Saturday, December 31, 2011

Review: Sigma Travel Brushes Pack - The Cities: Paris

Here's something nifty I picked up the other day, one of the Sigma travel brush sets. This set is part of "The Cities" series, which comes in four colours, Tokyo (Pink), London (Brown), New York (Black) and Paris (Red). No points for guessing which one I chose!

The brushes all come in a nice leather travel pack, that is pretty roomy, I think you could fit some more brushes in here, or some pencils or mascaras? The case is really nice - thick leather, very sturdy, and well finished. 

Inside are seven brushes: 

Friday, December 30, 2011

Review: Face of Australia Opulent Eyes Palette

 Anyone who follows me on Instagram would have already got a glimpse of this makeup I did.. I promised I would blog it and tell you what I used, so here it is:

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Xmas Water Marbling Manicure Tutorial

Here's something we've been having fun playing with - Water Marble Nailpolish Experiments!

The concept is simple, but getting the technique right is a bit tricky. There's plenty who have mastered it and the results can be spectacular, so we've been having some fun giving it a go:

My nails are still covered in shellac, so these dainty fingers belong to my 14 year old daughter, Melodie.

Our very first attempt is for a Christmas Themed green and red marble look:

We used:

  • Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in colour 430 - Grass Slipper
  • Bloom Nail Polish in "Sofia"

So how is it done?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Review: Tom Ford Scarlet Rouge Lipstick

Not so long ago, I swatched some Tom Ford lipsticks. A very savvy and lovely PR person surprised me by sending me the shade I favoured in the mail!

It's Tom Ford's Scarlet Rouge.

It was a delightful surprise indeed, and a new red lipstick is just thing thing when the Silly Season is afoot!

Before I tell you about the product itself I must mention the packaging. Gold and black with red lipstick is always going to be a winner for me, this thing is Luxe. It's heavy in the hand and the enamel-looking finish is something you would whip out of your handbag with pride. It's very gorgeous indeed.

The lippy has Tom's initials carved into the top as well. Always a nice touch, I think!

The colour.. it's gorgeous! It's a darker brick-red colour, it's got a hint of bronze in it. Really quite spectacular.  It's not a brash, bright, scarlet-red.. it's a bit more subtle and sultry than that. It's still a va-va-voom red but has a darker tone. This would look incredible if you had dark brown or black hair.

I'm quite taken with it, can you tell?

Now when I put this on, it felt so creamy and moisturising on that I thought it wouldn't have any staying power at all.. but it's surprised me, lasting through meals and evening outings with aplomb.

This is going to be a "wear it till it wears out" shade for me.

Now, I searched the package very diligently, and try as I might, I couldn't find Tom Ford himself lurking in one of the corners.

Oh well. Maybe next year? A girl can hope.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Scintillating Scents Review: Aesop Mystra

I was lucky enough to wander into Aesop the other day and made a lovely new discovery.. a perfume called Mystra.

I was lucky enough to visit Mystra a few years ago, it's near modern day Sparta in Greece and I have to say it's truly a magical place. Over the years it's been home to Crusader Knights and Byzantine Warriors, been the scene of battles and all sorts of intrugue. Nowadays it's full of monks and intrepid tourists, all those willing to climb up the mountain to have a look.

When I saw a perfume called Mystra, I already had an idea in my head of what I thought it should smell like - something with a sense of history, something spicy and beautiful, something reminiscent of vineyards, olives and incense wafting in the air..

Monday, December 26, 2011

Review: Nectar Thermique - Kerastase

Another goodie from the November Lust Have it box was a sample of Kerastase's Nectar Thermique.

It's a leave-in hair treatment that works with heat. The idea is, I think, that you put it in after shampooing & conditioning your hair and right before you style with a hair dryer or straightening irons...

Can I make a confession? Pretty much the only time my hair gets heat applied to it is at the hairdresser. I do a lot to my hair - I bleach it, and dye it bright red, and I figure that's enough! To add damage every day with heat doesn't sound like a good idea to me at all, so I save that for special occasions. I also just don't have the time in the mornings!

I like playing around with different hairstyles but heat isn't a part of it, unless I am doing something really special.

In order to test this product though, I got the tongs out!

I was really impressed by the Kérastase shampoo and conditioner I tried, so I had high hopes for this.

I can tell you it did not disappoint! It made my hair shiny and smooth.. it really did look like one of those hair commercials!

If you are the sort of person who styles your hair regularly then this would be a worthwhile investment. To be doing your hair good instead of doing it damage while you style it sounds like a great idea to me!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Review: Beauty Basket December

A new (to me) sample box arrived today.. The "Beauty Basket".

Like the others, it's $14.95 a month.. unlike the others they are offering a discount if you sign up for longer, AND they are giving a bonus magazine subscription.

I don't read fashion/beauty magazines because I don't like all the body-hating talk that most of them are riddled with.. so I wasn't previously familiar with "Just be" magazine. It will be interesting to have a look at it.

So, what's in the box?

Dita Von Teese Von Follies Lingere Collection for Target to Launch at L’Oréal Melbourne Fashion Festival (LMFF)

Dita Von Teese can't get enough of us! She loves Melbourne! (and we love her!)

I bought you some breaking news about Dita's lingere collection launching in Target in the next couple of months, and I am happy to let you know there's been some more developments, as well as some more pictures released of the collection.

Looks interesting, it's clear Dita's love for vintage details is coming through, these pieces would look great in a private boudoir or on stage for a burlesque routine!

There's going to be a catwalk launch at Melbourne's Fashion Festival, and you can buy a ticket to see it for yourself, should you desire.

All the details below:

From the press release:

The L’Oréal Melbourne Fashion Festival (LMFF) is pleased to announce that global fashion icon Dita Von Teese will be returning to Australia for the 2012 Festival. Dita Von Teese will appear on behalf of Target Australia on the LMFF Runway at Central Pier on Saturday March 10, 2012.
Following last week’s announcement of Dita Von Teese’s collaboration with Target Australia, lime door brands and Diamondcut International to launch her new lingerie collection entitled Von Follies by Dita Von Teese, LMFF is delighted to confirm that her appearance at the Festival will be a world first with Dita Von Teese taking to the runway to showcase some of her favourite designs from the new range.
The first pieces from the Von Follies by Dita Von Teese collection will be available in Target Australia stores nationally from early February 2012, with exciting new product lines to be introduced in March to coincide with her appearance at LMFF.
"I am delighted to celebrate the launch of Von Follies by Dita Von Teese, my debut lingerie collection for Target Australia at the 2012 L'Oréal Melbourne Fashion Festival. I look forward to appearing on the coveted runway for the first time in my very own designs," said Dita Von Teese.
Graeme Lewsey, LMFF’s Chief Executive Officer is delighted to welcome Dita Von Teese to the 2012 Festival.
“Dita Von Teese is an international style icon and we look forward to welcoming her to the LMFF Runway. She will add undeniable glamour and a sense of theatre to the show.”
“Dita Von Teese has taken inspiration from her extensive personal vintage lingerie collection and has designed with real women in mind, catering for all shapes and sizes. This really captures the essence of the Festival which celebrates accessibility and individuality, we encourage shoppers to take what they see on the runway and make it their own,” said Lewsey.
Von Follies by Dita Von Teese was inspired by Dita’s long-time love of lingerie and the launch range combines sophistication and sensuality with distinct touches such as grosgrain and velvet ribbons, delicate eyelash lace, and control mesh to give the essence of the sultry 1950’s glamour girl. The collection will also be available for purchase online from the Target website ( from early February 2012.
The Von Follies by Dita Von Teese for Target show will take place on Saturday March 10, 2012. Tickets are available now through Ticketek or 1300 795 012. Booking fees may apply.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Scintillating Scents: Tresor Midnight Rose by Lancome

This was the perfume sample in the November Lust Have it box. The beguiling and violet Lancôme Trésor Midnight Rose.

The ads for this feature none other than Emma Watson, looking far more modern, grown up and chic than Hermione Granger ever did..

Like all high-end perfumes there's a bewildering and mood-setting advertisment:

Emma is so disctracted by the gorgeous boy in the beautiful second hand bookshop that she forgets her cute and quirky hat! He carries it around because he's so beguiled by their chance meeting that he can't forget her. While he's sipping a macchiato in an effortlessly cool Parisian Cafe, who should happen to waft by but Emma! 

Of course he remembers her because of her signature scent, and he dashes out and runs through the streets to find her!! Of course there is a happy ending, boy finds girl, girl gets hat back, no-ones perfect make-up gets smudged.

That's all good and well.... but what does it SMELL like?

Friday, December 23, 2011

Review: I Love This Box December Box

Late at night we got a knock on the door from parcel delivery, and one of the goodies was the "I Love This Box!" sample box for December.

The contents?

Thursday, December 22, 2011

19 ways to get Naked with Urban Decay

You might remember I was the lucky winner of "The Plastic Diaries" survey competition, and the flagship of the generous prize package was this baby.. the much hyped Urban Decay Naked Palette.

So.. does it live up to the hype? And how useful is this palette, really?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Review: December Glossybox!

Santa's Elves at AusPost have delivered once again, and the December Glossybox has arrived at Chateaux Omega..

So, what's in it?

Review: RoC Complete Lift Lifting Daily Moisturiser

From the Lust Have it November Box I got a sample of a brand I hadn't heard of before, RoC. My extensive Internet searches have not revealed to me what RoC actually stands for...

So I am just going to assume they've named their brand after the mythical giant eagle. You know, like this one:

Surely a moisturiser named after an epic beast of yore has to be good, right?

Well, all joking aside, it is pretty good. It smells nice, and it's thick and creamy on first contact. It feels rich and nourishing on the skin. I've been applying it late at night and when I wake in the morning my skin still feels dewy and hydrated. 

I even contemplated buying it in full size.. but that's proving to be a little bit of a challenge, because it's not entirely clear which of their products this is actually a sample of. There seems to be two, at the same price, with very similar names to the sample..
It's interesting how packaging has such a strong effect on how we perceive products. These two are the same price (around $50 depending on where you buy it). The stuff in the tube is called "Complete Lift Daily Moisturiser". The stuff in the glass jar is ALSO called "Complete Lift Daily Moisturiser". I'm not sure if they are the same product packaged two different ways or what - but if I had these side by side, I'd probably choose the one the glass jar.  Things in jars are better quality than things in tubes... at least that's what we've been taught to believe by cosmetic companies!

Whether it comes in a tube or a jar I can tell you this is a good moisturiser.. if you're looking for something rich and hydrating you should consider this one. 

What about you? are you influenced strongly by packaging, or do you not judge a product by it's presentation? Let me know in the comments!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Sunsmart's "Love your Body" Blog Carnival

I've been known to say more than once, that I think skin is beautiful in every colour.. except orange. I have never really understood the obsession with tanning that some people have.

I understand that an obsession with paleness can be just as damaging, especially if you don't naturally have pale skin. That said, if they started opening "fake pallor" salons where I could make myself even paler without doing damage? I think I'd be there..

But that's because I am pale already. It's the cards I have been dealt, and I am a big believer in working with what you've got. Whatever your skin tone, light or dark or anywhere in between - learn to live with it. Love it for what it is! You're probably way more gorgeous than you think you are.

It took me a long time to learn to love my pale skin. I don't tan. If I get too much sun (and that can take less than 10 minutes on a high UV day) I go red like a lobster, then (if my sunburn is bad) I peel and itch, and then my skin is pale again, perhaps with a couple of extra freckles. I won't tan, ever, even if I wanted to.

I got told when I was little that one day my freckles would all join up and I would have a perfect tan! I believed that for a while...

Pale I am, though, and pale I will remain. I try to stay out of the sun as much as possible, and I never, ever leave the house without sunscreen.

Regardless of your skin tone - the sun's harmful UV rays cause ageing. Some say that up to 80% of wrinkles are caused by the sun! Unnecessary ageing is probably something we all want to avoid - and that's just the cosmetic reason, there's also the risk of melanoma.

So - best sunscreens? I like to avoid the ones that feel greasy on the skin, I don't like the feeling of dust or sand sticking to me. Luckily for us the greasy sunscreens of our childhoods are only one of the many options available these days!

Sunscreens I use and like:

  • Hamilton Sunscreen 30+ Spray
At around $7 a bottle this stuff is cheap and good. It goes on really quickly and easily in a spray format, it soaks right in and doesn't feel greasy on the skin at all. It's really good for kids because it is so quick and easy to apply. This is my go-to sunscreen if I am headed out for the day. 

  • Invisible Zinc
Not such a cheapie but a great range of products. These feel really good on the skin and there's all sorts of creams, skincare and tinted moisturisers in the range. I find they last a long time, so even though they're not a discount brand I think they offer good value for money. 

In addition to these I always check the SPF rating of my foundation - being able to apply foundation and sun protection in one step is a great way to go, saves me time in the morning and means I am always wearing some sun protection. Just don't forget your neck, chest/bust and hands - any exposed skin!

I also often take a parasol out with me. My favourites are from the Boston Umbrella Company (which I have blogged about before!). In Melbourne having an umbrella is always a smart idea, as the weather can change any time, and one that is pretty enough to act as a parasol is a wise choice. At many outdoor festivals & markets I have been at I could have sold my parasol for a small fortune dozens of times over to envious attendees who were sweltering in the sun! :)

Wherever you are in the beautiful human rainbow of skin colours, remember, that ball of fire in the sky is not entirely your friend! Love your body, and love your skin!

Whatever you're doing this summer, do it smart, and do it in style.. the lobster look or leathery sun-damaged skin is NEVER in fashion. :)

This blog entry is a part of SunSmart's "Love your Body" Blog Carnival.

Makeup 101: How to apply eye shadow

For my 100th post, I thought I'd get back to basics. There's a thousand ways to apply eyeshadow, but in order to be able to describe it clearly and duplicate other's looks, you need to familiarise yourself with some terminology commonly used to describe parts of the eye.

I have created a diagram that I hope will clear things up:

I even used hideous clown colours so you can clearly see the different parts. Rest assured this is not a combo I would leave the house with, but I hope it makes things easier to understand for you:

Roughly from top to bottom & left to right:

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Makeup Tutorial

Well it's that time of year.. Whether you celebrate Xmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, Solstice, Festivus.. it's a time of year there seems to be a lot of parties and things to do, everyone is little more busy and a little more stressed..

More parties means more excuses to dress up though, so after getting some requests I thought I'd do an Xmas Makeup Tutorial. I took pictures AND made a video.

Of course it had to be red and green!

Products I used:
  • She Baked Mineral Eyeshadow
  • LimeLily "Promise" eyeshadow
  • Illamasqua "Berber" pigment
  • Two Faced "Wicked Green" eyeshadow
  • BareMinerals Defining Mascara
  • Gosh Extreme Art Eyeliner - Green
  • Illamasqua Illuminator - Odyssey
You could tone this up or down depending on the event.. though it does seem to be a time of year where you can get away with brighter colours and wilder looks, makeup wise!

What about you? Do your makeup and fashion choices change at this time of year? 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Lashings of fun with lashes.. 1940s Makeup Look

I am often in the mood for a bit of retro flair, so when I was headed off to a club where "anything goes" except failing to make an effort at all, I whipped this outfit and makeup together:

I swept my hair up into some 1940-esque rolls and wore a garrison cap from Lenny's Custom Clothing.

For my makeup I kept it simple.. pale eyes, scarlet glitter lips and a set of luscious false lashes!

Add a little black dress with 40s lines, a corset (Gallery Serpentine) and some tall boots and you're ready to go..

Products I used:

  • L'Oreal primer and foundation
  • Illamasqua Illuminator in Odyssey
  • Eyeshadows: 
    • Silver from Two Faced Smokey Eye Palette
    • Limelily Frost
  • Lipstick
    • Lipstick Queen Lust in Sinner
    • Red Glitter
  • Illamasqua False Lashes - Berber
  • BareMinerals Defining Mascara

My accessories are from Etsy:

The arm cuff was made by the very talented "Kinky Engineer" (some of his items are naughty bondage gear, so if you're a sensitive flower, don't click!)

The pendant is a cameo of Artemis, greek goddess of the Hunt (or Diana if you prefer the Roman Pantheon) from the lovely M1dnightdreary who seems to have a great eye for interesting items.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Amanda Palmer, Neil Gaiman, Tom Stoppard.. Namedrop? Who, me? :)

So tonight I saw a trio of geniuses...

Tom Stoppard, Neil Gaiman, and delightedly but unexpectedly, Amanda Palmer.

Amanda was wearing her gorgeous jacket from the very talented Kambriel, (it's most similar to the Midnight Bustle if you're searching in vain for it). As an important aside, they also make in custom sizes.

After graciously chatting with us for a few minutes, Amanda leapt up on to the bar of the Atheaneum Theatre to regale us all with her Ukulele Anthem.

I was lucky enough to catch it on video!

It was a fantastic night. If you are in Melbourne and want to do something AMAZING for new year's eve, Amanda and Neil are doing a gig at Revolt, a Trash Masquerade! I will be there, and after our little chat, apparently I will need to bring Astrid so she can be the "New Years Baby!". :)

I can't think of a better way to see in 2012.

Review: Limelily Cosmetics

Limelily Cosmetics are a Melbourne based cosmetics manufacturer, who were kind enough to send me a very generous range of samples.

After swatching and smelling and playing and experimenting, I can heartily recommend the product.

Apparently they do a lot of business with schools and tafe colleges, and it's not hard to see why - these products are very forgiving. The pigments are gentle - one swipe gives you a barely-there tint, but by layering you can build up to quite dramatic colour.  This makes the range very versatile.. so whether really natural looks are you thing, or like me, you prefer loud and proud makeup statements, you'll be able to get what you want out of this.

I had a lovely play with a rainbow of colours and created this Opulent Peacock Look:

What I used:

Thursday, December 15, 2011

How to apply false eyelashes: Eyelure Naturalites Intense Lashes

I had a number of people ask me to do a tutorial on how to apply false eyelashes, so I have put together a video tutorial.

Check it out:

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Virtu: Plus Size Fashion Sale

Plus size store Virtu ( are having a sale through to the 23rd December, up to 75% off some items. I can't resist a bargain, but unfortunately I'm not made of money, so instead of stressing my credit cards I thought I would do a bit of virtual shopping. Here's my pics from the sale stock!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Giftmas Gift Guide: NARS Kabuki Brush Set & Hanmichi Eye Shadow Palette

Here's something lush I had to share. If you want to splurge out and get something gorgeous, that also has a thin veneer of practicality to it, then have a look at this..

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Review: Bellabox December sample box

Not one but two Sunday deliveries!!
The December bellabox just hit my doorstep and is packed full of lovely things!

What's in the box?

Review: Lust Have It December Sample Box

The Australia Post Delivery Faeries are working extra hard at this time of year, I just got a delivery on a Sunday!!

It was the Lust Have it December Box.

So what's inside?

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Blogger news: I'm number 23! :D

A couple of cool things happened with this blog recently..
Australian Women Bloggers Directory by Blog ChicksFirstly, I was admitted to membership of the iFabbo group - So this is now officially an "iFabbo Endorsed" blog. Nifty! :)

Also, to my surprise and delight, I have been ranked number 23 of the top fashion blogs in Australia by the Australian Women's Blog directory. Don't want to toot my own horn too much, but I feel really proud that I've managed to grow this blog to such an extent in a short time..

Who I really ought to be thanking though, is you, dear readers! Without you reading and commenting and sharing and telling your friends about this blog none of this would have happened..

Please remember if there's something here you'd like to see.. just ask! If you have a beauty or fashion dillema you'd like some advice on, or you just have a question for me.. speak up!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Fashion Ideas: My Size summer picks

Once again virtually window shopping.. has some nice stuff for the summer party season!

Here's what I chose..

Giftmas Gift Guide: Mor Cosmetics

If you have a beauty lover on your Xmas list, or someone who deserves to be pampered, you might want to consider one of the gorgeous gift packs from MOR.

What's my pick of the bunch?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Review: Bobbi Brown Cleansing Oil

So whenever I do a really over-the-top makeup look, I then have to clean it all off, and I usually take the opportunity to road-test one of my cleansers. I figure if it can handle the challenge of removing something dramatic.. like when I paint myself green to be Poison Ivy, for instance, then it should be up to the task of removing regular everyday makeup.

So, how did the Bobbi Brown Cleansing Oil shape up? 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Wild Makeup Looks: Poison Ivy

The other night I went to a party where the theme was Superheroes. I prefer supervillans, or I should say, supervillanesses! I thought it might be fun to dress up like poison ivy. Here I am all green!

So how did I do it? 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Review: Benefit Brow Bar

Eyebrows don't seem to get bad gradually. I mean, obviously, that's how it actually happens, but that's not how I perceive it. It's like one day they're fine, and the next day I look in the mirror and think "WHOAH! There's a JUNGLE up there!".
Before - Jungle Brows

When that fateful day arrives I take myself off to the Benefit Brow Bar in Myer Bourke St. I've been going there a while now and it is always a pleasant experience. The staff is super friendly and if you choose your time well you can usually just pop in without an appointment, get your brows done and be on your way.

So how did it turn out?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Review: Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar

In my November Bellabox I got a sample of a product I have heard a lot about and been wanting to try for a while now - Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics'  Lip Tar.
I could rant here about how choosing to name your cosmetics brand after a mental illness is a dodgy choice, (Stigmatization is bad, mm'kaay..) but let's set that aside for now and talk about the product.

Lip Tar. Goes on like a gloss, totally opaque, staying power.. this product promises a LOT. And boy oh boy does it deliver.

Here's how it turned out:

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Review: Eborian BB Creme with Ginseng. Also "What is BB Cream and why would I want it?"

When you're a blogger, you read a lot of blogs. It just happens! While looking at other beauty blogs I kept seeing mentions of a product called "BB Cream" I'm not too proud to admit I had no idea what it was, so I did a little digging..

What did I find out? Well...

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Review: BareMinerals Flawless Definition Mascara

In my goodie box from my "The Plastic Diaries" prize was the BareMinerals Flawless Definition Mascara. I have been using it the past few days and I can sum up my feelings about it in one word - WOW.

It's a defining, not a volumising mascara, but it is giving me a really dramatic "false eyelashes" look. the brush is almost like a comb, and it does a great job of separating lashes to avoid clumps.

It's got great staying power too, it seems to last and last for a long time.

This product has really impressed me, I will replace it when it runs out for sure!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Review: Essie's Nail Polishes Meet me at Sunset, Topless and Barefoot

Two of the sample boxes I have received have contained samples of essie's brand nail polish.

One colour is a pale pink called "Topless & Barefoot", and the other is a bright orange called "meet me at sunset". I decided to put them together!

So I guess you'd call this manicure.. "Meet me at Sunset... Topless and Barefoot?"

Neither of these colours are ones I would normally choose, but I kind of like them.. I can tell that the polish is great quality - the polish is really opaque and dries fast, and seems to be holding up to my usual dire punishment really well.

I will definitely be keeping an eye out for this brand so I can pick up some colours I will wear more often!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Review: Garnier Body Intensive 7 Days

So one of the samples from my box was several sachets of Garnier Body Intensive 7 Days Ultra-Softening Lotion with L-Bifidus.

This comes in five different varieties, but I got several samples of the Shea butter kind in my box, which is meant to be for "Dry to Extra Dry Skin".

I've been using it and it's quite nice! It feels heavy and rich, and there is a slight feeling of residue for quite some time after you put it on.

It has softened my skin - not sure if it is having a "7 day" effect as the marketing claims but it has made my skin feel softer and more smooth and does seem to have a lasting effect. To really test this I would have to apply it once a week and I haven't waited that long. I've been keeping it in the bathroom and just putting some on whenever I go in there.

Using L-Bifidus as an ingredient is interesting, but people have been making skin products out of dairy products, including yoghurt for thousands of years now, so  its an ingredient with a lot of history behind it!

This would be a great body moisturizer for after the shower, and the scent is benign enough that it won't try and compete with your perfume.

It's a reasonably priced product too, so would make a nice little everyday indulgence.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Review: Nude by Nature Mineral Lipliner

In my Lust Have it box was a solitary full-size makeup sample - a natural mineral lipliner from "Nude by Nature".

Now when I do reviews, if I am unfamiliar with the brand, I go to their website and have a look. Nude by Nature have a website, they even have an online shopping cart - but there is no mention of this lipliner at all. You can't buy it or get any information about it. They do claim to be "Australia's No 1 Mineral Makeup Brand", but this particular product appears to be entirely absent from their catalogue. I don't know if this means we were given a discontinued product in the sample boxes or what the story is.. all a bit strange really!

The only pictures of it on the web are, as far as I can tell, from other people who also got the sample box. 

I was interested in getting more information about it because this product is a bit of a mystery to me. 

Soft Brush one end.. 
Hard pencil the other end... 
It's a long pencil, with a very VERY hard lipliner at one end.. and a soft brush on the other end. This is.. somewhat confusing. The brush has no visible effect on the liner at all and I can't imagine what it would do in that regard.. so I'm wondering if it's meant to be for the lipstick you put on over the top?  It's all a bit of a mystery... if you have any ideas or theories I'd love to hear them.

So when I tried this on my lips I was really struck by how freaking hard the pencil is. I had to apply a lot of pressure to get any colour on my lips at all. I feel like I gave myself a dermabrasion treatment applying this!

And the results are very subtle indeed: 

Three pictures here, left to right, one with nothing on my lips, one using the pencil to line my lips, and one with my lips filled in with the liner:

I am really glad I got this sample, because if I had bought it at full price I wouldn't be very happy, I don't think. I prefer softer pencils that are gentle on my lips, and the "barely there" natural look isn't really my cup of tea either.

All in all I don't think I'll be picking up any more of of these, and this product makes me a but dubious about the rest of the line.. though I will of course always keep an open mind.

So... the mystery of the brush. I want to hear your theory! Is a hard lip liner a "thing" - are the people out there who have a preference for a really hard makeup pencil?  Hit me up in the comments...