Monday, 9 December 2013

Urban Decay Vice 2 Palette Review and Swatches

This is my first follow up post to my USA Trip hauls which I recently posted about - click here to visit.

I will be reviewing the Urban Decay Vice 2 Palette. When this first came out I immediately put it on my wish list for my trip coz it looks so pretty. I already have a couple of palettes from Urban Decay: the Original Naked Palette and the Fun Palette. And even though I already have tons of eyeshadows in many different colours I just had to get it. I actually purchased this before I even left Australia because UD had a 20% off Family & Friends sale so I took advantage of this and purchased the palette and sent it to my accommodation at my last stop in the States.

The RRP of this palette is $59 but with the 20% off it was $47.20. I thought this was a great price as it includes 20 eyeshadows and a double ended brush.



PACKAGING

Oh my gosh! I really love the packaging. It's a beautiful gorgeous marbled purple colour. The packaging is made from plastic I think but it feels sturdy. To open the palette there is a button you press and this gently opens the palette. 

The Urban Decay logo is a raised logo with diamond like stone..

There is a large mirror which is the same size as the palette so this is handy if you use this for travelling. 

EYESHADOWS

There are 20 eyeshadows in this palette and there is a variety of colours from blues, purples, pinks, greens and neutral.

The texture for most of the shadows were nice and smooth and the pigmentation for most of the colours were really good and they had good payoff. There were a couple that were less pigmented and were harder to swatch but I will mention it as I go through the swatches.

There were only 2 matte eyeshadows in the whole palette and they are Habit (nude/light beige) and Rewind (neutral brown).  The others were either metallic/frosted finish, satin finish or glittery/shimmers.
I liked most of the colours in the palette but it would've been nice if there were a couple or a few more matte shades or blending shades. 

BRUSH

The palette comes with a dual-sided synthetic brush, one to apply all over the lid and one for blending. With my original Naked Palette I really liked the eyeshadow brush that it came with because it was able to pick up and pack on the eyeshadows evenly. However with this one I did not really like the eyeshadow brush so much as I had to dip it into the colour several times. I liked the blending brush a bit  more though. It is different than other blending brush I have as it's quite narrow so it can apply colour more precisely on the crease. It does blend it nicely but I think if you want to blend it better you will need a fluffier brush.

SWATCHES

So here are the swatches. I took the photos row by row and I took photos of the swatches without and with flash. The top image is the swatches taken without flash and the bottom image is taken with flash.


Row 1: Smokeout, Lovesick, Shellshock, Coax and X-Rated

Out of the 5 eyeshadows in the first row, the last 3 (ShellShock, Coax and X-Rated) have the most pigmentation. I found Lovesick (the 2nd shade - matte black with micro-glitter) didn't have a great payoff and felt very dry. I had to swatch it several times to get the colour to turn up. Smokeout (dark chocolate brown with satin finish) was quite similar but not as bad. 

I wasn't sure about the pinks in this row but after trying it I actually quite like them. Coax was more shimmery and a slightly warmer pink than X-rated which is a satin finish.


Row 2: Prank, Madness, Strike, Stash and Poison

My favourites in this row are Madness and Strike.
I found that Poison was a little dry and you have to swatch it a few times to build up the colour. 


Row 3: Radar, Damaged, Voodoo, Betrayal and Derailed

I love the purples in this row. Betrayal is so gorgeous! It's a duo-chrome bright purple with lilac/blue shift. It's so gorgeous on its own or it works well with Voodoo (Purple with a metallic/frosty finish and glitter). I also love Radar, Damaged and Derailed, all of these colours had really great pigmentation and the texture is smooth and buttery. 


Row 4: Dope, Toxic, Habit, Ambush and Rewind

The last row contained neutral colours. This row has the 2 matte colours, Habit (a nude/light beige) and Rewind (neutral brown). Habit is great for highlighting the brow bone as it matches quite closely to my skin colour. These 2 matte colours has great pigmentation and the texture is so smooth and buttery.
Dope, Toxic and Ambush also had really great colour pigmentation. 


Overall I really like this palette and it's great value for what it costs. I highly recommend it if you are looking for a palette with many different colours or you love colourful eyeshadows. However if you are looking for a more wearable palette for work or everyday wear this might not be for you because there aren't too many neutral shades in this palette.  

Hope you enjoy this review and if you have any questions about this palette feel free to ask me in the comments. I will also try to post some looks and EOTDs using this palette.


Saturday, 7 December 2013

USA Trip Cosmetics Hauls

So I apologise for being MIA for the last couple of months. I was n on vacation to America. I was away for 2.5 weeks and it was amazing! I loved every second of it. And then after I came back I got sick and then things just started catching up and getting busy so I haven't had time to update my blog.

Anyway on my trip one of the things I loved was the shopping. OMG shopping was so cheap over there. I think I spent way too much and bought way too much make makeup but at the time I thought if I didn't buy I'd regret it.

Anyway here are my hauls from my trip!.

*Just a warning, this is going to be a long post!!*


Before I left for my trip I actually already went shopping and shipped a few things to my accommodation in San Francisco which is my last stop in the trip. Urban Decay had their Family & Friends 20% off sale so I took advantage of that. 

I purchased the double set of Urban Decay Primer Potion in the original colour and Sin, the Smoked 24/7 eyeliner pencil set, Vice 2 Palette and 2 24/7 full size eyeliner pencil in Crash and Lust.



From Sephora I did a few hauls… I purchased a Benefit set which contains travel sets several Benefit Cosmetics products, the Too Faced Beauty Blogger Darlings, Tarte Amazonian Clay 12Hour blush in Exposed, Korres Greek Yoghurt Primer, Korres Mineral Setting Powder and Benefit brow pencil. And because I spent way too much at Sephora I managed to get some points which I used to get a mini size Clinique Chubby stick.


Now I also went a bit crazy in MAC cosmetics but considering everything was so much cheaper compared to Australia I didn't regret it. All the sales assistants over there were really nice and every time I go there I got a full makeover lol. 

I've been eyeing Ruby Woo lipsticks for a while. I did try it previously a few years ago but back then I was a bit afraid to wear bold red, but this time I tried it I really love it! So I bought it along with the MAC Pro Longwear lip liner in Kiss Me Quick. 

I know it's a bit weird but I actually brought my empty cases from MAC so I could do the Back2Mac over there since in Canberra I can only swap for the Top 20 lipsticks which I already own some and the rest I don't really like. I had 12 empty cases and if I went to the Pro store I was able to swap it for either a lipstick, lipgloss or an eyeshadow. I got MAC Cranberry eyeshadow and MAC lipstick in On Hold with the Back2Mac program. Along with that I also bought the MAC Lip Primer, MAC Lipstick in Lustering, and the MAC Divine Night Collection Set.

When I visited San Diego the Divine Night Collection was just launched and they had a huge launch day with all these dancers and free makeover. It was amazing! I bought one of the sets which contained MAC fluidline, MAC Paintpot, a mascara and a double ended brush in a nice travel bag.

I bought a few Sigma brushes just to add to my brush collection. I got the F20 Large powder brush, F80 flat kabuki, E45 small tapered blending brush and E20 short shader brush..

I also purchased the Z Palette pro, 2 beauty blender sponges and the beauty blender solid cleanser. 


And lastly, on my last day I went to Bloomingdales. I wanted to try out the Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua foundation which I have heard good things about. As soon as I tried it I loved it and just had to get it. It feels so natural and light on the face. And it was only $45 so it's definitely a bargain compared to the Australian price which was around $80 I think. Then I went over to Lancome and I saw they had a special promotion going on where if you bought any 1 product from Lancome you can purchase this set with a huge beauty bag for only $60 with a value of over $300. I wasn't going to buy it at first but my temptation was too strong and I ended up getting it. I thought it would be good for hits as well for the products that I won't be using. So I ended up purchasing a Lancome mascara primer for $24 and the set.

So that's it, that's all my Cosmetics haul. I didn't really buy any skin care products because I am still happy with my current routine which consists of Antipodes and Botani products.

I will try to review most of the products that I bought as I use them. I will also do a blog post later on for the Urban Decay Vice 2 palette and provide swatches.





Thursday, 10 October 2013

Bomb Cosmetics Reviews - What a Melon Intense Lip Treatment and Pout Polish Gentle Lip Scrub

So following my recent post on Bomb Cosmetics, here is a review on both the Bomb Cosmetics "What a Melon Intense Lip Treatment" and the "Pout Polish Gentle Lip Scrub". I purchased these 2 products from GetDrenched.com.au.

After discovering Bomb Cosmetics from Beauty Heaven I am just addicted to their products particularly their solid butter bar and the cleansing shower butters. I haven't tried their lip products before so I purchased these 2 to see what they're like.

I own a few stick lip balms and I also use pawpaw ointment to moisturise my lips.. but some of my lip balms leave my lips with residue even though they are moisturising.



Pout Polish Gentle Lip Srub

I've used a lip scrub before from Lush but I didn't like it as it's quite rough on the lips. Well..this gentle lip scrub is definitely gentle. Not only that, the smell of the this lip balm is just scentsational (get it *wink* *wink*).


As you can see in the picture above, the pout polish has very tiny fine grains that exfoliate the lips. It is a bit hard to take out with your fingers but if you leave your fingers for a minute to warm up the product then you can usually slide a tiny amount of the pout polish to apply on the lip. You don't need much at all. The grains are really fine but I can definitely feel it exfoliating my lips. The polish also contains shea butter so it not only exfoliates but also moisturises the lips at the same time. 

The scent of this pout polish is just scentsational!! It's got a pina colada scent and everytime I apply this I just want to eat it coz it smells so delicious! 

The pout polish costs $6.95 which is a great price coz I think this will last me a while. It's a product I now carry in my handbag coz I love it so much!

What a Melon Lip Treatment

This lip treatment is beautiful. It's now my favourite lip balm! It leaves my lips so moisturised and soft. It lasts quite a while too but because of the juicy melon scent I love applying this regularly. I love how it doesn't feel sticky and just glides when you apply it on the lip. I also love how it doesn't leave yucky residue which some lip balm does to my lips after a few hours of application.

This lip treatment costs the same as the pout polish. I am so glad I got this lip balm because it is just amazing! Both the pout polish and lip treatment are now my handbag essentials!

So if you haven't tried Bomb Cosmetics products yet I strongly suggest you to check them out at GetDrenched.com.au.



Bomb Cosmetics Haul

So I know I have been MIA for around a month... There has been a lot of things occupying my time and I have been sick a couple of times which has knocked me out for around a week each time.

Anyway, I am getting better now so I thought I will post about my Bomb Cosmetics haul which I got last week. I was running out of my Bomb Cosmetics solid butter bar so it was time to buy a new one. Before I bought it I contacted Paul from GetDrenched.com.au to see if there was a promo. He kindly advised me that a blogger was going to give out a discount code and for me to wait till then. I thought that was so kind of him! And as promised he emailed me the code right away so I was very pleased with the service.

Can I just say the customer service that GetDrenched provides is just amazing!! They have the best customer service ever!!! Paul and Liz are amazing. They respond to my emails promptly and provide the best service.

Anyway... although I only wanted to get the solid butter a couple of other products caught my eye so I also purchased the lip balm and a lip polish.



As usual, Paul always include a hand written card in the package. I think it's so lovely and adds that personal touch to it. The products are also packaged nicely to ensure they arrive safely.

I got the Duke Solid butter bar and the Skin Therapy solid butter bar. I love the Duke because it has the exfoliating bits! These solid butter bars are just amazing!! They moisturise my skin all day long! And I love how water beads forms when you apply these in the shower.

So that's it.. I will be posting a review shortly about the lip balm and the lip polish.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Nude Cleansing Oil Review

So you may have seen my post a few weeks ago when I went to Mecca Cosmetica to get the Kate Sommerville oxygen facial. As I mentioned in that post I purchased a product with the redeemable $50 booking fee for the facial. Because there were so many products I was so overwhelmed and I also wanted to get a product which was natural and did not contain parabens or any other nasties. So in the end I got the Nude Cleansing Oil. The price was $58 for a 100ml bottle. I thought it was quite expensive but since I got a free facial I thought it was ok for a one-off purchase.


The Nude cleansing oil claims that it instantly dissolves even the most stubborn waterproof make-up, rinsing effortlessly for soft, clean and comfortable skin. This cleansing oil is free from parabens, sulfates, PEGs, TEA, DEA, propylene glycol,  phthalates, synthetic colour and fragrance, mineral oil and silicones. 

Because of the ingredients I thought this cleansing oil would be great for my skin since it contains natural ingredients without any nasties. To use the cleansing oil the package direct you to use 2-3 pumps and warm the oil between the hands and massage onto dry face and around the eyes. Apply warm water to form a light milk and then rinse clean.

When I pump the oil out, the oil consistency is very thick. I have used a couple of cleansing oil before, MAC Cleanse off oil and Shu Uemura cleansing oil. Comparing the Nude oil with these two other products i think the consistency is much more thicker. 

I have been using the cleansing oil above for the last 3 weeks. Before reviewing a product I want to use it for at least 2 weeks so I can give my honest opinion. 

So does this cleansing oil really live up to its expensive price??

As pictured below I applied powder and cream eyeshadows, foundation and bronzer on my hand and applied the oil (please excuse my very dry hands). As you can see it barely emulsifies. It just looks like milky water. Once I wiped it off it did remove most makeup but it still left traces of it. As you can see it didn't completely remove the Maybelline color tattoo (turquoise/teal). 



So in my honest opinion when I cleanse my face with this oil I did not find it cleansing enough. It did remove my makeup but I did not feel it cleansed my skin. Even after using this oil I wiped my face with a toner sprayed on a cotton pad and I can still see traces of foundation left. So I always had to cleanse again afterwards using my usual cleanser, Antipodes Grapeseed Butter Cleanser. 

I also found that the oil didn't emulsify that well. When I applied water it does look creamy milky but it does not emulsify like MAC cleanse-off oil.  I also found that I need around 5 pumps to actually be able to apply it all over my face, not the 2-3 pumps as directed on the bottle.

After cleansing with the nude oil, my face actually feels quite dry and tight. I am not sure why because I thought since it is oil it wouldn't dry my face, but that wasn't the case.

Overall I do not think that this cleansing oil is worth the RRP $58 price tag. It is way overpriced for what you get. It is not cleansing enough and it made my skin feel tight and dry.
I think you can find better cleansers for this price tag. Or even better, the Shu Uemura cleansing oil and MAC Cleanse off oil are so much cheaper at $39 for 150ml. You get more for less!
But since I did purchase this cleanser for $58, I think I will have to try and keep using it until I finish the bottle so I get my money's worth. I think this product definitely goes in my "products I regret purchasing" list.



Saturday, 7 September 2013

Antipodean Beauties: All about eye - EOTD #19

This week's Antipodean Beauties challenge is "All about eyes". This is definitely my favourite as you can probably already tell as I do love eye makeup and accentuating my eyes.

Today I did another purple eye look but mixed with a bit of silver.


To create this look I used the following products:

- Illamasqua Cream Pigment in the colour Mould - I used this as a base all over the lid. The colour is a very deep dark purple.
- Psychedelic Sister from the Urban Decay Fun Palette. I applied this colour on the outer third of the eyelid. I also applied this colour on the crease and blended it.

- Uzi from the Urban Decay Fun Palette which I applied on the inner part of the eyelid and the middle of the lid. I blended this with the purple. This is a silver/white eyeshadow but since I blended it with the purple it turned out quite subtle. I kind of hated using this eyeshadow though as there were a lot of glitter fallouts on my face.

- Sin from the Urban Decay Fun Palette. I applied this in the inner corner of the eye and blended this with the silver eyeshadow, Uzi.



- Maybelline master precise liquid eyeliner along the upper lash line
- Sephora flasy waterproof eyeliner in flashy violet along the bottom lash line
- Benefit They're Real mascara 

And lastly just to add a bit more drama I used false lashes. The lashes I used were the Demi Wispies from Cherry Lashes.

And that's it! Hope you like this look. Make sure you also visit the other Antipodean Beauties blogs to check out what they did for this week's challenge.




Saturday, 24 August 2013

Pucker up for Liptember and Kiss Away the Blues

Today I wanted to post about Liptember which is coming up in a week time!

Liptember is a great and fun fundraising campaign aimed to raise awareness and funds for women's mental health issues. This is quite close to my heart as last year I experienced some anxiety as I had an extremely stressful time due to several circumstances. Although what I experience was very minor and small compared to what other women would go through I really want to help out and support this cause as much as I can.

So how do you get involved with Liptember?

The campaign involves participants to wear lipstick everyday and everywhere in September. There are special Liptember lipsticks which can be purchased from Chemist Warehouse. Revlon has specially created 4 shades for the Liptember campaign which are: Liptember Pink, Liptember Coral, Liptember Red and Liptember Berry. Then for those who are brave and fun they also released special funky Liptember lipsticks in crazy colours like blue, yellow, purple and bright hot pink!




I picked up 2 colours: Liptember Pink and Liptember Coral. I chose this because I think these colours are great for everyday wear work or play. I'm not game enough to do the crazy colours. The coral colour is bright but not too bold and the pink lipstick it's just like your lip colour but better.

I have registered for Liptember and I would really love your support. This is for a really good cause and all funds raised will go to the Centre for Women's Mental Health who provides national research and programs for gender specific mental health issues for women and Lifeline Australia who provides all Australians with nationwide 24/7 crisis support services.

If you want to get involved with Liptember, visit there website - http://www.liptember.com.au/.

If you would like to sponsor me for Liptember and donate for this great cause you can visit my Liptember Sponsorship page and donate here: http://bit.ly/15765kb.

I am really excited in getting involved with this campaign and it's really great I can help a great cause by wearing lipstick which is something I am already doing.

So get involved in this fun campaign!!


Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Antipodean Beauties: Winter

Week 3 challenge of the Antipodean Beauties is "Winter".

I don't usually adjust my makeup to the season, but I thought I will do a look that I think fits the theme "winter".

Winter in Canberra is so freezing cold! When I think of cold I think of the colour blues, but I don't really have much pale blue eyeshadow so I decided to go with light lilac. I think it fits the winter theme quite nicely. I also paired this look with a deep berry lipstick which is definitely a winter colour.



The products used:
  • Maybelline Colour Tattoo in white
  • Essence eyeshadow in 63 is it purple?
  • MAC Mega Metal Eyeshadow in Centre Stage
  • L'Oreal Infallible eyeshadow in Hourglass Beige
  • Urban Decay Naked Palette - Buck
  • Urban Decay Fun Palette - Psychedelic
  • Maybelline Master Precise Eyeliner
  • Revlon Grow Luscious mascara
  • Lancome Rouge in Love Lipstick in 379N

I used the Maybelline colour tattoo in white all over the lid, and then I applied the Essence eyeshadow no. 63 over that. Because the colour turned out quite pale and light I decided to add a touch of purple using the Urban Decay Psychedelic eyeshadow. I picked this colour up and very lightly swept it over the Essence eyeshadow. I also applied the Psychedelic eyeshadow on the lower lash line. I used Hourglass beige in the inner corner of my eyes. 

To deepen the look I used MAC Centre Stage eyeshadow on the outer corner and use the Naked Palette Buck eyeshadow to blend it with the lilac. I finished off the look with the master precise liner and the Revlon mascara.


To finish off I used the Rouge in Love lipstick in a deep berry colour (379N). Before I got this lipstick I never thought a deep berry/plummy colour would suit me but I gave it a try and I love it! This lipstick also lasts a long time. I actually forgot to bring it with me and the colour lasted at least 6 hours even after drinking and eating.

So do you adjust your makeup to the seasons?



Saturday, 17 August 2013

Mecca Cosmetica Kate Somerville Luxury Oxygen Facial

This month Mecca Cosmetica is holding an event to invite their customers to experience Kate Somerville's Luxury Oxygen Facial. The event was held yesterday and today at my local Mecca Cosmetica in Canberra Centre. The facial costs $50 but it was redeemable on any products so it's a great value since you are basically receiving a free facial with the purchase of any products from Mecca Cosmetica $50 and above.



I didn't actually research much about the facial and products since I saw the email invitation from Mecca and I immediately called them and booked it... (yeah I know it was an impulse buy), so I didn't really know what to expect.

So I actually came in the store earlier than my scheduled appointment because I wanted to have a look at the products they have so I had an idea what product to get using the redeemable cost of the facial. Once my appointment time came I was greeted by the sales assistant and sat down in the area where they were doing the facial. The sales assistant who did my facial was very lovely and nice. He also offered me some drink before he started the facial.

Before starting the facial, Ali who was doing the facial on me, asked me about what my current skincare routine was and specific skin concerns that I had. Based on my answer he went and got several products from the store that is suited to my concerns. Since I said that I currently use organic and natural skin care for my daily skin routine, he took this into account and picked all products that are natural or free of petrochemicals, mineral oil, parabens, sls and the likes. As he applied the products on my skin, he explained what the products were, what they do and any specific skin concerns that they treat which I thought was great. He also answered any questions I had.

Below are the products that were used on my skin during the facial:

  • Nude Skincare Cleansing Oil
  • Darphin Refreshing Toner
  • RADICAL Skincare Age Defying Exfoliating Peel Pads
  • REN Max Moisture Concentrate
  • Elemental Herbology Cell Plumping Facial Hydrator SPF 8
  • This Works Perfect Eyes Recover Cream



And finally the main part of the facial was the Kate Somerville Quench Dermal Booster Serum. 

This was the most interesting part of the facial. So Ali poured some Quench Dermal Booster Serum into this pen-like wand (see photo below) and this pen-like wand is connected to an oxygen machine. The machine then sprays the booster serum and oxygen into the skin. It feels like an air-powered air brushing on your face which feels really weird at first but then because it's quite gentle it feels quite relaxing and you get used to it after a few burst of pressure. 
Ali was really lovely and explained to me what was going to happen so I don't get a shock when he starts the machine and he told me where and how he will be applying it. 




The treatment is supposed to work by delivering the serum using oxygen it pumps both the oxygen and serum into your skin. The treatment is supposed to give intense hydration, soften and soothe the skin as the the treatment contains hyaluronic acid. The treatment was applied all over my face including under the eyes as I was advised by Ali that this product is safe to use around the eye are. The system sprays the air and the treatment serum on to the face and it produces a white foamy liquid on your face which is then rubbed into the skin to absorb.

So can you do this facial at home? Yes you can. I was advised by Ali that you can purchase one for at-home use and it is the Kate Somerville Dermal Quench Liquid Lift. The product comes in a bottle/canister which has a tube/hose that's attached to the top. The bottle must be shaken before using and it sprays the serum on to the face which like the machine above administers the serum in a foamy liquid form which you rub into the skin to absorb.

So what are the claims of this product? It's supposed to combat wrinkles, fine lines, sagging skin, uneven tone and dryness. And it is supposed to give you softer skin and an immediate glowing skin. The at-home Dermal Quench Liquid Lift can be purchased from Mecca Cosmetica for AU$110 (http://www.meccacosmetica.com.au/shop/KateSomerville/DermalQuenchLiquidLiftAdvancedWrinkleTreat/).



Because I have only had the one treatment I can't say whether these claims are true but after the facial my face felt soft, plump and hydrated. It is now around 7 hours since I had the treatment and my face  still feel quite soft and moisturised. 

I think this facial was definitely worth the $50 I paid for and it was an interesting experience. I have had many facials but nothing like this before so it was new experience for me.

So what did I redeemed with the $50 that I paid for this facial? Because I still had plenty of serums and moisturiser which I got from a recent sale, I decided to get the Nude Cleansing oil as I am halfway through my current cleanser. Plus the Nude Cleansing oil is made from natural ingredients so I am happy to include this in my current organic/natural skincare routine.

So have you tried this oxygen facial? Be sure to drop by Mecca Cosmetica to check this product out!

Thursday, 15 August 2013

E.L.F. Studio High Definition (HD) Powder Review

Along with my recent purchase of the EcoTools Face and Body Sculpting Powder, I purchased the E.L.F. Studio High Definition Powder for US$5.99.

I have heard of E.L.F. Cosmetics before but I have never purchased or used any of their products. Since my setting powder (MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural) was all used up I thought I will give this HD powder a try.

This is the product description from E.L.F. cosmetic's website:
The high definition loose powder creates a "soft focus" effect to the skin. Masks fine lines and imperfections for a radiant complexion. The incredibly soft and invisible powder is great for on-screen and everyday wear.
So reading the description above it doesn't really say that it's a setting powder. However, I think that this powder can be worn on its own or over a foundation.


So I have been using this powder now for the last week. I have used it on its own and I have also used it over my liquid foundation and over BB creams. 

I found that after applying this powder over my foundation my face feels so soft and smooth. It makes the skin surface feels so smooth and even. It does set my foundation and provides a smooth base for applying blush and bronzer. I also applied this powder at the last stage of my makeup application, which was after contouring, applying blush and bronzer and it gives me a beautiful result. The finish that it gives is a semi-matte finish. It does not look cakey on my normal/dry skin. However, you do need to be careful as you can over-apply this powder. I only use the tiniest amount and I apply it with a powder brush rather than using the puff provided with the powder.

In terms of oil control, I can't say much about this as I have normal/dry skin. 

I also did try to apply this on its own, however because the powder is so fine it did barely anything to my skin. There was no coverage and it definitely did not mask any imperfections. So I found that this powder works better as a setting powder to apply over foundation or to finish off the makeup over foundation, blush and bronzer. It just help to finish my makeup application by smoothing the skin and set all my makeup.

Did E.L.F. HD Powder deliver on its claims? I think so. Overall, for $5.99 I think it's definitely a great buy. I really like that the powder is quite fine and it sets my foundation nicely without having to use a lot of the powder. I am not sure how this compare with the MakeUp Forever (MUFE) HD Powder which cost quite a lot more but I'm sure that this is probably a great alternative to the MUFE HD Powder.

EOTD #18 - Purple and Gold

I haven't been posting EOTD in a while since I have been sick and then I got really busy so I kept on sticking with my usual neutral eye makeup routine or just simply an eyeliner and mascara. However today I was inspired to do something different.



To create this look:

  • I applied Maybelline Color Tattoo in Painted Purple all over the lid
  • I then applied Urban Decay eyeshadow Psychedelic Sister (from the Urban Decay Fun Palette) on the outer 1/3 of the eyelid and blended this up to the crease
  • Then I applied Urban Decay eyeshadow in Baked (also from the Fun Palette) on the inner 2 /3 of the lid and blended it with the purple. 
  • Using a small smudge brush I applied the purple eyeshadow (Psychedelic sister) on the lower lash line and on the upper lash line too.
  • Lastly I applied Revlon Grow Luscious mascara on the upper and bottom lashes. 





Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Antipodean Beauties - Glitter



I was originally not going to do this weeks Antipodean Beauties group challenge which is themed "glitter" since I thought I didn't really have anything with glitter. But then I remembered I got the Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure nail polish in Golden Rule which I got from my Bella Box Subscription (which I have cancelled).

So here is the nails that I did. I used the Maybelline Mini Colorama in Wonder Violet because I love purple and this colour is just gorgeous. I then used the Golden Rule glitter nail polish on the ring finger as the accent nail.



I love this glitter nail polish because even though the glitter is so fine it still gives that beautiful shimmer. The only downside to glitter nail polish is they can be hard to remove, especially if you layer them on.

Monday, 12 August 2013

EcoTools Face and Body Sculpting Brush Review

A few weeks ago I went on iHerb and bought a few things from there. My purchases include organic green tea, lip balms and EcoTools Face and Body Sculpting Brush. I also purchased the E.L.F. Studio HD Powder which I will review in another post.

Today I will review the Face and Body Sculpting Brush. This brush cost me US$9.97 from iHerb. It's definitely a good price for a nice quality brush.

I purchased this because I thought it looked similar to the Rae Morris Radiance brush which is very expensive. However when the brush arrived it is actually bigger and thicker than the Rae Morris Radiance brush, so it's definitely not a dupe. However,  I still love this brush.



EcoTools is a great brand. It's a cruelty free brand. The brush bristles are made using cruelty-free synthetic taklon  bristles and the handle is made from bamboo. The bristles are so soft and feels so beautiful on the face.

I originally thought this brush is like the Radiance brush by Rae Morris which can be used for contouring the cheeks. However the bristles are quite dense and thick so it is too big to do precise contouring of the cheek. It may work if you squeeze the bristles to make it thinner but I think it's way too much work if I am in a hurry in the morning.

So how do I use this brush?

I really love using this brush to apply my foundation. Usually I have been using the Real Techniques face brush to apply my foundation but when I use this face and body sculpting brush, it applies foundation so fast and easily. It has cut my foundation application time by half. And because it is so dense it buffs in the foundation nicely into my skin. I use a sweeping motion side to side when I apply the foundation all over my face and on my nose I do a up down sweeping motion. And as it's a face and body sculpting brush, I can easily blend my foundation down to my neck and d├ęcolletage.

This blush is also great for applying powder all over the face. And lastly, although it may not be fully suitable for cheek contouring, this brush is great for applying bronzer all over the face. I also use this brush to contour around my jawline, my neck and my d├ęcolletage.

Overall I just really love this brush. I am amazed how versatile it is. It's definitely a great addition to my brush collection and at US$9.97, you can't go wrong with it!








Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Antipodean Beauties - My Favourite Lipstick

Very recently I just joined the Antipodean Beauties group where we have a new makeup challenge every week. This week's challenge is 'my favourite lipstick'.  You would think this would be an easy challenge...but in fact it was quite a hard one... I love all lip products from lipstick to lip gloss. I have so many that I had so much trouble deciding my favourite.

I have had a look at my lipstick collection and I did have over 10 lipsticks (note: be aware though that these are only lipsticks...not incl lip gloss or lip tars etc). And also these are the ones that I have kept all in one place, I'm sure I have several other lipsticks that I have placed elsewhere I can't find.

Here is my collection:



So after having a long hard think about what my favourite lipstick is I decided that my favourite lipstick that has been my go-to everyday lipstick is the Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in the colour Adore. I know that this may not be a lipstick..but may be considered more as a lip balm but I love it. The colour is gorgeous. It's red but it's not a full on bright red and it's perfect for everyday wear day or night. I love it so much that I've actually used it up so I need to buy another one! You can see my review and swatch on the Revlon Adore here.

If this was not considered a lipstick then my next favourite would be Dior Addict in 554. It's a lovely gorgeous bright pink! 




And now see below for the link to the other bloggers participating in this make up challenge.

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Natural No Makeup Look

So today is a Sunday. And Sunday is pretty much my only day off as I work full time 5 days a week and I also work a second job on Saturdays. Because this is my only day off this is usually my lazy day. And especially in cold Canberra winter, all I want to do is snuggle up in a blanket all day and just relax. 
However, today I had some visitors coming over, so I couldn't just snuggle up all day long.
Eventually I had to get ready and look at least presentable. 

My skin is usually quite good but today it was looking a bit blotchy and uneven so I decided to apply a bit of makeup, but very minimal. I wanted to go for a natural, "no makeup" look. 


I didn't use too many products since it was a very minimal natural makeup. For the eyes I only applied a couple of coats of mascara.

For my face, I used the following products:
  • Revlon Nearly Naked Foundation in Natural Beige
  • MUA Bronzed Perfection Bronzer
  • MAC Lilicent Blushcreme (Cream Blush)
The whole look took me around 5 minutes so it's a really quick look if you want to go out with minimal  and natural makeup. 

Friday, 26 July 2013

First Giveaway! - Giveaway CLOSED - WINNER ANNOUNCED

So my blog has been active for a year now, but I only started blogging actively in the last 6 - 7 months.

Anyway, I wanted to do a giveaway to reward my followers.

The giveaway will be a package of 3 products:


  • Antipodes Kiwi Seed Oil Eye Cream (http://www.antipodesnature.com/shop-skincare,shop,8,1,12.html) 
  • Elixia Tinted Multi V Moisturiser SPF 12
  • Sarah Jessica Parker Endless Perfume



Because I've been trying to get into more organic skincare I wanted to give away natural skincare products free of parabens and nasties.

Now to enter the giveaway you need to comment below answering the following question: "Are you currently using any organic or natural skin care/makeup? If so, why did you decide to go the organic natural way?"

You will also need to follow me via Google Friend Connect or BlogLovin and include in your comment your GFC or Blog Lovin name.

The competition will be open for 2 weeks and will close at 5pm on Friday 9th August and winners will be drawn at random.

I will announce the winner on the following Sunday. You will need to contact me within 48 hours after the announcement. 

NOTE: This giveaway is only open to Australian residents.

GIVEAWAY is now closed. Winner will be announced this Sunday 10 August. Keep watching to see if you are a winner.

----

So the winner has been drawn. I decided to draw the winner by putting everyone's name on a piece of paper, folding them and putting them in a bowl.


video

I was filming the draw and was putting the bowl on the floor and then my dog Mac decided that it's a good idea to eat the papers! I had to get it off him and I thought I might as well choose the winner that way... so... the winner is.......



Jess J

Congratulations!! 



The Liebster Blog Award




Thank you for the lovely Mary from "Made in Marcelle" who nominated me for the Liebster Award.

I actually haven't heard of this award until Mary tagged me. So naturally I explored the world wide web to learn more about it, however I couldn't really find the origins of it. But what I found was "Liebster" translates into english as "Dearest". The purpose of the Liebster Blog Award is to tag or recognise bloggers with less than 200 followers. The bloggers who are tagged then pass it on to other bloggers that they think should be recognised and there are several rules that comes with this award,

The rules of the Liebster Blog Award are:

  • You must link back the person who nominated you
  • You must answer 10 Liebster questions given to you by the nominee before you
  • You must pick 10 bloggers to be nominated for the award with under 200 followers
  • You must come up with 10 questions for your nominees to answer
  • You us go to their blogs and notify your nominees
So here are the 10 Liebster Questions from Mary:

1. 5 things you cannot live without (doesn't have to be beauty related): 

  • My family, which include my 2 gorgeous dogs Jaffa and Mac;
  • My friends; 
  • Water and food of course! 
  • Money; and 
  • My phone




2. How do you choose what beauty products that you buy?

I choose the beauty products I buy from either previous experience, recommendation from friends, reading reviews from other bloggers and Beauty Heaven reviews and forums. I always try to research products before I buy and especially with skin care now, I try to use ones with all organic or natural ingredients that doesn't contain nasties.

3.  What is your worst habit that you would like to change?

I think one bad habit that I would like to change is eating too much sweets and chocolate. I am trying to not eat too much but I just get cravings for something sweet every day!



4. How has the beauty world changed your life?

I think it has made me feel more confident about myself.

5. If you can only leave the house wearing only one product, what would it be?

Oooh this is a hard question. I had to think hard and long about this....  and I had trouble deciding.

If it's only 1 skin care product it would be a moisturiser with SPF. If it is makeup it would be mascara.

6. If you were to blog about something else, what would it be?

Photography. This is my other passion/hobby. I actually do a bit of photography on the side. I have a website "Ina J Photography" but no blog so this may be an option in the future!

7. What is your opinion on plastic surgery?

I think it is unnecessary, especially for younger people. I know some want plastic surgery to boost their confidence better but I think there are other ways that can help boost self confidence. I do not consider myself the prettiest or the best looking and I am not perfect, but I don't think I need to have plastic surgery.

8. What was the hardest beauty thing that you had to learn to do properly?

The hardest beauty thing that I had to learn to do properly was contouring. I have now sort of mastered this technique.

9. What is your utmost HG (holy grail) product?

This is another hard question. I don't think I have one HG product but maybe a few under different categories. My current HG product for skincare is Botani Olive skin serum. It really hydrates my skin and keeps it soft and moisturised. 



10. What do you hope to see in your blog in the future?

In the future, I hope to see my blog develop, be recognised and known to more people and have more followers because I want to share what I love about all things beauty!

My 10 nominations:

Mushii's Cozy World - Laura
The beauty in life
Hissycat Krissy - Krissy
Eleni May Lifestyle - Eleni May
All her pretty little things - Sarah
Confessions of a beauty addict - Chels
Jasmine Cara
Hui the Yogini - Hui
Eyes for Makeup  - Sandy
Dolce Beauty - Maddi


My 10 question for the above nominees:

  1. Where do you think you'll be 2 years from now?
  2. What is your favourite makeup look?
  3. Do you have a bucket list, and if so, what are the top 5 or top 10 things on that bucket list?
  4. Where do you get your beauty inspiration from?
  5. Why did you start blogging and what do you love about it?
  6. List your top 5 countries or cities that you would love to visit?
  7. If you only had to choose to have only 2 products, skincare or makeup (or both), what would they be? 
  8. What is your guilty pleasure?
  9. What is your view on the perfect first date?
  10. What are the 5 most important things to you in your life (doesn't have to be beauty related)?
Wow, it's actually quite tough thinking about these 10 questions and also answering Mary's questions above but it was heaps of fun!

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Bomb Cosmetics Haul and Review!

So I have been bad once again. I was not going to buy any more things online but then I went on BeautyHeaven forums and there was a dedicated thread to Bomb Cosmetics. Of course I was curious as I have not heard of this brand before. So I followed this thread for a few days. Then I found out that Beauty Heaven members got a special offer (Free shipping and spend over $50 and get 6 free bath creamers and mallows) from GetDrenched.com.au, Bomb Cosmetics Australian stockist. I was more curious because I read really good reviews and raves about their products. So I gave in and decided to take up the offer.

So here is my first haul (Note "first" which meant I went back for more lol):


The products that I ordered were:

Because I spent just over $50, Bomb Cosmetics included 6 free bath creamers and mallows with my order.  I'm still trying to figure out what they all were but I could only identify a few of them. From top to bottom, left to right: 1. Lemon Express Bath Mallow;  4. Feel the Love Bath Creamer; 5. Blackberry Bath Creamer; 6. Crazy after dark Bath Blaster.

I also think the 3rd one on the top is Pearly King Bath Creamer because I have used that one because there were bits of pearls and juniper berries in my bath when I used it. I really loved Bomb Cosmetics bath creamers. They are full of beautiful essential oils, cocoa and shea butter and once you drop them in the warm bath it slowly releases its moisturising properties. The fragrance is subtle but still enough for you to smell the beautiful oils and relax as you bath in hot warm creamy water. Once I got out of the bath my skin felt so moisturised and soft. Prior to having a bath last weekend, I have not used my bath tub for years because I didn't have time and didn't think I enjoyed bath that much. However, after using Bomb Cosmetics bath creamers, I can't wait to jump in the bath tub again!

Now, on to the 3 products I ordered. 

First, the Skin Therapy solid butter bar. What can I say - this is an AMAZING product! I really love this nourishing solid butter bar. It might not be clear from the picture but I love that it has a ribbon attached to it so I can hang it in the shower. I apply this solid butter bar all over my body while I'm in the shower with the water running. As you apply it, the butter slowly melts onto the skin and you can see water beads run over the skin. This solid butter bar also contains small cranberry seed which just washes off as you apply it in the shower. This solid butter bar is very moisturising. My skin, especially my legs are really dry and in winter it gets even drier, flaky and scaly. However after using this butter bar my skin is moisturised all day long without the need of applying additional moisturiser. 

I purchased the Frankincese organic face treatment to add to my night time skin care routine. I have only just used it for 2 days so I can't comment much yet on it.  However I do love this product. It is organic and contains all natural ingredients. This face treatment is an oil treatment which is applied at night after cleansing. The treatment oil contains many kinds of oils including macadamia nut, evening primrose, frankincense, lavender and neroli oils. This treatment may be a bit too greasy for those with oily skin but perfect for those with dry skin. This oil really hydrates my dry skin leaving my skin soft, smooth and supple.

Lastly, the Mandarin & Orange Cleansing Shower Butter isn't like your normal shower gel. The consistency is semi-solid, like butter but it is easily scoopable with your fingers. I only need to scoop a tiny amount and put it on my loofah and it foams really nicely. Now the fragrance wasn't what I was expecting. I was expecting more citrusy smell but I found the fragrance was more like a room fragrance spray. Other than this I love everything else about the product. Because Get Drenched has such a wonderful customer service, the owners Paul & Liz have offered to provide me with another choice of cleansing shower butter. I decided to go with Pina Colada as I love the smell of pineapple and coconut. I will be reviewing this in another post.

So I am really happy with my order from GetDrenched.com.au. As I said the customer service is just amazing. Paul and Liz are very quick to respond to my emails and answered all my questions. I just love buying from GetDrenched because of the customer service and the amazing products that they offer. I am sure I will be making more purchases by the end of this month to take up their amazing offer.

Have you tried Bomb Cosmetics? 






Monday, 15 July 2013

Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask Review


So if you've seen my recent post on a haul from Mecca Cosmetica you would've seen that I had purchased the Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight mask. I've been lusting for a hydrating mask and have been reading various reviews on various products. I had 2 on my final list which were this mask and the Kiehl's Ultra Facial Hydrating Overnight mask. After trying a sample of both mask I went ahead with the Origins because it is a really great mask and the Kiehl's one stung my skin around my nose a bit when I applied it.


I've got normal/dry skin but in winter it does tend to get drier because of inside heating in the office and home so I usually like to get extra hydration. My skin also tends to get dry and flaky around my nose. That is why I wanted to add Origins Drink Up Intensive mask to my routine.

The mask comes in a 100ml tube at a cost of AU$34. It does seems quite expensive but I think it's worth the cost as you only need just a bit more than pea size amount to apply all over the face. The packaging is quite simple, a bright green tube. I don't mind it being in a tube as it's more hygienic than having it in a jar (which is what the Kiehl's Hydrating Overnight masque is stored in).

The texture/formula of the mask is quite similar to that of a thick moisturiser. However it's not too thick so it is still easily spreadable all over the face. Applying the mask is very easy. You just need to squeeze a dollop of the mask and apply a thin layer all over the face. As you can see above, after around 5-10 minutes the mask absorbs into the skin and it looks like you are not wearing the mask at all. The instructions say that you can tissue off the excess if needed but I found that I didn't really need to do this. The mask absorbs quite quickly into my skin so I was not worried about it leaving any greasy residues on my pillow or my sheets.
As you apply the mask on the face it has quite a strong fruity scent, but I didn't mind this at all. Some may be put off by the smell so if you are interested in trying this, it may be best to try a sample.

So was the results good? I am definitely happy with the results this mask gave me. It really does hydrate  the skin. When I wake up in the morning, my skin feels so hydrated and plump. I also found that my skin has stopped flaking and drying around my nose. I now have used this for around 2 weeks and I can see an improvement in my skin and complexion. I have incorporated this into my night time routine twice a week and apply this mask after cleansing. If I need extra boost of hydration, I still apply my facial oils prior to applying the mask.

Overall I am very happy with this mask as it has given me great results. It may seem pricey but you do get quite a lot (100ml) and it does give a great hydrated skin so it's definitely worth the price.

Have you tried this mask before?

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Eyeliner and Barry M Eyeshadow Pencil Review and Swatches

So for the last few months I've been looking to buy the nude Rimmel Scandaleyes waterproof eyeliner. Unfortunately my local priceline did not stock this at all so I ended up purchasing this from ASOS. During the time of purchase they had 20% off so I also decided to buy a couple of extra items and I chose the Barry M eyeshadow pencil. I have never heard of the Barry M brand before until I saw them on ASOS... which is why I decided to give it a go.

So up for review today are:

  • 2 x Rimmel Scadaleyes Waterproof Eyeliner in Bronze and Nude
  • 2 x Barry M Eyeshadow Pencil in Gold Cream and Bronze

Top: Barry M Eyeshadow Pencil
Bottom: Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Eyeliner

Top Left: Rimmel Eyeliner Nude      Top Right: Barry M Gold Cream
Bottom Left: Rimmel Eyeliner Bronze    Bottom Right: Barry M Bronze

So here are my thoughts on the Rimmel Scandaleyes Eyeliner. These pencils are really great. They have a creamy finish and the colours are very pigmented. Because they are creamy they apply really smoothly on the eyelids without tugging. They last really long too. On my upper lash line it lasts all day and on the bottom lash line and waterline it lasts around 4-5 hours before it starts fading slightly. It's really great to wear on its own as an eyeliner, but because it has a creamy finish you can apply it all over the lid as an eyeshadow base. I love using this eyeliner on the waterline because it is waterproof. The nude eyeliner is great to brighten the eyes by applying it along the waterline.

The Barry M eyeshadow pencils on the other hand didn't really work for me. I purchased it after reading great reviews on it on the web. Like Rimmel eyeliner, the colour is really nice and pigmented. The formula texture is also soft and creamy and applies really easily on the eyelid. However I found that this eyeshadow pencil creased after a couple of hours. Even after applying a powder eyeshadow over it still creases a bit. It may be because I've got really hooded eyelids which is annoying. So I am a bit disappointed but since it was only $6 each I think I will try to make it work. I may have to try it again by applying a couple of layers of powder eyeshadow over it.

So that's my thoughts on the Barry M eyeshadow pencils and Rimmel Scandaleyes eyeliner. Have you tried these products? Did you like them?