Nail Polish Hair Clips Tutorial

As a ‘Magpie On A Budget’, I’ve become very good at sourcing things to make my life beautiful at a reasonable price. I enjoy being creative, and thought I’d try my hand at making my own hair clips. These can be incredibly cheap and easy to make, even if you don’t consider yourself ‘crafty’, I would say have a go anyway!

I use the site AliExpress for everything. Seriously, I’m somewhat addicted, it’s got everything on there and free shipping too from lots of sellers. The shipping can be slow, and sometimes the quality is pretty crap, but pretty much everything I’ve bought has absolutely exceeded expectations, at a very cheap price. There are some caveats, as with any e-commerce site. The clothes sizes are extremely tiny, which to be honest is fine with me, but most people I know don’t have much luck on there, you do need to check sizes carefully. Anything ‘brand-name’ is going to be fake. And I’m wary of things like electronics, makeup, etc too. But I’ve had great success buying clothes for myself, jewellery, craft items and general bits and pieces. In fact, I’m doing an upcoming post on my makeup storage and dresser set-up which features lots of AliExpress stuff!


My August Giveaway features two sets of hair clips I made using my AliExpress haul, so feel free to enter that and win yourself some! (New Zealand only, sorry).

I bought an assortment of craft things awhile ago including:

Rhinestone Diamantes (as featured in the butterfly hairclips above)

Antique Bronze Hair Clip Settings (the bases you make the hair clips on)

Artificial Black Roses 

Dragonfly Cabochons (a cabochon is a little plastic/glass dome with a flatback that you can glue onto things)

Butterfly Cabochons

Black Rose Cabochons (I bought 10mm, the same size as the hair clip pads, but there are different sizes to choose from)

There are tons of sellers all selling the same stuff, so shop around! Most offer free shipping with orders over $10/15 USD.


I took two of the Blue Rose cabochons and decided to use them as a basis to paint with nail polish. I first painted them with a thick coat of black (Revlon ‘Knockout’, but you can use any black polish. You may need two coats if the coverage is light). Then I painted over with a few thinner coats of orange nail polish (Mode ‘Frenemy’, but experiment with any colour you like! You could also try glitter or shatter, etc, on top). Wait patiently for each coat to dry – now isn’t that always the hard part!

The next step, once the polish was dry (if you can, leave it for several days), I used craft glue to stick the flatback of the cabochon onto the pad of the hairpin. Did you know that bobby pins are meant to have the jagged bit facing down in your hair, rather than up? So actually these hairpins are ‘backwards’, but hey, it doesn’t matter!

Wait for glue to dry and… DONE! Not sure if matching your hair clips to your nail polish is cute or a bit weird, but I like it. 🙂

I also painted some of my roses with glitter nail polish (Nicole by OPI’s “Follow Me on Glitter” – this nail polish doesn’t work well on my nails and is so hard to remove, I’ll just stick to using it for crafts), for a future project. I’m not entirely sure what I’m doing with them yet, it was just an idea I had but it’s not going anywhere yet. May even just scatter a few on my dresser, if I don’t end up attaching them to hair ties.




This flower had a stray petal on one side, which I carefully cut off

All items in this tutorial were purchased by myself, I am not affiliated with AliExpress and did not receive any compensation for this post. No affiliate links have been used. 


August Giveaway – Korean Skincare Samples, and Handmade Hairclips!

My latest giveaway is running til the end of the month, so get in quick on my Rafflecopter page here.


I recently reviewed my latest purchase from Rose Rose Shop, and am giving away samples of two of the products I talked about – Too Cool for Schools ‘Fresh Gore Sleeping Pack’ and ‘Pumpkin Sleeping Pack’, as well as samples of Holika Holikas ‘Good Cera’ Emulsion and Toner, CosRX Natural BHA Skin Returning A-Sol, and Tony Moly Luminous Glow Aura CC Cream, which I previously reviewed in January.

Also tucked away in the little organza bag of goodies are two pairs of hair clips, hand made by myself. I love making things, and don’t get as much chance as I used to, so it’s a bit of fun for me to make something to share with others, I hope you like them. I will be putting up a tutorial very soon on how to make them too.

Due to postage costs, this giveaway is only for New Zealanders, I’m very sorry!

As always, my giveaways are drawn fairly via Rafflecopter, and everyone has equal chance, cheaters will not be tolerated. Good luck to all!

Items in this giveaway have either been received as free samples with purchase, purchased by myself, or made by myself. I have not been sponsored or otherwise influenced in this giveaway. I am open to receiving items for giveaways and promotions, but this will be clearly and honestly disclosed. If you would like me to promote your business or product with a giveaway, please feel free to contact me, thanks!

RoseRose Shop – August Haul And Giveaway

i’ve been looking forward to doing another order from Rose Rose Shop for some time now, and having a dry face in winter was the perfect excuse to try some new things! I’m still loving my Tony Moly Banana Sleeping Pack, but don’t think it has too much more left. So with a sale on last month, I thought this was the perfect chance to buy a few things. I decided to buy sample sizes to get the chance to try more and spread my money further – and who can resist those cute little packets!


I’ll be honest…this isn’t a real unboxing photo, I’d already burst into it and tried a few samples before I could even get a picture.

Too Cool For School – Fresh Gore Sleeping Pack (10 sample sachets)


I really enjoyed this product. My taste leans towards the macabre, and although the concept is gimmicky, I couldn’t resist. The sachets are small, about enough for one application, and are a strange triangular shape. You can just make out in the picture the gel like texture, it has a slightly reddish colour too, like a diluted raspberry jam. I liked the smell, but your mileage may vary, it reminded me of Avon catalogs in the 90’s, and I mean that in a positive light.

My skin is super dry, eczema-prone and sensitive, and I did wonder if the gel texture might make my skin tighten, but it didn’t. I felt refreshed and moist, even after just one short use.

The ‘Fresh Gore’ component comes from the dragons blood resin extract used in the formula, as well as asthaxanthin. The Too Cool for School website has some helpful information in English, which is unusual for Korean products and very useful.

The Fresh Gore Sleeping Pack is also available in a 100gm size.

Would I buy again or recommend? Definitely! One of my favourite products in awhile. Something different, and works well, I enjoyed using it. I just wish I bought MORE.

Too Cool For School – Pumpkin Sleeping Pack (10 sample sachets)

I do try not to give into cute packaging, really I do. But I don’t always succeed! At the moment, I’m all about sleeping packs so I’ll try anything, and that adorable wee sleepy pumpkin sealed the deal. I was curious as to what a pumpkiny smell would entail, but instead it reminded me more of Lynx or something similar, quite a sexy (in my opinion, lol) masculine fragrance. It’s not at all what you expect, but personally I liked it although its a weird thing to slather all over your face.

According to Too Cool for Schools site, it contains Pumpkin Fermentation extract as well as other active ingredients, hence the ‘pumpkin’ name. You can just see in the photo – sorry, its not very clear, that it is a light, creamy texture, not too heavy on the skin. It felt smooth, and made my skin moist. I honestly can’t decide which I liked best between this and the Fresh Gore pack, they are both quite different but I enjoyed them equally.

You can also buy it in a 100ml tube, from RoseRose Shop or W2Beauty.

Would I buy again or recommend? Yes, I just can’t decide which sleeping pack I liked the best

RiRe Lip Manicure – Wine Burgundy

rire2 rire1

This is actually more red and less brown than in the photo. I will do some swatches and more info in a separate post, I think, to give you a good look at the colour. This was on a great price reduction, 70% off, but I think the RiRe brand are pretty much permanently on that special anyway. I certainly don’t think it’s worth the original $13 US price tag, but I paid around $5, and I’m happy enough with that.

This had a cute little brush and I love the little pottle, although it’s an awkward size for storing. I found the formula a bit dry, but nowhere near as dry as I expected – everything goes dry on me, so it’s something I’m used to. The colour lasted well, so the dryness is definitely forgivable!

I’ll update this post when I get around to doing a more detailed post on this product.


And they gave me free samples, yay! I will review the Benton Snail Bee High Content Mask Pack soon, and the Good Cera samples will be included in my August giveaway of Korean skincare samples.

I am hosting a giveaway, so you can try your own samples of Fresh Gore and Pumpkin Sleeping Packs, as well as a few other Korean beauty samples – enter on the Rafflecopter page here. New Zealanders only, I’m sorry!

This is an honest review, written from my experiences with RoseRose Shop. I have no affiliation with them at all, and do not receive any compensation. All items were purchased with my own money apart from the free samples which I have clearly specified. The W2Beauty links are affiliate links.

Please seek medical advice before using any skincare products recommended on this blog if you have any skin conditions. I am not a medical professional, and do not take any responsibility for anyone taking my recommendations, my blog is intended as opinion only. These are cosmetic products and not recommended as medical treatments. 

July Giveaway Winner Announced!

The winner of my July giveaway has been drawn via Rafflecopter, thank you to all who entered and congratulations to Irene E.

My giveaways are always fairly drawn using the Rafflecopter program, and I make sure there are no ways to cheat the system or gain unfair advantages, this is extremely important to me.

I will be hosting my next giveaway within the next week, so please come back soon – I promise something a little different that you probably haven’t already got! 😀

July Empties

I never seem to have any empties, my cosmetics seem to be a bottomless pit that never run out! In July, I managed to get a few though, and I think I’ll have a few coming up in August.


L’Oreal Miss Manga Voluminous Waterproof Mascara (RRP $28 NZ, got mine for $14 in a Big Bucket Sale)

Wasn’t really impressed with this. A workmate of mine bought a version of it, and her lashes looked fantastic with it, so when I saw this on sale, I thought I’d try it out. Since I don’t wear mascara very often, I tend to not purchase them very often, and I felt like I was just about due to buy a new one. L’Oreal actually use false lashes AND photo manipulation in their mascara ads, so I shouldn’t have been fooled, it’s my own fault really. I’ve now replaced it with a $5 Essence one that is MUCH better (see my Price Wise Direct post).

Would I repurchase? No. There are better mascaras cheaper, especially at full price!

Dr Hauschka Rose Day Cream (RRP $65 NZ, I won mine!)

I was lucky enough to win one of these last year, and I’ve made it last! I absolutely love this, it is a very thick, very rich, rose scented cream that is just perfect for sensitive, dry skin like me, especially in winter. I apply mine thickly like a mask and let it soak in, either day or night. I cut the top off to squeeze out every last drop, I can’t really afford not to. Love, love, love, LOVE this.

Would I repurchase? Yes, if my budget allowed. Will definitely consider it for the future!

Tony Moly Banana Hand Milk (paid around $7 on Rose Rose Shop for this last December)

I reviewed this here back when I first purchased it. I love the smell and texture, and it feels nice to use, but I honestly don’t know how beneficial it is to my skin. I enjoy using though, and my son loves the creative packaging – I actually find the packaging quite annoying to use, it’s hard to squeeze out near the end. Also available at W2Beauty.

Would I repurchase? Yes, although next time I may buy the sample sachets which are also available instead. 

BYS Liquid Activator (purchased with an eyeshadow included, $7.90 at Cosmetics Plus in 2008, no longer available)

Bought this a ridiculously long time ago, back when primers for eyeshadows weren’t really a ‘thing’ and M.A.C pigments were almost the only loose eyeshadows commonly available. This was a fantastic deal – a very large, green eyeshadow pigment with a small liquid activator, and little brush for just under $8. They worked well, especially for the price and considering the lack of alternatives at the time. I worked in a pharmacy at the time and always received comments on my gorgeously vibrant eye makeup whenever I wore it.

Would I repurchase? No. At the time I really liked it, but these days there are far more options and better quality.

W2 Beauty link is an affiliate link, apart from that I have no affiliations with anyone mentioned in this post, and no compensation was received. All items were purchased by myself.

Why I Am No Longer Starting My Indie Makeup Brand – Things learned on the journey, and knowing when to quit

I’ve been promising a “Big Announcement” on here since last December, and I’m usually not the type to string people along like this. I don’t think too many people have been waiting with bated-breath (is that the expression? It sounds weird now I’ve typed it) to hear what it is, but I still want to take a quick minute to explain what it was, where I’m at and why things have changed.

Last year, I got pregnant in January, and not long before that I had begun to dabble in indie makeup and formulating cosmetics. I have always had an interest in making bath and body things, and have worked in beauty retail for a large part of my life, so being able to create my own beautiful and unique makeup was a lot of fun. I received many compliments on my handcrafted makeup, and eventually I decided I wanted to go further into this, and make my gorgeous creations available to the world! New Zealand is a bit out of the loop with the indie makeup scene, and I took great pride in knowing I could be a trail blazer.

Initially I hoped to launch around the time of my sons birth, October, but I had many complications in my pregnancy and needed a lot of rest, and I realised launching a brand and having my first child probably shouldn’t both happen at the same time. So I pushed the release date to February 13th (Friday 13th, haha) 2015 while continuing to work on my formulas, my branding, and of course taking care of my beautiful wee son.


Then my first real setback occured – an already established brand used the brand name I had chosen, for one of their projects. I won’t say what the name was, or who the brand is – it doesn’t matter. But this was rather devastating, as I had already put so much effort into making the logo, the Storenvy shop, etc with the brand name…I even have a stash of stickers with that name on them 😦 Cue world’s smallest violin, just for me.

But hey, I get knocked down, and I get up again! I decided I would use the name ‘Malfiore Cosmetics’, as the name and brand both signify a dark elegance. As if having a newborn hadn’t thrown life upside down already, my husband and I then made the rather difficult decision to move from Wellington to Christchurch. This wasn’t easy, as we loved our life in Wellington, but we are both people who rise to a challenge and take things in our stride. So that kept us very busy, but no regrets, we love it here!. Having a 5-month-old (at the time, now he’s 10 months) was a handful, he’s a great kid but it was always hard to find spare moments to work, especially keeping a clean, sterile and child-free workspace.

The final nail in the Malfiore coffin came as winter approached. I usually develop eczema most winters, it’s a seasonal thing, a combination of the cold plus heating, and I suffer quite severely. This is depressing to write about on a “beauty blog”, and initially I thought I’d share pictures but I won’t because I know most of you aren’t here to see that and don’t want to see things like that – fair enough. I keep staph under control, I regularly take antibiotics and prednisone (under a lot of medical supervision, I am aware of the pros and cons of these and drs agree this is the best course for me at the moment), and I am very clean and not contagious. I have grown used to this, and even though it can be quite obvious, like I can have peeling patches of skin on my face, I am comfortable in my own skin and confident in my looks. I hate dealing with the physical pain of it though, I often feel like I have arthritis, and a simple shower can be agonising for me. Some days, if I don’t have to go out, I’ll stay in a dressing gown, not because I’m lazy, but because clothes hurt too much. It comes and goes as the seasons progress though. Today I’m pretty good, bit of redness on my hands but that’s pretty typical on a frosty morning, plus I’ve got the heat pump on which is bad for my skin, but great for warmth!

Because of my eczema however, I decided I’m not in a good position to create Malfiore. You won’t “catch” anything from me, I  would be observing the highest hygiene standards, but I’m just not comfortable doing it. The beauty community can also be quite cliquey, catty and cruel, and I would be hurt if people trash talked my brand as being ‘dirty’ because of my condition. I also have very limited free time, and don’t know if I can commit to providing the high standard of customer service I would want to provide.


The plus side (with me, there’s always a plus side. I am a resilient and positive person who believes in creating opportunities and enjoying life) is that I’m going to share my recipes, and all that I’ve learnt about creating an indie brand, with all of you. I found that the indie makeup world can be protective of their secrets, and that’s understandable, but I want to share the knowledge I’ve gained and put it to good use. I want to turn this ‘negative’ into a big positive.

Thank you for listening, and I hope this can be of some use to you. I look forward to posting more in future about indie makeup! If you have any questions, please feel free to ask, I would love to help.

Notoriously Morbid – My First Haul (with swatches)! Part 2

Way back in December, I purchased a bloggers pack and a few other goodies from Notoriously Morbid, a USA based indie makeup company. I have reviewed some of them back in May, and this is my review of the remainder of my NM collection. Initially, the Coffin Kisser lipbalm was forgotten from my order, but Carrie very quickly mailed it out to me, and generously included lots of extra samples.

As with the first package I received, I was very impressed with the quality, speed, price and the standard of customer service. Customer service is incredibly important to me, and I am quick to boycott companies who offer poor service or deceive customers, so it makes me happy to be able to support companies who are worth it. I don’t have a huge amount of money, so where I spend it means a lot.

Read Part 1 of my review here, and I will post Part 3 at some stage in the near future.

Coffin Kisser “Sam’s Strawberry Mousse”



I had heard good things about Notoriously Morbid’s lip balms, “Coffin Kissers” and I don’t use a lot of lipbalm but when I do, I prefer natural balms with nurturing ingredients that don’t dry out your lips. Coffin Kissers have a great formula, and come in a wide range of delicious flavours. I chose ‘Sam’s Strawberry Mousse, inspired by the TV series Supernatural, and absolutely love it. I even convinced my husband to try it, since its clear and neutral. Sorry, my photo shows it pink tinged because I often wear it with lipstick so mine is a bit grubby now!

Morbid Mistakes ‘Gothicurious’ (not available to purchase)



This was a freebie, and while I do like it, it’s not as good as their other stuff. On me, atleast, I find it quite smudgy and patchy, and doesn’t give a strong, pigmented finish like other NM shadows. However, as a ‘Morbid Mistake’, I imagine that’s why it hasn’t made the final cut to being an actual NM product. You may find this in destashes but I imagine it’s probably quite rare.

Kilgharrah (discontinued, no longer on their site)


This is one of my most commonly used NM shadows, and a real favourite of mine. I have a weakness for golden greens and this is just lovely, and very flattering to my dark green eyes too. If you see it in a destash, pick it up!

JEM Eyeshadow from Jan 2015’s Vanishing Cabinet Collection “Pureheart” (no longer available)

jemeyejemeye2  jemeye3 jemeye4

I shouldn’t tempt you, but I thought I’d show pictures of Pureheart in action, incase you should find it in a destash. I’m a purple lover but in all honesty I just wasn’t feeling it with this one, it fades on me very quickly and didn’t give an even, vibrant colour. However, Carrie actually included this for me, full size, for free in my order so I’m certainly not complaining. 🙂 I think a coat of primer underneath would give it the boost it needs.

Also, am I the only almost-30 who is unenthused about JEM? I feel like I’m failing at being a ’90’s kid’ by admitting it, but I’m just not feeling the love. (Barbie and the Rockstars on the other hand…).

Third and final installment coming fairly soon, I promise! Since I made my purchase, there have been so many gorgeous new things added to Notoriously Morbids website,

I purchased these with my own money, as stated earlier I did receive the ‘Bloggers Pack’. All freebies have been clearly disclosed, and I am not affiliated with NM in any way.