March 31, 2012

Illamasqua cream blush in Laid - review, swatches and FOTD

I was so impressed when I bought my first cream blush from Illamasqua, the wonderfully pigmented coral coloured "Rude", that I knew I wanted to get another one in a different shade. I really wanted to get "Promise", a warm pink, but that was sold out. So I ended up buying "Laid", a bright rose pink. {Editor's note: I first wrote "I ended up getting Laid but quickly changed it to buying... this is a family friendly blog after all!}
Illamasqua cream blush in Laid

The colour looks really scary and bright in the pan, but used lightly it can give a wonderful rosy glow to cheeks. You seriously only need a tiny amount as it's incredibly pigmented.

Swatch of Illamasqua cream blush in Laid

The quality of the blush is just perfect, especially for a cream blush novice like myself. 
  • It feels very light on the skin and is non sticky. 
  • Can be worn under or over powdered skin. You know how if you try to wear a creamy product over powdered skin it goes patchy? Well this doesn't! Which in my book makes it the perfect cream blush for people with oily skin who absolutely must powder their face or risk becoming an oil slick by lunch time. 
  • Worn straight over my foundation this lasts 4-6 hours. But if I wear it over my powdered face it lasts 10-12 hours for me easily!
  • Gives a beautiful healthy sheen to the cheeks, for that "of course I have naturally rosy cheeks" glow. 
  • Can be worn on the lips

Here's what it looks like on the face. See, not scary bright at all. And I haven't used flash in these pics so the glow is not from any artificial lighting, but is rather from the blush itself.
On lips - MAC Viva Glam Nicki 

And here's a close up of my cheek with "Laid" on.

What do you think of this blush?
What are your favourite cream blushes?

March 30, 2012

Macadamia Oil Deep Repair Mask Review with Before & After photos

After I posted about my disappointment with the Moroccan Oil Intense Hydrating Mask I received suggestions for other hair masks to try. The one that intrigued me most was the Macadamia Oil Deep Repair Mask (thanks Melanie from Sweet Something!). The very next day I marched into Price Attack and bought a 250ml tub for $29.95.

I have thick hair with very dry, damaged ends so I need something very hydrating but one that will not weigh my hair down as I also like a bit of volume in my hair. This mask ticks all the boxes for me.

  • The smell took me by surprise actually. I expected a sweet, nutty smell, almost like the Brazil Nut body butter from The Body Shop. But instead what I got was a fresh, clean, almost floral but still nutty smell. I absolutely love the smell, and I'm known nor not using perfectly good products because I don't like the smell. This one is divine. 
  • The consistency is very thick but easy to spread through wet hair. You basically leave it on 5-10 then rinse. 
  • It doesn't weigh my thick hair down, and whether I straighten or curl my hair afterwards it looks and feels beautifully healthy. 
  • It makes my hair feel really soft, but not limp. This is very important to me as I hate limp hair that's stuck to my scalp... I feel it just emphasises the roundness of my cheeks which is why I prefer my hair to have volume. 
  • This would be perfect for someone with thick and dry hair, but if you have fine hair I'd steer clear of it as it might be too heavy. 
  • I will absolutely 100% repurchase this again when it runs out. It's THAT good. 

And here are some pics of my hair before I started using the Macadamia Oil Deep Repair Mask, and after. As you can see there is a noticeable improvement in looks, shine and smoothness.

Have you tried this mask before? What are some of your favourites?

March 28, 2012

Belly update - 25 weeks

I can't believe I am now 6 months pregnant... how fast is time flying!?! Our little monkey is approx 35cm and weighs around 700gr. He's moving around like an acrobat and I can feel his tiny little kicks and punches all the time which is adorable... except when he lands a kick on my bladder. But the main thing is everything is developing well with him so I can't complain.

I finally look properly pregnant now, though the size of my belly depends on time of day, how much I've eaten and what I'm wearing that day. In some outfits I still look more pudgy than preggers. Here are a few bump shots I took while on holidays.

The above pics were taken earlier in the day so I look somewhat "smaller". The one below was taken in the afternoon and I'm definitely more puffed up, feeling and looking like a whale! I'm guessing I need to blame fluid retention for that.

I'm actually loving being pregnant. Though I am definitely huffing and puffing more, I still feel surprisingly energized and mobile. I've put on a total of 8kgs since the beginning of the pregnancy which I suppose is normal.

I absolutely had to laugh at this section in the book Up The Duff by Kaz Cooke which explains what all the pregnancy weight gain is about.

"... But of all the weight you put on, a relatively small proportion is the weight of the actual baby. The rest is stuff you need such as blood, amniotic fluid, larger bosoms, necessary fat stores and, um, cheesecake. "

Yep, it's cheesecake! I knew it!

In other news, I haven't bought anything for the baby nursery yet as I was waiting till we finished polishing up our floorboards first. Now that the floorboards are done I can go crazy decorating.

After a considerable amount of research we finally decided on the pram, which my in-laws have kindly offered to get. It's the Joolz Day which besides the smooth handling comes with a bassinet so it's suitable for a newborn, then converts to a toddler stroller, and best of all it's very easy to fold.

Joolz Day stroller

Next is trying to decide on the nursery furniture, but I already know what I want so it's a matter of now going into the shops and ordering them.

Well that's my belly update for now... next post will be beauty related again and it may or may not have to do with Illamasqua!

March 27, 2012

Inside my holiday makeup bag

As I mentioned in my yesterday's post, we had a mini getaway to Byron Bay, which is a hippy little beach side town about an hour's flight from Sydney. Over time I've become pretty good at packing only the things I know I will definitely use when traveling. Although this time around I somehow took more clothes than I needed, the contents of my makeup case were just right.

Here's what came with me on our mini getaway. (Where I've blogged about the product previously I've shown the name as a hyperlink to that post).


L'Oreal True Match Powder in W3 - It's not my favourite, and I hate that the mirror is in the compartment hidden under the compact rather than behind the lid, but it's good for quickly mattifying any shiny areas of the face. 

Maybelline Fit Me Concealer in 200 - A fairly light concealer that's good for the under eye area. It doesn't feel heavy on the skin, which is why it came with me on holidays.

Maybelline Fit Me Foundation in 210 - This is my "holiday" foundation, i.e. when I want a little coverage without a cakey feel. I only ever wear this on weekends or when on holidays as it's not very long lasting on me.
L/R - L'Oreal True Match Powder, Maybelline Fit Me Concealer, Maybelline Fit Me Foundation


Illamasqua Bronzing Duo in Glint & Writhe - This is perfect for contouring and bronzing on the go. Both the light and the darker shades have a slight shimmer, but not too much to make you into a shiny disco ball. 

Illamasqua Blush in Lover - This is my favourite blush EVER. Enough said. 

Illamasqua Blush in Hussy - The warm pink sister to Lover. Same gorgeous quality as Lover, but in a different shade. Love them both.
L/R - Illamasqua products: Bronzing Duo, blush in Lover, blush in Hussy


Urban Decay Naked 2 - I admit I haven't shown much love to this palette ever since I got it as a birthday/Christmas present from the hubby. So the best way to ensure use is to take it on holidays with me and force myself to use it! (The brush inside the tin is my own as the one that came free with the palette was useless!)

Jordana Color Extend Eyeliner in Black - This is my favourite black eyeliner ever. It's very black, very creamy and lasts in my waterline for a long time instead of running down my cheeks. 

Australis Multi Mega Lash mascara in Blackest Black* - I was surprised at how good this mascara turned out to be. It gives super long and super thick lashes in 2 coats. Definitely a repurchase. 

Rimmel Eyebrow Pencil in Black/Brown (not pictured) - I use this pencil all the time to fill in the gaps in my patchy brows. It's quite dry and hard to apply, but that's how I like my brow pencils as any softer and it'll just smudge.
T/B - Urban Decay NP2, Jordana Color Extend Eyeliner, Australis Multi Mega Lash mascara

MAC Viva Glam Nicki - I love this shade, it's perfect for summer. A super bright yellow pink that is surprisingly wearable. 

Barry M Pinkie Gold Sparkle* - This is one of my easy to wear, no effort lip colours. Adds a hint of shimmer to my lips in a light easy to wear formula.

Rimmel Pink Blush - One of my favourite pale pink lippies that never leaves my handbag. Plus I love the slightly sweet bubblegum smell.

NYX Lipgloss in Orange Soda - A pale warm pink gloss perfect worn on its own or over a lipstick. Another effortless addition to my makeup bag.
L/R - MAC Viva Glam Nicki, Barry M lipstick in Pinkie Gold Sparkle, Rimmel lipstick in Pink Blush, NYX lipgloss in Orange Soda

And here are a few shots from the beach where I took the photos. As you can see it was a fairly quiet and private beach so I didn't feel self conscious having my cosmetics and camera out playing photographer.
Hello :-)
Testing the water temperature
Sprung! No, that is not an iPhone in my hand and I was not checking my emails on the beach. Ok fine, I was!

Have you mastered the art of packing for holidays or do you always over pack?

*items provided by PR 

March 26, 2012

Lipstick Love - Chi Chi Viva La Diva Hollywood Heiress

Sorry I've been a bit quiet of late, not responding to emails/comments. The last week or so we had to move out of home into my mum's place as we had our floorboards sanded and repolished. And... we also managed to sneak in a little 5 day getaway to Byron Bay for some rest and relaxation before bub gets here. We are now back home and normal posting will resume shortly. My last few posts were scheduled and I'm still catching up on the comments so I'll start responding soon.

Here's a Lipstick Love post I'd prepared earlier but forgot to schedule for posting! Ooops!
Chi Chi was one of those brands I didn't pay much attention to at first. Sure, I liked their nail polish range (with funky names like High Heeled Housewife and Don't Pimp My Style) but their makeup line appeared well... cheap... not in a "yay I'm getting a bargain" way, but more like it was aimed at the tween market.

That is until recently when their lipsticks went through a revamp and emerged all grown up in gorgeous packaging and even more gorgeous shades. My first lippy purchase from the new Chi Chi Viva La Diva Lipstick range was Fashion Police (blogged HERE) and I was seriously impressed with the formula.

Hollywood Heiress is the new one I've added to my collection and it's love.

This is one super creamy lipstick, yet oddly enough the packaging says it's matte (???). Never mind, it's still packs the same punch in terms of pigmentation and longevity as a true matte lippy, minus the dryness. Applied in the morning, this lasts through to lunch time which is great for something so creamy and moisturising.

The colour is a suit-all peachy nude and will suit most skintones without giving the dreaded concealer lips.
Hollywood Heiress on lips in various lighting conditions

And check out the range of colours, I want them all!

In Australia they're sold at Myer, Target and Gloss and I've heard they're also available in NZ. Unfortunately their website is not up and running yet so I couldn't get any more info about availability elsewhere. Here they normally retail for $18.95 AUD but I regularly see them on sale at Myer. In fact it was 25% off when I bought mine a few weeks ago. I've also seen them sold as part of deals, i.e. buy this get a polish free, so it's worth keeping an eye out for a bargain. 

Have you tried anything from the Chi Chi range?

March 23, 2012

Still DIY-ing: Shoe Bling

I was so happy with my DIY Shoe Bling made out of a zipper that I decided to make a couple more shoe clips. I think they instantly take the shoes from boring to... well, less boring.

Here are the two sets of shoe clips that I made and it took less than an hour to make both sets. The zipper flower one on the left took about 40 minutes, and about 20 minutes for the bows.

Zipper flower shoe clip
To see my original zipper flower shoe clip tutorial click HERE.

Sparkly bow shoe clip

You need:
  • Bow hair clips 
  • Shoe clip findings (sold at large fabric/craft stores or on ebay)
  • Needle
  • Strong thread

To make
  • Simply remove the hair clip from the back of the bow (you might need to wiggle it a bit to loosen it) and sew on the shoe clip finding in it's place. Easy as that, no further instructions needed!
  • Clip them onto your shoe, wherever you like. Either the front, side, back, whatever suits your mood.

Have you done any DIY lately?

March 19, 2012

Nail Polish version of MAC Viva Glam Nicki? I Pink I Can

Ever since I bought my Viva Glam Nicki Lipstick a few weeks ago, surprisingly I've been wearing it almost every day. I find that I choose my outfits to match the lipstick, rather than the other way around! And now I think I even found a nail polish that matches it quite well.

I know it's meant to be no longer cool to match your polish and lippy, but then again I never claimed to be cool! So here it is, this is the polish I think matches it so well.

Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in "I Pink I Can"

I came across this at my local Priceline store a few days ago, I don't know if it's a new shade or if I just hadn't paid attention to it before but either way I was completely enamored by the bright warm toned pink colour. And the fact that it matches Viva Glam Nicki is just a bonus!

No flash, indoors.
No flash, indoors, in front of window

The formula is lovely and creamy and I achieved an opaque coverage in 2 coats. I've been wearing them for 4 days now and they're still going strong with not a chip in sight.

Do you like matching your nail polish to your lipstick?

March 16, 2012

Favourite Greens for St Patrick's day

St Patrick's day is this Saturday 17th March and if you're looking for nail polishes and eyeshadows to don yourself in green, here are some of my favourites.
Earrings - Colette Accessories; Necklace - Diva

Nail Polishes
  • Essie Mint Candy Apple - this very popular mint polish is one of my all time favourites. It's opaque in 2 coats, long lasting, and reminds you of spring. What more could you ask for?
  • China Glaze Re-fresh Mint - this is meant to be a dupe for Mint Candy Apple but it's lighter and more yellow toned than the Essie one. This was my first ever mint polish actually, you could say this is what started my obsession with mint coloured polishes.
  • OPI Mermaids Tears - this is from the Pirates of the Caribbean Collection. It's a murky seawater green that looks nice in autumn. 

  • MAC Humid - this is a beautiful deep green with a frost finish, but the frost is subtle enough to make this a perfect lid and a crease colour.
  • MAC Sumptuous Olive - this gorgeous olive colour has veluxe pearl finish, making it incredibly soft to apply. It's a perfect all over lid colour.
  • MAC Newly Minted - This is a matte formula so it's a bit chalky to apply, but the colour itself looks beautiful worn all over the lid with a matte brown eyeshadow in the crease.

Do you wear green coloured makeup? 
Will you be wearing green for St Patrick's Day?

March 13, 2012

Playing with some nail bling

What do you think of my zebra nails?

On lips MAC Viva Glam Nicki
I'm not sure they're really me. While I admire nail art on others, I prefer sticking to my usual pinks and corals and reds. And mint... I love mint green polish.

These were actually nail stickers, Fing'rs Flirt Nail Bling, which were sent to me a while back for review.  I've seen them sold at Priceline with prices ranging from $9.99 - $13.99. They were very easy to apply. Just peel them off the sheet and place the sticky side over the nails. You are meant to apply clear top coat over them, but I was feeling lazy so I didn't.

I applied them on Saturday over my already painted nails (with Essie Mint Candy Apple) but by lunch time Sunday they were starting to peel off. If you look at the above pics carefully you can see they're starting to peel off... they were taken on day 2. I don't know how long these are meant to last, but I didn't mind as I wasn't exactly planning on wearing zebra nails to work anyway.

It's not something I'd buy, but it's a good way of experimenting with nail bling quickly and without hassle.

How do you feel about nail art? Yay or nay?

March 11, 2012

Illamasqua Human Fundamentalism Collection - Preview

One of the many many reasons that I like Illamasqua, both for their products and for what they stand for as a brand, is because they treat all makeup lovers the same. A very simple case in point. When they release a collection, they release them all on the same day all over the world. That's good news for us living in Australia who usually end up getting other brands' new collections last.

Human Fundamentalism is the new collection from Illamasqua, and it will be released globally and online on 15th March 2012.
“Human Fundamentalism is the unique spirit and fundamental human drive for individuality. It’s a belief, a movement and an emotion. A connection with the spirit of the age and its global motifs. You are your own human hybrid, a unique nomad of street cultures and global trends.” Alex Box, Illamasqua Creative Director

Here are some pictures of what will be included in the collection. I absolutely cannot wait for this release, and will be stalking their Sydney counter next weekend for sure with my shopping list in hand. The neutral palette has my name written all over it, as does the single eyeshadow in Burst. All pictures are courtesy of Illamasqua PR.
Eyeshadow Palettes - $78AUD each
  • Fundamental Palette (left): contains Hype (Bold Yellow), Inception (Rich Violet), Liquid Metal in Molten Pewter, Cream Pigment in Mint Green.
  • Neutral Palette (right): contains Stealth (Creamy Buttermilk), Wolf (Chocolate Brown), Vintage (Antiqued Gold), Obsidian (Rich Black).  

Powder Eye Shadows - $39.00 AUD each
  • Burst (Blue Green), 
  • Cancan (Lilac Purple)
  • Sex (Pure White)
  • Pivot (Yellow Green)

Lipsticks - $39AUD each
  • Apocalips - (Bright Teal)
  • Box - (Deep Scarlet Red)

Nail varnish - $34AUD each
  • Nomad - (Bright Jade)
  • Stance - (Bright Mauve)

What do you think of this collection? Will you be getting anything?

March 10, 2012

Olive and Rosemary Bread Roll Recipe

I've been craving Olive and Rosemary bread for a while now. Not sure if it's a pregnancy related craving or the fact that I love my carbs. Give me freshly baked warm bread and haloumi cheese over chocolate cake any day. Today I finally got the chance to make it and it was delicious, if I do say so myself. It was also fairly quick, easy, and no fancy breadmaker required.

I scoured the internet for recipes, but in the end I used bits and pieces from various recipes to come up with my own version. The rolls turned out crusty on the outside and soft in the inside.

  • 2 cups of warm water
  • 5 cups of flour - I used plain unbleached flour, no need for anything fancy
  • 1 sachet of quick acting yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sugar (this helps to activate the yeast)
  • 1/2 tablespoon of table salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped kalamata olives
  • 2 tablespoons (more or less, up to you) chopped rosemary 
  • A little bit of olive oil to brush on the bread rolls before baking (optional)

How to
Makes:10 rolls  ~  Active time:20mins  ~  Rest time:1hr 15mins  ~  Baking time:25mins

  • Mix the warm water, sugar and yeast together and leave for 5 minutes to activate the yeast (you know it's ready when the water bubbles).
  • Put 4 cups of flour (reserve 1 cup for later) and the salt in a bowl and start pouring in the water mixture. Mix to combine.
  • Add the chopped olives and rosemary and on a floured surface start kneading the dough for 5-10 minutes. The dough will be very sticky, so start adding in the extra cup of flour you'd reserved until you end up with a tacky but not completely sticky consistency.
  • Put the dough back in the bowl, cover with cling wrap and leave for 45-60 minutes to rise. The dough should almost double in size. 
  • Once risen, with floured hands start making your bread rolls. I made 10. 
  • Put the bread rolls on baking trays lined with baking paper. I didn't have baking paper, so I just floured the tray instead which worked just as well. 
  • Brush with a little bit of olive oil as that helps it get golden. Leave for another 15 minutes for the rolls to rise a bit more.
  • Bake in oven preheated to 230C (450F) for 25 minutes or until golden. 
  • Take out of oven, let it rest for 10 minutes before serving. 

    Bon apetit!


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