Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Elucent National Costume Launch with Miss Universe Australia 2015

Last week, my partner Sam and I attended Elucent National Costume Launch at L'Aqua thanks to Elucent Skincare. Last year we were there to witness the gorgeous Tegan Martin strut the catwalk with the winning costume. This year, I had my money on Timothy Cubbo's Dame Edna inspired costume, it was a winner in my heart before the results were announced, all my Facebook spamming was put to good use. I was also excited to see Miss Univerise Australia 2015 Monika Radulovic - I was told by a close friend that we were in the same elective class back when I did my B. Psych at UWS. I mentioned this to Monika as we stood there attempting to figure out which class it was - I realised when I came home that it was the awful counseling unit... I'm sure she wouldn't have forgotten about that class.

This event was held on Labour Day public holiday and really topped off our long weekend. We also had ice cream afterwards.. but that's another story.

Enough rambling, time for pictures!

Monika Radulovic

Desgined by Raf Matta


Designed by Jyoti Chandra

Miss Universe Australia 2015 Monika Radulovic with Timothy Cubbo


Sam and I with Monika :)
Kodak moment

Gift to Monika by Alesandro Ljubicic 

Generous as always, we each received a goodie bag containing products from the sponsors Elucent Skincare and Face of Australia. I am already a massive fan of Elucent Skincare and use it everyday, so I can never have enough! Goodie bag content includes:

- Elucent Whitening Handcream
- Elcuent whitening eye cream
- Elucent whitening trio travel pack
- Face of Australia Nail polish
- Face of Australia Lip Paint

Sam decided he will be using all the skincare in the goodie bag and gave me the his lip paint (hence 2 in the picture), he did however kept his nail polish.. I'm not too sure what he intends to do with that...

A short video of the catwalk...

HD viewing available
Please manually change the setting (still trying to work out how to embed in HD!)

Overall, we had an epic time, with amazing people at a beautiful venue. Thanks again Elucent Skincare for having us and saving us from a potential third day of lounging at home!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Brand Focus: Natura Siberica Oblepikha Siberica Shampoo Conditioner & Oil Complex

Founded in 2007, Natura Siberica is certified organic (by ICEA) and contains natural adaptogens (a substance or compound that increases plants' resistance against environmental stress) as well as utilising naturally sourced ingredients such as herbs and flowers from Serbia. All ingredients are sustainably harvested ensuring all products are free from harmful substances. I have strong views when it comes to sustainability and environmental protection, personally I prefer natural and organic beauty and skin care products to rid my fear of parabens and other nasty chemicals.

There are 26 bath, body and hair products available to satisfy your pampering needs, however today, we will take a closer look at Oblepikha Siberica Maximum Volume Shampoo, Conditioner and Oil complex.

About Oblepikha Siberica Professional Maximum Volume Shampoo and Conditioner

- Provides volume from the roots of hair
- Nourishes and saturates hair with essential moisture
- Provides maximum volume, shine and thickness, revives and lifts.
- For all hair types
- No Parabens, No Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, No Sodium Laureth Sulfate, No Polyethylene
- Rich in Vitamin C, E, B
- Contains wild harvested ingredients such as Wheat Germ Oil and Taigi Lungwort  (A lichen I believe)

Prices: $17.99 each
Size: 400ml
Where to buy? Check your local Chemist Warehouse or buy online here

About Oblepikha Oil Complex for Damaged Hair

- Assists with repairing damanged hair
- Nourishes and hydrates
- Provides protection against heat during hot styling
- No parabens, sodium lauryl sulfates, sodium laureth sulfates, polyethlene glycol, glycols and mineral oil
- Rich in Vitamins A and E contains organic oils such as Moroccan Argan and Sea-Buckthorn oil.

Price: $24.99
Size: 50ml
Where to buy? Check your local Chemist Warehouse or buy online here


Oil Complex

My Verdict

- I used it back when I had hair (more hair) and the shampoo/conditioner combo did amazing things for my hair. My hair is naturally straight, quite shiny and healthy - and these babies gave it an additional boost. It provided volume and made my hair silkier and even more shiny!! I went to work the next day and a colleague actually came up to me and started touching my hair while I was at my desk having a chat with someone else, she said she couldn't comprehend how nice and shiny my hair was.
- Scent wise, all three products smelt like gummy bears and I love gummy bears - I don't know why ... but most things smell like gummy bears to me!
- The texture of the shampoo is similar to your everyday shampoo, but it has a slight gold shimmer, reminds me of liquid gold. The conditioner is creamy and it won't fall a part during application.
- I get the occasional dandruff and since I have black hair even a smidge can be pretty obvious so I am extra cautious. Move over head and shoulders, Oblepikha Siberica is now my pick for nourishing scalps! Dandruff were pretty much gone after a single wash.
- The oil complex is an absolute winner for me, I wasn't much of an oil person when I had long hair; hence I wasn't sold on it until a few days ago after I got my locks chopped. My whole head was a disastrous flyaway. My existing Argan oil failed at taming my hair, this however, managed to sit my hair down with ease. I was pretty amazed. There's still a couple of fly aways here and there, but it beats blow drying, hair gel, styling cream, styling powder and hairspray. To top it all off, my hands felt like silk after massaging the oil applying into my hair.
- All three products worked amazingly well for me, I loved everything and can't think of a single con. The only thing I would change about the shampoo/conditioner is to possibly introduce a pump dispenser? Only because I can't help myself but to drop things in the shower... I'm really nitpicking here.

Head over to Fabulous Fun and Life for this week's Link Up!

Website: www.naturasiberica.net.au

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

Would you spend a little extra for organic haircare without nasties?

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Brand Focus: Colour Theory + Spring Look

In the Arts world, Colour Theory is a phenomenon that took shape in the 18th century, the colour wheel, colour harmony and colour mixtures guided media, fashion, beauty and is very much an intergral part of our daily life. When I found out that there was a cosmetic brand called Colour Theory, an instant attraction was developed.

Lip Liner in Red-y Set Go! $6

A really gorgeous red lip liner that can be used for all warmer reds. The liner is ultra smooth, soft and easy to apply. Lip liners are a must for me when wearing a brighter or darker shade lip colour, ensure to fill in your whole lips if you want to enhance the longevity of your lipstick.

I couldn't pick a single con for this lip liner, it does what it should be doing and for $6 you really can't go wrong.

 Eyeshadow Duo in Just Desserts $6
 Pink is a colour that I wouldn't usually wear on my lids, but this is a really nice combo for a spring look. The soft pink is matte, not overly pigmented and quite subtle, while the greyish brown has a hint of shimmer to add depth/contrast to your lids. I also like to use the darker colour to line my bottom lash line. Texture wise the pink feels a tiny bit chalky whilst the darker shade is a little bit more creamy with great colour pay off. Since I'm not much of a pink eyeshadow person, I actually prefer the texture and subtly of the pink shade.
 Lipstick in Siren $6
The perfect deep red for warmer skin tones, although I honestly feel deep reds will suit pretty much all skin tones, warm, cool or neutral. It's just a beautiful shade! I enjoyed the acrylic packaging, I can see the colour of the lipstick without having to open the lids (as I do with my Shiseido lipsticks). I found this lipstick to be long lasting with great colour pay off. It's removable with a fair amount of cleanser or makeup remover. My lips are quite dry so it did dry up a bit when applied from the bullet, as with most lipsticks, hence I recommend a lip balm to go underneath.

 Black Waterproof Mascara $8
 It's only been recent that I got into "drug store" mascaras, when it comes to my lashes I splurge - only to find that they are more or less the same thing. I wasn't sure what to expect from this mascara but it wowed me. For $8 this baby did my lashes well - it held my curl and volumnised. It kept it's promise and did not give me panda eyes.
Blush in Cheeky Glow $6

I LOVE this blush, I've been using my MAC blush for the past year and it's just too pigmented. I want to be able to dip into my blush, swirl the brush around and apply it on my face without looking like a clown. This enabled me to do just that and it was liberating. I am mindful that the blush is quite pale and may not show up well on medium skin tones. It's more of a dusty pink but appears a little coral on my skin, which I also love, I personally prefer sutble cheeks so it is perfect for me.

Nail Polish in Tangerine Dream $4
Orange is one of my favourite colours so I loved this polish by default. It's been 5 days since I painted my nails with Colour Theory and I have not noticed any chips. Even though nail polishes don't tend to chip on me as quickly (don't ask me why), this product exceeded my expectations. I feel that this polish is of better quality than its' more expensive counterparts. I can't believe it's only $4. The only factor that I thought was inconvenient was the length of the brush, it wasn't very long and I usually prefer longer brushes for application purposes. Nonetheless I am still quite pleased.

With Colour Theory Macara - this was taken AFTER a working day

Colour Theory Lipstick in Siren
Video: Full Face Look with Colour Theory Products
After much deliberation, I decided to go back on youtube, due to my crazy work schedule and consideration for your time, my videos will be short, but it will show you the products in action and will  act as a supplement for my reviews/posts where suitable.

Hit settings to adjust playback quality to 1080p HD (little wheel sign next to "Youtube" sign when you hover over the video)

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

Sunday, October 4, 2015

- SPRING 2015 -

Spring is a loveable month where the weather is just right for a capped sleeves knit wear. I don't usually categorise colours by seasons and often wear black and greys all year round. Autumn is my preferred season as I am more attracted to warmer colours than cool tones.

My boyfriend has been gifting me coloured clothing for the past few year in attempt to make me wear more colours. Well... it worked. However, I still dress like Rex Hunt at home.

Fashion is not my forte.. I'm actually quite daggy.. but I'm trying! I've been inspired to introduce more fashion to my blog thanks to Lisa @ This Damsel Loves for posting up incredible fashion/lifestyle inspos and Simply_Kenna a Youtuber I recently discovered who possess a sense of style and fashion I can only wish I had.

Here's a look into my spring picks..

A soft aqua top by Review Australia (one of my favourite clothing stores) some gorgeous pink Lady Jayne hair ties alongside a pair of the cutest flats and some playful cherry blossom beaded necklace from a thrift store.

 Spring is the perfect time for "fresh" looking make up. I like to keep my lip moist with Carmex, it is perfect for those who prefer sheer lips and Korres lip butter is my go-to lip product for a hint of colour.

In order for me to stop using deep purple eyeshadows I decided to pick out something that's quite the contrary, but also an eyeshadow that I adore, Rich List by Marsk is an amazing gold eyeshadow that can be worn alone or used in conjunction with other eyeshadows to add depth. I'd usually pick mascara over eyeliner during Spring, but I couldn't look past one of the most gorgeous eyeliner by Eye of Hours in Charcoal Obsidian, it's a grey liner with sparkles!!

As for blush... it just had to be Canmake ... it's a no brainer, this blush has spring written all over it.
(see my Japanese Beauty Haul here).

Two options for nails - OPI's Is Mai Tai? (see swatch here) for colour lovers or Revitanail's Graphite (see swatch here) if you are having trouble parting from darker colours like me.
Check out fabulous and fun life for this weeks link up party!

What are your Spring picks this year? 

Friday, October 2, 2015

Brand Focus: Eye of Horus

My love for Eye of Horus sprouted when I received my first EOH eyeliner in Bronze Amulet whilst I was subscribed to Bellabox. It quickly became my favourite eyeliner which I treasured and used for special occasions. Thanks to The Beaute Boutique, I now have the opportunity to test out some other EOH products that I've been eye-ing for a long time!

 Liquid Define - Black $30

Eyeliners are one of the only makeup items I alternate on a regular basis. There was a time I reached for gel liners and gel liners only, but when I got my first liquid liner, I couldn't put it down. For the past few months I've been reaching for pencil liners due to my morning wreck. If cosmetics were animals, Liquid liner would be an endangered specie among my stash.

Since I've tried this product, it's the only thing I've been reaching for. The felt tip makes it easy to use and apply, you'll be able to create your perfect wing with absolute ease. It dries like Flash Gordon and will not leave stains on hooded lids. Most importantly, it did not tranfer onto my lids at the end of the day. I love love love love this liquid liner!!!

Goddess Mascara - Black $35

 This was worn for a good 7 hours and I did not notice any smudging, my eyes are quite watery and most non-waterproof mascaras would smudge when applied to my lower lashes. I did not experience any issues with this mascara. As we all know, my lashes are naturally straight and difficult to curl unless it's a waterproof mascara it'll weigh my lashes down. My lashes did lose it's curl after 15 minutes, no surprises there - it's genetic. If you have a look at the swatch photos below, you'll notice that this mascara does a fab job at lengthening (check the bottom lashes). The brush is perfect for reaching smaller lashes and the formula is non-clumping. I would highly recommend this for everyday wear, it will look amazing on girls or boys with naturally curly lashes.

Goddess Pencils - Nubian Brown, Jewel Amethyst, Charcoal Obsidian

EOH pencil liners are my all time favourite. They are creamy, pigmented, easy to apply, stays all day, smudgable but does not transfer or crease and just overall god damn beautiful. Nubian brown is a solid brown while Jewel Amethyst and Charcoal Obsidian contains a little bit of shimmer. I personally feel comfortable wearing any of the 3 shades on a day to day basis.


With EOH Liquid Define in Black

With EOH eyeliner in Jewel Amethyst and 1 coat of Goddess Mascara
TOP TO BOTTOM:Charcoal Obsidian,Nubian Brown, Jewel Amethyst, and Liquid Define   

As I mentioned at the beginning of the post, these products were kindly provided by The Beaute Boutique, a humble online boutique - I am a huge advocate for local and small businesses, if you are looking to stock up on some Eye of Horus products you know where to go.

For "deals" and gift with purchase etc, make sure you either follow The Beaute Boutique on Facebook or Instagram, Sofia (the MUA behind the business) is always putting up generous offers. Let me just snow ball a little further... Sofia is also an amazing MUA, she does wedding hair & makeup, plus she has a ton of experience (makeup for X Factor Australia, featured in Harpers Bazaar, Grease: The Musical etc click here to see Sofia's work's features).

Personally, I feel Eye of Horus products are of high quality, their packaging is elegant, prices are decent, their products are extremely under-rated and deserves more praise + hype.

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

Monday, September 28, 2015

Travel with me: Port Douglas {Pic Heavy}

Port Douglas Marina Photo by Stitchimonsta

The Great Barrier Reef has been on my list of things to see for quite some time, the reef as we know it has been severely damaged in the past 10 years, no thanks to Rina Rinehart and co. It's also been an aim for us to travel around this country we call home and get to know the land, history, flora and fauna a little bit more. So, we flew off to Port Douglas for 6 days and 5 nights. FYI - this trip ended up being a lot more expensive than expected!

Warning... This is a very detailed post.

Port Douglas

Port Douglas Street Photo by Stitchimonsta

Port Douglas is located approximately 1 hour north of Cairns in far North Queensland. The influx of tourism has changed the town, there were resorts and motels at every corner, local travel agents and souveneir shops situated along the heart of Port Douglas. It is a resort dweller's paradise. If you love sun, beach and tropical rainforest, it is the place for you. Most tourists we met during our time were from different parts of Australia.

September is probably one of the best months to visit Port Douglas, we had incredible weather ranging from 26-28 degrees on a daily basis. You will need your dresses, singlets and short shorts!

Getting there (from Sydney)

The flight from Sydney to Cairns is approximately 3 hours, we got there by Jetstar and came back with Tiger (Tiger air was significantly cheaper - approximately $250 for 2, while Jetstar was approximately $450 for 2).

Ensure to pre-book a shuttle to transport you to and from Cairns airport to your resort, unless you are planning to hire a car. We used Krystal Transport which was probably the most cost effective at $32 per person, one way.

Where did we stay?

Most resorts in Port Douglas are quite expensive, we used Trivago and found a lovely little pool view studio apartment at Port Douglas Retreat, the early bird prices was $129 per night.

We loved the Retreat, our studio apartment had a balcony that overlooked trees and the pool. It is perfect for 2 people, it will be a tight squeeze for 3. A Kitchenette and a small fridge is available in the apartment, cutlery pots and pans etc. There is also a BBQ area by the pool that was frequently used by other families.
A view from our retreat

There is no room service, there will be a cost if you want new linens, however a communal laundry room with washing machines etc for $4 per load is available. We didn't have a lot of clothes so we literally just hand washed everything with the complimentary soaps.

Owners David and Joyce Costello were absolutely lovely, they provided recommendations and helped us book all our tours. The retreat is only a stroll away from the heart of Port Douglas and Four Mile Beach. There are walls of tour brochures at most resorts so you don't need to book until you get there.

Snorkeling with Sailaway

On Sailaway

As a first time "snorkeler" (and the thought of scuba diving scares the crap out of me) we decided to go with Sailaway. There are two options, Snorkel during the day or afternoon at Low Isles. We picked afternoon snorkeling to catch the sunset on the sail back at approximately $235 per person (plus $6 carbon off set tax per person) - includes all transfers.

The sail out to Low Isles was approximately 45 minutes and it was an amazing experience... sun... sea.. sail.. and music to chill with. 
Low Isles

Our guide took us on a snorkel tour.  We are both relatively confident swimmers, but never snorkeled before, hence we joined a beginners tour... we did end up spending some time waiting for beginner swimmers to catch up. If you are a confident swimmer, I would advise you to go with an intermediate group or just snorkel alone.

This tour is excellent for non-swimmers and beginner swimmers. Snorkeling gears and floating noodles are available. If you are an avid snorkeler or a confident swimmer, you'd probably be better off joining a different tour group and snorkel in the outer reefs (which was something I regret not doing).

We did see a tiny shark, a school of rainbow trouts, heaps of reefs and a great range of stripey and coloured fish. The water was a lot murkier than expected, you can really see how the health and quality of the reef has deterioriated over time.

Under water camera hires are available for $55 prior to boarding, you get to keep the SD card... however I highly recommend everyone to bring their own HD under water cameras or protective covers. The photo quality of the hire cameras were rather average - for the underwater photos I did have to amp up the contrast and saturation, otherwise it came out a little "muddy" looking.

Canapes, finger food and a complimentary drink provided on the sail back.

Daintree Discovery Tour
Mossman Gorge

Out of all the Daintree tours, we opt for a full day Daintree Discovery Tour at $190 per person including all transfers.

Our tour guide Cam was extremely knowledgable and provided a vast amount of information regarding different native animals, mangroves, sugar cane farming etc.

First stop was a stroll through the rainforest into Mossman Gorge.

Daintree River

We were then transported to Daintree River, provided with a cuppa and home made lamingtons before boarding the Solar Whisperer to spot crocs in their natural habitat. With some luck, we spotted this little guy above. Our boat guide, again provided us with insightful information about how the mangroves kept the riverbeds together and their internal filtration systems that allows mangroves to grow and live in saltwater.
Cape Tribulation

Cape Tribulation
After the cruise, we were headed towards Cape Tribulation - where Captain Cook struck his ship onto the reef in 1770 ... it was a world of troubles, hence named Cape Tribulation. Luckily a series of fortuitous events allowed Cook's crew to perform temporary repairs to the ship for sail. Otherwise Australian history may have been extremely different. Cape Tribulation is also the only place in the world where two world heritage listed sites meets (The Great Barrier Reef meets the Daintree Rainforest).

Around midday, we were transported to a private area of Daintree to enjoy lunch that was packed by our guide. We also earned some free time to look and walk around the forest.

Wild Turtles!

Cassowary Falls - Private Property

After lunch we headed towards Cassowary Falls - unfortunately we did not spot any cassowaries..we were extremely disappointed, as it would be amazing to see this beautiful endangered creature outside of captivity. But... our journey carried on in a Land Rover through "Riverhome" a cattle property to enjoy a magneficient waterfall view while feeding wild fish, eels and turtles.

If you are planning to go on a Daintree tour, do not look past this one, it's one of the only tour that will take you onto private property. Whereas Mossman Gorge, Cape Tribulation etc are all open to the public.

Lady Douglas

Lady Douglas took us around Dickson's Inlet, it's more of a scenery cruise. We attempted to spot some crocs but didn't have any luck.

Pre-booking is not required, you can jump on this boat at any time, at $35 per person, it's a bargain compared to the other activities. Nibbles and a complimentary drink is provided.

This is a great, calm cruise for the family, especially if you have young kiddies.

Kuranda, Scenic Rail and Sky Rail with Down Under Tours
Scenic Rail to Kuranda

We were tossing up between Skyrail and Wildlife Habitat on our last day, however decided against wildlife habitat since we can go to Taronga Zoo and Featherdale Wildlife park in Sydney.

Joyce from the Retreat helped us book a "tour" with Down Under Tours this includes all transfers, sky rail and scenic rail at $158 per person.

This was probably the worst "tour" out of all other tours we've been on. We were picked up at 7:55am, boarded Scenic rail at approximately 9:50am - the ride went on forever. We reached Kuranda at 11:30am and was advised to hop onto the sky rail to go back to our shuttle at 1:30pm. So we had roughly 2 hours to "experience" Kuranda... we didn't have enough time and literally had to run through all the attractions.

Kuranda was initially home to hippies, the current markets in Kuranda were comparable to Paddy's Market. We were extremely disappointed. We were expecting tie dye shirts and hand made merchandise.

Although we did see some agile wallabies having breakfast on the way there.

While in Kuranda, we decided to cuddle a koala - since QLD is the only state in Australia that still allow visitors to hold and cuddle a Koala. We envision this to be banned fairly soon. So off we went to Kuranda Koala Garden, entry was approximately $17 per person and koala photos were $20.

The wallabies and other marsupials were severely over fed, most were sleeping and did not give a stuff about our food pellets.

We had roughly 30 minutes remaining so we paid a visit to the Butterfly Sanctuary, entry fee was approximately $12 per person. This is worth going.. how often do you get to hold a butterfly or multiple butterflies!! Make sure you wear colourful cothes and a nice big white straw hat (the butterflies loves it!)

Overall we had fun, but we were both disappinted with our Kuranda trip with Down Under Tours, scheduled times to catch our rides were poorly matched, so a lot of people (us included) waited over an hour at the bus stop when we could have spent a bit more time at Kuranda markets. Our self guide pamphlet instructions were ambiguous, we had to ask a few staff members to interpret the brochure and find out where to go.

My advice... GO THERE YOURSELF. Even just for that day, hire a car and drive there.


Four Mile Beach

Cane Toad Racing at Iron Bar

Daintree Ice cream

Ice cream made on premise and all key ingredients are grown on site! It's one of the best ice creams I've ever had!!

Flavours: Raspberry, Macadamia, Wattle Seeds, Black Sapote
Draintree Estate Chocolates - Locally grown cocoa!
2. Honey

3. Daintree Tea
The tea leaves are all grown in Cairns, you can taste the freshness. Other brands such as Lipton and Twinnings are picked/packed/processed overseas and take months to get into your local supermarket.