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.

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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 🙂

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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.

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

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NARS Blush – ‘Taos’

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

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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 🙂

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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!

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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.

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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 🙂

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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.

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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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?

NOTD! MNY The Sequins Line by ColorShow ‘Gold’s Night Out’

Another NOTD for you! TriedandTestedBlog recently tweeted about her amazing new Maybelline New York nail polish and being the glitter tragic that I am, when I saw her picture I just knew I had to try it out for myself.

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Obsessed with expressing your fashion through your fingertips? The Sequins Line by Color Show is inspired by the hottest runway looks, ensuring front row sparkle with intense sequin effects! 3D formula – saturated with three glitter particle sizes and shapes for an intense sequin encrusted effect. Easy flow brush for smooth and even application. Formaldehyde, DBP and Toluene free. – maybelline.com.au

Maybelline New York The Sequins Line by ColorShow in ‘Gold’s Night Out’ is a super densely glitter-packed polish. I did need to smooth out the glitter on my nail as there is so much of it with each brush-stroke, however the design of the brush makes it very easy to do so. You could definitely get away with applying one thicker coat, but I went with a second coat to cover up any gaps.

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This is two coats topped with Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat pictured outside in sunlight (which has since disappeared to make way for some super windy weather here in Perth!). This polish dries to a textured finish, similar to OPI’s Liquid Sands range. I have never tried Maybelline New York nail polish before but I am so impressed with this finish. It is soooooo shiny and definitely makes a really flashy statement on my nails especially when the larger glitter particles catch the sun. I have seen nail stickers with this effect but at only $5.95 a bottle for this polish, I think this is a better value option!

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Close-up of the holographic goodness

Maybelline New York The Sequins Line by ColorShow is available in four different colours: Silver Gleam (a bright silver), Sea-Quins (a dark turquoise), Rose Bling (a mid-pink) and Gold’s Night Out (a bright gold). I may or may not have picked up all four shades.. oops! 🙂

Are you a glitter polish fan?

NOTD! Ulta3 ‘Celebutant’

Next up in Ulta3’s Glitterati Collection is ‘Celebutant’ (to see my NOTD featuring ‘A-Lister’ click here). Thanks to my new Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat, I love being able to always have perfectly polished nails to show you all 🙂

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Can you tell I love Seche Vite? I know I’m totally late onto the bandwagon but it means that I can put bubby to bed at night, do my nails, wait a couple of minutes then hop into bed myself without have to worry about the doona or sheets leaving crinkle/smudge marks on my semi-dried nails. It also adds an amazing shine to my polish unlike any other top coat I’ve tried – if you’ve ever looked at nail bloggers’ pictures and marvelled at how glassy their nails are, it is likely to be Seche Vite. Life-changing stuff!

Ulta3 ‘Celebutant’ is a lovely shimmery fuchsia polish with silver shimmer mixed through. It is of a thicker consistency but application was fantastic and totally opaque within 2 coats. This polish lasted 3-4 days chip-free (I wash my hands a million times a day and don’t wear gloves while washing dishes – shh!) so the lasting power is also really good which makes Ulta3 polishes such great value at only $2.00 per bottle.

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To find an Ulta3 stockist near you, visit their website here. For those of you playing along from Perth and looking for this collection, I have only managed to find this at Chemmart in Palmyra (next to the Stammers Shopping Arcade on Canning Highway) and Amcal Max at Cockburn Gateways Shopping Centre. Feel free to share in the comments if you have found this elsewhere as well!

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I love how purple this polish is – it really brightens up the rainy, dreary spring weather we’ve been having here in Perth!

What colour helps brighten up a rainy day for you?