Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Nanoblur: 10 years younger in 40 seconds? Review.

I received a sample of Nanoblur in my bellabox this month, and I was dubious. Their promise to make me look 10 years younger with this stuff seemed a little far-fetched.  The only way to find out is to try it, so I did....and here's a little video of what I thought.

There is no digital editing of any of the pictures in the video, with the exception of the thumbnail image.

Let me know if you like this style of video, or if you prefer the talking-tutorial kind of videos.


Saturday, 25 May 2013

Lust Have It May 2013!

It's Lust have It time again! I was certainly more pleased with my box this month than I was last month. There are some great products in there, and plenty of value for money.

Here's my unboxing video!


Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Katy's top five tips for: Luscious Lips

 As a long-time brass musician and inhabitant of a radically changing climate, I've learned a lot over the tears about keeping my lips smooth and hydrated. Here are my top 5 tips for keeping your lips lovely in all weather and conditions.

1. DON'T LICK YOUR LIPS. I know, you have a cold, or it's icy wind outside, or you forgot your chapstick. DON'T LICK THEM. You'll make it ten times worse.

2. Invest in a good lip scrub. Use it once a week to exfoliate and get rid of any dry skin around the edges. I like the lip scrubs from Lush, which all have amazing scent/tastes.

3. Kiss your boyfriend/girlfriend. Stubble-rash aside, it's a good workout for your Orbicularis Oris (lip muscles) and it helps to exfoliate them! (I'm sorry if I just ruined the experience of kissing for anyone by including the lip exfoliation visual).

4. Use cosmetic products that add moisture, rather than drying out your lips. I love using Carmex Moisture Plus tinted lip balm because it's good for my lips, and it adds a wash of colour to add to my makeup look.

5. Keep lip balm/chapstick EVERYWHERE. Put one in your purse. Put one in your car glovebox. Keep one in your bedroom, your bathroom, in the kitchen (I have one on top of the microwave). Then you have no excuse to lick your lips, ever. Lip-licking is a massive cause of dry, red, broken skin around the mouth and apart from being unsightly, it's really painful and generally unpleasant to live with.

What are your greatest tips for keeping your lips luscious?

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Pamper yourself with Renew You Intense Hydration Hydrogel Masque

 I'm a real fan of scary-looking cloth facial masks, so when I received a care package in the mail from Renew You, I was stoked. They had even sent me a lovely teabag from T2 and a ferrero rocher chocolate to enjoy as I relaxed!

The first mask that I tried out from the package was the awesome 2 piece Intense Hydration Hydrogel Masque, which is like a cloth mask, but it's made from slippery gel-like stuff that felt really amazing on my skin.

I positioned the bottom half first, then did the top half, and I found that it was easier to get a good fit that way than it usually is with the one piece cloth masks.

 The mask is infused with Co-Enzyme Q10 and Hyaluronic Acid, which is known to intensely hydrate skin, strengthening your skin's ability to remain supple and toned.

I certainly felt a lot smoother, more hydrated and my skin's elasticity seemed to have improved, and as I write this several days later, there is still a marked improvement in my skin overall.

I'd definitely recommend checking this one out, as well as the rest of their range at Priceline, Target, K Mart, Big W, Woolworths, Coles and selected pharmacies.

Full disclosure: The awesome people at Montagne Jeunesse sent me this product at no charge for my consideration. I was under no obligation to review it, and my opinions, as always, are entirely my own. I endeavour to bring you honest and accurate reviews of products that I have tried and genuinely enjoyed.

Monday, 20 May 2013

Review: Palmers Eventone BB Cream

 I got a sample of this in the mail, and I loved it so much that I rushed straight out and bought it! Palmers just released this BB cream in 2 colours, and the fair/light happens to suit me perfectly.
It's specially formulated to combat uneven skintone, whilst also providing coverage, hydration, and UV protection. It's definitely an all-in-one product, perfect for everyday wear.

The coverage is what I'd call medium, giving the ideal coverage for me to have on a daily basis. I can wear it without worrying that I'm wearing makeup too often and going to break out.

I'd definitely recommend trying it out. It's exclusive to My Chemist and Chemist Warehouse, and costs less than $10.

Give it a go!

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Katy's top products that are worth the hype.

Today I filmed a video response to anothe Youtuber, Ainsley, about top products that are worth the hype.

Here's the video!


Wednesday, 15 May 2013

BELLABOX MAY 2013 - WOW, It's a big one!

The theme of this month's Bellabox is Beauty SOS, and oh my, they have jam packed the box this month with awesome products!

Let's get right into it because I know you're all dying to know what's in there!

Lonvitalite C4 - coconut milk hydrating and nourishing facial mask (5 masks for $29 - this is a single sample)
Those of you who have been reading for a while will already know how awesome I think Lonvitalite are. Their masks are amazing for  bit of a pamper, and this one in particular is a favourite of mine for refreshing and rehydrating my skin.

Suigo Absolute Volume Keratin Treatment (500ml is $40, this is a 100ml sample)
I had my hair coloured yesterday, and I promised my stylist that I would treat my hair twice a week, so this came at the perfect time! It's a really decent sized sample and it smells awesome!

Bloom Shadow Liner - Emerald Green (full sized product $15)
This is a nifty idea, a pencil that can serve as a shadow or a liner. I personally LOVE the colour, and I cant wait to try it out. Swatch below.

La Roche Posay Effaclar Foaming Gel (200 ml is $19.95, this is a 15ml sample)
Fancy looking gel cleanser. I'll have to try this one out and give you my verdict. I always love getting skin care samples.

La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo ( 40ml is $25.95, this is a 3 ml sample)
Same deal as above, but this is their corrective and unclogging anti-imperfection creme.

Manicare Duo Mascara Brushes (full sized product $4.99)
These are really, really handy to have around, either as lash tools or for smoothing unruly brows! Really pleased to see such a practical tool in the box.

Sanctuary Spa Brightening Facial Illuminating Moisture Lotion SPF 15 (full sized product $19.95)
A gorgeous-scented spa facial moisturiser that is super-light. It contains mica partices to give you a lit-from-within glow. I'm really keen to give this a go.

Nanoblur (30ml is $29.99, this is a 2ml sample)
This product claims to give an airbrushed finish, wiping up to 10 years off your face in 40 seconds.
It's a huge claim. Let's give it a go and see how it performs. Stay tuned for a review of this product really soon.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Katy's top five tips for: Amazing, clear skin.

You may have noticed that I have really nice skin. It's one of the things that I like the most about my appearance. Here are my top five for getting (and keeping) it that way.

Tip #1: Have really great genes.
I'm really, really sorry about this one to all of you who don't have such great skin naturally, but the number one reason that I have such lovely skin is because my mum and my nan do. To look at my nan now, at 70 years of age, you would swear she's much younger. My mum often gets the "but you don't look old enough to have children in their 30's!" too. This is another reason for my distinct lack of wrinkles, but that's a post for another time.

However, if you're not quite so genetically blessed, you can definitely do tips 2 through 5 and really get that skin glowing and looking clearer and smoother.

Tip #2: WATER!
Drink it, bathe in it. Do both of those things very regularly and you have a recipe for clear skin. Drinking water helps to keep toxins from building up in our system and ejecting themselves through our pores, causing breakouts. You should be aiming for 2 litres of water per day at a minimum. Other drinks don't count as "water" consumption, because they generally contain things like chemicals and sugar which cause more breakouts. If you don't like tap water, try bottled instead.

Tip #3: Know your breakouts.
If you break out massively all over your chin every month around the same time, it might be time to get those hormones in check. Breakouts on the lower half of the face are generally caused by hormonal changes and imbalances. Likewise, if you're breaking out all over your forehead, you need to watch your intake of sugary, fatty, oily foods which build up the toxins in your system and cause breakouts that way. The more you know about the cause of your breakouts, the more effective you can be at treating the cause, not just the symptoms.

Tip #4: Let it breathe!
Your skin needs to "breathe" in order for it to stay breakout-free and silky smooth. When I say "breathe", I mean that you really need to spend a day or two at least, per week, without makeup caking in your pores and preventing them from excreting sebum and releasing the naturally occurring dead skin cells and biological waste that is important to keep skin functioning correctly. On those days, you should apply your usual skin care products, as well as UV protection to protect your skin from outside pollution.

Tip #5: Great skin care products.
This isn't a post to spruik any particular skin care product. All I'm going to tell you about skin care products is that once you find a line that really works for you, and your skin is looking and feeling great, stick with it. You need, at the very least, a good cleanser and moisturiser. Toner is also a good thing to have, and additionally you may choose to use eye creams and night time moisturisers. Invest the time and effort into your skin while you're young, and the rewards will be amazing as you age, trust me. You should be using quality (but not necessarily expensive) products from puberty, and incorporating anti-ageing products into your routine as you hit your mid to late twenties. In your mid thirties, you can begin to really combat those age signs with targeted anti-wrinkle, vitamin A and collagen treatments and products.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Katy's top five tips for: Acrylic nails

Beginning my week of "top fives", I present to you my top five tips for choosing, dealing with, and keeping your acrylic nails looking great and lasting longer.

Tip #1: Invest a little money into good files and buffers specifically designed for acrylic nails.
Most beauty supply stores will have coarse and fine grit files, and buffers that will make your nails super-smooth. Ask the sales staff to help if you're not sure, but you definitely need a coarse grit file, a fine grit file, a buffer, and a spare file with a coarse side and a fine side to use in tip #2. All up, these should cost no more than $10.

Tip #2: BYO file! No matter what kind of salon you go to, they will almost definitely be using files on different clients. It's just the way that it's done. If you're going to a mall-type salon (you guys know what I'm talking about), the number of clients that the file has been used on will be much higher. Now think about how many times you've received a file burn or a cut from a file in a salon like that. Everyone's got an experience like that in their storybook. Here's the scary part. There is no way to sterilize a card file, so the risk of getting an infection is massive. Don't become one of those horror stories on the news, suing the nail salon. Take a little personal responsibility for the fact that you only want to pay $20 for your manicure, and spring the extra couple of bucks to bring your own file. Insist that they use it, and ask for it to be returned to you when you're done. I generally don't get any complaints or even a funny look when I ask my nail tech to use my file.

Tip #3: Always use non-acetone nail polish remover. This reduces the amount of chemical damage that you do to your acrylic, and therefore prolonging the life of your acrylic nails. This one's a no-brainer. The non-acetone removers are the same price as ones with acetone in them, and they are more gentle on real nails too.

Tip #4: Learn how to shape and shorten your nails yourself. You'll avoid breakage if you're able to file your own nails to the length and shape that you like, instead of adding 2-3 weeks of growth to the length before you go back to the salon to have them refilled and shortened. I generally find that my nails will grow out around 1cm between each refill, and so I need to keep them at a reasonable length to ensure they don't break off and cause me to prematurely hit the salon.

Tip #5: Battle the fill line! As your nails grow, the acrylic "grows" up the nail, away from the cuticle. This can result in an ugly "bump" in your nails. Using your fine grit file, you can gently file down the fill line to give your nails a more even and natural-looking shape. Once they are painted, nobody will even know you need a refill!

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Review: Eylure Individual Lashes

Add caption
 I meant to post this during the week, with a video tutorial for you guys, but I'm having some issues with my video editing software, so that's still in the works for now. I did want to answer all of the questions that you asked on Facebook about the lashes, though, so here's my review and a step-by-step how-to for Eylure Individual Lashes.

First, a little bit of product info, so that you know how these lashes  are intended to be used.

Individual Lashes are a semi-permanent alternative to salon eyelash extensions, which you can buy locally at a great price, and apply yourself at home. They are applied using a glue that holds them in place until your natural lashes are shed, which can be anywhere up to four weeks, but may be as soon as the following day after application. It all depends on the natural cycle of your lashes. If you find that you drop one or two fairly quickly, you can always apply new ones to just the bare spots.

All of the pictures here are of my first ever try at applying the lashes. In general, I usually have trouble applying false lashes and getting them to stay put, so I was sceptical about these ones, but I think they turned out really great!

Step one: Prepare your natural lashes.
Cleanse your face using an oil free cleanser and pay extra special attention to your eye area, whilst still being gentle with the delicate skin there. Dry your face, making sue your lashes are also dry.

Step two: Apply adhesive to the lash.
Using tweezers, hold the lash and apply glue from the provided vial to the end where the lashes are joined together. The instructions say to use a piece of tinfoil for the glue, but i found it more economical to apply directly from the wand inside the glue vial to the lash itself, as the glue can dry out fairly quickly on the foil and you end up with waste.

Step three: Apply the lash to your eye.
Give the glue a second to dry a tiny bit, then using your tweezers, place the lash where you want it. The trick is to adhere the false lash to the natural lashes, as close to the root as possible without touching the skin on your eyelid. We want to apply the false lashes to the actual lash, not to the eyelid. Start from the inside with the short lashes, and work outwards applying 2-3 of each lash length until your desired fullness is achieved. You can use your tweezers to gently push the lash closer to the root of your natural lashline, or to "brush" the lash into the direction you'd like them to point.

Step four: Removal.
If you decide you've had enough of your lashes, you can remove them, but you should NEVER just pull them off. You're going to pull out your natural lashes and cause yourself pain if you do that. Using the oil-based remover found inside the lash box, gently rub the remover with a Q-tip along the glue line until the lashes begin to fall off. If they are stubborn, simply use more remover product.

It's as simple as that. My boyfriend described the lashes the other night as "pretty killer", so I'm taking that feedback and contributing it to the double thumbs-up that I'm giving these lashes.

They are available in Black and Brown (for all you redheads out there, or girls who require a softer look), from Priceline and Big W at $14.99. In the USA, they are available at CVS, HEB, walgreens, Urban Outfitters, K mart and many other stockists.

On to your facebook questions about them:

Katie S: Are you sure they're easy? I'm fairly beauty challenged!! Lol
They are amazingly easy! I applied them really beautifully on my first go, and I'm a real lash noob!

Megan B:
Q: Do they require the eye-stingingly (yes, that IS a word) fumey glue that they use in-salon for 
They require a different glue to normal single-use lashes, but I didn't find the smell to be offensive, nor did it sting my eyes.

And as above, how fiddly were they? I can imagine myself with ending up with hairy fingertips and about 3 lashes successfully planted on my eyelid! 
As long as you use tweezers, it's nice and easy. No fiddling required

Megan E: Do they come in a kit or do you have to buy the glue/adhesive separate? Cuz knowing me I'd get the lashes and leave without getting anything else I'd need
Everything you need to actually apply and remove the lashes is included in the box. The only things you'll need to have at home are a pair of tweezers and Q-tips.

RebeccaCan u get them in a range of colors? Just coz we all know Im a lil "out there".
Stay tuned for a brand new release in their Katy Perry range very soon. Right now, it's black or brown.

Megan E: when you say you can sleep/wash etc with them on, how long will they stay on for (approx)
Anywhere up to  month, but it depends on your natural lash cycle. If you start to lose some, you can just reapply. There are enough lashes in the pack to do a couple of full sets easily.

Full disclosure: The awesome people at Eylure sent these lashes to me for my consideration. I am under no obligation to review them. As always, my opinions are my own, and I endeavour to bring you honest and accurate reviews of products I've genuinely used and enjoyed.


Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Who like $2 makeup products? Good quality ones!

First of all, let me apologize for my puffy, make-up-free face in the picture here. I'm sick with a cold, and my lips are all chapped and sore. Makeup just really wasn't an option. I'll get to some remedies for that stuff tomorrow, because I feel like we could all use a few tips and tricks for dealing with the skin issues that having a cold causes.

Today, however, I'm a bit excited to share this brand with you and tell you all about the products that I got in my massive haul.

All 11 makeup products, including eyeshadow duos and pressed powder, (which is so smooth and velvety, I am going to stock up on it) cost me a total of $22. That's just $2 per item! I'm really pleased with the quality of this stuff, because I have to admit, I watched a few reviews before I went to spend money on it. Everyone is saying the same thing that I am. Its SO worth a trip to Big W to check out Boe Beauty products!

Here is a little video to show you what I got, with swatches.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

RETAIL THERAPY! Gifts for mum on Mothers day!

This Sunday is mothers day, and I can tell you all, since my mum is a little bit internet-challenged, that I got my mum some travel essentials and made a little pack for her to take overseas when she goes away the following Friday. I also bought her Urban Decay's Naked2 palette, but I'm not sure it's going to arrive in time for mothers day.

Whilst I was trying to decide what to get for my mum, I did lots of research into some easy retail giftpacks that are available right now to buy for mums everywhere, and I really couldn't choose between about 10 different things, which is why I decided to go more specific to her immediate needs.

I figured I couldn't let all of that research go to waste, so why not share the most epic awesome giftpacks that I loved with you guys to give you some ideas for your mums (or even for yourself...whether you're a mum or not!).

First up is Burt's Bees. Burt’s Bee’s Head to Toe Kit is filled with products to naturally cleanse, nourish and nurture the skin. The Head to Toe kit contains Naturally Nourishing Milk and Honey Body Lotion (25g), Fabulously Fresh Peppermint and Rosemary Body Wash (50mL), Hand Salve (8.5g), Soap Bark and Chamomile Deep Cleansing Cream (20g), Coconut Foot Cream (20g) and Beeswax Lip Balm (4.25g). RRP $24.95

You can find this at David Jones, Harrisons Pharmacies, Kleins Perfumery, Terry White Chemists and selected retail outlets

Now... if you choose to buy this pack from David Jones, you can score yourself a freebie, too. Choose from either of these bonus packs when you spend $29.95 on Burt's Bees products, so pick up the pack for mum, and a lip balm for yourself, and you're there. Choose from Cleansing Towelettes, or Hand cream, both with the cute polkadot beauty bag.

Next up, we have the amazing Renew range from Innoxa in the limited edition tin, which i've reviewed HERE. I can't speak highly enough of this range of skincare products, and at $49.95 for the entire basic range, it's so, so affordable. You can find it at David Jones, Myer, Priceline, Terry White Chemists, My Chemist, Chemist Warehouse and leading pharmacies nationally.

OPI have a really cute Mothers Day pack this year. Grab It, Bag It and Let’s Go is a pamper pack that is exclusive to Myer and David Jones. Ideal for mothers who don’t get pamper time to themselves, it comes complete with a vibrant girlie pink shade, OPI’s Kiss Me On The Tulips and a traditional shade of red, OPI’s Red Lights Ahead…Where?. Both lacquers are neatly packed in a stylish cream and red cosmetic bag. At $29.95, it's a really affordable gift for your mum.
I'm really loving the offering from Natio, mainly because the bag is so gorgeously pink and floral. Rise & Bloom gift pack includes an Aromatherapy Gentle Foaming Facial Cleanser, Aromatherapy Rosewater and Chamomile Gentle Skin Toner and Aromatherapy Daily Protection Face Moisturiser SPF 15. You can get this one for $29.95 from Myer, David Jones and selected pharmacies.

MOR have quite a few packs this year, and I particularly like this Duet scented with Lychee. My Lychee Lover Duet features a collection of MOR Shea Butter enriched Hand Cream and triple-milled soapette to leave skin pampered with a lingering scent. Available at Myer, David Jones, gift boutiques and pharmacies or at the MOR E-Boutique http://www.morcosmetics.com for $19.95

Something else I loved from OPI was the Mod about OPI gift set, $39.95.  Mod About OPI is a manicure DIY pack that is exclusive to David Jones. The Mod About OPI is ideal for mothers who like to spend time on their nails. The pack comes complete with a pastel pink nail lacquer, Mod About OPI (15ml), OPI’s 240 Grit Edge Nail File the award-winning Avoplex to Go Cuticle Oil (7.5ml) and Avoplex High Intensity Nail Cream (50ml), all stowed in an OPI tote bag.

 Last, but certainly not least, I picked this up and -almost- bought it for myself today, or for my mum, I couldn't decide. I may still go back into the store and pick one up, because it's a great pack at a great price. VS Sassoon Desired Styling Set includes a lightweight but powerful 2000-watt hairdryer equipped with a concentrator nozzle, diffuser and a round thermal styling brush. It is packaged in a soft, patent overnight bag. The bag is really, really cute, and at $36.95, you really can't go wrong. You can find this pack at leading department stores and electrical appliance outlets nationally.

So that's just a few of my favourite packs for mothers day this year. Go check them out for yourselves, I'm sure you'll find something awesome for your mum. I hope this helped to give you some ideas.

Monday, 6 May 2013

Cult brand: Illamasqua

A relative new kid on the block is making a huge splash in the UK, and now in Australia, Illamasqua (Ill-a-mass-kah) are taking over the beauty industry with their amazing, bold, breathtaking colour products and innovative styling.

Illamasqua have cornered the market in really extreme coloured products, whilst remaining true to more mainstream colour and classic beauty.

They are a more high-end brand, but the quality of their products is amazing. I actually have the lipgloss that the model is wearing in this photo, from their Theatre of the nameless collection, Intense lipgloss in Belladonna, and I love the way it looks and feels on my lips. It's super-high -shine, amazing colour payoff, and smooth to the touch.

Their various collections showcase some awesome makeup artistry and product design work, and I really think this brand is well on their way to rivalling any of the other high end brands out there. Look out, MAC, Illamasqua is on the map now. As soon as they break the USA, they will be unstoppable.

Their packaging is simple, black and very sleek-looking. I love their eyeshadow quad palettes and their pure pigments, all of which are super-pigmented with great colour payoff.

Their foundations range from the very lightest (white) to the very darkest skin tones I have seen, with a huge range in between.

Definitely check out Illamasqua when you get a chance. Their stores are located inside major Myer stores in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. If you book a beauty transformation with them, you get a 45 minute session with their makeup artists, trying out products and having a makeover, which costs $50, but you then get product credit for $50 too, so you basically get the makeover for free when you buy $50 of product!

Check out some more of their amazing photos below:


Friday, 3 May 2013

Trend Alert: Pastel/Coloured smokey eye makeup.

I've been waiting for this trend to emerge since the smokey eye became really popular again, and it hasn't disappointed me.

Lately in the media, I'm seeing a whole heap of different coloured smokey eyes, and it seems to be pastel-colour bases that are making a really big statement.

The big secret when it comes to eye makeup, and the smokey eye in particular is proper blending. You need to make sure you always have a clean brush handy, preferably of the "fluffy" variety. (If you don't know what a fluffy blending brush looks like, refer below)

For this look, I used a sillver base from my Chanel palette, then a variety of different pastel blue and teal colours from my 120 pro palette, and last of all, "Rockstar" by Urban Decay (smoked palette) in my outer corner and crease to smoke it all out and deepen the look.

I used my Essence blue eyeliner on the bottom lid, and my Australis curve ink liner on my upper lid, then topped it all off with lashings of MAC Plushlash mascara.

What do you think of this new trend? Do you want to see me do a different colour (pink, or purple, perhaps)? Would you wear this look? Do you want to see a tutorial for this look?
MAC 224 blending brush


Thursday, 2 May 2013

Katy Perry's lashes have me mesmerized.

I really have to tell you guys a little bit about this brand's ambassador before I tell you about the product. I've been a Katy Perry fan since she hit it big with "I kissed a girl". Little did I know, her success had been 10 years in the making. She'd been signed to a gospel record label and several other record companies before she finally found the right fit.

She's also one of the hardest-working women in the music industry, and completed her almost-year-long tour, even though her marriage was falling apart on the other side of the globe (despite her best efforts to save it).

Suffice to say, I have a lot of respect for Katy Perry as a woman and as an artist, and I highly recommend watching her tour documentary "Part of me".

As much as I love the woman, I write a beauty blog, not a music one, so let's have a look at the product she's put her name (and face) to, shall we?

You've probably all noticed Katy's amazing lashes when she's at events, and now you can have the same ones!

She teamed up with the awesome people at eylure and released a range of 4 different lash styles last year, and has now followed it up with 2 more, the gorgeous "Pretty", for daytime/casual looks, and "Darling" for a bold evening/dressed-up look.

The best part about these lashes is that they're self-adhesive, and perfect for the beginner lash-wearer. They even have a spare strip of adhesive build into the packaging so they're super-duper easy to re-glue for more and more wears!

I can't wait to try these out, and will probably film a tutorial video for you guys soon. You can keep an eye out for "Pretty" and "Darling at Priceline stores nationally and selected pharmacies at $14.99 each.

Full disclosure: The amazing team at eylure sent me these products for my consideration, at no cost to me. I am under no obligation to review them. My opinions are always my own, and I endeavour to bring you honest, open reviews of products I have used and enjoyed.