Thursday, April 16, 2015

Beauty Review: Milani Color Statement Lipstick

I had heard about the Milani Color Statement Lipsticks on Kathleen Lights Youtube Channel. I can't find the actual link for the video (I will share it in the comments if I do), however her channel is great anyway so I highly recommend you all go and have a watch if you've got time.  I started off with the colour 'Black Cherry' and I liked it so much that I decided to try more colours out. 

I buy all of my Milani products through Crush Cosmetics. They can also be purchased from Milani Website. They cost $13 AU each +postage. 

What Milani Says:
Bellissimo! You know how some (lesser) lipsticks look one way in the store, and then completely different in your bathroom mirror? Color Statement is the antithesis of that. A super-luxe, grown-up girl lipstick, it delivers true instant colour in a single swipe. Laced with vitamins A and C to hydrate and nourish, this collection is all about options: Corals and Reds, Orchids and Plums, Nudes, and Pinks. Trust us, you’ll want an entire wardrobe.

MY THOUGHTS:
I thought I would break this review up into a few sections so you can find out what you really want to know, easily. I have had these lipsticks for a while so I feel like I have a bit of an idea of the quality by now. I bought all of these online, so as you know it can be a bit of a gamble choosing colours online.


PACKAGING:
These Lippies have a fake gold coloured packaging. They are super light weight and have a bit of a plastic feel to them. At first glance I think they look kind of fancy. A lot of people have complained about the packaging, they say its cheap and they don't like how dirty the packaging gets. I haven't known too many products to stay clean of fingerprints and other make-up residue, so I think this is a common fault with a lot of brands packaging. I really like how they have put the colour and the name of the shade on the bottom of the packaging.

One thing that I don't like is the way they stuck the barcode on the side. They are really hard to get off and leave a sticky residue. I would prefer if the barcode was stuck on a clear plastic wrapper or if it was somehow permanently printed on to the product.



FORMULA:
There are two different kinds of lipstick in the collection that I have. Two of them are plain satin finishes and the other four are shimmer finishes. There are considerable differences in the formula of both finishes that affect the appearance, application and wear of these lipsticks. When I was buying them I didn't even realise there were different finishes. The only way to know is to look up swatches or to go on the Milani website and click on the individual colours.

Application:
These lipsticks don't have the creamiest application. They go on a little bit sheer and you do have to build them up to get an opaque colour. The lipstick has a strong candy smell. I think it smells like gumballs. Which might be off-putting to some. The smell doesn't linger though. 

Appearance:
The Satin lipsticks look more matte if you blot them. They can also run, so I tend to use a lip-liner. The shimmery lipsticks do not require a lip-liner. The shimmer lipsticks look quite nice as the shimmers are really fine, so from few metres away your lipstick looks more like it has a hint of gloss in it than shimmer. 

Moisture:
These lipsticks are not drying, but they aren't exactly moisturising either. If you have really dry lips, use a balm instead. 

Staying Power:
The Satin finish lipsticks stain the lips a little bit. They stay on for most of the day, but come off after hot drinks or oily food. The Shimmery lipsticks have the same amount of staying power, but they fade differently. The colour fades, but some shimmer is left behind on the lips.

Both of these finishes can get tiny clumps in it on re-application. Usually it's only one or two little bits and it's not much to fuss over. Sometimes after eating certain foods there are quite a few clumps, so I have to wipe most of it off and start again.


SWATCHES:
I'm not much of a selfie queen so I couldn't even find bad pictures of myself wearing all of these colours. I have worn all of the colours (except for 'Double Espresso') quite a bit though. There were a few weeks at work where I only alternated between these lipsticks and I completely forgot about my other ones. I've got an arm swatch, a link to a facebook photo and two photo's below.

From Top to Bottom:

- 'Double Espresso'
This is a really dark shimmery brown. It doesn't really suit me unless I am wearing full coverage foundation and mostly taupe/bronze type colours.

-'Chocolate Berries'
This is a really pretty shimmery dark browny-mauve. 

-'Chilled Brandy'
This colour is hard to describe. Kind of a red wine with pink shimmers... Here is a picture of me wearing 'Chilled Brandy'

-'Violet Volt'
This one looks a lot more purple on the Milani and Crush Cosmetics sites than it does in real life. I think it's really flattering. 

-'Black Cherry'
This is a satin finish lipstick in a dark wine colour. There are pictures of me wearing it below.

-'Sangria'
This is a Satin finish and is said to be a dupe for Mac Rebel (I wouldn't know though, as I don't own any Mac). Its a dark purple/plum.

Because these are darker colours I have to wear a little bit of make-up along with them to prevent me from looking like some kind of supernatural creature. I can get away with wearing 'Chilled Brandy' or 'Violet Volt' without accompanying make-up but the rest of the colours are too dark. In the future I would like to get more colours to try out, but for now this will do.

^ This picture was taken in natural indoor lighting. I'm wearing some foundation, bronzer, blush, lipliner, eyeshadow, mascara etc in neutral shades just to even out my complexion and subtly highlight some features.

^The same make-up, room and everything except this picture was taken closer to the window... I notice that photo's by the window are always more illuminated and are sometimes more blue toned. 

OVERALL THOUGHTS:
I think this lipstick is great for the price. It's actually pretty good whether you think about the price or not. I think the shimmer colours are definitely better and I would be more inclined to recommend those. I think there is a great range to choose from and that they last pretty well and look nice on the lips. 

I will post any more photo links for these lipsticks in the comments in the future.

Your Favourite Blogger,
Natalie

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Mini-Update: The Point of Dancing

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I love to dance, but I'm not a huge fan of some of the politics involved. Which is why I've decided to give up on Jiving and spend some time choreographing a jazz routine instead. I call it DIY dance class and it's turning out to be pretty fun. Tap dance class is a big maybe as I'm waiting for my teacher to get back to me on whether we have a class or not.

After hearing some of the discussion regarding dance schools in this town I think some people have completely forgotten the whole point of it all. I thought the point was to have fun, to enjoy the music, to learn new steps, stay fit  and to try your best. The most important part is to enjoy it, because it is a hobby after all.

I have been downloading some new Itunes songs and I've recently bought some new music that I'm enjoying mucking around with. Sometimes it's a bit surprising what music you can pair with certain styles. I love finding acoustic versions and remixes to dance to. I don't really have a reason to be making up a routine and I doubt I will be performing it for anyone. I'm just dancing because it's heaps of fun.

What is one of your favourite hobbies?

Your Favourite Blogger,
Natalie

Monday, April 6, 2015

Ten Books on My TBR Pile

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Because it has been a little while since I posted a book review or other book related post I thought I might write a post about the books that I'm planning on reading in the future. I have been a bit preoccupied with other interests lately and  I had planned to finish the book I am currently reading this weekend as it was a long weekend. We ended up going to the video shop instead, so reading did not happen, however I am taking a break from a few other interests so maybe I might have a little bit more time for reading now. 

My TBR is an awful lot bigger than ten books, but I didn't want to be still writing this post years later. The books are all listed in the order I would like to read them (well at least for now). I think the problem with having so many interests is that you can't always have time for everything. It's always a bit of a juggle...

*If you didn't know already TBR stands for "To Be Read".

TEN BOOKS ON MY TBR PILE:

1. 'GROUNDING QUINN' BY STEPH CAMPBELL
I am currently reading this one and am quite a way through it. I don't want to reveal too much about my thoughts on this one just yet.

2. 'CURLEW ENIGMA' BY DON DOUGLAS
I plan to read this next. This book is by an Australian author. It's not the kind of book I usually read, but I thought I might try something different and give it a go.

3. 'COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES' BY SARAH J MAAS
I really enjoyed 'Throne of Glass' but I haven't read any other books in that series yet. I received this from the publisher for review.

4. 'THE RUBY CIRCLE' BY RICHELLE MEAD.
This is the last book in the 'Bloodlines' series. I will be sad for it to be over, but I am also excited to find out what happens next.

5. 'HOT SIX' BY JANET EVANOVICH
I already started this one a little while ago and I gave up on it and started something else. I would like to have another go and decide if I want to continue with the series.

6. 'THE HOUSE OF MIRTH' BY EDITH WHARTON
I also started this one a while ago. I was actually enjoying it, but it was taking me ages to read it, so I put it aside for a bit.

7. 'SMOKE AND MIRRORS' BY NEIL GAIMAN
I have been reading this anthology for a couple of years now. I pick it up every now and then and read another short story. I'd like to think I will finish it sometime soon. There isn't much left to read.

8. 'SERPENTS KISS' BY MELISSA DE LA CRUZ
This is the 2nd book in the 'Witches of East End' series. I want to know what happens next! And, also, I am debating buying the TV season on DVD.

9. 'WITHERING TIGHTS' BY LOUISE RENNISON
It looks like it will be a good laugh.

10. 'EVERY DAY' BY DAVID LEVITHAN
I have been wanting to read this for ages. I want to see if its worth all the hype.

What are you currently reading or looking forward to reading soon?

Your Favourite Blogger,
Natalie

Friday, April 3, 2015

My Favourite Nail Polishes


 I have tried and accumulated many different polishes in a variety of colours and finishes. For a while I have been thinking about writing a post about my favourite ones, but it was so difficult to choose. After giving it more thought I have settled on a Top 10 and 13 honorable mentions. And yes, the backdrop is my sketch book and I did draw those varnish bottles myself.

This is my nail polish and stamping plate collection. I tried to count today and I don't know how accurate this is but I think I have 258 nail polishes in total. This includes top coats, base coats, glitters, nail-art paints, stamping polish, cremes, foils, shimmers, colours I have not yet used and older polishes that are only really good for sponging on to create a gradient. I don't have any polishes that cost over $20 and the majority of these are between $2 and $5 in price or come from a gift set. I know this is probably a ridiculous amount of polish, but I'm still probably going to pick up a few more next time one of my favourite brands goes on sale...

My Top Ten:
I have decided to split the top ten into 5 polishes per photo and to include either 2 or 3 links to examples of me wearing each polish. In some cases there are polishes that I have worn a whole bunch of times and sharing every link to a picture of me wearing it would be kind of ridiculous. These polishes are ones that I constantly reach for and will probably repurchase when these ones run out (if you can still buy them then).

1. 'LOLLYPOP LILAC' -ULTA3
How cute is this polish?! It's a light purply-pink foil polish that I bought for $2 at my local chemist. Best bargain ever. I've had it for a couple of years and it hasn't evaporated yet. I've worn it alone, I've stamped over it and I've used it as an accent nail colour. If you see this at your local chemist and you've got a $2 coin floating around in your purse, I highly recommend giving it a go. 
Manicures featuring 'Lollypop Pink':

2. 'WHIRLWIND WHITE' -SALLY HANSEN INSTA-DRI
I  use this polish as a white stamping polish. It's not meant for stamping and therefore it's probably not as intense as an actual stamping polish, but it's pretty good for the price. It's really actually kind of a boring polish, but I do use it a lot, so I guess it really is a favourite.
Manicures featuring 'Whirlwind White':
~Blue nails with white lace pattern
~Glittery Christmas Nails

3. 'LIQUID LEATHER' -CHINA GLAZE
I have been using this polish as a black stamping polish since I started nail stamping. It works really well and it hasn't gone too gluggy on me which is surprising considering how much I use it and how long I've had it for. I would be lost without this nail polish and I'd suggest it as a cheaper alternative to proper stamping polish.
Manicures featuring 'Liquid Leather':
~Gradient Dandelion and Butterfly nails
~Roman Holiday Nails
~1950's Rock 'n' Roll Nails

4. 'JUNGLE GOLD' -MOYOU STAMPING POLISH
I was so happy when Moyou finally came out with some metallic stamping polishes. I've always wanted an intense gold stamping polish, but I could never find anything for a decent price (including shipping to Aus). 'Jungle gold' is everything I hoped it would be which probably explains why I have worn it three times already. It has a slight green duo-chrome effect to it, but it's only real subtle.
Manicures featuring 'Jungle Gold':
~Dark green butterfly nails
~Cinderella nails

5. 'THE NEXT CEO'- NICOLE BY O.P.I
This is the perfect gold colour. It's not too yellow or orange like some gold polishes are. It's a foil polish that really stands out. It looks so great that I use it every chance I get. I have used this one as an accent nail quite a few times. I usually end up putting glitter on top of it because it looks great with glitter...
Manicures featuring 'The Next CEO':
~ Blue and Gold Beach Nails
~Brown Tribal Print with Gold Accent


6. 'PINK QUARTZ' -REVLON CHROMA CHAMELEON
This is another gold polish. It's a duo-chrome polish that has a bit of a pink flash to it. It makes me think of rose gold. I have worn this alone and also worn it over other colours. I don't know if you can still buy it anymore, but the shop I got it from doesn't sell it anymore.
Manicures featuring 'Pink Quartz':
~Frosty Gold Christmas Nails
~Duochrome Bird print nails

7. 'SPACE QUEEN' -ESSENCE COLOUR &GO
This is a sheer top coat with a very fine glitter that shows up as all different colours. This glitter is so fine that I have worn it over stamped designs without covering the design too much.
Manicures featuring 'Space Queen':
~Green Dragonfly nails
~Valentines Nails

8. 'SOUL MATE' -SINFUL COLORS
This is a really nice coral/pink colour. Sinful Colors has a few nice pink shades in their collection that are really wearable and this one is my favourite of those. It applies really smooth and is a flattering colour.
Manicures featuring 'Soul Mate':
~Valentines Nails
~Glittery Christmas Nails

9. 'FOR AUDREY' - CHINA GLAZE
This is the perfect aqua/mint Tiffany Blue kind of colour. It looks a little separated in the bottle, but if I shake it up, it's good as new. It lasts pretty well and goes on nice and smooth.
Manicures featuring 'For Audrey':
~Flapper nails
~Flower and Star pattern nails

10. 'CINDERELLA' -SINFUL COLORS
This light blue polish with faint pink shimmers/glitter in it is stunning. I haven't worn it as much as I would like, but I do really love this polish.
Manicures featuring 'Cinderella':
~Blue and Gold Beach Nails
~Underwater theme nails

Honorable Mentions:
Obviously I couldn't just mention a top ten. I have a lot of nail polish and there are a few more good ones I would like to include in the list. These aren't my absolute favourites, but they are still pretty darn good. I have decided to only include one example of what each colour looks like on my nails.

SALLY HANSEN INSTA-DRI:
I have a whole rainbow of the Sally Hansen Insta-Dri polishes, but these three are really useful shades. I use these polishes for stamping only.

1. 'BLAZING BLUE' 
This shade falls somewhere between Cobalt and Navy. It's great for Nautical Designs. 
Manicures featuring 'Blazing Blue':

2. 'COCO AGO-GO'
This is a shimmery coffee/chocolate brown colour. 
Manicures featuring 'Coco Ago-go'

3. 'SPEEDY SUNBURST'
This is a bright warm-toned pink. It's really cute and girly.
Manicures featuring 'Speedy Sunburst':

FOIL NAIL POLISH OBSESSION:
Foil nail polishes are my favourite. They really stand out the way that a glitter polish does, but they are not horrible to remove. I am trying to get a lot of different colours, but this is what I've got so far. (apart from the two in my top ten)

4. 'YOUR MAJESTY' -RIMMEL LONDON LASTING FINISH
I have had this polish for ages. I originally purchased it for a dance concert. Our contemporary class decided to wear silver toe nail polish and this was all I could find to buy. At the time I didn't know this type of polish was "foil". This polish has not yet evaporated which is pretty awesome considering how old the polish is.
Manicures featuring 'Your Majesty':

5. 'SUPERNOVA' -SINFUL COLORS
This is a really nice bronze/pewter looking colour. This is a very recent purchase, however, because I like foil polishes so much I had to include it in this list.
Manicures featuring 'Supernova':

6. 'RICH IN SPIRIT' -NICOLE BY O.P.I
This looks like a very pale green/blue in the bottle, but it's almost silver on the nails. It's a very intense stormy coloured foil polish.
Manicures featuring 'Rich in Spirit':

7. 'YOU BLUE ME AWAY' -FACE OF AUSTRALIA (BARBADOS RANGE)
This is a really pretty mid tone blue colour. I have worn this a few times alone, but it also looks really nice with black stamped over the top.
Manicures featuring 'You Blue Me Away':

GLITTER TOPPERS:
Glitter toppers are really great for accent nails. I have a fair few toppers in my collection, but these are two of the best ones I own.

8. 'PAPARAZZI' - MUD
This polish was a $2  Woolworths purchase. It's a really pretty gold glitter that really adds some "Wow" to an accent nail. I have a lot of MUD glitters, but I think the Gold one is Extra-special. I like how affordable this polish is for the effect it has.
Manicures featuring 'Paparazzi':
~Blue and Gold Beach Nails

9. 'ARIEL'S TALE' -PICTURE POLISH
I really like the colour of this glitter polish and that when you apply it heaps of sparkles come out at once (compared to those glitters that you have to apply in layers to get the required look).
Manicures featuring 'Ariel's Tale':
~Diana Camera inspired Nails

SPARKLY NAIL POLISH:
I have quite a few opaque nail polishes with glitter in them. I really like applying these as accent nail colours.

10. 'MAJESTY' -PICTURE POLISH
This isn't quite a "foil" polish (the glitter isn't that fine) and it isn't quite holographic. It's a gold colour with a bit of light green shimmer to it.
Manicures featuring 'Majesty':
~ Random Nail design

11. 'KNITTED GOLD' - MAYBELLINE NEW YORK SHOW (BROCADE RANGE)
This is a really pretty gold sequin polish with a few light pink glitters in it.
Manicures featuring 'Knitted Gold':
~ Girly Nail Design

12. 'HERE'S MY NUMBER' -ESSENCE COLOUR &GO
This is a really pretty silver and black glitter polish.
Manicures featuring 'Here's My Number':
~Diana Camera inspired Nails

AVON NAILWEAR PRO:

13. 'REAL RED'
I really like how bright this colour is. It doesn't apply the neatest, but it's worth the extra effort.
Manicures featuring 'Real Red':
~Betty Boop Nails


I hope you all enjoyed my 'My Favourite Nail Polishes' post. If you are ever looking for a new polish to try these are some inexpensive options. Please note some of the "examples" are repeated for different polishes. What are some of your favourite nail polishes?

Your Favourite Blogger,
Natalie

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Updated Swatches and Review: Lime Crime Lipsticks and Velvetines


So, I looked at my blog this morning and decided it's probably over due for a new blog post. No matter how busy I get with my random hobbies I want to be updating my blog at least once a week. I have reviewed these items before, but since I got some different colours (I actually purchased these sometime last year) I thought I should do an updated swatch and review for you all. 

I know there has been a lot of drama and controversy surrounding the brand of late (deciding to pull distribution from many online sellers and the online hacking scandal) and I would like to keep my review free of these issues. I'm still trying to decide if Lime Crime is a pain-in-the-butt hopeless mob who can't run their company or whether they have just been dealt a bad hand by the make-up gods. And, then there is all the online speculation about  Doe Deere being a copy cat who re-sells product from other companies. As far as that rumor goes; I can only find a bunch of blogs circulating it. Anyone can write a blog. 

I am a little hesitant to purchase anything more from their website (Although they promise to have fixed their online security) and would prefer that their items were available from my favourite online makeup stores. However, that doesn't change the fact that these are actually quite decent products with awesome packaging and interesting colours. I will definitely repurchase some of these items when they run-out, recommend them to friends and one day give Lime Crime's online shop a second chance...

LIME CRIME VELVETINES:

I have previously reviewed and swatched the shades 'Red Velvet' and 'Suedeberry'. Because I liked them so much, I was thrilled that Lime Crime started to release new colours and I have wanted to try nearly every one (except Black Velvet, but only because I think I'd be too pale and sallow for it). I ended up purchasing 'Pink Velvet', 'Utopia' and 'Wicked'. 'Salem', 'Riot' and 'Cashmere' are all on my wishlist.


The newer products are not quite the same as the old ones. The packaging is considerably different. I actually prefer the old packaging, because I think it suits the brand more and looks a bit classier. The only real benefit to the new packaging is that I can read the  colour name a little easier, but why does that even matter when the shade can easily be seen through the frosted tube.


I don't know if you can really tell in this picture, but the applicator is different in the new packaging. The stick is slightly shorter and the doe-foot tip is also slightly smaller. The spongy bit also seems to have longer fibres on it which makes it a bit messier to apply. I usually use a lip liner on the edges first to make sure the edges are neat. if the lip liner doesn't match I use a lip brush to apply to the outline of my lips. 'Wicked' and 'Utopia' seem to be especially messy as they are not as opaque as the other colours.


Here is a swatch on my arm of the colours I own. From top to bottom: 'Wicked', 'Red Velvet' Suedeberry', 'Pink Velvet' and 'Utopia'.

I thought that the difference in some of the formulas might have been because some colours are newer than others, but the 'Pink Velvet' formula seems to be quite similar to 'Red Velvet'. I'm starting to find over time that my 'Suedeberry' one takes ages to dry, as does 'Utopia'. 'Wicked' starts to flake pretty early on and can be quite patchy to apply. All of these have no smell except for 'Utopia' which smells like Play-Doh. 

I am wondering if the difference in formula is due to the pigments used to create the different colours, the way that some pastel lipsticks don't last as long or go on as dark as a wine colour might? I have found that applying a Lime Crime lippy underneath can make the colour last longer and stop my lips from drying out too much. 

My favourite shades are 'Red Velvet' and 'Pink Velvet'. Those are the only shades I would repurchase if mine ran out. 

I don't have pictures of me wearing the other two shades as they are so difficult  for me to wear. They need to be applied quite thick to avoid streakiness and then they don't last and flake off (because they are applied thick). If you apply them too thin they dry and settle in the cracks of your lips. 

LIME CRIME LIPSTICKS:

I have had two goes at Reviewing and Swatching my Lime Crime Lipstick collection. I have purchased three more shades since that post, but decided I wouldn't swatch all of them again, just the three shades I bought and three shades that might be thought similar. There is nothing new about these shades and I believe they have been a part of the Lime Crime range for some time. I think in the future I might like to branch out even more and try a nude like 'Babette' or a bright pastel pink like 'Countessa Fluroescent'. 


The three shades on the left are the newest ones in my collection. I only swatched the ones on the right for comparison purposes. From top to bottom, left to right: 'Airborne Unicorne' (new), 'Poisonberry', 'Geradium' (new), 'Centrifushia', 'My Beautiful Rocket' (new) and 'Cosmopop'.

I really like these three shades, though I don't wear them as much as my three favourites 'Retrofuturist' 'Glamour101' or 'Centrifushia'. I like to mix 'My Beautiful Rocket' and 'Cosmopop' together to create the perfect orange colour and I like wearing 'Geradium' only when my outfit can handle such a bright lipstick being worn with it. It is the fluro barbie lip colour I dreamed about as a child... I love 'Airborne Unicorn' however it is a bit "Out There" and you will get strange looks by passers by...

And for some reason, no photos yet of 'Geradium'. 

I would definitely repurchase these three shades if they ran-out but I don't use them that often so they probably won't run out too soon...


I also found a way to overcome my problem with finding lipstick on a busy morning. I just store them in a set place in my lipstick holder so I can get used to where that colour is. I also have all the lipsticks in the holder in a colour order system. Front to back is light to dark, And left to right is warm to cool. I have two of these holders with more lipstick hiding in my other make-up storage. 

I hope this swatch and review post was helpful.

Your Favourite Blogger,
Natalie