First Impressions: Revlon’s Rum Raisin Lipstick

wp-1480657861165.jpgBrand: Revlon
Product: Super Lustrous Lipstick
Shade: 535 Rum Raisin

Available: most drugstores.

Impressions: I’ve been looking for this shade forever and it seemed like everyone else in South East Queensland were trying to get a hold of it too. Finally found one hiding at my local chemist.

Since I decided to get a new hair colour, I’ve struggled to find lipsticks that look good for everyday use. It’s easy to go full on vamp with a really deep red lip, but it’s not something you’d wear out to breakfast. At least not all the time. This shade was recommended to me for two reasons: firstly, it works really well with auburn hair. Secondly, it is rumoured to be a shade worn by the character Dana Scully in the X Files. Having developed a minor obsession with that show, I simply had to get it.

The shade works really well for me and I’ve previously found Revlon’s formulas to be quite okay. Not expecting this lipstick to be the Holy Grail in disguise, but it seems solid. It feels good on the lips and has a soft scent of mint. So far so good, might return with a full review if I encounter any unexpected issues or benefits.

Review: NYX BB Creme in 01

Brand: NYX
Product: BB Beauty Balm
Shade: 01 Nude
Available: Target, Priceline
Price: 18.95 AUD at Priceline
Amount: 30 ml
Worn with: Innisfree’s No Sebum Compact tinted powder, Urban Decay’s Naked Concealer.

It’s hardly a secret that I’m a fan of BB cremes, especially during the warmer months. Since most BB cremes I’ve reviewed have been either high end products or Korean, I thought it was time to review a BB creme that is readily available and affordable. Thus, enter NYX. NYX is one of my favourite drugstore brands and often manages to compete with higher end products in regards to quality.

First impressions.
Pros: affordable, easily available, lightweight, and comfortable to wear.
Cons: Only available in three shades with the darkest being “golden”, no SPF.

The NYX BB creme is easy to work with and can be applied with your fingers, sponges, or brushes and still perform well. I personally recommend using clean fingers to apply bb cremes as the heat helps them blend more smoothly. It’s incredibly light on your face and you barely feel like you’re wearing anything at all. Since BB cremes often have very light coverage, I tend to wear them in combination with concealers on any problem areas and a tinted setting powder to ensure lasting coverage. Since this BB creme doesn’t have built in SPF, I’ve sometimes worn it together with a CC creme from TonyMoly with 30SPF and have seen good results with that.

How it wears:
The main issue with this product is that it tends to wear off on my nose. Keep in mind that this is in near tropical conditions with high temperatures and unusually high humidity. This makes me think that the product might not be ideal for those with oily skin and that it would probably be a good match for people with dry skin since the product is rather moisturising. I’ve found that reapplying a layer of setting powder helps bring the look back together after it has been work for a few hours.

Would I recommend this product?
Yes, in some circumstances. If you’re light skinned with either dry or combination skin, I think it’s a good option for you. If you plan on wearing it out on a really hot or sunny day, combine it with a product with SPF both for durability and protection from death rays. It’s not an outstanding product, but it is fairly good and I find myself reaching for it on days when I don’t feel like wearing a lot of makeup. It has a very natural finish that works well for summer.

Cosmetics & Style Gift Ideas

No matter if you’re looking for gift inspiration for someone or just feel like doing some window shopping, here’s some fun things to consider.

November Favourites

Yes, I know it’s December. However, I thought I’d share some of the products I’ve been loving and favouring in the month of November.

So this layout might not win any awards, but it does do the trick. In terms of skincare, there are two products I’ve been especially fond of. The first is the Skinfood Tomato Sleep pack which has been my go-to solution for when I’ve just not had the time to obey my regular skincare routine.

The second is the TonyMoly hand creme in Apple which I keep on my bedside table and use whenever my hands feel dry. It smells like freshly cut apples and not the ‘apple flavoured candy’  many brands seem to be fond of when it comes to scents.

I’ve also really enjoyed the Bumble & bumble thickening shampoo this month. Tried a mini bottle when I went to Melbourne and picked up the full sized product some time later. With the exception of my hair occasionally feeling a bit dry, I’m really happy with this shampoo.

In terms of makeup, there are seven items I’ve found myself reaching for quite often. Firstly, the Too Faced Merry Macarons palette that I bought early in November. It’s a set of staple colours of the usual Too Faced quality and theme.

So, when it comes to the Kat von D Serpentina palette, I’ve actually not used all the shades. However, the shade called Hieroglyph is amazing. Without a primer, it’s a great bronze colour that works for everyday wear but if you add a primer, it stands out like a good metallic eyeshadow should. Works great with my new red hair and I find myself using it a lot.

For everyday & travel needs, I’ve been using the Smashbox Full Exposure travel sized palette. It’s just very convenient for most neutral looks.

We’ve also got the NYX BB creme in the shade 01 for day to day use since it’s a very very lightweight product, only downside is that it wears off if you don’t combine it with other products.

In regards to lips, I’ve only decided to add an Estee Lauder mini lipstick in the shade Envy since it’s flattering, convenient, and tends to go into my travel bag.

Another product I’ve been using almost every day is the good old Innisfree no sebum compact powder. It comes in both transparent and tinted variations, personally I tend to use the tinted one over a bb creme to help bring my face together colour wise. It also makes you look slightly less melted in the extreme heat.

Lastly, I’ve got a Bobbi Brown mascara simply called Smokey Eye Mascara in black. I got it for free and have been using it frequently since then. It’s quite similar to Too Faced’s Better Than Sex and Benefit’s They’re Real.

Afterthoughts: mini fitness challenge

So, I made it through this very easy challenge. Yay.
I met my goals every day and only settled for the minimum once, which I’m pretty happy about. One thing I did like about it is that it allows for great flexibility, something that is welcome. Most challenges I’ve seen online have been incredibly rigid and focus more on doing set numbers of things instead of encouraging consistency or improvement.

Knowing I can swim 80 or 90 laps in a day without exhausting myself is really promising considering my end goal is to swim more than 120 laps. It was also helpful in helping me deal with waiting for my final grades and not collapse into a little pile of nerves. The day I had scheduled as my day off after the challenge felt really weird, I walked around with this feeling that I’d forgotten to do something.

I can’t say it has really made me more motivated to exercise than before, but it hasn’t made me less motivated either. I’d say the greatest positive aspect is that I know I’ll be able to reach my goal without having to go into bootcamp mode.

Meet Gerald

wp-1479997673392.jpgThis is Gerald, he lives with me and my flatmate. He’s about two years old or so and belongs to the people who own the place we stay in.

Gerald’s real name isn’t Gerald. According to my flatmate his name is incredibly complicated and sounds like a word that falls somewhere between chardonnay and Scheherazade. She calls him Cat. Being a strong believer in not calling individuals by the name of their species, I’ve convinced her to at least call him Buddy. I call him Gerald. It’s a West Wing reference and I’ll be thrilled if you get it.

Gerald’s favourite activities include getting people to open doors for him, taking his food out of the bowl and putting it on the floor before eating it, and sleeping on your pillow. He hates drinking from a reflective metallic water bowl and has thus been given one of our planetary bowls (the yellow one) for his water needs. Gerald has on occasion picked fights with dogs and cats and he seems to be losing far more often than he wins. On the occasions when Gerald has had his feathers ruffled he has preferred to sleep in my bed, resulting in my mattress having at least one spot of cat blood on it. Whenever Gerald manages to be King of the Hill on my recently cleaned desk, he looks absolutely triumphant.

Furthermore, Gerald thinks that birds are a great mystery. The fact that he’s meant to be a stealth predator continues to elude him. So he just screams at them whenever he sees them. If he does bring things home, it is either road kill or rats that were killed by poison. To Gerald’s great annoyance, we don’t let him eat poisoned rodents. Gerald sometimes forgets that if he climbs from our deck to the balcony that belongs to the people who live above us, he’s too much of a coward to climb down. His solution to this situation is to simply sit and wait until someone opens the door for him so that he can get down the stairs instead. It is Gerald’s firm belief that laptops and laps are there for him to massage with his paws endlessly, this has caused “me” to like a fair few Facebook statuses I had no intention of liking. Thanks, Gerald. Gerald tends to forget that he’s a massive cat and insist on crawling out through the smallest window he can find, even if he has to bring his hips through sideways.

There are a few things Gerald hates. The time when he got his temperature taken was probably one of the worst days of Gerald’s life. He also hates it when someone has the nerve to go to the bathroom without inviting him. Flea powder is most likely a human conspiracy to kill all the fun in the world if you ask Gerald.

In regards to Gerald’s future plans, he intends to teach the neighbour’s kids to socialise without reaching for his tail. He also seems to intend to psychologically manipulate us into only buying him wet food and once went on a four day hunger strike hoping we’d give in. He calmly plots the assassination of The Fluffy Cat who lives in the area, tries to steal Gerald’s turf, and has the gall to sound exactly like Gerald when he meows.

So yeah, this is Gerald and I absolutely adore him.

First impressions: Urban Decay Vice Lipstick

wp-1479955049720.jpgBrand: Urban Decay
Product: Vice Lipstick
Shade: (Sheer) Liar
Purchased from: Mecca
Price: 28 AUD

First impressions: The colour is lovely, perfect for everyday use. Deliberately selected a colour with a brown undertone since they tend to agree with my new hair colour. It feels like a matte lipstick on your lips rather than a sheer one in terms of texture.

Packaging: Extremely annoying. It looks like a shotgun shell and the material is nice, but the problem comes with actually using the product. The main issue is that it’s surprisingly difficult to open. It looks durable, but the design appears to be made to look nice rather than actually be a practical lipstick.

Usage: It was easy to apply and makes for a good option to a nude lip. The lipstick looks great in terms of both texture and colour. It’s very close to my natural lips in terms of colour and that little boost of pigment and texture makes for a very easy look to wear. This is the type of lipstick that can be worn for almost any occasion and easily adapts to whatever makeup look you’re going for. It’s  a bit too dry for me personally, but that’s just personal preference. Exposing it to food/drink seems to make it a bit dry but it still stays on decently. I suspect I’ll have to carry this lipstick around with me if I want it to last a full 8 hours.

Exercise Challenge: Day 3 of 7

Swam 40 laps x 25m breaststroke.
My body was not too keen on the whole idea today and I coaxed myself to the pool with the promise of ‘buying coffee along the way’. As a side note, my shoulders, neck, and head have begun to hurt as a side effect of swimming. Apparently it’s not good to hold your head in a weird angle for well over an hour.

Exercise Challenge: Day 2 out of 7

Currently doing a small exercise challenge. It’s quite simple, exercise at least once per day for 7 days straight. I’ve got set rules in terms of my minimum: 40 laps x 25m swimming or 1 horseback riding class. If I decide to do any other form of exercise, it has to be a minimum of 40 minutes long.

The idea isn’t to become a fitness geek, but to start making exercise a part of my daily routine. I normally exercise 2-4 times per week and have done so for the past two months.

Since you didn’t get an update for day 1, here’s a summary.
Day: Day 1 – Sunday
Duration: 80 minutes.
Form: Horseback riding
Type: Dressage.
Notes: Tried a new horse and thus took it fairly easy as I was trying to get to know her rather than pushing her or my boundaries. Still, even light to moderate exercise makes you sweat in the sauna like climate we put up with yesterday.

Day: Day 2 – Monday
Duration: 2 x 45-50min
Form: Swimming
Type: Breaststroke.
Notes: Swam 44 laps (approx 40-45 minutes in duration) before taking a break due to the pool being invaded by kids and couples. Took a 15-30 minute break before I swam another 46 laps for a total of 90 laps in a 25m pool. My arms hurt, need to be careful so that I don’t spend all of my energy at the start of the challenge.

Tomorrow: more swimming.