Sunday, 31 August 2014

The NET-A-PORTER Experience

You know those websites you find yourself constantly perusing but always manage to stop yourself just before you check out with that not so purse friendly order? Well, I had a slight moment of weakness on the NET-A-PORTER website and ended up following through with a 'bye-bye savings' type order. Free shipping was just too tempting and having heard so much about the whole experience, can you blame me for giving in? The products that made their way in to my cart were both by Charlotte Tilbury, first her Dolce Vita eyeshadow quad and the Colour Chameleon shadow pencil in Golden Quartz. Two extremely lux purchases that I'm sure I'll talk more about in the near future but for today, let's focus on that amazing NET-A-PORTER experience.

This gorgeous black ribboned box made it's way to me in just 3 days and I was not disappointed. Lovely packaging, speedy service and there's even a little tape measure thrown in- so cute! While some of the NET-A-PORTER offerings may come with an eye watering price tag, there's no denying that they sure know how to impress. If you're feeling naughty and in a 'treat-yourself' kinda mood, definitely give NET-A-PORTER a perusal.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

The Body Shop Skincare: First Impressions

I've never really tried any Body Shop skincare aside from the odd body butter, but with their recent price drop here in Australia I was enticed in to store. (Side note on the price drop: this seems to be a bit of of a 'thing' now with Mecca also recently joining it. It's a good start for us Aussie beauties!). Things started off with just the Chamomile Silky Cleansing Oil and Tea Tree Blemish Fade Night Lotion but thanks to a very lovely sales lady two samples made their way in to my bag and a week later I was back in store to purchase the full size. Now these have only been on trial for a little while so this is by no means a proper review, just my first impressions of my Body Shop foray.

Starting with makeup remover and I've fallen in love with The Body Shop's offering. I was initially scared that the oily formula might not be the best for my acne-prone skin but I've been using it every night for the past 2 weeks and no problems yet. One pump massaged over my entire face (eyes included) breaks down makeup and makes removal easy. The price is pretty fab too ($21.95 for 200ml) compared to other makeup removers in my stash (Clinique's Take Off the Day Balm comes in at $ for g). The pump applicator keeps things hygienic and the lock mechanism actually works making it easy to cart between home and my boyfriend's.

My other round one purchase was the Blemish Fade Night Lotion from the Tea Tree range. I've heard so many good things about this range and know that tea tree is a great natural antibacterial so couldn't wait to give this a go on my troubled skin. Things like this usually take a bit of time to show tru effect but so far I've already noticed the size of my blemishes decreasing. Those pesky red marks left behind still won't seem to budge but the actual pimple has definitely reduced. I've been applying this every night as more of a spot treatment to affected areas before applying my normal moisturiser.

The other two pieces that I first tried as samples but quickly purchased the full size were the Tea Tree Skin Clearing Facial Wash and Squeaky Clean Scrub. Both are really lovely. The cleanser is not at all drying and leaves my skin feeling super fresh and has a slight cooling effect. The scrub wasn't something I thought I would like, I tend to stick to chemical exfoliants rather than physical but this has changed my mind. I've been using every 3 days for a gentle exfoliation. It is quite scrubby (I try to go a little gentle) and I wouldn't recommend using this on any active breakouts as it may irritate them.

Have you tried any Body Shop skincare? I'll be sure to report back once I've given these bits a more thorough trial.

Friday, 22 August 2014

Transparent Powders

Any other oily skinned gals out their will know the importance of a little powder. A light dusting in the morning and again through out the day, not necessarily to add coverage but to set things in place and keep that whole 'natural glow' thing you've got going on under control. I've tried my fair share of powders given that my skin is of oily origins and have found a few favourites. My selection criteria was something along the lines of mattifying but not completey matte, long lasting and not cakey. That's not too much to ask for now, is it?

First up the post foundation/concealer application set-in-place-er (technical term there) and for that I reach for Rimmel's Match Perfection Silky Loose Setting Powder. Applied with a large fluffy brush (think something along the lines of this one from Ecotools) this seems to blur over imperfections and uneven areas of skin to give a surprisingly natural finish. It helps my concealer stick around until at least midday which is when my next option comes in...

Rimmel's Stay Matte Pressed Powder is no stranger around these parts, I've sung it's praise here, here and here, but couldn't do a powder post without mentioning it. Now I'm not usually one for midday touch ups, I can just never really be bothered to reapply my base but this makes a good alternative. Pressed on to any areas looking a little shiny, this helps soak up any oily patches (nice!) and the slight yellow tone counteracts any redness peaking through. My top tip to keep things a little more hygienic is to use blotting paper or even just clean tissue to pat away any oiliness before applying. And remember to wash your brush regularly!

My final pick is a little more on the pricey/luxurious side, Hourglass' Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light. If my skin's having a dull day this is great for perking things up a little. I never notice the difference when first applied but it's a pleasant surprise if you catch a glimpse of your reflection through out the day.  If gives an almost soft focus finish to the skin and is a good option to set things in place without mattifying.

What's your favourite setting powder? As if I need to add any more to my collection!

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

A Little Gift From Clinique

If there ever comes a day that a good gift with purchase doesn't tempt me in to a little splurge, I don't know who I am. It doesn't even annoy me that they have me forking out $50/60/70 even $100- there's just something too tempting about receiving a little makeup pouch full of sample sized treats (half of which I'll never use but that's beyond the point, isn't it?). I tend to eye things up from the usual suspects (Clinique, Clarins and Estée Lauder) and then anxiously await the inevitable GWP email to drop in to my inbox. If you're going to spend the money may as well wait to get a little something free along side it too, right?

This week's gift offering came courtesy of Clinique and meant I could finally get my hands on one two of their chubby sticks. Their Chubby Sticks for Eyes had been on my radar for quite some time, spying them on ultimate enabling duo Lily and Anna, but what shade? In a toss up between Ample Amber and Fuller Fudge I opted for the latter, a deeper, more browny hue. Next on the chubby list was the Cheek variety. A relatively new launch (well here in Aus. at least) and the shade Robust Rhubarb just seemed to do it for me. A peachy pink cream formula, if it was a coffee it'd be my 'usual'.

On to the actual GWP which I picked up in Myer. I think the promotion has ended now but hang in their, I'm sure they'll be another one just around the corner. Encased in a cute little makeup bag (looks much better than it feels unfortunately, not the best quality) you receive a mini Liquid Facial Soap Mild, Take The Day Off Makeup Remover, Dramatically Different Moisturising Lotion, Moisture Surge CC Cream, Blushing Blush in Aglow, Almost Lipstick in Black Honey and High Impact Mascara in Black. For me the most exciting of the bunch are the CC Cream and High Impact Mascara, both of which I've heard a fair few rave reviews on. I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Blogging Inspiration

It's easy to find yourself in a bit of a blogging rut. Whether you're lacking motivation or really want to write something but have no idea what, it can be enormously frustrating. I find surrounding myself with blog inspiration (or blog-spiration as I like to call it) is the best way to pull yourself out of a tough patch.

Immerse yourself in what you love. 
Being a beauty blogger my makeup stash is a little larger than the average person would require. Whenever I'm having a blog brainstorming session I like to have a really good dig in to my drawers and have a good play around with everything. It's never failed to help me come up with at least one post idea. Plus, what beauty bloggers doesn't love a little makeup playtime?

Create a Pinterest-esque inspiration board. 
Pinterest users will know that it can be a particularly inspirational platform. Never had I ever felt the urge to redesign my entire house, cook a weeks worth of meals and run a half marathon all at once before stumbling across Pinterest. Whether you're part of the online community or not, there's no reason that you can't get involved with the whole mood board thang. A cork board jam packed with gorg. pictures is a good place to start. Heck, even copying and pasting pictures to a word document would do the job (for your own private use of course, never steal someone else's photos).

A social media perusal.
A little scroll through your Instagram/Facebook/Twitter/*insert any other social media platform here* could be all you need to pull you out of your rut. The internet is honestly choc-a-bloc with inspiration- the odd cute-baby-animal picture helps too.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Eyes in 30 Seconds

Even though applying my eye makeup has quickly become quite possibly my favourite part of my makeup routine, there are still days that I just want something quick and easy to get me out the door stat. For days when faffing around with brush and shadow just isn't going to happen, there's a few sections in my eye drawer that I gravitate towards. The theme here seems to be generally on the creamy side as I find these formulas to be the easiest to apply with maximum results- you'll even look like you've spent an age blending different shades.

On the stick front I've got two versions on rotation; Innoxa's Eye Shadow and Liner Sticks* and Rimmel's Scandaleyes Shadow Stick. I go about using both of these the same way, simply draw on to the lid then blend out with a clean finger and I'm good to go. The Innoxa offering also features an uber smudgy liner, great for smoking things up. Both of these are perfect additions to your handbag and fit the whole 'day to night' bill to a T.

The slightly more messy pot formula is a good one if you've got a smidgen more time but still don't want too much faffing. Things can get a little messy when the fingers get involved but the result is well worth it. My pick of the cream shadow bunch are Maybelline's Colour Tattoos (shown above the Barely Branded). These things are honestly the lazy girls best friend. They look amazing on the lids giving off that whole 'different colour in the crease' vibe and they stick around all day. Green beauties out their may want to check out RMS' offering. The shade shown above is Seduce, a gorgeous metallic bronze. The ingredients in this literally sound edible, coconut oil, cocoa seed butter and Rosemary extract, but I wouldn't suggest it. Not the longest lasting formula of the lot, things do start to get a little creasy on my lids, but if you're a green beaut' it may be one to check out.  Finally the cute little pot of Benefit's Creaseless Cream Shadow in Bikini tini. The formula of this is the slippiest of the lot and fairly thin. The shade is nice to brighten up the eye area if you want something natural, think of it as a lip gloss for your lids.

What's your favourite product for a speedy eye look?

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Volume Vampers

I wrote a little while ago about my mission to make more effort with my hair. In terms of looking after my locks I wouldn't say I'm doing too badly (although I am guilty of leaving a little longer than recommended between trims...oops!), but when it came to styling I just wasn't putting in much effort, being more of a 'just let it do it's own thing' kinda girl. But I committed to making a little extra effort in the hair department with my first port of call being volume.

With fairly long (still haven't built up the courage to go for a big chop), fine hair, volume isn't something that comes naturally for me. Cue volume vampers. Starting off post wash, pre blow dry I like a few spritz' of a volume-boosting, texture-giving spray. My fav of the moment is John Freida's Root Booster Blow Dry Lotion mainly for the simply fact that no matter how much of this stuff I spray on, it remains undetectable in my hair- no crispy locks here. I love the little nozzle on this thing, I simply bury it in to the roots around my crown and spritz. 4-5 spritz' around the crown seems to do the trick with a spray or two from a bit further back just incase. A quick massage in and blow dry as per usual (read: upside down) for lifted roots, volumised locks and a little extra hold.

A not so spritz-heavy friendly spray is Healthy Sexy Hair's Soy Renewal Beach Spray. Now strictly speaking this is more of a texturising spritz for the lengths of your hair but a little at the roots still manages to oomph things up a little. No matter how little of this stuff I spray it's still fairly evident in my hair- things just seem to be a little grittier. Perfect for extended hold and hair that won't fall flat but not so nice to touch.

My final volume vamper usually comes in to play for second day hair when things are looking a little limp and slightly on the oily side. Dry shampoo is a busy girl's saviour but also acts as a great volume enhancer. A little dry shampoo of your choice, pictured here is John Freida's Anytime Volume Refresher, spritzed around the roots and rubbed in helps freshen things up a little and adds volume to flat hair. A handbag staple for volume seekers if there ever was one.
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