28 February, 2014

Essence: Prince Charming

It's the last day of summer...

This post features a glitter top coat from an old LE Essence collection.  I won't try to delude you that this nail polish is available anywhere except eBay (maybe?) so it's really my bad for not wearing it and posting it many, many, many months ago.  Argh, forgive me! As a wearer more than a serious swatcher of nail polish I buy at a faster rate than I can wear my polish and being extra busy has meant I've only been doing weekly manicures lately.  I simply need more time and more hands!!!
Prince Charming was one of the nail polishes featured in Essence' Snow White collection released in 2013 and is a suitably fairy tale combination of fine silver holographic glitter with some large blue hex glitters thrown in to the clear base.  I applied two coats here over Essie's Bikini So Teeny and it was a truly fun combination to wear!  One coat of top coat was enough to give the glitter the suspended in glass finish that I prefer.


Indoors daylight
What do you think of this combination?

25 February, 2014

TAG: 30 Random Facts About Me

This tag was a long time coming because I found it really, really challenging to dig out 30 random facts that wouldn't bore you to tears - thanks to the lovely and très articulate Liz for tagging me! Now let's see if I succeed in keeping you all interested!  I hope I don't scare you all away now...
 Happy times on vacation with my boy!
1. I am an only child and I am also the mother of an only child - at varying stages of my life I swung between wanting a houseful of kids (some crazy number like 10?!) to wanting absolutely no kids so it panned out the right way in the end.
2. I used to be such a fussy eater as a child but I'm sure I've 99% overcome that.  A lot of things I went to huge efforts to avoid I now love, such as mushrooms, pumpkin and olives.  I'm open to trying new cuisines too which I love to do whenever I travel.
3. My eyelashes are unnaturally long as a side effect of medicated eye drops I use every day to keep my glaucoma under control.
4. I absolutely suck at reverse parking and avoid it at every opportunity.  Of course our car has rear-parking sensors just in case I have to go there!
5. I can never read a single book at a time and always have at least three on the go at once, plus numerous magazines. 
6. I have an open mind when it comes to ghosts and the afterlife although I have never had an encounter myself.
7. I love travel!  Doesn't matter if it's here or overseas - I just love being out there and quite honestly I get depressed when I get back home unless we have another trip already planned.  I had the post-vacation blues for a month when we came back from Japan in 2008 because there was nothing planned to look forward to.
8. I can knit and crochet although I haven't completed any crafty projects in years.  I may just take up a project this autumn so I can have something cosy and homemade ready in winter!
9. I will forever - until I shrink with age and the inevitable compresses of gravity - say that I'm 5 feet 4 1/2 inches tall (that's 163cm), because I was so pi**ed off at never making it to 5 foot 5! That half inch for some reason really means a lot to me!
10.  I have a fiery temper and swear like a sailor.  I'm encouraging my son to fine me a dollar each time I do it to help me mend my ways.  I like to blame genetics, specifically my mother, but that's probably a case of nurture rather than nature so I need to rise above my own less than perfect upbringing.
11. Chocolate is my number one "drug" of choice.  All kinds:  dark, milk or white.  It's all good (or evil) as far as I'm concerned and I could very easily let it creep back into my daily diet.  I have to make a conscious effort to keep everything in moderation.
12. I was painfully shy as a child and it's taken all my life to overcome my social anxiety.  Making Youtube videos is yet one more way of conquering it.

13. Despite pinning every killer heel there is out there in my spare time, when it comes back to reality I'm a flats girl because I can't stand the pain that is inevitably - in my sad gnarly feet's case - associated with teetering beauty.

14. I'm a lone wolf when it comes to exercise.  I don't do classes or team sports so I'll go running or off for a gym workout by myself.

15.  I used to bite my nails until I was the ripe old age of 17. Painting my nails has pretty much been my obsession since then.

16. I can make a pretty damn delicious (better than sex in my humble opinion) Reese's Cheesecake Brownie.  Addictive much?

17. I prefer weepy movies over comedies. I enjoy the cleansing release of a good cry.

18. I don't mind sci-fi movies but I don't love horror films and I hate any kind of gratuitous gore fest - I prefer suspense and implied events (where my imagination can do all the heavy lifting) rather than blood and guts in my face.

19. Much to my regret I can't play a musical instrument and I don't speak another language.

20. However, I do plan on learning another language, namely at least a bit of Japanese before I head there again later this year!

21. I stumbled into blogging after searching online for the perfect greige nail polish over three years ago.  Suddenly I was inspired by the online swatches and thought why not?

22. I enjoy the company of pets and I'm a dog AND cat lover, although I'm leaning a little more towards my feline company these days with my two cats...

23. ...and that's also why every year I buy a Classic Cats calendar to hang on my kitchen wall!

24.  My age will be twice this number in a few months *groan*.

25. Aside from nail polish and makeup I also love collecting food magazines and cookbooks.  I enjoy cooking although it's rare I get the time to do anything on a grand scale - my usual style is speed-cooking during the week and I usually get Friday nights off!

26.  Now that we've gravitated back to food my favourite ice cream combination is peanut butter with chocolate-chip cookie dough mixed in.  Mmmmm....that usually happens on Friday nights when we go out for dinner and end up at our local Cold Rock Ice Cream parlour for dessert!

27. I used to recite the alphabet backwards for fun when I was a kid.  I just tried it now and I damn well can't do it anymore!

28. We're getting pretty random now aren't we??  Another 'useful' talent I had as a kid was the ability to walk en pointe in bare feet just as though I was a barefoot ballerina - I think that was downright crazy and blame it for the gnarly feet I have now :p

29. I wear a UP Jawbone bracelet 24/7 to measure my daily activity levels and sleep.  I now know that I sleep better than my husband does - yes he wears one too!

30. I would love to visit Paris one day for a second honeymoon with said husband!

And that's all folks! Phew! No kidding this took me THREE days to write!!!


18 February, 2014

Essie: Bikini So Teeny

I love periwinkle blue nail polish, boy do I ever love periwinkle blue nail polish (almost as much as my beloved purple!) so I can't help myself from collecting more and more.  A few years ago this was a problem because I couldn't find it anywhere but now it seems almost every brand carries their own version - this post features Essie's.
Bikini So Teeny is described on Essie's website as a "pretty yet provocative cornflower blue" although as usual I beg to differ. Cornflowers are a little deeper blue than this polish so I think my description of BST as periwinkle is a little more accurate - check out Wikipedia if you want to compare for yourself! Getting down to discussing application I found this to be on the temperamental side and I had to be very careful to avoid patchiness - in the end a third coat was necessary to get the even coverage I wanted. Ooh the colour is pretty though - this would look brilliant against darker skin too!
Outdoors shade
Are you a periwinkle fan too?

16 February, 2014

Revlon: Ooh La La Lilac

My nails have been making all kinds of statements lately and I just felt like a change of pace.
Occasionally I crave a breather from brights and metallics and Revlon's Ooh La La Lilac is one of those gently subdued nail shades - just perfect for understated fingers.  It's an ethereal colour, a milky sheer lilac with a hint of pink shimmer. Ooh La La Lilac was released as a LE shade back in 2011 (I think?) but it can still be snapped up on eBay if this is your kind of manicure.  I needed three coats to build up the coverage for a not too sheer finish and I really liked the "breath of fresh air" prettiness of it.  It's suitable for everyday wear but it conjures up images of sheer floaty dresses, ballerinas and blah, blah, blah - I'd better stop before I get too carried away in my daydreams!
All pictures taken in natural daylight indoors 

Thanks for looking as always!

14 February, 2014

January's farewelled products (and beauty diet update)

I was determined to get this post done before it got too close to March!  As I always promise I'm going to try and keep it brief because there are enough products to make this a lengthy tome already...
Skin care
1) The Face Shop Green Tea Sheet Mask - I'm back with those sheet masks this year although I must admit I've not been pampering myself too much lately.  This hydrating mask was a little on the sticky side and my skin felt tacky afterwards.  Not a favourite - I won't repurchase - but not huge loss at 3AUD.

2) The Face Shop Pearl Essential Mask Sheet - "for smooth and light absorption and intensive efficacy of pearl".  My Googling tells me pearl powder is used in skincare to improve the appearance and rejuvenate the skin. Fractionally more expensive at 5AUD but a better feeling mask and I would repurchase. 

3) Nivea Pure & Natural Facial Cleansing Wipes (25 wipes) - These new Nivea wipes are freshly scented and free from parabens, silicones, colourants, mineral oils and alcohol.  They left my skin feeling clean and refreshed and not dry or tight in any way afterwards.  I found these a nice summer choice because they are so fresh! 
4) Pond's Flawless White Deep Whitening Facial Foam (100g) - I've learned not to expect miracles from whitening products but it doesn't stop me from trying the variations out there.  Needless to say the whitening properties of this cleanser were nothing to rave about but aside from that it was a nice foaming cleanser.  The teeniest bit squeezed into the palm of my hand lathered up really well and it was gentle and non-drying.  If you don't care about the "whitening" aspect and enjoy a rich foaming cleanser then this is just fine for the in-shower cleanse.
5) Face of Australia Gentle Make-Up Remover (125ml/4.23 fl.oz) - I tried this as another variation of my favourite dual-phase, shake up makeup removers.  I found it just as effective as any on the market, and it didn't sting or irritate my eyes so I've repurchased.  For those of you who are interested this is another oil free, and paraben free product.
6) Avon Anew Reversalist Night Renewal Cream (50g) - I'm trying to be more religious about my nightly skincare routine so night creams are making more of a regular appearance.  I really enjoyed this night cream - it felt rich enough to be moisturising but not too rich so not suffocating or greasy. It has a lovely "expensive" scent too and elegantly packaged in its heavy glass jar this is a bit of a luxury product. 

Hand and body care
7)  Natio Wellness Hand Wash (240ml/8.1fl.oz) - This gentle chamomile, pomegranate and wheatgerm enriched hand wash is one of my favourites.  It doesn't irritate my eczema afflicted hands and the scent is soft and fruity without being cloyingly sweet.  The one problem is the pump bottle which can leak product at the neck of the bottle and get a bit messy - funnily enough I didn't notice this problem until someone else brought it to my attention and then of course it started to annoy me... Still, I do love the product itself and I'd decant it into a different bottle if it really drove me crazy!
8) OPI Expert Touch Lacquer Remover (120ml/4 fl.oz) -  This is the strongest formula in the OPI remover line (suitable for gel removal) and I'm happy to continue using it this year.  At the moment I'm down to weekly manicures so it's not too drying and it removes my polish quickly.
9) Avon Foot Works Healthy Cracked Heel Relief Cream (100ml) - No I don't suffer from cracked heels but I believe regular use of this cream is the reason why.  I have a backup in use already.
This is the most exciting part of the post for me because it's my beauty diet update and I'm out of the starting gate! Two makeup empties means I could go shopping if I wanted for my first luxe makeup item but I've got something specific in mind which doesn't release until March.

Logically I'll do these updates as part of my monthly empties to save boring you - more immediate updates are on Instagram if you want to know exactly when I'm finishing up things. Along for the ride are Anissa and Norlin so check out their blogs too to see how they're progressing! I know Anissa has a massive makeup destash underway and I'm impressed with her fearlessness!
10) Bourjois Volume Glamour Ultra Curl Mascara - I've raved about this mascara and I do love just how creamy and smooth it feels when I apply it - This mascara just glides on.  No clumps, just thick and soft lashes with this one. 
11) MAC Lip Glass (Zazoom) - I don't really know why I persisted with this gloss because it was the least practical, chunky-glitter filled concoction.  Never fear cos this was an old LE so it can't terrify any of you any more! It's DONE now and that's my two makeup empties for this month.
Until next time!

12 February, 2014

Neon camouflage manicure (BYS and Ulta3)

Another looooong gap between posts - whoops!
When I was housebound during the peak of our January 40+ Celsius heatwave I actually had the time to experiment and do some nail art. I knew I wanted to do something interesting with hot neons (influenced by the hot weather maybe?) and it was a case of "pinspiration" as I was inspired by a colourful Pinterest post. Lots of splashes of neon colour looked like a good idea and here's my interpretation.  Deliberately messy and lots of fun!
I applied overlapping splotches of neon yellow (Ulta3 - neon yellow mini), pink (Ulta3 - neon pink mini) and orange (BYS - Clowning Around) over my Sally Hansen White On base:
To give you an idea of the work in progress this is how I started out, applying the alternating neon colours initially from the base of the nail.  I almost stopped at this point - What do you think?
Until next time - I'm off to get started on last month's empties before March rolls around!

03 February, 2014

Sally Hansen: White On

Hello?!...Don't I know you from somewhere? Weren't you somebody that I used to know??...
Seriously, I think things are settling down on the home and back to school front so I'm hoping to be popping up here on a more regular basis this month.  Now let me think - I have 6 sets of mani pictures to post, 3 other general beauty posts, plus 1 tag up my sleeve - there's no lack of content for me to get through in the near future so let's get on with this one shall we?
White nail polish isn't something I'd normally go for and in all honesty I used this polish as the base for a subsequent nail art experiment, but it's worth letting you know about a good solidly opaque white nail polish so here it is. I know some people may be on the hunt for that perfect "white out" white right?  White On is exactly that - an opaque white cream polish and 2 coats gave me that white paper background I was looking for.  One possible drawback is that although the finish is perfectly opaque it wasn't perfectly smooth and even and you may be able to see that here.  A topcoat would take care of that although I decided to forgo it because I was using White On as a base for other, slightly crazier things...
All pictures taken in indirect daylight
I do find white polish a bit unforgiving as every little uneven edge will show up glaringly like on my pinky nail here - but on the plus side it does make for instantly tanned hands!
Do you ever do white nails?

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