Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Question Wednesday: Changing Seasons

Once again, Hump Day is upon us. Doesn't the week go by so fast! Wednesday means it's time for Nykki from Nykki's Mane Blog's Question Wednesday. This weeks questions are all about the seasons.

1. What is your favorite season? What colors, scents, tastes, sounds do you associate with it?

Definitely Spring. It's not too hot and not too cold. I definitely associate it with bright colours and pastels and the smell of jasmine at night. I'm a fiend for the smell of night blooming jasmine.

2. What are your favorite and least favorite parts of each season?

In Winter I love curling up under a warm blanket, but I'm not a fan of the freezing cold mornings. In Spring, I love the smells and temperature and feeling in the air, but I'm not a fan of the mosquitoes that start breeding and head straight for my house. In Summer I love all the sunshine and swimming, but don't like the (inevitable) sunburn. In Autumn I love the cooling weather but not the months of torrential rain.

3. Do you have any seasonal disorders (SAD, allergies, the fall dread of school starting up or celebration of same...)?

I don't think so. I tend to experience some anxiety in the cooler months that I don't really get when it's warm.

4. How do you change your beauty routine as the seasons change? Do you use different products, or just different colors? (Or less makeup during one season, or more during another?)

My skin changes drastically between the warm and cooler months, so I change up my routine mostly because of that. When it's warm, my skin is combination/oily, and in Winter it is very dry, so my skincare is a bit lighter on moisturising in Summer. I also change founation, preferring a matte and lighter one in Summer and a medium to full coverage one with a natural finish in winter. 

5. Share your favorite winter or summer recipe! A salad, a sandwich, a dessert, a drink...anything.

For Winter, I will share my incredibly easy recipe for the yummiest pumpkin soup ever (well I think is is anyway). I am yet to meet a person who doesn't like this soup, including my fiance who doesn't like other pumpkin soups. You will need:

  • 1 kg of pumpkin - I like to use butternut pumpkin, which I think is called butternut squash elsewhere, for the flavour
  • 1/2 kg of potatoes
  • 150 grams of shortcut bacon
  • 1 brown onion
  • Chicken stock
Then, you just peel and chop the pumpkin and potatoes into chunks, and set them aside. Then dice the onion and bacon, and saute them over high heat in a big pot with some olive oil, until the onion starts to soften. Add the pumpkin and potato and stir through. Add enough chicken stock to just cover the pots contents and bring to the boil. Turn it down to a simmer and cook until the potato and pumpkin mash easily with a fork. Then blend the whole thing up until smooth. If it's too thick, just add some more chicken stock at this point. And that's it!

For Summer, I will share my favourite salad dressing. It's light and fresh and goes amazingly with any salad with pear or avocado in it. To make it, all you have to do is combine 4 tablespoons of lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of honey, 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, some salt and pepper. These measurements are just approximate, because I usually don't measure anything and make it by taste, so feel free to add more or less of anything to make it suit your taste.

I can't wait to see everyone's answers (in particular question 5)!

Sunday, 27 May 2012

EOTD: A Black and Silver Night Out Look

I thought I might share an eye look that I love doing for a night out with you today. It's a bit of a classic in terms of dramatic eye looks.

I love the look of silver and black together, and because the look doesn't have any colour to it, it goes well with pretty much any lip colour my heart desires. 

For the look, I used the pale silver in the MUA Starry Night Eye Shadow Palette you can see here, black from the Sleek Oh So Special Eye Shadow Palette you can see here and Prestige Liquid Liner in black.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

A Mini Facelift for The Glow Down

Hi all, just a quick note to let you know that over the next few weeks you may notice a few changes to the look of my blog. I will be playing around with the layout and content, to try and make it a bit prettier.

You may also notice that I have a brand new header. Be sure to let me know what you think! Also, if you have any ideas or suggestions, they would be greatly appreciated.

I Won You Little Beauty's Giveaway

Some of you probably saw the post I did a week ago about what I won in By Lauren Jane's giveaway. Well, that was actually the second giveaway I had won. Can you believe it? I can't.

The first giveaway I won was from the beautiful Claire From You Little Beauty. I would like to say a big thank you to Claire for hosting such a generous giveaway. Please go and check her blog out, it is a wonderful read and she is a great gal.

The prize arrived this week and it has some amazing and very exciting things, especially because most of them aren't readily available here. Have a look below.

From left to right:

  • Revlon Colourburst Lip Butter in Macaroon - This was probably the product I was most excited for. I have been eyeing off the Revlon Lip Butters for ages and Macaroon was the shade I loved the look of most. Of course, it is a UK only release, so I was so lucky and grateful that Claire had included this. I can tell you, it doesn't disappoint.
  • Accesorize Nail Polish in Bronze - a bronze duochrome nail polish with greens and reds in there too.
  •  Elf Shimmer Eyeliner Pencil in Black - a black pencil liner with lots of bits of microglitter.
  • MUA Starry Night Eyeshadow Palette - this palette is full of shimmery beautiful colours that are very pigmented and apply wonderfully.
  • Barry M Lip Paint in Pink Ribbon - a stunning medium pink lipstick.
  • Collection 2000 Blushalicious Palette - a palette of 4 shimmery blush shades.
Once again, a big thank you to Claire for hosting such an amazing giveaway. I am absolutely loving my prize.

Lust Have It May 2012

This Lust Have It post is ridiculously late in the month, because I only received it this week. I have been hanging out for this one all month, so I was so excited when it came. Here's what I got!

This month, it looks like those of us who were subscribed to GlossyBox before it was taken on received different products to those who were original LustHaveIt! subscribers. While we received Biore samples, the L'Eau de Chloe sample and a Showface eye shadow and Lush Dirty Soap, the other box had a Bioderma makeup remover sample, Evo The Therapist Calming Shampoo and Conditioner samples, a full size Caron Laboratories Bump eRaiser, a Calvin Klein Sheer Beauty Sample, a full size ModelCo lip gloss and Lush Lust soap. It's also interesting to note that blog posts and tweets about the box received by the original LustHaveIt! subscribers have been popping up since the very beginning of the month. I have only been able to find blog posts including the ex-Glossybox subcribers box written in the last few days.

I'm happy with this months box. If I'm honest, I would have preferred to get the items in other box (I would love to try the Bioderma!), but I like what I received for the most part. From all the correspondence I received from LustHaveIt! during the changeover I was given the impression that as of this month, everyone would receive the same LustHaveIt! box, so I was surprised to see such a big difference. Only time will tell if the different boxes were a one-off or if we ex-GlossyBoxers will continue to receive less high-end samples.

It contained Biore Triple Action Astringent, Deep Cleansing Pore Strips and Pore Unclogging Scrub. I used to use the toner a long time ago, and remember liking it, so I'm keen to try it out again. I'm also in the market for a new facial exfoliant, so I'll definitely be interested in trying that one. The pore strips I may not use, just because I have an gentler home-made solution, and when I have used them in the past the glue would irritate my skin. Maybe I'll give them a go and compare them to my home-made pore strips. 

Next is the L'Eau de Chloe sample. I'm really liking this perfume. I haven't been entirely won over by the smell of other Chloe perfumes in the past, but this one I think is amazing. It has a weird but wonderful mix of fizzy citrus-y notes and floral, rose scents. I'm seriously considering picking up the full size.

Up next is the Lush Dirty soap. When I opened the bag, this was all I could smell. It has a very strong mint smell, that reminds me of toothpaste. If you look closely in the picture above, you can also see the little specks of glitter in the bar. I'm interested to see how this one goes.

The cutest, tiniest little bottle was a Nicole by OPI polish. The one I received is a pure silver micro-glitter supsended in a clear base. The bottle has no label, and I can't find a colour that is exactly the same on the Nicole by OPI website. My closest guess would be Positive Energy.

Lastly we have the Showface Eye Shadow in a shimmery bronze colour. Again, this one does not have a label, so I'm not sure what the colour is. My first impression of this shadow was that, even with the $22.95 price tag, the packaging felt very flimsy and cheap. The glue attaching the pan to the pot also came unstuck, so the poor little thing was rattling around in there for who knows how long. The pigmentation and finish of the shadow is very good, but it isn't a colour that I will likely wear. 

So, lets tally it all up shall we:

Biore Pore Pore Unclogging Scrub at $10.99/141g          = $2.26/29g
Biore Triple Action Astringent at $8.99/250ml               = $1.04/29ml
Biore Deep Cleansing Pore Strips at $10.49/14 strips    = $1.49/2 strips
L'Eau de Chloe sample at $80/30ml                                      = $3.20/1.2ml
Lush Dirty soap at $6.95/100g                                                = $2.78/40g
Nicole by OPI polish at $14.95/15ml                                    = $3.73/3.75ml
Showface eye shadow at $ 22.95 each                                  = $22.95         
                                                                                     Total value   = $37.45

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Question Wednesday: Travel Edition

Nykki from Nykki's Mane Blog has brought us yet another fun Question Wednesday Blog Hop on the topic of travel. Check out her blog if you would like to join in.

1. If you could travel anywhere in the world where would it be?
Spain. I've never been and always wanted to go.
2. Where is the coolest/best place you have ever traveled?
I'm probably picking this one as my best because of how much fun it was, but it was a trip my then boyfriend and I took to Brisbane. We left at 10pm in the night (after he had finished work), drove all through the night, stopped at Byron Bay to watch the sunrise, kept driving and stopped on the Sunshine Coast for breakfast, and hit Brisbane at around 10 or 11 am. We only stayed for 5 nights, but we had the best time.
3. How do you feel about road trips?
I love them, but in moderation. I tend to get a little fidgety after a few hours in the car, so I enjoy road trips that involve lots of little stops along the way. I also really love exploring and seeing new things, which road trips are perfect for.
4. You just won two tickets to your dream vacation, who's going with you?
My fiance. Someone has to pick up my bar tab.
5. Airport security is only allowing you to take 3 make-up items with you, what are they?
Haha, when I first when I read the question I thought it was asking what are the airport security for only allowing me to take 3 items. My answer would have been something not quite family friendly. My real answers would have to be a tinted moisturiser, mascara and Becca Beach Tint in Guava (to double as a lip and a cheek colour).

Bargain Buy: Ulta3 Nail Polishes

I don't often fall prey to the impulse bins and stands set up in shops and supermarkets. Maybe it's a product of having worked in a supermarket for many years while at school and uni, but I just tend to ignore them. I especially ignore the ones full of cheap cosmetics. I know there are a lot of good and cheap makeup brands in the US and UK, but here in oz, cheap makeup usually equates to bad experiences for me. 

Recently, however, a bin full of these Ulta3 polishes caught my eye at Coles. They are usually $2 a piece, but were on special for a whole $1. I couldn't not. So I did.

The colours I bought, from left to right, are:
  • Carrot top - an orange toned red
  • Tahitian Lime - a bright lime green
  • Mermaid Green - in the bottle this one looks similar to Fly by OPI, but dries closer to to a green
  • Purple Passion - a shimmery magenta purple
I'm so happy I picked these up, because they are actually pretty good polishes. Especially when you consider that even at full price, I could pick up 10 of these for the same price as one OPI or Essie polish. Most of them were opaque within two coats and lasted for two to three days before starting to chip. I only regret not buying more.

For any fellow Aussies interested in these, they are available at Coles supermarkets, Terry White Chemists, Blooms the Chemist and Good Price Pharmacies.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Ingredient Watch: Benzoyl Peroxide

Today's Ingredient Watch post is about benzoyl peroxide, an ingredient present in most over the counter anti-acne treatments. It is also used in skincare products, teeth whitening products and hair dyes.

Important Note: Let me just preface this post by saying I am not a dermatologist or medical professional. Within this and all past and future posts discussing beauty product ingredients, my aim is to collate and summarise information and present it in a way that is accessible and informative. I will always use the most reliable sources of information available to me, and attempt to present it in an honest and unbiased way. If you feel that any of my posts have incorrect information, or you believe there is something important to add, please don’t hesitate to let me know by leaving a comment or emailing me at It is important to me that I get it right.

What does it do: Benzoyl peroxide does a number of things, including:
·        Acting as a peeling agent or chemical exfoliant, it helps to lift the upper skin layers and increase the rate of skin turn over
·        Clearing pores of dead skin cells, preventing blemishes caused by blockages
·        Creating an oxygen rich environment within the pore, killing the bacteria that commonly causes acne
·        Lightening and whitening teeth and hair

The Good: Benzoyl peroxide is very effective in preventing and reducing breakouts. By helping to remove the top layers of dead skin, it also helps to make the skin look more radiant and even.

The Bad: Most users experience dryness and mild irritation initially, which usually subsides in a week or two, while the skin acclimates. Other, more serious, but less common side-effects include burning, itching, swelling and peeling.

The Ugly: In the 1990’s benzoyl peroxide was thought to be a carcinogen, or cancer causing chemical. More recent studies have been unable to find evidence of this. The FDA in the US classifies it as a chemical safe and effective for over the counter topical treatments.

Some Considerations When Using: Benzoyl peroxide does irritate the skin. If you are new to using products containing the chemical, using lower doses (2.5% or less) to start with is advisable. If you experience mild skin irritation and dryness for more than two weeks, or moderate to severe irritation, cease using products containing the chemical.

How To Find It On The Label: As far as I can tell, it is simply labelled as benzoyl peroxide. If anyone knows of any other names or codes it is labelled as, comment below and let me know.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

I Actually Won Something...

I have something very exciting to share with you today. I won the gorgeous Lauren from By Lauren Jane's (previously Blonde Ambition) giveaway! I cannot tell you how excited I was to find out I had won, and how thankful I am to Lauren for hosting such a generous giveaway. If you haven't already seen her blog, please pop by and have a look. She is a wonderful gal and writer, and has an enviable beauty style.

Check out what I won! A lot of the products she included aren't available, or are near impossible to find here in Australia, so I'm over the moon to try them out.

Barry M Instant Nail Effects in White

This is one of the Barry M crackle effect polishes. I can't wait to try it out, because I actually don't own any crackle effect polishes, and Barry M polishes are either not available or impossible to find here in Australia.

Figs & Rouge Lip Balm in Rambling Rose

This is another brand that is difficult to hunt down here. I've heard amazing things about these balms from the beauty blogging community, and it seems like every UK beauty blogger has at least one of these in her arsenal, so I am looking forward to trying this one out. So far it feels great on the lips and the smell is just amazing.

 Nail Rock Nail Wraps in Red and Gold Metallic Moon

These babies look gorgeous. Definitely looking forward to testing them out.

Soap & Glory Thick & Fast Mascara

Again, as far as I'm aware, no Soap & Glory down under. I tried this mascara out today and was very happy with the result. I love the massive wire and bristle brush, and it gave my lashes a lot of body.

TRESemme 24 Hour Body Sky High Plumping Powder

Yet another one not available here. TRESemme and some of the 24 Hour Body range are stocked nationally, but not this particular powder. I haven't tried it out yet, but I'm very intrigued by it. The powder is impossibly fine and smells like apples.

MAC Lipstick in Hue

I saved the best for last. Lauren was incredibly generous, and not only included a MAC lipstick in her giveaway, but let me choose the shade. I chose Hue because I have been eyeing this off for a long time, but have yet to actually get it. It's a gorgeous soft pink/nude.

Once again, a big thank you to Lauren. For those who haven't read her blog, go and check it out. Anyone who was following her Blonde Ambition blog, please be sure to resubscribe to her now that her blog name and URL have changed, otherwise you won't see her posts in your Blogger reading list.

Leave a comment and let me know what the best thing you have ever won is.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Question Wednesday: Pets!

Nykki from Nykki's Mane Blog has brought us another fun Question Wednesday blog hop. If you haven't already, pop over there and check out both her great blog and the blog hop. Keep reading for my answers to this weeks questions.

1. How many pets do you have & what are their names?
I have 1 very cheeky cat named Lily. She is a pure white domestic shorthair that we adopted from an animal shelter a few years ago. Here she is:

2. Why do you have pets?
I'm a huge animal lover, and the bond that you develop with pets is incredible. 
3. What is your dream pet? {Breed, Kind, etc.}
Either a Labrador or a Rottweiler. I love big dogs and can't wait to move to a house where we could get one.
4. If you could domesticate any wild animal and have it for a pet, which would it be?
Elephant. I love elephants. Last time I went to the zoo I spent about half an hour just watching them. 
5. Let's solve the biggest pet debate: Cats or Dogs? 
I love both, and I love my Lily, but I'm a dog person at heart. I have been since I was little. One of the things I'm most excited about when it comes to saving up to buy a house is that it means I can finally adopt a dog to add to our little family.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

L'Oreal Base Magique Transforming Smoothing Primer Review

A couple of weeks ago I got a sample of the L'Oreal Base Magique Transforming Smoothing Primer. I was really excited to try it, as I'd heard some great things about it, and I'm on the hunt for a new primer.

The L'Oreal website describes it as a "transforming smoothing primer that instantly smoothes pores and creates an even surface, so that you get a more flawless make-up result that lasts. The silky, lightweight formula glides onto skin and minimises the look of pores and fine lines to transform your skin surface."

I've been using it for about a week and a half now, and I have very mixed feelings about it. I'll section this review into the different things I want in a primer, as well as the claims made by L'Oreal.

The length of wear: My foundation did not budge all day with this primer. Probably the best thing about this primer is the staying power. Usually when I get home from work my face has kinda faded and/or slid a little, even with most primers. Not with this.

Smoothing: This primer claims to mask pores and fine lines, so that foundation goes on smoothly. I have some issues with large pores and was hoping that this primer would help to stop them from showing and prevent my foundation from settling in them. It did cover some of my smaller pores really well, but seemed to do very little for the ones I actually wanted to minimise. I tried layering it thicker and thinner, applying it with a brush and my hands, stippling it in, swiping it on and patting it on, and nothing worked to stop my foundation from settling in the pores on my nose. This was a big let down, given that it was designed to help smooth over pores, and that most other concealers I have tried do it better than I felt this one did. As for fine lines, I don't really have any yet, but sort of tested it out on the back of my hand where I have some tiny just visible lines and it covered them really well. They were almost invisible even without foundation over the top.

Finish: It has a sort of matte texture when applied, with a really nice and smooth finish (over areas without pores). It feels velvety to the touch. 

Oil control: At the moment (because Winter is approaching) my skin has been normal to dry (it is quite oily in summer), so I only really need a small amount of oil control through my t-zone. Because of it's matte texture, I sort of expected this primer to be sufficient, if not good, for my oil control needs right now. I was wrong. The outside of my face, where I'm not getting oiliness right now stayed lovely, but every day by lunch time my nose was an oily, shiny mess. To check that it wasn't just my skin acting up, I followed up a couple of days using a different primer and then no primer, and I had no issues with oiliness anywhere. I went back and used the Base Magique, and it happened again. It was a bit bizarre.

Packaging: Because I was using a sample of this, I got it in a cute little squeeze tube, but the full sized product comes in a little pot. For those with concerns about hygeine, the packaging may not be ideal. 

Overall, this primer isn't for me, and I won't be buying it. That said, I don't think it's a bad primer, it just doesn't suit my skin type and needs. How long and well this made my foundation last makes me desperately wish it had worked better for me. If you have skin more toward the dry end of the spectrum, small to medium pores to cover and no tendency for oiliness, I think this primer could be amazing. 

Overall Score: 7/10

Saturday, 12 May 2012

120 Eye Shadow Palette Review

I bought a generic 120 eye shadow palette off of Ebay recently and thought I would review it for everyone. I had heard that some of these palettes were the exact same products sold by Coastal Scents and Manly, but without the branding. 

I bought this for $5.39 plus $6.49 postage from the seller Agro-Store based in China. That's a total of $11.88, which, at that price, I figured I would take the gamble. A fair warning, the seller has upped the price to $19.99 plus $2.88 postage since I bought mine, which equates to almost double what I paid. If you shop around on Ebay, you can find them as cheap as I did, but please pay attention to feedback ratings if you are thinking of buying one, and read some of their feedback. I also didn't really have any contact with the seller, because I had no real issues to address with them, so I can't comment on their customer service at all.

The palette comes in a black matte plastic case with no writing or markings on it. It isn't the most impressively sturdy feeling plastic, but it isn't flimsy by any means. 

The eye shadows are housed in two plastic shelves, stacked one of top of the other, that can both be completely taken out of the outer packaging. It did have little ribbons that stuck up out the side of each shelf to help you remove them from the packaging, but mine both fell off the first time they were pulled. You can also take the top shelf out and sit it on the lid, as shown in the first picture above. The lid has little brackets to stop the shelf from sliding, but it won't hold it if the palette is tipped too far vertically. Both layers come with a little plastic sheet to protect the shadows and prevent any powder from migrating all over the rest.

The Eye Shadows
As you can see, the colour selection is pretty great. The top layer contains whites, greys, silvers, blacks, green and blue glitters, purples, pinks, reds, as well as neutrals and browns.

The second layers has a heap of teals, blues, greens, yellows, golds, peaches and oranges. The far right column of this layer are all a mix of two colours. You may also notice the second from the left and the far right in the top row are a little broken.

Pretty much all of the eye shadows have been incredibly pigmented. I was very surprised by just how pigmented they were. The palette contains mostly matte finishes, but includes a good share of metallics, shimmers and glitters. I have found that the consistency of the shadows does vary. Some are very creamy, some are very softy and fine while a few others are a bit harder and drier. As a result, it varies from shadow to shadow as to how easy they are too work with, or how long lasting they are. Overall, I have found them very easy to apply and blend, and haven't experienced many issues with them moving or fading (I do always use a primer, because I have oily eyelids).

Below is a photo of a few of the shadows swatched onto the back of my hand. They are SO much more pigmented than they look in this photo.

Overall, I really like this palette. Especially when you consider the price. I can't compare them to the Coastal Scents or Manly palettes, as I don't own one of either, but I am very, very happy to have bought this.

You can see some of the looks I have created using this palette here and here.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

EOTD: Blue Shimmer Cut-Crease

Just a quick EOTD today. I'm really into the look of a cut-crease eyeshadow looks at the moment, so I decided to try it out. 

For those who haven't heard of a cut-crease before, it is simply where you use different colours on the lid (in  above I chose white) and crease (I chose shimmery blue), with a very defined border between them (usually at the crease). The result is a kind of dramatic and eye-catching look.

Oh, and apologies for the hideously under-groomed brows. They are well and truly due for a waxing.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

BlogLoveTherapy's Blog Hop #9


It's time for BlogLoveTherapy's weekly blog hop. There are so many blog links on there already, it's definitely worth joining and and checking out the other blogs.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

At Home Beauty: Peppermint Tea Toner

I love the idea of home-made beauty products and using natural products of things you can find in the home as beauty products. Most of the time they don't work, but that doesn't seem to stop me from slathering the weirdest things on my skin. Recently I heard that peppermint tea could be used as a toner, so I decided to give it a go.

Peppermint closeup       Mint-tea 

I've been using it nightly for four weeks now, and it actually seems to work. Within the first week my skin was clearer, and the breakouts I was having were much smaller and faster to go away. Unlike some cosmetic toners I have used, it wasn't drying and was very gentle. I'm very impressed by it.

If you would like to try it out, here's how:

1. Steep a peppermint teabag or loose tea leaves in a mug or other heat-proof container
2. Allow to cool to at least room temperature
3. Pour the tea into a spray bottle
4. Store in the fridge between. Throw away after a week.

I use it as part of my night routine, spraying it all over my face and neck after cleansing. After this, I let it dry, then apply my moisturiser. 

St. Tropez Gradual Tan Review

Forget kangaroos and koalas, Australia is the land of bronzed bodies and sunburns as red as tomatoes. I'm incredibly pale, so any moderate amount of time in the sun leaves me with the latter. For this reason, and because melanoma is a serious and common occurrence that I would prefer to avoid, I have spent quite a bit of time and money over the years on fake tans.

Ultimately, I want a fake tan to give me a slight sun-kissed glow that looks natural and streak free. With most formulations I have tried I end up with an orange tinge, splotchiness and intense darkening on any slightly dry patch of skin. Then I tried St. Tropez Gradual Tan in Light Medium.

On the bottle, the blurb states: "This enriched, nourishing body moisturiser cleverly combines serious skin care benefits with a healthy touch of bronze. Infused with soothing aloe vera, this lotion will help give you smoother skin, while building a gradual tan, every day."

This is one of the best fake tans I've come across. As a gradual tan, it's buildable and gives a lovely tanned appearance without the orange, no matter how often I use it. It's a white lotion, that goes on smoothly and rubs in clear. I've also found it basically fool proof. If I miss a patch during one application, it is barely noticeable, and it has never streaked on me. Throw in the fact that it is moisturising and doesn't have that fake tan odour and it's damn near perfect.

The only down side I've really found with this product is that it can take up to 24 hours to develop, making it impractical for last minute tans and checking for missed patches.

If you're looking for a good fake tan, especially if you are a fake tan novice, I highly recommend this one.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

May 2012 Lust List

The one problem with reading all of the amazing blogs I've come across (especially since I started blogging), is that I have been experiencing some very serious cases of product envy. There are so many products that I'm crushing on this month, that it was hard to narrow it down to a respectable number for this post. For this reason, I went with a few things that I've had my eye on for a while. Some of these products are ones that have been on my mental wishlist for more than a year.
May 2012 Lust List
Clockwise from left to right:

  • Shiseido Perfect Foundation Brush - this brush is supposed to be amazing and give a completely flawless and natural finish.
  • Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Compact Foundation - a cream foundation that I've heard nothing but good reviews about.
  • Vivienne Westwood's Naughty Alice - I have been meaning to pick this perfume up for a long, long time. I absolutely adore the smell.
  • Revlon Colourstay Lipglosses in Sunset Peach, Gold Dust and Papaya - the colourburst range in general seems to be pretty consistently good, especially for drugstore products, and I would love the get my grubby little hands on these glosses.
  • Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder - A lot of products, but in particular bronzers, show up incredibly orange on my skin. One day, I went around the entire makeup department at David Jones and swatched every bronzer I could find. This was the ONLY one that didn't look orange on me.
  • YSL Touche Eclat - I need all the brighting and highlighting I can get some mornings just to look remotely awake.
  • China Glaze in Traffic Jam - I absolutely love berry shades at the moment. I'm pretty sure I already own at least 2 polishes in similar shades, but I just can't help but want this one.
And there you have it. A select few of the multitude of products I'm lusting over this month. Leave a comment and let me know what you have on your wishlist at the moment.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

EOTD: Tropical Punch

On my doorstep when I got home tonight was the no name 120 shadow palette I bought off of Ebay, just over a week ago, for a grand sum of $11.88 including postage. I figured that for that price, it wouldn't really worry my too much if some or most of the palette was a dud. I had heard that they were exactly the same as the Coastal Scents and Manly palettes, but without the branding on them. I can't attest to that, as I don't own a palette from either of those brands, but I was definitely pleasantly surprised! The shadows seem pretty pigmented and some of the colours were so insanely pretty (even though there are about four of the same shade of forest green).

Once I'd given the palette a good once over, I truly couldn't wait to use it, but had so much trouble picking out colours (did I mention there are 120?). I decided to do something fun and colourful, because I've never really owned some of the out there colours that are contained in the palette. This was the end result:

I used a pastel yellow for the lid, lime green for the outer crease, teal for the inner, hot pink for the outer end of the lower lash line, purple for the inner lower lash line and a shimmery white for the inner corner. I lined with Prestige Liquid Liner in black and used Maybelline Falsies mascara.

Let me know what you think!

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Ingredient Watch: Glycerin

Today’s ingredient watch is all about glycerin (aka glycerine or glycerol). Glycerin is a colourless, odourless thick liquid used in a whole host of beauty and medical products.

Important Note: Let me just preface this post by saying I am not a dermatologist or medical professional. Within this and all past and future posts discussing beauty product ingredients, my aim is to collate and summarise information and present it in a way that is accessible and informative. I will always use the most reliable sources of information available to me, and attempt to present it in an honest and unbiased way. If you feel that any of my posts have incorrect information, or you believe there is something important to add, please don’t hesitate to let me know by leaving a comment or emailing me at It is important to me that I get it right.

What does it do: Glycerin is included in beauty products for a whole host of reasons. It is a very good solvent, it can improve the texture and smoothness of formulations, it can lubricate formulations, making them more slick and also acts as an antibacterial. But, one of its big uses in beauty is its ability to soften the skin. It’s softening abilities are so significant, it is very commonly used for conditions like psoriasis, and is recommended (even in pure concentrations) for people with sensitive skin.

There appears to be some debate as to how glycerin acts to moisturise and soften the skin. One theory is that it does so by drawing moisture from the air to deposit into the skin, another is that it draws moisture up from deeper tissue and yet another is that there is some unknown property that makes glycerin inherently moisturising.

The Good: Glycerin is a relatively gentle chemical, and can even be applied to the skin in pure concentrations. Glycerin’s moisturising abilities and gentleness make it perfect for sensitive skin and dry skin conditions.

The Bad: Glycerin use doesn’t seem to have many side effects. From pretty much all the information I found, it appears to be a fairly safe chemical for most adults.  It has a very low toxicity and can even be ingested.

Like with any chemical, there is always a risk of allergic reaction.

Some Considerations When Using: Not a lot is known about the safety of glycerin use for pregnant or breast-feeding women.

How To Find It On The Label: It will usually be listed as glycerin, glycerine or glycerol on beauty products. In food products it is labelled as E422

If you haven't already, check out my previous Ingredient Watch posts on propylene glycol and salicylic acid.

Question Wednesday: All About Lips

Time for Nykki from My Mane Blog's Question Wednesday Blog Hop! This week it is all about the lips! Find my the questions and my answers below:

1. Lipstick or Lipgloss? 
Probably lipgloss. I prefer the look and feel of lipstick, but I only really wear it when I'm going out or on special occasions.
2. Favorite Lipstick Brand & Why?
I haven't really been able to beat MAC, mostly because of the range of colours and finishes. The price isn't too attractive though.
3. How often do you wear lipstick?
On special occasions. Every now and then I will wear a nude or pink lipstick to work, but  because of how much running around my job involves, it can be impractical trying to do touch ups.
4. Must have lip product{s}:
Korres lip butter, because of it's moisturising abilities and decent colour payoff, and Nars Matte Velvet Lip Pencils, because they are amazing quality and last for ages.
5. Current favorite lipstick? 
At the moment, MAC Crosswires. It's a gorgeous bright coral/pink.
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