29 Oct 2014

my haircare routine

Hey guys!

After last weeks Updated Skincare Routine post, I decided to bring you this quick post detailing what I use in my hair as well! I will be honest and say that my hair is probably one of my favourite finer details about myself. Its been very tolerant and patient as I've dyed it almost every colour under the sun since I was 13, and I have (luckily) had no real issues with breakage or my hair falling out. My hair has always been dead straight, long (for the most part) and gets oily on the second day which is why I usually wash my hair every 2-3 days (unless I'm lazy - which happens more often than I care to admit). I also to dye my hair probably once every 2-3 months depending how fast it grows, but my step-mum is a hairdresser so she always does it for me.

I typically wash my hair with the Sunsilk Longer & Stronger shampoo and conditioner, and while it's wet, I brush it with a Tangle Teezer and when dry I always brush with a Michael Mercier brush. I always blow dry my hair after washing, which I know isn't exactly good for it, but if I don't my hair will part in the middle and sit flat to my face like curtains. I always part my hair on the side, as the middle part just doesn't suit me (you know it really doesn't suit you when your bf tells you look like Buzz Lightgear with it in - yea, thanks), but no matter how hard I've trained it since I was 12-13, or part it when it's wet, my hair just will not hack it. Plus, it does get a nice amount of volume when it is blow dried, which is an impossible feat without blow drying it. Each to their own - this is what works for me.

After I wash my hair, and comb all the tangles out with the Tangle Teezer, and use 2-3 pumps of the Toni & Guy Prep Smoothing Detangler ($15.99) in my hands, and work it through my hair from roots to ends. I then use the L'Oreal Repair Restoring Conditioning Spray ($6.99) and spray it all over my hair, mainly focusing on the roots as I seem to miss them the most when doing using conditioner - weirdly enough, my hair looks so totally oily when I don't condition my roots, which is why I use this to make sure that they've all been taken care of. After that, I brush my hair with the Tangle Teezer, and squirt 2-3 pumps of the Goldwell Dual Senses Rich Repair Serum ($24.95) and work this into the ends of my hair, and then bring whatever's left in my hands through the rest of my hair. I then grab my Silkmax Oil (not sure how much as this is, as it was given to me by my step-mum who stocks it in her salon) and put one pump into the ends of my hair. I always wrap it up in a big ol' towel then to let the products sink into my hair before I dry it - I try and wait at least five minutes, and I'll find something else to do while I wait.

After I unravel my hair from my towel, I give it another quick comb and then spritz a couple of sprays of the Toni & Guy Heat Protection Mist ($15.99) before blow drying. Honestly, this is new to my routine - I only bought it because I was out of the detangler and Priceline had them 2 for $20 or something to that effect. I blow dried my hair for years and years without using a heat protectant, and my hair remained fine - I don't see a difference with this product.. So unless its a good sale, I most likely won't be repurchasing.

And that is what I use to keep my hair strong and healthy! Yes, I use heat on it on a regular basis, but I rarely use other styling tools because my hair is already dead straight and rarely holds a curl. I'd love to hear if you have any product suggestions for me!

Until next time....


in between blogging, you can find me here!

*Some products featured were kindly sent to COAMA HQ for consideration of review. All reviews are 100% honest!

27 Oct 2014

review; new covergirl trublend foundation

Hey guys!

In the time since I've been back from Thailand, I've added a new foundation into my rotation. Covergirl recently reformulated their TruBlend foundation, and also added a concealer and powder to their line! I did used to use the original TruBlend back in the day, but I honestly cannot remember how it performed or anything back then - shows how interested in makeup I was! But I have been LOVING this foundation, and it definitely deserves more recognition then it has been getting.

Covergirl seems to be bit hit and miss with their products. Especially in Australia, you don't really hear much about it. But I love their Flamed Out Mascara, Jumbo Lip Crayons, primers and nail polishes - and y'all know I'm always game to try a new foundation.

This won't be a review on the whole line - unfortunately, the powder and concealer are too light for me, but I'm sure they work wonderfully as well. But I will be giving a full overview of the foundation for you, and how it's been working for me over the past three weeks!

The foundation comes in various shades all under a specific skin tone - L, M and D, which I'm assuming mean light, medium and dark. I personally think this is awesome, because it means the foundation can match even darker skin tones which most drugstore brands fail to meet. I'm using L6, which is a tad light and neutral for my skin but I warm it up with bronzer and it looks fine.

It is a thicker foundation, but it blends out like a dream. I've been using my beauty blender with it (all my brushes are dirty - oops!) and the pair are magic together. It gives a medium buildable coverage, and with the beauty blender it doesn't cake whatsoever. It makes my skin looks smooth and even gives me an almost dewy finish. This may be due to the beauty blender, but its definitely my most preferred tool anyway and if it makes it look fantastic, I'll take it!

I've been wearing to work over 8-9 hour days, and it lasts well over those periods. However, it does seem to break up on my nose if I wear it any longer than that, but really I'm usually home by that point about to take it off. Really, it doesn't claim to be long lasting, so whatever - ain't no big deal!

Here is a swatch of the foundation for you:

As you can see, it is a little neutral for my fake tan, but makes my veins and fine lines on my hands almost unnoticeable, but it still looks like skin! For reference, I have normal to dry skin, and most foundations that I have tried work for me and my skin. For those looking to see if it would work with oily skin, I will leave my friend Katina's Instagram here - she has oily skin, and adores this foundation! 

For some reason, I cannot find this online to buy in Australia - the Covergirl website also hasn't been updated and still has the original formula on there. But, it is available to buy in various stores - I've seen it in Priceline and Big W, and although I can't remember RRP, it wouldn't be expensive. Covergirl is a really affordable brand, and in this case I would highly recommend grabbing one of these foundations! Once it's available online, I will update this post and link it for you.

Let me know if you've tried this foundation - or if you have a drugstore foundation that has surprised you!

Until next time...


in between blogging, you can find me here!

*These products featured were kindly sent to COAMA HQ for consideration of review. All reviews are 100% honest!

26 Oct 2014

first impression + review - australis contour & highlight kit

Hey guys!

Who else was super excited when they saw Australis announce that they were bringing out their own contour and highlight kit? Especially when it looked so super similar to a high end version not readily available here in Australia (cough, anastasiabeverlyhills cough)? This was FINALLY released on Australis' website last week, retailing for $16.95. It was due to permanently be in Priceline stores from Thursday, so if you're wondering why you haven't been able to find it in store or on their website, I'd definitely check back now.

As soon as I saw this on Australis website, I brought it - no questions asked. Funnily enough, I'd also brought the ABH version (which is currently in transit to be home with its mum) a couple of days before, but I couldn't wait. It arrived to me Monday night, and the first thing I did on Tuesday morning was swatch it and photograph it for this post. PS Thats why the photos are a little off - couldn't contain the excitment! 

Apart from the swatches, I have already used this once, and I'll include how it performed at the end of the post.

Read on for a quick overview and swatches of the kit!

Ok, so let me start by saying that this is A LOT smaller than what I imagined. The kit is roughly the size of my hand (see above) and the shades themselves are about the same size as a 50c coin. I mean, in terms of size and what you are getting for your money, it's worth the $16.95. It is just a heck of a lot smaller than what I pictured it to be in my head.

These are the shades themselves. The kit includes two matte highlight shades, one shimmer highlight and three matte contour shades. I would assume with the two matte highlight shades are more for setting areas of your face and that the shimmer for a typical highlight. As one highlight shade is more pink and the other yellow (hello banana dupe), both with fit lighter skin tones and brighten up your look. With the contour shades, two are more on the cool side and the last is quite warm. Like with the hightlight shades, I would say the two cooler shades are meant for actual contouring and creating shadows, and the warmer for blending them out and 'bronzing' in a way.

Australis also includes this handy guide at the back of the palette so that, if you are a beginner or just in general unsure of how to actually contour and highlight using the palette, you could easily follow this guide and achieve the look you want.

Shades swatched: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6

You can see in the photo above that they have amazing pigmentation for a palette that cost $16.95. This was the first time actually swatching the palette myself, and each swipe is one layer. Deadset, I am super impressed with the pigmentation of all of these shades!

Onto my first impression of actually using the palette - I used shades 1 and 2 mixed together to set my highlighted areas and shade 4 to contour. I have to say, the top shades are incredible. They go on so well, like butter, and they highlight so subtle-ly and set my concealer at the same time. However, I wasn't that impressed with my contour. It was a little grey and hard to blend out. This may be because I don't contour on a regular basis (just bronze), but I usually contour with a matte bronzer as well. I don't know.. I'll keep playing with it. But, the top three shades are definitely stand outs in this palette! If you're unsure about purchasing it, I would purchase it for those three shades alone. Despite my opinion on the contour shade, I still think this is incredible value for $16.95 and is very much worth purchasing.

You can find the palette here on the Australis website, or in Priceline stores (not currently online) for $16.95AU. Unfortunately, this is an Australian brand and is currently only available for international purchase on All Cosmetic Wholesale - this palette isn't on there yet though. Sorry!

If you've purchased this kit, let me know your thoughts below! Do you have any tips or tricks to using it? Also, if you'd like to see a comparison with the Anastasia Beverly Hills Palette, defintely let me know in the comments!

Until next time...


in between blogging, you can find me here!

20 Oct 2014

updated skincare routine

Hey guys!

In February, when I first started blogging, my very first post was my skincare routine! Over the months that have past since that post, my routine has changed pretty dramatically. I've been introduced to newer products, newer brands, new versions of my old favourites - and my skin is now looking so fantastic that I thought it was time to share it with you! I truly believe that great make-up starts with the skin - if you don't care great care of skin, your makeup may never truly look the best it can! Plus, you can have all the non-makeup days you want when you're confident about your skin.

All the products mentioned are ones that I have been using for a month or longer now, so I have given them the time to see that they do work for me and my skin type. For reference, my skin type is typically normal, but does lean a little dry (especially around my eyes). I generally turn to products that are hydrating as I like my skin to feel really moisturised. I've broken my routine into two different regimes - morning and night. There are some products that I use for both times, but generally I use heavier products at night as it gives my skin longer to soak it all in.

m o r n i n g ;

I don't typically use too many products in the morning. This is mainly because I will most likely be applying make up after this (#duh) and too much product on my face means that my base may have a harder time blending into my skin. I try and apply all my skincare products at least 10 minutes before applying my face for the day, as otherwise it just makes my makeup slip and slide all over my face, and my life a little harder for that day.

To start off with, I always use the Dr Lewinns Nourishing Gentle Cream Cleanser ($29.99) on a cotton round and gently pat it into my skin. I then turn the unused side around and do the same motion to take the excess off. This helps to clean my face of any leftover particles from the day before, plus my pillow seems to hoard dirt, so I really want to make sure its off my face before applying my makeup. Its also super hydrating, which is exactly what I want. After that step, I take the Dr Lewinns Hydrating Refining Toner ($29.99) on another cotton round and gentle press it into my t-zone and my pores. This just closes any pores that may have opened from using the cleanser, and also adds more hydration to those areas. 

And now for my new FAVOURITE product - the Dr Lewinns Miracle Radiance Renewal Serum ($49.99)! You guys, I seriously thought I wasn't going to like it. It's almost like an oil, rather than what I would assume a typical serum is, and I was so sceptical about using this as my new daytime serum rather than my Indeed Labs Hydraluron Moisture Boost (which I also adore). But after using this, my foundation has NEVER looked better. It's the newest product in my regime, and nothing else has really changed, so I'm sure it's this. I'm so in love - you would think that an oiler product wouldn't be that great to use during the day, but I was wrong and if you are after a serum to use, day or night, that transforms your skin and your base - I honestly cannot recommend this enough!

After that little spectacle, I use the Sukin Antioxidant Eye Cream ($19.99). I tap this all around my eyes, and also on the sides of my nose and lips. Eye creams are so super moisturising, so I like to add it to those areas for an extra hit of hydration. I have a post all about Sukin Skincare products here - I still love them, and I definitely vouch for them as an affordable skincare brand from the drugstore. The last product I use is the Indeed Labs Hydraluron Moisture Jelly ($39.99), which I just use as a normal moisturiser all over my face. I have a post all about the Hydraluron range here, and they're all great products!

n i g h t ;

First step for me in my night time routine is to use my Clarisonic Mia ($139). I use a cleansing system 5/6 days a week, as I like to give my skin a break so it doesn't get over exfloliated. I like to use my Sukin Sensitive Cleansing Gel ($9.99) and just use my Clarisonic as per the instructions. I either use this or my Racinne Cleansing Brush ($49) (not pictured), and I have a comparison of both systems here. I then use the Dr Lewinns cleanser and toner as in my morning routine, and then go in with my Trilogy Rosehip Oil Antioxidant+ ($29.99). I just pop five small drops all over my face, and massage it into my face. I like to give this as much time as possible to soak into my face, as much as half an hour, but I'm also lazy, so I usually just brush my teeth and my hair before continuing with the rest of my routine. My other standout product is the Trilogy Eye Contour Cream ($44.99). I use this the same as my Sukin eye cream, but this stuff is amazing. I have issues with the skin around my eyes drying up and flaking, as my eyes water a lot (especially at night) and I could never find a product to actually halt that process. I haven't had to worry about that since I started using this. Its so expensive, but to me worth every dollar, and I will definitely be purchasing another! Last step in my routine in the Trilogy Vital Moisturising Cream ($39.99). This isn't an actual night time moisturiser, but it is a little heavier than what I would like to use during the day, so I find it perfect to use at night!

And that's it! I do love my skincare, and I have been switching it up a lot since beginning to blog, but this routine has stuck for a while now and its definitely had a great effect on my skin! Some products are more expensive than others - but as I said, having your makeup look flawless starts with your skins condition underneath. I'd love to hear what your skin saving products are - let me know in the comments!

Until next time...


in between blogging, you can find me here!

*Some products featured were kindly sent to COAMA HQ for consideration of review. All reviews are 100% honest!

13 Oct 2014

you're so overrated #1: mac pro longwear concealer

Hey guys!

Welcome to a newer series on my blog - You're so Overrated! In this series, I really want to go through the products that I have been convinced to buy by various beauty gurus on Youtube, or rave reviews by other trusted sources, that I just don't think are all that. Not to say that they are bad products AT ALL, just a little disappointing for me considering how many people have loved all over it.

First up for this series is, sadly, the MAC Pro Longwear Concealer. I brought this be use everyone in the beauty world uses it and RAAAAAAVES about it. I was especially intrigued because it claims to be creaseless, and that is something I have an issue with every single concealer I used. So off I went and purchased this baby, which is NOT cheap in any sense of the word, and expected unicorns and glitter to appear once applying it on my face - needless to say, that was not the case.

I just want to reiterate that this is solely based on my experience with this product - and even then, its not a bad product at all. I just didn't think it lived up to its hype, and considering it worked so well for everyone else, I didn't see why it shouldn't be magical for me as well.

So why didn't I get on too well with this concealer in particular? The damn thing creases EVERYWHERE. In fact, its probably the concealer that creases the most out of all the ones in my collection. Maybe its because its too much coverage for my under eyes, or too thick compared to my Maybelline Age Rewind concealer, I'm not sure. But it just creases up a storm and really doesn't look good under my eyes at all. Another issue I have is the coverage, although I think this issue is personal preference. It's super duper high coverage, really I think it's way too much for me personally on an everyday basis. So I generally use it only if I'm going out somewhere, but I still don't like as much even then when compared to my drugstore concealers.

One more big issue is the packaging. You'd think for the price you are paying that MAC would give you a decent dispenser for this concealer. Nuh-uh honey. Because you only need the tiniest amount of this considering the coverage, you need the tiniest, teeniest amount of it possible to cover your under eyes and any other places you wish to conceal. But this pump literally has a mind of its own. Need just a tiny dot for concealing? Here, have a truckload! Because of this it makes it really easy to waste the product, because you can't exactly shove it back through the pump, and also to cake your under eyes with more than necessary, purely because you don't want to waste said product. But I digress.

Here's some shots of the concealer in action - please keep in mind that it is a shade lighter, as I generally get them light to easily highlight:

So, unfortunately, this product is (IMO) completely overrated. Out of all my concealers, my favourites are both my Maybelline Age Rewind and Fit Me concealers, and they are both a part of my everyday routine and also if I'm going out. If you are thinking about trying this concealer, I would definitely grab a sample if you can before making the commitment to buying it. As I said, it's not a bad concealer in the slightest - I will still use it and finish it up. It's just not for me, and didn't live up to the expectations that I had for it.

What are some products that you consider overrated?

Until next time...


in between blogging, you can find me here!

7 Oct 2014

thailand high end haul !

Hey guys!

So, I'm back! I finally had two weeks of complete bliss in Patong Beach, which is in Phuket, Thailand, and I loved every single minute. A great plus was that I was able to disconnect from my social media, blog, work and uni troubles after feeling alot of pressure from all sides and really take a break. I saw tigers, I relaxed, I sunbaked, I was a bridesmaid - but most importantly, I shopped. Oh yes, I shopped up a storm.

Funnily enough, I didn't actually buy alot of makeup. I'm not sure how many of you have been to Thailand, but basically all the makeup in their market places are completely fake. I even got to see a supposed 'Urban Decay Naked 4' and 'Naked 5' - which I did almost buy for the hell of it, but really I preferred to spend my money on bags, clothes and then spend the rest of my money on high end makeup purchases in a department store and of course, duty free at the airport.

I was so excited to get my hands on some products that I have wanted forever, and even some newer releases! I am now the proud owner of two Bobbi Brown products AND a Chanel foundation - me #imsofancy ! I'm going to give you guys a basic run down of the products, some of which I have already tried, so I can give you a basic first impression. If you want to see any follow up reviews, let me know in the comments!

First up is this beauty - the Chanel Vitalumière Aqua Foundation. This has been on my list for a loooooong long time, and is also my first ever Chanel product. But the price point has always been a huge turn off, so I never took the plunge. I ended up picking this up in Kuala Lumpur Airport, and to be honest, it wasn't the product I was actually looking for. I have been on the hunt for the YSL Rouge Pur Couture in #10 and I finally found a YSL counter, only to discover that the shade was out of stock. Typical. While wallowing in my self pity and disappointment, I wandered over to the Chanel counter. As I had the currency to spend (I wanted to spend it as I would be losing money if I converted back to Australian dollars), I asked to be matched to this baby.

I have worn this once so far, and it has a gorgeous, natural finish. Its definitely not full coverage, but it just makes your skin look really good skin (for want of a better description). I have really been enjoying that type finish lately, with this foundation joining the ranks of my BareMinerals BareSkin Foundation and my NARS Tinted Moisturiser. I'll definitely keep wearing this (especially considering the amount I paid), and if you want to see a proper review I can definitely organise that!

From left to right: Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder in Golden Light, MAC Mineralize Skin Finish Natural in Medium Deep & Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick in Beige

Swatches (l-r): Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder in Golden Light, MAC Mineralize Skin Finish Natural in Medium Deep & Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick in Beige

Of course, I also had to make a stop off at Bobbi Brown and MAC. I have never owned any products by Bobbi Brown, so I picked up two products that I have wanted FOREVER - at the top of my list was the Bobbi Brown Bronzer in Golden Light. When I visited New York last year, I looked for this bronzer EVERYWHERE - typically, it was sold out at every Bobbi Brown counter I visited. I'm glad I picked it up, its a gorgeous bronzer and a perfect colour especially with my tan. I picked up another MAC MSF Natural in Medium Deep as I love it, but my other is going a bit funny so I wanted to have a back up for when it bites the dust. And of course, the Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick in Beige, because who doesn't rave about these? Plus I fell in love once I swatched it - mixed together its a gorgeous champange bronze highlight that I honestly don't already own.

From left to right: MAC Brave, MAC Up The Amp, MAC Sweet & Sour, NARS Audacious Lipstick in Raquel & NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Sex Machine

Swatches (l-r): MAC Brave, MAC Up The Amp, MAC Sweet & Sour, NARS Audacious Lipstick in Raquel & NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Sex Machine

And of course, no trip would be complete without picking up some lipsticks. I made a stop off at the MAC counter (MAC has been a huge source of my online retail therapy lately) and as well as the MSF, I picked up three lipsticks in Brave, Up The Amp and Sweet and Sour. So far, I'm in love with Brave (check my IG for my quick post about this shade) and I love the other two but haven't had a chance to wear them yet. And OMG you guys, get yo' hands on the NARS Audacious Lipsticks. Pick one, pick two, pick 'em all if you want, but this is a lipstick formula you need in your life. They're unbelieveably creamy and pigmented and buttery - just no words. No words. After numerous swatches, I eventually decided on Raquel which is the nude-pink of the bunch (shocking, right?), and I would have picked up more, but had to run. I also picked up their Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Sex Machine which is super pigmented when swatched but on my lips it seems to lose that pigment.. Maybe my lips are just too pigmented, I'm not sure. I'll definitely wear it, but I do wish that I had time to pick out a different shade.

And thats it for my Thailand makeup haul! Of course, I picked up more goodies - bags, shoes, sunglasses, wallets, clothes etc - but these products are what I am most excited about! Tell me, what are the products you are saving for? I know Sephora has their holiday sets releasing soon - eek, that excites me SO much!

Until next time...


in between blogging, you can find me here!