Monday, 31 March 2014

EOTD: MNY Hyper Diamonds Sapphire...

My last EOTD for March, and so I dipped into an old favourite - Maybelline Hyper Diamonds palette, the Sapphire one. Love this range - I have four in my kit, Emerald, Ruby, Bronze and this gorgeous collection of blues. They scared me a little when I first bought them as they are really quite sparkly, but that was in the old days when I was only into mattes and maybe a pearly one or two. Oh my how things have changed - now I can't get enough glimmer and gleam!


Here's the palette, pics taken in natural light (left) and with a flash (right) - they're still available on the MNY stands in most stores (except for the Ruby one), plus there's a silver/grey Charcoal version, and I thoroughly recommend them...


All these blues are on the purpley side of the fence, but I decided to inject a tinge of green underneath by using Mirenesse Mineral Face Colour gel in Blue Moon (almost an aqua) as a base - not that these shadows need any boosting (they're all very well pigmented), but I wanted to see what the mix of slightly cool and warm would be like...


From inner to outer corner, I used the bottom triangle of silvery blue, then the medium blue from the right side, and finished with the deep blue from the left. Took this along the lower lashline as well, and lined my waterline with essence white kajal. The dark dark blue at the top of the palette is almost black and makes a fabulous eye liner - applied with a damp brush, the sparkles show up like tiny stars in the night sky...


Do you have any of these MNY palettes in your kit? Which one is your favourite?

Take care of you,
kats xxx

Saturday, 29 March 2014

REVIEW: L'Oreal Revitalift Magic Blur (Part 1)...

I've titled this blog post as Part 1, because I'm such a goose that until today, I hadn't read the blurb that says to apply this stuff UNDER foundation, so I honestly have no idea how effective it is when used as directed, and will deal with that in Part 2. I have to say that at this stage I can't imagine how it would work unless it is applied over the top of my makeup, so this review is a bit weird in that I've done everything all wrong, yet I've achieved utterly awesome results, so here we go...

This is my first foray into the world of "blur" products - there are a few on the market, but at around $20, this is the only one that has tempted me to take the plunge, mainly because it's so affordable, plus I've had great success with other L'Oreal products. I also figured I didn't have much to lose (except for $20!) and if it made even a little bit of difference to the deep creases on my face, that would be a bonus. I've always been sceptical of anything "instantaneous" but hey, this L'Oreal Revitalift Magic Blur really is quite magical...


I normally only bare my forehead when I'm housebound - as soon as I venture outside, my long fringe gets combed down to hide as many of my age-related issues as possible. Having said that, one of the few good things about being heavily wrinkled is that when you do find a product that reduces the appearance of the lines and creases in seconds, the results are glaringly obvious, both in the flesh and on camera...

Note: you have my assurance that I have not altered or interfered with these photos in any way other than cropping them :-)

When trying out a new product, I usually take things in stages to find out (a) how it looks on me and (b) if there are any adverse reactions (there have been none by the way). My first experiment was with the deep lines between my brows - these are hard to disguise (even with a long fringe), and they really do make me look old and crabby (see below pic)...


After priming and applying foundation, I patted on a teeny tiny amount of the white blur cream onto my frown lines, and was amazed that they instantly softened, and quite dramatically too as you can see below. Um...like...wow! A pretty good start I reckon...


Next I attacked this horrible crease on the left side of my mouth (the right side doesn't have one, whatever that means), with similar results. It's still there of course, but hey, nowhere near as noticeable...


For some reason, my lines are more prominent on some days than others - probably related to working-week stresses and the amount of sleep I've had (or haven't had more like it). Here's a "before" pic taken this morning after a Saturday sleep-in (a sleep-in for me is 6am instead of 4:30) ...


I also have a couple of lines on my forehead up closer to my hairline (one of them is gleaming above), so today I decided to apply the cream to these areas as well, and here's the result - Whoa! So where are my wrinkles?

The last time my forehead looked like this was 20 years ago!
I am SO impressed with this product - it's so simple to use and only takes a few seconds. Mind you it doesn't last all day, and if you reapply your foundation, you have to reapply the blur cream too, but hey, I'm definitely sold on this technology. The cream is an odd consistency, kind of clumpy and gluggy when it comes out of the tube, but when you pat it on, it dissolves into a matte finish, and doesn't seem to disturb my foundation. 

Ok so having showed you how NOT to use it successfully, the pack actually says...

"- Apply as the last step in your skincare routine or wear alone on cleansed skin all over face or on targeted areas.
- Excellent base for makeup"

Used alone, I can pretty much guarantee this would be fabulous to diffuse lines and minimise the appearance of enlarged pores. As mentioned at the beginning of this post, I haven't tried it as a primer under makeup as yet - actually I don't get how it would work if you cover it up, considering it diffuses the way light hits the skin, but I'll be giving it a shot in the next few days, and I'll post the results, plus more pics too. Just so you know I haven't completely lost the plot, on the front of the box is written "Finishing Cream" - this is what threw me off, and why I applied it last :-)

On the side of the pack, there's a scale showing the targeted age group is 40-50 - at 58 I'm well outside that, but it works brilliantly for me :-) It also says "After one month, lines and wrinkles appear reduced, the skin texture looks refined and imperfections appear minimised. Your skin looks more beautiful."  So perhaps it doesn't just affect the surface temporarily? Hmmm...I'm always a bit suspicious when they use words like "appear" and "looks", but only time will tell...

Have you tried any blur products (the correct way ha ha)? Were you pleased with the results?

Take care of you,
kats xxx

Thursday, 27 March 2014

EOTD: Sultry SAX...

Crikey the weeks are just flying by, and I didn't want to get to the end of March without creating at least one smokey eye :-) And because Summer is still making its presence felt, I added a touch of colour...


Most of the products I used were from the SAX Sultry Eyes kit - scored this in one of the first beautyheaven beautoriums almost 2 years ago, and it's still going strong. It's such a handy little kit, and although I only used the shadows from it, the whole thing is such great value (I think it's around $15), and brilliant for travelling...



The box is sturdy and has an elastic strap to keep it all neat and tidy. Inside is a mirror and easy to follow instructions on how to create a sultry eye look - the shadows are all marked 1 to 4 so you really can't go wrong. There's also a double-ended applicator, mascara and eyeliner, all nestled in their own little slots...



I used Maybelline Tattoo in Audacious Asphalt as a base (how did I ever live without this stuff?), and then applied shadows 2, 3 & 4 from the inner to outer corner. No. 4 is a brilliant silver will loads of metallic gleam, 3 is more of a shimmery medium grey, and 2 is an almost matte soft charcoal - they all blend superbly and last the whole day :-)


On the waterline, I patted down the olivey green from the Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips Gel Liner stack - I use this quite a lot because it's such a pretty shade, and stays put for hours...


The only problem I have with SAX cosmetics is where to find them - they have a website, but I'm a looky-touchy gal and prefer to check out what I'm getting in person, and the only chemist in my vicinity that used to stock the range has decided to make room for something else - boo!

Their lipsticks are fantastic by the way - I showcased my favourite coral one just last month. Have you tried any SAX products? 

Take care of  you,
kats xxx

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

LOTD: Star Struck Sandstorm...

Oh yay, another of my Autumn/Winter lipsticks that hasn't expired - Revlon Sandstorm. Has more red in it than the GOSH Copper Mine I posted the other day, so it's just what I need to go with outfits that need a bit of perking up...

The lipliner I used is by Jordana, and it's called Petal. Jordana products are getting harder and harder for me to find, but whenever I see them anywhere, I always pick up a few of the liners - they have beaut pigment, last for ages, and don't leave any flakey bits behind. Cheap as chips too - <$6 if I remember rightly...


Revlon Sandstorm is from the Super Lustrous Pearl Range - still has heaps of moisturising qualities even after many moons have passed since I bought it...


And to give it a tad more red kick, I topped it with Mirenesse 3D Gloss in Star Struck - this range is my favourite of all the Mirenesse glosses. Rich and mosturising, nice big fat tube with an equally generous applicator, and this one has a wee bit of gold shimmer for extra warmth... 



And this is what I wore it with. Incidentally, the blush is the other one from the Models Prefer Sweet Kisses tin - Peach Parfait. Both of these blushes have quite a bit of red in them, which makes a nice change from my usual mauvey pinks and terracotta orangey ones...


Take care of  you,
kats xxx

Monday, 24 March 2014

CONFESSIONS: of a Scrubaholic (Part 1)...

Yes it's time to reveal one of several little personal secrets about myself - I am addicted to scrubs! They say that the first step along the road to recovery is admitting you have a problem, so this is my official "outing", not that I REALLY want to get over this though. There are far worse habits I need to break (like working ridiculously long hours) and at around $10 a pop, it's not really a serious issue...is it?

So here's what's currently in my shower stall - eight of 'em! Do I really need that many? Nope. Do I love having choices? Well that's a big fat YES, plus my skin seems to change with the seasons, or whatever else I'm using in my skin care routine, so it's essential to have a wide range of products on hand if my face is becoming either slightly more oily or dry. (Lol if I keep going, I might even convince myself ha ha...)


Exfoliation is an essential part of my daily shower routine - I find if I don't use a scrub every morning, my blackheads start to multiply, my complexion loses some of it's lustre and refinement, my pore clogging almost doubles, and I experience flaking of the skin around my nose and chin. Apart from preventing (or at the very least reducing) the aforementioned yucky developments, I love how fresh, clean and silky soft my skin feels afterwards.

Why do I have so many? I have to admit it's mainly so I don't get bored! Anything I do each and every day soon becomes a chore, most definitely dreary, and anyway, they say that variety is the spice of life - plus by using a different one each time, I never grow weary of any particular brand :-)

Important note: when I buy a new scrub, I make sure I use it exclusively for a week or two to see how it performs, and just in case there are any adverse reactions (like irritation or over-drying of my skin). If it passes my particular tests, then it joins the other members of my rotation collection...

I love all of the ones pictured above, for different reasons - potency or gentleness, fragrance or feel on my skin, each one of them has a quality that I don't want to miss out on. Here's a run down (in no particular order) of why I like them. Incidentally I've split this post into two parts so that YOU don't get bored before you've reached the bottom of the page ha ha...

Bior√© Pore Unclogging Scrub


I use this probably once per week because it's quite a strong formula - the little blue beads are gentle, but the cream itself contains salicylic acid so I'm wary of using it too often on my old skin. I'm not so keen on the fragrance of this one (it's a bit chemical), but it's brilliant for a weekly deeeeeeep cleanse. The cream is nice and thick too so there's no chance of dispensing too much...

Clearasil Vitamins & Extracts Scrub


Love the smell of this one, and the fact that the cream contains two kinds of exfoliators - lots of gentle grainy bits in the thick cream base, plus a smattering of round blue ones. Not completely sure which of these is responsible for the reduction in my blackheads, but overall this little baby sure does the trick, and I will be buying this one again. My beautyheaven review of it is here...

Clean & Clear Morning Burst Skin Brightening Facial Scrub


This came in my Blogstar box and I'm so glad - I went through quite a dilemma when I bought the orange one as I was torn between the two. So now I have both, and they're equally effective, AND delicious smelling too. Super gentle, it contains lemon, caffeine and papaya, which all adds up to a zingy and refreshing start to my mornings. But be warned - this is quite runny (and the next one too) so go easy on the tube squeezing :-)

Clean & Clear Morning Burst Facial Scrub


Out of the two C&C scrubs, this one has the edge because of the fresh orangey scent - it's just a personal preference, and the colour makes me smile. Everything else about it seems to be identical to the lemon one - very gentle and it doesn't make my face feel tight or dry. Definitely a stayer in my collection...

Are you a scrub addict? Which one is your favourite?

Part 2 coming soon...

Take care of you,
kats xxx

Sunday, 23 March 2014

EOTD: Sweet Kisses Pink and Blue...

Another look from the Models Prefer Sweet Kisses tin - I used Strawberry Cream and Maple Fudge over the top of MNY Tattoo in Too Cool...


While not as potent as the Mint Slice, these two are easy to build and blend...




And here is one of the blushes, Marshmallow. I was wearing soft pinks & blue denim and this shade toned in beautifully - the pigmentation is excellent and only required one dip and a tap of the brush for me to have a rosy glow...



Take care of you,
kats xxx

Friday, 21 March 2014

LOTD: Jelly Jam Cherry Tart...

Hmmm, well it takes a bit of doing for me to wear red lipstick, which is kind of odd - I have no qualms about plastering on the most vivid and sometimes outlandish eye shadow colours and combos, but I get all shy when it comes to red lips. Weird huh? But every now and then I find something scarletty that I am comfortable wearing, and my Blogstar box contained a Revlon Color Burst Lip Butter in the scrumptious shade Cherry Tart - not exactly red, but close enough hey?...



I lined and coloured in my lips with asap THREE Mineral Lip Liner - another beauty from my Blogstar stash. It's more pinky and deeper than number one - these lip liners are my all-time faves...


Here's the Cherry Tart Lip Butter - gosh this is just so incredibly JUICY, it's like cherry puree! Interestingly I would never have picked this shade for myself, but bh couldn't have chosen a more fabulous and fun colour for me to try ♥ Another thing I love about it is that it's semi-opaque, which is probably why I'm brave enough to wear it - there's a softness to it, nowhere near as stark as a solid cream, and just the ticket for someone taking red lip baby steps like me...



The Cherry Tart was actually glossy and moist enough on it's own, but you know me, I a total shine freak, so I added essence XXXL Shine Lip Gloss in True Love - a fabulous match colour-wise, and I reckon it makes my lips look like they're coated in jelly jam 



Are you a fan of fruity lip colours?

Take care of you,
kats xxx

Thursday, 20 March 2014

EOTD: MNY Mini Pink & Purple...

A few weeks ago I mentioned I visited Priceline, my first foray in months, and picked up three cute little mini Maybelline eye shadows for $1.50 each. I used the green one in this look, so now it's time to show off the pink and purple ones...


I think they are brilliant value, so if you see them in your local Priceline in a great big bin, dive in! Pardon the state of the purple pan below - I committed the ultimate bloggers sin of not photographing it before I dipped my moist brush into the pressed powder. Incidentally this is a totally matte shadow and doesn't like water at all - it's far more potent when applied dry...


I usually try out all my new shadows over the top of essence white kajal - it's sort of my benchmark test before I start experimenting with all the other gels and creams underneath. While this was reasonably successful, next time I'll use MNY Too Cool Tattoo to give them some glisten and gleam..


I love these colours together, but I'm itching to pair both the pink and purple with the green from the same set - honestly there's just not enough days in the week for all the combinations I want to create ha ha...



This is such a pretty soft and femine combo and partners beautifully with silvers, greys and blacks. Have you tried any of these baby pans yet?

Take care of you,
kats xxx

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

LOTD: GOSH Copper Mine...

Although the days here in Sydney are still packing a hot punch, the mornings and evenings have started to cool down. So in preparation for the season change, I started digging around in my drawers to see which of my richer russety lip products are still viable. I do a cull every year, and go through a fair bit of torment when I find an old fave lippy smells a bit funny or no longer swatches creamy and smooth, and I have to bin it...sob! But I breathed a sigh of relief when I found my GOSH Copper Mine still had plenty of life left in it - it's one of the few shades I have in my kit that matches my current hair colour...


I started with essence lipliner in Honey Bun to provide a warm base...


And here's the GOSH Velvet Touch Copper Mine - adore this colour, and I'm sending another massive thank you to Hissycat Krissy for gifting me this luscious and lustrous lipstick  I'm super impressed with both it's moisturising and staying qualities, but I haven't the faintest idea where to buy them other than eBay, but even then, this shade doesn't seem to be around any more. This constantly happens to me when I find something I really love...sigh...



I topped it with Savvy Lip Gloss in Burnt Amber (at least these are still available from Priceline!) This is a magnificent colour and top value for $4.99. The doe's foot applicator is nice and fat, and it delivers an almost mirror shine with just the right amount of pearlescence...



Do you regularly sort through your lipsticks and toss out what's had it?

Take care of you,
kats