Monday, 31 March 2014

REVIEW: Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette + Swatches

Yes, it happened! I was a very, very lucky lady at my 21st birthday last month, because one of my beautiful best friends who had been travelling around America decided to spoil me... with the stunning, sostunningIcan'tevenarticulatemyself, Urban Decay Naked 3 eyeshadow palette!
Bask in it's beauty. I'm pretty much bowing down right now.
Gosh, it's just so pretty! The twelve rose-gold inspired shades are absolutely gorgeous and very different from the warm tones of the Naked 1 and the cooler shades of the Naked 2.

I'm already a proud owner of the Urban Decay Naked 2, so to now have the Naked 3 in my life makes me feel very spoiled indeed. Thank you so much Ally for the super thoughtful present!

Anyway, enough of me going around in circles about how much I love this palette and let's get straight into the review!

Review: Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette


The palette is encased in a textured metal tin, similar to the Naked 2, which is great for traveling as the hard exterior helps to protect the product inside. I would still recommend being pretty careful with it though, I dropped my Naked 2 palette which shattered the shade Blackout, meaning I had black pigment all over my other shadows -_-'

The case reminds me of the pencil tins you use in primary school (did you ever have one?) and it snaps shut which is great! Inside, there's a large horizontal mirror that's great for touch ups during the day or doing your makeup on the go. Plus there's also a little section for the double-ended shadow brush that comes with the palette.

Added extras

In typical Naked palette fashion, the Naked 3 also comes with a few freebies (the original Naked palette comes with a full size of the Urban Decay Primer Potion and the Naked 2 comes with a dual-ended brush and a lip gloss). With the Naked 3, you also receive a sample of each of the Urban Decay Primer Potions in Original, Eden, Sin and Anti-Aging. You get a week's worth of each sample and they all come in individual little pouches.

You also receive the same dual-ended brush that comes with the Naked 2, which is awesome because it's one of the loveliest eyeshadow brushes I've ever tried! One end is a flat, wide shader brush which is great for patting the pigment on and layering colours, and the other end is a rounded blending brush, for (you guessed it!) blending your colours together for a seamless gradient.

Left: the flat shader end.
Right: the rounded blending end.

Colour range & pigmentation

The Naked 3 boasts a stunning array of rosy gold shades and a combination of matte and shimmery shades. There are more shimmery shades than matte, though that's fine in my opinion because Urban Decay's shimmery shades are just so gorgeous! But I love that both types are included so you can get a subtle, contoured eye look for day and a wowza shimmering look for night.

There are six lighter shades and six darker shades and all of them are very strongly pigmented, though there are some that pop more than others. My favourite colours from the Naked 3 are Dust (a sparkly pink that would look ah-mazing applied wet), Liar (a very metallic bronze), Factory (a deep chocolate brown, which is easily the most pigmented of the palette) and Blackheart (a black shadow with a subtle hint of fine pink glitter).

For all of my overseas friends, you can get one of these for yourself for $50USD at Sephora, but my Aussie babes will have to purchase online. I've seen it on for $66 (although it's currently sold out) and they ship to Australia. 

While $50 upwards is a lot of money to spend on one makeup product, when you consider the amazing quality of these eye shadows, the sturdy and stylish packaging and the number of shadows you get in the palette, it suddenly looks very affordable! To me, it's completely worth it!

Have you tried any of the Urban Decay Naked palettes? If so, which one is your favourite? And if not, which palette are you lusting after the most? Let me know in the comments below!

Monday, 24 March 2014

Winter Workout Haul - Looking And Feeling Good!

Sweet tooth? Check. Lover of sleep ins? Check. Consider exercise as a lap around the shops? Check.

Okay, I'm not quite that bad, but because I'm now 21 and something of an adult, it's about time I started getting this body of mine doing more of what it was made to do–move!

For the past fortnight I've been taking early morning walks with my dad, which has been doing wonders for my sleeping pattern, overall energy throughout the day and water consumption (I aim to drink a litre of water during the hour-long walks). I can't picture myself turning into a gym bunny, but I do know that it's important to be healthy.

So now that I've established a little exercise routine for myself, I decided I better get some kit to match! At the moment I've been wandering about in my old Year 12 jumper and a pair of leggings, so I figured I'd pick some things up. It's just like buying yourself pretty stationery before the semester starts to motivate you to study!

The best part was that most of these pieces were super affordable. I was thinking I'd have to shell out the big bucks (Lorna Jane and Adidas are exxy as!), so I was stoked to have found these bargains. Cotton On, Big W and KMart really deliver the goods!

Big W

This jumper is literally the response to a wardrobe malfunction. I DON'T OWN ANY HOODIES. How does that happen?! I did a big closet clean out a month or so ago, but I obviously didn't realise that I was making myself hoodie-less. Sometime you just need a comfy throw-on! This cropped cutie is super comfortable and I love the little jade-green accents that give the greyness a little pop of colour.

Circuit Fleecy Trackpant - $10
Like the hoodie, sometimes you just need a comfy pair of pants to lounge around in. And for $10, these were seriously such a steal! I like that they're not cut like traditional trackies either–these are fitted at the ankle and taper, so kind of like 'skinny-leg' pants. Plus they're fleece-lined. Can I get a C-O-M-F-O-R-T-A-B-L-E?


Nerd Beanie - $7
Do I need a reason? Do I? I've been looking a slogan beanie that I actually like in ages and the fact that this has 'NERD' emblazoned across the front completely won me over. I'm a closet nerd. Test me on Pokemon, I dare you.

Purple Crop Top / Sports Bra - $8
Girls, don't be mad... But this is the first sports bra I've ever owned. I think that really shows just how much sport I did growing up (hint: not a lot). I mean, I did Taekwondo and netball for a number of years, but never got around to getting proper support for myself. Well, here we are! This is pretty comfortable and not too restrictive–I think I just have to get used to it. This also comes in green and I'm contemplating getting that one too.

Purple Stretch Tee - $8
Later on in the post you'll see a puffer vest that I bought and I chose this top because I wanted something colourful to wear underneath it. This top is super comfy, very flattering and the colour is just so lovely! And it was EIGHT. DOLLARS. Crazy talk.

Grey Burnout Tee - $9
Nothing really beats a soft tee. This t-shirt is soooo comfortable and it fits my body super well. I can see myself wearing this one outside of my exercise routine too, paired with high waisted jeans and a vintage cardigan.

Cotton On

Speed Running Pant - $19.95
There was only one of these left in my size, which was a bummer because I definitely would have bought another pair! These are crazy comfortable and reaaaaally flattering. I totally understand the whole 'yoga pants' thing now–these leggings make your butt and legs look incredible! 

This is probably my favourite piece out of the entire haul. I was expecting to have to pay upwards of $100 for a vest like this, but it was less than $50 at Cotton On! It's soft, lovely and warm, and is actually quite flattering (read: not bulky) on. It has a cosy faux fur hood too which makes it look a lot more expensive than it was. If you're after a good quality warm vest, check out Cotton On! It also comes in navy blue and electric blue (without the fur trim).

Gritty Pom Pom Beanie - $9.95 (but I got mine for $5)
Cotton On is notorious for their $5 with any purchase promotions, from towels to water bottles, to bags to scarves. When I was there, they were offering a range of beanies for $5 with purchase. My friend Ally convinced me to get this one (I think it's actually a men's beanie haha) and I've worn it since and it actually looks pretty cute on!

And that's it! Where do you go to get your workout clothes and what do you do for exercise? Let me know in the comments below!

Monday, 10 March 2014

Seven Days Of Fall Fashion - Autumn Look Book '14

It's hot chocolate and a movie season, but not quite chilly enough to warrant popping on a pair of tights. With March comes autumn, and with autumn comes cosy and chic fall fashion!

Think luxurious textures and mixed fabrics, bold accessories and fun new prints. And for today's post, I've styled a week's worth of looks for seven different occasions.

Get ready to fall in love with fall fashion!

Monday - Dressed Up Desk Job

Cute outfit = Monday-itis be gone! This outfit is comfortable and casual, yet still office appropriate. I'm loving the autumn-themed coloured piping on the shirt (I'm a sucker for a pop of colour!) and I think it's rad that this shirt is a little different from your typical white work blouse. 

The high-waisted shorts give the outfit some structure and a punch of prints, plus they still work for a corporate environment thanks to the thicker suit-like fabric and the clean cut. Finish off with a pair of ankle boots for some height and add a man-style blazer for colder days.
Shirt - Elliatt
Vanishing Point Shorts - Elliatt
Otto Boots - Betts
Tuesday - Tea Time

In autumn you can still get away with wearing your summer dresses on the warmer days (and some printed stockings for cooler ones!), so don't put them in the back of your wardrobe just yet. This super cute shift dress is great for those mid-twenties days and I adore the little t-shirt sleeves and the simple, yet very effective, orange cross-cross print. 

Complete the tea party look with a feminine straw hat (have to be sun smart!), a statement necklace (I went with teal and gold to set off the orange in the dress), and a pair of heeled sandals. 
Straw Boater Hat - thrifted
The Princley Dress in Asscher Print - Prince of Etiquette
Necklace - Sportsgirl
Coachella Clogs - Rubi Shoes
Wednesday - Working Girl

Is anyone here doing work experience or an internship? This outfit is a great pick for a girl learning her way around a new profession. It's comfortable, classic and is appropriate for most career fields. The dress has a simple fit and flare cut and the polka dot pattern gives the outfit a simple hit of prints without overwhelming the look. 

The cropped red knit is a great layering piece (it's always cold thanks to office air conditioners!) and the chunky ankle boots are perfect because they're comfy enough to run from errand to errand in. Add a chain necklace and in my case a pair of specs since I need them. Lucky for me, Sneaking Duck are helping glasses become more fashionable! Plus, they really add to the hardworking intern look, don't they?
Red Crop Sweater - Sportsgirl
Dress - Sportsgirl
Brat Gusset Chunky Boot - Sportsgirl
Necklace - Sportsgirl
Edna Glasses - Sneaking Duck
Thursday - Day Trippin'

If you're lucky/old enough to have the freedom to drive, this outfit is super suited to a road trip. It's loose, flowing and uber comfortable, yet still stylish (and will look gorgeous in all of the happy snaps you take along the way!). I've kept the look pretty simple by adding no accessories; that skirt has enough details for the whole outfit!

And I am absolutely in love with that skirt; even though it's a maxi, the sheer fabric still shows off your figure. And that lace detailing! In. Love. For colder trips, pack a cropped jumper to pop on over the top, or a faux fur vest, then add a felt hat.
Black Summer Cami - Sportsgirl
White Maxi Skirt - Topshop
Brat Gusset Chunky Boots - Sportsgirl
Friday - TGIF Drinks

Have plans this Friday night? Be it a date or drinks with some mates, this outfit is so simple to put together, but the mix of fabrics make the look super dressy with minimal effort. The loose red cami is soft and sexy, while the skinny-leg high waisted leather pants give off a bit of a bad girl vibe. Just the right combination for a Friday night out.

Just add a pair of kick-ass boots, a simple necklace and a skinny belt in a contrasting colour or print, and you'll be ready to dance the night away and turn a few heads while you're there!
Raspberry Daiquiri Summer Cami - Sportsgirl
Leather Pants - Abrand
Lace Up Boots - Sportsgirl
Necklace - gifted
Leopard Rebel Belt - Dotti
Saturday - Girls Night Out

If you're going to let loose with your girlfriends, then why do the same with your wardrobe too? Go for bold, colourful prints like this gorgeous cap sleeve dress. Top it off with a floral headpiece for extra statement factor, because after all, it is SO MUCH FUN to dress up!

And of course, don't forget a pair of killer heels. These black Mary Jane pumps are flirty and sophisticated which is exactly the kind of shoe you want on a girl's night out. Hopefully you won't be holding them by the end of it!
Particle Dress - Elliatt
Chasing The Sun Flower Crown - CrownedByFlowers
Black Orleans Heels - Rubi Shoes
Sunday - Relaxed Errand Running

Sundays are made for sleeping in, coffee and good food at brunch, market-hopping and getting organised for the week ahead. So while you're getting busy ticking each thing off of your checklist, slip on an outfit that fits the bill for each thing you have to do!

I've opted for a grunge-y look with a printed tank tucked into a flippy leather circle skirt which is really comfortable while still looking put together and chic. Add a floppy hat for some seventies glam, and get your indie on with a pair of loudly printed socks peeking out from some casual black lace ups.
Nightshade Tank - Neuw
Leather Skirt - David Avakian
Floppy Hat - Rusty
Cheetah Socks - Gorman
Bower Boots - Zu Shoes

Which of the seven looks was your favourite? And what's your staple clothing item in autumn? Let me know in the comments below!

Monday, 3 March 2014

Top Picks From Elliatt's New Outerwear Collection + Giveaway Winner

Decadent prints and luxurious textures. If that doesn't sound like the perfect description for the gorgeously cosy and simultaneously chic new outwear 2014 collection from Elliatt, take a look for yourself and you'll soon agree with me!

Based in Sydney, the Australian label's new range of outerwear is released this week and I couldn't help but put together a wish list of sorts for my favourite pieces. Now that it's March, the weather is only going to get cooler (but so does the fashion!) so I'm definitely starting to keep my eye out for stunning autumn pieces. And Elliatt has the goods!

Take a look:

And that was just a taste of the pieces featured in Elliatt's outerwear collection! I'm trying to not pine after everything in the stunning new range (but I'm not doing a very good job), so I've narrowed it down to my top six looks and where to wear them.

The Vanishing Point Dress
Does this dress not scream class? The high neckline and full back are feminine and elegant, while the mid-thigh hemline still shows off your legs and keeps the look flirty. Modest and minx-y! I'm loving the pillar-style print and the pleather piping that skims over the hips towards the hemline.

Where To Wear: To a first dinner date at a restaurant.

Suspension Splice Top
How stunning is that deep teal blue? Paired with the lace detailing on and across the shoulders, this top is perfect for wearing both day and night. I especially love the pattern of the lace; it's not your typical floral style lace, instead this top features more of a graphic floral print. Love that uniqueness!

Vanishing Point Shorts
I actually had the pleasure of featuring these shorts in an upcoming autumn look book (coming soon to Taken By Surprise!) and I can speak from experience that these high waisted cuties are super comfortable and cosy. I love the leatherette look along the sides and on the frame of the pockets (and because of the way these shorts are cut, they also make your derrière and legs look amazing!).

Where To Wear: Casual Friday at the office; this look transitions perfectly for Friday night drinks.

Suspension Splice Top
This top is the same as the one in the image above, but here you can see it what it looks like when it isn't tucked in. Because it's shorter at the front and falls delicately at the back, this top is a great dressier option because the cut and the lace look fancy enough for a more dressed up event, with minimal styling required.

Desert Rose Pants
I'll say it, I'm a sucker for a good pair of printed pants. When I saw these, they pretty much took my breath away. I adore the detailed floral print and the way that the entire colour scheme of these are darker than your typical floral pants. Most printed pants are difficult to work into a night time look because they're usually too bright, but these are just right. 

Where To Wear: Brunch with your girlfriends at the new 'it' cafe.

The Sahara Splice Dress
Colour blocking is back! Thanks to the black paneling along the sides, this dress is super flattering because it slims and streamlines your entire look. The simple style is super effective and really does make you look like you're ready to get down to business. I'm also loving the longer than usual tee sleeves and the subtle crop at the front half of the skirt hem. Plus it's orange, my favourite colour!

Where To Wear: To your big meeting or presentation at the office.

Desert Rose Bustier
Print on print can really do no wrong. This bustier is sexy and sassy without being too over the top and the sharp lines are fantastically bold. The deep V shows off a little cleavage without being too revealing and the peplum style bottom of the top is great for showing off (or creating the illusion of) a small waist and wider hips. Plus, paired with those amazing Desert Rose Pants, I'm positively swooning!

Where To Wear: A girl's night out.

The Desert Rose Dress
You can probably tell that I love this exclusive print from Elliatt! This is my kind of dress; I tend to wear dresses with high necklines, have a rad print, show off my shoulders, cinch in at the waist and flare off into a short skirt. So I think this dress must have been made for me! I seriously don't know how to articulate the amount of adoration I have for this dress, except for that it's easily my favourite piece from the entirety of Elliatt's new collection.

Where To Wear: A party, of course!

Want a piece of Elliatt in your life (like I very much do)? Visit their website for a list of their stockists.

Which of the above pieces is your favourite? Let me know in the comments below!


Now to who won Taken By Surprise's 200k Page Views 

CrownedByFlowers Giveaway!

Drum roll please...

The winner is entry #127, Tanya Burrows!

Congratulations Tanya! I will email you the details and from there you can choose which one of a kind CrownedByFlowers headpiece you would like to receive.

If I don't hear from Tanya in 48 hours, I will redraw and choose another winner.

Thanks so much to everyone who entered!

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