Sunday, 30 September 2012

Giveaway winner!

A big congratulations to Jelva on winning the giveaway from last week! I'll be in touch via the book of faces very soon to organize a dropoff.

Also a big thank you to everyone who got involved and helped my blog grow in the last week. You all help me out so much on a regular basis, and I wish I could give you all a present every day.

To watch the video of my boys drawing the winner go to, or just pop over to the right of this post and watch it in my video bar!

I want to let you guys know that there might be another giveaway soon, because I have 3 days left until I've been blogging for one month, and we're getting close to 1000 views. If I hit my 1000 view target before the 4th of October, I'll announce ANOTHER giveaway!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Share the love, and I'll be sure to share it right back.

September Bellabox!

I'm so excited! My first ever bellabox arrived today and I got all happy and shaky like a kid at christmas waiting to get home and open it. And when I did,
I was very pleased and felt very lucky!

First, a little about bellabox and what it is. Basically, for $15 per month, you get sent a box containing several samples of beauty-related products to try. Some of the product samples will be full size, some will be smaller versions that contain a few uses, and some will be single-use product samples, usually at the higher end of the beauty market.
It's a great way for people like me, who love beauty products and would love to have ALL THE THINGS, but can't necessarily afford to be out buying different things all the time, or other people, also like me, who write blogs about these things and would like a way to try products before reviewing them, to get their hands on lots of new and exciting products.

So, onto the exciting part. What's in it?

My box contains:
Bioderma Sebuim Foaming gel, 10ml
Facial cleanser. Looks great, can't wait to try it! (regular size, 200ml RRP $24.95)

Bioderma Sebium Akn Purifying Corrective care, 5ml
Facial cram for smoothing and purifying the skin, eliminating blackheads and blemishes. (regular size, 30ml, RRP $24.95)

You me and every body sumptuous skin mousse, 75ml (full size sample)
Fun moisturiser in foam form, non greasy.  (RRP $13.99)

Australis Lash TLC conditioning mascara, 11ml (another full size sample!)
Mascara with conditioners to keep natural lashes looking and feeling great (RRP $14.95)

Klorane dry shampoo with oat milk, 50ml
Dry shampoo, for gentle cleansing between washes (regular size, 150ml RRP $12.95)

Lancome Visionnaire polishing cream, 5ml
Corrective polishing cream for a smooth complexion (regular size, 50ml RRP $125)

So, is it worth it? Well, if you consider that I received a full sized mascara that costs the same amount as the entire box....of course it's worth it! I actually feel like the excitement it caused was well worth the $15 all by itself! There was also a voucher inside the box for $15 from, which I believe is a gift with purchase (min. $69 spend).

Can't wait until next month's bellabox!!!!!

Friday, 28 September 2012

A cause close to my heart: Wear your bright pink lipstick today for girls at high risk of breast and ovarian cancer.

This is one of my favourite pink lipsticks...
but I plan to go a little more wild for the day
Today is bright pink lipstick day! It's a day to wear bright pink lippie in support of pink hope, an organization raising funds and educating women about the risks of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer.

This cause is one close to my heart. I'm a high-risk girl myself. A little bit about my family tree:

My mother's eldest sister was diagnosed at 33 years of age with breast cancer. She went into remission after treatment, and later passed away sadly from a secondary cancer at approximately age 40.

My paternal grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer, I believe in her forties. She had what was, at the time, radical surgery and radiation therapy that left her with Osteoparosis, and went on to live a life longer than normal expectancy, passing away only recently in her late 70s from other (age related, natural) causes.

I am a little sketchy on the details of this one, but I believe my maternal Great Grandmother passed away after a battle with ovarian cancer.

Also, my father's younger sister was diagnosed with breast cancer in her forties and treated. She remains healthy and happy in remission and cancer free.

So all of this puts me well and truly in the high-risk group. I am one of those people who is hyper-aware of these things, and so I've had many discussions with my doctor about it, check my breasts monthly (normal hormonal changes can affect the way that your breast tissue feels, so checking more often can be misleading), and intend to have the available tests regularly once I reach the appropriate age.

Girls, I can't stress this enough. Get to know your body. Act upon it when something doesn't feel right. Early detection and treatment can be the difference between winning and losing your fight with cancer.

So wear your pink lippies today, get behind the cause. Post your pics on their facebook, twitter, pinterest and instagram. Donate to the cause. Share the love and help to raise awareness.

Click here to visit the pink hope website and get details of their pink lipstick day.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Review Thursday: Ecotools 5 piece brush set.

I've found an amazing company who make amazing makeup brushes...

  • They are amazing quality
  • They are amazingly affordable
  • They are vegan friendly and cruelty-free
  • Their spokesperson is Alicia Silverstone
Ecotools make all of their brushes from bamboo and recycled aluminium, with beautiful, soft synthetic bristles.

I recently bought their 5 piece brush set with a cute little carry bag and they are just divine. My makeup goes on smoother and with less hassle, and I had the added peace of mind that the brushes I was using hadn't had the massive impact on the environment that other products have.

At $25.95 for the 5 piece set, I can certainly say I've well and truly got my money's worth, and I'll be buying more in the very near future. These little kits will make lovely christmas gifts for the makeup loving members of my family (ssshhhh... don't tell them!).

Ecotools brushes are available at (02) 9526 0777 & Priceline stores nationally

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Trendsday! Ombre makeup.

A big trend out at the moment is Ombre. Whether it's eyes, lips or nails, or even hair, everyone seems to be getting in on the Ombre trend.

So first, a little bit about the history of Ombre. The word itself means "shadow" in french, and has long been used to describe gradual colour change dyeing processes. Since the 20's, it has been a popular effect used in dyeing fabrics for dresses, skirts and all sorts of things.
It made a comeback of sorts in the 1960's and 1970's, with the introduction of tie-die, and morphed into a changing of colours on a brighter and more contrasting level.

These days, Ombre can be anything from a gradual fade of shades in the same basic colour, as you can see with my lips and nails here, or a combination of colours next to or opposite each other on the colour wheel, as seen with my sunset-inspired Ombre eye.

However you decide to do it, the key is to blend everything together really well so that you don't have an obvious line separating your colours. Even if they are real opposites, they should still be blended together in the edges, to create that effect.

Here,  I've created my look with nail polishes by OPI (way too many colours to list), OCC lip tar and NYX pearl pigment, and various colours from my 120 Pro palette.

What do you think? Do you like the Ombre look? Do you hate it? Let me know your thoughts.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Smelly things: Stella McCartney's new one is beautiful.

I was in Myer the other day looking at some cosmetics and skin care stuff, and the lady who served me had her register behind the fragrance counter.

She invited me to try a brand new fragrance by Stella McCartney, and I instantly fell in love. L.I.L.Y is a beautiful, sweet, floral scent, not too heavy, but a bit more grown-up than her other fragrances. The lady gave me a sample and I've worn it every day since. I can't wait for it to actually be released here in Australia! Now, the thing you need to know about the name is that it's a really beautiful story. L.I.L.Y is the nickname that Paul (Stella's dad) used to call his late wife, Linda (Stella's mum)... and it stands for Linda, I love you. How beautiful is that?

This is one you should definitely make the trip to Myer to check out.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Monday How-to: Help your skin recover from a huge night out

All dolled up and ready to go out, I've applied a double layer of foundation and half the eyeliner in the free world, and I'm ready to go.

Skip forward to 3am, I'm exhausted from dancing and socializing, my skin is dehydrated from drinking alcohol and staying in the air conditioned environment. I even skipped out to the smokers' area to talk to friends a couple of times. I fall into bed, don't even remember to take all of that makeup off or take a drink of water and wake up several hours later feeling.... not my best.

Worse that that, my skin is not feeling it's best, either, and it won't until I've taken care of it for a few days.

So how do I undo the damage that I've done? We've all done it on occasion, and TLC is required to bring your skin back under control and have it loving you again.

First, you need to go and drink a big glass of water...and do that again about 10 times during the day for a couple of days. That will help the queasy, not-quite-well feelings too. Also, you should cut back on greasy, sugary foods and keep your intake to really "clean" foods. Lean meats, vegetables, fruits. A bit of a detox, if you like.

Then, you need to go get rid of that nasty makeup that's smeared across your face (you may also want to change your pillow case...). Get rid of the majority with makeup wipes, then get into the shower and give it a really good scrub and cleanse. Biore have an awesome range of products for this, and I'm currently using their daily detoxifying scrub and 4 in one foam cleanser in the shower.
Make sure your face is sparkling clean, then hop out and do a little more work. You can use a face mask if you want to. I like BYS' tea tree mask.

After that's all washed off, you need to tone and moisturise. and an hour later, moisturise again.

Use a night cream, if you don't already.

Rinse and repeat until your skin recovers completely.

Lots of lip balm is important, too.

So, that's how to help your skin recover from a big night out! When was your last big night? Did you have fun?

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Reinvention: Biore's sleek, clean new look!

You all know through the blog that I'm a massive fan of Biore products. I use their stuff every single day and it's a really good match for my skin type. I'm totally excited to show you their new packaging, a cleaner, sleeker blue and white look!

I really like it, it's a much more modern look for them. The products, of course, are the same as they've always been. It's just the outside that's changed. I have lots of new products to show you guys, and will cover them one at a time in a review post coming soon! 

Right now I'm using the daily scrub and the foam wash cleanser in the shower every morning, and the triple action toner and nourish moisture lotion, and that's my daily routine, morning and night, with makeup remover wipes for taking off my makeup. My skin is really soft and smooth, with not a blemish in sight! Keep an eye out for Biore at Priceline, Target, Big W, Coles, Woolworths and Pharmacies in their new blue and white packaging!

Disclaimer: Products were sent to me for review by the amazing people at Biore. My opinions, of course, are my own.

Friday, 21 September 2012

GIVEAWAY! Help my blog grow and you could win!

I'm SO excited! I just finished packing up this box of goodies that I have to give away to one lucky reader! There are so many things inside the box that I couldn't get the lid on properly! As you can see, there are all different kinds of products, from nail polish and art to skin care, to brushes and sponges and even sunscreen, because that is THE most important skin care product that you can own. All of the products are brand new and unopened, purchased specifically for this purpose, except for a few little treats (not pictured) that I've included as a special surprise from the amazing people at Biore!

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Thursday Reviews: Australis Rush Hour Palette.

 In amongst my discount makeup haul the other day, I picked up this awesome Australis Cosmetics Rush Hour "Pinks on the go" Palette. It has everything you need to create colour on your face in one handy little compact. First, let me apologize for the state of my brows. Next Monday's how-to is DIY eyebrow waxing, and I'm leaving them just a little longer than I usually would, especially when I know they are going to be photographed!

So, let's have a look at this palette. It has a handy lip brush and sponge tip applicator included in the packaging, but you'll have to carry a blush brush along with your mascara for this one. Still, with everything else you need already in the compact, it takes up almost no space even in a handbag! The blush is a soft, creamy peach-pink, perfect for most skintones that would suit the rest of the palette. Then we have a quad of eyeshadows, which I've used all of in my makeup look below.

There is a very light, shimmery ice-pink, which I've used up to the brow bone, a dusty pink which I've used over the entire lid and blended in just above the crease, an almost-plum hue which looks lovely over the entire lid, and a brown, which I've used into my outer corners for a bit of depth. Overall, I think it's created quite a good look. To that, I added my usual combination of gel liner and pencil liner, and a super volumizing mascara, and I was all done with the eyes.

I applied the blush sparingly, as I don't like to go out all rouged-up, but it's definitely a product that you could build up if you wanted to create a more intense colour.

The tonings of this palette suit my complexion perfectly, so I'm really happy with my purchase.

Then it was onto the lips for a finishing touch. There are 2 lip glosses, in nude-pink tones, and a lipstick in this dusty pink colour that I've used in the makeup look. It went on really smoothly, and has lasted through eating and drinking several hours after I applied it. The bonus of it is that if I do need to reapply, it's all right there in my handbag, brush and all!

I'm really pleased with this palette. It's definitely something I'll use "on the go", as the name suggests, as well as at home on a regular basis. And here's the best part...the RRP on this little gem is $12.95... yes, that's not a typo. All Australis products retail for less than $20, a fact that they are very proud of. It means that everyone can afford great quality, animal friendly products from a well established (25 years!!!!) company with a great name.

Well done, Australis!

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Trendy Wednesday: Nail trends for spring/summer

I'm seeing so many awesome nail trends coming through for spring and summer. Metallics, Pastels, Neons, there's something for everyone!

I just adore the glitter polishes that are becoming more popular now. OPI have some gorgeous new collections out, and usually they'll have at least one glitter or special top coat included.

Neon colours are really in right now and I'm loving the bright pinks, yellows, oranges, greens and blues.

My favourite trend right now is metallic polishes. I saw this gold and black french in an email newsletter and I just had to try it out. I really love it for any formal event, or even just to jazz up the everyday and put a smile on my face. It's something I'll definitely be experimenting more with.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Update: Happy little blogger!

This morning, I received my business cards and "with thanks" cards in the mail. It's all starting to get quite official and awesome!

I want to thank you, dear readers. The blog is travelling along very nicely and there would be absolutely no point putting out new content if not for my amazing readers. Stay tuned on Friday for details of a mini give-away to thank a lucky reader!

Monday, 17 September 2012

How-to Mondays: Line those pretty eyes!

This week's How-to Monday is by request from our lovely facebook friend Fay. I asked what you guys wanted to see, and made some suggestions, and she suggested that I look at the differences between pencil, gel pot/brush and liquid liner. What a fantastic idea! Thank you, Fay!

So in my first pic collage here, you can see that I've swatched the 3 different kinds of liner. The top one is a Face of Australia liquid liner that I got from Gloss, I think. It's a product I've used almost daily for months and months and it's still going strong. The two best things about using liquid liner, in my opinion, are that the product lasts for so long, you generally need to throw it away before you finish it because it's been months and it's time for a fresh one, and the precision you get with a liquid liner... but I'll go into that in a minute.

Next on the swatch is Rimmel gel liner, which I actually bought last night from Chemist Warehouse in preparation for this blog post. This gel liner has its own brush built into the pot, which is awesome. The greatest thing about gel liner is its staying power. Gel generally outlasts both pencil and liquid by a long shot, so once you've got it on there, you don't have to worry about it moving during the day/night.

At the bottom of the swatch is my trusty BYS pencil liner, which I also got from Gloss. Pencil liners are a little more forgiving, more versatile, and easier to use in waterlines. The best thing about pencil liners is the lack of mess. You have to sharpen them, but that is the only mess they make, and it can't happen by accident.

As you can see, I've chosen the black version of all three liners, because it's easy to see on pictures, and because black is the most common colour of liner used and available.

So, let's see what each of these look like on my face, and have a look at how they are different.

In the first picture, I've used the BYS pencil liner on my waterline, lower lash line, upper waterline (tightline) and upper lid. You will notice that it's almost a smoky look, because the pencil liner doesn't have that hard, precise line that many people prefer. I really like pencil liner for when I'm doing makeup looks with "bedroom eyes" or goth-y, emo type looks. The coverage is just wider and smokier.

In the second picture, I've applied the gel liner to my lower lashline and upper lid. I don't like to tightline or use gel or liquid liner on my waterlines, because it has a tendency to "bleed" into the eye and cause some irritation. Perhaps I'm not quite getting it right, but I've tried many different techniques, and as soon as I get anything softer than a pencil near the waterlines, that is what happens. With a gel, you get a more precise application than the pencil, and with this built-in brush, the line is quite wide. I really think this gel liner would be great for 60's bombshell looks, looks with wide winged liner, or costume makeup, given its staying power and general wearability.

Last, but not least, I've used the Liquid liner, again on my lower lashline and upper lid. Liquid gives the most precise application, thanks to it's tiny thin, long brush. I love liquid liner for my "classic" looks, and it's so versatile. You can wear just a fine line for a more natural look, or build it up into cat or winged eyes, big fat lines, or even costume makeup where additional face painting is required away from the eyes.

Everyday eyes.
My personal preference, and what I use every day is a combination. Generally, I use pencil liner on my lower lashline, waterline and tightline, then either a liquid or a gel liner on my upper lashline/lid over my eyeshadow. I'll usually apply the pencil first, then eyeshadow, then gel or liquid liner. That's just the way that I do it and I'm sure everyone has different ways to do it.

At some point soon, I'll pop a little tutorial for all three of these on the youtube channel, and I'll post it as extra content for you to have a look at.

See you on Thursday for my review of my awesome Australis Rush Hour palette!

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Discount Makeup Haul!

Today I decided to go have a look in K Mart at the beauty section, and I also went for a train ride with my kids to Mentone and popped into the makeup outlet store across the road from the train station and I came home with this epic haul!
First of all, not one piece of this cost me more than $10, with 80% of the pieces being less than $6 each.

So here's what I got (I'll blog some of this stuff separately later on, so stay tuned for swatches, etc):

Sally Hansen Strengthening Nail Polish Remover. I needed nail polish remover, and this was the best smelling one.

Natio for men EDT. In the warmer months, I am a fan of light mens' fragrances for myself. This one is lovely and I think I'll be wearing this every day. From the Natio website: The top notes and first impression of the fragrance are Citrus, Bergamot and Grapefruit. The middle notes, also called 'the heart' because they give the fragrance its body, are Sage, Violet Leaf, Capsicum and Cardamom. The base notes - Pepper, Benzoin Tree, Myrrh, Patchouli and Cyprus remain long after the top and middle notes have faded.

Australis Rush Hour Pinks palette. This palette has a blush, four eye shadows, and three lip colours. I'll blog this in a review later, and include swatches and more details.

BYS Diamond Shine Lip Gloss in Precious. It's a lovely, shimmery nude-pink colour. Right up my alley.

BYS Blusher in candyfloss. A lovely pink shade that will be ideal for spring to summer looks.

BYS Desert Sands Palette. A collection of bronzey-brown eyeshadows, which I'll review in further detail soon.

BYS Mystique Palette. A collection of greys, blues and deep purples, which I'll also blog in further detail soon.

St. Ives Peel Off Hydroxy mask. 3 single use masks to lift dead surface cells and impurities, revealing smooth, visibly healthy skin. This one is for all skin types.

St. Ives Mineral Clay Firming mask. Made with mineral clay to deeply clean while firming and tightening skin. For Normal to Oily skin, this product is oil free.

So, that's my haul from today. I also bought some makeup sponges, but they really aren't all that exciting. I can't stress enough, though, how important it is to always use clean tools to apply your makeup. Sponges are the most important thing to change over on a regular basis, because bacteria builds up so fast inside them...and then you apply that straight to your face....ew! 

Stay tuned to find out more about these great products soon!

Friday, 14 September 2012

Classic beauties: Today and yesterday

Naomi Watts
Grace Kelly
 I felt the need to share with you some of my beauty idols. These girls just look flawless without looking like they have makeup caked all over them, without lots of colour and flash. They are what I would call classic beauties, and their stylists certainly know what they're doing.

Anne Hathaway
Audrey Hepburn

I've featured a blonde, a brunette, and a redhead from today's celebrity group, and from a more classy time, to show you that first, no matter your hair or skin colouring, you can pull off the classic beauty look, and second; that the classic beauty look has lasted throughout the years because it is such an easy look to get really, really right.

Rita Hayworth

I plan to do some makeup tutorials featuring this basic look, and some little extras you can do (like Rita's lovely red lips) to really make it pop!

This is what beauty means to me, dear readers. What are your favourite looks from over the years?

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Review: Biore skin care

For a while now, I've been using several products from Biore that seem to be keeping my skin really nice and healthy, so I wanted to share them with you.

On the days that I wear makeup, I find the taking off to be such a pain at the end of the day, but I know that it's really important for keeping my skin clear and clean, so I like to use the Biore Gentle Makeup removing wipes, which smell so fresh and fruity and really easily clean away all of my makeup. I buy a pack of these wipes every other week because they are so handy and versatile.

Every morning in the shower, I use Biore Pore Unclogging facial scrub, which really leaves me feeling super clean before I apply my sunscreen and makeup. I was given a tube of this scrub and loved it so much that I replaced it when it ran out and continue to use it on a daily basis.

Whilst researching for this post, I stumbled across this awesome little resource on the Biore website which I really think is worth mentioning. They have a "15 ways to do an about face" page on their website, which lists possible scenarios and how to use Biore products to improve your skin and protect it. Definitely worth a look.

Biore products are available at Priceline, Target, Big W, Coles, Woolworths and Pharmacies

Edited post to reflect only products which I have obtained independently of any other blog involvement.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Trend Alert! Glitter nail beds.

 This month, with the change of season, I'm seeing a few different trends emerging in makeup, nails and hairstyles, so I figured I would share one with you today! I really like this little glitter-on-the-nail bed look, because you can mix it up and make a really bold statement, or a more subdued, pretty look for more formal occasions like a wedding or a family birthday.

I had so much fun experimenting with lots of different colours this week, trying out this technique, adjusting the amount of glitter I applied.The pink look with the Nicky Minaj collection (from OPI) sparkles on it reminds me of cupcakes with sprinkles on top!
I also tried out a coral look with gold glitter, which would be great to team up with a coral coloured dress this horse racing season.

Then, we have the NYC ballet collection sheer grey with the NYC ballet sparkle glitter, which would be awesome for a wedding or with a nice white summer dress. Along the same vein, on my little finger I have "Passion" from OPI's mothers day pack with a Nicole by OPI love heart glitter, which would be lovely with a pink dress or blouse.

The purple look is 2 colours from the Nicole by OPI Hit makers (Justin Bieber) collection.

The green is "don't mess with OPI" from the Texas collection, with a really cheap Ulta fuschia and green glitter on top.

I think all of these mixes look great, and could be adapted for lots of different occasions (or just because it's Wednesday!).