Sunday, 20 January 2013

Everyday makeup routine :)

I always find it really interesting to see what products people like enough to include into their everyday makeup routine, and how they combine products to work for them, so I thought I would put up a post about the products that have made it into my everyday routine!
This is the face routine I have been following for the past couple of months and it has been working really well for me :)
I begin with cleansed skin (I use my MP skincare line) moisturized with Natio sensitive gel day moisturizer, and put a lip balm on my lips.
I start off by priming my skin with BB cream. My two current favourites are the MP BB cream in light, and the Chi Chi Super BB in light, however I have been using my Chi Chi more currently as it suits my skin tone a little better :)
Before my BB cream has fully set, I follow up with my Flormar Mat Touch Foundation in Ivory. I really like this foundation as it is quite high coverage but is still thin, and is in no way cakey or heavy on the skin. Keeps my skin fairly matte throughout the day without being drying.

I then cover any angry blemishes or red patches with my Rimmel Hide the Blemish concealer in Ivory. It is quite creamy and pigmented so it does a good job of covering marks and is easy to blend out.

I set my face with my Australis fresh & flawless powder (which I find has the pigmentation of a powder foundation and sets my face well) in Natural if I want some extra coverage, or my Rimmel stay matte powder in Translucent if I simply want my foundation to stay in place all day without extra coverage.

Next up I use some blush on the apples of my cheeks and blend back through to my temples. I like pinky blushes, my two favourites at the moment being the Essence multi-touch blush in 20 fashionista and the Victoria Jackson palette blush.

I highlight the tops of my cheeks with either my Coral Colours palette face highlighting powder or my Essence Cherry Blossom Girl highlighting pen.

I use my Essence Kohl eye pencil in black or my Rimmel Scandaleyes eye pencil in black glitter to line my waterline, tightline, and smudge some throughout my upper lashline.

If I want some extra definition, I will line my upper lashline with a liquid eyeliner, either my Savvy by DB eyeliner pen, or my new current favourite, my Essence Cherry Blossom Girl eyeliner in 01 big in japan, a pigmented black eyeliner. I am loving the essence eyeliner as it comes with a thin tip end, as well as an angled marker tip end for thicker lines. 

I then follow with a couple of coats of my essence get big lashes volume curl mascara :)

Finally I will add a lipstick or a gloss, my current favourites have been the Essence lipstick in all about cupcake and a sportsgirl gloss I recently picked up in a light shimmery pink. Both these colours are not too dramatic but add a hint of pink to my lips and go with any outfit I put on.

And that completes my everyday face routine!

Have you guys tried any of these products? What did you think? What products have made it into your everyday makeup routine?

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Favourites and Un-Favourites of 2012

I thought to start 2013, I would review some of my favourite and most-hated products of 2012. To keep up the new year positivity, I will begin with the products that I really enjoyed over the past year :)

Models Prefer Skincare (Wipes, Cleanser, Mask, Scrub)
I started using this Models Prefer skincare line recently, and it has impressed me so much in such a short time that I had to include it :) I use the exfoliating deep clean wipes, the MILKYway 2 in 1 cleanser and toner, Rub&Scrub exfoliater, THIRSTstop mask, and the DAILYperfect moisturizer as well as the BB cream (which features further down). They contain MP aquaflex which focuses on hydrating skin at a deeper level. I love all these products as they are gentle on my skin, whilst being very hydrating.


Flormar Mat Touch Foundation
I purchased this foundation from a Flormar popup stand in my local Westfield. I chose the mattifying formula as it was summer and I had a bit of oily skin happening. Some mattifying foundations dry my face out too far, but I found this one to be perfect :) I use it all year round, and it never goes shiny or dries my skin out, even without a setting powder it sets itself to a beautiful light powdery finish. It also matches my skin really well in the lightest shade, it is a true ivory with just enough colour for me without oxidizing or being too dark & it does not break me out. I have had the bottle for about a year and with me using it a few times a week it still has some left :)

BB Cream - Currently Models Prefer & Chi Chi
I have been absolutely loving my BB creams during the second half of 2012 :) The first BB cream I discovered that actually benefitted my skin and did not break me out was the Models Prefer BB cream (in the shade light). I use this BB cream on its own when I want a light coverage and it also makes a fantastic base under makeup. 
It has also kept my skin extremely hydrated, and I feel has helped with my spots & marks. A new BB cream I have been trying out is the Chi Chi BB cream (in light) , and I like it just as much as my models prefer. I am yet to see the effects it has in the longer term on my skin, but so far it has kept my skin hydrated and has lovely coverage.
Its colouring is a bit lighter than the MP cream which is the slightest tiniest bit too dark, so I may begin mixing the two to create the perfect colour. 

Australis Fresh & Flawless pressed powder
I used this powder for the majority of the year when I needed a setting powder for over my foundation, especially when I needed a top-up on coverage.
This powder is lovely! I have it in the lightest shade, natural, and it keeps me matte throughout the day, whilst also providing the coverage of a powder foundation to keep my face looking nice all throughout the day :) does not break me out, no complaints about this one! I really like it.

Victoria Jackson Palette - Blush
This blush came in palette that was part of a Victoria Jackson makeup stand that was again in my local Westfield! The palette contains two eyeshadows, 4 lipcolours, and this blush. I do enjoy the other products, they are really lovely colours & good formulas, but not colours I wear enough to make them my favourites. This blush is a very Orgasm-esque shade, perhaps a bit darker, and gives my cheeks the perfect amount of colour and a delicate gold shimmer :) I love it!


Essence Black Kohl Eyeliner
I love this eyeliner, it is so pigmented and smooth to apply, never pulls or tugs at my eyes! It is great for smudging on my lower or upper lashline & for lining my water/tight lines. It lasts quite a long time on my eyes, without smudging and for around $3.00, I have not found a better eyeliner.

Essence flat angled eyeliner brush
When I don't feel like wearing liquid eyeliner on my lid, instead I use an angled eyeliner brush to smudge some black shadow or black pencil along my upper lashline for some definition :) my favourite brush to use for this is an angled eyeliner brush as it gets right into the base of the lashline and allows me to create a nice thin line.


 Mirenesse Velvet Lip Glosses
Got given these from a friend who got them as GWP with her mirenesse foundation, and I am so glad I got to try them out as it is not a brand I would ever really have considered buying otherwise. They are honestly the best lipglosses I have ever tried! The formula is pigmented but still lightweight and glossy on the lips and leaves my lips so smooth after wearing that it's like I was wearing a lip balm!

Essence lipstick in 'All about Cupcake'
It took so long for me to hunt down this lipstick! Every target and priceline was sold out but finally I managed to get my hands on one and I love it! The perfect natural 'my lips but better' colour that goes with everything. I wear this almost every day and it has lovely pigmentation and a great smooth formula.


Max Factor Fantasy Fire
This is honestly the most beautiful and unique nail polish I have ever seen! Worn on its own it is a gorgeous deep purple with a red reflect, but worn ontop of other polishes it can be anywhere from red to yellow to green. Also comes in a cute little bottle, I like it when polish comes in smaller bottles as you actually get to use up the polish before it goes gluggy or dries out.

Essence Gel Look Top Coat
My favourite topcoat! Quick drying, glossy topcoat that finishes my nails off beautifully and helps my polish to last :)


Natures Organics 'dry nourish' shampoo & conditioner
These have to be the best shampoo & conditioner I have ever used! They are so hydrating, the shampoo lathers beautifully without stripping my hair, and the coonditioner is so thick and nourishing that you only have to use a tiny amount. They also have the most gorgeous sweet coconutty scent that lingers in my hair for days. Only a few dollars each from woolies, I love bargain products that still manage to perform outstandingly!

Herbal Essences 'none of your frizziness' serum
I use this serum throughout the lengths and ends of my hair whilst it is still damp after being washed and it gives my hair extra shine and reduces frizz once my hair is dry, without weighing down my hair or leaving it looking greasy. Also has a really yummy tropical smell, and works better than a lot of the higher priced serums and creams I have tried. One bottle has lasted me months as you only need 1-2 pumps at a time. Great product.

Schwarzkopf LIVE Colour Silver Toner
 I began using this after one trying out a different dye brand that left my hair with a strange orange hue to it.. :/ I bought this in the hope it would neutralise the orange tones in my hair and it did a fantastic job! The formula is like a thick purple conditioner and is surprisingly extremely conditioning to the hair. Since then I have used this product to follow up every time I dye my hair at home and it always leaves my hair looking conditioned, fresh, and removes any warm brassy tones that the dye may have left. The packet says the toner only lasts 8 washes, but I use a purple shampoo to keep it maintained until the next dye job. And it only costs me a couple of dollars!
Vera Wang Princess
I adore this perfume! It is so sweet and girly but not overpoweringly so, I wear it almost every day and get so many compliments on it. I really want to try out some of the other Vera Wang Princess perfumes in future as well!

Natio Vitamin E moisturizer
I love to use natural products on my skin when I can! However I absolutely DETEST the gross generic natural smell that comes along with a lot of them. I don't know exactly what the smell is, but I believe it may be geranium or a similar kind of plant smell. In this product it was just ridiculously strong, to the point where I could not even stand to have it on my face. Ended up using it to moisturize my feet and sunburnt legs to keep the smell away from my face.

Garnier Original BB cream
This was probably the most horrendous product I have ever used on my skin. Pretty much a tube of oily goop which broke me out SO BADLY, make my skin itchy, provided zero coverage, and lasted all of two seconds. Biggest waste of 10 dollars ever. I do enjoy the new formulation for oily skin however.

Revlon colourstay liquid liner
This product is so unpredictable! When it works, it works well, but when it decides it doesn't want to work it is nothing more than a useless, watery, straggly felt tip eyeliner with horrendous pigmentation. When I bought this eyeliner in Blackest Black, I expected it to live up to its name, but after using I think they should reconsider changing the name to unpredictable light grey. My first bottle, this happened about two weeks after opening, suddenly instead of being an opaque black the eyeliner was watery, no amount of shaking could get me even a hint of black. I thought maybe I had stored or used it incorrectly so I gave it another go, the next bottle was watery from the day I opened it!! Another thing I do not enjoy is how the applicator holds up. All my other eyeliners with the same style tip applicators hold their shape, whereas this one develops straggly little fibres at the tip, which collect eyeliner and leave you with smears and spots of eyeliner where you did not intend for there to be. Is not cheap either so I was expecting a lot more. The liquid liner I purchased from woolies works better.

Tresemme Shampoo & Conditioner for dry hair
A girl I use to work with had the most amazing shiny healthy hair, and when i asked her what S&C she used, she told me these ones. I was almost finished my old ones so I picked up some new tresemme ones, and unfortunately I was sadly dissapointed.

Sunsilk Hairspray (Silver + Green Can)
This stuff smelt nice, but was SOOOO tacky! It felt like it never dried, my hair was tacky and sticky to the touch all throughout the day :( It was hard to wash out, and I definately could not get a second day wear out of my hair with this in it. Much prefer goldwell or my elnett hairspray.

Edward Beale conditioning spray for blondes
Smells bad, and useless. Has a natural smell, but not a nice one AT ALL! It resembles chamomile, in its strongest most horrendous form. The stink did not leave my hair, and I think it may have made my hair frizzier. I actually think I would gain more benefit from just spraying water in my hair. Chucking!

So they are my favourite and un-favourite products of 2012! 

 Have you tried any of these products? What did you think? What were your favourite products of the past year?

Monday, 7 January 2013

Chi Chi BB Cream - Swatches & First Impressions

After being so impressed by my Chi Chi 'Glamorous Nudes' Palette that I picked up at Target, I decided to head back to have a good look at all the other products they have in their collection. I was considering some of their foundations and primers when I spotted they had released a BB cream! 
I immediately picked it up -in the lightest shade, Light-, as I have been in a bit of a BB cream buying phase lately and want to see if there is one out there that can beat my favourite at the moment by Models Prefer. I find BB creams are so lovely on the skin during the summer as they are not as heavy as regular foundation.
The Chi Chi BB cream retails for $19.95, but I picked mine up for 30% off in Targets after Christmas sales. Bonus! :)

The Chi Chi BB cream comes packaged in a sleek matte black box, with the same pink & white script as the tube. The tube itself resembles that of the Liolie BB Creams, a squeeze tube with a pump on the end and a clear cap. I think the packaging is sleek & modern as well as functional with its pump and I really enjoyed that about this product.

The description on the box reads:

We travelled to South Korea, the place where the whole BB cream phenomenon started, to learn about these products and bring to the market the best possible formulation.
BB creams have been widely used by Korean Dermatologists since the 1980's in patients recovering from cosmetic and skin surgery to cover up their scars and wounds as they are an excellent lightweight formula that provide coverage whilst at the same time being a nutritious, soothing source of hydration, moisture and special care ingredients.
This two in one "makeup meets skincare" product is so easy to manage and maintain in a busy lifestyle that it will make you throw away your plain tinted moisturizer forever!

Chi Chi's super moisturizing, multi benefit, anti ageing skin BB cream contains more than 14 essential skin conditioning agents that guarantee your skin will look radiant with a natural, healthy looking glow.
Formulated with the powerful, active ingredients Collguard™ (anti wrinkle collagen) and Caviar Extract (highly antioxidant, super moisturizing and soothing) your skin will be enriched with a wealth of vitamins and minerals to reduce the signs of ageing, as well as Botanical Actives and Hyaluronic Acid microspheres for plumping and optimal looking skin.
This two in one "makeup meets skincare" tinted cream formula with SPF 30 may be worn as a 'light foundation with benefits' or as a primer to help conceal blemishes, uneven colouring, fine lines, scarring and other skin imperfections. It will let your skin breathe whilst radiating a healthy lustre.

I really liked the fact that Chi Chi went in to so much detail in its description not only of its own product, but also the history of BB creams as a whole, and the benefits that they can bring about to the skin. Other BB creams simply advertise on light coverage but this one focuses on its many skin nourishing ingredients that it contains as well as coverage, which is what original BB creams were formulated for.
Another thing that reaallly impressed me was 'only tested on family and friends' and the 'made in south korea' written on the box! Whilst I am not a crusader, I do of course always try to choose products which are not tested on animals. I also think it speaks significantly about this BB cream that it is made in the location where the true BB creams originated, using the same science.

The Chi Chi BB Cream contains Caviar extract, Collguard™, Avacado oil, Olive oil, Wheat germ oil, Green tea, White mulberry tree extract, Gotu Kota extract, Vitamin E and SPF 30. Here is what Chi Chi has to say about the benefits of these ingredients:
 Caviar extract 
Caviar extract has a tremendous benefit on the skin as it offers a wealth of vitamins and minerals to nourish the skin and reduce the signs of ageing. It is a rich source of essential amino acids , Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids, Vitamins A, D, E, B1, B2 and B6 as well as trace elements potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron and selenium. Caviar extract is highly antioxidant, nourishing, moisturizing, revitalising, soothing, and supports skin in its fight against ageing 5 times. 

As the name suggests, this is a collagen guard and enhancer which helps protect collagen in the skin from breaking down (glycation, free radical attack and collagenesis) while also restarting collagen synthesis. By preserving newly synthesised collagen and preventing collagen degredation your skin will be left supple, firm, protected, and strong with enhanced elasticity.
Oils of Olive, Avocado and Wheat germ 
All naturally occuring oils that are rich in vitamins and linoleic acid (an essential fatty acid which aids in skin cell renewal) together they help to heal and soothe irritated skin whilst also having a super moisturizing effect and producing excellent skin complexion.

Green tea
 Is an antioxidant so neutralises free radicals in the body and hence protects cell and DNA breakdown in the skin. It is also an astringent (has the property to constrict and shrink body tissue) and has anti-inflammatory actions. Also has anti-ageing properties inhibiting the breakdown of collagen in the skin.

White mulberry tree extract 
Contains Bioflavanoids which have anti-ageing effects on the skin as well as leaving it smooth and calm. Naturally brightens the complexion and corrects skin pigmentation imperfections.

Gotu kola extract
 A herb extract to assist in the synthesis of collagen and strengthen skin.

Vitamin E 
As well as the naturally occuring Vitamin E in the other special skin care ingredients above, we topped it up for greater antioxidant effect and protection against skin damage and ageing.

+SPF 30!
 Great for protection against the sun here in Australia, means I do not have to layer a separate sunscreen :)

With such a write up on its myriad of good-for-the-skin ingredients and the perfect light (but not too light) coverage it has, I expected big things from this BB Cream performance wise and it certainly did impress me.

Here is the BB cream swatched on my hand:

And here is the finish once it has settled for a few minutes:

 and on my face (with no primer or setting powder, on non-moisturized skin to show moisturizing properties):

(Ignore my bad skin!)

Concealing and Hiding Imperfections
As you can see, with one layer this BB cream provides a nice light coverage on the skin. It dulls the redness of my skin and blemishes significantly, and disguises most light scarring. Obviously current/angry blemishes or spots will show through the light coverage, but this BB cream is not formulated to be heavy coverage so if this is what you like this is not the product for you.
However, you can layer it to provide your skin with a more medium coverage. The good thing about this formulation is that it does not become cakey or separate on the skin when it is layered, even if the first layer has completely set when you apply more.
It can also be used as a primer with benefits & coverage for under foundation - I have tried it out with my flormar and FOA foundations and it provides a lovely hydrating base for the foundation to stick too, with a little added coverage which is nice. I have not used it with foundation enough yet to comment whether it makes your makeup last longer, but I will speak more about this in my follow up post :)
I also really liked that this BB creams lightest shade was light enough for my fair skin. I have found some others to be too dark, or to match when first applied but then oxidise orange (not attractive!) but not this one!
It dries to a lovely not-too-dewy-not-too-matte finish, and makes the skin look very hydrated and natural.

Skin Care Benefits
Having only used this product for a few weeks, I am yet to be able to comment on the long term benefits or effects it will bring about in my skin. For now I can comment that it is certainly very hydrating to the skin, and has not irritated my skin or caused it to break out. Hopefully over time some of my acne scarring will fade, and the anti-ageing benefits will protect my skin for the future.
I will definately be writing a follow up post after using this product for a few months to talk more in depth about how it has affected my skin.

In my experience so far, I think this is a lovely BB cream and would recommend it for people looking for hydrating skin coverage with some great skincare benefits!
I like it just as much as my models prefer BB cream (which I will be reviewing very soon!) on formulation so far, but I prefer this one on colour basis as it matches my fair skin tone a little better.

What BB creams has everyone else tried out? Would you give the ChiChi BB cream a go?

Friday, 4 January 2013

Couture Colour 'Jewel Tones' Kit Demo

Was recently in my local Target, hunting for after Christmas/New Years/Boxing day bargains, and saw that all the makeup sets released for Christmas were on sale, most for 50%+ off! 

Not having tried this brand or any of these sets from Target before, I was a bit unsure about what the quality would be like as there were no testers to swatch, but I figured for 4 dollars I would give one of the medium size sets in 'Jewel Tones' a go. They had a wide variety of colours and sizes in the sets, including a smokey eye kit, etc.
The Jewel Tones kit came in a cardboard book style box with step by step instructions of how to recreate the look on the front of the box. Inside is 8 eyeshadows (in removable pans, so they can be taken out of the bulky plastic packaging if desired), a liquid liner, two nailpolishes, a double ended brush/sponge applicator, and two eyeliners.
Not bad for $4!

Upon opening up the kit, the first thing I was really pleasantly surprised by was the quality of the eyeshadows. Sometimes in these cheap makeup kits, the eyeshadows are simply colourful pots with absolutely no product payoff on the skin, but this was not the case. Eyeshadows were nice, had a light metallic sheen to them.

Next I tested out the pencil eyeliners. Again, I expected these to have little or no payoff but these eyeliners were smooth, did not pull on the skin/eyes, and were very pigmented.
The liquid eyeliner was a gorgeous colour, light aqua green with a metallic gold reflect to it. It reminded me of a mermaid! :) the eyeliner dried quickly, and really did not budge whatsoever, I had to actually scrub at it to get it to come off my hand!

Have not tried out the lasting power of the nailpolishes yet, but they are very opaque with just one coat and dry pretty quickly on the nails. One is the same shade as the liquid liner and the other one is the same shade as the purple eyeshadow, with some shimmer to it. Lovely colours!
I used some of the eyeshadows and the eyeliners to try the products out and I did a different look on each eye.

Look 1 used the top row of shadows (the yellow, pale green and dark greens) as well as the liquid eyeliner & the greeny blue pencil liner.

Look 2 used the second row of eyeshadows (pale blue, dark blue and purple) and the black pencil liner.

Would love to hear some feedback, so let me know which eye look you prefer out of the two and why!

 All in all I was pleased with the quality of this kit and may pick up some others while they are on sale!
I will be doing a review of an exciting new BB cream by Chi Chi I also picked up from Target sometime next week so stay tuned for that :)