Monday, 24 February 2014

REVIEW: ulta3 Lip Paints (All Colours & Swatches)

It looks like it's time to get lippy! Highly pigmented liquid lip products are really having a moment, with collections being released by both affordable brands (like the Rimmel London Apocalips) and higher end brands (like Lime Crime's Velvetines).

The latest name to jump onto the lipwagon (see what I did there? Hehe.) is ulta3, with a six-colour range of Lip Paints.

Can we just take a moment to appreciate the packaging? I can't help but love that these look like they're actually little tubes of paint! But they don't squeeze out the product like you'd expect–instead they all come with a doe-foot wand applicator, which is great because it allows you to be a lot more precise when you're applying it to your lips.

The collection includes six different glossy-finish shades, ranging from those you could easily wear everyday, to colours that you could really only bring out for a party. The colour payoff overall is pretty good–not quite up there with the Rimmel London Apocalips which are favourites of mine–but for $5.95 each, I'm pretty impressed with the pigmentation you get for just over a fiver.

The ulta3 Lip Paints also have a peppermint scent which is quite pleasant and refreshing–no sickly sweet perfume which gets a tick from me! I also noticed that the addition of peppermint oil to the formula also helped plump my lips slightly. It wasn't hugely noticeable, but it did make a subtle difference.

Now onto each individual shade...

Eclectic Orange
This shade is probably my least favourite of the collection. I don't tend to wear orange lip products and I also found that this particular colour had a 'thinner' formula than the others. The colour didn't come out as opaque as I would have liked and settled into the fine lines of my lips. Not quite a winner for me, but I would use it again as more of a lip stain (by applying a very thin layer) rather than as a full lip colour.

Radical Red
There's nothing quite like the allure of glossy, deep red lips. This shade didn't disappoint, with strong colour payoff and even application. Radical Red is a great cherry red colour that looks like a lipstick on, but applies with the precision of a lip gloss. I will definitely be using this shade again!

Expressive Fuschia
This shade is also one of the more pigmented of the collection and the product went on smoothly. I didn't need much product to cover my entire lips either–this shade is so opaque that I literally just had to smack my lips together after one application and then clean up the edges and it was done! Plus I love this hot pink shade–it'll look great paired with winged liner.

Extreme Pink
I have a love/hate relationship with this shade. I went to a candy-themed birthday party over the weekend and was planning on wearing this, but after trying it out, I realised that the finish is very sheer and it settled into all of the fine lines of my lips. It's a gorgeous colour but I didn't want to have to worry about touching it up all night, so I ended up wearing a different product entirely. I think Extreme Pink would be great for short term wear, for example if you were taking a quick picture rather wearing it for a whole night.

Manic Mauve
I cannot wait to wear this when the weather gets colder! In winter I love wearing dark, vampy lip colours, so this will be a great transition lippy (plus it's not so dark that it's scary!). It's a beautiful plum stain sort of colour and it's really just a shade or two deeper than the natural colour of my lips, so I'm in love with this one really.

Loud Purple
As soon as I swatched this, I was reminded of the Australis Velourlips in To-ki-o. The colour is almost identical, and even though the Velourlips are already pretty affordable at $9.95 each, the Lip Paints are even cheaper! The only difference is the finish–the Velourlips are matte while these have a glossy finish. The colour is pretty rad, but it's definitely not for everyday wear.

The ulta3 Lip Paints will hit shelves in March, so do keep an eye out for them when they're released in selected pharmacies in Australia.

Which was your favourite shade? Have another liquid lip product that you'd recommend? Let me know in the comments below!

*Disclaimer: These products were sent to me to review, but all thoughts and opinions are honest and my own.

Don't forget to enter my international giveaway to win a one of a kind flower crown from CrownedByFlowers! Just over a day to go!

Monday, 17 February 2014

Collective Shopping Haul - Fashion, Accessories & Beauty

As much as I would like to stop it, summer will soon be disappearing. It's no secret that sunny days are my favourite kind, but at least the oncoming autumn brings with it fall fashion!

Skinny jeans, cosy knits and chunky boots–what's not to love? So even though it's still warm outside, I've decided to prep my wardrobe early (read: treat myself to a few new threads!).

Feel like treating yourself to a couple of things? Almost everything I've featured in this haul is linked if you want to check them out.

My previous and very much loved pair of wax coated jeans are finally starting to show their wear and tear so I decided to upgrade. A pair of shine-finish black jeans are a classic–they can be worn during the day with a collared shirt and a knit or dressed up at night with a silky cami (like the two I feature below!). Plus this super soft pair is high waisted. What can I say? Done.

Summer Cami in "Raspberry Daiquiri" and "Black" - Sportsgirl ($29.95 each)
I never wear strappy tops, let alone silky ones, but these were just too comfy (and, dare I say it, a bit sexy!) to leave behind. The neckline sits just below the collar bone and the back sits lovely and low. You definitely have to wear a low strapless bra, but the end effect is so gorgeous. These come in a variety of colours and patterns, but I went for two classic shades. Though I am considering getting a couple more!

I already bought the same cropped knit in a super cute polka dot design to wear to work and loved it, so I decided to also get this sweater in bright red for a pop of colour this winter (gosh, it's depressing to think about winter haha). I always wear high-waisted bottoms, so I love that this is cropped. Plus it looks great over a fitted dress!

I've been on the look out for a cute pair of heeled sandals to wear casually (I've been wearing the same gladiator sandals for the past two years...) and when these went on sale for the bargain price of 10 bucks, how could I say no? The colour goes with most outfits and they're really comfy–only thing is that since they don't have a back strap, sometimes they slip.

These are basically Chelsea boots. I have no idea what a Brat Gusset is, but to me, they're Chelsea boots! I like that they have a small heel for a bit of height and that if I wear printed socks they can still peek out the top. These are SUPER comfortable and I'm still waiting for a cool enough day to break these out with those wax coated skinnies!

This mascara is perfect for those with hard to curl lashes–when I use this, I don't even have to use an eyelash curler! Don't believe me? My previous post was a review of this mascara and you can see the amazing difference it made to my lashes here.

I'd heard really positive things about this creme eyeshadow on YouTube–things like it being a great shadow base and primer, a lovely shade to wear on its own, etc. But I'm not entirely sold on this one. It was a bit streaky to apply and creased fairly quickly when I wore it on its own, but it was a good base for powder eyeshadow. So I'm sort of 50/50 on this!

I've previously bought the old Brush With Fame Set and was pretty happy with it. I still use the flat shader brush from the set regularly. So I didn't feel the need to get this set at first, until a friend bought them and raved about them to me. I needed a couple of upgrades for some old brushes, so I picked up a set for myself. And for less than $20, five good quality, soft brushes is a great deal! 

Nail It! in "Metallic Nude" and "Matte Lilac" - Sportsgirl ($7.95 each)
Like what seems to be almost every other beauty blogger out there, I love the shade rose gold. So I couldn't resist picking out the nail colour on the left and it's even more beautiful on! I posted a picture of me wearing it on my Instagram (@hijessicaanne). The matte lilac I haven't tried yet, but I was so intrigued by the thought of matte nails that I figured I'd give it a try.

Fine Geo Midi Ring Stack and Love From Russia Ring - Sportsgirl (both $12.95)
Midi rings are really having a moment right now, so I thought I'd try out the trend. They're a little strange to wear at first, but they do look quite cute on! The larger ring actually has a funny story behind it–I tried it on while I was working (I work at Sportsgirl) and I couldn't get it off my middle finger! I bought it and it's lucky that I was already quite attached to it (ha ha).

and The Intern by Gabrielle Tozer - Target ($16 and $11)
As a journalism graduate, I'm kind of (well, a whole lot) obsessed with the world of magazines, so these two books are just additions to my collection of titles written by mag journos! I can't wait to start reading these ones.

 Don't forget to enter my international giveaway to win a one of a kind flower crown from CrownedByFlowers! Only just over a week to go!

Monday, 10 February 2014

REVIEW: Rimmel London Scandaleyes Rockin' Curves Mascara

I haven't heard much about this mascara on the beauty blogger channels, so I was keen to try it out when I spotted it shopping a few days ago.

Having the short, straight lashes that I do, I'm always on the look out (haha, oh the puns...) for the latest mascara that promises to deliver falsie-worthy eyes.

At a glance, the packaging is really different to any mascara I've ever seen. It's in the same large tube that almost all of the Rimmel Scandaleyes mascaras come in, but the barrel is textured to mimic the snake print on the label. It's kind of strange to the touch, but it's an interesting idea.
The mascara I'm reviewing is "001 Black"
The main defining factor of this mascara is the wand. As you can see from the picture, that wand looks pretty curvy crazy! But what the waved shape is meant to do, is allow you to reach the small lashes in your inner corner and along your lower lash line with the end of the wand, and lift the body of your lashes with the larger end.

Instead of applying this mascara like you would a normal bristle wand mascara (by shimmying the wand through your lashes), all you do is rotate the wand up and into your lashes. The rotating motion ends up curling your lashes! You'll see what I mean when you compare what the mascara looks like used with and without an eyelash curler in the pictures below.

With a curler

1. Natural lashes
2. After using an eyelash curler
3. First application of Scandaleyes Rockin' Curves
4. Second application of Scandaleyes Rockin' Curves a few minutes later

Without a curler

1. Natural lashes
2. First application of Scandaleyes Rockin' Curves
3. Second application of Scandaleyes Rockin' Curves a few minutes later

Now let's compare the two...

Well, wow. Both eyes are pretty identical, wouldn't you say? Which is pretty incredible–my lashes need to be curled, no matter what mascara I use, but the Rimmel London Scandaleyes Rockin' Curves completely eliminates that step!

In terms of length, those little lashes became a lot longer. I've always loved when eyelashes look gorgeously long when viewed from the side, and now I can finally join the club!

One thing though, is that this mascara does look a little spidery and clumpy after a few applications. It's not too noticeable though and at least it doesn't flake. So I can definitely overlook a little bit of spider lash!

But the ultimate test for a mascara is to see how it holds up after a few hours. So after taking the above pictures, I went to work for about five hours (to an extremely busy shift, mind you) and took these pictures afterwards to see how the mascara lasted.

It's pretty good! There's a little smudging along the lower lash line and around the outer corner, but other than that, my lashes look almost the same as they did hours ago! The most impressive thing is how this mascara kept my lashes curled, even on the eye that I didn't use an eyelash curler on!

Even as I'm typing this post about nine hours since I put this mascara on, my lashes still look like they did in the picture above. Much impressive! Wow.

If you want to avoid smudging all together, there is a waterproof formula available too. For my Aussie friends, I suggest heading to Priceline ($10) or Target ($11) because the Scandaleyes Rockin' Curves will normally retail for $17, so if you can get it while it's on the new product introductory price, I'd do it!

Here's my full look with the mascara (and of course, some dark lippy to go with the rock and roll theme)!

What's your favourite mascara? Let me know in the comments below!

Don't forget to enter my international giveaway for the chance to win a one-of-a-kind flower crown from CrownedByFlowers!

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

GIVEAWAY To Celebrate 200K Page Views!

Here it is! The giveaway I have been promising is finally here–To celebrate Taken By Surprise passing 200,000 page views, one lucky person will win a one-of-a-kind CrownedByFlowers headpiece!

I asked you guys what you would like to have the chance to win and the majority of you voted for one of my handmade headpieces which I love; not only does it make me happy that you guys like my designs that much, but being able to give away something that I've designed and made myself is a little extra special, don't you think? :)

So, how do you enter? It's super easy, just follow the prompts in the Rafflecopter widget below! It is required that you like both Taken By Surprise and CrownedByFlowers on Facebook to enter, but you can also earn extra entries if you would like by following my other social media accounts. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And yes, this giveaway is international! When the giveaway ends in three weeks (26/02/14 at 00:00 AEDT), I will contact the winner and from there they will be able to choose their prize from the CrownedByFlowers Etsy store.

Good luck everyone and thank you so much for your continued support and love for Taken By Surprise!

© taken by surprise | All rights reserved.
Blogger Template Developed by pipdig