Monday, 29 December 2014

Best Of Beauty Round-Up 2014 - Most Loved & Used Products

< Insert cliche about how quickly 2014 has flown by here >

Haha but you feel me right? Just where did this year go?! 

Nostalgia aside, I definitely tried and tested a bunch of products that I completely fell in love with this year! From a 3-time repurchased face powder to a body scrub that only just recently became a favourite, each of the products featured in this post all come with a big thumbs up from me!


Best Of Makeup


If you have ever asked me how I get my skin to look so glowy, it's because of this. This primer goes on so smoothly and if you have dry skin that doesn't agree with silicone-based primers, the Veil Mineral Primer is perfect for you as it hydrates the skin while it primes. Plus, my makeup lasts all day with this on! I've repurchased this multiple times and I am yet to meet a primer that can beat it.


The latest foundation formula to drop into the beauty world are fluid foundations that go on like a thin liquid foundation, but dry with a velvet-finish on the skin, which is super natural while still providing medium coverage. While the pump-less bottle is a bit messy, the Eau De Teint is definitely worth it! All I do is dot it onto my face and use my finger tips or a buffing brush to blend it in, and the end result is flawless, smooth skin. Adore!


To long-time followers of my blog, it should be no surprise to see this baby on the list! I have repurchased this countless times since buying it for the first time around three years ago, and I still haven't found another concealer that I like better than this one. It provides very high coverage which is perfect for covering blemishes and any redness, and it's even good enough to wear on its own on no-fuss makeup days.


Inside the adorable packaging is pretty much the loveliest finishing powder I have ever used. I swirl all four shades together to create a really soft, warm and glowing powder that I apply to set any oily areas on my face after my foundation, such as the T-Zone. I also dust it along my cheekbones as it creates the prettiest subtle highlight! 


If you've seen my previous review of this incredible blush (if not, check it out here!), then you'll know how much I love it! The shade Dim Infusion is a blend of coral pigment and Hourglass' famous Ambient Lighting Powder, so when applied to the cheeks, it creates a warm flush that brightens up the whole complexion. Plus it's very finely milled so it blends really nicely on the cheeks.


I picked this up in Japan because they're much more expensive in Australia - $12 VS $29? I know which price I prefer! - and my lashes have never looked better. I don't know what exactly makes this curler so much better than the cheaper chemist ones I've used in the past, but it makes my lashes perk up and the curl lasts all day. If you have straight lashes like mine and you can get your hands on this, I highly recommend that you do!


This has forever been a staple in my makeup bag because I'm a massive fan of winged liquid liner on the eyes, and while I've tried many liners, I still always come back to this one. I go through these so quickly because being an ink-style liquid liner they tend to dry out quicker, but they still last a few months each at least. Plus they don't smudge and I love its glossy, vinyl-like finish.


This was my first M.A.C lipstick ever (and I only bought it a month or so ago - I know, late on the bandwagon!), and I am well in truly in love. It is the perfect nude shade for me that is literally My Lips But Better. It goes on creamy, is highly pigmented and is a great everyday colour. A great beginner's lipstick if you're looking to start wearing nude lippy!


For something a bit darker, I can't go past the Apocalips in Eclipse. This is a red-wine, deep plum colour that looks super classy on, but is still a bit vampy and sexy too. I'm a massive fan of the Apocalips range all round because they're crazy pigmented and the formula leaves a lovely semi-gloss finish on the lips, but this is my favourite shade of them all hands down. If I'm looking to add a bit of drama to my makeup look, this is almost always what I pick up.


For those bright lip days, there's something about a punchy purple that always gets attention! The Lime Crime Velvetines go on glossy and dry matte, and are very long-lasting, and this shade Utopia is my pick of the range. I wear it both as a full matte lip, or as a lip stain by applying the colour with my finger tips for a softer wash of colour. I've also done a full review of this baby if you want to see more photos, and you can check it out here.


Best Of Skin and Body Care


Is it really a surprise to see Bioderma on this list? This beauty blogger favourite is a must-have in my beauty routine as it gently removes my makeup (yes, even waterproof mascara!) while lightly cleansing, without irritating my skin. I use the Sensibio (sensitive) version and while it's exxy, it lasts for ages and it is AMAZING.


This is formulated as a body wash, but when I bought it, the girl in the Laline store said that it was also great as a facial cleanser. I was a bit apprehensive at first as body products are usually too harsh for the face, but I LOVE THIS. It's really gentle on my skin and doesn't strip it of its natural oils, but it still washes away any leftover makeup or dirt buildup from during the day. It's incredible and it's way, way, WAY better than any cleanser I have ever used. Plus it adorably dispenses the product like whipped cream and smells like cherry blossoms - what more could a girl want?


This is a recent addition to my favourites as I bought it a few weeks ago in Japan, but I now know why Japan is famous for its skincare. This moisturiser is lighter than a cream, but a bit heavier than a serum so it really hydrates my skin without making it feel greasy. I used to have small dry areas on my cheeks, but this has cleared that right up. Plus I think it must have toning properties in it too because the redness I normally have in my cheeks has really been reduced since using this. 


I've only been using this one for a few weeks, but it well and truly deserves its spot on this list. I use it in the shower with a loofa and it buffs away any dead skin leaving my body feeling smooth, supple and fresh. Unfortunately this particular scent is a limited edition Christmas release, but I'll definitely be picking up the same product in different scents when this one runs out. 


I don't tend to use self tanners because of the mess factor, so I adore gradual tanners. This one smells deliciously tropical and in just three applications over three nights (using a tanning mitt of course!) my skin has a golden glow that lasts for around a week before topping it up. Plus it goes on like a moisturiser, so it doesn't stain my clothes or sheets. Bonus!


And that's it for my faves! Happy New Year beauties and I'll see you in 2015!


What were your favourite products from 2014? Did any make this list? Share your faves with me in the comments below!

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Monday, 22 December 2014

TUTORIAL: Golden Eyes and Red Lips for Christmas

Only a few more sleeps!! No matter how you're spending the holidays, a festive makeup look will be welcome at any get together this December! 

Whether you're headed to a family dinner, your work Christmas party, or you want an X-massy beauty look to rock at work, this golden-eyed, red-lipped tutorial is about as holiday feels as it can get!



Taken By Surprise Tutorial

Golden Eyes and Red Lips for Christmas


1. First off, we want to create a flawless, lightweight base. Something not too heavy but will still provide a great, glowing base for the eyes and lip makeup. I've started off with a hydrating primer and topped that with a light application of a liquid to velvet-finish foundation, before hiding any redness or blemishes with concealer. Keep it fresh!
Used: 


2. I love a bronze glow in summer, so with a big fluffy brush, apply a metallic-finish bronzer to all the places the sun would naturally hit the face - so apply a dusting along the hairline, just beneath the cheekbones and jawline, and a down the bridge of the nose for a soft glow.


3. For cheeks, I'm loving blushes that double up as a subtle illuminator for the face, like this one from Hourglass Cosmetics. Apply to the apples of the cheeks and bring the colour up towards the temples for a gentle flush of colour.


4. For even more of a highlighted, glowing complexion, choose a light-reflecting powder to set the T-zone of your face. Also apply lightly along your cheekbones for added definition.


5. For this look, we're going to need strong brows to offset the eye makeup. Use a brow wax in a shade darker than your natural hair colour to outline the shape you would like with an angled brush (personally I prefer a more angular shape with a soft arch), then fill them in with a brow powder that is slightly lighter. #datbrowgame


6. Now onto the eyes! Create a base for the colour by applying a champagne or light gold coloured cream eyeshadow all over the lids and up into the crease using your fingertips. This will give the powder eyeshadows something to stick to, helping the colour last longer and come up more vibrantly!


7. With a neutral bronze pigment, use a fluffy brush to apply a small amount to the outer corner of the eyelid and gently blend the shade into the outer third of the crease. Take care to only apply to those areas!


8. Time for some colour! With a pigmented gold eyeshadow (you can apply it wet if you want it to look even more intense), apply on the eyelids. You'll find it will hold onto your eyeshadow base, creating a lovely wash of gold colour. So festive!


9. Lighten up the look with a pale, shimmery shadow applied to the inner third of the eyelids and the inner corners. This will make the eyes appear larger and brighter.


10. You can never have too much gold around Christmas time, so with a golden pencil liner, line your lower lash line and waterline for a subtle, yet gorgeous pop of metallic. At night time, the liner will especially shine in the lights!


11. For a little old-Hollywood glamour, use liquid liner to line the top lash line. Keep the line as thin and as close to the lash line as possible. Then take the liner further at the outer corner to create a curved wing for a little flirty touch!


12. To finish off the eyes, choose a lengthening mascara and apply after using an eyelash curler for super long lashes. Apply at least two coats - a little drama on the eyes is not going to go astray!
Used: 


13. For the lips, what could be more perfect for Christmas than a rich red? For summer, I love a glossy red lip lacquer, but if I was having a white Christmas, a matte red would look just as gorgeous!


And that's it!



What makeup will you be wearing this Christmas season? Let me know in the comments below!

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Monday, 15 December 2014

TUTORIAL: Big Lips That Look Natural

Thanks to Kylie Jenner, big lips are definitely in. Think pouty, full, and seriously sexy. But whenever lip liner is involved, it's super easy to fall into clown lips territory.

So this week's blog post is all about achieving a killer kisser, with a few tips on avoiding overdoing it!


Taken By Surprise Tutorial: Big Lips That Look Natural


1. First up, you need to prep your pout for colour with a hydrating balm. Choose something quick absorbing and be generous when you apply. Tip: If you have dry lips, definitely exfoliate them before this step for best results!
Used: Maybelline Baby Lips in Lychee Addict


2. Choosing a lipliner can be pretty tricky - do you get one in a colour that hides your lips or get one that is the same shade as your lips or as your lipstick? The trick for this look is to choose a shade slightly darker than your natural lip colour.

To apply, first draw an X on your cupid's bow (the V-shaped curve at the top of your lips) to define the shape, then begin outlining just outside your natural lip shape in small, feathering strokes. 


3. With a lipstick that is your exact lip colour (the MLBB - My Lips But Better - lippy!), apply to your lips as you normally would, focusing the product in the centre of your lips. See how the slightly darker liner now blends in and looks natural?


4. You can stop there if you like a semi-matte finish, but for extra pouty oomph, try adding a lipgloss in the same shade as your lipstick to the centre of your lips, or applying a shimmery highlighter to the cupid's bow and along your lower lip line. 


And that's it!


What lipstick is your MLBB - My Lips But Better - shade? Let me know in the comments below!

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Monday, 8 December 2014

REVIEW: The Body Shop Geisha Doll Lip & Cheek Stain

Summer + makeup. Anyone else worrying about looking a little cake-facey?

Coming into the warmer months, I rarely use powder-based beauty products as they tend to become cakey and separate on the skin under the sun. Lightweight products fare much better, so I am loving this little lip and cheek stain from The Body Shop!


Just look at that cute little face! The Body Shop Geisha Doll Lip & Cheek Stain comes in a sweet little doll-shaped bottle which is super compact and easy to travel with.

Stains are great because they provide a wash of long lasting colour that doesn't wear off in warm weather or become uneven in a few hours like some powder products do. 


The applicator is a little sponge-tipped wand, which makes applying the stain to the lips and cheeks super easy. Benefit's Benetint is a very similar product to this one, but I much prefer the wand on the Geisha Doll than Benetint's brush.


The stain itself is pretty pigmented, and is a rich, deep red that blends out to a soft wash of cherry colour. You definitely have to work quickly with it though, as the liquid doesn't take long to stain the skin (you can see the outline of the swatch in the right-hand image below). 


To apply on the cheeks, I just apply a couple of dots to the apples of my cheeks and blend out with my fingers. It's definitely easier to use if your makeup base is a liquid or velvet, rather than powder, as the stain will blend out much more smoothly that way.


From there, I just blend it out gently with my finger tips in patting motions. Look at that lovely wash of blushing cherry red!


The effect is fairly subtle and natural, so this product would be great in particular for younger girls who aren't able to wear much makeup, or if you prefer to wear less during the summer months. 


For lips, you can really just apply it as you would a lip gloss, by just using the applicator packed with product straight onto your lips. I find that as the stain is so strong, that it works best to dot the liquid onto your lips and then pat in using your finger tips to blend. 


How GORGEOUS is that red! It makes me think of Christmas and summer parties, and you can rest assured that this stain will hold up - it lasted around 4 hours on my lips after applying, before starting to wear off. It wears off very evenly too, which is a bonus. 


You can grab the Geisha Doll Lip & Cheek Stain from The Body Shop both in store and online for $32.95, which I think is pretty reasonable for the amount of product you get (especially considering that Benefit's Benetint at Myer retails for $55!). 


What's your favourite 'stain' beauty product? Let me know in the comments below!

Disclaimer: This product was provided to me by The Body Shop with no obligation to include on my blog. It is featured here because I really love it, and all thoughts and opinions expressed here are honest and my own!
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