Wednesday, 11 July 2012

On My Fingertips: Sportsgirl Nail It in "Denim"

While it is no secret that I am quite partial to navy polishes I am always searching for a more wallet friendly alternative because at $42 a pop for my favourite Dior 997 Blue Label, I tend to treat it as a precious resource.

So it was to my great delight when browsing in Sportsgirl that I came across a brand new colour in their Nail It range. Enter... "Denim"

Sportsgirl Nail It in Denim
It is a bit more blue than the Dior, however the consistency is much more sheer and it took a good three coats to achieve this colour.

Three Coats + Top Coat

Wearability was not so bad considering it was three layers. I went about 2-3 days before any serious chipping occurred. 

So while the formula is no Dior, it definitely is a great substitute and the look is very similar. What a winner! And for only $7.95, you are making money.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Winter Favourite: Emerald Green Smokey Eye

While I normally do not stray from my trusty brown and grey smokey eyes, there is something about the winter chill that makes me want to add a bit of colour and drama to my daily eye look. On one daring Tuesday morning I rummaged through my kit to look for all of the rustic emerald greens and shimmery khakis I could find and this is what I created.

Emerald Green Smokey Eye

To achieve this look, it involved quite a lot of layering and blending - despite it looking like just a swipe of green eyeshadow! These were the products used:

Products Used
  1. I began by dipping my flat eyeshadow brush in the black eyeshadow once, then straight into the matte emerald green and then proceeding to dab this all over my lid. I repeated this process 3-4 times to get the right amount of depth and saturation.
  2. I then lined my lower lashline with this colour combination.
  3. Next I used a lighter khaki green and a fluffy blending brush to blend into the outer corner and crease to give the colour some more depth and also blend out the harsh edges.
  4. I continued blending with a lighter khaki shade and took this up a little higher into my crease and brow bone. as well as blending under the lower lashline as well.
  5. Using a light, skin toned colour I highlighted under my brown and the tear duct.
  6. I used a black gel liner to line both the top and bottom lashlines to give some added definition.

As you can see, quite a lot of technique and layering goes into what looks like quite a basic look. I find that if you skip the step of combining the black and the emerald green, the colour payoff is not as strong and ends up looking quite sheer.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

On High Rotation: June Favourites.

Being a cosmetic addict beauty lover I acquire an unhealthy amount of cosmetics on a weekly (sometimes daily, let's be honest) basis. While I endeavour to rotate my products and use them all evenly, there are some that are constantly at the top of the pile. Simple because they are fabulous. More fabulous than the rest.

(L-R NARS Bronzer in Laguna, Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation #52, L'Oreal  Youth Code Lumiere Serum)
This month I finally gave into Bourjois Healthy Fix Foundation and might I say, WOW! It has bumped NARS Sheer Glow off my counter. Yes, it is that good. The formula + smell + lasting power is hard to compete with. Absolutely adoring it. NARS might make a come back over the summer months, but to be honest I have had a really difficult time finding a winter shade from the Sheer Glow range. And Healthy Mix Foundation is giving me no reason to continue searching.

After seeing the glowing reviews this product received on PRIMPED and all over the beauty blogosphere, I could not resist giving L'Oreal Youth Code Lumiere Serum a go. I have been using it daily for around 3 weeks and have been really pleased with the results. It also smells delectable. Win, win!

Old faithful, even in the depths of winter when I need a bit of contouring to bring my face back to life. My favourite bronzer of all time (isn't it everyone's?!).

(L-R Australis Intensifeye Eyeshadow Trio in Bees Knees, MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack)
With lots of deep reds and berry lipsticks dominating this winter, I like to go for a very nude eye with a slick of eyeliner. The Australis Intensifeye Eyeshadow Trio in Bees Knees is the perfect palette for this look and I have been wearing it constantly.

Perfect for aforementioned slick of eyeliner, MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack, is the bees knees (zing!).

(Clockwise from Left) Benefit Brows-A Go-Go Kit, Bourjois Blush in Brun Cuivre 03 and Gorgeous Creme Blush in Peaches and Cream.
I had found peach creme blushes to be quite elusive until I stumbled across this Gorgeous Creme Blush in Peaches & Cream. Gives the perfect warm apricot glow and the consistency of this product is absolutely delightful. I am a double-dipper when it comes to blush. I like to layer powder over creme blush for a long-wearing effect. The blush I have been wearing over Peaches & Cream is Bourjois Blush in Brun Cuivre 03.

Could not live without Benefit's Brows-A Go-Go kit. I have only recently been using shadows to get the perfect brow shape. I have very fair, blonde brows so a pencil just was not doing them justice! While using shadows takes longer in the morning, the result is perfectly groomed brows.

 (L-R) Revlon Lipstick in Fuschia Fever, Australis Colour Inject Mineral Lip Gloss in Lambada
As soon as the weather gets cooler I look forward to busting out my winter warmer (lip) shades. Revlon Fuschia Fever is the perfect berry-toned lipstick. The forumla is tops too - long-wearing, non-drying and just plain fabulous. 

I don't leave the house without my Australis Colour Inject Mineral Lip Gloss in Lambada. The perfect nude/pink gloss that is light and nourishing. It also tastes fantastic so if perfect for my 3:30 snack craving.

Those are my So Hot Right Now products. I look forward to making this post a monthly installment as I churn through my collection!

Friday, 15 June 2012

On My Fingertips: Revlon Top Speed #010 Sheer Cotton

Revlon Top Speed #010 Sheer Cotton

High up on my (unofficial) beauty bucket list is finding the perfect nude nail polish. It seems so simple, as there are a ridiculous number of them available at beauty counters in every varying shade. But, perhaps the reason there are so many on offer is because it is so difficult to nail (zing!) the two C's: Colour and Coverage.

One type of nude I always favour when I am aiming for the understated, classic, elegant look on my paws is a bone/ivory nude. This kind of colour is quite neutral and lends itself well to fair skin. When on a recent Priceline visit, I came across Revlon's Top Speed nail polish in #010 Sheer Cotton, which fits the bill in terms of a bone/ivory nude. I am a big fan on the Top Speed formula - it is fast drying (obviously...) and seems to wear well.

Revlon Top Speed #010 Sheer Cotton - Three Coats + Topcoat.

I adore the colour and how it looks against my skin tone. I love the way nude colours tend to elongate the fingers and soften the look of my hands. The only pitfall of this polish, as with every other nude I have tried, is the coverage. Three coats is a standard for nudes to get the perfect matte finish, which means that the lasting power is not as great as it tends to wrinkle and chip because of the thickness of the polish. It is also difficult to touch up nudes because of the number of layers it requires to get a matte finish.

I will absolutely continue to wear this shade, but will continue searching for the perfect (two-coat-only) nude!

Monday, 30 April 2012

Product Review: YSL Rouge Per Couture Glossy Stain, #15 - Rose Vinyl

YSL Rouge Per Couture Glossy Stain, #15 - Rose Vinyl

Upon first hearing about the new YSL Rouge Per Couture Glossy Stains, I was not overly interested in trying them. My experience with lip stains in the past had been nothing but dry, flaky lips and overall just an underwhelming result. I resigned myself to the fact that I am a lipstick girl, and stains will never have a place in my heart over a lippy.

So I waited, browsed plenty of reviews and started to see that there might just be more to this product than just another lip stain. And boy, was I in for a pleasant surprise upon trialing these.

With 18 shades to choose from, the hardest part is definitely refraining yourself from purchasing all of them. I went with a bold pink shade, #15 - Rose Vinyl, as the pigment seemed very intense and really, who can ever have too many pink lipsticks!

The design of the brush is very clever. It is wide enough to allow you to apply plenty in one stroke, yet the tip is fine enough to assist you in navigating the cupids bow and slim lines around the corner of the lips, without needing a lip liner.

This swatch shows two layers.

The first application layer provides a beautiful amount of pigment, with only a slight sheerness. This shows the versatility of the product. Depending on the depth of the shade you desire, it allows you to have a lighter, more sheer finish with just the one coat. However, if you apply a second coat the pigment picks up beautifully and is comparable with a creamy lipstick.

Two layers provides a beautiful glossy, creamy finish.

As you can see, the result is a creamy, glossy finish. The kicker is that this is a stain, meaning you are left with this beautiful finish all day! I only reapplied once for the entire day (after 6 hours and two meals). And even then it was a touch up, not a full re-application.

Overall, I am thrilled with this product. It is very much a game-changer that I am sure other cosmetic labels will be quick to emulate. The design of the product has been well thought out, and the results are brilliant. At $50AUD a pop, however, I may have to wait until they hit the online stores before stocking up on the rest of the collection.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Product Review: Beauty Essentials - "Be Warm" 9 Colour Eyeshadow Palette

I am a firm believer in having a make up collection that boasts both high and low end products. My general rule is: if it is designed to sink into your skin, do not skimp! For instance, moisturiser, serum, foundation and concealer are items that you want to ensure are of high quality and are good for your skin. I think this is where the difference in quality is most notable (not in all cases, I am sure). For everything else, I like to trial various brands to look for great value products.

As with any other Australian beauty fanatic, I have a slight (read: very serious) addiction to Priceline. I go there often; it is alongside the MYER/David Jones beauty department as being my "happy place". I think the thing that excites me about Priceline is the possibilities. There is a variety of Australian and international brands offering great products that do not get the advertising capacity that higher end brands do. I get a kick out of trying a lesser known brand that surprises me with excellent, less expensive products.

During one of my recent Priceline adventures, I spotted these Beauty Essentials (which is a Priceline-owned brand) eyeshadow palettes and I was drawn to the Be Warm palette because of the lovely mix of taupe, chocolate, golden and pink colours. It has a delicate blend of colours that compliment each other well and can easily be layered and blended together to create unique looks. Ok, it was also $5.99, so it was basically begging me to trial it!

Beauty Essentials - Be Warm 9 Colour Eyeshadow Palette ($5.99)

In all honestly, I was not expecting much from this. I thought maybe I would get one or two well-pigmented colours. So I was very happily surprised when I swatched all colours and realised that it is actually very decent. Some colours definitely come out better than others, but on the whole every colours is usable, layerable and well-pigmented. Cue astonishment!

Swatches from Left to Right, Top to Bottom.

I am particularly smitten with Row 1, Colour 2 (the golden/bronze); Row 2, Colour 2 (the chocolate brown); and Row 3, Colour 1 (shimmery pale pink). They go on beautifully and are a very intense pigment.

I created a couple of looks using this palette, and on both occasions I was pleasantly surprised with how well these shadows applied, even in comparison to other, more expensive alternatives.

Look #1:

Shadows used, and where they were applied.

For this look I used the taupe/grey shades to provide a subtle shadow in the crease. I use this technique regularly, as I think it compliments a bold lip really well. A slick of eyeliner provides definition, but on the whole it is more subtle, daytime look.

Look #2:

Shadows used, and where they were applied.

This look is a smokey eye, using the brown shades. The golden/bronze colour on the lip really popped against the chocolate brown. The rose pink colour was used very subtly just to blend out the edges of the brown.

My final two cents: great, cost-friendly eyeshadow. Obviously, it is no Chanel, but if you want to add some lovely neutral colours to your collection, you cannot go wrong with this palette.

What are your favourite inexpensive make up alternatives? Have you tried any Beauty Essential products?

Saturday, 21 April 2012

On My Fingertips: Dior Vernis #483 - Pink Kimono

Dior Vernis #483.
As much as I adore the range of colours and finishes of high-end nail polishes, I very rarely purchase them from department stores because I find it difficult to justify the price tag. So when a lovely friend returned from an overseas holiday with some duty-free Dior, I squealed with delight!

One of the treats I was so lucky to receive was this Dior Vernis in #483 (Pink Kimono). Despite believing I had every variation of pink under the sun in my collection, this colour proved to be a beautiful and unique shade of bright pink.

Dior Vernis # 463 - Pink Kimono
The formula of this polish is like all Dior polishes I have tried; it is smooth, light and has an intense pigment. You could easily get away with one shade without any streaking. I applied two with a top coat and the result was an even matte finish.

While I am certain there are many similar pinks out there that could be a dupe for this, there is just a little bit of luxury that comes with Dior polishes. They go on beautifully, come in such divine packaging and last for days without chipping.

Thanks to my lovely poodle who gave me this x