Thursday, 24 October 2013

Sportsgirl Fan Of The Month - Prize Pack Haul

If you're a regular reader of my blog, you'll know that Sportsgirl is one of my absolute favourite fashion labels and my weekly pay packets often disappear into their collections (#noregrets). You would have seen their clothes, shoes, accessories and beauty items all appear in my blog posts at one point or another, and, well, what can I say besides I'm a little obsessed with the brand!

So I was so, so thrilled when I received an email from Sportsgirl saying that they'd seen my blog post on the I Scream Nails Workshop that they hosted in store (click here to read the post and see the rad nail art techniques I was taught!), and wanted to name me their Sportsgirl Fan Of The Month!

I hadn't even known that existed, so I was pretty chuffed to find out that I would be getting a special gift in the mail. What I didn't expect, was that the gift wasn't little at all, and instead an amazing goodie bag that I am so, so grateful for!

A lot of the prizes I won can actually be purchased from Sportsgirl, so I thought I'd do a post on all of the fun things I received in case you see something you like and want to check it out in store or online :)

First off the bag I received is a handy canvas tote bag with an adorable button fastener. I've bought off Sportsgirl's online store before and all of the orders come wrapped in one of these bags in one of the Sportsgirl colours (red, yellow, green or blue). So this is definitely an addition to my growing collection haha

Speaking of bags, this bag tag is so cute and will be perfect for when I go travelling. I don't actually own one of these already, but I have some travel plans in the works where this will definitely come in handy. Plus, how cute is the message it comes with?

I don't normally wear bracelets as I find them pretty bulky on my wrists, so I'm really happy that these two cuties are thin, lightweight bracelets! And I think the ladies at Sportsgirl must have read my mind (or my blog!) because the two bracelets feature roses and a skull, and I make Sugar Skull-like flower crowns for my Etsy shop CrownedByFlowers! So I absolutely adore these.

I've never actually tried any of the body butters from Sportsgirl (and they have quite a few!) as I've been working my way through a Victoria's Secret one for the last few months. But with summer coming up (i.e. bare legs season),  this will be amazing to have handy. Plus it has this deliciously creamy apple scent that isn't too strong but smells fresh and lovely.

How gorgeous is this keychain?? My keys are kind of overloaded with cute and pretty key chains so this one will be a welcome addition. I love how it looks like an old key that leads to a secret garden or somewhere else equally as magical. 

I actually already own this notebook as I went to the Whitney Eve by Whitney Port Collection Launch last year (read my post about the event here), but as a graduating journalism student, one can never have too many notebooks! 

And that goes for notepads too, it seems I'm always losing the one I keep on my desk so this one is perfect for me!

If I didn't love doing my nails before, I without a doubt will now! This little kit is pocket-sized, absolutely adorable and has heaps of tools in it (some, I don't even know how to use, but as a beauty blogger, I am willing to try!). This will be great for travelling with or for staring at its cuteness appreciatively.

Winter might be over, but as a female, we don't always need a hot water bottle just because it's cold if you know what I'm saying! This pretty Sportsgirl-themed cover will definitely cheer me up when Aunty Flo comes around!

Now THIS is a keep cup! This ceramic coffee mug is massive - we're talking Starbucks Venti kind of big! Which is radder than rad because now that I have my driver's license, having a cute travel mug full of tea, coffee or hot choccie to take with me as I drive is going to be amazing.

Make Scents Roll-On Fragrance in "In My Dreams" ($9.95)
When I unwrapped this, I literally couldn't believe it because this is the EXACT scent that I already own from Sportsgirl! I swear, the lovely ladies must have been reading my blog because they not only sent me the flower and skull bracelets, this perfume, AND the eyeliner I loved for two years (see below!). Even if it was a lucky guess, they certainly know how to make a girl feel special!

If you've been reading my blog for a long time, you'll know that this is the liquid eyeliner that I used to use when training myself on how to create winged liner. I used this baby for about two or three years, so it's a product that I hold pretty close to my heart and it's the one that I recommend any of my friends when they ask me for a liner that's easy to create a cat eye with. And would you believe it, I just ran out of my previous liquid liner so it looks like I'm back onto an old favourite.

Thank you so much Sportsgirl!!

I feel so lucky to be chosen and I can't wait to play with all my goodies! Anyone else out there who is a massive fan of Sportsgirl, make yourself known because this prize was absolutely amazing.

If you have shopped at Sportsgirl before, what's your favourite thing that you've bought? Let me know in the comments below!

Sunday, 20 October 2013

How To Make Your Own Nail Swatches + Ulta3 & MUD Polish Reviews

You know when you go up to the nail polish sections in stores and they have these special plastic nail things that show what each colour looks like so you can "try" them on, without actually painting your nail? (If that wasn't the most roundabout way of explaining what a nail swatch was, I don't know what is...). 

ANYWAY. I'm the sort of person who owns waaaaaay too many nail polishes (like almost every female I know basically) and sometimes I can't decide what colour to use #firstworldbeautybloggerproblems. And CBF painting my nails in case I don't like the colour and I either have to live with the commitment I've made (this seems way more dramatic than it is in real life haha), or I have to get the nail polish remover out.

So I found a way to create my own DIY nail swatches. In other words, I'm lazy and this is an easy way to trial my polishes when I can't decide which one to wear, hehehe.

How pro do these babies look? In reality, you'd probably only ever need these if you're a beauty blogger like myself, a nail polish hoarder (also like myself), or a nail artist.

But they're cute, serve their purpose really well and you can always use this as a technique for keeping plain fake nails steady as you paint them to later pop on your digits. And they take less than a minute each to make!

Taken By Surprise Tutorial - How To Make Your Own Nail Swatches

How. Simple. Was. That? 
Let's get these babies painted!

 I figured I'd make good use of my new nail swatches and use them to review four new polishes. Read on for the reviews!

 MUD Nail Polish in "Nudely Now"
I barely ever wear nude nail polishes (read: never) because having a yellow undertone to my skin means that most nudes make my skin look sickly. But this nude is more of a brown, rather than a pink or beige, and I love the way it looks on! I actually painted all of my nails with this shade and am wearing it right now, and it looks really classy. It's definitely a great shade to wear at work. I also love that it's not a muted nude either; if you look closely it has a subtle hint of shimmer to it. Big thumbs (or all my fingers) up!

ulta3 Nail Colour in "Fruit Punch"
I've only recently begun wearing reds on my nails because I always saw it as the "grown ups'" colour. But I guess now that I'm officially a grown up (finished university yesterday!) I suppose red is going to become a little more regular on my nails. I like that this is almost a pastel red, not a blood or fire engine red. This lighter colour will be great for spring and summer because it's not as dramatic as those other, darker shades of classic red lacquer. I'm currently wearing this hue on my toes, so bring on sandal season!

ulta3 Nail Colour in "Corsican Rose"
If you've read my last post on the new Essence Me and My Ice Cream collection, then you'll already know that I'm not a big fan of green nail polish. Unless it's a really cool-toned, bright mint colour, green just doesn't suit me. I think this shade would look amazing on darker skin tones because it would really contrast and pop! I also like that this shade has a little bit of shimmer to it, which I haven't seen a green of this shade have before. 

ulta3 Nail Colour in "Twinkle Toes"
Christmas is only a couple of months away and I already know that I'll be breaking this baby out for the festive season! Most glitter polishes I've tried take many, many coats before it becomes opaque, so I love that this polish becomes pretty much solid glitter after only two coats. It'd also look amazing as a top coat over a coloured polish (I'm thinking black would look amazing for a starry sky kind of look!).

Which of these four colours would you most likely try on your nails? Let me know in the comments below!

Disclaimer: The four nail polishes featured in this post were sent to me to review, but all words and opinions are honest and my own :)

Sunday, 13 October 2013

REVIEW: Essence Me & My Ice Cream (Blush & Nails)

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!

I'm a fan of Essence normally (love their White Nail Tip Painter and their Mattifying Compact Powder), so I was really excited to try their new Me & My Ice Cream collection. I'd actually been to a couple of Priceline stores looking for these products since they were released, but as per usual, almost every Essence stand was cleaned out! #justmyluck

So I finally got my hands on a few products from the collection and decided to review them for you guys. I figured Essence might not catch your eye when you're makeup shopping since their price point is so low – like between $1 to $10 – so you might assume that cheap = bad quality. That's what I thought initially too, but that SO isn't the case!

First off, the collection itself is inspired by ice cream colours and is really, REALLY cute. The packaging is sweet, clean and simple, and even the product names are adorable (think shade names like "Ben and Cherries"!). Plus each product, like I mentioned before, is really reasonably priced. Which in a way, makes this collection really appropriate for young girls first getting into makeup (and to uni students like me with limited funds haha).

Cream Blush in "01 Ice Bomb"
So, up first is the cream blush, which I've heard is pretty similar to the Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blushes in texture. It is the strangest-feeling cream blush I've ever used – I'm used to cream blushes in either a stick form (like the NARS Multiples) or in a paste-like form. Whereas this blush is somehow soft and firm at the same time, so the pigment is really tightly packed but somehow still blends really nicely. To describe the touch, try patting the back of your hand with your fingertip, and that's kind of what it's like! Which is pretty weird, but I kind of like it haha

The colour I have is a really rich, coral orange shade which is great for warming up the complexion. I think it would look especially lovely on pale-skinned girls, yet I'm fairly tan and it still comes up quite nicely. It does have a bit of silvery shimmer – dare I say it, frost – so it does double as a highlighter and a blush, but I wouldn't go too heavy with it. It picks up on dry patches in the skin slightly but other than that, it blends really well.
Here I just applied it to the apples of my cheeks using my finger tips.
Next up are the adorable range of nail polishes. These are perfect for spring because they're all lovely pastel shades (I REALLY feel like ice cream now...) and will suit both tanned and paler skin.

These polishes last surprisingly well for a low-priced product. After testing each colour for the photos below, I painted all of my nails in one colour (the lilac purple one, which is my pick of the bunch) and it's been two days since then and they're still immaculate, with NO chips! Impressive!

However, my one criticism is that they take three coats before the colour becomes fully opaque. They're pretty thin polishes but in saying that, they do dry really quickly (within a couple of minutes per coat). 

Nail Polish in "04 Icylicious"
Pastel orange is actually my favourite colour but I tend not to wear it on my nails as it can look a little odd with my skin, which has a yellow undertone. But this colour came out really nicely and I think I'll be wearing it a lot in summer, maybe on my toes.

Nail Polish in "01 Ben and Cherries"
This shade is probably my least favourite of the four as it comes out almost white instead of pink. It's not really true to how it looks in the bottle, which is what I was hoping it would be.
Nail Polish in "03 Ice, Ice Baby"
This is such a pretty pale lavender colour and I love the way it pops against my skin tone! This is my favourite out of all of the shades.
Nail Polish in "02 Always In My Mint"
I tend not to wear green on my nails because it makes me look a little ill. I don't know what it is, but every time I wear minty green on my nails especially, after a few days I have to take it off because the look of it doesn't seem right haha. Granted, this is a nice colour, just maybe not for me.
All four of the polishes in the collection apply really smoothly which I definitely like. They don't bubble or smear, and after a few coats they do look pretty flawless. Each shade also includes a bit of fine shimmer which makes me feel like a little girl again when I put them on haha

Nail Topping Sticker
Can we just take a moment to appreciate these? They're hundreds and thousands!! I loved hundreds and thousands as a kid, so these nail stickers really take me back. They're definitely similar to the Ciate Caviar Nails, except these are a nail sticker/decal as opposed to loose beads.

Basically all you do it match each sticker to your nail, peel it off the backing sheet and stick it onto your nail, then file or cut off the excess. They're super easy to use, but the only thing is that you definitely have to use a top coat, otherwise the beads will fall off. I can't wait for a fun themed birthday party so I can get these out to play!

I really feel like ice cream now, so let's have a different kind of question today! What's your favourite flavour of ice cream? Mine is green tea :) Let me know in the comments below!

Disclaimer: This is a product sponsored post but all words and opinions are my own :)

Friday, 4 October 2013

TUTORIAL: How to style a side fringe

Anyone who's ever had a fringe has been there... the awkward "growing out stage" where your fringe isn't quite long enough to sweep back but too long to wear at the front of your face anymore.

It can be a real task to get it to behave and after growing out my fringe (I know, the straight front bangs are gone!) to about halfway down my face and trying to style it in the meantime, I've finally figured out a way to get that nice side swept look. And to be honest, I was getting sick of bobby pinning my hair back all the time haha

This look can be done on fringes that are about eyebrow length to chin length, so it's perfect for all of you ladies (or long-fringed boys) who are growing yours out. It gets your hair out of your eyes but still looks really quite lovely.

Wearing the CrownedByFlowers "You Make Me Blush" flower crown

Taken By Surprise Tutorial: How to style a side fringe

What you will need:

Okay, so first off let's take a look at that fringe of yours.

...yeeeesh. That is ONE. LONG. FRINGE. So let's do something about it.

1. With your thin-toothed comb, brush your fringe out so it is smooth and tangle free. Then create a side part and comb your bangs onto the side that you would like your side fringe to be.

2. Because we're going to be using hot tools, make sure to spritz your hair with a heat protectant spray. Mine doubles as a styling spray as well, which helps my hair keep in its styled shape, so I recommend using one :) Then take a section that's about a third of your entire fringe. I find it easier to divide my fringe into sections and style each section individually in the next step.

3. Yay, GIF time! Put that piece of hair in between the hot plates (I have my straighter on at 185 degrees Celsius) and twist the straightener back towards your crown (shown in the GIF), then pull the straightener up so the hair slips through the plates and falls naturally.

You'll end up with a funny little curl thing. But don't worry, we still have two more sections to do! So taking the next section of hair, repeat the above step.

4. Once you've styled each section, your fringe will look ridiculous and fluffy and be sticking up all over the place. But don't worry, the next step is magic :) So with your fine-toothed comb, brush out your fringe in the direction away from your face. You might need to comb it a few times through and then it will sit in a lovely little side fringe!

Bonus step: Since I have straight hair, I like to curl my side pieces as well. So I just take the side sections, put the piece in the straightener, twist the straightener and pull it away from my face so the hair falls through it.

5. Now that we have our fringe how we want it, time to hairspray it! I like to hairspray underneath my fringe as well to keep it extra secure and I find that also helps it keep its shape for longer. Make sure to spray your side sections too if you styled them like I did!

How huge is this hairspray bottle?? And gotta love that cross-eyed face haha
And that's it!

Oh, the cheekiness.

Do you have a side fringe or are growing your fringe out? What are your tips? Let me know in the comments below!
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