Monday, 26 January 2015

My Favourite Australian Things

Happy Australia Day everybody! I'm going to share with you some of my favourite Australian things across a range of categories: beauty, fashion, and music.


Fashion

One of my favourite clothing stores is Dotti. Founded in 1981 in Sydney, there are Dotti stores all over Australia and New Zealand. Some of my favourite and most worn clothes are from Dotti.


Top left: Feather printed maxi dress; brought over 3 years ago and I still wear this dress once a week during the summer months. I either wear it with flats during the day or if I'm heading into the city for dinner I often throw a blazer on and some heels. I think it is always important to have a piece of clothing you can rely on, wherever and whenever you are going. Perfect for those "I have nothing to wear" days.

Bottom left: Shift Dress; I love love love the print on this shift dress. It's great for summer days/nights with or without a blazer and is also a great option for those Melbourne, 4 seasons in 1 day, days - with tights and boots.

Bottom right: Palm Print Top; I picked this up for $10 (originally $50) and usually wear it with jeans and a blazer. Perfection?!

Mimco is one of my most recent obsessions. Their leather handbags are gorgeous and their accessories are addictive. Especially their pouches.

Peter Alexander make pyjamas, but not any ordinary pyjamas! I am a lover of prints and during their recent Boxing Day sales (which were amazing) I wanted to buy one of everything. Last winter they released a pair of pants covered in nail polish bottles - perfect for a nail polish blogger, hey?



Beauty

My favourite Australian beauty brands are Face of Australia, OmShe, and Natio. Every year Face of Australia release a couple of limited edition collections of nail polish, which are always amazing. Their permanent line is also great. Their glossy lip crayons were the first lip crayons I ever tried and are still some of my favourites. Sure they don't last forever, but they are moisturising and their sheer pigmentation can be built up. omShe is an Aussie brand that uses natural ingredients and is one of my favourite Australian brands. Their nail polishes are 3-free and their lipsticks smell gorgeous and come in pretty golden tubes (I cannot resist gold packaging, please tell me I'm not the only one!!!). Natio  is a brand that I have started looking at recently. They use 100% pure essential oil blends. So far my favourite products from them are their  tinted lip balms.

Music

One of my all-time favourite Australian bands is Savage Garden, and then when they split-up I became a fan of Darren Hayes when he went solo. One of my new discoveries is Busby Marou. Some of my favourite songs from their Farewell Fitzroy album are: 'My Second Mistake' and 'Luck'.







Saturday, 24 January 2015

Face of the day - trying out new products / first impressions

Today I decided to grab a handful of products I haven't used before, or items I have not used more than a handful of times. I started with Rimmel Londn Stay Matte Liquid Mousse Foundation. I purchased this product around this time last year but haven't used it before (at least I don't think I have. Maybe once before?). It was a really good colour match for my skin (200 soft beige) but I had difficulty applying it. I ended up putting my all-time favourite foundation over the top. I will have to experiment with this foundation a bit more before I make up my mind about it. I think I need to exfoliate before using the product again...



The second product I grabbed this morning was one I had never used before. It was the Too Faced Shadow Insurance Primer. I have never used a primer for my eyeshadow before and loved it! It claims to make your eyeshadow last for 24 hours. I definitely found it made my eyeshadow last longer but it didn't last 24 hours. After 8 hours the eye shadow had faded drastically. That could be due to the fact that I was using an eyeshadow that doesn't last that long on it's own...I used the Love in Paris 'Merci Beaucoup' eye shadow palette from Nyx.

The Love in Paris 'Merci Beaucoup' eye shadow palette contains 9 shadows (6 shimmery, 3 matte). I applied the matte brown all over my lid and then added some of the darkened bronze. I wore the apricot and burgundy pink shade yesterday, with no primer, and found the pigmentation to be lacking and wear-time wasn't brilliant. I am excited that the Too Faced primer made these shadows last longer because the colours in this palette are gorgeous <3

I tried Maybelline's Volum' Express Falsies Big Eyes Mascara 'Very Black' (Waterproof) for the first time today and loved it. I have never used a mascara like this before. You get a large brush for your upper lashes and a little brush for your lower lashes. Genius idea! I found the mascara to apply well, even though I haven't 100% figured out how to use the brush perfectly yet, and it made my lashes long amazingly long. I didn't experience any smudging or flaking throughout the day. Very impressed indeed. However, it is the first time I've ever worn waterproof mascara and oh my goodness, it was impossible to remove! I definitely will never buy waterproof mascara again. But that is simply a personal preference and if this mascara continues to impress me I will buy this mascara again in the non-waterproof version.

On my lips I wore Revlon Colorburst Lipgloss in 'Sunbaked' which isn't a new product, but a product I haven't worn for a very long time. I was actually surprised, the colour was a lot nicer than I remembered it. Definitely something that I will be reaching for more.


Thursday, 22 January 2015

EOTD #1

2014 was a year where I practically had zero amount of time to experiment with makeup so now, in 2015, I am trying to make up for that. Digging through some of my favourite eyeshadows I put together some that I hadn't worn together before.




I started with a L'Oreal Paris Infallible Eyeshadow in 'Forever Pink' along the first 2/3 of my lid. Then I reached for my Nudes palette from Chi Chi. On the remaining 1/3 of my lid I reached for a dark brown with some shimmer, In the crease I used a matte medium brown, again from the Nudes palette. Underneath my brow and in the inner corner of my eye I used a shimmery highlighting shadow from the Nudes palette. I blended like crazy, maybe I blended too much? The mascara I used was Maximum Definition Volume Mascara from Essence. This is a great mascara for everyday, I really love it.



I'm only beginning to experiment with eyeshdows (I usually only ever wear one or two eyeshadows at the same time) so let me know what you think of this...and if you have any tips :)

Thanks for reading!!!

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Makeup Brush Collection

Today on the blog we are taking a peek at my makeup brush collection. I'll also be sure to point out my favourite brushes and what I typically use to do what. I am by no means knowledgeable about brushes so this post is going to be all about what I personally like and what I finds works best for me.



I have to confess that I don't use makeup brushes a lot. I typically use one brush a day - to apply blush. I prefer to apply foundation with my fingers and I usually apply my eyeshadow with the little applicators that come with eyeshadow palettes, or the applicators you buy from Essence (I'll talk more about these later). 

Multi Task Brush - Real Techniques 

This is by far my most used and favourite brush of all time. I typically use it to apply my blush. I also use it occasionally to powder my T Zone. Not that I use powder very often.



Essential Foundation Brush - Real Techniques

This is a brush I often turn to when I am experimenting with my make-up or playing around with a new product. I feel like it is a little bit small for applying foundation with? 

Foundation Brush - Real Techniques 

This is another brush I rarely use. Like the essential foundation brush it is really only when I am experimenting that this gets pulled out. I'm not saying these are bad brushes, I'm just lazy and prefer to use my fingers when applying foundation.


Duo-fibre Contour Brush - Real Techniques

Another brush I use for blush. As I mentioned before blush is my main reason for reaching for a brush.



Duo-fibre Face Brush - Real Techniques

This is the largest brush in my collection. I reach for this when I want to wear a pigmented blush and want to make sure I don't apply too much! I also use it for bronzer. A very nice brush indeed :)



Domed Shadow Brush - Real Techniques

This is a really nice, and always reliable, brush! When I've had a bit of a disaster and need to blend an eye shadow out, I reach for this brush. Or when I am experimenting with new eyeshadows. 

Duo-fibre Eye Brush - Real Techniques 

I don't use this brush very much to be honest. So I can't say if it is a good or bad brush...

Real Techniques - Pros

I love my brushes from Real Techniques:

  • The brush name is on the handle of the brush - genius idea!
  • Synthetic and 100% cruelty free.
  • They are not too expensive. 
  • They are very soft. 
  • There is a brush for everything. 
  • I don't look after my brushes particularly well but they last and wear really well. 
  • The brushes are self-standing.
  • Their sets come with really nice cases. 
Real Techniques - Cons

My main gripe?
  • You cannot buy all of their brushes individually. A lot of their brushes can only be brought within sets, which obviously cost more. This is the reason why I have so many brushes that I don't use much, if at all, because there is one or two brushes in a set that I have wanted which means I have had to buy the entire set. 

Powder Brush - Essence

Powder and I don't get along very well however when I wear powder I do reach for this brush. Essence's brushes are good and don't cost much! Definitely a great option if you are a beginner. I also like taking my Essence brushes on holidays because if they get destroyed I can replace them easily.

Blush Brush - Essence

This was my first ever brush. As you can guess from the name...I used it to apply blush :) It is a really nice brush blush, with a nice shape and size.

Eyeshadow Applicators - Essence

I love these applicators for packing eyeshadows onto my lid. A packet of costs $2.65 and the packet is sectioned keeping each applicator separate from the the others and clean. I especially like the short handles as I find it easier to hold a short handle. I feel really clumsy with the longer handled applicators you occasionally get for free with drugstore palettes.

Phew! That was a long post...would love to know what your favourite brushes are and what you use them for :)


Friday, 9 January 2015

Essence Beach Cruisers 'Summer Break' Blush Review

A new limited edition range from Essence has hit the shelves at Priceline - Beach Cruisers. Today I will be reviewing the "I <3 Summer Break" blush from the collection. It is stunning!!!


The blush is housed in a clear, sturdy, plastic pan. Whilst the blush comes with no brush or mirror I think the packaging is pretty much perfect. I rarely use the brushes that come with blushes and I like how the packaging is clear - makes it easier to find!

I <3 Summer Break is a beautiful ombre brush, with the ombre ranging from a warm-toned hot pink to a light apricot colour. You can swirl the colour together and get a bold pink blush or be more selective with where you place your brush.

This blush is insanely pigmented. It is by far the most pigmented blush I have in my collection. And to think it only costs $5.35!!! Bargain!!! You definitely need to be light handed when you apply this blush. While we are talking about application...this blush is quite easy to apply. The blush also lasts a really long time. I put this on in the late afternoon and when I woke up the next morning I could still see the blush on my skin.



Top swatch:the pale apricot end of the blush 
Bottom left swatch: All colours blended
Bottom right swatch: the darkest hot-pink end of the blush 


Also in the collection are:

  • Body Spray
  • Nail Polish $3.65
  • Mascara $4.25
  • Lip gloss $3.50
  • Bronzing Powder $5.35
  • Liquid eyeliner $4.25
  • Eyeshadow $4.25
  • Wet bikini bag 
Overall I think that this blush is great quality, has great pigmentation and lasting power. However if you are only starting to use blush or have very fair skin this blush might not be perfect for you. Definitely an impressive product and I would absolutely recommend going to check out the collection at Priceline - it all looks amazing!

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Covergirl XL Gel Nail Polish Review - Overblown Orange

Pursuing the aisles of Priceline the other day I spotted a new range of nail polishes on the Covergirl stand. The XL Gel nail polishes are suppose to give your nails a shiny gel-like look without the hassle of a UV light and last for 7 days.


'Overblown Orange' is a very vivid orange nail polish that is beautiful for these hot summer days. it is a gorgeous colour and I am absolutely in love with it. The polish colour is pretty much how it looks in the bottle, just in case you're wondering!



The formula of this polish is outstanding, with one thin coat you have opaque colour. It is a very pigmented formula with absolutely no streaks. It is also unbelievably shiny!!! I did one thin coat followed by a thicker coat. In hindsight the second coat should have also been thin because I found the polish struggled to dry quickly. I ended up using a quick drying top coat because after 15 minutes of waiting around my impatience got the better of me. The brush was quite wide and flat and was perfectly fine to apply the polish with. Overall I am super impressed by this nail polish. The only thing that isn't perfect about the polish is it's drying time but I'm sure that can be resolved by applying thin coats and/or by using a quick dry top coat.


I absolutely love this polish - it is very shiny, very opaque (even in only one thin coat), is easy to apply and a great colour.

Saturday, 3 January 2015

2014 - Favourite nail polishes

My favourite nail polishes of 2014!!! Writing my thesis meant I didn't have time do experiment with much nail art or tedious nail polishes this year. I wanted nail polish that was easy to apply, with a great formula, quick drying, durable and long wearing. So these nail polishes might seem a bit run of a mill but I promise you, these polishes are amazing! 


Lets begin with Sally Hansen's Insta-Dri Top Coat. It gives your nails a lovely extra shine, makes your polish last longer and helps to dry your nail polish faster. I love this top coat and will definitely repurchase it. I am one of those people are very prone to ruining their freshly painted nails within minutes so this a very loved top coat.



When Revlon released their Parfumerie collection of polishes I wasn't expecting much. Could nail polish actually smell good? Yes it can!!! I was really impressed with how nice the polishes from the collection smelt, plus how the scent lingered for a couple of days. All the scents do differ though in their strength and longevity so keep that in mind...my favourite polish, scent wise is 'Apricot Nectar' which has quite a strong sweet fruity scent. Plus the polish itself is a gorgeous peachy orange colour that is super bright, nearly neon.  It has a cream finish that is vey easy to work with. 'Bordeaux' is a stunning burgundy colour with a crelly finish (cream jelly). I don't notice the scent as much on this one but still adore it for the colour alone.

You can check out my full review of 'Bordeaux' by clicking here and my full review of 'Apricot Nectar' by clicking here.

Essie's 'trophy wife' is a polish I reach for when I want something a little bit special adorning my nails. Teal is my favourite colour and not only is this polish teal but it has a metallic like formula that is very bright and makes the polish look like it is glowing. A very stunning polish that you really need to see in real life to appreciate. Photos just don't capture it's whole beauty. I went to find the link for the full review of this polish and apparently I have never reviewed it here on the blog! I am absolutely gobsmacked that I haven't reviewed it and will make sure I post a review of it in the coming week.

Inglot's 720 is a gorgeous polish that I frequently wear when I want to wear a pretty but bold colour on my nails. This is another polish that I desperately need to post a review on.

'Monroe' from Face of Australia's Screen Siren limited edition collection has been my go-to nude polish for the year.  It is a very flattering warm nude colour. With 2 coats, a decent drying time and lasting power it is a no nonsense polish that has saved me numerous times when I quickly wanted to paint my nails but needed something appropriate for meetings at university and etc.

Cheers :)



Thursday, 1 January 2015

2014 - Favourite Lip Products

The three lip products that I adored and used regularly throughout the 2014 were L'oreal's Colour Riche Nutrishine in 'Sandalwood Beige', Revlon's Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in 'Honey' and Maybelline's Colour Elixir in 'Caramel Infused'. 


'Sandalwood Beige' from L'oreal's Colour Riche Nutrishine collection is the lip product I wore the most this year. It is a very natural looking "my lips but better" shade that is somewhere between a nude and a warm pink. It lasts a decent amount of time (approximately 2 hours), doesn't dry your lips out at all, feels moisturising, is very shiny and absolutely foolproof to apply. I absolutely adore this lipstick and will definitely repurchase it - which I suspect will be soon as it is nearly running out!!!

The Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in 'Honey' from Revlon is a product that I reach for when I quickly need to grab a lip product and run out of the house, or for those occasions when I want a lip colour that lasts longer than a gloss but is still very natural looking. Yes, another "my lips but better" shade. I probably should have just called this post the "my lips but better" post because all three of these products fit into that category. Boring old me! Anyway, 'Honey' has definitely received lots of love from me this year.


When the Colour Elixirs from Maybelline launched overseas they received a lot of attention from bloggers and youtubers which led to me stalking the Priceline aisles waiting for them appear. In my excitement I brought 3 shades however 'Caramel Infused' is the one that I love the most and wear the most. They are very pigmented, shiny, moisturising, are not sticky and have good staying power for a gloss. 

If you want to see which lip products were my favourite in 2013 you can check out that post here: http://theblogforbeautifulliving.blogspot.com.au/2013/12/top-3-lip-products-for-2013.html

I would love to know what lip products you loved in 2014, let me know in the comments below :) 
Thanks for reading and Happy New Year!!! Thank you to every single one of you who has ever visited my blog or left a comment. I hope 2015 is an outstanding year for you and I look forward to sharing with you some changes and new features on the blog. 

Cheers and all the best for 2015 :)

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

2014 - Favourite Eye Products

2014 is coming to an end so throughout the next couple of days I am going to be posting about all my favourite beauty products of the year. I'm kicking it all off with my favourite eye products.



I've had a bit of a love affair this year with pink eye shadows. I'm not talking about bright pink but the more pale, natural looking, pink shades. I'm all for simplicity and find these neutral shimmery pinks are great for when you just want to wear one eye shadow all over your lid. I feel like these make shades make my eyes look bigger and make me look awake - perfection! The Maybelline Colour Tattoo in 'Inked in Pink' is a great pink cream shadow. Simply swipe a finger over your eye lid and you have an easy and long lasting eye look. I also really love the pale shimmery pink baked eye shadow in the 'Summer Fiesta Eye Palette from Kit Cosmetics'. It doesn't last all day but it does last for a decent amount of time (4-6 hours, no primer) and it is easy to apply. For some reason I always thought baked eye shadows had poor pigment but the baked shadows in this palette have great pigmentation!

Left: Kit Cosmetics Baked Eye Shadow Right: Inked in Pink Maybelline Colour Tattoo

Top: Kit Cosmetics Baked Eye Shadow Bottom: Inked in Pink Maybelline Colour Tattoo


When I haven't been wearing pale pink shimmery eye shadows, I have been wearing nude shades. This year I have loved wearing the 'Nyx Jumbo Eye Pencil' in 'Yoghurt', which is a great champagne / beige /  rose gold colour...It is hard to put your finger on exactly what colour it is as it is quite shimmery  and changes colour depending on the light. I really do love the colour of it though as it is neutral and appropriate for any occasion or time. Plus, I just "colour in" my eye lid with this and I'm ready to go. Lasting power is reasonable (around 5 hours) and pigmentation is good. The only downside I can see with this product is the packaging - the plastic cap easily breaks and this means it is very easy to push the cap down too far and smudge the shadow.

I have also loved and used regularly my Chi Chi 'Nudes' eye shadow palette. With a  great selection of matte and shimmer shadows in neutral shades I have everything I could possible want or need for a neutral eye. Lasting power is fine and pigmentation is pretty good (except for a couple of the shadows that are slightly lacking in the pigmentation department). If you haven't already tried this palette out I highly recommend you do!

Top: Nyx 'Yoghurt' Middle + Bottom: From the 'Nudes' Chi Chi Palette


This year the mascara that has impressed me the most is the Rimmel London Lash Accelerator Endless mascara. It truly makes my lashes look longer and has an easy-to-use formula.

So those were my most loved eye products of 2014, I would love to know which eye products you loved throughout the year! You may (or may not) have noticed that I have added Disqus to my blog. I hope this makes commenting easier and more interactive for you.

Cheers :)


Saturday, 27 December 2014

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Colour and top coat review - Dig Fig

Earlier this year Sally Hansen released their "gel nail polish that doesn't require a light" collection of polishes. A lot of different brands have jumped onto this bandwagon this year. However what attracted me to Sally Hansen is that they sell these sets that contain both a coloured polish and the special top coat. Normally each of these costs $16.95 but the set costs $19.95, which makes it a very good deal!  I chose the colour 'Dig Fig' which is a oxblood burgundy colour, perfect for the festive season! 


Before we get into the actual review lets quickly talk about what Sally Hansen claims about this nail polish.


The brush is the same brush from Sally Hansen's 'Salon Manicure' collection of polishes which is a good thing because it's a great brush. It is a wide, flat brush that is slightly tapered at the ends. I find it very easy to paint my nails with the brush without having excess polish ending up on my skin. 

The formula initially appears to be the same as usual. It applies easily (again, just like the 'Salon Manicure' collection) and is not streaky. With a thin coat it also seems to dry quickly BUT it isn't actually dry...after two coats that were relatively thick everything was quite wet and very easy to smudge. Luckily for me, if you smudge a nail you can paint over it with another coat and it seems to work out okay. 

Once you have your two coats of colour, step two is to grab the special, clear, top coat and apply that over the still kind of wet coloured polish. The top coat worked well and didn't streak. However the brush did get a bit stained from the red polish so I am not sure what is going to happen if I go out and buy some more colours? Whilst the top coat did provide some additional shine it isn't super duper shiny. 

Drying time was good, very comparable to normal nail polish. Durability also seems to be better than other polishes. My nails feel stronger than usual when wearing this polish. Now, what I'm sure you really want to know is how well it wears? They claim 14 days...on day 2 it was still perfect and the shiny top coat had not diminished. I didn't notice any tip wear or chips until the 4th day of wear and on that 4th day the tip wear was extremely minimal and you could only notice it if you held your nails up in front of your eyes and examined your nails closely. It was only on day 6-7 that the tip wear became more obvious. It still wasn't extreme though and there were no chips. I decided to take it off on day 7 because I wanted to change the colour.




To begin with I was skeptical but this nail polish definitely wears a lot longer than your typical nail polish. I usually have to change my nail polish after 2 or 3 days but I made a week with this easily. I am pretty rough on my hands so I suspect some people could get a couple of more days out of it... I'm not sure about the 14 days though? Overall I am super impressed by this miracle gel polish from Sally Hansen and will definitely be buying more polishes from the collection. Love it! 

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Top 10 vases under $100

I have a penchant for vases, of all styles, sizes and shapes! They make the perfect last minute gift...who doesn't need a vase? Or you might be like me and be getting a little excited about the Boxing Day sales (which appear to have already started!) while plotting what bargains you want to snap up! Here are 10 vases under $100 that I think are lovely and great bargains.
10 vases under $100



Vase
myer.com.au


Vase
target.com.au


Vase
freedom.com.au


Vase
davidjones.com.au


Vase
davidjones.com.au


Vase
30 AUD - cottonon.com


Vase
freedom.com.au


Vase
myer.com.au


Vase
myer.com.au


Vase
myer.com.au

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

The Red Dress for Christmas Day

Hi there, just a quick post today. I have officially finished my Christmas shopping and now all my attention is on enjoying the festive season. I also started thinking about what I might wear on Christmas day. I stumbled across the perfect dress today when I was buying the last of my presents. Yay!!! A red dress epitomises Christmas day to me so here is small selection of gorgeous red dresses. Enjoy!
The Red Dress Edit

Sunday, 21 December 2014

5 captivating novels to read

The year is coming to an end and for many it signals the time of the year where one actually has time to pick up a book. These five books will captivate you and, trust me, you won't be able to put them
down!


Ice station by Matthew Reilly

From Matthew Reilly, an Australian action thriller writer, 'Ice Station' is the first novel of a series. Following the discovery of a secret object hidden deep in the ice of Antarctica a team of Marines are deployed. This novel has so many twists and turns and really plays with your emotions. In my mind I liken it to a blockbuster action movie.


Looking for Alaska by John Green

I picked this novel up two days ago and finished it today. I couldn't put it down! Sometimes I read "trashy" novels but this is a real "proper" novel - a great piece of literature. I don't want to spoil anything for you but I will say that it focuses on a group of teenagers at boarding school. Despite tragic events there is a bit of comedy and lots of heart strings being pulled too!


The Cuckoo's Calling & The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith (J.K Rowling)

Anyone who has read Harry Potter knows that J.K Rowling is a brilliant writer BUT to me what makes her even more admirable is her ability to move on from Harry Potter and begin writing another series, that in itself is gripping, and so different from out beloved Harry Potter. These two novels are right up my alley - being a crime fiction fan! They follow an ex-cop investigating crimes in London.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

'Gone Girl' has received so much attention in the media this year, in addition to the movie that was released a couple of months ago, so I am not going to spend too much time on it. Chances are you have already heard quite a bit about it. If you still haven't read it, and you enjoy thrillers that centre around relationships, romance and a good old mystery, you should read the book! Talk about leaving a trail of breadcrumbs...oh boy! This book is filled with so many twists and turns that you still don't know what is really happening until the very last page of the book - or do you? I'm still not sure!!! Enough said...read the book!!! :)


Maybe I should have said this earlier but they were in no particular order. As a massive bookworm and an indecisive person it was tricky enough to select only five books...
I would love to know what books you haven't been able to put down, let me know in the comments below :) Thanks for reading and have a great day!
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