Winter Face

Leaves falling, scarves and coats on, snow coming down. Oh hold on, we are in Australia. Very minimal snow falling, and instead sunny days, cold nights and inconsistent weather conditions is probably a more accurate summary! With winter comes the dreaded ‘Winter Face’ – skin that needs some serious TLC. Fear not, for your beloved blogger will tell you some great stuff to slap on this winter!

FACE : DERMALOGICA SKIN SMOOTHING CREAM

skin smoothing cream

This stuff will save your skin over winter. All of Dermalogica’s moisturisers are great, but personally, this one gives me the right balance between moisture and oil control. It is gentle on the skin, smells good, and has great packaging (I hate any moisturiser that involves dipping one’s finger). Don’t let the price scare you – it’s worth the $$$.
rrp: $79.00 (look online, you’ll find it cheaper)

MASK : LUSH OATIFIX

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Your dry skin will love you for this mask. It’s made with mashed bananas, ground almonds and loads of oats (so it smells delicious). The oats will calm down any irritated or flaky skin while soothing any redness. Not great if you have oily or combination skin (luckily Lush has a huge range of masks to select from).
rrp: $13.95 

SERUM : CLARINS HYDRAQUENCH INTENSIVE SERUM

clarins hydraquench

It may seem small, but it is mighty. This serum is light and not oily like many serums can be. This is my go-to product after flying as it adds back moisture to dehydrated skin really quickly. If you do go to a Clarins counter, try to get a sample size of this. It is often included in Gift-with-purchase specials, so keep your eyes peeled. That will make the price much easier to swallow.
rrp: $72.00 

HANDS : THE BODY SHOP HEMP HAND PROTECTOR

hemp hand protector

Don’t those stickers on the image convince you? This hand cream is the shiz for dry skin. I think one of the driest areas I get in winter is on my hands, so this stuff is a saviour. The packaging could be better (I like to apply hand cream in the car, so the lid is annoying), but the stuff truly does the job.
rrp: $19.95 for 100mL

LIPS : BITE BEAUTY AGAVE MASK

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This lip mask seems a bit ridiculous – like seriously, a mask for the lips? Bite Beauty are known for their amazing lip products and this lip mask is no less than anything else they have produced. It can be near impossible to get your hands on it (Sephora stocks it) and it is expensive – so it you are feeling like a splurge or need serious lip care, this is it.
rrp: $38.00 

Alternatively, I think there is nothing wrong with good ol’ Lucas’ Pawpaw Ointment. Cheap as chips (rrp ~$5.00), readily available and has it’s own little cult status, if you are that way inclined (I know I am!). lucas-paw-paw-ointment-25g-tube.jpg

And remember, if irritation occurs, discontinue use…

Until next time – enjoy the blasting wind and winter fashion!

Your at-home nail saviour

I feel like a bit of a Jerry Seinfeld when I say this… but have you ever noticed how crazy nails have gotten? I know I have mentioned this before, but it doesn’t appear to be a trend set aside for beauty guru’s such as Dress Your Face and it doesn’t appear to be dying? My breaking point was watching the server at a local cafe attempt to type in my order on a touch screen and then watch her prepare my coffee – I do not want that bacteria hell hole near something I am about to consume, kthx.

crazy nails

I think these nails continue to gain followers simply because you can’t escape them – walk into any nail salon and it is assumed you are there for acrylic claws with Shellac. In fact, I went into a nail salon for a polish on my natural nails and took a polish colour with me and they looked at me like I had walked in and asked them to paint my body in the polish. So, the only way to escape them is either by being very firm about what you want or by having an understanding nail artist (as I know some of my friends do have). Otherwise, you’re on your own – which is JUST FINE. It involves a tiny bit of investment and planning initially – but once you’re set, you’ll be loving life.

So, let me help you work out your at-home nail salon.

Cuticle Softener

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This makes a huge difference and I have no doubt this is much higher quality product than anything used in a walk-in nail salon. This stuff really makes you feel like you are in a salon and will make the cuticle push-back/removal process much easier.
$15.99 Priceline

Cuticle trimmer

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They seem like a pricey investment, but they really are worth the investment to amp up your at-home salon.
$30.59 at Priceline

Cuticle stick

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Cheap as chips and you can find these anywhere – supermarket, $2 store, pharmacy, etc.
$2.99 Priceline

File

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It’s up to you whether you want to invest in a metal file or a nail board like this one. I like to use either, but like the idea of this kind of nail board which can be disposed of eventually. Again, cheap as chips.
Sally Hansen $2.95 at Priceline

Nail Oil

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This stuff may seem unnecessary, but remember, we are creating a salon experience here! In fact, by adding this to your regime, you are creating a better experience! This oil will last you forever – I have the same bottle from over 5 years ago! You should see an improvement in nail health by applying this to your nails after filing.
$15.99 Priceline

Quick drying nail polish

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Regular readers know I love all things Essie and this stuff is the shiz. Essie ‘Good to Go’ quick drying top coat will make you very happy. If you’re anything like me, the time you get to do your nails is close to bedtime which means you are at high risk of a fabric imprint! This stuff dries so quickly, so you can go to sleep and apply it in the morning or better yet, apply it about 10 mins before bedtime and sleep easy.
$17.95 Priceline

So, as you can see, you can create a salon at home with affordable items from Priceline. The beautiful thing about Priceline is that it will all go on sale at some point – so you can slowly add to your collection as items are marked down. You can resist the salon experience and have gorgeous nails – think of all the money and time saved!

And if irritation occurs… discontinue use. 

7 ways to a Sunday Treat Yo’Self

Regular readers will know I’m all about the Sunday pamper and regular Facebook stalkers will know I’m a big fan of lists… so why not combine my love of both?

1. Have a bath

The perfect day for a long bath! Treat yo’self to a Lush bath bomb during the week, and chuck it in – you can thank me for this suggestion later.

2. Do a face mask

Go for an exfoliating mask, like The Sanctuary Warming Microbrasian Polish, or hydrate with the GlamGlow Thirstymud Hydration Mask. If it’s really overdue, go crazy and do an at-home facial. After a bath or shower, use an exfoliating scrub (Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant is my choice for at-home facial standard) then put on a hydrating mask (Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Overnight Hydrating Masque if you want a mask to sleep in; GlamGlow for a wash-off option).

3. Wash your brushes

Even though this is work, it truly is a treat yo’self. You will love yourself the next time you pick those brushes up and apply your makeup. If you aren’t sure how to clean your brushes, read here. I know the gold standard is to wash brushes after every use, but who honestly has time for that? Every Sunday is pretty good for casual makeup users, in my opinion.

4. Drink some tea

I know tea isn’t for everyone, but T2’s Gorgeous Geisha truly is – it is the perfect combination of calming and flavour – if you don’t like the bitterness of regular green tea or alternatively, love green tea – give this a go! I will usually brew a small pot to drink while I have a bath – makes me feel like I’m at a spa.

5. Sleep early

Those that know me will know that this is a “do as I say, not as I do” point. I’m hopeless with sleeping early on a Sunday, but when I do, I love myself for it. No better way to start the work week than feeling well rested.

6. Paint your nails

Life is too short to have plain nails – I am really anti acrylic nails and basically hate going to nail salons, which means an at-home manicure is the only way. If you are trying to save some money or just want to try out some of your polish collection, set aside some time for nail care. If you find yourself consistently doing this, invest in salon pieces – cuticle cutter, cuticle oil, nail files etc.

7. Look after yourself

I know these aren’t all beauty related but forgive me for suggesting life is more than just beauty! If you are anything like me, the week is totally hectic and jam-packed. Social commitments, work and fitness basically take up the entirety of the week – so take an hour out of the week to do something that may feel like it could be better spent doing something else. You will love yourself for it. Even if it means reading a book for an hour, listening to a podcast, watching something you usually don’t have time for, talking to a loved one on Skype – you will seriously set yourself up for a great week. And it’s not totally unrelated to beauty – whatever you feel on the inside exudes on the outside.

pamper night

Happy Sunday!

If irritation occurs, discontinue use… 

Lock It In: Spray

The final step: tshhhhhh. That’s the sound of the spray, in case you were confused. My personal preferred use of sprays is for long days where I want my makeup to stay on point or when I have serious party makeup. This does not stretch to work days or short events – there is something about these sprays that make me feel too sealed in and therefore prone to breakouts. I don’t actually break out when wearing them, but mentally they feel a bit weird to wear on a daily basis.

STAGE 3: SPRAY

Urban Decay

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Ok, this stuff is the bomb. This was my first foray into setting sprays and what a good bloody foray that turned out to be. Urban Decay has three types: All Nighter, De-Slick Oil Control and Chill ($49/Mecca). I’m an All Nighter gal – I figure if you control oil with primer and powder, the spray step is really all about just making sure none of it moves.

Model in a Bottle

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Yup, the name is dumb/humorous but this is one of the original HG’s of setting sprays. It used to come in a really tacky looking perfume style bottle, but I see now they are trying to look more professional. They have two sprays (Original & Sensitive Skin) as well as an eyebrow sealer and lipstick sealer – haven’t used eyebrow or lips version, so can’t vouch for those. It’s an American product which can be found on Makeup and Glow ($35).

Makeup Forever

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Argh, I love this stuff even more than the Urban Decay spray. The Urban Decay just feels a bit too wet, whereas this stuff feels a bit lighter. It really does lock everything in and for me is party use only ($17 30mL/Sephora & $39 125mL/Sephora). I have had the travel version for 18 months, and although I don’t use it a lot, it has stretched further than I expected.

MAC has their classic and well-known Prep + Prime Fix + which a lot of people use as a setting spray. From what I understand, it is actually not a setting spray, but rather a spray to use prior to makeup application. I won’t lie, I’ve spritzed it at the end of my makeup at times, but more to give myself a glow, rather than to set my makeup. Use this to wet brushes and change looks when you need to add liquid, but don’t trick yourself into using this as a setting spray – you will be disappointed.

So, that ends my “Lock It In” series. Hope you enjoyed it and found it helpful – if you are about to hit the wedding guest circuit, you are set!

If irritation occurs, discontinue use… 

Lock It In: Powders

You claim to be serious about locking in and securing your blending and buffing? Then get ready to set it with powder.

STAGE 2: POWDER

Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Powder

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As the name suggests… it really does keep everything in place. Use a fluffy brush, tap it lightly and then press it into your skin. This stuff will hold it all in place. Colour range is extensive and it is very easy to source ($50/Myer).

Laura Mercier Loose Setting Powder – Translucent 

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Haven’t heard of this stuff? How’s that rock you’ve been living under treating you? This stuff is the HG of powders and you aren’t a YouTuber if this hasn’t been mentioned before. It’s translucent, so no fussing with colour matching. Same as above, use a fluffy brush, tap it lightly and press into your skin. There is a high risk of using too much powder when it is in packaging like this – do not allow yourself to be a cake face, so be careful and make sure you are tapping off excess.

Urban Decay De-Slick Mattifying Powder 

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If you are oil-prone and really want something that won’t make you look oily, this stuff is for you. It’s a weird white powder which should be used sparingly – it could potentially show up in flash photography if you are not careful. Lightly apply it by pressing it into the parts of your face that are the most oil-prone. It looks weird but it will do the job. I personally don’t use this just to set my foundation, but rather if I’m worried I am at risk of looking oily – for me, that is usually on a hot day or on a day where I am going to have heavy makeup on for a long time ($52/Mecca).

Believe it or not, that’s all I’ve got in the powder domain. I’m not a big powder lover and think one of these three will do the job. No cheaper recommendations unfortunately, I think most of the drugstore brands are pretty cakey and not worth the trouble. If you have any cheaper brands you think are worth it, please comment below. When you are going to use some powder, make sure you generously apply moisturiser beforehand.

If irritation occurs, discontinue use… 

Lock It In: Primers

Hello to you all on the interweb! Hoping you had a wonderful Easter long weekend – did your weekend feel like it was only 2 days, like mine? I hope you had plenty of chocolate and enjoyed some makeup adventures like I did!

So, the wedding season is fast approaching for me, which means long days and blending until my arms are numb. This also means I need to seriously consider all my options to really set my makeup and lock it in. Just a heads up that this will be part of a series of blog posts (primers, powders and sprays) – get excited!

STAGE 1: PRIMER
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Take this advice seriously – if you want a polished finish, and want your makeup to have maximum staying power – use a good primer. There are a lot on the market that target specific skin concerns, so choose wisely.

Smashbox

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My go-to primer for regular use – Smashbox Photo Finish (RRP $58/Mecca Maxima). They have a great range – hydrating, pore minimising, blemish control, colour correcting and SPF. Get a sample and see which, if any, suits you. If it doesn’t work for you, fear not – there are plenty of other brands.

Hourglass

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This is a much raved-about primer, and is a much simpler choice than the Smashbox range. Hourglass have two primers – oil-free ($83/$115) and an oil-filled serum ($104) – it’s not actually called oil-filled, obviously! They both come in a travel size ($29/$35). I have a little sample bottle that has been useful on many occasions – it is my go-to primer when I have a serious party/event.

Urban Decay

Screen Shot 2016-03-29 at 10.31.01 am.pngI’m not a regular use of this primer, but that is related to allergies rather than the actual design of the product. This is an eyeshadow specific one – for a serious event, I will prime my face and then prime my eyes separately. I do think this is a really decent primer and for a while, I didn’t react to it, but sadly, now it’s out of my rotation. Easily sourced in Australia, available at Mecca ($33).

Soap & Glory

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I know it’s highly irritating to read about products that aren’t available in Aus – but for those curious as to what I’m using regularly on my eyes, this is the one. I love most things Soap & Glory, and this primer makes me happy. Being the hoarder I am, I buy this in bulk when in the UK (£8/Boots UK).

Face of Australia

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Although I don’t recommend this for party makeup, if you are new to the primer market and want to try something that isn’t going to cost you a lot, I think this stuff fits the bill. I recommend trying it out on a workday to just get a feel for it ($12.95/Priceline).

Laura Mercier

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I have to finish with my favourite. This stuff is THE SHIZ. The staff at the DJ’s Laura Mercier counter will ignore you and act all bothered that you wanted help – so just go it alone. Try all the different types – trust in me and all the YouTube bloggers that bang on about this stuff. There are a wide variety of formulas – radiance, oil-free, hydrating, bronzer, SPF and mineral. I’m not entirely sure what the difference is between say, the hydrating and mineral – let me know if you have the answer. My choice in this range is the Radiance – I bloody love to glow ($50/David Jones).

Make Up For Ever released a range of primers for different skin concerns about 12 months ago and obviously I rushed out and bought it immediately. I had huge hopes but I didn’t feel they lived up to the hype. They don’t make my list of recommended products, but check them out if you are in Sephora sometime.

My final comment on the use of primers is that I don’t think it can truly replace a good moisturiser – so moisturise first, let that set and then slap on your primer. They claim to be a moisturiser replacement but that’s a no from me.

And as always, if irritation occurs, discontinue use… 

Beat Yo’self 30

The 30th season has well and truly arrived, and it includes my own movement into the next decade. What better way to celebrate than to “beat my face” and also engage in “treat yo’self”! This post is going to be link heavy, but I don’t pretend to be someone who does tutorials, nor am I going to do a tutorial better than Lisa Eldridge or Wayne Goss – just go to the originals! So here are my go-to tutorials and tips if you want to give yourself a bit of extra oomph for a 30th (although this is not restricted to 30th’s only!).

CONTOUR

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How to Contour Like a Pro – Invisible

Wayne Goss is amazing, and this tutorial is #onpoint. I love the idea of contouring, but am so anti sharp lines and cake face (as I’ve said before, you are not a bakery!). I watched this video once, used Wayne’s techniques and was loving myself sick instantly. This is perfect for someone who wants to have dimension, but is acutely aware that most 30 year olds don’t want a drag look.

COLOUR

The beauty of the summer party season is that anything goes! I think the lighter the better, but if you’re into bold colours, that works as well. I’m really not into tanning, bronzers, sun kissed skin and so on, but colour is important! There is NO excuse to be pale at a party during summer! This does NOT mean you need a fake tan, it does not mean you need to wear a darker foundation – it just means you need to consider some dimension and glow. I love porcelain complexions and think it can be so ultrachic. If you are a MAC NC10-type (i.e. very fair) go for a Clinique Cheek Pop. They are so cute, perfect for Spring/Summer and completely useless for my complexion!

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The Summer Edit | ViviannaDoesMakeup

Vivianna is a gorgeous British blogger/Youtuber and has great tips if you want something subtle or are really concerned about looking clownish.

For those blessed with more tanned complexions or want something with a bit more pop, you will never go wrong with the NARS cult classics – Orgasm and Deep Throat – they have a summery shimmer without looking like you’ve massacred yourself in body glitter (those reading who are 30 will definitely recall the Body Glitter Craze of 2000). Screen Shot 2016-02-19 at 10.38.11 pm.png

EYES

Those who know me well know how much I love colour on the eyes – but it’s tough during summer. Sydney summer’s can be hard work – humid one hour, 40 degrees the next hour, pouring rain the 3rd hour and then bizarrely cool 4 hours later. This is a lethal combination to anyone who is prone to oiliness – eyeshadow creases and panda eyes. I honestly don’t know if a particular product can help all of these rapid climate changes, so less colour is more when you aren’t confident re: the staying power. Feline eyes will never go out of fashion, so go for it. Make sure your eyeliner won’t budge (go for liquid or gel) and keep it simple and chic. One of the simplest yet best tutorials I’ve seen on a feline eye (and I promise you, I’ve watched loads!) is this one by Charlotte Tilbury.

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The Feline Flick |Charlotte Tilbury

LIPS

It’s summer and either you are 30, or you are about to enjoy the company of 30 year olds – you can do a bold lip! Red, orange red, pink, berry, purple – whatever you want!

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Easy Summertime Pink Makeup Tutorial

Honestly, look up any of Lisa’s lips tutorials – whatever look you go for, just make sure your cheeks balance it out – you do not want to look washed out! A good tip is if you are going for a bold lip, do them first so you can get a feel for how much colour is needed on your cheeks.

I’m told that the greatest joy of entering your 30’s is that you basically don’t give a hoot anymore about the things that really don’t matter. What a thrilling thought and I think it rings true for makeup as well! If you are 30, you have been wearing some form of makeup for more than half of your life – you got this! These are just some tips if you are hitting the party circuit, but do whatever it is that you want. Enjoy!

And if irritation occurs, discontinue use… 

The Teen Face

We all remember our awkward teen years, right? Bad eyeliner, poorly matched foundation and Lip Smackers… surely it wasn’t just me? The teen makeup market looks totally different from when I was in that phase, but I think a line needs to be drawn somewhere. Girls are going to be girls, but what do I actually recommend for those starting their makeup journey?

BASE
We all know teenagers don’t actually need foundation or significant coverage, but they just don’t listen! Acne can never be truly covered up, so no need to waste your time with a thick foundation. We all dream of an even skin tone however, so if we can’t win the battle, let’s help.

revlon bb cream

I keep bangin’ on about this stuff because it really is so good. Revlon Photoready BB Cream has SPF and pretty decent coverage – it really is a skin perfector, it will help accentuate and hide all the right things ($24.95).

EYES
Young lady, step away from the eyeliner. You do not need it. I know Taylor Swift looks amazing with her cat eye, but she is literally a star. You are not Tay Tay. Instead, go for an eyeshadow! I admit I have always loved eyeshadow, and wore it as a teen rather than eyeliner, but this habit has not changed for me.

FOA Nude Palette

One can never go wrong with a palette – but we are not talking about the Urban Decay Naked palette for a 14 year old. Face of Australia is such an underrated brand in my opinion. They have released 2 nude-ish palettes: Nude and Naked which retail for $18.95. A smokey eye is possible for a party or a brown shadow across the lash line for a softer eyeliner look.

LIPS
Ok, I know Lip Smackers aren’t really a thing anymore for anyone with MQ (Makeup Quotient). Go for a balm that is in a crayon form – easy to apply, has enough colour to add variety to your life and is much classier than a chapstick.

covergirl lip balm

Covergirl Lip Perfection Jumbo Gloss Balm is the right price and product. $12.95 from Priceline means it will go on sale, there will be no tears if it’s lost or stolen (remember how valuable makeup was at that age?), and it will add some moisture back to lips. If Covergirl isn’t your thing, there are loads of versions of these balms in every major brand in Priceline.

CHEEKS
Ok, this was something I didn’t really touch in high school, but nor was there such thing as Instagram or YouTube tutorials when I was in high school! Now, be warned that most people are committing crimes with bronzer – so try a blush instead.

savvy blush

Savvy by DB is perfect for those learning. I’ve made lots of errors with blush in my life and continue to make errors, but until you can own classic universal shades like NARS’ “Orgasm”, go for something cheap and easy. $4.99 from Priceline and there are 6 decent shades.

LASHES

Mascara was probably the most irresistible makeup item when I was a teenager. It made such a difference to my eyes and I just loved it. I find it really hard to wear on a daily basis as an adult (disclaimer is that my eyelashes are dark, so I don’t need the colour), but this may be because I wore it so religiously in my teen years.

essence mascara

Oh how I wish something like Essence existed when I was 14. A brand that is cheap and easy to find, has a huge range of products but isn’t intentionally trying to break you out (such as products that are found in a $2 shop). The range is cheap as chips, and when you’re a teenager, you really just want a bit of colour and some volume (or at least that’s all teenagers should want from mascara). This stuff is $5.75 from Priceline and can be chucked at the 3 month mascara life cut-off with no hesitation.

As for the rest: contouring, strobing, highlight, lip liner, liquid eyeliner etc… Well, you have to earn your stripes for that stuff. Plus, does a teenager’s weekly allowance really allow for that kind of makeup use? I can barely afford it as an adult!

If irritation occurs, discontinue use… 

 

Resist the bejewelled nail

Has anybody noticed what has happened with fingernails? Not so long ago, people were blogging about gradient nails and galaxy nails, and now suddenly nails are like a battle to the death.

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For the record, I am a huge @dressyourface fan – her makeup is on point, her business is #goals and she comes across as quite a beautiful person (as far as one can tell on Instagram!). She is ultra-glam, so her nails make perfect sense – but checkout assistant at Woolworths? This seems a bit aggressive for you.

I admit I am a nail traditionalist – a reformed nail-biter, a hater of cheap nail salons (I have done my time in those places but now see the light) and resistor to acrylic nails (have also done my time there). So what’s a girl to do if she doesn’t want plastic nails that can cause serious injury? Well… read on!

Nails Inc.nails inc

This stuff is very nice – high-gloss and minimal fuss. The colour range has improved a lot since I first saw the Gel Effect about 12 months ago. Retails for $26.95 at David Jones. I’m hardly a Nails Inc expert as I’ve only ever tried a few (did you see the price?!), but the packaging and colours do intrigue me.

Rimmel Salon Pro

rimmel salon pro

Decent brush, huge range of colours and awesome prices (currently $4.48 at Priceline). Rimmel has a range of polish types, but this seems to be the best value, and best pay-off. Your manicure will last you a fair few days and the actual formula will remain decent for a long time – I’ve had Essie polishes dry out faster than this one.

O.P.I. Nail Lacquer

OPI Berry

Ah, once the jewel in the nail polish crown! I was a long time devotee of OPI, back when it was a clear outlier in the nail market – expensive and luxurious. I still think this is one of the longest wearing of the home manicure polishes and the best when you want a very classic shade. If you want something really on trend and fun, OPI doesn’t do it, I’m afraid. I’ve yet to try any of their new lines such as the Gel version, so let me know if you have any thoughts. Retails for $19.95 at department stores, but not impossible to find it in a bargain bin in Gloss/Trade Secret etc. My, how far you fell, OPI.

Essiecolors_summer_sunset-sneaks

Essie knocked the crown off from OPI, in my personal opinion. It came along, not as cheap as brands such as Rimmel, but not as expensive as OPI, and took over the home manicure market. I am not a blind fan however; I recently bought a bottle which dried up after 2 uses – very disappointing! Luckily, I only ever buy it on sale at Priceline (RRP is $16.95). I’ll admit that the fact that it goes on sale made me a fan of it over OPI!  Essie’s range is updated regularly and is very fun and fast – which of course means there are some hideous shades and some lovely ones also.

So, if you are old school like me, and enjoy slapping on a colour at home when you have some free time, give these a go (and let me know!). Here’s to claiming back regular nails in 2016!

And if irritation occurs, discontinue use… 

Goodbye 2015 – Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to you all – here’s to another year of beauty and blogging. I got a shameful summary of my 2015 blogging two days ago – it has motivated me to include ‘more blogging’ in my 2016 resolutions.

Now, I hate favourites posts – particularly the ‘monthly favourites’ which are common amongst YouTubers. I feel like I’ve expressed this thought before so I won’t go into it again – but basically, I don’t like it.

However, I do like end of year wrap-up posts, and thought I would share the things I honestly loved this year – I think a year is plenty of time to really love or hate a product. So, let’s get into my ‘Top 15 of 2015’- I will warn you now that I created these collages so you didn’t have to flick through a 15 picture post, but they aren’t great – forgive me!

Collage 1

Round 1: Basics

QV Moisturising Day Cream ($12.99)
This brand can do no wrong – so good for the skin, minimal nasties and this moisturiser has SPF 30.

Bioderma Sebum H20 Cleanser & Make Up Remover (100mL $20.99)
Not the cheapest water cleanser out there, but I love this one. I have been loving eyeliner wings in the later part of this year, and this stuff is a God-send for correcting inevitable errors. I use it to correct mistakes and when makeup goes horribly wrong, rather than as a whole-face cleanser.

Organic Coconut Oil ($5.99)
This stuff lasts forever, you can use it in your cooking as well as in your hair. It’s so cheap and easy to store – I forget about it sometimes, but when I need it, it’s always there. Oil of choice for my hair.

Lush Shower Scrub ‘Rub Rub Rub’ ($14.95)
I didn’t know how much I needed this until I finished the container! This stuff lasted me ages, smells nice (of course it does, it’s Lush!) and really does the job. I’ve never been crazy about scrubs before as I don’t feel they make a difference – but this stuff does. I use it as a dry scub with exfoliating gloves before a shower once a week.

Josie Maran Argan Oil (15mL $23.00)
Now, the only thing that bothers me about this is the price – but it’s truly worth it. I was getting some really dry skin under one eye this year (arghhhh is this what ageing is??) and this stuff always works a treat. 15mL is plenty if you use it sparingly – a tiny drop really goes a long way. I got this bottle as a sample in the US, so it enrages me that Mecca Cosmetica charges $23.00 for a sample item essentially.

Collage 2

Round 2: Colour

Make Up Forever Aqua Rouge ($US24.00)
This was a little number I picked up from Sephora in a 50 Shades of Grey pack – forgive me for that part, but this stuff is amazing! It is truly a long wear liquid lipstick, and although I find it very drying, it is perfect when you really want a lip colour to go the distance. I rarely use the provided gloss, but I’m not a gloss gal.

Bourjois Mega Liner ($24.00)
I’m not a wing expert, but this stuff helps me get success more than any of my other liquid pen liners. The angled tip helps, and the colour is long wearing.

Becca x Jaclyn Hill Shimmering Sun Perfector – Champagne Pop ($60.00)
Errrr, is there any “2015 Top Product” lists that don’t include this stuff? This product was a cult item and people seemed to go nuts for it – including me. I sourced it from the US months ago, but it hit our sunny shores recently. If you are a fan of highlighter and are considering it – go for it. It’s not my ultimate highlighter, but it is very nice and I don’t want you to miss out.

NARS Velvet/Satin Lip Pencil ($39.00)
I kept my eyes peeled for a gift pack last Christmas, and I have no regrets. I’ve been a long-time lover of lip crayons (Chubby Stick, anyone?) – I just love how no-fuss they are. The NARS version has more pigment than the Clinique Chubby Stick, so it’s good when you want something more without the additional effort. There are some very bright and deep shades though, so I can’t say they can all be applied without a mirror!

Collage 3

Round 3: Just Awesome

These are a bit of a mish-mash of products, but I swear I’ve tried other versions of each of these things. These are the winners (said in the tone of Law & Order “these are their stories”).

Revlon Photoready BB Cream Skin Perfector ($24.95)
This is my summer time hero – when you want an even tone, without the thick coverage of foundation. I have been using this for ages and have tried others – this actually has decent coverage given it’s thin formula. There are plenty of other tinted creams on the market – but if it doesn’t provide coverage, why would I put it on my skin instead of a QV moisturiser?

Essie Good To Go Top Coat ($17.95)
I’m always surprised when my friends talk about other quick drying top coats – why would I get anything other than this? It has a great brush and is truly quick drying – you will not wake up with fabric imprint if you use this appropriately.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Perfect Brow Pencil ($US23.00)
Holler at me if you know where I can get this in Australia. She has loads of other eyebrow products available on the Aussie market, but I’ve yet to find this one. I know people love the Pomade (I can’t afford the 10 mins required for that stuff) and the Brow Wiz, but I love this pencil. It is soft without melting and can still provide a lot of definition.

Anastasia Contour Kit ($66.00)
I picked up the original kit last year in the US and love this stuff. I’m not big on contouring – I don’t chisel my face before going to work or to coffee, but I do love to have a play around with this stuff for bigger events. I’ve tried some of the other competitors but this stuff is the original and the best. If you want to learn about contouring, don’t waste your $$$ on the others.

Beauty Blender Pro Sponge ($27.00)
I’ve had the pink sponge and now the black sponge – black wins. I got mine on eBay and it is awesome. Get it. You won’t regret it.

vjosu mua

Now my final “Top 15” is my makeup inspo of 2015 – Vjosa Pakacu. I started following her on Instagram and there isn’t anyone who posts looks that motivate me any more than Vjosa. My original love will always be Lisa Eldridge, but they belong in different categories – Lisa does celebs, Vjosa does clients around NYC – a regular MUA, if you will. If you don’t follow her and like IG makeup inspo, go find her @vjosamua

And that’s a wrap! Welcome into the new year, and I hope it’s a great one!

And remember, if irritation occurs, discontinue use…