Monday, 27 July 2015

Product Review: L'Oreal Paris Collection Exclusive Reds

If there's one thing I love, it's red lipstick. I have more than I'll use in my life, and yet, like a moth to a flame, I seem to keep gravitating towards them! After hearing about the L'Oreal Paris Collection Exclusive Reds on various parts of the bloggersphere over the last year, I knew that I had to ignore the little voice of reason in my head (the personified version of which I call "Mother") and just go for them.

Yes, all of them.

Unfortunately, I didn't have the necessary gold pieces in my purse when they first came out, and, as a result, I could only manage to get four of them. The two most interesting shades to me, Frieda and Laetitia, were both sold out at every Priceline I went to -- and I didn't do any better at Target or Big W, either.

Still, I have picked up four of them, so let's get straight to them!

The packaging is similar to the Nudes collection that was released earlier in the year (you can read my belated review here if you'd like a refresher), with the elegant black packaging, but it differs in that it's embossed with a reptilian scale pattern. Once again, the Colour Riche logo is on the top of the slanted cap, the tube is a yellowy gold, and the lipstick itself is embossed with the brand name.

Blake's Red (Pure Ruby) || As if I wasn't going to grab this. It was the only lipstick I saw from the US and UK bloggers, so it was right at the top of my list! It's a gorgeous blue-based raspberry red that covers your lips with one coat. It's wonderfully creamy, drying out after a few hours. It looks very similar to JLo's red (which is also blue-based, but less so), so you don't need to worry if you picked that up but missed out on this.

Wearing Blake's Red
Eva's Red (Pure Brick) || This is also a really nice red, being more of a sort of classic, rusty, true brick red shade. It doesn't really have too much of a yellow tone that I can pick up until I compare it to Blake's Red and JLo's Red. This also has opaque coverage, doesn't bleed and dries down a bit after a few hours.

Wearing Eva's Red
JLo's Red (Pure Rouge) || Like I mentioned earlier, if you have Blake's Red, you don't really need this one. They look very, very similar, both when swatched and when worn -- but if you look closely enough then you'll be able to tell that JLo's Red doesn't have as much blue as Blake's does. I think this has the potential to make it a little more wearable to a variety of skin tones, particularly those that don't seem to like cool-toned lipsticks. Like the other lipsticks, this goes really creamy and dries down after a few hours.

Wearing JLo's Red
Doutzen's Red (Pure Fire) || I only bought this before it was the only one left available after scouring half a dozen different stores, and I must admit, I was worried. It's the most orangey lipstick I own, so it was a rather adventurous purchase, but I was surprised by just how red it looks on my lips! I think the formula for this is slightly different than the previous lipsticks, as it can be worn sheer enough to get more of that orange and it applies a little unevenly when you try to build it up. It is a firey red on the swatch, for sure, but I think of it more as a blood red. Think about a time you've accidentally bitten your lip and a slight blood smear -- that's what this lipstick looks like. That tomato-y blood red that could probably get away with looking like fake blood if used in a film, it's surprisingly more wearable than I thought it would be.

Just don't eat a sandwich while you're wearing it. The lipstick traces might just accidentally fool you into thinking that your mouth is bleeding somehow.

Wearing Doutzen's Red
These lipsticks disappeared rather quickly when they came out, but I still think it's worthwhile checking out any local Priceline, Big W or Target stores to see what they have on display -- have a look near the regular Colour Riche section. The Priceline website still has Laetitia's Red and Doutzen's Red available for purchase.

L'Oreal Paris Collection Exclusive Reds - swatches
"So why don't you buy Laetitia's Red?" I hear you ask. It's because allowing myself to shop online would be akin to falling into a rabbit hole from which there is no return. I've gotta save money somehow!

Padawan Product Rating: A-

I think these are lovely lipsticks overall, and a good way to start building a collection if you're new to red lipsticks. It's not necessary to have them all, and I would think twice about buying them if your red lipstick collection, like mine, is as big as Queensland. That being said, if you adore one of the celebrities featured in the collection, go and see what you can find!

Did you get any of the lipsticks from this collection?

Shae xo

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Triple Bellabox Unboxing Bonanza!

You can also call it: that time I got lazy and then just forgot.

I have to admit, it was tempting to just crank out three separate posts, but it also felt a bit like cheating, because it could have given the impression that I received the last three boxes in June, which simply wasn't the case. I've been so busy with life that two of these boxes have lain dormant in my room for ages -- but as I seem to say increasingly often, better late than never, right?

April 2015: Mindful Beauty

The March Bellabox was so late that we were told that we'd get the opportunity to select a bonus product for our April box -- we were then later told that we were being given a pre-selected bonus product, so... I wasn't too sure what to make of it. What I did know was that box was supposed to have products within that contained natural ingredients, and who can say no to that?

Swisse Bioactive Nature Oil || This was the bonus full-sized item given to us by Bellabox, and I have to say, although I (still) haven't used it, I was pretty ecstatic to receive it. I really like the idea of receiving items that I wouldn't think to buy for myself, and this is one of them. This oil is free from parabens, synthetic colours and fragrances, and animal products -- and neither is it tested on animals. It is meant to help improve the appearance of scars, ageing skin, stretch marks, dehydrated skin, uneven skin tone and sun damaged skin. I'm lucky in that I don't really suffer from too many skin ailments -- but stretchies? I'm sure that every woman over the age of 20 has them, so I'm interested to try this out on them. I received a full-size 60ml bottle, worth $15.95.

Nivea Lip Butter - Vanilla & Macadamia || I've used these before and really enjoyed them, although the last one I had for so long that when I found it in an old handbag, it had turned rancid. I love the scent found in the lip butters, and I love how soft and smooth it can make my dragon-scaly lips. The lid stays on nice and tight, and it's slim enough to fit into your pocket with ease, so if you're popping out for a quick, short while, you don't need to worry about cramming your Chapstick into your pocket. This is a full-size product worth $5.69.

Dr Roebuck's Face Cream || Even though I've received a moisturiser in pretty much every Bellabox I've ever received, I was really excited to get this! I'm still going through a couple of samples, so I want to finish this before I start on this, but I like that it's in a pot instead of a tube. It means that I can control the amount that I use with a little more ease, especially when I start to use it up -- has anybody else ever tried to see if there was anything left in a tube and accidentally squeezed out enough moisturiser for half the country? This cream contains Vitamin E, Macadamia Oil and Rosehip Oil (which is what I think the scent comes from), and is supposed to minimise and reduce wrinkles. I got a 25ml sample pot worth about $12.50.

Coral Colours Lip Definer - "Kungura Berry" || I rarely use lip pencils, but the few that I have are red, so it was pretty cool to get another colour. I haven't use this yet, but it does look like a kind of red/plum wine colour. I don't know if I have any lipsticks like it, but I'll have to have a proper look through my collection to see. Although Bellabox lists the price for this pencil as $5.95, the Coral Colours website lists it as $7.95, which is what I'll go with.

Al'chemy Unscented Shampoo and Unscented Conditioner || I have plenty of shampoo/conditioner samples that I have tucked away in my bathroom, and these will be joining them. They're made in Australia and cruelty-free, which I think is fantastic -- but the name does kind of drive me nuts. I can't explain it any more than to say that the diacritics on the letters change their pronunciation -- but I'd have to write a series of posts on how -- but I don't know if I'm meant to pronounce it the way I do pronounce it, with full-fledged diacritical force, or the way as I think others might, which is just 'alchemy'. Either way, at the end of the day, the pronunciation is unimportant. The samples I received are for sensitive skin -- maybe better for my brother than me -- and there is 10ml in each, putting them at a value of 66c each.

Original Source Mint and Tea Tree Body Wash || I love Original Source products -- back when they first came out, they only had three varieties, and I bought them all for my brother as a gift and then proceeded to steal them whenever I got sick of my own body washes. I know from, er, experience that this one smells absolutely awesome, and I know that I'll probably use up the whole sample at once! This 7ml pouch contains 11c of product.

Price: $15 + $2.95 P&H
Bellabox Product Value: $43.52

Overall, I was very, very excited by this box. It was full of products that I'd never used before, and some that I'd used a long time ago. I'd never before opened a box that made me so happy!

May 2015: Bellabox + PopSugar = Sugar Fix

This box was well on time, and although it felt rather light, a lot of fuss was made over the fact that we'd be receiving a highlighter pencil -- and that, I knew I was looking forward to. In a collaboration with PopSugar -- a female-oriented website featuring celebrity news, diet tips, fashion things, etc. -- we were meant to receive some of the hottest items used by people around the world.

Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Moisture Rich Night Cream || Ahh, Palmer's. Just when I thought I'd finished my day cream sample, we all received a night cream sample. (And I haven't finished it, it's still sitting on my bedside, being avoided). It's not that I hate Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula, it's just that their products don't do it for me. I'm not keen on the cocoa butter scent, and the day cream didn't do very much for my skin, but I'll give the night cream a go nonetheless. Who knows, I might love it! I received a 15ml tube worth $3.

Chella Ivory Lace Highlighter Pencil || This was one of the items being raved about for this box! I've tried it out a couple of times, and I think that it might be too dark for very, very pale-faced girls. Highlighting is something that I'm a definite Padawan at, so that's likely the reason why I'm hesitant to rave about this product as much as everyone else. That being said, I really do like it for my browbone -- can't go wrong there! This retails for $24.95.

Eye of Horus Goddess Pencil - "Emerald Tabula" || Now I know that my face lit up when I saw this, because I love Eye of Horus! The PopSugar did say that we'd be getting a precision liquid liner -- and this is definitely a pencil, so I'm not sure if anyone got the liquid liner at all. I actually have this shade already, but I honestly don't even mind, because I know I'll use it regardless. If you'd like to read my review about these pencils, which I purchased at the Beautiful You convention last year, you can clickity-click here. This pencil retails for $30.

Sunescape Gradual Tan Extender || I can't really comment too much on this, because I don't tan. It's meant to be a self-tanner, tan extender and moisturiser all in one, so it really does sound like a fantastic item for those guys and girls who do. Apparently my mother uses tanning cream sometimes (I don't really believe her), so if she wants it then I'll pass it along to her. I received a 10ml sample pouch worth about $1.65.

Real-U Control+ Face Gel || I think this will be interesting to use, because it's meant to help control acne without benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. The directions lead me to believe that you use this similar to a moisturiser -- you apply it all over your face after you cleans, morning and night, every day. My skin isn't completely terrible at the moment, so I might try and commandeer one of my brothers and see how well it works on him. I received a 10ml tube with $5.

Impulse Perfume in a Spray - "Romantic Spark" || Impulse is the brand of tweens and teens everywhere. I'm sure there are loads of grown-up ladies use it too, but I remember that, back in the day, you weren't anything if you didn't have at least one can of Impulse spray in your possession. The more you had, the better -- though at $5 each, I tended to ask my mother to buy me the $2 imitation brands unless I saw them on sale. I really like these little perfume samples because they are fantastic for the handbag. I found myself relying on them all throughout May when I was on placement, especially as a bottle of perfume was too big and fragile to carry around with me all the time! My little 1.5ml bottle is worth 13c.

Price: $15 + $2.95 P&H
Bellabox Product Value: $64.73

Overall, although this box didn't send me into quite the same frenzy as the one before, I know that I'm really going to enjoy a lot of the products inside -- they're all things that I'll get use from. The value was absolutely astounding as well; I'm quite certain that this has been the most 'expensive' Bellabox that I've received to date, so it looks as though that additional postage charge is doing some good!

June 2015: Winter Warrior

The first thing I noticed when I collected this from my letterbox was that it was heavy -- and that, in turn, made me excited. After all, only good things can come from a heavy subscription box, right? The second thing I realised was that there was no spotty blue Bellabox box inside the cardboard shipping container, which confused me for a moment until I worked out why. No way would these things have all fit.

Palmolive Naturals Active Nourishment Shampoo and Conditioner || Another shampoo/conditioner sample again, but hey, you can never have too many, right? While this isn't a new line from Palmolive, they have recently revamped the formula, claiming to "combine the best of science and nature to enhance hair's natural beauty". These particular samples contain aloe vera and fruit extracts, for normal hair -- which really is the safest option -- and it also came with a handy 50% off voucher to use on the Palmolive Naturals line at Woolworths (and I may well use it). I received two samples that were 14ml each, making them worth 20c each.

Burt's Bees Beeswax Lip Balm || As the crazy fangirls say, "YAAAAS." I know that I've said that I could be happy if I never received another lip balm in a Bellabox again, but apparently I really only meant Chapsticks, because I was really excited to get this. Burt's Bees is a brand that I don't buy because of the price tag (plus, I now have all the Chapsticks I could ever want) but I've always wanted more of their items -- and this won me over the moment I smelled it's delicious pepperminty scent. I love it. This retails for $6.95.

Universal Beauty Cosmetics Tint Stick - "Nude Pink" || This claims to be an anti-feathering, transfer-proof lip tint that can last for ten hours. I've only used it once, but I have to say, I'm sold! You can use it sheer or build it up for a more intense colour, but I don't know that I'd describe the pink as being 'nude'. That being said, I don't do the 'sheer' thing unless a lip product refuses to build colour, so that's probably why. The thing I love most is its applicator -- it's kind of like a pen or highlighter! It feels kind of wet to go on -- as most lip tints do -- but after a short space of time, it dries and you've got a gorgeous colour that is indeed anti-feathering (hallelujah!) and transfer-proof, for the most part. I used it on a day when I was meeting a friend for coffee, and I after a few sips, I did notice some colour transfer on the mug as my lips got wet, however the colour overall seemed pretty good, and I wasn't left feeling as though I immediately needed to reapply. My only concern might be how long it lasts before drying out -- hopefully it isn't a one-hit wonder. This retails for $19.99.

Ivadore Tanning Treament || I thought this was a moisturiser at first, but then I actually read the writing on the tube. It's a self-tanning lotion that is meant to develop naturally and fade slowly -- but as I don't tan, I'm not going to use it. As I mentioned earlier, my mother has expressed interest in it, so I'll likely pass it along to her. I received a 20ml tube worth $9.17.

ModelCo Double-Sided Facial Wipes || This is something that I will definitely use, as facial wipes are often (sadly) my go-to at night -- I'm still very lazy about taking my makeup off. These wipes are double-sided in that one side is for exfoliating and the other for cleansing, and they're meant to effectively remove makeup, so I'll be interested to see how well it works. I have a wedding to go to in December, and I'll be travelling to attend, so I think I'll take these with me to see how well they fare. My packet contains 1 wipe, which is worth about 32c.

Original Source Skin Quench Watermelon & Jojoba Oil Body Wash || And this was the reason we didn't get the Bellabox box! I thought it was brilliant to get a full-sized one of these, especially in such a summery scent, which I know a lot of people with love this winter. Unfortunately for me, watermelon is one of my no-no's -- I absolutely detest it, taste and scent -- and it absolutely definitely smells strongly of watermelon, so I won't be able to bring myself to use it. Onto another family member it is! This is a full-sized bottle worth $4.99.

Price: $15 + $2.95 P&H
Bellabox Product Value: $41.82

Overall, this definitely wasn't a bad box. There are some items that I won't be able to use, but they're not total right-offs, either. If you're interested in the Pokémon art that I've got in the picture, Overall, I was very, very excited by this box. It was full of products that I'd never used before, and some that I'd used a long time ago. I'd never before opened a box that made me so happy!

If you're interested in the Pokémon art, I'm unfortunately unsure about who drew the greyscale sketch of Mew (the stamp in corner is the girl's signature), and the two Eevee cards were drawn by a girl who's signed it as Hologram World. Unfortunately, I've not been able to locate a website, but they usually show up at cons such as Supanova, so when I find out who they are, I'll update this post!

What do you think of the things I received from Bellanox? Have you used any of these items before?

Shae xo

Monday, 6 July 2015

June-stagram (Warning: contains lipstick, Pikachu and a spider)

It's like every blogger and her sister do a monthly Instagram post, and after months of wondering whether I should jump on the bandwagon or not, I thought, 'Well, why the hell not?' After all, I've thought about adding the odd lifestyle post here and there, but let's face it, I can chat the hind legs off a donkey when I'm talking about a tube of mascara -- you have no idea how much I love talking about day-to-day happenings!

So here we go: my June adventures (or lack of) on Instagram!

You might want to give the end a miss if spiders make you feel icky.

1. It took me between 9 months and a year to find this gem, but now it's all mine! JE SUIS PRET, SASSENACH. #outlander #thefierycross #seriouslyivebeenlookingforages

Seriously, I was looking for The Fiery Cross everywhere and found it nowhere. I had to have a copy sent from the other side of the state to get it but of course, that meant it took a few weeks to arrive, and by the time it did, I was too busy to read it and had to send it back. By a stroke of fate, however, I found a stall at Supanova this year that was selling it so yes! It's all mine!

2. I want to say that Mum made this fudge for me for my birthday, so I will... Even though she didn't.

Mum made a tray of absolutely delicious vanilla white chocolate fudge, and it's safe to say that I probably ate two thirds of it.

3. YAS. TEAM ADORBS. #mostadorablefaceontheshow #TeamReynold #MasterChefAU @reynoldpoer

If you're not in Australia and can find a way to watch the 2015 season of MasterChef, do it. Seriously. Reynold just has the most adorable face -- I want to squish his cheeks so bad.

4. One Shae is real. The other is not.

I put my face next to a mirror one night and tried really hard to get it to look even. I know which side is real -- can you put your finger on it?

5. Today's new purchases! How many red lipsticks did I have before? Like, 30, but that's irrelevant. #LorealParis #bbloggers #bbloggersau

I picked up the Blake and Eva lipsticks from the newly released limited edition L'Oreal Paris Collection Exclusive Reds line, and I looove them!

6. What happened to all the Lip Butters?! #Priceline #Revlon #bbloggers #bbloggersau

You guys. The Lip Butters have been discontinued, you guys. I was stunned to find this out! Apparently they've been replaced by the Ultra HD lipsticks, but this kind of surprises me given how much of a cult status I believed the Lip Butters had. Perhaps I was wrong? Either way, if they're truly on their way out, it's time to start searching the Myer clearance bins to stock up!

7. Guess who! #happysaturday #sentthistomymum #daughteroftheyear

I was having a proper go at Snapchat for a change (I still really have no idea what I'm doing), and decided to send this very glamorous shot to my mother. By text.

8. Bought this today with a @pricelineau voucher that I had! I'll need to do some swatching to be sure, but to me the #LorealParis Collection Exclusive Reds in "JLo's Perfect Red" is VERY comparable to #MAC's Viva Glam Rihanna 1, minus the frosty finish. Loooving it! #bbloggers #bbloggersau

My voucher was for almost $17 and the L'Oreal lipsticks were 30% off, so... Ta-da! I'm actually not certain that it's close to Viva Glam Rihanna 1 anymore, but it gives my lips that same super-full effect -- whatever that means.

9. My best friend bought me some sweets from a patisserie for my birthday last week! (She also bought me books :D and they are brilliant.) #bestfriend #bestever

I was given some delicious little sweets that came from a local patisserie, and boy were they good! The books, as it happened, were Wolf Hall (which I seriously need to watch because Charity Wakefield) and Year of Wonders, both of which I'm really excited to read!

10. Looking like I have feathered wings on my cheeks. :D #bbloggers #bbloggersau #concealer

I used Rimmel's Wake Me Up concealer to highlight/conceal undereye circles and noticed before I blended it in that I looked as though I'd painted chicken feathers on my face. Hilarious!

11. Red lipstick and Hermione the Hair are making a comeback today! #bbloggers #bbloggersau #fotd

I'm pretty sure that I've mentioned Hermione the Hair on this blog in the past, but just in case you were wondering (or maybe just forgot): Hermione the Hair is my hair in its natural, frizzy, fuzzy, curly glory. It's my bed hair, my freshly-washed-and-air-dried hair, my I-just-took-it-out-of-a-hair-do hair, and 80% of the time it tends to look kinda cool as is (yep, even when it's bed hair) so I roll with it.

12. Eating my brother's Easter eggs. Sorry, bro, you leave them this long, they become part of the public domain! #muahaha

Seriously though.

13. My friend put this on Facebook -- who would DO such a thing?! #Pokémon

One of my brothers pointed out to me that this was actually likely to be a customised Amibo character for those Nintendo games -- apparently it's a thing that people do, just so it looks like they've got a wacky character. In the game, however, it would look normal.

14. Poor little Craigette's just trying to get her noms on, and people overseas think she's trying to overthrow Australian society. #news

I found out a couple of days ago that news stories have been circulating on the international news that a town in the Northern Territory was suddenly invaded by 24,000 killer tarantulas that could "rip into your skin".

Not true.

Seriously. Our wildlife does want to kill you, but not that much.

That's all that I managed to post on Instagram throughout June -- sometimes I'll post a lot more, and at other times a lot less! If you'd like to follow me on Instagram, you can click here -- leave me a note somewhere! Say hi! Let's be friends!

Shae xo