Friday, August 31, 2012

Spring EOTD - Yellow, pink and orange!

Hi lovelies,

Would you believe it's almost spring already? I can't believe it's already almost September, how time flies!

To celebrate, I decided to come up with a spring look, featuring only shadows from my Beauty UK Soho Bright palette. Before I proceed further, is anyone interested in swatches of this product? I'm happy to do some up if anyone wants to see. I find the Beauty UK palettes great value, and very pigmented for their price.

On to the look, I used the yellow (which is quite mellow) in the inner corner, orange on the outer corner and pink just above the outer crease. Tried a thick swipe of the Essence gel eyeliner in black and also traced some of the pink using a wet brush on my lower lashline, with Harlotte kohl pencil on my waterline. Finished with Lancome Dolls Eye Mascara.


I hope you liked that, lovelies. Does anyone have any particular colour combinations you'd like me to try doing? I'd love to hear it!

Don't forget to enter my Garnier Giveaway!

Much love,

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Garnier Dark Spot Corrector GIVEAWAY!

Hi lovelies,

I have some exciting news! I wanted to have a giveaway on my blog to celebrate reaching 100 followers, and Garnier has very kindly offered to sponsor the prizes! If you read my previous post on the Garnier event and thought that the Dark Spot Corrector sounded like a product you'd like to try, you're in luck!

There are, not one...not two...not three...but FOUR amazing Garnier prize packs up for grabs! Each pack contains:
  • 1 Garnier Dark Spot Corrector
  • 1 BB cream in Light
  • 1 BB cream in Medium
This competition will run for just over a week, as indicated on the entry form below. Since there are four packs up for grabs, the odds are pretty good, so hop to it! 

Good luck and thank you for supporting my blog!

P.S.- You can tweet once a day for as long as the giveaway is running to increase your chances!

Please note that the winners will be notified by email within 48 hours of the giveaway ending. If the winner does not respond within 24 hours, a new winner will be selected. Mailing addresses must be provided and not postal boxes. If you do not have a mailing address, please do not enter. Addresses will be provided to Garnier, who will be responsible for mailing out the prizes. Please refer to the terms and conditions of this giveaway for more details.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Product Review: Minerallustre All Natural Eye Primer

Hello lovelies!

I'm someone who has problematic skin, and some years ago, I came across an article on the benefits of mineral makeup that convinced me to give it a try. I have since dabbled with quite a few mineral makeup brands and mineral makeup has really helped my skin considerably! As a result, I'm a big fan of mineral makeup and always on the lookout for new products to try.

Two weeks ago, I was given the opportunity to try a mineral eye primer by Minerallustre. It retails for $25 AUD (for a 2g container), and is available from Mineral Makeup Market. As some of you may have noticed, I'm pretty mad for eye makeup and a good eye primer is something I swear by, as it provides a good base for the makeup to adhere to, provides longevity to your finished look and makes colours appear more vibrant.

The Minerallustre eye primer comes packaged in a round, clear, plastic container with a screw top lid, which I think is handy as it allows you to see exactly how much product you have left. The primer itself is quite colourless, and has a semi-solid, almost jelly-like consistency, which I found it a little difficult to work with initially, as I'm more used to creamy primers. As I'm not fond of dipping fingers into a pot, I used an eye makeup brush to 'scoop' a little out and found that it has a tendency to 'pill' or form little balls, which was a little difficult getting accustomed to.  It's one of those primers that feels silky smooth and more like silicone (as opposed to a cream), which is apt as silica is one of the ingredients in this product.

The Minerallustre eye primer.
(You can actually observe the clumping from when
I dipped my brush in. Please pardon the slight
discolouration from product transfer from my brush)

This is what it looks like on skin. This is a great deal more product
than I'd use for normal daily wear though, as you only need a tiny amount.

I actually really liked this eye primer once I got used to it; it blended out effortlessly, and I felt like my shadows applied very smoothly over it. I got about six hours of perfect wear from it before I noticed mild creasing, although my eyeliner/mascara remained perfect until I removed it with no smudging or bleeding observed. It also made my eyeshadows appear more vibrant, as demonstrated in the photo below.

The swatch on the left was made over bare skin while the swatch
on the right was made over the primer.
(both swatches were made with the same amount of shadow and pressure)

Here's a quick review of the pros and cons associated with this primer:

  • Comprising 100% of minerals and organic products, it is less likely to clog pores and would be a great choice for people with sensitive skin.
  • Blends very easily.
  • Quite affordable as it's supposed to last six months with daily use.
  • Packaged in a neat, see-through container so you always know how much product you have left.
  • Keeps eye makeup looking fresh for at least six hours before any creasing is noticeable.
  • Eyeshadow colours appear more vibrant when applied over this primer.

  • I prefer 'squeeze-tube' containers as opposed to a pot that you dip fingers/brushes into as I feel it's more hygienic.
  • It does 'pill' or form little balls when a brush is dipped in so it can be a little hard to get the exact amount you need out. (Again, I feel a different dispenser might work better with this product).
  • If you aren't a fan of products with that silicone feel, this isn't the product for you.

Verdict? I thought this product really lived up to its promise, and would probably repurchase, but the main drawback for me is the container! I do wish it came in a squeeze tube as it would be more hygienic, and easier to dispense the right amount without 'gouging' out chunks every time you dip a brush in! I also wonder if it might dry out after some time, so I'm storing it upside down to prevent it from drying out.

What eye primers have you tried, lovelies? Are there any that you are currently loving?

Much love,

Note: These samples were kindly provided for my consideration. This has not affected my opinion in any way. For more information, please refer to my Disclosure Policy.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Garnier Dark Spot Corrector Blogger Event

Hi lovelies!

I hope everyone has been having an amazing weekend! I've had rather a lovely time so far, with a catch up with the lovely Jasmine from Sweetaholic Beauty on Friday night to complete our long awaited for blog swap (post to follow shortly), followed by a birthday dinner with some close friends at a Lebanese restaurant in Docklands. Yesterday, I had lunch with a friend, picked up three pairs of earrings from Lovisa (they were having a sale, how could I resist?), visited Benefit Brow Bar for some much needed brow waxing and had dinner with the boyfriend. Today, I survived badminton with friends (although my shoes did not) and then we all went out for snacks, coffee and cake (to make up for the calories lost during exercise).

I digress, let's get back to this post, which is about the Garnier Dark Spot Corrector event. A few days ago, I was invited to a Garnier blogger event by the lovely Louisa from Brand Meets Blog. I had some idea about what the event entailed but I was a little nervous not knowing anyone else going to the event. Luckily, Louisa and the gorgeous Garnier marketing team were extremely friendly and wasted no time making me feel welcome. I also bumped into Norlin (from Baubles, Bubbles and Bags) and Kerker (from The Ugly Moments) and recognised them from Twitter! It was such good fun meeting them face to face for the first time after regularly reading their blogs and all our regular Tweeting conversations! Do check them out if you're not already following them!

The lovely ladies Norlin (L) and Kerker (R).

The Garnier team had a very special surprise awaiting our arrival; they had a gorgeous little Dalmation puppy called Bolt there (tying in with the Dark Spot theme), and we all spent a good half hour admiring and playing with him.

Bolt, the Dalmation puppy.

All tuckered out -isn't he adorable?!

After climbing all over everyone and lots of cuddles, he fell asleep on the rug and we all got down to learning about the Dark Spot Corrector.

Listening to the marketing team explain the benefits
 of the Dark Spot Corrector.

Essentially, it's a skincare product that evens skintone, reduces the appearance of dark spots and illuminates skin by giving 24 hour moisturisation. It contains highly concentrated Vitamin C, known for its anti-oxidant and brightening properties. This cream is really lightweight, non-greasy and has a lovely, fresh scent to it as well. It's safe to use all over your body, so you're welcome to slather it on everywhere. It's also a product that can be used by both men and women, so it's something that can be shared with your significant other! I've been trialling it for about three days so far and I'm quite liking it (no breakouts so far, woohoo), but stay tuned for a comprehensive review in about a month.

Click for more details!

The spotlight was also shared with the newly released Garnier BB cream for oily/combination skin. I actually purchased this a couple of weeks ago but I've been trying to ease into wearing it as the original Garnier BB cream broke me out very badly! I will also review this in a few weeks once I've had a chance to give it a proper trial.

The Garnier Dark Spot Corrector and BB cream for oily/combination skin.

The Garnier sleek and shine 72 hour series.
With the lovely Kerker.

A display of gift bags and stuffed toys at the event.

Having a little chat after the event.

At the end of the event, we were all given personalised, lovely goodie bags with a sample of the Garnier Dark Spot Corrector and the new BB cream (in light and medium) to try at home. We also each got an adorable little Dalmation stuffed toy, complete with personalised name tags bearing our blog names! How adorable is it?! I think Louisa and the Garnier team did an excellent job with this!

I was lucky enough to also get a few additional products to try from
the Sleek and Shine range. 

How cute is this personalised stuffed toy?!

All of us bloggers were also on Twitter while attending this event, and we were regularly tweeting with the hashtag #Garnierdarkspot, so do look it up if you're on Twitter and you'd like to know more! I also know that Garnier are having a competition on their website starting Monday the 26th of August for a chance to win 1 of 1000 Dark Spot Correctors, so don't forget to check it out and see if you can score one to try!

Tweeting during the event (#Garnierdarkspot).

I hope you enjoyed my snapshot of the Garnier event. Kerker has also done a great post on this event, which you can check out here. Thank you again to Louisa and Garnier for the invitation!

Much love,

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

NOTD - piCture pOlish Wisteria

Hi lovelies!

A quickie post today to share my new favourite purple shade! It's a lovely purple creme from piCture pOlish, called Wisteria. I'd been lusting after it for a while so when I saw it up for grabs on Beautorium (on Beautyheaven), I couldn't resist!

The formula on this polish is amazing, it's so opaque that it could really be a one-coater, but because I'm a creature of habit, I used two coats of Wisteria over my usual Poshe basecoat before finishing off with Poshe topcoat. The brush is excellent as it was really easy to paint my nails perfectly with a couple of swipes. My only concern is it might get a bit gluggy after some time, but it's nothing a little polish thinner won't fix.

I can't tell you how much I love this shade! I've gotten lots of compliments while wearing it, that's how pretty it is! You know how you might get this perfect shade in your head and then struggle to find a polish to measure up? This is basically one of my perfect shades!

Can't comment much on dry time or tip wear (since I've used Poshe topcoat with it) but I can say that I made it to five days with only minimal wear on the tips, and that was probably due more to the excessive housework I was doing than to the formula of the polish!

Without further ado, let me introduce you to Wisteria...

Under natural daylight.
Under artificial 'white' light.

Under artificial 'white' light.
Under artificial 'white' light.

Under natural daylight.

Under artificial 'day' lighting.

Under artificial 'day' lighting.

Isn't it a gorgeous shade, lovelies? It gives me a little burst of happiness every time I look down and see it! I think it will be simply perfect for summer.

I have a few more polishes to swatch from piCture pOlish so stay tuned (I might have gone a bit overboard and ordered a few more too).

Much love,

Monday, August 20, 2012

EOTD - Attitude Monday.

Hi lovelies!

I'm in a bit of a mood today so I decided my make up had to match. It's also been a while since I did a proper EOTD post, so here's one I have to share with all of you.

Before I go any further, I'm going to apologise for my brows; a few months ago I made my brow artist a promise that I wouldn't touch them in between appointments as I'm trying to grow them out (and it's totally killing me)! My next appointment is this Thursday, I can't wait (so look out for another EOTD then to celebrate, since I'll have properly groomed brows)! :)

This is a shimmery ombre EOTD, with a dark silver in the inner eye (from my 88 palette), graduating to a shimmery grey in the middle (I used Essence Stay All Day Shadow in Rock Chic, with a gunmetal grey from the 88 palette on top) and with a bit of black on the outer corner (from my BeautyUK Day and Night palette), but blended in so it's barely discernible. Finished off with my trusty Maybelline Master Precise liner (!) and Max Factor False Lash Effect waterproof mascara.

Okay, that was a bit picture heavy, sorry!

I'm so glad Monday is it too early to start looking forward to the weekend?

Much love,

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Priceline 7-day challenge.

Hi lovelies!

Things have been a bit quiet on the blogging side as life has just been really busy lately, so I have just been coming home and crashing! I do apologise, hopefully things will quieten down a little from now on, which might leave a bit more time for blogging!

I did, however, see an interesting Instagram challenge posted by Priceline last week, which looked very intriguing! It was a seven day challenge with a different theme for each day. All you had to do was post a photo that reminded you of the theme for that day, and tag Priceline so they could also have a look.

(Taken off the Priceline Instagram feed)

I couldn't resist participating as I'm always on the look out for creative challenges and a week sounded quite manageable. I tried to be as creative as I could be with each theme, so I thought I'd share my photos here with all of you, along with the significance they had for me.

Day 1 - Pink.
I posted a photo of some pink sangria cocktails I had last Monday (while I was on a weekend away with some girlfriends in Port Douglas). It was the last day of our trip, just before we flew home, so we had an indulgent breakfast at a cafe overlooking the sea, with these cocktails to accompany our meal. It was a beautiful, sunny day, as you can see from the photos. There was no filter applied to this photo, the cocktail looks a bit orange as the sun was filtering through the frosted condensation on the glass but it was definitely pink!

Day 2 - Sparkle.
The diamond ring was a birthday gift from my parents a few years ago, and I always wear it on my right hand as it always reminds me of my parents (they live in another country, so I don't get to see them as often as I'd like). The crystal bracelet was blessed by my spiritual guru, so I often wear it to remind me of her (and to remind myself to be as good a person as I can be every single day).

Day 3 - Pout.
I applied my lippy choice of the day (Revlon Lip Butter in Sugar Plum) and kissed a Post-It note for this photo.

Day 4 - Happiness.
This was also taken during my weekend away in Port Douglas. It was truly a perfect moment and I was happy. Blue skies, sea, sand, warm breeze, fantastic company and gorgeous, warm weather. The endorphin rush from jumping around while taking this photo didn't hurt, either!

Day 5 - Sister.
I'm an only child, so this theme was a little tricky...I uploaded a photo taken a couple of years ago, at my birthday party. This is a photo of me with one of my closest friends, we pretty much grew up together and were constantly in and out of each other's houses growing up. When she first moved to Melbourne a few years ago, we even made a pact to catch up at least once a week, regardless of what was happening in our lives.

Day 6 - Love.
This photo was taken on Saturday, and it was a wonderful day. I went on a wine tour with a group of friends to celebrate the birthday of the friend pictured in the photo above. Guaranteed, the weather wasn't the best (it rained!), but lots of wine, a lovely lunch and great company makes up for anything! I took this photo with my significant other; my hand forms half of the heart and his forms the other half.

Day 7 - Haul.
This probably has to be the easiest photo for any beauty blogger to do (which doesn't explain why it's the least creative of the lot). Here's a photo of everything I've picked up over the past week, inclusive of purchases, prizes, freebies etc.

Top to bottom, left to right: Colgate MaxFresh toothpaste (love how minty and fresh it feels), Australis Paparazzi Perfect Blush, Essence eyebrow pencil, Garnier BB cream for oily skin, Mineral Lustre make up (gel eyeliners and eyeshadow primer), Sally Hansen hand cream and nail polish (I won this for my Olympic themed nail art), mineral shadow trios, Picture Polish nail polishes, Becca Eye Tint (freebie with Madison magazine) and funky false lashes I bought for my friend's vineyard tour mentioned above.

That wraps it up, lovelies! It was such a fun challenge to participate in and I also loved looking at entries that my other beauty blogger/Twitter/Instagram buddies came up with!

Are you on Instagram? If so, please feel free to add me at @themadeupmaiden and I will be sure to follow you back!

Much love,

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

What's Your Make Up Style Tag?

Hi lovelies!

I can never resist an interesting tag when I see one, and here's one I saw going around! I think it's a great way to get to know a blogger. :)

1. EEK! You’ve got five minutes to do your makeup for a date. What’s your minimum?
This definitely sounds like me, I'm always running late! I'd brush on some mineral foundation, blush, bronze shadow all over the lid, black pencil liner on upper lash line and finish with a nude/pale pink lipstick. (Trust me, it's doable, I know this from experience).

2. Pick a trend—crazy cat eyeliner, super hot pink blush, or feathered false lashes?
Crazy cat liner for sure! I think hot pink blush would make me look like I had a sunburn and feathered false lashes are so not my thang (except perhaps for a fancy dress party)!

3. If you had to either give up all makeup for two months or give up your skincare for a week, which would you pick?
You know, this strikes me as a bit of a trick question...I count makeup remover as 'skincare', I dare not imagine what my skin would look like after a week of make up and no skincare! Still, since my skin is far from flawless, I'd have to pick going without skincare for a week...I don't think I could sacrifice make up for two whole months!

4. What beauty products are always in your purse?
Lip balm, pressed powder, my Travalo, my Bobbi Brown pot rouge for lips/cheeks (doubles as blush), and about fifteen different lip products I'd have forgotten were in there (I swear, it's like they sneak in there when I'm not looking)!

5. Are there any beauty products that you keep coming back to throughout the years?
Hmm...I can't do without my Youngblood powder foundation (I think I've gone through about 5 loose powder pots now).

6. Smoky eyes or red lips?
I love red lips but can't go past smokey eyes! We all know how much I love playing with eye makeup!

7. Lipstick or lipgloss?
Lipstick for sure! Lipgloss can be too glossy and too sticky sometimes!

8. Are there any products that you never expected to like but ended up loving?
I have to say the Mirenesse Lip Bombs are not something I expected to fall in love with, but they totally rock! I didn't have very high expectations but I ended up falling in love with their consistency, pigmentation and how moisturising they feel!

That's it for me, lovelies! What would your answers be to these questions? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Much love,

Friday, August 10, 2012

My HG Favourites - Edition 1.

Hi lovelies!

Welcome to a post on my 'Holy Grail' (HG) products! I will be doing a series of these periodically to share my list of favourite, tried and trusted products that never fail to live up to my expectations.

As you can imagine, it's not easy for a Beauty Blogger to nominate HG status for anything...with so many new products continually inundating the market, there's always something else coming along that looks more interesting than a product you've been using for a while! However, here are three products that I have been using for a while and would be absolutely lost without.

1. Shu Uemura Fresh Pore Clarifying Cleansing Oil 

(Taken from the Shu Uemura US website)

This bottle of pink goodness is a wonder for so many reasons. It takes everything off (and I mean everything, including waterproof mascara) without the need for scrubbing! All you have to do is pump some into the palm of your hand (I use about a 10c piece amount), massage it over your face in circular motions, dampen your hands and massage your face again to emulsify the oil. Then, all you have to do is rinse off with warm water and you're left with gorgeously clean, smooth skin. You can either do a double cleanse, or follow with a foaming cleanser for a deeper clean. Not only does it work brilliantly, but it also never causes break outs! I was a little worried about using an oil cleanser when I first tried it, as I have combination skin, but it works so beautifully, my skin is actually in much better condition as compared to before I started using it!

Where to buy: You can buy it from StrawberryNET (if you like shopping online) or David Jones (if you like real life shopping). I have found that it's a lot cheaper purchased overseas or from duty-free stores.

2. Poshé Super Fast Drying Topcoat

(Taken from the Poshé website)

At the risk of sounding like a complete nitwit, this product changed my life! I've reviewed it here, so feel free to read the full review if you want all the pertinent details. If you want a summary, this amazing topcoat is the big 3 free (which means free of formaldehyde, toluene and DBP), dries in seconds (I can literally paint my nails and run out of the door without smudges) and provides a shiny, glassy finish! Winner! I find that it also increases the longevity of my poorer quality polishes, and it's great for nail art as you don't have to wait a long time for your base polish to be completely dry before drawing on it. I have heard some users say that Poshé topcoat causes tip shrinkage but I have never had that problem. If you have, try 'wrapping' the topcoat over the tip of your nails. I've recommended Poshé to quite a few people and they've all loved it as well, so that's definitely cemented the HG status!

Where to buy: I bought mine from Crush Cosmetics.

3. 1 Skin Solution Vanilla Lip Balm

(Taken from the 1 Skin Solution website)

Okay, I'll admit it, I'm a lip balm addict and I'm always looking for the next amazing product that will achieve wonders for my chronically dry lips. I was first introduced to this gorgeous lip balm when I received it in my March Lust Have It box, and I've never looked back since! While I do have many other fantastic lip balms, I keep coming back to this as it's just so moisturising and smells fantastic! It has a position of honour next to my bed, and it's what I reach for every night before I go to sleep. It has a lovely, light, vanilla scent, no discernible taste and always leaves my lips feeling well protected after application. And when applied right before bed, I always wake up with soft, supple lips!

Where to buy: Directly from the 1 Skin Solution website!

There you have it, lovelies, my first post on HG products. What do you think of the concept? I do love sharing products that have worked brilliantly for me with others. It's such a wonderful feeling when someone tells you they love a product you/ve recommended.

I do have a second edition post planned for very soon, so please stay tuned!

Much love,
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