August 29, 2012

Lipstick Love - Lancome Rouge In Love 322M & 340B

I'd seen swatches of the Lancome Rouge In Love lipsticks around the bloggersphere but kept convincing myself that I had enough lipsticks, I didn't need to add more to my collection. But as you can see I didn't do a good job of convincing myself because I ended up buying not one, but two of them! And oh my... they are possibly THE BEST LIPSTICKS I own. No joke. Seriously.

These lipsticks come in various levels of intensity, from sheer to super pigmented and I bought 322M "Corail In Love" (a semi-sheer one) and 340B "Rose Boudoir" (an intense one).
L/R: Rose Boudoir 340B, Corail in Love 322M

Corail In Love 322M
Corail in Love is a semi sheer, everyday lip colour. It's the standard peachy pink colour that I'm fond of, but the formula is unlike any others that I own. It's very lightweight and feels almost gel-like when you first apply it. It's very glossy as well, but it still remains on my lips 4-5 hours which is quite good for a lightweight formula. It's the colour I was wearing in my last post.
Wearing Lancome Rouge in Love "Corail In Love"

Rose Boudoir 340B
This is an intensely pigmented colour which reminds me a bit of MAC Watch Me Simmer but only more pink. It's almost a neon cool orange colour with pink undertones. It instantly brightens up my face and will no doubt be a favourite during summer. The only bad thing I'd have to say is that it stains my lips, but because the colour is so pretty I forgive it!
Wearing Lancome Rouge in Love "Rose Boudoir"

Have you tried the Lancome Rouge In Love range of lipsticks?

August 27, 2012

C'est la vie

I finally got the chance to try an Essence nail polish. This one is called C'est La Vie, or "Such is life" if you want it translated. I picked this up at a recent Priceline haul, and while it's not the best nail polish ever, considering it's only AUD $2.55 I can't really complain.

It's a gorgeous orangey/peach colour that goes opaque in 2 coats (or 1 thick coat) and dries in no time. What let this down is wear time. The day after I applied it I had signs of wear around the tips, and the day after that it started chipping. But oh well, c'est la vie.

Here are a couple of swatches in direct and indirect sun light.

I love how it matches my new lipstick perfectly... and the new lipstick is...? you'll have to wait till the next post to find out!

Have you tried Essence nail polishes? 
What colour should I try next?

August 26, 2012

My Moroccan Experiece - Part 2 Schwartzkopf Marrakesh Oil range

I mentioned in my last post that the Schwarzkopf Marrakesh Oil range of shampoo and conditioner was used on me while getting the Oriental Hammam Ritual treatment. Today I'll be reviewing the range, which includes a hair oil and a treatment mousse.

Schwarzkopf Marrakesh Oil & Coconut Range*

Shampoo & Conditioner
With added Argan oil, this range promises to nourish hair without weighing it down. The shampoo and conditioner are meant for normal to stressed hair. I have extremely stressed - quick I need a shrink - hair. My hair is very very dry and in need of a trim and an extra deep conditioning treatment. The shampoo lathered really well, however left my hair feeling tangled. The conditioner helped make it feel smoother, but unfortunately they were no match for my deeply damaged hair as unless I used the Oil Elixir afterwards my hair stayed feeling dry all day. If you have normal to slightly dry hair, this would work for you.

Daily Oil Elixir 
MUST HAVE PRODUCT - this is my absolute favourite product from the range. No, make that my current favourite hair oil! There are three ways you can use this. You can use this as a treatment before shampooing your hair. You can use it as a leave-in conditioner on towel dried hair. Or you can use it on dry hair to give extra shine. I use it on towel dried hair and my hair thanks me for it. It leaves it feeling soft but not limp, giving a weightless swooshy feeling. Not only is the product great, it comes in a plastic bottle with a pump lid. No risk of the bottle shattering in case you drop it on the bathroom floor, and the pump gives you just the right amount of oil. Perfect!

Express Mousse Treatment
This unfortunately did not work for me. It's a leave-in mousse treatment that's to be applied to towel dried hair. It's recommended to use 3-6 pumps of the mousse. I used 3 pumps for my shoulder length hair but it left my hair feeling flat and heavy. I had not used any other products, so I know that my hair was not overloaded with anything else. This might work for someone with extremely coarse hair, but if your hair is fine this might be too heavy for you.

The price for these items varies depending on where you purchase it, but they're all between AUD $5.00-$10.00.

Have you tried this range? 

*PR samples

August 25, 2012

My Moroccan Experience - Part 1 Fleur De Lys

To say that life with a newborn is exhausting would be an understatement. Body aches and pains, skin as dry as the Sahara desert, fatigue from sleepless nights.... so the voucher I'd been gifted* to experience an Oriental Hammam Ritual at Fleur de Lys spa in Sydney's Woollahra was definitely something I was looking forward to.

On the day of my treatment I had a minor freak out... how can I stay away from the baby for that long, what if he gets hungry? what if he needs a nappy change? what if...? So the best solution was to take the husband and Luca, then 4 weeks old, with me!  The idea was that while I was getting my treatment the husband would keep him entertained, and at most I'd be away from him for only an hour.
Posing in front of Fleur de Lys, with baby happily asleep in the pram

Fleur De Lys
"Fleur de Lys Medispa is a magnificent tribute to ancient Moroccan traditions offering a warm entrance to an oasis with calm settings, the scent of rare oils, soft light, candles and Moroccan adornments that will stimulate your senses and soothe and rejuvenate inner health and wellbeing."

Upon entering the magnificent reception area of Fleur de Lys I was greeted by the lovely Linda, the spa's Director, who offered me rosewater to drink while I filled out a health questionnaire.
Fleur De Lys reception area - image source

At first I was sent into the sauna for 20 minutes to relax while the Hammam was prepared for me. Sitting in temperatures reaching up to 70C (158F) was enough to make me sweat and and melt off some of the tension in my body.

The Hammam
"The Hammam experience offers an escape to an oasis of steam, beautifully tiled walls, the scents of oriental oils and perfumes and the soothing comfort and echoes of running water. Our treatments are performed while you are relaxing on a heated marble table which helps stimulate blood circulation and opens the skin pores."

I was then ushered into the Hammam, a dark steamy Moroccan themed room with warmed marble stone table in the middle. {editor's note: you'll have to excuse the quality of the next few photos. It was dark inside, hence the extra graininess}

The Hammam and the warmed marble table where the Oriental Ritual was carried out
Some  of the decorations of the Hammam

The Oriental Hammam Ritual

"Embrace the ancient traditions of the Orient with our Hammam ritual. Your body is covered with traditional black soap followed by a thorough scrubbing on the heated Hammam table and combined with soothing Rhassoul clay from the Moroccan Atlas Mountains mixed with rose water to nourish your skin.Your treatment is finished off with a soothing application of the traditional Argan oil mixed with essential oils to nourish your skin and to complete your oriental experience. 50mins/$195AUD"

It was just bliss laying back on the warm marble table and being scrubbed of months of dead skin (during the last trimester of my pregnancy and after the birth of Luca I had done absolutely no body moisturisation so there was a lot of gunk to scrub off!). The application of pure Argan oil completed the body treatment. I'm pretty sure I dosed off a few times, it was that relaxing!

The products that were used on me.

My hair was then washed and conditioned with Schwarzkopf Marrakesh Oil & Coconut Shampoo and Conditioner (review during Part 2). 

After the treatment - clean, scrubbed and glowing.

And what was little Luca doing while I was getting the Oriental Hammam Ritual? Sleeping in his pram the entire time!

If you're ever in Sydney and are after a relaxing spa experience the Oriental Hammam Ritual is highly recommended. In fact check out their website, as they have a range of other treatments and also monthly specials that you can take advantage of.

"Fleur de Lys Medispa is located at 2A Queen Street, Woollahra close to the bustling heart of Oxford Street but far enough away to provide a tranquil oasis of calm. Phone 02 9361 4441."

*Fleur De Lys voucher courtesy of Schwartzkopf and Mango Communications. I'm not affiliated with the brand or the company and no payment was received for this post as per my disclosure statement.

August 23, 2012

6 weeks today

Oh how time flies....

It feels like only yesterday that I announced on this blog that I was expecting a baby.
It feels like only yesterday when we found out we were having a boy.
It feels like only yesterday I was complaining of my discomfort at 40 weeks pregnant.
It feels like only yesterday that Luca was born at 40 weeks and 3 days.

Luca at 3 weeks old
Luca at 6 weeks old giving one of his first crooked smiles

And today Luca is 6 weeks old.

I won't lie, these past few weeks have been incredibly hard. I've cried more times than I care to admit. I've gone through most days feeling like I'm living in a fog. I'm now beyond exhaustion, to the point where sleeping for 5 hours a night feels like a sleep in. But I wouldn't trade it in for anything because when he gives a crooked, squinty eyed, nose scrunched up smile nothing else matters but him.

LipFusion InFATuation lipgloss - does it work?

I am generally happy with the size of my lips but I would never say no to Angeline Jolie-esque big pillowy lips. And any product that claims to give "never before achievable lip volume" is something I'm keen to try. This LipFusion InFATuation lipgloss in Angelic was one of the prizes I won in Tine's blog giveaway a while back.

What they say
"Become infatuated with your lips and discover a revolutionary breakthrough in lip plumping technology. LipFusion's Infatuation Liquid Shine Multi-Action Lip Fattener is the first liquid lip color with extraordinary Amplifat technology to help increase and maintain volume just where you need it most!

LipFusion Infatuation Liquid Shine Multi-Action Lip Fattener Features:
  • Breakthrough Amplifat concentrate (derived from a perennial sea fern) helps promote never-before-achievable lip volume.
  • Helps provide more youthful-looking lips.
  • Double-encapsulated plumping spheres for instant, yet temporary plumping.
  • Precision brush delivers flawless application and seamless color coverage.
  • Innovative texture merges the brilliance of a gloss with the luxury of a liquid lipstick for high-impact shine.
  • Paraben-free, silicone-free.
  • Made in Italy."

What I say
It feels hydrating on the lips which lasts for up to 2 hours. The colour is gorgeous, however it can settle into fine lines very quickly which I'm not a fan of. One thing I really liked about this is that the tingly effect is very subtle, it doesn't give you that burning-lip feeling that lip fatteners of the past did. However in terms of plumping my lips, I'm not too sure about it. The effect I get (see pics below) is pretty much the same as I get from any old lip gloss so considering how expensive it is (AUD$50 at Mecca Cosmetica or US$29 at Sephora) I'd pass.

Bare lips with just lip balm on
Lips with Lipfusion Infatuation in Angelic

The bottom line
It's great as a lipgloss but not so great at plumping the lips.

Have you tried lip fatteners? 
Are there any that have worked for you?

August 19, 2012

Guest post - Silver Smokey Eye Tutorial

Today's guest post is by the lovely Kailan from the blog Makeup By Kailan Marie where she gives us a tutorial on how to do a silver smokey eye look. Kailan is a 19 year old college student from the United States, intent on pursuing a career in Medical Sonography. She is a full time Harry Potter nerd, part time beauty blogger. Makeup is her passion, as well as her hobby, and she loves sharing that with people around the world. She can also be found on Twitter @misskailanmarie

Hi everyone! One of my favorite things to do on my blog is picture tutorials. Not only do I get to show everyone the looks I've created, but I get to show you how to achieve them as well, which is very rewarding to me.

Today I'm going to be showing you how to create a simple Silver/Gray Smokey Eye. To create this look I used my Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette as well as MAC Eyeshadows.It's great for a night out and really makes your eyes stand out. The technique is super simple to follow, even for beginners. So with that being said, I hope you all enjoy the tutorial and give it a go yourself!

Products Used:
MAC Painterly Paint Pot (not shown)
Sonia Kashuk Gel Eyeliner in Charcoal (step 1)
Urban Decay Pistol (step 2)
MAC Print e/s (step 3 & 9)
Urban Decay Blackout (step 4)
MAC Scene e/s (step 5)
Urban Decay Foxy e/s (step 6)
Urban Decay Verve e/s (step 7 & 8)
Essence Gel Eyeliner in Midnight in Paris
Maybelline Colossal Mascara

Brushes Used:
Sigma E55 Shader Brush (step 2)
MAC 217 Blending Brush (step 3 & 4)
Sigma E25 Blending Brush (step 5)
Sephora All Over Shadow Brush (step 6)
Urban Decay Small Shader Brush (step 7 & 8)
Sigma E30 Pencil Brush (step 9)
NYX Eyeliner Brush (step 10)
NYX Eyelash Curler (not shown)

Step by step instructions

1. Apply a gray or black base all over your lid, using the warmth of your finger to blend out the product.
2. With a shader brush, apply a shimmer pewter shade all over where you applied the dark base.
3. With a blending brush, blend a matte, dark gray into the crease, going a third of the way in.
4. With the same blending brush, blend a matte black into the crease as well, to deepen it.
5. With a more fluffy blending brush, sweep a matte, midtone gray across through the entire crease, making sure to blend out the harsh edges of the dark gray and black shades. This will also act as our transition color.
6. Apply a matte cream color to the brow bone with a large shadow brush to lift the brows. Blend downwards to soften the edges of the midtone gray shade.
7. Apply a shimmery silver on the inner corner with a smaller shader brush.
8. Apply that same shade to the inner lower lashline.
9. Apply the dark gray from Step 3 on the outer half of the lower lashline.
10. Apply winged liner (or your liner of preference)
11. Curl lashes, apply mascara, and add false eyelashes (if you prefer).

The finished look
I hope you all enjoyed this tutorial. Don't forget to check out my blog, Makeup By Kailan Marie for more tutorials as well as other beauty blabber.

August 18, 2012

First haul in aaagess...

Two days ago I stepped into Priceline to buy baby wipes and stepped out having purchased 3 nail polishes and a concealer for myself. Oh and the baby wipes of course. Let me backtrack a little...

Towards the end of my pregnancy, and recently with a newborn demanding my constant attention, beauty products were the last thing on my mind. I think the husband and my mum were both starting to worry at my apparent lack of interest in shopping for makeup. It was totally unheard of for me to go anywhere near a Priceline and not buy anything beauty related! So I think they'd be happy to know I've finally broken my beauty spending drought!

The items that broke my shopping drought...
I've always wanted to try Essence nail polishes, so when I saw Priceline now stocks them I bought 3 of them for around $2.50 each. I got "C'est la vie", "You belong to me" and "I want that". I haven't tried them yet, so expect to see swatches in the next few days. I also picked up Maybelline Age Rewind concealer in Light. I'd used this concealer before and been quite impressed by it, so this was a repurchase. Expect a full review of this as well.

L/R: essence nail polishes in "c'est la vie", "you belong to me", "i want that"

And a couple of things from Colette...
Since my shopping drought was broken, I just HAD to go to Colette. The brand never fails to impress me with their extremely affordable accessories. The black and gold clutch bag was reduced to $14.95. And the white J Crew knock off necklace was $16.95. I already own a red one of this (worn HERE), and a turquoise one (worn HERE), so I'm really happy to add another one to my collection.

Have you tried any essence products before? 
What else should I try from the range?

August 15, 2012

DIY turband from a scarf

I found this tutorial in my archives that I'd prepared a few weeks ago, but before I could publish it I went and had a baby! So I'm publishing it now, and I'm still keen to wear a turband but I might wait till my little one is a bit older and I have a bit more time to get ready in the mornings than I currently have. Hope you enjoy, and as always your thoughts and comments are most valued!  

I'm not very adventurous with my hair. Sure I'll straighten it, curl it or wear it in a messy updo but that's about it. I'd love to give hair accessories a try but I'm not sure where to begin or even whether they'd suit me or not. So after checking Pinterest for some inspiration I decided to give the turband a go.

Turband = cross between a turban and a headband 

I do quite like it, but I'm still unsure whether I'd wear it out of the house without feeling self-conscious. Maybe in summer I'll give it a go as I can see them looking great with floaty maxi dresses.

Anyway, this is how you tie one with a scarf. There are of course many different ways you can tie one, but I found this version to be very quick and easy!

How to tie a turband the easy way!
Step 1 - Take a long rectangular scarf and place at nape of neck
Step 2 - Bring the ends up from behind your ears to above your head
Step 3 - Cross the two ends on top of your head
Step 4 - Cross it again
Step 5 - Tie it at the nape of your neck, letting the ends hang out (or you can tuck it in)
Step 6 - Add a brooch to decorate (optional)

Your DIY turband is complete! You can wear it with your hair up, down, curled, straight, teased, whatever... the possibilities are endless!

Would you wear a turband?

August 13, 2012

FOTD: My current go-to make up

Now that I'm a mummy to a 5 week old most mornings I literally have only 10 minutes to get ready. This means I've really had to simplify my makeup and use tried and tested products that I don't have to think about much as I know they will work well.

My go-to look is basically a wash of taupe and grey eyeshadow, dewy skin, understated blush and pale creamy lips. Also since I'm trying not to wash my hair everyday, I've been using a Styling Powder to make sure it doesn't go oily and flat in between washes. (Styling powders work better on my dark hair than dry shampoos).

The Look
My go-to makeup look

Key Products

Where I've previously reviewed the product a link has been provided to that post for your information.
1. Schwarzkopf Rough & Tough Styling Powder - review HERE
2. Victoria's Secret Lash Lust Volume Definition Mascara in black
3. Illamasqua Blush in Naked Rose - review HERE
4. MAC e/s Satin Taupe (crease colour)
5. MAC e/s Vex (lid colour) - I absolutely adore this colour and as you can see I need to replace it!
6. Revlon Lipbutter Strawberry Shortcake
7. Illamasqua Skinbase Foundation in #8 - review HERE
8. Face of Australia eyeliner in Marine (not pictured) - more info HERE
9. Rimmel eyebrow pencil in black/brown (not pictured)


Notice the bags under the eyes... comes from having only 4 - 5 hours sleep each night!

Do you have a tried and tested look that you go to when you don't want to make too much effort? Any key products?

August 11, 2012

DIY round up #1

I've gotten into DIY quite a lot lately but it's difficult finding the time at the moment to do any craft, not with a little 4 week old demanding constant attention! So instead I've found a few DIY ideas that I'm keen to try when I eventually find the time.

1. These neon shoes were painted with nail polish! Makes me want to dig up my neutral coloured shoes and give them new life with some nail polish. See the tutorial HERE on Love Maegan.

2. I'm very keen to try this Seaside Mani from Creative Souls. The colours just scream a beach holiday, and it's super easy to do!

3. This is a fabulous idea to give new life to an old boring bag using acrylic paint. See the tutorial HERE on Chic Steals.

4. How absolutely gorgeous are these DIY rhinestone threaded earrings from Just B. They look so easy to make as well and you can experiment with so many different coloured threads. Love <3

Hope you enjoyed this mini DIY round up from the craftweb.

Have you done or seen any good DIYs lately? Link me up in the comments please!

August 10, 2012

Product Review: Vanessa Megan Anti-Aging Serum

If you've read my previous skincare posts you'll know that I'm generally not keen on trying out new skincare products. I have a few select products that I use and since they work so well, why change? However when I was offered the chance to try this Vanessa Megan Anti-Ageing Serum I said yes. Why? Because it promised to plump dehydrated skin, and boy was my skin dehydrated! When I was still pregnant all those hormones had wrecked havoc with my skin. It was extremely dry, dehydrated and due to loss of moisture the lines around my eyes were more pronounced. My regular skincare products were no longer enough.

Vanessa Megan Kakadu Plum Anti-Ageing Serum
This serum focuses on a new technology of marine actives combined with the powerful of Kakadu Plum. This super hydrating serum combines the potent Marine Hyaluronic Acid and a marine algae offering double hydration and moisturisation with visible plumping, skin tone, elesticity and reduced sagging. - VM website
Kakadu Plum {Image Credit}

For the last 6 weeks or so I've been applying it once or twice a day. It's a very lightweight serum that soaks into the skin in no time at all. The fresh fruity scent is light and very pleasant. In terms of plumping the skin, my skin does feel less dry than normal. And I might add just after Luca was born when this sleep deprived mumma had no time for moisturisers let alone a serum, my skin went so dry that it was flaky in places, and I swear I saw wrinkles form overnight! But after I started up with this serum again almost from the next day the flakiness disappeared.

The serum alone is not enough for my skin, so I follow it with my regular moisturiser. However if you have normal skin I imagine this alone will be fantastic to quickly hydrate and moisturise.

It's $48 for a 15ml pump bottle from the Vanessa Megan website. I've been using my little bottle almost daily for over 6 weeks and have only used up a quarter of the bottle, so it is good value as you only need a little bit at a time.

Have you heard or used Vanessa Megan products? What are your skincare essentials that you can't live without? 

*PR Sample provided for consideration

August 06, 2012

Guest Post - Top 5 blushes under $10

Today we have a guest post by Shang J from the Feminine Crusade blog who shares with us her top 5 blushes for under US $10. For more information about Shang J, including where to find her on the world wide web check the end of this post. 


Who can resist these five gorgeous, budget-friendly blushes?

Hard Candy Fox in Box – Spicy and Sweet (US $6.00)

After eyeing the Benefit Box O’ Powders I decided to quench my desire with the similar looking Hard Candy Fox in a Box. This falls among my sheer blush collection (not that I have many). I am a lover of bright, vivid, one-swipe shades. This is none of them. But this cute little thing is perfect for a soft peachy glow. I use all the colours together, because no matter how huge this appears in the picture, in real the quads are pretty small.

Beautyuk Stripey Blusher – no.3 Pink (US $5-6)

Yes yes I do like stripes and quads and duos more than one tone blushes! This is more pigmented than Hard Candy’s blush. A soft pink with slight silver shimmer! It is my favourite pink blush. The white stripe in it can used as a highlight too.

Sleek MakeUP Blush – Pan Tao (US $6.00)

This was a limited edition blush and I am so glad I bought this matte, bright orange beauty. It looks very flattering on my face and I totally love its pigmentation; the best thing about all Sleek blushes. It is pretty long-lasting too. Trust me buy ANY blush from Sleek’s collection and you won’t be disappointed.

NYX Powder Blush – Pinched (US $6.50)

NARS Orgasm – who doesn’t rave about it? The raves got to me too, sending me on a dupe hunt. Sleek’s Rose Gold and NYX’s Pinched are the two closest to Orgasm. Pinched is peachy pink with subtle gold shimmer which gives such a beautiful glow.

Maybelline Dream Mousse Blush – Pink Frosting (US $6.00)

This blush has been sadly discontinued replaced by the sheer Dream Bouncy Blushes, which are nothing close to as good as these. This one is a cool-toned bubblegum pink with gold shimmer. This mousse blush has a very velvety texture and lightweight feel.

swatches (L-R): Hard Candy Spicy & Sweet, Beautyuk Pink Stripey, Sleek Pan Tao, Maybelline Pink


Thank you Shang! 

Shang is a 22 year old beauty junkie who combines her love for beauty, shopping and writing on her blog. She raves and reviews about all things feminine, helping you find your budget beauty buys. 

For more from Shang don't forget to checkout her Blog or her other social media sites.


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