Tuesday, November 26, 2013

MAC Stroke of Midnight Lip & Cheek Bag in Pink - The Perfect Gift From a Guilty Husband

So my husband had to go to Macau for a week on a work trip a couple of weeks ago and unfortunately it just topped off a bit of a crappy time where he'd been away an awful lot for work. For any new readers that don't know about me, I work as an Accountant two days a week, run my own Bookkeeping business on the side from home the rest of the week all while juggling the care of our very active toddler. I pretty much work 7 days a week sometimes. 

Now, I admit that I do love being busy as I get too restless when I don't have much on, but sometimes this means that when hubby has to go away a lot for work I tend to get very frazzled and exhausted trying to keep up with everything that needs to be done on my own. As a way to say sorry and reduce my frazzledness this time my lovely man decided to buy me some MAC as a surprise in the form of the Stroke of Midnight Lip & Cheek Bag in Pink, as well as the Stroke of Midnight Eye Palette in Cool (due to not wanting this post to be too photo heavy I'll be showing this one separately in the next couple of days).

I do think he's a keeper!

Firstly, the bag you get with this set is so fancy looking that it could almost be used as a small clutch for a night out if one was so inclined. I'll definitely be swapping my normal overnight makeup bag for this one next time we go anywhere.

Inside the bag is an assortment of goodies as follows:

* Cremesheen Lipstick in How Darling!
* Lipglass in Soft Spoken
* Beauty Powder Blush in Formal
* 129SE Blush Brush; and
* Mirror

First up, I have to admit one dirty little secret........ This is the first time I have ever used any MAC products! Yep, for some reason I have just never bought anything from them before. Mainly because they're not easily accessible from where I live and I never really worried about going out of my way for it.

So, being that these products are my first ever experience with the brand, I have to say that I definitely am impressed.

The Cremesheen lipstick in How Darling! is a lovely shade of pink that is so versatile and wearable for everyday use.

I've been wearing this quite a lot over the past couple of weeks as it's not too drying on my lips and seems to last a good three to four hours before fading away. It doesn't bleed into my lip lines and has a yummy vanilla scent and taste.

The Lipglass in Soft Spoken is a very subtle pink shimmer in a clear gloss base. It doesn't really give the lips any colour but imparts a lovely shine instead and looks really nice when worn over How Darling! It also has a yummy vanilla scent and taste to it.

The Beauty Powder Blush in Formal is a gorgeous rosy pink that looks really natural on my pale skin. It's quite pigmented though so I only need to apply a very small amount but others might be able to get away with a bit more than me if their skintone isn't so pale. It's really easy to blend and lasts an entire workday without really fading too much.

The Blush Brush and Mirror are both very useful, although I wish to mirror had a frame around it as it gets very smudged with fingerprints the way it is. The brush is so super soft and really good for blending.

Last but not least are the swatches....

From Left to Right: Lipglass in Soft Spoken, Cremesheen Lipstick in How Darling! and Beauty Powder Blush in Formal (With Flash)

From Left to Right: Lipglass in Soft Spoken, Cremesheen Lipstick in How Darling! and Beauty Powder Blush in Formal (Without Flash)
So I am proud to say that my MAC virginity has finally been broken and I'm definitely more interested in trying out a lot more from this brand now. I just can't believe it took me so long to finally get on the bandwagon!

Has anyone else bought this set or any of the others from the Stroke of Midnight range yet?

I hope everyone has a great week!

Michelle xx

Friday, November 22, 2013

Ardell Brow Defining Kit - Changing The Way I Feel About My Brows!

Ok, I'll admit it. I've never really been much into defining my brows. It's always something I was too scared to do because of my inbuilt fear of having two big furry caterpillars on my face rather than nicely, defined brows. So, usually I just left my brows as they were with maybe a little bit of brushing into place or I used a tiny bit of pencil to fill them in a bit.

Also, I'm a chronic face toucher. No matter how much I try to stop I touch my face, rub my eyes and lean my chin on my hands all day long when I'm in deep thought. So, having brown smudges around my eyebrow area is a high risk for me.

But, after receiving this Ardell Brow Defining Kit in a previous Her Fashion Box, I've now become a bit of a brow defining convert.

Included in the kit is the Brow Defining Palette, a Wax Grooming Pencil and a Duo Brow Brush.

 The Brow Defining Palette consists of four shades and a small angled brush. The top right shade is for highlighting and the other three are for colouring and defining the brows. I don't think there is any way you couldn't match your perfect shade with this palette, as if one of the shades isn't right for you it's so easy to blend two or three of them together to make a custom shade. The small slanted brush is what I use to apply the highlighting powder.
(No flash)

(With Flash)

The Duo Brow Brush is great. The slanted brush end is what I use to apply the brow powders and then I tidy everything up with the spooly end.

The Wax Grooming Pencil  is supposed to be applied after defining the brows with the powder to groom and set the brows in place. It's not too sticky at all and comes with an inbuilt sharpener in the lid which is just awesome. 

Now, here are some before and after photos of the difference using this kit makes to my brows (please bear in mind that I don't go too heavy handed as I'm still getting over my previously mentioned furry caterpillar fear. Baby steps!)

(No makeup, lots of awful freckles and sparse brows!)
(Defined brows using a combination of the top right shade and the bottom left shade blended together)

So yes, I finally am starting to see what everyone is raving about when they say that a good set of brows balances and frames the whole face. I have received several compliments from family and friends since making the extra effort to use this kit and that's the best motivation ever to add the extra couple of minutes a day to my usual routine.

Has anyone else used this kit before? Are there any other awesome brow kits I absolutely need to try now??

Monday, November 18, 2013

Nails of the Week - Camouflage Colours Nail Lacquer in Blackened Brown

So it has been ages since I have done a nails of the week post. Almost a couple of months I think! I seemed to have been through a phase it was just always too much trouble to sit down and paint my nails and it's probably the longest I have ever gone in my life without having nail polish on.

I finally broke the drought by trying out this polish which I think I got in a past Bellabox a while ago. When I first looked at it I thought 'hmmm, who in their right mind would want their nails to look like dirt?' as the colour looks just awful in the bottle.

Unfortunately, it doesn't really change much once applied to the nails.

This shade is a very plain, dark brown with no shimmer or anything else at all to make it special. It's definitely not a shade that I would rave about which is a bit of a shame really.

I also needed three coats to completely cover my nails and then it chipped the next day!

Camouflage Colours are an Australian brand and you can find out more about their nail lacquers here. There are so many other gorgeous shades in the range too.

Has anyone else tried these before? 

Michelle xx

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Australis Creme Colour for Cheeks & Lips in Dusky Rose

Now I know these have been around for quite a while already but I've only become a recent owner of this after a trip to Priceline a couple of weeks ago and have since fallen in love.

The Australis Creme Colours are supposed to be used on either the lips or the cheeks, but I really only use mine as a blush as I found it a little bit too drying on my lips.

I find this product has a lovely, easy to blend formula and you really only need to use the absolute teeniest amount, especially this shade, because it packs a huge punch and can look a bit clown-like if overapplied.

I have to admit that although I loved this shade when I picked it up off the shelf to bring home, I was totally horrified at how bright it actually ended up being when I first swatched it. I was thinking there was no way in hell I was ever going to be able to work with a shade so bright! But, luckily I soon found out that as long as you go light handed and blend, blend, blend, it gives such a pretty looking flush to the cheeks that does end up looking quite natural.

Australis Creme Colour in Dusky Rose
It's fairly long lasting too and seems to get through a normal work day for me without fading too much at all. Also, because you do only have to use the tiniest amount, this little pot should last forever.

Overall, I'm definitely in love with this as a blush and have nothing like it in my makeup kit already which is always nice.

Has anyone else used one of these before? Do you also find it a bit drying on the lips but a great blush?

I hope everyone has a lovely weekend!

Michelle xx


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