Monday, 31 December 2012

Non-beauty related: Macarons!

So I love Macarons. I am a sweet person and I love chocolate but my favourite sweets/dessert of all times is French Macarons. They are crunchy on the outside and when you bite into it they are soft and gooey and then you get the beautiful creamy ganache.

I think the best Macarons that I can get in Canberra is from Dream Cuisine. They are really nice and they've got a variety of different and interesting flavours.  But they are $3 per macaron so it will add up if I keep buying Macarons often. Another favourite of mine is Adriano Zumbo macarons but it's only in Sydney so I can only get it when I go up to Sydney.

Recently my best friend told me that Adriano Zumbo has released baking mixes of his macarons. There are 2 and they are the salted caramel macarons and passionfruit macarons. I bought around 5 boxes since I was so excited to try them and it was sold out at my local Woolworths so I had to get it at another store. The packet mix is really easy to make and they all turn out perfectly each time. I have tried making macaron with my sister once but it didn't turn out like a macaron at all.

Anyway, I know this is not beauty related but I was bored today so I decided to try out to make Macarons from scratch again (and I was really proud and happy with the result!!!). I watched several videos on how to make macarons and read different recipes before I made it. The recipe that I finally decided to use was from However, I did make one change and that was using Hazelnut meal because that's all I had at home.

After about 1.5 hour of prep, waiting and baking, the macaron turned out really well! I used a caramel filling and added a bit of salt to get that salted caramel taste. The macarons tasted more nutty with the hazelnut meal so next time I might try the original recipe with almond meal.

Here are some photos of the macarons:

Sunday, 30 December 2012

EOTD #4 - New Years Eve Party Makeup

So I've been watching a few YouTube videos on New Years Eve Party Makeup and it got me inspired to do one myself. I was particularly inspired by Lisa Eldridge's video on Party makeup.

So here it is:

Products used:

For the eyes:

  • Mirenesse Jumbo Black eyeshadow/liner pencil 
  • MAC Shimmermoss
  • MAC Beauty Marked
  • MAC Cross Cultural
  • Ben Nye Lumiere Lux Shimmer Powder in Ice
  • Rimmel Soft Kohl Kajal Eye Pencil in Royal Blue
  • Maybelline Master Precise Liquid Eyeliner
  • Maybelline One by One mascara
For the face:
  • MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation NC30
  • Inglot AMC Face Blush (Liquid Blush) in shade 81
  • Benefit High Beam

So to do the eye makeup I started by putting on the jumbo black eyeshadow pencil all over the lid as a base. You can use any black kohl eyeliner, black cream eyeshadow or even MAC Blacktrack fluidline. I then use a fluffy brush like MAC 217 to just blend it up a bit towards the crease.

Then I apply MAC Shimmermoss all over the lid. Then on the crease I mixed a bit of MAC Beauty Marked (a black red eyeshadow) and Cross Cultural (a matte dark brown) and apply on the crease blending it in with the turquoise eyeshadow. I also applied Ben Nye Lumiere Luxe Shimmer Powder all over to give it a beautiful shimmery look and then I applied a thin line of liquid eyeliner along the lash line and winged it out a little.

On the bottom lash line I applied Rimmel soft kohl kajal eye pencil in Royal Blue along the lash line and then smudged a black kohl eye pencil on the outer third. I finished off by applying several coats of mascara. If you want, you can use fake lashes to give it a more dramatic look but I didn't have time so I just applied mascara.

And that is it. I think this look is quite easy to achieve and if you don't have the same colours, you can always play around and try using different colour.

And I just want to wish everyone a Happy New Year!! Wishing you all a safe and happy 2013!

December 2012 Bella Box and Savoir Faire Winter Kit Swatches

So I was really excited in getting the December Bella Box since I read on Beautyheaven forums that there was something in it that's worth $110. When I opened it I was happy with the contents.

There was only 1 full size product in the box and that was the Savoir Faire Limited Edition Kit in Winter. The other products that was in the box were samples. There was EmerginC moisturiser and cleanser, Allegra Rhodes Hand and Nail Cream (in Red Lychee), John Frieda Frizz-Ease Secret Weapon Finishing Creme and Compeed blister patch.

So far I have only tried the hand cream and the Savoir Faire Kit. The hand cream is nice and has a beautiful lychee scent.  I'm not sure if I will buy the full size though since I already have plenty of hand creams

Now, the Savoir Faire Winter Kit. The kit contains 6 eyeshadows, a blush, a sheer lip gloss, a black mini pencil eyeliner and a mini mascara.

This is the ingredients list:
The kit also came with 3 day to night face charts but I haven't tried them yet. I have however used the eyeshadows with other eyeshadows. The only item I haven't tried is the mascara.

I have swatched the eyeshadows and blushes and they are pigmented and the colours are beautiful. I think if you want to experiment and play around with colours, this is the palette to go too. The only neutral colour is Devout which is a creamy golden colour.

Eyeshadow swatches with flash: Devout, Spicy, Kinetic, Liberating, Immortal and Vivacious

Eyeshadow swatches without flash: Devout, Spicy, Kinetic, Liberating, Immortal and Vivacious
The blush was a really lovely soft pink colour and it's pigmented too but you can apply it sheerly and build it up as desired. It's got a slight shimmer to it (you can see it in the swatches with flash).

Blush swatch without flash

Blush swatch with flash
So that's December Bella Box. This is my second box I've received since I started subscribing in November. I'm not sure if I  will continue the subscription for long. I think I will cancel it after I receive the January box. Even though I've been happy with what I've received, I think I need to use up all the products that I have before piling up my shelf with more products.

Thursday, 27 December 2012

BYS Magnetic Nail Polish Review

So a couple of weeks ago when I had training from work, I went past KMart at lunch time. While I was looking around I found this BYS brand makeup. I have heard of it before but I've never tried it. Since I already have tons of make up I decided not to get anything.... that is until I saw the BYS Magnetic Nail Polish. Plus it was only $4, so I thought why not! I've been meaning to buy a magnetic nail polish since it came in trend in the past few months so this was a good chance to try them out.

The colour I purchase was a purple or violet colour. I love purple and the only other shades that was available was a dark grey silver and a dark green colour.

Even though I had bought this a couple of weeks ago I haven't had the chance to try out the polish. And since my Christmas day was a quiet day I decided to try it out then. I was very happy with how it turned out, although with my first application I accidentally put my nails too close to the magnet and smudged it all over the magnet but I got a hang of it after a couple of applications.

Here is the final result:
BYS Magnetic Nail Polish (without flash)
BYS Magnetic Nail Polish (with flash)
I really liked how it turns out so I might buy some more if I can find nicer shades/colour that I like. I might also try other brands to see if the magnet has different patterns.

Have you tried any magnetic nail polish yet? Do you like them? Let me know what you think or if there are better magnetic nail polish with cooler patterns, please leave a comment.

MUA Professional Brow Kit Review

So earlier in the week I posted my MUA haul and one of the products that I purchased was the Professional brow kit.

The first thing I noticed when I was about to buy the brow kit was that it only came in the one colour group. There was no different variations of the kit, just the one.

The kit contains:

  • 2 different brown shades of brow powder
  • 1 matte neutral highlight shade
  • 1 wax/gel to set the eyebrow powder and set brows into place
  • 1 two sided angled eyebrow brush/applicator
  • 1 mini tweezer
Considering what you get in the brow kit, it is actually a pretty compact kit that you can easily carry around in your handbag or in a small makeup bag for travelling.

Below are the swatches of the brow kit (Top - with flash; Bottom - without flash):

From L to R: Neutral matte highlight shade (bottom left of the kit), Light brown brow shade (top right of the kit), Dark brown brow shade (top left of the kit)

All 3 of the powders in the kit are quite pigmented. At first I thought this brow kit would not suit me since my natural hair colour is black but surprisingly the dark brown powder blended well with my eyebrow and did not look unnatural at all. I found what worked best for me was to apply the brow powder first to fill and define the eyebrow and then use the gel/wax over it to set it in place and to intensify it. If needed, I go back in again with the brow powder just to add depth and intensity. I sometimes also do it the other way around. It is up to you really what works best for you.

Although the 2-sided brush that came with the kit didn't seem like it was a dense angled brush it works quite well in applying the brow powder and gel. With the gel/wax,  I actually really like the consistency of the wax and you don't need much at all to use it and it does not come out too greasy. And finally the mini tweezer that came in the kit is not too bad. It is quite useful when you want to pluck a couple of stray hair but I don't think I would be using it for more than a couple of stray hairs as it is quite a small tweezer.

Overall, I really love this brow kit and recommend anyone to buy this if they are looking for an eyebrow kit. Especially for the price of £3.50 (around AU$5.45) it's a really great buy! You can get the brow kit from the MUA Online shop and they do have free shipping and occasional discounts.

Monday, 24 December 2012

EOTD #3 - Bronze/copper smokey eye

Today I did a Bronze smokey eye look. I was inspired by a video by a youtube makeup guru, xteeener, on a sunkissed makeup look but I was particularly inspired by the coppery smokey eye she did. Here is the link to the video:

Anyway, since I didn't have the exact colour of the eyeshadow that xteeener used in the video  tute above I decided to just play around with colours that I have.

Here is the photo of the eyes:

I started by applying a black pencil eyeliner on the lash line. I did quite a rough thick line. I also lined my bottom waterline and lash line. I then used a pencil brush and smudged out the black liner.

Over the liner and all over the lid I applied MAC eyeshadow in Bronze. I also applied another eyeshadow on top of that to just make it more coppery and that was an eyeshadow from the Savoir Faire limited ed Winter kit in the colour spicy (which was a burnt orange colour).

Then on the crease I applied MAC eyeshadow in Cross Cultural (a matte dark brown colour) and then finally I applied Immortal from the Savoir Faire kit on the outer V to deepen and define the eyes.

I also took the MAC Bronze and Savoir Faire Spicy down on the lash line just to add a bit of colour. I didn't add any more liner to my top lash line, just added it on the waterline and tight line my top lash line since the look was already quite intense.

I finished it off by applying Maybelline One by One Mascara.

So above is the finished look. On my face, I just applied Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum foundation, MAC Peachtwist blush and MUA (Makeup Academy) Bronzed Perfection Bronzer to contour my face and to give that sunkissed look. I was going to use a nude or natural lipstick but I forgot... woops!

Anyway, I hope you like this EOTD look. I really had fun doing this look!

EOTD #2 - Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Eyeshadow #27

Earlier last month I reviewed the Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill eyeshadow in shade #27 which I purchased on my trip in Singapore.

In this EOTD I just simply used the one Giorgio Armani eyeshadow. I didn't want to use any other shades since this shade is just so beautiful on its own. It's a really nice mix of pink taupey colour. I used a blue eyeliner just to add some colour, I think it was a Revlon eyeliner.

Sunday, 23 December 2012

MUA (Makeup Academy) Haul

I received my MUA order a couple of weeks ago so I've had time to use the products and give a brief review. I ordered from MUA after finding out from beautyheaven forum that MUA was having a 35% off sale. All up I paid around $10 for all the products I ordered.

I ordered 6 items: A bronzer, purple glitter eyeliner, radiance concealer pen, eye primer, lip boom and brow kit. However I think they sold out of the eye primer because I had a refund and it was not included in my package when it arrived.

 So far I have tried everything except for the glitter eyeliner and the radiance concealer pen. I was very disappointed in the radiance concealer pen because it did not work at all. It is one of those pen where you twist the botton and the product is supposed to come out but I twisted and twisted and nothing came out.

My favourite item from this haul is definitely the bronzer. It's pigmented and it's not orange. It's just the right colour. I have been using this everyday as a contour powder. The brow kit is quite good too. The dark brown powder blends in quite well with my eyebrows.

I got the Lip Boom in the colour Doin' Good. It's quite a natural pink colour which I like and I think it would be good for an everyday lip colour. The lipstick is a matte finish. It's not too drying but I think you would need to wear a lip balm because the colour can look a bit patchy if I apply it on dried lips. I did not really like the lip gloss though. It was very glittery and you can definitely feel the glitter particles.

This was my first time using MUA products and so far I am happy considering that they are really cheap. The only disappointment was the concealer pen. I will definitely order more products in the future. 

Here is the link to the online store:

Friday, 7 December 2012

Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain - Adore and Lovesick

So I have been waiting for the Revlon Just Bitten Kissable (JBK) Balm Stain to arrive in Australia. When it finally arrived I purchased 2 colours from Priceline and luckily they had a 2-for-1 offer. The 2 colours I bought were Adore and Lovesick. Adore is a brick coloured red while Lovesick is a bright fuschia pink.

Here are some swatches.

Top: Swatches with flash; Bottom: Swatches without flash
So these balm stain looks a lot like Clinique Chubby Stick but at half the price. The RRP in Australia is $17.95. It is cheaper than Clinique Chubby Stick which retails for $35 but I think it's still pretty pricey for Revlon especially when in the US they are selling it for around $8 or $9.  Although the Revlon JBK Balm stain looks a lot like the Clinique chubby stick, the Clinique chubby stick doesn't leave a stain, where as the Revlon JBK does.

Another difference that I found is that Clinique chubby stick seems to be a bit more moisturising than the Revlon. The revlon is moisturising when you first apply it but as time goes by it dries a bit so it's worth applying some lip balm or paw paw ointment before or even after applying the stain.

The Revlon JBK balm stain has a pepperminty smell that is definitely noticeable when you apply it. I don't mind it but some might not like it as it can be quite strong. The colour is buildable. You can just apply a sheer tint or you can build it up to a more opaque colour. And the stain does definitely last. I found that it lasted for about 3 hours even after drinking.

Overall I really love it! I think I love it more than the Clinique Chubby Stick as the colour last longer. My favourite is Adore. I like Lovesick but it can be a bit bright for everyday lip colour. I am planning to buy a couple more colours and will post some swatches when I get them.

Note: There are 2 colours that are not sold in Australia and those are Crush and Rendezvous.

Left: Lovesick      Right: Adore

EOTD #1 - Green with envy

Since I have a lot of eyeshadows (don't ask me how many - it's a lot!!) I thought I should start posting EOTD (Eye of the Day) looks. Here is one I did last week. I did an all green eye makeup.

Here I used MAC eyeshadow in Humid all over the lid and I used MAC Sumptuous Olive on the crease and outer V. For the mascara I used Maybelline Volume Express One by One mascara.

Hope you like this look!

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Everyday Makeup Look

So today I wanted to show you my everyday makeup look. This is the look I usually do when I go to work but sometimes I use less products since I'm usually in a hurry.

The products I used for this look were:

Eyes (All MAC eyeshadows were used):

  • Banshee all over the lid
  • Soft Brown on the crease mixed with a bit of MAC eyeshadow in Cross Cultural
  • Cross Cultural mixed with a bit of Beauty Marked in the outer v
  • Beauty Marked along the top lash line
  • Cross cultural along the bottom lash line
  • Maybelline The One mascara
  • MAC Face and Body Foundation in C2
  • Inglot loose powder to set
  • Natio Mineral Powder Bronzer and Highlighter
  • Ben Nye star dust
  • MAC Blush in Peachtwist
  • Shiseido Automatic Lip Crayon in LC5
If I am in a hurry in the morning, instead of doing the full face makeup I just use a BB cream instead of the foundation and set it with MAC Mineralize Skinfinish natural and then apply blush or bronzer. I also sometimes use the Naked Palette 1 eyeshadows instead of the MAC eyeshadows listed above.  And if I want to tone it down a bit I just use the Cross Cultural (dark brown) eyeshadow by itself instead of mixing it with Beauty Marked eyeshadow so that it's less intense.

I hope you like this look! What do you usually do for your everyday makeup look?

Friday, 30 November 2012

November 2012 Bella Box

So I have heard of all these beauty box subscription like Bella Box and Lust Have It but I didn't want to get it at first since I might not like the products in it... but after reading some blogs and watching videos of Bella Box and Lust Have It I decided to sign up to Bella Box.

I just got my first Bella Box last week. And here are the products inside it:

  • Small sample of Bioderma Crealine H2O Cleansing water
  • 4me Nail Polish Remover pads (30 pads)
  • Swisse Hand cream with vitamin D and pomegranate 30ml
  • Palmolive Strawberry Smoother Body Butter body wash 50ml
  • Bloom Glitter Liquid Eyeliner in Star Gazer 4g
  • John Plunkett Essentials Multi Vitamin Moisturiser 20ml
  • Sample of Skinmiso Pore Beauty Nose pack
My first thoughts: I guess these items are not too bad. I already have the full size (250ml) of the Bioderma Crealine which I bought while I was in Singapore. It's a really nice cleansing water and it hydrates my dry skin! I just thought that there would be a few more full sized products and a makeup bag of some sort.  I won't be stopping my subscription yet though since this is just my first Bella Box. I'll give it a go for another 2 - 3 months at least and then maybe I will stop the subscription. It's good though that there is not only just make up but a mix of different types of products.

I tried out the Skinmiso pore beauty nose pack. It's suppose to cleanse blackheads and whiteheads from around your nose area. Although my skin did not have much blackheads and no whiteheads at all I decided to try it out. There are 2 masks. The first mask is for extraction of the blackheads and whiteheads which you put on for 10 minutes and then you use the cotton swab provided to exfoliate the blackheads further. Then there is a second mask to help calm the skin and moisturise the skin which you leave on for a further 10 min. The first mask was ok to use but when I put on the second mask my skin was stinging and burning immediately after I put it on. I thought it might go away but the burning sensation didn't go away so I took it off. After my skin had calmed down from the stinging I checked the blackheads and it did remove a bit of it but not all. I think this would be better for those who has more oily skin and non-sensitive skin. I don't think I will try this product again since it was just too much for my sensitive skin.

So there it is! My first Bella Box. I'm looking forward to receive next month's one. I hope there will be more exciting items next month!

Sunday, 25 November 2012

IMATS 2012 haul - Brushes

So I know it's a bit late since IMATS Sydney 2012 was on 29th-30th September but I wanted to post my brushes haul on that weekend. I was actually happy that I didn't spend too much.

Most of my purchase were brushes. I bought a few brushes from Royal & Langnickel (R&L). I also got to meet the amazing Emmy Award winning makeup artist Kevin James Bennett (KJB) and I bought one of the R&L Revolution brushes that was created through his collaboration with R&L. I bought the BX-30 Kabuki blush brush for $18. I kinda regret I didn't buy anymore brushes from this line but I already had so much brushes.

The other brushes I bought was a small stippling brush ($6), a small crease brush ($4) and a finishing fan brush ($4).

R& L Revolution BX-30 Blush Brush

BX-30 Blush Brush (From side)

R&L SILK Pro Small Stippling C255

R&L SILK Pro Crease Brush C420

R&L Finishing Fan Brush BE05

Out of all these brushes my favourites would be the crease brush and the BX-30 brush. The crease brush is really good at picking up product and placing it on the crease and blending. It's not too big but yet not too small either. The BX-30 Blush brush is really good not only for blushes but also for contouring. It picks up a lot of products and blends it really well too. I love it! When I bought it, I asked KJB for a contouring brush and this was the one that he recommended. Although this brush is synthetic it amazingly picks up powdered products really well. And it's nice and soft too and not scratchy.  On the other side I did find the Fan brush a bit scratchy and not that soft. 

And even though I already did have tons of brushes I was so tempted and ended up buying one of Rae Morris's brush, the mini Kabuki brush.

The mini kabuki brush is very cute! It was $19.60 but I got a 10% discount at IMATS. I wanted to buy the deluxe kabuki but it was all sold out. This brush can be used to apply bronzer, blushes or highlighter. You can also use it for contouring as well. It's really nice and soft. I really want to buy a lot more of the Rae Morris brush collections but some of them are quite pricey!

So I think that was all the brushes that I bought! Let me know what you think of these brushes if you've tried them.