Thursday, August 11, 2016

Mecca Beauty Election Beauty Loop Sample Box

I've finally started to take advantage of the generous Mecca Beauty Loop rewards program, which is free to join and gives you access to some lovely samples once you hit the first tier (for which you must have spent $300-$599 in store within the year) After receiving my first sample box and posting about it here, I was surprised to receive another email offering a special edition 'beauty election' sample box - I did vote in the beauty election, and must say it was a lot more fun than the Australian political election! I made it a mission one Sunday with Mister to detour to the shopping centre nearest me that has a Mecca Maxima store and nab myself one of the boxes - and it was definitely worth the detour! Each store had a different range of products in the sample box as chosen by the staff members, and my store nailed it!



Seriously, a mini Too Faced Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipstick!? I felt so lucky when I opened my box to see such a neat miniature of it, I've never tried a lip product from Too Faced before despite owning many of their palettes, and the shade received was Chihuahua, a very 'me' colour and one that I am excited to try! The other products in the box were from really interesting brands too...
Yet again my sample box contained a product from Josie Maran, which I'm very pleased about as I'm enjoying trying out such a popular brand. This Whipped Argan Oil Face Butter sounds perfect for this cold snap we are having here in Melbourne, I am looking forward to trying out the whipped consistency on my face!
I've tried some lip products from Korres but that is as far as I've gone with the brand, but I'm quite obsessed with rose products at the moment so this couldn't have arrived at a better time. The Wild Rose Brightening & Line Smoothing Serum will be a nice bedtime treat, and I'm intrigued as to how a serum in sachet is going to work for me.
It seems like Mecca have a few very generous brands who aren't afraid of dishing out samples, claps for that! I once again received a Kate Somerville product from Mecca, after falling in love with the ExfoliKate cleanser in my previous sample box I am very interested to see how this EradiKate To-Go Pre-Treated Swab will go - will it be similar to my Mario Badescu Drying Lotion that I dab on with a cotton bud?! 
Still swooning over this, even if I don't end up loving the formula how wonderful is it to be able to try such an adorable and popular product from Too Faced without dishing out a single dollar?

 
Are you a member of the Mecca Beauty Loop? If not, you should be!
-Emma x


 

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Recently Read - August 2016

Despite already flipping onto August on my desk calendar, I'm less than halfway through my 2016 reading challenge and that fact has begun to annoy me. I am focused on a few new areas of life at the moment and have also been enjoying social media more than I once did, all of which sucks time away from moments to sit down with a good book. I really need to get back into reading and take advantage of the library stack teetering in my office! These are a few library books I've read recently.
The Girl on the Train - Paula Hawkins
Let's be real, I read this because everyone was talking about it! Last year I focused on reading current new releases and this year I'd like to do the same, but taking book popularity into consideration. I know that many people avoid doing that, but I like to be able to have a say on the latest hit so it suits me fine - plus I like having other people choose my books in a way! I quite enjoyed this novel despite it being unlike the books I normally pick up - the ending was neat but didn't bother me all that much, and I liked the shaky feeling I had around so many of the central characters.

The Piano Man Project - Kat French
I adored this novel, and felt like the protagonist was really well written. I wasn't expecting too much from this sort of romantic narrative but French built her characters really well in my opinion, and I found the romance a lot more rough and relatable than other novels I've come across.

The Life Intended - Kristin Harmel
Don't you just love that feeling when you read a book you really connect with? I could have put my judgeypants on with so many aspects of this story, but instead I leapt in with an open mind about it all and really enjoyed the strange and painful life that the main character was living. The only part that bothered me (and this may be a spoiler, but I think the blurb says just as much) is any section with her fiancé, who was so much nothing I couldn't even handle it.The ending was one I anticipated earlier in the book but I didn't know if Harmel would go there...well, she did and I surprisingly didn't mind. Would love to hear from anyone else who has read this one - it's made me order some more books by the author at the library.

What have you been reading lately? How is your reading challenge going, if you are doing one?
-Emma x


 

 

Friday, August 5, 2016

Glowy Natural Makeup Look with YSL, MAC & Too Faced Bon Bons Palette

I've been absolutely smashing my beloved Too Faced Bon Bons palette lately, so last week I snapped a few pictures of my mug and the products I used for this easy, natural everyday makeup look. I've been using the Bon Bons palette as my go-to as I adore the mix of matte shades with the shimmery options, and the crease shades really suit my complexion so it's a one-and-done kind of palette for me!

EYES
~MAC Painterly Paint Pot as my eye base
~Too Faced Bon Bons Palette (Molasses Chip all over the lid, Malted in the crease, Satin Sheets for my inner corner and Divinity for my brow bone)
~essence LongLasting Eye Pencil in Hot Scorch
~Max Factor Masterpiece Glamour Extensions mascara

FACE
~Rimmel Fix&Protect Makeup Primer SPF25*
~Yves Saint Laurent Le Teint Touche Éclat foundation*, which really does give that glowy base that so many beauty girls love!
~MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural 
~Maybelline Master Hi-Light Hi-Lighting Blush in Coral* 

LIPS
~MAC Prolongwear Lip Pencil in In Control*
~essence Velvet Mat 23 Lipstick
 

I've been loving simple looks like this lately, but have also been pushing myself back into bright lips so perhaps my next makeup look will have a bright lip front and centre...any colour recommendations to inspire me?
-Emma x
 
*Marked products provided for consideration. Honesty, always.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Pine Away

Green is easily my favourite colour to wear on my nails, and I've toyed with deep forest greens along with bright grassy greens over the years. My green polish collection is quite impressive if I do say so myself, but this beauty from Sinful Colors is easily the most perfect foiled green that screams luxe to me (and makes me pine for Christmas time!) I've never had a problem with the formula from Sinful Colors and the affordable price point is certainly welcome in the Australian beauty market - if I feel like snapping up a trend shade, I usually hit up a Sinful Colors stand and strike it lucky! I've even picked up a few from the recent Kylie Jenner release, but we're not here to discuss that today...
 
Introducing, Pine Away. 

The intense silver shimmer fills the bottle so nicely but because of the foil-esque formula this is a cinch to remove, unlike a traditional glitter that takes forever and a day to lift from your nail beds. I personally couldn't think of a more perfect shade of green for the festive season than this one, but with my love of green nails I'd wear this in winter too as a nice pop of luxe to offset my permanently grey and black wardrobe!


Do you have a favourite green polish I need in my collection?
What is your perfect festive nail shade?
Is everyone else excited that Christmas is coming closer, or is it just me?!
-Emma
 


Monday, August 1, 2016

Bali Beauty Haul

Back in January I spent two week in Bali with friends to celebrate a very special wedding, and I've decided to post up the beauty products I hauled over there seeing as I haven't even cracked into them yet! I've been so focused on using up the bulk of my stockpile to bring my beauty room to normality that I haven't been trying the exciting new bits I brought back from overseas, but I figured now was as good a time as any to take a look at what I got and start trying things out!
Original Source Vanilla & Raspberry Body Butter - I'm not particularly fond of this scent from OS but I made grabby hands purely because we don't have access to anything but the shower gels here in Australia!
 
Silkygirl Big Eye Mascara & Moisture Boost Lip Crayon - I'd heard of this brand via Vita's blog, which was the only reason I threw something random from them into my cart at the pharmacy. I also meant to get the powder she raves about but as you'll see below, my memory wasn't great that day...
 
Hado Labo Ultimate Moisturising Milk - I had dashed into a pharmacy with a friend to get some cool air while waiting for our driver, and was confronted with a wall of Hado Labo, a brand that I've never before had access to...a moisturiser seemed like a safe option to try out.
 
Maybelline Velvet Matte by Color Sensational in various shades - I saw the cheap Maybelline price coupled with the word matte on the outer wrapping of these, and over the course of the two weeks a stack of shades ended up climbing into my suitcase. Shamed to say I haven't given all of them a good whirl yet, but the ones I've tried have quite a mousse-like consistency.


Garnier Sakura White Pinkish Radiance Gentle Foam, Whitening Cream and Sleeping Essence - I'd never seen these before (of course the range came out in Australia right after I returned from Bali - though I don't know if the products are identical?) but they seemed pretty interesting and I generally like Garnier skincare range. I still have some skincare to trial so I won't be using these right away, but am excited to eventually try them!
Cottage Le Caramel Gourmet Shower Gel & Moisturizing Body Milk - Another blog-influenced purchase, from the now defunct Mustard Jumper. From memory she bought these from France? I was so excited to see them on the shelf in Seminyak one day, and I need moisturiser like a hole in the head but bought it regardless (because that is what I do)
 

REN Moroccan Rose Otto Body Lotion - Technically this 50ml tube came free with a magazine I bought at Melbourne Airport, but once I can see an airplane I'm in holiday mode so I count this as a holiday purchase.

Biore Body Foam Whitening Scrub - Truth be told, I bought this purely for the weird factor! I am partial to trying Biore products while holidaying in Asia, it just seems the thing to do, you know?
Stroberi Nail Polishes - These reminded me of shades from the old OPI Spiderman collection, and that is about as far as my rationalizing will go for these. The Stroberi store is so cute and every time we drove past it we would have a good giggle at the name, so at least these bring back fond holiday memories!
Silkygirl Brightening 2-Way Foundation & Skin Perfect CC 2-Way Foundation - These were my attempt at purchasing Vita's favourite product, close but no cigar! Hopefully they are just as lovely though.

L'Oreal Mat Magique All-in-One Matte Transforming Powder and Canne Film Festival Limited Edition Nail Polishes - I have this strange obsession with buying powders when in Asia, and the pink case for this was too cute to pass on. The polishes were on clearance and such majestic looking shades!
Yves Rocher Hydra Vegetal Intense Hydrating Mask, Peach Creamy Gel Moisturiser, Apple Delight Perfume and Blushes
Fellow blogger Anna always raves about the Yves Rocher brand, so as soon as I spotted it I knew I was about to spend a lot of time filling up a basket. I dipped into most areas of their product line to give it all a go, and was pleased to find two neutral rose toned blushes to add to my blush stash #blushfiend

 
The Body Shop Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter and Silky Cleansing Oil -  I'd been wanting to dip my toe into the skincare side of TBS and I love a good cleansing butter or oil, so this felt like a sensible indulgence and I think it worked out a bit cheaper to buy it over there than on Australian soil (plus holiday money is play money, right? ha!)
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It will be a while before my next holiday, so it felt extra nice to sit down and remember all of the lovely things I purchased while away. I also stocked up on a whole lot of Bath and Body Works products but there was too much to fit in this post. Perhaps I should post my collection someday?
-Emma

Friday, July 15, 2016

2016 Empties - Second Quarter

I finally feel like I'm making a dent in my backup stash of beauty and bath products, and with much more room for storage in the cupboards of my spare rooms I'm a lot more content with things in general. Let's have a look at what I've finished up so far this year!
SHOWER
The Dirty Works Life's A Beach Coconut Scrub* took me a while to finish as it just wasn't scrubby enough to make me want to reach for it, whereas the Cocoa Brown Tough Stuff Scrub* I eked out bit by bit to make it last longer. As an aside, you should all follow Marissa Carter on Snapchat (cartermarissa) as it led to me gaining a deep admiration for her as a person and her brand  - her product tips are pretty spot on too! Also used up were a variety of shower gels, most notably a hotel sample from our honeymoon in Hawaii which brought back beautiful memories and the new Cherry & Nettle Original Source which was just heavenly.
HAIR
Mister Bovary finished up his beloved Muk Hard Muk Styling Mud that was featured in his recent post here, while I finished off a pot of my favourite hair mask, Dove's Intensive Repair. I tried out some new anti-dandruff shampoos that were just okay, and emptied out a bottle of coconut and lime conditioner that was also hoarded from our honeymoon in 2014.
SKINCARE
I'm probably most proud of using up two cleansers, my unofficial goal for the year is to work through the cleansers in my stash and use them up entirely so I can justify trying newly released cleansers on the market. I finished the Paula's Choice Hydralight One Step Face Cleanser that I won from The Belle Lumiere and a tube of the Natio Facial Cleansing Balm which I'll have a full review of up soon (spoiler alert: it's great!) I also finished up some travel and sample sized products: Neutrogena Deep Clean Gentle Scrub (contains microbeads, not effective) Simple Kind to Eyes Eye Makeup Remover (not effective) Natralus Paw Paw 95% Pure Moisturiser (no petroleum, yahoo!) and Kate Somerville Exfolikate Cleanser (instant love)
MAKEUP & PERFUME
I'm still not using up as much makeup as I'd like but at least my samples are getting a workout, right? I used up the Rimmel Lasting Finish Powder Foundation* by using it as a pigmented setting powder, and a tube of my Face of Australia Face Base Primer which I recommend to everyone. Also gone are a sample vial of Chanel Coco Mademoiselle and sample sachets of Too Faced Shadow Insurance (great stuff!) and Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer (was glad to try because of the hype, would like to trial properly one day!)
----------------------
I look forward to the days of having a curated stash, but for now I'm content with delving through my old hoarding efforts and coming up with new products to try out and use up. I've curbed the habit of flip-flopping between skincare and body products leaving a tonne of half-empty bottles in my wake and that has to count for something, right?
-Emma x

*Marked products were provided for consideration. Honesty, always.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The Sculpting Cheek Palette

 
I know that it would take a tonne of people from Kim Kardashian's squad to transform my chipmunk cheeks into anything resembling a sculpted face, but this is as close as I've come with ease to having anything resembling cheekbones, so lets just let me indulge for a moment. When this product hit my desk I thought it was cute, but didn't think much more if I'm honest. I'm not one to wear bronzer everyday, I prefer my highlight more intense than the daily average, and trying to pry a Chanel Joues Contraste blush out of my hands is a task in itself - but I'm happy to report that my cheek look lately was done with a single palette, from the drugstore!

Kate Moss for Rimmel London has created this sculpting palette in 002 Coral Glow* that is adorably packaged, and actually brings the goods when it comes to pigment and lasting power. For my first few uses I neglected the blush shade and used the aforementioned Chanel pan, but during the second week of use I figured that if I liked the contour and highlight shade that much, I should probably give the seemingly plain blush a red hot go. It turns out that Rimmel know what they're on about when it comes to cheeks - the easy to wear blush colour is a winner and I featured it in my recent favourites post!

pretty neat guide on the back of the packaging
I knew I needed to dedicate a post to this when I caught myself raving about it to my Mum, sister and nieces when they asked what I was wearing, and a few have since bought it for themselves on my recommendation. I use the very tame 'day appropriate' highlighter first on the tops of my cheekbones (or where they would be if you could see them) and then the contour shade underneath the cheekbones. I'm not game enough for a full on contoured look like Kim K (and this shade has some slight shimmer so I'm sure diehard contour fans wouldn't approve anyway!) but this blends with almost no effort to give my face a bit of shape, and I take it up through my temples and the top of my forehead which warms up my very pale complexion without looking like Snooki circa 2009.
A helpful photo if you've forgotten where cheeks are...LOL

This palette gets two thumbs up from me, and if you follow me on Snapchat (emmabovaryt) I'm sure you've spotted this product quite a few times in my flat lays and get ready with me shots! It's a bargain at $16.95 and my niece sent me a Snapchat saying she scored it for half price at last week, so keep your eyes peeled at the usual drugstore haunts (Priceline, Woolworths, Coles etc)

Emma x

*Product provided for consideration. Honesty, always.
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