Thursday, May 30, 2013

NOTD - Butterfly stamping and taping.

Hello lovelies,

Quick post today to share some nails I was wearing recently (terribly behind in posting, dear me)!

I decided to get back into my stamping (for more details on getting started, read my tutorial here), so I decided to do some accent nail stamping and then did tape nails for the remaining nails. Please pardon the tip wear, I've been doing quite a bit of housework lately and with the lack of daylight savings, I couldn't photograph it before it started to show!

For the stamping, I used Sally Hansen White On as a base, and stamped the butterflies using Zoya Karina and ORLY Liquid Vinyl* (using Konad plate M39). With the tape nails, I used Liquid Vinyl as a base and then painted Karina over.

I hope you enjoyed that, lovelies! I'm thinking of getting more plates soon, so stay tuned!

Much love,

Note: Products marked with a '*' were kindly provided for my consideration. This has not affected my opinion in any way. I was not obliged to blog about it but am choosing to do so at my own discretion. For more information, please refer to my Disclosure Policy.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Product Review: Cristina Re Peacock Garden Collection for Target.

Hello lovelies,

Happy Wednesday! I have a lovely post for you today on a beautiful new bath and body collection designed by Cristina Re (exclusively for Target). In case you don't know her, Cristina Re is a very talented Australian designer known for her exquisite and ladylike designs. I've been to her store and tearoom in Collingwood and fell head over heels for her gorgeous homeware (think exquisite tea sets and lovely scented soaps) and beautiful stationary. I was very excited when I heard that she had designed an exclusive range of bath and body products exclusively for Target, and even more so when some of these products arrived on my desk!

The collection is called 'Peacock Garden', and it's every bit as elegant and luxurious as the name suggests. There are three very lovely scents in this collection, Mandarin & Passionfruit, Pomegranate & Lychee and Amber Rose. Designed in conjunction with Mother's Day, the designs are feminine perfection with the silver peacock signifying the collection embossed on all the products. The collection encompasses a range of products including triple milled soaps, hand wash, soywax candles, fragrance diffusers, body washes, hand lotion and there's even a lined A5 sized journal in the same feminine print!

Let's take a look at some photos, shall we?

The Pomegranate & Lychee fragrance diffuser ($20) is one of my favourites from the collection, and has taken up permanent residence in my kitchen. Usually with diffusers I get a whiff of scent for the first couple of days and then it just peters out, but I've been loving how fragrant this had been.

Cristina Re Peacock Garden
Pomegranate & Lychee fragrance diffuser.

I get the lychee scent more than the pomegranate, but the floral notes keep it from being too sickly sweet. I can go days without changing the reeds over, and the overall scent is fruity and soft, easily discernible, yet not overpowering.

Fragrance Diffuser.

Cristina Re Peacock Garden
Pomegranate & Lychee fragrance diffuser.

The frosted glass is simple, yet elegant, and will go quite nicely with the decor in all homes. It also comes with a stopper in case you want to take a little break from using it.

Next up, we have a soywax candle in Amber Rose ($14).

I have to confess I almost didn't want to burn this candle, as it looked so lovely in the packaging!

Cristina Re Peacock Garden
Amber Rose Soywax Candle.

Soywax candle.

The candle burns quite cleanly, with a soft 'throw'. It's not the most strongly scented candle you'll come across, but it's great if you aren't a fan of overpowering scents. The jar also glows very beautifully when lit, as the peacock relief really stands out.

Cristina Re Peacock Garden Soywax Candle.

Then we have the Mandarin & Passionfruit fragrant body wash ($13), Amber Rose fragrance soap ($8) and Mandarin & Passionfruit fragrant hand lotion (not available for individual sale).

Cristina Re Peacock Garden
Mandarin & Passionfruit fragrant body wash, Amber Rose fragrance soap,
Mandarin & Passionfruit fragrant hand lotion.

Mandarin & Passionfruit
fragrant body wash.

I'm really loving the easy dispense, pump packaging of the body wash. The wash is subtly scented, it's a luxurious touch to my shower routine but only lingers lightly on my skin after drying off. It also doesn't dry my skin out, which is great for this cold winter weather we're having!

Amber Rose Fragrance Soap.

I've yet to try the soap but it does smell lovely. It also looks lovely in the packaging so I might struggle a bit when it comes to tearing off the paper to actually use it!

Mandarin & Passionfruit
 fragrant hand lotion

The hand lotion is another favourite of mine. It's light and very moisturising, sinking in quickly without leaving any greasy residue. The citrusy scent works as a great pick me up when I need a bit of a boost! I've been reaching for this quite often, quite an accomplishment for a hand cream addict with several hand creams always within easy reach!

You can also purchase a cute little gift pack ($20) containing a trio of products; a hand wash, hand lotion and some bath crystals.

Cristina Re Peacock Garden Scent Pack
Hand wash, hand lotion and bath crystals.

I received this in the Amber Rose scent pack.  

Scent pack ingredients.

Cristina Re Peacock Garden
Hand Wash

I've actually put the hand wash in my kitchen to use whenever I need to wash my hands. Although I'm not usually a fan of rose scents, I actually find this quite pleasant. It's not as strong as the other two scents in the collection.

Cristina Re Peacock Garden
Hand Lotion

The texture of the hand lotion is comparable to the Mandarin & Passionfruit one above, although I use that more simply because I prefer the scent.

Cristina Re Peacock Garden
Bath Crystals

I have yet to use the bath crystals, simply because my flat doesn't have a bath! I will slip this into my overnight bag the next time I go away.

Cristina Re Peacock Garden
Scent Pack with Hand Wash, Bath Crystals and Hand Lotion.

I love that the collection is affordable and of high quality! All the items in the entire collection are under $20, with the exception of a large gift pack which is priced at $40. Most importantly, it contains no parabens, sodium lauryl sulfate or polyethylene glycols, and wasn't tested on animals.

What do you think of the Peacock Garden collection, lovelies? Do any of the items strike your fancy? I'm hard pressed to pick a favourite scent but if I absolutely had to choose, I'd pick the Mandarin and Passionfruit.

You can shop the collection at Target stores nationally and online here.

Much love,

Note: These products were kindly provided for my consideration. This has not affected my opinion in any way. I was not obliged to blog about it in any way but am choosing to do so at my own discretion. For more information, please refer to my Disclosure Policy.

Monday, May 27, 2013

The Guess Denim Workshop at Chadstone Shopping Centre.

Hello lovelies,

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed me posting some photos from a recent workshop at Chadstone (it's almost my second home). I'm a big fan of getting creative with things but space is a premium in my tiny flat, so when the email from Chadstone advertising the denim workshops popped into my mailbox, I was quick to flash my credit card and sign myself, and my friend, R, up.

There were eight sessions in total, with four sessions held per weekend. Entry was priced at $20 per head. The first weekend was teamed with GAP, while the second weekend (this weekend) was teamed with Guess. The first session was held at 11 am, while the second was at 2 pm. If you signed up to the 2 pm slot (which worked better for us anyway), you were also eligible to receive a free pair of jeans, seeing as I practically live in jeans anyway, I wasn't turning that offer down.

We headed down to Chadstone at about 12.30 pm, got fitted at Guess for our jeans, grabbed something to eat, and presented ourselves at the workshop area at 2 pm., where we were greeted with a long white table filled with all types of decorations imaginable.

The lovely people setting up for the denim workshop.

There were several lovely ladies and two gentlemen running the workshop, they were there to give us tips and any assistance we might require.

The large workspace table of decorations.

The inspiration centre.

Given that we only had two hours, and that any decorations we did had to match the colour of the denim we chose, I decided to keep it simple. We also had access to a hot glue gun (removable, but leaving a residue behind) or a special adhesive paper that you could use to iron on your design (also removable, without leaving residue). There were also studs, needle and thread, and different kinds of material that you could sew/tack/hammer on to embellish your jeans.

I decided to use materials that could be detachable, so I could take it off if I got tired of it. 

Hard at work embellishing my jeans!
(Thanks to R for this photo)

The finished product!

Before I continue, I apologize for the photo quality; I wasn't initially planning on blogging about this workshop but I had so much fun, I couldn't resist! The photos were taken in my flat and the lighting is terrible.

So here's what I came up with. For the front, I attached diamanté studs along the pocket, and used a glue gun to attach a bling patch to the coin pocket. Then I reinforced it with needle and thread (it's the only thing aside from the diamanté studs that I won't take off - the glue will leave a residue behind). I also made a necklace charm that attaches to the front belt loop with safety pins, and threads around to the back pocket.

The front.

Close up of the coin pocket bling and diamanté studs.

Coin pocket bling.

I'm really loving that chain!

Pocket diamanté studs and accessory chain.

Managed to find my initial, so I tacked that on, too!

Close up of the accessory chain.

Spikes, chains, crystals, it's got it all!

The chain.

For the back, I kept things relatively simple. I threaded pins through the belt loops for added bling (the kind that you use for brooches), and sewed on a beaded patch onto the back pocket. I was advised that the beads on the patch would come off quite easily, so all I'll have to do is cut the thread to take it off.

The back.

Simple diamanté studding on the right rear pocket.

Detailed beading patch sewn onto the left
rear pocket.

That was it! Can you believe that all that took 2 hours to finish? It was a lot of fun though and I will definitely be going again if they run more workshops like this.

Oh, and we happened to be right in front of the Lindt cafe, so I couldn't resist going in and picking a few things up...

Lindt Cafe mini haul.

Do you like embellished jeans, lovelies, or do you like keeping things simple? I must say I love the idea of embroidering lace borders on my black jeans pockets, or even on the cuffs as a little surprise when you wear it with ankle boots!

Much love,

PS - I came across Charlotte's blog post from the GAP workshop, she did an excellent job with her studding, I just might have a slight case of jeans-envy now. Check out her fantastic work by clicking here.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Benefit Cosmetics Blogger Lunch.

Hello lovelies,

If you follow me on Twitter/Instagram, you'll know that I attended a beauty blogger lunch with Benefit Cosmetics last Saturday. It all started when the lovely Gemma from Benefit and I started exchanging emails, and she mentioned that she'd love to catch up with some beauty bloggers in Melbourne. I offered to help her organise it and put out a call out through social media. Kerri (from Beauty and Things), Norlin (from Baubles, Bubbles and Bags), Melissa (from Bubbles on: Beauty, Fashion and Life), Vita (from Making Up 4 My Age), Ling (from Pork Chop's Nest), Jasmine (from Sweetaholic Beauty) and Amy (from Things I Love) all said they'd love to come along, so we all headed down to Myer in the CBD on Saturday to meet Gemma and learn a bit more about Benefit Cosmetics.

Gemma and I.

Here's a little interesting fact, apparently the Benefit counter in Myer Melbourne is one of the top three best selling counters in the whole world! In fact, the counters at Myer Melbourne and Myer Sydney hold two of the top three positions, no small feat when you take into account that there are counters in New York, London, etc!

There are nine brow stations at the Myer Melbourne store, so the drop-in service works very well. If, however, you do want to visit one of the other counters, like Chadstone, you'd be best to call and make an appointment as they are quite small and you might have to wait quite a while.

The Benefit Brow Bar at Myer Melbourne.

First, we were treated to a brow demo, where Jasmine volunteered to be our model for the demonstration. As my regular readers will know, I am a faithful devotee of the Benefit Brow Bar (read all about my first trip there by clicking here). We were talked through the process (signing the disclosure sheet, going through the client's preferences, and measuring out the right arch), then Jasmine sat down in the chair to begin her brow transformation.

The disclosure book you have to sign.

Gemma explained that Benefit always do one side of the face first, so that you can compare the difference between your new brow from the old. While waiting for the brow tint to set, Jasmine had one of Benefit's bestsellers, Posietint, applied to her lips and cheeks in a little makeover.

Jasmine getting Posietint applied.

After her brows had been tinted and waxed, we headed over to the makeup counter, where Jasmine had the redness caused from waxing covered up with concealer and powder.

The Benefit makeup counter at Myer Melbourne.

Next up was a makeup demonstration. I volunteered to be the makeover model, so I sat down in the chair for a little makeover. I had my makeup removed, and we all got to learn more about each of the products used, including the skincare, primers (Porefessional, That Gal and Stay Don't Stray), foundation (Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow), concealer (Boi-ing and the new Fake-Up), brows (BrowZings and High Brow Glow), blush (Benetint was applied to my lips and cheeks) and had some of the new creaseless shadows and pressed shadows applied in a soft, smokey eye (they are part of the new colour collection launched just two weeks ago). The look was finished off with They're Real mascara applied to my lashes.

Getting my makeup done.
(Thanks to Ling for this photo)

Getting my makeup done.
(Thanks to Ling for this photo)

You can actually get a complimentary makeupper mini service by asking one of the Benefit counter girls. This won't be a full makeover, but you can get your eyes or similar done. Alternatively, you can book in for a full makeover, which I believe is priced at $50, redeemable on products.

With Lina and Melissa.

Bloggers posing with the Benefit counter girls!

Here's another interesting fact, the They're Real mascara is actually the top selling makeup product in Myer! This includes beating out the Touche Éclat from YSL, and other cult icons! Isn't that fascinating?

After that, it was time to head down to lunch at Collins Quarter, where we were also given the chance to play with some of Benefit's most popular products, including the newly launched creaseless eyeshadows, pressed shadows, Fine-One-One (three-in-one sheer colour for lips and cheeks), Fake-Up (the cult new cream concealer), Porefessional (primer), Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow (foundation), Benetint (red lip and cheek tint), BrowZings (brow powder and wax) and High Beam (illuminator).

Gemma explaining some products to us.

Benefit Fine-One-One.

They're Real, creaseless shadow, High Beam, Benetint and
pressed shadow.

Swatches of some of the creaseless shadows
and the pressed shadow.

We were also served with some really delicious food and wine, and had plenty of chances to play with the products and ask Gemma questions.

Mini goat's cheese and cherry tomatoes bruschetta.

Quinoa and eggplant dish.

Spicy pork on mini pide.

Garden salad with chunky chips.

I can safely say that I've added quite a few things to my wishlist, I really want BrowZings, High Brow Glow, and some of the new creaseless shadows!

I leave you with a quick snap of my makeup from the Benefit counter (lipstick is my own).

It really was a lovely lunch and I, for one, feel like we learned a lot! We were also gifted with our own They're Real mascara to take home and experiment with. A big thank you to Gemma and Benefit Cosmetics for having us!

Have you tried Benefit Cosmetics before, lovelies? Which products do you love best?

Much love,
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