Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Benefit Countdown To Love Advent Calendar

Hi everyone! I hope you have all had a great Christmas and New Years and that you have found some time to relax and recharge yourself for 2014!

If you follow me on Instagram you would have seen my posts on Benefit's Advent Calendar-The Countdown To Love. I ordered this online as an early Christmas present and loved opening all the little windows (I restrained myself and only opened one window a day!). I really wish more companies would bring their beauty advent calendars to Australia as they are a great way to try their products out and they are also usually a great bargain as you will see below.

I payed about $70 for mine but know that in Australia they were retailing for about $100. I have specified how much each deluxe sample would cost in Australia so you can see what a great item this was!

Ooh La Lift             RRP$39  7.5ml                                   2.5ml=$13
Highbeam              RRP$45  13ml                                    2.5ml=$8.65
Benetint                 RRP$55  12.5ml                                 2.5ml=$11
Cha Cha Tint          RRP$55 12.5ml                                  2.5ml=$11
Posietint                 RRP $55 12.5ml                                 2.5ml=$11
Sunbeam                RRP$45 13ml                                     2.5ml=$8.65
Stay Don’t Stray    RRP $45 10ml                                    2.5ml=$11.25  (not pictured)

Dandelion                       RRP $29  15ml                                    6.5ml=$12.50
Coralista                          RRP $29 15ml                                     6.5ml=$12.50
Sugarbomb                     RRP$29  15ml                                     6.5ml=$12.50
Ultra Plush Lip Gloss     RRP $23 15ml                                     6.5ml=$10

Girl Meets Pearl         RRP $53   12ml                                       7.5ml=$33
The POREfessional    RRP $53    22ml                                       7.5ml=$18
“That Gal”                   RRP $53   11ml                                       7.5ml=$36

Bad Gal Lash Mascara           RRP$38   8.5g                            4g=$17.90
Bad Gal Liner Waterproof    RRP $39  1.2g                            0.5g=$16.25

Total Moisture Facial Cream   RRP$52     48.2g                      8.9g=$9.60
It's Potent Eye Cream               RRP$42     14.2g                      3g=$8.90

Coralista             RRP $51     8g                                                        3g=$19
Hoola                  RRP $51     11g                                                      3g=$13.90
Dandelion          RRP $51     10g                                                      3g=$15.30

Also included were two simple bracelets and a cute hair pin. As you can see I received a great range of Benefit products and some of the deluxe samples are worth quite a bit! In total it all added up to approx. $310!! I'll be testing all of these out soon but some of my favourites already are the lip glosses and the stains.

What's your favourite Benefit product?

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Christmas Gift Ideas

With only 21 days until Christmas Day that leaves only three weeks of shopping time!!

I've compiled a short list of some of the favourite products and gift sets going around that would bring a smile to anyone lucky enough to find one under their tree!

A Bit Of Set Pomegranate $9.95 from Myer

This cute set inlcudes a Pomegranate lip balm aswell as a mini Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream-perfect as a stocking stuffer or for a Kris Kringle present.

Raspberry Sorbet Lip Shine $15 from Mecca Cosmetica

Like all Philosophy products this smells amazing. It has a lovely shine, slight colour and is quite moisturising too. There are many other flavours in the range including Vanilla Birthday Cake, Coconut Frosting and Fresh Cream.

Rose & Shine Gift Set $19 from www.asos.com

Asos is definitely your friend when doing online shopping for Christmas-free worldwide shipping and so many brands at great prices. Included is a Body Butter, Shower Gel, Facial Mask and Brightening Cream, and with each product under 100ml it is perfect for travelling. This set is super cute and would be perfect for the teenager in your family that you are always stuck on when thinking of present ideas.

Limited Edition Florence Candelina $28 from Mecca Cosmetica

This candle has a 30 hour burn time, gorgeous packaging and a beautiful English Rose scent. I just bought one for my mum and already have my eye on one for myself.

Vanilla Cake Batter Cologne $29 from www.moltenstore.com

As someone with a sweet tooth this fragrance sounds divine!! But if Cake isn't quite the preferred scent Demeter also has plenty of other fragrances such as Violet, Hawaiian Vanilla and Rain (surely I'm not the only one who likes the smell of rain?!).

Crescent Row Limited Edition Set $37US www.benefitcosmetics.com

Now I know this is the US price but with shipping free worldwide for purchases over $125 it is in your best interest to buy online and do a few presents at once. That aside this set looks gorgeous and would make most ladies I know thrilled to open it on December 25!

Primed For Lovin' $42US from www.benefitcosmetics.com

This set includes a full size High Beam, They're Real mascara and The POREfessional as well as a deluxe size Sugarbomb lip gloss. With The POREfessional retailing for $53 in Australia this set is a bargain.

Lip and Cheek Set $65US from www.urbanoutfitters.com (worldwide shipping free over $50)

This set was just too cute to not include! For the cat and makeup lover in your life (or yourself!) this is an adorable set. It includes a lip stick (although I half wouldn't want to use it-it is too cute!), a cream blush and eye colour duo.

Urban Outfitters is my favourite online shop right now and they sell the cutest gifts, makeup and quirky books! 

Dot EDP 50ml Set $120 from Myer

At $120 this isn't a present for your average Kris Kringle but if you have a special someone in your life or have been wanting to try this for ages then splurge and get this set. It includes the 50ml Fragrance as well as a 75ml Body Lotion and 75ml Shower Gel. This pack also comes in the scent Honey.

How are you going with your Christmas shopping? Would these suit anyone you know-or even yourself?

Thursday, November 28, 2013

My Sister's Wedding

Now I know this isn't a beauty related post but I had to share with you all some snaps of my sister's wedding that was held earlier this month. I haven't been to a wedding since I was about three years old and I got to be a bridesmaid so I was super excited before!! Add to that my sister asked me to make her wedding cake and this became a very exciting and nerve wracking week!

The cake above consisted of seven cakes to create a four-tier wedding cake. The top two layers were caramel mud cake and the bottom were white chocolate and raspberry mud cake. They were filled and coated with white chocolate ganache and the covered in white fondant. For the top tier I made fondant petals and edible silver leaf. The second has ivory fondant on the pattern. The third is covered in edible silver leaf (a very tricky ingredient to work with!). The bottom tier was covered in edible ivory flowers and silver caschous. I'm really pleased with how it turned out as was the bride and groom!!

On the day of the wedding the hair and makeup ladies were at our house at 6am!! I thought this was crazy but with makeup to do for five people and hair for six I can see why they allowed so much time.

I was first to have my makeup done and for something done at 6am I was amazed how well it lasted until I took it off at 1am! The makeup artist used MAC products on us all.

Next up was hair and I loved the look I got.

Well I loved the eventual look!! :P

All the bridesmaids had their hair the same and the makeup was suited to our eye colours and skin tone. We all had purple dresses with different styles. I love this picture of my eldest sister and I.

I also fell in love with the bouquets and kept mine afterwards. My sister was married in Richmond and then after a day filled with photos we went to the reception in the city that was situated right on the Yarra River. The night was filled with dancing, great food, catching up with family and many photo booth shots!! I must say I thoroughly enjoyed the day although it did go quite quickly!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

La Roche Posay

I first heard about La Roche Posay products at the start of the year and my interest grew when I saw how popular the brand was becoming when I went to America. Of course the fact it is a French skincare brand helped to increase my want to try the products. After reading many product reviews I started my collection and purchased Effaclar Duo (I have reviewed this previously here). Since then I have been sent another bottle of Effaclar Duo and Effaclar Foaming Wash (I wasn't asked to write a post up but love these products!), and in a Lust Have It box I won two other La Roche Posay products were included-Lipikar Baume and Eau Thermale.

La Roche Posay products are enriched with thermal spring water and made with the most sensitive skin types in mind. They have products designed for the face, body and have sun care products as well.

The Effaclar Foaming Gel has been beautiful to use. I keep it in the shower to use after work to wash off any left over chlorine and my skin has seemed very calm afterwards (big bonus as my skin would normally be red all day!). This is a clear gel that foams up slightly and gently cleans the skin. I don't use this day and night as I already have a favourite cleanser, but I will be continuing to use this in the shower.

Effaclar Duo has been amazing for me. I'm almost at the end of my first tube and my breakouts have lessend considerably. I still get the odd spot from my hormones at that time of the month and a few little spots if I have been eating horribly but Effaclar duo lessens them so that they don't grow into big mountains. I have found that big spots do leave a bit of a burn mark if I use this straight away on them so I'm going to try Mario Badescu's Drying Lotion on them first and then use this after to see if it clears up better that way.

Now the Thermal Spring Water seemed a bit strange to me because surely it's just water in a can?! I haven't used this too much but when I have it has been quite pleasant. It is good to use when my hay fever is playing up and my skin is irritated as it really cools and calms my skin down. I still think it is a bit expensive for a can of water but I might buy some if it is on sale to use in summer if I get burnt.

Lipikar Baume was the surprise of the lot for me. For a few months I was getting this little itchy bumps on my feet that seemed to multiply and would never go away. Now of course I would itch them as they would drive me crazy but then I decided to use this on them. Literally within 20 seconds the itch would be gone. This says it is great for itchy, skin but I wasn't expecting it to help clear up my random skin condition but it did! My dr had wanted me to go on steroid creams to clear it but this has worked a treat so I'm very happy. I've read that this is also very good for people with Eczema as it keeps the skin really hydrated (I'm not a dermatologist but this is just what I have read about a number of times).

I've recently seen La Roche Posay makeup items at Priceline so I am super keen to try them out!! If anyone has please let me know what your favourite item is and also what your favourite La Roche Posay skincare item is too!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Le Tan Wash Off Bronze Plus Giveaway

I've got a review for you all today for a product that is perfect for Spring and Summer, especially if you are pale like me! I've always been pale and I don't tan at all so I've had to get used to seeing everyone else with their gorgeously tanned legs in Summer. I've always been wary of using fake tans as I have seen way too many streaky legs and orange coloured skin. This product however has changed all that! I'm giving away a can of this beauty at the bottom so continue reading!
The thing that has me most excited about this product is that it "stays on 'til you wash it off", so if you make a mistake or simply get sick of having it on you just jump in the shower and wash it off with soap and water. The added bonus to this is that you don't get orange palms as you just wash your hands once you have applied it. For fake tan newbies like me this is the product for you!
Le Tan Wash Off comes in two colours, Bronze and Deep Bronze. I'm reviewing the Bronze as I am so pale and am just after a natural looking tan. It comes in a 100g turquoise can with a spray top that is protected by a plastic cap. It is small enough to be easy to use but a decent size so you will get quite a few uses out of it.
Before using this I exfoliated my knees and ankles and moisturised well as I had heard that fake tan likes to grab onto dry spots. To use you shake the can well and then holding the can about 15cm away from skin spray directly onto your skin. As soon as you have sprayed a small amount use your hand to rub the product into your skin in circular motions. I did this standing in my shower as I figured if it went everywhere it would be easy to wash off when I was in the shower next. Once you have finished applying the fake tan, wash your hands and then wait 60 seconds. It only takes 1 minute to dry and then you can get dressed and continue with your day! I know many people would be sceptical about it drying in 60 seconds but it really does! This is another reason for me loving the Le Tan Wash Off as you can use it any time of the day, even if you are in a rush. It doesn't transfer onto clothes or sheets. This has quite a pleasant scent-nothing too overpowering so if you don't like the smell of other fake tans this could win you over!
Below are my legs pre-tan. I've added extra large photos so you can see the subtle differences.
Below I have done one light layer of the spray tan. These two photos look incredibly similar but below you can see that my legs look more even and a little bit airbrushed. I quite like the effect that one layer gives as they still look like my legs just nicer.
And thirdly here is a shot of my legs after two coats, applied once the first coat had dried. This is more of the golden look most people are after. I have to admit I do like the colour it gives my legs but it is strange having tanned legs for once in my life!
Le Tan Wash Off is available from Priceline for $14.99.
Does this sound like something you would like to win? If so enter below!
Competition Rules
1. Australia only (sorry to my international followers but this prize can't be shipped overseas)
2. No giveaway blogs
3. The winner will be emailed and has 48 hours to respond. After this time a new winner will be drawn.
4. If you unfollow directly after the competition you will be banned from future competitions.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Mecca Cosmetica Makeup Event: NARS

Last Friday I had myself booked in for a makeup application at Mecca Cosmetica at Myer Melbourne as a part of one of their in-store events. Mecca holds these events every month and when I saw that this month featured NARS Lead Makeup Artist James Boehmer I called up straight away and booked myself in. I have a NARS blush in Orgasm and the Multiple in Portofino and absolutely love these products so couldn't wait to try some of their other products.
             (Image from www.tardeotemprano.net )
The makeup application itself cost $50 and this money is redeemable on products on the day (so pretty much a free professional makeup application!)

When I arrived I met the lovely Bec who was going to be my makeup artist for the evening. She asked me what I was looking for with the makeup and we had a good chat about her job, makeup and where I was headed for the rest of the night. Seeing as James Boehmer was there chatting to everyone about what we should try and what products to use I had to wait a little while but Bec applied moisturiser, primer, foundation, concealer and illuminator in this time and already I was thrilled with how my skin was looking.

When James came to Bec and me we decided to try a smokey eye look as I don't often get to wear lots of eye makeup. James is such a funny and friendly guy and made everyone feel at ease and shared so much insight into how best to achieve a smokey eye and what products should be used to make it look the best. It was fantastic being able to speak to someone with so much knowledge about makeup and is so highly sought after.
Once we had decided on a colour palette Bec used eyeliner, eyeshadows, brushes and lots of mascara to achieve my first ever smokey eye! While initially I was apprehensive about it I came away learning a lot and loving the look as it was something so different to what I would normally do.
As I was rushing to my anniversary dinner I didn't get any great quality pictures but here is one from the end of the night.
Once the makeup application was done I decided on what to buy and got a little carried away as I had only planned on buying one item. In my defence I got to see exactly how to use the products properly and they were coloured matched for my skin.
I love the packaging of Nars products-so simple yet so attractive! I purchased the Sheer Matte Foundation, Radiant Creamy Concealer and Blush in Gilda.
When they were packing my products they also popped in a free bag of NARS goodies for turning up to their event.

From left to right: Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil in Baroque, Pro-Prime Pore Refining Primer and Aqua Gel Luminous Oil Free Moisturiser.
While the event has ended in Victoria, if you live in New South Wales you can still take part! James Boehmer will be at Mecca Cosmetica in Myer Sydney Thursday 3rd October & Friday 4th October and at Bondi Saturday 5th October.
The next in-store events at Mecca Cosmetica include Eve Lom's Luxury Facial (WA & NSW), Makeup Artist Sophia Killian from By Terry (QLD, SA & ACT) and Dr Dennis Gross' Park Avenue Peel (VIC & NSW). For more information see the Mecca Cosmetica website here.
Do these in-store events sound like something you are interested in? What brand would you love to do an event locally to you?

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Restaurant Review: Rosetta, Crown

It was Greg and my anniversary on Friday and he took the job himself on where we should go to dinner. I love eating out so was very excited for him to decide and all week I couldn't wait to find out where we were going as all I knew was that we were going to the city. 
We found our park and walked towards Crown (cue me being excited), and walked up to Rosetta, Neil Perry's Italian Restaurant situated at the Southgate end of Crown. The interior designers have done an amazing job with this restaurant and as soon as you walk in you feel at ease and like you have entered a traditional Italian Ristorante. Glass blown chandeliers hung from the ceiling and beautiful stone covered the walls. Greeted in Italian we were led to our table and given our beautiful menus (which I asked about and was allowed to take home).
While snacking on freshly made breadsticks we ordered a cocktail each. I decided on The Red Express (brandy, pineapple, lemon, pomegranate & prosecco $19) and Greg ordered a Penicillin (blended & smokey whiskies, ginger, lemon & honey $21). The Red Express was lovely and fruity, but the Penicillin was a bit too strong for me.
For our entrée we shared the Polpette al Forno (baked meatballs) $19. After trying some delicious meatballs in New York we were looking forward to see how these measured up and they did not disappoint! The three meatballs were so juicy and melt-in-your-mouth that I wished I could just eat these all night. Along with these we were offered fresh soft bread to dip in extra virgin olive oil (something I love as a change to the generic bread and butter).
For main we both picked a pasta dish- Greg had Lasagna al forno $39, and I had the Ox tail Ravioli $35. While I didn't try Greg's lasagne, he said it was very good and for a man that loves lasagne I take his word. My ravioli was served beautifully with spring carrots and had a burnt butter sauce. Although the servings don't look huge they were surprisingly filling.

Of course I had looked at the desserts first when opening the menu so I knew what I was going to order as it sounded so good! The Torrone al Cioccolato $21, a frozen chocolate, peanut and coconut semi freddo. The semi freddo had a crisp chocolate layer on the bottom and was sitting in a shallow pool of crème anglaise. All in all this dessert was 5 stars, something I would come back for.

Greg ordered the Torta al Cioccolato $20, which was a beautifully moist flourless chocolate cake. We both loved this cake and how it was different from the normally dense flourless cakes. This was garnished with grated chocolate and Chantilly cream.

We both had a fantastic time at Rosetta and it was the perfect place for an anniversary dinner. The classical Italian music made me feel like I was transported back into an old restaurant in Italy where you would find Frank Sinatra. For a special Italian meal I can't recommend Rosetta enough.