Tuesday, 30 July 2013

The Affordable 5 Product Face

So you know those days where you wake up, you casually sit up, you look at your clock and then have a mild freak out because you have literally got 5 minutes to get out the door OR you wake up when you're meant to leave. Yep.. well that happened to me a few weeks ago. I woke up when I was meant to be at work in 10 minutes .. and it takes me 20 minutes to drive to work on a good day. I can't help it but in those situations I still feel like I need to wear makeup to work. It's all good if it's a brunch date with friends I'll happily grudgingly leave without makeup, but for work I need to feel put together. So in comes the 5 product face. 5 products that are a no-brainer and you can whip then out when you're in a pickle. I've chosen 5 that won't break the bank :)

1. First things first, cover up those areas of redness, dark circles, blemishes all with one product Maybelline Fit Me Concealer. This has excellent coverage for it's price and is definitely a concealer I'd recommend if you want one on the cheaper end. 

2. Next up, brows. Fill those things in.. they frame your face and can make a huge difference to your appearance. I use Maybelline Define-a-Brow

3. Lashings of mascara. I have puny eyelashes and my eyes actually look like they have no eyelashes if they haven't been curled or have no mascara applied. My Covergirl Clump Crusher is currently on it's last legs but I have been loving it.. more so when it's dried out a bit. It provides my lashes with a good amount of length, volume with minimal clumps.  

4. Use your lipstick as both a lipstick AND a blush. I used Revlon's Lip Butter in Sweet Tart which provides a lovely pink flush and 'wakes up' my complexion. Slap that lipstick on your lips, then apply some on your cheeks and blend it in with your fingers. 

5. Lastly, a powder. I have a current love affair with Rimmel's Stay Matter Powder. Now, if your skin holds makeup well and powder is not necessary, skip this step. 

And there you have it.. my 5 product face. Easy for on the go, fast makeup that helps you look like you didn't just roll out of bed. The only thing that really needs a brush is the powder and to be honest, it is the least necessary step out of the lot. 

What do you use when you're in a pickle and need fast, reliable makeup?


Saturday, 27 July 2013

Polish of the Week: Rimmel London Lyrca Pro in 404 Icon Style

The nail polish of this week is Rimmel London Lycra Pro in 404 Icon Style. It's a beautiful dark raspberry red colour. The wear time of this nail polish is definitely phenomenal. It lasts 5 days with minimal chipping with my 'Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Top Coat'. It beats the wear time of my OPI and Butter London nail polishes and its half to a third of the price of those. Will definitely be trying more for this range.


Thursday, 25 July 2013

I blame the sales...

I've been a bit of a shopping addict lately. I blatantly blame the sales! They entice me way too much. Here is what I've picked up recently beauty wise (I may or may not have a little loot of new clothing items). Some of these are repurchases so that totally doesn't count right?!.. and the others.. well I have been eyeing them. Yes, let's reason my purchases that way shall we? Mooovvingg on...

Let's start off with the repurchases (a good sign that I actually love the stuff). Aesop Parsley Seed Cleansing Masque and L'Occitane Cherry Blossom Hand Cream were both purchased at Myer.  The Aesop mask is definitely a staple and I find that it's the best all rounder mask for me. It helps reduce inflammation in any break outs and improves the appearance and clarity of my skin. I have definitely noticed a difference in my skin when using this regularly (once a week). The hand cream just smells so darn good that I had to repurchase it in the handy travel size version. It's a sweet, smelling flowery scent that's not too sweet and not too flowery. Wow.. could my description be anymore horrible? Just go smell it! I always get asked 'what's that smell?' when I whip it out. 

The last 3 items are items that I have had my eye on (yes, yes, the justification is creeping in again). Myer were having 20% off of their Apivita range at the time so I picked up three different face masks: Express Beauty with Carrot, Express Beauty with Orange and Express Beauty with Pomegranate. They normally retail for $7.90 for 2 of the small packets pictured above which I personally find a bit pricey for the amount you get but the sale brought it under $5. 

Next, I spied Indeed Labs Hydraluron. Yes, that's right. The ever so talked about product that has been arguably made famous by the skin care goddess that is, Caroline Hirons. It wasn't on sale but I 'needed' it. You can find it at your Priceline for $34.99. 

Lastly, the Macadamia Deep Repair Masque which has also been raved about. This size was $19.99 and I received 10% due to a sale going on that day. It was either this size or the one in the tub. I liked the packaging of the tube better as it seemed less messy and there is not as much opportunity for water to seep in...even if it was more value for money in the tub. 

Have you been drawn in by the sales too?

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

What's in my makeup basket #2

I used Bobbi Brown's Peach Corrector under the eyes, with L'oreal's Dream Lumi Touch Highlighting Concealer over the top. I then applied Maybelline's Fit Me Concealer on the areas of my face which are slightly discoloured to even out my skin tone (around the nose, chin and cheek areas). I then set my face with Rimmel Stay Matte Powder in Translucent down my T-zone and under my eyes. 

As usual, I used Maybelline Define-a-Brow to fill in the tail-end of my brows

I bronzed my face up with Benefit's Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow Foundation in Nutmeg. I received this sample in a beauty box but it's obviously way too dark for my skin tone. So I've resorted to using this as a bronzer. I need the tiniest amount for my whole face. 

For blusher I applied a thin layer of Make Up Forever HD Blush in #7, and topped it off with MAC's Well Dressed blush. Not only does layering these 2 products provide the perfect pinky cheek for me, but layering a cream blush with a powder blush provides a longer-lasting blush. 

I applied Too Faced Shadow Insurance on my eyelids, then MAC's Brule eyeshadow which is a cream coloured shadow all over the lid and MAC's Soft Brown in the crease blended out. Soft Brown is a lovely warm brown shade which is perfect for defining and warming up the crease. I then applied a thin line of Prestige Waterproof Eyeliner in Black and then set it with Inglot's Matte Eyeshadow in 348 to prevent smudging. The mascara of choice was Covergirl Clump Crusher.

I layered MAC's Creme D'Nude under Revlon's Carnation Lipstick from the Super Lustrous Range to provide a nice wearable everyday pink. 
I find that applying this nude lipstick under a brighter lipstick tones down the colour of the lipstick making it more wearable for daytime/work. 


Sunday, 21 July 2013

The Winter Skin Change Up

During Winter my skin type changes from oily/combination to normal.  In order to combat these changes, I make several alterations to my skin routine.

1. Cream Cleanser
I use a cream cleanser as I find it is more hydrating for the skin. I love Alpha H Balancing Cleanser with Aloe Vera. It removes all traces of makeup as the product says and it cleanses my face well. 

2. Addition of oils
I add oils to my skin care routine both during the morning and at night. I apply this either before my moisturiser or mixed in. I am currently swapping between Swisse's Argan Face Oil and Swisse's Rose Hip Oil which I am liking at the moment. 

3. Hydrating face mask
In addition to my usual kaolin clay face masks to draw out the impurities, I add a hydrating face mask to the routine. I am using Ocean Essence Nourishing Cherry Face Mask. It does the job but I think I can find better. Any suggestions are welcome! The good thing about this face mask is that it goes on clear which means I have used this on flights and noone can tell. I love using a hydrating mask on flights since the air in the sky is extremely drying so a nourishing face mask can tend to this. 

4. Heavier body moisturiser 
I switch up from a regular body moisturiser to something heavier like a body butter. I have been using The Body Shop Dreams Unlimited Body Butter

5. Regular exfoliation
Winter means drier skin especially on the body so I exfoliate twice a week. I use my DIY Winter Body Scrub posted here, which provides a great deal of nourishment due to the almond oil.  

6. Added bonus step
If you're not a stranger to my new blog, I love Lush Ro's Argan Body Conditioner. I have documented my love for it here. This product is perfect for tending to those extra dry spots. 


Friday, 19 July 2013

Polish of the Week: China Glaze For Audrey

Possibly not the most winter appropriate shade, but it does put a smile on my face! Nails.. meet China Glaze's For Audrey. The best way to describe this is if Tiffany's bottled their brand colour and sold it as a nail polish you'd get this beauty. This is my only China Glaze nail polish and I have to say that this wears beautifully on my nails. Wear time is great and is opaque in two coats. If only China Glaze were more accessible here in Australia. I know you can pick them up online but I prefer seeing the colour in the bottle before purchasing. I always feel like the pictures of the bottles on the website distorts the colour. 

Have you tried China Glaze nail polishes before? Any colours you'd recommend?

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Review: (Malin + Goetz) Lip Moisturizer

I possibly have some of the most sensitive lips ever. During the summer time they burn so easily even if I have put sunscreen lip balm on. This results in swollen and sore lips which then get dry and crusty, and then a few days later comes the flaking. Sorry for the painful and disgusting visual! In winter time they aren't as bad and this winter I thought I was travelling well.. no dry lips etc etc. until earlier this week when it hit. I'm not sure what sparked it which is annoying to say the least! That night, dry, swollen lips which I knew were going to worsen over the coming days. Refusing to succumb to the flakiness that was going to happen in the next 48 hours I vowed to find a lip balm/moisturiser which would stop this madness! After doing some research, I settled on 'Dr Lipp's Nipple Balm for Lips' which I read worked wonders on chapped lips, but a $28 price tag at Mecca Cosmetica? *gulp* I was going to have to part with that money over a single lip balm. It was okay though, I was prepared to try anything that would work. 

So off I went to Mecca the next day. When I arrived I asked the shop assistant what she would recommend and she recommended (Malin + Goetz) Lip Moisturiser. I hadn't heard of this brand at all to be honest and asked to be lead to Dr Lipp's. I took one whiff of Dr Lipp's Nipple Balm for Lips and absolutely could not handle the strong Lanolin smell. Maybe I could deal with it if it was elsewhere on my body but definitely not my lips where it was so near my nose. I went with the (Malin + Goetz) Lip Moisturiser that was originally recommended and I am so glad I did. It was $18 which is still pricey but much better than the $28 price tag I was originally planning on spending. It came in a Mojito scent and an unscented version but I stuck to the unscented version.

The product is clear and the consistency is thick and gel-like. It feels tacky to the touch but there is no stickiness once applied to the lips. I absolutely detest sticky glosses! My hair will always get stuck to my lips. It has a glossy finish and lasts for several hours on the lips if you aren't eating/drinking which is the longest I have come across for any balm/moisturiser. 

I applied this liberally and as needed to my lips and waited.. waited to see if those flaky lips would appear. It reached 'beauty staple' status when I my dry, chapped lips disappeared after a couple of days and the flakiness NEVER appeared. It was actually a miracle. 

I will not be without this product again! Now to see if it'll work in summer. Summer... you can come out now! No, really, you can come out. Your sunshine is extremely deceptive because I step outside thinking it'll be semi-warm and then you hit me with a cold chill!


Monday, 15 July 2013

The "Bought" Freebie

The "bought freebie" is the term that I give to the products that you receive for "free" in exchange for a number of finished products from the same brand. I recently made a stop off at Lush and MAC to receive my free products. It is definitely exciting when you trade in your "trash" for some new product! It's like going shopping but not spending any money (on the day that is...)

So my first stop off was at Lush. Their "bought freebie" system is that you receive a Fresh Face Mask of your choice for free when you bring back 5 clean full-size Lush pots or tubes. I've traded empty pots on two other occasions and it's always so satisfying to get that new fresh face mask! I see this as an opportunity to try the masks out that I might not be willing to spend my own money on. The best thing about this system is that after you trade in 5 and receive your face mask, you can then use this pot to count towards your next 5. So really you are only paying for 4 the next time around. I wanted to choose a mask that I had not tried before and so I went for The Sacred Truth. It left my skin soft and supple after washing it off and I found my skin was pumped up in the hydration department after using this. Definitely a win during the winter time. My friend did try this product as well though and some break-outs did surface as a result. So just be weary if you have sensitive skin that can be prone to break-outs. 

My next stop off was MAC. I traded in my 6 empty products for one of the 20 lipsticks that you can choose from for the 'Back to MAC' program. I chose Vegas Volt which is a creamy bright orange-coral. It has been a staple ever since I bought it. 

What other 'bought freebies' have you received?


Friday, 12 July 2013

What's in my makeup basket today? #1

On my face today was a healthy dose of Origins Vitazing all over my face. Under my eyes, I used Bobbi Brown's Corrector in Peachfollowed by L'Oreal Dream Lumi Touch Highlighting Concealer over the top. I also used this concealer around my nose, cupid's bow and on my chin. I set my face with Rimmel Stay Matte Powder, but only used this in the areas I get oily i.e., my T-zone. 

I used Maybelline Define-a-Brow in Dark Brown to fill in the end of my brows. 

I applied Topshop Acting Up blush stick on my cheeks blended in with my fingers. 

A wash of Bobbi Brown Wheat Eyeshadow across my lids, with a thin line of Prestige Waterproof Eyeliner in black applied close to my lash line and a decent coat of Covergirl Clump Crusher Mascara on my curled eyelashes. 

I used the Revlon Lip Butter in Tutti Frutti on my lips today. It's a lovely bright orange that can be sheered out for a more natural look or applied more liberally for an intense look. Two swipes of this on my lips and I was good to go!


Thursday, 11 July 2013

Polish of the Week: Butter London Fash Pack

Butter London's Fash Pack is a mushroom/taupe colour with subtle gold shimmer running through. I received this free in a magazine one or two years ago. Actually, I lie... I bought the magazine FOR this nail polish. A $20 nail polish for the price of a $9 magazine? Yes please! Don't you love amazing freebies with magazines? Anyway, the colour in the bottle translates to the nails; however, the gold shimmer does not which I prefer anyway. It is a totally work friendly colour and is definitely a staple in my collection. It's my go-to taupe shade and my go-to shade when I'm not sure what to wear for the working week.


Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Recent Beauty Pick-ups

I have picked up a few beauty bits over the last couple weeks from various places including MAC, Chemist Warehouse, Priceline and Woolworths. 

Priceline are actually having 20% off of their Batiste range at the moment. If you noticed from my 'Dry Shampoo Contest' battle I am currently surviving on a tiny travel size bottle of the stuff and since it is my favourite all-rounder dry shampoo it was prime time to stock up! I picked up two, Batiste with a hint of colour and the second was the Big and Bouncy XXL Volume. I have actually been keeping an eye out for the XXL volume since my hair can be quite flat and I have heard good things. Lets hope it holds up to the claims!

Next on my list was one of Rimmel's Apocalips in Celestial which have just hit the shelves in Australia (and America under the name Show Off Lip Lacquer). I have heard rave reviews from bloggers and youtubers in the UK so I could not wait to get my hands on one! I chose the colour Celestial as it was the best everyday pink colour. I really wanted to try a safe everyday natural pink colour before venturing out to some of the more brighter, fun colours. I have my eyes on Nova if it all pans out well - a lovely bright hot pink colour. 

I also picked up Maybelline's Colour Tattoo in Tough as Taupe which is a matte taupe cream shadow. I also have this in 'Bad to the Bronze' (a shimmery bronze) and have to say the staying power and pigmentation of these cream shadows are absolutely amazing even on my eyelids which seem to crease everything. 

Possibly the most exciting purchase was the MAC 217. I have had my eye on this for the longest time but the $37 price tag was not the most ideal. Let's just say that I have finally caved...

Last but not least were these Make Up Design Nail Stickers from Woolworths which I picked up for only $2 as they were on clearance. I went for one with a red base and white polka dots and one with small diamantes all over which I think would be nice used as an accent nail over any colour nail polish. I have never heard of this brand before so it'll be interesting to see how it turns out. 

What have you picked up lately?


Sunday, 7 July 2013

DIY Body Scrub - The Winter Edition

I posted a DIY Coffee Scrub recipe here a couple of months ago. However, the winter season has seen me alter the recipe to make it more wintery and cosy.. if that's even possible with a scrub. Personally, I love the smell of warm spices in the winter. Think chai, mixed spice. Doesn't the thought make you feel a tad warm and fuzzy? 

1 cup of brown sugar
2 tablespoons of almond oil
2 heaped teaspoons of mixed spice
1 heaped teaspoon of ground cinnamon

1 container to place your scrub it. Make sure it is sealed, we don't want any water from the shower getting in! Mine was only $2.00 from The Reject Shop. 

1. Add all ingredients in a bowl and mix. 
2. Transfer into your container.
3. Scrub away!

You can always alter the scrub to suit your preferences. If you prefer a less grainy texture, add more almond oil and more sugar if you prefer it more coarse. Just eyeball the consistency. If you prefer the scent to be stronger, add more mixed spice and the opposite if you would like the scent to be more mild. 

The almond oil in this scrub will leave your skin moisturised and the sugar will leave it smooth. 


Friday, 5 July 2013

The Dry Shampoo Contest

I am an avid dry shampoo user. My hair tends to get very oily at the roots but since it is not good to wash your hair everyday, I rely on the stuff to extend the time between washes which lets be honest here, is only every two days and not every three to four days (my hair would be serious grease ball styles if I left it that long). I use it every second day when I haven't washed my hair the night before. I have tried many different dry shampoos in a bid to find the perfect one. In this contest, I will be comparing 4 of the most recent dry shampoos that I have used which are easily accessible from Priceline, Woolworths etc. I will look at 3 different areas in particular: effectiveness, smell and value for money. 

Toni & Guy Cleanse Dry Shampoo - $15.99 (250ml)

Effectiveness: The effectiveness of this dry shampoo is decent; however, I feel like I need to use quite a bit of product to get my hair to the point where it doesn't look like a hot mess. Does it's job, but nothing to dance around about. Rating: 3/5. 

Value for Money: This dry shampoo is on the slightly higher end in terms of price when you compare it to other dry shampoos in Priceline and Woolworths, but there are always sales so I suggest to wait until it goes on sale. Rating: 3/5. 

Smell: Loveeeee the scent of this. It smells like a salon and lingers in your hair for a few hours after spraying it. If you're not one for scents or are sensitive to scents, skip this. Rating: 4/5. 

Overall Rating: 10/15

Batiste Dry Shampoo - $9.99 (200ml)

Effectiveness: The effectiveness of this dry shampoo is decent; however, I feel like I need to use quite a bit of product to get my hair to the point where it doesn't look like a hot mess. Does it's job, but nothing to dance around about. Rating: 4/5.  

Value for Money: I feel like for the price and the amount you get, it is great value for money. Rating: 4/5.  

Smell: The great thing about this dry shampoo is that there are many different scents for you to choose from. I'm sure you could find one that you like. My favourites are the tropical and the blush scents. Rating: 4/5.  

Overall Rating: 12/15

Lush No Drought Dry Shampoo - $13.50 (115g)

Effectiveness: This dry shampoo does a decent job at soaking up the oils and adds some volume to your hair while it's at it. This one is a little different in comparison to other dry shampoos as it is a white powder. I find that this is best for night time use because it's too fiddly to use in the morning. In fact, every time I use it white powder falls on my face. How I use it is to apply this to my roots at night, sleep on it and let it soak up the oils at night which means no white cast and less dry shampoo use in the morning. Rating: 3.5/5.  

Value for Money: This product will last f.o.r.e.v.e.r. I have had this product for several months now but does not look like it's been touched. Rating: 5/5

Smell: For me, the downside of this product lies in the smell. It says it's meant to be a light citrus scent but to me it smells like lemon-scented toilet cleaner. Luckily I don't find that the smell lingers in the hair. Rating: 1/5.  

Overall Rating: 9.5/15

Tre Semme Fresh Start Dry Shampoo - $11.49 (170ml)
This product is not pictured because well, it's in the trash. I tried it several times before succumbing to the fact that it just did not agree with my hair. I have heard numerous people say great things about this dry shampoo but for me, it did not like my hair. It is an aerosol can, like most dry shampoos out there. 

Effectiveness: To put it bluntly, this product made my hair look oilier than it originally was and left a sticky, tacky product-laden feeling in my hair. Not effective at all for me. Rating: 0/5.  

Value for Money: This product is not too bad in terms of value for money for the amount of product you get, but did I mention the sticky, oily feeling that I got in my hair after using it (Nope? Didn't think so!). In that sense, this wasn't value for money but a waste of money for me (sorry, Tre Semme). Rating: 3/5.  

Smell: This product does smell amazing. It smells like you have just been to the hairdressers kinda smell. This didn't make up for the fact that my hair looked worse after. Rating: 4/5.   

Overall Rating: 7/15


The overall winner has to go to the Batiste Dry Shampoo. They are the most effective and convenient dry shampoos in my books with some great scents. I will always have one of these on my dressing table. Honourable mention does go to the Lush No Drought Dry Shampoo as I tend to use both on the days I don't wash my hair. Lush's dry shampoo is used at night to soak up those oils overnight and Batiste is used in the morning to tend to those oilier sections. 

Value for money 
Hands down, Lush's No Drought Dry Shampoo is the most value for money dry shampoo I have tried so far. Who knows when I will need to purchase another one. It'll probably expire before then!

Toni & Guy's Cleanse Dry Shampoo. Mmm.. salon smelling hair...

What dry shampoos do you like?


Thursday, 4 July 2013

Polish of the Week: Revlon's Teak Rose

Apologies for missing last week's 'Polish of the Week'. Work has been super hectic and I have been working 6 day weeks which has been extremely tiring! This week's Polish of the Week is Revlon's 161 in Teak Rose. I'd have to say that this is one of my all time favourite polishes. It's a muted rose colour with hints brown. I love this colour in the autumn/winter time and when I'm after something neutral-ish but provides some pop of colour. 


Wednesday, 3 July 2013

June Favourites 2013

So let's start off with the products that have made a reappearance. Firstly, Origins Vitazing is making another appearance in this month's favourites. It does not provide much coverage but it evens out my complexion enough that I only need to apply concealer to the darker areas of my face e.g., around my nose and chin. Secondly, is Revlon's Lip Butter in Berry Smoothie. Perfect everyday berry colour with a moisturising formula. A staple in my collection. 

Concealer of choice this month has been Maybelline Dream Lumi Touch Highlighting Concealer. I bought this a few weeks again during Chemist Warehouse's massive 50% sale off various makeup brands including Maybelline. I can't remember how much I bought it for in the end, but it was definitely under $10. I apply this under the eyes and it immediately wakes up my tired eyes. I also apply this around my nose, cupid's bow and down the bridge of my nose to also brighten up those areas. I have literally been wearing this concealer everyday. I do set this with a powder because it will crease if I don't (I learnt this the hard way and got a fright when I looked in the mirror during my lunch break!). My dark circles aren't too bad so I find that even though this isn't designed to conceal, it does the job for me when I wake up and those pesky circles aren't too obvious that day. I will however, apply a proper concealer under this if I find I need more coverage. My only gripe with this product is that there is only 1.5ml which means that you don't get a lot of product at all and I've already made a considerable dent in mine.  

For eyes I have been loving my Too Faced Shadow Insurance coupled with a mid-tone warm brown (bottom row, third from the left pictured above) from my Sleek Oh So Special palette. I find that the Too Faced Shadow Insurance stops my eyeshadow from creasing and helps it to last throughout the day. In terms of the shadow, I apply this to my entire eyelid as a wash of colour. Now don't get me wrong.. I still love MAC's Bamboo eyeshadow that I wrote about last month, but I find that it can be too warm to apply all over the lid. 

For brows I always use my Maybelline Define-a-Brow and has been repurchased on numerous occasions. The tail of my brows are stubborn little things, so this product allows me to fill in the end of my brows. It is quick and easy in the morning and the product is thin enough to make hair-like strokes, PLUS it lasts all day on me. 

A gadget that I have been loving is the Models Prefer Lipstick Organiser. I store most of my makeup in those A4 drawers that are made for filing. Definitely not the prettiest thing out there, but it is cheap and practical and allows me to store my entire collection in a 5 drawer set. The problem with this is that I forget what I have and gravitate towards the same lipsticks over and over again. This organiser reminds me to use a variety of my lipsticks so that more lipsticks feel the love :)

I have had a few spots this month and have been relying on Origins Super Spot Remover which I find helps clear up my spots quicker. It's great for those surface pimples as opposed to the pimples deep under the skin. It is a gel consistency and applies clear. It is my spot treatment of choice and has been for the last couple of years. 

What products did you enjoy during the month of June?