Friday, 20 February 2015

EAT: Petit Bocal

I realise this post isn't about beauty, fashion or hair, but I just had to write a post about a lovely cafe I went to this morning. The cafe is called Petit Bocal and it's located on Sandringham Road (Auckland). With it's mason jar lights, potted succulents and flowers and black framed photographs, the decor of this place is very simple yet beautiful and has a very bright and fresh feeling. I ordered the Breakfast Bruschetta with Salmon, which was sooo delicious, and arrived pretty quickly, (I was thankful for that because I was HUNGRY!) and to drink, I ordered a hot chocolate which came with a minion drawn on top of the foam! I won't go into a full on ramble about the meal, because I'm not a food blogger and wouldn't know where to start. Instead I recommend you take a visit and see for yourself! I know I'll definitely be going back!

I hope you have a lovely rest of the day!

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Review • Collection New Releases

Hello everyone! You may remember a while ago, I did a review on a couple of Collection products when they were first launching in New Zealand, and many of those products still crop up in my daily make up routine. Today I am excited to share with you my opinion on a few of their new product releases!

Big Fake Curves Mascara*: Generally I like this mascara if I’m going for a more lengthened rather than volumized lash. The actual product itself is a really nice formula- it holds the curl of the lash well and doesn’t flake or smudge throughout the day. It also looks very ‘clean’ on the lashes, which I like. The only thing about this mascara that I’m not so sold on is the brush. First of all, the wand is HUGE, so for someone with quite small eyes, it can take a bit of getting used to. The bigger bit of the brush being at the tip makes applying mascara to the inner corner lashes extremely difficult. I also feel that the middle of the brush taperes in too much, resulting in very little deposit of product on this area of the lash line. That being said however, I really do love the look this mascara gives, and I think that taking the time to work out the best way to use the wand is worth it for the end result.

In order to take off this mascara, I find my Micellar Cleansing Water just doesn’t cut it and I have to bust out the tub of coconut oil to remove every last trace. That only reassures me though, that when I wear this mascara, it won’t be coming off during the day and I can be sure that it looks the same before removing as it did when I applied it. This mascara comes in the shades Black and Ultra Black (Though, if I’m honest, I can’t really tell the difference!) (RRP $18.50)

From left to right: Deep Blue Sea, Baby Blue, Lilac Daze, Babydoll Pink and Fool's Gold.

Work The Colour Nail Polishes*: I am really impressed with these nail polishes! First off, the formula is amazing considering some of these colours are pastel. Pastel coloured polishes often take 4-5 coats to even start to look opaque, but these take only 2, (3 if you want to make extra sure). These also dry in around 2-3 minutes, making them some of the fasted drying polishes I’ve ever come across. With a quick drying formula, you are able to apply 2-3 coats in a very short amount of time, making them perfect if you are about to leave the house, but want to quickly apply colour to your nails. My favourite colour of the lot is called Deep Blue Sea, which as the name would suggest is a beautiful navy blue. I tend to apply 3 thin coats (you could get away with 2, but I just like a darker navy, so I do 3), and I’m ready to go. The first time I wore this nail polish, I didn’t apply a base coat or top coat in order to test the longevity of the product itself. It lasted about 2-3 days before it began to chip, which, is pretty good considering I applied nothing before or after the polish. I paint with oil paints, and am often handling solvents and chemicals, which can sometimes alter the finish of nail polish, but these held up perfectly well. If you are looking for affordable yet great quality nail polishes, check out these! (RRP $6.39)

Illuminating Touch Concealer*: When I first swatched this on my hand, I was quite surprised at how dark and pink toned it was in comparison to my skin tone, and didn’t think it would work well for me, but nevertheless, I gave it a go, and am very pleased that I did, because it’s turned out to be a really nice product. I apply a few dots of this illuminator underneath my eyes and blend out with my concealer brush. The pink tone of this acts as a corrector- lightening the darkness under my eyes, ready to apply concealer over top. I had initially thought that if I were to apply concealer over the top of this illuminator, the two products would ‘repel’ each other and look cakey, but personally I didn’t find this was the case. This product does contain shimmer, however it isn’t full on glitter. Once applied on the skin any trace of shimmer is gone and all that is left is a really natural and radiant looking glow. You could totally get away with using this as just a concealer, but I like to add a little of my usual concealer over the top just to make sure my under eye circles are hidden. (RRP $16.39)

I am very impressed with the new additions to the Collection range, (I was going to say collection, but then that would sound weird) and am looking forward to checking out more of their products in the future! If you are just starting out with make up or are on a tight budget, I'd definitely recommend you check out the Collection products as they very good quality considering how inexpensive they are.

Check out more of the Collection range here!

Monday, 9 February 2015

My New Favourite Concealer Brush

You may have seen this brush in my last couple of posts, and I thought it was time to let you know my thoughts about it. I first heard about the Jessup brushes from a makeup group I am a member of called Make up Obsessives. Many people in this group were recommending these brushes, so I caved in and bought a set of 5 small detailer brushes for a little over $6 off Ebay. I figured if they weren’t any good, It wouldn’t matter because they were so inexpensive.

Out of the 5 brushes, I’ve so far used 3 of them and I am loving them! The one I wanted to talk about today, is by far my favourite one and it is what I use to apply my concealer. Because this brush is angled it makes it perfect for blending out the concealer underneath my eyes. It’s bristles are incredibly soft and therefore don’t irritate the delicate skin under the eyes. The roundness of the brush really helps to seamlessly blend out and buff the product into my skin. When it comes to covering spots, I use this brush to gently pat the product into my skin to provide a more fuller coverage. The density of the bristles disperses the concealer onto my skin within a few taps, and gives a really nice and natural looking coverage. I have found that some concealer brushes I have used in the past tend to absorb a lot of the product, but I haven’t had this problem at all with the Jessup brush. After trying this set, I’m definitely keen to try out the face brushes to see if they work as well as these do.

If you are looking for a new cheap yet amazing concealer brush, I’d recommend checking out this set of Jessup brushes. You won’t be disappointed. 

Have you tried any of the Jessup brushes? What do you think of them?

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Review & Swatches • Australis AC On Tour Contouring and Highlighting Kit

Today I am going to be sharing with you my review and swatches of the highly sought after make up item of the moment. The Australis AC On Tour Contouring and Highlighting Kit has been flying off the shelves due to it’s likeness to the Anastasia Contour Kit, which, while apparently amazing quality, is around four times as expensive as the Australis version. I’ve been using this pretty much every day since I bought it so as to give you guys a decent review. I’ve also included swatches so you can see what the colours look like on my fair skin.

Firstly, the packaging is pretty decent, although I would have liked there to be a mirror on the inside of the lid, but then again, that’s just me. The overall kit is actually a lot smaller than I thought it was going to be, being around the size of a small A5 notebook. But that being said, I like that it’s smaller because it means I can take it with me when I go travelling and it doesn’t take up too much room in my make up storage. On the underside of the palette, there are instructions showing a step by step guide of how to contour, which is pretty good if you don’t know how to contour. 

Now onto the actual product! The kit comes with 6 different shades - 3 lighter colours to highlight (2 matte and one shimmer) and 3 darker colours to contour (all matte, 2 warm toned and 1 cool toned). As you can see from the swatches, the lighter colours are pretty hard to see on my fair skin, but you can see the slight differences in undertones. The first swatch is slightly pinky toned, whereas the one next to it is more yellow toned (a bit like Ben Nye’s Banana Powder). The shimmer colour is more on the pinky side in the pan, but this tone turns more champagne coloured when applied to the skin. As I said earlier, the contour shades are a mix of warm and cool tones. While I do appreciate the inclusion of the cooler tone, it would have been nicer to have more than one cool shade as I find this sort of tone suits a lot more skin tones than warm, red toned colours. Each of these colours are extremely pigmented and smooth. The lighter colours can be a little chalky, but I don’t find this is too much of a problem when I use them. Because these colours are very pigmented, you don’t need to use too much product, just tap your brush into the pan once, and you should have enough product. Using my Real Techniques Contour Brush, I grab a little of the middle shade from the darker colours and gently tap off any excess before lightly blending into the hollows of my cheeks. Once I’m happy with the colour that’s been deposited, I dust off any remaining product onto my hand before further blending out the shadow. Sometimes I like to blend over this with my powder/foundation brush to ensure everything is blended and looks natural. 

When It comes to highlighting, I must admit, I don’t use the first two shades as much, because they simply don’t show up on my fair skin! Sometimes I use a mix of the two matte shades under my eyes to set my concealer, but most of the time I just set my concealer with my normal face powder. That being said, I really like the third shimmery shade for giving the tops of my cheekbones a nice natural sheen, when I don’t feel like using my Sleek highlighter, which can sometimes be a little intense for day wear on me. 

Overall, I’m really pleased I managed to find this whilst I was in Sydney, because I’ve really enjoyed using this kit. While I don’t use all the shades for contouring and highlighting, I sometimes use them as eyeshadows, which if you like, I could do a post on. I think this kit would be perfect for someone who either likes to contour and highlight and have a few colour options to choose from, or if you are a make up artist and need a variety of shades for your kit. I do wish that there were different kit colours, such as a light, medium and dark, because I noticed that the darker shades in this kit wouldn’t show up on some very dark skin tones, and the highlight colours would simply be too light. But it’s early days for the AC Contour Kit, so we shall wait and see if they bring out more! Fingers crossed!

Have you tried the AC On Tour Contouring and Highlighting Kit? What are your thoughts on it?

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