Friday, December 23, 2011

I'm still alive and my very first half moon manicure!

Hello lovelies!

I'm still alive and kicking, I've just been relaxing a wee bit too much on my holiday, so I actually haven't been on a computer since I left Melbourne 3 weeks ago. That's got to be a record for me. I just remembered I could access blogger on my iPhone (although the photos will probably come out wonky), so I decided to upload a quick blogpost on my first ever half moon mani, which I attempted yesterday.

I used Sephora's 'winter in aspen' for the crescent and OPI's 'sparrow me the drama' for the rest, as I didn't want it to have too much contrast. As it's my first attempt, I knew the paint job probably wouldn't be too perfect, but it's the perfect time to experiment as I plan on changing my polish to a more Christmassy one tomorrow anyway!

Here's a peek at some photos and I'll be sure to update with my Christmas manicure soon!

That's it, all done! What did you think? Enjoy the silly season!!

Much love,

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Glossybox November Review (Part 1)

Hello lovelies,

If you've noticed the post title, and are wondering why it says 'part 1', allow me to explain.

The first ever Glossybox in Australia arrived at my doorstep today. In case you didn't know, Glossybox is pretty popular, particularly in the United Kingdom, and they joined forces/took over BeautyBox (a company offering a similar product) in October 2011. As a result, there was a wee bit of a mess with subscribers to BB being forced to resubscribe to Glossybox. Those of us who had been with BB previously were awarded 1000 glossydots (the subscription equivalent of a free box) to make up for having been charged twice.

Truthfully, we beauty addicts afficianados were all in dithers waiting for the first box to be shipped out. But owing to the fact that the items were shipped from overseas and then packed in Australia, the boxes only shipped out at the end of November, i.e. the 25th of November.

That would still have been fine and I would have been happy waiting, but more issues popped up. We got sent a tracking number, but it didn't include a link by which we could track the parcels. I sent them an email which was ignored, but similar posts on their website were answered, with Glossybox telling subscribers that events would only show up when the box was actually close by and in the courier van ready to be delivered. Pardon my ignorance, but isn't the purpose of tracking being able to actually see where your box is at ALL times? Not just when it's about to land on your doorstep anyway?

Anyhow, my box popped up today, and I was so disappointed when it arrived. First of all, the box arrived encased in a larger cardboard box for protection. Unfortunately, when I opened the outer box, I found black/grey dust all over everything, including my hands and desk. By the time I managed to open the parcel, dust was everywhere, which was really off putting. I couldn't make out if it was from the packing inside the Glossybox or if it was a result of the transport.

And here is where I confess to a major blogger the time I got to the actual contents, I was so put off by the dust coating everything, that I barely paid much attention to the contents. I did notice that I received the following items in my box:

Pink jelly beans (look gorgeous but I'm afraid to eat them thanks to the dust coating everything)

Deluxe sample of Bobbi Brown cleansing oil (I'm really not a fan of this, I much prefer the Shu Uemura ones).

Deluxe sample of Jurlique Purely Age-Defying Ultra Firm and Lift Cream

Full sized Bio Oil

Full sized Mirenesse 3D Lip gloss (Not very excited by this colour, it's a deep red, why-oh-why can't I receive a nude gloss?!)


Mini Essie polish in Super Bossa Nova...which was completely dried up and tacky when I opened it. Either I got given a used sample or it hadn't been closed properly because it was completely ruined. It had dried up so much, you could actually see through parts of the bottle, which was a fairly incredibly feat given the hot pink colour of the polish.

So you can probably understand why I lost interest in the box after that. :(
Well, that, and having to mop my desk with dampened tissues to clean up the mess that had been left behind from the dust from the box.

All the same, I'm not 'quite' giving up on them yet...I sent their customer service an email to complain, and included photos of the box. I got a reply within an hour apologising, stating that they weren't responsible for the handling the boxes received during transit, and a promise that a replacement Glossybox would be sent out to me as soon as possible! While encouraging, it's still a bit of a disappointment as I was hoping to receive and review it before I left the country for a month-long trip abroad.

Anyway, do have a look at the photos and stay tuned while I wait for part 2 of the November Glossybox to arrive.

Outer covering

Inner covering

Description of contents...covered in dust.

A view of the contents. Sorry, should have taken more photos
 but lost interest thanks to the dust covering everything,

Look at the dust!

My ruined Essie polish. :(

Look, you can actually see through the bottle,
that's how dried up it was!

My verdict? Disappointed. I haven't quite given up on them yet but I have to say their customer service hasn't been as excellent as, say, I Love This Box, who go above and beyond in the name of customer service, namely answering to emails in a speedy manner, even past midnight!

I have to say, though, that some of my favourite fellow bloggers, Glossybeauty and Beauty in a bottle, have received much better Glossyboxes, and they've written some great reviews which you can read, here and here, respectively. Do check them out. And you can have a look at the different colour options people received in their November Glossybox here.

I'm still holding out that Glossybox might redeem themselves yet...I'll keep you posted.

Much love,

P.S. - I forgot to add that the box came with a voucher for 15% off store-wide (applicable only in stores), which expires/d on 30 November 2011, which disappointed some subscribers as we didn't receive the box in time to actually use the voucher!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Kit Cosmetics Limited Edition Shop Loves Sunset Polish

Hello lovelies,

Today I have a quick polish post to show you.

Kit cosmetics have been having a wee bit of trouble with their website, as they have been doing some upgrading work behind the scenes, and as a result, a lot of customers were having trouble accessing the site. So to make up for the hassle, they offered customers a free nail polish, in a limited edition pastel coral hue called 'shop loves sunset'. I personally think that was really nice of them, and really shows that they value their customers.

You can print off the voucher here. I found out about it from a fellow beauty lover, and it was great timing as I was due to pop in at a store anyway, to pick up a gift.

I managed to redeem it and it's quite a pretty colour. It's a bit more fluorescent than it looks in the bottle, but it does go on quite well. Like most pastel hues, application can be a bit of a pain, but I applied three coats, which more or less evened it out. I quite like this colour, but I'm also really tempted to try mixing some other colours in to tone it down a wee bit, as I think that will be more flattering for my skin tone. I'm also really eager to pop the black shatter on top, I think it will look really pretty with the coral undercoat peeking through.

The coral was so cheerful it even inspired me to pop on a similar shade of lippie! I'm feeling very summery today!

Have a look at the photos below.

Much love,

Monday, November 21, 2011

A touch of the blues...

Hello lovelies!

So, today I have a blue crackle to show you, from the Sally Hansen Crackle Overcoat range.

I was fortunate enough to get accepted into a VIP review run by my favourite beauty website, Primped, and they sent out a blue shatter, called Distressed Denim, and a greigy colour, called Slick Slate, for me to review. I was pretty excited to receive the blue crackle because I already own a black and a silver shatter from OPI (which I'll review soon), and it was wonderful to get a coloured crackle to play with. Plus, I'd been hearing good things about the SH crackle and couldn't wait to try it!

 Now, I wouldn't necessarily have paired a deep blue/navy crackle with a greigy undercoat, so I decided to try it with my pale, pastel mint polish from Essence Cosmetics (called You Belong To Me).

The Essence colours are quite lovely, and go on quite well for pastels, but I do feel they look best with 3 coats if they're worn on their own. As I was pairing mine with the crackle, however, I just did two coats (plus I was rushing to get out of the house to meet friends - am I the only one whose polish chips just as I'm about to step out the door?!).

So here we go; first up, photos of the Essence polish. You can see a bit of visible nail layer (VNL), but it looks fine worn under the crackle.

Next, I applied a thin layer of the Sally Hansen Distressed Denim crackle over it. I experimented a bit and decided I liked the way the thin layers looked as opposed to the thick layers. I will say the crackle works a bit differently from my OPI shatters, but I quite liked the way it looked anyway! I'd say the crackle has a mind of its own, each finger came out differently although I used the same application technique and relatively same amount with each finger!

Here are the photos:

So what do you think? Would you be keen on trying a coloured crackle polish out? I actually really liked this... I was pleasantly surprised by how well it turned out. When I first opened it, I was taken aback by the tiny brush and relatively runny consistency of the crackle polish, but it applies really well! I finished off the manicure with my OPI top coat and some OPI drip dry drops to help the polish dry quicker. Now, to get my hands on some of the other colours in the range, like fuschia shock and antiqued gold... ;)

Hope you enjoyed the post! It's been two days so far and it's wearing quite well (despite having soaked my hands in lots of water today), with no obvious chipping!

Much love,

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

November I Love This Box Review!

Hello lovelies,

I'm back again, but this will be a quickie post as I'm really tired and battling a bad headache to boot.

So, it was like Christmas coming early today as I received both my Bellabox and my I Love This Box (ILTB)
today! In case you haven't already checked it out, my Bellabox review can be found here.

Now, this is the first ever ILTB sent out here in Australia, and man, does it live up to the hype! I'll be completely honest, I had a few doubts as the company did not disclose where they were based, which brands were specifically associated with them or any other information, but as they seemed really great with customer feedback (answering questions through Facebook and email), and as payment was taken through Paypal, I decided to go ahead with it and boy, was I rewarded!

First of all, I was pleasantly surprised by how heavy the box was when I picked it up...Naturally, I couldn't wait to tear into it, so let's have a look at some photos before we look at the contents. The box arrived in a gorgeous lilac coloured outer box, which you then peel back to reveal the off-white ILTB inside. The first thing that struck me as I opened the box was a gorgeous scent that wafted out as soon as I lifted the lid. I'm not sure if it was due to scented padding paper or merely the box contents, but trust me when I say it just added to the experience.

On to the contents, which are:

Caudalie Paris: Set of 3 facial care samples (moisturiser, anti-wrinkle ultra mourishing cream, and anti-wrinkle ultra serum).

Certified organic by nature, Nvey Eco's Taupe Eyeshadow: a really pretty, shimmery brown (this should look beautiful applied wet and blended with some other neutral shadows I own).

Essie French Affair's Spring 2011 Nail Polish Collection: Topless and Barefoot.

Keratinology by Sunsilk Salon Perfection Hair Collection: Detoxifying Shampoo and Conditioner.

POD - Liquid Tan Gradual Tanning Face Serum

Verdict? Loved it, I think this box was excellent value for money and cannot get past the amazing scent! I can't say I'm a fan of the POD serum and will possibly pass this on to someone else (or do a giveaway here at some point), but otherwise, I quite loved this box! Can't wait to see what they come up with for December!

Much love,

November Bellabox review!

Hello lovelies,

My November Bellabox just arrived today!

I'm completely excited as both the Bellabox and the I Love This Box box (wow, talk about a mouthful) arrived today!

Here's my lunchtime mobile blog post on Bellabox, with the ILTB post to follow in a few hours. As you may know from my previous posts, mobile blog updating sends the photos a bit crazy, so I'll fix it up when I get home tonight.

First of all, I'm conducting a box experiment, I wanted to sign up to all four boxes and compare them this month (November). ILTB and Glossybox are launching their first box in November, so it's always interesting to see how the 'first' boxes compare with the second (Bellabox) or third (LHI) boxes from other brands!

So let's take a look at some photos, the Bellabox (BB) arrived all nicely wrapped up in a bright blue outer box, which you slide open to reveal your brown BB! Inside was a whole bunch of miniature sample goodies. Now let me just confess straight off the bat, I initially wasn't going to sign up for BB, but I happened to see that they had added Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics (OCC) lip tars from a post on their Facebook page, and Omigod I had to sign up quick smart! I love OCC lip tars and have been dying to try them for ages, so it seemed like a great idea to sign up for their Nov box, given their little hints that they might include one!

Now, I'm a happy camper as they DID put one in the box, a bright red! It's not necessarily a colour I would've picked personally, (I do wear red but usually only when I'm going out at night), but it's a great chance to try the product and purchase other colours if I'm happy with it! Also, they included a black Twistband, which I was also contemplating buying from their website, so I was also really thrilled to get one to try! All in all, these two items alone make this box a complete win for me, so all the other samples are really just a plus point!

Calming down from my OCC and twistband high, I manage to settle down enough to have a look at the other items in the box. I'm not as interested in the skincare, for the simple reason that my skin has gone a bit insane lately, so I'm trying to limit my skincare experiments to 'safe' products, but I'm quite keen on trying the generous sample of Orofluido included in the box. I'll update once I've given it a go to let you all know what I think.

The contents are:

Lancome Vissionaire

Erborian - Korean brand trio samples of anti-fatigue and anti-ageing products

Gatineau Melatogenine Force Collagene - Anti-wrinkle performance booster

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics (OCC) Lip Tar - lip colour that combines the longevity of a lipstick with the ease of application of a gloss. (Wooohooo). I got NSFW, a deep red.

Orofluido - luxurious and unusual concoction of Argan Oil, Cyperus Oil and Linseed oil

Twistband - chic Californian brand hair ties that keep hair secure without snagging or leaving creases

VERDICT: I loved this box, but that's because I was pretty eager to try the OCC lip tar and the twistband. :))

Note: You can click on the photo of the box contents card for an in-depth read of what's in the box and where to get it.

Update: Photos all fixed up now! And, I came home and just HAD to try the new lip tar...omigosh, is it pigmented!

I made the mistake of trying to apply it with my finger and I've come to a couple of conclusions:

a) It's SUPER pigmented, seriously, a tiny drop and a lip brush will take you a LONG way.
b) If you have young children who are quite keen on dabbing on your walls with your cosmetic products (or you're just a klutz, like me), you might want to stay away from this product, because it's almost IMPOSSIBLE to get off.
c) I think one tube of this will last you approximately 2 decades, as you only need a tiny pinprick to do your entire mouth...they do feel a teensy bit drying on after a wee while but you can always put a bit of gloss/balm on top to solve the problem.

Here is a photo, I'm sorry for the poor quality but I'm suffering a really bad headache right now and just do not feel very pretty (or photogenic) at all, so I gave up half way! I might post more photos in a day or two. They should show how pigmented and glossy the lip colour is! My verdict? I'm pretty happy but I think I'll need to experiment with more colours, this one is a wee bit too strong for me to use regularly.

OCC Lip Tar: NSFW (seriously, how cute is the name?)

Much love,

Second update (17/11/2011): I am now suffering a mini episode of box envy as I read a few other blogposts and realized the colour of the OCC lip tars differs in each box! And some other bloggers have gotten a Kenzo perfume sample instead of the erborian sample trio! Oh well, I'll just have to buy more lip tars, I guess! ;)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

November Lust Have It Box Review!

Hello lovelies,

Here I am, posting from my iPhone again, so do bear with the inevitable crazy photos until I get home in a few hours and can edit the photos!

First of all, Happy Birthday to me! Yes, it's my birthday today (but please don't ask how old I am) and what better way to celebrate than with the November Lust Have It (LHI) box, which arrived this morning!! In case you aren't familiar with the concept, LHI is a service you subscribe to which sends you 5-6 deluxe samples every month for a flat fee of $15 per month. The benefit is you get deluxe samples of new products to try, even ones that have not officially hit shelves yet! I have been subscribed for three months now, since they launched, so this is the third box I'm receiving.

First of all, have a peek at the photos...

All wrapped up beautifully in black tissue with lots of blue packing paper.

Explanations for each item in the LHI box

L-R: Tresor perfume samples, ROC moisturiser, Nude by Nature lipliner,
Kerastase heat protector sachets and the Hawley buffer.

Now, my impressions. Obviously, as LHI is quite new, they have yet to implement the system of tailoring each box for individual needs/preferences.

As a result, there will be months where you will be much happier with the contents of each box, as compared to other boxes where you may not be as thrilled.

Personally, I like a good mix of samples in each box, i.e. perfumes, nail stuff, makeup, hair care and skin care. Let me explain what's in each box before I go on to give you my impression of this month's box.

The contents are:

ROC: Complete Lift New Technology Daily Moisturiser (there are apparently active ingredients in it so they recommend you use it by the end of December 2011, 3 samples provided).

Nude by Nature: Lip Liner in Chique Natural Mineral Lipliner (with a brush on the end for smoother application).

Lancome: Tresor Midnight Rose perfume samples (2 samples).

Hawley International: Miracle Shine 2 Step Miracle Nail Shiner.

Kerastase: Nectar Thermique heat protectant serum for hair (5 sachets).

Note: You can click on the photos to have a more in-depth read of each item.

My impression? I'm not as keen to try the skin care, my skin has recently broken out for the first time EVER when I tried a new moisturiser two weeks ago, so it's made me a little paranoid about trying anything outside of my daily skincare regime. But it sounds like a good product to try, so if I don't end up using it myself I'll hand it to my mum to try.

As most of you have probably gathered, I'm crazy for anything nail related, so I will probably get some good use out of the nail buffer. I also love nude lip colours, so the lip liner will come in handy as well (never mind that I probably have about 5 nude lip liners already at home). Perfume samples are welcome as I love trying new scents, plus they are very handy for taking on short trips away or carrying in my handbag for quick spritzes on the go. I also love Kerastase products, and I've been thinking of switching my heat protector so I wouldn't mind giving these a try. Kerastase products are quite expensive (although great value as they last F O R E V E R), so it's a great way to try a product and decide if you like it before investing in it.

VERDICT: I liked this box, but I wasn't crazily excited about any of the products in it. I still think it's great value for money, though.

Update: Photos are all fixed up!

Much love,

Sunday, November 6, 2011

NOTD - Jelly Sandwich!

Hello lovelies,

As promised, today I have some swatches to show you, using my new Nyx Glitter Girl polishes...or two of them, at least. I actually tried a whole other look yesterday using Dorothy, only to have my nails smudge terribly when I got in the shower an hour later!

I was terribly disappointed and pretty annoyed as it totally messed up my plans, but oh well...what can you do aside from move on?

So today I got over my disappointment by making a jelly sandwich manicure! Basically I layered Superfunk and Deep Space from the Nyx Glitter Girls range to get this look.

Superfunk is a pretty, violet-coloured glitter suspended in clear polish. The glitter particles vary from small round ones to reasonably large hexagonal particles. As you can see, it looks much better as a topcoat over a base colour.

Nyx Glitter Girls Superfunk

Nyx Glitter Girls Superfunk

Deep Space, on the other hand, is a dark brown jelly polish with tiny microglitter particles. Honestly, I struggled a bit with this one as it goes on really sheer and you probably need three to four coats to get an opaque covering. This is what Deep Space looks like with two coats, applied over a layer of Revlon multi-care base coat. For some reason, my index finger came out a lot more opaque than the others!

Nyx Glitter Girls Deep Space

Nyx Glitter Girls Deep Space

Basically, I added two layers of Super Funk on top of the two layers of Deep Space, and finished with two additional thin layers of Deep Space. Yep, six layers all up, but surprisingly, it dried much better than my failed experiment yesterday! This gave me quite an opaque finish with little glints of violet flashes when the light catches it. I finished it all off with a layer of OPI top coat.

Here's what it looks like finished.

Hope you liked that! I'm quite liking the pretty violet flashes every time I move my fingers...I can't wait to experiment more with these polishes. All in all, I think they apply quite beautifully and dry quite quickly! They're also really great value; at $4 a polish including was a great way to indulge my love for glitter polishes!

Much love,

Monday, October 31, 2011

Nyx Haul!!!


Just a quick update to say my Nyx (and Milani) haul has arrived from Cherry Culture!! Everything arrived beautifully packaged and well padded. Shipping was fairly quick too. I ordered on the 20th of October, it was processed and shipped by the 22nd and I received it today on the 31st! Not too shabby, I'd say!

In light of the recent jelly glitter craze I looked around here in Melbourne but couldn't find anything that met with my requirements so I purchased 6 Nyx glitter girl polishes from Cherry Culture! I also purchased 3 Milani polishes (including a dupe for Deborah Lippman's Happy Birthday multihued glitter polish), 2 Nyx black label lipsticks, 1 Nyx round lipstick,1 Nyx jumbo eye pencil and last but not least, a Nyx jumbo lip pencil. :)

Swatches to come soon but have a look at these to tide you over!

All beautifully wrapped and padded

Heaps of bubble wrap!

All individually wrapped

Milani polishes: Blue Flash, Gems and Purple Gleam

Nyx polishes (L-R): Pink note, Dorothy, Super Funk,
 Frizz Spots, Gilded Glitter, and Deep Space

Nyx Black label lipsticks Summer in Hampton and Diva (L-R),
Round lipstick Fig, Jumbo eye pencil in French Fries,
and Jumbo lip pencil Honey Nectar

Nyx Black label lipsticks Summer in Hampton and Diva (L-R),
 Round lipstick Fig,  Jumbo eye pencil in French Fries,
 and Jumbo lip pencil in Honey Nectar

Much love,

Update: I have just discovered that all the polishes are in perfect condition, except for Gilded Glitter, which is the main reason I put in the order in the first place! The lid is sealed shut and I just can't get it open. This is so disappointing as I'd hate to have to put in a new order just to get my Gilded Glitter! Fingers crossed it all works out!

Second update: I am really disappointed with the Cherry Culture customer service. It took 3 and a half months to sort out ONE faulty bottle of nail polish. They asked me to post it back to them and promised that I would receive store credit for the cost of shipping. I sent them several emails, including proof/receipts of postage, and yet they insisted I would have to wait until they received the product before I could choose several items in lieu of the defective one, and guess what, I received a parcel yesterday with only a single replacement bottle of Gilded Glitter in it. Very, very disappointed that it took 3.5 months to resolve and I wasn't even accredited with the store credit I was promised. I definitely won't be purchasing from them again.
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