Thursday, 29 January 2015

Tips for Styling Short Hair

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Everyone and their dog probably knows by now that I recently had quite a dramatic haircut (or rather, series of haircuts). I went from waist length, dip-dyed purple hair to shoulder length blonde hair (which lasted about a month) to my current style, a bob. I've really been loving my new shorter hair and I've had so many compliments that it makes me feel like it was the right decision. But having shorter hair means an overhaul of my hair styling routine so I've come up with a few useful tips and products for styling shorter hair.

Tip 1 - Styling products are your friend 

Gone are the days when styling meant "shoving all my hair up into a top knot and calling it a day". I do love my new shorter look and that I can do (almost) nothing with it and still look good...ish. If I'm leaving my hair to air dry, I like to add a bit of texture in the form of a sea salt spray which gives clean hair a "dirty" feel. I've been loving both the Toni & Guy Casual Sea Salt Texturising Spray ($15.99) and the Pure Elements Thyme & Clary Salt Water Spray* ($34.00). Sea salt sprays add texture and adding a spritz to towel-dried hair will mean your hair looks like you've just spent a casual day at the beach instead of just over-slept and not had time to do your hair properly.

Tip 2 - Va-Va Volume

Now that it's shorter and just having it up is much more difficult, I've found myself looking for other avenues to add a little extra to my look. I've found that adding a mousse like the Schwarzkopf Push-Up Volume Mousse ($4.99) in before blow drying had worked wonders for making my hair look effortlessly more "done". Another mousse that I've been loving is the Ref Fiber Mousse 345* ($34.00). The fibres that are activated by rubbing the mousse together and the teeniest amount adds serious volume. I was always afraid of mousse because I feared looking crunchy but mousse has come a long way since the 80s! 
Tip 3 - Don't be afraid to experiment

You know that feeling you get the first time you wash newly your shorn hair and you start to freak out because you have no idea how your hairdresser managed to style it so nicely? I think everyone gets that feeling and the key is not to panic and call your hairdresser and book an appointment every second day so you never have to try and do your own hair again. The secret is to experiment, find out what your new hair looks like air-dryed, what it looks like curled, what it looks like when you shove a bunch of bobby pins into it in an attempt at an up-do. The days I've thought my hair looks the silliest are usually the days I get the most compliments!
Tip 4 - Wash your hair less

For some reason, my shorter hair can go 3-4 days without washing and I still feel good (which is amazing given that I have quite oily hair), whereas I washed my longer hair every 2nd day because I just couldn't deal and no amount of dry shampoo could help. I find that the dirtier my hair is, the easier it is to use Tip 3 as clean hair is much more likely to slip out of styles. I've also found that dirtier hair requires less effort, I can add some of my favourite Batiste Dry Shampoo ($9.99) to the roots and my new BBF, the VO5 Dry Texturising Spray ($7.69), to the rest of my hair and I'm all set!

Tip 5 - Accessorise

I'm not saying that long-haired lasses can't acessorise their locks but I just feel like a whole new world of hair accessories has opened up to me since I chopped my hair. I kind of feel like long hair is an accessory in itself whereas accessories stand out more in short hair. I've been loving my Trio of Head Bands ($4.50) from Kmart and my Her Fashion Box Head Scarves ($9.95).

What are your best tips for styling short hair?
Dani xo

*These products were provided as PR samples but as always, my opinion is my own.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Dupe Alert!

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It's Dupe Alert time! I've got a new video up with 3 really good dupes, including 2 dupes for MAC products so head on over to YouTube and check it out.
Don't forget to subscribe while you're there, I would really appreciate it!

Dani xo

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Shop My Stash #1

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One of my goals for the year was to spend less and try to use what I have. The problem with any makeup collection is that it's so easy to fall into a routine and just stick to your favourites leaving the majority of your collection to gather dust. This year, I've been making more of an effort to dig out things that I may have neglected and give them a whirl so welcome to the first edition of Shop My Stash.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Mood Exposure $46.00 for 4.2g

 I coveted this baby for a while before finally giving in to temptation. This blush comes in six shades but Mood Exposure is definitely a stand-out shade. Despite the pretty marbled effect, it really does look a bit "meh" in pan but on the skin it gives the most gorgeous, natural flushed effect. I did end up purchasing the Ambient Blush Wardrobe too which also contains Mood Exposure but the single is a little easier to throw into your handbag. I can't think why I stopped reaching for this blush and I'm pretty happy to have re-discovered it.

Chi Chi Super BB Cream $22.95 for 50g

I'm not a huge fan of very thick, full coverage foundations so I love nothing better than a good BB cream. I purchased this one quite a while ago but have really only worn it a handful of times as my faithful Maybelline Dream Pure BB Cream is my go-to. Since starting my efforts to shop my stash, I've worn this pretty regularly and have to say that I'm a fan! I like the consistency and the finish but most of all, the fact that it gives decent coverage yet feels like you aren't wearing anything. I would say that the shade Medium isn't quite a perfect match for my skin but I guess you almost always get that when a range only has 4 shades to choose from! Overall, a very nice BB and one that I will endeavor to use more often.
Designer Brands Outrageous Volume Mascara in Blackout $9.99

Designer Brands is an Australian budget beauty brand that I have to admit I know very little about. This mascara originally came to me via my Her Fashion Box subscription and has been used very infrequently since then. The packaging reminds me of the Rimmel ScandalEyes range with a fat, brightly coloured tube and the wand itself is just a standard mascara wand type deal. I was a little "meh" about this but I actually find myself quite liking the slightly clumpy effect that this mascara gives. I wouldn't say that it gives "outrageous volume" but it does give a good volume and length. Not bad for a budget beauty brand!

Essence Stay Natural Concealer in 04 Soft Honey $4.10 for 1.5ml

I love the Essence range in general but have never really been a fan of the base products as I can never seem to find a good match. I always end up a little Ooompa Loompa-esque! I bought this concealer ages ago and then promptly forgot that I owned it and dumped it into my spares storage. I was recently taking photos for my Boe Professional Lipsticks post and needed a concealer to clean up my messy lipstick and this is what I grabbed. It's one of the wind-up pen style concealers with a brush on the end making it really easy to use. THe actual formula is definitely not what I expected for a drugstore concealer. It's quite creamy but does get a little cakey if you're too heavy handed but a light touch and a good setting powder and this budget-friendly concealer could be your new BFF.

ASAP Pure Mineral Eye Pencil in Brown $20.00 for 1.2g

I highly suspect that I came by this in a subscription box but I cannot for the life of me recall which one! Technically it's an eyeliner but given my stuggles to find suitably toned brow products, I've been using this as a brow pencil. It's creamy and nicely pigmented and works really well with my brow colour too. One thing that did confuse me was the shade name. It says Brown but honestly, it looks and swatches like a charcoal grey which is fine with me because it totally works but it definitely isn't what I'd call brown. I'm crazy happy to have another product in my measly stash of appropriately toned brow products.
Bottom to top: Chi Chi Super BB in Medium, Essence Stay Natural Concealer in 04 Soft Honey, ASAP Pure Eye Pencil in Brown, Hourglass Ambient Blush in Mood Exposure
Who knew I had such a wealth of untapped products languishing in my stores? It really does help to try and shop my stash whenever I get the urge to buy makeup, which is unreasonably frequently! My bank account definitely thanks me and I've found some real gems so far. 

What have you discovered in your stash recently?

Dani xo 

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Limited Edition Love: Lorac Mega Pro Palette

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Now before you jump down my throat and start complaining that there's no point reviewing a limited edition product yada yada, just take a moment. Yes, the Mega Pro is limited edition BUT it is still occasionally available, it's absolutely gorgeous and it deserves a review so.....

Lorac Mega Pro Palette - $70.41 from Amazon
There was a LOT of hype leading up to the launch of this palette and with good reason. Packed with a whopping 32 shades in a mixture of shimmer and matte finishes and a really well-chosen range of colours, there was really very little I didn't like the sound of. Not owning either of the Lorac Pro palettes, I wasn't worried about the colour overlap and was ready to dive right in and make this baby mine!
I was a little overwhelmed when it arrived because it just contains so many shades, I wasn't really sure where to start. There are a lot of shades that I would normally avoid wearing (I pretty much stick exclusively to neutrals) but I was surprised and really pleased to see just how wearable even the brightest shades like Mulberry and Deep Teal are. I was disappointed when I read that Temptalia was less than impressed with the consistency of the shadows, I found them almost creamy and really pigmented. The packaging is surprisingly slim with a nice big mirror and magnetic closure and looks like it would actually work pretty well as a travel palette...but on the other hand, I've heard that quite a few palettes didn't make the trip from Amazon to destination unscathed so I am actually a little reluctant to travel with it. 
L-R: Cream, Fawn, Camel, Sepia, Dusty Plum, Orchid, Mulberry, Espresso
L-R: White, Khaki, Brown, Stone, Lilac, Wisteria, Gray, Black
L-R: Opal, Sand, Copper, Sienna, Apricot, Blush, Merlot, Indigo
L-R: Vanilla, Cashmere, Smokey Topaz, Dusty Rose, Granite, Maroon, Deep Teal, Caviar
Although this palette is one of my favourites, there are a couple of things that I thought could have been better. When you stand back and look at the palette as a whole, there are some really similar shades. It would have been nice to see that with 32 slots to fill, there was a little more variety. The second thing is that I find the palette quite messy to use. Might just be me and my uncouth monkey hands but I find that excess shadow gets all over the palette and it grates on every last one of my OCD nerves! The packaging finish is kind of similar to the finish on NARS products and every little fingerprint sticks out. It might just be a little thing but I like everything neat and tidy and it makes me sad when I get pretty palettes like this one messy. 

Lorac Mega Pro Palette scores.....
An expensive palette? Yes! A palette with a few flaws? Yes! Would I still purchase it again knowing all of that? HELL to the yes! I think the Lorac Mega Pro is value for money (working out at $2.20 per eyeshadow) and has secured a spot as one of my favourite and most used eyeshadow palettes. 

Are you a lucky owner of the Mega Pro Palette?

Dani xo

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Hair Removal 101

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TMI Alert! This post involves a lot of info on bodily hair so squeamish people should look away now.

I am one of those people who, due to a mixture of genetics and bad luck, has been blessed/cursed with an ungodly amount of hair. True that I have gallons of shiny hair on my head and luscious, thick eyebrows but I also have feet that could rival any Hobbit’s and legs that require pretty much daily shaving. Over the years, I have tried a plethora of hair removal techniques and I feel that it’s time I embraced my hairiness and shared my knowledge with you so here’s what I use in my ever raging battle against my large amount of bodily hair.

Schick Quattro for Women Disposable Razors $7.99 for 3 pack
Best for a quick, no fuss hair removal, these Schick disposables are the best razors that I’ve found after a very VERY long search. You get a nice close shave and the little conditioning bars leave your skin feeling nice and hydrated. I often find that disposable razors leave terrible shaving rash or razor burn or leave your skin feeling tight and dry but these are definitely the best of the bunch and I can’t see myself wanting to ever buy any other razors. I do go through them quite quickly as I shave pretty much daily!

Veet In-Shower Hair Removal Cream Sensitive $10.99 for 150g

Back in the day when hair removal creams first came out, not only did you run the risk of serious chemical burns but the stink let everyone in your whole neighbourhood know you were de-hairing yourself. These days, the cream has an almost pleasant, if slightly pungent smell and a much lower risk of death by chemical burns. This particular one is really easy to use, you just pop it in with the sponge, wait between 2 and 10 minutes and then jump in the shower and gently rub off. Given that I have quite thick, coarse hair, I tend to wait longer. For some reason, this isn’t always effective for me. Sometimes it works really well and sometimes I’m left with patches and I still can’t figure out why! But usually, I’m pretty happy with the results and they last about 2-3 days for me.

Nair Spa Clay Mini Wax Strips $4.89 for 20 strips

These are absolutely perfect for eyebrows (if you happen to wax yours, I don’t personally) or slightly less glamorous, lady moustaches (which I do happen to wax). Luckily my lady mo is fine and I’m probably the only one who can really see it, it’s definitely not Ron Swanson-esque (yet). You are meant to warm these up by rubbing them between your hands but I suffer from Raynauds meaning my hands are ALWAYS cold so I do a quick blast from my hair dryer which I find much more effective. They work really effectively, especially on fine little facial hairs and leave very little residue behind. Definite winners for me!

Veet Natural Inspirations Argan Oil Warm Wax $15.49 for 360g plus 10 strips

This is a recent discovery for me and it impressed me from the beginning. It’s a sugar wax enriched with Argan oil so it’s not as harsh on the skin as regular wax but it still does a really great job. It’s really easy to use, you just heat it up in the microwave and apply with the handy wooden spatula that’s included. The spatula even has a heat-activated tab to let you know that the wax is too hot so you don’t burn any, ahem….intimate areas! This is perfect for bikini lines, legs and underarms and works on fairly short hairs (around 5mm) and it’s dissolvable in warm water so any mess is really easy to clean up.

Phillips Satin Perfect Epilator $129.95

Time to bring out the big guns, the epilator! First of all, I find epilating to be more painful than waxing, even waxing lady areas is less painful than just epilating my legs BUT it’s quicker and easier and the results last about the same amount of time…which for me is roughly a week but still, better than nothing! If you can stand the pain, you get lovely smooth legs/armpits/bikini lines and it’s a pretty convenient little gadget all up.

I hope my foray in the jungle (hehe) that is hair removal has helped a few of you out. I’m not saying that it’s not ok to be hairy because I AM hairy, I just prefer to be as hair free as I can be because I feel more comfortable that way. Have you tried any of these?

Dani xo

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Boe Professional Lipsticks

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If you’ve been a KaBOOM! Cosmetics reader for any length of time, you’ll know how much I love the Big W beauty brand, Boe Beauty (you can read about my experiences with Boe Beauty here and here). Big W beauty has recently expanded to include Boe Professional which has a bigger (and slightly more expensive) range. I love the Boe Beauty brand because although they are cheap (everything costs a mere $2), the quality is comparable to some of the much more expensive drug store brands. I have not yet tried anything from Boe Professional but I was lucky enough to be sent a selection from the new lipstick range (RRP $8.95) to try so here’s what I thought.

Colour Pro Matte Perfect Lipsticks in Premiere & Capri*

This is one of the most wearable matte lipsticks that I have ever come across. The formula is so easy to apply and glides on without dragging or tugging and can we talk about the pigmentation for a second? Premiere is an almost perfect dupe for MAC’s Impassionedand Capri is the most vibrant orange-red shade. Best of all that despite being true matte shades, I found that my lips didn’t feel dry at all while wearing these, I think they are literally the perfect lipsticks.

Colour Pro Colourlast Lipsticks in Aphrodite & Morocco*

The Colourlast range is a lot more hydrating and nourishing that the Matte range and contain Vitamin E and Sweet Almond and Jojoba Oil (they smell amazing). While I wasn’t quite as taken with this range as the Matte range, they are very wearable lipsticks though they don’t have quite the pigmentation of the Mattes. Aphrodite is a dusky pink and Morocco is a medium, slightly brown-toned pink. Of the two, Aphrodite is definitely my favourite.

3D Glisten Sparkle Diamond Finish Lipsticks in Passion & Allure*

The Diamond Finish range is my least favourite of the bunch. Passion is quite nicely pigmented and a classic red shade but Allure is a very pale, barely-there light pink and both are loaded with glitter. The glitter is less noticeable in Passion but sticks out like a sore thumb with Allure because it’s so pale and I am really not a fan of glitter lipsticks, they’re very teeny-bopper. They are pleasantly scented and the lipstick formula is quite nice but I feel like the glitter is quite chunky and I could feel it on my lips the whole time so sadly, this particular range isn’t for me.


Colour Pro Super Shine Lipsticks in Diva & Athena*

Coming in at a very close second place for my favourite range is the Super Shine range. These lippies are glossy and super hydrating with really nice pigmentation. They don’t have the lasting power of the Mattes but are still completely amazing and very wearable. Diva is quite similar to Aphrodite but a slightly darker dusky pink and Athenais a peachy pink that I’m still on the fence about. I actually quite like the finish on these, they aren’t crazily shiny but just enough to make your lips look and feel nicely hydrated.

Swatches (L-R) of Premiere, Capri, Aphrodite, Morocco, Passion, Allure, Diva & Athena

Have you tried anything from Boe Professional yet?
Dani xo
DUPE ALERT! Here's Premiere (bottom) and MAC's Impassioned (top) for comparison.

*These products were provided as PR samples but as always, my opinion is my own.

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