February 28, 2012

The 7 Deadly Beauty Sins Tag!

You might have seen this tag floating around the bloggersphere and YouTube. Irene from Blushingloves and Evi from Lipstick Wardrobe did it recently, and I decided to have a go as well!


1. GREED: What is your most inexpensive beauty item? 
What is your most expensive?
My most inexpensive are these Golden Rose lipsticks which I bought in Armenia a couple of years ago for less than $2 each. They are super creamy and very pigmented, I wish they were available more widely but I think they're only sold in certain European countries at the moment.

The most expensive would have to be my Dior Amber Diamond Shimmer Powder, reviewed HERE.
Dior Amber Diamond, Golden Rose Lipsticks in #99, #115 and #98

2. WRATH: What beauty products do you have a love/hate relationship with? 
What product has been the hardest to get?
OCC Liptars (swatched HERE) are definitely something I have a love/hate relationship with. I love them because of their choice of colours, pigmentation and lasting power, but hate them because they are messy and fiddly to apply! The hardest to get would have to be my Urban Decay Naked Palette. You want to know how hard? HERE is the post that explains it!
UD Naked Palette, OCC Liptars in Divine, Pageant and Hush

3. GLUTTONY: What are your most delicious beauty products?
The Body Shop Brazil Nut Body butter for sure! If you haven't smelled it yet, get yourself to a Body Shop near you and have a sniff, guaranteed you'll want to eat it!
The Body Shop Brazil Nut body butter

4. SLOTH: What beauty product do you neglect, due to laziness?
Oh too many to mention because I'm generally lazy when it comes to certain things and take shortcuts as much as I can. Since I have to pick one, I'll go with a primer. It just adds unnecessary minutes to my foundation routine so I skip it about 99% of the time.
Laura Mercier foundation primer

5. PRIDE: What beauty product gives you the most self confidence?
You have to ask? Lipsticks of course! Especially bright ones, as no matter how dull I'm feeling a swipe of something gorgeous like MAC Impassioned will give me the confidence boost that I need.
Above photo is from THIS previous post

6. LUST: What attributes do you find most attractive in the opposite sex?
Ummm... why is this question in a beauty tag? But since it's asked, I like nice guys with a somewhat goofy sense of humour. Michael Buble fits the bill perfectly! If you've ever seen him live you'll know that besides being a great singer, the guy is hilarious! Mmm.... Buble... The Husband hates him, needless to say.
Pic from Google Images

7. ENVY: What items would you most like to receive as a gift?
The only item on my wishlist at the moment is the perfume Alberta Feretti by Alberta Ferretti. It's just breathtaking in that floral/woody/oriental way.
Pic from Google Images

If you're reading this consider yourself tagged! I'd love to see your answers to the 7 Deadly Beauty Sins Tag so link me up!

February 27, 2012

DIY shoe bling and zipper flower tutorial

I bought these nude pumps from Betts a few weeks ago, on sale for around $20 but I haven't worn them since. Despite them being super comfy, they're well... a little blah. So I decided to bling it up a bit with a DIY shoe clip that I made from a zipper.

This was the first time that I had a go at making a zipper flower, and it was possibly the easiest thing to do. I've already bought few different coloured zippers as I want to make some more shoe bling and also brooches.

How to make zipper flowers

  1. Get yourself a long zipper, I used one around 40cms but you can go longer or shorter. The length will determine the size of your flower. Cut the bottom metal part so you can remove the pull. You should end up with two halves of a zipper. 
  2. Take a needle and thick thread and start making a running stitch along the edge of the zipper ribbon (the non-metal side). You'll notice that the zipper will want to curl up, and that's what you want!
  3. Once you've stitched all along the edge, start pulling the thread to tighten the curl and get a spiral flower. Use your fingers to manovour the flower into a shape that you want. 
  4. Once you're happy with the shape, turn it around and stitch the bottom part. It won't be pretty, but who cares. 
  5. Afterwards stitch a piece of felt or any thick fabric like denim to the bottom. I didn't have felt or denim so I stitched a piece of thick elastic to it. 
  6. You can bling up the flower by stitching on a bead or a button to the middle. 
  7. Get a shoe clip finding (blank clip backs) - I bought my shoe clip findings from ebay for around $3.00 for 10 pairs. If you want to turn the flower into a brooch you just use a safety pin instead of the clip finding. 
  8. Stitch the shoe clip finding to the back of the flower and you're done!
  9. Decorate your shoes and marvel at your new found creativity. 

You can add the flower to the front/centre, back/side or front/side - it's all up to you!

Hope you enjoyed this little tutorial, and if you give it a try let me know how you go!

Check me out on Catherine's blog!

I was very flattered when the gorgeous Catherine from Catherine's Loves blog asked me if I'd like to participate in her Girl Behind The Blog feature. Of course I said yes, her blog is fantastic!

So if you'd like to know the answers to "what my 5 desert island must haves" are, or whether I prefer shoes to handbags, head on over HERE and read on! And while you're there, take your time browsing Catherine's blog, you'll love it!

February 25, 2012

New Inglot Eyeshadow colours

When I put in an order at the Inglot Australia online store for my lipstick in #40 (reviewed HERE) included in the delivery box along with lippie were 5 very generous eyeshadow samples and a couple of foundation samples.

Inglot eyeshadow samples

Having never purchased from Inglot online before, I don't know whether this is a common thing or a one off. The husband, being cynical, thinks they sent me the samples because they knew I have a blog. I don't believe that as how would they know I have a blog? It's not as if I advertised the fact when I put in my order, and my order was in my own name not in my blog's name.

Anyway, it shall remain a mystery, but I did want to show you swatches of these as they are new colours which are/will be released in February 2012.
New Inglot shades released in Feb 2012 - #605; #606; #607; #608; #609

They are all beautifully pigmented like all Inglot eyeshadows. The shades are just gorgeous, but #608 and #609 are probably the most wearable for me and I'll definitely be using them. I'll just put them in my Z-Palette to have it handy for every day use.

The samples are 0.6gr each, compared to 1.8gr of their full sized round pans.

What are your favourite Inglot products? Mine are definitely eyeshadows!

February 23, 2012

Coral coral everywhere

Reading beauty blogs can be dangerous, even for other bloggers. Not dangerous in a "fall down break a leg" way, but more like "OMG that coral lipstick and mani are to die for and I must have them NOW and I don't care that I already own a trillion other coral lippies and polishes".

That's what happened to me when I saw THIS post on Rosemary's blog Lashes and Lattes. The products that caused my lemming were Butter London Trout Pout nail polish and Inglot Slim Gel Lipstick in #40.
Butter London Nailpolish in Trout Pout; Inglot Slim Gel Lipstick #40

Butter London Trout Pout (rrp $19.95aud)
A few months ago this was a freebie with Madison magazine, but by the time my lemming started all the Madisons were gone so I managed to track down the colour at adorebeauty and bought it from there.
Butter London Trout Pout - outdoors, no flash
It's an absolutely gorgeous shade, perfect for summer, and reminds me a lot of Barry M Pink Flamingo (which I've ran out of, hence no comparison swatches). It goes on opaque with 2 coats, and topped with my favourite top coat (China Glaze No Chip Top Coat) this lasts me a whole 5 day work week without chipping.

Inglot Slim Gel Lipstick #40 (rrp $27aud)
I ummed and aahhed for a while, as I was sure I owned really similar colours to it. But then I got a subscription email from Inglot which offered 10% discount and free shipping until the end of February if bought from their online store. SOLD!

It's a stunning coral shade that matches the nailpolish perfectly. But... ummm.. I do own a lot of colours that are VERY similar to it. Here are a few for comparison.

The formula is quite creamy, which means it only lasts about 3 hours on my lips, but it's a delight to reapply so I don't mind. And I wear these types of colours a lot anyway, so I don't mind the many dupes that I already own.

What have you been lemming for lately? Are there any products or colours that you're crazy about that you MUST buy even if you have a tonne of dupes at home?

February 21, 2012

Maybelline Mascaras - Great Lash LOL and One by One Volum' Express

I have two quick Maybelline Mascara reviews for you today - Great Lash LOL (that's Lot of Lashes, not Laugh Out Loud!), and One By One Volum' Express, both in blackest black.

Before I get to the review, here's how my lashes look without any mascara. They're relatively thick, have a curl, but are not overly long.

Maybelline Great Lash - Lots of Lashes
Apparently the original Great Lash is one of Maybelline's most popular mascaras, but to tell you the truth I wasn't that impressed with the original one when I tried it years and years ago. I felt that it was too wet and made my lashes clump together. This however, yes please! 
  • The wand design is very interesting, the narrow tip making it easy to get to the outer corner lashes I otherwise miss with a normal brush. 
  • The formula was still a tad wet, but after 3 or so days it thickened up and holds onto lashes beautifully. 
  • I feel it gives great length, and thickens somewhat as well. 
  • With 2 coats it made my lashes clump together, but I was able to separate it with the third coat by wiggling the wand in between the clumped lashes.

Maybelline One By One Volum' Express
I've been a fan of the original Volum' Express mascaras so I was very excited to try this one, in fact more excited than LOL. But... hmmm...
  • I was impressed with the length it gave my lashes, even with just one coat, but instead of giving my lashes volume and thickness this clumped them together and made it difficult to separate. 
  • It also left my lashes looking a bit spiky on the ends, and left them feeling crunchy.
  • I found it difficult to get to the outer corner lashes without smudging because the wand was too thick for it.
  • Overall I prefer the original Volum' Express, the ones in the blue tube.

Final thoughts
The best way I've found to way these mascaras is by layering them over each other. I use One by One first to get length, then I use LOL to add thickness and give the corner lashes a nice coating. Together they work absolutely beautifully at giving me thick and long lashes.

I pretty much only ever use drugstore mascaras as I don't believe in paying upwards of $50AUD for brand name mascaras which will only last me 3 months max. So I'm glad to have found Great Lash LOL as I can add it to my list of other drugstore mascaras I frequently buy (the others are Covergirl Lashblast, Max Factor False Lash Effect, and Maybelline The Falsies).

Have you tried either of these mascaras? What's your favourite drugstore mascara?

Disclaimer: PR samples sent for review. I'm not paid to blog.

February 19, 2012

DIY Braided Bead Necklace

Lately I've been into DIY blogs and was inspired by THIS post to make my own beaded necklace. The result? Something that I love! And it wasn't too difficult to make... though it was somewhat fiddly and time consuming playing with so many beads.

Braided Necklace - DIY
Lips - MAC Lipstick Pink Nouveau; Illamasqua Intense Lipgloss Frenzy
Nails - OPI Charged Up Cherry

You will need...
  • Beads - the amount will depend on how long you want the necklace to be. I cut up an old beaded necklace that I no longer liked, but you can get beads from craft and large fabric stores. 
  • Chain - length is up to you. You can either buy a chain from jewellery making/craft stores, or use any old chain of yours you no longer like. 
  • Bead Thread - I used medium weight bead thread but you can use any heavy thread.
  • Pliers or tweezers - pliers are best, but since I'm new to this DIY jewellery making business I didn't want to invest in one yet in case this becomes another discarded hobby, so I used tweezers instead.  
  • Bead tips - I bought the bead tips from Lincraft for around $3 for 20. You can get them in silver or gold, but it won't matter much as they're generally hidden under the clasp anyway so buy whichever is cheaper!
  • Clasps or lobster locks -  I used the existing lobster lock from the beaded necklace I cut up, but you can get them for a couple of dollars from Lincraft or other craft stores.
  • Scissors
  • Needle - thin enough to go through the bead holes

To Make

Cut 9 pieces of bead thread to the length of your choice. I cut mine 40cm each and beaded up to 30cm.

Take 3 strands of beads and thread the ends through one bead tip, using a double knot to secure it in place. Cut off any excess threads and using your tweezers/pliers clamp the clam shells over the knot.

Repeat with all your 9 pieces of threads until you end up with 3x3 strings of beads.

Using your tweezers/pliers secure the hook end of the bead tips through the underside of your clasp/lobster lock. There is a ring under the lobster lock, so you're hooking the bead tips through those. You should end up with 3 x 3 strands hanging through one clasp. Do this for one end of the necklace only... you need the other end free so you can braid.

Braid your 3 strands and secure the other end through the other piece of the clasp/lock. While braiding you might want to tape down one end to the edge of a table so it doesn't move and makes it easier to braid.

Cut your chain to the length that you want and attach one end to the ring side of the clasp/lock. Leave the other end free, so you can hook it through the lobster lock to wear it. 

And voila! You're done! Phew...

Hope you like it! And if you give it a try let me know how it turns out.

February 18, 2012

Giveaway - Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Eye Pack

To celebrate the launch of Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Eye cream, Kiehl's held a little competition with beauty bloggers which I won. The prize? A Midnight Recovery Serum pack for the blogger, and the following prize pack to give away to my readers.

What you can win:

1 x Midnight Recovery Eye cream (full size)
1 x Peter Alexander eye mask

Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's - no doubt she would be wearing Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Eye cream under that eye mask if it had existed in her time!

To enter:
  • Simply fill out the form below answering the following question - "How can Kiehl's help you fulfill your midnight fantasy?" Please keep your answers PG! 
  • Entries are open to Facebook or GFC followers only.
  • If you are under 18 please get a parent or guardian's permission to enter
  • Entries close midnight AEST Friday 24th February 2012
  • Winner will be chosen via Random.Org

Good luck everyone!

*Disclaimer - Giveaway hosted on behalf of Kiehl's. I'm not paid to host this giveaway.

February 17, 2012

Australis Dupe for MAC Everhip

MAC Everhip lipstick is one of my favourite lippies, a perfect coral/pink that is not too in your face. The problem with Everhip is that it's a Limited Edition shade (although MAC is notorious for doing re-release of LE shades!).
L to R: MAC Everhip, Australis Honky Tonk

While organising my lippies, I noticed that one of my budget Australian lipsticks, Honky Tonk by Australis, is almost an exact dupe for it! See for yourself.

Everhip is slightly darker than Honky Tonk, but the tonal difference is so small that worn on the lips it's difficult to tell them apart. In these pics I have Everhip on the left and Honky Tonk on the right.

With flash

Not only are they a really close colour, texture and longevity match, but Honky Tonk is cheaper too!

MAC Everhip - $36AUD
Australis Honky Tonk - $12.95AUD

The only thing that MAC has going for it is that it's got that yummy vanilla smell, whereas the Australis one has a bit of an old lipstick smell (although this might just be me, as I seem to have a pregnancy-super-nose right now and can smell things others can't!).

So if any of my Aussie readers missed out on Everhip but are still lemming after the shade, get yourself to Priceline or wherever Australis is sold and pick one up.

Do you know of any other great dupes for MAC lipsticks?

February 15, 2012

White Chocolate Creme Brulee recipe - My Valentine's Day Dessert

Hope everyone had a great Valentine’s Day yesterday. We spent the evening at home with the husband preparing a special meal while I vegged in front of the TV. Aahh bliss, not to have to cook after coming home from work.

This was the dessert that the husband made last night, white chocolate crème brulèe.
White chocolate creme brulee

It was so tasty, so creamy with a perfect toffee top that I had to share the recipe. And no, I don't want to even guess the fat content in this baby!

You need…
  • 2 egg yolks from large eggs
  • 30g sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup (250 ml) thick cream
  • 50 gr Lindt Swiss Classic White Chocolate, chopped
  • Sugar to caramelise
Makes 2

To make…
  • Preheat oven to 150°C.
  • Place 2 ramekins in a heat-proof baking pan, deep enough to fill with water to middle of ramekin. This ensures the crème doesn’t burn.
  • Whisk egg yolks, sugar, and salt together in a heat-proof bowl.
  • Heat the thick cream to a light simmer and add chopped chocolate; stir or whisk until the chocolate is completely melted.
  • Slowly pour the hot cream into egg yolk mixture, whisking continuously.
  • Strain and pour the liquid into the ramekins waiting in the baking pan and place that on the middle rack in oven. Fill the baking dish with hot water until it reaches the middle of the ramekins.
  • Bake 30-35 minutes.
  • Remove from oven, let cool, and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
  • Spoon enough sugar to cover the custard and caramelise just before serving. (The husband used a kitchen blow torch to caramelise, but you can also place it under the grill for 3 minutes until the sugar melts and browns)
  • Optional (add berries to serve)

Bon appetit

How did you spend your Valentine's Day?

February 13, 2012

19 wk belly update... and it's a Boy!!!

I am now 19 weeks pregnant.

On lips Inglot lipstick in #104, nails Butter London Trout Pout

We went for the morphology scan today and I'm happy to report everything is growing perfectly with the baby. It is now 16.5cm and weighs almost 300 grams, which is just a bit chunkier than the average for 19wks.

In fact I can stop referring to the baby as IT, and call it a HE. That's right, we're having a little baby BOY!!! Knowing the gender of the baby is making it all the more real for us, and I'm starting to freak out.

Freaking out
One of the reasons I'm freaking out is because currently the baby's room looks like this.
The baby's room today
That's right, it's a big huge mess! That's because we're renovating our house and have just the laundry/storage room to do plus the floors, so all the junk that would otherwise be nicely hidden away in the storage room is currently piled high in the baby's room. But we're almost done, and in no time at all we'll be shopping for baby furniture... I hope!

Bump watch
I'm currently living in summery maxi dresses, which I wear even to work but with a blazer on top to give it a business edge. This one is from ICE, which I bought two for $40 (I bought the black one too)

As you can see from the pictures I've started showing more now, and I've taken to wearing belts above my belly to accentuate it more and let people know that the extra weight is not because of too many cheesecakes (though that is something I'm still indulging in every now and then), but is because of a little boy that's growing in there.

I still get tired quickly, and I've started huffing and puffing if I walk somewhere really fast, but apart from that the only thing really bugging me at the moment is heartburn. Even eating boring bland food (hard for a spice lover like me) still causes heartburn. I don't have any weird food cravings, much to the disappointment of the husband who no doubt wanted to see me eat pickles dipped in ice cream.

That's my little belly update for this week. If anyone has any tips on how to avoid or get rid of heartburn I'd love to hear it!

February 12, 2012

Valentine's Day Looks - Classic vs Sultry

If you're stuck for ideas on what to do with your makeup on Valentine's Day, here are a couple of suggestions.

When you think of Valentine's Day makeup usually red or deep pink lips come to mind.

In this look I used warm golden brown tones on my eyes (using my Beauty UK palette), rosy blush (using Barry M blusher in Rose) and the key product to achieve the look was Models Prefer Ultra Lipgloss Pencil in Drama Queen*. The great thing about this lipgloss pencil is that you get the shine of the gloss but the longevity of a lipstick. And it's less than $10aud.

Models Prefer Ultra Lipgloss Pencil in "Drama Queen"

Of course there's absolutely no reason at all that you need to go with a classic look with vibrant lips. My preferred look for night time is usually dark, smokey eyes with nude lips.

For this look I decided to add some interest to the grey eyeshadow (Inglot #502) with a blue eyeliner and go for a pale peachy nude lip. The key products are both from Face of Australia - lipstick in Lychee Crush and Eye Definer in Marine*. I absolutely love the lipstick, so creamy, so easy to wear. and with both products less than $10aud each this is turning into a bargain makeup post! On cheeks I've got Illamasqua Hussy on.

FOA Lipstick "Lychee Crush" and Eye Definer "Marine"

The look I will most likely be wearing on Valentine's Day is whatever makeup I wear to work that day.

We're not going out that night, instead I'll be vegging out catching up on blogging while The Husband will be cooking a special dinner... I believe he will be using the creme brulee making kit he got for Christmas, so I know what the dessert will be!

Have you got plans for Valentine's Day? Do you celebrate it?

Disclaimer: Key products marked provided for review purposes.

February 11, 2012

Moroccan Oil Intense Hydrating Mask Review

It's no secret I love my Moroccan Oil. I use it almost every day and despite the fact it has silicones in it here I explain why that's not necessarily a bad thing. So when early pregnancy hormones caused my hair to go through an extremely dry spell, feeling brittle and crunchy, I thought I'd turn to the Moroccan Oil range for help.

I bought the Moroccan Oil Intense Hydrating Mask 250ml ($44.95AUD) about a month ago from Hairhouse Warehouse and I've been using it twice a week since then so I think it's about time I tell you my thoughts on it.

Moroccan Oil Intense Hydrating Mask, 250ml

I will be honest here, with Intense Hydrating in the name I really expected, well, intense hydration! But instead what I got was something similar to a really good conditioner. Basically it softens my hair and makes it feel more manageable, but it doesn't give it that extra hydration that I was expecting.

Overall thoughts
  • It has the same smell as the actual oil which I love.
  • The texture is very thick and creamy, but easy to spread throughout my wet hair, which I leave on 5-10 minutes (as per directions) before washing out. 
  • It comes in a 250ml tub, which while somewhat messy during use, I know I'll grow to appreciate when I reach the bottom as it will be easier to scoop out every little bit. 
  • It doesn't weigh down hair.
  • Unless I use the matching hair oil afterwards, this actually takes away the shine from my hair, grrrr... 
  • For my really dry hair, this isn't hydrating enough, but I imagine it would work well for normal to dry hair.

Will I buy it again? No. Not because I hated it, but for my thick dry hair this doesn't give it any more hydration than I get from a really good quality conditioner. Especially for the price I think there are better options out there for me. I've lately resorted to using pure coconut oil on my hair (available at most health food stores for around $10), and my hair is benefiting more than from this.

Have you used this mask? Do you have any recommendations for thick, dry hair in need of good hydration?


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