Monday, 31 October 2011

Sleek 'Storm' Palette: Review and Swatches

My Sleek Palette arrived today, and I was sooooooooo excited that it had finally come! For those of you who don't know, Sleek is a UK 'high street' brand of makeup with fairly cheap prices (compared to Australian standards). Nearly every blogger I've seen has some form of Sleek product and raves about them all, so I thought I'd take the plunge and get a eyeshadow palette.

Now the first thing I noticed about the product is that both the box that it came in, as well as the palette casing itself, live up to the name of the brand - They're both in very sleek and classy thin, matte black packages with (almost embossed) shiny lettering. The palette itself is fairly compact, being not much bigger than an iPhone, with 12 pots, each 2cm in diameter.

Palette compared to an iPhone 4

Now the colours on the Storm, which I've yet to test the staying power of as this palette just arrived today, are extremely pigmented! The most pigmented, I would have to say, is the black. There are 3 matte eyeshadows (third on the top row, and last two on bottom row) in a colour similar to that of a waffle (ice cream) cone, a coffee colour, and a black. The rest of the colours are shimmery, but not glittery, which for me is a big plus!

Top row - a variety of soft browns(1,3,4),  a champagne(2) and a rose(5) and burgundy(6)

Bottom row - dark browns (1,5), a grey blue (2), dark green (3), sapphire (4) and black(6)

Sorry about the quality of the second row. The colours are pretty similar, but it suddenly got darker so the shimmer wasn't as pronounced.

The only issue I have with this palette is that many of the colours are really similar to colours I already have on the naked palette. Looking back, I should have gotten the original palette, as it has a bit more of a variety of colours that I don't already have, but the good priced eBay seller I found didn't have that one. Apart from that, I'm really happy with this set, and I think it will be good for making a different kind of smokey eye.

My two favorites definitely have to be the rose and the sapphire! This palette was highly impressive and I am certainly going to try buy another.

Do you have any 'drugstore' or cheaper palettes that you are highly impressed with?
Love Gianna

Sunday, 30 October 2011

To buyers of Mac Cosmetics, I have a question...

So i've been watching and reading numerous beauty videos and blogs, and see the numerous guru's with large collections of MAC products.  I couldn't figure out how fifteen year olds had these massive collections, until i realized the incredible price differences between Australian mac cosmetics and other countries.

What I've heard America's pay for their MAC products, is what we in Australia would be paying for better 'drugstore' products, such as Revlon.

Here are just a few of the price differences:
  • Eyeshadow - $33AU/$18US/£11.50
  • Lipstick$36AU/$17.50US/£13.50
  • Powder Blush - $41AU/$23.50US/£17
  • Studio Fix Fluid Foundation - $49AU/$32.50US/£19.50

I know of many Australia's who do buy Mac products, but I was wondering, if you had to start buying MAC at Australian prices, as opposed to the ones you are used too (whether it be US dollars or Pounds etc) would you continue to purchase them? I know I would certainly have a whole collection of MAC for US prices!!

Love Gianna

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Beauty Haul

So I was at Chadstone today, and it just so happened Priceline had a 20% off sale on all Cosmetics and Skincare, so I bought a few things that I wanted to try (even though afterwards I found out the brands would have better sales on later on in the week). I also went to Lush for the first time after hearing so many great things, and let me tell you, I am a convert!

The Australis Colour Inject Mineral Lipgloss in Lambada. I've been super impressed with the new range of Australis products, so decided to try what I thought would be neutral lipgloss. From what I can tell, it's a creamy baby pink that I wouldn't usually wear (mostly due to a mix between a class in my weirdly coloured Italian skin, and it's baby pink), but I figure that a light enough coat would be a nicely tinted casual lipgloss. It also has a smell that reminds me of apricots, but its not an over-the-top smell, and I actually really like it.

The Covergirl Lipslicks in Demure is in the form of a lipstick, but has the wear of a very sheer gloss. It's a colour that isn't a stain, but provides a dash of darker colour to my lips, and I'm really looking forward to trying this out.

The next thing I purchased was a Face of Australia Eye Primer in Matte. My camera couldn't capture the true colour of the product, which is an off white, and has no shimmer in it (FOA have a shimmer primer too). It is a thick, creamy consistency, and I'm also looking forward to trying this.

After Priceline, i went to Lush, and even though at first I was put off by the abundance of smells, after browsing all the products, I fell in love with the place! I had to restrict myself and settled on the Cupcake Face Mask, which is supposed to be good for oily skin (and smells like chocolate!), and the Sea Vegetable Soap, which is supposed to be uplifting. At the moment, they have a wide variety of Christmas products in, so I can't wait to go back to do my christmas shopping and bag me some goodies too!

Have you done any good hauls lately? Any new products you recommend?
Love Gianna

Monday, 24 October 2011

Calling All Australians...

Hey all, just a quick note I feel obliged as a cosmetic lover to share with everyone:

It's Priceline's tenth birthday coming up, so on the 25th and 26th of October (tomorrow and Wednesday) they're having heaps of great sales. Overall there is is 20% off the marked prices of all cosmetics and skincare, as well as even better sales for individual brands.

I think this is the perfect opportunity to stock up on old favorites, or test out those new products you've had your eye on.

Check out the catalogue here.

What do you think? Major haul time, or what!
Lots of Love, 

Sunday, 23 October 2011

e.l.f Essentials Beauty Encyclopedia - Review and Swatches

This is the perfect gift for yourself or for a friend. Add this trendy Little Book of Beauty as a reference guide to your collection.
This all-in-one compact includes the must-have makeup essentials:
12 eye shadow shades
1 eyeliner
1 eye shadow applicator 

If you follow bloggers or watch YouTubers from overseas, you'll have heard of this brand called e.l.f. From what I heard, it was a cheap, drugstore brand with relatively good-quality cosmetics. When I found out they had an Australian store, I was so excited to browse their products!

Let me tell you, the website did not disappoint! They have a great variety of really cheap products, compared to products we would find in Australia. Their 3 ranges have a vast variety of single products ranged from $1.99 - $9.99, with sets of products for as cheap as $15.

I had a look at their new products, and found this beauty book, with 12 eyeshadows at an introduction offer of only $3.99! I've been wanting to try some e.l.f products, and i thought for this price, this would be the ultimate product to begin with.

I chose the smokey eye set, which has a variety of matte and shimmery colours, which are super pigmented and also very smooth! It almost feels like a creamy product. The set also comes with this little instruction page, which is really handy for beginners, or people like myself, trying to venture out and try new things.

The dark colours, let me tell you, are just wow. One really light swipe gives you a super dark and pigmented colour,  that I was really impressed with! I took two swipes to get the same effect with the lighter colours, but thats basically a given with lighter shade.

(top row - matte white, shimmery dark grey, matte black, shimmery silver)

(middle row - shimmery off white, near-matte muted grey green, shimmery champagne, shimmery latte)

(bottom row - shimmery pale gold, shimmery orange gold, shimmery dark brown, shimmery bronze, accompanying eyeliner)

These colours give incredible payoff, and the black was definitely the most pigmented (I've heard reviews saying this rivals MAC's Carbon). The one downfall I had with this set is that the third colour in the second row is slightly crumbly, but apart from that, this set has no faults! Even the eyeliner that comes with this set is smooth. Not the most amazing thing ever, but certainly great for someone looking out to try eyeliners.

Overall, I am super impressed with this e.l.f set, and will definitely be repurchasing from the site, especially after hearing so many great things about a variety of products!

Being in Victoria, the the palette arrived 2 days after I ordered it! It is a flat rate of $5.80 for shipping, but there is free shipping for orders over $30, which I feel is extremely reasonable, and not at all hard to total given the range!

This palette has now gone up to $9.99, but I certainly feel it is worth it, whether you are a beginner looking into some basic colours, or broadening your general/smokey collection! I already have a naked palette, but I definitely think this will certainly be rivaling the use of that.

e.l.f Cosmetics have great prices for their products, and at the moment are having a month of 50% off one product per day, so it is definitely worth checking out!

Have you tried any e.l.f products? Which ones would you recommend?
Love Gianna

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

First Haul: Burts Bee's, BYS and more..

Firstly, I would just like to apologize for the terrible quality of this picture - my camera decided to skitz and I could not for  the life of my figure out how to fix it.
Secondly, I think i have the blogging bug. Either that or its a justification for the amount of cosmetics I have been buying. But i think it was the first - it's just kinda fun!
Anyway, to the point of this post - a haul! I've been doing a bit of cosmetics shopping as of late, and I think its because I've been trying to avoid exam study, but thankfully, last one is friday. Now onto the haul!

 Rimmel Long Lasting Lipsticks in 05 and 14

So i've already done a review on these lipsticks, but I had to put them in. I'm pretty sure the berry is my new favorite lipstick. These lipsticks are brilliant!

Burt's Bees Extra Energizing body wash, Naturally Nourishing body lotion, and Tinted Lip Balm in Hibiscus

So a while ago, I was at myer and they had this little Burt Bee's kit for $25AU, and never having tried them before, went to buy it. The added benefit was that it scanned up for $15 :)
Anyway, i tried the products, absolutely loved them, and was able to pick up these three babies at wholesale prices.
The body wash is one of the most amazing things ever - citrusy, with a hint of ginger, and leaves my skin feeling moisturized and smoothed. It's one of the most amazing things ever!!
The moisturizer reminds me a lot of the Palmers moisturizer - they smell the same, and are both incredibly moisturizing, and work like a treat. The only difference is,  that this is slightly more runny.
The tinted lip balm is a lovely colour, nice and smooth, but the one problem I have with this is that it has a slightly bubblegum-my smell that I'm not the biggest fan of.
I don't think I'd pay full price for the lip balm, but i'd certainly repurchase the body wash and moisturizer.

BYS blush in CandyFloss, and BYS Longwear Lipstick in Firey Fushia

I knew my one of the 3 local $2 shops sold BYS products, but i'd always just shrugged them off. Today I went in looking for the Coral blush so many people rave about, but they didn't have it. I settled for the CandyFloss, hoping to test the consistency and wear on this instead. It's a lovely shimmery, almost bubblegum pick, and I'll be excited to try this out.
I've also heard great reviews about the lipsticks and was wanting to try one, so when I saw this one, I knew I had to buy it. A gorgeous bright magenta, that goes on really smooth and has a nice consistency. Can't wait to bring that one out.
I also picked up a white crayon eyeliner. Haven't done too much with it yet, but its nicely pigmented and also really smoothed.
I'm becoming quite impressed with these BYS products. I'm def gonna go buy me some more :)

Savvy by DB Baked Mineral eyeshadow in Bronze

Last thing I picked up was a Savvy by DB baked mineral eyeshadow in Bronze. I've heard some reviews about this product saying that it was surprisingly good. It's kind of rough at first, but surprisingly pigmented. I'm excited to see the wear on this shadow.

I've also just ordered a Sleek and ELF eyeshadow palette. Can't wait for those to come :)

Have you done any great hauls lately? What's your favorite purchase been as of late?
Love Gianna

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Review: Rimmel 'The Kate Collection' Long Lasting Lipstick

(left: no. 14 - right: no. 05)

I've been hearing some great things about the new Kate Collection Long Lasting Lipsticks, which were released to celebrate the ten year anniversary of Kate Moss being that face of Rimmel London. After a poor excuse for my management exam, I sauntered over to my local Priceline (which is disappointingly small) and wouldn't you have it, they were there! There were only about 5 colours and no testers, so after eying at a few, I found a darker nude colour that I liked. It was a bit of a gamble, but hey, it's basically a part of history. After looking through them all, I happen to spot a single tube of a different colour, which happened to be a gorgeous darker berry pink, and not owning any pink lipsticks myself, snatched it up without a thought.

(Top: no. 14 - Bottom: no. 05)

Truthfully, there is not much fault with these two lipsticks. I haven't tested the staying power per se, but the consistency rivals that of my Dior Diorific lipstick (which is to say it's reaaaaaaaaaaally smooth), and is also pretty creamy. There is a fragrance to it that's hard to describe - its not a bad smell, but doesn't really tickle my fancy. Never really smelt a lipstick like that, but hey, its unique.

Overall, the Kate Collection Long Lasting Lipsticks are great lipsticks! There is a great range of colours, particularly a beautiful rich red (which, if i didn't have so many reds, would have bought  too), and my favorite, the no. 05 berry pink.

I'd definitely purchase more of these lipsticks! I'm actually considering going to stock up on 05, simply so I never run out it.

Have you tried the Kate Collection lipsticks yet? Would you be willing too?

Monday, 17 October 2011

Review: BYS Wonderland Nail Enamel in Down the Rabbit Hole

At first, I was very reluctant to try any BYS products of any kind, after I smelt the first nail polish and swear I got a little high of the fumes. I thought they were just a cheaper form of drugstore products, but after going through numerous brilliant beauty blogs (A+ for alliteration!), I began to reconsider my opinion. So many beauty guru's which I am huge fans of rave by many of the products, so I thought I'd give it a try. I was originally looking for the blush in Coral, which seems to be a huge hit among beauty bloggers, but i was stopped by the nail polishes rack - row upon row of the biggest variety of colours and types of products that i was just in awe. I was looking for a glow in the dark one mentioned by shellbarbie in a haul, but after scanning the racks and not seeing that one, and deciding to limited myself one polish, my eyes fell on this beauty.

I saw  beautiful black polish dotted with, not so much shimmer, but those silver sparkles that have the rainbow effect when in the light. When I tried it on though, it was very opaque - it was quite sheer and had the effect of a tinted black top coat. I continued, simply because any nail colour with sparkles automatically has my vote, and after three coats, you almost couldn't see my nail. I then decided to compare it as a top coat over a plain black polish:
(the left three: black with the top coat, one on the right: three coats of Down the Rabbit Hole)
As you can see, a couple more coats would have had it to full colour.

From what I can tell from the name, Down the Rabbit Hole, it appears to be a mini Alice in Wonderland collection, with two other colours in the collection named Adventures in Wonderland (a greeny multicoloured sparkle colour), and Through the looking glass (a bright blue with sparkles). They're all pretty colours, and can't wait for the rest!!

What do you think? Any other BYS products you would recommend?


Sunday, 16 October 2011

Products I regret buying

Now when I buy products, unless something immediately catches my eye (like many above) or I desperately need something I know I can't really go wrong with, I look into it a bit before I spend my hard earned moolah. These products above, may not necessarily be bad brands or products, its just that I wouldn't recommend them or buy them again.

Napoleon Perdis Champagne Set
I generally like the Napoleon products I've tried - I'm a big fan of the lipsticks and glosses, so when I saw this product I jumped at the chance to have a, basically, all in one makeup kit to chuck in my bag. The added bonus was that I picked it up on day with a massive sale, so scored it for around AU$30. The set comes with 18 eyeshadows, 4 blushes and 4 glosses (under the flap) but, after all this time,  I have seriously only used the peach and pinky red blush more than 3 times. The glosses aren't too bad, just too small and too much of a hassle to get out and use in a rush, but it was the eyeshadows that were the major disappointment. I originally chose this set for the gorgeous variety of neutrals that I could use for just about everything, but when tried, the pigmentation was shocking. When I tried to take a shot of some of them, it wouldn't even come up on camera. 

Such little payout for many hard rubs on each colour + the itchness that occurs whenever I wear these colours = big disappointment in the Champagne set

Rimmel I love Lasting Finish in 260 Sunshine and O.P.I in What's with that Cattitude
The Rimmel polish, the yellow shade, I picked up as an impulse purchase whilst waiting at the checkout at Priceline. I was looking for a bright summer shade, and at AU$2.35, I thought it was too good to pass up. The problem was, not only did it look horrible with my skin tone, when I applied it with my OPI base coat then later removed it, my nails were stained yellow. After multiple attempts in later days at scrubbing at my nails with nail polish remover, they were still tinged yellow, as they were 3 weeks later.

I didn't think 'lasting finish' meant after the nail polish was removed.

I am a huge O.P.I fan. I'm always browsing new collections on the website and ebay for old polishes that I haven't been able to find, so when I came across the Shrek collection and saw the colours, I was super excited! They looked like the perfect spring/summer colours, with a nice range of pastels and brights, and the names were even better. I picked up Ogre-the-Top (a bright sky blue), Funkey Dunkey (lovely bright/darker purple) and What's with that Cattitude (a pastel, baby blue). All the colours were great, the only problem I had was with the last mentioned. It looks gorgeous in the bottle, but even after 3 coats, it was still sheer, and my nail could be seen under the polish.

I love the colour, but don't want to have to spend an hour doing 10 coats to get full coverage.

Revlon Colour Stay 12 Hour Eyeshadow in Berry Bloom
This was the first ever Revlon eyeshadow set I've ever bought, and it was purchased last year when I was beginning to experiment more with makeup and colours. I was highly impressed with the product itself - nice, sleek and sturdy packaging, the consistency of the product incredibly smooth, and the pigmentation of these is excellent, as is the colours (not shown half as nicely in the picture as they truly are). The problem I have with this palette is the colours itself - I have no idea what possessed me to buy these colours! I never wear pink, never really have and most likely never will, unless it is on my nails. It doesn't even really suit my skin tone or 'bring out my eyes'. 

I love the colour stay range, and this product itself lives up to standard, but this product purchase was a faux pas made by me and only me.

Formula 10.0.6 Face The Day Tinted Moisturizer
So I bought this at the start of the year, when I had no knowledge about tinted moisturizers. I just thought they were slightly tinted and knew nothing about some of them having a shade range, so I purchased this for about AU$10, thinking it would just work. I've used other 10.0.6 products and really liked them, especially the pore strips and mud masks, so automatically thought that about this too. I opened this up, and the first thing i noted was the darkness. I've seen other tinted moisturizes to know that not many are this colour, especially when its the only colour in the range. I assumed it would be lightly tinted, or for more fair skin-toned people, rather than looking like a fake tan. I tried blending it out, but as you can see above, it really doesn't make a difference to the colour.

The product itself wasn't so bad, with nice consistency and adequate smell, but if I wanted to look like an orange, I'd buy a bad fake tan.

These products aren't necessarily bad, just rather products I wouldn't recommend or buy again. 
What do you think? Any products you think other people should watch out for?

Thanks for reading, 

Saturday, 15 October 2011

In the beginning..

Hi there.

Firstly, welcome to my blog. I haven't really ever had a blog before, so this is completely new to me. Yeah, I had a tumblr, but thats a whole other ballpark.

I've never been the girliest girl around; I mean, in high school (not too long ago) my signature do was the slicked back ponytale - a practical choice for a learning environment (I believed - looking back, not so good). It was in my final year at VCE when i really began to properly use makeup, even just the basic application. I had birthdays every weekend, and in fear of a terrible shot appearing on facebook, I tried to look presentable. My 'presentable' was foundation, waterline eyeliner, my sister doing my eyeshadow, and mascara, which I am proud to say, I was able to do on my own. I was basic, but it got the job done. It was also the beginning.

So began this year at university. I arrived first day, still quite warm in Australia, with my usual light, basic makeup, when i freaked out - this wasn't university, it was a fashion show! Most of the girls looked like they just stepped off a runway; they were stunning in every way possible. Being the plain jane that I am, I knew i had to step up my game - not to look modelesque, but just to feel like I wasn't sticking out like a sore thumb. After all, the only people allowed to wear trackies at uni are the sport students.

I took to youtube, studying basic tutorials and looks, becoming quite efficient with the essential techniques. I am nowhere near pro, but can do enough to get me through various situations. And even better? I love makeup. Like, I have to limit myself on how long, and how much I spend in Priceline and makeup counters.

Between my love of reading hauls, empties, tags, trying new products and reviews, and attempts at refining my own skills (whilst trying to work up the courage to use gel eyeliner and cream blush), I decided that my procrastination technique of reading beauty blogs and watching the videos was over. It's time to make my own blog, where I can show hauls, do tags, review products and help people trying to decide whether they really want to buy that mascara, whilst being entertaining at the same time.

Sorry for the spiel, and I'll actually be surprised if you read this all, but sometimes, its just easier to start at the beginning.

I'm super excited to start, so keep a lookout for reviews, tags and such coming up!

Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy