Recent Posts

Monday, 5 December 2016

REVIEW: L'Oreal Paris Real Clay Charcoal, Eucalyptus & Algae Masks

It's not often that you can find amazing quality skincare for less than $50, but the L'Oreal Paris Real Clay Charcoal, Eucalyptus and Algae Masks have done. Just. That.

These three masks retail for $19.95 each and they all have their own individual purposes, such as detoxifying and brightening, purifying and mattifying, and exfoliating and smoothing. How's that for a skincare cocktail?

And with Christmas coming up, these are the perfect stocking stuffers or Kris Kringle gifts (or just a treat for yourself!). Curious to see how they work? Read on!

REVIEW: L'Oreal Paris Real Clay Charcoal, Eucalyptus & Algae Masks
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Monday, 28 November 2016

5 Questions I Always Get Asked as a Blogger


You guys know I'm a blogger, but what do I actually do? 

Every time I introduce myself and talk about Taken By Surprise, there are questions I always get asked as a blogger; do I get paid, do I get a lot of freebies, how do I have the time, etc. etc. 

So I figured, why not address these FAQs in a blog post!

I opened the floor to the blogger community on both Facebook and Instagram, and SO MANY of you responded with the questions you usually get asked too! Thank you for the love, and there were definitely some common themes - I've tried to address most of them in this post, but stay tuned because there's easily enough for a part two!

So beauties, grab a snack and a cup of tea, because this one will be a good read and I know that you're curious...

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Monday, 14 November 2016

REVIEW: Smashbox Studio Skin 15 Hour Wear Hydrating Foundation

If there's one holy grail makeup product that I am always on the hunt for, it's the perfect foundation. And you know, the Smashbox Studio Skin 15 Hour Wear Hydrating Foundation (how's that for a mouthful!) comes pretty darn close.

I purchased this after hearing a few great reviews from beauty aficionados like Chloe Morello and because I sometimes struggle with dry skin around my cheeks, which is a real pain when it comes to applying foundation. So the fact that this is a hydrating foundation really had me keen!

But does it work? And does it actually last 15 hours? Read on to find out!

REVIEW: Smashbox Studio Skin 15 Hour Wear Hydrating Foundation
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Monday, 7 November 2016

REVIEW: Lust Have It Beauty Subscription Box (November 2016)*

Okay, I was pretty impressed with the November Lust Have It beauty bag. It was a great mix of products and two of them in particular really knocked my makeup-lovin' socks off.

For those who are new to Lust Have It, it's a beauty subscription service that delivers a lovely little parcel full of goodies each month for $19.95. In each bag (you get a makeup bag with every delivery!) you'll receive 5+ full size or deluxe sample size products, which is a pretty rad deal considering the value of the products combined is almost 3x the price of the subscription!

And I've got a special treat for first time subscribers to Lust Have It - you can get $10 off your first box using my code JESSICAANNE! 

If you're looking for a great Christmas gift for the beauty lover in your life, Lust Have It is literally the gift that just keeps on giving. Want a peek into this month's bag? Read on!

REVIEW: Lust Have It Beauty Subscription Box (November 2016)*
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Thursday, 27 October 2016

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: Hourglass Ambient Surreal Light Palette (a.k.a. The Marble Palette!)

It. Is. Finally. HERE.

The long-awaited and much-coveted Hourglass Ambient Surreal Light Palette (lovingly known on Instagram as The Marble Palette) has finally arrived on our shores in Australia. Can I hear a hallelujah!? Or a highlight-lujah? (ha.)

This stunning palette has been on my wish list ever since I discovered it, and $116 later (yup, it's a doozy!), this Mecca-exclusive set of ambient lighting powders was in my hot little hands.

Since it's a bit exxy, and is highly probable of selling out, I completely fast-tracked this blog post so I could show you guys some swatches and give you my first impressions of the palette, if you're wondering whether it's worth the price. Plus, I even compare it side by side to the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Palette!

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: Hourglass Ambient Surreal Light Palette (a.k.a. The Marble Palette!)
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Monday, 24 October 2016

How to Wear Bold Lipstick Colours for Halloween

Think your lipstick collection is just limited to reds, pinks and nudes? With Halloween right around the corner, it's the perfect time to bust out a bold lip - with zero judgement!

And if you haven't gotten around to finding a Halloween costume just yet, pairing a spooky shade of lipstick with an all-black outfit is a simple way to get into the trick or treating spirit.

Here are my top bold lip colours that are perfect for Halloween (and a couple of tips on how to wear them!).

How to Pull Off Bold Lipstick Colours for Halloween
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Monday, 17 October 2016

BIG MAKEUP HAUL: Colourpop, Sephora & Mecca Maxima

Okay, so I hadn't bought any makeup in ages / had run out of some staple products / my favourite beauty stores had sales on... 

#ExcusesExcusesExcuses #IJustWantedAllTheThings 

While part of me is a bit nervous to check my bank account, the other (let's be honest, the devil on my shoulder) is pretty pleased with myself and my beautiful beauty haul! I picked up some goodies from Colourpop, Sephora and Mecca Maxima, so read on if you want to see what I bought!

BIG MAKEUP HAUL: Colourpop, Sephora & Mecca Maxima!

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Monday, 10 October 2016

REVIEW: Alpha-H Liquid Gold (Plus I'm Giving One Away!)

Tell me a product gives me good skin, and I'll be there in a heartbeat.

Sometimes a skincare routine of just cleanser and moisturiser won't cut it - how I wish it would though (all that saved $$$!) - and for the days when my skin needs a little extra TLC, that's where one of my personal favourite skincare products come in!

The Alpha-H Liquid Gold is a cult beauty favourite that has well and truly earned its name - this concentrated glycolic acid based lotion (dw, the name makes it sound a lot scarier than it is!) works to revitalise and firm up your skin.

Read on to see my review on this world-renowned product and get the chance to win one in my giveaway at the end of the post!

REVIEW: Alpha-H Liquid Gold
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