Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Blog sale! Nail polish (Aus only)

Due to international shipping restrictions I have to sadly decline any international bids for polish :( so have at it, Aussie belles!

Postage will be $5 for up to five polishes, and $10 after that. Most have been used 1-2x unless otherwise stated. Please comment with an email address and which polishes you're after, and I will email you with the total payment and ask for your address. I have padded bags and bubble wrap but if anything's broken during postage, I can't be held responsible.

China Glaze
Liquid Leather $3
Orange Knockout $3

Cameron (lime green) $5
Bianca (dark blue-green) $5

Orly Minis in Cosmic Kiss and White out, $4 for both
The Face Shop in WH002 (white) $4
Jezy Glitter #30 and Jezy Lilac #20, $1 for both

BYS French White $1
BYS Crackle Finish in Grey $1
Nubar Baby Blue $3

CND #419 Milky Way $5
Seche Vite (half bottle) $2
Seche Restore (full bottle, no dropper) $4

Mode Cosmetics, $1 each OR 3 for $2
Bubblegum HTF! (2/3 full)
Ooh Baby

Tree Hugger HTF!
Starry Night (new formula which is green, old was sparkly black)
Totally Hot

Blackjack (black)
Blackberry (almost-black purple)
Lilac Dawn

Pearl (half full, .50c or free with 3 others)
So Parisian (half full, .50c or free with 3 other polishes)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Team Pink Eye: Unique Pigments give-away!

If you haven't heard of Team Pink Eye, please go check out their blog now. They're a combination of amazing make-up bloggers and creators who are raising money for breast cancer and raising awareness.

My auntie has had breast cancer and my boyfriend's grandmother has had cancer, and they were both lucky enough to go into remission and become survivors. We don't know enough about this disease to prevent or cure it, so millions across the globe are struck down every year, leaving devastated friends and family in their wake.

My contribution to Team Pink Eye will be two-fold, I'm hosting a give-away (YAY!) and I'll also be posting a couple of looks this week.

The company I'm doing a give-away with is Unique Pigments (Artfire store link, they also have a Facebook store here). Now, I haven't personally tried this company but I've heard a lot of good things about them (read reviews here, here and here). They created a beautiful matte pink shade specifically for the project and they are donating a 5gr jar of it for the give-away :)

If you like Unique Pigments, like pink or just want to give more, there's a gift set with this shadow and two more which is available in the Unique Pigments Artfire shop and 35% of the proceeds from each sale will go to the Susan G Komen Passionately Pink for the Cure foundation.

How does the give-away work? Well! Go here and donate $5 to be a part of ALL Team Pink Eye give-aways this week! Then return to this post and comment with an email address and the name you used to donate with. Then wait for Frances and Rebecca to contact the winner at the end of the week! Even if you're not into pink (like me) this is a worthy cause. Please check out the Team Pink Eye blog for more looks and LOTS more give-aways!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Indie perfume favourites

I'll admit it: I'm pretty confident when I review make-up. Colour preferences aside, there are qualities that indicate, well, quality - opacity, longevity, texture, presentation and to some extent, packaging. I've done some basic photography classes and I consider myself handy enough with a camera to get decent photos. I can structure a review well enough that I feel comfortable calling my posts "reviews" instead of just haul posts or swatches.

However when it comes to perfumes, I feel COMPLETELY out of my depth. I literally went from cheap-o Impulse body sprays to that weird musky ea de toilette perfume called Taboo (I still have a bottle knocking around somewhere, I think) and then staggered onto the indie perfume scene with a vague understanding of top notes and dry-downs and a definite dislike for powdery florals. Since then I've thrown money at several companies, sampled my nose off and generally tried to understand what and why some things make me smile after I sniff (since all the boyfriend can tell me is "I like that one" or "I don't like that one").

Perfume is so personal, my lack of knowledge aside, I'm just not comfortable reviewing it. But I didn't want to keep completely silent about the great experiences I've had with several indie companies, so I'm going to compile a list of favourites instead of actual reviews. This way I get to showcase the stuff I love without having to buy a perfume dictionary from Amazon, which means more money for smelly things! YAY!

For me, scents fall into four different categories. The first is tolerance. I don't mind smelling it, but I'd never use it. The second is like - those are the smells I might go for in a soap or scrub, but I wouldn't wear as a perfume. The third is enjoyment. Those are the perfumes I'll return to - that I have a strong memory of, and I get in the 'mood' to wear. The last one is something I discovered only recently - that is perfume love. When you find yourself reaching for the same perfume every day. When all you want to do is sit there inhaling its gloriousness. When you wish everything in the world would smell like that perfume. When you're tempted to drink it to see if it tastes as good as it smells. I didn't realise there was perfume love until I smelled this scent. Ahem.

Purple Almond
This is a definite enjoyment perfume for me. I adore lavender and this is mixed with the smell of sugared almonds - a rare treat. The lavender keeps it from becoming too 'foody' for me. It's such a calming smell. I turn to this perfume when I'm particularly stressed. I bought a full-sized bottle.

Nuee Ardente
I like spicy, incense-y smells and this perfume is amazingly so - but not musky or pungent at all. This scent is fierce and warm and the rose-y notes temper it into something beautiful. This is one of the 'boyfriend-approved' ones, so I didn't hesitate getting a full-sized one.

Wrestling Tigers While Calling Your Mom Long Distance
What a name! More incense-y, woody smells here, but this particular perfume opens with this amazingly realistic cola scent. It smells like a curious sort of medicinal drink. It's suggested as a perfume for "those days when you are doing absolutely everything", and I feel like I have those a lot, so I got a full-size of this one too.

Candy Mechanic
The backstory behind this scent was so charming, and anything vaguely oil/petrol, metallic or earthy reminds me of my boyfriend. I found the description of this perfume to be absolutely spot on. For me, this scent toes the line between enjoyment and like - I didn't get a full size of this, but I have reached for the sample vial occasionally. It's such an intriguing scent!

Visit Zomg Smells here.

Dessert Absinthe
This perfume was a surprise to me. I like liquorice but I never would have imagined wearing it as a perfume. I'm also not a big fan of citrus scents... but this perfume blends both in such a way that it becomes this sweet, effortlessly invigorating concoction. The evolution of this scent when worn is beautiful, too - it starts out with a strong anise top note, and then as it dries you can really smell the lemon - but it's a soft, sweet lemon, like lemonade cream or something. Not sour or reminiscent of cleaning products at all (which is the main reason I dislike citrus scents). The result a few hours later is this lingering sweetness - vanilla with a touch of something darker. I have a little of my sample left and also a tube of solid fragrance. I don't wear this as often as I'd like since my boyfriend hates liquorice. Lysa offers this scent as a milk bath and I'm severely tempted.

Offer me a fragrance with coffee or chocolate in it and I'm very likely to try it - as you'll see when I talk about indie bath goodies later. Baltus was as much of a surprise for me as Dessert Absinthe was. I wasn't sure if I'd like this fragrance... I definitely didn't expect to fall in love with it.

I want to bathe in Baltus. I smell espresso - rich and strong. I smell caramel and chocolate and a bit of vanilla - creamy, sticky, sweet. Then emerges the fig, mashed together with pumpkin - an altogether different kind of sticky-creamy-sweet, much more effervescent; pungent but not sour at all. Baltus is a wild smell. The name Baltus makes me think of Bacchus, the Greek god of wine, which is fitting. This scent is indulgence. It's sexy and selfish and I enjoy every second of it. I have an empty sample vial and a full-size of this. I've been checking the shop every week or so in case Lysa does bath salts with Baltus - I'll have to buy a few packets!

I tried several other perfumes from TMTM, which have received rave reviews from various other bloggers - and they just didn't do anything for me. Not like Baltus. I also have a few other perfume vials I haven't touched. That's the problem with perfume love; sometimes you can't even make yourself wear something else!

Visit TMTM here.

Next up, favourite indie soap/scrub/lip balm scents!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Lotions and Potions and Serums, oh my!

I've never had "great" skin - sure, I haven't had acne or battled a constant surge of giant pimples. However I do have enlarged pores, the occasional horror pimple, and my oily skin is black-head-ridden. Add to that the fact I'm officially 'an adult' and the cosmetic industry tells me I should start looking at preventative ageing skincare. EEP!

Not wanting to spend hundreds on expensive stuff like Clinique, Lancome, SK-II and also not being really sure what exactly my skin needs, I turned to Silk Naturals.

I already use a daily moisuriser with a sunscreen (Olay Complete UV Protection Moisture Lotion in Sensitive), cleanse with either OHWTO's Black Magic or Dream Tree Soapworks Magic Mirror Facial Cleansing Bar. I exfoliate a few times a week with St. Ives' Apricot Invigorating Scrub and at night I use Roses Are Red Face and Eye Cream from Sobe Botanicals.

I decided to focus mostly on getting rid of my blackheads and combatting the sun damage under my eyes. These are the products I got from Silk Naturals:

Microdermabrasion Cream
Apricot Cleansing Oil
Facelift Serum (sample)
Hemp Moisturiser

Then of course, not skin-care related I purchased a Kisser Slicker Lipstick in Nectar (which is a dupe of Joeybunny's much-beloved Black Honey) and got not one, but TWO full-sized GWP eyeshadows and a blush sample (which I transferred into a jar).

I already know I'm going to be purchasing a full-size of the Vitamin C Peptide Serum rather than the Facelift that I sampled. I also wouldn't mind trying some of the other moisturisers. I will review the make-up when I'm back from Sydney, but I've never really reviewed skincare, and it's something you have to try consistently to see if it lives up to its claims. I've never used anything microderma...braising? or a serum before.

One thing I am impressed with is how affordable Silk Naturals products are - and the generous GWP system! They don't sell samples of their make-up which is, for me, one of the things I like most about indie make-up. They do sample skincare though, and honestly, their makeup is so well-priced and there are so many places you can find swatches online, I'm not really fussed about that so much any more.

Any skin-care reviewing tips you'd like to share? Have you tried anything from Silk Naturals?