Thursday, April 28, 2011

My Take on Beauty Trends for Autumn/Winter 2011

I'm channeling my inner Kim Kardashian for my take on this seasons latest beauty trends...

Keep day looks fresh with blended neutral eyes and light pinky nude lips. For eyes, I love champagnes, coppers and light browns and to continue the soft look use a shadow for liner and apply using an angled brush.  

Contouring and highlighting the face will accentuate your features and add a little summer glow to winter pale skin.

Bring life into your winter wardrobe by adding a pop of colour to your manicure; my current favs are pastels (love mint green), peaches and mauves or for a more sophisticated look, choose deep purples, blacks and greys.

For night looks, opt for darker mysterious smoky eyes and experiment by adding colours such as plum, navy or charcoal teamed with lashes of length and volume.

For evening looks, I also love the bold lip in red or plum however; I prefer to team a bold lip with neutral eyes or a smoky eye with a more neutral lip to balance out the desired look.    

What are your fav trends for Autumn/Winter? Or for those who are entering Spring/Summer, what do I have to look forward to next season?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Australis Paparazzi Perfect

The current ad campaign for the new Australis collection "Paparazzi Perfect" has been catching my eye recently and in particular, the HD Eyeshadow Palettes.

The collection has four palettes each with five beautiful pearlescent colours that were chosen to complement each other and are nicely pigmented.

As always, I was drawn towards the neutral palette of the collection, Snap Attack, which contains charcoal, light cream, light orange, light beige and light brown.

I created a neutral eye with the charcoal (outer lid), light orange (inner lid) and light beige (highlight), however, funnily enough, it did not photograph well (the tag line for the collection is "Put an end to bad photos") but I was happy with the result and how the shadows applied and blended.

For a "drug store" brand, I really love the versatility of this product and will have fun creating both day and night looks with the five pretty colours.

Purchase Australis Paparazzi Perfect HD Eyeshadow for $15.95 from Big W, K Mart, Priceline and Target.

**UPDATE: For a chance to win an Australis HD Eyeshadow palette and a gorgeous shade of nail polish visit Katelyn and Megan blog Crosswire Dreamers and enter their Australis giveaway.
Open until 9 May 2011.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Showbag Haul

On Saturday, my mum, sister, her two little boys (Zach 3 and Thomas 1) and I went to the Sydney Royal Easter Show. It was unfortunately drizzling with rain most of the morning but we still had a great day out.

Some of my highlights were, the dairy farmers animal nursery, the fresh food pavilion, the art and cake displays, the fashion and lifestyle pavilion and of course the showbags.

As a child, I remember the best part of my visits to the Easter Show was the showbag hall and I really wanted to pass on that experience to my nephew, Zach. We spoilt him with a Freddo Frog bag and a plush Woody doll from Toy Story which he carries around everywhere.

Like a true kid at heart, I couldn’t resist picking up a showbag or two for myself....

Cadbury and Freddo Treat Bags

Various fun sizes of Cadbury goodness – this weekend I’m going into chocolate overload… diet starts next week ;)  Price $7 for both bags or $4 each.

CLEO Magazine Bag

CLEO Tote Bag
Current issue of CLEO Magazine  
Current issue of Shop till you Drop Magazine
Current issue of GRAZIA
Model Co. Lip Gloss and lip stick duo
Designer Brands White Eye Pencil
Carmex Cherry Lip Balm  
Boca Lupo Energy Drink – not sure about this, has anyone tried Boca Lupo??
Revlon Photo Ready Make Up sample
Mariah Carey Forever sample
White Glo Toothpaste sample
Sorbies Baby Wipes
Bio Oil sample
Neutrogena Sunscreen – love this! Non greasy and does not leave your skin with a white sheen
Herbal Essences Hello Hydration sample
Colour Catcher Laundry Sample
Various vouches/coupons for different companies

Price: $18

Things that I’m particularly interested to try.....

Model Co. Lip Gloss and lip stick duo – pretty, neutral pink colour, handy to throw in my handbag and apply on the go.

Bio Oil sample – something that I have wanted to try for a while. This product claims to have clinically proven results on reducing the appearance of scars, stretch marks and uneven skin tone.

Colour Catcher Laundry Sample – this little sheet is thrown in with your washing and prevents colour running. So, no more pink shirts from that allusive red sock.

Sorbies Baby Wipes – Just a great little handbag necessity.

Designer Brands White Eye Pencil – I didn’t own a while eye liner so I’m keen to try this one out. I’ve heard that a white pencil on your water line gives the appearance of larger eyes – must give it a try!

Did you go to the Easter Show this year? Comment below and share your experiences or showbag goodies.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Does anyone else think this week is dragging??

With a long weekend not far away, Thursday cannot come any sooner (well, for me anyway).

April is one of my favorite months (December is also right up there), and besides being my birthday month, April is also home to The Easter Show, Anzac Day, School Holidays (two weeks of traffic free mornings), Public Holidays, Chocolate and of course Easter (during the years it actually falls in April not March).  

So this long weekend I will be packing away my work uniform for five days and enjoying a relaxing weekend of family, friends, shopping, Easter eggs and blogging.

I’m very exited for Easter Sunday. My family will get together for a big breakfast and an Easter egg hunt for my sister’s two little boys – there’s nothing better than seeing their faces light up at the thought of the Easter bunny visiting the garden.

I will also be playing the “favorite Aunty” and taking my three year old nephew to The Easter Show which I’m also really looking forward to.

So what’s everyone else up to this long weekend?

I hope all my readers and followers have a very happy Easter (those who celebrate, of course) and I hope everyone stays safe and has a fabulous long weekend. xx


Sunday, April 17, 2011

Laser Hair Reduction... my experiences

I have been receiving Laser Hair Reduction treatments since mid 2010. My experiences with laser hair removal have been positive so I thought I would share my experience for those who are interested in getting it done themselves.

Please note that it is permanent hair reduction and that most laser clinics wont 100% guarantee permanent removal, however I would say from my experience I received around 98% permanent hair removal.  

I first decided on laser hair reduction when I finally had enough of the red, itchy rash that would develop post shaving and waxing – also the thought of never having to remove my hair again was a major plus.  

I found HairFree by searching the internet, they had a centre at my local shopping centre and also centers nation wide, I had also heard of them through radio advertising. While laser hair removal is very costly, HairFree often have specials for their new customers which include 50% off the cost of your first treatment.

You are required to shave (not wax) before treatments and I would suggest for your first appointment to leave a small patch unshaven so your therapist can assess your hair thickness/growth.

In my first consultant, I was asked to complete medical history forms and a questionnaire on skin and hair type and had the opportunity to ask lots of questions. Laser hair removal work best for those with light skin tones and dark hair, those with darker skin tone or light skin tones and light hair may not be an appropriate candidates for treatment but this is all explained by your therapist prior to the commencement of treatment.

The area to be treated is marked out using a white eyeliner style pencil – to avoid the laser going over the same areas twice. A cold gel is then applied to the area and both you and the therapist wear dark sunglasses to protect your eyes from the laser light.

The process itself is painful but bearable – think of a rubber band flicking at your skin. I found the darker or thicker the hair the more discomfort I felt, this was at the bottom of my legs and at the top where my hair is thinner and lighter it did not hurt as much or at all. However, it does get better, my last appointment was session 7 and the discomfort was minimal.

As the laser targets your hair in it’s growth cycle (and not all hairs are in their growth cycle at the same time) multiple treatments are necessary. HairFree recommend 6-8 treatments for permanent hair reduction (with 6 weeks in between treatments) and for me after session 7 I am happy with the results and do not require any additional treatments.

Post treatment your treated skin can be sensitive to sunlight and wearing sunscreen is recommended as well as keeping the treated area hydrated with a fragrance free moisturiser.

I have heard of many hair removal horrors so if you are thinking of laser hair reduction make sure you attend a reputable clinic that employ accredited technicians that have experience using the machine and put safety first.

While HairFree worked for me, you may not achieve the desired result yourself – so do your research. 

My wait is finally over...

I managed to get my hands on the sought after and limited edition, Butter London "No More Waity, Katie" nail lacquer. (See my previous post .....and my search continues)

After searching the Internet looking for a Sydney stockist, I finally purchased this gorgeous nail shade for $19AUD from Adore Beauty with thanks to the lovely Cassandra from Style Patisserie who mentioned this website as a stockist.

The directions state to apply 1-2 coats as needed, however, it took me three coats to achieve the desired shade as it looks in the bottle. The first coat was very transparent and the glitters made it appear streaky, and I must admit I was a little nervous that it wouldn't live up to the hype but after the second and third coat the application was much more even and opaque and I let out a sigh of relief as I was happy with the result.

L-R: One coat, two coats and three coats

The polish was quick to dry (even with three coats) and feels quite strengthening on my nails, however I would recommend wearing a top coat. As the polish has glitters in it I have a feeling it's going to be quite tough to remove.

After wearing "No More Waity, Katie" I'm very keen on trying other colours in the Butter London collection and I'm very please with my beauty contribution to Will and Kate's Royal Wedding - Congratulations xx

Love this colour? Butter London has also released a "No More Waity, Katie" lip gloss! Visit Butter London for more information. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Say Buh-Buy to Chipped Nail Polish

During small talk with my beauty therapist yesterday, she mentioned a new and very interesting, nail polish collection that she had purchased for her salon called Shellac.

Launched in 2010, this amazing product allows you to say “buh-buy” to chipped, scratched or smudgy nail polish for up to 14 days while still maintaining the original shine or shimmer.

When my therapist showed me her perfectly painted nails which she had painted well over a week ago AND she has been busy renovating her home, I knew I had to do some research on this miracle polish.

It mixes the properties of both nail polishes and gel and along with a UV light that creates a hardening like effect, allowing you to wake up every morning with perfectly painted nails for two weeks.

I can’t wait to get my Shellac nails – Stay tuned for a review.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

TAG - Would You Rather? (Beauty Edition)

Source: EJ Fox ("pseudoplacebo") from Circleville, United States

Tags are so much fun, and one of my favourite blogs or vlogs to view as you feel more connected to the blogger on a personal level and I love the varied responses.

1. Go out with messy hair and nice make-up or nice hair and messy make-up?
Messy hair and nice make-up, I often rock the messy hair look. I love the classic messy bun or messy beachy waves.

2. Shave your eyebrows or have your eyelashes fall out?
Ahh! The thought of no eyebrows scares me, so I would go with my eyelashes falling out (although that was be just as tragic)  but I would be allow eyelash extensions or falsies right?

3. Forced to shop at only MAC or Sephora for the rest of your life?
OMG both!! Although, if I had to choose it would be Sephora as they are home to an amazing range of different beauty brands, I do love a selection.

4. Wear the lipgloss / lip liner look or 80's perm?
Lipgloss and liner can actually look very nice providing you choose complementing colours and don’t go to dark with the liner (not a good look) so I would rather gloss and liner.

5. Leave the house with obvious foundation line or over done blush?
Ouch! Both of these are toughies!  Maybe the foundation line and pray I notice before days end so I can blend blend blend!

6. MC Hammer pants or biker shorts in public?
I would rather the MC Hammer pants – I brought a pair of black “MC Hammer’ style harem pants during my Thailand holiday and love them, soooo comfy *Happy Pants* J

7. Bad orange-y spray tan or weird tan lines that cannot be covered?
Weird tan lines! I have pale skin and have given up tanning and taken up the fake tan so I would probably be quite please with myself to show off a REAL tan line lol

8. Bad haircut or bad hair colour?
Bad hair colour – there’s always colour correct!

9. Youtube or Twitter taken away forever?
Twitter, I’ve learnt too much from YouTube and developed a slight obsession with watching Beauty Gurus – you can’t haul, room tour and vlog on twitter.

10. Give up using make-up brushes or mascara?
Mascara, I can’t imagine applying make up without my beloved brushes! And you can create a nice natural day look without mascara.

I hope you enjoyed my responses - now I tag YOU!

If you wish to do this tag yourself or if you have already done this tag let me know in the comments below with your URL, I would love for you to share your responses :) xx

Thank you to All Things Beauty and YouTube guru Fleur De Force for inspiring me to complete this tag. Stay tuned for would you rather - part 2.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Benefit Cosmetics Haul

To take advantage of the strong Australian dollar and free shipping, I recently purchased some beauty goodies from one of my favourite brands, Benefit Cosmetics.

Benefit Cosmetics are quite expensive to purchase in store in Australia, so ordering online saved me alot of money however, prepare to wait as standard shipping can often take 14 days or more.

What I purchased:

Stay, don't stray - Eye shadow and concealer primer
The PORE Professional - Pore minimizing balm

Lip Gloss in Zone Out
Full Finish Lipstick in Thrillin' Brazilian

Box o' Powder in Bella Bamba
Creaseless Cream Shadow in Busy Signal
I'm currently using the PORE Professional every day to see if it does actually minimize pores after prolonged use, I will post a review with my thoughts soon.

I'm also loving the Box o' Powder in Bella Bamba which is marketed as a 3D Brightening face powder and really does give you a gorgeous pink glow.

If you would like more information (or swatches?) on any products listed in my haul please let me know by commenting below.

Pret-a-Polish - Cashmere Blanket

This weekend I picked up a copy of this weeks Grazia magazine (Katy Perry on cover) as they were offering a free Pret-a-Polish luxury lacquer. Grazia was offering two colours, a metallic silver and a beige/nude - Cashmere Blanket (which I ended up taking home) from this relatively new polish brand.

I was very happy as the Pret-a-Polish applied very smoothly and was not gluggy or streaky. I love this beige/nude colour (with slight glitters) as its a great neutral look for day time and work wear and right on trend for Australian Autumn/Winter 2011. The polish also lists "3 free" on the bottle which means its free from nail polish nasties toluene, formaldehyde and DBP (which up until recently I wasn't awear that some nail polishes contained).

I would re-purchase from the Pre-a-Polish range, however after spending sometime web searching the brand I'm unsure of where to buy from (and I threw out the details from Grazia oopps!) The RRP is $16.95 and for a luxury nail polish is a cheaper alternative to O.P.I.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

DIY - Deep Clean Make-up Brushes

With daily use, make-up brushes can get very dirty and the brush itself can be home to bacteria build up that you are re-applying to your face with every use. Brushes should be cleaned every day  - but with time not always on my side, I shamefully admit it has been sometime since I last deep cleaned by make-up brushes.

So with that being said, I thought it was about time that I gave my brushes a deep clean.

 What you will need to deep clean your brushes:
  • Make-up brush shampoo or as a cheaper alternative: baby shampoo or dish washing liquid with anti bacterial ingredients.
  • Olive Oil - to condition the brush hairs preventing them to dry out
  • Plate or palette to mix your brush cleansing solution
  • Paper towel 
  • Cup or mug
  • Dirty make-up brushes

  1. On your plate or palette pour a small amount of both brush shampoo and olive oil.
  2. Take each brush and swirl in shampoo and oil solution and swirl on the palm of your hand until all product residue is removed from the brush and lay on paper towel.
  3. Once all your brushes are cleaned and conditioned rinse each brush under cool or warm (not hot) running water. Make sure you hold your brush with the bristles facing down so water does not run into the ferrule as this may cause the glue to spoil and the handles to swell.
  4. Pat brushes dry with paper towel and allow to dry (bristles facing down) in a cup or mug.

To keep bristles in shape while drying, and just to protect your brushes when not in use, I use The Brush Guard. The Brush Guard is a stretchable breathable tube that protects your make up brushes and is great for drying as it keeps brushes upright to avoid moisture seeping into the ferrule.

This technique I used for cleaning my brushes is based on that of YouTube Beauty Guru, Michelle Phan, click here to watch her video.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

.....and my hunt continues

UK nail polish company, Butter London have released a limited edition polish in celebration of the upcoming Royal Wedding.

Appropriately named "No more waity Katie", this gorgeous polish is a blend of grey and mauve with a small amount of glitters to add a slight sparkle.

This colour would be the perfect accessory to the Australian Autumn season (and of course Spring).

I have been on the hunt for an Australian stockist for a few weeks now and have not been able to find this particular limited edition shade.

If you are awear of a Sydney or online store that stocks Butter London polishes please comment below: Australia???

In 2010 the Aussie beauty community was buzzing with excitement when there was talk that the French beauty chain, Sephora was making its way to Australian shores.

Since then I have searching high and low for some updates on this revelation as there were talks that the first Australian store was to open in 2011 (Fingers crossed for Sydney).

Apart from blogger buzz, I didn’t find any other solid evidence that Sephora was officially coming to Australia but I will be religiously checking their website for information on new store openings.

 Until then, those of us who aren’t heading overseas anytime soon will just have to dream of a shopping spree in what I call a beauty paradise.

My Sephora wish list…. A girl can only dream…

Laura Mercier - Flawless Face Kit

Urban Decay - Beauty in a Box
SEPHORA - Colourful Artist Palette

Smashbox - Try it kit

Monday, April 4, 2011

Cloud Nine…. Better than the GHD???

I stumbled across the below article while flicking through my local newspaper. It is an advertising feature on a new straightening iron, Cloud Nine being used by a local salon.

The slogan for the Cloud Nine is “Less heat, more style” which is interesting as I thought the way a GHD heats to 210°C (410°F) and maintains this heat is what makes it so effective.

I’ am still very satisfied with my GHD however, after reading the above article I am very curious to try the Cloud Nine and see how it differs.

Straightening irons have come along way, I remember 10 years ago owning my first Muster – a big heavy iron with non ceramic plates and took forever to heat up and even the day I first got my GHD, I was so excited that it only took 15 seconds to reach maximum temperature!

So as the technical world advances our beauty tools will come and go however, it will be interesting to see if Cloud Nine out shines the GHD as the next best thing in straightening irons?

Please comment below if you have used a Cloud Nine – I would love to know what it’s like.

25 Reasons to get excited about turning 25

Well it’s my 25th Birthday coming up (6 April) and I have not had time to get excited about it until now so I thought I’d do this tongue-in-cheek post to get myself in the Birthday spirit.

  1. Because it’s YOUR special day – unless of course you are a twin (sharing is caring).
  2. Presents – as much as I love giving, there’s nothing more exciting then unwrapping a gift that was purchased especially for you.
  3. Birthday cake – we all love birthday cake right? A birthday is one of the only days you can eat a big slice of cake and not feel guilty about it.
  4. Birthday cards – I love having them proudly on display and reading the birthday wishes from my family and friends.  
  5. Parties – Although I’m not having a party for my 25th, I do love everything that comes with parties… balloons, decorations, music, friends, drinks and party food.
  6. Family and friends – Nothing better than being with your family and friends and having them all there because of you.
  7. Going out to dinner – The one night where you get to pick the restaurant and the most expensive meal on the menu but not have to pick up the bill ;)
  8. Birthday outfit – The thrill and sometimes stress of finding something amazing to wear on your special day.
  9. Facebook birthday wishes – I love opening my account and seeing the many notifications from friends wishing me happy birthday on my wall.
  10. Special offers and free products – Most companies will acknowledge your birthday when you sign up for a loyalty club or join a mailing list. If you have subscribed to as many as I have you’re bound to receive special product offers or even free products when your birthday rolls around each year.
  11. Stop being asked for I.D – Although if you are asked… take it as a complement.
  12. You instantly loose your immaturity overnight ;)
  13. But can still have immature moments and get away with it.
  14. Cheaper car insurance – You must instantly also become a better diver as Australian Insurance companies will allow over 25’s a cheaper insurance premium.
  15. In some cases you are legally able to rent a car – although I think I have already rented a car??(maybe it’s cheaper once your 25).
  16. You can evaluate or re-evaluate you life and it’s still not too late to make changes.
  17. You are slowly becoming content with your insecurities – don’t worry we will get there one day!
  18. It’s only the beginning of the rest of your life.
  19. You are moving out of home for the very first time (or may have already).
  20. You have the energy to juggle work, fitness regime and social life all in one day.
  21. Nights out change from loud nightclubs to cocktail bars and chill music.
  22. You come to the realization that when you lie, you eventually get caught out.
  23. …. And that if something is too good to be true, it usually is.
  24. You become more adventurous and up for trying new things or experimenting with different foods.
  25. It’s a milestone birthday – Quarter of a Century!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

A Rediscovered Love

I have had really dry lips recently and have been diligently applying various different lip balm products that I own to try and regain some moisture back into my lips.

It wasn’t until today when I borrowed a squeeze of my cousins Lucas Papaw Ointment that I had instant relief and rediscovered and old love.

As the name suggests this ointment is made from the fruit of The Pawpaw and has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties and has developed somewhat of a cult following in Australia with local celebrities endorsing the product. This amazing ointment has a number of different uses that include application to; minor burns, chafing, cuts, gravel rash, minor open wounds, nappy rash, scalds, sunburn, splinters & thorns and temporary relief of the symptoms of dermatitis and eczema.

Its a Vaseline type consistency (I will upload a photo when I purchase one of my own), fragrance free and when applied as a lip balm leaves a nice glossy sheen to your lips.

I have had this product before and loved it then but ever since the Airport Security at Fiji International Airport made me throw out my one week old tube (so sad) I have not made a re-purchase but now, I may have to go at and buy some more to add to my handbag essentials.

Modiface Makeup... Virtual Makeovers for your iPhone

Introducing my new favourite App from the iPhone App store... Modiface Make up. Described by Modiface as "Taking virtual make overs to a whole new level with state-of-the-art cosmetic colours, makeup simulation, and makeover effects."

Feel free to experiment with this App by creating different looks with the eyes, lips and face options and even try on a celebrity hairstyle to completely change your look.

What I personally like most about this make over App is that it uses actual make up brands so you can virtually try before you buy. Some of the brands include Stila, MAC, Maybelline, Revlon, Covergirl and more.

It's very easy to use however, can be a little tricky when setting up your own photo as you have to ensure you have all the facial adjustment points in the correct places for the makeup to be correctly applied. It does come with existing models so you can start creating makeovers without uploading your own photo.

Checkout some of the screen shots from the App and the "Lauren Conrad" makeover I did on myself LOL

Dowload Modiface Makeup from the iTunes App Store for free.

DFO - For the love of BRANDS without the price tag!

For someone who loves brands but not the price tag that comes with it... Factory Outlet shopping is for you.

This weekend my mum, sister, her two little boys and I made a visit to the Direct Factory Outlet shopping centre in Homebush, Sydney. When we arrived, the place was so busy we were directed to park in the gravel paddock next door as the car park was so full, and I must admit I was a little nervous to see people exiting the shopping centre with only one or two bags - was it not good?!?!

Although once we were inside, DFO did not disappoint. We ended up with so many shopping bags between us we looked like we were there to film a commercial once we left!

Some of my bargain purchases include:

At Country Road I purchased this black corset style tee (which did not photograph well). It has a soft cotton sleeves and neckline and is connected by thicker corset like fabric at the bottom. I purchased it for $39.95 and it was originally $69.95.

In Seafoly, (an Aussie and international known swimwear company) I purchased this deep purple hoody with silver stitching detail - perfect for our Autumn nights as the weather slowly becomes cooler. Hoody was $24.95 and was originally $89.95.

At G-Star, I picked up a tee for my boyfriend, navy with white pin horizontal stripes and the "Raw Denim" logo printed across the front for $33.00 (originally $110.00) and a white tee for myself with the logo "Raw" printed down one side in black for $40.00 - I'm unsure of the original price but it claimed to be 70% off.

My most exciting purchases was when I visited the Peter Alexander Outlet which had 50% off the marked price of all stock. Now, if you have read my previous blog post Get into Bed with Peter you would know I love PA sleepwear so I was so excited to pick up more PJ's at a bargain price. I purchased an oversized tee with a cute suspender print front and back for $5.00, 3/4 pants with ribbon ball's print for $19.95, Queenie mini shorts for $5 and Whitsunday mini shorts for $5. So I got four items of designer sleepwear for $34.95 - very happy!