Friday, June 28, 2013

Behind the Blog - The Shopping Queen

If I have done my maths correctly, this is the 11th Behind the Blog post - that means I have featured 11 different bloggers as part of this series! How cool is that?

For number 11 I spoke a little to Jen from over at The Shopping Queen.  Jen is an Aussie blogger from Sydney whose posts consist of an array of exciting hauls, reviews, swaps and tags. I am so very jealous of some of the incredible products she has in her collection!

This week Jen spoke a little about why she is The Shopping Queen, doing makeup on the train and McDonald's!

What is the significance of your blog name?
I have a knack for finding things that are "sold out" and I'm quite persistent if I'm trying to hunt something down. For example, my boyfriend really wanted a pair of shoes that were only available in the US and they had sold out of his size on the official website so I hunted down all the resellers online (quite hard when you're not familiar with the authorised resellers in another country!) and found the very last pair available in his size :) He calls me 'the shopping queen' so that's where I got the inspiration for the name of my blog. If you read my blog, you'll see a trend of haul posts so I'm also a bit of a shopaholic.

What is your signature makeup look?
I'm quite low maintenance and I prefer the "no makeup, makeup look". I always do my makeup on the train on the way to work so I normally have concealer and mascara on and I'll always do my eyebrows as well.

If you were a makeup item what would you be?
A lipstick. I hoard lip products and I think that having a lipstick on can really change your look by a lot! People say that they can't live without mascara as it wakes up their eyes but I've found that I need some colour on my lips or I look tired. Mascara does nothing for me!

If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go?
Bora Bora! It's my dream to go there and I would actually splurge and get a hut thingy at the Four Seasons so that I could jump into the water anytime that I wanted to. I'm normally not a fan of spending a lot of money on hotel rooms but Bora Bora is my dream destination. I'll definitely be going there for my honeymoon!

Do you speak any other language? If you could, what language would you love to speak?
I speak the Shanghai dialect called Shanghainese. Most people laugh when I say Shanghainese as it sounds made up but if you google it, you'll realise that it's an actual name for the Shanghai dialect. I wish I could speak French and it's always been a big regret of mine that I dropped it in high school.

If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
McDonalds egg and cheese McMuffins. I'm addicted to McDonalds fries but I think that I would actually get sick of them if I had to eat them forever but I love McDonalds egg and cheese McMuffins and wish they were available all day long!

Thank you Jen!

If you would like to nominate a blogger to be featured, please don't hesitate to let me know by emailing me at

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Face of Australia Mineral Therapy Bronzing Pearls

You know how sometimes you get overwhelmed with products and end up shoving something away only to discover it about a year later? Yep, that is what happened with the Face of Australia Mineral Therapy Bronzing Pearls I was given.

Bronzer isn't really a product I tend to reach for regularly and I certainly feel more confident in applying blush and highlighter. I do however give it a shot every now and again and I think that when applied well it can look absolutely stunning and make the biggest difference!

This bronzer from Face of Australia comes in the form of 'bronzing pearls' certainly unlike the bronzers I am used to.

Formulated with natural minerals, bring a fresh glow of warmth to your skin with the Face of Australia Bronzing pearls. Oil free, fragrance free, talc free, no animal testing. 

For a start, I am not really a fan of the packaging. It is so very chunky and as always, the brush supplied is not particularly effective. I would much prefer a more compact product without the brush included (especially at a cheaper price, although this is hardly what I would call expensive).

The pearls themselves are incredibly sparkly. Very pretty looking things but they are as glittery and shimmery as they could possibly get, and to me that is quite a strange property for a bronzer. I really didn't know how to wear this because in my experience, matte bronzer is the way to go (especially for contouring) and even slightly shimmery bronzers can be applied tastefully but this was just so full on that I hadn't a clue where you would put it!

Despite this, I still attempted to use these as I would a normal bronzer, sweeping it gently across the places I felt could do with a bit of colour and brightening.

The results were okay, but I really felt a bit strange with the level of shimmer present. Everyone likes glowing skin but there is a fine line between glowing and garish and I think this product just crosses it. It was passable when the lighting I was in wasn't terribly bright but when it caught the sunlight I just looked stupid.

But I wasn't ready to give up yet. Surely I could use this product somehow. So I decided to use it as eyeshadow.

Everyone loves a shimmery brown/bronze eyeshadow shade! After having tried it as an eyeshadow I can safely say that is how I much prefer to use it and that though it may be a bit of a failure as a bronzer in my opinion, it kind of works as an eyeshadow.

There were two ways I discovered that this could be applied - with a brush as normal or directly rubbing the pearl onto the skin for a more intense shade. Both ways worked well however it was difficult to apply the shade neatly when holding the pearl and rubbing it on the skin (and it made a little bit of a mess too).

I found that on the eyes this wasn't too long lasting - certainly nothing like any of my other eyeshadows. My main problem, however, was that the glitter seemed to fall underneath the eyes (and there is nothing pretty about that!). I guess this is to be expected as this isn't designed to be an eyeshadow, but it's a little frustrating because it is just so useless as a bronzer.

All in all, this was a pretty disappointing product. I am especially saddened by it because I absolutely love Face of Australia as a brand and usually they can do no wrong! This costs $14.95.

Unfortunately I have to give this 3/10.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

NOTD - FOA Glitterati Nail polish in Funky Town

This is the first NOTD in a long time that I have actually quite liked,
and it was the most unlikely polish for that to happen with!

I purchased the FOA Glitteratti polish in Funky town when I saw it for 75c, and I really didn't think I was going to like it. Surprisingly, when I decided to try it out for a potential NOTD, I found that I actually quite liked it - who would have thought?

When I went outside to photograph it my father saw it and described it as 'perhaps the most revolting shade of blue I have ever witnessed' to which I told him Dads don't know anything about nail polish. They just don't.

As for the polish quality, it took me three coats to reach the opacity you can see in the photos below. The glitters, though only small, do curl and are quite raised from the nail so I would recommend a top coat. Speaking of the glitter, Funky town consists of small hexagon rose gold pieces, little black ones and lots of tiny ocean blue ones. A strange assortment in my opinion, but it seems to work.

With some kind of miracle I actually like this polish, and I would be interested to know your thoughts too.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Beauty News - FOA lip crayons sold individually?

A long time ago Face of Australia released their limited edition lip crayons in a pack of three, featuring the shades Macaron, Sundae and Cupcake. I grabbed a pack and fell in love instantly and now ten months later they are still staples in my makeup collection, especially Cupcake which I wear almost daily.

Today I was browsing in Priceline and noticed that they are now selling them individually for about $4.95!

If you want my honest opinion, I think you should all run out and stock up right this very second!

But seriously, these are incredible and I am so proud of Face of Australia for making such a brilliant decision! I am not sure how long they will be doing this offer (I have a feeling they had extra stock they needed to get rid of) but according to their facebook page they are "available individually and are only $4.95 until the end of June." Does that mean at the end of June the price will change or they won't be selling them anymore? I don't know, but whatever the case, you must get your hands on these!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

B.liv by Cellnique Shrink and Tighten Large Pore Reducing Serum

I am a little bit (okay, a lot) late with this review but better late than never! To be honest if I didn't get around to posting this review you wouldn't really be missing out on much!

I have been using this Shrink and Tighten pore serum consistently for weeks in the hope that the large pores on my forehead, chin and cheeks would be made smaller.

This serum, like all the B.liv by Cellnique skincare products, has awesome packaging, unlike the typical skincare 'look' that many products have. I like that the products are colour coded according to their function, with the products that target blackheads orange and the pore shrinking range housed in purple. This comes with a pump that pumps out way too much product (I use about 1/8 of a pump!) but it's not too much of a problem

The serum is completely clear and the perfect consistency to rub right into the skin. It soaks in immediately and feels really lovely and silky. It doesn't alter the way that the skin looks (no shine or gloss is left from the product) and I noticed no excess oil production or anything of the likes throughout the remainder of the day. If anything, this product made my skin more matte and seemed to almost control oil!

So at first glance and after regular use, this product seems to be pretty darn good. Well, it is, except when it comes to results. After having used it for about 6 weeks now, I have noticed absolutely no change in the size of my pores whatsoever, but I continue to apply it because I like the way it makes my skin feel, all soft and silky! I do feel as though my skin looks healthier and more 'youthful' (not that such is a problem considering I am not yet even in my twenties!) but as for's pretty useless.

Still, I will admit, my pores are hardly enormous. I have the occasional giant one here and there as a result of particularly horrific persistent, immovable blemishes in the past but the majority of my pores are pretty small. Perhaps this is why I didn't notice great changes, at least not like I did with the Off with those heads blackhead gel.

For $49, this is not at all cheap and if I had paid for this I would not be impressed. Sure, it looks and feels nice on the skin but it's an expensive way to do so.

Unfortunately I have to give this 4/10, and continue raving about the Blackhead gel which worked miracles - literally!

My 'after' picture, identical to the way my skin looked before
Have you tried this and did it work for you?

Friday, June 21, 2013

Behind the Blog - Talisbury

Thank goodness it is Friday! As always, it is time for a Behind the Blog post and this week I spoke to Rebecca from Talisbury. Rebecca's blog is one that I haven't been following for too long, however long enough to appreciate how awesome it is!

Apart from having the coolest picture ever (look at that picture of her!) Rebecca's blog consists of fashion, food and of course lots of beauty based posts, all with impeccable photography. 

This week Rebecca spoke a little about her blog name (which, by the way, I was very curious about!) and author John Green. 

What is the significance of your blog name?
‘Talis’ comes from the word talisman which is a charm that brings good luck and protects from evil and harm, which is a nice thought. And ‘bury’ is like Burberry, but I didn’t like Talisberry, so I named it Talisbury instead!  

Who do you think always gets it right when it comes to beauty? 
Lauren Conrad, is it normal for a human being to be that perfect?!

What is one piece of advice you could give to a new blogger?
I still consider myself a new blogger, so I guess my advice wouldn’t be of great value, but it would be ‘Embrace the difference.’ Don’t post things and products just because other bloggers feature it. The great thing about there being a lot bloggers out there is that it’s diverse and different. I quickly get bored of blogs that simply take common phrases that have been said a million times before by products that have been reviewed a million times before.  

Which store do you spend the most time in?
I don’t really shop physically all too much, I do my shopping online. But my favourite store is Asos!

Do you have any nerdy characteristics?
Not at all, I wish I did though. I wish I could get nerdy about something! I tried to force myself to get into computers at one stage, but that was a complete fail as I have the attention span of a.. well, I don’t have one at all, really.

What are your favourite books and movies?
Anything written by John Green is my ultimate favourite, but I have many favourites, reading is one of my things to do. I don’t have favourite movies, but anything funny gets a thumbs up from me!

Thank you so much Rebecca! If you don't follow her blog please do, just click here!

If you would like to nominate a blogger to be featured, please don't hesitate to let me know by emailing me at

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

NOTD - Heart Nail Art

Another NOTD! I have been doing a lot of these lately because I have come to realise how many polishes I own that rarely get used! It is tricky because I can't wear nail polish to school so most of the time I decide that it is too hard to apply it solely for the weekend!

As many of you probably know, I love my pink and red polishes so I thought I would use them up a little more.

I am absolutely hopeless at nail art but I managed to paint a shape that sort of looks like a heart on my thumbnail and I was very proud!

I don't love this NOTD, mainly because it is so childish and girly, but I love each of the polishes I used on their own. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Real Techniques Core Collection and Stippling Brush & my thoughts on iHerb

Everyone knows about Real Techniques brushes. I don't think I have ever seen one negative review about any of them. Naturally I had to get my hands on them, but I wasn't willing to pay full price for them in Priceline as they cost $67.98. So, I went to iHerb and picked up the same ones for $21.38 (there was a sale on the brushes at the time and I had a discount code too). Pretty good deal in my opinion.

I wasn't really sure what I wanted to get as there seemed to be so many to choose from, but in the end I decided to get the Core Collection set as it seemed like a versatile little set of brushes that could be used to create an entire face look. I also picked up the stippling brush because I was getting fed up with applying cream blushes with my fingers and thought it might be handy to try out a stippling brush.

I selected the cheapest postage, the Global Priority Mail by DHL for a flat rate of $4. The average delivery time was listed as 13 days but it took 15 to get to me. Though I did run out of patience towards the end there, I am really impressed that I was able to get postage so cheap without any difficulties with lost or damaged parcels.

When they first arrived they were even better than I had expected. I was impressed with their sturdy handles, soft bristles and densely packed hairs, however the stippling brush didn't seem to be too great as it seemed to contain very few bristles and I feared it would be too flimsy to be of any use. All the brushes were synthetic and were lighter in colour on the top.

I didn't really take much notice of their intended purposes, rather allocating them according to my needs and what I wanted to get out of each of the brushes.

Buffing Brush - 9/10
"Ideal for full coverage application of powder and mineral foundation"
I use this to apply any liquid bases that have a medium to high coverage. I find that this method, in comparison to using my fingers, uses up considerably more product but the finish is absolutely flawless and almost leaves my skin looking airbrushed. Funnily enough, I don't love this look for everyday as it can be a little too fake, but when I'm having a particularly bad skin day or I am going somewhere special I use this brush.

Detailer Brush - 2/10
"Precision cut to effortlessly concealer problem areas; or use with lipstick for long-lasting shape and definition"
I'm not into this brush. It just seems like a bit of a waste of space to me as it is almost too tiny to do anything with. I do use a brush for concealer but it is a lot bigger and flatter than this one and to be honest seems to work a lot better too. Until I find a use for this it is just going to sit around collecting dust.

Pointed Foundation Brush - 3/10
"Use with liquid foundation to build custom coverage"
I feel like the only blogger to have ever criticised the Real Techniques brushes, but the shape and design of what is supposed to be a foundation brush is just ridiculous. It is way, way too small to be used for foundation (it would take years to apply a full face of it with this tool!) and it is too pointed for my liking. I was considering using it for concealer under my eyes but the bristles are so scratchy that it just didn't work out. Not impressed with this one...

Contour Brush - 9/10
"Delicately applies highlighter to contour or create sheer, soft-focus finish"
I use this to apply both bronzer and highlighter, though it is best suited to highlighter as it is quite small and compact. I love this rounded little brush - it is dense, soft and a perfect shape to fit in the hollows of your cheeks or on the tops of your cheekbones. It's wonderful! The only improvement I could make is the slightest bit bigger.

Stippling Brush - 9/10
"Is the trade secret for creating airbrushed, high definition results with all types of makeup"
I haven't used this brush for anything other than cream blush yet, but I LOVE it. Though my initial concerns of it not being dense enough and too flimsy are true to an extent, it works magically to disperse the colour evenly across my cheeks giving me the most natural, even looking flush of colour. All my forgotten cream blushes have been rediscovered!

I am so pleased that I picked these brushes up. I haven't had them for long and therefore can make no judgement on their lasting power, whether they shed or how they respond to being washed but they are such good quality (except for the pointed foundation brush!). Even though two out of five I was not happy with, the three that I do love I love so much and it was absolutely worth every cent!

If you were like me and are not too keen on the prices for these brushes, jump on to iHerb and pick up a couple because they are so worth it. You can use the discount code JTJ998 for up to $10 off too!

Do you own any Real Techniques brushes? Do you have any other ways I could use them?

Friday, June 14, 2013

Behind the Blog - Shiwashiful

You guessed it - it's Friday and therefore it's time for Behind the Blog.

This week I got the chance to find out a little more about Tashi from over at Shiwashiful. Tashi has the most wonderful looking blog (it is so vibrant and joyous!) containing an assortment of reviews, NOTDs, hauls and TAGs. All of Tashi's photos are absolutely flawless and it is a joy just to drool over them let alone reading her posts too!

Tashi spoke her blog name (which I was very curious about!), her year 12 subjects and life as a Grammar Nazi.

Why did you start blogging?
Before I was obsessed with makeup, I was obsessed with nail polish! From reading nail blogs and then watching nail polish related videos it lead me to the beauty community. I spent so much time watching and reading Youtube and blogs that I became very obsessed, very quickly! I enjoy writing and photography and thought, hey – I could start a blog! I am so glad that I did and although I don’t have the most extensive collection or knowledge, I enjoy writing about it and I am very proud of my blog!

What is the significance of your blog name?
There is quite a long-winded story behind my almost unpronounceable blog name, haha, so I will try to keep it brief! My sort-of nickname is tashi-washi and one of my friends started calling me shiwashi. When I was making an account on Youtube, shiwashi was taken and shiwashiful was suggested so that’s where the name came from!

Is beauty your only obsession?
I am hopelessly obsessed with TV and watching TV shows, and I watch way too many to be healthy. Youtube, blogs and TV is where my spare time goes to die (I’m the worst procrastinator too).

If you are at school, what subjects are you studying/planning to study in year 12?
I am currently in grade 11 and have chosen quite the array of subjects. I’m studying English, Maths B, Chemistry, Accounting, ITS (Information Technology Systems) and Chinese. I have absolutely no idea of what I want to do in the future, so I definitely kept my options open!

If you could feature on any TV show, which would you pick?
I don’t have any particular favourite TV shows as I watch and love so many! While I do love my Dramas, if I had to choose, I’d go with a comedy like How I Met Your Mother, The Mindy Project, The Big Bang Theory or 2 Broke Girls because I think it would be very fun!

Do you have any nerdy characteristics?
I am a total nerd! I am such a Grammar Nazi and am constantly correcting others, I actually get annoyed when people say things incorrectly! I also LOVE The Lord of the Rings trilogy, sometimes I spontaneously quote it and some of my friends look at me weirdly haha. That, and I’m totally un-sporty!

Thank you Tashi for being featured, it was lovely to get to know more about you.

If you would like to nominate a blogger to be featured, please don't hesitate to let me know by emailing me at

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

NOTD - Face of Australia Pastels Polish in After Dinner Mint

 I've never been one for blue or green polish, at least not on myself. I have, however, always found myself drooling over other people's nails when wearing such polishes, and that is exactly what happened when I became surrounded by all the hype for the polish Essie Candy Mint Apple. I wanted it so desperately but I knew deep down that it just wasn't a polish for me. Had it been under $5 I would have purchased it, but at $20 I wasn't so keen.

When FOA brought out their pastels range a little while ago and I saw a potential dupe, After Dinner Mint I didn't hesitate to grab it. I wore it on my toes for one day and realised that unfortunately, it looked awful. Absolutely awful.

I don't know whether it is my skintone, my taste in polishes or simply just an ugly polish but I hate it so much. I can't stand the way it looks on me and I am glad I didn't pay $20 for the Essie one. It looks sickly, fluorescent and hideously unnatural...I wouldn't wear this out of the house if you paid me!

Still, I can guarantee that if someone else put this on I wouldn't mind it at all, because it's becoming clear that I am a little crazy in that respect and that blues and green will always look gorgeous on others and absolutely shocking on me!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Dove Hamper giveaway winnings

I am not going to lie: there are many cool things about being a beauty blogger, and being lucky enough to win a giveaway is one of them. 

I was reading a post the other day that someone had written, and the author expressed that she felt when people made a post about something they had won that it was arrogant and uncalled for, rude and disrespectful. I wish I could remember the blog (it wasn't one that I read regularly) but it made me re-think whether I was going to make this post or not. I personally love reading other people's posts about how lucky they have been to win something. I enjoy getting excited and celebrating with them, and every winnings post I have ever read hasn't been about rubbing it in people's faces but rather sharing the excitement and speaking about all the wonderful reviews to come, in addition to thanking the person who held the giveaway. Anyway, I hope that you know that I intend for this post to be just the same, sharing my excitement with you all!

I was blessed to win Lilit's giveaway from Makeup and Macaroons, held by Nuffnang. When the package arrived in the mail I was astounded. 

Weighing just over 4kg I had no clue as to how much was actually in there! When I unwrapped the box and lifted the lid it was so very exciting! 

Included in the prize was 20 Dove products - 8 from the men's range and 12 from the women's. There is an awesome selection of products from haircare to cleansers, deodorants and moisturisers. The products I was so lucky to receive are as follows:

Men's Range
- Men care Deep Clean Body and Face Bar
- Men care Clean Comfort antiperspirant roll on deodorant
- Men care Clean Comfort antiperspirant spray can deodorant
- Men care Clean Comfort Self-foaming facial cleanser
- Men care Clean Comfort Body and Face Wash
- Men care Daily Deep Clean 2 in 1 Shampoo and Conditioner (citrus)
- Men care Fresh Clean 2 in 1 Shampoo and Conditioner (menthol)
- Men care Deep Clean Foaming Facial Cleanser 

Women's Range
- Pure Antiperspirant 48 hour protection spray can deodorant
- Extensive Repair treatment hair mask
- Face Care Essential Nutrients Protective Moisturising lotion 
- Pure Antiperspirant 48 hour protection roll on deodorant
- Clinical protection antiperspirant deodorant fresh touch (cucumber and green tea scent)
- Triple Moisturising deeply nourishing body wash
- Hair therapy intense repair Shampoo
- Hair therapy intense repair Conditioner 
- Summer glow nourishing lotion for fair to normal skin (gradual self tanning moisturiser)
- Purely pampering nourishing lotion with coconut milk and jasmine scent
- Cleanser and toner in one 
- Beauty cream bar (soap)

The hamper has a total value of $120.76, and I can see why with all those products!

I am so looking forward to trying these all out (as well as my brother who promptly snapped up all the Men's products!). If there are any products you would like to see reviewed in particular, please let me know!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Behind the Blog - Beauty for Thought

It's Friday (thank the lord) and that means...Behind the Blog!

This week I spoke to Ashleigh from Beauty for Thought, a blog that I have only recently discovered. Beauty for Thought is a collection of incredible makeup looks, hauls, reviews and swatches from a fellow Aussie blogger.

I think perhaps my favourite of her posts are her creative eyeshadow looks (most of which I would never be able to pull off but I love admiring her handiwork!)

This week Ashleigh spoke a little about food for thought, Leighton Meester and her high school days.

What is the significance of your blog name?
I came across the saying "Food for Thought" while I was thinking of a name, which means anything that provides mental stimulation and I wanted to apply that to makeup & beauty for the everyday girl who want to learn more about these things that most people think of as superficial on a more deeper level. 

What is your signature makeup look?
I always try to do something different but without fail it usually always involves a winged eye & glowy skin.

Who (a celebrity) do you think always gets it right when it comes to beauty? 
I always love Leighton Meester's effortless & subtly sexy makeup & also Amber Heards' sultry look. It helps that they are both stunning!

What is your dream career/job?
I'm studying Beauty Therapy at the moment but I'd love to eventually focus as a MUA one day. A beauty editor would be awesome for all the free products to try out, and the invitations to beauty events.

What is the best thing you have ever won?
When I was younger I won an awesome drawing book that I didn't even know I was in the draw to win at school. I've also won a couple of giveaways which is awesome!

What were you like at high school?
I was fairly quiet and I had a small group of friends that would change throughout the years. I was into Art & Japanese &  was good at English but sucked at Maths haha. I suppose you could say I was a quiet achiever and made it through without ever really standing out.

Thanks for being featured Ashleigh - I hope some of you were able to get to know a bit more about her or discover a new Australian blogger!

If you would like to nominate a blogger to be featured, please don't hesitate to let me know by emailing me at

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