Friday, 30 December 2016

TOP 23: The Best Makeup, Skincare & Haircare Products of 2016


But seriously, where did 2016 go?

While I'm pretty pleased to be saying goodbye to the year that's gone, it did introduce an amazing array of beauty products into my routine that I can't imagine my regime without!

If you're after some new beauty essentials that are tried and tested, and very much loved by yours truly, this guide to the best products of 2016 spans over makeup, skincare and haircare (as well as some of my trusted beauty tools!). You'll be bound to find a new favourite amongst all of these holy grails! 

Read on to see my picks!

TOP 23: The Best Makeup, Skincare & Haircare Products of 2016

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

RECIPE: Easy DIY Gourmet Chocolate Bars

Because who doesn't love chocolate?

With Christmas right around the corner, I was looking for affordable gifting ideas that I could make myself at home that gave me a lot of bang for my buck - and I was feeling crafty!

I'm obsessed with the gourmet chocolate bars you can get at Koko Black, but at $9 a pop, they're a little expensive to buy on the reg. So I decided to just DIY my own! These were so quick and easy to put together, and the little gift bags they come in were really simple to make too.

If you love making gifts by hand and are still looking for that perfect pressie for your loved ones (or your extended family and co-workers - these suit everybody!) this Christmas, give this a go - for a gift that not just looks really impressive, but is pretty dang delicious too - bonus!

RECIPE: Easy DIY Gourmet Chocolate Bars

Monday, 12 December 2016

The Ultimate Christmas Gift Guide For Your Marble Obsessed Minimalist Friend

This gift guide should really be titled, The Ultimate Christmas Gift Guide For Her, because it feels like almost every girl I know is obsessed with the minimalist marble trend!

But to make trawling through website after website (or your local shopping centre - you have my deepest respect, you brave souls) to find the perfect gift, I've curated this list of marble-themed pressies to hopefully make your holiday gift-giving a little easier.

There are 20 gift ideas here in total and some of them I own and love, and others are on my wish list - either way, if you've got a marble-loving friend you'll be sure to find something lovely for them in this post!

And if you find something in here you love for yourself? I won't judge you if you add to cart (we're all marble lovers here)! Read on to see the list!

The Ultimate Christmas Gift Guide For Your Marble Obsessed Minimalist Friend

Monday, 5 December 2016

REVIEW: L'Oreal Paris Real Clay Charcoal, Eucalyptus & Algae Masks

It's not often that you can find amazing quality skincare for less than $50, but the L'Oreal Paris Real Clay Charcoal, Eucalyptus and Algae Masks have done. Just. That.

These three masks retail for $19.95 each and they all have their own individual purposes, such as detoxifying and brightening, purifying and mattifying, and exfoliating and smoothing. How's that for a skincare cocktail?

And with Christmas coming up, these are the perfect stocking stuffers or Kris Kringle gifts (or just a treat for yourself!). Curious to see how they work? Read on!

REVIEW: L'Oreal Paris Real Clay Charcoal, Eucalyptus & Algae Masks

Monday, 28 November 2016

5 Questions I Always Get Asked as a Blogger

You guys know I'm a blogger, but what do I actually do? 

Every time I introduce myself and talk about Taken By Surprise, there are questions I always get asked as a blogger; do I get paid, do I get a lot of freebies, how do I have the time, etc. etc. 

So I figured, why not address these FAQs in a blog post!

I opened the floor to the blogger community on both Facebook and Instagram, and SO MANY of you responded with the questions you usually get asked too! Thank you for the love, and there were definitely some common themes - I've tried to address most of them in this post, but stay tuned because there's easily enough for a part two!

So beauties, grab a snack and a cup of tea, because this one will be a good read and I know that you're curious...


Monday, 14 November 2016

REVIEW: Smashbox Studio Skin 15 Hour Wear Hydrating Foundation

If there's one holy grail makeup product that I am always on the hunt for, it's the perfect foundation. And you know, the Smashbox Studio Skin 15 Hour Wear Hydrating Foundation (how's that for a mouthful!) comes pretty darn close.

I purchased this after hearing a few great reviews from beauty aficionados like Chloe Morello and because I sometimes struggle with dry skin around my cheeks, which is a real pain when it comes to applying foundation. So the fact that this is a hydrating foundation really had me keen!

But does it work? And does it actually last 15 hours? Read on to find out!

REVIEW: Smashbox Studio Skin 15 Hour Wear Hydrating Foundation

Monday, 7 November 2016

REVIEW: Lust Have It Beauty Subscription Box (November 2016)*

Okay, I was pretty impressed with the November Lust Have It beauty bag. It was a great mix of products and two of them in particular really knocked my makeup-lovin' socks off.

For those who are new to Lust Have It, it's a beauty subscription service that delivers a lovely little parcel full of goodies each month for $19.95. In each bag (you get a makeup bag with every delivery!) you'll receive 5+ full size or deluxe sample size products, which is a pretty rad deal considering the value of the products combined is almost 3x the price of the subscription!

And I've got a special treat for first time subscribers to Lust Have It - you can get $10 off your first box using my code JESSICAANNE! 

If you're looking for a great Christmas gift for the beauty lover in your life, Lust Have It is literally the gift that just keeps on giving. Want a peek into this month's bag? Read on!

REVIEW: Lust Have It Beauty Subscription Box (November 2016)*

Thursday, 27 October 2016

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: Hourglass Ambient Surreal Light Palette (a.k.a. The Marble Palette!)

It. Is. Finally. HERE.

The long-awaited and much-coveted Hourglass Ambient Surreal Light Palette (lovingly known on Instagram as The Marble Palette) has finally arrived on our shores in Australia. Can I hear a hallelujah!? Or a highlight-lujah? (ha.)

This stunning palette has been on my wish list ever since I discovered it, and $116 later (yup, it's a doozy!), this Mecca-exclusive set of ambient lighting powders was in my hot little hands.

Since it's a bit exxy, and is highly probable of selling out, I completely fast-tracked this blog post so I could show you guys some swatches and give you my first impressions of the palette, if you're wondering whether it's worth the price. Plus, I even compare it side by side to the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Palette!

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: Hourglass Ambient Surreal Light Palette (a.k.a. The Marble Palette!)

Monday, 24 October 2016

How to Wear Bold Lipstick Colours for Halloween

Think your lipstick collection is just limited to reds, pinks and nudes? With Halloween right around the corner, it's the perfect time to bust out a bold lip - with zero judgement!

And if you haven't gotten around to finding a Halloween costume just yet, pairing a spooky shade of lipstick with an all-black outfit is a simple way to get into the trick or treating spirit.

Here are my top bold lip colours that are perfect for Halloween (and a couple of tips on how to wear them!).

How to Pull Off Bold Lipstick Colours for Halloween

Monday, 17 October 2016

BIG MAKEUP HAUL: Colourpop, Sephora & Mecca Maxima

Okay, so I hadn't bought any makeup in ages / had run out of some staple products / my favourite beauty stores had sales on... 

#ExcusesExcusesExcuses #IJustWantedAllTheThings 

While part of me is a bit nervous to check my bank account, the other (let's be honest, the devil on my shoulder) is pretty pleased with myself and my beautiful beauty haul! I picked up some goodies from Colourpop, Sephora and Mecca Maxima, so read on if you want to see what I bought!

BIG MAKEUP HAUL: Colourpop, Sephora & Mecca Maxima!


Monday, 10 October 2016

REVIEW: Alpha-H Liquid Gold (Plus I'm Giving One Away!)

Tell me a product gives me good skin, and I'll be there in a heartbeat.

Sometimes a skincare routine of just cleanser and moisturiser won't cut it - how I wish it would though (all that saved $$$!) - and for the days when my skin needs a little extra TLC, that's where one of my personal favourite skincare products come in!

The Alpha-H Liquid Gold is a cult beauty favourite that has well and truly earned its name - this concentrated glycolic acid based lotion (dw, the name makes it sound a lot scarier than it is!) works to revitalise and firm up your skin.

Read on to see my review on this world-renowned product and get the chance to win one in my giveaway at the end of the post!

REVIEW: Alpha-H Liquid Gold

Monday, 3 October 2016

REVIEW: Lust Have It Beauty Subscription Box (October 2016)*

I've always thought of subscription boxes as a great way to treat yourself, again and again and again.  You know, the gift that keeps on giving and all that.

Nothing beats getting a surprise parcel in the mail full of beauty products, and I've been receiving Lust Have It's beauty subscription boxes for about two months now, and I am loving it!

For $19.95 a month, you'll receive 5+ beauty products (both deluxe sample size and full size!), along with a makeup bag, which is a pretty rad deal considering some of the products alone are worth more than the entire box!

And because I love you guys, I've got $10 off your first Lust Have It box for first-time subscribers with the coupon code JESSICAANNE! #youarewelcome

Read on to see what's in the October box...
 REVIEW: Lust Have It Beauty Subscription Box (October 2016)


Monday, 26 September 2016

HOW TO: Take PERFECT Makeup Swatch Photos

Love the look of those makeup swatch photos but can't quite get them right? This post is for all my beauty blogger and makeup loving friends who are looking for an easy way to take perfect makeup swatch photos.

Makeup is messy, and can sometimes get all over the place, and when you're trying to take a photo of your brand new purchase swatched down your arm, it can be pretty annoying when everything smudges and gets all over everything!

And since you guys loved my post on how to edit your Instagram photos, I decided to also do this one on how to get your makeup swatches nice and even. Hopefully you find it helpful!

Read on to see my tips...

HOW TO: Take PERFECT Makeup Swatch Photos

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

HAUL: The Beauty Products I Bought In Japan

Okay, so I bought a lot.

You know that holiday-buzz that makes you buy something because 'if you don't buy it now, it'll be gone forever'? That's my conscience.

And it's a convincing little voice! Which resulted in me buying a heap of beauty products when I was travelling Japan a fortnight ago (yes, this post is a little late - who else can relate to the not-wanting-to-unpack-your-suitcase feeling?). 

From skincare to makeup, here's my haul from visiting all of the many beauty stores that I came across - read on to see what I brought back!

Haul Japanese Beauty Products To Buy

Monday, 12 September 2016

REVIEW: Pantene Pro-V 3 Minute Miracle Daily Moisture Renewal Conditioner*

Looking for a lightweight conditioner to soften and smooth your hair? I've found my new favourite, the Pantene Pro-V 3 Minute Miracle Daily Moisture Renewal Conditioner, and it has pride of place in my shower caddy. 

After just one use, my hair felt silkier and was so much easier to brush and style - and I have bleached and dyed hair, so this was pretty momentous!

Need to tame your tresses? Read on to find out more about my experience using this golden tube of goodness (and it's less than $10!).
 REVIEW: Pantene Pro-V 3 Minute Miracle Daily Moisture Renewal Conditioner

Monday, 5 September 2016

TUTORIAL: How to contour your nose to make it look smaller

Even if I had the money and pain threshold for a nose job, I still wouldn't get one because this contouring tutorial to make your nose look smaller is so easy!

Now that everyone's contouring everything from their boobs to their butts (err, I ain't got no time for that, but props to those who do!), I thought I'd share a couple of tips on how to make your nose appear slimmer - all thanks to the power of makeup and no needles required. 

This tutorial is great if you want to make the bridge of your nose appear higher and slimmer, or if you're like me, just to add a bit of depth and dimension to your makeup. I usually do this for events when I know I'm getting my photo taken, rather than for everyday. Whenever I've done my foundation, my nose used to kind of disappear in flash photos, so this quick contour job helps it not get lost!

Read on for the tutorial!

TUTORIAL: How to contour your nose to make it look smaller

Monday, 29 August 2016

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: Curtis Collection by Victoria Review

Let me introduce you to a homegrown makeup brand. The Curtis Collection by Victoria beauty range was born and raised in Australia, and it's awesome to see local brands killing it in the industry.

As a newcomer to mineral makeup, I was pretty excited to get my hands on some of the collection that has recently launched at exclusively online, and I'll be sharing all of my findings with you!

Curious about mineral makeup as much as I was? Read on!

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: Curtis Collection by Victoria Review


Monday, 22 August 2016

REVIEW: Maybelline Vivid Matte Liquid Lipsticks & Swatches

An affordable liquid lipstick that you can get at the drugstore? Heck to the yes!

The latest lip release from Maybelline New York is the Vivid Matte Liquid Lipstick collection, a range of eight high impact, punchy colours. 

From nudes to bright pinks, there's a colour for everyone. Good luck not buying the whole set! 

Read on to see swatches of each shade and a review of the application and formula...

REVIEW: Maybelline Vivid Matte Liquid Lipsticks & Swatches

Monday, 15 August 2016

What I've Packed in My Travel Makeup Bag to Japan

In a couple of days I'll be stepping onto a plane to my happy place - a.k.a. Japan!

And because I'll be arriving into a hot summer and I'm packing my makeup bag into my checked in baggage (Yup, I know!) I thought I'd take you through what I'm taking with me.

I've tried to keep it fairly minimal, with two versions of some products so I can create a low key, everyday summer look, as well as a more glam night time look.

Want a peek into my makeup bag? Read on!

What I've Packed in My Travel Makeup Bag to Japan

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Create Your Own Eyeshadow Palette Tag

It would certainly save me a lot of money from buying a bajillion palettes, at least!

From someone who uses multiple palettes just to get my everyday eye makeup look, there have definitely been times when I've wished I could've just had all my shades in one place.

So when Katina from Katinalindaa tagged me in the Create Your Own Eyeshadow Palette Tag, I was pretty excited to let my imagination run wild to put together my dream palette. Makeup companies, can you now make this palette a reality please?!

Read on to see the twelve colours I chose!


Tuesday, 26 July 2016

REVIEW: Maybelline The Blushed Nudes Eyeshadow Palette (Plus Dry AND Wet Swatches!)

Pretty much everyone in the beauty world is OBSESSED with rose gold - myself included - so when Maybelline's The Blushed Nudes Palette finally made its way to Aussie shores, you can be sure that I was pretty stoked. 

But amid many reviews that this rosy golden-themed palette wasn't very pigmented, I was still looking forward to giving it a go myself. The shades are all stunning, so I was determined to get as much colour payoff as I could.

So in this week's post, I'm taking these shades to the test, trying them out applied both dry and wet, to see if it makes any difference. Read on and find out!

REVIEW: Maybelline The Blushed Nudes Eyeshadow Palette (Plus Dry AND Wet Swatches!)

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

First Impressions: Benefit's New Brow Collection & Ka-Brow Demo

Girl wants brows, and she wants them now!

The brand new Benefit brow collection drop is right around the corner, and no matter what kind of product you prefer (or if you're a total brow newbie!), this range has every type you can think of - pencil, gel, cream, you name it!

And with strong, defined eyebrows having such a moment right now, it's exactly the right time to jump on the brow bandwagon.

I've been lucky enough to get a sneak preview of some of the new releases in the launch, so read on to hear my first impressions! Plus, there's even a demo of the brow pomade, Ka-Brow! at the end!

First Impressions: Benefit's New Brow Collection & Ka-Brow Demo

Monday, 4 July 2016

REVIEW: L'Oreal Infallible Sculpt Contour Palettes

L'Oreal Paris Infallible Sculpt Contour Palette Review

Kim K cheekbones, here I come! The latest addition to the contour market are the super cute L'Oreal Paris Infallible Sculpt Contour Palettes and luckily for us, they make cream contouring hella easy.

If you've seen the photos making the rounds on 'clown contouring' and are thinking, how the heck do I have time to do that every morning?! Then rest assured, these little palettes are here to make the contouring #lyf MUCH simpler. So you can get those sharp cheekbones, and not be late for work. 

Want to know more? Read on for the full review!

L'Oreal Paris Infallible Sculpt Contour Palette Review

Monday, 27 June 2016

SNEAK PEEK: New Australian Releases from Maybelline New York

If you've been stalking Maybelline New York's Instagram account and dying to know when all of these amazing products are coming to Australia, then beauty, you are IN. LUCK.

Brace yourselves, because a massive TWELVE new lines are coming to our shores. From The Blushed Nudes eyeshadow palette to an amazing new line of Baby Lips, you better make some space in that makeup bag!

Keen to see what's coming? I've got a sneak peek of ALL of the new releases, so read on and keep that wish list ready - if there's anything you want to see dedicated reviews on, let me know in the comments below!


Sunday, 19 June 2016

HOW TO: Edit Instagram Photos to get a Crisp White Background

Are you trying to boost your Instagram following without much luck?

That's cool, I was there too! It's probably because your feed is lacking consistency, or the magic Insta word, a theme.

And by theme, I meant visual theme. You can achieve this by always using the same borders, filter, or editing style - having a uniform look for your feed gives potential followers more reason to follow you, because they know exactly what to expect. If I go onto someone's page and it's messy and nothing matches, I can't get a sense of who they are and it's pretty unlikely that I'll hit that green button. Don't let that be you!

While you can have whatever kind of visual theming that you want, I've been asked SO many times to share how I edit my snaps to get that clean, white background effect.

And because I love you guys, I'm spilling my secrets STEP. BY. STEP.  Read on for the tutorial!

How To Edit Instagram Photos to get a Crisp White Background
That's the before and after of what you'll be able to do today!

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

TOP 3: Dark Winter Lipsticks & How to Wear Them

Not gonna lie, the emo kid in me is pretty excited that dark lipsticks are well and truly in for winter.

Finally I can wear moody lippies and not have to convince my mum that this is just a phase! 

While I've definitely matured since middle school, a part of me will always love a badass black lipstick. But if you're a little wary of looking a little OTT, trust me, dark lipsticks are actually a lot easier to wear than you think!

In this week's blog post I'll introduce you to my top 3 dark lipsticks that are wearable, feminine and all round super cool. Plus, wearing intimidating lip colours means strangers won't talk to you*. Bonus!

*Can you tell I'm introverted?


Tuesday, 7 June 2016

REVIEW: Becca Shimmering Skin Perfecter Pressed in Rose Gold

When this darling little highlighter landed on my desk, I almost couldn't contain myself! Thanks to Jaclyn Hill, the Becca Shimmering Skin Perfecter Pressed Powders have hit cult status in a crazy short amount of time, and I have been dying to give one a try.

And beauties, THE. HYPE. IS. WORTH. IT.

I've got my hands on the Rose Gold shade, and just look at the glimmering goodness inside of that compact! These illuminating powders are high-impact highlighters that give you a gorgeous, soft-lit glow to your makeup, without the crazy glitter factor.

Intrigued? Read on!


Monday, 30 May 2016

REVIEW: L'Oreal Paris Nude Magique Cushion Foundation

This post has been a long time coming - and requested a lot by you guys, so please forgive me for taking my sweet time!

The L'Oreal Paris Nude Magique Cushion is a liquid foundation that comes in a compact, which is a makeup type that originates in Asia (is it just me who thinks Asia have the coolest beauty innovations?!). L'Oreal was one of the first mainstream brands to bring the cushion trend to Australia, and since it's release, a string of other brands have brought out their own versions.

Now I know that a liquid foundation in a compact sounds super messy, but trust me, it's not! Plus, if you love light-to-medium coverage bases that are no fuss, you're going to love this.

Read on for the full review, where I show you how to use this beauty!


Sunday, 22 May 2016

SNEAK PEEK: L'Oreal Paris Colour Riche La Vie En Rose Pinks Collection + Swatches!

It's time to think pink, because the third instalment to L'Oreal's Colour Riche collection is coming!

Following on from the nudes and reds ranges, the La Vie En Rose features a curated selection of pinks inspired by five of L'Oreal's ambassadors: Naomi Watts, Julianne Moore, Natasha Poly, Eva Longoria and Doutzen Kroes. And beauties, these are SO. PRETTY.

L'Oreal Paris were kind enough to send me the five lipsticks and nail polishes that will be in Australia's release and here they all are with close up snaps and swatches, so you can get your shopping list ready!


Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Click Frenzy Mayhem is here!

*This post is sponsored by the team at Thank you for your support!

Click Frenzy Mayhem

Just when I thought my budget couldn't take it anymore, Click Frenzy's Mayhem gets sprung on me.

For those new to Click Frenzy, from 7pm tonight, essentially a tonne of online stores are hosting ridiculously good deals, with some offering as much as 90% off! See the full list of retailers here.

ARGH ALL THESE SALES ARE SO ENTICING! Much save, very shop, many buy...

Some of my favourite retailers are part of the Mayhem this year, including Sephora, ASOS and BNKR. Be still my beating heart!

And thanks to Finder, they've compiled a full list of all of the retailers, including their sales and coupon codes, which make mine and your shopping night a helluva lot easier. Happy shopping!

What brands will you be shopping tonight? Let me know in the comments below!


Sunday, 15 May 2016

HAUL: Sigma Beauty Brushes, Tools & Makeup

I feel like it's been forever since I've done a beauty haul, so this is well overdue!

Today I've got a rad bunch of products from Sigma Beauty to share with you all - from brushes, to makeup, and even one of their amazing brush cleaning gadgets that always seem be be all over Instagram!

Want a closer look? Read on!


Wednesday, 11 May 2016

VOGUE ONLINE SHOPPING NIGHT - ALL of the Coupon Codes & Sales!

*This post is sponsored by the team at Thank you for your support!

Vogue Online Shopping Night

The Vogue Online Shopping Night is the kind of sale that my wallet will wait for - But if you're anything like me, you'll be pretty overwhelmed by all of the coupon codes flying left, right and centre.

Because let's get real, ain't nobody got time to navigate through them all!

But don't worry, I've got your back! Thanks to, they've got all of the coupon codes and sales in ONE. CONVENIENT. PLACE. Do yourself (though maybe not your wallet!) a favour by checking out their massive list of all of the offers here.

So I might just spend my entire lunch break doing a little shopping... I've currently got my fingers poised to add to cart pretty much everything from the 30% off DECJUBA and 20% off Gorman sales. Eeep!

Be quick, all of the sales end at midnight tonight!

Which sale are you heading to first? Let me know in the comments below!


Sunday, 8 May 2016

SNEAK PEEK: Essence 'Winter? Wonderful!' Collection

Normally I wouldn't associate the word 'winter' with the word 'wonderful', but in the case of this adorable new collection from Essence Cosmetics, I have to give it an exception!

Available at Priceline from mid-May through to June, this limited edition collection features:
  • An eyeshadow palette
  • A lip balm
  • Two lip oil tints
  • A powder blush
  • Three nail polishes
  • A top coat
  • A hand balm
  • Two pompom hair ties

I received a few samples of the new range to trial and share with you guys, so if you'd like a sneak peek of a few of these new beauties, read on!


Monday, 2 May 2016

REVIEW: The New Lancome Juicy Shakers have arrived in Australia!

There's nothing that gets my heart racing than a new, innovative beauty product #cheapthrills.

And this new addition to the Lancome collection is like nothing I've ever used, let alone seen before. 

Highly anticipated in the beauty world, the new Juicy Shakers are lip cushions (yes, cushion!) filled with tinted, moisturising oils. Read: a hydrating colour hit for your kisser!

Want a sneak peek? I've got a preview of the release with the shade 'Mangoes Wild', read on for a closer look!

Monday, 25 April 2016

What's Inside the Mecca Level 1 Beauty Loop Box?

LEVEL ONE?! Jess, come on, you can do better than that! 

At least when you're used to be toeing the line between Level Two and Level Three in Mecca's Beauty Loop program, plummeting back down to Level One just means I need to buy more makeup. And you know what? CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.

For those who are new to Beauty Loop, Mecca Maxima and Mecca Cosmetica award their customers with curated boxes of sample products each quarter based on spend. Being in Level One means I've spent $300 - $599 in the past 12 months, which while still a decent effort, I know I have the drive to bump myself up a level!

But the sample game in any of these level boxes is still pretty damn strong, and even Level One's offering is pretty ace. Want a good look inside the box? Read on!


Saturday, 16 April 2016

HAUL: Priceline 40% Off Beauty Sale

Writing haul posts like that justifies my makeup spending...

A week or so ago, Priceline had their bi-annual 40% off cosmetics sale and I was prepared. I had been keeping a growing list of products on my phone, so I was ready to drop some bucks!

I decided to buy online instead of facing the crowds in store, and I'm not shy to admit that I woke up early on the first day of the sale and placed my order with one hand, with a piece of toast in the other! Makeup lovers gotta do what makeup lovers gotta do!

Want to see what I picked up? Read on!


Sunday, 10 April 2016

EVENT: L'Oreal Makeup Designer Contest

This is a bit of a throwback now, but I've now got some snaps from the L'Oreal Makeup Designer Contest to share with you all!

A few weeks ago I was invited by the gorgeous team at L'Oreal to attend the final of their Makeup Designer Contest and the competition was fierce - and the makeup looks were even fiercer, if you catch my drift!

Ten very talented makeup artists took to the stage to showcase their interpretation of a Paris Fashion Week-worthy, yet wearable makeup look and the winner would become L'Oreal's new Makeup Director. Pretty sweet prize, hey!?

Some of my blogger favourites were also there with me to watch the artists at work, and it was an awesome night getting glammed up and chatting about all things makeup. Want to see the snaps? Read on!

With Britt from Brittney Rosette, Shuana from shuanabeauty and Ash from @ashleymareebeauty.

Monday, 4 April 2016

RECIPE: Healthy & Easy Zucchini Pasta with Haloumi

*This post originally appeared on Trefiel's blog here - thank you so much for asking me to be a guest writer! 

Anyone else find it hard to get your daily dose of greens? Even your weekly dose of greens? If you’re nodding along, this super easy, delicious veggie full recipe is just for you.

I love a big bowl of pasta as much as the next person, but while that carb-loaded dish is delicious, the difference that eating healthy can make to your skin is pretty awesome. So when I’m craving carbonara but know that my skin and body would benefit from some vegetables, these super quick zucchini noodles are a lifesaver. It’s fresh, zesty and incredibly easy, so consider your mid-week dinner sorted! Plus, a little helping of haloumi adds a tasty touch that fulfils my salt craving, without overdoing it.


Tuesday, 29 March 2016

REVIEW: Trefiel Lace Sheet Hydromasks

I love sheet masks. Maybe it's the way they can make your skin glow, balance your complexion, exfoliate like a boss or just make you look like a friendly monster, I can't get enough of them.

For the newbies (welcome to this wonderful world!), a sheet mask is essentially a piece of cloth in the shape of a face that is enriched with skincare, usually a hard core serum or exfoliant. You leave them on your face for anywhere between 5 and 30 minutes depending on the mask type, before removing and patting in the residue into your skin for a long lasting treatment. 

I especially love sheet masks from Japan and Korea because they are known for AMAZING skincare, but the latest one to hit my radar is this stunning lace creation from Trefiel.

This crazy cool masquerade style mask comes in two sections - for the top and bottom halves of the face - so you can really customise your skincare routine. Plus, these babies are Aussie, and I love trying locally-made products!


Sunday, 20 March 2016

REVIEW: Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick in 'Scream Queen' & #MECCAxSMASHBOX

You know that thing you never knew you wanted until you discovered it exists? A lipstick with your name engraved on it? Yeah, for me that was one of them.

Yes, I know you can just get this done at your local key cutter, but everything is just more fun at Mecca, right? And Mecca Maxima in Melbourne Central and Chadstone both had one day only in store events where with any purchase of the new re-released Smashbox Be Legendary Lipsticks, you could have your name engraved on it for free. Um, YES PLEASE.

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

REVIEW: Australis Take Me On Tour Contour & Highlight Kit

Lovers of the original Australis Contour and Highlight Kit - its younger sister is in town and she is arguably the cuter of the siblings! Just look at that pretty little thing!

The Take Me On Tour three-pan palette is a palm-sized, travel friendly version of the ACOnTour Kit, featuring what I think are actually the best shades from the first release; the famous 'banana' powder, a warm-toned highlight and a muted contour shade.

Want to get to know this cutie? Read on!

Thursday, 10 March 2016

OOTN: A Cosy Night In

I'm one of those girls who comes home and just tears their bra off. 

Gutter, minds, out please! Ladies, I'm sure you can relate - having a tight bra on all day is pretty exhausting, so super comfy soft bralettes are all kinds of awesome.

And since getting my own place, nothing really quite beats lounging around in whatever you feel like wearing! A bralette and a sweatshirt? ONLY a bralette and a sweatshirt? Girl, you do you!


Tuesday, 8 March 2016

REVIEW: TooFaced #TFNoFilter Selfie Powders Palette

Spending forever trying to get that perfect selfie? 56904 photos later and still no new profile pic? Beauty, I can RELATE. 

While the TooFaced #TFNOFilter Selfie Powders Palette doesn't guarantee a killer DP, it really does do a pretty rad job of adjusting the lighting of your makeup. Say what?

If you're after a new setting powder that doubles as a complexion smoother, this might just rock your makeup bag.

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

REVIEW: Clarins Cleansing Milk with Gentian

There's nothing that makes me as mad as when I look into the mirror after a day at work and I spot dry patches on my cheeks (gross, I know!) cracking through my makeup. Like, can you not?!

Flaky, patchy skin isn't cute and if I could have it my way, I'd have pearl smooth skin all the time. But the skincare gods decided they would give me combination skin and leave me forever trying to work out the right cleansing routine for my complexion. THANKS.

Enter Cleansing Milk. Somewhere between a cream cleanser and a moisturiser, cleansing milks are gentle enough to keep your skin plushly soft, while still removing makeup and oil. Oily T-zone and dry cheeked beauties, rejoice!


Monday, 22 February 2016

First Impressions: Mac Viva Glam Ariana Grande Lipstick & Lip Glass (With Swatches!)

If there is one girl who always misses out on Mac's limited edition collections, it's me. I don't know what it is - whether I'm too slow to the count or my local Mac gets the smallest product shipments ever, I just seem to always be faced with those little sold out stickers.

This time I managed to get my little paws on a limited edition collection that I have been counting down the seconds for - Viva Glam Ariana Grande.

Such glitter! Much plum! Very packaging! This little Viva Glam duo gave me a mini heart attack just on sight, so let's get into this first impressions post so your heart can join in the fun.
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