30 September, 2013

Chanel: Taboo

I felt like I hit the luxe nail polish jackpot when I bought this beauty at the Chanel boutique in Singapore as this is one of Chanel's latest cult colours - so says Chanel itself!  The Taboo fire glows in the bottle - the deep blackened-blue plum base is illuminated with fiery red, purple and blue and it is undeniably eye catching. 
The challenge was always going to be capturing this multidimensional glow on the nail.  As with so many of these finishes the promise in the bottle doesn't always translate to the nail or it does albeit a lot more subtly.  Taboo fits into the latter category. In dim light this elusive beauty appears to be straight dark plum - it is only when in full sunlight or very bright light that it sparkles and glows.  Despite the covetable colours I still have a beef with Chanel's slender brushes as they make a clean cuticle edge just that bit more difficult to achieve - and I don't have time to do a clean up! So here are my best freehand results on display in the afternoon sun...
Have you fallen for Taboo?

27 September, 2013

My Bloom buys...

A little while ago one of my favourite local beauty brands Bloom ran a one day 50% off sale on their site.  I was on a bit of a slow buy at the time but I checked it out and yep I went SHOPPING!  So, hopefully you want to see what I chose? Just in case you missed the Instagram show and tell?? As per usual I'll have a handy little justification for each item - Damn I'm good at that!!

Butterfingers Shea Butter Hand Cream

This was a repurchase so it didn't require any deliberation at all on my part.  I've had a tube and a large pump-dispenser bottle of Butterfingers so I know what this hand cream's all about.  It moisturises with Shea Butter and Sweet Almond Oil and is naturally scented with Lavender and Geranium essential oils.  Rich, but not greasy and easily absorbed.  OMG I do have a lot of hand cream now! I've got them everywhere too...

Lip Gloss - Sweet Pea

Another repurchase.  This time a repurchase of a favourite shade - or so I thought.  The name's the same but the shade was distinctly different and wasn't the mauve-pink cream that I remember.  The reinterpretation of Sweet Pea has resulted in a deep honey, slightly shimmery shade.  I probably should kick up a fuss about it because it's not the same - really I should - but it's a wearable shade and something I'll wear anyway so I'll just warn you and keep this one for myself.  Again this contains natural oils and is flavoured with Mandarin and Vanilla oils so it smells delicious on the lips.  Pigmentation is medium and the gloss consistency is fairly thick without being annoyingly sticky.

Sheer Colour Cream - Coy

I have a couple of these in cooler pink tones (my favourite being the soft pink cream Shy) but I've seen Coy around the blogosphere, tempting me with its pretty peach.  I love the Sheer Colour Creams because of their versatility - they can be used on eyes, lips and cheeks.  I must admit I won't use them on my already oily eyelids but they blend out beautifully on my cheeks and I'll use them on cheeks and lips for a single tonal look.  I prefer a light touch of colour on my cheeks but the pigmentation is buildable for a stronger look.  For someone who had a definite preference for powder blush I am crossing over more and more to creams these days because I enjoy the healthy dewy glow I get from creams and I particularly love them for weekend wear.  The Sheer Colour Cream formula is enriched with natural oils including Calendula Flower oil and Evening Primrose oil.

Shadow Liner - Charcoal Grey

Right, finally something I had no prior knowledge about!  I was interested in the concept of the flat edged eyeliner/eye shadow hybrid pencil I could use to line my eyes or colour my lids. Being the first time I've purchased one of these I went for a more neutral shade, although Charcoal Grey does have a lot of silver sparkle in it so I don't think I'll be using it as an every day product.  The pigmentation is on the softer side so I need to go over the line more than once to build the colour and this doesn't glide on as easily as some of the other eyeliners out there.  It's not necessarily budge-proof either which on the plus side means I don't have to rush to blend it out but I'm not sure of its longevity - I think I need to wear it a few more times to form a solid opinion on the performance.  What I do like is that the Shadow Liner is multipurpose so if I wanted to travel extremely light I could throw this into my makeup purse for a soft grey liner during the day or a sparkly grey lid at night.

Swatched Left to Right:
Sweet Pea, Coy, Charcoal Grey x 2
Nail Polish - Emily Green Collection Navy

Of course if there's nail polish on sale I'm going to have to consider that too! Bloom nail polish normally retails at $19.95 each so 50% off is a good time to buy.  I opted for a shade from Bloom's latest collaboration with Melbourne based artist Emily Green.  The website described Navy as a bright navy and from the swatch I think that's a pretty accurate description. 

So that's all for this little haul folks!


25 September, 2013

Revlon: Whimsical

I remember thinking finding this nail polish in Hong Kong was a major score only to find out it had been released in Australia at around the same time! I'll just tell myself I may have paid a little less in HK so that's some consolation I suppose.
Whimsical has been widely swatched but why should that stop me getting in on the act?  This milky mint green polish looked so pretty in the bottle with lots of blue and rose gold hex glitter swirling around.  I'd been spoilt by the other milky glitters (only two) I'd worn so I was expecting reasonable opacity from this but I had to apply four coats over my bare nails.  For those who want a quicker fix - me included - I suggest applying a mint green polish as a base, then only one or two coats of Whimsical should be needed for probably a better, more even effect. 

To be honest I was underwhelmed by this one. I don't feel it. There, I said it.
Natural daylight indoors

What do you think?

24 September, 2013

A vintage Revlon nail polish: Streetwear - Breathless

I haven't been stash diving in such a long time and was hunting through the collection for some variation of gold to wear for a night out.  Usually I'll go for a vampy shade for after dark wear but I just wasn't feeling it, you know?  In the end I surfaced with a very old Revlon polish - a bona fide vintage for those nail polish collectors out there.

I don't care to remember how long ago it was that Revlon had their Streetwear line - Man it was a long, long time ago!  I actually have two of these vintage polishes in my collection and both were just about forgotten until I dug Breathless out from the darkness. 
Breathless is a bronze-gold with a smattering of coppery micro-glitter.  The formula was pretty watery and I had to apply three coats and honestly this would take four to get the perfect coverage.  I was a little underwhelmed by it all round but weirdly enough, where I usually struggle to get a polish to look as lovely as it does in real life this little polish was very photogenic! It actually looks more interesting with the slightly gritty texture added by the micro-glitter. Very strange but anyway...

All pictures taken in cloudy conditions

Do you have any vintage nail polish in your collection?

23 September, 2013

VIDEO POST: La Clinica Skin Care

Hi again :)
In our latest YouTube offering/gabfest Ling introduces me to her full skin care routine featuring products from Australian brand La Clinica.  Pay attention to the mention of snail serum!

Products in order of presentation:
  • Cleanser - Rebalancing Vitamin A Facial Cleanser
  • Serum - Firming Lift Helixer Facial Serum
  • Day Cream - Anti-Aging Stem Cell Complex 3 Day Cream
  • Night Serum - Gly C Refine Vitamin C Ultra Serum
  • Night Cream - Gly C Refine Active Night Cream - 10% Glycolic Acid
  • Mask - Rebalancing Vitamin A Facial Mask
Thanks for watching!

22 September, 2013

Canmake Colorful Nails: 41 Candy Berry

Today's polish is a cute little one from Japanese drugstore brand Canmake.
I bought my first ever two bottles of Canmake nail polish recently in Hong Kong and 41 Candy Berry was the first to catch my eye.  Candy Berry is a pink-purple with a subtle multicolour sparkle courtesy of superfine micro-glitter.  I was afraid it wouldn't show up but it did quite well in the pictures.  While it is cute this polish isn't the most durable in terms of wear unfortunately and because of the 'soft' formula  - it doesn't dry to a hard enamel finish even with a top coat - I noticed tip wear within a day. At least it was cute for a day I guess!  

Have you tried Canmake nail polish?

19 September, 2013

OPI Liquid Sand: Jinx

This is my first experience with OPI's Liquid Sand formula and it won't be the last. 

The vivid golden orange Jinx is from OPI's Bond Girls collection and is an unusual beauty.  I applied two easy coats and the polish dried down quickly to its rough, rendered texture.  The golden sparkle really seduced me - I loved it! Another thing I loved? Removal was an absolute breeze! This polish formula gives you all the interest without the hassle.  I think I'll let the pictures take over from here. 

All pictures taken in cloudy conditions

What do you think of these textured polish looks?

A bright pink lipstick swatch fest!

 You'll probably all know by now that I'm participating in and promoting Bright Pink Lipstick Day this Friday the 20th of September.  For colour obsessed me, half the fun was selecting (and swatching with Ling on YouTube) the perfect bright pink lipstick to wear and being typically indecisive I couldn't narrow it down to one so opted for five - allowing me to participate not just on Friday but for the entire week!  Well why not?  They're all so pretty to wear this time of year and somehow wearing bright pink puts me in a more fun state of mind.  After hedging for a while I think I may have just formed a new beauty addiction!

Just look at all of these lovely, BRIGHT pink lip colours all in a row.  Cheerful, yes? Definitely, I feel happy just looking at them! Statement colours? Absolutely! Far too pretty to ignore that's for sure...

The rundown from left to right:
  • Revlon (Pink Hope) - The official lipstick shade for the Bright Pink Lipstick Day campaign and a really great universal choice at that.  It's a bright but grown up shade of watermelon so you don't have to forsake sophistication to wear bright pink. I think it would also work well with most skin tones. This formula is the traditionally well pigmented Super Lustrous and feels very comfortable on my lips.  I've worn it a few times already and it will definitely go on high rotation as it's work and play appropriate.
  • Napoleon Perdis (Calypso) - This lipstick has been around in my collection for a little while now but I've only worn it a few times - the reason why is the crazy number of lipsticks in my collection and I guess also the recent neutral lip rut I was stuck in for a good few months.  This pink lipstick is more of a deep raspberry which sits somewhere between red and pink and yes it is vibrant but also a sophisticated shade.  The formula is velvety matte which also adds to the sophistication. 
  • Maybelline (Vivid Rose) - Yesss!!! One of the Maybelline Vivid lipsticks was an obvious choice for a bright pink lip as that range is not for the colour shy!  Vivid Rose is another wonderfully traffic stopping pink which leans slightly to red.  This lipstick literally glides on weightlessly yet packs on the pigment.  I have to say you can apply and almost forget you're wearing this because it feels so light and comfortable.
  • Models Prefer (Crowd Pleaser) - I've said before these ultra lip gloss pencils should be called gloss lipstick pencils because they're so pigmented and my newest addition is no different.  Crowd Pleaser is a blue toned, youthful shade of electric pink with a glossy sheen finish, something I tend to be a little wary of but I'm busting out of my comfort zone here! I still feel uncomfortable wearing this glossy pink to the office as I view it as much more a fun weekend shade.  All for a good cause right?
  • Rimmel By Kate (20) -  Ooh yeah!  Another bright blue-based pink! Another shade which I found to be confronting but I've worn this a few times recently and it's happily surprisingly flattering.  The Lasting Finish formula is another favourite of mine too - ultra creamy, semi-matte, colour true.  
Swatched in the same order as above:
(If you're interested in lip swatches check this week's posts on my IG account)
What's your ideal bright pink lipstick?
Until next time

18 September, 2013

Sephora: It's Time To Rock!

I've suddenly found myself with a backlog of NOTD's to post so while I've got the time here's one for you right now!!!
It's Time To Rock! is from Sephora's Sparkling Nail Polish line and is one helluva a sparkly one alright, without crossing over to outright glitter.  The overall effect is slate grey foil which on closer inspection is wonderfully complex with blue, silver and pink sparkle.  This polish reminds me quite a bit of OPI's On Her Majesty's Secret Service but it lacks the added element of gold sparkle found in the OPI polish.  Application was a cinch with the wide, flattened brush and two coats were almost more than enough.  Pretty edgy I think!

What do you think of this almost dupe?

16 September, 2013

Bright Pink Lipstick Day - Friday 20th September

Hello :)
Ling and I don't want to flood our blogs with YouTube videos and overwhelm our readers but we really wanted to share this video in time for Bright Pink Lipstick Day, Friday 20th of September because it is for a worthy cause and something we are both actively supporting.

Australian organisation Pink Hope is promoting Bright Pink Lipstick Day to raise awareness and funds for Australian women's breast and ovarian health.  Pink Hope is "...Australia’s first community designed to inspire women to be proactive and vigilant with their breast and ovarian health, while providing a safe haven for high risk women to connect." 
The motto for Bright Pink Lipstick Day is as simple as:
  Wear. Share. Care.
  1. Wear your brightest pink lipstick to support Pink Hope and bring into the spotlight the effects of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer (Revlon has released a special Limited Edition shade Pink Hope available in Priceline, Target and selected pharmacies) 
  2. Share pictures of you wearing your bright pink lipstick on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest) using the hashtags #brightpinklipstickday #pinkhopeaus #Revlon
  3. Show you care by donating to Pink Hope, holding a fundraiser or getting your employer involved through workplace giving.
 Ling and I were both busy trying to choose our best bright pink lippies for the day so we thought we'd share our bright pink lipstick wardrobes with you in our new video.  There's lots more laughs and goofing around this time as we relax into ourselves in front of the camera (mostly at my expense!) with lots of swatches too including bright pink lipstick shades from MAC, Tom Ford, Revlon, Maybelline, Rimmel and Napoleon Perdis.

Thanks for looking!

14 September, 2013

Maybelline Color Show Sequins: Rose Bling

I feel a little guilty about topping a perfectly good Dior polish with glitter but that's what I did to freshen up Rosy Bow after a week's wear - I do think it worked out rather well though so I don't feel too guilty, just a little!
Of the four glitters released in Maybelline's Color Show Sequins collection it was the pretty pink Rose Bling which I decided upon as my sole purchase.  The other three seemed to be more straightforward glitter shades whereas Rose Bling has more dimension, with its smattering of red and holo glitter mixed in with the pink.  Two coats certainly added extra dimension and sparkle to my pink cream base shade.  I liked this combination a lot, even if I do say so myself!


Thanks for looking as always.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

13 September, 2013

VIDEO POST: A rant about discontinued products


After a bit of a brainwave session over a Chinese dumpling lunch - the dumplings were obviously mind blowing!!! - my wonderful friend Ling aka Sixinchheel and I decided to take the plunge and start making some YouTube videos as a joint adventure! *gulp* 
It gives us a chance to chat, laugh and share our thoughts with you via yet another form of social media!  I feel like I've come a long way over the past few years and this was the last mountain to climb. I'm not getting any younger so it was a case of do it NOW or NEVER!! Ling has the advantage of youth so she wasn't as panicked as me!
 You've seen my face, now listen to my broad Australian twang as I talk with Ling about a subject close to my heart: discontinuing favourite products...

Products mentioned/mourned:
L'Occitane - Labdanum EDP
MAC - Gem of Roses lipstick
Revlon - Colorburst Lipstick (the entire line!)
Bloom - Eye Base
Palmer's - Skin Smoothing Lotion
L'Oreal - Exfotonic Exfoliating Gel

What products have you been sad to see discontinued?


12 September, 2013

My standalone eyeshadow picks

**This post was inspired by the YouTube video and associated blog post by the talented  emilynoel83**

It's always nice to know there are standalone eyeshadow options available for those "I'm in a hurry!!" times or the "I can't be bothered..." times.  Most days I will wear two or maybe three shades carefully (Ha!) blended on my eyes but I definitely have those moments when I don't want to have to bother too much but I still want some brightness or colour to accentuate my eyes. Voila! This is where these colours in my collection come into their own.  They're here to save me from any confusion or decisions when I really don't have the time or the inclination.  On those days I'm all about using the KISS principle:  Keep It Simple Stupid Sister!

Just to let you know I spent a week wearing these different shades to prove to myself they are true wear alones.

The practical, workhorse eye shadow favourite loved by many including me because it is a true neutral and can be worn with anything.  Taupe adds easy depth to the eye with one sweep over the lid, blended out along the crease.  These are my go-to taupes for an all over the lid look.

Clockwise from top:
Annabelle (Moka Mirage)
The newest taupe in my collection courtesy of the Beauty Reductionista and the warmest variant in my taupe trio.  I have tried this as a base under powder shadow but I prefer it as a standalone and apply it either by drawing directly onto the lid or drawing it heavily onto my fingertip first to apply with my fingers like a cream. I like the satiny finish it gives to my lids.
Maybelline (Silken Taupe)
I've had this one for an age.  I periodically bring it out, then forget about it again. I don't know why because it's truly wonderful and I was happy to rediscover it when looking for shadows to showcase in this post! It looks very soft in the hand swatch below but is pigmented and silky enough on my pale lids to add dimension to my eyes.  Silken Taupe is truly the most neutral shade and sits nicely on the fence between pale brown and grey. 
Rimmel (Backstage)
This is a glitzy, high shimmer taupe - the glam one - Backstage is the perfect name for it.  It's a one step shade for getting my eyes noticed and I wore it for an evening look!
 Swatched Left - Right:
Silken Taupe, Moka Mirage, Backstage

My number one choice when I want a pop of colour to offset my green eyes. Generally I use purple as a crease shade when I'm using a few colours on my eyes (my favourite everyday choice for the crease is MAC's Shale) but these two shadows work perfectly well swept all over the lids.
 Left to Right:
MAC (Satellite Dreams)
This is a semi-vibrant medium purple with a hint of blue pearl shimmer.  It looks like a weird bruised shade when swatched on the back of my tanned hand (just goes to show that the hand is not always the best place to test colours!) but on my eyes it's a different, definitely more flattering story! It appears rather lighter and brighter and gives my eyes that pop I'm looking for.  Trust me, the colour definitely appears truer purple on my eyes. 
Laura Mercier (African Violet)
I've seen this beautiful shimmery golden violet raved on about in many blogs so it's no surprise I love it!  It looks like shot silk as the colour either appears more violet or more gold as the light hits it at different angles - definitely a beautiful shade to add dimension to my eyes and make it look like I've made a real effort.  Haha! I just love it!
Swatched as above:
Satellite Dreams, African Violet 
Beige is the perfect no-fuss weekend shade for me because it brightens my eyes and I don't feel I need anything else because I suddenly look more awake! It's my dash out the door, casual choice of colour.  The two I have here are both definitely, emphatically favourites because they are both repurchases!
Left to Right:
Essence (Cappuccino, Please!)
I've raved and raved about this little drugstore beauty because it does such a lovely satiny job of brightening my eyes and it's a close dupe to one of my favourite MAC shades, Shroom.  It's probably my number one everyday all over shade.  If I ever want a pop of colour it's a simple matter of adding any coloured liner I wish!
MAC (Vex)
Another pretty duo-chrome.  It's actually a very soft green eyeshadow shot with pale pink pearl but pale and neutral enough for me to consider it a beige.  Again it brightens my eyes beautifully - I love combining this with a soft coral or pink lip for an easy weekend look.

Swatched as above:
Cappuccino, Please!, Vex
This is not an exhaustive list - I'm sure I'll dig out more as I experiment!  I haven't touched green, or brown or grey or...
What are your favourite standalone eye shadows?

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