Monday, 12 September 2016

Book Swap with Aoife from Pretty Purple Polka Dots!

I don't often talk about books on the blog, mainly because I love chattering on too much and my posts would be longer than my thesis. I haven't quite worked out the way in which I want to talk about the books I read or the TV shows I watch -- I'll get there, but I'm not there yet.

That being said, several months ago I was having a great chat with Aoife from Pretty Purple Polka Dots, an Irish book blogger who has no shortage of suggestions should you be looking for something to read. While I can't remember what our chat was about, it led to her asking if I wanted to participate in a book swap with her! And why wouldn't I? It's great to connect with others in the blogging community, and sharing something you love with someone else who you just know will love it too... There's nothing like that.

So we grabbed each other's details, found out about each other's interests and began digging to locate a book that we knew the other one would love.

What did I get Aoife? Well, you'll just need to pop over to her blog and have a look. No spoilers from these lips!

Before you do that, however, let's get stuck into what arrived in my mailbox!

An Irish Country Girl by Patrick Taylor || This book appears to be a prequel to other books by Patrick Taylor, about a woman named Kinky Kincaid (given Ireland, this is most probably not pronounced the way it's spelled), whose real name is Maureen O'Hanlon. It seems to be set in the earlier part of the twentieth-century, with supernatural elements that really intrigue me. It makes me wonder if it ties into Irish folklore -- and as someone who loves history, I'm excited to find out!

Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín || I've definitely heard of the movie and the book on which it was based, and I recall there being a great deal of fuss being made, but as I tend to be very lazy when it comes to jumping on bandwagons (both literally and metaphorically), I never really looked into it. This one's about a girl named Eilis Lacey, who emigrates to North America to make a future for herself, only to have to return to Ireland later on. I'm not gonna lie, it's piqued my interest as well!

Aside from these titles (both of which sound really good), Aoife so very kindly sent me some other bits and pieces too! A bookmark featuring Irish writers -- always handy, as I tend to dog-ear my pages (sorry!); a block of Dairy Milk that has long since been demolished; a magnet with an Irish toast on it; a few candles, one of which I know to be a Yankee candle (hallelujah!) and all of which smell incredible; and a keyring.

But not just any keyring -- no, no, this keyring has my surname and my family crest!

Can someone please find me a gif to accurately describe my joy?

I didn't need to read my surname to know what it was when I saw it. While my particular strand of Barry DNA has Cornish origins instead of Irish, I've nevertheless always kind of unofficially adopted this crest as my own. I can't wait to attach it to all of my keys!

That just about sums up my absolutely awesome package from Aoife! Don't forget to check out her blog to see what I sent her -- I know I sure will be (partly because aside from the book I forgot what I sent her).

Have you read these books before? Did you watch the film Brooklyn when it came out? Let me know!

Monday, 5 September 2016

Japan Haul Pt 1 | Makeup Goodies Everywhere!

If you're a makeup addict -- hell, I don't even think you need to be an addict -- then arguably one of the greatest priorities you'll have when going overseas is getting your paws on the goods that you just can't find at home. Whether it's different products from familiar brands or new items from new names, it's so easy to get excited and just want one of everything.

This happened to me.

In the name of Daenerys Targaryen, First of Her Name, this happened to me.

Look at this stuff. Isn't it neat? Wouldn't you think my collection's complete?
Don't get me wrong, it could've been a lot worse. There was a point towards the end of my trip where I was going to splash a whole lotta extra cash on brands I knew I hadn't seen before -- but instead I ended up deciding to go meet a friend for dinner.

A friend who ended up being an hour late.

Please, a moment of silence for the makeup not bought.

You want things of above? I've got twenty!
Still, I shouldn't really complain, right? I did end up creating a relatively decent haul whilst overseas, so let's take a look at the beauties!

But who cares? No big deal.
I want mooooore.

Rimmel London x Daichi Miura Chocolat Sweet Eyes Eyeshadow Palette - "#002 Almond Chocolat" and "#009 Rose Chocolat" || Look at these adorable little eyeshadow palettes! Look at them! I'd say that they're meant to be the Japanese drugstore answer to the chocolate bar craze that began a couple of years back courtesy of Too Faced. I believe that these are available in the regular packaging as well, but these two in particular were created in collaboration with Daichi Miura. Who is that? No idea. I know that these two palettes look very, very similar, but they are different -- trust me!

I had wanted to get the rest of the palettes in this range, but I bought these relatively early into my trip; by the time I went to a store and saw them again, they only had the original packaging, and I couldn't remember which ones I'd bought. I know, what a rookie error.

Rimmel London x Daichi Miura Marshmallow Look Lipstick - "#012 Very Red" || I had originally written this shade as "Berry Red" until I took swatch photos and remembered that 1) there was nothing remotely berry about the shade; and 2) 'very' could be written the same way as 'berry'. So here we are! This is a very clean, bright red, and I'm sure that I definitely do have shades just like it -- what I have never seen before is that heaven-sent packaging! Can you see it? It's similar to the eyeshadow palettes in terms of the drawings, but it has three girls whose outfits you can mix and match depending on the way you click the lid on!

No that's not drool at the corner of my mouth. Don't know what you're talking about.

Rimmel London x Daichi Miura Marshmallow Look Lipstick - "#015 Melty Red" || I didn't know why this was called Melty Red, as in the tube it looks more like a deep, kinda rusty brown. I can see the red tones when I engage it in a staring match (it always wins), but I'm interested in seeing how it translates on the lips. Will it look kinda 90s? Who knows!

Rimmel London Marshmallow Look Lipstick - "#21 Deep Plum" || I haven't mentioned this yet, but the whole idea behind the "Marshmallow Look" line is the idea of matte lip colour that gives your lips a soft, pillowy look -- it sounds pretty nice, right? Off the top of my head, this shade seems kinda comparable to MAC Rebel, but my eyes aren't known for being reliable so time (and side-by-side swatches) will tell.

Rimmel London Marshmallow Look Lipstick - "#23 Raspberry Rose" || This shade ended up swatching lighter than I thought it might, but I think I'm going to love wearing it! It's the kind of soft pink that I rarely get sick off, and I think it'll look as great during the winter as it will in summer. I think this may suit those with very fair skin as well, but I can't be 100% sure -- thanks to the Japanese sun, I returned to Australia looking a bit like a slow-roasted chicken, so my skin isn't as pale as it normally would be at this time of year.

Rimmel London Lasting Finish Creamy Lip - "#009 Vivid Pink" || How beautiful is this pink? It's a shade that I personally love to rock in the wintertime -- whoever said you should stick to nudes? -- and the bullet shape makes me wonder if this is Japan's rendition of The Only One lipstick. An awesome feature? There's a little mirror on the top of the cap! (Screeches everywhere.)

Rimmel London Lasting Finish Creamy Lip - "#014 Mauve Red" || When I first opened the cap upon coming home, I first thought that this looked almost worryingly similar to the Marshmallow Look "Melty Red" shade, but it really does swatch more rosey-red. I think it's a very pretty colour, and a good red for those who don't like something so in-your-face.

Left: Swatches of the Marshmallow Look lipsticks; Right: Swatches of the Lasting Finish Creamy Lip lipsticks.

L'Oréal Paris -- if it has a name, it has a place in my purse.
L'Oréal Paris Collection Star by Barbara - "Barbara's Pink / Rose" || Everyone who knows me knows that I'm a sucker for a product with a name attached to it, and when I found out that Japan had its own version of the Collection Exclusive... I practically needed a mop to wipe my drool! This is a sheer, milky pink with a very subtle microglitter that's hard to pick up on camera. Typically this type of pink isn't my style, but I think that's it's sheer enough for me to pull it off.

L'Oréal Paris Collection Star by Blake - "Blake's Pink / Lily" || This I definitely love! It's a beautiful blush-pink that doesn't get all in your face. It didn't have any glitter that I could see when swatching.

L'Oréal Paris Color Riche Extraordinaire - "#500 Molto Mauve" || This was an interesting purchase. I saw a stand at the store that had a dozen different shades that came with a Swarovski-element crystal bracelet, with each shade corresponding with a different month of the year. If I had all the money in the world, I'd definitely have bought one for each month (like a magpie, I love shiny things) but at the time I felt it was overkill, even for me, so I only bought the one for my birth month: June! June's gemstone is opal (I think -- sometimes I see moonstone, but I can't remember what the stand itself said), and the bracelet is meant to reflect that.

The lip colour itself is a beautiful shade that I might not have looked at too closely had it not been for the bracelet. It's a gorgeous reddish-mauve with flecks of gold microglitter -- I can honestly say that I don't have a shade like it in my collection!

Swatches: no regrets.
Sleek in name, sleek in nature.
Excel Sleek Glow Lip - "#GP05 Sakura Pink" || This slender little tube has a somewhat luxurious feel to its packaging and offers sheer colour for your lips. I only picked up two shades because most of them had names that were kind of a little scary -- names that contained the word "beige". Unless it's in a foundation, I run from the name "beige". This shade in particular is a sweet watermelon pink, and the product itself is so soft that they say you don't need to twist it higher than a couple of millimetres.

Excel Sleek Glow Lip - "#GP06 Pink Mirage" || There's a little more raspberry in this shade than to Sakura Pink, although when I first started swatching I was concerned that they were more identical than I'd thought. Just like Sakura Pink, Pink Mirage offers a very pretty, natural-looking blushing pink to your lips.

For all your sheer lip colour needs.

Don't be jelly, Linda.
Canmake Tokyo Your Lip Only Gloss - "#03 Clear and Vivid" || I'm wondering if perhaps the name of this line is the product of some typo that didn't get picked upon before it went into production. Who knows? I noticed straight out that the applicator was a pinky-purple, the kind of colour you get when you apply a clear gloss over a coloured lipstick directly with the applicator and thus never have clear gloss again. When I swatched it, it seemed to be nothing more than a clear gloss with a colourful applicator -- and I was wrong! You can see that it has a very light pink tint to it -- so, not exactly clear, but perhaps tinted just enough to enhance your natural lip colour.

Only testing will tell!

Canmake Tokyo Jelly Stick Gloss - "#05 Dark Raspberry" || At time of writing, this is the only product that I've tried, and I really like it! Like with the Excel products, you only need to twist it up the very slightest bit because of how soft the product is -- and my, oh my, is it soft! Imagine slathering butter onto your lips, but without the greasy feeling. That's what wearing this product is like.

I could probably swatch this forever.
Why buy regular edition packaging when you can get the cute limited edition one instead?
Maybelline Fashionista Mascara || I haven't seen this mascara at all in the western world, although I'm guessing from the general shape of the packaging that it might be Japan's version of the Illegal Length mascara. This particular one is either special or limited edition packaging -- I'm not 100% sure which -- in a collaboration with Little Twin Star; there was also a blue one for the waterproof formula.

Opera Sheer Lip Color - "#104 Pure Coral" || So here's the thing about this line: there some to be two sub-lines, the "basic type" and what seems to translate to me as the "good colour type". This particular shade belongs to the latter, and leads me to think that "good colour type" refers to more pigment. This really is a stronger peachy coral than I'm used to wearing -- honestly, I'm not used to coral at all -- but I've never been one to shy away from a challenge!

Opera Sheer Lip Color - "#01 Pure Red" || Clearly more sheer than Pure Coral, this really is meant to give nothing more than a sheer red tint to your lips. It'll be great for work, because I've shied away quite a bit from wearing lipsticks lately.

Not what I expected, for whatever reason, but who doesn't like a challenge?

Disney Lip Gloss - "Rapunzel" || This gloss is a sheer sparkly pink that doesn't really build up a whole lot of colour, no matter what the inside of the tube looks like. I think the entire line is pretty good for younger girls who are developing more of an interest in makeup -- but make no mistake, this shiz is for me -- and this shade in particular would be a good place to start.

Disney Lip Gloss - "Ariel" || This one is somewhat sparkly too, but a slightly more pigmented coral. It's not a bad idea for those who might want to try a more natural lip colour but are somewhat intimidated by the idea of a nude.

Disney Lip Gloss - "Minnie" || This watermelon pink has no glitter at all, and while not overly pigmented, it's still a stronger pink than Rapunzel. It's another safe shade for younger girls or those who want something natural and don't mind carrying around a something that demonstrates a blatant love for Disney.

The fairest of them all.

Daiso Japan Hello Kitty Oil Blotting Paper || Of course I went to Daiso in Japan! How could I not? There were all kinds of blotting paper available, from those that were plain and to the point, to those that looked they belonged in a more upmarket store. As someone who does find Hello Kitty quite cute, this was a must!

Daiso Japan Mickey Mouse Oil Blotting Paper || If there's one character that Japan loves, it's Mickey Mouse. He and Minnie seem to be everywhere you go, and while I wouldn't call myself a die-hard fan, this is cute yet discreet enough that it's right up my alley.

That's it for part one of all of the goodies I purchased from Japan! Stay tuned because part two will be posted very, very soon -- and if you like stationery, Pokémon and/or Disney jewellery, you're going to find this one a real treat.

But for now: what did you think of the makeup? Did anything I buy grab your eye? Have you yourself bought makeup in Japan? Let me know! Let's get chatting!

Thursday, 1 September 2016

The Actual Diary Bit, Vol 2 | 22nd Aug to 28th Aug

Gorgeous fellow humans, how have you been these past few weeks? It's been so quiet in this pocket of the internet, but after finishing my thesis what I needed more than anything else was a break from the computer! I was also in Japan for three weeks, and I can't remember the last time I've had so much fun. I spent about a week on my own, then I joined up with a tour, and then I had a few more days on my own again. I might write up posts on some of the places that I visited, but if I do then they may be slow-coming. There's just so much to get done!

No, thank you, Japan.
And what have I been up to since I got back? Read on and find out!

Monday, 22nd August || Today I landed back home from Japan! I arrived at about 11.30am, but I didn't end up getting home until about 3.30pm because I had lunch with Mum. I actually wasn't feeling too well for most of the day -- I don't know if it was travel sickness, or maybe just that I hadn't eaten properly. I've never been travel sick on a plane before, so... Who knows. I also got to give my family members their presents, which was pretty fun.

Tuesday, 23rd August || LAUNDRY DAY! You wouldn't think that doing laundry would be something to get excited about, but when you haven't really had properly clean clothes for three weeks and you're out of underwear... It's pretty darn exciting. Finally, I have clean clothes!! I took a couple of naps today as well. I don't really understand it, it's not like I'm jetlagged.

The last night of the tour! Things got CRAY! (Not really.)
Wednesday, 24th August || Again, didn't do a whole lot. I rang up my best friend and we chatted for a while -- it was so good to hear her voice! It's been kinda strange, going from a situation where I had people constantly talking to me to having almost nobody at all. That in itself sounds a little strange, because it's not like I live alone, but... I don't know how to describe it.

Thursday, 25th August || I think that the worst part about unpacking is trying to put away the final bits and pieces that kind of don't really have a place. I had a nice, sizeable lump of stuff on my floor and no desire to find a place to put it. I spent most of the day photographing the makeup and the stationary that I'd bought in Japan -- the question is, however, will it make it to the blog? I'd hope so but gosh know with my organisation at the moment. Also tonight was my first night back at work! It was good to kind of get stuck back into it.

Snap back to reality.
Friday, 26th August || Went out for lunch with Mum and my brother today. I was feeling like something light, like a salad -- so that's what I got. A delicious, delicious Caesar salad. I mean, it really wasn't the best one I've eaten in a while, but it did the trick. I also remembered to register for my graduation -- so freaking expensive, but hey, I can officially say goodbye to university in September instead of December!

Saturday, 27th August || Appointment with the witch doctor (aka osteo) today! Things are looking pretty decent. This time last year, I was going weekly (really not a good thing), but now we've pushed appointments back to every six weeks. The witch doctor said that the heat in Japan has done me a lot of lasting good, so I'm pretty pleased with that.

I love seeing these flowers bloom -- so happy I came back home in time to see it!
Sunday, 28th August || Wasn't exactly looking forward to getting back to my long Sundays at work -- I've been so tired this week that I felt there was no guarantee I'd get up in time! As it happened, I did, which was great, but the day itself could've been better. It was so quiet that at times I was almost bored to absolute tears; sometimes it's nice when it's quiet, but the time was dragging! In the end, I only ended up working a half day, because it was so quiet and we had so many staff members that my boss told me to finish early.

Tell me: what have you been up to in the last week or so? I want to hear all about your own adventures!

Thursday, 21 July 2016

The Actual Diary Bit, Vol. 1 | 11th July to 17th July

How's it going, gorgeous people? I worked a lot, I Pokémoned a lot (is "Pokémonning" an acceptable a word yet?), but other than that, I wasn't as productive as I probably should've been. Even so, this is how my last week went!

Tonkotsu ramen. My new favourite dish.
Monday, 11th July || Worked another 8-hour shift today. I'm not used to working so often! I'm getting so tired from it, which isn't really a bad thing, but I do need to start getting stuff together for my Japan trip. It's only three weeks away! Finished watching Terrace House: Boys & Girls in the City on Netflix -- I want part two, darn it! I don't always understand the references they make, but I really enjoy it.

Tuesday, 12th July || Busy day today. Had my second vaccination for Japanese encephalitis. Underwent my typical reaction. Had Japanese for lunch with the mama bear -- so delicious! Finished watching a K-drama called To Be Continued, which I hadn't been super keen on in the start. Kinda wasn't in the mood for all the singing that goes on. Also went over to a friend's house for her birthday, as I can't go away to Torquay with them later in the week. Ate pizza, and chatted to some really great people.

How cute are these?! Naturally, I want them all.
Wednesday, 13th July || One of the few days I've had lately where I don't have to go out or do anything! I HAVE MISSED MY PYJAMA DAY LIFESTYLE. I tell you what, when I get proper full-time work, I think I'm just going to exist in PJs on the weekends, especially when it's cold like this. I made instant pasta for lunch and burned it like an idiot. Only me, I tell you, only me. Started watching Offspring from the start. Yes, I love TV, don't judge. AND MY NEW PHONE ARRIVED!

Thursday, 14th July || Planned to spend my day doing very little, but ended up spending over an hour with Mum playing Pokémon Go. Worked a short shift, found out I was rostered for an extra shift next Tuesday! Tried to put music onto my phone but it doesn't want to work. Haven't figured out why.

When you're not welcome.
Friday, 15th July || Planned to spend the day doing mostly nothing -- and by nothing, I mean catching Pokémon with Mama Bear for about an hour, and then doing a little light Japanese study whilst watching something. What I ended up doing was ditching Mama Bear for my friend Jo-Anna to go Pokémon hunting in the city. I did feel guilty for leaving Mama Bear behind, but I did end up having a lot of fun. Had Japanese at my favourite restaurant, bought a little Korean skincare (lusted after the rest), went to Daiso, and walked all over the Melbourne CBD to locate a Ponyta that never revealed itself. What a day!

The cutest Daiso haul!
Saturday, 16th July || Worked an early morning shift, huzzah! It was actually really nice to finish work just after lunch, as my most recent shifts finished quite late, or took up most of my day. That being said, I don't think I achieved very much afterwards. I was pretty tired, so I napped. I did a little Japanese study. Jeez, it really sounds like I do nothing!

Sunday, 17th July || Another long day at work! That was pretty much my entire Sunday. Not that much to it afterwards! My feet were dead tired, though. When I came home I sat on my bed and listened to a whole bunch of podcasts. I also started making a list of things I have to do before I leave for my trip. I really need clothes -- and I know that everyone says that, but literally, I need clothes. I have one pair of actual pants and they're starting to tear. I need new pants, and I need jeans.

She said it would taste like an apple pie AND BY GEORGE IT DID.
That was my week last week! What did you get up to? Let me know!

Monday, 6 June 2016

The Actual Diary Bit, Vol. 0 | 3rd June to 5th June

Six months ago, when I was in a state of delusion thinking about my blogging goals for 2016, I decided that I wanted to include more lifestyle content over here on Diary of a Beauty Padawan.

Let's be real: I've pretty much failed so far.

Sure, I've taken photos of places that I've been to, but I haven't actually gotten around to writing about them, and the delay got to the point where I ended up deciding to abandon the posts altogether. It's not cool, but that's what happens when your university slams you with more work than a normal human can take on at once.

Me trying to manage my responsibilities.
Credit: Rove and Sam Instagram
We all know that I love a good chit-chat -- read any of my posts, ask any of my friends: you'll see how much I can talk! -- but in order to keep posting content regularly when I'm busier than a bat out of hell, I've been thinking of ways to keep my words economical. Don't worry, unfortunately for you, you're still going to get those super long make-yourself-a-cup-of-tea-and-chat-with-me posts, but I'll actually be able to give them more of the time they deserve to make them worth reading.

In the meantime, I thought that I'd bring it back to the "diary" in Diary of a Beauty Padawan, and jot down a few notes about what happens to me day to day. At least we'll all know I'm still alive and not drowning in research!

Friday, 3rd June || Honestly did not achieve much. Drove my brother to his exams and back home again because I'm basically the best sister ever -- I did miss the re-run of MasterChef Australia because of it, however... It's okay, though, because I found out on Instagram that Cecilia was eliminated. Pretty sad about this; she was one of my favourites. Started the Blogilates June workout two days late -- but better late than never, right? One thing is for sure: my body is frickin' weak! Also started watching Cleverman, which is a new Australian Aboriginal sci-fi show. So far: loving it.

Not even asthmatic. My body just hates everything right now.
Saturday, 4th June || Three hours! That's how long it took me to get my health sorted out! Went out at 10am to go to the clinic to see my doctor, and ended up having to leave so that I could go to the osteo. Went back to the clinic after that and luckily I was seen almost immediately. Bad news: I'm now on Ventolin and antibiotics. Good news: I technically don't need any shots before I go to Japan! Very bad news: If I don't get the optional shot and catch the weird mosquito disease, my brain might be kinda screwed. Even worse news: They'd need to do a blood test and spinal fluid test thing to diagnose me if I get sick. Conclusion: I'm going to be a mess, but I'll get the shot. I think I'd rather suffer phobia-induced hysteria for the purposes of prevention rather than diagnosis.

Additionally, discovered that Americans don't use kettles. HOW DO YOU DO ANYTHING?
Sunday, 5th June || Work almost killed me -- metaphorically. Woke up half an hour before my shift started, so I had to seriously hustle my ass! My body was exhausted throughout the entire shift; nine hours on a Sunday can be rough, but I managed to get through it by constantly worrying about the ending of Good Morning Call. That show feels like it is NOWHERE near done, but there's only one episode left! WHY? Did a little Blogilates after work, but only half a day's stuff -- disappointing, but it broke a sweat and killed me. Mum made timpana for dinner (delish!) and it was MasterChef Night tonight! Charlie, Harry and Nicolette are in the elimination tomorrow. UGH.

Sydney's also gone through some weird weather lately, huh.

That's been some of what happened to me in the last week! What did you get up to? Tell me all about it!

Monday, 2 May 2016

Product Review: BH Cosmetics Pride + Prejudice + Zombies Eye + Cheek Palette

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a beauty blogger in possession of makeup must be in want of more makeup. Never was this truth more plain than in the offices of Diary of a Beauty Padawan, within which a young woman, surrounded by makeup, promptly lost her mind and abandoned her No-Buy Policy when she found out that BH Cosmetics had begun selling a small Pride + Prejudice + Zombies line.

BH Cosmetics Pride + Prejudice + Zombies Eye + Cheek Palette
BH Cosmetics Pride + Prejudice + Zombies Eye + Cheek Palette
It was, quite simply, meant to be.

Today's post looks at the eyeshadow and blush palette in more detail -- I wrote a very quick, rather scanty overview of both products in March, but we all know that the devil is in the detail, and I've seen very few posts reviewing these products in any depth.
BH Cosmetics Pride + Prejudice + Zombies Eye + Cheek Palette
PPZ Palette - back
Heck yeah that's a Sailor Moon necklace you see. What is shame?
The first thing to surprise me about this product was that the palette does not come in any form of protective sleeve or packaging -- it's simply the palette on its own. I almost found this to be unsettling at first, as there was no way of knowing whether or not it was sturdy enough to hold its own. If the palette opened easily, it would spell disaster quite quickly.

Luckily, I believe that there's no such issue! Despite being made of cardboard, it has a magnetic close within that keeps it shut properly -- I've never seen any indication that it will just fly open! Across the top is a rather sombre image of the sun rising on dark times, with zombified hands reaching out from the ground. The film title takes centre stage, in glossy gold typeface, and the palette type and brand name is not far underneath. The sides are embossed with a glossy, elegant black frame, and I think that it highlights a feeling of regency elegance to the whole thing -- without it, the palette would look rather plain and generally unremarkable.

BH Cosmetics Pride + Prejudice + Zombies Eye + Cheek Palette
PPZ Palette - embossing
The back has that same embossed pattern around the sides, with the film title at the top and the ingredients list clearly printed below it. These shadows and blushes do contain talc, which -- for some reason that is currently unknown to my Padawan self -- is a no-no for some people. I'm personally not bothered by it.

What does bother me is the scent. There's something almost horribly artificial about the palette's smell that is rather off-putting. It isn't the actual product, because I've sniffed it up close and quite carefully (she says with as much dignity as she can muster). I think that it must be the glue that binds the cardboard together, as it kind of reminds me of a sort of 'book' smell -- just not exactly the pleasant kind. I'm currently testing to see if it's something that fades over time.

BH Cosmetics Pride + Prejudice + Zombies Eye + Cheek Palette
Twelve killer shadows, two deadly blushes and one excruciatingly gorgeous highlighter.
The inside of the palette is quite pretty, in a plain sort of way -- I kind of want to reference Jane Eyre, buuut that might be sacrilege. There's a nice, sizeable mirror once you open it up, with a quote by the spirited Elizabeth Bennet: "I shall never relinquish my sword for a ring."

We all know she's going to eat those words in the end.

BH Cosmetics Pride + Prejudice + Zombies Eye + Cheek Palette
Ironic ring placed for ironic purposes.
There are three rows of product within the palette: two rows of shadows (the top warm-toned, the bottom cool-toned) and a row of three blushes. There are immediate shadow pairings that jump out as being fantastic together, such as the purples and the browns, but I've found that, in practice, they generally inter-mix quite well!

Let's look at this shiz up close.

BH Cosmetics Pride + Prejudice + Zombies Eye + Cheek Palette
So up close and personal that it'd be a scandal in Georgian England.
It's important to note that these shades don't actually have names assigned to them -- not on the palette, and not on the sheet of protective plastic inside. Despite that, the BH Cosmetics blog labelled each shade when swatching them, and I've carried that over here. I always think it's a bit of a shame when eyeshadows aren't given names, as it adds to the charm, but we can't win them all!

Now, I was very curious to see whether or not the shadows lived up to the swatches that BH Cosmetics put up online. If you've clicked the link I've just provided above, you'll see evidence of shadows that are amazing quality: rich, creamy swatches that go on like a dream. I'm quite skeptic when I see such swatches, and you'll see that many of the shades don't quite appear to match up when I swatch them. That being said, there's no way of knowing exactly the process by which companies swatch their products -- I always swatch without primer, so that you see exactly what it is you're getting.

Shall we look at these shadows in more detail?

Swatchy-swatchy of the first third of the PPZ shades
Bone || A warm, matte, yellow-toned cream that doesn't really show on my skin. It's kind of chalky and powdery, and not much use for anything another than highlighting the brow bone. I think it's a shade that would show better on skin tones that are either much deeper or lighter than mine, so I don't think it's entirely useless.

Pale Yellow-Gold || This is a really pretty, metallic yellow gold that swatches nicely and applies well. Initially it may seem a little 'meh' -- there are definitely richer golds out there, it doesn't seem a hard shade to get wrong -- but it builds up very well and lasts all day over a primer.

Pale Ivory || The cool-toned, less yellow version of "Bone", I much prefer this. It feels a little silkier and, because it's so much paler, I use it on both my brow bone and my lid, depending on where I want it.

Lilac Pink || This is also a really pretty shade; it's a frosty, cool-toned lilac. It's not exactly the most intense lilac I've ever seen, but it swatches really creamy and builds up quite well -- think Jane instead of Lydia. When used with other shades in the palette, it makes for a really nice, girly look that will last all day.

Champagne || A super shimmery bombshell, I use this deep, warm champagne as a highlighter -- and I use it sparingly. There's a lot of potential to go overboard with the shimmer if you don't use a light hand, but I think the result is beautiful. I feel like it's a less golden, slightly more natural version Becca's Champagne Pop.
Swatchlings of the second third of the PPZ palette
Shell Beige || This is a shimmery light brown that reminds me somewhat of "Marzipan" from the original Chocolate Bar palette, and it works quite nicely all over the lid. Over a primer, I find that it usually lasts all day, which has been particularly good during all the warm weather over the last couple of months.

Burnt Sienna || You'll be somewhat disappointed if you're looking for a super creamy, immediately pigmented shadow. This matte milk chocolate brown is chalky on initial application, but it builds like a dream and is a perfect transition shade.

Deep Plum || A shimmery blackened grey, it's a little bit of a letdown. Metallic shades are usually easy to get right, but this is kind of disappointingly sheer. It makes for an alright transition shade if you don't mind using something metallic, but my preference is for something matte.

Slate Grey || A slightly frosty medium grey, it looks disappointing in the swatch. Despite that, I find that it actually has great versatility; it works really well as a gentle transition shade for a large number of the shades in the palette, and is fantastic if you want a light smokey look.

Dusty Rose || I am in love with this blush! I think it is an absolutely gorgeous everyday colour; it just looks so natural and perfect and... Ugh, like "Elizabeth and Darcy" perfect. You know that blushing glow you get when you have an interaction with a really cute stranger? That's kinda what it looks like, and I like it.
Swatchy-swatchin' the third third of the PPZ palette.
Chocolate Brown || This shade is absolutely beautiful. It's a deeper metallic chocolate brown, and it looks so beautiful all over the eye. On a good primer, it lasts really well all day. It's a winner!

Cool Dark Brown || Another great shade, I like this frosty brown on the outer third of my lid. Sometimes I'll take it into the crease a little with Burnt Sienna and I quite like the effect it gives. It also lasts all day long.

Shimmering Charcoal || When you look at this shade straight up, you expect a fabulous silver that screams out for a night on the town. Unfortunately, you're not going to get that. The silver you see is an overspray, and wipes away immediately to give you that shimmery blackened grey underneath. Aside from that, it's a great shade that works well with literally every shade in the palette for some dynamite smokiness!

Deep Gunmetal || This black with a hint of grey does what I suppose you'd want it to do: turn up the smoke so much that you'll be setting off alarms! Whether you're after just a hint of smoke or a full on inferno, with the right brush this shade will get it done for you. No, it's not the greatest budget black shadow I've come across, but it's still a lot better than MAC Carbon.

Warm Pink || This blush is one that I think I'll only be using when the weather warms up. Being in April, this warm apricot pink might be too much as the weather the gets colder, but who knows? It'll definitely be something to experiment with.
Wearing shades from the PPZ palette on my eyes, and the PPZ lipgloss "Elizabeth" on my lips.
As far as performance goes, this palette did really well! I've switched back to using Too Faced Shadow Insurance as a primer lately (I was using MAC's "Soft Ochre" Paint Pot for a while) and I find that my eyeshadow holds all day. I usually reached for this palette when I was on placement, and I was applying my makeup at 5am or 6am, and getting home at about 5pm or 5.30pm -- it was key for my shadow to last all day and this palette stepped up to the task. We suffered through some uncommonly hot weather as well, both humid and bone-dry; in both cases, it held up well.

I found it relatively easy to pair shadows together; I could mix together both cool and warm shadows, use a purple with a brown or a grey, and it would usually pull together quiet well. You have the option of creating something suitable for either everyday work life or a girl's night out. This palette has also proven to be really good if you're in a pinch for time -- these days, this is the palette I grab for if I'm in a serious hurry!

Padawan Product Rating: B

All in all, I think this is a pretty good palette to have, and I'm not sorry that I bought it! I don't necessarily think that the swatches live up to what BH Cosmetics shows on their blog, but they perform so well that you can forgive it. The cardboard/glue smell has been quite off-putting, but I'm sure that's something that will probably fade over time -- for all I know too, mine just be a special little cookie.

This palette's RRP is $16.50 US (about $21.69 AU) not including postage, which I think is a pretty good price -- by comparison, Revlon quads cost more but the quality is far poorer -- and it's often on sale for less (at time of writing, it's $12.50 US or $16.43 AU). Is it possible to go wrong?

Is this your kind of palette? Have you watched Pride + Prejudice + Zombies? Let me know!

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Daiso Stationary Bits + Bobs Haul

A couple of months ago, I went out with some friends to the city for lunch, and when looking for places to go afterwards, I suggested Daiso. Daiso is basically a Japanese $2.80 store -- you can find loads of great things there, from homewares to gardening equipment to makeup.

Yes, makeup.

I was tempted.

I resisted.

I didn't have any specific intention of buying anything, particularly as my brother had already been in and I'd asked him to pick me up a couple of things (which, of course, I have included), but it wasn't long before I too was trying to stop myself from piling things into a basket! That's the great/terrible thing about Daiso -- they're such a contrast to the regular $2 shop (which rarely has anything for $2) that once you start seeing things that you like, you just can't rationalise buying nothing at all.

1. Cat Post-It Tabs || Not technically the "Post-It" brand, but that's not important, right? I almost had kittens when I saw these, as they were just the perfect item for a semi-retired cat lady such as myself. They had a nice little variety of animals that you could purchase -- I have a set of frog ones from years ago -- and they're definitely great if you love a little kawaii in your life.

2. Beautiful Days Pink Eyelash Container || This came in a couple of different patterns -- either red or pink, mostly -- but I just love this. It's made of sturdy plastic and opens up to reveal four compartments with removable plastic inserts to put your eyelashes on, as well as a narrow row along the bottom that is great for storing those little bottles of lash glue. I do kind of wish that I'd bought more than one, because I have more than four pairs of lashes (and two are missing, because I never put them away right away) and there was no way of telling from the outside how many would fit. Still, a great storage solution -- just remember to put a little Post-It note under the insert so you know which lashes are which.

3. Pink notebook with French lettering || Okay, this is proof that I have a problem: I do not need any notebooks. I bought three big ones from Typo last year, then cleaned out my room and found a whole drawer full of other notebooks. (I just can't throw notebooks out if there are more than a few empty pages left.) That being said, I have plans to use this while writing my thesis, so it might not be a complete waste.

4. 0.5mm pencil lead || This might seem like such a random thing, but I have this pacer. It's glorious, it's wonderful, it cost me frickin' $4.50 from the university bookshop because I wanted a 50c pencil but it was all they had. Although I've had it for a couple of years now, it needs 0.5mm lead, which appears to be the most difficult lead refills to find. These two packets will keep be supplied for a good while.

5. Floreine binder || An adorable piece of stationary that I bought for placement! I get given so many documents whilst there that it's easy to become disorganised very quickly. I figured I may as well have an adorable binder to help combat that! Unfortunately, it's only a little larger than A4, so the pocket refills that I put inside kind of... poke out of the front, if that makes any sense. My documents weren't quite as neat and maintained as I'd hoped, so I ended up not using it. Oh well!

6. Daiso Makeup Brush Cleaner || One of the things my brother bought for me! I've heard several good things about this brush cleaner, so I'm really eager to give it a go. It's such a small bottle, though -- 150ml, I think -- that I don't know if it's going to last me very long. That being said, it probably works out to be cheaper than alternative brands.

7. Daiso Detergent for Puff and Sponge || This was what I was after the most, and my brother delivered it to me! I have a Kit Cosmetics blender sphere and it gets filthy so quickly, but I didn't have anything to clean it with -- I was practically looking to just buy a new one to replace it. Holy cow, does this do the job. I do find that I kind of need to put detergent all on the dirty areas, but it practically makes it look brand new again! I can still remember the utter shock I had as I saw the dirty water run from it to reveal a gleaming pink sponge.

8. Cake scraper (not pictured) || I was so excited to use this that I ripped the packaging off as soon as I got home and put it away. I'm not actually sure what a "cake scraper" is meant to be, but I'm not going to use it for whatever the name makes it sound like it's supposed to do. You know how when you chop vegetables and stuff, it gets all over the board and just makes a massive mess when you try to put it into the pan? I use this to kind of gather everything into a heap to dump it in. It just makes everything so much easier. Insert heart eyes all over the place.

That shows all that I've gotten from Daiso. I definitely want to pick up some more detergent in the future (that shiz is the bomb), and if I ever manage to properly organise my current collection, I might look at also purchasing some of the cosmetics!

Have you ever been to Daiso and purchased anything? Do you have any similar stores where you live? Let me know!