Little make up sponge – big results

GOODBYE, make up brushes – I’ve found a replacement!
As I don’t wear foundation every day (BB cream usually provides enough coverage), there is nothing I hate more than getting to the weekend, going to put on my make up before a night out and finding my brushes really need a wash.
The result ends up as a streaky mess!
I don’t have that problem any more though!

Chi Chi makeup blending sponge | Extraordinary Days

This little sponge gives great results.

I spotted this Chi Chi Make Up Sponge while killing time browsing in the beauty aisle and as it was only about $6, I decided to take the chance and buy it.
I won’t lie, using it for the first time was a bit daunting so I read the instructions carefully and watched a few YouTube videos before I tried to apply my make up with it.
When using it you first fully submerge it in water so the sponge can expand to its full size.
You then squeeze out as much of the water as you can (using a towel helps) and start using it to apply your make up.
I pump my liquid foundation (MAC Studio Fix Fluid) on to the back of my hand and use the wide, round end of the sponge to pat it onto my face in a stippling motion.
The pointed end is for around your nose and eyes – harder to reach places.
It feels a bit weird at first but the effect is seriously amazing.
These types of sponges were designed to give an airbrushed look and that’s exactly what it does.
I’ve also started applying my powder (MAC Mineralize Skinfinish) with the sponge and my blush and highlighter too.
I’d read not to drag the sponge through pressed powder as it picks up too much product and I’ve found this to be true – it’s especially noticeable when you end up with a cheek full of blush!
After using it I wash it with warm water and goat’s milk soap because I’ve used it on my face before and I know my skin can handle it.
The packaging says not to use anything too harsh to clean it because it could irritate your skin.
One thing to keep in mind is it seems to take ages to dry properly, even when wrung out properly and left in the open. I’ve previously washed it before going to bed and it was still slightly damp in the morning.
The original version of this product is the Beauty Blender but it’s $27 for a single sponge and I found the Chi Chi version works perfectly well without the price tag.
In the long run the Chi Chi version probably won’t last as long but the price is something to keep in mind, especially if you don’t know whether you will like putting on your make up on this way.
I have heard from people who still prefer using brushes.
All in all I really love this sponge though and definitely won’t be going back to brushes any time soon!
Bonus points – they don’t test on animals!
Get more info here.

Have you used a make up sponge? What did you think?

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water review

THIS is a product that I’ve been wanting to try for a while now but I honestly didn’t know if it would live up to the hype.
According to the creators it “removes makeup, cleanses and soothes” and is for use on your face, eyes and lips.

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water | Extraordinary Days

Way more than just water!

It also promised “no vigorous rubbing or rinsing required”.
Those are big claims in my eyes!
But I thought ‘how is it going to clean my skin if it’s just water?’
How wrong I was!
Apparently the key is the active cleansing ingredient, the micells, which “act as a magnet to capture impurities makeup and sebum”.
This has really changed my cleansing process.
Up until now I’ve just been using goat’s milk soap to cleanse and remove makeup because for a long time, that was all my sensitive, eczema-prone skin could handle.
Now I’ve got my skin under control, though (more on that here) I could reassess what I use.
I wanted to use something gentle, that wouldn’t clog up my pores and that I wouldn’t have to roughly scrub my skin with just to get my makeup off.
To put it simply, this cleansing water just works.

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water | Extraordinary Days

This has changed my cleansing routine.

To use it you put a bit on a cotton pad and wipe your face with it.
Foundation, lipstick, eyeliner and long-wear concealer have been no match for this product.
It usually takes about four cotton pads to remove a full face of makeup, including all of my mascara and liquid eyeliner.
The impressive part is there’s no residue left behind.
My skin feels cool and refreshed after I use it and not tight and dry like it does with a lot of soaps or other cleansers.
And, true to their word, I didn’t have to scrub heaps to get my makeup off.
I first spotted this in a chemist and really liked the look of the packaging (this happened with another Garnier product I reviewed here) – so their marketing people are doing a good job.
To sum up, this product is awesome, perfect for sensitive skin and I will definitely buy this again.

What’s in your makeup removing routine? Would you try a cleansing water?

MAC Saint Germain lipstick vs Savvy High Shine lipgloss

I CAN’T get enough of light, bright pink lip colours right now!
Today I wanted to review two very eye-catching lip products in my collection that are similar shades, MAC’s Saint Germain and Savvy High Shine Paparazzi.
Let’s start with Saint Germain.

MAC Saint Germaine lipstick and Savvy High Shine lipgloss | Extraordinary Days

Can you tell that lipgloss has rolled around in my handbag for a long time?

When I first picked out this colour I was intending to match it to the dress I wore to the Melbourne Cup last year.
Needless to say I should have actually brought the dress with me to the shops that day because while it would have gone well with the fluoro pink (can you tell yet that I’m a huge fan of fluoro?) it’s not quite what I was going for.

Melbourne Cup fluoro pink dress | Extraordinary Days

This was an amazing day!

But I’ve since teamed Saint Germain with other outfits like a little black dress and I really love how bright it is!
As far as lip liners go I’ve worn this shade just by itself with MAC’s lip clear lip primer underneath, with a rose-coloured liner and also with a bit of concealer on my lips to make the colour really pop.
My favourite was the concealer just for that boost to the colour but I really enhancing my Cupid’s bow when I don’t wear lip liner so I’ll probably just continue to change it up depending on how I feel.
I love how bright this is when you first put it on but unfortunately, I’ve found the vibrancy just doesn’t last.
That said, it’s still a lovely rosy colour when it does fade and I think there’d be people out there who would prefer that to how full-on if is when it’s first applied but I’m just not one of them.
Of course, there’s always the option to just keep applying it to keep the colour vibrant but that wouldn’t be my first choice.
Before I found Saint Germain my go-to product for that sort of shade was Savvy High Shine gloss in Paparazzi.

MAC Saint Germaine lipstick and Savvy High Shine lipgloss | Extraordinary Days

These two are a bright pair.

When I first saw the two side by side I thought they were very similar and it wasn’t until I put them together on the back of my hand that I saw Paparazzi is much darker.
Still, I think it gives that punchy colour I was aiming for on my lips and the thicker consistency makes the coverage a bit more even.
In terms of how long they last, in my books a lipstick will usually always win and this is no exception.
While I like lip glosses sometimes, at the end of the day if can’t stand up to me having a meal then it’s probably not going to be one of my favourites.
(My ultimate go-to lipstick/liner combination for THE LONGEST wear in my collection can be found here.)
So for my final verdict, both of these products are great if you bear in mind the colour-fade issue.

Would you wear either of these lip products? Let me know in the comments!

Review: MAC’s Rebel lipstick

TALK about a bold colour!
I’d been eyeing off New Zealand songstress Lorde’s signature plum lip colour for a while now so I thought I’d give this ago.
While Lorde and MAC collaborated on a similar plum lip colour last year, I’d read that her makeup artist actually used a combination of the Heroine and Cyber lipsticks.

Lorde Rolling Stone magazine cover

Photo by Rolling Stone. Source: http://tinyurl.com/qac68th

To recreate this look I used the colour Rebel paired it with MAC’s Prep and Prime lip primer and a MAC lip pencil in Nightmoth.
Rebel is part of the brand’s satin range and goes on smoothly with a bit of shine.
Nightmoth looks like a really deep, dark purple on the packet and at the tip of the pencil but when applied is almost a brown.
It’s not a colour you can forget you’ve put on, that’s for sure.

Mac Rebel lipstick and Nightmoth lip miner

Mac Rebel lipstick and Nightmoth lip liner.

While I initially balked at how dark Nightmoth was on its own, I really liked the end result when paired with Rebel because it gave it a more plum-coloured shine.
The first time I tried this look it didn’t pass the food test 100 per cent (I ate a jam and cream donut, yum!) and needed touching up, particularly on the middle of my bottom lip.
However, that might have been because I was a bit over-zealous when putting it on and put on too much.
More tries will tell.
I first wore this during the day and it felt a bit heavy for a sunny morning so I might try wearing it again at night and see how it feels then.
I really like it with this collared top – it’s got a bit of a Wednesday Adams feel to it.

MAC Rebel lip 1

Have you tried a dark lip? What do you think of the trend?

My goals for 2015

I DON’T believe in New Year’s resolutions because I don’t think you need the calendar to flip over to make changes in your life. That said, there’s no harm in choosing things to focus on in the future.
It took me a while to narrow down the list of things I want to do this year but here it is.

2015 New Year's resolutions

It’s going to be a great year!

Take time for myself:
Taking care of myself is the first thing to fall by the wayside as soon as life gets crazy – and with a busy job and a long daily commute (about two and a half hours per day!) this was a struggle for me in 2014.
I found I could always schedule time in for errands, friends and other activities but never put aside enough time to just relax.
Last year taught me that taking time out to rest, get enough sleep and mentally recuperate is incredibly important.
I didn’t realise how tightly wound I was until I went to Europe in June and could actually relax for weeks on end.
Whether I achieve this by going to bed earlier, reading a magazine or having a lazy Sunday morning in bed, I really want to take time out when I can this year – before I burn out.

Get moving:
Exercise is something that I too easily put on the backburner.
Again, with my long commute it’s often quite late by the time I get home but I’ve been lucky enough to house-sit near my work for the past month and having that extra time as well as minding a large dog that needs lots of walking has made all the difference to my exercise schedule.
So for almost four weeks now I’ve walked the dog for between 30 minutes and a hour each day and at the end of last month I started using an incredible yoga app for daily practice as well.
(Let me know in the comments if you’d like to see a post on my progress with this app!)
I feel incredible!! My stress levels have gone down drastically, even during the silly season.
Ideally I’d like to take at least half an hour each day for cardio (even if it’s just a brisk walk) and either 15 minutes or half an hour for yoga, with longer sessions of both on the weekend.
I’ve got a Fitbit Flex and it’s helping me keep track of the steps I do each day. Meeting my goals is extremely satisfying.
While the tough part will be keeping this routine when I start finish house-sitting and start commuting again, I’m going to give it my best shot.

Read more:
I’m a big bookworm but I don’t usually have time to read!
Before bed each night I ususally spend a bit of time reading a book on my iPod Touch but it’s just not the same as flipping physical pages.
This year I want to make more time to pick up a book and escape into another world.

Get in control of my finances:
Saving money is not exactly my strongest area and it’s something I really am going to get on top on this year.
I started by unsubscribing from a lot of store emails – I do not need to know when they have a sale on!
Saving for a house deposit is my main priority and keeping that in mind will hopefully help me keep my spending in check.

Keep up with blogging:
I’m sure most bloggers have the same goal for this year.
I’ve got so many ideas in my little notebook that I can’t wait to get on to but keeping organised and planning ahead will be key.

What are your goals for 2015? Share them in the comments!

Garnier Perfect Blur Cream review

IT’S always nice when a spur-of-the-moment purchase turns out to be amazing!
I picked Garnier’s Perfect Blur Cream on a whim after seeing it at the chemist.
It claimed to be an all-over face cream that “reflects light” to help blur imperfections.

Not sure why they decided on such a huge box for such a small tube.

Not sure why they decided on such a huge box for such a small tube.

You apply it after your daily moisturiser and I use it its own or under BB cream.
It’s got a velvet texture when applied and it makes my skin feel soft and smooth.
The only downside is that if you touch or rub it too much when you put it on (like when putting BB cream on top of it), it comes off and leaves little balls of product all over your face.
I accidentally applied this before putting on foundation one morning and just using a soft makeup brush on my face made the Garnier cream come off and didn’t leave a smooth base for my foundation.
Don’t let this put you off though!
All in all, it does what it says on the packet and while you’re obviously going to get better coverage with concealer and foundation, it did help with evening out my complexion.
On a good skin day I wear this by itself and it feels like enough.
A small pea-sized amount is enough to cover your whole face and neck and it’s become a staple part of my workday morning routine.

This is about the amount I use each day.

This is about the amount I use each day.

At about $15, this is on the lower end of the price scale so I would definitely buy this again.
Other blurring products include L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Magic Blur Instant Skin Smoother and Indeed Laboratories Nanoblur.

Have you used a light-reflecting or ‘blurring’ face product? What did you think?

Three ways to make your outfit sparkle on NYE

NEW Year’s Eve is almost upon us!
Aside from freaking out about where the year has gone, I’m starting to plan my outfit for the big night.
I’m a huge fan of sequins, glitter any anything else that shines but it can be daunting to put these into an outfit without looking like a walking disco ball, especially for more casual events.
Here are three easy ways to throw in a bit of shine into your look, to get 2015 off to a great start!

blue maxi dress ootd NYE

We’re set for a warm NYE! I’ll be by the pool.

A sequinned belt:
I paired this gold belt with a floaty maxi dress and sandals for a low-key bit of sparkle.
NYE is usually hot even after the sun goes down in Australia so this would be great for a barbecue or a few relaxed drinks with friends.
It’s not too over-the-top but is still fun.
I threw in a plain white clutch so the belt would be the feature and my gold Juicy Couture charm bracelet – a gift from my lovely sister on a recent trip to Hong Kong. (There’s a close-up photo of these jewellery pieces at the bottom of this post.)

blue maxi dress ootd

This outfit is perfect for a more casual shindig.

blue maxi dress ootd NYE

Gold accessories bring the whole thing together.

The showstopper:
This gold sequinned top is definitely in my top ten favourite items in my wardrobe.
You’re not going to be missed in this thing!
This shirt has a black faux-leather (pleather) back and sleeves so it’s not full-on sequins the whole way around.
I paired it with a plain black skirt and minimal accessories – this top does all the talking.

gold sequin top ootd NYE

The faux-leather backing makes this shirt a bit warm, though.

Shiny accessories:
If you’re searching for something minimal to add to your outfit, simple, shiny accessories are always a good option.
This cat ear headband is a bit silly and fun but definitely cute!
Make-up wise I’m going to be keeping things pretty simple – just pink lips and liquid eyeliner.
For this look I used MAC’s Magenta lip liner and Max Factor’s Flipstick Colour Effect in Boreal Mauve 15.

cat ears headband ootd NYE

I love this headband!

Let’s take another look at the accessories I used for these outfits.
The big silver necklace from my dolphin skirt OOTD post would also be a winner, especially if paired with a little black dress.
You can pick up a Juicy Couture charm bracelet just like mine here.

So many shiny things in one image.

So many shiny things in one image.

This bracelet just gets me.

This bracelet just gets me.


What are you wearing on New Year’s Eve? Let me know in the comments!