Monday, April 30, 2012

Nails of the Week - Dito Karpati Nail Lacquer in Kiss Me Red

It feels so long since I've done a nails of the week post. For some reason my nails haven't been playing nice lately and have been splitting and chipping all over the place so I've been too ashamed to even paint them let alone do a nail polish post. I've been hanging out too because I've acquired so many new polishes lately that I haven't had the chance to use yet!

Firstly, how cool is this Dito Karpati nail polish design? It's specially designed so you can put the bottle between your fingers kind of like wearing a big bulky ring which aids in applying your polish. I actually found this design awesome and it made applying the polish so damn easy.

The only thing you need to be aware of is if you are a bit of a clumsy person like me who tends to move without thinking. There were a couple of times where I nearly covered myself in polish because I kind of forgot I had this on top of my hand and almost turned my hand upside down with it still there. Luckily the brain kicked in at the right time and the unthinkable didn't happen. Something to remember next time though........

Here are some photos of this colour, Kiss Me Red:

This is a gorgeous bright ruby red that would look good on anyone. I don't think you can really go past red nail polish and I have about 10 different reds in my collection and this one would have to be up there as one of the best ones.

This polish goes on almost opaque in just one coat which was really surprising. In these photos I have on two coats. It doesn't streak at all and is virtually a dream to apply as the consistency is not too thick or not too runny but just right.

I found it dried quite fast too which was an added bonus and so far I've had this on for three days without any chips and only a hint of wear on the tips.

Has anyone else tried this polish yet?

Michelle xx

Friday, April 27, 2012

Review - Models Prefer Ultra Lipgloss Pencils

I love, love, love these Lipgloss Pencils. I have two in the colours Kiss and Make Up and Pefectly Polished and they have become my most reached for lip colour lately, especially when I'm in a hurry.

They have the benefits of applying like a gloss which is nice and smooth and not too opaque but they have the staying power of a lipstick. To me, these are a cheaper and pretty much identical duplicate for the Clinique Chubby Sticks. I was so happy when I came across these in Priceline one day and discovered how nice they were.

They don't dry my lips out at all and wear off nice and evenly so you don't have any funny looking lip lines or coloured patches after a few hours. I have found that I can get around 3 hours of wear from one of these (without eating) before I need to reapply.

They also have a lovely shine to them which does make it look like you've applied a lip gloss.

From the above picture you can see that Kiss and Make Up is a really pretty bright pink and Pefectly Polished is a more darker nude beige with a hint of red.

These are also so convenient to keep in the handbag as they can't leak and are almost foolproof to apply but you just have to be careful that the lid is always on tight as the pencil itself is very soft and would cover everything if the lid came off.

They don't seem to stray into the lip lines either which is a great bonus.

I'm thinking of trying out another colour or two the next time I'm out and about because for the price (around $9.95 I think) these are just too good to pass up!

Has anyone else tried out these Lipgloss Pencils yet?

Michelle xx

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Review - Australis Paparazzi Perfect High Definition Blush in Poser

First up, I really need to apologise for the fact I haven't been posting much lately and also for the fact that what I have been has been a bit sporadic as well. My CPA exam for this semester is coming up on the 2nd May and I have officially hit panic/stressed-out mode and am not coping well with concentrating on anything other than studying right now. I always get like this a couple of weeks prior to my exams and I guess it's my way of getting in the exam zone so that I feel prepared enough on the day.

Therefore I have to admit that I won't be posting too much at all over the next couple of weeks until this exam is over and I can do other activities again without feeling guilty (at least for a couple of months until the next damn one starts!)

Anyway, onto the main reason for this post, the Australis Paparazzi Perfect High Definition Blush in the shade Poser.

What the product claims:
'Australis Paparazzi Perfect Blush is a multi-coloured palette, formulated with light reflecting and balancing photochromatic pigments allowing for instant camera-ready photos. The technology blurs pores, fine lines and other imperfections. The formula is also enriched with jojoba and grape seed oil to lock in skin moisture.'

Isn't it pretty? I just love the marbled effect of this blush which was one of the main reasons for me purchasing it. It's almost in that 'too pretty to use' category as far as I'm concerned.

I have to say one thing straight up about this blush and that is it is the most pigmented product I think I have ever come across. When I first brought it home I got all excited and decided to have a play with it and started applying it the same way that I do with my other powder blushes and I ended up with the darkest cheeks you have ever seen. It was hilarious! I have since learnt that you only just have to touch your blush brush to the product in the softest manner to get the right amount of product to apply.

It also has a very subtle shimmer to it which I like as it works to help highlight the cheekbones.

The above photo is taken with a flash and gives a pretty good indication of the colour of this blush. On the left is a swatch of all the colours together and on the right it has been blended out.

I didn't realise until I got this baby home that it was so dominantly brown and have since decided to use it as a bronzer/contouring powder rather than a blush which is suits me better because of my pale skin. It's really easy to blend out as long as you don't apply too much, otherwise it can make the face look a little dirty.

Frankly I think I will die with this product. There is no way I will ever hit pan on this as the amount you have to use is so miniscule. If I was part of the product development team at Australis I'd be expecting a bit of a berating from management because if they develop too many more of these types of products Australis will most definitely go out of business because we just won't need to replace anything ever again!

I'm definitely interested in trying one of the more pinker shades and then I will be set for blush for the rest of my life!

Has anyone else tried one of these blushes yet?

Michelle xx

Sunday, April 22, 2012

April Bellabox - Be Fashion Forward

I'm a little bit late posting about the April Bellabox as I must admit that I almost forgot I even received it (shows you how great it must have been this month, hey?)

Anyway, the Bellabox for this month was based around celebrating the lead up to Mecedes Benz Fashion Week with the theme of the box 'around the world in fashion'.

Well, I really don't get how this theme ties into what we actually received in the box. I don't know if I'm just a bit slow but none of the items we received really scream out to me as a celebration to fashion.

Oh well, lets move on to the contents for the April Bellabox:

1) Comvita Brightening Range - Exfoliant, Serum & Moisturiser (1 x 1.5ml sample of each, RRP $45-$79) - These are tiny sachets and I think it would have been nice to get at least 2-3 of each instead of just one to give a better idea of the product.

2) Ulta3 Nail Polish in Enchanted (Full size, RRP $2.00) - Enchanted is a dark pearly green with purple through it. It's a really pretty colour but I kind of expect a bit more than a polish which I constantly see in a $2.00 bargain box at Coles when I do my grocery shopping.

3) Benefit 'Hello Flawless' Foundation in Petal (5ml sample, RRP $55 for 30mls) - I must admit that I'm a Benefit virgin and have never tried any products from them before. This foundation seems to blend nicely and gives medium coverage on my skin but the shade I got is a bit too dark and yellow toned for me (I'm usually an ivory or porcelain gal when it comes to foundation shades).

4) Pure DKNY Verbena (1.5ml sample, RRP $80 for 30mls) - I really, really, really like this scent. It's refreshing and kind of floral without being too overpowering. This may go on my wishlist for my birthday or xmas this year.

5) OP Therapy Body Hydrator (75ml Full size, RRP $19.00) - This seems like a really nice moisturiser that smoothes on well and sinks in fast without leaving any greasy residue. It's unscented and ideal for dry sensitive skin which is exactly what I usually have so hopefully I'll see results from using this.

6) Hollywood Feet Heel Cushions (2 pairs, RRP $9.95) - Hmmmm, not really the sort of thing I'd expect to see in a monthly beauty sample box. I find that when I wear heels for too long I get pain in the ball of my foot, not my heels so these will probably never get used.

So there you have it. Nothing terrible exciting in the box for this month. So much so that it's been sitting on my dining table for over a week now because I pretty much forgot it was even there!

I'd love to know whether everyone else got the same things as me this month or anything better/different?

Michelle xx

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Revlon Colorburst Lipstick - True Red

So, for some reason while we were our grocery shopping the other day I decided that I just had to have another red lipstick. Don't ask me why, but I did. Red is probably the lip colour that I wear the least because with my pale skin and red/brown hair I feel that it just doesn't suit me for some reason. I always aboslutely adore the colour when someone else wears it and get a bit of 'red lip envy' and today I decided I wanted to have a reason to be more brave with this colour.

Enter Revlon Colorburst Lipstick in True Red. After swatching about 30 (this is NOT an exaggeration) red lipsticks in Priceline today while the wonderful hubby thought he was in heaven with a free pass to go an explore JB Hi Fi on his own, I finally settled on True Red.

To me it's exactly what the name suggest, a definite true red. It's certainly not a red that won't get noticed and it doesn't border on any plum, maroon or coral shades either. It's a bright, blue based red which also has the added bonus of making my teeth look super duper white. Gotta love that!

The formula is so surprisingly creamy too. I don't even realise I have this lipstick on as it tends to just blend onto the lips magically and doesn't go dry at all as it wears away. It's got great pigment and can be built up from a subtle red tint to being a full-on raving red pout. It tends to leave a slight red tint on the lips too as it wears away which I don't mind.

As you can see I suffer from annoying fine lines around my mouth ( I must pout too much in my sleep or something) and I'm always scared to wear ultra bright lip colours due to the bleeding I can get around my lips if it's not a top-notch formula. I must say that I don't notice any bleeding into the lip lines at all with this lipstick which makes me want to go and buy every colour made.

Now, I just have to convince hubby to take me out to dinner a bit more so I can get some use out of this baby. I'm certainly not brave enough to just wear it out and about (although I really wish I was!)

So, what's your favourite red lipstick?

Michelle xx

Friday, April 13, 2012

Review - Natio Gentle Foaming Facial Cleanser

I have been using this cleanser for a good couple of months now after DJ's had a sale on some Natio products and have become quite a fan.

A little about this product:
'Soap-free cleanser with a neutral pH. Extra low foaming to avoid stripping skin of vital moisture. Effectively removes excess surface oils, impurities and make-up and helps neutralise the drying effects of hard water. Natio Gentle Foaming Facial Cleanser maintains correct moisture balance, leaving skin feeling pure, soft and moist. Includes shea butter to maintain correct moisture balance, rosewood to improve radiance and sandalwood, calendula and jojoba to, soothe and moisturise. Suitable for all skin types' 

First up I just love the smell. It's such a fresh herbal sort of scent that is really nice to have on your face and is kind of relaxing when used at night.

I also love how this cleanser makes my skin feel. It always left nice and clean with all traces of makeup gone and a nice smooth surface ready for my toner and moisturiser.

There were only a couple of small things that bugged me about this cleanser. The first is that it's a pretty thick cream and getting it out of the tube once you're getting towards the end is actually quite difficult. Also, being as thick as it is I found you really had to work it with a fair amount of water to get the foaming effect and cover your whole face.

Another thing that bothered me was a couple of weeks ago. After I had a bad head cold my nose was going through that raw, red and sore stage as is the norm after a lot of nose blowing and I found that this cleanser seemed to sting that area quite a bit when in use. This is probably nothing but thought it was something to mention as it made me steer clear from it for a couple of days until my nose was healed. I have quite sensitive skin normally and have not experienced any other forms of irritation from using this cleanser at all other than this episode.

Overall, if you're looking for a fairly gentle no frills cleanser then this is one to consider.

Hope everyone has a lovely weekend.

Michelle xx

Monday, April 9, 2012

Review - Puretopia Firming & Soothing Hand Cream

So, I think I have finally discovered my holy grail hand cream after many, many years of trying to find that perfect one that soothes my dry eczema suffering hands without feeling like I've stuck them in a grease pit. Enter Puretopia's Firming & Smoothing Hand Cream.

What the product claims:
"Puretopia Nourish & Repair Firming & Soothing Hand Cream is deeply nourishing, rapidly absorbed and enriches skin with smoothing wheat, oat proteins, vitamin E and rosehip oil, while jojoba wax maintains skin suppleness. Nails and cuticles will be strengthened and hands will feel soft, hydrated, refined in texture offering a more youthful appearance. It features a citrus spa fragrance."

I am in love with this cream. Ever since I bought some it has not moved more than a few centimetres from my hand bag in fear of me forgetting to put it back in and not having it on hand (pardon the pun) while out if a dry or itchy hand emergency should occur.

The scent of this cream is subtle enough to not be too overpowering every time your hands come within the vicinity of your face but pleasant enough that I find myself absent mindedly sniffing my hands after applying it sometimes.

The best part about this hand cream I have found?? That would be the consistency hands down (gosh I'm going great guns with the puns tonight!). It is a nice and thick cream that absorbs extremely fast and doesn't leave any greasy residue so you can continue to go about your business quite soon after application without being scared to leave greasy prints all over the place.

Also, for anyone out there who is unfortunate enough to be an eczema sufferer like me, I guarantee you will love this cream as much as I do. I have a tendency to gets bad bouts of eczema underneath my wedding rings and also sometimes underneath where I wear my watch and whenever I put this cream on these areas feel instantly soothed and any itchiness just disappears. Pure joy if you ask me!

Has anyone used any other products in the Puretopia range they liked and would recommend? I'm extremely keen to try something else now but can't decide what. 

Michelle xx

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

My New Book Blog

After much 'umming' and 'aaaghing' I've decided to set up a separate blog containing all of my book reviews and other bookish type stuff. I just wasn't happy with mixing things on this blog and think it's much cleaner to separate my two obsessions instead so they can both get the love that they deserve.

My new blog is My Little Book Space. If you are interested at all in following my book reviews or just interested in reading and books in general, please pop on over to my new blog and join me. I'd love to continue our friendship!

I will soon be moving my book reviews from this blog over to the new one and am still ironing out some small teething problems with my layout but am hoping to have My Little Book Space up and running smoothly in no time!

Hope to see you there!

Michelle xx

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Personal Makeup Tutorial - Blush and Bronzer Tips

So here is my second instalment where I am giving all the tips I learnt from the personal makeup tutorial that I did last Sunday.

Today's post will be all about applying Blush and Bronzer.

* Bronzer is normall applied prior to your blush and the best tool is a Kabuki brush as the large soft head can be used to give a wide area of coverage or squeezed to just give a little bit.
* First, and the most obvious tip is to use a bronzer that is suited to your skin tone. If you're pale like me you don't want to use a deep dark bronzer as it will just look ridiculous. There are a lot of different shades out there so it's best to find one that suits you so that you don't end up looking like you have dirty streaks up the side of your face.
* The places that benefit from the use of bronzer are the hollows of the cheeks, the outer corner of the eye up to the temple, the top of the forehead and below the jaw line. Bronzer used in these areas gives depth to the face and also creates a subtle warm glow.
* When applying bronzer in the hollow of the cheeks, the best way is to use a sweeping motion upwards towards the hairline and level with the centre of the ear. Sweeping upwards concentrates the colour along the bottom of the hollow as this is where the brush hits first. Sweeping downwards will concentrate the colour along the top which won't look right and will clash with your blush.
* The same upward sweeping motion goes for the triangular area between the outer corner of the eye and the temple and along the top of the forehead.
* A small amount brushed under the jawline will give the illusion of a more pronounced jaw and will also minimise the look of a double chin (for those of us who may have one, cough, cough....)
* When applying bronzer, less is always more. It's best to start off with a very small amount and then build up your colour from there. If you do happen to do any too dark patches you can use the foundation brush or sponge you just applied your makeup with (without adding any extra foundation) to gently pat over the darker areas until the level of colour you want is achieved.

* After contouring the face with bronzer you'll want to add a bit of colour to the face by using a blush. Most pale girls like me suit blushes that are more in the pink colour spectrum where those of you who have warmer complexions can get away with using darker plums and pinky-brown colours.
* Using either a slanted blush brush or a regular brush, you want to start over the apples of the cheeks at the mid point under your eye and blend out towards the hairline just above the ear. 
* If using a cream blush, it's best to pat the blush on with the fingers first or apply with a small flat blush in a patting motion before blending out.
* A cream blush also benefits from being set with a tiny amount of powder blush in a similar hue or a non-pigmented translucent powder. This gives it longer staying power and stops any patches from forming.
* Again, when applying blush, less is definitely more. It's much easier to apply more if you need the colour deepened than it is to remove any if you apply too much. You can also use the foundation brush or sponge trick over the top if you do apply too much and need to reduce the amount of colour on your cheeks.
* Remember, you're after a healthy rosy glow on the cheeks to lift and brighten the face. Clown cheeks are a big no-no!

The last three brushes in the below picture are normally used for bronzing and blushing:

(Foundation brush, Highlighting brush, Concealer Brush, Slanted Blush Brush, Kabuki Brush, Blush Brush)
Next I will go through everything I learnt about the eyes and eyebrows.

If you missed my first post which was all about achieving the perfect makeup base the link for that is here.

Hope everybody has a wonderful week.

Michelle xx

Monday, April 2, 2012

FOTF - My Attempt at a Fresh Natural Look

Now I seem to have gotten over my fear of putting my ugly mug on the internet I will show you guys my first attempt at using some of the products for this Face of the Fortnight.  I was going for a simple natural look today:

Sorry about the lighting. I seem to live in the darkest house in Australia.......

For this look I used the following:

Face: Loreal Infallible Foundation in Creamy Natural, Savoir Faire Concealer, Prestige Mineral Bronzing Powder in Pure Shimmer, Philosophy Cream Blush in Look on The Bright Side

Eyes: CK Eyeshadow in Gold Lame all over the lid, Clinique Colour Surge in Lucky Penny on the outer corner and in the crease and Chi Chi Eyeshadow in Part Time Lover on the inner corner, Savvy by DB Eyeliner in Jade and Clinique High Impact Mascara in Black

Lips: nude by Nature Lip Liner in Chique with Clinique Long Last Glosswear in Sunset on top.

So there you have it. This will probably be my day time look with the products I've given myself for this fortnight and at night I will instead use the Clinique Lipstick in Peach Pop and darken my liner a bit more with the Clinique Cream Shaper in Chocolate Lustre on top with the Savvy Jade liner underneath the eye and most likely add a bit more eyeshadow and mascara.

Hope everyone has a great week!

Michelle xx

Sunday, April 1, 2012

FOTF - My New Way To Save Time and Use Up My Makeup

Yes, I have coined a new term which I like to call FOTF - Face of the Fortnight! This is my new way to start being fair to my makeup (because makeup has feelings too!) and to have an honest attempt at using some products up that can normally sit in my makeup boxes for long periods of time without seeing the light of day.

Every second Sunday for the past few weeks I have started picking out a small selection of items to use solely for the coming fortnight. I have chosen to use a fortnight as my time frame seeings as I only work two days a week at the moment and will go out maybe only once or twice a week other than that (the joys of having a small bub!) so changing it on a weekly basis wouldn't really have given the products much use overall.

As an added bonus I have found that doing this has meant that I have cut out so much time when getting ready as I don't just stand and stare at my makeup collection for 10 minutes wondering what to use and can just grab from the small selection instead.

So, here is the selection that I will be choosing from for the next fortnight:

* Loreal Infallible Foundation in Creamy Natural
* Savoir Faire Concealer (I forgot to include this in the photo but you can see a picture of this here)
* Australis Pressed Powder in Natural
* Prestige Skin Loving Minerals Bronzing Powder in Pure Shimmer

* Philosophy Lit From Within Cream Blush in Look on the Bright Side (This is such a gorgeous blush that I will posting a review on soon)

* Calvin Klein Intense Eyeshadow in Gold Lame - A gorgeous golden shade that just goes with everything
* Chi Chi Eye Shadow in Part Time Lover - A pretty pale beige shade with a hint of shimmer
* Clinique Colour Surge Eye Shadow in Lucky Penny - A deeper beige bordering on bronze
* Clinique High Impact Mascara in Black
* Clinique Cream Shaper for Eyes in Chocolate Lustre
* Savvy by DB Automatic Eyeliner in Jade (I love this eyeliner and have another in Gold which I will be reviewing properly soon)

* Nude by Nature Natural Mineral Lip Liner in Chique
* Clinique High Impact Lipstick in Peach Pop
* Clinique Long Last Glosswear in Sunset

Wow, after writing those down I realise that I have kind of gone with a bit of a Clinique them which was totally unintentional.

I know this probably seems extremely limited to some but I'm a bit of a routine freak so actually get excited at the thought of having a set look to go with without needing to think about it at all. I know, I'm weird!

Has anyone else ever gone to such extremes just to start using their stash up or purely to save time? I'd love to know if you have :-)


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