Friday, 29 June 2012

Hype Machine # 1

I love living in Australia but I do not love reading international beauty blogs and reading about amazing products then searching to find an Australian stockist or and even international online stockist that will ship to Australia only to come up with absolutely nada. The Australian Beauty retail options are very limited with Mecca Cosmetica being the most forward and stocking limited range of international brands and Department stores only offering the big brands. Smaller and more interesting boutique beauty brands are not being represented on the market.
So here are a list of things that I am desperately in lust with because I cannot get my greedy little mits on them.

1. Real Techniques Brushes  $5.99 - $17.99 (US dollar price)
The much raved about line of brushes developed by Makeup artist and youtube guru Samantha Chapman, which by all reviews sound absolutely amazing. Especially the 'Buffing Brush' for liquid and mineral foundation and the 'Concealer Brush' for blending in under eye concealer. I can only find the brush sets with international shipping on US eBay, the prices are more than inflated they are hot air ballooned. The core collection set is available at Ulta in the US for US$17.99, the lowest price I have found on line is US$30.00 + US$23.00 shipping. I may be obsessed with makeup but I am not an idiot.

2 Deborah Lippman $23.00 (US dollar price)
Recently I posted about 'Accross the Universe' the mermaid-esque polish from Deborah Lippman, somehow I managed to buy this on eBay at a reasonable price. I knew I would love the polish so I risked not actually ever seeing it in person and 'confirmed to buy' however with all nail polish brands there are good colours and not so good colours. With no Australian stockists as yet I am stuck browsing the Deborah Lippman website imagining the perfect colours on my nails.

3. Rouge Bunny Rouge Sea of Illumination Highlighting Liquid  £64.00
Rouge Bunny Rouge is a brand I heard about from my favorite youtube beauty reviewer SETH!!!!!
He is incredible, I cannot explain how much I love watching his videos - his voice has the most calming tone and he knows what he is talking about in terms of makeup. He did a complete brand review of Rouge Bunny Rouge and it aesthetically looks like a brand I would really bro down with, my main obsession has been the Illuminating Highlighting Liquid - available in 4 shades Sea of Clouds, Sea of Showers, Sea of Tranquility, Sea of Nectar. Divine - right? Anyway no international sellers as yet and with product this expensive I would like to test it on my skin before jumping in with £64.00 (AU$98.00).

4. Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat Foundation $47.60 ( Available 9th July)
OK OK OK! Hold onto you hats! This is very exciting news, 20 years after the famous Touche Eclat highlighting pen was released by Yves Saint Laurent  they are following up with a Foundation. Yes you read that correctly and you weren't hallucinating in heaven. The spiel is basically the same as all new foundations light weight, illuminating, light infused blah blah then I got to this part which is GENIUS:

'Classical foundation formulas contain varying amounts of opaque powders that ensure a diffused reflection. The negative drawback? A "mask" effect that can be a real problem, especially on darker skins, which tend to look grey.

Now, for the very first time with Le Teint Touche Éclat Foundation, Yves Saint Laurent has succeeded in resolving this by replacing the opaque powder with a soft focus gel. It forms a diffusing and translucent film on the skin’s surface that smoothes away imperfections without ever masking the skin. Its key asset is to ensure skin colour purity.'

5. Sisley Highlighting Orchidée Blush $108.00 (US dollar price)
This is the prettiest bronzer/highlighter/blush compact I have ever seen! Imprinted with an orchid - are you kidding me? It is stunningly beautiful and stunningly US$108.00 so for now I am going to just put it on my 'Lust List' and try and dupe it with something less and expensive and less pretty.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

NPAA: Nail Polish Addicts Anonymous #2

Last night was our second Nail Polish Addicts Anonymous meet up at The Cricketers Arms, it was an absolute success - everyone has a great time.

Watermelon nails we the number one request, my new Sally Hansen Nail Art pens were in high rotation doing some really creative tribal designs,  Fleur even tried out a galaxy nail and the portable nail dryer was a real hit. It was a post a minute on Instagram, and we finally learnt what hash tagging was.

The Essie prize packs were won by Shelly and Lauchlan who excelled in their amazing nail designs.

Thank you to all the babes who made it to the meet up and thank you so much to The Cricketers Arms for letting us take over upstairs.

Next meet up will be bigger and better than ever!

I will keep you posted with dates and times for the next NPAA, next meet up will be bigger and better than ever!

Face Masks

Lots of friends have requested I do a post on face masks, they were all confused about what type would make a difference to their skin. There are masks for all different skin complaints, the main 3 things are exfoliation, hydration and purifying. Face masks can be very expensive, a lot of brands price them higher than say a moisturizer because of the levels of specialty ingredients in them are higher than an everyday product making them intense. If you know what you are looking for in the ingredients then you don't have to spend a tone of money on a mask. So here you go babes, the skinny on all things masked.

In a mask the exfoliation comes in the form of chemical exfoliants which break down dead skin cells on the top two surface layers of skin. I would not go for this type of mask if you have acne prone skin or are having any kind of crazy purging blemishes. I use an exfoliating mask once a fortnight because my cleansing routine is quite exfoliating already, but if you are regular gel cleanser face wash babe then you could up using a mask like this to 2-3 times per week. 

Ingredients to look for:
Alpha Hydroxide, AHA'S, Glycolic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Potassium Hydroxide, Polysorbate 60, Hydroxymethylglycinate, Tocopherol, Lactic Acid,Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Flower Oil,Phenoxyethanol,

Best of the bunch:

If your skin is feeling as dry as a crocodile skin Birkin - a hydrating mask is exactly what you need. I love hydrating masks after having a long hall flight when your skin feels really blah and zapped of nutrients, also if you work in an air-conditioned office this would be great for you. They pep up your skin and make you feel like you have given your skin a cosmetic version of a gatorade.

Ingredients to look for:
Linoleic Acid, Vitamins A,C,E, Rose water, Glycerin, Aloe, Sucrose, Coconut oil, Caffeine, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Hyaluronate Cross-polymer, Caprylic/Capric Triglycerid, Hexylene Glycol

Best of the bunch:

Yesterday my skin had a massive freak out, it was a blemish pizza face party for one and I was mortified about it. In the above photo I am trying to zap those zits with the Aésop Parsley Seed Masque.  If you have topical blemishes which are caused from blocked or irritated pores (not the big sore underground blemishes - those are hormonal - soz!) then you are going to want to dry them out a little and also draw out any impurities from your pores so you don't get even MORE ZITS!

Ingredients to look for:
Evening primrose oil, Phenoxyethanol, Lavendula Angustifolia, Alcohol Denat, Parsley seed oil/extract, Titanium oxide, Sodium Benzoate, Polysorbate, Kaolin

Best of the bunch:

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Nail Trends: Border Nails

Nail Trends are coming and going really quickly with the influx of nail products available on the market at the moment. Matte and Shatter are soooo 5 minutes ago and Duo Chrome has almost had it, but I'm not ready to give it up just yet. 
Border Nails are the newest trends sweeping nail salons across the world, and I LOVE IT! The trend has been made easier with Nail Art Pens, these guys make the illusional border easy as pie. I have tried to re-create it at home but I don't have the steadiest of hands, my advice is to either invite a friend with a really neat hand writing over to help out or take a reference photo to your favorite nail salon and getting them to recreate it. The look seems to work better with a flat base colour, shimmery or glitter would be too much. A gem encrusted feature nail is however a very fancy touch, when the base colour is still tacky and wet press in your nail gems with tweezers in whatever design you like and then to secure to 2 layers of top coat and let dry.

1. Nail Art Pen $4.50
These come in a bazillion different colours and are quite inexpensive if you want to set up a an underground black market home nail salon.

2. Nail Gems $14.95 for 1500 gems!
Ebay is the greatest shop on earth! Especially for nail supplies, you can pretty much find anything on there from portable nail dryers to bulk packs of glow in the dark nail polish.

Priceline has been sold out of these every time I go in, but I am determined to get them. 

**NPAA: Nail Polish Addicts Anonymous is on TONIGHT from 6.30pm at The Cricketers in Surry Hills if anyone wants to come along and try out the new boarder nail or any other nail trend they have been obsessing over. 

Beauty Trends: Brow Blow Out

Beauty is trending with a throw back to one of my favorite beauty icons Brooke Shields  - WORD! It's all about a soft super brushed out thick eyebrows, this is really different to the thin very defined brows that were penciled in and very perfect and set with glossy brow sealers.

1. Laura Mercier Brow Powder Duo $24
This is great for blondes it comes in 3 shades Soft Blonde, Deep Blonde and Auburn. The darker shade is used for the under side of the brow to define the brow bone line and the lighter on top to buff it out - but if usually I just go for one, depending on if my hair is darker or if I have been fake tanning up a storm that week. It's just brows babe - NO BIGGIE SMALLS!

2. Mac Angled Brow Brush 208 $39.00
When pushing the product into your brows use lots of short soft strokes, angling the brush with the pointed end towards the center of your face, this will give you some good control.

3. Becca Brow Powder $22.00
Becca's brow powders come in 5 colours and for all you ginger minx's out there this is one of the few brands which caters to you -the 'Auburn Brown' shade is perfect for big reds!

4. Anastasia of Beverly Hills Brow Powder Duo $22.00
If you know anyone going to the US soon tell them to pick this up for you from Sephora. Anastasia of Beverly Hills is a brow only brand! Yes finally! The product range is beyond amazing for the truly brow obsessed.

For Reals:
Could you turn up to the office all of a sudden with this look? Or would it be a big thing 'Like have you seen Bridget from accounts eyebrow's, slugs much?' This look is TOTALLY achievable and super easy here are some tips:

- Play down the rest of your make up a subtle 'no make up/ made up' face with contouring using bronzers and neutrals. Keep your lips to a minimum, this way the brows will sit into your face and not be so 'Hey There!'

- If you are blonde and fair go for an ash brown no darker, if you are a darker then go for a chocolate.

- The best thing about this look is that its really easy, this is no liquid eyeliner fucking around with cotton buds for hours ordeal. Firstly start with a small amount of powder on your brush at your brow's arch and push the product in. (short pushing motions rather than sweeping like you would do for eyeshadow) Work down to the brow end lessoning the amount of product on the brush then move your brush to the start of your brow push the remaining into the start of the brow - less product at the start of the brows more towards the arch and tail end. If you are feeling like 'WOW WHAT HAVE I DONE?' Don't worry! To blend in the product using a spooled brush, brush your brows in to shape buffing in the powder (if you don't have a spooled brush - a washed and cleaned old mascara wand is perfect). TA-DA! It's easier than Brooke Sheild's was in the Blue Lagoon! 

- If you don't want to splash out on an expensive brow only powder experiment at home with a matte medium brown eye shadow to see if you like it first.

- Shop around, go into your favorite department store and ask a trusted brand to do your brows if you are unsure of how to apply all the products.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Dry Shampoo: It's kind of like magic!

It's the depths of winter here in Sydney and drying my hair has been a dramatic process of shivering in my freezing bathroom trying to un-fog the mirror without opening a window, gone are the summer days of towel drying my hair and then letting the sun do the rest whilst walking to buy my morning coffee. Trying to avoid the freezing bathroom floor dance with my hair dryer I have only been washing my hair twice a week, to stop the greasy build up dry shampoo on non hair washing days has been a life saver (not a real life saver like Penicillin - just a hair saver.).
On another note regarding Dry Shampoo can someone please tell me some Dry Shampoo brands that are available in Japan? Last year I spent at least 72 hours pacing up and down the isles of various chemists (there are A LOT!) in Shibuya trying to find dry shampoo with my friend Holly (Holly is a Flower Enthusiast with an excellent blog The Flower Drum : read it - I dare you!) spraying anything in a can in our beyond static and humidity effected locks.

1. TRESemmé Fresh Start Dry Shampoo $10.95
This is great, it really de-grease's and smells lovely. Only problem is its pretty ugly, I don't have this on my bathroom sink it is well and truly in a cupboard somewhere.
2. Klorane Shampooing sec extra-doux  $10.99
Oh so frenchy so chic, Klorane is a great brand for hair care in general. Their dry shampoo contains oats and some other natural type ingredients - but how natural can you get with an aerosol can really? It does cast very white and powdery on your roots so its a good idea to brush it out after spritzing especially if you have darker hair. Just a little heads up this is usually on offer at Priceline.
3. Batiste Dry Shampoo $3.99 small $8.99 large
The heavyweight champ on the Dry Shampoo circuit is Batiste, its the most readily available - the other night I picked up a mini can at a 7/11 on the way to a date. I'm only a fan of 3 out of the now 7 scents Blush, Original & Tropical, the others are sickly scented. Batiste works really well for that extra spruce going from day to night and it also gives quite a bit of volume. Only con with Batiste is that the product build up is quite extreme and gross, so you need to do a double clarifying shampoo when you do finally wash your hair.

Aerosol cans are completely bogus for the environment, they give the ozone layer the finger. Lush has a powder alternative dry shampoo which is quite good, the end result is the same as the aerosol varieties   its just the application is a bit of a nightmare. This should only be applied whilst you are wearing a towel in the safety of your bathroom. Do not apply it at your desk whilst wearing head to toe black as I did or you will end up looking like you just got Punk'd.

1. Lee Stafford Dry Shampoo Original for Oily Roots $14.29 large $5.99 small
Thank goodness I only spent $5.99 on the small can because this was rubbish, it didn't get rid of any of the grease in my hair and it smells kind of toxic.
2. Toni & Guy Cleanse Dry Shampoo $11.99
This is a pretty average dry shampoo, it does take away excess oils from your scalp but it doesn't give any volume and it weighed down my hair with product.

If you are totally obsessed with Dry Shampoo then have I found the website for you:

Hands and Feet : 'Blow on them'

I am so excited that NPA is on this Thursday 28th 6.30pm at the Cricketers Arms.
Prior to any hand and feet out in the open event like showing off your new engagement ring, a barefoot wedding, a pool party or just getting about not looking like a talon monster you need to 'Check Yourself' and do some maintenance.

Here are my favorite products:

This smells like Polly Pockets you had when you were little. That synthetic perfume smell - Ohhhhhh I love it. This is a general cute mini hand cream for your bag or desk. L'Occitane's hand creams are all pretty good - this one just smells the best.

Another hand cream -  because you can never have enough. This is quite thick and is great on your feet too its good for dry skin. It smells kind of like Chanel's Coco Mademoiselle which is lovely.

I am one of those very annoying girls who cannot watch TV without having another side project on the go, usually it involves filing my nails. Sick of those flimsy harsh emery boards I invested in this 'crystal' (I don't think its real crystal - maybe just glass) nail file its really good and doesn't mow down my already short nails, gentle enough to be able to get a nice shape which is important.

Usually I go to the Nail Salon once a month for a full on mani and pedi - they type where they take off so much dead skin it shocks you. In between this nifty tool is great to use to cut away an pointy little cuticles. Use the Cuticle Pusher with Number 6 : Sally Hansen Problem Cuticle remover.

5. Heel Balm GOLD $9.99
Don't know how this works, but it does. 

We were talking at NPA about how the girls at nail salons tease us and call our nails 'Baby Nail' its so embarrassing. Here's a trick if you push down or remove cuticles with this your nails will look longer! TA-DA!

7. OPI Nail Envy $31.00
This stuff is genius! Its great as a base coat and really does help with making my nails grow stronger and not peel. 

8. OPI Ridge Filler $18.00
Some hussy up in the club stepped on the big toe on my left foot and completely broke the nail off about 4 months ago (I HATE HER - SHE DIDNT EVEN APOLOGIZE!). It was so painful and left me with a dented toe nail, the girls at my nail salon recommended this.

This is a real cutie, I love the little tin. It smells really fresh and lemon-y, just a really thick consistency which is great for dry little fingers in winter.

Best nail maintenance in a Film here is Tara Reid painting her nails a sick acid green in the Big Lebowski:

Monday, 25 June 2012

BB Creams : Why? What? How? Huh?

Spending a bit of time in Japan last year I became really intrigued with the phenomenon of BB Creams in the Asian beauty market. What was the point of them? Were they a foundation or a Primer? How much coverage did they give? BB Creams are relatively new to the western beauty market and the BB Creams that are available here on the mainstream market aren't really BB Creams. So I went on to explore all things BB the following are my findings, I am hoping this will be a beauty version of Myth Busters. (my Dads favorite show!)

So what the heck is a BB Cream?

BB stands for 'Blemish Balm', it is a cream with multiple beneficial properties for your skin including High SPF protection against UVA and UVB's, Moisturizer and Hydrating serums, Sebrum Control (absorbs sweat), Vitamins A,C,E, Collagen - Each brand differs in the benefits they offer. It also has a light coverage or tint to give the skin a healthy glow.  Many of the Korean brands do contain skin lightening/whitening chemicals in them. Skin lightening/whitening is a popular cultural point of difference in Asian skin care and makeup, I am not aware of its benefits I think it is purely a cultural aesthetic which is desirable.

In western beauty it is usually a moisturizer which contains all skin benefiting properties and then make up is applied on top such as a foundation which is purely for coverage. BB Creams are just an extra step of adding more 'health' benefits to the skin while evening out skin tone with the slight tint. The consistency is very different to a tinted moisturizer because BB Creams do have a high amount of silicone which is what fills in your pores and give you that 'Puri Kura' glow.

I really REALLY like BB Creams, the reason I wear a BB Cream is that living in such a warm and humid climate during the day your pores will open and wearing foundation/concealer without a base such as a BB Cream your pores will absorb the makeup congesting them. The western alternative to a BB Cream is a primer, primers are a seal or barrier which make up sits on top of, they don't contain any benefits like SPF or moisturizing qualities. So the BB Cream for me acts as a protective beneficial base for my makeup and you can never have enough SPF. Personally I wouldn't use it instead of a foundation because it doesn't give enough coverage and also the high SPF's are really light reflective often leaving your skin looking slightly white cast. 

My prefered BB Cream of choice (and believe me I have tried ALOT!) is the
Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse Beauty Balm SPF 25 PA++ (Korean) - $42.00

Why this out of the hundreds of other BB Creams? It is 50% water - not just regular water but 'Advanced Water Bead Technology'- FANCY. It's super dooper hydrating and leaves your skin looking hydrated and dewy,  it is very light and feels like you have nothing on your skin at all. It works really well if you are using a sheer foundation on top like Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua,  Nars Sheer Glow or Estée Lauders invisible skinHowever if you like a matte heavier coverage foundation then the Dr.Jart+ Gold Label Premium BB Cream would be better suited.

(Ok so you cant see much difference in these but my skin is more even and I do slap about 3 more layers on after the BB Cream anyway.)

Western interpretations of a BB Cream such as the Garnier Miracle Skin perfector $14.45  and Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream $13.60 are in my opinion not BB Creams at all, they are tinted moisturizers with SPF. They do not have the skin benefits of traditional Korean style BB Creams, and definitely do not help your make up stay on. They are good if you are looking for a light coverage tinted moisturizer with SPF. Loreal Nude Magique BB Cream  $13.60 is a better option but it is still not a BB Cream this is a tinted primer packed with silicone, it leaves your skin super fake soft and creepy.
The Western style BB's selling points are that they smooth skin tone and blur imperfections, where as the Korean BB's are more about the beneficial qualities and the secondary function is to even out skin tone. You only need to look at the ingredients of both BB's to see the difference is vast.

Estée Lauder have a new BB Cream coming out soon which is very comparable to the Korean styles and I am very excited to try it!

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Just Another Manicure Monday : Revlon Tropicana

This weeks manicure Monday is slightly more restrained than the previous one, I have lots of thing on this week a funeral, a birthday dinner, NPA and a Shoot. So I wanted a flat colour with no shimmer, no glitter, no accent nail just a straight up bright to take me through the week.
Revlon's 'Tropicana' ($4.95- $13.00 depending where you buy it) is a bright orange coral, this is a great alternative if you want something that isn't red. Revlon nail polishes are hit and miss with consistency, Tropicana is a hit - opaque in 2 coats and it is really easy to apply. Because I want it to last through the week I used Seche Vite as a top coat and applied it over the top tip to avoid chips. But I'm sure by Wednesday I'll get some chipping from general wear and tear.

We are holding the second NPA meeting this Thursday 28th June from 6.30pm onwards at the Cricketers Arms Hotel in Surry Hills, Sydney. 
Bring any of your favorite nail polishes or your not so favorites to trade them with other polished possessed ladies. It is a really fun night, so if you are interested please join us, all nail polish junkies are welcome.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Don't Believe The Hype : #1

Everything on this blog is my personal opinion - apart from if its a specified spiel from a giant cosmetic company claiming that they can make your lips bigger, get rid of you wrinkles and make you 10 times more beautiful by tomorrow.
Its not serious and I usually don't buy things that I really dislike because I am a 'savvy 20 something that knows how to use the power of the Internet for good not evil'.  My friends and family do it love when I get it wrong because I always give away things that haven't made the cut.

This was raved about by one of my favorite YouTube girls Vivianna Does Make up, she was banging on about how she put it on whilst on the tube (British). So I bought it. Its crap, well its not crap, she loves it. Its the brush that's not a brush its a comb and the product is really wet formula which just makes my usually naturally curled lashes point out straight and clump. If you can make this work for you, 10 points and please let me know how you do it.

When the lip stain trend was in full force last year I was sucked into that like a tornado, I was one of the cows in Twister - not Helen Hunt. But I survived with the debris of 15 lip stains cluttering up my makeup draws. Firstly the Revlon Lip Stain has a lip balm on the end - mine snapped off within the first use so I have no idea what it was like. It didn't pack the punch of my other Covergirl lipstains which the stain lasts almost all day and definitely have got more colour pay off and they are also $6.00 cheaper. And one more thing I hate that tacky twilight-esque font on the packaging.

3. Shu Uemura Foundations - $64 Face Architect Foundation  (but in general it's all of them)
I really want to like them because its one of my favorite Japanese beauty brands. The problem is that they do not have my colour, white girl is not in the spectrum of shades. Its such a shame because they have this really cool aerosol can of foundation that's really high tech and I am desperate to have it. Please don't let this put you off the brand it is fantastic and if they have your shade then lucky you! Especially the eye shadows they are a dream and the limited edition collaborations are beautiful especially the Tsumori Chitsato sets  from about 2 years ago.

The curved brush really stabs my eyeballs when applying it and the fall out is really bad it had given me dark circles by 10am. This cult product made me look like I was in a cult.

5. Nars Lip Gloss $39.00
I'm not really a lip gloss girl to begin with, your hair gets stuck in it. The Nars lip gloss is so sticky that its hard to even apply its like putting cold honey on your lips. The colours are really good and they have a new plumping formulation which i will try out to see if there is any improvement to the formula.

These are really shimmery, duh its called a freakin' Shimmer Brick! But its the type of shimmer and opacity which should only be going on in eye shadows. It is so shimmery it casts a white glow to your face from the lightest colours and highlights YOUR PORES!!!! I had a really bad time with this in both colours - yep I bought 2 colours - SUCKER!

This is a good moistirizer, just not for my face, its since been de-potted and put in travel size containers for legs on holidays. It gets all in my eyebrows and hair line coating them in white cream making me look like Santa Clause and it's impossible to put a foundation on top of it because it peels off like pilling on a cheap synthetic jumper. 

I did not purchase this -  it came free with a magazine. But I had to include it because the story of my single time using the product is very funny. I packed this eye cream in my toiletries bag when going on the first sexy weekend away with a lover, I thought you know its a small sample size and 'natural' kind off not wanting to pack my massive night cream. After coming back from a night swim and a long shower I moisturized as normal before bed, the eye cream was on the bedside table and I applied it in the dark before going to sleep. Morning came and I awoke to my lovers shocked face on top of mine saying that he could 'call a doctor if i needed', the eye cream had turned into a white flaky crust all over my eyes! It came off with a little warm water and my skin wasn't irritated at all but the shocked reaction caused me to bin the eye cream straight away.

So in total I have wasted $225.30 on these products. It is actually a lot more than this but these are the products that I can remember using and not agreeing with. 

What products have you regretted buying? Or what products have you been talked into buying by a very persuasive beauty counter sales assistant like a sucker?

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Rimmel : Lasting Finish By Kate Lipsticks

I'm no lippy snob, I do like a higher end cosmetic in general but that's usually because the packaging suckers me in. When seeing the Rimmel Lasting Finish By Kate lippies in Kmart a couple of months ago I was blown away by the formula, it reminded me of the Mac Pro LongWear LipCremes. Applying they aren't the easiest, this isn't the type of lipstick you can pop on without mirror on the bus or through the cleavage Molly Ringwald styles in The Breakfast club. When buying a lipstick from a lower priced brand I do not expect miracles, I purely buy based on if I like the colour or if the advertising has really penetrated into deep parts of my brain. (Hello L'oreal Caress and Revlon Lipbutters  - I WANT EVERY SHADE!) 
So when trialing these out at home I quickly realised that if I wanted to commit to these as a long lasting all day colour that there needed to be some prep : a good lipscrub Lush Mint Julips $9.95 is a goodie, to get rid of any flakey skin and the follow up with a thick layer of lip balm which I wipe off before lipstick application.
Firstly apply a one coat of colour from the bullet to your lips it wont look neat, next push the product into your lips so it is blended out into all corners with your finger leave to set for about 10mins, Finally go in with the product on a lip brush to neaten up edges and deepen the colour. This should last till about your second tea/coffee of a morning or your 3rd cocktail at night, but then throughout the day/night I would reapply - with a mirror every so often.

Rimmel Lasting Finish By Kate # 14 : A very mauvey-blue toned nude, if you have overly pigmented natural lips (Lucky cows!) then you will need to mute out your lips with concealer to get the full effect of this colour. Its a great nude if you have a tan or are down playing your lips with a dramatic eye.

Rimmel Lasting Finish By Kate # 12: Hello Tropicana coral! I love this colour! Its an orange based red coral, it has no traces of pink. So if you like Mac's Morange - this is like its little sister you can wear in the daytime.

Rimmel Lasting Finish By Kate #60: Blue based Raspberry full coverage colour, it makes your teeth look whiter because of the blue base - TIP! This colour is really great if you want a polished look with a bright lip, its more serious and grown up than a bright red and looks great with gold washed eye and cheek. 

These lipsticks are a cheap thrill ranging from $6.00 on offer at Kmart to $13.00 full price they aren't going to break your budget. My only drawback for them is that they are a bit tedious to apply for even the most experienced lipstick lover - you do need to take your time and not freak out if it smudges. If you are going out straight from work for a drink and need to pick up a bright lippy on your way then these are your babes.

Nars Cream Shadow - Petula

Cream shadows are everywhere at the moment, probably the most versatile of eye products. Used on there on they give your lids a vibrant easily blendable wash of colour or layered with powder shadows give intense colour and longer creaseless staying power. Nars Cream Shadow in Petula $39.00 is a very burnt toffee orange bronze with a slight shimmer to it, my lovely friend Alyssa let me pop it on her beautiful lids this afternoon. Alyssa doesn't wear much make up if any, so a cream shadow is perfect for her to wear on its own to define her eyes with or without mascara. It applied very smoothly - concentrating more product closer to the lash line and blending up. Petula is a colour which on lighter skin tones looks like an on trend bright colour because it does pop out very orange and even more so with blue eyes BUT on women of colour especially South East Asian skin tones this would look OUT OF CONTROL AMAZING WITH A KOHL LINER! Blended up onto the check bone! 
Nars is great brand and this product is really lovely to work with but there are a few other options if you are wanting to try out cream shadows:
Maybelline Colour Tattoo -  This isn't available in Australia yet but I am so excited, it is apparently comparable to the Mac paint pots, at a lower price point.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Dorota Spring Summer 2013 : Hair and Makeup

Sometimes when I am not eternally trawling the isles of Priceline or swatching myself silly at David Jones, I do real jobs like Style my friend Dot's Look Book for her women's wear label 'Dorota'. She was inspired by the cakes she ate whilst on holiday in Italy, we spoke and emailed back and forth on things we were feeling for the styling and hair and make up. Here was an original image board:
It turned out like this:

The makeup was very simple, soft wash of colour on the lids and under eye to deepen the socket and a strong brushed out brow with a very subtle lip. The hair was coined 'The corn-row Astrix loop party' it really worked with everything in the context of Dot's themes and lifted the looks. Maybe not an everyday look to go to the shops or maybe it is? I have been known to not been bothered to take off a full face of glitter eye make up when meeting friends for a coffee.

Model : Philippa Gleeson 
Photography: Carine Theveanau

(Dorota is stocked at The Corner Shop in Sydney)

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Just Another Manicure Monday : Pastels and Glitter Hearts

Welcome to 'Just Another Manicure Monday'! Cringy but what the hey, its given me an excuse to actually HAVE to paint my nails every Monday without fail.
Revlon's Cloud is an absolute chameleon of a colour - it has an extremely opaque white cast base and the colour notes aren't a lilac or a pastel blue but a perfect combination of the both. I love it underneath glitters on its own its great on your toes but looks pretty flat on your nails. There are these stores called 'Gloss' which are scattered around Sydney CDB all the Revlon polishes are $4.95!!!!!! Pa polishes are everywhere in Japan like everywhere, I got about 25 when I was there and still haven't tried half of them. But in case you haven't bought $199 Jetstar sale flights to Narita recently I found a Japanese nail polish hot spot on the top floor of Market City in Chinatown at the bargain store, they have a small range of Pa Polish.
What does this manicure say to the world? I'm pretty sure it wont get you a boyfriend, but you will feel super cute and as long as you don't wear head to toe pastels I think this is a kind of acceptable manicure for a 28 year old? Whatever, I love it! 

Personal Skincare #1

(Sorry about my straight outta that shower Margret Thatcher 'do)

My face has never been a mystic pizza full of pimples, nor have I ever had any problems with hyper-pigmentation. It's relatively normal to oily only on my nose and chin most of the time excpet around the time of the month I am 'Surfing my crimson wave' as Cher Horwitz puts it. When I was 25 my skin started to change, so in the past 2 years since my concerns changed and as the teenage pimples stopped and my pores spread and became larger, which is a real pain when applying make up.
As a teenager I would scrub the hell out of my skin stripping it with Clean and Clear foaming cleanser, and I don't even think I used moisturizer till I was in my 20's super oil-phobic that it would give me pimples.
The below is not going to be my definative routine of my late 20's like all the magazine have those 'What to use in your 20's' articles blah blah blah, I doubt it will remain the same for the next month even. I'm a total slut when it comes to products, easily swayed by reading beauty blogs and watching raving YouTubes about some new found holy water of a serum, but I will continue to buy products with the same ingredients in them.

Liv Tyler said she uses this once in an interview -  she is beautiful  - Therefore I think I will magically turn into Liv Tyler using this. Obviously I wont, but it does take off a full face of heavy make up with a bit of warm water and a gentle rub. It doesnt have any real benefits you arent going to glow after using it, but you will be completely clean of any make up.

2. Clarisonic Mia $134.90 (Will do a full post on the Clarissa-on-it!) & Dove cucumber cleanser $6.00
So this is the most extreme part of my routine and one which most people think I'm crazy for using -  Meh people have always said I'm 'crazy in a good way' which is really insulting and I actually hate - so my skincare is crazy also who cares! This is my second cleanse it brushes at a super sonic rate. After 2 months (it will take you 2 months for your skin to adjust to it properly) my pores have become smaller and more isolated to my T-zone, the tone has evened out completely, and my blemishes heal really quickly. Even though the peeps at Clarisonic say it isn't an exfoliate - it totally is. I usually use this only once a day either morning or night, which ever I have time. If you are desperate to find out about the Clarisonic I suggest watching these YouTubes:
WOOOOP WOOOOOPPPP Priceline thank you for getting this line of moisturizers from Physicians Formula. I tried this stuff last year in Hawaii, it is my favorite daytime moisturizer of all time. Lets talk all weird science for a minute about the ingredients: 2.7% Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA's or Glycolic Acid) - this is what will make your skin J-LO glow, it is a resurfacer which breaks down the top 2 layers of skin which are dead and flaking- leaving glowing fresh skin. Ever had an amazing Glycolic Peel facial and your skin has been really red? They just use an ultra concentrated Alpha Hydroxy to take off dead skin. If you use moisturizer containing Alpha Hydroxy you MUST use an SPF, that fresh skin needs to be protected. When I get a zit the red sore part is usually not my main concern its the flaky dead skin around it which makes it hideous, this moisturizer softens and dissolves it. There are lots of different brands with similar ingredients, this is my personal favorite. It also smells really good, not natural at all kind of like new toy smell when you were little. 

The benefits of Rose products for your skin have been well documented in history Cleopatra bathed in Rose water, the Greeks made medicines from it because of its antibacterial qualities. I've read lots of reviews on this moisturizer, first I tried it under my make up - which was a big mistake it made my skin so oily and by midday I had patchy foundation and was just a hot mess. So switching it to a night cream was ideal, its very healing and hydrating. Waking up in the morning after putting this on at night it feels like you have given your skin a big drink of water. If I am feeling particularly like a sultana or have had 3 too many glasses of wine then I will use Rose Hip oil under my eyes, cheek bones and temples. 

Honerable mentions:
Sudocream $4.70
Zinc gets rid of pimples : FACT! Alot of acne specific products have Zinc as a main ingredient, but it is really drying so unless you are actually 15 with an acne problem you wouldnt want to use it all over your face. This is for nappy rash but its got 15.25% Zinc Oxide in it, just pop it on a stubborn spot and it will be on the mend by morning.
Bioderma $35.00
This gets off even the sluttiest of smokey eye make up,  if I've had fake eyelashes applied this is great to take them off too. Just soak a cotton round with it and hold it on your eye and gently wiggle them off.
Another product that has been in my life in some capacity for forever, my Mum used to lather it on my bum for nappy rash. It was put on mozzie bites, scabby knees and now I just it on my lips, elbows, cuticles, heels and any dry patch. I am truly emotionally attached to this product and would be lost without it. 

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Skin Care for Mega Dudes

Men always seem very complacent about skin care, if nothings broke well why fix it. Where as women are willing to try anything and everything to preserve their skin. The above are a few products which will make a difference to your dudes skin, he will see results and not just shrug and accept pimple any longer.
The reason for researching men's products came from my friend Mike - He rides a bike and likes Frank Lloyd Wright! On the weekend he showed me he had been using sunscreen because I had previously told him it was absolutely essential in a rant which probably went on for at least 17mins. Before this I thought that when I spoke about anything beauty related most guys just heard 'Blah blah and more blah' and were probably thinking 'when is this girl going to shut up about creams and lipstick'.  So here are a few products I pushed his way and why:

Boys like bikes - FACT, and that cold air being blasted on your face day and night cannot be a good thing. This product protects against harsh elements wind/dryness and the cold. It also dries matte! Which is genius because the one complaint I got was that moisturizers make your skin all greasy like hot chips - This wont! 

Ok so this is embarrassing, but I am going to go there because there are ALOT of boys I know that ride bikes. There must be some friction in the pants? Right??? So this might help, its like the fanciest talcum powder you will ever get. That's all I'm saying on this product. 

These are lifesavers, if I had to pack a universal emergency kit for a nuclear war - these would be on top. They are the most effective anti bacterial wipes for any ones skin babe or babette. 

This shit is water resistant! Yeh! So guys I think will just apply one round of skincare a day in the morning, whereas women schelp around kilos of products to reapply during the day. Apparently this stuff will retain SPF defence after 80mins of really sweaty activity, and maybe all day if you're not being a total sweat monster.

Kiehl's is a good skin care brand for guys, like say for instance you maybe stayed at a dude-babes house after your first sexy slumber party and you just so happened to be snoop-dogging through his bathroom cupboard (I have NEVER done this) and you found some Kiehl's products you'd be like 'Oh ok this guys got his shit together'.

Look I cannot imagine what it would be like to have to shave your face - WEIRD! But I can imagine that you would get some stubborn little hairs and that would just be annoying, exfoliating with this scrub would be a great idea. Peppermint is fantastic for blemishes and irritations like ingrown hairs - it can also be left on as a mask on any problem areas.

A shave zone product! Yep this one is actually for the ladies, lather your boyfriend's face in this. Too many times have we all been victim to the horrid post make-out burning sore pashed out face. This will softens hair and slows down regrowth! BOOM! If your boyfriend is like 'No way babe - I'm a man and I wont use that creamy stuff' just attack him when he is passed out drunk with this product because its most effective when left on as a night cream to penetrate the entire hair length and root. (I just wrote penetrate and root in a sentence and was not even remotely talking about sex!)

Monday, 11 June 2012

Lancome - Rouge in Love Collection

Lancome's new Rouge in Love lipstick collection launched a couple of months ago with Emma Watson as the face of the campaign. To be honest as much as I love Harry Potter the advertising didn't sucker me in all that much. It was seeing the colours and texture in Myer up close, originally I was really wanting to get my greedy mitts on 322M-Corail in Love but it was sold out. Then swatching almost all the colours up my arms I realised that I need another coral lipstick like I need a whole in the head and with a 6 hour wear time I would prefer a raspberry. That's when I found 377N- Midnight Rose in the Boudoir Time series, this colour is so beautiful and intense. The application process took me a little while to perfect, I start by doing a light layer and rubbing it in with my finger to coat my lips like a balm. Next I apply 3 layers using the lipstick bullet straight on my lips and let it dry for a few minutes inbetween layers. You can feel the texture changing from a balm to a matte on the lips which is something completely new to me - usually a matte is a matte and you need to balm your lips pre application - Rouge in Love's formula is completely a new way of wearing and applying matte lipsticks. On a night out Midnight Rose does stay put the whole night with eating and drinking, you may need to reapply once or twice but the pigmentation from the original application process is still there.
So by this stage I had already fallen completely 'in love' with 377N-Midnight Rose it was my new 'Girl about town' this lipstick was coming out with me to every party and dancefloor in town! Curious of the less intense more glossy/stain colours which are in the Tonight is my Night series, I picked up colour 159B, it applies really glossy but settles into the lips after a few minutes as a stain. It's really a pretty easy to wear bright pink which is buildable but deffinately not to the opacity as the Boudoir series.
These lipsticks are brilliant and are perfect for winter being so hydrating, the only downside is the price $45.00AUD / 4.2ml - Is any lipsticks worth $45.00? Also with the Rouge in Love range selling for $25.00 / 4.2ml in the US being an Australian Customer you feel a little taken advantage of. It will just also make shopping from US sites a more ecconmical option for most people. But shout out to my girl Susan at the Lancome Counter in Myer Sydney City - she is the best and helped match me up to these colours. I would completely reccomend getting your hands on these lipsticks whichever way you go about it.
Check out what Lancome says about this new lipstick collection on the US website HERE.

Winter Nail Combos : Across the Universe

It's taken a while but I have finally found my favorite winter nail glitter combo.
Last winter it was all about a deep red with a high gloss topcoat, but since I have been totally addicted to glitter polishes I was desperate to find a combo that would match the cooler weather.

The above is my absolute favorite:

If you are using any glitter polish with a jelly base to make it pop - do your base in flat colour that matches. Navy would also work well with this look. Because there are going to be quite a few layers choose one which will give you total opacity in one coat and a quick dryer otherwise you are going to waiting around for ages not being able to do anything stuck in the hands in the air drying stance.

This is a total nail splurge! Could I have shopped around and got a dupe? Yes. I saw it and fell in love and before I knew it I was paying $14 shipping for it to come from Jamaica on Ebay. Oh well. Thank goodness I LOVE IT! It's a jelly so if applied on its own it would take 5 coats to be opaque. The blues and green glitter are so pretty and my nails kind of look like beetle wings. On saturday really cute hunk told me my nails looked like 'Galaxy's' - Which was the last confirmation I needed to know this was the ultimate winter nail combo.

Holy water of a Topcoat, this will change your life. It takes about 10mins dry time but then its done and not budging, the result is super super shiny. Apparently it has loads of chemicals in it and isn't the best for you - just a heads up!

So excited to debut this out of control 'Galaxy' look at the next N.P.A meeting.

Friday, 8 June 2012

#1 What's in my make up purse : Bump 'n' Grind Edition

So it's almost THE FREAKN' WEEKEND. I am so excited. Tomorrow night I'm going on a Girls Night Out which will include a Mexican dinner accompanied with Tequila and Lemonades, Shots and Whiskey at The Cricketers Arms and then about 4 hours of bump'n'grindin on the dance floor at our favorite party Halfway Crooks.

Here's what is going to be in my make up bag and why:

1. Make up bag from Daiso $2.80
The thing with make up bags is that whatever the size I will fill it too the brim. Its plastic which is also important when on a Girls Night Out you never know when someone/me is going accidentally spill an entire Car Bomb into my bag leaving everything with a sticky coating. 
Side note: Daiso (the best Japanese $2.00 shop) is now in Australia - Just go, its amazing.
 Everything is $2.80!!!!!!!!!
If you like really subtle lashes - This is not the mascara for you. This mascara is really black and gives you tarantula lashes, it packs on the product. There is no smudging or running, so perfect for a 4 hour dance floor session. 
Do you want your face to be so illuminated that it catches the light from the disco ball then bounces it into the eyes of your crush? This will do it. I actually think that this may give me a little J-Lo glow in an acceptable white girl non trashy jersey shore bronzer way. 
You know when you see a girl and become captivated with her skin and you ask yourself 'Is she wearing make up? She must be because no one can look that amazing without make up on'. Chances are the babe is wearing this. Its sheer and dewy and has just enough coverage.
I'm pretty sure this is the product that the Olsen twins use, its really pretty. The consistency is quite weird -  it feels metallic and silicone like. You just need a tiny amount applied to your lids with your finger, smudge it out as best possible then go in with a blending brush - but be quick because it sets. When it sets its ON! Like not moving until you go at it with some Bioderma and a cotton pad.
6. Visine clear eyes
Give me anymore than half a drink and a dance floor and smoke machine and I will recreate Xanadu for you! One problem I think I'm very allergic to smoke machines, so Visine clear eyes really helps after I run from the dance floor to the bathroom clutching my eyes.
WOW OK WOW! This is my new favorite lipstick ever! It is an absolute a dream. (Will do a full post just on these lipsticks) When you put it on it is a balmy consistency, which makes it easy to blend out and really work into your lips with your fingers, I do this for about 3 layers building up the colour. Then by about the 4th layer you can feel it starting to set. It will last pretty much all night with a few touch ups. Its also has really pretty packaging, and lets face it when you're in the bathroom with all the girls no one wants to bring out a banged up old nasty lippy. Ewwwwww!
Its been 15years and I am still not over a Juicy Tube. This is the limited edition by Japanese artist Yayoi  Kusama. Perfect for a dance floor pash.
Ok so as a pale girl when I go for a bronzer its not going to be anything that Snooki uses. This is a cream bronzer with minimal shimmer, it blends out to very sheer and is perfect as a contour on cheeks and temples. Using such moisturizing bases with the 2 Stila products a powder bronzer would cake and when you are all up in da club the last thing you need is caking.
Oooooooff!!! This is good, so good. It's just enough sparkle to be noticed by not be over done. Apply a black base so the green glitter pops. 

Have a freakn weekend chikas!

Halfway Crooks <click> dancefloor here we come! Wooooooopppppp!
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