I’m a beauty junkie in thought if not in deed – being of considerable desires, but almost non-existent budget! However if I save up and budget extra carefully I can sometimes, sometimes not, wring out a hundred dollars or so per month for “play money””.
Much strategic planning goes into distribution of said funds, but it tends to go on books or make up. Budget-wise, my skin care requirements are “must haves”. My routine is pretty basic, I use one jar of product [eg, “night cream”] at a time until used up, and I don’t use luxe brands [*le sigh*]. Body care products are purchased at the very high-end Ligne de Prix [aka “Priceline” in bastardised French, heh].
Here’s a few bits n pieces I’ve bought over the last couple of months. I’m really pleased with them which = definite re-purchase and / or add to collection.
DIOR Ltd Ed New Look 2012 Collection 5-Couleur Eye Shadow Palette = # 454 Royal Kaki [ $ 95.00 ]
I have always drooled over DIOR’s eye shadow quints, but would you believe this is my first? I’ve always been a MAC girl but my tastes are a-changing. Laura Mercier, Shiseido, Napoleon Perdis are calling my name, and now here’s DIOR.
This may be my first quint but it won’t be my last. Royal Kaki didn’t get a great reception from beauty bloggers but I like it, and it will get a lot of use. I’m experimenting with more “neutral” and minimalist looks these days, so this is perfect. Of course anything green and gold and silvery grey rings my bell, so this was a sure thing! I’m so easy.
DIOR’s eye shadows are soft and luxe, and the quints have a fair bit of shimmer in them – especially the Iridescent ones! My only complaint about Royal Kaki in particular is that the shadows in this quint aren’t very pigmented, and they require a fair bit of building up if you want some “oomph”. I think other quints are more pigmented, so I’ll have to embark on a thorough investigation, what a dreadful fate.
DIOR Rouge Dior Voluptuous Care Haute Couleur Lipstick = # 777 Fantasque [ $ 50.00 ]
Oh wow, I ADORE these lippies! I have always been more a lipstick than a gloss girl, and love a rich, luscious, opaque but glossy moisturising lipstick. I fell in love with the new Rouge Dior formula on first swipe; oh-so-lush and rich and moisturising, simply yum.
I have always worn the richer, darker berries, reds and rosy plums until last year; now officially known as The Year Of The Pink Lipstick. Yep, I discovered the joys of the pink lip for the very first time. But it had to be the right sort of pink. Neutral, soft, warm pinks = yes; hot bright pinks, corals or milky baby pinks = nope.
So really Rouge Dior lipstick in # 777 Fantasque, a hot bright rose-tinted pink, should be waaay out of my comfort zone. But you know what? I like it. It’s so bright and happy! These lippies have good lasting power, and even after the n’th coffee Fantasque leaves a pretty stain.
My favourite Rouge Dior lipstick remains # 961 Nocturne, from the Ltd Ed Rouges D’Or collection. Nocturne is a delightful rich berry red with gold shimmer swirled through it. This is heaven and my most-beloved lipstick EVER.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Shiseido Perfect Smoothing Powder Compact Foundation = # B-20 Natural Light Beige [ case $ 20.00 : refill $ 64.00 ]
I found myself in need of a pressed powder / powder foundation this summer. I bought DIOR’s Nude Crème Gel Compact Foundation in # 010 Ivory last winter and love it, but it is way too dewy and, well, melty for Oz summer months when normal make up slides off your face due to the humidity, let alone a crème / gel formula. I wanted to have a natural matte-ish finish or just a dusting of powder. I’ve always been partial to compact foundations, Shiseido produce a number of particularly fine refillable ones, so that’s where I headed.
Matching my skin shade was a breeze with Shiseido’s wide range of shades and different undertone groups. I tried the Advanced Hydro-Liquid Cream Compact Foundation in # I-20 = Natural Light Ivory, and the Perfect Smoothing Powder Compact Foundation in # B‑20 = Natural Light Beige. Both compact foundations matched perfectly, of excellent quality and felt and looked terrific.
The Advanced Hydro-Liquid Cream Compact was gorgeous but too similar to the DIOR Nude compact. The coverage was also too light and sheer even for my liking; I think I’ll be sticking to the DIOR for winter.
The Perfect Smoothing Powder Compact Foundation ticked all the boxes. It had excellent buildable coverage, beautiful natural smooth [but not melty!] finish, a perfect shade match, comes in a small neat compact, and it is refillable. I am positive this is one compact powder I will not only finish, but will definitely be using those neat eco-friendly refills. What’s not to like?
Since I’ve had it home and had more chances to “play” and wear it out, I’m even more pleased with my purchase! My favourite method of application is with my Sigma* Sigmax Synthetic Round Top Kabuki Brush. Buff buff buff and there you have a divinely smooth, flawless, natural finish. I also like to use the smaller Precision Round Top Kabuki Brush to build a bit more coverage and a finer finish round the nose and eyes, between my eyebrows and on my chin, where I have a little redness / ruddiness due to my ultra translucent fragile skin.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Nubar Nail Lacquer 15 ml @ Beauty Bay [approx.. AUD 7.50 ]
I’ve never had much interest in nail polish. I am a life-long nail-biter and chewer, so I’ve never wanted to draw attention to my ripped up gory fingertips [you’re welcome]. Also because of my health issues and all the medication I’m on, they are in really crap condition, weak and peeling.
In the last twelve months or so I have broken the habit and amazingly, now have fast-growing beautiful strong nails. The secret? No gnawing, dietary supplements, lots of TLC for my poor abused hands and nails, and most importantly, a glass nail file. Best beauty tool ever.
I had seen Nubar Nail Lacquers featured on favourite UK blogs like London Make Up Girl, British Beauty Blogger, London Beauty Review as well as All Lacquered Up, and wow was I intrigued. Finally I took the plunge and ordered a few colours, plus the top and base coats, off Beauty Bay – an awesome site, a beauty-junkie’s paradise.
Nubar Nail Lacquer has it all; design, formula, longevity and strength, a MASSIVE range of shades and finishes. And now I am thoroughly addicted with a growing collection**, and a tendency to drool. Talk about 0 to 100 in six seconds. I never should have bought that damn glass nail file!
First: lid design. This is brilliant, some serious thought and engineering went into this. It is a matte rubberised finish, and is curved in an hourglass shape that is perfect for holding between thumb and finger/s. All these factors result in the most controlled application out there.
Then we have the brush. Also best ever. The bristles are set in a flat but wide shape. It flares out to coat almost the entire nail, and can also make smaller, thinner strokes eg to fill in the sides of the nail.
The formula of the nail lacquer is quite thin / fluid and dries quickly. Some shades will need three coats to get to optimum opacity, others take just one. I have tried a variety of shades and finishes and even with my unprofessional, unsteady application technique, I very rarely see brush stroke marks.
Lasting power is impressive. The first Nubar polish I tried – with base and top coat – lasted 5+ days with no chips, and no tip wear. NONE. Given OPI always wrecks on me the same day this is significant. It’s also a good indication of the awesomeness of the base and top coats. Holy Grail, folks.
As for the shades, ohhh baby. So gorgeous and interesting and a HUGE collection / selection. We are talking Vivid and Brilliant and Vibrant and R-r-r-rrrich. Oh sure you will find your neutral pastel ballerina-pinks [and very nice ones too!] but me, I love colour. Deep teals and emeralds, luxe purples and inky blues, toffee creams and mauvey greys, sexy reds and luscious berries, in shimmers and crèmes and duo-chromes and glitters and glass flecks and . . . [deep breath].
All Nubar Nail Lacquers are 15 ml, and go for approx. $ 7.50*** on Beauty Bay. Now that is a big, no, MAJOR bang for your buck, given OPI costs $ 19.95 for 15 ml, butter London is also around $ 19.95 for 11 ml, etc.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
* I bought the Sigma Synthetic brushes online in 2011 [I think?], and they have been a success; very inexpensive for great quality. I have four brushes, the Flat Top and the Round Top Kabukis; and the smaller Precision Round Top and Tapered Kabukis.
They are all very soft, are the best ever for buffing and getting that flawless finish, and can be used with liquid / cream as well as powder face products. Being synthetic they do not soak up loads more product than required, so there’s less wastage. They are awesome “work-horses” in a make up-brush collections.
** To off-set my new interest, I swore an oath that I would not buy any more eye-liners for at least six months; nope not one single itty bitty one. A kind of eye-liner Project Pan. Project Stick?
*** Approx. anywhere between $ 7.10 / $ 7.60 on Beauty Bay depending on the GBP to AUD currency conversion when you order. Worth keeping an eye on.