30 Days of Lippy – Week One

30 Days of Lippy was born out of a desire to break a beauty rut! Lately I’ve been wearing a group of about three or four colours almost religiously, but I decided to shake it up! I was, fortuitously, contacted by the amazingly talented (and ridiculously creative) Kimberley of Pop Couture, who happened to be going through a bit of a beauty rut herself. You can read the beginning of the story about how 30 Days of Lippy came about here (and my story of how I joined in here).

I’ve had a fabulous week shopping my own stash, ignoring my colour prejudices and just generally living it up in the lip department. It’s amazing how freeing it is to give yourself over to a list. Granted, I wrote said list with my amazing partner in crime Kimberley from Pop Couture, (whose own week one recap you can – and should – check out HERE) but we deliberately included colours, finishes and styles of lip products that we have a tendency to steer clear of, or that we’d bought and never worn.

Day One: Your Favourite Lip Colour

This is my favourite lip colour of the moment. It’s a combination: Australis Show Stopper  Gloss Stick in Fairy Floss with Sally Hansen Xtreme Volume in Sheer Pink over the top. I love the pretty pink and the extra shine that the Sally Hansen Gloss adds. However, this is a combo that needs to be applied after one arrives at one’s destination, as it is a little sticky!

Day Two: Bright Orange

Maybelline Colour Sensational Lip Colour in Coral Fever. I always felt a bit weird wearing this orange, as much as I like it. It felt like it didn’t fit with my face properly or always looked a bit out of place. However this time, I paired it with a gorgeous Optimistic Orange M.A.C Creme Blush which just brought the whole look together. This is definitely going back into regular rotation. Read my full review on this lippy here.

Day Three: Nude

Oh! Face of Australia Lip Quench SPF 30 in Lychee Crush. One of my favourite lipsticks ever. It just suits my skintone to a T and I always get compliments when I wear it. It’s the perfect partner to a bold smoky eye (which means it’s always in regular rotation at my house.) Although it was pouring rain the day I shot this, the sun peeked out for a moment just as I was picking up my phone to snap a pic, so I got a beautiful little ray of light streaming in through the window. Read my full review of this lippy here.

Day Four: Red Lips

Sax Cosmetics Rich Colour Lipstick in Classic Red. This lipstick has such a old Hollywood feel to it. It’s not too orange, or too blue, not too dark nor too light and it wears down to a beautiful stained finish on my lips, which I just love, because it means even if I don’t have time to reapply it after drinking my fourth skinny latte of the day, I feel confident in knowing it still looks amazing. In fact, one could theoretically apply it first thing in the morning and then even accidentally leave it at home and still have great red lips throughout the day, with just a little application of lip balm to refresh the colour and plump up the moisture in your lips.

Day Five: Coral

Ahhhh Inglot Slimline Gel Lipstick in #40… the lipstick that resulted from the Trout Pout Adventure. Quite possibly one of my favourite lipsticks ever. And I’m starting to realise I’m saying that a lot. It was hard to choose just one of my many coral lipsticks, but I love the perfect balance of pink and orange in this lippy, it makes your lips feel beautifully moisturised and I’ve been told almost every time I wear it “it just lights up your face!” Something strange happened with the filter on instagram when I was taking this shot and my eyes ended up looking crazy green. They’re not actually this colour! Read my full review of this lippy here. For those who asked, I’m also wearing Estée Lauder Double Wear Foundation in Medium/Deep and a whole lot of bronzer (I use Natio Pressed Powder Bronzer because it’s not too shimmery, not too orange and is great as a contour as well. Besides which, it’s cheap as chips!)

Day Six – Wear a stain

Benefit Benetint is one of my all-time favourite lip products. It works well on me because it’s close to my natural lip colour, but deeper. My lips are naturally quite dark. Partially because my colouring is just dark, but also because I’m a lip biter. This seems to work really well in combination with Benetint, as this stain (on me) is a prettier version of my natural lip colour. I tend to reapply it several times throughtout the day, which is how it keeps that lovely deep rosy colour. I wouldn’t say it’s a moisturising product, but it’s certainly not drying either. To me it feels like wearing nothing at all. Best of all, the bottles are absolutely massive and they’ll last you for ages. Keep your look consistently rosy by using it as a cheek tint as well. I also love how the deep rosy colour of this tint makes my skin look really creamy and seems to bring out the blue/green in my eyes.

Day Seven – Your Favourite Revlon Lip Butter

I had a bad first experience with Revlon Lip Butters. I bought Sweet Tart and it was unfortunately a bad batch. It was grainy, not smooth and creamy, and it dried my lips out like crazy! But after reading all the positive reviews from my fellow bloggers and hearing my friends rave about them, I decided to give them another try. This time I bought Cotton Candy and Raspberry Pie. Cotton Candy is my favourite so far, probably because it’s closer to my style than Raspberry Pie. I’m still a little gun-shy of wearing super dark lip colours. But this is something I’m hoping to overcome through this challenge. Cotton Candy is deliciously moisturising (which I’m positively delighted about, I didn’t like not liking the lip butters!) a beautiful creamy pink with slight brownish undertones. It’s got a lovely pearl finish which helps to add volume and gloss to your lips. It will most certainly be on high rotation!

One of the most incredible things about doing this challenge is watching OTHER people do this challenge. Seeing everyone’s images, the way they challenge themselves… Kimberley‘s incredible lips and gorgeous face, Tara‘s amazingly creamy skin, which just seems to glow in every photograph, the way Ingrid‘s face lights up the screen, (to name just a few) the clever composition in so many of these photographs and the way that every single one of them is pushing themselves to try something new…  Seriously, go and search #30DaysofLippy on instagram and just drink in the beauty. These ladies inspire me. I hope they’ll do the same for you.

How was your first week of 30 Days of Lippy? Did you make any wonderful discoveries in your own stash? Did you find a new appreciation for something you’d considered “not you”? Or rediscover an old favourite?

Let me know!
Rosie xox

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Delta Goodrem’s Vogue Cover + Get The Look

I always get a little antsy waiting for the new Vogue to come out each month. And I’m even more excited to get my hot little hands on the July 2012 edition (on sale today) as everyone’s favourite singer/song-writer/TV personality/all-around glamour goddess Delta Goodrem makes her first-ever appearance on the cover and features in an 8-page fashion editorial.

The super secretive shoot took place at a private residence in Sydney and was directed by leading photographer Nicole Bentley. The makeup guru himself, Napoleon Perdis, designed and created what he described as an “old-world-meets-today” look for the shoot, combining classically flawless skin with strong, modern eye makeup and bold (swoon) almost-Androgynous eyebrows.
The images are HOT! Delta looks amazing, she seems to sizzle from within. It’s nice to see her looking a little harder around the edges and not so perfectly polished. I love the look that Napoleon has created for her, it’s sexy, sultry but still strong. It’s sirenic without being overly girly and ‘pretty pretty’, and wowza-inducing without suffering from bombshell syndrome. I think it’s perfectly pitched to catapult Delta into the next stratosphere of stardom, where you need a little bit of rockstar attitude and somethin somethin to kick it up a notch.
“Working with Delta was an amazing experience,” explains Napoleon. He describes her as incredibly down to earth, genuine and ‘the ultimate muse for any artist’. “With that flawless face and those incredible features, she is the perfect canvas and a true natural beauty!” he beamed.

And the feeling was certainly mutual. “It was my privilege to work with Napoleon,” said Delta. “Napoleon is a true artist and we shared such a special experience with all the Vogue Team. He gave me so much faith and took me into a mystical world of creativity with warmth, compassion and belief. He is truly amazing.”
 I managed to get my hands on a face chart from the shoot, (and… squeee! Napoleon’s notes) so you beauties can re-create Delta’s smoking look yourselves.

Your key products for this look: 1. Auto Pilot Pre-Foundation Skin Primer, 2. Sheer Genius Foundation in Look 1, 3. The Ultimate Contour Palette, 4. China Doll Eye Liner in Copper, 5. Color Disc in Green Living, 6. Dévine Goddess Lipstick in Demeter. All products available from Napoleon Perdis.

1. Apply Auto Pilot Pre-Foundation Skin Primer all over the face to smooth and hydrate the skin.

2. Apply Sheer Genius Liquid Foundation to the feature focus area of the face (triangle of features; eyes, nose, lips) using Artist Foundation Brush 19b. Blend away to nothing at the jaw and hair line.

3. Sculpt the face with Napoleon’s Couture Contouring technique: Using Foundation Stick in a shade 2-4 shades deeper than your skin tone shade under the cheek bones, temples, jaw line, inner bridge of the eye, socket and nose. The High Definition Foundation/Concealer Brush g20 is the perfect shape and density for sculpting the face, it will apply the product and blend as you go for easy application.

4. Highlight the face using Mighty Concealer Pen Mellow Yellow. Take product in a V shape under each eye (the tips of the V should meet the corners of your eye to smooth dark circles and continue product onto the top of the cheek bones to lift). Take a little product along the bridge of the nose, cupids bow and under the shading on the cheek to emphasise your contours.

5. Now set in place for a matte finish with Camera Finish. Use Polishing Brush 35r for larger areas and Contour Brush 16b for more hard-to-reach areas like under the eyes and around the nose.

6. For killer contours, set your shading (under the cheek bones, temples, jaw line, inner bridge of the eye, socket and nose) with The Ultimate Contour Palette contour colour. This will not only keep the cream textures in place but also strengthen the intensity of your sculpting.
7. Apply a very light coat of Mesmer-Eyes Mascara to the top lashes using the fine comb.

8. Using Contour Brush 16b sweep Color Disc Green Living across the mobile lid, through the socket and along the lower lash line.

9. Line the inner rim with China Doll Gel Eyeliner Copper and smudge a little into the top lash line.

10.  Line the inner corner of the upper and lower water line with Eye Pencil Onyx Factor to give the eye a feline finish.

11.  Strengthen the brow with Eyebrow Pencil Chocoholic. To create this more masculine shape, fill in your arch a little lower so the lower edge of your brow becomes straight.

12. Coat lips with DeVine Goddess Lipstick Demeter. Tap onto the lips with your finger tips for a modern finish.

13. For a very subtle sheen, tap a little Luminous Lip Veil Cafe Au Lait onto the centre of the lips.

What do you think of Delta’s Vogue debut? Let me know!

Rosie xox

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All images courtesy Vogue Australia. Photography by Nicole Bentley.  

5 ways to combat the “blahs”

I’ve had a rough week. I’ve had a ghastly flu and been burderned with what my doctor referred to as “nuclear strength antibiotics”. You know those days when you just feel blah? Most mornings I walk out of the house feeling confident and amazing, but some days seem dull and drab before they’ve even begun. Luckily, I’ve developed a system for combatting blah, dull and drab. Here are my top 5 ways to pull yourself out of a blah day.

1. Wash and blow-dry (or straighten or curl) your hair. It will look fresh and shiny and smell amazing. Most of the time I am a dry shampoo addict and boy howdy it’s good stuff, but sometimes you just need supermodel hair. Favourite products: Moroccanoil Treatment Light $27.50 / 25ml, KMS California Free Shape Hot Flex Spray $31.95 / 200ml.

2. Fake bake it. There is nothing quite like a tan to make you feel glamorous, slim and sexy. But as we all know, real ones are terribly bad for us and so (hopefully) you’ve discovered the beauty of a faux glow. I’m a dedicated tanner in summer: I do a full scrub and application once a week, and a top-up application after a few days. In winter I’m lazier about it, but a gorgeous golden glow is sure to perk me up any day. Favourite products: Le Tan Fast Tan Mousse in Deep Bronze $12.99, Vani T Liquid Sunshine $28.95 and for those days where you can’t be bothered doing a full scrub and tan… Le Tan Flawless Legs Body Makeup is a lifesaver $17.99.

3. Be illuminating! An illuminator or highlighter is makeup’s answer to flat, dull and blah. It’s kind of like having your own personal lighting specialist follow you around every. single. second. Sweep a little across the high points of your face (that is: the bridge of your nose, tops of your cheekbones near the temple, on your forehead just above your brows and if you really feel super blah, dot a little in the inner corner of each eye – it makes your eyes look brighter –  and in your cupid’s bow, which is the hollow above your top lip.) Sneaky secret? Mix a liquid illuminator into your foundation for an all-over heavenly glow. Favourite products: Face of Australia Mineral Therapy Illuminator in Angel Mist $14.95 and M.A.C Mineralise Skin Finish in Lightscapade $47.00.

4. Wear a bright(er) lipstick. One thing that’s bound to put you in a good mood and put some colour in your face is a great bright lipstick. I’m pretty obsessed with some of the great corals out there at the moment. The great thing about coral is it’s like pink and orange had a baby together, which means it suits both warm and cool skintones! Coral is the perfect pick-me-up for mid-week. But if you’re after something a little more wow for the weekend, go for a deep fiery red or a boom-smash orange. Favourite products: Maybelline Colour Sensational Lipcolour in Coral Fire $16.95, Illamasqua Intense Lipgloss in Besotted $39.00 and Shop M.A.C Lipstick in Watch Me Simmer $36.00.

5. Give yourself a statement mani. There’s nothing quite like having fabulous nails. It gives you that extra bit of wow factor, it’s a conversation starter and it’s likely to get you noticed. I always get compliments when I choose a bright or unique nail colour. Plus, there’s something about having hands that look great that’s a real confidence booster. Neon yellow, bright orange, pretty pink with a glitter feature nail (like the one here) or a parade of pastel colours on your fingers (like here). Statement nails are a big blah-buster! Favourite products: Revlon Top Speed Nail Enamel in Electric and Pink Lingerie $15.95, OPI Nail Polishes in Pamplona Purple and Jade is the New Black $19.95, Sportsgirl Nail It! in Ginger $7.95, Face of Australia ProNail Enamel in Cool Cotton $6.95 and Barbados Nail Enamel in Another Daquiri Please $4.95.
Do you have a system or a great way to combat the “blahs”? Any parts of your beauty routine that instantly perk you up? Will you be trying any of my tips? Let me know!

Happy Friday!
Rosie xox

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Note: all images used above are PR shots. Layouts are my own.

MBFWA: Backstage at toi et moi (and How To Hair)

One of my favourite catwalk looks from Mercedes Benz Fashion Week was created by KMS California and the Makeup Store for toi et moi. Two hair looks alternated on the catwalk: soft, carefree, beachy and sexy waves, and a chic, slightly messy high top knot. Makeup was focused on the eyes. I was so excited to see gorgeous black winged liner (after a few shows left out liner altogether).

Makeup Director Maria Gabriel of the Makeup Store explained that the look was inspired by the toi et moi collection. “The black winged eyeliner and white shadow was the key feature of the look. The toi et moi collection really focuses on black and white, so the makeup is a reflection of that.”

Maria and her team managed to capture the essence of francophile beauty with a clean white eye shadow on the lids, white liner on the inner corners of the eyes and gorgeously dark winged liner that both elongated and widened the model’s eyes. “The eye look is sort of Twiggy meets Cleopatra,” she said. Eyes were widened even further with masses of mascara to create gorgeously lush jet black lashes.

Hair Director Stephen Seago and his team from KMS California created two amazingly wearable hair looks for the show. (And I scored details on how to get the look yourself…)

How To Get Look 1: The Top Knot
1. Prep your hair with KMS Free Shape hot flex creme (which if you don’t own, you should. I am addicted to this stuff) and Free Shape quick blow dry lotion before you start blow drying for a beautiful smooth, glossy finish.
2. Using a soft paddle brush, section out two separate pony tails, one on the crown of your head and one just in front.
3. Back comb both pony tails to create texture and apply Hair Play dry wax for hold and definition.
4. Lightly brush each pony tail to create a smooth finish.
5. Join the ponytails together, bnringing them forward towards your face and then in a clockwise motion, begin wrapping your hair around the base to create the bun.
6. Secure the bun with bobby pins and Hair Stay maximum hold hairspray.

How To Get Look 2: Sexy Tousled Waves
1. Prep your hair with KMS California Add Volume volumising spray, being sure to apply it evenly.
2. Apply Add Volume root and body lift spray for extra va-va-voom!
3. Take large vertical sections and apply Free Shape hot flex spray (soooo addicted) to the mid-lengths and ends and then use hot tongs, ensuring you tong away from your face. (Don’t forget to tong both sides of your hair in the same direction, especially at the front.)
4. Continue around to the back of your hair (mix up the direction of tonging as you go for a more natural looking finish.)
5. Lightly brush out the sections, apply Hair Play sea salt spray to finish the beachy curl look and power dry for a sexy tousled finish.

In between model makeovers, I managed to steal Hair Director Stephen Seago (of Roar Hairdressing in Melbourne) away for a quick chat about his favourite products and a few sneaky expert tips. “I love KMS California Hair Play Dry Wax. It does absolutely everything. It’s a super easy to use spray that gives a gorgeous matte finish, great hold and that beautifully ‘undone’ look that so many people crave. Spray it into towel dried hair then blow dry for a gorgeous tousled ‘I’m not even trying’ style with a great second day hair feel (without the ick factor), or even use it in dry hair to add hold and definition. It helps create texture as too!”

As the temperature drops, hair can start to look dry and flat, so I just had to ask… what’s a girl to do in winter to keep her hair looking great?

“Every six weeks, get your hair trimmed!” he said emphatically. (And yes, that means YOU too long haired people.) “You need to keep it moisturised so make sure you get regular treatments from your hair stylist as well.” For balayaged babes like me? “KMS Colour Vitality Blonde Treatment is perfect for brightening balayaged ends and all shades of blonde, while all hair colours and types can benefit from a KMS Colour Vitality Shine & Shield treatment to lock in moisture and shine. Don’t over-dry your hair, you can still blow dry, but don’t let it over-heat and don’t stretch out the length with a brush too much while you’re drying. Let it dry naturally every once in a while too. Keep it super hydrated with Silk Sheen leave in conditioner.”

Have a great weekend!
Rosie x

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Roses are Red

There’s a chill in the air, the leaves have started falling and the days are getting shorter. Fall is here for a little while. Are you feeling autumnal or wintery yet?

For a few days it made me sad that summer was gone, but now I’m reminded of the beauty of fall and winter. It’s making me think of snow, pale skin, rosy red lips and darker hair. I need to pull out all my tights, sweaters, scarves and gloves. Bring on the fall fashion and beauty.

I love the daydreamy, snow white-inspired aesthetic in these shots. They feel chilly, yet somehow alive. With the promise of lots of goodness, growth and beauty yet to come. (Plus look at those amazing brows!) Hope you’re all feeling inspired for fall!

Autumn is going to be full of opportunities and hard work for me… and there will be fun too, I just know it.

Rosie xox

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Images: Samantha & Kristina by Amber Gray for Marie Claire China February 2011 via fashiongonerogue.com

MBFWA 2012 Backstage with MeMeMe Cosmetics at Flowers for a Vagabond

The backstage area was abuzz with excitement as MeMeMe Cosmetics made their Fashion Week debut at Flowers for a Vagabond‘s show. Makeup Director Nicola Burford calmly directed a team of makeup artists, translating designer Toby Mclean’s vision into a beautiful reality. The collection “Desirable Darkness” invoked the brief: dark versus light.

“Toby had a very clear direction,” says Nicola. “He wanted to girls to look pale and fragile, yet to have an innate strength. The look felt a little bit Victorian gothic and very intriguing.”

Nicola and her team applied paler shades of foundation to represent lightness and fragility, creating strong brows to complement the inspiration. They used colours naturally found in skin on the eyes to create “shadow rather than eyeshadow”.

Skin was luminous and glowing from strong highlights on the high points of the face and lips were muted with concealer. The finished look was strong, yet subtle and luminous from within. And of course, the brows! Absolutely gorgeous!

The full list of products used:
Face: Seventh Heaven Moisturising Facebase, Flawless Cream Foundation, Flawless Loose Powder, Beat the Blues Moonbeam Illuminator
Cheeks: Shimmer Stack in Pink
Eyes: Eye Inspire eye shadow in Moondust, Dew Pots in Willow Whisper and Silk Dust (to be released for Spring), Eye Inspire Trio in Smokey Eyes (white), Light Me Up Lip Gloss in Illuminate
Brows: Arch Angels (to be released in June)
Lips: Flawless Concealer
Nails: MeMeMe Nail Gloss in Graceful

I usually dislike any runway looks without lashes and liner, but for some reason I find this really natural and pretty. The strong brows and the gorgeous natural colours used on the eyes are definitely Victorian gothic, while the luminous skin is positively stunning.

What do you think? Are there any of those MeMeMe products that you’re lusting after? Let me know!

Rosie xox

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Top two images: Rosemary Slade, Third through last images: MeMeMe Cosmetics.

MBFWA: Hair + Makeup at Aurelio Costarella

Aurelio Costarella was certainly the highlight of Day 1 of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia for me. The hair and makeup was the perfect combination of ethereal and earthy, edgy and wearable.

The Goldwell team, led by Lee Preston created a slicked back pony with a difference, knotting two separate tails together into one which fell glossy and shimmering down each model’s back, allowing the clothes to shine, but still giving a strong, feminine aesthetic to the show. Inspired by a sleek equestrian feel, they added a bit of catwalk drama by blending white talcum powder and Goldwell StyleSign Melting Diamonds together and painting it directly onto the hair along the part.

The MAC Cosmetics team, directed by James Molloy used a combination of gorgeous deep matte taupe, glossy forest green and a shimmery chartreuse to create an earthy nymph-like look, reminiscent of mermaids and rainbow coloured beetles. Eyes were rounded and wide, nails (by OPI) were shimmery sea-like silver with pops of unexpected yellow. The skin was kept beautifully natural, fresh and with a soft flush on the apples of the cheeks.

The show was heavenly. I felt transported, uplifted and awe-struck. I couldn’t help gasping and sighing throughout. It was absolutely breathtaking.

What has been your favourite hair and makeup looks from MBFWA so far? What about your favourite fashion? Let me know!

Rosie xox
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All images by Kimberlee Kessler.

{EDIT: Since I wrote this very late last night, I wanted to add: The collection Aurelio showed last night was absolutely incredible. Exquisite detail like boned corsets, feathered skirts and intricately beaded bodices provoked nods of approval from the fashion set and a flurry of flashes from the pit. His runway gowns would require barely a stitch to be red carpet ready, proving once again why he’s an international favourite.}

Australis Screen Siren HD Blush Review + Swatches

In my never-ending quest for beauty I’ve discovered many a gem, and while (I’ll admit) some of them are luxury brands, it’s always so exciting to find a pharmacy brand that’s just as amazing. This delicious blush from Australis is one such gem. Screen Siren HD Blush, from the Australis Paparazzi Perfect range has become my go-to for a pretty pink flush, especially when doing something like heading from work to dinner with friends.

I’m a big fan of Australis packaging. Simple, black, but easily identifiable amongst my other cosmetics because of the shimmery pink stamp on its lid. I also love the fact that there’s a mirror in this compact. It means I have one less thing to carry.

What they say: Perfectly blended multi-coloured blush that allows for customised shades to suit any complexion. Formulated with light reflecting and balancing photochromatic pigments that assist to create instant camera ready photos. Pigment is high in Mica content providing intense colour payoff. The blush is enriched with Jojoba and Grape seed oil to lock in skin moisture and soothe the skin.
My experience: I love the marbling and the fact that this blush is made up of at least four different shades. Depending on what colour lipstick I’m wearing, how tan I am and generally what kind of mood I’m in, I can customise a shade that suits me. I tend to go for the two middle colours of this blush (below left and right — the deep lilac and rosy pink shades) more often than the top and bottom, because these shades seem to pop a little more on my yellow-toned, medium to deep skin. However I use the other colours as well, the pretty apricot and peachy pink shades are a gorgeous way to refresh your complexion and add a hint of colour after a long day at the office.

Even though it’s a powder, it never appears cakey or dry. It is beautifully fine, soft and quite pigmented, with a really decent colour payoff. Even when I’m super tan, just a little on my brush blended into the apples of my cheeks gives a decent pop of colour. The fine consistency makes it really easy to blend as well. I don’t really understand how the light reflecting pigments work, but dang it if they don’t! This blush has a glorious “soft filter” effect, where it seems to diffuse the light hitting your face, giving you a gorgeous air-brushed movie star appearance, which looks especially wonderful on film.

You can even see it in the swatches above, how the light (and the flash of my camera) is softened on each swatch. Note: the colours have been swatched from the bottom of the pan, clockwise around: the swatch at the far left is the bottom apricot shade, the next one along is the lilac and so on, ending with the rosy pink on the far right.

And the same swatches above, in daylight.

In short, I’m really impressed. I’ve got four different blushes in the one compact, plus the myriad of customisable shades, the size of the compact is at least half as big again as most luxury brands and the quality is beautiful. I will be buying this again!

Australis Cosmetics are available from Priceline, Big W, Target, Kmart and selected pharmacies.

Have you tried any of the Australis Paparazzi Perfect products? What’s your favourite blush at the moment?

Rose xox

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p.s. This product was purchased with my own cash.

A Glossy Box of Goodies

Imagine if you got a goodie bag once a month. Guaranteed. And delivered to your doorstep. That’s how I see beauty boxes. As a swoon-worthy, beautifully wrapped box of goodies! There’s some debate in beauty blogging circles as to their usefulness and value. But I personally love them! And if you’re not a beauty blogger and you don’t work for one of the big glossy magazines (and are therefore not accustomed to goodie bags on a regular basis), I honestly think you’ll love them too. So when the gorgeous ladies at Glossybox asked if I’d like to try their March box, I jumped at the chance.

I adore mail. Even more, I adore pretty mail! And you can’t get much prettier than Glossybox. Not only is it pretty, it’s really big! I actually let out a squeal of delight when the somber postal worker handed me my mail on the weekend. The ‘unboxing’ is a task to be relished. Savour the box, the ribbon and the perfectly packaged tissue paper.

This box is destined for my gift-wrapping cupboard, to be bestowed upon someone special with a lovely surprise inside.

The box comes with a handy little guide, offering additional information on the products enclosed.

And you’ll also find extra information (and even the occasional special offer) from some of the beauty brands involved. Who doesn’t love a discount?

First impression? Wowzers! It’s absolutely packed! And all the products are good sizes too! I know bigger doesn’t necessarily equal better, but it feels like there’s a lot in here. My first product sample was a full-sized (100g) Dencorub Extra Strength Heat Gel.

Not necessarily technically a beauty product, but in my house this went straight into regular rotation. I’m an exercise junkie. I cycle and lift weights at least three times a week and I’ve been using Tiger Balm to sooth my tired biceps and deadline induced neck pain. This is SO much better. It works faster and it smells much nicer too. Mmmm menthol-y!

Next up, a 150g Proactiv Cleansing Bar. I’m pretty picky about what products go near my face, but I decided to give this a try anyway. Salicylic Acid is a key ingredient and it’s great for clearing blocked pores and gently exfoliating. I was pleasantly surprised that it didn’t dry my skin too much and left my face feeling refreshed and clean, without that ghastly tight feeling.

On my schedule, I practically worship dry shampoo. This one is an extra-gentle spray, which is handy for super quick application. Spray, brush and go. It actually left my hair quite glossy and deliciously voluminous. Dry shampoo is also super-handy for dirtying up freshly washed hair and adding a big of va-va-voom. This will definitely get used quickly.

KMS California is one of my favourite brands for hair products. Free Shape is a heat protector spray and heat styling aid. (Brownie points for doing double duty.) This little baby is ah-may-zing! My straightener just glided through my hair, which has never looked so glossy, felt so soft or looked so smooth and shiny after an at-home straightening. This gem is now sitting proudly among my regular hair care products (some of which have been benched thanks to its awesomeness.) I will be buying myself a full sized version ASAP.

I go through toner like nobody’s business. This one is formulated for dry and very dry sensitive skin, whereas my skin type is more combination to oily. But it’s refreshing, it smells wonderfully clean and slightly fruity and it does a great job of removing the last remnants of my long-lasting foundation and freshening up my skin in preparation for moisturiser.

Lovely and light, my skin just soaks this up. It smells fresh and creamy and doesn’t leave an oily residue. Definitely an ideal day cream or light body moisturiser. It’s currently being carried around in my handbag because this cold weather is drying my skin like crazy and I hate the feeling of having to wash my hands after applying moisturiser. It’s a keeper.

Last up is a cute pink ‘power balancing’ bracelet that supposedly helps to support strength and flexibility. Hmmm. I don’t know about that. But I’m willing to give it a try! Besides which, it’s pink, it looks super-cute on my arm and it goes well with my current arm party fetish. Any additional strength, balancing, energy or radioactive super-powers are just a bonus! (Call me an optimist, but hey, if it gives me a little boost or makes me think that I’ll have a bit of extra energy for the day, then where’s the downside?)

Ultimately, I’m impressed. Glossybox is certainly worth a try. It’s pretty, big and jam-packed. If you feel like getting a guaranteed goodie bag delivered to your doorstep once a month, I say go right ahead!

Each box can be tailored to suit your unique beauty personality, just update your beauty profile, choose the types of products you’d like to receive and they’ll send you a different selection based on your needs.

Glossybox is available for just $14.95 a month (with free delivery) from www.glossybox.com.au, and you can cancel your subscription at any time.

Have you tried a beauty box? What did you think? What’s the BEST beauty box product you’ve ever received?

Rose xox

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p.s. Per my disclosure policy, the March Glossybox was sent to me for editorial review. The fact that I didn’t pay for it with my own cash has not affected my opinion.

Perfecting the Fundamentals

Illamasqua is perfecting the fundamentals and pushing the boundaries with their newest collection Human Fundamentalism. This collection is packed with colour and bursting with products that just beg to be played with. The minute these divine shots landed in my inbox, I just had to share.

Swoon. Absolutely incredible! Illamasqua always makes me want new makeup.

My must-have picks from this collection:

Powder Eye Shadows – $39.00 in Burst (blue green), Pivot (yellow green) and Cancan (lilac purple) will have you colour-blocking your way through the week and give you loads of killer weekend and party options.
Nail Varnishes – $34.00 in Nomad (bright jade) and Stance (bright mauve) will brighten up any girls wardrobe. Statement nails, yes yes yes!

Limited Edition Skin Base Foundation – $65.00 in Au (the chemical symbol for gold). Illamasqua’s cult BB-inspired foundation with the addition of tiny flecks of metallic shimmer throughout. Perfect for glimmering, shimmering flawless skin. I love a great limited edition product!

And for those looking for the beauty bag staple of this collection: the Neutral Palette – $78.00 is my pick. Featuring new matt shades Stealth (creamy buttermilk), Wolf (chocolate brown) and Vintage (antiqued gold) as well as the divinely deep and dark metallic black Obsidian, it’s sure to become your go-to palette for gorgeous neutral looks.

The Human Fundamentalism Collection is available now from MYER Sydney City, Melbourne City, Brisbane, Chadstone, Robina & Bondi Junction.

Which Illamasqua products are you lusting after?

Rose xox

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