22 December 2013

My experience with mbeautylounge

I thought I'd share my experience with mbeautylounge with you, as I have a spare minute or two and wanted to do this post before I left for the states. mbeautylounge is notorious on the web for being quite dodgy. There are quite a few blog reviews out there about mbeautylounge and unfortunately, most are bad reviews.

I did my research prior to purchasing, and I decided not to go ahead and risk it. However, after they sent me a discount code one day, I forgot all about the bad reviews and made a purchase before remembering the reviews.

I purchased nine Zoya polishes, which are super hard to get in Australia at a reasonable price, as well as the OPI Pink of Hearts 2013 set.

As you can see in the picture above, I only received seven of the nine Zoya polishes, and my OPI Pink of Hearts set. Before I go on about the service of mbeautylounge, I'd like to share my polish haul...

 I may have an unhealthy obsession with pink polishes. I picked up Bela, Jessika, Willow, and Elodie.

Along with Lo, Tomoko and Maria Luisa.

Tomoko is a pixie dust, and it's easily one of my favouritest polish that I've picked up in this haul. Tomoko is a champagne silver colour and is textured and matte. If you apply 2-3 coats of top coat, it's the most gorgeous, sparkly polish ever. Best part of it all is it's so easy to remove!

I was attracted to the More than a Glimmer polish in the OPI Pink of Hearts set. Unfortunately, it wasn't what I had in mine and was a tat disappointed in how it looked. It was also difficult to remove, which is expected considering the amount of large glitters in the polish.

Pink-ing of You is a gorgeous pink creme colour. I used two coats and it wasn't too streaky.

The other two polishes that were missing were "Abigail" and "Priscilla" polishes by Zoya. I was going to give the "Priscilla" one to my sister for her birthday, which was late September, and I placed the order on the 3rd of September. Those bastards!

According to the information on their website, my order was shipped out on the 9th of September. Although I was prepared for the "Priscilla" zoya polish to be a few days late for my sister's birthday, I grew concern about six weeks later and still no parcel.

I contacted mbeautylounge on the 19th of October informing them that I have yet to receive the parcel, and this is what they said:
"Thank you for contacting Mbeauty Lounge

hello can you please provide me with the following information so I can properly locate your order
1) Order number
2)Date of purchase
3)Shipping name and address

Thank you"

I provided them with the information as requested as soon as I received their email, and I did not receive a reply to date. I gave them about a week before I contacted my credit card company and reported fraud. My credit card company said that they will investigate this and will take about 4-6 weeks.

Long story short, I got my money back... and my parcel. But here's what is really messed up....
They sent it out on the 14th of November. I received my package about 2 weeks after that date. I assume that the reason for this is because the two polishes that were missing are discontinued and perhaps they were waiting to see if they can obtain those two polishes but the least they could do was tell me what was happening. They also gave me a credit note for the two polishes.... like I would use it and deal with this horrible customer service again.

You have been warned.

12 December 2013

This may be the last post of 2013

As you may be aware, I am going to the states next Wednesday and I may not find the time to blog before I go or when I'm there, as I will be busy moving furniture out of Mike's house this coming weekend since we've sold it. Yay for moving... NOT.

Anyway, I thought I'd quickly write this short post before bed to wish everyone a very merry christmas and a happy new year! Stay safe everyone! xo

08 December 2013

Christmas Nails

I have two Christmas manis to share today. Both manis feature snowflakes. I think I have a slight (and weird) obsession with snowflakes. Perhaps it's because it never snows in Sydney and I've never seen snow in real life before... ok I lie. I saw snow twice on a mountain from a gazillion km away, once in Tasmania and another in Jindabyne NSW.

Because I absolutely suck at drawing free-hand, I cheated and used a stamping plate from Born Pretty Store that was sent to me (purchase here for USD$0.99).

This is the first manicure I created.
I made a boo-boo and applied a top coat a tat too early on my pointer, resulting in a smudgy snowflake near the tip of my nail. I actually really like how this mani turned out. If you're wondering what I used to achieve this mani, read on!

 For the base, I used SHE Nail Varnish in Galaxy. It's a black polish with silver shimmer. I then applied a coat of Out the Door Northern Lights top coat over the top to enhance the shimmery finish. I then used the Konad polish in white, and the other white polish (which was also sent to me from Born Pretty Store - purchase here for USD$2.05) to stamp the snowflakes (picture of the stamping plate further down). The Konad one created really crisp-paper-white snowflakes, and the Born Pretty Store white stamping polish created more of a silvery-off-white snowflakes. I think the two polishes gave my mani a more dimensional look. 

I then used the Butter London Matte Finish topcoat to create the matte look.

I wondered what this polish would look like with a shiny finish instead of a matte one, so I applied a coat of Seche Vite over the top.

I can't decide which I like better. What do you think?
For my second mani, instead of using a black polish, I decided to experiment with a blue and white ombre background. Here is what I came up with...
Please excuse the mess around my cuticles!  I also stamped a reindeer on my ring finger for something different, and used a dotting pen (sent to me by Born Pretty Store - purchase here for USD$3.96).

 I applied a coat of Color Club OOOOOO La La (the white polish in the picture above) as a base coat. And then using a sponge, I applied a line of Color Club Pure Energy (the blue polish) and then a line of OOOOOO La La directly underneath and sponged the colour onto my nails, creating the ombre effect. Once dry, I stamped the snowflakes on using the Konad white polish, and stamping tools.

 This is the plate I used for both manicures. I wanted to add the house and/or Christmas tree, but I ran out of room. I think this is a brilliant stamping plate that is perfect for creating Christmas manis. It's also super affordable!

 I've had the Konad Stamping Kit for YEARS. I'm talking at least 8 years. They last forever if you treat them right. Be sure to wipe off excess nail polish after each use.

 The last tool I'd like to share is the dotting pen mentioned earlier. I love how fine the tip is because you can create the tiniest dots like in my mani. It's got a thin stripping brush on the other end, and is so affordable!

I'm going to insert another picture of my mani here, because I'm random like that.

If you'd like to purchase the stamping plate, stamping polish, dotting pen or anything else from the Born Pretty Store, be sure to use the "SRKW10" to get 10% off. Shipping is free worldwide!

Some of these products were kindly provided for my consideration. All opinions expressed are my own.

05 December 2013

Merry Christmas to me... My Latest Sephora Hauls

It may seem silly doing a Sephora haul (or rather blogging about it) since I will be going to the states in less than two weeks, but I did do a haul when they had their 20% VIB sale about a month ago, and another prior to that. Nevertheless, I expect I will be going crazy at Sephora in the states despite my recent hauls.

So this is what I picked up from Sephora. I merged both hauls into one, as I didn't see much of a point separating them into two blog posts.
I forgot to include a Marc Jacobs gel lippy in the picture above. Oops.

Sephora Favourites Superstars - USD$75 (minus 10% - discount)
What's included in this kit:
Deborah Lippmann in Cleopatra, NARS Lipstick in Dolce Vita, NARS Blush & Bronzing Duo in Orgasm & Laguna, Urban Decay eyeshadow in Sin & Mushroom, Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream, Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream Broad Spectrum in Light, Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil, Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray, Stila Stay aAll Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner, Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb Rollerball, Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Brow Gel, Too Faced Flexistretch Nylon Fibers, and Too Faced Better than False Lashes.

I thought that this kit was definitely worth the $75. I will probably be giving a few items in this kit away, as I already have them in my collection.

Fresh Sugar Treasures Mini Lip Collection - USD$50 (minus 20% - discount)
 I absolutely LOVE Fresh Sugar lip balms, and there are six shades in this kit, as well as a lip treatment. The shades are Petal, Honey, Passion, Berry, Rose and Cherry. I think I'll be giving a couple of these mini lip balms away too, as I have a few back ups of some of the colours in this kit.

Sephora Favourites Give Me Some Lip - USD$25 (minus 20% - discount)
I love Sephora Favourites, as it's such a good way to try new products without forking out a ton of money. There are 6 lip products in this kit - Fresh Sugar Rose Tinted Lip Treatment, Laura Mercier Lip Glace in Bare Pink, Buxom Full-On Lip Polish in Dolly, NARS Lip Gloss in Turkish Delight, Bite Beauty High Pigment Pencil in Rhubarb, Tarte LipSurgence Lip Luster in Glitzy.

Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation in Shell - USD$55.00 (minus 10% - discount)
 I purchased this hourglass foundation because I've always wanted to try it ever since I've heard about it. I think I tried a sample (that was a tat too dark) and loved the formula. I'm hoping that my search for the perfect wedding foundation is over, and this will be the answer to my prayers.

Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer - USD$52.00 (minus 10% - discount)
This is one of my favourite primers! I'm just a bit sad that this has SPF15, which means I probably won't be able to use it on my wedding day, less I get white cast in my photographs. :( BUT I highly recommend this primer if you have oily skin!

Marc Jacobs  Lip Gel in 108 Have We Met? - USD$30 (minus 20% - discount)
I was curious about the "new" Marc Jacobs cosmetics line, so I figured I'd pick up a lipstick (I fell for the "lip gel" name). I did a quick swipe on my bare lips, and it is quite sheer and doesn't feel moisturizing. First impression wise, I'm a bit disappointed. Will give it a go tomorrow and over the next week or so. Let me know in the comments if you're interested in a review and swatches!

Clinique Face Scrub for Men - USD$20 (minus 20% - discount)
I declared my love for this scrub in my most recent empties post (read here). It's a fantastic scrub, which I highly recommend to anyone without sensitive skin. It's gritty, and is so refreshing thanks to the menthol. This scrub is my HG scrub!

Soap & Glory Foamy Fruit Body Scrub - USD $20 (minus 20% - discount)
I have a bottle of this sitting in my shower, but it's nearly empty. I've only ever used this body scrub, and I loved it so much that I purchased another. This is also really gritty and not for sensitive skin. It also smells AMAZING. Highly recommend this body scrub!

 Make Up For Ever Full Cover Concealer in 6 and 7 - USD$32 each (minus 20% - discount)
Dare I say this concealer is another HG? I decided to purchase backups, as this has got to be my favourite concealer to date. Unfortunately, I'm between shades, and am currently mixing both 6 and 7 in 1:1 ratio, but this concealer stays all day and is definitely a "full cover" concealer - a little goes a long way!

 Clinique Lash Building Primer - USD$15.00 (minus 20% - discount)
I was looking for a new primer and was contemplating getting the dior one, but since I'm a tight arse and have already spent so much, I thought I'd get the Clinique one and see if it's comparable to Dior's primer.

Kat Von D Autograph Pencil - USD$9.00 (minus 10% - discount)
I bought this because it was on sale. Enough said. :P

That's it for my Sephora hauls! Have you picked up anything excited from the shops? Did you purchase anything during the crazy US Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale?

03 December 2013

My faith in corporate companies has been somewhat restored... Part I

Please note that this blog post is another wordy one...

This is in relation to my fairly recent blog post regarding my experiences with a company called Ozsale (read here). If you're too lazy to read that post, I'll briefly summarize what happened that warrant a post expressing my disgust with Ozsale. Ozsale is a website that has sales events that lasts for a few days. Sometimes there are amazing bargains to be had, which is why I've purchased a few things from them. There were two orders in particular that I had troubles with, but Ozsale didn't seem very helpful. One order for Pumpkin Patch was cancelled, which I was fine with, as I only purchased an item so I could take advantage of free shipping. However, the refund was taking FOREVER, especially when I paid for the item using paypal (paypal refunds are instantaneous). The other order was for Essie polishes. I waited for a good month and a half from date of order (see below) before starting to get the shits.

The response I got from Ozsale regarding the two orders were less than satisfactory, which resulted in my rant post.

However, I'm happy to say that my faith in Ozsale has been somewhat restored. Instead of writing messages to me that don't make sense, they called me up to talk about my problems. To cut the story short, they've refunded my money for both the Essie order and the Pumpkin Patch. YAY!!! It only took 7 days to refund my Pumpkin Patch order after notifying me that it's been cancelled... But YAY for refunding me my money for the Essie order on the same day that Ozsale called!

01 December 2013

Empties - November 2013

I can't believe it's December... i.e. the LAST month of 2013! Where has the year gone?!

I have quite a fair bit of "empties" this month, most of which are hair care and skin care products. I did cheat a little, as I forgot two empties last month, so I included them this month.

In no particular order, these are the products I've used up in November...

1. Selsun Blue Anti-dandruff Shampoo
I've gone through about 4 bottles of this shampoo and it has been featured in quite a number of empties posts. This is an amazing, affordable shampoo for itchy scalp, and I'd have to give this HG status as an anti-dandruff shampoo. I alternate this with another shampoo, which varies. I'm currently alternating Selsun Blue with a Kerastase shampoo.

2. Kiehl's Olive Fruit Oil Nourish Conditioner
Not a fan of this. It did nothing special for my hair even after using up all 500ml that warrants a repurchase. My hair was still left dry and damaged, resulting in me having to chop the "dead" bits off.

3. Terax Crema Conditioner
I LOVE this conditioner! I was quite tempted to purchase the full size version but I have far too many conditioners to get through. I will most likely repurchase when my conditioner stash runs low, as it smells amazing and detangled my hair really well, leaving it soft and so much more manageable.

4. John Frieda Intense After-Colour Conditioner
To be honest, I'm not sure if this conditioner helped to preserve my hair colour. It did help nourish my hair a little and it smelt good. Unfortunately, the nourishment didn't seem to last very long, as after my hair dried (and especially after waking up), my hair got quite tangled and dry. I probably won't repurchase this.

5. Macadamia Rejuvenating Shampoo
I really enjoyed using this shampoo and was bummed out when I finished it. It's a great shampoo that left my hair feeling clean. It also didn't aggravate my scalp. I will repurchase once my shampoo stash runs low.

6. Elemis FreshSkin Skin Clear Mattifying Moisturizer
This moisturizer was quite thick, but it absorbed into my skin really easily. I think this moisturizer helped keep my oily skin at bay, although I did get a bit shiny towards the end of the day. This moisturizer has a really strong citrusy smell, which thankfully disappears after slapping on some foundation. I would probably repurchase this for its mattifying properties.

7. Estee Lauder Makeup Brush Cleanser
Ermahgerd! I can't believe I've FINALLY used up this brush cleanser (although there was a teeny weeny bit left in the picture above). This has lasted for about 1.5 years - this probably shows how often I clean my brushes... But this cleanser is amazeballs. I have a spray top that I used for this bottle (I swapped it with my MAC brush cleanser, which I'm pretty sure is the same thing) and it worked brilliantly at getting all the gunk off my brushes. I spray my brushes with the cleanser and simply wipe the gunk off with a kitchen paper towel and repeat a few more times, depending how long it has been since the last clean. I do sometimes do a deep clean where I actually use shampoo to wash my brushes, but I don't do it as often as I should because I'm lazy. I have purchased two or three bottles of the MAC version, and will continue re-purchasing once I've used up

8. Etude House Nail Polish Remover - Mild & Extra Power
Holy smokes batman! I don't think I've ever used a better nail polish remover! Even the mild version removed my glitter manicures effortlessly. AND it doesn't even smell offensive. In fact, it smells surprisingly nice for nail polish remover. This is my favourite nail polish remover EVER. It also doesn't wreck my acrylic nails, which is amazeballs. This is definitely my HG nail polish remover. Have already repurchased two. :)

 9. Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant - Professional sized
This ginormous bottle of daily microfoliant (well, it's not that ginormous, but it's big compared to the non-professional ones) lasted me AGES. I don't even remember when I started using this. But I finished this in October (i.e. one of the two products I forgot to list in the previous empties post). It's a great and gentle exfoliant (or microfoliant). In case you are unaware of how to use this, it's a powder that you have to add water to and create a paste. I sometimes don't add enough water to create a paste if I need a harsher "scrub". So it's great for all skin types, even delicate/sensitive skin. I would probably repurchase this one day, but I'm a bit sick of it, after using this every morning for God-knows-how-long.

10. Clinique Skin Supplies for men face scrub
This is the second product that was used up in October. This is my HG scrub. Even my brother who uses high end skin care, such as SK-II, Chanel and Bobbi Brown loves this. He loved it so much that he used approximately 80% of my scrub (bloody rude!). It is a bit of a harsh/gritty scrub (which is why I love it) and it contain menthol, which leaves the best refreshing feeling ever. I have repurchased this because I love it so much! I think I'll need to purchase a backup in case my brother uses it all up again (and I'll make sure to forward him the bill).

11. Davroe Wellbeing Treatment Replenish conditioner
I did a micro-review in my November Lust Have It box review (read here). It lasted four washes for me, which was disappointing. It smells really good but I don't think it did much for my hair in terms of nourishment. My hair didn't feel all that moisturized after it was left to air-dry, but the smell of the conditioner lingered till my next shower, which I love. I'm not entirely sure if I'll repurchase.

12. Nivea In-Shower Skin Conditioner for very dry skin
I had high hopes for this skin conditioner but it failed me when I needed it most. I had extremely dry skin, which itched like crazy and I ended up getting rashes-like bumps all over my legs. This did absolutely nothing for my legs, and I ended up having to go to the doctor, who gave me a prescription for an ointment. I will not be repurchasing this.

13. Bath & Body Works Paris Amour Body Lotion
Unfortunately, this didn't help with my itchy, dry skin either, but it smells really good. I can't wait till I go to America in about 2.5 weeks to stock up on more Bath & Body Works stuff! (I may be SLIGHTLY biased, as Bath & Body Works products can do no wrong in my eyes)

14. Lush Twilight Shower Gel
I was using this shower gel during my itchy, dry skin phase. Needless to say, it's not moisturizing BUT Lush did not claim that this shower gel has any moisturizing properties. It is a calming shower gel, which smells like lavender. I probably would not repurchase this, as I'm now a Bath & Body Works convert.

That's it for my November empties! What have you emptied recently? Any products that earned HG status?