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September 28, 2011

What do you want?

September 28, 2011 | , , , , , , , , 6 Comments
Hey ladies and gents, sorry I've been MIA in recently - I definitely haven't been uploading as much as I'd like to. I've had a few assignments due in the past few days but I hope to be back uploading daily very soon. In the mean time, I'd love to know what you want from this blog.
  • Are there any new products you'd like to hear about?
  • Have you read about a new technique?
  • Do you want advice on anything hair/make up related?
Please leave a comment below and I'll do what I can for you all.


Always look your best,
Sophie
x

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September 25, 2011

And the winerrrrrrrrr issssssss..

September 25, 2011 | , , 0 comment
Chloe_M 
(I think I can safely say that's Chloe Morley)



Thank you very much to everyone who entered this competition and there will be another coming up very soon. I already have a new prize in mind.

Chloe, please Facebook or email me (skdolphins@hotmail.com) your postal address and I will send your prize out to you as soon as possible.
Thanks again everyone.


Always look your best,
Sophie
x

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Hair Care and Products.

Taken approx. two months ago just my hair was bleached and dyed.
Please excuse the poor skin and make up.
Anyone who knows me knows I'm obsessed with hair. I love hair. Anyone's hair. It doesn't have to be my own. As much as I love hair, mine is no way near in the best condition at the moment. I recently bleached it (then had to have it hacked) and dyed it red. At the moment I'm just trying to get it back to good condition.

However, before I bleached my hair I think I could say I had nice and healthy hair. Even now, I think I look after it pretty well considering I'm attempting to repair it. Tomorrow I will be uploading my tips for maintaining coloured hair.

I've compiled a list of hair product must have and my recommendations for you all. I've also researched each product and attempted to explain why you should use them. 

Shampoo & Conditioner
Shampoo is obviously a hair essential. It's a product used to remove oil, dirt, dandruff/skin and/or other pollutants that may be in your hair. When you wash your hair, the shampoo and water opens up the hair shaft to cleanse it. 

Unless you have reallllly oily hair, try not to wash it everyday. Washing hair daily strips it of its natural oils. It may also remove dye from colour treated hair

My shampoo recommendations (what I use)
  • Redken All Soft Shampoo
  • De Lorenzo Nova Fusion Colour Care Shampoo in Fire Red
After shampooing, it's vital that you condition your hair. Conditioner closes the hair follicles that have been opened by shampoo. It also aims to alter the texture and/or appearance if hair by adding moisture and protein whilst de-tangling and de-frizzing it.

My conditioner recommendations (what I use)
  • Redken All Soft Condition
  • De Lorenzo Nova Fusion Colour Care Conditioner
By the way, the Redken All Soft range is amazing and leaves hair feeling like silk.
Dry Shampoo
Dry shampoo is a water free spray (from an aerosol can) that works within the same principles as shampoo. It absorbs all the oils and nasties in hair to refresh it between washes. Some people also swear that dry shampoo adds great body and texture to hair when it's sprayed on the roots.

My dry shampoo recommendations (what I use)
  • Toni & Guy Refreshing Dry Shampoo
  • De Lorenzo (ET) Essential Treatments Absorb
Dry shampoo can sometimes leave a white residue in your hair (although you can by colour specific ones now) so be sure to brush it out.
Leave-In Conditioner
A leave-in conditioners is applied to the mid-lengths and ends of towel dried shampooed and conditioned hair. It de-tangles and moisturises hair whilst adding protein and/or lots of other goodness! I swear by mine. The type of leave-in conditioner you use should be determined by your hair type.

My leave-in conditioner recommendations (what I use or have used)
  • Redken Real Control Crema Care
  • L'Oreal Professional Expert Absolut Repair
  • Aveda Elixir Leave On Conditioner
Be sure to not use too much leave-in conditioner. You don't want your mid-lengths and/or ends to be come oily.
Hair Treatment
Hair treatments protect, moisturise and protein to hair. All hair treatments are different and they all serve a different purpose. Treatments are great for damaged hair. If possible, they should be applied weekly and left in for as long as possible. For directions on how to use hair treatments, check the packaging.

My hair treatment recommendations (what I use or have used)
  • De Lorenzo Essential Treatments Equilibrium
  • Redken Real Control Intense Renewal
  • Aveda Cherry Almond Bark Conditioning Treatment
Only apply a hair treatment to the mid-lengths and/or ends of your hair. You do not want the roots of your hair to become an oily mess.
Heat Protector
A heat protector should always be applied to hair before it is styled with heat of any kind (straightener, curler, blow dryer etc). They act as a barrier between hair and heat to prevent unnecessary damage. Although heat protectors are normally sprays, they come in many forms. 

My heat protection recommendations (what I use)
  • De Lorenzo Elements Extinguish
I use this every day, even when I don't plan on heat styling my hair. Also, heat protector can be applied to wet or dry hair.
Curl Enhance
To be honest, I don't know the logistics surrounding curl enhancers and I couldn't find necessary information online. All curl enhancers aim to tame 'wild manes', define and maintain curls whilst limiting frizz and providing hold. My hair is very temperamental. Some days it's super curly, other days it's a frizzy hot mess! I use a curl enhancer whenever I know I'll be wearing my hair out to manage it more manageable and, well, 'pretty'. 

My heat protection recommendations (what I use)
  • Aveda Be Curly
  • Rockstar Rock the Curls
  • De Lorenzo Barrel Wave
For best results, scrunch your curl enhancer through towel dried hair. The top two I've listed are definitely my favourites. De Lorenzo Barrel Wave isn't suited to my hair, however it works wonders on other people.
Sea Salt Spray
Sea salt sprays mean to mimic the effect that ocean water has on your hair. You know that awesome look your hair gets once you've been in the ocean? Yeah, that. They generally have great hold (however, spray in moderation).

My sea salt spray recommendations (what I use)
  • De Lorenzo Elements Ocean Mist
For best results, scrunch sea salt spray through towel dried hair. Seal salt sprays can also be used to enhance curls. However, in saying that, they work great on people with 'straightish' hair too by adding body and oomph. 
Mousse
Hair mousse is a light weight styling foam dispensed from an aerosol can and can be used to add volume and/or shine to hair of any type. It is often used by people with curly hair (naturally or permed) to add and define curl whilst reducing frizz. 

My hair mousse recommendations (what I use)
  • L'Oreal Professional Colour Show Volume Mousse
  • VO5 Syling Mousse
For best results, scrunch mousse through towel dried hair. Only use a small amount at a time to prevent 'crunchy' hair.

Always look your best,
Sophie
x

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September 24, 2011

GIVEAWAY UPDATE!

September 24, 2011 | , , , , , , 0 comment
Ladies and gents, regardless of the amount of followers, the give away will be drawn tomorrow at 6.00pm WST (Western Standard Time). The winner will be announced here, on this blog. They will also be contacted via their Google account.

You have 26hrs left to get in the draw to win. How? Easy! Just follow this blog. To follow, click on the 'Follow' link above my Born to Buy banner.


What's the prize? Well, I'm not telling. All I'll say is that it's some Benefit cosmetics. Yes, Benefit. 

Another competition will be coming up soon. Next will be related to the Facebook page so get in first and 'Like' on Facebook today! See the right for a 'Like' icon.

Let me know what you'd love to see in the next give away. I'll try to make it happen!


Always look your best,
Sophie
x

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My Napoleon Perdis Eyeshadow Collection

Being the Australian that I am, I'm all for buying Australian products. Napoleon Perdis is one of my favourite make up brands and I love their eye shadows. I have a number of their products, in particular their eye shadows. 
Loose Eye Dust
Left to Right: New packaging & old packaging
Left to right: New packaging with sifter & old packaging
Left to Right: #3 Turquoise, #17 Silver Grey, #19 Leaf, #20 Antique Rose, #35 Screaming Purple, #36 Champagne and Ice Storm
 I have seven loose eye dusts. 
  • #3 - Turquoise
  • #17 - Silver Grey
  • #19 - Leaf
  • #20 - Antique Rose
  • #35 - Screaming Purple
  • #36 - Champagne
  • Ice Storm 
The first six eye dusts are a part of the old packaging and have a number identification system (to find the colour of each shadow, I actually looked online). The final loose dust is a part of their new collection/packaging and just has a name, rather than a number. The new packaging also dispenses a small amount of product at a time, preventing a big mess.

I love these eye shadows! The pigmentation of each and every one is absolutely incredible! They all work amazing when worn alone, looking fun and adventurous. Teaming almost any of the colours with #17 Silver Grey can creates an easy and effective smoky eye. 

With this being said, I have trouble with #35 Screaming Purple The issue I have with it has nothing to do with the actual shadow or the colour, mind you. I'm just yet to find the best way to apply the colour without looking like, well, an idiot. 

My most used loose dust in my collection is definitely Ice Storm. I use is almost everyday to serve one purpose or another. The sparkly, white sheer colour makes a fantastic brow bone and inner corner highlighter, but it also works well as an all over lid colour when applied lightly. Ice storm can also be used as a face highlighter.

Would I recommend Napoleon Perdis loose dusts? Yes! They're amazing. I've read online that they're very comparable to MAC's eye pigments, however they're a lot cheaper.
Eye Patrol
Eye Patrol in Private Fairy
Eye Patrol in Private Fairy Swatch (sorry the lighting isn't great)
I have one Eye Patrol eye shadow in the colour Private Fairy. As far as I can tell, the whole of the Eye Patrol range are sparkly, beautifully pigmented pressed shadows. Private Fairy is such a pretty baby pink colour. It seriously looks like something Glinda the Good Witch (Wizard of Oz) would wear!


Because the colour is so pale, it can be applied on top of almost any eye shadow to add a beautiful shimmer. Be careful though, over applying this colour can make you look like you have sparkly conjunctivitis.


Would I recommend Eye Patrol products? Yes. They're such a great and diverse eye shadow. 
Colour Disc
Colour Disc #79
Colour Disc #79 swatch
I have one eye shadow Colour Disc in #79 Coral Spice. This is the only Napoleon Perdis eye shadow I've been disappointed in. Again, I'm fairly sure it has nothing to do with the product. Rather it's due to my poor colour choosing. 


A few years ago, my make up was done a few years ago by a Napoleon Perdis make up artist and this is one of the shadows she used. My problem is the colour is so coral and so pigmented that I can't apply it to my eyes without, again, looking like I have some sort of infection. Unfortunately I can't remember how the make up artist used it either.


I've read that this shadow makes a great blush but, in my opinion, it's far too pigmented to suit my skin tone. Even with a light application, I look like a clown. 


Would I recommend this product? Yes and no. I wouldn't recommend #79 but I'd definitely recommend check out the colour range. 


I really want to try the Napoleon Perdis eye shadow quads, especially #5 (a neutral eye shadow palette). If you have any of the Napoleon Perdis quads, please comment below with your thoughts.


**According to my research, Napoleon Perdis does not test on animals

Always look your best,
Sophie
x

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September 22, 2011

Maybelline "Fit Me!" Review

Fit Me! Foundation in #115, Fit Me! Pressed Powder in #115 & Fit Me! Concealer in #01 Light
As with Covergirl's "Natureluxe" range, I was very much looking forward to the release of Maybelline's "Fit Me!" range in Australia. I heard about this product months ago from Arose186 (a YouTube favourite) and have been eager to try it ever since! Again, much like Covergirl's "Natureluxe" range, one product in particular stood out to me and is my definite favourite!

Maybelline "Fit Me!" is a new range of foundations, concealers, pressed powders, blushes and bronzers designed to help women find their best shades. The foundations are coded by numbers which then translate to the right shade of other face products (concealers, pressed powders, blushes and bronzers, as mentioned above). I haven't explained it the best I  can, sorry! The best information can be found at your local Maybelline stockist (chemist, Kmart, Big W, Target, Priceline etc..)

As I said, I wanted to try the range out but I wasn't prepared to pay full price for up to five items. Anyway, I took advantage of Priceline's promotion and bought the foundation, concealer and pressed powder for $30.00. What a great way to try out products!

Fit Me! Foundation
Fit Me! Foundation in #115
As far as application goes, I could not fault this product. It's a lot runnier that Revlon's Colorstay, making accessing the foundation a lot easier. It was also very easy to apply and blend and had fantastic initial coverage. I wore the foundation under the Fit Me! concealer and pressed powder to test the products in conjunction with each other. 

I applied this product as I do any foundation and did not change my routine at all (same primer etc). As normal, I applied this product as I got ready in the morning, about 7.00am, and arrived home about 4.00pm. I could hardly believe what I saw when I got home and looked in the mirror. There was basically no product on my face. It looked as if it had 'lifted' off the surface or something, I'm not too sure how to explain it. Either way, there was hardly any product left on my face. The only spots with coverage were those that I'd applied the concealer too. 

I also found that I have to set this product multiple times throughout the day, as my face became shiny and that's just not attractive. I've read that some people love this foundation though, so I'm thinking that it might not be the best for combination skin. 

**ADDITIONAL NOTE: I've done some research and everyone will oily skin has had similar feedback. It's not for all us oily peeps!**

Fit Me! Pressed Powder
Fit Me! Pressed Powder in #115
To be honest, I don't know what I think of this product. I bought the colour that the my foundation matched but I've found it to be far too light. In the store I contemplated purchasing the next shade up, however it looked as though it had very yellow undertones. Not the best for an albino woman like myself. 

As I mentioned, I had to reapply this product throughout the day when I wore the Fit Me! range. I'm not sure whether the foundation or the pressed powder gave me the shine I was talking about above, but it happened. As I said, I just don't think the products (foundation and pressed powder) are suited to my skin type.

Also, don't be fooled - This powder has very little coverage.

Fit Me! Concealer
Fit Me! Concealer in #01 Light
I love this concealer, actually! The doe foot applicator isn't the best for concealer application, but I use my ring finger anyway so that's not an issue. The coverage of this product is fantastic. It blends so easily and the colouring is so right for me. This is a great overall concealer. It works amazingly under the eyes, as well as on blemishes or skin pigmentation. 
Left to Right: Fit Me! foundation in 115, concealer in 1 and pressed powder in 115
Unfortunately, I only like 1 of the 3 products I've tried from the "Fit Me!" range. My full size Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser arrived yesterday, so exciting! I've been wearing that with the Fit Me! concealer and my loose powder and I haven't had any issues. I get long lasting, ALL DAY coverage!

Would I recommend these products to someone else? I would recommend the foundation to those with normal/dry skin. It could work wonders for them! If you're pale and want to give it a try, let me know. I'd be happy to depot some and send you a sample. I'd recommend this concealer to everyone and anyone.

Will I be trying anything else from the Fit Me! range? You betcha! I'm so pale and, therefore, very cautious about buying bronzer. I want to buy the pale skin bronzer and see how it works for me. If you use it, what do you think?


**Unfortunately, according my research, Maybelline do test on animals


Always look your best,
Sophie
x

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September 21, 2011

YouTube Gurus

I'm a massive YouTube junkie when it comes to make up and hair. I love watching vlogs (video blogs), hauls, tutorials and anything else they can through at me. When it comes to beauty gurus, I have two favourite. 


I know Elle and Blair Fowler are probably two of the most well known YouTube beauty gurus, but I'm not a massive fan. If you don't know of them, they're two American beauty gurus that started out in 2008 and are now, basically, celebrities. Together their channels have received over 224 millions hits (so I guess they must be doing something right!). The girls have been interview on major talk shows and been featured in magazines. One of the girls, Blair, was so focused on her YouTube career that she left school to be home schooled, allowing her more time to work on her videos. A lot of their videos are sponsored and very commercial so, to me, they're no longer 'fun' to watch. I know some people who love them though, so they're definitely work checking out! Make up your own opinions. (Although I don't like their videos, their online store is awesome: check out Glitzy Glam for all sorts of awesome things!)


I just thought I'd get those two out of the way first up 'cos it's hardly possible to do a beauty guru blog without referencing them! But now we'll get onto my favourite.


Arose186 is the YouTube channel of 16 year old American beauty guru, Arden Rose. I just love her. Her channel has a focus on make up (hauls, tutorials, reviews etc) but she has the occasional hair tutorial or fashion video. What I love about Arden is that she's hilarious. She's so funny. She's a YouTube guru with a total Video Upload View of 6 016 068 (as of 5.09pm, 21/9/2011) but, as far as I can tell, doesn't take herself too seriously. 

She uses a lot of 'drugstore' products, as well at the more high end products, so it's good to see she doesn't limit herself to the biggest and the best.

A few months ago, Arden was a lot more dedicated to her channel. She uploaded a video almost every few days. Lately, however, her uploads have become a lot less frequent which I find disappointing. Why? BECAUSE I FREAKING LOVE HER.

Meghanrosetteis the YouTube channel of another American beauty guru, Meghan Rosette. Who'da thunk it, right? I don't know how old she is exactly, but she says she's going off to 'college' soon so I think about 18. Correct me if I'm wrong.

I love Meghan. She's almost my favourite guru now. I came across her when I was looking through Arden's recommendations, trying to find someone to watch now her uploads aren't as frequent. I loved what I found! Meghan is hilarious. In her words, she just doesn't give a shit. Again, her channel has a focus on make up (hauls, tutorials, reviews etc) but she has the occasional hair tutorial or fashion video.

In a lot of ways, she is actually quite similar to Arose186 (Arden Rose) but I just feel that I can relate to her even better. Her tutorials are always super fantastic, she uses a great range of products and, best of all, SHE'S HONEST. You can tell she doesn't put on a 'YouTube act'. With Meghan, I'm sure that what you see is what you get. If you're still not convinced, check out Meghan's into video by clicking here. It's great!


Anyway, that's about it. I watch other gurus occasionally but these are the only two I'm subscribed to on YouTube and the only two I check for new videos daily. If you like one, you'll like the other. Check them out! Also, think you've seen Arden before? That might be because I linked one of her videos (How to Pull Off Red Lips) on my red lipstick blog.

If you have a favourite guru that isn't listed, please let me know. I always want to check out new people.


Always look your best,
Sophie
x

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September 20, 2011

Initial thoughts on Maybelline Fit Me!

September 20, 2011 | 2 Comments
Priceline Promotion until September 26
I bought three products from the Maybelline "Fit Me!" range yesterday for $30, as part of a current Priceline promotion (see above photo for details). I purchased the liquid foundation, pressed powder and concealer. Today was the first day I wore it and, to be honest, I'm not impressed.

The foundation is runny, has good coverage and is great to apply but, by this afternoon, my make up wore off and looked kinda gross. I wore the same primer as I do with my Revlon Colorstay (Laura Mercier Oil-Free Primer) but I just wasn't happy with the results this afternoon. After application my face looked flawless, don't get me wrong, but the results didn't last.

With all this being said, I love the concealer! It's absolutely amazing. The colour is great, it blends incredibly well and it stays on really well.

This is just a mini review, guys. I've only worn it for a day but I just wanted to tell you my initial thoughts. Hopefully I'll do a more comprehensive review soon.

If you have any of the Fit Me! products, let me know what you think. Maybe the foundation isn't suited to Normal/Oily skin..

In other news, my Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser arrived today! Can't wait to put it on.


Always look your best,
Sophie
x

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September 19, 2011

Online Shopping

Anyone who knows me at all knows I love to shop online. LOVE IT. I buy so much online, especially make up. The variety available in Australia is fairly limited, so it's the only way to buy some exclusive American brands (E.L.F., for one). You can also get things so much cheaper which is obviously a bonus!.

Buying online is fun. I know some people are irritated by the thought of waiting around for something to arrive, but I love it. Every day feels like Christmas. Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating a little but you all get my point. 

I don't have a credit card, I'd go bankrupt if I had one of those bad boys. Instead, I have a debit card. Debit cards are the same concept but you're spending your money, not that banks. Also, as a bonus, MY CARD IS PINK.

Here are my favourite online websites and stores. If this doesn't revolutionise the way you shop and save you money, I don't know what will! 

 My biggest shopping centre is eBay. I buy almost everything from there; DVDs, jewellery, stationery, presents and, of course, make up! With the Australian dollar being so good at the moment, buying online is even more exciting than usual! If you want to buy something, ALWAYS CHECK THE PRICE ON EBAY FIRST! At the moment I'm waiting on four things that I've bought (Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser, E.L.F. blush and bronzer duo, Benefit kit inc. the blog prize and Parenthood Season 2 on DVD). 

I always look on www.ebay.com rather than www.ebay.com.au. It has a much larger, and cheaper, collection and most sellers ship worldwide or to Australia.


This seller ships worldwide - Find this bar on the right hand side
I've never had an issue with purchasing a 'fake' product off eBay but it cam be prevented! It's important to check a seller's feedback rating prior to purchasing a product. Make sure you've check the rating (and then look at some written feedback if you have concerns) before you place a bid or press 'Buy it Now'. I don't buy from a seller with a rating of 95% or under. 
Seller of my Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser and their feedback - 100% positive
This site aims to make international brands available in Australia. They sell NYX, NYC, E.L.F., China Glaze, Lime Crime and so much more. I was so excited when I found this site. So excited. As a big YouTube addict, I become super interested in getting my hands on some good E.L.F. products. When I came across the Crush Cosmetics site, they EyesLipsFace (E.L.F.) website was pretty 'average' (but it's been improved so much now and it's almost the same as the US one). 

Their prices are super reasonable and they ship free to Australia was orders over $60. I haven't bought anything off here yet, but I have a massssive Crush Cosmetics shopping list. I'll be placing my epic order soon.

Again, I haven't bought anything from Glossi yet but I have a big list! They sell drugstore brands for a reduced price, which is awesome. I know, I know - It sounds stingy but it's not. They sell Revlon Colorstay for $19.95 as opposed to $37.95 in stores. Bargain, right? Right! 

I'd love to be able to tell you about their shipping fees, but I can't. All orders of 500g and over have shipping charges that are determined by your postcode. Sorry ladies. Check this site out though. Their range is incredible.

This site is great for make up lovers on a budget! They aim to sell their products for about half of retail price, although some a crazy discounted! You might find that your product becomes unboxed or with damaged packaging, but does that matter? You've got make up at so much cheaper!

The stock changes constantly as their product availability does so remember to check in often! They sell MAC, NARS, Stila, Bobbi Brown, Chanel, Revlon and so much more. 


OzSale is a free Australian members only shopping club. The host a number of different sales (beauty, men, woman, children, home, food+wine and more). The products listed on their site are always greatly discounted and/or 'exclusive'. They have some awesome stuff on here! Remember to check it regularly as it's updated frequently and you don't want to miss out out on an awesome sale!

This is another Australian online shopping club with free membership. It generally features one product (although it had an EPIC make up sale recently) a one day only. The product is changed at midday EST. CHECK IT OUT.

Trust me guys, these stores are all awesome!

Please note - No websites are listed as all the names are linked to the sites. Also, please leave a comment with your favourite online stores!!


Always look your best,
Sophie
x

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Tiny Hand With Heart