Monday, 26 October 2015

Bloggers United AU Sydney Event

Bloggers United AU recently held its inaugural Sydney Event at the Cambridge Hotel in Surry Hills and I felt extremely lucky to be among the 40 Sydney bloggers who attended this amazing event.

Bloggers United AU was founded by Jasmine from Sweetaholic Beauty and Nikita from NJT Blogger

Bloggers United AU states its aims as being: "To make an amazing Australian community even better, to support all bloggers and help them gain more exposure, meet other people in the blogging community and to have fun doing what they love - blogging!"

The Bloggers United AU Sydney Team

The format of the Sydney event consisted of presentation sessions from the numerous, predominantly beauty brands, present. In between the sessions there were display tables set up around the room that bloggers could wander around and gather more information from, sampling some of the brands' products. 

Breaks were also utilised for meeting other bloggers in real life, who we may have only met online in the past! I was so excited to finally meet and sit next to the gorgeous Kimba from Kimba Likes, one of the very first bloggers I started following! I can happily share she is as lovely in real life as she is on her blog and social media!

Bloggers United AU Sydney Event

The first presentation was by Lisa from 360PR representing both Kryolan and Jean d'Arcel.
Lisa advised us that Kryolan has long been a favourite brand of professional makeup artists and is frequently used in theatre and television makeup. Kryolan is celebrating their 70th anniversary this year!

Lisa also spoke about Jean d'Arcel, another well established brand, with an emphasis on restorative skin care.

Bloggers United AU Sydney Event Presenter Lisa from 360PR 

Kryolan Display At Bloggers United AU Sydney Event

Lauren from Ego Pharmaceuticals was the next presenter. Ego Pharmaceuticals covers a large range of brands including QV Skin Care, SunSense, Aqium, MOOV and more. The brand Lauren spoke to us about at the event was the Elucent Whitening range of products. This range contains no bleaching ingredients but is all about creating an even skin tone and restoring your complexion. It is suitable for sensitive skin and sounds perfect for my ageing 40+ year old skin - yay! Look out for a future blog post about these products!

Bloggers United AU Sydney Event Presenter Lauren From Ego Pharm

Elucent Products Received At The Bloggers United AU Sydney Event

Weleda is a comprehensive, natural, biodynamic, organic and fair trade beauty, hair care, skin care and baby care brand! Sabine advised us that Weleda was founded in 1921 by Dr Rudolf Steiner.

I love Dr Steiner's quote :"The human body has the power to heal itself - it just needs a little bit from nature."

Sabine advised us that Weleda's best selling product is Skin Food which amazingly has remained unchanged since 1926! It was the second ever product Dr Steiner made and it is reportedly loved by Victoria Beckham, Adele and Rihanna! I'm always curious to try products that celebrities love!

Weleda Product Display At Bloggers United AU Sydney Event

Weleda Goodies Received From The Bloggers United AU Sydney Event

Kerrie from BeautyNext then presented us information about the exciting NYX coloured mascaras and also the soon to be released (in February 2016) Intense Butter Lip Gloss. She then handed around a lucky dip bag full of the Butter Lip Glosses out of which we were all able to pick one. I ended up with a pretty summery pink shade called Merengue. These lip glosses are very aptly named, mine definitely felt like it simply melted onto my lips when I applied it. NYX is stocked in Target stores. 

NYX Cosmetics Australia Colored Mascaras

Chantalle then presented about two of my favourite brands, firstly the established RosehipPLUS brand and then the new to Australia Natura Siberica brand.

RosehipPLUS has a range of skincare products all 100% pure and natural, and containing the "miracle" Rosehip Oil grown in the southern Andes in Chile. RosehipPLUS have just recently launched a new product, RosehipPLUS Organic Daily Cream Cleanser, which is reportedly great for removing waterproof makeup and eye makeup. I'll be putting it to the test later this week!

I have previously reviewed the RosehipPLUS product range here.

RosehipPLUS Product Display

Natura Siberica products are ICEA certified organic with unique ingredients consisting of wild harvested herbs and flowers sourced from Siberia. As their base ingredient they all contain Siberian pine seed oil which is very rich in Vitamin E and Vitamin F, in fact it's 3 times richer in this than cod liver oil! Luckily the Natura Siberica product range is also very affordable with nothing over $30! I love that!

Natura Siberica Product Display 

Galina from Elements Bioactive was the next presenter. She described skin care as being "skin insurance" and protection of your skin for the future. Elements Bioactiv does not use any ingredients that could be toxic or harmful to your skin, it doesn't test on animals and doesn't use any synthetic fragrances.

Skin is our body's largest organ and interestingly Galina showed us a 2 squared metre piece of fabric and advised us that this is how much skin an average adult has. She then showed us a banana peel to demonstrate the thickness of our skin.

Elements Bioactiv is a skincare range that is used by professional beauty therapists. I haven't used these products before and am looking forward to using the three products we were gifted from this range.

Elements Bioactiv Products 

During this event we all had the opportunity to have a mini makeover using the Williams Pro Makeup range. Azzi Williams, an international makeup artist and the creator of this brand introduced us to her amazing Zero Powder which launched in August 2015. 

Zero Powder is an all-in-one translucent setting, finishing and HD powder with 100% natural ingredients. It blurs imperfections and helps keep skin clear, youthful and healthy! It locks in your makeup to make it last longer and photograph better.

This product has zero talc, zero paraben, zero silica, and results in zero camera flashback. It's a product I definitely need but didn't quite know how much, until I tried it!

Williams Pro Makeup also has some exciting new products in the pipeline including a highlighter and lip setting & mattifying powder.  

Bloggers United AU Presenter Azzi Williams From Williams Pro Makeup

Williams Pro Makeup Zero Powder & Kabuki Brush

The final presenter was Yong Li, the CEO from Enbacci, a luxury unisex skin care brand she developed with her mum. Yong Li described her long haul flight Enbacci skin care regime consisting of the Rejuvenating Essence Mist, a Detoxifying Clay Mask (which is nude in colour and goes clear on), a moisturiser and the Enbacci Moisturising Hand & Nail Cream. Now if only I had a long haul flight planned! Luckily my skin will benefit from these products on land as well!

Enbacci CEO Yong Li

Enbacci Products

As if all the above presentations, networking and product sampling were not enough, at the end of the day all the brands present, as well as brands who'd been unable to make it on the day, gifted us with generous goodie bags of products. Thank you so much to all the brands and PRs involved! I will be trialing, reviewing, photographing and blogging about these products in the upcoming days, weeks and months! 

Bloggers United AU Sydney Event Goodie Bag Contents!

I would also like to say a big thank you to the four Bloggers United AU Sydney Event team members for all their hard work and dedication in putting this event together. It was much appreciated!

Which of the above brands or products are you most interested in? 


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* These products were kindly gifted to attendees at this event. Full disclosure policy here.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Highlights From Spotlight's Christmas 2015 Launch

I love Christmas! I love everything about it! I love the Christmas lights, the Christmas decorations, the Christmas food, the Christmas spirit and even the planning, creation and shopping of special presents for my loved ones.

I love making Christmas a special and memorable time of year for my family and friends, and every year in the lead up to Christmas I can be found making special Christmas decorations and food, nowadays with my teenage daughter's eager assistance. She has definitely inherited my love of Christmas, my love of craft and my love of pretty things!

As a result, even though I'm predominantly a beauty blogger, when the opportunity arose to attend Spotlight's 2015 Make It Merry Christmas launch I couldn't attend fast enough!

The highlight of the Spotlight launch for me was definitely the opportunity to get hands-on, using some of the Spotlight Christmas craft supplies first hand at the launch. 

This included Christmas card making. Spotlight stocked, Jolly & Joy, have a wide range of Christmas themed stickers, glitter and bling stick-ons that make beautiful cards easy to create even for young children. Here's one I made. Of course the beauty blogger in me couldn't resist adding a couple of touches of bling! 

My Quick & Easy Christmas Card Creation

I then had a go at creating Christmas decorated biscuits using Wilton fondant. I never realised before how easy it was to decorate cakes and biscuits with fondant. Look at my creation!

Creating Christmas Decorated Biscuits

Tips are to dust cornflour onto your hands, the surface you are rolling the fondant out on and your roller before you begin. Brush water onto the back of the edible decorations to stick them onto the fondant. For the tiny balls tweezers are required.

You can either bake your own biscuits or just cheat, like I intend to, and decorate store bought biscuits! Shhh, don't tell! Everyone will be so impressed by the decorating they won't care who baked the biscuit!

Here's a biscuit decorated with Wilton Green Decorating Icing which comes ready made in a pouch with a round and star tip included. The lovely ladies from Zoratto Enterprises who were demonstrating the Wilton products made this. I received a red and green pouch of this icing in my goodie bag and my daughter and I will be making these for our extended family Christmas celebrations. 

Wilton Icing Decorated Christmas Tree Biscuit

Another effective yet easy Christmas decorating craft is painting Jolly & Joy ready made paper mache angels, baubles and stars and then decorating them with glitter and bling stick-ons. Here's a star and angel I decorated with blingy stick-ons once again, of course!

Creating Christmas Tree Decorations
At the Spotlight Christmas launch I was also introduced to the Heidi Swapp MiNC Foil Transfer Machine! OMG! This machine is amazing! You can foil any design that you can print on a laser printer. The possibilities for creating foiled Christmas place setting cards, photos, cards, wall art etc are endless! You are only limited by your own creative imagination.

Heidi Swapp MiNC Foil Transfer Machine

Here's the Heidi Swapp Marquee Winter Xmas Tree Light Kit decorated using the MiNC Foil Transfer Machine. No, unfortuantely I can't lay claim to having done this myself, it was already a completed example at the launch.I love the green foil leaves!

Decorated Heidi Swapp Marquee winter Xmas Tree Light Kit

As expected Spotlight also has an extensive array of Christmas fabrics in-store including loads of Jolly & Joy Flat Fats. Here's an example of a Christmas stocking that my daughter is enthusiastically tempted to make for all our family members! Doesn't the pom-pom embellishment look fabulous!

Christmas Stocking

During the launch we were advised that Spotlight has brought in an astronomical $30 million worth of Christmas craft supplies and products to be sold this Christmas season across all its Spotlight stores! In other words it is likely you will find every Christmas craft related item you have ever dreamed of, plus a whole lot more, in Spotlight stores now!

In conclusion, because I know my enthusiasm for Christmas is making this post way too looooong, at the launch it was announced that Spotlight's Christmas tree decorations this season fall into three categories:

  • Merry & Bright  - Fun & playful - Includes loads of glittery items - Whimsical & novelty decorations capturing children's imaginations - Bright greens, reds & aqua blues with a pop of crisp white!                                                                                                           

Spotlight Merry & Bright Christmas Decorations

  • Deluxe - Elegant & opulent - Inspired by a modern day take on classic style - Includes gorgeous, ornate decorations e.g. angel wings, stars, bows & bells - Gold, black & a hint of animal print! - Glittery range perfect for lovers of glamour! I'm definitely going to buy some animal print ribbon to add to our family Christmas tree!                        
  • Crafty Nordic - Nordic Scandinavian inspired range - Loads or organic textured decorations including wood & felt finishes & handcrafted touches - Grey, silver & white with a hint of red!   
Crafty Nordic Christmas Decorations

If you are looking for further DIY Christmas inspiration I highly recommend The Australian Women's Weekly Craft Make It Christmas book pictured below which I received in my event goodie bag. It's full of easy and creative crafty ideas for Christmas.

The Australian Women's Weekly Craft Make It Christmas Book

For the curious among you, photographed below is the rest of the contents of my event goodie bag! These Spotlight items are going to result in hours of fun and creativity for myself and my three children during the next school holidays! They'll especially love the Spray Dye Kit and my daughter has already claimed the two cute lip glosses!

Spotlight Christmas Launch Goodie Bag Contents

Thank you so much Spotlight and Kids Business for inviting me to the Spotlight Make It Merry Christmas Launch event and for the generous goodie bag. It is very much appreciated! 

Are You Planning to DIY Christmas Decorations, Cards & Biscuits This Year?


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* All products photographed were kindly gifted to me for editorial consideration. Full disclosure policy here.

Monday, 19 October 2015

Beyonce Heat Kissed Eau de Parfum Review

"When a moment of attraction becomes undeniable, it ignites a spark 
between two people that draws them closer. Their lips meet and the 
flicker becomes a flame" Beyonce Heat Kissed

Beyonce's newest addition to her best selling Heat fragrance family, Beyonce Heat Kissed, captures this sensual intensity perfectly! 

Before I review the Heat Kissed fragrance itself let's just take a moment to fully appreciate and admire this fragrance's beautiful red-hot packaging and promotion!

Beyonce Heat Kissed Fragrance 
and ChocolArts Chilli Chocolate Kisses

Beyonce's Heat Kissed fragrance is bottled in its signature sleek Heat bottle, this time in a rich crimson hue embodying the scent's seductive spirit. There is a luxurious looking gold band around the neck of the bottle with Beyonce's name engraved on one side and "HEAT" engraved on the opposite side. The top of the lid has Beyonce's signature "B" carved on it.

The outer packaging is also stunningly designed, being a very deep dark burgundy and depicting a pair of luscious, blazing red lips, which appear to be radiating heat, ripe for a kiss! The gold embossed print labeling adds another touch of luxury.

Coty Australia very cleverly, and generously, further reinforced this fragrance's sultry and seductive red-hot spirit by gifting blogger media with a luxurious box of handcrafted ChocolArts dark chocolate chilli kisses to celebrate the launch of Beyonce Heat Kissed. And let me tell you, those gourmet chilli chocolates were every bit as temperature-raising and mouth wateringly delicious, as they look!

The Seductive Scent Itself
Beyonce Heat Kissed is described as blending "warm, woody and fruity" notes together. 

Beyonce Heat Kissed is made up of the following notes:
Top Notes:      Dragonfruit, Lychee, Ripe Mango
Heart Notes:   Blazing Red Fury Orchid, Jasmine Sambac, Moroccan Rose Oil
Base Notes:    African Sandalwood, Vanilla, Patchouli.

I found Beyonce Heat Kissed to be a beguiling fragrance, which I could totally imagine Beyonce herself wearing. After the top fruity notes dissipated, the vanilla, sandalwood and patchouli notes came to the fore and endured, leaving a subtle, sultry sweetness lingering on my skin. To help the fragrance endure longer when I am out all day I also spritz some onto my clothes.

I really loved this fragrance! Beyonce Heat Kissed will definitely be a high rotation fragrance for me during the warmer spring and summer months, especially in the evenings .....

Beyonce Heat Kissed

Thank you so much Coty Australia for the opportunity to trial this amazing fragrance and celebrate its launch with such mouth watering chocolates.

Beyonce's Heat Kissed Eau de Parfum is the sixth fragrance in Beyonce's fragrance range. It was released in Australia on 1 October 2015.

Click HERE to buy Beyonce's Heat Kissed Eau de Parfum from Priceline. If you hurry now it should still be on special - Yay!

You can click HERE to buy the Beyonce Heat Kissed Set 3 Pack including Heat Kissed EDP 30ml, Shower Gel 75 ml & Body Lotion 75 ml. Hurry because this is currently on special too!

Do you choose your fragrance according to the mood 
(eg playful or seductive etc) you are in? 

What's your current favourite fragrance?


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* This product was kindly sent to me for editorial consideration. Full disclosure policy here.

Shop skincare & beauty products at FacialCo! Over 100 of the world's best beauty brands + Free Shipping available - Click here!

Monday, 12 October 2015

OPI Venice Collection Review & Swatches

Sparkling canals, crisscrossed by bridges and a maze of alleys and hidden piazzas. I would love to visit Venice, especially during the Venice Carnival season which is renowned for its extravagant balls with opulent costumes and bejewelled masks. That would be the life!

Unfortunately however my budget doesn't stretch to such luxurious holidays currently so I'll have to get my dose of Venice in a different form! That's where OPI's latest luxurious nail polish collection, the Venice Collection comes in!  

OPI Venice Collection

The OPI Venice Collection was released to coincide with the European Fall/Winter 2015. This bold and elegant collection consists of 12 new shades which will be added to the permanent OPI colour family.

The collection includes romantic reds, striking corals, dreamy pastels, elegant nudes, dramatic darks and a luxurious shimmery copper metallic. Even though all these shades are reportedly designed for fall and winter, some of the pastels, nudes, metallics and corals would also be perfect for our Australian Spring & Summer. Yay!

Although I don't have the full 12 colours to show you I was lucky to receive the Little Bambinos Mini 4-Pack including the shades A Great Opera-Tunity, Worth a Pretty Penne, Amore at the Grand Canal and My Gondola or Yours? 

A Great Opera-tunity 
"Aria" ready to wear this gorgeous melon? This is a pretty nude, dusty peachy shade that applies easily and is opaque and streak free with two coats.

OPI Venice Collection: A Great Opera-tunity

Worth a Pretty Penne 
Flaunt your fashion "cents" in this shimmery copper. This is my favourite shade in the OPI Venice collection. It's a luxurious looking, slightly rose-tinted, coppery metallic. Once again it is a fabulous formula requiring only two coats.

OPI Venice Collection: Worth a Pretty Penne

Amore at the Grand Canal
Let the romance flow in this ravishing red. OPI excels at creating perfect reds and this one is no exception. It's a very flattering classic blue-red shade.

OPI Venice Collection: Amore at the Grand Canal

My Gondola or Yours?
Let's cruise the canals in this luscious black.This is a smoky black with a gorgeous but very, very subtle shimmer in it. The shimmer is more noticeable in sunlight and is hard to see indoors. This shade requires three coats to achieve a non streaky opaque colour.

OPI Venice Collection: My Gondola or Yours?

OPI Venice Collection

Which of these above four shades is your favourite?


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* These nail polishes were kindly sent to me for editorial consideration. Full disclosure policy here.

Monday, 5 October 2015

How To Get The Spring Racing Look

Spring brings with it many wonderful things - blue skies, warmer weather, chirping birds and fragrant flowers. Spring also heralds the arrival of the Spring Racing season. 

Spring racing beauty and fashion, including the Melbourne Cup, are all about fun, vibrant and fresh colours. Think vivid pinks, shimmery purples and fresh peachy colours.

However you don't have to attend the races to enjoy wearing on-trend Spring fashions and especially Spring makeup.

I was very excited to be gifted makeup items from Colour Theory's latest collection which are all perfect for the Spring Racing season. 

Colour Theory Spring Racing Look Makeup 

Colour Theory is an affordable cosmetics brand with over 100 products in its range covering face, cheeks, eyes, lips and nails. Prices start from $4 with nothing over $10. Colour Theory is exclusive to Amcal, Amcal Max and Guardian Pharmacies. 

Steps To Getting The Colour Theory Spring Racing Makeup Look:

Step 1: Face
Start by applying a moisturiser that contains a high level SPF. You don't want to get sunburnt whilst enjoying yourself outdoors for a significant period of time. 

Use a primer to smooth your skin and help your makeup stay on for longer, especially if you are out on the track on a warm day. Use a dewy finish foundation to give yourself a fresh youthful Spring look. 

Step 2: Cheeks
Enhance your cheek bones and give them a radiant healthy flush of colour using Colour Theory blush in Peachy Keen ($6).

Colour Theory Blush: Peachy Keen

Step 3: Eyes
Use the gorgeous Verry Berry Eye Shadow Palette ($10) to add Spring colour to your eyelids. For the best effect add the lighter highlighting colours to the inside of your lids and also to highlight your brow bone.

The combination of shades on the Verry Berry Eye Shadow Palette allows you to create numerous different Spring appropriate looks.

Colour Theory Verry Berry Eye Shadow Palette
Lengthen, volumise and curl lashes with Colour Theory Define Mascara ($8). This opens up your eye to give a youthful look.

Colour Theory Define Mascara

Step 4: Lips
Use Colour Theory Lip Liner in Sorority Sista ($6) to line and fill your lips to help your colour stay put a lot longer. This lip liner feels moisturising and is ultra-smooth to apply. 

Apply Colour Theory Lipstick shade In The Pink ($6) over the top of your liner filled lips. This lipstick is a beautiful fresh almost pearlised colour. It is well pigmented and gives a lasting pop of beautiful colour whilst still being hydrating on your lips.

Colour Theory In The Pink Lipstick & Sorority Sista Lip Liner

Step 5: Nails
As the final finishing touch to your Spring Racing makeup be sure to add a bright, vibrant colour to your nails that complements the outfit you are wearing. The Colour Theory Nail Polish in Va Va Voom Pink ($4) is the perfect vibrant pink Spring colour. For best results apply the Colour Theory Base and Top Coat ($4) before and after the polish.

Colour Theory Nail Polish in Va Va Voom Pink
Step 6: Fragrance
As a final finishing touch spritz some floral Spring fragrance on and you're ready to go!

Fashion Note:
For the fashonistas amongst you, the background in the photos above is the David Jones Spring Racing 2015 catalogue featuring a gorgeous Anthea Crawford dress on her and a smart Anthony Squires outfit on him.

You can also see loads more Spring Racing Fashions by clicking on the Iconic ad below.

Do You Change Your Makeup Choices 
Depending On What Season It Is?


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* The Colour Theory products photographed were kindly gifted to me for editorial consideration. Full disclosure policy here.