Friday, February 12, 2016

Valentine's Day Look || 2016



Following my Valentine's Day Gift Guide, you probably would have read that Valentine's Day is not a day that I usually celebrate, occasionally my partner would give me a hand-made card with corny slogans and jokes.. like "You're Saucy" written on a tomato sauce shaped card that's been intricately put together. My mindset shifted this year, since I have enough red lipsticks for a lifetime that I rarely ever wear, I thought heck, lets celebrate this Hallmark holiday just so that I can put some red on my lips!

BASE

I am still madly in love with Rimmel's Match Perfection Foundation, it's been my go-to foundation that is perfect for summer. It's also the only foundation I have that matches my skin perfectly at the moment.


EYES and BROWS

For eyes and brows, I decided to keep it simple. I am a lover of natural un-filled brows (don't ask me why) so I used Colour Theory's Eye Brow Tweezer - Scissor Style fantastic for pulling out short brows growing in unwanted territories.

Maybelline Colour Molton in Nude Rush was gently applied all over the eye lids. Since I'm doing a conventional red lips, I decided not to do a back cat flick, alternatively Eye of Horus Goddess Pencil in Jewel Amethyst was able to supply a very subtle pop of colour while still providing definition to my eyes. Purple is such a great colour! I curled my lashes using Colour Theory's Eyelash Curler and a few generous coats of Colour Theory's Mascara.



CHEEKS

I couldn't go past Colour Theory's Blush in Dollhouse it's such a gorgeous pop of cotton candy on my cheeks. This particular shade reminds me of MAC's Blush in Dollymix - I still remember how insanely popular Dollymix was almost a decade ago.





LIPS

Now the hard part, which red?!

Below, I have four shades of red from Colour Theory: Catwalk , Show Stopper, Siren and Red-y-or not. I started my day with Red-y-or-not and decided that I wanted a deeper red later in the day, or I went over my lips with Catwalk.

Left to Right:   Catwalk , Show Stopper, Siren, Red-y-or not

Top to bottom: Catwalk , Show Stopper, Siren, Red-y-or not


SHAVE

To ensure that I don't leave the house feeling like a prickly pear, I relied on Schicks Hydro Silk Trimstyle. Since receiving this product, I've actually thrown out all my cheap disposable razors  that often rust after a week. This product has been used for 3 months and going strong!!

Oh and make sure you shave and do everything else before you paint your nails!


(Related: Schick Hydro Silk Trimstyle)



NAILS

We are almost done! For nails I used Colour Theory Red Delicious and a coat of Faby Top and Base coat. The next day I decided that my nails looked a little bit boring with a single colour so I added a little bit of Maybelline Color Show in Alley Attitude.

Don't neglect your toes! I used Colour Theory's Toe Separators for an easy application. Once everything is painted, I went over each nail with Colour Theory Cuticle Oil.



RESULT



NOT ENOUGH? PIMP IT UP

If you want to amp up this Valentine's Day business, there are three optional body accessories from Factorie for you to think about. First up, we have Factorie's Temporary Tattoos, I don't have any tattoos but I am absolutely head over heels in love, tattoos are available in gold, silver, black, blue and rose gold!

Alternatively you can pimp up your face with Factorie's Face Jewels, my close friend is getting married at the end of the year, I have never been to a Hindu wedding, so I'm prepping myself and feeling the bindi spirit.

If you are hair girl, I'd highly recommend Factorie's Hair Chalk, I still can't believe that it works on my jet black hair. These babies are super easy to apply as the chalks sit in a plastic combing device, no more stained fingers!

Factorie Temporary Tattoo

Factorie Face Jewel

Factorie Hair Chalk

I had a lot of fun putting this together, even though that selfie took about 30 takes!
 I hope you enjoyed it too, whether you celebrate Valentine's or not, find an excuse to wear some red lipstick this weekend!



Disclaimer: All products used and featured in this post were provided for my consideration. A huge thanks to all the contributing brands for making this post possible!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Last Minute Valentine's Day Gift Guide

If you are after a last minute present for your loved one, I've put together a nifty little guide, just in time to wow your partner this Saturday! For those of you who don't celebrate Valentine's, it's probably time to reward your partner for being a fab pal and making you breakfast in bed *hint hint*.

I know the usual guides are gender focused, well I want mine to be gender free (or I'll try my best!) - my partner and I are both advocates for gender equality, we hate that pink is associated to girls and blue to boys, why can't boys wear pink and vice versa?

Rant over, lets start!

FOR THE SHAVER



Now you're probably thinking, hang on! How can this be gender-free?! This is for all the face shavers out there, I use to work with a lady who shaved her face, initially she was extremely embarrassed, eventually she learned to embrace this ritual and often spoke to us about her fancy shaving gadgets. I present to you the amazing tool above, Remington Hyperflex Shave & Trim* ($199), the name speaks for itself.



FOR THE SKINCARE LOVER



Who doesn't love some good skincare? Since I started beauty blogging ALL the men in our family started to cleanse, moisturise and use bath bombs - including my 82 y.o grandfather. If you are not too sure what to get, try Meet Dermalogica, it is perfect as a travel kit or an introductory set to Dermalogica. Dermalogica also have similar starter kits for different skin type for approximately $54.

I can't talk skincare without some beautiful pampering products from Trilogy - this is perfect if you are into natural skincare... or live near Priceline. Start off with Trilogy Mineral Radiance Mask* ($29.95) and prep your skin with Trilogy Hydrating Mist Toner* ($26.95), finish off by letting your skin soak in Trilogy Very Gentle Calming Serum* ($42.95). Again, these products are suitable for all gender and ages.


I didn't forget all the Salon lovers, Vaniday is offering gift cards (for him and her) starting from $25 to use at any salon or spa across  the platform throughout Sydney and Melbourne. I had my first day spa experience late last year (I know, I live under a rock), and it was a bliss. Trust me, your partner will love you for it!

FOR THE SCENT SEEKER




I've picked out two gorgeous fragrances, first is Calvin Klein's CK2* ($79-$99) an amazing genderless fragrance that will leave you wanting more, you can share this one with your partner, a squirt for you a squirt for them. If he really want his own fragrance, don't fret, David Beckham's Aqua Classic* ($34.99) is your go to fragrance, it is a fresh, woody yet sweet scent - girls, you can definitely steal this to wear.



FOR THE FASHION FORWARD

If you've always wanted sleek and slim matching watches, check out these adorable looking Boyfriend Watches from Factorie ($24.95), alternatively, it's summer and the Australian sun is a killer, a hat is practical right? Below we have two trendy hats from Factorie (Top: Bloater Hat $24.95 Bottom: Woodlands Hat $29.95)





























If all fails, there's always a leather wallet, especially if your partner is difficult to shop for. This flawless Oscar Brown Leather Wallet ($59) is more of a "typically masculine" looking wallet and it may be considered an odd present to give to your girlfriend.. but I guess that depends on who your girlfriend is, I personally had a simple black leather wallet similar to the one below for many years (until I decided to introduce some colour in my life). 



FOR THE SUPER-HERO FANATIC

Source: Fan Art by @Stitchimonsta
LAST BUT NOT LEAST, this one is for all the superhero lovers!!!! Deadpool (aka the most anticipated movie this Feb) is now in cinemas. It's a win-win gift even if you are not a Marvel fan, you'll have Ryan Reynold to drool at... a not particularly attractive looking Reynold.. doesn't matter.. Remember, if you have NRMA insurance, you can get NRMA Tix and save up to 35% on your movie tickets (Can't believe I only recently discovered this).


Hopefully you found something suitable to gift your partner this Valentine's (or if you don't celebrate it.. a treat for the weekend!). Stay tuned for my V-Day FOTD post!



*These products were provided for my consideration, a massive thank you to all contributing brands to make this post possible.

Monday, February 8, 2016

STAY LEAN TEA 14 DAY DETOX PROGRAM




About Stay Lean Tea

Stay Lean Tea Detox Program contains 2 different blends with key ingredient, Longjing Green Tea Leaf - a rare leaf jam packed with antioxidants, amino acids and vitamins. Stay Lean Tea is designed to stimulate fat loss while replenishing your body with nutrients.

As per information extracted from Stay Lean Tea's website, the process can be broken down into three phases:
  • The Lean Cleanse blend detoxifies your digestive system by eliminating toxins within the digestive tract.
  • As these toxins are removed nutrient absorption is enhanced and the body starts to burn calories at a faster rate.
  • With a replenished digestive system the Lean Burner blend kickstarts the metabolism and facilitates fat oxidation.
Also extracted from Stay Lean Tea's website, the 14 Day Detox program helps to:
  • Give the metabolism a huge boost
  • Burn fat and excess calories while at rest
  • Suppress appetite over a sustained period of time
  • Remove toxins from the digestive tract
  • Enhance nutrient absorption
  • Reduce bloating and water retention
  • Increase energy levels and boost the immune system


Stay Lean Tea does not contain any laxatives.




Lean Burner

Ingredients
Longjing Green Leaf, Pu'erh Tea Leaf, Oolong Leaf, Lotus Leaf, Lemon Grass, Dandelion Leaf, Goji Berry.

Lean Cleanse

Ingredients
Chamomile, Chrysanthemum, Rose Flower, Lavender, Roselle, Lemon Grass, Longjing Green Leaf


Lean Burner

Lean Cleanse


My Verdict
  • I drink a fair amount of tea on my days off, and I personally prefer tea bags over loose tea leaves (mainly due to laziness). I was really happy to see pyramid tea bags that allowed me to see exactly what's in the bags (not that I can differentiate one tea leaf from the other).

  • The instructions were easy to follow and easy to adhere to on the weekends. I'd have a cup of Lean Burner every morning and a cup of Lean Cleanse every second afternoon. However, the procedure proved to be a little bit more difficult during work days as my work requires me to travel all over Sydney. I am always on the road, on the go and spend a lot of time working remotely in cafes. I did end up having to pre-make my tea in a large water bottle. If you are an office worker - this would be hassle free.
  • Lean Burner tastes like a mixture of goji with green tea, very easy to drink. I drink a fair amount of goji tea (Mum said it's good for my eyes, especially since I'm on the computer quite frequently). Lean Cleanser had more of a floral scent and taste, it was really pleasant! I do have a tiny issue with the length of the tea bag string, it's a little bit too short, especially with my heavy handed water pouring techniques.

  • Initially I was extremely concerned about drinking this on the road (as toilets, well clean toilets are not always available. I've taken laxative once and I never want to go near that stuff ever again). Let me re-assure you, I did not experience any sudden toilet moments. I did pass out a fair amount of liquid since I drink large quantities of water and tea... and .. well there's no diplomatic way to put it but bowel movement was much easier.
  • I did end of drinking more than 1 cup of the tea on a daily basis so that filled me up and minimised my unhealthy food intake, i.e., too full for dessert or snacks. So in that respect, alongside "smooth toileting", healthy eating (during the week) and 20 sit ups per night, I did notice some muffin top reductions haha. It felt like a bit of a detox for me, flushing out all the nasty stuff, my skin never looked better! I personally did not lose any weight in 14 days but I did feel less bloated. Although I personally don't feel that this weight loss method will be effective for everyone, it is a very safe and healthy solution - as always, you will still need to incorporate some self-control and exercise. 


Overall, being persistent in drinking two types of different tea in a day had proven to be quite difficult for me, especially with my line of work which is quite unpredictable. But the tea tastes great and I probably wouldn't mind having a packed or two at home to enjoy on a regular basis.

Stay Lean Tea's 14 Day Detox Program is currently on sale for $39, a 28 day program is also available. Click here to shop. Remember to enter "botrc10" at checkout to receive a 10% discount.


Website
http://www.stayleantea.com.au/


*This product was kindly provided for my consideration, all opinions are my own.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Eye of Horus Sahara Nude and Selenite White Goddess Pencils


Eye of Horus has recently launched two new Goddess Pencil eyeliners, Sahara Nude and Selenite White, lucky for us, they have both landed at The Beaute Boutique! If you have read my previous reviews on a bunch of other goodies from Eye of Horus (click here) you will know that I am a big fan of EOH fan.

Sahara Nude can be used to make your eyes appear naturally larger, more awake and open when applied to the waterline. This gorgeous liner can also be used as a concealer or an eyelid primer. Selenite White is a more dramatic enhancer that will illuminate your eyes when applied around the inner tear ducts, inner third of the lower lash line or along waterlines. This beautiful goddess like shade can also be used as a regular eyeliner substituting your usual darker liner for a change, or alongside your black liner for a mod look.

As always, Goddess pencils contain Organic Moringa Oil, they are creamy, water resistant, smudge proof and long wearing. Both products are versatile, cruelty and paraben free.


Eye of Horus Goddess Pencils are always of high quality, extremely pigmented, smooth and long lasting.

Personally I prefer Sahara Nude as an eyelid primer, mainly because my waterline is not very pigmented to begin with and that I just generally dislike applying makeup to my waterline, how do you even clean that area?! - it's also a feeling I just can't shake ... BUT it's not a review unless I've tested the products for it's purpose, hence, I went ahead and water-lined. I did notice quite a significant difference and my eyes looked instantly more awake. When applied as a primer to my lids, it increased the pigmentation and longevity of my eye-shadows.

I have been using Selenite White around the eye duct area and along the inner bottom third of my lash line for a doe-eyed effect, it also contrasts nicely on my olive skin. As long as I don't rub my eyes, Selenite White will stay put.

Sahara Nude is a pure matte nude liner, while Selenite White possess a very slight shimmer. Both pencils can also be used to highlight brow bones.




Before and After Photos


Before

After
For my Before and After pictures, I decided to apply the Goddess pencils on my everyday eyes aka barely any makeup eye, this was chosen so I can see the true effect of the Goddess pencils... and boy was I pleased. Eye of Horus Goddess Pencils are now available from The Beaute Boutique for $30 each. Don't forget to check out this weeks link up party! 



Websites

https://www.facebook.com/beaute.boutique.aust/
http://www.leighmakeup.com/
https://www.instagram.com/Sofia_Leigh_Artist/


*These products were kindly provided for my consideration, all opinions are my own


Tuesday, February 2, 2016

7 WAYS TO REACH A HEALTHY WEIGHT

Thanks to my genes, I have always remained relatively "thin", however my metabolism has slowed down, quite noticeably in the past year now that I'm in my mid 20s.

I don't believe in obscure weight loss diets, starvation or meal skipping. Despite my metabolism dip, I have successfully maintained my healthy weight range and kept weight off unwanted parts. Today I want to share my diet and "exercise" tips with you.

My Oil free lunch option


BIG BREAKFASTS
They don't say breakfast is the most important meal of the day for no reason!
I love having big breakfasts to fuel and prep my body for a good portion of the day. Think of it as priming your face... except you're priming your body.


OIL AND BUTTER
A few years ago my father suffered some abdominal problems and as a result, he has not been able to eat anything with more than a smidge of butter or oil. Dad lost a lot of weight and changed our eating habits as a family (i.e., more boiling and steaming), it also heavily influenced my own cooking/baking style.

You will not find butter in this house, I will use olive oil, but it's no more than a small teaspoon when it is absolutely necessary. Outside of the house, I will consume butter and oily foods just so that my body does not become completely intolerant.


Drinking Stay Lean Tea (stay tuned for a review!)


DRINK TEA
Tea is a natural diuretic, so drink up. My personal favourites are jasmin, lemongrass & ginger and my beloved Genmai-Chai (green tea combined with roasted brown rice - the aroma is absolutely amazing).


CHEW MORE AND FOR LONGER
I am the a very slow eater because I like to chew my food thoroughly. Research has indicated that calories can be significantly reduced simply by chewing your food for longer. I don't found calories, but it makes sense, your body will take longer to break down half chewed food.


WALKING
I don't generally have time for the gym. Once the weekend is here, I work intensively on my blog and find places to eat for Instagram (@theweekendfoodie).

Thankfully, my job is fluid and on the go. I have the option of driving to appointments and meetings, but I chose to catch public transport/walk as much as possible. If it's under 25 minutes on google maps, I'd walk it. This racks up my pedometer where I'd average between 8000-12000 steps per day.

Compare that with a day in the office, roughly 700-1000 steps per day.

Shanghai 2014 - We took a walk under the lanterns and snowflakes

SLOW STRETCHES
Before bed I like to do some stretches to target key areas, my body is not in proportion, I usually gain weight around my tummy and thighs. In order to keep my body some-what toned and less flabby, I'd complete a selection of "slow stretches" i.e., 20 reps of slow and sustained squats and/or the "bridge" pose to help strengthen my lower back, thighs, abdominal and buttocks.

A good stick figure Yoga pose picture here.


SNACK REPLACEMENT
Snacking healthy is hard, but it's do-able. I have a sweet tooth, so instead of lemon crème biscuits I found Greek Yoghurt to be the perfect replacement (especially alongside a cup of cherries). I also snack on celery/carrot sticks and seasoned seaweed packs from Korean Shops (See here).

I started to notice a small muffin top so I decided to substitute yoghurt and fruits for lunch for a week, it worked quite well.



What are your diet/exercise tips?

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Empties: January 2016


Where did this month go!?!?!?!?

I can't believe I'm back again with an empties post, although this time it's more of a "things I'm throwing out" rather than an empties post. I barely used up anything, but I'm putting quite a bit in the bin.



These three are my only finished products for the month..

Collective Wellbeing Purifying Clay Cleanser
I've had this cleanser for ages, it smells and feels like oatmeal, doesn't do a great job at removing make up, so I used it to cleanse my face on days where I don't wear makeup.
Repurchase? I loved this when I didn't wear much makeup, now days I need some heavy duty cleanser to rid allllll my makeup

Enbacci Rejuvenating Essence
Initially I thought these were great samples for my bag, unfortunately both spraying devices were faulty. I eventually took the containers a part and used the essence as a toner. Which worked alright.
Repurchase? Probably not, it didn't do anything amazing for my skin

Dermaveen Everyday Soap Free Wash
I have a massive bottle of this already, and I really like it. It's super duper gentle, even for the sensitive bits haha.
Repurchase? Yes!


From here on are all the binned products..


La Mav Organic BB Crème
I've used this quite a few times, it didn't really cover my blemishes too well, but it did a good enough job at hiding my pores and smaller blemishes. I wouldn't say this is a one shade fits all product, I can't see this product working on those with really pale or dark skin. This is usually used on "good skin days" when I don't have read blotches all over the place. Unfortunately, when I went to use it recently, it smelt "off".
Repurchase? Probably not, I think I need something that's of a higher coverage

Australis Paparazzi Perfect Foundation
When I first got this foundation, it was my HG, it did amazing things to my skin and made my skin look fairly even. However, as time went on, it appeared quite oily on my skin and made me look washed out as my tan developed. I'm throwing this out because it's quite old and I no longer reach for it.
Repurchase? No - not really suitable for my skin anymore

Nude by Nature BB 5in1
This was received from a beauty box, mine was in dark, I was able to work with it during summer. The texture was more or less a tinted moisturiser and did not have any coverage. I used it when my skin was feeling fabulous. I guess organic products generally don't have a long shelf life as this product was starting to smell funny too.
Repurchase? No, need something with better coverage for my awful skin.

Model Co BB Cream
This was a love-hate product. When I use my flat top brush the content were evenly spread and quite nice. But when I used my fingers, I experienced blotches and discolouration. In the past weeks, the oil separated so it's bin time. Another Model Co Product that's going in the bin. No luck with this brand at all!
Repurchase? No



Mary Kay Lip Lacquer in Chai Latte
I actually quite liked this product, it created a nice nude shade on my lips that doesn't make me look washed out. (see full review here)
Repurchase? Potentially, however I have a million lip products so I won't be purchasing any lippies for a while.

Dr Lewinn's Day Cream Moisturiser
This product was not used :( I've had it for a few months, decided to give it a go recently and realised the stale stench. *Sigh*

Have you tried any of the above?

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Review: Rimmel Super Gel Duo Set 023 Grape Sorbet



About Rimmel Super Gel

  • Duo polishes, 2 steps to salon quality nails
  • Lasts up to 14 days of gel colour and shine
  • Easy application with no UV lamp required: Apply 1-2 coats of Super Gel colour, followed by Super Gel Top Coat to activate curing
  • Easy to remove with nail polish remover
  • Available in 15 shades
Price: $9.95 per bottle (available in singles) or $14.95 for a duo set (1 x colour 1 x top coat)


My Verdict

  • I love the flat shaped brush, allowing the polish to be easily applied with a few strokes. My shade was in 023 Grape Sorbet, a beautiful pearl pink colour. Drying time was more or less the same as other decent colour/top coat.

  • My nails did give off a pearlescent shine once the top coat was applied, however the shine did not exceed... or should I say was equivalent to my Sally Hanson and Faby top coats. I've only tried Shellac, so I'm not sure what this "gel" effect looks like. To my naked eyes, it didn't look any different to a coloured polish with a decent top coat.

  • Most standard nail polish (Faby, Sally Hansen, OPI etc) will last on my nails for about 5 days without any real signs of chipping. Longevity wise, it lasted the exactly same amount of time. Serious chipping came about after the 6ths or 7th day - unfortunately it did not pass the 14 day test for me, but I still feel it's a good polish set.

  • I applied a layer of Ciate's nail sparkles on my accent nail - that prolonged the life of those single nail significantly with very minor chippings.

  • A significant difference I noticed is that the top "gel" coat of Rimmel's Super Gel remained on my nails and did not chip separately, unlike my other polishes where the top coat would often come off separate to my coloured polishes.

Progress photos

WEEK 1

WEEK 2

WEEK 3 - Please excuse my awful finger condition

Do you prefer normal polish or gel?


*This product was provided for my consideration, all opinions are my own