28 November 2011

Dangerous Affair

During a brief stint living in London last year, I discovered my now favourite brand of nail polish, Ciaté.

This fabulous brand has been developed by UK-based Charlotte Straughan, a salon owner and manicurist to the celebs turned nail polish guru, with over 10 years experience in the biz. It is clear that Charlotte understands the needs of both professionals and those applying at home and this is manifested in her products.

This shade, Dangerous Affair, is a delicious, deep red wine colour. As a blue based red, it eliminates elements of orange or pink that often clash with skin that has red undertones, like my own pale skin. It’s a more appealing, universally flattering shade of red.

Bottled in a 13.5mL paint pot, I’ve found this polish doesn’t dry out or become gluggy after a few weeks, something that other favourite nail polish varieties can be culprits of. I opened my first bottle of Ciaté over 10 months ago and it’s still as good as new. There is a slight scent of the usual nail polish variety but rest assured it does not linger around. What’s more, all Ciaté polishes are free from the toxins Formaldehyde and Toluene.

Image credit: Het Cosmetica Huis

Each paint pot is thin, rectangular shaped and slightly curved, sitting snugly in the palm of your hand. Combine this with the longer-than-your-average brush handle and you can see why Ciaté is favoured among those who lack dexterity (namely me). Each bottle is adorned with a bow, a cute touch that adds to the uniqueness of Ciaté.

Arguably Ciaté’s best feature is that the colour on the bottle is the colour on your nails. No need for two, three or even four applications before your talons match the described shade. You get Dangerous Affair first time, every time. This can be attributed to the 250 bristle flat brush that tops each paint pot. The brush assists with perfect application and distributes colour evenly.

With a crème texture, this nail lacquer is elegant and versatile, offering full coverage and a high gloss finish. One of the most important criteria when considering high standard polish is the chip factor. Chipped polish is one of my pet hates and I find it very tacky, but Ciaté is commendable in its delivery of long lasting, durable enamel that remains flawless for days. This is particularly important for me, as working in a bar defies an impeccable manicure; perfectly painted nails flake away in a matter of minutes. However, Ciaté is a polish that goes the distance. One to two coats of Dangerous Affair followed by a topcoat, like Ciaté’s Speed Coat or Cutex’s Quick Dry Top Coat, will do you through the night and on till the morn!

Not available in Australian stores, this polish goes for £9 at www.ciate.co.uk. Roughly $14.50 Australian, that’s excellent value for money, coming from the shop-a-holic herself.

I rate this polish ★★★★★
Value for money: $$$$$

Miranda x

20 October 2011

MAC Opulash Mascara

You may remember I posted a while back about Mirenesse mascara? It was tubular mascara. I dubbed it the end of Panda Eyes. Ringing a bell?

To refresh your memory just in case, "tubular mascaras form little tubes of mascara around the lashes, as the name suggests. At the end of the day (or the morning after if you came home sloshed) just add a touch of warm water and gently use your thumb and forefinger to slide the tubes down the lashes. They slide right off!" Go here to read the rest of the post.

I loved the Mirenesse mascara. It came off so easily, rarely leaving a trace (and when it did, it was usually my technique that was the culprit). There's no need to use a make up remover on the eyes, saving me time and money. I rarely wore any other mascara, especially if I was just going to work.

As I mentioned in the original post, I love thick, black, voluminous lashes. I don't like to use eyeliner, preferring to define my eyes with well-applied mascara instead. This is where the problem lies, as the "Cougar,” cat eye effect left a lot to be desired in terms of volume. I was torn between the ridiculously easy removal of Mirenesse and a desire for big, thick lashes. Suffice to say, laziness won more often than I'd like.

I purchased MAC Opulash Mascara last week after re-reading this review of it by Zoe Foster on PRIMPED, thinking it might put an end to this dilemma. Julie from Me, My Best and I also recommended it to me.

It is a terrifically volumising mascara, lengthening and curling the lashes. Just what I like. And what's more, it is tubular mascara! Two-in-one; my ideal mascara. It didn’t take long for me to fall in love. It volumises and boosts my lashes, as per my preference for thick, black lashes, while at the same time allowing me to indulge in my laziness. How fab is that?! There could not be better news.

Oh wait, there is. It goes above and beyond the last volumising mascara I bought. Not only does it achieve the thick, voluminous lashes, but it does so without clumping them together, leaving some definition. The best of both worlds. In this picture below, I have applied Opulash mascara to my RIGHT eye only. I did only one full coat, really working the mascara onto my lashes, ensuring I started right at the base and blinking through the brush and what not.

The Opulash Mascara has a thick, chunky brush, with an easy to hold handle. It's tapered at the end (like the majority of mascara wands these days), allowing for super easy application to the corners of the eyes, which can be quite tricky without a tapered brush. It results in a beautiful, wide eyes look, as per the photo above. It only comes in the one, black, shade, which is unfortunate for those who like brown-black mascaras, but it’s dark enough for anyone who likes black.

The mascara is $33 from MAC stores or MAC's online store.

I rate it ★★★★★ for quality of the product and getting the job done (the job being thick, voluminous, yet still defined lashes, whilst being a tubular mascara that is super simple to remove). I don't have a single gripe or suggestion for this product.
I rate it $$$$$ for value for money. It’s a lot more expensive than your chemist mascaras, I’ll give you that, but it does a damn better job, increasing the value for money aspect. It is definitely a higher end mascara, on par price wise with products like Clinique’s Lash Power and the Dior Show mascara, which do a similar job without being tubular.

Let me know what you think of this mascara, if you've use it before or plan to try it out in the future. What do you think of tubular mascaras?

Miranda x

14 October 2011

Country Bumpkin

A couple of weeks back, I was up to my ears in bikinis. While playing with all these swim suits, I noticed a few trends, which I mentioned here. But one that particularly caught my attention was gingham. I've always loved gingham. So too my mum and big sis. When I was little, my sister had these swimmers that were red gingham and super cute. And I used to call them her "country bumpkin cozzies."

In memory of those beloved cozzies (the one item I actually wanted as a hand-me-down never even made it to me- she wore them out before she could grow out of them), I have done a post with a whole bunch of pretty gingham pieces. Hope you like.

Seafolly longline bustier and mini hipster with ruffle edge

The Karen Neilson Collection picnic check frill pom pom one piece

Topshop black gingham push up bikini

Agent Provocateur stacey halterneck bikini top and briefs

Antipodium mini gingham dress with cutaway sleeve and collar tips

Peter Alexander gingham tie front slinky

Miranda x

12 October 2011


I was catching up on PRIMPED (I was a bit behind on the times due to a technology issue) when I noticed my own name!

In this post 'What Really Happens At Our PRIMPED David Jones Look Book Events and a Sneak Inside the Legendary Goodie Bag', Eliza summed up the Look Book Events and gave a peek inside the notoriously awesome goodie bags that are given away at the events (as the name of the post suggests in so many words). As part of this post, Eliza also provided a list of beauty blogs that had posted about the Look Book events, and my name made the list!

Anyone who regularly reads this blog will know I am obsessed with PRIMPED!! (Cause I wrote about the site here and here. I also entered the PRIMPED Posse competition, which I briefly mentioned here.) It was an amazing honour to have my name and blog mentioned in an actual post on PRIMPED, let alone being combined with the phrase "Very Excellent Beauty Bloggers"!

And here is the post which started it all: PRIMPED Look Book.

Miranda x

10 October 2011

Look of the Day brought to you by Style.Com

As I mentioned last week, my laptop was broken. I just got it back today. My brother is travelling abroad so I had his laptop at my disposal, but it's my old one. And I bought a new one for a reason. Specifically; I spilt a Vodka cruiser on it (after consuming a few myself) and it proceeded to act increasingly drunker until I could stand it no longer. The space bar requires bashing to get a space out of it and it randomly turns off for no reason (passes out, presumably). Baby bro has since also pulled the "V" key off and lost it.
This lead me to avoid the laptop and so I spent a lot of time on my iPhone. I just thought I'd do a quick post on one of my favourite apps and a fabulous time-killer. Style.com's app of the same name. It's has most of your favourite Style.com features, bringing you the latest in fashion on the go. Videos, snaps from parties & shows, the style file blog and even something for the boys with the men's fashion features. But by far and away, my favourite function is 'Look of the Day'. I quickly became addicted and compulsively checked throughout the day to see when the next Look of the Day would be up (time difference).

What does Look of the Day entail? 5 ways of wearing a current trend or item are selected. Users scroll through and vote for their favourite. After your make your selection, the tally for the day so far is shown. It's a very cute, fun way of checking out what's hot on the runaway and all the different ways you can wear it.

To download the app, go here. It is available online for those who don't have an iPhone, but in my opinion, it's best used to pass the time when you're on the move.

Miranda x

06 October 2011

NARS Laguna Bronzing Powder

Nars' Bronzing Powder in laguna has been a long time favourite for those in the know in the world of cosmetics and is now considered a 'cult' product. With summer on its way, I was keen to ditch the blush and rekindle my love with bronzer. After trying out a few bronzers, I decided to go with Laguna.
The difference between this bronzer and many others before it is its very natural colour. It is a brown based bronzer, delivering terrifically tanned skin compared to other orange based bronzers. Nars says "Diffused powders with golden shimmer create an all-over warmth or contour for the face perfect for creating or enhancing the look of tanned skin."

As someone with pale skin who nevers achieves a natural tan and forgoes the fake tan, I was worried that this bronzer would be startling obvious or 16 year old girl applying makeup four shades too dark with a trowel-esque. It turns out my concerns were completely unfounded! The healthy, tanned glow looks au naturale on pale skin as well.

Nars' Bronzing Powder retails for $55AUD. You can buy this product from Nars' Online Store, from Mecca stores across the country of from Mecca's Online Store.

I rate this product ★★★★★ - I can't find any faults with it at all so far.
Value for money is $$$$. It's a lot more expensive than any bronzer you could pick up from a chemist or supermarket, but the quality is infinitely better. However, if you are on a very tight budget, I probably wouldn't recommend it as your one splurge item.

Have you tried Nars' Bronzing Powder in laguna or any other shade? Let me know what you think.

Miranda x

05 October 2011

Good News & Bad News

I've been M.I.A for a few days. You can blame a broken laptop and the long weekend (which is just an extra long working weekend when you work in a bar). But I'm back now, with good news and bad news. So which do you want first?

Zoë Foster, who I raved about here and here, has departed the cult beauty blog PRIMPED, which I raved about here. This can only be described as terrible news (its definitely not good news, that's for sure), as Zoë's quirky, accessible style of delivering beauty content is an asset not just to PRIMPED, but to all its followers' faces. And make up bags. Read Zoë's last PRIMPED blog here and her first here.

Zoë Foster is joining Mamamia! I've not raved about Mamamia anywhere on this blog before, but boy do I love it. Mamamia is Mia Freedman's baby, where she blogs, along with some other fabulous contributors, about news, relationships, entertainment, parenting, style and more. It's a fabulous site and invaluable when trying to keep up to date with what everyone is talking about in the above categories.

Zoë will join the site as a beauty writer, delivering content twice weekly. For more information and the press release, go here here. This is the good news, and the only circumstance, I think, that offsets the tragedy of Zoë's departure from PRIMPED. I'm sure she will be just as engaging, informative and helpful over at Mamamia.

Miranda x