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October 31, 2011

October Beauty Favourites + Giveaway

I can't believe today is the last day of October! Where does the time go? Oh gosh, I sound like an old woman! Anyway, I have a list of beauty products that I've been loving the guts out of this month, so let's get into it.

Firstly I'm just going to list (and link) all the the products that I've already reviewed so I don't go around repeating myself.

I know I've already reviewed those products but I've been loving them this month so I had to repeat myself just a little!

On my recent trip to MAC I managed to score myself a sample of the highly sought after Paint Pot in Bare Study. I absolutely love this eye product. It's a beautiful yellow based champagne colour, with a perfect amount of shimmer. This eye product is extremely creamy and blends really well. It's such a fantastic eyeshadow base and works so well with almost any eye look.

A few weeks before my trip to MAC, when I was testing out products to decide what I wanted, I went on another shopping trip where I managed to get my hands on six different make up samples. One of these products was an eye base I'd wanted to try for the longest time, Stila's Smudge Pot in Kitten! This product is much like the MAC Paint Pot in Bare Study, and can be used for the exact same thing. The colour is also very similar, however this has a really pretty pink undertone, rather than yellow. If I'm not wearing my MAC Paint Pot sample, I'll be wearing this.

I love the guts out of my MAC Select Cover Up concealer.  Again, this product was bought on my recent trip to MACI really like the consistency and coverage of this concealer and it's the perfect colour for me, blending really well. This concealer works really well when applied with a concealer brush or finger and the application type can be determined by the amount of coverage you're looking for (for more coverage, apply with a brush rather than patting the product on with your finger).

I recently bought the first ever liquid eyeliner that I've been able to apply nicely, which is so exciting! I've tried a lot of other liquid eyeliners, including MAC's Viva Glam Gaga one, and I've never been happy with the application. Until now! This product has a really nice brush (or do I call it a tip?) which makes eyeliner application a breeze. The colour (I have it in black) is really nice and it doesn't smudge! I would definitely recommend this liner.

Lately I've been loving my Napoleon Perdis Set Cruise Blush in Atlantic, as featured in my Products I Can't Live Without post. It's a cream blush in stick form and I love the peachy pink colour of Atlantic! This blush gives my cheeks a more natural looking flush and it's perfect for summer. I think I'll be using a lot of this product this summer.

My Garnier Pure Active Exfo-Brush cleanser, also mentioned in my Products I Can't Live Without post, is one of the best cleanser I've ever tried. I've been using this cleanser for months now and have been very happy with it, but never really used the exfoliating brush head. About 4 days ago I started using the brush head every time I cleansed my skin and I can already notice the results. My skin is a lot clearer and my existing blemishes started to minimise in size almost instantly.

My last favourite is one that I've already posted a review on, but I wanted to include it anyway. My Stila Light Up The World Colour Trend palette is one of my most used eye products this month. I've used it almost every day since I got it, and I just love it! The colours are all super pretty and work amazingly well with each other.

Anyway ladies, that's all for this month. I wanted to do a giveaway with one of my favourites so here goes! Comment below with your favourite October beauty product and a random winner will win a Stila Light Up The World Colour Trend palette. Yes that's right, a Stila eyeshadow palette.


Competition ends and will be announced on Monday, 7th November at 6.00pm WST.


Always look your best,
Sophie
x

October 30, 2011

Summer Make Up Tips Competition Winner..

Thanks to everyone who entered the Summer Make Up Tips competition. You all submitted awesome tips, some of which I can't wait to try out. I've had a difficult time deciding which person I feel should win, to be honest, as each person has looked at a different area of the beauty world. I'm aware that sounds like a line but it's the truth, I swear!
Anyway, enough of the nonsense. And the winner of this week's giveaway issssssssssss ... 

impossibleblot
"My best tip is actually a setting spray (I use the Urban Decay one). As we've discussed before my extremely oily skin (even in the dead of winter!) means that pretty much everything slides off my face."
Thanks so much for the tip, impossibleblot! There's nothing I love more than a product recommendation, especially one for oily skin. Please contact me here, or via the BornToBuy facebook page, to organise the postage of your Manicare Precision Blending Sponge

Anyway folks, that's it for tonight. Stay tuned for an October Favourites post (with competition) which will be uploaded tomorrow. 

Always look your best,
Sophie
x

October 28, 2011

Products I Can't Live Without.

With my last post, Products I Regret Buying, being so negative, I wanted to lift my mood by sharing all the products that I can't live without. Some of these are going to be a given, considering they feature in a lot of my post, but others are new to Born to Buy. 

The first is one that I'm sure you're all expecting from me, my Laura Mercier Oil-Free Tinted Moisturiser. I could rave about this product for years so, instead, I'll link you to my review of all three of the Laura Mercier tinted moisturisers. Click here to see all three but, remember, this is about the oil-free! 

I haven't changed the mascara I use in about 8 months (don't get me wrong, I've bought new tubes)  and that's because I've finally found one I absolutely love, Max Factor's Lash Extension Effect. I love everything about this product so, again, I'll link you to my Max Factor Lash Extension Effect mascara review here.

As seen in my review, I love the Manicare Precision Blending Sponge and I could not live without it. I know that for a fact. Last week I washed my sponge and couldn't remember where I put it (turns out it was in the bathroom where I washed it, go figure). I literally freaked out. It felt so unnatural to be applying my tinted moisturiser with my fingers.

My Fudge Paintbox Cherry Bomb hair colour, as featured in my Looking After Red Hair post, is a life saver, along with DeLorenzo's Nova Fusion colour care shampoo in Fire Red. These two products help me to maintain my red hair.

I love my Napoleon Perdis Set Cruise Blushes, especially in Atlantic. They're cream blush in stick form and I find them to be a really great options for cheek colour when it comes to spring/summer. I really like these so stay tuned for a full review.

I love Benefit's PosieTint cheek/lip stain. It's another great summer product! When applied to cheeks it provides you with a natural and pale pink flush. It also makes a fantastic lip stain for the same reason.

My skin routine isn't the most comprehensive one out there, but it does the job for me. Actually no, I need a new moisturiser (if anyone knows of a good mattifying moisturiser, please leave the name in a comment below). Anyway, I love the Garnier Pure Active Exfo-Brush cleanser. It's a product with a cleanser and an exfoliating brush head. The cleanser works great for me on its own but I've started using the Exfo-Brush everytime and my skin is starting to feel and look amazing. Score!


That's all for now, folks, but I hope to add to this list soon. Until then, comment below with a list of products you CAN'T live without. You know I'd love to hear them!

Always look your best,

Sophie
x

October 27, 2011

5000 views!

October 27, 2011 | , , , 0 comment
Guys, this is so exciting! Born to Buy has reached the 5000 view milestone. Not only that, we got there in under two months. That's just insane. So thankful to everyone who linked this blog on their Facebook or done their part!

Anyway, I also wanted to tell you guys that Born to Buy has gotten Twitter. Woohoo. I'm still learning but I'm getting there. Head over to Twitter and say hi, please. 

That's all for today, folks. I hoped to upload a follow-up to Products I Regret Buying with a Products I Can't Live Without post, but I'm feeling sick and I'm not quite up to the challenge. Stay tuned though, it will be up soon!

Also, I'll be announcing my favourite beauty tip (and winner of a Manicare Precision Blending Sponge) on Sunday at 6pm. You still have over 48 hours to enter, so please share your tips with the world. Click here for more information and for my summer make up tips.

Always look your best,
Sophie
x

October 25, 2011

Products I Regret Buying.

This may seem like a lot of products but it's an accumulation of months (maybe even years) of products that I don't like. Please remember that these products are not 'right' for me and I just don't like them. This post does not mean that there is anything wrong with them, they're just not for me.  

So, with that being said, let's get into it because there's quite a few products that I'm not a fan of and, well, I regret buying.

FACE
The first five products I regret buying are foundations/powders and they can basically be divided into two categories, bad on my skin and the wrong colour.

I was disappointed by Maybelline Fit Me! foundation, as well as Covergirl NatureLuxe Liquid Silk foundation. Both foundations have a really nice texture, especially Covergirl NatureLuxe Liquid Silk, and have shades that work really well for me. I have oily/comdination skin (as you all probably know by now) and neither of these foundations work for me. I found that both gave me a really unattractive 'sheen' after a few hours, making my skin look oily and disgusting. Both products were applied as I do with any base, yet I had to set my face multiple times with a powder throughout the day.

I have two MAC foundations that I'm really not happy with. I don't think this has anything to do with the product, they're just totally the wrong colour. I have MAC's Studio Fix Fluid in NC20 and their Studio Sculpt fluid in NC15. I was colour matched for the Studio Fix, yet it's totally the wrong colour for me. I've since used it in the right colour, NW20, and I actually really like it! I stupidly ordered Studio Sculpt online. Before ordering it, I researched the product and a lot of people recommended buying it in a shade lighter than what you normally are in MAC foundation. With that in mind, I ordered it in NC15 (when I thought I was an NC20). This foundation is white. Literally white. It looks like milk. Moral of the story? Get properly colour matched for everything!


My Maybelline Fit Me! pressed powder is in Light #115 is ridiculously light too! Again, it's white! It doesn't match my Maybelline Fit Me! foundation at all, even though it's the matching powder, and it I just look ridiculous whenever I wear it.


I bought the Elizabeth Arden Green Tea Skincare Energizing Moisture Lotion (I know, why can't they just call it moisturiser?) off StrawberryNet. It was on sale for a ridiculous amount and I was running out of moisturiser so I thought I'd give it a go. I'm definitely not a fan of this. The fragrance is strange, yet not overpowering. I really like the consistency though, even though it's really quite watery. I feel like this product makes my skin really oily. It's definitely a shinier whenever I wear it so I no longer apply it prior to foundation application. I've discovered it's not worth it. I will, however, sometimes apply it at night after cleansing. This way I feel as though my skin is still receiving the moisture. In saying this, I've recently had a break out on my forehead and the only thing that's changed is this product. Uh oh!




CHEEKS
Obviously I can't make my mind up about this product - E.L.F. Contouring Blush and Bronzing Powder. I'm fairly impressed with the blush side of the duo, but I don't like the chunks of glitter in it. Luckily they don't transfer to the skin, however. Thing is, I really dislike the bronzer side. It's a muddy colour that's insanely hard to blend, in my opinion. It claims to be a fantastic bronzing powder, but I find that difficult to believe. The colour is all wrong for contouring on me, it's hard to blend and the glitter chunks, again, seem to be out of place. In saying all this, some people on YouTube RAVE about this product so maybe I'm just picky. 



EYES
As mentioned in my Napoleon Perdis Eyeshadow Collection post, I have a NP colour disc shadow in #79 Coral Spice. I have no idea why I bought this colour, it was stupid. It's such a pigmented coral shade that, no matter how it's applied, makes me look like I have some sort of eye condition. I find this eyeshadow really difficult to blend (due to intense pigmentation) and it's just not for me. This is one product I definitely need to give away.


I hate the Covergirl Nature Luxe Mousse mascara and I definitely regret buying it. I'm not going to go any further into this product because it has it's own range review so click on the link to check it out.


I have two coloured eyeliners that I bought and basically never used, Covergirl Exact EyeLights Brightening Liner #710 Radiant Sapphire (for blue eyes) and Australis Stayput Eyeliner in Vixen (a matte purple). I'm not too sure why I bought these (I think I was trying to be funky, to be honest) but yes, I definitely regret it. The blue one isn't so bad but the purple, regardless of how I apply it, always makes me look like I've been punched right in the eye.


LIPS
I'm not a huge fan of my Covergirl Outlast Lipstain in #415 Teasing Blush. I really like the application of this product (although my pen has dried up fairly quickly) and the colour is super pretty when swatched on my hand. However, when I apply this product, it's far too dark for me. I bought what seemed to be a fairly light shade, yet it comes out soo bright (so deep that it's almost bright red). For the record, I was after a musky pink colour. I'm fairly sure that my lips are quite dark naturally, so I don't think this is the fault of the lipstain.


That's all folks! As I said, this wasn't intended on being a whinge-fest. If you guys know a good version of basically ANYTHING I regret buying (lip stain and moisturisers especially), please let me know in a comment. I'd also love to hear about your make up regrets. Share your info, ladies, and don't let other people make the same mistakes.

Always look your best,
Sophie 
x

October 23, 2011

Buy Pink and be Breast Aware, 2011

 With over 2800 breast cancer related deaths in women each year within Australia, breast cancer is one of the leading causes of female cancer related deaths.


October is International Breast Cancer Month, aiming to raise awareness and funds for the disease. 

A large range of organizations/ companies have released products to support International Breast Cancer Month, most of which are pink. A percentage of the profits from these products will go to the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF), so try to be breast aware and buy pink! 

  • AVEDA: First off, I (Sophie) highly recommend this brand and this hand cream! The Aveda Hand Relief is an intensive hand cream that's all natural and smells amazing! Aveda has released a Breast Cancer edition of this hand cream, which retails for $44.95. With each purchase, US$4.00 is donated to the NBCF to support cruelty-free research.
  • BIO ORGANICS: Bio Organics will donate 10c per product purchased from their cranberry range (includes Cranberry MAX 20000 and Cranberry 10000+)
  • BOBBI BROWN: Bobbi Brown aims to empower all women. They have released a limited edition Lip Set (including a High Shimmer Lip Gloss and a Pink Lip Colour). This lip set retails for $86.00, yet a whopping $40.00 from each sale of this product with be donated to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Please keep in mind that, according to the website, this product is available exclusively at www.bobbibrowncosmetics.com.au
  • BRAS 'N' THINGS: All profits from their Pink Ribbon Environmental Tote Bag will be donated to the NBCF 
  • CEDEL: Looking for dry shampoo (or other haircare products, for that matter)? Buy Cedel! Although I'm unable to find out exactly how much is donated from each purchase, Cedel is a Silver Partner of the NBCF and has donated of $75 000 to the fund!
  • CHOCOLATIER AUSTRALIA: Depending on the product purchased, Chocolatier Australia donates up to 40c per product to the NBCF. 
  • CLINIQUE LIPS: Clinique has released a limited edition key ring (rrp $35.00)- Great Lips, Great Cause. This key ring has the NBCF symbol (the pink ribbon), a Clinique 'C' charm and three mini glosses. For each lip gloss sold, Clinique will donate $5.00 to the NBCF.
  • CLINIQUE SKIN: Clinique has a released a limited edition bottle of their best selling product, the Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion (rrp $110.00). Due to it's large popularity (one is sold ever 4.8 seconds), Clinique aims to raise a large amount of money for the NBCF by donating $20 for each bottle sold.
  • CUISINART: Everyone loves ice cream, so why not take this opportunity to buy an ice cream maker this month and donate at the same time?! Cuisinart are Gold Partners of the National Breast Cancer Foundation and donate $5 for each Cuisinart Pink Ice Cream Maker (rrp $119.00) sold. YUM!
  • DOUBLE A COPY PAPER: With every ream of Double A A4 Copy Paper bought from Officeworks, Officeworks Business of Office Max, you're helping raise $100 00 for the NBCF.
  • DOVE: Dove has a range of Pink body products including deodorants, beauty bar, body wash, hair care and body lotion. They have been a partner of the NBCF for 6 years and, in that time, have donated over $700 000 to the foundation.
  • GHD: In eight years, GHD has raised over $2.5million for the NBCF across Australia and New Zealand. The Pink Orchid Limited Edition is the newest Pink straightener available, and is set to feature 'all new' hair technology. For every purchase of the Pink Orchid Limited Edition straightener set, GHD will donate $20.00 to the NBCF
  • OPI: OPI has had a 7 year partnership with the NBCF and have released a limited edition shatter nail polish in Pink Ribbon. 100% of the profits of this polish goes to the Foundation, and OPI aims to raise an additional $25 000.
  • PALMER'S: 30c from each purchased of Palmer's Cocoa Butter will be donated.
  • UNIVERSAL PICTURES: Universal Pictures has released a selection of Pink Ribbon DVD packs, retailing for $19.95. 50c from the sale of each pack will be donated to the NBCF. 

Please remember, these aren't all the products available for purchase. I've tried to mainly included beauty products, so click here for a more comprehensive list. 

October 22, 2011

Maz's Musings: American Crew Tea Tree Body Wash

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been washing myself with all varieties of mass-market body washes you would find in a large grocery store. Usually these body washes would come in 1-litre pump packs. They either smelt like rotting fruit or washing powder even if their exotic labels promised a delicate concoction of white pearl and ylang-ylang.

The worst offenders, though, are men’s body washes. If one is shopping in a supermarket they are left with buying the rubbish ‘Lynx’ type of soaps that are squarely aimed at teenage boys. Once you’re 21, you supposedly “upgrade” to a sensible and gentlemanly wash like ‘Norsca’ or ‘Palmolive for Men’ – what you get is a generic blue gel that smells like pine detergent and cheap white wine.

Coming Up..

I have some very exciting in store for all your ladies with a man friend. My brother in law, let's call him Maz, has volunteered  to do a selection of reviews for male products. I've had this requested a few times and, unfortunately, I'm not equipped for such a task so I outsourced. 

Maz recently discovered StrawberryNet and has been trying a number of different male products ever since. He's had a variety of reactions, good and bad, to products and I can't wait to hear what he's got in store for us.

Stay tuned for Maz's Musings!

Always look your best,
Sophie
x

October 21, 2011

Summer Make Up Tips

With summer fast approaching, I thought it was time to share some of my favourite make up tips with you all. Some of these are more summer specific, however others are fitting all year round.
  • PROTECT YOUR SKIN: Protect your skin from the sun, especially in summer! Use a moisturiser or primer with a high SPF, along with a base (tinted moisturiser or foundation) with it, to prevent sun damage.
  • GO LIGHTER: Consider using a lighter base (e.g. Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser or Covergirl NautureLuxe Foundation) in summer. Light bases are a lot less likely to look 'cakey' or 'melt off' on a hot day. More importantly, they will look a lot more natural. Give your skin time to breathe, ladies. Consider concealing imperfections/blemishes and wearing a light coverage powder on casual days.
  • BE COLOUR MATCHED: Make sure you're wearing the right colour base, no matter what it is. You may find that you need two bases (one for winter, one for summer) to accommodate for changes in skin tone, as a result of tanning. If necessary, bronzer may be appropriate with existing bases.
  • DON'T OVER BRONZE: Bronzers are meant to add warmth, depth and colour to faces, not alter the colour altogether. Unless it's necessary, refrain from applying bronzer to your whole face and, instead, brush it across the highest points of your face (e.g. forehead, chin, cheekbones nose etc). Try not to use a bronzer with shimmer in it. For a more natural and sun kissed look, go for a matte bronzer that is a few shades darker than your skin tone.
  • PREVENT SHINE: People (definitely me) find that their faces are prone to excessive oil surfacing, especially on their t-zone and/or during summer. Consider using a mattifying primer and/or moisturiser to manage it. Blotting paper is also a great way to control oil build up during the day.
  • HIGHLIGHT: Highlighting your face adds dimension to it, much like a good bronzer, whilst providing the sun with something to reflect off.
  • LOOK AFTER YOUR LIPS: Look after your lips, ladies! The sun, and constant hot weather, can be very drying and harsh on innocent lips. Try to use lip products (with SPF, if possible) that will nourish and moisturise your lips, whilst protecting them.
  • BUY WATERPROOF: Consider purchasing the waterproof equivalent of your favourite mascara. We're bound to get hot and sweaty during the summer months, so invest in a waterproof mascara to prevent running. This also ensure you're prepared for impromptu swims.
  • MIX IT UP: Summer is all about colour! Opt for light and bright colours, or neutral colours to accentuate natural beauty. Bright colours also make your skin glow, which is a great bonus. Baby pink or peach blushes and lip sticks, as opposed to deep colours or browns, enhance features whilst adding a natural flush to your face.
  • SOPHIE'S TIP: Have some great tools. Have a couple of great brushes or sponges to ensure your make up is applied flawlessly every time. You don't necessarily need ridiculously expensive brushes to achieve fantastic make up.
Remember, these are just my tips. In saying that, it's time for me to hear yours! I'd love to read your tried and tested make up tips. I'd really like to do a 'Make Up Application Tips and Tricks' post very soon! Before I write it though, as I said, I'd love to read your tips. To me there's nothing better than someone else's opinion.

Not only do I want to read your tips, but I want to give a prize to my favourite tip/trick. Comment below with your tips and tricks for make up application and/or anything else beauty related to win a Manicare Precision Blending Sponge and add another great tool to your kit (see the final tip).

Always look your best,
Sophie
x

October 20, 2011

Stila Light Up The World Color Trend Palette

Light Up The World was the 2011 Spring Collection by Stila Cosmetics. I'm finding it difficult to source information on the collection (including products), however I'm fairly sure it was a range of eye, lip and face products. Not too helpful, I know, sorry!

I only have one product from this collection, the Light Up The World Color Trend Eyeshadow Palette. According to my research, this palette retailed approximately $40.00+AUD. Somehow I was lucky enough to find this in a store near me for $10.00. Yes, $10.00!! I'd never heard of it before but, for that price, how could I refuse?
Packaged Stila Light Up The World color trend eyeshadow palette 
Closed palette  
Open palette
The palette contains ten really pretty eyeshadows that range in colours from different shades of bronze, nudes, purple and brown.
Left to right: Sugar, Light, Peaceful, Bronze & Dawn 
Left to right: Precious, Demure, Delicate, Sangria, Truffle 
I really like these all the colours. They're all ridiculously pigmented and, apart from the super dark ones (e.g. demure, sangria and truffle), they blend extremely well.

The palette comes with a double ended shadow brush but, to be honest, I haven't really used it. 
Double ended brush included in palette
Another 'cool' thing about this palette is the the little 'look book' that comes with it (somehow I've misplaced mine but I'll upload photos). The book contains instructions and photos for four make up looks. I haven't given any of these looks a try but I'll get back to you guys soon when I hopefully upload a 'look'.

Would I recommend this palette? Heck yes I would! It's one of the most versatile palettes I've ever come across. I haven't yet found a colour combination that doesn't look absolutely awesome and all the shadows I've tried look awesome by themselves. At the time of purchase I bought not one or two, but three of these bad boys. One was for me, one for one of my sisters and, you got it, one for a lucky winner! Stay tuned to find out how to win this awesome prize.

Always look your best,
Sophie
x

October 19, 2011

Manicare Precision Blending Sponge

October 19, 2011 | , , , , 4 Comments
Used Precision Blending Sponge. I hope to upload a photo of an
unopened one soon.
I've never been one for flat foundation brushes. I'm not sure if it's the brush quality or my technique, but I find my foundation always streaks when I apply it with one. Because of this, I've always applied my foundation (or my Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser) with clean fingers. 

Whilst YouTubing one day I came across the Beauty Blender. The Beauty Blender is an egg shaped pink sponge designed to create a 'professional finish and flawless complexion'. I haven't found any Australian stores to buy one from and online it appears to sell for approximately $25.00. Anyway, I just can't justify spending that amount of money (with additional postage) on a make up sponge, regardless of how good it is.

It was from there that I found the Manicare Precision Blending Sponge. This purple sponge is shaped almost exactly like Sonia Kashuk's Blending Sponge and is a great way to apply liquid foundations, concealer (the tip of the sponge works great for applying and dispersing concealer), cream blushes and/or liquid bronzers.

The sponge can be used wet or dry. For best results, apply a very small amount of water (or wet it then wring it out, depending on the amount of coverage you want) to the sponge. The water assists in blending the product to prevent streaking and/or cakiness.

As mentioned, the narrow tip is great for applying concealer or foundation to blemishes under the eye or around the nose. The round base is great for applying foundation to cheeks, chins, foreheads and basically anywhere else. Although I've never tried it, I would also imagine that the base would also be great for cream blush application. 


As you can probably tell, I really like this sponge. I love the way it applies my make up and the finish it gives my skin. Approximately 90% of the time I use this sponge, I use it wet. I find it makes the coverage flawless and uses less product that a normal, porous sponge would.

Since purchasing, I've only washed this sponge once. I used a shampoo that didn't work well with my hair to remove excess product from the sponge. One good thing about the Beauty Blender is that there's a specially formulated BlenderCleanser, but I found the shampoo worked well.

This sponge retails for $7.99 from Priceline or $6.86 from Big W. Check it out. For under $10.00, what have you got to lose?

Would I recommend this sponge? Definitely. I love it. It's a great way to apply foundation for an effortless and flawless result. Plus, if you really like it you may want to invest in the Beauty Blender (or the Sonia Kashuk Blending Sponge).

Anyway, that's my favourite tool for foundation application. What's yours?

Always look your best,
Sophie
x

October 18, 2011

E.L.F. Contouring Blush and Bronzing Powder

October 18, 2011 | , , , , , 1 Comment
For those of you that don't know, E.L.F. (Eyes Lips Face) is an American make up brand that I feel is very comparable to the discount Australian make up brand, BYS (Be YourSelf).

Unfortunately, I don't know E.L.F. product well enough to comment on the quality of them. However, I hope to familiarise myself with them in the coming months. In saying that, my favourite YouTube guru, Arden Rose, also uses their products so they must be doing something right.


There are a number of E.L.F. products I'd love to try. First one my list, and the only one I have so far, is the E.L.F. Contouring Blush and Bronzing Powder. I ordered this online approximately a week before I went away recently and it had arrived by the time I got home. Yay. 
This duo contains a peachy coloured blush and a yellow brown bronzer. I've done a lot of research on this duo and it seems to be an almost exact dupe for NARS blush/bronzer duo in Orgasm/Laguna.
The blush is a peachy pink colour with a gold shimmer/sparkle, much like NARS' Orgasm blush. Not a lot of this shimmer transfers when applied, and I love this colour on the apples of my cheeks.

I'm not a huge fan of the bronzer. I've found that it makes my skin look quite 'dirty' as it doesn't ever blend well for me. Again, it's a brown powder with gold shimmer/sparkle. 

I've read a lot of reviews about how this bronzer is great for contouring cheekbones, but I'm not exactly convinced. To be honest, I don't think that shimmery bronzers ever work well as contour colours. In saying that, I've seen many photos and tutorials where this is an excellent contouring bronzer so maybe I'm just not very good. I think the issues I have with using this to contour has something to do with the blendability issues I have (however others say it blends well) and my lack of a good contour brush at the moment. I'm expecting a new one very soon though, hopefully that will help.

Remember, the bronzer in this duo is extremely pigmented. Be sure to use sparingly, with a light hand, and to tap off excess prior to application. 

Don't get me wrong, I like this duo. I'm slowly getting used to the intense pigmentation of the bronzer and I've loved the blush from the very beginning. 

Where can you get this product? Unfortunately, as far as I am aware, this product (and the whole E.L.F. brand) is unavailable for in-store purchase in WA. You may purchase any E.L.F. products online from any of the following sites
Would I recommend this product? Yes. It seems to be a fantastic dupe for NARS' blush and bronze duo so, if you want to give it a try before purchase (or don't want to pay upwards of $90 for it), definitely check it out. It's also a great duo regardless of NARS'.


Always look your best,
Sophie
x

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October 16, 2011

MAC Haul and Giveaway Winner

Yesterday I went on a make up shop with $250 and, to my surprise, I didn't even spend it all. I know, right? I'm fairly proud. 

I only bought what was on my shopping list too, another surprise. Anyway, let me tell you what I got.

MAC MINERALIZED SKINFISH - MEDIUM
I've been looking for a good setting powder for the longest time, and wanted to try MAC's Mineralized Skinfinish for almost as long. Although I only bought this yesterday so I can't judge it on it's all day wear, I love it already. The powder doesn't provide much coverage, but the matte finish is absolutely perfect for oily skin.

MAC SELECT COVER UP - NW20
This concealer provides light to medium coverage, exactly what I want from a concealer. I'm not a huge fan of heavy concealer as I like my face make up to look as natural as possible. I'm really happy with the colour of this concealer, as well as the consistency. When applying it, I tap it onto my blemish or discolouration and blend it out with my finger. When using this product, it's important to use it sparingly as a little goes a long way.

VIVA GLAM V 
The MAC Aids Fund was established in 1994. MAC donates 100% of the sale price (if a lipstick, $36.00) of Viva Glam line of lipsticks and lipglasses to the Aids Fund, so the money is going to a great cause. When at MAC, I asked the MUA's (make up artist) recommendations for a great, everyday lip colour. She recommended this lipstick and I fell in love with it as soon as she applied it. The MAC website describes it as a neutral pink with pearl lustre lipstick, and it's just super pretty. Anyway, as I bought the lipstick the make up artist explained where my money would go and boosted my ego a little. After that, she asked me to ring a bell very loud and all the MAC make up artists did a chant. SUPER EMBARRASSING. But hey, at least I like the lipstick!

DUO-IMAGE COMPACT MIRROR
This is juat a round compact with two mirrors, one of which is magnified. I had something similar but lost it recently. This was only $9.00 and I really like the quality of the mirror. I'm also glad I bought it because my Mineralized Skinfinish doesn't contain a mirror.


MAC PAINT POT SAMPLE - BARE STUDY
So I decided I couldn't leave MAC without trying/buying/sampling at least one MAC Paint Pot, especially considering how much I love my Stila Smudge Pot sample, and I love it already. I haven't used it as an actual shadow yet, just on my hand and stuff, but I can't wait. It feels creamier than the Stila Smudge Pot (it's also similar in colour), and for $7.00 cheaper, I might just grab this one instead! Stay tuned for comparisons between the two.


Left to Right: MAC Paint Pot in Bare Study, Viva Glam V lipstick and Select Cover
Up concealer in NW20

GIVEAWAY
And the winner of this week's giveaway issssssssssssss... Anonymous! Woohoo. 
"I was going out to a concert so I tried out the Sally Hansen dry nail polish strips, they were sparkly and blue and amazing.  
A week later when they were starting to look a bit second hand I thought I'd use the half hour I had before work to take them off. I tried so hard to get 1 nail off and it was failing miserably, the colour was coming off and the glitter was sticking like its life depended on it. I had to leave for work so I threw on over the top a haphazard coat of the most solid/opaque colour I had (which just so happened to be fluoro pink).  
So I went to work with these gross pink, lumpy, awful looking nails and hid my hands all morning until I could go over to the shops at lunch and pay the nail salon to take it off. 
It was a pretty embarrassing morning as a number of my colleagues noticed how terrible my nails looked."
Anonymous, please comment below within 48 hours with some identifying details (an email address even) so I can contact you and send out your 'Toothy Tabs'.


I have a new giveaway prize all ready to go so I'm trying to think of a new and exciting competition. Get keen, ladies and gents.


Also, please comment below with your thoughts on my latest purchases. I have money left over so it's not too late to recommend!


Always look your best,
Sophie
x

October 14, 2011

Ladies, please help!

October 14, 2011 | , , , 2 Comments
Ladiesss, as you all know from my Coles Myer gift voucher, I plan on going on a massive make up shop. The day has come and I'm going tomorrow! You have no idea how excited I am.

Anyway, I've been saving for a while and I have $250 to spend. So far, however, I've only accounted for $124.00 of the money and I have $126.00 left to spend. 


My list so far is as follows 


- MAC Mineralized Skinfinish (I've read amazing things about them and I need a new powder)
- MAC Select Cover Up (My favourite concealer of all the samples I received last week)
- A new MAC lipstick (I had a favourite MAC lipstick, Hue, but it doesn't suit me at all now I'm back to being a redhead. I want their recommendations on a great, versatile lip colour)
- Then I just want MAC's Duo Image Compact Mirror.

This is where you come in. What do you recommend? What would you like to see reviewed? What have you heard a lot about?

Please help! This has never happened before. I just can't remember what I want.. 

Always look your best,
Sophie
x

Tiny Hand With Heart