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Guest Post: Springtime in England

By Polly of Beauty Mish Mash

Polly is a 22-year old recent graduate who hails from England. She studied East Asian studies, so she learned some Japanese and even spent six weeks in Japan last summer–she loved it and hopes to return one day.

She currently lives with her family and waitresses while trying to decide on her future career. Polly is fortunate to have a wonderful boyfriend who spends countless hours with her at Boots and makeup counters–even if it is done so begrudgingly! Check out her blog, Beauty Mish Mash!


Springtime in England

Now that it is well and truly spring in the world of beauty, I thought I would try and track down some pretty pastels suitable for the occasion. I always find it hard to ditch my red lips and glitter, as holiday make up is my favourite type! I tried some new products to create a really soft, pastel look, and have reviewed the English products that I used below.

Eyes

Natural Collection Solo Eyeshadows (£1.79 each) are from one of Boots’ budget make up ranges. In my look below I used Candy Floss, Lilac Shimmer, Aqua Shimmer and Secret Lagoon. I chose these eyeshadows with the aim of creating a really pretty look with pastel colours, so whilst I wanted pigment, I didn’t want them to be overpowering. Unfortunately, I found it hard to get any color payoff from these, and I had to pack it on to get anything to show up! Even after this, I might as well not have bothered using Candy Floss, since it is such a poorly pigmented eyeshadow that I couldn’t see it no matter how much I applied! Aqua Shimmer and Secret Lagoon were better in terms of pigmentation, but I still had to work hard to get the color pay off I needed. My pastel look was still wearable, but due to these eyeshadows being so difficult my eyes didn’t turn out as I intended! I understand that I cant have the same expectations for budget and high end eyeshadows, but if I can’t even see the color I’m trying to apply then it’s a real issue for me.

Cheeks

Dainty Doll Blusher in Hippy Shakes (£13.50 for 46g) is a product that I was extremely excited to try! Dainty Doll, a brand created by Girls Aloud singer Nicola Roberts, is designed for those with pale skin that isn’t catered for by most brands. This is a problem that I am extremely familiar with, but I haven’t actually tried any products until now. This pastel lilac blusher is unsurprisingly very subtle, but in all honesty I found it a bit too subtle – it hardly shows up on me, and if I try to build it up it ends up looking too white and it just sits on my skin. I think this is the first product I have ever tried that I feel is too light for me! I wonder just how many people it would actually suit, since I’m on the very pale end of the spectrum. It was a bit of a miss for me, but I must say that when I was shopping for it I also swatched the bronzer, which looks like it could be absolutely gorgeous, so I’ll have to try that at a later date!

Lips

Barry M Lip Paint in Palest Lavender (£4.49) is a pale, lavender color lip stick with a hint of pink. It has plenty of slip so glides on easily, and wears well for about 4 hours. You can see from the pictures below that it looks very patchy on my lips. It didn’t look that terrible in real life so I was quite shocked when I saw the pictures! It did cling to dry patches, and my lips are exceptionally dry at the moment (thank you, English weather!), so I think that is what caused the problem. I really like the color, as it is different to anything else that I own, but wouldn’t recommend it to anyone that suffers from particularly bad dry lips. I’ll definitely be trying this again once my lips recover!

Overall, it seems that all of the products I tried for this look were a bit of a miss! I’m so disappointed as I’d have loved to be able to recommend something to you! Are there any pastels that you love which I could have tried instead?

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Guest Post: Interview with Adore Beauty Founder

By Kimberly Nissen of The Plastic Diaries

Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, Kimberly started her working life early at the tender age of 15. For most of the past 10 years, she has worked for some of the biggest media corporations her sunny country has had to offer. She always wanted to become a writer, but with no training and never having finished high school, it didn’t look like it was going to happen, but then she created The Plastic Diaries and The Styleless Diaries. She also co-founded the first niche-specific blogging event in Australia, the Australian Beauty Bloggers Weekend.


Interview With An Online Retail Giant

Did you know that the size of Australia is slightly larger than the contiguous states of the USA? We might be bigger in land size but Australia has a mere 10% of the population of the USA, and when it comes to buying beauty products, every Australian will tell you that the Americans are very lucky.

Online shopping is a worldwide phenomenon, but it has only picked up in Australia over the last couple of years. Online shopping is especially important for many Australians as most of what you would consider to be “easy to find” products are unavailable to those outside of the main capital cities.

One lady who refused to let location or availability get in the way of the Australian woman’s quest for beauty is Kate Morris, founder of Adore Beauty. At the ripe age of 21 years old, Kate saw the need for an independent online retailer. Now 11 years on, Kate is one of Australia’s leading women in business and her store is the go-to place for any beauty shopper. Today, we speak to her about the changing landscape of Australian beauty buying.

Q. Your store, AdoreBeauty.com.au, stocks a variety of Australian and international beauty brands. What do you see as the main points of difference between our local brands and those of other countries?

That’s a tricky one – we stock quite a few Australian brands (e.g. Aesop, Jurlique, Bloom, KEVIN.MURPHY, Lanolips, Alpha-H, ASAP, ModelCo, Napoleon Perdis, Inika, evo, Unico, O&M, Subtle Energies and BECCA) and they are all so different from each other!

I think that Australian brands tend to have a sort of no-nonsense, straight-shooting directness in common. They say what they do, and they do what they say.

Aussie brands also tend to embrace natural and organic ingredients. You will also find lots of products with high SPF in Aussie brands, our sun is very harsh here so we need to protect ourselves.

Q. In terms of overall sales, what of percentage of your customers are buying Australian brands?

Australian brands are very strong sellers for us – nine out of our top 20 brands for 2011 are Australian. Obviously the most popular Australian brands with our international customers are those that aren’t available (or are very hard to find) outside of Australia.

Q. What foreign brands would you like to be seen made available in Australia?

There are a few that we used to have here that have sadly disappeared, and I’d love to see them make a comeback: Urban Decay, Caudalie, Nuxe. I love Fresh, not sure why that hasn’t made it over here yet. Also LORAC is a great brand, I have a blush of theirs that is fabulous.

Q. You have hundreds of brands at your finger tips. What are your 5 favourite brands, Australian or foreign, and why?

You know this is like making me choose my favourite child, right? Here goes:

  • Aesop – is unbelievably cool. Every bathroom should have their hand wash in it.
  • BECCA – such great products, such chic packaging. The mascara is my Holy Grail, and my handbag always has Vendela lipstick and at least two Beach Tints in it.
  • SK-II – is responsible for Cate Blanchett’s luminous skin. Say no more. I particularly love the masks.
  • Clarisonic – I am a skincare junkie and have at least 6 cleansers on rotation, but one thing I do always stick to is using the Clarisonic every morning in the shower. Makes a huge difference.
  • KEVIN.MURPHY – Kevin always has his finger right on the pulse of the latest hair trends and this brand is so innovative. The POWDER.PUFF volumising powder is brilliant, and we can’t keep the new COLOR.BUGS on the shelf, they sell out so fast!

If you want to stock up on some of those great Australian brands, head to AdoreBeauty.com.au. They ship globally!

NARS Summer 2012 Collection


NARS Summer 2012 Collection

The Summer 2012 campaign was designed and photographed by NARS Founder and Creative Director François Nars. Once again, the inimitable Ginta Lapina personifies the look.

To begin, St. Moritz Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer SPF30/PA+++ was applied to the center of the face with the fingertips and blended outward, then set with Eden Loose Powder to create an immaculate complexion. To lend the skin a light bronzed look, Laguna Bronzer was dusted onto the face in the shape of a ‘3’, starting at the forehead, swept on to the cheek, and then along the jawline. The apples of the cheeks were warmed with Liberté Blush and the face further defined by softly dusting Taos Blush along the hairline.

A mixture of the silver and icy peach shades of Ramatuelle Trio Eyeshadow were brushed onto the lid and blended up into the crease. The apricot shade of the Trio was added in to the crease, with the silver shade swept along the lower lash line. The upper and lower lids were lined with Via Veneto Larger Than Life® Long-Wear Eyeliner. After curling the lashes with an eyelash curler, two coats of Larger Than Life Volumizing Mascara were brushed on to the lashes.

Finally, the lips were lined and filled with Borneo Lip Liner Pencil—blending with a finger to soften the color. Moscow Pure Matte Lipstick was applied, then topped with Risky Business Lip Gloss for shine.

Eyeshadow Trio ($45.00) (Limited Edition)

  • Ramatuelle Silver, icy peach, matte apricot

Eyeshadow Duo ($34.00)

  • Marie-Galante Iridescent orchid / regal blue

Soft Touch Shadow Pencil ($24.00)

  • Calabria Shimmering plum

Lipstick ($24.00)

  • Vendanges Sheer grape

Blush ($28.00)

  • Liberte Burnished apricot

Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil ($24.00)

  • Buenos Aires Nude beige pink

Velvet Matte Lip Pencil ($24.00)

  • Never Say Never Lilac rose

Pure Matte Lipstick ($25.00)

  • Moscow Strawberry red

Nail Polish ($18.00)

  • Trouville Seashell pink

availability: April 15th, 2012 at narscosmetics.com

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Thakoon for NARS Nail Collection for Summer 2012


Thakoon for NARS Nail Collection for Summer 2012

Fashion and beauty have always gone hand in hand. Now, those hands have the nail polish to match. Introducing the Thakoon for NARS Nail Collection, the brand’s first collaboration with a fashion designer in the nail category. Already frequent collaborators at New York Fashion Week, founder and creative director Francois Nars has partnered with Thakoon Panichgul to develop a limited edition, six-shade nail collection.

In conceptualizing the shade range, Thakoon was inspired by the vibrant colors found in Indian spice markets. The highly saturated, high-shine shades come in an opaque finish, perfect for spring. Formula is long-wearing, chip-resistant and toluene-, formaldehyde- and DBP-free.  Since his first collection in 2004, the Thailand-born, Nebraska-raised designer’s clothes have graced chic, modern women around the globe, including Jessica Alba, Marion Cotillard, Rachel Bilson, and First Lady Michelle Obama.

  • Anardana Azalea pink
  • Ratin Jot Orchid purple
  • Amchoor Bright yellow
  • Kutki Powder blue
  • Koliary Cyan blue
  • Lal Mirchi Mandarin red (exclusive to 413 Bleecker Street Boutique)

availability: May 1st, 2012 at narscosmetics.com (except Lal Mirchi), $18.00 each

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OCC Chlorophyll Lip Tar

OCC Chlorophyll Lip Tar
OCC Chlorophyll Lip Tar

OCC Chlorophyll Lip Tar

OCC Chlorophyll Lip Tar ($14.00 for 0.33 fl. oz.) is described as a “full-on teal.” It’s a green-based teal. Not unsurprising, but I don’t have a ready dupe suggestion for you. Illamasqua Apocalips is much, much bluer. Chlorophyll has a strong green pull. It also has a lightly glossy finish, and while it’s plenty pigmented, the liquid-like texture does cause it to settle into lip lines.  The glossiness will fade after a half hour or so, and you can blend out the color a bit more, because it gets drier, so it won’t pull into the lip lines as much.  It can take a little practice to get the hang of Lip Tars, but their major selling point–to me–is their longevity, because the wear can be anywhere from six to ten hours, depending on the shade and how much it stains.

OCC’s Lip Tars just got a packaging revamp: they now come in clear, matte tubes with more of a needle-nose applicator, so you can get more precise applicator or squeeze out less product at once.  I like the matte finish to the packaging.  I never had a problem with the slanted tip from before, but I can see these being more practical and useful overall!  For best results, I recommend a lip brush, because you can apply as little as you really need, rather than attempting to use whatever has been squeezed out of the tube.  These can be easy to over-apply, because the formula is so very pigmented.

Chlorophyll
Chlorophyll
9
Product
9
Pigmentation
9.5
Texture
10
Longevity
4
Application
92%
Total