Sunday, February 26, 2012

38 degree meltdown and a hen's night!

Hey lovelies!

I hope you're all having a wonderful weekend. The weather has been absolutely crazy in Melbourne this weekend, reaching the top 30's and it's been pretty unbearable! I've been having a quiet weekend, not doing too much, as it's just too hot to do anything. I did have a friend's hen's night last night, which was really nice. It was held in a penthouse apartment in the city, and there were gorgeous views to enjoy as we ate and drank on the balcony. The only downside is it was rather warm, so we were all feeling the heat. Luckily it finally cooled down a bit when the sun set, so we managed to have a nice evening after all!

The theme of the hen's night was 'law and order', but the police theme was reserved for the bridal party, so I dressed in a corset top, black mini skirt and fishnet stockings (although they were a bit more like tights, it was all I could find at the time). And I finished the look off with some high heels.

In anticipation of the heat, I made certain I had on a primer, anything to help my make up stay on! Truthfully, my makeup actually survived the heat, and it looked pretty decent when I got home at 2 am, but the only downside is I have hardly any decent photos! I took some photos with my iphone camera in the car (as I was running a bit late), but the colouring has turned out really funny. I tried playing around a bit with photo editing software but it's not really doing much so I'm just giving up.

For this look, I used:
Face: Smashbox light primer, Harlotte Afterglow foundation, BYS bronzer and Youngblood rice powder to set.
Eyes:  Urban Decay Primer Potion, BYS palette in Metallic Browns, Maybelline Line Stiletto liquid liner, and Benefit They're Real mascara. I also used my Harlotte half lashes.
Cheeks: Youngblood lunar dust in Sunset and I mixed two blushers, Bobbi Brown Sand Pink and Sleek Rose Gold.

That was it! I've attached some photos below, sorry again that the photos didn't really come out too well! :(

On the way, in the car. Sorry it looks so washed out.
With the gorgeous bride to be, I'm wearing her hat.
(This was taken with a proper camera so it's
halfway decent).

At the end of the night, in Silk Road.

Much love,

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Benefit Brow Bar

Hey lovelies,

So I had my first ever appointment today with the Benefit Brow Bar and it was great! I've always wanted to try them, but I kind of thought there wasn't too much they could do with my brows, and also, I was just a bit freaked out at the thought of trying somewhere new in case it all went pear shaped.

I forgot to take a photo of the brow bar, blogger fail!
But here's one from the Benefit website.

I usually go for threading, which is where the stylist shapes your brows and removes unwanted stray hairs using a piece of thread. It's usually got better control than waxing, but for some reason, she messed it up slightly a few months ago and she took too much off my right brow. I've been trying to grow it out but it's really hard because I hate when it gets all in the end, I just decided to give the Brow Bar a shot and see if they could do anything to help.

It was a great experience, I called for an appointment and went to Myer at Chadstone (and as a bonus, I get Myer One points too when I go to the Brow Bar), where I met the gorgeous Benefit brow specialist, Rebecca. She talked me through the process and I signed an agreement indicating that I wasn't using any medications that could affect the process. Then she suggested I tint my brows, which I wouldn't normally do as they're pretty dark already, but I was quite game to try something new, so she put a chocolate brown, vegetable based dye for a couple of minutes. It was actually quite pleasant, it didn't have an overly strong scent and felt quite cool on. Then she had a little consult with me about what I was after, and we decided to just change the shape slightly while we wait for the right brow to grow out.

Rebecca mixing up hair dye, isn't she gorgeous!

Look at all the brushes/mascara wands!

So she did the waxing, plucked out a few strays, trimmed the newly shaped brows a wee bit and we were almost done...She finished by fillling in the brows a bit with Brow Zings (great product, I now need to add that to my wish list), and a bit of face powder to cover the redness and I was done. The whole process only took about 15 minutes or so, I think. :)

I really do like my brows a bit better now and I'll definitely be visiting the Benefit Brow Bar fact, I've pretty much decided to visit every 3 weeks...I like how professional they are and they're extremely friendly and helpful. :)

My 'new' brows!

Have you tried the Benefit Brow Bar before? Are you tempted to now?

Much love,

How often do you clean your brushes?

Hello lovelies,

I think it's time for another little confession from yours truly...I made a little resolution to be a bit better about washing my make up brushes this year, and decided to try washing them every week...and I was doing quite well up until the last week of January, where it all went pear shaped. To be completely honest, I think I probably only use about 6 brushes every single day, and I normally try to give them a swipe with my brush spray every other day, but as I don't feel this cleanses them properly (particularly the kabukis I use to apply my mineral foundation), I decided to try and be more responsible about washing my brushes properly. However, I somehow ended up really busy, and being away for 2 whole weekends, I found my weekdays filled with household chores when I got home from work, which didn't leave much time to fiddle around washing the 15 or so brushes I use most often! As a result, they were starting to look a bit like the image below.

(taken off Google images)

But, the good news is I somehow managed to find time to do it today, as my guilty conscience was totally wearing me down (almost a month without washing my brushes properly, eek), and being the illustrious beauty blogger than I am, I multitasked by doing a deep cleansing treatment and popping on a clay mask on my face while washing my's that for a time saver win!

In case you're wondering, it's really good to keep your brushes clean as it minimises cross contamination, stops bacterial growth and keeps your colours true (because you aren't trying to dab on colour using a brush that's already saturated with product). So in the long run, you'll probably end up using less product too, which is definitely more economically sustainable! 

I usually clean my brushes by leaving them to soak for a couple of minutes in warm soapy water (you can use shampoo or face cleanser), and then I swirl each brush in a dab of shampoo on my palm, using back and forth motions, working up a good lather (the colour of the lather can be quite horrifying, so just prepare yourself for that). Never douse the whole brush head in water as it can cause the glue that holds the bristles together to loosen up, creating excess shedding and ruining the brush head. I then 'swish' the brushes in clean water or run it under the tap for a wee while until the water runs clear. Some people like to add a dab of conditioner to their brushes, I normally don't as I've been using the same brushes for years and find them very soft, but today I treated my kabukis to a tiny dab of conditioner...I'll see how they feel tomorrow when it comes to make up application, at the very least they'll smell gorgeous! :)

I normally squeeze the water out gently with my hands, and then press them between the folds of a clean towel to absorb as much excess moisture as possible, before gently shaping the brushes into the right shape (this is very important for angled/slanted brushes like blush brushes). Try not to wring the water out as that can ruin the brush. I normally finish by just laying mine out on a flat surface overnight to dry. It took me about 20 minutes from start to finish today to wash, condition and blot-dry 15 make up brushes.

How often do you clean your brushes, and how long does it take you? Do you start to get a bit antsy when you know you haven't washed them in a while?

Much love,

February I Love This Box Review!

Hello lovelies!

I'm completely behind on my blogging, I actually received this last week but things have been so crazy, I haven't had time to blog about it! I've been trying to declutter my flat, I haven't been home for the past couple of weekends, so I ended up taking an extra day off to spring clean and also just to catch up on my rest/chores. It was great! I think I should definitely take more 3 day weekends, the only downside is I'm now swamped at work!

So on to the February ILTB, my first impression when I lifted this box, was a bit of surprise at how heavy it was. I was also really impressed to peel back the lid and find some gorgeous red wrapping paper/padding, it was such a lovely touch for the love themed box! Almost all the items in the box were either red/pink, which I think went really well with the whole theme, too. :)

Anyway, without too much ado, here is what I received:

Keratinology overnight treatment (full sized)

Elizabeth Arden Red Door perfume sample (this is a deluxe sample but it's the prettiest I've seen!)

Nail file (with pretty pink hearts on it - full sized)

Rimmel Lasting Finish Kiss and Stay lip gloss in Colours of Love (full sized)

The Aromatherapy Co - Rose and Patchouli Sensual/Soothing Bath and Shower Gel (full sized)

A bag of little red jelly beans

Here are some photos:

Gorgeous red packaging to fit this month's theme.

Everything was packed/padded nicely.

L-R: Rimmel lipgloss, nail file, jelly beans, Red Door sample,
Keratinology overnight treatment and Aromatherapy Co
shower gel.

Click on the photo to see pricing/size details for each item.

With four of the samples being full sized, I think ILTB totally spoilt us this month! I love how beautifully packaged and coordinated this month's samples were in relation to the Valentine Day theme, so once again, I think ILTB have done brilliantly well!

I've heard great things about the Keratinology range, and I've actually been dying to try the shampoo/conditioner I received in my first box, except I have the keratin treatment in my hair and I'm not allowed to use shampoos containing SLS (I have a feeling I'm going to wait a month and then give in, though), so I was happy to receive a Keratinology product I could use now! I was quite happy to receive the overnight treatment as I'm really fond of leave in treatments and will be alternating this one with my Pantene overnight treatment. I've always thought Red Door was a classic, if somehow suited for an older target audience, but I don't mind giving this a shot...who knows, I might find a new favourite! :) The sample is really quite unique as it's got a spray mechanism, so this makes it super handy for travelling with.

As for the Rimmel lip gloss, I'm always happy to receive any makeup product, and I'm especially keen to try this one as it's not available in stores locally. I actually really like the Aromatherapy Co Rose and Patchouli products, I was using their body lotion for a while but unfortunately left it behind the last time I travelled overseas. As we all know, I am a big nail polish fan, and often do my own nails, so a nail file will always come in handy. Particularly a girly, pretty pink file with hearts on it! And last but not least, jelly beans will never go astray!

VERDICT? I loved this box and think it's really great value! I love that ILTB deliver great samples to our door for us to try every month, without any delays/packaging/shipping issues, and there are always some great full sized samples in there! I will use each and every item in here, and I'm even excited to try the ones that I wouldn't normally have picked out for myself (like the lipgloss and the perfume), which is the whole point of subscribing to a sample box, if you ask me! I also love the effort they put into each themed box, and how they tie it all up nicely (like matching all red samples to the inner packaging) really is a lovely touch! I also think that it's great that all subscribers receive the same items, it's a lot fairer that way and so no one has to suffer from 'box envy'.

What did you think of this month's ILTB? Did you like what you got, if you subscribe to it?

Much love,

Friday, February 17, 2012

Lancome GWP

Hey lovelies,

One more quick post, I completely forgot I wanted to share the Lancome gwp that I found out about today.

Spend $70 or more, and receive an eight piece luxury gift, valued at up to $336, exclusively at David Jones.

Your gift contains:

Galateis Douceur Cleanser 50ml
Colour Design lipstick in Vintage Rose
Hypnose Dolls Eye mascara (my current favourite)
7 shade colour design eyeshadow palette
Tresor Eau de Parfum miniature 7.5 ml
Elegant Lancome Cosmetics Case (See photo below)


Plus, personalise your gift with your choice of day cream/serum (photo below).

Will you be getting this GWP? I'm quite tempted to, I wouldn't mind purchasing a Doll's Eye mascara, then I'd have a mini to carry with me on travels/in my handbag. I might have to go to DJ and have a look.

Much love,

Thursday, February 16, 2012

EOTD - Beauty UK Amazon Palette

Hi lovelies, just a quickie post to show you my EOTD using the Amazon palette.

I had a bit of free time tonight and wanted to see how the liner applied...can I just say 'like a dream'? I'm going to love using this palette!

I didn't bother curling my lashes properly, and I did have some mascara on from this morning (damn my stubborn lashes which refuse to hold a curl), so there's a bit of fall out. Also please ignore my brows, I'm trying to grow them out and it's so difficult! I have an appointment with my brow specialist this weekend.

Much love,

February Bellabox Review!

Hello lovelies!

My February Bellabox arrived this morning, which was a great start to the day! Knowing I'm going to receive something like this really gives me a reason to look forward to going to work!

While I really do love Bellabox, I'm a bit frustrated because I'm actually in the same suburb/state as them and yet, I'm always one of the last to receive my Bellabox! How's that for irony?! It makes it a bit hard for me to visit other blogs or their FB wall in case I see a spoiler, but since Bellabox often hand out different contents for each box, there's still always an element of surprise, I suppose! From teaser photos they posted on their Facebook page (see below), I think we subscribers all expected to find at least a couple of items from the photo in our boxes, but as far as I can tell, no one has actually received any of the items pictured! Which is a pity as I quite fancied the Seventh Heaven primer. ;)
[Edit: I've just been told by Bridget from Bellabox that the shadow in the photo below is actually a B by Bloom one, so we all got one! And I've seen someone with a Sanctum product, so they definitely sent some out].

Photo of the teaser box posted on Bellabox's Facebook page.

Anyhow, let's take a look at what I got in this month's box...I received a total of four samples and a full sized product, plus a little Valentine's Day treat, as listed below:

B by Bloom Collecta duo shadow in Blue Mountain (full sized)

Sasy and Savy citrus hand cream sample (although it says citrus on the card, I somehow received a rose sample)

Sparoma shimmer wrap with jasmine

Star & Rose Confetti soap roses

Bloom organic hand and body wash

2 silver/red chocolate hearts from The Chocolate Box

And the photos:

The February box is themed 'A little bit of love'.

Click for more information on prices, etc.

L-R: Bloom hand/body wash, Sparoma body shimmer, Star & Confetti
soap rose, chocolate hearts, B by Bloom eyeshadow duo,
and Sasy and Savy hand cream in rose.

The rose soap.

February Bellabox goodies!

I have to say I really did like this box as I'll be using most of the items in there. B by Bloom is the lower priced range offered by Bloom and carried by stores like Target, Kmart and Big W, and the shadows I've tried have been really smooth and pigmented so I'm quite happy to receive this. I'm also quite happy with the colour choice as I'm currently on a colour kick, as you may have gathered from my last post. I don't mind giving the Sparoma shimmer moisturiser a try the next time I head out, and the pump bottle sample is pretty cute. As for the Star & Rose soap rose, it does smell quite lovely, although I think it's also quite fragile as mine is practically falling apart. It'll be fun to play with, though I don't see it as being particularly travel friendly.

I actually already have a sample of the Sasy and Savy hand cream in rose (which I received in my February LHI box), and I would've liked to try the citrus scented version, as I love citrus scents, but I can only conclude that this was a misprint on the card (?). Either way, it's a really good hand cream and the tiny sample will come in handy as I can pop it in a clutch purse the next time I head out. The only item I wasn't as keen on is the Bloom organic hand and body wash. I know some people love it but I am just not a huge fan of the scent, so I'll probably hand this to someone who will appreciate it more. Oh, and the chocolate hearts were delish, I've already eaten one. ;)

VERDICT? I liked this box a lot. While I wasn't completely in love with it, I think it was definitely great value for money. I'm quite keen to try the soap roses and the shimmer wrap, and I know I'll get good use out of the hand cream and the eyeshadow.

What did you think of the February Bellabox? Were you madly in love with what you got or were you a bit disappointed?

Much love,

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Oops, I hauled again...

Hello lovelies,

Just a quick little post to show you all my haul which arrived yesterday! A week ago I was stalking visiting one of my favourite nail bloggers, More Nail Polish, and I noticed she had some gorgeous franken polishes for sale! So I sent her an email and asked if I could purchase two shades, and she threw in an extra mini bottle of the third shade for free when she mailed them to me! What a sweetheart! I completely love these polishes (I'm wearing one as I type this) and I'll be showing all of you how gorgeous they are in a post very soon (as soon as I can get some decent photos in daylight).

So I received three polishes from her yesterday, and also my shipment from Crush Cosmetics! I have been looking for some really colourful eyeshadows, and the Beauty UK ones caught my eye as they were really affordable (at $8 each, win!). I also wanted to buy a couple of blushes so I put them all in the same order and Crush threw in an additional liner/shadow palette for free! Very, very happy with customer service, it all arrived within 2 days of ordering and I only paid $9.20 for express shipping. Plus, the shadow/liner palette isn't even on sale yet!

Let's have a look at some photos!

The polishes arrived in perfect condition, wrapped in lots of bubble wrap!
(Thank you so much, Kathy, I love them!)

Crush Cosmetics shipment 

Wrapped well in bubble wrap with foam beads for extra padding.

The complete haul! L-R: Nyx bronzer/blush combo in Sunrise in Bali,
Beauty UK shadow/liner palette in Amazon, Sleek blush in rose gold,
Beauty UK palette #6 in Soho Bright and Beauty UK palette #2 in
Day and Night.

Nyx bronzer/blush combo in Sunrise in Bali on the left,
 Sleek blush in rose gold on the right.

Top left: Day and Night, top right: Soho Bright,
Bottom: Amazon palette.

I've already tried both blushers and they are gorgeous...the casing for the Sleek blush is beautiful, it's luxe and really, well, sleek! The only downside is it is slightly hard to open so you have to be careful not to break a nail. The Nyx bronzer is really sheer, which is surprising, but goes on very smoothly and the blush is simply gorgeous on!

I had a bit of a play around with the pinks from the Day and Night palette and thought I'd share this look. The pastel pink is quite pale and isn't very pigmented, so I applied it using a wet brush. The darker pink is really pretty and very pigmented, and it applies like a dream!

Apologies for the photo quality, I had to use flash as the lighting in my flat is terrible, and my skin looks really sallow and very shiny! I assure you it's not what it looks like normally!

With flash.

With flash.
With flash.

Without flash, just to prove I wasn't shiny and yellow, lol.

Without flash.

There you have it! The palettes are excellent value and I'm so happy I bought them. Have you tried Beauty UK before? Are you going to?

Much love,

NOTD - Hearts, chocolates and flowers.

Hello lovelies!

Happy Valentine's Day to all of you gorgeous people! I actually wrote this yesterday but then there was a bit of a hiccup and so I couldn't share it till today! :(

Oh well, better late than never!

In my book, V-Day isn't just about 'couples' but it's a chance to celebrate love in all forms, be it friendship, family ties or your love for your partner! And yes, I firmly believe that love should be something that is celebrated every single day, but since we all know how easy it is to take your most loved ones for granted, I don't think it hurts to have one day a year where you go out of your way to do something a little thoughtful or meaningful to show you care. :)

If you're single, I think it's the perfect chance to splurge a bit and spoil yourself! Because you deserve it, you gorgeous thing, and who can be more important than you are! I treated myself to some new, colourful, make up, which I'll be posting photos of soon.

I just wanted to put up a quick little post of my Valentine's day manicure. I do apologise for the messiness/photo quality, I started doing it last night and for some reason it was just one of those nights where nothing goes right! This is what I ended up with, and I was so exhausted after doing my polish over twice that I just decided this would have to do! I used Inglot pink polish in #167, it's a soft pink but for some reason is coming through almost nude in the photos. I wanted something a bit more subtle as I'd be at work all day, so this is what I went with.

Lastly, the boy managed to surprise me with a gorgeous chocolate bouquet, so I'll just leave you with a photo of it! It's so cute and was such a wonderful surprise having it show up at work! It's made with 22 Belgian milk chocolate hearts, some of which I shared with the lovely ladies at work. He also surprised me with a cute little necklace with a really bling pendant! So sweet of him, it was such a lovely effort!

Anyhow, regardless of how you choose to celebrate it, I hope you had a wonderful day! Do let me know what you did, and if anything special happened! ;)

Much love,

Sunday, February 12, 2012

February Lust Have It Box Review!

Hi lovelies,

This won't be as long a review as I'd like, because I'm beyond exhausted. I've been away all weekend at my company annual technical seminar in Sydney. We're literally rushed up there on Friday night, given activities/presentations ALL day on Saturday, given an hour off to prepare for dinner (which is a ten-fifteen minute walk from where we stay), and then repeat it all again on Sunday before being rushed back to Melbourne in the evening. Spending all weekend with a bunch of engineers, scientists and geologists is always interesting...but I'm completely tuckered out from lack of sleep so I'm actually planning on hitting the sack soon.

I just wanted to share my February Lust Have It box with you. It arrived on Thursday last week but I just didn't have time to blog as I had to pack for the weekend trip away. We didn't receive a box last month as the folks at LHI decided to take a break to improve their service, so this is the first box for 2012.

First, let's take a quick look at some photos.

The design has changed slightly, it never used to have a butterfly before.

(Click to read the itemised listings and pricing of each item.)

Skincare tips for each age group.

L-R: Taut collagen mask, Davroe lemongrass detangler, Lush sugar scrub,
Rose Lavender hand and nail repair cream, and Lancome
Juicy Tube lip gloss.

Close up of the sugar scrub, lipgloss and nail cream.

Collagen mask and the detangling spray.

As you can see from the photos, I received a Lancome juicy tube lipgloss (no idea what colour this is as there isn't a name, but everyone seems to have gotten the same shade, so at least you won't be envious of anyone else's colour), a Davroe detangling spray, a tiny sample of hand cream from Rose Lavender, a Lush sugar scrub and a Taut Collagen mask.

Lancome were one of the first brands to come up with decent glosses and the Juicy Tubes gained quite a cult following, however, they have sort of lost some of the appeal in the past few years. While I've used it in the past, I haven't used it recently so it will be interesting to see how it compares. As for the Collagen mask, I actually already have a sample of this as I won one of a little quiz that LHI did on their FB page a few months ago, which I have yet to use! I really need to start using some of my products! I'm looking forward to giving myself a pamper evening someday this week, and I'll be using this to see if it really does make me feel any different.

The hand cream is the only product I've tried from the box thus far, and I quite like the scent (although I wasn't expecting to as I'm not a huge fan of rose products), but it's such a tiny sample! Still, I love hand cream so it's a good size to pop in my handbag or in a clutch purse. It really sinks into your skin beautifully, so your hands feel wonderfully moisturised without a greasy or heavy feel afterwards. The scent is also quite lovely as it's not too overpowering. I'm quite glad I put this on before I went to bed, I feel more relaxed now!

I think the item I'm most excited about is the detangling spray, I've been seriously considering getting one lately so this will give me a chance to see if I actually need one. I've heard good things about Davroe but never tried their products, so this sample arrived at a good time! As for the sugar scrub, I might give it a go one of these days when I have a bit of time free.

VERDICT? I liked this box, although I wasn't hugely excited by it. The only thing I'm truly excited about trying is the detangler, but I will get some decent use out of every other item in this book so it's terrific value. I do wish that the LHI boxes came with slightly nicer packaging, it seems very lackluster after all the beautiful boxes we receive from the other companies. I will admit that I'd rather decent contents in an uninspiring box compared to a gorgeous box with lackluster contents, but I do think packaging adds to the whole experience and something about the LHI packaging is leaving me feeling a bit flat.

I've decided to drop a couple of boxes this month, as it will give me a chance to use the samples I have been collecting, and also because I'm starting to get box boredom. The only problem will be deciding which ones to keep, as it's so hard to pick between the different brands! I like them all for these reasons:

Lust Have It - Arrives promptly every month without any drama, and every subscriber receives the same items so no one is subjected to box envy. Not sure about their customer service as I've never had to contact them! Only problem is I'm not as crazy over the brands as I am over some of the brands other boxes offer, so I've had mixed feelings over some of the items I've received from LHI.

I Love This Box - FANTASTIC customer service, great value in each box thus far, great packaging and the boxes have been really fun, I've loved the items from each box I've received thus far.

Bellabox - Also great customer service, great value in each box (I have LOVED at least one item from each box this far), but I was a bit disappointed in the last box. I like but don't love the brands associated with them.

Glossybox - Oh, where do I begin...consistently problematic EVERY SINGLE MONTH, with atrocious customer service, although this has improved a great deal in the past one month. All the same, I have had trouble with each box I've received, and have yet to receive my February box or tracking notice despite others having received theirs days ago. Also very disappointed because everyone seems to receive different items, so there is unfair loading with some people getting fabulous boxes and others receiving crappy items. I love the brands associated with them but shoddy service is really going to sway me away from continuing my subscription. My February box is definitely going to be the deciding factor with this subscription.

I'm going to make my decision after I receive all my boxes for the month, so stay tuned to see what I finally decide to do.

What did you think of the box? Would you choose a box based on loyalty or based on the brands it's associated with?

Much love,

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