Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Turning Japanese, I really think so.

My beautiful friends Pennie and Mark recently returned from an epic little trip to Japan. Along with some incredible stories and wicked photos (all of which make me want to travel there so badly!), Pennie arrived home with some gorgeous gifts for me. Before they left I may have put in a cheeky request for some false eyelashes (I've heard great things about Japanese falsies), but my dear friend went above and beyond, bringing me back a couple of other little treats as well. I realise some of these can be found here in Melbourne, but I think it's novel and marvellous to be given something that's been handpicked from a quirky shop in Harajuku.

So, if you'd like to have a little sticky beak - scroll on baby!

Fluttery lashes, hair candy and Disney?! Oh yes.
A Lolita-esque hair clip.
This is completely my taste. Girly, and just a little bit vintage. Unfortunately, the alligator clip on the back broke during transit. Nothing a hot glue gun can't fix though. Perhaps one of my favourite things about this gift, is the slogan written on the top left hand corner of the backing card. "We will make you dressed up easily happily always". Japanese to English translations make me giggle!

Candy Collection False Eyelashes.
These falsies are such a brilliant purple. I have a feather necklace exactlly the same colour as this, which I think would match perfectly. For fear of looking like a drag queen (the bad kind) I'm nearly certain that I'll be trimming these before I wear them. I'm really excited to try these though. I think they'll be a bit of a lark to wear.

Annie False Eyelashes in Type 100 Lovely.
Lash Extreme Closeup!
How beautiful are these lashes? I may have squealed a bit when I saw these actually! I absolutely adore lashes that have a bit of a separated, spiky look to them (think Ardell Demi Pixies). So these immediately won me over for that reason. What visually sets these apart from the Demi Pixies though, is the extra lashes in the outer corner. This seems to soften the overall look and even adds a bit of a cat-eye effect. Better still, the pack contains TWO sets, as well as a tube of eyelash glue. Win win! I'll have to let you know how I go with these, but I can tell you from the get-go, I have high expectations.

The Little Mermaid phone charms from Disney Sea.
The Little Mermaid has always been my favourite Disney movie, so this last gift really made me smile. First things first, I love that this includes Sebastion, who is undoubdetly my favourite Disney character to quote. I also kind of dig that Ariel and Eric are wearing the outfits from the 'Kiss The Girl' scene (my favourite song from the film). While I don't use phone charms on my mobile (does anyone even do that anymore?) I keep a small collection of charms attatched to the wire on my guinea pigs' indoor cage. So these will be a lovely addition.

Bai Bai!

Monday, 30 July 2012

All Tressed Up (And Nowhere To Go)

I absolutely love playing around with my hair. I always have. I think it's a bit of a creative outlet for me. So often though (as is the case here) I'll spend a decent little chunk of time and thought creating a look that I'm proud of, only to waste it on a boring ole' work day. Which, to be honest, is a bit of a bummer. At the end of the day the bobby pins come out, and it's completely forgotten about (even by me). So from now on, I'm going to try to make more of an effort to take photos of the hairstyles I create. Well, the ones that particularly strike my fancy.

This look here, is today's concoction. A vague nod to the screen siren's of 1930's. I should probably mention that generally, I don't start styling my hair with the end result in mind. I feel like, if I have a plan, it rarely turns out the way I want it to, and then I get all stressed and flustered. Instead, I like to just pin it in places and see what begins to form. I know that may sound a little strange, but it works for me. To create this look, I used a hair tie, some bobby pins, and some hairspray to set it all with. I started off by brushing my hair into a side pony tail, tying it, and then pulling some bits loose and pinning them. Absolutely no curling required.

Over this past month, I've been craftily trying to disguise my regrowth before my much needed trip to the salon (c'mon Thursday!!). To me, this look actually makes the most of a bad situation. I feel like the dark regrowth gives the style more dimension and has quite a striking effect. I even had a couple of people mention to me that they really liked the two-tone effect. So yay for that! Still - bring on the dye baby!! 

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Going...going...gone! July Empties.

'Tis nearly the end of July, my feathered friends! So what better way to celebrate than by rummaging through the my garbage! Yay! Here are the beauty products I've finished over the past month, and a few mini reviews of them. Hopefully they're somewhat helpful or interesting for you to read. If not, this is a post for my own benefit. A nice little way of documenting my thoughts on products I may or may not buy again. Potentially enjoy!

1. Caudalie Cleansing Water (200mls)
So freakin' good! I've been using this cleanser daily over the last couple of months to remove my makeup. As the name suggests, it's a water-like liquid rather than a cream. This works perfectly for me because I definitely prefer a liquid makeup remover to a cream. Especially around sensitive areas like my eyes, where a cream can often find a way of seeping in and stinging me. The sneaky little so and so! To use, you simply soak a cotton pad and wipe it across your face. Easy peezy! No messy rinsing necessary! I'm yet to try this cleanser out on waterproof makeup, so I can't tell you whether it's good in that department. However, I can say that I've found it really effective on non-waterproof makeup. Similar to the Bioderma actually. Plus the smell is fresh and love-er-ly. I did a more detailed review of it here if you're interested.

Would I buy it again? Already have!  

2. Batiste Dry Shampoo in Tropical (150mls)
I'm going to assume that we're all pretty familiar with this brand of dry shampoo. It's perhaps the most affordable and widely available brand. At least for us Aussie chickadees. I don't have any other dry shampoos to compare this too, but I still think it's pretty safe to say that I really like it. It volumises and refreshes my hair when it's not quite looking (or smelling!) it's best. This is by far my favourite scent of the entire range as it smells like fruit and coconut. Yum! My one complaint with this product is that it tends to leave some grey/white colour in your hair if you don't brush it out properly. Also, I think they need to be available in a larger sized cans. 150mls runs out way too quickly if you've got long hair like mine.

Would I buy it again? Yes. 

3. Revlon Nutri-Color Creme in 600 Fire Red (200mls)
These Nutri-Color Creme's are seriously a godsend for those of us with dyed hair. Bright or otherwise. I've already been through two tubes of this stuff it's so good. Basically, this is a pigment depositing treatment which maintains the colour of your hair between salon visits. It also doubles as a conditioning treatment (although, in that department, I honestly think you'd get a slightly better result with something like Redken's All Soft Heavy Creme). After shampooing, you wring your hair out, throw on some gloves (not provided), massage it into your locks, and then comb it through. Then, after 3 minutes, you simply rinse it off. That's it! I should mention, you do have to be a little bit careful when applying this one as it can stain. A small price to pay for the amazing end result though. I can say without a shadow of a doubt, that this product is solely responsible for making sure my hair has stayed red over time. Instead of fading into a fluorescent coral pink colour, as it tends to want to do.

Would I buy it again? I have! Several times. I'll definitely be sticking with this one. Although, I'm considering alternating it fortnightly with a Joico or Redken treatment as I think my hair also needs some extra hydration.   

4. MaxFactor Professional Loose Powder in Translucent (15gms)
I don't quite know what to say about this one, other than "it did the job". Translucent powders are hard to review because I feel like the makeup underneath the powder can often alter it's effectiveness. I've never really stuck with one particular powder to tell you the truth. I usually just pick whichever one's on sale. Often switching between MaxFactor, Covergirl or Natio. It wasn't until recently that I decided to lash out and purchase a Laura Mercier setting powder. I can only tell the difference between them in as far as the Laura Mercier one is finer, and therefore looks a little more natural on the face. This MaxFactor one is ok though. It did a pretty good job of setting my makeup, and didn't give me a white cast in photos. So that's definitely a plus. Haha! Helpful, I know.

Would I buy it again? Maybe. I think I'll probably stick with the Laura Mercier one though. I feel like you can't really go wrong with a high-end powder.  

5. Lush Love Lettuce Fresh Face Mask (75gms)
I love the Love Lettuce. Really I do. It's a fresh face mask from Lush which contains almond, seaweed and lavender. I wont harp on about it too much as I already did so here, but I will say that this has definitely made it into my theoretical top three Lush products list. Even my boyfriend liked it! 

Would I buy it again? In a heartbeat!

6. Salon Professional Final Net Hairspray in Super Hold (50gms)
I bought this purely on the basis that I needed a mini replacement for my handbag, and this one was the cheapest. I've definitely tried better. It held my hair fine (which I guess, is the main thing), but it was sticky to touch, and smelt unbearably strong and 'hairsprayish'. Even to the point that people were commenting that they could smell it on me. That's never, ever, a good thing. Blah!

Would I buy it again? No. Any recommendations for better options?

Saturday, 28 July 2012

My Dye Dilemma

I absolutely adore my bright-as-a-lobster red hair. But with this colour, comes tremendous responsibility. Don't get me wrong. I don't mind only ever using black towels and pillowcases, shunning red and white clothing (for fear of clashing or staining), or even bleaching the bath from time to time. What really annoys me though, is the DREADED regrowth!

My hair is naturally dark brown. So when my roots start coming through, despite some people saying "I like it better this way", I can't help but want to colour them in with a red texta. The roots, not the people! Sometimes, by twisting and pinning and hair spraying, I can get the two-tone effect to look intentional. Other times, I feel like it's totally out of my control. A horrible brunette patch, intent on making me look like a 11 year old who's attempted to dye her own hair, and botched it up royally.

So about 5 weeks ago, when my brown skunk stripe was really beginning to get on my nerves, I bought a couple of pots of my usual La Riche Directions hair dye in Poppy Red. This time though, instead of buying them for a small fortune from a retailer in the city, I decided to take a chance on an Ebay seller. This particular UK seller was charging a measly AUD $17.85 for both tubs to be purchased and sent to my doorstep. An amazing drop in price from the usual AUD $21.95 per tub (!!!) I pay for them retail.

So with my Ebay purchase finalised, all I had to do was wait a week... another week... another week... ANOTHER week!!
Four long weeks, and still no hair dye!! By this stage, I was sure that Australia Post had lost it. Usually, it doesn't take any longer than ten days for a parcel to find it's way to me from the UK. But of course, I must have wanted this dye a little too much, because fate had other ideas.

I contacted the seller, who promptly reassured me that the dye had definitely been sent, and it was probably an issue with customs. Another week went by, and still - no dye. Meanwhile, I was wearing hats at every possibly opportunity to hide my...ahem...shame! After messaging the seller again, she very kindly, and at no extra cost, sent me some replacement dye. Even though I was extremely grateful for her generosity, I couldn't help but think "oh my God! ANOTHER ten days wait!!!".

So, unable to handle my hideous regrowth any longer, I made the decision to order off an Australian site called Pimp My Eyes. Even though the pots were a lot pricier (AUD $14.95 per pot), I knew that they would get to me quickly, as the site offered free Express Postage. 

Then, as luck would have it, guess what turned up on my doorstep yesterday?!  

Yep. The original package from the Ebay seller, as well as my Pimp My Eyes parcel, arrived at exactly the same time! So I now have four tubs of dye, with another two on the way!

My sweet sweet Directions Hair Dye

Oh boy. At least I know I'm not going to run out any time soon! 

Sunday, 22 July 2012

That's Showbiz Kid!

Just a quick little nail look for you because I absolutely adore it! This is Sally Hansen's Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips in Lust-Rous. A dazzling silver and gold glitter (both hex and fine) with an opaque, jet black base. Magical right?! With these babies on, I don't know whether to feel like a show girl or an astro girl!  

I can't help but love these nail polish strips (or 'wraps' as they're often called). I feel like I have more control over the finished look. No polish covered cuticles or patchy spots. Just an absolutely flawless application.

This particular brand I actually liked a little more than others I've tried, because the strips are thinner. I found that this created a more natural look and meant that the ends were much easier to buff off. In fact, I could virtually fold the excess over the tip of my nail and peel it off. I'll have to see whether these last the full 10 days they claim to, but I'm really hoping they pull through. There are so many beautiful designs in the Sally Hansen range, and I'm excited to give some of the others a whirl.

Sparkle Sparkle!