Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Brand Focus: Blinc Mascara, Brow Mousse and Eyeliner

Nothing annoys and frustrates me more than seeing clients and entering a meeting with mascara smudges half way down my face and my eye brow mascara smeared to my temples. It is embarasing and no one tells you. It's not until I walk out of that fairly important meeting hoping to make a lasting impression and my mirror told me otherwise.

For the past couple of months I have avoided using non-waterproof mascaras and transitioned to waterproof mascaras only, that was until I realised my eye lash casulties had doubled from using makeup remover on a cotton pad. As a result, I've avoided using mascara altogether to avoid that Courtney-Love-after-a-big-night-feeling (Don't get me wrong, I love Courtney).

If you hate makeup smudges as much as I do, it's time to get to know Blinc Cosmetics.

Blinc Eye Brow Mousse - Dark Brunette $35.95
This eyebrow mousse is water resistant and it will not smear off your brows while the formula is designed to moisturise and enhance your brows. As per product claim, it did fill in my browns nicely, I like my brows to look really natural and lightly filled so I don't look too angry - the formula is extremely buildable. It did not fade or run and survived through sweaty humid days as well as rainy days (and I often forget my umbrella). I'm not sure whether I felt the moisturisation, but I definitely did appreciate the fact that my eyebrows didn't fun off my face as I walked in the rain or under 40 degrees sun. This mousse is removable in the shower with a cream cleanser or make up remover.

Blinc Liquid Eyeliner Pen - Black $35.95
If you are looking for liquid liner that stays all day and doesn't budge when you rub your eyes, doesn't run or flake .. this is it. This liquid liner is designed for sensitive eyes and contact wearers. My fairly sensitive eyes did not experience any irritations. In addition, My lids can get quite oily and I often witness liquid liner being transferred to my crease. I wore this through a 9 hour working day and it stayed put. As promised, it did not flake, fade or run. The pen allowed me to draw both thick and precise lines with ease. Removal is extremely easy and comes off by gently rinsing my lids under water. If you are using a cream cleanser, it will slip right off. This liner proved to be very pigmented on my hands, but on my lids, I had to apply two layers for the blackest black. 

Blinc Mascara Amplified - Black $35.95
Although my extremely straight and uncurlable lashes did not experience the glamourous lashes I was hoping to with this mascara. I loved it nonetheless, why? Because it's a smudge-proof, sweat-proof, rain-proof, watery-eyes-proof, flake-proof water resistant mascara that DOES NOT require make up remover. The tube formula will come off in lukewarm water, you won't notice any smudges or residule content around your eyes. This mascara gave me very natural lashes, and I love wearing it on my lower lashes - no more smudge fears. Unfortunately, it wasn't able to maintain the curl, it did save me from mascara smudging embarassments .. and that's much more important for me. I also no longer need to sacrifice my lashes by wearing waterproof mascaras. I feel that it did a decent job at volumising and lengthening.. I have worn this for the past 2 weeks.. and have many mascaras to polish off but finding it difficult to part from this.

Blinc eyeliner and mascara

Blinc Brow Mousse

My brows are quite bushy and sparse, like my steak, I don't like them well-done and prefer "medium-rare", hence the half-filled-sparse natural look (otherwise I'd look really cranky), I usually use a greyish brow powder or pencil but dark brunette worked really well.

Have you tried Blinc?

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

Monday, November 23, 2015

An interview with Miss Universe Australia 2015 - Monika Radulovic

I recently had the wonderful opportunity and pleasure of interviewing Monika Radulovic, Miss Universe Australia and the face of Elucent Skincare via email. Monika was at the recent Elucent National Costume Launch and she was drop-dead gorgeous, a beautiful person inside and out. Once Miss Universe Australia 2015 was announced I received a text message from my uni friend advising that we went to the same University and did the same course as Monika - this world can't get any smaller! Monika is not only beautiful but also incredibly intelligent, she completed her B. Psych with Honours, only a selected few are accepted in honours, and it's a tough gig!

Have a read below to find out more about our Miss Universe Australia :)

Photo from Missosology

1. You came to Australia at a very young age, as a teenager, what did you envision your future to be like?

As a child and teenager, I couldn't have imagined in my wildest dreams that I would become Miss Universe Australia! Education has always been really important to me, and I knew very early on that I wanted to pursue a career in Psychology so that I could have the capacity to help people, and I believe mental health has a huge impact on our overall well-being and quality of life. So as a teenager, I always saw myself becoming a psychologist in the future.

2. When did you start modelling and what prompted you to enter pageants?

I fell into modelling when I was a teenager, being approached by an agency when I was in a shopping centre, however I couldn’t dedicate much time to modelling as I was focused on finishing school, then university. When I completed my university degree in Psychology, I decided to take some time off to give my mind a rest after all those years of studying. I took up modelling and I really loved the industry. However, after about 2 years of modelling full-time I got a bit restless as I felt like I could contribute more to society than through just modelling. I thought entering the Miss Universe Australia pageant was the perfect solution as it offers young women an amazing platform to showcase their personalities and voice their thoughts and opinions on social issues they are passionate about.  I am still so humbled and grateful to think that I have been given this incredible opportunity!

Photo from @Monika_Rad Instagram

3. Previous Miss Universe winners were able to make significant impacts to individuals and make societal changes, what are some of the issues you would like to address?

There are so many issues I feel passionately about and are worthy of being mentioned, however in today’s society one of the biggest issues is that there is so much pressure for our younger generation to succumb to the perceived ideals placed on them through social media. Whether it be beauty, friendship or popularity ideals, internalising them can lead to depression and anxiety in many vulnerable young people. Using my psychology degree coupled with the platform of being Miss Universe and experience of travelling the world modelling (as well as experiencing such pressures myself), I want to help to empower our youth to realise that they do not need to succumb to such pressured ideals. I want to spread the important message that they should instead embrace their individuality and be proud of what makes them authentically themselves.

Photo from @Monika_Rad Instagram

4. Do you think the pageant world is accurately portrayed in the media? What are some ups and downs you’ve experience in Miss Universe Pageant?

I believe the perception of pageants is slowly changing for the better which is very encouraging, however there is work still to be done. There is a general stereotype that pageant girls are uneducated airheads who don’t really work hard, and that’s something I am striving to disprove. From personal experience, I know that pageants are wonderful because they give opportunities for young women to be seen and heard on an empowering platform, improving their confidence and independence. They are also an effective means for the young women to campaign for the social awareness of different social issues which need attention. Pageants really offer an amazing opportunity!

5. When you are not competing or working, what are some of the things you like to do?

Spending time being active outdoors is really important for me, both for my body and soul. I love to go hiking, running and for long walks in nature; it makes me so happy! I also love to cook! I love reinventing traditional dishes to make them healthier. I make things like salmon green curry, spaghetti bolognaise with ‘zoodles' (zucchini noodles) and pizza with a cauliflower base. However, my all time favourite dish to create (and eat!!!) are my famous healthy chocolate brownies (zucchini is the secret ingredient). I also have to mention that I am a crazy cat lady! I have a kitten named Paris who I love very much, so playing and cuddling with her is the highlight of every day!

A photo of Paris from @Monika_Rad Instagram

6. Congrats on your engagement this year! The daily telegraph classified you as the most unique Miss Universe Australia Contestant based on your engagement, were you surprised?

Thank you! The support and well wishes I’ve received has been overwhelming! I am honoured to be considered the most unique Miss Universe Australia, because as I said before; I believe we all need to embrace and be proud of what makes us unique, so I will continue to embrace my individuality.

Thank you so much for taking time out to do this Monika.. and sharing your secret brownie ingredient!!! I would never have thought to put Zucchini in my brownies - now I will.

Most of all, I now want a cat like Paris.

I am so glad that Monika will be representing Australia, she is sweet, humble and extremely down to earth - I can't wait for Monika to bring home the crown! Don't forget to tune in for Miss Univerise 2015 on 20 December 2015.



Sunday, November 22, 2015

Event: Deciem Launch @ The Grounds of Alexandria

I recently had the pleasure of attending Deciem's launch in Australia held at The Atrium, The Grounds of Alexandria. The set up was breath-taking!! We were each provided with a yummy mocktail concoction.

Deciem - The Abnormal Beauty Company is a beauty boutique established in 2013 stocking brands such as: Hylamide, Fountain, HIF, Grow Gorgeous, Hand Chemistry, Ab Crew, Niod, White Rx, and Inhibitif. Up coming brands including Stemm, LHN and Loopha.

These are all new brands to me, and thankfully, we will be getting to know these brands a whole lot better as products will be exclusive to Priceline. Woohoo for accessibility!


Dining set up

Me with some pot plants :D
The initial 20 minutes was spent walking around the venue and snapping lots of photos, followed by a decadent buffet (oh we were very well fed!!!)

Brandon giving his speech

Once our meals were polished, we received a lovely presentation from Deciem's founder, Brandon Truaxe and Co-CEO Nicola Kilner. We were educated on the background of Deciem and their beautiful range of brands/products. I was extremely surprised that Brandon's initial background was software because I can't imagine my partner who has a background in IT moving into the beauty industry. Brandon brought along his wealth of knowledge in the products, the science behinds the products and passion. Most of the time, passion sells me 50% of the time, if the founder(s) is/are passionate, I would absorb it and be keen to try the products.

And now... the amazing goodie bag we each received!

I am super duper excited to try all the products, I started taking Fountain Hyaluronic molecule dietary supplement yesterday, I can't wait to see whether my skin will improve in the next 23 days!


Thursday, November 19, 2015

Event: Japanese Film Festival {Pic Heavy}

Japanese Film Festival comes around once per year, bringing a whirlwind of uniquely curated flicks for us to enjoy and experience. I love films and I love foreign films, most of my evenings are spent watching foreign films on SBS or SBS On Demand. I went through a phase of binge watching Japanese films, Korean horror, Taiwanese Drama and Guillermo del Toro/Caro-Jeunet's obscurities (namely Pan's Labyrinth and Delicatessen).

But.. I will always come back to Japanese films for my love of Japanese culture and lifestyle.. every now and then I'd visit Japan because the experience can never last long enough (and also to visit my lovely extended family. If you missed it, see my Japan post here).

This would be by far the most exciting collaboration on my little beauty blog, thanks to Margarette from The Japan Foundation, my partner Sam (who loves Japanese culture as much as I do) were lucky enough to attend Japanese Film Festival's Opening Night Gala in Sydney. We were spoilt with delicious canapes and drinks....and 10 seconds with Adam Liaw!

Opening Nigh Gala
Here I am with my coke and various alcoholic beverages on the bench
Canape - Oops Sam took a bite before the photo!

We spotted Adam within the first few minutes and decided that we will have to get a photo with him before the end of the night. The introduction was awkward, Sam walked up to Adam and didn't know what to say, he pulled out his hand and said "Hi, I'm Sam". I'm glad it was him and not me, I never know what to say to TV personalities, celebrities or public figures. From my 10 second judgement, Adam was really lovely!

BAKUMAN - Image from Asian Wiki

Bakuman screened on the eve of the Night Gala and it was a fabulous pic (see trailer here). If you are a Manga fan, you need to check this one out! Bakuman is a Manga series written by Tsugumi Ohba and illustrated by Takeshi Obata (same team who did Death Note). Bakuman follows the journey of two high school boys in their pitch to Manga Magazine supergiant Shonen Jump. As I sat there, I experienced their joy, triumph, defeat and struggle. It was definitely my favourite out of the 4 movies I watched during Japanese Film Fest.

TAG - Image from waytooindie.com

We enjoyed the gala night so much that we pre-purchased tickets for the following week. We saw TAG (see trailer here). TAG was interesting, it's a gruesome gory movie with what I thought was a weak plot and excellent cinematography. From the same director as Suicide Club (Creepy movie) and Love & Peace (a cute movie), I wasn't sure how I felt about this... there was a distinct dissociation bewteen the audience and the protagonist.. I mean... we really couldn't care less if the protagonist was killed off.
AS THE GOD'S WILL - Photo from Mugiwarashop
The following night we went and saw As The God's Will (Trailer here).. now THIS was an interesting and fun movie. I loved every bit of it except the ending, but I was told that there's going to be a sequel which made more sense. It follows a group of school kids passing a series of gruesome "test" in order to survive. Imagine hunger games with less social apartheid more cute (but evil) things and blood... much more blood.
Photo from Japanese Film Festival
Photo from Japanese Film Festival

LOVE & PEACE - photo from twitchfilm
Last but not least, on the second last day of Japanese Film Festival, we head out to see Love and Peace (see trailer here). Definitely more of a PG movie compared to TAG and As The God's Will, even though it came from the same director as TAG. This was a beautiful movie with a wonderful and touching storyline. It's about a man who gets more than what he had wished for and explores human corruption through wealth and status...plus a very cute turtle and old school use of puppetry.

A Japanese Film Festival cannot do without Japanese food .. here's some of the food we had during the festival to top things off.

Curry Chicken and Fish Katsu from Dera-Uma - Best Japanese Curry!!!

Tonkotsu Ramen from Tenko Mori - Extra milky that day

Shrimp Dog and Matcha Float from Chanoma

We are looking forward to next year's Japanese Film Festival, thanks again for having us!!

Follow Japanese Film Festival to keep yourself updated:

Instagram: https://instagram.com/jpfilmfestival/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/japanesefilmfest/
Website: japanesefilmfestival.net/

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Review: L'STAJ Liquid Lady + Swatches

L'STAJ is a cruetly and paraben free brand established in Sydney by mother-daughter cosmetic super duo Laura and Stefani. The brand promises long lasting and high quality cosmetics, their matte lipstick ranges from natural nudes to vibrant reds. Can I really wave goodbye to cracked, coloured matte lips?

I have tried a variety of liquid matte lipsticks - I love matte and I love liquid lipsticks... but due to my extremely dry lips I cannot help but to cringe when the three words are put togther. I instantly picture my dry cracked lips. Did the products live up to their expectations?  Scroll down to read my verdict!

About Liquid Lady

  • Available in 5 shades (nudes, pink, deep red and classic red)
  • Liquid lipstick
  • Creamy texture, dries matte
  • Long lasting
  • Paraben free
  • Made in Japan
Price: $22 each or purchase all 5 for $85 (See here)

Left: Lady Cheeky; Right: Lady Lavish
My Verdict

  • Packaging. It screams luxury with it's slick, simple and minimalistic approach. Love at first sight.
  • Application was really easy with the wand, you can cover your lips with liquid lady (I'd recommend full coverage for those with less pigmented lips), if your lips are more pigmented like mine, go for a 'stain'. Apply the content onto your lower lips and smack/rub your lips together until the colour is blended throughout your upper and lower lips. I don't reach for nudes - but I reach for these and have been wearing it to work for the past couple of weeks.
  • Texture is indeed creamy and velvety upon application, and it does dry matte. The content is extremely easy to blend so you will have plenty of time perfecting it to the shape of your lips.
  • There is a very light scent to the product, it's not noticable unless you really sniff it. I can't quite put my finger on what it smells like.. it smells like lipstick? 
  • These babies are extremely pigmented, what you see is pretty much what you get, the colours are true to the photos.
  • Moisturisation wise, it didn't dry my lips out like Klara Cosmetics, however, I would always recommend a lip balm to prime the lips. I wore it once without lip balm and my lips did feel dry once the formula dried matte. For girls with extra dry lips like me, I recommend a generous coat of balm to prime and re-apply to your lips every 3-4 hours to keep them extra hydrated.
  • I preferred L'STAJ to Rimmel's Provocalips because I found that Provocalips didn't work well with hot beverage, it reacted to the heat and started clumping. I didn't have the same issue with L'STAJ - I drank my hot chocolate and slurped my ramen.
  • Liquid Lady is long lasting, it will last for most of the day with some fading throughout the day. However, if you are eating/drinking/wiping your mouth, the product will come off.
  • Liquid lady is easy to remove, either wash it off with cleanser or use a wipe.
  • Overall, I do feel this product is of higher quality with much better formula than some of the other liquid lipsticks I've tried. Although I did notice the lines of my lips slightly accentuated.. that's not enough to pull me away from it.. I am in love with the creaminess, matte finish and will continue to reach for this over my other liquid lipsticks. It's extremely difficult to find a good liquid lipstick and these are by far, the best I've tried.
Top: Lady Lavish;  Bottom: Lady Cheeky
Lady Cheeky
Lady Lavish
Do you prefer liquid lipsticks or bullet lipsticks?
*These products were provided for my consideration, all opinions are my own.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

FACTORIE Make Up Make Out Beauty Range + Swatch & Video

Factorie is a well established lifestyle brand most well known for their fashion. In late October, Factorie launched their first beauty range Make Up Make Out. The new collection features a variety of products, from contour kits to macaroon lip balms with prices ranging from $4.96- $24.95 ... super affordable and perfect for the upcoming summer!

Bronzer in Sun Kissed - $19.95

With slight shimmer, a gorgeous bronzer that literally looks sun-kissed on your skin. Currently the only shade available, however I imagine this to suit most skin types. This bronzer will give you a natural glow that's not over-powering or overly shimmery. I've been using this mainly to contour, but also as a cheek colour on the apples of my cheeks. At first glance, my initial thought was that this bronzer will definitely turn orange on my skin... but to my ardent surprise, it not turn orange or muddy, it was a really lovely shade actually. The product is subtly pigmented, I would recommend to gently tap your brush into the product and slowly build up the colour as required, it is easily blendable. As per my video, you can double this up as an eyeshadow. The product lasted for a solid 5-6 hours. I'm a tactile person, so I really like the rubberized matte packaing (reminds me of NARS products), you will get some fluff stuck on it but nothing too severe. I'm quite happy with the overall quality of this bronzer!

Macaroon Lip Balm - $9.95

Here we have a cute little lip balm in the shape of a macaroon, there are currently four flavours available (Marshmallow Bliss, Raspberry Smooth, Vanilla Fling and Watermelon Crush), mine is in Vanilla Fling and it smells like a delicious dessert. The balms are completely translucent and you'll get a glossy finish. Moisturisation wise, it wasn't too bad, my lips stayed quite hydrated within the first 3-4 hours. My lips did feel a little dry once the balm wore off so I'd recommend reapplication every 3-4 hours. Due to the glossy finish, I would recommend this over lipsticks too. Can't get over the cuteness though!

Mascara (Black) - $9.95

The mascara brush is slightly curved allowing an easier application, I was really happy to see the short bristles as bigger wands don't usually work too well on my small lashes. The formula dried fairly quickly and I found it to be water resistant. I applied 2 coats to my upper and lower lashes (I love how it really lengthened my lower lashes), went out to sculptures by the sea on a hot-windy day and returned with no smudges. It is easily removable with a cream cleanser in warm water.  I did notice some lift and curl to my lashes once applied, since my lashes are so straight, even  a slight curl is classified as a solid effort.

 Hair Jewels
 This is a GWP item available in December 2015 with any purchase that's $20 or more in stores

This is the first time I've come across hair jewels, I was a little hesitant to use it at first but shortly feel in love after the first application. It is easily applied with a hair straghtener or a curling iron, the jewels will transfer onto your hair within 5 seconds (see video below for application).
Ensure to comb your hair prior to transfer as the jewels will fall out if you start running your hair brush through it. However, once applied it stayed on all day, I had my hat on, the wind turning my hair upside down and the little cuties didn't go anywhere. Although not recommended, but you can wear it to bed, as an uncontrollable roller in bed a few did fall out, with 3 left in my hair the next morning. Removal is really easy, they can be easily washed out with water or just pick them off. I don't do a whole lot with my hair so I loved this and I felt like a mermaid.
2 coats of Factorie's Mascara - top and bottom lashes
Factorie Bronzer

Hair Jewels
Video Application 


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

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