Friday, December 30, 2011

Swisspers Fail

I have been going through cotton pads like there is no tomorrow and I use them religiously for toner and eye makeup removal. I generally use whatever brand is the cheapest (they are all 100% cotton right?) however I have been purchasing the Swisspers Round Makeup Pads which work really well for me and are nice and soft.

While in priceline I decided to purchase the Swisspers Cosmetic Squares instead or the round makeup pads because a) they were cheaper and contained the same amount of product and b) they were packaged in a cardboard box which I could recycle. I was also drawn in by the “no messy fibres” on the box.

I first tried the Cosmetic Squares with a little toner and found it to be unmanageable, it didn’t easily swipe over my face like the makeup pads do. Next night I tried again with makeup remover cream and again it was unmanageable and was rolling itself up and eventually ripped. As you can see from the picture I would describe the whole square as a “messy fibre”. Sigh, 2 down… 78 to go.   

Top Beauty Trends of 2011

Before we pop the Champagne and kiss 2011 goodbye, I thought I would look back at some of my favourite beauty trends of the year.

Balayage Hair

This year we embraced our dark roots with this French colouring technique from the 1970’s. Balayage creates a sun kissed look that is low maintenance and looks beautiful with soft tousled curls.

Whitney Port (Image: Getty)

Facial Contouring

Create chiselled cheekbones, highlight your best facial features and give yourself a defined glowy complexion. Throughout 2011 I have “faked it until I made it” with my trusty bronzer and highlighter.

Image source: Lana Tailor

Defined Brows

Eyebrows frame the face and this year I have been filling in my brows with a brown eyeshadow to give definition, fullness and to finish a makeup look.  

Image source: Misquince Mag


As the great Napoleon Perdis once said; “Not to prime is a crime” and this year I have really been loving the benefits of a great primer. My top primers include:

Eyes: Urban Decay Primer Potion

Lips: NP Set Lip Primer

Face: Napoleon Perdis Auto Pilot Primer  

Long Lashes

This year was all about creating the faux lashes look with the release of Maybelline’s Falsies and Benefit’s They’re Real Mascara’s. Long luscious and thick lashes are all the trend and finding a mascara that could give you this and hold a curl was like discovering the HG.

Image source: Secrets to Beautiful Eyes

Bold Lips

Reds, pinks, plums and oranges – the colour explosion of 2011 was too good to miss! My lipgloss took a backseat as I experimented my way through a colourful range of creamy, frosty and matte finishes and found a new love in lipstick.

Image source: Elleuk

Glitter Nails

So pretty but such a pain to remove! 2011 went off with a “Glitter Bomb” with the release of OPI’s Muppett’s Collection.

Coral Cheeks

This year I found myself buying up different variations of coral blush as if gives such a beautiful glowy look that is so fresh and vibrant. My favourites of the year would be NARS Orgasm and Benefit’s Coralista.

Gel Nail Polish

A mani that lasts two weeks, chip free? Yes please! When CND Shallac exploded onto the Australian nail scene, many other companies followed suite and nail polish lovers rejoiced (myself included).   

What were your favourite beauty trends of 2011?

I hope everyone had a fabulous Holiday break and are looking forward to the New Year. Have an amazing night on Saturday and I look forward to another fun year of blogging through Beauty Soiree. x

Monday, December 12, 2011

Last Minute Christmas Gift Ideas

Today is the day that marks the start of last minute Christmas shopping as most stores have introduced extended shopping hours. So for those who are busy this time of year and have not started their Christmas shopping (like me) I have put together this list of gifts suitable for the girls in your life whether it be your mum, sister, bestie or even your girlfriend.  

Glasshouse Triple Scented Candles

Encased in a gorgeous glass jar, these candles are something very special. With non toxic and triple scented wax these candles fill up a room with their beautiful scents named after the worlds most exotic locations. My pick is Montego Bay which is Coconut Lime. Glasshouse candles retail for $36.95(AUD) and can be purchased in store here and online here.

Image source.

Gossip Girl Seasons 1-4 Box Set
This series follows the lives of four privileged “Upper Eastsides” from New York and the scandals that follow themselves and their families. Perfect for the fashionista in your life, those who love a juicy drama and for those who were fans of the 2004 drama, The OC. Foxtel is currently airing Season 5 so this box set is great for those who want to catch up on the gossip. This box set retails for $114.95(AUD) and is available from JB Hi Fi or Myer.

Image source.
Jersey Boys – Soundtrack
The soundtrack from the stage show musical about Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, this CD has up beat songs for both young and old. I saw the stage show, Jersey Boys earlier this year and loved it. This CD would be great Christmas Day listening with the whole family and features fun songs such as “Oh What a Night”, “Big Girls Don’t Cry” and “Sherry”. Jersey Boys the Soundtrack can be purchased for $23.99(AUD) from JB Hi Fi or most music retailers.

Image source.
TYPO Canvas or Wall Art
Typo, a concept store from the Cotton On family is becoming one of my favourite shops to browse. They always have the cutest (and inexpensive) Canvas or Wall Art that would make the perfect gift for those wishing to add personal style to their bedroom, home or office.

Vintage Tea Cups Canvas (28x28) $6.97(AUD)

World Heart Canvas (28x28) $6.97(AUD)

Love Canvas (28x28) $6.97(AUD)

Image source.
Find your nearest TYPO store or shop online here.

The Kardashian Kollection Handbags and Wallets
Whether you love them or hate them, their bags and wallets sure are pretty. The on trend Kollection from Strandbags prices from $119.95(AUD) however as I type, Strandbags are currently offering 25% off all stock.

Kardashian Chain Tote $99.95(AUD)

Find your nearest Strandbag store or shop online here.
Image source.

Peter Alexander Sleepwear
Peter Alexander makes the most adorable sleepwear that makes the perfect gift. His pieces are quality made with the softest cotton and currently has a great Christmas/Holiday gift collection, so give someone the gift to “sleep in style”. My favourite collection would have to be the Disney collection and the Thumper Sleep Tee is just too cute!
Thumper Sleep Tee $59.90(AUD)

Find your nearest Peter Alexander store or shop online here.
Image source.

Belle Noel by Kim Kardashian
The Belle Noel collection contains some beautiful statement cocktail jewellery pieces designed in collaboration with Kim Kardashian and famed jeweller Pascal Mouawad. Belle Noel is fairly reasonable in price for a celebrity jewellery collection in Australia and you can purchase some nice pieces for under $100.
Honey Hexagon Locket $45.50(AUD)

Image source.

Honey Hexagon Ring $65.00(AUD)
Image source.
Purchase Belle Noel in store or online at Tara Wolf.

I hope this post was helpful for those who are ready to brave the shops for the last minute rush - happy shopping x

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Summer Favourite: Nivea Express Hydration Body Lotion

Just a quick review on one of my current summer favourites, the Nivea Express Hydration Body Lotion.

This lotion is lightweight, fast absorbing and hydrating. Enriched with Hydra IQ, this lotion allows your skin to feel hydrated all day and with the light scent of blue minerals – it smells ah-mazing!

I have been using the Nivea Express Hydration Body Lotion at night and find my morning skin still smooth and moisturised especially on my thighs where I suffer from Keratosis Pilaris (similar to small goose bumps). After using this every night for a week my thighs are smooth to touch with no visible lumps or bumps.

Nivea Express Hydration 200ml retails for $5.40(AUD) and is widely available in supermarkets, Priceline, Myer, Target, Kmart, Big W and selected pharmacies.

Image courtesy of Beauty Directory.

Disclaimer: Nivea Express Hydration Lotion was provided as gift as part of ABBW, however; I was under no obligation to include this product in this post or on Beauty Soiree. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Summer Favourite: Yes to Cucumbers Facial Towelettes

I love Yes To products, so far I have tried the Yes to Carrots Shampoo and Conditioner as well as the Yes to Carrots Eye and Face Makeup Remover both I have really enjoyed.

While I love Yes To for it’s tongue-in-cheek marketing and cute packaging I also love that their products are 98% natural and great for those with sensitive skin.

The Yes To Cucumbers Facial Towelettes are hypo-allergenic, non-comedogenic (no nasty pore cloggers) and are oil free. They also contain aloe vera and green tea and the wipes themselves are made from biodegradable natural cloth (which it one of the softest makeup wipe cloths I have come across).

As well as sounding great for your skin these wipes do a great job at removing make up – even stubborn mascara and eyeliner. They are soft and cleansing leaving your skin feeling clean – no sticky residue that some wipes can leave – just clean!

The packaging is a soft foil like packet with hard top plastic clip opening to keep the towelettes moist and each towelette has a light fresh scent of cucumbers – which smells delish.

For makeup wipes they are a little on the pricey side at $7.95(AUD) however a pack contains 30 towelettes and Priceline often has specials relating to the Yes To range.

For makeup removal on-the-go, The Yes To Cucumbers Facial Towelettes also come in a travel size of 10 towelettes for $3.95(AUD) – cute!

Have you tried anything from the Yes To range? If so what are some of your favourites (or not so favourites)?

Images courtesy of Beauty Directory

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Lush: Vitamin E Toner Tab

Lush says:

“The Vitamin E Toner Tab is an excellent, effervescent way to keep everyone’s skin balanced and lovely. It has lavender essential oil to help your skin stay smoothly on course - not too dry, not too oily. Its omega-3 oil and vitamin E come from nutritious algae to revive tired faces.”

To use, you place a toner tab in a bowl of hot (not boiling – you don’t want to burn yourself) water, place your face in the steam with a towel over your head and let the Vitamin E goodness soak into your skin.

Toner Tabs are a great idea in theory but I just found I didn’t have the patience to sit and enjoy the experience. I really enjoyed the lavender scent however I didn’t feel much of the benefits of the toner soaking into my skin – I think ill just stick to conventional toner next time.  

Monday, December 5, 2011

Puretan Dark Instant Foaming Kit

Puretan or PureBronze is a unique range of salon quality instant tanning products now available in Myer stores nationwide.

In need of a new self tanner I was please to find they offer a “Tanning Kit” for their spray, foam and lotion solutions which also includes an exfoliating glove and a tanning mitt – a great starter kit for those wanting to try the brand.

I purchase the foam as I always have found it easier to apply and less streaky in other brands.

Prior to my tan application I used the exfoliating glove which worked well and for added polish I used my Pure Fiji Coconut Sugar Scrub.

To apply I used the tanning mitt, which has a velvet like texture – very nice to use and is re-usable and can be thrown in the wash for easy cleaning. Tanning mitts are fantastic to apply self tan; they are so much easier and convenient than rubber gloves and provide a nice even finish to your tan.

 I must admit I was a little concerned when I first pumped PureBronze. I’m used to self tanners with a slight green undertone and PureBronze was giving me a reddish orangey vibe. Once applied, the colour is natural with a hint of bronze and I didn’t find it to look orange (thank goodness). I was very impressed with the colour and it survived a good 4 days (without excessive moisturising) before it started to fade. I introduced my sister to PureBronze at a weekend wedding and since then she has loved it enough to borrow it on 2 more occasions.

Finished look without makeup

Finished look with makeup - Beach ready!

The unique thing about PureTan is that most of their products (excluding the spray) can be washed off after one hour, so it’s perfect for those who need to tan-and-go.

I purchased the Dark Instant Foaming Kit for $44.95 from Myer, however visit PureTan for further product pricing and stockist information.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Summer Lip Combo

Inspired by the peachy pink and golden shimmer of NARS Orgasm, I created this lip combination which represents my ultimate summer colour for 2011/2012.

To create this look I wore both Sportsgirl’s Pout About It in Fuchsia Splash and NYX Round Lipstick in Iris. Both colours are beautiful on their own but together create the perfect coral pout for hot summer days.

Keeping on the colour theme, I found OPI’s Bright Lights Big Colour polish to add to my next purchase list as the perfect summer mani or pedi colour.

What’s your IT colour of the season?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Ebenezer House

I have just recently returned from a weekend in the beautiful North Coast of New South Wales to attend a wedding. Instead of staying in a hotel we thought we would splash out and rented a renovated Queenslander, found through
This house was dressed out of the pages of a magazine and I’d thought I would share some photos for those who are renovating or redecorating or thinking of doing so in the future (like me).


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A GHD Warning

This post is to offer all GHD fans a warning when using their loved GHD Strightener.

I love my GHD and have been a devotee of the infamous straightener for as long as I can remember but after this weekend I’m not quite sure.

I have just spent the weekend in the sunny northern NSW coast for a wedding and as usual I packed by GHD. The day of the wedding I straightened my hair as normal to prepare for the afternoon as I was going to wear my hair in loose curls.

Come the afternoon I prepared to start my curls, sectioned my hair and turned on my GHD and as usual waiting for the double beep indicating it had reached the desired temperature. As I attempted my first curl, the section was limp so I attempted another section and saw white smoke and smelt the strong scent of burnt hair streaming from the iron and my hair. Completely freaked, I turned it off straight away and was devastated to find traces of my hair melted to the iron and falling out in locks from the sections I attempted to curl.

My GHD was an IV Styler from the Limited Edition Benefit Radiance Set and although I have had it for a few years with regular use, I have always taken good care of it, not wrapped the cord around it and stored it within the styler bag. I believe the thermostat fuse blew (out of no where with no warning) causing it to heat up to an unsafe temperature and I was so lucky I was only straightening small sections from the bottom up and not random pieces from the top.

Now I’m not sure if this is a one off or a known fault of the GHD but I would definitely recommend users of the GHD to pay attention to your styler and if you notice anything different i.e. smoke or if it feels hotter than usual – avoid contact with your hair.
So after my near bald experience I’m now terrified to buy another GHD straightener however I need to invest in a new straightener ASAP.

Has this ever happened to you or anyone you know? (This is a total first for me)

Do you have any hair straightener reccs that are comparable to the GHD?