Last week when Katherine wrote about the 5 'Try Before You Buy' tips, she urged you to try sample sizes first.
Last week I was wandering around the shops and discovered this delicious nail colour in Sportsgirl. Denim. Now, I rarely wear blue denim since my dad introduced me to black jeans years and years ago and these days I'm even starting to venture into coloured denim, but blue is still a bit strange for me. On my nails, however, it makes me very happy.
Continuing my cheap colour spree, I picked this bottle up for $7.95 and am a little surprised that I didn't grab a bunch of other colours at the same time but the pressure of the shop shutting made me lose my mind momentarily. All the same, I'm often sceptical of chain store cosmetics so it was probably a good idea to do a trial run before getting too carried away.
Can I say, I'm pretty surprised. At first I thought the colour was quite watery, but a second coat seemed to do the trick and it lasted pretty well and didn't chip all week. I was playing around with my new white nail pen and added some dots to my index finger a few days in and the only signs of wear and tear are from my nail growing at the bottom.
Overall I'm pretty happy but I had to take the colour off earlier than planned because I was wearing enemy colours for the State of Origin between Queensland Maroons (my team) and New South Wales Blues (where I live) and I couldn't be seen supporting them!
Have you tried any good cheap-o products lately? Or tried out any of my cheap product tips from last week?
We have been MIA for the past few days, I have been working a lot and procrastinating too much and Mum has been away at the Sanctuary Cove Boat Show in Queensland – rubbing shoulders with the Gold Coast fancies, drinking cocktails, eating amazing food and just generally lviing the high life (jealous).
This Mother/Daughter Monday we decided to talk about a product that I have been using literally since I was 18 and that Mum has just decided to give a whirl. Napoleon's Camera Finish.
The Price: $65 from Napoleon concept stores and department stores with a Napoleon counter (David Jones, Myer).
As I said before, I've been using Camera Finish since I started wearing make up. I have chopped and changed my foundation, concealers, primers, moisturisers, blushes, and so on, but the one thing that I have not deviated from is the Camera Finish. Why? Because it is perfect and why give up on a good thing?
I wear light foundation but I have sensitive skin and often have trouble with reddness and blemishes. I find Camera Finish gives me an extra boost of coverage without piling on the foundation and covers and sets my make up for the day. It isn't too heavy either and it is one of my absolute necessities when applying my make up for any occasion – on the weekends, it is often my stand alone when I want a very light base with the security of the coverage it provides.
I'm yet to try the new formula that claims to be better than ever with anti-aging properties and Vitamins C and E for additional antioxidant protection. I'm not entirely sure what that means but I'm going to assume it's a good thing, particularly when encased in the shiny gold compact. I can't wait to try it out!
I'm going to be a bit cheeky here and let you in on a secret – this could be one of my best beauty tips so read closely. There is a site called ActiveSkin and you can get Napoleon super cheap there. To give you an idea, you can get the same Camera Finish that is sold in store for $10 less. Yes, you have the additional postage costs but if you spend over $140, you get free shipping, plus they always throw in extra items. You will thank me when you check out all the great products you can get at ActiveSkin so I will end this with two words: you're welcome!
Do you have a product that you have used consistently for years? Please share, we're always on the lookout for those extra special items that I've noticed other beauty bloggers referring to as their Holy Grail (HG) items. Camera Finish is definitely on my HG list! Tell us what's on yours.
I've definitely started becoming more adventurous this year with trying out beauty trends and experimenting with colour, but I have bought something on a whim to try it out, decided it doesn't suit me or is too out there for me, and never worn it again.
Sometimes, I find myself shying away from trying a new trend for this reason alone and lately I've found a way to try new things without the risk of not liking it and wasting money I could be spending on more Revlon Lip Butters! Some things you love straight away and know they are going to work with your current beauty regime and some things you need to put on trial before committing to loving them unconditionally.
I've got a few tips that I've put into action in the past couple of weeks and I wanted to share them with you:
You can skimp on some products – I would never go cheap on a moisturiser or serum but there are plenty of items you can skimp on and not have to worry about. I recently bit the bullet and spent an entire $2.95 on a teal eye liner. This way I can try it out, see if I like it, and if I don't, I've sacrificed less than a cup of coffee to give it a go plus it's not an item I'm worried about my sensitive skin reacting to and if it doesn't last the whole day, it's not going to be a massive disaster.
Try a sample size or colour first – Being a big fan of pastel colours and the new yellow nail trend seen on Seal from The Voice and on the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week catwalks, I definitely wanted to check this colour out but was wary of how the yellow might look against my pale colouring. Instead of a $20 OPI or Essie nail polish I might normally buy, I decided to save my bucks until I was certain. I grabbed a polish for less than $5 at the chemist the other day and although I don't expect my yellow mani to last too long, it will be long enough for me to decide if I want to invest in a pricier brand.
Take advantage of free gifts or 2-4-1 specials – I have been interested in the ModelCo Fibre Lash product for a while now but just haven't been super keen to throw down $40+ on it without knowing if I like it or not. I picked up the May issue of Cleo magazine for less than $8 and got a free travel size Fibre Lash worth $38 for free!
Ask for a sample – Since Mum reviewed Clinique's Even Better, she has been insisting that I try it too. I just bought a brand new foundation and didn't want to buy another but I asked at the counter if I could try some and the gave me a small pot of Even Better in Alabaster for me to try out for a couple of days before i commit to buying. The ladies were so helpful and happy to let me try it out.
Share with friends - Mum and I both wanted to try two perfumes that were exactly the same but we weren't sure how badly we wanted them. Instead of both of us splashing out a couple of hundred bucks each on perfumes we weren't sure we'd wear, we bought one each with the intention to swap after a few months. We ended up keeping our original purchases because we liked them so much, but it's a good tip if you don't have the budget or the overwhelming desire to part wtih the cash.
There are so many ways you can try out a new product or trend without getting too out of pocket before you're sure it's right for you. I'd love to hear if you have other ways of trying before you buy.
I love the confidence that comes with knowing I can thrust my hand into my handbag without breaking a nail, and that my nails are going to look good from morning till night. I can never go back now, and just love the look and feel of my 'gelled' nails.
I've always had long, strong nails until the past six months or so where they've started to peel and split like Mum's. One day a few months ago, my friend and I were driving home after a ridiculously long shoot and we were both pretty miserable and she suggested we get a bit of Shellac to cheer us up. I've never really spent much time in nail salons but, that day, we got some much needed pampering and walked out of there new women with shiny, Shellac'd nails.
A few weeks later, I booked in again because the Shellac had run its course. I was going to just get a normal manicure but then I remembered how happy the thick, shiny look of the Shellac and went for a bright coral after a couple of weeks of black.
I love the strong, thick nails and the shiny polish resulting from Shellac and always envy Mum's gel nails, but it's something I will probably save only for special occaisions because of a number of things:
- I really like to change my nail polish colour when I want to. Some times I will leave a colour on for only a few days and get so excited by a new hue that I want to immediately remove the existing colour. This is most difficult when you have Shellac or Gel nails (self removal can prove difficult, plus who do you think inherited Mum's massive collection when she switched to permanent gel nails!?).
- You could buy at least one nail polish (maybe more depending on your price point) for the price of two weeks of Shellac. So many pretty colours!!
- I have very pale, freckly skin and a history of skin cancer on both sides of my family, a major reason why I stay out of the sun and avoid any kind of UV. Despite the very short amount of time with my hands under the UV lamps (three minutes for each coat, so probably about 10 minutes in total), 10 minutes every two weeks for years adds up and it is still UV that I would rather I didn't have anywhere near me (there have been reports of women developing skin cancer from the dryers and although I tend to take those reports with a grain of salt, for me, it's not worth the risk!)
- My nails were strong and pretty amazing with the Shellac, but it didn't help the strength of my nails overall. I'd rather work to strengthen my nails than cover them up.
- I can't speak for the Gel range – Mum seems to have a really good variety of colours to choose from – but the colour range currently available for Shellac is very limited and this can put a dampner on your mani experience.
- Over an hour in the salon every two weeks can put a bit of a dint into the already too-short weekend!
I hope I haven't brought down the fun of getting a Gel or Shellac mani! Mum loves her gel nails and the multi billion dollar industry can't lie. I had a great time being pampered at the salon – everyone needs a bit of that sometimes – but with my budget and the other factors I considered, I think this will only be a special treat for me when the occasion really calls for it.
We'd love to hear your thoughts! Do you go to the salon for some TLC time or is it a regular thing? Are you a Shellac girl or into acryllic?
It's Friday again and time for us to spill the beauty products we're thinking about, wanting, lusting over, interested to try for the week. When you read lots of beauty blogs, spend too much time shopping online or browsing in Priceline or the department store beauty counters it's pretty easy to regularly put together these lists
1 – A body brush because Katherine has made me long for the benefits of dry body brushing.
1 – Chanel nail polish in 543 Frisson because that colour is too good to not own!
2 – Benefit Watts Up Highlighter – I've never tried a highlighter before and would have to research how to use it but there's something about this particular highlighter from Benefit that makes me want it.
3 – Some sort of exfoliator for sensitive skin (if it exists) because my skin is getting sad but I can't find anything that isn't going to make it red and angry. If anyone has any suggestions or recommendations, they would be greatly appreciated!
4 – NARS Ramatuelle Trio Eyeshadow – these colours are out of control amazing. Anything peachy coral is in my lust book at the moment!
5 – Unicorn Farts Lipbalm from Etsy – I know, it's horrifying to even include this in a post that also features Chanel, but it's brilliant and the combination of natural beeswax, unrefined cocoa butter, unrefined shea butter, jojoba, sweet almond, and grape seed oils who wouldn't want Unicorn Farts lipbalm?
Have a great weekend and, as always, feel free to share your beauty lust list with us!
The other week I came across this post by Kimmi from The Plastic Diaries about achieving super soft skin. I read, with interest, that she is an avid dry body brusher and loofaher (yeah, I made that up but you get the gist). Her post explains her favourite products and, more importantly, HOW exactly to successfully body brush.
Basically, you are trying to direct blood flow from your limbs to your heart to increase circulation and reduce cellulite, but for more extensive, step-by-step instructions click here to see her post. I also checked out Jess' tips from Well of Being and found them really helpful too.
I decided to take her advice and switch out my normal body puff for a more heavy duty hand-sized loofah. I also purchased a dry body brush (both EcoPure Bath from Priceline, relatively cheap)
I have been dry body brushing every morning before my shower (in the shower so as not to coat my bathroom with skin flakes) and then following that up with a warm shower using the loofah and body soap. When I get out of the shower, i moisturise with The Body Shop's Aloe Soothing Body Lotion while my skin is still damp and let it soak in. The results: the first time I tried dry body brushing, I couldn't believe how painful it was. I was concerned that the sharp bristles were going to welt my fairly sensitive skin but I could actually feel the blood pumping around my body (as weird as that sounds, it could have been from all the brushing movement though…). Surprisingly, there were no adverse effects to my skin and once I got out of the shower, there was no indication that it had been brushed too roughly at all.
I've been dry brushing for over a week and use the loofah at least once a day, often twice, and always follow up with a moisturiser or Bio Oil. I can honestly say that my skin feels amazing. My arms, in particular, used to always feel a bit rough and they are so smooth, also the skin on my stomach and hips is much softer and more even; there are visible improvements!
It's sometimes hard to add another 10 minutes to your morning routine, but I think it's worth it! I am a little bit addicted now.
Have you tried dry body brushing before? What are your thoughts?