Apr 20, 2014

Autumn Shades FOTD + Giveaway!

Autumn is one of my favourite seasons and I'm so glad it's here! The breezes are just cool enough without freezing and it's just comfy enough to snuggle under a blanket at night. Autumn brings to mind bronze, rosy, copper tones... smoky eyes... soft browns.... cat eye flicks.. nude or light lips. As I enjoy wearing darker hued eyeshadows, I often balance out the look with just a soft touch of colour on the lips and my Carmex Moisture Plus sheer tints have been great for this purpose.

The Carmex Moisture Plus range gives deep penetrating and long-lasting moisturizing - super great for dry chapped lips in the cool, breezy season and its pink and peach shades are the perfect autumn shades too; I have done a fotd below using my favourite Peach tint.

Here are the beauty products I used:

Edward Bess Blush in Desert Blossom / Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Foundation / NARS Laguna Illuminator / Carmex Jar to prep lips for that extra softness / Naked Basic Palette {Venus for browbone highlight & Foxy as a base}  / Carmex Moisture Plus Peach Tint for a pretty wash of colour / ELES Dimensional Cake Liner in Chocolate Spice / Giorgio Armani Eyes To Kill Silk Eyeshadow all over the eyelid

I also thought I'd share that I've been really enjoying the Click Stick in Strawberry - it's my current Carmex fave! Nothing like a sweet, yummy smelling lip balm with a nice refreshing, minty tingle and lasting hydration for the lips.

Thanks to Carmex, one lucky reader will get the chance to try out the complete Carmex range!

A lucky winner will receive:

1 x Carmex Jar - $5.99 
1 x Carmex Click Stick - $4.99
1 x Carmex Click Stick in Strawberry - $4.99 
1 x Carmex Tube - $5.99 
1 x Carmex Moisture Plus in Clear - $8.99 
1 x Carmex Moisture Plus in Peach - $8.99 
1 x Carmex Moisture Plus in Pink - $8.99 
All you have to do is follow the Rafflecopter prompts below. Good luck ;)
a Rafflecopter giveaway
**This sponsored post is in conjunction with my Carmex Blogger Ambassador Partnership! To keep updated with all things Carmex, visit their Facebook page.

Apr 11, 2014

Mary Kay CC Cream + Bronzing and Highlight Powder Review and Swatches

I recently got to try out some very exciting Mary Kay products. I will cover my thoughts on some of their make up products today while I am still trialling their Skinvigorate Cleansing Brush and a couple of skin care products.

As I am very lazy with my sunscreen protection {Wish I was as religious with that as my kids! They slap it all on themselves before going out}, I love the convenience of having SPF in my make up. This CC Cream has SPF 15 and comes in 3 different shades: Very Light, Light to Medium and Medium to Deep {in order from L to R in the swatch pic below}.

This Mary Kay CC Cream claims to deliver eight benefits in just one step: Protect against damaging UVA and UVB rays,  Brighten the complexion, Correct imperfections and overall complexion, Minimize redness, Conceal the appearance of blemishes, dark circles, dark shadows, Hydrate for 10 hours, Reduce visible signs of aging and fine lines and finally, Defend against free radicals with antioxidants. Phew! What a mouthful.

The formula of this CC Cream is a lot thinner than I expected and is a dream to blend. I would say the coverage is medium and buildable to desired intensity. What I really like about this CC Cream is how lightweight it is and how natural it blends into my skin, thanks to the mineral-based pigments in it.

It does give a beautiful, dewy finish which I love to have in my base. While brightening complexion and minimizing redness were evident quickly, I was curious about its claims to hydrate for 10 hours especially since I have combination-dry skin and usually still have to apply moisturizer before my BB Creams and CC Creams. I tried this CC Cream with a prior additional step of moisturizer on one day, and without for another day. I was rather happy with the results - even with the additional step of moisturizer, my skin never got greasy. On the other hand, when worn without the moisturizer, it never felt dry or cakey either. Exactly what I would want in a CC Cream.

I have to also add that I like the fuss free, simple design of the tube with pump. It is pretty flat and so easy to chuck in my bag for taking out when needed and doesn't involve {over}squeezing the tube and creating a mess. Overall, I enjoy this CC Cream and I especially love how lightweight and easy to blend it is.

As I always say, highlighters and bronzers are one of my favourite make up products and these Mary Kay Bronzing and Highlighting Powders are just so pretty!


The bronzer comes in 2 shades - Light to Medium and Medium to Dark.
I have been using the Light to Medium Bronzer with my Real Techniques Blush Brush for a quick, effortless sweep of sun-kissed glow. I actually much prefer Light to Medium as well for its more taupe/greyish undertones that I think apply more naturally for my skin tone and work better for sculpting {if I am too lazy to reach for a proper sculpting product}. This bronzer is very easy to blend and very finely milled; my brush does not pick up too much at once which is perfect for a very natural application.

The Highlighting powder utilizes light-perfecting technology and comes in one champagne shade that is made to suit every skin tone. Again, the formula is just beautiful - so buttery, smooth and does not settle into fine lines or highlight my pores/skin imperfections and very easy to blend out. It is not outright shimmery - if you turn the pan around a little, you can catch just a glimpse of micro shimmer. Its pearlescent finish is just right to produce just the right healthy glow and radiance. I use this Highlighting Powder very lightly on my cheek bones and T zone.

Overall, yet another winning and happy experience with Mary Kay!! I will be reviewing the Skinvigorate Cleansing Brush {At a $65 price point, it is much more affordable than the other cleansing brushes we are familiar with!} and skin care products soon so do keep a lookout for that if you are considering these products.

The Mary Kay CC Cream retails at $38, the Bronzing Powder and Highlighting Powder at $24 each.
Have you tried Mary Kay products? What are your favourites?

*I received the above mentioned products for trial as per my Disclosure Policy. My opinions are genuine and uninfluenced!

Apr 2, 2014

Estée Lauder Illuminating Powder Gelée in Heat Wave

Illuminating powders are one my favourite make up products. Anything for that flawless glow right? When it comes down to personal preference, I especially love illuminating powders that are gold based as I find that it complements my tanned skin the best.

I recently tried the Estée Lauder Illuminating Powder Gelée in Heat Wave. This champagne gold illuminating powder gelée  and is a limited edition product as part of the Bronze Goddess Collection. It is also termed "an innovative tri-blend liquid, powder, gel formula" with "a perfect mix of pigment and pearls for a multi-reflective finish".

The gorgeous gold compact looks so luxurious and upon opening it, the product itself just impresses even more. It reminds me of glorious radiant sunbeams. So beautiful, I really tried not to ruin it when swatching or applying.

Upon first swatch, I was a little surprised by how stark and shimmery it looked and was a little unsure about how it would apply. Luckily, its gelée formula means it blends out really well {almost melts!}. I also found that a good brush made a huge difference in the application. I found a good balance with my trusty Sigma F25 Face Brush with its large fluffy body and tapered bristles that pick up and dispense just the right amount to give a subtle radiance. To me, less is more with this product as too much tends to make it lean a little too metallic.

While Estée Lauder markets it as an all-over bronzer for an all-over soft sheen, I actually prefer to use it as a highlighting product as I am smitten with its multi-reflective finish and in my opinion, I can see a lot more of a difference and a more pronounced effect when used specifically on certain parts of the face {I really do enjoy my highlighting and contouring}. However, on the ever-so-rare night out, I might use it as an all-over product for a gorgeous overall glow.

For something that looks so vibrant and pigmented, I experienced no fall out with this illuminating powder, again thanks to its very smooth, almost-buttery-to-the-touch formula. It is such a joy to work with, so fuss free and easy to use, despite my initial hesitations about it.

I mainly use it for highlighting on my cheek bones, sweeping up towards the temples. I have also ventured on to my nose bridge and it works well with a very light application. On busy days, I multi-purpose it {yes, using it as a verb!!} and use it as a gold eye shadow - just a quick pat and a sweeping blend to give a beautiful wash of gold on the lids! Too easy!

Overall, this is such a lovely product that gives a radiant dimension to my skin and I especially love the easy-to-work-with formula.

RRP: AUD 75 from Estée Lauder counters

*I received this product for review purposes. However, my opinions are uninfluenced and genuine as always!

Mar 20, 2014

Carmex For Perfect Smooth Lips

When I first started blogging about 18 months ago, I wasn't the biggest lip product person. My mum told me that I whinged about wearing lipstick when I was the emcee for my Kindergarten annual concert because "I can't speak properly; there's something on my lips". 18 months ago, I also had probably a grand total of less than 10 lip products.

Fast forward to now and my lip product collection has overflown my 2 acrylic lipstick containers. I now agree that a beautiful lip colour is almost a necessary finishing touch to a look and smooth, soft lips of course, look and feel great.

One of the lip balm brands that I have evidently come to love is Carmex, a brand that really needs no further introduction! Carmex is "one of the world's most loved lip balms" and a Carmex product is sold every 29 seconds around the globe which I think is such an amazing achievement.

There are 2 times of the day that I mainly use my Carmex lip balms to get perfect smooth lips.
I usually use my Carmex Original Flavour Jar at night before bed. I have to say it's one of the few lip balms that is so hydrating and has such long-lasting moisturizing effects that I can still feel some trace of it lingering on my lips when I wake in the morning. {And we're talking about a person who likes sleeping facing down, side-ways on the pillow lol} I also love the lightweight formula and how it doesn't feel oily - just pleasantly nourishing with a light sweet scent.

Before I acknowledged the importance of nice smooth lips, my toner and moisturizer used to be the very first prepping steps before my make up routine. Now, before I even go into that, I put on some lip balm first for a quick moisturizing fix. Before I apply my lipstick as the very last step, I gently dab off some lip balm {as I usually prefer more of a matte look for my lip colours} to get my soft lip base ready. It really does help lipstick to go on so much smoother. Of course, some days I use the very pretty Carmex Tinted Lip Balms and that's lip hydration and colour in one easy step!

Carmex Moisture Plus Sheer Peach & Carmex Moisture Plus Sheer Pink
The Carmex Moisture Plus range recently got awarded Reader's Choice for Best Lip Gloss in the Australian Beauty Awards 2013!

I have turned to this trusty brand again and again for moisturizing, soft lips. I also love the Carmex 'tingle' - the refreshing, cooling effect from camphor and menthol in the ingredients used. Carmex also doesn't test on animals which is yet another huge plus point.

You can find out more about Carmex on their website www.mycarmex.com.au or join them on facebook to keep up with the latest Carmex news!

*This sponsored post is done in conjunction with my Carmex Blogger Ambassador Partnership! I have been using so many Carmex products and have enjoyed these products so I'm thrilled to be sharing more about them with you. Do note these Carmex products mentioned have been sent to me for feature in this post.

Mar 14, 2014

Clinique For Men Range // My Husband's Skin Care Routine (words I never thought I'd say)

I don't know about other beauty-lovin ladies but for a long time, I have been palming off products I don't like to my husband. These products are not very effective and not the least bit comfortable {in my opinion, at least} and chances are, even my husband gets too lazy or annoyed to use them and they just sit, bored, in the bathroom until they get chucked.

My husband, in general, does not bother to look after his skin. At the most, he might just sneak a use of some of my products {which I protectively warn him not to at times}. Lately though, I don't think he has to steal mine anymore as he has been loving his new Clinique For Men products.

I have to admit that I did sneak in a couple of uses here and there as I was really intrigued since we have never ever had great quality, decent men's skin products in our household, ever.

As my husband does a lot of rough, dirty work around the house {we're in the midst of renovations}, he always ends up with a lot of dirt on his face and over time, clogged up pores and blackheads. I also recently urged him to use a facial scrub as his pores looked a lot enlarged with all the regular clogging of dirt {to which he obviously just rolled his eyes and went yada yada yada}. He also has combination-dry skin.

Well, even my husband has had heaps of praise for the Clinique Face Scrub. This scrub gets off the dead skin flakes, excess oil and surface dirt. Upon his first use, my husband described it as "very sandy like a beach". I have to agree {and secretly admit that I have been enjoying using it}. It is a lot coarser than the usual scrubs I use and the exfoliation beads are very, very pronounced - which I suppose is great for male skin, like my husband's especially, that is exposed to a lot of dirt. Even though I am used to the gentler facial scrubs, I have to say I don't find this Clinique Face Scrub uncomfortable at all - in fact, it scrubs up really well and leaves the face feeling very clean and refreshed. There is also a minty tinge to it that is really refreshing.

The Clinique Face Wash is another big hit with my husband. This one lathers up so easily yet is not drying at all. My husband was very impressed with how it leaves a really hydrating and smooth 'layer' over the face after rinsing. With this face wash, a little goes a very long way. The formula is a very nourishing gel-like texture that leans towards more watery than thick - another thing my husband likes about it as it is very gentle on his sensitive skin.

To top off the very comfortable Clinique cleansing process, my husband uses the New Clinique Moisturizing Lotion. This lotion is supposed to help "control oil for a matte, shine-free look". It provides oil-free hydration and is very soothing - my husband uses it for other things as well such as soothing his sun burnt skin recently. This lotion is slightly yellowish with a thick formulation that spreads really easily and smoothly. It is lightweight, absorbs quickly, contains skin strengthening ingredients and does not feel oily or leave any obvious residue. I am pretty impressed with this lotion myself actually!

All Clinique products are also allergy-tested and 100% fragrance free.

Overall, my husband and I both really see the improvement in his skin. His pores are much cleaner and less obvious, blackheads have been reduced and especially since he has sensitive skin, these products have really allowed for smoother and easier shaving for him. These Clinique products are also so comfortable to use - it is honestly the first time I have seen my husband use skin care products daily {and without my encouraging him to}.

PS: The Clinique Men's line has just been relaunched last month as Clinique For Men. There are some new products added and many best sellers have been reduced in price as well {some at 30%-40% price reduction in a larger size}. If you're looking for quality skin care for men, this one fully gets my husband's and my mark of approval! My husband never had any interest in skin care but I know he really likes this range now so this will be my go-to brand for him for future special occasions!

Clinique For Men Face Scrub (100ml) retails at $40.
Clinique For Men Face Wash (200ml) at $22 and the New Clinique For Men Moisturizing Lotion  (100ml) for $39.

These products have been sent to me for this review. However, opinions stated here for genuine and uninfluenced!

Mar 11, 2014

Edward Bess Blushes / Desert Blossom and Moroccan Rose Swatches

I recently saw Edward Bess blushes for sale online. I've been wanting to give this brand a go and while I very rarely purchase from parallel importers, you can say it was night time boredom that just made me go "oh well" and click without giving too much thought.

I got 02 Desert Blossom and 03 Moroccan Rose and the compacts are a lot lighter than I expected. The brush, though, feels very scratchy in my opinion so as usual, I resort to my very trusty Real Techniques Multi-Purpose Brush or my favourite Furless Brushes .

L: Desert Blossom R: Moroccan Rose

What I have heard about these Edward Bess blushes is how finely milled they are and I definitely have to agree.

Desert Blossom is a dusty netural-toned pink that actually swatches a lot more vibrant than it looks in the pan. I was surprised at how much cooler Desert Blossom pulled on my skin tone. Funny enough, it's not a shade I would actually reach for had I known yet I'm glad because 1. it's a new addition to my collection and 2. I had fun experimenting with it. As it applies so sheer, I am able to control the intensity which is always great when experimenting with a new blush.

Moroccan Rose is a plummy rose that is more pigmented than Desert Blossom. I love how beautiful this shade is and I don't really have anything like it thus far. It looks very dark, pigmented and intense in the pan which I hesitate to embrace because I'm always worried about overdoing blush! However, because it's so wonderfully, finely milled, my brushes pick up just the right amount and it's also extremely easy to blend out to give a natural flush.

Overall, I am glad I got to try these beautiful blushes and again, these shades are just so pretty and blend out effortlessly.

Have you tried Edward Bess blushes? Care to recommend any particular ones?

Mar 6, 2014

ELES Cosmetics: Earth Goddess Collection // Swatches and FOTD

Every season, I look forward to ELES Cosmetics' new releases. I received a bunch of ELES goodies for their summer collection this year - the theme is Earth Goddess, hinging on earth tones and a soft sun kissed glow!

The featured products for the Earth Goddess theme include the best selling ELES BB Cream {which I wrote about earlier this week and also includes a giveaway} + Signature Quad in Naturalist + ELES Bronzer in Rio De Janeiro + Dimensional Cake Liner in Chocolate Spice and Micro Bubble Lipstick in Micro Macro

This quad has been one of my most reached-for eyeshadow recently. I am always impressed with the quality of their eye shadows; the texture is very creamy, the shades are just gorgeous and very pigmented and I don't experience any fall out with them. Not to mention, this particular Naturalist Quad just reminds me of... coffee, chocolates, latte.... so earthy, so netural, so chocolatey, so rich. I really love the choice of shades in this quad.

As with the ELES Spring Vibe collection, I am again drawn to the Dimensional Cake Liner. This one is so aptly named Chocolate Spice. It comes with a matte & a shimmer shade which you can pair up. This time, I didn't wet my brush and found that my dry brush picked up the product just fine. This cake liner performed so well on my lids; it stayed on all day with the same intensity, never budged and all these without even wetting my brush!

The Rio De Janeiro Bronzer would have to be the other main star of this Earth Goddess collection. Let's take a minute first to admire the weaving embossment - too pretty. Upon first swipe, I was extremely happy with how finely milled this bronzer is. It is not muddy, blends well and is free of oil, talc and fragrance. It did give me a sheer, glowing tanned complexion - you can be the judge; pics are below :)

I have also previously mentioned how much I enjoy their lipsticks - and this Micro Mocha one is {unsurprisingly} consistent with the excellent quality I have come to expect. This lipstick applies creamy, smooth and never tugs {even when my lips are dry}. It seems to 'absorb' quickly, for lack of better word. How should I describe it? I never feel like I am wearing any lipstick with this ELES Micro Bubble range yet the colour stays on for hours. It's very possibly one of the best lipsticks I have ever tried. It just ticks all the boxes for me.

Overall, this collection is yet another hit for me - beautiful shades, easy to work with, long lasting and all enriched with mineral goodness.

Signature Quad retails for $99, Dimensional Cake Liner for $39
Micro Bubble Lipstick retails for $39.50, Mineral Bronzer for $77 and BB Cream for $49.50

*I received these products for review purposes. However, my opinions are genuine and uninfluenced.