Friday, 30 September 2011

Do you suffer from acne? Guest reviewer required.

I am looking for someone to guest review some products for my blog. The products aim to treat acne/problematic skin. It would be preferable if you are having a flare up right now to really see how they go.

What is required? I will send you 3 products - a cleanser and 2 treatment products and I would like you to use them for at least a month to see how they go at treating your skin. The products do contain Vitamin A so if you are pregnant or looking to get pregnant it is best that you don't apply. Once you have trialled them for a month I will need you to write a review that I can publish on my blog. I would love it if you included before and after photo's of your skin, to show any progress made by the products.

You do not need to have a blog to apply, but if you do have a blog please don't write about the trial on your blog until after the review has gone up here. After then, you are more than welcome to link to your guest review or if you want to do another update further down the track, feel free to do so.

Australian residents only.

To apply, please send me an email or leave a comment below describing the issues you are having with your skin and I will choose someone by Sunday.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Is this the hottest pink you have ever seen: Spa Ritual Imaginarium

I have been meaning to write an account of IMATS and the ABBW; however, the weekend has left me feeling rather shattered. You see, when it comes to excitement levels my development stunted when I was about 6 years old leaving me with an extremely low excitement threshold. I bounce off walls knowing I have a haircut coming up and I am a nightmare to be around on birthday eve or Christmas eve. So you can only imagine what I was like the night before ABBW. I was literally wide awake, too excited to sleep, at 3.00am and had to get up at 5.45am when our alarm clock, otherwise know as The Crazy Kid, went off. I was then at ABBW from 8.00am until 10.15pm when I had to leave the Gala dinner due to extreme exhaustion...but do know what, I was still too excited and hyped up to sleep and spent the night having those stupid hallucination dreams where you are not quite awake, not quite asleep. Naturally it was beauty products that I was dreaming about! I think I got a total of six hours sleep in two nights - whilst I might have the excitement levels of a 6 year old, I most definitely have the body and energy levels of a 31 year old.

So, until I can stay awake later than 8.00pm in the evenings, I thought that I'd do a quick post on a nail polish that I picked up at IMATS. Its called Imaginarium by Spa Ritual and it is the hottest pink shade that I have ever come across. I was a massive tomboy as a kid and so pink was always my most hated colour. I have always had a fetish for bright colours and sometime when I was in my 20's I had a light bulb moment - pink is probably the brightest of bright colours. From that moment on my pink phobia was over I embraced it in a way that would make Barbie proud.

This was also my first encounter with Spa Ritual polishes. They were $11.95 at IMATS, though I believe are ordinarily $19.95 for 15ml. They are vegan plus are DBP, formaldehyde and toluene free.

This manicure took 3 coats to achieve streak free application and I haven't bothered applying a top or base coat.  In natural light it is pure hot pink though in unnatural evening light a slight blue base can be detected.

I love this colour!

Have you discovered a hotter pink nail polish?

Thursday, 22 September 2011

It's my birthday...about friggin' time!!

So, it's my 31st birthday today. This year it took a friggin' long time to come around. There are lucky people in the world who's birthdays seem to come around really quickly - you know the ones - they announce that it is their birthday and you think to yourself, hang on, wasn't it just your birthday last week?? Unfortunately, the 22nd of September is not one of those dates. In fact, I have found that it is actually one of the longest dates to come around - second only to February 29th. For this reason I am usually going a little mental with excitement waiting for it to finally come back around.

I also don't mind getting older because I have actually found that the older I get the more disposable income the people around me have and naturally that equates to better and more presents!

So talking about presents, what did I get?? My sister organised for my parents and in laws to all chip in and get hubby and I a voucher for dinner at Quay. I absolutely cannot wait to go...I am so getting the snow egg from Master Chef! I am also going to force hubby to get the 8 texture chocolate cake so I can have that as well! As to the other three courses, I haven't quite decided yet. But the restaurant has a 6 month wait list for bookings on a Friday or Saturday night so I have a little bit of study time! If you want to know what I'll be indulging in, read this drool worthy review on nommynomnom!

The one and only Snow Egg (courtesy of The Age)

Hubby got me this amazing chocolate tasting experience from Definitely Chocolate. It was a ridiculous amount of money to spend on chocolate but I used my awesome debating skills to convince him that he enjoys wine and that it is not unreasonable for him to want to try really high quality fine wine, well it's the same for me with chocolate, I want to try the best that there is! I won't be sharing my chocolates with anyone, so don't bother asking (especially you, Crazy Kid. I saw you sniffing around them earlier...).

Hubby also got me the book The Slap, but I have already read it so I sneakily swapped it for The Help - I really wanted to see the movie but it's a rare occasion that we manage to get to the movies so this is the next best thing, or probably better as is often the case with books. The Crazy Kid ordered me a few health and beauty books from The Book Depository - Can You Get Addicted to Lip Balm?, No More Dirty Looks - the Truth About Your Beauty Products, and Flat Tummy Fast (this book is by the guy responsible for Elle Macpherson's abs. Isaac felt the need to buy me this book because he is the main reason for my lack of 6-pack...or so I keep using the excuse!).

My folks got me some new clothes...I don't think that I will ever get too old not to want new clothes for my birthday! Mum also let my put in a massive perfume order with Dawn Spencer Hurwitz Perfumes. I got the following fragrances, some full sized, some sample sized:
  • Kenya Lily
  • Butterfly
  • Muguet de Mai
  • la Rose Fleurette (Rose No. 2)
  • American Beauty (Rose No. 1)
  • Beach Roses (Rose No. 3)
  • L´eau d´Iris
  • Nouveau Gardenia
  • Sweet Gardenia
  • Rain
  • African Violet
Finally, my in-laws had a gorgeous bunch of flowers sent to my apartment. Each year my mother in law sends me flowers for my birthday. I think she feels guilty that her son never gives me flowers. Unfortunately, the lack of flowers is entirely my fault. I got together with my husband when we were 18 (ever so romantically when we were on schoolies!) and I was (and probably still am!) rather head strong and somewhat femanistic. I remember lecturing him that I'd rather him spend his money on something other than flowers, that just die anyway. Over the years I may have changed my tune and love the way the brighten up the place but hubby has been scared off them for life! 

You are probably thinking that is enough spoiling for one girl...well it isn't! Hubby also cooked me dinner - BBQ snapper with a tomato and olive sauce. Yum! Then for dessert we are having some Adriano Zumbo creations! I took my friend, Carlie, to Zumbo's cafe in Rozelle for some morning tea and to pick up treats for dessert and you will never believe who was there...yep, Adriano Zumbo himself! I was momentarily star struck, then regained my cool, made eye contact and smiled at Adriano...and he smiled back - that's right, we had a moment! Unfortunately, the moment was ruined by Carlie squealing in excitement. OK, fine, Carlie's squeals were internal but Adriano could sense that he was about to be hugged by a stranger so quickly exited the building. I ended up choosing the ultimate chocolate brownie for morning tea then brought home the passion fruit tart and six macarons for dessert.

mmm passion fruit tart

Macarons (L to R): Pear and vanilla, rice pudding, lemon and
olive oil, mandarin, butterscotch and passion fruit.

I friggin' love my birthday. It is just such a damn shame that it won't be coming back for such a long time.

Are you a birthday lover or a birthday hater?

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Lust Have It loot: the contents of the September box

After the huge success, in my eyes, of the first Lust Have It box I was wondering just how the second box would stack up. Well, I have to say that I have been pleasantly surprised. Value wise, it was going to be difficult to compete with the first box as the BIOeffect EFG serum sample and the Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant samples alone were worth over $65. I calculated the value of this box (based on the full sized RRPs) and it came in at just over $30 - so again, excellent value for your $14.95 subscription fee.

I have tried many a beauty product in my 30 years and 364 days on earth (yep, its birthday eve!!), yet I had not tried any of these samples before so that made this box particularly exciting for me!

So, what was in the September box?

We got the following samples:
  • Lancome Hypnose Doll Eyes Mascara (2ml)
  • Pure Fiji Coconut Milk Shower Gel (there's no volume on the bottle and I am hopeless at estimating - maybe 50ml?)
  • Kerastase Elixir Ultime 5ml
  • Urban Rituelle Florish Organics hand cream 20ml
  • Nicole by OPI nail lacquer in Save the Last Dance (silver) and Prized Possession (purple)

I don't wear mascara often, so I despise paying full price for it as it always dries out before I come anywhere near finishing it. Therefore, this is a sample that I LOVE to have received in my Lust Have It Box. I haven't taken it for a test drive yet but will do so this weekend and report back but I have heard that Lancome mascaras have the reputation for being the best on the market (though I did hear that from a Lancome sales assistant to my source may be a tad biased!).

I am pretty sure that the Elixir Ultime is Kerastase's version of Moroccanoil - in the list of ingredients is argon oil. I love Morccanoil so am sure will equally love this. If you can see on my hand I have squirted a pump of this oil - it is completely clear - it seems runnier than Moroccanoil though absorbs in just as easily. This sample bottle has its own little pump so it makes it so easy for dispensing the product. It's a good size - I'd say you would get a minimum 2 weeks use out of this.

This hand cream looks rather unassuming, a bit boring even. So much so that it was the last sample that I played with. But OMG does it smell amazing. It contains vanilla, lavender and geranium essential oils and the combination is heavenly and it absorbs in really easily. It has instantly become my new favourite hand cream and this is one sample that I will definitely be purchasing the full size product of. I checked the Lust Have It shop and it is not currently listed there. I so hope that it goes up at the end of the month as I Must Have It!

I assumed that this shower gel would smell creamy because it contains coconut milk...but then coconut milk doesn't smell creamy so why would the gel! It actually smells deliciously fruity of mango.

I have NEVER finished a bottle of nail polish in my life so I LOVE the fact that we got two different mini bottles rather than one full sized bottle - I'd much prefer multiple colours over a larger size. The colours sent were gorgeous to boot. Prized Possession is a bright purple whilst Save the Last Dance is a highly reflective silver. I have swatched the colours and photographed them in both bright sunlight and indoor lighting to show the different hues. Apologies for the dodgy manicure job. I usually scrape where I have got out of the lines off in the shower but I had already showered when I did these swatches so my errors remain!

Prized Possession, 4 coats, sunlight. It took 4 coats of this colour before the streaking could no longer be seen. It is quite a transparent colour so takes a bit of work to build up its opacity, but it is well worth the effort when you do as the colour is gorgeous.

Three coats, indoor lighting. You can see in this pic that three coats isn't quite enough as you can still see the nail underneath.

Save the Last Dance, two coats, sunlight. This is an amazing silver - almost mirror like in it's reflectivity. It is incredibly opaque - two coats was plenty to hide all streaking. I love this colour!

Two coats, indoor lighting. This colour looks equally good in both lighting conditions. Man I love it!

I have to say that I was just as impressed with the September box as I was with August's. It has given me plenty of new samples to play with and there honestly isn't anything in there that I don't like or wouldn't use.

If you would like to get your hands on the September box, I think there might still be a couple left. Check on their Facebook page for updates, otherwise you can subscribe on their website.

Lust Have It are also supporting The Butterfly Foundation and have created boxes to be used by the foundation in their positive image and self-esteem workshops. For $10, you can donate a box to the foundation here.

Another thing that you may not be aware of is that Lust Have It have an option survey you can complete upon receiving your box to give feed back as to whether you were happy with the samples receive. The survey takes all of 2 minutes to complete and you get 10 points that can be accumulated then spent on full sized products in their online store. Here is the link to the survey.

If you have missed all the hype and have no idea what Lust Have It or sample boxes are, this post will explain everything!

Which box did you prefer - the first or second?

This box was provided for consideration.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

An interview with makeup legend Napoleon Perdis

Through the Australian Beauty Bloggers Weekend (ABBW) and Polkadot PR who are promoting the International Makeup Artist Trade Show (IMATS), I was given the opportunity to interview a few of the presenters who are running classes at IMATS. One of these interviews was with keynote speaker Napoleon Perdis. Napoleon is well known in the makeup industry as both a makeup artist and for his Napoleon Perdis cosmetics range. He was born and bred in Sydney before relocating to LA To expand his empire. He launched his first concept store in Oxford St, Sydney in 1995 and now has 65 concept stores and over 4,500 point-of-sale locations in Australia and New Zealand. In addition, he has three concept stores in the US plus his cosmetics line is sold in Ulta stores in which there are over 300 across the US. 

I first discovered Napoleon Perdis cosmetics, in particular the loose eye dusts, back in 1998 with my best friend, Joy, when we would buy the shadows for each other for Christmas. It was only fitting that when Joy got married she would employ the services of a Napoleon Perdis trained makeup artist. I was blown away with their use of colour, in particular, my makeup in the second photo. I was wearing a pink and purple sari and so the makeup artist wanted to match those colours. I really didn't think that I could pull off pink eyeshadow but she proved otherwise. This experience really gave me the confidence to play around with colour.

Naturally, when it was my turn to get married, I also went with a Napoleon Perdis makeup artist and was stoked with the results. I have better photos but they are momentarily misplaced in the garage so I will have a hunt and update once they have been relocated!

So, without further ado, my interview with the man himself, Napoleon Perdis:

I first fell in love with your makeup back in 1998. I remember it being a time when all the makeup available was in natural and nude shades, so the bright colours of your brand really stood out to me. How did you know that such bright shades would become so popular?

I grew up in the 80s, which was a time when women were really embracing bold colour (it was the Dallas and Dynasty era). My mum was especially fond of brights so I was all about vivacious colour from the get-go.
I believe that a touch of confident colour is an instant mood lifter. People are always drawn to bright colours and I predict that this high-wattage colour trend will be around for a while!

Have all countries embraced your vibrant colour palette or do you find some countries to be more conservative than others?
I think it comes down to the individual more so than the country. The experimental type will try that tangerine lipstick, while the neutrals-only woman will stick to a sheer gloss. Regardless, I always try to get women to experiment with a new colour or application technique.

I am a scientist so am quite interested in how products are formulated. How do you go about creating an eye shadow colour? Do you start with a particular colour in mind and tweak until you reach it or do experiment by mixing pigments to see what colours you can create?
I work very closely with my Product Development team as well as our suppliers. Say I’m looking for a high-pigment, electric fuchsia eye shadow, the formula and wear are just as important as getting the shade just right.
We always have a starting point, and go back and forth several times. My team and I will select a couple of different formulations. We test the longevity, texture and finish of each one and then decide on the most superior. My Creative Team and I will also test it out at fashion shows and photo shoots to see if it holds up in creative conditions as we are a professional makeup artist brand. I’m a perfectionist so it really needs to be just right.

What is the biggest makeup crime that you witness women repeatedly committing?
A visible difference in colour between the neck and face is the crime I notice the most. I find it hard not to tell them that they need to update their foundation with a better colour match!

If someone only had 2 minutes to get ready, what makeup essentials would you suggest?
A volumizing mascara to open up the eyes and a luminizer palette to highlight your best features.

Napoleon Perdis will be speaking at IMATS from 4.00-5.00pm on Saturday 24th September. Tickets to IMATS are $40 for a one day pass or $65 for both days and can be purchased here.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Lancome Visionnaire [LR 2412 4%] Advanced Skin Corrector

I recently had the opportunity to trial Lancome's Visionnaire [LR 2412 4%] Advanced Skin Corrector as part of the Beauty Heaven trial team. The second the serum arrived I knew I had one classy product in my hands and that I was in for a real treat as the packaging is just amazing. It was housed in a shiny silver box and inside was a gorgeous jewel like teal bottle that looks amazing on the vanity - but you shouldn't judge a beauty product by its packaging as it's whats inside that counts.

From the company: LR 2412, the 1st molecule of our Research Laboratories designed to “self-propel” throughout all of skin’s layers, it reprograms the skin to “auto-correction” mode.

Wrinkles erased, unevenness and redness reduced, pores tightened: a very beautiful skin, even before make-up.

Ingredients: Aqua, Cyclohexasiloxane, Glycerin, Alcohol Denat, C12-15 alkyl benzoate, Dipropylene glycol, Pentaerythrityl tetraethylhexanoate, Polysilicone-11, Dimethicone, Bis-PEG/PPG-16/16 PEG/PPG-16/16 Dimethicone Polymethyl Methacrylate, CI 77891, Mica, Sodium Hyaluronate, Phenoxyethanol, Adenosine, Dimethiconol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Disodium EDTA, Citronellol, Inulin Lauryl Carbamate, Parfum, sodium tetrahydrojasmonate, ammonium polyacrldimethtyltauramide/ammonium polyacryloydimethyl taurate, hydoxyethylellulose, argilla/magnesium aluminium silicate, tetrahydrojasmonic acid, Citronellol, Inulin Lauryl Carbamate, Parfum/Fragrance.

I have tried to research just what LR 2412 but have struggled to find anything, likely because it is a proprietary secret. Marta, from Truth in Aging has studied the ingredient list and suggests that LR 2412 might actually be adenosine -  a anti-inflammatory molecule also responsible for energy transfer in cells. The other ingredient of interest is jasmonic acid. Jasmonic acid is a plant hormone produced in response to plant stress - when a plant is attacked by an insect, this hormone is released making the plant material indigestible to the insect and, therefore, undesirable to eat. It is also controls plant growth and development having the ability to slow down growth. I suspect, though could be wrong, that the inclusion of this ingredient would be with the aim to slow down cell turnover, which, in my books, is a good thing in the anti-ageing quest (I have previously written about slowing down cell turnover here).

The serum also contains a few silicones which act like a makeup primer on the skin, leaving it feeling silky soft as well as hyaluronic acid which is a humectant - a substance that attracts and binds water. This would be great for plumping out fine lines that are due to dehydration. Mica provides light reflecting particles to even out the skin tone.

My review: The bottle has a pump dispenser, which is perfect for dispensing as well as for maintaining the hygiene of the product. I used 3 pumps to do my whole face though I might have been a tad excessive - you probably could get away with two. But even with the amount I used it still absorbed instantly into my skin.

The serum contains light reflecting particles that are evident when you first pump it out - it has a pearlescent look to it. It was tough to photograph the pearlescence as the flash drown out the reflectivity but you can kind of get the idea in the second picture.

Immediately after applying the serum my skin felt satin soft and not at all greasy - matte even - which is quite surprising for my oily skin. This is most likely due to the silicones in the product. I applied the serum twice a day either straight after showering in the morning or after washing my face in the evening, then gave it a couple of minutes to sink in whilst I brushed my teeth before I applied my moisturiser.

The serum left my skin looking amazing. The light reflecting, illuminating particles really did an excellent job of hiding my skin concerns which are redness on the cheeks and around the nose, some pigmentation issues on my forehead and noticeable pores on my nose. I am pretty sure it is the light reflecting particles that are hiding these concerns.

Long term - though I have been using this for about a month it is still too soon to say whether it has had any effect on my pigmentation. There definitely doesn't seem as harsh line between the pigmented and non-pigmented skin on my forehead but the pigmentation has not been removed completely. When I am wearing the serum, though, it is definitely much much less noticeable thanks to the light reflecting particles. It claims to help wrinkles and they do seem less - well the fine lines seem to be be plumped out a bit, I suspect thanks to the hyaluronic acid. When wearing the serum my pores are less noticeable but upon rinsing it off they are much the same. I personally don't believe that the size of your pores can be changed so wasn't expecting them to miraculously shrink, though the light reflecting particles definitely make them less noticeable.

Would I buy this again? Possibly. I love the way it leaves my skin looking; however, I would like to keep using it for longer to see whether it actually has a permanent effect on my pigmentation before i make a decision. I would also probably use this as a day serum rather than a day and night serum, mostly because, with the light reflecting illuminating particles, it is more of a makeup product for me.

This will be available for sale in Australia from 18th September and costs $165 for 50ml or $115 for 30ml.

All opinions stated in this blog are my own. I have no affiliation with Lancome and received no remuneration for my comments. This product was provided to my to trial as part of Beauty Heaven's trial team.

Friday, 9 September 2011

The Weekend Beauty Blog Hop

Last week everyone really embraced the Weekend Beauty Blog Hop and we got a massive 58 entries. How many can we get this week? If you missed my original post, here's a quick explanation:

What is a blog hop?
A blog hop is a linky list that is SHARED ON MULTIPLE BLOGS.
When several blogs put the same linky list code on their blog, the exact same list appears on each blog.

Blog visitors can submit their entries on any blog that contains the list. The entries will appear on each blog where the list resides.

Blog readers see the same list on each blog, and can "HOP" from blog to blog seeing the same list of links to follow: BLOG HOP!

So basically, its an awesome way to discover new beauty blogs or have new readers discover yours. The only rule is that your blog must have some beauty content. That's it! Once you have joined, why don't you check out the other blogs in the list - you may discover a new 'beauty' to follow - haha awesome pun! Please Tweet or share a link to your Facebook account as the more blogs we can get to on the list, the better the Weekend Beauty Blog Hop will be! If you would like to do a post about this on your blog, by all means grab the code below. Feel free to lift any content from this post, all I ask is that you link where you got it from. Hop away my friends, hop away! This link will be open from 5.00pm on Friday 9th September until 5.00am on Monday 12th September (Australian Eastern Standard time).

In addition to the Weekend Beauty Blog Hop I have also set up a Beauty Blog Directory. If you would like your blog added to the Beauty Blog Directory leave a comment on that post or here with the following info:

1. Blog title
2. Blog URL
3. A brief sentence summarising the purpose of your blog (it can be your blog tag line if you like)
4. What country you are from. If you would also like to add your city and state, I will include that with your listing - that way you may be able to discover the fellow bloggers in your local area

Enjoy the Blog Hop this weekend, beauty lovers!

The Beauty Blog Directory

I have been running a Beauty Blog Hop for the last few weekends and each week it has been gaining in popularity. It has got me thinking - wouldn't it be nice to have a permanent list of beauty blogs - a Beauty Blog Directory! So, here it is!

If you would like your beauty blog added to the directory then please leave a comment with your:
1. Blog title
2. Blog URL
3. A brief sentence summarising the purpose of your blog (it can be your blog tag line if you like)
4. What country you are from. If you would also like to add your city and state, I will include that with your listing - that way you may be able to discover the fellow bloggers in your local area.

Please make sure that your blog title and URL are correct as I will be cutting and pasting it to add it to the list. The only rule is that you blog must have some sort of beauty content ie you don't have to solely post about beauty but as long as you do occasionally (say, at least once a week) then you are welcome to join. I'd also LOVE it if you followed me; however, this is not compulsory for you to have your blog listed as I only want you following me if you are interested in my blog!

I will be listing the blogs alphabetically by country and hope to update it daily. I will reply to your comment once your blog has been added but there is always a chance I will miss some so check back in a couple of days and give me a gentle nudge if it isn't up. Please check back regularly to discover new blogs.

Finally, I have created a Beauty Blog Directory button if you would like to add it to your blog. You can grab the code for it at the bottom of my right sidebar.

The Beauty Blog Directory

  • A Broken Jar (Sydney. NSW) A laid-back beauty and makeup blog from a beauty therapist in training!
  • Adore Beauty PRO (Melbourne) For makeup artists, aspiring makeup artists and beauty junkies.
  • All things beauty by Tiarni Thoughts,reviews,makeuplooks and all beauty related things inbetween by a hairdresser/makeupartist
  • Australian Beauty (Adelaide) I review Australian beauty products from all price ranges, to get the word out there about some great local products that perhaps people might ordinarily walk by because they know nothing about them, however I blog about international brands as well. 
  • Australian Beauty Review A blog written by a certified makeup artist sharing her passion for all things beauty. On this blog you will find honest product reviews, makeup tutorials and even the odd fashion post.  
  • Beauty & Lifestyle Hunter (Melbourne, VIC) A blog about my treasures within beauty, fashion, trends and interior design. Includes product news and honest product reviews.
  • Beauty Bargain Queen (QLD) Beauty reviews, beauty samples, product launches, fashion events
  • Beauty by Belle (QLD) Beauty Reviews and product news
  • Beauty Down Under (Perth, WA) Beauty tips, tricks and reviews from an Aussie girl who loves makeup.  
  • Beauty Cat Castle (Perth, Western Australia ) A blog about learning to step into the world of beauty, makeup and skincare from the perspective of a gamer girl.
  • Beauty in a bottle (Sydney. NSW) My blog is about all things beauty. You name it, I've either tried it, read about it or want it.
  • Beauty in the Sky :Beauty blog written by a flight attendant who has an unhealthy obsession with beauty products.
  • Beauty Ratatouille  (Melbourne, VIC) Beauty, life and other treats. A focus on Ethical, Australian and Natural beauty
  • Beautyzest (Sydney, Australia) Beauty Zest is a celebration of beauty & life; a space built on the belief that beauty is not just a product, but a lifestyle & that seeking out the beauty in all things is a worthwhile pursuit.
  • Becoming beautiful (Adelaide) Because everybody can be beautiful - and not just the ones who are fair skinned and size 0
  • bellaMUMMA {*life is beauty-full}... beauty + fashion + homes + lifestyle + me & my beauty-full family!
  • Blushfully (QLD) "Embracing the passion for beauty... it's still you, but better" - makeup, skincare, products reviews and thoughts, at times poetic moments and pieces of life in photos.
  • breathebeauty (VIC) Beauty blog where you can find honest product reviews, how-to's, hauls and other beauty related things!
  • Claire De Blog (QLD) Beauty reviews, eye looks and random other posts
  • Confessions of a beauty addict Writing about all things beauty from moisturiser to makeup to nailpolish and beyond. 
  • Daddys little ghoul (Sydney, Australia) A beauty blog, with a goth twist
  • Delilah Hair Studio (Melbourne) check out some photo's of our wonderful clients and their rocking doo's! And read some great stories along the way!
  • Digital Beauty (Adelaide) Digital Beauty is a beauty blog about Dermalogica Skin Care, Skin Care Advice and Beauty Tips and Ingredient know-how from a Skin Care Guru
  • Don't They Know Who I Am? (Perth, WA): A highly silly and hopefully entertaining traipse through beauty, skincare and ridiculously exciting product packaging
  • emmabovarybeauty (Melbourne) A Melbourne girl blogging about the things in life that make it beautiful, flat white in hand!
  • Fables in Fashion (Melbourne, VIC) Expressing myself through makeup, beauty, cosplay and fashion through videos and blog posts
  • Fashion Fantabulous (Sutherland Shire, Sydney, NSW) A blog dedicated to beauty, make-up, fashion and all round girl-i-ness
  • Glitz, Glam, and Baby Poo (Melbourne, Vic - originally LA) An entertaining blog about a new mom sharing reviews on baby items, makeup, and life experiences. 
  • Her Journey To The Land of Polish A girl blogging her journey to the "land of polish" 
  • La Vie, Style et Beaute (QLD) Life, Style and Beauty
  • Lady Sapphire Blog (NSW) Im a beauty newbie from country Australia. I may be new but my passion is strong. My blog is my outlet to share this passion with the world
  • Lather Rinse Repeat (Sydney, but still in an Adelaide mind-set) A beauty blog that's a little silly, but certainly not stupid!
  • Leahs Land (QLD): Teen blogger from Australia with a love of makeup, beauty, and all things between!
  • Lemon Tart Tree (Sydney) Discovering beauty, in and around you. Join me in this journey as I discover things beautiful - make up, skincare, how to's, food, events, people, gadgets, or anything that can bring you that sweet smile
  • Life Is Too Short To Buy Cheap Skincare (Sydney, NSW) A blog all about my unhealthy obsession with everything in the wonderful world of beauty
  • LiveShopTravel (Sydney) A blog about life experiences, Shopping and Travelling (covering beauty and fashion as well)
  • Love from Shell (Perth, Western Australia) A blog by a Perth girl who is taken by anything a little left of centre, with an endless appetite for make-up and all things vintage.
  • Lucinda's Beauty Blog (QLD): Beauty on a budget. Reviews, How-To's and more!
  • Madame B Fatale (QLD) Makeup & Hair, Video Tutorials and Reviews
  • Make Me Up Mandy (Hunter Valley, NSW) A beauty blog and funny mum blog all rolled into one. I am young and I am mom so please join me on my ride whichever one you are :)
  • Makeup & things by olgiepolgie (Sydney, NSW): A (sometimes lengthy) look at makeup, nails, hair and other pretty girly things.       
  • Makeup and Macaroons (Sydney, NSW): A beauty blog from a lover of makeup, and macaroons. Expect posts about both. Mainly makeup really, who am I kidding.
  • Makeup & Me (VIC) A uni student with a love of cosmetics, working her way through the beauty world with reviews, hauls and more!
  • Makeup by Sara-May (Blue Mountains, NSW) "I'm sorry, I don't have a magic wand. Will a makeup brush do?" Tips, trick and opinions about makeup from a working Makeup Artist.
  • Makeup Down Under A beauty & fashion blog of a very frank, honest aussie mum.
  • Makeup Tips Makeup tips, tricks, how tos and the occasional review!
  • Max The Unicorn (Adelaide, SA) A blog about beauty (makeup, skincare, hauls, favourites, manicures, reviews), movies, celebrities and the odd unicorn
  • Me my best and I (Bondi, Sydney): Straight up beauty, make-up and hair talk, served on the rocks with a twist of humour and a side order of fabulousness Join me on this journey of trial and error to being the best me I can be for me. My best is yet to come!
  • More Than Adored A make up enthusiast, posts about all things beauty and fashion.
  • MsBilliLili's Beauty Blog I am a certified makeup artist who make beauty related videos on YouTube. I create easy to follow makeup tutorials, do honest product reviews and even do some fashion posts as well. I recently created a blog so feel free to stop by and join me on my journey as a beauty lover 
  • Msmadamemakeup (Sydney, NSW): Beauty Blogger, Youtuber, hairdresser, makeup artist & mum!
  • MsSparkleArkle - Beauty Enthusiast (Melbourne) pursuit of premium beauty products that deliver
  • My Funny Valentine (NSW) Beauty and Skin Care blog. You'll find reviews, makeup looks, DIY skin care projects, and .... stuff :)
  • My Little Space (Central Coast, NSW) My little spot to write about anything and everything that takes my fancy, be it beauty, books or just life in general.
  • Peachs Beauty (Sydney, NSW) Student blogger who loves sharing her thoughts about makeup, skincare, haircare and whatever else tickles her fancy!
  • Pink Diva Beauty (Central Coast, NSW) Written by a professional Makeup Artist, Pink Diva Beauty contains honest product and treatment reviews, news, offers and beauty how-to's.  
  • Protecting Paws (Brisbane, QLD) A social worker, cat lover and excessive lipstick purchaser. Embarking on a natural beauty and living journey 
  • Rebeccathinguyen (NSW) All about beauty and cosmetics, review and fun :)
  • Seduced by Beauty (Adelaide, South Australia) Seduced by Beauty is written by Kate a '40 something' beauty blogger from Australia who is seduced by beauty everywhere.
  • Sew is Life (Perth, Western Australia ) Musings of a corporate woman turned DIY domestic goddess, writing about fashion, beauty, DIY projects (sewing), organic living, interior design and life.
  • Shop It Snazzy Classy shopping ideas and reviews for the cosmetically-inclined girly girl
  • SoMAKEUPurMind (Brisbane, QLD) Candid commentary on life and beauty by two Aussie twenty-somethings.
  • Sophie's Maze (Victoria) love makeup and I'm obsessed with skincare. At the ripe young age of 28 I'm weaving my way through the maze that is beauty. Join me on my journey.  
  • Spoilt (Central Coast, NSW) an Australian women's lifestyle blog with a focus on fashion & beauty.
  • Starling Bright (Perth WA) Makeup & Metal - A Chicks Opinion
  • Such A Beautiful Life (Melbourne, VIC) Wife. Mother. Daughter. Sister. Aunty. Friend. Amateur photographer. Lover of all things beauty.
  • Sui Rose (Brisbane/Sunshine Coast, Queensland) An eclectic mix of pretty things, people and places, as well as beauty product reviews and news for you!
  • Tea with Mia (QLD) Makeup, skin care and hair care reviews, discoveries, favourites and shopping diary on a beauty budget
  • Teganias Thoughts (Brisbane, QLD) Thoughts of a beauty obsessive
  • tenkerialc (QLD) Beauty reviews, eye looks and random other posts
  • The Best Beauty Blog (Melbourne, VIC) A beauty and fashion blog for women of all ages!
  • The busy girls guide to beauty (QLD) An Aussie girl obsessed with beauty products, fashion, style and youtube beauty guru's
  • That Lovely Face (QLD) Makeup, skin care and hair care reviews, discoveries, favourites and shopping diary on a beauty budget.
  • The Made Up Maiden (Melbourne, VIC) A blog to describe my beauty adventures and escapades, and anything else that may take my fancy along the way...
  • The Makeup Case (Sydney, NSW): A pair of makeup artists dedicated to all things makeup, products we love, what inspires us and how to's
  • The Perfect Pixie (Melbourne) A quirky, honest blog about all things beauty
  • The Prime Of Miss Laura Jane (Jamberoo, NSW - originally from Waterloo, Ontario, Canada ) My blog is mainly a beauty & fashion blog :)
  • The Science of Beauty (Sydney, NSW): A blog describing the science behind new break-throughs, theories and products in the beauty world.
  • The Shopping Queen A beauty blog that holds the owner accountable for all their beauty shopping. Hauls, swatches and reviews
  • The Vanity Bag Diaries ... (Sydney, NSW): Hi, I am Saumya. I blog about makeup, beauty, hauls and more.
  • The Yummy Mummy Blog (Perth, WA) Local and international beauty and make up blog posts!
  • This and that Nails my blog is about nail polish and nail art designs. although i do plan to put product reviews as well!
  • Ty's Blog of Epiphanies Raving from shoes to art, beauty to enlightening facts and theories of life...
  • Wellness WA (Perth, WA) Wellness WA is the online destination for beauty, health & wellbeing in Perth & Western Australia.
  • Yeah, yeah, ragger, ragger..... (Innisfail, QLD) Stay at home/work at home mum of two, interested in everything "BEAUTY"-FUL :) Somewhere to jot down all things I am passionate about. My little space to rant, rave and ramble on about this and that. Most of all, just to share my thoughts with the world!
  • You Little Beauty Brand new blog of a part time student, part time professional muddling her way through the world of beauty. Great for people on a budget and those new to makeup and skincare.
  • chichichocho nail addicts fun and easy japanese inspired nail design and life's other fun things
  • Reviews by Abielle Tips & Reviews on under reviewed products for those with relaxed hair but a natural (green) bias. Looks at everything from local to international cosmetics. 
  • (Montreal, Quebec) Makeup and beauty blog by a makeup artist. Makeup tips, Makeup video tutorials, beauty tips, virtual makeover, new products and reviews, beauty trends and more...

  • Les annees de la jeunesse Im a teen, writing about many things, included daily outfits, new garments, and occasionaly my favourite make up brands.
  • Colours of Letti (Debrecen) A beauty blog focusing on make-up - products, tests, hauls, FOTDs
  • Do Bandar (Bangalore, India) We make 100% natural, handmade body care products, under the name 'Do Bandar', which in Hindi (India's national language) means 'Two Monkeys. We help you care for your skin. After all, its what you live in! 100% natural, handmade body care products.
  • How to be Naturally Beautiful Provide expert tips & tricks to be Naturally Beautiful. 
  • Poutpretty In my blog, you will find beauty & makeup related product reviews (I’m a self confessed ‘lipstickaholic’ so there will be a lot of stuff about lippies), information about new launches, sale alerts, fashion tidbits, shopping recommendations etc etc ..basically anything and everything that I find pretty!
New Zealand
  • Balmain Beauty (Sydney, Australia originally but I'm living in the New Zealand at the moment) I like makeup, beauty products, nail polish, books, cooking, films, music (its a blog about lots of things not just beauty)

  • Barefoot Ambisiosa Beauty blog of a newly minted makeup enthusiast
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South America
  • IN2Gloss (Suriname) A lifestyle blog with creative make-up looks, YouTube videos, advice, delicious recipes and fitness journeys.

  • Aussie Girl (Sydney, Australia originally but I'm living in the United Kingdom at the moment) I like makeup, beauty products, nail polish, books, cooking, films, music (its a blog about lots of things not just beauty) 
  • Bella Beauty Blog (Dublin, Ireland) An insiders view on all things beautiful.
  • Deceptive Beauty Beauty reviews - without deception. Pure, honest, beauty reviews.
  • Funky Makeup Junkie (Lakenheath, UK): Makeup, cats, kimono, and everything in between.
  • Glitz and Glamour Makeup For the makeup addict in all of us Glitz and Glamour offers honest makeup reviews, fantastic beauty competitions, interviews with top celebrities in the beauty world, features and how to videos. If you're struggling with a beauty concern why not email it over and I'll answer you as soon as I can!
    Holly's Beauty Box my name is Holly, im a beauty, fashion and lifestyle blogger. i do loads of different reviews and tips with a little addition of my personality too :)

  • Ithinity Beauty (Somerset) Ithinity Beauty is a beauty blog containing frequent manicures and nail art and cosmetic makeup looks. I am going to be working on adding more tutorials very soon as well as a weekly make up look taken from a celebrity picture. I am also taking part in reviews and challenges! 
  • Life In A Break Down (England): The things I love and want to shout about to you
  • Love Lust & Fairy Dust: I am a qualified beauty therapist, although I no longer work in the industry. I have worked as an air hostess and am currently an investigator. I love and lust after anything new in the beauty industry, I hope that fairy dust will bring me all that my heart desires.
  • Make Me Up Kia (South of England): My blog is beauty related but what makes it different is that I illustrate beauty products  
  • Strawberry Blonde Beauty Blog (Northern Ireland) Beauty blog by a work at home mum with a passion for make-up, perfume, skincare & hair products. Reviews, swatches, FOTD, NOTD, tutorials & general musings :)
  • Styliche - Fashion and Beauty The writings of a 20 year old, self confessed fashion and beauty addict!
  • The Pretty Beautiful - Beauty Blog (Leeds) I review beauty products, interview other product junkies and try out looks!
  • Wardrobes and Handbags (England) Fashionista and makeup enthusiast, always looking for the next big cosmetic product and fashion trend. Follow me for your daily dose of recommendations, product reviews, tutorials and a bucket-full of opinionated fashion and beauty tripe.
  • You Little Beauty (UK but originally Tasmania, Australia) Beauty, Fashion, and anything pretty! I swatch, review and have a little ramble about whatever pops into my head
  • ZOZEZE Everything beauty from impulse buys to well thought out purchases.

  • A Product Junkies Blog (NH): I own a lot of products. So why not share my experiences with you? Hauls, minimal fashion and Whats in My Bag posts thrown in to sweeten the mix.
  • BEAUTY OBSESSED (Connecticut, USA) I post about product reviews, tutorials, beauty tips, beauty articles, monthly favorites, nail looks of the week, everything beauty related, etc.
  • Beauty Product Review (California) I will be reviewing various hair, skin, and makeup products and giving you recommendations on what has worked for me and what hopefully works for you too!
  • Best Organic Skin Care (Charleston, SC) We are dedicated to educating the public about the best organic skin care products. We will publish reviews, ingredients, photos and just about anything else that will help you choose skin care products that will not only make your skin look healthy, but be healthy.
  • fair beauty (St. Louis, MO) fair beauty is a blog where lighter complected adies can see how products look and work on fair skin.
  • Handmade Reviews Beauty blog featuring product reviews, launches and news
  • Hboo-Hboo! (a very southern state) Swatches, reviews of beauty products from drugstore to luxury, and lots of photos.
  • Holleewood Hair (Carson City, NV) Everything HAIR! I am a licensed cosmetologists sharing my love about HAIR with the world. My blog covers everything about hair including styles, tutorials, news articles about hair, science, etc.
  • Lilladylife (New York City, NY) Beauty blog on a make up obsessed person, with random posts involving bits of my life, and occasional fashion - all girly things!
  • Lipstick and Luxury (New York, NY) Lipstick and Luxury invites women over 30 to live life luxuriously!
  • Lipstick Musings (Georgia) Skin care and makeup reviews and swatches from a Lipstick Diva
  • Lovesong for My Lipgloss (California) Escapades of one girl in a cosmetic jungle. I try to feature high end and hard to find brands as well as new and different products
  • Makeup Merriment Beauty blog featuring budget to high end beauty goodies, swatches, reviews and fun giveaways
  • Moxie Reviews™ Beauty blog that reviews organic & natural products that are cruelty free.
  • My Newest Addiction Makeup enthusiast that shares her loves in the form of an online diary.
  • Nuts 4 Stuff Blog A blog to beautify a woman's life sharing everything that I'm nuts about (cosmetics, fragrances, skin care, tips, reviews, plus exciting giveaways and more!
  • Peppermint Lips Beauty Blog Everything beauty related! Reviews, makeup tutorials, skin, hair & body care and more!
  • Pink Tattoo Pink Tattoo mixes [pink] to help you show off your girly side & [tattoo] expressing your creative, self expression of decorating your body. Pink Tattoo will give you the newest nail polishes, designs, and coolest nail techniques. We will also bring you the hottest make-up, make-up styles, hairstyles, and products. Plus whatever else to help make you stand out from the crowd or catch someone's eye!
  • Snowflake Says... (San Diego, CA) I love doing makeup looks, sharing nail polish swatches & nail art, reviewing products & giving you my honest opinion! I always have big clear photos for you to see =) I'm going to become a cruelty free blog soon, so stay tuned!
  • The Blossom Shed Beauty Blog Scent. Style. Skin.
  • The Passenger Element (Michigan) A mish mash of beauty, kitty cats, music, life :)
  • True Beauty: The Facts About Glamor Beauty and Health information, tips, advice and the importance of natural / homeopathic remedies, food, vitamins and supplements to enhance your appearance.
  • XtinaHayden (Arlington, TX) A fashion and beauty blog with makeup tutorials, haul videos, product reviews and tips and tricks.

*wallpaper courtesy of Desktop Nexus

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Lush Karma Shower Gel: why the hell was this limited edition??

I am a fairly terrible judge of people. The people that I have the most intensely negative first reaction to are usually the ones who end up being done of my closest friends. Thankfully, I have become used to my poor judgement so never act on it, instead waiting to see where life takes me. Funnily enough, I have a similar response to fragrances. The ones that I initially despise, somehow intrigue me, then get under my skin and before I know it I am obsessively in love with them.

Lush's Karma fragrance is an example of a fragrance I initially disliked. Boy did I hate it when I first sniffed it. It was repulsive, putrid, completely icky. Why the hell did people go on and on about it. Who could wear such a vial fragrance? Naturally, I avoided it for a few years. Then curiosity got the better of me and I went back for a second sniff. This time around I did not hate it so vehemently. I was actually quite intrigued. It still wasn't a fragrance that I felt I could pull off so I bought some Karma soap instead and so Karma further tightened her grasp around me.

Late last year, or perhaps earlier this year - I can't quite remember - Lush brought out a limited edition Karma shower gel. I bought a 500ml bottle straight away then agonised whether to buy some spares. I have a bad habit of excessively purchasing limited edition Lush items through fear of them running out and never being able to buy them again, only to become obsessed with some new release and to forget about them. I eventually decided to buy another couple of bottles, only to find that they had all sold out. So I squirrelled my lone bottle away, vowing to only use the liquid gold for special occasions, only to completely forget about it for the next 6 months. I rediscovered it last week and have been using it obsessively ever since - as a shampoo, body wash and for Crazy Kid's bubble bath. In fact it makes Crazy Kid smell so good I can't help but snort up his deliciousness (he hates that though and slaps in the face when I try!).

This is Lush's description of the Karma fragrance:

Retro yet ageless, Karma is a powerful, spicy and unique patchouli and citrus perfume. It's a strange slow-burner for some; you fall for it without realizing what's happening. Others love it from the first sniff as they are transported to the age of freedom.

I love the fragrance of the gel even more than the perfume. It is sweeter and subtler than the perfume - not so sharp and harsh. It is very comforting yet also unique. The fragrance of the gel lingers on the skin for hours afterwards. The gel is incredibly gentle - not at all drying on the skin or hair. It truly is a gorgeous shower gel, which leaves me wondering why the hell is it not a permanent product. Karma is Lush's signature fragrance so surely the shower gel should be permanent, shouldn't it? I know they have the soap but what about if you want to fragrance layer - surely it would make sense having a product that can be used as a bubble bath so you can then follow it up with the Karma Kream and a spritz of the perfume. If anyone from Lush land reads this, please, please, please make the Karma shower gel a permanent product!

Have you tried the Karma shower gel? Or what about the Karma perfume? Are you a lover or hater? Will you join my petition to Lush to make Karma a permanent product?!

Sunday, 4 September 2011

A bit of fun for Fathers Day: a Ginger chocolate mud cake recipe

My Dad LOVES ginger. He'd include it in every meal if he were allowed. Recently I have been going through a bit of a domestic Goddess phase and have become a bit obsessed with making mud cakes. I started with a chocolate one, mastered that, so moved onto white chocolate with chocolate ganache (top deck!). I guess being a scientist makes me naturally experimental so I then made a choc mint one for my husbands birthday (I'll put that recipe up as well). It was only logical, then, that I make a ginger chocolate one for Fathers Day. For an extra kick I used Lindt chili chocolate to make the ganache. I got the original recipe from the Buderim Ginger website (here's the original if you'd prefer to follow it) but tweaked it slightly.


Ginger Chocolate Mud Cake
  • 250g unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup castor sugar
  • 200g dark chocolate, chopped (I used Cadbury 70%, the original recipe asked for 250g but stupid chocolate manufacturers have reduced their bloc sizes and I forgot to add the extra 50g - still worked though!)
  • 20ml whisky
  • 185g self-raising flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup grated ginger (I used jar ginger from the spice section. If you used fresh ginger it would probably need further blending after grating)
  • 1 1/2 cups hot water (I just used hot tap rather than boiled)

Ganache Icing
  • 100g chocolate (I used Lindt Chili chocolate)
  • 100ml cream (I use thickened cream. I have tried with normal cream but it turns out too runny)

  • Preheat oven 150c.
  • Melt butter in saucepan. Add chocolate, sugar, whisky , ginger & hot water and stir over low heat until chocolate is just melted and mixture is smooth.
  • Sift flour & cocoa together and gradually beat into chocolate mixture using a wooden spoon (I did this whilst the chocolate mixture was still warm - no need to wait for it to cool first).
  • Beat eggs and vanilla then add to the chocolate mixture and continue to beat until well combined.
  • Pour into buttered and lined 18cmx28cm cake tin or round spring form cake tin and tap to remove any bubbles (I scraped the top with a fork to pop any stubborn bubbles)
  • Bake at 150c for between 45-90 mins or until skewer comes out almost clean (I checked at 45 mins but ended up going for 90 mins. The tip of the skewer still had a bit of batter stuck to it - I figured its better under cooked and moist than overcooked and dry). The cake might get some serious cracks - don't worry if it does...just fill them with ganache! 
  • Leave to stand in the cake tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool.
  • If you can make the cake the day before, do so as it is much easier to ice. If not, stick it in the fridge for as long as you can to cool it down.
  • put the cream and chocolate in a saucepan on the lowest heat and stir continuously until the chocolate has melted and they have completely mixed and there are no lumps.
  • Turn the heat off and keep stirring the ganache each minute or so until it has cool to room temp.
  • Do a test run and place a spoonful on the cake and see if it runs off. If it does, then it is probably still too warm.
  • If the ganache is cool enough then ice from the middle. I always spoon it into the middle of the cake and let it slowly slide over the whole cake. If you want thick icing do this in two steps - ice the cake with half the ganache, stick it in the fridge for an hour or so then ice it again.
You are done! I usually keep the cake in the fridge until serving.

I might have forgotten to take a photo of the cake before we
got stuck in!

Mmmm. Can you see how thick the icing is!

Seriously, is this not the moistest looking cake you have ever seen?

So, how was my cake received? Well, everyone except Mum loved it. Unfortunately, Mum hated it. She doesn't actually like ginger so I thought I'd trick her to see if her dislike of ginger was all in her mind. I told her that it was just a chocolate cake but one bite in she knew otherwise!

The cake was super moist - more the consistency of a gooey brownie than a cake - which I loved. It was incredibly rich so start with a thin slice but then go back for seconds! I thought the chili chocolate ganache was a perfect accompaniment to the cake, though plain dark chocolate would also work. Or if you can find some ginger block chocolate, that would be perfect - though it would leave the ganache lumpy rather than smooth...but if it tastes delicious then who cares!

Do you have a great mud cake recipe to share. Or a genius flavour combination for me to try? My next experiment will be a chili chocolate mud cake for Dad and my birthday in a fortnight.

Ps I'll post my world famous choc mint mud cake recipe next weekend so stay tuned!