Thursday, 24 May 2012

Night Owl: An Evening Look

I don't really do big nights out these days. Usually because of a lack of money, time or interest. I'll sooner choose a live gig or a night on the couch, watching dvd's and drinking tea, than trotting around a dance floor toting an overpriced glass of bubbly. Still, on the rare occasions I do...ahem...'club' (usually on someone's birthday, as was the case here) I relish in dressing up. Here's a little evening look I had fun putting together before a birthday bash in the city the other night.

Foundation: Bourjois Healthy Mix in 52 Vanilla
Concealer: Rimmel Match Perfection in 010 Ivory with Benefit Powderflage over the top
Eyebrows: Rimmel Brow Pencil in 002 Hazel with MAC Blush in Frankly Scarlet over the top
Eyeshadow: MAC Paintpot in Bare Study & MAC Matte Eyeshadow in Blackberry
Eyeliner: Combination of MAC Gel Liner in Blacktrack & Maybelline Masterprecise Liquid Liner
Eyelashes: Maybelline Full n' Soft Mascara in Very Black & Paperself False Lashes in Deer and Butterfly
Blush: Bourjois Blusher in 34 Rose D'Or
Setting Powder: Maxfactor Transluscent Powder
Lips: Silk Oil Of Morocco Lip Gloss in Ruby 
Jacket: Op Shop
Earrings: Diva
I have a mad love affair with these lashes!
As you can see, I finally got around to adorning my eyes with the amazing Deer and Butterfly false eyelashes by Paperself. Some of you might remember me swooning over them in this post. With a pair of nail scissors, I turned them into accent lashes and tried to make the sweet little butterflies the main point of focus. They deserved the attention!


Tuesday, 22 May 2012

My Caudalie Companion & VIP at Chaddy

This post is mostly about my new best friend. She's French, she smells lovely, and she removes my makeup like a dream. Yep. It's the Caudalie Cleansing Water.

Originally, after a gushing review by blogger and YouTuber Fleur De Force, I'd intended to buy the This Works 5 In 1 Water. Unfortunately for me, was out of stock when it came time to purchasing it. So, I decided to take a complete chance on the Caudalie Cleansing Water. What's funny is, I had never heard of this brand around the beauty blogger scene until after I decided to buy it. Then, as it was making it's way over from the UK, Caudalie started popping up all over the place. Favourably mentioned I might add. Still, it was mostly the Beauty Elixir that was making waves, so I wasn't too sure what to expect of the cleanser.

Oooh la la!
As the name suggests, this is a watery cleanser rather than a cream. I really prefer this toner-like consistency over the traditional cream cleansers as I feel that they are more 'eye friendly'. I often find that cream cleansers will find a way of seeping into my eye when applied with a cotton pad. I want a cleanser that is quickly absorbed by the cotton pad so that the product is not just being moved around my skin; risking being pushed into my eye. This one does the trick. Plus it's states on the bottle that it's safe for sensitive eyes and gentle enough for sensitive skin types. I can definitely vouch for that. After trying it out over the past couple of weeks, I've never found that it's irritated me.

As far as removing makeup goes, it's very good. Of course, heavy eye makeup requires a little more time and effort, but I think that's always the case. It definitely works as effectively on the eyes, if not more effectively, than my Garnier Eye Makeup Remover. In fact, the Caudalie cleanser has basically eliminated my need for a separate eye makeup remover. Which saves both time, money and cotton pads. So I'm happy!

I can definitely see how this could suit all skin types. I have normal to dry skin, but I feel as though this would work well on oily skin as well. It's tough on removing dirt and makeup, but still light and fresh enough not to weigh down the skin after applying.

On two completely shallow notes, I love the scent and packaging. It says on the bottle that it contains mint. Which I suppose explains the fresh scent. Although it smells a little like cucumber to me. Which is strange, because it doesn't actually contain any! Also the packaging is a much fancier than the trusty Nivea Cleanser I was using for years. It's a nice, thick, frosted plastic with a sturdy screw-on cap. I never thought I'd be impressed by a cleanser's little home, but I really like this one!

I picked up this 200ml bottle for AUD $22.95 on, which I think is pretty reasonable for the quality of the product. It's also available in a 100ml bottle for AUD $13.77 (perfect for travel) and a whopping 400ml bottle for AUD $27.54. This is certainly something I'll be repurchasing, and I can happily recommend it to anyone on the hunt for a sensitive-skin-friendly, paraben free, non animal tested, effective-as-anything cleanser with a smell that's to die for!

In other news, Chadstone Shopping Centre is having their VIP sale tomorrow from 9am through to midnight. Oh yes! I missed out on it last year, but this year I'll be there with bells on! Unfortunately I have to keep my spending to a minimum because I'm supposed to be saving. Damn, stupid saving! But I simply can't resist 50% off all stock at The Perfume Connection, not to mention picking up some staples at Cotton On for 30% off. Plus a girl can't say no to complimentary champagne and cupcakes! Is anyone else planning on going? I'm looking forward to stickybeaking at some blogger hauls! Oh...and the sale offer list is here for those of you with no will power like myself!

Monday, 14 May 2012

Shine On You Crazy Amethyst

I was itching to try the glitter OPI polish I received in this month's Lust Have It bag of goodies. So here it is in all it's sparkly glory...

A Bird In The Hand...
To create this look I used my Revlon Scented Perfume nail polish in 330 Grape Icy as a base with OPI's 'One Less Lonely Glitter' on top. 

Revlon Scented Perfume Nail Enamel in 330 Grape Icy & Nicole OPI in One Less Lonely Glitter 
It took a fair few coats to achieve this look (three of the Grape Icy and two of the One Less Lonely Glitter). Not to mention the base and top coat. Eeep! That's seven! But I think the final look is just so dazzling, it's completely worth the effort!

As expected, the OPI polish applied well and didn't take too long to dry. Also, I'm not sure if it was because I applied so many coats, or if it's just a testament to the quality of the polishes, but the first photo is of my nails after two full days at work! As you can see, only the very tips of my nails are showing. No chips at all! Well done Australis base coat, Revlon polish, OPI polish and Sally Hansen top coat! You're quite the combo. I get the feeling this look is going to be my new best friend when I feel like a glittery pick-me-up!

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Spoiled Rotten in May by Lust Have It

Bare with me a tick. I need to get something off my chest before I dive into this May Lust Have It loot extravaganza.

Since December I had been subscribed to the Australian Beauty Box, Glossybox. To begin with, I was quite happy with this company. I was aware of other peoples' problems with GB, but had never encountered any myself. Then things progressively got a little worse. Funds withdrawal and postage dates became a lot more random, and the products themselves were becoming less and less appealing. For instance, a can of coconut water and a Tantasia gradual tanning lotion in a 10ml tube (how could I possibly test this out when a tube of this size isn't even enough to cover my legs for one application?!) It was also obvious that the company were not taking beauty profiles into account. I was sent blonde haircare products on several occasions when it stated on my profile that I was a redhead. I was willing to brush this aside because, well, I was only paying $15 a month for it. Then Glossybox began deleting Facebook posts on their wall (even favourable ones) which really left a bad taste in my mouth. Interested to see if the other beauty subscription services were any better, I subscribed to both BellaBox and Lust Have It at the start of April. Then, as many of you may know, Glossybox was incorporated into Lust Have It, and to be honest I couldn't be happier.

After receiving two months of Lust Have It goody bags I have to say that this is by far my favourite beauty subscription service. For one, their online communication is great (no deleting wall posts with this one!) and they keep you informed via email as to when the boxes/bags are heading your way. Also, instead of bombarding you with virtually and entire bag of skincare or haircare products they include a really nice range of products (in fairly generous sizes too). In this month's bag I received everything from skincare to makeup to haircare to perfume to nail polish. What a feast! So yes. Well done Lust Have It. I stamp your foreheads with many a gold star.

Right. So enough rambling. Here's my favourite beauty bag to date! It should be noted that mine will be different from what the old Glossybox subscribers will be getting as I was subscribed to Lust Have It before the GB incorporation into LHI.

My May Lust Have It Loot!

All Numbered For Your Convenience!

1. Lush 'Dirty' Soap (100gm = $6.95)
I haven't used an actual bar of soap in years as I'm one of those clumsy people who can never quite get a grip on it. It's like a slapstick routine, but nobodies laughing. This gorgeous mint leaf smelling soap has me up for the challenge though. It contains spearmint, sandalwood, pine and something called oakmoss. I've tried spearmint body washes before and found the tingly feeling a little off putting. I feel like the other ingredients in this one will help to tone the mint down though.

2. ModelCo SHINE Ultra Lip Gloss (4.2ml = $18.00)
I was given this full sized lip gloss in the colour Strip Tease which is a light pink with a fine silver shimmer running through it. It comes out very sheer, but very glossy on the lips. The stickiness factor isn't too high, which I like, but it's still a little bit tacky, which I think ensures it's longevity. It has a sponge tip applicator and a little mirror attached to the side of it. Even though this is a novel idea I feel like it's a bit unnecessary with this shade because it's already such an easy colour to apply without really putting a foot wrong. It also smells kind of fruity which wins points with me. 

3. Caron Laboratories Bump eRaisor Medi Paste (30ml = $16.95)
This was another full sized product, and I was over the moon to receive it. It's supposed to prevent and eliminate ingrown hairs with the properties of tea tree oil and triclosan, which is an antibacterial agent. You're meant to rub the cream on the desired area after shaving and then continue applying for the next 7-10 days. I've only just started sampling this on my legs, so I can't tell you whether it's effective or not. However I do like the fact that this is a cream rather than a watery liquid. I've been using the Skin Doctors one off and on for a while now, and I've always felt that it's a little too harsh for my skin. Hopefully this will be a gentler alternative.

4. Calvin Klein Sheer Beauty Perfume (50ml = $80)
This is a fresh, fruity, floral scent bursting with notes of peach, berry, bergamont, pink lily, jasmine, peony, dry musk sandalwood and vanilla blossom. It's nice. I'd definitely wear it. But I don't feel like it's anything special. I'm not sure I'd be willing to fork over the cash for this one. To be honest, it kind of reminds me of one of the Impulse body spray's I used to use in primary school. I think it was called O2. The one in the green and yellow bottle.

5. Bioderma Crealine H20 Makeup Remover (250ml = $39.95)
Had it not been for the info card I would have had no idea what this was. It doesn't say anywhere on the bottle! Bioderma is a brand I hear quite a lot about in the beauty blogger realm. Although, I'm yet to try it. So this will be a nice little introduction for me. Apparently this makeup remover is said to be good for people with sensitive skin and eyes whilst being tough on removing "even the heaviest of makeup". At $39.95 a pop, it ought to be! 

6. Nicole by OPI Nail Lacquer (15ml = $14.95)
After doing a little research I worked out that the name of the colour I was given was 'One Less Lonely Glitter'. This is a clear polish filled with a combination of super fine and slightly larger hexagonal amethyst glitter. I already have a full sized glitter polish from the Nicole collection which I adore, which is in the colour 'Rainbow in the S-Kylie'. So I'm quite excited to give this one a whirl. I wish OPI did mini sizes like this for all their polishes. It'd be so convenient for travel.

7 & 8. Evo The Therapist Calming Shampoo and Conditioner (300ml = $29.95)
This brand is completely new to me. Both are designed to hydrate and protect frizzy, dry and coloured hair. They contain proteins which, having bleached hair, is something that I look for in a shampoo and conditioner. They're also paraben and sulphate free if that's important to you. On top of that, the conditioner smells like vanilla! Lovely. I have to admit, I'm currently loving my Revlon Nutri-Colour Creme, so I'll probably only try out the conditioner when I finish up with that. But I'll certainly give the shampoo a go next time I wash my hair. Also, I couldn't end this break-down of the products without including the cute little description written on the front of the conditioner: "no more hiding your frizzy hair and no more inner're now a racehorse that's bolted from the stables gleaming with pride. run with it, feel the freedom, run with it...neighhhhhhh." Haha! Well I liked it anyway.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

A Happy Little Vegemite

First of all, let me just say that I have a bit of a love affair with Peter Alexander. Not only are the pj's, overnight bags and bedtime bits so cute and lovely, the stores are like a little slumber wonderland! I'm sure I could easily fall asleep on one of their futons with the scent of a Glasshouse candle filling the air. Anyway, Peter Alexander pj bottoms are one of my favourite things in the world. I have a sky blue pair with orange giraffes on them and they're just the comfiest, warmest and cutest pj's around. I'm fairly sure I'll wear them until they fall apart (one day in the far, far distant future!) So yes. Recently, when I was wandering around Peter Alexander, I stumbled across a pair that made me chuckle, stole my heart and insisted "buy me!"

A clue! A clue!
Ta da!
Up Close & Personal With My Favourite Breakfast Spread!

A delicious spread and some comfy flannelet pj's in one? Yes please! Now I can be patriotic while I sleep, and eat Vegemite on toast while WEARING Vegemite! I know - it boggles the mind.

Certainly, some of you may think these are tacky, but I saw the fun in them. I also think it's a really clever and lovely use of an iconic Australian product to play up the label's roots.

Apparently this design has been released before. However this is the first time I've ever seen them kicking about. As this re-release was 'due to popular demand' I'm sure they would have been snapped up in a second the first time around. So I'm not surprised they flew under my radar. I was super lucky to be able to track down the last pair in my size at Peter Alexander's Carlton store. Phewf!

Can You Pick Which One's Edible?
These were $49.95 - pretty standard for Peter Alexander pj bottoms. Luckily for me I had a gift card, care of my wonderful Nana. Thanks Nana!

And in keeping with the theme of silly and fun I also stopped by JB Hifi today and took advantage of their 'buy two kids dvd's & get the third one free' promotion. I was already wanting to buy Hook for a friend's birthday present, so I took this sale as an excuse to add to my ever growing collection of classic kids films. After diving into a bargain bin I resurfaced with Matilda and Jumanji in hand. Three films for $20? Not bad in my book.

Hook, Jumanji & Matilda

Vegemite pj's and kids films? Seems I'm an easy girl to please!

Saturday, 5 May 2012

A Splattering of Everything!

This post will be a little bit all over the shop really. Part literature, part tea, part flicks and tunes and other things that have been rocking my socks of late. So forgive the firework that is this scattered post of mine. I'm sure you can all cope!
First things first I spent today shopping along Chapel St, on the lookout for some Mothers Day pressies. Drawn in by the charm of the delightfully colourful tea shop T2, not to mention the Chai Tea samples, I found myself sniffing small bowl after small bowl of teas I couldn't even pronounce the names of. I really haven't stepped foot in T2 for the longest time, but I thought I'd pay it a visit. I'm so glad I did though because I came home with something for both myself AND my stepmum! T2 currently have four little Mothers Day packs on offer for $24 which include 100g of loose leaf tea, a little infuser and an itty bitty recipe book - all very sweetly packaged and gift wrapped for free. After careful consideration (and much sampling) I picked up 'Apple Crumble' which is also known as 'Ginger Spice'. It's ginger (obviously) mixed with orange peel, cinnamon pieces and vanilla. So warming and delicious. I also liked that it contained orange rather than lemon. Much easier to drink I think! For myself, I snapped up a regular box of  'Just Cinnamon' which is pretty self explantory. I thought it might be a nice change from Chai, but still warming now that it's getting into colder weather.

I hear you T2!
Left: The Mothers Day Box All Wrapped Up. Right: My Box Of 'Just Cinnamon'
Wrapping Complete With Key And Cat. So Cute.
Next up, I recently finished reading Richard Yates'  novel 'Revolutinary Rd'. I have to be honest, I'm not incredibly 'into' literature. I want to be, but it takes a certain kind of book to really grab and hold my attention long enough for me to want to see what happens. This book definitely does that. I initially borrowed it because I loved the movie, so I was interested to see what the book was like. Wow! Even though I knew the basic premise from watching the film (which in hindsight I think did a grand old job of doing the story justice) I was still blown away.

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It's an incredibly moving, honest and downright tragic depiction of a young couple in the 1950's trying to escape the humdrum normality of their suburban, conformist lives. Yep. Heavy. I think Yates himself sums it up best though: "If my work has a theme, I suspect it is a simple one: that most human beings are inescapably alone, and therein lies their tragedy." I highly highly recommend this book. And the film for that matter. Under Yates' spell I've currently got a copy of 'The Easter Parade' which I'm beginning to make my way through! I'm hoping for another hugely satisfying read.

As far as music goes, I've been revisiting a few old bits and pieces. Knowing them by nothing other than a cover of Bjork's 'Hyperballad' I thought I'd check out the The Yeah Yeah Yeahs 'It's Blitz!'. When the right mood strikes I've actually been really enjoying this album. Particularly Soft Shock, which has found itself blaring from my headphones to a maddening extent. Another album that's been floating my boat of late is Mike Patton's 'Mondo Cane'. The album is a collection of Italian pop songs from the 50's and 60's, reworked  by Mike and a massive orchestra. For some reason, this has been one of my absolute favourites at the moment. It's fun, sporadic and just a damn good listen! Join me wont you...

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Lastnight saw me curled up on the couch watching a recently released doco called 'Bill Cunningham New York'. If you haven't heard about this documentary - where have been hiding!? And if you haven't seen it yet - why the hell not?! For anyone who doesn't know who Bill Cunnningham is, he's  a street style photographer for the New York Times. I have to admit, having never read the New York Times I didn't know who Bill Cunningham was until this doco surfaced. But I loved it all the same. Unlike the doco 'The September Issue' about Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, I found 'Bill Cunningham New York' to be very uplifting and inspiring. While the former seemed to be an albeit intriguing attempt at justifying elitist fashion for 'the cool kids', the latter was a celebration of unique style. Whether it be couture or Kmart. Of course, as an amateur beauty and style blogger on a somewhat modest salary, this gave me solace and inspiration! Plus the man himself is just such an eccentric character. After seeing this film I have so much respect for his work ethic and unyielding passion for clothes and style. Sigh. If only I could be so focused! But really, check it out if you think it'd be up your alley. Even if you're not into fashion, there's enough footage of New York to have you drooling at the mouth! I'll link the trailer here.

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Last but not least are a couple of TV shows I've tucked under my wing for safe keeping. First is 'The Model Agency' a doco series on ABC2 about an English modelling agency. This is by no means a new idea or groundbreaking show, but it's worth a watch if you can look past (or enjoy) the bitching and crying. The second is, dare I say it, one of the greatest doco series' ever in the history of the world! Ok, that may be going a tad overboard, but it is funny. And that's 'Whisker Wars'. Nope. Not about cats. It's about Beard and Moustache Championships, and the men who compete in them! Amazing right?! Another ABC2 gem! The whole time I was watching I just kept thinking "is this for real?" Christopher Guest, eat your heart out! Oh and if you think you've missed out - think again! In Aus, these are both also available for watching online, thanks to the trusty ABC iview.

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End scene.