The Week in Instagrams @nanawintour: *The best of the High Street beauty offerings *One of my favourite quotes of all time *Watched What A Girl Wants, cue childhood nostalgia *I made cookies and they were pretty darn tasty. Recipe coming soon.. *Britney made this sparkly garland for her TV room *Best buy of the week; this contrast dot top from Glassons *Cookie party at Moustache with Britney *Every day I'm journallin' *New purchases from Mecca Cosmetica arrived *Feeling dotty *Five of the best makeup brushes *Avoiding the cold outside by reading blogs in bed. Cat optional.
Fact: I love organisational storage. Knowing where everything is, colour coding, beautiful display ideas, they all excite me. In particular I enjoy thinking about ways to better organise my beauty and fashion storage but today I thought I'd show you how I store and display my beauty products.
The Boxes I love Jo Malone packaging, it's so classic and elegant. I also love to recycle where I can and thought these boxes would be great for storing beauty products. The square box houses the majority of my lipsticks. I keep all my favourites along the top row and in the front section so I can find them easily. The longer rectangular box holds my sleep related products so I can keep all those in one place and don't have to go looking for them at night.
*Try: Shoe boxes, plastic labelled containers.
Yesterday I put an Instagram up of some beauty products I've been loving lately and thought I'd do some mini reviews of them today for you because they really are fantastic and the love deserves to be shared. There's also some miscellaneous fashion and stationery bits thrown in there because I've been loving them this month too.
Mac Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Eclair This was released as part of the Baking Beauties collection and I think it's sold out now. Constructivist is similar and part of their permanent collection. The shade is a coppery brown with fine gold shimmer running through it. This paint pot is very true to colour and looks lovely worn by itself or with other Mac eyeshadows like Woodwinked and All That Glitters. This also goes nicely with the metallic shades in the Naked 2 palette as well. What I really love about this paint pot though is its staying power. With an eyeshadow primer underneath this does not crease at all. It's perfect for long days when eyeshadow touch ups aren't an option.
Antipodes Joyful Hand & Body Cream I actually first heard of Antipodes on Estee's blog and was excited to hear they were a New Zealand brand. This hand cream was tested many a time I visited Farmers and I finally picked it up when I had some reward dollars to use. This cream is scented with blackcurrant berry and hibiscus flower so it smells quite fruity with a hint of floral. I use this as a hand cream and the cream sinks into the skin so quickly. You aren't left having to vigorously rub at the greasy residue. This is probably the only hand cream that doesn't dry out my skin in Winter too and I love it for that. Next on the Antipodes lust list is the Grapeseed Butter Cleanser which reminds me of the ever-popular cleansing balms everyone loves at the moment.
When I heard Benefit was launching in New Zealand I was excited to finally get my hands on some of their cult products. What I didn't know was that Benefit also happen to take brows very seriously. Last Thursday I visited the Benefit Brow Bar* in Smith & Caughey's where I was left in the safe hands of Jess, one of Benefit's educators and brow experts.
My skin is quite sensitive with brow waxing and the area underneath my brows never fails to go tomato red. Jess powdered under my brows with the Hello Flawless powder in Ivory (Gee I'm Swell), brushed them into shape with a spooly and I was good to go.
Jess started by asking what my brow requirements were. I have quite unruly brows so I like them to be shaped as naturally as possible with an arch rather than squared-off brows. That look works for Audrey Hepburn but I find it can look a bit harsh sometimes. Benefit Brow Experts then determine the starting point of your brow, the arch and then where the brow should end. This will be different for everybody and ensures you get the best shape possible. Then it is a case of tinting the brows (optional), waxing (again, optional but recommended) and tweezed to create the perfect shape.
I was really impressed by the Benefit Brow Bar service. Jess created the perfect brow shape for me and took care of all my brow needs. Brow treatments range from $29-$39 and Benefit recommend you rebook every three weeks. Head to the Benefit counter now to make a booking or phone 09 916 0895. You won't regret it.
Benefit also spoilt us with all things brow related and some beauty treats too! Thanks Benefit xo.
*PR Event and Samples
Beauty products can be costly, especially the high-end offerings. I'm often on the hunt for alternatives that are just as good as some of my more expensive favourites but cheaper. While we don't have the variety of high street beauty products that America or England may have, there are still some gems out there. I'm of the belief that if it is less expensive and performs just as well then it deserves to be shared. So sit back, relax and watch the High Street beauty edit unfold..
Max Factor Miracle Touch Creamy Blush in Soft Pink* and Soft Candy* I've only jumped on the cream blush bandwagon recently and I certainly can't see myself getting off any time soon. These Max Factor blushers are scary bright in the packaging but once blended out on the cheeks they leave a really subtle trace of colour. These blushers have a lovely, creamy texture and blend out well with either the tips of your fingers or a brush. These blushes last really well once applied and don't go patchy as the day goes on. Soft Pink is a lovely alternative to the Stila Convertible Colour in Gerbera but it is more pink toned than peachy so it'd suit a wider range of skintones.
Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Eye Pencil in Taupe and Bronze Black eyeliner, be gone! I love these creamy eye pencils for lining the lashline. The bronze pencil is particularly good if you're going for a smokier eye. These pencils are long lasting once applied, they do not budge. They're also easy to blend as well. Compared to Mac eye pencils I'd say these are definitely creamier and last just as well. I wish there was a wider colour range, a gold and a nude pencil would be lovely please Rimmel, but aside from that these are fantastic.
Finding the perfect makeup brush involves a bit of trial and error. It isn't really until you start using a brush yourself that you can see results with it. Sometimes the high street brushes can be just as good as their more luxe counterparts. I don't have an extensive array of brushes, but there are definitely five that stand out in the lineup. This is part one of a new series and I also plan to look at eyeshadows and lipsticks. If you have any other categories you'd like to see covered leave me a comment or tweet me.
In no particular order..
xoBeauty Flat Top Synthetic Face Brush, available here. This brush is perfect for applying liquid or cream products to the face. Its density means that it works nicely at blending products into the face and doesn't pick up excess product. The only downside of this brush is it does take a long time to dry but other than that it is fantastic and super affordable. Read more about the xoBeauty brushes here.
Real Techniques Setting Brush, available here. I've never been one of those people who likes blending face products in with their fingers, I find it a bit gross to be honest. Thankfully the setting brush exists, a miniature brush that resembles a scaled down foundation one. This is fantastic for blending in cream-based concealers. It doesn't move the product around too much and it leaves a flawless, airbrushed finish. These brushes remind me a bit of the Hourglass ones which I don't own but feel just as soft and as luxurious to use.
The Week in Instagrams @nanawintour: *Sleepy kitty *Getting experimental with some recent additions to the beauty bazaar *Farmers Beauty Club reward vouchers are the best. Keep an eye out for that cream shadow in an upcoming post *Watched The Great Gatsby and loved it. Such an amazing film *Carpe Diem *A ring of lipsticks *Time out during study week with magazines and cream blushes. Again, keep an eye out for them in an upcoming post *I went to the X Factor on Monday night. Such an awesome experience. Nothing beats being there live *A good luck charm *Post-exam celebrations with macarons from Milse *Behind the scenes on this post and this one *A nostalgic rainy afternoon.
So truthfully I haven't done much reading lately that hasn't been media-related in some way. When I haven't been doing academic readings though I managed to find the time to finish these two literary gems.
The Diary of a Nose by Jean-Claude Ellena I spied this book on Anna's blog and thought it'd be intriguing to my perfume loving self. Sadly unscented this book is the tale of Jean Claude-Ellena, the head parfumier at Hermes in Paris. He kept a diary of his year as a perfume wizard and poetically describes the perfume-making progress, his experimentation with scents and notes as well as where his inspiration behind a fragrance comes from. This book does take a little while to get into but I really enjoyed it. It offers a rare and incredibly charming insight into the art of perfume invention. It even had me dreaming up my own fragrance combinations.
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald Admittedly I've been wanting to read this for a while, I think since the book was mentioned on Gossip Girl, sad but true. With the movie being released I decided it was about time to have a read of it, and I am glad I did. The Great Gatsby tells the story of a man of good fortune, who nobody ever really knew. A sea of partygoers are drawn to his enormous mansion but it is only the company of one lady that he seeks. This is a story about wealth, destruction and in a sense great loss and loneliness. It is such an amazing story. If you are yet to see the film I'd recommend reading this first as it gives you a greater sense of who the characters are beforehand.
This post is often requested by people and I've always wanted to do one. It just seems to take me forever to use anything up, particularly makeup so I was surprised when the majority of these products seemed to all run out at once..
Yes To Cucumber Soothing Facial Towelettes* These face wipes are designed for gentle cleansing and makeup removal but I've been a bit scared to use face wipes all over my face recently, more on that later. I used these to remove light eye makeup and also particularly pigmented lipsticks. The latter probably isn't what they are designed for but because they are designed for sensitive skin I found they didn't harm my lips at all. These are also great for removing swatches as well. Nearly every trace of makeup is removed with these. They don't smell too heavily perfumed as well which is great. These are perfect for those late nights when you're feeling a bit lazy and want to swipe makeup off in a hurry.
Repurchase? Yes, I'm going to the supermarket later on today and will definitely be adding these to my shopping basket.
Lush Snow Fairy Shower Gel (part of their Christmas range) I love Snow Fairy and have been through two bottles since it arrived in stores at the end of last year. If you're unfamiliar with Lush the shower gel has the same scent as their popular Godmother soap. It has a bubblegum-lolly scent which can get a little bit sickly after a while but on the whole I really like this shower gel. It smells fantastic, lathers up nicely and it's bright pink and glittery. What more would you want?? It was a very sad day when this ran out.
Repurchase? Absolutely! I love this shower gel. Sometimes Lush sneakily release this online before Christmas so keep an eye out for it if you can't wait until December to pick some up.
The week in Instagrams @nanawintour: *A little lust list for June *Brainstorming for a future post *Reading Vogue at the train station *Bye bye Bioderma *reaches into stash for backup supply* *Testing, testing, 1-2-3 *I bought Mac Lady Danger lipstick last week and I love it *A musical marathon of sorts, took place last weekend, sort of.. *Audrey in the bookstore *Lush lovin' and repurchasing verdicts in Monday's post *Reading Tim Walker Pictures.
Must-Watch of the Week: I do love a good smokey eye in Winter, not necessarily the heavy version of it. This bronzed smokey eye with just a hint of black that Amelia vlogged is perfect. It's not too difficult to recreate and I like that this is quite shimmery rather than matte. This'd be perfect if you were wanting to create a The Great Gatsby inspired look but more on that next week..
Product of the Week: In truth I haven't been veering too far from my faithful products this week but one I have been reaching for is the YSL Rouge Volupte Shine lipstick in Pink in Confidence. A creamy, 'your lips but better' offering that doesn't dry out the lips, smells divine and is super moisturising.
Must-Read of the Week: The Coveteur is one of my favourite websites to browse. They visit some of fashion's finest homes and then photograph their posssessions+spaces as well as interview them. This week they published part two of an interview with Emily of Cupcakes and Cashmere. Emily has some gorgeous clothes and treasures not to mention her space is gorgeous. Have a read of it here.
Added to the Wishlist: There have been no beauty additions to the list this week, other than what I blogged on Wednesday. I have got my eyes on Alexa Chung's upcoming book out in September though. A tome that looks at Alexa's musings, inspirations, and iconic style. I'm adding this to my cart as we speak.
I've been casting my eyes over the online retail heavens recently, in search of some things I just can't seem to find in the shops in Auckland and also to get ideas for friends upcoming birthdays. There are definitely some real gems around though, Topshop, here's looking at you. Here's a look at what's on my June lust list. Fairy Godmother, take note..
My birthday is coming up and I'm on the hunt for a nice party frock. I think this one is really pretty, especially with the lace. The Nars pencil is giving me Mac Lady Danger vibes and it'd be lovely in Winter. The bug necklace is really taking my fancy at the moment though. Despite my fear of most insects I love pieces of jewellery like this. My finger is hovering over the 'buy now' button for this one.
Vitalumiere Aqua Foundation, Atomic Black Sunglasses, Coralista Blush, Alexa Bag, Pull-On Chelsea Boots
Ahh Lush. The metropolis of all things bright, sparkly and delicious for a bit of pampering or TLC for the body. I love to use Lush soaps in particular as they don't irritate my sensitive skin, usually smell delicious and last a reasonable amount of time. There are a huge range of products in Lush's arsenal and I decided to buy some that I hadn't use before. Let's face it, the same old things get boring after a while. Also who doesn't like trying guilt-free, handmade products? On with the haul..
Ro's Argan Body Conditioner This is one of Lush's best-selling products and it is easy to see why. This body conditioner is designed to be applied all over like a shampoo and then rinsed off after showering. You don't need to use a body moisturiser after using this either as all the moisture you need is contained in this little gem. This ultra creamy product smells like Rose Turkish Delight, delicious in other words. I don't have particularly dry skin but when I use this I notice my skin feels a lot smoother and softer. It definitely helps for rough patches around the elbows too.
Repurchase? Yes, although this is quite pricy it performs really well. If Lush did smaller sizes too it'd be fantastic but this really does last a long time.
You've Been Mangoed Luxury Bath Melt This bath melt is designed to be dropped into the bath where it melts all its goodness into the bath, ready for your skin to soak up. This bath melt is formulated with mango and avocado butters and lemon and lime essential oils. When you smell this bath melt in solid form it smells fruity and tropical. Once it has melted into the bath however its scent seems to disappear which is a little disappointing. Much like Ro's Argan this leaves your skin a lot softer afterwards so there is no need to use a body moisturiser.
Repurchase? Maybe. While I was a little disappointed with the staying power of this scent I did find it a lovely, luxurious addition to my bath time. Next I want to try the Melting Marshmallow Moment bath melt though.
The Week in Instagrams @nanawintour: *Inspirational sentiments in the stationery mecca that is Kikki K *A very Gatsby inspired outfit and face yesterday *Tuesday's pink F.O.T.D-I've gone back to Mac this week *Blog lovin' *Kiwi Yo goodness-Their birthday cake flavour is divine *Visual diary acquired, let the journalling begin *The creamy edit of June's Beauty Bag *Pink goes good with green *Morning reads on a day off *Asking the all important questions about Melanie Blatt's X Factor makeup look on Sunday night. In case you can't read it she was wearing Mac Lady Danger lipstick. Also fangirl moment: Melanie from All Saints guys? Hopefully you 90's kids remember them.
You know those days when you suddenly find yourself with only five minutes to spare to do your face? They're the days when you want as few products as you can to look half decent. Bring in the Five Product Face, a combination that will no doubt leave the makeup lovers in a panic. Don't fret though, this is best reserved for those pressed for time and lazy makeup days. Proceed with caution if you're one of those aforementioned lovers..
There's no denying it, Winter is well and truly here. It brings with it the need for hot drinks, cosy scarves and a seasonal change to the beauty palette. This month is all about the cream products and with this edit shimmer, colour and long-wearing formulas are all taken care of.
Mac Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Eclair Cream shadows are great if you want long-lasting lid colour. The Pro Longwear formulas stick around and with a good primer last well without creasing. No brush work is required here, just a dab of this blended across the lid and you are set. Let's Skate from Mac and Epatant by Chanel are also on high lid rotation.
Stila Convertible Colour in Gerbera These multitasking lip and cheek products are great cream blushes. They are easy to blend with either a stippling brush or your fingers too and are quite long lasting for a cream blush. They are quite pigmented with no shimmer and don't go patchy on the cheeks like some other cream blushes do.