Monthly Favourites // January 2014

Yo y'all! We have come to the end of another month, and it brings the first monthly favourites of the year! Surprisingly for the first time, it actually feels like a new year (usually it takes me a bit of a while to get to grips with a new year). I've just started my final year of high school which I'm still in denial about :S but anyways let's get on to the faves! I have quite a few from my 2013 yearly favourites and also a couple of new products.

Biore UV Perfect Face Milk
This has been an absolute staple lately whenever I step outside. The Summer sun has been beating down and SPF is a must! This one is amazing, providing a very high SPF of 50+ PA+++ but honestly feels like nothing on the skin. It's an extremely thin, liquidy product that feels matte, almost velvety as you blend it into the skin and then proceeds to sink into the skin and mattify slightly.

Since I've been on school holidays, whenever I went out I opted for foundation. This one has been a go-to for me lately as it is pretty much a perfect colour match for me right now, it offers a good medium coverage or better and has a very natural, not too dewy or matte finish.

Heroine Make Mineral BB Loose Powder
This is essentially like a loose powder foundation but with the coverage of a BB cream. It's my first loose base product and it has been a nice experience! When paired with other products with a light coverage (BB creams) it gives a good medium/full coverage, or it can be worn alone with concealer for a similar coverage to a BB cream. Also I find it has quite good lasting power/oil control and it has a natural finish which isn't too matte!

Another multiple repeat favourite but I think I've become addicted to bronzer! I used to hardly wear bronzer as I thought I was already 'tan' enough, but I find the warmth and natural colour it gives the face is so pretty. I find my makeup looks incomplete without it! I've been wearing it every time I wear makeup.

Illamasqua Concealer in shade CC325
I picked this up on a whim to try my hand at some cream contouring. It's the darkest brown shade I own which is good as I've found others I own (Sleek Contour Kit in Light) to be only a bit darker than my skintone. The formula of this is quite a dry, stiff cream, one that I imagine wouldn't work too well as a concealer. I find it lasts extremely well on the skin (better than some powders) as it seems to just stick to the skin. I apply it with the Real Techniques Contour Brush which applies it really precisely but still blends the edges well.

Max Factor Miracle Touch Creamy Blush in Soft Pink
A lovely warm pink shade that I've been wearing a lot lately as it complements quite a few of the lip shades I wore this month. The cream applies really well with a stippling brush and stays creamy without being too dewy.

Lorac Pro Eyeshadow Palette
I know, I know, could I mention this any more times? For eyeshadow this month though, I've pretty much been reaching for these solely along with some other cream eyeshadows. My particular favourite shades this month were Taupe and Gold. Taupe being an amazing crease shade for pretty much any look and Gold which can be a pretty intense coppery gold shade. I've been loving wearing it on the outer half with a lighter shade all over.

L'oreal Telescopic Waterproof Mascara
Ironically, if I were to ever do a disappointing products post, this would probably make it. It's been hyped up a lot by the likes of Anna from Vivianna Does Makeup and Suzie from Hello October (whose videos I've been OBSESSED with lately), but at first I honestly almost hated this mascara. With time though, it has gotten better, but it's still not my favourite. It's the only waterproof mascara I have open at the moment though and WP is a must if I want to hold a curl. It can be a bit clumpy on the lashes which is probably due to the brush which I do hate, but I just comb them through and it slightly lengthens and thickens my lashes naturally.

Dusk Tropical Summer Candle
Although it has been blazingly hot, there have been the occasional rainy or bearable day when I like to burn a candle. Tropical Summer is a really lovely light and crisp scent, whilst still being a bit fruity. The scent throw is awesome on this and it actually burns really slowly so you get quite a few hours out of a rather small candle!

Disney's Frozen
I saw this last week and oh my goooooosh it was ADORABLE. Also it had an awesome story line that was a bit different to your typical Disney love story. Anna is so quirky and I love her, and Olaf and Kristoff and Elsa - PRETTY MUCH EVERYONE. The music is so good too, I've been rocking out to it for the past week and a bit, and the songs have been stuck in my head constantly!

What have your new year faves been?


Collective Haul // January 2014

Hallo people! Today I have quite the large haul to share which I've accumulated throughout January and also the end of December. The after Christmas period is the best for sales, and y'all know I love a good sale. It's a long'un...

Of course I had to pick up a few nail polishes...

Essie Marshmallow 
I found this in the clearance bin at my local Myer for only $5! This is actually a shade that I've wanted for a while - a white jelly that would work really well in combination with a lot of different glitters for a jelly sandwich. They also had a few other shades but I decided I didn't need them :P

Sportsgirl Pink and Space Jam
These were both on clearance and came down to about $2 and $3 respectively. I've already done a NOTD with Pink here

Ulta3 Stop the Press
This is from Ulta 3's glitterati collection from July last year and I only happened across this polish at the end of December. This was the only one I wanted from the collection so I'm super glad I found it! It's a mix of black and white matte glitters which are starting to filter down finally into mainstream brands!

Skincare stuff...

Trilogy Rosapene Day & Night Collection (Limited Edition)
I found this in my Priceline for half price which brought it down to $18. Considering the Rosehip oil alone retails for something like $30, I thought this was an excellent deal! I'm also nearing the end of my Kosmea Rosehip Oil so I'm excited to try the Antioxidant +!

Sanctuary Spa Polishing Hot Cloth Cleanser
I actually bought this full price :( ($20) haha, but I realised I was in desperate need of a new cleanser. I haven't heard an awful lot about this one (some good, some bad) but - please correct me if I'm wrong - it seems to be the only Hot Cloth Cleanser available in a drugstore setting. I didn't feel like ordering online again and I do like trying new products!

Sanctuary Spa Radiance Exfoliator
I purchased this in the Priceline 40% off skincare sale so it came down to $12. I haven't tried many face scrubs and none aimed specifically at radiance, so I decided to pick this up.

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo
Again purchased in the 40% off sale. This is my third tube so that should speak for itself!

On to the makeup!

Stila Under the Mistletoe palette
I've already reviewed this here and if you've read it you'll know I'm not too impressed with this palette. It was only $12 so I'm not too sad but I was caught up in a whirlwind of wanting to try some Stila products!

Maybelline Fit Me concealer in shade Medium
I'm running semi-low on my concealer (I've hit considerable pan) so I thought I'd pick this concealer up. I've heard some pretty darn good things about it and it seems like everybody owns it! I payed full price ($15) for it which I'm pretty annoyed about as Maybelline goes on sale all the time but oh wells.

Benefit Go Tropi-coral Lip and Cheek kit
If you remember my wishlist, my friend bought this for me from America (thank you Yasmin!). It was about USD$30 (with tax) and actually, considering the dollar rate is actually pretty bad, I don't think I saved that much. It retails here in Australia for $40 so I probs could have bought it here but regardless I'm super happy to have it!

NYX Powder Blush in Terra Cotta
I was really excited to hear that NYX was rolling out into Targets around Aus but sadly my local Target isn't stocking it! I find that really annoying as it's pretty much a brand new Target...grrr. So anyways, I only managed to get to a stand recently. I bought this as I've heard about its similarities to NARS Lustre and also it's just a gorgeous shade! It retails for $9.95 which isn't too horrific.

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12hr blush in Exposed
Another item Yas picked up for me. I had my heart set on either the Tarte blush palette from the holiday collection or the Stila convertible colour palette, but both were sold out. This guy was my next preference because I knew I had to try something from Tarte considering they are extremely hard to get a hold of in Aus. These blushes are raved about by anyone who has ever used them and Exposed is a popular shade that is different to my typical peachy-pinks!

Rimmel Wake Me Up Instant Radiance Shimmer Touch in Shimmering Sand
I've seen this floating around in the clearance bin for a few months now, but finally picked it up upon seeing the $2 sticker on it. It actually rang up to a mere $1 at the till so even better! It's quite a moussey-liquid texture that is slightly glittery but overall a nice warm golden-tan shade.

Illamasqua Concealer in CC 325
I saw this at the Illamasqua counter in the sale section (which by the way had some amazing products for really good prices!) for only $6 so I decided to grab it. It's a deep brown shade that I thought I would use for cream contouring. So far, so very good, but I'll save the deets for a review!

Face of Australia Glossy Lip Crayon in Berry Brulee
After seeing a few swatches, I knew I wanted to pick up this shade from the limited edition collection of lip crayons. They retail for only $5 and Berry Brulee is a gorgeous wearable berry-purple. The formula is amazing too!

Revlon Living Lipstick in Blase Apricot
I saw - what I assume - was the whole line being clearanced at Myer for $6 a piece. I initially dismissed them on account of their old lady looking packaging, but this shade caught my eye. It's a really pretty pinky-peach with a lovely soft, creamy and pigmented formula.

Clarins Rouge Hydra Nude in Nude Caramel
I stumbled across this at Terry White for only $10. It has a formula akin to the Revlon Lip butters or L'oreal Nutri shine lipsticks. The shade is a peachy-brown nude that comes out slightly lighter that it appears in the tube.

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Antwerp
Of course I had to buy this. I've heard a ton about these and this shade in particular. I'll save it all for a review! It retails for $12.95 which I thought was a bit steep...but girls gotta do...

I'm also very happy to have a Sephora bag. Teeheee :D

Non-beauty stuff!

Kikki.K Fun for Everyday set
This was reduced to $11 which is AWESOME for Kikki.K stuff! It's from the Christmas sets but the stuff inside is absolutely adorable. Inside is a notebook, cards and envelopes, two pens and two magnetic bookmarks.

Kikki.K Celebrate Today Iphone Case
If you sign up to be a Kikki.K member, you get a $10 voucher on your initial sign up and on your birthday. There's no minimum spend, only that they have to be full price. This case came down to $2.95 and I love the pastel, simple pattern. It also came with a screen protector which I was in dire need of haha.

Dusk Tropical Summer Mood Reed and Candle set
This set from Christmas was marked down to $12. I love the scent a lot. It's a fresh and crisp, slightly fruity but also sexy scent that is perfect for summer.

Phew! That was a long post! Props to you if you actually read it all! I'm planning on going on a spending ban as I'm really content with my collection right now, and I really don't desperately want anything (shocker) for now. I'm also starting to save up for a possible trip to New Zealand at the end of the year (fingers crossed!). It shouldn't be hard to stick to the ban as I'll be back at school anyway, leaving little time for shopping! 


Trippin' // Vietnam

Hi guys! Today I thought I would share a few snaps from my trip to Vietnam in December. I went for about ten days to Hanoi, Sapa, Ha Long Bay and Ho Chi Minh City. I also went for a few days to Hong Kong but we didn't do too many touristy things since it was my third time going there. I have a couple of posts of my haulage from my trip which you can find here and here.

I first have some photos from Hanoi where we stayed in the Old Quarter of the city.

The traffic is absolutely cray cray in Hanoi, this photo doesn't really showcase it, but it's a nightmare to cross the street! We were absolute tourists and went on a 'cyclo' tour thing (the rickshaw on the right).

There are lots of shops and restaurants on the sides of the streets. The shops are essentially like markets as you can haggle with them. The street food experience was really interesting! A lot of them have the little baby sized tables and stools. The food was really yummy though - and cheap!

Hoan Kiem Lake

We took an overnight train to Sapa (the Victoria Express) which was certainly interesting! I slept for pretty much the whole time because I would have probably gotten motion sick otherwise. It was quite fun though! Sapa is a mountainous town located in the very north of Vietnam. It was quite cold up there and the town overlooks beautiful valleys and mountains. A lot of the time the view was shrouded in fog and mist but it was still very pretty!

Rice Paddies
Cat Cat Waterfall

Zitch Dog x3

We went to Ha Long bay next and went on a cruise (sort of). It was a rather small boat with about 10 double rooms that cruised through the Bay and the limestone islands. We only stayed overnight but it was absolutely amazing! It didn't even feel like I was on a boat, the water was so calm! The food was amazing on the boat and the islands are so beautiful and picturesque. 

One of the floating fishing villages in the Bay

The limestone caves inside one of the islands
Our boat: the "Ginger"
We then flew to Ho Chi Minh City which in comparison to Hanoi is much more westernized and metropolitan. I don't have too many photos of the city itself but we did do a few touristy things like the Cu Chi tunnels and a tour through the Mekong Delta. 

So those are just a few of the photos I took on my that I wanted to share! I hope you guys enjoyed this post! Overall I really enjoyed my trip and it was certainly interesting to see and experience a different culture. My favourite part was definitely Ha Long Bay - it was so pretty and I really enjoyed the whole cruise (but on a smaller scale) experience. I probably wouldn't want to go back to Vietnam anytime soon, but it's definitely somewhere I'm glad to have gone.


NOTD // Speckle me Bright

Another nail of the day post coming at ya today! Today's mani features a polish from Sportsgirl which is actually one of my favourite nail polish brands. Their formulas aren't always the best but for new, on trend colours, textures and finishes that are very reasonably priced, they are amazing! They switch out their polishes very often which means you can almost always find some great shades on clearance for only a few bucks!

I'm actually not 100% sure what this shade is called. The label said "Pink" though that doesn't really sound like a Sportsgirl polish name? Regardless it is a gorgeous polish and pretty unique right now. Quite a few months ago, Illamasqua came out with their 'speckle' nail polishes which I think were the first of their kind on the mainstream market. They consist of a cream based polish with black glitter (both larger hexagonal pieces and finer glitters) throughout. It's sort of like a jelly sandwich in one polish. This Sportsgirl polish is much the same but a bright, neon pink instead of the subdued shades offered by Illamasqua. The pink is a pretty typical neon, medium, mid-toned pink. The shade actually dries down a little warmer than it appears in the bottle. I really adored the effect it gave my nails and I love the combination of neon pink and black.

The formula was actually surprisingly good! It was a little thick but had really good pigmentation and didn't apply too streakily. I used two coats in the swatches. The glitter was pretty dense too, so no fishing required! It dried down with a slight semi-matte finish as typical with neon polishes so I topped it off with a couple of coats of Revlon Colorstay Top Coat which smoothed down the glitter and gave a nice shiny finish. The polish actually wore amazingly well! It lasted a whole week with no chipping, and barely any tip wear. I probably could have worn it longer if it weren't for my nail polish changing tendencies!

Do you like this finish of nail polish?