Monday, 26 January 2015

REVIEW: GlamGlow Youthmud Tinglexfoliate Treatment Face Mask

A mask that smoothes the texture of your skin, draws out imperfections, clears blocked pores, and leaves your skin feeling clean and looking radiant.

Sounds a bit too good to be true, doesn't it? 

When I first heard about the GlamGlow range and arguably its most popular product, Youthmud, I was a bit skeptical. That's a lot of promises that one mask claims it can deliver! And even after hearing rave review after rave review, for $75 at Mecca, I was hesitant to make the splurge.

Luckily you can grab the 15g sample size for $22, which is what I picked up. And after only a few months of use, I already want to purchase the FULL SIZE.


I am wearing NO makeup in the above photo. NONE!
Face masks have come a long way from the goopy messes we used to smear on our faces, and Youthmud is by far the best I have ever tried. I have combination skin - an oily T-zone with dry/sensitive cheeks - and I was always looking for the right skincare for me to help balance it out. 

Now, my skin is soft, much more even-toned, and I haven't had any angry blemishes in ages. While I can't attribute all of that purely to using this mask, I definitely think it has helped in a big way. 

The mask itself is a mud-based mask with tea leaves, and what feels like sandy granules mixed in to help exfoliate. I've stopped using a specific exfoliating product all together because this gets the whole job done! 

You really don't need much (and I strongly advise not going overboard when you apply!) -  just one very thin layer is well and truly enough to get the effects. I've heard a lot of people say that the tingling effect of this mask creates a burning sensation on their skin, and I think it's because they've applied too much. It definitely has a cooling effect on the skin, but it's very gentle if you just use a small amount (probably a pump-of-foundation-size amount) for your entire face. 

This is how thinly I recommend you apply it. It's all you need!
It dries very quickly and I feel my skin getting tighter once it's on, but it certainly isn't uncomfortable. I just use my finger tips to apply it very gently, as the exfoliating ingredients don't need to be rubbed in to work. You can also see that on my nose, the mask is working to clear my pores and blackheads.

Typical green-faced zombie mask selfie. Rawr!
After about 10 minutes or when I feel the mask has completely dried, I just use a damp wash cloth to gently rinse it off. Once the obvious residue has gone, I also splash my face a few times with water to remove any leftover 'grainy bits'. Then I go to town with my facial moisturiser, which my skin completely drinks up!

LOOK. AT. THAT. In the below image I'm not wearing any makeup, and my skin looks clear, even and smooth. Normally after removing a mask, my skin takes a while to calm down, but as soon as I've finished the Youthmud routine, my skin looks like this instantly. I think I've found the secret to nailing a #nomakeup #nofilter selfie!

While my skin is not obviously 'perfect', after using this mask I don't have to wear as much makeup as usual and some days I don't even bother wearing any because I'm happy enough with how my skin looks to not want to. And from someone that used to rarely leave the house without being done up, that really says something!

For my Australian beauties, you can get both the full size and the mini size from Mecca Cosmetica or Mecca Maxima, or online here. I definitely recommend getting the mini-size to try first, and if you're anything like me, you'll want to get the full size after the first use!

Have you tried this mask? What were your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below!

Disclaimer: I bought the GlamGlow Youthmud with my own money and all opinions expressed in this post are honest and my own!

Monday, 19 January 2015

TUTORIAL: Minimalist Chevron Negative Space Nail Art

If you love the look of geometric print nails but just don't have the steady hands (curse you, non-dominant hand!), this post is for you!

Today's blog post is a super easy tutorial on how to get minimalistic chevron nail art - no skills required! All you need are a base colour similar to your nails' natural shade, plus black and white polish (though you can choose whichever two you like!), some paper tape and a top coat.

Follow along with my pictorial below and you'll have Pinterest-worthy nails in no-time! #heckyes

And that's it! Super simple right?

What colour combination would you try this look with? I think blue, orange and white would also look amazing! Let me know in the comments below!


Monday, 12 January 2015

TUTORIAL: Kawaii Makeup (plus Japanese Beauty Product Mini-Reviews!)

If there's one thing I noticed while in Japan a couple of months ago, it's that Japanese girls have the cutest makeup! Their beauty style is VERY different to what we see here in Australia, so I wanted to try every trend I could in this makeup look inspired by the Kawaii girl!

Think stunningly glowing skin, dewy blush applied high up on the cheeks, glossy ombre stained lips and on point liner skills that made their eyes super big and bright.

Japan is known for their incredible beauty products, so I couldn't help but pick up more than my fair share while over there in December! So as I put together this makeup tutorial, I'll also be providing mini-reviews of each product that I use. 

I'll try and provide brand website links for the products I've used wherever I can, but as they were all purchased in Japan, if you can't find the exact one, a similar product applied in the same way will still give you the same effect! So let's get started!

Taken By Surprise Tutorial: Kawaii Makeup

1. After cleansing and moisturising, apply a primer to your skin using your fingertips. Choose a hydrating and dewy-finish formula to achieve that healthy glow to the skin, and focus your application especially on any areas that tend to get oily, such as the T-Zone. 

The finish of Baby Skin is super soft and smooth (maybe a little on the slick-side even!), but while it has a silicone-like texture, it doesn't feel heavy at all on the skin and it doesn't clog my pores like some gel primers can. Plus a little goes a long way!

2. In Japan, I noticed that base makeup that looked healthy and 'real', rather than too polished and 'done up' was the most popular. So to get that gorgeously dewy second-skin finish, use a light liquid foundation and blend with your fingertips. I find liquid foundations apply best when using my fingertips, as the warmth from my skin helps the product to blend smoother and more evenly. 

I've always been told to stay away from oily formula makeup products, but I'm starting to rethink this! This Oil Serum Foundation was super thin and liquidy, but the coverage was very impressive and left my skin looking like I didn't have any makeup on at all! It did take a little work to blend, but the end result was definitely worth it.

3. To set the foundation, use a pressed powder and a makeup sponge and 'press' the powder onto your skin, concentrating on the centre of your face. One of the beauty techniques that I learned from my Japanese friends is to 'press' your products into your skin, from moisturisers to makeup. This technique helps your skin absorb your skincare products better and your makeup sit nicely without streaking. It makes so much sense and my powder looks flawless after doing this!

This is more of a foundation powder than a lightweight setting powder, but the finish it gave my skin was incredible! Using the 'pressing' technique, I could easily build up the coverage (Note: I didn't use ANY concealer in this makeup look, the powder did all the work!) without it looking cakey or unnatural. Somehow, the finish was still dewy, even though it's a powder product, which I love.

4. For blush, I saw so many girls in Japan wear their colour high up on the cheeks, quite close to the under eye area! I assume this is because in Japanese anime shows and manga comics, the characters are often drawn with dramatically blushed cheeks because it looks really cute. And even on real people, it surprisingly also looked adorable! So with a red lip gloss (yes, lip gloss!), apply as if you were applying highlighter and blend with your fingers. Using a gloss gives your cheeks the prettiest healthy glow!

Have you ever used lipgloss or balm as a blush or highlight? It creates the loveliest dewy glow to your cheeks! As a blush, this Candy Wrap Lip is just pigmented enough to give the cheeks a soft flush. Plus when the light hits my cheeks, they had such a gorgeous sheen to them! This lip gloss has a very light formula, so my cheeks didn't feel sticky at all.

5. Using a creamy black pencil liner, apply to the outer third of your lower lash line and bring the pigment up into the outer corner. Softly blend the black into your bottom lashes using a finger tip.  Usually black liner on the lower areas of the eyes tends to make them look smaller, but applied only in this area helps to actually open the eyes up and make them appear bigger!

First off, I LOVE that this is a self-sharpening liner! When you put the lid on, it somehow keeps the pencil tip shaped and sharpened! It's very smooth to apply and blend, however in warm weather it has tended to smudge a little on me. 

6. Heavy winged liner was another trend that I noticed in Japan, so using a liquid eye liner, create a thick line across the top lash line and draw a triangular wing at the outer corner. This helps to make the eyes look bigger and define the lashes if you have sparser ones like me!

As far as liners go (having tried many liquid ones in my beauty blogging time!), this one was a bit disappointing. It applied nicely and smoothly, with no dragging along the eyelid at all, but for a shade called Rich Black, the colour just wasn't opaque enough for how I normally like my liners. But for more natural makeup days, this would be perfect.

7. An eye makeup look in Japan isn't complete with a shimmery white liner in the water line! Swipe your favourite one along the waterline, which creates the illusion of bigger eyes and adds some light to the eyes.

This liner is part of a limited edition Sailor Moon beauty collection to celebrate their 20th anniversary and I just COULD NOT resist! Unfortunately the liner itself is very glittery so it crumbles when I apply it instead of creating a smooth, even line. Even below it's not very obvious in my waterline. It is a gorgeous pearl white, but its formula makes it better suited to using on the top lash line. 

8. To make the eyes look even bigger, I saw so many girls with shimmery white eyeliner applied underneath the lower lash line. This is such a gorgeous look! It really opens up the eyes and is a different take on applying this kind of product to the inner corners of the eyes. You can use either a liquid or a pencil liner to get this look and I'll definitely be incorporating this into my normal makeup routine! 

This liner is stunning! It's shimmery but not in a glittery tacky way, and it applies really evenly. And unlike most shimmery liquid liners, it doesn't flake when it dries and is super long lasting. Imagine the Color Tattoo in Barely Branded, but in a liquid liner form! 

9. Almost every girl I met in Japan was wearing false lashes or had eyelash extensions (there's a reason Japan is known for their lashes!), but as I'm no where near close to mastering falsies application, I used an eyelash curler to get the same effect which is almost as good.

If you have short, straight lashes like me and your regular curlers aren't cutting it, GET THIS IN YOUR LIFE. The curl it creates is long lasting even without mascara and it doesn't irritate the eyes or pull your lashes. It's very gentle and the effect is amazing.

10. Now that your lashes are curled, use your favourite mascara to give them some oomph!

Used: Opera Mylash Mascara
I've heard that Japanese mascaras are the best in the world, so I really wanted to find a good one while I was there. This one provides a fairly natural look that lasts all day as it has a 'tubing' formula. It's not the best mascara I've ever used, but for everyday look this is more than good enough!

11. For lips, glossy and stained ombre lips were a huge trend in Japan. Choose a highly pigmented lip gloss in a colour like red or fuchsia and apply only to the centre of your lips. Then press your lips together to blend, and keep repeating until the centre of your lips is darker than the outer areas.

I normally stay away from lip glosses as they're usually sticky, but this is buttery smooth! It does take a few layers to build up the colour, but the end effect is a lovely stain with glossy sheen.

And that's it!

Would you try any of these Japanese makeup tips? Let me know in the comments below!


Monday, 5 January 2015

REVIEW: L'Oreal Paris Glam Bronze Eau De Soleil

First of all, welcome back and happy 2015! I hope you all had a wonderful break and are ready to start the new year afresh!

One of my beauty resolutions for this year is to experiment a little more with complexion makeup. I'm all over eye makeup and lip colours, but I rarely switch up my blushers, bronzers and highlighters. But this year that's going to change!

To start off, I've decided to delve into bronzers. While my trusty NARS Laguna Bronzer has been doing a stellar job, I feel like getting out of the bronzer box, so to speak, especially as it's summer and powder products aren't really cutting it for me in the heat. And that's where this little baby comes in!

If your skin tone leans a little more to the lighter side of the spectrum, finding a bronzer during the summer time to match your tan can be a little tricky. I'm hesitant to use facial tanners, so I stick to bronzers to get that warm glow. And one of the best ones I have found so far is the L'Oreal Paris Glam Bronze Eau De Soleil

And no, this isn't just a dark foundation! This liquid bronzer (yes, you read that right), can be:

1. Applied before your base makeup to create a soft tan.
2. Mixed into your current foundation to warm up the colour.
3. Applied as a contour product using your fingertips.

Pretty multi-useful, huh? To use, all you have to do is give the bottle a good shake to blend the pigments, and drop the liquid onto your fingertips before applying in any of the three ways above. 

The best part in my opinion is that the Eau De Soleil is very similar to the L'Oreal Paris' Eau De Teint Foundation, in that once blended out, the liquid product dries with a soft, natural velvet finish on the skin. As you can see below, the swatch once blended becomes a soft wash of warm colour, that dries smoothly and evenly on the skin. 

Personally, I prefer to use this product as a liquid contour, applying it to the hollows of my cheeks, jawline and temples after having completed the rest of my makeup routine. All I do is apply one drop onto my fingertips and swipe the product along any areas I wish to contour, then use a gentle sweeping motion to blend it out.

The result is a super natural, sun-kissed glow that isn't orange, sparkly, or too obvious like other bronzers. Plus, like the Eau De Teint Foundation, the Glam Bronze is long lasting even in the summer heat, which is great!

The Glam Bronze Eau De Soleil is a limited edition product that retails for $19.95 at Priceline, which as far as bronzers go, is very reasonable. It's easily a hero product of the summer for me because in warm weather, I'll always opt to use liquid products over powder ones as they're less heavy, plus it gives me a lovely soft, warm glow that looks natural.

What's your favourite bronzer? Have you tried this product? Let me know in the comments below!

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