29 May 2014

RIP Dozer

8 March 2011 - 28 May 2014

Yesterday was a really sad day for my family. We learnt that our dog has passed away after an accident with a car. He once took on a car, but was lucky enough to escape with a few scratches. This time he wasn't so lucky.

L-R: Penny, Snowy, Kostya, Dozer
Dozer was on an extended holiday in Tasmania, and was being looked after by my mother-in-law (MIL) and her partner, as we did not have room for both Dozer and Snowy in my parent's apartment where we were (and still are) residing. I am so thankful for my MIL for looking after Dozer for the past 7 months, and I'm certain that Dozer have enjoyed his time in Tasmania, as he was able to run freely and hunt in the paddock and swamp with his mum and dad (Penny and Kostya) instead of being cooped up in an apartment with Snowy.
I'm going to miss Dozer. He is definitely irreplaceable. I'm going to miss how his fur around his bum grows so long whilst the fur around his legs stay short... I call it his fur pants. I'm going to miss the cateye eyeliner look he had going. I'm going to miss his obedient submissive behaviour when commanded (which seems to lack in Snowy). I'm going to miss being able to cradle him in my arms like a baby. I'm going to miss him tricking Snowy that there's someone at the door by barking and then taking his bone when Snowy is distracted.

Rest in peace Dozey bear. Hope you are having fun chasing rabbits and native hens in doggy heaven. I know your pal, Snowy, misses you too. <3

26 May 2014

Review: Benefit Big Easy

I purchased the Benefit Bigger Than BB Big Easy in March (read here) along with a few other goodies, subsequently blowing my fortnightly allowance in one shop. I was attracted to Big Easy, as it claims to balance moisture and control oil. Oil control is what I look for in foundations and moisturizers, as it is something that I battle with everyday (especially when I wear makeup). I was also attracted to the whole "liquid to powder" finish, as I thought it sounded interesting and not many foundations have that finish.

Starting with the packaging, I don't mind foundations that come in a squeezy tube, like Big Easy. It's hygienic (unlike foundations that come in a jar), you can control the amount of product you want to use, and it's lightweight and portable, making it ideal for travelling.

Big Easy is thicker in consistency compared to other foundations I've been using lately (such as the Giorgio Armani Lasting Silk UV Foundation - review here), but it's super easy to blend. I only ever use my fingers to blend foundations, as it saves me from having to wash an extra brush. Therefore, I can't comment on how well it is to blend using a brush.

Big Easy 03 Light/Medium blended out - powdery finish can be seen on the far right
Out of the six shades, I chose the shade 03 Light/Medium, as I tend to lean between "light" and "medium" for most foundations. However, this shade is slightly too light for me but it's nothing a bit of bronzer can't fix. If you have trouble finding a foundation because you're super fair, you may be able to find a shade that is suitable, as it seems like the shades run a bit lighter than other foundations on the market.

The formulation is pretty amazing for those with oily skin, thanks to the powder finish. I still dust loose powder over the top out of habit. However, I managed to stop myself once and I didn't get too shiny for the length of time I had my makeup on for, which was about 5 hours (bearing in mind I just sat on my bum for those 5 hours, and temperature was comfortable - i.e. not too hot and not too cold). Furthermore, it looks natural on the skin and it's lightweight.

The powder finish comes with a price. It most likely will not suit those with drier skin, as it will cling to dry patches and accentuate them. So it's important to moisturize properly prior to using this. Also, this foundation has the tendency to accentuate pores, so using a good primer (such as the Benefit Porefessional) is essential if you have large pores.

Coverage is superb. I tried to portray this by using scribbling pencil eyeliner on my skin to represent pigmentation and scars, and a red cheek/lip stain to represent redness and discolouration. As you can see on the right picture above, that it covers the marks up rather well.

Overall, I think this foundation is amazing, especially for those with oily and fair skin. There are a few downsides to this foundation but it's nothing that makes it a deal breaker for me. I just wish I picked up the next shade up.

Have you tried Benefit Big Easy? What are your thoughts?

23 May 2014

Review: Vita Liberata Rich Face Tinted Self Tan Lotion

I think I have FINALLY found a self tanner that I am not allergic to! I've blogged a while ago about my strange reactions to self-tanners (read here), as I don't classify my skin to be sensitive. I can use the harshest scrubs and not worry about my skin going crazy. I don't have to read the ingredients on skincare products, as I don't have any allergies whatsoever, until I tried self tanners. I suspect the DHA component in self tanners to be the culprit of the rashes that conveniently surface 8-24 hours after applying a self-tanner. I've tried a variety of products, and have had no luck... until Vita Liberata came into my life.

Vita Liberata prides itself on using non-toxic ingredients, and 80% of which are organic. 
Travel sized version of Vita Liberata Rich Face Tinted Self Tan Lotion
I decided to give the Rich Face Tinted Self Tan Lotion on my legs, as I thought it will most likely be a lot more gentle than a self-tan formulated for the rest of the body. I was a bit apprehensive about using this after using so many self tanners and having reacted to all of them. However, I was somewhat comforted and had a glimmer of hope after reading the ingredients list and seeing that the dreadful DHA ingredient is organic.

I used a tanning mitt to apply a layer of Rich Tan Tinted Self Tan Lotion on the top half of my legs on a Saturday morning, as the most sensitive area of my legs are at the back of my knees, where rashes like to congregate at the back of my knees. I do also normally get some rashes near my knee cap, but it is usually a lot more bearable than the back of my knees. I was (and am still) so pleased that my skin barely reacted to this self tanner! There was slight itching approximately 8 hours after application, however after slapping on some moisturizer for sensitive skin (review coming soon) and a shower, the itching went away.

After about two weeks, I decided to give it another go to make sure it wasn't a fluke. I applied it all over my legs this time. Again, there was slight itching but it wasn't unbearable (unlike most self-tanners I've tried) and the slight discomfort didn't last too long, similar to the first time I used this on the top half of my legs.

Vita Liberata Rich Face Tinted Self Tan Lotion applied on the back of my hand. Shot taken straight after application (semi-wet).
I'm no expert when it comes to self-tanners, as I haven't been using them long. Due to my sensitive skin, what I look for in a self-tanner will most likely be different to people blessed with "normal" skin. Not surprisingly, the main thing I look for is one that provides a good colour without my skin going crazy. I can confidently say Vita Liberata Rich Face Tinted Self Tan Lotion ticks my boxes. Other things that I look for but aren't as important (i.e. it does not make or break the product) are smell, longevity, how long it takes to dry, transfer resistance, how it fades.

Vita Liberata Rich Face Tinted Self Tan Lotion applied  on my arm. Shot taken a few minutes after application (dry).
The smell of Vita Liberata Rich Face Tinted Self Tan Lotion is pretty neutral. The tan lasts a few days on my skin, as it isn't a very deep colour. However, it looks really natural and it fades evenly. As the consistency of the lotion is quite thin, it doesn't take long at all to dry. I also didn't have any issues with transfers.

All in all, I really like this self tanner. I can't believe I have finally found a self tanner that I'm not allergic to (well, I am slightly, but not as crazy as other self tanners)! However, I wish Vita Liberata made a deeper colour in the Rich Face Tinted Self Tan Lotion range.

This product was kindly provided for my consideration. All opinions expressed are my own.

13 May 2014

NOTD/Review: OPI I Love Applause & Sheer Tints

I am in love! I have discovered a creme finished nail polish that is possibly my all time favourite baby pink polish of all time... and trust me, I have a shoe box full of baby pink polishes. This amazing nail polish is from OPI Muppets Most Wanted collection, and it's called I Love Applause.

Described by OPI as a "sheer, sweet pink (that) deserves a standing ovation", I have to agree. Although, I was pleasantly surprised that I Love Applause is not as sheer as I thought it might be. I was quite prepared for the sheerness to be that of Essie's Ballet Slippers. However, two coats of this polish was all I needed to obtain an adequate level of opacity .

I was also pleasantly surprised that I had no troubles with streaking that normally comes part and parcel with creme (especially light coloured) polishes. 

Drying time was also quick, and it didn't take long at all to achieve perfectly manicured nails that is suitable for everyday wear.

To spice things up, I decided to try some saran wrap nail art. I recently purchased the OPI Sheer Tints (minis), which are absolutely perfect for it.
L-R: Be Magentale With Me; I Can Teal You Like Me; Don't Violet Me Down
There are four sheer tints, and I used three out of four of them. The one not shown (and not used) is I'm Never Amberrassed, which is an orange tint.

There are quite a number of great saran wrap nail tutorials on the internet, so I didn't plan on doing a tutorial.
However, it's super easy and I'll quickly describe how I did it.

I cut up some saran wrap/cling wrap/glad wrap into approximately 6cm x 5cm pieces. Scrunched it up. Dotted each polish 2-3 times randomly on one side of the scrunched up cling wrap, and then "sponged" it onto the nail 2-3 times. Allow to dry before applying 2 coats of top coat.

I absolutely love how my nails turned out. It's such an easy, quick and relatively mess-free way of creating a marbled manicure. I think the OPI sheer tints go amazingly well with OPI I Love Applause.

OPI I Love Applause was kindly provided for my consideration. All opinions expressed are my own.

10 May 2014

Did someone say PRESENTS?

Despite my measly $220 a fortnight allowance, I somehow managed to do some serious damage when I was hauling via the internet. I did two shops at Victoria's Secret (no pictures, unfortunately as the clothes I purchased went into the wash before I remembered to take photos), a (very controlled) shop at Sephora and a (relatively controlled) shop at Bath & Body Works.

I only picked up three items at Sephora (I wasn't exaggerating when I said "very controlled"). Although it did end up costing me at least a week's worth of allowance.
I was running out of my beloved Kate Somerville RetAsphere, and it was just far too costly to pay the overinflated Australian prices, so I HAD to do this shop. I've done a review on RetAsphere here.

I also picked up Anastasia's Brow Wiz in Brunette (a quick empties review here). It's a fantastic retractable eyebrow pencil, and I highly recommend it.

The last thing I purchased from Sephora is Laura Mercier Secret Finish Mattifying, as I've been on the hunt for products that will keep oil at bay without having to blot in the middle of my work day. I thought it sounded like an interesting product, as it's a gel that you apply over the top of your makeup. 

I picked a few samples and used 100 points to redeem a sample of Sephora's CC cream. I found a coupon for Urban Decay's Seven days of shadow deluxe samples, which I thought would be awesome, but I was less than impressed when I opened the box and was faced with this...

My idea of "deluxe" sample certainly isn't cards with bits of pigment on it. I'm glad I didn't have to use points to redeem this.

I have expressed my addiction love for Bath & Body Works products on this blog multiple times, so it's only natural to do a B&BW haul. I mainly purchased shower gels and hand soap because I go through so many of them so quickly. I average one of each a month.

I picked up 6 shower gels and 6 hand soaps, so hopefully that'll be 6 months worth of B&BW goodness. I won't go into detail of each one, but there are a few repurchases such as Beautiful Day & Cashmere Glow shower gels, as well as the 2 Garden Strawberries hand soaps. As you can probably tell from looking at my B&BW, I love fruit scented (especially apples and strawberries) shower gels and hand soaps.

As mentioned above, I did two Victoria's Secret hauls. I purchased mostly undies (duh... it's Victoria's Secret), swimmers for my trip to Maldives next month (so excited!!!), a top and a jumper that were both on clearance.

I have definitely spent about a month's worth of allowances (including shipping - I used HopShopGo), but have no regrets... except one. I wish I did a bigger Sephora haul.

Have you done any hauling lately? What did you purchase?

03 May 2014

Empties - April 2014

One more month to go before it's tax return time a.k.a. shopping frenzy!!! Not too sure how much I'd get back, but I'm hoping it'd be a good one!

Getting back on track, I wish I finished more makeup last month. I managed to get rid of a few mascaras, but I still have a whole heap of opened mascaras I need to work my way through.

1. Maybelline Turbo Volum Express Mascara (Waterproof)
I really enjoyed using this mascara. Fortunately, I didn't have to test out the waterproof property of this mascara, but Maybelline mascaras have rarely failed me. The volume I got out of this was fantastic and I didn't have any issues with clumping. This is a mascara I'd repurchase if I didn't already have 2 drawers of opened mascaras and a drawer full of unopened ones.

2. Clinique Lash Building Primer
I love this primer! I love that it's so much more affordable than one of my favourite primers - Dior Diorshow Maximizer Lash Plumping Serum. Although it has less product than the Dior one, I think it's more of a pro than a con, as not as much product is wasted when the formula turns to poo after a few months (I can never completely finish a mascara or a primer).

3. Covergirl Clump Crusher Mascara
I've been using this over the top of the Maybelline Turbo Volum Express mascara over the month of April. It did a phenomenal job of adding even more volume and even a bit of length without clumping my lashes. I absolutely love this mascara, and it definitely compliments the Maybelline one.

4. Sleek Flick It Eyeliner in Black
I remember absolutely loving this eyeliner, but then I found better ones. I love that I could create deep black thin lines with this, and it was so affordable. However, it seemed to gradually fade on my lash line through the day, and this was a deal breaker. I stopped using it and when I finally pulled it out again to give it another go, it dried out. I probably would not repurchase this, as there are far better eyeliners out there. 

5. Make Up For Ever Super Matte Loose Powder
I purchased this at IMATS last year. I looove this loose powder! It seemed to control my oily skin quite well. I'm currently using this container with other loose powders, as it is the perfect size to dip in my big fluffy brush without making a mess. I will definitely be repurchasing this!

6. Selsun Blue Anti-dandruff shampoo
I'm really devastated that this shampoo doesn't work as well as it did previously. I've moved on to something else (which is unfortunately a lot more expensive but it smells nice), and it seems like it's doing the job at relieving me of an itchy scalp. I won't be repurchasing this, at least not for a few months.

7. Aussie 3 minute miracle luscious long deep treatment
I purchased this when I went to England. Despite the name, this haircare brand is quite hard to find in Australia. I also think that the US and UK formulas are different. I prefer the US formula, as my hair seems to benefit more from it. My hair feels so much softer and less tangled. However, I'm not bagging out the UK formula, as it's still good.

8. Bath & Body Works Wild Berry Tulips shower gel
If you've been reading my blog for quite a while now, you can probably guess what I'm going to say here. I love Bath & Body Works shower gels, and this one is no different. I just did a Bath & Body Works order and I can't wait for all my goodies to arrive (although I might get them delivered to Singapore, so I won't get it till next month)!

9. Australis See Ya Later nail polish remover
Excuse the layer of dust on the cap. I finished this at the beginning of the month. I purchased a whole heap of these nail polish removers when they were on special at Big W. I think I paid something stupid like $2, and it's absolutely amazing. I've smelt better nail polish removers, but I can overlook the smell because it's so efficient at removing polish!

10. Scottish Fine Soaps Au Lait Body Milk
I received this in a gift pack from David Jones. I really liked the smell of this body lotion, but I still prefer my Bath & Body Works lotions.

11. L'occitane anti-dandruff sensitive scalp shampoo
This stuff reeks. It didn't do much for my itchy scalp, and I had to rely on the heavy duty, pharmacy medicated stuff. It's also expensive, and I definitely would not be repurchasing this.

That's it for my April empties! What have you emptied?