Monday, April 30, 2012

Review: Opi Mini Makeover Magic Set

Lots of people love OPI for their amazing and extensive range of nail colours, but their nail treatment range is well worth checking out as well - a mini pack like this is a great way to check out some new products for a very small investment.

The OPI Mini Makeover Magic Set contains:

  • Nail Envy 3.75ml
  • Chip Skip 3.75ml
  • Rapid Dry Top Coat 3.75ml
  • OPI Nail Lacquer in Atomic Orange 3.75ml
  • OPI Expert Touch Nail Laquer Remover 30ml
  • OPI Expert Touch Lint-Free Remover Pads

All packaged in a super cute and convenient travel pack. The pattern on the bag is super cute and having all these products in one handy pack is really useful.

Be warned though, once you try these you are probably going to want them in the full size version - I know I do!

Review: Nads Facial Wand Eyebrow Shaper

Everyone knows that the brows frame the face, and altering the shapes of your brows can really change your look.

This product can help you change your brows if you want to - it's Nads facial wand. It's a gel wax applicator with a small foam tip that you can use to remove all the hairs you want to - and none of the ones you don't.

With up to 24 applications in the bottle this is a great value product, certainly a lot cheaper than heading to the salon every few weeks.

The "pen" makes the application pretty foolproof, and as long as you make sure you keep the skin taut the removal is mostly painless too.

If you're looking for a cheap and easy way to groom your brows then this might be just the ticket.

OOTD: Chocolate brown boots

One of my rare departures from my usual red/black/grey scheme..

I bought this shirt from ebay, it was described as a red/bronze shirt with a black stripe and looked very reddish in the listing photos.. when it arrived I was rather surprised!

While it's not red it is a rather nice chocolate brown colour, and wearing it is a great excuse to break out another rare brown item in my wardrobe.. some knee high boots I picked up for $10 at "imagination" of all places.

Finding something my size in there is a bit of a mircale.. finding wide-calf boots that fit my legs? for $10? that is not a bargain you can pass up even if it comes in a colour you don't wear very often!

I wore one of my city chic skirts because it was exactly the right height to show off the boots.

They say a change is as good as a holiday, right?

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Review: Lust Have it April 2012

Another serious straggler has appeared, the April Lust Have it box. It didn't come in a box though, they've supplied it in a cute little cosmetics bag, which is nice.

So what's in it?

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Review: Australis Intensifeye Wet/Dry Shadow - Far Out, Brussel Spout!

This is one of the goodies I picked up in my epic Priceline haul. It's by Australis and is a trio of green shadows called "Far Out Brussel Sprout!" - can you get any more aussie?  

Silly name aside this is a great combo of colours. It's leaning towards the khaki side of the green spectrum -there's a light khaki, midtone that has a bit of a turquoise bent to it and a dark olive colour. 

Going on dry these give a nice subtle touch of colour. 

I'm not so much into subtle though - and it's using these shadows wet that had me excited. Wet, they become very strong, highly pigmented shades that pack a lot of punch. You can see here I have managed to put together a very vivid green eye look. 

I used the light khaki under my brow, turquoise on my lid and used the dark green for shading.  Not a look I would show up to the office in but something fun for nighttime or the weekend - I will definately be wearing a variation of this again. 

These were around $11 - for the price point they're very high quality. Australis as a brand is impressing me more as I try more of their products, it's easy to feel a bit nervous when things are "too cheap" but this is a brand well worth checking out if you love a bargain!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Wild Makeup Looks: Satyr

Here's an over the top makeup look I put together recently.. I was going for a kind of faun/satyr look - not a full on costume, just something a bit fun and different for the club. I wanted to look otherworldly.

So, how did I do it?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Review: I love this Box April 2012

Finally the "I love this Box" for April has arrived.. it is not the only sample box running dreadfully late this month..

Better late than never, I say, so I was pleased to see this arrive.

So what's in it?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Review: Umberto Giannini Backcomb in a bottle

If you lived in the era of big hair like me, then you will be familiar with the concept of backcombing. A comb, a lot of hairspray and a lot of teasing can create big hairdos..

I always wanted my hair to be "large and full of secrets" just like Patricia Morrison from the Sisters of Mercy.. and with suitable effort I could manage it.

Then there was the knots and the mess and the damage it did to your hair.. but not any more!

Thankfully modern technology has come to the rescue with products like this one - Umberto Giannini Glam Hair Backcomb in a Bottle. With a few spritzes of this your hair gets a lot of awesome volume - it's just like you teased it and backcombed it.

You can use a little of this with for volume at the roots, or you can use a lot for some wild hair wonderfulness!  If you're wanting hair with va-va-VOOM this is a product you should add to your shopping basket soon.

From Look Book to Street Look - Domino Dollhouse

Once again, I'm showing you a "Look Book to Street Look".. it's a semi regular feature here were I'l show you something I own the way I wear it, and the way it was originally styled by the designer.

Today's featured item is this  Domino Dollhouse skirt from the "Rebel Rebel" collection.

In their lookbook they have styled it with gorgeous suspenders, a cute striped shirt with red sleeves, heart shaped sunglasses and some gorgeous retro-inspired curls. I love the way this looks both vintage and modern at the same time.

As soon as I saw this on their website, I knew I had to have it. I've been wanting a peplum skirt for a while now and this one is just chock full of cute details - the bow at the front, the frill at the back, the length, the colour - all perfect.

When it arrived it wasn't exactly what I expected - I'd been a little generous with my size estimate so I needed to take this in a bit, and the fabric needs ironing, which is normally something I avoid! It's a testimony to how much I love this skirt though that I have been willing to get out the iron when I want to wear it.

So, how did I style this?

I wore this out and about on a gorgeous Autumn's day - you've already seen my rainbow makeup, now you can have a peek at the rest of my outfit.

A singlet with roses embroidered on the neckline that I picked up from an outlet store really cheaply, my City Chic cropped jacket with frills on the shoulders, a pair of leggings went with the skirt.

The cropped jacket makes sure the cute details of the skirt aren't hidden.. . playing around with this I think it could just as easily be worn with the bow at the front or the back depending on what look you were going for.

Because the skirt is quite short the leggings made me feel more comfortable in it, and I think the wet-look print on them added a bit of edge to the ensemble.

I'm going to be scouting my wardrobe for other fun things to wear with this skirt - I have a feeling you're going to be seeing it again before too long!

FOTD: Rainbow makeup

With the sun shining and the sky blue like a sapphire, it's tempting to give in to the temptation to get colourful! In the words of the great Mae West "I generally avoid temptation unless I can't resist it", and on this day I simply couldn't resist.

I cracked out my good old 88 palette and and painted a rainbow on my eyes..

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

How, now, lovely brows? - Australis Eyebrow Kit

I've said it before, but I'm sure it bears repeating - well groomed eyebrows can really "make or break" any makeup look.
I picked this kit up for free, it was a "gift with purchase" if you bought $25 worth of Australis stuff at Priceline. (I bought two eyeshadow palettes that I will show you soon). 
The kit consists of two pressed powders in a reddish brown and a smoky brown, wax, tweezers and a brush.  By using the two powders mixed together you could achieve the right colour to tone in with your skin and hair - I will be using mostly the reddish one for daytime, and the darker one for more dramatic "strong brow" looks. 

It also has a nice mirror and a good catch on the compact - it's a really nice little package, with no hint of "free giveaway" shoddiness about it.  This is a product I would be more than willing to  pay for. 

Top picture: Naked Brows
Bottom picture: After using the Australis Eyebrow Kit
So, how it works is that you use the brush to smooth your eyebrows out, then add the powder to create the shape you want, and then use the wax to seal that colour and shape your brows, keeping them where you brushed them.

It's simple, elegant and it works. Can't ask for more than that! I'm often guilty of rushing out the door with makeup that doesn't include anything done to my brows.. when I see what a difference it makes I always resolve to take that extra minute or so.. perhaps with this handy kit I'll be more inclined. 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Review: Revlon Lip Butter in Candy Apple and Red Velvet

I'm one of these people who knows what they like when it comes to lip colour, and pretty much sticks to it. I really love opaque lipsticks because they deliver bright colour, and unlike glosses they stick around. I've tried a lot of lip products and I would have been willing to bet that there was nothing new under the sun.

That is, until I tried these.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Review: Nads Sensitive Hair Removal Creme

Nads are well known for their hair removal products and this is a great addition to the range - it's Nads sensitive hair removal creme.

The thing I noticed with this is that it seems to have less of the strong smell I often associate with these sorts of hair removal creams, but it does the job just as well - so if you're looking for a less stinky option this might be it!

I am always a bit wary of using depilatory creams because any chemical strong enough to melt your hair is something that deserves to be treated with respect. Make sure you follow the instructions, use a timer and don't leave this on any longer than you ought to. You're better off trying a second application in a few days rather than messing about with application times.

As an added bonus this also comes with an applicator sponge. What's not to love?

How to dress for Melbourne's weather - switching it up

I've been living in Melbourne a few years now, I think I'm only just starting to really understand the weather and how to dress for it. "Four Seasons in One Day" isn't just a Crowded House song, it's really how the weather here works.. it can be warm, cold with an icy breeze, sunny, humid, rainy, all in the one day.

The only way to survive is to layer up. I find I need a lot more clothes.. I never really understood the need for mid-weight, "spring/autumn" weight clothes before living here.  I've learned though.. 

Here's that awesome top I bought at St Kilda night markets, worn two ways for very different consecutive days.

On the right, I'm enjoying a picnic at Birrarung Marr, a gorgeous park on the banks of the Yarra right in the middle of Melbourne city. It was a beautiful day - warm sun, cool breeze.. we spent the whole afternoon lounging in the shade, feasting and laughing.. bliss. It was quite warm so I wore my top over a bronze dress from ASOS. I like to wear a long skirt when I know I'm going to be sitting on the ground, I find that way I can sit any way I like and still retain some modesty. I put a belt over the top to define my waist and was good to go. 

On the left, the very next day, the weather turned cool. Cold, really, with a biting wind and cloudy skies. I need warmth, so I put on a vintage wool dress I own, it's simple lines and red/black marle fabric make it a perfect layering piece for me. It's lovely and soft and not scratchy at all because of it's age, and it's nice and warm - but not too hot for indoors. Because of the wind I also wore the warmest pair of pants I own, they're from luluemon. They look like dress pants but they're fleecy on the inside. Totally a lifesaver when it gets cold. When I was outside I also wore my wool ASOS coat, which you can see me carrying.

Two very different days, but still maximising my wardrobe. How can you use layering to get more mileage out of your favourite pieces?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Illamasqua Human Fundamentals Apocalips goth look - Just a little bit Capitol City

If you follow me on instagram you would have already seen a glimpse of this, as promised here's the rest of the look..

I had a DJ gig at a goth club, the perfect excuse to go all out and do something a little bit crazy with my makeup. I couldn't wait to crack open some of my goodies from the Illamasqua Human Fundamentals collection.

Here's how I did it... 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Celebrity Make-up Tutorials - Here's how we're going to do this.

I've been thinking a lot about celebrity makeup tutorials lately. Readers love them, and it's something I'd like to do on this blog.. but there's issues. Big issues.

Here's what I have been thinking...

Monday, April 16, 2012

From black to red with no pre bleaching - L'Oreal Majicontrast

If you are wanting to go from black hair to red without a bleaching stage in between, then this is a product you may want to try. It's L'Oreal 's Majicontrast.

This is a product designed for streaks and highlights, but it can also be used over your whole head for an all-over look.

If you mix this with 40vol creme activator, it can lift even black hair to red in just one step. The colour doesn't last as long as the one I regularly use (Goldwell Elumen) but it is a good option if you're not wanting a REALLY permanent and/or hard to get rid of red - if you just want to dabble in red and try it out, then give this a go.

You can only get this from hairdressing supply stores, and the usual warnings about trying to do hairdresser stuff when you're not a hairdresser applies.

This red fades to pink, there's a range of tones that are more orangey and ginger as well, along with some bluish and purple magenta tones too.

Cheap and Cheerful Heroes.. five little products you won't want to be without.

I have a quintuplet of heroes for you today.. five really cheap products that will make a big difference to your makeup..  it's a collection of primers and other nifty pens... These are from the "Models Prefer" brand which is exclusive to Priceline.. it's a budget beauty brand that packs a punch! 

Here they are:
A Brow Highlighter - this is a pale pink pencil that you put under the arch of your brow - this makes a big difference to your eyes, which in turn has a huge difference on how awake and alert you look. Your brow looks more arched and your eye looks more open and bright. It's a difficult effect to photograph but one that is easy to see in person. You could achieve the same effect with a light pink eyeshadow, but when you can pick this up for just under $10 you may as well get the specialist tool.
What the brow highlighter does for above your eye, the eye brightener does for below it. Most people have darker skin under their eyes that can become prominent dark circles if you're feeling a bit tired and run down. This will take care of that! It's a brush-tip pen that you can use to blend in the colour so it's nice and smooth. I normally apply this after my foundation. It covers up those signs of tiredness and makes you look fresh as a daisy!

Left: naked eye
Right" with brow highlighter and eye brightener
Now, these two, you're not going to notice their effects until hours after you use them, but that's a good thing! With an eye primer on your eyelids and a lip primer on your lips, both your eyeshadows and lipsticks look better for longer. Your makeup fades less and stays where you put it in the first place with these helpers in place. You'll need less shadow when you first apply it because the colours will pop and appear more pigmented.  You'll need less re-applications as well, so you can think of these as a life-extender for all your favourite shadows and lippies. Well worth a small investment - the eye primer is $14 and the lip primer is $10.

Now it's quite possible I have saved the best for last. This baby is a corrector pen. You hopefully won't need it very often but when you do you will be oh-so-glad you decided to spend the $10 on this. let it sit quietly in your makeup drawer until you need it to rescue your whole look. 

If you've ever worn mascara or eyeliner, no doubt you have at some time smudged it. Then you grab a tissue or a wipe or a cotton bud, and wind up making a bigger mess? Then you swear and curse and wipe it all off and sigh and start again?? This pen will stop that from happening. 

It does what it says on the label - if you smudge your eyeliner, or your mascara decides to wander, or your shadow goes somewhere you don't want it to - this pen will remove it - and this is the important part - it will remove the smudge and leave the rest of your makeup where it is.

Smudge fixed!
So - five little heroes - for the low price they are it's well worth it. Keep an eye out for them at Priceline!

These products were provided for consideration. My opinions, as always, remain my own. 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

OOTD: Red Jeans, Black Coat

Here I am wearing a whole bunch of old faves.. my new red jeans, my ASOS coat, my fluevogs..

You know the good feeling you get when you're wearing one of your favourite things.. it's even better when you're wearing a few of them!

This photo was taken in the bathroom mirror at the Digital Parents Conference. Not the best photo - the very lovely author of "Styling You" took a nicer shot.. thought I'd show you the head to toe as well.

It's always a useful exercise to look through your wardrobe and spend some time thinking about how much you really LIKE the stuff you've got in there. I think clothes you really truly love look better on you. If you feel good, you look good.  That's how some people manage to "pull off" the most unlikely things.. I'm a big believer in it!

I'd love to hear what some of your wardrobe favourites are.. tell me all about it...

Friday, April 13, 2012

Wild Makeovers for small people...geishas, alice, the mad hatter, white rabbit, oh my!

The last couple of times my daughter has had her friends over they have asked me to do "spooky makeovers" for them. Somehow I have gotten a reputation as someone willing and able to do such things.. (who knew?)

For a gaggle of anime-obsessed teens, a trio of "spooky geishas" were requested. Here's what I came up with:

Then, while camping, using scavenged makeup from several different people, a "spooky alice in wonderland" trio - from left to right, they're the mad hatter, alice and the white rabbit..

The recipients were very happy with the results, so I am going to have to call them successful attempts on that basis.  I like to think I am showing the younger ones the cool things you can do with pigment and paint, and perhaps inspiring them at a time when they're starting to experiment with makeup themselves.

Did you play around with makeup when you were a kid?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Beauty Blogger Birthday...

It was my birthday yesterday. I turned 39. So what does a erstwhile beauty blogger get up to on her birthday?

Well, I had to work (booo) but I did manage to have a little bit of fun. In my lunch hour I went bar hopping!

Responsible, no?  Wait, don't call my boss - it wasn't those sorts of bars!!

I got my hair professionally blow-dried at the "Blow Dry Bar" - very happy with how it turned out. I asked for sleek, shiny and bouncy.. and certainly got that. I wish I could get it done every day!

I got my nails done at the Revlon Nail Bar.. mostly red with black ring fingers.. subtle enough for the board room, fun enough for me. Was a lovely relaxing time too, highly recommended for a little feel-good splurge!

I also cruised all the cosmetic counters (they're pretty much makeup bars, right?) and looked at shiny new things.. oh so many lovely things!  I was especially tempted by shu uemura's new whitening/brightening skincare range, gorgeous wet/dry estee lauder metallic eyeshadows and a tom ford contouring/illuminating palette. All added to the ever growing, never ending long term wish list!

I got an AWESOME blog relevant birthday present. A DSLR camera! Of course I have not the faintest idea how to use it, but I will learn. It's a Nikon D3100 which was highly recommended as "Idiot Proof" for the budding photographer new to DSLRs. Hopefully you will see a marked improvement in the blog photography from this point forward - or as least as soon as I master some of the basic controls.

And of course there was cake. Red Velvet, home made lovingly by someone I adore. Was delicious!

I don't think birthdays get much better than that, do they?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Fauxhawks for Fun and Profit

Out and about for a night at the club, I was in the mood for something a bit wild.. I pinned my hair up into a fauxhawk, and did a metallic themed makeup.

My eyeshadow is bronze and gold, and I made my eyebrows a wild scarlet to match my hair. My lips were outlined in red and filled in with gold..

It was a different look to what I usually wear, it's been interesting experimenting with new colours. I am going to continue playing around with these tones, I really like them.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Review: ChiChi Fashionista Palette

Chi Chi is one of those brands whose price points really doesn't indicate the quality of their product - in short, they're an excellent bargain. Their products become even more of a bargain when they go on sale, which seems to happen regularly - whenever I see a ChiChi product in a bargain bin I snap it up and I am rarely disappointed.

This is a case in point - a collection of greens and blues called "Fashionista" that I grabbed for $10. The colours are nicely pigmented and offer a nice range of shades - from a silver, to a lovely teal through to a dark smokey navy. I love wearing blues and greens. so this was a no brainer for me.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Swatched: NARS gloss in Scandal

Whenever I get near a makeup counter, there's always one colour that's guaranteed to catch my eye - regular readers will not be surprised to know that it's anything bright, bright red.

It should come as no surprise that this gloss has made it to my wish list - it's the NARS gloss in Scandal.

Like the rest of the NARS range this is a high quality, luxury item with the suitable pricetag attached.

For your money though, you get a bright red gloss, highly pigmented with a glassy sheen. It's very glossy but doesn't feel sticky and seems to have a lot of staying power - I had this on my wrist for just a few minutes and after I had wiped it off with a tissue it had left a red (not pink) stain on my wrist.

Signs are good for this one, next time I am up for a splurge this one will be mine.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

The kind of stylist we need.

Picked up this cute City Chic top from ebay. I love a bargain and I often find it's worthwhile to have a look and see what's going cheap. With a brand I am really familiar with like this I can be confident that what I get is going  to fit and I already know the quality of the garment.
I have a fairly defined idea of what's "my style" and what isn't, and that helps me make useful choices as well.
I like this top because it has a cool peplum/ruffle at the bottom.. it's also made from a sheer fabric so I wear a singlet or tshirt under it if I am wearing it to work.

You'll also notice that it has cream lace ruffles down the front. Now if you read many "style guides" you might have been told that if you're large busted like me you should never, ever wear ruffles down your front like this. You know what I think about that?? 

Friday, April 6, 2012

Swatched: Max Factor Smoky Eye Effects Eyeshadow

Spotted these in Priceline the other day and they look kind of nifty - they're double ended creme eyeshadow duos from Max Factor - they're calling them "Smoky Eye Effects Eyeshadow"

The two that caught my eye are the first and second on the left here - a blue/plum combo called "Blue Tempest" and a bronze/lime combo called "Citrus Storm".

I swatched them with great anticipation!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

OOTD: Putting on the Ritz for the Digital Parents Conference

Here's my outfit for the Digital Parents Conference "Gala Dinner".

Being a fashion/beauty blogger in a sea of "mummy bloggers" made me a fish out of water... they were a friendly bunch though and it was lovely to reconnect with some bloggers I really respect.

I'm used to being different - you don't dye your hair this colour and expect to fit in. I did my best not to be too "different and intimidating" though - story of my life!

I had spent the day in jeans but getting closer to the evening it was clear that jeans were NOT going to be suitable for the evening event, so I rushed home to change.

I didn't have a lot of time so had to work fast. A quick "twist and pin" to get my hair up..  add some sparkly makeup and some glitter eyeliner in jade for a bit of pop.

My colour changing eyes obligingly went green, reflecting the jade liner.

My trusty gown of thorns skirt which I have blogged before.. Always delivers, and is comfy to wear despite looking very dressy. On the top, a singlet, a city chic top over that that has a peplum frill, and over that sleeveless sequin bolero/shrug sort of thing I got for less than $10 from millers. I suspect the long trailing ends of it at front are meant to be knotted up to make a sort of crop-top, but I prefer to let the ends hang down, adding the illusion of length.

Necklace from collette and a bright red lippy and I was good to go.

Every time I go to a blogging conference I come back energised AND exhausted, full of ideas and plans.. This time is no different... there were a lot of great speakers and plenty of success stories to be inspired by.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Review: Rimmel The Max Bold Curves Extreme Volume and Lift Mascara

That's one heck of a long name.. so many promises! I got this as part of my Priceline "Sister Club" membership. The garish green packaging means it doesn't get lost in my makeup bag, but I have to admit the hideousness of the colour scheme and the wild claims had me dubious. I don't respond well to hyperbole so it was with a lot of scepticism that I tried this out. 

Rimmel says "It's our biggest curve ever!" which I presume refers to the brush, which is indeed curved. I am not sure how much this really helps with application, I did find I smudged myself a few times before I got used to the shape of it. It does a nice job of getting those tricky lashes on the inner and outer corners of your eye.

Left: naked lashes  Right: with Rimmel "The Max".
The mascara itself? It's certainly big, bold and out there.. with one coat it looks like you've done several, yet it doesn't seem to clump, which is good. You can see from the pictures I took that it makes a big difference to how your lashes look.

Mascara is one of those things you need to replace regularly so buying really expensive ones doesn't seem worth it to me - so a great "drugstore brand" like this is the way to go. I'm giving this ugly green monster two thumbs up!