Chocolate Collection

wp-1490665818331.jpgI’m weak for chocolate scents and that has started to become noticeable when you look at my makeup and skincare collection. This photo is lacking three products that I still use on a regular basis. I’ve got the Dark Chocolate version of the Gummy Bear Hand Gel in addition to the Cherry Chocolate one seen here, I’ve also got a Sesame Street Cookie Monster version of the Chocolate Macaron lip balm, and lastly, I’ve got a chocolate scented body wash from Etude House.

The Too Faced Semi Sweet Chocolate Bar palette probably doesn’t need an introduction. It’s a series of highly pigmented shadows (almost to the point where they’re pigmented enough to be annoying) in a chocolate bar style package and it all smells of chocolate.

As you may have noticed from the photo, a lot of the chocolate scented/themed products I have are from SkinFood. Sure, the All Over Muffin Cake Finish compacts are a bit of a stretch but they’re close enough to the whole chocolate theme to count. However, one thing SkinFood does really well is scents. Both the Gummy Bear Hand Gels really do smell like cherry chocolate and dark chocolate respectively. The Choco Eyebrow Powder Cake doesn’t have a scent, but it contains two chocolate brown colours. One of those colours has a hint of red that works quite well with my current hair colour, so I’ve been using it more and more.

Lip balms are great products for scents and flavours. These macaron lip balms from it’s Skin are amazing and really convenient to keep on your desk or bedside table.

Scents appeal to our most primal senses and we are hard-wired to respond to them. The scent of chocolate is comforting to many of us and we generally associate that specific scent with happy memories. Even the scent of chocolate is a bit of a pick-me-up on bad days and being able to get that benefit from makeup and skincare is amazing.wp-1490621034059.jpg

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.

Current Favourites: May

20160501_090725.jpgYup, my phone’s camera is broken. Cracked when I dropped it, so the light & focus are kinda messed up.

However, I thought it worth sharing some of my current favourite products with you guys. Some of the classics aren’t included since there’s only so many times I can recommend specific products before it gets repetitive.

Let’s start with skincare and similar items. Only two current favourites when it comes to this section. Firstly, Geek Chic Cosmetics’ Buffalo Bill’s Skin Conditioning Lotion, which smells outright divine. It’s also quite effective. Geek Chic Cosmetics are currently working on updating their stock/presenting new products, so I’d keep an eye on their website over the next week or so.
Secondly, we have The Body Shop’s Grapeseed Glossing Serum, which is a leave in conditioning treatment for your hair. Since my hair is currently a bit damaged after having sections bleaches, I do need something to keep the frizz at bay. This does the trick.

In the makeup section, we have five products.
Guerlain’s Parure de Lumiere in 02 Beige Clair, which I’ve previously reviewed on this site. It’s my go to foundation at the moment and I’m really happy with it, works best when applied with brushes. Then, there’s Benefit’s They’re Real Mascara which is an absolute powerhouse when layered over another mascara. It’s decent on its own too, but it’s fantastic when you layer it. Thirdly, there’s a lipstick from The Body Shop that I’ve been using a lot lately. It’s a classic creamy red that feels wonderful on your lips. It’s from their Colour Crush line and the colour has the number 101 if I’ve read the packaging correctly.
Fourthly, we’ve got Rimmel’s Lasting Finish lipstick line, especially the shade 016 Heart Breaker. I’ve mentioned this on the blog a few times and it’s one of the best drugstore lipsticks I’ve ever used.
Lastly, we’ve got a new cushion! TonyMoly’s BCDation cushion with SPF 50 and PA +++. I’ve got the shade 02 and it’s still slightly too pale for me (Korean skin makeup is often one shade lighter than your actual skin tone), but it will look great once winter really gets going and my ran disappears.

30 Days of Products – Star Wars Mascara

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Everyone and their mother is on a Star Wars hype at the moment, including Covergirl cosmetics. They released a few different products with a Star Wars theme when the film was released and it seems like they’ve been selling really well. I’d originally planned to purchase the two lipsticks from the collection but they were sold out, so I decided to try this mascara instead.

The name of the mascara appears to be The Super Sizer and for some reason it’s marked with a 8/10 on the tube. I have no clue why.
For a product called the Super Sizer, it has a very thin wand. Not really what I expected.

It applies nicely. You don’t get drenched in product but get enough to still be able to work with it. The wand is practical and the thinness helps in reaching the lower lashes properly. It looks good. I don’t feel my lashes have been super sized, but they’ve been lengthened and look a lot darker than they naturally do. It’s kinda meh when it comes to holding curls. It’s not bad but it didn’t impress me either. By now you may have noticed that it’s not that easy to impress me. I’d rather be honest about products being alright than pretend to be super happy with everything and encourage people to spend money on products that might disappoint them.

This is a pretty standard drugstore mascara, it gets the job done and looks good without looking too exaggerated. If you’re a Star Wars fan who needs a new drugstore mascara, you may as well go with this one.

One negative is that my eyes are stinging very slightly. I have extremely sensitive eyes, so I doubt it will be a factor for most people but if you know your eyes have a tendency to sting, be careful.

Retro Essentials: Last Minute Holiday Dresses

The holidays really are creeping up on us, and with less than a week to go there’s a chance anything you order online won’t make it to your front door on time. Therefor it is worth having a look at some mainstream stores to see if they can come to the rescue. Here’s 17 options from three pretty common stores.

Let’s have a look at what Target has to offer.
Firstly there’s this red strapless lace dress for about 50 dollars, available in sizes 6-20. It’s a classic fit that closely resembles some strapless numbers you’d find in rockabilly stores. With black heels and your hair up, you’ll easily be able to adapt this dress to your style. If you prefer longer dresses or a more casual fit, there’s this maxi dress available in navy or olive for the same price as the red dress. There’s also this strapless fit & flare dress in black and white available for 70 dollars.If you prefer something that’s classic, has sleeves, and a pattern that works all year around, try this black floral dress. If you’re a bit tired of all the christmas patterns but still want an elegant dress that’s classic and fit for the warmer seasons. Another dress that will work for almost any event is this polkadot dress with a discrete v-neck. If you’re like me and like anything that looks like a wrap dress, try this knee length mock wrap dress with 3/4 sleeves/

H&M may not be as readily available as Target, but since they’ve got a number of stores up it’s worth including them.
If you want something a little bit different, try this beaded kimono dress for 90 bucks. Want to try something really bold? This is a jumpsuit with a leopard print in light blue and pink. Perfect for anyone wishing to go all out rockabilly. Perhaps something simpler, like this classic white sleeveless dress for budget friendly 30 dollars. A classic option is anything off-the-shoulder, including this black long sleeved dress. There’s also this maxi halter neck with glittery fabric. Lastly, we have this satin number in a deep purple.

Forever New may be a bit pricey, but there does seem to be one in every mall and some of their clothes are quite nice. This v-neck black lace dress is a rather nice option for fancier gatherings, especially the kind that involves alcohol and music. A less extravagant option is this white dress with floral prints and a rather modest neckline. There’s this black off the shoulder dress that would have looked amazing on Bettie Page. This dress is also a classic style and the red works with the season.

Current Favourites: Scented Products

20151203_222611.jpgAs someone who finds most perfumes far too strong and intrusive, I find myself appreciating pleasantly scented beauty products more and more. I’m the kind of person who gets a headache just from walking past Lush, so I’m not a big fan of strong scents. Discrete and pleasant ones however… Naturally, the product must also be good at what it’s supposed to do. Otherwise it would be weird to recommend them in the first place.

When it comes to budget skincare, Palmer’s is one of my favourites and this is my favourite product from them. It’s a no nonsense body butter that’s both moisturising and has a delightful scent. It smells of cocoa butter. I like cocoa butter. Sometimes it’s just that simple.

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Current Favourites: Western Products

wpid-20150911_191133.jpgMy makeup table has grown to look like this.
It’s getting a bit silly at this rate but it’s forcing me to use different looks and products more often than I usually do.

Let’s start with skincare. Most of the products I use for my skin are Korean but there’s a few Western items that I really like. My two favourites are from Palmer’s. There’s the facial scrub with crushed walnuts that’s great for mechanical exfoliation. I also have a moisturiser from them that’s designed for sensitive skin and it’s amazing, sadly it seems it’s no longer available.

Body: Still from Palmer’s, there’s their amazing cocoa body butter. It’s the standard one you can find almost anywhere and it really is amazing. I’m also loving the exfoliating gloves from Soap and Glory, they really do get the job done. On a less exciting note, I have realised just how much I love my regular deodorant after having to spend a few days using another one. It’s Dove’s Original 48h anti-perspirant one, the stick formula that’s creamy rather than liquid. It just works so much better than anything else I’ve used. A while back, a flatmate left me with a body lotion when she moved out. It’s from Bath & BodyWorks and it’s the warm vanilla sugar body lotion. It smells amazing.

Base products: I’ve started using NYX’s Pore Filler since my skin is acting up a bit and it helps my makeup look good longer, I have the tendency to rub the tip of my nose and thus having a primer is really helpful. Because my skin is really showing sings of stress (it’s that time of the semester), I’ve used Urban Decay’s Naked Skin concealer in Light Warm and I’ve found that once I started using my fingers to blend it, it worked a lot better. I’m trying to get through my Chanel foundation so that I can move on to a Guerlain one I bought, I’ve had the Chanel one for ages and I’m not too happy with it. However, when a product costs that much, I can’t justify throwing it away.

Lips: Firstly, I’ve started using a lot more lip care products as opposed to just lip colour. The first product here is the Kissable wpid-20150831_213652.jpgLips Smoothing Lip Exfoliant from Mecca Cosmetics. It’s a really good mild scrub that also happens to taste good. I recently picked up a lip butter with Pomegranate & Grapeseed from Crabtree & Evelyn, it’s good but I wouldn’t have bought it if it wasn’t on sale. My Guerlain lipstick is still a favourite. For new products, I’ve fallen in love with Besame’s Red Velvet lipstick and it’s one of my all time favourites. I’ve also bought three giant pen sticks from MaxFactor’s Colour Elixir collection and I’m really pleased with them. Another drugstore product I’ve really enjoyed lately is the Maybelline Super Stay 24 Color in All Day Cherry.

Eye products:  I’ve found a fair amount of western products when it comes to eyes. Firstly, there’s the What’s Your Type? Mascara in Tall, Dark, and Handsome from TheBalm. Secondly, there’s Urban Decay’s Perversion mascara which I’ve only tried once but that was really promising. I’m currently loving just the very basic black eyeliner from Essence since it’s extremely opaque and I can use it for Character Creator. The same thing applies to a black single eyeshadow from Paint, which doesn’t have a name beyond being called black. In terms of cream eyeshadow, I’m still enjoying the Bobbi Brown one in 24 Karat. I’m still adoring my NYX natural palette which is my everyday go to one. Their bigger Wicked Dreams palette is also pretty good and far more versatile since it has four times as many eyeshadows. A shadow I came across recently that really impressed me is Geek Chic Cosmetics the One Ring that is one of the few truly golden colours I’ve ever encountered.

Retro Essentials: Maxi Lengths (Currents)

wpid-20141228_193917.jpgCasual maxi dresses weren’t really a thing during the 1930’s-1950’s. You do see longer dresses and gowns for formal occasions, but for casual wear, it seemed lengths around the knee were more common. However, given Australia’s extreme weather, maxi dresses are some of the most wearable items you can have in a wardrobe. So let’s see if we can find a number of dresses that are both maxi and retro friendly.

Casual

For casual maxi dresses there’s always the basic retro patterns (stripes, polkadots, and florals), but I personally prefer dresses in one colour. This dress offers a relaxed shape with a fitted waist and a v-neck, combine it with a vintage belt and sandal wedges. Here’s an option that uses florals combined with a casual top which draws focus to the waist. This classic colour and relaxed fit looks like a good combination for a hot day, just add some nautical accessories. For a dress that you can wear over swimwear, I’d probably opt for this one.

Mid level

By mid level I mean going out for lunch with a group of friends, a somewhat casual date, or just an occasion where you would normally dress one or a few steps above your casual look. It’s elegant rather than casual but not as elaborate or eye catching as the formal options. Due to its elegant cut I’d put this blue dress with white stripes in the middle category rather than the casual one as it follows the body a bit more closely. This is one I’ve ordered but haven’t tried yet, the draping around the bust and the deep colour means that it looks more formal than causal but due to the fabric it ends up in this category. This classical black dress can be worn to almost any occasion and it looks very easy to dress up or down. Love the unusual prints from modern retro styles? This one has pineapples on it, which reminds me of the tropical prints common in retro dresses.

Formal
Formal includes a range of formal occasions, I’d say cocktail and above. One thing that can bring back the luxurious elegance we tend to associate with vintage formal wear is to use a fabric with metallic inlays as they look similar to embroidery. If you’re like me and prefer some sort of sleeve or straps, there’s the option of using a dress with lace as lace overlays don’t make the dress too warm and can still be used to create straps or sleeves. If you want to be a little daring, I’d go for a bold typical pinup pattern but a cut that’s traditionally formal. This black polkadot dress will certainly not be forgotten. This dress feels like a hybrid of the 1920’s and 1930’s and is a good option if you prefer a dress with sparkles. Out of all the dresses I’ve looked at for this post, this is probably the one with the most late 1940’s-1950’s resemblance due to the cut. This one is another option with a very vintage friendly cut.