Monday, 28 November 2016

SPOTLIGHT: Bloggers United AU Sydney Event...

Last Sunday was a very special day for me - I attended the Bloggers United AU Sydney Event at The Sheraton Four Points Hotel, Darling Harbour, and had an absolute ball. I've been aching to make it to one of these gatherings ever since BUA started in February 2015, and for once, the stars aligned so I could be there   Warning: picture heavy post!...
Bloggers United AU is the brainchild of Jasmine & Nikita to bring bloggers together to make new friends, increase their exposure, and in general provide a supportive community for the Aussie blogging world. They have representatives all round Australia, and on Sunday we had the absolute pleasure to meet the gorgeous Sydney representatives Rachel & Sarah, as well as Nikita from Melbourne...
I was over the moon to catch up with some of the fabulous friends I've made since I started blogging three years ago, and the first beauty I spotted when I arrived was the beautiful Ingrid from FabulousandFunLife This talented and lovely lady is a major player in the blogging world, from her first class, honest and informative posts to her weekly Monday Makeup Madness Link Up Party ...
I had no idea who would be attending, but I literally jumped for joy when I spotted the stunning Barbe from FashionistaInSuburbia. This woman is just plain gorgeous, and even more beautiful in person! Barbe's blog is THE place to go to for anything beauty related, but in my opinion, this gal is a magical stylist - if you're looking for inspiration for a makeover for your face, hair or wardrobe, then look no further ...
I was also super excited to see darling Leah from TemporaryPrincess again, but sadly somehow I didn't end up with a photo with this glam and unbelievably supportive babe - boo! And of course so many other lovelies (e.g. Amy from Bottled Beauty, Lily from Lily, Not Louise and Marisa from Marisa Robinson just to mention a few) that I've been chatting with for a while - awesome to have the opportunity to meet them all ...

The particular event was sponsored by BarryM, the No.1 UK cosmetic & nail brand, and we met their talented and superlicious representative Sammy from Bare Beauty. Her enthusiasm for the industry is totally infectious. I'm not all that familiar with BarryM brand, but that's about to change as it's available in BigW, and ridiculously affordable. Everyone was gifted with this cute-as makeup pouch, containing two divine nail polishes, and a Chisel Cheeks Contour Kit which isn't even on the shelves yet!...
After the initial champagne-fuelled meet-and-greet, we were treated to some highly informative talks by the panel of lovelies - these ladies sure know their blogging business, and I so appreciated them sharing their advice, and learning from their experiences There was something for everyone in these presentations, from beginners to long-time bloggers ...
Sarah, Nikita, Rachel & Sammy
We were also gifted with one of these yummy sweet treats from thedessertstudio especially made for the event - it was killing me not to eat it straight away (delicious vanilla shortcake), but I resisted so I could include it in the photo shoot above and below lol ....
We had lunch in between the sessions, and I thoroughly enjoyed inhaled the smorgasbord of tantalising international refreshments. This was followed by more advice from the panel experts, and then before we knew it, sadly it was time to wrap up the day. But not before we were given this amazing assortment of beauty products from a wide variety of brands. I'll be reviewing these products over the next few months...wait, who am I kidding, it will take me a year to get through all these!..
Way too many pictures for one post, so keep an eye out for my follow-up where I'll individually detail the products above. But for now, here's a teaser from Vani-T - Bronzing Silk Self Tan Cream with a tanning mitt that's like no other, it's so incredibly plush and soft like velour velvet...
The Mineral Lip Liner will get a work out this week, and how about this Mineral Lip Colour? I remember seeing one on another blog and thinking it was the ultimate in packaging - so glam and glossy, and that whoever designed this has their finger on the female pulse. I for one regard my lipsticks as the jewels in my makeup crown, and this one is literally a gem ...
I'm so thankful I was able to make it to one of these masterful gatherings, and honoured to be part of the Bloggers United AU community. Thank you Nikita, Rachel, Sarah & Sammy for a brilliant day - Jasmine, I'll catch up with you next time babe! ...

Take care of you,
kats xxx

P.S. Don't forget to check out Ingrid's Monday Makeup Madness Link Up Party 

Friday, 25 November 2016

SPOTLIGHT: 3rd Quarter 2016 Fave LOTD's, Reds...

What IS it about red lipstick that can turn your mood, and your day, around? Sure there are lots of brightly coloured lippies out there - hot pinks, fluoro oranges and even electric purples...but none of them brings the va va voom punch of a red pout hey. To think I didn't even START slicking on this hottie shade till I was in my 50's is almost beyond my comprehension, but if I can manage to cast my fears aside so late in life, well I reckon anything's possible as far as makeup is concerned. So here are some of my favourite fiery lip products - hopefully there's one here that'll tempt you to indulge, even if you haven't before ...

I usually save the best till last, but I'm breaking with tradition here and launching straight into my #1 pick - L'Oreal Bloody Mary, a precious gift from an equally precious pal. Have you ever seen a more rich and luscious red? Amazingly comfortable formula too, absolutely adore it   The Ulta 3 Radiant was an unexpected surprise for $5.95 - in the past I've found the lip products from this brand to be either too sheer, or not  moist enough for my dry old lips, but this glossy babe is a winner - stunning pigment, non sticky and lasts well if you apply it over a matching liner...

Love this DB Cosmetics Deep Red for when I want a splash of colour that's not quite as loud as some others - there's a softness to this shade which makes it totally wearable. And the Kat Von D Adora was a gift from my darling friend Amy - it's disappointingly drying, but such a pretty shade, quite different to my other reds, and the only KVD lip product in my kit...

The Face of Australia Ruby Delight is another one that surprised me with the pigmentation quality and comfort - I simply must buy more of these lol! And the Rubi Shoes Ruby Red is one of my most frequently worn lipsticks. Sadly my local store has stopped stocking them, and I can't even find them at Cotton:On any more, so I guess they've been discontinued - boo!

And finally some deep broody wintery reds, which I've now put away till next Autumn - both beautiful shades although the formula is a wee bit drying, and let's face it, buda-pash is definitely not for the faint hearted. Whoa!  Ha ha...

Next round will be Berries & Purples followed by Oranges, and they'll be up very soon - blimey it's almost time for the last quarter faves!

Take care of you,
kats xxx

Monday, 21 November 2016

SPOTLIGHT: Marie Claire Ageless Parcel - November 2016...

Another winning combination of products in the Summer Marie Claire Ageless Parcel. I've checked out quite a few subscription boxes, but I reckon this beats them all hands down. There's a refreshing consistency in the quality of the items, it's always amazing value, and obviously a lot of thought has gone into gathering together this beaut selection for the hot months ahead...

John Frieda Sheer Blonde Go Blonder In Shower Lightening Treatment (34ml, Full Size, RRP $17.99)
A most interesting and innovative product - you apply it to wet hair and leave it on for five minutes to lighten by one shade. There are two tubes of product that combine when you squeeze - shall definitely give this a shot next time I colour my hair and it turns out too dark. The huge benefit I see is that you don't have to use it up all at once, plus it looks like it's going to be totally mess-free ..

L'Oreal Paris Revitalift Classic Concentrated Serum (30ml, Full Size, RRP $32.95)
I have three other serums on my shelf to try, but will sneak this one in next because I definitely need "...more toned, firmer looking skin..." According to the blurb, I should see results in four hours - yes please! It's a translucent white liquid with a baby powder fragrance that dissipates quickly - lots of slip so it spreads easily, and dries almost matte ... 


Alpha-H Instant Facial (30ml Sample, Value $18.60)
Loving Alpha-H Liquid Gold as I do, it's a sure bet I'm going to nuts about this Instant Facial with Cypress & Barley. Like the Liquid Gold you squirt it onto a cotton pad, and then swipe it all over your face, neck and chest - a wee bit of a refreshing tingle, but that's to be expected from a glycolic acid content. Also contains thyme & arnica. This particular variety targets enlarged pores (check), dead skin buildup (check), wrinkles (check), and mattifies the T-zone (check). I used it last night and didn't apply anything else over the top - this morning my skin is radiant, soft and deliciously hydrated ...

Sukin Energising Body Scrub (50ml Sample, Value $3.74)
I swear this smells good enough to eat! Sulphate & paraben free, it contains jojoba beads, green tea leaves, aloe vera, coconut oil & vitamin E, along with coffee extracts and coconut shell. It's already on my shower shelf for the next pre-tan exfoliation ... 

Skin Republic Brightening Vitamin C Face Mask (25ml, Full Size, RRP $7.99)
I'm a big fan of these sheet masks, and have used this particular one before - just haven't gotten around to reviewing the range, but it's in the pipeline. Gives my face an instant hydration rush and radiance boost, and there's no messy goop to wash off - you just spread the remaining serum film wherever you need it most ... 

Ego Sun Sense Daily Face SPF 50+ (200ml Full Size, RRP $26.95)
This is a brilliant product - has no fragrance that I can detect, it dries matte, and it's the perfect formula if you have oily or combination skin. I've tried this on my face, neck and chest, and there's not even the slightest trace of greasiness or shine, and of course, it's 50+ SPF ...

My trusty calculator tells me the value of this box is $108.22 - for an outlay of $25, it can't be beat ♥ You can subscribe to the Marie Claire Ageless Parcel at their new Beauty Crew home HERE.

Take care of you,
kats xxx

P.S. Linking to the ever popular Monday Makeup Madness Party - you won't be disappointed with the quality reviews you'll find here every week 

Monday, 14 November 2016

REVIEW: IT Cosmetics - Your Skin But Better CC Cream...

Not long ago I received my second order of the sensational IT Cosmetics CC Cream, so it's high time I let you know how fabulous it is  
I discovered this wonder via a sample in the May Marie Claire Ageless Parcel, and was so impressed I ordered a tube from Sephora (shade medium) - mind you I had to wait several weeks till it was back in stock, that's how popular it is. There's still quite a bit left in the pack, but there's NO WAY I'm ever going to be without this miracle cream. On weekdays I use it as a primer underneath a light layer of foundation, on weekends I wear it on it's own - with 50+ SPF (titanium dioxide & zinc oxide) and amazing coverage, it's my HG for every single day. It's so hydrating, it could even replace my daycream...
Left: bare un-moisturised skin. Right: thin layer of CC Cream (unset)
After water, the second main ingredient listed on the box is Snail Secretion Filtrate - reading this prompted an "ewwww!" moment initially, but the stuff that keeps snails slipping and sliding is a winner for complexions. If you Google this particular ingredient, you'll find rave after rave about the benefits of this inclusion that's harvested from lab-grown garden snails. It's been proven to stimulate the formation of elastin and collagen, soothe inflammation (even Hippocrates recommended it!), alleviate dry skin, reduce wrinkles and stretch marks, brighten the complexion, and heal scars. Doesn't that make you want a bucket load? The cream doesn't sink into creases or flake, nor does it look mask-like. As you can see in these before and after pics, my freckles are still faintly visible, but the whole look is natural and even-toned - definitely my skin but better ...
Left: bare un-moisturised skin. Right: CC Cream set with translucent powder
The tube has a pump dispenser, and one press delivers enough product to cover my entire face and part way down my neck. Unlike my previous HG primer (Dermalogica Age Smart) it's not matte - in fact the finish is quite shiny no doubt due to the high SPF content, but after applying my foundation and/or setting with translucent powder, it settles down for the whole day. It also has the most delicious fragrance - like freshly squeezed lemons... 

Here's the list of ingredients from the IT Cosmetics website:
With the sun gaining strength by the day, I'm thrilled to have a double-duty product to protect my skin from harmful rays, provide excellent coverage, and if my complexion keeps improving at the current rate, I'll say bye bye to my foundation, as well as my day time moisturiser. Bring it on!
One pump - tried to make it look like a snail, but failed lol...
As far as I know IT Cosmetics products are only available in Australia from Sephora - the CC Cream retails for $58, and all their products are cruelty free.
Next I'll be reviewing its perfect partner (pictured above), the Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer - if you're looking for a 100% coverage, creaseless, anti-aging and waterproof concealer that lasts all day, then watch this space ...

Take care of you,
kats xxx

P.S. Linking to Ingrid's Monday Makeup Madness Link Up Party  - a new round of excellent reads at the start of every week..

Sunday, 13 November 2016

SPOTLIGHT: October Empties!...

As you can see I didn't have a very fruitful "finishing up" October, but I'm giving myself bonus points for getting to the bottom of another bottle of perfume lol! It's not a common occurrence as I have a tendency to not want them to end so I'm frugal with my spritzing, and then when I get to the last spray I'm often torn as to whether to buy a replacement, or try something new. Sigh...first world beauty problems. There's also a couple of repeaters here, but you know me, if I love it, then I want to talk about it over and over again ...

Australis Ready Set Go Finishing Powder (RRP $13.95)
I've tried a few of these made by other companies, but I keep coming back to Australis. Initially I had a problem with the old tell-tale white powder bits when using a flash, but I've become more proficient with my application technique, so I rarely have issues any more. The others (NYX, BOE Beauty, Mirenesse) weren't any better or worse, so I figure why change now when I've been using this for YEARS, plus it's a great price, and readily available ♥...
Repurchase?
Two spares on hand at any one time lol...


Clairol Nice'N Easy-Natural Light Golden Brown  (RRP $12.99)
So happy to have found this particular shade at Chemist Warehouse - it's exactly the colour I want my hair to be underneath the blond bits on the top. One shade lighter doesn't have enough intensity, and the next one up is too deep ♥...
Repurchase?
Three boxes in the cupboard, and I bought the root touch up kit to try as well...


Skin Doctors Eyetuck (15ml, RRP $49.95) 
This is the only product I've come across that noticeably shrinks under eye bags. I first used it more than 7 years ago - my bags were less than half the size they are now, and I could see something happening in just a few weeks, and the shrinking continued to a point within 2 months. After that there was no change, but what did happen was a blessed relief. I stopped using it 4 years ago mainly because of the expense, but decided to give it another go as my bags have exploded, probably due to the fact that I don't get nearly enough sleep, but my Dad has them too, so I half blame genetics. They aren't as bulgy as they were, so I'll persist. Also managed to pick up a couple of bottles on special. I reckon if you have only slight bags, this might be all you need  ...
Repurchase?
One on the bench, one in the drawer ...


RapidLash Eyelash Enhancing Serum (3ml, RRP $65)
Will never stop raving about this product as long as there is breath in my body. Full review HERE. Now in my 6th year of having eye lashes that are visible to the camera as well as the naked eye, and never EVER had a problem with irritation. It won't grow anything that wasn't there before, but whatever lashes you have, it allows them to continue growing to the max before they fall out naturally  ...
Repurchase?
Until the day I die - still available at Pharmacy Online for $49.95 ...



Rimmel Exaggerate Full Colour Lip Liner - Call Me Crazy (RRP $12.50)
Love this range, and I have the whole set - it's the propelling type (yay no need to sharpen!), but with a slanted tip instead of a point. This colour is a beauty - the brightest brightest orangey red, and therefore essential in my kit as I have lots of lipsticks it matches perfectly. Applies evenly, formula is smooth and creamy, and it will almost survive a meal. It dries matte, and lipstick sticks to it really well ♥...
Repurchase?
Certainly have, it's a can't-live-without ...


Vera Wang Be Jeweled EDP (75ml RRP $74.95)
Full review HERE. Love this fragrance to bits, perfect spring/summer scent, fresh and floral, but it doesn't last more than an hour or so, which is odd given it's an EDP. Picked it up at a pharmacy for just under half price so I'm not complaining. Stunning bottle with jewels around the neck - they're on elastic so I've taken them off and will do something with them, not sure what though ...
Repurchase?
Not at this stage, but I've bought the Rouge variety to try ...

Till next month then lovelies!


Take care of you,

kats xxx

Saturday, 12 November 2016

SPOTLIGHT: 3rd Quarter 2016 Fave LOTD's, Corals, Mauves & Pinks...

More of my faves from July to September - Corals, Mauves & Pinks, so flattering to just about any colouring, so long as you find the right one! Of the three, I admit corals are the trickiest, depending on whether they have more pink or orange content, but the rewards are great if you have the time and inclination to experiment. Mauves and pinks are far less challenging, and they're just so perfect for Spring when I start digging through my wardrobe for some pretty pastels ...

These two are relatively new in my collection - the NYX Liquid Suedes are reasonably comfortable and long lasting, though I prefer the formula of the Maybelline Vivid Matte range (review HERE). This colour though is absolutely gorgeous. The Rimmel Peachy Beachy is another one I'm particularly keen on as it has more depth without being too bright ...

I find these Australis Velour Lips Creams very drying, but I put up with the sensation as the colours are just so pretty, they apply evenly, and can be reapplied without looking flaky or scruffy. The MNY Colordrama pencils continue to be high on my love-list - the comfort and performance are hard to beat for the price. I actually use this as a liner for my other coral lipsticks as I can't seem to find a coral lip pencil that blends in as well ...

The Revlon Balm is another new love - I don't think I have a mauve that's as divine as this. Deliciously moisturising too and the hue just suits my skin tone perfectly. The MBA Lovespell has a slight frosting, and that makes it just that little bit different ...

Raspberry Ripple is almost what I call a Barbie pink - super pretty, and goes with quite a few of my new warmer weather wardrobe acquisitions. I'm not one to go for frosty finishes usually, but combined with this hue, it's a total winner. The City Color Berry is a one-of-a-kind shade in my collection - hard to believe as I have SO many pink lipsticks, but this has a unique freshness and juicy quality that makes it a standout ...

Adore the vibrancy of this LA Girl paint - surprisingly easy to create an even finish, and it doesn't bleed. I've included the L'Oreal Eternal Rose because it's another one that's kind of on its own in my kit - the blue content makes it wearable with even purple clobber ...

Is there one here that would suit you? Next up will be the ravishing REDS, so I hope you'll be back soon...

Take care of you,
kats xxx 

Saturday, 5 November 2016

SPOTLIGHT: 3rd Quarter 2016 Fave LOTD's, Nudes, Bricks & Bronzes...

This recap series is a couple of month's overdue, but that seems to be the story of my blogging life right now - so much to blog about, so little time! BUT I'm hoping to relocate closer to where I work soon and cut out half my commuting time, and that should help considerably  Meanwhile, below is a selection of the Nudes, Bricks and Bronzes that tickled my fancy between July and September...

Bronzeberry is the most frosted lipstick in my kit - any more and my lips would freeze (lol!) but I think it's such a pretty shade, and goes perfectly with my peachy pearl necklace. And as mentioned in my blog article (HERE), these MNY Vivid Matte Liquid Lipsticks are the bomb - SO comfortable, and I don't often wear nudes because I look so washed out, but this one has enough warmth in it to avoid looking ill ...

These two are very very similar - but the Lacquer Balm has more browny red in it, and the Sienna more orange. Love both shades and formulas, which is why they're on this page - gorgeous colours for Autumn and Winter, and they go so well with olive and orangey outfits ...

I usually keep my pinky nudes for Spring and Summer, but made an exception for these as they have enough oomph and character to wear with greys and navys...

Crazy for Coffee has more pink in it than brown, so I'm not sure why they put coffee in the name, but it's gorgeous all the same, and Bronze Metal is one of those lipsticks that changes with the light - under my white makeup light it has the pinky brown tones you see here, whereas in natural daylight, it appears more golden...

Bean There is my current number one brown lippy, and I've included the Australis matte because, well, it's just so magnificently dramatic! I only discovered it towards the end of August (and only been game to where it once), but come next Autumn, I'll trot it out again for sure. It's only drawback is that with a pigment this deep, you have to make (and keep) the application perfect throughout the day or else it looks cr@p...

Well now after writing up this post, I can see that half of these are by Maybelline - can't say I'm all that surprised as I do favour their lip products over any other brand. They seem to make just the right shades for my skin tone, and the formulas are always super comfortable ...

Planning to have the Corals, Pinks and Mauves up in a few days.  Till then lovelies...

Take care of you,
kats xxx