Friday, 26 April 2013

Anniversary Nails

My husband and I hit a milestone today..it's our 10th Wedding Anniversary! So, as with most special occasions, I must create themed nails :) It took me a while to decide on a design, but finally decided on a way to incorporate both of our favourite colours, green and pink. 






After my base coat of choice, Orly Bonder, (no surprise there) I applied Blush-Amour no 32 for a base colour. This is a gorgeous pearl white colour. It is quite a sheer shade. The next coat of this colour was rather thick, I didn't want it drying in a hurry. 
Next I applied dots of  Sally Hansen HD polishes in Pixel Pretty and Digital, both gorgeous metallic colours. I only applied these dots to the top half of my nails. I also added a couple of dots of Blush-Amour in a shimmery gold, which I seemed to have left out of the pic, oops!! Blush-Amour can be found at select "cheapie" stores, I think I paid $2 each, and I must say that the quality is quite decent. 
Moving quickly, I used a tooth pick to swirl through the polishes. I did begin with an inexpensive art brush, but that was a terrible idea. The bristles splayed in the first use, and made it difficult to use precisely. The tooth pick was a much better choice. I really need to buy some proper nail brushes! 
Whilst the design was still wet, I placed a nail crystal on each finger. If the pearl effect polish and crystals weren't enough, I also used a coat of Essie LuxEffects in Pure Pearlfection, giving an extra shimmer. Well, it is for a special occasion! Any excuse is a good excuse for bling ;)
A nice thick coat of Seche Vite finished off this mani. 

Now, I best be off to celebrate! :)

Monday, 22 April 2013

FOTD

I recently found a couple of mineral eye shadow samples that I had transferred into small jars from plastic baggies. These were from online indie company Archetype Minerals. I had a quick search online, and am not surprised that I could not find their store. The shadows are amazing, they were cheap, 50 cents a sample from memory, BUT, service was the slowest that I had ever come across. Thankfully, I received all orders (I think I placed 3), though waiting for at least 3 months was certainly not ideal! As I said, the eye shadows were truly lovely, and compared to some of the colours that I have, the two that I used were very plain, but still nice colours for day wear. 






I "primed" with Skin79 BB cream, then used a light dusting of my custom EDM foundation (just a mix of finishing powders, bronzer and concealing powder). I like to use the Maybelline Mineral concealer to brighten under my eye area, whilst also helping to clean up any fall out. As this is very light in colour on my skin, I pat a little of the foundation over top, this also sets the cream concealer.

I'm not sure what the two Archetype Cosmetics shades I used are, but a) I didn't label the jars, because I had no intention to repurchase and b) it seems this company no longer operates. I applied the light taupe shade onto my lids, with the plummy brown colour into my crease, then blended out towards my brow line. Just a simple 2 colour look.
I lined my eyes with Mirenesse liner in Ebony, which I'm simply trying to use up at this stage, it's not my favourite liner, but does the job. My latest love is the Majolica Majorca lash primer and mascara. I love how I get volume an length with this lash duo.


I applied the Rimmel Match Perfection blush in light/medium. I was intrigued by a blush that caters for specific skin tones. Plus the lovely etched design on the surface of this product caught my eye :) Having large sections of pinks and peach means I can use them separately, but my favourite finish is swirling a brush across all the colours, as it gives me  a lovely flush of colour to my cheeks. The only thing I don't like about this product is the packaging, to be honest it "feels" cheap, as the plastic container feels flimsy with a lid that is not secure. Not ideal for travel, but it's fine for use at home.
For my lips I used Mirenesse Auto Lip Liner duet in Rose. These are similar to the eye liners, however, I really like these for the lips. Nice and creamy, yet firm enough to trace the lip line. I like to also fill in my upper lip. I'm sorry I can't tell you what lipstick brand/shade that I used, because I used a lipstick in my DIY palette that I didn't label. I now wish I had have for future reference, oops! I used the lip colour that has the tab open.

I just love to rediscover "forgotten" make up items like the eye shadows I found for this look :)

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Project Increase Storage Space- Making Lip Palettes

I have so many lipsticks in my collection that I have run out of room to store them. Now, I could just stop buying lipsticks (gasp!) which I have truly tried, and have succeeded to lessen the amount of purchases, but there's always some new lip products released, or a colour that catches my eye that I just have to own. Well, I have stumbled upon a solution. Turning my lipsticks into a lip palette! It's not a new idea, there are plenty of tutorials on youtube, but I just had to give it a go.



I know there are more glamorous ways to melt lipstick, but I went a simple route. I placed lipstick in a tea spoon, scraping inside the tube with the plastic tip of a floss stick to ensure that I wasn't wasting too much product. I then melted it over a tea light candle and very carefully poured into a section of my chosen palette. This being a container meant for nail crystals. With a lid for each section, I thought this container would be ideal to be used as a lip palette.
I didn't bother labelling, because quite honestly, I have never repurchased the same shade of lipstick. Usually by the time I have finished, I am over that particular shade. 
I started with lipsticks that aren't my faves, just in case I found that I wasn't using the palette. It is so quick and easy using a lipstick in a tube, having to use a lip brush takes time. Surprisingly, I do find myself reaching for this palette, not everyday, but enough to warrant making it.



Seeing just how much storage room I save by making a lip palette, I'm going to make more..I have 2 more of these containers, so once those are made into lip palettes, imagine how many more lipsticks that I can buy! ;)

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Smouldering Nails

I really can't seem to get the hang of the gradient nail design, but I'll keep trying. In saying that, I was content with the overall look of my nails. 









After applying Orly Bonder base coat, I applied a coat of MUD nail polish. I am not supposed to buy nail polishes until I start using some up, but find it so hard to pass a bargain price. I hadn't tried this brand before, but I thought at $2, I had nothing to lose. I like the creme formula, and think it's quite a decent polish for the price.
Next, I painted 2 vertical lines of nail polish onto the make up sponge, ensuring that Models Inc nail polish in Deep Plum was applied to my tips. The lighter red colour, Sally Hansen Laquer Shine in Dazzling (such a divine red!) I used as a colour to blend the deeper red with the peachy creme colour. I then patted the sponge onto the top half of my nails.
Attempting gradient nails I find difficult for some reason, however, I am learning that being generous with the nail polish on the sponge seems to work best, plus it's still wet enough to apply more for the next nail, instead of having to cut the end of the sponge after each application. Next time I might try using my unused eye shadow applicators.
As you can see I applied some glitter as a feature nail, this was to cover a mistake, lol. I used Blush Amour in shade 70. It is just a cheapie that I picked up from goodness knows where, lol. The gold, red and blue glitter really caught my eye, as I had nothing like it in my collection. 
A finishing coat of Seche Vite Top Coat and I was done.

Practice makes perfect, right??? Gosh, I hope so!!

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Mirenesse Pearl Crush Creaseless Shadow

With a name like Pearl Crush, these eye shadows sound divine, it's what drew me to these eye shadows. That, and the fact that the brand is Mirenesse, one in which I have come to love. You can purchase from their website, to be honest, I find them to be expensive at full price, however, they do offer good sales. With the right timing, I've been able to find good deals on ebay. Plus there is the occasional Mirenesse product on offer with a magazine purchase.
I bought the trio in Akoya Pearls.

I just love the cute packaging that Mirenesse offers, and as you can see, these eye shadow trios are no exception. The plastic casing feels quite solid, which is a good thing when it comes to protecting delicate eye shadows. This also makes them perfect for travel, as they are more durable.
These eye shadows have texture that feels like velvet, so luxurious to the touch. When applied dry the eye shadows have a pearl like finish. Using a damp brush gives the eye shadows depth, making them look more metallic, perfect for a more dramatic look. The eye shadows last beautifully throughout wear, and, as promised, are creaseless. This has become so important to me, as my lids become more hooded and creased with the lovely process that is ageing (sigh)









I applied the lightest colour on my brow bone to highlight. The middle colour on my tearduct, and the darkest colour on my lid. 
These eye shadows are so luxurious to use that I have recently bought 2 more trios! :)

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

FOTD

Just because it's autumn, doesn't have to mean saying goodbye to colour, or a dewy complexion. Mind you, the lovely weather lately could fool us into thinking that it was Spring, my favourite season.






I love to use the Skin79 BB cream as a primer, I find that it especially works well underneath mineral powder foundation, which happens to be what I used. A custom mix of various EDM finishing powders, concealer and bronzer to deepen colour. I really like the finish, not too heavy, yet evens out the look of my pigmented skin.



On my lids, I applied Persephone's Pluto Planet Power over my Silk Naturals primer. Unfortunately this company no longer operates, so I will have to make this gorgeous eye shadow last (secretly, I have a feeling that I'd have a colour like it hidden somewhere, lol). This eye shadow has a green base with blue shimmer. It is easy to work with and blend. In my crease I used the dark brown from my faux Nars palette, plus the neutral colour from my MAC palette, that has now hit pan! Which is not surprising as I use both of these eye shadows to contour almost everyday.


I lined my upper lash line with Mirenesse eye liner duet, using the shade Ebony. I love that this liner is retractable, so I never have to sharpen it. I am not a huge fan of the formula, as it can flake and tends to smudge, it also tugs on my skin. If I use it on my lower lash line, I often find that it fades before the day is over. What's weird, is that years ago, these were one of my favourite liners, I guess eye liners have come a long way since then, lol.

I forgot to include these in my pic, but I used Majolica Majorca mascara duo on my lashes.



Once I had finished my eyes, I dabbed on MNY Mineral Power Natural Perfecting Concealer in Ivory. This serves two purposes. Obviously to cover my very dark circles, and by including this step after eye make up application, the concealer cleans up any fall out. Ivory is way too light for me, but it covers the circles well, and a dusting of my mineral foundation ensures that I am able to match my skin tone better. It is creamy to apply and blends easily.


Next came a product that I've only just started implementing in my make up routine..a highlighter. I love a dewy complexion, and a highlighter is a must. I used Dr LeWinns Anti ageing Illuminizer. A creamy formula that reflects light without being too shimmery. A little goes a long way, so I only dab a little at a time.


I applied the highlighter along my cheekbones, and dabbed a small amount between the apples of my cheeks and the edge of my nose.



On my cheeks I applied L'oreal blush in Sandalwood Veil. As you can see it's a muted pink. I love that it gives a flush of colour to the cheeks, that is easy to build up colour. I have been using this one a lot of late.


One of my most reached for products of the moment are Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain, wow that's a mouthful!! For this look, I wore the shade Darling, a gorgeous mauve-y pink. I adore these lip products!

Well, that covers my make up application for this look :)



Wednesday, 3 April 2013

A Focus on Lumiere Foundations

I've been a fan of mineral powder foundations for some time. My introduction to mineral make up was Everyday Minerals. I liked it to the point that I bought so much product that I'm only just getting to my last supply. I thought it was time to begin trialling from other mineral make up companies.
I was so impressed with Lumiere's luxurious eye shadows, that I decided to make a purchase to include a "Try Me! Sample Baggie Kit"  In this sample kit you receive 8 baggies, with the choice of foundation finish, colour and the chance to try blushes as well.


There are many foundation colours available. There's even an option for an untinted base, so that you can add to your foundation to lighten it. If you still haven't found your match and feel that you are between 2 colours, custom mixes are also available So, all skin tones are catered for.
Four finishes are available: Veena Velvet- A buildable coverage from light/medium to heavy, that is for normal to oily skin and has a matte finish.
Flawless Face- Medium to heavy coverage, for normal to dry skin that has a matte finish.
Luminesse- A light to medium coverage for all skin types and has a silky finish.
Cashmere- Light to medium coverage for all skin types that has an almost matte finish.
Along with some blushes, I bought samples in Luminesse, Veena Velvet and Cashmere.


I really didn't want to post this pic of me wearing Luminesse in medium beige as it was too dark for me, but unfortunately, I only ordered this finish in one colour :/ It is harder for me to review this foundation, when I've picked a shade that is the wrong colour for my skin, but here goes, lol. I applied a light coverage, I could have applied more, but would have looked even more ridiculous than I already do! To me, I can compare the coverage to a finishing power, or in my case, a bronzer, lol. I could clearly see blemishes and age spots underneath. Though, I did find that it gave me an overall evening of skin tone and was not cakey. A great option for clearer skin days, when I want a "My skin, but better" look. The finish is not powdery and melds into the skin nicely.
I definitely want to try a lighter shade to see how it would look with a heavier application.


This is a pic of me wearing Veena Velvet in Medium Beige 2.3, a much better shade for me :) This foundation is buildable to a medium coverage, giving a silky finish. I love how it gives me a "glow from withing" look. Flaws remain visible, yet blurred, giving me a more even finish. I did need to touch up after 4 to 5 hours, however, I had not used a primer, as would normally be the case under foundation. That, and the fact that I had been sweating, thanks to humid weather. I would purchase a full size of this foundation, as I prefer a silky finish to a matte one.


This is Cashmere in Medium Beige 2.3, a matte finish with medium coverage. I didn't use concealer, but the only place I felt that I needed it was on my under eye circles. My pigmentation and red blemishes were covered sufficiently. This foundation wasn't at all drying, and kept my face oil free for hours. Although, it was the same shade as Veena Velvet, which matched perfectly, I found this foundation to be a shade too light for my liking. I personally prefer a more dewy finish, but anyone who prefers matte foundations should certainly give Cashmere a go.

Lumiere foundations are as lovely as I thought they'd be. I certainly want to purchase a full size of Veena Velvet, it offers everything that I love in a foundation. Dewy finish, without looking oily, medium coverage and a mineral powder that doesn't look or feel cakey. I do plan to give Luminesse a try in a colour that matches my skin tone :)

Monday, 1 April 2013

Sarawen

I really can't remember how I came across Etsy store, Sarawen perfumes, but wow, these perfumes impressed me! 
Described as "Unique perfume oils inspired by all things Literary, Magical, Historical, Gothic, and Geeky!" There's bound to be a fragrance to appeal to all tastes.
I prefer to try before I buy, especially when it comes to perfumes. Thankfully, most indie perfume stores sell samples, Sarawen is no exception. The hard part was xhoosing from the range, without trying everything!


As you can see, I was quite restrained with my order. I've really had to try and rein in my spending, so a I figured that a small number of samples wasn't going to hurt.
Currently on the website it appears that the sample vials have been replaced by tiny jars with screw top lids. To be honest, I don't mind either.

The perfumes that I tried are as follows:


Vanilla Vamp: *Rich, sensual, musk-laced vanilla topped with tropical fruits and almonds over darkened myrrh. Hard to resist, but oh so good! A unique and dark vanilla scent.
This is one of my favourite vanilla scents. It is creamy, slightly fruity with a touch of woodsy spice. I adore this scent, as it holds no resemblance to a fake, too sugary vanilla. I find this fragrance to be quite comforting and warm. It is quite a subtle scent on my skin, as it develops an appealing powdery scent, wafting nicely throughout wear.

RAVISH: *A delicious blend of summer raspberries and decadent chocolate over incense and amber. Sultry, sweet, and indulgent! Beware, an innocent little nibble could quickly turn into love bites!
Raspberries and chocolate, so delectable. Fruity, syrupy, warm and tart. I would love this scent in a moisturiser.

CAKE OR DEATH: *When you -must- have your cake or die! Decadent buttercream frosting and vanilla cake with a touch of spice over a darkened amber base. 
On my skin I get honey. Gorgeous warm sweet honey. Not too sweet, as the touch of spice grounds this fragrance beautifully. It is delicious, yet grown-up and sexy. Very appealing.

PIXI DUST: * What would Pixi Dust smell like? I would say oodles of vanilla butter-cream and cake, honey and orange drops. Now think of happy things, and away we go!
This one is a gorgeous citrus scent. It is more complex than just oranges or lemons. It is zesty, yet remains smooth with a vanilla scent to it. The fragrance has a whimsical feel to it, playful and very appealing.

ABSINTHE SOLIEL: *Similar to Absinthe Noir, but lighter and fresher. Pure anise lightened with notes of orange, chamomile, and neroli, then whipped with a touch of sugared honey and mint. Go on, dance with the Green Fairy! 
I like absinthe scents, and this would have to be the best one that I have tried so far. Citrus, anise and mint blend perfectly, the honey seems to give it a candy scented side. Just these elements would be nice, but what makes it great is how it's grounded with a smokiness that just takes it from gourmand to grown-up and sexy. Divine!

VAMPIRE PRINCESS: *Withered snow-white jasmine and ylang-ylang flowers layered over rich honey, a whiff of musk and darkness creeping beneath. A hypnotic and sweet floral scent perfect for a fanged princess!
At the start, I get lovely florals mixed with sweet, warm honey. Upon drydown, the earthy notes emerge, balanced beautifully with the musk. It is quite an alluring scent, if only it would last longer on my skin. 

MIDNIGHT KISS: *A forbidden kiss at midnight tasting of honeyed red ripe fruits while the air is scented with hints of roses and musk. An alluring, feminine, yet bold fragrance with red fruits, roses, and dragon's blood. A word of warning: you may be devoured by handsome vampires when wearing this perfume!
Very sweet tart berries mixed with dripping honey. Upon drydown, a slight bitter scent with a hint of rose is noticable. Sniffing my skin gives me the gorgeous subtle fruity notes, sweet and inviting, unfortunately I can only smell it on my skin. Would love this stage to be stronger.

CLEOPATRA: *This sexy floral begins with musk-laced honey, then blended with night-blooming jasmine, fresh roses, and frankincense. A sweet note of vanilla and citrus-y bergamot lightens and balances the richness of this fragrance inspired by Cleopatra VII. Although this scent is created for ladies, a man in love with the Queen of the Nile could easily wear it!
I love this floral, rich, sweet with honey scent. It is regal, yet sensual and utterly desirable. It softens with a powdery quality that just wafts beautifully throughout wear.

EMPRESS: *A throne room, fragrant with the scent of blood-red roses strewn on the marble floors and the aroma of musk and spices. A dark spicy blend of roses with hints of musk and amber.
Spicy and a little bitter herbal at the start. Upon drydown, the sweet floral emerges, making this a lovely spicy blend. I didn't get a lot of throw with this one, it was a subtle scent on me.

MINA VAMPIRE: *The freshest blooming rose, cut down and corrupted with the taste of sinful depravity and wickedness. A seductive scent flushed with decayed roses, notes of myrrh, musk, dragon's blood, and dark temptations!
This perfume contains every element that I adore in a rose scent. Sweet, dark, rich florals. Heady, but not too heady, a hint of spice. Feminine, sexy. I must have a full size!

There is a master list of Sarawen perfumes here, I'm not sure whether everything listed is still available, but it is a great guide when ordering samples.
The perfumes that I must have are Vanilla Vamp, Cake or Death, Absinthe Soliel, Cleopatra and Mina Vampire. Actually, I'm surprised that I have not ordered them as yet, but I need these, along with some other perfumes that I'd love to sample...ok, so the rest I'd love to sample, but that might mess with my low-buy a little, lol.