Friday, April 26, 2013

NotD: Purple Shine and Sparkle

I wanted to share my love for Australis Glitter Strikes Back top coat. I have paired it with purple hues because it looks so fantastic, but also because it reminds me of the sold out 'Look to the Western Sky' by Smitten Polish.

I chose Revlon Royal Cloak, which is a very nice purple. To be honest, I don't like purples that much, but I really like this one. I put Max Factory Fantasy Fire over the top to give it some added depth (and because I don't use it nearly enough).

Are there any combinations you are loving at the moment? Seriously, this is one of my favourite combos.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Collective Haul Part 1

For the first part of the year, I did really well not spending money on things I don't necessarily need. The only lapse was an intended one that I posted about here .(I really did need that foundation).

I am getting married in less than three months now, which means I need to crack down on any superfluous spending. To get set for this extreme ban, I allowed myself some last minute spending. Anything I bought prior to the three month cutoff was okay (I decided this with a day to go) and any items I bought for my birthday. I need to gift myself, right? The one thing I didn't expect was the Priceline 40% off sale. I did indulge, but not too bad. That is at least what I keep telling myself.

I have had a nail polish obsession recently. I often go through phases, but this one may be getting out of hand. I am way behind on the indie nail polish fad, so I think I am compensating. I have had a love for Femme Fatale, but that love has now spread to Pretty Serious and some others. I made an order from Pretty Serious and received my items really quickly. I chose BSOD, Twinkling Lights, Viscous Vampire and another bottle of Mummy Mush for my maid of honour. I will have NotD featuring these soon. BSOD and Twinkling Lights are gorgeous together.

I will have some more nail polishes to share when the rest of my last minute/birthday haul shows up.

Next up are some amazing NARS eyeshadow duos. I chose Portbello and Habanera. These were on my Wishlist for a while as I wanted to use them for my wedding makeup. I bought them now so I could have plenty of time playing with them before the day. I am very close to being 100% happy with my bridal look.

Habanera is really intriguing. I got it for the minty colour on the left because it is fairly close to my wedding colour. I am really happy with the purple shade as it is quite sheer and builds up really nicely.

Portobello looks like a pretty boring duo. That is what I thought until I saw Essie Button rave about it. It makes some awesome everyday looks. The main reason I wanted it for my wedding is because one of the shades is supposed to be similar to MAC Wedge. I only have a 4 pan MAC palette and it is full and I didn't want to have an extra pan or feel the pressure to fill another palette. I don't really need any more eyeshadow.

The Priceline haul. I went in to get a concealer. Recently, my skin has been horrendous and I don't have any concealers that are awesome at hiding these spots. I saw the Almay Clear Complexion concealer with its 'blemish clear technology' and I thought why not. The colour matched okay and I like that it can treat spots as it also covers. I hope these claims hold true.

Along the way, I picked up a Rimmel Stay Matte powder in transparent (I decided whatever I could fit in one hand would be acceptable). This has so much love in the blogging world and I thought, why not? I also bought the Essence lash and brow gel. My brow gel is running low and this has some pretty good reviews. Nail wise, I picked up Essence gel-look top coat as I finished one of mine. I also bought the nail art express dry drops because my OPI ones are half empty and I wanted to see how these compare.

More wedding stuff... The cute little Bourjois nail polishes ($1.20!) had 'Hawaii' on them and I thought they would be great additions to a couple of our wedding welcome bags. I have also been toying with the idea of wearing false eye lashes for the wedding. I am going to experiment with these. I have never tried this brand before.

The one purchase that I slightly regret, but not really, is the Australis glitter top coat in Glitter Strikes Back. I love the colours and the day I bought these, I was wearing coral, yellow and fuchsia nail polish, so I thought it was a sign. I do really love it!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara

This is a product I bought on a whim. I wanted a GWP and this got me over the line. I didn't really think I would love this mascara as much as a do.

Certain mascaras I have don't do a great job on the bottom lashes because the wand is too big. However, the wand on this baby is so little and adorable. It does a perfect job getting to those hard to reach lashes. It doesn't make them look dramatic; instead, the lashes look more defined. The formula is quite wet, which I am not the biggest fan of, but it is still easily applied.

This probably isn't a must have for everybody, but I don't think I want to live without it. With that said, I would never pay the Australian price for this mascara. It retails for $10 in the United States, which I think is a fair price to pay for it.

Monday, April 22, 2013

April Bellabox

I received my Bellabox late last week, but I haven't had a chance to post about it until now. I feel I am becoming a broken record when it comes to this subscription box. I will give it one more more more. You get the idea. Once again, I wasn't wowed by my box, but I didn't completely hate it either. Perhaps, my expectations are merely too high.

This box's theme was 'Innovative Beauty'. I like the theme, but let's see just how innovative these products are.

1. Cedel Dry Conditioner- I am a fan of the dry shampoo this brand makes, but I am not sure how well this conditioner will work. It is a mousse and my thin hair already gets weighed down and greasy quite easily. Also, this isn't that innovative. Leave in conditioners whether they be sprays or mousse have been around for ages. Calling it 'dry' doesn't really change that.

2. Avene Micellar Lotion- I am in love with the Bioderma version of this, so I will see how it compares. Again, this isn't something incredibly new.

3. Indio Facial Scrub- I love scrubs and I am definitely keen to see how awesome this one is since it retails for $56.

4. Sally Hansen Magnetic Nail Colour in Kinetic Copper- I don't mind this colour. It will be nice for Autumn. Again, I have seen these around for a while now and I haven't felt the need to purchase one ever.

5. Proplenish Marine Collagen Sachets- I am not a fan of anything I have to ingest. I have passed this on to my partner because he said it looked cool. If I were subscribed to a health box, then I could consider this as a vitamin/supplement, but I'm not. Even though it is good for hair, skin and nails, I don't think it should be in a beauty box.

6. Lash Card- I don't know why anyone would spend money on this. If you struggle that much with mascara, I think you could find something around the house that you could use that would serve the same function.

7. Cellilux Glacial Mineral Gel- if I hadn't seen this is the men's Bellobox, I would have been more excited to see this. I am still keen to use this as I really enjoy masks.

After writing this post up, I feel I was actually fairly disappointed in the box. I am quite sure I will actually unsubscribe this time. I also just signed up for Violet box so it's as good a time as any to say goodbye.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Lust Have It Eco Box: Autumn Edition

It's that time of the year again when I receive my Lust Have it Eco Box.  In case you're unfamiliar with this particular subscription box, it is quarterly and cost $29.95.  I have never been disappointed with these and this is my third box (there have only been three boxes).

The bag
This box came in a hessian bag like the other two.  I'm still not a big fan of the bag.  In the summer feedback form it asked our opinions of the hessian bag, so maybe (I hope) they will change it for upcoming boxes.  However, the questionnaire also brought up the idea of increasing the number and quality of products as well as the price.  Since the regular LHI subscription box has recently increased, I think the same may happen to this box.

The contents
I really enjoyed the contents of the box.  I haven't had a chance to try out all of the products, but I'll give you my initial impressions.

I received some Wotnot Facial Wipes.  I received these in a previous (extremely disappointing) bellabox.  I don't mind these wipes.  I can't say they're my favourite, but they are really good quality.  I don't mind getting these again because I will use them.

There were two colour products in this edition.  Recently, I have seen a fair bit of love for Pretty Serious nail polish.  I was crossing my fingers for BSOD, but I was still very happy to see Mummy Mush.  It's a really lovely colour and I am thinking of getting another bottle for my bridesmaids.  The other colour product was ELF Mineral Eyeshadow in Socialite.  I'm not a big fan of mineral eyeshadow (though I surprisingly own quite a few) simply because it is so messy.  Does anyone have tips for using this type of product?  Socialite is a really pretty colour.  It's a dark grey with brown undertones.  It's complexity surprised me.

Next up is Alfaparf Milano Precious Oil Tradition products.  I received Anti-Frizz Oil Shampoo, Anti-Frizz Mask, and Absolute Oil.  I'm really excited to try these products.  I love getting hair samples because I don't like committing to full size hair products (especially pricey ones).

I really like getting skincare samples as well.  I know we can get to a point where we have too many (and after taking an inventory of my samples in an attempt to use them up, I am quickly approaching that point), but if they're great brands, I'm cool with it.  Apparently the McArthur Complete Skincare Cream is quite popular and well known.  My partner knew about it, but I must have been under a rock.  It's great to get such an expensive product that many people seem to love.  However, to be honest, I'm still a bit unsure how to use it.

Lastly, I received Savi Body Cream Wellbeing.  I love love love the smell of this cream.  I also love the consistency.  It's thin, but sinks into your skin so perfectly.  I will definitely consider purchasing this when this sample runs out.

Again, another LHI Eco success.  This box reminds me how much I love subscription boxes.

Friday, April 5, 2013

NotD: Revisiting Old Favourites

Just a quick nail of the day using some of my favourite nail polishes: OPI 'Fly', China Glaze 'For Audrey', and Femme Fatale 'Winter Hyacinth'.  My first experience with 'Winter Hyacinth' wasn't easy, but I loved how it looked.  To make the application easier, I layered it on top of similar-ish shades so I wouldn't need as many applications.

I used two coats of each colour, so each nail had four coats of each colour.  I used a Sally Hansen topcoat to finish off the look.  I'm really happy with how they turned out.

Benefit Eye Bright

A while ago, I purchased a Benefit kit from the Sephora store on Amazon.  Included in my kit was this product, Eye Bright.

Benefit Eye Bright
I initially bought the kit because it had Bella Bamba and the Stay Don't Stray Eye Primer (which I really love).  The Eye Bright was just a bonus product and I'm so glad it was in there.  I don't think I would have thought about purchasing it on its own.

The reason I love this product is that it is a multi-tasker.  You can apply this to the inner and outer corners of your eyes to brighten them.  It also looks really nice to highlight your brow bone.  However, the reason I love it so much is that I can easily use it on my water liner.  If you saw my post about my search for a great water line eye liner here, you know it's been a bit of a mission.  The pale pink colour fits perfectly with my skin, opening and brightening my eyes.  I think I do prefer the Paul & Joe liner for my water line, but I love that I can use this product in so many other places.

Eye bright is really creamy and glides onto your skin.  It blends out easily by just tapping it into your skin.  I'm  so glad it was included in the kit I bought.

Have you been surprised by a product you've seen a thousand times but never really looked at?

Monday, April 1, 2013

2013 Quarterly Favourites: Summer Edition

I decided to do quarterly favourites instead of monthly favourites because I was finding I wasn't really enjoying doing the posts each month (however, I do love reading them).  For this post, I have found it a bit difficult to narrow down my favourites to ten (that was the number I set myself), but I feel that means these are all products which are genuine favourites of mine.  They will probably be favourites for many more months to come.

The top ten:

These are products I kept coming back to (mostly) everyday since the start of the year.  There are some recently acquired items and they're pretty special to have beat out some other items.

The Faves

Stila In the Light Palette:  I did a review/comparison post here of this palette.  Stila make some fantastic eye shadows (along with other items :)  I'm definitely keen to pick up another palette, most likely In the Know.

Nars Foreplay Palette:  Love these blushes.  The fuchsia one has been my fave this month.  See review here.

OPI Eurso...Euro:  This is a recently acquired nail polish.  I love the formula.  I love the colour and I love that my partner picked it out.  Check out a swatch here.

MAC Blot Powder Pressed:  I'll have a review on this sometime soonish.  I use it to set and touch up my makeup.  Just know, it gets the job done.  Very well.  Great for oily/combination skin.

Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream in 21: I cannot say enough about how much I love this BB cream.  It's amazing.  I wear this about everyday to work.  See review here.

Lancome Teint Idole Ultra 24H in 005:  If I'm not wearing the BB cream, I'm wearing this or another foundation which I'm currently in love with.  I'll reveal the other foundation at another time.  I struggled for a long time finding foundations that match my skin and now I'm obsessed with finding more (even though I don't need anymore :)  I made a mini review about this here.

Revlon Lip Butter in Lollipop:  I love lip butters.  They're my kind of lipstick.  Pigmented and low maintenance.  I've been wearing lollipop a lot this summer.  I'll be posting a FotD soon with this as a star.

L'Oreal NutriBalm Tinted Lip Balm in Nudy Coral: Love. Love. Love.  This is pretty much a lip balm with the slightest amount of colour (emphasis on slight), but it is fantastic!  The subtle colour and shine is great for my work makeup.  I will be writing a post comparing this to YSL Volupte Sheer Candy.

Kosmea Skin Clinic Rescue Balm: I mention when I bought this I loved it as a lip balm; however, I have also seen firsthand it's ability to mend and fade scarring.  My partner cut his nose at work and it has scarred (even after attempts to avoid this during the healing process).  I told him to put the Rescue Balm on it just to see what would happen and what do you know? It has worked.  The scar is slowly, slowly fading, but it is so much better than it was at the start.  I was so mad at him (even though it was a complete accident) because in less than 3 months, we'll be getting married and there will be so many photos!

Finally, Etude House Missing U Hand Cream Harp Seal: This is the most adorable packaging I have ever seen.  I'm obsessed with seals and I couldn't pass this up.  It's supposed to smell like Green Tea (I'm not sure if it actually does, but I also cannot pinpoint what it smells like) and it's actually a pretty good hand cream.  It leaves your hands feeling really smooth.  I will keep this container forever!

Honourable Mentions: 

Okay, so I have cheated, slightly, and included three honourable mentions.  These were products that I have (a) fallen in love with recently, but the blogger world has been loving it forever, (b) loved it for a while now and have used it a lot more this quarter or (c) really like it, but it just narrowly missed the cut.
Honourable mentions
Bioderma: it seems that everyone has an opinion of this.  I thought it was overrated, but after using it for a while now, I cannot see myself without it.

Fine One One: See my review here.  I still love it.

Bellapierre Mineral Blush in Desert Rose: The swatch leans a bit too orange, but it is definitely peachy.  I adore peach blushes and this is a great everyday one.  It's really finely milled and applies extremely well.

Bellapierre Mineral Blush in Desert Rose
Desert Rose swatch
What were your favourites this month/quarter?