Matchy Matchy

There's something about colour coordination that I love, in moderation though. Matching accessories, clothes and especially makeup! Once I started wearing coordinating lip and cheek combinations, there was no going back. It's almost OCD how much I need the lip and cheek shades to be at least in the same colour family - it's even better if my nails match too ;) These are just a few of my favourite lip and cheek combinations, where in some cases, it's like each product was made for one another! Just so I don't keep repeating myself down the way, all of the combos compliment each other so well, and really bring a look together!

L-R: Maxfactor Soft Pink, NYX Peaches and Cream, theBalm Toile, NYX Antwerp

These two products are basically as pink as I'm willing to go on any sort of a regular basis. They're both that really pretty medium pink with quite warm undertones - an almost peachy pull. I love the formulas of both of these, and the combination has a really brightening, fresh-faced effect.

theBalm Instain Blush in Toile and NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Antwerp
There is something about this particular shade that is rather unique in my collection. Different to my typical peachy-pinks, they have a deeper, more reddish quality that almost gives them a strawberry type tinge. While the lip is more of a bold option, I feel like the blush perfectly accents it.

L-R: Tarte Exposed, Clarins Nude Caramel, Essence Natural Beauty

This is the somewhat "my lips and cheeks but better" option - neutral and natural but not too nude. I've professed my love for the Tarte and Clarins combo already here, but I thought I would throw in another option, which actually looks to be better suited. Natural Beauty is a bit more of a peachy-brown-mauve with a sheen that gives a lovely glow to the cheeks. Either of these is perfect when I want more of a 'nothing-y' cheek and lip!

L-R: Estee Lauder Fresh Plum, Soft Amethyst

Estee Lauder Tender Blusher in Fresh Plum and Signature Lipstick in Soft Amethyst
Want a fresh Autumnal duo? These are your guys. Sadly they're both discontinued - oops. Sorry! I really wish they weren't though because together they are perfect for getting the cooler, more purply-plum tones for A/W without going super dark and vampy. The blush really is pretty much the perfect accompaniment for any purple/plum/cool lip colour. 

L-R: BYS Leftmost shade, MAC Morange, Revlon Audacious, BYS Rightmost shade, Maybelline Vibrant Mandarin

I thought I wouldn't get much wear out of the leftmost shade in this BYS trio because it is pretty much a straight up orangey-peach, but quite contrarily, depending how light-handed you are, it goes hand-in-hand with bold shades like Morange. You might think it's orange overload, but actually with a more subtle cheek it really pulls together the look.

BYS Blush Trio in Coral Me In (rightmost shade) and Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm in Audacious or Maybelline Colour Sensational Vivids in Vibrant Mandarin
Gee, I have a thing for corals. The blush shade is a really great coral that has the perfect mix of pink, orange and red, making a great shade to go with basically any coral. I think colour-wise it best matches Audacious, but really it looks amazing with either lippy! Again with a bold lip (and the cray pigmentation of this trio), a light hand is advised!

I hope you guys enjoyed this post, and perhaps took some ideas or inspiration from it! I have many more combos that I could have mentioned (like the abundance of peachy-pink blushes and lip colours), but I thought these were the most notable from my stash!

What are your favourite lip and cheek combinations? Do you like to go matchy-matchy?


Spa Perfect Scrubbin'

I am quite big on the whole exfoliating front, whether it be chemical or manual. I have a lot of dark spots, and acne scars (as well as acne and a rather uneven skin surface) and exfoliation definitely helps in that department. It helps unclog pores, as well as sloughing away dead skin to reveal smoother and brighter skin. The sole scrubby scrub I've been using for the past few months has been the Sanctuary Spa Brightening Facial Radiance Exfoliator and it's time to share my thoughts on it!

The packaging of this scrub is nice and practical - a slim plastic tube with a green flip-top lid. I actually also really like their branding/titling of the product, how it is clean and minimalistic.

What drew me in straight away to this scrub was it's name - Brightening Facial Radiance Exfoliator. A lot of scrubs are marketed towards pore-unclogging and acne-prone skin so this was a nice change in claims. Another incentive that I found with this product was that along with "Ultra-fine apricot granules and grape seed" that help exfoliate and refine the skin, there is a "trio of pumpkin, pineapple and papaya extracts [that] work naturally to help increase cell renewal", sort of like a chemical exfoliant. The citrus-y components give the scrub a very nice light, slight citrus-y refreshing scent that I quite enjoy. They say it's been "naturally fragranced with plant extracts and essential oils" but it could be a trigger for those of you with particularly sensitive skin. 

The actual scrub has quite a gel-y base but one that doesn't foam up at all, but sort of just acts as a slippy base to carry the granules. I wouldn't say that the granules are "ultra-fine" but actually quite gritty, which you can see in the photo above. They aren't scratchy or 'sharp' but they can be quite rough. They say you can use it 2-3 times a week which I would agree with, but I wouldn't suggest any more than that. That also, of course, depends on how vigorously you are scrubbing. I tend to just go around the face with slightly more than a pea size, in circular motions for about thirty seconds or so. I then like to leave it on my face while I wash my body just so I can give the fruit extracts an opportunity to do some exfoliating. After rinsing, my face feels quite soft but also a tad dry. It also looks a little red but that is to be expected with the combination of friction and warm water. My skin isn't irritated or aggravated afterward at all.

This has been a lovely scrub that I've been using 1-2 times a week. The results I've seen haven't been drastic but I do think that a manual scrub is essential, and I like this as I know it's doing more than just ridding my skin of dead cells. My skin is softer and I will admit slightly more radiant-looking after use, and with consistent and prolonged use, I think it will help with the fading of scars. Overall my skin has been in pretty good condition since starting using this, and a scrub I will continue using, and update progress later or in an empties post! It retails for AUD$19.99 at Priceline.


Sheer Sheen

If there's one thing I love besides blush on the cheeks, it's a good highlight. Though, what much else goes on the cheeks? Haha, but I do love me some glow on the cheeks, mainly because I love looking a bit healthier and more dewy. I also barely have any cheekbones, so I'll take anything I can get to make 'them' more prominent! Today I've got the Arbonne Sheer Glow Highlighter*, one thing of which I can say for sure - it lives up to its name.

Top: No highlighter, Bottom: Highlighter

The highlighter is packaged in a slim, long tube with a nozzle. The nozzle makes it easy to control how much product you squeeze out.While I like the simple, sleek and clean branding and packaging, I feel like the packaging could feel more luxe to reflect its price ($56). Perhaps a bottle with a pump? 

The texture of this highlighter is quite thin and very lightweight feeling. The actual feel is a bit harder to describe. It's not creamy per se, but it does have a slippy, sheeny feel to it (if that makes sense). Before squeezing out the product, I'd recommend shaking the tube as I find it can separate a bit. Like I said, it lives up to its name. This product is very sheer. I hope you can tell the nature of this highlighter from the photos I've taken. When blended out fully-ish (last photo), you can see it doesn't give off a crazy amount of shimmer or sheen and that was using quite a liberal amount of product. Due to its sheerness, it doesn't multitask like a lot of other liquid highlighters. Where with others you could mix in with your foundation, or apply like a primer, with this one, it's much too sheer to really have much of an effect. The sheen is too subtle and is covered/overpowered by the foundation rendering it pointless. My favourite way of using this product is dotted and tapped onto the cheekbones with my fingers. I don't rub too much as I find tapping to glean the most shine from it while still blending it. That is what I love about its texture, it's so blendable and really looks seamless on the skin. You could also apply/blend with a stippling brush but then again it sheers it out.

Arbonne states that it suits all skintones and I would tend to agree, mainly because it's so sheer it doesn't give off much colour. You can see on my hand though that it gives off the slightest pinky-silver tinge. Like I said, there's really no shimmer or glitter to be found and really, it's just pure sheen. I think its redeeming quality is that it looks so natural and dewy and pretty. It really looks like you've got nothing on but that natural glow. I really do like using this on a lot of areas of my face: cheekbones, bridge of the nose, between the brows, chin. It's so subtly beautiful and natural looking which is why I think its sheerness can be forgiven.

Now this product ain't cheap, and it really depends on what sort of person you are. I only really use this for a singular purpose and while it fulfills that purpose beautifully, I'm not sure that I could justify that much money on a single product. It's definitely a nice-to-have item. If it's the au naturel glow you're after, and you can afford to splurge, then maybe this is the highlighter to check out!

*Product was sent for consideration.


NOTD // Mottled Lilac

A nail trend that has been floating around over the past year has been the speckled egg effect. It's essentially just another milky glitter, but with black glitters to give a speckled effect. I have done a previous NOTD with a Sportsgirl polish with much the same effect. I believe Illamasqua was the first brand to bring these types of polishes out (to the mainstream market at least) sometime last year. Due to their limited nature, I managed to snag one of them on clearance for only $5! Bargain I say! I bought the shade Speckle.

Speckle is comprised of a pastel purply-lilac shade with a slight grey, dusty tinge and the matte black glitters in three different sizes. The different sizes help give the speckled look with their overall non-uniformity and random placement. The light dusty nature of the lilac definitely reminds me of the pretty pastel speckled eggs, and I think with a matte top coat you could even increase their similarity.

I used two coats to get the finish shown here. The polish is very smooth and applied evenly, and a good amount of glitters came onto the brush with little extra effort. The opacity of the base polish is pretty perfect for the polish's milky finish as it's pigmented and non-streaky, but also sheer enough that you can see the black glitters in the coat below. I finished off with top coat to get a glassy, smooth finish. The staying power was pretty good, but nothing outstanding. For a high-end nail polish, the quality definitely comes through its formula. It did chip a little within the first few days but I was doing rather rigorous outdoor work and the Essence Peel Off base coat that I used can sometimes have the tendency to make the polish chip a little easier.

Overall I think the finish is adorable and this particular shade is quite unique in my collection. Where this collection was limited, you might still be able to find it on clearance at your Illamasqua counter. Otherwise, Ulta3 did release their own speckled collection last month which you might be able to get your hands on!


☼ Sun Milk ☼

Hey guys! Today I have a review on a product(s) that has made its way - rather swiftly - into my everyday routine. Sunscreen is something I think is very important for the obvious reasons of protecting your skin from skin cancer, as well as preventing wrinkles/signs of aging and sun spots and freckles. I also have quite badly scarred skin so I don't want those to get any darker! One thing that Asians obsess over is sunscreen and protecting their skin (maybe that's why Asian skin typically doesn't show much ageing??), mainly to keep their paleness. So, you can definitely count on them having many SPFs with comfortable formulas and high factors of protection. One of the best-selling Asian sunscreens comes from Biore, of which I have two versions: the UV Perfect Face Milk and the UV Bright Face Milk, both of which containing SPF 50+ PA+++.

Perfect face milk, Bright face milk

Both come packaged in a small plastic tube/bottle with a nozzle that makes dispensation of the product easy to control, and unlikely to leak. Because the sunscreen is very liquid-y, the bottles come with a 'shaker' ball (or some sort of object) to help mix up the product. I always give them a good shake before use because they have the tendency to separate. 

Like I said, the consistency of both versions is much the same being very liquid-y. To be honest, it's very difficult to discern much difference the two, but I can see a few differences and I do prefer one over the other. What is unique (to me) about these sunscreens is that they have a matte finish, and basically feel like nothing on the skin. Where a typical Western sunscreen is thick, creamy and oily at times, these are the complete opposite. I find when I wear these sunscreens, they act as a primer. I find they control oil extremely well and help prolong the wear of my foundation/base and reduce shine throughout the day. The very thin formula took me a while to get used to. I'm not totally sure how much I should use of this because they essentially absorb into the skin as soon as they're applied. I'm kind of left thinking, "is this enough?". I use about a five cent coin sized 'puddle' and it covers my whole face (from what I can tell). So far I haven't been burnt so it seems to be doing its job! One of the main ingredients is alcohol which you should be wary of. I assume that's what makes it so fast absorbing and oil-controlling. I don't find it drying at all, but if you have extremely dry skin you might not find this product works for you.

From what I gather, the main difference between the two formulas is that the Bright Face Milk has a slight pink tint aimed at brightening the complexion, which you can sort of see in the swatches. Once blended onto the skin, and then makeup applied on top, I don't notice much brightening at all. I don't believe this has any skin benefits in terms of brightening, so in my opinion, the bright 'tint' is sort of redundant. I also notice that the Bright Face Milk is slightly more creamy feeling? It still has the same consistency, but it feels less dry when you rub it into the skin. I also notice that the oil control effects are slightly worse with this one. For that reason, I personally much prefer the Perfect Face Milk.

I have to say, my first experience with Asian sunscreen has been a good one. They are so comfortable to wear and even act as a primer. I would definitely repurchase the Perfect Face Milk!

Have you tried any Asian sunscreens?


Adorned with Unicorns

Lime Crime is a brand I've always been intrigued by because of their out-there, quirky colours and eccentric, bright packaging. Recently, my sister won one of their Opaque Lipsticks in a competition and it was my sneaky sisterly duty to try it out - after all, I only do her makeup for her ALL the time! She ended up picking out the shade Centrifuchsia which is definitely one of their more tame and wearable shades.

Of course, the packaging must be addressed! I'm sure you've all seen the Lime Crime packaging before - it's certainly not one you'd forget. The lipstick is actually fatter than I expected. I thought it was just like the MAC packaging (tampon-esque) and it is, but a bit bigger. It is a bright purple shade with a holographic unicorn and sparkles encircling it. Awesome. It shuts securely and sure is very fun packaging! The bullet itself comes to quite a point that makes it pretty easy to get a precise application of the product.

I've heard lots of good things about the formula, so I was expecting greatness - or at least something to do the amazing packaging justice! The lipstick has the slightest sheen to it and glides on very easily with very good pigmentation. It is slightly buildable though and retains the slightest bit of translucency. It can be applied quite heavily or lightly depending on the coverage you're after. The texture is very thin and comfortable on the lips. The staying power is really amazing! This particular shade stains the lips quite a bit - to the degree that the stain was still there the next morning! The sheen wears down pretty soon after application, but the colour hangs around for a good four or so hours afterward. You could probably get away without reapplying after eating - depends on what you're eating though haha!

Centrifuchsia is a fuchsia colour as the name suggests, but slightly darker with a touch more raspberry-red to it. I think this colour would be very much universally flattering and very wearable with a multitude of other makeup looks, but it can still be quite bold. 

The lipstick certainly is lovely and there's not much more you could improve on really! They aren't terribly expensive at AUD$22 from Princess Polly, but prices vary depending on where you purchase them from. Their shade range certainly is remarkable with very unique colours. I would be interested in picking up some more shades - I particularly like the look of Poisonberry and Geradium.

Have you tried any of Lime Crime's lipsticks?


The Beauty Scenario Tag

I was tagged by the amazingly awesome Sheri to do the Beauty Scenario tag! This tag was created by one of my favourite youtubers, Lily Pebbles, and basically asks you what you would do in a number of beauty related scenarios! Let's dive in!

1. You have to get rid of all your foundations and only keep one high end and one drugstore. Which do you keep?
I don't own too many foundations, and only one or two that actually suit my skintone at the moment, so both of these sort of 'won' by default - though I do love both of them! For drugstore, I would keep the Neutrogena Healthy Skin Liquid makeup in the shade Natural Beige. Firstly, it's really hard to get here in Australia, so I would definitely want to keep it. I do really love its medium coverage, dewy/satin finish and the shade is spot on for me. I actually only own one high-end foundation being the Arbonne Perfecting Liquid Foundation* in shade Honey Beige. I do really like this foundation, it has good medium if not slightly more coverage and a nice satin finish that lasts really well on the skin.

2. You go to an interview and the lady interviewing you has lipstick on her teeth. Do you approach the subject or ignore it completely?
I would definitely ignore it completely for a number of reasons. Firstly, wouldn't it be awkward telling a complete stranger they have lipstick on their teeth in general, let alone an interview situation? Like "oh, I'm gonna have to interrupt you, you have lipstick on your teeth", I think it would be quite embarrassing for them and just plain awkies. I'd tell a friend any day but in this case, nup.

3. You're not feeling yourself and you need a pick me up lipstick. Which do you go for?
I would definitely go for a bold lipstick shade. I actually think that my lips are one of my best features, my eyes and eyelashes are not great, and I really don't have great bone structure, so I actually do feel pretty good when I put on a nice, bold lipstick to draw attention to my lips. I particularly love matte shades as I know they'll be longer lasting, and less likely to transfer onto my teeth/move around! I really like my corals/oranges and deep berry, plums. Just a couple of my faves are the Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm in Audacious and the Wet n Wild Megalast Lip Colour in the shade Sugar Plum Fairy.

4. You go back in time for a day to your teenage years; how would you do your hair and makeup differently? 
Weeeeell considering I'm still in my teenage years, I wasn't sure how to answer this. I think I was pretty lucky because I only started wearing makeup after I got into beauty Youtube channels and blogs, so I did have a basic knowledge of dos and don'ts, and I don't think I looked terrible? Hopefully? I will say that I was a stinge and didn't buy a whole lot of the essentials. I used to fill in my eyebrows with black eyeliner...Eek! But the eyeliner was pretty crappy - not very pigmented or creamy, and I brushed the heck out of them with a spoolie, so I didn't have crazy black eyebrows at least! I would go back and just be like, buy an eyebrow pencil or kit bro, just do it. Oh I used to also wear the original Garnier BB Cream which was quite orange, sheer and made me quite oily. I would stop that right in its tracks!

5. You ask your hairdresser for a shoulder length Pixie Lott cut, but they hear you wrong and give you a pixie hair cut. Do you a) Smile, say thank you, leave and call your Mum crying hysterically, b) Cry in the chair and things get awkward or c) Complain to the Manager and demand a refund? 
Now, realistically, I would hopefully notice them getting too short and stop them, but I'll go with the hypothetical. I think I would be a combination of a few of the options. Considering my hair is pretty long, and they cut basically all of it off, I'd like to think that I'd be like, "What?! Umm, I asked for a shoulder length hair cut, not a Pixie cut!", and hopefully the hairdresser would react and give me a refund. I probably wouldn't get all up in their grill and demand a refund but bish cut off all my hair, I would be pissed! Knowing me though, I'd probably chicken out and go for option a, but I don't think I'd be crying hysterically. I am super shy and literally suck at asking for things. My mum would probably then come out and demand a refund lol, that's just who she is.

6. Your friend surprises you with a 4 day city break and you have 1 hour to pack. Which 'do it all' palette do you pack in your makeup bag?
I would definitely grab the theBalm Balm Jovi palette. It literally has every colour product in it - an amazing range of eye shadow shades and finishes, a highlighter, blush and two lip colours that you could also use on your cheeks. Also, it's super thin and travel friendly!

7. Your house has been robbed (don't worry, everyone is safe) and your beauty stash has been raided. What's the product your really hope is safe?
Basically anything that's remotely expensive or limited edition, because I probably couldn't afford to repurchase right away, or it's no longer available! I have a couple of products that I'd really, really hope were safe; the Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Exposed because these are still really hard to get here in Australia, and my friend got it for me all the way over in New York, and the Estee Lauder Signature Lipstick in Venetian Rose because I love the colour (it's the perfect nude-y peach) and it's a discontinued shade.

8. Your friend borrows your makeup and returns it in awful condition. Do you a) Just pretend you haven't noticed, b) Ask them to repurchase it or c) Secretly do the same to something of theirs?
Well certainly not c, because that's just plain rude. I would only really lend my makeup to close friends, and people I would trust with it. Also, I think that hopefully they would notice if they'd completely wrecked my product and offer to replace it anyways. Besides, they're my friend, and I think we would be on good enough terms that I could just ask them to repurchase it for me, if it was really ruined. 

That was a pretty fun and interesting tag to do, thanks Sheri for tagging me. I tag Vanessa, Jen, Nhi, Yige and Monica & Linny if you guys haven't already done it, and anyone else who would like to!

*Product was sent for consideration.


Who lives in a Pineapple under the Sea?

Miracle Complexion Sponge! Haha, I guess I couldn't resist with that title..even though I wasn't really a big fan of Spongebob Squarepants :P. Anyway! So today I have my review on the latest sponge all star - the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge. This is the first ever sponge I'd tried so I wasn't really sure what to expect but I had heard raves about this particular one, and that it is supposedly the closest to the original, amazing Beauty Blender!


Sidenote: I think this was the first Real Techniques product that Nic was involved in (she's also involved with the new travel brushes). I'd always wondered why it was only Sam and not the both of them from the beginning...but anyway!

The sponge is bright orange to match the other face tools in the Real Techniques collection. Considering I've never used or felt any other sponges, I can't compare its texture to others. It is though very squishy and soft, and quite porous as you can see. It's quite a bit firmer when it's dry, but when dampened it feels so squishy and fun! I basically only use it damp because it's a sponge - and if it's dry it's gonna suck up all your foundation! Hopefully you can see in the photos that when dampened the sponge expands in size quite a bit (by around 50%), and is almost the size of my cheek!

In terms of how it goes in application, it takes a while - longer than it would using a brush. I think there are a few reasons for this. Because the sponge is damp, the foundation is sheered out slightly due to the water so it's best to squeeze out and dry as much of the water as possible. Also, even though it's damp, I still find it sucks up quite a bit of foundation as I notice I need almost twice the amount than I would usually need when using a brush. It does require patience to blend and apply the foundation, but the result is definitely worth it. Where a brush simply buffs the product over the skin, a damp sponge really blends and melds the product into the skin, basically creating a 'one with skin' finish. Also due to it's dampness, the finish of the foundation isn't at all dry, or cakey as it can be with a brush.

The main advantage of this sponge is it's rather unique shape and having three different surfaces - a flat one, the traditional rounded side and a precision tip. These different surfaces make the sponge quite versatile and effective for a few different methods. With the flat edge I find I can blend and apply foundation by patting or swiping the product in. My favourite way to apply foundation with this sponge though is with the rounded side. I bounce - or 'bump' as Tati likes to call it - the product in (just like I've seen in all the tutorials and GRWMs I've watched!) and it seems to blend and meld the foundation in excellently. The tip is great for precise concealing, or getting into the nooks and crannies of the face. You need to use light dabbing motions with the tip though because if you press too hard, it just gets squished in, defeating its purpose.

Overall, I've been loving this for applying my foundation because of the very lovely finish it gives. However, for daily use or if I'm in a hurry, I still prefer something like the Buffing Brush because it's much quicker and provides more coverage. It retails for $6 on iHerb, so much cheaper than the beauty blender!

Have you tried the Miracle Complexion Sponge or any like it?