Saturday, 29 October 2011

Nail of the Day: Summer Brights

I'm not a massive fan of the colour orange, but this particular nail polish from Kit Cosmetics makes me smile every time I see it.

This is the colour "Sunrise" and it was a Shop Til You Drop collaboration (I think) from earlier this year. I used two coats. Kit nail polishes are $15.95 and you can find them on in store or order online at 

For some added sparkle, I used Orly's Shine on Crazy Diamond on my "bling finger". I loves it. You'll need a couple of coats to get this amount of glitter.

The whole she-bang just screams summer to me and as soon as the weather looks like it's heating up I head for this orangey-coraly lovely. 

I quite like Kit nail polishes, they have a fab range of colours, with great seasonal trends coming through relatively frequently and are quite good quality. A big tick in my book.

To top the whole look off I finished with a coat of Seche Vite top coat, the first time I've used it. It is flipping amazing. I had no chipping for about a week, and only some slight wearing of the tips before I took the colour off. Definitely recommend. You can get both Seche Vite and Orly nail polish from 

For future summer nails I'm eyeing off Essie's Mint Candy Apple. What colours are you liking for summer?

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

My Holster Jellies arrived. They're Awesome.

They're heeeerrrrreeee!!!

My lovely summer sandals arrived rather swiftly from Holster, in about 3-4 days. Gotta love an Aussie based company with great service.

I've never purchased shoes before from a website but Holster made the whole experience so easy that I am defs tempted to buy more. I loved how on their website they have a template of their shoes sizes, so you can print it off and measure your foot against the template to get the right fit. That's always been my greatest fear in buying shoes online, as I have a really skinny foot so getting the right fit isn't easy. I like that Holster has a way round this. I'm not sure if I'd buy boots or high heels online, but I'd happily buy more sandals and thongs (flip flops for you non-Aussies) and possibly flats.

Nicely wrapped, though I'm not sure what the foam is for? These aren't really breakable shoes....

I love the hot pink 'watermelon' colour and have worn these a few times now. They're certainly eye-catching, and I've had lots of compliments. 

I can't say they're the world's most comfy shoes - the hard plastic between my toes does take some getting used to, and I did make the unfortunate mistake of wearing these on a day I was lost and late for an appointment and had to run about 2 kilometres to get there and my feet and calves certainly protested the next day. But for work, picnics, lunch dates and swanning round they're very nice.

These shoes have had the seal of approval from my two year old nephew, who insisted on clomping round the house in them, very taken with the sparkles on the front. Kid after my own heart. Bless.

Online Beauty Haul - Before I maxed out the credit cards...

So, turns out that if you start a blog, in the couple of weeks following you shouldn't use up all your internet allowance on youtube videos and reading everyone else's blogs. Who'd a thunk...

Anyway, my internet allowance has now refreshed and I'm being super good at not downloading rubbish this month so far just so I can bring you lots of posts :). 

First up are some pics of my online beauty buys from Ebay, Feel Unique and Beauty Bay. It was a happy, happy day when these came. That sounds shallow. I have been happier about deeper things too. Like sales at Myer. 

Look at these boxes.... how can they not make you smile? It's like a present. I mean, I paid for them, but that was weeks ago and I've forgotten about that part.

The first box I opened was from Ebay and contained the much hyped Skin79 BB Cream. Pretty hot pink packaging. Love.

The bottle looks like this.

I'll be doing a blog post/review on this BB cream soon - I'll compare it with the readily available Garnier BB cream.

Next up was the box from Feel Unique is a UK based website selling a delightful range of beauty products. Best thing is the free shipping. I love free shipping. I rarely purchase anything from a website without free shipping. 

I got the Seche Vite nail polish top coat. I heard about this via Lisa Eldridge's website when she was having her nails done by the amazing nail artist extraordinaire Sophie Robson - you'll see her handiwork (literally) on the paws of models at shows by Louis Vuitton, Vivienne Westwood and Stella McCartney. So if Seche Vite is good enough for Sophie, it's good enough for me. And it's about $13 on the Feel Unique website so it's almost rude not to buy it.

On the left is Shine on Crazy Diamond from Orly, available for $14.88. I've used both of these recently and will wax lyrical about them in a future post.

Next up was the piece de resistance from Now, Beauty Bay does not have free shipping, which offends me, but I was willing to overlook it just to get my mitts on this little beauty.

All nicely wrapped and packaged... 

Ta Da!!
Urban Decay's Naked Palette.
I've heard about this everywhere - it's been out for ages, it's a cult classic, and youtube and beauty blogs are full of raves, swatches, and tutorials based around the colours in the palette. Alas, it isn't easily available in Australia (I don't think you can buy it in shops at all) and heading online is your best bet for finding it (unless you have a friend who lives in the US whom you can bribe with promise of Tim Tams if they send it to you). Anyway, due to all these positive reviews I decided to hunt this down and give it a go. And now I will add to the voices of the other raving Naked lovers.

It comes with a little bottle (tube?) of the Urban Decay Primer Potion for eyes.

On the back it shows the range of shades and names. Blah Blah.

The packaging is something to show off, with the suede material in a gorgeous chocolatey and the writing in a nice bold gold. If you're going to announce you're naked, may as well do it in style!

[My camera HATES the lighting in my bedroom where I took these pics, hence the two different lighting settings in these pics. I have since discovered that it's because I had the light settings on "sunset". I'm a techno gumby like that.]

Ok, finally to the goodies inside - 12 shades of beautiful neutrals. Shimmer, glitter and matte are all covered. It also comes with a brush. But that's not the exciting part at all. Keep looking at those colours. So pretty I want to eat them.

Yep, still gorgeous. 

 I could just sit and stare at this all day but I don't want to seem too weird. Too late I spose.

Anyhoo, this is not a cheap product at around $50, plus whatever shipping is (maybe $13?), but you do get 12 delectable eyeshadows. And if you went and purchased 12 eyeshadows of any other top quality makeup brand it would cost a heck of a lot more sweet coin than $50-60. So I consider this a great investment.

Well, that's it for now, I'm going to head off and lust over stuff on ASOS and Modcloth and plan ways to actually buy the stuff too.


Thursday, 6 October 2011

Somebody take away the credit card...

Dearest Mike, read no further.

Ok, now the husband has cleared off, I would like to share with you that I did just order the following fabulous jelly sandals in the colour 'watermelon' from Holster Fashion for summer.


I'll do some pics when they arrive, but I am pretty certain I'm going to look like the model on the Holster Fashion home page as soon as I put them on. That's how these things work right? Buy the product = look instantly like a bronzed goddess...?

Check out Holster Fashions here:

Sunday, 2 October 2011

What the heck is a BB Cream?!?

BB creams are popping up in Aussie shops lately and in magazines and on TV. I recently did a mini review of the first BB cream to come into the mainstream, chemist/drugstore beauty scene, the Garnier Miracle Skin Perfector. (BTW, has anyone seen the ridiculous ad for this product? Why do cosmetic ads have to be so lame?)

But what even is a BB Cream? Is it a moisturiser, a foundation, a tinted moisturiser, a primer? Do you put it on under makeup, or use it as your foundation? Where has it come from? Questions abound...

Being a researcher by trade, I thought I'd hunt down some answers for you all!

What does the BB stand for?
BB stands for Blemish Balm, Blemish Base or Beblesh Balm.

Who invented BB cream and why?
BB creams were created by a German dermatologist and allergologist, Dr med. Christine Schrammek- Drusio, for patients who had undergone cosmetic surgery - think cosmetic peels, laser resurfacing and microdermabrasion.

Dr Schrammek worked in a skin clinic and surgery for years and developed a passion for skin care products. Her philosophy behind her product development is "Dermatology meets Cosmetics".

No doubt this clever lady is rolling in some sweet, sweet coin following the invention of this product...

What are BB creams used for - what are the meant to do?

Initially BB creams were used to protect, soothe and refine the super sensitive skin of patients who had undergone cosmetic surgery skin treatments. It also provided light coverage for post laser scarring, acne and any other assortment of blemishes.

Nowadays BB creams come in a variety of formulations and with an assortment of purported properties. Stated benefits include skin whitening or brightening properties, anti wrinkle, anti acne, sun protection, nourishment and moisture for you skin without being greasy, anti imflamatory, calming, coverage of blemishes, lightening of scarring, evens out skin tone, pore minimisation, healing properties that encourage skin regeneration and long lasting with a natural finish.  In short, while foundation really does nothing to your skin but conceal and cover, BB creams are meant to be working miracles for your skin while you have it on. An absolute wonder product, fo shiz!

That's great. But what am I meant to do with it?
BB creams can be used in a variety of ways, depending on user perference: as a tinted mosturiser, as a replacement for foundation, or as a primer. They are recommended for all skin types especially sensitive and acne prone skin.

Why is everyone raving about BB creams now?
To be honest, Australia is totes behind the proverbial 8-ball. BB creams gained prominence via those glowing skinned Korean beauties. The story goes that Korean actresses who had undergone laser treatments started using the product post treatment, then continued using the creams for beauty purposes.

Cosmetic companies caught wind and realised there was moolah to be made if BB creams were available to a winder audience. Originally, BB creams sold for around $100 a tube. NOT price friendly for the every day lassie. Companies like Hanskin Co Ltd, a Seoul based cosmetics company went out on a limb, sourced the German ingredients, made their own version and reduced the price to around $20 a bottle.        
In 2006 actress Yoon Son-Ha went public with her love of BB creams on a Japanese home shopping advert. Korean dramas (and hence their associated celebs) are hugely popular and the craze went wild. BB creams are still a number 1 beauty product in Korea. Following this the trend spread from Japan and Korea to South East Asia and now to Europe, the US and finally Australia.

What are some brands I can try?
The majority of manufacturers are still Asian based, meaning that BB creams can be hard to find in local stores in Aus. Garnier has recently released their 'drug-store' version, the Miracle Skin Perfector, for about $14, which is receiving mixed reviews.

The best place to find other brands is on Ebay or Amazon or finding Korean based online shops that ship internationally. They start at about $10 for a 20ml tube, and at about $13-20 for a 50ml tube, depending on whether you get 'free' postage. 

Brands to look for include Skin79 (the famed hot pink bottle is hugely popular and reviewed lots on youtube); Etude; Missha; Hanskin; L'Egere; Lioele; Arezia; Natina; Dr Jurt; Skinfood; BRTC; Banilaco; and Laneige.  

I suggest googling for reviews of individual products and checking out youtube. The lovely Jen at the blog has a great youtube video full of reviews and swatches of a large range of BB creams.

The one thing to note is that most brands of BB creams only have one to three shades, usually a variety of light to medium shades. Even the BB cream produced by Schrammek Kosmetic only comes in three shades. I think people with really light skin will be ok finding something that matches, but those with dark skin tones will be more limited.              

I hope this has been a helpful post, I've learned quite a bit researching :) If you have tried any of the brands listed or have bought them from particular ebay sellers or websites, share your thoughts in the comments below!

References and further information

*Note that the approximate prices I've listed are in Aussie dollars.

Friday, 30 September 2011

Garnier BB Cream - initial thoughts

A product that recently hit shelves in the last couple of months is the Garnier Miracle Skin Perfector, a BB Cream Innovation. I was intrigued... I've not seen a BB cream on shelves before, and have only heard about them mostly via youtube. I'm not sure about any other Aussie girls, but did this seem to just slip into stores without much fanfare, except on blogs? Or was I just out of it for that month or so?

Anyhoo, I popped down to Priceline and got myself a tube to try for just under $14. It comes in two colours, light and medium. You just have to guess at which colour you'll be, because there are no testers, which was quite annoying because I always find the terms "light" and "medium" really subjective - one brand's light is another's medium and vice versa. I did ask a friendly retail assistant and she recommended the medium, apparently the light is very light and only good for very pale people. I've been using a bit of fake tan recently, and it's heading into summer here, so I trusted her with the medium.

Here's a look at the box - apologies in advance for the slightly fuzzy pics, I'm working on my technique...

You can't quite tell here, but it's a really text heavy box - print everywhere. Info overload in my opinion. In short, Garnier promise this cream will give you "INSTANTLY PERFECT SKIN" via
- an even complexion
- reducing sunspots and imperfections
- boosting a healthy glow
- providing tinted 24 hour hydration 
- and UV protection SPF 15 

Quite the claim.

Here it is on the back of my hand - it's quite thick but spreads and blends well. It smells a little fruity.

 After blending - I spose it makes my hand more dewy looking.

 Comparison to non BB-creamed hand on right. BB-creamed hand is more dewy and glowy.

And about half an hour after application - still dewy.

I've used this about twice so far on my face and I can't say that it gave me instantly incredible, perfect, amazing skin. It did feel nice on my skin, gave good coverage, quite smooth and almost silky after application, the medium tint suited me well and it lasted fairly ok. But you could still see some of the heavier imperfections on my skin and I don't think the overall effect was that different from any other tinted moisturiser. (Mind you, currently my other tinted moisturiser is from Korres and cost me $50, so this does win on price.)

I'm a bit ambivalent about this product. Is it a must have? No. Is it nice? Yes. I would recommend this to people with normal to dry skin (I'm combination oily and it's ok, but so far I've been trying it in cool weather) who are looking for a nice, relatively inexpensive tinted moisturiser for summer to wear in lieu of foundation. This product would particularly be good for time poor people (like my sister with two kids... hmm, potential sticking filler).

I'll keep using for a bit, see if my skin improves as the box claims, and do some face before and after photos. Maybe even a half-half face photo like on the box. Then I'll do an updated review. Maybe it takes a few more times to beautified to the degree of perfection Garnier promise.


P.S. I currently have on order from Ebay a Skin79 Hot Pink BB Cream, one of the most popular BB Creams out. When it comes in the mail (hurry up Australia Post!) I'll do a comparison :)

NOTD Ulta3 Twilight Fever

I heard somewhere round the beauty blogs that Ulta3 does a relatively good dupe of Orly Rage. I've found it impossible to find Orly Rage on Ebay and Amazon and elsewhere so when I came across the Ulta3 range in a chemist I was rather excited.

Ulta3 seems to be a brand that only pops up in chemists, and it's an absolute bargain at $2.25. That is not a typo! Yes, $2.25. A wide range of colours and shimmers and glitters will be somewhere on the chemist floor in one of those large bins you have to fossick through to find the colour you want.

I went on a large rummage for Envy, the purported Orly Rage dupe, but didn't strike gold. I did come across this one called Twilight Fever, and frustrated at not being able to find what I wanted, consoled myself with a base coat and the lovely purple. 

With flash

and without flash (and crappier quality photo).

It's quite a pretty purple - aubergine is the colour that comes to mind - with a subtle shimmer and I've had quite a few compliments. The polish is quite runny and you will need a least a couple of coats, but at $2.25 I couldn't really care less. It lasted about two days without chipping, and this was without a top coat (because mine has gone AWOL).

For this price I was surprised that people weren't pushing each other over to get to the bargains. Really, they're pretty much giving away this nail polish. If nothing else, Ulta3 does a fairly good range of colours (though the availability will vary from store to store) and it's a decent product for the price. Even if you're just looking for a fun colour for a fancy dress party or event, Ulta3 is a good cheap option to consider. It's also a good option if you're dirt poor and it's a week til pay day and you are looking for some practically guilt-free retail therapy, as I was on this particular day...

However, I'm still Rage-less and and the search continues!

Happy rummaging, you little beauties!