes flat.

For these looks I used my two newest eyeshadow palettes, Too Faced Natural Eye and Stila Pro Artist Palette No 1 which I reviewed HERE.



Foundation: Maybelline Fit Me 210 mixed with Maybelline Stay Matte in Nude (mixing these two gives my base lasting power)
Powder: Illamasqua powder foundation in 120
Contour: Benefit Hoola
Blush: Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Dollface

Eyeshadows: Too Faced Push Up (lid), Silk Teddy (inner corner & browbone), Sexpresso (lashline & outer V)
Mascara: Covergirl Lash Blast in Black
Eyeliner: Jordana Pencil in Black

OCC Liptar in Divine as base
OCC Liptar in Hush all over

For night time I usually opt for darker eye looks, usually adding darker shadows in the outer V area, and lining the inner rims with black eyeliner.

For this look I decided to darken my eyes but also add a pop of colour with Stila Lucky, and finish off with a nude lip. And I put my hair up in a messy bun and added some dangly earrings.


As before. Touched up a bit of the Illamasqua powder in my T-zone as I was starting to get oily.

Eyeshadows - as before
Teal eyeliner on top lashline - Stila eyeshadow in Lucky used wet as an eyeliner
Dark purple liner on bottom lashline - Stila eyeshadow in Moxie used as wet eyeliner
Mascara - added another coat of Cover Girl Lash Blast

MAC Hue Lipstick
Revlon lipgloss in Crystal Lilac

What are the key steps to taking your look from AM to PM?

August 21, 2011

Welcome Home Too Faced Natural Eye and Stila Pro Artist Palettes

I've added a couple of new palettes to my little collection lately. They're not exactly new, they've been out in the shops for a while now, but they're new for me.

Actually, the Too Faced Natural Eye is something that I owned previously, but when I bought my Naked Palette (remember this story?) I decided to give my Natural Eye to my mum as I thought the NP had everything that NE had plus more. But lately I had started lemming for it again and I couldn't exactly ask for it back could I?

Anyway, I had been given some vouchers to spend at Apothica, so after 2 weeks of daily indecision I finally settled on these two.

(For Aussie readers, Apothica DO ship to Australia, and while shipping is $22 - $26, the prices of the makeup there are very cheap, thus making up for the high postage cost if you buy several items).

Too Faced Natural Eye kit ($34.70US at Apothica)
I will not be showing swatches of this palette as I feel there are already too many fabulous swatches available on the web. All I will say is that just because you have the NP, doesn't mean you don't need this one. The colours, while comparable to NP, are still unique enough in their own right to warrant an addition to your collection.

Stila Pro Artist Palette No 1. ($20.78US at Apothica)
This one took me a while to decide on, because I couldn't find any decent swatches anywhere. In the end I took a chance on this one and bought it. I'm glad I got this as the colours are gorgeous, especially when used wet. Below are swatches both using a dry and a wet brush.

Left side
The yellow shade, Prize, is just too powdery with massive fallout. Even used wet it's still not that great. The other two are fab!

Right side
These 3 shades are my favourite of the lot, they are pigmented both dry and wet, and the colours are just gorgeous. I've also used the blue and the purple one as an eyeliner to line my eyes with a pop of colour.

And here's a quick eye look using Moxie on the lid, and Lucky on the lower lashline.

My only gripe with this palette, apart from the powdery yellow colour, is the packaging. It's cardboard (so it gets dirty very easily), and it's unnecessarily big. Once I depot them into my Z-palette I'll be happy. Apart from that this is a very versatile palette due to the combination of bronzes and taupes with the blue and purple.

Have you got any of these palettes? If you own (ed) the NP, would you get the Natural Eye?

August 20, 2011

NOTD - White Violet by FaceLove

For today's nails I've used one of my favourite nailpolishes from a Korean brand called FaceLove. I've seen this brand at a lot of Korean cosmetics / knick-knack stores, so hopefully you won't have trouble finding them.

And yes, the bottle IS shaped like a woman's torso! A woman wearing a corset that is.
White Violet byFaceLove

The colour is a lovely milky violet shade, called White Violet, that's really creamy and really long wearing. I get about 4 - 5 days wear from this before it starts to chip.

In these pics I've only used 2 coats, but in hindsight I probably should have gone with 3 coats as you can see slight streakiness on some of my fingers.

Have you tried Korean branded makeup and nailpolishes? What polish are you loving right now?

August 17, 2011

Wet n Wild Silent Treatment - review, swatches and FOTD

Ever since I bought my first Wet n Wild eyeshadow palette a little while ago (reviewed HERE), I've been wanting to try more from the brand. The one that I really wanted, Walking on Eggshells, was sold out at Crush Cosmetics so I settled for my second choice which was Silent Treatment and boy am I happy with it.
Wet n Wild Silent Treatment - no flash 

Can I just say that the picture of it on Crush Cosmetics is way off and doesn't show how gorgeous it actually is. It wasn't until I saw swatches of it on Tiffany's blog that I sat up and paid notice to Silent Treatment.
Wet n Wild Silent Treatment - with flash

It comes with 3 complementary shades marked with where they should be worn, but of course you don't have to follow their guidelines and can wear them however you like.
  • Browbone - soft peachy cream (not as pigmented as the other two shades)
  • Crease - dark eggplant/brown with gold specks (extremely pigmented, only a tiny little bit is needed, fairly matte when swatched)
  • Eyelid - a cool toned taupe (this is my absolute favourite shade now, it's so buttery and smooth, and very pigmented)
Swatches in various lights

My favourite way to wear it is with the Eyelid shade all over the lid, the dark Crease colour worn in the outer V and smudged into the lash line (I find it too dark as a crease colour), and the Browbone shade on the... yep, you guessed it, browbone!

This is such an easy to wear palette, it will definitely be on high rotation for me. I find that it really brightens the eye area and doesn't compete with a bolder lip such as this SLA lipstick in #17


I've heard the Eyelid shade be compared to the infamous Satin Taupe by MAC, so I thought I'd show you a comparison.

As you can see Satin Taupe is darker than the Wet n Wild eyelid shade, though both are gorgeous. I absolutely do not regret purchasing this palette as not only is it cheap, the quality is just amazing.

Have you tried any of the Wet n Wild eyeshadows before? What are some of your favourites?


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