Sunday, January 18, 2015

2014 Best in Beauty | Part 2: Hair.

Let's take a moment to appreciate 2014 as the year my hair evolved to something closer to what I wanted it to be. Tired of the upkeep of waist long uncoloured locks, I chopped it, coloured it, got a fringe, began growing out a fringe, demanded the 'Alexa' in the salon chair, and bought myself a curling wand. I've whistled while I've whittled my repertoire into a respectable group I'd not hesitate to invite to a dinner party. 

You may notice my faithfulness to particular brands. That is because they are excellent and deserving and have all been repurchased time and time again. It is also because I take great pains to avoid parabens, sulphates and other nasty ingredients. I also love to support Australian companies, which is easy when they make such incredible products (kissy face emoji to EVO and O&M).

Onto the best locks of my life.

Lather, Rinse, Repeat
Original & Mineral (henceforth known as O&M) is my favourite haircare brand. Their Hydrate & Conquer Shampoo leaves my dry, prone to matting hair clean, silky, more manageable and smelling of vanilla milkshakes.

Top Condition
The counterpart to my shampoo, also smelling of delicious vanilla milkshakes, O&M Hydrate & Conquer Conditioner takes the cake. Silly Sinead O'Connor was certainly unaware of the brilliance of these products when she shaved her head and cried while singing how nothing compares to you. These not only compare, they crush it.

Treat Yo Self
I have three treatments in rotation, and much like a mother with her children, I cannot pick a favourite. Or at least, I understand it is a faux pas. So, in no particular order of preference, I have loved and continue to love O&M Seven Day Miracle, EVO Mane Prescription and O&M Power Base. Special kudos to EVO for brightening my life by having a little Swedish penis pump on the packaging.

Dreadlocks Dread It
If you have hair as thick, dry and wavy as mine I'm sure you wince with understanding when I say my hair is a bird's nest at the nape of my neck. No matter what I do. This situation has certainly improved since chopping off a good ruler's length. but not enough to put down the incredibly good O&M No Knott. It leaves my hair manageable, brushable and smelling of pears. It contains organic Macadamia and Argan oils which certainly helps.

Heat Style
I became a grown-up this year. I bought a hairdryer (a fetchingly purple Parlux) and a curling wand, the pair are now close friends with my 10 year old GHD Straighteners that I desperately need to update. Out of the three, it's the curling wand I want to wax lyrical over. If you have shoulder-length hair, a Cloud 9 Micro Wand will be your hair's BFF. I bought mine for a fantastic price from the ever friendly Michael Johnson Hair online store. I promise I am not sponsored by them.

Alterna Bamboo Smooth Kendi Oil is a double whammy product. It's a serum, but it's also a treatment. I use it as a serum to tame the frizzies and it is excellent. As smell is important to me, I will mention I do wish this smelt like other Alterna products I've tried. This is more cologne whereas a treatment I enjoyed smelled of peaches and apricots.

I never realised my life was missing something until I tried Amika Undone Texturising Spray (supposedly a dupe for the much touted Oribe offering). When your hair is thick, you assume you don't need anything to voluminise it. Wrong. You need to voluminise it in the right spots. I spray of this near the roots lifts my hair where it is normally weighed down by the weight of the thickness. It's also excellent to help separate curls and make them look more natural. Seriously, look at that packaging. It's crazy beautiful despite it not falling within my normal aesthetic.
While we're talking volume, I have also discovered EVO Root Canal sprayed into the roots of damp hair. Instant violet-scented love, serious volume.

Stay in Place
The best hair spray I have ever tried is O&M Original Queenie. I have put many a friend onto this gem.

Again, as I rewarded those that got to the end of Part 1, here is a delightful picture of my cat.

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Sunday, January 11, 2015

2014 Best in Beauty | Part 1: Makeup.

It's actually laughable how predictable I am when it comes to gathering my favourite things. Few things change as when I love something I refuse to put it down or even court the idea of foraying into trying other things. This was especially the case in 2014, the year I experienced the dreaded burn out; my desire to try things frizzled as my attention took a gander elsewhere and this blog stagnated.

Back in March, I compiled a tidy group of items I'd not hesitate to purchase myself in the false scenario I had to start my stash from scratch. Few things have changed since this post, however I feel I have refined it further and found some stellar products that knock my previous favourites from their perch.

Let's get into it. Here are the best of the best things I have painted haphazardly on my face.

Hourglass Mineral Veil takes the pudding for proving primer is not as superfluous a step as I'd previously thought. Though this offends my wallet, I will not part with it. It's scentless, provides physical sun protection (as opposed to chemical), gives a soft matte base which improves the smoothness of my foundation as well as the longevity. 

I have loved NARS Sheer Glow for years, and while I'm by no means faithful, the others are inferior lovers. There is not a thing I could fault; perfect medium finish without being dewey nor matte, excellent wear time and possibly the reason 2014 was 23% better than all years prior to it.

According to blogs and youtube, it's time to redesign the Chinese Zodiac. In my mind 2014 was not year the horse but instead year of NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer. Admittedly, this entered my makeup bag toward the tail end of the year, but it kicked my former love Maybelleine Instant Age Rewind right in the pants.

Hello, Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder. You're another shoe-in. We've all heard enough about these powders already. Mine is in the shade Diffused Light and it makes my face look better than it actually is.

Illamasqua crush it in the blush department, and this little Lover (which happens to be the shade name) is an absolute peach.

If you're wondering where the bronzing/contouring segment of this post went to, kindly consider the fact Enid Blyton based her loveable character Moonface on yours truly and let us move on to highlighting. My favourite is everybody's favourite; The Balm Mary-Lou Manizer.

Most men dream of two women in their bed. I dream of two brow products, though not necessarily in my bed. I can't give one the pudding over the other because they are a dream team. They are a pair of Batmen, no Robin. Give it up for Anastasia Brow Wiz Medium Brown and Benefit Gimme Drow Medium Deep.

Eye Primer
NARS Pro Prime is the best. It has rendered all of my other bases obsolete.

Eye Shadow
I've harped on about the Inglot Freedom System enough over the years. I've given up on trying other eyeshadows entirely. My favourite by a country mile is Pearl 402.

Eye Liner
Although not pictured, and not necessarily an 'eye liner', the Charlotte Tilbury Colour Chameleon for brown eyes in Amber Haze is ridiculously good. I am still in mourning from misplacing it months ago.

Benefit They're Real! is perfect for me. I buy the sample sizes as they last me exactly three months and I am stingy on things I am supposed to replace that frequently.

There are only two products I use on my mouth now. The first is my beloved Nuxe Reve de Miel, which continues to be my overnight balm and base to the liquid lipsticks I am about to mention I cannot get enough of. Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvets. These are the standout of the year for me. I have four in my possession, with the other five shades currently sitting in my ASOS cart.

Honourable Mentions
My faithful lash curlers by Shu Uemura cannot go without a tip of the hat. Ibid to Paula's Choice whose Resist for Wrinkles + Breakouts line has transformed my face beyond my wildest dreams.

Here is a picture of my cat who is infinitely more elegant than I for those who read all the way to the end.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer

When you're as haggard and woe begone as a Keats poem, you need all the 'anti-fatigue + radiant glow' you can possibly find. Rimmel were kind enough to whack such a thing in a tube with a fluorescent cap bright enough to wake even the walking comatose, so let us forgive them for the homage to Wham! 

Wake Me Up concealer is a bit of a multi-use product. It is a luminescent, thin consistency which lends itself perfectly to concealing and brightening the under eye and redness, and doubles as a very nice highlight for between my brows, down my nose and on my chin. It has the right amount of coverage without the cake, however I wouldn't even consider attempting to conceal blemishes with it. Let's be real, no one ought to highlight a pustule.

For under the eye in particular, this is pretty phenomenal and lasts all day. One thin layer, patted out with the ring finger sets demi-matte and lasts nicely, though Wake Me Up is by no means a heavy duty concealer. I'd say it's comparable to the much loved Maybelline Instant Age Rewind, only more brightening as it does contain miniscule flecks of shimmer, nothing scary though. I also find it to be superiorly sanitary with the good ol' fashioned doe foot respectable receptacle.

Lastly, before you go go and leave me hanging on like a yo yo, Rimmel are exceptionally reasonably priced and are dependable to go on sale frequently. I highly suggest giving it a whirl.

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Flesh toned Kajals: Stila VS Rimmel.

Swatch, left to right: Stila Kajal eye liner in Topaz, Rimmel ScandalEyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal in 005 Nude
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