Wednesday, 27 July 2011

The deal with Kiehl's

I've been beavering away the past few weeks working through a plethora of Kiehls samples I got at the Kiehls Lower Prices Event and also by way of snail mail and hand-written letter from the gorgeous Sae who I had my facial experience with.

And Kiehls samples aren't really any samples they are really generous and as their products are quite concentrated a little goes a long way and I got great mileage out of them.

They also do lots of super minis- which apart from being so dinky-di-cute are dead handy for my gym bag/ weekends away , not that I have been on many of those lately!!

So out of my arsenal of Kiehl's prodz, what did I love?

I've already raved about my full-size Creme de Corps in my BFF Body Lotion Keepers and spoke about what I liked about my Calendula Herbal Extract Toner in my great toner debate.

These were stand-outs of the sample & minis bunch for me

Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado

I am always banging on about my troublesome, dry, tired and overly-sensitive eyes. Yes they have severe issues and are total drama queens.  I am also an avocado nut, anything tastes good with some avo thrown in- anything! Some eye-creams burn me- yes even those ones said to be for sensitive eyes.

This however didn't and feels really cold going on which provides a little soothe-factor. The cream while rich is designed to sink in well and not slide into your eyes (important for contact lens geeks like myself). I love how it is a balance of rich but light and cooling. I'm a little bummed it comes in a tub but if avocados came in a tub I would still horse them so these things can't be helped, when you likey , you likey. In fact my sad old eyes likey so much am putting it on the wishlist. So there.

PS when I am chopping up said avos for scoffing - I always put a little sliver of the peeled skin that usually still has some flesh on it under each eye, its great as feels cold and refreshing and sinks into the skin plus gives you a moisturising, fatty acid hit while you are it. I do look like a fruitloop however. What can you do.

Rare Earth Deep Pore Daily Cleanser

I have been partial to a clay cleanser in my day (Dermalogica's Dermal Clay Cleanser which is great except for the menthol/mintyness which I don't really like around my eyes - Gawd how precious and demanding are my ruddy eyes?! Kiehl's Rare Earth cleanser has no minty factor and smells just like, well clay, funny that considering it's made of Amazonian White Clay which helps to draw oil from your pores.

It also has my old pal salcylic acid which then swoops in to declog and purify your pores and finally some Diatomaceous Earth particles which are very small and sparse so only give a hint of a mild scrubby feeling. Skin felt decidely soft and smooth afterwards but not tight. This will definitely be a winner in the summer for me, post beach when you feel you just have layers and layers of sweat and grease, sunscreen, salt and ice-cream all over your face that you need to get rid of, pronto before you are declared a BP disaster zone.

Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate

This is basically a 10.5% Vitamin C serum, which appeals to me not as a wrinkle eraser but as a skin brightener/pigmentation fader/ acne scar healer. It is quite fluid and  has a silky texture that dries sort of velvety on your skin. Its definitely not greasy like other serums. I like the clarity of the stated percentage of Vitamin C it contains (be warned some products don't tell you this and you can be getting minimal Vitamin C for your buck.

Vitamin C serums to me are like the Berocca of skin care, aside from all the anti-oxidant juicy goodness you are getting you know they will make your brighter and more perky. In fact they are a perfect hangover duo- one treats the 3 bottles of Sauvignon Blanc that were a good idea at the time on the inside, the other gets to work on the outside. Winner. I have serums and potions coming out the wazoo at the moment but I would definitely consider this one in the future when my serum stocks run low again.

Things I didn't quite get:
Ultra Facial Cream
Its all a little too bland and blah for me. Zero fragrance , light texture, sinks right in. It may work and give you the 24-hr moisturisation it promises but it doesn't make me want to care. I like at least one bell or whistle to keep me keen jelly bean. A lot like that nice but boring person at a party, yes friendly and pleasant and you can't find fault with them but do you wanna hang out with them all night. That's a negative partypigs!

Cucumber Herbal Alcohol-Free Toner
This confused me a little. Kiehl's say this is their mildest toner but to me it feels quite astringent and has quite a strong herbal smell with a menthol undertone. (Yes I think I might just be a menthol mentalist by the sounds of things today) Yes it has Aloe Vera, Witch Hazel, Chamomile but I have to say my Calendula Herbal Extract Toner is a much friendlier sort. It feels much more soothing and gentle and less astringent than it's cucumber cousin. I did however get the dinkiest 40ml bottle which is the cutest darn toner bottle I have ever seen and will be refilled and brought with me when I finally do get off on some weekends away (Hubby that's a hintbomb x)

Now I've got that all off my chest there's is also some haulage opportunity for my Aussie blog buddies;

If you fancy a little Vitamin C serum with your morning Berocca..

Until the end of July, Kiehls are offering 
  • free shipping on all orders of Dermatologist Solutions Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate
  • and/or samples of Dermatologist Solutions Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate with every order 
  • and/or a deluxe sample of Dermatologist Solutions Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate when you purchase a “powerful partner” (Think: Midnight Recovery Concentrate, Double Strength Deep Wrinkle Filler, Abyssine Cream or Whitening Cream) Sorry I have not tried any of those so can't comment.
They are really letting lose in July (must be celebrating as it is my Birthday month) and also doing a mega-sample giveaway until the 30th in-store
  • All you have to do is befriend them on Facebook
  • Skip on over to your nearest Kiehl's counter and tell them you are now best friends forever like and they have to give you samples as part of this kinship dea
  • Nab a whole heap of a personalised selection of samples to match the time of day it is. 
  • Depending on the time of day you will get a relative number of samples
  • 1 x Sachet Sample for Every Hour; For every Five Hours = 1 Deluxe sample 
  • Eg 9 am = 1 Deluxe + 4 Sachets, 12pm 2 Deluxe + 2 Sachets, 4pm 4 sachets. Get it?
  • Psst the deluxes are so cute-so time it right, aim big!!

Seeing as it's my Birthday on Saturday I will be in there at 12pm for my 2 Deluxe + 2 Sachets plus I will of course drop the Birthday Bomb so they will have to give me some Birthday extras, be rude not to right!!

Yaysome - Happy Birthday to me!!

Have you tried any of these Kiehl's products?

Could you have an avocado with anything?

Berocca? Is it your hangover saviour?

Will you be swinging by a Kiehl's counter for some samples? Don't use the Birthday trick that's mine- kay!

    Tuesday, 26 July 2011

    Commander in Chic

    I don't know, why I ever said 
    I don't know, why I ever said

    That beige polish fills me with dread 
    That beige polish fills me with dread

    I don't know what changed my mind
    I don't know what changed my mind

    But if you dont like this you must be blind 
    But if you dont like this you must be blind 

    Commander Sally Hansen, she's so chic 
    Commander Sally Hansen, she's so chic 

    A glossy greige, so shiny & sleek
    A glossy greige, so shiny & sleek

    A unique brush design, its stiff and slim
    A unique brush design, its stiff and slim 

    That makes paint jobs look so prim 
    That makes paint jobs look so prim

    I think I'll wear this every day 
    I think I'll wear this every day

    Now nail troops let me hear you say 
     Now nail troops let me hear you say


    I-N C-H-I-C 
    I-N C-H-I-C


    I-N C-H-I-C 
    I-N C-H-I-C

    Me my best and I Admirals, march on over to the comments box and tell me what you think of this fabulous grey/beige with lilac undertones, Commander In Chic, Complete Manicure Polish  by Sally Hansen.
    And Admirals, that is an order.

    Saturday, 23 July 2011

    Oh La La, Les Lux Lancôme Lushies (Partie 1)

    A few weeks back, myself and a gaggle of Sydney beauty bloggers made our way out to a Vaucluse uber-mansion in response to a very aloof and mysterious Lancôme hosted afternoon. Curious and curiouser.

    And what a bloody setting it was. I had to seriously pick my jaw up off the floor, here we were sipping champers overlooking Sydney's iconic harbour from the most stunning light-filled hallway that was probably bigger than my entire two bedder. It was very very MTV Cribs.

    As nice as it would have been to make like ladies of leisure who are fabulous and graze on nibbles and afternoon cocktails in immense surroundings, Lancôme had a plethora of new products and news to share.

    Four new initiatives in fact......  which are simply so expansive, I feel the need to post about these in a four part mini series; Les Lux Lancôme Lushies

    The first initiative is probably the most exciting and definitely the most significant...

    Puis-je vous présenter La Visionnaire, LR2412 4%, Advanced Skin Corrector

    Ushered into a living room with wall to wall, floor to ceiling windows overlooking Sydney's Eastern Bays and the Harbour Bridge we sat back in some stunning and oh so Parisian ghost chairs and  had the pleasure of listening to the science supporting Visionnaire from Dr Veronique Delvigne, Lancôme's Scientific Director who had flown in to Australia especially for the launch, all the way from gay Paris.

    Mon Dieu.

    I am a bit of a product geek at the best of times so found it fascinating to be in the company of such skincare virtuoso and to hear about the the scientific research behind this new patented discovery, even more so because of Veronique's quintessentially French accent! She was the epitome of Parisienne chic as you would expect and yes her skin was luminous and flawless. 

    So whats the dealio?
    • An all in one skincare serum suitable for all ages and all skin types,that promises to refine texture, erase wrinkles and pigmentation irregularities and also reduce and tighten pore size
    • Based on a new molecular discovery which Lancôme have named LR2412
    • Patented 17 times, plant-derived ‘LR2412’, is also known as ‘jasmonic acid’ and is a member of the  salicylate family the same family that gave us my favourite skin saviour salicylic acid
    • The name ‘LR2412’ comes from the 2412 attempts over 12 years that it took to get the formula right
    • Inspired by studying the self-repair ability of plant cells, Lancôme researchers wanted to discover a molecule that was able to trigger a series of similar reactions in skin
    • The stand-out, unique feature is that this LR2412 molecule is supposedly able to “self-propel” through the deepest layers of the epidermis and fuse with the skins underlying lipid layer to help stimulate the synthesis of collagen, elastin, fibrin & pro-collagen
    • This stimulation factor that means the epidermal layer repairs itself in 7 days as opposed to the standard 8. Its this factor that is the key to the success of LR2412. 
    • Interestingly LR2412 penetrates four times deeper into the epidermis than retinol can
    • Results show that 100% of trial subjects found that this new substance was more powerful than gold standard retinol 

    Visionnaire retails at RRP $165 and is not available In Australia until the 18th September so I felt so privileged and excited after Veronique's credible and passionate overview to get my paws on a 30 day trial bottle.

    Excitante? Moi?

    So what does this Francophile think?
    • As you may be aware my skin is very sensitive, temperamental and reactive and I am very cautious about what I use in fear of rocking the breakout boat. However this formula is designed for all skin types including sensitive and even the most delicate eye area
    • The texture is light, absorbs straight away and even on my hyper-sensitive eyes this formula wears comfortably with no adverse reactions
    • There is a light scent, it's not what you expect, It's slightly herbal and with a very feint "green" smell like that you may get from tearing a fresh leaf. There is also a surprising minty hint
    • I have been using it nightly for the past three weeks and while I have noticed no change to the open pores, congestion or breakouts on my problematic chin and nose, the relatively "normal", skin around my cheeks/temples and forehead have definitely seen some improvement
    • My forehead and in between the brow area have been uncharacteristically congested for the past few months, this area is definitely less congested and more refined looking
    • My cheeks/forehead/temples have also benefited in terms of texture, they look smoother and I notice an improvement in glowiness,  much like that smooth, almost shiny look that you get after you have just done a good exfoliation. Strangely I notice this the most when my make up is wearing off at the end of the day and the skin peeking through definitely looks smoother and brighter
    Would I buy?
    • Its pricey for sure but results in some areas of my complexion so far have been good and a littlle of this fluid serum goes a long way. The amount shown on my hand above would do your entire mug with ease.
    • I'm obsessed with trying to get a glow factor on the good skin areas on my face to try to overcompensate for the dodgier, more problematic areas (yes chin- that is you, you bâtard). This product has achieved that for me so far
    • There will be a 30ml option that has a RRP $115, available from 16th October, this may be a slightly more affordable way to experience Visionnaire me thinks

    And here is the gaggle of  Sydneys' beauty blogging finest at  La Grandiose Maison Magnifique on the doorstep of  fabulousness complete with Les Lancôme Lux Lushie Goodie Bags.(Regardez the amaze staircase...)

    LtoR; Michelle - Cosmetic Cupcake, Adeline - Through Beauty Eyes, Tara- Keeping Up With Me,
    Sara-May - Makeup by Sara-May, Angela - [Beauty] Blogged

    Yes, quite the high society picture of glamour we were before we trundled off  home to reality on l'autobus.


    Alors, mes petites poodles, what say you does this "scientific"promise make you want to rush out in September to try this patented formula?

    Or are you  Une Mademoiselle Sylvie Sceptique and won't buy into the hype?

    Wednesday, 20 July 2011

    Today's forecast is rainy with no chance of bad hair

    A deluge struck us in Sydney yesterday. I have a blueprint for an ark on standby in case I need to get out of the office tonight.....

    When it rains here boy oh boy does it rain.

    Soggy tights, flooded ballet flats, and an umbrella that has turned itself inside out so may times I just left it like that.

    Then there is the hair.......

    My hair is tending towards frizzy and flat at the best of times, throw a shower on top of that and this brolly dolly will be sure to have an awful hair day.

    But golly gumboots did I have a breakthrough this morning.

    A breakthrough that looks like this despite a start that was soggier than your morning cornflakes

    The reason for the breakthrough.......

    This beauty

    Redken Wool Shake - I am overwhelmed with the results

    Due to my hair's flat as a pancake history I have tried a hell of a lot of volumising products but none have ever performed like this baby and /or  have been so easy to use.

    Hairdressers are always saying "work with your own hair texture" and I'm always internally rolling my eyes thinking "but I hate my hair texture, why would I want to work with it".

    This product changes all that.

    What Redken Says:
    Innovative gel-slush adds extreme volume, texture and a high-fashion, semi-matte topcoat.

    Shake to liquify and spray a medium amount on dry hair to unleash wild texture with an unrefined, wool-like top coat.

    What I did:

    • On my second day hair which I had slept on in a pony tail that was looking flat and bending and kinking in all the wrong spots I gave the front a little spritz and a jhugge with Batiste Dry Shampoo
    • I blasted the fringe with my hairdryer for 20 seconds just to get the shape right again 
    • Turned my head upside down and spritzed on some wool shake ( my poor dresser mirror got caught in the crossfire)
    • Moved it all around with my fingers 

    That was it - 3 minutes spent doing my rolled out of bed hair.

    The results are astounding. The volume has stayed, despite battling against the elements this morning and getting pounded by the rain with an upturned brolly.

    It has given me texture and oomph and turned this morning's wayward slept on kinks into wearable bends. It creates that matte fluffed up texture that is just a little bit rock n roll.

    It smells fab too. It reminds me of the smell of The Body Shop's Shea Body Butter. It's soft and shea buttery with maybe a hint of sandalwood. 

    It's a little exy at $35 but if it works I am happy to pay that.

    I imagine this is going to be great in summer humidity to fight the flatties too. 

    Summer hair forecast is also looking fine with no chance of flat hair. Bring it on!

    What do you reckon? Not bad for a rainstorm survivor don't you think?

    Does the weather rain on your hair parade?

    Do you get the flatties- what do you use for oomph?

    Anyone know of a brolly that doesn't turn inside out?

    Monday, 18 July 2011


    This is the last swatch this beauty blogger birdie has for you from Orly's new Birds of a Feather range (in-stores now).

    If you missed the other swatches flap on over to Nite Owl my new favourite wearable, luminous nude or for something a little more peachy and metallic check out Peachy Parrot, which is copper wire in a polish and would do Betty Draper proud.

    Orly, Sweet Peacock was probably the one I was least excited to try from my win.

    I don't really do blue polishes.

    However in the name of blog I of course had to give it a go...

    Now in my best David Attenborough voice let me share that Peacocks, as the boys are called are said to let out a bit of a high pitched holler when the ladies, the Peahens enter the vicinity. They also get all Alpha-pea and start to flex their iridescent green and blue guns hoping the peafowl will turn into a mushy pea at the sight of their dramatic plumage and skip off with them between the forest floor sheets and make sweet little pea music and maybe if they are lucky some  sweet little Peachicks (aww)

    I think I was channelling my inner pea when I got this swatch out into the daylight and let out a similar high pitched holler as I paraded my nail plumage around. It is is the most beautiful blue-turquoise colour I have seen in a polish with the most amazing lustrous finish that needs to be seen in daylight to be fully appreciated.

    As I discovered with my Nite Owl swatch Orly seem to know how to sneak glitter in there without the polish being glittery at all to the naked eye. Something to do with using super fine shimmery glitter that is the same tone as the polish. Instead what you get is a lustrous, illuminated almost foil like effect. If you love blue polish, this is as good as it gets in my opinion.

    In natural light;

    (You can also see it live in all its lustrous glory in this video)

    My husband is not here at the moment so I unfortunately I couldn't roadtest Sweet Peacock to see if I waved and paraded my nails about would it bedazzle him and have a primal effect....  you just wouldn't know!!

    I'm still not 100% I am a blue polish gal, but if I was I would marry this one and make lots of sweet Peachicks with it for sure!! It's a woot, woot stunner!

    Blue polish- which side of the fence are you on?

    Peacocks- aren't they seriously beautiful? I forgot just what a breathtakingly beautiful element of nature they are

    Had any successful test results from parading your Sweet Peacock polish around a prospective mate? Does it have the same effect?

    Sunday, 17 July 2011

    A magic spell that would make even Hermione proud

    I thought it fitting in light of the final Harry Potter movie hitting the Box Office to cast a magical spell all of my own. A spell that muggle come spellmaster extraordinaire, Hermione Granger herself would be proud of.

    A make-up removal spell from a magic wand, that mascaras will fear more than Avada Kadavra itself and that will send lipstains packing faster than a room full of dementors casting the deltrius spell.

    The patronus of make-up removal tools, protecting us all from splodges, smudges and streaks.......
    b Collection by Bloom Cosmetics Magic Wand, Make-Up Remover Pen.

    b Collection by Bloom Cosmetics Magic Wand, Make-Up Remover Pen 

    If like me your are clumsier than Neville Longbottom riding a broomstick with your make-up application, read on.

    Ninety percent of the time it is inevitable that I will make some sort of make-up smudge or blunder.

    I'm short-sighted so without my contact lenses in, I will no doubt blob mascara on my nose and never seem to learn that if you try to rectify the situation and wipe said smudge when still wet it will end up smeared across your face.

    My eylashes are also relatively long so I always manage to smudge them while they are still wet and get a dotted line of mascara running across my brow bone. It's a good look I swear!

    I'm also not blessed with the innate ability to draw a sleek straight eyeliner line first go, there will always be a little speed-wobble or two that needs tidying up.

    Three very valid reasons why b collection by Bloom's magic wand make-up remover pen will now be a staple in my make-up bag for those times I am a messy little make-up grub!

    See for yourself how I make light work of mascara, kohl pencil and the real test a lipstain........

    And a close shot at the results:

    L to R Clinique Mascara, Bourjois Kohl Pencil, CoverGirl Lipstain

    Reasons why I love it
    • Obvious clumsy reasons
    • Black nib never looks grubby
    • Mostly natural ingredients (sesame & wheat germ oil)
    • Dissolves smudges on contact doesn't streak or carry them across your face
    • Great for tidying up and thinning eyeliner lines 
    Things to note
    • May need a little wipe in between clean ups, particularly after mascara
    • Some mascara pigment dissolves and is residual in the oil but is picked up easily with your finger or a cotton bud
    • May not have a very long life expectancy- like all textas/markers I imagine this may dry up after a while. However as it is oil based it may last longer than what you expect. I haven't owned long enough to comment.

    Not too shabby eh?  At AU$14.95 it's a definite staple for your make-up bag to make light work of make-up boo boos!

    So it's no surprise that something so wizardly clever like the b Collection Magic Wand Make-Up Remover was announced as a winner at the recent inaugural Shop Til You Drop Genius Awards!

    b Collection is stocked exclusively in Target.
    (this product was sent to me for review)

    Clever eh? Would you have a use for a tool like this? Any other make-up mess cleaning tips?

    Are you a messy little make-up grub like me?

    Are you seen Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part Two? What do you think?

    I'm still traumatised by Dumbledore's death in the 5th book. I can't wait to see the finale. I think it calls for a special 3D viewing! Hope it's not a tear-jerker... I will be armed and ready with my magic make-up remover wand in case the Death Eaters get the better of anyone (and me...)

    Thursday, 14 July 2011

    My five days of being HIP

    "Hip" is something I'm definitely not. Categorically.

    It's something maybe I thought I was in my late teens when I would emulate The Spice Girls in my Buffalo platform runners.

    Sadly on reflection I was utterly misguided and actually looked very sad and uncool.

    In fact, these days I worry more about my tight hip flexors than being a hipster and am suddenly contemplating if this could actually have something to do with all that parading around on 10cm rubber soles I did in the name of Spice…….

    So when Jacie, editor of the epic You've Got Nail sent me not one, not three, but five L'Oreal High Intensity Pigment (HIP) eye-shadows (only available currently in the US) to try I was beyond excited, touched by her generosity and game on to give these baby a whirl and see if I could finally be considered a bona fide hipster.....

    Not only was I going to get to rock five different combination of HIP eyeshadows for the five days but just like my former idols I was going to rock five different personas Playful, Shady, Sassy, Lively & Flashy. Well on my eyelids at least!

    L to R Playful, Shady, Sassy, Lively, Flashy 

    Packaged in a black plastic compact, these ample sized shadow duos have a good spectrum of colours from neutral to something a little more high fly.

    The first hurdle was opening the little blightys, the catch is one of those nailbreakers, an accident waiting to happen. I gingerly spend ages trying to open the compact without suffering some sort of nail and or emotional trauma. However on the flipside, metaphorically and physically there is an under-compartment that houses a small mirror and two of those sponge excuses for applicators.

    The second hurdle is that these duos were very inconsistent in texture. Some shadows were softer than others and some were quite hard and took several attempts to actually load the brush with enough powder to even apply a wash. 

    Once over that hurdle there is another, the density of pigment in these shadows. I mean, go out on a limb and shout it from the rooftops and brag about yourself being high pigment and you will raise my expectations to just that.

    And the higher my expectations are the harder I will fall when you let me down.

    Crashing down with a bang I came. 

    Pigment wise these shadows fell flat on their face. In fact for some of the shades I needed to go back fourth, fifth time to get any sort of colour pay-off and at that it wasn't even very dense.

    I think MAC, NARS & Stila shadows when I think high pigmented. I would ever so cautiously work with these brands' dark shadows, using a feather light touch, building gently as they are so pigmented a heavy hand would cause some serious errors.

    I set out like that with these duos but was soon loading up that brush and going at my eyes quite heavy handed in order to get ample coverage to even take a picture.

    If you look at the pale lemon in the "Flashy" shadow below, you will see I categorically failed at obtaining any sort of decent swatch . 

    Overall I had most success with being Playful and Shady.

    From Top to Bottom: Playful, Shady, Sassy, Lively, Flashy 
    Playful was a very soft texture and blended well with better density than any of the others. I would reach for this duo again. The peach and bronzed espresso colours suited me best, they lasted longest on my eyes and performed with the best intensity.

    Shady was a little harder to work with but I still got OK results. The base latte was quite insipid however.

    Sassy In theory I loved this colour combination. The shimmery taupe was actually quite pleasing but that petrol blue was so disappointing and barely detectable as blue when layered over the taupey base.

    Lively should have been just that, the dark mossy , smoky green could have been a really interesting, moody shade to work with but as you can see from the photos again , barely detectable as muddy dark green over the mocha base.

    Flashy I thought this was a strange colour tag team to begin with, the lemon base was so hard I could barely get any to come off from the palette on to my brush, the cobalt blue should have had knock out intensity and even with three of four layers I could only get the blue to be a medium wash instead of a full, dense smoke.

    So much like the over-hyped Spice Girls Movie L'Oreal 's HIP eye shadows seem bright, bold , powerful and colourful in the trailer but in reality they are lacking substance, performance and won't be around long enough to knock the true high intensity make-up divas off their number one spot!

    Thanks Jacie & You've Got Nail for the opportunity to review this shadows, I wish I could have been falling out of my platform runners in excitement for you but unfortunately I will be returning to my former un-HIP self!

    So have you tried these HIP shadows?

    What was your I swore I was so hip at the time but on reflection I was fashion trauma moment?

    What's your favourite highly pigmented shadows?

    Who was your favourite Spice girl? I was Ginger Spice all the way...........!

    Tuesday, 12 July 2011

    This Pitbull's Lipstick

    The oh so witty and super cute Michelle from Eat Paint Sniff Glue tagged me to post about my lippies. She must be looking for an allie to run and hide from big, bad, bold, bright lipsticks with because try as I may they scare the beejeezus out of me.

    And I really do try.

    However I always take cover in the safety blanket that are tints and hints and sheers and sheens and rosy glows.

    I surprised myself a little when reviewing my collection at the amount I had in my stash and the odd guest appearance of a bright to take me out of my vanilla comfort zone!

    From left to right

    Back Row:
    Sportsgirl Give Me Some Lip Liquid Lip, Berry Lip

    Middle Row:
    Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balm; Rose, Hibiscus, Red Dahlia, Pink Blossom

    Front Row:
    CoverGirl Outlast Lip Stain -Teasing Blush, L'Oreal NutriShine - Pink Rose,  Mac Lustre Viva Glam - V, Clinique High Impact Lipstick - Extreme Pink, Rimmel Colour Show Off -Kiss Me, Chanel Rouge Coco Shine - Bonheur, Clinique Chubby Stick -Whopping Watermelon

    L to R; Burt's Bees Pink Blossom, Red Dahlia, Hibsicus, Rose, Clinique Chubby Whopping Watermelon, CoverGirl Teasing Blush,  Rimmel Kiss Me, Clinique Extreme Pink, Mac Viva Glam V, L'Oreal Pink Rose, Chanel Bonheur, Sportsgirl Berry Lip
    And now for the tag hag questions.......

    When you were a child, did you ever use your mother's lipsticks?
    Oh if it was shiny and squidgy and bright, I would have been all over it like a magpie and making a mess. I do remember bright reds in gold cases, maybe Lancome. I hated the smell!!

    How old were you when you bought your first lipstick?
    14 - Rimmel Black Cherries, a really dark burgundy that I used to wear like a stain. It was the early 90s , dark lips and smoky eyes were king!!

    Pink or red lipstick?
    Pinkity, pink, pink, pink

    The most expensive lipstick you have ever bought?
    Smashbox Lip Stain or Clinique

    And the cheapest?
    I bought a random brand in a blue tube in a department store in Paris for about 3 pounds at the time. It was a pinky nude. I loved it and was devastated when it was finished. It was probably the only lipstick I ever used right down to the quick. I'll never know what the brand name was.

    What's the most bizarre thing you have done with lipstick?
    Touched up a drag queen's lippie in a night club loo .... she was too fabulous!

    If you had to recommend a lipstick, which brand would you recommend and why?
    Since kindly getting a Chanel Coco Rouge Shine from Tara at Keeping up with me (check out her reviews)I have to say I am pretty impressed. It glides on the lips, feels like silk, smells like roses and violets. They live up to the hype and are what they say they are and more. However I have also been really impressed with L'Oreal's NutriShines. They are a poor girl's Coco Rouge Shine and are light, shiny, bright and sheer.

    So what lipstick is your favourite go to?

    First lipstick experience?

    Lipstick? Such a powerful thing really when you think about it. 

    As Sarah Palin so brilliantly put it  "You know, they say, the difference between a Hockey Mom and a pit bull? Lipstick."


    Steal this tag if you wish, this Pitbull won't bite!

    Sunday, 10 July 2011

    A balmy afternoon spent with some Aussie icons

    There was treble excitement at camp Me my best and I when I was sent a Bloom Limited Edition Boost Lip Balm Stick to try.

    A) Am a balm hag- I think I have 9 on the go at the mo
    B) Bloom Cosmetics rock and are such good quality, natural products
    C) Boost Juice bars were one of new things that excited me most when I first came to Australia.

    I also thought it was a really clever joining of forces of two of Australia's business women powerhouses. I have always had immense respect for both Natalie Bloom and Janine Allis who both started their businesses from their kitchens and selling to a local market. Both businesses are now multi-national entities and frequent award winners.

    Girlpower and Aussie Battlers at their finest.

    Boost Juice bars were one of those things that stood out as a really cool idea when I first arrived back in Australia in 2001. I'd never seen a juice bar in Ireland and the thought of having something tasty yet healthy that also cooled you down was genius to me. Also a boost smoothie was my never fail hangover cure. I'd load it up with all the vitamin boosters I could get in there and I could guarantee to be semi-human again in a few hours.

    I used to come down to Bondi beach and grab a Boost and watch the Bondi fabulous world pass me by.

    To me Boost is super nostalgic and is symbolic of the excitement of coming to such an amazing place all those years ago, a place I was to fall in love with and in and never want to leave. It is also a reminder to me why I shouldn't drink Toohey's New beer by the jugful. A rookie mistake.

    So for this post I thought it only fitting to get my Bloom Boost Balm's ass down to Bondi to share the Aussie icon love!

    Turns out there was a fourth Aussie Icon in our midst. there was a limited edition Milo boost. Milo is a malty chocolate powder that you add to milk that Aussie kids grow up on (its actually quite healthy, low GI, high protein and gives you 1/2 your RDA of iron and oh so tasty , bit like malteasers!!)

    Scoffage! It was delicious!

    (Slurp! Can you see behind my head there - they were installing an ice rink on the beach. I've yet to get my Torville & Deann on but how ironic to be ice skating on Bondi beach!)

    But back to the balm itself.......

    There are six juicy flavours, all named after an actual Boost smoothie
    • Strawberry Squeeze
    • Watermelon Crush
    • Berry Bang
    • Mango Tango
    • Banana Buzz
    • Tropical Storm

    I received the Mango Tango which is holiday cocktails in a tube, mango and passion fruit flavour. The balms are blended with beeswax, jojoba seed oil, vitamin E and natural flavours.

    I love the shape of the stick that comes from the wind up tube, its wide and oval giving good surface area for application.

    Is it my most reached balm at the moment? Honestly it s not. The texture is a little light, I am enjoying something that feels a little heavier right now with winter playing havoc with my lips.

    The flavour is great though and I reach for it for a little imaginary sugar hit and for all the nostalgia of summer, mangoes, smoothies and lazing down at Bondi it brings.

    The balms are a teensie weensie $6.95, those memories are priceless.

    Sorry non Aussies- these are only available in Australia you will just have to make do with enjoying  the view and be sure to hit up Bondi's Boost bar if you ever make it over here. Just mind those jugs of Tooheys New!

    Have you tried a Bloom Boost Balm yet? Which flavour are you loving?

    Milo Boost- was there ever a better tag team in this world?

    Its been about 22 years since I've last ice-skated, like riding a bike right?

    Friday, 8 July 2011

    My BFF Amazing Face Tips

    As promised in my previous post on my newly acquired beauty bible and look marvelous manual Amazing Face by Zoe Foster, I have been diligently in the name of blog researching wading through page after page of awesome beauty tips whilst completing my recent thesis and understudy of Professor Foster's Amazing Face module in Applied Clever Cosmetology

    I have finally evaluated in conclusion that these are my Best Favourite Five tips identified through this comprehensive study;

    Total beauty swotty goody geeky two shoes.

    After much research, consideration and deliberation, here are Foster's five standout tips that made me stop and think Foster you genius, you've done it again!!

    1. Cold sore zapping
      If you were a bad ass in your past life and are now paying the price in your present life with the cold sore curse you will know that the nasty, evil cold sores are designed to ensure they show up to reek their ugly havoc at the most inopportune, inconvenient time.  When the callous cold sore strikes whip out your strongest, stinkiest acetone based nail polish remover you can get your mitts on and press it against that ideally burst bliste for at least 20 seconds. You will proobably want to die there and then with the pain but the pain of rocking up to that event with that oozy raisin on your lip will be much worse. perspective, make sure you remember the perspective.

    2. Cleansing
      Simple genius here, so logical really you will kick yourself if you are not doing it. Cleanser goes on to a dry face. Now think what a therapist does, first touch in a facial, she warms the cleanser in her hands and bangs it straight on. No water, you can have wet hands if you mustm sure,  but have a dry face. The cleanser will go straight where it needs to go and its emulsifying properties will not be diluted before its began.

    3. Blush Just Do It
      I love simple pointers that stick in my brain like a little mental post it note. This is one. Dab your paw into a blob of cream blush, find that cheekiest point on your face and draw yourself a little Nike logo that will take you down slightly then up towards your ear but not that far. Blend any lines out so you are not mistaken for an 80s New romantic and you should be blushing in all the right places

    4. One Minute Waity Katy Rule
      Bet HRH Kate Middleton as she was once known lived up to her name and did this on her big day when she DIYed her royal face.

      So simple to remember,.....

      Moisturise, wait one minute, primer, wait one minute, foundation, wait one minute bronze/blush,
      eye cream, wait one minute, eye concealer.

      Let it all settle petal for optimum performance and results.Everything will sink in better, hold better, layer better, look better. I swear I am practising this now since I read it. Better still if it's before a night out have a drink at hand to fill the minute voids. You could easily have skulled a glass of bubbles by the time everything has been layered on. Bets Waity Katy downed one while she was at it that morning  pre-princessing.

    5. Bastard Nail Tear
      You know the ones, 
      happens on your way to work , fumbling for your bus pass at the bottom of an overstuffed gym bag, drives you close to a nervous breakdown before you even get to the office. Catches in your wool scarf/stockings/angora cardie/cotton wool/hair/puppy. Can't get to a nail file source, even though you swear you had an emergency one stashed in your drawer, wait, there is one in your gym bag at the bottom but you can't risk a repeated casualty, you will get caught on everything else on the way down there and on the way back up.

      Calmly think of this and find your nearest smoker/local pyromaniac/office manager who lights the birthday cake/ person standing beside ample fire or barbecue flame and see if you can get your hands on a matchbox. Scratch the tear off the side of the box and it should smooth things out and stop you from getting committed until you can be at one with an emery board again.


    Loves a good beauty tip me, that's why I'm devouring this book up and soaking up more beauty wisdom than a synthetic foundation sponge!

    Come on, indulge me, spill your favourite beauty tip? 

    Want more Best Favourite Five lists see my BFF page here

    Last Wishes for July

    Payday is fast approaching once again, the shopping itch is starting to creep back in. Instead of going the long route to the supermarket to avoid the torture that is the cosmetic hall in my local department store, I now can breeze past and contemplate the possibilities, oh the endless possibilities!

    May the burning of holes in pockets commence;

    I bring you July's new elitist and carefully considered additions to la wishlist.........

    I know I know, more Dermalogica but these three were the products prescribed to me by Dermalogica at the FITE evening. They wear white coats and know stuff so I have to listen

    Precleanse - a cleansing oil, that will help remove the first layer of my Estee Double Wear foundation which is pretty steadfast stuff, allowing my usual Special Cleansing Gel to get in there and clean up those pores baby. Also being a FITE product I get to give back. Clean pores, clean soul!

    Gentle Exfoliating Cream - Apparently this is dreamy, touchy , softly soft skin in the making. Use this gentle chemical exfoliant mask twice a week and you will resemble a baby angora bunnies bum so they say!

    UltraCalming Mist - I have taken the Multi-Active Toner off the list and replaced with this gentle, soothing spritz, that contains aloe vera juice, oat kernel extract and radish root which Team Dermalogica say will help soothe any broken out skin, heal and build barrier defences against more aggravation. Bonus points for being a spritz, ahhhhhh!

    Aveda Abundance Hair Potion
    A powder that helps defluff, define, give illusion of volume, clean second day hair and generally give that Kate Moss just rolled out of my tent in Glastonbury look. Apparently used on all the model shoots dahlings!

    Inglot Freedom Palette

    I'm blaming all the good reviews I've been reading on these clever choose your own colour palettes. Everyone says buttery, everyone says pigmented, I want to know what I'll say! I'm undecided on colours yet but thats half the fun. Something similar to the picture if I'm my usual outlandish self! Love that they have a magnetic lid, I always break lids and clasps!! Going to hold out for IMATS Expo in September and score me a deal!

    Gucci Flora

    I adore ya! Since getting a mini-sample of this in Myer, I have been adoring this. Its not often I fall hook, line and sinker for scents but when I do I fall hard. I think the name is miseleading its layered with a muskiness and vanilla that makes it very sexy in my opinion!! (Pssst HINTBOMB.. Duty Free ;)  )

    Jo Malone Orange Blossom Cologne

    I was never not going to love this, see my obsession for Lush's budget stick here. I scored a mini of this at the Amazing Face book launch and its seriously fresh, orange blossom yes but I get lime, jasmine and maybe honeysuckle coming through too. Need for spring. Stat.

    See the Best Wishes  listo manifesto extensifico here

    (Fluent italian me!)

    Ciao Bellas x

    Whats on your payday lust list?

    Beat me to it and tried any of these bad boys yet?

    Wednesday, 6 July 2011

    The Queen of Beauty gives me some blogging hints

    Sadly I don't have much time in my life anymore for old school book reading.

    I used to be quite the bookworm, but between work, snoring, eating, blogging, swatching, taking photos of said swatching, staying on top of  my Google Reader (which is almost a full time job in itself) staying on top of my recorded UK soaps, keeping the hubby happy, trying to be Jamie Oliver, staring at my blackheads in a magnifying mirror and trying to get my wobbly bits to the gym there just aint much time left in the day.

    However I made a very large exception for Zoe Foster's new tell all beauty manual, Amazing Face; Zoe's bible on clever beauty tricks, should-own products + spectacularly useful how-to-do-its. This was going to be a page-turner for me

    For those of you that don't know the fabulous Zoe Foster she is Editor at Large of, an Australian website and epic beauty assemblage that surpasses all the often somewhat lacking beauty editorial advice and jargon most beauty mags and websites have to offer these days for grittier, more thought inspiring and most importantly usable beauty advice and recommendations.

    If you haven't yet, check it out.  I have so many products and techniques and inspirations to thank Zoe & the Primped team solely for.

    Zoe has earned her beauty stripes, she was made Beauty Editor of Australian Cosmopolitan at the tender age of 23 and self admits to having no prior beauty knowledge before undertaking the role. This was a strategic decision of the magazine's editor at the time who wanted Zoe's advice  to be on the same level as her readers thus making her beauty articles relatable not high fly, high falutin beauty ed speak. A unique attribute, I think Zoe has managed to maintain still today. That and a kick arse sense of humour that makes her work so readable, fun and never ever too serious but still always backed up with the goods.

    See for yourself with her layman's show how of a wearable daytime smoky eye

    Anywho, you maybe know understand why this was one book I needed in my life, lets call it Blogresearch shall we.....

    So off I trotted to the launch last Saturday in my local David Jones in Bondi to nab me a signed copy.

    Zoe was as effervescent and radiant in person as she translates on screen and in her writing. I couldn't take my eyes off how radiant her skin was, this girl knows how to glow (even if it is part faux, she knows!). Straight to that chapter first me thinks.

    The annoying, genral all-round nosey parker blogger that I am, asked her the first question from the gaggle of beauty fans as I genuinely wanted to be inspired by the queen of beauty blogging (in my eyes)

    Me, the mumbling red face asks:
    "Zoe, you mentioned you started your own blog Fruity Beauty after leaving Cosmo, (erm erm star struck pause erm...stumble, mumble, erm, recomposed) what advice would you give to amateur beauty bloggers out there?

    Zoe the glowing composed slickly replies: 
    "Beauty Bloggers need to have three main attributes;

    1) Passion
    You need to love love love what you do, eat, breathe sleep it. Bring lipsticks to bed with you, make eyes at your mani sort of love. This passion should come flying out off that browser and hit readers between the eyes. If you aren't brimming over with beauty passion then you should just save yourself the energy and refocus your efforts on netball, knitting or collecting robot models or something else interesting instead.

    2) Expertise
    You need to have some sort of command on what you are saying, anyone can rehash a press release or list the attributes and ingredients from a cosmetics box. To be a bona fide beauty blogging buff you however need to have some knowledge and substance to support those words, something that makes the reader think you are an almighty beauty clever clogs and they got some point of value from dropping by your blog. This sageliness will keep readers coming back again and again for titbits of your worldly beauty morsels 

    3)Stand Out
    You need a point of difference. Be a bold red lipstick amongst a stack of nudes. Find your niche, what is it that stands out about your blog? Have you a specialist subject? Are you all about the brows than make all your posts brow-centric etc Stick to that niche, refine it, develop it, mark it as yours, your blogging point of difference is what will get you ahead "

    (I am paraprashing here of couse, Zoe's answers were far more eloquent and my question was much clumsier.)

    I also managed to get a sneaky fourth hint when I got my book signed and that is to get amongst the social media pigeons and make your presence known. ie tweet and network on social media like a cracked up beauty junkie mofoho!

    Zoe in all her wordly wisdom then asked if I wanted a pic with her which made me think duh, of course I do,why didn't I ask this, I need this in the name of blog post "research".

    Kicking myself, I jump in beside her and as I say cheese, wish I had not just rolled off a pool of my own sweat in bikram yoga scrapped my hair back after my shower and only licked my face with a very sheer coat of tinted moisturiser. Dammitt.

    Beauty & The Bikram Beast

    Kicking myself further when I got home and told my hubby about my day and how I had trod in a big wet doggy doo doo pat at the ATM but I was OK and over the trauma as I had managed to clean it off.

    (Seriously. In my beloved converse too.)

    To my utmost horror he said he could still smell it. Holy doggy crap - lets hope Zoe had enough Michael Kors on to drown that incidental out. Although I swear if you look closely enough at the picture she is curling her nostrils like she smells something bad. Dammit Dammit Dammit!

    Fabulous blogging tips and bookfulls of beauty savoir faire aside I also hauled home a massive goodie bag from the launch.

    Seriously too much, check it out
    • Priori CoffeeBerry Revitalising Cleanser
    • OPI Ire-Swiss-Ables Mini Set
    • Jo Malone Orange Blossom Cologne
    • Sodashi Calming Rose Face Mist
    • Revlon ColourBurst Gloss,  Rose Pearl
    • Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara
    • Shu Uemura Nail Enamel Supplement Mineral (P326)

    I will dedicate this Friday's BFF list to five of Zoe's best super-savvy know how tips from Amazing Face.

    Stand by for those & launch haul reviews  (not too close if you have trod anything now you hear)

    Thanks Zoe for being amazing with your face x

    Have you got the book/getting the book/don't give a fluck?

    What do you think of Zoe's blogging tips?

    Any other pearls of wisdom on blogging you've learnt along the way?

    Ever have a doggy doo doo boo boo? (cringing still)

    Monday, 4 July 2011

    Purple Rain

    Purple Rain was ranked second greatest album of the 80s by Rolling Stone. I don't know about you but every time I listen to Purple Rain on my iPod my mind does a little mental air guitar and my spine has a little tingle.

    Don't even get me started on When Doves Cry, that song stops me in my tracks every time I hear it, even the Ginuwine version, floors me everytime for very sentimental late teenage reasons way back in 1999.....

    So naturally I can't help but evoke my inner Prince when  I wear Priti NYC's Black Orchid Prince.

    It's such a perfectly, dark, rich and luscious plum colour that would have His Purple Highness quivering in his velvet platform boots.

    The formula paints on well, with the brush not too soft and wet and it doesn't streak, it dries to quite a cream glossy, opaque finish and Day 3 I am still flawless and chip free. Hopefully it won't be too hard to gettt off with my new Priti Soy Polish Remover, a totally natural, organic, acetone free nail polish remover that smells only of delightful lemongrass oil.

    As I mentioned in my Priti NYC post  these polishes are "3 free" ie made without toluene, dibutyl phthalate (DBP) and formaldehyde- all known carcinogenic ingredients. No controversy here.This makes them completely safe notably for kids & Mums to be and well us beauty hags.

    They are cruelty free and 100% vegan and have the very cool mission statement "to support organic farmers and to decrease the amount of chemicals poisoning the earth- and it’s inhabitants-one manicure at a time"


    I would go as far to say that this colour is my most favourite swatch yet.

    I seriously want this colour forever in my life. Forget your red corvettes, pink cashmeres and your raspberry berets, plum is where it's at here at the BFKAMMBAI (Blog Formerly known as Me my best and I)


    So Princesses - what do you think isn't Black Orchid Prince one Sexy M.F? Couldn't ya just kiss it?

    Are you partial to plum nails?

    Favourite Prince Song?

    If you can find the 14 Prince song titles hidden in this post you will get a BFKAMMBAI gold star!!