You and your Beautiful Soul

Well, well, my friends, we have reached that time. Oh yep - it's my last post for 2014. Mind blowing ain't it. I literally cannot believe how quickly this year has gone, especially in relation to my blog! It's literally felt like no time has passed at all! Anyway though, on with the show - the final review of the year! Today, I have MAC Mineralize blush in Warm Soul to share. Unfortunately I think this shade is no longer available to us in Australia (please let me know if otherwise!), however it is a firm favourite of many, and still available in other countries, so I wanted to get my thoughts up! 


Monthly Favourites // December 2014

Happy Boxing Day peeps! I hope you all had an amazing Christmas Day yesterday (or today depending on where you live!) filled with food, fun and family! This year I've chosen to chill at home instead of shopping the Boxing day sales. I was planning on going out to see the last Hobbit movie but will be seeing it a little later, and today I'll be marathoning the first two Hobbit movies :D. But anyway, we've made it to the last monthly favourites of 2014! Can ya believe it?! I decided to do a December faves this year just because there are quite a few new products I've been using that I haven't yet shown you guys - not even in a haul! I will be doing some sort of yearly faves within the next couple of weeks (don't even know what products I'll be featuring yet, oops) but it'll be there ;).


NOTD // All the Rage

Long time no nail of the day, hey? Sad times though since it was routine to have a NOTD once a month! Oh wells, the OCD part of me can deal. I have been wearing a lot of nail polish though I always forget to take photos and then by then, it's chipped. Recently though, I whipped out an old fave to get a wee bit festive!


Mauboy Approved

As you guys may or may not know, I am very much a fan of the Australian, all-natural brand Vanessa Megan, so it shouldn't have been a surprise to hear that homegrown talent Jessica Mauboy swears by a few of their products too! I was kindly sent a few of Jess' faves to try, and here are my thoughts on them!


Provoke the Lips

Now, the Rimmel Provocalips* have certainly been making the rounds in the blogosphere, so when I was offered the opportunity to trial them - I couldn't say no! There have indeed been mixed reviews about them, but one thing that everyone seems to agree on, is that they are damn long-lasting. Keep reading for my two cents...


Trippin' // An Unexpected Journey

So, as promised, today I'll be sharing a few snaps from my 6 day trip to New Zealand. I went with a few friends to celebrate us graduating high school! I was both nervous and excited as it was the first time I was travelling without my parents! I had to be super organised which was nerve-wracking, I was paranoid the whole time haha (what with my terrible habit of leaving things behind). Luckily my friend's elder sister 'chaperoned' us, so it was good to have somewhat of a guardian, haha! We stayed in two places in New Zealand's North Island; Auckland and Rotorua. I actually have hardly any photos of Auckland, it's just your typical city situation. Very similar to Brisbane actually! We went up the Skytower which is one of the main attractions, and it was pretty cool to get a view of the city by night. You can see a few more pics from the trip over on my Instagram!

One of the attractions we visited in Rotorua was the Wai-o-tapu Thermal Wonderland. Rotorua is known for its thermal springs, boiling mud pools, etc, so visiting a place like this was a must! It was super interesting to learn about the different coloured pools, and thermal springs. The different colours were amazing to see, and all down to the chemicals, for example the bright green is due to the sulphur content.

So steameh

Lady Knox Geyser

Boiling Mud Pools ft. Manuka tree

Of course, pretty much the whole reason we even wanted to go to New Zealand, was because of Hobbiton. We're geeky and proud. Needless to say, we were pretty freakin excited when we finally got there! It's so exciting to know that scenes from the films were actually filmed there, and the actors were actually there at one point. It was totally worth the rather expensive entry/tour/bus price just being able to see the lil' hobbit holes and gallabant around Hobbiton. It was so exciting remembering the scenes from the movie, then seeing the locations, etc in real life! It was also really interesting to learn a bit more about the set itself, and little tidbits that I didn't already know. Gah, it was just amazing. It felt real guys. I wanna live there. Well, technically, it is real because they're all permanent structures. I'll just let the photos do the talking shall I...

"I'm going on an adventure!"

Bag End

Samwise Gamgee's hobbit hole!

Sheepies in a line!

The Green Dragon where I had a ginger beer, mmm.

The last place we went to in Rotorua were the Redwoods. It was a bit rainy that day so not the best conditions, but it was still really beautiful. We went on an hour long walk, though it took longer since we stopped to take photos so often haha! I just have a couple of snaps to share. It was really peaceful having a stroll through the gorgeous natural scenery!

Crystal clear water

So that's just a taste of what I got up to in New Zealand! I hope you guys somewhat enjoyed have a flick through my photos. New Zealand is such a gorgeous country, and so green. It's definitely somewhere I want to return and have a proper trip right around the country. There's just so much to see, and only a hop over the ditch ;)


Lots o' Latte

Despite the surgence in popularity of all things chubby and stick-like, this is my first eyeshadow crayon product! These, along with lip and cheek crayons have been popping up all over the place. Clinique have definitely got the chubby stick thing down, and today I'm sharing their Chubby Stick Shadow Tint for Eyes in the shade Lots o' Latte.

L-R: Swatched, Blended

The packaging is exactly like Clinique's lip chubby sticks; a twist up crayon, the colour of the packaging the same as the product inside. The only difference is that instead of a pointy tip, it has a rounded one. One thing I'm a little saddened by is that the writing is the kind that rubs off really quickly. Despite not having it for that long, pretty much all the writing has already rubbed off!

Onto the formula though, I've heard quite a few raves about these, so I was expecting something good. The shadow is creamy and applies easily, not at all stiff or dry. It still maintains it's stick form easily though! The pigmentation of the shadow is actually not that opaque - hence the 'tint' name (I guess?). Its medium pigmentation allows for super easy blending, but it's also easily built up to a good opacity, like in the photo above. I think it's slight sheer quality really helps its useablity - so easy to slap on and go, since it's not so 'in yer face'. The staying power, however, is a little lacklustre. Like a lot of cream shadows (bar the Estee Lauder Stay On Shadow Paints), these tend to crease fairly quickly when worn alone. Lasting power is better with primer underneath, however the 'sandwich' effect really prolongs this baby come night time. Layering it between a primer and a powder shadow helps it stay on for hours and hours with little creasing. 

Lots o' Latte is a bronzey-taupe shade, that really is a staple for me. Very much in the same vein as Maybelline Bad to the Bronze, which you guys may know is a product I reach for all the time. The Clinique shadow has, however, pushed BttB aside. The convenience of the stick form, slightly creamier and easier to blend shadow is just much more to my liking. It really fulfills the one-shadow, swipe and go job well.

While the Chubby Stick Shadow Tint for Eyes is an amazing product, it's nothing groundbreaking in the cream shadow world, to be honest. I still feel the Estee Lauder cream shadows have a better formula, but the ease-of-use of the Clinique (and this particular shade) makes it great for everyday. The Chubby Stick for eyes retails for AUD$35.

What's your favourite eyeshadow crayon?


Haul // There and Back Again

It's time to share all of my acquisitions from New Zealand! I actually didn't buy much at all, we actually didn't go out shopping that much, plus pretty much all of the stores are the same as here in Australia. If you can believe it, makeup is even more expensive over there! Why must people charge such extortionate prices for makeup!? Actually though I didn't make it to an actual "makeup" store, just the supermarket haha. 

I'll share the things I bought duty free first off.

Clarins Instant Light Lip Perfector Collection (Travel Exclusive) including 03 Nude Shimmer and 04 Petal Shimmer
These glosses have been raved about by the masses - sheer, balmy and not at all sticky. The "gloss for the non-glossers". I've been wanting to try one for an age and decided to snatch up this travel exclusive which came with 2 shades for $34, RRP $26 each here. The shades aren't exactly my pick of the pack, and from swatches, they look pretty much exactly the same on the lips (they're very sheer). For that reason I think I will pop one in my upcoming giveaway (don't worry, I haven't used them yet!) but I will definitely have a review up of the other!

Benefit Gimme Brow in Medium/Deep
This guy has been on my wishlist for a while, and I was rather surprised to see a Benefit counter at Auckland airport. It cost NZD$35 which albeit only a dollar cheaper, when factoring conversion etc, it is a bit more affordable (at least that's what I'm telling myself). It's essentially a tinted brow gel with fibres in to help brow hairs appear thicker, more defined and hold them in place. I've been using it the past few days and I really like it, but I'm not yet sure if it was completely worth the money. I will update you guys in a review post!

I bought these beauty related products at the spa that we visited in Rotorua.

Puresource Rotorua Thermal Mud with Manuka Honey
I thought this mud mask was pretty cool as it actually contains mud from the thermal springs, which Rotorua is known for. It's supposed to be really amazing for the skin! Unfortunately I didn't go to a mud pool (too expensive!), so I'm living that experience through this mask, haha! It also contains Manuka honey which is also very New Zealand-y, and is supposedly soothing and nourishing to the skin. The couple of times I've used this, I've really liked it! It was $17 so not that expensive at all!

Apicare Sleep Easy Balm
This one was a bit of a whimsy purchase, but I just decided to buy it! It is a New Zealand brand after all... It's essentially a 'balm' (more of a body butter texture IMO) that you massage into your pulse points that helps soothe you, and get you to sleep. I do have trouble sleeping sometimes when my brain just can't shut off. I find this scent soothing and calming and it's quite a relaxing experience just massaging it into my skin! I have used this quite a few times and must say I think it works! It may be a placebo effect, but I do fall asleep quicker (I think) and sleep for longer, without randomly waking up during the night. It was $22 which was a wee bit of a splurge but you get quite a bit of product.

Now obviously I had to pick up some souvies from HOBBITON!! (If you couldn't tell, I'm a mega TLOTR fan). We only had 15 minutes in the gift store (NOT ENOUGGHHH) so I was scrambling to purchase stuff haha, I wish I had more browsing time!

The Treasure of Smaug the Terrible Dwarven Coin #5
Possibly a completely useless purchase, but it's real pretty. It's just a coin thingy but I really like it, and it's a replica made from an ACTUAL MOULD they used for the movie!

Fellowship Leaf magnet
I was hoping they'd have the actual brooch version of this, but the magnet will have to suffice. It's probably easier to display anyway! The leaf is just so dang SYMBOLIC MANN, Fellowship mems :'(

The Lord of the Rings Leather Bookmark
I thought this was pretty dang cool! It's just a bookmark stamped/embossed with the silhouette of the Fellowship.

The Hobbit The Desolation of Smaug T-Shirt
The T-shirts were pretty exxy ($30-$50) but my friend spotted the bin of kiddy sized ones which were only $15! It fits me okay, a wee bit tight, but I can deal. I really love the pattern of this one too - it's just a map (sorta like a 2 in 1 deal for me haha ;) ).

So that was my haulage, I hope you enjoyed reading! I will have another post with photos of my trip too. I'm excited to share them :D. 


Monthly Favourites // November 2014

I'm back from New Zealand chickas - just in time for my November favourites too! I had a really amazing time, and don't worry peeps, I will have a couple of posts about my trip up soon! But anyway, here we are at the last month of the year. Christmas is well and truly upon us (oop, still need to put the tree up) and then BAM it's a new year. I feel like I say this every month...so I'll stop. On with the faves!

Dermalogica Clear Start Breakout Clearing Overnight Treatment*
I've been pretty happy with this product this past month! Read my review to learn more about it but it works very similarly to the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo which you guys know is a holy grail of mine! It's essentially a serum type product that helps clear and prevent breakouts. My skin has been pretty well behaved and I'm sure I can attribute some of that to this product!

Sleek Contour Kit in Light
I don't mention this product a tonne, mainly because I tend to use others over it. I took it with me to NZ and I must say, it's been a rediscovery! I've been loving the bronzer mainly. The shade is pretty amazing, it's not too dark, it's matte and it has a warmth yet it's not too red or orange. It works extremely well in warming up the face while giving slight contour and dimension! The powder itself isn't overly pigmented and blends well! I should really give this guy more love :P

MAC Mineralize Blush in Warm Soul
This is really a classic shade in the beauty community, and I finally see what all the fuss is about! It's truly beautiful. Warm Soul is a golden/peach/bronze shade that looks natural and really goes with any look, giving the cheeks warmth, colour and in general a very polished look! The formula is super lovely too and gives off a slight glow.

Clinique Chubby Stick for Eyes in Lots o' Latte
I also took this to NZ and it served me well indeed. The convenient crayon form came in handy for slap dash application and while it's pigmented, it's not overly so meaning it was easy to just draw on, blend and be out the door. It's very hard to overdo it! The shade is a really pretty light bronzey-taupe that is the perfect one shadow shade.

Estee Lauder Pure Colour Intense Kajal Eyeliner in Blackened Black
I've already declared my love for this liner in my haul post, but I do think it's reached holy grail status. This stuff LASTS on the tightline like no other. It's creamy and pigmented, a deep black shade. Not only does it not smudge down on the lower lashline like pretty much every other eyeliner I've used, but it also stays on the tightline, barely fading throughout the day! Pretty impressive stuff!

This guy is a constant favourite of mine, but I took it on my trip to NZ as pretty much my only powder brush. It does it all! Powder, bronzer, blush, highlighter... I especially love it for bronzer though. The tapered tip helps get a slightly more precise and "contour-like" placement, while the sides of the brush blend it out softly.

So that concludes what may be my last monthly favourites of 2014! :O I'm undecided on whether I'll do one in December, since I'll be doing a yearly favourites. We'll see if I find anything outstanding during December then! 


Jergens in Australia

As I'm sure you've already heard, Jergens has made its way down under! It's really exciting to see such a popular brand in the US land on our shores. I can only hope more foreign brands will make their way over! One of their more famous products, Jergens Natural Glow* is one I've heard many raves about from our American sisters. When offered the opportunity to try it, I couldn't say no! I was also sent the Original Beauty Lotion* which I was also keen to try.

L-R: Original Beauty Lotion, Natural Glow

I am not someone who is fussy with body lotions. As long as it does the job and smells nice enough, I'm a happy chappy. This, unfortunately, did not fit the bill. First of all, the smell is, in my opinion, very unpleasant. It's supposedly infused with "Cherry Almond Essence", but the scent is more reminiscent of that medicinal, cherry scent, but worse because it has a hint of chemical. Now, I'm really not a fan of that particular cherry scent to begin with, so I really quite dislike the scent. Speaking of chemicals, let's take a look at the ingredients. Some sort of alcohol is the third and fourth ingredients. Am I the only one that finds this slightly concerning? I also don't see any typical hydrating ingredients (that I recognise) except for glycerin and lanolin oil (which is quite far down). I think this definitely shows through in the performance of the product. The lotion itself is very light and gel-like. It absorbs quickly and gives instant hydration, the skin does look hydrated and feel soft and smooth (not that much 'glow' though) however I really don't see the long term effects. The next morning my skin will feel dry and I just don't feel like the lotion is hydrating deep down!

Jergens Natural Glow for Fair to Medium Skin tones* (221mL, $14.99)
This was the product I was most excited to try. Now I'm not really into the whole fake tan thing, my natural skin colour is good enough for me! I do, however, have some pretty horrendous sock and shoulder tans which I really wanted to even out! This gradual tanning product gradually builds up colour over several days. It's built into a moisturiser which I find much better than the Original Beauty Lotion. It has a thicker texture and smells a lot nicer - sort of vanilla, musky? I don't find it immensely hydrating but it does the job well. The colour aspect was interesting. I began to notice slight colour after maybe three days, and it gradually gets darker each day you apply it. Now, the colour looks very natural (no orange-ness at all) however it doesn't match my own skintone which is my fault really. My aim was to even out my tan but while the depth was similar, the colour was a bit off. This wouldn't be an issue if you were just using it normally for all over colour! The shade has a bit more of an olivey tone which I do think looks quite natural. The Fair to Medium is the lighter of the two shades, so I didn't get a tonne of depth from it. I do think it would be amazing for lighter girls! If you used it consistently, I really think you would get an amazing all over shade with it. I think once my sock tan etc fades, I'll use it to keep up my slight tan!

So overall, a hit and a miss. Personally, I wouldn't recommend the Original Beauty Lotion, however the Natural Glow is pretty awesome if you're in the market for something like that! Jergens is available at Priceline.

Have you tried anything from Jergens?

*Products sent for consideration.


Cheeky Gerbera

Aaah, the Stila Convertible Colours. They've been on my wishlist for what seems like years, and I finally got my hands on one in Gerbera, the token peachy-pink of the range. Despite not having it for long, it's already popped up on the blog a couple of times. I thought I'd share my full review with you guys now that I've had ample play time!

L-R: swatched, blended

I must say, the packaging of these Convertible Colours fits in pretty perfectly with Stila's bright and playful branding. The compact is slim and contains a handy dandy mirror, making it perfect for a handbag touchup. The casing is the same colour as the product inside, making it easy to spot in your collection, and has a pretty floral embossing on the top.

The Convertible Colours are creamy products designed to work on both the cheeks and lips. My primary use is as a cream blush. I find on the lips it's a bit drying, and can accentuate dry patches and lines in the lips. It's not the worst I've encountered in a cream blush on the lips by any means, but this particular shade can appear chalky on my lips, as well as being too pale for me. On the cheeks though, we are definitely onto a winner. The texture of the product is quite thick and creamy, and pigmented. Trust me when I say it doesn't take much to achieve the desired look. I know some people find the texture a bit sticky, which it can feel in the pan/on the fingers, but I find personally, when applied it melds well with the skin looking super natural, and lending a lovely glow to the cheeks. I typically apply it with the Real Techniques Stippling Brush and only need one tap for each cheek. It blends beautifully, and is just as nice applied with fingers. The lasting power is pretty good for a cream blush (in my experience), but typical in powder terms - around 5/6 hours wear time. You could set it with a powder to prolong lasting time.

Gerbera has always been the shade I've been drawn to. It's not the typical peachy-pink blush in my collection. It has quite a pastel, pink lean to it, with just enough warm peachy tones to suit my skintone. The slightly lighter shade gives a beautiful youthful glow that is so brightening and uplifting to the face. It also looks super natural! It's really just a pretty and easy blush shade.

I'm pretty infatuated with this blush, and there aren't many (if any) bad things to say about it! Given how many rave reviews I've read over the years, it does not disappoint as a blush! The Convertible Colours retail for AUD$34 at Mecca.

PS. I'm in New Zealand right now to celebrate graduating high school! I will be back on Saturday, so apologies in advance as I won't we able to read blog posts, or respond to comments (probably). There will still be a post going up on Thursday. :)


So Let Me Restart

Dermalogica has always seemed to be a brand I've admired from afar and while I knew about the Clear Start line, I never checked it out. It was mainly because I thought it would be quite expensive, but they actually aren't! The range is aimed at teens and young adults to help with skin concerns such as acne. When offered the opportunity to try a couple of products from the line, having acne-prone skin myself, I couldn't say no!

Top: Matte Moisturiser, Bottom: Overnight Treatment

L-R: Matte Moisturiser, Overnight Treatment

Both products are packaged in lightweight, plastic tubes and fliptop lids which I find quite practical and convenient. Each product has different coloured branding, yet maintains the same clean, minimalistic design which I think is quite cute and effective.

Dermalogica Clear Start Oil Clearing Matte Moisturiser* (60mL, $27.50)
I was both wary and excited to try out this product. When it comes to a 'matte' moisturiser, either it isn't really matte, or it's not moisturising enough. This was no exception and leans more to the former. It doesn't really give off a 'matte' finish (though I do use an oily serum beforehand) however it doesn't dry out the skin at all, or leave it looking/feeling tight/uncomfortable. I do find it quite hydrating, for a day cream that is, and I think it would suit normal - oily skintypes, dryer ones may need something a tad more powerful, but then again it isn't aimed at those skintypes. I find it sits really well beneath makeup and doesn't make my skin feel any oilier or greasier throughout the day. I wouldn't say it's amazing at controlling oil but it works pretty well for my skintype. It has a thin texture that absorbs quite quickly and feels very lightweight. The SPF15 is a nice inclusion but I don't think it's sufficient for outside wear and tear.

Dermalogica Clear Start Breakout Clearing Overnight Treatment* (60mL, $23.50)
I think of this treatment product as a serum, similar to La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo, which y'all know is an holy grail of mine. I've been using this every night for the past few weeks and must say, it works very similarly. I apply it after serum and before moisturiser. It has a lightweight, gel-like texture that feels like nothing on the skin really. It contains many acne-fighting ingredients such as salicylic acid and tea tree. It's very hard to discern the effects of a product like this. My skin has been pretty well behaved for the past few months and I do attribute some of that to the Effaclar Duo. My skin didn't really change much when I started using the Overnight Treatment, and remained rather clear, any breakouts healed quite quickly and they were mainly hormonal or stress related. I have to say I'm pretty happy with this product but I can't choose between it and the La Roche-Posay!

So overall, my experience with the Clear Start range has been a good one. The Matte Moisturiser is nothing extremely remarkable but it works very well as a day cream and underneath makeup. The Overnight Treatment is the type of product that is a staple in my collection and something that I find really helps keep breakouts at bay! Check the Dermalogica website for your nearest stockists!

(PS. My title is a song lyric, if ya know the song, ILY bae.)

*Products sent for consideration.


In the Glamazon

As you may know, through numerous mentions on the blog, I have terrible cheekbones. Not only are they not very prominent, but they're also quite low down on my face. Le sigh, I will forever be jealous of the glorious cheekbones owned by Benedict Cumberbatch and Tom Hiddleston. One product however that has been helping me achieve the cheekbones of your average joe (which is no mean feat in itself) is the Face of Australia GLAMAZON Contour & Highlight Kit in Leopardess. Reowrrr

L-R: Contour shade, Highlight shade

The packaging is a tad bulky, a bit thicker than need be, but there's no unnecessary brush or extra, wasted space. The compact clicks shut securely and even though leopard print can be quite tacky (IMO), I actually quite like it on this packaging. I think it's quite classy with the simple branding at the bottom. Not too shabs.

The powders themselves aren't too shabs either, and pretty amazing for a measly $9.95! Their texture is quite soft, but they don't kick up too much powder. The pigmentation varies between shades. The contour colour actually is rather pigmented, but not overly so which, when it comes to a contouring shade, is quite good! It's a little sheerer in a finger swatch but is much more potent when used with a brush. It's easy to build up to your desired opacity and due to it's slight sheerness it is easily blended, looking natural and effortless. The highlighter has a similar formula, if not slightly more pigmented. The shimmer isn't over the top, nor is it glittery or gritty. It gives a lovely glow, as a good highlighter should!

The contour shade has surprisingly become a staple in my collection. The actual colour of it is pretty much perfect for creating a natural shadow. It's cool-toned, yet not overly so that it appears grey, or dirty looking (provided you don't overdo it). It's also not too dark, nor too light, so I think it would suit a variety of skintones, building it up gradually. When used just below the cheekbone it really mimics a natural shadow and brings out what little cheekbone I have! The highlighter is also quite a natural shade, for my skintone that is. It's a bit more of a beige-y champagne that's not too gold or garish, quite simply a pretty glow!

If you couldn't tell, I really love this little duo. Not only are the formulas impressive, but the shades are appropriate for many skintones and give off a lovely, natural effect. This kit was limited edition, however it's still listed on the website so you may be able to find it at Priceline, Kmart and other Face of Australia stockists!