Monday, 28 July 2014

Maybelline New York & Missy Confidential - What I've been up to lately!

I've been a busy little blogger lately, so I thought it could be fun to share some of the beauty endeavours that I've been embarking on lately!

Maybelline New York Australia - M:Edition MNY Crew

First up, I've become a member of Maybelline New York Australia's MNY Crew! You can catch me at M:Edition sharing beauty tutorials on the latest MNY products and trends, so definitely sign up so you get every post!

Here are some that I've done already...

Missy Confidential 

I've also been writing for Missy Confidential, doing everything from beauty, to fashion to lifestyle! Here are three of my favourite beauty posts that are up now on the site, so if you'd like a little extra for your Taken By Surprise beauty fix, please do give them a visit!

I also have a whole bunch of more exciting things to come, so stay tuned! If you'd ever like to see the fashion and beauty writing I do for different publications, you can view the 'Published In' tab at the top of my blog. 

Until next week!


Monday, 21 July 2014

Brow-To: Everyday Eyebrow Tutorial

Yes, those little tufts of hair above your eyes can make or break your makeup! 

If you're Cara Delevigne or Lily Collins you probably don't need to read on, but for the rest of us less blessed in the brow department (such as myself), this is going to change your makeup routine (for the better!)

Below you will see two photos of myself already made up, but on the left I haven't done my brows, and on the right, I have shaped and filled them in.

WOW. What a difference it makes!
Your eyebrows have the ability to frame your face and instantly make your makeup look more 'polished' when they've been shaped and filled in correctly. Especially for someone like me who doesn't have many brow hairs to begin with. 

As you can see below, my eyebrows leave much to be desired - they're sparse and seriously taper off into nothing, which with flash photography can make me look ridiculous. 

So, filling in my brows quickly became a regular addition to my beauty routine. Even on bare-faced days, a little brow wax and powder is all it takes to make me look more put together. 

Lately I've been using the Models Prefer Essential Brow Kit in Medium/Dark, which you can see is very well loved! Getting a brow kit is a great addition to your makeup bag, as most come with everything you need, such as a brow wax, filling powder, angled brush and spoolie brush for blending.

So, let's get onto the tutorial! It's a pictorial today, let me know what you guys think of this layout and I may do it again for mini tutorials and how-to's such as this one!

And that's it!

Do you fill in your brows or have any brow maintenance tips and product recommendations? Let me know in the comments below!


Monday, 14 July 2014

My Sephora Australia Products Wish List

For those of you who haven't yet heard the news, Sephora is COMING TO AUSTRALIA!

And not only is the cosmetics giant going to sell all of our favourite - and previously only available in - U.S. makeup brands, they're reportedly going to match the American prices!

For beauty bloggers and makeup lovers Down Under, a Sephora opening in Sydney's Pitt St Mall in December this year is incredible news. 

So to prepare for the launch, I're already started researching the Sephora website and putting together my shopping list! Though knowing me, I'll have a lot of trouble just sticking to this list... But that aside, these are all of the products that I'm hoping will be released and that I'm already saving up for!

A travel-sized palette of only matte eyeshadow shades? Yes please! Matte shadows are flattering on everyone, but they're pretty rare to find. So to have a handy little palette of only mattes is a great addition to any makeup lovers collection, and perfect for beauty beginners.

I have pretty sparse eyebrows, so a good brow filler is a must for my makeup routine. I've found that gel formulas work better for me than powders or pencil brow products, so I'm looking forward to getting my hands on this beauty cult favourite! Plus, it's water and smudge proof, which will be great during summer (when Sephora opens)!

What beauty lover's collection would be complete without the Urban Decay NAKED Palette? I already own 2 and 3, but the cosmetic collector in me just reeeeeeally wants to complete the set! Plus, if the quality of the palettes I own are anything to go by, the NAKED will be just as pigmented and buttery as 2 and 3.

I've heard so much about the OCC Lip Tars, but even as a matte lip lover, I still want to try the stained glosses more! I have an issue with lip glosses that wear off but leave patches of colour behind, so I love that these are glosses that stain the lips so the colour sticks even when the gloss itself is gone. These are the three shades that have my heart palpitating - Meta, a gorgeous tomato red; Rhythm Box, a deep plum wine; and Hedonist, an obnoxiously bright barbie pink.

Urban Decay seriously have the art of makeup palettes down. This gorgeous palette would be perfect for travelling because it encases a matte bronzer, a shimmery highlighter and a blush. Out of all of the shades available, I'm most intrigued by Naked, because of the golden highlighter and the deep mauve-pink blush. 

My Rimmel London Stay Matte Pressed Powder is my Holy Grail powder, but I've been dying to try this cult favourite from Make Up For Ever. I'm especially enticed by the fact that it can soften the appearance of pores and be used to touch up your makeup during the day without it becoming cakey or heavy. It's translucent too, which is great because it doesn't add any coverage.

I already own the Sephora + Pantone Universe Shades Of Nature Eye Shadow Palette and it is absolutely stunning - lots of colourful shades that are great for costume makeup and bright eye looks. This palette is pretty similar, so do I really need it? Well, it's super gorgeous and comes with 36 eye shadows and six lip glosses, so while I don't really need it, I'm definitely swooning over it! If not for myself, this tablet-style palette would be a gorgeous gift for another makeup loving friend.

If I ever had the patience to create custom palettes based on the eyeshadows that I already own, then I would definitely get this palette. I don't tend to wear eye shadow on a daily basis, but if I was planning on going on a long trip, this would certainly come in handy for storing all of my favourite shades instead of having to pack multiple palettes. I could also depot my favourite lip products and include them in there too.

What products are on your Sephora wish list? Let me know in the comments below!


Monday, 7 July 2014

I Dyed My Hair Purple! + My Updated Makeup Routine

Hello lovelies! Since we last chatted, I took the plunge and dyed my hair dark va-va-violet! #yayayayay

Since it's winter where I live, I felt like going a little darker with my tresses. I wanted to go purple, but since I'm working now (at a real life adult job!) I wanted something subtle, so inspired by the below image, I asked my hairdresser for a dark brown colour with a deep purple undertone. 

And I am absolutely loving it! In different lights it shines anywhere between purple and deep wine red, which is awesome - just like having lots of different hair looks in one! All of the photos in this post were taken as usual in front of my bedroom window with natural afternoon light, so you can see the colour my hair looks most of the time. 

And with this new hair colour, I've had to tweak my existing makeup routine to suit the new 'do. I've found that since I've gone darker, my foundation tends to look paler in contrast, so I can get away with deeper shades and more orange toned blushes and lip products, which I love! I could rarely wear orange hues before this, so it's given me the chance to play with some of the lesser-loved products in my collection. 

So, today I'm sharing my updated everyday makeup routine with you guys! It's nice and simple, and focuses on having a glowing complexion, which I've been a big fan of this season. So let's get into it!

Taken By Surprise Tutorial - Makeup Routine for Purple Hair

1. As always, I start off my makeup routine with a primer. Lately I've been reaching for this green one, which helps to even out any redness caused by the cold winter wind. Plus, I like that this primer is slightly oily, which helps moisturise my skin. I simply apply a pea-sized amount all over my face with my fingertips, focusing the application on my T-zone. 

NYX Studio Photo-Loving Primer in Anti-Redness (Green) - $19.95 Target 
2. In the colder months, I tend to go for a heavier liquid foundation over thinner formulas as they hold longer and provide fuller coverage. This one from Bourjois is super creamy and literally smells like APRICOTS. Not a joke. I generally use one and a half pumps-worth of product and dot it all over my face, then blend outwards using my fingertips. 

Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation in Light Beige - $32.00 Priceline
3. Time to conceal, conceal, conceal! I recently started using the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer AND I AM CONVERTED. It really does deserve all of the hype it gets - just check out my under eye bags, oh, wait, THERE ARE NONE. This concealer is incredible. 

I pretty much just apply the Age Rewind under my eyes and blend in gently with my ring finger tip, as well as along the bridge of my nose to help highlight. With the Fit Me Concealer, I just apply to any areas that need a little more coverage. 

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Concealer in Light - $18.95 Priceline
Maybelline Fit Me Concealer in 20 Sand - $14.95 Priceline
4. No makeup routine is complete without filled-in brows! I use a brow gel/wax with an angled brush to shape them, then fill in any sparse areas (pretty much the entire outer half of my brows haha) with a brow powder. Much better!

Models Prefer Essential Brow Kit in Medium/Dark - $12.99 Priceline
 5. I like setting my base with a highlighting powder as opposed to a plain pressed one. That way even if my skin is feeling a little lacklustre thanks to the weather, it still looks happy and healthy. This one from Physician's Formula has four different shades that you swirl together with a big fluffy brush to combine them, creating a really pretty warm and illuminating finish to the skin when applied. 

Physician's Formula Nude Wear Glowing Nude Powder in Medium - $29.95 Priceline
6. Now that I have a purple tint to my hair, I've found that orange/coral toned blushes really suit my complexion. Normally I reach for pink or apricot shades, so it's a new thing for me! This one by ellie looks much browner in the picture than it is; it's actually more of a grapefruit colour in real life and is super pigmented. With a big fluffy blush brush, I apply it to the apples of my cheeks and blend it out towards my temples. 

Ellie Makeup Blush Pressed Glow in Captivate - $36.00 Ellie Makeup
7. To add an extra moisture boost to my skin (and it does wonders for stopping makeup from caking throughout the day), I spray on a light mist of setting spray all over my face. This also helps my makeup look more natural and glowing, while helping it to last longer. 

Australis Make-Up Finishing Spritz - $14.95 Priceline
8. And of course, if you know me at all, then you'll know that winged liquid liner is a must! I've been favouring a thinner, more defined flick lately over my usual bolder cat eye lately too. I seriously can't leave this step out of my makeup routine - it just makes such a difference to my look!

Rimmel London Glam'Eyes Eyeliner in Black - $11.95 Priceline
9. To add some light to my eyes and make them look brighter and wider awake, I add a shimmery pale gold eyeshadow to the inner corners of my eye using a small eyeshadow brush. A lot of people recommend using a white eyeshadow, but I find that a shade closer to the skin tone is more natural. 

Physician's Formula Shimmer Strips Custom Eye Enhancing Eyeshadow & Liner in Natural Nude -  $24.95 Priceline
10. I'm being very sneaky here and only showing you my right eye. Normally I show both when I shoot my mascara shots, but I had an unfortunate incident with my eyelash curler a couple of weeks ago and let's just say, I'm not going to touch a curler for a long time! My current mascara favourite is the Covergirl Clump Crusher because of the firm wand end. It really allows me to get right into the roots of my lashes.

Covergirl Clump Crusher by Lashblast Mascara in Black/Brown - $17.95 Priceline
11. Like the blush, I've also been loving wearing coral lip colours. This nude gloss is super buttery and not sticky at all. It's kind of similar to the Maybelline New York Color Elixirs and just as pigmented! 

L'Oreal Paris Colour Riche Extraordinaire in 600 Nude Vibrato
And that's it!

What do you think of my new hair colour? Have you tried any of the products in my new makeup routine? Let me know in the comments below! 


Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Top Winter Skincare Products 2014 - Combination Skin

Come on winter, knock it off! All of this windy business and indoor heating is drying out our skin!

If you're anything like me and the cold weather tends to wreck havoc on on your skin, here are my top moisturising products for replumping up your cheeks and bringing back that glow! #crackedskinbegone

Do your skin a favour this winter and ditch the makeup remover wipes. I've been having fairly late nights over the past few weeks, which means that when it comes to taking my makeup off at the end of the day, I want it done quickly! 

But makeup wipes are generally pretty harsh on the skin, so I've swapped to this super luxurious cream cleanser, which you massage into the skin and wipe off using tissues. It's incredible - it takes off all of my makeup, cleanses my skin and is super gentle. Love. I don't use this everyday however - more on nights when I just have to go straight to bed!

Even though I get dry skin in winter, I stay away from exfoliating products because they're often too rough and 'sandy' for my already sensitive skin. So to buff away any dead skin cells and help refresh my pores, I've been using this little electronic cleansing brush every night in the shower.

It's like a baby Clairesonic and it does a great job of gently exfoliating my skin and leaving it fresh, cleansed, and not at all tight! I use it with the Shine Minimising Cleanser which came with it in the kit. 
See my full review of this product here.

Juju Cosmetics Aquamoist Moisture Lotion
(I couldn't find a link, but try Asian cosmetic stores–especially Japanese ones)

I use this as a toner after cleansing as it pops a bit of extra moisture back into my skin before I apply my proper moisturiser. All I do is put a few drops onto a tissue and gently wipe my face with it. I also use this in the morning to freshen up my face, removing any oils that built up as I slept, while putting moisture back in. 

It's nice and light, kind of like a thicker consistency water (weirdest description ever!) so it gets sucked up by my skin super quick.

In winter my skin needs a big hit of moisture to keep it looking and feeling good. I've just started using this moisturiser (about a week now) and it is easily one of the best ones I have ever used. Cream or 'milk' moisturisers don't tend to be absorbed by my skin, so I've been loving this - it soaks into my skin quickly, leaving it feeling hydrated and plump, while maintaining a semi-matte finish so it doesn't look oily under my makeup.

I use this both day and night and the super cool packaging dispenses the gel by pressing the 'button', and it releases the perfect amount for my face and neck! Keep an eye out for this when it's released at Priceline soon. 

If you don't use an eye cream, I strongly recommend you do if you're over 20. Unfortunately, this is the age that our skin starts to show signs of ageing (depressing, I know. Life hasn't even started yet!), so we need to take care of ourselves.

Especially if you have dark under eye circles (bags) or wear eye makeup every day, an eye cream will help keep the delicate skin around our peepers healthy and happy. This is my current fave, a rich and creamy one from Benefit. It sinks into the skin quickly and makes my eye area feel super lush. 

Speaking of eyes, do yours look puffy when waking up in the morning too? Now that I'm working like a real adult (I know!), I've been getting up super early. And early mornings combined with late nights that I'm slowly trying to turn into early ones mean that my eyes have been looking a bit on the puff side when I wake up.

This eye cream is applied through a metal roller ball that you gently roll onto the contours of your eye area. The cream is great for hydrating the area and the cold roller helps to de-puff those peepers. 

Shoo, scaly skin! Yes, most of the time we're going to be covered up with tights and long sleeved tops, but that doesn't mean we should neglect what's underneath! This moisturiser is really affordable and does a great job of keeping my arms and legs soft and smooth. It also dries quickly and doesn't feel oily at all. Plus it literally smells like chocolate. And who doesn't want to smell like dessert? 

I asked you guys on Instagram (if you don't follow me already, my username is @hijessicaanne - let's be insta friends!) which hand cream you love and this one was the most recommended by far. And it's not hard to see why! If my hands look dry, they instantly look more alive after massaging this in. It's not oily, absorbs quickly and smells like lollies! I've nearly finished this travel size, so I'll need to restock soon.

And of course, what kind of winter skincare list would be complete without a stellar lip balm? And my life pretty much wouldn't be complete without this baby. Sorry Lucas Papaw Ointment, you've been trumped! This lip balm is smooth, soaks into my pout nice and quick, and keeps them hydrated for ages (think hours!). Plus it looks like a really pretty clear gloss on. For winter, I recommend using a lip balm like this before you go to sleep so it can really work its magic while you're in la-la land.

What skincare product do you swear by in winter? Let me know in the comments below!

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