Monday, 31 March 2014

March Favourites 2014

People like to do this sort of thing, right? I'm not totally sure what the protocol is with "monthly favourite" posts, but I get the general idea that it's about new products you get over the previous month. I bought most of the products in the post well over a month ago, but I have loved using these. I also don't really buy enough makeup every month to really warrant doing these monthly, unless people want to read repetitive posts -- which I'm pretty sure most people don't.

So, here we go. You're going to have to forgive the poor photo quality, they were taken at 5:30am on my phone.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in "Radiant Magenta". I'm not gonna lie, blushes kinda scare me. A lot. I'm very, very paranoid about putting on too much and having clown makeup -- but, at the same time, I don't want to wearing so little that nobody can tell I'm wearing it. I was nervous about buying this shade for this reason. You can see that the colour looks incredibly rich, even though it is marbled through with that medium-ish brown colour. However, the review on Makeup and Beauty Blog in January had this to say:

Picture this: your work crush grabs you by the shoulders when no one is looking, presses you up against a file cabinet, kisses you squarely on the mouth, and then quietly, nonchalantly, walks away without saying a word.
That -- that right there. That natural flush on your cheeks? That's the kind of flush these Ambient Lighting Blushes can create.
And I have to say, Karen is right. A couple of swipes on my blush brush gets me a really nice, natural-looking pink flush. I find that the product seems to kind of stick to the brush, because the more I run it over my cheek, the more colour spreads out, so I don't have the need to keep applying product to my brush. However, that could be due to the brush itself, or that could just be how every high-end blush works and my ignorance has just further earned my title of Beauty Padawan!

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes come in six shades and are available from Mecca Cosmetica for $50.

Napoleon Perdis China Doll Gel Eyeliner in "Equinox". I seem to have bad luck with eyeliners. I'm always losing them, misplacing them, putting them in that "safe spot" that seems to delete itself from my memory. Once I bought one and it dried/ran out (no idea which) after two uses! It was for this reason that I went to Napoleon Perdis. I'd been hearing good things about their gel eyeliner for a while, and I decided that I may as well put my money towards a decent product rather than risk more trial-and-disappointment.

I use this product nearly every day, whether I'm using it for a thin line near my upper lash line, doing a winged look (my skills there are all thanks to Danielle's tutorial on Confessions of a Beauty School Dropout), or a probably-dodgy cat eye. It glides on very easily and although the pot looks teeny tiny, I usually don't need a whole lot of product. It wears very well during the day and it doesn't smudge very badly, even when I accidentally forget I'm wearing it and rub my eye. Something I've noticed is that sometimes the colour does wear out a little in my wing (is "fade" the right term? I'm not totally sure.) but for all I know, I've just not used the same amount of product as I have in other places. It's also possible that on those days I've forgotten to put on eye primer, so it might have to be something that I experiment on to figure out.

Napeoleon Perdis China Doll Gel Eyeliners are available in two colour from Myer for $35. Alternatively, you can buy the China Doll Eyeliners (honestly not sure what the differences are) in seven colours from Myer or Napoleon Perdis for $39.

Too Faced Chocolate Bar Eyeshadow Palette. Of course, of course, of course I was going to include this! I have been lusting after this palette since Danielle's review in January, and there seemed to be absolutely nowhere that shipped it to Australia! I was disappointed, but luckily I seemed to be able to find rough equivalents of the some of the shades in other makeup palettes I have.

Then, a miracle.

I discovered Tarazz in the depths of cyberspace (or what passes for the depths for a Beauty Padawan), and then received confirmation from Kit Cosmetics that they would start stocking it at the end of February (so you can see that I've been looking for this for a while) -- and I was so excited!

I've been able to create a number of looks with this palette, mostly from Danielle's blog or from the little pamphlet that comes with the palette. Two weeks ago I bravely experimented with it and tried out an look inspired by Elsa from "Frozen" -- I'm not gonna lie, it was kinda cute! Also, have I mentioned that it smells of cocoa? It smells of cocoa. :)

Of course, as this is a high-end brand not readily available in Australia, it costs a lot more for us than our American friends. You can buy the palette for $62 from Tarazz or from Kit Cosmetics for $68.95. Something to take into consideration is that Tarazz will charge an additional $15 for postage, so I would recommend physically going into a Kit Cosmetics boutique (at Mecca Maxima or selected Myer stores) to pick one up. However, for some reason, at time of writing it isn't listed on the Kit Cosmetics site (I've linked their general Too Faced page in case it gets put back on), and I know that they keep selling out very quickly, so that could be why.

Soap & Glory Flake Away Spa Body Polish - Travel Size. Oh gahhhd, how I love this product. I normally have super gross, untouchable elbows -- they're all dry and hideous to look at (although thankfully elbows don't usually get a lot of eyeball time), but when I spotted Soap & Glory wall at the Kit boutique at Myer, I decided that I ought to try it.

I nearly bought the regular 300ml pot, but I wasn't sure how much I'd need to use or how well it would work, so I decided to try out the smaller 50ml pot. As it turns out, I don't need to use a whole lot, so I seemed to make a good buy. Flake Away smells really nice (of what, I can't quite tell you, my nose is rubbish at discerning scents) and I'm loving the sea salt/sugar texture -- it just feels so nice on my skin.

You can buy this from Kit for $5.95 for the travel size, or $16.95 for the 300ml pot.

Bioré Blemish Clearing Scrub. Everybody but the truly fortunate gets face demons from time to time, and I'm pretty sure that a lot of us have tried a lot of different products in any attempt to get rid of them as quickly as possible. I've tried several different brands with varying success, but I find that this one takes the cake.

It has a really nice smell -- mandarin and mint, I think, which I'm normally not keen on, but this isn't overpowering. It has a refreshing, tingling sensation on my skin, but not the full on KA-POW that some products like to give you. The thing that stood out to me is that I actually noticed results almost immediately, as opposed to after repeated use. It's also very good at getting rid of my makeup and it doesn't irritate my eye area (yes, yes, I know, I should use proper eye makeup remover -- but I'm lazy).

Neither Woolworths or Coles stock this online, but I believe it retails for around the $10 mark. You can get it on sale from Priceline for $7.69 (regular price $10.99).

And that just about concludes my March Favourites for 2014. Have you used any of these products? What were your March Favourites?

Sarah xo

Thursday, 27 March 2014

One Reason to Love Mecca

There are just so many reasons to love Mecca Cosmetica and its parent company, Kit Cosmetics. I'm sure that everyone who's been there would say that it's because of the high-end American cosmetics that you can purchase there, such as Too Faced or NARS, which are otherwise largely unavailable in Australia. Then there's the super-friendly service -- every counter saleswoman I've encountered has been very friendly and incredibly helpful (even if the one at Mecca was just a tooouch scary!).

I made my first purchase at Mecca on Monday (I have a haul post in the works!) and the woman who served me signed me up to the Beauty Loop program. Like a good little customer, I signed up online right away and was driven to complete my "Beauty Profile", where you are asked a number of questions about your skin and hair -- the coolest part is, they use this information to create your "Ultimate Beauty Edit", which suggests products tailored to your needs!

I must admit, being a Beauty Padawan, I ran into several problems when completing the questionnaire.

Is my skin classified as oily or combination? I picked the latter initially, as sometimes my skin can start to dry and flake in places, particularly in between my brows; however, I changed it, as I don't know that it necessitates being classified as "combination". I can't lie, this kind of thing confuses me.

Eye colour is easy, and hair colour is a cinch, but what about my skin type?

Is it medium? Olive? I selected medium, as, although I'm half-Maltese, I don't think I completely inherited the darker skin. Let me tell you, this certainly took some consideration -- this is why I don't pick foundation shades for myself! Always trust the makeup artist to make the right choice (after all, they of all people should be able to find a match, right?), and if it looks good then you've found your foundation.

The rest of the questions were quite easy to answer -- after all, even if you're unsure about your skin tone or type, you probably know what you ultimately want out of it, whether that's fewer breakouts or oil control.

But back to the coolest part.

I love that Mecca Cosmetica have a selection of beauty products suggested for your beauty needs. It certainly helps to clear the air if you're unsure about what might work for you. Of course, these brands are on the higher-end of the scale but if you love the luxury... why not?

Here are a few suggestions made to me on my own Ultimate Beauty Edit:

Who else thinks of Lumpy Space Princess when they hear the phrase "luscious lips"? No one? Just me? Okay then.


As if that wasn't already pretty sweet, these suggestions change every time you access your Ultimate Beauty Edit, so as to showcase the numerous number of products that Mecca Cosmetica. One thing I've noticed is that Bumble and Bumble seemed to be a constant suggestion as far as hair care is concerned. I think that this is might be because Mecca Cosmetica don't have a large variety of hair care brands, but that's something I have to look into another time.

Are you a member of Mecca's Beauty Loop? What are some of your Ultimate Beauty Edit suggestions?

Sarah xo

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Wednesday Weekly: Impossible Quiche

Well this dish was definitely a keeper! Impossible Quiche isn't usually as hard as its name suggests -- it's basically a baked omelette. However, there's something about it that can spell disaster if not done correctly; as such, I've certainly had my fair share of failures. The first time I made Impossible Pie, it took over an hour and a half in the oven! Perhaps it was a dodgy recipe, perhaps it was the oven, perhaps it was me -- whatever it was, the end result was disheartening.

Not this time.

This recipe was ridiculously easy. It was simply a matter of mixing the dry ingredients...

...then whisking together the wet ingredients and adding them to the dry ingredients.

Then you stick it in the oven and forty minutes later... voila!

The tops of the Impossible Quiches looked a little brown, but they didn't taste burnt. Next time, I might try and shave five minutes off the cooking time and see how it turns out. In terms of taste, it was delicious -- it was moist and held its shape well, plus none of the flavours were overpowering. If you're not the kind of person who likes the taste of egg and cheese, however, you might want to stay away.

And now for the recipe!

You can fine it here on Taste, a website which in my experience rarely disappoints in quality. My family eat a lot, so I doubled the recipe and made two pies. Here are a couple of things to consider if you decide to make this:
  • I left out the onion entirely. I'm not a fan of onion so I hardly use it if I can help it. However, feel free to use it!
  • Making a double batch, I had all of the dry ingredients mixed together in one bowl, which I then evenly divided between the two pie dishes.
  • However, I made the egg and milk mixture in two batches, so as to make sure that both pies got the same amount of liquid.
If you don't feel like going to another site, I've included the recipe down below.

Impossible Quiche

Makes 1 quiche.


  • 125g ham, chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped (optional in my case)
  • 1 1/2 cups (180g) grated tasty cheese
  • 1/3 cup (50g) self-raising flour
  • Salt and freshly-ground pepper, to season
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups (375ml) milk


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C / 400°F / Gas Mark 6. Grease a 5 cup capacity pie dish. (I'm pretty sure this is just your standard pie dish.)
  2. Combine ham, onion, cheese, flour, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Scatter over base of dish.
  3. Whisk eggs and milk together in a large jug and pour over ham mixture. Cook for about 40 minutes or until puffed and golden. Cool slightly. Serve warm or cold.
And there you have it! A quiche that is as easy as it is delicious!

What did you have for dinner?

Sarah xo

First Post!

What does one even write on a first post?

I've been scratching my head for a little while, trying to figure out what you're supposed to write -- I even looked at the first posts of the blogs that I follow -- and in the end I realised that there's no clear template, and that I'd better just write something.

So here is me, writing something.

What do I plan to write about here? I know very little about the world of makeup. Six months ago, my look was as glamorous as foundation, mascara and eyeliner -- products like primer, lip gloss, and eye shadow were either optional or non-existent in my life. As I learn about different products and techniques, I'm likely to get things really, really wrong. This is the place where I plan to make fun of myself as I do so!

The same goes for any lifestyle aspects of my blog. I like to try new things when I cook -- new things in my family basically means anything that isn't schnitzel, spaghetti or curry. Sometimes these recipes are a smashing hit, sometimes they're a complete disaster. In fact, one of the things that really pushed me to start this blog was a dish I cooked last week: an amazingly gross, salty-as-the-sea pad thai. I ate it, don't get me wrong, but it's something that I'm never trying again.

If I find a recipe that is awesome, or one that sucks, I want to be able to share it! Likewise with any beauty products, if I see something that is really cool or not so great, I want to write about it.

That's about all I have for now, I'll write back soon!

Sarah xo