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My Experiment in Bleaching my Brows

I coloured my hair last week and went a few shades lighter and had some blonde(ish) highlights put through. I love the lighter look and the warmer tone of my hair but decided that my dark brows needed a bit of lightening up as well. Being a beauty addict, I naturally assumed that a different shade of brow product would get me the look I was after but an hour or two in the makeup department proved me wrong. Turns out my dark brows were too much of a match for any brow product to make a dint so I’d have to lighten them chemically instead.

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I did some research and finally came across this post by Nikki from Curly Nikki and decided to take the plunge. I’ve never used bleach before so I was a bit nervous and kept having visions of me with burned off brows, blonde brows or chemically burned skin! Considering how worried I was, I should have actually taken the time to do the patch test but impatience is one of my flaws. If you decide to try this, definitely do the patch test first because you don’t want any reactions on somewhere as visible as your face.

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I headed off to Priceline and picked up the Julienne Sensitive Creme Bleach Set for Face and Body ($11.99) but not before checking to make sure the store also stocked brow tinting products should the whole experience go horribly wrong. I headed back home with the sales assistant wishing me luck and hoping she didn’t see me back the next day to correct a bleaching fail. The package came with a tub of creme bleach, a container of powder activator and a plastic spatula. The only thing you need is a plastic palette or container to make the mixture up in.

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The process was really easy and just involved mixing one spatula full of creme with 1/2 a spatula full of the powder activator. The only issue I had was that the packaging of the powder activator was poorly made and hard to open so I ended up with it all over the bathroom sink. After mixing the mixture together, it was a just a matter of trying to manoeuvre the mixture on to my brows (which I’d washed with cold water and patted dry first) without getting it on to my skin and eyes.

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I was so terrified of walking away with blond brows that I only left the bleach on for 5 minutes the first time round. This had little to no effect on my brows so I reapplied the mixture for a further 20 minutes while checking the colour every few minutes. I underestimated how thick and dark my brow hairs are so, even with the 25 minutes of bleach, the change is very subtle. The picture above is of my brows pre-bleach and below is post-bleach. If you look carefully you can see that a bit of the weight has been taken out of my brows  and that they’ve gone from a cooler black to a dark warmer toned brown. By the way, I apologise for my unruly brows but I’m favouring a much more natural look at the moment.

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I really love the change in shade but it means that my usual brow products were too dark and cool toned. I swatched three of my usual product on the left and three of my new products on the right so you could better see the change. From left to right- MAC Spiked brow crayon (I usually use Stud but had run out), Benefit Gimme Brow in Medium/Deep, Hourglass Brow Sculpting Pencil in Dark Brunette (this is holy grail stuff!), Maybelline Master Shape in Soft Brown, Maybelline Brow Drama Sculpting Brow Mascara in Medium Brown (loving these Maybelline products!) and MAC Veluxe Brow Liner in Redhead (which in hind sight I shouldn’t have bought).

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You might have been looking at the ‘before and after’ brow photos above and wondered whether there was actually a change or whether I’ve just convinced myself there is so I put together this full face ‘before and after’. My brows have product in them in both photos and I think the difference in shade is much more noticeable here. The change is subtle but I think it definitely softens my face and works better with the tone of my hair. I’m planning on going a little bit lighter when I head back to the hairdresser in a few weeks so don’t be surprised if the brows do too!

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Have you ever lightened your brows? How did your experience go?

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Lip of the Day- Lime Crime Velvetines Lip Gloss in Red Velvet

I have been lusting after this shade for so long but it’s always sold out so I was quick to grab it when the chance came up. Initial thoughts: gorgeous colour and surprisingly comfortable wear for a matte. I have noticed that it tends to bleed slightly around the lips but I have to wear it more to see if this is common. Full review and swatches to come.

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I’ve rediscovered my Stila In the Know eyeshadow palettes so paired the lips with a traditional matte pin up eye and some inner corner highlighting with Stila Kitten eyeshadow.

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What are you wearing on your lips today?

Revlon Parfumerie Scented Nail Enamels- review and swatches

The Revlon Parfumerie Scented Nail Enamel’s are new to Australia and well worth checking out. You might be sceptical the way I was but these are not the scented polishes of your youth which came in tacky shades and bubblegum sweet smells. These Revlon polishes come in 24 sophisticated and fun shades which match perfectly with their complimentary scent. The scents aren’t discernible until the polish dries but once they do they reveal subtle and complex scents which last for about 3 days even under a top coat.

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The scents are divided into fruits & florals, sweets & spices and the freshes. It didn’t surprise me that the fruits and florals range were the colours and scents that I was drawn to the most. My next favourite were the sweets and spices range because the shades in this range were so lovely and I liked the scents more than I expected. The freshes range was full of scents that sounded lovely but the shades didn’t draw me in as much so I didn’t really try out this range.

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Before I begin with swatches, I feel like I need to add my disclaimed. I am not a nail blogger so I apologise for the messy polish application!

Pink Pineapple (fruit and floral)- This scent smells the way you’d hope it would but the formula is not ideal. As a white based shade, this does tend to go on streaky and even after 4 coats (yes I said 4!) the colour still isn’t even as you can see below. The shade itself isn’t unique and I really only bought it because the scent drew me in.

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Apricot Nectar- (fruit and floral). Another shade and scent which are perfectly named! The shade is a lovely peachy shade which is perfect for spring. The formula had similar issues as Pink Pineapple but, as it’s more pigmented, the streakiness wasn’t as noticeable.

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Ginger Melon- (fruit and floral). Loved this scent and the shade is perfect for summer! It’s a lovely bright coral shade but it took me 3-4 coats to get the colour to sit evenly.

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African Tea Rose- (fruit and floral). This is a straight up rose scent but it smells of fresh roses instead of potpourri roses which I liked. The shade is a mid tone pink with a blue iridescence through it. I usually don’t like pinks which have this frostiness to them but I really liked the way this looked in person. The formula was a little watery but applied smoothly.

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China Flower- (fruit and floral). I have no idea what a China flower is or what it’s meant to smell like but this had an almost musk like/incense scent to me. I liked it and it was a nice change to the sweeter scents. The colour is what really drew me in though and this gorgeous orangey-red shade is so sophisticated. The formula was a but thin but it reached full opacity in 2 to 3 coats.

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Bordeaux- (sweets and spices)- This shade looks and smells like Sangria! It’s a really lovely rich burgundy shade. The formula was more on the watery side but was easy to apply. The first coat seemed almost red but the plum tones started to come through as I added each coat.

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Autumn Spice- (sweets and spices). This has to be the perfect fall shade! The scent smells like pumpkin pie and has discernable scents of nutmeg and cinnamon.  Those are usually smells I stay away from but this was not overpowering and I actually found it quite comforting! The star here though is the shade which is a gorgeous rich warm chocolatey base which has a shimmer through it which shifts from bronze to copper to burgundy depending on the light. This is my recommendation if you only buy one shade because it’s actually unique!

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Lime Basil- (fruit and floral). Love this shade of green and the scent is also lovely and sweet yet refreshing. The formula though is a bit thick and uneven.

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Balsam Fir- (sweets and spices). This is another great fall shade with a scent that I was surprised I liked. The scent had an almost pine scent to it and reminded me of the outdoors. The shade is a slightly greyed out forest green and is very chic.

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Italian Leather- (sweets and spices). Yet another perfect for fall shade which seems to be the trend with the sweets & spices range! This is another complex shade that changes depending on the light. It’s a slightly green toned grey which has a gold shimmer running through it which shifts from icy gold to a warmer gold. I don’t love this shade on my skin tone but the colour itself is lovely. The scent is meant to be leather but it just smells sort of sweet to me but from time to time I can pick up a whiff of the leather tones in this.

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Beachy- (freshes). This shade is a bright metallic coppery bronze. As is the issue with  most metallics, the brush strokes are visible when this dries. The formula was watery but easy to work with. The scent on this disappointed me but that’s probably because I was expecting it to smell more like the ocean instead of like the sand.

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I loved the bottles these come in and think they’re lovely to display but, apart from the novelty of the scents, most of these shades can probably be found in much better formulas from other brands. There are some gems in here though so they’re definitely worth checking out.

These sell for $16AUD or $6USD each. If you live in Australia and have been wanting to try these out, this is the perfect time to try them out since Chemist Warehouse is selling them for 50% off (until 29 May 2014) and Priceline is having a ‘two for $16’ (which is the same as 50% off and runs until 28 May 2014) sale.

Have you tried any of these perfumed polishes yet? What do you think of them?

~Blush FOTD~ Antipodean Beauties Challenge

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I love when I decide to photograph a look and then, by some good fortune, it ends up working perfectly for one of these Antipodean Beauties challenges! This look is one I tried a few days ago and the inspiration is makeup that I saw a makeup artist from Mecca wearing a few months ago. I noticed how amazing the vibrant orange shade was that she had on her lids and when I asked her about it, she said that she was wearing NARS Taj Mahal blush.

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I love Taj Mahal as a blush and and it’s one of my ‘brown girl staples’ but I always forget that it can be super pretty on the eyes. The last time I used it as an eyeshadow was back in 2011 when I was travelling in Sri Lanka and had very minimal makeup with me so I had to improvise with what I did bring. I used it in the eye look below and, if you’re interested in what I used, you can check out the original post by clicking here.

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I decided to try out a ‘blush only’ eye look and used NARS Blushes in Taj Mahal, Gina and Albatross and Chanel Joues Contraste Powder Blush in Brume d’Or. Now I should add a disclaimer here that, while I use blushes as eye shadows, many blushes are not considered ‘eye safe’. This is because they may contain red pigments and dyes which aren’t made for use around the sensitive eye area. I tend to keep pink and red toned blushes on the lid only and keep them away from the waterline and haven’t had any issues. If you have very sensitive eyes though, you might want to take more care.

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clockwise from top left: Chanel Brume d’Or, NARS Taj Mahal, Gina and Albatross.

To get the look below I used:

  • NARS Taj Mahal on the lid
  • NARS Gina on the inner lid
  • Chanel Brume d’Or to blend out the crease
  • NARS Albatross as an inner corner highlight
  • Stila All Day Waterproof Liquid liner in black on the top lashline
  • YSL Faux Cils Mascara on the lashes

 

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I applied a combination of NARS Taj Mahal and Gina to the cheeks as well to tie the look together.

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I finished up the look by applying Natio Smoothie Lip Colour Crayon in Hazel to my lips. I wish I’d gone with something more orange or peach toned and actually ended up changing out the lips later for Lanolips Ointment with Colour in Rhubarb.

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What blush would you use as eyeshadow?

Chanel Rouge Coco Lipstick in Gabrielle- review and swatches

I have an intense love for Chanel lip products. Every single one that I’ve purchased is clearly high quality and applies so well. If there’s one thing Chanel does really well though it’s a red lipstick and Gabrielle is no exception.

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Gabrielle is the first lipstick I’ve purchased from the Rouge Coco line and I’m impressed. The only disappointing thing is that it doesn’t come in the ‘click click’ packaging I adore from the Rouge Allure range. It still looks chic and very Chanel so it’s a small disappointment.

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I purchased Gabrielle after going through a crazy swatch frenzy in the David Jones makeup department trying to find anything that came close to Chanel Rouge Allure Laque in Dragon. It didn’t end up being a dupe but it was so pretty that I bought it anyway.

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It’s a really pretty warm red which tiny shimmer particles through it and lifts my complexion whenever I wear it. The product applies really smoothly and is very comfortable on the lips. I can get a few hours wear without having to re-touch but I always wear my lipsticks over a lip liner.

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Ignore the foundation, I took these pictures at the end of the day when everything was starting to wear off and go patchy!

I did some comparison swatches against some of my high end reds so that you can get an idea of where it sits in the spectrum. It’s not as deep as Chanel Dragon and is missing the ruby shimmer. To my eye, it’s most similar to Guerlain Garconne or Dolce and Gabbana Attractive Monica and could be a glossier, deeper version of MAC Ruby Woo.

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Without flash. From left to right: Chanel Rouge Coco in Gabrielle, Chanel Rouge Allure Laque in Dragon, Shiseido Lacquer Rouge in Drama #RD501, MAC Ruby Woo, Shiseido Lacquer Rouge in Nocturne #RD607, Dolce and Gabbana Voluptuous Lipstick in Attractive Monica, Chanel Rouge Allure Luminous Intense Lipstick in Pirate, Guerlain Rouge G in Garconne.

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With flash- From left to right: Chanel Rouge Coco in Gabrielle, Chanel Rouge Allure Laque in Dragon, Shiseido Lacquer Rouge in Drama #RD501, MAC Ruby Woo, Shiseido Lacquer Rouge in Nocturne #RD607, Dolce and Gabbana Voluptuous Lipstick in Attractive Monica, Chanel Rouge Allure Luminous Intense Lipstick in Pirate, Guerlain Rouge G in Garconne.

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With flash- From left to right: Chanel Rouge Coco in Gabrielle, Chanel Rouge Allure Laque in Dragon, Shiseido Lacquer Rouge in Drama #RD501, MAC Ruby Woo, Shiseido Lacquer Rouge in Nocturne #RD607, Dolce and Gabbana Voluptuous Lipstick in Attractive Monica, Chanel Rouge Allure Luminous Intense Lipstick in Pirate, Guerlain Rouge G in Garconne.

This lipstick doesn’t come cheap at $50AUD/$35USD but if you splurge on just one luxury lip product, Chanel is a great way to go.

What’s your favourite red lipstick?

~Pop of Colour FOTD~ Antipodean Beauties Challenge

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I wasn’t feeling particularly inspired when I was trying to think up ideas for this weeks challenge so no full face looks this week. Instead I decided to show 3 ways I usually incorporate a ‘pop of colour’ in to my eye makeup. I used the shimmering chartreuse shade from the NARS Rated R palette. I love this palette but I neglect it because it’s not so easy to wear on a daily basis.

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Look 1: Use your bright shade as an accent on the inner corner on an otherwise neutral eye.

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Look 2: Use your bright shade on the centre of the lid and the centre of the bottom lash line.

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Look 3: Use your bright shade to line the bottom lash line. This is the way I usually use a pop of colour in my look.

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What’s your favourite way to wear a pop of colour in your makeup?