November 29, 2011

Top 5 Tuesday - hot pink products

Now that it's almost summer in Australia I can't wait to get some of my bright colours out of storage and start playing with them. And what better bright colour than hot pink?

These are the top 5 hot pink products in my make up stash.

NARS "Desire" - This looks quite scary in the pan, but with a light hand it looks absolutely beautiful and gives a fresh healthy look to the cheeks. HERE is the original review.

Illamasqua "Grab" - I've had this colour for quite a while and used to wear it all the time, especially when I knew I'd be too busy to change my nail colour often enough, as this lasted on my nails without chipping for up to  days (with top coat). HERE is a NOTD with this colour.

OCC Lip Tar "Pageant" - This is my favourite colour from the OCC Lip Tar range. You can use it as a stain or as a full on opaque gloss and it's extremely long lasting. My only complaint with this is that towards the end of the day it leaves a weird dry ring around the inside of my lips. HERE is a post that has swatches of it on my lips.

MAC "Pink Nouveau" - This is a mid toned hot pink and it's surprisingly wearable. It's a satin formula which can become a bit drying after a while, but because I love the colour I'll put up with the dryness.

Lime Crime "Countessa Fluorescent" - I'm not game enough to wear this one often. It requires a lot of confidence to pull off as it's very bright-look-at-me-I've-got-barbie-pink-lips. But I do admire this on others quite a lot, so I'm hoping I'll use this more often come summer. HERE is the original post with FOTD.

Quick swatches

What are some of your hot pink make up products?

November 28, 2011

Monday's Mani - Spa Ritual Thunder Road

I bought this Spa Ritual nail polish called Thunder Road almost two months ago at IMATS and then promptly forgot about it. Ooops.
Spa Ritual "Thunder Road" - outdoors, no flash

The colour is a beautiful lavender that does not wash out my medium skin tone. This is the first time I'm trying Spa Ritual polishes and I'd have to say I really like it. The brush is thinner than usual which made it easy to apply the polish without going over my cuticles.

You get a lovely opaque finish in 2-3 coats.

I've got 3 coats in these photos which were touch dry in less than 15 minutes. Impressive, as I'm forever knocking my newly painted nails around and getting scruff marks on them.
Spa Ritual "Thunder Road" - indoors, with flash

At IMATS I also bought another colour from this brand, which I'm also yet to wear. HERE is the original IMATS Haul post which includes links to the website where Spa Ritual polishes are sold.

Have you tried anything from this brand before?

November 26, 2011

Revlon Grow Luscious Mascara and Lashliner review

I'm always on the look out for the perfect mascara. I get really excited when a new one is launched. I always think, will this one be the one to give me lashes like the models in mascara ads? Then I remember that those models in the ads are almost always wearing lash inserts and mascara alone won't give me that look. But never mind, a girl can hope. 

A few weeks ago I was sent some samples of the Revlon Grow Luscious mascara and Lashliner (that's right, lashliner, not eyeliner) to try.

I've been using these every day since I got them and here are my thoughts on both.

Grow Luscious Plumping Mascara in Blackest Black
"Conditioning formula helps strengthen and plump lashes for up to 200% instantly for maximum volume" 

The first thing that I noticed is how big the wand was. Not big as in fat, but big as in long. Some people might find it a bit awkward at first as it is longer than normal mascaras, but for me it made it quicker to apply the mascara as I could cover more lash area with one swipe.

I didn't see much volumising with this mascara, but I did see more of a lengthening effect. My favourite part is the colour, it makes lashes really really black.

The formula is a bit wet, so during the first couple of days I found it a bit too wet to work with, but after about the 3rd day it thickened a bit and became much easier to apply. Overall for me this won't get HG status but it is a good every day mascara if you like your lashes black and long. As for whether they made my lashes grow luscious? I haven't seen a difference in the 2 weeks of use. 

Grow Luscious Lashliner in Onyx
"Delivers ultra intense color impact in one stroke. Botanical and vitamin rich formula nourishes and supports healthy lashes."

This is fantastic, it's extra black, extra intense, and stays put on the inner rims of my eyes without melting off. It's quite a soft pencil and its intensity reminds me of Urban Decay's pencil in Zero (which I ran out of, hence no comparison swatch).

It's very smooth and has an almost gel like effect. Because it's so soft, it's perfect for tightlining (lining the upper inside rims of your eyes). I'll definitely be purchasing this when it runs out.

In Australia the mascara retails for $21.95AUD and the pencil for $23.95AUD.

Have you tried this mascara or eyeliner yet?

Disclaimer: PR sample provided for review. I am not compensated for writing this post and am not affiliated with the brand or with any of its stockists.

November 20, 2011

Lipstick Love - Rimmel Kate Lipstick in #14

The Kate Moss lipsticks by Rimmel have been out for a little while now, but up until recently none of the colours really grabbed me. The colours I usually gravitate towards in lipstick, pinks & corals, though were pretty in this collection, they weren't anything special. It wasn't until I came across the shade #14 that I thought "oh hello, here's a colour I don't already own, you're coming home with me"
Rimmel London Kate Moss Lipstick in #14

This is a pretty browny nude colour that looks great with dark smokey eyes or as a neutral every day lippy. Most brownish colours tend to go ashy on me, making my complexion look somewhat grey but this one doesn't. It's got a warmer base to it which makes it more wearable.
Wearing Rimmel Kate lipstick in #14

The formula is very creamy and glides on well. It lasts about 4 hours on me before needing to reapply. That's not bad at all considering I have a luxe YSL lipstick which lasts less time than that!
Swatch of Rimmel Kate Lipstick #14

What I've noticed about these Rimmel Kate lipsticks is that in Australia not every shade is sold at every stockist location. Some stockists only have 6 shades some the full 9. Unfortunately this shade, #14 is only available at the larger stockists. I bought mine from a larger Priceline store but few smaller ones I've been to didn't stock this one.

UPDATE March '13 : Swatches of other Rimmel Kate lipsticks are also available. 
Rimmel Kate lipstick in #16
Rimmel Kate lipstick in #20
Rimmel Kate lipstick in #106

Have you tried the Kate Moss lipstick collection yet?

November 18, 2011

My secret weapon for hiding my grey hair

Yes I have grey hair. I'm not talking salt and pepper all over grey hair, but one or two hairs here and there. Actually, there is a little bunch of grey that's been spurting on top of my head near where my part is (of course! can you be in a more obvious place?) since I was around 18.

I've been dying my hair darkest brown for a long time, so that bunch of grey is invisible most of the time. But sometimes in between colouring, and depending on how I've parted my hair, that annoying little bunch comes out of hiding for the world to see.

And that's when my secret weapon comes to the rescue.

1000 Hour Hair Colour Mascara in Black

This comes in a range of colours to suit most hair colours, from light brown to black. I bought the black one as I thought it was the closest colour match for me. I bought mine from Priceline for around $10, and I don't know whether it was on sale or not but on their website it says its $17. Either way this is definitely a lifesaver for me... ok, that's maybe a bit too dramatic. It doesn't save lives, but it does hide greys.

I apply it on days when the grey is extra visible, and it's dry within 30 seconds without any transfer on to your fingers if you touch your hair where the mascara is. And of course it washes off in water in no time. 

Of course you could use a regular mascara to hide any stray greys, but just think back to what happens to your lashes when you apply mascara? That's right, they go a little crunchy. Do you want that crunchy feeling in your hair?

Have you got any stray grey hair? Or am I just getting old? Shock, horror!

PS: I realise this probably sounds like an advertisement, but I'm not affiliated with this brand or with any stockists. I'm just happy to have found something to hide my grey in between colourings.

November 16, 2011

Dior Amber Diamond - yep, worth the hype!

I've been lemming after the Christian Dior Shimmer Powder in Amber Diamond for a long time, exasperated by the fact that Tali never stops talking about how fantastic it is. So when I saw them sold at Strawberry Net I knew this baby would be mine.
Christian Dior Amber Diamond

There are already so many fabulous reviews of this highlighter out there, so you don't need me to tell you anything more about its buttery texture and the perfect sheen it gives to cheeks. All I will say is that the hype is totally worth it for me.

Christian Dior Amber Diamond

It has various shades from pale champagne to warm bronze which swirled together create a beautiful glow.
Swatches of Dior Amber Diamond

It can be worn alone for a natural glow, or over your favourite blush to highlight your cheekbones.

In the photos below I'm wearing it alone without a blush. I mainly picked up the colour from the middle of the pan where it's darker, and wore it on my cheeks like I would a blush.

With flash - wearing Amber Diamond as a blush

I absolutely love this, it's gained HG status in no time at all. In daylight it makes my skin look like it has a natural glow, in artificial lighting it makes my skin really light up (but not in a disco ball way!). Yep, love it.
No flash - wearing Dior Amber Diamond

Have you got Dior Amber Diamond? What are your favourite highlighters?

November 15, 2011

I love this box - take a look inside

I had a surprise package in the mail today, the very first issue of the I Love This Box sample box ($14.95).

Before I show you the contents of this particular box, I will admit that so far I haven't been impressed with the contents of any of the other boxes around and have cancelled most of my subscriptions. I don't know if I'm picky, but I've been a bit underwhelmed by the samples included in most of the boxes. So when I was asked if I wanted to try I Love This Box I was very very hesitant, but after many emails back and forth between me and the co-founder of this box I was assured that I would indeed love this box.


Here are the contents of the box and they are absolutely worth it

The contents

Keratinology by Sunsilk Salon Perfection Hair Collection  - Full size products RRP $10.99 to $13.99: I was very excited to find these in the box as I've been meaning to try them out (what can I say, their ads worked on me) but didn't get the chance to get them yet. So these two alone are worth more than the cost of the whole box.
Keratinology by Sunsilk Salon Perfection Hair Collection

Essie Nailpolish in Topless and Barefoot - 5ml sample size:Another product I'd been meaning to try but it was always sold out at my local Myer that sold Essie. So this is again something I'm excited about.
NVey Eco eyeshadow in Taupe - Full size Product RRP $29: I've never heard or tried this brand before, but this is a gorgeous neutral shade that will get a lot of wear from me.
NVey Taupe Eyeshadow, Essie Topless and Barefoot nail polish

POD Liquid Tan Gradual Tanning Face Serum - Full size product RRP $40: Another full sized product that I've heard lots about but not tried. I'll be looking forward to trying this soon especially since the weather's warming up here and my complexion is in need of a bit of a fake tan.
Caudalie Paris 3 facial care samples: These are small samples of Caudalies famous grape seed moisturizer, anti wrinkle serum and ultra nourishing cream. These are too small to see any effects from, but they'd be good to throw in a travel bag if you don't want to carry your usual kit and caboodle around.

Final thoughts
Of all the sample boxes I have seen or tried, this is so far the best of the lot. The mix of products for hair, skin and makeup was perfect, and the full size of some of the samples was extremely generous. With brands such as Lancome, Chanel, Smashbox and Decleor on listed as potential partners I am looking forward to seeing what's in their future boxes. I will definitely be subscribing.

Have you tried any subscription sample boxes? What are your thoughts on them?

Disclaimer: this product was provided to me for consideration. I was not paid to write this review and all opinions expressed here are my own as per my disclosure policy.

November 14, 2011

MAC Impassioned lipstick - too pretty to use up?

Do you have a favourite cosmetic product that you love so much, but hardly ever use because you don't want it to finish? For me MAC Impassioned lipstick is that product.
Wearing MAC Woodwinked on the eyes, MAC Impassioned on the lips, and Milani Luminoso blush

It took me forever to actually find this lipstick in Australia because I could never get a straight answer at the counters. I got told it was discontinued (it's not), it's LE (it's not), it's not sold in Australia (not true). The real answer was that it's a Pro colour and only sold at Pro stores or online at the MAC website.

After finally tracking it down, I was and still am extremely impressed with the colour. It's a watermelon pink that just brightens the face and instantly makes you look glammed up no matter what other makeup you have on.

Even though normally I love hitting pan or using up make up (then I don't feel guilty about the amount I own!) with this lipstick I worry about using it up and not being able to find a replacement, hence I don't wear it that often.

I've written about it quite a lot in the past, so click HERE and HERE if you'd like to see some previous posts about this lipstick.

What is your one favourite makeup that you don't want to use up?

November 13, 2011

MAC Humid, Sumptuous Olive & Woodwinked Eyeshadows

I don't know about you, but sometimes I get so carried away with new make up collections that I don't even pay attention to those classics that have stood the test of time (in make up terms of course!). I'm talking about MAC eyeshadows in Humid, Sumptuous Olive and Woodwinked.

The other day while at Myer's MAC counter I was checking out the new Glitter and Ice collection and you know what, nothing caught my eye. Not a single thing. There was a beigey mineralize eyeshadow which looked nice (Snow Season), but it seemed to have massive fallout so I let it go and instead turned my eye to the permanent collection.

And what do you have, these three gorgeous shades immediately jumped out at me. I'd read so much about these colours on other blogs and always thought they looked lovely that seriously I don't know what took me so long to get them.

Swatches & Review

This is a beautiful warm deep green with a shimmer finish.  It's a frost finish, but it doesn't have any chunky frosty bits and no fallout. This will easily become my favourite green in no time.

Sumptuous Olive
This gorgeous olive eyeshadow is a veluxe pearl finish, with a warm golden glow. It looks great worn alone on the lid or as part of a smokey eye look. Love it. And the pigmentation is just incredible which translates well from brush to lid.

This is a gorgeous metallic gold/bronze colour. It looks absolutely stunning on its own over the entire lid, and is a perfect colour to complement a bronzey look. This is also very beautifully pigmented.

Overall I am extremely happy I got these three shades, as I know these will look great especially in summertime.

Have you got any of these 3 shades? Did you pick up anything from the new MAC collection?

November 11, 2011

Step by Step Orange and Taupe eyeshadow tutorial

Ever since I wore a blush as eyeshadow in THIS post, I've been obsessed with wearing bright colours on my eyes. Even though it might sound scary, it actually won't necessarily make you look like a clown, and can in fact really brighten your face.

Here is a photo where I used orange and taupe eyeshadows to come up with a wearable day time look.
Outdoors, no flash

I realise some people might still find it scary to wear bright orange on the eyes, so hopefully this little tutorial will help. You can try this tutorial with any bright shade, you don't have to stick with the orange. But by using a taupe shade in the crease you can tone down the look to make it something you're more comfortable with.

Step by Step Orange & Taupe look

Step 1: Apply a creamy white base to make the colours really stand out. I used NYX jumbo pencil in Milk.
Step 2: Using a flat brush pack on a bright eyeshadow on the lid. I used Missha eyeshadow in OR204.
Step 3: Apply a little bit of the same bright eyeshadow in the inner corner of the eye and a little bit below the lashline.

Step 4: Apply a taupe shade in the crease and outer V. I used Missha eyeshadow in BR203
Step 5: Using a fluffy brush blend any harsh edges
Step 6: Apply a white eyeshadow in the inner corner of the eye. I used Missha eyeshadow in WH203

Step 7: Apply a black pencil eyeliner on the top lashline, giving a small flick at the end. I used Jordana color extend pencil in Black
Step 8: (optional) Go over the pencil with a liquid liner. I used Face of Australis Liquid liner in black.
Step 9: Finish with 2 coats of mascara. I used Maybelline The Falsies in blackest black.

Products Used

Mishha Orange (OR204) - lid
Missha Taupe (BR203) - crease
Missha White (WH203) - inner corner
Jordana Color Extend eyeliner in Black
FOA Liquid Eyeliner in Black
Maybelline The Falsies Mascara in Blackest Black

Revlon New Complexion Oil-Control Foundation in Sand
MAC MSNF Powder in Light/Medium
Illamasqua Disobey to Contour
Milani Luminoso Blush

Australis Colour Inject lipstick in Honky Tonk

The final look
Outdoors, no flash

I hope you found this tutorial useful. Let me know if you're comfortable using colour on the eyes or if you prefer your neutrals.

November 10, 2011

SAX Cosmetics nailpolish and lipgloss swatches

I remember buying SAX cosmetics when I was still in high school back in the late 90s. Yes, I'm that old. Or maybe I was at Uni then? I don't remember, and let's not dwell on that. My first SAX product was a frosted dark blue nail polish, and this was before blue polishes were cool. Every time I wore it my mum would have a heart attack at the un-ladylike colour of my nails. Even now she looks at me weird if I wear green, blue or black polishes.

She will, however, surely approve of the colours I'll be showing today, which were sent to me for review. 

SAX is an Australian company launched way back in 1995. For a while they had disappeared from the shops, or at least all the ones near my house. Until slowly but surely I started seeing them pop up at various pharmacies here and there. They are now launching a new range which looks better than ever. I'm talking classy packaging (look at the nail polish bottle, it has a diamante on it!), good quality products and definitely value for money.

Lipgloss in Peony (RRP $12.95aud)
This is a lovely pale pink gloss that can be worn on its own for a hint of colour, or over your favourite nude or pink lipstick to give it shine. It has a somewhat vanilla/cinnamon taste to it, which smells good enough to eat. According to their website it's infused with Jojoba and Avocado oils, so no cinnamon there but I don't know, that's what I can smell. 

Nail Polish in #19 (RRP $8.95aud)
This is a perfect colour match to the lipgloss in Peony. Creamy neutral pink which doesn't give mannequin hands. And the best thing about the nailpolishes? They are nasty-three-free. That is, they're free from Toluene, Formaldehyde and DBP.

Nail Polish in #54 (RRP $8.95aud)
This is a metallic plum colour that would look perfect in autumn. Two coats is all that's needed to get opaque coverage, and best of all, unlike most metallics this didn't steak on my nails.

SAX cosmetics are available at selected pharmacies in Australia and New Zealand, and a list of stockists can be found on their website HERE.

Have you tried anything from SAX yet? What do you think of the colours?

Disclaimer: Products sent for review. I'm not compensated for my blog posts and all opinions expressed here are my own.

November 08, 2011

Top 5 Tuesday - Pastel Makeup

I find it really hard to wear pastel shades. They can look unreal on pale or dark skinned girls, but if you're somewhere in between like me then pastels can wash you out. However there are some pastel shades that I've found that work for those of us with medium colouring.

Here are my Top 5 pastel coloured makeup.

Clockwise from bottom left - Australis lipstick in Honky Tonk, Tarte blush in Dollface, Essie Van D'Go, NYX 3 colour shadows, Nicole by OPI My Lifesaver

Nail polishes - Nicole by O.P.I. My Lifesaver and Essie Van D'Go
These are both such gorgeous colours and so easy to wear. The aqua colour especially is great with a summer tan. You can see My Lifesaver in a NOTD HERE. As for the pastel peachy colour from Essie, normally such shades just give me mannequin hands as they make my nails blend in with the colour of my hands, however this is pale enough to stand out even on medium toned skin. I did a NOTD using Essie Van D'Go a few days ago which you can view HERE.

Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Dollface
I absolutely adore this shade, it's a pale pink that packs enough colour to show up even on my skintone. It's fast become one of my favourite pink blushes. You can see proper swatches of it in this old post HERE.

Australis Colour Inject Lipstick in Honky Tonk
This is such a pretty peachy shade, and it's a very close dupe to MAC Everhip except at a third of the price. I will do a comparison post of the two at a later date. I've only had it for a couple of weeks but have been wearing it maybe 5 times a week.
I took this photo when I first got the lippy, it's definitely more used up now!

NYX 3 Color Eyeshadow in Baby Pink/Barely There/Cotton Candy
I got this one on a whim because I was looking for pale highlight colours. These are great to use with purple, brown or grey smokey eyes when highlighting the inner corners. It's not anything special, but for the price (around $6AUD at a discount store in Sydney) they're good value.

The swatches

Do you like pastel coloured makeup or do you find it hard to wear?


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