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… 

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Paint the Town Pink (with Lipstick!)

I’m a Simpsons fan, so the title today is a really obscure reference to a line from it – props for those who get it!

So, summer here in Sydney is saying goodbye, but before it goes and Autumn and berry shades set in, I’m trying to embrace shades of pink. Clearly from my heading photo, you can see I’m a pink fan, and regular readers will have noticed I’m always raving about pink nail shades. So here are some of my tips and recommendations for wearing a bold, pink lip…

Rimmel Pencil Collage

Firstly, you need a lip liner – bold lips need some boundaries, and the lip liner will give you this. My go-to pink liner is Rimmel Lasting Finish 1000 Kisses in Indian Pink [$8.50 at Priceline]. It’s a fairly universal pink liner, and works for the range of products and types of shades I’m going to cover below. I can’t say if it lasts 1000 kisses as I haven’t tested this claim!

Chi Chi Collage

Matte: Chi Chi ‘Bimbo’ [$18.95 Myer]
This is a killer matte shade, for a decent price. The packaging is divine (sorry I forgot to take a photo with the lid on, but it is really pretty) and the lipstick is really pigmented. It layers onto the Rimmel liner perfectly, but unfortunately doesn’t have great staying power – like all bold lips, it will need heavy monitoring while wearing it.

Revlon Lip Stain CollageStain: Revlon Just Bitten Kissable in ‘Sweetheart Valentine’ [$17.95 Priceline]
This is easily one of my most wearable bold pinks – you get great colour payoff and a decent wear time with this. It is a stain, but if you blot it with a tissue after application, you will really make sure it sinks in. A liner isn’t necessary with this, but I like to pair it anyway, just for longevity. I’ve managed to keep this on for a whole day at work which involves a lot of talking as well as eating lunch.

Revlon Lip Butter CollageLight: Revlon Lip Butter in ‘Lollipop’ [$21.95 Priceline]
This isn’t my favourite for a bold pink, but is a great way of trialling pink without committing to a strong lip for a whole event. This will get eaten up/fade, but that is just the nature of Lip Butters. You do get a nice pigment from it, it just doesn’t wear for very long. Out of all the products in this post, this is the only one I would dare to try putting on without a mirror – the texture of lip butter means you can touch up lightly and it will spread over your lips fairly well.

MAC Lip Collage

MAC: Retro Matte in ‘All Fired Up’ [$36.00 MAC/Myer]
There can’t be a lip post without a MAC inclusion! So it gets it’s own category – this particular MAC shade is part of the Retro Matte collection, and is a new product to my pink collection. I haven’t worn it much, so can’t vouch for its wear time, but as a MAC product, I can trust it will be excellent quality and bloody gorgeous.

YSL Lip CollageGloss: YSL Rouge Volupte Shine in ‘Pink in Devotion’ [$55.00 Myer/David Jones]
This is a complete luxe inclusion, and makes the cut just because of the beautiful packaging. Don’t get me wrong, it is a gorgeous colour, and feels really lovely on, but it’s not particularly long wearing or even that bold. I’ve included it as a gloss because it really functions as one – it wears as long as a gloss typically does, and has the same level of pigment – the upside is that it is not sticky at all! It’s really expensive, so it also doubles up in the ‘Treat Yoself’ category.

Final Tips
When wearing a bold pink lip, it’s important to keep your eyes pretty basic – I personally go for a basic gold shade, and try to keep it light (often with brown eyeliner or a thin black liner). A pinkish blusher is a nice match-up, but I recommend applying it after lips, so you have an idea of how much colour you need for your face. Finally, keep it really flawless for your base – be meticulous with concealer, and blend blend blend (you are not a bakery – no cake allowed)!

If you need some further inspiration, check out my favourite YouTuber Lisa Eldridge’s Easy Summertime Pink Makeup tutorial – she has some great tips, and looks stunning (as always!).

Let me know how you feel about pink and if you’re willing to give it a try! And as always, if irritation occurs, discontinue use (though a colour can’t irritate your skin)!

Best of 2014

Happy new year, readers! Hope you have all been enjoying some sort of break, whether you celebrate Christmas or not. I personally don’t celebrate (though I do enjoy it, possibly due to my love of shiny things), so I headed to Hawaii for a beach break. Regular readers will know that I love the USA, and need little encouragement to visit. The Australian dollar isn’t quite as strong as it has been in the past, but Hawaii did not fail me with it’s offerings. I was flying for NYE, which suited me just fine, because I’m a bit of a NYE grinch.

So as 2015 rolls in, I think it’s customary for bloggers to post their 2014 favourites… right? I drafted this very easily, so turns out I had some very clear favourites in 2014. I selected one clear standout product in each category of Skincare, Eyes, Face, Lips, Hair & Nails.

Best of 2014

Skincare Clarins HydraQuench Cream
This stuff is so gorgeous and was a late-2014 discovery. I picked up a Christmas gift set that included this cream, the matching serum and a third item I haven’t even taken out of the bag yet. This cream is extremely hydrating, sinks into the skin beautifully and feels amazing. My only gripe is the packaging – I hate jars you have to dip your fingers into, as it doesn’t seem that hygienic plus I find I use a lot more product. Clarins does great skincare and is really easy to find in department stores and salons. This cream retails at $65.00 [Myer]. Not the cheapest product, but it’s worth the $$$.

Eyes Stila Magnificent Metals Foil Finish Eyeshadow
I did a whole blog post on this, so it’s probably not a big surprise to regular readers that it’s a favourite. This stuff is fiddly to use, definitely not an item for everyday and is crazy expensive – but I haven’t seen much else on the market that does the same job. Retails for $44.00 [Mecca Cosmetica].

Face Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette
2014 saw me increase my highlighter use as part of my everyday routine. Now I’m addicted to using it to add some colour to my face without adding blush. It really adds dimension to my face, and helps fake a healthy glow. I had read a lot about this highlighting palette before picking it up in the US, and after first use I realised why it was the holy grail for so many beauty bloggers. The powder is like velvet, and the tiniest bit goes a long way. Face palettes can sometimes be rubbish, because they try to cater for too many skin tones, but this palette seems universal. Retails for $76.00 [Mecca Cosmetica].

Lips Rimmel Exaggerate Lip Liner
Finally something that does not cost a bomb! I’ve been a long time lover of Rimmel as a brand, but this was my first year of buying the Exaggerate lip liner – which is their automatic wind up pencil. I generally don’t like automatic pencils because I feel they never have a decent point and the wind up mechanism can die before the pencil runs out – but Rimmel does not fail. I picked up the nude shade (the shade name escapes me now) and it quickly became everyday wear. I can’t think of any other product that I used to completion in 2014, but this little number got used up. Not much thinking or risk involved for a product that retails at $12.50 [Priceline].

Hair Moroccan Oil Intense Hydrating Mask
This is another product that made it from a single blog post to the favourites list. When I used it on its own, I liked it, but didn’t love it. Recently I used it in conjunction with a toning shampoo (I’ve become addicted to blonde ombre in 2014 also), and the results were magnificent. Anyone who has ever used a toning shampoo will know that their hair will turn to straw immediately. I used this straight after using the Fudge Purple Shampoo, and not only did my blonde ends look better but my hair felt better than before! Retails for $49.50 [Skincare Store].

Nails Essie Good To Go Topcoat
This may be boring to some, but anyone who loves painting their nails like me will know there is nothing worse than painting your nails and then managing to bump the paint an hour later. This topcoat is fast drying without chipping easily like some other fast-drying polishes do. Extremely shiny, and maintains a manicure for 5-7 days; retails for $17.95 [Priceline].

So that’s it for me! Thank you for those who have been reading along in 2014 – I really appreciate you reading my beauty raves and rants, and look forward to sharing more in 2015.

And remember – if irritation occurs, discontinue use…

Paint it On: Rimmel Salon Pro Polish

As regular readers know from my Seedless Watermelon post, it takes a lot for me to dedicate a whole blog post to one polish. I truly believe this polish is worthy of such a review though, it was such a pleasant surprise to find and to wear! Nail polish generally does give me quite a lot of joy, but this polish gave me joy that was unexpected.

One of my friends (RB) is a huge advocate of the Rimmel polish and has sent me a number of photos of her growing collection, yet it has taken me a while to give the brand a go. I’ve always been a die-hard OPI gal, but the more I want the perfect shade, the more willing I have to be to try out some different brands.

Fast forward to a fortnight ago, browsing Target’s 30% Rimmel sale, and I spotted the most gorgeous grey-purple shade – Punk Rock. For some reason, I feel I can trust the Salon Pro range more for my first Rimmel polish purchase than I can for the other ranges – the bottles are seriously sized, and the extra dollars tell me it is more special (I’m a marketers dream).

Image

 

This shade is perfection! The beautiful Chanel polish I was gifted for my birthday was a let-down as it turned out to be a lot darker than the bottle – nail polish trickery at its finest. It’s my biggest pet hate when buying a polish, especially when you’re paying >$20 for a polish! Anyways, Punk Rock turned out exactly how it looked in the bottle, which is obviously gorgeous. I haven’t taken any photos of my own nails for this blog – I’m on a manicure diet to save some $$$, and unfortunately my at-home mani’s aren’t quite the same. I think I should invest some time in a YouTube manicure video?

I did find the brush a bit tricky to use – I don’t have a point of reference, but compared to the brush size, my nail beds are quite narrow. Rimmel devotee, RB, assures me that I’ll get used to it, and even come to love it, so let’s wait and see. The colour is divine, so will get many repeat wears. The real clincher for me though, was the wear time with this $6.20 polish (I got it 30% off the RRP of $8.95). I generally will change my polish mid-week, depending on what my evenings are like, and how busy I am with the business side of my job. Last week, I was knocked down with a cold, a tummy bug and a lot of work, plus the prep work of my SIL’s baby shower, so there was no time for a polish change. Rimmel Salon Pro is the perfect pick for a week like what I had – no time to change a polish, no time to maintain your nails, no time to even think about removing the polish. No chips, just some minor tip wear after 7 days of wear! I’m off to Melbourne in a fortnight and I’ve already planned to wear Punk Rock for that week – I think my travel mates will frown upon my desire to change polishes during a 3-night work trip – but I can’t risk any chips (once my polish chips, it must come off).

Would I buy it again? I would buy a polish from the range again and I would buy this shade again – it is divine.
Who would I recommend this to? Anybody with large nail beds, Rimmel devotees, and time-poor individuals who want to get their whole week out in one polish.
Is it value for money? A polish that wears for a week from an at-home mani for $8.95? Yes.
How can you get it? Any Rimmel display – Target, Big W, Priceline, Coles, etc. This little beauty is easy to find.

Mascara Wars: Rimmel vs. Loreal

Although I love eye makeup and eye products, I’ve never been very fussy with mascaras. I have never been committed to one type or brand, and am constantly trying out new ones. Rimmel is a brand I return to time and time again, simply due to the cost and variety they offer. The time frame for mascara use is only 3 months, and although I’m not that rigid about it, I do generally use a decent mascara endlessly for 3 months, and retire it fairly soon after the 3 month mark.

In recent months, I’ve trialled these two mascaras, as I embark on a hunt for a decently priced mascara. 3 months is not a long time to get bang for your buck, so I think mascara is worth saving your money on, unless you are a very dedicated one-mascara user, which unfortunately does not describe me. In the higher end brands, I think there is a range of great mascaras, my personal favourites being Lancome Hypnose and Christian Dior’s Dior Show (I mention these two from experience – there are many I’ve yet to try). The great thing when trialling a mascara is that you can tell very quickly if it’s any good; of course this is also a negative, because if you have a dud, you’ll know very quickly, and have early days buyer’s remorse.

ImageMoving along, the two mascaras I tried were Rimmel’s Lash Accelerator Endless, and Loreal’s False Lash Telescopic. I’ve only had the Loreal one for about 2 weeks, but remember what I said about early indicators? The same, unfortunately, goes for the Lash Accelerator.

Loreal’s Falsh Lash Telescopic won this round, hands down. It is a great day time mascara! I personally don’t think it does enough to my eyelashes for a heavy eye look, but for a decent coat for a day of work or leisure, it’s a great choice. Coats the lashes perfectly, adds a decent amount of length, and the pièce de résistance – no clumping or flaking! At the end of the day, the mascara is where you put it at the start of the day. I have suffered a lot from flaking recently, so much so that I had decided it was my eyelashes and under eyes that was causing this; no no, it was the mascara.

Rimmel’s Lash Accelerator Endless did all the stuff I mentioned above, in reverse. It clumped, it flaked, it didn’t add any length or volume, and needed heavy handling to actually coat the lashes. What I found most surprising was that it somehow managed to make my eyelashes look thinner and spidery, which is hardly the look I wanted. I actually quite liked the packaging despite how ordinary it looks in the photo – I thought it was a nice change to the usual fat tube marketed by Rimmel.

Loreal False Lash Telescopic Mascara
Would I buy it again? Sure thing – but not anytime soon, as I am going to continue my mascara hunt.
Who would I recommend this to? Anybody starting to doubt their eyelash or under eye condition; anyone in the market for a decent lengthening mascara.
Is it value for money? I got it on special from Priceline for $18, which was well worth it.
How can you get it? Any self-respecting Loreal counter will stock this cult-ish item.

As always, thank you for reading. I’m looking for some blog inspiration, so please comment below if there is anything you’d like me to write about, or a product line which makes you curious. 

A lil’ lip addiction

I’ll admit early on that lip posts are a bit of a struggle for me. Lips are not my favourite facial feature, and I really struggle to work with them. With my ageing wisdom, I realise that very few people have perfectly shaped, luscious lips, and like any feature, there are always some tricks to tweak and enhance it. Lisa Eldridge has a brilliant tutorial on how to make thin lips look fuller which I highly recommend if you want some tips or ideas – I used her tips to even out my lip shape, and was really happy with the result.

Having said all that, I do still have some lip products I really enjoy using (e.g. Chubby Sticks) and recommend. Today’s product is the Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate Moss lipstick. I’m trying to push myself to use some sort of lip product everyday, which helped me rediscover these lipsticks quite recently.

Picture 1360

These are a great product, and are perfect for regular use. They have a great price point (RRP is $11.95), and for that amount of money, you get a really buttery, highly pigmented lipstick. I love the simple packaging and range of colours. It’s not a huge range of colours, – enough to give you a good choice, but not too many to confuse you. They have a nice smell (compared with the poison-like smell of some other supermarket brand makeup), and a decent level of moisture. I always apply something under my lipstick for moisture anyway, but this lipstick tops that up a bit as well.

The negatives for this lipstick is that it’s not particularly long-wearing – the longest I’ll get out of it is about 2-4 hours, depending on the level of drinking/eating/talking in which I will be participating. Since all my social events involve at least 2 out of these 3 activities, I always need to top it up. Rimmel stock a limited range of lip pencils (but enough to do the job), so I definitely recommend pairing the lipstick with a pencil if you need to enhance the wear time.

There is also a matte range, which is housed in a red container. I can’t comment on those lipsticks, as I’ve never used them. I love all things matte, but I generally steer away from it for my lips – I need all the reflection I can get!

Would I buy it again? Easily – the range of colours is limited, but it’s a solid performer.
Who would I recommend it to? Anyone looking to expand their lipstick usage, or wanting a decent daily use lipstick.
Is it value for money? That’s what makes it such a good product – yes!
How can you get it? It’s impossible to ignore Rimmel – Priceline, Coles, Woolworths, Target, Big W & K Mart.