Friday, February 13, 2015

Current Beauty Favourites

Since I clearly don't have my life together enough to get out any kind of monthly favourites, I thought I'd just do alternating beauty and general/life favourites throughout the year and see how it goes. For my beauty favourites lately the star of the show has to be the Tarte Tartelette palette which will hopefully come to the Sydney Sephora soon, but I managed to get my hands on it because my friend brought it back for me from the US in January. This is what it looks like on the inside, and although I pretty much always use shimmery shadows as well, it's totally invaluable having a neutral matte palette because you have so many shades to choose from for your crease that there'll be something to compliment your look no matter what. The quad pictured is actually a MAC quad filled with MakeupGeek eyeshadows. After hearing so many YouTubers talk about them I decided to finally pick out a few for myself (L-R, top to bottom) - Moondust, Hipster (lol), Prom Night & Barcelona Beach. I also could not stop thinking about the pigment in Utopia which is a stunning antiqued gold that is INFINITELY more beautiful than it comes across in my crappy swatch up above. In fact, just ignore my swatch altogether and look at the one on their website, trust me. The shadows really are everything they're cracked up to be, and there although they all look pretty much the same in the photo (yeah, I know), they're actually really unique, interesting colours when you use them on your lips.

I don't know what the deal is with these YSL cream blushes or if they're still available or not, but I picked up three of them while in Paris and they are absolutely stunning. I've got shades 4, 7 and 9 - a vibrant coral/orange, a neutral everyday dusty pink and a babydoll pink and I completely adore them and have been reaching for them a lot lately. They look so fresh and natural on the cheeks (as cream blushes generally do) and the shades are beautiful. I've also been loving an old favourite, the Bourjois Healthy Balance Powder which is a great, lightweight powder that never looks cakey on the skin. That's one thing that I really struggle with having oily skin - finding the right powder and using the right amount so that it controls oil but doesn't make my skin look super cakey and unnatural, and this is a really good one for that.

As I mentioned in my life favourites/whatever that was post, I've been getting into lip liners lately, and the MAC ones are my favourite formula so far - pictured & swatched above are Cherry, Brick and Vino. What I love lipliner for is a) getting an even line around your lips when using liquid lipsticks that can make it really difficult, b) making your lipstick last longer and c) pushing your borderline lip colours the way you want them to go. For example, I could use Brick under Lime Crime's Wicked to make sure the colour comes across a super deep burgundy and to push out any purple or brown undertones that it can sometimes have, or I could use Vino under a brighter red shade to deepen it up. A combo I have seriously been into though is Cherry under the Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in F-Bomb. When my friend came back from the states, along with the two eyeshadow palettes I mentioned in my last post I asked her to pick up Cherry and this lipstick for me, and they are S T U N N I N G. F-Bomb is the first lipstick swatched on my hand above and you can see how rich and deep but super vibrant the colour is. I'm telling you, when Mecca starts stocking Urban Decay products in March I'll be all over these lipsticks. Another red I've been loving lately is the Rimmel Kate Lipstick in 01. This is one of my favourite drugstore lipstick formulas so I thought I had all the colours I wanted from the range, but when I was overseas I spotted this shade and I don't think it was ever released in Australia but it's a gorgeous deep red that is probably a little darker than it looks in my swatch above and it's completely beautiful. My favourite lip balm at the moment has to be the Grown Alchemist Vanilla & Watermelon lip balm which I've had for a while so I'm trying to finish it up (over halfway, woo!) but it's a really lovely, glossy, nourishing formula that is perfect to put on before bed.

I know I mentioned the amazing Mecca sunscreen recently and I really do love that one, but when Priceline had a 40% off skincare sale I had to pick up the La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL SPF50+ for days when I'm going to actually be out in the sun a lot and need a little extra protection, and I completely love the formula of this too. It's seriously lightweight, non-greasy and has no sunscreen smell at all. It's perfect if you want a high protection facial SPF that won't interfere with your makeup. I've also been getting back into using the classic that is the Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse which is a beautiful dry oil in a spray bottle that I've been using to moisturise my legs after showering and in the ends of my hair after I wash it. It feels and smells lovely and my bottle has lasted me forever. I'm not huge on hair products because I feel like my hair doesn't hold styles particularly well because it's so long and most products are probably made for people with shorter hair in mind. Also I don't really know what I'm doing with them. But I picked up the Schwarzkopf Dry Oil Mist on a whim a few weeks ago and I really like. It's a super fine mist that just de-frizzes your hair and takes the fluffiness out of it without weighing it down at all. So if that's something you struggle with as well then this could be worth a try.

Saturday, February 07, 2015

In My Secret Life

Apparently I used to post more lifestyle-ish content and things that aren't 100% beauty related and I wanted to bring some of that back, so I thought I'd just do a roundup style post of things I've been up to and into lately.

Going way back to the distant past, in December I flew to Melbourne to stay with my best friend Giselle who now lives with Tenneil and I had the best time catching up with them both and it makes me so happy that they live together and I get to hang out with them at the same time. The other reason for my trip was to see my one true love Nick Cave because I'm obsessive and went to 7 shows on the tour (4 in Sydney and 3 in Melbourne) and it was completely incredible and I love him and he is a flawless human being, the end. I'm actually visiting Melbourne again at the end of this month and staying with them again so I'm really looking forward to that! Also another close friend who I travelled around parts of the US with came back to Sydney to visit before she moves to North America for good, and she brought back a few special lil things for me, because I guess I didn't buy enough makeup while I was there myself (jk I definitely did.) I have a current beauty favourites post in the works so I'll go into more detail in that one.

If you follow me over on instagram you may have seen a few photos of my bedroom lately because I finally changed everything on my walls and put up a bunch of the cool things I collected while travelling. So now my walls are covered in a giant Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady poster from City Lights (words cannot express my love), a map of Paris, a poster from The Weeknd's King of the Fall tour, a 20,0000 Days on Earth poster signed by my boo Nick Cave, postcards and pictures of Versailles, City Lights, Shakespeare & Company, CERN, the Kennedy Space Centre, Big Sur (etc etc), papyrus from Egypt and two Rifle Paper Co calendars because they are both so beautiful I couldn't decide. It makes such a difference when you have beautiful, stimulating surroundings so although it took me several days to finish I'm reminded of so many wonderful memories every time I look around my room. Minimalism is beautiful and all, but I'm clearly too much of a hoarder/collector to ever really take that approach in my own life.

I've been to quite a few gigs already this year, including FKA twigs, the Gaslight Anthem, Nas (who has been my favourite rapper since I was 13) and a bunch of local shows. I'm also seeing Chet Faker and Drake (love u Drizzy) later this month which will be awesome. Music I've been listening to on repeat for the last few weeks includes FKA twigs, Drake (always), The Weeknd (ALWAYS), and an amazing record that I found for $10 in San Francisco which is Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf and Bo Diddley all hanging out and playing each other's songs together and I cannot even explain how good it is. One of my greatest sadnesses is that no-one comes to my house to hang out so I never have anyone to listen to records with. :(

After picking up the Urban Decay Naked Basics 2 palette I realised how completely invaluable neutral matte palettes are and I had my heart set on a few more, which is why I was so thrilled when my friend brought back the new Tarte Tartelette and the Sonia Kashuk Eye on Neutrals palettes from the States for me, both of which aren't available in Australia or online. The Tarte palette may come to the Sydney Sephora store but I haven't seen it there yet and I couldn't wait so I'm super grateful to my friend for being such a babe and enabling me. I've also suddenly become obsessed with lip liners after not caring about them my whole life until now. I don't really believe in paying as much as a lipstick for a lip liner but I do have a handful of MAC ones which are amazing and I've been trying a few more affordable brands too to see what kind of formulas work for me.

I may have mentioned it before but I never wear nail polish on my fingers because it makes them really weak and flaky, but I seem to have just remembered that toes are a thing and I've gotten really into painting my toenails. Let's be real, I don't have my life together enough to remove and repaint my fingernails every week, so painting my toes is perfect because it lasts pretty much until I decide I'm over the colour and want a change. Also never fear, I certainly did not spend whatever the hell it costs to buy a Tom Ford nail polish, I actually picked this up at the Estee Lauder Corporate store for $10 and it's in the shade Viper which I like even more because it reminds me of the Bad Seeds' song Jack The Ripper. I also found these beautiful Illamasqua nail polishes (Peruzzi and Fire Rose) on sale in Myer and they're so densely packed they're almost opaque with glitter and it is glorious to behold.

Lately I have been really into buying candles from Urban Outfitters. They're maybe the only place that I know of online where you can buy good candles without having to pay ridiculous shipping costs (it's free when you spend over $50 which is really easy to do between their homewares, vinyl and beauty sections, I don't even really look at their clothes) plus they stock independent brands with really interesting scents. When it comes to room fragrances, I'm really into scents that are a) deep/spicy/masculine b) warm, creamy & vanilla-based or c) herbally/floral and not so much fruity, citrus or clean/fresh scents. So if you're with me on option a) I love the Paddywax tobacco & patchouli and the PF Candle Co. teakwood & tobacco candles, and I am also in love with this Paddywax one I picked up in San Francisco while hanging with Chelsea. They have a whole collection with fragrances inspired by the libraries of famous authors and obviously I had to buy the Steinbeck one, which is the scent of smoked birch and amber and it smells exactly like the attractive, heavily bearded man of my dreams and his library should smell like.

There probably isn't a girl alive who isn't into delicate jewellery and stack rings and I did go through a bit of a phase with them a couple of years ago but I just don't really wear jewellery except for my Grandmother's ring, but lately I've picked up a few pairs of cute stud earrings and a super cool crescent moon ring so I have been back into wearing a bit of jewellery, at least for the time being. And finally, before Christmas I decided to start practising some modern calligraphy just using a regular pen and I'm happy to say I've stuck with it. I'm not exactly amazing but my journalling has definitely been looking prettier because of it.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Summer Essentials

I'm sure everyone in the Northern Hemisphere is looking forward to spring, but here in Australia we're still right in the middle of summer and I'm not ready to give it up yet! It's my favourite time of year and this current summer is actually my third in a row since I made a point of skipping winter entirely last year - if only I could do that every year. In honour of this, I thought I'd put together some of my favourite products for the warmer weather.

First up is the Mecca Cosmetica To Save Face SPF30 which I actually first tried when I stayed at Tenneil's in December (she now lives with one of my best friends in Melbourne) and I immediately loved it. It's super lightweight, sinks in quickly, doesn't interfere with your makeup and it contains hyaluronic acid and pomegranate extract (an antioxidant) so although it's more expensive than your standard SPF it's clearly marketed as a daily skincare product, not just something you slap on when you're heading to the beach. I think it's really important to wear a broad-spectrum SPF daily because not only does it protect you from cancer-causing UVB rays but it also blocks UVA rays which, amongst other things, break down collagen in your skin, causing wrinkles and premature aging - not fun!

It's always nice to have a refreshing facial mist/toner on hot days and although I adore the Caudalie Beauty Elixir, I thought I'd show a little love to the Antipodes Ananda Antioxidant-Rich Gentle Toner, formulated with aloe vera, Bulgarian rose oil and raspberry seeds (the antioxidant factor) whether or not it'll transform your skin, it's a lovely luxury(ish) option that doesn't break the bank. While the season doesn't really affect the perfume I wear, the weather on any given day does and a beautiful sunny day makes me reach for scents like Chloe's L'eau de Chloe which is a re-imagined version of the original Chloe EDP (which is actually completely different to the EDT as well.) All the variations of Chloe with that signature bow bottle tend to be floral/fruity with deeper base notes so you can smell the resemblance between them, and in the case of L'eau de Chloe with notes of citrus fruits, patchouli and cedar I think they've created a beautiful, light, fresh fragrance with a very suitable name (l'eau being French for water.)

As a girl with oily skin, the warmer the weather gets the more I have to rely on products like primer and powder to keep my face from looking like an oil-slick. I love the Guerlain Meteorites Perles Perfecting Primer which glides on like a serum and is a wonderful illuminating primer without any hint of shimmer. Plus it's absolutely stunning to look at. I also love the good old Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder which I mentioned in my 2014 favourites because it's super affordable and really delivers in terms of oil-control without making you look cakey or flat. I'm sure part of the reason it's so affordable is because of the below-average packaging, but I for one would happily pay a little more if they were to repackage it in a compact with a mirror so it'd be easier to take out in my handbag.

For blush I absolutely love the Josie Maran Coconut Watercolour Cheek Gelees. They're a beautiful, lightweight sheer formula that's so easy to use and blend in, they're practically foolproof. I adore this bright orange shade (Coral Oasis) and I definitely have my eye on Poppy Paradise next. On super hot days if I'm not wearing a lot of makeup, eyeshadow crayons are a really easy way to make it look like you've put in more effort than you actually have. I picked up this Stila Smudge Crayon in Kitten while I was in the States and it's beautiful all over the lid or as an inner corner highlight.

Surprise! No red lipsticks here, certainly not because I don't wear them in summer but just because every now and then it's fun to switch it up and wear corals, oranges and pinks. You really can't go past the NYX Butter Glosses for a fuss free, non-sticky lipgloss and they come in a huge range of shades and the formula is completely spot on. If you don't have any of these yet I don't know where you've been but I urge you to give them a try. I was actually surprised by how much I like this L'Oreal Glossy Balm in Innocent Coral. I picked it up in New York during the US summer last year and I really feel like I don't have any other shades like this, it's a beautiful perfect coral shade that just screams summer. And for lip balms I've got the Fresh Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Treatment and the Softlips Cube lip balm because both of these have a slight tingly feeling on the lips which I find really nice and fresh, and they both smell amazing too.