Sunday, 14 July 2019

June 2019 Empties & Giveaway!...

Missed writing a post last weekend - I've just started a new job and it's eating into my blogging time, but hey, it pays the bills and keeps my beauty addiction going, so I can't complain. And yes lovelies - this is my biggest Empties post of all time! It will probably hold the record forever as I've now pretty much cleared my shelves and benchtops of the partially used beauty bits and bobs that have been clogging up the works for years. Feeling much freer because of the cleanout, although it will take a fair amount of personal discipline to not let the buildup happen again, but...I'm up for a challenge of such magnitude lol ...


Body

OGX Extra Hydrating Radiant Glow Argan Oil of Morocco Body Wash (577ml, $17.99)
Reviewed in my SLS-Free Body Washes post HERE ...
Repurchase?
You betcha ...

Shea Moisture 100% Virgin Coconut Oil Daily Hydration Creme Sugar Scrub (227g, RRP $10)
One word, two syllables - di-vine! This is listed on the "limited editions" page of their website. I don't know what that means in terms of availability going forward, but I've just bought another jar, and because my order total came to >$50 I was able to choose a second jar for free - woo hoo! Smells fantabulous and it works a treat on my rough bits leaving my skin silky smooth and deliciously nourished. The main ingredient is sugar, closely followed by coconut oil, and there's some shea butter as well. Love it to bits! ...
Repurchase?
Absolutely ...

Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Soap (230g, RRP $13.95)
I think this is my favourite soap in the whole wide world - reviewed HERE ...
Repurchase?
I have a few bars scattered around the house and just ordered a spare ...
P.S. Reminder: use code KATS at the website checkout to receive 30% off - it doesn't apply to Limited Editions but works with the regular range

Regulars
Oral-B 3D White Luxe Glamorous White Toothpaste (96g, RRP $9.49)
Reach Dentotape (20m, RRP $2.99)
White Glo Charcoal Total Mouth Detox Whitening Mouthwash (500ml, RRP $6.99)


Face

Dr.Lewinn's Eternal Youth Rejuvenate & Refine Skin Polishing Exfoliant (100g, RRP $29.95)
The last of my scathingly brilliant bargains from the Priceline Hornsby Beauty Store closure - it was on the shelf for $5, and if it wasn't for the store closing, I may never have had the opportunity to fall in love with this wondrous scrub. Before I start my rave, I'm not happy with the screw cap - don't companies realise how hard it is to remove the lid, squeeze out the contents and screw the lid back on when you're all soapy in the shower? Now for the rave - LOVE this! Delish refreshing scent, the cream itself is dark grey (from the charcoal) and the exfoliating bits are finely ground walnut shells. Gentle enough to use every day, I treat myself to it once or twice a week just so I can make it last. Leaves my skin surface as smooth as glass, and perfectly prepped for the rest of my morning regime ... 
Repurchase?
Picked up two more on special, and I'm giving away one at the end of this post (I must be crazy lol) ...

Elucent Anti Ageing Eye Cream (15g, RRP $50)
This was a blast from the past - haven't had a tube of this for over five years, and it came my way I think from Beautyheaven, but remembering the source is a huge problem when you have too much stuff. Wherever it came from I was delighted to be reminded of this classy cream that I used faithfully for several years. Feels lovely on the skin and kept my delicate eye area well hydrated, however, nothing much else in the way of apparent improvements in the wrinkles, sagging skin or baggy areas. As I keep saying, I need creams that can work miracles, and sadly this one just doesn't cut my old mustard ...
Repurchase?
No ...

Garnier Skin Active Micellar Cleansing Water  (125ml, RRP $6.95)
Covered this in my Micellar Magic Series Part 1 HERE. One of the best there is! ...
Repurchase?
Yup! ...

Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream (48g, RRP $48.99)
Been quite a while since I first discovered this skin care masterpiece (even before I started posting empties), and I'd quite forgotten how fabulous it is. This sample jar came from...I can't remember...but it's been sitting part-used on my bench for over a year, and I'm so glad I finally finished it off. I'm in love with the fragrance and how enriching the formula is, especially for my dry winter skin. Because there's no SPF I've only been applying it at night, but I do love the feel of it on my face, as well as the way my skin looks and feels the next morning. If I wasn't on my retinol path, I'd be quite content to use this all the time ... 
Repurchase?
Not at this stage because of the Neutrogena range I'm working with - but I have another (unopened) sample jar in the drawer so I won't forget about it again ...

Sukin Purely Ageless Rejuvenating Day Cream (120ml, RRP $22.95)
This one's been hanging around for a while. I'm such a Sukin fan and was mad keen to try this (and the Night Cream) when they first came out (was it last year?) - their skincare is SO good and so affordable. This is a beautiful cream with a delightful and delicate floral fragrance, but no SPF, and it's just not potent enough for all my ageing issues. Like a lot of others in my backlog, I've been using it as a body moisturiser (what a treat!), and I'm kinda sad that it's come to an end ...
Repurchase?
No - it's lovely, but I need much more powerful guns in my arsenal ...

Sukin Super Greens Detoxifying Facial Scrub (125ml RRP $13.95)
Detailed review HERE. Next time this will appear in my Regulars ...
Repurchase?
I actually bought another one yesterday at Priceline - on special 3 for 2, so I chose the Oil-Balancing & Rejuvenating ones as well ...

Regulars
Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Make-up Remover (112ml, RRP $10.89) 
Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Regenerating Cream with Accelerated Retinol SA (48g, RRP $48.99) 
Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Serum with Accelerated Retinol SA (29ml, RRP $42.99)
Nivea Hyaluron Cellular Filler Anti Spot Treatment Serum (30ml, RRP $34.99)
Olay Regenerist Miracle Boost Youth Pre-Essence (40ml, RRP $39.99)


Face Masks

Beautycare (Kmart) Raspberry Leaf Botanical Eye Mask (pack of 2, RRP $3)
These were the find of the month. Kmart has been out of stock of my fave Purederm Ginkgo eye patches for weeks (what the hell is going on?), so in desperation, I thought I'd give these a shot, and they're awesome, and a pretty good substitute. You can just make them out in the piccie below - they're clear with a sort of cross-hatch pattern, and they stick really well considering they're the gel kind. I'm going to experiment with sleeping in them (which is how I use the Purederm ones) - very cooling and they do seem to firm the under eye area a bit ...
Repurchase?
Already have ...



Skin Republic 24K Gold Aquagel Under Eye Patch (2 pairs, RRP $12.99)
So happy I revisited these - they're really something special because they actually reduce my puffy bags, if only for a short while ...
Repurchase?
On and on, and on, and on ...


Skin Republic Retinol Hydrogel Under Eye Patch (3 pairs, RRP $9.99)
If you've been reading my Empties posts for a while you may remember last year I couldn't stop raving about the Collagen Eye Patches from Skin Republic - well, these Retinol ones are EVEN BETTER. There aren't any pictures because I slept in them every night for 12 nights last month, and they made quite a difference to my under eye area, smoothing the wrinkles and reducing the annoying pigmentation that I have to cover every day with concealer. I came to the conclusion I should sleep in them every night, but my bank balance would take too much of a hit ($100 per month), so I'll just treat myself to a mini-series of them whenever I need a boost ...
Repurchase?
Oh yeah, baby ...

Regulars
Garnier SkinActive Pure Charcoal Tissue Mask with Black Algae (RRP $4.99)



Neutrogena Hydro Boost 100% Hydrogel Mask (RRP $5.99)
Skin Physics Instant Lift V-Shape Vitality Mask (RRP $14.99)
Skin Republic Volcanic Ash Mud Sheet Mask (RRP $12)


Hair

Amazon Series MuruMuru Anti-Frizz Smoothing Masque (250ml, RRP $29.95)
Embarrassed to say I've been working through this jar for over 2 years. My hairdresser recommended it, and it's truly fabulous for controlling the frizzies, but I prefer to use the Kerasilk mask as that's what's recommended to maintain my post-treatment condition. And for a while, I couldn't find where to buy it, so this was the next best thing. The MuruMuru is full of botanical goodness, contains no parabens, and it smells like heaven - highly recommended! ...
Repurchase?
If I can't find Kerasilk, then yes ...

Schwarzkopf Live Salon Permanent - Ultra Light Ash Blonde & Medium Ash Blonde (RRP $13.99)
These should actually be in regulars as I go through 2 packs of each every month. But looking back I haven't included the Medium one before. Anyway, I mix these two together 60/40 (medium/light) in order to get the colour I want because they don't actually make a Light Ash Blonde, the Medium is too dark, and the Ultra Light doesn't take on my white roots. I've tried other brands but the colour either turns out too yellowy, or the formula is too damaging for my hair. What I actually want is to dye my hair silver grey, but it doesn't seem to be possible in a home colourant - boo! ...
Repurchase?
I stock up whenever they're on special, but the Ultra Light is becoming harder and harder to find - a fact that I'm trying not to stress about ...

Regulars
Olaplex No. 3 Hair Perfector (100ml, RRP $49.95)
Scott Cornwall Colour Restore Iced Platinum Anti-Yellow Toner (100ml, RRP $16.95)


Makeup

Australis HD Translucent Loose Setting Powder (6g, RRP $15.95)
Well now, when I went to pick up my usual Ready-Set-Go Finishing Powder from the stand and found this there instead, I'll admit to having a moment of panic. I've been using it for more years than I can remember and was mortified at the prospect of it being discontinued and replaced with something that might not be as good. But I needn't have worried as this HD one is almost identical - the original was flat matte, and this just has the merest hint of shimmer, but nowhere near enough to be a problem. Phew! ...
Repurchase?
Forever, well at least until they revamp it again ...

Beauty by Nicholas Foundation No More - Medium (30ml, RRP $30)
Love this foundation, and it's come down in price considerably since my in-depth review HERE ...
Repurchase?
You know the score - just as soon as I use up some others on my bench l ...

Regulars
Australis AC On Tour Contouring & Highlighting Kit - Cool Tone Cream (RRP $24.95)


Giveaway


Ok, so this month we have up for grabs...
  • Australis HD Translucent Loose Setting Powder
  • Beautycare (Kmart) Raspberry Leaf Botanical Eye Mask
  • Dr.Lewinn's Eternal Youth Rejuvenate & Refine Skin Polishing Exfoliant
  • Olay Regenerist Starter Kit
  • Shea Moisture 100% Virgin Coconut Oil Daily Hydration Creme Sugar Scrub
  • Skin Republic 24K Gold Aquagel Under Eye Patch
All items were purchased by me and the approximate value is $100.  The giveaway is open to...

Australian Residents Only! 
Here's how to enter...
  1. Leave a blog post comment on this page that answers the question inside the Rafflecopter (please note: if you don't leave a comment on this page, you won't be included in the draw!If you're unable to leave a comment for technical reasons, please email your answer to katshepsutt(at)gmail.com.
  2. Leave your email address inside the Rafflecopter so I can contact you if you win
  3. Follow my blog one way or another from the many choices listed
  4. Only one entry per person, please read the T's & C's inside the Rafflecopter
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    a Rafflecopter giveaway
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    Best of luck to all who enter!

    Take care of you,
    kats xxx

    Saturday, 29 June 2019

    The Transforming Power of Makeup (Part 3)

    Way back in 2016 I posted PART 2 in which I showed how I transform my lips almost every day from woe to wow. Well not quite wow, but a whole heap better than they are naturally. Since then I've had heaps more practice so my technique has improved, and so have the available products, although I'm still using three of the six items that were in my original post. While you are probably (hopefully!) not dealing with the same issues I am, some of the hints below might be helpful, especially when applying darker colours which sure need extra attention to get them looking good ...

    Before & After

    Having had cold sores since puberty, my poor old lips have taken a beating, plus they've been freckled for as long as I can remember. Add to this the accelerated pigmentation issues that come with ageing, well they've sure seen better days. But no need to despair kats - makeup and a few little tricks can fix all that! And so here we go - beware though, some of these closeups are pretty gruesome ha ha ...

     So here are my bare lips (and complexion)...

    Bare lips


    I start the transformation with a face primer (current fave is DB Pore Minimising Primer) and then apply my foundation with an Ecotools Wonder Cover Complexion brush. My foundation for this post was a blend of IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Redness and Maybelline Dream Liquid Mousse in the shade Sandy Beige. I cover the entire outline of my lips, and immediately there's a major improvement lol...

    lips after foundation application


    Next up is concealer all around the outside of my lips to completely disguise the pigmentation. I use Tarte Shape Tape Contour Concealer in the shade Light Natural. It has a sponge does foot applicator, and it's the best concealer ever - total coverage, easy to blend and it doesn't crease...

    Lips with concealer smeared on


    Below is the result after I blend it with my middle finger...

    Lips after concealer blended


    Next up I reverse outline my lips with an NYX Wonder Pencil in the shade Light. I take the pencil way above my top lip to where I plan to draw on a new top lip, and a picture-worthy cupids bow. My top lip has always been way thinner than my bottom lip, but we'll fix that later...

    Lips with concealer crayon applied


    And here I've blended the crayon (again with my finger) and pressed on Australis HD Translucent Loose Setting Powder with a powder puff. This is a revamp of their Ready Set Go Finishing Powder - it's just as good, just has a wee bit of shimmer. As you can see this has camouflaged my enlarged pores and significantly reduced the appearance of the vertical lines above my top lip (this powder is a kats-can't-live-without)...

    After pencil blended and powder applied


    Now that I have my canvas prepared, it's time to start the artistry! Here I've used an OXX Lip Liner (from Kmart) in the shade Aria - it's the perfect match for the lipstick I'm going to add in a mo'. The application isn't perfect at this stage, but I don't let that worry me - everything is fixable, so long as I have the basic outline correct. Incidentally, if my lip liner isn't precisely the same colour as my lipstick, then I apply it all over my lips, but no need to here...

    Lips outlined with lip liner


    And below I've slicked on Maybelline Made For All Lipstick in my latest shade passion, Plum For Me. Again the application isn't perfect - trust me the camera shows up any and all flaws, so I recommend taking photos if you want to practice your technique, or when you desire the perfect lip for a special occasion...

    Lips after lipstick application


    So we've made it at last. I've used the above photo to point out the areas that need a tidy up (if you're wondering, I do this every time I take a photo for my Instagram LOTD's, which is almost every day). I've filled in the gaps on the left side of both lips using the lip liner, also the right side needed a bit of attention for symmetry, plus a cleanup on the skin with the flat end of a Swisspers Dual Cosmetic Tip dipped in concealer. I also used the pointy end (with concealer) to carefully tweak the cupids bow shape, and then applied another layer of lip liner and lipstick. Voila!...

    Lips after cleanup

    Here's what I used ...

    Products Used

    All this to say there's quite a bit of effort involved in getting my lips to look good, but the result is well worth it, and because I do it at least five days out of seven, it all happens in less than five minutes. By putting a lot of effort into my base preparation, I find I only need to reapply the liner and lipstick after eating. Just as well lol! ...

    I was thinking about doing another face transformation post - any interest?

    Take care of you,
    kats xxx

    Thursday, 27 June 2019

    REVIEW: Maybelline Colorsensational Made For All Lipsticks...

    As a beauty blogger, one of the potential perks is the approach from brands to add us to their "PR list". Which usually means that whenever a company is releasing a new range, there's a pretty strong likelihood that a box will arrive in the post containing the said goodies, to be reviewed on the blog and promoted via other social media. I've only been contacted a couple of times since I started my blog back in 2013, which is understandable as I have a somewhat small (but faithful ) audience, and I absolutely REFUSE to buy Instagram followers. But, good things come to those who wait, and just the other day Maybelline invited me to join their list (yasss!), and to my absolute delight, this beautiful (and 100% recyclable) box of the latest Colorsensational Made For All Lipsticks landed on my doorstep on Monday ...

    PR Box of lipsticks

    Regular readers will know of my passion for Maybelline makeup, and the fact that quite a few from their range repeatedly appear in my Empties posts (e.g. Master Precise Liquid Liner, Total Temptation Brow Definer, Volume Express The Falsies Waterproof Mascara), and my Monthly LOTD collages are riddled with their lip products. Consequently, it probably goes without saying that I am deliriously happy to have been selected, so a gazillion thankyous Maybelline, and let's get on with reviewing and swatching these luscious lippies, in numerical order...

    Lipstick bullets with caps off

    Before I start, the strategy behind this release was to create a range of universal lipstick shades that would suit anyone, regardless of the colour of their skin. According to the brochure that came with the pack, the six shades were tested on 50 different skin tones, and below is the photo of all of their fabulous faces...

    Faces of 50 women with different skin tones

    Was Maybelline successful? Hard for me to say as I have what I would call a fairly neutral skin tone (perhaps leaning slightly towards warmish) and I seem to be able to wear most colours. But what I can say is that all of these lipstick shades suit ME to a T ...

    Mauve For Me (373)

    Lips wearing Maybelline Mauve For Me

    This one I already had - it was kindly sent to me by Beautyheaven to trial, along with Fuchsia For Me. Gorgeous, GORGEOUS deep nude verging on terracotta, incredibly flattering, and something I will wear over and over again. The formula is creamy, moist and has a satin finish. Actually, they're all satin except for Red For Me which is matte. I have to reapply after eating, but I expect that with a super moist formula, and I don't give a hoot about longevity if a lippie is supremely comfortable to wear and I adore the colour, and both boxes are certainly ticked with this darling ...

    Pink For Me (376)

    Lips wearing Maybelline Pink For Me

    Who doesn't love or need a dusty pink in their collection? Soft and understated, yet with enough oomph even for a bold lippie lover like me. I have quite a few muted pink items in my wardrobe, and this pretty baby matches them perfectly. Actually, I can see it complementing all sorts of outfits, plus it's the kind of shade I can wear all year round ...

    Fuchsia For Me (379)

    Lips wearing Maybelline Fuchsia For Me

    What a stunning colour. I have a few other fuchsias in my collection, all different, although some are closer to what I would call hot pink. To me, fuchsia should have more red content than blue, and this one delivers a beautifully bold and accurate interpretation of one of Mother Nature's prettiest blooms. And yes, it's as juicy and hydrating as it looks and sure to brighten up the dullest rainy day ...

    Red For Me (382)

    Lips wearing Maybelline Red For Me

    I purchased this knockout matte shade a couple of weeks ago and adore its clarity and cheerfulness. Pretty close to centre red, this will fire up any ensemble and let folks know you mean business. I will wear this punchy lipstick with black, grey, olive, navy, cream - anything (except maybe pink), so versatile it is. And the formula is so dense it completely covers my lip freckles - teamed with a lip liner, it keeps my pout perfect for hours. It doesn't look all that matte in the pic, but it does dry down to a surprisingly comfortable shine-free finish ...

    Ruby For Me (385)

    Lips wearing Maybelline Ruby For Me

    I was expecting this to be deeper and with a tad more blue than the Red For Me, and it is, although the difference is more obvious on my arm than on my lips, or in this photo. But it's enough to take it a step above awesome, plus it has an even greater WOW factor because of the glossy finish. And because of the pigmentation density, shine and that smidgin of blue, it makes the cut in my top 5 red lippies of all time - whoa, now that's saying something! ...

    Plum For Me (388)

    Lips wearing Maybelline Plum For Me

    Oh oh oh, I'm plum loco about this gal. It was the one I was most excited to try - my intuition told me it would be a slayer, and I was right. Vampy but not scary, I have a feeling I'll be buying a replacement for this before any of the others. Right now I'm imagining what a knockout this will be with teal or aqua or navy - sigh  So happy that it leaves a stain as it wears, and it's bright enough to not classify it as purely a winter shade ...


    Lips wearing all 5 shades of Maybelline Made For Me Lipsticks


    So, it's official - I'm loving every single one of these shades. I also love that each cap is an accurate representation of the bullet colour (as is the sticker on the base), which makes it super easy to spot in a box full of others. I'm impressed with the little extra attention to detail too - all covers are shiny, except for the red matte one, which is...matte! My only con is the little clear dots (two on each lipstick) that prove the contents are pristine - when you peel them off, they leave behind a sticky residue that needs a eucalyptus oil clean up. But that little irk isn't necessarily restricted to MNY, and to be honest it's reassuring to know that it hasn't been opened. Hey, if that's my only beef, then I'd say these are Winners For All ...

    Maybelline Made For Me Lipsticks with caps off

    Thank you again Maybelline - what a treat  As for you dear followers, you know I can't help but share the love  so if it doesn't bother you that I've opened the cases just to take the group photos, I'm giving away the gifted Mauve For Me, Fuchsia For Me and Red For Me spares - just let me know in the comments below if you're interested in any of them and I'll pluck a winner (or winners) from a hat ...

    Edit: the name I pulled out of the hat is...

    ray_jay

    Congrats my dear, please email your address details to katshepsutt(at)gmail.com so I can send you Mauve For Me, Fuchsia For Me and Red For Me!

    Take care of you,
    kats xxx

    Sunday, 23 June 2019

    SPOTLIGHT: Favourite May 2019 LOTD's...

    Some absolute LOTD gems last month. Only three new ones as I'm doing my utmost to work through my collection to eliminate the so-so's (lip withering duds are long gone) and see if I can narrow down the range to a set of every colour, texture and finish imaginable, but they MUST be supremely comfortable, and I have to love them to bits. Once I have the volume under control I'll do another count (last one in 2017 was over 500 which is ridiculous!). My darling friend IndieAna has been culling her collection for over a year too - I swear it takes ages lol ...


    As usual, I'm starting with the browns/neutrals and working my way through to the passionate purples...


    1. The Balm - Amanda Kiss My Lips. I'd forgotten what a delish formula this is - still creamy and moist at over 2 years old, and it's a beaut slightly golden brown unlike a lot of my others which contain a lot of red ...
    2. Maybelline Color Sensational Made For All - Mauve For Me. LOVE this new range! I scored this (and #8 below) from a beautyheaven trial. Slightly misleading colour name as it's more like a terracotta or a deep nude than a mauve, but either way, it's gorgeous. The formula is juicy, softening and satiny, and the fact that each case is an almost perfect match to the contents adds to the appeal ...
    3. Nutrimetics nc Hydra Brilliance - Russet. The perfect winter orange hey. Magical formula, I reviewed a couple of the shades HERE ...



    4. Lacura Photo-Fit - Paris. Still loving these lippies from Aldi - full review is HERE ...
    5. L'Oreal Color Riche Moisture Matte - Bloody Mary. Appearance number 6 or 7 in these posts - pretty safe to say this is my favourite matte red lipstick ...
    6. Nutrimetics nc Hydra Brilliance - Garnet. Ditto #3 above ...



    7. BarryM - 151. What a pretty coral - not as moist as some of my others, but still comfy and long wearing ...
    8. Maybelline Color Sensational Made For All - Fuchsia For Me. The second one from the bh trial  Such a gorgeous pink - not too bright, and it feels as hydrating on the lips as it looks ...
    9. MODE Matte - Back to the Fuchsia. Another one that had slipped into obscurity in my kit. It's over three years old, and a little too drying now so I tossed it, but would buy it again if it were still available ...



    10. Jane Iredale Triple Luxe Long Lasting Naturally Moist - Ella. One of the best long lasting formulas, I need more from this brand. Long wear usually means way less lip comfort, but not this baby ...
    11. Avon Mark - Berry Cute. Adore every one of these I scored from mag covers - despite the number of lipsticks I have, this particular shade gets an outing every month or so because of the vibrant shade, intensity and moisture content ...
    12. Maybelline Colorsensational Metallic Matte - Copper Rose. I picked this up at Priceline for $5 because it's discontinued. Discontinued? I wasn't even aware of this range! Such a shame as it's a fascinating finish - matte with a soft metallic reflect. Oh well, I bought two so I'm good for a while lol ...

    Which one do you like the most?

    Take care of you,
    kats xxx