Smashbox Primer Water - Review

The Smashbox Primer Water was something that I was really excited about trying after seeing tons of beauty bloggers misting their pretty faces with this magic water. You can pick up a bottle from Mecca Cosmetica for $44.

Smashbox claims that this product sprayed on clean skin will create a perfect base for makeup application and extend the length of wear. When applied over the top of makeup it claims to lock in your makeup and if spritzed over the course of the day can be used as a refresher and hydrator. Packed with electrolytes and caffeine, this primer is free from sillicone, alcohol and oil. To use this product, hold the bottle approximately 10 inches away from your face and spray. I like to do it in three sections, one spray for each side and one for the middle of my face. 

The product itself is literally what you would expect with that name - water. It is completely transparent and easily absorbed by the skin, on my skin it takes less than a minute to fully absorb. 

I have to be completely honest, I used this product everyday for a month and I didn't notice a difference. I don't think it improved my makeup application or how long it lasted on my skin. There was no change in my pores, fine lines or the texture of my skin and my makeup faded exactly the same as days when I don't use a primer. 

I also didn't notice any changes with the hydration of my skin. There have been some articles (check them out here and here) that state spraying water onto your skin does not help to moisturise as it merely evaporates. In order to get any hydration benefits it is recommended you apply a serum or moisturiser immediately after spritzing with a facial mist. This would be something to consider when purchasing this type of product. 

The smell is fresh, subtle and dissipates once it's worn for about 5 to 10 minutes. After application I noticed a very slight stinging sensation, which I attribute to the caffeine ingredient, which is a trigger for my sensitive rosacea skin. I did enjoy the act of spritzing my face and I was really hopeful that this would be my new favourite product. When it comes to priming, I don't think this product makes the cut. 

I would recommend using this product after makeup application when you want to avoid looking cakey. It takes away the powdery look on your face and means your makeup looks more like real skin. I would also recommend it for when you want to intensify a product's pigment. You can spritz your brush or finger and dip it into an eyeshadow to amp up the colour transfer, giving you more bang for your buck. All you have to do is take your brush or finger and spray it a couple times before picking up your eyeshadow colour. Both of these techniques can be done with normal water, but a positive to using this primer is that the water has been purified and is free from any nasties which could be harmful for your skin. 

Take a look at the swatches below to see the results and I've used two different shadows. The first two swatches were applied with a brush and the second two were applied with a finger. You can tell that the second swatches, which are the ones where I used the primer, are more intense in pigment.

Left to Right: 1) Shadow applied with a brush, the right side is with the primer.  2) Shadow applied with fingers, the right side is with the primer. 

So lets get to the nitty gritty, would I buy this product again? Mmm, I would have to say no. It's quite an expensive product considering the results are not what I would expect of a primer. Facial mists are everywhere at the moment and there are some cheaper alternatives out there, which means I just don't think it's worth the price tag. 

Have you tried this product? What were your thoughts?


Too Faced Lip Injection - Review

Ever since I can remember I've always wanted bigger lips and considering the latest rage is the bigger the better (thank you Kylie Jenner), I just had to give the Too Faced Lip Injection Power Plumping Lip Gloss a whirl. 

When I was younger I tried a number of lip plumping glosses but was never impressed with the results and decided to give up on the idea of a quick fix. Enough years have passed that when I saw this Too Faced option, my curiosity (or my desperation for a plump pout) got the best of me and I thought maybe, just maybe, this gloss would be the one! So let's dive into the review.

The packaging is cute and feminine, the clear plastic tube means you can see the pink gloss and you know how much product is left. The twist top lid is a brushed gold with a pattern along the edge. It has a doe-foot applicator which makes it easy to apply the product evenly across your lips. The applicator is also small enough for my fellow thin-lipped ladies so you won’t end up with product all over your face!

The consistency of the product is thicker when compared to your usual lip gloss. It has a very smooth texture and although it is a little sticky I found it comfortable to wear. After an hour and a half you can tell the product has worn away, but it wears evenly, without patchiness or unsightly residue. 

Looking at the list of ingredients is where this product gets interesting. As well as being paraben free and vegan friendly, this gloss contains Capsicum Frutescens Resin. This ingredient is made from hot peppers and causes the inflammation and swelling of your lips. I was a little worried the product would be harsh on my usually dry, chapped lips but I found the added avocado oil and vitamin E kept them moisturised. 

Don't be fooled by the bright pink gloss in the tube, the product looks very natural on your lips. It leaves a beautiful glossy look with a very subtle pink pigment. The smell takes me back to my childhood and all I can compare it to is a yummy sweet cough syrup.

Within the first 5 minutes I really started to notice the difference with this gloss, a tingling sensation kicks in, your lips turn a darker pink and look instantly fuller. By the 10 to 15 minute mark the sensation starts to become more intense, almost like your lips are stinging after eating chilli.

I was pleasantly surprised the plumped appearance lasted on my lips at least an hour after application. Although the colour of my lips had returned to normal, they still appeared larger than usual which is rather impressive. After an hour I noticed my lips slowly returning to their normal size (it had to happen eventually I suppose).

In my experience the more product I applied the more intense the stinging sensation and the better result I achieved. I noticed if you got any gloss on your skin it would also turn red, so you do need to be careful when applying the product and stay within your lip line. 

When I first put this gloss on I noticed a difference almost immediately and was jumping around the house in excitement and asking my boyfriend if he could tell. Of course he said he couldn't tell the difference at all and thought I was crazy. But now that I’ve done the time elapsed photos even he admits you can see there is a difference. I feel it made my lips look more pouty and full. I’m pleasantly surprised that the effect seemed to last up to an hour later even though the colour of my lips returns to normal.

You will have to excuse my time elapsed photos as I had to use my phone and natural daylight, which seemed to very minute to minute. You can clearly see a difference from when I first applied it to the 15 minute mark, especially with my top lip - It's actually a little exciting! Too Faced claim this gloss will leave your lips plumper for up to 4 hours after application. Although I was impressed with the results, I wouldn't say the effect lasted that long. 

I honestly loved the appearance of my lips following the use of this product and I think it’s worth the stinging sensation - no pain, no gain! If you’ve already got luscious big lips and want to take them to the next level or if you’re like me and were graced with a smaller set, apply this baby and wait to see the results.  You can find this gloss at Mecca Cosmetic for $29.

Now, I’m not claiming this is a miracle product and you’re going to have Kylie Jenner lips after you use it, the effects are minimal and short lived. But if you’re looking for a good plumper with real (and realistic) results, then I would definitely recommend the Lip Injection by Too Faced.

Have you tried lip plumpers before? What are your thoughts?


Estee Lauder Double Wear Light - Review

Estee Lauder is one of my all time favourite brands because of their incredible quality products. The Double Wear Light Foundation is no exception and has been one that I have used regularly for over 10 years. This is the first instalment of my foundation series, so grab a coffee, sit back, relax and read on!

I want my reviews to be genuine and honest, and what's better than seeing real results? I want to make a point that I have not edited my before and after photos and I'm feeling rather brave showing my naked face to the world, thanks to a high definition camera! I hope this makes it easier for you to see how the products work on a real person with real skin. 

The canvass - I started off with a completely clean base. Cleansed, exfoliated and moisturised skin and no primer. My skin is combination and usually dehydrated, so my cheeks feel dry but I tend to get oily over the day in my t-zone. I have rosacea, which means my skin flushes red (mostly my nose, cheeks and chin) and sometimes has small raised bumps. During the time of this review I also had a small break out so thought it was the perfect chance to show you what this foundation can do. If you would like to know more about rosacea and how I manage it, leave me a comment below. 

The brand - Estee Lauder is a prestige brand who pride itself on providing high quality and innovative products in skin care, makeup, perfume and hair care for over 65 years. The company do not test their products on animals, unless they are required by law in certain countries, such as China. You can learn more about the brand and company here: Estee Lauder Companies

The packaging -  This foundation comes in quite simple and elegant packaging, a nude coloured plastic tube which is easy to squeeze out the product with precision. The gold, flat bottomed lid means it can stand upright and you never have to worry about trying to get the last drop of product out. 

The productThe formula is creamy with a thicker consistency than other foundations I've tried. There are only 7 shades in this foundation and are named by intensity, including 1.0, 2.0, 2.5, 3.0, 3.5, 4,.0 5.0. I wear shade 2.0 and it is a bit darker than my natural shade, but I tend to wear it when I want a bit more colour or have a fake tan. The limited number of shades in the line mean it is more difficult to colour match and it will be especially difficult if you have a deeper skin tone. 

The foundation has an SPF of 10 and there is no flash black when taking photos - an added bonus! The smell is lightly floral and dissipates quickly so I think it is safe to say it would be inoffensive to those who are more sensitive to scents. You get 30mls of foundation in this tube, which is fairly standard, but due to the higher coverage a little goes a long way. It take me almost 6 months to finish and I use it almost every day. 

Before and after - no photoshop + no filter
The application - For this review I applied the foundation with my fingers which provides excellent coverage and ease in blending. Where you need extra coverage you can use your fingers to pat more product on for a seamless finish. It blends in well but it seems to dry quickly so you will need to work fast. 

A brush will give you a more polished finish and if you let the first layer dry you can add additional layers for a perfectly flawless finish. As the coverage can be quite intense you can use a beauty blender to make it look more natural, or you can add a touch of the foundation to your moisturiser to create your own sheer tint. 
Before and after close up - no photoshop + no filter
The wear - Estee Lauder claims this foundation is sheer to medium coverage but I definitely think it is more of a medium to full coverage depending on how much product you use. In the before and after shots I have only applied one layer of the foundation. Layering the product creates a perfectly flawless coverage without caking or looking too heavy. It smooths the texture of your skin, fills your pores and once it has dried, it isn't moving. You will need to use a good cleanser at the end of the day to get this baby off your face.

Estee Lauder claims this foundation will last 15 hours, and on my skin I'd say it ALMOST makes it. It will usually last at least 8 hours looking as flawless as when I first applied it, if I use some blotting paper when oil starts to build up I can make it to 12 hours without having to touch up. That's pretty incredible. 

I used to wear this foundation when I worked in hospitality and I would be surrounded by hot ovens, steam from industrial dishwashers and I'd be sweating from running around with heavy plates - and after an 8 hour shift, it was picture perfect! Although this foundation is long wearing and has a fuller coverage, it doesn't feel heavy on the face or crease in fine lines. 

The finish is semi-matte, and if you have dry to normal skin you won't have to powder. If you're on the oily side or have combination skin, you might want to powder certain spots to lock it in and prevent it from moving. I tend to get an oily t-zone over the day, and although this foundation is one of the best I've used I still think a light dusting of powder across the forehead, nose and chin keeps it lasting a little longer.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Light - 2.0
The price - This foundation will set you back $50 and you can purchase it online at www.esteelauder.com.au or head to your nearest department store. 

The verdict - When it comes to foundations, this is one that I keep on coming back to time and time again and I imagine it will stay a firm favourite for many years to come. Due to my rosacea I'm always looking for fuller coverage foundations, and this one ticks all the boxes while still looking natural and being easy to wear. If you're looking for even more coverage you should have a look at the original Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation. 

Have you used this foundation, what do you think? What are some of your favourite foundations and are there any that you would like to see me review?


The Fleurieu Peninsula - A Winter Getaway

It was our 6 year anniversary this June, so we decided to get out of the city for the weekend and head to the Fleurieu Peninsula. We spent most of the time relaxing, eating delicious meals, walking the beaches and visiting different towns in the area. Tom took some amazing photos so I thought I would share them with you. If you're looking for the outfit, scroll to the bottom of this post!

We celebrated our anniversary with lunch at one of the yummiest restaurants in Port Willunga, Star of Greece. Their food is absolutely amazing and not to mention they have one of the best views of the ocean. Afterwards we sat out on their deck with a cup of tea and took in the landscape. We went for a walk along the beach (I wore heels which made it more interesting) but used it as an opportunity to take some outfit shots.  

We were going to check out a few different wineries but we spent too much time eating and had to make an executive decision to head straight to one of our favourites, Primo Estate. We did a tasting and bought a few of their beautiful wines, as well as their famous olive oil. It's absolutely delicious and if you go there you have to try it!

We finished our day in Normanville, taking in the sunset at the beach.

Port Willunga

Star of Greece
Star of Greece
Primo Estate
Primo Estate
Primo Estate
Primo Estate

Onto the outfit! The coat is from Witchery last season and I've been wearing it daily now the weather has turned cold. It's super thick and keeps me warm no matter what temperature it is outside or how much the wind is blowing. An added bonus is that it comes with a hood, which helps protect my frizzy hair form the rain. The shirt dress has turned into an absolutely favourite of mine - I love the colour and print and have been looking for every opportunity to wear it. It goes from desk to drinks easily and now, weekend getaways! The Portmans chelsea boots have texture on one half which make them a little more interesting, and the heel height means they are comfortable to wear all day. The backpack is a new addition that I picked up in the mid year sales at Seed Heritage and I haven't put it down since. The best bit about this bag is it can actually turn into a tote if you take the shoulder straps off and loosen the opening. 

Coat: Witchery
Dress: Witchery
Shoes: Portmans
Necklace: Sportsgirl
Backpack: Seed Heritage


Bobbi Brown Face Touch Up Palette - Review

A couple of months ago I was walking around David Jones when I stumbled across the Bobbi Brown counter, and my eyes lit up when I saw a sign saying 'new'. I'm always a sucker for the latest and greatest, and to be honest I haven't used a lot of Bobbi Brown products, so when I saw the new Face Touch Up Palette I knew I had to try it.

The small and slim palette fits in the palm of your hand which means it's perfect to keep in your handbag or clutch without taking up too much room. The packaging is quintessential of Bobbi Brown, sleek, shiny black cover with white lettering. There's 5.1 grams of product in this little baby, which is surprising considering a standard Bobbi Brown corrector has 1.4 grams, so you're getting quite a bit of product in a palette that is meant to be used for small touch ups. 

The palette comes in 5 different shades that are meant to complement most skin colours including, warm neutral, warm ivory, sand, warm sand and warm beige. If you have quite a dark skin tone I'm not sure how well this palette will serve you and I would recommend everyone going to your Bobbi Brown counter to get colour matched. Due to the high coverage of each of the products you only need a small amount to achieve your desired look. 

If you're familiar with Bobbi Brown you probably already know about their famous under eye colour corrector and concealer duo. In this tiny palette you are lucky enough to get both of these wonderful products which really do come in handy for touch ups. The corrector comes in peach or pink tones and brightens your under eye area while hiding blue or purple tones perfectly. To the right you'll find the creamy concealer, which you use over the top of the corrector or anywhere else you need some extra coverage. Like the corrector, the concealer is a thicker consistency and has excellent coverage. It is long lasting as well as waterproof, sweatproof and humidity proof - so it won't budge! 
The foundation glides on easily and is the same formula as the Bobbi Brown stick foundation. It offers medium coverage but is not suitable to use all over your face otherwise this little palette will run out pretty quickly. It's perfect for touch ups at the end of a long day at work and want to look just as fresh faced as you were 9am that morning.

The sheer finished powder is the finishing touch for your makeup touch up. It's oil absorbing formula means it will take away your shine, while the neutral yellow base makes it easy to match multiple skin tones. You will need to carry a small powder brush with you so you can use this powder while you're on the go. 
Unless you have amazing skin, applying makeup over the top of your already 8 hour old face is never going to go on flawlessly. You will notice build-up of product and the texture won’t be as smooth compared to when you initially applied the product in the morning. By the end of the day my skin starts to produce oil but also my makeup looks like it is sitting on top of my skin, so if I’m going out and have the opportunity, I will cleanse my face and start my base over. But when you don’t have your whole makeup bag with you and time isn't on your side, this is a great alternative!
When I have to go out for coffee or breakfast straight after my gym sessions, I carry this palette with me and just use it where I need it most (particularly under the eyes as I’m not a morning person) and to conceal the left over redness from working my butt off (that’s a lie, pretty sure my butt is getting bigger with all the squats I’m 
The palette is a perfect little tester kit if you want to try out a few of the favourites from Bobbi Brown. If your Bobbi Brown addiction is already well on it's way then this is the perfect addition to keep you picture perfect at all times. 
Light peach corrector, sand creamy concealer, warm sand skin foundation stick, pale yellow sheer finish pressed powder.
Apply the foundation to parts of the face that have started to rub off from using your phone or leaning on your cheek while working hard on the computer *cough* online shopping *cough*. Dab the concealer on spots that have managed to uncover themselves over the course of the day and apply the corrector and concealer duo to ensure you look bright and well rested when you head out for drinks after work.  This is a very clever little palette that incorporates all of your favourites to ensure your skin remains flawless despite whatever your day throws at it.

Have you tried this palette? What are your thoughts?


Study tips, tricks and essentials

I just started studying again, while working full time, which seemed like a good idea at the time but I forgot just how hard it is to stay motivated. I have never been the best student, I've always had a tendency to get distracted and leave assignments to the last minute. There's always something more fun than having your head in a book, like YouTube, or beauty blogs, or Real Housewives of New York, Beverly Hills, OC etc. I was hoping now that I'm older and wiser I would be setting myself up with good habits and not panicking at midnight trying to get my assignment finished. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like I've grown up that much. But I do have a few tips, tricks and essentials that make it a little bit easier to sit down for hours on end filling your brain with knowledge. Hopefully you find them helpful too! 

Mac Book Pro
My laptop is my hero, I honestly don't know what I would do if I didn't have my Mac Book Pro. This little baby has seen me through many, many years of study and I wouldn't have it any other way, we make a great team! It's easy to use and easy to transport, making it a student's dream when you're on the go and need to get things done quickly.

The effects of music on mood and focus have been well researched and I believe it can have an impact on your study performance. I find that listening to songs with lyrics can be a bit distracting as then I start searching my favourites and singing at the top of my lungs instead of flicking through the pages of my text book. I found instrumental songs on YouTube that are supposed to help with focus and brain function. Now I can't be 100 per cent sure that this music makes me Einstein or anything, but I do feel like it helps me concentrate and stops me from getting distracted. If you're looking for some study music, check out this YouTube video

Cute stationary
You know when you buy cute workout gear and you want to use it so you go for a run? Yeah, I don't get that either. I feel like this concept might work a little better when you buy cute stationary. Bright coloured pens, notebooks and folders get me excited to write down my ideas. My favourite stationary store is Kikki K, have a look at their website and you can thank me later when your desk is filled with cuteness! I bought this bright calendar to help me stay organised, I write down when all of my assignments are due for the year as well as tutorials and block out study times. It's handy to keep it somewhere visible so you have a constant reminder of what is coming up.

I started an unhealthy obsession with decorative candles a few years ago, and now I look for any excuse to light one. When I study I find it relaxing to have a candle burning nearby, there's something about the beautiful light and the subtle smell that just helps makes the house seem more pleasant. When I'm studying I want to be surrounded by things that make me happy so I bring out the candles and choose scents that are invigorating and yummy. Some candles can be very expensive and if you're on a student's budget you need to be savvy with your spending. I've been loving Airwick scented candles which you can get from the supermarket, they have delicious scents and won't break the break. 

There is nothing better than brewing a big pot of tea. It means you don't have to keep going back for refills and there's just something comforting and delicious about it that makes study seem that little bit more enjoyable. It also doesn't hurt to add some caffeine to the mix and help perk you up in the later hours of the evening. I'm partial to English Breakfast tea with a dash of milk and my favourite brand at the moment has to be T2 Tea.

If you're planning on having a solid study session you're going to need some sustenance. I always end up bringing out the chocolate and eating tonnes of it, for energy and because it generally just makes me happy. If you're looking for something sweet but minus the guilt then get your hands on some berries. Warning: if you're anything like me these berries will last about 1.5 minutes so make sure you have some chocolate hidden for late night study emergencies. 

Last minute tips

So you've left your assignment to the last minute, here are my tips on how to stay in control and hand it up on time:
  • Make a list of what you need to do and work through that list, crossing off the items once completed, it makes you feel like you have made achievements along the way. 
  • Make sure you read the questions properly, highlight and underline the relevant parts of the question and ensure you are answering it throughout your writing. This might seem obvious, but when you are in a rush it is easy to misinterpret wording or make assumptions, and this can be the difference between a pass or a fail.
  • Make a plan of what you're going to write for each paragraph before you start writing, it only has to be a short. It means you can clarify your thoughts, come up with a logical structure and you won't forget your ideas while you are writing. This is also really helpful in exams, I know it can seem like you're wasting time but in the long run it is beneficial.
  • If you have the time, chat with your partner, parents, friends or study buddies about the assignment and what you're going to write. This can help consolidate your thoughts and who knows, they might have some ideas that you didn't think of already.
  • Let everyone in your life know that you'll be unavailable until you've completed the assignment, cancel all plans, turn off your phone, avoid all social media and make a promise to yourself that you can have a reward as soon as it's done. Then go gorge on chocolate (personally favourite). 
  • Leave your introduction and conclusion to last. I feel like this can be the parts we spend so much time on, trying to make it sound just right. While it is important to begin and finish an assignment strongly, it really is the body of the essay that will get you the majority of points.
  • Stay calm. If you've left it to the last minute then accept it's not going to be perfect. You don't have time to panic and it's definitely not going to help you get your assignment done any quicker. Work work work!

In collaboration with Airwick. 


BOX Naturals - Review

BOX Naturals is an American brand created by women for women. Their towelettes are gentle on the skin, free from harsh chemicals and artificial fragrances. I found the brand while surfing Instagram one day and was taken by the beautiful packaging and mission to create something women could use that was natural and safe for their body. You can purchase their products on the website by clicking here, and they do ship internationally. They will be opening up in Australia later this year and were looking for Aussie bloggers to test out their product and I was sent the lavender and rosewater towelettes to try. I have to say I am really impressed with this product. 

The packaging is exceptionally beautiful and feminine, which is fitting with their brand as they aim to celebrate women. A lot of wipes look quite clinical or unsightly, but Box Naturals is one product you'll be happy to have displayed on your vanity. They're perfect for when you're on the run and the individual wrapping makes them easy to store absolutely anywhere you can think of, your handbag, gym bag, or your desk drawer at work. Inside each beautifully wrapped packet is a white square towelette which is soft enough to be gentle on the skin but thick enough that it won't easily tear.  

I used these wipes to freshen up after a gym session as I often meet friends for coffee and I don't have time to go home for a shower. They are quick and easy to use and dry on the skin without leaving a residue. Unlike other wipes that can smell artificial, these towelettes are made with organic essential oils and smell heavenly - and it just so happens that rose and lavender are my favourite floral scents! The smell lightly lingers on your skin but it isn't overbearing. I've also used these towelettes to clean my hands, my phone and my desk at work. It's one of those products I can imagine I will get a little obsessed with and start looking for any opportunity to use them, the possibilities are endless.

If you're looking for products that are gentle on the skin then I think you'll be impressed by the list of ingredients that BOX Naturals do not include in their product. They are completely free of parabens, dyes, petrochemicals, sulphates and synthetic fragrances as well as being vegan, cruelty-free and biodegradable. If the quality of the product wasn't enough to impress me, I discovered they donate a percentage of all profit to supporting women's issues - how amazing is that?!

I will definitely be stocking up on these little beauties and keeping one in every handbag! So, if you're looking for a towelette that is safe and gentle on the skin and has a focus on looking after and celebrating women, then give Box Naturals a try! Click here to go to their website and take closer look. Let me know what you think. 

The opinions in this post are my own. I was sent testers of Box Natural towelettes to review. 

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