Tuesday 29 January 2013

MAC haul! + Rant

I had a feeling all day that my MAC order would come today and when I came home, it was sitting at my front door. My postman changed recently and the new one always leaves my packages at the front door or somewhere near it and he NEVER rings the door bell even when we're at home (cars in the driveway is normally an indication that someone is home!) And of course, he felt the need to leave my box full of makeup directly in the sun rather than 2 meters to the right in the shade...

This meant that my 2 lipsticks melted and my blushes heated up. I'm so annoyed at him but I know that Australia Post will do nothing if I complained as they use contractors to deliver their parcels. My old postman used to always ring the bell to tell us that we had a package and/or to get our signature for registered packages. If no one was home, my packages would never be dumped directly in the sun. He was amazing! I wonder where he's gone now :(

Edit: I should probably clarify that I'm annoyed that my postman leaves my packages out in the sun rather than put it in the shelter 2 meters away. I understand that they do leave packages at the door but they shouldn't be leaving packages that need signatures at the door like mine does. Although my driveway is slightly steep, my front door can still be seen from the street and my package today stuck out like a sore thumb.

I've also been sick recently so while I wanted to do lots of swatches for this post, I didn't want to contaminate anything. I've had lots of hauls over the last week and I've been wanting to post about them but I'm going to wait until I can do swatches :)

MAC Pro palette + 6 blushes

I made this MAC order around the end of December last year with PriceUSA. I found out that the Pro palettes had been changed and they now have a clear see-through lid rather than the all black plastic palettes that they used to have. I couldn't find one of the old palettes in Sydney (the Pro store never picked up their phone) but I figured out that if I made a "custom palette" order from the online US MAC store, then I could potentially get one of the old black palettes so I quickly placed an order for a Pro palette and 6 blush pans. I know that it was a really expensive outlay but it's something that I've been wanting for a LONG time and if they hadn't changed the palettes, I would probably still be waiting to buy it. I might still buy the new palette so that I can depot my other eyeshadows and blushes.

MAC Blush Palette
From left to right is:

Top row: Dollymix, Fleur Power and Mocha
Bottom Row: Gingerly, Cubic and Buff

Each blush pan was $17 and the palette was $16 so I paid $118 in total. I just went back to the MAC US website to check and they've replaced the custom blush palettes with the new palettes so the price has also increased to $129.

I also picked up a lipstick in Lustering ($15) and a sheen supreme lipstick in blossom culture ($16). Lustering melted quite a bit and it stuck to the sides of the tube so it's really wobbly at the moment.

It's all melted :(
Blossom Culture and Lustering
As Lustering was so wobbly, I had to be really careful with swatching. The pictures show the true colour of the lipsticks and I'm in LOVE with blossom culture. I thought that it would be a boring pink but it's slightly peachy and I can't wait to start using it. Lustering reminds me of Love Goddess from the MAC Marilyn Monroe collection. I've obviously swatched Love Goddess more heavily (photo below) but as you can see, they're both raspberry reds.

Love Goddess lipstick

I'll have a separate post with swatches of all the blushes when I get over this virus/cold/suspected food poisoning. I'll also have a post up shortly about one of my Sephora hauls :) There'll be lots of swatches and a review in that post!

Saturday 19 January 2013

I ran out of room so... I offloaded it to my boyfriend

My boyfriend recently moved and his room doubled in size so he bought this amazing customised wardrobe from Ikea. I'm so jealous but I'm probably going to slowly take over the wardrobe anyway :P I've completely run out of room to store any more clothes and makeup at my place so I decided to offload some of it into his wardrobe.

IKEA customised wardrobe. He can hang his jeans and pants
in the bottom right hand corner on specially designed, pull out
Instant easy access to his jeans and pants.
Check out the clear glass! It reminds me of Princess Diaries :P
I'd put all my makeup and jewellery in there if I had a
wardrobe like this :P The second drawer down is mine :)
I should probably point out first that I'm the type of person who buys something and then likes to keep it new for as long as possible. As in, when I buy makeup, it might be AGES before I get around to using it as I just automatically reach for the things that are already open. If I buy clothes, sometimes the clothes will go on sale in store before I even get a chance to wear mine as I like to preserve its "new-ness". I know it's a bit weird but that's why I have so much unopened makeup!

So what I've done is, I've moved some of my opened makeup over to my boyfriends house so that I can't reach for it and I'm forced to open new products to try. I feel like a genius :P

I've also swatched some of the products so it's also like a mini review :)

Lip Products:

I have way too many lip products so I decided to leave some of my favourite ones at my boyfriend's place. This way, I'll be forced to use the lip products that I've been neglecting like my Urban Decay High Gloss Lip Colour pencil and MAC lipsticks.

Left to Right: Carmex, Revlon Sweetheart, Revlon Honey,
NARS Lip Pencil and YSL lip gloss
Left to Right: Carmex, Revlon Honey, Revlon Sweetheart,
NARS Lip Pencil and YSL lip gloss
1. Carmex Moisture Plus lip balm: I got this in a Bellabox and it's a really pretty sheer pink colour.
Carmex Moisture Plus Lip Balm
2. Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Sweetheart: I've found that I reach for this and Honey the most often and I've been neglecting my Smitten and Lovesick balm stains. I haven't even opened them! With these out of the way, I'll be forced to crack open some new lip products :)

3. Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Honey

4. NARS Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil in New Lover: This is a gorgeous strawberry pink with gold glitter in it. I love this but again, I'm putting it out of reach as I'll be too tempted to go straight to this when I need a "going out" look.

NARS Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil in New Lover

5. YSL goden gloss in number 10 Golden Peony: This is described as a "light strawberry pink" on the Sephora website but it goes on like a mostly clear lip gloss with lots of glitter in it. It's really pretty when it's layered over a lipstick or even on it's own as my lips are pretty pigmented.

Face and Eye products:

Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation in 53 and
Bourjois Healthy Balance Unifying Powder in 53
1. Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation: I've used this a handful of times but I think that it might be a tad too light for me. I left this at my boyfriend's as I needed to free up room for another foundation that I bought.

2. Bourjois Healthy Balance Unifying Powder: I always reach for this setting powder but I want to try my new MAC translucent powder and my MUFE HD powder sample. I feel like success is coming my way now that I won't be able to easily use this setting powder and I'll be forced to start a new one :P

I also never seem to use up my samples so these are the first couple that I need to get rid of!

Left to Right: Bioderma Crealine, L'oreal Base Magnifique, Revlon Primer, Lancome mascara and YSL Shocking Mascara.

This was all that I could bear to part with.. I still have way too much makeup at my place but I couldn't bring myself to part with all my favourite makeup. I've moved a lot of things into my makeup bag as well so that if I go out after work, I'm also forced to use only what's in my makeup bag rather than give myself an excuse to go to Priceline or Myer on my way out.

Am I kidding myself when I think that this will work? My goal is to start using the makeup that I've bought over the last few months and haven't even opened yet. I'd love to finish a few products like the samples as well :)

Tuesday 15 January 2013

Sephora Hauls and Parcel Forwarding Comparisons

I came home from work today to find 2 Sephora packages waiting for me! :) I spent about 2 hours sorting through my hauls, taking photos and finding a place for everything :P I've actually run out of room in my makeup storage unit and I'm desperately waiting for the acrylic makeup box that I got for my birthday to stop smelling like chemicals so I can start using it :)

I won't go through everything that I got in detail as not everything is for me. I got some birthday presents and some stuff for a swap that I'm doing at the moment. I also want to fit in a little bit about the Parcel Forwarding companies that I used.

I placed my first Sephora order through PriceUSA (parcel forwarder). I use PriceUSA for pretty much all my orders from the US as they don't charge any fees other than shipping fees when I pay via bank deposit (rather than Paypal or Credit Card).

2 Sephora parcels

There are 2 Benefit sets behind this but I won't show them as they're for birthday presents and giveaways :) I dropped my iPhone a few times today and now the camera is a bit weird so while I did take photos, they were too fuzzy to use. I've put links on each item that you can click on to see the item on the Sephora website.

Dior, YSL, Duo
1. Dior DiorSkin Forever Wear-Extending Invisible Retouch Powder in 002 Transparent Medium $42
2. Yves Saint Laurent Volupte Sheer Candy in 02 Dewy Papaya $30
3. DUO eyelash adhesive in black $8

How pretty is this lip balm?!
My second Sephora order was placed by me (using a friends Sephora account and credit card due to Sephora not accepting international credit cards) and sent to Hop Shop Go who then forwarded it onto me. This was my first time using Hop Shop Go and I'm so impressed with them. They're more expensive than PriceUSA but so so worth it!

I'm super excited to try samples of the Urban Decay BB cream and the Benefit Fine One One. They're new releases from both companies.

Lancome, Tarte, Benefit birthday gift,
YSL mini lipstick, Bobbi Brown
In this order, I got the Lancome set for $34, a Tarte set for a swap that I'm doing at the moment, a birthday gift from Sephora, a free mini YSL lipstick and the Bobbi Brown Concealer kit.

Look how pretty the mascara is! It's all
glittery on the bottom :)
Birthday gift and YSL mini lipstick

Sorry for the really bad photo quality!

So.. for the comparison of PriceUSA and Hop Shop Go:

First Sephora order placed through PriceUSA:

21st December 2012 (midnight or so) : Emailed PriceUSA for a quote
21st December (2.03am): Received quote
21st December: (sometime between 2 and 7am) Paid PriceUSA the deposit
21st December: (2.21pm) PriceUSA placed order
22nd December: Advised that Sephora had shipped my order
29th December: Advised that PriceUSA had received the order and sent me the invoice for the remaining money that I need to pay
29th December: I paid the remaining amount that I owed
30th December (8am): Advised that they had received my payment
3rd January: Advised that they had shipped my order to me
15th January: Received order

Obviously the times have been affected by the public holidays but the shipping time was less than 2 weeks when it normally takes about 3 weeks.

My order was 3lbs (1.36kg) and cost $24.14 to ship. There were no extra fees that I had to pay. If I had shipped this with Hop Shop Go, it would've cost me about $40 to ship but the shipping time would've been drastically reduced.

My gripe with PriceUSA at the moment though is that I placed the Sephora order as Sephora were giving away the Fresh Sugar Lip Balm sets with any order over $25. These sets were the 2012 birthday gifts and I really wanted to try the Fresh Sugar Lip Balms so I asked PriceUSA to add it onto my order. I also asked them to add the free YSL mascara sample to my order IF the lip balms were out of stock (you can only use one code at a time on the Sephora website). So while I didn't *need* any of the stuff that I ordered, I really really wanted one of those sets.

So when I opened the box today, I was expecting to see the Fresh Sugar set but instead I saw the mascara... I was really confused as the Fresh Sugar sets are still in stock so I'm really confused as to why PriceUSA ordered the mascara instead. I know that it's only a small thing but it actually really ruined the order for me. I think it was just the fact that I've had a crap day and it's affected me when really... when I think about it, it's just makeup and not the end of the world.

The reason why I've had a crap day is because I managed to superglue my hand at work today and the medical centre couldn't get it off my hands.

Super glue and some tissue paper that got
stuck to it.

Now onto Hop Shop Go...

5th January 2013: Ordered from Sephora
7th January: Sephora shipped the order
10th January: Hop Shop Go received the order
10th January: Paid Hop Shop Go for the shipping fess
15th January: Received order

So all up, it took 10 days for me to receive my order and the shipping time was only 5 days.

The order was 1.5lbs (0.68kg) and cost $32 to ship. I think that's actually pretty reasonable considering that they use a fast method of shipping and I was able to get my order really quickly. If I had shipped this with PriceUSA, it would have cost me just over $18 in shipping fees and I wouldn't have been able to get the Benefit birthday gift.

I think overall, I'm actually going to start using Hop Shop Go for my Sephora orders. This way, I can accumulate Sephora points (I spend enough in a year to qualify as a VIB) and redeem my points for deluxe samples.

Sunday 13 January 2013

Giant duck at Darling Harbour!

This post is going to deviate a bit from my normal posts but I wanted to share with you what I did yesterday :) People who know me, know that I'm super lazy and I rarely make an effort to go out unless it's someones birthday or something special. I'm more of a homebody and I LOVE staying at home (as loner as that sounds...) but my boyfriend convinced me to spend a day out with him at Darling Harbour to see the giant duck.

Giant duck!

Giant duck!
The weather was predicted to reach up to 39 degrees yesterday but it ended up being really cold for most of the day. I looked like a hot mess with the heat, the cold and then the rain :P I didn't wear any makeup as I was running late to meet my boyfriend in the morning but it would've either melted off my face in the heat or washed off in the rain anyway.

We had lunch as Criniti's as I was craving their chips and aioli sauce but then I saw that they had mashed potato and I can never, ever go past a mash so we had both :P The mash was pretty average and the chips weren't as good as I remembered them to be... Please let me know if you can recommend any of the restaurants in the Darling Harbour area :)

Lunch at Criniti's
We then went to visit Madame Tussaud's as neither of us had been before. I can't believe that adult entries cost $38 each!!! It was totally not worth $38... luckily we had an Entertainment voucher that was a "buy one entry, get one free" deal so we only paid $19 each. I would've felt really ripped off if I'd paid the full price. We whizzed through the place really fast even though I was reading all the signs and information boards. We also took photos with all the wax figures and we probably only spend about 30-45 minutes in there.

The wax figures are all life sized so it was pretty amazing to see how tall some celebrities are. Miranda Kerr and Nicole Kidman towered over me!

Looks nothing like Oprah...

Kylie Minogue

Also, for people in Sydney, there's a place in Market City that sells American lollies and chocolate. I think it's probably better than Sugar Fix as we found candy corn, cheese whip and marshmallow fluff!

American Lollies.. my boyfriend also obviously never makes his bed...
Cheese in a can... similar to whipped cream.

And we obviously can't go out without me buying something for myself :P Morning Glory had 30% off TonyMoly products so I bought these super cute lip balms for just under $7 each. I was after the TonyMoly nail polish but neither of the stores that I went to stocked it.

TonyMoly lip balms

Peach and Cherry lip balms

And to finish up, here are some photos that my boyfriend tried to take for me to show you my outfit of the day. He got pretty sick of taking photos for me and told me that I was annoying haha so here's some terrible photos before we gave up :P

Outfit of the day.

Singlet: General Pants, Skirt: Cherry Culture,
Shoes: Havaianas, Bag: Oxford
And I've just realised that all my photo's look great normal sized but are a bit fuzzy when they're shrunken to fit into this post. I might go camera shopping... :)

Thursday 10 January 2013

Essence Cherry Blossom Collection

I saw the Essence Cherry Blossom stand at Priceline on Tuesday and I immediately picked up a few of the items as the stand had just been set up and it looked like no one had touched anything yet. I took a sneaky shot of the stand for you guys ;)

Essence stand after I bought a few things from it :)

A few things from the collection caught my eye but I didn't want to waste money buying the whole collection so I only have a few things to review.... As you can see, the stand only had one tester available and that was just the blush. No wonder the Essence stands are always wrecked as it's so tempting for people to open the new stuff to test!

First up is the blush...

Essence Cherry Blossom Girl Blush
I took photos of the swatches in Priceline...

Under store lighting

In the shadows of the store lighting

The left swatch is what the blush looks like when it's blended together. The middle one is a light pink (right hand side of the blush) and the far right is the orangey-apricot (left hand side of the blush). It's a very sheer blush and I had to layer it on really thickly.

I also picked up the It's Peach Not Cherry Lipstick pencil. This was a really disappointing purchase as I thought that it would be similar to the Clinique chubby sticks or the Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains. Instead, it's very chunky and really really soft. It clumps up on my lips and doesn't provide an even colour. I picked up an extra one of these and the Cherry Cherry Girl (red) version of this for a swap that I'm doing but I might just refund them as the quality just isn't there...

I think that the lipstick pencil might improve if I put it in the fridge to harden up as it currently feels like I'm rubbing wax or animal fat on my lips when I use this... Avoid this lipstick pencil like the plague! Did they not test these on people before they released them?!

It's Peach Not Cherry Lipstick Pencil
It's Peach Not Cherry Lipstick Pencil Swatch

I was beginning to lose faith in Essence but the collection was redeemed by the nail polish! I'm sooooo in love with the formula and I'm normally not a nail polish person...

It's Peach Not Cherry Nail Polish
Please excuse the
rushed application... I promise
that it's not the "rude" finger :P
Holy smokes! This polish really blew me away! It took 2 thin coats for it to become opaque and it's a orangey-apricot colour. It's definitely a colour that I could wear all summer :) The thing that blew me away about it was that it dries SO FREAKING FAST! I hate painting my nails as I'm too impatient to wait for it to dry but this one dried in a matter of minutes.

I put one coat on, took a few photos, came back to put another coat on, read a few blog posts and it was dry... like so dry that my finger didn't leave a finger print on the polish!!!! And I didn't even use a base or top coat!!! (I was in too much of a hurry to get the photos done while the sun was still up).

Pick. This. Up. Now!

What are some of the better Essence products that you've tried? I'm going to be raiding the Essence nail polishes the next time I'm at Priceline :P

Tuesday 8 January 2013

Essence All About Cupcake lipstick review

Essence isn't normally a brand that I'd go to but I've been reading a lot about it on beauty blogs so I started to notice the essence stand more and more whenever I was in Priceline or Target. The All About Cupcake lipstick is always hyped up in reviews but I could never find it anywhere... it took me months to track it down and when I finally found it, Priceline had 4 that hadn't been mushed, swatched or mangled (the essence stands are always attacked as there's no security seals on anything). I've actually seen it in stock quite a few times at Priceline now that I'm NOT looking for it...

Essence All about cupcake
I can't quite make up my mind on whether or not I like this.. I think I was expecting something amazing because it'd been so hyped up. Keeping in mind that it's only about $3-4, it was really creamy for a cheap lipstick but I had to really layer it on to make it opaque. I found that it was more of a sheer lipstick which some people will like but I have fairly pigmented lips so sheer, light colours can look weird on me.

Outside packaging

You can see from the swatch that it's pretty sheer. This was about 3 or 4 layers of swatching. The lasting power isn't that great. It wears off immediately if I eat or drink but otherwise I've found that it lasted about 2 hours or so. It smells like.. gummy lollies. Kind of like, gummy bears or snakes?

In sunlight


At the end of the day, it's a good lipstick and the bonus part is the price! I'm not too tempted to go buy the other Essence lipsticks (not a fan of the colours) but I think that this would be a good lipstick to get if you come across it... although it's not one that I would necessarily waste time and go hunting for.

Friday 4 January 2013

Lush Haul!

I'm super excited about this haul as I love Lush products :) I had a lipstick review planned for today BUT... I just really wanted to share this haul with you first.

I went to Lush twice this week and picked up some stuff that I've never used before. They still had some of their Christmas stuff but I mostly bought full priced items. I would probably never pay Lush prices for any other brand of bath and hair stuff but for some reason when I go to Lush... all my common sense goes out the window. I mean.. who really needs 9 blocks of soap?...

I'm most excited about the I Love Juicy shampoo that I picked up. It has mango, pineapple, kiwi fruit and papaya in it but it kind of reminds me of orange juice.. I love orange juice so much that I'd wash my hair with it if I could :P This was $20.50 for a 250mL bottle. I think the 100mL bottles look kind of pathetic and the 500mL ones are too big! (but way better value for money). I wish they came in a 300 or 350mL bottle.

I Love Juicy Shampoo
I also picked up a tub of Big after Jasmine from Sweetaholic Beauty said how much she liked it. I was um-ing and uh-ing in the store about it but the description said that it's an:

"All new life affirming shampoo for more shine than you thought possible"

Loosely paraphrasing the Lush description: 50% of Big is seas salt which is used for shine, softness and big endowments (huh? Can someone please explain what big endowments means?). It gives limp hair more volume, the seaweed infusion softens hair and the fresh lime juice makes your hair shiny.

I picked it up on my second visit and it was $25.95 for a 330g tub.

Big Shampoo
I also bought 9 blocks of soap... In my defence, 2 of the 3 types were on sale as they were Christmas editions.

Soap bars and Sparkle
The green ones are Noubar Soap. It's inspired by nougat and has chopped peanuts, walnuts and almonds in it. For some reason, I thought that it had pistachios in it so I bought 3... They were $3.48/100g

The two long ones on the right and the one right in the middle are Mr Punch. I believe that this is a fruit punch inspired soap. It was originally $59/kg but I got it for half price. The promotional pictures on their US website look way better than the real thing!

Image source: Link
The soap in the top left hand corner and at the bottom of the middle row are The Godmother. Lush describes the scent as being similar to the "best selling Snow Fairy shower gel". This is $6.50/100g.

I also got Sparkle which is from the Toothy Tab range. They're basically chewable solid toothpaste tabs. These were $2.20/box.

And lastly, I picked up the Buffy body butter. This is an exfoliating scrub with rice, almonds and beans in it. After using this in the shower, you don't need to moisturise afterwards :) This would be amazing in winter when it's freezing cold and I can't be bothered to moisturise as all I want to do is run and jump in bed :P I thought that it was really expensive at $15.95/block. Each block weighs 90g.

I also got the Lush body butter tin to go with it so that Buffy won't melt in the shower when I'm not using it. The tins retail for $5.95 each but I'm going to try and find something cheaper for my soaps :)

What other Lush stuff should I try? I want to get a good conditioner for dry hair.


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