Thursday, 28 February 2013

February Favourites

This month seems to have flown by! But doesn't every month? For some reason, not many products really stood out for me. For some reason, not purposefully, I ended up using a lot of my stash. I did manage to find 5 products that I really enjoyed using, or used frequently.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Review: MUA Pretty Pastels palette

This palette is probably the item I was most excited for from my MUA haul, and is also the product that surprised me the most. I kind of got it on a whim, I mean, I love the look of pastels but I thought I probably wouldn't get much use out of them because I rarely use colour and that because they were pastel they would be chalky and not very pigmented.

With the exception of shade 1, all of these pastel shades have a lovely shimmer to them which was a nice surprise as I was expecting them all to be matte. Most of these have very decent pigmentation (again with the exception of shade 1), which was something I was really surprised with. Some of the colours on the second row (particularly shades 9 and 10) don't show up as well on the skin as they do in the pan, but they still leave a lovely shimmer and would be really great for a subtle bit of colour. These shadows are also really nice to apply! They're very creamy shadows and don't feel cheap at all, just like MUA's Undressed palette.

So far I've been loving shades 2, 3 and 9 as they're the easiest to create a simple neutral eye look. I also managed to use shades 6, 10 and 11 for Valentines day.  I've found I don't even need to use a primer with these, but then again I haven't needed them to last all day. You would probably need to use a primer to get the most out of the brighter colours. I've also been using the applicator that comes with this set to apply these.

Swatches below are all over Australis' eyeshadow primer.
First row of shadows (1-6)

Second row of shadows (7-12)

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Weekly nail: Green

Here's a little nail look I did using Rimmel Lasting Finish Misty Jade, Rimmel 60 seconds Sky High and Ulta3 Mermaid Green. It seems Misty Jade is getting quite old and is running out - it's so gluggy and I'm finding it hard getting enough polish on my brush to get decent coverage. I haven't actually used Mermaid Green before, it's such a lovely colour I think I should get it out more. I still can't seem to get the hang of manicure guide stickers, no matter how much I use them I always end up with uneven lines and texture. This wasn't my favourite guide either but I couldn't find the ones I wanted to use. I'm going to try using guide stickers more often so I can really get the hang of them.

left hand

right hand

This past week has been really great. I flew up to Brisbane on Wednesday evening with my boyfriend and another friend. We stayed on the 24th (top) floor, overlooking some of the city, which the boys enjoyed but I really didn't (I'm a little scared of heights. The flight wasn't fun either.) On Thursday it was meant to thunderstorm so we decided to hit up Wet'n'Wild instead of Movieworld like we had originally planned. Turned out to be a good move because it was practically empty! I think the longest we waited was about 20 minutes. When we got in, we went straight on the newest slide - the Aqua Loop (which has a huge almost free-fall, then a loop-de-loop) before I could realise how scary it actually was. I seriously have no words! We went on almost every ride twice, and almost went on the aqua loop again, but I chickened out and had to do the walk of shame down the stairs. No regrets.
We found a really nice pub (Criterion for anyone is interested) which had great (cheap) food and even cheaper beers. Friday was spent shopping and walking around the city with an early night ready for breakfast with some friends in the Valley before Soundwave on Saturday! It was incredible and not as big as I expected, Grooving the Moo being the biggest festival I've been to. Blink were just as amazing as I expected and I managed to stay close to the front, even though it got me covered in sweat (tmi?). I also saw Paramore, All Time Low, a bit of Sum 41 and The Offspring, Bullet for my Valentine, and possibly my favourite for the day Motion City Soundtrack.
I think it got me even more excited to go to England, if that's even possible, because I hadn't been on a holiday in a really long time.

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Wish list: UK

I'm starting to get really excited about heading over to the UK! I've also started thinking about all the wonderful products they have over there that we can't get in shops here. Sure, I could probably get all of these products over the internet, but it's just not the same as going into a store to buy them!
UK wish list

1. Rimmel Apocalips range
2. MUA Undress your Skin Range (clockwise from top) Foundation, Under Eye Concealer, Highlighter, Primer
3. Rimmel Lycra Pro Matte Finish Top Coat          4. Sleek Blush by 3 in Lace      
5. Look Beauty lipliners in Tangerine (top) and Rock Candy (bottom)

 Rimmel's Apocalips range is probably what I'm most excited about getting my hands on! These have been hyped up so much and it doesn't look like we'll be getting them in Australia anytime soon! I love the look of Big Bang and Luna and I'm guessing they might end up being the first things I buy when I get to London (apart from booze from duty free, of course)
The Undress your Skin range are MUA's most recent product releases, and are base products similar to the Bourjois healthy mix and Rimmel's Wake me up ranges. I'd love to give these a try, especially considering the great quality of MUA products. I'm especially interested in the highlighter (although, I'm considering getting a MAC mineralise skin finish highlighter somewhere along my trip to travels - hello duty free).
I didn't actually know Rimmel made a matte top coat, and as I said in my last wish list, I really want to get one! I don't think I'll buy the Essie one before I leave so I'll probably end up picking this up.
Sleek is a brand I've been wanting to try for a while but haven't because I don't want to pay for shipping. This blush by 3 palette has a lovely selection of shades, with the middle one being my favourite (which is the same as their Rose Gold single bush, apparently a dupe for Nars Orgasm!)
Look beauty is another brand I haven't yet tried because I don't want to pay for shipping. I don't actually have any lip liners other than one red Rimmel one in my collection, and now my lipstick collection is growing I should probably get a few more colours. Tangerine is a lovely orange and Rock Candy a nice bright pink. They also have matching lipsticks, which I'll probably end up buying too :p

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Review: MUA Pro-Brow Ultimate Eyebrow Kit

 After buying an eyebrow pencil from Australis and not having much luck with it, I gave filling in my brows with some eyeshadow a go. It seemed to work well but the colours were not quite right and I felt I needed something to set my brows. I decided to buy the MUA brow kit to give it a go. It comes with 2 brow shades, a highlight shade, a gel, a double ended brow brush, some mini tweezers and a huge ass mirror!

The actual packaging of this product does seem cheap, it has a magnetic closure which doesn't seem very secure so I'd be a bit worried about traveling with it, but for a RRP of £3.50 (about $5) that's not really a big issue. The huge mirror is great and it's big enough to be able to do your eyebrows with. The tweezers are also useful to have on hand - I know I always loose mine. The double sided brush is also handy, one side for powder and one side for gel. The powders are really powdery! When you touch them with the brush it creates so much powder (as you can kind of see in the top right shade in the picture below). They're pretty pigmented, kind of chalky but they still work well and blend ok. I find I have to mix the two top shades to get a good colour. As for the highlight colour, it's way too dark to be able to use as a highlight. The gel is good, it doesn't look to gel-like on your brows, but I have found sometimes when applying it, it just rubs off some of the powder, so you have to be careful.

Overall, I'm really happy with this product, especially when I got it half price! It's a great brow kit for people who aren't to confident filling in their brows (like me) and would be great to use until I get the hang of it and can afford one with a bit better quality - Like the Urban Decay one, or even the new Face of Australia brow kit.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Travel makeup bag

I'm going on a little holiday to Brisbane for Soundwave, so I thought I'd share with you the makeup I'm bringing. I'm not bringing much as I'm only taking carry on, and the forecast is for rain the entire time!

Essence  To Die For palette - A neutral palette that doesn't take up a lot of room! I love two right shades, and the top right shade is perfect to use by itself.
MUA liquid eyeliner shade 3 - Just in case I want to use a liquid liner
Benefit BadGal mascara -  I don't actually own a waterproof mascara, so this will have to do! I might end up buying a waterproof Mascara while I'm in Brisbane so I can wear it to Soundwave, haha.
Bourjois clubbing waterproof eye pencil - I'm bringing this because it's waterproof! I've also been using it a lot lately to thinly line my upper lid when I don't want to bother with liquid liner (I can't help but do wings every time I put on liquid liner and most of the time I spend ages trying to fix them up because they're uneven!)

The Body Shop Born Lippy in Lychee - I love this lipbalm. It smells really nice so I've been using it a lot
Carmex Moisture Plus tinted lipbalm - always handy to have two lipbalms!
Revlon lip butter in Peach Parfait - I finally found it!! Of course it was hiding in my boyfriends room, which it's probably been since Christmas!
Revlon kissable balmstain in Romantic - I love this red! It stays on a really long time so I don't have to worry about reapplying it as much and can enjoy my holiday.

NBN tinted moisturiser - This tinted moisturiser is tinted enough to give enough coverage when I'm having a good skin day.
Maybelline Dream Matte powder - Putting this over the tinted moisturiser will give me a little more coverage and help set my face when it's super humid!
MUA Shimmr Kisses blusher - I'm mostly taking this because I've been loving using the bottom left shade as a highlight! I don't want to bring a highlight and a blush so this works as both.
Australis travel blush brush - This is small, but I don't want to waste room taking my regular blush brush which is a kabuki.
Cosmetica double ended eyeshadow brush 
Dot by Mark Jacobs sample 

Makeup remover wipes. I recently finished these Swisspers wipes, and decided to put a couple of the Australis makeup wipes I got from this months Bellabox in the empty container so I can just throw the whole lot out before I leave. Hopefully they work ok because I don't have anything to cover up my face with if they irritate my skin.
Travel size Swisse Shampoo, Herbal Essences Hello Hydration conditioner (in a shampoo bottle), Swisse body wash.
Dove roll on deoderant (almost empty so I can throw it out before we leave), Sorbolene cream (in a nivea bottle), Body Shop Cranberry Joy hand cream (This has been missing since before Christmas!), Banana boat sunscreen sample from Bellabox, Coles sunscreen (also almost empty so I can throw it out before we leave), floss, toothpaste and toothbrush.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Weekly Nail: Pistachio and Peach

This week I thought I'd share a mani done with two polishes that are new to my collection. Both polishes I've actually never used before, and I couldn't decide between them so I went with both!
I used Revlon Peach Smoothie, from their scented collection, and MUA Pistachio Ice Cream from my latest MUA haul.

Peach Smoothie is a lovely pastel orange colour with a slight shimmer, which I managed to pick up at Priceline for $5 a few weeks ago. It applies quite sheer but builds colour easily, with only 3 coats needed to get opaque. It was definitely the easiest of the two to apply. It does have a little peach scent to it when it's dry, but it's quite a chemically smell and not that strong, so I wouldn't purchase if the only reason you're getting it is for the scent. For some reason it dried with a lot of bumps! All the nails with this polish on seem to have them.
I was really expecting a more greeny colour from Pistachio Ice Cream, so I was a bit disappointed when it dried more blue than green. This is without a doubt the streakiest polish I've ever used! The brush is really coarse and small, and to get a decent coverage you really need a lot of polish on the brush. It wasn't too bad after 3 coats (2 heavy coats would have done, but I made the mistake of doing a really thin first coat) and it evened out a little. The wear time on this is not great. I had chipping on almost all of the nails with this polish the day after I applied it (and used Sally Hansen Diamond Shine Base and Top Coat). None of the nails with Revlon nails had chipped yet! I'm a bit dissapointed with this polish, but I can't really complain for a polish that's worth all of about $1.50 (and I got it half price too). I would like to try some more MUA polishes when I get to the UK and I have my eye on Mud Pie, so hopefully that works out better.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

My Life in Pictures #4

2. I've been craving (and eating) a lot of fresh asian noodle dishes lately, the more prawns, coriander, crushed peanuts and chilli the better!
3. I had friends come round for drinks the other night and I made some cosmopolitans. They were quite delicious, I must say, haha. (photo from my friend Patty)
4. We also played monopoly. Two friends had to leave and chucked their money onto free parking. Can you guess who landed there?

5. Pancakes for Shrove Tuesday. Ok, so I'm not religious at all, so really for us it's just an excuse to have pancakes for breakfast, haha.
6. I finally got myself to a hairdresser to get a trim. It was a bit more than a trim because I let my fringe get to my chin, and my layers had pretty much grown out. Whoops!
7. I made lemon sugar biscuits with what was supposed to be a raspberry royal icing for valentines day. They didn't quite work out how I wanted them to, but at least they tasted delicious!
8. Painted my nails pink (Portobello Pink) for valentines day.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Review: Be Yourself Nail Polish Remover pads

After being introduced to nail polish remover pads by Bellabox with the 4me nail polish remover pads, I was instantly converted. For me, remover pads are so much easier than using liquid nail polish remover. I ran out of my 4me pads last month, and they were only restocked on the website yesterday, after I'd decided to cancel my membership. While I was in the city doing some shopping recently I noticed these remover pads by Be Yourself. I had a friend post about these on instagram recently saying they smelt amazing, and seeing as I had run out of nail polish remover (both pads and liquid form!) I thought I may as well give them a try. They come in a whole range of scents but I decided to choose peach.

First of all, these DO smell great! You wouldn't think they'd be capable of doing anything but smelling pretty if you didn't know what they were. They are also a lot drier than the 4me remover pads, dry enough to have me thinking that these were old and dried out and that they were not going to work at all.
Nope! These worked fine at removing nail polish! I managed to remove a whole manicure in a few minutes with just one pad. It was just regular polish, and I'm not sure how they would stand up to glitter as they're really thin and you'd probably need at least 2. These pads aren't supposed to be anything other than nail polish removers, unlike the 4me pads that are also supposed to condition your nails and cuticles, which is probably why the 4me pads have a lot more liquid in them. After I removed the polish I washed my hands (which I've always had to do straight after using the 4me pads, read about why here on Kat's blog Kitsch Snitch) and noticed stringy pink bits on my fingers (I was removing pink nail polish) which is something that's never happened before when removing nail polish! They did leave my nails feeling a lot drier than normal remover but I put a coat of Sally Hansen Diamond Shine top coat on straight away and then papaw ointment on my cuticles (I should probably get some cuticle cream!).

left: pad before use, right: pad after removing polish from both hands

Nails after using remover. They're in pretty bad shape as it is but the remover did dry them out a little.


So far, I'm quite happy with these! I might have to use them a few more times before I can really decide (especially because of the stringy residue! weird!). I found them in Price Attack for $4.95, but I'm sure you'd be able to find them at many places.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

February Bellabox

I'll start this post by saying I wanted to cancel my membership last month. I thought, before I cancel I'll find out if I can use my rewards points after I cancel my membership. I sent an email asking about it and if a few products were going to be stocked in the near future and never received a reply, and I'm too lazy to send the email again and I'm not one to write about it on their facebook. Since then I decided it's not worth the minimum $20 spend after points and there's nothing I would buy from this box to get free shipping.

This months box arrived pretty quickly, I think it was sent on Tuesday and I would have received it yesterday except the postman decided to send it to the post office instead of leaving it in my letterbox like they always do. There was a part of me that was hoping that because they didn't leave it meant that I was one of the lucky people to receive a Tiffany necklace in the box. I wasn't, and I'm not really too bummed about it because a Tiffany's necklace isn't something that I wanted anyway.

Batiste Dry Shampoo - (50ml Sample, RRP $9.95 for 150ml)
I've actually been wanting to grab another bottle of this after I ran out of my last sample of this from a Priceline goody bag, but I've been putting it off.

John Frieda Frizz-Ease Dream Curls Curl Perfecting Spray (30ml sample, RRP $16.95 for 198ml)
Yay!!! I have super curly hair so I'll be one of the lucky people who actually get to use this! I got my hair cut yesterday and almost bought one of the De Lorenzo products the my hairdresser put in my hair (instant satur8 by the way, it made my hair feel so lovely!!) so I'm happy I have a product now I can use while I'm poor and can't afford to buy it (I know it's only $20, but I'm walking to work this week because I can't afford petrol!)

Banana Boat Sports SPF 30+ (15ml Sample RRP $14.95 for 200g)
I was going to hate on this product because it's in a stupid sachet, but this is actually going to be pretty handy when I got to Soundwave next week! I'll need sunscreen but I don't want to have to carry a whole bottle (especially incase it gets confiscated - festivals have gotten so anal about liquids it's ridiculous, but I did hear a story about some girls sneaking alcohol into a festival in a sunscreen tube)  so this will be perfect to reapply during the day! This seems like it would be enough for one person.

Fing'rs Nail Makeup (full size RRP $9.95)
I haven't actually heard of this brand before, nor have I used nail polish strips before. I'm willing to give these a go, but I'm not too sure abut the colour. I'm usually a fan of bright nails (I even have bright pink polish on at the moment) but the pattern on these just seems a little tacky.

U Skin Solutions Clean and Go Exfoliating Gel Cleanser (small sample, RRP $30.95 for 125ml)
I don't know how I feel about this one. It smells like a mix of lavender and tea tree oil and is really strong! It's not a scent that I would want to use on my face. I'll give it a go though and hopefully it doesn't irritate my skin.

Eye of Horus Eyeliner in Charcoal Obsidian Goddess pencil (full size RRP $30.00)
This eyeliner claims to be waterproof, smudge-proof and long lasting. I put a swatch on my hand before I had a shower, and was able to smudge the remaining pencil (some had come off in the shower already) off easily. You can get much better quality eye pencils for way less than $30. This is a black pencil with a bit of shimmer and a smudging bit at the end and I might get use out of it but I don't use pencil eyeliners much anyway.
top: swatched once, bottom: smudged with smudger.

Overall, I really could have done without this box (an extra $15 in my account this month actually would have been a great help!) and I wish I had just cancelled last month. I will probably use most of these products anyway, but it's nothing I needed or am super excited about. I have already cancelled my subscription so this is the last box (for now, I may subscribe again when I come back from England).

Did you receive a Bellabox this month? What did you think?

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

MUA Haul!

I first heard of MUA just after they had done their 25% off offer for 25K likes on facebook. They had offers every 5000 likes they received from 25 000 likes. I almost made a purchase during their 35% off sale, but decided I should just fill my cart and wait till the 50% off offer and see if I still wanted those things. Turns out, I really did! I did make a few adjustments to get to the minimum spend of £15 after discounts (a few things I did want were already out of stock!). I ordered the first day of the sale and had the 'paypal problem' where I got a receipt from paypal but not an order conformation from MUA. It took a while for it to get resolved (Only because I didn't realise you have to go onto the website to reply to the 'ticket' and not reply to the email) and I got the order within 2 weeks of sorting the order out.

So here's what I got

Pretty Pastels eyeshadow palette
This is the thing I think I wanted to get the most for some reason. I've heard that some of these shadows can be chalky and sheer, but I'm hoping with a bit of primer I can use these.

Glitterball eyeshadow palette
I got this one because it was the only palette left (as well as Pretty Pastels) that caught my attention. I would have liked Dusk till Dawn or Glamour days, but I do like the look of this, especially the gold and pink shadows.

Matte single eyeshadow shade 19
I only have a few matte shadows in my collection and nothing dark enough. Also, this single eyeshadow is huuuge!

Liquid Eyeliner shade 3
After really getting into liquid liner I've decided to give something other than black a go.

Pro-Brow eyebrow kit
I never do my eyebrows, but would love to give it a go. I do have an Australis pencil but it seems to look a little harsh. This also has a massive mirror. It would be great for traveling, but the case seems to be magnetic but doesn't seem too sturdy.

BB All in One beauty balm light
This is something I bought spur of the moment to make up the minimum spend! I still haven't read any reviews on it! Hopefully this works out well.

Lipstick in Shade 15 Juicy
I've already used this (it's the product I opened and used as soon as I opened the parcel) and so far it's great. It smells like vanilla! It's a bit more fake than MAC lipsticks scent, but it's still nice. This was also a lot more opaque than I thought it would be.

Shimmer Kisses bronzer and blusher
These weren't something that I intended on buying (I was going to get the mosaic ones), but because I wanted them anyway I thought why not buy them instead because they do seem nicer. I've been avoiding bronzer for the longest time because I'm as pale as a ghost, but I tried using my Nude by Nature bronzer the other day and it didn't go too badly. I think this bronzer is a little to shimmery to use as a bronzer and would be better used as a blush. As for the blush, the lighter shades look like they'd be great highlight colours and the colours swirled together would be a my kinda blush!

Nail Varnish in Pistachio Ice Cream
I needed a nice pastel green so this was an obvious choice to try out their nail polish.

So far I'm pretty darn happy with MUA products, and I really cant wait to get to the UK so I can visit a Superdrug and swatch everything. I'll be sure to do a review on things once I get a good chance to try them out, so let me know what you want to know about first :)
I also picked up a few doubles, because I'm planning on holding my first giveaway soon! I just have a few more things to get hold of.

Have you tried any MUA products before? What are your favourites?

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Weekly Nail: Sparkle Grey

I've been wanting to pull out Ulta3 Earl Grey for a while now since swatching my nail polish collection. I thought it might be a little boring on it's own, so I decided to pair it with Australis' Crystal Colour Top Coat after rediscovering it after seeing it on MaterialGurl88. Earl Grey is one of the best Ulta3 polishes I own. It's opaque in 2 thin coats, and it applies really nicely and smooth, which is great because I haven't used a polish like that in a while. I think it's the perfect grey colour. Australis' Crystal Top Coat is a great flakie polish. It can be a bit gloopy (I've had it for a while now so maybe that's why) and you need 3 coats to get a really good coverage of flakes. It takes a while to dry and because of that it ended up quite bumpy looking.
I managed to go a whole day wearing this without any chipping, which is pretty good for my nails. They did chip a bit when I did body pump this morning, but not badly enough that a little touch up couldn't get them looking new again.

This weekend I did a lot of trip planning with my boyfriend. We booked a place to stay in London when we arrive in the UK and decided what we'd do that day (yes, we're seriously that prepared). I also went out and bought a huge suitcase that's bright blue, and then spent wayyyy too much money on a cute travel diary, a pen with anchor and boats and ships all over it, and monthly diary from Kiki K. They're cute so hopefully I end up using them and not wasting my money. This is also the first year I haven't been able to buy stationary for school (that was always my favourite part about going back to school!) and I got a little upset when I saw stationary being sold everywhere last month, so I guess this is a little pick me up, hehe.

What are you wearing on your nails at the moment?