Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Busy Me + Wedding Snaps

I have been so busy this week.  I rarely ever say that I'm busy, because let's be honest, I don't do much at all on a day to day basis.  A few things I did this week are; secure an appointment/interview for a potential school, get my son into childcare and have my patch test.  Tomorrow I'll be working, and on Friday I'll be meeting up with a friend for lunch and going to hospital.  It might not sound like a lot to someone who studies or works full time, but believe me, when I say I do nothing I literally do nothing all day.  So this week has tired me out somewhat.

Here's what I wore and the face I did to the wedding I recently attended.  I was sick and didn't have the energy to attend.  In my mind I had already cancelled but my mum called to tell me of the travel arrangement and I didn't have the heart to tell her I wasn't going.  So I did get myself ready, but my heart wasn't into it and I was just too sick to care about how I looked.

Dress from Pilgrim.  I wore my new nude peep toe heels with it

I did a neutral eye with a smokey liner

False lash application needs a little work, lol!

I had to do my own (terribly uneven and bumpy) french mani :(

Ma mère et moi :)

Mon père, ma mère et moi :)

I didn't get a chance to take a lot of photos but I did say I'll post my outfit and face, so there you go.  Once I get the results from the patch test, I'll write a post on it.  And depending on how the school meeting interview thingy goes, I'll blog about that too.  Oh, I was also gifted a lovely, brand new camera so quite possibly will be doing some videos.  What say you?  Yay or nay?

I have patches on my back right now and oh my lord is it itchy!  I really wish I could just give it a scratch.  Argh!

So how is your week going?  Are you someone who works and studies?  Or are you a bum like me?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Checklist For Wedding Reception

In all honesty, I don't think I'll be able to go to the family friend's wedding this Saturday.  My throat has been sore since yesterday, and today not only is my throat even more sore, but my nose is dripping like a tap too.  On top of that, my 9 year old son came home from school today with a high fever and chills. His school told me he had slept for half the day!  When he gets sick, it often lasts for a week.  Even though it's days away, I doubt I will be able to attend. But I have been looking forward to it for a very long time, so *fingers crossed*!

Just in case I do get to go, here's my checklist of things I need to do before the event.  I like to mentally cross off a checklist, but sometimes it helps to write things down just to make sure I get everything done.

  • Decide on an outfit, shoes & makeup
  • Get hair washed, cut and straightened at hair dressers
  • Get nails painted at nail salon 
  • Epilate underarms
  • Wax upper lips
  • Pluck stray eyebrow hair
  • Exfoliate face & body

  • Shave legs
  • DIY facial & mask

  • Curl hair
  • Apply makeup
  • Apply leg tan

As you can see, I will be doing most of the "getting ready" tomorrow.  I like to do as little as possible on the day so that I can focus more on makeup application and hair.  The little things like epilating and waxing, I like to do before the day to reduce the risk of redness.  I want to get my hair washed the day before so that when I curl my hair the next day, the curls will hold better.

Typically, I like to do my own nails.  But for weddings and other important events, I prefer to get it done at a nail salon because I generally go for a french manicure, and it looks much more "crisper" when professionally done. There is no risk for me getting it done the day before because it won't chip until the 5-7 day mark.  If I do my own nails, it tends to chip a day or two after I've applied it.

I hope that I will have lots of photos to post after the event, assuming that I do get to go.  If I don't get to go, I'll still post what outfit I would have worn and the makeup look I would have worn with it :)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Kiss and Makeup Haul (NARS)

NARS is one of my favourite makeup brands, but buying here in Australia is very painful as the prices are ridiculous.  A single eye shadow will set you back just $23 in the US, but here in rip-off land, you'll be forking over $45.  Why?  WHY?! It's so unfair!

It makes sense to source NARS from a cheaper source, such as ebay. However, I don't want to risk paying money for a fake or never receiving my product, so I've found a great US website to buy from that offers international shipping at just a flat rate fee of $9.95.

Kiss and Makeup offer a good range of high end products and cheap international shipping.  Delivery takes no more than 2 weeks (in my experience) and any queries are promptly answered.  I found out about this website from a beauty blogger on twitter, and have since made two orders.

All the products that I have ordered so far have been by NARS.  There are other brands to chose from but I'm pretty loyal to my brand and haven't bothered to check out anything else.  Here's what I ordered the first time around: NARS Larger Than Life Long Wear Eyeliner - Abbey Road (blue), Via Appia (brown), Rue Bonaparte (flesh).  This was my "test" order - I made sure to pay extra for insurance, just in case!

First order - eyeliners (made last year!)
And here is my second order that I recently placed.  I really like the Larger Than Life Long Wear eyeliners, so ordered more: Rue de Rivoli (green), Bourbon Street (purple), Via Veneto (black), Rue Saint-Honore (navy).  I also ordered a foundation pump for my Sheer Glow foundation, as well as a single eyeshadow: Ashes to Ashes.

Second order - eyeliners
Second order - foundation pump & single eye shadow
If I were to purchase one of the eyeliners here in Australia, it would set me back $45, but I paid just $23 per eyeliner.  I also only paid $23 for the eye shadow (versus the $45 I would have had to fork out here) and a mere $6 for the foundation pump.  I saved myself a huge amount of money! 

Overall, I am very pleased with my purchases, as well as the excellent service from Kiss and Makeup.  If you're thinking of buying NARS (or other brands such as Laura Mercier, Smashbox etc) but don't want to be ripped off, why not check out their website:  I give them a 10/10 for products and service!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

A Whole Lot of Goodies

Yesterday was a very traumatic day for my younger son and I.  He needed a second blood test (as if the one he did on Monday wasn't traumatic enough!) and when I took him in to get it done, well, let's just say that after an hour in the clinic, it still wasn't done.  And it didn't look like it was going to get done.

After all the drama, I took him shopping and told him he could buy whatever he wanted to distract him from what just happened.  He got some new Lightning McQueen runners, a huge crocodile soft toy which he kept calling a dinosaur, several $2 rides, ice cream, lollies and KFC.  He was happy.

I was happy too.  Mainly because I did a little hauling.  Here's what I got:

  • M.A.C. 212 eyeliner brush
  • M.A.C. 130 foundation/powder brush
  • Chantecaille loose powder (Ray)
  • Chantecaille brilliant gloss (Glee)
  • KORA Organics vitamin enhanced lip balm
  • NARS eyeshadow (Bengali)
  • O.P.I. nail lacquer (Kiss Me On My Tulips)
  • Batiste dry shampoo (Tropical)
The lip balm and dry shampoo are things I get on a regular basis, whenever I run out.  The nail polish was an impulse buy - I just really love pink nail polish! All the other items were products I have wanted for awhile and done some extensive research on them to ascertain whether they would be worth it or not.  I'll soon find out!

Zu "Irena" peep toe heels
These shoes I have wanted FOREVER.  They are comfy for its height, they are a nice nude colour (so will suit almost any outfit) and the best part about this purchase was that it was heavily reduced, from $140 to $42.  Unbelievable! I'm so glad I waited so long to get them.  This goes to show that good things definitely come to those who wait :)
My valentine/early b-day gift
Oh yes, do you remember a wish list I put up several months ago, last year? One of the items was a handbag.  And it just so happens that I received that handbag as a valentines/early birthday present from a very special somebody in my life.  How lucky am I?  I kind of feel like this year is going to be a great year.  It's only February and I've been spoilt so much!  A little fact about me: I believe that the first butterfly you see at the start of a new year will determine how good the year will be for you.  For the past few years I've always seen a white butterfly, which means you'll have plenty of good luck and a good year (which never really worked out for me... hmmm). But this year, I saw a monarch butterfly.  Supposedly, this is a sign of bad luck.  But it seems to be giving me the opposite effect!  Maybe I've been reading into this superstition wrong the whole time?!  Well, whatever.  This year I feel so lucky :)

Monday, February 13, 2012

February Beauty Box Subscriptions

Interested in knowing what came in the February Lust Have It box and the Valentine's edition Glossybox?  I received mine last week but wasn't able to pick them up until late last week and today.  To find out more about these boxes, click the links: Lust Have It website, Glossybox website. Spoiler alert for those still waiting!

Lust Have It - February
The contents at a glance. $14.95 AUD.

Davroe Tame lemongrass detangler 50ml
RRP $21.50 for 315ml spray

Lancome Juicy Tube
RRP $46 for 14g

Lush sugar scrub
RRP $6.50 for 100ml

Sasy n Savy rose lavender hand and nail repair creme 5ml
RRP $25 for 100ml

Taut collagen infusion mask x1
RRP $44.95 for a pack of 5

A card with info on how to care for your skin, dependant on your age range.

Glossybox - Valentine's edition
The contents at a glance. $14.95 AUD

Bobbi Brown lash glamour extreme lengthening mascara
RRP $48 for 6ml

Polished London nail enamel
RRP $7.99 for 10ml

Proactiv deep cleansing wash 60ml
RRP $39.95 for 475ml

Jane Iredale Tantasia self tanner
RRP $54 for 124ml

Star and Rose Floral Wonderland emergency nail files
RRP upon request (???)

I'm quite happy with both the boxes.  I'm most excited about the mascara and hair detangler spray!  However, I don't think I'll be continuing with either of the subscriptions as I need to start seriously saving up.  If you're subscribed, are you happy with the contents this month?  If you're not subscribed, would you consider subscribing?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Beauty Confessions: How Often Do You Do It?

I will probably gross you all out after you've finished reading this.  But I know I'm not within the norm, and I'm just curious about how often most girls do it. The general consensus is at least once a day, but more often it happens twice in a day.

By "it", I mean: how often do you wash your face?

This is where it gets a little gross.  But this is a beauty confession, so I will be frank.  In a day, I wash my face on average about... oh, never.

The only time I wash my face is when I'm in the shower (sometimes) and after I've been wearing makeup and need to remove it.  I have a shower once a day, occasionally twice (if it's "that time" of the month, before going out at night, if I need to shave my legs etc).

When I'm in the shower, sometimes I decide to wash my face with a cleanser, and other times I don't bother with a cleanser.  I'll just use plain water.  This is usually determined by when I last washed my face i.e: did I wash my face just before getting into bed last night?  If that was the case, I'll just splash my face with water and call it a day.  However, If I last washed my face in yesterday's early morning shower, I'll wash my face again.  I guess I give myself a daily allowance of just one time to wash my face (with cleanser).

Most girls will wash their face upon waking, then again before getting into bed. Do I bother to wash my face before getting into bed?  Generally, no.  Even if I had gone out that day.  The only times I will wash my face before bedtime is if I had been wearing sunscreen, if I had been wearing makeup, or if I had been excessively sweating from exercise (which let me just say, occurs as frequently as a mass extinction on Earth i.e: once every 26 million years)!

I know that you should wash your face before getting into bed, to wash away all the dirt and toxins that have accumulated on the skin throughout the day, as well as all the free radicals collected from our environment.  So why don't I? 

Two reasons: one - I'm lazy.  And two - I don't really go out all that frequently.  I'm at home most of the time, therefore I don't think my skin gathers as much crap as say, someone who works 5 days a week in the city.  I have found that not washing my face often has actually improved my skin.  I'm not as greasy as I used to be.  I don't ever get pimples (I used to get a lot!), except for the occasional hormonal breakout of one or two baby zits before my period.

This is how I see it: the less you do to your skin, the less you need to do to maintain it.  The more you wash your face and apply oil free moisturisers and yada yada, the more your skin will produce sebum to compensate, therefore your skin looks more oily, therefore you wash even more and find harsher cleansers to combat the oil, therefore the more sebum your skin produces, therefore the more oily you look and so forth.  It's quite a nasty cycle.  I believe this may have been why my skin was so atrocious a few years ago where I was obsessed with washing it twice daily and using oil free products so I wouldn't be a grease ball.

Of course, I can't speak for everyone.  Maybe washing regularly works well for you.  And if that's the case, then I'm sure you're happy with your routine.

My skincare routine goes something like this: wash face, either with or without cleanser.  Apply eye cream.  Spritz face with a toner mist.  Pat on rose hip oil as a moisturiser.  The end.

Every now and then I'll do a clay mask, and twice a week I'll exfoliate with a granulated scrub which also contains a chemical exfoliant.

These days, I have pretty nice, normal skin.  Right now I have a zit on my cheek which can be attributed to my menstrual cycle, but other than that it's pretty clear.  If I have moisturised my skin well, it appears quite even toned and the texture is soft and smooth.  I get asked all the time which foundation I'm wearing, or if I'm pregnant (because I apparently "glow" like a pregnant lady).  The answer is always "I'm not wearing any foundation!" or "Why, do I look fat to you?!"

So, how often do you do it?

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Ins and Outs of Hair Removal

Whether it’s the pluck, pull, thread, wax or shave – every girl has her standard hair removal routine. Some prefer the comfort and familiarity of hair removal at home (not to mention the cost effectiveness of home products) while others prefer being fussed over in a salon as well as the professional finish. And there are those that prefer to have it over and done with and rely on technology to deliver longer lasting or even mostly permanent results.

What’s your hair removal routine?

Shaving unwanted hair is still probably the most common hair removal technique, especially in areas such as under the arms or the legs. Most women will prefer a specific type of razor that is designed for women as they’ll be better angled and more suitable for the job. Always use a shaving cream or gel when shaving to avoid cuts, bumps and to prevent ingrown hairs.

Waxing & Sugaring
Waxing provides longer lasting and smoother results compared to shaving as it removes the hair from the root of growth. Some women prefer do-it-yourself waxing kits while others will choose to get the job done by a pro. If you opt for an at home treatment be sure to read the instructions thoroughly and handle the wax carefully to avoid mishaps and burns.

An alternative to waxing that doesn’t involve hot wax is known as sugaring. The sugar is applied to the area of hair growth at lukewarm temperatures and the hair is removed in the same direction as the growth of the hair, which advocates say yields less pain than traditional waxing.

Tweezing & Threading
Tweezing is the most common procedure for removing unwanted facial hair, especially eye brow sculpting. Tweezers can also be used to pick up stray hairs that may have been left behind by waxing or sugaring.
Meanwhile, threading is also gaining popularity as a way to remove unwanted facial hair with salons and cosmeticians offering threading services as well as facial waxing. Threading is especially popular in Arab cultures.

Laser Hair Removal
If you’re looking for even longer lasting and more permanent solutions, the latest in hair removal technology including IPL and laser hair removal machines can give you the results you need to last through the summer. With laser hair removal, a pulsed light is used to impair the hair follicle so that the hair falls out. With multiple treatments, laser hair removal can deliver permanent hair reduction and although you will likely still have some fine hairs, it will be much less noticeable and will generally require less ongoing maintenance.
Which method do you prefer? Do you use a combination?

*Guest post written by Paige and bought to you by FlexiCommercial.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Current Beauty Obsessions - Chantecaille & Chanel

Sometimes, I come across a beauty product that I cannot wait to own.  I google countless reviews on it.  I ascertain what colour/s would match my skin or suit my skin tone.  I dream up looks that I can do with the product... not just makeup looks, but entire outfits to go with it.  I call up stores to see which one convenient for me to get to will have it in stock.  I start saving up.

Is this normal?  Surely I'm not the only girl to feel this way about certain makeup products?

I am currently obsessing over two brands: Chanel and Chantecaille.  It's kind of funny how they both start with "cha"... as in, cha-ching!  I'm not sure why I'm obsessing over Chanel... I'm guessing it's because of their pretty nail polish colours.  Plus I watched a review on a compact foundation and decided I needed to have it in my life.  As for Chantecaille, I know exactly what got me obsessed with it: a short while ago, Mecca Cosmetica sent out an email showing us how to achieve 6 different looks using just four products.  One of the products was the Chantecaille gel liner pencil.  I'm hopeless with gel liner, so a gel liner in pencil form sounded ideal to me.

The other reason why I think I'm obsessing over their products is because I'm a sucker for portability.  I love products that you can just throw in your bag and not need anything else in order to use it (such as a brush).  Chantecaille's gorgeous little powder products that come in a brush are so convenient! Expensive, yes, but freaking convenient!  I'm just going to get straight into the products I'm obsessing over right now, so maybe you can start obsessing over them too.  Hehe!

$85 / $38 refills AUD
Chantecaille Poudre de Perle - Mineral Blush.  These powder blushes are teeny tiny and housed in such a cute yet glamorous and convenient refillable brush.  While the shade range is not huge (as with much of the Chantecaille range), the Biwa shade promises to be universally flattering (much like the NARS Orgasm blush).  I want this because it's definitely something that you can just throw in your bag and touch up throughout the day, without the need to carry a blush brush with you.  I find that I need to reapply blush after a few hours but because I hate the thought of carrying a brush in my handbag, I just go without and tend to look washed out by the end of the day or night.  This would solve my blush dilemma!  Plus it's paraben and talc free.

$49 AUD
Chantecaille Gel Liner Pencil.  This product comes in two shades, black and grey.  It's a shame those are the only colours it has, but as long as black is in the picture, I'm happy.  As mentioned earlier, I'm hopeless with applying gel liner with a brush, so I stick with pencil liners simply because I can apply it better.  This gel liner pencil is exactly what it sounds like: a gel liner in pencil form.  It claims to be long wearing, too.  I imagine that applying this would be a breeze.  If you wanted to smudge it out, the angled brush at the end would come in handy.

$110 / $50 refills AUD
Chantecaille Protection Naturelle Powder. About a week ago, I would never have considered this.  Simply because the only shades they have are light and bronze.  I fell somewhere in between.  However, after my frolic in the sun during the long weekend, I have now become a few shades darker which means that bronze would suit me beautifully.  This is "sun protection on the go", but would work beautifully as a mineral powder foundation.  I have actually swatched both shades on my hands and my skin looked really luminous and perfect (besides the colour mis-match).  The refillable flow-through brush applicator is so dainty and elegant, even if the shade didn't match me I would buy it anyway and use it up, then just refill with my own mineral powder! Perfect travel companion.

$105 AUD
Chantecaille Future Skin oil free foundation. Ok, so I don't quite agree with foundation in a pot.  But the reviews are mostly rave and it sounds like my dream foundation: natural looking and not heavy on the skin, with reasonable coverage.  I dislike foundations that you can constantly feel (I'm looking at you, M.A.C.)!  In fact, I dislike foundation in general and often go without or wear it very sheer because I prefer the real skin look.  If this foundation is as wonderful as it sounds, my NARS Sheer Glow may soon become my ex :)

$42 AUD
Chantecaille Brilliant Gloss. I hate lip gloss and lipsticks.  I don't own many, because I just don't use them.  (Lip balms, however, are my BFF and will remain so for the rest of my life!)  Apparently, these glosses are very sheer (just the way I like them!) and feel really good on the lips.  I have my eyes on two shades, Glee and Patina.  The other shades look boring to me, and probably would not suit my skin tone.  I cannot wait to get my hot little hands on these and try them out for myself!  Even though I haven't tried it yet, I'm already in love with the colour and the packaging!

$39 AUD
Chanel Le Vernis nail colour in #519 Rose Exuberant.  I love pink nail polish.  This shade looks like the ideal pink for me: dark, shocking and shiny. Toes or fingers, it wouldn't really matter, I have seen swatches of this and I have drooled each time.

$39 AUD
Chanel Le Vernis nail colour in #489 Rose Insolent. Again, a lovely pink shade that I find myself drooling over.  I am a fan of Chanel polishes and I love pinks, so this needs to be in my beauty cabinet already!  It is similar to one of my favourite pink shades by O.P.I (Shorts Story).  However, it's Chanel so that makes it a little bit more fancy :)

$98 AUD
Chanel Teint Innocence naturally luminous compact makeup SPF 15. I don't wear foundation much during the day, but I probably would if I owned this product.  It sounds like a dream to apply and would give me the look that I prefer when it comes to foundation: natural and luminous.  This is something you could throw in your bag and touch up throughout the day without the need for a brush.  According to most reviews, it also feels like nothing on the skin so it sounds like a winner to me! 

These products are all currently on my wish list and I plan to own each of them by the end of my birthday month (March) this year.  All the photos are from the Mecca Cosmetica or Chanel website.  You can find these products in stores now (Chanel at Chanel counters and makeup stores, or Chantecaille at Mecca Cosmetica)... but not for long because I'm about to go hoard them all! *evil laugh*

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Hello, Sun Damage!

During the long Australia Day weekend, I went to Venus Bay with my family and a family friend.  Can you believe that a few weeks before "the big event" I go out and get sunburnt?  No?  Well surely these photos will paint a clear picture in your mind for you.  I bet you can even feel the pain!

Now, I wish I had taken photos of the day, but unfortunately I'm not the kind of person to take snaps every ten seconds.  (Serena took some photos on her phone, maybe I'll bug her for them...) Once I'm somewhere, I just enjoy the moment without worrying about capturing it on film.  So sadly, there will be no photos of the day so I won't talk about it.  I'll just talk about my sunburnt back.  I will mention that it was a very clear, hot day.  Mid 30's, I believe.  I caught 3 pipis.  Go me!  And I discovered a new hobby: body boarding!  So fun!

This is what happens when you think you're being clever and apply sunscreen all over your body, except the one place you can't really reach very well: your back!  I didn't purposely leave my back unprotected, I had actually forgotten to apply sunscreen there each and every time I reapplied!  How does one forget each time?  I'm pretty sure my brain was reacting to the sudden surge of ultraviolet rays which it rarely ever experiences due to me being a homebody.

Before I got to Venus Bay and stripped off, I had made sure to apply my sunscreen all over my body, including my back.  Once I got there and reapplied my sunscreen, I just completely forgot to do my back.  I got an offer from someone to do my back, but I declined because I didn't think that he would do a good job. Ironically, I then forget to do it myself (was too busy talking about astrophysics and astronomy) so maybe I shouldn't have rebuffed him!

Nearly a week has passed, and my back still stings a little.  It's still quite itchy but it is no longer red.  It is now extremely dark brown.  Not a good look!  Have I learnt my lesson?  Yes!  If somebody offers to apply sunscreen to your back, TAKE IT!  Because you'll probably forget to do it yourself :(

Here's a photo I took of my younger son on the way back home.  He's asleep in his speedos, lol!