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Thursday, 20 March 2014

Haul: Priceline 40% Off Sale

So last week Priceline had a two day 40% off cosmetics sale. As soon as I saw the post on Facebook I headed off with my wish list to my nearest Priceline store. I did do quite a bit of damage but I'm really excited about the products I purchased! Sales like this are fantastic for Australians as drugstore makeup is considerably more expensive in comparison to the USA and the UK. 
Just a warning - I did go a bit crazy! Let's just say I needed some retail therapy and had saved up an amount of money that I was willing to spend at once. 

I have been wanting to find a good drugstore foundation and after hearing many good things about the following, I decided I would go ahead and purchase quite a few while they were on sale. 
L'Oreal True Match Foundation - N2 Vanilla (from $29.95 to $17.97)
L'Oreal Lumi Magique Foundation - Rose Porcelain (from $33.95 to $20.37)
Boujous Happy Light Foundation -#51 Rose Vanilla (from $29.00 to $17.40)
Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation - #103 True Ivory (from $19.95 to $11.97)
Covergirl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3-in-1 Foundation - Creamy Natural (from $19.95 to $11.97)
Revlon ColorStay Foundation Normal/Dry Skin - #150 Buff (from $34.95 to $20.97)
(Note: For reference I am NW20 in MAC Foundations)
So far I have tested the L'Oreal True Match, Covergirl Outlast Stay Fabulous, and Rimmel Wake Me Up. I must say I am very impressed with the L'Oreal True Match foundation, it has a very nice semi-matte finish and good coverage. It stays in place well throughout the day the only thing I need to do is powder my nose to prevent shine. I'll do a review on some of these foundations when I've tested them properly. 

I had also been meaning to purchase a new highlighting pen concealer one after finishing my previous one (Maybelline Dream Lumi Touch), so I picked up two by L'Oreal and one by Rimmel.
L'Oreal Lumi Magique Highlighting Pen Concealer - #2 Medium (from $27.95 to $16.77)
Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer - #010 Ivory (from $14.95 to $8.97)
I have been testing the L'Oreal The Touche Magique Concealer and enjoying it so far. It gives light under eye coverage so is perfect for light makeup days or when you need a little help brightening your under eye circles. 

I love nail polish, especially Essie so I really went wild in the Essie section. These are all colours I've been wanting for a while and with 40% off I just went for it!
Essie Apricot Cuticle Oil (from $17.95 to $10.77)
Essie Blanc (from $16.95 to $10.17)
Essie Fiji (from $16.95 to $10.17)
Essie Muchi, Muchi (from $16.95 to $10.17)
Essie Cute As A Button (from $16.95 to $10.17)
Essie Come Here (from $16.95 to $10.17)
Essie Bottle Service (from $16.95 to $10.17)
Essie Lilacism (from $16.95 to $10.17)
Essie Ladylike (from $16.95 to $10.17)
Essie Merino Cool (from $16.95 to $10.17)

I also picked up two more nail polishes one from Revlon, and the other from Sally Hansen:
Revlon Parfumerie Scented Nail Polish - Apricot Nectar (from $15.95 to $9.57)
Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure - Jaded (from $16.95 to $10.17)
I was also quite curious about the new Revlon Parfumerie collection, and selected the shade "Apricot Nectar". These nail polishes each have different individual scents, to me, "Apricot Nectar" smells like Allen's Sherbies lollies (do they even make these anymore?). I have this on my finger nails now and think it's a nice pastel shade. I cannot however detect the scent once dry with a top coat. I've never tried a Sally Hansen coloured nail polish before so picked up this lovely green/blue 'Tiffany' shade which is called "Jaded". I'm interested to see how it performs.

I do love my lip products, and picked out a few products that I was interested in testing:
Kate by Rimmel Matte Lipstick - #107 (from $12.95 to $7.77)
Covergirl LipPerfection Jumbo Gloss Balm - #235 (from $12.95 to $7.77)
Maybelline's Color Whisper in "Orange Attitude" is reminiscent of Revlon Lip Butter offerings. It is a sheer orangey-coral that would be nice for daytime wear. Also from Maybelline, Vibrant Mandarin lipstick is in contrast a brighter and more pigmented lipstick which has very good staying power and slightly stains the lips on removal. Kate by Rimmel #107 lipstick is a red-burgundy matte lipstick with a lovely watermelon scent (think MAC Rebel but less purple and more reddish). I'm excited to use this for a bolder darker lip, it might be nice to use in the upcoming Autumn/Winter seasons. Alternatively, Covergirl's Gloss Balm offers "sheer colour" and "soft shine". It wears very comfortably on the lips, and feels quite moisturising and nourishing. It does not wear as long as some other crayon-style lip pencils unfortunately. The colour is a nice pinky-coral and I love how the lid colour corresponds with each shade.

I love my Maybelline Color Tattoo in #25 "Bad to the Bronze" as it is a fantastic cream eyeshadow with great staying power. I therefore chose two more shades from the same range:
"Bold Gold" is a glittery golden shade which has a lovely iridescent shimmer when applied to the lid. "Barely Branded" is a newer release, from the Metal collection that has finer glitter particles and is a more neutral shade better suited for daytime wear. I think both of these are lovely shades which hopefully will be versatile and useful. A wonderful thing about Maybelline's Color Tattoos is that they can be used both as a base and a cream eyeshadow, so are great if you want a wash of colour on your lids but you are strapped for time in the morning (or evening!)

So that's my (rather large) Priceline 40% off sale haul. Well done if you made it this far, I feel like I babbled on but I'm pretty excited to try some of these products!

Let me know if you like these haul posts (I know I've done a few recently). But I'm on a bit of a beauty spending ban now, so next up will most probably be an empties post ;)

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Japan Haul: Beauty, Skincare, Muji

Here is a an outline of the beauty products I picked up recently on my trip to Japan. I've tried a few things already so I'll give my opinion where possible. 

One of my first stops was Matsumoto Kiyoshi, the main drugstore chain in Tokyo. I picked up a few things from the Koji Dolly Wink brand, which is very popular and has the cutest packaging. As you can see from the picture, I picked out a Koji Dolly Wink Liquid Eyeliner in Deep Black. This eyeliner has a very thin pointed felt tip which makes it easy to draw a neat wing. I've repurchased this a few times and love it. I had never tried the false lashes by Dolly Wink before and decided on the False Lashes #5 Real Nude and False Lashes #14 Natural Cute. Looking on the Sasa website now, I realise that both these lashes are in fact made for your bottom lashes, when I presumed they were top lashes (silly me). I'll be using these as top lashes and hopefully they work as these were slightly more expensive (around the $20 mark). 

These next three packs of lashes were more affordable than the Dolly Wink brand and were purchased at Matsumoto Kiyoshi and Don Quitoje (a variety store, the Shinjuku branch has a decent selection of cosmetics). From left to right Sho-Bi Decorative Eyelash #09Gorgeous Days False Lashes #2 (again made for bottom lashes - whoops!), BN Luminous Change Eyelash Ex (#03 Baby Face). These lashes were all more affordable in comparison to Dolly Wink (around $8-$10). 

I love skincare and couldn't help but pick up a few things, including my favourite asian skincare item - sheet masks!

I thought these Kao Lavender Steam Eye Masks looked so interesting and I couldn't help but pick up the smaller sized packet. They are disposable cotton eye masks which heat up to 40°C and calm and relax your eyes. I have tried one and it was quite nice, the smell of lavender is not too overpowering and the steam is a comfortable temperature. It did make my eye area a little wet from the steam but it did feel relaxing and calming. These are nice to use before bed and would be perfect for travelling when you need help winding down.

I'd read about the Shiseido Perfect Whip Foam Cleanser online, and it has quite good reviews on MakeupAlley. This is a very affordable cleanser, priced around $7 and seems quite popular as it was often displayed at the front of drugstores. I have only used this a few times but it seems a nice basic foaming cleanser. It really lathers up well and the foam remains very thick as you massage it into your skin.

I picked these LuLuLun Pink Sheet Masks up because they were so affordable, but I haven't tried one yet. The packaging is different as it is one zip lock bag with seven masks inside, as opposed to individually wrapped masks. After looking them up online, it appears they are a moisturising masks and are free of oil, alcohol and fragrance, making them ideal for sensitive skin types.

DHC Deep Cleansing Oil is a very popular cleansing oil in Japan, and has a lot of great reviews on MakeupAlley. It is free of mineral oil which is fantastic, as mineral oil is a cheap ingredient and not the best for your skin. Instead, the DHC has olive oil as the main ingredient and there is no added perfume apart from the fragrance of the rosemary essential oil. I've been using this for the past 2 weeks and have been very happy with its ability to remove makeup. I apply 1-2 pumps to my dry face, massaging it in to dissolve makeup and then rinse with a warm flannel. I then follow up with my normal balm cleanser (I'm currently using Emma Hardie). Like other cleansing oils, when applied to your eyes it can leave your vision blurry for a few seconds which sounds scarier than it is, so don't panic! 

These are Dariya Velcro Bows, the purpose of this product is to hold your hair or fringe back out of your face while you apply skincare or makeup. I was browsing Tokyu Hands in Shibuya when I spotted these in the cosmetic section. I remember a video by Miss Glamorazzi when she hauled some velcro hair bows and thought they could be useful. The velcro material doesn't crease your hair like a hair tie or headband. They do work to pull you hair back, although they are not very strong so they don't hold it in place with much force. I think these would be particularly useful for those with a fringe. 

Muji is such a fantastic store, they have recently opened a store in Melbourne so fingers crossed a Sydney store is coming soon, They have a fantastic selection of cosmetic containers and acrylic storage, which is perfect for storing makeup and jewellery. 

A nice little Clear Cosmetic Bag perfect for airport carry on luggage and a Folding Mirror, also great for travelling. 

A large Muji Body Sponge and a small Muji Body Sponge. The small size is perfect for travelling. Two Muji 20g Pots which are a great size for decanting moisturiser or face masks. 

From the acrylic storage range, I purchased a Muji Acrylic Stand and a Muji Acrylic Pot. The stand is currently on my bedside table with a few beauty items stored in it that I like to use before bed (lip balm, cuticle cream, hand cream, foot cream). The Acrylic Pot is now holding my larger makeup brushes. 

And that's all the beauty stuff I purchased from Japan, I hope this was interesting :) Have you tried any Japanese beauty products before? 

Friday, 14 February 2014

What's In My Travel Makeup Bag

Here's the makeup I'm taking with me on my trip to Japan. I tried my best to keep the amount of products to a minimum and I think I have done fairly well. 

In terms of foundation, I've packed my Jouer Matte Moisture Tint in Linen which will be perfect for daytime. I've also selected Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation in Shade 5 which is my favourite foundation for the evening when I want a bit more coverage. For under my eyes and to cover any blemishes I will use my NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Vanilla, as it offers great coverage and is long lasting without drying out my skin. 

For bronzer, I've got my faithful NARS Laguna Bronzer which is a lovely bronzer that doesn't look too orange or shimmery. I have packed just one blush and have chosen MAC Blush in Dame as it's a lovely colour that I should use more often! For a setting powder I have MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Medium which I don't currently use very often but I have packed as it needs a bit more love. 

Moving on to eyeshadow, I have selected my Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette for its compact size and nice selection of matte neutral shades. I have also added a shimmery eyeshadow option in the form of MAC Eyesahdow in Jest for the evening when I want a shimmery lid. To help these shadows remain crease-free, I've got my trusty NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base which is the best eyeshadow primer I've ever used. 

For my lashes I'm currently using Maybelline Volum' Express The Rocket Mascara which I am really enjoying. It has a plastic wand that works well to add both volume and length to my lashes. Moving on to brows, MAC Eyeshadow in Omega is the powder I use to fill in my brows, which I then set in place with Maybelline Great Lash Clear Mascara

The products I have packed the most of are lips. I like to have a few options depending on my mood! For a lipstick offering that isn't drying on the lips, I've got Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter in Red Velvet for a darker red lip as well as Tutti Frutti which is a brighter orange-coral shade. The other two lip products are also by Revlon, Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Honey which is a perfect daytime nude. And Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Rendezvous, one of my current favourite lip products that is a brighter lip option. 

I have narrowed it down to just eight brushes. For filling in and grooming my brows, I have selected my favourite MAC 266 to apply my brow powder, and a MAC 204, which I use to comb through my brows. To apply and blend eyeshadow I have MAC 217 to apply lid colour, a MAC 226 (which unfortunately was limited edition) to apply colour to the crease, and lastly the MAC 224 to blend eyeshadow. For applying my foundation, I have chosen my Real Techniques Expert Face Brush which is a fantastic brush for base makeup. For powder and bronzer I am taking the Real Techniques Multi Task Brush to try out for the first time (hopefully it works a treat!). To sweep blush across my cheeks I have the Real Techniques Blush Brush, which can also be used for other face powders. The two essential tools that are coming with me are my Tweezerman Slant Tweezers and my Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler

I'm pretty happy with the amount I've selected and all the makeup and brushes fit neatly in my MAC "Clearly MAC" Cosmetics Bag

How do you keep your makeup packing under control for a trip? Is there one particular item you just can't help but overpack, for me it's lip products! 

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

What's in My Travel Toiletry Bag

Keeping with the travel theme, today I sorted out my toiletry bag and thought I'd take a few pictures and write up what is coming with me. 

My toiletry bag is by the brand Uchi and I purchased it from David Jones, it is the "Bath Bag" style in red leather. It has two large clear zipper sections with a small leather section and hook at the top. This toiletry bag is very spacious and I like how you can see everything easily when it is hanging on the back of a door. 

I've decanted some products into Go-Toob bottles, which are really great containers. 

Let's start with the bottom compartment. In here I have my haircare and shaving essentials:
Top: Nectar Thermique, Comb, Razor
Bottom: Hairspray, Shaving Cream, Leave in Conditioner, Shampoo, Conditioner, Dry shampoo

Let's start with my haircare routine. To wash my hair I've packed Tresemme Deep Cleansing Shampoo. This is a deep cleansing shampoo that is great for removing product build up and leaves your hair feeling very clean. For conditioning, I chose Aussie 3 Minute Miracle as it is a very nourishing conditioner that also has a delicious coconut scent.

Following my shower, I use Unite 7 Seconds Leave In Conditioner to add some additional nourishment to my hair and to make is easier to comb through with my Macadamia Natural Comb. Afterwards, I apply Kerastase Nectar Thermique to the lengths of my hair. This product acts as a heat protectant and also helps my hair to feel nourished. I also love the floral scent!

After my hair is dry I use Klorane Dry Shampoo to add some volume at the roots, and to set it in place I use L'Oreal Elnett Hairspray which is a fantastic hairspray that doesn't leave your hair feeling crunchy but keeps it in place. I also use the dry shampoo when I'm not washing my hair to keep it looking fresh.

For shaving, I have packed my First Aid Beauty Smooth Shave Cream which is a great option for travelling as it does not come in an aerosol can and can therefore be decanted into a container. It's a great product as it nourishes your skin while shaving with my Venus Gilette razor

I also need to add body moisturiser to this compartment. I am thinking of picking up a small Kiehl's Creme de Corps as a treat to myself!

In the top compartment I have my skincare and anti-perspirant:
Top: Sunscreen, Lip balm, Face oil, Toner, Spot treatment, Deodorant
Bottom: Cleanser, Makeup Remover, Serum, Mask, Deodorant, Body soap

If I am wearing makeup, I will use Bioderma Créaline H2O on a cotton square to remove it, especially to help remove mascara and eye makeup. To start off, I have my cleanser which is Emma Hardie Cleansing Balm. This is the moist luxurious feeling cleanser I have ever used, it leaves my skin feeling so hydrated and clean at the same time. After cleansing, I use Pixi Glow Tonic on a cotton square, which is an exfoliating toner that helps remove dead skin and clear up blemishes. Following this I use my Sukin hydrating toner which is in my Carry-On Bag. I then use a hydrating serum, Indeed Laboratories Hydraluron, using a pea-sized amount and patting it into my skin. To keep things even more hydrated, I use Rosehip Plus Rosehip Oil and smooth it over my skin and neck. I then use my Indeed Laboraties eye cream and Aesop moistuiser, which are both in my Carry-On Bag. If I have any blemishes I use Origins Super Spot Remover to keep them away!

In morning, I make sure to apply Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Liquid Sunscreen to protect my skin. I have also packed Korres Natural Clay Deep Cleansing Mask which I might use if I feel like a cleansing mask. I love to use a thicker lip balm in the evening and Nuxe Rêve de Miel lip balm is a great hydrating lip product that stays on all night and feel very nourishing, I can still feel it on my lips in the morning!

Instead of a body wash I have included Aesop Body Cleansing Slab which I received as a generous sample. I thought this would be a great time to use it and it saves me packing a body wash and loofah which are quite bulky. Finally, to keep myself smelling fresh I have Nivea Stress Relief Deodorant for the morning and Rexona Clinical Protection Anti-Perspirant Deodorant, which I use at night.

Some not as interesting bits that I have in the top pocket are Swisspers cotton tips,
Swisspers cotton squaresColgate toothpaste, Bobby pinsScunci hair ties and Compeed blister plasters. I also need to add some dental floss in here, I forgot this when packing it the first time!

Here's my bag all zipped up and ready to go! I hope this was a helpful or interesting post, let me know what some of your travel essentials are in the comments below...

Monday, 10 February 2014

Weekly Thoughts

I thought I would try out a weekly thoughts post with a roundup of random things that I have been loving or have caught my attention, inspired by Jessica's blog.

1) I tried this breakfast banana pudding for breakfast and it was a delicious treat. A little more effort than my usual breakfast but it was really yum!

2) I've been loving Siobhan's instagram feed. She posts lots of oatmeal pictures with gorgeous toppings, as well as other healthy food ideas. It makes for great food inspiration.

3) This song by Broods has been on repeat this week, loving it!

4) I have become obsessed with the TV show Scandal, it is so good! The writers have the ability to leave you wanting more each episode and Kerry Washington is great in the lead role.

5) I found this sunflower seed butter at a local organic supermarket and I just had to try it. I've heard of Sunbutter from the US, but had never seen it in Sydney before. It's pretty good, quite a different flavour from almond or peanut butter.

6) Is it terrible that I really want this Emma Hardie gift set mainly for the tiny pot of Cleansing Balm? I already have a full size tub but I just love beauty products that are miniature! I could of course just decant it into a travel-size container, but it's just not the same. Does anyone else have this problem?

7) I picked up the Real Techniques Travel Essentials set recently, mainly to try out the Multi Task brush that looks perfect for any kind of face powder, blush or bronzer.

8) I downloaded this clock screensaver for my laptop and I love the simplicity of the design. So sleek!