31 July 2014

Empties: July 2014

It's the last day of July, which means that tomorrow's my birthday! I can't wait for tomorrow to come so I can sing "It's my birthday, it's my birthday, I'mma spend my money" (Will.I.Am & Cody Wise - It's my birthday). I also will have a special offer for my mystery blog sale bags tomorrow, as I'll need all the money I can get so I can do as the song says. 

Getting back on topic, this month's empties!

In no particular order, here are my mini-reviews of each product.

1. Mario Badescu Acne Facial Cleanser
I wasn't a big fan of this cleanser, and ended up using more than I needed each time so I can quickly finish this up and try a new cleanser. I didn't like the smell of this cleanser, and how it didn't lather with my clarisonic. My skin just didn't feel clean.

2. Bath & Body Works Wild Peach Poppies Shower Gel
If you've been reading my blog for a while, you can probably guess that I'm a fan of this Bath & Body Works (B&BW) shower gel. I have yet to come across a shower gel from B&BW that I don't like.

3. Lush Rose Jam Shower Gel
This shower gel will forever hold a special place in my heart. I used this during my stay in Tasmania when I was getting married, and this brought back memories every time I used this shower gel.

4. Aveeno Nourish+Moisturize Conditioner
I purchased this from iherb.com, as this is not available in Australian stores (that I'm aware of) after my mother-in-law really liked the Aveeno leave-in conditioner that she bought and tried in America. Although this nourish+moisturize conditioner smelt really nice, it didn't do much for my hair in terms of moisturizing. Therefore, I will not be repurchasing, as there are better (and more readily available) conditioners out there.

5. Selsun Blue Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
I raved about this shampoo in quite a few of my empties post. However, I feel like it's starting to lose its effectiveness. I have gone on to Nizoral, which is a lot more expensive, but it works and smell a whole lot better.

6 & 7. Gatsby Powdered Oil Clear Paper
I had an empty one of these in my handbag for ages, as I kept forgetting to pull it out for an empties post. It wasn't until I finished another one that I finally remembered, as I needed to put a new one in my bag. I really like these oil blotter papers, as they are so effective and relatively cheap. They leave a layer of powder on your face, which saves you the hassle of having to apply powder after. I've also found that the powder stops my face from getting too oily over the course of the rest of the day. So really, one blot is all I need for a 7am-6pm makeup day. Unfortunately, I don't think they are available in Australia, so I stock up whenever I go to Singapore.

8. Maybelline Mega Plush Volum' Express Waterproof mascara
Although Maybelline makes the best mascaras (in my opinion), I am not a fan of this one. I like the formula, and the brush, but I hate how the wand is flexible. I was hoping it'll grow on me, but I still hate how I don't have control in applying pressure so that the bristles of the brush makes good contact with my lashes and leave a significant amount of product behind (if that makes any sense at all). 

9. NYX Mega Shine Lip Gloss in 129 Beige
I absolutely love this lip gloss and was (and still am) devastated that the tube is broken (I think it was from the move). It smells, tastes and looks amazing. I highly recommend this lip gloss!

That's it for this month's empties. Remember to come back tomorrow for the special offer on my mystery bags!

29 July 2014

Mini haul - Sephora

When one of my friends whom I've known since high school was going to New York and was happy to be my shopper, I quickly made a small shopping list (small because she travels on a budget and backpacks). There were about five items on my list, but I said to her to purchase what she can find, as some of the items were kits/gift sets that may have been online exclusive. 

She managed to pick up two items for me...
The Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Diffused Heat and Dior Addict Fluid Stick in Tiny Pink.

She was telling me that she got the sales assistant to help her pick a colour. The sales assistant was apparently around my skin tone, and was swatching all the colours so they could pick the perfect shade for me. I thought that was so sweet of both of them to go through all that trouble! I must say they did a stellar job, as I'm wearing it today and it is the perfect shade! I'm quite tempted to do another Sephora haul and pick up another one of these bad boys.

I mentioned this in a review I did for the Dior Addict Fluid Stick in Mirage earlier this month (read here). I've only tried this shade (sparingly) late last night before the husband and I went out to get some carrots (and ended up coming back with more than that), and I thought it smelt a little different to the Mirage shade. It's really pleasant but still felt dry on the lips. I'll have to try it on top of a lip balm and see if it's any better.

I absolutely love the shades that she picked up for me. I think I NEED another one of the hourglass ambient lighting blush though!

28 July 2014

Bellabox - July 2014

I could not help it and subscribed to Bellabox just for the month of July when I saw the teaser on their Facebook page. As part of the American Beauty theme, the teaser was that you would get one of three items - a Nicole by OPI nail polish, Anastasia Beverly Hills Lash Genius Waterproof topcoat or theBalm How 'Bout Them Apples Lip and Cheek Cream. I was thinking to myself, I wouldn't mind any of those products, and besides, it's super easy to un-subscribe from Bellabox if paying by paypal - all you have to do is stop the recurring payments. So without much hesitation, I subscribed.

The last time I bought a Bellabox, the box was brown with a teal border and logo. What a change! I much prefer the look of this "new" box compared to the old one.

I received six items, one being a bonus item. I was quite surprised to find two out of the three teaser products in my box, but I would have felt ripped off if I only received one, as two items out of the six are Designer Brand products I wouldn't use.

1. Nicole by OPI Nail Lacquer in Yoga-Then-Yoghurt (full size) - RRP: $12.95 for 15ml
 Nicole by OPI nail lacquers are vibrant, expressive and fun. Salon quality at your fingertips from the colourful world of OPI in North Hollywood.

It's no secret that I love nail polishes, so I was pleased to get a Nicole by OPI nail polish. However, I wish I received a different colour, as Yoga-Then-Yoghurt is a white nail polish (it's a lot whiter than it looks in the picture above). It's almost a liquid white-out white, and I'm not a big fan of that look on my nails. Having said that, I'm sure it'll come in handy when I feel artsy fartsy and inspired to do some nail art.

2. Designer Brands Paw Paw Plus Hand Cream - Classic (full size) - RRP: $4.99 for 30g
 Keep your hands and cuticles looking young, healthy and moisturized! This paw paw hand cream is enriched with cocoa & shea butter, jojoba oil and Vitamin E.

I know I should use hand cream, but I don't. I hate the feeling off hand cream on my hands. I think it's all psychological, as it makes me feel like I can't eat without washing it off (i.e. waste of money and time). Therefore, I give all my hand creams to my mother or sister.

3. Designer Brands Lip Butter - Coconut (full size) - RRP: $4.99 for 10ml
Moisturise your dry and damaged lips with this hydrating and delicious lip butter. You can wear it under your favourite lipstick!

When I read "Lip Butter", I was happy to receive this. It wasn't until I saw that this is coconut flavoured that I was a bit hesitant. I opened it up, smelt it and definitely will not be using this. I'm not the biggest fan of coconut smelling things. I can stand Reef coconut tanning oils because they're not as strong and they're mixed in with other smellies, but I could not stand even smelling this for more than 5 seconds. I would most likely be giving this to someone or throwing it in as an extra on a blog sale or something.

4. Yu-Be Moisturizing Skin Cream (3ml) - RRP: $34.95 for 70g
For over 50 years this cream has held a top sales spot in Japan, absorbing instantly to heal dry skin anywhere on your bod. It's the perfect year round remedy.

This sounds like quite an interesting product. I wish I had this when I was going through my itchy/dry skin phase. I may have another episode before winter goes, so I'm sure this will come in handy!

5. Anastasia Lash Genius Clear Waterproof Topcoat (3.2g) - RRP: $49 for 5.3g
Make any mascara waterproof with this innovative product from Beverly Hills eyebrow queen Anastasia! Apply this clear topcoat over your mascara to seal in the colour all day long.

I like the idea of turning any mascara into a waterproof one by adding a layer of clear topcoat, as I have a heap of non-waterproof mascaras and always need a waterproof one to keep my lashes curled and... well, waterproof.

6. BONUS: Natralus Pure 100% Aloe Vera Gel (2g) - RRP: $14.45 for 200ml
I wish I received this before I went to the Maldives. It would have definitely came in handy. However, I will be keeping this for my next tropical getaway!

Overall, I'm satisfied with what I have received. However, it does not make me want to continue subscribing to Bellabox. I think if I received something other than the hand cream or lip butter, I would have been much happier and would feel more inclined to stay subscribed. But I'm happy to have received two of the three teasers. 

Are you subscribed to Bellabox? What did you receive?

18 July 2014

Mystery Blog Sale

I thought I'd do something fun and different by having a mystery bag blog sale. I currently have three different types of bags - skincare, makeup and nail polish.

These are the rules of the sale:
  • As this is a mystery sale, you are taking a risk that the products you may get may not suit you. Therefore, all sales are final. I do not accept returns. I'm quite happy to try to work with your preferences/profile (e.g. if you have dry skin, I'll TRY not to send you products which are designed for oily skin).
  • I am not responsible for any loss of damages of any packages. All packages will be sent via AusPost, and will have a tracking number. You can purchase the "signature on delivery" option for an additional fee, or express post.
  • I am aiming for each bag to weigh 500g or less, so that shipping isn't too crazy. Postage within Australia should be around the $7.20 mark. Please contact me via email and provide me with your address for an accurate postage quote. 
  • If you are purchasing more than one bag, I'm happy to combine postage. I will be using the Parcel Post Medium Satchel, which costs $13.40 for up to 3kg.
  • Payment via bank deposit or paypal (if gifted).
  • Prices below do not include postage fees.
  • There are a limited number of each bags, I can't specify how many there are of each, as I will be making them up as I go depending on your preferences/profile (see first point).
  • Please note that some PR samples may be included.

Each Mystery Makeup Bag will contain a mix of 5-6 deluxe or full sized products. The majority of products will be full sized. There will be a mix of drug store brands, such as Maybelline, MUA, Burt's Bees to high end brands, such as Tarte, Lancome, Korres, MAC. Brushes may also be included in this bag.

For a box with both new and lightly used products, it will cost $32 $25 plus postage.
 Please note that I will not be sending any used mascaras or lip glosses. If the product is used, it will be at least 90% full. 

If you are around the NC20-25 range, please let me know, as I'm thinking about putting together a box for foundations and concealers.

 As you may already know, I'm a bit of a nail polish hoarder. Most of my nail polishes have been swatched, and as such, I cannot guarantee that the products included in this bag is brand new. I will say however, that they are at least 90% full. There will be a mix of indie brands, drug store brands, and higher end brands, such as OPI, Essie, China Glaze. 

For a bag of 5-6 polishes, it will cost $20 $15 plus postage.

This bag will contain 5-6 deluxe or full sized products. By "deluxe" sized products, I mean products that don't come in sachets. If I include any sachets, they are just extras I've decided to throw in.
As I have combination/oily skin, most of the products in this bag are for my skin type. However, I do have some products that target other skin types (although not as many). As mentioned in the rules, I will TRY to tailor your bag to your skin type, but no promises. By purchasing this bag, you are taking a risk. Most of the products are brand new, but there will be some (particularly the full sized products) that may have been used. If they are used, they will be AT LEAST 90% full.

For a mystery skincare bag of 4-6 products, it will cost $25 $15 plus postage.

Please let me know if you are interested in a hair care mystery bag. I probably have enough products for one or two bags.

13 July 2014

Lady Jayne Giveaway Winners

Without waffling on about rubbish and getting straight to the point of this post, I'm pleased to announce that the three Lady Jayne giveaway winners are:

Congratulations ladies! I will be sending all three of you an email shortly. Please respond within 48 hours to claim your prizes. 

Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway. I'm planning on having another giveaway shortly, so please stay tuned!

10 July 2014

Swatches: OPI Brazil Copacababies

I was super excited when I received the OPI Brazil Copacababies set in the mail a few weeks ago because we all know that I have somewhat of a nail polish addiction problem. Having said that, I've been far too busy to do my nails every other day ever since we've moved into our new old house. I'll be lucky if I have time to do my nails once a week! I finally had some spare time over the weekend to swatch these gorgeous polishes and take some photos.

OPI Brazil Copacababies
As with most OPI sets, the Brazil Copacababies comes with four mini bottles of polishes. I love mini sets, as I rarely finish a bottle of polish and it's such a great way to sample colours, as it normally costs slightly more than a full sized bottle of OPI.

L-R: Kiss Me I'm Brazilian; Next Stop... The Bikini Zone; AmazON... AmazOFF; Where did Suzi's Man-Go?
OPI Brazil Copacababies includes:
1. Kiss Me I'm Brazilian - Plant this warm luscious pink on me! 
A barbie pink shade that is perfect for summer... or if you're living in denial like me and pretending it's summer when it's actually winter. I like thinking warm thoughts. 

Please excuse the dry cuticles. Unfortunately, thinking warm thoughts does not make my cuticles less affected by the cold weather.

I used two coats for the above swatches, and I was pleased that it wasn't streaky at all!

2. Next Stop... The Bikini Zone - This amethyst-toned pewter suits me just fine.
A fairly sheer purple shimmer with pewter/green duochrome. It was super hard to photograph. I found it so hard to catch the purple in this polish. 

Three (fairly thick) coats were used for the above swatch. 

3. AmazON... AmazOFF - I'm making the switch to this deep jungle green.
I wouldn't call this a "jungle" green, as it looks more like a teal "ocean" green to me. I associate "jungle" green to a shade with more green than blue. 

Surprisingly, I needed three coats for the above swatch. I have a french acrylic on, and two coats was not opaque enough to hide my white tips. However, on natural nails, I'm sure two coats will be enough.

4. Where did Suzi's Man-Go? - He went to fetch her this delicious mango smoothie.
I'm going to be honest here and say this shade looks horrible on my nails. My skin tone does not agree with it. But it will probably look quite nice if you have a darker skin tone.

I used two coats for the above swatch. No problems with streaking either.

I thought that the OPI Brazil Copacababies had a nice range of colours in a set. As mentioned before, mini sets such as Copacababies is such a great way to sample colours without forking out too much money by purchasing each individual full size bottles. I did not have a problem with streaking in any of the polishes, and drying time was really short too. 

This product was kindly provided for my consideration. As always, all opinions expressed are my own.

07 July 2014

Review: Lancome Miracle Air De Teint

I have been using the relatively new Lancome Miracle Air De Teint foundation for the past few weeks. It reminds me a lot of the Giorgio Armani Maestro foundation, as both foundations have droppers to dispense the product instead of the normal pumps. I have yet to try the Giorgio Armani version, so I can't do a comparison post. 

Lancome Miracle Air de Teint comes packaged in a fairly heavy glass bottle. Whilst it looks relatively pleasing to the eye, it's not good for clumsy people, like me. Nor is it good for travelling. As such, I couldn't take me on my travels to Singapore/Maldives.

As mentioned earlier, a unique feature of this foundation is the dropper. It is as easy to dispense the right amount of product as foundations that come with the normal pump. One squeeze of the dropper is enough for my face.

The formulation itself is quite runny compared to the conventional foundation. I think this is the reason why it feels so lightweight on the skin, making it extremely comfortable on the face. I don't feel like I'm even wearing makeup when I have this foundation on. 

The watery consistency of this foundation also makes it a dream to blend. I was matched with shade 035 Beige Dore on Adore Beauty with their "Find My Shade" service. When I received the foundation, I was worried as it looked a shade or two too dark for my skintone. When swatched (as in the photo above), the colour just did not look right. It looks far too yellow. However, I bit the bullet and smeared it on my face with my fingers, and it blended into my skin really well. It did not look too dark or too yellow at all. 

L-R: Bare faced; With Lancome Miracle Air De Teint
I thought I'd include some before and after photos to show the coverage of this foundation. It did an amazing job evening my skin tone (see photo below) and covering redness small blemishes on my cheeks. My acne scar from years ago still peek through but it's nothing a bit of concealer can't fix. 

L-R: Bare faced; With Lancome Miracle Air De Teint
With no concealer used in the "after" photo above, I'm extremely impressed with the coverage of Lancome Miracle Air De Teint. I also love that it has a matte/velvet finish because I have a oily/combination skin and I can't stand any shine on my face. I don't really think a finishing powder is required to set the foundation, but I use it anyway out of habit.

My everyday made up face
It lasts all day on my face, but please bear in mind that I don't normally have a problem with staying power if primer is used underneath. I do have to blot about half way through my day (approximately 6 hours after application), as my skins starts to feel "heavy" and oily. 

I can confidently say that this is truly an amazing foundation, and I would recommend it to those with normal/oily skin who like a matte finish. This foundation retails for $55.00 on Adore Beauty (free shipping), but it's worth every cent. I have a $10 referral coupon off your first order over $50 - click here.

03 July 2014

Empties - June 2014

I was so caught up in my Singapore/Maldives trip that I threw away a few empties before remembering to take photos. :( As such, I haven't many empties for June. A heads up that most of my empties for June aren't actually empties but are dried out mascaras or ones that need a toss as they're old.

L-R: Bath & Body Works Rome Honeysuckle Amore Shower Gel; Femfresh Daily Intimate Wash
1. Bath & Body Works Shower Gel - Rome Honeysuckle Amore
You can bet your bottom dollar that a Bath & Body Works shower gel will appear in nearly all my empties post. Bath & Body Works make the most amazing smelling shower gels and body lotions, and this one is no different. I took the picture above just before I moved houses, and made sure there was not a drop left when I was using it up at my new house.

2. FemFresh Daily Intimate Wash
A great wash that is pH balanced for your lady bits because it's always nice to keep those areas clean.

3. Giorgio Armani Lasting Silk UV Foundation in Shade 5.5
I've reviewed the Giorgio Armani Lasting Silk UV Foundation here and it also featured in my Top 3 Foundations post in February 2014 (read here). I'm so sad to have finished this foundation, and will most likely look at repurchasing this when my foundation stash runs low (which unfortunately doesn't look like it will be any time soon).

ModelCo Fibre Lashxtend; Lancome Hypnose Doll Lashes; Lancome Cils Booster XL; Maybelline the Rocket Volum Express Waterproof; L'Oreal Telescopic Carbon Black
4. ModelCo Fibre Lashxtend
As mentioned earlier on in this post that I have a fair few mascaras that will be thrown out due to it being dried out or old. Although this mascara isn't all that dried out, it is quite old. I also am not a big fan of ModelCo products. I don't honestly remember why I don't like this mascara as I haven't used this mascara for (at least) the past 7 months, but I'm not going to risk my eyeballs by using it again to find out.

5. Lancome Hypnose Doll Lashes
I love love love this mascara. It really volumises my lashes without clumping. I've been using it everyday for the month of June. Unfortunately, it's time to say goodbye, as it is getting too old.

6. Lancome Cils Booster XL
A primer that I've also been using everyday for the month of June underneath the Lancome Hypnose Doll Lashes and Maybelline the Rocket mascara. This primer has appeared on quite a few of my empties post. It's a great primer for lengthening your lashes.

7. Maybelline the Rocket Volum Express Waterproof
I really enjoyed using this mascara with Lancome Hypnose Doll Lashes and Lancome Cils Booster XL. It helped to define my lashes and provide a waterproof coat so that my lashes stayed curled throughout the day. I already have a back up in my mascara drawer!

8. L'Oreal Telescopic Carbon Black
This mascara is going in the bin because it's dried up and super old. I wasn't a big fan of the plastic comb type brush, as it was really hard to distribute the mascara evenly resulting in clumpy lashes. 

L-R: L'Occitane Conditioner; Soap & Glory Shower Gel; The Body Shop Rainforest Radiance Shampoo
9. L'Occitane Apres-Shampooing Conditioner
I remember stealing taking this (along with the shampoo, body wash and lotion) from Maldives during our first stay last year (or was it the year before). I really like the smell of this conditioner, however, it did not do much in terms of moisturizing my hair. As such, I won't be repurchasing the full size bottle.

10. Soap & Glory Clean On Me Shower Gel
My sister bought me a set of Soap & Glory products, most of which are travel friendly. This shower gel was part of that set. It smells really good, although not as good as Bath & Body Works. It lathered nicely with a shower pouf. I probably wouldn't repurchase, as my loyalty lies with Bath & Body Works (but I won't say no if it was gifted to me).

11. The Body Shop Rainforest Radiance Shampoo
Another nice smelling hair product that did nothing good for my hair. It made my hair feel squeaky clean, which is not good as it stripped all the natural oils off. Needless to say, I will not be repurchasing this.

That's it for my June empties. I'm quite pleased at how many mascaras I'm going through, although I still have quite a lot of opened ones to go through (most of which are non-waterproof ones). 

What have you emptied recently? Any that you absolutely love and have repurchased?

01 July 2014

Review: Dior Addict Fluid Stick - Mirage

When I first heard about the Dior Addict Fluid Stick, all I was thinking was "GIMME GIMME GIMME!!!" In case you haven't heard about Dior Addict Fluid Stick yet, it's meant to be a revolutionary product that boosts to have the pigmentation of a lipstick and the shine of a lip gloss. I'm all for multi-tasking products because I'm lazy like that. I also love multi-tasking products for travelling... the less you carry, the more you can buy!

I actually got a friend of mine to purchase the Tiny Pink shade when she went to New York last month. I haven't had a chance to meet up with her, and probably won't till the end of July. This is one of the reasons why I decided on purchasing Mirage when I went to Singapore. My curiosity got the better of me.

Being a rather conservative person when it comes to lip products (I only tend to wear nude shades), I found it quite hard to find another fairly nude shade that isn't too in-your-face. I finally settled on Mirage after covering the back of my hand with swatches.

Now you may think "ooo that's a really nice packaging. It's a lipstick!" and then you pull the "lipstick out"...

... and it's a doe foot applicator! I still think the packaging is neat. Dior Addict Fluid Stick reminds me of Yves Saint Laurent Glossy Stains in terms of the doe foot applicator, and even the formula.

I think Dior has definitely achieved the pigmentation of a lipstick and the gloss of a lip gloss. As you can see in the swatch above, one swipe is enough. However, whether or not it coats your lips evenly is a different story. I found myself having to purse my lips quite a number of times when applying this to ensure my lips are evenly coated without applying a crazy amount on.

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you may know that I have started using lip products only recently, as I use to hate the feeling of anything on my lips. I started of with Fresh tinted lip treatments and gradually built up my tolerance for lip products. I still detest too much anything on my lips, as I feel like I can't eat properly without consuming a whole heap of product I smeared on my lips earlier that day. And food is the second materialistic thing I love besides makeup (actually, it may be even a tie). Furthermore, Mirage isn't exactly a "nude" shade. It is a peachy coral shade. Therefore, I really don't want to layer too much on, especially since it's quite pigmented.

FOTD with a "light" application of Dior Addict Fluid Stick in Mirage 
After about 3 hours of wear (and a nut bar for breakfast), Dior Addict Fluid Stick starts to wear and disappear. I did not notice any staining on the lips with Mirage (which differs from the YSL Glossy Stains), but then again Dior does not claim that it will stain.

One thing I have noticed about Dior Addict Fluid Stick is that it is drying on the lips, even after I have applied some lip balm underneath. I'm not sure if it is best suited for the summer season, when my skin and lips aren't screaming "dehydration!" However, it is quite disappointing.

Scent wise, there is pretty subtle sweet, perfumey scent but it is not as strong as that of the YSL Glossy Stains.

Overall, I'd rate the Dior Addict Fluid Stick an A for pigmentation, glossiness and packaging, B for longevity/wear and range of shades (16 colours to choose from), and D for moisturizing properties.

It retails for AUD$50 at Myer or USD$35 at Sephora. Is anyone else counting down the days Sephora opens a store on Australian shores?