Sunday, 31 August 2014

EOTD: essence 3D Irresistible Green Dream...

Such a pretty shade this one - essence 3D Irresistible Green Dream. The shadows in this range are fabulously pigmented and incredibly buttery, and at under $5, one of the best bargains around town. I love how it intensifies my eye colour, and the shimmer factor is glam without being OTT...


I bought the three below last year (and a couple more), but I'm not sure if these particular colour combinations are still available...


As you can see in the photo above, the deeper one of the two is a fair bit brighter than in the eye pics, but that's because I pulled it back a notch or two by using a base of Face of Australia Budge Proof Eye Shadow in Poison Ivy - a rich foresty green cream that helps the shadow stay in place, and extends the wear of any pigment to a good 12 hours...


The lighter green of the two went on the inner third and along the top lashline in an effort to make my sparse lashes stand out a bit more. My last step was to smoke the outer corner and line the waterline with ModelsPrefer Kohl Pencil in Matte Black - loving this crayon, it glides on like silk, doesn't tug the skin one bit, and is such an intense black, I barely use any...


Lips are SAX Rich Colour Lipstick in Coral & Mirenesse 3D Forever Gloss in Lust Me, and cheeks are essence Heat Wave...



What's your favourite essence product?

Take care of you,
kats xxx

Saturday, 30 August 2014

EOTD: MNY Hyper Diamonds Bronze and Sleek Ink blue...

The second last of my Winter eye looks - this turned out somewhat interesting, especially with how it seemed to roundify (is there such a word?) my eye shape. Forgot the wing! But I'm TOTALLY OVER the dulls and TOTALLY READY for some Spring brights ♥ Meanwhile, here's what I used...


Started by laying down a base of Maybelline Colour Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze - over two years old now and still creamy with a load of glisten. Over that I applied the most goldy shade from the Maybelline Hyperdiamonds Bronze palette - I think this box is about to celebrate it's third birthday, but the shadows remain vibrant and blendable, creamy and sparkly...


I framed the entire eye with Sleek Ink Blue from the V2 matte palette.- stunning pigment, and the box is falling to pieces after many years love, but I simply can't won't let it go! I blended it with some essence Long Lasting Eye Pencil in the shade Cool Down underneath the lower lashline - these crayons are such good value...


I don't know about you, but I'm itching to get out of these stifling polo-necks - ugghh!,,,


And on the waterline is my trusty friend, essence white kajal - I know I'm forever raving about it, but it's just the best thing for covering up my blotches...


So gals, are you done with this season as much as I am?

Take care of you,
kats xxx

Friday, 29 August 2014

REVIEW: Mary Kay TimeWise Plus+™ Volu-Fill™ Wrinkle Corrector...

Apart from receiving a Christmas gift pack of body goodies a couple of years ago, I'd had no experience with Mary Kay products, until recently when I was fortunate enough to be chosen by beautyheaven to trial the TimeWise Plus+™ Volu-Fill™ Wrinkle Corrector in early July. Actually it almost didn't happen - my parcel was lost in the post, but the lovely Beth from bh was kind enough to send me a replacement. I've been including it in my skincare routine morning and night since the 30th of July, which means 29 days...


Remember that figure (29), because it's highly significant. Till this magical serum turned up on my doorstep, wrinkle reducing products have had little visible effect on my face. I had considerable cosmetic success with the L'Oreal Revitalift Magic Blur back in March and April, but of course it washes off, and a three month regime of Lapuret√© gave the fine lines around my eyes a bit of a nudge, but had minimal impact on the deep creases...

But before I start writing anything about Mary Kay TimeWise Plus+™ Volu-Fill™ Wrinkle Corrector, they say that a picture says a thousand words, so I thought I'd show you some unretouched photos of my trouble spots, before and after using the serum. In this first pic, you can see the deep frown furrows between my brows, and a horizontal crease at the top of my forehead - yucko! Is it any wonder I cover them all up with a long, full fringe?

Photo taken end of March 2014 with primer and foundation
The photo below was taken a few days ago under the same lighting conditions (and with the same camera) after just over 3 weeks of use, and as you can plainly see, most of the crease on the left is barely visible, the one on the right doesn't look anywhere near as deep, and the line further up has shrunk...

Photo taken 24/8/2014, bare skin

Moving on to the lower part of my face, here's the awful crevasse on the left side of my mouth as it was back in March. You can also see some razor sharp vertical lines just above my top lip...

Photo taken end of March 2014 with primer and foundation
And here's the same crease (and top lip) as it is now, far less distinct and deep. Actually the texture of the skin directly above my mouth where I've been faithfully applying the serum looks smoother in general - hey, perhaps I should be plastering this stuff all over my whole face!

Photo taken 24/8/2014, with what's left of my foundation at the end of the day
Ok so now I've covered the photographic evidence, I guess I can sum up my experience with this wrinkle corrector in one word - wow!

Not in a million years would I consider botox, but after this, who needs it anyway? This serum is a wonder of the beauty world - it contains retinol and hyaluronic acid, and I suspect these are the two most significant ingredients responsible for the changes in the depth, length and sharpness of my lines. I've been applying it twice a day before my usual serum and moisturiser, and have had zero ill effects - no dryness, flaking, stinging or redness. I made sure I used a day cream and primer containing a high sun screen, plus my my usual foundations are either SPF18 or 20, but other than that, it's been business as usual....


The cream is thick and dense, and has a mattifying effect the instant it touches the skin. It feels a bit tacky at first, but once it completely absorbs (in a matter of seconds), the areas where I've patted it on and gently spread it around feel soft and silky. It has barely any scent, and the only niggly thing abut it is that it's quite difficult to extricate the cream from the tube. With only 15g of product, at first I thought it wouldn't last more than a week, but there seems to be enough serum remaining to keep me going for another 10 days or so... 

Quite frankly, I'm staggered to see such results in a short period of time. The changes were so gradual from day to day that I almost missed them - thank goodness for cameras! It's fairly safe to say that once I've scrounged every last molecule from this tube, I'll be getting my hands on a truckload of this powerhouse - mind you at $88 a pop, I might have to mortgage the house, but compared to what I can only imagine must be the terrifying cost of botox injections (not to mention the side effects), it's an investment I'm not hesitating about for one second. Yay for Mary Kay! My beautyheaven review is here, along with those by the other members of the trial team...

So gals, are you tempted to try this amazing Mary Kay product?

Take care of you,
kats xxx

Monday, 25 August 2014

EOTD: MUA Charcoal, Sugarpill Love+ and Midori...

Yep - I reckon the countdown to Spring is definitely on. I spent the weekend dusting off all the pretty pastel palettes in my kit so that I'm ready to burst into a series of blossom inspired looks as soon as Winter is officially over - can't happen soon enough for this warm weather and sunshine-loving gal! Meanwhile, I have a couple of chilly season EOTD's to post before September hits, so here we go...


I've mentioned before that red and green always remind me of Christmas, and this look would defninitely have fallen into that particular category if I'd used something sparkly. But by sticking to broody mattes, I'm kinda hoping I didn't awaken Santa from his slumber just yet...

So why did I choose red and green? Well believe me it's always a challenge to get my act together at 5am, but I organise myself pretty well the night before, choosing what I'll wear, and more importantly, what sort of eye look I'll create. Actually it's the ONLY way I can cope! So the theme for this particular day was red and black, but it ended up looking kinda dreary (even with the pop of red), and the green was a hastily added extra before I raced out the door - actually, green is often a colour I throw in at the last minute to inject a bit of life into something that would otherwise be too dull...


My base was essence white kajal because I wanted to keep the Sugarpill Love+ red distinct from the bhcosmetics black liner I used for tight-lining. The charcoal is from the MUA LUXE Pretty Edgy palette, and the green along the lower lashline is Sugarpill Midori blended with MNY Master Precise Liquid Liner. On the waterline is essence I Have a Green yet again! Interestingly I've had this liner in my kit for months, and only just begun exploring it's beauty in the last few weeks 


So what's your verdict gals - is this beginning to look too much like Christmas?

Take care of you,
kats xxx

Saturday, 23 August 2014

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Lacura Minerals Lipstick...

You may have noticed I've been going a bit Lacura Loco lately - I'm gradually discovering some top class beauty products in amongst the Aldi chaos, and everything I've tried from the Minerals range is brilliant! So here are the lipsticks. I bought one of their regular lippies to try and wasn't all that impressed (unless you hold the tube the right way, the lipstick gets pushed down when you apply it), but these ones are gems - and only $4.99. The hard part is trying to find them...


Only four colours available, but every shades is gorgeous, and there's bound to be one that suits all complexions. They're deliciously rich and moisturising, and there's plenty of pigment even though they're a little sheerer than I'm used to - still you can see below that they cover my freckly lips just fine...

   Soft Rose                                     Nougat Shimmer   



Like the lip glosses in this range, they're dermatologically tested, suitable for sensitive skin, and are boxed and sealed in cellophane so they can't be tampered with. The glossy black case is cute, the curvey shape feels comfy in my hands, and the lid closes securely.They have a delicate florally fragrance, and a faint florally taste...

   Ruby Red                                            Rosewood      



I recently stocked up, and given my blog's 1st birthday is only 15 days away (woo hoo!), I thought I'd share some more love by giving away the whole set :-)


As usual, the Rafflecopter will decide the winner, so please make sure that you follow the entry instructions, and read the Terms and Conditions inside (Australian residents only). Please note that leaving a comment, providing your email address inside the Rafflecopter, AND following my blog one way or another from the many choices listed are MANDATORY for entry...

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This giveaway is now closed

Yay - random.org has chosen the beautiful Fay W. as the winner.  
Congratulations gorgeous! 
Fay please respond to the email I've sent you by 
Thursday 4th September to claim your prize :-)

Edit: Fay W. has claimed her prize 
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And if you haven't entered my MUA LUXE Pretty Edgy Palette giveaway, here's the link - only 3 days left!

Take care of you,
kats xxx

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

EOTD: DB Terracotta and essence I Have A Green...

Hey the sun came out today - miracles do happen hey? Thought I'd celebrate the appearance of those glorious rays by posting another Winter-into-Spring EOTD. And being orange and green (a fave combo of a darling gal pal), this one's especially for Fawn 


This terracotta-ish shadow is truly a blast from the past - came in one of the first multi-palettes I ever bought, by DB, and from memory it was around $14 plucked from the depths of a discount chemist throw-out bin. The beauty of it is that there's two pans in this colour - one matte and one shimmery, so I can blend the two together without losing any vibrancy or dimension. Interestingly I applied it over the top of Maybelline Colour Tattoo in Pomegranate Punk, which is quite a deep brownish red - gave the orange a slight pinky tinge, which is what I was after to match my outfit...


On the waterline is essence I Have a Green Longlasting Eye Pencil - one of the most brilliant crayons in my kit (around $2 I think). Just adore the colour (matches my eyes pretty well) and I can get a good 4 or 5 hours wear out of it before my watery eyes wash away the colour on the outer half...


The lipstick is a mis-labelled MUA one (says "Bare", but the second "Bare" I ordered is a nude) - still it's a pretty corally pink, and I topped it with a Napoleon Perdis freebie gloss that toned in well. Cheeks are essence Heat Wave - LOVE this blush!


In the crease and on the outer corner, I added charcoal from the MUA LUXE Pretty Edgy palette - a magically pigmented matte that blends so easily. Speaking of which, I'm giving away this palette - have you entered yet? Only five days left!

Take care of you,
kats xxx

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

REVIEW: Schwarzkopf Brilliance Intense Permanent Hair Colour...

Well the next few months will be a bit of a Schwarzkopf-fest here on kats colourings :-) Sure I've scored a whole swag of freebies from their range lately (thanks to beautyheaven ), but I've actually been a fan (and regular user) of their hair colourants for many moons, and it's time to reveal what I use to maintain my flaming red tresses. My hair is actually snow white - has been for around a decade, and it's both a blessing and a curse. On the positive side, whatever home dye shade I choose invariably turns out exactly how it looks on the box (something that never happened in my youth while my mane still had some pigment of its own). The downside is that I have stark white regrowth that needs to be touched up every two weeks - boo!...


Some gals might think this high frequency application is a tad obsessive, but it's a commitment I made to myself when I went red, and I'm sticking to the plan for as long as I have the energy. I don't have an obvious part, so when I'm due for a touch-up, it's not like there's a distinct visible line anywhere on my head. But when the wind blows, or anyone towers over me (which is easy as I'm petite) my secret is a secret no more. And yes gals, it's true that dyeing your hair red automatically means "high maintenance" - but in my particular case, ANY colour (other than white blonde) is high maintenance because of the regrowth contrast. In my opinion, white roots have a tendency to make us older gals look like our hair is thinning even if it isn't because the white blends in with our scalps - not a good look! By the way, I'm under no illusion that one day I'll simply throw in the towel and cease this fortnightly chore, but being so incredibly passionate about COLOUR, I reckon that day is a long long way off in the future. So until then, here's what I have in my arsenal to maintain my vibrant redhead status...

I use two glorious shades from the Schwarzkopf Brilliance range - #37 Hypnotic Red, and #43 Red Passion. Why two? Well the bright Hypnotic Red is simply too light for my "natural" roots - for this blanched region, I need a deeper shade with some brown in it because the rest of my hair has been absorbing colour for months, and the result on the new growth is a fire engine red stripe which looks plain silly. Red Passion however is deep enough to match the white bits to everything else. But...if I use Red Passion on my whole head, it turns out way too dark, so I have to fiddle a bit...

Simply put, I split the cream colourant and developer solution into half and half quantities, and colour the roots with #43 for around 30 minutes, and then slather #37 on the rest for another 5 minutes just to freshen it up. It's actually easier than it sounds - I keep an empty developer bottle, and pour half the liquid into it, along with roughly 50% of the tube. That way the two packs last me 4 weeks (two applications). As you can see in the pic below (taken just after I coloured on Saturday), I end up with a shade somewhere in between the two you can see on the boxes...


Sadly there aren't that many really bright red hair colourants available at the supermarket, but of the brands I've tried, these Schwarzkopf shades are the most flattering for my skin tone. Everything you need is in the pack - each box comes with a capsule of Diamond Gloss Serum that you crack open and squeeze into the mix to help maintain the shine, a tube of conditioner, and a pair of disposable gloves. I can guarantee you the formula gives 100% grey (white!) coverage, and the standard ammonia smell is only a bit whiffy when you first apply it... 

Combined with several other products from the Schwarzkopf hair care range (which I'll be reviewing in the months ahead), my hair stays shiny and manageable, look and feels healthy, and there's very little colour fade till the next treatment. Incidentally, Schwarzkopf is German, and literally translates as "Black Head", but in my case, it's very definitely red 

While I'm content with the current condition of my mop, I'm not so enthused about the quantity of  chemicals my hair and scalp are bathed in on a regular basis - oh how I wish companies that make less damaging dye products would bring out some vibrant reds. I've noticed a couple of overseas brands entering the market recently, but so far their potent rouges aren't available in Australia - hopefully that will change soon :-)

What home hair colourant do you use?

Take care of you,
kats xxx

Monday, 18 August 2014

EOTD: Essence Jewel Up The Ocean and UD Fishnet...

What do you do when it's been dreary, wet and cold for three days in a row? Well you can count on me to whip up a COLOURFUL eye look and a cheeky grin to inject some cheer into Monday :-)


The sky has been so overcast around here, I just had to enlist the help of two of my favourite shadows - essence Jewel Up The Ocean, the most magnificent aqua teal, with a centre splash of UD Fishnet, a beautifully bold magenta, which when applied over the top of teal, turns into the prettiest of purples...


These two colours are a match made in heaven, and the deal was sealed with a few strokes of essence Sun Club Gel Eyeliner in BBC All Night Blue on the waterline...


On the outer corner and in the crease, it could be none other than Sleek Orbit from the V2 Matte palette...


With a dusting of mauvey blush and pink lips, I even managed to forget I had the beginnings of a big fat cold sore right under my nose - actually you can barely see it because it's hidden with one of those ingenious Compeed patches...


Armed with all this, I was determined to let nothing spoil my start of the week, and it worked  What colours do you use to enliven your spirits when the weather is as dull as dishwater, and things aren't going quite your way beautywise?

Take care of you,
kats xxx