30 March, 2012

OPI: On Stranger Tides

After being stuck at home for a few days - relentlessly cleaning up after my poor son on the first day - I needed to change my manicure before I went back to work.  I never change my manicure mid-week because I don't want to publicly reveal what a lacquerhead (you all know) I really am but I had to because it was looking pretty shabby after washing my hands hundreds of times!

I chose another neutral because I didn't want to make the change too obvious but I still wanted something a little bit interesting - On Stranger Tides fit the bill nicely.  This was one of the shades from OPI's Pirates of the Caribbean collection released last year.  I didn't go beyond buying the mini collection but now I'm wishing I bought the full size bottle of OST *kicks herself*.  This is a unique green/grey hybrid pastel creme.  Pastel but not traditionally pretty - I like it a lot.

This was a 3-coater which is unusual for OPI polishes but that's a small gripe:



Enjoy your weekend!

Vita :)

29 March, 2012

Fuso: unlabelled greige

Hi!  We're back in the swing of things today - my son's back at school and I went back to the office to catch up on a few days' emails...

Today's polish is a mystery polish from Singapore brand Fuso because over time the label sticker has fallen off the bottle!  I bought this greige creme polish at the time Chanel had just launched THE greige Particuliere.  I wanted Particuliere so much I was on the waiting list for it but impatient me gave up and decided to look for a more affordable dupe.  Now I don't think this is an exact dupe as it looks at least a shade lighter to my eye but it's still a very acceptable shade of greige.  Once I had this I decided I preferred it anyway and never did get around to getting that Chanel! 

All pictures taken outdoors in cloudy conditions:

That's all for now.

Vita :)

28 March, 2012

Essence: What Do U Think?

Hi-Hi! I've been under house arrest for the last couple of days looking after my son.  The poor little guy is getting over a nasty bout of stomach 'flu so we're all a little exhausted around here.  This blogging caper is my escape for the day...

Okay, onto today's (well last weekend's really) mani.  I haven't posted an Essence Colour & Go for a while so this was a welcome reminder of why I love the formula on these little lacquers - they dry so quickly with that smooth streak-free finish.  They barely need a top coat!  Right - so the formula was great but the colour, although nice enough, let me down a little.  What Do U Think? is an apt name for this polish and this post really.  The bottle promised a peachy polish with golden sparkle but the sparkle did not translate onto the nail at all.  There was no sparkle. Nothing. Nada. Zip.  Don't you just hate it when that happens?

All of these pictures were taken outdoors in cloudy conditions:

So...What do you think?

Vita :)

27 March, 2012

The Body Shop haul: Chocomania

This post should be simply titled "Yum!!"

Hi I'm Vita and I'm a chocoholic.  I literally cannot go more than a day without putting at least one morsel of chocolate into my mouth.  I don't discriminate either and go all the way across the spectrum from 85% cocoa to white chocolate - it's all orgasmic as far as I'm concerned!!!  Okay, so the chocolate goodies I'm posting here aren't edible but they still appeal to some of this particular chocaholic's senses.  I grabbed me a few products from The Body Shop's newly released Chocomania range...

Chocomania Body scrub (200ml/7.75oz)

Look at that dark chocolate splodge in the pan above!  Now to me it looks heavenly, just like chocolate brownie mix.  And the fragrance (you'll have to take my word for it),well, it's just sooo chocolatey which isn't surprising as this scrub contains Community Fair Trade cocoa butter.  Other key ingredients are brazil nut oil, soya oil with organic cane sugar as the exfoliant.

It  looks and smells so convincingly edible there are a couple of cautionary symbols on the base of the tub.  Funnily enough the sales guy told me he still couldn't resist and had to have a taste.  He said it tasted terrible, and you know, I'm happy to trust him on this!

Unfit for consumption/Keep out of reach of children

The scrub is massaged in to dry skin and rinsed off in the shower.  I sampled a little on the back of my hand (below) and after rinsing off the skin on my hand felt smoother and actually a little moisturised.

Chocomania Body lotion (250ml/8.5 fl.oz)

The body lotion has the same delicious scent as the scrub. As with the scrub it contains cocoa butter and brazil nut oil and other key ingredients are shea butter, babassu oil and sesame seed oil.  On first impressions it feels rich enough to be an effective moisturiser but light enough to absorb fairly quickly.  You can see in the picture above it isn't one of those watery body "lotions" that run off the skin and don't do much in terms of moisturising.  Oh yes, it has the same little symbols on the back of the bottle!  

I'm going to enjoy using these two products without the usual chocolate-associated guilt.

Are you a chocoholic like me?

Until next time.

Vita :)

26 March, 2012

Japanese NOTD: Winmax Diamond Nail Enamel - 205

"Finally!" I hear you say.  Yes, this is the last of my Japanese nail polish posts.  I'm just a little proud of myself actually for not getting too distracted along the way and seeing this series of posts through to the end - even including a few polishes I'd forgotten to include in my original collection post! 

Now, the imaginatively labelled 205 is another $2.80 Daiso special.  This warm, almost peachy gold shimmer isn't pretending to be fashionable but it isn't too bad so I chose it for my office mani last week.  I applied two coats for full coverage.  It wasn't too streaky and wore well, lasting the full working week after an application of topcoat:


Full sun

Thanks for looking as always.  Until next time.

Vita :)

25 March, 2012

Making me blush: MAC, Smashbox, Essence

As I've only renewed my love of blush over the past couple of years I have a relatively modest blush collection, although I plan to add to my collection as soon as my P10P's over (Danger! Danger!). I thought about doing an inventory post just because I love reading those, but decided to start with the three blushes I've been using most on my NC20 cheeks:  MAC Blushbaby, Smashbox Chiffon and my everyday go-to blush Essence Adorable...

Clockwise from top:
MAC Blushbaby
Essence Adorable
Smashbox Chiffon

Blushbaby - is the only MAC blush I own (I know that's really sad and I need to do something about this beauty crime) and is a mauve-toned nude blush (MAC's website describes it as a 'flushed beiged pink') from MAC's Sheertone range.  It was recommended to me by the MAC sales assistant when I was looking for a natural blush shade.  As it's matte and sheer it does look quite natural and because of the nude/beige slant it sits between blush and contour for me, depending on my mood. 

Chiffon - This Smashbox blush is the newest in my collection and I just love the shimmery peach/pink tone.  I bought this last spring and have been getting lots of wear out of it since.  It's my second most reached for blush and gives me a healthy looking flush.  It's a great shade for the warmer months and goes well with coral, peach and pink lips.

Adorable - I've posted about this soft peach blush from Essence before (here and here) and I love it because it's just so easy to wear.  This soft matte shade is impossible to overdo on my cheeks and imparts just the right amount of subtle colour to bring life to my complexion.  This blush lives in my makeup bag and goes everywhere with me.  Yes - let's not forget this blush is ridiculously inexpensive too!

Swatched indoors and outdoors L-R:
MAC Blushbaby
Smashbox Chiffon
Essence Adorable

What are your favourite blushers?

Until my next post.

Vita :)

24 March, 2012

Japanese NOTD: Tokuya # 16

Most of the time I'll wear the polishes I post for at least a day.  I'll only do a true swatch (ie. paint the nails on one hand, photograph, remove) for polishes I think are too boring or just too out there.  OK, so I swatched this one because I thought it was going to be a standard pink shimmer but it was so much better than that...

Tokuya enamel # 16 really comes to life on the nail.  The application was super smooth and streak-free in two coats.  Its spun sugary goodness reminded me of candy floss.  It was just a fun pink - I'm definitely going to wear this as a full manicure in future!

Full sun


That's all for tonight.

Vita :)

21 March, 2012

Glittery French (with nail art stickers)

This is a quick post to show you some French tip nail art stickers I tried out a few weeks ago. 

Still on the Japanese theme, some time ago I bought a pack of Nail Art Parts nail stickers from Tokuya, another Japanese dollar store chain we have down here in Melbourne.  While Tokuya's technically not a dollar store because everything retails at $2.80 - it's still cheaper than a cup of takeaway coffee here so that should put the pricing into perspective for you!

These gold glitter French tip stickers are rubber with an adhesive base.  Application wasn't too fiddly and you can easily reposition the sticker if it's not perfectly aligned to the nail tip at first like, ahem, I had to once or twice.  The adhesion seems to be good enough as the tips lasted through hair washing in the shower. 



I don't know why I decided to try the stickers over a red base (Fuso 17) because it looks unseasonally festive to me.  If I buy these again I'd like to try them over periwinkle or aqua blue instead.

Until next time.

Vita :)

20 March, 2012

Japanese NOTD: Jill Stuart - 12

Yet another pretty Japanese polish!

I bought this one in the Japanese ladies' department store Hankyu in Osaka so it has sentimental value as much as it is pretty.  Wearing it again I can remember why I chose to buy this particular shade.  It's a lovely  candy pink creme with a generous smattering of sparkly pastel glitter.  The glitter effect is toned down to a more subtle sparkle on the nail but I prefer it as it keeps it from looking too girly sweet.  The other great thing about this polish is the smooth finish as there was no hint of grittiness after a single layer of top coat.  This is simply a pretty, feminine manicure.

Outdoors shade


Natural light indoors

I hope you've been enjoying this Japanese swatch series.  I've only got a few more to go!

That's all for now.

Vita :)

19 March, 2012

Skin care haul & review: Yes To Carrots

I haven't been buying make up as I vainly try to complete my P10P but I've had to replenish my skin care recently after finishing off quite a few products.  I decided to break away from my usual anti-pigmentation products and try something new (to me anyway).  I'm still on a budget so that means I've turned to trusty old Priceline for my skin care stuff.  The cheerful packaging of the Yes to Carrots range caught my eye and all products were on sale - bonus!

I've been using all of the products for a few weeks now so here are a few facts I've grabbed from the Yes To Carrots website plus a mini review:

Yes to Cucumbers Soothing Daily Gentle Cleanser (95g/3.38oz)
This cleanser is targeted to soothing sensitive skin and the key ingredients are organic cucumbers, aloe vera and green tea to refresh and calm skin while cleansing.  My skin's usually pretty resilient but very occasionally I'll suffer the odd red flare up on the cheeks so that's why I chose this cleanser for every day.

My thoughts:
This fresh cucumber scented cleanser applies like a filmy gel over wet skin and I did find it takes a lot of rinsing to remove so this has become my morning cleanser I use in the shower.  After it rinses off my skin feels clean, but also soft with no tightness at all.  Overall, not a bad product for gentle cleansing in the morning.

Yes to Blueberries Age Refresh Intensive Skin Repair Serum (30ml/1 fl.oz)
I chose the Yes To Blueberries Age Refresh range for my serum and moisturiser because these products are meant to deal with all the skin issues which my middle aged skin unfortunately has these days:  fine lines and wrinkles, loss of elasticity and sun damage.  The key ingredients in the serum are blueberries (rich in Vitamin C and other antioxidants), organic cotton thistle (to hydrate and boost natural collagen production), blackcurrant (with antioxidants and essential fatty acids to nourish and soothe) and apple (rich in antioxidants and AHA's to brighten the skin's surface).

My thoughts:
What strikes me first when applying this is the sweet but also rather tart scent which I originally didn't like but I'm now used to.  A little product goes a long way so I use probably half a pump to get good coverage over my face and neck.  The serum feels a little slippery at first but absorbs well into the skin.  I don't know about my skin looking or feeling "oh-so-glowy" as the Yes To Carrots blurb promises, but my skin does feel smooth and soft afterwards.

Yes to Blueberries Age Refresh Daily Repairing Moisturizer (50ml/1.7fl.oz)
Unfortunately Priceline doesn't stock the SPF 30 version so I bought the basic moisturizer to use after the serum.  This moisturizer promises smoother, softer skin with its key ingredients of blueberries, organic cotton thistle (properties as above), aloe (soothing)  and olive fruit oil (for skin regeneration and to attract moisture).

My thoughts:
As with the serum I found a little goes a long way and about half a pump of the dispenser is enough to moisturize without overloading my skin.  I soon found out what happened if I applied too much - a white film of moisturizer sitting on top of the skin which takes forever to absorb!  The scent is similar to the serum but thankfully less acidic and my skin feels soft without being greasy.  A minus for me personally is the lack of SPF so I have to finish my morning skin routine with an extra SPF product.  However, having said this I know there are people with sensitive skin that can't tolerate moisturizers with added SPF so this would be a good budget non-SPF moisturizer to try for middle-aged skin.

Yes to Carrots C Me Smile Lip Butter (Berry)
This lip butter contains coconut oil, olive fruit oil, shea butter, beeswax, sunflower seed oil and Vitamin E to condition the lips and does NOT contain paraben, petroleum or phthalate.

My thoughts: 
I've been using this as my overnight lip treatment and I found it every bit as good (and smoother) on my lips than some of the more expensive brands (L'Occitane I'm looking at you...).  I've been loving the not too sweet berry scent too.

Australian readers can find the Yes To Carrots range in Priceline, David Jones and Coles stores nationally.

Have you tried Yes To Carrots?  What are your thoughts?

Until next time.

Vita :)

18 March, 2012

NOTD: Layering with Winmax 145

When I did my Japanese polish stash post a few weeks ago I'd forgotten about a few bottles of polish I'd bought when Japanese discount store Daiso opened in a local shopping centre last year.  When I got there after the initial stampede all of the most interesting shades had been cleared out but for a few.  Winmax 145 is one of those little gems and is a very sheer layering polish with its mix of blue, almost opalescent microglitter.   

I couldn't leave yesterday's green creme mani alone so I added two coats of this fine sparkle to make it subtly more interesting.  I like how my nails have taken on a sparkly glow.



Now, if you want to see some more truly amazing swatches of these layering polishes check out Kristy's blog here.

That's all for now.

Vita :)

17 March, 2012

St Patrick's Day mani: OPI - Green-Wich Village

I've got some wonderful Irish friends - this is my little tribute to them.

Happy St Patty's Day to you!!

Green-Wich Village is a creme green shade in a very natural tone, and it reminds me of fresh grass.  Yes, I'm wearing grassy green on my nails which isn't too 'in your face' but it's probably not the best green for me.  I prefer greens with a hint of blue and I'll usually go for teals or I'll wear emerald if I want to be chic in green, still I'm enjoying this green because it's just for fun!

Green-Wich Village was part of OPI's Summer 2008 Mod About Brights collection and I've also got a few other shades from that collection in my stash:  That's Hot! Pink and Dating a Royal (both yet to be swatched).  I wish I was good with nail art because I'd have loved to add a four-leaf clover to really make this perfect for today!  This is two coats of colour with top coat:


Full Sun

Have a great day and enjoy drinking your green ale if you're joining in the celebrations!

That's all for now.

Vita :)

16 March, 2012

Japanese NOTD: Tokuya # 90

Hello :)

TGIF is all I can say.  For no explicable reason I'm feeling like it's been a long week.  I won't ramble tonight so let's get onto the polish!

This is the last of my little Tokuya holo glitter polishes and I had mixed feelings about it.  #90 is simply described as a silvery blue with a smattering of holographic glitter.  While I liked the icy silvery colour and the pretty, pretty glitter (of course!) the finish was a little streaky and unfortunately there was significant shrinkage of the polish at the tips.  Yes well, you win some...

Full sun


What do you think? 

Until next time.

Vita :)

15 March, 2012

Spring lips in Autumn...

What the heck is going on here?  We're officially in Autumn down here in Melbourne and now I'm wearing spring blossom colours.  Perhaps it was being under the influence while wearing the Japanese pastel polishes but I just couldn't get enough of soft pink and mauve lip colours last week.

Now I think I understand why it's taking me forever to finish 5 lipsticks.  I'm such a lip colour whore!  I've been trying to concentrate on only wearing the 5 colours I nominated to complete my lipstick ban (here)  but I got bored and veered way off track, delving into my stash for something completely different and out of kilter with the season to boot.  It's nothing shocking in the context of the greater universe but I still feel as if I've been rebellious.

Sportsgirl - Pout About It! lip colour
(Beauty Queen)
I bought this lipstick (my first) from Sportsgirl last year and it sat in its wrapper until last week.  Beauty Queen is a creme finish lipstick and feels buttery on my lips. This slightly plasticky scented lipstick goes on with a bit of sheen but this wears away after a while to a semi-matte finish. The soft baby pink shade is probably as light as I'd dare to go on my lips without washing me out.  I loved wearing it with a greyed-out purple smokey eye.  Beauty Queen is still in Sportgirl's lipstick line - I think?!

Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick
(453 Pinkerbelle)
I've always loved blue-toned pinks and mauves on my lips so Pinkerbelle is a 'me' lipstick shade.  It's a mid-toned pink with a slight blue undertone - you know, one of those shades that makes your teeth look whiter.  I bought it a few years from a chemist discount bin.  I'm pretty sure it's been discontinued which is disappointing because it's a really flattering shade worn alone on my lips and also looks fabulous topped with a mauve gloss like...

Kit Lip Gloss
(Fully Loving It)
Just look at how thick that lip gloss is oozing from the tube!  It successfully balances the level of thickness, wetness and pigmentation.  It feels substantial on the lips but not at all sticky.  I wore this mauve shade on its own and over the top of Pinkerbelle.  It's the only Kit lip gloss I have but now I've rediscovered it I've added it to my handbag as my 'go to' MLBB lip gloss.

The swatches:

L - R:
Beauty Queen, Pinkerbelle, Fully Loving It

Have you ever rebelled against the season with your makeup?

Until next time.

Vita :)
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...