Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Lust Have It! April Box Review

I've had a Lust Have It subscription for ages, and I recently landed a position doing blogger outreach for them which is an LHI fan's dream. I'm still receiving my boxes each month, and even though it's no surprise what's in them (since I help to write the insert cards), here's my as-unbiased-as-possible opinion of all the products I got in my box (which box I get is still a mystery - as much as I wish I could pick, none of the distribution nitty gritty is handled by my office).

Molton Brown Patchouli & Saffron Body Wash, Pink Tiger Nail File and Lint-Free Gauze, ModelCo Fibre Lash Xtend Mascara, Goldwell Dualsenses Extra Volume Shampoo, Lust Have It! Exfoliating Glove

I'll start with a mention of the box that it comes in. I really like this month's pattern, and you all know that my favourite colour is blue. I've been reusing the boxes to store makeup and jewellery in. My only gripe is that the glue holding it together tends to come unstuck, but it can easily be taped back in place.

1. Molton Brown Patchouli & Saffron Body Wash (RRP $39 for 300ml)

I was most excited to get this body wash in my box. I've walked past the Molton Brown shop in the Queen Victoria Building many times, and I've always wanted to try their products, but they're pretty pricey. This smells absolutely amazing.

2. Pink Tiger Nail File & Lint-Free Gauze

I always need nail files so this will come in handy. Apparently the lint-free gauze is great for removing nail polish and makeup without leaving stray bits everywhere, like you sometimes get with cotton pads. The first time I tried these was when we were filming our "How to Paint Your Nails Like a Pro" video, and I ended up pouring the nail polish remover straight through the gauze onto my boss's dining table! So be careful to only use a small amount of remover with these. I'll be interested to see how they go with removing glitter nail polish.

3. ModelCo Fibre Lashxtend Mascara (RRP $28)

I was a bit disappointed to get this as I'd already received the same one in the November box. However, it's a good mascara and it's full size, so I will be using it.

4. Goldwell Dualsenses Extra Volume Shampoo (RRP $20.95 for 300ml)

I recently finished a Goldwell hair mask which I posted about in my Project Pan empties, so I'm keen to try this. I just ran out of shampoo as well so this is great timing. I'm glad it's a 100ml bottle rather than a travel size or sachet.

5. Lust Have It! Exfoliating Glove (RRP $9.50)

This was originally given out in the December box, so it's a shame to see two products in this box being repeated. But this glove is really good for exfoliating before applying fake tan and preventing ingrown hairs. So at least, again, it's a product that I will use.

6. Molton Brown, Pink Tiger & ModelCo Discount Coupons

There's also a 10% off voucher for Molton Brown online, a $20 off voucher for ModelCo online, and a free nail polish when you spend over $50 from Pink Tiger. Pink Tiger sells Duri Rejuvacote (which is my favourite base coat) so that's handy.

Overall, I'm happy with this box. I'm a bit disappointed that I didn't get the GOSH eyeshadow, Aveda shampoo or Rachel K CC cream which I was really looking forward to trying out. But there are no products in this box that I won't use, so at least nothing will be wasted.

What do you think of this box? What did you get in your Lust Have It April box?
Monday, April 29, 2013

Aussie Nails Monday: Green

Today's Aussie Nails Monday theme is Green. I've only recently started exploring this great, untapped colour range, and I'm pleased to say that I'm really liking it.

I started with a base of American Apparel Army Jacket, a nice military green. I topped this with a gradient of Pretty Serious Liquid Leprechaun. I used the cotton bud method, but I think the base of Liquid Leprechaun is a bit too pigmented, so you can see it's a bit splotchy and not a smooth gradient. I finished it with a coat of OPI Matte Top Coat.

Here are the other girls participating in Aussie Nails Monday:

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Disney Princess Challenge: Belle

This week's Disney Princess theme is Belle, from Beauty and the Beast. Did you know that Beauty and the Beast was one of the first Disney movies to use CGI extensively? It's particularly noticeable in the ballroom scene, where the entire ballroom is a 3D environment instead of the beautiful hand painted backgrounds that appear throughout the rest of the film.

Did you also know that the animators ran out time during production, so they traced over the dance from the end of Sleeping Beauty? Here's a video showing the two side by side:

I was inspired by Belle's gorgeous yellow dress and the enchanted rose. I haven't tried roses before so I just did a basic one. It was surprisingly easy so I might attempt this again sometime with a proper magical rose.

I'm a day late with this so I had a chance to peek at the other girls' designs before posting this. If you only take a look at one other design, it has to be Lab Muffin's. How amazing is that stained glass rose? Also, her commentary is hilarious.

Check out the other girls who are taking part in the Disney Princess Challenge: 
Friday, April 26, 2013

Project Pan Empties 1 - 10

In an effort to free up space in my very limited bathroom for more cosmetics, I've been undertaking a Project Pan. Basically, you don't buy anything until you've used up, or "hit the pan", of a certain number of products. The no-buy aspect failed pretty dramatically within the first few days of my attempt, so I'm just doing it to use up all the products that are lying around.

Here are the first ten products that I've used up:

1. Lomasi Body Creme

The packaging and the consistency of this cream reminds me of Sohum, who make my favourite body lotions ever. It's light and absorbs easily into the skin. This ginger lime scent smells like dishwashing liquid - fresh, but too artificial for my liking.

2. evo The Great Hydrator Hair Mask

This was really difficult to get out of the tube, so I hope the full size product doesn't have this problem. It has a strange, slightly waxy consistency, but my hair felt great afterwards.

3. Goldwell Dualsenses Rich Repair hair mask

The instructions say to leave it on for 60 seconds but I used it as a replacement for my conditioner. It smells amazing, like honey and vanilla with licorice undertones.

4. Batiste Wild Dry Shampoo - HG

I can't live without this, because I’m often too busy or too lazy to wash my hair during the week as often as I should. It also helps to add volume.

5. Klorane Dry Shampoo

This is a more expensive brand of dry shampoo. It feels finer and leaves less residue than Batiste but for the price I'm just going to stick with Batiste. The handbag-friendly size was really handy.

6. Ocean Essences Strawberry Rose Rubber Face Mask

This was really easy to use and apply. The instructions say to apply it thickly, which makes it easy to remove afterwards due to the rubber consistency. It's much cleaner than LUSH face masks which take ages to scrub off and get bits everywhere, and my face felt really clean afterwards.

7. Lush Angels on Bare Skin sample

I used to use this regularly, it smells heavenly and is gentle but effective. But it requires mushing up with water and in the morning when I'm late for work, I don't have time for that.

8. Lush Lemony Flutter #1 - HG

I’ve mentioned Lemony Flutter as my first choice of cuticle butter in my “10 things” post. I have multiple tubs of this that I keep in my handbag, car and bedside table, so this is just one that I’ve used up. I’ve been going at this for almost a year so it’s good to finally finish it, the consistency and smell was getting a bit funky.

9. Buddha Bum Lavender Soy Candle

I prefer soy candles like this one because they last for ages, but don't smoke as much (even though it doesn't look it from the jar). This brand is Australian and the jars are really big, so they're useful for reusing afterwards.

10. Boulangerie Candle - Sweet Vanilla and Cinnamon

I bought this from Anthropologie, but it gets used up pretty fast. My boyfriend found the scent way too sweet and overpowering, but I love it. It lingers faintly for ages and smells divine, and it’s great at covering up the smell of dirty socks that my boyfriend leaves everywhere. The lid has a seal and I like the little cracks in the jar so I’ll be reusing it. Will definitely repurchase.

Phew! These first ten took me so long to use up, but now I think I'm in the groove of using products consistently to use them up, so hopefully the next ten will be faster.

Have you ever done a Project Pan? How did you find it?
Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Work Friendly Wednesday: OPI Keys to my Karma and MAC Ruby Woo

The one bright colour that is universally acceptable to wear to work is red. I'm not a huge fan of red - I think it's just a bit too plain and commonplace. But I do wear it sometimes to match with an outfit or FOTD. Today I'm matching OPI Keys to my Karma to one of my favourite red lipsticks, MAC Ruby Woo.

OPI Keys to my Karma is a blue-toned red with a jelly-like finish. It's more opaque than a jelly, but has a squishier look than a straight up creme. Because of this, it dries really shiny - the swatch below is without topcoat. I used 3 coats.

MAC Ruby Woo is a blue-toned matte red lipstick. This is the most matte lipstick in MAC's line, and because of this it's very drying, and drags upon application. However, it's so pigmented that I can apply a dab of lip balm on top without worrying about the colour coming off. This is well known as a cult red that looks great on everyone.

What do you think of the matching lip and nail combo? Do you match your nails to your makeup?
Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Paint it Blue! for Autism Awareness Month: Week 3

It's still Autism Awareness month, so I'm still painting my nails blue every Tuesday! I wanted to do something simple, but a bit more interesting than a plain swatch, so I busted out the very first nail polish I reviewed on this blog.

The gradient is China Glaze First Mate and Nails Inc Baker St, topped with Candeo Sprouse. In keeping with the blue theme, Sprouse has a sprinkling of surprise iridescent blue glitter. That extra pop of colour sets it apart from the other black and white Connect the Dots dupes out there.

(Please excuse the messy cleanup. I ran out of acetone and had to use regular nail polish remover, which is so ineffective.)

Friday, April 19, 2013

From Nails to Blog - Part 2: Lightboxes for Nail Polish Photography

In my last post in my "From Nails to Blog" series, I introduced the different types of cameras and features that are used for nail polish photography. Today I'll be talking about the lightbox setup that I use.

I just wanted to emphasise that the intention of these posts is to show my personal workflow. I'm no expert, but I've gone through a lot of trial and error to find something that works for me personally. I want to share my workflow to hopefully save others a bit of time in finding a process that works for them as well.

Lightboxes for Nail Polish Photography

Many people in the nail blogging community use lightboxes in their nail photography. A lightbox is simply a box with translucent white panels which soften light, so it gets rid of harsh reflections off your nails. It also allows you to capture reflective details such as glitter and individual shimmer particles that would normally be lost with direct lighting.

Left: Direct Lighting, Right: Lightbox

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Purple Nails for Boston

I did feel a bit awkward continuing my scheduled posts over the last few days, in light of the terrible tragedy that's happened in Boston... So I interrupt my regular broadcast to pause and take a moment to acknowledge what has happened.

The nail community is showing our support by painting our nails purple, with the hashtag #purplenailsforboston. While I know that painting my nails purple won't do anything to help the victims or speed along the investigation, I'm doing it to show those affected by this that they are not alone. Even here in Australia, on the other side of the globe, we have you in our thoughts.

I actually don't really like this mani, but decided to post it anyway to show my support. I used Butter London Marrow, Illamasqua Poke and Essie Love & Acceptance. I don't pray, but my thoughts go out to those affected by the bombings.
Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Work Friendly Wednesday: Essie Love & Acceptance, Cocktail Bling, and Chinchilly

Another week, another Work Friendly Wednesday! I was going through my Essies and picked out Cocktail Bling, and then noticed that basically all of my Essies are very similar and all work friendly. So today I'm going to show you three that you could wear to work. Take your pick.

The formula on all of these was smooth and even, but they had a tendency to pool in the cuticles.

Essie Love & Acceptance is a pale lilac. This is 2 coats.

Essie Cocktail Bling is a cool-toned grey, leaning very slightly blue. This is 2 coats.

Essie Chinchilly is a greyed out taupe. The formula on this one wasn't as good, it needed 3 coats and was still a bit streaky. This is a dupe of OPI Berlin There Done That, which has a better formula.

I reckon all of these colours are subdued enough to wear to work. Essie always makes really great subtle colours, so if you're looking to expand your work-friendly nail wardrobe, Essie's a great place to start.
Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Paint it Blue! for Autism Awareness Month - China Glaze Frostbite

I had to skip last week's Blue Nails for Autism post, but I'm back in this week! Today I'm showing you my all time favourite blue, China Glaze Frostbite. It's probably one of my most used polishes. I've almost finished the bottle - and when you have so many polishes to get through, believe me when I say this is no easy feat!

Frostbite is a bright blue two-coater with a slightly shimmery finish. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Aussie Nails Monday: Polka Dots

Today's Aussie Nails Monday theme is Polka Dots. Okay, I messed up a bit here because I thought it was just "Dots" until I actually went and checked. So I did a good old reliable dotting gradient, which isn't strictly polka dots. Sorry!

I used OPI Berlin There, Done That as the base, and Butter London Macbeth for the dots. The combination ended up looking a bit like chicken pox, so I added a sparkly layer of Winmax Light Colour No. 147. These Winmax nail polishes can be found at Daiso for $2.80, bargain!

Delicious, delicious macro

Here are the other girls participating in Aussie Nails Monday:


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Sunday, April 14, 2013

Inspired by Shoes of Prey

Do you ever get this feeling when you see something - whether it be a nail polish, an item of clothing, a piece of jewellery - that you absolutely need it in your life? Like, right now, this very instant? That your life up to this moment has been dull, lifeless and full of trivial trinkets, and you just know that once you get your hands on this amazing object, you will float through life on a cloud of rainbows and sparkles?

That is exactly how I felt when I saw this shoe by Shoes of Prey on Instagram yesterday.

Isn't it amazing? Doesn't it just take your breath away? That shockingly beautiful shade of pink, accented by those perfectly formed ruffles with delicate streaks of summer colours?

Unfortunately, common sense decided to come out of hibernation for the first time in months, and I was forced to somehow not spend $299 on a pair of the most beautiful shoes in existence. Because I'm saving for a house. And I know I will never actually get a chance to wear these out. Sigh.

I couldn't get it out of my mind though, so I had to recreate it in mani form. I used Ulta3 Pink Hibiscus, Peach Paradise, Sea Breeze Swirl, Calypso Holiday and OPI Need Sunglasses?.

If you're interested, you can buy the shoes from Shoes of Prey here. If you haven't heard of Shoes of Prey before, they're an Australian company (they ship internationally though!) that allow you to design your perfect pair of shoes. It's actually a really cool concept, and I highly recommend checking out their Hall of Fame for inspiration.

Have you ever felt the same way about an object? That's a silly question, of course you have. What was it? Come on, spill!
Saturday, April 13, 2013

Disney Princess Challenge: Cinderella

Today's Disney Princess Challenge theme is Cinderella. At last weekend's Aussie Nails meetup the lovely Jen from The Nail Polish Project surprised me with the Sephora exclusive Cinderella collection, which we can't get here in Australia. So obviously, I had to use it for this challenge.

I used a base of So Totally Enchanted, a silvery-blue that matches Cinderella's dress at the ball. The colour of the dress kept changing through the movie though, sometimes it was silver and sometimes it was definitely blue. Weird. The glitter is Step Off, Sister! I really like this combination of blue and silver.

Check out the other girls who are taking part in the Disney Princess Challenge: 
Friday, April 12, 2013

Alanna Renee Magical World Collection - Swatches and Review Part 2

Here is part 2 of my swatches and review of the Alanna Renee Magical World collection. You can see part 1 here.

I decided not to include Avada Kedavra and Stupefy in the end, because my bottles have a different formula from the ones she will be releasing in the next restock. But I still have 3 gorgeous polishes to show you in this post, so read on!

As with the previous post, the formula on all of these was smooth, quick drying and easy to apply.

Drink of Despair is a mix of small emerald green glitter in a dark green jelly base. This is 3 coats.

Fawkes is a mix of red and gold holo glitter in a red base. I can't think of a better way to describe this than to say it looks like crackling embers. This is 3 coats.

Golden Snitch is a mix of gold glitter and silver micro glitter in a clear base. It reminds me of Essence Make It Golden, but it's a bit more complex and champagne coloured. Look, it has flakes and dots! This is 3 coats.

I like this for layering too. Here is one coat over Butter London Artful Dodger. (Mmmmm.... Zombie fingers....)

The Magical World collection is priced at $7.99 with free Australian shipping over $50 from Alanna Renee, and will probably be available soon from Shoppe Eclecticco and Color 4 Nails for international girls.


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