NARS Blush

NARS Blush

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Ah, Blush. The best of the beauty world (don’t worry lipstick and mascara, I still love you too!). I love blush. I find it can really change your appearance. It can make you look healthy and happy, and give you a sense of confidence when you’re not feeling so great or are struggling with your skin that day. As a pretty pale skinned girl, I can look almost ghostly, and people will not hesitate to tell me that I look unwell (nice!) if I skip the blush. But let’s be real. I wear blush for me. I like achieving different effects with different blush. And one of my all time favourite brands for blush, is NARS.

I own three shades at the moment. I say at the moment because I have my eye on two more (at least). I find NARS blushes to be really easy to apply- the formula isn’t too soft, and while some shades are more pigmented than others, I find it hard to over do blush with NARS, unlike some other brands.

Orgasm is the cult favourite, and I can see why. I tired numerous different cheaper ‘dupes’ but don’t be fooled ladies (and gents) – there really isn’t a proper dupe for this shade. I don’t think its just the shade – it’s the way it applies. Now I know some people find it far too gold, and at times I can see that, but to be honest it doesn’t bother me. I can’t imagine my makeup drawer without this beauty, and the dupes I bought have been ceremoniously dumped from my stash.

Deep Throat is the other well known shade from NARS and honestly this is such a favourite for me. For a while I went off shimmer blushes and stopped wearing this, but I have started reaching for it, and reach for it most days. I love the tone on my skin – it’s the perfect blush for a bold lip colour, and it builds really nicely if you want to wear no lip colour. The shade is perfect for my pale skin, and again, it’s a blush I find I can’t really over do.

Finally I have Desire. Desire is a cool tones bright pink blush… and oh, my goodness, I love it. It’s a little more powdery than the other two formulas and is a matte blush. When I wear this blush I find my eyes look brighter and my whole complexion looks brighter. I wear it with my bright fuchsia coloured lipsticks, champagne coloured eyeshadow and lashings of mascara. I love this blush – as scary as it looks in the pan, it works so well on my face, and I can see it working on a range of skin tones.

Next I have my eye on Oasis and Luster.

Do you have any NARS blushes? Which ones are your favourites?

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L’Oreal Colour Riche Nail Polish

L’Oreal Colour Riche Nail Polish

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I adore mini nail polish. I love it. I wish all brands released mini’s of their colours as well as full size bottles. It allows you to try out a colour, love it, flirt with a new idea or something out of your comfort zone, and use it before it goes gloopy or thick. Also, in many cases (particularly OPI) I end up going for the full size version if I really love the colour (Lincoln Park After Dark, I am looking at you, lover).

So I really, really love L’Oreal’s Colour Riche in the mini, 5ml bottles. The range of colours is fantastic. The brush is excellent. The formula is outstanding – many colours are a one-coat application.

I recently picked up Top Coat Confetti “916 Confettis” which I think is a new range, at least in Australia, and “842 Sequin Explosion”.  The Top Coat Confetti is black and white matte confetti in a clear nail polish. In the picture I have applied it over Essie Shake Your $$ Maker and on a nail on its own. It is definitely a top coat, I don’t personally like it on its own, although one of my friends does. I think it looks amazing on a colour base. It’s such a fun top coat, the confetti particles aren’t too chunky so they don’t sit out of the polish itself like some other glitter nail polishes I have do. The pictures above are of one coat, which I think is enough.

I tried the Sequin Explosion on my friends nails, and I am so in love. It’s a mixture of very fine and bigger pieces of glitter in softer tones of pink and blue with silver. You get enough glitter for a subtle look with one coat, but could build it up with another one or two.

So fun! I love them. And now I will be staying away from nail polish for a while… Until I spy the OPI Gwen Stefani colours, anyway.

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MAC Paint Pots – A Love Story.

Mac Paint Pots

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I am relatively new to cream eyeshadow. In my younger years I used to get the eye shadow crayons from Sportsgirl and smear them happily over my lid, only to feel mortified later on when I checked out my appearance to find the eyeshadow had crept into one thick line on my lip. Yuck.

Then, when I got addicted to reading beauty blogs, I found a few people raving about MAC Paint Pot in Painterly in their older posts. I dreamily wandered to the MAC counter in Myer in Sydney and tried it out. I didn’t think the colour worked for my skin and I try to stay away from pink tones near my eyes- I just don’t think the look works for me. But I couldn’t walk away without Vintage Selection, a Paint Pot in very neutral beige tone with the perfect amount of gorgeous shimmer through it. And let me tell you, it was love. I decided to try it for a day before coming back for other colours I had my eye on.

The first day I wore Vintage Selection, I found zero creasing. ZERO! I didn’t wear a primer on my eyelids (I don’t usually anyway, as I find it dries my eyelids out too much and makes them look crepey) and at the end of the day the eyeshadow was still perfectly applied across my entire lid. I practically ran back to Myer the next day and picked up Camel Coat, a matte beige colour and Frozen Violet, a shimmer pale lilac colour.

I am still as overjoyed with these as I was the day I bought them. I wear Camel Coat and Vintage Selection all the time. I get so many compliments of Vintage Selection – every time I wear it someone asks what I have on my eyes. Camel Coat is the perfect every day colour and works really well as a neutral base for putting powder eyeshadows over. I love Frozen Violet and wear it on my rare evenings out.

I was kind of shocked when I hunted online for others who loved the Paint Pots with the incredible fervor I felt… and found basically nothing. Sure a few people still rave about Painterly, but I genuinely can’t wait to grab a couple more next time I am near a MAC counter. I LOVE these, and if I had to pick one eyeshadow formulation to wear for the rest of my life, it would definitely be the Paint Pot.

I guess some people might not like the fact that it comes in a little pot- well let me tell you why I like that! I find that I have greater control over how much goes on my eye when it’s in a pot ; I can apply with a brush or with my finger, and if I have too much product, I can reduce it on the back of my hand. And I can warm the product up by swirling my finger in the pt a few times, which helps with the application process. But really, applying is a dream anyway. So easy to get the perfect eye with these Paint Pots.

Anyway I think I have sung the praises of MAC Paint Pots Enough (I haven’t. I could go on for hours, as I have to my friends and sister, urging them to try these little pots of magic. See! Here I go again).
Have you tried them? Have you got a favourite colour?

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Bookshop Bliss and Second Hand Books

Second Hand Books.

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I love going shopping for books. I honestly felt like Kate Morton had peered into my brain when she wrote one of her characters, I think it was in The Distant Hours, specifically that the character found being in bookshops calming and revitalizing after a stressful day. Bookshops are my happy place. Browsing the shelves, breathing in that particular scent, discussing popular and little known titles with the equally obsessed staff… it is my ‘bliss’. It brings a deep sense of relief and reassurance, and a sense of joy, a pure sense of joy.

I love bookshops that are overcrowded, with stacks of books on the floor and narrow aisles, as much as I love open, clam and well ordered bookshops with sofas and comfy chairs.

When my OH and I travel, I seek out bookshops. From the famous Shakespeare and Company in Paris, to The Strand Bookshop in New York City, bookshops are a homing beacon of sorts for me.

Equally I love second hand bookshops, and book stall at markets. I love reading second hand books. Unlike some others, I don’t mind seeing the stains of coffee or tea on the pages, the questionable smudge of either chocolate or I-don’t-want-to-know. I like the feeling of sharing an experience with someone else, especially when reading is such a solitary event – how the words create a world in your mind can’t and won’t be exactly replicated in the mind of another.

I recently grabbed myself a whole lot of bargains. I often hunt out copies of books that I have owned before and lost through lending (I no longer lend, sadly, I just recommend). How To Be A Woman by Caitlin Moran is one such title, a loss I felt so deeply when the person I lent it to lost it. I found it the other day at the markets for the steal of $2! Awesome! And I love a bit of Marian Keyes for days when I’m feeling a little bit down – she never fails to cheer me up.

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My husband feeds this second hand addiction, recently hunting down a massive 25 book collection of Agatha Christie novels, in a gorgeous hardback edition that I had previous commented on admiring. What a keeper! I can’t wait to read Dear Fatty by Dawn French. I have heard great things about Life after Life and find Kate Atkinson books hard to track down once they’re no longer in the new releases.

I recently discovered two Margaret Attwood books I have never read, which is like finding gold when they are second hand! And the classic (in my mind, anyway) Obernewtyn by Isobel Carmody – I read this when I was very young, and didn’t ‘get it’. All of my friends were swept up in the whole series, so I thought that finding it by chance was maybe a signal from the book gods to give it another go?

Do you like second hand books? Love the atmosphere of a bookshop? What is your favourite bookshop? Mine is The Book Connection in Dubbo, NSW. It was a haven for me in the years of living in a town that was so strange to me. I always make the effort to go back there when we visit. However, I rarely give my books to second hand shops. It’s only if I really, really didn’t like it, or didn’t finish it, that I will release a book back into the world. I treasure the memory of reading each of my books, even if I don’t love the book itself so much.

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Navy Eyeliner

Navy Eyeliner.

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One of my favourite summer looks is navy eyeliner with a neutral toned eyeshadow and barely there mascara. I love navy in the summertime! It might not be the look of ‘the moment’ but I find it really classic, cool and chic.

My current favourites are Guerlain Liquid Eyeliner in 02 Bleu and Smashbox Jet Set Waterproof Eye Liner in Navy Blue.

The Guerlain is a lovely deep and classic navy. The bottle is a beauty to behold, and reminds me of some kind of Persian treasure, with its long slim gold lid over a reassuringly heavy matte glass pot. The bush is firm enough to give a nice clean line without too much expertise needed from the person wielding it. The eyeliner itself is opaque and applies perfectly with one swipe – no need to go back and fill in the weird sheer places you get with some other liquid eyeliners. I mainly wear this with MAC Paint Pot in Camel Coat during the day, just to the end of my eyelid, and maybe at night with a tiny feline flick at the ends.

The SmashBox Jet Set Waterproof Eye Liner is a much more modern take on the idea of navy – or is it a call back to the eighties? Either way, I absolutely love it. To be completely honest with you, for a long time I didn’t wear it as an eyeliner at all, but rather as a cream eyeshadow to funk up an outfit when I was going out. And it works perfectly like that too! I apply this with my Real Techniques eyeliner brush, and the thing I really love about this product is that it’s really build-able. I can have quite a sheer electric blue look going on along my lash line, or build it to be that dark navy look. Either way, it’s very nice. The colour itself is a little more iridescent than the Guerlain, far lighter in colour and closer to royal blue than true navy. I live in fear of the day it starts to dry out, as I have no idea how to re-moisten these things!

Next on my navy list is the Clinique Quickliner Intense in Midnight.

Have you tried navy eyeliner? What ones do you love?

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Rimmel Moisture Renew Lipstick

Rimmel Moisture Renew Lipstick.

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I currently only have two of these beauties, but I am waiting with bated breath for my local Priceline to stock the ‘new’ colours (i.e. ones that have been available on asos for AAAAAGES! – and to be fair I did order one for my sister in law on there, and they have since been out of stock of the colours I wanted by the time I figured out how much I wanted them!). I love the formula of these lipsticks – I find they wear really well, they don’t need to have perfectly prepared lips to be able to wear them, and I have found them to wear off evenly, so on nights out, I don’t have to look like a freak as I eat my meal!

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I have owned (and written before) Oxford Street Fuchsia for about four months now. I love it. It’s quite a neon leaning fuchsia, and is very, very FUN. It works very well against my skin tone, which is quite pale, but I think it would work on a wide range of skin tones, if you like that slightly neon look. It has been one of my go-to lipsticks for summer, even with no other makeup, to pop down to the shops. It puts a smile on my face. I do find this shade more moisturizing than the next one…

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I recently bought Funtime Fuchsia for about $6 at Priceline because they are clearing the old colours out to make way for the new ones (more about that in a tick). This colour is so lovely on. It’s a little closer to my all time favourite fuchsia lipstick (Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in Anarchy) but it’s a little darker toned. While it’s not so ‘in your face’ as the other, it’s still very vibrant and when I recently wore it on a day out shopping the beauty counters at David Jones, I did have a couple of fellow shoppers ask me what I was wearing. This one is not as moisturizing as OSF, but not drying either. It works really well as a stain however, and I have used it to create a more muted look with gold eyeshadow.

 

So, what are the colours I am looking forward to? I really can’t wait to add In Love With Ginger to my collection of orange reds, and I have heard that As You Like Victoria is a deadest dupe for Hot Rose Sinner by Lipstick Queen. The local Priceline have my number for when they come in to stock. I can’t wait to hear my phone ring!

 

Have you tried these Rimmel lipsticks? What do you think?

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Things I bought: ASOS Dress Review #2

Another disappointment and two massive wins. Lets get to them shall we?

 

This Thistle Print dress has had my interest for quite some time. I have watched it come down in price and go in and out of stock for some months now. It might be still out of stock now. I ordered the dress is my regular size. The dress is much more pink than it looks on the website, and is made of a crepe style fabric. The dress fitted well everywhere except the arms, which were far too skinny for mine anyway. A shame, but another return.

 

I ordered this dress in pink a while back, and I ordered it recently in black and white. Love it. Have worn it twice since it arrived. Fabulous. I think the key to having the bra strap show is to make it a sexy, lacy bra. Something that catches the eye, without being boring or too safe. Like, hey, I am wearing something good under this dress.

 

And finally this green ASOS dress. I love it. I love the colour and the fit, and everything about it. I wish I had ordered it in a number of colours. The skirt is swishy enough without being full, and the fabric is light without being clingy. The fit is excellent, the sleeves are perfect cap sleeves and don’t cut in on the arm. It skims my silhouette nicely, without highlighting any doughnut induced bumps. This dress makes me feel like I’ve been eating well and exercising hard. I will be wearing this one to work with black boots and a long silver necklace I think!

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