Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Peacock Themed Makeup Look.

Hello lovelies,

Happy Hump Day! Gee, this week is flying by!

This is going to be a short and sweet post as I'm quite exhausted, so I won't go into too much detail. I did this quick and easy look for the weekly makeup tag over at Aqeela's blog, but I was short of time (and energy) so I couldn't put in as much effort as I'd have liked.

It's a little more vivid in real life but the camera is washing out the colours a little. I think I used about 6 different shades to create this look but it's not really very noticeable! I tried to freehand a little peacock feather eye in the outer corner of each eye but I don't think it turned out too well, lesson learnt for next time! I also just realised I don't have a deep blue eyeshadow, perhaps that's a good reason to go shopping?


I will have to love you and leave you now, as this beauty blogger is desperate for some beauty sleep! Don't forget to visit Aqeela's blog and check out the other makeup looks!

I hope you enjoyed that, lovelies! If there's any particular shadow colour combination you'd like to see, I'd love to hear it; just leave me a note in the comments and I'll see what I can do!

Much love,

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Product Review and Tutorial: BYS Glitter Dust Kit.

Hi lovelies!

Happy Tuesday! Today, I'm bringing you a hot-off-the-press new release from BYS, the BYS Glitter Dust Kit! Now, as I've said many a time before (click here to check out my review of their magnetic polishes and here for the review on graffiti polishes), I absolutely adore BYS because they have some great products at very affordable prices, and this product is no different. I received Eat My Cosmic Dust (black) and Feeling the Spark-le (purple).

New BYS Glitter Dust Kits.

Each kit comes with three items; a little pot containing coloured glitter, a nail polish in a complementary shade and a little brush to dust off excess glitter.

BYS Glitter Dust Kits.
Eat My Cosmic Dust (left) and Feeling the Spark-le (right).

It's very straightforward, all you have to do is follow the steps outlined below!

1) Prep your nails with a good base coat, then paint them with a single coat of the colour included in your kit. This is the purple polish from the Feeling the Spark-le set.

BYS Feeling The Spark-le.

2) Once you've completed your first coat, lay your glitter pot on a flat surface. Working nail by nail, paint on the second coat and immediately press your nail into the pot (doing this while the polish is wet helps the glitter adhere to the polish). I find that a gentle 'rolling' motion works best!

Press the wet polish into the glitter pot.

3) Wait a few seconds, then gently brush off the excess glitter from your cuticles and your nail using the brush provided; try to sweep it back into the pot so you minimize glitter wastage, which also minimizes on the clean up (I'm all about multi-tasking)!

Brush off the excess glitter.

4) Working quickly, repeat Steps 2-3 for the remaining nails, and voila, you're done!

Feeling The Spark-le (in sunlight).

In shade.

Eat My Cosmic Dust is also a gorgeous combination.

BYS Eat My Cosmic Dust.

In daylight.

In shade.

Blurred out to try and capture the sparkle.

I thought it would be pretty to combine the two, so I thought I'd try an accent nail manicure. I applied the black glitter from Eat My Cosmic Dust over the purple polish from Feeling The Spark-le.

Glitter accent nail manicure.

Additional tips, tricks and information:
  • The polishes that are provided with each kit are quite good quality. I love the purple polish (and would definitely wear it on its own), while the black is really opaque.
  • You can actually get a similar effect by painting your nails with topcoat, and then pressing it into your glitter pot.
  • The glitter pot is surprisingly soft! I was expecting chunky glitter particles but this really is a dust in terms of consistency.
  • I would advise checking the mini brush before using it, there was a bit of shedding with mine and you wouldn't want to have stray hairs stuck along with your glitter!
  • The end result is quite coarse in texture, which is quite unique. You can put topcoat over it but I find that it gives the manicure a rather matte, dull look, which isn't as pretty. It might protect your glitter a bit more though!

Topcoat applied over the glitter.

  • The glitter was surprisingly easy to remove. If you're struggling, paint on a thick layer of polish over the top, grab some acetone polish remover, press for a few seconds and then gently wipe it off. 
  • You don't actually need to use a complementary shade underneath the glitter as it barely shows through, but it does look better if you mess up your glitter application.
  • The BYS Glitter Dust kits are available in ten shades (black, pink, yellow, silver, white, purple, blue, dark blue, white-gold and green), and retail at $7.95. You can purchase them from BYS stockists like Kmart, discount stores or from Fashion Addict.
The overall effect, while not subtle, is gorgeous! I wish I could show you just how sparkly it is but my camera was struggling to capture it! I'm considering buying a few of the other shades, like Blizzard in Banff (white). Aren't the names adorable?

What do you think of these kits, lovelies? Love it, or leave it?

Much love,

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

P.S. - Don't forget to enter my Illamasqua giveaway! All you have to do is leave an interesting comment and you could win a pack worth $50! Click here to enter.

Friday, February 22, 2013

February 2013 Lust Have It Review.

Hello lovelies!

My February LHI box just arrived, and so, I thought I should get started on the review! Apologies in advance for the photographs, they always go a bit wonky when I update from the iPad (I'll fix them up when I get home later). Now, if you've been following me for a while, you're probably wondering where the December and January reviews are...well, I'm a bit behind as I only just got back this week, so I will probably do mini-reviews of them a bit later (please stay tuned)!

All subscribers received a newsletter a few days ago indicating that our boxes had been dispatched, but as this Valentine's Day box had 3 full sized products in it, it was found to be too big/heavy to fit into the new collectible packaging, and had to be sent in a simple white box. One sample was also left out and would be sent in next month's box instead. While it was nice of them to let us know, I actually had an item each missing from the Dec AND Jan boxes respectively! I emailed customer service and Jo was kind enough to reply stating that it would be sent to me in the next few days (so stay tuned).

Here's what I found in my February box:

Summer Tan by Mancine - Self Action Tan in Dark (full sized)

Styli-Style L3 Timeless Lipstick (full sized)

The Natural Source Camouflage Colour Nail Lacquers (full sized)

Lon Vitalite C9 Moisturising Hand Mask (1 pair)

The missing item was the Bioderma Atoderm Cream.

Now, on to the photos:

So what did I think of this month's box? Frankly, I'm a bit disappointed. I really can't use yet another tanning product, particularly when my profile already indicates that I have medium to dark skin. The long wear lipstick would have interested me if it weren't for the fact that it's really pale and will probably make me look dead. As you can see on the photo below, I've swatched it on my hand and think it would look better on fairer skin, I think a slightly deeper colour would have been more versatile and suited more skintones than this one.

I would ordinarily have been excited about the nail lacquer, as I haven't heard of this brand, particularly as it's supposed to be free of nasties, but the muddy shade is definitely not something that would look good on my skintone. The only product that I would be happy to try is the moisturising hand mask.

Now, I realise that the shades are a bit of a 'lucky dip' and ordinarily, wouldn't be too bothered, but the shades I received in my December and January LHI boxes have all been earthy brown/red-brown tones, and three similar ones in a row is a bit much to take! While I pride myself on wearing most shades and always being happy to experiment, it's a little disappointing when three boxes in a row have dull shades.

Verdict? I'm not very happy with this month's box, and I find it a bit disappointing. I have actually been contemplating dropping my subscription as I'm overrun with samples at the moment, and storage is rapidly becoming an issue. While I do love LHI on the whole, this month's box isn't doing much to sway my thought processes on dropping my subscription.

What did you think, lovelies? Did you get a different box? Were you happy with yours?

I'm actually happy to give the tanning product away to a new home (if anyone is willing to pay for postage).

Much love,

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Illamasqua Beauty School Drop-In Sessions & Giveaway!

Hello lovelies,

Love makeup? Love picking up tips and tricks from the experts? Fancy winning yourself a gorgeous Illamasqua pack worth $50? If you answered yes to these questions, then read on, because I have some great news for you!

Illamasqua, a brand that I absolutely adore for a variety of reasons (among which are their artistic and innovative makeup campaigns, friendly salespeople, high quality products and petition for a fair beauty price) are holding Beauty School Drop-In (BSDI) sessions all over Australia. Each session runs for about 15 minutes and will be conducted by experienced makeup artists, during which you will be taught a variety of techniques on how to achieve everything from flawless skin to a jaw-dropping smoky eye!

The best part? It's completely free-of-charge! Yes, you heard me right, beauties, each BSDI session is completely free, so you are welcome to attend, have a chat with the lovely makeup artists and experiment with new products, at absolutely no cost to you (beyond the price of a train/tram ticket, that is)!

Sessions begin at 11.30 am and run until approximately 3.30 pm, with locations and dates as specified below. It's best to contact your preferred Illamasqua counter to confirm class schedules before dropping in!

  • Saturday February 23rd - BSDI MELBOURNE - Mikele Simone, Frances Cutri and Rebecca Romanin. (03) 9661 1270
  • Friday March 22nd - BSDI BRISBANE - Mikele Simone, Frances Cutri. (07) 3232 0121
  • Saturday March 23rd - BSDI SYDNEY - Mikele Simone, Frances Cutri. (02) 9238 9111
  • Thursday March 28th - BSDI CHADSTONE - Mikele Simone, Rebecca Romanin. (03) 9567 6211
  • Saturday March 30th - BSDI MELBOURNE - Mikele Simone, Rebecca Romanin. (03) 9661 1270

Tell me, beauties, doesn't this sound fantastic? I know I'm definitely going to be checking this out, I thoroughly enjoyed my experience of an Illamasqua make-over (read about it here) and I can't wait to pick up more expert tips!

Oh, and last but not least, as if Illamasqua weren't fantastic enough, they have generously provided me with a gorgeous Illamasqua pack worth $50 to give away to one of my lovely readers! To win, all you have to do is tell me which Illamasqua campaign has been your favourite, and why, in under 25 words or under (believe me, I will be counting)! The most creative answer wins!!! One entry per person and you must be a follower of my blog. This competition is only open to Australian readers, and closes at 12pm on Sunday, 3rd March 2013.

Much love,

EDIT: Please note, this giveaway is now closed.

After much deliberation (it really wasn't easy, I had to rope in my bestie to help me decide...I wanted to give a prize to each one of you!!), I have picked Kristine Simmonds as the winner! Congratulations, Kristine! If you didn't win, please don't despair, I will be running more giveaways in the future so do keep your eye out! 

Please note that the winner 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. A legitimate mailing address must be provided and not postal boxes. If you do not have a mailing address, please do not enter. The address will be provided to the promoter, who will be responsible for mailing out the prize pack. The Made Up Maiden Blog is in no way responsible for mailing out the prize or for damages sustained in transit.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Shoes, shoes and more shoes!

Hello lovelies, my name is Nalini...and I am a shoe addict....!!!

Well, I'm joking, but I do think it's time to take a break from beauty blogging and introduce you to a fashion post instead! I just got back to Melbourne and I've been really busy all weekend tidying up my flat, washing the car, getting groceries, unpacking and cooking, so I'm going to leave you with this post which I prepared in KL. As promised, here is the shoe haul post I mentioned in an earlier post!

I admit I may have gone a wee bit overboard, but in my defense, shoes are a lot cheaper in KL than they are in Melbourne, and also, I needed some to wear around in KL, as I neglected to pack enough options! I also think that I bought four of these on my first day out after almost 3 weeks of being house-bound, recovering from surgery, so I may have gone a bit stir crazy as I purchased them in the duration of about 1 hour (that has to be some kind of record for me).

Before I go any further, I'll just apologize for the quality of my photographs, as I had no idea how hard it was to take pretty photos of shoes! I tried to take photos modelling the shoes but after contorting myself into various, uncomfortable positions...I gave up.

First off, we have a pair of black, 3.5 inch heels, which I've already worn quite a few times. They are perfect for wearing shopping, or when going out to dinner/drinks.


Next, we have a pair of off-white wedged flip-flops, these are about 2.5 inches and quite comfortable for running errands in. I really do like the pattern on the inner sole! I've been wearing this out a fair bit too.



We then move on to one of my favourite heels in this lot. A pair of strappy forest green/brown heeled sandals, with a pale gold stiletto heel. These are about 4 inches in height, but there's a bit of extra support thanks to the elastic ankle strap. Perfect for wearing out to drinks/dinner!

Next up, a pair of nude, high heeled pumps with metallic toes. These are all the rage now, and I have to confess I've been wanting a pair of nude heels for a while, so I jumped at the chance to pick these up while on sale. They are about 3 inches in height, so I'll probably wear them to work or out with friends.

Then, we have a pair of beige/metallic strappy sandals. These have a pale gold, metallic stiletto heel, or approximately 3 inches in height. The heel of the sandals zip up so it fits snugly on your feet. I'm hoping it's going to be comfortable to wear, I got these on sale.

Last but not least, a pair of insanely high (for me, anyway) black, diamante-encrusted platform heels. Truth be told, I'm not sure if I can actually wear these for long, they're quite high (I think it's about 4.5 inches). I bought these because they are a bit different, and also because they are very affordable compared to what I'd pay in Melbourne. I think they would look lovely when paired with a simple, all black outfit or little black dress.


There you have it, lovelies, that's my shoe haul from KL! I actually also bought a pair of black ballet flats and a pair of plain slippers for running errands with, but they're not very exciting so I'm not going to include them in this post.

I hope you enjoyed my haul post, are you as addicted to shoes as I am? While I love everything I picked up thus far, I think my favorites have to be the forest green pair and the black/diamante heels! Now, to practice walking in them...

Much love,

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Valentine's Day Makeup Look and tutorial - Soft Romance.

Hi lovelies,

Valentine's Day is almost upon us, how time is flying! I had wanted to share a makeup look for Valentine's Day (after doing a Valentine's Day nail look, which you can check out here) but I've been rather pressed for time as I'm leaving for Melbourne on Friday and have last minute errands to run. In addition, my camera has chucked a hissy fit and refuses to take decent photos...I've tried all sorts of lighting and it never quite works out, so I've decided to postpone doing more eye close ups until I'm back in Melbourne!

Anyway, I know that Valentine's Day falls on a Thursday this week, and chances are that most of us would be at work/school/university...and hence, I thought a simple, romantic look would be welcome.

Here are the products I used in this look.

  1. Youngblood mineral powder foundation in Toffee, buffed in with a kabuki brush.
  2. Inglot bronzer in M41 to contour, applied with a bronzing brush.

  1. I applied a soft wash of pink shadow all over the mobile lid, up to the crease line.
  2. I then shaded the crease with some deep brown shadow. and blended it out with a fluffy brush.
  3. I used the same brown shadow in Step 2 to fill in my brows, using an angled brush.
  4. Used Majorca Majolica liquid eyeliner, which is a shimmery, red-brown (which appears more brown-black).
  5. Finished with Maybelline The Falsies waterproof mascara after curling my lashes with a curler.
  1. I applied a layer of Maybelline Babylips lip balm to condition them, then blotted them to remove excess product.
  2. I then applied Nyx cream blush stick in Tea Rose as a lip color.

Nyx cream blush stick in Tea Rose, blended out with my fingertips.

That's my simple, soft romantic look for Valentine's Day! As some of you know, I often participate in a weekly makeup tag over at Aqeela's blog, but I took a bit of a hiatus while I was recovering. I'm quite thrilled to have participated this week so be sure to check out the other gorgeous looks by clicking here.

What will you be doing for Valentine's Day, lovelies? Any special plans? I won't be up to much as I'll be packing for my trip back to Melbourne on Friday!

Have a wonderful Valentine's Day!

Much love,

Monday, February 11, 2013

A Step-By-Step Tutorial/Beginners Guide to Konad Stamping.

Hi lovelies!

Thank you all for your compliments on my first attempt at a Konadicure (Konad stamping)! There were so many questions and comments about the stamping method that I thought I'd attempt to put together a beginners guide to stamping, together with photos.

For those who haven't heard of Konad before, it is a brand that revolutionized easy nail art by allowing for imprinting of pre-designed images on nails. There have been many offshoot/knock-off brands but most are said not to be as good as the original Konad ones. Do keep in mind that I'm only a beginner myself, but I thought this tutorial might help others who are interested in picking it up, or who are also new to Konad stamping.

As I mentioned before, I'd been wanting to get into it for a while but wasn't sure where to purchase from. As a result, I was quite interested when I came across an ICNA (International Creative Nail Art) stall at last year's Royal Melbourne Show. ICNA are the importers and main distributors of Konad sets in Australia, and are therefore a legitimate source of original Konad supplies/accessories.

The kit I picked up is called the Royal Australia Gold Set, and contains six Konad polishes (white, black, gold, blue, green and red), the double ended stamper, a polish pen to clean up cuticles, a metal scraper and three stamping plates (M4. M57 & A1).

To begin, you will need to get the following items ready:
  • Basecoat (I used Poshe)
  • Your chosen base polish color (I used Revlon Iced Spice)
  • Topcoat (a quick dry one is best, I used Poshe)
  • Cotton pads/balls and cotton buds
  • Nail polish remover
  • A nail buffer.
  • Old newspaper (to act as a work surface).

Items needed for successful Konadicure!

You will also need a Konad stamping plate, stamper, and a metal scraper.

L-R: Konad black polish, design plate M4 and scraper.

Cover your workspace with newspaper before beginning so you don't make a mess. Also soak some cotton pads/balls in polish remover for later use so you don't accidentally ruin your manicure while stamping.

Choose your stamping plate and lay it down over newspaper. If the front of the plate (the metal surface), is covered with a plastic strip protecting the designs, make sure you remove it. There is a paper backing on the underside of the plates, leave that on as it prevents the plates from being too sharp to handle (I accidentally almost pulled mine off - lesson learned).

Step 1.

Paint your nails as you ordinarily would, finishing with a quick dry topcoat like Poshe or Seche Vite. Your manicure needs to be completely touch-dry before you begin stamping or you will ruin it and need to start over, so quick dry topcoats will help harden your polish and act as barrier when stamping (more on that later).

My chosen base shade, Revlon Iced Spice.

 Step 2.

Choose a Konad polish, and apply it to your chosen image on the stamping plate. Make sure that the entire design is completely covered with polish. You shouldn't have to apply too much, a few brushstrokes should suffice.

Apply Konad polish to the design.

Cover the design with adequate polish. Make sure no polish
gets on the adjacent designs.

Step 3.

Grab your scraper, and holding it at a 45 degree angle, firmly pull the scraper over the design and off the plate to remove excess polish. You should be left with a clean design. If you apply too much pressure, you'll pull some of the polish out of the design, but if you apply too little, you won't be able to get a clean design for stamping. Work fast or the polish will dry up, making it hard to transfer to your nail.

Scrape at a 45 degree angle to remove excess polish.

The plate should look like this after you have scraped off the
excess polish.

Step 4.

Once you've completed Step 3, grab your stamper and gently roll it over the design in a back and forth motion, to pick up the pattern. If you are having difficulty picking up the design, grab a nail buffer and gently buff the surface a couple of times, before trying again. Roughing it up makes it much easier for the imprinted polish to adhere to the rubber surface of the stamper. If you have trouble picking up the entire design, just wipe it off the stamper with a cotton pad dipped in polish remover and start over again.

Pressing the design onto the stamper.

Step 5.

Once you have the design safely on your stamper, it should look something like this. If you get a bit of transfer, as noticed at the bottom of the stamper, just tidy up with some polish remover on a cotton bud before stamping on your nail.

What a clean design transfer should look like.

Apply it to your nail surface with a gentle, rolling motion, similar to the one you used in Step 4 to pick up the design from the plate. The small patterns are easier to do than the full nail patterns as there's less room for error.

Stamping the first finger!

If some of the stamped polish gets on your cuticle, don't worry about it, as we'll be cleaning up in later steps. If you find that some of the stamped design doesn't lie flat on your nail, gently press down with your fingertip to smooth it down.

If you make a mistake, don't worry. Gently pass a cotton pad dipped in remover over the nail surface. The stamped design always comes off very quickly and easily, so if you applied topcoat in Step 1, you will find that you can clean up a mistake without ruining your base manicure.

Step 6.

Now that you've done one nail and are ready to move on to the next, make sure you clean the scraper, stamp plate and the surface of the stamper so there is no transfer between nails. Always start with a fresh set (i.e. fill the design, scrape it, stamp it and then transfer it to your nail) with each nail, or you will have difficulties getting a clean design each time. Once you're more experienced with stamping, you can cut a few corners, but for now, it's best not to skimp on effort!

Clean the stamp plate before moving on to the next nail.

Clean the residue off the scraper.

Clean the residue off the stamper.
Step 7.

Once you've stamped all your nails, you should have something that looks like this.

My mixed design Konadicure!

It's now time to protect your stamped polish with a layer of topcoat. I waited about 10 minutes after applying my Poshe topcoat and I still had a bit of smudging with the stamped polish (boo!). Oddly enough, I didn't have this problem when working with my Valentine's Day manicure, so it could just be the consistency of the black Konad polish or perhaps the design used for this tutorial.

I think it's best to apply topcoat before cleaning up (step 8), as the topcoat acts as a barrier that prevents you from accidentally removing too much while cleaning your cuticles.

Step 8.

Last but not least, it's time to tidy up your manicure. If you have the polish remover pen that came with the set, use that, otherwise, a cotton bud dipped in polish remover works just as well!

This is what I ended up with when I finished this tutorial.

Once you've completed the steps outlined above, you're done! Sit back and enjoy your beautiful new manicure.

In shade.

In sunlight.

In daylight.

Further tips and information:

  • It's best to use Konad polishes when stamping as they are have thicker viscosity, higher opacity and are better for transferring from design plate to nail surface. You can also use normal polish but you might have to experiment a little to ensure they stamp well. Old polishes are also good to use as they thicken up after a while.
  • My metal scraper has put quite a few scratches on my plate, even after one use! I've heard that you can also use a stiff plastic card like an identity card or old credit card, which shouldn't scratch your plate as much, but have yet to try it out.
  • I think the Konad sets are great value for beginners as everything is provided at a more affordable rate than purchasing each item separately, and you can build on your collection as you gain more experience.
  • The dual ended scraper is great as you can use the smaller end for small designs, and the larger end for the full nail designs.
  • Some of the full nail designs are too small for people with long nail beds, like me. The tiger stripe design I used above left the tip of my thumb bare, which is why I decided to use a different design on my thumb. Some designs are easy to stamp on twice but others are difficult to align accordingly. If anyone has tips on this, I'd love to hear it!
  • You can purchase stamping plates from other brands at a lower rate, but I have heard that they can be a bit tricky to work with. Bundlemonster is another brand that comes to mind, they are said to be less expensive but almost as good in quality as Konad. Good old eBay is also another option (and if anyone knows of any recommended sellers, I'd love to hear it).
  • Research tells me that the Konad brand topcoat is the best topcoat to use for a Konadicure as it prevents smudging. I'm very tempted to purchase this and would welcome any advice on the matter!

The set that I purchased above is priced at $69 on the ICNA website, although I believe I paid less as it was on a promotion during the Melbourne Show (can't recall exactly how much I paid, though!). If anyone is interested in purchasing a Konad set from ICNA, you can visit their website by clicking here. They have also thoughtfully provided me with a discount code for my readers, ICNA9394, which allows for a 25% discount on all purchases above $50 (excluding those from the sale/wholesale section). I won't be receiving any benefit from sharing this code, beyond the satisfaction of knowing I helped save you some money!

That's it for now, lovelies! I hope this answered all your questions, please feel free to leave me input in the comments to let me know if you found this tutorial useful, or if you have further questions I haven't addressed!

Much love,

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