Wednesday, 19 November 2014

It's definitely summer here in Australia, with a recent high of 41 degrees Celsius this weekend! So, what better to do than paint my nails a new colour. I've been loving the Maybelline SuperStay Gel Nail Colour and this time I delved into the pastel purple shade Eternal Lilac 210. For someone who usually has chips and needs to repaint their nails after one day with most nail polishes, excluding gels, these last a good four days. Which admittedly is not quite the 7 days they claim, but considering I would probably want to change up my look by this point, I can deal with it.

Ellen Rozalia xx

** Disclaimer: All items mentioned were purchased by me and all opinions are honest and entirely my own.

Monday, 17 November 2014


Needless to say I've been absent from the blogosophere for longer than I really ought to be. I will say that writing a thesis takes out more than I expected it to - time wise and also emotionally/physically draining. But with that aside, being the beauty addict (hoarder) that I am, I didn't stray from the make-up scene. So, to start back I thought I would focus on the Limited Edition purchases I have recently made and whether they really are worth splurging for.

Particularly leading up to Christmas, you will find that gift packs, sample packs or special items pop up in store and online. And I'm kind of addicted to them! They are usually a fantastic way to try numerous items, without spending the money to buy full size and give these products a full try out before committing. However, sometimes companies do the shifty and substitute with sub-par products to merely sell. So stay with me for the coming posts as I test, try and swatch.

With all of that aside, today I'm reviewing the Hourglass Ambient Blush Wardrobe. This comes in the same packaging as the Hourglass Ambient Powder Wardrobe (review here) and I was drawn in. I like the Ambient Powders, but I can't say I'm thrilled with them the way some people seem to be. They are very finely milled and good setting powders, but in all honesty I don't think they "soft-focus" my skin and "recreate the most exquisitely flattering types of light".

So how do the blushes compare?

I'm pretty much in love. I've worn these three shades everyday since I bought this palette, which for someone who chops and changes all the time, is quite a big deal. They are a lovely, finely milled blushes that are pigmented, but not overly so, that you don't need to worry about overdoing it. They also have a lovely sheen that imparts a healthy glow to the skin. The shades are all extremely wearable and look lovely on my very fair skin. I wonder if they will show up so well on darker skin tones, but I still think they would look divine all the same.

 Left to Right: Luminous Flush (Champagne Rose), Incandescent Electra (Exclusive to Palette: Cool Peach), Mood Exposure (Soft Plum).

I purchased mine from Mecca Cosmetica (link) for $76, but as with all Limited Edition Palettes, this won't stay around for long so I suggest not waiting around.

What Limited Edition products are you eyeing off?

Ellen Rozalia xx

*** Disclaimer: All items mentioned are purchased by me and my opinions remain honest and entirely my own. 

Monday, 22 September 2014

Alphabet creams have been all the rage in current years in the beauty industry and it can be mind boggling to say the least! Essentially they are glorified tinted moisturisers with added skincare benefits. Don't get me wrong, they can be marvellous products and have weaselled their way into my collection, but some are better than others. Being fair-skinned usually rules out any drug store BB creams as they tend to lean too dark, despite labelled 'fair' , and regardless I still have tried them for comparison to Korean Cult offerings.

The Favourites

Probably the Holy Grail of all BB Creams would be the Glow Time by Jane Iredale (link). Think glowy skin, but with very very good coverage! It blends beautifully and their shade range is fantastic, especially if you are pale like me (shade reference BB1). This is my pick of the bunch, especially when I have a bit more to cover.

Next up would be the Skin 79 Super BB Creams in the Pink (link) and Gold (link). These blend seamlessly into the skin and offer good coverage without oxidising on the skin. They also self adjust to you skin, so they suit my very pale, but also my mum's more tan complexion.

Onto the CC cream from Rachel K (link), which yes, is technically a CC not BB cream, but really the purpose of the product is much for muchness. This does well to blend and colour correct the skin, as well as adjust to the complexion. However, I would say slightly less coverage than the Skin 79.

Finally in the favourites we have the CC cream from Bourjois (link). A lovely, but more sheer coverage cream that I often use under a foundation as a more colour correcting base, or by itself on a good skin day. I will have to say that this definitely leans darker than the others so I can only really wear this one in summer.

Forget It

Sadly we can't always love what we buy and these did not make the cut. To me, these are really just tinted moisturisers and personally I wasn't a fan. The Nude by Nature BB 5-in 1 Miracle Cream (link) has very sheer coverage and sometimes leaves more of a sticky feel to the skin, which especially in summer is not something I welcome.

Now we have the Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream (link) and the Dream Pure BB Cream(link). They claim to be 8- in-1, but for me they didn't really do much of anything. Little to no coverage and a tendency to cling to dry patches put these two in the forget it pile. You could perhaps use them as a base for your foundation, but their shade range let them down when you are at the pale end of the spectrum and I was left looking more orange faced than flawless.

This is a new series I'm thinking of featuring on my blog, with a quick run down of my "Favourite or Forget It" for a given product. Let me know what you think and if you have any future suggestions :)

Do you use BB creams, if so, what do you recommend?

Ellen Rozalia xx

** Disclaimer: These items were purchased by me and my reviews remain honest and entirely my own.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

It's a fact that at least one of these little babies can be found in my handbag at all times. And it isn't because I'm a handbag make-up hoarder - well maybe partially. The main reason is because these are a lovely offering from Bourjois and have quickly become my reach to lip product. It helps that the formula is creamy, but not overly rich, last well and fade evenly on the lips. They also come in some lovely shades and four in my collection may indeed grow to a few more shortly..

L-R in Natural Light: 02 Beige Trench, 04 Rose Tweed, 17 Rose Millesime, 11 Friase Remix

I have the shades 02 Beige Trench, 04 Rose Tweed, 17 Rose Millesime and 11 Fraise Remix. Now if you are based in Australia, you are more often than not better off purchasing online from ASOS, where they retail full price for $15.81 ( link, plus 10% off if you are a student). Whereas Priceline for example has an RRP of $19 (link).

What is your go to lipstick?

Ellen Rozalia xx

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

If you've read my recent Brush Cleansing post (link), then you will know that my choice of soap is the Dr Bronner's Magic Liquid Soap. For good reason too! Dr Bronner prides themselves on using certified fair trade organic ingredients and recycled plastic bottles. What you may not know, is that there are numerous uses of this liquid magic, and the list is vast. Besides cleaning my make-up brushes, I use this liquid soap for hand wash - little goes a long way and isn't drying for the skin, body wash, cleaning my Clarisonic brush head etc etc.

I also highly recommend taking a small little bottle on holidays with you. You may thing this is a little OTT, but let me list some scenario's below:

- I need to wash my: clothes, dishes, hands, body, face,  hair, but I don't have any "respective" soap.
- I forgot my shave cream and I'm showing my post winter legs tonight
-  I've made a mess/ the benches, floors etc are dirty, but I don't have any "insert here" soap

As you can see the uses stretch pretty far and some even use it as a tooth paste, which I probably wouldn't recommend unless you are partial to the taste of soap..

Also worth mentioning is that this is quite concentrated, so can easily dilute it without an issue (link).

So when I noted that there is a Queensland based stockist, Fitness Products Pty Ltd (link), that sells this product for a very good price, I decided to stock up! For reference I paid $15.07 AUD for 940 ml's. I decided to go for the Citrus Orange, Tea Tree, Rose, Almond, Lavender and Eucalyptus. Important to note, I believe in order to view products and order you do need to sign up, which to me is simple enough and well worth it!

I also threw in another cheeky purchase of the Pana Chocolate 80% raw chocolates. These are made in Australia from raw ingredients of cacao solids (cacao butter and powder) and dark agave nectar. That's it. They are handmade, low GI, no dairy, no soy, gluten free and  include no refined sugar and most importantly taste DIVINE! You may be thinking that 80% Cacao would be bitter and resigned to cooking, but as Pana Chocolate use raw ingredients, they are in fact much smoother and less bitter than other 80% offerings.

The people at Fitness Products were also lovely enough to throw in some Fruit and Nut bars from a company called Be-Kind, which I had never heard of before. Needless to say I had to demolish the Dark Chocolate Cherry Cashew Bar before I managed to take the photo and it was very delicious! I don't think the other bars will be staying around for long...

Overall I am very happy with my purchases and if you are looking to buy some Dr Bronner's products, or health food in general I would definitely recommend looking at Fitness Products Pty Ltd (link).

Ellen Rozalia xx

** Disclaimer: I purchased all items mentioned with my own money and my opinions are honest and entirely my own. I received no compensation for this post.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

I remember the days when it was a constant compromise between sun protection and a flawless base. Thankfully those days are long behind us! Skincare companies now stock sunscreens designed to go under foundation and there is no longer the compromise in the end finish.

Even though we are in winter here in Australia, you can never be complacent when it comes to sun protection. Especially with my ultra fair English colourings, sun burn is never more than a few minutes away sans sunscreen.

Before I delve into my current sunscreen favourites, I thought I would share what I look for in a sunscreen. Firstly, it must sink into the skin - I don't want that oily film or typical "sunscreen feel" left behind. Secondly, it must wear all day without becoming oily and sit well under make-up. Thirdly, and most importantly, it must be UVA an UVB broad spectrum and sit either at SPF30 or higher.

So with that aside, here are my top picks:

Clockwise from left of main picture:
  1.  Ultraderm Daily Protector Moisturiser SPF30+(link)
  2. Vichy Capital Soleil Sunblock Stick SPF50+ (link)
  3. Alpha-H Protection Plus Daily SPF50+ (link) 
  4. Banana Boat Faces SPF50+ (link) 
  5. Avene Very High Protection Emulsion SPF 50+ For Normal To Combination Sensitive Skin (link)
  6. La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL SPF 50+ Extreme Fluid (link)

What are your go to SPF's?

Ellen Rozalia xx 

Friday, 25 July 2014

It's come around again to that day I tend to put off longer than I really should. If you're a brush addict like me, then this task can easily turn into a chore. However, once I get started there really is a therapeutic nature to it. Trust me! Especially when you use the Dr Bronner's Magic Soap in Lavender

Plus there is no need for any fancy gadgets or tools, other than a good quality liquid soap and a wash cloth. This is by far the best method I have tried to thoroughly clean your brushes, without damage. To begin I decant some of my liquid soap into a small container, which makes it far easier to clean brushes on mass! I then drape my wash cloth over the edge of my sink and use each corner for a different purpose. This may sound a bit OTT, but this ensures you don't mix the "dirty" side with the clean. I use one corner to work the soap into the brushes after a quick dip into the soap. I then slightly wet the brush and use the next corner to help break down any make-up residues. The third little corner is for the deep cleanse, where I soak the brush and  the little corner with water and wash away the make up.

The final little corner is used to ensure all soap is removed and there aren't any traces of make-up left.

To dry my brushes I lay out a towel and let the tips hang over the edge of my counter.

Some side little tips are:
  • Use warm,  not hot, water to wash your brushes. Otherwise you run the risk of melting any glue holding the hairs in place
  • Try to wash your brushes facing down to minimise the risk of water ending up in the ferrule part of the brush

Do you have any other tips you use?

Ellen Rozalia xx
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