Sunday, December 28, 2014

Movie Review: PADDINGTON

Starring: Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Nicole Kidman, Peter Capaldi, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent, voice of Ben Whishaw.
Genre: Family/Comedy

Today we took Mr. 7 to see PADDINGTON. He found the movie trailer hilarious and I thought it was rather cute, so I engaged mission 'win tickets to Paddington', which thankfully, was successful!

This family movie was delightful from start to finish. It's very funny in parts, but also carries a level of charm and emotion throughout. I was mightily impressed by the artistic quality of the film. Every frame looked beautiful, and it was a visually rich and stunning experience.

The story was engaging, Paddington was endearing and Nicole Kidman was certainly evil as the Taxidermist. Doctor Who fans will notice Peter Capaldi is in this, and my keen-eyed son kept saying "he looks a LOT like Doctor Who!" which elicited many chuckles from fellow cinegoers. This is a wonderful film for all ages, and I'm pretty sure my husband and I loved it as much as my son. Paddingon is still in cinemas, so go catch this red hat wearing, marmalade-loving bear while you still can. You won't be disappointed!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Furless Punk Mani!

Hey everyone! I can't believe how busy I've been this month! I've been run off my feet, hence the lack of blog posts. I've also just returned from a family holiday in Victor Harbor, which was also busy as we packed a shitload of activities into each day. I think I'm actually more stuffed than before I left!

Anyway I wanted my nails to look nice for Christmas Day, and Furless kindly sent me Punk to complete my Furless Grunge collection of lacquers, so here it is! It went on super-easily and I've just used the one coat. The bottom photo was taken in daylight (as opposed to inside) and you can see how beautiful the colour is. I really need to stop being a total vampire and take more photos outside!

I hope you're all enjoying the holidays. Merry Christmas!! xx

Dark purple, sexy Punk

Looks quite gothic!

Glossy finish without a top coat

Outside, looking hot against our red car!

Disclaimer: Furless Punk nail lacquer was provided for consideration. This is a non-sponsored post and all opinions are my own.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Celebrate Christmas Cruelty-Free with Lush!

Limited Edition Lush Christmas goodies!

If you're an animal lover you probably already know that Lush are a Cruelty-free company. They have a long history of Fighting Animal Testing and they only source their ingredients from companies that do not commission tests on animals and that respect the environment. A few other ways in which Lush demonstrate strong ethics include:

* environmentally-friendly packaging, including 'Naked' packaging, where the customer can choose no wrapping at all on suitable products.
* charitable giving, for instance 100% of the money raised through Charity Pots sales goes to animal protection, human rights and environmental charities and grassroots organisations.
* ethical buying and a strict stance on animal testing
* campaigning for animal rights, human rights and environmental causes such as Anti-Shark Culling, marriage equality and the rights of asylum seekers.

All products are handmade locally in Lush kitchens with the freshest of ingredients. I'm a huge Lush fan, and it's reassuring to know that whether you're stocking up on the Limited Edition Christmas range for yourself this Christmas, or buying gifts for friends, you'll be supporting an ethical, cruelty-free brand. Here are some Lush goodies from the Christmas range Lush kindly sent to me.....

The one in the book looks perfect

Snowman FUN*
We've used the individual FUN colours before, but this Christmas creation is triple the FUN! For the uninitiated, FUN is a bubbler with multiple uses; as a soap, shampoo or bubblebath. It's especially great for kids, because they can mould it into various shapes and have a play (this also helps with making bath-time fun!). And boy, did my little man have fun playing with this!? (Yes). I think his exact words were "I'm having TOO much fun, Mummy!". He started off by making a terrifying nightmare-inducing snowman with the white, orange and black mouldable soaps. Then he washed with it, turning his skin orange. But it's soap so it lathers mildly and washes right off, leaving him smelling amazing (the ingredients include buchu, bergamot and Sicilian lemon essential oils). Needless to say the Snowman FUN was a big hit with my son. And continues to be (I store the remaining product in a snaplock Glad bag).

Pretty rosy pink goodness

Rose Jam Shower Gel*
My most favourite Lush products, generally speaking, are their soaps and shower gels. Rose Jam is in equal first position with Happy Hippy, in my opinion. The aroma of Rose Jam is just divine. It's girly, floral and so pretty. The rosy scent is uplifting, but there's also lemon, geranium oil, vanilla, goji berry and Turkish rose absolute. Last year I stocked up on Snow Fairy, this year I'm going for the Limited Edition Rose Jam so my soft, clean skin can smell like a bouquet of roses all year long. I've talked about Rose Jam before here.

Model is from Lush Fresh for Christmas book!

Santa Baby Lip Tint*
I'm so up in the air with this bright, bold orangey-red Santa Baby Lip Tint! Last year I thought it was too thick and hard to apply and wear, but this year I'm liking it more. The product is hard in the tin, but is easily picked up on the finger and is best applied over moisturised lips, since it sets matte and is not the most moisturising of formulas. As usual, though, Lush have nailed the scent, in this case a 'cinammon-sweet, cola-flavoured taste of Christmas.' It basically smells exactly like Lush Santa's Lip Scrub, which I love and use weekly. Ingredients include cherries, dates, carrot oil and Fair Trade shea butter.


Celebrate Body Lotion*
I'm loving this more than the calming Lush Dream Cream. Celebrate is 'a sumptuous body lotion with orange, almond oil and lime... and a splash of cognac to get you in the festive mood.' The white cream is rich, fairly thick and although most of it absorbs quickly, I've found the remainder does 'sit' on the skin for a while after application. However it really feels like it's nourishing and moisturising my skin, and the citrusy aroma is to die for. I'm currently applying Celebrate after my nightly shower because I absolutely adore going to bed smelling like a boozy fruit salad and waking up with baby soft skin. But it would be an equally amazing way to start off the day, especially since orange and lime are uplifting scents. Celebrate also contains cocoa butter for hydration. This is just a beautiful body lotion with an addictive scent. Love!

A cult classic!

Snow Fairy Shower Gel*
This is a bit of a cult Lush product, and it's easy to see (or smell!) why. This sparkly pink gel is super-sweet and smells like a mixture of musk lollies and fairy floss. Skin-softening seaweed is a recent addition to the Snow Fairy formula. Possibly too sweet for some, Snow Fairy is mega-hyped in beauty circles and an absolute best seller for Lush. I prefer Happy Hippy and Rose Jam, but this is such a fun, cheerful product, and it leaves me with soft, sweet-smelling skin. Side note - I let my son try it once in the shower and now he asks to use it every time!

Do you have a favourite Lush Christmas product?

*Disclaimer: All products were provided for my consideration. This is not a sponsored post. All reviews are my honest opinion.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Thoughts on my Priceline 40% Off Makeup Haul!

Complete haulage

Did you go crazy in the recent Priceline 40% off makeup sale? I know I did. I couldn't get to a store, so put through an online order. I deliberately spent just over $100 to get Free Delivery, because I wasn't missing out on that. I'm pretty happy with this haul. Check out what I got....

Face of Australia goodies
Face of Australia
Screen Siren nail enamel in Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend
I couldn't resist this gorgeous pop of bright fuchsia. My first purchase from the Screen Siren collection.

Divine Shine Lip Plumper in Lavish Instinct
A favourite of mine. An effective, affordable plumper. This flattering, sparkly shade looks really pretty on the lips, too.
High Definition Brow Kit
Very impressed with this, and I'm actually preferring it to my Benefit Brows A-Go-Go kit!

Revlon products

Photoready Eye Primer + Brightener

I reviewed this in my recent November Empties post where I lied and said I wouldn't repurchase. I do love it, but I didn't know it would soon be majorly discounted! My pants are officially on fire.
Colorstay Skinny Liquid Liner in Electric Blue
I fell in love with this after seeing it on Kat's blog Kitsch Snitch and knew it had to be mine. I hope it suits me!

Cheeks and lips

Bourjois & Lip Smacker
Bourjois Blush in Lilas D'Or
These baked powder blushes are so cute and they smell lovely. I was happy to add to my collection with this pretty pot.

Lip Smacker Lip Gloss in Coca Cola Cherry
I admit I purely got this to get my total above $100 for the free delivery! If it's crap, who cares? It was only $2.99.

Maybe she's born with it. Maybe it's....

Superstay 14 Hr Mega Watt lipstick in Coral Beam
Majorly disappointed with this shade! I'm failing to see any 'coral' in this pale baby pink. This shade misleadingly displays much darker on the Priceline website. This looks ridiculous on me. Boo!
Color Tattoo Metal 24 Hr Eyeshadow in Barely Branded
I first saw this on Jenny's blog My Funny Valentine and I'm looking forward to using it as both a cream eyeshadow and a highlighter as she suggests. So far I'm loving the creamy, smooth formula.

From Apocalips to Provocalips!

Lasting Finish by Kate lipstick in 12 Coralicious
I love this range by Kate Moss. The colours are great, the formula is excellent and they are only $12 full-priced (so I jumped when they were 40% off!). I think this is my third number 12 now. A definite favourite!
Provocalips 16 Hr Lip Colour in Make Your Move
This is where beauty blogs come in handy with helpful shade swatches! Very happy with the colour I picked, the flattering nude Make You Move, after checking out reviews and swatches of the entire range on Kitsch Snitch.

Digging for Australis gold!

AC/ME Metallic Finish Eyeshadow in Jay Zed

I've been lusting after a metallic gold eyeshadow for ages, so this was an exciting purchase for me. But what a weird product! The metallic gold foil effect on the lids is not disappointing; bold, sparkly as hell and just as pretty. The texture is a malleable cream which takes a little getting used to. But it would be remiss of me not to mention this product's one major fault. If you touch your eyelids at any point after application, the gold comes clear off and sticks to your finger, actually leaving a bare patch where the shadow was on the lids. I've never seen this before! Luckily, you can re-apply over the patch and it covers seamlessly. But you have to be very aware of not touching your eyelids when wearing this glittery goodness. I might play around with different primers under Jay Zed and see how that goes.

Link your Priceline hauls below so I can check them out!

Disclaimer: All product were purchased by me and all thoughts are my honest opinion.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Getting 'Trashy' with my Furless Mani!

So I decided to get wild and release my inner goth/punk rocker chick (if that's even a thing) with Furless nail lacquer in 'Trashy'. It's a deep, dark red from the Grunge range of polishes* that also includes Bitch (black), Rogue (grey) and Grunge (dark green) which I blogged about here. I think Punk (dark purple) may also be part of the Grunge range, however I was sent two Trashys and no Punk, so I'm only guessing. Either that or the lovelies at Furless are trying to say I'm a complete tart. LOL!

This is just one coat as the formula was quite thick, and I finished with Max Factor Nailfinity Glossy Top Coat to seal it in.

*Disclaimer: Furless Cosmetics kindly sent me the Grunge range of nail polishes, including Trashy, for consideration. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Review: La Prairie Skin Caviar Liquid Lift

La Prairie Skin Caviar Liquid Lift

La Prairie is a luxe anti-ageing skincare brand originating from Switzerland. La Prairie say they "harness ingredients both rare and beneficial. Today, with cutting edge biotechnology and our patented cellular complex, the formulations have become the most luxurious on earth."

I've tried three products from this brand: Cellular Time Release Moisturizer, Skin Caviar Luxe Cream and the subject of this review, Skin Caviar Liquid Lift. My favourites by far are the two products from the Skin Caviar range.

Floating yellow beads

What  La Prairie say about Liquid Lift: "A lifting phenomenon. Next generation Skin Caviar Liquid Lift is a gravity defying serum that lifts, firms and provides long-lasting effects. With a look that pays homage to our iconic skin caviar pearls, this formula contains scientific advancements that create exceptional results. Past damage recedes as existing cells are rejuvenated, and new ones are super-charged, nourished and protected. Skin appears lifted and taut. Skin Caviar Liquid Lift epitomises science and luxury, the heart and soul of the skin caviar collection."

Very important activation instructions!

Liquid Lift comes in a silver and blue pump dispenser bottle with a clear window at the front that you can see the product through. Round yellow beads float hypnotically on one side and the emulsion is housed on the other side of the bottle. These two must be mixed together by pressing the activator button (located around the neck of the bottle) quite firmly. You then shake the bottle vigorously to blend it all together and create your luxurious Liquid Lift skin caviar serum.

After beads and emulsion have mixed

The first thing I noticed after dispensing this product was the distinctive smell. It's not your usual skincare fragrance, in fact it's unlike anything I've smelled before. I'm pretty sure this is what the Skin Caviar Luxe Cream smelled like, too (I finished my pot ages ago, so I'm relying on my shoddy memory). That makes sense, since they are both from the skin caviar collection. It's impossible to describe the aroma, and some people may not like it, but I'm addicted to it (I think it's because I associate the smell with how lovely it feels going on).

This is certainly a high end product; one look at the La Prairie website will reveal it costs a pretty penny (I'd suggest sitting down). However, it feels aah-mazing when you apply Liquid Lift, and a little goes a long way. It feels like I'm spoiling my skin with an uber-luxurious treatment. The serum itself is thin, lightweight and quickly absorbed. It's a sparkly gel-like substance with a slight yellow tinge that leaves my skin with a healthy looking glow. My pores are barely noticeable and my skin feels soft and ultra-smooth after application. It seems to bring everything together and tighten any saggy skin, giving a much more youthful appearance to my face. I love the way this makes my skin look and am very impressed with the results. 

My favourite way to use this is to apply it before bed, particularly on the night before an event. It's always a confidence boost to wake up with radiant, firm, alive-looking and super-soft skin the day of a big event. For daily use, I apply it before my moisturiser. It provides a great base for makeup and you don't have to worry about foundation or concealer balling up over it. That being said, I've never tried applying makeup directly after Liquid Lift, as it's best to follow up with a moisturiser after using this serum. If you hadn't already guessed, I really love this as an anti-ageing product and would recommend it to anyone in their 30's, 40's and beyond!

Disclaimer: I won three La Prairie products including Liquid Lift, and was also sent a 10ml Liquid Lift from La Prairie. This review is my honest opinion.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Party Time! Excellent!

Did you get the Wayne's World reference? It's supposed to be Wordless Wednesday so I'll keep it short and sweet (very sweet, literally!). Zach had his 7th Birthday Party. I baked. The end!

Clinker Rocky Road, Three Layer Jelly Cups

Mini Vanilla Cupcakes

Chips and lollies are a must!

Chocolate Dinosaur Cupcakes

I love the spotty plates!

What food do you make for kid's parties?

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Bourjois 1 Seconde Fuchsia Mani!

This is Fuchsia (07) in the Bourjois 1 Seconde Gel Silicone Texture nail enamel range and what a pretty pop of colour it is! I used two coats and finished with the Max Factor Nailfinity Glossy Top Coat. It's called Fuchsia but all I can think of is watermelon when I admire this shade, even though it's more pink than red!

The 'fan effect' brush is wide and flat, really facilitating quick, easy application. I found it was really effective at getting to the sides of each nail and helped me apply the colour right to the cuticle neater than I can usually manage. I love this brush shape and really wish more brands would adopt it!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

November Empties!

Guess what? I threw out a huge bunch of empty products because I tired of doing Empties posts! But then I wanted to again! So, I only have five empty products to report on as everything else is Gone Girl (I still have yet to see this movie, by the way). Here goes...

Nivea Lip Butter Caramel Cream
I love this! It's smooth, creamy and melts into my lips like butter. This little tin of heaven made my February Favourites earlier this year. Perfect for moisturising and nourishing lips overnight or prepping your pout prior to lipstick application, this gorgeous smelling lip butter is very handy. No need to replace this, because I've still got the other Nivea varieties, Raspberry Rose and Vanilla & Macadamia to finish!

Clean & Clear Advantage Fast Clearing Spot Gel
I was sent a large number of these to trial ages ago (close to two years I'd say) and I've finally finished them all (I also gave a few away). I've reviewed this before here but my opinion has since changed. This spot gel used to work very effectively on me, but lately it's not doing a thing. I think the product has actually lost its potency because I've had it so long! I can't see any other reason why something that once cleared up my breakouts fast, would no longer work. I'll be hitting up my beauty cupboard because I know there are some other zit creams in there to try, rather than replace this product.

Philosophy Amazing Grace Fragrance
This came as part of a gift set I bought from Adore Beauty, and I'm so sad I've finished this mini bottle! AMAZINGly (lol) this was another February Favourite. The main thing I enjoy about this perfume is that it's light, clean and fresh. I'm very wary of strong scents because they easily trigger my headaches. For the fragrance buff, the top notes are mandarin orange, grapefruit and bergamot, middle notes are freesia, jasmine and rose and the base note is musk. As much as I love this, I won't be repurchasing, because I have a ton of other perfumes to get through. Also, I want to try something different like Juicy Couture or something by Katy Perry or Lady Gaga! Strength and headache-inducement pending!

Optrex Refreshing Eye Drops
I know you're not really supposed to regularly use eyedrops, so I've cut right back. I used to get the ones that removed eye redness, but now I just get moisture replenishing or 'tears' ones, and try to use them way less often. Anyway these were OK. I used them when my eyes were sore, dry or tired and sometimes when there was something in there and I wanted to flush it out. But yeah, it's not good to use eyedrops frequently, and I'm not recommending it.

Revlon Photoready Eye Primer + Brightener
You can see how much I've used this from the extensive amount of wear to the labelling. It's worn off and looking pretty shabby. I pretty much used this daily as a finishing touch under my eyes. Even though it contains a primer (and thus should probably be used first), I found the thin, lightweight formula worked best over my concealer because it smoothed out fine lines and brightened the area really well. I've not even tried using this on my lids as a primer, so I can't  comment on its effectiveness at that. I'm not going to repurchase though, because now I'm using Benefit Erase Paste and my Rimmel Wake Me Up concealer instead.

Disclaimer: Revlon product I won, Clean & Clear product was provided for review through another company (non-blog related), all other products were purchased by me.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Celebrity Fashion Round-Up!

I haven't done a celebrity fashion post for ages, so here goes. What follows is the good, the bad and the downright perplexing. Enjoy!

Photo credit: WENN via Celebitchy

Lucy Hale (from TV's Pretty Little Liars) at the CMA's. I'm loving this gorgeous red dress from the Romona Keveza Fall 2014 collection. It's a simple, yet beautiful look. And her makeup is perfect.

Photo credit: Fame/Flynet via Celebitchy

Anne Hathaway at the New York premiere of Interstellar, in a Rodarte something or other. Is this good? Bad? Hideous? Interesting? Confusing? I can't even form a thought on it. What do you think?

Photo credit: WENN via Celebitchy

Nicole Kidman with husband Keith Urban at the CMA's in a white Roberto Cavalli dress. Just wanted to put this here because the lace curtains in my lounge room look exactly like this.

Photo credit: WENN, Fame/Flynet via Celebitchy

Kate Hudson looking all sun-kissed, blonde and glowy in a shiny blush-coloured Gucci dress at the LACMA Gala honouring my favourite Director, Quentin Tarantino. Oh my!

Photo credit: WENN, Fame/Flynet via Celebitchy

Kim Kardashian at a Hairfinity launch in London in a rather ill-fitting coat that is just weird and huge and completely wrong. She has the girls out, as usual, but the ridiculous art smock steals the spotlight.

Photo credit: Fame/Flynet via Celebitchy

Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty, The Tree of Life), also at the New York premiere of Interstellar, elegant in a stunning black Prada gown. Wow. I love this! And again, outstanding makeup.

What's your favourite look?

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Ulta3 Blossom Fever Mani!

Ulta3 Blossom Fever is a gorgeous, creamy nude with fleshy pink undertones that has a lovely glossy finish. I used two thin coats. There were streaks after the first coat, but I was able to even it out during the second coat application. This shade is very flattering and forgiving if your nails are not in the best shape, as the nude tone is subtle and doesn't stand out like a bold red would. An added bonus is the optical illusion of elegant, elongated fingers!

I picked this baby up in my recent Colourful Ulta3 Mini Haul where it actually photographed as pale yellow?! Weird.

This would be a beautiful shade to wear to an office job or on your Wedding Day if you were trying to be conservative! It reminds me of my nude Zoya shade 'Diem', (which I blogged about here), but with a lower sparkle factor. I really love this colour and am chuffed that it has dried without me smudging it at all!

As always, Ulta3 nail colours are $2 each and available from selected Target stores, Terry White Chemists, Blooms the Chemist, Good Price Pharmacies, Chem Mart and other selected pharmacies.

What's your favourite nude coloured nail polish?

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Fun Family Flicks!

My seven year old son loves going to the movies. We've been taking him since he was about four (back in the fidgety, stand up and dance during the film days), so he's quite an old hand now, and sits through the whole movie, albeit with a fair few whispered questions for us throughout. Recently, we had two Movie Double days, where we saw two kid-friendly films on the same day (thanks to family passes I'd won and Weekend Family Flicks days at our local EVENT cinema, where all tickets were only $6). Here's the round-up!

The sequel to RIO, this colourful, animated film sees Blu, Jewel and their three cute kids move from the city to the wild Amazon jungle. My son loved this film. It's bright, fun and there's plenty of humour and musical sequences. The voice cast includes Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway,, Jamie Foxx, Tracy Morgan and Leslie Mann.

I may have enjoyed this one more than my son, and if you're a fan of the TV show, this would be up your alley. There are evil clone-robots though, which may be scary for some kids. Featuring the voices of Stephen Mangan, Ronan Keating, Jim Broadbent, Rupert Grint and David Tennant, this film centres around a TV talent show, so there's plenty of entertaining musical numbers to keep youngsters and their parents engaged.

This Disney film is a sequel to Planes (itself a spin-off from the Cars franchise), and it centres around Dusty Crophopper, a racer whose gearbox has hit the skids. Consequently, travels to Piston Peak and trains to join the Fire and Rescue crew instead. My son really enjoyed this one. Planes: Fire & Rescue has great computer animation and an interesting story with plenty of heart. The extensive voice talent includes Dane Cook, Stacy Keach, Brad Garrett, Teri Hatcher, Cedric the Entertainer, Hal Holbrook, Julie Bowen and Ed Harris.

Despite a promising start (The Cure's 'Love Cats' features), I was not enchanted by The House of Magic. Cute kitty Thunder is abandoned, and when looking for a place to live finds an old mansion, owned by a retired Magician. He moves in, much to the displeasure of Jack Rabbit and Maggie Mouse. The House of Magic is visually beautiful, so this may dazzle younger viewers, but for me there was just something missing. The voice cast are basically unknown. My son said this was his least favourite film out of the bunch.

Do your kids love going to the cinema?