Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Divinely Luxuriant Hair

Caudalie is such a luxe brand and I love all measly five products that I've tried from them (post here). When I first got the Caudalie Divine Oil I didn't like it at all- I was turned off by the strong scent, though the ecstasy of trying the Beauty Elixir for the first time might have overshadowed every other aspect of that experience too. I pulled it out again to see if I could find something about it that I liked, and I certainly did!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Holiday Season

I miss doing personal posts, especially when I read my friends' personal blogs and I don't see the point in creating a separate blog for my eating out and shopping and random things I take pictures of so I'll post them here and beauty girls can take it or leave it.

Felix for Goodness with Jess (if you're reading, HI JESS!): breakfast parfait pots with seasonal fruit, popped buckwheat granola, nuts and chia yogurt. I got iced hibiscus green tea and she got a green juice.

Friday, December 12, 2014

The Beauty History Mystery Tag

Michelle tagged me to do this tag (initially done by Elle Fowler and Fleur) and it's so amusingly appropriate because this lovely girl and her blog are what inspired me to start blogging in the first place. The premise for this tag is taking a trip down beauty memory lane- picking about 5 products that evoke the feeling of beginnings in beauty. It's a fun one to do because digging up the old craze products always brings a little nostalgia with it. The hard part was narrowing down which products to include.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Rosy Star

30mL perfumes are the bomb diggity when it comes to gifting because a smaller bottle of a high quality fragrance is 10x better than a 100mL bottle of a bad one. Consider this me getting my Christmas spirit on for my blog. I haven't anything in way of Christmassy gift guides or DIY ideas because it's difficult to get with the festive happenings that Youtubers and bloggers are perpetuating when you're really not spending a cosy night in wearing a cute sweater and whisking hot chocolate because it's 33`C and you're drinking water by the litre and wearing sleep boxers all day to keep cool. (That being said, Cotton On Body sleep boxer shorts are awesome.) However, I do have a suggestion to add to the gift ideas as my two cents and that is Stella by Stella McCartney. This is the first fragrance purchase I ever made and I'm still proud of it and I use it multiple times a week.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Long Gone

Just a quick empties post today featuring some staples that need replacing on this rainy day! I have another post coming up of exclusively Lush products because I'm going to take 5 empty pots back in exchange for a free fresh face mask (and I've never done it before and I've never tried Lush face masks before so it's all quite exciting!). I'm sorry some images have a slight blur- I was taking them in the afternoon and catching the last rays of light.

I posted about this L'Oreal EverCreme Sulfate-Free Nourishing Shampoo in my latest monthly Favourites and I love the way it cleanses my hair and leaves it feeling luxuriously soft. I did bleach sections of my hair to dye it brown and even though it was virgin and healthy, lifting the pigment out of naturally black hair left it quite prone to breakage so using a hydrating, nourishing shampoo like this one was great. I would definitely repurchase when the weather starts to cool down again, but I bought a bottle of the EverSleek version of the L'Oreal shampoos because its Intense Smoothing formula will be better-suited to summer.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

November Favourites

Crazy that it's already December, but I've finished my Christmas shopping so I'm quite proud of myself. I'm also very impatient, which is a factor in my early prep. November was a month of exams and stress. After finals were over, I took some time out to exercise more, eat cleanly and invest in some 'me time' to improve the way I felt. I've gone a bit mad for almond milk and chia pudding and I considered dedicating a whole post to chia pudding because I feel that passionate about it. I could and should exercise more, but one step at a time! I've also gotten into burning candles and I've learnt how to fix and prevent tunneling (the term for when it's burning down the middle, leaving a wall of wax around the sides) and I've also learnt how to remove melted candle wax spillage from carpet. Oops. I learnt that it's very stressful but ironing the wax out of the carpet onto paper towels is actually quite fun.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Less Provocative, More Evocative

I have never been in possession of the entire collection of any product before, but I got sent all 8 shades of the Rimmel Provocalips so for the first time, this is happening. Unfortunately I won't be doing lip swatches because I haven't found a way to photograph them acceptably enough to include in a blog review but I have tried them on so I'll be speaking about how I found them to be, and lots of bloggers have posted lip swatches for your viewing benefit. The Provocalips are basically long-wearing lip colours that come in a dual-ended tube (a throwback to being new at makeup and swatching cheap versions of these in Cosmetics Plus) They boast 16 hours of kiss-proof lip colour by way of their two-step application; step 1 being their intense colour liquid lipstick and step 2 being a lock & shine gloss applied over the top.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

October Favourites

2014 has flown by. I can't believe it's the end of October but it's been crazy and busy so I'm quite thankful it's over. Spring brought an onslaught of weird transitional skincare needs as my skin struggled to adjust from cold and sunny to hot and humid. This meant catering to and curing some seriously weird skin. In other news, University assessment tasks have been hectic but life has been good. I finished off October on an excellent note.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Dull Violet

I love Laura Mercier because everything I've tried from the brand has been fantastic. Mineral makeup, concealer and a Second Skin Cheek Colour have all been great; so when I was doing a StrawberryNet order recently I threw in the Laura Mercier Eye Colour Duo in Violet at an incredibly good price.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

September Favourites

This late favourites post is going to be super quick and casual because I'm currently inundated with assignments and housekeeping but I bought a fisheye lens from eBay (link here!) and I decided to use it to take photos of the products because my camera battery is giving me a hard time. Hope you don't mind!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Clump Meister

After my very good experience with the Kiss Me Heroine Make mascaras I thought I'd branch out and try some more Asian mascaras. Majolica Majorca is a sub-brand of Shiseido's and I've heard good things about their mascaras and purchased one from MyCube to try out. I'll cut to the chase: I didn't like this mascara at all. The Majolica Majorca Lash Expander Edge Meister mascara just wasn't very me.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

August Favourites

Much incredulity at it being September already. Where has the year gone?! That aside, I have some beauty favourites to share from the past month. I've had a good August, and I've been trying some new things and loving some old.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Starting Afresh

If I had to start my collection over from scratch, I would buy these products. And then I would buy Real Techniques brushes, NARS Deep Throat, Skin79 BB Cream, the LORAC Pro Palette which I currently don't own but wish I did, and use whatever money I had left on Antipodes skincare. Realistically I would definitely buy Antipodes skincare before I bought any of these products, but that's not the point. Point is, these are good products and if you haven't tried them before and you like the sound of them, do try it. -Dilmah Tea's founding father raises a cup to you-

Saturday, August 2, 2014

June and July Favourites

A monthly favourites post is two months owing and I've actually loved using a few products- some new, some old. June was spent on swotvac and exams so when I wrapped up exams, I finally got some time to allow some time for skincare. July was, in contrast, an incredibly relaxed time to kick back and enjoy cooking, baking and lounging around with trashy TV shows and countless movies. 
I need your help advising me on whether I should invest in buying a Canon EOS 600D secondhand from a friend, so please please comment below if you have anything to say about that!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Proud and Prejudiced

If you had (or hadn't) noticed the distinct lack of nail polish content on my blog so far, it's because the love for nail polish, or lack thereof, correlates with my inability to sit still and let them dry. Whenever I paint my nails I can do three coats but I'm too impatient to let them dry and they get smudged and ruined so I get out the nail polish remover and try again another day. Paint, remove, repeat. Seizing the opportunity of a half-price sale (Chemist Warehouse!) resulted in these purchases. The most recent development in my nail polish adventures has been the Rimmel Salon Pro nail polish in Oh, Mr Darcy! and the Maybelline Express Nail Polish Remover. I bought these a couple of months ago and tried them out then, but didn't have the time to take photos of my nails with the polish on. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Low Brow Helper

Brow game is getting intense these days, with pencil, powder, pomade and felt-tip pen making bold statements everywhere. I prefer a more natural, laid-back approach so when I saw the tinted gel half of the Revlon Brow Fantasy in Dark Brown, I knew I wanted to try it.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Konjac Cleansing

Last year when the Konjac Sponge was making the rounds (with most people saying they preferred it to the Clarisonic Mia), I wasn't enthused and I didn't take any interest. Recently when I ordered from iHerb and saw EcoTools had released some new things I allowed myself  to choose one, and went for the Pure Complexion Facial Sponge.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Etsy Sampler

In a getaway from celebrity release stigmas and extravagant price tags on fragrances, I tried out the novelty of homemade perfume oils by dabbling in a sample pack from an Etsy seller (link here!). I chose 5 different varieties because I wanted a duplicate of one of them to gift to someone. I have experimented with wearing the first three described below but the wear time is very short on me and it dissipates after about 2 hours. While the pick 'n' mix aspect was fun, I don't think I would purchase the full size simply because it fades so quickly.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Spot Indifference

I like to think I've left most of my acneic skin days behind along with my teens and high school but my current skincare issue is cystic hormonal blemishes and the hyperpigmentation from the scars they leave behind. Without resorting to prescription medication and all-over chemical creams, a few other products to treat and prevent hormonal acne come to mind, and the most prominent of them is the Mario Badescu Buffering Lotion. I purchased mine from Mecca Maxima (also available at Kit Cosmetics). It's the deep, cystic blemish-targeting relation of the better-known Drying Lotion, which is aimed at whiteheads.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Black As Jewel-Light

When it comes to eyeliner, my favourite is good old-fashioned pencil liner. It's easy to apply, smudges well and achieves the natural effect I want on a day-to-day basis. I've experimented with gel liners from Maybelline and Essence, and liquid liners from Face of Australia, Essence and Bourjois, but I always find myself turning to pencil for no-nonsense definition without fussing over flicks or felt-tips.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

May Favourites

It's officially winter and along with the changing weather my products on rotation have undergone some major shaking up. In May I used and loved some old favourites and some new introductions. Changing seasons mean goodbye autumn, hello winter and scarves and boots and jackets and cute socks and candles and cosy nights curled up with Youtube and course readings and mugs of tea and hot chocolate (coffee is a luxury that I reserve for being out and from barista hands). 

David Babaii Instant Straight Smoothing Balm
I bought this from Priceline in the most recent 40% off haircare sale and I believe it retails for $24.50 but it was marked down to $10, and after a discount and a Priceline Sister Club cash-back voucher it was practically free. I bought it because I'm too lazy to heat style my naturally wavy hair and it can get a little frizzy after air-drying. Prior to this, I didn't own any other proper styling products (so it was justified). It's a creamy paste that smells pleasant and I find my hair is neater when I pat this into the ends and layers, especially when I wear my hair down. 

Bourjois Healthy Mix Correcting Concealer in 53 Dark Radiance
I turned to this after hitting pan on my Laura Mercier Undercover concealer and I don't know why I put it away and forgot about it. Previously I mentioned that its medium coverage wasn't high enough but now I find it provides enough coverage to camouflage the hyperpigmentation left behind by blemishes and it blends and wears especially well after I've taken to trying out the Wayne Goss powder trick that Michelle posted about. My latest makeup routine that I've been sticking with has comprised of solely this concealer for a base product. That being said, when I run out, which could be soon as I'm close to wringing out this tube, I might try the NARS Creamy Concealer instead of repurchasing because this costs $24 RRP and the NARS is $35. 

Lush No Drought
Since posting about this, I have not loved it any less. It's a great loose dry shampoo that keeps me sane when I skip shampooing every other day. I hate the feeling of day-old hair but this clears up the feeling of natural oils and adds texture and volume to the roots. The light citrus scent is pleasant and doesn't linger and the bottle makes it surprisingly easy to puff the powder out.

Rimmel Santa Rose
This blush is an old favourite that I liked using over a year ago and I dug it back out when throwing together a on-the-go makeup bag and chose this because it's tiny and compact (and cheap so if it shatters I won't be sad). It's such a pretty, flattering peachy coral that looks understated and subtly sculpting. 

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water
This 'drugstore' 'Bioderma-dupe' has been on the shelves for a long time but I resisted purchasing it while I was still using the Garnier Clean Sensitive 2 in 1 Makeup Remover, but when I saw it on sale at half the normal price I caved and I've been using it on some mornings instead of an over-the-sink facial cleanse, and on some evenings to remove traces of concealer and bronzer and eyebrow pencil. Admittedly I prefer bi-phase products like the Garnier Clean Sensitive 2 in 1 Makeup Remover to remove makeup so I wouldn't depend on a cleansing water to remove all my makeup (including very waterproof mascara) in one go. Personally I don't regard Bioderma as my favourite micellar cleansing water- that title belongs to the Caudalie Cleansing Water, which is more refreshing and pleasantly scented. I've used Bioderma Crealine and Bioderma Sebium before and they do a good job of removing makeup and product on the skin without leaving a residue or the skin feeling tight. This Garnier rendition removes product fairly well but leaves a somewhat soapy residue, which means after using it I'm obliged to follow up with a second cleanser or at the bare minimum, a rinse with water. I'm in the habit of doing so anyway, which is why this made it into the monthly favourites but if you're looking for something that cleanses like Bioderma does, you won't find your solution in the Garnier version.

I've joined the candle bandwagon, with the Yankee Happy Birthday Vanilla Cupcake popping the candle cherry. On a spontaneous jaunt to IKEA I purchased their Mixed Berry and Vanilla candles as well, which smell lovely. I'll see how long this phase pans out for and if I dip more than a toe into the pool of wicks, soy and scents long enough to dabble with more commitment. 

Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask to Quench Skin's Thirst
Last spring I put this tube away and only recently dug it back out for the cooler weather. It is, quite frankly, luscious. It smells deliciously of apricots and the consistency is so rich and hydrating. It's my second winter with Drink Up Intensive and I don't regret buying this because sometimes the skin is crying out for something intense and on dry winter nights, this is what the skin is crying out for.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Dry, No Doubt

After converting to alternate night hair washes, using dry shampoo to tide me over second day hair has become imperative. I've dabbled in the aerosol side of the range, with Batiste and Klorane, but I wanted to try a non-aerosol variation and Lush's offering No Drought is affordable and easily accessible. 

Spraying it from an aerosol can to the hair's roots is straightforward but using a bottle seems a bit perplexing. Despite this first impression, puffing it out of the bottle is a lot more convenient than I'd perceived prior to purchase. It doesn't dispense too much, which is something I found aerosols had the tendency to do due to the high pressure that caused it to gun out. Lush's ingredients basically read as a citrus-scented cornflour. The scent is mild and unoffensive but is reminiscent of lime sherbet. It doesn't leave the hair with a white cast, but I don't normally have that problem because after letting it settle for half a minute and brushing through to blend the powder into the hair it doesn't show. I'm happy with the way it wears over the course of the day- it absorbs the oil at the roots and leaves the hair feeling dry and quite textured, which I would rate equal to the Klorane Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk, which was my preferred aerosol can choice. I quite like Lush's No Drought but I'll wait until I'm at the bottom of this bottle to determine whether I've been fully converted to loose non-aerosol dry shampoos.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Skincare Resuscitated

It's a blessing and a pity First Aid Beauty is being discounted for clearance at David Jones because it's a beautifully designed brand with a simple, clean ethos that I find refreshing in a sea of garish, indistinguishable brands. Free from harsh chemicals, parabens, phthalates, colorants, alcohol and fragrances, FAB is straight to the point, functional and easy to interpret. Over the last couple of months, I've acquired a few of their products since my first foray into the brand.

Ultra Repair Instant Oatmeal Mask
The shea butter content makes me hesitant to use it all over the face because it can aggravate and congest sensitive acne-prone skin. Instead, I've been enjoying using this on my cheeks where the skin is drier and it's been doing a great job of soothing dryness and calming irritation. There are countless DIY oat mask tutorials on Youtube for those who manage money wisely but this is a neat way of having one on hand.

My more recent purchase was the Forever Fab set discounted from Christmas and the sale was too good to resist. (PS: Thanks to Lena for posting about this set first!) It contains the Detox Eye Roller, Facial Radiance Pads and Ultra Repair Cream. 

Detox Eye Roller
Eye cream is foreign concept to me- I am afflicted by neither dark circles nor dry skin so I've never ventured into that field apart from a couple of deluxe samples. Despite that, I've fancied the idea of the Garnier roller-ball and have entertained the idea of purchasing it a few times. This Detox Eye Roller is almost identical in purpose and is more fun than functional for me. It says the 'caffeine packed formula alleviates puffiness and dark circles and smooths fine lines'. I haven't seen immediate results but the metal roller ball feels cool and physically that in itself could reduce puffiness. Curiously the solution contains the finest microshimmer, which, if I was to hazard a guess, is meant to illuminate and draw light to the under-eye area. It dispenses a generous amount, which makes it easy to apply too much. 

Ultra Repair Cream
Like Steamcream, this basic moisturiser can be used from head to toe and contains glycerin, shea butter, colloidal oatmeal and FAB antioxidant booster. Truthfully speaking I haven't opened this yet because my combination skin doesn't necessitate a bona-fide moisturiser at this time of the year. I'm storing this for later in the year when winter comes, or to give to someone who could love it more.

Facial Radiance Pads
I've been using these about 5 times a week for the past two weeks and while I'm uncertain of the long-term effects, after a few uses I felt my skin's texture was smoother and more refined. They're gentle enough to use everyday, with aloe, glycerin, cucumber to soothe and lactic and glycolic acids to exfoliate. They haven't made good on the claim to diminish fine lines but including a gentle chemical exfoliant in my skincare routine is something I've wanted to try for a long while now.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

April Favourites

At the beginning of the month, April was declared 'birthday month' and I took it easier than I deserved, honestly speaking. Very tardy with these Monthly Favourites and life-outside-of-blogging is taking over (I'm still keeping up with reading your blogs though!) Hormonal breakouts rampant; between treating myself to skincare and cosy home spa nights becoming more frequent because of the weather chilling down, I'm finding more products to post about after a little plateau/rut.

Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque
To combat problem skin I've been using this kaolin clay mask as a cleanser. After purchasing and finishing the REN ClearCalm 3 Clarifying Clay Cleanser and a little nudge from this video by Lisa Eldridge I thought nightly cleansing with the mask would be a good way to use it up (It's almost all gone!). I didn't notice drastically quick results with the REN but I found my skin was clearer progressively, and I'm getting the same results from this much-cheaper alternative. With the REN costing $40 and the Queen Helene around $4 on iHerb and $4 flat rate shipping, treating congested skin is cheap and cheerful. I do like more luxurious clarifying masks like the Origins Clear Improvement and the Aesop Parsley Seed Cleansing Masque (I'm eyeing up Aesop's Chamomile Concentrate Anti-Blemish Masque next but it's an eye-watering $51) but the Queen Helene is hard to beat in price and effect especially when used as often as I have been. I've already repurchased and am waiting impatiently for it to arrive in the mail.

MAC Sheen Supreme lipstick in Bare Again
I was swatching Rimmel's Moisture Renew Lipstick in Notting Hill Nude in Priceline and cheekily got out my on-the-go makeup stash to swatch MAC Shy Girl and MAC Bare Again next to it and I was surprised to find I preferred Bare Again out of the three. It's a very wearable natural warm pink with the right amount of brown and peach. The formula is glossy, as the range implies, but it doesn't have a lot of slip to it. The click is secure enough that I keep the tube in my tote bag and reapply whenever the fancy strikes.

Korres Lip Butters in Jasmine, Pomegranate, Mango
Access seems to be the only thing stopping me from using or playing with lip products. I usually hide them away in a compartmentalised makeup storage system so in an effort to break the 'out of sight, out of mind' philosophy I had going, I placed this stack of pots of sheer coloured goodness on my desk and have been applying them more often than I have before. After all the hype and hubbub that went down in the blogging community surrounding these sheer tinted lip balms I'm glad I've rediscovered them and getting more wear out of them. They smell lovely, they impart a pretty tint and the formula is faultless.

T2 Gorgeous Geisha
I'm all but addicted to green tea and drink a mug every morning; the aroma of strawberries and cream makes me that bit happier. Thanks PC! ;)

My Beauty Diary Sake Yeast Masks
Late nights have called for less of an experimental focus on lotions and potions and on a few exhausted nights I've taken to whacking on one of these masks before bed and drifting off with it on. I haven't used face masks from a brand as well-known as My Beauty Diary in a long while and out of their droning line varieties I'm glad I chose Sake Yeast. It contains hyaluronic acid, aloe extract and sake yeast extract, which is reminiscent of SK-II's signature ingredient, pitera, also an extracted by-product of sake brewing. MBD claims the masks are whitening and moisturizing on the box and hydrating, oil control and repairing on the website but I'm just happy to find my skin smoother and more hydrated when I wake up in the morning (sans mask because I've taken it off my face in my sleeping state). I bought mine from an Asian beauty store in Westfield Garden City in Southern Brisbane but they're also available online at Sasa.com

Caroline Hirons on Youtube
To the delight of people the world over, the legendary skincare godmother of the blogging world has begun creating Youtube videos!