Tuesday, January 31, 2012

EotD: first day at new job

I wasn't 100% sure how many of the other girls wear make-up, and whether or not they are as into brights as I am, so I decided to play it safe and do a neutral lid with a pop of colour on the lower lashline.

Products used:
Champagne Toast by Aromaleigh (lid)
English Rose by Lost in Makeupland (highlight)
Turquoise from Sleek Circus palette (lashline)
Covergirl liquiline blast eyeliner in brown to tightline
Australis Extenderlash Mascara in black

Lips are Morgana Cryptoria Roses & Violets with Rimmel gloss over the top.
Brows are a random old Revlon pencil that is down to a stub now... I guess that means I need to start brow product shopping soon! I promise my brows didn't look as raggedy in person. That macro is unforgiving!

To match this necklace (and the eye make-up) I wore a blush-pink dress with a turquoise belt and flats.

I'm going to make a concentrated effort to go through my eyeshadow samples - especially the ton of neutrals I amassed for work! - and finish them off. I have enough full-sized neutrals in a gamut of colours to last me for EVAH (never mind that there's still some Fyrinnae and Silk Naturals ones I want. Definitely don't need 'em!)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Not make-up related: news!

I'm really, really exited because I've found a new job! It's a small business with great products, I'm not taking a paycut and the hours are just as good, if not better because I'm a casual again (instead of being part-time). What has me personally relieved is that there is no uniform and the dress code is smart-casual. So I'll be able to wear coloured polish and eye makeup again! I can feel myself relaxing already! I'm giving my two weeks notice at my current job tomorrow, and by the time uni starts I will have finished there and be finishing my initial probation at the new job. You can expect to see a LOT more NotDs and EotDs from me now, and maybe even some more jewelry making (since I have to get my study ready for the semester, I might be able to set myself up a craft station as well).

It's sad how customers can ruin a job for you. I think if the company itself hadn't been so ridiculously strict on some things I could have handled that particular stress a little more easily... vice versa, maybe if we didn't have such a high percentage of rude/demanding customers, it might have left me with more head-space to shrug off management issues I had problems with. But things being what they were, I decided that having the mental capacity to concentrate on graduating at the end of the year was more important than trying to stick it out at a job that was increasingly stressing me out.

My boyfriend has been wonderfully supportive through my decision-making process. I have to stay I'm glad it happened now rather than 6-7 months ago when I was still at home, as my parents were really skeptical about me leaving such a "good" job (and I am still very much concerned with their approval :/). They are an extremely generous company to both staff and customers, don't get me wrong, but... No amount of training sessions or discounts or free product is enough for me to pander to customers being rude and demanding! You don't get to walk all over me because you 'contribute' to my paycheck. That is NOT how it works for me and since that seemed to be how my workplace did it, I felt it was time to find an employer who was a better fit for my personality and my beliefs. That it happened so quickly, and with a company who sells product I am actually passionate about is a huge blessing. When I say quickly, I mean I dropped my resume there on a Tuesday morning, received a phone call from them Tuesday afternoon, had the interview on Friday and am starting Monday (tomorrow!) It was amazing and ridiculous and I'm really nervous but also happy. I am going to miss the amazing co-workers from my old job, but if I put aside all my money worries and my anxiety about learning new things, I know I will be much better off with this new job.

Just so this isn't a wall of text, here's the Australis flaky over a taupe franken!


P.S. Check out my rant/essay on customer service at my other blog, where there will be more book and comic book reviews soon. /plugplug

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Skincare and empties and favourites!

This is a combined mini-review, empties, wishlist and recommendations post. Because I can.

Products I am re-buying:
Dove Clinical Protection anti-perspiration deodorant
I'm on my... fourth one of these? I'm one of those lucky gals who inherited my father's sweat glands, i.e I sweat prodigiously in winter and let's not even talk about summer, please. While I usually remain fairly un-smelly, I can quickly turn a cute blouse or funny t-shirt into an embarrassment of pit-stained-ness. Suze did a review of the Rexona equivalent to this deodorant here. The Rexona version has the exact same packaging and works the same way (I bought that one once too) but the Dove version smells much better to me. Pricey for deodorant but I'd pay nearly anything to be able to lift my arms in summer!

BareMinerals Multi-tasking SPF20+ Concealer in Bisque
I put this here although I cannot imagine when I'll need another one! This little pot of magic goes a looooong way and has absolutely revolutionised my face. I don't wear foundation to work any more - it's BB cream, a dab of this concealer where it's needed, some translucent powder and I can leave the house looking smooth-skinned and well-rested. Mega props to the beautiful salesgirls at Kit in Perth city who put me onto this (during my little demo I said "wow" about eight times). Worth every cent of the $24.95 I paid for it.

Palmer's Olive Butter with Vitamin E Concentrated Cream
I am on my... fifth tube of this? I still have two nearly-empty ones lying around the house. This, as I have mentioned before, saved my cuticles. You can use it absolutely anywhere (the tube recommends "hands, elbows, knees and feet") - but be warned this is super-rich and thick, and leaves a film of olive oil for about 10 minutes afterwards. Great protection, bad for actually *doing* anything! I keep a tube in my handbag and I usually apply it at least twice a day, once on the bus and then before bed.

Products I am not re-buying:
Sportsgirl Protect Me! Sunscreen SPF 30+
Ok. This is a great sunscreen. It is affordable, doesn't leave a white cast, isn't overly oily and smells like coconut. But that last part is the issue for me. I HATE coconut. I didn't realise this was scented when I bought it. The smell does fade pretty quickly, but I am going to be looking for an alternative when I run out of my (HUGE) tube. So Aussie ladies, if you're on the market for a good daily body sunscreen (or even face if your skin isn't oily) and you actually LIKE coconut, then go forth to Sportsgirl now!

Batiste Original Dry Shampoo
I don't know if this just doesn't work for me, or if I'm just using it wrong, or... I mean, I followed the instructions really carefully! And just... bleh. It's entirely possible my hair's just too thick for dry shampoo. I've heard so many great things about dry shampoo in general, and batiste in particular, but... nope. Not for me.

Products I have just bought:
Olay Complete Defence Daily UV Moisturising Lotion SPF 30+
I was previously using an Olay SPF15 moisturiser, but after having read so much about preventative skincare (i.e using sunscreen ALLTHETIMEONEVERYTHING) I became worried that wasn't doing enough to protect my skin from the harsh Aussie sun. This lotion smells a bit sunscreen-y, but that smell quickly dissipates, it doesn't leave a white cast and isn't too oily. I need to use it a bit longer to see whether or not I'm completely 'sold' on it, but it's already edged out my old moisturiser packaging-wise. This one has a pump which can be twisted securely closed (so great for if you need to take it with you for sleepovers) and the pump is SO neat. One does my face, and one more pump is plenty for neck and d├ęcolletage.

Garnier BB Cream (or 'Miracle Skin Perfector') in Medium
Honestly, I have had this for a while, but I'm still not 100% sure about it. It's a little bit orange on me, so I put it on my neck as well, and then dust with powder because I am teh oilies even without the dewy finish this cream gives.

Products I want to buy:
Maybelline Dream Matte Powder (see here)
I'm nearly out of all my Indie mattifying powders since I use them every day, and I was thinking about getting something pressed that would be a bit less messy to use on the go. Suze recommended this one a while ago, and although it's not translucent, it sounds promising.

Eccentric Cosmetics Silken Lips (see here)
Beautiful new product from an Aussie indie company! Fun and traditional colours and they're offering samples too.

Silk Naturals skincare
Oh man, so many things. I want to try their toners, and I need to decide which moisturiser and which serum to try next. And duh, Kisser Slickers!!!

Burnout Sunscreen (see here)
This is what I plan on getting when I finish off the Sportsgirl one. Recommended by Jacie who is sadly retiring from blogging :(

Picture Polish flakie covers
FLAKIES. On the website here, Jacie's swatches here.

Well I think that's enough blathering from me. What have you recently tried that you loved/loathed, or what do you have your sights on for future money-throwing?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Priceline, take my wallet.


That is a $10 black creme polish I got from Priceline, one of those really underwhelming brands - glamnails by manicare. It was opaque in one coat and ridiculously glossy. Over the top of that is a stunning flaky polish from Australis. I'm not making this up! 

The Australis shade is called "Speck-tacular". The description on their website is rather misleading. "A holographic light reflecting foil top coat that adds a new glitter dimension when applied on top of base nail colour." But the bottle says 'flakes' and when I saw it I knew straight away what it was. A FLAKIE EXPLOSION.

At $8.95 it's cheaper than the Picture Polish Flakie Covers and much easier to get a hold of than the U.S brands. I know flakies are 'in' for this year but I was extremely surprised to see an Aussie brand jumping on the bandwagon so darn fast, with something that is NOT a straight dupe of the Sally Hansen Hidden Treasure/Nubar 2010 one - this has blue flakes, more prominent red ones, and then some lovely green/gold/orange duochrome flaky action. Thankyou, Australis!

This was a fairly thick coat. The pieces are extremely irregular, as you can see by the massive one on my index finger. If you like your coverage a bit less random you could definitely add another coat or two.

GET THEE TO PRICELINE, STAT. I'm going to get a backup of both of these.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Review and swatches: Silk Naturals Kisser Slickers

I decided I needed some sort of balm-lipstick hybrid for work – something extremely moisturising, fairly long-lasting that would impart a bit of colour but wear off evenly. Tall order, I know! I decided to try out Silk Naturals Kisser Slickers. These come in a selection of both vegan and non-vegan (which I think contain carmine? Ah, no, a quick peek at the ingredients list on the product page tells me the non-vegan ones contain beeswax.) The colours are separated into vegan and not, which makes browsing really simple! At time of posting Silk Naturals offers 48 non-vegan colours and 16 vegan ones. There's a butt-ton of brand 'colour clones' i.e dupes available as well.

The first one I ordered was called Nectar, which is apparently a dupe of Clinique’s Black Honey. I’ve never owned it but have read Joeybunny’s ode to it, and it sounded like just the thing. It does indeed look a bit not-work-appropriate in the tube, but goes on SO NICE.

The Kisser Slickers (I am so sorry Silk Naturals but I really, really dislike the name of theses! I’m going to abbreviate it to KS from now on) have this incredible formula that feels just like a really good balm. They’re soft and slippy without being runny or waxy. They’re so incredibly moisturising and the colour descriptions are extremely accurate! Don’t be fooled by the tube, the colours are sheer enough to be flattering, but have enough colour that you can justify owning several different ones. After using and loving Nectar I purchased two other colours AND the clear version to wear to bed at night. Yes, the formula IS that good! The other two I purchased were deeply tinted, non-shimmery so I have a few shimmery ones on my wish list to buy next. These also work with a little gloss over the top if you do want to add shimmer – I have layered Venomous Cosmetics glosses over these without a problem, though it does knock down the moisture factor a little bit.

The only downside to these wonderful balm/glosses is the packaging. Don't get me wrong - I adore the slimline tubes and I think that the labels are just the right mix of simple and cute. However, once you have more than a few of them...

You have to actually pick them up and search for the name to tell them apart. If I could change ONE thing about the KS's it would be to add something to the packaging to make them easier to identify.

A lot of these are ‘dupes’ for high-end products, none of which I own, but for and considering how wonderful the KS’s are to wear, I plan on buying a whole lot more ‘dupes’ AND original Silk Naturals colours.

My lips for comparison (with the Clear shade on, to show you the shine level, and also because I thought it would be funny to 'swatch' the Clear shade... man I need to get out of the house more).

Nectar, "Sheer deep red/brown".

Shh... don't tell the others but I think this is my favourite shade (so far).
Berry Nice, "Sheer raspberry" (a dupe of Bobbi Brown's Raspberry Lip Gloss).

Helloooo sloppy application!
Rare Berry, "Strawberry red".

Hand swatches for more direct colour comparison!
And tube shots, just because.

So now down to brass tacks (what a weird saying. What would be modern version be? "Get down to business?" Because that always sounds a bit dirty to me): the price. Indie lip products can vary all over the shop (snort) in price and sometimes for me, trying out a new product can be scary, not only because of the price but also because shipping to Australia can sometimes take over a month, what with postal madness and indie TATs combined. I am happy to say that Silk Naturals proved to be one of the faster shippers I have dealt with. I'm even happier to tell you that the KS's will set you back $4.50, or $4.25 for the Clear version. YES, FOUR DOLLARS FIFTY CENTS U.S WHICH MEANS SOMETIMES IT'S CHEAPER FOR AUSSIES.

BRB, compiling a massive wishlist of colours.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Pink and sheer polish swatches. LOTS OF THEM.

I used to hate pink and sheer nail polish, but after getting thoroughly sick of nude and beige polish, what can a girl do but branch out! Since my nails and cuticles are so nice at the moment, I figured I'd make the most of it by swatching the many polishes I have acquired recently. There will be some non-work ones soon :)

Please excuse any bad clean-up jobs, I don't have a tidying brush yet, so I did my best with cotton buds.

Orly Lollipop

This was the first 'pink' polish I bought and loved. Not only can you get away with one coat if you're careful (this is two here, for swatching purposes) but it has this gorgeous lilac tone. This is only my second Orly polish but I'm pretty sure I'm going to end up with more!

Since most of the rest of the shades I have are sheers, I'll be swatching them over Lollipop and Zoya Pandora (which you can see a swatch of here).

Rokk 96 Cinderella

I wanted something shimmery since Lollipop was THE perfect creme. When I saw this in Price Attack I thought it was too pretty to pass up. Unfortunately what looks like a lovely opaque colour in the bottle is actually really sheer. It's a pink loaded with fine champagne shimmer almost to the point of being a frost, but it's not quite as metallic as a frost and has no streakiness issues.

This is three coats and although it looks great here, in person there's major VNL which I dislike immensely. This is far better as a layering polish.

Pinkie and ring finger over Pandora (two coats of both).
Middle and index over Lollipop (two coats of both).

By layering it over another pink, VNL is eliminated. If you really like playing around with shades/tones, one coat of Cinderella over the base polish will give you more distinct colour differences. I'm thinking about layering this over orange to try and do a more coral shade next :)

Removing this one is a bit more difficult than removing a creme/jelly but not anywhere near as difficult as a regular glitter polish.

NYC Cotton Candy

These cheap polishes I had heard a LOT about but was never able to find - until one fortuitous afternoon at an IGA. Sadly Cotton Candy turned out to be a frosty sheer.

Three coats, with no signs of becoming opaque any time soon! It also has terrible brush stroke marks.

However, layered (carefully!) it adds a pearly sheen. I didn't use a basecoat for these swatches, so it does highlight all the odd bumps and ridges on my nails.

Pinkie and ring finger over Pandora (two coats of Pandora, one of Cotton Candy).
Middle and index over Lollipop (one coat of each).

Ozotic Pro 224

Picked up from a random chemist. I think it was about $12? Super-sheer pink jelly with a scattering of irregular holo glitter.

This is my 'lazy polish'. If I don't want to be bare-nailed but I can't be bothered fussing, I slap on some base coat, a coat of this, some speed-dry top coat and I'm done. Over a nearly-naked nail is my favourite way to wear this.

It can also be used to add some unobtrusive bling to other colours. I haven't tried it on non-nude/pink polishes but honestly, I can't imagine it changing the colour at all because it's SO sheer! You can't get really great coverage with the glitter either, but that means removal is super easy.

Pinkie and ring finger over Pandora (two coats of each).
Middle and index over Lollipop (two coats of each).

The holo particles in this are kind of like flakies during removal - they come off really easily and smoothly.

Revlon Preview Pink (Limited Edition)

I actually got this in the bargain bin at Gloss for about $5. It's a more pink and less frosty version of Cotton Candy - shimmery, soft, doesn't really become opaque. Another nice one for slapping over basecoat if your nails aren't too stained, it almost creates a pink duochrome.

One coat: nice!

Three coats: still not opaque, and now streaky.

Two coats each base colour, one coat Revlon to shimmi-fy.

Rimmel Speed Dry in Ethereal

This is a shimmery pastel pink which occasionally flashes blue/violet. Like Cinderella, it can be built up to opacity if you don't mind VNL, but I find it easier to work with layered.

*examines cuticles*

I think they're ok! Thank goooooood. Like seriously, you guys, I am simultaneously so proud of how healthy my cuticles are and so paranoid I'm going to do something to them. I recommend Palmer's Olive Butter - the concentrated one with Vitamin E. It turned my cuticles from raggedy, misshapen messes into, well, neat and presentable and not flaky/dry/gross! IT'S A MIRACLE. No really, it is, go buy some now.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Review: Australis Eye Primer and Extender Lash Mascara

Picking these up was a bit of an impulse buy. Due to sweaty summery-ness, my TFSI just wasn’t performing as well as usual, and my beloved Covergirl Lash Blast was starting to get a bit old and clumpy. I don’t remember if I picked these up from Priceline or Price Attack, but these are quite readily available to Aussie ladies and they’re both under $15. Australis does a few other mascaras as well which I miiiiiiight pick up later on.

Anyway! I gather the primer is sort of new, since I certainly hadn't noticed it around before and it's listed under the 'new products' section of the Australis website (ME SO SMART, DO MY RESEARCH HURRR) The primer tube is made of metallic pink plastic in this sort of… serrated parallelogram? It has a doe-foot applicator.

It’s fairly sturdy, but it’s not heavy. The texture of the primer itself is really quite thin and wet-feeling (hence the doefoot applicator; I could see lots of accidents happening with this if it was in a squeeze tube!) It felt strange after using TFSI for so long, which is really creamy and thick. The instructions say to let the primer set for 30 seconds before applying product. I held my watch up to my ear and waited 30 seconds exactly. After that the product had set, it was no longer liquidy and had become transparent and creamy-feeling. My eyeshadows went on quite smoothly – there was ‘grab’ but not enough to make blending difficult.

In terms of wear, I would rate this up there with TSFI for those with oily eyelids. Overall, I experienced no fading and minimal creasing in the inner corners of my eyes. I would even go so far as to say this was a little bit BETTER than TFSI! In terms of price and availability, it is much better for us Aussie girls. A tube of TFSI retails at Kit Cosmetics for $34.95, whereas you can get the Australis Primer for $12.95 on their website (which is the price I paid for it as well).

The mascara tube is a lightweight, rounded-square shape with the product name on the tube in metallic pink writing, the same colour as the primer tube. It clicks shut really nicely BUT never ‘looks’ properly closed, there is always a gap between the lid and the rest of the tube (which in a way is good, since the writing is the only other indication which end of the tube is which…)

Is it definitely an ‘extending’ mascara only. Compared to my Lash Blast, there is a good deal less volume, so I would rate this as a good lengthening mascara, for those who have thick lashes or who don’t want a lot of volume. I always curl my lashes before applying mascara, and it held the curl quite well.

Another great thing about this mascara is the brush – it’s small enough that you can exert a lot of precision and control over your mascara application. To really test it out, I applied it on my bottom lashes for a full day at work. While applying I only smudged my lower lid once, and I was able to very quickly and easily correct my mistake. The formula is really non-clumping, my lashes looked defined and natural.

During the day I noticed my eyeliner did smudge a little bit, but it was definitely ONLY my eyeliner and not the mascara. Usually I would never mascara my lower lashes due to A) difficulty with brushes, especially the giant rubbery Lash Blast brush, and B) smudging due to sweating/oiliness.

If you’re not big on volume (har har, pun) and you’re looking for a nice daytime mascara to get you through summer, I definitely recommend Australis Extender Lash. I did get the waterproof formula so you will need a fairly strong cleanser to get it all off. I've been using Silk Naturals Apricot Cleansing Oil followed by my HG OHWTO Black Magic face soap and it leaves my face super-duper-uber clean, but not feeling squeaky/stripped.

Lid/browbone shade: 'Browbone' shade from Wet n Wild Comfort Zone palette.
Crease: 'Eyelid' shade from Comfort Zone.
Primer: Australis
Liner: 'Crease' shade from Comfort Zone.
Waterline: Nyx JEP in Milk
Mascara: Australis Extender Lash
Make-up applied approx. 8am, photos taken approx. 7:30pm (touch-up on inner corners done 3:30pm with eyeshadow palette and clean finger).

Love what it does to my bottom lashes!
Nekky lashes to compare.

Minimal creasing = happy Jade!

If anybody would like to see a more detailed vibrancy and wear face-off between TFSI and Australis EP, please let me know, and I’ll do it when I’m NOT at work and can use something a bit brighter! I also need to test out Pixie Epoxy over the primer. Hopefully there won't be any compatability issues.