Eyes of The Day – Femme Fatale on A Wednesday

Just a quick little post today! I wore an old favourite which I hadn’t worn in a long time, and thought I’d share.

“Flowers from Flames” by Femme Fatale is a rather unique orange with lots of sparkle and interesting duochrome, I thought it was discontinued but luckily I’m wrong! I put a little of Femme Fatales “Deepmoss” at the edges on a whim, and I liked how it turned out.

Please excuse my shoddy application, I’m terrible at the best of times, and I was hurridly rushing out the door with my little one so didn’t bother with any brushes today.

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If you are interested in seeing swatches of my other Femme Fatale shadows, please read my guest post on Toxid Lotus blog.

Usually I’m all about the dark and gloomy, but as I’ve said here before, when I do colour I do it BOLD. I wore this with orange nail polish (which I’m about to take off as its awfully chipped, its a cheap MIKI one and I love the colour but it doesn’t last well on me), an orange skirt I bought from a kids clothing shop when I was 16, a long black tshirt, black lace cardigan, and a lightweight black coat with buckles on it. Maybe not the most stylish look but I was happy with it (I got hooted at too, someone must have liked it, lol).

Hope you are all having a wonderful day!

If you want to get your hands on a free eyeshadow brush so your makeup can be tidier than mine, head over to my giveaway page, I have one to giveaway to a New Zealand reader this month.

Ro Vie Review – Pinkabelle Blush, Brazen Eyeshadow and Vixen Lipgloss!

I was delighted to win a lovely set from Ro Vie as a prize in December from the wonderful site Beauty Review! I had previously used their Chocolate Lime eyeshadow which I really liked so was keen to try some different things from this excellent NZ brand. As I’ve mentioned many times, I love supporting NZ and cruelty-free brands, so I was looking forward to trying these products and reviewing them for you on here.

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Beauty Review sent me a sweet little pack to try. To be honest, I’m not exactly sure what I got as the sizes aren’t labelled – I’m assuming the blush and eyeshadow are sample sizes, and the lip gloss is full size? The lip gloss isn’t labelled at all, but I figured out it’s Vixen. I was a bit disappointed at the lack of labelling since I would have liked to have known the colour and ingredients, but it wasn’t a huge deal – I was easily able to look them up, and it was a freebie anyway so I can hardly gripe about that. It came beautifully packaged in a cute box and was a pleasure to open (“Why is it in a guinea pig box?”, my smart-ass husband asked. “Um, have you ever seen a guinea pig that small?!”, I replied). Seriously, I did love the packaging! I thought a business card or some branded stickers etc could have also added a nice touch, but that’s just my two cents.

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My “Photography Assistant” samples the merchandise

Anyway, the products were fantastic! I received Pinkabelle blush, Brazen eyeshadow and Vixen lipgloss. I loved the look of Brazen – I’m not at all a pink girl so was hesitant at first about the others. I was determined to give everything a fair go though, and I’m glad I did. Everything was good quality, enjoyable to use, and looked great.

Pinkabelle Blush – I literally never wear blush, this is the only one I own (I don’t wear foundation so I never really see a need for it. That and I like to look unhealthily pale, so a pink, pretty, healthy glow isn’t the look I usually go for). I’m happy to have had the chance to try it though, as I was thinking with my new Baviphat CC Cream that I probably do need a touch of it. I found it difficult to use in the sample jar with sifter that I received, it didn’t come out very easily. However, once I got some out, I thought it was nice to use. The blush was a subtle colour and blended easily, giving me a very natural look. If I wore blush more regularly, I could see myself building up the colour to be a stronger pink, but I didn’t want to over do it. I wore it over Welcos Killing Me Zombie BB Cream/Etude House Secret Beam Powder Pact and it helped pinken the yellowish tone that I sort of get from that makeup. I think this will be the perfect complement to the Asian makeup products I’ve been addicted to of late.

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Brazen Eyeshadow – this was the perfect colour for me! I love coppery coloured shadows, and since my Revlon Copper Canyon palette is wearing very thin (I’ve hit pan so deep I can practically see my face in it), I’ve been looking for a good replacement product. I build it up and apply heavily to give a deep, strong colour.

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Vixen Lipgloss – not too sticky, and mildly peppermint scented, this won’t convert me to being a pink lipgloss wearer, but I do use it layered over lipstick – looks quite cool over black to make it more wearable. I found the squeeze tube made it clean and easy to apply. I’d love to try the shade Goddess!

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Having just checked out their site, I’ve seen some gorgeous new things I am now eyeing up – you might just see another Ro Vie review from me soon. I am also pleased to say that Ro Vie are officially cruelty-free, which is absolutely awesome ❤

This was received as a prize from Beauty Review. By clicking my link, and signing up for free, I receive 50 Beauty Points. Thank you to my 9 1/2 month old son for lending me his play mat for background photos and ‘assisting’ with product photography 🙂

Beauty Blogging On A Budget

Sometimes it really seems like you need to be rich to get into beauty blogging/’vlogging! It’s not cheap buying the cult favourites that everyone seems to have their hands on (think Guerlain Meterorites, Anastasia Beverly Hills products… every week theres an expensive new ‘must have’ thing!).

Personally, I have no problem admitting I can’t afford to keep up with all the latest trends, but it means I have to be a bit creative coming up with blog content. I’m not the first blogger to lament about the ‘buy buy buy’ mentality that the internet seems to promote, and I won’t be the last, but there are still plenty of ways to generate content for your blog that don’t involve spending lots of money. Here are some ideas that I hope you will find useful.

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“Shop Your Stash”

This has become a popular term for going through your current collection and swatching what you already have and trying new looks. This can be a great way to discover makeup you forgot about, products you didn’t like at first but have grown on you, makeup techniques or styles that are out of your comfort zone, or things you could destash and get rid of (perhaps you could sell them on one of the many makeup destashing sites to generate some $$).

Makeup Tutorials

This isn’t everyones cup of tea. Successful makeup tutorials require a certain level of photography skill, you will need to take clear, unfiltered, unedited photos of your face to display your makeup look. You will also need a steady hand and decent makeup application skills for this! Still, makeup tutorial posts are popular, and worth considering if you enjoy creating new makeup looks. You could do it as a written post with lots of step-by-step photos, or consider doing a Youtube video (“vlog”).

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Face Of The Day/Nails Of The Day/Get Ready With Me etc

This is another type of post that costs absolutely nothing! If you’ve already done an awesome makeup look for the day, why not show it off on your blog. You could showcase your whole face – or whole outfit even, or just feature your nails, eyes, etc. If you enjoy vlogging, you could take your audience through the whole getting ready process. Make sure you tell us which products you use!

Giveaways

OK, I know I said these are posts that won’t set you back lots of money but a giveaway doesn’t have to. Just a small prize once in awhile doesn’t have to break the bank (does that mean The Dream Factory have a wee something up their sleeve next week? Um…maybe ;)). If you subscribe to beauty boxes you might have some unused things that you don’t really want, or maybe when you pick up your next amazing beauty bargain you could grab a spare to share. Hosting giveaways is fun, your readers will enjoy it and you will probably get some new readers too, and it’s nice to just give something back.

Wishlists/Round-Ups etc

These tend to get used as affiliate spam, but they don’t have to be like that. I’ve done a few posts like this in the past and never used affiliate links in them. These posts can be a good way to show your readers whats new or exciting in the beauty world, without you actually having to fork out money for them. I think people are divided on whether or not they want to see posts like this, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t write them at all. Just make sure every second post isn’t one!

Empties

I found this concept so weird when I first saw it. Why do I want to see your empty bottles? Just chuck ’em in the bin! But actually, empties posts can be really interesting, and a neat way to write mini-reviews on products you’ve used recently. I don’t get a lot of ’empties’, so I’ve only ever done one post, but have a read of that to get an idea of what I mean.

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Press Releases/PSAs

Some bloggers are affiliated with PR companies, or directly with makeup companies, who give them press releases to post. These are basically advertising statements about new product releases and events. ‘PSA’ (Public Service Announcement) is a post to inform readers about something of interest – like a sale, GWP (gift with purchase), etc. So if you’ve found out some interesting news in the beauty world, share it with your readers! Doesn’t cost a cent either.

Makeup Related Arts and Crafts

This isn’t for everyone, and I think some people will feel that a beauty blog should strictly be makeup and nothing else. However, I personally think now and then it’s nice to have something a bit different, and recently I posted a tutorial for making a keyring using nail polish. While it’s kinda off topic, I still plan to write more craft tutorials anyway, as long as they’re vaguely beauty/fashion related.

Interviews and Features with other bloggers and makeup lovers

Most beauty bloggers are friendly and happy to help each other out! There is no need to for bitchiness and competitiveness, and there are plenty of ways to network. I confess, as someone with no interest in social media, it makes blogging that bit harder, but there are lots of Facebook groups and other blogger networking opportunities out there. Read other beauty blogs, comment on them, and get to know a few people. I’m sure many of them would be happy to be interviewed on your blog – it’s exposure for them, generates interesting content for you, and it’s a chance for the two of you to network and bond. I’ve met some very nice other bloggers, and would always love to meet more!

Borrow cosmetics from family/friends to review, or politely ask at shops for samples

So you’ve shopped your stash, and still run out of things to write about? Why not borrow (with their permission, haha) cosmetics from friends and family. You could also try asking at pharmacies or department stores for samples – whether or not you tell them why you’re asking is up to you. I think some would be happy to oblige, and others won’t, but there’s no harm in politely asking. I’ve spent a large part of my life working in beauty related retail, and I know most of my workplaces wouldn’t have had a problem with me giving you a few extra samples. You could also try emailing companies and asking if they have samples you could try. Politeness is always key! 

Theme Days

“Manicure Mondays” “Toenail-Art Tuesdays” “Wacky-Eyeshadow Wednesdays” … you see where I’m going with this. Kind of like FOTD/NOTD but with a theme to challenge and inspire you a bit.

Editorial/Opinion Pieces

This isn’t usually something I’m into, but I did do one recently (Imperfect Beauty). There are plenty of beauty related topics that you could share your thoughts about, lately I’ve been hearing about Em Ford and her ‘You’re Disgusting’ video and I think that has raised some interesting discussion. Or you could talk about your views on current beauty trends – “the cut crease, should it stay or should it go?”, “To Dip, or not to Dip?”, or recent ‘scandals’ in the beauty scene.

Guest Posts

These can be a lot of fun, and a good way to meet other bloggers. It can work both ways – you could blog for someone, and they could blog for you. I did my (so far only) guest post on Luna’s “Toxid Lotus” blog last November, of my Femme Fatale collection. I’m keen to guest post again, so hit me up if anyone wants to go a guest post exchange 🙂

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You may also want to consider joining free affiliate programs to earn some money on the side or get free makeup to review. Most bloggers don’t make huge amounts (or any!) money on their blog, and it isn’t a task to undertake as a get rich quick scheme, but there are opportunities out there for you to make just a little extra to help you out a bit. Currently I am affiliated with I-herb, Born Pretty and W2Beauty, although to be honest I’m not very engaged with any of my affiliate programs at the moment.

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Beauty Review is also a great site for beauty lovers to join, they have competitions, the chance to review and earn points, and also provide the opportunity to network and blog. I’ll be upfront, if you click my link there and sign up, I get 50 points, just being honest with you! I haven’t used the site that much but I did win a nice little prize in December. So if you’re a blogger with not much money, there are a few ways Beauty Review could help you out.

So hold onto your wallet and get on ya keyboard!

I have not been sponsored or compensated for this post, I am affiliated with the companies that I clearly disclosed in this post. Images have been used for free from, and in accordance with the terms of Morguefile.com. 

July 2015 Beauty Bargain Round-Up

When I first started this blog, I used to do a regular post of beauty bargains in New Zealand. I stopped after a few months when my audience became more international, but I thought I’d do one again, since I’ve spied a few good beauty bargains lately.

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One of the things I miss most about Wellington is Uncle Bills! Uncle Bills, for those of you who aren’t lucky enough to have been there yet, is a fantastic shop of ‘cheap crap’ as my husband calls it. They stock lots of parallel imported stuff, and generic brands, all at really cheap prices. I’ve picked up tons of name-brand American goods, craft supplies, and lots more there. I had a peek at their latest flyer, and found some specials that may interest you – Garnier Moisture Match is only $3.26, L’Oreal Infallible Foundation $6.68, Maybelline Colour Tattoo $2.99 and Baby Lips Lipbalm $1.98. Their items are all genuine and unused, but sometimes are old or discontinued stock, and a limited range of colours.

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On SnatchADeal, I found Revlon nail polishes for $6 each – a limited selection of colours but some good ones there, like black Knockout, purple Plum Seduction and dark blue Urban. Their L’Oreal prices start at just $1, and Maybelline Colorama nailpolishes are 50 cents! There are some stunning Essie nail polishes to be had for $5 each, With postage costing $9, I recommend stocking up on a few things, maybe adding some household items to the mix to make it worth your while.

Sinister Boutique have Manic Panic nail polishes on sale for less than $7 – as well as other items like gorgeous Demonia shoes! The Manic Panic Lust Dusts and Eyeshadows are also heavily discounted too.

The Warehouse website has a few ELF things for $3.50, unfortunately there isn’t an efficient way of linking to them. The Beauticology Shower Gels sound lovely for $3 as well, although I must admit I haven’t tried those ones myself but I tried their Hot Chocolate one and it was divine!

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Postie Plus are having Mix and Match 2 for $15 on Revlon and L’Oreal lipsticks, although their selection tends to be quite limited.

Farmers have the currently popular Australis AC On Tour Kit in stock at $21.50, and while it’s not really a bargain/on sale, I thought I’d mention it, as some people are paying crazy prices for it online.

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No affiliate links have been used, and I did not receive any compensation for this post.

Imperfect Beauty – A Collection of Art and Thoughts

I love to create, and don’t have much of an outlet to share my creative work currently, so I wanted to share these with you. They are my own photographs with digital manipulation, created in June 2015. Sorry for the watermarks and the very small images, but I have had art stolen and misused in the past, so I feel the need to protect my work whilst I share it with you.

While these images took shape, it made me think about the concept of ‘imperfect beauty’. I have always found beauty in unusual places, in the dark, in the strange, in things that others find ugly or unattractive. Beauty websites focus so much on image and looking good (which makes sense, given the nature of makeup and skincare products), but I thought it may be relevant to instead share my thoughts and encourage you to think about your own attitude to beauty.

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When I look in the mirror, I see a woman who is self-confident, happy with her body and looks, and comfortable with her flaws. I get dry skin, and eczema. I have a large Cesarean scar which may not heal very well due to having had a large haematoma on it. I have a small dark blemish on my stomach which happened during my first pregnancy – I lost the baby early on, but this little patch of discoloured skin is my permanent connection to our first baby. I have a few little white scars from getting chicken pox at age 22.

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I have a large purple scar on my knee from getting stitches – I slipped over on a rainy day while walking on a school trip to a Chinese restaurant and cut my knee deeply. Not only did I miss out on a delicious Chinese meal (love Chinese food!) but people started rumors that my parents ‘forced me to trip’ to get out of going on the excursion, because my “family is racist and I’m not allowed eat Chinese food”. Oh, never mind my family ate at that restaurant almost every week and were good friends with the family that owned it, or the fact I worked there two years later! I have the average amount of body freckles and moles that most Kiwis have.

I’m very skinny, and get a lot of abuse from people about that – its natural and I have even worked with dieticians and drs to try to gain weight and I can’t. I would love to be a few kgs heavier, but that simply can’t happen. My body rejects all piercings, and I have lots of little keloids from trying to have them. I grow too much body hair too quickly. My hair is ridiculously knotty, frizzy, thick and unmanageable.

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BUT! I have amazing long, dark eyelashes, which frame my exotic eyes, gifts from my Egyptian/Lebanese ancestors. I don’t get pimples, my skin is never oily (that’s because it’s too dry, but that’s ok). I have unusual taste, and get a lot of attention for my look and my makeup without having to really try. People constantly compliment me on the hair that I hate. I am happy and healthy, and I look it, and feel it.

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 Noone is “perfect”. Everyone has something they dislike about themselves, but rather than focus on those things, why not focus on the positive. I can’t tell you how to find your own happiness, but I hope when you look at the mirror, you enjoy the positive, and don’t focus on the negative.

Beauty exists where we choose to find it or make it.

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Make a Nail Polish Keyring – Tutorial

Something a little different I thought I’d share with you today! If you’ve got any old promotional keyrings etc lying around at home, why not turn them into something pretty. The zip on my handbag broke, and I thought I’d transform a dull old freebie keychain into a bag accessory to attach to the zip.

I used Revlon ‘Knockout’ black nail polish for this, but any will do. You might end up using quite a lot of it though, depending on its opacity. First I painted one side with a thick coat, which dried pretty quickly. Then I painted the other side, until no traces of the original design were left. Try to apply the polish as smoothly as possible, as when it dries, you’ll notice whether its even or not! And don’t start one side until the other is COMPLETELY dry of course.

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Once you have covered both sides, time to apply a top coat. Maybe some glitter, or one of those crackle nail polishes that, let’s admit it, we probably all have lying around. You could add some nail stickers, gems, just whatever you have lying around for a bit of extra visual interest too. For mine, I used OPI Shatter “Super Bass” from the Nicki Minaj Collection. I couldn’t find my clear top coat so I used BYS ‘Illusion Shaker’, which is a very sheer green/glitter, which looks great with that particular shatter colour.

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Finally, I tidied up the edges and messy bits, the piece around the top was tricky to paint and needed several goes. Now, it’s pretty much ready to use! I will have a look in my crafty bits and pieces to find a finishing touch, either a stick on ‘crystal’ or a cabochon of some kind.

Next week I’ll be back to the regular makeup/skin stuff, but I thought something different could be fun. I do have another similar tutorial I may share at some stage too. Enjoy!

What do you do with excess nail polishes/nail polishes you aren’t using? Anything fun and creative? I’d love to see!