Sunday, March 11, 2012

EOTD - Dior Rosy Tan + NOTD Estee Lauder Metallic Sage

 Hi Guys

Yep, I've been off the bandwagon somewhat.  I've got a good excuse this time.  I've actually been having quite a few health problems.  They are serious but not life threatening so no need to panic (OR IS THERE)?  No, sorry, just being a bit funny.  I'm still having tests and seeing specialists and what have you so I will be a bit post-lite for the next few weeks.

I know from most of my EOTDs my eyes look very "done" ie heavy.  I actually prefer heavy eye makeup and I feel it is a bit of a signature look for me.  However, if I am feeling a bit lazeeee or just want to be low key, I don't wear tons of dark colours.  For example, here is one I did a few weeks ago with a neutral eye palette - Dior Rosy Tan.  I like this palette but I feel there are about 100,000 other palettes similar to this at about half the price.  Still, I like to use this palette when I am feeling very low key.  It is fairly idiot proof and  would look good on most people.

Dior Rosy Tan - no flash - indirect sunlight
Here is tis on the eyes....


Yep - just black liner on the waterline, brown line underneath and with a thickish coat of mascara.

This picture is filling me with some sentiment at the moment because I have discovered I have damaged my eyes with overuse of contact lenses!! If anyone wears coloured contacts like me, please be sure to wear them for short periods only.  I now have to wear glasses all the time and this is not only uncomfortable physically but I just feel incredibly nerdy wearing them.  On the plus side, I do look brainier.  I am still seeing a specialist about my eyes (ongoing permanent problems) but it is something that can be managed.  Please don't freak out about it.  My eyesight may become worse one day, but unlikely to go blind.  (Scary news huh?)  Just use caution.  Moderate contact lens use is not a problem okay - just in case you read this and freak out.  I have been wearing contacts for 20 years so you realise that this problem has had time to build.  Thank GOD I found out now before I had really stuffed up my eyes for good.  And no, I am not eligible for laser treatment either because I have damaged my corneas... see - scary ain't it?  Okay, enough moaning from me!!

Here is something I picked up during Christmas 2011... a long lusted after shade - Metallic Sage!

Estee lauder Metallic Sage - no flash, indirect sunlight
The formula of this polish was a bit streaky and thin.  It took 3 coats to build up this baby but of course, worth it!!  I think the without flash photos help a lot because I have noticed I look quite dark skinned in my photos but actually I may be a lot lighter than you might think!!

So, in light of my ongoing health issues (not just the eyes believe it not!) I may not be posting all that regularly.  I am expecting my STRANGEBEAUTIFUL polishes in the mail in the next week or so, look forward to that!

Cheerios

BV



Monday, February 27, 2012

NOTD - YSL Stormy Grey + Butter LONDON Knackered

 I haven't done a nail post in about a billion years so I thought I'd do this post of some babies I've been given as gifts.

The first is a fairly old polish (I think!) from YSL called Stormy Grey (no. 39).  Here tis without flash.  Due to my dresser now being white and my walls also being white, the lighting is better in my room now. I am quite delighted to be honest.

YSL No. 39 Stormy Grey
Here it is on my nails - excuse the short rather shocking look of the nails at the moment and focus on the colour.

YSL Stormy Grey - 2 coats + seche - without flash
You can see the shimmer in the polish in the bottle shot above.  It is truly lovely although it is (I think) a slightly lighter version of RBL Stormy.  It is a blue grey more than green grey.

Unfortunately I had an accident with my nails this morning resulting in a rather hideous chip.  I can't really blame the polish because I was (once again) using my nails as tools!  Bayyyd BV.  A friend of mine just gifted me a rather lovely bottle of polish today - I was so delighted I put a single coat over my YSL mani.  It is from Butter LONDON, amusingly titled Knackered.  I feel knackered most of the time so it was quite apt really.

YSL Stormy Grey + butter Knackered - no flash
Seriously though, Knackered is extremely sheer.  I left the chipped nail above so you can see how sheer it is over bare nail - I think this polish is only suitable for layering.  I don't think the picture above does justice to the polish because as you can see from the bottle, it is a duochrome with scattered holo particles. I would describe this as spaced out peacock... if you know what I mean.

Here it is with flash - you can see this NOTD needs light to make it glow....


Again, I don't think my pics are showing the true beauty of Knackered.  It is really wonderful indeed... Please note that I did not put top coat over this so it looks slightly rubbery... Awesome colour and thank you  to my friend who gifted me both colours!

cheerios

BV


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Preliminary excitement - STRANGEBEAUTIFUL - Dickensian

 Despite me being mega POed with STRANGEBEAUTIFUL in my last post several months ago, I just couldn't resist ordering their Dickensian volume now available for order on the lucky scent website.

I have been in a bit of a nail polish funk lately.  I just feel I've reached a saturation point of sorts and feel uninspired by colours at the moment.  But hey ho, the beauty gods are smiling down on me because I gave a small squeal of excitement when I saw these!!

I LOVE CHARLES DICKENS!!  I even got roped into going to the Charles Dickens Museum in Kent (don't go there guys - PISS WEAK WORLD) which was super lame 10 years ago (man do I feel old) but things may have improved since then I guess.  I love black polish.  These are even promising a metallic finish which I feel will be like RBL/Chanel invisible finish - but still, I'm excited.
Picture owned by STRANGEBEAUTIFUL and lucky scent

At the moment my nails are in a super shocking condition.  Ragged cuticles and stumpy length just ain't pretty.  I'm working on them to make them photo ready in time for the arrival of these beauties.

One of my cousins came for a visit from Korea and she is a nail fiend too.  She had the most beautiful gel nails I have ever seen so I am taking a bit of a experiment into the world of gel nails via ebay.  Look for that in a few weeks too!!

Over and out
BV

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Long time no post - Make Up For Ever - Highline Palette

 Hi Guys

Yep, I'm back, from outer space...

I was just in a very non-bloggy mood lately.  I think this was cemented by a some horrible comments made about a fellow blogger and I just felt like it was all rather depressing and not worth the effort.  Not that too much effort is made by me, but you know, I couldn't even be assed making a small effort!!  Sad.

But of course, my beauty addiction is as such that I got back into the mood again!  So - hello guys!!

I got a few new goodies over the Christmas period I wanted to share.  Elias Faas and Tom Ford amongst others.  More importantly I revamped my bedroom with a separate study desk and makeup area (these areas were becoming more and more fused as time went on and it look like a hoarder's nesting area!).  I also purchased 3 IKEA Helmer units for my polishes (don't worry, I've only filled 2 of them!) and while I am still revamping, my room feels so much better.  I can't stop admiring my handiwork actually which is pretty sad in itself.  I also threw away a whole heap of stuff so that felt liberating too.  YAY.

I'm so sorry about this but I wanted to catch up and do a post on some Make Up For Ever makeup I got during the Sephora FF sale in 2011.  It was originally $45 US but I guess I purchased it for about $35.  I actually wanted to get the MUFE Smokey Palette but unfortunately that sold out a billion years ago so I missed out. Although the Highline Palette has sold out now, I believe these colours are still part of the MUFE regular line up. Only the purple shadow is part of the "diamond shine" line (or whatever it is called).

These are actually the first MUFE eyeshadows I have purchased so it was great way to try out the brand's eyeshadows.  I can tell you I like these colours and the pigmentation of these are great.  Here's the palette - 4 regular sized eyeshadows.

MUFE Highline Palette with flash

Here are some swatches for you.

MUFE Highline Palette swatched on dry skin - with flash

 My EOTD using this palette and I believe Chanel's Illusoire as base. It looks pretty subtle (for me anyway!) all things considered.


While I am happy with this purchase, I will not necessarily be purchasing any MUFE palettes in future. I just feel like these colours are pretty dupable and while I love the whole "diamond shine" of the purple shadow, I have loads of other purples that are just as pretty.  It reminds me of Le Metier de Beaute's Penelope eyeshadow set, I don't know.  Am I getting too spoiled for choice lately?  Um...

I guess since I also have the UD 15th Anniversary Palette - I feel that palette is a better deal and only about $10 more.  I suppose that has gone the way of the dodo as well and is sold out..?  Um...

Okay guys, I will be posting more frequently in future with some interesting comments to make.  At the moment I am far more concerned with foundations, base and skin care at the moment.  I will be doing a big review on my Vichy products so stay tuned for that.

Cheerios!!

BV

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Lunasol eyeshadow - deep beige EOTD

 Yo yo yo

A quick post today.  I just wanted to show you my new Lunasol palette!  Yep, I have another Lunasol palette which I reviewed here.  I kinda went off Lunasol a bit after that.  It was enough to stop me from buying another palette anyway - I just thought it was too crumbly, washed out and too dupeable (is this a word?) for me to spring $$ for it.  As you know, Lunasol isn't cheap.

I purchased this palette a few months ago actually.  When the new Lunasol palette range was released, it got me interested in the brand again.  I chose the darkest colour palette (05 Deep Beige) and it looked so pigmented and shimmery - I just caved and purchased it.  I got it from Adam Beauty and I think it was around $60 US.

I really like it and I'm happy I purchased it!  While I am still wondering if it is worth $60, I think this whole 3 colours in one square thingie is a great idea.  I think Lunasol should have gotten rid of the white colour in the top left altogether - the colours look the same and way too glittery for my liking.  For this EOTD I only used colours from the bottom two colours.

I also used the newish MAC paintpot in Genuine Treasure.  I seriously LOVE some of the new MAC paintpots - I have got 4 newish ones lately and they have rekindled my love for the paintpot.  Unlike some of the other paintpots I own, these are darker and some of them, like this one, contain glittery pigments which do not fall out on your face later on in the day.  They aren't as good as the Chanel ones, but they are a pretty good substitute and worth checking out.  I also have a dark grey one with sliver glitter called For Effect which is available now - it is part of the MAC Christmas line.

I don't think Genuine Treasure is available anymore - it was from a few collections ago.  However, your local MAC may have stock and it will probably turn up at a CCO if you are lucky enough to have one in your area.

Enough blathering - let's get on with the pics.


Yep, I also used the tarte smouldereyes I got with my Sephora haul. The smouldereyes kit is a great deal - I'm so glad I got it during the sale.


A quick EOTD.  Sorry I didn't take more pictures - it looked okay in pictures but it is look a bit scary below!  This was taken about 8 hours of wear and as you can see the foundation looks a bit melty (summer here now) but the eyes have held out okay.  That liner looks patchy though.  Um.. 


I might actually do a quick post on the new MAC paintpots I purchased recently.  While I am not buying many MAC products anymore, the ones I purchased this year have inspired great love in me!

AND unlike Jill Stuart, these Lunasol colours are glittery (fine glitter/shimmer) and are not prone to fall out.  I am really happy I got this!

Cheerios
BV

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Purple rain, purple rain... well, sort of

Hiddy ho beauty lovers

Yep, it is summer here in Oz and I'm getting back into my purples. For me it is one of the few colours I can wear without looking too OTT although my EOTD pics may slightly contradict this.  HA. Also, like Prince, purple is my favourite colour.  But before your doves start crying, let me get down to business.

I have used quite a few new products (or at least products I haven't really reviewed before) so here is what I used for my EOTD today.

I forgot to list in the picture below - tarte smouldereyes in violet.  (I purchased the tarte smouldereyes kit during Sephora's FF sale and I really love it!)  I also purchased the Shiseido shimmering eye cream as part of the FF sale.  Forgive typos.  I only noticed after I finished typing!  DOH.

Products used for EOTD - I also used UDPP which I forgot to take a picture of.
Swatches...
With flash
Same products as above - without flash.  I added this so you get a better idea of my actual skin tone and to show that these colours are not as shimmery as you might think..

With flash - it doesn't look quite as electric as this in real life - the flash is making everything a bit more Ziggy Stardust than it actually is.
I also purchased a few new palettes as part of my Sephora FF sale.  These are palettes I have been wanting all year (but not wanting to spring full price) and luckily I got pretty much everything I wanted.  I wanted to get the MUFE Smoky eye palette but this is completely sold out so I got the Highline palette instead.  I'm happy about this because the colours are gorgeous.

My Sephora FF goodies:
  • NARS Danmari palette
  • MUFE Highline palette
  • Sephora Moonshadow palettes (in the dark and in the nude)
  • UD 15th year anniversary palette



I am quite obsessed with baked makeup products at the moment (hence the Laura Geller and moonshadow palettes!).  Have you ever noticed though - all baked products appear to be made in Italy??  There must be some factory in Italy which has a complete monopoly on the manufacture of baked makeup!!  Strangeness.

Tom Ford eyeshadows are now available at David Jones in Sydney.  A friend of mine has already indulged (I asked her to bring them into work so I can check them out!) but I am staying away from the counter as I am on a no buy at the moment.  They are $100 AS each in case you wanted to know.

Cheerios!
BV

PS My nails are a sordid mess at the moment.  Stumpy nails, dead broken cuticles - it is very ugly so no NOTDs for a while.  I am expecting some new nail products in a few weeks so I will do a post then. Hopefully my nails will look a bit better.  I have ordered some China Glaze, Zoya, Nails Inc and Ciate!  Yay times!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Sunscreens for acne prone skin - Obagi, Kate Somerville, Acnes and Peter Thomas Roth Uber-dry

Whoa Nelly - it has been an age, hasn't it? My sincere apologies. I've just been a bit lazzeee as well as overworked. Christmas lead up is pretty frantic at work (I'm not working over Christmas as I was super stressed and didn't end up earning much money anyhoo last year) so things are a bit all over the place.  Also, I've cut all my nails back and they are super stumpy and silly looking.  I'm even going naked nails at the moment (I know - insane right) and it isn't even bothering me much.  *shakes head in disbelief*

In keeping with my acne focus, I thought I'd do a post on some sunscreens I have in my stash. If you are acne prone you are probably using lots of products such as retinoids, AHAs, salicylic acid, peroxides etc which all makes you very sun sensitive. Despite my religious application of sunscreen (and wearing a visor when I go outside on hot days!) summer has hit Sydney and I am considerably more tan than I was in winter. Not by much, just a shade or two.

If you are acne prone you know one of the MAJOR problems is that sunscreens tend to break you out. I mean REALLY break you out.  What works for me may not work for you - please bear this in mind.  I've used loads and loads of sunscreens over the years (Neutrogena, Cancer Council, Invisible Zinc and countless others) and all of them have disappointed me.  They all make me break out.  Sad but true.

As a starter, some deets on each brand I think.

1.  Peter Thomas Roth - Uberdry
Contains 116 mls of product and costs $26 US.  I bought mine from www.skinstore.com.  This is a thickish white sunscreen and feels incredibly dry on your skin.  Probably the driest formula I have ever tried.  SPF 30.
Claims to be water resistant, fragrance-free and shine free.  Suitable for all skin types.  A pretty good sunscreen in fact.

2.  ACNES sunscreen
Contains 30 grams of product and costs about $6.50 US.  Tiny tiny amount of product.  It is tinted (but is colourless on my skin!) and claims to be acne-free.  I purchased this from www.sasa.com.  It is incredibly runny and actually contains a ball bearing in the bottle - yes, like a nail polish.  I would say this is probably the oiliest of the four sunscreens in this review and is probably the worst for my skin.  SPF 50 PA++ but this doesn't last long my skin and hence offers poor sun protection for me.

3.  Obagi Nu-Derm
Contains 59 grams of product and costs $17 US.  Believe it or not, this retails for about $40-45 US so search for a special deal.  I got mine from www.amazon.com.  Expiry date is long too at 06/13!  It is a pretty good deal.  Quite thick in texture and is promoted as a physical UV block.  (18.5% zinc oxide).  Has SPF 32.  It contains micronised zinc particles.  There is some debate about whether nanonised particles are harmful for you but I stress this is micronised.  Good SPF coverage.

4.  Kate Somerville SPF 55 Serum Sunscreen
Contains 60 ml of product and costs a massive $45.  OUCH.  I got mine at Nordies but of course I've noticed that www.skinstore.com also carries this line now.  I would recommend you purchase it from there as you get free shipping (low cost international shipping) and they regularly have 20-25% off sales.  There is a sale on right now in fact.

Here is a pic of all the bottles plus a sample of each sunscreen on white paper.


Swatches added only to show you the consistency of the products.  As you can see, both Acnes and Kate Somerville are very liquid and runny.  Peter Thomas Roth and Obagi are both quite thick but easily rub into the skin.


Now, here is a little experiment I did for you.  I took another picture of the sunscreen samples after about 45 minutes.  You can see how oil free the Peter Thomas Roth product is - it is pretty good!   Acnes showing a veritable oil flow with Obagi and Kate Somerville showing some oil around the edges.


After about 1.5 hours - look at the paper!  I would say that Acnes is the oiliest with Obagi coming second.  Kate Somerville contains some oil (but not much) but there is virtually ZERO OIL coming from Peter Thomas Roth!  Amazing huh?


Before I launch into my lowdown for each sunscreen, I just wanted to show you some sunscreens I absolutely cannot use on my face.  Cetaphil is the worst offender for me - this makes me break out in huge cystic acne.  Terrifying.  It isn't cheap either (I paid about $17 AS for this at the chemist) and I now use it on my arms only.   I'm too afraid to use this on my neck!  The Shiseido product is excellent coverage (damn near perfect in terms of sun protection) but the water proof formula results in blocked pores appearing all over my forehead.  I would not call it acne as such, it looks more like milia.  I have to exfoliate like a mofo to get rid of the blocked pores and it takes a week or so to get rid of it.  Again, I use that for my neck, chest and arms.  The Banana Boat product is thick and oily.  I use this on my arms only - this leaves a white cast so anyone darker than me will have problems rubbing that into the skin!  I do like it though as it is a physical sunscreen and contains 22% zinc oxide.


In terms of sun protection and overall value, I think the clear winner is Peter Thomas Roth Uberdry.  The only thing that prevents me from using this product on my face everyday is the fact that the waterproof formula causes blocked pores and results in some minor acne and milia across my forehead.  Not a huge amount, but still enough for me to avoid it.  It is more successful in winter (I'm less sweaty then and fewer blocked pores) but in summer it is a total no no.

Acnes sunscreen is a complete joke for me.  Total oil city.  I cannot use this product at all.  It is expensive too because although you only pay about $6.50 US the amount you get is TINY.  Okay, I know it is the same size as most foundation but still - it stinks.  I would avoid this one if I were you.

I think Obagi is okay, but I won't repurchase that.  It is a good sunscreen and I don't tan (or tan much at least) with this but I feel the formula is quite thick and I still get blocked pores with this.  I don't think it is really worth $17 much less $40.  I may repurchase this if it was about $15 and easy to buy.

For me the best sunscreen is the Kate Somerville Serum Sunscreen.  I don't want to like it the most, but it is the best for me in terms of non-acne inducing.  I don't break out with this.  I do get a few blocked pores, but nowhere near as much as I do with the other brands. The down side to this is the fact that it is UBER expensive ($45) and it doesn't offer as much in terms of coverage.  The formula is thinner than the rest and I do tan more using this as my base sunscreen.  I tan less using Obagi and Peter Thomas Roth.  However, since I also use foundations with some SPF in it, I feel that overall it is worth it because it doesn't break me out.

If you have recommendations for me - let me know.

The best thing about having all these sunscreens is the fact that I can still use them!  I just use them on my arms, neck and chest.  No wastage (or not as much anyway!)

Cheers for now
BV



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About Me

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Harsh but fair. NC 25-30 with problem oily skin. Fighting both pimples and wrinkles is a TOUGH job. I hope my reviews help. Still looking for the "perfect" beauty products for me. Unfortunately for me but fortunately for the beauty industry, this quest is unlikely to be over soon.