Monday, 28 April 2014

TUTORIAL: My Natural Everyday Makeup Routine

Let's be honest, most days we just want a makeup look that will suit every occasion, look naturally pretty and is simple to do. At least, that's what I want! 

This makeup look is my everyday routine, which takes me about 15 minutes to do and works for both day and night, work and play and can actually last from the morning until the night with minimal touch ups.

So let's get started!

TUTORIAL: Everyday Natural Makeup Look

1. You know the drill ladies, not to prime is a crime! A good primer gives your foundation something to 'hold onto' so it goes on smoother and lasts longer. You don't need much either, about a pea-sized squeeze for your entire face should do the trick! You can apply with a brush, but I use my fingers as a rule to blend it in.

Rimmel London Fix & Perfect Primer in '001'
2. Time to ace that base! I've been using a light liquid foundation lately and one pump is all I need for my entire face and neck. I just dot it on using my fingers onto my forehead, each cheek, my nose and my chin, then I just blend it in with my finger tips.

Rimmel London Match Perfection Foundation in '200 Soft Beige'
3.  After applying your foundation like this, you should still have some left on your hands. Gently pat it onto any areas that are still in need of more coverage. I've been doing this lately because concealers are typically a heavier consistency than foundations, so the less product I use on my skin, I figure the better! If there are still any areas that need a little help, I use a liquid concealer gently patted into the skin to blend to cover those areas up.

Maybelline Fit Me Concealer in '20 Sand'
4. Under eye darkness, be gone! Use a highlighting concealer to neutralise any dark circles so you can fake an 8-hour sleep. You know you want to! Apply your concealer just below the 'bag' so you don't pull at the already delicate skin and gently, gently, pat it in with the pad of your ring finger to blend. Bring some of the product up onto your lids as well to cover up any redness or visible veins.

Maybelline Dream Lumi Touch Concealer in '03 Sand'
5. Fill those brows in baby! Start off with a brow gel and a small angled brush to create the shape of your brows (start by 'lining' the lower arch of your brows) then fill them in with a brow powder. Don't skip this step - you can see in the image below how filling in your brows makes such a big difference!

Models Prefer Essential Brow Kit in 'Medium to Dark'
6. Hello rosie cheeks! I've been loving creme blushes lately because I've been opting for a dewy finish over a matte one, so a cream formula fits the bill perfectly. I just swipe my blush onto the apples of each cheek and along my cheekbones, then blend the colour out with my fingers.

NARS Multiple in 'Orgasm'
7. Girl, where you been? Chasing the sun? Fake that summer glow (yes, it kills me too that it's nearly winter *cries*) with a bronzer applied with a huge fluffy brush under your cheekbones, across your temples and along your jawline for a subtle face contour. I've been loving matte bronzers lately too, they give a much more natural finish!

NARS Bronzer in 'Laguna'
8. Now that the base is done, spritz on a few sprays of a finishing/setting mist. This stuff does the job of your setting powder but gives you a dewy finish rather than a matte one. Since my skin has stopped being as oily as it was when I was in my teens, I can actually get away with a dewy complexion now!

Australis Make-Up Finishing Spritz
9. Now for those peepers. If you're a regular reader of my blog, then you'll know that there's no question that winged eyeliner will be a part of my everyday makeup routine! So take your favourite liquid liner, line your top lash line and wing it out at the outer corner. I just did a tutorial on how to get the perfect cat eye, so check it out here if you're interested!

Maybelline Hyper Glossy Liquid Liner in 'Black'
10. Remember that thing about faking a good night's sleep? You can also apply a shimmery silver or champagne shade of eyeshadow to the inner corners of your eyes for an instant eye-brightening look. #coffeenotneeded #jokescoffeeisalwaysneeded

Physician's Formula Natural Nude Palette (I used the lightest shade)
11. Lash out! I've been going pretty big with my lashes recently (yes, this is bold lashes for me #shortlashproblems), taking a volumizing mascara and applying it from the roots of my lashes and shimmying it out to the tips. This creates a flared effect and keeps your lashes separated from one another for a wide-eyed look.

Rimmel London Scandaleyes Rockin' Curves Mascara
12. Last of all, lips. I've been keeping it fairly natural with just a tinted balm. They moisturise and add a subtle hint of colour, which is all I've really needed lately!

Maybelline Baby Lips Color in 'Berry Crush'
And that's it!

What's a product that you use everyday in your makeup routine, without fail? Let me know in the comments below!

Friday, 25 April 2014

Modcloth's Wanelo Challenge - An Autumn Look That Works For An Intern!

I rarely ever turn down an opportunity to flex my stylin' muscles (now that sounds weirder than it did in my head haha!) so when Modcloth (Modcloth. MODCLOTH!) contacted me to take part in their weekly Uniquely You style challenge on Wanelo, how could I say no?

Have any of you ever used Wanelo before? It's kind of like Pinterest, except you create collections of items–clothing, shoes, accessories, beauty, home wares, etc.–that you can buy from online stores. So like a big 'ol online wish list that you can directly purchase from.

It was my first time using it and I have a feeling that I'm about to become addicted to it... So if you have a Wanelo account, let's be friends! My username is @hijessicaanne, same as the rest of my social media.

Anyway, back to the challenge! All of the bloggers competing are required to create an outfit based around a certain piece of clothing from Modcloth. My challenge piece was the Bouquet Of The Season Dress, a gorgeous flowy dress with a feminine sweetheart neckline and warm-toned floral print.

At first, I thought this dress would be perfect for a spring-style look, but I thought, why not challenge myself? I live in Australia where it is currently the end of autumn, so I decided to style it for fall!

I also started an internship recently, so with that in mind, I wanted to create an outfit around this dress that would not only be suitable for the autumn weather, but could also work as an outfit in a creative office environment.

So here's the look I came up with!

Because I adore my summer dresses, I always try and work them into my autumn and winter wardrobes by layering them underneath knitted jumpers or over the top of collared shirts. Because I wanted to create an internship appropriate look, I paired the dressed with a white shirt with an animal print neck tie. The bow would fall over the neckline of the dress, which would look super pretty and professional in a creative setting!

Because it's pretty cold out too, I added a pair of sheer black tights for warmth and a burgundy coat and floppy hat for extra cosiness. The waistline and belt tie on the coat also sits exactly where the waistline is on the dress, so those two pieces complement each other really well, especially as they're both in the same colour family.

In the cooler months, I tend to always be rocking a pair of heeled boots and the pair I've featured is really similar to a pair I already own. They toughen up the look a little bit, but the heel and laces do keep the look feminine.

Lastly, being the beauty lover that I am, I couldn't help but add a few makeup products into this look! I'm a big fan of TheBalm's Schwing eyeliner for creating a defined, winged eye look which goes perfectly with the vintage vibe of this outfit. And of course, a bright lip colour to go with the deep pinks in the dress is pretty much a must! Lime Crime's Velvetine in Suedeberry is the perfect accompaniment.

If you're interested, all of the pieces featured in my Wanelo story are all available on Modcloth! Want more internship or office outfit inspiration? Modcloth has an entire section dedicated to pieces that work (haha, get it?), which you can see here.

How would you have styled this dress? Let me know in the comments below!

Monday, 21 April 2014

REVIEW: Olay Fresh Effects Powered Contour Cleansing System

Facial cleansing brushes.

Facial. Cleansing. Brushes.

Does that not seem like a weird concept to you too? I've been holding off buying the infamous Clarisonic because the idea of brushing my face kind of wigs me out (#yesI'musingtwelveyearoldphrases) and it's a little (read: a lot) out of my budget. But when I spotted this mini cleansing brush kit from Olay at Chemist Warehouse, I guess curiosity got the better of me!

Olay has just released a new skincare collection, which I'm guessing is targeted at a younger audience than usual (I think of Olay as a more mature brand) that includes a bunch of new cleansers, a BB cream and a mini cleansing brush kit. And since it's so much cheaper than the Clarisonic, I thought I'd do a review for you guys to see if it can measure up!

REVIEW: Olay Fresh Effects Powered Contour Cleansing System

The kit itself comes with the Facial Cleansing Brush and a mini size of the Shine, Shine Go Away Shine Minimising Cleanser. I bought mine for $10.99 at Chemist Warehouse, which is crazy cheap!

The brush itself is about the size of a razor and kind of similar looking. It has a triangular head with soft plastic bristles, which vibrates when you turn it on using the tiny buttons on the handle.

It takes one AA battery to power and I'm so glad that even though it's electronic, I can still use it in the shower. The handle screws onto the head, so it's completely watertight. 

To use it, all you have to do is wet your face and the head of the brush, then squeeze some of your cleanser onto the head (I'm sure any cleanser, even an exfoliating one would work), turn on the vibrations and begin gently brushing your face in slow circles. Then just rinse off with warm water.

It's pretty simple! The brush does feel a bit strange on the skin (eventually it just feels like a massage), but it really does exfoliate pretty well. I had some dry areas from the cold weather and this buffed those patches right off - and without irritating my skin at all!

As for the cleanser itself, is it just me that thinks that it looks a little weird? It's silver! Like paint! It did do what it promised though, it removed any oil from my skin but didn't dry it out at all.

I also found that my skin felt crazy soft afterwards. Like, baby soft! I normally wash my face in the shower and apply my cleanser with just my fingertips, but I have never experienced a result like I did with the Olay brush! I'm actually really impressed and am going to start using it from now on.

You can see in the before and after pictures below though, that using the brush does make your face a little red. It goes away super quickly and I think it just happens because there's extra pressure being applied to your skin. It doesn't hurt though! You can see in the third picture just how clear and soft my skin looks after using it.

All in all, I'm pretty happy with this little brush! I'm going to start using it everyday and we'll see if my skin shows any major differences over time. I can imagine that my makeup would go on extra smoothly after using the brush though, which I'm pretty excited about!

While I was at Chemist Warehouse, I also picked up the Olay Fresh Effects Bead Me Up Exfoliating Cleanser. I hadn't realised that the kit included a cleanser already, but it's good to have a deeper exfoliant when I need one. I'm pretty curious now to check out the whole range!

The kit is still on sale at Chemist Warehouse for $10.99 - down from $16.99 - so if you're interested, now is a good time to try it out for yourself! The rest of the skincare range as I understand it is still 35% off in-store as well, whoop whoop!

Have you ever using a facial cleansing brush? Let me know your experiences in the comments below!

Monday, 14 April 2014

TUTORIAL: Perfect Cat Eye Winged Eyeliner (Liquid Liner)

Ah, winged eyeliner. It's super flattering, makes your peepers look wider and your eyelashes appear thicker. Win. Win. Win.

It's a rad technique to have in your back pocket when you're undecided on what makeup look to rock, but it's also one of the most difficult styles to perfect. 

Think smudgy panda eyes, uneven flicks, thicker liner on one side than the other... There are a lot of things that can go wrong with winged liner.

So that's where I come in!

I wear winged liner on an almost daily basis and I have a tip or two up my sleeve that will make creating an even cat eye effect a whole lot easier. So let's get started!

Also, please do excuse the quality of some of the images in this post. Blogspot decided to randomly make some of them look oddly dark and grainy in the upload, sorry about that!

Taken By Surprise Tutorial: Perfect Cat Eye Winged Eyeliner

1. First up, you'll need a good quality liquid liner - one that won't smudge or smear and have preferably a thin, pointed brush tip for precise lining. 

My favourite is the Maybelline Hyper Glossy Liquid Liner in "Black" (though the brown is quite lovely too). This baby ticks all of my boxes and I've gone through three of these already and keep coming back to it. The Rimmel London Glam'Eyes Professional is also quite good if you don't want a shiny finish.

Maybelline Hyper Glossy Liquid Eyeliner in 'Black'.
2. Next is my winged liner secret

When applying liquid liner, lean your hand against your cheek. 

What? That's all I have to do? Yes! Trust me, this makes everything. So. Much. Easier.

Having you cheek to lean on helps to stabilise your hand so you don't get shaky, which will create an uneven line. So basically you want the fleshy part of your palm to be resting against the side of your mouth on your cheek. Thank me later.

3. Now onto actually lining your eyes! Starting from the inner corner, slowly draw a thin line to halfway across your lash line, staying as close to the lash line as possible!

If you can do this in one motion (why are you reading this post, you little pro!), perfect, but if you're finding this difficult, use short strokes as they're easier to control.

4. Then just finish the line until your entire top lash line is done. Whoop whoop, we're getting there!

5. Then starting from the outer corner of your eye, draw a short line in the direction towards the end of your eyebrow (about a 45 degree angle). Wow, look at you! That's the beginning of the wing!

6. From the tip of the little line you just drew, connect that point to the liner along your lash line, which will create a cute lil sideways triangle. Aww!

7. Here's the fun part... Colour that little triangle in! Once you've filled in the space with your liquid liner, you should have a clean, sharp point. 

If it needs a little cleaning up, grab a cotton bud/Q-tip and dunk it in some eye makeup remover and gently wipe away any messy edges. Easy fix!

8. Now, we don't particularly want such an obvious pointed triangle shape, so apply some of your liner along the top of the triangle to soften the line and make the transition from the liner on your lash line to the wing a lot more subtle.

9. Want a sharper point? Place the tip of your liquid liner at the end of the triangle (which will create that sharp point) and drag the pen in towards your eye. If you draw outwards, it's a lot messier and harder to control, trust me on this!

And that's it!

Do you wear liquid liner and have any other application tips? Please do share them in the comments below!

Monday, 7 April 2014

ASOS Style Swap: How To Try Trends You Wouldn't Usually Wear!

Hands up if you've ever seen an outfit or a piece in a shop window and thought; who would ever put that on their body?! 

I can relate! Sometimes you get turned off a piece because you don't think it would suit you/it's the wrong colour/the print isn't right/the fit is unusual/etc. Just the other day, my darling friend Ally came over to show me the big order she made from ASOS and when I looked at her purchases, this thought immediately popped into my head,

I would never wear those!

Ally's six-piece ASOS order.
You see, the thing with Ally and I is that while we adore each other's completely different styles, it's pretty unlikely that you'll find us borrowing from each other's wardrobes.

I tend to swing from both sides of the style spectrum, alternating between bright colours and feminine florals to minimalistic looks with clean lines, whereas Ally sits in the middle with laid back silhouettes and graphic prints along with a statement piece or two.

That's me on the left and Ally on the right. As you can see, we're pretty different!
So, with that mind, we thought it would be fun to see how I'd style each of the pieces Ally bought into six full outfits, using items from my own wardrobe. And the results surprised us!

Not only did I discover that I could wear styles that I didn't initially think I liked, but Ally also found that by exploring pieces outside of her usual style that she was more motivated to try new looks!

So the moral of this post? Even if you think a trend or a certain piece won't suit you, there are definitely ways to make it work for you, which in turn expands your fashion horizons.

Read on to find out how I styled each of these trends and hopefully you can get some inspiration too!

I never thought I could wear: Chartreuse 

First impression: Well, it's already pretty unlikely that I would even stop to look at this on the ASOS website. I rarely ever wear yellow, let alone bright yellow and the pleats aren't doing me any favours.

When paired with a monochrome printed shirt, instantly the skirt doesn't become so loud. Add a straw hat, some simple Mary Jane heels and frilly socks (I love that the checkered frills compliment the pattern on the shirt) to create a more toned down outfit and suddenly the skirt doesn't seem so hard to wear. How cute would this look be for brunch or a day party?

Shirt (Jorge), hat (vintage), heels (Rubi Shoes), socks (Cotton On Body).

I never thought I could wear: Pyjama Style Shirts

First impression: Okay, the eyes kind of bug me out. I normally adore collared shirts of any kind, but this print isn't really my cup of tea. Plus the mint-coloured silk along the middles and on the sleeve cuffs is a little strange to me.

Add some more colour and the shirt starts to look a little more wearable! The actual cut of the shirt is great for work because it comes in at the waist, so I've styled it for a creative office look. I don't particularly want the shirt's print to be the focus (otherwise the eyes start to look at you!), so I've added the bright blazer, a printed skirt and some look-at-me heels to take some of the attention away from it. Plus a necklace to sit under the collar of course! It's one of my favourite ways to accessorise a shirt.

Blazer (Sportsgirl), necklace (Sportsgirl),  skirt (Sportsgirl), heels (Jeffrey Campbell).

I never thought I could wear: Fitted Skirts 

First impression: I'm a fan of black and white so I do like the actual print on this skirt (even if it hurts your eyes if you stare at it for too long!) but I don't usually pick skirts with this silhouette. I like skirts to fit and flare out, rather than hug my hips. I always find it hard to style them because I like tucking my tops into skirts and tight skirts like this one always show the line of the tucked in material.

That crisis is averted with a crop top! This look is a bit of an ode to the nineties, with a dark floral crop top, chain choker and a big burgundy anorak. Add a kickass pair of boots and some printed peek-a-boo socks and this look is rad for a night out.

Crop top (Cotton On), necklace (Sportsgirl), anorak (Living Doll), boots (Sportsgirl), socks (Gorman).

 I never thought I could wear: Oversized Tees

First impression: As a rule, I don't wear oversized tops as they seem to make my body look a little out of proportion. So when I saw that this top was not only a large fit but even had a peplum, I was pretty doubtful that this could ever work for me.

When worn, it turns out that this top is actually really adorable! Even though it's oversized, the peplum gives it a really feminine, flowy vibe, which I love. And since it's all black, I decided to incorporate some colour by adding some crazy colourful skinny jeans, a statement necklace and some glittery jelly sandals. The final touch were a couple of rings, just to add a little extra to the look.

Jeans (Finders Keepers), necklace (Sportsgirl), jelly shoes (Sportsgirl), assorted rings (Sportsgirl).

 I never thought I could wear: Round Sunglasses

First impression: I've always thought that the John Lennon-esque round sunglasses shape was cool, but they seemed to make too big of a statement on my face so I never contemplated getting a pair. 

As long as they're worn with an outfit where they aren't the focal point (ha ha), they don't appear to be as in your face (hardy ha ha). I've gone for a really autumnal look for this outfit, with warm neutral colours with a pop of maroon from the tights. It still gets bright in autumn, so a wide-brimmed hat is a good partner for the glasses. Then a long sleeved grey top tucked into a textured skater skirt with boots and a little necklace... what more could you want?

Top (Cotton On), skirt (CO. by Cotton On), hat (Rusty), necklace (gifted), tights (Rubi Shoes), boots (Sportsgirl).

  I never thought I could wear: Sheer Socks

First impression: You have to admit, even before putting them on they look a little questionable!! They're a bit 'nanna'-y and all around a little weird looking. But I suppose their saving grace is that they do remind me a little bit of Cher from Clueless. 

These actually look pretty adorable as part of a spring-themed outfit! Socks and sandals can work, as long as your kicks have a covered toe. To keep in tune with the spring-time look, I've styled the socks with a black crop top and leopard printed high waisted shorts and belt. And let's not forget the gorgeous baby blue floral headpiece to top it all off! 

Headpiece (CrownedByFlowers on Etsy), crop top (Cotton On), shorts (TopShop), belt (Dotti), shoes (Gorman).

Well, wouldn't you know! It looks like I could be pinching pieces from Ally's wardrobe after all!

What's your favourite piece from this post and how would you style it? Let me know in the comments below!

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Online Shopping Haul - Urban Outfitters, Cotton On & Priceline

The postman knows me on a first name basis. 

Well, I know that the postie's job is to know who's who, but we actually talk about the numerous parcels I'm always sending (for my Etsy shop CrownedByFlowers' orders) or receiving every week. 

"What are you expecting today Jess?"

"Oh, I think some clothes I ordered online shopping, my friend's birthday present, some makeup to review, and oh, I have this to send too."

#storyofmylife #iliveatthepostoffice

Anyway, I've saved up three of my last online orders from Cotton On, Urban Outfitters and Priceline so I could share them with you in a haul post! So let's get on with it, shall we?

Urban Outfitters

I have a dress in a really similar style from Sportsgirl and it is one of the most flattering pieces that I own. It just hugs all of the right places and flares out just right at the waist. I love high-necklines and shoulder-less dresses so add a bangin' floral print for autumn and a back cut out and this was pretty much in my checkout basket before you could say, "sold".

Out of everything in this post, this is easily my least favourite. Well, I wouldn't even count it as a favourite because this product just doesn't suit me. After hearing a lot of hype around the NYX Butter Lipsticks, I was keen to try one out, but silly me ordered a pink shade that is WAY too light for me to pull off. 'Hubba Bubba' is a very pale pink (think the colour of fairy floss) and it clung to the dry areas on my lips. I'd try other shades, but I'm not a fan of this particular one.

Cotton On

Crop It Like It's Crop Tops in 'Black' and 'Rebelle Floral' 
- $14.95 (I got mine two for $20)
If you're a regular reader of my blog, then you'll know that I love wearing high waisted bottoms. Skirts, shorts, pants, you name it! But sometimes it's hard to find a top to suit because when you tuck the shirt into your bottoms, you get a line from the material along the back of your skirt/shorts/pants. Not cute! These crop tops are my answer to this little fashion dilemma and they're not so short that it looks like you're wearing a bra (a definite plus) and they're really stretchy (cue comfort!).

My last fitted grey long sleeve top which was a staple in my winter wardrobe for its versatility got ruined, so this is a replacement. It's lovely and comfy, can be dressed up (with a skirt, tights and heels) or dressed down (with black skinny jeans and boots), and is quite warm! I'm contemplating getting a few more in different colours (for working out and sleeping in haha).

I'm a big fan of Cotton On's designer street wear collection (CO. by Cotton On) because they never fail to bring out unique, on-trend pieces (plus they're affordable!). There's nothing easier than popping on an outfit of a top, skirt and flats, so I was looking for a few more skirts to add to my wardrobe. I love the textured fabric and the unusual shape of this one; when I wear it, it flounces about as I walk!

I think coloured tights are so much fun in autumn and winter (I love pretty tights in general!) and the burgundy pair I used to wear have now got a ladder in them, so this is just a replacement. This is my first pair of tights from Cotton On / Rubi Shoes, so hopefully they last!


- $7.17 at Priceline's 40% off sale
This eye liner has won awards yet even as the everyday liquid liner user that I am, I have never picked this up! Well, until now. My staple Maybelline Hyper Glossy liner is almost finished (I've used so many of those things...) so I thought I'd try a new one. Fingers crossed it's as great as I've heard!

Maybelline Hyper Glossy Liquid Liner in '02 Brown' - $5.97 at Priceline's 40% off sale
On the occasional day where I want subtly lined eyes (most of the time I'm rockin' a vintage winged liner look) I just swap my black liner for a brown one. The result isn't as noticeable but it makes your lashes look lovely and thick! The brown formula isn't as opaque as the black, but it does the job.

- $7.77 at Priceline's 40% off sale
I've already done a separate review post on this powder and I absolutely swear by it. I've been using the Rimmel London Match Perfection Silky Loose Powder over the last few months to try something different, but it just doesn't compare to the Stay Matte in my opinion. It's a classic. A lifesaver. Just downright amazing. Read my review if you're not convinced.

Rimmel London Fix & Perfect Primer - $8.37 at Priceline's 40% off sale
This is one (if not THE) best affordable primer in my opinion. Don't get me wrong, I love Benefit Cosmetics' The PoreFessional and TheBalm's Time Balm primers, but they are just so expensive! This isn't as good as the higher end primers, but it gets pretty close! My makeup doesn't budge if I've prepped it with this. Also, don't be disturbed by the weird colour! This comes out of the tube a deep orange colour and has the consistency of moisturiser. Just go with it, I know it's unusual!

- $10.77 at Priceline's 40% off sale
Again, another repurchase! This concealer does a great job at covering up under eye darkness (read: bags) and highlighting the bridge of your nose. I used to use the shade '02' but I've upgraded to '03' because the old one was a tad too light for my foundation. The only downside to this concealer is that it tends to sit in the crease of your eye lid and any lines beneath your eyes so you have to check a mirror sometimes to clean it up.

Where are your favourite places to shop online? I want to learn some new ones! Please let me know in the comments below.
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