Thursday, 30 April 2015

Harbour Day Spa aka A Day in Heaven

If you follow any of the Brisbane beauty bloggers (which you should because they're all amazing!) then you may have noticed a few posts about Harbour Day Spa recently. That's because the team at Harbour Day Spa were kind enough to extend an invitation to a whole lot of the Brisbane girls so that we could try out some of the treatments they have on offer. So yes, everything you are about to read about was provided as a complimentary service BUT I wouldn't be writing about any of this if I didn't enjoy myself. And if the title of this post isn't enough of a giveaway, IT WAS AMAZING!
The beautiful Harbour Day Spa is located in Cleveland, a convenient 5 minute walk from the train station and right on the harbour. It's upstairs, which gives a really nice atmosphere because you can lounge around and luxuriate in your robes without fear of being ogled by various passers-by. What I like best about Harbour Day Spa (aside from the fabulous treatments, of course) is that it's a one-stop-shop for all your pampering needs. Not only is there a spa offering traditional treatments like massages and facials, there's also a hair salon, makeup station AND barber shop for the gents. If that doesn't sound like enough for you, there's also a beautiful balcony where you can enjoy a lunch, catered by one of the beautiful local restaurants, during the course of your treatments. Amazing right?
I popped along to the spa on a Friday afternoon with the lovely Kelsey. We were welcomed with a delicious Raspberry & Lime tea before being shown to the change rooms. Everything was super professional and private and I never felt uncomfortable or exposed. Harbour Day Spa stands out again becasue of their beautiful relaxation area where you wait between treatements in comfy chairs surrounded by candles and soft music, HEAVEN! We enjoyed a beautiful day consisting of:

Orange & Almond Foot Scrub
Body Brush
Full Back, Neck & Shoulder Aromatherapy Oil Massage
Hydrating Facial
Warm Coconut Scalp Treatment

Not only was it completely relaxing and blissful but what I enjoyed most were the little touches added in to each of these treatments. For example, for our Aromatherapy Massage, we got to choose between two different oils, a relaxing or a revitalising one. I went with relaxing in case you.re wondering which is a delicious combination of lavender and mandarin. For the facial, I said my skin was feeling a little dull and was immediately recommended the Fruit Peel which left my skin feeling super soft and radiant. 
The makeup station featuring cosmetics from the Curtis Collection
(L) Pre-pamper selfie, (M) the relaxation room and (R) the Orange & Almond Foot Scrub
As if that wasn't enough, we then stepped through to the salon for a wash, treatment and style blowdry, complete with more delicious Raspberry & Lime tea. I felt like an absolute rockstar! We also had a mini-makeover using products from the Curtis Collection. Then, feeling absolutely pampered to death, we were treated to a beautiful Devonshire tea overlooking the harbour at sunset. 
 
Post-pamper selfies!
It was an absolutely amazing experience, and a great way to end the week. I can 100% recommend Harbour Day Spa for any of your pampering needs!

Dani xo

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Updated Favourites

I'm pretty impressed that I actually managed to film a whole 2 videos this month! It might not seem like much but for me, it's a nice little change from blogging, it's fun and I get to ramble on endlessly about cosmetics and beauty products. Honestly, what's not to love?

Today's video is an updated favourites featuring some of my current loves.
Don't forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel AND if you do subscribe, you can earn an extra entry into my 2K + Bloggiversary Giveaway.

Dani xx

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Ace Yo' Base #3 - The Primer Edit

You may remember a small segment I started called Ace Yo' Base. Well it's back for the Primer Edit! I love primers, which might seem like a weird makeup prodcut to love because it's not like they're pretty or anything but I do love them. I think it's because without them, my skin can very easily become an oil slick. Here are some of my top primer picks.

1. Face of Australia HD Primer* ($13.95)

One of the first primers that I ever used was from Face of Australia so I was super excited to try this new(ish) offering. The HD Primer is silicone based, oil free and designed to "even out skin texture and reduces the appearance of fine lines and large pores for a velvety smooth finish". I was expecting something similar to the Maybelline Baby Skin but this primer is a LOT more full on. You only need to use a very small amount as more than that will result in your makeup sliding right off your face. I think this will work a lot better for girls with dry skin because even though it's oil free, it's very slick and the advertised velvety finish can quickly turn greasy. I like to use just a little on the drier places on my skin to give me a little extra glow. 

2. Benefit's Porefessional* ($53.00)

I have a very unfortunate forehead wrinkle that's been the bane of my existence for the pat few months. I've found my makeup starting to crease up and wear away very quickly along that wrinkle and Porefessional is the only thing that helps fill it in. I also like to add a dab around my nose where my pores are particularly obvious and I find that it gives a really nice base for my makeup. Like the FOA HD Primer, a little goes a long way and too much will mean your makeup doesn't wear as well as it should. A smidge of this magical stuff is more than enough.

3. Rimmel Stay Matte Primer ($13.95)

Unlike the other two, you can slather this stuff on because it looks and feels more like a slightly thick moisturiser. It gives the skin a nice, smooth, matte appearance and helps your makeup stay matte (as the name suggests) for longer. This is potentially my favourite primer of all time!

4. Almay Smart Shade Perfect & Correct Primer ($25.95)

I picked this one up on a bit of an impulse as I really liked the swirly design of the product inside the bottle. It reminds me of the Stila one but at a fraction of the cost. The purple and green pigments give some colour correction and I find this primer gives a slightly dewy finish. I mostly like a matte finish but for certain foundations, I like to go for more of a glowy look.
What's your favourite primer?

Dani xo

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Rimmel Apocalips Matte

 I love a good matte lip colour so I was really excited to hear about this new release from Rimmel. The original Apocalips line was very popular, although I wasn't really a fan because I found the formula quite liquidy and hard to work with. Here's what I thought of the new addition to the Apocalips line.

The original Apocalips line currently comes in 8 shades but there are only 4 in the new matte range. I was keen to try these out because I found the original line very hard to work with and not terribly long lasting. Orange-ology is a beautiful vibrant orange, comparable to Lady Danger or NARS Audacious lipstick in Geraldine. The formula is much easier to work with and the little doe foot applicator has a little well to hold product and make it easier to apply.
I was initially impressed with the application and the formula but I kept waiting for the matte finish and got nothing. It's more of a soft velvet finish than a matte and I felt like it never completely dried. I was really hoping these would be really long lasting, like the Provocalips range. They promise 8 hours of wear but one hour and a meal later, it was completely gone. I was really disappointed because the shade is stunning and I hoped the wear time would be just as good. I still quite like the new Apocalips Matte range but be advised that they are not matte and they are not long wearing. 
KaBOOM! Cosmetics gives the Rimmel Apocalips Matte in Orange-ology:
This was a decent lip colour in a beautiful shade but sadly didn't live up to being matte or long-wearing, the two main reasons I purchased it!

Have you tried the new Apocalips Matte range yet?

Dani xo

Monday, 20 April 2015

Happy Bloggiversary!

Last week, a momentous moment occurred when I reached 2K followers on Instagram (cue fanfare). It's also been just over a year since I started blogging so this giveaway is going to be a combined 2K/Bloggiversary Giveaway

I spent a long time racking my brains, trying to figure out what to come up with for a good giveaway idea. I read through some old posts in an effort to come up with some giveaway inspiration when I remembered this post on RY.com.au. I thought, what better gift could I give than the gift of choosing your own gift from a huge selection of skincare, cosmetics and haircare goodies? So, in collaboration with RY.com.au, I'm giving you the chance to win $100 to spend on the RY.com.au website (CUE MORE FANFARE!).
To enter, simply fill in the Rafflecopter form below. It's that simple! Make sure you take a look at the terms & conditions below before entering and GOOD LUCK!

Terms & Conditions:
  1. The giveaway is open internationally. 
  2. You must be 18 or older to enter.
  3. One entry per person, no giveaway accounts - any double entries or giveaway accounts will automatically be disqualified. 
  4.  Anyone who unfollows immediately after the giveaway has been announced will be banned from future giveaways.
  5.  As the giveaway is in collaboration with RY.com.au, your e-mail address only will be provided to them and you may receive promotional e-mails.
  6. The winner has 48 hours to respond after which, a new winner will be drawn.
  7. Giveaway ends 15 May 2015 at 12AM AEST.
Dani xo

    Sunday, 19 April 2015

    Shop My Stash #2

    You might remember that one of my goals for this year was to use up more of the things I have and spend a little less. I have been semi-successful with that and have been trying really hard to keep shopping my stash, rather than spending on things I don't need. It's been pretty useful to see what I actually have and like using and what I'm just hoarding for the sake of it. Here's what I've been trying to use more of lately.

    You might remember this lipstick from my original Shanghai Suzy collection post. For a brief recap, it's an absolutely stunning bright purple matte lipstick that smells like bubblegum and wears like a dream. This is very similar to the new Australis Velourlips in Tok-I-O but a lot less drying, which is one of my pet hates about the Velourlips. I'm really excited to try some of the new shades from the recently launched Shanghai Suzy collection after rediscovering my love for this slightly unusual shade because the new range is full of unusual shades.

    This one is technically a rediscovery because I've always been a fan of the Master Precise because it's so easy to use. My old one had been drying up and I had this one as a backup but when I opened it, I was quite surprised to find that they had changed the tip....to a much better one! The previous tip was more like a felt tip pen whereas this one is more like a very fine brush and I find it's far easier to get product out and less prone to drying.


    I did an in-depth review of these a while ago but they've been sadly neglected since then. They're prefect for those days that you really can't be bothered because you can just pop them straight onto your eyelid from the crayon and blend. The two shades I have, Lots O' Latte and Fuller Fudge work really well together too, they're a great combo for a quick, fuss-free brown smokey eye.


    I love Rimmel, but have always felt a bit "meh" about their mascaras. This one is no exception, it's a decent mascara and doesn't make lashes look too hard and crusty (that would be the Lycra Flex bit in action). However, the brush on this is massive and tends to glue lashes together so you end up with approximately 3 giant clumpy lashes. Having said that, I've been wiping off the brush before use and that really helps but this is a top lash only kind of mascara. If you can get this giant brush onto your lower lashes (and not all over your cheeks) then you're some kind of makeup superhero. Overall, it's ok but not fabulous and I just want to use it up and get rid of it!


    This has been languishing in my makeup stores for ages because I already have a very satisfactory relationship with my NARS Pressed Powder. This is very similar in texture and colour and I don't know why I didn't use it sooner. I do find that the coverage isn't as good as the NARS and it doesn't last as long but it's not bad at all. I definitely prefer the NARS one but if I'd found the Bobbi Brown version first, I probably would have loved it just as much.

    What do you have languishing in your stash at the moment?

    Dani xo



    Thursday, 16 April 2015

    Hourglass Modernist Palette in Obscura

    I have been dying to write this post since I picked up this palette about a month ago, along with the new Nars All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation. I have since returned the foundation but the Hourglass palette will never leave my hands again! Possibly a slight exaggeration but I do really like this palette. Here's the lowdown on Obscura.

    Let me just start by saying yes, this eyeshadow palette is expensive, very expensive. There are five shadows in the palette which equates to about $15 for a 1g shadow which isn't so bad when you think that MAC eyeshadows are $33 each for 1.5g. So overall, not fantastic price wise but not awful. The second thing that I noticed is that this palette is teeny compared to the Ambient Lighting and Blush palettes by Hourglass, I just assumed they were the same size! 

    The product itself is gorgeous, the rippled eyeshadows are enough to set any makeup lovers' heart on fire. Obscura has very earth-toned shadows and the shimmery shades are my personal favourites, though it is a tough choice! I thought that the shades would be quite tricky to get to, given that they're all rippled together, but it hasn't been an issue at all. The shadows themselves are beautifully creamy and pigmented and last really well. This palette is really perfect for me and the kind of tones I usually choose to wear so I'm very glad I picked Obscura.
    KaBOOM! Cosmetics gives the Hourglass Modernist Palette in Obscura:
    Did you pick up any of the new Hourglass Modernist Palettes?

    Dani xo

    Tuesday, 14 April 2015

    Addicted to Blush Tag

    I have finally (FINALLY) managed to film another video, it's the Addicted to Blush tag! The tag was started by Kat from Kitsch Snitch, a girl who knows and loves her blushes. Head on over to YouTube to watch me do the tag and don't forget to subscribe while you're there.
     Dani xo

    Sunday, 12 April 2015

    Top 3 Mascaras of the Moment

    It's confession time and I have to admit that I....am a mascara hoarder! I love mascaras and have drawers of them but given how short their shelf life usually is, I do have trouble using them all up. I have been trying to pick a few and use them before they dry up. To that end, I've picked my Top 3 Mascaras of the Moment to share with you.

    1. Roller Lash by Benefit* ($38.00) - Benefit know brows but they're also pretty savvy when it comes to mascaras. I was lucky enough to receive one of these at Obsession 2015 before they officially launched but they are currently available at Benefit counters. Roller Lash is an innotative mascara designed to both curl and lengthen lashes for va-va voom lashes. You can ditch the eyelash curler and stick with just this mascara, that's how good it is! I initially wasn't that taken with it but by my second coat, I was hooked. The curl looks amazing and really holds and Benefit gets their usual points for the super cute packaging. There's no flaking or clumping at all and unlike They're Real, this mascara is easy to remove and doesn't require industrial strength makeup remover to take off. Big thumbs up from me!
    2. Max Factor Masterpiece Transform ($23.95) - I have never really been a fan of Max Factor, they seem to have always slipped under my radar. This mascara arrived as part of the autumn edit of The Parcel subscription box and I was quite interested to try it out. It has a slightly bendy rubber brush with a quite unique flat shape and rows of bristles down each side. I wasn't expecting much but I was pleasantly surprised to find that the little plastic bristles do a really good job or grabbing and coating lashes. You end up with long, voluminous lashes with only a hint of clumpyness, which I quite like. I feel like I should probably try a few more Max Factor products now, what if they're all this good and I've been missing out the whole time?
    3. Josie Maran Argan Black Oil Mascara ($27.00) - This was a spur of the moment purchase, mostly because I loved the packaging, was impressed by the price and because I love my Josie Maran Coconut Watercolour Eye Shadow. This mascara has a spiral bristled brush and quite a thick formuala resulting in really fat but quite clumpy looking lashes. I originally hated this but it's grown on me and I'm finding that I quite like the clumpy lash look, especially for a night out. I do find that I have to scrape a lot of product off the brush before I use it because it is quite thick. Now that I've got that little trick down, I'm finding myself reaching for this mascara more and more frequently.
    What are your favourite mascaras at the moment?

    Dani xo
    *This product was provided as a PR sample but as always, my opinion is my own

    Thursday, 9 April 2015

    Dunkle Authentic

    Today I'd like to talk about a local brand run by an amazing woman, Dunkle Authentic. Molly Dunkle runs Dunkle Authentic and not only is she a very talented make-up artist, but she also hand crafts all of the products. What started with a lip balm at age 12 has grown to include a range of lipsticks and lip glosses and there are SO many more exciting things to come.

    I met Molly purely by chance when she was looking for foundation matching models for her new range. She very kindly gifted me with a foundation from her new range (launching soon!) and two beautiful lipsticks too and I've had nothing but compliments about all of them. So many people have asked me about the products that I thought it was only right to do a post on them.

    Dunkle Authentic Foundation in No.3* (Launching soon!)

    These foundations remind me of the Nude by Nature or bareMinerals loose powder foundations. The foundation works best if you tip a little into the cap and blend it into your brush before buffing into the skin. What I love most is that you don't need to use a concealer or anything because this foundation will pull double duty. It also gives a really flawless finish requiring very minimal touch ups. When I wear this, I find I only have to blot or add a little extra powder maybe once through the day and it still looks flawless. If you don't believe me, take a look at this photo of me at the blogger event (Obsession 2015) that I hosted with Kate from The Minted Beauty. I didn't touch up my foundation once (and it was a crazy busy day), I think that pretty much speaks for itself!
    Me and the beautiful Molly at Obsession 2015 (ignore my awkward expression and double chin and focus on the foundation!) Photo credit: Bobby Rein Photography
    I'm also super excited that I got to be a model for this new range so keep your eyes peeled for me when the foundations launch (VERY SOON!)
    Dunkle Authentic Lipsticks in BrisVegas and 970 FoCo* ($45.00 each)

    If I had a dollar for every time someone had asked me what lipstick I was wearing whenever I have BrisVegas on, then I'd never have to worry about how to support my makeup addiction again! It is the most beautiful matte berry purple shade and it is perfection in a tube. 970 FoCo is more of a nude shade with a slight orange/coral undertone and again, it's absolutely beautiful. The packaging is also gorgeous, it feels really fancy and it almost a collectors item. The lipstick formula is infused with mango butter and rose so despite being matte and having some crazy staying power, it doesn't feel drying on the lips at all. My next purchase from the range will definitely be Gaga's Island but they're all gorgeous!
    BrisVegas by Dunkle Authentic
    970 FoCo by Dunkle Authentic
    I think that this post needs a serious "watch this space" sticker because you should expect big things from Dunkle Authentic. If you're in doubt, just ask any of the bloggers who attended Obsession 2015 because Molly and her lipsticks were a huge hit!

    Dani xo

    *These products were gifted to me but as always, my opinion is my own 

    Sunday, 5 April 2015

    Top 5 Autumn Lip Shades

    As I'm writing this post, it's 28 degrees and 75% humidity so we're taking autumn as a relative term in that the calendar now says we're in autumn. I've really been loving some of my darker, more vampy lipsticks and this post is really just an excuse to talk about them!

    1. MAC Pure Heroine ($36.00) - This was a LE collboration with Lorde and it's one of my absolute favourite lipsticks of all time. It's a beautiful deep plum with the Amplified finish means it's really easy to apply and has a little bit of a glossy sheen to it. I would definitely advise using a lip liner with this one as it tends to feather but otherwise wears really well.
    2. Sportsgirl Pout About It Lipstick in Dark Angel ($9.99) - I absolutely ADORE the Sportsgirl lippies, they are seriously underrated! I was looking for an oxblood shade drugstore lipstick and could not find one anywhere when I stumbled on Dark Angel. It's a gorgeous oxblood/burgindy red with a matte finish and it lasts so well on the lips. I can definitely see myself wearing this lipstick a LOT!
    3. Dunkle Authentic Lipstick in BrisVegas* ($45.00) - I was extremely fortunate to meet the amazing Molly completely by chance and I was blown away by her collection. Molly runs Dunkle Authentic and makes all of her own products and both she and her products are absolutely stunning. BrisVegas is a really fun berry shade with a matte finish and has incredible staying power. The packaging on these lipsticks is amazing too, they feel very glamorous!
    4. MAC Goddess of the Sea ($36.00) - Another LE MAC baby that's perfect for autumn is Goddess of the Sea. It's a lot more sheer than Pure Heroine, making it ideal for anyone who doesn't want to look too vampy. Unlike a lot of the other lipsticks I mention here, you really don't need to worry about a lip liner because feathering isn't an issue at all.
    5. Rimmel Moisture Renew Lipstick in Dark Night Water-loops ($13.95) - I love Rimmel lipsticks and the Moisture Renew range is one of my favourites so I jumped at the chance when I saw this new addition to the collection. Despite having a mouthful of a name, Dark Night is an amazing lipstick in a beautiful deep purple with a super glossy, hydrating finish. It last really well even though it has such a glossy finish but feathers a lot so has to be used with a lip liner.
    Swatches (bottom to top) - MAC Pure Heroine, Sprotsgirl Dark Angel, Dunkle Authentic BrisVegas, MAC Goddess of the Sea and Rimmel Dark Nigh Water-loops
    If you want to see more great autumn beauty tips, head to The Australia Times Beauty Magazine, which I am now the editor of, so yes, this is a shameless plug!
    What are your top autumn lip shades?

    Dani xo

    *This product was provided as a PR sample but as always, my opinion is my own 

    Thursday, 2 April 2015

    NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation

    I'm back! It feels SO good to be back to blogging again and thank you to everyone for being so patient and waiting around for me to get my act together. Let's get right back into it with a good old fashioned review.

    If you're like me, the new Nars foundation was so hyped up that most people (myself included) were chomping at the bit to pick it up. Most of the reviews I'd seen or heard from bloggers & vloggers lucky enough to snag a pre-release PR sample were pretty good. And because the foundation released with a whole bunch of other highly coveted goodies, like the new Hourglass Modernist Palettes, AND they released on my birthday, I was pretty much knocking down the door at Mecca the following day to get my hands on them!

    My first impressions were VERY positive. Unlike Sheer Glow, All Day Weightless comes in a square glass bottle that looks and feels very classy. It seems like NARS were listening because this foundation comes with a pump (ABOUT TIME, NARS!) to save the rigmarole of having to track one down yourself (check out my NARS post for the deets on that situation).

    The first time I applied this, I was in love! It went on like a dream and despite having a really liquidy consistency, it gave really amazing coverage. My initial thoughts were still good as the foundation gave good coverage, but still looked natural with a beautiful glowy finish. It also felt really nice on my skin, not at all what you'd imagine from a such a full coverage foundation. 
    Unfortuantely, that's where the pros for this foundation end. It wore horrendously on my combination skin, giving my dry patches, sinking into pores and fine lines and wearing off in a really patchy way. I tried using different primers, different application techniques and nothing worked for me. By the end of the day, I was a hot mess! Patchy and oily around the nose and forehead but with strange dry patches everywhere else, nightmare....

    KaBOOM! Cosmetics gives the NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation:
    I ended up returning this foundation for a full refund and I definitely wasn't the only one to do so. I'll be sticking with my Sheer Glow for now because it applies and wears so much better than this dud. I have heard from a lot of people who do love it and I've heard that it works really well on dry skin but if you have combination to oily skin like me, then it's probably not worth investing in.

    Dani xo
     

    dani the girl xo Copyright © 2011 -- Template created by O Pregador -- Powered by Blogger