Saturday 31 August 2013

August Favourites!

It's the end of another month which means that it's time for another favourites post! :D It's crazy how fast the year is going and I really wish it would slow down but we're another month closer to Christmas which is probably my favourite time of the year :D I love all the shopping and the sales and the amazing gift sets that come out in the beauty sections of our department stores :)

August Favourites
This month has been really crazy for me in terms of making plans for next year (I graduate from uni at the end of this year) and just life in general but I did take the time out to focus on choosing my favourite makeup products for this month. There's no skincare in this months post as I'm trialling out some new stuff but keep an eye out for it next month :) (hint: I'm loving the Kiehl's creamy eye treatment with avocado!)

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in ethereal,
Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer and
MAC Studio Finish Concealer in NC20

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in ethereal:

I use the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder if I'm doing my makeup to go out at night or to go to an event as I don't really see a difference when I use this during the day but if I use this and I go to an event where the lightning is a bit dim, I feel like my face is just a bit.... brighter? It might just all be in my head but I really like using this when I don't really want to set my foundation with powder but I still want something on my face to get rid of that "sticky" foundation feel.

Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer:

This is one of those primers that goes on liquidy and dries to a powderish finish. It makes it a lot easier for me to blend in my foundation and I also use a lot less foundation when I use this primer. I love that the slightly heavy glass-like packaging makes it feel really luxurious and a little primer goes a long way! I do have to powder my t-zone a little bit more often during the day though but I don't mind too much.

MAC Studio Finish Concealer in NC20:

I've been using this on blemishes closer to my jawline as the skin there is slightly lighter than the rest of my face. I STILL don't understand why MAC skipped NC25 so I ended up getting NC20 and prayed that it would match. It's probably a tad too light but I just blend it out until it looks ok. I just love the little container it comes in and I can't wait until I finish it all up! I have this obsession over the little mac pots.

MAC lipstick in Flamingo:

I did a review here if you want to find out more about it but it's basically the perfect pink lipstick for me :) It's a really nice pale pink that doesn't wash me out or make me look like a clown.

Clarins Eclat Minute Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector in Rose:

Now to be honest, I've always thought of Clarins to be like an "old lady" brand and I've never been interested in it at all. I used to always walk past and never even give it a second thought as it just didn't appeal to me at all. I saw this lip gloss in a video on YouTube by Essie Button and I decided that I HAD to have it. It's an absolutely gorgeous, sheer pale pink lip gloss that feels really hydrating and just blends into my lips really well. The only thing I don't like about it is the spongey doe foot applicator which I think will get really gross over time so I always try to wipe all the excess off it when I'm done.

Left to right: MAC lipstick in Flamingo and Clarins Eclat Minute Instant
Light Natural Lip  Perfector in Rose swatches

If you have a blog, please link me if you've done an August favourites post :) I love reading them!

Don't forget to enter my Michika Facial Mask Giveaway! :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday 29 August 2013

The mask that started my addiction!

I've always loved the concept of masks and the thought of how relaxing it would be to sit back with a face mask on and let my face absorb some of the good stuff but as I'm sure you know by now, I'm one of the laziest people when it comes to skincare. And that's the reason why every time I went out shopping and saw a mask that I liked, I would always put it back as I didn't want to waste money on something that I was too lazy for.

Being a blogger, I often get asked to trial products but something that you might not know about me is that I'm super picky with what I like and I hate to waste people's time so I generally turn down offers. However, I was really excited about one product that I was offered to try so I said yes and it started a mask addiction! I used to be too lazy but now I genuinely take the time out to use masks :)

Obligatory face mask selfie :P
The product is called the Michika Complexion Synergist 3-in-1 mask. The 3-in-1 refers to the moisturiser, toner and boosting serum qualities of the mask. It claims to simplify your skin care ritual if you use the mask instead of doing the 3 things (moisturising, toning, applying serum). I'm a bit iffy about that as I'm quite particular about my skincare and I can't not moisturise and do my normal routine so I've been using the mask at the start of my skincare routine. Obviously this would be really good for some people and it's really down to personal preference. One tip I have for you for this mask is to wait a few minutes after you take it off for the serum to really sink in as the mask leaves a fair bit of it behind.

Michika Facial Mask
One thing that I'm not too sure that I like about the mask is the green tea fragrance in the ingredient list. When Larisa (the owner of Michika) contacted me about the mask, I jumped on the opportunity as I'm a sucker for all green tea related things (especially green tea ice cream!) so I couldn't resist a green tea mask. Obviously, they're green tea scented but I generally avoid skincare that contains fragrance. If something has fragrance listed in the ingredients list, I won't buy it. I find that skincare that is perfumed really irritates my skin. Luckily, my skin was fine with this mask but if anyone knows anything about about different types of fragrances (and if they're good or not), please leave a comment for me :) I'd love to learn more about it!

Onto the good things about the mask! I've loved how moisturising it is and it makes my skin feel so supple. One of the great things about the mask is that it has just the right amount serum on it so that it doesn't drip everywhere (something I hate!) or feel dry.

The selling feature of this mask though was the instructions on the box that advise you to run the mask (before you open it) under hot water before using it. I used to be lazy with masks because I hated that sudden cold feeling on my face from a cold mask. Running it under hot water warmed it up a little bit so that it was a lot more comfortable to wear. It feels like Larisa really took into consideration the small details when she created this mask and the instructions.

The instructions told me to relax and leave the mask on for 20 minutes but I got bored after like 2 minutes so I spent the time on my laptop blogging and watching youtube. Obviously, I was sitting up so it also passed what I call the "sliding off the face" test. One of the most annoying things about cloth masks is that they can start to really slide off the face if you sit up but this stayed relatively in place (with a few adjustments here and there for my eyes). The mask even has eye patches if you want to use them which I thought was handy.

It's obviously hard to take a photo when you
can't see :P
Now the cost of these masks is $28.30 for a pack of 5 masks (including shipping in Australia. Larisa also ships overseas). However, I was just on her website and noticed that she has a crazy sale on and is selling a pack of masks for $7.90 + $7.50 shipping (in Australia, $12.50 for overseas customers). That works out to be $15.40 for 5 masks which is a pretty good deal :)

Now, Larisa has also generously offered to hold a giveaway so that 6 of my readers will be able to try out her masks! This giveaway is for Australian residents only (sorry international readers!).

The terms and conditions of this giveaway are:

1. Winners will be generated by random through Rafflecopter
2. This giveaway is open for Australian residents only
3. You must be 18 years old or older to enter
4. Prizes to winners will be shipped after you provide your shipping address (I will forward your email details to Larisa who will be in contact with you)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday 24 August 2013

Amazing Benefit deal!

I love Benefit products and their super cute packaging but the thing that really sets Benefit aside from other companies is their willingness to ship their products to Australia at US prices. Pretty much all makeup companies refuse to let their products be sold to Aussies at the US price so we're stuck paying ridiculous prices for makeup.

The Benefit website ships to Australia and has free shipping for orders over $125. The shippings costs are actually very reasonable for any orders under $125 as well. It's great for people like me who hate paying for shipping :)

At the moment, Benefit are letting you create your own custom makeup kit and are throwing in a free gift and a makeup bag as well :) I'm not going to lie but the makeup bag was basically what drew me in as it's absolutely gorgeous!

Benefit makeup bag
You basically choose one product in each category of complexion (face products), cheeks and eyes and then you choose a free gift. There are so many options in each category and I'm kicking myself for not realising when I ordered mine. I thought that each category only had 3 items to choose from but there are actually multiple pages. But I'm not kicking myself too hard as the entire makeup kit only costs $79!

Makeup Kit Maker

My makeup kit
If I purchased the Porefessional, Fake Up and Fine One One in Australia, the total cost would have been AUS$132. The free Creaseless Cream Shadow retails for AUS$29! I think that I got an amazing bargain :) (even when I take into account that the AUS dollar is no longer on parity with the US dollar).

Check it out and have a play around with making your own kit on but don't hold me accountable if you give in and buy a makeup kit :P I'd love to know what you got though!

Wednesday 21 August 2013

Surprised by the Maybelline Dream Pure 8-in-1 BB Cream!

Ever since Australia got on board the BB cream train, it seems as if every brand here has released their own version of it and to be honest, most of them are pretty much glorified tinted moisturisers. I've tried pretty much all of the BB creams available in the Australian market and the good majority of them are oily and just don't sit well on my face. I've also found that I sit between shades for most BB creams. The light shade is always too light and the medium shade is always too dark and most brands here will only offer light or medium. To sum it up, I basically hate (most) BB creams.

Maybelline Dream Pure 8-in-1 BB cream
So when Maybelline launched their new Dream Pure BB cream for oily skin, I was really tempted but I decided against it as I thought it'd be a waste of money. Luckily for me, Ingrid from In Glossy Beauty got one in her Her Fashion Box subscription and she knew that the shade she got (Medium) would be to dark for her so she was gracious enough to offer it to me (Thanks Ingrid!).

Remember how I said that I hate BB creams? Well this is the exception... I was honestly so shocked when I used this that I even contemplated buying a backup. This BB cream contains 2% Salicylic Acid which is why it's aimed at people with oily skin. I have combination skin and I normally need to blot or powder during the day as my forehead can get quite oily. When I wear this BB cream, I've noticed that my forehead isn't quite as oily but my skin just looks dewy (as I don't set it with powder).

One thing you do have to keep an eye out for with this BB cream is that it's quite light in colour. Medium matches me absolutely spot on whilst Medium is every other BB cream I've tried has always been too dark. For reference, I'm currently a NC25 and I wear Laura Mercier's Silk Crème foundation in Bamboo Beige and Dior Diorskin Nude foundation in Beige 30.

Not sure why my arm had weird dent marks!
It provides a light coverage so I still definitely need concealer for the really pesky Mount Everest style pimples but it will cover the majority of my acne scarring. I waited until I had a breakout on my cheek so that I could take comparison photos for you. After all, there's no point showing you the coverage of the BB cream if my skin was looking good as you wouldn't be able to notice any difference. The photos below will show you the coverage it gives on my cheek when I'm having a not so good skin day.

Left: No makeup on
Right: With Maybelline Dream Pure 8-in-1 BB Cream
You can see that whilst the BB cream covers up redness, it doesn't cover up really gross pimples. I kind of expected that as BB creams only provide light coverage. I'm sorry that you had to be subjected to my gross break out haha but it was the only way to properly show you the coverage level. While you can see a lot of bumps on my skin on the photo on the right, it's not so noticeable in person. Camera's always pick up every imperfection don't they? :P

Whilst I wear a full face of makeup for uni and for work, I'm quite reluctant to do my makeup to go down to the shops on my days off. But like anyone else, I still want to look slightly presentable so this is my go to product to cover up the redness in my face. It's an absolute dream to apply and blends really well. It's such a light product that it really does look super natural.

I seriously STILL can't believe that I like this... I'm sorry that I ever doubted it! I could've missed a gem if it wasn't for Ingrid's generosity! The biggest reason as to why I like this BB cream is the feel of it on my skin. It doesn't actually feel like I'm wearing anything and if I touch my face, it's smooth, not tacky like other BB creams.

Saturday 17 August 2013

The Skincare Tag

I was tagged by Sarah from More Than Adored to do this skincare tag. It was really interesting to read her answers and it seemed easy enough to do so I thought I'd give it a shot :) Sarah is a total skincare junkie and she looks after her skin so I feel a little sheepish telling you guys about my skincare routine as I'm awful at it!

Describe your skincare routine in five words

Lazy, quick, experimental, fragrance-free and clueless.

What's your skin type?
I have combination skin. My cheeks (and especially around my mouth) is dry and my t-zone gets oily during the day.

What's your favourite skincare product?
Moisturisers. I can't live without moisturising my face! My favourite moisturiser at the moment is the La Roche Posay Toleriane as it's so gentle, doesn't have an offensive smell and is fragrance free so it doesn't irritate me :)

Top Blemish Zapper?
I haven't found one that works for me yet although I'm about to start using my Mario Badescu Drying Lotion which has worked for a lot of people.

Face wipes yay or nay?

I used to rely on face wipes to get rid of my makeup but I don't really use them anymore as Bioderma does a better job. I've used some really awful smelling ones and a lot of them break me out so I've stopped using them altogether.

Toner yay or nay?
I'm not a fan of toner. I don't feel "right" when I use toner because I think it's weird that it gets left on my face. I know that there's toners that you can wash off but I'm super duper lazy and that's one extra step that I can't be bothered to do.

High end skincare or high end makeup?
High end makeup for sure! I'm not that fussed about buying high end skincare although I do use mid range products like La Roche Posay, LUSH and Khiels. I love high end makeup though :D

What's the most unusual skincare product that you've tried?
When I was on holidays in China, I tried a hand cream that was a jar of spherical cream blobs made out of crushed pearls and gold flakes suspended in some sort of jelly-like substance. It was really odd and kind of creeped me out as the cream blobs were made to look like pearls.

You're in a French pharmacy and can only pick one item - what is it?
Bioderma. We pay like double the price here in Australia so I would stock up on it if I ever found myself in a French pharmacy.

Tell us your top skincare tip?
Clean your neck! I know that sounds weird but if you think about it, we blend our foundation down onto our necks to prevent foundation lines so it only makes sense that we need to include our necks into our skincare routine. I know that if I ever forget to clean my neck from makeup (which I do!), I can get pimples and it's really gross as my neck scars quite easily. We spend heaps of time and money to make sure that our face looks at its best so we should look after our necks (and décolletage's) too!

All of you are tagged! Please leave your link below if you decide to do it so that I can check out your answers too :)

Thursday 15 August 2013

Priceline Haul using vouchers :)

I can never resist a Priceline sale and I was itching to go buy stuff today so my boyfriend and I went shopping before lunch today :) I said a few weeks back that I would stop doing haul posts as they're not really all that interesting without swatches and stuff but I couldn't resist posting about today's haul as I got a really good deal by using some loyalty vouchers :D

Priceline has a store loyalty program that gives you quarterly vouchers based on how much you spent during the quarters. I normally get between $10-15 which is about 3 or 4% of my total spend each quarter. It's not a lot but the vouchers last for 12 months so I normally save them up and spend it together.

I had 2 vouchers totalling $27 today so my boyfriend took me to Priceline on the condition that I didn't spend more than $27.... well we all know that there was no way I could spend only $27 with all the sale items tempting me!

Covergirl Lip Perfection Jumbo Gloss Balm and
Nivea In Shower Body Lotion Skin Conditioner
Nivea In Shower Body Lotion Skin Conditioner:

I've been dying to get this Nivea skin conditioner as I'm super lazy with moisturising my body even though I know I should. I'm always too hot, too cold, too tired or too lazy and I always feel guilty about it but I think I can commit to moisturising in the shower :)

I had to search the entire store for this as I couldn't find it and then a sales assistant told me that they hadn't received any yet. Luckily, whilst I was lining up to pay, my boyfriend wandered off to smell the body washes and stuff and came across it.

This was $6.39 but normally retails for $7.99

Covergirl Lip Perfection Jumbo Gloss Balm:

I saw this a little while back but I convinced myself that I didn't need it. After all, I have truckloads of lip products and I'd probably never use it more than once or twice. However, every time I'm in Priceline, I'm always tempted by the blush shade which is a pretty neutral pink. Unfortunately, the Priceline that I went to today had sold out of the blush one so I got it in Watermelon instead which is a bright pink. I was really good and put back the coral one that I was also contemplating :)

I got this for $10 but it normally retails for $12.95

Maybelline Mega Plush Mascara,
Maybelline The Falsies Mascara and
Covergirl Clump Crusher Mascara
I didn't need a new mascara... but I still came home with 3! I currently have 4 opened tubes of mascara and half a dozen more unopened so I didn't need these 3 but I really couldn't choose between them. I'm currently using the Maybelline Mega Plush mascara and I really like it so I thought I'd get a backup. I've also tried Maybelline's the Falsies in the past but I couldn't remember if I liked it or not so I picked it up anyway. After all, the entire Maybelline range was 50% off!

I also saw the Covergirl Clump Crusher mascara on youtube the other night so I wanted to try it for myself. I was going to wait until it went on sale... and as fate would have it, it went on sale today :P

Maybelline Mega Plush mascara: $9.97 (normally $19.95)
Maybelline The Falsies mascara: $9.62 (normally $19.25)
Covergirl Clump Crusher mascara: $10 (normally $17.95)

My total for all 5 products was $45.98 but I paid $18.74 after using my vouchers. It was a pretty good haul considering that the total value of the products was $78.09. I felt like I was on that extreme couponing reality show :P

What's the best deal you've ever gotten?

Sunday 11 August 2013

Most freaking expensive lip balm ever?

I'd been eyeing off this little gem for almost 2 years now but I never bought it as the only place to buy it in Australia is at Mecca Cosmetica. Everyone knows that makeup (and skincare) is a huge rip off here which is why I normally buy of all my stuff online in the US and have it shipped over here. Even then, I still resisted buying this as after shipping costs, it was still really expensive. The lip balm that I'm talking about is the By Terry Baume De Rose and it used to retail for $92 but Mecca Cosmetica have started to reduce the prices of some of their products to "be more in line with international prices" (still a rip off though) and it's now retailing for $84. I know that it's still expensive but I couldn't resist it any longer!

By Terry Baume de Rose

The lip balm sits in a heavy frosted glass pot with a gold lid. It's absolutely gorgeous and it sits on my bedside table as I refuse to carry it around in my bag. As it's potted, I would feel really icky putting my fingers in it when I'm out and about. Who knows how many germs I have on my hands after holding onto poles on public transport and touching money and stuff. I use it after I shower and before I go to bed.

Pretty gold lid :)
By Terry Baume de Rose lip balm

The lip balm is actually surprisingly really hard. I was expecting it to be a lot softer but I kind of have to really work it to get enough lip balm to put on my lips. I'm thinking that it might have hardened up as it's winter at the moment so I'm hoping that it'll soften up when the weather starts getting warm again. It has a really light rose fragrance. It's not overwhelmingly strong but it's definitely noticeable even when it's on the lips.

Now to be honest, I'm not completely sold on it. I keep trying to forget that I spent $84 on it as I have $4 Nivea lip balms that do a way better job. My lips have been a bit dry recently and this lip balm hasn't done a huge amount to relieve that. I still have some peeling skin on my lips (I do exfoliate them every now and then) and this doesn't do anything for that.

Whilst I wouldn't repurchase it for myself, I think that it's a gorgeous lip balm to have sitting on your bedside/makeup table like a pretty perfume bottle and I think that it'd be a really cute present for someone. It's something that I'm sure most people would never buy for themselves but it would be well received as a (birthday?) present. Just because it hasn't worked amazingly for me doesn't meant that other people wouldn't love it. I've read so many positive reviews of it which is why I really wanted it so it does work for some people.

What's the most expensive lip balm that you've ever purchased?

Friday 9 August 2013

MAC Flamingo lipstick, new blog layout + GIVEAWAY!

I've been on the hunt for the perfect pink lipstick for months now and I think I finally found it! I've always loved the idea of having a nice pink lipstick that I can fall back on but I've never actually been able to find the right shade of pink. Almost all pink lipsticks look awful on me but when I saw MAC's Flamingo on someone else, I thought that I might have found the pink lipstick.

MAC's Flamingo

MAC's Flamingo

MAC's Flamingo lipstick is a limited edition lipstick that was most recently released as part of the All About Orange range. I was able to grab one during a restock of the collection but it's since sold out on both the Australian and US MAC websites.

Flamingo is a lustre lipstick and it's glossy on my lips. It's not quite sheer but it's definitely not a full opaque lipstick. It's kind of like a muted (MAC) Chatterbox lipstick or a fun and outgoing version of (MAC) Creme Cup. It's definitely an everyday lipstick that doesn't wash me out and gives a bit of colour to my lips.

Indoors facing sunlight

Indoors facing sunlight
Face of the day:
Laura Mercier Silk Crème Foundation in Bamboo Beige
Make Up For Ever Full Cover Concealer in shade 7
MAC Studio Finish Concealer in NC20
NARS Laguna Bronzer
Maybelline Mega Plush Mascara
MAC Eyebrow Pencil in Lingering
MAC lipstick in Flamingo

Photo taken indoors near a window/sunlight

Photo taken indoors in natural lighting

Now, I unintentionally ended up with 3 of these lipsticks so I've decided to give one away to one of my followers as a celebration for my new blog layout! If you haven't noticed, I changed my blog layout and I'm over the moon with how it looks now :) I worked with the amazing Sharnee from Suck My Lolly. I know that it can be really hard to find someone to design blog layouts so although I paid her for her work, I made sure that she put a little credit section for herself on my sidebar so go check her out if you're looking for someone to do a little magic on your blog :)

Onto the giveaway:

This giveaway will be done through Rafflecopter so make sure that you enter through the Rafflecopter form. The giveaway will end in 3 weeks!

It's an international giveaway but you must be following me via Google Friend Connect (GFC). The lipstick will be shipped out to the winner within 2 weeks after the giveaway finishes and please make sure that you have your parents permission to give me your address (to ship the lipstick to) if you're under the age of 18 (if you're the winner).

Good Luck!

What's your favourite pink lipstick?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday 6 August 2013

Born to Buy lip balm

My friend Sophie from Born To Buy started up her online lip balm business a few months ago and I've been meaning to tell you guys about it :) I love lip balms (I think every girl has too many stashed away in their handbags or drawers) and I couldn't resist her watermelon lip balm so she sent me one to review.

The Born To Buy lip balms retail for $9 (including shipping in Australia). There are currently 4 lip balm flavours available: Pink Lady Lemonade, Killa Vanilla, Watermelody and Berry Ripe. I was sent the Watermelody one as Sophie knows that I can't resist anything to do with watermelons.

Don't let the innocent looking lip balm fool you. It looks like a normal stick of lip balm but the first time I put it on, I think I had a spaz attack. It's the smoothest and most emollient lip balm I've ever tried! I was like "HOLY MOLY, WHAT ON EARTH IS THIS?!". I'm used to lip balms that provide short-term relief to my lips but this made my lips feel really soft for hours on end. If I put it on my lips before bed, my lips are super soft in the morning.

I promise that none of this post is biased because Sophie is my friend. To be honest, I didn't think that I would love it this much but it really blew me away! Definitely give it a go if you're in the market for a new lip balm :)

Sophie has also offered my readers a discount code. Use SQUEENJEN at checkout :)


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