Thursday, December 27, 2012

What I Received this Christmas

I’m still full from all of the turkey and fresh fruit I gorged on during Christmas & Boxing Day, but I thought I’d pop in and give you a quick post before I get into the swing of regular posting again! I wanted to show you some of the beauty related gifts I was lucky enough to receive this year, as I love peeking into others peoples days and thought you might feel the same. Chris requested a wish list from me early on in December, and naturally I managed to come up with some beauty products I wouldn’t mind seeing underneath the tree. He took the list into our local Myer and is now firm friends with the ‘nice chick from the Chanel bit’, and I am very proud of him.
A Chanel JC blush was something I’d always lemmed over after seeing Pink Sith rave about it, but I could never decide on a shade when I was at the counter. I took myself out of the equation and asked Chris to select a shade for me, and he went for the bright and summery Pink Explosion! He bought the Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist off his own back, when we started dating years ago I used to have a bottle and he loved it, so he wanted me to have it again. So sweet!
I’d been eyeing off the YSL Sheer Candy range and fell in love with the deep red shade Sweet Fig, so Chris chose that off my list without even knowing what sort of colour it was. He was pretty much dragging the Chanel lady all over the place to find things that I’d like, he is pretty clueless when it comes to cosmetics (though he is a fan of Garnier concealer and Maybelline Dream Matte powder!) The Inglot pans were something I picked up myself for under the tree, I am a little bit frightened of how intense the blush is but every time I go into the store I am drawn to it like a moth to flame, so I think it wanted to join my blush family.
I am so grateful for all of the beautiful gifts I received this year, as well as the delicious food and the time spent with family. As well as the beauty related gifts above I received pajamas, Tupperware, a stack of board games (fam are looking forward to us moving in together I think!) and an iPad 4. Elated that I will now be able to blog on the go more often, and blog read on my lunch break every day!
How did you spend Christmas Day? Did you receive any cosmetic gifts as well? I’d love to hear about them!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Dior Fairy Golds Eyeshadow Palette // Grand Bal Collection

Each time the holiday season rolls around, the luxe makeup brands whip up some pretty limited edition goodies that never fail to tempt me. I tend to hold back and spend all of my extra cash on all the kidlets in my life at this time of the year, but when I locked eyes with the new Dior Grand Bal collection, I knew it was made for me. The two quints were the most exciting aspect of the new CD stash in my eyes. I spent quite a while swatching and considering whether my love for the darker palette (Night Golds) would prevail, or my love for the lighter palette (Fairy Golds) would win my heart. Ultimately they were too similar to both come home to chez Emma, so Fairy Golds flew into my makeup drawers and has been getting a lot of love ever since.
I’ve found that the mix of shades in this palette can make the perfect transition from daytime look into a festive night look, but the shades are something I will definitely be wearing all year round. From the top left, the first shade is a pinky tinged champagne beige that reminds me of Urban Decay Sin, but is lighter. The shade is soft and buttery, and I’ve been wearing it all over the lid with a darker crease colour quite a bit lately. The second shade along is the glitterbomb of the palette, and is almost like a stack of gold leaf pressed down into a shadow. Applies better than I expected it to, and is a paler gold when compared to something like the gold within the Clarins Odyssey palette. The shade is closer to L’Oreal Infallible 027 Goldmine but less buttery, and more sparkly in an almost overlay sort of effect.
The darkest shade in the palette is a a deep chocolately brown with red undertones, brilliant pigmentation and one I will use often. I hardly have any red toned dark brown shades in my collection to compare with this, and I am really impressed with how a light touch can produce such a deep colour. The next shade along in the bottom left hand corner is what I call the taupe of the palette! A mauvey neutral shade, it reminds me of Urban Decay’s Sidecar, but when I swatched them side by side I saw that they are very different. Dior's is much lighter and Sidecar is much more brown in comparison. This shade is my favourite in the palette by far, and was the deciding factor in my palette choice.
The last and centre shade is a pink tinged white which is very glittery and somewhat chunky in the pan, but applies well and is pretty as an inner corner highlight for dramatic looks. I do wish they had’ve put a matte highlight shade in this palette, which was also noted by Christine of Temptalia, but I suppose you can't fit everything into a quint.
The shades are much more vibrant and pigmented in reality, they just blend so well into the skin!
Direct sunlight.
Indoor swatch, window lighting.
I find Fairy Golds to be very wearable and lovely quality, and seeing as it is my first Dior eyeshadow purchase I am very pleased with it. I’ve been calling it my ‘festive season palette’, as I can throw the shades on before a long shift at work and they last without creasing longer than any shadow I’ve used before.
Fairy Golds retails for $59 USD and $99 AUD and in Australia is available from Myer and David Jones.
Have you deemed some makeup your 'festive makeup'? Do you tend to wear similar looks now that it is the festive season, or are you one of those lucky ones who gets holidays at this this time of the year?

Monday, December 17, 2012

Luxurious Bathing, the gift of relaxation // Gift Guide, Part One

 I am a firm believer in giving Christmas gifts, and I think the best sorts of gifts are the things that you wouldn’t usually purchase for yourself. Being someone who is completely beauty obsessed means that I do tend to indulge in bath and body products quite often, but before I began blogging the only items I really used were those gifted to me. Luxury during a bath and shower can really help someone wind down after a long day at school or work (or shopping!) and these gifts would all make lovely, thoughtful gifts.

Even though I’m not a bar soap sort of person myself, the majority of people I know prefer them to shower gels . The fact that this product is made by the Scottish Fine Soaps Company (my family come from Glasgow!) makes it hold a special place in my heart, and the tins are stunning and reusable. They have tins with birthday, good luck, and other general messages on top, making them perfect as something sweet AND useful! $11.99 at David Jones.

The Clarins Eau des Jardins Uplifting Shower Gel is probably the nicest luxe shower gel I have ever used. The scent is beautiful, but hard to explain, and it lathers up in the most perfect way. The scent is made up of 10 different essential oils, including  zesty ones like grapefruit, right through to rose and cedar. The bottle itself is really cute as well, and the range contains a gift set which would make a beautiful gift. $42.00 for 150ml at Myer, David Jones, pharmacies and Adore Beauty.
As well making lovely face products, L’Occitane have a great range of bath and shower products that I really enjoy. I’m about to try the Almond Shower Oil (and am very excited by it!) but something I’ve been using for a while are these two shower gels. Captivant is definitely my favourite from this range, I also have it in cologne form and it makes for a very uplifting scent experience. A wander into L’Occitane is always a good idea at Christmas time, the packs they make are often better value than purchasing products separately. I know when I went to my local store for Christmas drinks I was taken with the packaging and value they have out at the moment! These shower gels retail for $28 for 250ml.
It’s no secret I am a massive Kiehl’s fan, and the new Aromatic Blends collection has really impressed me! I have been using my travel size samples of the Orange Flower & Lychee scent for a while now and love it, but I’ve also sniffed all 3 other variations in store and adore them as well! The range has lotions, fragrance sprays and body cleansers, so you can pick and mix to your hearts content. Prices range from $29 for the fragrances to $38 for the lotions, and the collection is available from Kiehl’s counters in Myer and David Jones.
I have another of these posts coming up soon as I just couldn't fit all of my bath and body loves into a single post. I'd love to hear your thoughts on whether or not you like to receive things like this for Christmas, or for birthdays or other celebrations?
These products were kindly provided for editorial consideration, so I had a chance to personally try all of these products. Honesty, always.

Friday, December 14, 2012

What I Wore on My Face // L'Occitane Drinks Edition

Earlier in the week I spent the day Christmas shopping for all of the little ones in my family, and spent the evening having Christmas drinks with the lovely ladies at L'Occitane. I had been hanging out to sniff the new Magical Leaves collection, and was happy to finally get a chance to look at it!
The beautiful Melbourne Central store front.
Some gift packs from the new Marvellous Flowers and Magical Leaves collections.
Norlin getting a hand massage with some L'Occitane products

I decided to rock a taupey purple eye look to go with my purple statement necklace, but I ended up forgetting to wear the beads to L'Occitane anyway! I used a mix of brands to get my purple look, and was happy to get some compliments from staff when I was buying gifts during the day.

L'Oreal Infallible in Metallic Lilac
Clarins purple from the Enchanted palette*
Inglot purple shade
Physicians Formula purple liner (from the Brown Eyes Trio)
Face of Australia Impact Curl mascara

NYX Peach blush
Clarins Bronzing Duo in 03 Dark*
BYS Fierce Fuschia blush

Illamasqua Skin Base
Face of Australia Outback Translucent Powder*
Maybelline Dream Matte powder (for touch ups)

Clinique Chubby Stick in Whole Lotta Honey*
Smashbox gloss in Overexposed*

I felt really nice with this eye look on, it didn't photograph as well as it looked in reality (in my opinion) I highly recommend every eye product I used for this look-very happy with them all! The lip duo is something I've been wearing almost every day lately, I can easily put it on without a mirror and it keeps my lips happy and goes with the dramatic eye looks I've been wearing.

What do you think of my eye look?
What is your favourite L'Occitane product? The almond range has stolen my heart!

*The Clinique product was won in a competition, and marked items were provided for editorial consideration. Honesty, always.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

An Easy Christmas Manicure feat. Essie, BYS, Sally Hansen & Mode Cosmetics

Considering I have tumbled head first into the land of festive spirit, I’m amazed that it has taken me this long to pop a Christmas themed manicure up! I thought I’d start out nice and easy, as we all know I am not great at nail art or anything intricate like that. I used a few festive polishes that have been sitting on my desk staring at me, and I apologise for the sorry state of the skin around my nails. I've been so busy at work and it has taken a toll on my hands more than ever before!
I hope you like the manicure!
For my thumb, I chose to use two coats of Mode Cosmetics Vicious Venom. Not a very festive name, but wow is it a festive shade! As soon as my Mum saw this manicure, she grabbed this off me to borrow it. Hopefully I will be able to find it in the discount bins at the chemist and buy another bottle for her! The pointer finger is also a Mode Cosmetics shade, this time in Kiss and Tell. Again, really opaque which is the perfect type of glitter for me.

The middle finger is a base of Mode Cosmetics Cool  As, topped with Ulta3 Charmed, which is a tonne of fine green glitter in a clear base. This pair went nicely together, more than I actually first thought they would. The ring finger is a base of Sally Hansen’s Complete Salon Manicure in Pink Slip* (see it in action here) topped with BYS Cold as Ice*, which is my very favourite polish right now (You can buy it for $4.95 from Fashion Addict) I think my next mani will be a full hand of this icy look, as I think it is cute, summery AND festive, all at the same time! My pinky finger is kept plain with Essie’s Going Incognito, which is a beautiful deep forest green crème shade.

Which nail is your favourite? Do you partake in a little festive nail fun, or do you prefer to keep them classic?

*Marked items were provided for review. BYS Cold as Ice was provided for consideration from F

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Soap & Glory Flake Away : Transforming Scaly Legs from Reptilian to Radiant!

I must admit I am a bit of a body scrub fiend, and because I use them almost every time I shower, I get to try out quite a few different types and brands. The latest one I’ve used is Flake Away from Soap and Glory! I bought this tub from Boots in Thailand earlier in the year, and even though it was heavy in my suitcase it was on sale if you bought two (I totally stashed the other in Chris' suitcase when he wasn't looking!) so I couldn't pass it up.

This scrub has that well known ‘Soap & Glory’ scent, which reminds me quite a bit of Miss Dior Cherie perfume. The scent is quite a strong one, so I would definitely suggest having a sniff in store and being certain that you are a fan of it before you purchase. The tub is a huge 300ml and at Kit Cosmetics it is only $16.95!! I honestly thought it was much more than that, for the amount of uses per tub that is incredible value. They also have a travel size 50ml tub for $5.95, if you have a holiday planned or wanted a stocking stuffer, mini S&P is the way to go.
Flake Away is quite sandy in texture, but has plenty of oils inside to keep it smooth and easy to use. It definitely gets the dead skin cells away, and though it leaves a bit of residue I found it moisturising without feeling gross (unlike the Burt’s Bees cranberry scrub, review here) The scent lingers on the skin for quite a while, so if you are pairing it with other Soap & Glory products (like their Hand Food hand cream!) or that Dior perfume, it could work perfectly when layered. I tend to use it before bed, and find it sits nicely with my L’Occitane Cherry Blossom Solid Perfume* which I apply on my pulse points every night.
Even though the labels ended up peeling away on my tub of Flake Away, I love the packaging of this scrub. The pot is sturdy and water tight, the sayings make me giggle and overall it looks attractive sitting in my shower. It is quite a large tub, so it doesn’t fit where my usual scrubs go – those with tight shower spaces might have to stash it on the floor! All in all, this is something from Soap & Glory that I would happily recommend, provided the scent is something you enjoy. It is very affordable, does a great job at scrubbing and leaving skin soft and moisturised, and is readily available here.
Have you tried any Soap & Glory scrubs? What do you think of the scent of their products? I have The Breakfast Scrub* waiting in the wings to be used, and my oh my I’m looking forward to trying it!

*Marked items were provided for consideration, but I bought Flake Away myself.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Illamasqua : Generation Q

Having been out for quite a while now, the Illamasqua Generation Q collection is something I reach for all the time. Since I am lucky enough to try new beauty products regularly, when certain collections stick around in my ‘everyday’ makeup stash, you know they must be good! I rushed out when the collection launched to buy the Complement palette (swatched HERE!) and was sent the other products to trial. The gloss in Boost is the coolest looking lip product I own, and surprisingly easy and lots of fun to wear. Magnetism is something I tend to reach for when the weather is cooler, and the raspberry tones make it a unique shade in my lipstick wardrobe. Sophie is probably my favourite piece from the collection, it is a shimmery powder blusher in the prettiest coral shade that really wakes up my face and adds light and dimension to it.

I’ve always been a big fan of Illamasqua and would highly recommend their makeovers and products in general. I like that they keep their limited edition collections out for a long time, so it gives you a chance to really dig into the products and review them, while the products are still available to buy. Big win for all! I have my eye on the Gleam in Aurora and the polish in Creator, but I’ll try to be good and refrain from grabbing more from this collection!

*As mentioned, some of these items were sent for consideration, and I personally purchased the Complement palette. In all honesty, they all would’ve come home with me one way or the other ;P

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Sample Saturday // Aesop Reverence Aromatique Hand Balm

I quite like sharing my initial impressions of samples with you, as I tend to think that the average consumer is affected by first impressions. Those who don’t read blogs (who ARE those people?!) will grab a product off the shelf, give it a quick sniff and rub it on their hands, and that alone can determine whether or not the item comes home with them. Here are my thoughts on the latest product I’ve tried, the Reverence Aromatique Hand Balm from much lemmed over brand, Aesop.
I’ll try to step aside from the fact that I swoon over the ambiance of Aesop stores and counters a little too often. This was the very first time I've actually tried something from the brand. The ingredients list looks quite promising, and Aesop were kind enough to decode ingredients into the titles I understand on the sample sachet. Sweet almond oil, coconut oil, bergamot oil, shear butter as well as bitter orange and grapefruit make it into this hand balm, and the resulting smell is definitely unique. Part of me thinks it smells quite gourmand, but it is spicy in a way that is different to other delicious smelling scents I know. To be honest, I’m not sure if I love it, but it does settle into the skin quite nicely and seems a fitting scent for this festive time of year.

The term ‘hand balm’ made me expect something quite thick and, well, balmy, but when I used this I saw it as more of a lotion than anything else. Quite liquid, I was surprised at how well it managed to sink into my hands and make them feel soft, as though it had indeed been a balm in texture. Thought this sample stated that it was a single application, I needed only half for both of my hands, so treated my elbows to the rest. They feel pretty silky smooth, and it took a tiny while to sink in but now it doesn’t feel greasy, so the claims on the sachet stand pretty true.

I adore the Aesop aesthetic, and am hoping to get the chance to try some more products from them in the New Year. What would you recommend?


Friday, December 7, 2012

November Empties

Another month gone and another lot of finished products to share, albeit smaller than the usual lot. Here we go! 

Priceline Round Cotton Pads – love using these for removing eye makeup, using Bioderma and tidying up fallout after applying heavy eye makeup. I find the Priceline branded rounds fall apart less than other brands, but I generally just pick up whatever is around when I need them.

Athena Beauty Facial Cleansing Wipes – these weren’t great, they fell apart as you took them out of their packet and they were terribly dry. Definitely won’t repurchase!

Clarins Advanced Extra-Firming Eye Contour Cream – this was only 3 nights worth, but I found it irritated my eyes a little bit. I’m going to look into other Clarins eye creams when I need to purchase one.

Clinique Take the Day Off Eye Makeup Remover (for lids, lashes and lips) – I bought this in Sydney as I needed a heavy duty remover for my eyes, and I was really impressed with it. It took off makeup in a flash, and though it left a bit of residue I didn’t mind the feeling at all. I will repurchase a large size of this when I’ve finished the other removers I have lying around.

Random eyelash glue – I have Duo, there is no need to put this near my eyelids so out it goes.

Lipgloss Pot – this was a GWP when I bought some Essie and China Glaze polishes from an outlet type place, but it smells weird and the packaging is slimy and I wouldn’t even give it to my nieces. Out it goes!

Savers Halloween Makeup – didn’t realise that once you opened this packaging, the cover went with it and so this ended up a furry mess. Not keen on putting it on my mug anyway, so no great loss.

Soap and Glory Flake Away – this body scrub was really nice to use, I’ll be doing a full review of it this week!

Rexona Girl Tropical Energy deodorant – as always, my favourite deodorant makes it into my empties. Love it, will repurchase.

Rexona Women Shiny ‘Fragrance Collection’ deodorant – love that Rexona have to specify who their deodorants are for! Not sure about the collection name, or the shiny aspect, but this was a decent deodorant that I picked up because it was on sale.

Nail Polish remover pads – bought this back when I was at uni and needed to rid my nails of chipped polish. The smell of this is really strong and they are quite thin, but they get the job done and are good to have on hand.
Clinique High Impact Mascara sample x2 – I really like this mascara, and collect the samples every time a Clinique GWP rolls around. These have been open for far too long, so out they go.

B Collection by Bloom Last Out mascara – Didn’t like this mascara, the formula was so wet that it just went everywhere and it didn’t define my lashes very nicely.

Powder Puff (from my Maybelline Dream Matte Powder) – this fell on the floor, eck. I like having these spongey puffs in the section underneath the powder for desperate touch ups, but more often I reach for a travel sized powder brush.

essence Sun Club gel liner in BBC All Night Blue – this sadly dried up before I had a chance to give it a go, I think I accidently left the lid unscrewed. Was a stunning shade for summer, I adore the essence gel liners.

Bourjois Healthymix Foundation – love this formula (and the serum formula as well) It glides on as a moisturiser would, and leaves a dewy healthy finish as they name would suggest. Would highly recommend!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Strawberry Fizz with Gold Glam

I am head over heels for the beautiful bright nail shades from Rimmel, and by topping my middle finger with a layer of Jordana’s Gold Glam I was able to jazz it up a little! I like the way the hexes in the golden glitter stand out, and the shade suits the Barbie-esque pink shade of Strawberry Fizz.
I’m not normally one for cocktail jewellery of any sort, as I have my staples which I rarely switch up, but sometimes it is nice to pop on something pretty and blingy! Cue the el cheapo, which I’d say was from Diva but it was bought so long ago that I can’t really remember clearly.
I think I’ve made the decision that Rimmel’s Strawberry Fizz is the perfect pink for me! What does your perfect pink look like?
*Both polishes were bought by me! Honesty, always.


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