NOTD! Essie ‘Butler Please’

I have always loved Essie polishes so when I heard recently that it was being stocked at Priceline, I immediately headed down to pick up a new shade for my burgeoning nail polish collection.

131009 - Essie 1

Essie polishes normally retail for $18.95 each so I don’t have too many in my collection, but the introductory offer at Priceline brought the price down to $12.95 a bottle. This little baby caught my eye straight away. I can’t believe I managed to control myself and only bought one!

‘Butler Please’ is a bright cobalt blue shade that also happens to be the same colour as my husband’s favourite Rugby Union team (Western Force) so I am sure this will get a lot of wear when the season starts again next year 🙂

131009 - Essie 2

Pictured above is two coats topped with Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Anti-Chip Top Coat. I found the application a lot more difficult than the other Essie polishes I’ve used in the past – the consistency of the polish was really goopy so the first coat went on very streaky and tacky. A thicker second coat evened the colour out, which dried to a strange matte rubbery finish. I’m not a fan – it reminded me of a latex balloon! Because the formula is so sticky, it doesn’t allow much room for error so you have to be extra careful with application. This is definitely a polish that benefits from a shiny top coat. The shinier the better!

I actually swatched this last week but had the same problems with application and the polish chipped less than 24 hours later. I thought it was something that I did so I decided to try it again. It’s definitely the polish! I’m trying it with a different top coat this time so hopefully will have better luck with longevity.

I do love the colour though, it’s such a vibrant blue and I don’t have anything like this in my collection. It’s a shame that the formula is so awful.

131009 - Essie 3

Do you like Essie nail polishes? What colours have you tried?

NARS Blush – ‘Taos’

Today I’d like to show you my favourite blush of all time – NARS Blush in ‘Taos’.

131004 - NARS 1 131004 - NARS 2

The ultimate authority in blush, NARS offers the industry’s most iconic shades for cheeks.  Natural, healthy-looking color that immediately enlivens the complexion. A light application of even the highest-intensity hues delivers a natural-looking flush. Silky texture in matte and shimmering shades. Micronized powder ensures soft, blendable application. Iconic NARS shades. – narscosmetics.com

NARS Blush is a compressed powder blush housed in a rubbery-plastic (yes, very technical I know!) compact casing which seems pretty travel-hardy – I have this blush in my portable make-up bag and it’s held up very well.  ‘Taos’ is a warm dusty rose pink with a hint of shimmer through it. The shimmer particles are very finely-milled so it looks natural on my cheek, even with my super oily skin, and doesn’t make me look like I’m about to star in an 80’s George Michael music video 🙂

131004 - NARS 4 131004 - NARS 5
First picture: Swatch  //  Second picture: Blended out with Real Techniques Blush Brush

This blush is super pigmented and one swipe with my blush brush (I use the Real Techniques Blush Brush) is enough to pick up the right amount of product for one cheek. This blush also blends out really well and its staying power is amazing – I can wear this all day and it still gives me a natural flush eight hours later. NARS also suggests blending this blush into the hairline, along the jawbone and the bridge of the nose to give a natural all-over hint of colour.

It comes as no surprise that this blush is multi-award-winning – do you know that it has won Instyle Magazine’s Best Powder Blush Award every year since 2005? That’s 8 years in a row!

The price is on the higher end of the scale if you buy it in Australia (especially when compared to drugstore blushes), however a little goes a long way and one compact would last you ages. I’ve had this blush for over 3 months and as per the above photos, it hardly looks like I’ve touched it at all! I’m looking to pick up another shade when I travel to Singapore next month – I managed to resist temptation on my last Sephora order but the more I use this blush, the more I love it and I’d really like another one in my collection 🙂

Deets: NARS Blush is available in a whopping 28 shades (wow!) complete with risqué names such as ‘Orgasm’ (NARS’ best know shade), ‘Sin’, ‘Deep Throat’ (*giggle*) and ‘Desire’. Single blushes cost $45.00 in-store/online at Mecca Cosmetica (exclusive distributor of NARS in Australia) or much cheaper at US$29.00 through NARS or Sephora; you will need to use a freight forwarder such as PriceUSA to ship from the USA to Australia though.

Have you tried any NARS blushes? What is your favourite blush of all time?

Tracey xx

WANTABLE – September Make-up Box

I’m back! Our little family has just been on a nice getaway – about 3 hours drive south of Perth to the Margaret River winery region. It’s a favourite destination of ours as it isn’t far away and we get to relax and indulge in some very fine food and wine. I was very excited to come home to find a couple of packages waiting for me, one of which was my first ever Wantable Make-up Box!

130927 - Wantable 01

For those of you who are not familiar with Wantable, they are an American subscription beauty box service which has recently begun shipping to Australia. Wantable is a little bit more expensive than Australian beauty boxes, however there are a few things that really attracted me to Wantable. Firstly, this is a make-up only box and you receive 4-5 full-sized items per box, so no more skin-care, hair-care, perfume, etc. samples for me. Don’t get me wrong – there is nothing wrong with samples and they are a great way to discover new brands and products – however due to my temperamental skin I tend to stick to what works for me. I do love trying all sorts of make-up products though and Wantable allows me to try new brands that aren’t yet available in Australia.

The other thing that really sold me on Wantable is that you complete a quiz when you first subscribe and tell them what you “Love”, “Like” or “Dislike” and Wantable promises never to send you anything that you dislike.

130927 - Wantable 17

You first choose whether you “Love”, “Like” or “Dislike” main make-up categories such as Brows, Eyeliner, Blush, Highlighter, Lip Colour, Nail Polish, Lash Products, Bronzer, Eye Shadow and Tools. There are then more detailed questions in each category to clarify the colours (eg. neutral, bright), formulations (eg. powder, stain, gel, cream) styles (eg. dramatic, subtle), etc. that you would like to receive. The best thing is that you can update your preferences at any time you like, so if you tend to go through many different make-up phases like myself, you can easily change your preferences at any time before your next box is shipped.

Let’s open the box together and see what I received 🙂

130927 - Wantable 02

I was really impressed with how the box was packed – my goodies were carefully sandwiched between two thick pieces of packing foam (see how thick the foam is to the right-hand side of the box). In addition to my products, I also received a welcome card, a 10% discount voucher to LAQA & CO. (the nail polish in the box is from LAQA & CO.) and an information sheet which provides details on the celebrity box curator (September’s box was curated by Jordan Liberty of Liberty Republic) as well as individual product descriptions, usage tips and the RRP.

130927 - Wantable 03

***

CAILYN COSMETICS – Line Fix Gel Eyeliner (Black) – RRP US$21.00

130927 - Wantable 13

Besides foundation, black eyeliner is a staple in my make-up routine. I’m still trying to master the art of the perfect winged eyeliner so this gel eyeliner will come in very handy!.

BE A BOMBSHELL – Bombshell Blush (Blind Date) – RRP US$16.00

130927 - Wantable 09 130927 - Wantable 10

This powder blush in “Blind Date” from Be A Bombshell is a very flattering coral colour and is a perfect shade now that spring has finally sprung in Perth! I seem to have lots of pinks in my blush stash but nothing in a coral tone, so this is a great addition.

LISA WATIER – Solo Eyeshadow Powder (Vert Cosmique) – US$18.00

130927 - Wantable 16

If I had to wear one eyeshadow colour for the rest of my life, this would be it. I love the dark olive-y moss-y greens and how they complement my dark brown eyes. I remember being given a Nutrimetics single eyeshadow sample in a very similar shade when I was in my first year of university and freebies were a godsend; I had to put the pan in a small ziplock bag and I used it until it was old and as hard as a rock (probably not the most hygienic now that I think about it!). This is a much more luxe version and I like that it’s in a single case so I can pop it into a clutch and touch-up while I’m out and about.

LAQA & CO. – Nail Polish (Blurple) – US$11.00

130927 - Wantable 07

As you all know, I love nail polish so I am looking forward to trying this brand out! This is such a vibrant deep purple shade which I can wait to show you all in a NOTD 🙂 LAQA & Co. polishes are three-free, paraben-free and cruelty-free.

THREE CUSTOM COLOR – Lip Gloss Pot (Simply Beautiful) – US$22.00

130927 - Wantable 12

A girl can never have too much lip gloss! Most of the glosses that I own are very shimmery so it is nice to have a gloss that is just simply glossy for a change. This shade is slightly darker than my normal lip colour and will look great to top off a glam look for an evening out. It is also nice and compact and would easily slide into an evening clutch.

ECHO VIE – Organic Body Oil – Sample

130927 - Wantable 04

In additional to my five full-sized products, Wantable also threw in a sample of organic body oil which smells divine. The description says I can use this as a body moisturiser, massage oil, bath oil or in my hair so I am sure I will find a way to try it out.

***

Overall Impressions: I love this box! The total RRP of the five full-sized products in this box is US$88.00 (the sample is not included in this total) so is definitely great value. I really like how each item is something that I want and would definitely use. I’ve also had a stickybeak and had a look at what other bloggers have received in their September boxes and while the brands received were generally the same, everyone’s boxes were so different as they were all personalised to each person’s preferences.

Deets: Wantable costs US$36.00 per month (if you subscribe monthly) or US$40.00 for a one-off box (shipping to Australia is an additional US$9.00) – click here if you want to sign up. If make-up isn’t really your thing, Wantable also have an Accessories box or Intimates box for the same price. You also fill in quizzes for those boxes so everything is personalised to you! Occasionally, Wantable will also release limited edition boxes such as the Halloween Make-up Box which contains 9 products from Cinema Secrets which looks so tempting!

Are you signed up to Wantable or any other subscription beauty box service?