Sunday, 25 October 2015

Halloween Nails

Halloween might be my favorite chance to do themed nails each year! The students in my classes always enjoy them and I love doing something a bit spooky and fun. This year I've gone for some eyes in the dark and thought I would show you all how easy it is!

You will need a just a few things for this look:
  • Base and top coat
  • White polish
  • Black Polish
  • Red Polish
  • Green Sharpie
  • Detail brush
I use gel polish, so the colours I have chosen are from Gelish, Gelish Mini and IBD, but this would work exactly the same way as regular polish, except with the gel you don't need to wait for it to dry between layers.

1. Apply a black base to the thumb, forefinger and pinky. Apply a white base to the middle and ring finger. For me and the colours I was using I had 3 layers of black and 2 of the white. 

2. Using the Sharpie, draw the eyes over the white base. I didn't wipe the sticky layer off and I was happy with how it turned out, but you might like to wipe off the sticky layer. If using regular polish you need to be very sure the white polish is totally dry.  I drew the eyes on by doing the side and base like a triangle and joining them with a slightly curved line before filling them in using a stippling kind of motion to avoid streaks. 

3. Next I added the pupils using red polish and the detail brush and cured it (or allow to dry somewhat). 

4. Using the same brush I outlined the eyes and then carefully filled in the rest of the white space. If you are using regular polish, you might be able to do this in one coat, I needed to apply two coats to cover the white fully.
5. Carefully apply top coat to give a nice shine to the look. This could also look really cool with a matte top coat everywhere except the actual eyes!

And that's it! Using the sharpie made this design really fast and easy. Especially when doing my bad hand, where I always have trouble doing details like the curve of the eye. 

Are you doing anything fun on your nails for Halloween? Link me to it if you are, I'd love to see what you do!

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Empties October 2015

Here we are with a new round of empty products! I have been diligently working through my collection of items that I wanted to destash and felt were not really good enough to give away but too good to throw out. That collection has now become a rotation of items so as I use up one thing, I often have something new to put in there. I keep it all (except shower items) in a box on my vanity where I will see it and be reminded to reach there first. I have found it really helpful to unpack lip products from my handbag and put them back there to remind me they exist!

1. Fruit Smoothie Mask (similar items available at Priceline) $3.99
This was a lovely mask that I got on clearance from target ages ago. I think it was past its prime in terms of texture but it smelled really nice, felt good and left my skin feeling soft and smooth. These are cheap and cheerful and a nice little treat. They can make good additions to hamper type gifts too. Would repurchase  

This is the third of these that I used up and they have all been really nice. They are super gross to put on as they are a strange membrane sheet and can be a bit drippy, but they all smell light and fresh and leave the skin feeling really soft. They stay on better than many sheet masks too as they come in two pieces. 
Would repurchase

I did not pay full price for this conditioner and good thing too! It hasn't got the best smell and is a fairly gross light brown, but I can look past that if the product is good. This was just ok. It did the job well enough but it wasn't doing anything to actually help improve my hair which meant it was slowly going down hill in the long run. 
Would not repurchase

I bought this from Priceline during a 40% off sale and really enjoyed it. I found it really helped my hair to be stronger and feel soft after each use. I really like the smell of this and appreciated that it wasn't too strong, but lingered in the hair just a little bit. 
Would repurchase, even at full price

5. VO5 Hot Oil $6.99
Another Priceline sale item here. I'm not sure how much these do in the long run but I really liked using them each time. They did leave my hair soft and hydrated and were very quick and convenient to use in the shower.
Might repurchase

I have obviously only used this a couple of times from the sample but it was beautiful! So natural, nice coverage that could built a bit and it blended on so easily. 
Will most likely buy full size

This is a HG product for me. It is very gentle but effective, I can get in the shower with my full make up on and this will get almost all of it off in one wash. No particular scent, doesn't sting my face or eyes (not that I have ever got it right IN my eyes, but I do wash off eye make up with it carefully) and leaves my skin feeling very clean. 
Already repurchased

8. Lush Pink Fun $9.50
Meh. It smells like the lollies, which is nice, but I found this wasn't the best at anything. It can be used for lots of purposes, but there are products from Lush that do all of those things more effectively. 
Would not repurchase

I love every bubble bar I've used. Both of these have great scents that are strong enough without being overwhelming and I got 3-4 uses out of each. I used too much of The Comforter on my first go and found it quite drying on my skin, but using a little bit less it was fine. 
Will purchase more varieties

I really enjoyed this for quite a long time, and only went off it at the very end because I got a bit bored of it. It is a nice smelling mask that very gently exfoliates and hydrates the skin leaving it feeling soft and plump and fresh. It is close to fool proof and so gentle almost any skin-type would enjoy it. 
Would repurchase

Love/hate. Love that it works to make my skin look natural and fresh after powdering. Love that it helps my make up stay on all day. Hate that the mist is not very fine. Hate that it smells so gross. 
Will try others, but may repurchase because it's so cheap and it works

I got this as part of the Mini-Beautorium at Beautyheaven recently and it is the best lip balm I have ever, ever used. I love it! So soothing on sore lips and great to slather onto healthy lips morning and night to keep them in good condition. 
Will repurchase

And that's it! Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

iHerb Haul October 2015

Oh iHerb... How did I live without you? My lasted collection of goodies have been in and out of my cart for a while and I have finally run out of some of these products and needed to replace them. As usual the shipping was well within the predicted time and the packaging was excellent. All liquids were taped shut or safety sealed. The hair products were taped and in their own plastic bags as well. (Prices below were correct at publishing and are in AUD)

1. Giovanni, Smooth As Silk, Deep Moisture Shampoo, 8.5 fl oz (250 ml) $7.70
On first use I have really enjoyed this shampoo. It has a really nice light lemony scent, it really reminded me of lemon slice but very subtle. It claims mostly to add moisture and control hair that is frizzy due to damage or dryness. I did notice after using this and the treatment together that my hair was very soft and blow dried smoothly and easily than usual. I really liked that it didn't feel like it stripped my hair, but it still felt clean. 

2. Giovanni, Nutrafix Hair Reconstructor, 6.8 fl oz (200 ml) $7.70
Straight away I liked that this treatment is in a squeeze tube not a tub! It is so much easier to get out in the shower and get the right amount. It has a similar scent to the shampoo with that very subtle slightly lemony smell. The texture of this is very balm like. It is very thick but it spreads into the hair easily and it doesn't take a huge amount to apply to the whole head. I used this as directed so I got out of the shower to leave it on and rinsed after about 10 minutes. While I was rinsing I didn't think my hair felt as silky and soft as it does normally after a treatment so I was worried I might be disappointed. After drying my hair though it feels beautifully soft, calm and tangle free. 

3. Earth Solutions, CarScenter, Aromatherapy Car Diffuser, 1 Diffuser, 10 Pads $12.97
This is a cool little gadget that plugs into the cigarette lighter port in a car. It essentially (hehe) heats a metal tray which holds a highly absorbent fibrous pad which you add essential oil to. It is very similar to an oil burner only powered by the car! It's very simple to use and allowed the oil I chose to scent my car without getting overwhelming as I drove. 

4. Now Foods, Essential Oils, Peace & Harmony, 1 fl oz (30 ml) $13.73
This essential oil that I got to use in the CarScenter is a nice mix of Peppermint oil, patchouli oil, orange oil, lavender oil and basil oil. It gives off a really familiar smell to me that I enjoy, as well as find calming. I think this effect is not just from the oils but because it reminds me of the oil my mother would burn quite often when I was younger. I really enjoy the mintiness and find that no particular scent overwhelms the others. It is very strong and for any use, particularly in an enclosed space like the car, you hardly need any to get lots of fragrance coming through.

5. Derma E, Soothing Toner, 6 fl oz (175 ml) $17.14
It's hard to say too much about a toner after just a few uses, but my initial impression is that this very nicely lives up to its name and is gentle, but leaves me feeling like my skin is totally clean and ready for my other skincare products. It has a browny green colour inside and it has no smell as far as I can tell. It doesn't make any sensitve areas on my face sting which is great in these transitional months as I can be prone to dry, sore patches of skin. 

6. Out of Africa, Pure ,Shea Butter with Vitamin E, Vanilla, 2 oz (56 g) $9.36 (I got this as a daily special for $1.40)
I bought this item because it was so cheap and I've been wanting to try mixing it into the sugar scrub I make with coconut oil. I haven't tried it yet but it smells 100% like white chocolate, which is always a good thing.

I've ordered from iHerb a number of times and have always been really happy with the prices, customer service and the products themselves. If, somehow, you have never purchased from iHerb before, you can use my referral code to get $10 off your first order over $40 or $5 off your first order under $40. If you have shopped with iHerb but decide to purchase any of these products you can still use the link and I will get a reward. I promise to only spend it on more things to post about here!

Referral Code: BJH106 

Monday, 19 October 2015

Pan That Palette 2015 (and probably 16)

After a big clear out and cull of my make up I have decided that my Lorac Pro needs to go. But go the way good make-up should! I find myself wanting new shadows and palettes quite often, even though I hardly use this one despite the product itself being really nice.

I am aiming to use 12 of the 16 shades completely. The first shade I used up totally a was champagne. It took a bit less than a month and I used it EVERY. DAMN. DAY! This is the one colour I really didn't like because of the glitter, although I learned to make the most of it by the end and was (almost) sad to see it gone.I have hit pan and am making steady progress on White, which I use as a highlight everyday and espresso that I've been using instead of liner. 

The current update. 1 down, 10 to go!

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Laura Mercier Matte-to-Metal Holiday Caviar Stick Colour Collection

This beautiful set of long wearing eyeshadow pencils is an amazing bargain and a stunning gift for anyone this Christmas! This is my first ever purchase from Laura Mercier and if the other products are as good as these, I will certainly be a return customer. Available at David Jones, the set includes 6 half-size Caviar Sticks (0.8g each) and is priced at $65AUD. There are 4 shimmery colours and 2 matte colours that are all very versatile, wearable shades. 

Price: Amazing value! By weight (compared to Aussie prices) these are valued at $117. They are even better value when compared to the US price of $53USD as that converts to around $73AUD. 

Packaging: I don't love the box these come in, but it isn't bad. The products feel very light in their plastic packaging so they don't feel super high end in your hand, not that it matters because....

Product: STUNNING! These are the creamiest shadow sticks I have ever encountered. They swatch and apply like a dream directly onto skin or you swipe a brush to apply with more precision. They blend out beautifully. I was able to do a better job blending Aubergine into my outer corner better than I have ever been able to do with a powder. They set very fast which is great, but make sure you blend them out before they do as they DO. NOT. BUDGE. Once they are set. I haven't worn any on my whole lid for a long time, so I can't really comment on creasing but reviews I read are quite positive in relation to this. 

Amethyst- Taupe/mauve/brown colour with what I would call a 'cool toned' shimmer finish, the shimmer is there, but it is quite subtle, not metallic.
Khaki- Like the name implies this is a greenish brown with a more gold based shimmer which is even more subtle than Amethyst. 
Inside (Natural Light) Amethyst, Khaki, Rose Gold, Sugarfrost, Ganache, Aubergine

Rose Gold- My favourite colour. This is a beautiful softly shimmery peachy gold shade. I tried it as a brow highlight and it was really lovely and natural, similar to the Benefit Highbrow Glow but more golden. 

Sugarfrost- A highly metallic champagne/beige colour. I didn't think I would like this but it is really beautiful in the inner corner This is the most metallic of the 6 shades and would be great in really flashy looks. 
Outside (Shade) Amethyst, Khaki, Rose Gold, Sugarfrost, Ganache, Aubergine

Ganache- A matte dark (to me at least) fairly warm brown. The name is a good descriptor as it is very chocolatey. I think this will make a really nice liner colour for me and for smokey brown looks for people who like that!

Aubergine- A gorgeous matte, unsurprisingly, eggplant colour. I used this on the outer corner of a standard neutral eye look and it really added depth and, given it's purple tone, made my green eyes stand out. As I mentioned earlier this blended in so beautifully over my other shadows that I am feeling really confident to try to bolder smokey looks with these shadows!
Outside (full sun) Amethyst, Khaki, Rose Gold, Sugarfrost, Ganache, Aubergine

I would highly recommend this set to anyone who doesn't own these colours already. They are a great value buy and can create different looks on their own or matched with other products you already have.

Have you tried these shades or would you recommend any other particular shades from the Caviar Stick line? What other Laura Mercier products do I need?!

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Costco Shopping and Prices 11/05/14

Just a selection of goodies priced today- let me know with a comment if you want the price of anything pictured but not in the list. Some items I didn't know what to compare them to, others I have listed before.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Costco Shopping and Prices 27/4/14

So I have continued to shop at Costco even though I haven't been posting anything about it. I usually go now for smaller trips and park outside the building and just take my own shopping bags in. The experience is much easier and shorter when you don't have to get a car park or a trolley! But today I bought quite a few things, mostly things I don't think I have posted about before either, so I have done another price comparison between Costco, Aldi and Woolies. I get my Woolies prices online, so the savings in store wouldn't be as large I think. However you will see that on these products the difference is so large between Woolies and Costco that even the lower in store prices won't be better than Costco.  If you want more details or a review of any particular items please let me know with a comment, I'd be happy to let you know :)
Items I didn't mention in the table: Yum Cha at Home Steam Selection seafood dumplings (scallop, prawn and prawn+ginger) So much yum. This is $19.99 for 52 piecces. Frozen Blueberries 6.46 for 1kg, Ceasar Salad- The lettuce is ok, the bacon is ok....but the dressing is sooooooooooo good. This is a much better shopping treat than the jerky I usually by too, I think. In this picture you also can't see the skim milk box, that blue one is full cream. 

After Vacuuming- Enough to last a day or two fresh
and the rest sealed up to last until we need it. I
will need to keep track this time of how long it takes
us to use it up and how nice it stays.

So even though the spell check was on, I missed a couple of 'real' spelling errors. But I couldn't be bothered fixing it and getting a new screen shot. I am truly sorry for letting you down. But not really.