Monday, 21 April 2014

Beauty On A Budget: Natio Complexion Perfection Foundation Sponge (First Impressions)

Back in February, I received a press release from Natio about their new make up sponge, called the Complexion Perfection Foundation Sponge.

I was really interested in it because not only did it sound fantastic, but it was only $5.95!!

It was released last Monday, but because I was busy at work I ended up buying one from my local chemist the next day. Here are my first impressions after using it yesterday. 

The packaging is very simple. It's in a plastic see through box. It has enough information to tell you how to use the sponge, and why it's created the shape that is was.

The top is pointed, while the bottom is round. It's curved so it works all over the face.

You can use this to apply foundation, otherwise it's a great tool to use when working with liquid blush, bronzer and illuminator to contour and highlight. 

I used the bottom half to apply my foundation, and used the top half to make sure my foundation was applied correctly around my nose.

Because I normally use a flat top kabuki/buffing brush (like my Models Prefer Professional Airbrush Buffing Brush or my Rae Morris Deluxe Buffer, from the original set) I did find it took longer to use. Mostly because I haven't used a sponge in so long that it took a while to find a comfortable way to use it.

Once I had finished, my foundation looked beautiful. It worked into the skin and looked natural.

I also used the top half to apply my concealer underneath my eyes. It worked easily and it was a lot less messier than using my fingers (like I usually do). 

I've also washed this twice. Once before using it and the other time after using it. I have found that it does take a day to a day and a half to dry both times.

Overall I'm so pleased with this!! Next time I'm at the shops I'll be picking up another one... or three! Because seriously the price is soooooo good!

It's available in 2 colours (pale pink and bright pink).

Natio is available from selected chemists, Myer and David Jones.

How do you apply your make up? Would you spend $6 to try this?
Amy, XO

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Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Weatherproof Products: Things I Reach For Rain, Hail or Shine

Depending on the season, my hair/makeup/skincare can change dramatically. It's currently Autumn is Australia, and here in Adelaide I can find that some days it's quite warm (mid to high 20s) or as cold as cold can be.

Since it's been a mixture of heatwaves and days of rain, here's what I've been reaching for over the last 3 months.  


I find in summertime, my hair gets quite oily and greasy as quick as day two. I prefer to wash my hair 1-2 times a week, so I use a dry shampoo to stop me needing my hair washed every day or two.

I've been reaching for the Toni&Guy Cleanse Dry Shampoo and the Eleven Australia Give Me Clean Hair Dry Shampoo*. I love the smell of the Eleven Australia dry shampoo. It has a tropical scent that reminds me of being on a tropical island.

To make sure that I don't get oily hair by the end of the day, I like to use lightweight hair products. The Organix Nourishing Coconut Milk not only smells delicious but also is a lightweight leave in moisturiser. It helps to detangle my hair and hydrates it.

I like to use only one styling product, and have been reaching for the Eleven Australia Keep My Curl Defining Cream*. This is fantastic for giving moisture to my hair, helping keep flyaways in check and also encouraging my natural curl. While it's a cream, it doesn't feel heavy. I can use it multiple times between washes and it doesn't weigh my hair down. 

Make Up

When the weather is hot, I prefer to go by the motto "less is more." 

I stay away from silicone primers and prefer to use something that's lightweight. The Skin Physics Pore Away Mattifying Base Primer* is incredible! It's a gel formula that's light on my skin. It helps to keep oil in check and also helps keep my make up looking good all day.

To also help keep my face from looking greasy, I reach for my Rimmel Stay Matte Translucent Pressed Powder. It's lightweight, non cakey and dulls shine.

I've found over the summer, I reached more for matte or semi matte blushes. I don't like to use highlighters when it's very hot, instead I love wearing them more in winter. My favourite matte blush has to be the ELES Mineral Blush Compact in "Mixed Berries."* Being a matte formula, it doesn't make my cheeks look shiny or oily. It's quite pigmented, so a little bit goes a long way. I've previously reviewed it here.

For the times when I want a slight hint of a glow, I've been loving my Max Factor Flawless Perfection Blush in "Classic Rose"* or "Mulberry."* Classic rose is more of a pinky coral. It's slightly more glowy that Mulberry. I like to use Mulberry when I'm looking for a softer colour than the ELES blush.

To make sure my make up looks good even in 45 degree weather, I've been using a setting spray. For very hot days, I've been reaching for my NYX Matte Finish Make Up Setting Spray. Because I like to set my foundation with a powder I find that using this spray helps it from looking cakey, especially if I have been a little heavy handed.

The other make up spray that I love using is the Mary Kay Make Up Finishing Spray by Skindinavia.* You can use this both to set make up and to refresh your skin throughout the day. It helps to make your make up last all day and into the night and also stops your make up from looking cakey.  


When it's boiling hot even before 8am, I like to use a powerful deodorant. You apply the Rexona Clinical Protection the night before and it works overnight. I like being able to apply it at night and still being able to have a morning shower and know I'm protected against wetness and odour. I have just started using the Mitchum version of it and have really liked it. It has a beautiful scent and works well. I just prefer the packaging of the Rexona version. 

My hands gets dry easily with the change of weather, and my Dirty Works Hand Cream helps to hydrate my hands. I like to keep this in the kitchen to use after doing the dishes.  I love the cute packaging!!

Regardless of if it's raining or sunny, I ALWAYS use sunscreen. I'm obsessed with the Pevonia Hydrating Sunscreen SPF 30.* It protects me from both UVA and UVB rays. I love that it doesn't feel oily or greasy. I've been using this everyday for the last 9 months, and I still have a little bit left. It's pricey at $84.00 for 150mls, but it's been the reason why I've been so religious at apply sunscreen every day.  

Finally I love applying the Uriage Thermal Spray* throughout the day to both cool me down and set my make up. It's also great to relieve sunburn. 

Is there any beauty products that you love to use in extreme weather, like heatwaves or all day rain? 
Amy, XO

*I was kindly sent this for consideration. All thoughts and views are completely my own, and are always 100% honest. See my disclosure policy here.

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Thursday, 10 April 2014

Beauty On A Budget: Antipodes Mini's Review

I'm a huge fan of Antipodes products (especially their Grapeseed Butter Cleanser, which I've reviewed here). They do a wonderful mix of organic and natural products that are created using science. They use amazing ingredients that actually gives you results.

Recently I picked up 2 mini packs from Priceline. They have a day and a night pack. 

The day pack features a 10ml mini of the Divine Face Oil as well as a 15ml Vanilla Pod Hydrating Day Cream.

The Divine Face Oil is a mix of avacado oil and rosehip. I use an avocado based oil on my hair (which you can read about here) and it's amazing. 

This oil helps to reduce fine lines, age spots and scars. It also contains macadamia nut oil, jojoba oil and vitamin E.

The Vanilla Pod Hydrating Day Cream is a beautiful light moisturiser that works well over the face oil as well as will my other serums. 

It contains their antioxidant Vinanza Grape, shea butter, manuka honey, macadamia and rosehip oil. 

I thought that this would just smell like vanilla, but it also has a citrus scent to it.

The night pack includes a 10ml Joyous Protein-Rich Night Replenishing Serum and the Avocado Pear Nourishing Night Cream (15ml). 

The serum is also an oil. It contains blackcurrent oil, goji berry, raspberry seed oil and hibiscus flower. 

Because the serum is quite moisturising, those will oily skin might find it better to apply a drop or two into the night moisturiser, rather than apply it straight onto your skin. 

While the Avocado Pear moisturiser is a night cream, it's not heavy or greasy. It also has a beautiful scent. 

It contains manuka honey, shea butter, vitamin E, calendula and coconut oil.

This night moisturiser helps to hydrate your skin and acts as an anti-aging booster. 

What I really love about these packs is the fact that there's enough product to see a difference and to make sure that the consistency and ingredients work for your skin.

These both retail for $19.95 each. They're also available to buy from the Antipodes website here.

What brand would you love to see bring mini's out? Me.... Kate Somerville!!! Her products are pricey, but I adore them.
Amy, XO

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Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Beauty On A Budget: Face Of Australia Glamazon Contour & Blush Kit in "Minx" and "Leopardess" (Swatches Galore)

I mentioned these in my March favourites yesterday, which you can see here, and as promised today I've got swatches galore of these pretty palettes.  

They were released late last month and I was stalking the aisles of Priceline, Big W and Kmart to get my hands on them. Finally I was able to pick them up from Priceline. 

There are 2 palettes available. "Minx" is the zebra print palette that contains a blush and highlighter, while "Leopardess" is the leopard print palette that contains a contour and golden highlighter.  

Originally I thought that Minx would be my favourite. One of my favourite highlighters of all time is this one from Natio. The highlighter is pale pink (very similar to the FOA colour, so I assumed it would be my favourite. 

It contains a matte blush (on the left) with a pearly pale pink highlighter on the right. 

The blush is a beautiful matte colour that gives me a natural rosy glow. It's quite pigmented, so I apply a very small amount and work it into my skin. 

I found that the highlighter wasn't as pigmented as I expected. When I apply this on my cheeks, I find that I have to build it up and apply 2 coats to make it show up. 

I've included two photos (one being under direct light and the other away from sunlight) to show how the highlighter shimmers in different light. 

I hardly contour or bronze and actually really didn't expect to use this much. I also tend to favour pink highlighters rather than golden ones since I'm quite fair. 

But it was love at first swipe. 

The contour is beautiful because it's a matte brown that has no orange tint (Hallelujah!!). It's very pigmented and you only need a very small amount (especially if you're fair).

The highlighter is beyond beautiful. It's incredibly pigmented and shows up very easily on my skin. It's incredibly striking on your cheekbones and gives you a gorgeous JLo glow. 

It has a slightly rose gold tint to it, but still looks beautiful and natural on your skin when applied softly.

I find the highlighter lasts all day and night. It never looks oily or greasy either. I've been obsessed with this and have been using it nearly everyday since buying it!

The best thing about these palettes is the price. At only $9.95, they're so affordable! The compact is quite chunky, but it also has a mirror so it's perfect for travelling.

What's your favourite highlighter? Do you prefer a white, pink or golden shade?

Amy, XO

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Tuesday, 8 April 2014

These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things... March 2014 Favourites

This month has been a mix of trialling new products and using some old favourites. 

Make Up

Dr LeWinn's Skin Perfect Anti-Aging Primer

This primer is fantastic for anyone that hates the feeling of silicone primers. The consistency feels like a moisturiser. It sinks into the skin easily and quickly. I love that this also has anti-aging benefits.

The packaging is beautiful. It's a glass bottle with a pump applicator.  

Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation and Revlon Nearly Naked Foundation*

I've been mixing these 2 foundations all month. I love the dewiness from the Bourjois foundation, but love how light and natural the Revlon foundation looks.

They work really well together. I mix them on the back of my hand and apply it with a buffing brush. I find that when I mix them, they last all day. 

Revlon Nearly Naked Powder*

To set my foundation, I've been reaching for this powder. It gives a little bit of coverage without feeling or looking heavy or cakey. 

I've previously reviewed the Nearly Naked Foundation and Powder here

Max Factor Flawless Perfection Blush in "Classic Rose"* and "Mulberry"*

I've never really heard much about the MF blushes, except for the cream blushes from UK bloggers.

I've been really impressed with these blushes. The colours are beautiful and are easy to build up. I've been using them so much that for once I've barely touched my ELES blushes. 

Face Of Australia Glamazon Palettes

I have both the "Minx" and "Leopardess" palettes and love them both for different reasons. The Minx palette is a blush and highlighting kit. Both the blush and highlighter are pink (the highlighter is a pale pearly pink) and originally I thought this would be my favourite.

Then I tried Leopardess, which is a contour and highlighter. The highlighter is golden and is SO INCREDIBLE!! A little bit goes a long way.

I'll be posting a review with lots of pictures very soon.  

Natio Soft Shine Lipstick in "Ruby Shine"*

I'm absolutely obsessed with this lipstick. The formula is perfect. It's long lasting and so moisturising. I don't need to touch up or apply a lipbalm for hours. 

The colour is beautiful too. It's not too red, too plumish or too dark. It's suitable for so many skin colours.

I've reviewed the lipstick here.

You can win 4 new Natio products in my giveaway here

Hourglass Concealer Brush

This is AMAZING!!! It's such a gorgeous soft brush.

I originally wanted to buy the All Over Eyeshadow brush but Mecca had sold out, so I picked this up instead and I'm so glad that I did. It feels like silk.

It's slightly smaller than the All Over Eyeshadow brush, so it's perfect for my small eyes. Because it's a concealer brush, it can also be used for cream eyeshadows.

It's made from high grade taklon, so it's perfect for anyone looking for a cruelty free, high end brush.


Hydraluron Moisture Boosting Mask*

I adore the Hydraluron serum, and now this mask has stolen my heart. It's a cloth mask that works in 15 minutes. After using this my skin feels so soft and plump. I'm excited to use this over the next few weeks and see the difference in my skin. 

I've previously reviewed it here

Antipodes Grapeseed Butter Cleanser

I'm absolutely adoring Antipodes products lately and this is my favourite item from the range.

It works to remove my make up and leaves my skin feeling soft. Priceline have just started stocking Antipodes (YAY!!!) but when I went into a store last week, this was the one product that I couldn't see on the shelf! :(

I've previously reviewed it here.

Sanctuary Spa Brightening Facial Polishing Hot Cloth Cleanser*

I've used this Sanctuary Spa cleanser before, and using it for the second time around has made me want to try more products from the brand!

Using this leaves my skin feeling so soft and looking clear. It's under $20 and I'll be picking up another one when I run out. 

I've previously reviewed it here

Sanctuary Spa Youth Boosting Warming Microbrasion Polish*

This exfoliator warms up on contact with your face. It helps to open pores and remove dead skin cells. It has a fantastic texture that isn't too rough, but still gets rid of dead skin cells and leaves your skin feeling smooth. 

I've been using it 2-3 times a week over the last month and love using it!

Mary Kay TimeWise Even Complexion Essence*

I love using serums that help to even my skintone and help to reduce redness. This one from Mary Kay is amazing!! It's a gel formula that sinks into your skin very quickly and easily. It's not heavy and hasn't made me break out.

The packaging is fantastic, as it has a pump dispenser so it's easy to get just the amount that you need. 

It's the first product from Mary Kay that I've used and I've been so impressed with it so far. I'll be updating you on the results later. 

Boots Laboratories Optiva Comforting Day Cream*

This daily moisturiser is so beautiful. The consistency isn't too heavy or too light. When I use this, my skin is hydrated but isn't left oily.

It's a PH balanced moisturiser that will suit many different skin types. I also have the serum and cleanser from the range and will be reviewing that later this month.

Amcal Pharmacies have 2 ranges from Boots (this one and "Serum 7" which is for anti-aging and drier skin). The Optiva range is all under $25, so it's really affordable. Currently Amcal have $5 off both ranges, so this moisturiser is only $17 for 40ml. 


Boots Laboratories Optiva Comforting Body Balm*

Boots skincare is now being stocked in Amcal Pharmacies and I've been using this body moisturiser in March.

It's the perfect mixture of moisture without feeling heavy or greasy. It sinks into the skin quickly (which will be perfect for winter) but still leaves my skin feeling hydrated all day. 

Amcal have $5 off currently so this moisturiser is only $11 for 150ml. 

Nivea In Shower Smooth Lotion Skin Conditioner

I've been using the Nivea In Shower Conditioners since they were launched. Recently they released a new version with shea butter (in the pale purple packaging).

While I love the other 2 versions, this is my favourite one!! It gives enough moisture without feeling too heavy or slippery on your skin after getting out of the shower.

Premium Spa Rosehip and Shea Salt Body Scrub*

I'm a huge fan of Premium Spa products. Not only are they great quality, but all of their products are all under $15.00.

This scrub helps to remove dead skin cells, leaves your skin feeling super soft but is still soft enough not to disrupt your skin or make it feel scratchy as your applying it.

And that was my most used and most loved March products.

Was there anything that you couldn't get enough of?
Amy, XO

*I was kindly sent this for consideration. All thoughts and views are completely my own, and are always 100% honest. See my disclosure policy here.

Any links within a post are NOT affiliate links.

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