Beauty Blush Playground No. 3: MAC Blush in Full of Joy

Today on the blush carousel we have a MAC blush in the colour of grape fairy floss <3 I don’t have to many MAC blushes, but when I do buy a MAC blush, I tend to go for the more unusual colours. I was expecting Full of Joy to be a pinky-lilac satin blush – a little different but not majorly so. It turns out it is a frost finish and much more lilac-y than I expected. In saying this, it’s surprisingly wearable. When I say it’s a frost finish – it doesn’t actually have any chunky glitter or any very visible shimmer. You have to look suuuuper closely at the powder to notice any shimmer at all. But what makes this shade interesting is that it has almost a slight metallic finish. Because of this metallic finish, the powder also has a transparency to it. The transparency is great – it means you don’t have to worry about looking like a Donna Summer video clip gone horribly wrong! It’s all the right kinda shine while being slightly subtle at the same time! <3

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I know this colour won’t be everyone’s cup of tea – but what I wanted to show you on this very blush carousel, is the variety of blushes out there which are actually pretty wearable and which may brighten up your day more than expected! I think with spring upcoming in Aus, it’s the perfect time for some colour inspiration :)

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Above: Full of Joy on my cheeks :) the blush is brighter in real life. Blush tends to come out slightly muted in photos. You can see the tone of the blush in the photo however and it’s gorgeous in person!

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Jasmine has started blooming earlier than usual this year, which I’m hoping means that Spring is well and truly on it’s way here in the Southern Hemisphere! I picked a few small Jasmine buds from our Jasmine bush and while there’s only two flowering buds, the smell is soooo intense hours later after picking that I swear it’s magic… I also took a few more pics of my garden for you to enjoy :)

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The yellow flowers above are cabbage flowers :)

Have you considered trying a purple toned blush? Do you have a favourite MAC blush? :) Catch you on the next carousel stop ;)

Beauty Bee~ 

Nails of the Day: Tomoko and You Are Worth It

I finally tried my first ever Zoya nail polish! I picked quite a different formula and finish to begin with – one of their nail polishes from their Pixie Dust range. I picked this particular polish because it just looked so damn shiny in all the photos I saw of it! I have a weakness for shiny things you see… I was drawn to this particular colour (Tomoko) more than the others, as the silvery pale gold flecks seem less harsh than the other colours available. I was a little worried that the ‘gritty’ texture and finish may annoy me after a while on the nail, but I was oh so pleasantly surprised! Not only is it hella shiny on the nail (it looks like sparkly gold leaf), the finish feels somewhat ‘textured’ and grainy, but not so much that it’s annoying or even that noticeable. I did fear that delicate materials might catch on the nail, but luckily, no issues like that here.

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I decided to pair Tomoko with one of my favourite L’Oreal Color Riche Le Vernis shades, You Are Worth It, which is a light-medium grey. Sydney has been super rainy and grey recently, so this combination reminds me of  dark stormy rain clouds and the sun just peeping through them. You know when it’s super dark even during the day when it rains and then when the sun peeps through the clouds and you can see that golden outline on the clouds? Well that’s what I was thinking of :) The sun seems sooo much brighter and golden then, hence my colour collaboration! I think it works well, but let me know what you think!

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You will also be happy to know that Tomoko is oddly so easy to remove (nothing like glitter polishes, which are a bitch to get off). It can chip off the nail easily though, so definitely use a top coat when wearing this shade. A top coat doesn’t take away from the effect at all. If anything, Tomoko looks even shinier with a top coat!

I haven’t been doing as many Nails of the Day posts lately, as my nails haven’t been in the best condition. I used to take hair and supplements for a long time but then took a break and haven’t been taking them since. Since you have to take them for a looooong time before they become effective (check out my post on hair and nails supplements here) I’ve ordered some new supplements and will start taking them regularly again, as I do think they make a difference. I’ve also been giving them a bit of a break recently, so hopefully that helps (my natural nails have become a little yellow at the ends because I’ve been wearing to much nail polish and they haven’t been getting time to ‘breathe’). I’ll keep you updated though, on any new developments :)

Do you recommend or dislike Zoya nail polishes? I’m wondering what their regular line of nail polishes is like… Let me know if you have any nail tips in general :)

Until next time beauties!

Beauty Bee~

Review: Hello Hair Hydrating Mask

I think all of us survived the onslaught that was the coconut oil ‘trend’. Have you noticed that particular ingredients seem to have their 15 minutes of fame in the cosmetic industry? Well, I survived the coconut oil trend and tried it out for myself. I previously bought cold pressed extra virgin coconut oil and used it as a ‘pre wash’ hair mask. I thought this Hello Hair mask was interesting because while it features coconut oil as the main ingredient, it also contains some other delicious sounding oils, like – almond oil, argan oil, olive oil, olive leaf extracts and castor oil <3

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“I’ve got a lovely bunch of cooooo-cooooo nuts!” 

Every fine haired lass will know, that using oils on your hair can take some getting used to. When using straight up coconut oil in my hair, I would rub it into dry (and usually dirty hair) and then leave it on for an hour. After the hour was up, I would shampoo my hair twice in order to get as much oily residue out of my hair so it wouldn’t make my already fine hair exceptionally flat. I wouldn’t then use a conditioner as my hair would still have a lot of a residue left in it. My hair was weighed down a bit after doing this (even sans extra conditioner) so because of this effect and the fact that it is time consuming to do this hair mask (even once a week) I gradually stopped using my pure coconut oil hair mask, only because I became lazy (let’s be honest haha).

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The Hello Hair mask is similar in that the longer you leave it in your hair the better – so I do try and keep it in my hair for an hour. However, after washing the mask out of my hair (shampooing twice) I then also condition my hair. This effect does ever so slightly weigh down my hair, but it’s still a vast improvement on the regular pure coconut oil mask. The reason you can still use conditioner on the hair without it weighing your hair down more, is because coconut oil doesn’t smooth the hair cuticle, rather it sinks into the hair shaft (unlike many other ingredients/masks). Hence why you may want to use a regular conditioner after washing out the coconut oil based hair mask with shampoo, to smooth down the hair shaft so it’s easier to brush and not as prone to damage. Because of the other oils in the Hello Hair mask, it is lighter. Coconut oil contains lauric acid (up to 50% of coconut oil is lauric acid, which is a medium chain fatty acid and why coconut oil feels as greasy as it does) capric acid (which is also a medium chain fatty acid) and vitamin E, all of which help prevent protein loss and makes the hair strand stronger. I kind of this think of it this way – that the other oils in this mask help to break up the ‘greasy-ness’ of the coconut oil while also providing other nutrients for the hair (even though they themselves may not sink in as deeply into the hair shaft). On a side note, lauric acid is also anti-fungal and antibacterial, so it’s great for lessening itchiness and other scalp conditions (including killing off head lice haha).

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I like that this hair mask only costs only $15 (and you don’t have to pay for postage if you live in Aus!) and you can find it at their official website here. I get about 4-5 uses out of my 100g ‘sachet’ (remember that I do have very fine, medium length hair). It may not last as long as a huge tub of the stuff, but it hurts your bank account less :P I have been trying to use this mask weekly and so far so good! You can really feel that your hair is more hydrated and shinier. My hair has been quite weak lately (I think this is due to stress etc) so while it hasn’t dramatically strengthened my hair after one use, I think regularly using this mask will help, especially in protecting hair from additional environmental damage.

I’ve noticed that a few cosmetic brands have started specialising in only one type of beauty product (e.g. Frank Body and Babe Scrub specialise in organic body exfoliating scrubs and now Hello Hair specialises in this one hair mask). It’s an interesting strategy I thought I’d point out. Anyhoo, that’s all from me folks, let me know if you are a fan of using coconut oil :)

Catch ya next time beauties!

Beauty Bee~

Beauty Blush Playground no. 2: Bourjois Little Round Pot of Blush in 33 Lilas D’or

Welcome beauties to the second blush playground post! Today I have for you a Bourjois blusher in no. 33 Lilas D’or. This blusher is a medium rose pink shade with quite a bit of gold and red shimmer. It’s the most shimmery Bourjois blush that I own and to be honest I was a little worried about wearing it. Luckily, on your cheeks it doesn’t look glittery per se but rather adds a gorgeous rosey-glow sheen to the skin. I think this is the perfect blush to wear in winter/autumn because when there’s less sun (so gloomier, greyer days) the sheen won’t become super reflective. It’s a gorgeous mid-toned pink, darker than many of the other pink blushers that I own and who knew it would work so well on winter, pale and shallow skin!

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This blush actually reminds me of Orgasm by Nars except that Orgasm is a peachy pink shade with gold shimmer, while Lilas D’or is a straight up medium rose pink with gold and red shimmer (the red just reflects the pink tones in the blush). It gives my cheeks a proper ‘flushed’ look – as if I’ve been running in the crisp air or as if I had a mojito or two (except that this leaves a ‘prettier’ look behind haha).

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Now I packed on this blush so that it would be visable in photos, yet for some reason while I do look ‘flushed’ the blusher didn’t show quite as I had hoped (I might have to play around with my camera settings), however I hope you can see what a lovely rosey colour it is. I wasn’t doing much today – in fact I felt really really blah so this blusher really ‘woke’ me up this rainy morning! After applying lip balm I also swatched my finger into the blusher and then dabbed the blush onto my lips (this works brilliantly). You can most definitely multi-task using this blush!

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I love that all Bourjois blushers smell like a rosey/sweet scented baby powder (I know that’s an odd description – but that’s what they smell like to me!). I love that this colour has depth to it – it really does remind me of roses! :) Bourjois blushes retail for $20 a pop in Aus, which isn’t to bad for a treat!

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For some rosey inspiration I found this gorgeous graffiti by Vickie Emms:

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Do you own any Bourjois blushers? I have three in total including Lilas D’or (check out my beauty classics post here and Lune D’or post here) and I might have to go and check out the rest of the collection on offer soon :)

Stay tuned for the next beauty blush playground post! What blush will come around next? ;)

Catch ya next time beauties!

Beauty Bee~

Colour Inspiration: My L’Oreal Paris Colour Riche Le Vernis Nail Polish Collection

I’ve blogged many times about these nail polishes because their formula is just magnifique! They are a gel hybrid nail polish and they last on the nails a full week, no questions asked. The first coat you paint on may be sheer and a little uneven – but this creates that gel base for the nail bed so that when you paint on a second coat, the colour is opaque and vibrant! I love that these nail polishes come in ‘mini’ sizes (5ml) meaning that they are cheaper and you can collect more of them without breaking the bank ;) The colour offerings are fantastic because you can find nudes but also vivid bright colours not found in other nail polish lines. I’ve reviewed all of the nail polishes down below, so if you are interested in a close up of a colour and how it looks on the nail – click on the nail polishes name and it will take you to the review.

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From left to right: Green Couture 612, Vendome Emerald 849, Atomic Purple 829, Spicy Orange 304Lush Tangerine 303. 

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From left to right: Rue Montmarte 607, You Are Worth It 617, Black Diamond 840, Confettis 916, Sequin Explosion 842.

Atomic purple is the only colour that is difficult to work with. The rest of the colours I love! I will be expanding my collection soon I hope, so stay tuned if you are interested! ;)

Catch ya next time,

Beauty Bee~

Beauty Blush Playground No. 1: Dior Rosy Glow Blush 001 Petal

I’ve decided to do a series on blushes because I’m going to be super busy over the next couple of weeks (I’m teaching this semester again at uni and have more classes on my plate than before) and blush is supposedly the perfect product for a busy woman :) It automatically brings life and light to your face and makes you look less tired – and I definitely need that! There’s a Polish saying that putting blush on is like ‘painting on health’. Your skin looks less shallow, more multi dimensional and makes your eyes pop more. I want to start using more of blush collection, so I will be rotating my blushes around and show casing them on this very blush carousel!

The first blush I have to show you is a new favourite of mine, Dior’s Rosy Glow Blush in 001 Petal. The colour is quite transparent, so it gives your cheeks a rosey glow. You can build the colour up slightly, but it will never look totally clown like because of it’s transparency. Because it let’s your skin tone come through, I think it would be quite an excellent universal blush.

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It looks almost neon in colour, but don’t let this put you off! I’d say that the colour is a true cool pink. I love that the blush is embossed and that the blush case is transparent. It’s a gorgeous design and makes the blush feel a little more special :)

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The brush you receive is actually quite soft and feels nice against the skin. It does pick up a lot of powder though and for me it’s the wrong shape for a blush brush. It will do the job however if you are out and about and want to touch up your blush.

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When I want my blush to brighten up my whole face, not only do I apply some to my cheeks but I also dab a little into the outer corner of my eyelids (even on top of say a brown eyeshadow – crease colour) I use my blush brush to do this so the colour isn’t super concentrated in one spot, but rather so it gives a hint or wash of colour. You can also do this on your temples or just above the outer half of your eyebrows.

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As you can see from the photo above, it gives a natural rosey glow to the skin. The blush does have teeny tiny shimmer in it but it isn’t visible on the skin. I love this blush and it will be a keeper when it comes to busy mornings :) You can find it at Fresh Fragrance & Cosmetics or at Sense Online (both provide free shipping).

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Stay in touch so you don’t miss the next blush on the carousel!

Catch ya next time,

Beauty Bee~

Round Up of My $100 Beauty Challenge!

As most of you beauties would know, from the 14th of July until today (that’s 4 weeks in total) I have been adhering to a budget of $100 for all beauty related purchases. It actually sounded much tougher to begin with, but once you get into the month, you start to think differently about your purchases (and perhaps become more wise? :P ) and it gets easier as you go along. I wanted to do this challenge to a) curb my spending and save more, and b) to be more conscious about what I do buy so that the products serve me in the long term more. It’s soooo easy to get caught up in the hype surrounding new collections and products, especially on social media and beauty blogs, so much so that I don’t think we really appreciate what we already have and what we do purchase (it can become quite automated in a way – robotic like!). I try and remind myself that there will always be a new collection around the corner, new product releases and limited edition goodies.

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Now as I mentioned earlier, I was pretty well stocked up in regards to my usual skin care products etc (I tend to stick to a few tried and tested products which can be a little pricey) but it still made me think outside the box when it came to goodies which I didn’t necessarily need but wanted. Now I did buy a couple of more expensive products because I had vouchers etc to use up, but I think that is a great way to treat yourself when it comes to products which you might not need but want. I don’t recommend buying products simply because they are on sale (that can be a trap) but if a product you want has been on your wish list for a long long time, then when it does come up for sale or at a discounted price I think that’s a great way to treat yourself whilst still being money savvy. I also recommend doing a lot of research about a product (whether it’s skin care or makeup) so that you can narrow down the likelihood of the product not suiting you in the long term. I think this is a really great challenge to do a few times a year, so I think I will try and schedule it in more often – especially when like I said, I have all my essentials and want to limit my spending when it comes to impulse buys and things which I want, not need.

Ok so what did I mange to get for my $100? Let’s take a look! :)

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Obviously if I paid full price for all of these goodies, I’d be waaaay over budget. So how did I do it? Firstly, let look at the the Body Shop’s body butter in Brazil Nut.

I mentioned in my first post about this challenge that presents for friends which happen to include beauty products would not be included in my $100 budget because they aren’t for me. I went into the Body Shop wanting to buy a Strawberry body butter for a friends birthday. A regular body butter came in at $28.00, however they were doing a deal (which is quite rare for the Body Shop – so I’m glad they are recently doing more deals and sales for their permanent range of products) where you could purchase two body butters for $40. That means, that for $12 on top of my friends body butter gift, I could get one for myself! I was running seriously low on my Shea Butter, so decided to grab a Brazil Nut one for a change.

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I’m so glad I grabbed this one because the scent is a little less intense than the Shea Butter but still has a light nutty scent which I find to be quite comforting. It’s as thick and as moisturising as the Shea Butter so it’s probably recommended for very dry skin. I love that it leaves a light protective layer on top of the skin, but I know that not everybody likes that. The Brazil Nut body butter contains cocoa seed butter first of all, then shea butter, glycerin, peach kernel oil (which is interesting!), beeswax, sesame seed oil and then brazil nut oil. As you can see, brazil nut oil isn’t the first ingredient on the list, but perhaps that’s because it has a strong scent or something? I don’t mind that it doesn’t feature as the main ingredient as such, because the body butter still contains some awesome ingredients. Side note: The Body Shop have now reduced the price of their body butters from $28.00 to $24.00!

The second goodie I managed to buy was Zoya’s Pixie Dust nail polish in Tomoko – a light pale, silvery gold. This is one of those nail polishes that leaves like a gritty texture on the nail. I love that it is still sparkly though, so I thought I’d give it a go. This is my first Zoya nail polish and I still haven’t tried it out – but once I do I will let you know in a Nails of the Day post :) I bought mine off Ebay for about $13 Aus monies (the original price is $12.00 US dollars) plus $10 for shipping. If you’d like to check out what Ebay shop I bought it from – you can check it out here.

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The third product I bought was Sally Hansen’s Miracle Cure Strengthener. This was on sale at Priceline and I needed a new nail strengthener/treatment. I wanted something to replace my Dr. Lewinns Revitanail. While Dr. Lewinns Revitanail works super well, it does contain formaldehyde so I wanted to find something a little more natural and harmless (I doubt it contains enough formaldehyde to cause any damage but if I can find something that works just as well without it, I will be happy).

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I was able to buy my Miracle Cure Strengthener for $10 instead of the regular retail price of $20.00. I have been using it and it works brilliantly as a base coat. Do I think it has been strengthening my nails? I’m unsure. What I don’t like is that if I am wearing it on it’s own, the nail strengthener starts to flake away after 2 or 3 days and then my natural nails are more prone to peeling as they aren’t protected. Perhaps it’s something I need to apply daily for say a week? I’ll have to give that approach a go and see if there’s any difference.

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Product no. 4 – Mitchum Clinical 48 Hour Protection in Powder Fresh for women. This is a cream deodorant – nothing really fancy here, just a staple product. I like the cream ‘clinical’ deodorants because I think they keep you fresher for longer. I prefer this one over the Dove and Rexona ‘clinical’ offerings because this scent is so much less intense (I’ve noticed that so many roll ons or cream deodorants have such strong scents, like as if they want to cover BO thanks to their ‘perfume’ which is not what I want) and is just light and fresh. I also like that it is manufactured in the US for a change (instead of Asia). The packaging is a little more more difficult when trying to get the product out, but for me that’s not a big deal.

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I don’t think it keeps you completely fresh for 48 hours – I’m assuming that is because sweating is natural and healthy, so it probably shouldn’t be stopped/blocked altogether. I would say that this keeps you fresh for about 24 hours. These types of clinical deodorants are a little pricey – I get this Mitchum one from Woolies (a supermarket) for about $14-$15 dollars. I did pick this one up on sale however for $10.50 :) I like the scent and it works well for a deodorant, so I will continue purchasing it.

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My last two products are splurges but I was super money savvy and only forked out $23.50 for both products :) I was able to purchase a Shiseido Shimmering Eye Color Creme in OR313 Sunshower and a Chanel blush in #71 Malice. I’ve wanted both products for agggges – and I got my opportunity when Fresh Fragrance and Cosmetics were having a 30% off sale plus I had a $50 voucher to spend on top of that discount. Fresh Fragrance and Cosmetics generally have cheaper prices than department stores plus they offer free shipping. If you become a member you automatically get 5% off their advertised prices. I’ve been a customer of theirs for a loooong time and the more you buy from them over time, the more discounts you are entitled to (so your 5% discount can go up to 10% or even 20%!).

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They don’t always have the full line of cosmetics and/or colours when it comes to particular brands, but they are always updating their stock and introduce different colours and products regularly, so it’s worth checking back with their site if you want to spot a particular product or colour (or send them an email – their customer service team is lovely!).  I’m obviously super happy with my mini Fresh haul :) I’m pretty sure that in a department store in Aus, the Shiseido cream shadow sells for about $44, while the Chanel blush retails for about $70.

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Above: Swatches from the left to right: Chanel blush in #71 Malice and Shiseido Shimmering Cream Eye Color in OR313 Sunshower.

Let’s tally up all of my purchases!

  • The Body Shop’s Brazil Nut Body Butter = $12
  • Zoya Pixie Dust nail polish = $13 + $10 for shipping
  • Sally Hansen’s Miracle Cure Nail Strengthener = $10
  • Mitchum Clinical Deodorant = $10.50
  • Fresh Beauty Haul – Chanel Blush and Shiseido Shimmering Cream Eye Color = $28.50

PLUS – I thought it was only fair to include my Violet Box charge of $23.00 for August. Violet Box takes payment for the box early on in the month and then delivers the box towards the end of the month, so I haven’t received it yet. The August box will be my last – after that, I will be putting an additional $23 into my savings monthly (so as if I was still paying for Violet Box but now the money goes to me lol)

Total : $107.00

Not bad huh?! I know I’m ‘technically’ over but if I hadn’t included my shipping charge for the Zoya nail polish I would have been under but I thought that wouldn’t be fair. I’m still so pleased with my result that I think I will give this challenge a go again over October/November.

Is this a challenge you might plan to do? It will get more challenging say should I run out of a regular skin care product of mine which is a tad expensive – but I think coming up with a solution will be interesting/fun :) I’m definitely going to try and be more careful with my beauty purchases from now on, even though I probably won’t be keeping count of every penny that I spend on beauty products (though on second thoughts – maybe I should, in order to gain a rough guide of how much I generally tend to spend?).I’ve got some more thinking to do it seems ;)

Let me know what you thought of my challenge and of the results! I’m off to get some tea (I need all the help I can get on a Monday zzzz…).

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Catch ya next time beauties!

Beauty Bee~

P.S Join me on Instagram and Facebook! Let’s connect with each other and other beauty bees!

July’s Violet Box

I received my Violet Box last week, towards the very end of the month (which is pretty standard). I’ve been thinking of cancelling my subscription soon because I’ve come to the realisation that while trying new products is fun – I don’t find to many that I would purchase again. I’m quite happy with my current skin care and makeup basics, so I often have samples just piling up. I still think that Violet Box is the best monthly subscription box out there (more boutique and niche brands to trial) but a break will do me good. At the moment, I think this will be my second last box for the moment. I’m also trying to be a little more money savvy, so the $23  dollars a month will be going into my savings account instead (once the cancellation comes into effect).

So what was in July’s box? Let’s take a look!

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I’m really glad that Violet Box have updated their ‘boxes’. I found the old version of the boxes to be a bit ugly slash boring lol this one is most definitely a better design! 

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Above: July’s box of goodies!

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LAQA & Co Sheer Lip Lube Pencil in the shade Bees Knees, RRP: $20.00 – full sized product. Great shade name if I say so myself ;) This product is said to be a glossy balm delivering a sheer wash of colour. While the colour is sheer, it is visible on the lips which is nice. It feels lovely and moisturising and has a gentle peppermint scent (I love peppermint so this doesn’t bother me at all!). It’s not a shade I would wear however. It’s in-between a peach and pink which just doesn’t suit me (it’s very light in colour, almost milky). I appreciate that the packaging is sturdy and aesthetically pleasing, so I feel that it’s a great full sized product to receive, despite it not being a shade I would personally wear.

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Above: Swatch of the LAQA & Co Sheer Lip Lube Pencil in the shade Bees Knees.

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Dr. Hauschka Lavender Sandalwood Calming Body Wash, RRP: $26.00 (for 200ml) – 10ml sample. Dr Hauschka is a German brand, well known for making natural based beauty products. I’ve actually never tried any of their products before, so I like this inclusion in this month’s Violet Box. I don’t expect this to be extraordinary, but it should be nice to trial. I actually like the different packaging of this sample!

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So Susan Flutter Mascara, RRP: $32.00 – Full sized product. A mascara which is supposed to impart dark, curvy lashes. It is also meant to separate your lashes and give them volume using hyaluronic spheres (so everything you could want from a mascara!). The mascara brush is surprising small (see below) and it smells fruity! I can’t comment on the fact that it’s supposed to curl your lashes as my lashes naturally curl upwards, but I can say that it separates lashes nicely. It doesn’t really give my lashes any volume (which is what I look for in a mascara specifically) so it’s more of a mascara to define your lashes. I like the gold packaging also.

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Above: So Susan Flutter Mascara wand and brush.

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KMS California Hair Play Molding Paste, RRP: $40 for 150ml, or $33 for 100ml – 20ml sample. A molding paste to add definition and texture to hair. I think this would be more suited to shorter hair, so I will be passing this onto my brother or boyfriend. I like KMS products over all, and it’s a decent sized sample!

Skin & Co Truffle Therapy Serum, RRP: $75 for $30ml – 5ml sample. This serum is meant to hydrate and plump up the skin using truffles. It also claims to fight free radicals and fine lines (I’m not quite sure how it would do this and what other ingredients are in the serum). The serum feels like a really light lotion and sinks into the skin quickly. It smells lightly sweet and it leaves the skin very smooth and hydrated. I’d probably use this under my makeup or moisturiser when going away for a weekend or holiday. I’m hoping it doesn’t break me out… but so far it looks like a lovely product. I only tested it out on the back of my hand so far, but I like it more than I thought I would, so I’ll give it a go on my face eventually.

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 Sukin Skin Purifying Facial Mask, RRP: $15.00 for 100ml – 2x 8ml samples. Clay masks are always handy to have around when your skin starts to misbehave and breakout! Sukin is an Australian brand I’ve seen around at the chemist/pharmacy etc. but have never tried. They seem to formulate their products using naturally derived ingredients which is great. This mask is formulated with Kaolin clay, aloe vera and rose hip oil. It sounds lovely :)

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Rise Beyonce Parfum – I have no idea how much this perfume retails for as it wasn’t included in the product description card which you receive in your Violet Box. It seems to a be a little ‘extra’ sample popped into each box. Perfume ‘sample cards’ usually only contain enough perfume for one use and I haven’t opened mine up yet. I doubt I’ll love it (I don’t usually go for celebrity endorsed perfumes) but I guess you never know until you try it ;)

So that’s it for July’s Violet Box! Again, it was a decent box containing 2 full sized products. None of the products have made me over the moon happy and hence my decision to take a break from these sample boxes soon, but I’m not terribly disappointed either.

Are you intrigued by any of these products? Do you receive any subscription sample boxes? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! :)

Catch ya next time beauties,

Beauty Bee~

Review: Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Palette

I always lightly contour my face when wearing makeup. I generally always use my Nars bronzing powder in Laguna (there’s shimmer in the pan, but it’s not very visible once on your skin). I saw the new Nars contouring blushes and wanted one immediately as I thought it would be great to try a totally matte contouring powder and a matte highlighting powder. Let me just quickly go on a rant and say that highlighting powders do not need shimmer in order to be effective. Contouring and highlighting means that you are playing with tones and shades which give a optical illusion of shadow and  light/brightness. If you use a paler powder than your skin tone to contrast with your contour – you are still highlighting chosen areas of your face. You want particular features to look like the light is reflecting off those parts of your face more – it doesn’t mean that it actually has to reflect light (though it can). Phew* now moving on lol

I decided to wait until my boyfriend was in the states before purchasing the Nars conturing blush (so that he could bring one back for me) and I’m so glad that I waited because in the meantime I found this Anastasia Contour Palette (see, don’t buy products on impulse!). The Nars contour blush comes with a contouring shade and a highlighting shade all for the price of $42 US. The Anastasia Contour Palette comes with 6 shades for $40 US. Soooo even though I love my Nars products, I decided to go with the Anastasia palette (it was a no brainer!).

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 Above: The palette in it’s cardboard sleeve.

 I bought it when the palette came with 6 pre-selected shades, but you can now choose what shades you would like in your palette which is great! You can buy refills, mix and switch up colour combinations, as they have a great range of shades (from contouring colours, to highlighting and setting powders) so even if you are super pale or a beauty bee of colour, you will find shades to match your skin tone! If you are really unsure about what colours to go with, they have a handy colour wheel available to point you in the right direction and colour combinations that go well with each other (you can find those on their website).

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 Above: The contour palette in all it’s glory!

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What I love about this palette is that it is seriously heavy for a palette containing 6 pressed powders inside. The weight of it makes it feel more solid and of higher quality. I think it is made from very solid cardboard even though it doesn’t automatically look like it. The packaging is in a matte black colour which means it will show finger print marks all over after you have been using it which is just a small minus. It also has a strong magnetic closure to keep your powders safe.

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Above: The 6 shades that came in my palette (3 highlighting powders and 3 contouring powders)

My palette contains 1 cool toned contouring shade which matches my colouring (Fawn – Java is also cool toned, but it’s a little darker and looks slightly red based on my skin). I didn’t mind receiving the other shades because I figured I could use them as eye shadows – and I was right!

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Above: Colours in the palette from left to right top row: Vanilla, Banana and Sand. Bottom row, left to right: Java, Fawn and Havana. 

As you can see, the highlighting powders are those in the top row, while the contouring shades make up the bottom row. There is only one shimmery powder in the palette and that is the colour Sand on the top row, first powder from the right. All the other colours are matte. They are all super smooth and silky. They are slightly powdery only because they are so so soft. It is very easy to pick up colour with your fingers or a brush. I find that you can use Sand as a highlight and because it is soooo super soft (probably the most buttery of all the colours I own in this palette) you can apply it to your face with your fingers (if you want to).

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Above: Swatches from left to right: Vanilla, Banana and Sand. As you can see they are very natural in colour.

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Above: Swatches from left to right: Java, Fawn and Havana. Java and Havana are warm toned while Fawn in cool toned.

If you buy 6 colours for $40, then each powder comes in at $6.66, which is pretty darn cheap in my books. Otherwise an individual pan costs $14. I’m sooo happy I bought this palette and I can honestly say that I will happily buy another 6 colours soon because as I mentioned, they work wonderfully as eyeshadows also. Down below is a makeup look which I created using only the colours from the palette (I mean in regards to powder products, so I used the powders as my contour powder, highlight, eyeshadows and for setting my concealer). The finished result is a natural nude look which looks polished. I go for a subtle and natural looking contour, so forgive me if the look isn’t really really sharp and dramatic. I also don’t use photoshop, so what you see is what you get. Fawn is sooo natural looking, that I would go so far to say that you can’t go wrong with this contouring shade if your fair or a beginner. It’s definitely not a colour that will make you look ‘tanned’ but rather will leave you looking polished and natural without going muddy or what not.

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I bought my palette directly from Anastasia’s official online website (they ship to Aus from the US) and this is definitely the cheapest option, I paid $18 for shipping and my order arrived really quickly (I think it took less than 2 weeks to arrive) in perfect condition. I’m not into doing my brows, so I won’t be testing out their brow products anytime soon, but I have heard great things about their eye shadow palettes so who knows, maybe I will test those out soon! For the meantime I’m very happy with my purchase! Coins well spent ;) Success!

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Are you tempted by these contouring/highlighting powders? Is Anastasia Beverly Hills a brand you love or are familiar with? Let me know in the comments below!

Catch ya next time beauties,

Beauty Bee~

July Favourites

Happy August beauties! Another month is down and another begins. I can’t say July was terrible, it had it’s ups and it’s downs like every month. August will be interesting because it’s the beginning of a new academic semester so I will go back to teaching again (which I do enjoy) and my boyfriend will  be away on a trip for most of the month (90% of the month actually) which will be different (I don’t want to sound pathetic now haha). It’s also starting to warm up in Sydney which is really nice, so let’s wait and see what August brings :)

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This is my first favourites of the month post and I think I will just see how I go doing these. I may try and do them every month or perhaps every two or three months depending on the season and how many ideas I have. So let’s take a look shall we? :)

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Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light. I have been using this powder for quite a while now (a good few months) as you can probably see from the picture below. I use it as a finishing powder to set my foundation. It brings a natural radiance to your skin and I find the beige shade of the powder to be very natural looking. It extends the wear of my foundation and doesn’t have any obvious shimmer in the formula which makes me love it that much more!

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Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet in 07 Nude-ist. Bourjois’s liquid matte lipstick in 07 Nude-ist is a lovely rosey shade. The lasting power of these babies are awesome! I wore this shade to a job interview that I had about 2 weeks ago and I wasn’t worried about this lip colour flaking, wearing off etc. and it didnt! I even had a nervous coffee to kill some time before my interview and it survived the coffee :) It can be a little drying after a few hours, but that’s what you kinda get with a liquid lipstick. This colour is also a touch darker on the lips than it appears in the packaging (just keep that in mind).

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Above: Swatches of Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet in 07 Nude-ist (on the left) and Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light (on the right).

Dior Diorshow Blackout Mascara & Diorshow Maximizer Lash Plumping Serum. Hands down my favourite lash primer and mascara. Diorshow Blackout is a very dark black, volumising mascara. If I’m wearing mascara, I want my lashes to be very black and to contrast with the whites of my eyes (you look more awake that way and your eyes pop more). I have quite long lashes naturally, so these just thicken them up and extend their length that little bit more. If anything, this mascara can smudge a tiny bit underneath my eyebrows because my lashes become so full and long with this mascara that they can touch the skin under my eyebrows (I know right?!). To me that’s just evidence that this mascara is great lol I love the mascara primer also because of it’s thickening power – the more the better in my opinion. I do also like Clinique’s mascara primer because it works just as well as the Dior counterpart and is cheaper, but I’m not sure if they still sell it (let me know if you have seen it around!).

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I also like that Diorshow Blackout’s formula thickens up over time and gets better in it’s volumising power. These mascaras last me a good couple of months (around 6 months), so I feel like I am getting my monies worth by far.

And last but not least is my favourite chocolate in the world – Kinder Chocolate! The same chocolate used for Kinder Surprise chocolate eggs, but in little bars. The centre of these bars is milky and super creamy. Some would classify these chocolates as chocolates for children (seeing as kinder means children in German) but I say, why should children have all the fun :P I always keep a few small bars in my handbag for chocolate emergencies :) :) :)

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That wraps up my favourites of the month beauties – I thought I would keep it short and sweet seeing as it’s my first every monthly favourites :)

Do you love any of the products I mentioned? Do you have any exciting plans for August? Let me know in the comments below because I love connecting with my readers and all the beauty bees around the world!

Catch ya next time,

Beauty Bee~