Thursday, August 27, 2015

Review: True NARS lip pencil set


I received my tax return the other week, and decided to use some of it to treat myself. I stumbled across this limited edition NARS lip pencil set in Mecca and it was love at first sight.


Firstly - that packaging. Oh me, oh my. 
The lip pencils come in a hard case with a slot for each of the three pencils. The graphic artwork on the top of the case is stunning, and there's a giant mirror on the inside. This set is so beautifully packaged up and would make a perfect gift. A jumbo size pencil sharpener is included in the set, which is really thoughtful of NARS - you won't have to bother yourself with picking one up since it's all included. 

Honestly, the packaging is absolutely stunning, but it's quite bulky so pretty impractical to take travelling or throw in your handbag. I think of it more as a collectible that looks beautiful on top of my vanity.


The set comes with two satin lip pencils and one velvet matte lip pencil.  All lip pencils are full sized.
Included in the set is Yu, Luxembourg (both in the permanent line), and limited edition Provocative Red.

Yu is a bright, fucshia pink. 
Luxembourg is watermelon red - probably my most favourite of the three pencils. 
Provocative Red - the matte in the set - is a deep, muted red.


The texture and staying power of these is well worth the money spent on them. All three are beautifully smooth and creamy, and apply like a dream. They don't dry my lips out, although they don't really moisturise my lips either. The two satin lip pencils make my lips look shiny and juicy.

Provocative red is really velvety (as the name would lead you to believe)

Each colour lasts 3.5 - 4 hours on the lips - they do stain a bit, which I think helps with the staying power quite significantly, but they don't come off in the middle leaving a ring of colour on the outside of your lips, like some staining lip colours do.

(L-R: Yu, Luxembourg, Provocative Red)

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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Review: Zoeva Face Brushes


I've been using zoeva brushes for so long now - they're affordable, really great quality, and come in a mix of synthetic and natural hair bristles.  I've amassed a bit of a collection of both face and eye brushes, so will focus this post on face brushes. Another post will come later on eye brushes. 

I bought my brushes from both luxola and zoeva directly, but this was back when our dollar was mighty. I had good experiences with both websites, but you'll have to do some research to work out what is the best site to order from in terms of AUD value.


Brush shapes for all your facey needs.  


Brush 127 - Luxe Sheer cheek 
This is a natural hair brush, ideal for powders on the cheeks. Originally I used this to contour, but with washing this brush has lost its shape and the bristles aren't as dense, and have a bit more give to them. So now I use this when I want a hint of colour on my cheeks - if I'm using a super pigmented blush this brush works really well because it doesn't pick up that much product. Honestly though, that doesn't happen that often and the petit stippling brush has pretty much got my back on all my blush needs, so I'm hesitant to recommend this one. The brush cleans really well (apart from the aforementioned loss-of-shape issue), and dries really quickly. 

Brush 105 - Luxe Highlight
This brush is a natural-synthetic blend. This brush is super fluffy, and gently tapered. I use this every day for applying highlight to my cheekbones and to the top of my nose. This is probably one of my favourite brushes that I own. I think this would also probably work well when using powder to set the under-eye area. Again, cleans really well, dries quickly as the bristles aren't too dense and I've had no issues with this brush thus far. 

Brush 122 - Petit Stippling
This brush is another dual-fibre natural/synthetic brush. This brush is almost identical in shape to the Real Techniques stippling brush, but it's a teeny bit smaller. I actually prefer the zoeva brush to the RT's one. The size fits the apples of my cheeks just that bit better, making it perfect for applying blush. I love that this blush applies cream and powder with no problems. The bristles are really soft, have a little bit of give to them (so they're not super fluffy), but are still not that dense. Another favourite of mine.


Brush 106 - Powder
Pretty self-explanatory, this one. Applies both pressed and loose powder really well. Nice and fluffy, really soft synthetic bristles (I think softer than the RT powder brush - definitely a lot smaller than that one). I use this every day to apply pressed powder, and I really feel like it picks up so much product, and distributes it so flawlessly. Another favourite. 

Brush 104 - Buffer
This is my least favourite brush. The bristles are quite soft, and really dense. When I first got this brush, I thought it would be a good contender against my favourite foundation brush - the Sigma F80. Oh how wrong I was. This applies foundation really streaky, and it's never consistent. I also feel like this brush just absorbs most of the product, as I always need to use two pumps rather than my normal one. The brush is also such a pain in the butt to clean. Avoid this one.

Brush 102 - Silk Finish
This brush is synthetic. I haven't actually seen any other brushes with this brush shape. The bristles are super dense, and unlike the buffer brush, it applies liquid foundation really well. No streakiness here, sirree! I regularly use this brush to apply foundation, alternating with my Sigma F80. It cleans a lot easier than the Sigma F80 though, which gives it bonus points. 

Have you tried any zoeva brushes?

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Monday, August 17, 2015

My 5 Top Tips for Journalling

I had so many diaries as a kid that I poured my heart and mind into. I would tell anyone who would listen that I was going to grow up to be a writer (not entirely untrue...lawyers write a surprisingly large amount of words each day), so in my diaries I would write down all my thoughts, dreams, latest stories and characters, the latest playground gossip and whatever else tickled my fancy at that time.

I don't always keep all my journals, (some are wayyy too cringey for that) but I think they're great to look back on, even just from a personal development point of view.

Even now as an adult, I still try to regularly take time out of my day to pen my latest thoughts. I've tried to do journals on the computer, but I think at hear I'm always going to be a pen-and-paper kind of girl.

So, because journalling is kind of a big part of who I am, I thought I'd share with you my top tips for journalling, as committing pen to paper is kind of really hard sometimes.

1. Work out what you want in your journal
Your journal is your place, so it can be whatever you want! You can write about what happened in your day, key life events, your thoughts and reactions to world events, goals you're working towards, to-do lists, quotes and poetry that inspires you, favourite passages from books, the possibilities are endless.

I have a friend who is on this year-long project where every day she snaps a polaroid of something she did that day, and draws a picture in her journal, and that's her way of recording her life.

I personally have a few journals - I have one where I write my thoughts and feelings about what's happening around me, and I stick mementos in it and try to make it this book I can eventually look back on, and then I usually have a journal that I take with me where I scribble to-do lists and random thoughts, song lyrics etc.

Work out what works for you.

2. Never wait for inspiration
Honestly, you'll be waiting for a long time, and your journal will sit there gathering dust. I try to journal every morning on the train, on my way to work, and I try to journal at least once a week - usually on the weekend.
It may seem to take the "fun" out of it, but if you make journalling more of a habit, rather than waiting around for inspiration, you're more likely to actually stick to it.

3. Find a book that works for you
Do you like lines, or do they restrict you? Do you prefer more structured journalling, with pre-written questions? Will you be carrying it around with you? If so, you might want something smaller, and made of a sturdy material, such as leather.

I remember reading once that really beautiful journals actually stifle creativity, because we get too afraid to write in them for fear of "ruining" the beautiful pages.
Think about the way you'll be using your journal, and then try get something that works well with that.

4. Look up "journal prompts"
Sometimes I have writer's block, and can't think about what to write. And if I let that stop me from writing too often, then I would fall out of the habit of doing so. When this happens, I like to look up "journal prompts" online for some inspiration. These are usually lists such as "Goals for the next year, ways to improve my life, things I'd do if I had time, fears I'm having right now".

I don't always then follow them, but I find that by reading through these ideas, my brain starts whirring and I'm able to come up with my own ideas!

5. Stick with it
It takes 21 days to create a habit. If you're new to journalling then I suggest giving it a go for at least a month. Set a goal to write for 10 minutes every day, or 20 minutes every couple of days, and just do it.

I think our lives are so busy, and constantly on the go that it's really beneficial to take time out for your own thoughts.

Do you journal? 

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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Review: Furless Couture Body Contour Kit*


Furless are a cruelty-free, Australian company that pride themselves on selling high quality synthetic brushes. Back in April, Furless generously sent me their new limited edition body contour kit to try out. I'm so excited today to be sharing my thoughts about them with you!  


I've been using these brushes for about four months now, and I'm really impressed with them. 

The body contour kit contains four contour brushes, specifically designed to be used all over the body and face - think contouring abs, boobs, jawline, cheekbones...this set does it all! The brushes are all roughly the same shape, but different sizes for different areas of the body. 

 Top: BC4, Bottom: BC3 

I probably use the two smallest brushes in the kit the most. BC4, the smallest of the four, fits perfectly into the hollow of my cheeks, creating that perfect contour line. It would also be a really good brush for using to define / highlight your clavicles, if you're into that. 
Once I've also applied blush and highlighter to my cheeks, I'll use BC3 to blend it all together, so it looks a bit more natural.

Top: BC2, Bottom: BC1  

BC1 is the biggest of the four brushes, and probably the biggest brush I own in my collection - for reference, it's much larger than the Real Techniques Powder Brush. I don't normally do body contouring, so honestly this brush doesn't get that much use from me. I can definitely see how well it would work in larger areas of the body though - there are so many bristles, and they aren't dense at all. This brush would work really well for applying bronzer over the body. 

BC2 is slightly smaller, and makes a great powder brush. Again, there's a lot of bristles, and they're not too firm or tightly packed together, so it blends setting powder over foundation really nicely.


I really like the sleek conical shape of the brush handles - they fit nicely in my hand. However, with the two larger brushes the distribution in weight is quite uneven. 
As far as packaging goes, I really like the all-over black look, with the gold writing stamped on the handle. It goes well with the rest of my brush collection and looks quite luxurious. 

These brushes are vegan friendly, and obviously synthetic. The bristles are really silky smooth, and incredibly soft. As they are synthetic, I have noticed they tend to pick up a bit of dust, probably due to static electricity. As long as you clean your brushes regularly though, this shouldn't be a problem.


The brushes also clean really well, and dry really quickly. I love how silky soft they are, and I love that they're cruelty free. 

This brush kit retails for $99AUD, although you can also buy the brushes individually. 
Like I mentioned though, they are limited edition so if you want them you should get your paws on them quickly! 

Disclaimer: These brushes were sent to me by the lovely peeps at Furless. They haven't influenced my opinion in any way, shape or form, and all opinions are my own. Links in the post are not affiliate links - I've just linked for your convenience! For further info check out my disclaimer
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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

My MAC 15 Palette


MAC is one of those brands that I have dreamed of adding to my collection for years. Unfortunately, they are so expensive in Australia that I cannot justify paying for their products, when I know how much cheaper they are overseas.

I had a friend recently visit America, and she very kindly offered to buy me some stuff over there. 
Unfortunately, our dollar is so weak at the moment that there wasn't much cosmetic-wise that would be worth me buying. Except for MAC. MAC is so ridiculously over-priced here, that even with our rubbish dollar, there are significant savings when it's purchased overseas. 

So I did a lot of research, and ended up asking for a paint pot, two lipsticks, and a custom 15 palette. 

Paint pot in 'painterly' - this is the perfect eyeshadow base. It covers the veins that show through on my eyelids and is really creamy, so eyeshadow sticks to it nicely.


So many pretty colours! 

Top row: Blanc type - shroom - honey lust - all that glitters - quarry
Middle row: sable - mythology - cranberry - woodwinked - satin taupe
Bottom row: omega - wedge - espresso - ground brown - carbon

I actually picked a different colour to blanc type, but that was the one the salesperson gave my friend. It's a really pretty highlight colour. 

I've been using this palette pretty exclusively since I got it (about a month now) and I am really happy with the colours I picked. These colours are great for work - I love that there are so many colours that look amazing on their own, or I can blend a few together for a more full eyeshadow look. I really love Carbon on my lashline instead of eyeliner - it's just a bit softer, which is great for daytime.

Do you have any MAC eyeshadows? Which are your favourite colours?

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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

August Goals

With our last minute move in June, July was a hectic month. No goals were set during July, as I focussed my energy on settling in to our new house.

Let's review June's goals..

- Take photos of clothes from wardrobe clean-out
Still haven't crossed this one off. In fact, I have put aside even more clothes to clear out since moving. With the change of season almost upon us, I really need to get on this. 
- Stretch 5x a week.
- Revise my Chinese to send a letter to my pen-pal in Chinese
I think I'm contender for worst pen-pal of the year? 
- Submit my audition tape for Pole Evolution 2015
Yes! I crossed this one off! I worked so hard on this routine, so was thrilled to get this in. I wasn't happy with my final piece, but I submitted it anyway. 
-Buy a dress (and nude heels) for the two weddings I'm attending in June.
So, I ended up wearing my Law Ball dress to the first wedding I had, and when I got there found out I was wearing the same dress as the bridesmaids! This was a total fluke, because they had bought dressed online that arrived the day before the wedding, didn't like them and went out and bought the same dress as me! I got a skirt and top for the second wedding - I had my eye on the skirt for months and it finally went on sale. 
- Train pull-ups five times a week.
Our pull up bar has not been up since we moved. 
- Keep better track of my goals throughout the month; check in at least once a week. 
-  Keep to my blogging schedule!

- Complete the August splits challenge
- Train handstands 5x a week
- Buy Meg and Dad a birthday present
- Finish at least one book
- Take clothes to charity bin and photograph clothes to sell
- Get back into a regular gym schedule
- Organise Alex drawers

How are you going with your monthly goals?
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