Beauty Buys – Garnier, Crabtree & Evelyn, Redkens & Body Shop

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I think I’ve been buying more new beauty products lately than I have clothes! I’ve been hearing a lot about BB creams lately (short for blemish balm or beauty balm) and I decided I had to try one and see what the fuss is about. According to the ever-accurate Wikipedia, BB cream was designed for people post laser who needed a kind of healing moisturizer that gave some coverage – basically a combo of benefits for the skin (moisturises, protects from sun, fights blemishes and boost brightness of skin). I went for Garnier’s version of BB cream, the Miracle Skin Perfector, because it’s stocked in many places like chemists, supermarkets etc. Price varies depending where you go – $14 at Big W vs $9 at Discount Drug Store – but it’s roughly around the $10AUD mark.

As far as I know (or have been able to find out), there’s only two colours. I have a feeling there’s probably more but most places only have light or medium. Don’t let the medium description fool you as it’s pretty dark and I found it a little on the red skin tone side. After making this mistake I bought the light and even that is kind of dark (it blends with my skin perfectly and I have a yellow medium skin tone).

Apparently L’Oreal has a BB cream called Nude Magique but I haven’t come across it yet (I haven’t been looking very hard however) and other brands like Bobbi Brown and Body Shop are releasing versions. I’m interested in trying Bobbi Brown’s because it’s designed for combo/oily skin, whereas I feel Garnier’s is more suited to normal skin. However, I solve this by simply popping my Body Shop Seaweed lotion underneath. I’d also like to try Body Shop’s if Australia gets it.

Garnier’s version is quite lovely. Coverage that manly evens out the skin tone but doesn’t hide freckles like most foundations. It’s got a lovely smell and it is quite a thick cream but I guess that’s the point. I do like it for days off, and for uni I simply brush a tiny bit of my Clinique Almost Mineral Powder on top. So although I plan to buy and try other BB creams I will keep using Garnier’s on my days off.

Another recent buy of mine is Crabtree & Evelyn’s Wisteria perfume. It’s a beautiful fragrance wi notes of nashi pear, ylang ylang, and airy musk (I’ve been trying to find out if the musk is animal, plant, synthetic or simply a word to describe a scent in it, but alas no answer yet). I’ve also got Crabtree’s Rosewater fragrance in my collection – which smells like perfection when I wear it with Body Shop’s Spa Polynesia Lotus & Frangipani body purée (lotion) – but I’m yet to find a body moisturizer that mixes well with Wisteria. Regardless, I adore the smell and wear it when I’m not feeling girly enough for Rosewater.

A friend told me recently that I should alternate my supermarket brand shampoo and conditioner wi a good quality one to get the most out of my hair and stop product build up. So I asked my hairdresser what she recommended and $60 later came home with Redken’s All Soft shampoo and conditioner. Despite the price (Tony & Guy is usually around $15 for a shampoo and conditioner pack) it does make my hair feel softer and like the BB cream it has a delightful scent. Downside: I can’t stop stroking my hair after I use it.

I did also get The Body Shop’s Ginger Shampoo as a kind of deep cleanser. The shampoo helps to get rid of product build up and get rid of dandruff. My boyfriend has started pinching it for himself to get rid of dirt after rugby games and claims it’s the only shampoo that’s ever effectively gotten rid of his dandruff. For a good cleansing shampoo with a nice ginger scent I definitely recommend Body Shops Ginger Shampoo.

Purple lipstick perfection

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Ever since I was in Brisbane’s David Jones and saw a lovely pale girl working in Willow with a dark brown bob with fringe, dark draped clothes and striking purple lips I’ve been obsessed with finding my own purple lipstick. Finally, I have one.

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Illamasqua’s Diablo is simply amazing. The loveliest shade of purple, it’s strong and goes on the same colour as in the tube. I’ve worn it here with a Sage #5 eyeshadow disc from The Body Shop and my TBS makeup base etc. I love the green and the purple together; it feels so mysterious and in a way, slightly magical. I can’t wait for the next event to wear it to!

Skin Care Regime

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So I finally have a new skin care regime and so far I’m liking it. In the past I’ve always used an entire skin care range for blemish-prone/oily skin but it’s always been a little strong for me. However, working with skin care has taught me I don’t need to stick to a whole range (especially a whole range of strong blemish fighting treatments) and than in fact, most people will benefit from using products in different ranges to address their needs.

So because my skin tends to be a tad dull I’m now using The Body Shop’s Vitamin C facial polish, with their Seaweed mattifying moisture lotion for oil control, with a nice gentle Kiehl’s cucumber herbal toner – I use this twice a day. I’ve been using the cleanser and moisturiser about a month or two now and my skin has been looking and feeling great. More radiant thanks to the cleanser and less oily thanks to the moisturiser. Clearly I did not need as much oily control as I thought and I think I may have been stripping too much oil away, causing my glands to over-produce. The toner is nice but I won’t see the real result until my skin has gone through its full 28 day skin cell renewal process.

Next I’m going to get Body Shop’s Seaweed mask and night cream, the Vitamin C microdermabrasion exfoliator and possibly a serum – in other words: when I have enough money. In case you were wondering, a serum hydrates the skin deeper than your normal moisturiser which effects the top skin layers, therefore a serum is what helps keep your skin looking young and healthy.

The other great thing about the range I’m now using: cheaper than Clinique’s Anti-Blemish Solutions. Not by a huge amount, only about $30 (for a full cleanse, tone, moisturise set), however any much more cheaper and I must admit I’d be skeptical about the ingredient quality.

Don’t get me wrong, Clinique is an amazing wonderful brand, but my skin doesn’t like their skin care range. And I’ve tried most of it. Their make-up however is still superior to everything I’ve tried (Chanel is next on my list of things to try) and it would take something amazing to pull me away from my Perfectly Real Liquid Foundation and my Almost Mineral Powder – they’re a perfect colour match. Their line-smoothing concealer is still my number one for days I’m doing proper make-up and need full under eye coverage, while Body Shop’s flawless concealer is fantastic for no-make-up/minimal-make-up days – but if we were to get into concealers for everywhere but the eyes, the two brands are evenly matched.

If you’re having skin problems and don’t have a very large budget for skincare products, go visit the Body Shop because I’m quite impressed by the quality of their skin care and I’m hard to convince about quality unless I experience it myself. Plus all the girls at TBS go through quite a detailed skincare consultation course where they learn how to determine what’s good for what skin. My training taught me all about aquaporoms, skin cell renewal, sensitivities and more! Also facial brushes are amazing. Even if you have a skincare regime that’s working well for you, go get a facial brush. I couldn’t even get my mascara off with make-up remover before I discovered them. And finally, if you’re still having problems with your skin re-evaluate your choice in make-up. It might not be the right type for your skin and if you’re wearing it nearly everyday like me it’s important to get it right.

Looks like chocolate, smells like chocolate, tastes like chocolate…

Need an alternative to kick your chocolate craving in the butt? Chocolate lip butter would be your solution. The Body Shop’s latest range Chocomania smell amazing. You will literally smell edible after using it. Unfortunately, it tastes bad… Or so a customer said who somehow accidentally tasted the Chocomania body butter that was on her arm.
However! Fear not! The Chocomania lip butter actually has a subtle chocolate taste to it. Fortunately not too much or my lip chewing habit would probably get a bit out of hand. It’s a nice little little balm and it’s quite moisturizing too. Definitely a good alternative to copious amounts of chocolate… Or you could just have both. That works too!

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All That Glitters

When a friend of mine posted a pic on instagram of her new clear polish with glitter bits in it the other day I knew I had to get myself some. And I did.

Sportsgirl’s Nail It nail polishes are always pretty decent and their ‘all that glitters’ polish is rocking. Did I mention it’s only $7.95? Bargain!

The great thing about it is it can jazz up plain or French manicured nails, or add some fun to black or any other colour really.

My first application was over the top of OPI’s black onxy polish and it looks awesome. Next up, purple with glitter, red with glitter and French manicure with glitter. So many options!

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Recent get-ups

Today’s Outfit editions from today, yesterday and last Wednesday. Please excuse my lateness with the posts, uni work was taking up all my attention.

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Top: Sass and Bide
Shorts: Nicholas
Shoes: Tony Bianco Devon
Necklace: Lovisa

Above is a variance of an outfit I’ve already blogged about. I feel like it’s a bit more glam biker chic than the other version. Comfy of course and a good autumn outfit for the tropics where it’s still stinking hot and humid.

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Dress: Parker
Shoes: Natasha
Bag: Louis Vuitton
Jewellery: Robert Clerc scarab earrings and ring, Tree of Life silver bracelet.

Above is the outfit I wore out last night. I lusted after this dress for months but it was around Christmas when I was spending all my money on my family’s gifts. Luckily 3 months later I found a small at online store Madison Los Angeles. Dad just so happened to be unsure about birthday present ideas for me and so this dress is my birthday gift from Dad. I did have to get it taken in all the way down the side seams, however. Even now it’s a bit baggy on my waist but it’s also a loose fitted dress so it’s not too obvious.
I really should have worn my red London Rebel pumps with the dress and my dark chocolate coloured clutch from Witchery but I was in a hurry and my Natasha heels where first in sight. The dress is very comfortable and I wanted it because it’s quite conservative but still chic – I could wear it to dinner with family, wear it with a blazer for a work look, or wear it out to a bar like I did last night. It’s one of those chuck on and go dresses that requires minimal hair effort too.

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Top: Ba&sh
Shorts: Ksubi
Shoes: Vans Authentic

A casual look I did for uni the the other day. I love Ksubi’s shorts and these are quite comfy – I have a pair in black and in this faded blue colour. So many different options to wear with them too (as you can see below when I was trying to decide how to style them). It was raining all last week, so I figured a long sleeve top would stop me getting cold in the rain. Too bad it stopped raining that day and got very humid. I felt this look had an ever so slight retro feel to it with the faded blue shorts and red kicks. I’ll probably never wear anything more retro than this too. It wouldn’t suit me, in my own opinion. If you find these shorts at your local Ksubi stockist or online then definitely grab a pair (and don’t be afraid to go one size up like I did – they’re comfier that way). You won’t regret it.

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Finally, it’s not clothing but below is a make-up look I had to do for work the other day. We each got given a look to complete on ourselves by the end of the week. I got given Rae Morris’ China Doll Eyes. Basically, it’s done like so:
1. a big sweep of deepish purple across the outer 2/3rds of the eye,
2. bright blue eyeshadow on the inner 1/3rd and top and bottom inner-corner of the eye,
3. blend the two nicely,
4. thickish purple eyeliner again 2/3rd of the way across the top lash-line,
5. a deeper blue eyeliner on the top lash-line and 1/3rd of the bottom lash-line,
6. smudge eyeliners a bit,
7. a thiner line of black eyeliner where the purple liner is on the top lash-line as well as lining the bottom lash-line (except in the blue area),
8. lots of mascara to finish!
It probably sounds more complicated than it is; I don’t lie when I say it’s easy. Also, don’t forget to go just above the eye crease to the brow bone a bit. Otherwise if you have heavy lids like me it won’t be visible.

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Crabtree and Evelyn’s timeless Rosewater EDT

I finally have my hot little hands on a bottle of Crabtree and Evelyn’s rosewater perfume! Yay!
Ever since I can remember I’ve loved this scent. My mother wore it when I was younger and one day in high school gave me a little handbag size bottle for myself, which I wore non-stop.
Unfortunately a year or two ago, it ran out and each time I encountered it I either had no money to buy it or they were out of stock. It was never something on the forefront of my mind to get either as it’s kind of like that old reliable something you never think about but it’s always there.
Anyways, finally, during my trip to the Indooroopilly shopping centre in Brisbane I found a Crabtree and Evelyn store and said to myself “this is the day I get my signature scent back!”. So I did.
Gosh I love it! It’s so classic and fool-proof. I do have an oddly large perfume collection at the moment and won’t need more for well over a year, however I had to have this scent.
If you come across a Crabtree and Evelyn store or stockist make sure you check out their scents. Always lovely, and always a classic.

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