Tag Archives: Make Up

A Random Assortment of Recent Purchases

17 Nov

Because a pampered housewife’s shopping is never done!

Sigma Make Up Brushes

I picked up some make up brushes from Sigma ($48.60 USD with coupon + $11.39 for shipping). I was using the same (fairly crappy) brush for blush and bronzer, and it was time to upgrade. Their handles are too long for my travel makeup case, which is a bummer, but the bristles are lovely and soft.

image from Sigma Beauty

Mouse kept batting at the brushes so I had to hide them in my bathroom cupboard so they didn’t get ruined. If I don’t close the door properly, Mouse will open it and drag his favourite brush out. I’ve hidden them behind towels! I don’t know how he’s finding them. Sometimes I go into the bathroom and see him staring intently at the closed cupboard.

Adairs Bed Linen

I also bought some sheets from Adairs. I bought a set of off-white sheets (incidentally, to replace the sheets that Mouse ripped up),  a bath mat, plus an extra doona cover and a matching pillow set. I’m so in love with the doona set – it’s so soothing looking. =)

image from Adairs

The bed linen was fairly pricey – over $400 for everything – but despite wayward Mouse claws, I like having nice sheets. I don’t mind scrimping on some things, but the things I touch every day should be make me happy. =)

A Whole Bunch of Nyx Make Up From Cherry Culture

/sigh. I never learn. But it’s such great quality and everything was 40% off! I got like 12 things for $65 (including shipping), so even if just a couple work out I will consider it good value. I’ll do a blog post once everything arrives.

Hunger Games Trilogy

I’m trying to gradually stop buying paper books (except for cook books – I’ve tried them in e-book form and they just don’t work) so when I bought the Hunger Games Trilogy I picked up the kindle version. I bought them separately though, because it’s cheaper to buy the books individually rather than packaged in the trilogy.

image from Wikipedia

I’m trying to not buy things in the $60 range though, because I’m conscious that Christmas is coming up, and I know I’m a difficult person to buy for (apparently Ivanna always hopes she doesn’t get me when we do cousin kris kringle!) so I don’t want to make it harder for people. I did buy some cute summer dresses on eBay since my summer wardrobe is sadly lacking.

I’m also holding off on a couple of big purchases. I want a cute little netbook (waiting to see how Asus price the 1025CE when it comes out later this year) and also an underwater camera (looking at the Panasonic FT3 and FT10).

Nars at Mecca Cosmetica

31 Oct

I’ve wanted to make a big Nars purchase at Kiss and Makeup for awhile, but am wary of buying without knowing what would look good. I did that with Nyx, and while there were a lot of hits they were also a few misses. It was okay with Nyx because it’s cheap, but Nars is pricey so I wanted to make sure I would love whatever I bought.

I originally went to Mecca to play with the colours, but I wasn’t comfortable with the idea of staying there for ages and not buying anything. So I booked a $150 make-up lesson with the intent of experimenting with Nars.

For eyeshadows, the makeup artist brought out all the colours and she showed me the ones that would look good on me. She said that I should be able to do anything in the beige/brown/gold family, and also purples and earthy colours, but I should stay away from cool colours.

I wanted to try a more experimental colour, so we tried the Rated R eyeshadow duo, which is lime green and bright blue. I ended up hating the look – I kept trying to like it, but failing (admittedly it looks extra weird because I only have eye makeup on, so the whole look is unfinished). But anyway, I’m glad we tried it because now I know it’s not for me. I kept thinking that I looked like Mimi from Drew Carey.

The lens was really close and I was staring really hard at it, hence the cross-eyed stare. OMG right after I wrote that, James walked past, looked at my screen, and was like:

James: Are you cross-eyed?
Me: The lens was close to my face. Fuck you.
James: Sorry. It’s just really obvious.
James: (helpfully) Maybe you can photoshop it out.

It was a lot more fun playing with the lipsticks, but unfortunately I didn’t take any notes so I’m not 100% sure what some things are. This is either the Hopi velvet gloss lip pencil or the Calliope velvet matte lip pencil with Giza gloss on top. I love it – it’s like a better version of my lips.

Also, can I just say that I am really happy with my lips in general? I really like my natural lip colour (which I think is why I tend to gravitate to lipsticks that are similar to my natural lips). Actually I’m really happy with my skin too – in the photo of my whole face you can see there’s a small blemish on the right of my upper nose, but that’s not bad given that I’m not wearing any foundation in these photos.

I wanted to get out of my comfort zone a little and try other lip colours, so the makeup artist picked out a couple of corals and reds – apparently a blue-based red works best for me. Also, a handy tip when you want to test lipstick but can’t do it on your lips is to test it on the tip of your pinky, cos apparently that is the part of your hand closest to your lip colour.

This is a light red suitable for daytime. It’s called Pop Life, and I think at this point I have a small amount of blush on as well (Gina). Still no foundation or concealer though. =D

A more dramatic red lip for the evening. This is the velvet matte lip pencil in Cruella.

And this is Cruella with a gloss on top – I think it’s Bad Education, but it could have been Rose Gitane.

This is what I ended up getting:

  • Gina blush
  • Pop Life velvet matte lip pencil
  • Calliope velvet matte lip pencil
  • Stain remover (to bring it past $150)

I also received a complimentary sample pack containing:

  • Origins Youthfopia skin firming cream
  • Nars body glow
  • Bumble and Bumble thickening hairspray
  • Hourglass Film Noir mascara
  • Go Smile teeth whitening touch up

It’s a pretty generous gift pack! Not generous enough for me to pay twice the overseas price for Nars in the future, but enough to take the sting off. =) And now I have a good idea of the colours I want to get with my next make-up purchase. Plus it was fun playing around with the colours, finding out what would work with my colouring and the reasoning behind it.

I want to pick up Giza, Hopi, and a couple of other lip glosses we tried, but these will do until Kiss and Makeup have another sale. Oh, and I also want the Alahambra eyeshadow duo, which the makeup artist raved about and said would be the go-to set for anyone with brown eyes.

Week 1: Made vanilla extract
Week 2: BJJ day camp
Week 3: Used Myki and went to Beatrix
Week 4: Tried new skincare
Week 5: Competed at the Pan Pacs
Week 6: Joined Kiva
Week 7: Tried durian and frog fallopian tube
Week 8: Attended a chicken auction
Week 9: Graded for my BJJ blue belt
Week 10: Went to Isthmus of Kra
Week 11: Makeover at Mecca Cosmetica

Streamlining My Makeup Collection

22 Jul

Sometimes I get temporarily excited by random things, and this week I am excited about paring down my make-up collection. It’s currently overflowing from a plastic box, and I have to rummage around to find the stuff I’m after. Pah!

So I got rid of a bunch of stuff – colours that I don’t like (or are too similar to other ones I already own), and some mineral eyeshadows that I never use.

I want to upgrade some of the make-up brushes I own (I’m looking at the A’Squirrel brushes, which are supposed to be great quality, but their customer service is terrible). I don’t like any of the brush rolls, which are usually black polyester or (horror) imitation leather. So I hunted on Etsy and, after sorting through pages of search results with some truly garish prints, found this little beauty for $20 CAD.

image from Pigeonatelier

And another shot partially unrolled so you can see where the brushes go.

image from Pigeonatelier

So I’m going to offer Cat the make-up that I don’t use, and just keep my favourites. I did make a couple of last minute additions to my make-up collection:

The new limited edition Nars blush/bronzer/highlight trio ($55 USD). Australian prices are close to double what people in the US pay, so I bought it from Kiss and Makeup which has $9.95 flat rate international shipping.

image from Nars

Since the shipping was flat rate I also bought a tinted lip balm from Fresh in Honey, a warm nude colour ($22.50 USD). I have a lot of lip balms but no tinted ones, and Fresh’s tinted lip balm range gets pretty good reviews.

image from Fresh

Unfortunately Kiss and Makeup NY sent me the wrong colour lip balm. They sent me the Rose, which would have been my second choice, but my heart was really set on Honey. When I emailed them to ask about correcting the order, the company was fantastic. They sent me the Honey and told me to keep the Rose. Awesome!

Nyx Makeup (AKA: When Pampered Housewives Go Crazy)

30 Jan

I asked a BJJ friend what her favourite make up brand was, and without even thinking she replied Nyx. I was totally expecting to hear something like MAC, Stila or Nars, so I thought “hmm, alright then” and promptly forgot the information.

A week or so later I was browsing highly rated reviews on Makeupalley, and Nyx kept coming up, so I thought it would be worth doing some more research on it. And whoah, Nyx seems to be this fantastic combination of ridiculously cheap and really good quality.

So I got Cat in on it, and we figured we’d buy a couple of things from Cherry Culture to test out the brand. Due to my compulsive analness I cross-checked reviews on Makeupalley against swatches from Spektra, and had like 30 tabs open on my browser.

image from Cherry Culture

Anyway, long story short, we ended up spending about $150 each (including shipping). Oops. But on the plus side, $150 bought me 2 things from Mecca Cosmetica, whereas it got me like 20 items from Nyx, supposedly of comparable quality. Look how freaking adorable these lip balms are. Plus they had 20% off!

James: So now you’re set for awhile … (voice going up hopefully at the end)

Oh yes, I forgot to mention, this came after Cat and I (woohoo! Partners in crime!) spent about the same amount at Skinstore. I’d read all these great reviews on the Clarisonic Mia and talked her into buying one as well.

image from Clarisonic

According to Skinstore the benefits include:

  • More than 2x as effective as manual cleansing
  • 6X more makeup removal.
  • Leaves skin feeling and looking younger and smoother.
  • Increases product absorption.
  • Reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Helps reduce oily areas, dry skin patches and blemishes.
  • Helps reduce the appearance of visible pores.
  • Clarisonic Skin Care Brush System is waterproof.

Though it was mainly the reviews on Makeupalley that got me – I saw a review where a girl manually cleaned half her face and used the CM for the other half, and took pictures of how much residue her toner picked up, and there was a really noticeable difference for both sides. And a lot of before/after photos where fairly dramatic.

Also Skinstore is totally awesome – shipping to Australia is only $9.95 (although you can pay for faster postage via Fedex for $29.95).  Anyway, Skinstore emailed me, offering to upgrade my shipping for free since they didn’t want to send it without tracking. Hooray!

Also my Kor water bottles still haven’t arrived. They were returned the first time because Kor sent them to an incorrect address, and although they claim they’ve resent the water bottles, we haven’t received anything. James and I just spent an hour or so printing stuff out and writing timelines so we can file a credit card dispute. We’re pretty sure their customer service/shipping departments aren’t actually trying to rip us off; they’re just incompetent. But still – end result is we have no money and no water bottle, and have spent ages chasing them up because they’re idiots.

Girly Day At Mecca Cosmetica

16 Jan

On Saturday, I went to Mecca Cosmetica at Doncaster Shoppingtown with Cat and Ivanna for a make up lesson. I only really have one make-up “look” that I’m confident with, so I wanted to play around with a different look. The lesson was $150, but redeemable for products.

It was so much fun catching up with Cat and Ivo, and having a play with all the make up. The MUA would do one side, then get you to do the other side, and she would guide you in what you were doing wrong, so it was very instructional.

The lipstick that the MUA chose for me was a lot darker than I’m used to (my regular lipstick is the very nude, understated MAC Viva Glam V) – as she was applying it I was like “eh, I’m not so sure about this lipstick” but everyone else loved it. Then after I got used to the darker colour I ended up loving it too!

I didn’t realise there was that much of a difference at the time, but the photos show a pretty big difference between before and after. We all look much more polished, less tired, and gratifyingly, we all have much bigger eyes (apparently the trick to big eyes is darker make up at the outside corners – if you have dark colours on the inside it makes your eyes look smaller and narrower).

Cat ran into some work friends after she had her makeup done, and without knowing about the makeover, they both commented on how great she looked. Scott told Cat that it’s not a good idea to wear make up all the time, because then that becomes your default setting, and when you don’t wear make up, people think you look crap.

Anyway, Ivo had the first makeover. She wanted some help making her face look less round, and I think the contouring (Nars Laguna bronzer) made a huge difference. I think the brow pencil also had a big impact, since her brows are naturally very fine, and the darker brows gave her eyes much more impact. She ended up buying the Dr Brandt primer and Stila foundation. I can’t remember what the name of the foundation was, but it gave a medium level of coverage, and seemed a very good match for her face.

After that was Cat. The MUA covered half of her face with a tinted moisturiser by Chantecaille, and the difference was amazing! One half was normal face, and the other was much smoother and evener, and the application was very easy! I was such a huge fan of the tinted moisturiser that I requested the same one for my makeover. She ended up buying the tinted moisturiser and a concealer by Ellis Faas, which she also loves.

I had a different MUA from Cat and Ivo. I wanted a feminine look, since I pretty much only wear make up for weddings and fancy events. I normally resist blush because my cheeks get pink very easily, and if there is blush on top of that I end up looking a bit red. So the MUA picked a lovely, natural blush that is close to colour my cheeks get when they are flushed.

Sorry about the photo; I was noob and my head isn’t in exactly the same position. Also the lighting is a bit funny – I didn’t actually lighten a couple of shades during the makeover.

This is what the MUA used on me.


  • Primer – Stila one step primer
  • Tinted Moisturiser – Chantecaille Just Skin in Glow
  • Concealer – Nars Custard
  • Blush – Nars Penny Lane
  • Highlight – Stila Kitten


  • Primer – Nars primer
  • Cream Shadow – Nars Mykonos
  • Shadow on the lid – Nars Nepal
  • Shadow on lash line – Nars Ondine
  • Eyeliner – Stila smudge pot in Bronze


  • Balm  – Mecca lip deluxe
  • Lipstick – Nars Fast Ride

I ended up buying the Mecca brand lip balm ($25), Chantecaille tinted moisturiser ($94) and Stilla smudge pot ($42). Cat really liked my smudge pot so my MUA gave her a very generous sample in the black. I also loved the Nars lipstick and blush, but Australian make up prices are double what you pay in the US, so I figured I’d buy the rest overseas.

It was surprisingly difficult, since Beauty.com and Sephora don’t ship to Australia. Luckily I found Kiss and Makeup, who stock Nars and ship for $10 worldwide.

I also loved the eyeshadows that were used – they were all lovely golden colours – but I just bought the Natural Eye palette from Skin Store, so I’ll see what gaps there are in my eyeshadow then. The Natural Eye palette is filled with gorgeous, wearable colours, and is $35 USD (though Skin Store have 20% off at the moment) with $14.95 shipping:

image from Too Faced

The whole day was so much fun, just playing around and seeing what worked on me. There were a few colours that I absolutely would not have picked for myself, but ended up loving. Cat liked my lipstick so much that she wants to buy one too, and she said that she preferred my eye makeup. The technique was essentially the same, but I think my colours were a bit more natural, which she liked.

I was also inspired to start taking better care of my skin (it’s super dry even though I drink heaps of water) so I made a big purchase at Paula’s Choice. Hooray for a fun day of being super girly!