Saturday 13 February 2016

Lip Monthly | January 2016

For Christmas in 2014, my parents gave me a twelve-month Bellabox subscription. 2015 passed, I received my twelve boxes (three of which I still need to post about... but it wouldn't be a Padawan post if it wasn't late, right?) and when asked if I wanted a renewal, I was all like, "Yeah, nah, no thanks." While it's not a bad subscription box service, I now have loads of samples that are piling up -- I don't really need any more.

To my great surprise, my (often) wonderful mother gifted me a twelve-month subscription to Lip Monthly, as a reward for making it through the stresses of 2015, of which there had been copious amounts. If you know me well, you'll know that I love lip products -- I have about a shoebox and a half full of them -- so to receive a few products from brands that I wouldn't normally have an opportunity to try will be an awesome little boost each month!

My January Lip Monthly bag did indeed arrive in January -- I know that Australian beauty vlogger Miss Billy gets this too, and her previous videos have sometimes remarked that her bag has not arrived in its due month. Lip Monthly does come from the US, however, and Australia Post's postal services are now very lame, so I wouldn't be too surprised by delays, given that they are "timely".

(By "timely", I mean that they don't take a whole extra month to turn up.)

This month's lip monthly arrived, for the most part, in the cute little red and white striped purse that you see above. I love this little purse, as it will be the perfect little storing place for the lipsticks in my handbag -- there's a small army of them, and they keep falling out of the pockets.

Additionally, I received these products, so let's take a look at them!

Oscar Blandi Moisture Recovery Treatment Balm || The one item that was a smidgen too big for the purse. This is a hair product that promises to "saturate hair from roots to ends for the ultimate restorative therapy". Let me tell you, the ends of my hair look fried and frizzy, so anything that promises to give them a little bit of love will sit well with me! (Maybe, Shae, you should just book a haircut.) This product doesn't seem to be available for purchase anywhere online, so it might be some overstock from a previous promotion, but I received a 125ml bottle that Lip Monthly claims is worth at least $25 US.

City Color Be Matte Lipstick -- "Latte (M6)" || YAS, LIPSTICK. This cruelty-free shade is a kind of brown nude. Usually I'm very careful when it comes to brown nudes, for fear of sporting beige-coloured lips (yuck), but I'm hoping that this will suit me well. A potential put-off for people is that it smells like a crayon when you sniff it. No joke: when I uncap it and take a whiff, I'm immediately transported to memories of a very old Crayola computer game that I had in the late 90s. Lip Monthly values this lipstick at $4.99 US.

Ofra Cosmetics Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick -- "Laguna Beach" || I remember being slightly concerned by the shade of this liquid lipstick, but I really don't remember why! This is the dusky pink nude, the kind that I feel is floating around as a pretty popular shade at the moment. I thought that it might be comparable to Kylie Jenner's Candy K Lip Kit, but after looking around online, I really don't think it is. These retail for $19.90 US each.

Starlooks Luxe Longwear Lip Pencil -- "Stellar" || HUZZAH FOR LIP LINER! I only have a couple of lip liners in my collection, so this is definitely a welcome addition. It seems like a much deeper pink nude (at what point do I stop calling it "nude" and just stick with "pink"?), and I think it will wear well underneath nude browns as well as on its own. I'm still a fresh-faced Padawan when it comes to applying lip liner, so here's hoping I don't make myself look like a massive fool when I try it. This apparently retails for $14 US, but this particular line doesn't seem to be available on the Starlooks site.

Price: $12.95 US (~ $18.28 AU)
Lip Monthly Bag Value: $63.89 US (~ $90.18 AU)

Overall, I'm really excited about what I got in my Lip Monthly bag! It doesn't look like much, especially when compared to my previous Bellabox unboxings -- but, being rational, do I need to receive more than three or four lip products at a time? No, probably not. It's still a great little way to try some products that I wouldn't normally have access to, so I'm looking forward to incorporating these into my makeup routine, as well as my future bags!

Have you ever received a Lip Monthly bag? Do you own any products from these brands? Let me know in the comments!

Saturday 6 February 2016

Beauty SwapBox with Emma from Peace Love Vintage

If you follow my blog, chances are that you follow Emma, too. Emma is the wonderfully chic individual behind Peace Love Vintage, and such an incredible blogging friend. I feel as though I have seen few blogs with more thought and effort put into it than Emma's, and her posts continually inspire me to keep at it, even when the going gets tough (and I've had a bit of Writer's Block recently). I always find her content refreshing and engaging to read, and she is also absolutely gorgeous; her personality is full of such positivity that I would swear her breakfast is laced with sunshine.

The word sunshine isn't any weird euphemism for anything, right?

The bottom line is that I could rave about her blog forever. Seriously, I dare you to tell me that her blog header alone doesn't give you heart eyes.

Anyway, several months ago, we were chatting and decided to do a beauty swapbox with one another. We did the usual: worked out a budget, asked each other about what kind of makeup we liked, took some time to get our pieces together, and then shipped our parcels to one another. We both excitedly waited for our packages, and, by luck, we received them on the same day!

Let's take a look at the gloriousness that is my swapbox from Emma.

I could wax poetic and talk about how much I love the stuff in here, but I think I'll just dive straight into it!

Chewits Xtreme - Sour Apple || Firstly, can I just say: YES FOR SNACKS. I eat loads of sweet things, and I really like to break it up every now and then with something sour. I haven't tried any yet, but if they're as sour as they the packet says they are, my face is going to turn into a lemon. Once again: YES. (Also, who could pass up anything apple-flavoured? It's basically the only acceptable fruit flavour out there.)

Dip Dab || I felt like this was a step right back into my childhood! I feel pretty sure that we had Dip Dab when I was a kid, and I cannot say how much I enjoyed cracking into this. It's basically Wizz Fizz with a lollipop -- and I have not had Wizz Fizz in years! An absolutely great little treat to break up all the Kit Kats I've been chowing down on lately.

Cadbury Fudge Bar || I thought that these looked familiar to me, but I knew for a certainty that no supermarkets in Australia have ever stocked it because I stalk the chocolate aisles of Woolies and Coles with expertise. These must be firing synapses from my time in the UK three and a half years ago, but I hadn't eaten them then either... So who knows. We don't have anything here to liken this to in Australia, but my first thought was that the fudge was light enough to compare it to a Milky Way. Sooo delicious!

Makeup Academy Pearl Eyeshadow - "Chamoisee" || I don't think this is a shade I have many duplicates of in my collection. It's a kind of shimmery mauve taupe shade -- that's really the best I can do at describing it. The pigmentation and size of the pan reminds me strongly of my Klara Cosmetics eyeshadows, which have absolutely incredible staying power as well, so I'm curious to see how this formula compares.

Makeup Academy Pearl Eyeshadow - "Copper" || Holy moly, this shade is divine! An incredible copper that I am going to love busting out at every chance I get. Watch out work, this girl is going to go unnecessarily glam!

Rimmel The Only 1 Lipstick - "Best of the Best (510)" || My favourite drugstore makeup brand is Rimmel, and Emma was so kind as to include a lipstick from their latest lipstick line. It's something that I really appreciate, because sometimes new releases don't make their way to Australia for over a year. Best of the Best is this absolutely brilliant true red -- the kind that a lot of bloggers will bust out for Christmas but I will personally bring out all year round. I've had a chance to wear this once, but over lip liner, so I can't say too well how well it stands up on its own. I do know that it looks glossy and feels creamy, so it may be relatively forgiving on dry lips!

Makeup Academy Matte Lipstick - "Scarlet Siren" || Emma definitely got my memo that I love red lips. I haven't had a chance to test out this lipstick yet, as my days recently have been relatively makeup-free, but most of the matte lipsticks that I do own are by MAC, so I'm excited to have something from a different brand!

Makeup Academy Luxe Limited Edition Metallic Liquid Lips - "Glitz" || Now this just SCREAMS glamour! When I see this, I think red carpet, I think Met Gala, I think Academy Awards -- it might not be a product for everyone, but I absolutely adore it. It might be tricky to work this product into an everyday makeup look, but you watch me, man, you just watch me do it. Challenge accepted.

Makeup Academy Matte Black Eyeliner || I love me some winged liner -- in fact, I'm incomplete without it. I'm like Cinderella without her Godmother, like Bridget Jones without Mark Darcy, like Sarah without the Clone Club. Perfectly fine, but incomplete. That being said, this product is a learning curve for me! I'm not used to silicon-tip liners, and I know that people say that it makes wings easy, but for me... it's a workout! That being said, I love a challenge, so I look forward to mastering this beast.

Makeup Academy Intense Colour Lip Liner - "Red Drama" || I may have only used this a couple of times, but let me just say: I love it. I used to have a red lip liner a little while back, but it's disappeared into a black hole somewhere in my bathroom and I hadn't bothered to repurchase one since. I love this -- not just because of the handy sharpener in the lid, but because it doesn't leave my lips feeling sticky. One reason why I don't always bother with liner is because my lips feels kind of sticky when I layer lipstick over the top, but I don't get that with this. This also yields incredibly creamy and even pigmentation, so it's two thumbs up from me!

Freedom Pro Blush & Highlight Palette || Open your window, and stick your head out. Can you hear the woman squealing in excitement in the distance? Yeah, that's me you hear, even though I'm at least one ocean away. I remember telling Emma that I didn't have many blushes and was looking to expand my collection -- and this is an expansion! There are six beautiful blushes and two gorgeous highlighters; I've yet to play with them all, but the ones that I have are so pigmented and blend into the skin so wonderfully... I get a thrill every time I open it up.

Makeup Academy Luxe Whipped Velvet Blush - "Spry" || I've established that I do like a good challenge, and Emma has provided me with yet another: cream blush. Cream blush has always frightened me a little bit, but I am determined to work out how to use it. This is a beautiful dusky pink that's going to be great once the colder months start rolling in.

Benefit Bella Bamba Blush || I looove Benefit, to the point where I'm actually surprised that this is my first blush by them! This blush is just... I can't begin to say how beautiful it is. It also smells really nice; really sweet, like those candy bracelets you can get.

Can we just take a moment to appreciate this splendour?

Benefit It's Potent! Eye Cream || A handy little pot of goodness! I have one of these that I got a while back, and I'm just about out so I'm really glad for another! I personally don't think that it does much for brightening my under eye, but I like how it moisturises the skin there without ultimately drying it out -- that can be a problem, let me tell you.

The Body Shop Tea Tree Oil || Oh. My. Yes. I had forgotten all about the existence of tea tree oil until this little bottle turned up in my glorious box! I feel like I'm not prone to your typical breakouts, but when they do happen, they are bad. I've already dabbed a little of this glorious stuff onto them, and they dried up and cleared out in what felt like no time.

Superdrug Sugar & Spice Self-Heating Mask || I'm saving this wonderful little thing for the wintertime, when I get back to having baths -- a self-heating mask will make the perfect accompaniment. I love face masks, but they're a real treat for me as I don't often have the time to use them!

I don't think I could thank Emma enough for all of the thoughtful gifts that she included in my swapbox. Everything is very, very "me" and I know that everything is going to be a highly reached-for item -- especially that blush palette. I'm going to have to that a real test-drive and do a more in-depth post later on in the year, I love it that much.

If you'd like a look to see what I sent Emma's way, you can check out her far more timely post here. If you're confused by who she's talking about when she refers to "Sarah", never fear -- that's my name.

Once again, thank you so much, Emma! Your items really made for a fantastic day in what had previously been a rather down week.