Going red, root canals, and a few of my favourite makeup bits from September

September was in all honesty a blur of a month, I turned 32, celebrated my fifth wedding anniversary, got a root canal (ouch doesn't quite cover it), dyed my hair red, and managed to apply some makeup in between countless appointments to the dentist. 

Blogging unfortunately moved to the back burner as a result, because I couldn't quite get myself to sit down and write. So instead of going into detail about the root canal, let's touch on the light-hearted stuff, makeup.

First up, brushes..

Real Techniques Bold Metals Collection

Real Techniques Bold Metals Collection

In late August Real Techniques released seven new brushes in order to appeal to both their grassroots fan base, as well as brush snobs like myself. Aesthetically pleasing to the eye with their angular lines and precious metal finish (rose gold, gold, and silver), and synthetic bristles -- read: animal-friendly. While I do love gold as much as the next gal, I cannot overlook the fact that the brush handles won't stay gold forever. Greasy fingerprints and annoying/tricky packaging take these seven brushes down a few notches in their hot pursuit of luxe-ness. RT brush prices range from $39 AUS to $65 AUS, and in the event you head to your local Priceline to check them out be sure to hit up the cashier as you won't be able to find them on the sales floor. 


  • Brush 301 - holy contour, Batman!
  • Brush 202 - the petite multi-tasker for lining the eyes and creating natural brows.
  • Brush 300 - this tapered blush brush was made for pairing up with Hourglass' Ambient Light Blush palette.


  • Brush 101 - the triangle foundation brush fails to compute, I just don't get it.
  • Brush 100 - the arched powder brush.. been there, done that. Plus there far better and cheaper alternatives out in the market.
  • Brush 200 - The oval shadow brush is too large for my small eyes. It can blend, but not with the same precision as MAC's 217.
  • Brush 201 - The pointed crease failed to leave a lasting impression.
Chanel's 2-in-1 Foundation Brush

Chanel's 2-in-1 Foundation Brush

Speaking of brush snobs, I picked this brush up, Chanel's 2-in-1 Foundation Brush Fluid and Powder, way back in August, and it's become the brush I'd like to master using. When used correctly Photoshop filters and the Healing Tool will quickly become obsolete. Sabrina's in-depth review definitely justifies this spend-y indulgence. 

Evo's roy wide-tooth comb (pictured in the first image) was an anniversary gift from Scott. Don't knock this comb until you've tried it -- made from recycled wood, this tooth-y comb really gets into the roots while the rounded ends massage the scalp.


Renewed Hope In a Jar Dry, as commented by my facialist, has left my skin looking and feeling plump, hydrated and youthful. Filled with AHA's, Philosophy's revamped formula spreads on evenly as it melts into the skin to moisturise, fill in fine lines, and promote gentle chemical exfoliation throughout the course of the day. Because of my sensitive skin I tend not to slather this stuff on morning and night in fear of having a negative reaction. *touchwood* Highly recommend this lightweight moisturiser for Spring and Summer, and don't forget to apply SPF!

And the scent, I can't help but think of babbling brooks and gentle streams.


Wearing look No. 2 from Urban Decay's Naked Smoky Eyeshadow Palette

Wearing look No. 2 from Urban Decay's Naked Smoky Eyeshadow Palette

When smoky eyes became a big thing again in the early aughts, the three colours of choice were black, silver and white; when executed on me I was left looking like a sad panda. Well, we've come a long way in the past decade, because UD's Naked Smoky Eyeshadow Palette for lack of a better word is sexy. From its plastic packaging, magnetic closure, and built-in mirror I seriously cannot get enough. Let's not forget about the four looks broken down in one handy insert created by Urban Decay's in-house makeup artists -- watered down instructions for the makeup impaired and uninspired, they help make the trickiest looks achievable. I was on the fence about picking up palette number four, but it was love at first swatch.

Maybelline's The Rocket Volum'Express was like a shot to the heart (in a good way). Mascara and I have had a love/hate relationship over the years. Just when I settle on a brand or a formula, without fail, things breakdown, and I'm left looking racoon-like. The Rocket Volume'Express' thicker consistency coats the lashes evenly and sets/dries rapidly, a feature more to my liking. My lashes are left looking fuller, albeit slightly crispy which I'll gladly accept in lieu of smudged mascara along the under eye area. Thank you, Diana 😘 


Becca's Champagne Pop

Becca's Champagne Pop

I like my bubbles right where I can see them, preferably in a glass. For the days when I can't imbibe Becca x Jaclyn Hill's Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Champagne Pop gives the structure of my face that extra oomph with a touch of ethereal glow.

Wearing Champagne Pop on my cheekbones and Marc Jacob's Role Play on my lips

Wearing Champagne Pop on my cheekbones and Marc Jacob's Role Play on my lips

Going Red

Growing your hair out is such a bear. Tired of seeing the dreaded line of demarkation between old and new, I made a huge leap of faith and dyed my hair RED, and I, of course, left this to the pros.

I won't go into huge detail, but I tried out a new salon and a new hairdresser, and was left with a sour taste in my mouth. I eventually grew to like the results (it took a couple of days), but now the hunt begins to find yet another hairdresser to take the reigns -- the red hair is here to stay (I think).

*PR samples provided (Real Techniques and Philosophy) –  Thoughts and ramblings written here are completely my own.

Mecca Maxima haulin' and other random bits of madness

Can you say out of control?

Can you say out of control?

Well, I've gone and done it again.

Ahhh, retail therapy, that inhalation of stale air, the teetering back and forth under horrible fluorescent lighting while clamouring for the newest makeup-y things to hit the shelves. That was me this past Friday.

I recently changed employers, hence the infrequency in posting since late January. Needless to say it was a stressful and emotional time for me before, during, and after saying see ya later to the the company that gave me a shot after landing in Oz. To celebrate this transition I felt the need to treat myself.

Here's the rationale behind my latest spend..

Argument: If it's good enough for Vivianna and Lily, then it's good enough for me.

Being the enablers that they are, both ladies, in their own way, convinced me (it's the accent, I swear) to purchase Bobbi Brown's Powder Brush (holy crap, it's crazy expensive), Real Technique's Setting Brush, Bumble and Bumble's Sunday Shampoo, and UD's Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer in Light Warm. I hope these ladies work on commission, because they're doing something right!

Argument: Needed a fill me up.

True story: This Works Perfect Eyes Recovery Cream really works! It de-puffs, hydrates, and reawakens the under eye area. Definitely using this on the regular.

Argument: It was pretty!

Nars' Eye Paint in Porto Venere had me at first swatch. That said, if you own MAC's Painterly I don't think you need Porto Venere this very second.

UD's 24/7 Glide on Pencil in Sabbath for its matte-y, navy, and equally dreamy qualities. I can tell Ro(Cocoa) will be getting a bit of a break now that I have Sabbath in my life.

My shop wouldn't be complete without grabbing a lippie, cue UD's Sheer Revolution in Sheer Shame. Slightly intimidating in the tube, yet appears as a sheer beet-y, plummy hue that only sticks around for two or so hours -- points off for longevity.

Argument: Memories / nostalgia.

Essie's Ballet Slippers will forever hold a special place in my heart as it was the first shade to ever be professionally polished on my nails. I was nearing the end of a winter break from school, so my Mom treated me to a last-minute manicure before driving me back to Boston. Thanks Mom!

A good hair day paired with pretty much everything I mentioned above

A good hair day paired with pretty much everything I mentioned above

After this latest indulgence, let's just say I've handed my debit card over to Scott to help keep me honest.

Your turn. What did you last splash out on?

Urban Decay hits Australia today, finally!

A smattering of my Urban Decay collection

A smattering of my Urban Decay collection

Urban Decay's launch is nigh, we're talking less than a few hours to go, ladies! Now, I can't tell you about all things Urban Decay, but I'll certainly give you my two cents on what to grab immediately, what to consider, and what to walk away from.

Buy Now

Buy a palette, and make it a good one. My personal faves are Naked, Naked 3, and the Electric Pressed Pigment palette. For whatever reason Naked 2 has eluded me, but chances are I'll be changing that this weekend.

UD's Primer Potion in Enigma, because it looks like Mac's Painterly, except you don't have to faff about with a glass jar. Plus, 100% of the proceeds from this particular purchase goes directly to their foundation, The Ultraviolet Edge. I'd like to think I'm helping to educate another woman somewhere in this world, one tube at a time.

Because the lovely Lily Pebbles rates this stuff so highly, be sure to grab Urban Decay's Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer.

Think About It

During your visit go play with the Naked Ultra Nourishing Lipgloss, this stuff is seriously like MLBB (my lips but better). The colour range may be whisper soft, yet they make for a no fuss, swipe and go sort of look. This particular gloss is never tacky, and always minty. Yum!

An item that's been on my radar is UD's Super-Saturated High Gloss Lip Colour in Love Child. I first spied it the Shattered Face Case back in 2013, but I never nibbled. If Love Child is too muted for you, there are seven other colours to choose from. Also, be sure to swatch their Glide-On Lip Pencils.

Leave at Mecca Maxima

Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliner was such a bomb for me -- application issues aplenty. While I revelled in the idea of glitter in a bottle, in execution it bombed, and not the glittery sort. 

Naked Basics is the annoying little sister to the larger Naked Palettes. This palette may be streamlined, but it's not without its faults. Chalky, lacklustre, blech. A definite skip. Surprisingly, I gave Naked Basics a positive review waaaay back in 2012, but for some reason I felt the need to purge this baby during a fall cleaning session last year.

Still can't make up your mind? Buy an all-inclusive palette such as Naked On the Run.

The only point of contention I'll throw out there is pricing. Let's discuss this topic once the UD high has worn off.

Finally, Mecca Maxima's been pretty coy about what will be on offer in store, but I'd put my money on the fact that you'll be able to shop the full range judging by the amount of PR pushing this launch. Happy shopping!

A glimpse at the lips: Urban Decay's Naked Ultra Nourishing Lipgloss in Streak and Naked

Sticking with their Naked theme..

Sticking with their Naked theme..

Urban Decay recently released nine shades as part of their Naked Ultra Nourishing Lipgloss range. Each colour promises to leave your lips feeling and looking softer, moisturised and insanely glossy. Oh and there's a minty scent, too -- talk about refreshing.

Streak (top) and Naked (bottom)

Streak (top) and Naked (bottom)

The doe foot applicator

The doe foot applicator

Swatches of Naked (left) and Streak (right)

Swatches of Naked (left) and Streak (right)

Urban Decay makes no bones about the pigmentation, it's subtle. These nine shades are really all about "my lips, but better" and I like that, because there are times when I don't want to detract from a strong eye look. 

For kicks, here's a short video of me opening the tube for the first time. The experience was similar to opening the My Little Pony Ballet Box my parents gave me for Christmas when I was four-years-old.

Wearing Streak

Wearing Streak

Streak is a translucent coral pink with warm undertones of orange-y peach. The warmth, I find, gives my winter white skin a bit more life.

Wearing Naked

Wearing Naked

Naked is a "nude-pink with pearly pink shift." This shade really helps to accentuate your assets without cancelling out the rest of your look.

The glossiness in both shades last for a couple of hours before drying down to a smooth sheen. The lifecycle of the texture works as follows: Plush > Smooth > Lightly Hydrated. After wearing Naked out on the town last night my lips felt sufficiently moisturised, so much that I skipped my usual dose of Chapstick. Typically, I stray from wearing lipgloss, but I'm willing to make an exception every now and again :)

With names like Nooner, Lovechild and Walk of Shame you know you're in for something naughty and fun and I'm never one to kiss and tell.

The Bagful breakdown:

Total amount for Urban Decay's Naked Ultra Nourishing Lipgloss:

Value for money spent (performance and quality):

  • 9 out of 10 bags — I took a point off for its somewhat sticky nature, but at least the feeling isn't long-lasting. 

Would another purchase be on the horizon?:

  • Lovechild and Beso are my two current lemmings.