Thursday, March 29, 2012

NOTD - ORLY Green with Envy

With flash

Doesn't this look like the colour The Little Mermaid would wear? At the very least, this lovely creamy jelly is the shade Michaela The Drowning Giant would wear. It's very aquatic feeling, but not in a cold, distant way, more like sunlight through deep seawater.

It's my first foray into ORLY polishes and although this one worried me with its initial runniness, it came through for me after three coats with a nice and smooth opaque finish.

Natural light

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Giorgio Armani Madreperla Luxury Edition Face and Eye Palette

I can be such a scatterbrain sometimes. Example - I had forgotten I had snatched up this gorgeous palette at a work beauty sale just before Christmas. I just found it today while looking for honey mustard sauce in my cupboard. I have no idea when my products started taking up residence in my food cupboards, but yeah, it seem like this is A Thing now.
I guess it's better than what I keep under the sink
Anyway, it was a nice surprise, seeing that the Giorgio Armani Madreperla Luxury Face and Eye Palette was verrrry exclusive when it was released late last year - only 3000 were produced. It's also super exxy, mostly I suspect because of the extra slick mother of pearl lid.

 I've been running my sticky fingers over this baby all morning, it's shiny, it's smooth and it's distractedly light-reflecting. It's so my kinda thing.

Inside is a trio of shimmering shades, including a champagne, a white gold and a pale beige. 

I've tried to capture my swatches of this, but it's not easy as it's such a subtle pigment, and such soft colours. They are not strong colours to wear on the eyes and would maybe only work for me an inner eye corner and brow highlighter. Swirled together, it's a soft gold-hued finishing powder that I'm going to use to set foundation and brighten my face. I love the glow it creates, it's an illuminating effect without without shimmer or glitter, thanks to the super fine powder. It's really a very pretty palette, but tricky to show actually what it can do. I'll make sure to do a face of the day on Instagram using it anyway.

Nice as it is, is this palette A$250 worth of nice? Seeing that I can't drop that much on my favourite of favourite perfumes, I'm going for a resounding 'NOPE!'. But isn't it nice if you can get it for far, far less? The non-luxe version runs for about a third of the price, but is housed in a standard issue black case, rather than the special snowflake mother of pearl. 
It's going to take all my willpower not to horde this one, so I'm popping it into my 'special events' basket and here's hoping I don't manage to ruin it.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

NOTD - Sally Hansen Salon Effects in Checker Out

Isn't this the sweetest nail strip print yet? Love that it's an almost lime green gingham, rather than the obvious pink or blue. 

The always lovely Alison from Sally Hansen popped these on for me during my lunch break at my office (love that ACP sometimes has these little perks) and I was happy to see she applies them pretty much the same way I do at home (but with less swearing).

I was treated to these for zero dollars, but you can buy them for A$14.95. They're part of the limited edition Easter collection, but I've seen the gingham print in black and white as part of their regular line if you're more of a monochrome kinda gal.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

My evening and morning skincare routine - now with more YouTube flavour

So you know those moments when you're like "I MUST do -blank- immediately!". It happened here, when I did my pastel pink ombre hair, and it just happened again when I decided I must make a YouTube video at once, now that I have a new MacBook, all shiny and camera equipped.

So this happened. Watch and be....underwhelmed? Overwhelmed sounds like I have a number on myself. Whelmed? Whelmed sounds about right.

You may realise that I have no idea how to use a Mac, aside from the title screen thingie (is this a socially acceptable thing to do on YouTube by the way? Or is it something your parents would do on their holiday photos PowerPoint?) and have no fricking idea how to edit this.

And yes, I know I scrunch up my face like constantly and, like, say like, like at the time. Deal with it!

Let me know what you think of the video, and what night cream I should try next! For the non-wanting-to-watch (boooo-urns to you!) my choices are Estee Lauder Time Zone Night, their Resilience Lift Night or Benefit's Total Moisture Facial Cream.

Friday, March 23, 2012

St Ives Naturally Indulgent Body Lotion Coconut Milk and Orchid Extract - review

I used to hate coconut. Couldn't smell it, couldn't taste it, couldn't be around it from ages 17-24. That's seven years of nuttiness that I've missed out on there! This, kids, is exactly why you don't drink an entire bottle of Cruzin', which is a cheap knock off of Wipe-Out, which is a generic version of Malibu. Seriously, worst idea ever.
Luckily I didn't encounter any adverse effects from St Ives Naturally Indulgent Body Lotion with Coconut Milk and Orchid Extract, which is indeed coconutty, but is more of a floral tropical breeze scent than the syrupy mess of my nightmares.
I picked up this massive pump bottle from Priceline, when the eye-catching packaging demanded my attention. I did have a sneaky sniff to make sure the smell wouldn't make me gag (like, who doesn't have a smell before they commit, right? Don't pretend you don't!). I like St Ives products, they don't irritate my skin, they are a great deal and they moisturise without leaving a greasy after feel. This one isn't as runny as the others I've tried from the brand and it has a slight gel consistency that makes it feel thicker and a little more luxe. I didn't need this lotion at all, but am glad I got it as it's a nice change to my usual vanilla/gardenia/spices gallery of rogues.

It retails for A$8.99, but I'm pretty sure I got it for 30% off too. You go, Michaela Coco! 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Narciso Rodriguez For Her Delicate - review

There's been a few Narciso Rodriguez flankers floating around since the original scent was released in 2003.

I've mostly avoided them, because I get grumpy when given too many variations on a single fragrance (See Gucci's Flora for snarky evidence). As such, I've only tried the original (pretty and fresh in a musk-soaked floral kind of way) and the Essence Eau de Musc (MOAR WHITE MUSK!). The newbie is called Narciso Rodriguez For Her Delicate, and I have the EDT version.

Excuse the wonky photos, obviously I was wearing an eye patch while taking them which threw my vision off. Why was I wearing an eye patch? Because otherwise my Blaine outfit wouldn't be current. Obviously.

"No, YOU'RE lopsided!"

I've really surprised myself by liking this one. It's a warm milk and creamy fig kind of scent, with a touch of natural (not toasted) almond rounding out the dairy feel. The fig isn't rich or exotic, but a slightly green, a pulled from the tree and gently squeezed kind of fruit, without the sharp fuzz of the tree's leaves. It's not a musk overload, nor does it veer into laundry powder floral like the original. Orange blossom is listed, but thankfully doesn't turn all metallic-soap on me like it normally does. It's a passive fragrance, it won't offend anyone, but it's forthcoming in what it is. There's no marketing suggesting it's anything else. The official notes are listed as soft musk, coriander, fig, orange blossom, vetiver and amber.

The staying power is pretty bad, it only lasted about an hour on me. For now this doesn't phase me, as I've introduced it into my bedtime perfume rotation and it only needs to last long enough to send me to sleep (I'm planning a post on sleepy time fragrances, and their magical snoozy properties, which will hopefully make me sound less weird).

I wonder if the only reason this is branded as a For Her scent is because it already has a ready-made customer base. To me, it really doesn't resemble the original, aside from the musk (which everything has nowadays anyway) and I wouldn't have even bothered smelling it if it didn't literally come across my desk. However I would be very interested in trying a new line from Narciso. Perhaps they are shutting off a new audience, simply by refusing to start with a new vision, bottle and branding? That said, it is a very pretty and practical bottle, with its purple ombre shading, and simple 'I'm a bottle!' shape.

I picked this up post beauty sale at my work, sadly no-one claimed it. A$125 for EDT 75ml, A$138 for EDP 75ml. Limited edition.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Innoxa Lovely Lips and Classic Colour Lipsticks - Reviews and Swatches

So it turns out that under my bed lies a portal to some kind of lipstick netherworld. I was kicking dirty laundry cleaning under there the other day and found a box of Innoxa lipsticks. They could be from a work beauty sale, or a swap or maybe a Priceline rampage, but I do know I've never seen them before. Actually, I don't think I was even aware that Innoxa had a colour cosmetics line. Anyway, they are still relevant and on shelf so I got a-swatching.

English Rose (LL), Deep Strawberry (CC), Dewberry (CC), Boysenberry (CC), Plum (CC), Poppy (LL), Honeysuckle (LL).

I have two different lines here, Lovely Lips (LL) and Classic Colour (CC). Lovely Lips is a more sheer formula, while Classic Colour has a slightly more matte finish and are more pigmented.

Natural light

Swatch pics are listed in the same order, starting from the bottom up. English Rose (LL), Deep Strawberry (CC), Dewberry (CC), Boysenberry (CC), Plum (CC), Poppy (LL), Honeysuckle (LL).


I can see these working as neutral day lipsticks rather than a statement lip to build an outfit around, as none of the colours are zomg groundbreaking. The Lovely Lips feel better on my lips and like they had more moisturing properties than the Classic Colours. Poppy is my favourite shade by far, it's a blue based red that feels very 90s grunge. I want to smear it on Courtney Love-style, and team with a ripped silk slip and flannel shirt.


The Honeysuckle shade was my least favourite, a huge bronze fail with my complexion. I did have fun playing around with a two-tone lip though, along with Plum.

Maybe not a look to rock in public

This isn't the full range, with there being twelve shades in each of the two different sets. They retail for $14.95 from the Innoxa website and apparently from the wormhole beneath my bed.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Lush Ro's Argan Body Conditioner - review

Seems like I've been in a wee bit of a Lush frenzy recently, with their fab and affordable solid fragrances getting a lot of play (See here and here and here for dastardly proof). I've especially enjoyed being a total enabler to some of my favourite blogettes who picked up Lush's Gorilla Perfume in Vanillary after my rave (my original here) and let me know via Twitter, Instagram and email, and the lovely Stacey even reviewed it herself here. Mmm, yes, buy, my pretties, buy!

And bring me back a tub of Ben and Jerry's, one of the big ones!

Ahem. Anyway, I've got another Lush obsession for you - Ro's Argan Body Conditioner. Don't be confused by its body lotionesque appearence, this puppy is used in the shower. Similar to a hair conditioner, just step out of the stream of water to massage into your skin all over (you don't need much), then rinse and lightly pat dry with a towel. 
Photo from Lush, I've slightly trashed my container.

I've got dry skin, so naturally gave this little tub a serve of side-eye. Like, really? I'll rinse you off, and you'll still keep my skin hydrated? I don't think so. But, um, yeah, I was totally wrong. Don't you dare breathe a word of this to anyone. Skin is moisturised and smooth as Ryan Gosling's ass, while retaining a hint of the "rose jam" scent, which, I can't believe I haven't mentioned yet, is the best fricking lotion smell ever. Like turkish delight, but richer and fresher at the same time. Ahhh-mazing! 

It contains all the usual suspects like shea and cocoa butter, brazil nut oil, argan oil and sweet almond oil, plus 20% glycerine to lock that moisture in. Lush recommends using it in winter to avoid standing on cold tiles rubbing lotion in, but I like using it right now, while the weather is (slightly) warmer as it doesn't melt off my skin in the heat or stick to clothes, which then stick to me, which is never pleasant.

I'm planning to rebuy once this tub is up. You can nab your own for $29.95 at Lush stores or online.

This product was given to me by Tom from Lush. He only found out I was a beauty blogger after doing so and now it's mine all mine. Mwahahaha. He may regret this at some point. Tom and Lush have in no way influenced my review and opinions are my own. It is also my opinion that those jean cut off short-shorts are hideous, no matter how perky your ass cheeks are, or even if they've achieved a Ryan Gosling level of bum smoothness. See my Disclaimer for more sexy details (on disclaimerly stuff, not ass cheeks. Yet...).

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Gucci The Flora Garden Collection Glamourous Magnolia, Gorgeous Gardenia and Gracious Tuberose - reviews

Another day, another flanker, right? Or in Gucci's case, another five flankers in a collection entitled 'The Flora Garden'. Okay, so to get all bias to the left, much like the haters, I'll admit that I'm not one for flankers after the original best seller has already spawned a couple of somewhat related scent kin. Flora has only seen the release of Flora eau fraiche, a so-so, slightly greener and lighter version of the first Flora, which in turn I didn't mind too much despite its boringness, but think Versace Versus worked the same notes a lot better and harder.
So with five flankers at once, Gucci sure is pushing its luck with me. You've been warned.
Pretty bow, pretty bottle, pretty boring
They are housed in lovely clear glass bottles, and have enough of that vintage style appeal without being twee. I managed to try three out of five of the scents. Our lovely contestants are Gorgeous Gardenia, Gracious Tuberose and Glamorous Magnolia. First up is Glamorous Magnolia.
Dude, this is some fruity business. Floral, my ass. Although the only fruit note listed is citrus zest, I can't even detect a single shaving of the sharpness you'd expect. I get a nose of Frosty Fruit ice-block, the pineapple and watermelon kind, heavy on the melon. Freesia slips in and rests on a very pale white musk base, along with a sweet peony. Any magnolia is MIA and the supposed chocolate note never shows. That artificial 'fresh green' note that featured in the original Flora is present throughout the life of the scent, and although it's not particularly unpleasant, it's just so plastic smelling. Not my kind of thing at all.

Official notes are listed as freesia, green leaves, citrus zest, peony, magnolia, musk, sandalwood, warm chocolate accord.
What up, Gorgeous Gardenia? With gardenia being one of my very favourite perfume notes ever, you never stood a chance, did you? You already know that I'm a fan of those grand old dames of white florals, those perfume institutions that are sometimes a little nana, but can still make a guy blush with their coy sexuality. You're nothing but a pale shadow, with your spun sugar, sweet honeysuckle and excess of pear and berry adding to the mainstay note of frangipani. If there's gardenia there, it's not the creamy rich lover I know and love. It's not your fault, Gorg, you're a perfectly ok fruity-floral for the DKNY Be Delicious market. You've just been labelled incorrectly. Flirty Frangipani is more your gig, and it stills fits in the garden line.

Official notes are red berries, pear, white gardenia, frangipani flower, patchouli, brown sugar accord.

And lastly, we come to Gracious Tuberose, my least favourite. I get hit with a burning soapy orange blossom assault, followed by the green Flora note again, topped up with something that smells like pink grapefruit, but is more likely the listed white cedarwood turned fruity by the peach and generic citrus. It's offensive in that it smells cheap, like a Glade spray, not even intended for personal wear.

Official notes are violet leaves, peach, tuberose, orange flower, citrus, rock rose and white cedarwood.

There are two other fragrances in the line, Generous Violet and Glorious Mandarin, which I haven't smelt yet and therefore cannot give my thoughts on, but what's with the random citrus?Also, something about the names is really bugging me. They are all so placid. Glorious is the only adjective I like, with Generous and Gracious the main offenders. I'm not suggesting that Gucci is grooming a generation of docile do-gooders, but they totally are there's a few different words with a bit more spirit to them that would make them at least seem more exciting.
How is the Violet generous? Will it offer me the larger slice of cake? Does it give long, unreturned back massages? Doubt it.
This line is not for me at all (I understand if you're surprised, I've been so subtle about my feelings) but the Gucci brand always sells buttloads so I wouldn't be surprised if it does well on shelf. I haven't seen ad copy for the range yet, but the names and bottles seem to appeal to the teen that wants to been seen as sophisticated rather than juvenile. I know 16-year-old Michaela would have hoovered these up if she could afford them (then sadly turned to her Water Berry Australis spray).

They are meant to be available from early April, but I had the Gucci store sales assistant mention them to me that they will be in-store very soon, so I thought I would post my reviews know to warn inform y'all.
EDT 50ml is A$109, EDT 100ml is A$164 and Body Lotion 200ml is A$64.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Garnier Clean Detox Gentle Brightening Scrub - review

Dammit, Priceline! As soon as I have way more stuff than I'll ever be able to use stockpiled under my bed/in the bathroom/in The Boyfriend's side of the wardrobe (please don't tell him!), you suck me back in with a sexy sale. This time it was 40% off all Garnier products, which c'mon, is me basically losing money if I don't buy a few things right? Right!

One of the products I nabbed is Garnier's Clean Detox Gentle Brightening Scrub. I normally steer clear of anything labelled as 'detox' or 'clean' because they tend to be too harsh on my drier skin. But at just under $4 after the 40% off, worth a try as exhoiliators are the one thing I'm running low on.

It's a physical cleanser, and feels cool on the skin as it lathers to a surprisingly thick foam. The micro-beads are spread thin - this is a daily scrub, not a weekly heavy duty effort. After rinsing my skin feels stripped and squeaky clean, a really bad sign. The next morning - BAM a few dry patches and a lone itchy pimple, sure sign that the cleanser sucked my skin dry. I'm also disappointed that it was a foaming scrub as it didn't suggest this anywhere on the tube and I always to to skip these due to their dehydrating properties

I'm not going to bother trying this on my face again, and have banished it to my boyfriend's side as a possible back scrub for him. Not worth it, even with 40% off.

So far I've only seen this in Priceline for A$6.95.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Aesop Nurturing Shampoo and Conditioner - review

Dear Aesop Nurturing Shampoo and Conditioner,

You have made my boofy, dry and wavy hair smooth, shiny and calm WITHOUT the aid of serum. How? Witchcraft most likely. However, I will accept your claim of grape, borage and fennel seed to cleanse, and tocopherol (sure sounds like a spell to me), sweet almond and shea butter for conditioning goodness.

My hair is happy and lightly scented with sweet herbs. I could wear it loose and unstyled, and still get compliments! Seriously, how is this not devilry?

Even if I've inadvertently sold my soul to have you, I'm sure glad you've arrived in my life.

Love Michaela

PS. Psst, shampoo! Threesome in my shower in five? Bring that conditioning minx friend with you...

PPS. Am I the only one who acts out scenes from Billy Madison while washing my hair? "Shampoo is better. I go on first and clean the hair." "Conditioner is better. I leave the hair silky and smooth."
Yes? Don't lie, you so do.

PPS. In my excitement, totally forgot to tell you that the shampoo and conditioner both retail for A$29 for 200ml, A$50 for 500ml at Aesop stores, online and in David Jones. Oh, and the soul of your first born. I assume that's listed in the terms of use somewhere too.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

shu uemura Nail Colour in Ray Green - review and swatch

Another product from shu uemura's Celestial Garden collection (Creamy Dome Blusher reviewed by moi here) is their Nail Colour in Ray Green. While I'm familiar with shu's shadows, blushes and cleansing oils, I hadn't tried a polish yet, and thought this minty-lime green would make a great great to a collection heaving with red, black and glitter shades. Time to show green some love, right?

Except, maybe not this particular green. The shot above is three coats, plus base and top coat. To be fair, it appears more opaque in person, but still had bald patches and an uneven finish. Way too much effort for an average payoff. The kiss of death? The next morning, while elbowing someone in the face for a bus seat (mean streets of Neutral Bay, you guys), I noticed pulling at the base, some massive chips and bubbling. Couldn't wait to get to my desk to take it off.
Not Coolio

Way Coolio

So far I'm very unimpressed with shu uemura's polishes which is a downright 90's style righteous bummer because I've so far been infatuated with every other product I've tried so far. Double shame because in the bottle, it's quite an appealing colour, with the creamy green flecked with fine silver shimmer.
Also, weird thing - I swear I'm not imagining this product, but it's not appearing on the shu uemura homepage. Maybe it's been pulled because the formula isn't up to scratch? The line is stocked at David Jones normally.
Anyone else had much joy with shu uemura's Nail Colour?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Valentine's Day Swap haul

Okay, so I know Valentine's Day was ages ago, but in all fairness I've been busy. Busy...uh...doing work and paying bills and being a real-life adult. One who doesn't eat cheese and condensed milk straight from the tube for dinner.*
Not watching corgi videos. Nope, not me. Too busy being grown-up. Worky work stuff.
This swap was organised by the wonderful Mystique from Beast & Beauty and I was paired with Mary from Simply Beautiful, who is based in the US. You can see what I sent her here.
The unboxening

Look at all these goodies! I'm really excited about the Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush and Revlon Lip Butter and plan to review soon. There was also a Smoky Eye kit from Too Faced which I'm looking forward to trying as A) I'm a dolt with eyeshadow and this palette has tutorial cards for three different looks and B) I'm a Too Faced virgin. Time to pop that cherry!

I also received a set of Stila glosses and a mascara from Too Faced. I have a huge backlog of mascaras, but this is heading straight to the top of the pile, while the glosses will find a happy home in my collection.

There's also some false lashes from Kiss, a couple of samples and some chocolatey noms. Fact - American Snickers taste a lot more peanutty than Australia's version. This can only be a good thing.

Thanks Mary for sending me these awesome products! I hope you enjoyed your package just as much.

*I lie. This is a totally acceptable dinner. 

Back to work!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Spicebomb by Viktor & Rolf - fragrance review

Not to generalize (yep, I'm totally going to generalize here), but all guys, everywhere and forever love Viktor & Rolf's Flowerbomb on their lady love interest. My extremely detailed research and expansive sample size (asking guys in my office, plus boyfriend, plus guy sitting next to me on bus) reveals that 100% of guys thinks Flowerbomb is just dandy. Don't even try to disprove me - it's Science.

While V&R have introduced fragrances for men before (the nicely down Antidote), they hadn't worked in a  partner for the massive commercially successful Flowerbomb. Spicebomb might be late,but it's also a nice sentiment that the designers held off for a few years before cashing in.

First impressions are great, with the bottle following on with the grenade seen with Flowerbomb. There's an definite effort to make it more masculine with the brown glass, defined ridges and the very nifty pin you have to remove to use the spray and which I'm guaranteed to lose in about five minutes. 

Either lose it or choke on it. I'm a sucker for choking hazards.
Now I know I'm not one to subscribe to 'for her/him' branding and that I tend to disregard whether a scent is marketed towards female or male markets. This is because notes can change and nothing should be separated into a guy or gal smell. Sometimes I like smelling like white florals and pink cupcakes. Other times I want dirty leather, warm woods or sharp citrus. Cover the packaging and many perfumes become equally masculine and feminine in their composition. Spicebomb is an excellent choice for women unsure of escaping the binds of gender-specific marketing. Seriously, sniff this blind and the sweet pastryesque spice fronts as the  perfect comfort scent for ladies and gents alike.

Getting down to it, I love Spicebomb. It steers away from the black pepper overload expected in men's 'spicy' scents (that's you Marc Jacobs' Bang) and gets all foodie on me with a opening of dried orange peel, and something that reminds me of an almond croissant with vanilla and sweet cinnamon, served with a cup of black earl grey. There is pepper, but it's pink and a little fruity, tempering the orange rind bite rather than adding to it. A base of ambery leather, warm like recently worn gloves, traced with smoky tobacco keeps it sexy. The official notes are bergamot, grapefruit, elemi ,pink pepper, leather,tobacco, vetiver. The vetiver must be very well-behaved as it never showed up for me. 

My boyfriend rates it, both on himself and me, although I never told him it was the same scent! 

I also love the ad. Sexy guy, catchy song and explosions. Perfecto and guranteed to stick in my head all day. I had to watch a few times for....research purposes. Yes, those.

Spicebomb by Viktor & Rolf is now on counter at Myer and David Jones,  50ml RRP A$95, 90ml RRP A$125.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Lancome La Roseraie Illuminating Smooth Powder review and swatches

Glossy black compact = dorky reflection
Lancome have really stepped up their game recently with their palette design and presentation. I'd never been that excited to try a powder from them, until I saw this baby. Glossy black case, shimmery shades and a pretty floral imprint? Check, check and check, Lancome has just hit all three points on my lust at first sight list.
Part of Lancome's (seriously, I refuse to do the acute when typing in Blogger, and you can't make me do it) release for Spring 2012, Lancome des Delices, La Roseraie is marketed as an illuminating powder. Playing around with just the pink portion, it would easily do as a blush for the more pale (cough) amongst us. Swirled together creates a pink-hued highlighter which I would stick to using on cheekbones etc, as it could get a little too shimmery as a cheek colour.

Annoyingly, the glue under the powder had loosened, so much that it's rattled around the compact and left marks from where it has smacked into the mirror. Nothing a little Tarzan Grip won't fix, but still very uncool.
Totes looks like aphids got in my make-up bag, I know.
Both shades swirled
The final effect reminds me of a powder version of Benefit's High Beam, great for picking up areas you want to focus on and highlight. This is a product for cool toned gals though, with the pink a tad too unnatural on yellow tones and the deeply tanned.

Retailing for A$82, it's available along with the rest of the des Delices at all the usual Lancome stockists.