Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Benefit Box o' Powders

It is no secret that I love Benefit.  I have yet to be disappointed by their products (some have had rocky starts...cough..tints...cough, but we've made it through).  I am in love with their Box o' Powders.  I love blush.  I love cute packaging  I love quality.  These boxes contain all of these things.

The growing collection
I have begun to acquire a small collection of these beauties.  You can check out my Sugarbomb post here (it's been mentioned heaps of times on this blog).  All together, there are 9 box o' powders.  I currently have four full sizes and two minis of Hoola and Coralista.  Each of these blushes is quite distinct and they all smell lovely (Bella Bamba smelling the best!).

L: Sugarbomb, R: Dandelion 
Sugarbomb was my first Benefit blush and it is still my favourite (though only narrowly).  I love the shimmer.  I love the colour.  It looks great on my skin.

Dandelion is marketed as a face brightening powder.  It is a very pale pink and the swatch below is applied quite heavily.  It does brighten up your complexion and it is buildable.  This works quite well on fair skin, but I don't know how well it would show up on darker complexions.  I like this one, but I can just as easily live without it.

L: Hervana, R: Bella Bamba
Hervana is another great blush.  I never swatched it until now and I was surprised by how light it was.  For some reason, I thought it was more like Sugarbomb (most likely because they're both swirl-ish designs).  This is a cool toned pink and contains virtually no shimmer, for these reasons, it's a great everyday blush.  This one also comes with an angled brush in the box (I love these brushes and don't know why they get hate).

Bella Bamba is the most recent addition to my collection.  This is marketed as a 3D blush if applied correctly.  I'm not so sure about that... to be honest, I'm not too sure exactly what is meant by 3D.  With that said, this blush is gorgeous!  It is vibrant and extremely shimmery.  It's definitely not a subtle blush, though you can apply it lightly and build it up.

Swatches L to R: Sugarbomb, Dandelion, Hervana, Bella Bamba

All of these blushes hold up really well throughout the day.  They're soft and apply easily to your cheeks.  They look and smell fantastic.  They are a bit pricey ($28), but you get 0.28 oz vs a Nars blush for $28 for 0.16 oz then they're a pretty good deal.

What is your favourite box o' powder?

Sunday, March 24, 2013

NotD: Flyin' High to the Milky Way

Again, this is an oldie, but I still wanted to share after finding it.  As seen in my blue ombre post, I really like China Glaze Flyin' High and it looks bright, vibrant and creamy here.  I cannot recommend it enough.

As for the other polish, I was really excited when I saw Australis Milky Way.  I love white/milky bases with lots of colourful glitter.  The first bottle of this I bought broke in the bag before I got home.  When I tried to exchange it, I found out how bizarre stores are in Australia.  Being American, I'm used to being able to exchange/return items to any store in the chain.  However, I bought my nail polish at a Priceline in the CBD and couldn't return it to any other one.  So lame.

This looks pretty nice.  Much better than I remember it looking.  In my opinion, it didn't apply very smoothly.  The base isn't sheer enough, so you lose sight of a lot of the glitter, which is a shame.  I honestly, don't think I'd have the patience to deal with it on all ten nails.

L to R: China Glaze 'Flyin' High,' Face of Australia 'Once in a Blue Moon,' and Australis 'Milky Way'
I chose to use FOA nail polish in 'Once in a Blue Moon' as a base for my feature in hopes that I'd only have to use one coat of Milky Way.  That wasn't too successful and I didn't like that polish that much either.  Perhaps, my expectations are too high, especially since I love Flyin' High so much.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

March Bellabox

I will start this post by saying I really wanted to hate my box this month. I am currently subscribed to 3 subscription boxes (4 if you want to include the Bellobox) and I want to cancel some of them.

Since being subscribed to Bellabox, I have only loved one box (my first, October). I liked November, but December and January were utter disappointments. Unlike many people, I actually really liked my February Bellabox, but I decided if this month's was poor, I'd say goodbye. I believed that decision would reside in whether I received the Clinique lipstick. I didn't. And yet, I still really like my box. Darn!

I liked the strawberry sticker and the coloured tissue paper :)

I was very surprised with my box. I hadn't read any reviews of the exact box I received, which has been a first, especially since it takes so long for the box to arrive in WA.

Here are my contents. I just opened this upon arriving home from work so I don't have too many opinions (well, fact based opinions :) on the products themselves.

The contents

I received the Ocean Essence Coconut Body Milk, which feels really light and the smell is very subtle. My experience with coconut has always been overpowering. I also received the Ocean Essence Pink Diamond Face Mask. I am really intrigued by this. The card doesn't provide a lot of information, so I am going to do some research on it.

I received Glamourflage Lip Balm in Daisy Delight (Cherry). I have never heard of this brand, but I love love love the texture of this balm. It applies so smoothly. I have never experienced another tin lip balm like it. There isn't really any colour payoff, which is slightly disappointing since it is one of the two colour items in the box.

Next up is a DB lip pencil in pink. I received a DB eyeliner before with this packaging and I am not a fan. It is far too long and although I like the fact it has a sharpener in it, it isn't aesthetically appealing to the eye. With my hatred for the packaging placed aside, I don't mind receiving this. I don't own any lip pencils and this is a really nice colour so maybe it will inspire me to use lip liners or confirm that I don't need them.

My favourite item is the Clinique High Impact Mascara. I received a sample last year with a gift with purchase and I loved it!  It makes my eye lashes look amazing.  That one was in shade 11 Brightening Black, so I'm intrigued to see how shade 01 Black compares. I used it again today and I may like it more than Benefit They're Real, which I didn't think possible. I will definitely be experimenting with them both to confirm this.

There was a bonus product, a Swisse Active Energy Bar; however, since it contains milk and possibly traces of egg I can't eat it and neither can my partner because of our vegetarian diets. I will pass it on to someone at work.

All in all, I think I do like my Bellabox. This hasn't been my favourite, but I feel I received products that I will use and I feel I got a good deal for the price. It looks like I'm with you for at least another month, Bellabox.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Paul and Joe: Pencil Eye Liner

For a while, I was on the hunt for a beautiful (and natural) waterline eye liner.  I thought I had a chance when Rimmel released their Scandaleyes eye liner in nude.  It's so hard to find a good nude eyeliner, especially an affordable one.  Unfortunately, the nude one wasn't great for my skin tone.  It's far too yellow and looks a bit fake.

The searched continued and then I found this beauty.  Paul & Joe Pencil Eye Liner in Angel.

First, can we acknowledge how adorable the packaging is?  I think they could have convinced me this was the product I needed with that alone.  I'm such a sucker for cutesy packaging.

It's not exactly nude and it's not exactly matte (it's none of those really), but it works so well!  The pink tone and shimmer surprisingly look fantastic on my water line.  In a way it looks natural.  It matches my skin tone far better than the Rimmel one plus the shimmer makes it bright and glistening.

The swatch makes it look like a highlighter or an eye shadow, but I cannot express how great it looks on the waterline.  I wish it was a tad more creamy.  It ever-so-slightly pulls on the skin a bit when applied.  Nothing horrendous, but not perfect.

I have a couple of Face of the Days that I'm going to see if I can successfully post.  Some that use this beauty on the waterline.

I purchased this from Asos for under $15.

What is your go to product for your waterline?

Monday, March 11, 2013

NARS Foreplay Palette

This product had been on my wish list for ages.  Its visual aesthetic was calling out to me.  That and the fact that I still had never tried, let alone owned, Nars Orgasm.

Beautiful Box and Classic Packaging
I loved the box (I think I may actually keep this one).  And now I understand what everyone says about their Nars packaging getting dirty so easily.  I wish I had taken photos of this product before using it for a while.

The palette
This palette has been describe as Nars Orgasm deconstructed.  The big pan is Orgasm.  It is quite shimmery, which is part of the awesomeness surrounding this blush.  The two squares on the left are very pigmented, matte blushes.  They're not the easiest to blend out, but they aren't bad.  I really really like them.  The top rectangle is a highlighter and its very gold.  I think it's a bit too gold for my skin, but if I use it very sparingly, I can get away with it.

L to R: Orgasm, Fuchsia Blush, Coral Blush, Highlighter

I can't believe it has taken this long for me to get my hands on Orgasm.  I love it!  In fact, I love all the blushes in this palette.  My only gripe is in regards to the size of the pans.  They're pretty small and I feel hard to get to.  I use my Real Techniques blush brush and it does okay, but I'd love the pans to be slightly larger just so it's easier to get the powder onto the brush.

I purchased this for $49 from Amazon's Sephora shop.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream

I've been searching for the perfect BB cream and I think I may have found it.  I will admit, I haven't searched that hard.  In fact, this is the second BB cream I have tried and I think I'm content.

My first BB cream experience was the Garnier BB Cream for Oily Skin in the Light shade.  I received this free from Garnier.  I didn't really like anything about this cream.  I know there are heaps of people out there who absolutely love it, but it did nothing for me.  To use the word 'cream' is used very loosely since it is extremely runny, but nothing that a Real Techniques stippling brush cannot handle.  The shade was wrong for me.  Too dark.  Too yellow.

I read a review about the Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream and was super excited when I heard it was SPF 42.  Number 1, I need that kind of protection.  SPF 15 means nothing to my skin.  Number 2, 42 is the answer to the universe, so surely it would be the answer to my BB cream dilemma.  I placed an order through  They had two sizes, and I decided to go with the mini to see how I liked it.  They were kind enough to send heaps of samples.

My goodies!

The packaging was really simple for the mini bottle.  It's a squeeze tube.  The first thing I noticed about this BB cream was that it was actually creamy.  It also smells like baby powder, which could put people off; however, it doesn't last long once it's blended in.

The shade I chose was No. 21 Bright Beige.  This BB cream does have a slight grey tone to it, but it works really well on my skin.  Much better than yellow undertones.  It looks fantastic on my skin and it does what I thought a BB cream would do.  It acts as a moisturiser.  I feel no need to use an additional moisturiser with this.  I don't need to add any sunscreen.  Recently, it had its sunburn test and passed splendidly (unfortunately, my body sunscreen did not do its job).  I have no need for a concealer; the coverage is build able, which makes it perfect in my opinion.  I have combination/oily skin and it holds its own regarding that.  I do set it with powder, but I only touch up once (if that) during the day.

BB cream blended in on the right
I'm really glad I tried this BB cream and I'm so happy that I don't think I will continue searching for others.  Maybe if there was a colour in this range that had a slightly more pink tone, then I would consider it, but for now I'm totally happy with this product!

What is your favourite BB cream?

Thursday, March 7, 2013

NotD: Attempt at Nail Art

These nails were from a while ago.  I just never got around posting about them, but when I stumbled over the photo, I wanted to share them because I really liked them!

This was my first attempt at nail art and I don't think it went too badly.  I used the dotting pens that so many of you either own or have seen.  I really wanted to use the bellapierre nail polishes that I had ordered late last year from OzSale.

I adore the colour.  It's a bit more rose than the first image shows it to be.  The bottom image is more true to life.  I paired it with OPI Ski Teal We Drop simply because I like the contrast.  The glitter bellapierre polish ('Glitter Surprise') looks beautiful on top of the deep teal.  The three colours work really well to create a layered look on my feature nail.

L to R: bellapierre 'Chic Pink,' OPI 'Ski Teal We Drop,' and bellapierre 'Glitter Surprise'

The formula of all three is really nice.  I'm a big fan of OPI, so no surprise there.  I didn't know what to expect from bellapierre, but I can easily say that these polishes are definitely two of my favourites.  They're different from others I own and they apply so easily!

Have you tried any polishes from bellapierre?  I'd love to add some more to my collection.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Mirenesse VIP February Box

Every two months, I get a wonderful surprise in the mail from Mirenesse.  My VIP Beauty Box.  I have received two so far and I have loved each one.

These are the contents of the February box.  I love the Mirenesse packaging.  It always feels so classy.

I will admit, initially I was a little disappointed because I have two of these items (eye shadow and a mini version of the lipstick); however, I have completely different colours so it all worked out!

Pearl Crush Creaseless Shadow in Bora Pearls.  I'm a nude girl when it comes to eyeshadow so when I opened the packaging to see these blue ones, I was a bit shocked.  They look stunning and the formula of these shadows is to die for.  It is so pigmented and so creamy, plus it lasts!  I would never use all three of these together, because I connotate blue eyeshadow with the Drew Carey Show.  With that said, I do love using these in combination with other more natural hues.

Inside Out 27Hr Eye Kohl in Isis.  I've been dying to try these.  When I saw that I received one, I crossed my fingers and hoped for Cleo or Ra.  Unfortunately that stunning green wasn't in my package, but this really pretty blue was.  The swatch was darker than the packaging hinted at, which was a little disappointing.  Again, Mirenesse has a wonderful formula.  It applies so smoothly and doesn't smudge. The shade does have some sparkle in it.  I loved this so much, I ordered a pack of 5 from the website (yes, it has Cleo and Ra!).  It also has another Isis in it, so perhaps that will be in a future giveaway.

French Kiss Lip Cocktail in Red Lotus.  I have one of these and I really liked the formula.  It is really smooth and moisturising on my lips.  Plus, it's a nearly perfect shade of red for me.  I've always wanted to pull off the red lip, but I feel most look to bold and wash out my pale skin.  This one is a bit brighter and sheerer than others I have tested and it works really nicely.

Swatches L to R: Pearl Crush Creaseless Shadows, Inside Out Eye Kohl in Isis, French Kiss Lip Cocktail in Red Lotus
I also wanted to include swatches for the other Pearl Crush Creaseless Shadow I have.  I bought this before Christmas and sadly it doesn't get enough wear (I think I forgot about it).  The palette is in the shade Akoya Pearls and it's a lovely nude collection.

Akoya Pearls
The swatches are lovely.  I wish the third shade was a bit more brown instead of orange, but it still looks really pretty.

If you're interested, the Mirenesse VIP program cost $25 a month.  You receive a beauty box every second month.  Each month you receive a $25 voucher to spend online, so essentially you get your money back.  Even if you don't use your voucher each month, the box will make up for it.  Being a VIP member, also entitles you to discounts on all items and free shipping.  If you like Mirenesse products, this is definitely worth it.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Bellabox January and February 2013 + Order

So, I know this is late.  Like really late.  I've begun to lose interest in my beauty box subscriptions.  Scratch that, mainly I've lost interest in bellabox after some pretty disappointing boxes.  I still love my LHI Eco and Mirenesse VIP box (stay tuned for that post soon), but if this upcoming bb box isn't great, I'm out.

Anyway, onto a brief recap of January, then an order from the bb shop and finally the February box.

I do get a little excited when I see the box waiting at the door.

January's Contents
I like that the theme was Australian brands and I'm happy I didn't get the really bad box, but I was still not wowed by these contents.  My partner had received the Swisse Body Wash in one of his belloboxes, so this was boring and I just gave it to him.  The Aloe is okay.  I'm fair skinned and burn when the sun peeks through a cloud.  Though still boring.  To be honest, I still haven't used the FOA lipgloss.  It hasn't even tempted me.  I didn't even open the Natio sachet.  Medium.  No way.  I have tried the Fair in the store and I've been really tempted to purchase it, but I love my current BB cream (more on that later).  Wotnot wipes.  Yea, they're wipes.  Nothing really exciting or innovative about them.

Left: Purchases Right: Freebies
I used my bellabox points during one of their sales to pick up the Bioderma Sebium H2O, ulittle beauty Natural Shine Hair Serum and Byron Bay Detox Foot Patches (to get free shipping).  Unfortunately, they didn't have the Bioderma in stock (and it took ages to get it in stock) so they sent some freebies to make up for it.  By the end of the experience, I was more excited by the freebies (more exciting samples than I'd been receiving in my bellabox).  Anyway, I was happy with how they handled the situation.  To be honest, their customer service maintained my subscription a little longer.

February Box
I did think the card and heart tissue paper was a lovely touch.  Again, I was pretty excited to see what was beneath it.

Meh.  Not too bad.
There were some products I loved in this box and some I didn't care much for.  I love the Frizz-Ease curl perfecting spray.  My hair is naturally wavy/some times there's ringlets (it's weird) and this has helped tame it a bit, but I can see if you don't have any curl that this would be really disappointing.  I also loved the U Skin Solutions Clarifying Cleansing Gel.  I was disappointed that I didn't get the exfoliant, because I prefer that to cleanser, but wow! I love this stuff.  I only got three uses out of this, but the smell is to die for.  I may use my remaining bellabox points to get this.  The other products...whatev, except the eye liner.  Now, that was exciting.

I have been lusting after Eye of Horus products for a long time now.  I was really hoping that I received the Bronze eye liner, but in the end, I'm happy to receive the charcoal obsidian pencil.  I don't have any sparkly black eyeliners, so this has been a nice addition.

L: Normal Swatch, R: After trying to smear it off

I've seen a fair bit of hate on this product and how it smudges.  I haven't experience that at all.  Above are two swatches.  One that I left alone and the second that I tried (really hard) to smear, but nothing really happened.

I have my fingers crossed that March will be excellent, but I'm not holding my breath.

NotD: Blue Ombré Look

For work, I needed to be dressed in blue.  So of course, my nails had to be blue as well.  I couldn't choose between which blue nail polish I wanted to use, so I decided to do an ombre look with them.  I used six nail polishes.  The one not pictured is Rimmel Disco Ball, which I used to add some sparkle to my feature nail.

The look:

The nails looked much better at the start of the day before all the festivities!

The products:

Thumb to Pinky: Ulta3 Soft Hydrangea, Revlon Blue Lagoon, China Glaze Flyin' High, Ulta3 Calypso Holiday, OPI Ski Teal We Drop
I really like all these polishes, some more than others.  My faves are Ski Teal We Drop (absolutely love the colour) and Flyin' High (absolutely love the formula and colour).  The disappointment is Blue Lagoon.  It looks really pretty in the bottle, but falls a bit flat on the nail.  It also looked (and felt) a bit gritty.  Maybe it was just my nail...this was my first time using it.

Weekend Haul

I have been so so good to avoid purchasing any beauty items; however, this weekend I decided to reward myself (by justifying the products)!  GWPs are an easy way to justify purchases as well as claiming they're for my wedding makeup.

My first stop was Priceline.  I had a voucher from my reward points and I couldn't pass up the Sally Hansen offer on at the moment.  I picked up two of the Complete Salon Manicure polishes: 220 Cafe Au Lait and 675 Mermaid's Tale.  The GWP included a Complete Salon Manicure in 540 Frutti Petutie, Diamond Shine Base and Top Coat, Diamond Strength Instant Nail Hardener and a Nail Shaper and Buffer.  Such a great deal!!  I also bought another Witch Blemish Stick, but I have to return it because it was dried out.

Here are swatches of the three nail polishes.  The formula is great!!  Frutti Petutie applied so creamy.  The other two were a bit sheer, but built up nicely.  I could have got away with 3 coats of Mermaid's Tale, but the glitter was all clumping at the top, so I added a fourth to make a more equal distribution.  The top coat did burn my finger a bit, which was weird, but it works really nicely.

Top to Bottom: 2 coats of Frutti Petutie, 4 coats of Mermaid's Tale, 3 coats of Cafe Au Lait

The next stop was Myer.  I had a $20 gift card from my Myer One points, plus I had a 10% off voucher for all beauty items.  I stopped by the MAC counter, but the customer service was horrible.  I've never had much luck at the Perth counter, so I end up purchasing items online.  However, the customer service at Lancome has always been stellar.  I've had a few samples of their Teint Idole Ultra 24H Foundation and I decided that I had to have it!  I really really love it because it matches my skin

My shade is the lightest in the range, 005 Beige Ivoire.  This has pink undertones, which I certainly look for in a foundation.  Foundations with too much yellow, make my skin look dirty and orange.  I also love the smell of this foundation!

A lady cut in front of me at the counter, which was lame; however, the Sales Assistant totally saw it and gave me two decent sized samples of some of their skincare products: Hydra Zen Nuit Neurocalm (Soothing Recharging Night Cream) and their well known Genifique Yeux (Youth Activating Eye Concentrate).  These samples eased the blow when I went to David Jones and found out Lancome has a GWP over there when you spend $75.

Swatch of the foundation:

It looks so natural blended in.  
The next stop was David Jones.  I knew I wanted to pick up one of the Mariah Carey OPI polishes and I was pumped when I found out there was an OPI GWP on at the moment.  I've been wanting to try the OPI Drip Dry formula and couldn't pass up the opportunity of receiving one for free.

L to R: 'Get Your Number', 'OPI...Eurso Euro' and Drip Dry

My partner was shopping with me and wasn't too thrilled at all my beauty stops during the day, so I let him pick out my polishes (so he was involved :).  He chose brilliantly!  Of the Mariah Carey collection, he selected 'Get Your Number.'  He also chose 'OPI...Eurso Euro' from the Euro Centrale collection.

Bottom to Top: 'OPI...Eurso Euro,' 'Get Your Number,' and 'French Quarter for Your Thoughts'
These are beautiful polishes and I love the Drip Dry (though, I think the 60 sec touch dry claim is a bit of a stretch).  They apply really nicely and I love the texture of the Liquid Sand.  I highly recommend you trying it out if you haven't already.

I really wanted to pick up the David Jones Sampler Tote after seeing other blog posts about it.  I knew immediately which one I wanted, it was just finding the best OPI Mini nail polish on offer.  In the end, I settled for a grey polish (French Quarter for Your Thoughts--swatch above) and I am so happy I did!  I'm going to have grey nails for my wedding and I have already purchased a grey polish, but I think I may like the OPI one better (at the very least, the formula is better).  I'll be sharing my wedding makeup ideas with you all in the not too distant future :)

The awesome contents!
I'm not going to go into too much detail about all the contents in the bag.  I was excited to receive another Live Clean Argan Oil.  I'd received a sample in one of my LHI Eco boxes and I really enjoyed it.  I'm in love with Kosmea and this rescue balm feels fantastic on dry lips.  Definitely try out this brand if you haven't already.  Their Rose Hip oil is the best I've tested so far.  I'm almost out of my Dermalogica Microfoliant and I was happy to receive another one.  I've been loving the Crabtree & Evelyn hand cream.  This was a brand I always lusted after when I lived in America.  I've used a bit of the David Jones pressed powder and first impression was I really liked it!

If you can, totally pick up this tote!  It's a pretty awesome deal with some excellent brands!

I'm excited to play with these more during my long weekend!