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Good Things Come in Small Packages: Face of Australia Mini Mousse

Why is it that when things are small, they are just automatically cute? For instance a cucumber sandwich. Slap it together with a couple of pieces of bread at home and it is dead boring... go to an event, where they come chopped in little triangles and served with toothpicks and voila! Cute factor sky rockets.

Ok, so maybe a cucumber sandwich isn't the best example. But how about a little tube of eye colour in a funky colour? I saw these the other day and I have to say, they're pretty adorable.

They're from Aussie brand Face of Australia and they're the Mini Mousse cream eye shadow. The 10ml tubes contain creamy eye shadow that glides on and sets to a powder finish. For anyone who is a fan of cream based shadows, but loves the look of regular powder products, this one is for you.
They come in eight different shades, the pic up top has them all (from left to right) Bronze Briony (1), Magic Mist (2), Midas Touch (3), Electric Feel (4), Violet Delight (5), Pink Maddison (6), Tinkerbell (7) and Snow White (8). I swatched them all for you guys and it wasn't easy to get eight shades on my one little hand!

Colours pictured (from top to bottom) 2, 4, 3, 1, 6, 8, 7 and 3.

By far my favourite was Electric Feel (4), In the tube it looks bright blue, but as you can see in the swatch it is this awesome turquoise. A really beautiful shade. You can also tell from the swatch pic that these go on a little sheerer than the colour you see in the tube, so I'd recommend you test them out in the store first to see which one you like best. Strangely enough I also found that the different colours had slightly different textures in the formulas, some were runnier than others. Of course the runnier the formula the weaker the colour pay off, so keep that in mind when choosing a shade.

Now, the best part about these little babies, besides their cuteness of course, is the price. They're $7.95 at all the usual places but Priceline is running a promo and selling them for $4.48! Yup, not much more than a large coffee will cost you in the morning.
But if you like them, be warned, they are only a limited edition range. They should be on sale for a couple more months yet, but I don't know how long the cheaper price tag will last at Priceline.

Tell me beauties do you like things in mini packages like this?
What about cream eye shadows? Yay or nay?


Lipstick Love: Rimmel Colour Show Off in Tell No One

I officially have a new favourite lipstick! I've been so drawn to corals lately, and I think I have found the perfect one, and at a drugstore price no less! (gotta love a bargain).

I was randomly swatching lipsticks at Priceline one day and I came across the Colour Show Off Lipstick by Rimmel London. Zooey Deschanel's beautiful face on the Rimmel stand helped to draw me in, don't you just love her? She has the quirkiest, prettiest style.

So on the Rimmel stand were these beautiful shiny pink and gold packaged lippies, winking at me and whispering 'try me! try me!' Could you resist something as pretty as this? (love the little crown on top too!)

I've written about one of these lipsticks before in my post on dupes for MAC Impassioned, check out that post here. The colour I posted about before was Pink Fame, but today I want to introduce you to 'Tell No One'... oops, I'm telling everyone! 

Here is a swatch:

'Tell No One' is a sunny coral, perfect for days like today when it is freezing and you're trying hard to avoid the gloom! I really don't think these pics do this shade justice, so if you do get a chance, check it out in person. These lippies are beautifully pigmented, nice and vibrant, Rimmel says they have a "colour fix complex"...not sure what that means exactly but I'm very happy with the staying power. These lipsticks are matte, but they aren't drying at all. Here are a couple of shots on the lips to prove it!

The Rimmel Colour Show Off Lipsticks come in six shades, lots of lovely pinks and corals, and have a RRP of $14.95. I think they have a gorgeous finish, no shimmer or sparkle, just strong colour that lasts, it's my kind of lippie!

You can get them from supermarkets, pharmacies and the usuals like Priceline and K-Mart. If you're having any trouble finding them call 1800 812 663.

How do you feel about wearing coral lipstick in the Winter time beauties? Have you tried any nice ones, I'm always on the look out for more favourites!


A Daily Essential: Australis Ready Set Go Finishing Powder Review

Do you have products that are on your 'must-use' list every day? Even if you're in a rush?

I know I do. Foundation obviously, but sometimes I vary my coverage and go for a lighter tinted moisturiser to give my skin a break.

No matter what though, I find that finishing with a dust of translucent powder is a must for that nice matte look.

I think I've found a gem in the Australis Ready, Set, Go! Finishing Powder in true translucent. It's made up of mostly silica, no talc, so it doesn't have any kind of drying properties on your skin.

Now I do want to quickly sideline here and address the issue of Silica. There have been rumblings in the beauty world about the use of Silica in products and the possibility that breathing in this stuff can have nasty health effects. (This debate was specifically focused around the brand Coastal Scents). I did look in to this at length when this controversy was going on, and from what I have researched the type of Silica that is dangerous is Crystalline Silica, an ingredient not used in cosmetic products. Silica and Hydrated Silica (which means it is blended with water molecules) are used in cosmetics but they are very different to their crystalline counterparts.

From -
"The Silica used in cosmetics and personal care products is in the amorphous form. This means that there is no clear order to the arrangement of the atoms, unlike crystalline silica, which has a clear order to the arrangement of the atoms"

Sorry to bore you with scientific facts, but I wouldn't want any confusion or red lights going off when you saw that the main ingredient in this harmless little powder is silica!

Now back to the product at hand, the Australis Ready Set Go finishing powder is super fine too, and it blends into fine lines and acts to slightly smooth them out (hiding pores too!) rather than caking around any blemish like thicker powders can. This is not a super product though, it won't completely hide any indentations or lines on your face, but it does help.

I used to wonder about why someone would use a translucent powder, why not finish with an actual powder compact that has colour pigments?
Well, when you're using a foundation/bronzer/blush or if you're having a go at highlighting and contouring, adding a pigmented finishing powder can be a useless exercise.

And for $12.95 you can use this stuff every day and not worry about it burning a hole in your pocket. By far the best benefits of this powder is the smoothness and softness it gives to your skin. If you run your finger across your skin after application (which I know we probably shouldn't because every tip in the beauty book says not to touch your face too much!) it really feels like satin, and that feeling seems to last, combatting any oily moments during the day. No need to "powder your nose" with this stuff in your lunch break!

The Ready Set Go finishing powder looks like this with its super cute pink and black packaging, because I know you are ALL suckers for packaging (like me):

When I first bought this I was applying it with a brush, but because it is so so fine and soft it just wasn't working so well. Thanks to the twitterverse, Australis suggested I try applying it with a sponge, and I think that truly is the best way to apply it.

I use the base of my manicare precision blending sponge (if you haven't tried one of these, you really should, they are awesome, it's the little purple gadget pictured) which is basically a cheaper copy of the BeautyBlender which you've probably heard raves about online. The only difference I can garner with between the Manicare sponge (RRP $7.95) and the BeautyBlender is the fact that the BeautyBlender is best used wet, and expands when it takes in water. The manicare sponge doesn't do that, and I find it really isn't very efficient when it is damp.
So there you have it, a handy little product to have in your beauty booty. Tell me, have you tried this powder? What about the blending tool from manicare?
If you're looking for Australis stuff and can't find it, give them a buzz on 1300 650 981, for Manicare, call 1800 651 146.


What I'm coveting right now... L'Oreal Base Magique

I don't know why I go to Priceline, it's just not a good idea. Even if I tell myself I'm simply going to 'have a look' I end up obsessed with a product, which I try not to buy. Problem is, I can't stop thinking about that product and I end up going back to buy it within a few days!

So my latest obsession, which I was strong enough, (and broke enough!) to pass up today was the L'Oreal Base Magique face primer. Which looks like this:

Generally I don't wear primer, but this seems like it might win me over! 
It claims to fill in fine lines and imperfections, and create a nice base which can be worn under foundation, or alone. 

This is what L'Oreal says:

"L’Oreal Paris Base Magique Transforming Smoothing Primer is a moisturiser designed to hydrate and protect skin as well as work as primer used to mask wrinkles and uneven textures in the skin before applying foundation. The formula erases fine lines and pores, and contains soft powders to help absorb sebum and mattify skin to reduce shine. Silicon oil enables easy glide-on application with no greasy residue for longer-lasting make-up." 

Sounds pretty good huh? It felt absolutely amazing on my skin in the store when I tested it on my hand, and it gave a lovely smooth matte finish. It sort of reminded me how my skin feels after I've applied a translucent finishing powder which probably has something to do with the silicon ingredient (translucent powders often contain silica). 

Texture wise it is something of a cross between a paste and a gel, nice and thick, I don't think you'd need to use much. I think it would be  perfect for concealing little crow's feet wrinkles, pores and under eye blemishes before makeup. I'd be interested to try it out and see if it really made a difference to the wear of your foundation though.  

BUT...while I covet thee, I am going to try and be strong. This product isn't really too expensive at $29.95, but I'm really trying to be frugal and save my pennies for a trip to the USA in a few months. If any of you lovely beauties want to rush out and buy it, feel free, I'd love to live vicariously through you! L'Oreal Base Magique is available at pharmacies, department stores and variety stores like K-Mart and Big-W (basically everywhere!).

Do you have a favourite primer or have you tried this one? 

Have a great week beauties!


A Song for Mother's Day

For all the wonderful mums out there, here is a beautiful song by a beautiful girl, Carrie Underwood.
If you have an aversion to slightly soppy country pop, click away now! :)

The first time I heard this I thought it was so lovely, and so did my mum!
It's all about a daughter meeting the love of her life and telling her Mama she is going to be ok :)
Hope you guys like it!

Happy Mother's Day for tomorrow!

And and extra special Happy Mother's day to my darling Mum, a truly special angel of a woman that I feel so privileged to have in my life. Love you Mumma!


NOTD Australis Blue Tiger

Isn't this the hottest blue nail polish you have ever seen? I saw it in the store and I just couldn't pass it up. It's called Blue Tiger and it is made by Aussie super brand Australis Cosmetics.

I think it's a fun way to add a pop of colour into your outfit, and I LOVE Australis polishes! I just had to highlight it in a nail of the day (NOTD) post.

The colours are so bright and so opaque, I'm actually preferring them lately to my higher end polishes. Australis says that their polishes have a 'self levelling formula' and I can really see this when I apply them, there are never any streaks and the colour is really intense and long wearing.

Here is what two coats of Blue Tiger looks like, I'm having a bit of an animal themed day today, with my tiger face ring and zebra hoodie!

Please excuse the cheesy Starbucks product placement, but I thought the colour would show up better with the white mug behind it!

Here are some more quick shots of Blue Tiger:

I picked up my Australis polish at K-Mart for only $7.75, but they retail officially for $7.95 and are available at Big W, K-Mart, Priceline and some pharmacies. 
If you have trouble finding them you can always call the Australis stockist number (1300 650 981).

Here are some of the other colours they come in, 
there are a total of 21 shades in the range:
I have the cute pink at the top of the picture (Bombshell), and I've been wearing it on my toes for the past week or so, it makes me happy every time I look at it! (it is pink after all).

I'm coveting the light green colour on the right (called Sweet Pea) but really, most of the shades in this line are totally fab. How cool is Australis lately? It's fast becoming one of my fave brands.   

You can check out the polishes on the Australis website by clicking this link.

Happy Friday beauties!


Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstick: My Lips But Better (MLBB)

So I've become a bit obsessed with lipsticks. In the past I have never been one for lip products at all, but slowly my love of lipsticks, and lipsticks in bright colours, has grown. I love bright corals, and reds, and my favourite lipstick by far right now would be my Revlon Matte in Really Red (which I've been told is shade that sits somewhere between MAC Ruby Woo, and MAC Russian Red).

But sometimes a girl needs a colour for her lips that doesn't scream "look at me!" For instance, I teach, and I don't want my students focusing more on my lip colour than on what I have to say to them about poetry, so I'm always on the look out for a good MLBB shade. For those of you who haven't come across this term yet, this handy acronym stands for "My Lips But Better" : describing a shade of lip colour that is natural, but enhances your already present lip colour.

I recently bought some of the Maybelline Colour Sensational lipsticks. I know they've been out for ages, but I hate paying close to $20 for Maybelline, I always just keep thinking about how it's available elsewhere (the USA) for a quarter of the price. But I caved when Priceline was having a buy one get one free special on their Maybelline lip products a few weeks ago. Two for around $16.95 wasn't too bad.

Now I have to say, I was really impressed with the two I got. They were Totally Toffee, and Pink Petal. I really liked the look of another colour they had, Warm Me Up but they were out of stock at Priceline. After having the two for a week or so I headed to Big-W and picked up Warm Me Up as well, and I just had to swatch them and see what you guys thought. So here they are:

(from left) Totally Toffee, Warm Me Up and Pink Petal
Now for the swatches!
From top here we have Totally Toffee, Warm Me Up and Pink Petal. 
In this shot pink petal looks almost corally, but it really is just a soft pink. They all have the lovely sheen you can see on the Warm Me Up swatch in this photo. 

Here's Pink Petal on the lips:

...and Warm Me Up:

lastly, Totally Toffee.

I really love all of these shades, I find them to be totally wearable and well pigmented. The tint of the colour stays on your lips for a good few hours which is good for a lipstick that isn't sold as a colour stay. For 'drugstore' lipsticks I think these are fabulous, and I have to mention the wide variety of colours in this range. There are 44 shades in four categories, pinks, plums, naturals and reds. Click here to check out the shades on the Maybelline NY Australian site. 

I should probably also mention that there is a newer version of this range that has just come out (the ones I've mentioned are still available though, the new range is just in addition to the originals). This is called the ColorSensational Pearls collection which apparently has the added benefit of 'Micronized Pearls' in it, whatever that means! I'm not a fan of this range though, it's mostly sheers, nudes and light lipsticks which I can never seem to pull off. You can check out the Pearl shades here.

I'm curious to know beauties, do you have a favourite MLBB shade? Which of the three colours I have do you like best? 


Awesome Product Alert: Nature's Care Paw Paw Balm

No matter where I go when shopping I am automatically drawn to the cosmetics and beauty aisle. Be it in the supermarket, K-Mart, Target, wherever, I just seem to gravitate towards the girly products.

Sometimes I even manage to find the closest things to beauty products in the weirdest stores, I remember spending twenty minutes sniffing all the car air freshener scents in Super Cheap Auto once while my boyfriend looked on in horror. Who knows right? One of them could have been a CAR dupe for Marc Jacobs Daisy or something. What a blog post that would have been!

So anyway when I go to the supermarket I am hopeless. I always come home with something extra in my green shopping bags that wasn't on the list, hidden under the toilet paper and tea bags.

But every now and then one of these random purchases is really worth it. I usually keep these little splurges under the ten dollar mark, so it is a relatively harmless treat, and this week I picked up a super little product for only $3.89! It was the Nature's Care Paw Paw Balm.
I have to admit a big part of the reason I spotted it in the corner of the top shelf (where they always hide the good bargains) was because it is in a totally adorable bright pink tube, and I love pink things, as I'm sure a lot of you beauties do. I thought 'what the heck' and threw it in my basket.

Now it was certainly one purchase I don't regret. Not only does this little baby smell divine (so sweet and fruity) the balm is super nice to use and totally multi-purpose, making it the perfect addition to your handbag or night stand.

Massive bonus too (given that can be used as a lip product) is the fact that it is ALL NATURAL! It's free from any of the nasty petrochemicals that you sometimes find in lip balms. It consists of lots of yummy natural things including shea butter, jojoba and macadamia nut oil, cocoa butter and mango seed butter, as well as paw paw of course!

I've been using it on my lips for a few days now and they are feeling really soft and moisturised. I've also been rubbing it into my hands at bedtime and savouring the truly fresh and delicious scent. It really is nice to have something in your beauty booty that smells like a tropical escape, you can close your eyes and just image you aren't approaching winter....Would I like an umbrella in my drink?.....sure... make it a pink one!

Back to reality now. The only downside is that this is only a 30g sized tube so the way I've been using it, it won't last long! However, this does mean that it's nice and compact and fits easily into your purse. A great tip for using it over larger areas is to put a bit into your palms and rub them together to warm the product, this makes it become more like a serum and it spreads a lot easier.

Nature's Care Paw Paw Balm retails for approx $4, and to my knowledge is available at Coles and Woolworths/Safeway supermarkets. Let me know if you try it beauties!


New Hair Post!

So I got a little crazy on the weekend and I decided to change my hair. Maybe it's because I've been watching so many YouTube videos by the lovely dark and red haired mavens, I was inspired to find a shade somewhere between that of the gorgeous Amarixe and Aussie based beauty Amysass7. Since I am a bit of a chicken I wanted an at home colour that was semi-permanent, just in case I hated it, that way it would eventually wash out! 

After reading a lot of reviews online I decided to go with the L'Oreal Casting Creme Gloss which  retails for about $16 and looks like this:

I went with the shade called 'Mahogany' which isn't pictured here, but basically it was a dark brownish purply red, if that makes any sense! It was probably a little darker than what I should have gone, as my hair is a dark blonde/ light brown shade, but the box said it could be used on light brown hair, so I jumped in! So without further adieu, here was my hair before (It looks quite blonde but if you've seen my YouTube vids you will know it is more of a light brown):

And after application of the L'Oreal Casting Creme Gloss in Mahogany, we have this! 

What do you guys think? I was pretty happy with the result, but I think it is probably going to fade pretty fast! Maybe I might have to look into something more permanent! 
As a product, the Creme Gloss was pretty easy to use, I liked that you mixed the colourant and creme in a tube instead of a bottle and then applied from that, it meant you could use all the dye and it was easy to squeeze out. No big spurts like you get when you apply too much pressure to dyes that come in bottle applicators. The royal jelly conditioner it came with was pretty nice, and my hair was a little dry afterward but not too bad (My hair is quite dry generally anyway). Be sure to post a comment and tell my what you think of my new do'! Thumbs up or thumbs down?? 

Hope you're having a great week beauties! :) 


MAC Impassioned Lipstick Dupe: Is it possible?

So for a little while now I've been dupe hunting.

I'm trying with all my might to save money as I'm heading to the USA in a few months (Sephora - whoo!) so the buying of higher end products has been stopped. Sadly, that means no M.A.C. So for the meantime I've been trying to find cheaper alternatives (even though I shouldn't really be buying these either!).

One lipstick I really love, but haven't purchased yet is M.A.C's Impassioned. You can see the colour on the lovely Lilit over at her blog Makeup and Macaroons (she totally rocks this colour!).

So I searched far and wide for a possible alternative. Close colours included Revlon's Luxurious Living Lipstick in Hot Coral, which is actually somewhere between Impassioned and MAC Vegas Volt.

Another similar colour comes from the Max Factor Colour Collections range and is called Bewitching Coral (#827). Check out a swatch of these colours here.

But finally, I found a (similar) dupe I was happy with. It is slightly pinker than Impassioned but I think that works well for my fairer complexion. What do you guys think, is it a close enough match?
The top colour is Rimmel Colour Show Off Lipstick in Pink Fame, the bottom is Impassioned.

Pink fame came up a bit more corally in this photo but in real life they are very very similar (a friend I was shopping with told me she couldn't tell the difference!). The main difference I saw however, is finish, Impassioned is a MAC Amplified Lipstick so it's finish is a bright moisture rich lustre, Pink Fame leans more towards a matte. I did layer the Rimmel colour with a Rimmel Royal gloss called Candylicious which made it much more Impassioned like (the pics didn't show up very well though, sorry!).

For more possible Impassioned dupes, check out Ebrushka's blog here, though I'm not sure if the lippies she mentions are available in Australia yet.

Does anyone else know of some great dupes for M.A.C lipsticks? I'd love to hear about them!

Happy Monday beauties!


Royal Wedding Makeup: It was all about blush and brows

So it's all been revealed. Kate and Wills have tied the knot, we've seen the dress, the hair, the tiara. It was all there. Now, on to what I was most curious about - the makeup!

The Duchess of Cambridge, as she is now officially known, opted to do her own makeup on the day. She'd been taking one on one makeup lessons with U.K makeup artist Arabella Preston who was set to paint Miss Kate before she walked down the aisle.

But after several lessons with Ms. Preston, People Magazine reported that Kate was "comfortable and confident" in doing it herself, and preferred this after being unsatisfied with the job done on her makeup before her engagement photo shoot with Mario Testino. She's said to have wiped it off that day and reapplied it herself.

So beauties do you think she did a good job?

There were three things I noticed about Kate's look on her special day,
1. The tan
2. The eyebrows
3. The cheeks

England's newest Princess was looking spiffy, that's for sure, and could it have been because she was a little more bronze than usual? Maybe it was just the bridal glow, or a lovely sweep of bronzer across the nose and forehead.

Kate kept things simple with a light soft rose lip and added her pop of colour with a rosy blush swept generously over her cheeks. Her foundation was flawless (I'd love to know what product she used) As for the eyes, her deep dark peepers were accentuated with rich lashings of mascara and dark liner in the waterline and across the upper lash line. As for the lids, from what I could see she went with a soft greyish taupe shadow and her dark eyebrows were deepened and elongated, I'd say with a good wash of eyebrow gel and deep brown powder.

Personally, I think she looked nice, but the eyebrows were a bit much. They seem to get darker and darker the deeper she enters "The Firm" (what some like to call the royal family).

I would have loved to see Kate rock a nude natural eye and soft cheek with a darker lip, I think she has the complexion and hair to really pull a ruby red lippie off. But hey, it wasn't my wedding was it?! I have to say though, her sister Pippa Middleton was a knock-out wasn't she? Apparently the other Middleton Miss is single, not for long I'd say!

I'd love to hear what everyone else thought about Kate's look on her special day!


Any beauty choices today celebrating the royal wedding?

So the day has come for Kate and Wills.

It's likely we won't hear about much else for the next few days (which is terrible given the tragedy unfolding in the American south).

But if you can't beat them, join them I suppose. So I'm going to quickly jump on the bandwagon and ask you other beauties what you're doing today to celebrate the royal wedding?

I thought I might don some glitter eyeliner to my look today, just for that little bit of extra pizazz. I'm jealous of those nail gurus who own the polishes - "Dating a Royal" by OPI or "Royal" by Ulta3 Speed Dry (both lovely deep blues like Kate's ring). I hope all you girls are whipping those colours out today.

It will be interesting to see what dress Kate wears, I'm guessing something simple, but big. Royal wedding dresses are ALWAYS big. There's also been much debate about her tiara, will she or won't she wear a royal antique? We shall soon find out.

Has anyone else heard she is doing her OWN makeup?! Crazy huh? She could have the best of the best primping and preening her, but apparently she's going down the self application route. Does anyone else think that's a bit strange? Obviously she's not makeup obsessed like some (ahem!) other people! :)

As for other news, my prayers go out to the people in the American south who are suffering after the devastating tornados. I hope we don't all forget that life happens and nature doesn't care about a royal wedding.

Have a good day beauties!


Video Review/Tutorial: VS Sassoon Big Hair Styler

Hey beauties!

So I've forayed into the world of YouTube again, this time using the VS Sassoon Big Hair Styler, check out my video and let me know what you think!

I'm actually entering a competition with this video through VS Sassoon to win a new camera, but all opinions and instructions in this vid are honest, and my own! I'd love for you guys to check out the vid, comment and subscribe so the VS Sassooners know that I have buddies out there in beauty land!! :)

But now, on to the review!

This thing is really cool! And let me tell you I am hard to impress when it comes to styling tools. I invest in super expensive stuff usually because the cheaper brands just don't do it for me. I have a Parlux hair dryer and a GHD that I would sleep with if Mr. BeautyScholar didn't mind :P But VS Sassoon are really stepping up their game lately. I bought the Wave Magic recently which I thought was totally awesome, especially for getting hair like Lauren Conrad (I am totally obsessed with her hair!).

Now, as for the Big Hair Styler, I'm totally rubbish at blow drying my hair (what an admission for a beauty junkie?!?) but this tool makes it a lot easier. My problems with blow drying usually come from not being able to angle the brush correctly but because this styler is a dryer and brush in one, that is completely avoided! And, I usually get tired of the drying because my hair takes forever, but this thing gets it done almost as quick as the parlux, for about $100 cheaper!

All you have to do is get used to using the rotation buttons in the correct way which doesn't take long (and I'm pretty uncoordinated). By the way, I have naturally wavy hair so I was very excited by the 'sleek' look that I got with this little beauty. It does make your hair nice and shiny too!

I'm excited about it getting cooler because I get to whip out all my cute little hats and beanies. Is anyone else addicted to hair/head accessories in the cooler months?


Mini Budget Beauty Haul: BYS

Well I've been a naughty little make-up junkie in the last few days and I've bought some products I wanted to share with you. I'm putting it down to the fact that I was deprived shopping and make-up for a few days over the easter break, see my camping essentials beauty post here.

I tried to behave myself though, and I only let loose at my local Gloss store where I picked up some BYS products. Now, I'll let you in on a little secret, in my undergraduate uni time I used to work at Gloss, and back in those glory days the store not only stocked BYS and other beauty brands but it also sold all sorts of NYX products (and I had a staff discount!). Sadly, those days seem to be gone, but on the up-side BYS has improved a lot since then, most of their formulas are pretty good now, and they still have the cheapie price tag (although they used to be even cheaper!). BYS is also available at K-Mart and believe it or not, The Reject Shop, but Gloss usually carries the biggest range.

So, on to the goodies. I grabbed a white kohl eyeliner, a synthetic angled blush brush, three original lipsticks (they also have a long-wear formula available) and a blush. All for under $30 I might add (most BYS products retail for $3.95 at Gloss, the brush was $8.95). Here is a pic:

I've only tested the eye kohl once, and I'm not overjoyed with it, it's a bit hard, doesn't glide on super smooth, but it will do for the moment. I find a white eyeliner to be essential in a make-up case to line the waterline when you're looking tired, but thanks to lots of sleep over Easter I haven't needed to break it out yet.

As for the brush, the lovely beauties who follow me on Twitter will know I've been searching for a cheap brush that I can use with my Australis finishing powder (and double up for use with blushes/illuminators). I'm going to invest in MAC brushes one day (sigh!) but I actually don't mind this brush for the price. They had some other brushes which were cheaper and felt awful, but the BYS synthetic line seemed ok. So far so good, it feels soft, holds its shape even after a clean, and it doesn't leave little whiskers all over your face like cheap brushes usually do. It scores about an 8/10 in the cheap brush stakes I think!

Now, for the lipsticks. I've been on a bit of a lipstick kick lately and I loved the fact BYS has so many colours for only $3.95. To the left is a picture of the three I got. From left to right colours are:

Devil in Disguise, Sassy Salmon and Coral Kiss.

Can I just say I'm in LOVE with the Devil in Disguise colour. Not only does it instantly get me singing the Elvis song (Mr. BeautyScholar said he had the song stuck in his head for hours after I told him the name of the colour) but it is just a divine colour. Think an  orange based ruby red, with a gold sheen. It's just so pretty. Here are some swatches of all three lipsticks (let me apologise in advance for my crappy photography. I'm still trying to master the art of taking swatch photos properly).

At the top is the Coral Kiss, Devil in Disguise in the centre and Sassy Salmon down the bottom. The Coral Kiss is actually a lot darker than the Salmon in real life, and they all have a lustre finish that my camera didn't really pick up.

As for the other two shades, Sassy Salmon is a slightly purplish pink. It reminds me a little of the Revlon Matte pink pout shade but it is slightly darker (and not matte of course!). The Coral kiss is a bright true coral, and I find it lovely to wear on through the day. It gives just the right pop of colour.

Here is another pick of these two shades on my lips, the colours came out a bit better in this one, Sassy Salmon is on the top and Coral Kiss is on the bottom...

These lippies wear fairly well given their price point and after they fade a little, all three colours leave a nice tint on the lips for several hours and they aren't drying or smudgy. I do have one major gripe with them though, and you've probably heard this before. The packaging is TERRIBLE! Not only is it tacky and cheap looking, it is not functional at all. The lids on these babies do not click shut at all, they just fall off, completely. Some are tighter than the others but I'd be careful throwing these in your handbag if you didn't have a lipstick case to transport them in. 
Now, on to the blush. Ok, so I am totally coveting NARS Orgasm like any beauty-o-holic that doesn't own it. So I've been searching for cheap imitations. I don't have the NARS one to compare it to, but from what I've seen this one doesn't do too badly, it's kind of similar - 
Again sorry for the swatch, it's pretty average, but you can see that it is a similar shade to Orgasm. What do you think? It's got a slightly shimmery finish with a slight touch of gold in it, and it is just pigmented enough for my pale skin. You might have to apply it a bit heavier though to get a good colour deposit if you had a darker complexion. Looks great with the Coral Kiss lippie too! 

Ok beauties, I've nattered on enough about my purchases. I'd love to know what BYS stuff you own, any good dupes in their range? They had some other cute things that I might need to pick up soon like the baked blush and baked bronzer and funky animal instinct eye shadows, but hopefully I won't have to go camping again to justify the purchases :) 

xxx BeautyScholar.  

Camping Beauty Must-Haves

So let's just get one thing out of the way first, I am not much of a camper.

BUT that being said, I did just return from four days camping with Mr. BeautyScholar and my family.
I haven't actually "camped" out since I was about twelve, so it was a real shock to the system to have to deal with amenities blocks and dam water, not to mention tents and bugs, and campfire smoke, oh my!

Now you probably think I am being a total princess, and I totally am, but I did learn a few things in my time away that I wanted to share with other little princesses out there in beauty land, should they ever be faced with the ultimate challenge, how to make camping...glamping!

I had a box of tools that fared me well on my Easter escape which looked like this.....

Inside my super cute hot pink crocodile skin makeup box (so princess!) I kept my Neutrogena Ultra Sheer sunscreen body mist, travel size Invisible Zinc Tinted Daywear Light, Simple travel sized eye makeup remover, NYX Nude on Nude Natural Look Kit, Blistex, Covergirl Waterproof Mascara, and MAC Viva Glam lipstick in Cyndi.

I also forgot to photograph my Nivea facial wipes which were still tucked away in the side of my overnight bag at this stage! (But these things saved my life and were great multi-tasking wipes to have on hand all the time).

I was very proud of myself for only taking this little lot away with me (of course face wash, body wash, toothbrush, haircare etc etc were in another *small* bag), although I was mocked mercilessly by my brother for the pink cosmetic case.

Basically I learnt a few things while camping, number one was ALWAYS wear sunscreen, never, ever forget. I love this neutrogena mist, although it is only SPF15 so it should be reapplied regularly if you're outdoors a lot. While I watched other campers slathering on oily goop to keep the rays at bay, I was misting myself with this spray can which dries quickly and doesn't leave a sticky residue (great when your dealing with bugs and dirt - ick!).

On the topic of sun smarts I found Blistex or some form of lip conditioner/sunscreen to be essential, unless you want to be chapped lip Sally when you get home from your rural adventure.

I also loved the Invisible Zinc tinted moisturiser while I was away, normally I like a fuller coverage foundation, but when you're camping this is a bit much. This has a lovely tint to it that is just enough cover, and has the added benefit of 30+ sunscreen. I was lucky that I didn't need much concealer over the break (going to bed at 8pm helps those under eye circles!), but you could always add a light concealer to this tint for extra coverage.

Waterproof mascara is a no brainer when you're camping of course, and to shed this from the eyes when the sun goes down, makeup remover is a must. I love the Simple eye makeup remover and it comes in this cute little travel sized mini bottle for about $3.

I also took along my newly purchased NYX nude on nude kit, which also has two lip products in a drawer beneath the eyeshadows. I thought those colours were pretty average though, so I can't see myself ever using them, but when you're camping, and desperate, they may just come in handy! The eye shadow colours in this kit are perfect for a natural girl look, and they are pigmented enough that if you do want to step things up a bit you can layer them on for deeper colour. I did miss having my eye shadow brushes though! But, we can make do, that's why we have fingers at all right? Just for makeup application?

Finally I HAD to take at least one MAC product with me or I may not have survived, and since I only just bought the Viva Glam Cyndi lipstick I was far too attached to this little beauty to leave it behind. I applied only small amounts with my pinkie finger over the blistex and it gave the perfect "I haven't even tried" tint to my lips. Also, I realized a few kms down the road that I'd forgotten blush (argh! minor meltdown!), but a few dabs of this lippie on the apples of my cheeks, rubbed in well, was like a lovely hint of cream blush. The matching lip and cheek hue also made the look all the more natural!

So, I have returned from my camping trip, all in one piece, and when I saw my makeup table and bathroom full of products after four days I had to fight back tears of joy. As for the hot shower and hair treatment I quickly applied on my return? Ah... heaven.

Camping can (sort of!) be glamping, with the right beauty booty, but I'll be happily back in the land of internet, mobile phones and bugless bathrooms for a good long while to come I think.

Happy belated Easter all!

xxx BeautyScholar

Lauren Conrad's New Beauty Website: Coming soon!

Awesome article on Primped today: News Desk: Lauren Conrad to take her beauty knowledge online PRIMPED

Lauren Conrad always looks amazing, can't wait to see what her beauty website will be like.Honestly though, like I needed another beauty site to suck me in! I have so many I love already!!

Thanks LC... if I can't finish my dissertation now because I'm procrastinating on your site, it's totally your fault! :P

Be sure to bookmark The Beauty Department and look out for the launch!

Loving Lauren's lippie in this pic:

xxx BeautyScholar

"Paper Giants: The Birth of Cleo" TV mini-series Review

I'm sure I wasn't the only one anticipating the docodrama mini-series "Paper Giants: The Birth of Cleo", which screened on ABC1 last night and tonight. As a mag addict and former publishing worker-bee it's always interesting to see other people's perspectives on what really goes on under the glossy covers.

So was the anticipation worth it? Hmmm, not really.

For one thing I don't think it was long enough! I would have loved to have seen a few more instalments, chronicling Cleo as it 'grew up' so to speak. I mean Ita worked at ACP a bloody long time, surely there would have been a bit more to report? Because really, they launched the mag, lots of people bought it and thought it was a bit rude, Ita had a baby and got upset a few times, a few people smoked some joints and had affairs and...well that was really it.

Maybe I'm being a little bit harsh, as I know magazines played a major role in helping to liberate women from socially prescribed roles in the seventies, and I do think this came across in this well made piece of Aussie TV, but I just thought there was a larger story to tell.

I have to say the second instalment was a lot better than the first, and the acting, particularly Asher Keddie (who I loved in Offspring) as the honourable Miss B herself, was stellar. Although seeing Belle from Home and Away as an "aspiring" journalist and wannabe feminist was a bit strange, Jessica Tovey is a quality Aussie actress too, but I kept expecting her to head back to the 'Bay' at any given moment. Instead (SPOILER!) she headed over to London to escape a married lover, and work on the underground(?!) mag TimeOut.

So are "true" stories about the mag industry just not as juicy as we want them to be? A quick squiz at the supposed reality show Park Street on foxtel would suggest so. I can't count how many reviews I've read about that one labelling it boring, underwhelming, and just plain dull. I still watch it, but more in the hope I'll see a few minutes of something interesting in the half hour program. As someone who has worked in the biz, I can tell you there are plenty of drama queens and giant egos walking the corridors of the major publishing houses that would make great characters in any soap (but it looks like they're hiding).

So why is the juicy stuff about publishing being disguised with portrayals of 'nice' people and 'typical' work days?

Maybe everyone is just being far too polite? I can't help but get the sneaking suspicion that the Aussie mag industry is trying to build an admirable image in order to sell more issues, because, let's face it, circulation is in the toilet! But maybe they should take a different approach, dish the juice! I mean come on, Kim Kardashian made a skanky sex tape and it promoted her career! The public loves drama, and are attracted to it like moths to a flame. I think that's the only way the mags can put a bit of fire back into their sales.

The lovely Mia Freedman (who could give Ita a run for her magazine queen tiara) has written an interesting post discussing Paper Giants and Park Street on her website here (the PaperGiants image above is courtesy of this article).

I commend her honesty about the current state of the industry. Maybe it will soon be lights out in the glossy offices? Are the mags dying?

As Sylvia Plath said (and Paper Giants quoted!):

Is an art, like everything else.
I do it exceptionally well.

I do it so it feels like hell.
I do it so it feels real...

So Cosmo/Cleo etc, does it feel real?

xxx BeautyScholar

Free Pantene Sample from Rouge Magazine!

Head over to the Aussie version of Rouge Magazine and join up for V.I.P info for the chance to sample Pantene's Three Minute Miracle Hair Treatment. This site has great info on all things beauty, and who doesn't love an Australian based beauty/fashion site??

Check out Pantene 3 Minute Miracle Offer on Rouge Mag

Beauty Blog Giveaway!

To celebrate the launch of my little blog I'm giving away a pack of beauty goodies to a lucky reader. To enter, simply 'follow' my blog and add a comment on what you think of the blog so far! 

Inside this month's BeautyScholar 
Giveaway Pack: 

* Orly Nail Lacquer in 'Orange Punch' 
* Sally Hansen Mega Shine Extended Wear Top Coat
* Sally Hansen Radiant Hands, Nails and Cuticle Creme 
* Sally Hansen Maximum Growth Daily Nail Growth Program 
* Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Nail Polish in 'Red Hot'
* Revlon Colorstay Ultimate Liquid Lipstick in 'Top Tomato'
* Palmers Cocoa Butter Formula Body Gloss 50g
* Lee Stafford Poker Straight DeHumidifier 50ml
* Nair Easiwax strips for face/bikini/sensitive areas, 20 pack

For an extra entry mention my giveaway on your own blog, and email me your URL to

Worth over $115! Good Luck :)
Terms and Conditions: this giveaway is only open to Australian residents. Entries open April 8th 2011 at 5pm AEDT and close Friday April 22nd at 5pm AEDT. 

Pefume Review: Purr by Katy Perry

Ahhh Katy Perry, I tried not to like you, I really did. When the annoying 'I kissed a girl' was being played over and over on the radio I despised you, but slowly Ms P has won my heart.

How could you not love a celeb with such funky style? And the catchy tunes on the 'Teenage Dream' album don't hurt either... then it was those funky O.P.I colours in her nail polish range. 'Not Like the Movies' is still up there with my favourite O.P.I colours, and it's perfect with a coat of Black Shatter over the top of course.

Katy has continued to pump up her bank account using her current popularity by launching a fragrance called Purr by Katy Perry. Celeb fragrances always suck me in, but I honestly have to like the product too before I'll buy it. I have a couple of the Britney Spears fragrances, and when Radiance came out last year I was all ready to add it to my collection, given that the bottle was so pretty, but it was far too sickly sweet for me, so it remained on the Myer shelf.

But, I don't think I will have the power to resist Purr. First of all, it looks like this:

I mean come on! It's a gorgeous shade of purple, it has sparkles on the bottle, AND it's a kitty cat!! Katy, or the smart perfume company designers, have really made this product with young women in mind. Purr combines cuteness, with feline sexiness and spunk, in a bottle I just want to play with all the time.

So, last night I went on the hunt for the perfume itself, having seen the pics and read all about it, and I finally found it at David Jones, where they had the 50ml eu de parfum bottle for $69 and the 100ml for $89. But when I first sprayed it, I wasn't convinced. I was chatting with a couple of the sales ladies about it and they said they felt the same, but the thing with this fragrance is once it's been on the skin for a while it morphs into something quite different than that first spray. I had to see that for myself.

On first sniff this perfume reminds me of blueberries, really full on sweet blueberry scent with a touch of bubblegum and green apple. But, after sitting on your skin for ten or so minutes, (the DJs gals were right!!) the bubblegum and blueberries fade to this lovely rich vanilla, with tones of berry sweetness.

The official scent description is: Purr opens with a fresh citrus accord featuring peach nectar and apple with green bamboo. Supporting notes include a delicate bouquet of jasmine blossom, pink freesia and Bulgarian rose, balanced by vanilla orchid, white amber, creamy sandalwood and musk.

I never really understand these descriptions, and they don't really give me an image of what perfumes smell like, but I do get the apple for sure, and the jasmine, rose and vanilla really set in later.

If you like sweet or woody scents just give this one a chance. I think after wearing it for a while I would have to classify it as more woody or oriental. It's definately sexy, and it is really strong too, so if you're a bit sensitive to fragrances I'd stay away. The heaviness of it reminds me a little bit of Lola by Marc Jacobs, but the scents themselves are only slightly similar.

Now, the question is, how long can I wait before I buy it? I only wish I lived in the states where the 1 ounce (30ml) bottle is only about $35... here it's $49 - too close to fifty bucks for a broke PhD student I think, given the fact I'm not 100% sure I like it!

Purr by Katy Perry is available in Australia officially on April 24, 2011.

M.A.C Painterly Paint Pot - How I love thee!

So today I decided to blog about something I absolutely love. A product I use almost every day!
The M.A.C Paint Pot in the shade Painterly.

Now I've heard a lot of talk about products that are specifically marketed as eyelid/eyeshadow primers, some are pigmented, and some translucent, and I know M.A.C even has their own, but I prefer to use this cream to powder finish eye product as a base. That way, you get a nice bit of colour deposited first. I'm dying to try the Urban Decay Eden eye shadow primer, which from what I can tell, is a similar shade, but I'm trying to behave myself and wait until I visit the states in a few months (ahhh - SEPHORA!!) to get that one.

Anyway, back to Painterly. It's basically a matte nudish beige shadow, and if you aren't familiar with the M.A.C paint pots (RRP AUD$35), they're basically little pots of eyeshadow cream that go on smooth and dry to a crease proof powder finish that lasts and lasts. They're not good to apply with a brush, I find the tip of my finger works best, and you really don't have to use too much for a great finish.

I was a little concerned when I first purchased a paint pot, as I've had similar products before that have dried up super fast. But the M.A.C glass pots and super tightly sealed screw on lid seem to keep the product perfect. I've had paint pots for months and months and they've never dried out, or run out for that matter!

My go to eye-wear for day is a coat of Painterly worked over the entire lid and up to the brow, then a quick fluff brush application of M.A.C eyeshadow in Woodwinked (a lovely brownish bronze) worked circularly around the outer edges of the lid and the crease, finished off with a lick of brown mascara. I've worn Woodwinked on it's own or with other powder eye products before and to me it just doesn't wear as well or look as pretty. Painterly - what did I do without you?


image courtesy of Keerati on free digital photos dot net.

Review: Nivea Visage Daily Essentials Cleansing Wipes & New Product Shout Out!

I'm pretty positive that not a day goes by when I don't reach for one of the Nivea Daily Essentials Cleansing Wipes for dry and sensitive skin. Whether it's getting rid of that last bit of black smudge under my eyes after I've cleansed my skin, or if it's for a super fast morning pick-me-up cleanse - these do not disappoint.

I've tried so many different facial / makeup removing cleansing wipes and I continue to go back to this brand. I bought them initially because after reading packet after packet I found that this particular offering from Nivea didn't have a truck load of parabens in it like a lot of the other wipes on the market. This probably has something to do with the formulation designed for sensitive skin, I can't comment on the other Nivea wipes in this range because I've never tried them. I will say however I was looking around for something priced at around $7 or $8 a packet. I know some of the higher end brands have wipes (Napoleon and M.A.C for instance) but I go through so many of them that I wanted something affordable I could easily pick up at Priceline or my local supermarket.

I continue to go back to these wipes time after time however because of a couple of reasons. Firstly, I find them to be much gentler on my skin than other wipes that can sometimes feel like sandpaper soaked in acid! You know the feeling, roughish cloth - chemically scented coating. It's not something you enjoy rubbing on your face.

These wipes have a soft almost soapy scent, it's not overpowering and I find it to be quite refreshing. My skin feels soft and slightly hydrated afterward, and there is no tightness or dryness like you can get from similar products which contain too much alcohol.

I like the cloth that they make them with too, it's pliable and has enough texture to remove stubborn makeup but it is by no means abrasive. According to Nivea, this is due to 'the soft fleece with micro-sponges' - sounds like a cross between a baby lamb and sponge-bob squarepants doesn't it?! Whatever.. it feels nice!

It goes without saying then that I was pretty stoked to find out that Nivea has now extended this 'Daily Essentials' range to include moisturising creams and another version of wipes for those extra sensitive folk, which are fragrance free. With three options in these new day creams, one for Normal and Combination Skin, one for Oily & Combination Skin and one for Dry and Sensitive Skin (yay that's me!) there is surely something in this range for everyone.They're all priced at around $12.99, 50ml, and come complete with SPF15 (a must for any daily moisturiser).

 I'm looking forward to trying them - watch this space!

BeautyScholar xxx

My first YouTube video!

Hope you like it :)

Maybelline Baby Lips lip balm review

How could you not adore something this cute?

Maybelline's new Baby Lips lip balm is my favourite pocket pal at the moment. Not only is the packaging adorable, who doesn't love neon colours (especially when it's pink!!)? But the product is also really good, and really cheap! At $3.95 you can easily buy them all! The balms have SPF 20 and they claim to make your lips lovely after a week or so of use because of the 'Botanical Cellular Repair Concentrate' they include in the formula. It's been almost a week that I've been using them daily now and my lips are feeling a lot better. I have the berry flavour (pictured) and the menthol one which is green and yellow. I like the berry best because it's not as chemically as the other one, though they do claim that the menthol is 'medicated' for lip treatment, which could explain the difference. The other flavours are cherry and orange, but I'm not a fan of either of those fruit flavours in products so I gave those a miss. I'd love to see a lemon one though, or maybe a cinnamon or vanilla flavour, what do you guys think?                                                            xxx BeautyScholar.