Monday, 30 March 2015

The Parcel - Autumn Edit - Beauty Subscription Box Review

Oh my goodness, I can't believe it's autumn already! Once again time is flying!

One of the best things about a new season is the arrival of another new Marie Claire The Parcel subscription box!

Marie Claire's The Parcel Autumn Edit arrived at my home two weeks ago.

Listed below in alphabetical order are all the products I received in the Marie Claire The Parcel Autumn Edit. I have quoted the product information that The Parcel provides on its information card in italic print and I've followed this with my comments in normal print.

Garnier Skin Naturals Miracle Skin Cream
Full Size 50ml. Value: $19.95.

"Upon first contact, this clever cream auto-adjusts to each skin tone, working immediately to illuminate and smooth skin, while the added antioxidants work long-term to tackle wrinkles, dark spots and dehydration."

This Garnier anti-ageing miracle cream sounds brilliant and exactly like what my 40+ year old skin needs at this point in time! I love the sound of both the immediate and longer term benefits it claims to result in. 7 anti-ageing actives - wow! My skin definitely needs this! 

Lancome Advanced Genifique Youth Activating Concentrate
Deluxe Sample Size: 7ml. Value: $22.15. (Full Size  30ml: $95)

"This multi award-winning serum works to repair and reactivate the 10 visible signs of youthful-looking skin. After cleansing and before moisturising apply three drops evenly across your face and neck each morning and evening for skin that instantly looks smoother and more supple and luminous."

I'm currently trialling another luxurious Lancome product, Renergie Multi-lift cream, which I'm absolutely loving and finding really suited to my 40+ year old skin so I'm looking forward to trialling this Lancome Advanced Genifique Youth Activating Concentrate also. I love how The Parcel includes deluxe sized samples of high end products because I'm often hesitant to buy such expensive products without adequately trialling them beforehand.

L'Occitane Dry Skin Hand Cream in Shea Butter, Zesty Lime, Vanilla Bouquet or Rose Heart
Sample Size 30ml. Value: $8.40. (Full Size 150ml: $42)

"Enriched with 20 per cent shea butter, this balm penetrates quickly to protect and nourish even the driest skin. With one sold every three seconds, we have no doubt that you'll love this hydrating hand cream."

I was a little bit disappointed that I received the Shea Butter version of this hand cream. Much as I love this hand cream I have already bought it a couple of times before and actually still have a full size tube of it at home. I would have preferred to receive one of the other varieties of this hand cream that I have not yet tried.

Having said that this sample sized hand cream will be very convenient for popping into my handbag especially in the upcoming drying autumn and winter seasons and for travelling with.

Max Factor Masterpiece Transform Mascara in Black
Full Size 12 ml. Value: $23.95.

"No matter which make-up trend you're sporting this season, beautifully defined lashes are essential. This slender wand with shorter bristles ensures that every lash is coated from root to tip - make-up guru Pat McGrath used this backstage at the Victoria Beckham show at New York Fashion Week for a naturally full effect."

I'm always needing new mascaras as I try to replace them every three months as recommended. This is a high impact volumising mascara, just what I am currently needing to replace! 

MOR Emporium Classics Snow Gardenia Triple-Milled Soap
Sample Size: 100g. Value: $11.00. (Full sized 180g soap: $19.95)

"Hand-wrapped in tissue paper, these triple-milled soaps add a touch of luxury to every day. They combine floral notes of gardenia with sweet almond oil, shea butter and vitamin E to leave the skin feeling nourished and fragranced."

As soon as I removed the plastic wrapping from this subscription box I could smell the gorgeous gardenia scent of this soap. Absolutely divine! I look forward to pampering myself with this soap. I love the fact it also contains shea butter.

Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes
Travel Size: 7 towelettes. Value: $3.99.

"Nothing beats the convenience of a cleansing towelette. Wipe away all traces of dirt, oil and make-up in one easy step and, unlike other wipes that can cause irritation, these ultra-soft cloths can remove even waterproof mascara without stinging your eyes."

Travel size packs of makeup remover wipes are always useful to have in my handbag. The fact that these wipes easily remove waterproof mascara without stinging my sensitive eyes is an added bonus.

Rimmel BB Cream Radiance in Medium
Full Size 30ml. Value: $12.95

"Due to hit stores next month, we're delighted to be able to offer you this exclusive preview. Formulated with skin-brightening vitamin C complex and comforting shea butter to tackle winter dehydration, this do-it-all skin perfecter will leave you looking naturally glowing."

It's exciting to receive a yet to be released new product. I enjoy using BB creams especially on days that I have to rise super early for work. BB creams are so easy and time-saving to use. If it results in me "looking naturally glowing" as advertised this will be a huge win after an early morning start! I'm happy with the medium shade that I received.

Schick Hydro Silk 
Full Size. Value: $14.25.

"Make your morning go a little smoother with this nifty razor. The water-activated moisturising serum hydrates for up to two hours post-shave, while five blades with skin guards provide closeness minus the nicks, so you get silky legs every time."

This razor will come in handy. The sound of the moisturising serum sounds appealing to me. 

In conclusion Marie Claire's The Parcel subscription boxes are continuing to impress me. The products once again have been well selected to match the upcoming season, in this case autumn, and are a good mix of new products and old favourites. There is nothing in this box that I won't use!

The value of this box is fantastic. This season I calculate the value of the box to be $116.64. For a small outlay of $25 this represents absolutely brilliant value! I will definitely be continuing to subscribe to this box.

Which of these products appeals to you the most?


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Monday, 23 March 2015

10 Tips Learnt At The Styling You Selfie Workshop

It was with great excitement and anticipation but also a lot of trepidation that I stepped into the private dining room at QT Sydney to attend the Selfie Workshop hosted by none other than Nikki Parkinson from Styling You, and Olympus.

What was I doing? I'm predominantly a beauty blogger, not a fashion blogger and I'm not a selfie taker but here I was stepping completely and utterly out of my comfort zone about to immerse myself in the world of selfie taking!

I have been a fan girl of Nikki's for a while now. Nikki is the Selfie Goddess with her daily #everydaystyle photos which she has done for well over a year now without missing a single day! Wowee! If anyone could teach me how to take a decent selfie it would be Nikki.

Luckily Nikki realised that not all of us are as comfortable in front of the camera as she is, so very thoughtfully she gifted us all with a fabulous aromatherapy product from Twenty-8, a Courage & Confidence spray. 

So, after a presentation by Nikki of her top Selfie Taking Tips, a bit of instruction re the amazing Olympus cameras from their expert, Quett, and a lot of spritzes of Courage & Confidence we were off, putting our newly learnt theory into practice and taking selfies left, right and centre! 

Here are the top 10 tips I learnt from Nikki's presentation:

1. Lighting is important. Natural indirect light is your friend.
Nikki explained how it's best to have the light source behind the camera and the photographer so the light falls on the subject. Here's two photos that illustrate why!

2. For a head shot selfie have the camera slightly above your head height to avoid double chin looks.

I did have two photos to illustrate this as well but even with the Courage & Confidence spray I'm too vain to put my "camera too low resulting in a quadruple chin turkey neck" photo up on this post! Sorry about that but here's the better version with the camera slightly above my head height as recommended by Nikki.

3. For a full length selfie Nikki recommended setting the camera height on a tripod or have the photographer hold the camera at about your chest height to avoid you looking out of proportion. If the camera is held too high your legs will look shorter. If it's too low your body will look shorter.

4. Also for full length photos the positioning of your body is important in achieving a slimmer and more flattering photo. If standing front on to the camera, have your hips turned to the side and twist your upper body towards the camera. This feels slightly strange at first but gives you a much slimmer and more flattering photo.

5. Create some space between your arms and your body for a more flattering photo.  You can do this by placing one or both hands on your hips. Another flattering pose Nikki suggested is when wearing a jacket, have one hand on your hip and the other holding the edge of your jacket.

6. Cross one leg over the other for a slimmer and more flattering photo. Alternatively position one foot out to the side and forwards a bit to create space between your legs. The latter positioning works well together with tip 4.

7. When taking selfies with two people in the photo get as close to the other person as possible. Forget about personal space! The closer you are to the other person the better the photo looks.

8. The above photo also illustrates the importance of head & chin position. Nikki recommends tilting your chin out and slightly up to once again avoid the double chin look. She does this pose perfectly! Me, I've got a bit of practicing to do in front of the mirror I think!

9. In group wefies Nikki also recommends to get as close together as possible. Photo credit for this wefie goes to Nikki.

10. A plain background such as a painted wall will allow the clothes you are wearing to stand out. Usually it's better to avoid a "busy" background.

And finally a bonus tip, because everyone loves a bonus!

11. The final tip I learnt from Nikki's Selfie workshop was that a good camera does make a huge difference! At home I've been using my iPad and my daughter's iPhone to take my photos whereas at this workshop I used the Olympus PEN-E-PL7. I now fully understand why this amazing little camera has been nicknamed the Selfie Camera. It really is easy to use, fantastic for taking selfies and has in-built wi-fi. I really, really, really want one, no make that NEED one! 

Thank you Nikki for being so generous in sharing your selfie taking tips with us! I really appreciated it and loved meeting you. Thank you Olympus for the use of your cameras during this workshop. #OlympusLovesBloggers really is an accurate hashtag! Hopefully my selfie photos will show a significant improvement from now on!

Have you stepped out of your comfort zone recently?


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Monday, 16 March 2015

Rimmel Apocalips Lip Velvet Meteoric Matte Review

Being 40+ years old I sometimes feel that glossy bright lipsticks can be a bit too much for me to wear comfortably. I tend to think matte bright colours look a lot more flattering. So I was super excited when Rimmel London recently released their new Apocalips Matte Lip Velvet range of lipsticks in Australia. 

The Apocalips Matte Lip Velvet range includes four different shades: 
206 Atomic Rose, a light dusty rose 
307 Meteoric Matte, a gorgeous berry/plum 
405 Orange-ology, a bright tangerine, &
505 Burning Lava, a bright red.

I was lucky to receive my favourite shade, Meteoric Matte, from Coty PR Australia to review for this blog post.

As stated above Meteoric Matte is a gorgeous berry/plum colour. It's close to Pantone's 2015 Colour of the Year, Marsala, so it's definitely an on-trend colour for this autumn and winter. 

Like the original Apocalips these matte lipsticks are a liquid lipstick. It might be a bit hard to see in the photo below but the applicator has a slight indent in it, so it stores quite a bit of product on it. This increase in the amount of product on the applicator made applying the lipstick a little bit trickier than normal, especially given the strong pigmentation of it, but I'm sure I'll get used to it with a bit more practice. To begin with you just need to go slow and take care to avoid mistakes. This is definitely not a lipstick for me to apply quickly on the go.

For trialling purposes I wore this lipstick without lip liner but will definitely be using lip liner with it in the future to prevent any risk of feathering.

My findings after trialling the Meteoric Matte are as follows:
-  Lovely intense pigmentation
-  Gorgeous rich colour
-  Flattering smooth velvet finish
-  Good staying power
-  Leaves a pretty stain on your lips once the colour does eventually wear off
-  Surprisingly moisturising on my lips and not at all dry like some other matte lipsticks I've 
-  Comfortable to wear!

What is your current favourite lipstick?


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Monday, 9 March 2015

Fabulous Fashion Finds: Leopard Print

Confession: I love, love, LOVE leopard print! 

To me, leopard print is not an exotic, special occasion print, but a totally classic everyday neutral. I wear leopard print several times a week, although working in a corporate environment I do tone it down at work, mainly wearing leopard print accessories such as scarves, belts, handbags and shoes, rather than full on leopard print.

My current favourite skirt is my Bohemian Traders Animal Print High Low Skirt, pictured below. Whenever I wear it I have the irresistible urge to twirl!

Bohemian Traders is an online boutique I have only discovered at the end of last year but as many of you already probably know, it has the best collection of boho clothing ever! I'm currently waiting to receive their Liberty Linen Dress in pale pink which I plan on teaming with my existing leopard print scarf. Pale pink and leopard print is one of my all time favourite fashion combinations.

Most of my leopard print accessories are several seasons old. Being such a classic, leopard print never goes out of fashion!

Recently however I decided to investigate the purchase of some additional items of leopard print for my wardrobe. Luckily for you, I'm happy to share my leopard print fabulous fashion finds and sources with you. See links below.

Nine West Leopard Luxe Tote Bag 
Nine West also has a gorgeous cross body bag, clutch and various shoes in their leopard luxe range.

Jane Debster Jazz Animal/Black Suede Boot
I'm lusting after this leopard print boot. It is arriving in stores soon. Jane Debster also has a show stopping animal print heel with a pointed toe and gold embellishment detail.

ASOS AJ Morgan Kiss Cat Eye Glasses

Jane Debster Illusion Animal Hair Ballet Flat

Bohemian Traders Animal Print High Low Print Skirt 
Bohemian Traders also has a stunning leopard print maxi dress, singlet top and flutter shorts.

Adidas Tank Top 
This fitness top combines two of my favourites: the colour pink and leopard print! Plus this top is currently on sale!

ASOS Supertrash Shirt Dress
This would look great with leggings in autumn and winter.

ASOS Curve Pants
ASOS has dozens of other leopard print items including underwear, swimwear, dresses, pants, tops and jackets.

Adidas Stella McCartney Windbreaker
This windbreaker would be great for autumn/winter casual leisure wear. It's too nice to just wear to and from the gym.

What items of leopard print clothing and/or accessories do you wear?


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Monday, 2 March 2015

February Favourite Finds + GIVEAWAY!

Below are my top three February favourite finds followed by a giveaway.

Rimmel London ScandalEyes Kate Mascara 
I "idol-eyes" Kate Moss' signature smokey eye look & love trying to replicate this look as far as possible. Before we proceed any further, yes, I do realise that Kate Moss is a gorgeous supermodel and I am totally not!  

Thankfully, to make replicating Kate's makeup look slightly easier for me, she has kindly collaborated with Rimmel London to design her first ever mascara, the Rimmel London ScandalEyes Kate Mascara.

This mascara is definitely one of my February favourite finds. It comes in a deluxe, stylish gunmetal coloured tube (what else would you expect from a super model!) featuring Kate's autograph in red.

The colour of this mascara is the blackest pigment ever released by Rimmel London and the applicator brush is in the unique shape of a broken heart.

I love the cleverly shaped applicator brush. It fits perfectly into the natural shape of my lash line and makes so much more sense than a straight applicator brush.

The thinner tip of this applicator brush makes it easy to coat the traditionally harder to reach smaller inner lashes. The brush leaves my lashes beautifully separated with no clumping.

I love the colour and volume this mascara provides. For $16.95 this mascara is a relatively cheap way to replicate Kate's lashes. Thanks Kate and Rimmel London for a  great everyday mascara.

David Beckham Instinct Gold Edition
Sophisticated, sensual, strong, dynamic, masculine ........ these are all words that describe both David Beckham AND the latest edition of his Instinct fragrance, Gold Edition.

The original Instinct fragrance is celebrating its 10 year anniversary and has sold an unbelievable 10 million bottles. This equates to two sold every minute! 

Talented, stylish, ridiculously good looking, a hands-on loving dad AND a best selling fragrance designer! Is there nothing that David Beckham does not excel at?

Yes, as you've no doubt worked out by now, I am a huge David Beckham fan but I also do really love this fragrance. It contains notes of lemon, bergamot oil, basil grandvert, cardamon, rosemary, juniper berries, patchouli, vetiver & cedarwood. It is the perfect scent for men and I love it when my husband wears this scent. 

I also love the stylish flask shaped gold bottle that this fragrance comes in. It looks sophisticated and elegant displayed on the bathroom vanity. Yes, David Beckham has scored another winning goal!

Knotlace Necklace
Knotlace necklaces are my third February Favourite Find. These necklaces are amazing! They're lightweight, flexible and can be moulded into a myriad of shapes and styles. They can be worn as necklaces, chokers or bracelets.
Image: Knotlace
I was lucky to win a Knotlace necklace and earrings from Finding Myself Young blog's 3rd Anniversary mega giveaway! For my prize I chose the silver and gunmetal coloured necklace. I have received so many compliments when wearing this unique and quirky necklace. My kids think it looks a bit like a snake! But I think it's a beautiful versatile colour combination that I can wear with any outfit. I also received silver Knotlace earrings.

As I don't have pierced ears and neither does my daughter I thought I'd pass on my good luck and have a giveaway of these striking Knotlace earrings. I've also included a gorgeous turquoise necklace from Colette in the giveaway. This necklace was purchased by me for the giveaway.

Giveaway Prize
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Karla, please reply to the email I sent you to let me know the address details of where you want your prize posted to!

Terms and Conditions
Competition entry opens on 2/3/2015 and closes at midnight on 12/3/2015.
Entries are open to Australian residents only. (Sorry to my international blog readers).
There are three methods of entering this competition. You can choose one, two or all three of these methods. The more methods you choose, the more entries you receive. 
Click on the Rafflecopter Giveaway link above to start entering.
The winner will be chosen randomly using Rafflecopter.
The winner will be announced on this blog and contacted via the email address they provided.
Email addresses will not be used for any other purpose than contacting the winner and all email addresses will be deleted after this competition concludes.
The winner must contact me with the Australian address details of where they want their prize sent within 3 days of the winner being announced.

What new products have you discovered in the past month or so?


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