Sunday, 31 January 2016

SPOTLIGHT: January Empties...

Another mega-month for empties, but hey, I delved into my samples drawer for the first time in almost a year, and those teeny tubes don't take anywhere near as long to get through, so they boosted the collection. I've decided to completely exclude any product that I use on a regular basis, and that I've already covered in a previous post, so you'll only see NEW products listed and mini-reviewed from this point on. Actually I'm pretty darn excited about this post because I finished two makeup products this month lol!...

Palmer's Gentle Exfoliating Facial Scrub
I must be one of the very few beauty lovers on the planet that doesn't like the smell of Palmer's products - never have, and at the rate I'm going, never will. Don't get me wrong, this is a beaut scrub - gentle and powerful, but I find the fragrance totally off-putting...
Repurchase? Negative - took me 12 months to use this up, and I have some new loves that smell fantastic...

John Plunkett's Superfade Cream
This will be the subject of it's own review soon, with before and after pics - let's just say I'm very pleased with the results on my hands so far, but I'm not done yet...
Repurchase? Third tube is already in my handbag, and the Accelerator is next to my bed for nightly applications ...

Hair & Me Hair Rejuvenation Treatment
LOVE LOVE LOVE! This is the only treatment product I use on my hair other than the sensational REF range I recently reviewed (here). Full rundown on this amazing hair pacifier is here ...
Repurchase? YES YES YES!...

botanicES Face Creme, Eye Creme & Body Creme (samples)
Previously reviewed here. I've only just finished the eye creme today - gosh so little is required, I imagine a regular tube would last at least 6 months. No visible difference in the crinkles around my eyes, but I still reckon this has shrunk my under eye baggies a little. This gorgeous range definitely has mood enhancing qualities...
Repurchase? I've made myself a promise to buy the Face Creme just as soon as I get through the three others that are waiting for their turn. Same goes for the Eye Creme. The Body Creme is a beauty, but I so rarely have time to apply body lotions, so that's a yes, a yes, and a no ...

Swisspers Cotton Tips
I used to be a devoted Johnson & Johnson gal - totally wouldn't buy any other brand of cotton bud, but I've come around to Swisspers as they're just as good, seem to be more readily available, and, well, the pack is purple...
Repurchase? If you've read a few of my previous empties posts, you may have gathered I have an unbridled fear of running out of things (anything) so there are two of these big boxes in the cupboard at any moment in time ...

Ostelin Chewable Vitamin D & Calcium
I quite enjoy the taste of these - I always think it's good to experiment with different ways of getting vitamins and minerals into my bod, and the usual swallow-the-tablet method didn't seem to be working all that well. Here's hoping my next bone density scan gets me a pass mark...
Repurchase? There are 60 in each bottle, so yes, every two months ...

Lancôme Genifique Youth Activator
A darling friend sent me this full-sized bottle when she switched to cruelty-free - ever so grateful as I've never had the pleasure of this quantity on my bench before. A beautiful serum - deliciously hydrating, and a fabulous makeup base. Can't say I've observed any major improvements in my skin texture, pore size or elasticity, but I love the feel of it on my skin. I struggled a bit to work the dropper button with one hand, but that's minor...
Repurchase? Probably not, but only because Visionnaire works far better for me as far as shrinking pores are concerned. And if I'm going to spend >$100, I definitely want smaller pores... 

Bioderma Exfoliating Purifying Gel
Hmmm. Bought this in the hope it would reduce my pore congestion, but there wasn't any change. It's a very powerful scrub (probably a wee bit too powerful for my mature skin), smells delish, but I don't need to add it to my list of must-haves - it wasn't exactly cheap either...
Repurchase? No...

Boots Serum7 Regenerating Night Cream
A lovely night moisturiser - came in the first Marie Claire Ageless Parcel, along with the day cream (which I haven't tried yet). Light yet richly hydrating, this gently fragranced cream absorbed well into my skin, and I didn't wake up with a greasy face. Nice, but nothing special...
Repurchase? I really need something more powerful to target my ageing issues, so no...

Mirenesse Purify Dual Comfort Eye & Lip Makeup Remover (sample)
A beautiful product that takes off waterproof mascara and longwear lip products in a flash, but it's wickedly expensive...
Repurchase? No - I'll stick with my Neutrogena fave which does the trick just as well, and at a fraction of the price...

REF.241 Get It Straight
Recently reviewed on my blog here...
Repurchase? Absolutely, already have ...

ALPHA-H Balancing Cleanser (sample)
This was a tad disappointing, given who makes it - oh it's nice enough and effective, and I like the fact that it doesn't foam up, but with no fragrance, snore...
Repurchase? No hook to keep me interested, so no...

Lancome Eclat Miracle Serum of Light (sample)
Well now this was a treat - came in one of my GWP packs. A gorgeous pearlescent white liquid that made my skin look dreamy and soft-focused, feel beautifully hydrated, and there was an instant lightening effect. BUT I honestly don't see the point of these serums that contain particles to make your skin shimmer and glow, and then you turn the light off minutes later, or cover it up with makeup during the day...
Repurchase? Delighted to try it out, but no...

RapidLash Eyelash Enhancing Serum
If I could recommend only ONE beauty product to any of my friends, it would be this amazing liquid. My lashes may not look all that lush in my photos compared to other gals, but before I started using this serum, I had basically none at all. It works! It's been in my kit on and off since 2011 with not one concern arising, and I'm NEVER going to stop now. I tried applying it every second night and lost some of the length, so I went back to daily applications, and could see the difference within a fortnight. Absolutely awesome stuff! Full review is here...
Repurchase? Cannot, repeat cannot live without this - three spares, Pharmacy Online has it permanently on special for $49 ... 

L'Oreal False Lash Telescopic Waterproof Mascara
Can't remember why I bought this because I gave up purchasing ANY mascara other than Maybelline The Falsies years ago, but I'm very glad I did - it's brilliant! Not enough volume for my EOTD pics, but what I do is apply a coat or two of this underneath the MNY one (or on its own when I'm not taking eye pics) - it separates the lashes magically, holds the curl, wouldn't dream of smudging or flaking, and looks completely natural...
Repurchase? Undoubtedly - onto my 2nd tube now ...

Maybelline Master Precise Liquid Liner
My one and only liquid liner, and I use it every single day along my lower lashline - nothing else compares for ease of use, longevity, availability and price...
Repurchase? Silly question - I have three spares of these in my drawer, bought them all at half price sales, which seem to be on every month or so. Bless you Maybelline - please don't EVER stop making this product ...

Take care of  you,
kats xxx

P.S. I've chosen this article for Ingrid's Monday Makeup Madness Link Up Party, and highly recommend checking out the other bloggers' choices...

Saturday, 30 January 2016

EOTD: Sleek Snapshots Tequila Sunrise & Sunset...

One of my last few posts with red hair! I'll still be redd-ish but have decided to go copper for a while - and actually this is the perfect eye makeup for coppery locks, so I hope I can remember how I did it lol! Just pulling your leg - the awesome thing about posting these looks here is that I have a permanent online diary that I can always refer to. Anyways, in case I haven't announced it before, I'm officially crazy about these sunrise and sunset hues in the Sleek Snapshots palette ... 



I started with a base of essence white kajal, and then patted down Tequila Sunrise on the inner third, Sunset over the remainder, and blended where they met with only a few jiggles of a fluffy brush. Waterline was Eye of Horus Goddess Pencil in Bronze Amulet...


And here is the rest of the look - foundation was Mirenesse Liquid Silk, and cheeks were Maybelline Master Glaze Stick in Coral Sheen topped with Lacura Mosaic Baked Blush Bronzer in Beach Babe. On the pucker I wore Milani Cinnamon Spice lippie with a swipe of Revlon Ultra HD Lip Lacquer in Citrine...


AND I'm giving myself a little pat on the back because thanks to my Christmas hols, this is EOTD post #8 for January! So stay tuned for the EOTM giveaway - I'm planning on getting it organised nice and early next month 

Take care of  you,
kats xxx

Friday, 29 January 2016

REVIEW & EOTD: Kat Von D Chrysalis Palette...

The second of the Kat Von D Metamorphosis palettes - Chrysalis. This broody darling came to me from the same gorgeous gal pal as the Monarch one  Yes I know, I'm spoilt - spoilt rotten! 
Another magnificent selection of shades (mainly cool ones), and versatile mix of mattes, shimmers and sparkles. Same packed-with-goodness formula, and blending these buttery triple-milled pigments requires neither effort nor skill...

Awesome packaging - it's only cardboard, but solid as a rock, and there's a powerful magnet in the lid to keep it secure...
Swatches over a bbcream, a couple of finger swipes each...


The purple swatch above is quite bright and bold, but in the EOTD below, it looks (disappointingly) less intense. I've worked with this hue several times, and all I can say is it's a lighting thing, plus I used a different camera - in real life, the colour was much closer to the example above, and deliciously shimmery...



So this is Mezzanine and Entombed, and Jewel Amethyst Eye of Horus Goddess Pencil on the waterline...


And here's the whole look, with my new hairdo! It's more like a pixie cut, and much MUCH cooler for the summer...


For this EOTD, I used Entombed - it turned out a bit greener than the swatch because I patted it down over a base of Eye of Horus Goddess Pencil in Teal Malachite...


And also used the Teal Malachite on the waterline...


SO impressed with both these KVD palettes, and SO thrilled to have them in my kit. Needless to say I'll be experimenting heaps more with Chrysalis, especially once we're into the cooler months - can't wait to try those sensational silvers and greys ...

Take care of you,
kats xxx

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

EOTD: Australia Day Green & Gold!...

Traditionally I create a green and gold look for this special day, and who am I to break with tradition, especially given that once again this year I wasn't brave enough to tackle a red, white and blue combo! Besides, I DO love these two colours together, and I often combine them throughout the year one way or another. But I tried something a little more experimental this time around - not sure it was all that successful, but hey, what's the point of having a blog if you can't post even the dodgy attempts?


I was going for a kind of a wattle effect, and wanted to use products made by Aussie brands. So I started with Eye of Horus Emerald Tabula Goddess Pencil all over the eye, and waited about 3 minutes for it to set - anyone else wouldn't have to hold off for that long, but my pesky hoods get in the way and end up being smeared with the crayon unless I pause and try not to blink or look up.... 


Anyhoo, once it was safe to proceed, I took my fabbo Mirenesse Secret Weapon 24Hr Eye Liner in Pure Gold, and randomly dabbed it over the top. As you can see the pattern doesn't match, but that's what happens with freestyle painting lol. I used the EOH Emerald on the waterline, took it underneath the lower lashline as well, and smudged it and the outer corner with the built-in sponge.. 


Nice and simple, a bit different, and hopefully sufficiently Aussie enough to pass muster.

Whatever you do with your family or friends, I hope your Australia Day is a special one - keep safe, happy and well lovelies 

Take care of you,
kats xxx

Monday, 25 January 2016

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: DB Cosmetics Colour Kisses Limited Edition Lipstick Collection...

Well now, there I was in Blooms Chemist grabbing a fragrance bargain when I spotted these cute-as Limited Edition DB Cosmetics Colour Kisses Lipstick Collection boxes for half price. Irresistible? You betcha! The lippies are smaller than the standard size, but such gorgeous colours, and in glamorously glossy gold cases ...
I'm a huge fan of the regular DB lipsticks, so I just had to snap these up hey - colours are Nude, Blush, Hot Pink, Hibiscus and Deep Red. Creamy and beautifully pigmented, these kits were released for Christmas for $19.99, but I managed to score them for $10 - that's $2 each! I say "them" because I bought two kits - one for me, and one to give away, so if you'd like to win this box of stunners, keep reading...

All lippies are juicy and moisturising, last well, and the two dark shades leave behind a glorious stain...

Swatch time!
It's not often I fall in love with a Nude, but this is the one  Blush is such a pretty pink, although it's a little too pale for my complexion, and it's not quite as opaque as the others...

Hibiscus is almost a coral, and deliciously different to any of my others. And how about this Hot Pink - isn't she something? Fabulous hue, bold but not out there 


















And my fave of them all - Deep Red. DB Currant Kiss has been my #1 red for a while, but this hotsy totsy little number is giving it some serious competition...

Adorable? Want? Ok here's the giveaway. To enter just leave a comment and follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter widget. You'll find the T & C's inside, and it's open Internationally! .


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This giveaway is now closed



Sadly  the winner did not make contact, so I've rerun the Rafflecopter, 
and random.org has chosen the beautiful Tea S! 
Congratulations Tea 
Please respond to the email I've sent you by 
Midnight Friday 5th February to claim your prize :-)

Edit: Tea has claimed her prize 

Thanks to all for entering - the good news is I found some more of these sets!
So stay tuned for another giveaway very soon 
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Best of luck to all who enter!

Take care of you,
kats xxx

P.S. It's that time of the week again - Monday Makeup Madness Link Up Party time that is!

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

SPOTLIGHT: Pink & Lilac Bling!...

Time to reveal some more of my bling ring collection - I've done a count and yes, I have more purple rings than any other  While I most certainly have a passion for this particular hue, it must be popular with the community in general as there seems to be more variety to choose from in the stores, and I'm sure glad of that! And of course I have to have ALL the different shade variations to match my outfits now don't I? These were all purchased at Goldmark, and all within my budget max (actually all three were under $35)

Love the straightforward simplicity of this one - just one big stone that's way pretty enough on its own. It sits high and mighty, but both the band and setting are solid and sturdy, so I'm not concerned about knocking it. The colour of the stone in this pic is a pretty good match - in some lights it looks lilac purple, in others, blue purple, which is another reason why I love it so much ...


I looked at this pink lovely every time I went into the shop over a period of six months, and ummed and ahhed because I don't wear a lot of what I call Barbie pink, and the lights in the store made the colour of the stone look just that - incredibly fake. But I succumbed in the end, and delighted I did because in most other lighting conditions, it's this gorgeous magenta-ish hue. Definitely princess worthy, but I'd say other customers felt the same way about it as it needed a darn good clean when I got it home, so I suspect it had been in the display for quite some time. Always delighted to help out and give a sparkler a good home ...


This triple banded sweetie was one of the first rings I bought when I started my bling acquisition journey, getting on to 3 years ago. I'd been going through some challenges, and this was my reward to myself for making it out the other side without losing the plot, so there's quite a bit of sentiment attached to it  Still sparkles like new, it's a perfect fit, and being flush, I don't have to take it off when wearing gloves in winter. I still see this particular setting from time to time in Goldmark, with pink, aqua or clear stones, but I reckon I scored the pick of the bunch...


Still on the hunt for yellow or orange stones -  might have to take the plunge and extend my search to the online world...

Take care of you,
kats xxx

Sunday, 17 January 2016

REVIEW: Britney Spears Island Fantasy EDT...

Oh Britney! You've outdone yourself with this creation - one of the most refreshing and smile-inducing fragrances I've come across in a while, and the bottle is so incredibly summery and pretty. I'm most definitely a Midnight Fantasy fan - have been for years, however I've not been entranced with the other varieties, but this blend has me in a total tizz, and is one I plan to keep on my shelf FOREVER! For me it was instantaneous hook, line and sinker love at first sight AND smell  Just feast your eyes on the gorgeous colours in this mood-lifting ombre bottle...
As for the fragrance, let's see if I can do it justice  OK think of golden sand, crystal clear aqua blue waters, lush tropical vegetation, a comfy lounge chair - then add yourself into the picture, tucking into a divine sweet and juicy fruit salad that's loaded with melon, and you're there. Whether it's Tahiti or Hawaii or some other favourite paradise destination, this fragrance is guaranteed to take you far away from where you are, and there's no lost luggage! This is truly a summer holiday in a bottle - first note is undoubtedly mandarin, genuine mandarin, then a few red berries start bubbling up to the surface bringing with them clementine and jasmine, freesia, and wait for it, a tinge of violet (my precious ). And then just when you're basking in all that whole citrusy petal-packed experience, a chunk of tantalisingly luscious watermelon comes into focus, nestled on a bed of musky sugar cane, and merges all the notes into one gloriously crisp fruity floral extravaganza. Whoa!
This fabulous fragrance has only one flaw - it's an eau de toilette and therefore doesn't last longer than a few hours. Britney my dear, please, PLEASE bring this out in an EDP!

I'm literally tripping on this scent - if you think you might be a fan of a mandarin, blossom and melon combo, run don't walk to your nearest Chemist Warehouse where this 100ml bottle is on sale for $14.99 (WHA?). My local CW and the online store have been sold out for quite a while (completely understandable), but you may get lucky in your area. I could only find this at Priceline and had to pay full price, but I don't care a fig melon because it's just so amazingly delish, and a sparkling jewel in the sea of fragrances out there 

Take care of you,
kats xxx

P.S. Ingrid's Makeup Monday Madness Link Up Party is back in full swing 

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

REVIEW & EOTD: Sleek Snapshots palette...

Here's another palette I've had in my drawer for so long that I forgot all about it. I'm serious - I looked up the order, and it was in September 2014, which makes this baby neglected and untouched for over 12 months! It's so gorgeous, how is this even possible? Well these last few weeks, I've done a major re-org of my horde of unused goodies - main problem was everything was scattered in various locations throughout the house, and even I didn't know what I had lol. Now I have everything in the one room (blogging HQ), and along the way I found a couple of other treasures that had also slipped my mind, which you'll see in the coming weeks 
Back to this truly divine collection of colourful hues - aren't they just so pretty, and there's a beaut mix of mattes and shimmers. I'm already head over heels in love with Tequila Sunrise & Sunset, and you've probably guessed that Purple Haze & Magenta Madness are right up my alley. Humming Bird is a gorgeous aqua/gold duochrome, and hey, I'll probably hit pan on Green Iguana first 


Another important improvement during these holidays was an addition to my photography lighting set up, so now my swatches actually match the pans - yay! As you can see the pigmentation is fabulous - even that pale matte aqua top left is a beauty, and the magenta is nothing short of astounding 


So here's my first look using the palette - Green Iguana & Purple Haze. Like all Sleek shadows, they're buttery and silky soft, and so easy to blend with just a few strokes of a fluffy brush...


My base was Eye Of Horus Goddess Pencils in Teal Malachite (inner half) and Jewel Amethyst on the outer section. Used Teal Malachite also on my waterline, and Sleek Orbit in the crease...


I'm really quite passionate about this Sleek Snapshots palette - it's awesome value for just under $12, and boy am I glad I found it again! And there'll be heaps more looks to come - I plan on making up for lost time 

Take care of you,
kats xxx

Sunday, 10 January 2016

REVIEW: Bvlgari Omnia Indian Garnet EDT...

High time I caught up with my backlog of perfume reviews, and I'm starting this with gem - Bvlgari Omnia Indian Garnet. I've not owned a Bvlgari fragrance before, purely because none of the ones I've tried have ever really appealed, although I've always been blown away by the stunning packaging. I admit I was drawn to this by the sunny hue, and bought it online and untested (whoa!) from a Priceline half-price sale- most unusual for me, especially as the last orangey perfume I bought under the same circumstances I gave away as it smelt like rotting fruit on my skin - boo! But I rarely let disappointments put me off, and I'm so glad I took a chance with this darling...

It's only an eau de toilette, and while I would prefer a bolder version (EDP please!), it has just enough oomph for what I'm after - something I can wear to work in the cooler months, something different, something that doesn't invade the surrounding space, and something that I've never smelled on any other gal  Doesn't last more than two or three hours on my skin, but while it's there, it is indeed a treasure. It's classed as a woody floral, which is also interesting as it's not a family I normally go for - I'm an oriental (autumn/winter) or fruity floral (spring/summer) fan. 

Having said that the initial spritz is fresh, sweet and heavy on the floral (tick!) - top notes are supposed to be mandarin and saffron, but my nose can barely detect either. After a few minutes, its true beauty starts to emerge as it softens, and the petals gently float down to stir up the wood, bringing an air of warmth and comfort (another tick!). Middle notes are osmanthus flower & indian tuberose, and the heart is indian woods and amber. (Just for the record, anything with an amber base will always stir my senses )
Some reviewers say it smells like soap - I kinda get what they mean because it does have a "just stepped out of the shower" quality, but they're obviously missing the delicate intricacies that I perceive. Best suited to those folk who appreciate subtlety and soft creamy florals, my one word description would be "alluring" 

Do you have any Bvlgari Omnia fragrances in your collection? 

Take care of  you,
kats xxx

P.S. Yay! Ingrid's Monday Makeup Madness Link Up Party is re-launching tomorrow at 6:30am!

Saturday, 9 January 2016

REVIEW & EOTD: Eye of Horus Goddess Pencils (Part 2)...

Surprise surprise - my collection of Eye Of Horus Goddess Pencils has expanded, although after my last order, I'm pretty much set with all the ones I REALLY want. I can't praise these eye crayons enough, they're everything I want in an eye liner - stunning colours, natural ingredients, waterproof, smudgeproof, they glide on like silk, last well on the waterline, and don't irritate the delicate tissue. There are seven in my personal set (first three swatched here), and for once I can't pick a favourite because they are all SO good ...
You can see the density and intensity of the pigment in the swatches below - Teal Malachite has a magnificent shimmer (see my EOTD below), Scarab Sapphire is matte, Bronze Amulet has a slight sheen, and Smokey Black is also matte...


They all take a little while to set, so you have time to smudge them with the sponge on the other end of the pencil. But...as I always seem to be in a rush, the hoods above my eyes pick up some of the product before it's dry - so when I use them on the upper lid, I always pat a little matching shadow over the top to set them quickly. For this look, I added a smidgin of Urban Decay Peace, and smoked the outside with Zero. I used the Teal Malachite both on the waterline, and along my lower lashline - the sheen of this particular pencil is magnificent, it's just plain gorgeous!


You can bet that most of my future EOTDs will feature all of these liners one way or another 


To take advantage of the free shipping (> $50), last time I added this stunning gold metal plated pendant to my order for $10 - it's excellent quality, the chain is adjustable to any length, and being the crazy old Egypt fanatic that I am, I'll be adding the Ankh one to my collection shortly ha ha ♥ 

I'm really quite impressed with this company - all my orders have arrived beautifully packaged within 48 hours, and they don't test on animals. Their products are also available from various retailers - there's a list of stockists on their website here. If you decide to buy any of these pencils, I highly recommend purchasing their sharpener too - honestly it's the best one I've ever come across, sharpens cleanly, and not once has it mangled the inner pigment.

Take care of you,
kats xxx