Sunday, 26 August 2012

Wishlist #3

1. I spoke about how much I wanted to try this palette in my review of the Urban Decay - Naked 2 palette last week. It's just new from the brand and is obviously aimed at creating a perfect smokey eye range of looks. I love that there's a lot of colours I don't already have in this palette. Hopefully I can purchase it soon!
The only online shop that I know that you can purchase Urban Decay to Australia is and they have these online here for $55.50 at the moment. Little bit pricey, but hopefully worth it for the quality of their eye shadows I would think!

2. Stila palettes are always great value, and this is no exception! This is such a pretty range of colours that look as though they would be perfect for every day use. You get 13 shades in total, 7 matte and 6 shimmer. The pans do look a little smaller than a lot of others, but I never seem to get through any colours in a palette entirely, so that doesn't bother me too much, plus it's quite a good price! 
You can purchase this from here for under $20. I can't see it on the Mecca website yet, but I'm sure it will arrive soon!

3. When I saw this I lost my mind a little bit in excitement, not going to lie! It's called the Foreplay cheek palette and it's basically meant to be a deconstructed version of their best seller blush - orgasm. "Combine the gold highlighter, pink matte blush, peach matte blush and – of course – Orgasm Blush, for a beautiful range of cheek shades. Depending on your mood, make your ORGASM matte, highlighted, or even more intense." Sounds perfect! I love the orgasm blush so hopefully I can get my hands on this too. 
You can purchase this online from here for $79, or in your nearest Mecca Maxima store. 

4. These hair products from the 'Candy Fixations' Bed Head range all seem good enough to eat, and cute as pie! I love nice smelling hair products and I have a feeling these would all be right up my alley.
Sugar Dust is a volumising powder similar to the Osis Dust It mattifying powder if you've ever used that. It's a powder you apply to your roots to give volume, and soak up any excess oil! So clever. 
Mega Whip is a texturiser with added staying power. It seems more aimed at shorter locks, but the packaging is amazing, I would want it on my shelf for that fact alone. 
The Glaze Haze is a smoothing serum that adds shine and reduces drying time. And if it makes my hair super sweet scented while doing that, I will be one happy lady!
I spotted all of these on the Beauty Bay website. I'm not sure if there may be other places to buy them online for cheaper, but they are $11.50 for the Sugar Dust, $13.20 for the Mega Whip, and $11.20 for the Glaze Haze. Pretty well priced I think.  

5. Illamasqua's Precision Ink is something that I've heard a LOT of good things about, but still haven't purchased! I am definitely a fan of long wearing eyeliner, and I've heard this one doesn't budge, smudge and applies super easily. Can't wait to try it out, though it may take a little getting used to as I'm so used to using a texta type eyeliner now!
You can purchase Precision Ink from the Illamasqua website for $26.98 US$, or Illamasqua is also stocked in most Myer stores now!

There are so many great goodies coming out at the moment, so I'm sure I'll be purchasing way more than I should be again! Hopefully I tick some things off this wish list soon. :)

What's on your current wish list? Have you tried and loved any of these products? x

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Illamasqua's Fight For a Fair Beauty Price - Australian Campaign

As most Australian beauty addicts know, for a long time now we have been paying up to 3 times as much as most other Countries for the same products! The UK born company Illamasqua are taking a stand and trying to make a change for us Aussies, so I thought I would share the link and share the campaign so that more people are aware and can get involved in making a change. 

It's crazy looking and comparing online with some companies at just how much difference there can be (even with the exchange rate factored in!). Often I find myself buying online and paying a little extra for postage to get the products I love without the bump up for Australian stores. Of course I would love to support Australia and it's retail industry, but when it appears to make a mockery of us, why would I sit down and accept it? 

As an example: 
MAC currently have a separate website for Australia. 
Lipstick = $36 in Australia, or $15 US on the US website - more than double for Australia.
Single eye shadow = $33 in Australia, or $15 US on the US website - more than double again.

And that's just one company as a quick example! 

Illamasqua's campaign can be seen here:

In a recent email they advised that they have 10,000 signatures already in just 10 days, and aim to hit 25,000 so that they can take a stand and drop their prices. 

I think it's about time someone stood up against the unjustified inflation we are subjected to in Australia, and I'm glad it was an amazing company like Illamasqua. I can't wait to buy more from them once their prices drop (I already can't resist at the inflated prices!). Hopefully this creates enough stir to get other areas thinking about their high prices too. We're asked to pay a lot more for a LOT of products in Australia, then the shops wonder why we turn to online shopping instead. Please! Give me a break. 

I don't claim to know the ins and outs of every part of trading, but I would love to support Australian stores more, so I really hope this takes off. I've already noticed before this campaign was launched that Mecca and Kit have dropped their prices on a lot of brands, including one of my favourites Origins! Hooray! 

What do you think about Illamasqua's campaign? Have you signed up to fight for a fair beauty price already? x

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Tried & Loved - Urban Decay - Naked 2 Palette

[Left to Right: Foxy, Half Baked, Bootycall, Chopper, Tease - in natural light]

[Left to right: Snakebite, Suspect, Pistol, Verve, YDK, Busted, Blackout - in natural light]

The Naked 2 palette from Urban Decay is the follow up the ever popular Naked palette which was first released in 2010 (it still sells out on Beauty Bay all the time!). Being such a fan of the original Naked palette this was something I couldn't pass up on buying too, and I'm glad that I did. 

The Urban Decay brand is something you might not have heard of before if you're from Australia as, unfortunately for us, it's not stocked in any shops here! Quite a shame really as I've loved everything I've tried from them so far. The Naked palette is definitely my most used eye shadow palette and I'll review that one soon too. :) I am a frequent beauty blog lurker though and ever since hearing the rave reviews about the Naked palette I have been trying to get my hands on more from the Urban Decay brand. Luckily for me, I came across a stockist that ships to Australia - Beauty Bay

The Naked 2 Palette is described on the Urban Decay website as: 
"The most anticipated sequel of the decade. Naked2 has 12 pigment-rich, taupe and greige neutral eyeshadows, including FIVE NEW shades. 
Our palette proves once again, neutral is anything but boring, (and is downright sexy when worn Naked). Feast your eyes on our shades ranging from pale to deep, matte to sparkly. This collection lets you achieve lots of neutral looks, smoky dramatic eyes, and everything in between. Let's just say there's a whole new way to get Naked! 

The case has an art-school inspired look with hinged lid - taupe metal with embossed chocolate brown artwork. It's smooth, modern and cool to the touch - a real tactile experience. Plus, our palette also features a travel-size Lip Junkie Lipgloss in Naked, AND a double-ended, cruelty-free Good Karma Shadow/Crease Brush (available only in this palette). Any self-respecting makeup lover will have to have both palettes to get their complete neutral fix!"

The colours in this palette as swatched above are: 
  • Blackout - Blackest black with matte finish.
  • Booty Call - Shimmering cork.
  • Busted - Deep brown shimmer.
  • Chopper - Copper shimmer with silver micro glitter.
  • Foxy - Cream bisque with matte finish.
  • Half Baked - Golden bronze shimmer.
  • Pistol - Light grey/brown shimmer.
  • Snakebite - Dark metallic bronze shimmer.
  • Suspect - Pale golden beige shimmer.
  • Tease - Creamy pale brown with a matte finish.
  • Verve - Oyster shimmer.
  • YDK - Cool bronze metallic shimmer.
  • Travel sized Lip Junkie Lip Gloss in Naked - Sheer neutral pink shimmer.
  • Good Karma Shadow/Crease brush - exclusive to Naked Palette 2.

As you can see in the swatches above, there really is a nice range of colours and finishes in this palette. I feel like more of these colours are on the bright metallic side than the original Naked Palette, so this is a palette that I use more so when I am going out instead of as an every day palette, but for me that's a good thing. There's more than enough variety than I could ever really need in 2 simple palettes! 

Unfortunately for me, on my pale skin some of these colours really don't show much at all, so the colours 'Foxy' and 'Bootycall' (aren't the names sassy! haha) don't really get any use for me personally, and that also means I don't really have many light base colours to work with once they're eliminated - that's my only gripe with this palette I think. What I'm left with is perfect for smoky eye looks though or sultry shimmery peepers. 

I think the original Naked palette has a better combination of colours that easily work together. With that palette you can literally use any colour as a base, and any colour as a contrast and it will look amazing, with this one I feel like I have to think about it a bit more, but the end results are usually still great. 

The eye shadow itself is super pigmented, smooth, and a little goes a long way with blending. The swatches above were from a single swipe of colour with my finger, impressive yes? Some of the colours that have more glitter in them can be a little bit soft, so be careful and watch for a little fall out with those (Chopper, Verve and YDK especially, as you can see above). I have had my palette for at least 6 months now though and I'm not even close to using any of the colours up as the product is so pigmented that you really don't need to load your brush up to get good colour pay off. This palette will last me for years, so it's definitely a great investment. 

I find that with a primer the colour of this will stay perfectly all day long without creasing, and without primer it's almost just as good. I've often applied my eye makeup early Friday morning before work, and still had it perfect and ready to go for dinner and a night out straight from the office that night!  

The brush that comes with the palette is really good quality, and I often use the flat end to apply my base colour, then the round end to blend where required. If I needed to I think I could do a whole eye look with just this brush which makes it great for travel, but I've never had to so far as I love my normal eye brushes so much I take them with me everywhere. :P 

The packaging is really sturdy without being too heavy and the top clips into place with the base meaning it won't fall open in your bag. I've taken this travelling with me a few times now, and even dropped it once or twice (oops!) and haven't had any colours break or run over into each other.  It's a bit of a strange finish being made of a soft metal, and I'm still not sure that I love it, but it's super easy to keep clean and sturdy for travel and storage so no complaints here. It's just not really pretty which I think more of my other palette's are. 

I haven't pictured the lip gloss that comes with this palette, but I absolutely LOVE it. It has a bit of a minty feeling when you apply it and the colour is quite nice on my lips. It's quite sticky on the lips which some people may not like, but it lasts forever which is not the case with most lip glosses. I've applied this before bed and still had it on my lips in the morning! It's tiny though and I always lose it in my bag, and there's no spot to keep it in or with your palette so it gets a little lost for me. I think I might look at purchasing a full size version of the gloss so it gets a bit more use, and less left in the bottom of my bag alone. 

In the picture below I've just used shades from this palette along with a liquid eye liner to create this look. I can't remember the exact shades I used as it might have been a bit of a mish mash, sorry about that. But you might be able to work the colours out from the swatches above. 

Overall I am super happy with this palette and this along with the original Naked palette is pretty much all I use for all my eye looks now. 12 shades is a lot to play with, and for a beginner it's a great way to start building your eye shadow collection with quality pigmented eye-shadows without it costing too much. Or as a bit of a collector like myself, I find it's an easy way to have quality colours that I know will work together well all in one palette.

As I said earlier, I use this more for bolder eye looks, and not as much for every day, but that's not to say you couldn't use it as every day eye shadows as well, I just prefer the original Naked palette for that purpose. If I had to pick, I'd still pick the original Naked palette as a first preference, and have even gifted it to my friends because I love it so much I want to share the love. 

I purchased this palette from Beauty Bay for $59.20 and free postage for Australia. If you think about it, that's just under $5 for each colour. The single Urban Decay eye shadows sell for around $20 each so this is a perfect way to test a large slab of their range for a quarter or the price!  The Beauty Bay site stocks most of the Urban Decay range including the original Naked palette and is the only site I've found so far that will ship it to Australia, and free! I can't wait to try more from this brand, and I've definitely got my eye on the new Smoked Palette for smoky eye looks. 

Have you tried the Naked or Naked 2 Palette? What's your favourite Urban Decay product? Have you heard of this brand before today? x

Sunday, 12 August 2012

NOTW - American Apparel - Smoke Dazzle (Metallic range)

[with flash]

This weeks Nail Of The Week is American Apparel's - Smoke Dazzle - from the Metallic collection. 

I wasn't sure if I liked this nail polish when I first put it on as I'm mostly a fan of cream nail polishes and other finishes often just feel cheap and strange, but after wearing it for a week I can say I definitely fell in love a little! 

The colour is a nice dark silver in most light, and reflects as a dark grey, green, pink/purple depending on what light you're in and how you move the angle of your nails. I guess you could definitely describe it as a duochrome for that reason, but not as much of a shift as some others I've seen and almost impossible to photograph the colour shifts as you can see in my attempts above! Quite impressive though really. Most metallic nail polishes I've tried have this lovely transformation about them, but depending on the colour and finish it can look a bit cheap, but that's not the case here. 

The formula was really easy to work with, and for a metallic nail polish it was relatively streak free which is a definite bonus. You generally get the streaks from the brush in the nail colour, but I didn't really work hard to avoid this and as you can see, there are barely any brush strokes to be seen. I only used 2 coats of this colour to achieve the look above. You could layer it over a black to get a more intense look too which would be interesting.

I thought this colour would be quite comparable to Chanel's 'Black Pearl', but Black Pearl is definitely darker, less silver and more green. 

American Apparel nail polish is Manufactured in the USA. Cruelty free, DBP, toluene and formaldehyde-free.

Overall I think this is a perfect metallic nail polish that would be a great addition to any nail polish lovers collection. I will definitely be looking to get a few more American Apparel nail polishes now, as this was my first one that I've tried. The Neons look super pretty too! 

I purchased this from the American Apparel store in Melbourne in a deal of 3 nail polishes for $28, or it was $14 for the single nail polish. You can also see their range and order online here

What do you think of this metallic colour? Have you tried any American Apparel nail polishes? What's your favourite metallic colour? x

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Tried and Loved - Face Of Australia - Sheer Gloss Lip Crayon

Having spied these little beauties being raved about by a few other Aussie bloggers like on the Crosswire Dreamer's page I knew I had to get my hands on them and try them out for myself! 

If you haven't heard of them before Face Of Australia Cosmetic's is an Australian made and owned company who is 100% against animal testing, and who are committed to bringing Australian beauty lovers up to date makeup at an affordable price without skimping on quality. That's definitely the case with these Sheer Gloss lip crayons! You can read more about the company and it's products at their website here if you're interested in learning more. 

Face Of Australia describe the Sheer Gloss lip crayons as:
"Lip colour has never been so fun and sweet with Face of Australia's NEW Sheer Gloss Lip Crayons. These wind-up lip tints are smooth, moisturizing and smell like vanilla!

Treat your lips to mouth-watering moisture and a hint of shine. In 3 super delectable shades these lip crayons are also infused with a vanilla scent."

I was a bit skeptical that these lip crayons could be moisturising at all, considering how cheap they are ($14.95 for the 3 pack!) but I was pleasantly surprised at the texture and moisture that they provided. They glide on your lips super smooth and keep your lips hydrated for a few hours I would say. I like that they're a little bit slick, not sticky at all, so they still give a nice shine on your lips without the usual tacky feeling that can come with it. As you can see in my first swatch below, it's probably a good idea to give your lips a quick treat to make sure they're free from any bumps before applying or the colour can stick a little, but if you don't have any bumps then you're good to go.

The colours are really pretty, and each colour has it's own cute name. 'Macaron' - a nice sheer red, 'Cupcake' - the lightest of all colours a sweet sheer pink, and 'Sundae' - a caramel brown that blends to a nice wearable colour on the lips. The packaging matches each colour which is nice, and each has a cute little picture and sheer cap. I haven't had any issues with the cap falling off and I leave it in my bag at times, and I haven't had any issues with the wind up mechanism yet either, but I can imagine the caps being not so tight at times so you may need to be careful. 

The scent is right up my alley - I love vanilla, and it's not too overpowering so even if vanilla isn't your favourite I don't think it would be prominent enough to turn you off buying them completely. 

I was able to wear these lip crayons alone for almost a full day, but by the end the product had built up a little bit too much on my lips gathering in places and I needed some extra moisture to sort it out. SO you can't rely on these for moisture alone, but they would be perfect to perk up an every day outfit though, or if you're heading out to dinner and want a light lip colour that won't stain your lips. :)

[Top: Macaron - Middle: Cupcake - Bottom: Sundae]

Overall I'm super impressed with the quality of these lip crayons for the price that they're selling. They're cute, fun and smell lovely. They'd be great to pick up as a gift as well I think, so I might grab another packet before they're gone forever, as unfortunately I think these are limited edition. 

I purchased these for $14.95 from Kmart, but if you're in Australia you can pick this 3 pack up for from Priceline, Big W, or you can check their website for the nearest stockist in your state on their website here. They are also sold online on the wesbite - I had never heard of this site before today but it seems quite good for Aussie brands! 

Have you tried these lip crayons? What's your favourite cheap or luxury lip product? What's your favourite Face Of Australia product? x

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Budget Friendly - Palmolive - Strawberry Smoother Exfoliating Body Wash

Palmolive recently released the Body Butter range of body washes and when I spotted and smelt (it smells divine!) this in a local K-mart recently, I had to test it out. 

The 2 new additions to the Palmolive range are Strawberry Smoother (an exfoliating body wash) and Luscious Mango (a moisturising body wash) and as I have a bit of a soft spot for sweet scents in the shower, I opted to try the Strawberry Smoother body wash. It has a super sweet smell that seems good enough to eat! 

Palmolive describe the product: 
"Looking for smooth, irresistible skin? Palmolive Body Butter Strawberry Smoother™ body wash has you covered. Its rich creamy texture with natural seeds gently exfoliates to polish and clean your skin's surface, leaving it soft and smooth."

I would agree with the description that it certainly is a rich creamy texture. It comes out as a soft pink cream, with particles throughout that are meant for exfoliation. I think it delivers well on the creamy rich side of things, but when it comes packaged as exfoliating it really lacks a punch on that aspect in my opinion. It's so gentle you can barely tell the difference between a normal creamy body wash and this being exfoliating. For someone who may be super sensitive and still wanting a tiny bit of exfoliation this may be quite appropriate, but if you really want to get smooth renewed skin this isn't going to budge much in the way of dead skin cells. It's nice and gentle, and not irritating in the slightest and the cream texture smooths your skin over leaving it soft and with a gentle scent of strawberry. 

The scent side of things is really pleasant. It's not too overpowering and it doesn't last long on your skin, but in the shower it's a nice way to start the day for a sweet tooth like me. Not many supermarket brands come in sweet scents like this lately, so it was a nice surprise and definitely what hooked me in to try it! 

The moisture in the body wash is enough to leave your skin feeling hydrated, but not enough to skip moisturising altogether - as is with most body washes. Being a cream it doesn't foam up a lot, but it expands and foams enough to get a nice lather when you use it on a shower puff. 

Personally I think the bottle looks quite nice, but it can sometimes be really annoying to get the product out. Because it's a cream it's not as runny as most shower gels are and you really have to squeeze the tube and make sure the product is at the hole to get it out. It's not unbearable, but it does annoy me. 

Overall for the price of $6.49 (you can find it usually for a little cheaper in chemists or on sale) it's a great body wash and I'm enjoying using it every day. I like changing my body wash almost every time one runs out as I like switching up scents, but I think this is something I would re-purchase. 

You can find Palmolive's Strawberry Smoother Exfoliating Body Wash in supermarkets, chemists, Kmart and Target through Australia for RRP $6.49 (although I was able to find it online for $5.95 from Westfield online here and $5.39 from Chemist Warehouse online here.) 

There's also a competition running online at the moment for this range at their website where you can win a $5,000 Westfield voucher (YES PLEASE!) and runners up receive a $250 Westfield voucher along with some other decadent goodies. You can see the competition online here. (Competition closes 25/08)

Have you tried one of these new Palmolive Body Butters? What's your favourite budget body wash? x