Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter 2013 Nail Art.

Hi lovelies,

Happy Easter! I hope you are all having a wonderful day celebrating with family and indulging in some yummy food (not to mention plenty of chocolate)! I've been relatively well behaved, I only ate three-quarters of a Cadbury mousse egg yesterday and a Malteaster bunny today!

I just wanted to share a few quick snaps of my Easter nail art manicure. It's not horribly original, there are quite a few versions of these nails floating around, but I thought it was a cute way to commemorate Easter. I think the bunny is probably my favourite!

How are you celebrating Easter? Whatever you do, have a wonderful time and stay safe!

Much love,

Friday, March 29, 2013

Illamasqua Beauty School Drop In Session at Chadstone.

Hello lovelies,

I hope you are all enjoying the Easter break! I must say it's delightful to have four days off from work!

After work yesterday, I dropped by the Benefit Brow Bar at Myer Chadstone to get my brows done. If you've never been but have always been tempted to, click here to check out my post on my first experience there. I'm pleased to say that I'm still going there regularly and my brows have never been better! I usually see Alani or Bec, but found out yesterday that Alani is leaving Benefit to move on to a new job. You can still stalk follow her via her Facebook page though, which is what I'll be doing!

After I got my brows done, I moved on to the Illamasqua Beauty School Drop In session, which I first blogged about here. The gorgeous and talented Rebecca was leading the lesson, which was quite an intimate little gathering with plenty of time to ask questions and have a giggle, which I quite appreciated. The theme was Global Beauty, and I had unfortunately missed out on the first hour where Rebecca demonstrated the best way to apply foundation, fill in brows and contour cheekbones, but I caught up just as she was demonstrating the best way to carry out a natural makeup look, on her lovely model Kim.

The Illamasqua Beauty School Drop In Session at Myer Chadstone.

Bec used a peachy shade from one of the duo blush palettes as an eyeshadow on Kim (a great way to use a blush shade that you aren't fond of using on your cheeks), and finished the eye makeup off using a pencil liner, that she then set by using a complementary shadow shade over, to soften the liner out a little. The eyes were finished off using the Illamasqua water-resistant mascara, Masquara, which Bec explained is the best way to get lashes to hold their curl. Last but not least, Kim's lips were dressed in a nude shade, where Bec applied a liner, lipstick and then gloss to give Kim the perfect pout (layering shades provides more depth of colour and also gives the lip colour more longevity).

Kim demonstrating the neutral look.

After the neutral look, we moved on to a more dramatic look. Bec demonstrated how to use the Skin Sketching technique to add impact to the eyes. If you're unfamiliar with this technique, click here to watch the YouTube demonstration. Inspired in equal parts by Kim's gorgeous green hair and the Global Beauty theme, Bec built on the neutral eyes by blending some teal shadow around Kim's outer eye socket, and along the crease line to form a cut crease. She switched to black liquid liner in Abyss as she explained that liquid liner often gives a more dramatic look than pencil.

Bec working on Kim using the skin sketching method.

She then added some sealing gel (it's an amazing clear gel that turns any eyeshadow into a coloured, waterproof eyeliner, and can also be used on brows for perfect grooming) to the same shadow and used it to line Kim's eyes on top of the black liquid liner.

Bec lining Kim's eyes with the sealing gel mixed with eyeshadow.

For the last look, Bec demonstrated how to really change the look into a truly dramatic one but using liquid metals and loose pigments. She began by darkening her cut crease from the previous look by adding some black shadow, and extending the wing of the cut crease and liners. She explained that liquid metals are gorgeous, metallic pastes that need to be 'set' with a powder to prevent creasing. Aiming for a Cleopatra-esque look, she dabbed a gold liquid metal in the inner eye corners (this did not have to be set as it was a relatively small area that wasn't prone to much movement).She blended some of the gold on Kim's brow bone, just above the cut crease, and in the the outer corner of Kim's eye (refer to photo below), before setting it with a loose pigment in a complementary shade. She also added some gorgeous upper and lower false lashes to create added drama. The lash glue provided with all Illamasqua's false lashes is truly a work of art, as it starts off as a white/clear gel that changes colour to a deep blue when the lash is ready to be applied to your eye.

The lashes used on Kim.
Top row was used on her lower lashes,
bottom row was used on her upper lashes.

Kim's Cleopatra-esque eye makeup.

For a little bit of fun, we experimented with different lip colours to finish off Kim's look. First, Bec used a teal pencil (the same used for skin sketching above) to line Kim's lips, then filled it in with the Apocalips lipstick.

The Apocalips lips.

She finally dabbed some of the same gold liquid metal onto Kim's cupid's bow to accentuate her upper lip, and onto her lips for a more dramatic look.

The blue look finished off with gold loose pigments layered over Apocalips.

Close up.

At our request, she then removed it and tried a pink lip for added contrast, using Eurydice, topped with Boost, for added impact and moisture.

Kim wearing Eurydice/Boost on her lips for added impact.

Overall, I picked up a great many tips on some of the products I've been longing to learn about (like the sealing gel and liquid metals in particular), and we really enjoyed watching Bec transform a neutral look into something far more dramatic in a few simple steps.

Bec with her model, Kim.

My gorgeous friend D also joined the session and generously bought me a little gift of a set of blue false lashes. Bec redid my makeup using a set of orange and blue shadows, before finishing off with the blue false lashes. At my request, she also used some sealing gel on my brows to teach me how to groom them using the gel. As a matter of interest, the sealing gel automatically darkens shades, so if you're going to use it on your brows, pick a shadow that's several shades lighter than your brows to have them blend in. Also only apply the gel to your arches, as applying it to the start of your brows can give them a harsh and unnatural look.

It was a really lovely night and I picked up a great many tips, D and I really enjoyed learning more about the Illamasqua products and I even convinced her to try the much talked about Skinbase foundation, which looked gorgeous on her!

The eye makeup that Bec put on me, together with
lashes that D bought me.

Blue lashes!

I hope you enjoyed my review of the BSDI session, if you'd like to attend, there will be one last session running at the Illamasqua counter in Myer Melbourne tomorrow, beginning at 12 pm.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to compile a wishlist of more Illamasqua products, beginning with the sealing gel and eyebrow brush! Did any of these products appeal to you, lovelies?

Much love,

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Rainbow Inspired Eye Makeup.

Hello lovelies,

It's that time of the week again where we play with the makeup tag from Aqeela's Blog! This week's theme is Rainbow Inspired Eyes. I'm going to make this short and sweet as I have a headache again (we appear to be headache central at The Made Up Maiden headquarters this week).

I used pretty much all the shades from the Beauty UK Soho Palette (best bargain buy ever as it comes in so handy for my makeup art looks), over Nyx jumbo pencil in Milk. Yellow (mixed with a bit of gold to make it pop) in the inner eye corner, followed by orange, pink, indigo, and blue on the outer corner, shaded with a well blended cut crease in purple/black. Finished with blue, green and yellow on the lower lashline to tie it all together, and there you have all 7 shades of the rainbow! I actually only used four eye brushes to do this look; a base shadow brush, blender brush, eyeliner brush and an accent brush!

I'll apologise for the lash application, I was getting very tired and couldn't be bothered putting on the lashes properly, then I got frustrated with the way they were sitting and took them off. It's a shame as the lashes would've really pulled the look together, I will try to use falsies more often in my upcoming looks. I'm also due a brow wax, as you might observe, but I've been trying to restrain myself until my appointment in two days as I'm still struggling to grow them out!

This is where I got annoyed and just decided to take the falsies off. I really should have touched up my eyeliner and mascara after pulling them off...

And happy coincidence, my eyes actually matched my nail polish, because that's how I roll, y'all!

(Actually, no, it's not, I just happened to have those nails on for an upcoming Easter nail art post I'm planning, but I thought it was a funny touch). 

Who knew it would be so hard to take photos of your nails next to your eyes?!

I hope you enjoyed that, lovelies. I actually thought the eyes were quite pretty (although certainly not what I call subtle), and would actually have worn them out!

Much love,

Monday, March 25, 2013

Illamasqua Speckle, Scarce & Fragile Nail Polishes - I'mPerfect Collection.

Hello lovelies,

I'm so glad Monday is over. It's been a helluva day and I feel a little bit like I've been hit by a truck! I actually came home from work and napped for two hours, that's how exhausted I felt! It's been quite a stressful day; I found out today that my parents home in Malaysia was burgled, with the alarm system, telephone wires and electricity lines cut, and the rooms ransacked while my parents were away overseas (but on the plus side, I'm so thankful they weren't home during the robbery). It makes me feel really helpless as I'm not around to lend them a hand!

Moving on to more happy topics, I'm so glad that Easter is a mere three days away, and we'll all get a much-welcomed four day break from work! In keeping with the Easter spirit, I thought I'd introduce you to the gorgeous Speckle, Scarce and Fragile nail polishes from Illamasqua's I'mPerfect Collection. I have to confess I did a little jig of joy when I was generously sent these gorgeous babies to review, they are such stunning polishes! The pretty finish reminds me of the mottled appearance of an egg, and the pretty pastel shades make it the perfect choice of polish to wear for Easter!

(Photo sourced from Google Images)

Consider yourselves warned, this is going to be quite a photo-heavy post as I try to do justice to these gorgeous shades. All photos shown are with two thin layers of polish applied over basecoat, and sealed with topcoat.

Speckle is a soft, pastel purple, tending more towards lilac, with small black hexagonal glitter and microglitter  ixed through it, though the colour does change somewhat, depending on the light.

Flaring quite purple in direct sunlight.

In natural daylight.

Natural daylight.

It even tends a little towards pink in some lighting, as evidenced in the photograph below!

Tending a bit more pink under artificial light and daylight.

Fragile is the powder blue version, again with small black hexagonal glitter and microglitter mixed through it.

In direct daylight (overcast day).

In daylight (overcast day).

In shade.

Scarce is a soft pastel pink polish, again with small black hexagonal glitter and microglitter mixed through it.

Direct daylight.

Direct daylight.

Direct daylight.


The formula on these polishes, like all Illamasqua polishes, is really smooth and a dream to work with. I only needed two thin coats for opacity. What I love about the polish is although it's a glitter polish, two coats doesn't quite cover up the glitter particles, but allows them to peek through the polish layers for a subtle overall effect. The glitter is also small enough that it lies quite flat on the nail.

The longevity on these is also remarkable, I wore it for five days without chipping or tip wear.The only reason I took it off is because I was desperate to try the other shades! My personal favourite is Speckle, I  believe it's the stand-out shade of the collection, particularly with the way it changes tones slightly in different lighting conditions. I got quite a few compliments when wearing this shade! I believe that it's universal enough to flatter most skintones, and I've been told that it's actually been the most highly-purchased shade from the collection.

These shades are also gorgeous when worn with a matte topcoat over, although I think I prefer it with a glossy finish. What do you think?

Speckle with a matte topcoat.

The glitter particles make these polishes a little hard to remove, but nothing that can't be fixed using the soak-off method.

What do you think of these polishes, lovelies? Now that you've seen the photos, do you see what I mean when I say it would be the perfect beauty and fashion accompaniment for Easter? They would also make a more healthy gift option than chocolate!

(Photo sourced from Google Images)

These polishes retail for $22.50 and are available from Illamasqua counters in Myer, or from the Myer online store. You can also visit the official Illamasqua Australia Facebook site for more details.

Much love,

Note: These products 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, March 24, 2013

Product Review: L'oreal Paris Nude Magique BB Powder Review.

Hello lovelies!

I've had rather a busy weekend so far, how has yours been? I attended a L'oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival (LMFF) 2013 show at the Malvern Town Hall (photos on Instagram [look to the right and you can see my latest Instagram photos], an LMFF post to follow shortly), hung out with my bestie (shopping and dinner), and got home after spending wayy too much money on things I didn't really need.

While we're on the topic of L'oreal, I wanted to share my thoughts on the new L'oreal Paris Nude Magique BB Powder in Medium (phew, what a mouthful). I've been trialling this for about a week now, since it was kindly sent to me by L'oreal. I wouldn't ordinarily put up a product review this quickly, but as this review was requested by quite a few of my readers and since I've used it daily, I think I can give you a fair overview of the product. If anything happens to change my mind in the next few days (god forbid), I'll pop back over here to update my post.

L'oreal Paris Nude Magique BB Powder in Medium.

What is a BB powder, you ask, and how does it differ from a normal powder? Excellent question, little grasshopper (please excuse the 'Kung Fu' reference, it's actually older than I am). The blurb on the compact calls the powder a 'Velvet Skin Beautifier' with buildable, lightweight coverage, and promises five benefits:
  • No shine
  • Smooth, resurfaced finish
  • Undetectable coverage
  • Fresh face
  • 8 hour matte complexion.
I've worn it all week, and given it a good workout by applying it over my BB cream (currently using Garnier Miracle Skin Perfector Oil Free BB cream), over powder foundation (Youngblood mineral foundation) and over my liquid foundation (Lancome Teint Idole Ultra 24hour).

L'oreal Paris Nude Magique BB Powder in Medium.

I've used it in both in daylight and at night, and decided it’s very natural looking. The medium is a pale brown in the compact, but almost translucent once you blend it in. It can look a little ashy when you first apply it, but settles into your skin within minutes to give you a very natural and lightweight finish. I would agree that it completely removes shine, and provides lightweight coverage without that 'cakey' look that excessive powdering can provide. I don't have too many lines on my forehead (as yet), but the good news is this powder doesn't seem to settle into them.

Heavy swatch on top, blended at the bottom (before it settles into the skin).
(photo taken under artificial light for better clarity)

There’s a little sponge applicator and mirror hidden away at the bottom, under the powder pan, making it perfect for touch-ups on the go (and we all know how much I LOVE travel-friendly products). The sponge is an excellent way to apply the product to mattify the skin. I've also used my kabuki brush to swirl it over my face as a setting powder, it works just as well but gives you a much lighter application than you'd achieve with the sponge. My skin is prone to getting oily in the t-zone after a few hours, and I find that applying the BB powder over my t-zone with the sponge results in it staying matte for much longer than it does when I apply with a kabuki. I also love that it's so lightweight that it hasn't caused any breakouts (so far, fingers crossed)!

The compact and sturdy case housing a mirror and applicator
beneath the powder pan.

Overall, I would agree that the powder provides a smoother and more natural appearance than ordinary pressed powders do. When I've applied this powder, my skin somehow manages to be matte, yet retains a luminous look that I don't get with most pressed powders, probably due to the BB nature. I also love that it performed equally well regardless of what I used beneath it! For instance, my Youngblood mineral powder often gives me a dewy look that leans a little towards oily by midday, but using the BB powder on top really kept shine at bay for a few more hours.

VERDICT: I love this product!

Travel-friendly (contains a mirror and sponge applicator below the powder pan)
Smooth, velvety texture
Lightweight, yet buildable (you can choose between using it on its own if you have flawless skin, or as a setting powder over BB creams or foundation)
Easily available (you can purchase it from any L'oreal stockist like Priceline Pharmacy, etc)
Sturdy, compact packaging (I accidentally dropped it, oops, but it fortunately managed to stay in one piece).

There is a degree of self-adjusting involved, but with only two shades available (light and medium), I can't help but wonder how it would perform with skintones on either end of the spectrum (i.e. excessively pale or excessively dark)
It's a little expensive at the regular retail price of $26.95 (however, it's usually easy to catch it on sale, Priceline is currently offering 30% off until the 25th of March).

I hope you enjoyed that review, lovelies, and found it helpful. What do you think of this product, does it catch your fancy? Would you consider it worth investing in?

Much love,

P.S. - I actually picked up the L'oreal Paris Nude Magique BB Cream from the Priceline sale today, I can't wait to give it a good try with the Nude Magique BB Powder on top. Stay tuned for the results!

Note: The L'oreal Paris Nude Magique BB Powder was kindly provided for my consideration, but all other products mentioned were purchased with my own money. This has not affected my opinion in any way. For more information, please refer to my Disclosure Policy.

Friday, March 22, 2013

March 2013 Lust Have It Review!

Hi lovelies!

It's that time of the month again, LHI review time! I actually received my box yesterday but I'm a bit tardy with this post as I've been suffering a killer headache. I spent most of today in bed (probably a good thing as the weather outside is INSANE - cold, wet and with crazy winds), and I'm feeling much better now, so I thought I'd share my review on this month's box.

The 'new' Lust Have It collectible box.

The items from this month's box were packed in a pretty, pale green, collectible floral box with a magnetic lid, and are as follows:

BioElixia Bodyshaper cellulite contour creme (full sized)

Skindinavia finishing spray (sample, and such a cute one too)

The Natural Source Camouflage colour crayons  (2 crayons in maroon and gold - full sized)

DeLorenzo treaments equilibrium deep conditioning hair masque (sample)

Ocean Essence gold eye cream (full sized)

There was also a little pink heart shaped lolly and a Bioderma Atoderm sample which had been missing from my February LHI Box.

On to the photos:

Lust Have It March 2013 VIP Box.

Click for more details and pricing.

Lust Have It March 2013 VIP Box.

L-R: Ocean Essence Gold eye cream, DeLorenzo hair masque,
BioElixia cellulite cream, and Bioderma Atoderm sample.

L-R: The Natural Source Camouflage Crayons in #37 and #3,
Skindinavia finishing spray, and pink lollipop.


So what did I think of this month's box? I actually already own the BioElixia cellulite cream which I won off their Facebook page (back when they were just called Elixia), thanks to a competition they held with my gorgeous friend Ling from The Best Beauty Blog, but I have yet to use it! I think it's a sign that I need to start, I'm far too lazy with moisturising! The Skindinavia setting spray is actually the item I'm most excited about, I love setting sprays and this one has been one that I've been longing to try, I also love the cute little bottle!

I was quite interested to see the two Natural Source Camouflage crayons, particularly when I saw the gorgeous arrays of colours available, but a bit disappointed with the colours I received (I believe these are #37 Purple Plum & #3 Bronze). Purple Plum would be perfect for use as an oxblood lip liner, but I seldom use such shades as they look quite vampy/goth on me (I know this because I tried it last night). I might use it for an eye makeup look (stay tuned). Bronze, which is more of a gold shade, practically disappears on me, so I think I will give this shade away. I find it interesting that these crayons can be used anywhere on the face, but I do find the quality a little unimpressive, given that the nib on the purple pencil was bent at an odd angle when I tore the seal off. The last four boxes I received (including this one) have all had rather dull shades in them, which I mentioned in my February box review, and I'm really longing for some bright shades for a change!

L-R: #37 Purple Plum & #3 Bronze 

I'm also quite keen to try the DeLorenzo mask, I'm always looking for new, quick treatments to spoil my hair with, so this is definitely a welcomed product. The eye cream is actually a bonus product in the VIP boxes, I've been thinking that I really need to incorporate an eye cream into my daily routine, so one that's enriched with real gold sounds very luxurious! If you're going to start, you may as well start at the top, right?

VERDICT? I'm quite satisfied with this box, particularly as the Skindinavia setting spray is something I've been dying to try for a while, and as I love deep conditioning mask treatments. The cellulite cream and eye cream are just a bonus, and I will try to get creative with the purple liner. I probably won't use all the discount vouchers in the box, but I'm definitely going to use the 'buy one, get one free' pass to see Warm Bodies, a zombie romantic comedy, which has been on my list of movies to see!

I was debating dropping my subscription because I'm building up quite a mound of unused beauty samples/products, when I received an email last week from Lust Have It promising bigger and better things...

"This year we'll be getting more international brands, more premium brands, more salon quality products, more full sized products, more beauty videos, more limited edition collectable boxes, more competitions, more VIP benefits... MORE! MORE! MORE! That's why, when we introduce the new monthly price of $19.95 a month, you will become a part of our newly created "First Generation" group of subscribers, where we're keeping the prices low at just $14.95 a month for the next 6 months."

I have to confess that the lure of bigger and better items has me continuing to subscribe, for now. Also, if you purchase an annual subscription for $160 between now and the end of April, each box drops down to $13.30, which gives you a saving of $80 over the year (enter code ANNUAL to take advantage of this offer). If you'd like to sign up for the first time and receive your box for $14.95, enter code FRIEND at checkout (I don't get anything but the satisfaction of helping save you, dear readers, some money).

What did you think of this month's box, lovelies, if you were signed up? Did you get any different products? If you did, leave me a comment so I can see what you got!

Much love,
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