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?

Antipodean Beauties – All About Eyes

Antipodean Beauties
I’m having so much fun with these challenges! This week’s theme is All About Eyes. I love playing with eye make-up; I am definitely a lot more adventurous with colour on my eyes than on my lips.

For this week’s challenge I thought I’d go back to an old eyeshadow favourite which I actually received free with a magazine purchase yonks ago – my Mirenesse Pearl Crush Creaseless Shadow in ‘Bora Pearls’.

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Picture from http://www.mirenesse.com/shadows/100-pearl-crush-creasless-shadow-4g.html#pa_202

I hadn’t heard of Mirenesse before receiving this product so did not really know what to expect (you know what it’s like with magazine freebies sometimes!) but was pleasantly surprised as these shadows are really creamy and pigmented. I signed up with Mirenesse to receive their monthly Glamm Box as well as their bi-monthly VIP Box when I was going through my subscription box phase but after a few months I was inundated with more Mirenesse make-up than I could swing a cat at, so I cancelled my subscriptions (and no cats were harmed in the process – bahahaha, sorry it’s been a long week!). They are great if you love Mirenesse products!

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EYESHADOWS: Maybelline ‘EyeStudio Colour Tattoo’ in Silver Strike, Mirenesse ‘Pearl Crush Creaseless Shadow’ palette in Bora Pearls, Urban Decay ‘Eyeshadow’ in Shattered
EYELINER: Designer Brands ‘Kohl Eyeliner’ in Black
MASCARA: Maybelline ‘The Falsies Volume Express Waterproof’ in Black Drama

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From top to bottom: Urban Decay “Shattered”, Mirenesse “Bora Pearls” darkest shade, Mirenesse “Bora Pearls” medium shade, Mirenesse “Bora Pearls” lightest shade, Maybelline “EyeStudio Colour Tattoo” in Silver Strike

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Have you tried Mirenesse products?

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Thank you for reading! As always, make sure you check out the other lovely ladies participating in this week’s challenge below 🙂

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Antipodean Beauties – Lashes

Antipodean Beauties
This week’s Antipodean Beauties theme is LASHES. I love falsies (false lashes) – ok, I love buying falsies, the more dramatic the better, as I have such short, pathetic, poker straight Asian lashes. I am absolutely rubbish at actually applying falsies though, every time I try I end up with teary, bloodshot eyes and with fewer original lashes than I started out with.

My husband on the other hand, is blessed with gorgeous long, curly lashes (why, oh why!) and my little boy has inherited this from him. He is going to be such a little heartbreaker when he grows up – how are the girls going to say no to those lashes batting back at them?!

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I then had a make-up lesson with an amazing make-up artist here in Perth – Chandra from CKT Makeup Artistry (Chandra did my make-up for my wedding and I always turn to her when I need my make-up professionally done) who taught me how to apply falsies properly. Armed with my new knowledge, I thought I’d give falsies another go for this week’s Antipodean Beauties challenge!

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Because I was taking my little boy to Gymbaroo today, I thought I had better choose the most natural set of falsies I owned as I didn’t want to freak the other mums and bubs out 🙂 I received this set of Eyelure Naturalites ‘Natural Volume Lashes’ in 020 in one of my subscription sample boxes a while ago and thought they would be perfect for a subtle bit of extra length and volume.

These Eyelure lashes came with their own small tube of white adhesive which turns clear when as it dries. The lashes were the width of about 3/4 of my eye so I didn’t have to trim them which was a bonus; the seam was thin but still easy to handle and held up to my brutal application (I’m still learning!). I curled my natural lashes first, applied a coat of mascara, applied my falsies, gave the whole lot a final squeeze with my eyelash curler and then applied another light coat of mascara.

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All in all this went relatively well – no tears or loss of lashes! As a newbie, I found the Eyelure lashes really easy to use and this set definitely gave me the more subtle look I was after. I’m definitely looking forward to trying a more dramatic look next time!

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Do you like and use falsies?

Make sure you check out the other lovely ladies participating in this week’s Lashes challenge!

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Antipodean Beauties – Winter

Antipodean Beauties

Sorry for disappearing on y’all – my little boy picked up a bug last week which then spread through the rest of the family like wildfire, rendering us all useless. Don’t kids make the best ‘patient zero’?

I’m thrilled that the Antipodean Beauties concept has been so well received! Thank you so much for all your lovely comments on my last post. Here is my take on Week 3’s theme – WINTER 🙂

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This is my new favourite palette – I picked it up last week during Target’s sale on Chi Chi Cosmetics (25% off!). This is the Chi Chi Glamorous Eyes Palette in ‘Sultry’ – isn’t it gorgeous? My biggest weakness is palettes – show me a good palette and I go weak at the knees (yes, I probably need to get out more!). So when I saw this week’s Antipodean Beauties theme, I knew I just had to use this palette – not for the typical bronze and nude shades, but for the gorgeous deep purple, plum and lilac shades!

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FACE PRIMER: Face Of Australia ‘Face Base Primer’
FOUNDATION & CONCEALER: Stila ‘Stay All Day Foundation & Concealer’ in Honey
POWDER: Australis ‘Ready Set Go Finishing Powder’
EYE PRIMER: Urban Decay ‘Eyeshadow Primer Potion’ in Original
EYESHADOWS: Maybelline ‘EyeStudio Colour Tattoo’ in Painted Purple, Chi Chi ‘Glamorous Eyes Palette’ in Sultry (various shades), Clinique ‘Colour Surge Eye Shadow Trio’ in Night Plum and Blackberry Frost
EYELINERS: Designer Brands ‘Kohl Eyeliner’ in Black, Smashbox ‘Limitless Liquid Liner Pen’ in Jet Black
MASCARA: Maybelline ‘The Falsies Volume Express Waterproof’ in Black Drama
CONTOUR: Estee Lauder ‘Soft Matte Bronzer’ in Bronze Goddess, Estee Lauder ‘Shimmer Powder’ in Estee Lauder Signature
BLUSH: NARS ‘Blush’ in Taos
LIPS: Estee Lauder ‘Pure Colour Long Lasting Lipstick’ in Pinkberry, Lancôme ‘Juicy Tubes’ in Moulin Rose

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I hope you enjoyed this post! Please feel free to check out the other great blogs participating in this week’s theme below!

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