Monday, 24 November 2014

Perfect Summer Salad

Chicken and Sundried Tomato Salad
(chicken can be substituted or taken out for a vegetarian/vegan option)

Salad is great, however it gets boing if you don't mix it up every now and then. With this recipe you'll never be bored again!

This is one of my favourite things to make and with the quantities here you'll make enough to feed 4 - 6+ people. 

1 roast chicken - cooked - OR a portion of chicken per person
Sundried Tomatoes
1 Cucumber
1 Red onion
1 Tomato
Salad Greens - I'm using baby spinach and mixed garden lettuce
Cashews - or any nut of your choice. 

As this is a salad, its pretty easy to put together. Step one - Chop everything!

Enjoyed arranging chopped vegetables way too much

Chop up all the vegies, and rip up the chicken or slice up your chicken if you've used chicken breasts etc - make sure you've pre cooked the chicken though. 

If you'd like, you can also roughly chop up the nuts - I just throw mine in whole

Throw all the ingredients in a big bowl and mix it up! I use oil from the sun dried tomatoes as a 'dressing' but add anything you prefer. Sweet chilli sauce goes very well with this. When I'm cooking chicken breast for this instead of using a roast chicken I cook it in a sweet chilli sauce marinade. 

Now all that is left to do is serve up a big bowl and enjoy! I have this for lunch a lot or sometimes for dinner if cooking something else seems like too much effort. 

Optional Extras:
You can add some Feta to the salad if you're a cheese lover
Grated carrot (I usually add this but we didn't have any)
Olives go great in this if you like them
Honestly - the options are endless!

I honestly hope you try this out. Its delicious and gets made a lot in my household - especially during the summer months!

Bon Apetit! X

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Makeup Must-haves

Australis Cosmetics: Velourlips Matte Lip Cream.

Now, I've done a post comparing this product to some other matte lip creams on the market (Savvy and Bourjois) and I've also done a little mention of them in my latest 'Priceline Haul' and my love for this product has only grown! When I first saw this on the market there were only five or so shades, and now there are at least 10 (with a few limited edition - I'm not terribly interested in them - but thats not to say they're not a bad product). I currently own eight of the 10 (the only ones I don't yet own are two nude shades) shades and in this post I'll just be going through them including swatches.

These retail for AUD$9.95 at Priceline stores which I think its a pretty good price (BECAUSE EVERYTHING IN AUSTRALIA IS OVER PRICED! #rant)

Even if you don't like all the shades or think they won't suit you, you are bound to find at LEAST one you like. Now me, I don't think they all suit me, but at the same time, I don't care because I like the colours they come in and if they're worn right - I guess they don't look terrible? - in my opinion some of the pinks don't suit my skin tone - but I'll wear them anyway if they go with what I'm wearing etc or the rest of my makeup. 

I not only match my lip colour to the rest of the makeup - but I also decide if I like it if it compliments my other features two of the main things I look for in a lip colour is how it looks against my skin tone and also how it reacts to my eye colour. My eyes are a chocolate brown, my hair is brown and my skin is quite fair, so I want the lip colour to compliment all of that and make my other features stand out. 

I'll now go through my opinion of the swatches I've so kindly done for you all. (my lips, man - so sore after all of this)

Now as you should already know - the general rule of makeup is 'choose one'. Statement eyes or Statement lips. Not both (unless the balance is flawless) I'm wearing a neutral eye look so the statement of course is the lips. NOW on to my swatch opinions. 

  1. NY-CEE: This is a beautiful 'festive' red. Its more of a bright red with 'orange' undertones - but for me it just reminds me of Christmas. 
  2. MAL-I-BOO: A bright bubblegum pink. My opinion of 'Barbie Pink'. I honestly didn't think this colour would suit me at all - and maybe it doesn't but don't disregard it. It brings warmth to the face. 
  3. TOK-I-O: To me - this colour reminds me of 'Cadbury' chocolate packaging and with my brown eyes I love wearing this colour. It is perfect for the colder months too where you want a pop of colour on what might be a very 'black on black' outfit. 
  4. RIO-D: I honestly thought I would wear this the least. But it is such a nice neon orange. (something I thought I'd never say) it goes perfectly with blue in the outfit or blue nails (sky blue) and again, it looks nice against my eye colour. I've gotten a lot of compliments when I've worn this colour. 
  5. PAR-EE: This is so close to my skin colour and I love it. Its like a my lips but better matte. Because it blends against my skin tone so well, my cheeks seem more flushed and my eyes seem brighter. To me this is a WIN WIN situation!
  6. MI-A-MEE: This colour reminds me of watermelon. I didn't think I'd like it but I find myself drawn to it. I don't think I own many lip colours in this shade. This is one of the newer purchases so I'm keen to start wearing it more in spring and summer.
  7. HO-CHEE-MIN: I think this is the colour that suits me the least. I think (and this never happens) I might be too tan for this shade (at the moment) It looks like a very natural pink flush and against a darker complexion it seems a bit 'hoochie'. That is my opinion. It won't stop me from wearing it though.
  8. LUN-DUN: I wore this colour out to dinner tonight and got quite a few compliments. It is a dusty cool tone pink that can go with a range of different outfits. This was the first time I've worn it out - and I must say I'm a fan.

I've worn all of these shades for at least one whole day (the first six I've worn multiple times) and I have to tell you, I don't need to re-apply. (unless I'm making a mess of myself eating) They stay on all day through food, talking, drinking - and once you've put them on and they dry - they take some time getting off. (Perfect for date night (; )

There wasn't really much to this post except for me telling you how much I love these products. Australis has some amazing stuff out and its not just these products, I own a number of different products by this brand and love them all.

What is your favourite Australis product? - have you tried any of the velourlips? Leave me a comment telling me which one is your favourite!

Ciao X

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Makeup of the day.

'Burgundy Smokey Eye and Dark Wine Lips'

So I posted this photo on The Makeup Social app. And got a little bit of attention on it. Which made me wonder why I didn't think to do a blog post on it initially!

This will just be a short run through of the products I used to achieve this look - I wont be writing about foundation because my skin type is going to be different to yours and I'm sure you all have your favourite ways of doing your foundation. 

If you'd like to know the products I used - Keep on reading (;

Eyes: For the eye makeup in this look, I used my new Models Prefer Palette which I gave a 'brief yet in depth' review in my last post my 'Priceline Haul'. So read that if you'd like to know more about the palette, but of course you can use whatever you have that look similar. 
Over the entire lid I used a shimmery peach (1st colour - right side)
Blending into the crease and outer corner I used a shimmery burgundy (2nd colour - right side)
In the crease blending the two together I used a matte chocolate brown (3rd colour - right side)
 I liked the top and bottom lash-line with a brown pencil liner and used the 'They're Real' mascara from benefit. For a brightening touch, use a shimmery white or gold in the inner corner of the eyes. 

Lips: For the lips in this look I used one of my favourite dark lipsticks from 'Australis' from their 'Colour Inject' line its in the shade 'Grunge'. I was going to leave it at that, but wanted to bring a bit of red to it. Because 'Grunge' is a very dark colour going towards a brown, I wanted a splash of vibrant colour on my lips. So I put over the top the L'oréal Glam Matte Gloss (also mentioned in the post below) in the shade - 513 'Zip It Rouge'. 

I think this is a perfect look for Autumn/Fall (too bad its Spring at the moment) and I can't wait to get back into dark lipsticks when the seasons change. 

If you have 'The Makeup Social' app, be sure to follow me on it so we can talk all things cosmetics! 

And don't forget to follow my blog! I post almost a lot! 
Check out the links on the side of the page for my social media! >>>>>

Lets be best friends! 

Ciao! X

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Priceline Haul!

40% off Cosmetics!

So Priceline are great in the fact that they have a lot of huge sales all year round. The last 40% off sale I took (major) advantage of was the 40% off all skincare - and let me tell you - no regrets were had. 
So when I found out about the 40% off ALL COSMETICS I couldn't not take advantage of it. So in the morning, I met my two good friends and favourite shopping babes in the city at 9:30am to get all the things! Here is what I got!

As you can see, there are quite a few things. I have no regrets on buying anything, and I picked up the brushes for an absolute steal! In this post I'll put in some swatches and first impressions too, along with the normal and sale prices. 

I'll start off with the brush set by Nude by Nature. The kit includes 7 brushes, a double barrel sharpener and comes in a nice zip up case with elastic brush holders. 

The brushes included in this kit are:
  1. Kabuki Brush
  2. Defining Blush / Powder Brush
  3. Deluxe Eye Shader
  4. Domed Eye Blending Brush
  5. Concealer Brush
  6. Dual Headed Eye Definer and Lip Brush (basically a fancy way of saying a double ended brush, one side is angled the other is for lips)
  7. Precision Sharpener

Standard Price: $29.95 Sale Price: $17.97
SAVING: $11.98

There is no secret that I love the Models Prefer palettes. I have other posts on my blog here absolutely raving about them. So when I came across this little beauty, I couldn't resist. The one and ONLY bad thing I have to say about the MP palettes is: The matte shades just aren't up to scratch. The shimmer shades are fantastic! Such good pigmentation and colour pay off. But the mattes just aren't as good quality. Mattes are a hard thing to get right, and its not like they're useless, they just take some layering and some work to get them to be as good as they should be first off. 

This is the Warm Smokey / Brown Smokey palette.

Top Left: The mirror in this palette is amazing. Good size and quality, can definitely do a full face of makeup in this. 

Top right: The packaging on this is fantastic. The box it comes in shows you just what to expect and shows you ideas on how to use the palette in step by step instructions. The palette itself is sleek and made of a hard plastic, it feels like it could take a knock or two and is a good size for travelling. The lid as quite a good weight to it too. 

Bottom Left: The swatches - left column: There is a matte creamy/white shade, that on my skin just doesn't show up, it is poor quality but with some work and layering (I suggest using a primer) it will have more pay off - however in saying that, it does blend well with the other shimmer shades, so perhaps a test run of these eye looks are in order. The next shade down is a very pigmented cool toned gold, the colour pay off is excellent and it blends well. The last shade is a shimmer brown. Perfect for adding the smokey effect to the suggested look. 

Bottom Left: The swatches - Right column: Top colour is a shimmer peachy gold, very pretty and highly pigmented. The middle shade is a red/brown maroon/burgundy shade, how it is used in the suggested look is quite interesting and I'm very keen to do this look. The last shade on this side is a matte brown. It shows up on my hand well, but is still a bit chalky, however - it does blend well so experiments will have to be done. 

Bottom Right: Here I wanted to show the inside of the palette - the 6shades (and an eyeliner down the bottom - that I probably wouldn't use) and right next to the shade is the step by step of how to use the shades to accomplish the certain looks. I'm glad its included INSIDE the actual palette instead of just on the outside packaging. I hate it when you lose the packaging and then have no idea on how to do the looks. So GOOD ON YOU MODELS PREFER!

Standard Price: $10.00 Sale Price: $6.00
SAVING: $4.00

There is also no doubt that I love the Australis Velourlips range. I think I'm only a few away from completing the set. So when I saw these colours in Priceline, I thought 'WHY NOT?' Its coming up into the warmer months and these colours are perfect for spring!

Left to Right we have: HO-CHI-MIN
The swatches on the side go down in the same order. 

Each colour is perfectly wearable on the daily. Get your hands on these bad boys. I love them and you should too!

Standard Price: $9.95 Sale Price: $5.97
SAVING: 3:98

I have never really gotten into the 'essence' brand. They're cheaply priced so I always assumed they were cheaply made and poor quality. I assumed they were aimed more at little girls who are first getting into makeup. This might be so, but lately I have been really liking coloured eye shadows, and have been drawn to this brand. These are two essence mini palettes each containing 6 shimmer shades. 

Left top and bottom: 'All About Candies' - beautiful pastel colours. Perfect for sprint

Right top and bottom: 'All about Nude' - gorgeous neutrals. Perfect for every day. I will definitely be doing some looks with these little gems. 

Standard Price: $7.15 Sale Price: $4.29
SAVING: $2.86

This product had my friends and I baffled! Obviously it is L'OREAL'S take on the liquid matte lip product that so many brands are doing (such as Australis - Velourlips) But the description of the product had us thrown. Its one of the 'Glam Matte' (everything good so far) 'Intense Matte Gloss' (I'm sorry, what?)

We were all confused on how you can have a 'matte gloss' but never the less once one was swatched - I fell in love. This is in the colour/shade 513 'zip it rouge'. Sarah and I each purchased this shade, we took a risk because there was no tester for this one. But we're both so happy we did. I definitely want more of these. (probably in all the shades because I have to complete the set) But as they're on the pricier side - I'll wait until there is a sale - or slowly buy them.  

Standard Price: $21.95 Sale Price: $13.17
SAVING: $8.78

I have really been getting more into nail art recently and for some reason I've been loving grey toned nails for sprint. Because in my opinion its the perfect colour to stand out against all the pastel pinks without being as harsh as a white. SO, I was on a mission (or so it would seem) I picked up 4 polishes all up. 3 grey tones and a base coat.

Left to Right:
'Bourjois Paris - laque glossy - shade: 05 - Taupe Modèle
'Bourjois Paris - laque glossy - shade: 03 - BCBeigé
'Sally Hansen - Xtreme wear - shade: 330 - Grey Area
'OPI' Natural Nail Base Coat.

I love Sally Hansen polishes, OPI is such a fantastic brand and I've used many Bourjois products before and I'm really excited to try out the polishes. 

Bourjois: Standard Price: $12.00 Sale Price: $7.20
SAVING: $4.80

Sally Hansen: Standard Price: $6.95 Sale Price: $4.17
SAVING: $2.78

OPI: Standard Price: $10.00 Sale Price: $6.00
SAVING: $4.00

I think this is the only reason why I needed to go into Priceline. I have been using this product ever since I can remember. 

I have quite dry skin so I can use a lot of cream products. This product is for 'oil and shine' control so I think it will be perfect for summer. In summer I don't like to use a lot of foundation so, I might change to a BB cream and use this too, then set with a translucent powder. But I'll save that for another post. 

This product is the 'MATTE UP Cream to Powder Foundation' in the shade 'Nude'.  I love australis products but I think they need to get a wider range of colours, even the nude (their lightest) is a bit too dark for me, but as its summer, I'll tend to tan. 

Standard Price: $14.95 Sale Price: $8.97
SAVING: $5.98

This is the other reason I needed to go in, I needed an eyebrow pencil. 

This is just a basic pencil, its not the ones I usually use but it does the job. This is by the brand Savvy. 

I got a dark brown one, because thats my natural colour - side note: Finding the right shade of eyebrow 'filler' is important. Eyebrows really stand out on the face and its good to know that you're using the right colour!

Standard Price: $3.00 Sale Price: $1.80
SAVING: $1.20

The last items on my list are these three blushes. I've really been on a mission lately to expand my blush collection and I've heard rather good things about these. I have sworn by savvy matte lip creams and some of their other products, I've always walked up to the display and swatched their blushes but they've always been out of stock. So when I saw some in stock, I knew I had to get some! Swatches: Left to Right:

'Silky Pink'

you can see how they show up on my hand. They're highly pigmented and I can't wait to start using them!

With a normal affordable price, I think I've just begun my new obsession!

Standard Price: $4.99 Sale Price: $2.99
SAVING: $2.00

And there you have it! Here if you made it this far, thank you! You did a great job! Usually I wouldn't spend this much in one go, but because of the amazing sale, (I also had a $13.08 off 'coupon') I went for it.  The original price of all of this is $179.92AUD (NOW THAT IS A LOT) with the 40% off that brings the total to $107.95AUD. That is a saving of $71.97AUD and if you also minus the $13.08 from the total sale price $94.87AUD.

I paid $94.87 and got $179.92 worth of products. I am beyond amazed by this! 

Sale ends midnight on the 19th of November - There is still time to shop online!

Good Luck! 

Ciao! X

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Review and Swatches!

Models Prefer: 'Nude' and 'Day to Night' Palettes.

A few posts down, you'll see the palette that started this obsession, that's the Models Prefer 'Party Glam' palette - I'm not sure if I said in that post that I'd go back and buy the other palettes in the 'range' but well, what do you know… I have, and now, I'm here to give you my 2c worth. 

Packaging: Obviously the packaging is the same as the other palette, its sleek and feels quite 'heavy duty' like these palettes could take a beating (or at least survive carry on luggage). Each of the palettes cost $10AUD and come with a double ended brush - that is quite good quality in my opinion. Much like the 'Urban Decay Naked Palettes'. I'm now just going to jump right into the swatches. 

Nude Palette:

This is palette has matte and shimmer shades. The matte shades take a bit of work but once you've worked them in a bit, they are lovely. The shimmer shades don't need much work at all. They've great pigmentation and colour payoff.

  1. Bare: This matte colour almost doesn't show up against my white skin, but it does have pigment. It is a slightly cream white colour perfect for inner eye brightening. 
  2. Naked: This isn't quite a shimmer or a matte so for shades like this I'm going to class them as a 'pearl' or 'satin' finish. Its a warm undertoned almost honey colour. 
  3. Afterglow: A beautiful warm pinky shimmer shade. Beautiful over the whole lid. 
  4. Flushed: Satin finish warm brown colour. Great for crease blending. 
  5. Nude: Slightly cooler gold tone satin finish shade, almost an olive green/brown. 
  6. Glow: An iridescent pearly white shade. Subtle yet pigmented. 
  7. Taupe: A sliver/brown shimmer. Perfect for a brown smokey eye. 
  8. Golden: This is my favourite colour in the palette. It has so much pigment and colour payoff and is a beautiful yellow gold. Perfect for all eye colours. 
  9. Rich: More on the matte side of things, a good colour for the crease. 
  10. Burnished: A matte brown. Good for matte smokey eye.
  11. Hazel: Another matte brown, this is a good transition colour, good for blending. I blend this with a purple shimmer for a beautiful smokey eye look.
  12. Cocoa: A matte chocolate brown. Warm undertones, good for blending. Takes a little bit of control to work with, but the finish is beautiful.

Day to Night Palette:

Also a mix of mattes and shimmers, let this palette be all you need to carry with you in you handbag in the office. This palette can take you from a simple fresh everyday eye look to a sultry smokey eye in a sneaky second. With a good sized mirror and a double ended brush - what more could you want!?

(Sorry for swatches: Too many colours not long enough arms - Its a daily struggle)

  1. Deadline: A matte white (which again almost doesn't show up on my white, white skin) this colour needs a lot of work, and to be honest is probably my least favourite our of all three palettes, I hope you have more luck with it than I do. It is good for blending shades together. 
  2. Voicemail: Is a more pigmented version with a better colour payoff of 'Deadline'. Good for inner third of the eyelid, and blending colours together. 
  3. Overtime: A golden shimmer, beautiful for over the entire lid. 
  4. Workaholic: A satin finish honey brown. Good for some neutral every day looks. 
  5. Co Worker: A deeper olive version of 'Workaholic' these two would transition well into one another. 
  6. Overachiever: This is a beautiful deep red/brown. Some gorgeous smokey eyes can be done with this colour.
  7. Coffee Break: Blending this nice deep brown with 'Overachiever' would make a nice sultry look. With some flirty lashes, you're ready for that night out after work. 
  8. After Hours: A nice matte chocolate brown, almost has purple undertones. Would be night to use with an angled brush to use as eyeliner for a softer subtle look, rather than harsh black winged liner. 
  9. Hot Date: Another "let down" unfortunately. After some work it does have a nice colour, I recommend using primer with this. It is a matte so it does require more work. Give it a go. 
  10. Happy Hour: This colour is a silvery lavender colour, perfect for a pop of shimmer to the middle of the lid. 
  11. Down Time: Shimmery gunmetal blue grey, could make for some interesting looks. Maybe blended with 'Happy Hour'. 
  12. Night Time: A matte charcoal black. Not as pigmented as some matte blacks on the market, but after a little bit of effort, it blends well for a nice smooth smokey look. 

These are my honest opinions and even though some colours are better quality than others, I still would recommend these palettes, the mattes are a bit 'hit and miss' but the shimmers are gorgeous. 12 shades and a double ended brush with the price tag of $10AUD. Why not?

Let me know if you have any of these palettes or have tried the Models Prefer range before. I love this brand and will be purchasing from them in the future. 

Ciao! X

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

DIYDS (Do It Your Damn Self)

Rustic looking table decorations / centrepieces. 
It is my engagement party on the weekend and we are having a 'rustic/vintage' theme. This will also be the theme of the wedding. I am making the majority of the decorations myself and have come up with these adorable centrepiece / table weight / decorations. 

To make them, it only took 1 hour for everything and that made 6 individual jars. These are so simple and things can be swapped out and changed or added to suit whatever needs you might have. 


Plants: Here I am using dried lavender and I'm not sure what this other thing is called. It is found growing in national parks and along the beach. As a child, my brother, sister and I would play with these and sing this song/poem (thats why we called the plants - pussy cat tails - even though they look more like rabbit tails) so I really wanted to incorporate them into the decoration somewhere. - eventually I think there will be some in my bridal bouquet.

You could also use any dried flower/weed I think thistle and wheat would look beautiful or even flowers native to your area. The possibilities are endless. 

Container and Filler: Here I'm filling mine with sand (that I stole from the beach by my sisters house) and these cute glass 'milk bottles' I picked up for $6 (for the six of them). You could use coloured sand, even fine gravel or dirt if you wanted, again the possibilities are endless. The vessel you use doesn't have to be a 'milk bottle' either. Different shaped jam jars or mason jars would be perfect too! Use what you have around you or something that means something to you to make it that extra bit personal. I used sand and these plants because I spent my childhood on the beach playing with these plants and there was always lavender growing at my house.

Use things that tell your story. Or just things you like the look of. (;

The 'Band' and 'Tie': Here the band I'm making out of some scrap hessian / burlap but you could use some brown paper (from the old school lunch bags) or a thick piece of ribbon to fit your colour theme. Fabric, lace again endless options and possibilities. The tie I'm using here is a thin piece of ribbon, that fits my colour theme of 'lavender and peach' (hence the lavender also in the jar). You could also use twine, string, lace, wool, wire. Possibilities.. Endless..

Also you'll need some PVA (Wood Glue, Craft Glue) Glue to adhere the band to the vessel. (hessian to the glass bottle) I made sure it was secure by tying the ribbon around it while it was still a bit wet to make sure it wasn't going to fall off later.

These are the things that I used, but of course this is all open to imagination!

Putting these together is the easiest thing. Firstly you can attach your band and tie. Make sure to measure and cut them to the right length. Depending on what you're using, it'll be different. But remember, measure twice and cut once. Don't forget that if you're tying a bow with your tie to allow that length when you're measuring and cutting. Once the band and tie are secured you can fill your jar with the sand/dirt/gravel etc. I recommend using a funnel and spoon. The sand got everywhere before I decided to use this. Learn from me. Once you've filled it up to the desired amount, you can start placing your plants in. Arrange however you like. Once the glue is all dry and everything is in place, you're DONE! It really is so simple!

I hope you try this DIYDS out and if you do, please share a photo of it. Comment down below if you'd like to see any more of my DIYDS engagement party decorations.

Happy crafting! X