September 29, 2012

Guest post - Top 3 Beauty Trends to rock from NYFW

Today we have a guest post from the gorgeous Ty who blogs over at Ty's Blog of Epiphanies. As per her own diagnosis, she's slightly OCD, a shopaholic, an ex-grammar Nazi, a beauty addict and a shoe lover. She also likes to read, write and make birthday cards from scratch. Over to you Ty!


Top 3 Beauty Trends to Rock from NYFW

It’s spring now and before we know it, it will be summer again. What comes to your mind when you think about hot but beautiful sunny days? I think of colourful flowers, turquoise swimming pools and iced cold drinks. Although it has been a couple of weeks since the New York Fashion Week, I believe the trends that we saw on the runway will be sticking around for a while. Not that I’m a big fan of fashion but I can certainly tell you that I’m a bit of a fanatic when it comes to beauty!

So if you haven’t been keeping track of the beauty looks that have popped up on the runways in New York this month, that’s okay. I am bringing you my top 3 favourite beauty trends from NYFW to rock this spring/summer.

1. Bright monochrome eyes
I think a number of makeup artists drew inspiration from the bright colours that were around them (they have just come out of summer and entered autumn in the northern hemisphere) for NYFW. Bright monochrome eyes were hot on the runway, predominately blues and pinks. I like the look because it is fun and easy to sport. It also means that I finally am using the Australis Aqua eye pencil that has been hidden at the back of my makeup drawer for months.
Wearing Australis Aqua eye pencil

2. Pop of colour on the lips
A number of models also wore very simple looks, practically just flawless faces and a bit of mascara. What I liked even more were the models that had only a pop of colour on their lips, with no eyeshadow or blush. As you can see in the photo, I’ve worn nothing but a bit of tinted moisturiser, mascara and a fuchsia lipstick; and it looks good. Best part of this look is you can achieve it in 5 minutes flat!
Wearing Revlon Lipbutter in Lollipop

3. Simple pearly nails
The simplicity theme does not stop at the face; it covers the nails as well. Models were spotted with pearly nail polish on their fingers and in an array of colours. But this does not mean that you have to go out and buy a complete set of nail polishes with pearly finishes. All you need is a top coat that gives a pearly finish, something similar to what I have on my nails. You can wear a pink or a grey underneath like many of the models did. I really like this trend because it’s a break from the patterned and ombre nail trends that have been going around lately. It looks elegant yet cool enough for the upcoming parties we’ll be attending.
Nail polish by a Korean brand - similar shade is Revlon Sheer Pearl

What do you think of these beauty trends? 
Which one is your favourite?


Thank you Ty! You just reminded me that I have both the Australis eyeliner in Aqua as well as the Revlon Lipbutter in Lollipop and I'm yet to wear either of them! 
To read more from Ty head on over to her BLOG.

September 27, 2012

NOTD with Bourjois Anti-Choc No Chip #26

This was one of my purchases last weekend where I got the Bourjois Gift With Purchase. The colour I am wearing is #26 by Bourjois from the Anti-Choc No Chip range. I absolutely adore the soft lilac colour, it just screams spring to me (hello spring in Australia!).

The Bourjois Anti-Choc No Chip formulas claim to last 3 days without any chips, or up to 10 days with minor touch ups. I previously wore #15 and I can vouch for the fact that up to day 7 I had no chips (after day 7 I got bored of the colour and removed it). Click HERE to see that previous post with swatches on day 7.

This time around I've only had it on my nails for 3 days and yep, no chips so far! In the pics below I'm wearing 2 coats and no base/top coat.

No flash, outdoors, in shade - 2xcoats
With flash, outdoors - 2xcoats

Have you tried any colours from this range?

September 25, 2012

5 Tips for wearing bright lipsticks

Up until about 2 years ago the only colours I wore on my lips were nude, nude and more nude. Sometimes if I was feeling adventurous I might choose pinky-nude. You get the gist I'm sure. And now? Now I hardly touch my nude lipsticks instead favouring my brights. The brighter, the more vibrant the better!
L/R: bright lipsticks by MAC - Impassioned; Pink Nouveau; Watch Me Simmer

If you're like the me of 2 years ago that was afraid of colour, here are my 5 tips to wearing a bright lipstick without fear.

My 5 tips for wearing bright lipsticks

1. Keep eye makeup minimal
The focus is going to be on your lips, you don't want them to compete with your eyes. So either skip the eyeshadow and do a cat eye, or skip the eyeliner and do a wash of colour all over the lid. Both options will keep the focus on your lips whilst still giving your eyes definition.
Doing a cat eye look - Click HERE to go to the original post

Wearing a wash of colour on the lid - Click HERE for original post

2. Contrast the texture of your lips and cheeks
To make sure your face doesn't look flat, don't wear matte lips with a matte face. Instead achieve balance and dimension by wearing matte lips with luminous cheeks, or glossy lips with matte cheeks.
Wearing matte lips with luminous cheeks - click HERE for original post

3. Skip the lipliner
I know this probably contradicts a lot of beauty advice you might have read but I find lining my lips makes me look too "done up", whereas skipping the liner gives a more casual and wearable look no matter how bright the lipstick.
Lipstick worn without lipliner - to see the full post click HERE

4. Contrast your lips and eyes
This is for the more adventurous out there. To make your lip colour really pop, wear contrasting eyeshadow, e.g. if you're doing a warm lip, wear cool eyeshadows and vice versa.
Wearing warm coral lips and cool grey eyes - click HERE for original post

5. Go sheer
If you're just starting to venture into brights territory then going sheer is the answer. It still gives a nice pop of colour but because it lets the natural colour of your lips show through it's more customized to your colouring.
Wearing a sheer but bright lipstick - click HERE for original post

Do you wear bright lipsticks with ease? 
What's your favourite bright?

September 24, 2012

How I fake 12hrs sleep with Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer

"You look like you've had 12 hours sleep" was my son's pediatrician's comment to me the other day when we went for a check up. Hah! If only he knew about the 2am and 5am feeds that I wake up for each night. In fact I've had a few people tell me I don't look like I'm not getting enough sleep. My secret? Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer.

This is the 2nd time I'm buying this concealer and will repurchase again, which is already saying a lot! I use the shade Light, which is slightly lighter than my NC25 skintone.

Tip: Using a concealer 1 shade lighter than your skintone will really brighten your under eye area.

My thoughts

  • Very smooth consistency makes it easy to blend
  • Non cakey and doesn't settle into fine lines
  • Stays on all day
  • Brightens my under eye area (please note that my under eye area is only mildly darkened so I can't comment on how well this would be at concealing very dark under eye circles)
  • Buildable coverage allows me to cover acne scars without caking
  • Sponge tip applicator makes it very easy to apply

  • Some may find the sponge tip applicator unhygienic to use after a while as you cannot wash it.

Maybeline Instant Age Rewind Concealer in Action

The finished result
Excuse the messy flyaway hair, it was a windy day!

Have you tried this concealer before? What is your favourite concealer?

September 22, 2012

Bourjois Gift With Purchase at Priceline

A quick heads up to my Australian readers that Priceline has a gift with purchase with any Bourjois purchase over $25. I was there yesterday and noticed this offer, so I ended up buying two nail polishes (total cost $26) and got the gift!

I'm a sucker for gift with purchase and will buy things I don't need just to get the freebies that come with it. And often times I don't need the freebies either, but I'm weak when it comes to those three little words. Gift. With. Purchase.

This time around I'm happy both with my purchases and with the freebies. Review of the products to come later.

What I bought

Anti Choc No Chips nail polish in 26 (pastel lilac) and 25 (pastel peachy pink). I've had the Anti Choc No Chips nail polishes in the past and been very happy with their longevity, so I'm very happy with these two additions which will be perfect for spring. 

What I got for free

Included in the GWP are:
  • Volume Glamour Max Definition Mascara in Max Black
  • So Laque Nail polish in Magenta Show
  • Smoky Eyes Trio Eyeshadow in 05 Rose Ingenu

They are all full sized products and come in a cute candy stripe makeup case. I can't wait to try them all, especially the eyeshadows so expect a review as I start using them.

According to the latest Priceline catalogue this offer expires on 24 Sept so get in quick if you're interested.

Do you love gift with purchase? 
Do you end up buying things just to get the freebie gifts?

September 21, 2012

10 Tips on surviving IMATS

I'm really excited as IMATS will be on in Sydney in just over a week's time. Despite what the name says, the International Makeup Artists Trade Show is not just for makeup artists. Lots of vendors, makeup artists and beauty enthusiasts gather to check out the latest in cosmetics, see live demonstrations from their favourite makeup artists and nab themselves some bargains.
Image source

Bargains galore!
I went last year and had an awesome time, and the bargains I managed to get were unbeilavable. I'm talking Illamasqua at up to 75% off, Inglot for around 40% off, and various other brands including MAC on sale for between 10 - 50% off.
My IMATS haul from last year

Surviving IMATS
If you're going to IMATS for the first time and don't know what to expect, here are my 10 tips on surviving the event... because lets face it, if you're a makeup junkie you might start hyperventilating at all the loot around you and will definitely need some survival skills.

  1. Wear comfortable shoes - I know you'll want to look glam, but this isn't the day for 10 inch heels. You'll be doing a lot of walking, queuing, and standing so you need to be comfortable. 
  2. Don't wear white - You'll be doing a lot of swatching and trying on makeup, do you really want to get makeup on your nice new white blazer? Enough said. 
  3. Take a large shoulder bag - Each vendor will give out their bags, but to make it easier on yourself take along a large shoulder bag to carry your many many purchases, whilst leaving your hands free to do... yep, more purchasing!
  4. Take tissues or better yet, wet wipes - See point 2. You'll need to be able to wipe off all that swatched makeup with something won't you?
  5. Plan ahead - with so many speakers and demonstrations, (sometimes at the same time but on different stages), it's important you get yourself a copy of the Schedule so you can plan ahead as to what shows you want to see and when.  
  6. Take snacks & water - there is a cafe on site, but from what I remember last time the queues were quite big. So if you don't want to waste time queuing for food then take along some healthy snacks to nibble on and a bottle of water to keep you hydrated. And when you're done you can have lunch at one of the many cafes and restaurants in Darling Harbour. 
  7. Be open to try new brands - while it will be very tempting to run straight to the brands you know and love, do make sure to look around at some of the lesser known brands as you don't know what gems you'll uncover. 
  8. Take cash - whilst pretty much  all the beauty stands I visited accepted cards, taking cash is easier and quicker. And you wouldn't want to bag a bargain only to find that you're out of cash and the exhibitors don't accept cards. 
  9. Be patient - There will be lots of queuing, especially at some of the more popular brands. Last year I gave up on even going near the Inglot stand it was THAT busy. So take along your patience, and be nice to other people in the queue. Pushing and shoving won't get you anywhere. 
  10. Take a friend - You need someone to tell you if that purple lipstick looks horrid on you or not, or if buying 10 different taupe eyeshadows that look almost identical is a wise investment or not. And lets face it, it's always fun shopping with a friend, especially if they're as much of a beauty nut as you are!
The Inglot stand last year. {Image source}

The details

Sydney Convention Centre, Hall 3
Darling Drive
Sydney, NSW Australia

Saturday 29 September 2012  8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
Sunday 30 September 2012    10 a.m.-5 p.m.

1 day pass - $40
2 day pass - $65

You can purchase tickets HERE or on site.

I'll be going to IMATS this year as well, so if you see me around I'd love you to come say hi!

Have you been to IMATS before? Will you be going this year?

September 20, 2012

DIY round up #2 - the photography edition

This really shouldn't even be called a DIY Round Up, as it's more like a round up of my favourite photography related tips and tutorials. Whether you're an amateur or a seasoned photographer, hope these sites will be useful to you!
I'm an amateur and my camera is a Canon G12

1. A bit of everything
Zoella has a great post on blog photography, full of useful tips and hints on everything from composition to editing. 
Image source

2. Using the manual features of your camera
This post on Little Miss Momma called "10 Steps to Taking Your Camera Off Auto" is perfect for when you want to use more of the manual features of your camera but are too scared to!
Image source

3. For beauty bloggers
For the beauty bloggers out there, 15 Minute Beauty has a great post on Swatching & Post Processing for beauty blog posts.
Image source

4. For best online photo editors
Kaye from Beautiful Kayekie has done two fabulous posts on Best Online Photo Editors. Part 1 is HERE and Part 2 is HERE.
Image source

5. What not to do
A Beautiful Mess has a fantastic post on 10 things not to do in photography. Definitely worth checking out.
Image source

Hope you enjoyed this round up, and let me know if you have any photography tips to share!

September 17, 2012

Life lately....

If there is one word to describe my life lately it would be "Luca". That's right, my 2 month old son.

It's amazing how all consuming having a newborn baby is. Time is going so fast yet so slow at the same time. It seems like between nursing, burping, nappy changing and settling there's hardly any time for anything else. Multitasking is my new middle name - I can easily rock the baby to sleep while having breakfast, blogging and applying my make up at the same time.

Things are getting much easier now except on growth spurt days when Luca turns into a clingy little monkey who wants to eat all day long and MUST. BE. CARRIED. IN. MY. ARMS. ONLY. A baby carrier won't do. And neither will a sling. And don't even think about putting him down in his bassinet or rocking chair thingy. But everything is made better because he can smile, coo and say aagoo - aagoo. And he's starting to take an interest in toys. Yeay, that means hopefully he won't need me to entertain him all the time. We'll leave the entertaining to his toy monkey.

Three random facts about life with a newborn
  • Breastfeeding is hard, like really hard. Yeah sure, it's natural, but it doesn't happen naturally and you must learn how to do it properly. Or forever scream in pain.
  • It's amazing how often you talk and think about baby poop - as in, he hasn't pooped today, is he constipated? His poop today was massive, it was the motherload! Geez I hope there'll be no leakage through the nappy. 
  • Going to the toilet when you want to is a luxury. You must learn to hold it in. Sometimes for hours at a time. That. Is. All.

So, anything exciting in your life lately?

September 13, 2012

Soft & Natural Everyday FOTD

With the weather warming up beautifully here in Australia I've been embracing a more natural makeup look... Plus lets face it, being on maternity leave at the moment I don't really go out much so there's no need for a full face of makeup.

My hair is in DESPERATE need of a trim!

Products used
My favourite bold lipsticks have taken a backseat to sheer lippies and glosses, shimmery blushes have replaced matte ones and I've shunned eyeliners for just a wash of colour all over the lids.

Face & Cheeks
Maybelline Age Rewind Concealer in Light - review coming soon
MAC Studio Sculpt Foundation in NC25 - past review HERE
MAC MSFN in Medium
Benefit Coralista Blush - past review HERE

Chanel Illusion D'Ombre in Ebloui - review HERE
Victoria's Angels Lash Lust mascara in black

MAC Lipstick in Hue
MAC Lipglass in Dreamy

This is a quick look that takes me no more than 15 minutes to do, including brushing my hair.

Here's another everyday look of mine, holding my 2 month old baby boy. That's his favourite position, held over the shoulder so he can watch the world go by... curious little bugger! {More pics of my little boy are on my Instagram }

What are some of your everyday makeup essentials?

September 09, 2012

Lipstick Love - Sisley Sheer Coral

Today's Lipstick Love is from the French brand Sisley. Actually it's not a lipstick, it's a Phyto Lip Shine. "A what?" I hear you ask. The company's website describes Phyto Lip Shines as:

"A glossy, ultra-luminous treatment lipstick: more colour than lip gloss, more shine than lipstick. Creamy, imperceptible and ultra-comfortable, the texture of Sisley’s Phyto-Lip Shine is both extremely light and nourishing, with a treatment formula combining both intense gloss and absolute softness."

The colour I have is called Sheer Coral from the Spring/Summer 2012 Collection. (Yes readers from the Northern Hemisphere, Australia has just entered into Spring!)
Sisley "Sheer Coral"

Firstly let's talk packaging shall we? The lipstick comes in a red plush velvet pouch with S emblazoned on it. The silver case itself is sturdy, the type that gives off that satisfactory click when you close the lid. It's the type that makes you want to reapply your lippy in public just to show it off. The bullet has "sisley" etched on it. Yep, the whole thing screams luxury.
Sisley Phyto Lip Shine Packaging
Sisley Phyto Lip Shine in Sheer Coral

This is the first product I own from Sisley and I'm so impressed with it. Besides the luxurious packaging, the quality of the lipstick is just incredible. It feels very lightweight and moisturising, and the hydrating effect lasts on my lips for about 3 hours. There is also a faint fruity/floral smell to it but it's not overpowering.

Sheer Coral is an accurate name for this lipstick. It's not so sheer as not to show up even on pigmented lips, but it's sheer enough to let the natural colour of your lips show through. This means that the lippy will look different on different people, depending on their natural lip colour.
Lip swatches in direct sunlight and in shade - no flash

It's a great daytime colour which makes me look polished and put together, but not in an OTT way.

At AUD $50 it is definitely a luxury item, but if you're looking at spoiling yourself then a visit to a Sisley counter may be needed.

Have you tried anything from this brand before? 
What do you think of this colour?

*PR Sample as per my Disclosure Policy

September 07, 2012

Guest Post - "Cleanse and repeat: top 3 cleansers"

Today we have a guest post from Sarirah. Sarirah is a 21 year old skincare junkie who loves to ramble about all things beauty over at Pretty Not Included. She is a full time computer science student, excessive tea drinker and cat lady who could happily talk for hours about skincare without getting bored. Over to you Sarirah!

"I'll let you in on a little secret. For me, taking off my makeup is a lot more exciting than putting it on. As a self proclaimed skincare junkie, I enjoy mixing up the bag with my skincare routine and one of my favourite elements to exchange are cleansers! So, if you're interested, grab a cup of tea (or coffee) and have a read of my ramblings on my favourite cleansers.
L/R Etat Pur Purifying Micellar Cleansing Water, REN ClearCalm3 Clarifying Clay Cleanser, Elemis Melting Cleansing Gel

1. REN ClearCalm3 Clarifying Clay Cleanser
This cleanser is tailored to blemish prone skin, aiming to purifying, soothe and absorb excess oil in the skin. I use one pump on barely damp hands and gently massage onto a dry face. Make sure you bring it up to the hair line and get it in all around the nose to help unclog the pores. It's also best to use upward motions so as not to drag and pull the skin down. Swiping this cleanser over your eyebrows gives it somewhat of a little conditioning too which is nice.
You can remove this however you please; muslin cloths, water etc. Personally, I like to use a small facial sponge which gives the opportunity for a little extra exfoliation. REN Skincare products also contain NO parabens, sulphates, silicones or other nasties which will do your skin a world of good, especially if it's quite sensitive.

My favourite bio extracts to mention are Mayblossom which tones enlarged pores and Manuka extract which soothes the skin and any red patches.

REN Muslin Cloths

2. Elemis Melting Gel Cleanser

This is a cleanser suitable for all skin types and as someone with oily skin at times, I was recommended this. It's quite a nourishing and moisturising cleanser that leaves my skin feeling very soft and not stripped of oils. When we strip away all the oils in our skin using harsher cleansers and toners (especially ones that contain a substantial amount of alcohol) it just encourages the skin to product more oil and in turn, you're back to square one.

Argan oilrice silk and rosemary leaf are three main extracts in this cleanser and help to purfiying my skin whilst keeping it balanced. This cleanser applies as a gel to dry skin and washes off as a creamy and refreshing milk. Due to this interesting change of state I find that it's easier to remove just using hands and water. It also smells lovely; slightly sweet and floral.

3. Etat Pur Purifying Micellar Cleansing Water
I am an avid believer in the benefits of double cleansing and when I first started I was shocked at how much daily grime and makeup is actually still chilling out on your face after the first cleanse. This Etat Pur cleanser is great for that first step of the double cleanse. With a few cotton pads you can remove the majority of your makeup with this easily and then just let it dry. This will then allow you to use a second cleanser that's better suited for your skin type and you can actually work it into the skin and gain the benefits from the ingredients it contains.

Although, this particular cleansing water is aimed at blemish prone skin, their original one is just as good in my opinion. For a French skincare brand, Etat Pur is easily available in the UK and is relatively inexpensive. One of those products you can stock up on without feeling guilty. ;)

It would be easy for me to keep going but you've probably finished your cuppa by now. There are a ton of other amazing cleansers on the market but it's worth taking your time and choosing one that's right for you! "
Thank you Sarirah for your very informative post. All the products sound amazing, and I'm not even a skincare junkie!
If you'd like to read more from Sarirah don't forget to head over to her BLOG or like her FACEBOOK page. 

September 04, 2012

Essie "Bangle Jangle" NOTD

I'm really loving Essie nail polishes at the moment. I first got into them when I was pregnant because they were 3 Free (i.e. free from DPB, Toluene and Formaldehyde) and have slowly added to my collection. Bangle Jangle is my latest purchase, which was reduced down to AUD $6 from $18.95 at a discount cosmetics store at Sydney's Birkenhead Point.
Essie nail polish Bangle Jangle

Essie "Bangle Jangle" swatches

It's a greyed mauve colour which goes totally opaque in 2 coats. You can even get opacity with a single thicker coat. Day 4 and it's still going strong on my nails with only minor chipping on my index fingernail. I've heard people complain about the quality of some of the Essie shades, e.g. that they require multiple coats to get opaque, they chip, etc, but I'm yet to meet an Essie I haven't liked.

On nails Essie "Bangle Jangle". Bracelet "Diva"
Essie Bangle Jangle - with flash
Essie Bangle Jangle - No flash

Do you like Essie nail polishes? 
Any favourite colours?

September 02, 2012

My top 5 Illamasqua picks

Good news for my Australian readers - my favourite brand Illamasqua has permanently dropped their prices here in Australia to make it more in line with the rest of the world. You may have heard about the campaign they ran in August, Fair Price for Beauty, taking a stance against the ridiculous overpricing of cosmetics in Australia. After the success of their campaign thanks to everyone that signed their petition they have now dropped their prices. 

So now that the prices are lower and you really want to experience the brand yourself (if you haven't already) where do you start?

I love everything from the range, but if I had to pick just 5 items, these would be it.

My top 5 Illamasqua picks

1. Illamasqua Bronzing Duo in Glint & Writhe
This finely milled bronzer comes in two beautiful shades with subtle shimmer. Use the darker shade to contour and the lighter one to highlight. HERE is my original review.
Was $63 Now $39

Illamasqua powder (2) and cream (3) blushes

Illamasqua makes THE BEST BLUSHES ever. Their powder blushes are extremely finely milled, very pigmented and a dream to blend. I have several of their blushes, but if I had to pick just one shade it would be Naked Rose as it's a suit-all neutral pink. HERE is my original review.

Their cream blushes are very lightweight and don't feel tacky on the skin. They are also very long lasting and can be worn on the lips as well as on cheeks. My pick is the gorgeous apricot shade called Rude. HERE is my review of the blush, and a FOTD wearing Rude on cheeks and lips.

Blushes were $42 each Now $28 each

4. Illamasqua lipsticks

Illamasqua lipsticks are crazily pigmented and very very long lasting. They are a matte formula, so if you have dry lips it's essential you apply lip balm first. But the fact that these last on the lips pretty much the whole day (yes, including through several cups of coffee and lunch), makes you forgive any discomfort due to dryness. My pick is the barbie pink shade called Corrupt. HERE is my original post on it, HERE is where I wore it in a Lipstick Challenge I took part in, and HERE is where I wore it when meeting the founder of Illamasqua, Julian Kynaston.
Was $39 Now $25

5. Illamasqua Skin Base foundation
This is one of my go to foundations. It's got medium but buildable coverage which looks completely natural on. It never goes cakey on me even though I powder it down usually to make it last the whole day. Without any blotting powder it gives a dewy look. I wear #8 which is a good match to my NC25 skintone. My original review and FOTD wearing this foundation is HERE.
Was $65 Now $41

Next on my wishlist are their Concealer, the Complement Palette and the Precision Ink Eyeliner so my next trip to the Sydney City Myer will involve a stop at the Illamasqua counter no doubt.

In Australia Illamasqua is available exclusively at Myer Sydney City, Melbourne City, Brisbane City, Bondi, Chadstone, Robina &

{PS: I'm not affiliated with the brand despite the fact I keep banging on an on about it}.

If you have already discovered Illamasqua, what are some of your favourites?


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