Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Winter Saviours


Winter has rolled around once again (does anyone else always forget how cold winter actually gets? It's like I've never experienced a winter before...), and I'm finding this year to be particularly harder on my skin. Sydney is definitely colder this year than the past few years, and I'm finding myself changing up both my makeup routine and my skincare routine in order to adapt to these colder months.

I've never considered myself a dry skin gal, but I am finding my skin completely lacking in moisture lately, especially post cleansing. That tight feeling is not a feeling I am used to, and I cannot get my hands on my Origins 'Night-A-Mins' Moisturiser quick enough. Rich and moisturising, this leaves me skin feeling nourished and supple, and smelling deliciously of oranges.
I've also been reaching for the old Hydraluron lately, smattering this on my particularly drier areas before moisturising. It makes a noticeable difference the next day, and over consistent use. I really find this helps lock in the moisture for longer.
My lips too have been suffering from probably a mixture of the cold, dry air, and the constant air conditioning I'm in at work. I've never suffered so badly from dry lips before, so I finally caved and purchased the Nuxe Reve de Miel lip balm from Feel Unique. This has absolutely lived up to it's hype, I've never used a lip balm so quenching before! The texture is also bliss, I'm not sure how to describe it but it definitely makes my lips feel like velvet after application (read: not slippery, not sticky, but not drying either).
The absolute gem that is the Lush Lip Scrub is a saviour when it comes to flakey lips (ew, I know) and nights out. Lipstick and dry lips is a definite no-no, but a quick scrub of this delicious (mine is in the Mint Julips flavour - chocolatey mint!) sugar scrub leaves your lips free of dead skin, and feeling moisturised and ready to go (hint: don't wipe this off, lick it off, trust me).

Australia is not known for it's dramatic winters (at all), but I definitely find my makeup routine changes. Whilst in summer I want the lightest, longest wearing and dewy makeup, in winter I feel like I get to play around with my makeup more, and bring out a few more products to add to my routine. My two favourite foundations these past few months have been on the heavier coverage end - my HG Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation and the Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk. Both foundations I would normally only turn to for nights out in summer, I get to use these babies whenever I feel like now, which is great as they are both absolutely stunning on the skin, and both are very suitable for any dry skin types. For every day wear, I only need a small amount buffed really well into the skin, and to continue the look into the night, I can easily top them up with a little extra coverage.

Speaking of coverage, there are two concealers I primarily use in the winter months - the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer and the Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer. I still tend to suffer from the occasional chin spot in winter, so I still need a heavy duty concealer to help me out without drying my skin too much. The NARS concealer is perfect for this, and I've been using the Rimmel offering instead to highlight under my eyes, as I find it has the perfect amount of illuminating qualities and ability to block out dark circles.

For the cheeks, there is the ever present MAC Mineralise Skin Finish in 'Soft and Gentle', still my go-to highlighter and a must need in winter months when my skin definitely appears to be quite dull and lifeless. It adds a bit of life to the cheeks, and when paired with the beautiful Stila Convertible Colour Blush in 'Petunia' creates a really soft warmth to the face. I've been forcing myself to learn how to apply this cream blush after buying it over a year ago, and finally discovered that using my Real Techniques Face Brush to apply it with is a dream. Take note all cream blush newbies.

Whilst I keep my cheeks quite subtle, I definitely am a bit more adventurous with my eyes. I've been loving my By Terry Ombre Blackstar Eyeshadow Stick in 'Brown Perfection' lately, as it's so easy to apply and doesn't budge the entire day! So easy to create a quick and simple brown smokey eye which is one of my absolute favourite looks this winter. Similarly, I've gone back to re-loving my MAC Paint Pot in 'Constructivist' which is a fairly similar dark brown shade, although slightly darker and slightly easier to work with. This works great as a base, but I usually just wear it on it's own, as it has great staying power and can easily be worn quite sheer, or compacted on for a really intense brown pigment.
I've also been quite into my liquid eyeliner recently, in an attempt to practise my application of winged eyeliner! I've been loving the Rimmel Glam Eyes Liquid Eyeliner, it's ridiculously cheap and has incredible staying power considering. Application is super easy, I almost never make a mistake with this one!

As per usual, I finish my look off with a nude lipstick, always. I've pulled out an old favourite recently, the Rimmel Kate Moss Lasting Finish Lipstick in '03', which is a really versatile browney nude, neither matte nor shine. This range of lipsticks is truly amazing for drugstore lipsticks, I've always been quite impressed with their formula!

Lastly, I always reach for my absolute favourite perfume at the moment, the Escentric Molecules 01, but in the winter moments I have definitely been using a few extra pumps because I am still just loving it, and the scent is just perfect for colder weather. To me, it's so moody and dark, and woody too, and it just makes me think of fresh, cold air, and fireplaces and candles and everything amazing about winter!

Phew, that was quite long! Are there any products that you find yourself reaching for more in winter?

Monday, 14 July 2014

Wishlist-ing in July


Another month, another completely new list of items that I don't really need, but really, really want. Isn't it just a never ending cycle? Just when I think I'm alright, and maybe I could start saving a few dollars, something else creeps up on my Bloglovin feed and my brain clouds over and bad decisions are made.

So far, no credit cards have been handed over, but trust me - the temptation is there. The past month, I've been lusting over a few new releases from Illamasqua, two pairs of boots from Australian designer Senso (one of which I'm not sure how to wear), a candle that has been on my wishlist since the beginning of time, and a few beauty bits and bobs I've been needing to indulge in (some are repeat purchases).

Starting from the top are two items that I need to repurchase - the Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil and ever popular Oribe Dry Texturising Spray. I owned the highly coveted Hourglass pencil for a mere month before it fell to it's death from the couch and shattered the pencil inside - I've been attempting to use what remains of the stub but it's a little frustrating to use and kind of defeats the purpose of the pencil (which was previously the easiest, and quickest, pencil I've ever used!). As my Anastasia eyebrow pencil has come to the end of it's life (it was well loved), I am looking into purchasing a new eyebrow pencil and as much as it pains me to have to pay for this pricey little product again, so soon, I truly think it's worth it. Speaking of pricey products, it's about time I purchased the full sized can of the Oribe Dry Texturising Spray, as I got a rude surprise yesterday after discovering my little travel size can had nothing left to give me. I know there are plenty of great texturising sprays out there, but there is just something about this one, am I right? The price hurts, and not knowing exactly how I can actually get it here, in my hands, in Australia hurts more (no website will ship aerosols, eye roll). I don't know how long I can part from this.

Illamasqua have brought out some amazing new products lately, and I'm dying to get my hands on some. In particular, a couple of matte lip colours from their Summer 2014 Collection in 'Surrender' and 'Exotic' have caught my eye, along with their new nude lipstick collection, the colour 'Rosepout' in particular has me excited. You know how I feel about nude lipsticks - they're my achilles. I have yet to try anything from Illamasqua so I'm dying to get my hands on these beauties!

It took me a while to come around to the idea, but I'm suddenly very keen to try out the Kevin Aucoin Sculpting Powder. I don't tend to reach for bronzers or contouring products very often, but I feel like that may just be down to technique. Whilst my NARS Laguna Bronzer is great for bronzing purposes, I'm not feeling it as a great contouring option for me, and I've heard many good things about the Kevin Aucoin offering. Thoughts?

Here's where things get really dangerous - I recently discovered Australian shoe designers Senso and I'm terrified I may hand my credit card over to them without even batting an eyelash. LOOK AT THOSE BOOTS! Yes, that IS a rose gold zipper lining a boot. Yes, that is croc skin paired with some cool looking buckles. These babies are nearing $300 a pair but oh sweet Lord, the pull is enormous. My only concern is how to wear the bottom pair - no socks? The idea of sticking my foot into a boot with no socks kind of irks me, is that just me being weird? What would you do? So. Pretty.

Last, but definitely not least, is a long time love of mine - a candle from Byredo in the scent 'Tree House'. The first time I ever stepped foot in a Mecca Cosmetica, this was the first thing I picked up, and it absolutely blew my mind. Up until then, I had never considered myself a candle person, as I'm not really into sweet or floral smelling candles which make up the majority of the candle market. This baby though...it's the perfect woody, dark, and sexy scent. I'm a sucker for anything cederwood-esque and this scent is just so fresh and appealing to me. Not to mention they come in those sexy little jars, with that perfect, minimalistic label displayed on the front. It's love, and I'm not sure how much longer the $98 price tag will hold me back.

I've had a pretty expensive month as it is (getting my hair re-done every ten weeks is a killer), and a short trip away next week (sure to cost me another few pennies) but I absolutely foresee at least one of these pretties landing in my checkout cart any day now. For the love of God though, someone hold me back from the Senso website - can't. help. myself.

I know we've all got 'theoretical' checkout carts bookmarked in our web browsers - tell me, what are you guys drooling over this month?

Saturday, 12 July 2014

MIXTAPE 002


A bit of everything this past June month - dancey, electro, smooth beats, woeful singing.
Enjoy.



Thursday, 10 July 2014

Clinique 'Take The Day Off' Cleansing Balm


I was never big into skincare. I'm probably still not, to be honest. I'm very lucky that I've never had to be, I don't suffer from super oily or super dry skin and my skin for the most part is relatively spot free. As someone who wears a decent amount of makeup on an everyday basis though, I knew that I had to start taking care of my skin in order to keep it calm and not congested.

Previously I used Origins Zero Oil, which I still keep in my shower for days where I need a particularly good cleanser to help me out. On my last trip to the States though, I picked up the Clinique 'Take The Day Off' Cleansing Balm and I haven't looked back since.

I used to be pretty lazy with makeup removal - most nights I would grab a few cotton pads soaked with Bioderma and that would be it for me. I thought the idea of grabbing a face washer and cleanser and hot water was too much of a faff. Hah! Since purchasing this balm, I've totally been converted. I've actually realised that this way is much quicker than the old Bioderma and cotton pad version, and much more satisfying!

The balm itself is incredible. I scoop a small amount out with my fingers and rub it together so it creates a very creamy, softer version of the balm which when massaged into the skin creates a warm and gentle oil like consistency. It cuts through makeup like nothing I've ever seen, and my favourite part is that it's great around my super sensitive eyes, unlike my Origins which would sting the bejesus out of my eyes! I also love that this has no fragrance, as I am very particular about fragrances in beauty products and would prefer if everything was just scent free!

I use a washer and warm water to remove everything, and the whole process literally takes me like, a minute. It doesn't leave any sort of residue on the skin, and whilst my skin feels clean and fresh, it also doesn't feel completely stripped like it would occasionally after the Origins Zero Oil. I honestly find it to feel so luxurious, from the rubbing between my fingers, right till the end when I pat my face dry and wonder why my skin feels so soft!

I can't remember how much I paid for this cleanser, but it can't have been that pricey, and I am ridiculously happy with it. Granted, I haven't tried everyone's holy grail Emma Hardie cleansing balm yet, but I have heard a few people either compare the two, or choose the Clinique balm over Emma Hardie! It's goooood stuff.

Have you tried this? Let me know your thoughts on it if you have, especially if you have also used Emma Hardie, as I am still very interested in giving the latter a go :)