Monday, December 16, 2013

Review - Banana Boat Everyday SPF 30 Finger Spray

I am grateful in more ways than I can describe that I live in Melbourne instead of Queensland these days, but I am never more grateful than in the summer months. I don't tan, you see. By that I don't mean that I don't have the inclination to tan (though with my longterm committment to being a freaky goth chick, that's also true) but rather I am utterly physically incapable of it.
My pale irish heritage means I burn in less than ten minutes on a sunny day, and there is no "brown" stage - it's red, then horrid and peeling if it's bad, and then back to white again, with maybe an extra freckle or two.
Rather than fight against my skin's natural inclinations, I have instead decided to "embrace the pale" and I stay out of the sun as much as possible. When that's not possible, I always wear sunscreen - so I am always on the lookout for a nice non greasy sunscreen that does the job and doesn't cost a fortune.
When I got sent a sample of this stuff I was gleeful - it's a spray format which makes it super easy to use, and while it's still a cream the formulation is light. After a few minutes I totally forgot I was wearing it - it didnt seem to collect dust and grime the way other sunscreens I've tried do.
All in all I was really happy with this - if you're looking for a no mess no fuss way to protect yourself this summer, I'd give this one a look in for sure.



Sunday, December 15, 2013

Antipodean Beauties: Aussie/Kiwi Brands - Iridis Cosmetics

This week we're showing off some of our favourite local brands - it's great timing for me because I recently became aware of a new Aussie makeup offering I want to tell everyone about!

I was lucky enough to recently  receive a generous parcel from Iridis Cosmetics. They're a new Australian makeup brand founded by a MUA. Here's what they sent me:

A custom made eyeshadow palette with the colours Kitty, Ex Boyfriend, Teachers Pet, Vintage and Jeannie.

False lashes - Rapunzel, Thumbelina and Maid Marion:

Two lipsticks, a dark berry colour called Plateau and a lovely red called Russian. 

Lash Excellence Mascara and Eye and Lip Primer. 

Lots of fun new things to play with!! 

I started with the eyeshadows - honestly, in the pan, they didn't look like much. Perfectly lovely, ordinary wearable colours.. but I wasn't wow'ed at first glance. Then I swatched the first one, really not expecting much and I was very surprised. 

That first colour, "Kitty", looks like a fairly nondescript pink colour in the pan, but on the skin - it has an amazing pearlescent gold sheen. Really amazing, and could totally be worn by itself for a gorgeous daytime look. A really "WOW!!" colour. 

With that surprise still rocking me, I tried the others, and what do you know, they all have a hidden secret. It's hard to photograph but very obvious in person - there's an almost duochrome effect happening with these.  

Every single one of these, you could wear alone as a single sweep of colour and it would look as though you'd artfully blended for ages. 

They're soft and buttery and effortlessly blend together. 

I put together a daytime and a nightime look with very little effort. 

Here's the daytime look - Kitty on the lid, with some Jeannie at the inner eye and Vintage along the brow line. Of course I had to try the red lipstick first, and I'm happy to report it's a really good one! It's thick and matte, a really old school formulation that gives you great colour and staying power. 

While you're looking at this, check out that mascara! It alone is a stand-out product - it's given me a similar look to some of the fibre mascaras I've been trialling lately with a lot less mess and fuss. 

For the nighttime look, I went all out with the blues and greens for a bit of a 1920s dark eyes look. Ex Boyfriend is a green with blue shimmer and Teacher's pet is a blue/purple with greenish shimmers so these two were really meant to go together!

Plateau is one of those very rare "dark and dramatic but forgiving" shades, the holy grail of any goth-leaning person's lipstick wardrobe!

I'm absolutely delighted to have discovered this brand - if you get a chance to try their stuff out I'd grab it with both hands and run. Super impressed with these. Go have a look yourself at all the cool stuff they have! 


Aussie Curves: Maxi Skirt

Maxi Skirt week - turns out I don't really own very many! I have my red chiffon overlay one that's been seen on this blog numerous times... not really any others, certainly not ones worth showing off!

So I totally cheated - this is a maxi dress with a semi transparent blouse over the top. The dress is from Target, and it's super comfy. I throw it on when it's too hot to wear anything else. 

This chiffon top is also old, it has cream lace on it which tones in with the bronze on the skirt. It's one of those effortlessly comfortable things that looks a little bit dressy. 

 Maxi skirts are all about comfort, I think - I have no idea why a long flowy skirt feels cooler to wear on summer days than a short one, but it really feels that way to me.


Sunday, December 8, 2013

Antipodean Beauties: Contouring

This week's Antipodean Beauties challenge - contouring. This is often seen as a really tricky makeup technique, and is put in the "too hard" basket for some people. I used to be in this category - I never wore blush, for many years, for instance, because I wasn't sure where or how to apply it, and I was afraid of looking stupid. 

Contouring is all about using colour to shape your face - dark colours to make things look deeper, and light colours to make them look more raised. You can use these contours to give your face more symmetry - and for most people, symmetry is beauty. 

Use matte colours - anything with shine or shimmer in it is just going to make you look sweaty. Start with a light hand, and add more, a little bit at a time, to get the effect. 

The REAL trick to contouring though, and the part that usually stumps people, is how to blend all those shadows and highlights, so while they're still doing their job, they're not obviously drawn on your face. It doesn't look as though you did it - it just looks as though that's what your face looks like.

The key is blend, blend and blend some more. There really isn't anything else to it. 

For me, I have a round face - so I use contouring to make my face look more narrow - to make my nose look more fine and to give me the illusion of more prominent cheekbones. 

It makes a subtle and yet MASSIVE difference when I take the time to do it. I mean, look at this - in the left hand photo, I am just wearing foundation, and in the right hand side, I have contoured my face. 

Get out a tape measure and check if you need to - but believe me when I say my face is the same width in both photos - but my face looks significantly narrower after contouring.  My eyes look larger, and I look more awake and alert - happier even. 

When I take the time to do this people say "Wow, you're full of beans today!" and "You woke up perky this morning!". No, I just took the time to contour this morning. 

With the rest of my makeup on, the effect is still there:

I'll be honest, I probably only take the time to do this about 20% of the time, but I am getting faster and better at it. It does seem worth the effort to me. 


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Aussie Curves: Headwear

Headwear week this week at Aussie Curves, and it's perfect timing for me because I recently waltzed out the door in this wild getup!

It seems the "Silly Season" is already upon us.. I participate, but only in certain ways. The gross commercialisation, shopping mall panic attacks, racking up credit card debt to buy things for people they neither want nor need out of a sense of obligation? Lying to our kids about a magic dude from the sky who will reward or punish you in order to encourage conformist behaviour? No thanks!

The getting together to celebrate and commiserate the year gone by, with good food and good company as often as possible? Yes Please!

Wearing silly things? Always, always yes please!

So - here's a very silly and fun bit of headwear just for the silly season! Yes, they are actually real light-up lights, and no, I didn't have to stand next to a power point all night.

They're from ikea and they're little led lights powered by just two small batteries - about the size of a matchbox. I turn them on, pin the battery packs into the middle of my hairdo, wrap the lights around and there we have it!

The best part - they only cost $3 a string.

In keeping with the festive spirit, I did a gold eye makeup using my trusty old Urban Decay Naked Palette, and paired that with a bright red lip - Eles Microbubble red topped with some gloss for extra shine. I also used my Macrolash fibre mascara for some ultra glam lashes.


Monday, December 2, 2013

Modcloth Uniquely You - A Night in Noir

Modcloth Uniquely You - A Night in Nior

Modcloth is having a polyvore challenge - they send out one item and ask bloggers to style it up! This week it is this gorgeous black lace dress. I decided to style it up with vampy stockings, cute houndstooth heels and some gorgeous black and silver jewellery.

I think it turned out rather glam!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Antipodean Beauties: Purple

 It's purple week at Antipodean Beauties, it's a colour I have always enjoyed wearing, sometimes it's in fashion and sometimes it isn't, but I've never let that bother me!

When it comes to vibrant colours it's really hard to go past Illamasqua, and their purples are some of the prizes of my collection. I don't normally wear both of these together, but for an all-out purple look they do combine nicely!

The lighter shade is a cream pigment called "Depravity" - can't argue with that!

The darker is a powder eye shadow called "Inception". I picked up both of these beauties in sales, a year apart, and I've gotten a lot of happy use out of them since then - you can see I have barely put a dint in either of them.

On my lips is an amazing Illamasqua gloss called "Boost" that has a holographic/duochrome sheen to it. Every time I wear it people ask me what it is. It manages to be both really bright and vibrant but is quite sheer as well, so it seems to deliver a lot of colour without looking super scary.

I'm also wearing my gorgeous purple Lush eyeliner - the colour is called "Feeling Secure", and if you look closely you might notice I am wearing matching purple mascara - this is thanks to a nifty product from Manicare - disposable mascara wands! I just pop one of these into the eyeliner pigment and I'm all set.

I really like wearing purple, it makes my eyes look an even more interesting colour than usual and it goes with red really well - if I didn't already have a favourite colour purple would be it for sure!


Friday, November 29, 2013

Aussie Curves: Yellow

Yellow, eh? Yes, not a colour I wear I'm afraid, even with my new expansion of colours in my wardrobe it hasn't quite stretched to yellow as yet. I thought I'd show you a bit of virtual shopping, instead. Here's some super cute yellow stuff that caught my eye - like all the fashion posted here it all comes in at least a size 20 and ships to Australia. Check it out:


Thursday, November 28, 2013

EDC Upgrade - My new Handbag and Wallet

I recently made some significant upgrades to my EDC (which, for those of you who aren't living with someone who loves all things tactical) means "Every Day Carry".

In layperson's terms... I got a new handbag, and a new wallet!

I really needed them, too - because I recently became the proud owner of both a new gorgeous notebook and a new Ipad Air.

The notebook is from PaperBlanks, one of my favourite stationery brands, I've been using their journals for years to take notes at work. It's not hard to see why I love them so much:

They really are breathtakingly gorgeous, and always get lots of admiring comments. My new one looks like the one on the far left of the picture. It's hefty, with magnetic clasps.

Then there's this new shiny toy:

Yes, thanks to my partner's long tenure with Telstra I got an offer I couldn't refuse to get my hand on one of these babies. I'm loving it, I think it will make blogging on the go a lot easier. 

These two combined though meant that my old handbag just didn't have the capacity for my stuff! I needed to upgrade and fast. I'm not (sadly) the sort of person who has a collection of gorgeous designer handbags - I buy the best quality one I can afford and then I use it to death - literally until it is falling apart and looks very shabby indeed. My old handbag was very much in this category! 

Thankfully, I happened to wander past Colette as everything was on sale. After a lot of testdriving, podding and poking (it's a very important purchase, after all!) I eventually chose this bag:

It is big enough for everything, but not too big - I'm sure I'm not the only one who has experienced that phenomenon where no matter how big your bag is, the amount of random stuff you carry around mysteriously expands to fill that space - I wanted to avoid lugging around too much stuff!

While I was there I also got a new wallet too, as my old one was falling apart and belching forth coins all the time:

It was the only red wallet they had in the store, which may have influenced my decision a little bit.. it has all the necessary pockets and stuff I need. 

All in all I feel really happy with these purchases!