Friday, 31 January 2014

January favourites...

(insert generic 'I can't believe it's the end of January!' exclamation here)

So aside from the usual comments about how fast the years going already, I also wanted to say that this is the last favourites post coming to you from over in Aus! I'm writing this on the 1st of February which means this month I'll be heading back to the UK for the foreseeable future! So let's get cracking...

Kicking off with hair, my poor locks have been so de-hydrated that the only thing I've managed to get them to do is sit in a top-knot until next wash day. Roll on a mop chop. And for this I've been loving the Garnier Fructis Volume Flex and Hold hairspray to keep strays in place. 

Just one skincare product this month but it's completely revolutionised my skin care routine, and that's my much loved Rosehip Oil which you can read my review on here

My Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum has made it into yet another favourites post. I've been trying to use up almost empty products so I don't have to lug them home with me and it's made me fall back in love with this yet again. Follow that with my new Nars Creamy Concealer blended in with the Real Techniques contour brush and I have the perfect base. To add a bit of lift and glow to my skin I've been reaching for the NYX Illuminator for face and body which I reviewed here

It's been a month of no effort when it comes to makeup (it's too hot) so my lips have been fairly neutral...just a quick layer of my Nivea lip butter in vanilla and macadamia and I'm good to go. On the days where I need a splash of colour, I've picked up my Illamasqua Colouring Pencil in Indecent (review coming soon). 

Eyes have been kept simple too....a slick of the new Maybelline Hyper Glossy liquid liner, followed by lashings of Rimmel Lash Accelerator which I raved about in a post earlier in January. If I have needed some colour on the lids of I've felt like experimenting with some neutral tones for day-time smokey looks, I've gone straight to my Urban Decay Naked 3. Predictable, but for good reason!

What's everyone else been loving in the month of January?


Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Illamasqua Colouring Pencil in Indecent...

Gone are the days when all I (thought I) needed was a Barry M lipgloss and my lip wardrobe was sorted. Since blogging and getting to grips, and severely addicted, to lip products I tend to favour a more matte look especially when it comes to the bolds and the beautifuls. Bright pink is my favoured shade for summer so when browsing the beauty halls a while back I thought I'd dip my toe into the lip liner world. 

I'm loving lip liner worn all over the lips to create a neat, long lasting and vibrant look, which I sometimes layer up with a lipstick or, like above, wear alone. 

Illamasqua 'colouring pencil' in Indecent is a bright pink that is fairly creamy whilst still showcasing great lasting power. When it does fade (after one or two cosmo's) it fades evenly. And lets not jump past the name; a perfect name for a perfect daringly bright pink. I intentionally bought it to partner Mac's Candy Yum Yum but to be honest it's just as pretty on it's own.

Any other shades of Illamasqua colouring pencils I should try?


Rosehip Oil...what's all the fuss about....?

Having ran out of my serum and face oil within the same week (why does this always happen) I was looking for a cheaper alternative that I could use as a substitute (I didn't see the point in buying a load of expensive skin care when I've only got a month left in Aus and will only have to pack it to come home!). I'd heard a lot about Rosehip Oil and all it's supposed benefits so picked this little bottle of joy up for $17 in the chemist to see what the fuss was all about. 

"Specific benefits of rosehip oil include:
- great natural skin care moisturiser
- research has indicated that it may have benefits for reducing some scars
- aids in reducing redness associated with facial rosacea
- improves appearance of psoriasis scars
- many acne sufferers find that it can be improve the quality of their skin
- reduces the appearance of premature aging skin as it can reduce wrinkles, crow's feet and fine lines
- great treatment for dry skin
- good for your after sun skin care regime."

I've been using this particular rosehip oil, available here, for almost a month now (as has my boyfriend...) and would say in terms of wrinkles and fine lines I haven't seen too much of a difference but then I'm blessed with fairly un-lined skin. I've got some pigmentation around my eyes which I have seen a huge difference in after only the first use or two. It hasn't done much for my scarring on my chin from old blemishes but I'm happy to give it a few more weeks trial and report back on that one!

My boyfriend started using it hoping it would take his redness down (he has slight facial rosacea) and said "after using it every night I wake up seeing a difference in my face the next morning. It doesn't irritate my skin like most products do; I'll keep using this as long as you buy it"! Rave reviews there then.

So, in all, a great natural substitute to a facial oil/moisturiser that has lots of skin benefits depending on what you want fixing! This will forever be a part of my skin care routine. Also, for you fellow oily skin girls out there, don't worry about putting oils onto your needs oils in order to repair itself! Just apply it at night time so it has time to sink into your skin. Dryer skin girls can get away with a thin layer in the morning before makeup to hydrate skin for the entire day.

Has anyone else tried Rosehip oil? Noticed any other benefits?


Saturday, 25 January 2014

Jam. For your lips....

Cute packaging? Check!
Smells like candy floss? Check!
A bargain? Check!
Gives lips a sheer pink tint while keeping them moisturise? Check!

What's not to love about these cute Lip Jams from Sportsgirl? I picked one up for under $5 last week and have since been back for a different shade (a peachy orange). They're a bit heavy for the handbag as the jar is made of glass, but it's perfect to pop on the lips in a morning when I feel like lipstick would be overdoing it!

Has anyone else smelt how amazing these are?


Tuesday, 21 January 2014

NYX takes on Illuminators....

My last makeup purchases in Australia (I promise) was, quite predictably, from the NYX stand in my local Target. I've heard on the grape vine that you can buy NYX in some Next stores in the UK but as I'm unsure how true this is I'm taking no chances and stocking up while I can! I've only really got into highlighter and illuminators in the past 6 months but now even my usual oily skin is loving it!

Usually one for powder highlighters I picked the Born To Glow Illuminator (mine is shade 01 Sunbeam) up a bit unsure what to expect. It's very glittery so calls for a matte face to begin with, and I would recommend to keep this one purely on the tops of the cheek bones to avoid the dreaded disco-ball face. It blends to a beautiful pink sheen on the cheeks which is my preferred illuminator/cheek colour so I love pairing this with Sleek Pixie Pink type shades. I would say this is a soft highlight that doesn't really build to well but for something sheeny and pretty on the cheek bones this one is your winner.

I picked the powder Illuminator for Face and Body up in the shade Narcissistic after seeing a few reviews floating around on the blogs, and immediately fell for it. It's a powder, which I prefer, despite it being a peachy golden colour which is a bit of an unusual pick in my collection. It can be applied lightly all over the high points of the face and on the body (as the name suggests) with a duo fibre brush   or built up for a more obvious, stronger highlight for the evening. It has some glitters in this but most of them seem to disappear when blended. 

Personally I think I'll be getting more use out of the powder illuminator but I think, for dryer skin, the liquid illuminator is still absolutely beautiful. All in all...NYX can do highlighters!

Has anyone else tried these? 

Monday, 20 January 2014

What's on my lips #3....

Not always one for gloss, I've been dipping my toes into the glossy waters recently, and have come out loving the latest offering from Revlon. In particular, this shade Pink Pop.

The pigmentation for a gloss is great, it's fairly un-sticky but just sticky enough to give it some great staying power. It lasted a couple of hours on my lips; even longer over a lipstick. I've since bought a nude shade which looks gorgeous ver pinky-nude glosses for night time paired with a smokey eye!

Anyone else love these glosses? Any more shade recommendations?


Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Jumping on the Nars Sheer Glow bandwagon...

I'm embarrassingly late on the bandwagon with this one but I finally picked up Nars Sheer Glow last week, and I found myself asking WHY did it it take me so long?? Non of my high street foundations were quite cutting it for me anymore, and I was getting fairly 'over' watching peoples top 2013 product countdowns and seeing Sheer Glow pop up over and over again and be completely clueless to it's amazingness. 

I was colour matched to Fiji which is a perfect match to my skin (although when I loose my tan I guarantee I'll be dropping a shade or two!) and blends seamlessly. Now, being an oily skinned, full coverage foundation kinda girl, the words 'sheer' and 'glow' struck dread into my very sole. After plenty of research it turns out Sheer Glow tends to be a medium coverage which I'm actually preferring, but can easily be built in layers if the need strikes me. 

As for the 'glow' aspect, it's not as glittery as Revlon Photo Ready or Rimmel Wake Me Up which was a good start. I found that buffing Sheer Glow into the skin then swiping a bit of Mac MSF Natural over my t-zone was the perfect coverage and gave the most beautiful 'my skin but better' finish to my face that just got better as the day wore on. 

This has won a firm place in my heart early on and I'm sure this isn't the last you'll hear from me about this foundation!


Sunday, 12 January 2014

Everyday eye look featuring Rimmel Lash Accelerator mascara..

More often than not I find myself reaching for the liquid liner to do a winged-out cat eye look which, combined with big thick lashes, I've found myself rocking on a day to day basis. Having ran out of my favourite mascara (Benefit They're Real) I reached into my stash (and trust me it's a big one) and pulled out my next mascara victim; Rimmel Lash Accelerator. 

I thought the wand seemed a little plasticky at first so wasn't intending on being too impressed but the thin want and short bristles make for perfectly defined lashes from corner to corner, and makes bottom lash application a dream. It take a lot of coats (this took about four) to reach my desired lash thickness, and a lot of time and patience, but the results are so worth it.

I used the Shu Uemura eyelash curlers first, then applied multiple coats of the Lash Accelerator mascara. I used a wash of coral eyeshadow across the lid and liner the top lash line with the Topshop liquid liner, and used Soap & Glory smoulder kohl liner in the waterline. 

Has anyone else tried and loved this mascara?


Thursday, 9 January 2014

Urban Decay Naked 3 with swatches....

I'm pleased to announce I am now the proud owner of the Urban Decay Naked 3 palette thanks to a very generous boyfriend in the form of a late Christmas present. First off I'd like to discuss the packaging. I only own Naked 1 so in my eyes this pencil tin style palette is a big improvement for security of the shadows and travel, so thats a huge thumbs up before we even get started on the shadows.

It also comes with 4 samples of their primer potions which should last a week per sample. I love this idea as I've always been stuck in a bit of an UD original primer potion rut so it will be nice to try some of their other offerings.

So now onto the shadows. First off, if you don't like pinky hues on your eyes I'd suggest sticking to Naked 1 or 2. I've recently got into pinks and rose shades on my eyes so this palette came around just at the right time for me.

(l-r) Strange, Dust, Burnout, Limit, Buzz, Trick

(l-r) Nooner, Liar, Factory, Mugshot, Darkside, Blackheart

I can't wait to try out some looks with this!


Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Sportsgirl kimono OOTD...

I may have mentioned this before (only about 100 times) but for Australian fashion, Sportsgirl are my go-to. I manage to find some really unique pieces in there, as well as some great basics and denim, and when I spotted this ridiculously gorgeous kimono in there a few weeks ago I was straight to the checkout. 

It's black, swishy, has fringing, and an outrageously cool eagle design on the back. Who was I to resist such an incredible piece?? I paired it with my Miss Shop denim shorts and my Converse, with a plain black cami underneath and kept accessories minimal.
I let my eagle do the talking.


Monday, 6 January 2014

Top 13 of 2013... the beauty edition...

Bioderma was a new discovery for me this year and I know it will forever be part of my skincare routine. I found my dream day cream and night cream this year, the Seaweed mattifying day cream from The Body Shop and the Nivea regenerating night cream.

To treat my skin I found a new love for clay masks, particularly the Body Shop warming mineral mask, which is great for really clearing out congested pores. My favourite cleanser of 2013 was a later discovery but it would be criminal not to include it; Let the Good Times Roll from Lush. For the smell alone this is a winner, but it also really helped me to steer away from harsh scrub cleansers and be a bit more gentle to my skin. 

When it comes to lip balm there could be only one winner...a real love it or hate it product from Nuxe, their Reve de Miel conditioning lip balm. Never again to I want to feel a sticky residue on my lips. 

For body I've been trying to combat pesky mosquito bite scars on my legs and Bio Oil has not only been a saviour for that, but it and will remain one of my life long holy grail products.

I've not done much tanning this year as I've been blessed living in the sunshine of Australia but for those in between days when I feel like I need a bit more colour, I've been loving the St Tropez gradual tanner. Top points for the bearable fake tan smell too! Of course no girl can fake tan on top of flakey skin so I discovered the Organi lychee salt scrub which not only smells delicious, but is an oil free scrub so won't interfere with any tanning products. 

2013 was a year I fell in love with hair products in a big way. I discovered the three products I'd been searching for. First the V05 dry texturising spray which is such a bargain but adds a really nice 'undone' look to straight hair. Then one of Lush's cult products Big shampoo, a sea salt shampoo that really adds some grit to the hair, and my newest discovery the Fudge Root Juice. The strangest product I've ever tried, but if you lust after volumised roots you need this in your life. 

The last hair product is an oil from Shwartzkoft, Daily Oil Elixer. This baby doesn't way down your hair but manages to keep my frizzy mane tamed and soft for the whole day.

What are everyone else's beauty favourites of 2013?


LBD summers day OOTD...

Dress - Supre (Australia)
Bag - Colorado - Strandbags 
Rings - Sportsgirl
Denim jacket - Forever21
Sunnies & boots - ASOS

Oh summer, how I love you. Unfortunately since this picture was taken it's taken a turn for the even more hot and humid and I think my days of wearing boots are over for the foreseeable future.


Sunday, 5 January 2014

Top 13 of 2013...the makeup edition...

Top foundation has to be, without a doubt, Revlon Nearly Naked. Third bottle of this bad boy and the love affair is still continuing. 

The concealer that has kept creeping back into my life (well, makeup bag) in 2013 was the Body Shop Illuminating Touch in the shade 3. Great for achieving Kim K style cheekbones.

The only bronzer to grace my face was Benefit Hoola, which I'd probably award as my top product of all time award. Big news.

Favourite blushers go to Sleek in general but, not to be called a cheater, I'd pick Pixie Pink if I was going to single one out. 

Highlighter could only be The Balm Mary-Lou Manizer, used sparingly, for a beautiful daily glow.

For eyeshadow the only thing I regularly reach for, and my one 'take away with me everywhere' was my Urban Decay Naked Basics palette. For day looks, eye looks, and brows this was my saviour. 

I couldn't let eyeliner slip by without throwing a huge mention out to the Rimmel Scandaleyes pencils, especially in the taupe and nude shades, and my trusty Topshop liquid liner in black. 

Again, mascara is a two parter as big lashes were my favourite look of 2013. My stand out winners were Benefit They're Real and Makeup Forever Smokey Lash. 

For the nude/pink lipstick offerings I turned to the NYX matte lipsticks towards the later part of the year, but my favourite lip discovery of 2013 were hands down the Maybelline vivids, of which I own and love every single one. 

Lastly my Urban Decay de-slick setting spray has been a life saver on these hot Australian days.

Honorable mentions go to the Real Techniques brushes, Rimmel Apocolips (especially Big Bang), the Maybelline colour tattoos and the new Revlon lip glosses. Sorry, I cheated. 

What has everyone else loved in 2013??